I have had an interest in family history for a long time, but after conducting my personal genealogy search, I was left with fairly linear history of rural farmers and life in central Missouri.
I began working at the Historic Daniel Boone Home in 2011 and after several years of telling Daniel’s story, I began to wonder about the rest of the family. Who were they and what journey did they take in their lifetime? Were any descendants as successful as their famous relative? In what parts of the United States can we find Boone family and how have they influenced local history? These are just a few of the questions I had when starting out. I am not a descendant of Daniel Boone, merely an avid educator that loves random bits of social history.
Setting out on this adventure, I began with a woman who’s life intrigued me. Jemima Boone Callaway was the second daughter of Daniel Boone and the center of a famous kidnapping adventure that took place at Fort Boonesborough in the early days of the Revolutionary War. Parts of Jemima’s story are well-known, but what about the quieter aspects of her life? With this question in hand, I began to document her family, starting with her marriage to the industrious Flanders Callaway, through the birth of her eleven children, and ending with her death in 1834 in Warren County, Missouri. The results of her search were fascinating. I am certain I uncovered nothing new, but her life still intrigued me. I try to picture myself in her shoes, but am unable to fully understand the courage, strength, and audacity to live on the edge of “civilization” amongst the wilderness of early Kentucky and Missouri.
As for this blog, I am uncertain as to the direction these posts will take, but I would like to have a place to document my research discoveries and possibly discuss information with an interested audience. Perhaps it will spark some interesting conversations or lead other researchers in directions unplanned.
Thank you for reading. I’ll leave you with a brief bio of Jemima Boone Callaway. You can see her family tree on Ancestry.com under my user name of jjespencer. The tree is public and as verified as I can manage. When researching, I try to guard against copying material blindly, so if you see an error, please notify me.
Jemima Boone Callaway (1762-1834), daughter of Daniel Boone and Rebecca Bryan, fourth of their ten children. She was born in North Carolina, in present day Rowan County. In July 1776, she and two friends, the Callaway sisters, were abducted by 5 Indian men on the banks of the Kentucky River, at Fort Boonesborough. After she and the girls were rescued they returned to Boonesborough. She married a cousin of the Callaway girls, Flanders Callaway in 1777. During the 1778 Siege of Fort Boonesborough Jemima bravely helped defend the fort, and is said to have put out fires, nursed men, and with the help of other girls, they ran out of the fort at night and picked up the spent rifle balls to remelt into new ammunition. She also took a ball in her backside during one of the attacks. Jemima is said to have been a fierce frontier woman, remaining at her husband’s side throughout the years of the Revoluntionary War.
In the fall of 1799, Flanders, Jemima and their children arrived in St. Charles County, Missouri and set up a farm one mile from her youngest brother, Nathan Boone. The location is currently along Highway F in St. Charles County, near the town of Defiance. Jemima and Flanders lived on the property for about 10 years before relocating to the Missouri River near an area now known as Marthasville, what was then Charette. Other Boone families lived close by. Flanders was a very wealthy man, with over 1000 acres of land, 22 slaves, and a fine home. The second house the Callaways built is rumored to have the first wood-burning heating stove in the parlor. Jemima was host to her parents several times during their years in Missouri. Her mother Rebecca died at Jemima’s home in March 1813 after falling ill during sugar-making. Jemima suffered the loss of many friends and family during her life, including the deaths of her two oldest brothers, James and Israel. Almost exactly 2 years later, her son, James Callaway was killed by while returning to Fort Clemson on Loutre Lick in Missouri. In recognition of James Callaway’s leadership and bravery, Callaway County Missouri bears his name.
Not much else is known about Jemima. She died in 1834 and was buried with her husband at the David Bryan family cemetery, along side her parents and other Boone relations. Her home was later moved to the property of the Historic Daniel Boone Home at Lindenwood Park in St. Charles County.