Whitaker, Joshua and Lydia Burgin

contributed by Joyce Parris, 220 Northwest Ave., Swannanoa, NC
Joshua Whitaker, fourth son of James Whitaker and Polly Walker, was born October 4, 1804 in Buncombe Co, probably Swannanoa, and died January 22, 1886. On November 27, 1834, while he lived in McDowell Co, he married Lydia Burgin (July 27, 1815 – Feb 24, 1889), a daughter of Major Ben Burgin and Betsey Branon. They moved from Crooked Creek in McDowell and bought 640 acres on both sides of Clear Creek in Edneyville, Henderson Co. This deed was dated April 5, 1856. The Whitakers who seemed to have a Pennsylvania Quaker background were well-educated for the time and the place. Joshua has been described in family stories as a very stern man who made up his own mind what was right and wrong. In his obituary it was stated that before he joined the Church of God when he was sixty-nine, he had never found any church whose doctrine agreed with his understanding of the Bible. He is listed as one of the McDowell County men who joined General Winfield Scott in the 3rd Volunteer Militia in removing the Cherokee Indians from North Carolina to Oklahoma in 1838.

Joshua and Lydia had thirteen children. Five of their sons were in the Civil War. Four – Julius, William, James and Joshua, were on the Confederate side; and one, Josiah, was on the Union side. William, who was studying to be a lawyer, was killed at Fredricksburg, VA., on December 13, 1862; James was also killed May 29, 1864; Julius was killed while home on leave by “bushwhackers” near Hendersonville; Joshua survived the war as did Josiah. Josiah’s discharge papers from the Union Army, Indiana Volunteers Regiment, are dated July 21, 1865. He is described as six feet, one inches tall, with fair complexion, blue eyes.

There seemed to have been no “hard” feelings in the family against Josiah since he went back to Edneyville after his discharge and lived there until about 1888 when he and his family moved to Hominy Creek, NC. On September 13, 1866, Josiah had married Adline Garren, daughter of Absolum Garren and Caroline Eliza Vaughn. Josiah and his wife, on February 12, 1880, gave land to have a Church of God built. This tract of land joined the Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery where many of the Whitakers are buried.

Josiah and Adline had seven children. Two of their daughters, Eliza and Rosamon, died after contracting what was called “galloping tuberculosis” at the Peabody School. Eliza died in 1890 at 23 years of age, and Rosamon died in 1891 at 15 years of age. They are probably buried at Hominy Creek. Eliza was working on family history in 1885, and my start came from her material.

In 1902 Josiah and Adline moved to Swannanoa with their remaining daughter and at least one of their three sons. Josiah died March 8, 1916, and Adline died December 9, 1923. They are buried in the Tabernacle Methodist Church Cemetery in Black Mountain. Their remaining daughter was my grandmother, Lydia Emaline who married J.A. (Andy) Lance on September 10, 1904.

— ALOB, July 1984, Vol. V, #7, p. 84-61

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