Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Elijah Chastain - Father of 23 or More

Elijah Chastain was my 4X-Great-Grandpa. He was born in 1776 in Buckingham Co, VA and died in 1853 in Gilmer Co, GA. His daughter Rebecca Chastain was born in 1799 and she was his 3rd child - of 21 (at least). She married George Patterson in the early to mid 1820's and they were my 3X-Great-Grandparents. 

(3/26/24 update: at least 22 children)

(4/10/24 update: 23+ children)

Elijah Chastain and 3rd wife Catherine Carson, ca. 1850. Photo courtesy of Connie Cordell

Elijah was a character. I know he had multiple children (each) by his first two wives during the same two or three year period beginning in 1800. By 1803 he was officially married the second time to Anna Middleton. His first wife, my ancestor, was Hannah Adams. This first marriage ended in divorce. Many have said the second marriage did too, but I can't find anything about Anna after 1810, including no children born to Elijah between 1810 and 1820. I think Anna may have died around 1810 or soon thereafter, but I just don't know for certain. (4/10/24 update: Elijah had at least two children born after 1810 with Anna - Artemesia was born in 1812 and James Witt was born in 1813).

3/26/24 Update: According to Gary Carson who has done extensive research on this group, and in particular, with the Haywood Co, NC records, Catherine Carson had a son in 1815 and there was a bastardy bond filed in 1816 regarding this. She did NOT name the father. But it is accepted by most researchers that Elijah Chastain was the father, and then they were married by 1819 at the latest. My question is still, did Anna die before 1815? Or did he divorce her by 1816 or so? This son born in 1815 is believed to be John S. Carson who lived near them in Gilmer Co, GA in 1840 and 1850.

4/10/24 Update: Elijah's daughter Artemesia (Arty) Chastain was actually born in 1812, not 1808. The 1810 census backs up that with her absence on that census record. Also, James (Witt) Chastain, born in 1813, does appear to be the son of Elijah after all. Many have said that, but I had resisted the urge to add him as such, until now. Looking at all of the Chastains who had households in Buncombe and Haywood Counties in NC in 1813, Elijah really is the only one for sure that "had room", based on known census records. That said, the daughter Arty, born in 1812, had many descendants named Arty. The full name was spelled many different ways, but the nickname was always Arty or Artie. Arty's next older sister, Mary (Polly) Chastain and her husband Joel Joseph Shelton, had a daughter named Artimissa Shelton born in Haywood in 1832. Arty and Polly's next older brother, James Edward (Ned) Chastain, also had a daughter named Artemesia (Artie) Chastain born in 1837 in Union Co, GA. All three of these siblings were children of Elijah by his second wife Anna Middleton. So, if James Witt Chastain, born 1813 really was a son of Elijah, and the next younger brother of Arty Chastain, did he also have a daughter or granddaughter named Arty? The answer is YES. Witt's daughter, Nancy Jane Chastain was born in 1852 and later married Andrew Chappel Bottoms. They had a daughter named Artie Jane Bottoms, born in 1880 in Forsyth Co, GA. Elijah Chastain Jr (older brother of Arty) also had a granddaughter named Arty (Artemissie Chastain) born 1869 in TX. There at least 10 female descendants of Elijah Chastain with the name Artemissa and its variations.

...Elijah married a third time about 1819 to Catherine Carson. They had another 10 children bringing the total of children born to Elijah Chastain to at least 23. However, given the fact that Elijah cannot be found on census records during 1820 and 1830, there is a 30 year gap from 1810-1840 without any documentation on his children. So, were there more children born after 1810 and before 1820, who were later out of his household already by 1840? (Yes for Artemesia, Witt, and the Carson child).

Elijah Chastain was the son of the Rev. John Chastain and his first wife Mary O'Bryan. John was a Revolutionary War Patriot and is recognized by the DAR (#A021238). John was the grandson of the French Huguenot immigrant Pierre Chastain Sr

I am beginning a book on this family and look forward to sharing more about them in the future.

I descend from the French Huguenot immigrant ancestor as follows:

  1. Dr. Pierre (Peter) Chastain Sr (1659-1728)
  2. Peter Chastain Jr (1707-1775)
  3. John Chastain (DAR Patriot) (1743-1805)
  4. Elijah Chastain (1776-1853)
  5. Rebecca Chastain (1799-1845/7) - m. George Patterson (1800-1860)
  6. William Harden (Bill) Patterson (1832-1884)
  7. Joseph Elijah (Lige) Patterson (1871-1957)
  8. Clinton Willie (Clint) Patterson (1904-1975)
  9. Francis Oliver (Frank) Patterson (1940-2015)
  10. Charles Wesley (Wes) Patterson
As I glance at this lineage, I am struck by the number of children each generation had during the first six (6) of those generations. 
  1. Pierre Chastain had at least 16 children. 
  2. Peter Chastain Jr had at least 10 children. 
  3. John Chastain had at least 14 children. 
  4. Elijah Chastain had at least 23 children. 
  5. George Patterson had at least 13 children. 
  6. Bill Patterson had 12 children. 
That's a lot of kids!!!

As of 10 April 2024, I have tallied at least 23 children for Elijah Chastain, leading to at least 167 grandchildren, and at least 806 great-grandchildren.


1 comment:

  1. Shelby Patterson BaltzleyMarch 12, 2024 at 4:28 PM

    Great information as usual, Wes! I always enjoy reading.


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