"I give and bequeath unto my son Elijah Wimberly my land & plantation (300 acres) as before mentioned after the Death of his mother is to full possession of on condition that he takes good care of his younger Brother and Sisters in providing for their natural support until such time as they may become of full age, also to furnish my sons Thomas Wimberly & Washington Wimberly with one hundred Dollars each in property when they may become of lawful age, also my daughter Susannah Wimberly, Betsey Wimberly, and Milly Wimberly I give & bequeath unto each of them ten Dollars worth of property to be made out of my estate whereever they are either of them may marry or become lawful age on condition that Elijah Wimberly, my son, shall or (may) fail to stay with his mother & provided & take good sufficient care of the family before named according to the times meaning as before inserted he is to have only an equal part of said land with his other two brothers Thomas Wimberly & Washington Wimberly"
In late 1829 (probably in September or October), Elijah left Smith County and moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, taking with him his younger sisters, Elizabeth (Betsey) and Milly. Betsey would have been about 19 years of age and Milly would have been about 17 years of age in 1829.
George Washington Wimberly married Nancy A. Clayton on January 20, 1850. George would have been 44 years old at the time so it is assumed Nancy was his second wife. They were married in Warren County, Kentucky. George became of age in 1826 and received his inheritance of $100 worth of land in Smith County, TN. He probably sold the land before he moved to Kentucky.
Susannah Wimberly married Steven Boren on April 19, 1821 in Smith County, Tennessee. She also received her share of her inheritance when she became of age. Susannah would have been 19 years of age in 1821 and 27 years old when Elijah and his family moved to Illinois..
Elizabeth (Betsey) Wimberly, born 1810, married James Parker in Field Township, Jefferson county, IL in 1831.
Milly Wimberly, born 1812, married James N. Garrison in 1830 in Field Township, Jefferson County, IL.
Evaline Wimberly, born in 1823 in Smith County, Tennessee, married Cyrus Murphy on October 1, 1837 in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. Evaline would have been about 6 years old when the family made the move to Illinois.
Thomas Jefferson Wimberly, born April 15, 1825 in Smith County, Tennessee, married Martha White in 1845 in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. Thomas Jefferson would have been about 5 years old when the family made the move to Illinois
Lanie Wimberly, born in 1827 in Smith County, Tennesse, never married. She lived with Elijah and Maria until she died in 1897 in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. Lanie would have been about 3 years old when the family made the move to Illinois.
Louisa Wimberly, a twin, born in 1829 in Smith County, Tennessee, married Jesse Hawkins in 1847 in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. Louisa and her twin sister, Lucy, would have been a baby, less than one year old, when the family made the move to Illinois.
Lucy Wimberly, a twin, born in 1829 in Smith County, Tennessee, married William Cassady in 1850 in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. Lucy, and her twin sister, Louisa, would have been a baby, less than one year old, when the family made the move to Illinois.
Mary "Polly" (Baucom) Wimberly (Elijah's mother) does not appear on any census after 1820. It is assumed she died some time during the period 1820 and 1829. Elijah would have fullfilled his obligation to his father according to the will and would have received the remainder of the estate under the provisions of Lewis' will. Elijah probably sold the 300 acre plantation and moved his family to Jefferson County, Illinois where land was cheap and more fertile in which to grow crops.
Elijah probably heard from the early Smith County emigrants who left Smith County for Jefferson County in the early 1820's about the rich soil and level land in Illinois, just right for crop farming. In fact, Jeremiah Fields who was probably one of Elijah's friends, moved to Jefferson County in 1826 from Smith County, TN.
Elijah acquired the following tracts of land in Field Township, Jefferson Co, IL:
The author has been to Smith County, Tennessee and attempted to find the location of the Wimberly Plantation but to no avail. It is either at the bottom of the Cumberland River or all records of the location have been destroyed. The Cumberland River was increased in size and a lake was formed covering many old homesteads when TVA completed the Barkley Dam in the late 1940's.
Elijah probably left Smith County, Tennessee in the fall of 1829 and traveled the 300 miles north to Jefferson County, IL by horse and wagon. He probably crossed the Ohio River either at Shawneetown or Golconda, Illinois where the river bottom was rocky and at low water levels, was easily navagated. Or there could have been a river ferry since Shawneetown was a fairly large town of 700 people in 1829. It had 8 to 10 stores, several groceries, two public houses, and a land-office. Elijah probably arrived in Field Township, Jefferson County, Illinois approximately 30 days later traveling about 10 miles per day on the Shawneetown-to-St. Louis road which ran through the center of Mt. Vernon Township. There were other well-established roads by 1829 in Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Who did Elijah and his family of 9 persons stay with during the winter of 1829-1830 once he arrived in Jefferson County? The Fields family moved to Field Township in 1826 and the Wimberly's were always close to the Fields family. The best guess is Elijah and his family stayed with Jeremiah Fields until Elijah could build his family a log home in 1830. (See picture above)
Elijah also could have traveled the Cumberland River by river raft since rivers were one the main transportation links in the late 1820's but I believe this is highly unlikely since well-developed roads were in place by 1829.
Elijah Wimberly and his family were included in the U. S. Census of 1830 for Jefferson County, IL.
Wimberly, Maria (nee Holland) was born in Louisiana on December 10, 1801, and when young moved with parents to Smith County, Tennessee. She was married to Elijah Wimberly of Smith County, in 1820, and in 1829 they moved to Jefferson County, Illinois. She died January 3, 1880, age 78. By B. R. Hester. (August 8, 1880 issue)
Elijah started his own church on 10 acres of land he sold to the church trustees for $8.00 on January 8, 1853 and February 15, 1856. The church name was Jordan Chapel M.E. Church and was located halfway between Dix (Rome), IL and Texico, IL. The church burned years ago but the cemetery is still there and Elijah and Maria are buried in the cemetery. Elijah's children and grandchildren must have gotten tired of Elijah's fire and brimstone preaching because almost all of them joined other churches in the area and only two were members of his church.
The Page was last updated: February 19, 1999