Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
December 24, 1953
* CALíS COLUMN *
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 12 Llewellyn Road,
††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Montclair, New Jersey,
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† November 14, 1953
Macon County Times,
Att: Mr. Calvin Gregory, Editor
†† How very kind of you to send me a copy of your paper that had the article on the Hargis family and also to print my name as being interested in finding out more about the family. Your efforts have been deeply appreciated. I do hope that you will remember me when you print another article on the Hargis family.
†† You mentioned in your column that you would like to know more about the early Hargis's in America. Mrs. Anna Ruth Hargis Huff, of Granville, Tennessee, sent me a great deal of material about the early Hargis family and those that fought in the Revolutionary War. I am sure if you wrote to her she would be glad to send you what she knows. Another address that would be helpful to you is that of Mrs. E. G. Hull, 610 So. Marion Street, Kirksville, Missouri, who has a wealth of material.
†† The Hargis family came to Maryland from England. Before they went to England they were in France and originally in Denmark. The name has been spelled Harjes and Harjis in Denmark and Harguesse in France.
†† Whiteside Hargis was with Daniel Boone on his second expedition into Kentucky and was killed by Indians. William Asa and Thomas Lea Hargis were the first two of the name in America. They owned a plantation on the James River near the Zachiah Swamp in Charles County, Maryland. Their wills are on record in the Hall of Records in Annapolis, Maryland.
†† Two of the name, Shadrach and William, served in the Revolutionary War and that can be proven. It is most probable that their brothers, Thomas and Abraham, also served. They were the sons of Abraham and Elizabeth Nalley Hargis.
†† I will be glad to send you more information if you so desire.
†† I am so anxious to know if my husband's great-grandfather, Calvin Houston Hargis, was the son of William and Hannah Howell Hargis. We know that Calvin Houston had brothers, names Jackson and Henderson. Your article shows that William and Hannah had sons by that name. We know that Calvin Houston Hargis married Nannie Elizabeth Jackson in Middle Tennessee and moved with her to DeSoto County, Mississippi, where he died and where his son, James Seward Hargis, was born.
†† I would be happy to hear from you at any time. Thank you again for your kind cooperation.
††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††Very truly yours,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lethe Kellinger Hargis,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Mrs. James Irvin Hargis)
†† The following data on the Gammon family was received last month from Rev. W. J. Gammon, a Presbyterian minister of Montreat, N. Carolina. We extend our sincere thanks for the information contained in his recent letter. We are sorry not to have printed his letter earlier, but it was partially overlooked and this account for the delay. The letter is as follows:
††††††††††††††††††††††††† November 8th, 1953
Rev. Calvin Gregory,
Dear Rev. Mr. Gregory:
†† Please accept my many thanks for your prompt reply to my inquiry. Some one has said that a reply within a year to an inquiry regarding family history, is considered prompt. I am glad that you did not so view† the matter.
†† I wish to thank you also for information relative to Mr. George Gammon. I especially thank you for information which you gave of George's ancestry, and promise of more later. I have some dates of land transactions in Smith County, of Jeremiah Gammon.
†† I rather think that the family in Pittsylvania Co., and from that County in Tennessee. Va., came from Norfolk County (early home of our branch of the family.)
†† I have a copy of the will of William Gammon of that county, William Sr., 1837, mentions sons, Drury, Presley, James, William, John, Levy; daughters, Nancy Scarce, Lucy Scarce, Levicy Beggerly; and daughters Parthene, Amy.
† †There is mention of land transactions in that county; John, in 1784; Hargis Gammon, 1788; John Sr., and John Jr., 1798. From 1797, up thru 1815, several of family sell land, evidence that they might be leaving that county.
†† As you likely know, Harris Gammon, Sr., a soldier of the Revolution, is buried, without any tomb, northeast of Knoxville, Tenn. I have copies of his will from Knox County. He may have married a Brawner.
†† If you find any data, or can, with reliable, authentic references to data, tell me the name of father, or mother, or both, of this William Gammon, whose will I mention, of Harris Gammon, Sr., from whence they came to Pittsylvania County and names of parents of your Jeremiah Gammon in Smith County, Tenn., 1817; John Gammon, 1820; and 1806; James Gammon, 1807;(buys land of Nicholas Shrum); Eli Gammon, deceased in 1858.
†† Harris Coleman Gammon gave me in Nashville, about 1915, born in Macon County, 1881, on Dry fork of Goose Creek: three full brothers, Peter, married 5 times; John, sons, Jefferson, Pole, Robert; Moses (or Mode), likely father of Alexander Gammon. Robert was father of Harris C., his mother being Polly Shrum.
†† If you find data from county records, showing information on above, please preserve it, and inform me. I have many notes on the family in several counties of Va., Ill., Tenn., Ind., Ky., Mo., Calif., etc.
†† Members of some branches of family have urged me to put into form of a history the large amount of data which I have accumulated since 1915 or before. I shall be glad to type and prepare the manuscript, if there is interest enough to justify the printing.
†† I am sorry that I missed meeting you in August. Only about once a year do we pass near you, unless some illness or death should call us. I have preached, supplied most of the Sundays since moving here, September 1949, 16 months one place; 15 another, etc. and do yet, with many thanks.
††††††††††††††† W. J. Gammon
†† We have the following information on the Gammon family, from the census records of Smith County, Tenn., for the years 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1870. The first Gammon listed in the census of Smith County, from which Macon was largely formed in the years 1842, was James Gammon. He had one male under 10, one male from 10 to 16, and one over 45, no doubt James himself. Females in the family included: Four between 16 and 26, and one female over 45. Mrs. Gammon we presume. This is 1820.
†† The next listed was Jeremiah Gammon. His family included: Three males under 10, and one from 26 to 45, Jeremiah, we are sure. Only one female was listed and she was undoubtedly Jeremiah's wife, and was between 16 and 26. We learn from other sources that she was the former Miss Susan Lovelady. The Gammon family in this county at present are largely descendants of Jerry and Susan.
†† The third Gammon listed in 1820 was John Gammon, with one male between 10 and 16, two from 18 to 26, and two from 45 years and upward, one of whom was supposedly John himself. We have not the least idea as to who the other was. Females: One from 10 to 16, and three above 45, one of whom is presumed to have been Mrs. Gammon. Whether James and Jerry and John were related, we do not know, but it is very likely that they were. It is possible Jeremiah or Jerry, as he was familiarly called, was a son of one or the other, bur surmising does not get one very far in tracing family history. So we desist.
†† The fourth and last head of a Gammon family in Smith County 133 years ago was Levi. He had: Males, two under 10, and one between 18 and 26, Levi himself, we are quite sure; and one female, between 16 and 26, his wife, we are sure.
†† In the census of Smith County for 1830, we find:
†† Jeremiah Gammon, with one male from 5 to 10 years old, one from 10 to 15, one from 15 to 20, and one from 30 to 40, no doubt Susan, above mentioned. His neighbors were Coleby Stapp, Herod Hargis, Wm. B. Reese, James Parker, Thomas Wilburn, James D. Hammack, Thomas Hooper, Joseph Fuller, Gunnery Wilburn. From these neighbor's names, we would decide that Jeremiah Gammon lived somewhere on the waters of Dixon's Creek, which rises in the extreme south side of Macon County, flows southwestward through the present Trousdale County, and empties into the Cumberland near Dixon Springs, in Smith County.
†† Jehu Gammon is the next mentioned in the census of Smith County for 1830, his family consisting of : Males, one under five, one from 5 to 10, one from 10 to 15, and one from 30 to 40, Jehu himself, we are sure; and one female between 20 and 30, Mrs. Gammon, we feel sure. His neighbors were: James Roark, Pleasant Payne, Daniel Stinson, Jesse Driver, Henry Vanover, Pleasant Driver and Burdett Stinson. Judging from the names of the neighbors, we would say that the Jehu Gammon family lived somewhere in the general vicinity of Haysville, eight miles north of Lafayette.
†† Next is named John Gammon, who had: One male under five, one from 5 to 10, and himself, between 20 and 30. One female under five, and one between 20 and 30, Mrs. Gammon, perhaps, were listed. Next in the record is Eli Gammon, who apparently lived as a "door neighbor" to John, which shows that they were most probably related and from their ages and the ages of their children, we think they were probably brothers. Eli had: One male under five, and one from 20 to 30, most assuredly Eli himself; and one female under five and one between 20 and 30, no doubt his wife. Near neighbors of John and Eli Gammon included: Edmund Towns, John Stafford, Thomas Smithwick, Mary Nowls, Caleb Stafford, Frances Cook, John Fleeman and Reuben Garret. We would judge these men to have lived on the waters of Dixon's Creek.
†† James and Lewis Gammon are listed as living near each other. James Gammon here listed seems to have been the same James Gammon listed above as the first in the records of the census of 1820. In the year 1830 he had: One male under five, one from 15 to 20, one from 20 to 30, and one from 60 to 70 years of age, no doubt James himself; females: Two from 15 to 20, and one from 60 to 70, Mrs. James Gammon, we feel sure.
†† Lewis Gammon was probably a son of James. He had in 1830: One male under five, one from 5 to 10, two from 10 to 15, and one from 30 to 40. Females: Two under five, and one from 20 to 30, Mrs. Lewis Gammon, we are sure. We are of the opinion that the party who copied the old census records got this name, Lewis, wrong. It was we are almost certain, Levi Gammon. By a comparison with the ages of the Levi Gammon of ten years before, everything figures out exactly. In 1820 Levi Gammon was between 18 and 26. Add ten years to his age and we would have the age group of 30 to 40, in which Lewis was placed in 1830. His wife's age in 1820 was between 16, and 26. Add ten years to this and you have the same group applied to Mrs. Gammon in 1830, 20 to 30 years. The two males listed in Levi Gammon family in 1820 as being under ten years of age would in 1830 be listed as being 10 to 15, which is exactly what was done in the case of the man called Lewis Gammon. Near neighbors of James and Lewis or Levi Gammon included: James Nelson, William Harris, John Luck, John Baker, Hickerson Parker, Abraham Parker and Daniel Adams.
†† From the names of the neighbors of the two Gammon, we would judge that they resided in the vicinity of the present Lafayette.
†† Robert Gammon is the next listed. He had: Males, one under five, and one from 20 to 30; and females, one from five to 10 and one from 15 to 20. This shows that Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gammon were young. Their neighbors' names indicate to the writer that Robert Gammon lived on the upper waters of the present Peyton's Creek, some ten miles southeast of Lafayette. They were: Joseph Cartwright, Joseph Thomason, Page Thomason, Elijah Cox, Archibald Parker, Allen Smith, Robert Cothron and William Nicholas (Nichols?). Joseph Cartwright most probably lived at the present George Evetts place. Joseph Thomason was a relative, we feel sure, of John B. McDuffee, who is now nearing his 95th anniversary at his home at Hillsdale, this county, whose mother was Miss Martha Thomason. Elijah Cox was a pioneer settler either on upper Peyton's Creek or on Dry Fork of Goose Creek. The writer's first wife was a descendant of Elijah Cox, we are virtually certain. Archibald Parker was an early settler in the vicinity of Ebenezer which is located on upper Peyton's Creek. We knew one Archibald Parker in our boyhood days, and we are inclined to the belief that he was the grandson of Archibald of 1830. Allen Smith was the grandfather of Allen Smith who still lives on, R. 1, Westmoreland, Tenn., a few miles northwest of Lafayette. Robert Cothron was the ancestor of all the Cothrons living in this section, and they are very numerous.
†† John Gammon is the last-named head of a family listed in the Smith County census of 1830. We think this to have been the John Gammon listed ten years earlier. It is possible that he was the father of Jeremiah Gammon as Jerry married a Miss Lovelady, and two of the nearest neighbors to John Gammon in 1830 were John Lovelady and his wife, both of whom were between 50 and 60 years of age. This John Gammon and wife lived alone, the record indicates, he being between 70 and 80, and his wife 50 to 60. Jeremiah was of an age to have been their son, being in 1830 between 30 and 40 years of age. John Gammon lived near the Robert Gammon above referred to, and the latter could have been John's son.
†† Our census records for 1840 are not indexed and we do not have time to look up the Gammon heads of family without an index. However, as the 1850 census is indexed and also as it gives the names of all the members of each family, we are going to give at least a part of the Gammon families listed.
†† The first is the family of Eli Gammon. The record is as follows: Eli Gammon born in Va., 1797, wife, Frances, born in North Carolina in 1803. Children: Mary, 19, born in Tennessee; Elizabeth, 14 years of age and born in Tenn., Caleb Gammon, 11, and born in Tenn., and Sarah F., 8, born in Tennessee.
†† "Jerk" Gammon, 57, born in Virginia; Susannah, 35, and born in South Carolina; James R., 19, and born in Tenn., Sarah, 23, and born in Tenn., Leroy C., 16, and born in Tenn., Jane, 14, and born in Tennessee. Living with this family was a mulatto named Lethy Ray, born in North Carolina. We are of the opinion that "Jerk" Gammon was none other than Jerry Gammon. He was born in Virginia in 1793, and this can be verified, we are sure. His wife here listed as Susannah, was called Susan even by her descendants today. In every place where he is listed as being in a certain age group, the date, 1793, corresponds to the age group. In 1820 he is listed as being between 26 and 45. If born in 1793, he would have been 27 years of age in 1820, and the group is correct. In 1830 he is listed as being between 30 and 40. If born in 1793, he would have been 37 years of age, and the age group is again correct. We have on a personal list the name of one son of Jerry and Susan, Thomas Gammon, born Aug. 3, 1820. Thomas married Mary Parker. Their first-born was Sarah Gammon, born July 12, 1839. The second was William Mitchell Gammon, born Nov. 21, 1840. William Mitchell Gammon was the father of Thomas Duncan Gammon, father of Lethia Mai Gammon, whom the writer married on Feb. 25, 1912.
†† Living next to "Jerk" Gammon was William Gammon, born in Tennessee in 1817, whose wife was Mary M. Gammon, born in Tennessee in 1823. They had one child, Susan C., a year old and born in Tenn. We are of the opinion that William Gammon was the son of "Jerk" or correctly, so we believe, Jerry. The only child was named for the grandmother, Susan Lovelady Gammon.
†† The next and the last-named Gammon listed in the census of 1850 was John J. Gammon, born in 1816 in Tennessee. His wife was Nancy Gammon, also born in Tennessee, three years after her husband was born. Their children were: Rebecca, 15; William G., 14; Agness, 11; Lucinda G., six; and Eliza I., four. All of these children were born in Tennessee. This Gammon family seemed to have lived 103 years ago on the waters of Big Goose Creek in the general vicinity of the present Beech Grove. Living not far from John J. Gammon and family were Spencer Woodmore and his brother Willis Woodmore, who married sisters, Sallie and Jane Gammon, daughters of Jerry and Susan Gammon. The Sarah Gammon listed above as the daughter of "Jerk" Gammon, was no doubt the Sallie Gammon, who married Willis Woodmore. The daughter, Jane Gammon, above set out as the daughter of "Jerk" Gammon, married Spencer Woodmore. Willis Woodmore was born in 1826, and his brother, Spencer, was born three years later.
†† Some of the last facts are taken from old family records in the hands of the writer. We have in our possession the old family Bible of William Mitchell Gammon, from which part of the above facts have been gleaned.
†† Since the above was written, we have found part of the records of the family given us by the late Bud Woodmore, son of Willis Woodmore and Sallie or Sarah Gammon. He died at 85 years of age. He also gave his mother's brothers as: Riley, corresponding to the James R. Gammon, one of the sons of "Jerk" Gammon, John L. Gammon,† Billie Gammon, Thomas Gammon, father of William Mitchell Gammon; and sisters, Jane, wife of his uncle, Spencer Woodmore; Sallie Gammon, his mother, the Sarah of the census record of 1850 of "Jerk" Gammon; and Polly Gammon, who married a Gifford.
†† We hope to find out other things about the Gammon family. We shall be glad for Rev. William J. Gammon to publish a history of the family. If we can be of any help to him, we shall be glad to add our mite.
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually Titled Calís Column
†† Below is a copy of a letter we have just written to W. O. Alexander, vice-president of the First National Bank, of Eldorado, Texas. Since it concerns a family that is quite numerous here in Middle Tennessee, we are publishing it for the information therein contained. The reply to Mr. Alexander follows:
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lafayette, Tenn.,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††Dec. 15, 1953
Mr. W. O. Alexander,
†† Your letter of December 12th is at hand and contents have been read with much interest. Yes, we know Horace M. Alexander, of Gallatin, quite well. In fact his wife is a second cousin of ours.
†† As to your branch of the numerous Alexander family, we have what we believe to be a little information that will probably be of interest to you. Since you do not know the name of the father of your great-grandfather, Samuel B. Alexander, but do know that he was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, it may be of interest to you to know that the Horace M. Alexander, to whom you have written at Gallatin, Tenn., is a direct descendant of another Mecklenburg County family, if not the very same family. Horace M. Alexander is the son of Dr. Matthew N. Alexander, commonly known as Dr. Bud Alexander. Dr. Alexander was the son of Hon. M. N. Alexander, an attorney of Lafayette, Tenn., in the years long gone by. He was born April 11, 1819, in Allen County, Ky. Hon. M. N. Alexander's father was Mayben Alexander, and his mother was the former Miss Margaret Wygal. Mayben Alexander was a native of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where he was born in 1788. His father was Andrew Alexander, who served in the American Revolution under Col. Mayben, in Gen. Lincoln's command. Andrew was captured at the surrender of Charleston. After the Revolution, he removed to Allen County, Ky., which joins Macon County, Tenn., on the North. He died in that county in the early part of the 19th century. Mayben, named for the Colonel under whom his father served, was married in Allen County in 1811. He died in 1848. We have some additional data of a later time concerning the family. If you desire it, let me know and I shall be glad to furnish same.
†† Since Mayben Alexander was born in 1788, and your great-grandfather, Samuel B. Alexander, was born in 1794, and both were born in the same county, it is to be assumed that they were most probably related and could have been brothers. Since Andrew served in the Revolutionary War, and soldiers of that struggle were later pensioned, and since such soldiers listed their children when applying for such pension, and since such applications are still on file in Washington, I would suggest that you write to the custodian of such records at Washington and secure a copy of such application; provided, of course, that it was made.
†† I am taking the liberty of placing you on our mailing list for a few weeks.
†† If I can be of any further service to you, please feel free to call on me.
†† With the season's best wishes, I am
†††††††††††††††††††† Fraternally yours,
††††††††††††††††††††††† Calvin Gregory