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WEATHERFORD Rev. John William, Sr.

WEATHERFORD Rev. John William, Sr.

Male 1743 - 1833

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  • Prefix  Rev. 
    Suffix  Sr. 
    Alt. Birth  1735  [1
    Born  1743  Hanover County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Religion  1761 
    Began to Preach 
    • Baptist minister.
    Religion  1773  Chesterfield County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Jailed for Preaching 
    • continued to preach from the jail window.
    Will  Jim Haney's Mom has his will 
    Died  22 Feb 1833  Pittsylvania County, VA. Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Died near Chatham, Va
    Buried  Chatham, Pittsylvania County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • burial: Owen Burying Ground 1/2 mi west of Shockoe Church in Pittsylvania

      36.81224N 79.27299W

      PITTSYLVANIA CO., VA - CEMETERIES \endash Shockoe Church Cemetery ----¤¤¤---- Source: Library of Virginia Digital Collection LVA Titled Files: Survey Report, Shockoe Church graveyard: 1937 Feb. 4 Research made by Mabel Moses Cemetery Location: Take Route 57 from Chatham, Virginia, go east 10 miles, turn into Route #702 on the south side, thence down same route about .25 mile to Shockoe Church, Virginia, on the west side of the road. Pittsylvania Co., Virginia DATE: 1833 OWNERS: Shockoe Church DESCRIPTION: [blank] HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: In the church yard at Shockoe Church is laid to rest John Weatherford, who suffered much persecution in his day. The following inscription was taken from the tombstone marking his grave. Elder John Weatherford a devoted Baptist Minister Born in Charlotte Co. 1740 Lay in Jail in Chesterfield Co., in 1773 five months for preaching. Moved to Halifax in 1813, to Pittsylvania 1823 Died Jan. 23, 1833 A sufferer for conscience sake An earnest and faithful minister of the Gospel Erected in 1906 by churches of the Roanoke Association.

      Gene,

      Thanks for the call today. It was nice to talk to you. As promised, I'm going to get your line out there for some of our folks to see who are in the Weatherford Family Association. I'm sure you will be getting some responses about joining the Weatherford Family Association and perhaps a copy of our current newsletter. It's good that you live right here in the Richmond area because our next reunion will be here and those who have the genealogy information can connect with you when they come here.

      As for you and I, we are both descendents of Rev. John Weatherford, but as he had several sons, I am a descendent of Charles Anderson Weatherford, and you are a descendent of John William Weatherford.

      The latitude and longitude of John Weatherford's grave are: 36.81224N 79.27299W

      On 5/30/2002, Todd Weatherford wrote and gave me the following directions to the grave:
      You drive to the left of the church (Shocco Baptist Church, Chathan, VA), past the cemetary in back (note the is a memorial stone in that cemetary next to the road. Follow the dirt road back past an old house and barn, and there is a large field in front of you. Between the folk across the field is a clump of small trees, with a tall double hickory in the middle. His grave is under the hickorys. The road forks, and is more travelled on the right, you go left and about 100 yds just before entering the woods, go right in the field, and you can barely see a right of way (more weeds) between the haycrop thru the field to the clump of trees. All of those trees is a cemetary, where JW's is the largest stone, all of the others are under the vegetation. I marked with orange tape a path into JW's gravesite, a small tree by the big hickorys, and his stone.

      When my wife and visited the site, we restored it, so it may not look exactly as Todd describes here. I've attached photos of the restoration. Glad we could restore your grandfather's grave while restoring ours. J

      I've attached a dated copy of the membership of the Weatherford Family Association.
    Notes 
    • Rev. John was the son of Major Weatherford, b. 09 Jun 1700 in St. Peters Parish, New Kent, VA and d. 01 Aug 1774 in Lunenburg,
      County, VA. He married 26 May 1740 in Lunenburg, Mary Edwards. Major was the son of another William Weatherford & Susanna Waller.

      Major son of William, son of John, son of Thomas, son of William
      More info if you need it.

      Mary Ellen Ahlstrom
      meahlstrom@aol.com


      Family Bible says he was in his 98th year when he died

      Children,
      Sex, Birth
      Drusilla Weatherford F 13 Aug 1767
      John William Weatherford M 1774 in Albermarle Cty, Virginia, USA
      Elizabeth Weatherford F 1778 in Virginia, USA
      Agnes Weatherford F 1780 in Virginia, USA
      Louisa Weatherford F 1782 in Virginia, USA
      Charles Anderson Weatherford M 1783 in Bedford, Virginia, USA
      Martha Patsy Weatherford F 1784 in Virginia, USA
      William W Weatherford M 1786 in Charlotte, Virginia, USA
      Eunice A Weatherford F 1788 in Albermerle, Virginia, USA

      Weatherford Baptist Church in Richmond named and dedicated to him

      This state historical marker is found on VA 640 just south of the VA 57 intersection, at the entrance to Shockoe Baptist Church.

      One of Pittsylvania County 's most significant roles in American history is that of a birthplace of religious freedom. Before the American Revolution the Anglican Church was tax-supported, and "dissenting" Christian groups were discouraged and often persecuted. The dissenting Baptists found fertile ground for church-planting and church growth in Pittsylvania County, thanks to the efforts of such men as Dutton Lane, who founded Virginia's first Separate Baptist church here in 1760. Samuel Harris of Pittsylvania, a former Anglican vestryman, member of the House of Burgesses, and Colonel of the militia, became the leading figure in the Baptist movement in Virginia. Because of the depth of Baptist sentiment in Pittsylvania, it is understandable that this county became home to the beloved Baptist preacher John Weatherford during his last 10 years. Weatherford had suffered more persecution than most for his preaching, carrying scars to the grave. While imprisoned for preaching in 1773 in Chesterfield County, he had continued to preach to large crowds through the jail window, his hands extended through the bars. His extended hands proved a tempting target for knife-wielding ruffians who slashed his hands.
      Eventually Patrick Henry secured Weatherford's release from jail, and paid his fines, acts for which Weatherford was ever after deeply grateful. (When Weatherford sent 5 pounds currency to Henry in payment for his services, it was returned.) Henry's admiration for the Baptists greatly affected his own personal philosophy and devotion and also his public life. (Later, in 1787-88, Henry apparently experienced a deep Christian conversion experience during a revival which spread from Hampden-Sydney College, and became an active personal evangelist during his later years.) It is through the influence of first Patrick Henry and later Thomas Jefferson that the principles of religious freedom became foundational to the U.S. Constitution.
      In 1872 Chatham physician Dr. William White recalled that as a boy he had attended Weatherford's funeral 39 years earlier and seen the famous Chesterfield County scars. He said, "I was barely tall enough to look into the coffin. The hands of the veteran minister lay ungloved upon his breast with palms downward. I saw white and rigid seams extending across the back of each hand…."
      For many years the grave of John Weatherford lay neglected and almost forgotten. Area Baptists in 1906 erected a monument nearby in the Shockoe Baptist church graveyard (Weatherford served as Shockoe's pastor during his last years), eloquently stating:
      "Elder John Weatherford, Baptist Minister. Born in Charlotte County 1740. Lay in jail in Chesterfield County in 1773 five months for preaching. Moved to Halifax in 1813; to Pittsylvania in 1823; died January 23, 1833.
      "Erected in 1906 by Churches of the Roanoke Association.
      "A sufferer for Conscience Sake.
      "An Earnest and Faithful Minister of the Gospel."
      A state marker was placed on the nearest roadside in 1959. The grave itself, about a quarter of a mile west of Shockoe Church, is now maintained by the church.
      John Weatherford again proved to be an endearing character in June 1987 as played by Col. Joseph H. Cosby (President Emeritus of Hargrave Military Academy) in the production of the musical "All Men Shall Be Free," written by Frances Hallam Hurt, and sponsored by the Pittsylvania Historical Society. Weatherford's descendant the Rev. T. Anthony Pollard of Danville played the role of Samuel Harris in the same production.
      More detailed information concerning John Weatherford and the early Pittsylvania County Baptists is found in Maude Clement's History of Pittsylvania County (available for purchase from the Pittsylvania Historical Society), and in Lewis Peyton Little's book Imprisoned Preachers and Religious Liberty in Virginia (available for circulation from the Pittsylvania County Public Library).

      Several years ago, standing by the grave of Patrick Henry, the youngest son, Mr. Henry informed me that while Elder John Weatherford was in Chesterfield jail, in 1773, he learned that, on the other side of the James River, there was a lawyer who had become distinguished as a friend of the persecuted Baptists. He secured a messenger, and, by him, sent £5 in gold-all the money he could raise-with the request that this lawyer would appear at the the next term in his defence. Patrick Henry did appear, and having secured his release, returned him the £5, wrapped up in the same handkerchief, just as it had been sent to him.

      Does anyone know the genealogy of the Reverend John Weatherford. He was a Baptist minister that was jailed for 5 months in Chesterfield County, Va for preaching. It seems vestrymen of the Church of England were trying to stifle the Baptist movement. The Reverend continued to preach from his jail cell. His jailers built a 12 foot high wall around the jail to prevent him from preaching to people congregated outside the jail. One person claims they even had a drummer drumming when he preached to try and drum out the sound of his voice. Eventually Patrick Henry came to his defense and engineered his release from jail for which he did not charge fee from the Reverend.

      On the site of the old jail in Chesterfield is a ganite shaft bearing the inscription.
      On this spot were imprisioned 1770-1774 John Fanner, David Finsley, Joseph Anthony, Augustine Castin, Jeremiah Walker, John Weatherford, Apostles of Religious Liberty.

      I believe he was pastor for a short while of the Cubb Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte. If this church still exists they would surely have good information. I know that in his later years he moved to a farm farther west in Virginia owned by his son. I believe he died there.

      There is a long detailed article on John Weatherford in the Virginia Baptist Register, No 8 pp 356-374 (1969) entitled "John Weatherford (1743-1833) The Man Behind the Legends" by John S. Moore.

      "Elder John Weatherford was very successful in his ministry. His success roused the resentment of his Episcopal enemies, and he was soon thrown into prison, where he remained five months. But "his courage forsook him not. The love of Christ constrained him. He preached at the door of the prison as long as allowed the privilege; when refused that, he preached through the grates of the window. But such determined opposition did he meet, that an effort was made by his enemies to put a stop to that also. For this purpose, they built an outer wall above the grate. But Weatherford devised means to overcome the obstacle. A handkerchief, by the congregation, was to be raised on a pole above the wall, as a signal that the people were ready to hear. His voice being very strong, he could throw it beyond these impediments, and convey the words of life and salvation to the listening crowd…"
      John Weatherford [is] Remembered as Unstoppable Dissenting Preacher at the following URL (The state historical marker found on VA 640 just south of the VA 57 intersection, at the entrance to Shockoe Baptist Church, is shown, as is the monument, erected in 1906 by the Pittsylvania Baptist Association, found in the Shockoe Baptist Church graveyard. Weatherford's actual gravesite is a quarter of a mile farther west. ):
      "John Weatherford, instrumental in bringing the "Great Awakening" to southside Virginia, was the first notable Baptist minister in the County. He and his family lived in the upper Cub Creek section of Charlotte County. Both parents were Presbyterian and his father, Major Weatherford, was an elder in that church. John found that the preaching of Elder Samuel Harris agreed with his own religious convictions so he left his parents' religion and joined the Baptists..."

      This monument, erected in 1906 by the Pittsylvania Baptist Association, is found in the Shockoe Baptist Church graveyard. Weatherford's actual gravesite is a quarter of a mile farther west.
      For many years the grave of John Weatherford lay neglected and almost forgotten. Area Baptists in 1906 erected a monument nearby in the Shockoe Baptist church graveyard (Weatherford served as Shockoe's pastor during his last years), eloquently stating:
      "Elder John Weatherford, Baptist Minister. Born in Charlotte County 1740. Lay in jail in Chesterfield County in 1773 five months for preaching. Moved to Halifax in 1813; to Pittsylvania in 1823; died January 23, 1833.
      "Erected in 1906 by Churches of the Roanoke Association.
      "A sufferer for Conscience Sake.
      "An Earnest and Faithful Minister of the Gospel."
      A state marker was placed on the nearest roadside in 1959. The grave itself, about a quarter of a mile west of Shockoe Church, is now maintained by the church.
      John Weatherford again proved to be an endearing character in June 1987 as played by Col. Joseph H. Cosby (President Emeritus of Hargrave Military Academy) in the production of the musical "All Men Shall Be Free," written by Frances Hallam Hurt, and sponsored by the Pittsylvania Historical Society. Weatherford's descendant the Rev. T. Anthony Pollard of Danville played the role of Samuel Harris in the same production.
      More detailed information concerning John Weatherford and the early Pittsylvania County Baptists is found in Maude Clement's History of Pittsylvania County (available for purchase from the Pittsylvania Historical Society), and in Lewis Peyton Little's book Imprisoned Preachers and Religious Liberty in Virginia (available for circulation from the Pittsylvania County Public Library).

      Bible Records in the Archives of the Library of Virginia
      > Weatherford Family, Prince Edward County 1802-1938. Virginia State
      > Library Accession #26644. Other names: Bugg, Elam, Harris, Newman,
      > Riggins
      >
      > Page One:
      > William Weatherford was born July the 19th, 1802 and died Nov. 30, 1896
      > Elizabeth Weatherford was born the 13th of July 1807
      > John Blair Richards Weatherford was born July the 10th 1829
      > James Samuel Weatherford was born October the 22nd day on friday 1830
      > Halearnd Washingting was born the 30th day of June 1833 on Sunday
      > Gehue Nelson Weatherford was born 21st of March 1835
      > Whitfield Wadkins was born the 4th of June 1837
      > Martha Ann Hall, Weatherford was born the 3rd day of October 1838
      > Roan Elizabeth Weatherford was born June the 17th 1847
      > Susan Arabella Weatherford was born the Sixth of March 1844 and died Apr
      > 3rd 1906
      > Luiza Allen Weathrford was born the 30th of July 1846 & died Feby 12th
      > 1938. Buried in Riverview Cemetery, Richmond, Va.
      >
      > Page Two
      > Virginia J. Weatherford was born the first day of April 1849
      > My Little Son John Blair Richards Weatherford departed this Life the 18th
      > of June 1830 at Eleven Months and ten days
      > My Little Son James Samuel Weatherford departed this Life May the 15th
      > 1832
      > The Revnd John Weatherford departed this Life February 22nd 1833 in the
      > ninety Eighth year of his age
      > My little daughter Virginia Jackson Weatherford departed this life 6th of
      > Oct ber 1859 Ten years Five months and Eight days old Born 1849
      >
      > Page Three
      > William T, Z, or J] Weatherford and Elizabeth his wife was married
      > February 20th 1828 By John B. Smith
      > John Elam and his wife Susan was married September 24th 1829 By John B.
      > Smith
      > [Habarn ?] William Riggins And his Wife was married the 14 of March in
      > 1854 By Rev. R. Granbery
      > Albert Harris And Martha his wife was married the 6 of March in 1856 By
      > R. Granbery
      > H. W. Weatherford was married the 5th of July 1865 to Miss Mary F. Bugg
      > By the Revd W. A. Smith
      >
      > Page Four
      > Robert Lee Newman and Anna his wife was married January 21st in 1897.
      > John William Newman and Lelia his wife was married October 13th in 1898.
      > Wylie Jones Newman and Pattie his wife was married January the 31 in 1900
      > Lewis Nelson Newman and Fannie his wife was married April 24th 1902 By
      > Rev. R. S. Baughan
      > David Towns Newman and Lillie his wife was married March 28th in 1903
      > Heigh Hunt Newman and Essie his wife was married May 16th in 1903
      > Clarence Nelson Newman was born May 5th 1906. Son of Lewis N. and Fannie
      > B. Newman
    Person ID  I11011  Booth Family
    Last Modified  9 Jul 2016 

    Father  WEATHERFORD Major,   b. 1710, Hanover County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Aug 1774, Lunenburg County, Va Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  EDWARDS Elizabeth,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  26 May 1760  Lunenburg County, Va Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F3702  Group Sheet

    Family  SUBLETT Martha Patsy,   b. 1752, Charlotte County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1793 
    Married  1 May 1775  Charlotte County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. WEATHERFORD Drusilla,   b. 13 Aug 1767,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. WEATHERFORD John William, Jr.,   b. 1774, Albermarle County, Va Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Dec 1857, Castalian Springs, Sumner, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. WEATHERFORD Elizabeth,   b. 1778, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. WEATHERFORD Agnes,   b. 1780, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. WEATHERFORD Louisa,   b. 1782,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. WEATHERFORD Rev. Charles Anderson,   b. 15 Mar 1783, Bedford County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1846, Pittsylvania County, VA. Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. WEATHERFORD Martha Patsy,   b. 1784, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. WEATHERFORD William W.,   b. 1786, Charlotte County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. WEATHERFORD Eunice A.,   b. 1788, Albermarle County, Va Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  4 May 2012 
    Family ID  F3701  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1743 - Hanover County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Jailed for Preaching - 1773 - Chesterfield County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1 May 1775 - Charlotte County, VA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Feb 1833 - Pittsylvania County, VA. Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Weatherford: Rev. John tombstone
    Weatherford: Rev. John tombstone
    Tombstone: Chatham, Va The latitude and longitude of John Weatherford’s grave are: 36.81224N 79.27299W

    You drive to the left of the church (Shocco Baptist Church, Chathan, VA), past the cemetary in back (note the is a memorial stone in that cemetary next to the road. Follow the dirt road back past an old house and barn, and there is a large field in front of you. Between the folk across the field is a clump of small trees, with a tall double hickory in the middle. His grave is under the hickorys. The road forks, and is more travelled on the right, you go left and about 100 yds just before entering the woods, go right in the field, and you can barely see a right of way (more weeds) between the haycrop thru the field to the clump of trees. All of those trees is a cemetary, where JW's is the largest stone, all of the others are under the vegetation. I marked with orange tape a path into JW's gravesite, a small tree by the big hickorys, and his stone.

    Documents
    Weatherford Family Bible
    Weatherford Family Bible
    Weatherford and Newman families

  • Sources 
    1. [S1165] Edward Moore Newman, Edward Moore Newman, (from his memory and paperwork) (Reliability: 3).


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