PEDIGO, Elijah, of Barren and Hart Counties KY

Elijah Pedigo was born 3 May 1809 in Patrick Co VA, a son of Levi Pedigo and his second wife, Mary Blakey Edens.[1] His death record, if it exists, has not been located. He has been found in the 1880 but not the 1900 census. Some descendants confused him with another man when they said he died in 1906 in Polk Co MO.[2]

Before continuing with Elijah’s life, I would like to include here a resume of the Pedigo family in America, as it has been told to me.

The earliest individual with a similar name in America was William Perigoe, a Huguenot transported to Virginia in 1654. It is unlikely that this man was the ancestor of our family, since our first known ancestor was born in about 1664 in France, not Virginia. It is of interest that William was transported by Nicholas Martiau, the first known American ancestor of George Washington. William may of course be a relative of our family, but no records, other than the transportation, have been found about him.

Joseph Peregois came from an unspecified place in France to Baltimore MD in 1685, when he was 21 years old. The age may be an approximation, but he was our first ancestor in America and was definitely French. By 1692 he was married to Sarah Mumford, who was born about 1672 in Baltimore. Her father came to America in 1667, also an indentured servant, but probably an English man. Records show that Joseph and his children spelled the name in a variety of ways: Peregois, Peregoy, Perrigo, Pediford, Peregau and Pedigo.

Joseph Peregois had several children including a son Henry, who married a second wife after the death of the first. There is a story that the two youngest sons of Henry’s first wife ran away from home to Virginia rather than obey the dictatorial stepmother. In his will Henry mentions only the eldest daughter of his first wife and the daughter of his second wife, which may mean the other children of his first wife were indeed mistreated, or it may mean simply that he had already provided for them. The tradition was written about 1924 by Lewis Gravely Pedigo:

“The story goes that the stepmother was a devotee of fashion and of the gaieties of life and that she pressed the two stepsons into all sorts of menial service and did not give them any opportunity of education. Under the stress of this situation, the older boy, Robert, being sent to drive in the herd of milk cows one afternoon, failed to return. Later he began to worry about the younger brother left to the tender mercies of the dreaded stepmother. He went back and succeeded in getting a private interview with the younger brother, then only eight years of age, and persuaded him to go with him. An interesting item in the story is that the stepmother was especially proud of her fair and beautiful complexion. Among other precautions, she usually set aside a jug of milk with which to wash her face the next morning. The two boys, before their final departure, gathered up a lot of green walnuts, squeezed the juice from them and poured it into the jug of milk and shook it up.”[3]

Henry Peregoy married his second wife, Providence Corbin, in 1746. The usual dates of birth given for Robert and Edward are 1726 and 1732. Lewis G. Pedigo did not write the story until nearly 200 years after the events. We can see that either the boys were older than he remembered, or possibly they were really younger than they later thought or claimed—a common occurrence in the era of the Revolutionary War, or that possibly there is some degree of inaccuracy in Lewis’s story.

Edward Pedigo is listed in the Halifax Co Virginia Militia prior to September 1758 (III Henning’s Statutes 219-220), and later served in the Revolutionary War. Edward enlisted date was Feb 13 1778 for one year. He was later in Capt. Charles Fleming’s Company, 7th VA of Foot. The Virginia regiments being both decimated and combined, Edward Pedigo was soon in Capt. Henry Young’s Company of the 3rd and 7th Regiment, and later in the 5th and 11th Regiment. His muster rolls have historic interest, showing him near Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge and Morristown, and with the troops aiding D’Estaing’s fleet at Savannah. The muster roll for December 1778 (dated Jan 13 1779) tells of his re-enlistment for the duration of the war. His last muster roll is dated “Camp near Morristown, Dec 9 1779.” But this fails to show his later services, which are proved by his military land warrant of Jan 12 1784 citing “service 3 years, soldier Virginia line.”[4] Edward appears in the DAR Honor List, as Edward Pediford, DAR Lineage Book, 4, 252.[5] Both Edward and Robert are listed as heads of households in Henry Co VA in the 1787 tax list, as is one Joseph Peregau; both had eldest sons named Joseph, likely for their grandfather the French immigrant.

Edward and his wife Hannah sold 220 acres of land in Patrick Co VA Sep 14 1809, the time of their move to Kentucky. Although we have mentioned three separate VA counties, Halifax, Henry and Patrick, we should not assume Edward moved three times, since the same piece of land was simply part of new-formed counties two times: Henry was formed from Halifax in 1776, and Patrick was formed from Henry in 1790. The land didn’t move; the county line did.

One of Edward’s grandsons, Edward Pedigo, born Apr 15 1805 in Patrick Co VA, wrote quite a bit in the 1890s about the family, family origins and their move to KY. He got a lot right and made at least two mistakes:

Garfield WA Mar 20 1891

My great-grandfather was born in France in the latter part of the 16th century [should be 17th century, i.e., 1600s] and came to America while still a single man and settled in Maryland not far from Baltimore, and there he married an English lady. They raised 15 children, my grandfather Edward Pedigo being the youngest child [Joseph had four known children, and Joseph’s son Henry at least eight, with our Edward being the youngest son, that is, Joseph’s grandson. KP], and he, while quite a youth moved with his brother, Robert, to the southern part of old Virginia. Their old French name was Peregoy, but the people of Virginia called the name of these two brothers “Pedigo,” so they finally adopted that name. My Grandfather was a soldier under King George before the Revolutionary War, in the troublous Indian Wars. He married Hannah Elkin[s] in VA and raised 14 children, my father, Joseph being the eldest son. The names of Grandfather’s other sons were Abel, Elijah, Levi, Henry, John and Elkin[s]. His daughters’ names after marriage, Bashia Cochran, Lucy Clark, Nancy Sneed, Hannah Reeves, Elizabeth Edwards, Keziah Bell and Amy Hardy.[6]

Edward’s son Levi is this blog writer’s double ancestor. He was married twice, his first wife Mary Newland being the mother of William Pedigo, whose granddaughter was Martha Jane Gossett Pedigo, and his second wife Mary Blakey Edens was the mother of Elijah, Berry Rowlett Pedigo’s father. Very little is known about the children of Levi’s first marriage beyond their names; several of them are said to have died in the War of 1812. William and Elijah Pedigo were half-brothers; both were our ancestors. William signed the marriage agreement for one of his daughters in 1844, but died before another daughter married in 1846. His daughter Elizabeth married Henry Gosset and was Martha Jane Gossett’s mother.

On 8 Aug 1835 in Barren Co KY, Elijah married a widow, Frances Harper Meredith,[7] who had a son William Meredith. She died before 1850. He next married Ellen —,[8] who is listed in his 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses; they do not appear to have had children. He married Rebecca Culver, likely a widow with several children, 28 Dec 1882 in Barren Co KY;[9] they were divorced in 1890.[10] Elijah was stated to have married Louise Heldermon after that and to have fathered children with her, although it now appears this is a confusion created when Evelynne Alvis or other researchers interviewed descendants of Louisa (Pedigo) Smith’s daughter Mary Catherine (Smith) Heldermon in the late 1970s.[11]

Elijah was at one time a member of the Green River United Baptist Church in Hart Co KY.[12] He had a freighting business. Elijah Pedigo is listed on tax records for 1836-38 in Hart Co KY, “horse, etc., 4 children $30.”[13]

In 1840 Elijah Pedigo was in Hart Co KY, p 202: 101001/200001. In 1850, he was a farmer in Hart Co KY, page 245, #910-933, with wife Ellen; his children were scattered among several families. In 1860 Elijah and Ellen were in Barren Co KY, Dist #2, p 26, 190-190. In 1870 they were in Hart Co KY, p 293, 134-134. In 1880 they were in Hardyville Twp, p 257A, in Hart Co KY.

Ramona Kane was the first researcher I know of to assemble the list of Elijah and Frances’s children. A few left death certificates that named their parents. Children are not known by any but his first wife. Several mistakes have been made in family group sheets over the years.

On 19 Dec 1916 as part of her application for a widow’s pension based on her late husband’s Civil War service, Amanda Frances (Pedigo) Bishop signed an affidavit in which she named her parents and siblings, a total of five girls and two boys. At that date she, “Eliza” Smith, Martha Pedigo, Berry Pedigo were living.

  1. Mary M Pedigo, born 11 Sep 1837. She is named in the 1916 affidavit of her sister as one of the children of Elijah and Frances (Harper) (Meredith) Pedigo. In 1850, she was 14, with James Grinstead. Amanda Bishop did not give a marriage for Mary and listed her last among the sisters, possibly indicating she died young.
  2. Louisa Jane PEDIGO, called called Eliza Jane. Born 15 Feb 1839 in Hart Co KY. Louisa died in Ashton, KS, in April 1923. Louisa married William A Smith Jr., also called James William Smith. She was married first to a Mr. Taylor who died after eight months of marriage, and her second husband was previously married to Dava Collins, by whom he had one son, Franklin. Her 1900 census says she was mother of 12 children, 8 living. Known children were:
    1. William Irvin SMITH, b. 1864, d. 1949
    2. James Thomas SMITH, b. 186, d. 1948
    3. John Sylvester SMITH, b. 1870, d. 1947
    4. Peter Moulin SMITH, b. 1871, d. 1948
    5. Wesley Miller SMITH, b. 1873, d. 1914
    6. Arthur A SMITH, b. 1875, d. 1894
    7. Henry P SMITH, b. 1876, d. 1967
    8. Mary Catherine SMITH, b. 1878, d. 1972, married John Franklin Heldermon
    9. Charles E[arl?] SMITH, b. 1880
    10. Ulysses Grant SMITH, d. 1879
  1. Jesse L PEDIGO.[14] Born about 1839 in Barren Co KY. Jesse first married Dink BISHOP and second married — CALHOUN. He has not been located in the 1860 or later censuses or in Civil War records.
  1. Martha Hester PEDIGO. Born in Apr 1841 in KY. Martha died unmarried in Weaubleau, Hickory Co MO, on 14 Jan 1919.[15]
  1. Berry Rowlett PEDIGO. Born on 12 Mar 1842 in Hart Co KY. Berry died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 5 Apr 1923; he was 81.[16] Berry served in the Union Army.[17] His occupations included Baptist minister, farmer, owner of a flour mill, hotel keeper. On 27 Jul 1866, he married Martha Jane GOSSETT, daughter of Henry GOSSETT & Elizabeth PEDIGO, in Hart Co, KY. Born on 4 Jan 1846 in Barren Co KY. Martha Jane died in Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK, on 29 Aug 1937. They had the following children:
    1. Louisa Frances (1867-1868)
    2. Lucy Jane (1869-1918)
    3. Esther Calvin (1870-1882)
    4. Peter Henry Ross (1872-1928)
    5. Elijah (1874-1919)
    6. Holland Bain (1877-1960)
    7. Joshua Abraham Lincoln (1878-1959)
    8. Berry Rowlett (1881-1882)
    9. Margie Elizabeth (1883-1885)
    10. Clyde Thomas (1885-1934)
    11. Dora Ritter (1887-1983)
    12. Rosa M (1889-after 1966)
    13. Franklin (ca1891-)
  1. Lucy Agnes PEDIGO. Born in 1844 in Edmonton Road, Barren Co KY. Lucy Agnes died in St Clair Co MO, on 9 Aug 1880. In 1861 when Lucy Agnes was 17, she married Miles Jaspar HANDY. Born in 1837 in KY. Miles Jaspar died in St Clair Co MO, ca 1898. They had the following children:
    1. William Berry (Twin) (1862-)
    2. Clayborn Tally (Twin) (1862-1949)
    3. Martha Isabell (1866-1953)
    4. Ruth Agnes (ca1869-1886)
    5. Theodocia (1872-1931)
    6. Mary Susan (1875-1934)
    7. Sarah Jane (1878-1967)
    8. Simon Robert (1879-1882)
  1. Amanda Frances PEDIGO. Born on 4 Jan 1846 in Barren Co KY. Amanda Frances died in St Clair Co MO, on 15 Aug 1929.[18] On 20 Jan 1867 Amanda married George W BISHOP, son of James BISHOP & Sarah Elizabeth PEDIGO, in Hart Co KY. Born in 1843 in Hart Co KY. George W died in Hart Co KY, before 1900. They had the following children:
    1. James M (Died as Child) (ca1869-<1880)
    2. Amos (ca1871-)
    3. William C (ca1873-)
    4. David D (ca1875-)
    5. Lillie J (1873-)
    6. Mary H (ca1878-)
    7. Walter (1887-)

© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Bible Records, Volume 1, Compiled and Published by Ancestral Trails Historical Society, 1977, pp. 125-126: “Bible in possession of Mrs. Lena Biggs, 329 Mohawk, Louisville, Ky. Submitted by Mrs. Iris Peers, 5507 Watterson Trail, Fern Creek, Ky. 40291.

I think I copied all that was in the Bible and here it is:

On the flyleaf: printed by Executors of David Hay, assignee of the late Boulter Grierson Printer of the King’s most excellent Majesty MDCCLXXV

Bible record of Levi Pedigo, son of Levi who died 1813.

John P. Pedigo was born July 18, 1800

Mary Blakey Pedigo was born August 13, 1801 (Married a Nichols but not in the Bible)

Levi Pedigo was born December 20, 1802

Agness Pedigo was born July 5, 1804

Nancy Pedigo was born March 29, 1805

Lucy Pedigo was born Feb. 25, 1807

Elijah Pedigo was born May 3, 1809

Jesse S. Pedigo was born May 11, 1812

(This is the end of the register)

Children of John Patterson Pedigo

…Levi’s second wife, Mary Pedigo was born December 24, 1776.”

included in notes sent by Leon Kidd ca 1980 to Art and Evelynne Alvis.

[2] He has frequently been confused in published family records with a grandson, Elijah Pedigo, son of Berry Rowlett and Martha Jane (Gossett) Pedigo, who drowned in 1919 in Caddo Co OK. A newspaper notice of Berry’s death called him Elijah. But this writer believes the real confusion was with John Calvin Heldermon who died in 1906 in Missouri; two of Heldermon’s grandsons who lived in Caddo Co OK married a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter of Elijah Pedigo.

[3] I have received copies of this letter from several correspondents. It is online at Shorewoodplace: Footprints & Odysseys, located at index.html, © 1997-2001 WebSite, Pages & Files by Patricia Summers Smith, Shorewoodplace Footprints & Odysseys, Seattle, WA.

[4] Old KY Entries and Deeds, Jillson, 354; Rev War Records, VA, p. 486, no. 2233.

[5] Lineage application of Katherine Alvis Patterson, national no. 554801, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, supplemental (Edward Pedigo/Pediford), “Add” volume 822, approved 2000.

[6] Shorewood Place.

[7] Barren County Marriage Book file 6, County Clerk’s Office, Glasgow KY.

[8] Her grave at Canmer, Hart Co KY, has these dates: 11 Nov 1811-5 Oct 1882. This writer does not discount the possibility that Ellen was the same woman as Frances.

[9] Barren County Marriage Book 21:304, County Clerk’s Office, Glasgow KY.

[10] Barren County Circuit Court Book 36:207, County Clerk’s Office, Glasgow KY. Record of final decree was stolen from the courthouse.

[11] Art and Evelynne Alvis had contacts with possible descendants, but these are now thought to have been descendants of Elijah’s daughter, Louisa Jane (Pedigo) Smith, and her daughter, Mary Catetherine (Smith) Heldermon.

John F Heldermon, 1858-1936, and family are buried at Graceland Cemetery, Bridgeport, Caddo Co OK. He is son of John Calvin and Nancy Dimma/Demmie Heldermon, Cape Giradeau Co MO, 1860 and 1870. Parents were still there in 1880 with three of their children; wife’s name looks like Dorill.

A son of John’s first marriage married Vanada Kessler, a granddaughter of Berry R Pedigo. And his second wife was Mary Catherine Smith.

John Calvin Heldermon died in 1906 in Missouri. This needs to be untangled. 1. Daughter of Elijah was named Louisa. 2. Someone in Louisa’s family was connected to a Heldermon. 3. A Heldermon patriarch died in 1906 in Missouri. So there was no fourth wife at all.

[12] Letter from Nancy Floyd (1015 N 1st, Temple TX 76501-2609), to Kathy Patterson, 23 Oct 1991; held in 1998 by Kathy Patterson Harper File. This letter contains church records from the Green River United Baptist Church of Hart Co KY, relating to the Harpers and to Elijah Pedigo.

[13] Hart County KY Historical Society Quarterly, at Oklahoma Historical Society Library. 11 Feb 1999.

[14] This writer has never seen evidence for this son or either of his wives, although the names appear to have been given by someone with knowledge of this Jesse.

[15] Her death certificate, Martha Pedigo, no. 1128 (1919), Missouri State Board of Health—Bureau of Vital Statistics: parents Russell [sic] Pedigo and Frances Harper.

[16] Berry R Pedigo, 8-104 (1923), Oklahoma State Board of Health—Bureau of Vital Statistics: parents Elijah Pedigo and Mary [sic] Harper.

[17] Civil War, 21st KY Cavalry. His grave stone reads GAR 1861-66.

[18] Amanda Bishop, no. 28610 (1929), Missouri State Board of Health—Bureau of Vital Statistics: Parents unknown.

Published on January 4, 2009 at 1:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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