Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

PISGAH HISTORY
By W. Thomas Carden

November 17, 1904
Interesting Sketch of The Harwell Family

The Harwell Family groups are large and numerous. In the immediate vicinity of Pisgah at present they are not so many as they once were. They have scattered. There are Harwells in the States of Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Missouri. One is never heard of living north of the Ohio River. A characteristic of the family is the continuation of given names from one generation to another. Most of these people are plain, unostentatious folk, of good morals, inclined toward piety. Quite a number have been ministers, but all of the Methodist Denomination. The family generally are Methodist. One small branch of the family were Primitive Baptists. They have mostly been farmers by occupation. Few have entered commercial or professional life, except the ministry. A prominent member of the family says that one remarkable fact in connection with their history is, that there has never been one President of the United States or any of them been sent to the penitentiary. Tradition says that in the latter part of the Seventeenth or early part of the Eighteenth Century four brothers named Harwell came to America from the north of England and settled somewhere in Virginia. It is said that they came from Lancastershire, perhaps Lancashire, and from near the village of Blackburn. One of the four died a bachelor. Definite history of the name begins with the names of five brothers, to wit: Buckner, Samuel, Raleigh, Herbert and Franklin. They are supposed, of course, to be the descendants of the four brothers. "Deadwoody" County, Virginia, is referred to as the place where the four original brothers located. Dinwiddie County is evidently meant. A part of the family removed from Virginia to North Carolina. The family in Virginia was formerly very small but now the name through the South is as sand upon the seashore in number. Buckner was the oldest of the five brothers. His children were: (1) Samuel, who was born 1780, moved to Alabama, died about 1840. (2) James was born 1782 and died about 1818. (3) Richard was born.1784 and died about 1826. (4) Buckner was born 1786 and died 1824. (5) Thomas was born 1788 and died 1832. Frederick was born 1790 and died 1836. (7) Gilham was born 1792 and died 1838. (8) Nancy was born 1796 and died 1860. (9) Elizabeth was born 1798 and died 1834. (10) Griff was born 1800 and died 1848. (11) Abigail was born 1802 and died 1830. William was born 1806 and died 1878. (13) Sarah was born 1810 and died 1842. (14) Hartwell was born 1804 and died 1858. This list was made by Dr. Thomas B. Harwell, a grandson of Buckner Harwell. Dr. J. R. Harwell gives a list of the same family which differs slightly from the above. Neither claim their list to be absolutely correct. The last list has the name of Shedrach. (15) Buckner,Sr., was married twice. He came from Brunswick County, Virginia, to Nashville in I808. He was the only one of the family who came out at that time. In 1811 he came to Giles County and settled on Richland Creek, near Butler's Ford. He died in 1815. Lewis Brown and Aaron Brown were brothers-in-law to Buckner. They lived near each other. Samuel had a son named Thomas. James had no children. Shedrech's sons were: Theophilus, Buckner, Harrison, James and Fisher. Gilham's children were: Dr. Thomas B., who is the oldest living Harwell, Gilham, and Sarah, who married Dr. Pepper. Hartwell's sons were: Samuel, Buckner, William and Warren. William (son of Buckner first) had a son named William. Thomas had no children. Grif had a son named Lynn. Frederick had no children. Richard's sons were: Robert, Coleman, Abner and Franklin. Theophilus had a son named Fisher. William, of the third generation, had a son named W. Taylor. He lives in Nashville. A daughter of William married a Cushman, and has a son named William Cushman, and a daughter. These are all the descendants of Buckner I can secure. The next of the five brothers was Samuel. Thomas, Samuel and Hubbard were his sons. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Levi Sherrill and was the mother of Reverend John Sherrill of Tennessee Conference; Sam and Jushua Sherrill; and Mary ("Polly) who married Ausburn B. Harwell; and Eliza, who married Duke Driver of Marshall County; Susan, who married Joe Osborne and moved to Obion County; and another daughter who married Finch Thorpe of Giles County. Thomas had no children. Samuel's children Are as follows: Mary Ann Elizabeth. She was born December 19, 1819, and died May 10, 1836. She is buried at Mt. Zion near Bradshaw. March 1835 she ran away and married Reverend William McKendree ("Mack") Harwell. She was fifteen years old and he was eighteen. She was the mother of.Dr. Jonh Rufus, now of Nashville, was born March 10, 1836, just two months before her death. Robert married Parthenia Smith. They had three children. "Sissy" married first Colmore Sutton and second time married Zachary Smith. Mrs. George McKnight was her daughter. Mrs. McKnight and her husband died within a day or two of each other. Mrs. McKnight had one son, named Willie. Mrs. J. P. Campbell is a daughter of Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith lives with her. The second child of Robert was Samuel, who belonged to the 32nd Tennessee Regiment. He died in 1862 at Bowling Green, Kentucky. William was the other child. He married but I have no record of his family. William ("Chip"), son of Samuel, married Nancy Smith, sister of Robert Harwell's wife. His brother, John Rufus, died in youth. Smith, brother of Parthenia, (Robert's wife) and of Nancy (William's wife). Caroline another sister died when about twelve or thirteen,years old at Prospect. She was the first person Dr. John Rufus Harwell ever saw die. He was four years and a half old at the time. She was buried at the old McNairy grave ard on Buchanan Creek. Samuel Harwell's wife was Catherine McNairy, daughter of Robert McNairy, who was a brother of Judge McNairy of Nashville. Hubbard's sons were: Samuel. He is dead. Do not know whether married or not. Franklin is dead. He married a Miss McKnight. She became the fourth wife of Reverend McKendree ("Mack") Harwell. The fourth generation is as follows: The children of Dr. John Rufus, only descendant of Mary Ann Elizabeth, will be noted among Harbert's descendants, the fourth of the five brothers. Robert's son, William ("Good Billy"), married the widow of Dr. Coleman Harwell in the Sugar Creek neighborhood. William's ("Chip") son, William G., married a Benson. He died a few years ago. His widow lives on Bradshaw. His daughter married Emmett Sutton. Franklin, son of Hubbard, married a McKnight, and left three children - one son and two daughters. The eldest daughter, Sallie, married W. Wilkes Harwell. The fifth generation is Dr. William Harwell, of McBurg, son of William G., and Mrs. Robert Story, Misses Daisy and Grace and Mrs. Arrowsmith Clark, Charlie, Lee and Ada Sutton and a small girl and Mrs. John McLin belong to this generation. The sixth generation are the children of John McLin and Robert Story. Hubbard Harwell's wife was Sallie McNairy, sister of Catherine, wife of his brother Samuel. This completes the descendants of Samuel, one of the five brothers, as far as I have knowledge. Samuel (first) died in the 40's near Mt. Zion, and was probably buried at the McNairy graveyard.

Raleigh was an old fashioned Methodist class-leader. He died August 7, 1836, aged 74 years, and is buried at the Marks graveyard. The following are his children: Reverend Samuel B., Featherston, Reverend Coleman, Fletcher, Wesley, Reverend Logan D., Harbert L., Abigail ("Abbie"), Nancy, Sallie, Pauline, and Elizabeth. Reverend Samuel B., joined the Tennessee Conference in 1820. In 1840 he fell into the Holston ranks and died in East Tennessee. He was a staunch Republican. His progeny live in Roane County. His wife, S. E. Harwell, is buried in the Marks graveyard at Antonnette. She was born April 10, 1815 and died November 15, 1850. Richard Featherston was born September 17, 1795, and died November 28, 1843. His children were: Buckner, who was born June 30, 1804, and died July 21, l827; Clayton, who was born October 26, 1819 and died October 27, 1830; Featherston ("Bud"), died in 1862, at Camp Douglas. He belonged to Company A, 32nd Tennessee, and was captured at Ft. Donelson; Mary P., was a beautiful young lady and a great favorite especially among her relatives. She died when about twenty years old. Eliza, his wife, was born November 15, 1810 and died February 14, 1844. Coleman was born May 10, 1800, and was a preacher at the age of 22. He was a member of the Tennessee Conference. He died of consumption July 5, 1830. Tommie Harwell has his Bible which has blood stains on its leaves where it fell during hemorrhages. Lewis Fletcher was born May 9, 1811, and died July 25, 1823. Wesley married a Miss Carruthers. Three children were born by this union, namely; Mary, who married Henry Clay Aymett and is now living near Pisgah. Sarah, who married William J. Abernathy, and died several years ago, leaving two children - Miss Nettie and Erskine, and Erskine who was killed at Chickamauga during the War. He married Sarah Lee the second time. They had no children. He married Jane McCracken, daughter of Thomas McCracken, the third time. Three children were born of this marriage, viz: Tommie, John Keltner's wife and Miss Mattie. William F., Samuel S., Olin and a small son are children of Tommie. Sam married Mattie Osborne and has a son. John Keltner and wife have one child - Jennie. Wesley Harwell married the fourth time Mrs. Rachel Moore (nee Hunter). They had no children. He died in West Tennessee. Reverend Logan D., was born May 18, 1817 and died August 6, 1899. He married Narcissus Owen who was born Septemmber 2, 1827 and died July 29, 1863. She was a woman of rare traits and lovely graces which made her very popular. She was the first Featherston Harwell's step-daughter and a step-sister to Featherston, the second ("Bud"). She was reared in Williamson County. Ann Eliza, the only child by this marriage, married John M. Aymett. She died 1904. Reverend Logan D., joined the Tennessee Conference in 1841 with a class of seventeen. Reverend W. G. Hensley was a member of that class. He traveled eight years and several as a local preacher the rest of his life. He was a good man. He traveled this work in 1845 with Golman Green as colleague. They had twenty-four appointments. He served the work afterwards for short times to fill vacancies. His second wife was a Ralston. Six girls were born to this union. They were: Mrs. Henry W. Aymett, Mrs. William M. Montgomery Mrs. David Elder (dead), Mrs. Neil C. Birdsong and Misses Kate and Mamie. Harbert L. had six children. His wife, Mary Sisily was born September 19, 1826 and died October 24, 1857. Cornelia, the oldest child, married James Ralston and has a large family. Holland was a member of 3rd Tennessee Confederate Regiment. He died after the War from exposure during the War. Lafayette died in 1888. James died the same year. William B. ("Dee") and Honorable Ed. P. are living, the latter at Prospect. James married a Miss McConnico of Williamson County the first time. Holland of Pulaski and Fielding of St. Louis are his sons. His second wife was Lorena Anderson, daughter of Stephen Anderson. Their children were boys. Fayette married Adele Montgomery (now Mrs. J. C. Young). They had four children. Jesse died in 1900. Mary is dead. Bessie married John Long of Pulaski. Ora married John Young. Ed P. married first Miss Norah Oliver. Two children were born to them. Only one, Miss Lillian, is living. A son is living by his second marriage. "Dee" married Harriet Scott. They have four girls; Eulalia, Lizzie Lee, Alma, and Hattie Will. "Abbie" married William ("Good Billy") Brown and lived near Bethel on Jenkin's Creek. They had five children. Sarah was the first wife of T. M. N. Jones, a lawyer of Pulaski a few years ago. "Cuff", a nick-name which he was always called, do not know real name, is dead. Mary is married but fail to learn to whom. She is still living I believe. Reverend Thomas F. was a member of the Tennessee Conference. Raleigh was a very bright young man. He died in early manhood while going to school at Pisgah. Nancy married Major Annanias Oliver. Her children have already been noted under caption of Oliver Family Sallie married Lewis Marks. He was born December 26, 1802 and died April 3, 1877. They had a large family. Marion married Mendoza Young, (nee Oliver), his first cousin. Coleman ("Cuff") married a Miss Robinson of Lincoln County the first time and a Miss Ralston the second time. He is living in the Friendship neighborhood. Henrietta married a Reverend Wilson of the Tennessee Conference, a son of Abel Wilson. West is dead. Sallie is dead. Miss Mattie is living at Antoinette. L. B. ("Bud") is living at that place. His son, L. Myron, keeps a store. He has several other children. Two are grown young ladies, Misses Ona and Forrest Sanson. "Babe" married a Westmoreland and died six or eight years ago in Alabama. His wife is dead also. There are Mack and Angeline. What became of them I do not learn. Pauline married a Lucas and moved to Lawrence County. She had four children, three daughters and a son Laura married Captain Waters, U. S. A., of Indianapolis. James Lucas was a merchant at Bessemer, Alabama, a few years ago. Of the other two daughters I do not learn. Elizabeth Cross, daughter of Raleigh and Arah Harwell and consort of Shadrach Cross was born October 27, 1791 and died July 2, 1854. The above is the inscription upon her tombstone in the Marks graveyard. She was the mother of Reverend Coleman Cross of the Tennessee Conference. He died when a young man. Reverend Earnest W. Brown, son of Reverend Thomas F. Brown, belongs to the fourth generation. Others of the fourth generation have already been referred to. S. A. Harwell was born January 23, 1823 and died June 14, 1850. He was a son of Raleigh. He is buried in the Marks graveyard. Mrs. A. Harwell was born May 25, 1824 and died April 22, 1862. Sarah H. Harwell was born August 18, 1773 and died September 15, 1839. Elizabeth Harwell was born April 17, 1794 and died May 19, 1832. These last named Harvells are buried at the Marks graveyard. To which family of the name they belong I do not ascertain.

Part 13   Part 15