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Nancy Jane Terry Risinger
Birth: Jan. 22, 1806
Sumter County
South Carolina, USA
Death: Apr. 16, 1901
Nacogdoches County
Texas, USA

The life of the loving matriarch, Nancy Jane Terry Risinger, cannot be accurately told without emphasizing the frontier lifestyle in which she lived.

Nancy was the beloved daughter of South Carolinians, David and Nancy (Flaverly) Terry. During her growing years, her parents journeyed from South Carolina to Bibb County, Alabama.

It was in Bibb County where the sweet eighteen-year-old married her loving David on April 18, 1824. David played sacred harp music and taught in harp music schools. He was also quite famous for his ability to play the fiddle and sing. One can only imagine what Nancy felt as she sat and listened to David play.

Twenty months after they wed, David and Nancy began growing their family. They were most assuredly blessed with a houseful of giggling, pitter-patters as seven of their children began their lives in Bibb County: Ellen (Thompson), Susanna (Watson), McCary "Mack", Jackson Jefferson, Emeline Jane (Buckner, Smelley), Mary Ann (9 years), Landon James, Lucinda (2-1/2 years), and David Terry Risinger.

Nancy's sister, Permelia, married, George Risinger, brother of Nancy's husband, James David Risinger.

The Risinger clan, who came from South Carolina, as well, told adventurous and colorful stories of the gold which could be had in Colorado.

The loving couple, along with the families of three of David's brothers, moved with a large wagon train towards Colorado. The Risinger brothers had always made their living by tilling the soil, so they stopped each spring to raise a crop before continuing on. Once again, David and Nancy were blessed with the birth of a child. In the spring of 1847, Mona "Mamie" Rosanna (Anderson, Baker) was born in Mississippi.

At times, a family traveling in the wagon train would become so attached to the countryside where they stopped that they would stay on. One brother, John F. Risinger, liked the land in Louisiana so much, he decided to put down roots and stayed to raise his family.

When they arrived over the border from Louisiana in Rusk County during Christmas week in 1849, David and Nancy, along with David's remaining two brothers, allowed others to go on in search of gold, and made Texas their home. David settled the family in Laneville in Rusk County and his brothers settled nicely in adjoining counties, George (and Nancy's sister, Permelia) in Tyler County and Amos in Shelby County.

And finally, the arrival of their last child and son was celebrated by the family. John Hugh Franklin Risinger was born in 1853 in Laneville County.

David Risinger always had what was commonly referred to as an "itchy foot," and in the years after arriving in Texas, he continued to relocate around East Texas. The family lived in the counties of Rusk (Glenn Fawn, 1850), Shelby and Tyler (1860), and finally settled in Nacogdoches (by 1867).

Although too late for the Risingers to participate in Texas' fight for independence, it was only a decade until the Civil War began. Four of Nancy's five sons were of adult age, and three of the four were married with children. Each of her four grown sons (McCary, Jackson, Landon and David) enlisted, served the Confederate States of America, and tragically lost their lives. She also lost her son-in-law, the beloved husband of her daughter, Emeline.

Two of these widows gave birth to children who never saw their fathers.

One such tiny baby was the "little blackhaired girl", written about in letters between daughter, Emeline, and her husband, Moses. Eleven days after Moses penned his response of the arrival to Emeline, he was captured, taken and held at the notorious POW camp, Camp Douglas, where he lost his life two short months later.

The other baby was Nancy grandson through her son, Jackson Jefferson. Jackson lost his life at the Battle of Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana one year later. Jackson's widow, Cassie (who was also the younger sister of Emeline's husband, Moses), named the baby after his father and three uncles who also died away at war. Cassie lovingly named her newborn son, Jackson Jefferson Landon Moses McCary Risinger.

As the war ended and the hard and further debilitating era of Reconstruction began, Nancy's noble husband built four little houses in the corners of his yard on his property for his daughter, Emeline and the three widows of his fallen sons. He gathered the young widows and the sixteen grandchildren, and brought them to his property as his show of love, support, and that life did go on.

Nancy's daughter and her sons' widows ultimately remarried and raised the grandchildren nearby. Her only surviving son, married twice and through the years, raised a large family. One such grandson, PVT Ollie Olander Risinger, served in WWI in the U.S. Army, 132nd Machine Gun Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, but tragically lost his life while fighting in France.

As late as 1880, David and Nancy continued in good health. Their youngest son, John, his wife and their small children lived with them on the family farm. Although David was 77 years, we was still actively farming. Nancy was 75 years and managing the household.

At the age of 82, David sadly departed this life and left behind his beloved wife of more than 42 years. Nancy went to live with her daughter, Emeline, at the home she shared with her second husband, James Smelley, and children from that union. In her final year, she still had two adult grandchildren in the household, with many growing families of her grandchildren living nearby.

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A vast number of descendants from this adventurous frontier couple, Nancy and David, still live in East Texas today, as well as throughout the nation.

Thank you, Joel Wagnon, for originally creating this memorial for Miss Nancy's descendants. We are deeply grateful...

And thank you, sweet Gnomish, for sponsoring your most-yummy, 4th Great-gram's memorial...
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Family links: 
  James David Risinger (1803 - 1886)
  Ellen Eleanor Risinger Thompson (1826 - 1926)*
  Jackson Jefferson Risinger (1832 - 1864)*
  Emeline Jane Risinger Smelley (1834 - 1922)*
  John Hugh Franklin Risinger (1843 - 1929)*
  Mona Rosanna Risinger Baker (1847 - 1946)*
*Calculated relationship
Old North Church Cemetery
Nacogdoches County
Texas, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 31.66759, -94.65817
Maintained by: M'Lady
Originally Created by: Joel Wagnon
Record added: Mar 09, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49459450
Nancy Jane <i>Terry</i> Risinger
Added by: M'Lady
Nancy Jane <i>Terry</i> Risinger
Added by: M'Lady
Nancy Jane <i>Terry</i> Risinger
Added by: M'Lady
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- Georgia❀CA
 Added: Jul. 17, 2011
Rest in Peace
- John E. Abbott
 Added: Feb. 11, 2011

- The Gnome
 Added: May. 28, 2010
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This page is sponsored by: The Gnome

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