Since, mid-2016, I have been researching the ancestry of my four grandparents. Many interesting stories and discoveries have been made as a result. Ironically, the one that has given me the greatest challenge is my own surname: White. Early on, I found a decent amount of information on my great grandfather Joseph Bushrod White, though I still am searching for more particulars about his life.
But this article is about another Joseph...
Before I get to that Joseph, I'll first mention that I was able to confirm the name of Joseph Bushrod's father with reasonable certainty. Benjamin Bushrod White was born in Alabama at the end of the Civil War. His life was cut short when he died in Texas in 1898. One story online suggested that he had relapsed from a previous bout of pneumonia after riding his bicycle in the rain. The source of that story has disappeared from the web, so it cannot be confirmed at this time.
Up until 1850, federal census records contained limited information. Names of children and household members other than the head were not included. I have been unable to confirm such records for Joseph during the first three or four decades of his life. Basically, the earliest documentation we have showing Joseph's name is the 1850 census.
The 1850 census also gives witness to his very large immediate family already well underway. He was married to Margaret Means. Alabama selected marriage records indicate that they were wedded on July 21, 1831. This in addition to the above-mentioned record shows that they had been situated in Alabama for a while. This was Joseph's first marriage, which produced at least nine children:
John Andrew (1838)
Henry Martin (1840)
Robert Means (1843)
Joseph Jr. (1852)
You might be curious about the other name mentioned in the title of this post (or perhaps you forgot about it at this point). The history of John Bouchillon plays an important role in the life of Joseph White, a role that is of particular significance for me and anyone else descended from Joseph's son Benjamin Bushrod and his siblings. You'll notice that Benjamin's name is not in the list above, nor those of his brothers and sisters.
To end this first installment of the story, I leave you with a small clue. Joseph White was my third great grandfather, and John Bouchillon was my fourth. And once we have traversed the landscape of these two men's lives and friendship, another broader world will open up to us.
Ready for the next part? Click here!