Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ancestor birthday, Micajah Rogers

Micajah Clack Rogers was born on May 17,1795 in Sevier County, TN, (d. 2.15.1873 Huntsville, TX.) according to the Rogers Family Bible.

He owned over a thousand acres and the Mercantile Store in Sevier County as well as being a partner of the Sweedish Iron Works.  In the economic crash of mid 1800's he lost most of his holdings, and then moved with his family to Huntsville, TX, (some of the family relocated to Bienville, LA.

He married on Feb.4, 1819 in Sevier County, TN to Cyntha Cannon Rogers  (b. 24 AUG 1800 Sevier County, TN d. 11.24.1855 Huntsville, TX.)

They had 11 children, the oldest of whom was George Washington Rogers  (b. 2.7.1820 Sevierville, TN,) my great great grandfather.  Five of their children died in childhood.

Markers for Cyntha and Micajah Rogers in Oakwood Cemetary, Huntsville Texas

 Markers for Micajah and Cyntha Rogers in Huntsville, TX

One of my cousins has a certificate, showing Micajah Rogers was one of the founding fathers of Walker County, Texas (where Huntsville is located.)  Since I don't have her permission to publish it with her name, I'll just say it exists.

The Rogers were also founding members of the First Baptist Church in Huntsville (as shown today).

I wonder if this is legible in person, because the stone definitely has too much colored spots to read in the photo. I wish I knew what the bottom lines said.

Possible Time Line:  When I lived in Knoxville in the early 1990s, I looked through many microfiches at historic records with Rogers names on them.  I took notes. (Knoxville is 25 miles from Sevierville, TN)  Now most things are available on Ancestry.com, but not all that I read.

Sevier County, TN 1840 Census has MC Rogers having a household of 7 white members and 5 free Black members.  Elijah Rogers, his father, is also listed on the same Census in Sevier County, TN. (It is interesting that someone transcribed the actual Census document incorrectly, changing the "free Negro persons" designation into a designation as "slaves."  I am glad that Ancestry.com allows you to read the actual hand written documents now.)

There is some connection with Union District, SC, from where the Gibbs family moved about the same time as the Rogers...perhaps just as pioneers going west.  But 2 young members of each family married 2 of the other family.

The Rogers Family Bible was published in 1848, and begins with going back to Sevier County records of Rogers and Clack families. Micajah Rogers is listed as Col. and it covers his 11 children, but not his siblings.  It kept good track of the Rogers and Gibbs births, marriages and deaths from 1848 onwards and was eventually kept in the Gibbs family.

On Sept 14 1848, his son George Washington Rogers married Lucinda Gibbs, in Bienville, LA.  All the George W. and Lucinda Rogers children were born in Bienville, LA.  (But Lucinda at some time came to Huntsville where she died in 1884)

In reading the original document of The 1850 Postmaster's Appointments listing for Walker County Texas: Elijah S. Rodgers was listed  as of July 15, 1850; (Elijah in this case was probably Micajah's son, Elijah Lafayette, who died in Nov. 1850)  and then Micajah was listed on the same line as Postmaster on 12 Dec, 1850.  (Here again, transcribing from written letters might have been misread as Elijah's initial being L or S.  And everyone knows that spelling of Rodgers and Rogers was up to the choice of who held the pen)

Micajah is listed in the Census of 1850 of Huntsville, TX, as a merchant, 55 years old with 3 in his household.  Cyntha is 50 years old, and Lafayette is 21 and listed as the Postmaster, and he unfortunately died that year. All of the family is indicated as coming from TN.

In 1860, in the Huntsville Census, Micajah (the widower) is listed as living with the Yoakums, and working as a F. Agent at the Texas Penitentiary.  (Cyntha had died in 1855)

There were at least 2, maybe 3 wars that took place involving east Texas.  First the Texans gained independence from Mexico, and ran it's own Republic from 1836-1845.  Then the US  established Texas as a state and fought against Mexico which still claimed it (Mexican American War 1846-48.  Then the Civil War took place.

Micajah lived through all of this.

I have copies of correspondence between my grandfather and his cousin written in the 1940s and 50s.  A letter is included from Sevierville, talking about Micajah's family, so I'll include it here.

If these typed and photocopied, and now scanned and reduced documents are too hard to read, let me just say that the man who wrote them to my grandfather was J. A. Sharp.  He has also written some historical documents about our "ancestors in common," namely Elijah Rogers and Micajah Rogers.  So we are some kind of cousins.  He said he had other documents about them, and I think those were the ones in the microfiches that I copied by hand.

I think this is long enough for now.  I'll type some of the information about Micajah's life through the eyes of J. A. Sharp elsewhere.

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