Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Conflicting Information about Reuben Kirkland Jr. Parentage

Reuben Kirkland Jr.- married to Delilah Hitson

For some time many online trees claimed the two Reuben’s were the same person and he was married to both Delilah Hitson and Amy Branch with parents as Reuben Kirkland and Mary Sarah Clarke.  It appears that most researchers now at least think they are two separate people.

However confusion still exists as to which one is the son of Reuben Kirkland Sr.   There have been many changes going back and forth with this in Family Search.  I have decided to compile all of my information into one document and post it and on my family history blog to help others understand why I have come to my own conclusions.   Or rather lack of conclusion as to Reuben Kirkland Jr. (husband of Deliliah Hitson) parentage.   I have not been able to determine whom his parents are.  There are listings in his discussion section showing the wills I have researched that don’t list a son as Reuben Kirkland.   See them here:

The most compelling information I have found in a Family Bible on

Reuben Kirkland and Amy Branch Family Bible Photos

This is the Bible of Reuben Kirkland and Amy Branch.  It lists his father as Reuben and Mary Kirkland.   Original photos of the Family Bible can be found here.
This Bible is in the possession of Cal Watson’s Mother.  He had originally listed a transcription of the Bible in Ancestry and was kind enough to add in photos upon my request.  

Other conflicting/ clarifying information-

1820 Census Situation
There are three Rueben Kirklands in the 1820 Census in Barnwell, South Carolina.  Presumably- 
One would be Rueben Kirkland Sr.  
One would be Rueben Kirkland Jr.- the son of Rueben Kirkland Jr.

The other would be Rueben Kirkland Jr. living by other Kirklands

Carolyn Brooks in August 4, 2013 posted the following information as to her intrepetation of the three men.  The original posting is shown here:

“Confusion exists between two Reuben Kirkland's of about the same age, born between 1795-1804, living in Barnwell, South Carolina: Reuben Kirkland Jr., son of Reuben Kirkland Sr., 1755-1822, and Sarah 'Mary' Clark, and the Reuben Kirkland who married Delilah Hitson / Eidson, Widow of Absalom Shirley.

The Reuben of my family line is believed to be with his wife, both between age 16 and 25, along with Delilah's son by Shirley, a male under age 10, in the 1820 census of Barnwell Dist., Barnwell, S.C. on Image 38 of 46 pages in Ancestry census records.

Both Reuben Kirkland Sr. and Reuben Kirkland Jr. are together with a Robert Kirkland in the same census located on Image 26 of 46 pages.

Where as the elder Reuben Kirkland's son, Reuben Kirkland Jr., 1792-1871, married Amy Branch raising a family in S. C., Reuben Kirkland that married Absalom Shirley's Widow, moved to Randolph, Georgia where he and his family are found in the 1830 census of that location. Reuben's step son and four of his children, offspring of Delilah, match the age range of known individuals born to their union by 1830. Three more children resulted with the last child born in 1839. Reuben Kirkland died before 1840.

Mistaken as one of their children, a grandchild, Maranda Kirkland, born in 1844, was born by their daughter, Harriet Kirkland, as evidenced by the 1900 census in Graham, De Kalb, Alabama that names Harriet Kirkland as mother to Maranda while living in the household of Maranda's husband, James Asa Fricks. Their are family stories and speculation that Harriet married an Unknown Kirkland cousin with some sort of mystery attached.”

My personal note:   Wouldn’t the Reuben Kirkland Jr. living by the Reuben Kirkland Sr. be his son.   Not the one living near other Kirklands.  That seems logical to me.

1822 Will of Reuben Kirkland Sr.

This lists he has a son named Reuben Jr. whom he bequeaths some land to in South Carolina,  stating: “I give and bequeath unto my son Reuben Kirkland my land and plantation lately purchased from James Price ajoining himself Seth Thurston Matthew Moye L McAyer and Robert Chitty.”
Will recorded September 20, 1822.

Personal Note: Another Researcher indicates that Reuben Jr. didn’t act as executor of the will as stated and therefore surmises that his son Reuben Jr. wasn’t living in the South Carolina at the time the will was executed.  As of yet haven’t found any proof of when Reuben Jr and Delilah moved to Georgia.   See the birth place section listed below for more information about this matter. If in fact he was living in Georgia why would his father say to give him land adjoining him in South Carolina?

Birth Places of Reuben and Delilah’s children.
Seaborn born in 1820 and Annis born in 1822 list South Carolina as their birth place in future censuses.  Harriet born in 1824 lists South Carolina as birth place in two censuses and Georgia in a third Census.  So not conclusive that Reuben and Deliliah were in Georgia by 1822. 
Additionally the letter written by Victoria in 1844 says that Seaborn, Annis and Harriet were born in South Carolina prior to the family moving to Georgia.
The Victoria’s original letter can be seen here.

1830 Censuses
One Reuben is still living in Barnwell, South Carolina, which is where Reuben and Amy Kirkland’s children list as birth places in future censuses.

One Reuben is living in Randolph, Georgia – Seaborn (1820) and Annis (1822) list South Carolina as birth places in future censuses. Harriet (1824) lists South Carolina and Georga as birth places in future censuses. Bird and children after him seem to list Georgia as place of birth in most future censuses.

My personal note:  Seems Reuben and Delilah moved to Georgia between 1820 and 1827 (as Bird was born in Georgia.)

1840 Censuses have not been located.

1850 Censuses
Reuben and Amy are still living in Barnwell, South Carolina- shown in this census with some of their children

Delilah is listed as head of house in Georgia with children- so the other Reuben Kirkland has died by now.

Mizpah Book
The book  Mizpah: A Family Book, including “A Family Sketch and Else of Buford’s Bridge and Its People” by Rev M M Braham 1923, Compiled by A Mackay Braham JR. 1978   contains the following information.

My personal note as attached to Reuben Kirkland in
Found online at Burley Family History Center - restricted copyright not available to attach directly from the book. Transcription as follows. Transcribed on 3 August 2016 by Tamara Stevenson.
 Mizpah: A Family Book, including “A Family Sketch and Else or Buford’s Bridge and Its People by Rev M M Brabham 1923 Compiled by A McKay Brabham, Jr. 1978 Note- appears that Rev M M Brabham’s book has been reprinted within the book compiled by A McKay Brabham.
 From the section entitled: A Family Sketch and Else or Buford’s Bridge and its People written by Rev. M. M. Brabham 1923 from page 33
 The fifth child of Reuben Kirkland Sr, was Reuben Jr. He married Amy Branch of Colleton District. To them were born a number of children, some of whom died before I could remember, if not before I as born. Those who I knew were Needham Franklin and John Cornelius , twins, Neeb and Nick- “Neeb,” later changing to Frank, while “Nick” held on to the end. With these twins, was a sister, Sallie. Whether she was older or younger than the brothers I am unable to say. Frank became a medical doctor and located at Brighton, Beaufort District, where he met and married Jennie Lawton, daughter of Joseph Maner Lawton a wealthy and influential man and Methodist of his day. Doctor N. F. Kirkland was one of the most prominent, as well as one of the most useful men of his country- a Christian of sterling character and wide influence.
From the main book: from page 190 Dr. Needham Franklin Kirkland, b Jan. 27 1831, d. Sept 1920, son of Reuben Kirkland Jr. and Amy Branch, grandson of Reuben Kirkland, Sr. And Sarah Clarke Kirkland, m. 1858 to Jane Maner Lawton, b. 1838 d. 1909. “

Added Note: If the Dr. Needham Franklin is the son of Reuben Kirkland married to Amy Branch, with grandparents as Reuben Kirkland and Sarah Clarke, then Reuben Kirkland married to Delilah Hitson is not their son.

Name of Seaborn
Ancestry Family Tree-  although I don’t trust family trees unless I can verify the information personally myself, I use them as clues.    Recently in viewing a DNA Match I found that a tree on Ancestry shows Reuben Kirkland’s parents as John Kirkland and Elinor Seaborn.
Another Researcher claims that because a son of Reuben Kirkland and Delilah was named Seaborn and that the only other known Seaborn is a descendant of Reuben Kirkland and Mary Clarke, indicating a family connection.   However given this unverified information about a grandmother being a Seaborn, lends a little pause for thought on that assumption. 

Cemetery listing
Although the cemetery website doesn’t list that Reuben Jr. is buried by his parents;  (as shown here:

Charles Black lists the following note in his Rootsweb tree.

Note: From chronicle of the Kirkland family by Rev. W.C. Kirkland, 1923: "Both of them, two of their children, Mrs. Sarah Clark Brabham, and Reuben Kirkland, Jr., some of their grandchildren, other relations and some of their slaves, are buried in the Kirkland graveyard in sight of where they lived and died."