Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Henry Grindstaff and Bedie Buchanan

Henry Grindstaff and Bedie Buchanan are my third great-grandparents. I have written previously about their son and my ancestor, Rev. Isaac Grindstaff.

Henry Grindstaff was born 12 May 1820 in Burke Co, North Carolina, likely in the area that later became Yancey and then Mitchell county, to Isaac Grindstaff and Sarah Hart. This Isaac married twice, first to Sarah Hart and second to Prudence (Prudy) Ledford, and had children from both wives. Henry is believed to be from Sarah Hart, the first wife.

Bedie Buchanan was born 25 Apr 1829 in Burke Co, North Carolina, likely in the area that later became Yancey and then Mitchell county, to Sarah (or Sally) Buchanan. Alternate spellings for her name include Beady, Biddie, or Beadie. I was told early on in my research that Bedie was illegitimate. The original pedigree chart that my great-grandfather, Charles McNeill, prepared lists Bedie with the surname of Buchanan, her mother as Sarah Buchanan and no father is listed. This also agrees to her death certificate. Additional evidence is the 1860 census where Sarah Buchanan is living in the household of Henry and Bedie. Sarah Buchanan can be found in 1850 living presumably with her parents, William and Elizabeth (Jones) Buchanan. William was born about 1765 in Maryland and Elizabeth in about 1775 in Virginia.

I have seen other online message board postings and family trees indicating that Bedie's father was either a John Davis or an Ebe Hoppes. I have contacted many of those that posted trees with little to no success. One researcher did respond to me indicating that for many years John Davis was believed to be the father but that has since been disproven. I think it was determined there were two Sarah/Sally Buchanans in the same approximate age range, one of which did marry John Davis. The other one I believe to be the mother of my Bedie Buchanan Grindstaff. However, the damage is done and the wrong data is spread far and wide across the web.

Henry and Bedie married sometime around 1848-49. They had the following 12 children:
  • Sarah born Feb 1850 and died 10 Feb 1919. She married Sam Pitman.

  • William born Nov 1851 and died 1 Sept 1918 in Grassy Creek, Mitchell Co, NC. He married 1) Matilda Thomas and 2) Nancy. He had children with both wives.

  • Isaac born 1852. This is my second great-grandfather.

  • Clarissa born abt 1856 and married J.G. Woody.

  • Eveline born abt 1857

  • Matilda born abt 1860

  • John B born Mar 1862 and married Martha. They had several children.

  • Mack born 13 Sept 1863 and died 9 Apr 1939 in Bakersville. He married Cordelia Thomas and had several children.

  • Jane born 28 Jul 1866 and died 28 Dec 1939 in Madison Co, NC. She married Ruben A. McKinney.

  • Henry Gilbert born 28 Jul 1868 and died 1 Mar 1952. He married Betty Ann Duncan. Henry is buried at Mine Creek Cemetery.

  • Ruben Malone born 19 Oct 1870, died 6 Apr 1957 and is buried at Mine Creek Cemetery. He married Esther Burleson.

  • Mary born abt 1873
The Grindstaff family, like many others in that area, used the same first names repeatedly. This has caused great confusion for me and it's evident for others based upon online tree postings. There were two Henry Grindstaffs born within a few years of each other. Apparently one of the Henrys was commonly referred to as Fighting Henry due to service in the military (the Mexican-American War, I think), but I do not know which Henry this should be attributed to. Many online trees have confused their birth dates, wives, children and death dates. I believe my Henry was the first of the two Henrys to pass away on 1 Jan 1892. The other Henry died in 1906. The Henry who died in 1892 was buried at Mine Creek Cemetery, which is where Bedie was buried after her death on 25 Jun 1919. Additionally, Mine Creek is the Baptist church where their son, Isaac (my ancestor), was a preacher. Several of Henry and Bedie's children are buried there. It seems reasonable to believe that my Henry is the one that died in 1892. Two problems make this harder to determine. Death certificates were not issued until 1910 after both Henrys were deceased. Secondly, a 1900 census entry for Bedie has not been located to see if she's widowed, but she can be found in 1910.

I would appreciate corresponding with any descendants or other researchers who could shed some light on the questions surrounding Henry and Bedie. Anything to prove, disprove or add to my data would be wonderful. Please contact me using the yellow Contact button on the left side of the page.


  1. Hi Tracy!

    I ran across your post while doing some research of my own. I am a Buchanan, from the Mitchell County Buchanan's, and also the Pitman's, and Grindstaff's as well.

    I'm not sure if we are on the same "branch", but I'm pretty sure we're on the same "limb"!! I can be reached at if you want to compare notes.

    Jason Buchanan

  2. Hi,
    I have Biddy's (Beady) and so on's widow Pension records.
    So Biddy was married to the Henry that was in the Military.
    Henry Grindstaff was in, Capt Blalocks, "I" 29th Regiment of the NC State Confederate Troops.
    Biddy's first Pension was on 22 July 1904, at age 74 as per the paper work.
    Last pension was on 23 May 1918.

    The 1860 Census has Biddy's mother Sarah, living with them.
    But some time between 1860 and 70 she must of passed away.
    Yes, there is a lot of confusion, with the Grindstaff lines.. they are beyond frustrating to work with.

  3. Yes, I am beyond frustrated with the Grindstaff lines myself. I can't seem to find the "correct" Sarah Grindstaff. Known as Sarah Jane, and sometimes I've found her listed as Sophia. She was married to my Great-Great Grandfather James Mason. He abandoned her and their 3 sons and I can't find anything else about her. UGH!!!

  4. Leslie, please send me your contact information as I can put you in touch with a Grindstaff researcher who can likely help you. Use the Yellow Contact button on the left or directly at tracysroots at gmail dot com.

  5. Hi Tracy,

    I sent you an email earlier today regarding your research of the Woody family and just realized that we share even more family with Henry & Bedie Grindstaff - their daughter Clarissa is my 3rd great grandmother (the mother of Lafayette Woody, Thomas Jefferson Woody's father) so it appears we are cousins on both sides of the family ;-)

  6. My Gr grandparents are Reuben Malone and Esther burleson Grindstaff... their kids are as follows, Blanche grindstaff young, died in 1918 i belive of flu epidemic she had 1 son Jay... then there was Samuel grindstaff of nc , i believe he was married 2x not sure how many kids...fred grindstaff m pansy and had 4 kids, bernice, merle,marvin and daniel.. nelle e. grindstaff m Wm Walter HOSKINS/Huskins had 4 kids, W.H. walter jr m mary jean mockbee 4 kids... Esther hoskins m to virgil r. 2 sons.... wilburt kenneth KENNY died of SIDs.. and Carole jean hoskins hendrickson 1 daughter ME!!!!!... then there is annie grindstaff m whitson of erwin tn had 2/3 kids .... milton grindstaff m 2 x ruth he had kids with and later in life he m Elizabeth.....last of reubens sons was Clarence Grindstaff of fl m to francis they had NO KIDS..
    I am having a hard time searching for family... U are right about the names... DID one of the ISAACs have a daughter prudence m to a noah ledford and that same ISAAC married a prudence ledford..PLZ PLZ tell me that there was two prudence ledford!!!??!!! my cuzin sarabeth and i would be very happy to hear from any family with info... contact Libby either on facebook or Lhendr9802 AT aol dot com ..... and if any one has any info on my grandpa Wm Walter Hoskins /huskins ..... we have info but its sketchy...