The Bigham family of the Claxton community descended from Andrew Bigham (1725-1788) of Antrim Co., Ireland, who immigrated with several young children to Mecklenburg Co., NC some time between 1760 and the Revolution.He lies buried in the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church graveyard beside his wife, Agness, on land William Bigham donated to the Church.Sons John, William, and Andrew II fought in the Revolution. John and William are on record as having been rewarded with land grants in Tennessee.Andrew II in all likelihood received his inheritance early or was purposefully omitted from his father's will having left home sometime after the war for Frederick Co, Va. When (Andrew, Sr.) died in 1788 Andrew II was only given 5 shillings. His wife Agness (who died on Sept. 27, 1805 at the age of 73)is mentioned in the will, and his daughter, Agnes Patten was willed a cow and a calf if she would come home. Other sons, William, John, and Samuel received the remainder of the estate. A detailed inventory of his possessions included a wide variety of interesting items, i.e., spinning wheels, gun and shot bags, candlestick snuffers, liquor kegs, "smith" tools, etc.,all valued in pounds and shillings. The will was drawn up on May 29, just a few days before his death on June 3rd.
Andrew II (1760-1834) at some point returned from Virginia to Mecklenburg Co. and crossed over to Tennessee in 1797 where he bought 136 acres of land for 13 pounds and 12 shillings of Virginia money.The land was purchased from a John Shields,one of two faculty members of Tusculum College at the time. The land had been part of a tract of 1000 acres granted by the government of N.C. to Mr. Shields. Andrew's land was east of present day Newport alongside the grant of his brother William, who had two land grants from NC. for his Revolutionary War service. William is known to have been in Greene Co. as early as 1789 when Washington became the first President.
On Aug. 7, 1792 Andrew II is recorded in court records as security in marriage of a Robert Montgomery and Orpha Corder. Andrew appears on court records in Greene Co. as a witness in a court case. He also appears on the official roll being commissioned as an ensign on Oct. 10, 1796 and as a lieutenant on May 10, 1798 in the Greene Co. militia. From there he went to Smith Co., which was the parent county of White Co.,where Andrew appeared on the census in 1820. He went next to McMinn Co. sometime after that census was taken and before 1822. In the Meadow Fork Settlement of Mc Minn Co. Andrew entered 160 acres from his son Eli who later went to Illinois; and on the same day (5 Sept.1831) entered 160 acre from Nathaniel Smith in the Hiwassee District.
It is possible that Andrew had help in setting up his beautiful new farm from his sons Eli and Josiah.Benjamin Bigham is on the 1820 census for the area also, although we have no documented relation yet, as well as a David and wife Malinda Bigham who lived in the Columbus area. Josiah was mentioned in the "Court Records for Mc Minn Co" jury duty 6 Dec 1826.
In Andrew II's 1830 household was a daughter, Levisa and a grandson (Isaac) and a granddaughter, Possibly Nancy Ann Lunna, who married Nelson Pennington 19 Sept 1845; Nearby was a daughter, Polly, mother of Asberry and Melinda; and another daughter, Matilda, with two children; another Cynthia, wife of Jonathan Vinson; and a deceased daughter who married Vinson Wood. Asberry moved to the Bradley Co. area and has numerous descendents (most changed the spelling to Bingham.)
Matilda ("Tildy") married David Pennington in 1839. Cynthia Bigham married Jonathan Vinson. Celia married Benjamin Knox in 1844. His son Eli married a Sarah Hanks probably from Mc Minn Co. before he and Josiah both went to Illinois.
Another lost and unnamed heir was Andrew J. Bigham, born ca. 1817, who married Eliza Jane Cassady. He was the grandfather of the late Alice Bigham Inveen. (Correspondence requested here.< email@example.com>)
In 1832 Andrew II signed his "X" to his application for the first Rev. War Pension granted by Pres. Jackson to the old veterans, finally receiving $73.33 per annum, totaling $279.98, of which he promptly lent $220 William Lowery never to recover before his death at the age of 74 soon thereafter. This document provides great detail about Andrew II's life and war experiences, as he had to convince the War Dept., which had returned his application for too long of service rendered, that his service was legitimate.The inventory of his estate showed outstanding notes from various individuals of more than $500 and notes for estate property sold and more than $160 to relatives and neighbors. Daughters Vicy, Matilta, and Polly purchased several items on credit to the estate. A David and Malinda bought articles also (a relative of Sharlet Bigham LaBarbera)firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chancery Court records in McMinn Co. and Madisonville from 1839 to 1841 reveal a complicated legal dispute which resulted from the sale of Andrew II's land by several heirs to James L. Senter, who died suddenly in 1839 after selling his interest in Andrew II's farm to Richard and Alfred Swafford. The legal problem resulted from the claim by Senter's heirs that the land had been deeded to them previously by their father.This Injunction Bill #153 prohibited those heirs from selling the tract of land until final resolution by the court.
Andrew's exact date of death is uncertain, however the Court in McMinn Co. appointed Mr.John Camp as executor of his estate in early April of 1834. Andrew probably lies buried in an unmarked grave in the Richard Swafford cemetery on the farm he owned from 1823 to 1834 .
by Bill Bigham