Rutherfordiana/Source Material Extracts/Extract from White

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White, 1902:1 quotes The Joel Walker Record a follows

  • "Joel Walker, of Ohio...kept a record of the Walker family, and from this Andrew Walker,* of McDonough Co, Ill, made a copy in 1856. This record covered a period of one hundred and fifty years, and furnished the foundation for the present work. The Joel Walker record states that
"in the Walker ancestry the name extends back only three generations, when it looses itself in the Rutherford family then farther back than we have any authentic information of the Rutherfords in the line of ancestry are the Alleines."


Joel was born in 1763 and died in 1834. White 1902:229 tells us that he married his wife, Margaret Armstrong, at her fathers home in Greenbriar County, Septermber 20 1792, but that the couple lived at first with his parents in Rockbridge. After his fathers death in 1793, he relocated to Greenbriar County, apparently to live with his wife's family. His mother died in 1800, and by 1803 he had relocated again, this time to the "Northwest Territories" settling on Beaver Creek east of Springfield, Ohio.

White 1902:229 also states that:

...he was the author of the Joel Walker Record (mentioned in the first part of this work), which was presumably written in Virginia previous to 1800, before the death of Samuel's father., and contained the names of about 140 descendants of John Walker of Wigton.

This implies that White believes Joel got his family history information from his father Samuel before his death in 1793. Based on DNA evidence, we now believe that Samuel was not descended from the Walker's Creek line, and, in all probability, was not descended from John I of Wigton Scotland, or the son of John Walker II and Katherine Rutherford. On this basis it seems likely that Joel got his information about the Wigton Walkers from some of his relations who married into the Walker's Creek line. In any case, whatever Joel's source, it is clear that his original manscript was in existence before his death in 1834. That would make The JWR the earliest source** for the identification of a relationship to the Rutherfords and to the Alleine's.

It is significant that the passage White quotes does NOT say anything about the nature of the connection to the Rutherfords and Alleines. The wording "...[the Walker] name extends back only three generations, when it looses itself in the Rutherford family..." is curious. Three generations back from Joel would be, by White's lineage

Joel Walker = Margaret Armstrong
Samuel Walker (1714-1793) = Jane Patterson
John Walker II (c1682-1734) = Katherine Rutherford
John Walker I (?-?) = Jane McKnight.

The wording suggests that Joel knew nothing about his Walker lineage prior to John II = Katherine Rutherford. I suspect that joel was just being a bit imprecise, focusing on the Rutherfords in the cited passage. If not, then we have to ask from where the information came that deals with John I = Jane McKnight. It is possible that this information did not come from Joel, in which case the only plausible source that we know of would be the Rutherford Bible. Perhaps the bible was in origin in the hands of the Walkers (or perhaps Jane McKnight presumed father John McKnight whose name appears in the bible with his DOB). That might explain why the bible is said to have come with John II. That is, it was his mothers bible which she got from her father, and passed on to her son and wife Katherine Rutherford. After their deaths, in this interpretation, the bible left the hands of the Walkers, and passed to Katherine's brother James Rutherford. All of that is, of course, highly speculative, because we have no real indication that there was much, if anything, about the Walkers in the bible prior to it coming into the hands of James Rutherford.

The bottom line here is that we are sorely handicapped by a) not knowing precisely what was in the Joel Walker Record, and b) not knowing what other information was contained on the illegible page of the Rutherford Bible.

On another point, it is worth mentioning that White tells us that the Joel Walker record covered 150 years. If you assume it was written by 1800 (as White apparently did), then you'd expect the earliest dates in it to be about 1650. We have no data given by White that would give anyone in the direct Walker lineage as being born c. 1650. Indeed, the earliest date we have there (apart from the notation about John McKnight) is the 1702 marriage of John II and Katherine. It is plausible that White extrapolated back and projected that John I was born about 1650, which would give 150 years to the date of recordation of the JWR (more or less). However, we can also imagine that the JWR included Joels children and perhaps grandchildren. The latest entry could have been about 1834 when Joel died (assuming Andrew Walker added nothing to the JWR).

*White, 1902:403:

Andrew Hammond Walker (2966) (Alexander, Alexander, John); b. Aug 16, 1808 in Adair County, KY...d. Jan. 6, 1885. He visited his cousin. Joel Walker (No. 1828) in 1856, and made a copy of the original Walker Record compiled by Joel Walker.

**White, of course, did not use Joel's original manuscript but an 1856 copy by Andrew Walker of Illinois. Since neither Joel's original, nor Andrew's copy seems to be still in existence, we can not say how good a copy Andrew made. Our assumption is that his version was an accurate rendition of what Joel wrote, but its possible that he adjusted the data on his own to match up with what HE thought it should be. Its conceivable that the reference to the Rutherfords and Alleine's arose from the hand of Andrew.)

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