William Gordon
Photos and Biography by Ken Freeman
Last updated Feb. 03, 2005

William Gordon was born to Thomas Gordon and Mary Buffington on the 16th of August 1787 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina.

The Grave of Thomas Gordon, Rev. War. at Snellville, GA

William’s father Thomas was a first generation American and a soldier of the American Revolution. His mother Mary was a second generation American and her father was a veteran of the American Revolution.

He was born during the administration of President George Washington at the time of the Philadelphia Convention when the Constitution was completed.

Nothing is known of his youth except from census records. His family lived in Oglethorpe County, Georgia when he was ten years old. His twin brother and sister , Few and Buffington, were born there on the 17th of January 1797.

In 1800 his family may have been back in Spartanburg because his sister Mary was born there on the 10th of January that year.

William married Martha “Patsy” Baker in 1813. He was twenty six and she twenty two years old. Patsy was the daughter of Charles Baker and Mary Clark. She was born in Burke County, North Carolina on the 29th of January 1791.

Mary A., their first child, was born on the 6th of May 1814. She married a Mr. Compton. Nothing more is known of her.

Their second child, James, was born the 13th of January 1816. He lived to be thirty five, dying in September 1851. Nothing more is known of him.

Their third child, Newman, was born the 30th of June 1818. He died at the age of twenty, on the 10th of September 1838. Nothing more is known of him.

Jarrett, their fourth child, was born the 9th of January 1821. He and his decendents are mentioned in William’s will but nothing more is known of him.

William witnessed a deed for his father-in-law in Habersham County, Georgia in 1823. This might indicate that they were living there at that time but there is no other evidence to support that.

William and Patsy’s fifth child, Elizabeth Ann, was born on the 14th of November 1825. She married a Mr. Henson. Nothing more is known of her.

From the Gwinnett County Georgia Court of the Ordinary, March 1825: ordered that Richard Plunket, Aaron Brown and Gordon be commissioners to mark out a road from the high shoals of the Alcova River to Lawrenceville. Lawrenceville was the county seat. Being commissioned  to do road and other infrastructure tasks by the county court was a form of taxation that was common in that era.

Their sixth child, William Thomason, was born the 14th of November 1825. He married Ella F. Nix. He died in Pine Log, Georgia on the 19th of April 1891. Nothing more is known of him.

William’s father, Thomas Gordon, died in Gwinnett County, Georgia the 23rd of January 1826. He is buried in a small private plot along with eleven others on part of what was once his farm. His is the only grave marked. The Daughters of the American Revolution erected a marker there honoring him as a Revolutionary soldier.

William and Patsy’s seventh child, Martha, was born the 19th of June 1828. She married A. J. Wood. Nothing more is known of her.

They were in Gwinnett County for the census of 1830. The census counts the children and their ages. The census also included a list of slave owners and the number of slaves they owned. The Gordons had seven slaves.

From the Inferior Court minutes 1830: William Gordon, foreman of petit jury.

From the Inferior Court minutes, August 1831: Nathaniel L. Hutchins, letter of administration estate of Thomas Hunt. Security: William Gordon.

John F., William and Patsy’s eighth child, born the 10th of October 1831. He lived only nine years dying the 30th of November 1840.

From the Inferior Court minutes of January 1834: Glesha Winn, letter of temporary administration estate of George Bishop. Security: William Gordon.

George W., their ninth child, was born on the 17th of September 1834. He died three years later on the 13th of June 1837.

From the Inferior Court minutes June 1835: William Gordon, juror.

William served in the Creek Indian War of 1836 in Captain Benjamin Gholston’s “Gwinnett Grays” company. His brother Few and his future father-in-law, James D. Peden, served in the same company. The company was part of the Georgia Militia under the command of Colonel James Austin. William saw no action. One of James Peden’s sons was killed in action.

William served, in 1837, on the commission to bury the eight young men of Captain Harman Garmany’s company who had lost their lives at Shepherds Plantation fighting the Creek Indians. The commission buried the men in a mass grave on the court house square in Lawrenceville on Friday the 17th of February 1837. A monument was later erected on the site in their honor.

Captain James C. Winn, Fanin’s Brigade, Texas Revolution, who died in the Texas war was also honored on the same monument.

From the Inferior Court minutes of January 1838: Nathaniel L. Hutchins, letter of administration estate of Alonzo G. von Volkingburg. Security: William Gordon.

The General Assembly of Gwinnett County of 1837 established the Lawrenceville Female Seminary. The seminary was publicly held with one hundred shares of common stock. William purchased three shares on the first offering.

William’s mother, Mary Buffington Gordon, died in Gwinnett County on the 3rd of August 1837 at the age of seventy seven.

William served in Captain Matthew T. Hamilton’s company of the Georgia Militia, then under command of General Winfield Scott, from May 1838 to May 1839, in New Echota, Cherokee Indian Nation, Georgia, to remove the Cherokee Indians to the Oklahoma Territory.

Martha “Patsy” Baker Gordon died in Lawrenceville on the 17th of February 1840. She was survived by her husband, three sons and three daughters; Jarret, William Thomason, John F., Mary A., Elizabeth Ann and Martha. She was fourty nine years old and had been married to William for twenty seven years. Her youngest son died that same year.

Patsy was buried in the town cemetery, now an historical preserve named “The Pioneers Cemetery”.

The census of 1840 shows William to be a farmer. Although it does not list land holdings value or personal wealth it does show that he owned eight slaves.

From the Greenville Mountaineer, a Greenville, South Carolina newspaper dated 15th April 1841: “ Married in Gwinnett County, Georgia on April 1st by Reverend Mr. Wilson, Mr. William Gordon and Miss Mary E., eldest daughter of Mr. James Peden, formerly of Greenville District, S.C.”.

Mary Evaline Peden was thirty one years old , born the 21st of October 1810 in Greenville District, South Carolina, to James Peden and Jane Brown Peden. William was fifty four years in 1841.

William and Mary’s first child, Charles C. P., was born in 1842. He married a Miss Orlena A.____ in Texas. Nothing more is known of him.

From the Inferior Court minutes of January 1842: Thomas B. Gordon, letter of guardianship of George A. Gordon, orphan and minor of George A. Gordon, deceased. Security: William Gordon. Two more letters of guardianship followed for orphans Elizabeth R. and Susan B. Gordon.

From the Southern Banner dated 17th of March 1843: “Margaret Teressa Peden, second daughter of James Peden, late of Greenville, S.C., died at the home of William Gordon near Lawrenceville, February 17, 1843.”

Terissa J., William and Mary’s second child was born in 1844. She married a Mr. Lowe. She died in Granbury, Hood County, Texas in 1879. Nothing more is known of her.

From the Greenville Mountaineer of 15 November 1844: “ Died, Mrs. Jane Peden, consort of Mr. James Peden, aged 72 years, near Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, on October 28th.” Jane Peden was Mary’s mother.

William and Mary moved to Pine Log, Cass County (now Bartow County), Georgia some time during the year 1844.

Their third child was Julia Emma, born in Pine Log on the 28th of January 1845. Julia married Wesley Newell Freeman in Bluff Dale, Erath County, Texas in 1882. Wesley died in 1891. Julia did not marry again. She died the 10th of December 1915. She was survived by one son, Olin Knight Freeman.

From the Inferior Court minutes of Gwinnette County, May 1845: William Gordon, letter of guardianshipof Susan S., orphan and minor of George A. Gordon, deceased. Security: R.M. Cleveland.

William Gordon, letter administration of estate of Susan G. Gordon, deceased. Security: David W. Spence.

Alonzo P., William and Mary,s fourth child was born in Pine Log in 1847. He married Miss Lana Wright. He was a merchant and established the first dry goods store in Grandbury, Texas. He died there in 1921.

Their fifth child was Flavius Josephus. He was born in Pine Log the 21st of February 1849. He married Miss Ophelia Love. He was a medical doctor and practised in Erath and Hood counties in Texas. He died in Stephensville, Texas the 23rd of December 1918.

Isabella, their sixth child, was born in Pine Log in November 1850. She married Dr. H.L. Holt of  Erath County, Texas. She had many children and gave each the second name Gordon, both boys and girls.

William Gordon died in Pine Log on the 24th of May 1852 at the age of sixty five. He was survived by his wife and nine children: Mary A., William Thomason and Martha from his first marriage and Charles C. P., Terrissa J., Julia E., Alonzo P., Flavius Josephus and Isabella from his marriage with Mary. Mary had another son shortly after William died. William was father to sixteen children and was survived by ten.

He had a long and successful life. He provided well for his family during his life and after his death.

The Gravesite of William Gordon
16 Aug 1787 - 24 May 1852
Aged 65

Last Will & Testament of William Gordon

State of Georgia:
Cass County :

I, William Gordon, of the county and state afore said, being mindful of the uncertainty of life and being feeble in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and constitute this as my last will and testament.

Item 1st:  To my wife, Mary Evaline Gordon, and her children that she has or may have by me, I hereby will and bequeath the following property, viz: all the plantation where I now live being lots nos.(295) two hundred and ninety five (318) three hundred and eighteen in the 23rd District, 2nd Section and four negros, viz: Harriet, Elliot, Bob and Harry and all my horses, mules, cattle, hogs and stock of every description, all of my household, kitchen furniture, all of my farming tools of every description, my waggon and all my geary and all vehickles whatever belonging to the farm and all the crops of every description that may be on hand. All of the above mentioned property I leave in the hands of my wife Mary, to be used by her at her discretion for the support and education of my children by her, to be kept together until her youngest child shall arrive at the age of twenty one or marry and then the above mentioned property to be equally divided between my wife, if married, and her children, each child receiving an equal share with my wife, and if my wife sees proper she can settle and pay each child it’s portion of the property afore mentioned as they arrive at the age of twenty one or marry, and in case my wife shall not use the property as afore mentioned for the support and education of my children as directed, then it shall be the duty of my executor to make such fact known to the court of the ordinary and the court is satisfied of said fact shall order my executors herein after named to take possession of the afore mentioned property and apply it as directed.

Item 2nd: I desire the following named negros, to wit: Seborn a man, Charlot a woman, Manerva a woman, Rosilla a girl, Bill a boy, Cuny a boy, George a boy and a girl child of Manerva about one month old, to be sold by my executors herein after named and after paying all my just debts out of the money arising from the sale of said negros, the balance be equally divided between my children by my first wife herein after named having reference to the amount I have heretofore paid each of them, to wit: to the children of Jarret Gordon when they arrive at age, to whom I have heretofore paid two hundred and seventy dollars.

Mary A. Compton, to whom I have paid fifty dollars.

Clarett Gordon, to whom I have paid sixty five dollars.

Elizabeth Ann Henson, to whom I have paid one hundred and twenty eight dollars.

William T. Gordon, to whom I have paid one hundred and fifty dollars.

Martha Wood, to whom I have paid fifty dollars.

And in the event any of my last mentioned children shall die without issue then their portion of said estate be equally divided between my last living children.

Item 3rd: And if my wife Mary or any of her children should die then their portion shall be divided equally to their whole sisters and brothers living.

Item 4th: I appoint my friend William C. Wiley sole executor of this my last will and testament this March 20th 1852.

(signed) William Gordon

Signed, sealed and declared and published by William Gordan as his last will and testament in the presence of us the subscribers, who subscribe our names hereto in the presence of said testator at his special instance and request and of each others this March 20th.

(signed) William T. Wofford, A.G. Garness, James Peden

Mary was pregnant with their seventh child when William died. Lafayette Gordon was born shortly after William’s death in 1852. Nothing more is known of him.

The 1860 census shows that Mary was still farming in Pine Log and had real estate valued at $3000 and personal wealth valued at $1240. Her seven children were living with her on the farm.

Mary moved the family to Texas around 1862 to what was to become Grandbury, Hood County after the Civil War.

The family prospered in Texas. Mary had educated her children well and they became the heads of prominent families in Hood and Erath counties.

Mary Evaline Peden Gordon died in Granbury on the 15th of May 1879 at the age of sixty eight.

William and Mary Peden Gordon were my great-great grandparents.

1987-2005 Kenneth Allen Freeman
All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission.
National Archives Genealogy labs: Atlanta, Georgia and Fort Worth, Texas
History of Gwinnett County by J.C. Flanigan

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