Jonathan Walton Potter was born 28 March 1812 in Tennessee to Elijah or Elisha Potter and Elizabeth Wood and died 6 August 1901 Jackson County, Alabama of unspecified causes. He married Eliza Pace (1815-1899) 1832 in Jackson County, Alabama.


Biography details

Jonathan Walton Potter was born 28 Mar 1812 in Tennessee. Little is known of his early life before settling near Maynard’s Cove, Jackson County, Alabama in the early 1830s. He married Eliza Pace (B. 1815) in 1832. The Pace family, originally from Scott County, Virginia, appears to be intermarried with the Potters, Winingers, and other families through both Virginia and Alabama records, and Eliza’s maternal grandmother was a Potter, so it’s thought they were second or third cousins. Throughout the late-1800’s Censuses he lists both of his parents as being from Virginia.

Jonathan and Eliza’s first son, Samuel, was born 25 Aug 1833. Jonathan purchased some land near modern-day Scottsboro in 1835, close to many Potter’s in the area – Elijah, James, Joel, Joseph, and Solomon. They then had another son, William, on 10 Feb 1836. Sometime in 1836 or 1837 he fought with the military in the Florida Wars, as part of the Alabama Mounted Volunteers, Winn Company, Cawlfield Battalion. He returned to sire his first daughter, Cynthia Potter, on 30 May 1838.

The 1840 Census has the Potter’s still living in Jackson County, and they have more children – Mary in 1840, Elizabeth on 22 Nov 1841, Nancy on 15 Nov 1843 (?), Elijah on 19 Mar 1844 (?), John in October 1847, and Sarah, born 11 Sep 1849.

The 1850 Census has the Potter’s living in Township 2, Range 6 East in Jackson County. Four more children would come – Lucinda born in 1851, Noah born 5 Dec 1853, Malinda born 5 Nov 1855, and James born 19 Dec 1857. Jonathan received some land for his military service in 1853, and bought additional land in 1853 and 1859 in Sections 18 and 21 of Township 3 Range 5 East in Jackson County, close to some to his sons Samuel and William.

The 1860 Census has the Potter’s living in this same area. His farm is 200 acres, including 65 acres with improvements on it, valued at $1300. His home was valued at $200. He has four horses, 10 cattle, 30 sheep, and 15 pigs. His farm produced 75 bushels of wheat and 1000 bushels of corn, 30 bushels of sweet potatoes, as well as 60 pounds of wool and 100 pounds of butter and 10 pounds of maple syrup.

The records during the Civil War are sparse, but it’s believed Jonathan did not fight for the south. No census recorded his owning slaves, and he is later documented as a witness for a neighbor whose crops were pillaged by Confederate troops. He regained the right to vote in 1867. In the 1870 Census he was listed as living in the 3rd Subdivision of Jackson County. He lists is occupation as a Farmer, with $1000 in Real Estate holdings and near identical output to the previous census report.

The 1880 Census has him living with his wife, son James, and widowed daughter Lucinda and her two daughters. His farm has continued to provide corn, sweet potatoes, and wheat, and has 50 apple and 100 peach trees as well as an apiary. His wife Eliza would die on 11 Feb 1899, and would be buried in Bynum Cemetery, near Maynard’s Cove. The 1900 census would have Jonathan living in Tupelo, Jackson County, Alabama, with his daughter Malinda’s family. He would die on 6 August 1901 of a stroke, and be buried next to his wife.

Jonathan was a Primitive Baptist, and a deacon in his church, according to his grandson William Arthur Potter. According to his obituary, he never used tobacco or alcohol, and passed with seven of his nine living children beside him at his death. He had 13 children, 81 grand-children, 165 great-grand-children, and 3 great-great-grand-children at his passing.


Offspring of Jonathan Walton Potter and Eliza Pace (1815-1899)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel Potter (1833-1910)
William Potter (1836-1910)
Cynthia Potter (1838-1896)
Mary Potter
Elizabeth Potter (1841-1923)
Elijah Dallas Potter (1844-1917)
John T. Potter (1847-1921)
Sarah Potter (1849-1925)
Lucinda Jane Potter (1851-1880)
Noah Rice Potter (1853-1941) 5 December 1853 AL 21 December 1941 AL Sallie Catherine Cowart (1853-1937)
Malinda A. Potter (1855-1906)
James Monroe Potter (1857-1934)


  • 1. Jonathan Walton Potter (1812-1901)
  • 2. Elijah or Elisha Potter
  • 3. Elizabeth Wood
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