The Sloan-Humphreys Line:
A History of Our Family in Gibson County, Indiana
In 1813 Gibson County was carved out of part of the southern portion of Knox County. It was not until 1816 that Indiana became a state of the union. By this time, the Woods and Humphreys families were already active in the day-to-day life and politics of the fledgling United States.
When Jane Woods Humphreys Turpin, with her children and their families, left Indiana for Schuyler County, Illinois, she left behind a network of close relatives that had been prominent in Gibson County, Indiana since the turn of the nineteenth century. Both the Woods and Humphreys families were large. The pioneers of these two families each had eleven children who affected the shaping of Southwestern Indiana. Early land and marriage records place the arrival of both families in Knox County, Indiana, the parent county to Gibson, around 1807.
Joseph Woods, the pioneer of Gibson County, was born near Charlottesville, Albermarle County, Virginia, August 22, 1745. Some sources state that he was an Irishman raised in Virginia, so it is possible that his parents were immigrants. He was married on January 28, 1768 to Mary Hamilton, born 1747 in Albemarle County. Joseph and Mary had five children in their family when the call to arms went out for freedom from Great Britain in 1776. In 1780 Joseph enlisted in Captain Benjamin Briggs' Company, 7th Virginia Regiment, and continued to the end of the conflict. The muster roll of Fort Pitt, dated July 3, 1783, states that Joseph was "On Furlough". About 1790, Joseph, with his wife and ten children, moved to Tennessee, settling on the Holston River near Knoxville, Blount County, Tennessee. Here the eleventh and last child, Samuel Hamilton Woods, was born. It was also here that the older children came of age, building families of their own.
John Woods, the eldest of Joseph and Mary, was born in 1769. He married Polly Dickson in Tennessee and had nine children. The next child, James, was born in 1770, and married Nancy Dickson, Polly's sister, and had five children. Margaret Woods, born 1772, married Samuel Hogue, Sr. and had one son; her sister, Jane, born 1785, married Samuel Hogue, Jr., a nephew to the aforementioned Hogue, and five children. Of the other children, Patrick, William P., David, Isaac, Elizabeth, Samuel H. with their families, joined the pioneer age he moved. Only Joseph L. and his family remained in Tennessee. In all, ten of the eleven children, with families, left Tennessee on horseback and in wagons. They must have looked like the Exodus of the Hebrew people as they passed through Kentucky, crossing the Ohio River at Red Banks, now Evansville, Indiana. They arrived in Knox County about 1807, and settled on the Du Chien (Du Shee) River. In April 1809, the family resettled on Turkey Hill, three miles southwest of Princeton. Joseph L., the son that remained in Tennessee, joined the clan in 1811.
Mary, the wife and mother, passed away on August 26, 1829. Joseph died January 15, 1835.
In the same year that the Woods arrived in Indiana, 1807, George and Frances Humphreys, with some of their children, appeared on Knox County soil....
....Early marriage records at Princeton list Uriah to Rachel Gordon on May 25, 1815; Dice to William Brittingham, January 9, 1817;Hannah to Andrew Culbertson, March 19, 1818; George, Jr. to Jane Woods, December 5, 1818; Lucy to George Brittingham, Aug 16, 1821; Mariah to William Garwood, August 21, 1828, and Elijah to Sabra Garwood before 1830.
George Humphreys, Jr., the son of George and Frances Garrard Humphreys was born March 27, 1799, probably in Muhlenburg County, Kentucky. He moved with his father to Indiana around 1807. It was here that he met and married Miss Jane Woods, the daughter of John and Nancy Dickson Woods, and granddaughter of Joseph Woods, the 1807 pioneer. Jane was born October 10, 1805 in Blount County, Tennessee, near Knoxville. She was just a toddler when her grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents packed up and headed for Indiana. George, Jr. and Jane Woods were joined together in marriage on Dec. 3,.1818 by J.J. Neely, Esquire. They set up house in Gibson County and soon had a daughter, Lucy Ann, born January 23, 1822. In the same year, Lucy was joined by Mary Jane, born October 15, 1822, just eight and half months apart. Other children followed: Elizabeth Ann, born December 3, 1825; Nancy Mariah, born July 10, 1830; George W. (III), born 1833, Sarah, born April 17, 1834; Uriah, born February 11, 1836; and perhaps a son who died in infancy.
In 1837, George, Jr. died. His estate was administered and settled in Gibson County, Joseph E. Woods, administrator. Many interesting receipts are found in the file, including a $18.15 charge to Dr. Davison for treating Mary Jane, and $5.00 to Johnson Hickon for making the coffin when Mary Jane died, between 1838 and 1842. Receipts from John Milburn and John C. Cooke, tutors for "Mary Humphreys, Betsey Humphreys, and Maria Humphreys", at the rate of $6.25 and $10.00, respectively, for a year's worth of schooling, are enclosed. Several relatives and heirs are mentioned as well. Thomas Martin appears in 1839. He was the wife of daughter Lucy. They wed on January 10, 1838 in Gibson County. They had three children, Sylvester, Elizabeth J., and Nancy M., then moved to Missouri. Lucy Martin later married a Mr. LaRue.
On February 10, 1842, Jane Woods Humphreys married William Turpin. The Turpin family had originated in France, and came to the area before the Revolution. William died in Gibson County before 1849. In 1846, Nancy Mariah married Skelton Austin, and on August 12, Elizabeth "Betsey" married James Sloan, an Irish immigrant. Skelton Austin passed away, and on February 17, 1848, Mariah married Thomas Payne. The next year, 1849, Jane Humphreys Turpin, her younger children, George (III), Sarah, and Uriah; James and Betsey Sloan, with baby Mary Jane; and Thomas and Mariah Payne, with baby Eliza, migrated into Illinois, settling in Littleton Township, Schuyler County. Jane Woods Humphreys Turpin died on December 11, 1876, at the home of James and Betsey Sloan in Littleton Township.
James Sloan was born in 1821 in Belfast, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States around 1844, and became a naturalized citizen December 19, 1848 in Gibson County, Indiana. He had married prior to that date to Elizabeth "Betsey" Humphreys. James and Betsey's first child, a daughter named Mary Jane, was born in Gibson County on Jan 28, 1848. After the trek to Schuyler County, Illinois, eight more children were born to the couple: George W.; John Lewis; William C. Thomas; James Harrison; Uriah; Samuel Franklin; Nathan, who died at one year of age; and Emma Ann, who married John C. Garrison. Mary Jane, the eldest, married George Montooth, March 28, 1867 in Schuyler County. James died February 26, 1893 and was buried in the Littleton Cemetery. His son, William C. Thomas, died three years later and was buried near his father. Elizabeth Ann Humphreys Sloan died January 3, 1905, buried between her husband and son.
Thomas and Mariah Payne moved to Illinois with one child, Eliza J., in their arms. Another child, a son, J. William, was born about 1851. April 9, 1854, Thomas Payne passed away, burial in the Littleton Cemetery. In 1856, Mariah married William Dean, and immigrant from County Donegal, Ireland. They had four children: Ellen, Sarah, Annie, and George born April 1875. William died in 1897 at eighty years of age. Nancy Mariah Humphreys Austin Payne Dean, passed away July 17, 1902. Both are buried in Littleton Cemetery.
George Humphreys (III) was born about 1833 in Gibson County, Indiana. he moved with his mother to Schuyler County, Illinois in 1849. Unfortunately, he died April 19, 1853, being only twenty years old.
Sarah Humphreys, the youngest daughter of George and Jane Woods Humphreys, was born April 17, 1834. She moved with her family to Schuyler County, and there married Hugh McCullough, October 15, 1867. Hugh was also an Irishman, and a widower with several children. He and Sarah had four children of their own. Emma Jane, who died in 1907; Lucy who died in infancy in 1871, George W., who died in 1906; and Lewis. Lewis was the only child to survive his mother at her death on March 30, 1917.
The final child to reach maturity was Uriah Humphreys, born February 11, 1836 in Gibson County, Indiana. He married in 1854 to Sarah J. Boaz.
Descendants of these families still reside in Littleton, and Schuyler County today. The name of Humphreys has been spelled in various ways, including Humphries, Humphrey, Umphryes and Umphries. This history is far from complete, but gives some background to the lives and environment of our ancestors as they set out into unknown and sometimes uncivilized realms. It is for us, as it was for them, a life filled with joy and heartache, fun and hardship. May the undying spirit of the pioneers continue to move in us.
Written by Dann M. Norton, August 9, 1996 In honor of the birthday of my grandmother, Imogene Billingsley the great-great granddaughter of James and Elizabeth Humphreys Sloan.
Note: ....I have nothing else on the Woods-Dickson line, except that two Woods brothers and two Dickson sisters married. The Dicksons are from Blount County, Tennessee or near there, as that is where they married. from Dann M Norton, May 1998.
Contact: Dann M. Norton <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sara Hemp <email@example.com>, Deb Gentile <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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