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Are You My Cousin?: Introducing James T. Maddox

Are You My Cousin?

Discovering My Ancestors -- One Cousin at a Time

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

I tell the stories of my ancestors’ lives. Whether they lived 20 years ago or 200 years ago, they each have a story to tell. Some ancestors tell their stories willingly. Others must have their stories carefully teased from the records. Sometimes the stories are sad. Sometimes the stories are happy. Sometimes the stories are just funny. Regardless, my ancestors’ stories shaped their lives and the lives of those that followed. Come and share in the tales!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Introducing James T. Maddox

James T. Maddox

I introduce to you James Tarleton Maddox (1844-1892), wife of Martha Jane Lett and father of Mattie Maddox. He was the son of Calvin Maddox and Semantha Buchannan. Unfortunately Calvin died at a young age, leaving Semantha (Semanthy) alone to support James and his two sisters Julia and Mary Frances. The law at that time considered the children orphans even though Semantha was very much alive. Guadianship papers naming Semantha as their guardian (and protector of their inheritance) provided James' full name as well as the identity of his two sisters. These documents along with the estate papers settling Calvin's estate are on file at the NC Archives. Of an interesting note, James' middle name is after his grandfather Tarleton Maddox.

In Mar 1862, James enlisted as a Confederate soldier in the 50th NC Infantry, Company F. He was a private and listed as a full musician. James was 18 years old. (Dr James Lamar Shepard was also a member of this company.) Later in 1915, his wife Martha applied for and was awarded his Civil War pension. I remember my grandfather telling me about his grandmother receiving that pension.

James was born in Chatham County, NC in 1844 and married Martha Jane Lett (also of Chatham County, NC) on 2 Dec 1866. They had 10 children: Wesley, Thomas, James Arthur, Bertis, Cornie, Mattie, Ira, Pressly Jonas, Viola, and Curley. On the 1860 federal census, he is listed as head of the household and living in the Pittsboro district of Chatham County. In 1870 and 1880, he and his family are listed as being in the Cape Fear township of Chatham County. I do not think the family moved, but that the lines of division for the federal census districts changed. James was a farmer and the family lived on a 275 acre farm on the banks of the Cape Fear River.

Sadly, James died at the age of 47 on 32 Jan 1892 just two days prior to his mother Semantha Maddox. It leads me to speculate a winter illness could have been the culprit. James Maddox is buried at Moore Union Christian Church (now in Lee County, NC) along with other Maddox ancestors.


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