Oakey Streak’s Dr. Robert Lewis Jernigan had rich heritage

Published 1:18 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Jernigan family is still another which settled in the Pigeon Creek and Oakey Streak communities of Southern Butler County. Members of the family arrived in the area in 1853. William Thomas Jernigan was the ancestor to bring his family and make it their home.

Based on family trees shown in Ancestry.com, researchers of the Jernigan family have traced their ancestry to a very early period. The earliest patriarch identified is Sir John Jernegan who was born in 1364 in Yarmouth, Suffolk, England. He was married to Lady Margaret VIS DE LOU. They were the parents of Thomas Jernegan, who was born in 1380 in Somerleyton, Manor, Suffolk, England, and who married Joan Appleyard.

Thomas and Joan Jernegan were the parents of John Jernegan who was born in 1410 in Somerleyton and who married Jane Darrel. John and Jane were the parents of Sir John Jernigan, born in 1448 in Costessey, Norfolk, England, and who married Isabel Clifton. Sir John and Isabel were the parents of Sir Edward J. Jernigan, born in 1462 in Yarmouth, Suffolk, England, and who married Margaret Bedingfield. Sir Edward and Margaret were the parents of Sir Henry Jernigan who was born in 1509 in Suffolk, England, and who married Frances Baynham. They were the parents of Henry Jernigan Jr. who was born in 1546 in Suffolk and who married Eleanor Dacres.

Henry and Eleanor Jernigan’s son, Thomas Jernigan, born in 1614 in Somerleyton Hall, Suffolk, England, was the immigrant ancestor of this family. He was married to Ann Elizabeth Arlington, and he died in 1698 in Suffolk, Nansemant, Va. They were the parents of John J. Jernigan who was born in 1660 in the same town in which his father died. John J. was married to Temperance Moore, and they were the parents of David Jernigan who was born in 1694 in Bertie County, N.C., and who married Patience Reilly.

David and Patience became the parents of David Jernigan Jr. who was born in 1720 in Wayne County, N.C. and who married in 1743 Alice Faye Page. David Jr. and Alice were the parents of David Jernigan III who was born in 1746 in Wayne County, N.C., and who was married in 1755 to Mildred “Millie” Pipkin. David III and Millie were the parents of Page Jernigan who was born in 1775 in Wayne County, N.C. and who was married to Sarah “Sally” Edwards (1794-1840), daughter of Sampson Edwards (1776-1818) and Jemima Reeves (1760-1828). Page died in 1825 in Wayne County, N.C. Sally lived another 15 years and died after she had moved with some of the family to Montgomery, Ala.

William Thomas Jernigan, son of Page and Sally, is the ancestor who migrated to Alabama. He was born in 1815 in North Carolina and was married in Montgomery in 1838 to Frances Elizabeth Sharp who was born in 1816 in Georgia. After several years of residing there, they migrated further south in 1853 to settle in Southern Butler County, Ala. William had received land grants earlier in 1854 and 1858. It has been reported that he served in the Confederate Army. At least two of his sons and sons-in-law were also Confederate veterans.

William Thomas and Frances Elizabeth Jernigan were the parents of the following children:  David Page, b. 1838; Mary Ann, b. 1841, d. 1928; Sarah A. Mitchell, b.1841, d. 1885, m. Benjamin Jernigan (1836-1915); Alcy Moriah, b. 1844, d. 1885, m. Joseph A. Tyner (1840-1896); William Thomas Jr., b. 1846, d. 1919, m. Martha J. Josey (1847-1926); Emily Frances, b. 1848, d. 1901, m. Thomas Jefferson Josey; Susan, b. 1850; Eliza, b. 1852; Martha Adeline, b. 1853; Lucinda J., b. 1856, m. William Jernigan; Laura, b. 1858, d. 1947, m. William Clement Shreve (1847-1924); Patrick Henry, b. 1859, d. 1933, m. Susan Reid “Reedie” Stallings (1862-1934); and Thomas Richard, b. 1863, m. Mattie Jernigan. Some family trees also list a son, Harry Crawford, b. 1859, d. 1953, m. 1880 Eliza Benona “Bettie” Banks (1857-1913), so it is uncertain if he is indeed a son of this couple.

The oldest son, David Page Jernigan, enlisted for serviced in the Confederate Army on March 1, 1862 in Greenville, Ala. He was assigned to Company C, 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment. Nothing was found on his death nor if he was married, etc.

The second daughter is listed as Sarah A. Mitchell, which raises a question, especially since her husband is identified as Benjamin Jernigan, son of Joseph Jefferson Jernigan (1808-1889) and Caroline Dixon (1812-1880). The couple was married in 1863 and later moved to Santa Rosa County, Fla., where they lived for a number of years. They are known to have had at least one daughter, Ella E. Jernigan, born in 1883.

The third daughter, Alcy Moriah Jernigan, was born in 1844 and was married in 1867 to Joseph A. Tyner. They moved from the Oakey Streak community and were residing in Levy, Fla., in 1880. They were the parents of the following children: William S., b. 1867, d. 1952; George W., b. 1869, d. 1896; Eugene Sidney, b. 1870, d. 1945, m. Jeanette Dunn (1876-1940); Samuel Sorrell, b. 1872, d. 1951, m. Mary Janet ?; Josiah Ashers, b. 1875, d. 1967, m. Emma M. Cannon (1890-1954); Wade Hampton, b. 1878, d. 1967, m. Juliet Lathelia Cook (1891-1988); and Thomas Henry, b. 1883, d. 1960, m. Viola Dunn (1882-1954).

The next son, William Thomas Jernigan Jr., who was born in 1846 in Oakey Streak, was married in 1866 to Martha J. Josey of the same community. She was the daughter of James Salter Josey (1823-1908) and Elizabeth Huggins (1822-1857). They were married after William Thomas returned from serving in the Confederate Army as a private in Company B, 17th Alabama Infantry Regiment. They resided in the Oakey Streak community and reared the following children: William Thomas III, b. 1868, d. 1941; Annie Elizabeth, b. 1869, d. 1959, m. Thomas Richard Josey (1870-1922); Jane Martha, b. 1871, d. 1937; Laura Sarah, b. 1873, d. 1889; Mary Hicks, b. 1876; Lucinda Caroline “Lou,” b. 1878, d. 1939; Alice, b. 1880; Infant son, b.&d. 1882; Emma, b. 1884, d. 1889; James Henry, b. 1886, d. 1889; and Maggie, b. 1889.

Next to the youngest son, Patrick Henry Jernigan, was born in 1859 and was married in 1889 to Susan Archie Reid “Reedie” Stallings. They resided in the Oakey Streak community and were the parents of the following children: Robert Lewis, b. 1890, d. 1958, m. (1) Pearl Shell (1889-1980) (2) 1939 Thelma Marie ? (1913-1942) (3) 1942 Bessie Stallings (1889-1983); Thelma Clodyne, b. 1891, d. 1986, m. Houston Foster; Lillian “Lillie” May, b. 1893, d. 1973, m. Rufus W. Porter Sr.; Henry Edward Sr., b. 1897, d. 1984, m. Lucy Porter; and Ruben Milton, b. 1899, d. 1973, m. Annie Coston.

The oldest son, Robert Lewis Jernigan, received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1913 when he was graduated from the Old Memphis Hospital Medical College, which later was consolidated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He then returned home to practice in his home area. In 1963, he was honored by the University of Tennessee for 50 years of service. He was described as a country doctor who set bones, performed surgery, made house calls, kept his own books in an office in his home. In 1868, he was awarded a 50-year pin for his support of the Quitman Masonic Lodge. In 1970, a reception was held in Greenville recognizing his 57 years of dedicated service to the local community. He was also an outstanding sportsman who loved fishing and hunting especially. He was remembered for his love of his hunting dogs.

Dr. Robert Lewis Jernigan and his first wife, Pearl, were the parents of two children: Robert Lewis Jernigan Jr., b. 1915, d. 1942; and a daughter, Elaine Jernigan. He and his second wife, Thelma, had a son who was born and died in 1942. At his death in 1958, Dr. Jernigan was buried in the Oakey Streak Methodist Church Cemetery.

Sources for this Jernigan family story included Ancestry.com and Fern S. Nix’s book, Oakey Streak—A Historic Landmark.

Anyone who might find an error in the above genealogy or who has additional history on this family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.