Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Confusing Tuckers of Wiregrass Georgia

One of my sister-in-law's 5 times great grandfather's was Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr. born about 1750 and died after 1832. He was born in Southampton County, Virginia, and was the son of Elizabeth Crawford (Crofford/Crowford) and Benjamin Tucker. At one time he was a recognized patriot by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Snippet from the DAR Genealogical Research System about Henry Crawford
Tucker; courtesy of DAR

Of the three issues the organization has with continued recognition of Henry's patriot status, the fact that his pension application was rejected is perhaps the most compelling. The other two issues are matters of genealogy. My sister-in-law recently took a DNA test and her results which include Henry as the shared common ancestor bring those genealogical disagreements to light.

If you believe Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr. married Sallie Hunter, daughter of Elisha Hunter of Chatham County, North Carolina, then my sister-in-law's match results look like this:

Common shared ancestor from DNA match results; courtesy of

If, however, you believe what Judge Folks Huxford wrote in his multi-volume work, Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, then Henry's son Elisha married Sallie Hunter and was the father of Henry Crawford Tucker, Jr. who had 32 children. The DNA match with my sister-in-law looks like this:

Common shared ancestor from DNA match results; courtesy of

It's a debate that has raged for years and it is a passionate one as based on previous comments on this blog.

Sallie Hunter did have the following children:
  1. John (born 1785)
  2. Nancy (born 1796)
  3. Davis (born 1798)
  4. Barbara (born 1800)
  5. Richard M (born 1801)
  6. Thomas (born 1803)
  7. Henry C, Jr. (born 1805)
  8. Elisha (born 1808) -- this son now questioned by DAR, but is listed on a marker in Purvis Cemetery as being a brother of Richard M Tucker
  9. Elijah (born 1809)
Judge Huxford work was breath-taking in its scope, but he admitted that a great deal of his compilation originated from the memories of the people interviewed. His work was first published in 1951 so the oldest people from whom he collected information would have been the great grandchildren of the first south Georgia settlers. Later volumes of his work included extensive corrections.

When I first started working on the Tucker line, I couldn't make the information included in the records I was finding fit with Judge Huxford's genealogy. I could not find an Elisha Tucker in Southampton County, Virginia, or North Carolina, who could have possibly been a son of Benjamin Tucker.[1]

Then I found The Descendants of William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon by Robert Dennard Tucker, another long-time Tucker genealogist[2]. He believed that Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr., was the husband of Sallie Hunter and that she was Elisha Tucker's mother not his wife. This made perfect sense to me based on the documentation I collected.

Books mentioned in this blog post; personal collection

I will excerpt some of the points Robert Dennard Tucker made to refute Judge Huxford:
  1. There is no evidence that any Elisha Tucker related to Henry C. Tucker, Sr. lived between 1770 and 1825 other than the Elisha who was born in 1808.
  2. The Revolutionary War pension application, the 1782 and 1783 tax records of Southampton County, and the 1783 deed to John Wilkerson[3] confirm Henry was a Virginia resident and not a resident of North Carolina as the Elisha Tucker who married Sallie Hunter was purported to have been.
  3. Sons Davis and Henry C. Tucker, Jr. state in the 1880 census their father was from Virginia.
  4. The state historical marker in front of the Bethel Church, as well as original church minutes, clearly includes Henry C. Tucker, Sr. and his wife Sarah as founding members in 1826.
In addition, there are many deeds that include Sarah as the wife of Henry C. Tucker, Sr. 

So after a reasonably exhaustive search for an Elisha Tucker who lived during the proper time frame, would have met Sallie Hunter and removed to Georgia, I could not find such a person. Coupled with the strong evidence that Henry C. Tucker, Sr. did marry Sallie Hunter, I believe he is the father of the children listed above.

[1] Benjamin Tucker's will was written in 1778 and probated in 1779. The children named in the will were: Benjamin, Elizabeth, Henry, John, Phebe, William, and Winfred.
[2] The relationship Mr. Tucker outlined in his book between Benjamin Tucker of Southampton County, Virginia, and the Tucker family of England and Bermuda has been disproved by DNA. However, his work on the Georgia Tuckers from Henry Crawford Tucker, Sr., remains quite strong.
[3] Benjamin Tucker's sons sold his plantation to John Wilkerson after Benjamin's death.


  1. Excellent work. I have the same kind of Sr. /Jr. conflict going on in one of my lines. It is frustrating when the records did not generally use "Jr." or used it incorrectly (As when a son is named for a grandfather rather than a father or for an uncle). And a common name like Henry Tuker probably pops up all over the place. But THIRTY TWO children????

    1. Thank you! Yes, 32 children by three different wives. He had to build a dormitory for the boys.