Higginbotham Family History and Genealogy
Higginbotham Genealogy

The genealogy in this chapter down to and including the family of Moses and Martha Higginbotham
has been researched, prepared and furnished gratuitously by Mr. Earl Higginbotham and his wife

P. O. Box 1153
Bruceville, Texas 76630

Like with all genealogists of their time, research was slow, time consuming and they bore a lot of
expenses traveling to distant cities, and many years of their lives researching court records and

Today with the internet, combined with their hard work, we can get our genealogy simply by clicking
a mouse button. This would not be possible without their efforts.

I would like to acknowledge and thank these dedicated people for their work in making this
information so easily accessible to all of us. Thanks Earl and Nina. We are very grateful to you for
your valuable work.

                                                (Editors; Maurice & Edna Higginbotham)
Higginbotham Genealogy

BENJAMIN HIGGINBOTHAM, born ca 1723, one of the older sons of our first
Virginia family. He came to Goochland County, Virginia with his parents (at least his
mother) five brothers and one sister ca 1740, when he was a teenager. His brothers
and sister were: Moses, Joseph, Aaron, Rachael, John and James, whose current
descendants represent a major branch of the Higginbotham family all over the world,
primarily in the South and Southwest U.S. The place of their birth has not been
determined, but might have been somewhere in Pennsylvania. Some family
historians believe his parents were John and Frances (Reily) Higginbotham, who
came to America from England, via the Barbados, West Indies, but no substantial
evidence has been found to support this belief. (Editor’s note; my father, Joseph
Middleton Higginbotham claims that his family came from Ireland.)

The area in Virginia where our family settled and lived for many years became
Albemarle County and still later – Amherst County. We believe they lived in the tiny
community of New Glasco, near Amherst the county seat. Most of their land lay a
short distance east of Amherst along Higginbotham Mill Creek, which has carried
our family name since their first mill was built, perhaps before 1740.

As we researched the family history, a clear perspective of the time, dates, etc. was
often difficult to grasp. To more fully comprehend this time period we chose the
year 1744, when Benjamin was a young man, and developed the following story to
give a more clear perspective.

BENJAMIN HIGGINBOTHAM was still a young man in 1744 – the population of
America was small and confined primarily to Virginia and the eastern seaboard. The
first westward growth of the nation had started in Virginia, pressing westward,
north of the James River to the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond. It would be
another 8 years before New Years day would be changed to January 1st from
March 25th as it had been since the fourteenth century. A "TITHABLE’ and tax
survey was taken in 1744, in that part of Goochland County north of the James
River, along the Blue Ridge Mountains, north to the area of Charlottesville. This
was probably the most densely populated area west of the tidewater region of
Virginia, where only some 500 families were listed in the entire area –five of them
were Benjamin Higginbotham and his brothers.

Several children living in Virginia in 1744 were destined to become founding fathers
of America. Augustine Washington died the year before in the northern part of the
state, leaving several children – one being young 11 year old GEORGE
WASHINGTON. Peter Jefferson lived near Charlottesville – his 7 year old son
Thomas would become the third president of the United States. John Henry and his
wife Sarah (Winston) lived in Albemarle County – their son PATRICK was also 8
years old. Sarah Henry would later move to the old family home "Winston" at
Clifford, a small community located about 2 miles from New Glasgow, where she
spent the remainder of her life. One witness to her will was James Higginbotham,
the younger brother of Benjamin.

The 2430 acres of land which Moses Higginbotham purchased in Albemarle County
in 1745, was owned by Col. George Braxton, and brother to CARTER BRAXTON,
who signed the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. When Moses distributed
this land among his brothers and sister, several of the deeds were witnessed by one
Thomas Jefferson, who may have been an uncle or perhaps the grandfather of
Thomas Jefferson. Before the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson built his beautiful
home MONTICELLO, just outside Charlottesville, and one of his friends and
neighbors was David Higginbotham, a nephew of Benjamin.

Some 30-40 miles to the northeast of Amherst, lived some neighbors whose
descendants would not become famous for more than 225 years – in the 1960s and

They lived in the small community of Schuyler (pronounced "Skyler" Virginia on
the Rockfish River, in Nelson County - and better known to most of us as "Walton’
s Mountain." Mr. Earl Hammer made this area and the people famous in his best
selling novel (also the movie) entitled "Spencer’s Mountain." This same novel later
became the famous television series "Walton’s Mountain."

As we searched the old land records of Albemarle County for traces of our
Higginbotham, the Hamner name appeared many times, proving beyond a doubt the
Hamners were indeed old residents of the area, just as Mr. Hamner suggests in his
book. The little community of Schuyler is situated in a remote area near the
Albemarle County line, on the Rockfish River, where two or three members of the
Hamner family still live.

Mrs. Hamner, who is portrayed in the T.V. series as "Olivia Walton still lives in the
old family home. Just down the street is the community store, still owned and
operated by the family portrayed in the series, as the Ike Godsey’s. The Hamner
home doesn’t appear as it did in the series, but just down the street from "Godsey’s
store", there is an old home which bears a striking resemblance to the one shown in
the series.

By 1748 Benjamin and his brother had acquired considerable land in this area, and in
1751 each of them received two substantial tracts of land from their oldest brother
Moses. Which we believed that land was the division of the family estate, which the
oldest son Moses purchased in 1745. Their mother apparently died early in 1751,
and as a result, Moses then divided all land between his brothers and sister, in the

Fortunately, the Reverend Robert Rose recorded in his diary the marriage of
Benjamin and Elizabeth Graves on February 21, 1751. As most of their neighbors,
they were farmers who apparently grew tobacco as their cash crop. Many old
records clearly indicate that tobacco was a major crop and was often used as
currency to pay debts such as bounty and court cost, etc. The families were no
doubt sufficient, and probably spent much of their time and labors to this end.

All their children were born in Amherst County, Virginia, where they grew up and
married. At least three of their sons served with distinction in the American
Revolution, either in the Amherst Militia or the Continental Line, and all attained
officer rankings.

Sometime in the year of 1784 Benjamin and Elizabeth sold their property in Amherst
County, moved to Wilkes County, Georgia (later Elbert County) and began to
acquire land there. They were among a large migration of families who left Virginia
and settled in Georgia in the mid-1780s. Many of those were old family friends and
relatives, including at least one son, Benjamin Jr., their daughter Anne and her
husband (and cousin) Jacob Higginbotham. All their children including their sons,
Caleb and William, would eventually move to Georgia and settle in the same general

Benjamin and Elizabeth spent the remainder of their lives in Elbert County where he
prepared his will on February 9, 1790. He probably died in June 1791 as his will
was entered for probate July 25th, 1791. Elizabeth was still living at that time and
probably moved to Tennessee with her son William. The time and place of her
death is not known at this time.

(Note: While there are still some questions about the precise identity of this line of
the family, there is little question that the following families were closely related. To
better trace the direct line of ancestors, as shown here, the names has been entered
in BOLD type).
The background midi sound file
for the tune of
"The Call of Quantrill"
comes from
"The Borderland Collection",
Copyrighted 1998,
Scott K. Williams,
All Rights Reserved.

Click Here for lyrics

  1. CALEB, apparently the oldest was born in Amherst County, Virginia ca.
    1752. He grew up there and married Mary Ann Cash (See following family
  2. ANNE, born in Amherst County ca, 1754, where she grew up and married
    her first cousin, Jacob Higginbotham on October 8, 1772. Jacob was the
    oldest son of Joseph and Hanna Higginbotham. Their family also moved to
    Elbert County, Georgia, where they raised a large family and spent the
    remainder of their lives. Two of their granddaughters married their cousins
    in Feliciana Parish, Louisiana – The sons of Joseph and Francis
    Higginbotham. (See notes on the youngest son Joseph.)
  3. WILLIAM, born in Amherst County ca. 1755 where he grew up and
    married Dolly Sandidge ca. 1780. He was perhaps the most colorful of the
    Higginbotham cousins who served in the American Revolution – and the
    only one to serve in the Continental Line. He too moved to Georgia with his
    family where he lived 10-15 years before moving to Hickman and Perry
    Counties, Tennessee where he died ca. 1845.
  4. BENJAMIN JR, born in Amherst County ca. 1757. He grew up there
    where he married Mary Gatewood, January 21, 1782. This family moved to
    Georgia where he died in April 1809. Descendants of this family moved to
    Kentucky and other midwestern states.
  5. FRANCIS, born in Amherst County ca 1759. He married Dolly Gatewood
    on December 1, 1783, this family moved to Georgia where they lived until
    ca. 1810, when they along with several members of this family moved to
    Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. During the War Between the States, a large
    branch of this family lived in Moorehouse Parish, North Louisiana and some
    later moved to Texas.
  6. JOSEPH, born in Amherst County ca 1761 where he grew up and married
    his first cousin Frances Higginbotham, the daughter of Moses, December
    17, 1788. By 1790 they also moved to Georgia where they lived for several
    years before moving to Louisiana. Eventually all of their children left
    Georgia and moved into Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Descendants
    of this family later moved to Dublin, Texas where they founded the
    Higginbotham Brothers Company in ca 1880. Many of the Higginbotham
    businesses of today (1990) throughout central and west Texas are branches
    of the parent company headquartered in Comanche, Texas.