Welcome to the research blog of Terry Winchester, and the Winchester family from White County, IL, Posey, Vanderburgh and, Warrick counties in Indiana.
Thomas Winchester, my grandfather, is my earliest proven direct descendant on my father's side, said to have been born July 4, 1865 in Birmingham, AL. He listed his father's name as Ben, and his mother as Unknown Mathis. This is according to census and death records as well as descendants' memories of stories.
There is, of yet, no proof that Thomas was born in Alabama. My research of that area has not turned up any corroborating evidence of his birth or residence there. He did, however, consistently state in census records (1900-1920) that he was born in Alabama. On several of his children's birth certificates, as well as his marriage record to my grandmother, he listed his birthplace as Birmingham, Alabama.
Our family is assumed to have come from the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Winchester families. Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana were migration routes.
After arriving in Illinois, Thomas married a Mrs. Lou (TRAVELSTEAD) Gootz in 1894. There were no apparent children by this marriage.
In 1905, he married Mrs. Anna (PEERMAN) Walker, from whom I descend, and remained there until 1926, when he died in Golconda (Pope Co.), IL while being employed "on government work".
After Thomas' death, some of his descendants moved to Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in Indiana. Others moved to Belleville, IL and Minnestota.
If Thomas was, indeed, born in Alabama, the migration route to Illinois would most likely have brought him through Calloway and Marshall counties, in Ky.
In the 1870 Marshall County census, there's listed a Winchester family headed by Benj F. Winchester and, along with others, a son, Thomas (est. birth 1867 in KY). I am currently theorizing that the Thomas Winchester of Marshall Co., Ky was my grandfather. On that census, Thomas was listed as having been born in Ky. But, I noted that there is a Birmingham in Marshall County, and Thomas may have been told by elders that he was born "in Birmingham", and he assumed Alabama. However, this is only my hypothesis, and it has not yet been proven. There is no sign of the 1870 Marshall Co. Winchesters after 1873, when Benj F Winchester married Nancy Lovel there in that year.
[Jan 1, 2006] Additional news has come to my attention that Thomas was raised by another family, as his parents were killed in a buggy accident. This was told by my uncle Tommy Winchester to his daughter, Marilyn (WINCHESTER) Obal.
Please contact me if you have any questions or advice. More info as it becomes available.