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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gen. John Archer Elmore

A repost of a blog from Sunday, September 29, 2013 (with some new additions and editing)

Gen. John Archer Elmore

Born on 21 Aug 1762 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, this Revolutionary War hero died on 24 Apr 1834 in Wetumpka, Autauga, Alabama, age 71.

Gen John Archer Elmore 1762-1834

Shall I tell you how I'm related first, or his story? Let's start with my family, which I admit I thought I knew more about.

My father's middle name was Elmore.  He never told me (and I did ask) who he was named after.  Well, for him he just said he was named after his father, because he was Junior.  So how did his father get Elmore for his middle name, when there were no Elmores anywhere in his family ancestry?
And ALSO, my father had a brother (the oldest of the family) named Elmore Gibbs Rogers (more about him on another post.)

Go WAAAAY back, and John Archer Elmore is actually our ancestor through a cousin.  (His descendant married the sister of one of my ancestors)  His daughter Sarah Saxon Elmore married Geroge W. Ross (MD?), their son George W. Ross married Elliott Gamble, their son (John) Elmore Ross married (Alice) Luella Rogers, sister of my great grandfather, William Sandford Rogers who married Elizabeth Bettie Bass, their son George Elmore Rogers Sr married Ada Phillips Swasey and their son was George Elmore Rogers Jr, my father.

He had 19 children, which means lots of people are his descendants!  Thank heavens they had 2 mothers.    His first wife's third child, Sophia Saxon Elmore at 15, married George W. Ross (age 31 and probably a doctor).  They lived in Laurens, South Carolina, and then Mississippi.  Their grandson, John Elmore Ross, married Alice Luella Rogers, (see Here for more on Alice Rogers Ross) the daughter of my3X great grandfather, George Washington Rogers. (Incidentally, my post about Alice Rogers Ross isn't entirely accurate!)

So why were these people in the Rogers family named after this Revolutionary War hero that was a cousin's ancestor after all?  I think many times we choose our families, when the ones we're born into can't provide what is needed.

My grandfather's (George Elmore Rogers) best friends were the Ross's, who lived in the same areas many times, but did not totally raise my grandfather and his sister as I thought earlier  (they lived with their mother, a widow much of their childhoods).  For all I know some of the Ross children were named after famous Rogers ancestors.  I don't think I'll chase that story however.

OK, you've patiently waited to hear about General Elmore.

Here is the way ancestor searches turn out: backward.  We start with where he remains, his tombstone.  From Mrs. P. H. Mell in (1904) Transactions, of the Alabama Historical Society, Vol. iv, pp. 541-2. 
 Elmore county was named in honor of Gen. Elmore. He was deservedly popular for his "candor, good sense and sociability."
He was buried in the old family burying ground at the old homestead, "Huntington," in Elmore county. The following inscription is upon his tombstone:
In Memory of Gen. John Archer Elmore, who was born in Prince Edward County, Va., August the 21st, 1762, and died in Autauga County, Ala., April 24th, 1834, aged 71 yrs. 8 mos. & 3 days. He was a soldier of the Revolution in the Virginia Line and afterwards a member of the Legislature of So. Ca., and a General in the militia. He was a member of the Legislature of Alabama and filled various other offices of Honor and Trust in both States. He was an affectionate husband, a kind and indulgent father, a humane master, A devoted friend, and a patriotic citizen.
He entered the Revolutionary service, a mere lad, in Greene's command in the Virginia line; was with him in his tour through the Carolinas, and with him at the surrender at Yorktown. This is shown by the archives in Washington; O'Neal's Bench and Bar of South Carolina, vol. ii, pp. 85, 88, and Brewer's Alabama, p. 109. After the Revolution he settled in Laurens district, South Carolina, and resided there many years, during which time he was often a member of the legislature. He moved to Autauga county, Alabama, in 1819 and served one term in the house of representatives from this county.
His first wife was Miss Saxon, by whom he had two sons: Hon. Franklin H. Elmore, of South Carolina, who succeeded Mr. Calhoun in the United States senate, and Benjamin F. Elmore, treasurer of South Carolina. His second wife, Miss Ann Martin, was a member of the famous Martin family of South Carolina, and descended also from the Marshall family of Virginia, and from Lieutenant Nathaniel Terry, of Virginia. By this second marriage there were five sons and several daughters."
Mrs. Mell didn't have all his children in her list, see below for more details of them.

In his later life:
C M Stanley article in The Alabama Journal, Sept 13, 1959: 
"He removed to Alabama in 1819, the same year the state was admitted to the Union, settling in Autauga County and in 1821 served in the Alabama legislature. When Elmore County was created, largely out of Autauga County, the new county was named for General Elmore as was the town of Elmore in the new county."

Continuing backward, here's more on how he came to Alabama...with some different dates given.
From "Elmore Family -p. 17:
Gen. John A. and Betsy --  "Reuben Jourdan came to Alabama about 1812 to 1814, with his father, sisters and brothers and children, and was followed next year by Gen. John Archer Elmore and family." 

Pickett, from Alabama also give this picture of the Justice of the courts:
"The legislature was exceedingly anxious to see the laws enforced; and, for
that purpose, selected magistrates from among the most respectable and
prominent men throughout the State. They discharged the same duties which
the Judges of the County Courts had done previous to the adoption of the
present Probate system, and as was the practice of Virginia. A few of those
now selected must be mentioned merely to show the determination of our then
infant State, to give tone and dignity to the administration of the laws,
even in inferior courts. For the county of Autauga, for instance, John A.
Elmore, John Armstrong, Robert Gaston, James Jackson and William R. Pickett
were elected magistrates.
    General John A. Elmore, one of these justices, was a native of South
Carolina, of the legislature of which State he had often been a respectable
member. Not long after his removal to Alabama, he represented the county of
Autauga in our legislature which then sat at Cahawba. He was a man of
firmness and much good sense, and always delivered his opinions, even in
common conversation, in a distinct and loud voice, with that candor and
honesty which characterized his conduct through life. He had a commanding
appearance, was large in person, and, altogether, an exceedingly fine
looking man. He delighted in the sports of the chase, being a most
successful and spirited hunter, and an agreeable companion in the many camp-
hunts in which he engaged with his neighbors and friends. Towards the close
of his life, we remember that he presented a dignified and venerable
appearance, and we saw him preside as chairman of several large and
exciting meetings in the town of Montgomery during the days of nullifi-

(1) Albert James Pickett, History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia
and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period, (Birmingham Book and Magazine Co.: Birmingham, AL, 1962), pp. 662-663. 

Another mini-biography gives this family information:
Biography of John Archer Elmore - Autauga/Elmore Co.'s, AL
John Archer Elmore. An officer of the American Revolution, he was born
August 21, 1762, in Prince Edward County, Virginia, and died April 24, 1834,
in Autauga, now Elmore County. He was the son of Archelas and Susannah
(Morris) Elmore, the former a Quaker. He was a grandson of Thomas and Cicely
(Ellison) Elmore, of New Kent County, Virginia. General Elmore entered the
Continental Army while still a youth, and served under General Greene.
    General Elmore settled in Laurens District, South Carolina, after the
Revolution, resided there for many years and served in the legislature. In
1819 he removed to Alabama, settling in Autauga County, and in 1821,
represented the County in the legislature. When Autauga County was
subdivided the new county was named in his honor. The station of that name
being also named for his family.
    General Elmore was married to (1) Mary Ann Sarah Saxon, on March 1,
1788. He married (2) on March 14, 1805, to Mary Martin, a descendant of the
noted Martin family of South Carolina, also of the Marshall family of
Virginia, and of Lieutenant Nathaniel Terry, of Virginia.
    Children by his first wife were: l. Benjamin F., treasurer of South
Carolina, married Sarah Aurora Brevard. 2. Narcissa. 3. Sophia Saxon,
married George Ross
. 4. Charlotte Perry, married Abner Crenshaw. 5. Franklin
Harper, who succeeded Calhoun in the U. S. Senate, married Harriet Chestnut.
    By his second wife, General Elmore was the father of: 6. Elizabeth S.,
married Dixon H. Lewis. 7. Sarah Terry, married Benjamin Fitzpatrick.
8. John Archer, married Laura Maria Martin. 9. Morris Martin. 10. William
Augustus, married (1) Mary Ann Morrison, (2) Julia Minor. 11. Luther Alfred.
12. Henry Marshall, married Elizabeth Harris. 13. Laurence Ludlow. 14.
Physick Rush, married Susan T. Nesbitt. 15. Winfield Scott. 16. Infant. 17.
James Scott. 18. Albert Standhope, married Mary Jane Taylor. 19. Ann
Harriet, married Joseph T. Hearn.

[Source: Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume III, page 558] 
 Sorry, I don't have the war records, which probably tell all about the battles in which Gen. Elmore took part.  That will have to be for other historians to research.

OK, this record is my supplement to what's on, and perhaps will help me or my descendants find the correct information. 


Patricia Elmore said...
I am the great, great, great granddaughter of John Archer Elmore. I found your account of how his name entered into your family quite interesting. My lineage to JA Elmore is this: John Archer Elmore -> Henry Marshall Elmore -> William Augustus Elmore -> John Rugely Elmore -> William Augustus Elmore -> Patricia Elmore (me). Thanks for posting this.
B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...
Hi Patricia: So glad to know we're cousins, of whatever number removed! Thanks for commenting on a post that was a long time ago. I had to go read it again (at my age I don't remember all these details). And reading it again reminded me how many ancestors I still have to research and add for the benefit of my own descendants!


Trish said...

Fascinating! I never knew any of this, though I did wonder who the "Elmore" was in Poppy's name.

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks cousin Trish...I appreciate your comment. Feel free to let me know any time I make any mistakes (sometimes it's late at night when I finish a post, and I may call one ancestor by another's name in error!)