James and Mary "Polly" (EDWARDS) EAST moved from Henry County, Virginia to Oglethorpe County Georgia, and from there to Robertson Co Tennessee and finally settled in Madison County, Illinois. The following is a condensed version of Donald McKinneys website http://don.mckinney.tripod.com/jameseastjr.html on the East family. James East, Jr was born about 1767 in Pittsylvania Co VA, and died in May 1833 in Madison Co IL. James married Mary "Polly" Edwards about 1787 in Henry Co Virginia, daughter of Edmund and Elizabeth Edwards. Polly was born about 1772 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and died about 1845 in Madison County, Illinois. James Jr was the son of James & Eushan East who had settled in Old Lunenburg County of southern Virginia during the 1750's and eventually ended up in the Horsepasture Creek area of what later became Henry County, Virginia.
In 1787 James Jr left his father, James Sr in charge of his affairs & traveled to Wilkes County, Georgia and it is believed the father and the rest of the family followed soon after. James Jr probably returned to Virginia to help with the arduous journey.
James East Sr and James East Jr defaulted on their taxes in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1790 and traveled to the wilderness of what is now Robertson County, Tennessee. James East purchased land along Spring Creek of the Red River area. They returned to Oglethorpe County, Georgia by 1793 where James East Sr purchased more land along Indian Creek in 1796. James Jr's father-in-law, Edmund Edwards, is believed to have gone to the Red River area of Tennessee during this time and returned to Georgia with the East's.
By 1809, James Jr and Edmund Edwards moved back to Robertson County Tennessee where James claimed his father's land on Red River. It is not known for sure if James Jr's parents traveled with them, but they died sometime between 1805 and 1812, either in Georgia or Tennessee. James and Polly East Jr's oldest children, Henry T., Hardman, James III, Joseph, and Nancy were all born in Georgia. Their youngest children, William, Ann Elizabeth, Matthew G., and Abraham Marshal East were born in Tennessee.
On the 1812 Enumeration List of the Inhabitants in Capt Moore's Company in Robertson County, Tennessee,lists James East and Edmund Edwards. In 1817, James Jr moved his family to the Silver Creek area of Madison County, Illinois. James East actually settled on this land the previous year & eventually purchased the entire Section 9 (640 acres) in Township 4 North, Range 5 West in Saline Township. He also purchased portions of Section 5. This land was located 4 miles north of Highland, Illinois, and about 40 miles east of St Louis, Missouri.
From Brink's "History of Madison County, Illinois" Page 88 and Page 545 - "JAMES EAST, a Kentuckian, arrived in 1816, having left his wife at home. He erected a pole cabin and planted two acres of corn in the edge of the prairie with a spade. He then returned to Kentucky for his wife. Afterward he built a good hewd log house. He was a man of industrious habits, accumulated a good deal of property, raised a large family of children, eight sons and three daughters, and died in the township."
14 Sep 1822 - Madison Co Illinois (Federal Land Patent, Edwardsville IL, Cert #471) Sold to JAMES EAST, 480 acres, south half and NW quarter in section 9, Township 4N of Range 5W. Assignee of John F. McCollum, original purchaser of land 21 Jun 1817. The 1820 Federal Census for Madison County, Illinois lists James East, his son Henry East, Abraham Howard and John Howard who married James and Polly's daughter Nancy. All of Silver Creek. In the 1830 Federal Census for Madison County, Illinois lists James East and Joseph East James & Polly East owned land in Section 5 which adjoined their land in Section 9 at the northwest corner. Section 5 was due west of section 4, which was due north of Section 9 James East Jr died May 1833 in Madison County, Illinois. James East was evidently too ill and feeble to sign his will, since he was always able to sign his name on previous deeds and documents. He granted land & property to wife MARY and youngest sons William, Matthew G., and Marshal A.(Abram). Other known children were not mentioned. Mathew G. East moved to Hancock County, Illinois by 1850. There is no record of James & Mary leaving any land or property to sons Joseph or daughter Nancy who married John Howard.
During the 1840's, Nancy had moved to southern Henderson County, Illinois, where her husband John Howard died. This was not far from where her brother Matthew had settled in northern Hancock County. Nancy East was born 1808 in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. She married John Howard on May 29th 1828 in Madison Co Illinois. He died in 1849 in Henderson County, Illinois. She then married widower James Gossett on May 8th 1851 in Henderson County, Illinois. The 1850 Federal Census for Henderson County, Illinois, Town of Warren, has on Page 65 NANCY HOWARD age 42, Alvin 19, Mary A 13, John 12, Marshal 10, Elizabeth 6. All children were born Illinois) (Note: This was in southwest Henderson County, just a few miles from Appanoose in the northern part of Hancock County where Nancy's brother Matthew resided during this time.
The 1860 Federal Census for Maiden Rock,Pierce County, Wisconsin, shows JAMES GOSSETT was 60 years old and from Tennessee a Farmer and living in House #292. NANCY 52 his wife (This was NANCY EAST, daughter of James East Jr & widow of John Howard) and James 16 (Nancy's step-son). WILLIAM HOWARD 28 was born in Illinois and his occupation was Farm Hand living in House #230 Fanny 23 (Wife, dau of James & Lucy Gosset) Margaret 6 ALVIN HOWARD 27 born in Illinois and occupation Carpenter Louisa 22 born in Illinois. Marshal 9 months born in Wisconsin. (William & Alvin Howard were sons of Nancy East Howard) MARSHAL HOWARD 29 born in Illinois and occupation was Farm Hand (House #293) (Nancy's son from first marriage to John Howard) ROBERT HOWARD 40 was born in Illinois and occupation was woodcutter (House #294) (Probably an Uncle)
The children of Nancy East and John Howard are: i. Malinda Howard, born 1829 in Madison county, Illinois. Malinda married Jonathan Cline 23 December 1847. She died 1866 at Maiden Rock, Pierce county, Wisconsin. Their daughter Rachel A Cline married Henry Etters. 2. William Monroe Howard, born 1832 in Madison Co IL; died 21 Nov 1912 in Ellsworth(Pierce) WI. He married Frances "Fannie" Gossett 15 Sep 1851 in Henderson Co IL 3. Alvin H. Howard, born 1833 4. Mary Ann Howard, born 5 Mar 1835 in Madison Co IL 5. John L. Howard, born 1838 6. Marshal Howard, born 1840 7. Elizabeth Howard, born 1844- 1858 Nancy East died 1870’s in Pierce County, Wisconsin and was a grandmother of Orval Etters.