My earliest Watson ancestor, Peter, has been my #1 brick wall for over 30 years. With all the records I have saved over the years, I've compiled a few hard facts:
1. He is on the 1840, 1850, 1860, & 1870 censuses for
Randolph County, AR, and is one of the few people who actually aged exactly 10 years from once census to the
next. All but 1840 say he was born in KY in 1810.
2. He had 3 children with his first wife, Elizabeth _____, and 9 with his second wife, Louisanna (Lucy Ann) [nee Womack] Luttrell. Elizabeth is known only by a single land sale record.
3. His first son was named William, born ca. 1833 (the 1850 census says born in AR, the 1860 in MO). William died in 1862.
4. He owned land, beginning in 1838, in the Reyno, AR area.
5. He does not appear after about 1876, when he and Lucy sold some land. She died in October, 1879, according to the 1880 Mortality Schedules.
6. He was a farmer and Missionary Baptist preacher.
7. Peter, Lucy, and all their children are buried in Nelson Cemetery, Clay County, Arkansas. None have tombstones except for Thomas.
Here are some interesting clues tying Peter Watson with Sherrod
1. Peter's first land purchase in AR (1838) was granted the same day as that of Sherrod Winningham. Their land parcels were adjacent to each other. Also receiving a land grant that day was Jesse Winningham (Sherrod's son), and a William Watson.
2. Sherrod was also a Missionary Baptist preacher.
3. Sherrod performed Peter's 2nd marriage.
4. Peter handled Sherrod's estate upon Sherrod's death in 1843.
5. In 1830, Sherrod Winningham (enumerated as "Sarred Winminhan" on ancestry.com) was living in Wayne County, MO, (in 1830 it covered the southern portion of MO, and was just north of what is now Randolph County, AR). The AR/MO state line changed locations several times during the early 1800s. Living close by was Sherrod's son, William Winningham (born 1810).
6. In 1830, also living close to Sherrod was a William Watson. There is a William Watson on the 1840 Randolph County, AR census, and there is a male in the same age range as Peter in the household. A few houses away from this William Watson is a Miles Watson (see * below).
7. In 1806, a Sherod Winningham appears on the tax list for Stewart County, TN. In 1807, there is a Sherod Winneham.
8. In the 1810 census, there is a William Watson living in Christian County, KY. In 1810 this county was directly across the state line from Stewart County, TN. This boundary was in dispute for many years, and changed frequently.
9. Peter named his 2nd son was named Sherad W. Watson. Perhaps his middle name was Winningham.
Other interesting clues:
1. The area where Peter lived is at the far western edge of Clay County, AR (formerly Randolph County). In the late 1850s & 1860s, the Bethlehem Baptist Association, located in the central part of Clay County, held several meetings, the minutes of which mention Peter Watson of Antioch Church (my Peter Watson), as well as another Peter Watson who lived in northern Greene County. Also mentioned is a Talton Watson who was a Missionary Baptist preacher in the association.
2. This Talton Watson lived 2 miles east of Corning, AR, at the present intersection of Hwys. 62 & 135. Talton had a son named Miles (see * above) who was age 6 on the 1850 census, 13 on the 1860, and 22 on the 1870. Talton was born in KY according to these censuses.
3. The 1810 census for Henderson county, KY has a Peter Watson, William Watson, and a Tarlton Watson living adjacent to each other. Could this be the previous generation with one of them being the father of Talton Watson and my Peter Watson?
4. There are no Watsons in KY in 1800. However, there seem to be a nest of them in/around Mecklenburg, VA/NC.
1. Clay County, AR was formed from Randolph County in 1873. A fire destroyed all records from 1873 to 1881.
2. Wayne County, MO is a burned county -- with fires in 1854 & 1892. In 1866, the courthouse records were stolen.
3. In 1904, Peter's grandson, George (son of Sherad), took his wife & children to TX for his wife's health. She died en route either to or from TX. I had been told she had brothers there, but I now have proof they didn't arrive in TX until well after she had died. I don't know if George knew of Watson relatives there or not.
4. Of Peter's 12 children, only one lived past 1890 -- Thomas. Other than Sherad, he is the only one to have known living descendants. Most died between 1858 & 1880.
5. I have met online 2 other researchers who descend from Peter. They descend through Thomas (I descend through Sherad). We have all tried the same venues and come up with the same clues & ideas, and interviewed the same elderly family members.
To follow the lineage to me, follow the "*".
To follow the lineage to Paula Watson Williams, follow the "#"
Family of Peter WATSON and (1) Elizabeth _____:
1. William WATSON (b. ca. 1833, Lawrence Co., AR, d. 20 Sep 1862, Pocahontas, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. 1 Jun 1856, Randolph Co., AR, Nancy J. (nee Conger) BLACKBURN (b. ca. 1831), daughter of Jonas L. V. Conger and Matilda _____.
2. *Sherad W. WATSON (b. 1835, Lawrence/Randolph Co., AR, d. 1863, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. 20 Dec 1857, Randolph Co., AR, Sarah Caroline ADAIR (b. 11 May 1837, AR, d. <18 May 1876, Randolph/Clay Co., AR, bur. Richwoods Cem., Clay Co., AR), daughter of William ADAIR and Mahala WOMACK.
3. Uriah WATSON (b. ca. 1836, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR), m. 30 Dec 1858, Randolph Co., AR, Margaret A. CONGER (b. ca. 1839), daughter of Jonas L. V. Conger and Matilda _____.
Family of Peter WATSON and (2) Lucy
(nee Womack) LUTTRELL:
1. #Thomas Jefferson WATSON (b. 18 Jan 1841, near Reyno, Randolph Co., AR, d. 1 Dec 1920, Datto, Clay Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. (1) 22 Dec 1859, Randolph Co., AR, Mary A. DIXON (b. 15 Mar 1842, MO, d. 8 Dec 1897, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR), (2) 12 Mar 1899, Corning, Clay Co., AR, Mrs. Roena (nee Wray) EDEN (d. 12 Mar 1904, Heelstring, Clay Co., AR), (3) 14 Nov 1904, Corning, AR, Alice (nee Rutheford) PETTY (b. 29 Dec 1857, Henry Co., TN, d. 18 Feb 1937, Clay Co., AR).
2. James W. H. WATSON (b. 1842, Randolph Co., AR, d. Aug 1869 [tuberculosis], Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. 2 Sep 1866, Thaley Hill BRIGS.
3. George W. WATSON (b. 1844, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR).
4. Nancy J. WATSON (b. 1846, Randolph Co., AR, d. <1880, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. 13 Feb 1866, Randolph Co., AR, William Nelson OWEN (b. 1 Jan 1939, Habersham Co., GA, d. 6 Oct 1897, Clay Co,. AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR), son of James Madison OWEN and Martha BLAIR.
5. John F. WATSON (b. 1848, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR).
6. Pleasant M. WATSON (b. 1850, Randolph Co., AR, d. <26 Jul 1887, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR).
7. Sarah Caroline WATSON (b. ca. 1858, Randolph Co., AR, d. 12 Oct 1883, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR), m. 30 Nov 1873, Clay Co., AR, William Riley PATY (b. 28 Aug 1849, Humphreys Co., TN), son of Matthew PATY and Priscilla ROBERTS).
8. Mary WATSON (b. 1864, Randolph Co., AR, d. <1900, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. ca. 1880, William Henderson McCANN (b. ca. 1855, MO, d. <1900), son of Alfred Warner McCANN and Martha _____.
9. Elizabeth A. WATSON (b. 1867, Randolph Co., AR, bur. Nelson Cem., Clay Co., AR).
Family of Sherad
W. WATSON and
Sarah Caroline ADAIR:
1. Celie Ann WATSON (b. 19 Sep 1858, Randolph Co., AR)
2. *George Washington Sherad WATSON (b. 13 Dec 1862, Randolph Co., AR, d. 14 Oct 1942, Heelstring, AR, bur. Richwoods Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. Almeda (nee Sharpe) STOKES (b. May 1860/61, Perry Co., TN, d. 14 Oct 1905), daughter of George F. SHARPE and Elizabeth HENSLEY.
of George Washington Sherad WATSON and Almeda (nee Sharpe)
1. * Mary Ellen WATSON (b. 5 Sep, 1896, Heelstring, AR, d. 30 Apr 1962, Memphis, TN, bur. Richwoods Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. 17 Apr 1917, Clay Co., AR, John PARK (b. 8 Jan 1894, Heelstring, AR, d. 10 Apr 1971, Cabot, AR, bur. Richwoods Cem., Clay Co., AR), son of Oscar Hewitt PARK and Nancy Ella SMITH.
4. Oma May WATSON (b. 22 Sep 1900, Heelstring, AR, d. 10 Aug 1927, Heelstring, AR, bur. Richwoods Cem., Clay Co., AR) m. Aug 1917, Clay Co., AR, George Thomas HUGGINS (b. 3 Jun 1892, Patterson, Wayne Co., KY, d. 9 Dec 1958, Heelstring, Clay Co., AR), son of Seth Elsworth HUGGINS and Mary ALLEN).
Family of Thomas
Jefferson WATSON and Mary A. DIXON:
1. James H. WATSON (b. 11 Dec 1860, Randolph Co., AR, d. 18 Jan 1875).
2. George H. WATSON (b. ca. 1864, Randolph Co., AR).
3. Nancy A. WATSON (b. ca. 1866, Randolph Co., AR).
4. #William Anderson WATSON (b. 11 Nov 1870, Randolph Co., AR, d. 19 Mar 1940, Heelstring, AR) m. (1) Cora Ellen LEE (b. 18 Jun 1878, d. 14 Jan 1906), (2) Fannie Bell (nee Rutheford) DELL (b. 15 Sep 1886, Pulaski Co., AR, d. 6 Aug 1921, Heelstring, AR), daughter of Alice RUTHEFORD (above), (3) Hannah E. GOWENS (b. 23 Dec 1871, d. 7 May 1937).
5. Lucey A. WATSON (b. ca. 1874, Randolph Co., AR) m. 13 Jan 1889, Clay Co., AR, A. R. SIMPSON
6. Julia WATSON (b. ca. 1875, Randolph Co., AR, ) m. (1) 22 Dec 1892, C. Henry WINNINGHAM (b. 21 Jun 1870, Thurman, AR, d. 1895) son of William J. WINNINGHAM and Hanna LINDSEY), (2) J. W. RAY.
7. Joseph Watson (b. ca. 1878, Randolph Co., AR) m. 12 Oct 1898, Clay Co., AR, Amanda GLEGHORN.
Family of William
Anderson WATSON and (1) Cora Ellen LEE:
1. Hattie Othelia WATSON (d. 1953) m. William Ransom HUGGINS (son of Elzie HUGGINS and Mary _____).
2. Delia WATSON m. Clint Hovis MATTOON.
3. Dora WATSON.
4. Lucy WATSON.
Family of William
Anderson WATSON and (2) Fannie Bell Rutheford DELL:
1. Alta WATSON (b. 19 Jul 1908, d. 1951) m. Horace WHITBY.
2. #William Thomas WATSON (b. 1 Feb 1910, d. 31 Oct 1978).
3. Jessie Franklin WATSON (b. 17 Nov 1912, d. 22 Feb 1974).
5. Mary Alice WATSON, (b. Nov 1916, d. ca. 1918).
6. Decima Verdine WATSON (b. 28 Nov 1920, d. 3 Nov 1978).
If you have any questions, comments, or additional information, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at S_cotStout@aol.com (be sure to remove the underscore after the first character before e-mailing).
Updated 15 Nov 2014.