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WHITE Family History

Currently the first known recorded appearance of this family occurred in 1839 as documented in the North Carolina, State Department of Archives and History, Records of the Moravians, Volume 5. In the recorded Elders' Conference Minutes of 1839 for January 9th:


"Jan 9. Two 'outside' young men, Solomon Schaub and Wm. H. White, the latter's father at present employed in the cotton factory, wish to live in town and have the desire some day to unite with the congregation. They can find work with Wm. Leinbach in the shoemaker's trade. Agreed to."


So, William and Andrew both were a part of the Moravian community prior to the marriage of William to Lisetta C. Beitel in 1843. They worked in the various businesses but it is interesting to note that, prior to the marriage of William to Lisetta, both were referred to as "outsiders".

The Moravian community of Wachovia is in North Carolina located at the present site of Winston-Salem. The Moravian Church records listed both sets of William and Lisetta's parents and identifies them as being born in Pennsylvania. This is an obvious error in the case of William's parents Andrew White and Frances Hill. The Genealogical Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has confirmed that their census records show that both Andrew and Frances "Fannie" were born in North Carolina. They also confirmed that in the 1850 entry, Andrew was listed with a middle initial of "L" for the first time.

An in depth analysis of the North Carolina, Stokes County Census records from 1784 to 1850 has been valuable in placing Andrew White on a time line within North Carolina. It has also opened up the research into Andrew's family and their place in Stokes County.

A. By comparing the dates, entries and names in the census records the family of William White born between 1755 and 1774 has been identified. The family of Andrew White has also been documented. William appears to have lived in Stokes County from the first entry in the 1784 North Carolina State Census and confirmed in the 1790 Federal Census for North Carolina, Stokes County until the last entry for him in the 1810 Federal Census.

B. There were some obvious assumptions to be drawn from the various census and Moravian documents available. Andrew J. is the son of Andrew L. and the brother of William Henry Jerome. John Jr. is the son of John and Andrew Jr. is the son of Andrew J.

C. Other factors that figure into any later research:

1. William (45 in 1850), John H., Andrew L., Tandy J., Richard A., Jackson, Andrew J., John and Jacob were living in Forsyth County, North Carolina for the 1850 Census. David and Frederick were living in Stokes County, North Carolina for the 1850 Census. Charles, Ambrose and William Henry Jerome were living in Davidson County, North Carolina for the 1850 Census.

2. The occupation for William Henry Jerome, Richard A., Andrew J., John, Jacob and Ambrose was listed as Shoemaker in the 1850 North Carolina Census.

D. Andrew was listed as age 63 in the 1850 North Carolina Census. This would mean that he would have been 29 at the birth of William, and Frances would have been 24. Andrew would have been 23 when he was listed in the 1810 North Carolina Census. This could indicate that Andrew and Frances married sometime between 1805 and 1810.

The above assumptions are "clues" in the never ending pursuit of the WHITE family history and still the only method at this late date to determine the history of William, Andrew or Frances and/or any history of their families.

In investigating the appearance of William in the late 1700's and Andrew and Frances in the 1800 to 1810 time frame, a few historic events come into play. These events may explain why they located in the Stokes County area and why Andrew and William ended up living in the confines of the Moravian Community in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

The following information will not answer the question but may cast some light on what the living conditions were in early North Carolina and what may have driven William H. J. and family to the West.

In the late 1770's as the Revolutionary War was coming to a close, the country was spinning into some heavy inflation. Many families began migrating toward North Carolina where the promise of free land was being made by the state government. In 1787 the Continental Congress established the Northwest Ordinance which set an orderly course for national expansion by establishing the boundaries for three to five states to forestall the kind of boundary conflicts that had plagued the original colonies. Kentucky became a state in 1782, North Carolina was split into two states and Tennessee (the western half) became a state in 1796, Ohio followed in 1803. This activity opened up the new states to settlers. At about this same time frame, word was coming from down the trail in the new frontier of North Carolina that land was available for the taking. It was cheap and plentiful.

They arrived at trails end in western North Carolina only to find that the Revolution had also been very hard on the western part of this state. Famine was abroad in the land, many subsisting mostly on roots and berries. Diphtheria had ravaged both Virginia and North Carolina in 1784, there was a measles epidemic in 1786, an historic flood in 1796 and still the settlers poured into the area with the hope of ending the feelings caused by the war and the ensuing inflation. Some made the journey only to face many more years of hardships as the region grew. Some settlers, however, were lucky enough to settle near the Moravian community of Wachovia. Moravianism is basically Presbyterian in structure, and they were founded and survived on the principle of helping themselves and then others as their means afforded. Composed of approximately 360,000 members today, the Moravian Church has played a major role in the development of Protestant worship, evangelism, missions, and theology in the last three centuries. They did not have an overabundance of supplies but did manage to survive in those hostile times. They also were willing to share their scanty store of provisions with the travelers who were in an even worse condition.

The actual history of this White family is not known at this time but this narrative appears to be accurate when it is noted that Andrew, his wife Fannie and his son William resided in the Moravian community. William's wife, through the Beitel and Frey families, was affiliated with the Moravian community since 1765 in Pennsylvania but the White connection started in the 1830's. They would remain affiliated with the Moravian community from the mid 1800's until the late 1800's through North Carolina, Indiana and Illinois.

The Archivist of the Moravian Church in Winston-Salem North Carolina has confirmed that William and Lisetta were members of the Moravian Church in the old Salem Congregation. They were able to validate the marriage between William and Lisetta and the fact that William's Father and Mother were also members of the same congregation. A marriage Bond was filed on September 18th, 1843 between William and Lisetta C. Beitel (spelled Luzetta C. Bytel on the original document) in Stokes County, North Carolina. Prior to 1868, no marriage records were recorded in North Carolina. Most marriages were performed, not by license, but after a "BANN" was published three times in the local newspaper. When the marriage was performed by a special license, a bond was executed by the groom in the county in which the bride resided.

William H. and his wife, Luzetta C. lived in the Wachovia community until the early 1850's. Since William was still considered by the elders as an outsider, the family could not own property in the community proper but resided nearby. William's first and last entry in the North Carolina Census records occured in the 1850 Census for Davison County. A Julia Martin (age 13) was listed as a boarder in their home on the same Census. A possible explaination of this was an entry in the Elders Conference minutes of March 5th, 1846:


"Since Brother Martin was accused of a crime and because he had no expectation of being cleared by law he paid the legal fine, although his neighbors considered him innocent, yet he was advised to withdraw for this time."


William H. White served as best man at the wedding of James A. Bledsoe and Susan A. May on November 30th 1847 in North Carolina. In the year 1849 important changes were happening in the Salem congregation. The so-called "lease system", which maintained that only members of the Moravian Church could be holders of real estate in the town of Salem, could no longer be enforced. After much deliberation, it was abolished on November 17th, 1856. Some time during this process, as talk of the impending war and seceding from the Union over slavery was dividing the Nation, and all of the existing rules for land ownership were changing, William loaded his young family and headed north through Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. This would have occured after the 1850 Census and prior to the birth of John Evander White in July of 1852 in West Salem, Illinois.

Andrew B. White, Greatgrandson of William, tells this story he heard many times from his Grandfather, Amos (This account has not been confirmed by the State of Indiana but records are still being checked). Around 1851, the wagon train carrying William, Lisetta and William's sister (name not known at this writing) was headed from Hope, Indiana toward Illinois when it passed through an indian villiage located where the Turkey Run State park is today in southern Indiana. The indians were dying of "yellow fever" and William's sister left the wagon train and stayed with the indians and helped them through the sickness. A plaque was placed near the entrance of the State Park to commemorate the event. William and Lisetta arrived in West Salem in time for their son John Evander White to be born there on July 18 1852. No confirmation of the story has been found but the records in the Moravian Church in West Salem, Ill. show the infant John as living only 18 months and dying of the "Fever" and also show that William died in 1856 of the "Fever". Moravian Church records in West Salem, Ill. verify that William died on August 28th 1856 in West Salem.

I was often told by my grandmother Ida Mae (Weekly) White and my father Herschel L. White, that we were part American Indian. After completing the research that is detailed in this book, I have arrived at one inescapable conclusion. The Indian woman my father told of seeing on the porch, smoking a clay pipe and refusing to talk to the boys when he visited his Grandfather, Amos B. White, if in fact she was an Indian, was not directly related to us. One explanation could have been a second marriage for Amos who lived until 1939 while his wife Anna died in 1907, three years prior to the birth of my father. Another possibility is that it was the mother of Amos who was born in 1820, she would have been 90 years old when my father was born, which would have given her the right to sit, smoke her clay pipe and not talk to the rowdy young boys. In any case, the subject is not closed, I am still investigating the facts and dates of those involved.

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