Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oldest Billington photo we have

Florinda Atkinson married James A. Billington in 1853, Freestone Co, Texas.  .
JAMES A. BILLINGTON was born January 24, 1829 and died in 1868. We do not have a picture of Grandfather Billington, but we do have his signature.  Strong and bold and steady… perhaps alone stands for what he was.

James A. Billington was born in Bedford County Tennessee.  His parents were Jared Billington of North Carolina and Tracy Wadsworth of Kentucky. He moved to Limestone, Colorado around 1851-1852 after his father died in Kentucky. He has about 7 siblings.  He worked at the gun factory during the Civil War in Tyler, Texas. He had com to Texas with Sam Houston.  When the Civil War broke out and all came to be enlisted, the drafting officer noticed the gun carried by him and asked who made it.  James replied that he made it himself.  So rather than being sent to the front, he was sent to the gun factory to make guns for the southern army.  He was enlisted in the Texas Confederate Cavalry for one year, 1861-1862 and we have copies of his discharge papers.

At the close of the war James Billington turned all of his Texas property into horses and took his family over the old Chisholm Trail to St. Louis sometime before 1864.  This was done together with many others traveling together.  The book “North of 36” describes this migration.  They had intended to sell the horses there but prices were so poor that they decided to keep their herd and remain in the horse business.  They settled in Carrollton, Missouri in 1864 where he later died in 1868. He is buried there along with several of Billington family members
He was a 32nd degree mason, a Shriner, a father of 9 children, a Texas landowner, a gun expert, a locksmith and a thoroughbred horse rancher.
We do have a picture of Grand Mother Billington.  Florinda Atkinson was born February 9, 1837 in Adair County, Kentucky according to the family records.  Her marriage certificate shows that she married James A. Billington on November 17, 1853 in Freestone County, Texas.  We know very little about her life except she was quite gruff and domineering.  She was a widow for 36 years and outlived all but D.S. and Meriot in her entire family. She died in Kansas City, Kansas on December 30, 1904.

The children of James A. Billington and Florinda Atkinson are:

Demetrious Seldon- July 6, 1855 – July 5, 1944: 89 years
Roberta E.- April 6, 1856 – October 8, 1879: 23 years
Quintus Sebastian- December 1858 – December 10, 1864*: 6 years
Meriot Ciscillian- October 12, 1860 – January 9, 1940: 80 years
Corintha Aldonia- November 4, 1862 – October 4, 1864*: almost 2 years
James William- April 14, 1865 – September 19, 1897: 32 years
Thomas Jefferson- April 13, 1867 – August 9, 1897: 30 years
We follow the Demetrious family line.

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