Transcribed by Kathleen Hastings Whitlock
February 15, 1951
* CAL’S COLUMN *
In the closing part of our last published item, a statement on two was left out relative to the Morgan. We mentioned John Morgan as being one of those appointed to view, mark and lay off a road leading from Mr. Blackburn’s to Mr. Elliott’s on northern boundary of the State. We stated that one of our great great-great-grandfathers, John Gregory, married Judy Morgan in Chatham County, N.C. about 1775. She bore him one daughter of whom we have slight knowledge, and four sons, Jerry Gregory, our great-great-grandfather, married Barbara Rawls; John, commonly called Joe, married a Davis; Little Bill, married a Davis, a sister of Mrs. Joe Gregory; and Major, who removed to the Red River section of Robertson County, about 140 years ago, and probably married a Barber. The point we sought to make in our last previous article was that of our connection with the Morgan family. Our own father was Thomas Morgan Gregory, we have a brother Thomas Morgan Gregory, our father had a first cousin, John Morgan Gregory; and John Morgan Gregory had a son. Morgan Fitzpatrick Gregory. We wish we had additional information about the Morgan connection, but we do not have such at this time. Whether the first-mentioned John Morgan of 150 years ago was a relative remains to be seen.
“Ordered that Christian Boston’s stock mark be recorded, which is a swallow fork in the left ear and slit in the right.” Thus reads the next item in the old records of Wednesday, September 17, 1800. Christian Boston was one of our great-great-grandfathers, his daughter Kate, having married Major Gregory, the son of the Jerry Gregory above mentioned, Boston was born in Germany and married there. He arrived in the United States in 1799 according to the best information we have. This is derived from the fact that his son, George Boston, was six years old when the crossing of the Atlantic took place, and he was born in 1793. Christian Boston lived on the upper part of what is now called Toetown Branch of Peyton’s Creek, where Wade Shoulders at present resides, and we might add that Wade is also a great-great-grandson of old man Boston.
“George Thomason’s stock mark, a swallow fork in the right ear and a crop and underbit in the left ear, ordered to be recorded.” Also reads the next item. We have no idea whatever as to where George Thomason resided, or who any of his descendants were. We do know that Uncle John McDuffee, who celebrated the 92nd anniversary of his birth on January 20th, was the son of Martha Thomason, who married Eli McDuffee, about 100 years ago. Whose daughter Martha was we have not learned.
“Ordered that Court adjourn hereafter for the four next succeeding Courts, alternately, first to Fort Blount and next to Dixon Springs.” So reads the next item. Fort Blount was on the east side of the Cumberland in what is now Jackson County, Tennessee. It was on the direct route taken by pioneer, travelers who came through Cumberland Gap and went westward or southwestward to the Middle Tennessee country of beyond. If our memory serves us right, this was the only river crossing of the Cumberland required of those early settlers from Virginia and other States who came through Cumberland Gap. It was not long after the first settlers came to Middle Tennessee before a second route had been opened directly across the Cumberland Mountains from the valley of the Tennessee River by way of Crab Orchard, through the present Chestnut Mound and on to Carthage. The above order signified that the next Court, which was to meet in December, would be held at Fort Blount. We might say that so far as we have been able to note, not a sign of the former fort exists today, except possibly for some piles of stones. Across the river from the old fort, and in the bend of the Cumberland, stood a village of the long, long ago, known as Williamsburg. This was the first county seat of Jackson County. Here still stands the old log jail, a building about 14 feet wide and perhaps 22 feet long. The logs were well hewed and closely notched at the corners. We visited this old, old building some time ago. We took a pocket knife and found that most of the logs were of beech, although one or two poplar logs and some other varieties were to be seen. It is now used for a car house. Nearby is a chimney made of brick of an odd size and doubtless used in some old house in Williamsburg, perhaps the court house. Williamsburg is supposed to have been named for Sampson Williams, who lived in that bend and who was the Clerk that kept the old records that we are striving to publish. One can feel that he is indeed on historic ground when he walks about what were once the streets of Williamsburg. Why it ceased to be a town we do not know, but supposed that in the formation of Jackson County in 1805, it was deemed best to have a county seat nearer the center of the county. “Venire faceas to the next ensuing Curt: vis: Christopher Bullar, John Fitzgerald, Henry McKinney, William Anderson, Uriah Anderson, Charles Carter, William Marchbanks, Joseph Williams, Michael Williamson, Sam McCollester, Jabias Fitzgerald, Willeroy Pate, James Roberts, Thomas Heaton, Jacob Jenkins, Esom Graves, Pleasant Kearby, Edward Pate, Booker Pate, James and Daniel Draper, John Jenkins, William Richards, Charles McClellen, Charles Mundine, Phillip Draper, John Jenkins, Lee Sullivan, Williams Ausbrooks, James Rowland, Henry Wakefield, Jacob Bowerman, James Blackburn, John Williams, Charles O’Neal and John Anderson.” So reads the next item. Mention has already been made of most of these men. However, some comment is needed, we feel. Of Christopher Bullar, we have no knowledge. Willie Anderson, Uriah Anderson, and John Anderson are mentioned in this number. We presume, but do not know, they were related. Uriah Anderson owned land near the mouth of the present Young Branch or east fork of Dixon’s Creek. Of William and John Anderson, we have no information. However, Dillie Gregory, the daughter of the Jerry Gregory above mentioned, married Johnson Anderson perhaps about 1825. If Johnson Anderson was the son of either of the above mentioned members of the family, we do not have at this time such information.
We have also mentioned in the above list, Joseph Williams and John Williams. The Clerk of the Court was named Sampson Williams. So we are again to wonder if there was any connection between the Clerk and either of the other men. We suppose that such a tie existed, but we have no proof. John and Jabias Fitzgerald were most probably brothers, but this is a mere supposition. Sam McCollester would probably be known today as Sam McAllister. Charles Carter is another newcomer to the records if we remember correctly. There is a Carter Branch of Big Goose Creek emptying into the latter stream just below the present Hillsdale. Charles Carter may have been the man for whom the stream was named. However, the first member of the Carter family, who is known to have lived on the stream was Billie Carter, a native of North Carolina, who came to the Carter Branch section when old, all his children coming with him. In their removal to Tennessee, seven Negro slaves were brought along. This was a large man, a Democrat and a Methodist. His wife’s name is not known, but his children were: George Carter, married his cousin, Nancy carter; Beverly Carter, married first a Black, second Gifford; William Carter, married a Rickman, Joseph Carter, married a Tunstall, Mittie, never married, Pryor, never married, and Patsy, married Joe Johnson. We have quite a lot of information on the descendants of the above children of Billie Carter. Readers can let us know if they want any additional information.
Thomas Heaton is another about whom we know nothing. There was, however, in early days a place in Middle Tennessee called Heaton’s Station, but we do not recall at present just where it was located.
Jacob Jenkins and John Jenkins are believed to have been brothers and the sons of William and Nancy Jenkins, about whom we have already “expounded,” at some length. Anyway, we know that Jacob and John Jenkins lived in 1820 in the present Jackson County, that time was above 45 years of age. Thomas Jenkins may have been a brother. We know of two others that were sons of William and Nancy. They were Roderick and Noah Jenkins.
Henry Wakefield is believed to have been the ancestor of Thomas J. Wakefield, who lived for many years on the upper waters of a branch of Peyton’s Creek, and who has a son, George Wakefield, living about Madison, Tenn. They were once quite numerous in the east end of what is now Macon, County
“John McDonald produced a Commission form his Excellency, the Governor, appointing the said McDonald as a Justice of the Peace in and for said county of Smith, bearing date of the 29th of August, 1800/ and offered to qualify. But the Court objected against his qualifying on the ground of his appointment being unconstitutional.” Here we learn something of the independence of the County Courts of 150 years ago. Here we have a County or Quarterly Court setting aside an appointment of the Governor’s which said the Quarterly Court, was unconstitutional. We wonder if our Courts of today are that independent and have enough backbone to take a stand for constitutional government even in the face of an appointment by the Governor of a State. We doubt it. It is not stated just why the appointment was unconstitutional, but it is supposed that Justices of the Peace had to be elected, not appointed by a Governor. However, we may be completely “off balance” on this point. We are open to correction.
As to this John McDoanld, who seems to have had some influence over the Governor, who in 1800, was John Sevier, we have no information. But we do have quite a bit of information about the present McDonald family in Macon, Smith and surrounding counties. The first of the family to come to America is said to have been Randolph McDonald, who is reported to have come from Glasgow in Scotland to Edinburg, Shenandoah County, Virginia, in the early history of the Old Dominion. This Randolph McDonald was the father of Magness McDonald, married his first cousin, Agnes McDonald; William McDonald, James McDonald, said to have been born in Glasgow; and Elias McDonald. There is no room here for the John McDonald above mentioned and he remains “unidentified.” The first-born of Magness and Agnes was Andy McDonald and the second son was Stephen McDonald. Others were: John McDonald, born in 1796 and died in 1855; William McDonald, a daughter, who is said to hve married a man named Tracker; James, Jr., Porter McDonald, Joe McDonald, a sergeant in the War of 1812; and perhaps two other sons, believed to have been Frank and Lum McDonald.
The last-named John McDonald was too young to have been granted a Commission from the Governor in 1800, as he was born in 1796. Sot the first John McDonald is still and “unknown,” so far as our information goes.
The children of John McDonald, born in 1796 and married to Nancy Wilerson, were: William McDonald, born in 1819 and died in 1918; Polly Ann, married Hugh Massey; Elias McDonald, married Ruth Dotson; John McDonald, married a Harwood; James McDonald, married a Wilmore first and later a Marshall; Betsy Lee McDonald, married W.A. Hargis; Edward McDonald, married Sarah, daughter of Dob Gregory, son of Square William II Gregory, son of Thomas Gregory, another of the writer’s great-great-great-grandfathers, and a brother of the old John Gregory who married Judy Morgan as above set out. The readers will understand our line of descent better if they will take into consideration that our grandmother, Miss Sins Gregory, married her third cousin, Stephen Calvin Gregory. So we are descended from two brothers, John and Thomas Gregory. But to return to the McDonald family tree, Nancy Lee McDonald, another daughter of John and Nancy McDonald, married John Holland; and Wyatt McDonald, married a Goad.
William McDonald, born in 1819 and died in 1918, married first to Cenie Dotson. His second wife was Elizabeth Davis, William McDonald was the father of the following children by Cenie Dotson; Nancy McDonald, married George Tuck; Tom McDonald, married a Smith; Ruthie McDonald, married Tom Williams; Cenie McDonald, died young; Sarah C. McDonald, married Cobb Russell. By the second wife he has: Mary McDonald, married Roland Gregory, son of Curtis Gregory, son of Smith Gregory, son of the Squire William H. Gregory above referred to, and after Gregory’s death, she was married to John Gammon. John McDonald, married Fannie Gray; and later Letha Smalling; Nelson McDonald, married Fannie Chandler; Stephen McDonald, married Miss Eliza Andrews; S. Ferby McDonald, married a Day; William McDonald, married a Harwood; Mattie McDonald, married a Ragland; and Flora McDonald, married a Freeman.
Edward McDonald, who married Miss Sarah Gregory, was the father of Walton, married a Smith; Presley, married a McDuffee; Dolphus, married a Bray and an Andrews; and Ethley, married a Meador. Dolphus, by the Bray woman, became the father of Elder J. E. McDonald, a well-known Baptist minister of Dixon Springs, in Smith County.
Magness and Ages McDonald’s son, William, married Elizabeth Sadler and became the father of John, married a Carter and Blye; Henry, known was Hal, married a Phelps; William, married a Stalcup; Wilson, married a Fenney; Porter, married Susan Eldemon; King, married a Brooks; Byrd, married a Williamson; Jennie, married a Clark; Polly, married an Apple; and Nancy, married an Elrod.
Porter, who married Susan Edlemon, was a native, we presume, of the Chestnut Mound section where he died. His children were: Mary, married an Anderson; Jane married an Apple; Elizabeth, married an Apple, a brother of Jane’s husband; Eliza, married a Bockman; Maria, married an Apple, a cousin of the two just mentioned; Sidney, married a Rowland and a Glover; Ridley, married a Warren; Andrew, born December 4, 1834, and married a Shaw: John, married a Glover, and William, married an Apple, a sister of Maria’s husband.
We have many of the descendants of the above-mentioned members of the McDonald family listed, but we omit them at this time. But if any member of the family wants them, we shall be glad to publish or writhe same for them. We have printed this rather long list of McDonald names for the reason that this is a numerous and prominent family through North Middle Tennessee.
“Deed for 640 acres, Sampson Williams to Charles Hudspeth, acknowledged. Ordered to be registered.” Charles Hudspeth was a member of the County Court. Since we know where Williams lived, it is presumed that Hudspeth was perhaps a resident of the present Salt Lick Creek in Jackson County, near which Williams lived, but this is a presumption only and lacks confirmation.
“Ordered that the resignation of Tandy Witcher as Counstable be received.” No comment.
“Court adjourned until Court in course, to meet at Fort Blount on the third Monday in December next. Teste—Sampson Williams.
Thus closes the record for the September term of 1800. Readers will note that the given names of the Magistrates present at the close were omitted, the initial only being used. We do not know why, unless Clerk Williams was in a hurry.
(To be continued)