My 2x Grandfather William R Rediker passed in 1884. He is laid to rest at Bennett Cemetery, in Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA. The information I've obtained is as follows:

  • U.S. Census 1880, 1870, 1860, all in (Civil District #2) Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA. 1860 Census has place of birth as Ireland, the 1870 Census has place of birth as South Carolina, and the 1880 Census has place of birth as Maryland.

  • Tax Record 1862, in Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA.

  • Marriage Record, married "Mary Alice Binkley" 9 Oct 1857, in Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA.

All of the above records have him being born in about 1832 in many different places. I haven't been successful in locating any other records prior to these. I've researched several different William Rediker's across the globe and time to no avail. I haven't personally gone to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) and conducted a search there. I need a fresh perspective on my research. The Census places of birth may be the most confusing aspect as I've researched them all the best I know how.

Further, I interviewed the oldest living relative in the Rediker Family about two months ago. His name is Clemmon Otis Rediker; born in 1921, he states that William R Rediker was said to have came to Tennessee as a Pugilist. Also said to have came from around New York. I located a William Rediker from New York that was born in 1832; however, I haven't been able to link him as my William R Rediker even though there is no record of where the William Rediker of New York lived or passed. Moreover, William R Rediker wasn't involved with the Civil War directly, Clemmon stated that William R Rediker was a horse breeder and sold horses to both sides during their occupation's of Middle Tennessee. I've researched this lead and also couldn't find any results.

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    I assume only the U.S. Census report about his birth location; it might be easy for you to mention those locations. Ala, "The above records have him born in ______, _______ and _____.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 18, 2012 at 21:29
  • For the benefit of those not familiar with the reference, rather than provide the abbreviation (TSLA) you might spell out the name.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 18, 2012 at 21:44
  • Other than researching back in time (and apparent birth location conflicts), I'm not sure what the focus of the problem is. But ... I'll take a stab.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 18, 2012 at 23:19
  • You might double check that 1880 record; if he is W. R. Redica [also indexed so by Ancestry.com] then he is there reported b. Mariland [sic]; parents both b. Poland.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 19, 2012 at 0:55
  • I believe your right about Maryland. I wasn't looking at the record. Sorry GeneJ ; } Oct 19, 2012 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


Ezri seeks help finding pre-1857 records about his ancestor, William R. Rediker. He's looking for a fresh approach.

Might there be additional information under foot?

  1. Will T. Hale, and Dixon L. Merritt, A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities (Chicago: Lewis Pub. Company, 1913), p. 779-80; Cheatham County was formed in 1856, "from Davidson, Robertson and Montgomery." Reports the first area settlement ca1790. First county court held 1856 with magistrates including a B. F. Binkley. Reports population of the county in 1856 estimated at 7100.
  2. The 1860, 1870 and 1880 census all report William is a farmer; 1860 and 1870 report he is a landholder. (In the census of 1860, several Binkleys resided in the the household and were neighboring.)

Working from the known to the unknown, using the clues and information may allow you to learn more about William.

Where was his farm located? When and from whom did he acquire the land? How was he described in the acquisition deed? Did he engage in other land transactions? Are there others of the same or a similar surname listed in the deed index? (Until you learn more, you may have to research about not only Cheatham County, but also Davidson, Robertson and Montgomery counties.) Are there early land owner maps about the area?

See also the tips here for learning about research and record groups that are specific to a local area, "Help tracing an ancestor...

Update 1: The county formation map provided by TNGenWeb (US GenWeb, Tennessee) suggests to me that the former Davidson County contributed most of the land mass that became Cheatham County.

Update 2 Ezri comments about his possible trip to the local courthouses and libraries next spring. Consider reviewing the 1850 census from Davidson, Robertson and Montgomery now. You might be able to figure out which of the former counties William Rediker's 1860 neighbors lived in before the county boundaries changes. Then before you travel, try to review the deed (and probate) indexes for that county. Sometimes you can review those indices at a FamilySearch Center. Search the FamilySearch Catalog by place name by clicking HERE.

  • I'm with you on all these records I need to see. I plan on taking a trip to Tennessee next spring to all the courthouses, libraries, & TSLA. Thanks for the thoughtful responses GeneJ.; } Oct 20, 2012 at 8:55
  • I'm in Tennessee due to the death of my Brother. I went to The Deed office this morning and got copies and photos of all the records having to do with William Rediker. Awesome Day. I posted them on my G+ to (Genealogist Networking Society). GeneJ, you should be able to check them out. : } Oct 30, 2012 at 3:18
  • Thoughts and prayers, @EzriJ.Rediker. Will take a look at the G+.
    – GeneJ
    Oct 30, 2012 at 7:34
  • Looks like you have a lot of images! I looked at the folder, "William Rediker, Cheatham CO, Deed Index,Book A&C" (The images probably aren't as large at my end as they might be at your end.) Were you able to trace the land back to one of the parent counties?
    – GeneJ
    Nov 1, 2012 at 0:04
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    No, not yet. I did gather a ton of records. I have a lot to process through. As soon as I've thoroughly transcribed them I'll update. Thanks Nov 1, 2012 at 0:58

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