52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #15 – John Jean

John Jean is my great-great-great-grandfather – my paternal grandmother’s grandmother’s father. He was born about 1796 in Stokes County, North Carolina to Rev. Edmund Jean and his second wife, Martha ‘Patty’ Beasley.

According to a private book written by Glenn Jean, an engineer from Boulder, Colorado, John’s father died about 1802. The family was still in Stokes County for the 1810 census but by the 1820 census, both John and his mother were in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

John married Ann Jane Shaw about 1817 and they began growing their family. They had at least nine children:  William Edmund (1820); Francis Marion (1821); unknown daughter (1823); Jessie L. (1825); my great-great-grandmother Martha Ann (1826); John Wesley (1828); my great-great-grandfather’s first wife Sarah (1830); David C. (between 1831 and 1833); Thomas Asbury (1836); Wiley H. (1837); and Elizabeth A. (1842).

There is a record of a loan from his father-in-law, William Shaw: “I, John Jean of Lincoln Co., TN being indebted to William Shaw, Senr, of same place in the sum of sixty five dollars advance to me before the execution of this conveyance and being anxious to secure the said show in the payment of said sum of money. I have this day sold and conveyed unto said Shaw the following personal property, to wit, one crib of corn, one sorrel horse, one sorrel colt, three cows, three small yearlings, three fattened hogs, three sows, and 23 pigs belonging to the same, one bed and furniture, 1-8 gallon pot, and one fodder stack. This 22nd Jan 1827.” (1)

John was widowed about 1845 when Ann died, and he married a second time on December 24, 1846 to a widow named Martha ‘Patsy’ Taylor who had at least four children.

John and Martha were enumerated in Lincoln County, Tennessee for the 1850 census. John and Martha were living in proximity to some of John’s children:

1) Dwelling 230 Family 230 age born
John Jean 54 1794 SC (Was NC)
Martha (Patsey) Taylor 47 1803
Four Taylor children 09 to 19

2) Dwelling 229, Family 228
Jesse L Jane 25 1825
Mary J 17 1833
Elizabeth A 5/12 1850

3) Dwelling 229, Family 229 age born
Asa L Sanford 29 1821
Martha A (Jean) 24, 1826
David C (Jean) 15 1835
Eliz A Jane 08, 1842

John (64) and Martha (57) were enumerated across the Alabama state line in Madison County, Alabama for the 1860 census. John’s occupation was listed as a Cooper. A cooper is a person who makes or repairs wooden barrels, casks or tubs. John had previously been listed as a farmer.

They were back in Lincoln County, Tennessee for the 1870 census. He was, once again, listed as a farmer with personal property of $500.

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, John’s second wife, Martha, died. By the 1880 census, John, 86, was enumerated with his son Wesley’s family.

John died about 1883. I have not yet found any burial information for John or either of his wives but the location is presumed to be in Lincoln County, Tennessee.


(1) Land Deed Genealogy of Lincoln Co., TN, 1818-1828, Vol 2, Compiled by: Helen C & Timothy R Marsh, Southern Historical Press, Inc, Greenville, SC 1996.


This blog was prepared as a part of Amy Johnson Crow’s  No Story Too Small 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.


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