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Jemima Haywood Middleton


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At a Glance

Jemima Middleton’s precise dates of attendance at the Burwell School are not known but her autograph appears in an album, dated 1848, owned by fellow student Caroline J. Watters .


Jemima Middleton was the daughter of Robert Middleton, (1783 – 1839) and Jemima Haywood Whitfield (1796 – 1870) of Duplin County, NC. . Jemima’s mother, Jemima Haywood Whitfield, was Robert Middleton’s second wife and bore 10 of his 15 children, with Jemima being the 14th child in the family. Jemima, her mother, and her grandmother were all named Jemima, with their middle names being their mother’s maiden name. Therefore, until their marriages each had the same name as her mother.

Robert Middleton was of a prosperous landed family in Duplin County. His father, James Middleton, (1736 – 1805?), was a captain in the American Revolution and the first Middleton in Duplin County. There is a James Middleton Cemetery in Duplin County featuring a DAR marker. (see link to: Descendants of John Middleton In 1851, Jemima’s widowed mother married, as his second wife, Alexander Williams, a distant relation. Several genealogy sources state that her daughter, Jemima Haywood Middleton, the Burwell student, was married to Alexander Williams, but that is an error based on the women having the same name, “Jemima Haywood Middleton.” ( See the attached photographs of her headstone and that of Alexander Williams.) Jemima's mother and her second husband lived in Arkadelphia, Clark County and she is buried there. Her headstone clearly states the names and dates of her two husbands.

On February 10, 1857, Jemima married Jeremiah Pearsall, (1800 – 1871), a well-to-do planter in Duplin County and a widower 34 years older than she. He had been married to Jemima’s cousin Katherine Middleton, (1805 – 1851) with whom he had 11 children. One of these was Joseph Dickson Pearsall (1834 – 1863), who became a doctor and married another Burwell School student, Mary Bailey Murphy  (1824 – 1876). Another of Jemima’s stepchildren, David Moulton Pearsall (1834 – 1894), married Jemima’s younger sister, Rachel Jones Middleton (1837 – 1921).

Jemima and Jeremiah Pearsall had three children: James Pearsall (1857- 1923) Katherine (Kate) Middleton Pearsall (1861 – 1909) Clara Pearsall (1864 – 1885).

Jeremiah Pearsall is buried in the Jeremiah Pearsall Cemetery in Goshen, Duplin County. Jemima lived almost 89 years and is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery on S. McKay Street in Dunn, NC, which is where her oldest child James lived. Her headstone reads:

MRS. JEMIMA HAYWOOD PEARSALL Dec. 18, 1834 Nov. 1, 1923


Biographical Data

Important Dates

Jemima Haywood Middleton was born on December 18, 1834, in Duplin County, NC. She died on November 1, 1923, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended