Born in February of 1863 in Hawkins County, Tennessee to John William White (1823-1896) and Mary Catherine Horner (1830-1913) (or is it Mary Catherine Baxter? She is a mysterious one….) John Thomas was one of the youngest of a family of seven kids – three other brothers and three sisters. DNA testing links me to his father and two of his brothers – Joseph Esterbrook White (Esterbrook is unusual – seems like a last name?), and also James Newton White (also seems like a last name….). However, there are about 30 years difference between Joseph’s birthdate (1842) and James Newton (1870), which seems a little fishy….. on further inspection of the person’s tree that lists Joseph Easterbrook, it is a hot mess, so I’m not sure they have correctly ID’d their White ancestor……
Anyways – Hawkins county is the scene for many people in this line – here is a nice history of the early happenings of the county.
When he was about 6 years old, he is in the 1870 census with his family, in District 14, post office of White Horn (this post office opened in 1869 and closed in 1946 – this was likely a new rural area the family had moved to). The census record is very hard to read – the handwriting has faded to almost nothing. His dad is a farmer. John William’s estate was worth $360 and he could read and write (although his wife was noted as not being able to write). By 1880 they were in District 15 (same place, just redistricting?), and John Thomas was now working on the farm. His brother Joseph had the farm next door at this time.
He married Minerva Catherine Everhart in 1884. I’m not sure how many children they actually had…. I suspect they may have adopted a few (see below). Their first two babies died – the first one was just a few months old, and the second died the day he was born, on a Christmas Eve. The first baby that made it into adulthood was my ancestor, John Elvin.
In the 1900 census, they were living in the 15th Civil District, Hawkins County (the note on Ancestry calls it Dosons Crux, but I see no note of this on the actual census record), next to David Everhart on one side and Daniel Everhart on the other. It is noted that they had 7 children, 4 of them living. Their third baby had died a couple years prior – he was only a month old. John was listed as a carpenter. He owned his home free and clear, and it was a farm. He could read and write.
We have a mystery appearing in the 1910 census. The family is found in Civil District 1, Hawkins (redistricting, or did they move?), and they list that they had 7 children total, 4 of them living. But, we have three new children since the 1900 census! He is listed as a farmer again, and there is a mortgage on his home. Close by them is his son John E (my great-grandfather), and a whole lot of Everharts. It’s an Everhart stew in that area.
By 1920, he is in the same area and still farming – they’ve added one more child to the roster, and his sister Nancy lives with them. Next door is his son James. Oddly, no Everharts are surrounding him – where did they all go?
John died in 1922, from cirrhosis of the liver, at age 58. His son Calvin filled out the death certificate information, and listed him only as Thomas White, a carpenter. Minerva carried on at the farm, listing herself as a farmer in 1930. She died in 1941.
John is buried in the Smith Cemetery. This cemetery, on “Old TN66” in Rogersville, Hawkins county, looks to be well-maintained to this day and is FULL of lots of Everharts. His son John E, my ancestor, is also buried here with his wife.
The oldest burial I can find of the 70 people listed in this cemetery on findagrave.com was in 1799 – Samuel Smith. The next oldest is 1861 – Elihu Coach and 1863 – Cornelius Smith. There are Everharts and Whites buried here – my theory is a Smith married into an Everhart family at one point.
Also buried in this cemetery: Their children – Mary Avo, David Elisha, John Elvin (my guy), Hobart McKinley, William Spencer, and his sister Nancy White.
There are many Everharts as well – I will sort them out in a later post. A
s mentioned, also there are John Elvin White and his wife Dollie Roark; their son William Thomas; their 3-year old SM (?). Their son FH (Hugh), died at age five of diptheria. Both of these children died within weeks of each other in 1917.
There is a LF White, Jr that died in 1930 – would this be the child of their last son, Lawrence F White? Also, a JC White, Jr that was only one years old – son of James Calvin White? A Gladys White, also one years old and appears to be another child of James Calvin.
Another child – Bert Oliver – but not sure who he belonged to.