In my search for a Henry Atkinson that was born in Kentucky in about 1821 I ran across this story which I found very interesting and could help you a bit in your search.I am stuck on my tree at Henry Atkinson who seems pretty elusive at this point.I hope this helps you some:
Moses Potter b. c1768 d. 1848 Jefferson Co. KY
by Linda Sparks Starr, OCT 2000
The 1810 Lincoln Co. Ky census shows him between the ages of 26 and 45, thus born after 1765.
The1830 Jefferson Co. census shows him between 60 and 70 years old -- thus born 1770s.
Therefore, we list his birth year as sometime between 1765 and 1770 or c1768. We have no
proof of Moses' birthplace; however, his first five or six children were born in Virginia, as was his
widow Frances, [per various census records] so Virginia is a logical guess. Additionally, oral
tradition via grandson is that one ancestral line goes back to the Jamestown colony. [History of
Atchison Co. KS, by Sheffield Ingalls, Standard Publ. Co., Lawrence, KS 1916.]
This widow of Moses, per his Jefferson Co. KY will dated 31 JAN 1848, is Frances. We believe
this couple is the Moses Potter and Frances KIRBY whose marriage bond, dated 14 JUL 1789, is
found in Franklin Co. VA. According to the bond Frances was the daughter of Dicey Bartee; other
Franklin Co. records suggest Dicey is the widow of Jesse Kirby/Kerby and she is the daughter of
Elisha Estes. Even though no female the right age to be Frances appears in Moses' household
on the 1830 and 1840 census, eldest son Jesse refers to 'his mother' in his Jefferson Co. KY will
dated 17 MAR 1851. *A* Frances Potter is living in Jesse's household on the 1850 census;
shown to be 80 years old, thus born in Virginia in 1770, this Frances, Moses and eldest child
Jesse are the right ages to be THE couple in the Franklin Co. VA marriage bond. Therefore, until
researchers on one of the several other POTTER lines who claim this same couple present more
compelling evidence, we will continue with the theory our Jefferson Co. KY Moses/Frances
couple is the same Moses/ Frances of the Franklin Co. VA marriage bond.
We have not located this couple from their 1789 marriage bond until Moses' first appearance in
Lincoln Co. KY in 1808. Tax Book 2 for that year taxes him on one male over 21, on one (white)
male between 16 and 21, and owner of 5 horses, but no land or blacks. In 1809 the 16-21 year
old male is gone, but one black has joined the household.(The white male is eldest son Jesse b.
c1792 according to 1850 census.)
According to page 488 of Lincoln Co. KY Order Book 6, Stephen ATKINSON, infant son of Joel
Atkinson dec'd, chose Moses POTTER his guardian 19 DEC 1808. Jesse and Nathaniel
Spraggins co-signed the security bond for Moses as guardian. [Jesse was a son-in-law of Joel
Atkinson.] Since Moses apparently had just arrived in the county, it is significant that Stephen
chooses him his guardian.[According to LDS search, this Joel Atkinson married Rachel
Emmerson; on-going research is trying to connect this Joel with a Joel Atkinson in Pittsylvania
Co. VA where Potter / Kirby / Estes / Jackson surnames are also found.]
In 1811 Moses is not taxed on land or slaves; he now has only 3 horses. By 1812 Moses is taxed
on one black over 16, but has a total of 4 blacks in his household, but now only 2 horses. In 1815
two of his "over 21" year old sons are back in his household along with their horses, but he has
only the one black over 16; he still has no land on the tax rolls. The 1817 tax list shows Moses
with 114 acres in Lincoln Co. on Hawkins Branch, no blacks, 2 horses, for a total value of $1542.
Son Jesse, with 1 horse valued at $50, and son Thomas jr. with 2 horses valued at $100, appear
on the same page of this tax book.
[I offer the following to explain the next court entry. Joel Atkinson d. c1808 in Lincoln Co. KY
leaving the following heirs, who sold their interest in Joel's estate to the highest bidder 14 JAN
1817. The bidder was Moses' son Thomas, who paid in two annual installments. At that time, the
heirs (and the daughter's spouses) were: William and Milly (Atkinson) Gooch; Jesse and Nancy
(Atkinson) Spraggins; Lemuel and Judy (Atkinson) Potter; Stephen Atkinson; Elijah Atkinson;
Charles Atkinson; Henry Atkinson; John Atkinson; Levina Atkinson; Jefferson Atkinson; Joel
Atkinson; Jeptha Atkinson.Nancy (Atkinson) Spraggins married 2ndly William Potter 10 FEB
1820. Identities of this Lemuel and William are unknown.]
Lincoln Co. Deed Book J, page 118: 10 JUL 1818 Moses Potter appoints Elijah Athison (sic)
"lawful attorney in fact". He is to receive $140 from Thomas Helm as "atty in fact" for Lemuel
Potter who "as attorny (sic) in fact" for Charles Athison, one of the children of Joel Athison dec'd.
I 'suggest' this proves Lemuel is closely kin to Moses since Moses was entrusted with a large
sum of money. Lemuel is not named as a son in Moses' will; therefore, IF Lemuel is a son, he
died without heirs prior to 31 JAN 1848 for Moses made provision for the heirs of his deceased
By 1820 Moses is in Jefferson Co. KY per the census.On the 1821 tax list, Moses is shown with
no land, 2 males over 21 (one is Moses) and 2 horses valued at $80. By 1822 Moses has
purchased 70 acres on Long Run water course, still has 2 horses and no slaves, and is taxed on
total value of $670. By 1823 his acreage has expanded to 85 acres, but the total value of his
holdings has dropped to $250.
12 DEC 1823 Moses Potter had a letter waiting for him in the post office at Louisville, KY [per
newspaper letter list.]In 1824 Moses' acreage remains at 85, but he now has 5 horses for a total
value of $1250. Adjacent to him is son Lewis with one horse valued at $80. In 1825 Moses' land
is listed on Shakes Run water course instead of Long Run. He has two horses and adjacent
POTTERs are his son Lewis, and son-in-law Ephraim POTTER. In 1827 Moses' 85 acres is listed
on F. Fork water course and he has 2 horses. In 1829 his land is back on Long Run water course
and adjacent POTTERs are son Franklin and son-in-law Ephraim, both probably living on Moses'
land for neither are taxed on land. [Maps show these creeks, located about 1½ miles north of
present day Fisherville, KY, are very close together. This area is the eastern part of Jefferson Co.
near its border with Shelby Co.]
In 1835 Moses still has 85 acres on Long Run water course and 3 horses; sons Jesse and
Thomas are living near him. Ephraim has disappeared from Jefferson Co. tax lists, but his wife/
widow remarries in neighboring Shelby Co. in 1836. [Ephraim is another puzzle. Did he die or did
they divorce? An Ephraim Potter married Jane Overly 2 JAN 1831 in Floyd Co. IN, which is just
across the Ohio River from Jefferson Co. and where Moses' son Franklin is living in 1850.
Adding another layer to the Ephraim question, Thomas Potter is appointed administrator of the
estate of Ephraim Potter in Buchanan Co. MO in 1848. No where in the court papers does it state
his relationship to the deceased. LDS has Thomas' son Ephraim as too young to require court
action if he died in 1848; but the dec'd had $70+ in cash and a sow suggesting a young man.]
Moses continues to be taxedwith 85 acres and no slaves through the 1848 Jefferson Co. KY tax
lists. In 1840 he is shown on the census as 70 to 80 years old.His will was proved 6 MAR 1848.
Executor was George W. Bryant (believed to be son-in-law Washington Bryant) and witnesses
were Daniel Frazier and Philip S. Curry. He left his wife, Frances, his real estate for life; at her
death it was to be equally divided between his children: Jesse, Thomas, William, Lewis Potter's
heirs; Jane BRYANT; Franklin, Henry Potter's heirs; and heirs of Cinnattis' body. "If son William
dies, his share is to be equally divided among the others."What does this curious statement
about William mean? Usually a father would say "dies without issue." Was William unmarried and
ill and not expected to recover? I seriously doubt he is the William who married Nancy (Atkinson)
Spraggins for she had children getting married not long after her own marriage to William Potter.
On the 1850 Jefferson Co. census Frances, age 80 and b. in VA, appears in the household of
Jesse Potter, age 58, also born in VA. Thus Frances was born 1770, the right age to be married
in 1789. Also with Jesse is his sister, Jane Bryant 46 years old also born in VA.Thus a major
clue when the family moved to KY -- after 1804.Jesse's will, written 17 MAR 1851, proves that
Frances was still alive by that date and also that she is the mother of all the children -- since
Jesse, named first in his father's will, is believed to be the eldest son. Jesse gave his sister, Jane
Bryant, his interest in tract of land upon which his mother now lives. Further proving Moses and
Frances are parents of the Thomas Potter who moved to Buchanan Co. MO, Jesse's will gave his
"niece Nancy Potter of Buchanan Co. MO," his land warrant for 80 acres of land.
Proof of children of Moses comes in many forms.Jesse's will for Jane Bryant and 'the Potter
family in Buchanan Co. MO". [Also see my report on Thomas Potter/Celia Jackson for more
specifics on this particular family group.]2 JUN 1822 Moses, as father, gave consent for his
daughter, Jane, to marry Ephraim POTTER with bondsman Lewis Potter per Jefferson Co. - VA -
KY, Early Marriages 1781-1849, by The Filson Club Compilation. And then in neighboring Shelby
Co. KY we find the marriage for Thomas BRYANT and Jane POTTER 13 APR 1836.Back in
Jefferson Co., 4-13-1831 Washington BRYANT to Cinnatta POTTER, with father Moses consent
in writing, bondsman and witness Franklin Potter.
Children in order given by Moses in his will with birth years from various censuses; spouses from
marriage bonds in various counties.
1. Jesse b. c1792 VA d. bef 5 MAY 1851 Jefferson Co. KY, never married.
2. Thomas b. 1793 VA d. 9 JUN 1871 (per LDS) Atchison Co. KS
m. Celia JACKSON 1 JAN 1816 Lincoln Co. KY.
3. William b. between 1796-1800 per census/MIGHT be one whose tombstone in Lincoln Co.
KY reads: b. 2-11-1798d. 2-13-1884.
4. Lewis b. c1799 VA d. bef 31 JAN 1848
probably one who m. Mahala BRYANT 14 APR 1824 Shelby Co. KY
5. Jane b. c1804 VA
m. 1st Ephraim POTTER 2 JUN 1822 Jefferson Co. KY
2nd Thomas BRYANT 13 APR 1836 Shelby Co. Ky
6. Benjamin Franklin b. c1809 [age 41 b. VA per 1850 Floyd Co. IN census]
m. 1st Isabel Ratcliff 5 JUN 1832 Shelby Co. KY per Shelby Co. KY Marriages, 1792-
1833, by Eula R. Hasskarl
2nd Malinda (Poulson) McRay 10 MAY 1846Clark Co. IN per Marriage Bk E, p. 98.
She was the widow of Wheeler G. McCray.
7. Henry b. c1815 d. bef 31 JAN 1848
probably one who m. Jane McKanna 4 JUN 1832 Shelby Co. KY
8. Cinnatta b. between 1815-1820 d. bef 31 JAN 1848
m. (Geo.) Washington BRYANT 13 APR 1831 Jefferson Co. KY
possibly Lemuel b. 1796-1800 IF son of Moses he d. without heirs before JAN 1848
m. Judith (Atkinson) Stigall, dau of Joel and widow of William.Moses signed the
security bond for marriage of Lemuel and Judy.