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Proof for William Jackson Chronister
Posted by: Peggy Reeves (ID *****5798) Date: July 26, 2004 at 20:03:13
In Reply to: William/Sarah Chronister Pope Co., AR by Mary Lou Reed of 599

Mary Lou, I am happy to be able to tell you more about this family. I enlisted the help of Debra Blackard, who has done a lot of research in AR and is familiar with the records available there. We did some searching in the public records, both in AR and at the National Archives, and learned quite a lot. This was a joint effort, and we concur in this proof:

You had given this family in two specific census years, saying that you could prove that the child named "William S." in these listings is the one in which you are interested:

1880 AR, Pope, Moreland, p. 73d

Chronister, William M W b. MO
Betsey A. (wife) F W MO
Adam (son) M W AR
William S. (son) M W AR
Elijah (son) M W AR
Joel B. (son) M W AR

1870 AR, Pope, Moreland, p. 419

Chronister, William J. 20 M W b. MO
Elizabeth A. 22 F W MO
James A. 3 M W AR
William S. 1 M W AR

There was a William J. Chronister who applied for homestead land on 13 October 1883 and made his final homestead proof on 9 October 1890. In that affidavit, he gave his name as William Jackson Chronister, 42 years-old, born in MO, living in Caglesville, Pope Co., AR with a wife and 6 children. He moved his family onto the homestead land on 1 March 1884. This William Jackson Chronister matches the "William J". in the census listings above. Two more children had been born by 1890, based on their ages in the 1900 census.

The homestead land on which William Jackson Chronister and his family lived was the NW NE and the NE NW of Section 6, Twp 8N - Range 8W. An adjacent tract was owned by Jesse N. Sides. Other neighbors in that section and adjoining sections included Elijah G. Kinder, Adam Kinder, William H. Cooper, and Azariah Chronister.

Jesse N. Sides also applied for homestead land. His next-door neighbor, "Wm Jackson Chronister", signed an affidavit on 21 Dec 1888 saying that he was 38 years-old, lived one mile from Jesse Sides, and had known him for 20 years. William Jackson Chronister testified to Sides’ continual residence in the vicinity during those 20 years. James A. Chronister, 21 years-old, also signed an affidavit that day. He verified Sides' residence, as well, saying he also lived one mile away and had known Jesse for 15 years (which would have been since his earliest recollection as a young boy).

According to census listings, Jesse N. Sides was apparently born and raised in Pope County. He appears there in the census as a 4 year-old in the household of Joseph Sides in 1860 AR Pope, Moreland, p. 851a. If Jesse Sides had lived in Pope, Moreland Twp for his entire life, then William Jackson Chronister must have lived in the same community for 20 years to be able to verify that length of acquaintance and Jesse’s residence requirements on the homestead parcel.

"W. J. Chronister" is assessed in tax records of Pope Co., Moreland Twp., in 1867, though he paid no poll tax because he was under age. If William Jackson Chronister was in Pope, Moreland as early as 1867, who could his father be? There are a number of Chronisters in Pope County by that time. The earliest to arrive, according to tax records, is "A. Cronister" in 1849 from MO.

Azariah Chronister made several land purchases in Pope County. The earliest one shows a purchase receipt dated 6 January 1859, the actual patent being granted 1 March 1860. The affidavit filled out by Azariah in that cash entry file states that he had been living on the land since 1 January 1850. Thus, Azariah is clearly the "A. Cronister" in the tax records of Pope County in 1849. Azariah is listed in the census in 1860 AR Pope Moreland p. 150 with an 11 year-old son named "William". In 1850 AR Pope Moreland p. 528, Azariah is shown with a 1 year-old son named "William".

Elijah G. Kinder also received a land patent on 1 March 1860. In his cash entry file, a corroborating affidavit is given by Azariah G. Chronister. Elijah G. Kinder was a neighbor who lived within walking distance of William Jackson Chronister's homestead land. Azariah Chronister's land was also within walking distance of these other two men.

The estate of "Esyra Cronister" is listed in the Pope Co. tax records in 1865. Heirs of Azariah mentioned in the administration papers include a "William".


1. William Jackson Chronister is the man living on the tract of land adjoining Jesse N. Sides.

2. William Jackson Chronister's land description and neighbors on adjoining tracts match the people we see as his neighbors on the federal census pages that include the above census listings.

3. The William Jackson Chronister and the James A. Chronister who gave affidavits for Jesse Sides' claim in December of 1888 have ages that match well with the William J. Chronister and James Adam Chronister listed as the father and brother, respectively, of William S. Chronister in the census listings, above.

4. The father of William S. Chronister is William Jackson Chronister.

5. William Jackson Chronister lived in AR Pope, Moreland all of his life.

6. Azariah G. Chronister moved from MO to AR about 1849 and onto the land he bought in AR Pope Moreland with his wife and family on 1 January 1850. In the 1850 census,"William" is 1 year old.

7. Census listings for William J. Chronister are inconsistent about his place of birth, some showing MO, others showing AR. Based on the timing of when Azariah shows up in AR, the move occurred either shortly before or immediately after the birth of William Jackson Chronister. William knew his family came from MO, but would not have had any actual recollection of whether he was born there or in AR, thus explaining the inconsistency in the reporting of his birthplace.

8. The parents of William Jackson Chronister are Azariah G. Chronister and his wife Nancy, based on analysis of Pope County census, tax, and probate records; as well as federal land files at the National Archives.

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