Sunday, August 2, 2015

Joseph D. Renfro/Rentfro

© Kathy Duncan, 2015

Joseph D. Renfro, son of John Renfro and an unknown wife, married Sarah Dial 24 Jun 1835 in Gibson County, Tennessee. He appeared on the 1836 Gibson County, TN tax list in district 12. He first appears as head of household on the 1840 census of Gibson County, Tennessee.

1840, Gibson County, Tennessee:

Joseph Renfro 1011-20001

one male under 5 = James Renfro
one male 10-15 = unknown son, either died or has his own household in 1850. Possibly a brother of Joseph or his wife Sarah.
one male 15 - 20 = Joseph Rentfro
two females under five = Nancy Rentfro, Mary Rentfro
one female 20 - 30 = Sarah Rentfro

27 Dec 1850, Dist #11, Gibson Co., TN, p. 298:

Joe D. Rentfro 37 M Farmer b. TN [b.c. 1813]
Sarah 38 F b. TN
Nancy 14 F b. TN
Mary 12 F b. TN
James 7 M b. TN
Emily 3 F b. TN
John 6/12 M b. TN

J. D. Rentfro married Sarah A. McKeown 22 Jan 1857 in Gibson County, Tennessee. Evidently, Sarah (Dial) Rentfro was deceased by the end of 1856.

Sarah A. McKeown was evidently the widow of Green B. McKeown. She was named administrator of his estate during the May Term 1854 in Gibson Co., TN. Sarah signed with her mark.
[Source: Gibson Co., TN, Wills 1852-1856, Vol. E, p. 163]

On 10 Feb 1857, a report on G.B.G. McKeown's estate was made by Sarah A McKeown, showing payments back to 1854. No mention is made of his heirs. Also, Sarah is not recorded as being a Renfro at this point.
[Source: Gibson Co., TN, Settlements Vol. F, p.163]

On 7 April 1857, Joseph D. Renfro was named guardian of E [name runs out of sight into binding of book] and Nancy McKeown, heirs of G.B.G. McKeown.
[Source: Gibson Co., TN, Will Book F, 1856-1862, p. 43]

Joseph D. Renfro's father John Renfro wrote his will in 1858 and was deceased by the July Term of 1860. John's will named Joseph D. Renfro as his son and appointed him as one of the executors of the estate along with B. McClasin. Among the property that Joseph purchased on 12 July 1860 was a quilt and one "family bible." Three other bibles also sold at the estate sale, so it seems like Joseph literally bought John's family bible. If it contains a family record, it might be recorded on the end pages or in the middle of the bible between the New and Old Testaments. A bible of that age might not have a printed family register page like later bibles. It is my hope that a descendant of Joseph D. Renfro still has this bible, but may not know how it connects to his or her family. To date, I have found no descendants of Joseph D. Renfro who have connected their lines to either Joseph D. Renfro or to John Renfro. However, there are plenty of descendants of Joseph D. Renfro. When you stumble across these posts, please contact me.

Joseph D. Rentfro removed to  Missouri by 1860.

1860, Union District, Dunklin Co., MO:

Joseph Renfrow M 46 b. TN
Nancy Renfrow F 24 b. TN
Mary E Renfro F 22 b. TN
J.W. Renfrow M 17 b. TN
Emely Renfrow F 13 b. TN
John M Renfrow M 10 b. TN
Joseph S Renfrow M 6 b. TN

Notice that the children and their ages match the children in Joseph D. Rentfro's 1850 household with the addition of Joseph S. Renfrow, born in 1854. Joseph S. Renfrow would be the son of Sarah (Dial) Renfro. This means that she was still living as of 1854, but deceased by the time Joseph marries Sarah A. McKeown in early 1857. Sarah A. McKeown Renfro is missing from the household in 1860. Is she deceased or elsewhere? Take a look at this household in  back Gibson County, Tennessee:

1860, District 12, Gibson County, TN:

Sarah Renfro 37 F Farmer $1,900-$2,600 b. TN
Elizabeth 12 F b. TN
Nancy 8 F b. TN
Sarah 2 F b. TN

Elizabeth and Nancy are likely to be McKeowns, heirs of G.B.G. McKeown since Joseph D. Renfro was named their guardian in 1857.

By 1870, a Sarah C. Renfro, the same age as the young Sarah above was added to Joseph D. Renfro's household, which was located in Hopkins Co., TX.

14 Sept. 1870; Prc #5, Charleston, Hopkins Co., TX; p. 172:

Renfro, Joseph D. 57 M W Farmer $0-$120 b. TN
-----John M 19 M W Farm laborer b. TN
-----Joseph S 15 M W Farm laborer b. TN
-----Sarah C 12 F W at home b. TN
Renfro, James 27 M W Farmer $1,000-$100 b. TN
-----Julia 25 F W Keeping house b. TN
-----William 3 M W b. TN

Sarah A. McKeown is missing from this household. Is she deceased or have she and Joseph divorced?

By 1880,  Joseph D. Renfro had removed to Delta County, Texas. He began appearing in the Delta Co., TX tax lists in 1872 and continued on the rolls in until 1887. He married Piety Watson in Delta County on 9 Sept 1880. Evidently, Joseph was deceased by 1888 because Piety Renfro married L.B Herren in Delta County on 29 Nov 1888.

In 1880, Joseph Renfro was boarding with the James Keith family.

25 June 1880 Prct 4 & 5, Delta County, Texas:

Keith, James M W 36 M Farmer b. TX fb. Ind mb. Ind
-----Sarah A. F W 34 M Wife Keeps House b. AL fb. VA mb. KY
-----Henry F. M W 10 S Son b. TX fb. TX mb. AL
-----William O. M W 7 S Son b. TX fb. TX mb. AL paralyzed
-----Mary L. W F 5 Dau b. TX fb. TX mb. AL
Renfrow, Joseph M W (70) Wd. boarder b. VA fb. - mb. -

Given the misreported age and birth place of Joseph in this census it seems likely that one of the Keith's reported for him. Living nearby was the widow Piety Watson and her children.

29 June 1880, Prct 4 & 5, Delta County, Texas:

Watson, Piety W F 36 Wd Keeping House b. MS fb. mb. MS
-----Albert W M 7 S b. TX fb. VA mb. MS
-----Ara A W F 3 S b. TX fb. VA mb. MS

Most of Joseph D. Renfro's sons and his daughter Sarah C. can all be located in Delta County. The whereabouts of his daughters Nancy, Mary E., Emily are unknown. Presumably, they married shortly after the 1860 census was taken in Dunklin County, Missouri. They may have married and stayed behind in Missouri or Hopkins County, Texas, or they may have also removed to Delta County, Texas and are unidentified.

To recap the children of Joseph D. Renfro. The children of Joseph D. Renfro and Sarah Dial:

1. Nancy Renfro
2. Mary E. Renfro
3. James W. Renfro
4. Emily Renfro
5. John M. Renfro
6. Joseph S. Renfro

The children of Joseph D. Renfro and Sarah McKeown

7. Sarah C. Renfro

Each child will be continued in individual posts. Just use the links above to open their pages.

Renfro marriages in Delta County, Texas:

John M Rentfro married Emiline E. Dial on 4 Dec 1873 in Delta, Delta County, Texas
Catherine Rentfro married Jerremiah Kizer on 20 Oct 1876 in Delta, Delta County, Texas.
Mary Rentfro married C.C. Lee on 8 Oct 1879 in Delta, Delta County, Texas.
J.D. Rentfro married Piety Watson 9 Sep 1880 in Delta County, Texas
M.L. Renfro married Robert L. Hurley 1 Dec 1887
W.J. Renfro married M.A. Cooper 12 Aug 1888
Piety Renfro married L.B. Herren on 29 Nov 1888 in Delta, Delta County, Texas
T.J. Renfro married M.E. Mathews 2 Jan 1890
W.J. Renfro married Maggie Smith 13 Dec 1891
E.A. Renfro married Myrtis Rattan 8 Dec 1892
J.H. Renfro married Della Fowler 5 Jan 1893
R.B. Renfro married Lucy Foster 14 Oct 1894
T.J. Renfro married Emma Gentry 27 Jan 1901
Leonard Renfro married Pearl Singleton 21 Oct 1916

Last updated on August 3, 2015

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