Friday, December 27, 2013

Thirty-two Children!

Henry Crawford Tucker, Jr, is the 4th great uncle of my sister-in-law. An article I found on had this to say about him:

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

Henry Crawford was born between 1793 and 1805 in Laurens County, Georgia, the son of Elisha Tucker and Sarah Hunter.(1) He grew to manhood in Montgomery County, Georgia, and married Nancy Sapp in 1824 in that county. About 1825 he moved his growing family to Irwin County. In 1836 he joined the state militia to help defend Georgia against the warring Creek Indians. He was elected captain of his company and served with credit and distinction for the duration of that war.

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

Family stories say that although far from handsome, Henry Crawford had sparkling blue eyes and a very charming personality. Wherever he went, people crowded around, for he was such a pleasure to listen to and talk with.

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

The land in Irwin County where Tucker made his home was taken into Thomas County when that new county was created. Henry Crawford continued to acquire land until he had a vast holding, containing thousands of acres.

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

James Solomon, the 16th child, told a story about an event he remembered from his youth: When he was about 14 years old his father told him to meet him with the wagon at noon the next day at the spring head. Henry Crawford Tucker left the next morning before daylight and when James arrived at the spring head, his father had already killed and skinned four deer. They loaded the deer into the wagon and the family had fresh meat for awhile.

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

Henry Crawford Tucker was a second cousin to Colonel Henry Tucker (1713-1787) of Bermuda. Colonel Tucker's children went on to become U.S. Treasurer, Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court, and father of a director of the East India Company. I wonder if Henry Crawford and his Georgia relations knew any of this.

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
Children of Henry Crawford and Margaret "Peggy" (Watson) Tucker:
  • 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). 


  1. I found where Henry Crawford Tucker married my ggggrandparents in 1847 - Ezekiel Crawford and Martha Holland. I always was curious where the Crawford came from in his name. - Tracie

    1. His grandmother was named Elizabeth Crofford or Crawfford and it is believed Crawford was in honor of his grandmother and that was how the spelling "finalized." in Colonial Virginia, the spelling of the same word, including names, varied in the same document.

      Elizabeth Crofford was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1722, and died 2 May 1768 in Southampton County, Virginia.

    2. my great great granddad is awsome.

  2. If I understand correctly, HCT SR was a revolutionary war Soldier At Valley Forge? As it happens Ancell P Tucker is my great grandfather..

    1. Yes, Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr (1752-after 1832) served in the Revolutionary War. According to an affidavit he served in Capt. Thomas Ridley's Company in 4th Regiment of the "Continental Line," which may be the Virginia Militia. I have worked through his Revolutionary War service yet. He is the 5X great grandfather of my sister-in-law.

    2. To George l fisher. My fathers name was Ancil Perry Tucker a descendant of HCT.
      I was born in Moultrie ga and have visited the old log cabin and grave where that marvelous
      Timbstone is. We have many many relatives!!

  3. Actually, the author of this biography was myself, Janice Newton Thurmond, based on much of the research of Blanche Pitts Smith, as well as my own research. Blanche Pitts began her research as a 10 year old girl, and kept meticulous records on dozens and dozens of Tucker families. She interviewed 3 of HCT's elderly grandchildren - they SWORE in affidavits that the father of HCT was Elisha Tucker....that is the reason it is so recorded in this biography.

    1. That does not match the available marriage records, which indicate Elisha Tucker married Zilphilia Williams or Henry Crawford Tucker's headstone which lists the three wives who were the mother's of 32 children. Granted headstones can contain incorrect information but marriage records are pretty trustworthy.

    2. Correction to my comment below. I just saw this comment. Aunt Blanche was my Grandma Becky's sister, Willie Belle Pitts. We have loads of research she conducted. So glad that she did all of this research.

    3. You are very lucky that someone in the family conducted research previously. Some of the records they could find no longer exist.

  4. Awe!! That was my Aunt Blanche's article! Fascinating!

  5. Hi, I just found this page. Aunt Blanche and Aunt Willie Belle were sisters to my Grandmother Elmore (Mema) Pitts Proctor. Great to meet you Rebecca

  6. Has it ever been proven who is father was. Elisha Tucker or Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr.

    1. Sandy, I wrote a post about my analysis of the documentary evidence and why I believe Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr., and Sarah "Sallie" Hunter were the parents of Henry Crawford Tucker, Jr., and that Elisha Tucker (born 1808) was his brother. I also provide my best explanation for why the confusion about who his father was exists. You may read it here:


  7. 7th Child of Henry C. Tucker,Jr. and Nancy Sapp: Richard Tucker, the middle name Murphy or Mitchell or initial M. doesn't appear on any legal documents he ever signed or original tombstone at Bridge Creek Cemetery, Colquitt County, GA. Richard Tucker served as Justice of the Peace also.

  8. Hi Schalene! My wife would love a chance to discuss this great family history with you. She is a decedent. Please let me know when you may have some time to discuss! thanks, Garrett

    1. Garrett,

      This is my sister-in-law's family and I haven't done any further research on the Tucker line since I wrote this post several years ago. What I know about them are in this blog (click on Tucker in the Labels box on any page) and my public tree on

  9. Does anyone have pictures of general washington Tucker .He was the son of James Soloman Tucker .James was son of Henry Tucker . General was the unannounced father of my father .


    1. I have not seen any photos of Gen. Washington Tucker.

  10. My Grandmother was Charlotte Leona Tucker and she married Hallam Overby Fain if you recognize the name please let me know.

    1. I'm sorry your grandmother's name is not familiar to me. I did discover her father was Ansel Clifton Tucker, but he is not in my family tree either.