Searching For Hezekiah Pearman
My goal was to find out more about my ancestor, Hezekiah Pearman. My connection to him is, he's my great-great grandfather. My father's mother's grandfather. It can all be so confusing. Anyway, Dad's mother was a Pearman.
Family stories said the Pearmans came from Georgia. At least that's what my grandmother told me. When I started out, I only knew the last name. Until my dad's cousin sent him an envelope with Robert Lee Pearman's death certificate and a copy of his aunt's DAR application, I knew nothing of the Pearmans at all. There was also a photo of Robert and his wife, Ella Mae French Pearman, on their 50th wedding anniversary. It got my attention.
On the DAR application (ancestor William Lea Pearman was a soldier in the Revolution), submitted by Della Fay Pearman Barrett, Robert's father is listed as Hezekiah C. Pearman, born 1829 in SC. His mother is listed as Mary Margret Mitchell, born March 7, 1829 in SC. Their marriage date is listed as October 10, 1850. We have clues.
Robert Lee Pearman and his family lived in Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas. That's my starting point. Dad told me he was born at his grandfather's house at 1602 S. Jackson Street. Dad's mother, Thadie Mae Pearman, may have been born there also.
I knew plenty about Robert, I wanted to know more about Hezekiah. I went to the census records. The DAR application lists Hezekiah's father as Jonathan Pearman. I used that when looking at census records. Jonathan is listed as born October 28, 1807 in SC and died in GA sometime after 1880. Hezekiah's mother is listed as Letitia Wakefield, born 1808 in SC and died in GA, no date listed. Jonathan and Letitia's marriage date is listed as 1827. All good clues.
The census records don't list every member of the household until 1850, so that's where I started.
1850 Hart County GA:
- Pearman, Jonathan 42
- Pearman, Leaty (Letitia) 42
- Pearman, Hezekiah 22
- Pearman, William C. (William Weldon) 20
- Pearman, Conrad (Chester) 20
- Pearman, Elizabeth 17
- Pearman, Mary (Mary Ann)15
- Pearman, Leaty (Letitia Jane) 12
- Pearman, Rodah (Rhoda) 11
- Pearman, Margaret L. 9
- Pearman, Lenora A. (Lenora Amanda) 5
- Pearman, Lavincia (Lavenia) 2
Hezekiah is head of the household in 1860.
1860 Hart County GA:
- Pearman, Hezekiah 31 m SC
- Pearman, Mary M. 31 f SC
- Pearman, Adison C. 9 m SC
- Pearman, Almira P. 6 f GA
- Pearman, Birmah G. 3 f GA
- Pearman, Hubbord P. 1 m GA
By 1870 Hezekiah's family has expanded.
1870 Hart County GA:
- Pearman, Hezekiah 41 m SC
- Pearman, Margaret 41 f SC
- Pearman, Almira 16 f GA
- Pearman, Birmah 13 f GA
- Pearman, Hubbord 11 m GA
- Pearman, Letty 9 f GA
- Pearman, Newton 6 m GA
- Pearman, Margaret 5 f GA
- Pearman, Havanna 1 f GA
By 1880 the family of Hezekiah Pearman is in Jackson County GA
1880 Jackson County GA Census. Dated 06-09-1880, Harrisburg, page 17, SD #2, ED #6:
- Pearman, Hezekiah C. 51 m SC
- Pearman, Mary M. (wife) 51 f SC.
- Pearman, Margaret L. 16 f GA
- Pearman, Hubbord P. 21 m GA
- Pearman, Louisa M. 14 f GA
- Pearman, Hezekiah N. 15 m GA
- Pearman, Robert L. 10 m GA
- Pearman, Jonathan (father) 73 m SC
1880 was the last census in which my Hezekiah Pearman appeared. The 1890 census is unavailable due to fire. By 1900, Robert Lee Pearman is head of his own household in Cherokee County Texas.
Another piece of information I tried to get was "Mitchell-Pearman Families" by Boyce S. Mitchell. I was unsuccessful. I did, however, find several pages in the library in Hartwell GA that credited that document. A common theme was that Hezekiah and Margaret Mary had "gone to Texas". Those documents referenced the dates found on the DAR application.
The document, "Mitchell-Pearman Families of North Carolina" had a Bible record that mentions the marriage of Hezekiah and Margaret Mary. Some census records have her listed as Mary Margaret. It says, "They went to Georgia and on to Texas about 1880. Attempts to get in contact with descendants failed."
I was at a dead end. I couldn't find Hezekiah in cemetery records in GA or TX. I finally stumbled upon a reference to the Jackson Herald from Jackson County Georgia. They had microfilm of that newspaper from the 1880s in the local library. All I had to do was travel to Jefferson GA and read some microfilm.
Long story, short, I found references to H.C. Pearman in that newspaper. Also to related family members. I checked marriage records in Jackson County for clues as to how long my Pearmans stayed there. Birmah Pearman married John Earl Van Zant in Jackson Co. GA in 1877. Margaret Pearman married Hiram Betts in 1887. Louisa Pearman married John B. Betts in 1884.
Here are the references I found from the Jackson Herald:
Dated, 03-24-1882: "Mr. H.C. Pearman has opened out in the valley, a saddle and harness shop. Mr. P. is a fine workman, and uses the best of material. Parties desiring anything in his line will do well to see him."
Dated, 02-15-1884: "Mr. Newt Pearman, of Jug Tavern, paid us a flying visit on last Monday. He will leave in a few days for Jacksonville Texas. Newt is a clever boy, and we wish him success in the Lone Star State." This is Hezekiah's son Newton, older brother to Robert Lee Pearman.
Dated, 04-16-1886: "Mr. H.C. Pearman who had rent Mrs. Hardegree's place near town was buried at Cedar Creek Church last Saturday. He was a member of Cedar Creek Baptist Church, and was a kind and affectionate husband and father. Truly another good man is gone. Mrs. Pearman is also very low with fever (and) not expected to recover." Hezekiah and wife Margaret died in Jug Tavern Georgia, now in Barrow County. Jug Tavern is the present day Winder Georgia. They never made it to Texas!
Dated, 04-16-1886: "Mr. J.B. Betts, who has been quite feeble for some time, is a little better." Son-in-law of Hezekiah Pearman.
Dated, 06-25-1886: "Mr. John B. Betts, who has been sick so long, died last Saturday evening. His funeral was prescribed by Rev. Mr. Reece, at the Methodist Church, yesterday at3 o'clock, and his remains laid to rest in the Jug Tavern Cemetery at half past 5 o'clock. He leaves a widow and several children to mourn his loss. A very large crowd attended his funeral and followed his corpse to the grave. None knew Johnny but to love him. Truly, a good man is gone." Hezekiah's daughter, Louisa, lost father, mother and husband in a short space of time.
Conclusion: Hezekiah and Margaret Mary Pearman died in April of 1886 in Jackson County Georgia in the town of Jug Tavern (present day, Winder, Barrow County) of some sort of fever. They are buried at the cemetery at Cedar Creek Baptist Church. No headstone remains. I checked. There are numerous obvious graves without headstones.