Saturday, June 30, 2018

Lawrenceville to Giles County, TN - the story of Benjamin Marks part two

For updated research be sure to read the Blog, I found your daddy, William Buck Marks

Click for Part One

Warren County, Tennessee – 1812 through 1836
Warren County, Tennessee established November 26, 1807 from White County. By 1809, the General Assembly authorized the County Court to appoint commissioners to purchase acreage for a county seat and to lay off a town to be called McMinnville. By 1810 the commission obtained 41 acres of land north of Barren Fork River and laid off and sold lots in the newly platted town. Two acres, in the center of town, were reserved for the court house, jail and stocks. Settlement of the area continued at a rapid pace and by 1812, 28 year old, Ezekiel McGregor, along with wife, Sarah Ware, age 25, had left Montgomery County, North Carolina and were settled 13 miles east of the Warren County seat of McMinnville, Tennessee, between Ferry and Long Mountain, on Chestnut Hollow Branch, raising a large family.

Ahixoam, (Hixie), born 1806, Montgomery County, North Carolina
Temperance, (Tweky), born 1807, Montgomery County, North Carolina
Ezekiel Jr, born 1810, Tennessee
Willis, born 1812, Tennessee
Jason, born 1813, Warren County, Tennessee
Susan, born 1814, Warren County, Tennessee, married Benjamin Huckabee (b. North Carolina 1813 d. Bell County, Texas 1883)
Jemima, (Minnie), born 1816, Warren County, Tennessee, married William Huckabee (b. Montgomery County, North Carolina 1812)
Wiley, born 1818, Warren County, Tennessee
Avie, born 1819, Warren County, Tennessee, married first Benjamin Marks (b. about 1815, probably in North Carolina), second, Bartlett Huckabee (b. 1821, Illinois)
Henderson, born 1821, Warren County, Tennessee
Clinton, born 1824, Warren County, Tennessee

Google Topo & Maps

Montgomery County, North Carolina -> Giles County, Tennessee – 1835 through 1837
The last record I found for Benjamin shows that he sought medical treatment in May 1834 from Dr. Francis J. Kron, the town doctor in Lawrenceville, Montgomery County, North Carolina. In Oct 1834, he settled his account in full with Dr. Kron.

Kron files...Stanly County, NC
Benjamin, by means currently unknown, left Montgomery County, North Carolina, probably in the spring or early summer of 1835, and found his way to Warren County, Tennessee. His purpose for going, or, if anyone accompanied him, is unknown and would only be a best guess by me.

By August 1836 Ben had met and married Avie McGregor and the two were making their way to Giles County, Tennessee, where in July 1837, Avie would give birth to a son, James Marks.

The 1840 Census shows Benjamin, Avie and James living in Giles County, Tennessee. There are 2 unknown people, a male, age range 20 thru 29, and a male child, under the age of 5 years, listed as part of the household of Benjamin Marks. It is currently not known who the adult male or the male child, under 5 years of age, are.
Still residing in Giles County, Tennessee, on 6 September 1844, Benjamin and Avie would welcome their second son, Ezekiel McGregor (Mack) Marks.

Death of Benjamin Marks
Between 1844 and 1847 Benjamin Marks would die, most likely in Giles County, Tennessee, but possibly in Pontotoc, Mississippi, or while traveling there. The cause of Benjamin’s death is unknown, as is his place of burial. Avie, now a widow with two young sons, would marry Bartlett Huckabee around 1847. The Huckabee family has ties back to Montgomery County, North Carolina. Some of their descendants live there today.

Bartlett Huckabee with wife, Avie, and two stepsons, James and Ezekiel, would migrate to Pontotoc, Mississippi. Bartlett and Avie may have met and married in Mississippi. I have not found sufficient documentation to rule this out. Several more children would be born. The Huckabee/Marks final migration was to Bell County, Texas. Avie died on 9 Oct 1897 and is buried at Little River-Wilson Valley Cemetery. Her sons, James and Ezekiel, are buried close to their mother at the same cemetery.


Because so few details remain of Benjamin’s life, his relationship to my third great grandfather, William Buck Marks, would only be a best guess based on what little documentation is left. However, DNA evidence has now confirmed a biological connection between the descendants of Benjamin Marks and me, the descendant of William Buck Marks. DNA evidence has also confirmed a connection between the descendants of James and Ezekiel Marks, the sons of Benjamin and Avie McGregor Marks. DNA testing is changing some of the old belief's - belief's that were put in place and in writing when all that was available was the documentation.

Based on the current DNA evidence and the documentation found, Benjamin Marks may be the son of James and Catharine (Caty) Gunter Marks from Chatham County, North Carolina, thus making him a double first cousin to my third great grandfather, William Buck Marks, and not a brother, as I had thought.  

In the past few months, DNA testing, and, new-found court documents, have proven William Buck Marks is the son of John and Mary Gunter Marks, and not James and Caty Gunter Marks, as I originally believed. New evidence has brought a change of mind, as it should. With that evidence, different questions arise. Why was William Buck Marks in Montgomery County, North Carolina, with his Father, John and his Aunt, Caty Gunter Marks? Why did he leave his mother and brothers and sisters, who were alive and well in Chatham County, North Carolina, in 1833? Questions I may never find the answers to, but, will explore in this Blog.

My new-found cousin, David Marks, whose wife, Sharon, is now blogging with me here at Uwharrie Roots, makes note in her Blog post, In Search Of Our Marks Roots, that David descends from Zacheus Marks of Chatham County, North Carolina. Zacheus’ father is John Marks and his mother is Mary Gunter. Sharon and I quickly discovered through two court documents she has from 1865, that my 3rd great grand father, William Buck Marks, and David’s 2nd great grand father, Zacheus Marks, are brothers, making David and me 4th cousins one time removed, and, the DNA match between David and me supports this assertion.

In the coming months, I will begin to explore the Marks from Chatham County, North Carolina in an attempt to understand why William Buck Marks left Chatham County and migrated to Lawrenceville, Montgomery County, North Carolina, now Uwharrie National Forest.


  1. There are some who say that Benjamin Marks was the son of Hastings and Sivility (Powell) Marks. Hastings was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, in 1795 and died in Cleveland County, Arkansas, in 1803. In the 1890 Goodspeed book about Southern Arkansas, each of their living sons mentions a brother Benjamin who died about the age of 25. Have you proven or disproven this? Thanks.

  2. I do not doubt that Hastings and Sivility Powell Marks had a son named Benjamin that died young. However, DNA testing, from known descendants, who currently reside in Montgomery and Stanly Counties, North Carolina, has proven that the Benjamin Marks who married Avie McGregor, written about in this Blog, lived in Montgomery County, North Carolina. Benjamin Marks left Montgomery County, North Carolina and migrated to Tennessee where he met and married Avie McGregor. After Benjamin's death, Avie married Bartlett Huckabee, who also has ties back to Montgomery County, North Carolina (two of his brothers were born there). Two of Avie's sister's married the two brothers of Bartlett. Please let me know if you are a descendant of one of the children of Benjamin and Avie McGregor Marks, (James and Ezekiel), and have, or are willing to, DNA test to see if you are a match to the 17 we currently have. You may contact me at - Thanks so much for reading my Blog and posting your comments! I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  3. Avie McGregor was born in Stanly/Montgomery Counties, NC. As her first cousin, Rev. William Solomon, son of Ava McGregor Marks (sister to Ezekial McGregor, Avey's father) married Tabitha Marks, Benjamin's oldest sister, it's easy to see how they must have met through family ties. The McGregor, Huckabee and Solomon families had been intertwined, interconnected and intermarried from their journeys from the eastern counties of Franklin and Edgecomb, NC through their migration to the Yadkin/Uwharrie river area of Stanly/Montgomery Counties and then onward to Tennesse. Ava McGregor Solomon died in Warren County, Tennessee. Her brothers migrations preceded hers and her children. She left two of her children, who were married adults, here and the rest followed her to Tenneseee. Two of her daughters married Montgomery County Russells. One remained here and the other migrated with the rest of the family west.

  4. In the 1890 Goodspeed book about Southern Arkansas (link below) has no mention of Benjamin Marks at all. The book says that Hastings Marks and his family were wealthy slave owners. In contrast, Benjamin and Avie Marks were poor. The book notes that Hastings Marks and Sivility Powell had eight children, five were living at the writing of the book, John, James (the subject of this biography), George, Evan and the fifth was not named. There is no Avie McGregor mentioned in the book, in fact, the only mention of a McGregor is noted as a Capt. D. McGregor whom Van R. Ryan served under in the Civil War.

    'Biographical and historical memoirs of southern Arkansas'

  5. The book 'Marks-Barnett families and their kin' is also often quoted as proof that Benjamin Marks, the son of Hastings and Sivilty Powell Marks, married Avie McGregor. I have located a copy of this book on Ancestry (link below) and find no mention of Avie McGregor or her family in this book. The only mention of Benjamin Marks, son of Hastings and Civility Powell Marks, is that he died at age 21. No date of birth is given, though I assume he was born after the couple were married in 1819 in Georgia, USA. The couple later moved to Arkansas, USA.

    The date of 1819 or 1820 puts Benjamin Marks, son of Hastings at 17 or 18 years of age when James Marks, the son of Benjamin Marks and Avie McGregor, was born in 1837. Using this timeline for the birth of Benjamin Marks, son of Hastings, puts him dying about 1841 at the age of 21, meaning he could not be the father of Ezekiel Marks as he would have died 3 years before Ezekiel was born.

    The only other Benjamin Marks listed in this book died in 1863 in the Civil War. That cannot be Benjamin Marks, husband of Avie McGregor, as we know he died before 1848 as Avie and Bartlett Huckabee, her second husband, were already married and had children by 1849.

    I have never found a connection to Arkansas or Georgia with Benjamin Marks and Avie McGregor, but I can place both of their close family members in North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas together, at the same time, so I know there is a connection between the Benjamin Marks in this Blog and Avie McGregor. Benjamin Marks and Avie McGregor knew each other. It would be impossible for them not to.

    The family connections between the Marks, Solomon, McGregor and Huckabee families are endless and go back before Benjamin and Avie were even born. Bartlett Huckabee's father, John (he married Eva McGregor, Avie's Aunt, her father's sister), migrated to Pontotoc County, Mississippi along with several other families from Montgomery County, North Carolina in the early 1800s. Benjamin Marks' sister, Tabitha Marks, married Avie's first cousin, William Solomon, you can't get much closer than that. So, it is much easier for me to see that Benjamin Marks met Avie McGregor through family ties, the same way Avie met Bartlett Huckabee, through family ties.

    Link to 'Marks-Barnett families and their kin'

  6. For those who have done an atDNA test and descend from James Marks and Ezekiel Marks, sons of Benjamin Marks and Avie McGregor, check your DNA matches for surname Gunter from Chatham County, North Carolina. Of the 18 matches who have contacted me thus far, they are all surprised to find they have distant cousin matches to the Gunter family of Chatham County, North Carolina.

    I believe that Benjamin Marks's mother is Catherine Gunter from Chatham County, North Carolina. She is the daughter of Isham Gunter and Hester Pilkington. If you have DNA matches back to the Gunter family from Chatham County, North Carolina, then I would say there is a good chance you are on the right track of proving Benjamin has a connection to the Gunter family. Adding matching segments to DNA Painter and performing Triangulation on shared matches is further evidence that Benjamin is the son of Caty Gunter Marks.

    If you are a male descendant of James Marks or Ezekiel Marks (and have the surname Marks) please consider Y-DNA testing. My Marks cousin has Y-DNA tested and currently has no matches at Y-37 or Y-67. This means that no other Marks from this family has ever Y-DNA tested. It would be great to establish a connection between a descendant of James Marks and Ezekiel Marks to my Marks line as I believe Benjamin Marks was a double first cousin of my third great grandfather, William Marks, whose father was John Marks. John would be a brother to James Marks, the father of Benjamin Marks.

    As always, what is needed is a paper trail that documents Benjamin Marks's connection to Avie McGregor. Thus far, all I have is a paper trail showing known family members connection to one another - that is not enough. The search will continue to find that paper trail. If anyone out there has any additional evidence or proof, please contact me through this Blog.