Ancestral Family Topic 222

 222   Capt. William Walker (1757-1840)
Pedigree Chart 07

Capt. William Walker, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Capt. William Walker might describe his life as follows.

I was born at “High Hill,” Cumberland County, 26 February 1757. Only 19, I enlisted in Capt. John Morton’s Company and was later promoted to sergeant in Capt. Dick Allen’s Company of the Continental Army. A rifleman, I took part in the battles of Currell’s Ferry, Trenton, Iron Hill, Brandywine, White Horse, Germantown, Long Bridge, and Yorktown. Back from war, I was appointed captain of the Cumberland County militia, but soon resigned my commission to preach the Gospel. 
I inherited land on Broad Branch from my father in 1785, about the time I finished building my home there. “White Hall,” first called “Airy Green,” had 1½ stories, a large hall with steps going up and steps leading to the basement, and 2 large rooms with high ceilings. The doors were done in “cross and bible” style. I framed the building with bricks between the studs and the kitchen was a separate building in the yard.
I was 28 years old and she, 17 when I married Mary Ann Smith in July (bond) 1785.  Since my bride was a Baptist, I joined her church, although I was Presbyterian. We were the parents of 10 children. It is said I owned a great deal of land and many slaves.
I was “upwards of eighty years” when I made my will, intending to even some scores. I left one disrespectful son-in-law 25¢. To another, “who went off with a strumpet and left his wife in distress,” I left a gravestone that read, “here lies the Body of Jack Miller, who was the cause of the death of his wife.”
Then there was my grandson William T. Miller “who treated his grandfather and the ashes of his mother, with so much contempt as to go off with his father, and refuse to return, saying that he would rather work up to his chin in mud first.” My will left him “10 feet square to be picked out of the muddiest part of my farm.”
Mary Ann died 20 January 1820 and I, 27 July 1840. If my executors followed my instructions, I was decently interred at “White Hall” next to my wife in a plain coffin that my servants made.

Capt. Walker was said to have been a staunch Whig and friend of Henry Clay.
The enumerations of heads of families taken in Cumberland County in 1782 and 1784 lists William Walker Jr. living alone with 17 slaves, one dwelling house, and 5 other buildings.  By 1800 he was being taxed on 8 horses and 19 slaves. 

Family tradition
A typed manuscript reflects the following, in part.

John Smith married Susanna Watson. Her mother was a Miss Allen of Prince Edward County. John Smith and his family lived near Rice, Prince Edward County, Virginia. They had three sons, Allen, Thornton, and Sterling, and two daughters. One of the daughters married a Mr. Atkinson of Amelia, and they were parents of Mrs. Mary Gills, who left a large family. Another daughter, Mary Ann Smith, married Capt. William Walker of High Hill, Cumberland County.
Mary Ann Smith was born at Rice’s Depot, Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1768. She married Capt William Walker in 1785 and died in 1820. To them were born seven (7) daughters and two (2) sons.
Capt. Walker was the sons of Warren Walker and Magdalen Burton, his wife, and Grandson of William [Walker] and Judith Baker. At the age of 19 he enlisted in Capt. Dick Allen’s Company. He took part in battles of Brunswick, Trenton, Iron Hill, Brandywine, Germantown and Yorktown. He served with bravery throughout the war. He was a large slave and land owner, and a member of the Baptist Church, although his ancestors were Presbyterians. He was born at High Hill, February 22nd, 1757 and died at Airy Green August, 1840.

William’s pension application

14 July 1832 Airygreen, Cumberland Cty, and State of Virginia.
The declaration of William Walker of the place, County, and State above named in order to obtain a pension as a revolutionary soldier answers the questions proposed by the secretary of the board of war, viz:
When and where were you born? Agreeable to the register handed to me by my father, I was born in the County and State above written on the 26th day of February 1757 and from that time until now, when at home, have ever lived within a mile of the same place.
I enlisted a rifleman under Capt. John Morton of Prince Edward County the 19th day of February 1776 and in a few days after marched to Portsmouth, Virginia, and was organized in the 4th Virginia Regiment. The following are the names of the captains composing the regiment, viz: Morton, Lark Brant [?] which were rifle companies, Lucas Faulkner, Ridley Mason and Matthew Lawson being co. commanders.
We remained at this place until about the 10th of September when we were called to go to the north to reinforce Washington whom we met in his retreat to the farther part of the state of Jersey. The first combat that I was in was at Brunswick covering a party that was taking down the bridge. The next was at Currell’s Ferry at Christmas Morning 1776, being on picket at that place a party of the enemy fired upon our ferry boat killing one man when several [illegible] from each side. The same day in the evening we crossed the ferry moving on to Trenton, the Virginia Regiment being the vanguard. The company to which I belonged being the oldest company commanded by Capt. Wales who formerly had been an officer in the British Army were in the front of the whole. After taking the Hessians, we returned back to Currell’s Ferry from which place I was sent as a guard with some wounded Hessians and sick Americans to a hospital which prevented us from being with our beloved General and brothers in arms at the Battle of Princeton. I rejoined my regiment about the 10th of January at a village called Chatham. From which time until some time in March I never was at any time 8 hours out of actual service. In this place I beg leave to bring the names of a few officers whose conduct in the Winter campaign claims a monument in the breast of every American. Col. Morgan, Richard Parker, Joseph Parker, and Charles Scott, with each of whom I was in several combats. But passing over many interesting circumstances from the above time to the latter part of August 1777 when on our march to meet the enemy in the State of Virginia as we supposed. We were met immediately after passing Chester with an express that the enemy was landing at the head of Elk. At this place, 8 hundred men, chiefly volunteers called the detached light infantry, I being among them. The following are the names of field officers commanding the party, Richard Parker, Col. Heath with a glass eye, Col. Crawford with his leather hunting shirt, pantaloons, and rifle, Col. Martin from North Carolina, General Maxwell being the commander.
We marched to a place called Iron Hill where we remained until the 2nd of September. The enemy being as yet stationary, a very blood conflict ensued. As no historian has noticed this, I refer you to Washington’s official letters. For myself I can say that this detachment on that day deserved well of their Country.
Between this and the 11th of September we had the second combat and on the 11th commenced the action of Brandywine in which we were engaged the greater part of the day with some few intervals. The most combat that I was in was at the white horse [Battle of White Horse Tavern] on the 16th of Sept. after which I rejoined my Regiment and was in the Battle of Germantown on the 4th of October. Omitting to notice many interesting circumstances from this time until some time in February 1778 at Valley Forge, I received my discharge from Brigadier General Charles Scott, which was either misplaced or lost.
After this I returned home, but I did not remain idle. I rendered my Country very splendid service in exercising and training the militia of my County and met the enemy at every front, where they ventured to come into Virginia.
In February 1781 I volunteered myself in a company of militia commanded by Capt. Dick Allen in the grade of 1st Sergeant for the term of three months in defense in the neighborhood of Portsmouth when we got to headquarters in the vicinity of Suffolk, we were organized and placed under the command of Col. Posey a continental officer until he was called to go to the action at Guilford in North Carolina. After which we were placed under Col. Downman, General Muhlenburg commander. In this town I was in a very warm combat near the long bridge [Battle of Long Bridge at Norfolk] when Florida fell the 7th of Dec. 1775.
After serving 3 months, I returned home for a short time. But when the enemy made their appearance at the Port of York, I volunteered myself and joined Steuben (Gen.) [Gen. von Steuben]. In this short tour, I was organized in no particular company, but served only as a reconnoitre [doing reconnaissance] after the enemy fell below Richmond. I retired home awhile.
On or about the 11th Sept. 1781, I marched from the County of Cumberland to the siege of York under command of Capt. Dick Allen. I was 7 weeks on this tour having to march to barracks beyond Winchester. In this tour I likewise served in the grade of 1st Sergeant under which grade I claim my pension. Soon after I was appointed by the worshipful Court of Cumberland Capt. of their Militia. In the year 1787 I commenced to preach the gospel and the next year resigned my military commission.

William’s will
William left an entertaining and interesting will. 

Will of William Walker
20 February 1838
In the name of God amen. I William Walker being of sound mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and testament following. When my spirit is turned out of this earthly tabernacle, wherein it has abided for upwards of Eighty years. I have a firm hope that it will go to my Redeemer. My body I wish to be decently interred by the side of my wife, in a plane coffin made by my own domesticks, hoping that Edward Blanton will render them some assistance.
In the first place. I give and bequeath to John or Jack Miller who married my daughter Sarah & Judith and went off with a strumpet and left his wife in distress, which was the cause of her death, a headboard with this inscription, “Here lies the Body of Jack Miller, who was the cause of the death of his wife.”
Secondly. I give and bequeath to my grandson William T. Miller who treated his grandfather and the ashes of his mother, with so much contempt as to go off with his father, and refuse to return, saying that he would rather work up to his chin in mud first. To him I give ten feet square to be picked out of the muddyst part of my farm.
Thirdly. I give to Allen S. Miller the following negroes. Viz. Frankey, Milley, Martha and Mat together with my dark bay mare Virginia commonly called Fly.
Fourthly. My will and desire are that Sam Webber and his wife Patty shall have the privilege of choosing their masters from among my children for whom the child chosen as their master is to pay. The valuation to be put upon them by Allen Wilson and Dr. Wm L. Morton or any other two good Neighbors.
Fifthly. I give and bequeath unto my son William B.B. Walker, to wit upon condition that he maintain old aunt Aggy during her life.
Sixthly. I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Mary Ann Wilson, the following slaves, to wit, Lowery, Hannah and Independence together with the one now in their possession name Emmeline.
Seventhly. I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Mary Ann Blanton, Ponney and her five children to wit Betsey, Sam, John, Judy and Elisha. And if Ponney shall have any other child or children during my life, I wish them to go likewise to my said granddaughter.
Eighthly. To Harlow Cadwell for his disrespect to his wifes relations both by word and deeds I give twenty five cents. Intending at the same time to give his wifes children, my daughter Rebecca B. Caldwell one equal child’s part.
Ninthly. I will my lands to be sold and the proceeds thereof, together with all the rest of my property to be equally divided among my children. That this is to say Karen Happuch Ligon, Mary A.S., S.S. Hines, Nancy T. Blanton, Virginia McGehee, William B.B. Walker and the children of my son John Viz. Susan L. Blanton & William A.B. Walker which 1st two mentioned grandchildren are to take such parts only as their father would have taken in sharing equally with the rest of my children.
And to my daughter Rebecca B. Caldwell’s children I also give the equal parts with the children of my son John.
Lastly. I appoint my son William B.B. Walker my sole executor of this my last Will and testament. As Witness my hand this 20 Feb. 1838.
Wm Walker

After writing his will, William may have reconciled himself with his grandson William T. Miller and amended his will with the following codicil.

Codicil to the Will of William Walker
27 June 1839
Codicil to my last will and testament now in the hands of Dr. William L. Morton, which Will was written by Daniel A. Wilson some past in which I bequeath to my grand son Wm. T. Miller a small spot of land therein I now revoke that bequeath, and now will and direct that he shall at my death have the following property to wit Sarah and her two sons Coleman and Henry, and the increase of the woman if any forever and direct that this codicil shall be appended to and made part of my last will and testament, now in the hands of Dr. Wm. L. Morton. In testimony of which I have this day set my hand and affixed my seal this 27th day of June 1839.
Wm Walker

Walker’s obituary describing him as a “Soldier of the Revolution,” appeared in the Richmond Whig 4 Sept. 1840. 

Descendants of Capt. William Walker
Information about the children of Capt. William Walker, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John Smith Walker (1791-1817),  
Susan Keziah Berryman,  Anderson Berryman,  
Susannah Lisette Walker,  Joseph Philip Blanton,   
William Anderson Walker,  Mary Walker Blanton,   
 Kerenhappuch (Walker) Ligon (1786-c.1875),  
William Baxter Ligon,   
 Mary Ann Susanna Smith (Walker) Hines (1788-1848),  
Henry Hines,  Warren Walker Hines,  
 William Baker Burton Walker (1806-1873),  
Mary Frances Ann Blanton,   
Nannie A. (Flippen) Crowder,  Ellen Marshall Crowder,  Sarah Elizabeth Crowder,  
William David Walker,  Ellen Marshall Crowder,  
John Blanton Walker,  
Judith Walker,  
Mary Anne Thornton Walker,  James Madison Blanton,   Lawson Morrisette,  
Robert James Walker,  
Fannie R. Walker,  William Brooks,  
Nannie O. Walker,  Nathan Holman,  
Baker Burton Walker,  Jane Hobson Allen,  Benjamin James Allen,  Fannie Sims,  
 Elizabeth A.S. (Walker) Miller Johns,  
James S. Miller,  John A.S. Johns,   
Mary Johns,  Wrenn,  
 Sarah Judith (Walker) Miller,  
Jack Miller,  
William Allen Miller,  
Mary Ann Elizabeth Miller,  Edward Anderson Blanton,   
 Virginia (Walker) McGehee,  
Elijah McGehee,   
William Campbell McGehee,  
Rebecca McGehee,  Hayes,  
 Nancy Thornton (Walker) Blanton (1802-1886),  
James Madison Blanton Sr.,   
 Rebecca Baker (Walker) Blanton Cadwell (1804-),  
Lindsay Blanton,   
Harlow W. Cadwell,  
Ferdinand Cadwell,  
John Walker Cadwell,  
Mary Rebecca Walker Cadwell,  Jeter,  
Watson Cadwell,  
Virginia Thornton Cadwell,  Williamson,  
 Warren Walker,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
William Walker - Revolutionary War Henry Hines - War of 1812
William Walker Hines - Civil War William David Walker - Civil War
John Blanton Walker - Civil War  

Selected sources
Ligon, Woodfin V. Jr. “Ligon,” Cumberland County Virginia and Its People. Cumberland: Cumberland County Historical Society, Inc., 1983:147-148. • Family of Kerenhappuch Walker and William Baxter Ligon.

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