I will be posting the Atherton and the Biggerstaff information.
This information was compiled in a history of PULASKI COUNTY ILLINOIS, 1987.From my research the following articles about the Athertons explain a lot and show some confusion in the Biggerstaff histories.
The area of focus should be on Aaron Atherton and his wife Christina, Aaron Atherton II,and Aaron Atherton III.These men and their ages seem to support the following articles.I think some of the Biggerstaff history confuses Aaron Atherton SR. ( whose wife was Christina and was 80 years old in 1816 and his son Aaron Atherton II)
PULASKI COUNTY ILLINOIS 1987
I found these books at the Cairo IL Public Library
Aaron Atherton was born in Nelson County, VA around the year 1737.He was a trail blazer for the Baptist cause in Western, KY, after KY became a state.Five charter members, which included Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Atherton, organized the First Baptist Church on March 10, 1798, in the Green River area.It was surrounded by vast wilderness and unbroken forests.The newly born church was named BEAVER DAM, from thatchurch, every Baptist Church from Elizabethtown to Green River and Bowling Green, west to the Ohio River descended from that church.
In 1816 Aaron and Christina left KY, and migrated to Alexander County, IL.They with a flock of people, sons, daughters and their families, along with many others numbering as many as 80 people settled in this area.Aaron and Christina had three sons, AaronII, John C. and Samuel.The Atherton settlement was the first settlement in Pulaski County (which was then Alexander, County).On the land a log cabin was constructed and in their home Shiloh Baptist Church was organized, Oct 17, 1817.With no church building, the services were held at the Atherton home.Thus from the First Batist Church in Western Kentucky, the first Baptist Church was organized in Southern Illinois.Aaron Atherton gave the land to build the first church building and it was erected on the site of the present Shiloh Baptist Church.
On April 5, 1819 a meeting was held at the home of Aaron Atherton to locate the first county seat, which was to be at America, Illinois.
Being an old man of 80 years, when he came to Illinois, Aaron live out his life on the family farm, which was deeded to his eldest son, Aaron II.This farm is now, 171 years later, owned by the family. Page 71
AARON ATHERTON II
The oldest son of Aaron and Christian Atherton settled with his father on the family farm.The children of Aaron II were Reason, Mary, Charles, Catherine, Martin, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Aaron III.
Aaron II was one of the first Commissioners of Alexander County, IL and operated a saw mill along with his farming operation.Aaron II was very active in the Shiloh Baptist Church that was organized by his father.He also served in the BLACK HAWK WAR. page 71
AARON ATHERTON III
Born in Ohio County, KY Aaron came to Illinois with his grandfather Aaron and his father Aaron II.He also lived on the family farm and was married June 1, 1830 to Elizabeth Atherton, the daughter of John Atherton Jr.. Elizabeth was born in Ohio Valley, KY.Aaron III and Elizabeth were the parents of 3 children:Asa, Jasper, and Elizabeth E.He was a farmer by trade as were his ancestors before him.They were all skilled with the rifle and the axe.When they came to Illinois wheat was being cut with a sickle.The wheat fields were small and sull of stumps of trees, with no effort made to remove them for many years.Aaron II joined the Company of Col. C.H. Webb and fought in the 1847 Mexican War.It has been a thrilling story of the valiant deed and heroic death in the Mexican War of Lt. Aaron Atherton III.When at the Battle of Buena Vista, seeing his Captain without a sword, he shouted, "Here take mine!I know better how to use a musket".the last seen of him, he was swinging the heavy weapon in wide circles, mowing down Mexicans.He was killed February 27, 1847.The sword he gave his Captain was long a cherished possession of the ATHERTON FAMILY, but after loaning it to the Cairo Library no one know what became of it.Aaron III was buried in Texas along with other men that were killed in that war. page 71
William Biggerstaff was the eldest son of Thomas Biggerstaff and his first wife, born 1790 in Kentucky.Elizabeth Atherton was the daughter of Aaron Atherton and Christina Atherton.She was born 1796 in Kentucky.Her sister, Sarah Atherton Married Thomas Howard.(was that Aaron Senior or was it AARON II---query by writer)
William and Elizabeth were married November 14, 1811 in Ohio County, KY by the Rev. Lon Jackson.Bondsman was Aaron Atherton.
As they were married in 1811, they came to Illinois with the settlement of Aaron Atherton's in the years 1815 and 1816, from Kentucky.Their children are listed in order of Birth:Aaron Biggerstaff b. Dec. 26, 1812;Nancy Biggerstaff b. Jan. 26, 1817 d. Sept 27, 1836 married to Milford Edwards;Thomas Biggerstaff b. Oct. 26, 1819 d. Sept. 17, 1892, Born in IL and married Susan Dilts on May 30, 1840 in Alexander County, IL;James Biggerstaff b. June 20, 1824;Mahala Biggerstaff b. July 18, 1829 and married Pleasant Palmer;Malinda Biggerstaff b. Feb. 22, 1835;Ira Bradford Biggerstaff b. June 30, 1838.
William Biggerstaff died in 1838 in alexander County IL.Thomas Howard and Elizabeth Biggerstaff were the Administrator's The estate was filed for Probate 1839 in alexander County through Apr 19, 1841.William Biggerstaff and family are shown in both the Illinois State Census and the Federal Census of 1818 and Nov. 24, 1820.The Illinois Census Oct 2, 1850 shows Sarah Howard, widow of Thomas Howard and Elizabeth Beggerstaff age 54, widow of William biggerstaff, farmer.They had a brother John C. Atherton, 1850 Census which shows his age as 60, he was born 1790 in Kentucky.He was married to Eunice Atherton, Feb. 9, 1811 in Ohio County, KYSubmitted by Virginia M. Humphrey Plummer,ALEXANDER COUNTY ILLINOIS VOL. I, 1989 Page 107.
More food for thought and I hope this helps some of you.
Lucy Howard Strait