Transcribed by Elsie Sampson


February 11, 1954




          We are in receipt of the following letter:


          January 26, 1954


          Rev. Calvin Gregory,


          Macon County, Tenn. Times,

          Lafayette, Tennessee


          Dear Rev. Gregory:


          A very pleasant and interesting “Genealogy correspondent,”  Mrs. B. C. Tompkins, of Nashville, has sent me a full typewritten page from “Cal’s Column, Jan. 14, 1954 issue of your above-named paper.”  This particular column is about the MARTIN LUTHER HEROD, PETER HEROD et al of the HEROD family and their early settling in Virginia and Tennessee.  Mrs. Tompkins also said that, in line with the two last sentences is this particular column, she had written you  asking you to please publish the “additional information of the HERODS.”


          We will be most interested in reading this additional information about this family; but, in order to keep kind Mrs. Tompkins from having to copy your further columns of the HEROD family, I am happy to enclose my check for $1.00.  We will so much appreciate your using this to send any back issues of your paper having “Columns” about either the HEROD, or THOMAS GROVES families; as well as any future issues of your paper that may have any data on these families.  If the $1.00 is not sufficient to pay for these back, and future issues, together with postage, please let me know and I will be glad to send the needed amount.


          To explain my interest in these families:  My father, Rev. Hiram Daniel Groves, b. 11-19-1845 in Nodaway Co., Mo. and d. 11-16-1905 in Fayette, Howard Co. Mo., was a Methodist minister for 34 years.  His last 18 years were spent as president of Howard-Payne College at Fayette.  Howard Payne is now a part of Central College at Fayette.  I was born 11-12-1889 and am supposed to be the 6th THOMAS in our known Groves line.  Two heart attacks in 1945 forced me to retire from any active work in 1947.  Recently I have been able to resume my “search” for more data on my GROVES ancestors.


          We can go back fairly well to my great, great grandfather, THOMAS GROVES who came from England to Virginia and on to Sumner Co., Tenn., about 1783.  My notes also state “He wore silver buckles on his boots and was called Captain.”  He married a HEROD and one of my notes gives her name as “ANN,”  “Scotch-Irish from England to Virginia.”  Unfortunately this is all that I have been able to “dig up” on my great, great grandfather and mother.


          I will so much appreciate anything you might send me that will help get more in this family data.  If there is additional cost, please advise the amount for such data.


Very sincerely,

T. Howard Groves.


Below is our reply to Mr. Grove.


February 7, 1954


T. Howard Groves,

2145 Northeast Hancock,

Portland 12, Oregon.


Dear Mr. Groves:

          Your letter of Jan. 26th has been received and read with much interest.  Perhaps I may help in some small measure in the Herod data, but I fear I am going to find but little data on the Groves family.


          I learned from the census records of Smith County, Tenn., for 1820, that the following families of Herods lived in Smith County, from which Macon, my present county was largely formed in 1842:  James Herod, spelled then Herrod:  One male under 10, and one from 26 to 45, James himself; and females, one under 10 and one from 26 to 45.  This indicates that Mr. and Mrs. Herod were the parents of a son and a daughter, both under ten.  From other sources we learned that Mrs. Herod was the former Miss Valentine.  We have the names of three sons, James, Jr., married a Cunninghan; and Hamp and Henderson.  Here our record ends, so far as any additional information other than the census records is concerned, except that James and wife had a number of daughters, but we do not have the names of even one of them.


          But coming back to the census records for 1820, we find:  Levi Herod, one male under 10, one from 10 to 16, and one from 16 to 45, Levi himself, we are sure. Females in his family: one under 10 and one from 26 to 45, Mrs. Levi Herod, we are sure.


          Peter Herod, two males under 10, and one from 26 to 45; and female , one from 26 to 45, Mrs. Peter Herod, the former Miss Rebecca Key.  Peter Herod owned two slaves in 1820.


          William Herod, Sr., one male under ten, one from 26 to 45, and one over 45; females, one under ten, one from 16 to 20, and one over 45.  This family was well-to-do 134 years ago, owning five slaves.  It is believed that this William Herod married Sallie Settle, daughter of Edward Settle.


          It is also believed that William Herod, Sr., must have had a son, William or else there would have been no need to refer to the older Herod as Senior.


          There was not a Groves family in Smith County, Tenn., in the year 1820.


          By 1830 Peter Herod, spelled with only one r, had the following family:  One male under five, one from five to ten; and one from 40 to 50; and female, one from 40 to 50.


          William Herod is the last Herod head of a family listed in the Smith County census for 1830.  He had:  One male under five, one from five to ten, one from 40 to 50, and one from 80 to 90.  Females, one under five, one from 10 to 15; and one from 30 to 40.


          There was not a single Groves family in Smith County in 1830.


          In the year 1850 we find the following Herods in Smith County:  Peter Herod, born in Virginia in 1783, a physician, worth $3,560; and his wife, Rebecca, born in North Carolina in 1783.  She was previously mentioned in this article as the former Miss Rebecca Key.  Her father was Jonathan Key, commander of a privateer during the American Revolution.  His wife was a Miss Edwards.


          Benjamin F. Herod is the other head of a family listed in 1850.  He was born in Tennessee in 1819; his wife, Judith Haynie Herod, was born in Tennessee, in 1822; and children in 1850 were as follows:  George w., aged four years; and Morton P. Herod, aged 16 days.


          Benjamin Franklin Herod was the son of Peter Herod, who married Rebecca key.  B. F. Herod was a brother of Martin Luther Herod, killed by a rolling log when a youth.


          We find no Groves family in Smith County, Tenn., as late as 1850.  However, we do learn from sources other than the census record the following facts about the family:  David Groves born Dec. 26, 1858, died Nov. 24, 1885, and is buried in the “Old Gray” Cemetery, at Knoxville, Tenn.  Sarah Nichols Groves, born Aug. 2, 1823, died April 3, 1912, and buried in the cemetery mentioned above.  David Groves, born may 12, 1820, died Feb. 28, 1894, and buried in the same place.  Sarah Groves, born May 4, 1912, died July 2, 1921, and also buried in the “Old Gray” Cemetery.  Mary McCutchan Groves, born Feb. 18, 1878, and died July 2, 1921 and buried in the same cemetery.


          Markham Fristoe was married to Catherine Groves on Jan. 16, 1813, in Knox County, Tenn.  Richard Keyhill was married to Elizabeth Groves in Knox County, Tenn., on March 21, 1815.


          Jenny Herod was married to John Tucker in the year 1780 at Nashville, by James Shaw.


          It seems that the above represents about all we have on the two families, and it is meager.  We are sorry that we do not have any further information at this time, but will try to learn more of the Herod and Groves families.  We are located about 35 miles from the county seat of Sumner County, Gallatin, where there are many county records.  Anyway, write again and let us have anything of interest you have on the two families.


          With every good wish, I am

                            Sincerely yours,

                            Calvin Gregory.