Four generations before me, my ancestor, Henry Crawford Tucker, was born on May 5, 1805. With 32 children, half of Colquitt County is probably related by some connection to this famed preacher. I am one of those descendants and serve on the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Tucker’s granddaughter — one of 184 grandchildren — Minda Tucker Tumlin, was my great-grandmother. She passed in 1972. I only remember talking to her a few times when I visited her home in Doerun, Georgia. Her sons were patriots and fought in the Great War.

Henry Crawford Tucker’s life is well documented — a soldier, preacher, and even a representative to the Secession Convention in 1861 in Milledgeville, then the capital city of Georgia. According to biographers Janice Newton Thurmond and Blanche Pitts Smith, the latter being one of my Tucker cousins, Henry Crawford Tucker was a second cousin to Colonel Henry Tucker (1713-1787) of Bermuda. Colonel Tucker’s children went on to become U.S. Treasurer, Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court, and father of a director of the East India Company. I have a feeling an updated list of descendants and their accomplishments needs to be written.

During his seventeen-year marriage to his first wife, Nancy Sapp, they became parents of eight children. Nancy died in July 1841 and was buried at Old Bethel Church cemetery in present day Brooks County, where my Irish grandmother, Lucy Dinkins, farmed the land.

Tucker’s second wife was Margaret “Peggy” Watson from Thomas County. Together they had 11 children. Margaret died about 1856 and was buried at Bridge Creek Cemetery.

Praise God Tucker didn’t stop having offspring at 19 — for I would not have been born. Henry Crawford Tucker married Rebecca Bryant in February 1857. They had 13 children — one of them, Ivy Elisha Tucker, my grandfather. Like Tucker, I have a large family (seven children) myself but will never catch him.

Around that time Colquitt County was created (1856) and Henry Crawford Tucker’s land was cut into that new county. Henry Crawford continued to acquire land until he had a vast holding, containing thousands of acres. The large double-pen log house that he had built many years earlier was quickly outgrown. He had a total of 18 sons and 14 daughters. To accommodate such a great number of sons, Henry Crawford Tucker built a dormitory behind the house, furnished with homemade bunk beds and sawdust on the dirt floor, where the boys slept. At one time, there were 9 sons sleeping there. You can visit his property today for his log home and farmstead are on the National Register of Historic Places.

We are planning a zoom reunion for descendants, so contact me at the Capitol at techols@psc.ga.gov if you would like to join.

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