William Bigham, Pontotoc County, Mississippi
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WILLIAM BIGHAM

William Bigham (Bingham) was born Feb. 19, 1756, in New York County, Pennsylvania, and died June 24, 1842, in Marshall County, Tennessee. He married Sarah Braly in Rowan County, North Carolina, Nov. 7, 1797. She is believed to have been born in Rowan County on June 10, 1769, the daughter of John Braly and Sarah Carruth Braly, the daughter of Walter Carruth, Walter Carruth migrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania in 1729, and settled in Lancaster County. He went from there to the Shenandoah Valley and then to North Carolina where he settled on the headwaters of Coddle Creek.

Having moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, by the time he was twenty years old. William Bigham first entered the service of the United States as a Volunteer in Captain Robert Erwin's Company in a regiment commanded by Adam Alexander, who was under the command of Gen. Rutherford. He participated in an expedition against the hostile Cherokee Indians beginning about August 1, 1776, and was discharged in November of the same year. He later served against the Tories as a Minute Man and fought at the Battle of Hanging Rock, South Carolina, on August 6, 1780. He was in a company commanded by Captain Reed, attached to a regiment commanded by Colonel Robert Erwin, under General Sumter. William Bigham received a bullet wound in the thigh at Hanging Rock and was hospitalized for about five weeks. After his recovery he served one more tour of duty before his final discharge.

He moved from Mecklenburg to Lincoln County, North Carolina, in 1800 or 1801 and remained there until 1816, when he moved to Rutherford County, Tennessee. In 1817, he moved to Bedford County, Tennessee.

On September 8, 1818, William Bigham purchased from John Haywood 145 acres, more or less, on west Rock Creek in what was then Bedford County, Tennessee. This deed was witnessed by Hugh B. Bigham, and William Davis. It is Believe that the property was in the neighborhood of Cochran, probably a part of the land now occupied by the U. S. Dairy Experiment Station. Apparently he lived here the rest of his life, and he and his wife are buried here in an unmarked grave.

On July 12, 1842, while in his last sickness and at his home. William Bigham made his nuncupative will in the presence of Robert Davis, Joshiah Duncan, and Jane McKnight. He bequeathed to his beloved wife his slave Benjamin, commonly called "Big Ben", Celia, the wife of Ben, and their children. He died on July 24, 1842, and Thos. McKnight was appointed his administrator.

William Bigham was survived by the following heirs:
               1. Hugh B. Bigham, b 1798; d. 1862, married, (1) 1821, Elizabeth Ramsey, (2) Catherine Turner.
               2. Nancy Bigham, married Josiah Duncan.
               3. Margaret Bigham.
               4. William Bigham, Jr. of Mecklenburg Co N. C.
               5. Jane Bigham, married 1812 in Lincoln Co, N. C., James Clark of Rutherford Co., Tn.
               6. Samuel Bigham, of Pontotoc Co., Miss.

The evidence suggests that William Bigham was married twice; that William, Jr., Jane, and Samuel were children of a previous marriage; and that Hugh B., Nancy, and Margaret were the only children of William Bigham and Sarah Braly. William and Sarah were married in 1797. The 1850 Census of Marshall County, Tennessee lists Hugh Bigham's age at 51, Nancy's at 48 and Margaret's at 46. Their years of birth must have been 1799, 1802, and 1804, respectively. In her will Sarah names only Hugh B. and Nancy. Margaret was adjudged insane on Dec. 5, 1842 and Josiah Duncan was appointed her guardian. This no doubt explains her mother's omission to name her in her will.

References:
Pension No. S1497 Whitley, Edythe R. Roster & Soldiers, Vol. 1 p 278.
1840 Census, Marshall County.
DAR Patriot Index, 1966, p. 60.
Rowan County, North Carolina Marriage Records and Wills, Vol. 1, 1753-1805, pp. 21, 62, 98.
Marshall County Historical Quartley, Spring 1973. Pp. 19-22
Ramsey, Robert W., Carolina Cradle, p. 19.

The source of William Bigham's biography is from the "REVOLUTIONARY WAR PATRIOTS OF MARSHALL COUNTY TENNESSEE," compiled by Jane Wallace Alford.

The information on this page was submitted by: William Pittman

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