The Whitfield Family of Lenoir County, North Carolina

The following wills of Needham Whitfield and the will of his wife Penelope shows that my Great Great Grandfather, George, moved from Lenoir County North Carolina to Aberdeen, MS as a slave. A Negro named George is found in both wills and he is found again in the 1870 Census as George Whitfield living in Aberdeen, MS. George had five sons; two of which were born in NC. Georges’ NC sons were born in 1838 and 1839, the rest of Georges’ sons were born in Aberdeen, MS in 1845, 1854 and 1855. Therefore, George arrived in Aberdeen, MS sometime between 1839 and 1845. There is no mention of Georges’ sons in the Whitfield wills.

Needham Whitfield Family

Needham Whitfield, b:20 FEB 1758 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina d: 6 APR 1812 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina

Father: William Whitfield II, b: 20 MAY 1715 in Bertie County, North Carolina

Mother: Rachel Bryan, b: 10 JUN 1723 in Bertie County, North Carolina

Marriages:

1) Lucy Louise Hatch b: 13 NOV 1756 in Craven County, North Carolina, ABT 1780 in North Carolina.

Children:

1) Rachel Whitfield b: 1781 in Wayne County, North Carolina

2) Lucy Whitfield b: 18 NOV 1783 in Wayne County, North Carolina

3) Sarah Whitfield b: 24 MAR 1785 in Wayne County, North Carolina

4) William Whitfield b: 15 JUN 1787 in Wayne County, North Carolina

5) Needham Whitfield b: 21 JUN 1789 in Wayne County, North Carolina

2) Sally Watkins b: 28 FEB 1777 in North Carolina ABT 21 JUN 1789 in North Carolina.

Children:

1) Edith Whitfield b: 1799 in North Carolina

2) Elizabeth Watkins Whitfield b: 9 FEB 1801 in White Hall, North Carolina

3) Elizabeth Hatch b: 3 SEP 1760 in Craven County, North Carolina, ABT 1791 in North Carolina.

Children:

1) Hephzibah Whitfield b: 1789 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina

2) Edmund Whitfield b: 1793 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina

4) Penelope Lane b: 1756 in Jones County, North Carolina 10 JUL 1803 in New Germany, Jones County, North Carolina to Mrs. Penelope Bush, relict of Col. WILLIAM BUSH, deceased.

Children:

1) Gaines Gaius Whitfield I b: 15 NOV 1804 in Wayne County, North Carolina and died on 12 NOV 1879 in Marengo County, Alabama.

2) Boaz Whitfield b: 10 MAY 1806 in Wayne County, North Carolina and died 20 FEB 1843 in Marengo County, Alabama.

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Wayne County, NC – Will of Needham Whitfield – 1812

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(There are parts of the pages missing so this will is not in its entirety)

In the name of God amen I Needham Whitfield of the County of Wayne and State of North Carolina being of sound mind and memory and knowing that man must die, do Constitute and make this Instrument of writing to contain my last will and testament and do desire that it may be received by all as such

I give my Soul to God with a full hope of his acceptance, as to my body to be buried in a decent manner without pomp, as a full assurance of its Resurrection to be recruited with my soul to Glory. And as to my worldly Goods that God hath been pleased to bless me with I will and positively order to be distributed in the following Manner

I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Penelope Whitfield ____ and Butterworths Concordance, all the Negroes ___ living and including those that have been born ___ which Negroes that were given her by her ___ Col William Bush named Dick George Phillis ___ and Tom and their future increase all my ___ the part of all my stock of horses, cattle, hogs ___ household and kitchen furniture, plantation, tools ___ of every kind whatever and one riding chair ___ unto my beloved wife Penelope Whitfield during her ___ six hundred and forty acres of land including ___ my two negroes named Harry and Milly and ___ and my own and her likenesses ___ unto my daughter Rachel Bryan during her natural ___ benefits and profits of seven hundred and fifteen ___ Duplin County on the north east cape fear ___ lives and wherein old Tony now lives

page 2

___ Hagar, and their future increase and at the death of my daughter Rachel Bryan, I give and bequeath unto her children that she now has or may have the same Lands Negroes and increase that I have lent unto my daughter Rachel Bryan to be equally divided between them, to them their heirs or assigns forever and all the other property that I have ___ daughter Rachel Bryan in possession I give to her her heirs or assigns for ever

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Lucy Martin one half of the sales of my lands in Lenoir County that lies on the waters of Trent river, and the following Negroes named Sampson Prince Clarry Nancy and her child Mayo and __ increase, and all other things that I have put her ___ to her, her heirs or assigns forever

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sally ___ following Negroes named Duke, Lyddah and ___

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son William Whitfield two Negroes named Simon and Pleasant ___ and their increase and all other things that ___ him in possession of except a Negro boy named ___ his heirs or assigns for ever

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Needham Whitfield ___

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Hep___ one horse or mare her choice

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Edmond ___ hundred dollars and one colt named Timothy ___

Item, I give and bequeath unto my two daughters ___ and Betsy Whitfield the following ___ between them their heirs or assigns forever but be it known that those Negroes are to remain in common stock as to their services in the same manner and to answer the same purpose with other Negroes mentioned in this will and that their services be for the support of my younger children and not to be divided until either my daughter Edith or Betsy becomes of age or marries

Item, I give and bequeath unto my two sons Gains Whitfield and Boaz Whitfield after the loan to by beloved wife Penelope Whitfield my two Negros named Harry and Milly and their increase and my own and their mothers likenesses to be equally divided between them to them their heirs or assigns forever

Item, It is my will and desire and do positively order that all my lands in Wayne Duplin Lenoir Jones Carteret and Montgomery counties State of North Carolina be sold by equal annual statements for three years one third to be paid yearly and ___ my wife after her widowhood also the profits from my lands that I have given Col Alexander ___ as a power of attorney to sell for me in the State of Mississipi and that all the apparatus belonging to my mill and ___ houses be sold with the same oxen and grain accepted, and that all the remainder part of my estate not mentioned in this will be sold at one year credit my Negroes hired out the Blacksmiths tools with the Blacksmith and the moneys arising therefrom to pay my debts and support my children under age until they become of age or married and that my two youngest daughters be schooled untill they are sixteen years of age and ___ applied to a Professionsal or Machanical Calling under the care of men of good characters

Item, I give and bequeath unto my following children Needham Whitfield Hephzibah Whitfield Edmond Whitfield Edith Whitfield Betsey Whitfield Gains Whitfield and Boaz Whitfield after paying my debts all the remainder of the profits arising from ___ my estate and debts ___ to be equally divided between them to them their heirs or assigns forever and the monies owing therefrom to be laid out in lands for them in the Mississippi Territory

Item, I give and bequeath unto my following children Hephzibah Whitfield Edmond Whitfield Edith Whitfield Betsey Whitfield Gains Whitfield and Boaz Whitfield all the remainder of my Negroes and their increase not given in this will. Edith Whitfield and Betsey Whitfield to have one half of a share each in consequence of their having other Negroes left them and the others have one share each to them their heirs or assigns forever and that they take shares by lot as they become of age or are married and they have one bed and furniture compleat to each child furnished them and all other necessary expences to be supplied to the younger children under age as they may ___ without division or accountability from them or either of them

Item, And as I heretofore given lands to my daughter Sally Hatch and son William Whitfield, and ___ my sons William Whitfield and Needham Whitfield ___ of gifts. I do hereby make the same good and valid to all ___ and persons

Item, and it is my disire that Penelope Croom and Polly Bush in consideration of services by them rendered my family that they pay no bord for the time they have lived with my ___ and I do hereby appoint my beloved sons William Whitfield Needham Whitfield and Edmond Whitfield Executors to this my last will and testament giving them, or any one or ___ of them full powers, to Execute Deeds of Conveyences for or anything or things else necessary to be done agreeable to the aforesaid will and testament and do hereby make void other wills by me heretofore made in witness whereof I the said Needham Whitfield the testator have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 20th day of March 1812 Signed Sealed and acknowledged by the testator in presence of us

James Grimsley Needham Whitfield {Seal}

John Presise

William (his mark) Mozell

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1800: Records of Jones Cty NC, 1779-1868, Vol. l Deed Book I

Dec 30, 1800 William Bryan to Penelope Bush for $1800.00 175 acres patented by Martin Francks and John Bryan on east side of Cypress Creek.

Wayne County North Carolina Wills, Inventories and Settlement of Estates

V.3, 1812-1816

Whitfield, Penelope Will written March of 1816

son William L. Bush

daughter Penelope Croom

daughter Mary Bryan

son Lewis B. Bush

son Nathan B. Bush

sons Gaines and Boaz Whitfield

Executors: James R. Bryan, William L. Bush, Abraham Croom

Wayne County, NC – Will & Estate Records

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by

Barbara Kawamoto

NC Archives

Will of Penelope Whitfield – 1816

In the Name of God, Amen I Penelope Whitfield, being of sound mind and memory (thanks be to God for the that and) calling to mind the certainty of Death and feeling an indisposition of body do ordain this to be my last Will and Testament revoking all others by me heretofore made, acknowledging this only viz

Firstly I give and bequeath unto my son William L Bush one negro man named Dick now in his possession and one negro wench named Phillis to him and his heirs and assigns forever

Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Penelope Croom one negro wench named Lettice and her two youngest children Daniel and Matthew. To her and her heirs and assigns forever

Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Mary Bryan one negro man named George and one negro boy (now in her possession) named John to her and her heirs and assigns forever

Item Unto my son Lewis B Bush I give and bequeath one negro man named John to him and his heirs and assigns forever

Item Unto my son Nathan B Bush I Give and bequeath one negro boy named Toney, one negro Girl named Gatsy and one negro boy named Elijah to him and his heirs and assigns forever

Item Unto my two Sons Gaar and Boar Whitfield I give and bequeath Four Negroes Viz Old man Tom and his Wife Rose and two Boys Bazel and David to be equally divided between them, also the Likenesses of their father and myself, one Bible and Concordance and Matt’s Hymns to them and their Heirs and assigns forever but in case of the death of either of my sons Gaar or Boar above mentioned before they arrive at Lawful age then the said negroes, Likenesses and Book herein bequeathed I give and bequeath unto the survivor to him and his heirs and assigns forever

Item I have in my possession two notes amounting to Two Thousand Dollaars- The money arising from said notes I give and bequeath as follows Viz Unto my son William L Bush Six hundred Dollars, unto my Daughter Penelope Croom Six hundred Dollars – Unto my son Nathan B Bush Six hundred Dollars -unto my son Lewis B Bush one hundred Dollars – & unto my Daughter Mary Bryan one hundred Dollars to them and their heirs and assigns forever

Item After all my Just and Lawful debts are paid and the above Legacies are satisfied I give and bequeath all the residue and remaining part of my worldly property unto my son Lewis B Bush – to him and his heirs and assigns forever

Lastly I do hereby constitute and ordain Abraham Croom William L Bush and James R Bryan to be Executors to this my last Will and Testament

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this thirtieth day of March AD 1816

Penelope Whitfield {Seal}

Signed Sealed and acknowledged

In the presence of Viz

J L Shine

Levin Lane

Lenoir County, NC – Collections – Whitfield-Wooten Papers

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The Slave Whitfield Family from North Carolina to Mississippi

My Great Great Grandfather, George Whitfield (1798-1880) came to Mississippi (Lowndes & Monroe Counties) from North Carolina (Wayne & Lenore Counties) in the 1830’s with his masters, Needham or Edmond Whitfield. My Great Grandparents are Lovard & Fannie Randle Whitfield (Aberdeen, MS); Grandparents are Augustus (Gus) & Parlee Reynolds Whitfield (Aberdeen, MS & St Louis, MO); Parents are Osie & Eva Bass Whitfield (Aberdeen, Bassfield & Oma, MS) and I am Leon Whitfield. Not all Whitfield’s are blood relatives. Slaves would often take the name of their slave owners. However, slaves sometimes took the name of a new owner or on occasion, they would pick a name totally unrelated to their owners. I have read that on occasion, new slaves would be bought and placed in the homes of the master’s current slaves who would treat the new slave as a relative. The new slave would usually take the name of the slaves he lived with. I have Whitfield relatives in just about every state.

Needham Whitfield
• Birth: 20 FEB 1758 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
• Death: 6 APR 1812 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
• Burial: South bank of Neuse River in the town of Seven Springs

Father: William Whitfield II b: 20 MAY 1715 in Bertie County, North Carolina c: 20 MAY 1715
Mother: Rachel Bryan b: 10 JUN 1723 in Bertie County, North Carolina

Marriage:
1) Lucy Louise Hatch b: 13 NOV 1756 in Craven County, North Carolina •Married: ABT 1780 in North Carolina.
Children:
1) Rachel Whitfield b: 1781 in Wayne County, North Carolina
2) Lucy Whitfield b: 18 NOV 1783 in Wayne County, North Carolina
3) Sarah Whitfield b: 24 MAR 1785 in Wayne County, North Carolina
4) William Whitfield b: 15 JUN 1787 in Wayne County, North Carolina
5) Needham Whitfield b: 21 JUN 1789 in Wayne County, North Carolina

2) Sally Watkins b: 28 FEB 1777 in North Carolina •Married: AFT 21 JUN 1789 in North Carolina.
Children:
1) Edith Whitfield b: 1799 in North Carolina
2) Elizabeth Watkins Whitfield b: 9 FEB 1801 in White Hall, North Carolina

3) Elizabeth Hatch b: 3 SEP 1760 in Craven County, North Carolina •Married: ABT 1791 in North Carolina.
Children:
1) Hephzibah Whitfield b: 1789 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina
2) Edmund Whitfield b: 1793 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina

4) Penelope Lane b: 1756 in Jones County, North Carolina •Married: 10 JUL 1803 in New Germany, Jones County, North Carolina.
Raleigh Register, Monday 8 August 1803.
Married at New Germany, in Jones County 10th ult., NEEDHAM WHITFIELD, Esq., of Wayne County, to Mrs. Penelope Bush, relict of Col. WILLIAM BUSH, deceased.
Children:
1) Gaines Gaious Whitfield I b: 15 NOV 1804 in Wayne County, North Carolina
2) Boaz Whitfield b: 10 MAY 1806 in Wayne County, North Carolina

Penelope Lane
• Born 1756 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died 4 MAR 1816 in Wayne County, North Carolina.
• She is buried in South Bank of Neuse River in Seven Springs, Wayne County, North Carolina.
• She Married William Martin Bush 1781 in Jones County, North Carolina; he is the son of Hardy Bush and Katherina Franck.
He was born 3 FEB 1755 in Craven County, North Carolina, and died 18 FEB 1799 in Jones County, North Carolina.
• She Married Needham Whitfield 10 JUL 1803 in New Germany, Jones County, North Carolina, son of William Whitfield II and Rachel Bryan.
He was born 20 FEB 1758 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina, and died 6 APR 1812 in White Hall, Wayne County, North Carolina.
He is buried in South bank of Neuse River in the town of Seven Springs.

Children of Penelope Lane and William Martin Bush are:
1. William Lane Bush was born 1782 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died 14 AUG 1828 in Georgia.
2. Hardy Bush was born in 1784 in Jones County, North Carolina and died in 1814 in Jones County, North Carolina.
a. He married Sarah Ann Clark 11 OCT 1796 in Craven County, North Carolina. She died about 1870 in Craven County, North Carolina.
3. Levin Lane Bush was born 1786 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died in 1810 in at sea.
4. Penelope Bush was born 1788 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died 3 NOV 1823 in Jones County, North Carolina.
5. Mary Magdalene Bush was born on 22 DEC 1790 in Jones County, North Carolina and died in 1864 in Marengo County, Alabama.
a. She married James Reynolds Bryan 1815 in Jones County, North Carolina. He died in 1850 in Marengo County, Alabama.
6. Elizabeth Bush was born ABT 1792 in Jones County, North Carolina.
7. Lewis Bryan Bush was born 27 APR 1795 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died 10 OCT 1870 in Nanafalia, Marengo County, Alabama.
8. Nathan Bryan Bush was born 23 MAR 1799 in Jones County, North Carolina, and died 15 OCT 1844 in Marengo County, Alabama.
a. He married Mary Harrison 1820. She was born in 1802, and died in 1837.

Children of Penelope Lane and Needham Whitfield are:
1. Gaines Gaious Whitfield was born on 15 NOV 1804 in Wayne County, North Carolina, and died on 12 NOV 1879 in Marengo County, Alabama.
2. Boaz Whitfield was born 10 MAY 1806 in Wayne County, North Carolina, and died 20 FEB 1843 in Marengo County, Alabama.

Southwest was the Whitfield family of Lenoir County, North Carolina.

As early as the mid 1820’s, Gaius Whitfield, together with his brothers Boaz and William, each of whom had inherited only seven slaves from their father, moved westward and began planting operations in the Black Belt of Alabama . During the following decade, Gaius began to prosper, purchasing Negroes at cheap prices in North Carolina, transferring them to Alabama, and placing them on newly cleared canebrake lands . He accumulated much of his early capital speculating in land, an activity that was yielding him “one thousand dollars per week sometimes more in 1835”. Two years later, another brother, Needham, joined Gaius in the Southwest, eventually settling in Aberdeen, Mississippi. In the meantime, Gaius established his residence in Demopolis, and by the time of the Civil War, he owned three large plantations in Marengo Country, Alabama, and another in Lowndes County, Mississippi, which collectively contained nearly 500 slaves and were valued at more than $1,000,000. Another member of the family, Nathan Bryan Whitfield, a cousin and brother-in-law of Gaius sold his North Carolina property to a brother in 1835 and joined Gaius in Marengo County. There he too amassed a considerable fortune and during the 1840’s, erected a palatial Greek revival mansion, Gaineswood, which still stands today near Demopolis, Alabama. George Whitfield, a brother of Nathan, also decided in the 1830’s to “lookout for some country” where he could “employ [his] negroes to greater advantage” than he could in North Carolina, but was unable to afford the elevated price of land in Alabama. He opted instead for Florida, where he eventually established a plantation in Jefferson County. Thus, within a span of fifteen years, at least six members of the Whitfield family left the Old North State in quest of a more propitious economic environment.

Gaius Whitfield was born on November 15, 1804 in North Carolina, the son of Needham Whitfield and his fourth wife, Penelope Bush. He and his younger brother, Boaz, were educated in Tennessee for $2.50 per month, under the guardianship of their older brother, Needham. When Gaius and Boaz came of age they had to reimburse Needham because the court guardianship considered the tuition exorbitant and would not pay for it out of their late father’s estate. Gaius’s half sister Mary Bush Bryan and her husband, James Reynolds Bryan, lived in Jefferson, Marengo County, Alabama, and encouraged him to move to Alabama. In 1825, Gaius began applying for land patents for properties in Mississippi and Alabama, and in 1828, he purchased his first property in Marengo County. Gaius’s half-brothers had migrated to Columbus, Mississippi in 1826, and had encouraged him to move there. On July 15, 1834, Gaius married Mary Ann Whitfield, General Nathan Bryan Whitfield’s sister, and moved into a primitive log cabin in Marengo County. They had six sons, all of whom would serve in the Confederate Army: Gaius Jr., Charles Boaz, Needham Bryan, James Bryan, Bryan, and George Nathan. Bryan died of camp fever in 1862; the other five brothers survived the war. Gaius Sr. was a successful planter, eventually owning 30,000 acres in Alabama and Mississippi. Gaius loved both places, and traveled up and down the Tombigbee River to his two homes. During the Civil War, Gaius Sr. learned of the Union Army’s impending approach. Fearing looters, he buried six-hundred $20 gold pieces in a secret place on his plantation, Shady Grove. Rumors of a treasure map to the location of the gold circulated until 1926, when his grandson Gaius Whitfield III found the map. Gaius Whitfield Sr. died in 1879 in Marengo County, Alabama.

Courtesy Masters of the big house: Elite slaveholders of the mid-nineteenth-century South by William Kauffman Scarborough

Clermont Plantation, Monticello, Florida

The descendants of the Whitfield family, in Florida, obtain their lineage from some of the oldest pioneer settlers in America, who were associated with the important events of the annals of this country before and since its foundation. Its members have been conspicuous for the high class of their services in peace and war. General Bryan Whitfield, the grandfather of the Whitfield’s in Leon and Jefferson counties, was a distinguished soldier in the patriot army of the American Revolution and gained honor and renown. His forbears were staunch English men and women who settled in Wayne County, North Carolina. His wife was Winifred Bryan, and their three sons and two daughters were; Nathan, George and James Bryan, and Winifred and Mary Ann. Nathan settled in Alabama, George and James came to Florida, settling first in Leon county, where the latter remained. George was born in North Carolina in 1804, and he married Louisa Blackledge from North Carolina. They were the parents of several children; Alice, Louise B., George, William and Richard Bryan. George Whitfield bought a plantation twelve miles south of Monticello, naming it Clermont, and built a comfortable plantation house. His father had been a man of wealth and education, and his children reared to appreciate the graces of life. His father’s financial condition enabled him to leave each of his children abundant means for support. George Whitfield’s plantation home was handsomely furnished, and he had numbers of slaves, brought from North Carolina. They were taught to perform their duties, and strictly censured for any negligence. He was a devout Episcopalian and when it was impossible to attend church in Waukeenah or Monticello, he conducted services on his plantation. His first wife died and several years afterward, he married his cousin, Lucy Winifred Higgs, a widow with one daughter.

Lucy Winifred Whitfield at the age of eighteen years came to Florida with her cousin, William D. Moseley, in 1839. She was an orphan, and had spent part of her life in her uncle’s beautiful home in Demopolis, Alabama where she and her two sisters had received their educations. They traveled to Florida in stagecoaches and the journey was long and tedious. When they reached what is now Live Oak, the passengers were particularly impressed with the grove of beautiful oaks around the village homes and shops clustered there. William Moseley had relatives at Madison and Moseley Hall whom he visited, and then he proceeded to Monticello where he settled. Lucy Whitfield’s destination was Tallahassee, where she remained in her cousin’s home until she was married to John Higgs. Three children were born to them, only one a daughter, Ida, living to the age of maturity. Lucy Winifred became a widow and in 1868 and was married to George Whitfield, by Reverend E. L. Phillips, at Lloyd. They lived on the Whitfield Plantation, and enjoyed the pleasure and abundance afforded by that bounteous storehouse of material comforts and intellectual and spiritual solaces.

The aftermath of the civil war brought loss and distress, causing many families to give up their once lucrative farmlands and to move to the centers of population, where other work could be obtained. George Whitfield sold his plantation and moved to Monticello, where he went into business. In 1875, he was mayor of Monticello. His son, Richard Bryan Whitfield, took an active part in the affairs of the town, and was city clerk for many years and in 1878 was elected mayor. He married Catherine Palmer, oldest daughter of Joseph Palmer and they lived in the little home now occupied by our present city clerk. The only descendant of this couple is one son, Richard, who with his family now resides in California.

George Whitfield and his wife, Winifred, finally made their home in Lloyd, and purchased a house, which was enlarged and made suitable for a boarding house. At this time, the railroad officials decided to establish a dinner house at Lloyd, that being the logical station for it, since the east bound and west bound trains passed rat this point. The Whitfield House was selected and for twenty years, most delicious dinners were served in this dining room to the traveling public, from both trains of the Seaboard Air Line. ‘

George Whitfield passed away in 1885. He is buried in the Episcopal cemetery in Tallahassee. His wife continued the management of the dinner house, until it was taken over by her daughter, Ida Higgs Dennis. In 1905, Winifred Whitfield joined her husband in that “innumerable throng” above. She was laid by his side. General Whitfield was a man of sterling qualities, a sincere Christian and a friend to his fellowman. He was not lustful’ for money, but spent his time in reading and studying. When his plantations yielded quantities of cotton, corn and other produce, the resulting income served to furnish more food and clothing for his family and slaves, rather than to increase his bank account. His wife was a person of great merit, a follower of the teachings of the Master and sincerely mourned at her death by a score of friends and relatives. In the history of his family, one so-called member of it should not be omitted. His name was Primus Green and he possessed a remarkable record and lived to be an old man. He was the son of a Whitfield slave couple, both of whom were house servants. Primus was not a large muscular fellow, but he was chosen as the bodyguard of George Whitfield’s two sons, when they entered the Confederate service. He was by their side constantly, watching maneuvers and within calling distance during the engagements. When William fell on the battleground of Virginia, Primus rescued his body and bore it from the field, watching over it until there was no hope of life in it. Primus had a remarkable memory and could recite war poems faultlessly and with much expression.

My Slave Heritage

My Great Great Grandfather, George Whitfield (1798-1880) came to Mississippi (Lowndes & Monroe County, MS) from North Carolina (Wayne & Lenore Counties) in the 1830’s with his master, Needham or Edmond Whitfield. The records show that George was owned by Col Alexander Bush who was married to Penelope Lane Bush. When Alexander Bush died, his estate passed on to his wife Penelope. Penelope then married Needham Whitfield and by law at the time, the wife’s possessions are transferred to the husband, Needham Whitfield. When Needham died in 1812, Needham willed George to his wife, Penelope. When Penelope died in 1816, George was willed to her daughter, Mary Bush Bryan. Mary Bush Bryan and her husband, Colonel James Reynolds Bryan, lived in Jefferson, Marengo County, Alabama. I don’t know if George traveled to Alabama with his owners, the Bryan’s and then to Aberdeen, MS with Needham or Edmond Whitfield or did he travel to Alabama with Needham or Edmond and then to Aberdeen, MS when Needham moved from Alabama to Aberdeen, MS or did he travel directly from NC to MS with someone else? The records (1870 Census) show that George eventually made it from NC to Aberdeen, MS where Needham and Edmond Whitfield also lived in 1870.

My Great Grandparents are Lovard & Fannie Randle Whitfield (Aberdeen, MS); Grandparents are Augustus (Gus) & Parlee Reynolds Whitfield (Aberdeen, MS & St Louis, MO); Parents are Osie & Eva Bass Whitfield (Aberdeen, Bassfield & Oma, MS) and I am Leon Whitfield. Not all Whitfield’s are blood relatives. Slaves would often take the name of their slave owners. However, slaves sometimes took the name of a new owner or on occasion, they would pick a name totally unrelated to their owners. I have read that on occasion, new slaves would be bought and placed in the homes of the master’s current slaves who would treat the new slave as a relative. The new slave would usually take the name of the slaves he lived with.

Descendants of George Whitfield

Whitfield caches of money

There must have been thousands of caches of money, jewels, and other valuables buried or hidden in the South during the Civil War to prevent them from falling into the hands of Union troops. Nobody knows, of course, just how many Southern fortunes were buried or otherwise concealed during the Civil War. It is also impossible to guess how many of these caches have been uncovered because of the understandable reluctance of people to report such finds.

The Whitfield family lived near Jefferson, Marengo County, Alabama, was considered one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most aristocratic in Alabama They were descendant of the pioneer general, Nathan Bryan Whitfield. During the Civil War, C. Boaz Whitfield buried the family gold on the Whitfield farm, leaving a key and a map to one of his four sons, Gaius. However, the father did not survive the War, and Gaius later moved to Middlesboro, Kentucky. No attempt was made to recover the gold until 1926, and no reason was ever given for the delay of some 60 years.

However, on May 22, 1926, C. Boaz Whitfield engaged 35 men to search for a certain boundary marker on the old Whitfield farm, then known as Shady Grove Farm. They labored without results until May 31st, when they hit the jackpot. The exact amount of gold recovered at the base of the marker was never announced, except that it was in excess of $200,000. Scattered gold coins had been found on the farm prior to this, and many local people believe there is another cache and more coins still there.

WHITEFIELD FAMILY

Stray Leaves from Putnam County History
By Mary Hopson
Pg. 224

Before 1850, there were at least five Whitefield families living in Jackson County, TN. The heads of those families were all born in North Carolina. They were William Whitefield (b. 1802), Carter Whitefield (b. 1804), John Whitefield (b. 18100, Josiah Whitefield (b. 1814), and Benjamin Whitefield (b. 1825). All five had married wives born in Tennessee except the oldest, William, whose wife was born in North Carolina. (Census Record 1850). Ten years later Benjamin, Josiah, and William were living in Putnam County. Putnam became a county in 1854, so it is possible that they lived in an area that was taken from Jackson County to help form Putnam. Benjamin moved to Kentucky and was listed in the Allen County Census Record of June 27, 1870 with his wife, Louisa Thomas (b. 1823), and these children: Tennessee L. Whitefield, Zoura (Missouri) Whitefield, Dicy E. Whitefield, Vienna L. Whitefield, Jasper C.G. Whitefield, and Payton V. Whitefield. The family returned to Tennessee with Payton V. and Jasper C. G. settling in Silver Point. Then Payton was on the move again. He lived in Buffalo Valley for a time when he operated a blacksmith shop then later moved to the 8th District of Putnam County where he operated a country store. According to the Court Records in Putnam County, the County Court certified “that Dr. P.V. Whitefield has this day made satisfactory proof….. that he was regularly engaged in the practice of medicine in the County of Putnam ….Dr. P.V. Whitefield is entitled to all the privileges contemplated in Act to Regulate the practice of medicine and Surgery in the State of Tennessee; passed April 3, 1889.” Dr. Whitefield practiced medicine in Silver Point and the surrounding are until his death in 1927. One of his sons, V.M. Whitefield, settled in the Silver Point area where he owned and operated a general store for many years.

Courtesy Lois Ruth Smith Anderson

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