Birth: circa 1782 Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage: 1. Mary 'Polly' Unknown, unknown date likely about 1805 or 1806 2. Courtney Deel Yates about 1835 in Russell County, VA – no children Death: circa spring 1854, last found on the 1854 Russell County, Va personal property tax lists, burial location unknown but thought to be on his Thompson Creek farm just off Route 638
Biography Since the publication of Comptonology in the 1940’s, the genealogy of Jeremiah Compton sr. has been misleading. This publication surmised Jeremiah was a son of Abraham Compton Sr and researchers from then believed this to be true without any further research. Research has proven without question that Jeremiah Compton Sr was not the son of Abraham Compton Sr. With a strong paper trail and with the help of Y-DNA research we have learned Jeremiah’s Y-DNA matches that of his nearest neighbors on Thompson Creek in the early 1800’s who were David and Thomas Compton! Jeremiah Compton Sr. was the oldest child of Revolutionary War Veteran James Compton and his wife Frances Herndon.
Jeremiah Compton Sr. first appeared in Russell County, Virginia on the 1806 personal property tax list. He is listed on this tax list every year up until 1854. For some unexplainable reason Jeremiah was not enumerated on the 1850 Russell County census but did not miss the tax lists until following the 1854 list. Jeremiah first purchased land in Russell County in 1821 on Thompson Creek. In 1837 he also purchased land on Lewis Creek and moved away from his Thompson creek farm for a few years. He was back living on Thompson Creek with his second wife Courtney, daughter Mary and son in law Joseph Yates by the mid to late 1840’s.
Jeremiah Compton Sr and his first wife Mary “Polly” Unknown had a total of eight children including three sons and five daughters. The male children has been positively identified as Bartemus, Jeremiah Jr., and James. The five females are more of a mystery but we do know one was named Parcidy and one named Mary. In the spring of 1832, Jeremiah’s wife Polly was taken to the Lebanon jail on account of lunacy. In spring 1833, she was then transported to the only mental hospital in the state at that time in Williamsburg. The Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg has record of receiving a Polly Compton in June 1833 who was running a fever and it appears she died a few days later. By the mid 1830’s, Jeremiah remarried Courtney Deel Yates, a widow of John Yates Sr., although no record exists of this marriage.
Jeremiah’s second wife, Courtney, was also the mother in law of two of Jeremiah’s daughters; Mary and Parcidy. In 1832, Jeremiah Compton was in attendance at the estate sale of John Yates Sr, and a few years later he is married to John’s widow! Researchers feel certain Jeremiah and John Yates Sr had some link prior to the men moving to Russell County.
In 1848, Jeremiah deeded most of his Thompson Creek farm to Joseph Yates who was married to his daughter Mary in exchange for taking care of he and Courtney in their old age. Jeremiah also deeded his son Jeremiah Compton Jr. 60 acres of the original farm for love and affection. This actual deed still exists within the Compton family. In the past most researchers assumed Jeremiah died prior to 1850 since he is not on the 1850 census although tax records proved he is alive and well at least until spring 1854. The gravesite of Jeremiah is forever lost but likely he was buried somewhere on his Thompson Creek farm. His second wife Courtney moved in with her son who lived in the present day Vansant, Virginia area and then died in 1862.
Many clues led to the conclusion that Jeremiah Compton Sr. was the son of James Compton. In 1832, Jeremiah Compton Sr spent more money and purchased more items than anyone else at the estate sale of James Compton. The other two largest purchasers were David and Thomas Compton. Also James Compton and his wife Frances Herndon Compton were proven residents of Caswell County, North Carolina in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Frances Herndon Compton’s father David Herndon was a leader in the Baptist Church in that area. David Herndon and his daughter Frances Compton were founding members of the Lynches Creek Baptist Church in 1799. In 1802 in the minutes of the Lynches Creek Baptist Church, Jeremiah Compton Sr. is received as a member. Then in 1803 the minutes state Jeremiah Compton was overtaken with drinking. Most avid researchers feel confident this is in fact Jeremiah Compton Sr.!