Notebook. Notes on Dicey and Spicy Walker

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Person:Spicey Walker (1)
Person:Dicey Walker (1)

Note 1

from Nina Strahm, personal Communication through TWWFA@googlegroups mailing list, 28 April 2011

Spicy death was recorded in a Methodist publication in New York, and Dicey was published in a Methodist paper in Georgia dated 1823 along with her daughter Sarah Brimberry who was born 1891 and died 30 Oct 1823 (Sarah Brimberry (c. 1791-1823 GA) married 1821 Royal (Ryel) Black, in Hancock Co., Georgia (no issue), and died there October 1823 at age 32. Her obituary appeared in the Methodist Mt. Zion Missionary on Nov. 3, 1823 beside her mother's obituary. Quote: "Mrs. Dicey Brimberry, 52, died in Greenville District, S.C., wife of Mr. Peter Brimberry." Sarah's husband afterwards married Nancy Middlebrook. So Dicey would have been born in 1771. Spicy was born in 1776 and died 20 July 1821 at the age of 45 buried in Meek Cemetery in Washington Co VA.

Note 2

From Jerry Brimberry, 29 April 2011, on the TWWFA mailing list

We know Dicey Walker's year of birth from a notice in the Mt. Zion Missionary (a Methodist newspaper published in Sparta, GA): Dicey, age 52, wife of Peter Brymberry, died Greenville, SC). The notice appeared in an issue published in November, 1823 indicating that she was born about 1771. Oddly, it also contained a notice of the death of Peter and Dicey's daughter "Sarah (Brimberry), wife of Ryle Black, died Sparta, GA." Several of Peter and Dicey's children, including my g-g grandather Matthias Brimberry (1799 SC-1854 TX) were living in Hancock Co., GA at this time.

Your observation concerning Summer's confusion as to when Nicholas Reagan performed many of his marriages is absolutely correct. According to another record I found many years ago in the Washington Co., VA courthouse, Peter Broomberry paid his marriage license bond in the spring of 1790. Family Bible records for James Meek (age 16) and Spicy Waker (age 14) show they married a few months afterwards in 1790 (perhaps not coincidentally shortly after the death of William Walker of Laurel Fork who died in the winter of 1789/1790).

Records show that William and Elizabeth Walker's children were living in the same Glade Spring/Baker Creek vicinity as Peter Brimberry and James Meek soon after William's death (perhaps suggesting that while William Walker owned land on Piney Mountain along Laurel Fork he may have actually been living in the Glade Spring/Baker Creek area when he died. His eldest son, John Walker, perhaps also not too coincidentally married Hester Cawood (Keywood). Hester's father Stephen Cawood hosted Methodist Bishop Asbury and Nicholas Reagan during what become known as the Keywood Conference in May 1788 (the same year according to a national Methodist publication) that Spicy adopted Methodism at the age of 11. John Walker and Hester Cawood's marriage was also performed by Nicholas Reagan. Hmmm! There is a historic marker at the site of Stephen Keywood's home (a mile or so from the headwaters of Baker's Creek) indicating that it was the site of the first Methodist Conference west of the Alleghanies.

The children of William Walker and his wife Elizabeth ( who in 1795 married John Crank, a veteran of the F&I War) are known and did NOT include Dicey (b. abt. 1771) or Spicy (1776-1821---whose obituary appeared in a National Methodist publication many years before her then adolescent son Joseph Meek gained fame as the "Daniel Boone of Oregon Territory"). Nevertheless, they appear to have been connected in time, immediate geographic location, by surname and linkage to Nicholas Reagan.

Incidentally, Nicholas Reagan is mentioned in the Kentucky Papers of the Draper Manuscripts and is credited with being the first Methodist minister in Kentucky. He and his family "forted" near Lexington, Kentucky where he performed several marriages. As he grew elderly, he returned to his native Virginia. He reportedly remained close to his home due to his age, yet continued to perform marriages locally, encouraging young people to move to Kentucky. Age and/or his health probably kept him from journeying very often to Abingdon to record marriages he performed over a period of a year or two!

Note 3

Per Jerry Brimberry, To the Walker Short List 17 June 2008: William may or may not have been related to Dicey and Spicy but not their father. Certainly, his children lived within a few miles of Dicey and Spicy after William's death , three of whom were also wed by Nicholas Reagan. Circumstantial/proximal but not proved. It sure would be helpful to secure another DNA participant on this line as well as direct descendant of Indian Killer John Walker who is believed to be Wigton John Walker III's son and executor of his father's estate. The latter's son, William, was taken into captivity and his grandson, Wyandot William Walker, was the first Governor of Nebraska Territory.

From: Jerry Brimberry, 14 July 2011, to WalkerShortList mailing List

Dicey Walker's first name was spelled as Dycay in one Greenville Co. SC deed record; and simply as Dicy in another. My recollection was that she signed her name with an "x"; albeit her sister Spicy Walker born 1776/died 1821, wife of James Meek and younger than Dicey by 5 or 6 years. Spicy's first name was spelled "Spica" in one record (suggesting that there proper first names may have been Dyca and Spica). Bearing out Bill's point about the possibility of connectivity between two Walker families with daughters named Dicey in the same general time frame in SW VA/East TN , it also worth noting that Spicy Walker Meek named one of her daughters Dicey; another Spicy. However, my research hasn't revealed any connection between the East Tennessee Dicey Walker and our Dicey who married Peter Brymberry in Washington Co., VA in 1790 then moved to Greenville Co. SC where she died in 1823 (at age 52) after bearing 10 children who reached adulthood.
The mystery remains: who were Dicey and Spicy's parents. Both married in 1790; Dicey at 19 to Peter Brymberry age 22-23; and Spicy at age 14 to James Meek, age 16. Meek's family were persons of means with a large farm located on the Great Road between Marion and Abingdon bordering Baker's Creek (within feet of the present-day Washington-Smythe County line and cut in half by I-81). The Meeks also owned slaves and operated an inn. Peter Brimberry's family had less means as Peter was a wagon maker like his father; skills also handed down by Peter to Nina Strahm's and my great-great grandfather Matthias (1799 SC -1854 TX). Peter's family also lived on/near Baker's Creek, (Tina's ancestor, George Anderson Brimberry was Matthias' older brother. My great grandfather George Anderson Brimberry (1845-1923) was no doubt named after his uncle (Tina's ancestor).
Intuititvely, I think that Dicey and Spicy may have been related to William & Elizabeth Walker (m. 2nd John Crank). The Walkers first lived on Brush Mountain along the Laurel Fork of the North Fork of the Holston, and appear to have moved before his death "in the winter of 1789-90" below the mountain separating the North and South Forks to the same vicinity as Stephen Keywood (sic) . The Brimberry's lived a mile or two to the southwest near the headwaters of Baker's Creek and McCall's Gap while the Meeks lived about two miles farther south on Baker's Creek (about a mile above where it empties into the Middle Fork of the Holston). All said, the Keywoods/Brimberrys/Meeks and Wm. Walker's widow and children all lived with 2-3 mile radius of Glade Springs: the Walkers and Keywoods at a 11 o'clock position; the Brimberrys at a 2 o'clock position; and the Meeks at a 5 o'clock position.
The further connection is that Keywood's daughter and Wm. Walker's oldest son, John, were married by Rev. Nicholas Reagin; the same Methodist minister who performed Dicey and Spicy's marriages. "Bishop Asbury held the first (Methodist) conference west of the Alleghanies at Stephen Keywood's, Washington county, Virginia, May, 1788. Keywood lived about midway between Saltville and what is now Glade Spring depot." "The conference was attended by Madam Elizabeth Russell, wife of General William Russell (and widow of General William Campbell of Aspenville at the Seven Mile Ford)." (Lewis Preston Summers' History of SW VA and Washington Co.)
Nicholas Reagin (the first Methodist minister in KY who returned in later years to his native VA) also attended the conference. It is also plausible that the Walker sisters also attended the conference because Spicy's obituary in a national Methodist publication in 1821 indicated that she adopted Methodism at an age that comports with the Keywood Conference in 1788. On her death bed, she also said that it was her belief that she would see her non-Methodist relatives in heaven.