Thomas J. Potter was born 1790-1800, location unknown. This information is based on census records, so I can't be more specific than that. Thomas Potter is located in the 1830 Federal Census living in Iowa County, Michigan Territory and was aged 30-40 years old. This record is found on page 245 and indicates that nobody else lived in his household. Iowa County, Michigan Territory contains the present Grant, LaFayette, and Iowa Counties in Wisconsin. It is likely that Thomas was working in one of the many Lead Mines in the area.
Thomas may have served as a Sergeant in the Black Hawk War of 1832. A Thomas "L." Potter enlisted in Jo Daviess County, Illinois in Captain Lambert Vosburgh's Company, Strode's Brigade.
I believe that this Thomas Potter married Mary Ann Payne in Jo Daviess Co., IL October 14, 1833. It is unknown whether this was Thomas' or Mary Ann's first marriage, nor whether they had children together.
Presumably Mary Ann died before September 10, 1837, for on that date, in LaSalle Co., IL Thomas married Olive (Coe) HULLINGER in 1837. Olive was previously married to John Hullinger who had died in 1836, and with whom she had 8 children. The family of Thomas J. Potter (including Olive and some of her children) is located in LaSalle Co., IL in the 1840 census. Olive Hullinger Potter died Sept. 30, 1840.
January 8, 1843 Thomas married Temperance (Hall) Kindle Cartwright in Bureau Co., IL. Together Thomas and Temperance (a/k/a Tampa) had 2 children, Vashni Merarie Potter born March 13, 1844 and Amanda M. Potter born in 1846, both in Illinois. Thomas presumably died during or before 1849, for on July 5, 1849 Temperance married her 4th and final husband, Benjamin Darnell.
Temperance, the daughter of William and Mary Jane Rebecca (Williams) Hall, was the eldest sister of Rachel and Sylvia Hall, who were kidnapped by Indians during the time of the Black Hawk War. Their parents and a younger sister, Elizabeth, were killed in the so-called Indian Creek Massacre May 21, 1832. At the time of a massacre Temperance was married to her second husband, Peter Cartwright (not the famous one). She had earlier been married to a man named Kindle.
Vashni M. Potter served with Company F, 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War, but was stricken with illness soon after enlistment, was declared dead at one point but was nursed back to health by comrades, and eventually returned home. He farmed and drove the stagecoach on the Chicago-Galena line. Vashni married Helen M. Hubbell Dec. 29, 1864 and had 6 children:
1) Ella May, born Feb. 8, 1866 (married George R. Crabb). Ella and George had a daughter named Vashti Marie Crabb.
2) Edgar Ferdinand ("Fred") born Dec. 10, 1867.
3) Minnie Grace born Oct. 4, 1871 & died Dec. 29, 1890.
4) Delbert Delos ("Bert") born Apr. 25, 1877.
5) Jesse Burdette (may have been nicknamed "Oren") born May 25, 1880.
6) Mabel born June 7, 1883.
Vashni died January 18, 1883 and is now buried in Fowler Grove Cemetery, Kane County, Illinois. Vashni spent most of his adult life in and near Kendall County, Illinois.
I am a direct descendant from Bert, Vashni and Thomas Potter.
If any of this information looks familiar, please contact me. I appreciate whatever information anyone might be able to provide. Thank you.