A Pemberton Scrapbook, of George Middleton Pemberton


What is this Scrapbook?

Our Pemberton Family Scrapbook is a red leather bound book, having two distinct parts. The first part contains the Minutes of a Baptist Church to which our early MO Pembertons belonged. The Second Part contains miscellaneous writings and newspaper clippings. Both parts are on folios of paper, the blue ink less readable than that written with black ink.

Who started the Scrapbook and when?

The book has gold lettering printed on the spine: “SCRAP BOOK” and below these two words, “G. M.” and below that, “PEMBERTON”. This is a reference to George Middleton Pemberton, Sr. or GMP. Its inside cover has a pasted-on, hand written page about miscellaneous happenings: for example: “Uncle David Brooks of Kentucky paid us a visit July 14th, 1861.” In addition: “Set out the Border [boundary?] corner of the yard to west to the north west corner of the field in the spring of 1854.” The facing page has a single newspaper clipping about the civil war.

The “when” of the Scrapbook is complex, written at different times in the 1800’s. Mostly, George Middleton Pemberton, Sr, is the” who” of the Scrapbook. He was given Part I and wrote much of Part II. The most important section for our family history are those pages he entitled: “History of our relations”. Next, and equally important are a number of typed written pages, glued into the second last folio. It is titled: “History of the Pembertons” and under that is typed, “(based on George M. Pemberton’s Scrap Book.)” These typed pages open thus:

“My great, great, grandfather, George Pemberton, lived in Cheshire County (or parish) England. His residence was known by the name of “Pemberton Huff,” and received its name from some circumstance that took place between the king and himself, and the king ordered the following notice to be put up at Pemberton’s gate post:

‘While olives are green and commodities rough
Here is the place for Pemberton’s huff.’

He married Sarah Middleton. His son, George Pemberton came from England to America and settled in Virginia in 1710, and married Elizabeth Brooks.“

While there is handwritten text in “History of our relations” regarding later origins and relationships, the original text dealing with “Pemberton Huff” (the notice for the gate post) has been lost from the folios prior to their binding. For speculations about a plausible interpretation of this text, see an article on the subject here.

[Ed. Note: Because there is a long line of George Pembertons, suffixes I, II, etc. have used in this article for ease of reading and writing. This is a common designation within this branch of the worldwide Pemberton family but these suffixes do not occur in the orginal records.]

GMP 1810-1878 PaintingWho was George Middleton Pemberton Sr.?

George M. Pemberton (pictured here) was born in Kentucky in 1810. His parents were Jesse Brooks Pemberton, b. 1770, Virginia, and Tabitha Brooks, b. 1776, South Carolina. Jesse B. Pemberton and his brother, George IV were sons of George III and Judea Brooks, both Virginians. George III and his brother Isaiah I were sons of George II and Elizabeth Brooks. We are uncertain about the relationship of Elizabeth Brooks and Judea Brooks, her daughter in law. According to the Scrapbook, George II left Cheshire, England and landed in Virginia in 1710. The latter’s English parents were George Pemberton I and Sarah Middleton.

George III and his brother Isaiah I moved with their families to Newberry County, South Carolina, after selling their Virginia property to George Washington’s brother Samuel in 1771. (See George Pembertons of Virginia in the 18th Century in Pemberton Post Vol. 1 No. 1, and Mr. Washington’s Order in Vol 1 No. 2.) The Quaker community in 1770 , began the Bush River Monthly Meetings, in Newberry County, South Carolina. Their Minutes note these Pembertons’ presence in its early days. After the Revolution, the Pemberton family again moves.

George III’s brother Isaiah I, also born in Virginai, died in 1794 in Newberry County, South Carolina. Isaiah’s extended family elected to move to the new territory of Ohio, around Cincinnati, all except a son, also named George Pemberton. In 1801, Jesse B. and his family, his brother George IV ( b. 1766, Virginia) and his family, along with his grandfather, George III,( b. 1718, Virginia), moved to Christiansburg County, later, called Caldwell County, Kentucky. Both families selected the territories made available for homesteading in the newly independent nation. There is nothing in the records of the Bush River Monthly Meeting Minutes nor in the Scrapbook to indicate motives for settling in different areas other than agreeing to disagree about where the best opportunities for each Pemberton family would unfold.

When George III died in 1827, his grandson George Middleton Pemberton wrote the following in Part II of the Scrapbook (We do not know where or when he  wrote this.):

“My Grand Father George Pemberton who departed this life in the one hundredth and ten year of this life, was in some particulars an(d) extraordinary Man. He was born in the State of Virginia. Moved from there to South Carolina about the year 1771, and in 1801, moved to Kentucky where he died in Coldwell County in the year 1827. Eight miles, a little South of East from Princeton and was buried on the farm owned by his son, George Pemberton.

He was a stout robust athletic man. He could say at his death what few men could say. He never was sick a day in his life. Never took a dose of Medicine. Never was bled. Never was drunk. Never was sued. Never sued any person. Never had an arbitration with any person. When he died, just seems as to have fallen a sleep. He was Captain in what was called Bratockes War. Was a respectable member of the old Regular Baptist Church for about 80 years.

The above is my father statements to me written by Geo. M. Pemberton.“

It is noteworthy that this GMP spent his first 17 years in association with Geo. III.


Part I begins with the RULES OF DECORUM for the Walnut Branch Church or The Regular Baptist Church of Christ at Walnut Branch. These 25 rules concern membership and a process for belonging to and/or exclusion from the Church.. The top left corner of this sheet is so worn that most of the date is missing. The next dated item is mid-page: 1st Saturday August. The texts from the minutes of that meeting continue on the next page, dated: 1834. In the 1840’s, J. Pemberton signs many of the minutes. The text uses Jesse B and J. Pemberton, probably to distinguishes between Jesse M. Pemberton, Geo IV’s son, and Jesse B., his uncle and Geo IV’s brother. These Minutes includes other Pembertons. For example, February 18, 1844, the minutes show that their meetinghouse was destroyed by fire. Members pledged logs with Thomas B. Pemberton giving the church 75 pounds of nails, enough to complete a new meetinghouse.

The numbering of pages in the SCRAPBOOK is confusing as the pages are not consecutive. An example of this is the last page in Part I of the Minutes. It is dated June, the first Saturday, 1834. “We a body of Baptist met at the home of brother Embre for the purpose of becoming constituted into a church , and after prayer and praise, took seats and opened conference.” After quite a number of pages, we find In large cursive script: “ Geo. M. Pemberton, presented by his friend, Wm. L. David, of St. Louis Mo. Apr. 15, 1853, Vol. I”. (See: Item 3.) Some six pages prior to finding out how GMP acquired VOL I, we find a page written in large beautiful cursive letters showing: VOL.II GEO M. PEMBERTON MEMORIAL BOOK, Presented by his father, Geo M. Pemberton, Sept 18th, 1878. G. M. P., Jr.” (See: Item 4.)

The History of Pettis County, 1878, “History of Elk Fork Township”, p.964, has more about this church. We find “CHURCHES—The first church of which any record is found is the Walnut Branch of the Baptist Church, it being one of the old style churches in belief and practice. Of this Association, whose first meeting was held ….on the first Saturday in June, 1834…;at a regular meeting in December 1848; a difference of opinion occurred on a doctrinal point and this difference grew to a division of the society into two parties, each claiming to be the regular church.” (Much more follows.)

Part II: Miscellaneous Notes

G MP, Sr., wrote on folios of paper, intermittently, in a beautiful cursive script. There would be months of silence. Then an entry would appear. Most of the SCRAPBOOK seems to have been written in Missouri.

He writes that his first trip to Missouri was in October 1832. That he moved to Missouri, landing in Pettis County May 7th, 1836. On another page, he writes, “Moved from the Varner place (I sold to S. Raybourn) to Brick house place I bought of Brother T.B.Pemberton on 28th day of April 1865. “ Some three pages follow, relating a crime in KY at a neighbor’s Christmas gathering. The next entry is this:”In “Pettis Co, Mo, the Red-oak tree standing in the yard at the brick house place due north of the east end of the house measured five feet round, three feet from the ground, on the first day of June, 1876. Here is a picture of Thomas B. Pemberton, (picture 5) who studied medicine in KY under Doctors Stewart and Pemberton. (We do not know who this Dr. Pemberton was.) In addition, received his lectures at the Transylvania Medical College of Lexington, KY, in 1835.This is an image of his brick house, the first in Pettis County… (Picture 6) During the summer of 2004, Rhonda Moffitt deciphered who the individuals are in this picture. (See: Item 7) It shows GMP, Sr, and includes his son Thomas Mason Pemberton, my grandfather.

The SCRAPBOOK says nothing about GMP’s uncle Geo IV having already moved to this area of MO prior to GMP’s move.. But in two places In the History of Pettis Co, 1887, this is the reality. On page 977, Jesse M., Geo IV’s son, is referred to as Judge Pemberton. The occasion is the 1839 marriage of George M. to Melissa, Geo IV’s granddaughter and the daughter of Jesse M. Pemberton. He was born 7 Dec 1797, in SC; d 20 Dec,1867 in Sedalia, MO.. The second reference is on page 978. It says that in 1835, Jesse B. came to MO and lived with his brother, Geo IV. So clearly, he had previously moved to Pettis County. The text also states that in 1836, Thomas B and Geo M. Pemberton brought their families to this county and settled in Elk Fork Township, near the waters of Muddy Creek, another confirmation of the SCRAPBOOK .

Malissa M. Pemberton and George M. Pemberton raised a family of eight children. (Item  8a: GMP and Milissa Pemberton family group.’) His wife Melissa died in 1859 and about the same time, two sons and a daughter died all of typhoid fever. In 1860, he married Sarah E. Pemberton (Picture 9),  a sister of his first wife.  They had four children, among them, my grandfather, Thomas Mason Pemberton, their youngest.  (Item 10: GMP and Sara Pemberton family group)

THE SCRAPBOOK has four pages titles: “History of our relations.” These pages of  script were typed and shared with George Daniel Buckley for purposes of research. The verification of this history covered some three plus years of intensive detective work, with others across the country, all coordinated by Dan   Much of this work can be found on his various websites.(Give websiites or cite Pem Post???)


This is from an un-dated and un-sourced newspaper clipping in the SCRAPBOOK:

” The will of the late George M. Pemberton (Jr.) was admitted to the probate court Monday. To his wife, Grace B. Pemberton, he left his home, 619 West Seventh Street, with all its contents, during her life time. At her death, the place is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between his two brothers, Warren G. and Brooks G. Pemberton of Midland TX, and his two sisters Miriam B. Rucker, of Aspen CO, and Matilda C. Teague, of Sedalia. If Mrs. Rucker should not be living at the time of the execution of the will, her shares to be divided among her three heirs.

“All personal property and household goods, except articles herein mentioned are to be divided equally between his sister-in law, Mrs. T. M. Pemberton and niece, Mrs. George Lively, of Sedalia..”…

We glean from this article, that after “Uncle George’s SCRAPBOOK ” past from GMP, Sr., to his oldest son, GMP,Jr. he, in turn, passed it to Constance Taylor Pemberton. Now Constance was, the wife of his youngest brother, Thomas Mason Pemberton, We conjecture that this may be because she, my paternal grandmother, was an avid genealogist My grandfather was predeceased in death by his wife Constance. Next, the SCRAPBOOK passed via will to their daughter Cecelia Pemberton Marks.. In 2001, her will leaves the SCRAPBOOK and other papers to Gordon Lee Pemberton, her nephew, and son of her brother, Gordon Taylor Pemberton. Picture 11 shows three generations of Pembertons: front row left: Grandfather, Father, and the rest, his sons, my brothers..

Finally, we do not know who organized the folios nor had the both GMPs’ notes bound with the historic Minutes of the Walnut Baptist Church. This is just one more mystery contained by and in this PEMBERTON FAMILY SCRAPBOOK..

The end!..

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