Richard Gardner Scoggin

Richard Gardner SCOGGIN was born about 1808 in Virginia. While originally believed that he moved with his family through the Cumberland Gap to settle in the Elk River region of Limestone County, Alabama (near Veto), the first records place him in Giles County, Tennessee in 1826. On Monday, February 13th of that year, he was appointed deputy clerk of the Giles County Court (Flournoy Rivers' Manuscripts, p. 95). Though it is yet to be determined as to from what area of Virginia he came, ongoing research seems to suggest that Brunswick County is a possible location.

Richard married Mary M(argaret?). HARWOOD about 1830-1832, presumably in Tennessee. The daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth J. Harwood, Mary was born about 1813 in or near Elkmont in Giles County, Tennessee. Her father, Thomas, was "one of the earlier residents of Giles County, settling in the Elkmont area in the later part of 1810 to the early part of 1811 (A Brief Sketch of the Settlement and Early History of Giles County, Tennessee, James McCallun, 1876)."

Richard and Mary had 9 children with census records indicating that the eldest six were born in Tennessee between 1833 and 1843. Between 1842 and 1846 the family moved across the Elk River to Limestone County, Alabama where the three remaining children (Maria, Mary, and Christopher) were born.

Richard first appeared in the Census records in the 1840 listing of Giles County, Tennessee (p. 102). R.G. Scoggin(s) was shown as head of a household consisting of two males under 5 years of age (sons James and Thomas), one male between 5 and 10 years (son John), one male between 25 and 35 years (Richard), one female under 5 years (daughter Flora), and one female between 25 and 30 years (wife Mary).

By 1850, the family was in Limestone County, Alabama as the census records (p. 53) of that year show a 42-year old Richard G. Scoggin being employed as a teacher. His wife Mary M. was listed at 37 years of age at the time. Children in the household were listed as John H., Flora P., James R., Thomas H., Martha E., Charles J., Mariah U. and Mary M. Total population for the state was 771,623 including a white population of 426,514 and an African-American population of 345,109 (342,844 slaves and 2,265 free blacks).

On February 12th of 1858, Richard purchased approximately two acres of property in Pettusville, Limestone County, Alabama from his mother-in-law, Elizabeth J. Harwood and H.J. Harwood. This document is recorded in Deed Book #10 on pages 119-120.

By June of 1860 when the census was enumerated, neither John nor James were listed in the household. It is presumed that by this time John had left the household and James had died (it has been widely reported by several sources that James died at an early age). In the Census of Limestone County, Alabama (p. 31), Richard and Mary were listed with children Mary, Flora, Thomas, Martha, Maria, Mary and Christopher H. Also listed in the household was a 30-year old physician from Tennessee, William T. UPSHAW.

In this record, Richard listed his occupation as a farmer while sons Thomas and Charles were employed as farm laborers. It is likely that the farm crops consisted of cotton and/or corn as these were the most common commodities of the area. Total cotton production for the state of Alabama in 1860 was 989,955 bales while corn production was 33,226,282 bushels. Total population for the state was 964,201 including a white population of 526,271 and 343,770 African-Americans (435,080 slaves and 2,690 free balcks). Of the total, only 48,901 resided in urban areas while the total rural population was 915,300. The state was also home to 1,459 manufacturing establishments.

While it had been suggested that Richard moved his family back to Giles County, Tennessee at the beginning of the Civil War (c1861), records indicate that he remained in Limestone County, Alabama until the later part of 1869. The property in Pettusville which was purchased in 1858 was deeded to Thomas J. BAILER on September 6, 1868 by Richard and his wife, Mary (Limestone Co., AL Deed Book #14, p. 268). Further, On September 15, 1869, Richard's son Charles, filed a lien in Elkmont, Limestone County, Alabama against the cotton and corn crops being raised by Richard and son John Hawkins Scoggin in order to secure repayment of a $75.00 debt (Limestone Co., AL Deed Book #13, pp. 204-205).

Submitted by Patrick Wayne Scoggin