Back to:  Genealogy index     PoetsVisions   Jefferson

The Family of Sarah Farrar and John Butch Rankin

John "Butch" Rankin was born in old Mecklenburg County, NC, the oldest son of William and Mary Moore Rankin . According to John Moore, Senior of Anson/Tryon/Lincoln/ Gaston County, North Carolina by Minnie D. Van Valin, Johnís brother, Colonel Richard Rankin, left a written statement John was named for his grandfather, John Moore, Sr. the father of General John Moore, a Patriot in the Revolutionary War. The family tree indicates that John Rankin was born in 1792. This date is supported with census information.

John Rankin served in the War of 1812, enlisting in Salisbury, NC on 1 Feb 1814. He was made a Sergeant in Captain Edward Lee Singleís Company of the North Carolina Militia and served in that capacity until his honorable discharge on 25 Aug 1814. He apparently saw no action and was pensioned under the Act of 1871.

Upon his return from duty, John purchased 97 acres of land in Lincoln County from Hugh Jenkins on 16 Sept 1814. Five days later, John Rankin and Sarah Farrar were married on 21 Sept 1814 in Mecklenburg County at the home of Nathaniel Farrar, a Patriot in the Revolutionary War. Sarahís date of birth is about 1784. According to Alvahn Holmesí Some Farrarís Island Descendants (1979), Sarah was the great-great-great granddaughter of William Farrar I who settled Farrarís Island on the James River in Henrico County, Virginia. His son William Farrar II had a son William Farrar III who married Priscilla Baugh before 1 Apr 1681 according to a deed by her grandfather, Colonel William Baugh. Their son, William Farrar IV was the last owner of Farrarís Island selling it to Thomas Randolph in January 1727.

John "Butch" Rankin and Sarah lived in Lincoln County, NC residing in what is today the Hickory Grove area of Gaston County where they farmed the land. John purchased another 100 acres of land on 1 Sept 1830. On 29 Jan 1846, William Rankin granted, for the sum of $5, six hundred and five acres to John Rankin, Isaac Holland and William ReidóWilliamís eldest son and son-in-laws. It has been estimated Johnís total acreage totaled between 300 and 400.

According to the Family Bible of her son-in-law, John S. Moody, Sarah died in June 1834. By and after 1850, John lived in the household of his son-in-law Charles Burke Abernethey though the land belonged to John Rankin. On 18 Oct 1869, an article of agreement was made between C.B. Abernathy and wife Eliza of the first part and John Rankin of the second part they would agree to "support and maintain him through life" in exchange for title to the 115 acres "on which he [John] now lives [brackets added]."

Older members of the family remember a headstone at one time existed in the Goshen Grove Cemetery stating Johnís date of birth as 1 Feb 1792 and his date of death as 26 Oct 1876; this last date of death is supported by the Bible mentioned above. Both John and Sarah are at rest in the Goshen Grove Cemetery.

From the bits and pieces of information handed down over the generations, as well from the documents of the day, we have been able to construct a portrait of this man, our ancestor. John Rankin was a good family man. He was not an educated man in the classical sense but was shrewd enough to make more than a subsistence living for his family in difficult days. He is thought of as terse, a bit rigid, perhaps even puritanicalótraits not at all unusual in pioneering people. Perhaps it was this strictness that in some part accounted for his daughter, Sarah, having two children out of wedlock. But his love for his family is clearly evident through a reading of his will. He clearly loved his grandchildren, whom he made clear reference to and provision for. His will, dated 27 Mar 1874 and probated 3 Nov 1876 in Gaston County, reads as follows:

I, John Rankin of Gaston County, North Carolina on this the 27 day of March 1874 make and publish this my last will and testament. First, I direct that my Executor shall pay all my just debts and funeral expenses and put up a headstone to my grave. Second, I will my clothes to William Rankin my grandson and my bed to Nancy Rankin my granddaughter. Third, I will all the balance of my estate to be divided as follows: to Margaret Moody one fourth, to Eliza Abernathy one fourth, to William and Nancy Rankin one fourth and to my son Alexander Rankinís children one fourth.

I direct my Executor to sell my lands and divide the proceeds in four equal parts. I appoint my Brother Richard Rankin my Executor to do this my last deed in witness whereof I set my hand seal.

T. F. Wilson his Hampton Padgett John X Rankin mark

John Rankin was also a soldier. The Charlotte Democrat, at his passing on 26 Oct 1876, refers to him as "John Rankin, soldier of the War of 1812." John Rankin was a man of property though not an immense amountóperhaps 300 acres, most of which was granted to him by his father long before William Rankin died. This same land was passed down to his daughters and son, Alexander, through various gifts and his will. John was evidently well-thought of in his community as the Mecklenburg Jeffersonian, on the occasion of his daughter Margaretís wedding, referred to him as "John Rankin, Esquire."

Many of us in this family see these same traits within ourselves and in others of our clan. We can be hard, rigid, a somewhat terse people at times but respected for our fair-mindedness and willingness to assist those who merit it. There is probably some of John Rankinís character in each of his descendents and we consider ourselves the better for it.

John and Sarah Farrar Rankinís children:

1. Margaret A. Rankin (b. 10 March 1819 d. 10 June 1916)
2. Alexander N. Rankin (b. 1824 d. 21 July 1862)
3. Sarah Eliza Rankin (b. 1826 d. 30 Aug 1892)


The Family of Margaret A. Rankin and John Simmons Moody

Margaret A. Rankin was born 10 March 1819, the oldest child of John Butch Rankin and his wife, Sarah Farrar. She married in Lincoln County on 22 Nov 1842 to John Simmons Moody who was born 14 Sept 1816 in Lincoln County. John was one of the four children of John Moody (d. 5 May 1831) and his wife, Mary Abernethy (d. 15 Oct 1846) whom he married on 21 Dec 1794.

John and Margaretís marriage was mentioned in the Nov 1842 edition of the Mecklenburg Jeffersonian. They resided in Gaston County where John was a farmer and railroad worker. John died on 10 July 1870. After her husbandís death, Margaret resided in her home with her daughter, Margaret, and son-in-law, Robert Joy, until her death at the age of 97 on 10 June 1916. She and John had the following children:

1. Joseph Moody (b. 8 June 1843  d. 19 May 1858)
2. Mary A. Moody . 'Cherry' (b. 20 Jan 1845 in Lincoln County. She married on 5 Oct 1873 to James F. Cherry and died in Gaston County on 11 Dec 1925. They had no children. Mary is at rest in the Stanley cemetery.)
3. Sarah Moody Smith: Sarah (Moody) 'Caldwell' (b. 16 Apr 1847)
4. Susan Moody (b. 26 Aug 1849. She married on 8 Apr 1873 to James Monroe Skidmore who was born 5 Apr 1855. "Uncle Mun" was quite a character in his day; an atheist and proud of it. He died on 30 Jan 1937 and Susan died at the age of 91 on 2 Nov 1940. They had no children.)
5. Rebecca Moody (b. 8 Aug 1852  d. 22 Feb 1925)


The Family of Rebecca Moody and Robert William Joy

Rebecca Moody was born 8 Aug 1852, the youngest daughter of John S. Moody and his wife, Margaret Rankin. 'Moody'; (Rankin); . She married in Gaston County on 14 Mar 1878 to Robert William Joy who was born 27 Jan 1857, a son of James A. Joy (b. 28 June 1831 d. 3 Nov 1899) and his first wife, Mary Angeline Fisher; (b. 3 Jan 1836 d. 22 Sept 1861). Mary was born in Catawba County, a daughter of Rufus and Anna Tubyfill Fisher . James and Angeline had two sons, Robert William Joy and Sidney A. Joy who married Rebecca Moody's cousin, Emma G. Abernethy. 'Joy'; . (Abernethy); After Angelineís death, James married Martha C. Fisher. (Fisher); 'Joy'; in Gaston County on 15 Jan 1864 and they had ten children. James, Mary and Martha are all at rest in Goshen Cemetery.

Will and Rebecca lived near the original John Butch Rankin home place in Hickory Grove where they farmed and which Rebecca and Will inherited when her mother died. In addition to being a farmer, Will was also a carpenter. He is remembered for the hand-made caskets he constructed when there was a death in the neighborhood. He also prepared the bodies for burial. Some of his tools are still in existence today. His carpentry skills were not limited to caskets, however. He was a superb cabinetmaker. A granddaughter has a table and a jewelry box made by Will and which demonstrate his splendid craftsmanship. Another granddaughter remembers "grandpa Will played a musical instrument in a band," and thinks the instrument was a banjo.

Rebecca died in Gaston County on 22 Feb 1925 and Will died at the age of 73 on 31 May 1930. Both are at rest in the Ebenezer Church Cemetery in Belmont, NC. Their children:

1. James Erastus Joy (b. 28 March 1879  d. Sept 1979)
2. Margaret Ethel Joy (b. 26 Mar 1881  d. 4 Oct 1963)
3. Daisy May Joy (b. 22 Apr 1884  d. 7 June 1936)
4. Ada Rhesa Joy (b. 18 Jan 1887  d. 15 Feb 1925)


The Family of Margaret Ethel Joy and John Franklin Clemmer

Margaret Ethel Joy was born 26 Mar 1881, a daughter of R. William and Rebecca M. Joy . Margaret married at about the age of 16 years to John Franklin Clemmer who was born 7 Jan 1869, a son of Jonas Clemmer and his wife, Mahala Sigmon . John had previously married Letha Kiser and had four children by her:

1. Clarence Claudius Clemmer (b. 5 Dec 1888  d. 1962)
2. Cora Mar Clemmer (b. 12 Feb 1891  d. 1969)
3. Carl Lee Clemmer (b. 23 July 1897  d. 1973)
4. Perry Edgar Clemmer (b. 28 Mar 1895)

After her marriage to John, Maggie helped to raise his four children as well the eleven children of her own. John died on 1 June 1946 and is buried at Christ Lutheran Church in Stanley, NC next to his first wife. Maggie passed away at the age of 82 on 4 Oct 1963 and is at rest in Gaston Memorial Park in Gastonia. Johnís children by Maggie:

1. Essie Rae Clemmer (b. 16 Nov 1898  d. July 1969)
2. Lillian Mar Clemmer (b. 19 Aug 1900)
3. Mayme Ione Clemmer (b. 28 Aug 1904)
4. Edna Pauline Clemmer (b. 29 Sept 1906. She married Stan Carter, deceased as of 1991. They had no children.)
5. Ethel Lorene Clemmer (b. 5 Apr 1910  d. 23 Mar 1976)
6. Elizabeth Ganelle Clemmer (b. 20 Aug 1912)
7. Beulah Mozell Clemmer (b. 7 Feb 1915)
8. John Franklin Clemmer, Jr . (b. 12 Oct 1917)
9. Sarah Ruth Clemmer (b. 23 Apr 1920)
10. Vivian Joy Clemmer (b. 3 June 1923)
11. Martha Ann Clemmer (b. 13 Nov 1926)

The Family of John Franklin Clemmer, Jr. and Louise Fulton

John Franklin Clemmer, Jr. was born 12 Oct 1917. He and his wife, Louise born 20 Dec 1920, live in Gastonia, NC and had the following children:

1. Brady Clemmer
2. Stanley Clemmer
3. John Franklin Clemmer III
4. Robert Clemmer
5. Richard Clemmer
6. Palmer Clemmer
7. Mary Elizabeth Clemmer
8. Lillian Pauline Clemmer


The Family of John Franklin Clemmer, III and Teresa Ann Jacobs

John Franklin Clemmer, III. was born 8 Mar 1943. He and his wife, Teresa Ann Jacobs, who was born 12 Feb 1945, live in Covington, VA and have two children:

1. John Jeffrey Clemmer (b. 22 May 1968)
2. Jennifer Lynn Clemmer (b. 13 Sep 1971)