m. 12 April 1781
Facts and Events
Margareth Cross Fite, known as "Peggy", was born at Oxford, New Jersey, April 12, 1761. She lived to an unusual age, being nearly one hundred and four years old at her death on Nov. 1, 1864. The newspaper account of her death, headed "Death of A Remarkable Woman" gives the highlights of her life.
After the death of her husband, Peggy Fite, applies for her husband’s Revolutionary War pension. She fills out her paper work, sends in the affidavits that she is an honorable, respectful woman and that she has not remarried. They grant her half of her husband’s pension at $26.66. Peggy doesn’t think that’s quite fair and that isn’t what the law allows. She hires herself a lawyer and the fight begins, page after page after page. There is an affidavit from their Greenwich church in Pennsylvania dated 1787 that states that Peggy and Leonard Fite were “Christians” written in both English and German, signed by the Parish Minister (p 24). There is a Bounty Land Claim (p 16). There are many, many pages of affidavits from family and friends of Peggy stating she is an honorable woman and deserves her husband’s full pension. There is another page from her son, Moses Fite, who states he is in possession of the family Bible and it states their birth dates, marriage date, Leonard’s death date, and that he is their son. (p 31.)
There is a statement from Christina Fite Lamberson, sister to Leonard Fite. There is another one from John Fite, brother of Leonard Fite.
Peggy finally gets her $43.33 pension reinstated and lives to be 104 years old. She is still living on April 14, 1855 when she made application for the bounty land due on account of the service of her husband, Warrant No 26400 for one hundred sixty acres under the Act of March 3, 1855. At that time she was 94 years old.
She died on the 12th of April, 1761, and was, consequently, one hundred and three years old on the 12th of April last. Her husband, Leonard Fite was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and fought through that struggle as a private. Mr. and Mrs. Fite emigrated to Tennessee from North Carolina, and settled here when this place was known as Nash's Lick. In those days Mrs. Fite of ten assisted in moulding bullets while her husband and others belonging to the "settlement" were defending themselves against the attacks of the Indians. Mrs. Fite has lived with her third child, Jacob Fite, in Wilson County, for a number of years, her husband having died many years since, in Smith County. On the twelfth of April, 1861, a large number of her descendants met at the house of Jacob Fite and celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of her birthday. At that time she had eleven children living — her oldest (a son) being eighty years old, and her youngest (a daughter) fifty-nine; seventy-six grandchildren, three hundred and five great-grand-children, seventy-one great-great-grandchildren, and two great-great-great-grandchildren ; in all, four hundred and fifty-four living descendants. At the time of her death her grandchildren of the fifth generation had increased to twenty-one. Mrs. Fite was a remarkable woman, and actively participated in the exciting struggles incident to the early settlement of this State. She retained a vivid recollection of the revolutionary struggles, as well as those which resulted in the establishment of the white settlements in Tennessee. Her memory was clear, and her health good almost to the hour of her death. Indeed, it may be truthfully said that she lived until 'the delicate machine' was entirely worn out, and 'the wheels of weary life at last stood still.' "
At the celebration of her one hundredth birthday the tables were run the length of the dining room, out across the porch and down on the lawn under the trees. "Granny Fite" was seated at the head of the table in the dining-room, and her descendants were placed according to descent, the small children being seated at the far end of the table under the trees. Soon after this reunion Margareth fell and broke her hip; but in spite of this accident, she lived nearly four years longer. At the time of her death she had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church fifty years; she lies buried near Lebanon, in Wilson County, Tennessee, in the burying ground of her son Jacob Fite, in whose home she died.