Hezekiah Bonham
  b: 1775 - Loudoun Co., VA
  d: 23/Jun/1817 - Washington Co., VA - bur: Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cem., Smyth Co., VA

Father: Joseph Bonham
Mother: Naomi Parke

Spouse: Esther Scott - b: 19/Oct/1776 - Rye Valley, Fincastle Co., VA
  d: 11/Jul/1850 - Smyth Co., VA - bur: Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cem.
 m: 15/Aug/1799 - Wythe Co., VA

Child-1: Sarah (Sally) - m: Samuel Leeper - 8/Feb/1816 - Washington Co., VA
          2: John H. - b: 10/Mar/1801 - Washington Co., VA
                             d: 5/Sep/1831 - Washington Co., VA
                            m: Clara Measel
          3: Joseph Park - b: 9/Sep/1803 - Wythe Co., VA
                                    d: 2/Jun/1882 - Smyth Co., VA - bur: Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cem.
                                   m: Mary (Polly) Gollehon - 22/Sep/1825 - VA
          4: Isabelle - b: 1805 - Washington Co., VA - d: - ~1845
                            m: Robert Cooksey - 1825
          5: Mary E. - b: 1807 - Washington Co., VA
                             d: 10/Feb/1890 - VA
                            m: Amos Pickle
          6: Sophia - b: 1810 - Washington Co., VA
                           d: 1876 - Smyth Co., VA
          7: Mariah - b: 13/Sep/1812 - Washington Co., VA
                            d: 1/Dec/1885 - Smyth Co., VA - bur: Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cem.
                           m: John L. Gollehon - 22/Dec/1833 - Smyth Co., VA
          8: James Scott - b: 1/Nov/1813 - Washington Co., VA
                                   d: 22/Feb/1900 - Smyth Co., VA - bur: Saint James Lutheran Church Cem.
                                  m: Rachel Bishop - 8/Dec/1840
                                  m: Candace Perkins - 8/Jul/1856 - Smyth Co., VA
          9: Hezekiah C. - b: 2/Jul/1817 - Washington Co., VA
                                    d: 29/Jun/1892 - Lee Co., VA - bur: Jonesville Cem.
                                   m: Sophia Killinger - 1/Aug/1838 - Smyth Co., VA
                                   m: Julia Ann Hall - Jan/1879

Biographical Details:

It is likely that Hezekiah Bonham was born about 1775 in Loudoun County, Virginia, and as asserted by longstanding family tradition; probably came to the Rye Valley of southwestern Virginia in the early 1790's with his parents, Joseph and Naomi Parke Bonham.  He and Esther Scott were married in Wythe County, Virginia, in August of 1799.  Within this context, some researchers have thought that Hezekiah was the son of Moses and Rebecca Parke Bonham.  However, the work of E. B. Hazie has clearly established that his true parentage is as asserted above.1  Indeed, as a provision in his will, Joseph Bonham gave the seventy acre "homeplace" to Hezekiah, rather than to his older brother, William.  Moreover, civil records indicate that this land was located in Washington County, Virginia, which at the beginning of the nineteenth century adjoined Wythe County immediately to the southwest.  It seems likely the parcel would have been located near the boundary of the two counties and, hence, would naturally have been included in Smyth County when it was formed from parts of Washington and Wythe Counties in 1832.  Joseph's reason for giving his farm to Hezekiah is not known, but it seems that William had formed a close relationship with his wife's family and, concomitantly, had moved a few miles to the east by the time Joseph made his will in 1803.  Perhaps, because Hezekiah had remained close by, Joseph wished his land to go to him; however, this can only be speculation.  In any case, the arrangement seems to have been amicable between the brothers.

The household of Hezekiah Bonham appeared in the population schedule of the 1820 US Census for Washington County and included at least twelve individuals, viz., six males and six females.  It may be supposed that, the two oldest, i.e., a male above forty-five years of age and a female between twenty-six and forty-five, correspond to Hezekiah and Esther themselves; however, there is good evidence that Hezekiah Bonham had already died on June 23, 1817, in Wythe County.  Indeed, an extant tombstone can be still be found in the Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cemetery, which affirms this date.  However, unaccountably the stone is also inscribed with "72 years" as his age at the time of his death, which would imply a birth year of about 1744 or1745.  This seems much too early and so if he died in 1817, he probably was a much younger man, perhaps, forty-two instead of seventy-two years of age.  (A possibility is that this was a mistake made when Esther died much later; their single tombstone appears to have been set up at this time with inscriptions for husband and wife made on each side of the stone and, thus, both sides are inscribed with the same "72 years"; erroneous for Hezekiah, but approximately correct for Esther.)  In addition, within the 1820 population schedule, there were within the household of Hezekiah Bonham, two boys and two girls of age ten years and under, who plausibly can be identified with Hezekiah and Esther's  four youngest children.  Likewise, there were two females between ten and sixteen years of age who, probably, correspond to daughters, Mary and Isabelle.  Similarly, two of the remaining males must have been their oldest sons, John and Joseph; however, the identity of the remaining two individuals cannot be determined.  Even so, civil records indicate that Sally, i.e., Sarah, Bonham married Samuel Leeper in Washington County in 1816 from which it would seem obvious that she must have been  Hezekiah and Esther's oldest daughter (and probably their oldest child as well).  It is possible that the young couple lived with her parents after their marriage in which case the young adult female, i.e., between sixteen and twenty-six years of age as indicated by the population schedule, would correspond to Sarah and the adult male, i.e., age twenty-six to forty-five, to her husband.  However, this is merely speculation.  The population schedule further indicates that four individuals living in the household were engaged in "manufactures".  The nature of such an enterprise has not been determined, but this suggests that alternatively, perhaps, an apprentice or hired hand could have been living with the family.  Hezekiah Bonham owned no slaves.  Subsequently, the population schedule of the 1830 US Census for Washington County indicates that the household of Hezekiah Bonham then contained seventeen individuals, four of whom were children under ten years of age.  Again, it would seem that Hezekiah and Esther Bonham should be identified with an older male and female both between fifty and sixty, but the youngest four individuals can hardly be attributed as their children.  Accordingly, it might be supposed that the household included the family of a married son or daughter, hence, the four youngsters would presumably have been Hezekiah and Esther's grandchildren.  As before, the family of Samuel and Sarah Bonham Leeper would seem the most plausible alternative since the families of the two sons, John H. and Joseph Bonham, appeared separately in this same population schedule implying that they had established their own independent households (although, they were probably living very close by).  Within this context, it is, again, possible that some of the individuals were employees or hired hands.  Of course, the eastern portion of Washington County was included in Smyth County in 1832 and, consequently, the household of Hezekiah Bonham appeared in the population schedule of the 1840 US Census for Smyth County, Virginia.  Again, it would seem natural to identitfy Hezekiah and Esther with a male and female between sixty and seventy.  In addition, the household included six other individuals, viz., three males and three females, who cannot be definitively identified.  Moreover, households of their sons, Joseph P. and Hezekiah C. Bonham, appeared separately in the population schedule. (However, according to family tradition, it would seem that by 1840 Sarah Bonham Leeper had died and Samuel Leeper had gone to Texas leaving their children with their maternal grandparents.)  At this point, the vexing question of exactly when Hezekiah died must be examined more critically.  It is quite plausible that he died in 1817 as indicated by his tombstone.  In this case the older male in census records might be attributed as an older relative living with the family.  Even so, the simpler proposition is that Hezekiah lived until after 1840.  Indeed, some reseachers of the Bonham family place his death in 1847, exactly thirty years to the day after the date appearing on his tombstone; however, there seems no authority for this.  Therefore, until further evidence is found, the tombstone date should be accepted.  Esther Scott Bonham, survived until the summer of 1850 and was buried in the Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cemetery with her husband (and where her extant tombstone indicates her name as "Easter", a probable spelling error due to low literacy standards of the time.)  Accordingly, Esther Bonham was listed in the population schedule of the 1850 US Census for Smyth County along with an unmarried daughter, Sophia.  (This daughter has been confused by some with her sister-in-law, Sophia Killinger Bonham, wife of Hezekiah C. Bonham.)

Source Notes and Citations:
1a.  Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1973: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, military records, directory index, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1973: pgs. 85-98.  (rev. of Emmet Lincoln Smith, Smith-Bonham, 1631-1908, privately published, Chicago, IL, 1911; also Emmet Lincoln Smith, rev. by Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1959: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, illustrations, military record, directory, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1959 & Elmer Burt Hazie, Bonham, 1631-1975: letters, quotations, genealogical charts, military records, directory index, privately published, Los Angeles, CA, 1975.)
     "Andrew Fulton Bonham a grandson of Hezekiah Bonham stated that he did not know who his great-grandfather was.  Andrew Fulton did a great deal of searching, but mostly by correspondence, as I am sure he did not search the records of Washington and Smythe Counties or he would have found the same information I have and which has been there all these years.
     His son, Hugh G. Bonham later made up a Bonham Chart that has been accepted by many as correct in which he lists Moses and Rebecca Park Bonham as the parents of Hezekiah Bonham who married Esther Scott.  In the first edition of the BONHAM book I accepted the record of the Virginia Bonhams as supplied by Hugh Bonham, as at that time I had no proof that his records were not correct, though I was not in agreement with his records.
     I have never found any records to prove that Moses and Rebecca Bonham had children, though I think it reasonable to presume that they may have had possibly three children and that one of them was Moses Jr. who died in Belmont Co. Ohio ca 1814, and possibly Arron Bonham from Belmont Co. O. who was in the war of 1812.  Possibly the other children, if any, were girls.  When Rebecca was appointed administrator of the estate of Moses who was killed in the Revolutionary War in 1782, there was no mention of children.  A court authority stated that if there were children that they most likely would have been mentioned."
     "Joseph Bonham's will gave the 70 acre homeplace to his son Hezekiah, and ordered his son William, to give Hezekiah a good deed for the same.
     Smythe Co. Deed Book #4 pages 131-132 shows a deed from Hezekiah and Esther Bonham to their son, James, 5-3-1845 as follows, extract 'by a recent survey 71 acres, more or less, being a part of the tract of land patented to Jonathan Bishop, 4th of June, 1794, containing 327 acres by survey bearing the date of 10th Jan. 1792.
     This land was originally in Washington Co. until Smythe Co. was formed in 1838 (sic - 1832).  The Washington Co. records show the transfer of this land from Jonathan Bishop to William Bonham.  The records do not show a deed from William to Hezekiah, but the county clerk said it could have been transferred by court order or entry and no deed made.
     The Washington Co. Court House was destroyed by fire years ago and many or most of the records lost
     To me this clearly proves that Hezekiah who married Esther Scott was Hezekiah, son of Joseph mentioned in his will."
     Andrew Fulton Bonham was the youngest son of Joseph Park Bonham.  Both of them were prominent in local affairs.  Joseph Park Bonham was commisioned a Justice of the Peace for Washington County on September 8, 1829.  Subsequently, he was commissioned Justice of the Peace at the first term of the Smyth County Court held on April 2, 1832.  He also became the first Sheriff of the new county, but did not long continue in that office, although he was a county Magistrate for forty-one years.  Andrew Fulton Bonham was educated as school teacher and followed that profession for several years.  In 1882, he was appointed County Surveyor for Smyth County, an office he held at intervals for thirteen and a half years, and continued generally in the surveying profession for about forty years.  He also was interested in the welfare of farmers and became active in the Grange movement and other organizations devoted to the improvement of agriculture.

b. "According to the stories that came back from Texas 'Sarah Leeper died when her children were small--Samuel went to fight in the Texas Revolution and decided to stay at its close--he wrote to the Bonhams to have his children sent to him, but they refused to send them to that 'Indian infested country.'  He was given an honorable discharge and considerable land and stayed there but lost track of his children and they didn't know that he had sent money to have them sent to him, until after their grand-parents had died.'"
     In 1850, census records reveal Samuel Leeper, age fifty-five, living as a single laborer in Galveston County, Texas.  (1850 US Census Population Schedule for Galveston County, Texas, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 281B, (microfilm roll - M432_910; img. 549).)
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Additional Citations:

2. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Washington County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 196, (microfilm roll - M33_141; img. 211).

3. 1830 US Census Population Schedule for Washington County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 230, (microfilm roll - M19_200; img. 448).

4. 1840 US Census Population Schedule for Smyth County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 385, (microfilm roll - M704_578; img. 354).

5. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Smyth County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 200A, (microfilm roll - M432_976; img. 398).

6. Marriage Register, Bk. 1, Wythe Co., VA, pg. unk., Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: rolls - City and County Records #29 & #60).

7. Renie Hoover Helton and Jeffrey Weaver, "St. Clair's Bottom Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery", unpublished. (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.)

8. Saint Clair Bottom Primitive Baptist Cemetery, Smyth County, Viriginia (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2180466&CScn=Saint+Clair&CScntry=4&CSst=48&CScnty=2885&, continuously updated).

9. Saint James Lutheran Church Cemetery, Smyth County, Virginia (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=51994&CScn=Saint+James&CScntry=4&CSst=48&CScnty=2885&, continuously updated).

10. Trula Fay Parks Purkey, Genealogy of William Bonham, Pioneer Settler of Grayson County, Virginia, 731 Rockbridge Rd., Trout Dale, VA, 1984: pg. 28.

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