Elder Henry Crawford Tucker by Blanche Pitts Smith
Few men have ever made as much of a contribution to any community as Henry Crawford Tucker made to Colquitt County [Georgia] -- he was the father of thirty-two children and the grandfather of at least 184. Helping him to achieve that great feat were three strong and noble women: Nancy Sapp, whom he married in 1824 and who was the mother of the eight oldest children; Margaret Watson, whom he married in 1842 and who gave birth to 11 children; and Rebecca Bryant, his third wife, whom he married in 1857 and who was the mother of 13 children.
Rebecca (Bryant) and Henry Crawford Tucker
After the uprising was quelled, Henry Crawford Tucker returned home and was soon ordained an Elder in the Primitive Baptist Church. He helped form and served as pastor of Sardis Church from January 1840 well into 1843. For the next forty plus years, Henry Crawford Tucker preached the gospel every Sunday in some Primitive Baptist church in either Colquitt, Brooks, Thomas, or Berrien counties. During all those years of his ministry, he never received one dollar in payment.
Sardis Primitive Baptist Church. Photo by W. A. Covington, courtesy of "History of Colquitt County" 1837
Henry Crawford never held public office. The only time he ever served Colquitt County in any official way was as its representative to the Secession Convention in Milledgeville in 1861, where he signed the Ordinance of Secession.
Ordinance of Secession
During his seventeen year marriage to Nancy Sapp, they became parents of eight children. Nancy died in July 1841 and was buried at Old Bethel Church cemetery in present day Brooks County.
Ten months later, Henry married Margaret "Peggy" Watson on 10 May 1842 in Thomas County. Together they had 11 children. Margaret died about 1856 and was buried at Bridge Creek Cemetery.
In 1856 Colquitt County was created and Henry Crawford Tucker's land was cut into that new county. The large double-pen log house that he had built many years earlier was quickly outgrown. He had a total of 18 sons and 14 daughters. To accommodate such a great number of sons, Henry Crawford built a dormitory behind the house, furnished with homemade bunk beds and sawdust on the dirt floor, where the boys slept. At one time, there were 9 sons sleeping there.
Henry Crawford Tucker Log House and Farmstead, National Register of Historic Places. Photo by Ed Jackson
Henry Crawford Tucker married Rebecca Bryant on 9 February 1857. She was born in 1834 in Georgia, the daughter of Timothy Bryant. They had 13 children.
In 1883 in his eighties, Henry Crawford Tucker was still a remarkably vigorous man in both mind and body. Had he not suffered a terrible accident, he would probably have lived many more years. The old preacher was on his way into Moultrie one winter morning when his horse became frightened and bolted. Henry was thrown from the buggy and became entangled in one of the wheels, which had to be removed to extract him. He died from the injuries soon afterward on 2 February 1883. He was buried in Bridge Creek Cemetery. When Rebecca, his widow died in 1909, she, too, was buried at Bridge Creek.
On 24 July 1995, a monument marking the grave of Henry Crawford Tucker was unveiled and dedicated. Numerous Tucker descendants had contributed money for its purchase and were present for the service. Blanche Pitts Smith, great-great-granddaughter, had researched the Tucker family for years and was a speaker at the dedication ceremony, telling the story of Henry Crawford Tucker and reading the list of all his children's names. The monument, which replaced the original homemade, crumbling marker of this remarkable man, will be treasured for many generations to come.
Henry Crawford Monument, erected in 1995
Children of Henry Crawford and Nancy (Sapp) Tucker:
- Mahala (1824-1847) married Ezekiel Watson
- George Washington (1825-1904) married 1st Telitha Watson, 2nd Delila Rhodes
- Matthew (1827-1909) married 1st Nancy Watson, 2nd Elizabeth "Betsy" Gay
- Elijah (1829-1841)
- Daniel (1831-1839)
- John (1833-1919) married Susan Ann Stephenson
- Richard Murphy (1835-1913) married Civility America Hancock
- Henry Sapp (1837-1864) married Abigail McClendon
- Mary Ann (1843-1902) married 1st Thomas Stephenson, 2nd John Sellers
- Martha (1846-1905) married Glenn Suber
- Malinda (1847-1848)
- Jane (1847-1912) married Samuel Sellers
- Elizabeth "Bettie" (1848-1923) married John D Hancock
- Susannah (1850-1855)
- Hiram H (1851-1915) married Margarette Elfair "Ellen" Howard
- James Solomon (1853-1936) married Susan E Murphy
- Sophronia (1854-1899) married Leonard Eugene West
- Margaret (1855- ) married Asa M Abbot
- Isaac (1856-1900) married Louisa Matilda Horne
Children of Henry Crawford and Rebecca (Bryant) Tucker:
- Joel Bryant (1857-1917) married Elizabeth Wood
- Ancell Parrish (1859-1922) married 1st Martha J Murphy, 2nd Mary Josephine Sellers
- Ivey Elisha (1860-1931) married 1st Rebecca Jane Ammons, 2nd Violet Jean Flemming
- Joseph Emerson Brown (1861-1900) married Elizabeth West
- Noah Francis (1863-1928) married Mary Frances Weaver
- Sara Ann America (1864-1895) married James K West
- Benjamin Ashburn (1865-1935) married 1st America Jane Barwick, 2nd Rebecca Jane Mathis
- Catherine (1866-1883)
- Rhoda Emmaline (1867-1893) married Marshall Harvey Huey
- Polliana (1869-1876)
- William Jasper Davis (1870-1928) married Marth Ann Sloan
- Ezekiel Washington (1872-1927) married 1st Stacey Curles, 2nd Mickey Culpepper
- Louisiana (1874-1954) married Gibson Sellers
(1) This is incorrect. His father was Henry Crawford, Sr (1752-1832) and his mother was Sarah "Sallie" Hunter (1770-1847). Henry Crawford, Jr had a brother named Elisha Tucker (1808-1880).