Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Diana/Diannah (Atherton) Howard

Diana/Diannah (Atherton) Howard

Diannah (Atherton) Howard was born about 1775, the daughter of John Atherton, Sr. and Sarah (Sally) Osgood. She died in 1834 in Ohio County, Kentucky, at the age of 59. Diannah first married Robert Howard (1775 – 1809) about 1798 and she had eight children from her first marriage. Her second husband was William B. Leach and they had one child. She married William Brooks Leach on February 16, 1815, in Ohio County, Kentucky.  Diannah had a daughter, Susan, by her marriage to Robert Howard, and Susan Howard is mentioned in her step-father's (Leach) Will.


1. THOMAS HOWARD born before 1794 and died about 1850; married SARAH ATHERTON who was the daughter of AARON AHERTON and CHRISTINA. SARAH was born in KY. They are found in the Alexander County, IL census of 1820.

From Pulaski County, IL Genealogy Notes, Volume 1, 1988: SHILOH CHURCH............In Alexander County it was English Baptists who had apparently settled in New York in colonial times, moved to Owensboro, KY, on the Ohio River, lived there for a generation, when the more venturesome followed the lure of the river and of the West and came to Alexander County about on hundred strong. One historian described them as a Church settlement consisting of AARON ATHERTON, 80 years old, his three sons, Aaron, John C. and Samuel, and their sons, Aaron, Nathaniel, and Talbot, and sons-in-law, Giles Whitaker, Martin Atherton, William and Aaron Biggerstaff, Warford, Henry Johnson, Langhame, D. Hollingshead and THOMAS HOWARD, together with other relative and friends. The company was about the size of the Pilgrim Colony as there were nine families of the Athertons and their relatives that came here together, at the same time. Their method of coming here has not been set down in history books, but living descendants from the Atherton line say they came by boat down the river. With settlement so large in number the need for a church was great. Therefore, on October 17, 1817, under the leadership of James P. Edwards and THOMAS HOWARD and Thomas P. Green, the Shiloh Baptist Church was organized. For almost a quarter of a century, this was the only organized church and burying ground of any kind south of Jonesboro, IL. The people met and worshiped in houses until the first log church was built in 1820. As the people grew in number the need for a larger church was felt and thus a larger frame church was erected in 1852. The deed was given to THOMAS HOWARD, Clerk of Shiloh Church and his successors by AARON ATHERTON and his wife CHRISTINA ATHERTON, for the church ground, dated May 13, 1921 and recorded in the Recorder's office of Alexander County, IL, in Book A and B, page 354 and describes the parcel of land.

From History of Families Alexander County, Illinois, Vol. 1, 1989: WILLIAM BIGGERSTAFF was the eldest son of Thomas Biggerstaff and his first wife, born 1796, in KY. ELZABETH ATHERTON was the daughter of Aaron Atherton and Christina Atherton. She was born 1796 in KY. Her sister, Sarah married THOMAS HOWARD.  WILLIAM and ELIZABETH ATHERTON were married Nov. 14, 1811 in Ohio County, KY by the Rev. Lon Jackson. Bondsman was Aaron Atherton. As they were married, they then came to Illinois with the settlement of Aaron Atherton's in the years 1815 and 1816. The Shiloh Baptist Church is located on Rt. 51, two miles West of Villa Ridge. Looking at land records it can be seen that the families were located on both sides of the Cache River, some in Alexander County and some in Pulaski County. SOURCE: Weldon Whiteaker, Schaumburg Illinois Letter on file.

2. NANCY HOWARD born 23 Sept 1798, Ohio County, KY and died 27 Jul 1877, Prentiss, Ohio County, KY; married Joseph Shultz.

3. SARAH "SALLY" HOWARD born after 1800, Ohio County, KY and died about 1870, Ohio County, KY. Married Aaron Biggerstaff who was born in Muhlenberg County, KY.  Aaron was the son of Thomas Biggerstaff and Mary Young. Thomas Biggerstaff lived on land South of the Green River and had it surveyed and claimed Sept. 1795. Aaron's Mother died shortly after his birth. His father remarried in 1903. Aaron's sister Mary married MOSES ATHERTON. The Biggerstaff and Atherton families appear to be closely connected. SOURCE: Ancestry Entry: 1238 Date of marriage for Sarah and Aaron Biggerstaff was 20 Jan 1822 in Alexander County, Illinois They are enumerated in the 1820 Alexander County Census between William Biggerstaff and Moses Atherton. It appears that Aaron Atherton, John Atherton, William Biggerstaff, Thomas Howard, Moses Atherton, Samuel Atherton and Martin Atherton are living in the same community.  Sarah and Aaron did a lot of buying and selling of land. They migrated to Arkansas. Their son Aaron Biggerstaff, III was born in Ark. SOURCE: HERZOG, ENTRIES 1239 at ANCESTRY.COM.

4. NATHANIEL HOWARD born about 1800, Ohio County, KY an died about 1865, Ohio County, KY. First married Eliza Steward in Ohio County KY; second married Eliza Fentress, the daughter of John Fentress. They then lived in Muhlenberg County KY.

5. SAMUEL HOWARD born about 1801, Ohio County, KY and died in 1834 after contracting cholera on a flat boat trip to New Orleans. Married Nancy Montgomery who was born 1805 in Maryland and died 1875 in McClean County, KY She was the daughter of Thomas Montgomery. Samuel Howard died in 1834 after contracting Cholera on a flat boat trip to New Orleans leaving Nancy with: Robert, Martin, Nathaniel, John and Samuel. A second marriage for Nancy was recorded to AARON ATHERTON on 7 June 11842 in Daviess County, KY. They had another 6 children: Eliza, Delilah Jane, Susan Ann, James M., William, and Sophia Irene Atherton. SOURCE ATHERTON FAMILY BIBLE. Thomas Howard (probably the first-born child) became guardian of Samuel Howard and his younger brother, Martin Howard.

6. SUSANNA (SUSAN) HOWARD born 15 Feb 1806, Ohio County, KY and died 11 Aug 1870, Ohio County. She is identified in a will written October 9, 1834 and probated March 7, 1853. The will was written by William B. Leach (the second husband of Diana Howard) and son Nathaniel Howard was a witness to this will: "To step-daughter Susan Howard, one second-rate cow and calf, one yearling colt, one bed and furniture, and ewe and lamb." KENTUCKY WILLS, page 171-172. Susan (Susanna) married James W. Wilson (1804-1899). Probably lived in Ohio County, KY.  Ohio County Court records (July 1815) show that William B. Leach was appointed guardian of Susanna and Elizabeth Howard.

7. MARTIN HOWARD born 10 Jan 1807, Ohio County, KY and died 11 Aug 1870, Ohio County.

8. ELIZABETH HOWARD born 15 Feb 1809, Ohio County, KY, died 20 Jan 1886, McLean County, KY; married Erasmus Benton 27 March 1830.


1. WILLIAM HOWARD LEACH born about 1817, Ohio County, KY and died about 1900 in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).  He married Mary Ann Thomas 18 Jun 1840 in Ohio County and they had six children: Nathaniel (1843-1907), Margaret (1849-1907), John Talbert (1852-1941), Florence Ellen (1854- ), David J. (1856-1920), and James R. (1859- ).  William Howard is found living in Ohio County in the 1850 and 1860 census but probably moved during the Civil War era. I found his middle initial on the birth records of his son John T. and daughter Florence Ellen. I found a deed in Ohio County dated 1873 that describes property that “was Willed to Nathaniel by his grandfather, William B. Leach.”

Primary Source: Lucy Howard Strait - 2005

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