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Ancestors of Lyndall J. White (Lynn Mayes)


      106. Tillman Dixon Pruitt, born August 19, 1801 in Pittsylvania Co. Virginia; died August 31, 1847 in Talladega Co. Alabama. He was the son of 212. Joseph Pruitt and 213. Nancy. He married 107. Diannah Hillsman Farrar February 25, 1822 in Franklin Co. Georgia.

      107. Diannah Hillsman Farrar, born May 19, 1806 in Carnesville, Franklin Co. Georgia; died January 16, 1894 in Fox, Carter Co. Oklahoma (Indian Territory till 1907). She was the daughter of 214. Abner Farrar and 215. Catherine Carter.

Notes for Tillman Dixon Pruitt:
TILLMAN DIXON PRUITT (1801-1847)

Tillman Dixon Pruitt was the third born of the four children of Joseph Pruitt and his second wife Nancy. Tillman and his siblings were born in Pittsylvania Co. Virginia, though at least one family bible record lists his birthplace as Union Co. South Carolina. Land and will records indicate Tillman's family lived in Pittsylvania Co. Virginia until 1804.

By early 1804 Joseph and Nancy Pruitt moved from Pittsylvania Co. Virginia to Franklin Co. Georgia with their four children. On January 28, 1804 Joseph Pruitt purchased 158 acres of land in Franklin Co. Georgia. The land was on the south side of the Hudson River. Franklin County was later broken up into several counties. Joseph's land is located in present Banks Co., Georgia, near the county seat, Homer. Joseph's brothers, Phillip, Samuel III, and Benjamin, had already located in the area.

Tillman was three years old when he and his three siblings were orphaned in Franklin Co. Georgia. Tillman's father Joseph Pruitt died young at the age of 36 in early 1805. Joseph Pruitt died intestate and court records show Tillman and his siblings were referred to as orphans even though their mother, Nancy, was alive and continued to raise them. On February 12, 1805, Joseph Pruitt's brother, Samuel Pruitt III, was appointed administrator of his estate. Within a few months of Joseph's death, Tillman's mother, Nancy, was remarried to Charles Toney, who became step-father to Tillman, Phillip, Patsy and Zachariah.

On May 4, 1807, Samuel Pruitt III was appointed guardian of Joseph and Nancy Pruitt's four orphaned children. Phillip was ten years old, Martha (Polly/Patsy) seven years, Tillman almost six years, and Zachariah four years.

Tillman's guardian,"Uncle Sam," was a well educated and wealthy man, he and his wife Lavina also raised their seven children in Franklin Co. Georgia on a large plantation bordering on the property of Charles and Nancy Toney and the Pruitt children. Samuel Pruitt took care of the proceeds from their deceased father's estate assuring that Tillman and his siblings would benefit when they came of age and had what they needed as they grew up. Tillman, Phillip, Polly and Zachariah were well educated for the time and Tillman became a school teacher as well as learning farming.

In 1811, six years after Joseph's death, Tillman's step-father, Charles Toney, paid $48 to Samuel Pruitt III, brother of Joseph, for rent and cash per interest. Samuel Pruitt III paid Charles Toney $48.19 for boarding & clothing the orphans, schooling by James Lowery, and taxes paid for the year 1810.

In 1815, 108 acres were sold for the benefit of the heirs and creditors of said deceased (Joseph Pruitt). Also in 1815, "3 wool hats were purchased for Phillip, Talmen, & Zackariah Prewett at $1.50 each and leather for 2 pairs of shoes for $1.50.

On November 28, 1816, Tillman's sister, Martha "Patsy" Pruitt 18, newly married to Bedford Roland, received her portion of their father's estate when their uncle Samuel Pruitt III paid her husband her $455 legacy: In Franklin Co., Georgia, on November 28, 1816, Rec'd of Samuel Prewitt (III) guardian of the orphans of Jepheth Prewitt, dec'd, on right of my wife Patsy Prewitt (Martha Pruitt) one of the legatees of the said dec'd $455 it being in full of her legacy of the Principal of the principal estate of the deceased.
Signed Bedford Roland, Samuel Pruitt, guardian; witness: Robert N. Pruitt.

Tillman's mother, Nancy, had seven more children with her second husband, Charles Toney, all born in Franklin Co. Georgia (now Banks Co. Georgia), near Homer. Tillman's half-siblings were; Laurany, named after Charles Toney's mother Laurina England; Charles, Jr. and Nancy J., who had their parents names; James, Susannah, Robert, and Mary were all born before 1820.

In 1820 the Orphans of Joseph Pruitt drew land in the Franklin Co. Georgia Land Lottery. They received 250 acres in Early County, Georgia.

The 1822 Franklin Co. Georgia Tax records show Tillman D. Prewett "no poll": 61 acres, self, Prewett, Hudson River; 250 acres, self, #171, Dist. 21, Early County.

On February 25, 1822, Tillman Dixon Pruitt, age 20, eloped with 15 year old Diannah Hillsman Farrar of Carnesville, Franklin Co. Georgia. Diannah was a lovely red haired southern belle from a good family. Her grandfather, Thomas Farrar, was a first cousin of President Thomas Jefferson.

Diannah's parents, Abner Farrar and Catherine Carter, were oppossed to the marriage, perhaps feeling Diannah was too young. They never forgave her and there was so much feeling on the part of her parents that Diannah never went back home, not even for a visit. Tillman and Diannah established a home in the northwest part of DeKalb Co. Georgia and lived there during the early years of their marriage. Tillman and Diannah's first child, Catherine Carter Pruitt, was born in January 1823. They had nine children together, five girls and four boys, before his death in 1847, by which time they had been married for 25 years.

In 1823, Tilman D. Prewitt paid taxes for Phillip Prewitt on 100 acres bound by Toney (his mother and step-father's property) and the Hudson River.

Tillman's only sister Martha "Patsy" Roland named one of her seven children after Tillman (and a daughter was named Nancy after their mother). The nephew, Tillman F. Roland, was born in Hopkins Co. Kentucky on February 16, 1823, just one month after Tillman and Diannah's first child was born. Then Tillman and Diannah named their second child, Martha (born 1825), after his sister.

In 1825 Tillman's brother Zachariah Prrewett paid taxes on 250 acres granted to "Prewett's orphans" in Hall County and 97 acres bounded by the Hudson River in Franklin County, Georgia.

In the July 1826 Franklin Co. Georgia Term (Wills, Inventories and Estates): Ordered that Samuel Prewitt have letters granted to him by the Clerk of dismissory as respects for his administration of the Estate of Japath Prewitt, dec'd. On September 24, 1826, Samuel Pruitt III was dismissed as administrator of the estate of Japheth (Joseph) Prewitt.

Tillman's youngest brother, Zachariah Pruitt, married Jane McFarren. They lived in Franklin Co. until the mid 1830's and then moved to Cherokee Co. Georgia where the last five of their nine children were born. Zachariah named a daughter after his sister, Martha, and a son after uncle Samuel Pruitt III. Eldest brother Phillip Pruitt married Mary Thomas and moved to Benton Co. Alabama.

Both Tillman and his wife Diannah were school teachers. At that time the school terms were no more than four or five months so they also farmed. They are listed in the 1830 DeKalb Co. Georgia census. Tillman's mother Nancy and step-father, Charles Toney remained in Franklin County raising their children, who were Tillman's half-siblings, and still living very close to uncle Samuel Pruitt III. Charles and Nancy Toney are listed in the 1840 Franklin Co. Georgia census, both 60 to 70 years of age, and the holders of eight slaves. Both Charles Toney, and Tillman's mother, Nancy, may have died during the 1840's.

Tillman and Diannah Pruitt and their children were living in Paulding Co. Georgia by 1838 when eldest daughter Catherine married. Three more children were born and the family of T. D. Pruett are listed in the 1840 Paulding Co. Georgia census. Second daughter Martha married George Wilson there in 1843.

Tillman and Diannah Pruitt, plus their daughter Harriett, are listed among the members of the Van Wert Baptish Church in Paulding Co. Georgia from 1844 to 1845. Tillman is listed as "Tyloman D. Pruitt" in the entry of May 17, 1845. The Pruitts were received and dismissed by letters recorded in the Van Wert Baptish Church minutes:

September 13, 1844
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Invited visiting members to seats. Opened a door for the
reception of members and received by Letter T. D. Pruitt and Diannah Pruitt and Susan Adaline Scott as a member of the Primitive Baptist, Polly Burgess as a member of the United Baptist faith, an order that was announced in Caintucky (sic), and James B. Carter and James Hall by Experience, Rytta Lansing, Elizabeth Weatherly and Catharine Childers, John Brookes and Jane Brookes, Martha Ann Morgan and Harriett Pruitt ... Done in conference.

Reverend Thornton Burk, Moderator       B. F. Morgan, Clerk

May 17,1845
The Baptist Church at Van Wert met in conference. Invited visiting members to seats. Called for acknowledgments, when Brother William M Morgan came forward and offered acknowledgment for getting drunk which was cordially received. Also Brother Jefferson Thomas came forward and offered acknowledgment for getting drunk, which was received. Also a charge was brought by Brother Hogue.
Charges Brother Isaac Roach with drunkenness and gambling and appoints Brethren McWhorter and Hogue to request him to attend the next conference and answer the charge. Then called for miscellaneous business. Brother Tylman D. Pruitt applied for Letters of Dismission for himself and
wife and daughter (Harriett) which we granted. The camp meeting is to commence Thursday evening before the third Sabbath in October. Done in conference.

John Holmes, Moderator             B. F. Morgan, Clerk

The full transcript of the Van Wert Baptish Church Minutes 1840-1849, Part 1, copied by Cassandra Robertson Newby is at the Paulding Co. Georgia GenWeb site at:
ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ga/polk/churches/vanwert.txt

Creek Indian lands in eastern Alabama had been opened for settlement in 1832, and following their application for Letters of Dismissal from Van Wert Baptist Church in May 1845 Diannah and Tillman moved to Talladega Co. Alabama. The Choccolocco River was a natural barrier between communities in Talladega Co. One day a young man named Ransom Marion Pruett, from across the river, curious to see what was on the other side, rode his horse and swam it across the river and met Tillman and Diannah's third daughter Harriett Elizabeth, the "prettiest red-headed girl he ever saw." The Pruett and Pruitt families were unknown to eachother and didn't know enough about their heritege to identify a common ancestor, but discovered that both families had lived in Cross Keys, DeKalb Co. Georgia at the same time before coming to Alabama. Ransom, the son of Ansel Beddington Pruett and Agnes Rebecca Heaton, and the Pruitts pretty red-haired daughter Harriett Elizabeth soon fell in love and married in October 1846 in Talladega County.

Tillman died the following year, on August 31, 1847, at the age of 46. The location of his grave is uncertain. The oldest cemetery in the area is Shiloh Baptist Cemetery in Clay County, Alabama. Today there are many unmarked graves there. Tillman is said to be buried beside his daughter Catherine's husband, John Pierson Ponder. His widow Diannah was left with their six youngest children still living at home; William 16, Joseph 13, Thurza 10, Benjamin 7, Jesse 4, and baby Mary 1. By 1848 Diannah and the children were living again in Paulding Co. Georgia and listed in the 1850 census there. At the time of his death Tillman had seven grandchildren by his eldest daughters Catherine and Martha. The nine Pruitt children would produce a total of over 80 grandchildren, descendants of Tillman and Diannah. Most of them missed knowing Tillman Dixon Pruitt and his history.

NOTE: Public records do not show Tillman D. Pruitt's middle name as "Dixon." Haskell Pruett wrote in his book: "Some person checking the application of Sheron Darnell in the DAR office indicated that the "DIXON" had not been proven as the name for (the intitial) "D" sometimes shown in some of his records. I admit that when this was called to my attention, I could not recall having seen "Dixon" in print or in Bibles. However, I did personally know (Tillman) Dixon's youngest son and two of his oldest granddaughters, who helped me in 1917. They all gave me the name "Dixon" and often referred to him as "Tillman Dixon." These notes made in 1917 are still in my possession. I believe they knew."

Sources:
The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D.
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.
Census, Court, and Georgia Land Lottery records.
1830 Census DeKalb Co. Georgia, page 64. Listed as "Tilman Pruitt", male 20-30.
1840 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.

More About Tillman Dixon Pruitt:
Burial: Talladega Co. or Clay Co. Alabama

  Notes for Diannah Hillsman Farrar:
DIANNAH HILLSMAN FARRAR PRUITT THOMPSON WHALEY "GRANDMA WHALEY"

"Diannah," as she chose to spell her own name, in the many family bibles in which she wrote her name, was named after her fathers' sister Dianah Farrar. Her name at birth may have been "Diana" or "Dinnah" and she chose to call herself "Diannah" later in life. Her great-grandmother was Dianah Hillsman, the daughter of Dianah Bennett. Four of Diannah's granddaughters were named for her.

Diannah Hillsman Farrar was the youngest daughter in the family of Abner Farrar and Catherine Carter. Diannah had an elder half-brother, Richard Arrington, from her mother's first marriage to Richard Stone Arrington. The Farrar family had moved to Carnesville, Franklin Co. Georgia in 1801 from nearby Greenville, South Carolina about five years before Diannah's birth. When Diannah was nearly three years old, in 1809, her grandfather, Thomas Farrar, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, died at her families' home in Carnesville. His obituary appeared in the local newspaper and stated he was a first cousin of President Thomas Jefferson. 1809 was the year President Jefferson retired from public life after two terms as president and numerous other accomplishments.

Diannah's father Abner was a prominent planter in Franklin Co. Georgia and she and her siblings grew up on a large plantation there. Diannah's parents were very good to her. They gave her a good education for the time, and saw to it that she was a well dressed young lady. Diannah's grandchildren heard their parents tell of what a beautiful Southern Belle she was and about the lovely evening gowns she wore. Diannah had red hair and blue eyes, the red hair a trait from her Jefferson lineage. Diannah was also very proud of her Farrar and Carter heritege; especially that she was a first cousin (twice removed) of President Thomas Jefferson through the Farrar line. She grew up hearing many stories about her families' history, back to the immigrant, William Farrar, who was granted land on the James River in Virginia and established Farrar's Island.

When Diannah was 15 years old she eloped with 20 year old Tillman Dixon Pruitt and they were married on February 25, 1822. Her parents never forgave her and there was so much feeling on the part of her parents that Diannah never went back home, not even for a visit. Abner and Catherine Farrar may have felt Diannah was too young for marriage. Tillman's father, Joseph Pruitt, had died when he was four, and Tillman was raised by his mother, Nancy and step-father, Charles Toney, but his uncle Samuel Pruitt III was his legal guardian and executor of his late father's estate. Tillman inherited land from his father's estate when he came of age and in 1820 he and his three siblings drew land in the Georgia Land Lottery, thus establishing a secure start before he married young Diannah.

In the early years of their marriage Tillman and Diannah made their home in the northwest part of DeKalb Co. Georgia, four miles from Cross Keys, northwest of Decatur, where they lived several years, and the first six of their children were born there. The location of the Pruitt farm is now (1975) part of Atlanta and there is a "Pruett Road" within the area.

Former President Thomas Jefferson died July 4, 1826.

Diannah and Tillman's children were given family names often seen in the Farrar and Pruitt lines over several generations. Diannah began her life long tradition of naming babies in the Pruitt/Pruett family by naming her first, a daughter, Catherine Carter Pruitt (1823) after her mother Catherine Carter. Daughter Martha Lucretia Pruitt (1825) is named after Tillman's sister Martha "Patsy" Pruitt. Harriett Elizabeth Pruitt (1828) has the middle name Elizabeth after Diannah's grandmother Elizabeth Howard (mother of Abner Farrar). First son, William Malone Pruitt (1831) was named after Diannah's brother William Malone Farrar, and its also the name of his grandmother, Catherine Carter's, half-brother William Malone, son of Catherine's mother Lucy Marshall and beloved step-father George Malone. Son Joseph Waters Pruitt (1834) is named after Tillman's father Joseph Pruitt. Thurza Shumate Pruitt (1837) was named for Diannah's sister Thurza Farrar Shumate (wife of Benjamin D. Shumate), and also for Diannah's aunt Thurza Farrar (sister of Diannah's father Abner Farrar). Benjamin Franklin Pruitt (1839) is named for Tillman's uncle Benjamin Pruitt (brother of Tillman's father Joseph). Son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt (1843) was named for Diannah's brother Jesse Carter Farrar and also for Jesse Carter, the brother of Diannah's mother Catherine Carter. Youngest daughter Mary Marshall Pruitt (1847) was given the middle name Marshall after Lucy Marshall, her great-grandmother (mother of Catherine Carter), and Tillman had a younger half-sister named Mary Toney.

Both Diannah and Tillman were school teachers, among the first in the Decatur area, and gave their children a good education. All could read and write except Harriett. At the time the school term was no more than four or five months long, so they also farmed. The children (five girls and four boys), like any other farm children, worked in the fields and with the farm animals. Diannah was also a talented artist, and her specialty was drawing birds with a pen knife in very intricate detail. Some of her drawings still exist (1999) and are treasured by family members. She also had beautiful penmanship and fortunately for future generations Diannah was fond of writing family births, marriages and deaths in many of her children's and grandchildren's bibles. She also wrote poems, some of which were published, and originated many common sense sayings repeated by generations of her family.

Diannah's mother Catherine died in 1832. About 1838 Tillman and Diannah moved to Paulding Co. Georgia into territory recently vacated by the Cherokee Indians, where their eldest daughter Catherine married John Pierson Ponder in 1838. Diannah's father, Abner Farrar, died in 1841 in Marietta, Georgia where he was living with Diannah's brother Jesse Carter Farrar. The Pruitt family is listed in Paulding Co. Georgia in the 1840 census and daughter Martha married George Wilson there in 1843.

Tillman and Diannah Pruitt, plus their daughter Harriett, are listed among the members of the Van Wert Baptish Church in Paulding Co. Georgia from 1844 to 1845. They were received and dismissed by letters recorded in the Van Wert Baptish Church minutes:

September 13, 1844
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Invited visiting members to seats. Opened a door for the
reception of members and received by Letter T. D. Pruitt and Diannah Pruitt and Susan Adaline Scott as a member of the Primitive Baptist, Polly Burgess as a member of the United Baptist faith, an order that was announced in Caintucky (sic), and James B. Carter and James Hall by Experience, Rytta Lansing, Elizabeth Weatherly and Catharine Childers, John Brookes and Jane Brookes, Martha Ann Morgan and Harriett Pruitt ... Done in conference.

Reverend Thornton Burk, Moderator       B. F. Morgan, Clerk

May 17,1845
The Baptist Church at Van Wert met in conference. Invited visiting members to seats. Called for acknowledgments, when Brother William M Morgan came forward and offered acknowledgment for getting drunk which was cordially received. Also Brother Jefferson Thomas came forward and offered acknowledgment for getting drunk, which was received. Also a charge was brought by Brother Hogue.
Charges Brother Isaac Roach with drunkenness and gambling and appoints Brethren McWhorter and Hogue to request him to attend the next conference and answer the charge. Then called for miscellaneous business. Brother Tylman D. Pruitt applied for Letters of Dismission for himself and
wife and daughter (Harriett) which we granted. The camp meeting is to commence Thursday evening before the third Sabbath in October. Done in conference.

John Holmes, Moderator             B. F. Morgan, Clerk

The full transcript of the Van Wert Baptish Church Minutes 1840-1849, Part 1, copied by Cassandra Robertson Newby is at the Paulding Co. Georgia GenWeb site at:
ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ga/polk/churches/vanwert.txt

Creek Indian lands in eastern Alabama had been opened for settlement in 1832, and following their application for Letters of Dismissal from Van Wert Baptist Church in May 1845 Diannah and Tillman moved to Talladega Co. Alabama. The Choccolocco River was a natural barrier between communities in Talladega Co. One day a young man named Ransom Marion Pruett, from across the river, curious to see what was on the other side, rode his horse and swam it across the river and met Diannah and Tillman's daughter Harriett Elizabeth, the " prettiest red-headed girl he ever saw." The Pruett and Pruitt families were unknown to eachother and didn't know enough about their heritege to identify a common ancestor, but discovered that both families had lived in Cross Keys, DeKalb Co. Georgia at the same time before coming to Alabama. Ransom, the son of Ansel Beddington Pruett and Agnes Rebecca Heaton, and the Pruitts' pretty red-haired daughter Harriett Elizabeth, soon fell in love and married in October 1846 in Talladega Co.

The next year, on August 31, 1847 Tillman died at the age of 46. The location of his grave is uncertain. Tillman and Diannah may have moved back to Georgia shortly before his death or he may have died in Talladega or Clay County, Alabama. The oldest cemetery in the area is Shiloh Baptist Cemetery in bordering Clay County. Today there are many unmarked graves there. Tillman is said to be buried beside his daughter Catherine's husband, John Pierson Ponder, who died in Talladega County. Widowed Diannah 41, was left with their six youngest children still living at home; William 16, Joseph 13, Thurza 10, Benjamin 8, Jesse 4, and baby Mary. Probably soon after Tillman's death Diannah and the younger children moved back to Paulding Co. Georgia where daughter Martha Wilson still lived with her growing family.

Eldest daughter Catherine Ponder had been widowed the previous year while pregnant with her sixth child. Catherine soon married Elijah Wilmins Pruett, the brother of her sister Harriett's husband Ransom Pruett. The marriage was a tragic mistake for Catherine's family. Elijah Pruett was cruel to Catherine's children, causing them to run away as soon as they could make their own way. Diannah's twin grandsons Berry and Perry Ponder (Catherine's eldest children, then under ten years old) escaped and ran away one day when Elijah made them carry heavy bags of corn to their Grandpa Ponder's mill three miles away. Elijah and his brother Drew (Drury Owen Pruett) searched for the boys, followed by their Grandpa Ponder who hoped to help his grandsons. Berry and Perry arrived separately at the same time at the safe haven of Diannah's farm.

Diannah's eldest son William Malone Pruitt may have delayed marrying to help his mother and siblings after Tillman's death. The family, headed by Dianna Pruitt age 44, are listed in the 1850 Paulding Co. Georgia census. Elijah Pruett's abusive behavior worsened and Catherine decided to leave him and take the children to Diannah's farm in Paulding Co. Georgia about 100 miles away. Catherine slipped off without a cent of money and managed to travel about 15 miles per day with her children, who each carried all they could. They had a hard time and often had to beg for the nights lodging, but reached the safety of Diannah's farm and the family. Eventually, Elijah Pruett came with another man to help beg for the return of his wife. Catherine agreed to give him another trial.

Diannah moved to Winston Co. Mississippi, where four of her children married between 1854 and 1860. In 1857 Diannah Pruitt is shown leasing land from her brother, William Malone Farrar, in Louisville, Winston Co. Mississippi. William's first wife, Mary Elizabeth Micou, had just died in 1857, and Diannah, by that time, had been a widow for ten years. William leased Diannah the land for $10 for as long as she did not remarry. Diannah 54, is listed in the 1860 Winston Co. Mississippi census with assets of $200, and living with sons Joseph and Benjamin, and their young wives Mary Jane Catlege and Melinda Blanton, also son Jesse and daughter Mary. Daughter Thurza and her husband, William McMillan Catledge, were very close neighbors. The four youngest Pruitt children each married into the neighboring Catledge family. Youngest daughter Mary married Elijah Catledge about 1862, and lived in Alexander Co. Illinois until the mid 1870's; and youngest son Jesse married Martha E. "Susie" Catledge about 1863 in or near Winston County.

All four of Diannah and Tillman's sons served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Also serving were grandsons Perryman and William Farrar Ponder (Catherine's sons). Son Joseph Waters Pruitt died in 1863, due to illness a few months after being discharged, at his home in Winston Co. Mississippi, leaving a young widow and daughter, Martha Dianne, named after his mother. Daughter Thurza Catlege's husband also died during the war. Fortunately, sons William, Benjamin and Jesse survived. All of Diannah and Tillman's surviving children eventually moved west to Texas headed by son William Malone Pruitt, who had first traveled to east Texas in 1857 to establish a farm, and then sent for his wife Martha and two children to join him the next year.

Diannah moved from Mississippi to Texas before 1865. Diannah is said to have married again while living in Mississippi to a Mr. Thompson, but to date the marriage record of Diannah to a Thompson has not been located. (It is certain she did marry a Thompson however because when she married a third time in 1874 her name on the marriage record is given as Diannah Thompson). In Upshur Co. Texas Diannah lived with her son Jesse and the neighboring farm was that of son William Malone Pruitt, "Red Bill", and his wife Martha Ann Daniel. Martha died in 1867, leaving six children. Bill was remarried to Melissia Cook, a 34 year old spinster, in 1868. Bill and Melissia had only one child of their own, a son born on April 6,1869. The baby was so small they all thought he would surely die. Diannah wrapped up her tiny grandson and laid him on a pillow in a box, and carried him back across the field to Jesse's farm to show everyone the tiny little baby. John Ruben "Rube" surprised them all and thrived.

Diannah was listed in the 1870 census of Upshur Co. Texas with her son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt's family as "Dianer Pruitt 64." She lived most of the time with her youngest son Jesse, who married three times and had 15 children, but often visited and stayed with other family members. Daughter Harriett and husband Ransom Marion Pruett and their whole family arrived in Hopkins Co. Texas from Alabama after a 27 month trip by wagon in 1870 and they rented farms with their eldest son John Perry Pruett and his family. Tragically John Perry became ill and died shortly after getting his own place, leaving his wife, Mary Jane Parrish, alone with their three children. In the fall of 1873 daughter Harriett 45, with daughter Serena Almantha, fled their home never to return to alcoholic husband Ransom M. Pruett. Ransom had long had a drinking problem during which times eldest son John Perry could manage his father and protect Harriett. But John Perry had died and Ransom's drinking problem worsened. Harriett and Mantha 20, left the younger children and went to John Perry's widow Mary Jane, the only kin they had nearby. Harriett lived with different relatives for the next few years until son Francis Marion married and provided his mother a permanent home. Harriett's younger children stayed with Ransom for a while but each in turn left as soon as they could manage on their own. Both of Diannah and Tillman's daughters, Catherine and Harriett, who had married two of the Pruett brothers, had difficult troubled marriages with them.

Diannah's daughter Martha and her husband, George Wilson, had also come to Texas in the 1860's living in several different counties including Fannin and by 1865, Hunt County. By 1868 Martha and George moved to Hopkins Co. Texas. Their family is listed in the 1870 Hopkins Co. census along with widowed Thurza Catlege (Diannah's fourth daughter) who was living with them. Martha and George moved again, to Montague Co. Texas, and arrived there on December 24, 1873. Diannah also came to Montague County and, at age 68, married there for the third time on December 6, 1874 to James D. Whaley. Little is known about James D. Whaley but after this marriage Diannah was always known as "Grandma Whaley."

From the time she came to Texas Diannah liked to be close at hand for the births of babies in the family so she could name them. She recorded the newborn children's names in their family bibles along with all the other family births and she wrote her own name "Diannah H. Whaley" and her birthdate, May 19, 1806, in each bible as well. Many of her grandchildren were given her lovely bird drawings as gifts and some still survive. Very special to Diannah were family pictures. She had several Tin Type portraits and family pictures which she kept safely stored in a small red velvet photo album with a locking clasp. In one of the portraits taken of her, Diannah posed holding the red velvet photo album in one hand, with her other hand over her heart. The precious red velvet album is now (2000) in the possession of great-great granddaughter Virginia Beckham Carroll.

Two pairs of Diannah's grandchildren married eachother. Frances Caroline Pruitt, the daughter of son William, and Francis Marion Pruett, the son of daughter Harriett, fell in love, and over parental objections married in 1875 despite being first cousins. Diannah is said to have named at least the first six of their children: Mary Louiza, Oscar Farrar, Dora Belle, Luna Adolphus (male), Virgil Ethel (male), and Oda Marion (male). She may also have named Elvin, who was not given a middle name, and chose the initial F. as an adult, and Pearl, born in 1892. Serena Almantha Pruett " Mantha", daughter of Harriett, was married in October 1878 to her first cousin, Perryman Lafayette Ponder, son of Diannah's daughter Catherine. He was 12 years older and a widower twice over with nine children.

In 1880 Diannah is listed twice in the census in both Upshur and Camp counties. She is listed as "Dianah Whaley", age 74, in the household of her son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt in Upshur County, and also at the bordering farm of her eldest son William Malone Pruitt and family in Camp Co. Texas, listed as "D. Whaley, age 74."

In the late 1880's Diannah moved with Jesse and his family to Fox, Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory, where Jesse operated a store in Fox and also farmed. In January 1894 Diannah was visiting her granddaughter and namesake, Mary Diannah "Annie" Knight, eldest child of her son Jesse, in Fox, Indian Territory, and it was there she died at age 87 on January 16, 1894. On the same day another great-grandchild, Ella Salina Pruett (granddaughter of Harriett Elizabeth Pruitt), was born, but Diannah was not there to choose the name. It was also the date of her daughter Catherine's 71st birthday. The date of Diannah's death is recorded in Francis Marion Pruett's family bible as January 1, 1894.

Diannah was buried January 18, 1894 outside the small town of Fox, in what is now Carter Co. Oklahoma, in the old Indian Territory Cemetery called Freeo. It is now abandoned and about 500 yards east of Clinton Owens Road by Choctaw Creek. It cannot be seen from the road. Most of the burials there were prior to Oklahoma statehood. A stone wall was built around Diannah's grave by her son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt and Ben Knight, husband of Jesse's daughter Mary Diannah. They hauled two wagon loads of rocks into the cemetery with which to construct the two and one half foot wall because there were no rocks in the immediate area. The grave was marked with a hand carved stone marker bearing Diannah's intitials with birth and death years.

At the time of her death Diannah's surviving children were Catherine C. Ezell 71, Martha L. Wilson 68, Harriett E. Pruett 65, William M. Pruitt 62, Thurza S. Catledge 56, Benjamin F. Pruitt 54, and Jesse C. F. Pruitt 50, and Mary M. Catledge 46. Diannah and Tillman had over 80 grandchildren.

DIANNAH HILLSMAN FARRAR'S strength of spirit still touches her descendants more than 100 years after her death. Diannah lived a long life and had a great influence on the lives of her children and their families. She left an imprinted image on all of her kin that she was a cousin (twice removed) of President Thomas Jefferson, and that the King of England had given a large island on the James River in Virginia to her ancestor William Farrar known as Farrar's Island. She was knowlegeable and proud of her heritage and wanted her descendants to know about their family history. We are all indebted to this wonderful pioneer woman, the matriarch of a large and diverse family, for writing their records in so many of their bibles.

Diannah's original carved stone grave marker reads:
"DHW" (Diannah Hillsman Whaley)
"B 1806"
"D 1894"

There is a gentleman by the name of W. C. Owens who was born, raised and still (2000) lives on the same place within one mile of the Freeo Cemetery. He was born in 1915, 21 years after Diannah was buried. Daymon Catlege has spoken to Owens several times and asked him about the cemetery being referred to as an Indian cemetery. Owens said he had never heard that. He said that there was a small community located near the cemetery that was named Freeo where there was a cotton gin, blacksmith, store and a few houses. At one time, Owens worked for the county, he mowed and maintained Freeo Cemetery for a few years. There are four or five graves with a rock walls around them. None have headstones (except Diannah's). Maybe they were the first graves at that location and they built the stone walls before they had a fence around the cemetery. Haskell Pruett reported in his 1975 book "The Pruett Pruitt Family" that Diannah was buried in an "Indian Cemetery" and that "she had a typical Indian burial house at her grave, likely at a request she made before her death. If it ever had a roof, as it likely did, it had rotted away..." There is no factual basis to support Haskell Pruett's theory that Freeo is an Indian cemetery, or that the graves with walls around them were in traditional Indian fashion, or ever had rooves.

Haskell Pruett, a great-great grandson of Diannah and author of "The Pruett Pruitt Family" book, had searched for the location of her grave for 50 years and not found it by the 1970's as he prepared to publish his book. Assisting and contributing a large portion of the Pruitt family research were cousins Virginia Beckham Carroll and Sheron Reid Darnell (both grandaughters of John Ruben Harrison Pruitt). They visited with Tennie Parlee Pruitt Coaly, age 93, in July 1971, at her home in Ringling, Oklahoma. Tennie gave them a picture of her father Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt and his brother Benjamin Franklin Pruitt in their Civil War uniforms, and when asked, Tennie knew exactly where Diannah's grave was located! Virginia and Sheron set out to find Diannah's grave on the private property outside Fox, Oklahoma where cattle, then as now, freely roam around Freeo Cemetery. Virginia and Sheron drove the 20 miles from Ringling to the cemetery in a heavy rain storm and needed to ask for directions at a nearby store. As they neared the cemetery the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shown in a beautiful glow. They searched the lovely old resting place surrounded by big trees hundreds of years old and consisting of about 120 graves, many with markers dating back to the early 1800's. Sheron spotted the grave; they both felt unable to speak and as though a force was pulling them. Virginia and Sheron believe they were meant to find Diannah's grave and that they had her help and blessing. They took pictures and Virginia soon called Haskell Pruett with their news. He just couldn't believe they'd found Diannah's grave, and drove out there himself almost immediately!

In the 1990's a new headstone was erected at Diannah's grave. At a Pruitt family reunion a collection was taken to purchase the new headstone, and it was placed there by Dolores Chance-Means a descendant of Mary Louisiana Pruitt-Chance; the daughter of Diannah's son, Benjamin Franklin Pruitt.

The new headstone reads:

"DINNAH H.
(FARRAR)
PRUITT- WHALEY
1806-1894
MOTHER OF 9 BY T. D. PRUITT"

Diannah's grave listed in the Virtual Cemetery @:
http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/VG/00/00/12/57/61/0000125761/

***********************

ONE OF GRANDMA WHALEY'S POEMS / SONGS:

An old poem handed down in the Pruitt family:

"Old Aunt Dinnah, sick in the bed
Sent for the Doctor
And the Doctor said,

Old Aunt Dinnah, you ain't sick
All you need is
A Hickory stick."

************************
There are numerous gaps in the information about Diannah's life. Nothing, so far, is known about her second husband (Thompson)- when and where she married him or who he really was, and very little about her last husband James D. Whaley. The location of Tillman Dixon Pruitt's grave is uncertain. Did he die in Alabama or Georgia? Did Diannah mark his grave?

Census:
1820 (Land records indicate Diannah's family lived in Franklin Co. Georgia in 1820.)
1830 DeKalb Co. Georgia, page 64. In household of husband "Tilman Pruitt", female 20-30.
1840 Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.
1850 Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Dianna H. Pruitt" age 44, born GA.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Dianna Pruett" 56, Farmer, born GA.
1870 Upshur Co. Texas, page 139/269, Family #149. Listed as "Dianer Pruitt" 64, Housekeeper, born GA. Listed next to sons William M. Pruitt and Jesse C. F. Pruitt, but her household is listed separately.
1880 Upshur Co. Texas, Family #237. Listed as "Dianah Whaley" 74, born FA VA VA. In the household of her son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt.
1880 Camp Co. Texas E.D. 22, page 48/6, Family #45. Listed as "D. Whaley" 74, born GA SC SC. In the household of her son William M. Pruitt on June 3, 1880. The "a" in her surname Whaley is open and also looks like "Wheeley" or "Whuley".

Sources:
"The Pruett Pruitt Family" by Haskell Pruett, Ph.D.
Virginia Beckham Carroll- biographical information from family interviews, and Pruitt family photographs.
"Some Farrar's Island Descendants" by Alvahn Holmes
"Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants" by Donna Duckworth.
Daymon Catlege for Diannah and Tillman Dixon Pruitt's marriage date as told to him by his grandmother, Martha Dianne Pruitt Ponder Catlege; historical information about Freeo Cemetery as told to him by W. C. Owens; photos he took of Diannah's grave and headstones at Freeo Cemetery.
Autobiographical sketch written by William Farrar Ponder about his childhood.
Montague County, Texas marriage records, Volume A, page 89. Marriage of Diannah Thompson and James D. Whaley on Dec. 6, 1874. --Located by Jerry M. Sullivan

More About Diannah Hillsman Farrar:
Burial: January 18, 1894, Freeo Cemetery, Fox, Carter Co. Oklahoma (Indian Territory till 1907)
     
Children of Tillman Pruitt and Diannah Farrar are:
  i.   Catherine Carter Pruitt, born January 16, 1823 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died February 02, 1915 in Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma; married (1) John Pierson Ponder February 11, 1838 in Paulding Co. Georgia; born 1818 in Lincoln Co. North Carolina; died October 16, 1846 in Randolph Co. Alabama; married (2) Elijah Wilmins Pruett Abt. 1847 in Talladega Co. Alabama; born 1823 in De Kalb Co. Georgia; died Bet. 1862 - 1870; married (3) William P. Ezell Bef. 1870; died Bef. 1880 in Camp Co. Texas?.
  Notes for Catherine Carter Pruitt:
Catherine Carter Pruitt was born January 16, 1823 on her parents farm four miles from Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia. She is the first born of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar's nine children. Catherine's parents eloped against the wishes of Diannah Farrar's parents, who were against their fifteen year old daughter marrying Tillman Pruitt and disowned her. Nevertheless, Catherine was given the full name of Diannah's mother, Catherine Carter.

Catherine grew up on her parents farm helping out with the work of a farm, the home and her younger siblings. Both her parents were school teachers and she was taught to read and write. In the 1830's her family moved to Paulding Co. Georgia where on February 11, 1838, Catherine, age 15, married John Pierson Ponder, the son of John Jehu Ponder and Elizabeth "Betsy" Pierson.

John volunteered and served in in the Cherokee Indian Wars. He was a Private in the company commanded by Capt. Gideon in the Cherokee Volunteers of 1838. He signed up in Cass/Bartow County for a term of six months and continued in actual service for more that fourteen (days ?). He was honorably discharged in Cass Co. Georgia.

At the age of sixteen, Catherine became the mother of twin sons born in September 1839. Her mother Diannah named them; Berryman, after her brother-in-law Berryman D. Shumate, husband of her sister Thurza Farrar, and Perryman Lafayette. The first twin was born September 27th, and the second arrived shortly after midnight, technically the 28th, but both their birthdates were always listed as the 27th.

John and Catherine lived near the Etowah Indian Mounds located near Cartersville, Cass/Bartow Co. Georgia. Also located in the area is Ponders Mountain. The mountain is not marked on maps by name, but all the local residents and those who live on it call it Ponders Mountain. John and Catherine's old home site, as confirmed by deed records, is today the location of a junkyard which still contains an old well.

Two more children were born in Georgia, and when Catherine's parents moved to Talladega Co. Alabama about 1844 it is likely Catherine and John Ponder moved to Talladega Co. at the same time. Two more sons were born in Talladega County.

Catherine was 23 when her husband John Ponder died in October 1846, when she was in the early stages of pregnancy with her sixth child, son William Farrar Ponder, who was born several months after John Ponder's death. Less than a year later her father, Tillman Dixon Pruitt died and is said to be buried beside Catherine's husband John Pierson Ponder. In the late 1840's Catherine's mother moved back to Georgia with the younger children still living at home.

Living nearby on the border of Randolph County was Catherine's sister Harriett, who had married Ransom Marion Pruett in October 1846 in Talladega County. Catherine was married for the second time about 1847 to Elijah Wilmins Pruett age 36, brother of sister Harriett's husband, the son of Ansel Beddington Pruett and Agnes Rebecca Heaton. Back in Cross Keys, Georgia he had been a millwright and furniture maker. Elijah became step-father to Catherine's six children.

Elijah Pruett, called Lige, by Catherine's children, was not a wise choice of a husband or stepfather for Catherine and her children. Youngest son William Farrar Ponder recalled of his childhood, "Our stepfather, Elijah Pruett, was very cruel to the children; in so much they couldn't stay at home, but ran away as they got large enough to shift for themselves." Catherine's eldest twin sons Perry and Berry were only eight years old when she remarried, and Elijah made them carry heavy loads of corn three miles to their grandpa Ponders' grist mill. They decided to run away to their grandma's (Diannah Farrar Pruitt). When they didn't come back, Elijah guessed what they'd done and got his brother Drew (Drury Owen Pruett) to help him bring them back. Elijah and Drew caught up with the boys about half way to Diannah's farm. Berry hid behind a bush, but Perry, trapped by Elijah and Drew tried to cross a mill pond hanging onto a floating log. Drew Pruett swam and caught him. They left Perry at a woman's cabin to get him out of the freezing cold, while they searched for Berry who had slipped out to the mountains. When Elijah and Drew returned for Perry the good woman rolled Perry up in a quilt and put him in the kitchen loft and told them he ran off. "Old Grandpa Ponder" followed the Pruett's and the boys to see if he could help Perry and Berry. Perry hunted for Berry, but finally they got their grandma Diannah Pruitt's farm.

William Farrar Ponder wrote that Elijah Pruett's behavior was not decent to write about, and his mother Catherine decided to go to her mother, Diannah Farrar Pruitt, 100 miles away in Georgia. Each child had something to carry, even the youngest, "Billy" (William Farrar Ponder) who remembered "I felt very important with my first pants my mama made out of her apron." Catherine and the children slipped out without a cent of money. The first day they went by the grave yard where John Pierson Ponder and the children's grandfather (John Jehu Ponder or Tillman Dixon Pruitt?--Both died in 1847) were buried. They managed to travel about 15 miles per day and had a very hard time, often having to beg for a nights lodging. Catherine and the children reached her mother Diannah's farm in Paulding Co. Georgia.

Eventually though, Elijah Pruett came and brought another man with him to help beg for his wife's return. So Catherine agreed to give Elijah another trial, but none of the children ever called him "Pa" again, only "Lige." Elijah Pruett did do some better, but the children wouldn't mind him, and Frank (Francis Marion Ponder) ran away and lived about. Teague (John Teague Ponder) had a fight with Elijah and ran away when he was about ten years old (about 1855). After that only two of Catherine's children remained at home- "Sis" (Martha Nancy Ponder), and "Billy" (William Farrar Ponder).

Billy and Sis only attended school sporadically but loved it. Billy loved to read and borrowed books. He remembered that his stepfather at times was very kind, but when Billy was 13 years old (about 1860) Elijah turned vicious and was going to whip him. Billy ran, but Elijah was faster and caught up. Billy turned and struck Elijah "with a rock and cut him to the skull, a gash about 4 inches long. I did not come off light, but I was not whipped. That's the last time he ever tried to whip me."

Catherine's mother Diannah and the six youngest children moved to Mississippi before 1860. Diannah remarried twice, and was twice more widowed. The six youngest Pruitt siblings also married in Mississippi, four of them marrying into the Catldege family. In 1860 Diannah Pruitt was living with two married sons and her younger children in Winston Co. Mississippi, while Catherine and Elijah Pruett resided in Talladega Co. Alabama.

In 1857, Catherine's brother William Malone Pruitt had moved to east Texas and eventually all of the family followed, except brother Joseph, who died during the Civil War in Mississippi. All four of Catherine's brothers and her sons Perry (Rank of Capt.), and William Farrar Ponder served in the Civil War. Brother Joseph and sister Thurza's husband, William Catledge died. Catherine and her husband Elijah Pruett had only one living child together after many years of marriage, a daughter Mary C., born in 1862 in Alabama. She was always called Mollie. A son, John Pruett, is also listed for the couple but there is no information about him.

Catherine and Elijah are listed living in Talladega Co. Alabama in the 1860 census. Elijah Pruett may have served and died in the Civil War. There is an "E. Pruitt" listed that was private in 1st Lieut. John Hurst's Company, Talladega County Reserves, Alabama, that is possibly Elijah.

After Elijah Pruett died, Catherine was remarried to William P. Ezell, and they are listed in the 1870 census living in Newton Co. Mississippi with his son Benjamin H. Ezell 16, and Catherine's daughter Mary C. Pruit 8 years old. Catherine was widowed again before 1880, she and youngest child Mollie were living in Camp Co. Texas together and listed in the census. Catherine survived three husbands and lived more than 35 years as a widow and worked her farm. Catherine's mother Diannah, known to all as Grandma Whaley, died on January 16, 1894, which was the day of Catherine's 71st birthday.

On May 18, 1896, Catherine's eldest son, Berry Ponder 56, while plowing at his farm in Reed, close to the south barb wire fence, was struck by lightning and killed. When they picked up his body someone hung his hat on a nearby fence post and it stayed there for many years until it finally rotted away. Ethel Pruett-Barton remembered seeing the hat still hanging on the fence post after she moved to Reed five or six years later.

Catherine was visited by Haskell Pruett (b. 1897) and family between the years of 1906- 1915 and he related her memories in his book published in 1975 about the Pruett family and descendants.

Late in life Catherine lived with her son Perry Ponder and his wife Mantha (Serena Almantha Pruett, daughter of Catherine's sister Harriett) in Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma until her death at age 92. Catherine's great granddaughter, Viola Ponder, daughter of Perry's son William Berry Ponder, remembered Catherine after she got old and became bedfast. Viola would go to Catherine's bedroom, and Catherine would tell her that everyone treated her like dirt. Viola would ask her what was wrong. Catherine would say, "Well, they don't pay any attention to me." Viola would tell her that she would pay attention and talk to her for hours. Catherine couldn't see to light her corncob pipe she liked to smoke, and taught Viola to light her pipe for her at about the age of 3 1/2 or 4 years old.

Viola remembered going to Catherine's funeral after her death in February 1915. They had Catherine at Perryman's house and she was dressed all in white. They had grave site rites. Catherine's sister Harriett died about four months later and both are buried side-by-side in the Reed Cemetery, just south of the entrance. Son Perry Ponder is also buried nearby and Catherine has a marble grave monument. Catherine's grave marker reads:

Catherine C. Ezell
16 Jan 1823 - 2 Feb 1915

Catherine's grave listed in the Virtual Cemetery @:
http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/VG/00/00/10/97/49/0000109749/

Sources: The Pruett Pruitt Family, by Haskell Pruett Ph.D.
Autobiographical sketch written by William Farrar Ponder about his childhood.
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.

Census:
1830 DeKalb Co. Georgia, page 64. In household of her father "Tilman Pruitt". Listed as female 5-10.
1840 Paulding Co. Georgia
1850 Talladega Co. Alabama, page 412, Family #893. Listed as "Catherine Pruitt" 28, born GA.
1860 Talladega Co. Alabama
1870 Newton Co. Mississippi
1880 Camp Co. Texas, E.D. 22, family #27. Listed as "Catharine Ezelle" 56, born GA, Farmer, Renter in household of "Parathe Parsons." Daughter "Mollie Ezelle" 18, born AL, listed as a Boarder.
1900 Greer Co. Oklahoma
1910 Harmon Co. Oklahoma

Photos from the collections of Virginia Beckham Carroll and Donna Duckworth.

**NOTE: Despite family author Haskell Pruett's in person interviews with his great-grandaunt Catherine Carter Pruitt between 1906 and 1915 the DAR does not accept that Catherine was the daughter of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar. Descendants are seeking hard evidence proving Catherine's parentage. If anyone knows who is in possession of Catherine Carter Pruitt Ponder Pruett Ezell's family bible or any other documentation please email: Lmayes1@san.rr.com - Thank You!**

  More About Catherine Carter Pruitt:
Burial: Reed Cemetery, Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma

  Notes for John Pierson Ponder:



  More About John Pierson Ponder:
Burial: maybe Shiloh Cemetery, east of Delta, Clay Co. Alabama

  ii.   Martha Lucretia Pruitt, born October 05, 1825 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died June 16, 1916 in Saint Jo, Montague Co. Texas; married George Washington Wilson May 15, 1843 in Cedartown, Paulding Co. Georgia; born May 11, 1826 in Henry Co. Georgia; died October 18, 1899 in Saint Jo, Montague Co. Texas.
  Notes for Martha Lucretia Pruitt:
Martha Lucretia Pruitt was the second born of the nine children of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar. Martha was 21 when her father died.

Martha married George W. Wilson on May 15, 1853 in Paulding Co. Georgia. The first six of their children were born in Georgia and about 1858 George and Martha moved to Choctaw Co. Mississippi, where some of her family lived, and their seventh child was born. By 1860 George and Martha had moved west of Upshur Co. Texas, where they lived on the farm bordering her brother Ben Pruitt. All of Martha's siblings and her widowed mother Diannah, moved to Texas with the exception of her brother Joseph Waters Pruitt, who was killed in the Civil War in Mississippi.

Martha and George moved to several different counties in Texas including Fannin and by 1865, Hunt Co. George was an extremely talented woodworker, who made many a handcrafted coffin for the Confederate boys who were sent home for burial. They say he cut all the wood by hand, sanded, buffed and polished until he had turned a piece of cottonwood or cedar into a handsomely crafted wooden coffin, made not with nails, but wood screws. His toolbox was put together with screws and hand polished.

By 1868 Martha and George moved to Hopkins Co. Texas, where George Jr. was born. In the 1870 Hopkins Co. census, Martha's sister Thurza Catlege was living with them. Thurza had been widowed by the Civil War and came west from Mississippi also. On the next farm lived their daughter Mary Elizabeth, who had married William Garrison in 1865.

Martha and George moved again, to Montague Co. Texas, and arrived there on December 24, 1873. Martha's mother, Diannah Hillsman Farrar Pruitt Thompson, also came to Montague County and, at age 68, married there for the third time on December 6, 1874 to James D. Whaley. Thereafter Diannah was always known as "Grandma Whaley."

In the 1880 Montague Co. Texas census their son James lives beside them and Martha's sister, Mary Catledge, is living in his household.

Sources: Article by Ellen Wilson Demasi
Ancestral File
Sources: Book; The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.
Census:
1830 DeKalb Co. Georgia, page 64. In household of her father "Tilman Pruitt". Listed as female 0-5.
1840 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.
1870 Hopkins Co. Texas
1880 Montegue Co. Texas, E.D. 121, page 13/401A, Family #110. Listed as "Marthey Wilson" 52, Keeping House, born GA VA GA.

  Notes for George Washington Wilson:
Census:
1880 Montegue Co. Texas, E.D. 121, page 13/401A, Family #110. Listed as "George W. Wilson" 63, Farmer, born GA VA VA.

  53 iii.   Harriett Elizabeth Pruitt, born May 04, 1828 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died June 23, 1915 in Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma; married Ransom Marion Pruett October 08, 1846 in Talladega Co. Alabama.
  54 iv.   William Malone Pruitt, born March 01, 1831 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died February 05, 1908 in Pittsburg, Camp Co. Texas; married (1) Martha Ann Daniel July 12, 1854 in Mississippi; married (2) Melissia Cook January 09, 1868 in Perryville, Upshur Co. Texas.
  v.   Joseph Waters Pruitt, born 1834 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died November 18, 1863 in Winston Co. Mississippi; married Melinda Elizabeth Blanton January 09, 1860 in Winston Co. Mississippi; born June 06, 1840 in Choctow Co. Mississippi; died June 03, 1926 in Trousdale, Pottawatomie Co. Oklahoma.
  Notes for Joseph Waters Pruitt:
Joseph Waters Pruitt was 13 when his father died. He married Malinda Elizabeth Blanton January 9, 1860 and the young couple are listed in the 1860 census of Winston Co. Mississippi with his mother Diannah and siblings. In November 1860 Joseph and Malinda's only child, Martha Dianne, was born.

Joseph Waters Pruitt enlisted for service in the Confederate States Army on May 6, 1862 in the 27th Regiment Mississippi Infantry. On August 17, 1863 Joseph was sent to the hospital by order of the Brigade Surgeon. There is no more information in his military record.

Martha Dianne Pruitt, at age three, remembered her father, Joseph Waters Pruitt, coming home from the Civil War shortly before he died. She told her second great granddaughter, June Nack, she remembered he was hobbling on crutches or a cane. Joseph had been injured on August 17, 1863 in battle. She was told he walked home from the hospital in Rome, Georgia to Winston Co. Mississippi. Joseph died soon after arriving home on November 18, 1863.

Sources:
Daymon Catlege, great grandson of Joseph Waters Pruitt.
Book; The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.

Census:
1840 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.
1850 Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Joseph Pruitt" age 16, Farmer, born GA.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Joseph Pruett" 26, born GA, married within the year.

  More About Joseph Waters Pruitt:
Burial: Winston Co. Mississippi

  Notes for Melinda Elizabeth Blanton:
Died at Thomas Overton Catlege's home near Trousdale, Oklahoma.

Sources: Book; The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D
Daymon Catlege, great grandson of Joseph Waters Pruitt.
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.

Census"
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Malinda Pruett" 16, born MS, married within the year. In the household of her mother-in-law Diannah H. Pruitt.

  More About Melinda Elizabeth Blanton:
Burial: June 06, 1926, Wanette, Pottawatomie Co. Oklahoma

  vi.   Thurza Shumate Pruitt, born August 1837 in Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia; died Aft. 1900 in Choctaw Co. Mississippi; married William McMillan Catledge June 10, 1855 in Winston Co. Mississippi; born 1836 in Alabama; died October 30, 1864 in Forsyth Co. Georgia.
  Notes for Thurza Shumate Pruitt:
Thurza Shumate Pruitt was born in August 1837 on her families farm about four miles from Cross Keys, near Decatur, DeKalb Co. Georgia. Thurza was the sixth born of the nine children of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar. "Thurza" is a family name and she was named after her mother Diannah's sister, Thurza Farrar, wife of Benjamin D. Shumate. Her grandfather, Abner Farrar, also had a sister Thurza.

The Pruitt family soon moved to Paulding Co. Georgia by 1838, where her eldest sisters Catherine and Martha married. Thurza was well educated for the time by her parents who were both school teachers. Thurza was remembered by her family as a good poet. About 1844 the Pruitt family moved to Talladega Co. Alabama, where her sister Harriett married in 1846. Her father died in 1847 when Thurza was ten years old, leaving her mother with six children still at home.

At the time of the 1850 census, Diannah Pruitt and her children were living in Paulding Co. Georgia, but soon moved west again to Mississippi. Thurza and three of her siblings married in Mississippi. Her mother also remarried twice more. On June 10, 1855 Thurza married William McMillan Catledge in Winston Co. Mississippi, and by 1860 she was the mother of two daughters, Mary and Levina. Three of Thurza's siblings also married Catleges.

Thurza's brother William Malone Pruitt moved to east Texas in 1858 and eventually all of Thurza's family moved west also. When the Civil War began in 1861 Thurza's husband, all four of her brothers, and her sister Harriett's husband served the Confederacy.

William McMillan "Billy Mack" Catledge enlisted in the Confederate States Army on November 1, 1861 and served for three years according to pension records. His CSA service records show him enlisted on May 15, 1862, by Capt. J. Quarles, in Corinth, Mississippi and on December 5, 1862, by Capt. J. A. Moore, at Bridgeport, Alabama, as a Private in Company D, 5th Regiment Mississippi Infantry. On August 25, 1863, W. M. Catlege was sent to Chattanooga Hospital, and afterwards, on October 31, 1863 is shown present for duty in Corinth, Mississippi. Again, on July 22, 1864, W. M. Catlege was sent to the hospital wounded. Pension records show William McMillan Catledge died October 30, 1864 in Forsyth Co. Georgia.

Thurza lost both her husband and her brother Joseph Waters Pruitt during the war. Thurza's youngest child, and only son, James Alexander Catledge, was born two days before Christmas in 1861.

Widowed Thurza and her children traveled west to Texas with her sister Martha Wilson's family after the war. In 1870 widowed Thurza Catlege was living in Hopkins Co. Texas with her sister Martha L. Wilson and her family. Thurza eventually returned to live in Choctaw Co. Mississippi.

Pension records in Choctaw Co. Mississippi show Thurza S. Catlege receiving her husbands benefits as of January 9, 1894. On August 25, 1900 Thurza S. Catledge filed a Pension Application as an indigent Widow of a Soldier of the Confederacy in Choctaw Co. Mississippi. Thurza states she is 63 years old and resides near Ackerman, Choctaw Co. Mississippi, and has not remarried. Thurza states she lives with her daughter, has 2 girls and 1 boy, and that none of her three children are able to support her.

Sources: The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D.
Ellen Wilson Demasi's biography of Martha L. Pruitt Wilson
Donna Duckworth for Pension file of William M. Catlege.
County Marriage records.

Census:
1840 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.
1850 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Thursy S. Pruitt" age 12, born GA.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #607. Listed as "T. Catlege" 23, born GA.
1870 Census- Hopkins Co. Texas
1880 Census Choctaw Co. Mississippi
1900 Census Choctaw Co. Mississippi

  More About Thurza Shumate Pruitt:
Nickname: Called "Thursy"

  Notes for William McMillan Catledge:
Census:
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Wm. M. Catlege" 24, Farmer, born AL.

  More About William McMillan Catledge:
Nickname: Called "Billy Mack"

  vii.   Benjamin Franklin Pruitt, born December 1839 in Polk, Paulding Co. Georgia; died January 07, 1906 in Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma; married (1) Mary Jane Catlege Abt. 1860 in Mississippi; born November 1843 in Winston Co. Mississippi; died Aft. 1910 in Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma; married (2) Martha Frances Huddleston June 20, 1864 in Robertson Co. Tennessee; born October 18, 1845 in Tennessee; died Aft. 1910 in Graham, Carter Co. Oklahoma.
  Notes for Benjamin Franklin Pruitt:
Benjamin Franklin Pruitt was born in 1839, in Polk, Paulding Co. Georgia. He was the seventh of nine children born to Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar. He was named after his father's brother Benjamin Pruitt. Benjamin's parents were school teachers and taught each of the children to read and write except Harriett.

The family had moved from DeKalb Co. to Paulding Co. Georgia in the 1830's and Ben's eldest sister Catherine married there in 1838, before he was born. Sister Martha married in 1843. About 1844, when Ben was five, the Pruitt family moved to Talladega Co. Alabama, where his sister Harriett married in 1846. Benjamin's father, Tillman Dixon Pruitt, died in 1847 when he was eight years old. In 1850, he and five siblings were living with his widowed mother Diannah back in Paulding Co. Georgia.

In the early 1850's the family moved west to Mississippi, where Benjamin and three of his siblings married into the Catlege family. Mother Diannah remarried twice more. Eldest brother William married in 1854 and then moved to east Texas in 1857.

About 1859, Benjamin, age 20, married Mary Jane Catledge, the daughter of James Catledge and Martha Ann Cotton, in Mississippi. Mary Jane, born in Winston Co. Mississippi, was the fourth born of the eight children of James and Martha Catledge. In the mid 1850's the Catledge family moved to Polk Co. Arkansas where the youngest child, Thomas Overton Catlege, was born in 1857. James and Martha Catledge both died in 1858 leaving baby Thomas, only a few months old, and the seven older children orphans with no other family nearby or means of support. The oldest son, Alson Asberry Catlege 17, led his siblings as they all walked back to Winston Co. Mississippi; the older children taking turns carrying baby Thomas. In Winston Co. MS the Catlege's were close neighbors to widow Diannah Pruitt and her family. Ben married Mary Jane Catlege before 1860, and his brother Jesse later married her younger sister Martha "Susie" Catlege. Sister Thurza Pruitt had married their cousin William McMillan Catledge in 1855. All were listed on the same page of the 1860 Winston Co. Mississippi Census together. Alson Catlege, age 20, was listed with four of his younger siblings: Martha (Susie) 14, Sarah 12, Harriet E. 10, Thomas 3. Ben 23, and Mary Jane Catlege Pruitt 16, lived in the household of his mother Dianna Pruitt.

Later Ben and Mary Jane took over raising her youngest brother Thomas Overton Catlege, and he later married Martha Dianne Pruitt, daughter of Ben's brother Joseph in 1884. Benjamin and Mary Jane moved to Choctaw Co. Mississippi and the first three of their eight children were born in Mississippi.

Benjamin, at age 22, was conscripted for service by the Confederate States Army in Mississippi to fight in the Civil War. A few months after being conscripted Ben was told his wife Mary Jane and child[ren] had died. Ben deserted the Southern Army and surrendered to the Union Army. He took the Oath of Allegience to the United States, and stayed in the north for three or four years. After a short time there he went through a marriage ceremony with Martha Frances Huddleston on June 20, 1864 in Robertson Co. Tennessee which was technically bigamy. He and Martha had two daughters. After the close of the war Benjamin deserted them when he learned Mary Jane was alive, and returned to his legal wife and resumed where he left off. He kept his second family a secret for many years until it was revealed by accident.

About 1867 Ben and Mary Jane moved to Texas with their children, James 5, Anna 3, and Ben, Jr. 2, and Mary Jane's brother Thomas 9. They went down the Mississippi River across the Gulf of Mexico and up the Sabine River on a boat. They settled in Hopkins Co. Texas, and on the neighboring farm lived Ben's sister Martha L. Wilson and her family.

Benjamin's nephew, William Malone Pruitt Jr., was elected Justice of the Peace in Camp Co. Texas. The local paper, the Pittsburg Weekly Gazette, once printed Ben's name and address in regards to some Justice Court proceedings. Somehow Ben's daughters in the north saw the paper and wrote to Bill Jr. at the address listed in the newpaper, explaining about their search for their father. Bill Jr. mailed them his uncle Benjamin's address. The daughters wrote to Benjamin and arranged to visit and meet with him. They both arrived in east Texas and Benjamin acknowledged and accepted them as his own children.

After the war Benjamin was known to have been very critical of war. He frequently used the old saying, "War is a rich man's war and a poor man's fight." It is also known that he took no part in the Old Soldiers Reunions, as did his brother Jesse.

Before 1890 Benjamin and Mary Jane had moved to Greer Co. Oklahoma. He filed on land one and half miles north of Reed, on the east side of the road. This made him the neighbor on the east of his nephew, Berry Ponder (son of sister Catherine and John P. Ponder). Deceased brother Joseph's daughter, Martha Dianne Pruitt, and her husband Thomas Overton Catlege (Mary Jane's brother) would go by wagon from their home near Wanette, Pottawatomie Co. to Greer Co. to visit "Uncle Ben" and "Aunt Jane" in 1889. A trip of about 160 miles.

In late November 1901, Benjamin's sister Harriett and her sons Francis Marion Pruett, and Thomas Jefferson Pruett travelled by train to Greer Co. Nephew Thomas J. couldn't get posssession of his house from the renter until January 1, 1902, so Thomas J. and his family lived in one room and a shed room on Benjamin's farm for just over a month.

Pictures of Ben taken late in life show that he, like his brothers William and Jesse, had thinning white hair and long white beards. One day when Mary Jane was gone from home Ben thought how funny it would be to shave his beard and greet Jane when she came home. When she arrived Ben hid behind a little bush in the yard, he jumped out and caught hold of her and nearly scared her to death. She didn't recognize him and told Ben he could just start growing him another beard because he didn't look good to her without it.

Benjamin died at his farm home on January 7, 1906 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the north center of the original Reed Cemetery Plot. In 1922 his brother Jesse was buried on one side of him and his widow, Mary Jane on the other. Years later, Haskell Pruett (1897-1994), the son of Ozie Dean Pruett, placed markers on the graves of his great-grandmother Harriett Elizabeth Pruett's two brothers, Benjamin Franklin Pruitt and Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt.

(According to Tennie Pruitt Coaley, Ben and Mary Jane are buried in Greenville, Texas. Ben is at Reed Cemetery, but Mary Jane isn't listed at Reed, is she in TX?)

Ben's grave listed in the Virtual Cemetery @:
http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/VG/00/00/10/97/51/0000109751/

Sources: Dolores Chance-Means, from the book:
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.
The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett, Ph.D.- Notes on Ben contributed by James H. Pruitt (the son of William Malone Pruitt, Jr.)
Recollections of Daymon Catlege.
Recollections of Tennie Pruitt Coaly as told to Virginia Beckham Carroll.
Photos from the collection of Virginia Beckham Carroll.

CONFLICTING INFORMATION: Benjamin Franklin Pruitt's death year is inconsistant in various sources.
Ben's replacement grave marker says his death year in 1906 (See Virtual Cemetery photo).
(I don't have information about the death year on the original grave marker.)
Haskell Pruett's book lists Ben's death year as both 1906 and 1907.
Donna Duckworth's book lists Ben's death year as 1907.

Census:
1840 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 108. There is a listing for "T.D. Pruet" but the ages of family members do not fit Tillman and Diannah's family. May be correct name, but census taker may have copied wrong line of family and ages.
1850 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Benjamin F. Pruitt" age 9, born GA, in school.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Benjamin Pruett" 23, born GA, married within the year.
1870 Hopkins Co. Texas, page 118, Family #109. Listed as "Benjamin Pruitt" 29, Farmer, born GA.

  More About Benjamin Franklin Pruitt:
Burial: Reed Cemetery, Greer Co. Oklahoma

  Notes for Mary Jane Catlege:
About 1859, Benjamin Pruitt, age 20, married Mary Jane Catledge, the daughter of James Catledge and Martha Ann Cotton, in Mississippi. Mary Jane, born in Winston Co. MS, was the fourth born of the eight children of James and Martha Catledge. In the mid 1850's the Catledge family moved from Ackerman, Choctaw Co. Mississippi to Polk Co. Arkansas where the youngest child, Thomas Overton Catlege, was born in March 1857. James and Martha Catledge both died by the fall of 1858 leaving baby Thomas, only a few months old, and the seven older children orphans with no other family nearby. The oldest sibling, Alson Asberry Catlege 17, led his younger siblings as they all walked back to Winston Co. Mississippi taking turns carrying baby Thomas. In Winston Co. MS the Catlege's were close neighbors to widow Diannah Pruitt and her family. Ben married Mary Jane Catlege before 1860, and his brother Jesse later married her younger sister Martha "Susie" Catlege. Sister Thurza Pruitt had married their cousin William McMillan Catledge in 1855. All were listed on the same page of the 1860 Winston Co. Mississippi Census together. Alson Catlege, age 20, was listed with four of his younger siblings: Martha (Susie) 14, Sarah 12, Harriet E. 10, Thomas 3. Ben 23, and Mary Jane 16, lived in the household of his mother Dianna Pruitt.

Later Ben and Mary Jane took over raising her youngest brother Thomas Overton Catlege, and he later married Martha Dianne Pruitt, daughter of Ben's brother Joseph in 1884. Benjamin and Mary Jane moved to Choctaw Co. MS and eventually became parents of eight children.

(According to Tennie Pruitt Coaley, Ben and Mary Jane are buried in Greenville, Texas. Ben is at Reed Cemetery, but Mary Jane isn't listed at Reed, is she in TX?))
Sources:
The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett, Ph.D.
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.

Census:
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "M. J. Pruett" 16, born MS, married within the year. In the household of her mother-in-law Diannah H. Pruitt.
1870 Hopkins Co. Texas, page 118, Family #109. Listed as "Mary Pruitt" 26, born MS.

  More About Mary Jane Catlege:
Burial: Reed Cemetery, Reed, Greer Co. Oklahoma

  viii.   Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt, born August 04, 1843 in Polk, Paulding Co. Georgia; died August 17, 1922 in Harmon Co. Oklahoma; married (1) Martha E. Catlege Abt. 1863 in Mississippi; born Abt. 1846 in Winston Co. Mississippi; died Abt. 1875 in Upshur Co. Texas; married (2) Sarah Elizabeth Wallace March 04, 1877 in Upshur Co. Texas; born 1858 in Texas; died Abt. 1882 in Upshur Co. Texas; married (3) Mary Elizabeth Scarbrough June 19, 1884 in Upshur Co. Texas; born September 29, 1850 in Columbus, Georgia; died September 30, 1916 in Dixie, Oklahoma.
  Notes for Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt:
Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt was the youngest son, and eighth born of the nine children of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar. His mother gave him the full name of her oldest brother, Jesse Carter Farrar (1795-1878), who had been named after his grandmother, Catherine Carter's, brother Jesse Carter (abt 1770-1801). Jesse was born in Paulding Co. Georgia in 1843, but about 1844 the family moved to Talladega Co. Alabama. By the time of Jesse's birth his oldest sister's Catherine and Martha had already married. Jesse was only four years old when his father Tillman died at age 46.

He was given a good education by his mother Diannah and was listed as the youngest child at home in the 1850 census in Paulding Co. Georgia. Soon the family moved to Mississippi, where Jesse spent most of his childhood. His mother remarried twice.

Jesse was 18 years old at the outbreak of the Civil War. On October 18, 1861 he enlisted at Enterprise, Clarke Co. Mississippi for a definite period to December 31, 1863. He was a private in Company D, 5th Regiment Mississippi Infantry. Haskell Pruett remembers hearing Jesse tell stories of battles he fought in, including the Battle of Shiloh under General Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862). Jesse boasted about having been in two decisive battles of the war. Jesse's older brother's William, Joseph and Benjamin also served. His brother Joseph died in 1863, and his sister Thurza's husband, William Catlege, was killed.

Near the close of his enlistment period in 1863 he was married to Susie Catledge, daughter of James Catledge and Martha Ann Cotton. Three of Jesse's siblings had also married into the Catledge family. Jesse's brother Ben had married Susie's sister Mary Jane about 1859. Their youngest brother Thomas O. Catlege later married Martha Dianne Pruitt, daughter of Jesse's brother Joseph in 1884. Sister Mary Marshall Pruitt married Elijah A. Catledge.

Jesse and Susie's first baby was stillborn. Their next child, a daughter was named Mary Diannah after Jesse's mother, and was usually called Anna or Annie. Son William Benjamin (named after Jesse's brothers) was born in Mississippi and the three youngest children were born in Texas. Jesse and Susie moved to east Texas about the same time (1868-1870) as his sister Harriett and her family, and as all of his siblings and their mother did in the years following the war.

Jesse and Susie settled in Upshur Co. Texas on a farm bordering that of his older brother William. Their mother Diannah lived with Jesse and often visited her children and grandchildren living nearby. William "Red Bill" had married his second wife Melissia Cook in 1868 and she gave birth to their only child together in April 1869. The baby was so tiny when he was born, they thought he would surely die. Diannah Whaley, then 62, was there to help at the birth, and took it upon herself, to wrap the baby up and lay him on a pillow in a small box and carry him back across the field to Jesse and Susie's farm so they could all see the tiny little baby. Jesse's new nephew, John Ruben Pruitt, surprised them all and thrived. Diannah "Pruitt" age 64 is listed with Jesse and his family in the 1870 Upshur Co. Texas census.

Jesse's sister Martha and her husband George Wilson had lived in several Texas counties and moved to Montague Co. Texas arriving there on December 24, 1873. His mother, Diannah Hillsman Farrar Pruitt Thompson, also went to Montague County and, at age 68, married there for the third time on December 6, 1874 to James D. Whaley. Thereafter Diannah was always known as "Grandma Whaley."

About 1875 Susie died leaving Jesse with six young children. Jesse 34, married his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth Wallace 18, in Texas about 1877. Jesse and Sarah had four children together, and are listed in the 1880 Upshur Co. TX census with his widowed mother Diannah Whaley 74. About 1882 Sarah died leaving Jesse a widower again with ten children at home.

Jesse 41, married for the third time to Mary Elizabeth Scarbrough 34, on June 19, 1884 in Upshur Co. Texas. Jesse and Mary had five children together and she helped raise his ten older children.

Sometime in the late 1880's Jesse and Mary moved to Fox, in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. They operated a grocery store in Fox and also farmed. Diannah Whaley moved to Fox with them and in January 1894, while visiting Jesse's daughter Mary Diannah Knight (always called "Annie") she died at age 87. Diannah was buried outside the small town of Fox, in what is now Carter Co. Oklahoma, in the old Indian Territory Cemetery Freeo. Probably at her request a stone wall built around Diannah's grave in traditional Indian fashion that may have originally had a roof, which has deteriorated away with time. The stone wall was built by her son Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt and Ben Knight, husband of Jesse's daughter Mary Diannah. Jesse and Ben hauled two wagon loads of rocks into the cemetery with which to construct the two and one half foot wall because there were no rocks in the immediate area. The grave was marked with a hand carved stone marker bearing Diannah's intitials with birth and death years.

In later years Jesse sold his farm and store and divided his time between his relatives in Greer Co. Oklahoma and the Fox-Ringling territory. Jesse's nephew, Haskell Pruett ("Big Haskell"), spent time with him in Greer County and got to know him well and asked him much about family history. Haskell found Jesse's company very interesting and asked him to write his family record. Jesse agreed he would look in his bible on his next trip to Fox and mail it. In 1917 Haskell received the brief letter from Jesse with information about his parents and grandparents.

Jesse enjoyed taking part in Old Soldiers Reunions, but his brother Ben, living in Greer Co. did not. Jesse long outlived all of his three wives (Mary had died in 1916), and as the youngest in the family he outlived all of his brothers. It is said he wrote much poetry and his memory was excellent to the end of his life. He had always read much and kept well informed on almost all national issues. Portraits taken of Jesse later in life show that his red hair had thinned and turned white and he, as well as his brothers, William and Ben, grew long white beards.

While on one of his visits with his eldest son William Benjamin Pruitt, who lived outside of Reed, OK, Jesse, age 79, died at 11:00 on August 17, 1922 at William Benjamin Pruitt's home. Funeral records show his place of death as Harmon County and the cause of death; cancer. He was buried northeast of the Elkins lot in the original Reed Cemetery beside his brother Ben (1839-1906). Macie (Pruitt) Mathis remembers as a child when her Grandpa Jessie died. He had requested that her uncle Louis Spencer build his casket. She remembers watching Uncle Louis build it under some big shade trees behind Uncle Willie's house. He soaked l x 12 pine boards in hot water, so they could be shaped and rounded. When the casket was finished the women lined it with grey Satin and trimmed it " with black lace." Funeral services were held at 11:00 AM and conducted by clergyman Tummon on August 19, 1922.

Years later, in 1975, Haskell Pruett (1897-1994), the son of Ozie Dean Pruett, placed Civil War military markers on the graves of his great-grandmother Harriett Elizabeth Pruett's two brothers, Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt and Benjamin Franklin Pruitt. Jesse's death year is erroneously carved on the new grave marker as 1920 rather than 1922.

Jesse's youngest child, Bessie Belzora Pruitt Webb passed away Aug. 22, 1985, at the home of her son Donald Webb, in Longview, Texas. Bessie was the last grandchild of Jesse's parents Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar Pruitt Whaley.

Jesse's grave listed in the Virtual Cemetery @:
http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/VG/00/00/10/97/53/0000109753/

Sources: The Pruett Pruitt Family by Haskell Pruett Ph.D. (1897-1994)
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.
Greer County, Oklahoma Funeral Home
History of Camp County Texas
Census and County Marriage records.

Census:
1850 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Jesse C. F. Pruitt" age 6, born GA, in school.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Jesse Pruett" 16, born GA.
1870 Upshur Co. Texas, page 139/269, Family #148. Listed as "J. C. Pruitt" 27, Farmer, born GA.
1880 Upshur Co. Texas. Listed as "Jesse C. Pruitt" 36, Farmer, born GA GA GA.
1920 Carter Co. Oklahoma. Listed as 76 years old in the home of son-in-law Arthur Lee Webb and daughter Bessie Belzora Pruitt.

  More About Jesse Carter Farrar Pruitt:
Burial: August 19, 1922, Reed Cemetery, Greer Co. Oklahoma
Veteran; Civil War: Bet. 1861 - 1865, CSA 5th Regiment Mississippi Vols.

  Notes for Martha E. Catlege:
Census:
1870 Upshur Co. Texas, page 139/269, Family #148. Listed as "Marthy Pruitt" 24, Keep Home, born MS.

  More About Martha E. Catlege:
Nicknames: Called "Susie"

  ix.   Mary Marshall Pruitt, born February 07, 1847 in Talladega Co. Alabama; died July 06, 1903 in Mena, Polk Co. Arkansas; married (1) Elijah A. Catledge Abt. 1864 in Mississippi; born 1843 in Winston Co. Mississippi; died Aft. July 31, 1883 in Illinois?; married (2) Mr. Kennedy Aft. 1883.
  Notes for Mary Marshall Pruitt:
Mary Marshall Pruitt was the youngest of the nine children of Tillman Dixon Pruitt and Diannah Hillsman Farrar, and an infant when her father died. Mary was born in 1847 after her parents move to Talladega Co. Alabama. Her three eldest sisters were already married when she was born. Mary's middle name was after her mothers' grandmother, Lucy Marshall.

Mary Marshall Pruitt was the fourth in her family to marry into the neighboring Catledge family when she married Elijah A. Catledge in about 1865 in Mississippi. They moved to Alexander Co. Illinois where their first four children were born. In the late 1870's Mary and Elijah moved to Texas, as had all of her family, and Mary was listed in the 1880 census of Montague Co. Texas living in the household of her nephew, the son of her sister Martha, who lived next door.

Mary's husband and eldest daughter Martha "Marthy" 15 (erroneously listed as wife of Elijah Catlege) were listed in the Richland, Stoddard Co. Missouri 1880 census with four male saw mill workers. "Marthy" is Martha T. Catledge, daughter of Elijah and Mary Marshall (Pruitt) Catledge. Mary and the younger children were in Texas at the time. On the original census, it is clear that on "Marthy"'s age, they put 15 and then changed the 1 to a 2 (as in 25). On marital status, they marked both single and married. It may be that Elijah said Martha was his wife in order to keep the workers away from his young daughter.

Mary and Elijah's eldest daughter, Martha "Mattie" married in Cooke Co. Texas in 1883.

Mary Marshall Pruitt Catledge remarried a Kennedy and is buried at the White Oak Cemetery in Mena, Polk Co. Arkansas. Mary M. Kennedy, born February 7, 1847 and died July 6, 1903, is buried ajoining the grave of J. W. D. Prather (1847-1910), the second husband of Mary Marshall Pruitt's daughter Martha (Mattie) T. Catledge.

It is confirmed that Mary M. Kennedy is Mary Marshall Pruitt Catledge from information written on a piece of paper that she is Earnest Daniel Solomon's grandmother, this was written by his wife, Josie Eckhardt.

Mary's grave listed in the Virtual Cemetery @:
http://www.genealogy.com/VG/00/00/11/96/99/0000119699/index.html

Sources:
Tillman Dixon Pruitt & Diannah Hillsman Farrar Their Ancestors and Descendants, by Donna Duckworth.
Ashley Killian; Catledge & Solomon family information, and location of Mary's grave.

Census:
1850 Census Paulding Co. Georgia, page 61, Family #119. Listed as "Mary M. Pruitt" age 3, born AL.
1860 Winston Co. Mississippi, page 94/690, Family #609. Listed as "Mary Pruett" age 13, born GA.
1870 Census Alexander Co. Illinois, page 263, Family #92. Listed as "Mary M. Catledge" 22, born AL.
1880 Montegue Co. Texas, E.D. 121, page 13/401A, Family #111. Listed as "Mary Catlidge" 28, helps in house, born GA GA GA. Living in the household of her nephew James R. Wilson. (Husband in Stoddard Co. Missouri)

NOTE: Two wonderful books; "The Pruett Pruitt Family," by Haskell Pruett, Ph.D., and "Some Farrar's Island Descendants," by Alvahn Holmes, state erroneous information about Mary Marshall Pruitt, which has unfortunately been reprinted many times over, and misled researchers. The Pruett and Holmes books list Mary as the 8th born, and second youngest child of Tillman and Diannah (rather than 9th born in 1847, and youngest). Each book erroneously says she was born in 1841 and died in 1945, thus living to be 104 years old. Mary's information was confused with that of her niece, Martha Dianne Pruitt, the daughter of Mary's brother Joseph Waters Pruitt. Martha Dianne was born in 1860, and died in 1965 at the age of 104 years and also married into the Catledge family. Mary Marshall Pruitt Catledge Kennedy (1847-1903) lived to be 56 years old.

  More About Mary Marshall Pruitt:
Burial: White Oak Cemetery, Mena, Polk Co. Arkansas

  Notes for Elijah A. Catledge:
Census:
1870 Census Alexander Co. Illinois, page 263, Family #92. Listed as "E. A. Catledge" 28, Laborer, born MS.

  More About Elijah A. Catledge:
Nickname: Called "Lige"



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