The following was found in the papers of William Walker May (1908-1983),
grandson of Susannah Harris Abernathy May, daughter of Charles Clayton
Abernathy and Susannah Waddy Harris Abernathy and sister of the writer, A.J.
I give the following history of the Abernathy family, as far back as I can,
regretting that I did not receive further information from my father Charles
C. Abernathy and his sister, Mrs. Susanna Abernathy (Aunt Sookie) while they
I have heard it stated as tradition in the family, that the Abernathys of the
Southern States of the Union are the descendants of two brothers who came
from Scotland and settled in Virginia at an early date. I remember to have
heard my father say that he had never met one of the name, whom he could not
trace back to this old Virginia source.
My father's grandfather was named Charles Abernathy, and he was the earliest
ancestor of whom I have any Knowledge. William Abernathy, my grandfather, was
a son of Charles and Ellis (or Alice) Abernathy, born 4th day of April, 1742,
baptized 13th day of June, 1742. (See Bristol Parish Register 1720-1789).
William Abernathy intermarried with Elizabeth Clayton in Brunswick County,
Virginia, where they reared a family of five sons and four daughters, names
and dates of birth given below; they came from Virginia to Tennessee in 1808,
having arrived at their home on White's Creek near Nashville on April 30,
after having been on the road from March 17th since leaving Virginia- 1 month
and 14 days.
They were preceded by their son John, who started with part of his father's
property Nov. 22, 1807, and arrived at White's Creek 31st January, 1808. They
remained in Davidson County about two years when they removed to Giles
County, bought land and settled the place on which Sidney Abernathy now
resides, and where they lived and were buried.
Grandfather William died February 8th, 1832, in his 90th year. Grandmother
Elizabeth C. Abernathy died October 23rd, 1815. Birth of nine children of
William and Elizabeth taken from his small account book commencing March 4,
1791, and kept by him until his death in 1832, and then by his son Charles C.
Abernathy, until his death in 18(?), which is now in my possession-over 116
1. Clayton Abernathy was born September 21st, 1769.
2. Alce (Alice) Abernathy was born December 17th, 1771.
3. William Abernathy was born July 29th, 1774.
4. Jesse Abernathy was born July 3rd, 1778.
5. Caty Abernathy was born November 11, 1781.
6. Susanna Abernathy was born March 20th, 1783.
7. John Abernathy was born February 23rd, 1785.
8. Elizabeth Abernathy was born March 4, 1787.
9. Charles Clayton Abernathy was born July 27th, 1790.
1. Clayton Abernathy was the father of Mrs. Eliza Thweatt who lived and died
at her home in Giles County, Tennessee on the Pulaski and Pisgah Road about
five miles east of Pulaski. He had another daughter, Martha Smartt, a son,
Turner Abernathy, who remained in Virginia, and other children whose names I
do not know.
2. Alce became the wife of one George Williams, and she was the mother of
John Williams, who was the grandfather of Mrs. Asa Moore, Charles O. Bull and
others. She was also the mother of a daughter named Alce, who married one
Jason Hopkins and became the mother of Gray Jones, Gustavus Adolphus and
Holmes Hopkins, all born and reared in Giles County. She had another daughter
who became the wife of William Baker Pepper, Esq., and they lived on the
Pulaski and Elkton turnpike about four miles south of Pulaski. Another
daughter Rebecca married Absalom Harwell, and they were the parents of
Clayton A. Harwell, Mrs. Stephen D. Williams, and other children to me
unknown. Lewis Morris, a son of Lester Morris (the latter a soldier of the
Revolution) married another daughter Martha. Among Martha Morris' children,
whom I remember, a daughter called Puss, first wife of Holmes Hopkins,
another daughter Rebecca, and two sons, Absalom and Lester Morris.
3. William Abernathy, my uncle, removed with his family from Virginia to
Newberry, South Carolina, where some of his descendants were living during
the latter part of the Civil War in 1865.
4. Jesse Abernathy came to Giles County and resided on Big Creek at the home
now owned by the family of the late James E. Abernathy. He was the father of
the late Dr. Jesse Abernathy, Mrs. Elizabeth Denty, Richard C., William F.,
and Burwell Abernathy, and of a daughter, who married William Webb.
5. Caty Abernathy married Alexander Tarpley and they resided in Giles County,
about half a mile east of the old William Abernathy home, now owned by Dr.
Sidney Abernathy. They raised a large family of children, of whom I now
remember Paschal, Ezra, John Clayton and Ira, who have many descendants now
residing in Giles County.
6. Susanna Abernathy married Alan Abernathy (a distant relative). They had
their home on Big Creek and reared a large family of children of whom Adne or
Ariadne, who intermarried with Dr. Swanson was the only daughter, and their
sons were Charles, William T., Robert, Erasmus G., John O., and Benjamin F.
7. John Abernathy married Caty Tarpley (Alexander's sister). They raised
several sona and daughters, among them were William, Jesse and Charles
Clayton Abernathy (all dead) and Minerva who became the wife of Spencer Young
and mother of J. Calvin Young and others. Another daughter, Louisa, first
wife of Archibald S. Young and mother of J. Crutch Young and others, and
another daughter, Eliza, wife of W.W. Stephenson (Mack).
8. Elizabeth Abernathy was married to Jonathan Drake, and they lived and died
in Nashville or Davidson County. Their descendants known to me are their
grandson M.M. Barnes and his family, now living in Nashville. M.M. Barnes
mother was Ann Eliza Drake, whose first husband was Hyde; after Hyde's death,
she married a Barnes. Of the first marriage two daughters were born, Martha
Hyde and Lou Hyde, who were both married, but whether they are living or
dead, or have any offspring, I do not know.
9. Charles Clayton Abernathy intermarried with Susannah Waddy Harris, June
15th, 1815, and fruits of this marriage were eleven children, as follows:
1. Elizabeth Clayton, who married Richard Daly. Both died, leaving one
son, Richard Thomas Daly who died leaving children now living in Alabama.
2. Mary Ann became the wife of Alfred H. Eason. They left numerous
offspring, Rufus, Swift, Clate and others.
3. Gilbert Taylor, first, married Louisa Baxter in Montgomery County,
Tenn., of which union two children were born, Rebecca who married A.J.
Gilbert, and Mary, wife of G.W. Talley. His second wfe was Emily B. Talley
of same County and they have many children, Dr. Gilbert T. Abernathy, of
Paris, Tenn., Alfred H. Abernathy of Dickson, Tenn., George, John Clayton,
Andrew J., and others, of Montgomery County, Tennessee.
4. Alfred Harris Abernathy married Elizbeth Todd Butler and left several
sons and daughters, Henry G. Butler, A. Sam, Jerome C., and others.
5. Maria D. became the wife of James Milton Paine and they left one son,
Strling c., and three daughters, Lizzie, Mollie and Fannie.
6. Susannah Harris, first wife of J.P. May and mother of Charles W. May,
Dr. J.P. May and Mrs. Emma Westmoreland, of California, wife of Alonzo
7. Dr. C.C. Abernathy, who left two daughters, Mollie Byrnes and Lizzie
Paisley. First wife, Martha J. Stockard- last, Mrs. Josephine McNairy.
8. William Allen Abernathy died in his eighteenth year, unmarried.
9. John Seward Abernathy died of wounds received in skirmish on Cheat
Mountain in September, 1862. Never married.
10. Andrew Jackson Abernathy, only one of the eleven now living.
11. Caty, who died in infancy.
Susannah W., wife of Charles C. Abernathy died April 10, 1840. Charles C.
Abernathy's second wife was Elizabeth H. Dickson; they were married on the
16th day of July, 1848. Children of Charles C. and Elizabeth Abernathy:
1. James Polk Abernathy
2. Hibernia Abernathy, died October 30th, 1852.
3. Ada Elizabeth Abernathy, wife of E.D. Aymett, the latter deceased.
4. Robert Dickson Abernathy
5. Delia Taylor Abernathy, widow of S.W. Butler.
6. Charles Moulton Abernathy, wife of Frank Williams.
7. Albert Sydney Abernathy
Present or future generations may continue the history of the family, if they
desire, but the field is too vast to be further explored by me at this date.
Andrew J. Abernathy
Pulaski, Tennessee, April 17th,
(NOTE: The above A.J. Abernathy's Branch of the Abernathy Family was copied
on Sept. 20, 1953, from an original carbon copy in the possession of Mrs.
Edward Lee (Mary Elizabeth Amyett) Hopkins, of R.F.D.#5, Pulaski, Tenn.,
which she stated was given to her mother, Mrs. J.V. (Betty Butler Abernathy)
Amyett by the writer, Andrew J. Abernathy, and the carbon copy, consisting of
two pages, was in the old Family Bible.
John F. Morrison Jr.,
On the page is also written Pulaski Citizen May 30th, 1907.
Questions may be addressed to Patricia May Touw