Elizabeth Rowland

If we can get away with calling John Litteral the father of most Litterals in Eastern Kentucky then certainly his wife Elizabeth was the family matron.

Elizabeth Rowland was born in 1786 in Lee County Virginia. She is the daughter of Michael Rowland and Elizabeth Hairston.  She married John Litteral in Virginia or Tennessee about 1807. They resided in Virginia until about 1815 when the family moved to Eastern Kentucky.

Elizabeth’s father, Michael Rowland (1755-1814) was a soldier in the American Revolution and fought at the Battle of Guiford Courthouse in North Carolina. (Michael Rowland’s DAR#:74 238). Though the British Regulars technically won the day by driving the Colonials from the field, it was only a pyrrhic victory and preceded Cornwallis’ withdrawal and eventual defeat at Yorktown.

Elizabeth’s mother is Elizabeth Hairston (1760-1810).  We can make the assumption, though a very likely assumption, that Elizabeth Rowland not only was named for her mother but that her son Hairston Litteral was also named for his grandmother.  This is not an uncommon tradition and we saw another Virginia family do the same when we listed Bayless Littrell as the son of Daniel Littrell and Abigail Bayless.

Elizabeth Rowland was one of nine children.  The family of Michael Rowland and Elizabeth Hairston are:

  1. George Rowland.
  2. Michael Rowland.
  3. Robert Rowland.
  4. William Rowland.
  5. Elizabeth Rowland. Born 1786 in Lee County, Virginia. Died 1878 in Johnson County, Kentucky. Married John Litteral abt 1807.
  6. Martha Rowland.
  7. Creed Rowland.
  8. Peter H. Rowland.  Peter was born in 1798 in Henry County, Virginia.  He married Nancy Hasten Littrell, born 1806 in Lee County, Virginia.  I do not yet know the connection of Nancy to John Littrell, who also lived in Lee County at the same time. She was not one of his siblings so perhaps she was the daughter of one of his uncles that also lived in the region.  Several websites list Nancy Littrell as a full blooded Cherokee Indian. This I doubt unless Nancy was adopted as we pretty much know the ancestry of the Littrells/Luttrells/Litterals of 18th century Virginia. Still anything is possible but I’ll remain skeptical until we find a good source for that claim.
  9. Rebecca Jane “Jincy” Rowland.  Jane was born abt 1801 and died abt 1876.  She married Ewing Littrell in 1817 in Tennessee.  Ewing is the younger brother of John Litteral.

That is at least three occurrences of Litterals and Rowlands marrying in that part of Virginia.  For more history and genealogy on the Rowlands, as well as on the Lee County area of Virginia from the 18th and early 19th centuries, please visit this website dedicated to the genealogy of Michael Rowland.  While Elizabeth is briefly only mentioned as a daughter of Michael Rowland, the website gives an excellent accounting of both her Rowland and Hairston ancestors.

As we discussed in an earlier post about her husband and the Litterals in general, John, Elizabeth and her children Newcarrius, Hairston, Daniel and George moved from Southwest Virginia to Eastern Kentucky abt 1815. John Litteral, Jr. was born to them in Kentucky in 1818.  They bought property in what was then Floyd County but was later in Johnson County when Floyd was divided in the 1840’s.

John Litteral and family appear on the 1820 Floyd County Census.  While that census only lists the heads of household by name, it does list the ages of the remaining members of the family and they do indeed fit what we know about the family. There are three males age 0-10. That would be Daniel born 1811, George born 1815 and John Jr. born 1818. There is one male age 10-16 which would be Hairston. And one male age 26-45 which would be John himself.  For the females, there is one aged 0-10. I am not sure who that would be. Perhaps there was a daughter that we do not know about or that died as a child.  I have seen some females erroneously attributed to John and Elizabeth but perhaps there was one not so incorrect. Another possibility is caring for a neighbor child which was not so uncommon an occurrence. There is a female aged 10-16 which would be Newcarrius and finally one female aged 26-45 that would be Elizabeth.

On Page 22 of the 1830 Floyd County Census, we find the John Litteral family on line 21.  Their neighbors were their son Hairston, and David Conley who we will see living near the Litterals in Oil Springs in following census records. Another neighbor is a Jacob Salyer, a farmer in his 20’s whose family only includes a wife of the same age group.  I am making another educated assumption that this is the same Jacob Salyer that married Elizabeth’s daughter Newcarrius in 1823. Their ages are correct and we will see them as neighbors to Elizabeth later on.

On the 1840 Floyd County Census, John’s entry consists only of himself as one male age 50-60, and Elizabeth listed as a female aged 40-50.  They are living next door to their son Daniel and his family.  This will be the last census including John as he passed away on October 4 of 1840.

Parts of Floyd County was divided into new counties in the 1840’s.  The Paint Lick area where John and Elizabeth settled became part of Johnson County in 1843.  In 1844 the first Johnson County tax list was created.  John Litteral had died in 1840 but apparently his land, or a portion of it anyway, passed to Elizabeth.  We see Elizabeth Litteral on the 1844 Johnson County Ky TaxList. Unfortunately we do not have any details of the property available from usgwarchives yet where I found the index.

On the 1850 Johnson County Census, which would be the first census collected after Johnson County was formed in 1843, Elizabeth Litteral, age 58 is listed as the head of household of house #282.  A notation on the census states that Elizabeth is the widow of Daniel Litteral.  I believe that this is a mistake and should note her as the widow of John Litteral.  Also living with Elizabeth in her household are William Litteral, age 18 and Milton Litteral, age 16.  I believe that there is a misspelling and “William” is “Wiley”.  Wiley and Milton were the older sons of John and Elizabeth’s second son, Daniel. Daniel’s wife, Sarah Conley, died about the same time as John Litteral did. Daniel remarried to Elizabeth Burke in 1845 and moved to another county.  It is possible that his sons would remain to help their widowed grandmother on the farm.  Wiley and Milton’s ages, as well as Elizabeth’s age makes this very probable.  The household is not far from the David Conley Farm which appears on the same page of the census.  Also not far away is the household of Elizabeth’s son-in-law, Jacob Salyer, and his wife Newcarrius Rowland.

By the 1860 Johnson County census, we find that Elizabeth is living with her son-in-law, Jacob Salyer, age 54 as head of household #790.  Included in his household are his sons Jacob, age 14 and Benjamin, age 11. Also living with Jacob is his mother-in-law, Elizabeth (Rowland) Litteral, age 70, Rowland Litteral, age 21 and a Jilson Blanton, age 18.  Rowland Litteral would probably be the son of Daniel Litteral and Sarah Conley and the younger brother of Wiley and Milton Litteral mentioned above.  Jilson Blanton is unrelated to the Litterals or Salyers, at least as I can tell thus far.  He could have been living there to help with the farm or perhaps was orphaned.  A Jackson Blanton, age 22, is living with Elizabeth’s son Hairston Litteral nearby in household #788.  Between them is David Conley again, but this one is younger than the David Conley living nearby for the last three censuses, perhaps his son.  Elizabeth’s daughter Newcarrius, Jacob Salyer’s wife, had passed away a couple months before the census was taken and of course is not listed. It is clear that Jacob’s mother-in-law continued to live in his home beyond the death of his wife.

By the time of the 1870 Johnson County Census, Elizabeth has moved to the home of her oldest son, Hairston.  She as listed as age 80 and “too old to work”.  The other members of Hairston’s household include himself, age 61, farmer, His wife Catherine Ramey, age 62, housewife, his children Lindsey, 24 and Elsie (William), 21.  Also living in his household is another family of children with the last name of Coward.  They are Catherine, 14, Lorenza, 10 and Emeline, age 3.  The final member of the household is a black child named Ben Jackson. Ben is 14 and is listed as a farm laborer and was born in Tennessee.

Elizabeth will pass away on 7 MAR 1878 and thus will appear in no more censuses.  Over nine decades of life she unfortunately had to bury her husband, three of her children and several grandchildren.  Most were taken by the Civil War which raged through the hills in that part of the state.  Elizabeth was buried in what is referred to as the Old Judge Litteral cemetery.  It is located in Oil Springs on what was once probably litteral property.


Elizabeth Rowland — 12 Comments

  1. Hi, my ggg grandfather was Peter H. Rowland. We have never been able to validate that his father was Michael. Where did you get the information to confirm this?

    I am the author and webmaster for the site http://www.rowlandsva.com. My line is Galvin, James C., John L., Peter and Michael.

    My father was convinced that he had Indian blood in him. We also have no luck substantiating that Nancy was a Cherokee Indian. Do you happen to know where Peter and Nancy are buried?

    Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

    General John Rowland
    USA (Ret)

    • Hi John,
      I am afraid I do not have any confirmation that Peter H. was Michael’s son. I have seen him listed that way on multiple family trees but nothing else I am afraid. I will certainly let you know if I find anything. Elizabeth (Rowland) Litteral’s death certificate lists her father as Mike Rowland and her first son was named Hairston Litteral.

    • Peter H. Rowland was also my ggg grandfather. He & Nancy are buried at the Old Rowland Cemetery in Caylor (Ewing), VA. There is no headstone (or they’re worn away) but my cousin who has fist hand knowledge took me there.

  2. I found and photographed Elizatbeth’s headstone. It was like I had found a buried treasure !!The headstone had broken off and was laying on the ground. I almost missed it…but I picked it up …cleaned it off and took pictuers. I will be sending them to Ed to share. The “Old Judge Litteral” cemetery can be found bydriving on Hwy 40 going out of Salyersville toward Oil Springs. When you get to Oil Springs, pull into the”Oil Springs Shoppette” facing the store…look at an angle to your left up on a small hill ….you will see the cemetery. You have to cross the bridge to your immediate left that crosses over the creek to get there…..

  3. Thanks Corbett, was Elizabeth buried next to Michael Rowland? Still need info documenting that Peter was their son. Where did you get the info for the website?



    • John,
      The Elizabeth Rowland that Corbett visited was Michael Rowland and Elizabeth Hairston’s daughter. She was married to John Litteral and is buried in Oil Springs, Ky. She would have been Peter H.’s younger sister.

  4. Hi Ed,
    I am in the process of researching the Litteral family and I know my grandfather was Early Litteral born to John and Julia Litteral in 1906 but we have been given conflicting stories on whether John was in fact Early’s father and that John married Julia Jackson when she was pregnant out of wedlock…have you any knowledge of this particular family legend?

    • Hi Deanna,

      Most of my records begin prior to 1900 but I am working to add later Litteral descendants from other branches than my line. If you have any other scraps of info such as ages or dates, please send them.

      Currently, the only thing close I have seen is from the Strutton family pages. http://www.strutton.org/familygroup.php?familyID=F3729&tree=allfamily

      They have John Litteral, b. 17NOV1886, son of John Fleming Litteral and Nancy Jane “Jincy” Blair. Marrying Julia Litteral, b. April 1883 in 1906. The ages and Julia’s first name is correct. If these are your ancestors, then the story about being born out of wedlock could indeed be true depending upon what month they were married and what month your grandfather was born. If you could come up with his birth certificate, that should be helpful.

      If these were your great grand parents and the couple is correct, then they were second cousins when they conceived and married. If this is the correct Julia, she was the daughter of Milton Litteral and Rhoda Jackson (which could explain why someone thought her last name was Jackson).

      John would be the son of John Fleming Litteral that was the son of John Litteral, Jr. who was the son of John Litteral and Elizabeth Rowland.
      Julia is the daughter of Milton Litteral who is the son of Daniel Litteral who is the son of John Litteral and Elizabeth Rowland.
      That wouild mean John and Julia shared the same great grand parents. Their grand parents were brothers and their parents were cousins.

      Milton Litteral was by gggrandfather’s brother so that would make us third cousins on your grandmother’s side and fourth cousins on your great grandfather’s side.

      All of this is assuming of course that the Strutton’s page is correct and they were indeed your great grandparents. A birth certificate and a marriage license would help.


      • Hi Ed,

        Deanna Litteral Crawford here…..I apologize for taking so long to see this post, lots of other things happened during this period…..thank you so much for your reply, lots to absorb from your information ….I can apply for a marriage and or birth certificate , will take some time but will do so non the less….my grandfather Early is buried in the Old Judge Cemetery along with his wife Oma Blair Litteral and their youngest son Harold Litteral….has been since 1996 since I was last there as I live in Indiana and I do not get back there often but would love to do some research from that cemetery , seems that it is the resting place of many Litterals….I will see what I can resurrect from the Litteral files and maybe confirm or negate some information I was given over the years….will be getting in touch with you soon and if you have any more since we last corresponded would be glad to get it

  5. Peter Rowland was my 4th grandfather. My great great grandfather George Hasten Rowland was Peter’s grandson via Mitchell or Micheal (He went by either). George and his brother were raised by Peter and Nancy. George always stated that Nancy was a full blood Cherokee Indian. So I do believe she was based off of Georges statement.

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