Arnold Helton

Related pages:
Gilgal cemetery
Gilgal photos
Helton land deals
Helton DNA

Most of the information on my 4g-grandfather Arnold Helton0 and his descendants on this page was assembled and provided by my cousin Mac Elliott, whose research archives are so extensive and voluminous that I've come to think of them as the "Big Mac Files". Mac asked me to include a statement such as the following at the beginning of this page:

WARNING! All rights reserved! The information on this page may not be copied, reproduced or published without the written permission of Mac Elliott. You are welcome to link TO this page from your own page. Please be aware that some of the information here is SPECULATIVE and is subject to change. Your corrections and comments are always welcome.

Birth. Arnold Helton was born about 1764 in North Carolina. He was said to be the son of an Abraham Helton, but which one? One of the compilers of the Helton Family DNA Project contacted me and told me there were several Abe Heltons in the American colonies at about the time our Arnold was born:

  1. Abe Helton #1, born about 1743 in VA, married Katy Owl of NC and ended up in GA. They had only one child, Calvin Helton. This is test #71753.
  2. Abe Helton #2, born about the same time, who was either an American Indian or married one, and also ended up in GA. He had at least ten children. This is test #73538.
  3. Abe Helton #3, the son or grandson of Peter Helton (1686-?), was born in Orange county, NC, went to Bedford county, TN, and died there. His descendants went to IN, KY and MO. Their tests are #51581, #51582, #71067 and #76239.
  4. Abe Helton #4, born 1757 in Baltimore, MD, too late to be our Arnold's father. May have married Rebecca Vestal. He seems to have a lot of descendants. His father may be John Helton, born 1710 in Germany.

This is only a summary of the information available at the DNA Project site; it is possible I've confused the data of one Abraham Helton with another, or that there's more than one Arnold Helton.

Marriage. Arnold married first an unknown wife, perhaps as early as 1788 in NC or TN. He married second, 28 Dec 1825, in Monroe county, IN, Sarah "Sallie" Johnson,0, 1 born 1768, who died 29 Oct 1827 (in her 59th year). We assume the children all belonged to the first marriage. The 1820 census2 shows he had 8 males and 3 females living in his household.

Children. The following children's names were deduced from the probate records of Arnold's estate, and other information, as transcribed by Mac Elliott and other descendants:

  1. Adam C. Helton,0 born 17 May 1789 NC, died 21 Sep 1843 Lawrence county, IN, married about 1811, Polly Starnes,0 born 3 Jan 1795, died 11 Aug 1888 (age 93), buried Gilgal Cemetery with Adam. It is believed she was daughter of John Starnes and Sarah Adams. See photo below of Adam and Polly's grandson (Pleasant M. Helton's0 son) Joseph T. Helton's wife.
  2. Elizabeth Helton, born about 1795?, and believed to be the person mentioned in Arnold's probate as Elizabeth Gillum.
  3. James Helton, born about 1800, died before Mar 1832, married 8 Oct 1824,3 Lawrence county, IN, Celia (or Cecelia or Selia) Bales, born about 1804,3 KY, died 27 Aug 1887 Lawrence county, IN, buried Gilgal Cemetery. It is not known exactly who her parents are, but some "speculate" that she was daughter of Andrew Bales and Polly. However, Selia Bales continues to tell census-takers that she was born in "KY", and it's not known if Andrew Bales was ever in Kentucky. The only Bales family we know that actually came out of Madison Co, KY, with the Hendersons, Turpins, Moberlys, Brights, Terrills, was one Alexander Bales and wife Elizabeth Stephenson, married 27 Apr 1792 in Madison county, KY. Alexander and Elizabeth's family information has not been gathered, as no probate or will has been discovered at this time.

    James Helton had only the four daughters, who were minors at the time of his death, with Andrew Helton appointed guardian of his minor children. James and Celia's children:

    1. Mary "Polly" Helton,0 born 2 Feb 1821.3 She died 5 Nov 1902, Lawrence county IN, married 29 Jan 1841, Lawrence county, IN, James Clark, Jr, born 23 Nov 1819, died 17 Jul 1901, son of William Aaron Clark and Rebecca Bales4 (born 1791), daughter of James Bales and Rebecca Braken. (These are Jackie's ancestors.) This James Bales' and Alexander Bales' children intermarry, and it's thought they were brothers, both having lived in Madison county, KY, and surrounding counties.
    2. Rebecca Helton, born 16 Dec 1826 Lawrence county, IN, died 26 Nov 1888, Robinson, Crawford county, IL, buried Kirk Chapel Cemetery, married 24 Aug 1844, Lawrence county, IN, by John Peters, MG, to Hickman Henderson,0 born 9 Apr 1823, died 15 Aug 1903, Crawford county, IL. (These are Mac Elliott's ancestors.) Hickman Henderson was son of Joseph Henderson (son of Jeremiah Henderson and Hannah Hickman) and Jane Terrill. Jane Terrill was daughter of Edmund Terrill and Sarah Stephenson of Madison county, KY.
    3. Sarah Helton,0 born 23 Dec 1828, Lawrence county, IN, died 24 Mar 1881, Lawrence county, IN, buried Gilgal Cemetery. She was married 28 Dec 1845, Lawrence county, IN, by Russell Mitchell, JP, to George W. Ferguson,0 born 19 Nov 1825, KY, died 15 Mar 1881, Lawrence county, IN, buried Gilgal Cemetery.
    4. Catherine Helton, born about 1830, d 9 Aug 1913, married 3 Mar 1849, Lawrence county, IN, by James Anderson, to David Green Douglas, born 4 Dec 1827, NY, died 9 Aug 1912, Lawrence county, IN, buried Gilgal Cemetery. (These are Kathy Pessaro's ancestors.) David was son of Joel Douglas and Mahala Green, of VT.

    After James died, "Celia" (Bales) Helton, married (2nd) 27 May 18365 Joseph Terrill, and had two children: Robert Terrill and Jane Terrill. Celia seemed to live back and forth with these two children and their families. In the 1860 census, for instance, we find her living with Jane, who had married J. G. Ramsey, in Pleasant Run township.

  4. Sally Helton, born about 1803, Hawkins county, TN, married 17 Mar 1824, Lawrence Co IN (Bk A, p 104), James Todd. James was named in the probate of Arnold Helton's estate.
  5. Polly (Mary) Helton, born 1805, TN, died 1892. Possibly married Andrew Bales, or another Polly Helton married Alexander Bales, 26 Mar 1821, Lawrence county, IN. QUESTION -- are Andrew and Alexander Bales one and the same person?
  6. John Helton, born 1803-1814. (No further information, but he received part of estate of Arnold Helton in 1829.)
  7. Andrew Helton, born 9 Sep 1806, Sullivan county, TN, died 5 Apr 1874, Bloomington, Monroe county, IN, married 13 Mar 1828, Lawrence county, IN (Bk A, p 237), Hannah Woolery, who was born 10 Jul 1807, Harrison county, KY, died 29 Apr 1870, Bloomington, daughter of Michael Woolery and Jane Todd.6 (These are Chuck's ancestors.)
  8. Arnold Helton, born 9 Sep 1812, Hawkins county, TN, married 26 Mar 1833, Monroe county, IN, Elizabeth Robinson, born 1812. Arnold and Elizabeth had at least one child, with whom Arnold was living in Pleasant Run at the time of the 1880 census:
  9. Catherine Helton.7
  10. Absolum Helton, born in Hawkins county, TN, married Catherine (Helton?), born 1811, TN.7

Death. Arnold died 6 Sep 1829, in his 65th year, in Lawrence county, Indiana. He and Sarah are buried next to each other in Gilgal Cemetery, in Lawrence county. Several other Heltons are buried nearby.

The following photo was provided by cousin Tony Jarvis, who supplied the identifications below it. He suggests it was taken some time in the 1920s. Two of the beautiful women in the picture were wives of Heltons.

Children of John & Cynthia (Hawkins) Brewer
Back: Paulina, Gertrude (Gertie), Polly
Front: Isabel (married Joseph T. Helton),0  David,  Lydia (married Joseph Absalom (Ap) Helton)

And here are some photos which were sent to us by cousin Kat Rodenberger:

Joseph and Isabel Helton's daughter, Gertrude Helton

Joseph and Isabel's daughter, Verna Helton,
with Stella (Hollowell) Helton (wife of Joseph and Isabel's son, Cleadus B. Helton)

Mac Elliott has authored a page at the Tennessee Hendersons web site which has further information on several of the people mentioned on this page. The footnotes below are my own comments on the information she developed.

0 Many of the people mentioned in this page are buried in Gilgal Cemetery. We've flagged, with a 0 footnote, those whose names we found in the Gilgal burials list provided by the INGenWeb's Lawrence county site.
1 Another researcher, Judy Porter, suggests that there may be more than one Arnold Helton in the early days of Lawrence county:
I believe the Arnold Helton who married Sarah Johnston (or Johnson) in Monroe co. in 1825 to be another Arnold Helton other than the one in Lawr. co. and buried in Gilgal, possibly a son of John Henry Helton, who was a brother to our Arnold.

There was a Sarah Helton who married Joshua Hendrickson in Monroe co. in 1833. This could be the same Sarah Johnston Helton. She was age 31 (born abt. 1801) when she married Joshua. They are listed on 1850 Monroe co. census. Maybe this Arnold Helton who she married in 1825 had died before her 1833 marriage.
We believe the John Henry Helton mentioned by Judy to be the same person as the Henry Helton of Madge Peters' story.

The Indiana marriage index lists a marriage between Sarah Helton and Joshua Hendrickson 21 Jan 1833 in Monroe county. In the 1850 census, a 73-year-old Joshua and a 48-year-old Sarah Hendrickson are listed in Marion township, at the far end of Monroe county. I don't know whether this Sarah is related to my own Helton ancestors and doubt that she is the same Sarah as married Arnold in 1825, died in 1827 and is buried next to him at Gilgal.

There are several persons named Sarah Helton and Arnold Helton in southern Indiana at this time. We welcome your input on these subjects!
2 Chapter 3 of the History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana, Indianapolis, Ind., B.F. Bowen & Co., 1914, available at the Lawrence county GenWeb site, gives a list of the earliest settlers in Pleasant Run township, which indludes several familiar names:


The northeast corner of Lawrence county is the location of Pleasant Run township, and it was created when the county was organized in 1818... Back, Leatherwood, Little Salt and Pleasant creeks cross the township, and from the latter the name is derived. In the list of Lawrence county townships Pleasant Run had the fewest settlers until 1829, having but twenty-three land entries, as follows: Jesse Gilstrap, 1820; William Clark, 1820; Adam Helton, 1820; William J. Anderson, 1818; Arnold Helton, 1818; F. Terrill 1820; Heirs of Abraham Martin, 1820; Rene Julin, 1818; R. Brooks. 1820; Samuel Gwathney, 1820; Joseph Dayton, 1816; Joseph Trimble, 1820; E. Parr, 1820; Edmund Garrison, 1820; James Mundell. 1816; John McClellan, 1820; David McKinney, 1816; Edward Moore, 1820; Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt, 1820; Vana Wilson, 1817; Jacob Woolery 1820; Edward Tewell, 1820; and John N. Nichols, 1817.

The following map shows Pleaant Run township. Gilgal cemetery is located beneath the letters "NT" of "PLEASANT RUN". The dashed line across the map indicates the southern boundary of national forest lands.
Among only 684 households in Lawrence county, Indiana, for the 1820 census we find the following 20 heads of household who are either mentioned above or who have the same surnames:

 Page 127:
 Thos. Clark    1    1
 Henry Clark    1 1 1 
 Page 130:
 Peter Stephenson1  1  2 1  
 Page 131:
 John Henderson1  1111  11
 Page 139:
 Jacob Woolery1   1 51 1 
 Page 140:
 Edmond Tarrill 2 1 1 12 1
 Arnold Helton4112 1111 1
 Jeremiah Henderson31 1 12111 
 William Clark3   1 1 1  
 Alexander Bails 11  11221 
 William Bails1   1 1  1 
 Thos. Todd   1  1 1  
 Page 141:
 Elizabeth Todd   1   2  1
 George Todd32  1 1 1  
 Page 144:
 Michael Woollery21 11 42 1 
 William Terrel   1    1  
 Page 146:
 Nancy Terrel  12   1  1
 Page 147:
 John Terrel   1  1 1  
 Page 149:
 Daniel Henderson31  1 21   
 Page 151:
 Alexander Clark1   1    1 

Jacob Woolery is identified by some transcribers as Jacob Wooley, Arnold Helton as Arnold Hilton, William Terrel as William Turet. There are also at least 8 Johnson households and a number of names which are totally illegible.
3 There are are several contradictions between, or questions raised by, these dates... Jackie supplied the following obituary for Polly Helton Clark, which appeared in the Bedford Weekly Mail 14 Nov 1902. She also noted the erroneous age and date of her death, as well as the error in the recency of her husband's death (she also supplied a copy of James' death certificate), and informed us that Polly and James are both buried in Gilgal cemetery...
Mrs. Polly Clark, 70 years old, died last night at her home near the Monroe and Lawrence county line of pneumonia. She was born in Kentucky but had resided in this State for 50 years. Her husband died three years ago. She leaves five children as follows: A. J. Clark, W. J. Clark, Doc Clark, Mrs. Celia Clampitt, Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell. The funeral was held this afternoon - Bloomington World.
I came across the following biography of Polly's son Andrew J. Clark at the Indiana Biographies site's Pleasant Run township page:
ANDREW J. CLARK, a progressive farmer and large land owner of Pleasant Run Township, was born May 30, 1844, in Lawrence County, Ind., and is the second son in a family of nine children born to James and Mary (Helton) Clark, who were natives of Kentucky and Indiana respectively. Andrew J. secured only a common school education and when rebellion was threatening to overthrow our country, he went to the front and although yet a boy did effective service in his country's cause as a member of Company G, Fiftieth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Early in 1861 was the date of his enlistment, and January 7, 1865, the date of his discharge. Mr. Clark has followed agricultural pursuits through life and by industry and good management has secured 515 acres of good land. As a Democrat in politics, he has served his township as Assessor with credit, and in matters of a laudable public character he is ever ready to lend a helping hand. July 27, 1865, he was married to Miss Mary A. Kinser, who was born December 15, 1842, to Hezekiah and Mary (Hellenberg) Kinser, and by her is the father of this family: Dawson L., David M., Dalton N., Dorothy O., Dora P., Daisy Q. (deceased), Dilesta R. and Dilland S. - History of Lawrence, Orange and Washington Counties, Indiana, Goodspeed Bros. and Co., 1884
4 Yet another cousin, Phyllis Phillips, compiled the following description of the settlement of Lawrence county, plus further information on Billy and Rebecca (Bales) Clark, which she has permitted us to include in this page:

Lawrence County was originally part of Knox and Harrison Counties. In 1814 it was a part of Washington County and in 1816, the same year that Indiana gained its statehood, it was a part of Orange County. In 1818 Lawrence County was created.

According to the historians of Lawrence County, IN, the area was situated on the border between several tribal Indian districts and permanently occupied by none. On the whole they were nomadic bands. Some of their favorite camping grounds were near the what is now Heltonville and Springville on the tall bluffs nearby, with easy access to water, and lots of wild game for hunting. William and Rebecca continued to allow the Indians to camp on their land when they came through.

WILLIAM AND REBECCA CLARK settled in Pleasant Run Township, at the NE corner of Lawrence County. Lawrence County history records reveal WILLIAM CLARK as among the first 23 land entries in the township in 1820, which was made of 60 sections. Along Salt Creek in those early times, distilleries were an institution of common occurrence. One of the principal stills in the township was kept by William CLARK, familiarly called "Billy". His was the frequent resort of the people, with their "little brown jugs," for in those days whisky was considered almost as necessary in the household as bread. Another distiller was JOHN HUNTER.

WILLIAM CLARK, known as "Billy" CLARK, born May 4, 1791 in North Carolina, and died September 9, 1869 in Lawrence County Indiana. He took a license to marry REBECCA BALES in Clay County, KY November 15, 1810, although the license was never returned. Rebecca died June 30, 1872 in Owen County, Indiana. They are both buried at the Old Clark Cemetery on private property in Lawrence County in Pleasant Run Township

Rebecca BALES, born October 13, 1796, was the daughter of James BALES and Rebecca BRACKEN. REBECCA BRACKEN was the daughter of MATTHEW and ABAGAIL unknown BRACKEN. Research was from Diane Jones.

Karen Baldwin writes: "In June of 1812 England and the United States were at War. WILLIAM volunteered as a private in CAPTAIN GERRARD's company of COLONEL WILLIAM JENNINGS' regiment at Manchester, Kentucky in August of 1812. His enlistment was for six months and he served from Sept 1, 1812 to Jan 17, 1813 when he was discharged for disability at Fort Jennings."

The company muster roll shows Dec 1, 1812 to April 1, 1813, including the marching of two hundred and seven miles to the place of rendezvous and the same distance returning from the place of discharge at 15 miles per day. Widow's Pension Claim #8444.

WILLIAM and REBECCA CLARK are found in 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860 censuses in Lawrence Co IN, living in Pleasant Run Township. In later life, William farmed in Bartlettsville, Indiana until he died.

Phyllis has extensive information on the descendants of Billy and Rebecca Clark.
5 The Indiana marriages data base lists the marriage as between Joseph Terrill and Cecly Helton. Marriage Volumess of Lawrence County Indiana, 1818-1886, by James E. Goff, Williams IN, has the same information and gives the bride's name as Ceily.
6 I believe Jane is the daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Thomas Todd (1761-1843) who is buried in Gilgal cemetery.
7 There is yet another 1880 census record, from Bloomington, IN, which raises more questions than it answers, such as:
  1. The 68-year-old Absalom Helton just might be the one listed above. The census taker lists him as single, but would widowed be more appropriate?
  2. Is he the twin of the Arnold Helton (junior) listed above?
  3. If Catherine's age (65) is listed correctly, that makes a 26-year span between Arnold's oldest and youngest child. Was Arnold married more than twice? Or was his anonymous first wife a child bride?
  4. Where does the 40-year-old single niece, Martha Baley, fit in? We don't have any information on any of Arnold's daughters marrying a Bailey. Or should Martha be listed as widowed? Or is she the niece of Absalom's brother-in-law, David Lively? Or is her surname actually Bales?
  5. Why are most of the group's parents' birthplaces left blank?
  6. Are the Heltons in this census record even a part of the family above? We've found the name Absalom numerous times among various Helton families. Perhaps these people are only cousins?
We hope our cousins can provide us some answers to these, and other, questions from their voluminous research files!
This page was last updated 18 May 2012.