The Jefferson family history goes back to Daniel Jefferson, who was born in Middlesex County, Virginia, in 1772. In 1794 Daniel married in Amelia County, Virginia. His wife's name is unknown but their children were: William, Basil, and Thomas. Basil married Elizabeth Duvall in Iredell County, North Carolina, about 1819. His only known descendant is Donald McGraw of Glendale, South Carolina, who is a great-great-great-grandson. There must be many more. No record is given of William and his activities. Since Thomas is the one who came to Arkansas, the story of his descendants will be given.
Thomas Jefferson was born in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1799 and married Charlotte C. Watson, who was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, in 1800. Five sons were born to them: Albert DeWitt; Rufus Ansley; Wellington Pinckney; Thomas DeWitt; and Samuel Wooton. Charlotte died in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in 1833.
Rufus Ansley Jefferson married Elizabeth Tutt, daughter of D. K. and Letha Tutt in 1855. Rufus Ansley, Jr. was born at Yellville in 1856. Rufus Ansley, Jr. married Margaret Ellen Noe, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Hiram Noe of Missouri. They went to Texas. Rufus, Sr. and his wife are buried at Yellville.
Wellington Pickney Jefferson married Dusky Messick. Their children were: Lucy, John, Thomas, Wellington, Samuel and Sallie. (Pauline -- Mrs. 0. E. -- Melton is a grand-daughter to Lucy). Sons and daughters of John are: Kyle, Howard, Guy, Lester, Roscoe, Fay, Otto, Opal, Icel, Lola, Ola, and Effie. Both Wellington Pickney and wife are buried here.
Thomas DeWitt Jefferson, another son of Thomas I., married ______ Adams, daughter of Peter Adams, in 1852. Their son, Thomas DeWitt, Jr., was born here in 1854. He died in 1857. The father died the same year.
Thomas Jefferson's second wife was Nancy Miller Patton, who was born in North Carolina in 1800. They were married in 1835 and were the parents of a son, George Watson (1837) and a daughter, Sarah Jones (1839). Nancy died at Yellville in 1857; the son died in 1860; and the daughter Sarah, who had married Edward Turner, died in 1863. Her husband died in 1863, also. All of these -- Nancy, George, Sarah, and Edward are buried on the Jefferson farm -- the Rorie farm -- west of Yellville.
Thomas Jefferson's third wife was Jane Cannon Hollis, born in East Tennessee in 1823. They were married in 1861. Their children were: Nancy Miller (1863); Robert Breckenridge (1865); and Thomas Beverly (1868). They were born in Marion County. Nancy died in 1913. She was the wife of John Smith and their children were: Gertie, Neal, Lillian, Minnie, Florence, and Ewaldus.
Robert Breckenridge married Ida Jane Wood (1868) in 1886. They were the parents of: Arthur, the twins -- John Albert and Thomas Elbert; W. J. Bryan; Stephen Brundidge, Helen Eva, Mamie Louise; Robert Floyd; Joseph Lee; and George Everett. Arthur married Daisy Horner; John married Myrtle May Cowdrey; Thomas married Manta Nowlin; Bryan married Fay Garrett; Brun married Frieda Lena Vogel; Helen married Ernest Layton; Mamie married Raymond McVey; Robert married Helen Reynolds; Joseph married Louise Agnes Pratt; and George Everett married Ora Mae Kennedy.
Thomas Beverly, the other son of Thomas and Elizabeth Jane Jefferson, married Grace Loomis (1880) in 1903. Their children are: Clema Elizabeth (1904) and Loran Presnell (1910). Clema married Fred Burton in 1928 and Loran married Delora Elizabeth Russell in 1931. Clema died in 1942 and is buried at Claremore, Oklahoma.
The Jefferson brothers, Robert and Thomas, lived for many years on the Jefferson farm on Crooked Creek, west of Yellville. Robert Jefferson moved to Hot Springs and Thomas Jefferson went to Oklahoma. Some of Robert's children remained in Arkansas. Robert's grandchildren number more than 30 and there are great-grandchildren. Thomas had several grandchildren.
Doran Jefferson of Springdale, Arkansas, is deeply interested in the history of his family. He and Donald McGraw, the descendant of Basil, have both worked on the Jefferson family history.
Reprinted with permission from History of Marion County edited by Earl Berry, copyright 1977.