|1870 Census - Martin Pennington|
Recently, I posted about Veneta McKinney's newspaper transcriptions at the Lamar County Genealogy Trails website hosted by Veneta.
Here is another little jewel that I found among her transcriptions of the Vernon Courier newspaper from 1893.
Vernon Courier, June 8, 1893
AN OCTOGENARIAN - MARTIN PENNINGTON died on May the 27 at his home four miles from Vernon in his 81st year. He was married in 1839 to MARTHA TACKET, and they lived for 56 years on the old homestead where he died. His wife survives him. Seventeen children blessed their union, thirteen of whom are living. He left 79 grand-children and 10 great-grand-children. He was a member of the Baptist Church for a number of years, and was a good and useful citizen. His remains were laid to rest in Friendship burying ground on the 28th of May, in presence of a large number of relatives and friends.
Martin was the brother of my great-great-great grandfather Henry Pennington -- both were sons of William Pennington and Elizabeth Surratt (sometimes found Sarratt), and brothers to Aaron and Samuel.
There is a bit of mystery surrounding William and Elizabeth.
Five Pennington brothers migrated to then-Fayette County, Alabama from South Carolina, the oldest brother being Benjamin who came to Alabama before 1830 and set up one of the first grist mills in the county. Records indicate a voting precinct was set up at Benjamin Pennington's house as early as 1828. Migrating about the same time as Benjamin were William's sons by his marriage to Elizabeth Surratt: Samuel, Aaron, Henry, and Martin. There is a household in the 1830 census of Fayette County, Alabama, for Samuel Pennington that appears to contain his brothers, his mother Elizabeth, and possibly his grandfather William Surratt. This early census only lists the head of the household along with the ages of the other members of the household so we cannot be certain of exactly who was living with Samuel - we can only surmise.
But where was father William if his sons and their mother were in Alabama? Apparently still in South Carolina with another woman, likely Isabella/Isabelle who is listed as his wife (?) in later census records in Alabama. Did William divorce Elizabeth? Leave her? It appears so. The earlier, 1820 census, back in Spartanburg District, South Carolina, includes a household for an Elizabeth Pennington enumerated next door to William Surratt. Elizabeth's household included a young male and female, both age 10-16. Where was William Pennington? He was enumerated as living next to his brothers Benjamin, Isaac and Jesse, but there are additional members in his household that cannot be named. Certainly, his household members included more than just the four sons that we would expect to find. We know from subsequent census records that he had children born in South Carolina before 1830, likely from the second wife.
We do not know what happened to Elizabeth Surratt Pennington. She may have remarried. Her supposed-father William Surratt lived to be at least 83 years old because he can be found living with his son, Samuel, in the 1850 census for Fayette County, Alabama.