Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Don’t Drink the Toddy

Albert Bunn Joyner and Family
 Sometimes, when I have been researching a family for a while, I start to get a creepy feeling that all these people are in the room with me. The Joyner family was an interesting group of ancestors to hang out with since it includes an English inn keeper, the lawyer of Pocahontas’ English husband, a Colonial activist involved in Bacon’s Rebellion, two very young brothers who were killed by Union soldiers, and lots of other interesting individuals.

It also presented a surprise when I discovered my 4th great grandfather, Littleton Bunn Joyner was very likely adopted by the man I thought was his father, my 5th great grandfather, Thomas Littleton Joyner. He was actually the son of Thomas’ sister, Ann Joyner, and her husband so the Joyner connection is still valid and Thomas is still my 5th great grandfather. Were that not the case I would be very frustrated that I spent months researching this family.

Littleton would go on to served as a private in the War of 1812 in Captain Henry Hamilton’s Company of Infantry, 3rd Raulston’s West Tennessee Militia. His service began Nov. 13, 1814 and ended May 13, 1815.

He became one of the earliest settlers of Haywood County, TN when in 1827, he moved there from Wilson County, TN. He attempted to run a store for a number of years, but failed. After his failure, he bounced back and was elected county clerk of Haywood County, a position he held for twenty-two years.
His son, Alfred Bunn Joyner, was the recipient of one of the longest and most interesting obituaries I have come across. According to his obit written on July 20, 1899, “…his strong temperance sentiments were conspicuous in life, and in the hour of death, when his physician gave him, toddy, he said, “I want pure water to drink.”

So while hanging out with the Joyner family, I made sure not to offer my 3rd great grandfather anything stronger than water.

You can read Alfred's obit and lots more about the Joyner family on

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