Part One: Line of James Rankin, son of Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin

Thanks to an uncharacteristic case of indecision, I have prepared this descendant chart in two different formats. This chart — Part One — is a bare outline, except for some notes about Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin and their son James. The other format, which I will probably post within the week, is an expanded outline chart that includes census records and other source information.

As a practical matter, this is essentially a chart for the line of William Rufus Rankin, a son of James and Mary Johnson Rankin and a grandson of Samuel and Eleanor. That is because the other children of James and Mary apparently left North Carolina and were not easy to identify with much confidence.

I would appreciate any feedback about these two formats. Some people seem to like detailed source information; some don’t. Let me know.

Almost all of the information in this chart came from the following sources:

  • Federal census records, available online free from Family Search at this link — https://familysearch.org/catalog/search — and for a price from Ancestry.com at this link, http://home.ancestry.com.
  • North Carolina death certificates, available at both of the above websites. They may seem a somewhat macabre source, but they are full of valuable and usually reliable evidence. Most death certificates identify the deceased’s parents, dates and places of birth and death, identity of a surviving spouse, occupation, address, place of burial, and the name of the person who provided information for the death certificate.
  • North Carolina marriage records, also available at both Family Search and Ancestry. Many provide date and county of marriage, identity of parents, and ages and residences of the bride and groom. Some just provide names and date of marriage.
  • Findagrave.com. This website, which is free, often includes an obituary for twentieth century deaths, providing another good source of information. The website also frequently adds names of parents, siblings and children, although sources are not provided for that information. So far as this particular Rankin line is concerned, Findagrave has been pretty reliable except for a few obvious errors. Finding a second source for the information at this website is a good idea. For the record, the vast majority of the Rankins in this chart are buried in Gaston County in either the Goshen Grove Cemetery, New Hope Presbyterian Cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, Hollywood Cemetery, or Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery.
  • Other sources at Ancestry.com. For example, replacement birth certificates, Social Security applications, city directories, draft registration forms and – even more fun, because they frequently include pictures – school yearbooks.

I have not relied on any compiled family histories for this information, including either family trees available online or a history of this line contained in a book written by Greg Moore and A. Forney Rankin (which is apparently no longer available online). If anyone spots errors, I would appreciate corrections, provided they are supported by citations to actual records rather than to undocumented family trees.

A substantial number of the Rankins identified in this chart remained in Gaston County, NC for the better part of a century after James died. This is often a clue that the family was quite well-to-do: 19th century families who didn’t inherit wealth frequently moved on west and south, looking for cheap land or other opportunities. In this family’s case, Samuel Rankin left each of his surviving children $1, except for his daughter Anne/Anna Rutledge (to whom Samuel bequeathed two cows) and his son James. The dollar bequests don’t mean Samuel was cheap or that he disliked his children. The small bequests were an attempt to forestall a will contest based on the theory that the testator accidentally “overlooked” a child who wasn’t a named beneficiary. I suspect that Samuel provided for most of his children long before he wrote his will.

As for James, Samuel’s will provided as follows: “son James Rankin and his heirs, the plantation where I now live … my sorrel horse and all my stock of cattle and sheep and my bed and furniture and all my household and kitchen furniture of every kind likewise one large kettle and one flax [wheel?].” Thus, James inherited essentially all of Samuel’s remaining assets. I haven’t been into the Lincoln County deed records, but Samuel may have already disposed of much of his estate via sale or gift deed (or gifts of cash, which wouldn’t appear in the records) before writing his will. In any event, Samuel and Eleanor’s sons who remained in Lincoln were quite wealthy – James, William and Alexander – as indicated by their ownership of land and slaves.

Without further ado, here is the short form of the chart. I hope it helps someone knock down a Rankin brick wall!

1 Samuel Rankin, 1734 – 1816, wife Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin, 1740 – 1802. These dates of birth and death disagree with those given by most Rankin researchers. They are from Goshen Grove Presbyterian Cemetery inscriptions transcribed on FHL Microfilm #882,938. The film contains a pre-1914 cemetery inscription survey; the Historical Records Survey Service Division of the WPA prepared the transcription. Samuel Rankin’s tombstone has long since disappeared, but his wife Eleanor’s was still standing in the late 1990s.

For Samuel Rankin’s original will, see North Carolina State Archives File Box C.R.060.801.21. Recorded in Lincoln County Will Book 1: 37. The will names children William, Jean Hargrove/Hartgrove, Samuel, David, Robert, Alexander, Ann Rutledge, Eleanor Dickson and James. A tenth child, Richard Rankin, predeceased Samuel but is proved by strong circumstantial evidence.

2 James Rankin, b. 1775-1780, d. 1832-1833. Wife Mary (“Polly”) Johnson. For source information on this couple, see below …

  • 1820 census, Lincoln Co., NC, p. 350, James Rankin, 30001-10011. Male 26 < 46, female > 45, female 26 < 45, 3 males < 10, 1 female < 10. James, the eldest male, was b. 1775-1794.
  • 1830 census, Lincoln Co., NC, p. 231, James Rankin, 12020011-101001, shows James in the age 50 < 60 bracket, b. 1770-1780. Combining the 1830 and 1820 census info, James was born 1775-1780.
  • North Carolina State Archives, File Box C.R.060.801.21, “Lincoln County Wills, 1769 – 1926 Quickle – Reep,” file folder labeled “James Rankin 1832.” Folder contains the original will of James Rankin dated 27 Nov 1832, proved Jan 1833. Recorded in Lincoln Co. Will Book 1: 273.
  • File folder labeled “James Rankin 1832” also contains a document showing the division of his estate in eight lots to his heirs Robert Rankin, Rufus Rankin, Caroline Rankin, James Rankin, Louisa Rankin, Samuel Rankin, Richard J. Rankin, and Mary Rankin.

3 Robert Rankin, b. abt 1815, Lincoln Co., NC, d. after 1880, Crawford Co., AR.

4 Amzi Alexander Rankin, b. 14 Mar 1853, Woodlawn, Gaston Co., NC, d. 23 Jun 1914, Muscogee, Moscogee Co., OK.

4 Charles Rankin, b. abt 1856-57, Gaston Co., NC, died before 1900.

4 Robert Rankin, b. abt 1858, Gaston Co., NC, died before 1870.

4 Mary D. Rankin, b. abt 1860-61, Gaston Co., NC. Married a Mr. Holt, Lived in Cheotah, McIntosh Co., OK at least 1914 – 1930.

4 Alice W. Rankin, b. 1863, Gaston Co., NC, d. 1945, McIntosh Co., OK. Husband William T. McNeely (1860-1914).

4 Ada B. Rankin, b. Sep 1863, Gaston Co., NC. Husband Thomas E. Cason, Crawford Co., AR.

4 Robert E. Rankin, b. Sep 1866, Gaston Co., NC. Lived McIntosh Co., OK as of 1930.

5 Wiley Edward Rankin, b. 31 Dec 1890, Checotah, OK, d. 1945, Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co., CO.

4 Richard Arthur Rankin, b. May 1871, Crawford Co., AR, to McIntosh, Muscogee and Osage Co., OK.

3 Caroline Rankin.

3 James A. Rankin, b. 25 Jun 1829, Lincoln, d. 2 Aug 1881 in Cass Co., TX, buried Upton Co., TX.

3 Samuel Rankin, b. abt. 1821.

3 Louisa Rankin, b. abt 1827.

3 Richard J. Rankin, b. abt. 1830.

3 Mary Rankin, possibly m. Robert Beaty. To Bowie and Upton Co., TX.

3 William Rufus Rankin, b. 7 Mar 1823, Gaston Co., NC, d. 17 Nov 1883, Gaston Co. Wife #1 Mary Ann (possibly Capps?, 23 Feb 1826 – 6 Mar 1850); #2 Sarah Elizabeth Stowe (8 Apr 1840 – 28 Aug 1892). William Rufus Rankin’s first three children (William Gamewell, Laura and James) were children of his first wife Mary Ann. The remaining 9 children (Whiten through Price) were children of Sarah Elizabeth Stowe.

4 William Gamewell Rankin, 9 Mar 1844 – 12 Feb 1900. Wife Elvira A. Leeper (16 May 1840-11 Feb 1916).

5 Sallie Rankin, b. abt 1864, Gaston Co., NC.

5 Wiley Theodore Rankin, 24 Sep 1867 – 18 Dec 1929. Wife #1 Lula Ford (mother of all his children); wife #2 Lillie Johnston, married 24 Sep 1902, Gaston Co.

6 Mildred Rankin, b. 17 Jun 1893, Gaston Co., d. 2 Feb 1941, Gastonia, NC. Husband Haddon Spurgeon Mackie (1891-1970).

7 Wiley Theodore Mackie, b. 13 Jul 1920 – 11 Sep 1943.

7 Mary Lou Mackie m. Alton F. Bryant.

6 Eleanor or Emma? Rankin, b. 24 Sep 1896. Husband John D. Kennedy. Broward Co., Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

6 William Theodore Rankin, b. 24 Nov 1898, Gastonia, d. 4 Apr 1952, Gastonia. Co. Wife Mary Payne, married 25 Apr 1929.

7 Wiley Theodore Rankin, 7 Oct 1930 – 14 Dec 1999. Wife #1 Jeanette Adams; wife #2 Hally Lee.

6 Lula Rankin, 6 Nov 1900 – 2 Feb 1985, Gastonia.

5 Mary A. Rankin, 1870 – 22 Aug 1919. Husband Charles Clyde Craig.

5 Edward Jenkins Rankin, 26 Dec 1872 – 28 Aug 1950. Wife Emma Mary Stowe.

6 Annie Lucille Rankin, 23 Feb 1900 – Nov 1992. Never married.

6 Margaret S. Rankin, b. 19 July 1909.

5 Laura Luna Rankin, 12 Dec 1875 – 17 Jan 1945. Husband John Taylor Harrison.

5 Emma F. Rankin, b. 6 Oct 1878, d. 22 Feb 1957, Gastonia.

5 John Ralph Rankin, 6 May 1881 – 2 Oct 1920. Wife Victoria May Grischy.

6 James Robert Rankin, b. 15 Apr 1907, Gastonia, d. Mar 1982. Wife Eugenia White.

6 William Rankin, b. 1910.

5 Rufus Andrew Rankin (Sr.), b. 15 Oct 1882 d. 11 Jan 1933, Gastonia. Wife Minnie Jane Armstrong.

6 Evelyn Rankin, 16 Jan 1907 – 30 Aug 1999, Gaston Co. Husband John Paul Stowe.

6 Mary Ruth Rankin, 6 Nov 1908 – 1 Jul 1977, Alamance Co., NC. Husband Henry W. Jordan.

6 Rufus A. Rankin Jr., b. 1 Aug 1911, Gastonia, d. 6 Jan 1985, Kilmamock, Lancaster Co., VA. Wife Dorothea Edwards Higgins, m. Richmond, Henrico Co., VA.

7 Rufus A. Rankin III, 25 Sep 1940 – 26 May 1994, Lancaster Co., VA.

7 Henry L. Rankin.

6 Alice E. Rankin, 16 Nov 1913, Gaston Co. – Feb 2003, Gastonia. Husband Wilson Alexander Forbes.

6 Robert Wray Rankin, 10 Sep 1917 – 22 Jul 1958. Wife Jane Elizabeth Boren.

6 Helen Franklin Rankin, b. about 1921. Husband Harry Tracy Westcott, m. in Randolph Co., NC.

6 Samuel Armstrong Rankin, b. 12 Aug 1923, d. 29 Oct 1994, Randolph Co., NC. Wife Cornelia Stevens Lowe.

4 Laura Rankin, 29 Mar 1846 – 10 Jan 1906.

4 James (“Mack”?) Rankin, b. Mar. 1850.

4 Whiten Robertus Rankin, b. 3 Feb 1857, d. 19 Jul 1946, South Point, Gaston Co. Wife Judith Elizabeth McKee.

5 Thomas Pinkney Rankin, b. 19 Aug 1880, wife Vivian Pearl Leonhardt.

6 Roberta Rankin, 1904-1976, husband George Blakey Smith.

6 Thomas Pinkney Rankin Jr., b. 25 Jun 1910, Lowell, Gaston Co., d. 18 Jun 1978.

6 Bennie Vivian Rankin, b. 18 Mar 1918, Lowell, d. 28 Jan 1995, Malvern, Hot Springs Co., AR. Husband Glenn Baker.

6 Eugene Malcom Rankin, b. 17 Aug 1922, Lowell, d. 31 Jan 2016, Greenwich, Conn.

5 Zada Rankin, b. 17 Aug 1882, Gaston Co.

5 John Robert Rankin, b. 14 Mar 1885, Gaston Co. Wife Clara E. Sloan.

6 James W. Rankin, b. 20 Oct 1914, Gastonia, d. Feb 1987, Greensboro, Guilford Co. Wife Susan Porter Calder.

6 Sarah E. Rankin, b. abt 1917, Gastonia.

6 Robert Sloan Rankin, b. 23 Feb 1920, Gastonia, d. 14 Aug 1998, Hilton Head, SC.

5 Sarah Katie Rankin, b. 20 Dec 1887, Gaston Co.

5 Annie Minerva Rankin, b. 4 Feb 1891, Gaston Co.

5 Georgia May Rankin, b. 17 May 1894, Gaston Co.

5 Lyda Violet Rankin, b. 5 Dec 1898, Gaston Co.

4 Andrew Johnson Rankin, b. 21 Jan 1859, d. 11 Nov. 1936, Gastonia. Wife Emily Ann Smith (7 May 1858-27 Dec 1937).

5 Margaret Elva Rankin, 29 Nov 1884 – 2 May 1981, Gastonia. Husband John Pinchback Chandler.

5 Ida Myrtle Rankin, 24 Mar 1888 – 14 Feb 1981, Gastonia. Husband Samuel Sidney Shuford.

5 Sarah Edna Rankin, 6 Jul 1889 – 20 Jul 1987, never married.

4 Rufus Pinkney Rankin, b. 16 Feb 1862 d. 1 Nov 1910, Gastonia. Wife Zoe Anna Hand.

5 Rufus Grady Rankin Sr., 25 Feb 1891 – 13 Jun 1976, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. Wife Ruth Boyce.

6 Anna Boyce Rankin, b. 18 Jan 1914, d. 10 Feb 2011, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co.. Husband Joseph William Lineberger.

6 Rufus Grady Rankin Jr., b. 3 Jul 1918, d. 12 May 1997. Married #1 Margore Louise Crist, Caldwell Co., NC; m. wife #2 in Collier Co., FL.

6 David Holland Rankin, b. 18 Jul 1922, d. 28 Dec 2013, Charlotte, NC. Wife Nancy Fidelia O’Herron.

7 David Holland Rankin Jr.

7 Betty Rankin, m. Richard Hecenbleikner.

7 Samuel Boyce Rankin, wife Susan.

7 Michael O’Herron Rankin, wife Kay.

6 George Mason Rankin, b. 18 May 1924, d. 12 Jun 1969, Asheville, Buncombe Co. Wife Ann Rawley Long.

5 Sarah Violet Rankin, b. 16 Jun 1893, d. 16 Jan 1969, Gastonia. Husband George B. Mason.

5 Henry Rankin, b. 26 Oct 1895, d. 21 Oct 1964, Durham, NC. Wife Mary Olive Reed.

6 Patricia Rankin, b. 21 Mar 1921, Gastonia.

5 Lawrence Samuel Rankin, b. 20 Mar 1898, d. 6 Feb 1978, Gastonia. Wife Sadie Love Thomson.

6 Lawrence Rankin Jr., 3 Sep 1924 – 12 Jan 1998.

6 James Thomson Rankin, 12 May 1927 – 29 Mar 1992, Gastonia. Wife Barbara Grigg.

6 Robert Hand Rankin, b. 12 May 1929, d. 18 Sep 1998, Gastonia.

5 Rufus Pinkney Rankin Jr., b. 23 Jan 1902, d. 26 May 1992, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Wife Jessie Gray Boggs, 27 Dec 1922. Buried Oakwood Cemetery, Gastonia.

4 Robert Franklin Rankin, b. 17 Jan 1866, d. 14 Dec 1960, Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC.  Wife #1: Sarah Ella Jenkins (mother of Nellie, Campbell and Robert); wife #2, Anna Jane Wells (mother of Sarah, Graham and Cecil); wife #3, Florence Rackley, (mother of Juanita, Charles, Pinkney Ray, Margaret Elizabeth, Ruth L., Lillian, Coy, and Wilton).

5 Nellie Rankin, b. Mar 1890, Gaston Co.

5 David Campbell Rankin, b. 17 Mar 1892 – d. 14 May 1962, Charleston, Charleston Co., SC.

5 Robert Richard Rankin, b. 24 Feb 1894 – d. 28 Apr 1972, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC.

5 Sarah E. Rankin, b. 10 Aug 1898 – d. 23 Nov 1985, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. Husband Ross Orr McConnell.

5 Graham Franklin Rankin, b. 23 Dec 1902, d. 5 Oct 1958, Staunton, Augusta Co., VA. Wife Margaret Dunn.

6 Robert Frank Rankin, b. 8 Aug 1924, Charlotte, d. 18 Jun 2015, Staunton, Augusta Co., VA.

5 Cecil Coke Rankin, b. 30 Jan 1905, Mt. Holly, Gaston Co., d. 16 Aug 1965, Gastonia, Gaston Co. Wife Margaret Grice.

5 Juanita Victoria Rankin, b. 23 Apr 1909, Mt. Holly – d. 2 Apr 1994, Wilmington, New Hanover Co., NC.

5 Pinkney Ray Rankin, b. 20 Aug 1910, Mt. Holly, Gaston Co., d. 25 Sep 1999, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Wife Ruby Stokes. His obituary says his Scots-Irish Rankins came from North Ireland (sic, should be northern Ireland) to PA in the early 1700s.

6 Martha Ann Rankin

6 Michael Ray Rankin

5 Charles Wesley Rankin, b. 10 Dec 1911, Mt. Holly.

5 Margaret Elisabeth Rankin, b. 29 Mar 1913, Mt. Holly.

5 Ruth L. Rankin, b. abt 1916, m. Mr. Nimrocks.

5 Lillian Bowles Rankin, b. 21 Nov 1917, Gastonia, Gaston Co., NC, m. Robert Morris, 6 Nov 1937, New Hanover Co., NC, d. 6 Aug 2016, Durham Co., NC.

5 Fannie Coy Rankin, b. abt. 1920, m. Theron Carl Pate 28 May 1939, Franklin Co., VA.

5 Wilton Rankin, b. 11 Sep 1927, Wilmington, NC., d. Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC 12 April 2017. Wife Tiffany W. LNU.

6 William T. Rankin

6 Diane V. Rankin

6 Donna M. Davis

4 Mary Eliza Rankin, 1868 – 1900. Husband Charles Hall Lineberger.

4 Larkin Edgar Rankin, b. 10 Feb 1870, d. 28 Aug 1935, Gastonia. Wife Jennie Lineberger Hand.

5 William Lamar Rankin, b. 13 Dec 1893, d. 3 Oct 1966, Cleveland Co., NC, although he was a resident of Gastonia. Wife Tula Beard.

6 William Lamar Rankin, Jr., b. abt. 1919, Gaston Co. Resident of Salisbury, Rowan Co., in 1966.

6 Sam Rankin, b. abt. 1922, Gaston Co.

6 Dorothy Rankin, b. abt. 1925, Gaston Co.

6 Donald Rankin, b. abt. 1927, Gaston Co.

5 Sarah Erwin Rankin (or Erwin S., female), b. Jul 1896.

5 Larkin Ellis Rankin, b. 29 Apr 1898, d. May 1959, Highlands, Florida. Wife Lucile Evelyn Trimble or Trumbly.

6 John Daniel Rankin, b. 27 Aug 1929, Gaston, may have d. before 1940.

6 Jane Cecile Rankin, b. 29 Mar 1933, Gastonia.

5 Lois Rankin, b. 12 May 1904, Gaston.

5 Henry Hand Rankin, b. 6 Jan 1909, d. 29 Apr 1990, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. Wife Helen Bell.

6 Richard Henry Rankin, 21 Feb 1948 – 7 Oct 2014.

4 Nancy Jane Rankin, b. abt 1872, d. 14 Nov. 1949. Husband Charles I. Armstrong.

4 Albert Richard Rankin, b. 28 Mar 1874 – d. 30 Oct 1931, Gastonia.Wife Estella (“Stella”) Iola Jenkins.

5 Nancy Adele Rankin, 22 Nov 1900 – 30 Aug 1999, Gastonia. Husband Theodore Page Morris.

5 Annie Sloan Rankin, 1 Aug 1902 – 25 Mar 1988. Husband Allen Harold Sims.

5 Mabel Lee Rankin, 19 Feb 1906 – 21 Aug 1999, Gastonia. Husband Harry Lindley Rutter.

5 Alberta (“Berta”) R. Rankin, 3 Jan 1908 – 19 Oct 1979, Gastonia. Husband Carroll Jenkins Shelton.

5 Albert R. Rankin Jr., b. 12 Jan 1910, d. 24 Aug 1985.

5 Alice McNeill Rankin, b. 14 Jul 1913, Gastonia, d. 10 Dec 1993. Husband Edward Smith Gordon.

4 Emmett Price Rankin, 25 Sep 1876, Gaston Co., NC – 10 Jun 1954, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC.

2 thoughts on “Part One: Line of James Rankin, son of Samuel and Eleanor (“Ellen”) Alexander Rankin”

  1. I must say it was hard to find your site in google. You write interesting content but
    you should rank your website higher in search engines. If you don’t know how to do it search on youtube: how to rank a website Marcel’s way

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *