Transcribed by Pat Cummings
May 7, 1953
* CAL’S COLUMN *
We start this week with one item from the old Court records and the remainder is from the Census Records of the past. “Ordered that John Gordon be allowed a tavern license to be kept at his own house, and that he be rated according to the rates (in the county), who came into Court and gave security accordingly.”
This John Gordon, we would suppose, was the man for whom the present town of Gordonsville, in Smith County, was named, although we are not positive on this point. Captain John Gords was a very able early Middle Tennessean, but we do not suppose they were one and the same. Ramsey’s Annuals of Tennessee gives the following incidents in the life of Captain John Gordon: “Among other emigrants from North Carolina to the Cumberland was the father of Colonel William Pillow. He came through the wilderness with the guard commanded by Captain Elijah Robertson, and settled four miles south of Nashville, at Brown'’ Station. The son, William Pillow, was in most of the expeditions carried on against the Indians, from the time of his arrival in the country to the close of the Indian War. He was under Captain Rains in the tour to Elk River, already mentioned. He also accompanied Captain John Gordon in pursuit of the Indians who had killed a woman near Buchanan’s Station. Only one of the savages was killed; the rest effected their escape in the cane and at night. This was in 1788. Another reference to Captain John Gordon: “Early in May, 1793, Nathaniel Teal, the carrier of the mail, had arrived in Nashville from Natchez. After delivering the mail, he went out in the evening and spent the night with General Robertson, five miles from town. Next morning, within a mile of the General’s house, the Indians fired upon him, and killed him. Two companies of horsemen were instantly paraded—one, commanded by old Captain John Rains; the other, by Captain John Gordon, the same who afterwards, in 1813, commanded the Spy Company in the Creek War.”
“On the 5th of August (1793), Captains Rains and Gordon pursued a party of Indians who had killed one Samuel Miller, near Joslin’s Station. After crossing Duck River their signs were very fresh; on pursuing them seven miles further, they were overtaken. The pursuers killed some of them on the ground, and took prisoner a boy 12 years of age.”
Just where John Gordon lived in 1802, we do not know; but would suppose that he most likely lived in the present little city of Gordonsville.
We give some information on the Adams family in the year 1820 when the present Macon County was largely in Smith County. However, the west end of the present Macon County, from a point just west of the Gap of the Ridge to the present Sumner County line on the west side of the county was a part of Sumner County. This leaves about two thirds of the county in Smith County, Tennessee in 1820. In that year the census showed the following Adams families in Smith County:
Henry Adams, one male under 10, one male from 26 to 45 years of age, Henry himself, we would judge; and one female from 26 to 45 years of age, doubtless Mrs. Henry Adams.
Jesse Adams, one male 10 to 16 years of age, one male 16 to 18 years of age, two males 18 to 26; and one male over 45, Adams himself; and one female 45 and upward, Mrs. Jesse Adams, no doubt.
Aaron Adams, one male 18 to 26 years of age; and one female under 10 and one between 16 and 26, and we are sure that this was Mrs. Aaron Adams.
John Adams, two males under 10, and one between 26 and 45, and one female between 16 and 26.
Solomon Adams, two males under 10, two between 10 and 16, one between 26 and 45; and one above 45, we assume to have been Mr. Adams; one girl, between 10 and 16, one between 16 and 26, and one between 26 and 45, supposedly Mrs. Solomon Adams.
Allen Adams, one male over 45, supposedly Allen, himself; one female over 45, and 10 slaves. This would indicate that Allen Adams and his wife were both growing old, but they were well fixed for this life, having two Negroes. There is an Allen Adams who now resides in the Cedar Bluff section of this county. But we do not know whether they were related.
Daniel Adams, one male under 10, one between 10 and 16 and one between26 and 45; and 3 females under 10, two from 10 to 16 years of age; and one from 26 to 45, no doubt Mrs. Daniel Adams.
Elijah Adams, one male under 10, one from 10 to 16, and one over 45, perhaps himself, and one female under 10, one female over 45 and one slave.
Abraham Adams, three males under 10, and one over 45; and two females under 10, and one from 26 to 45 years of age.
The last Adams named in the Census records for 1820 was Jacob, who had one male from 16 to 18, one from 18 to 26, and one over 45, himself, we suppose; and one female over 45, supposedly Mrs. Jacob Adams.
We have the following names and dates from an old Adams family Bible: John Adams was born September 27, 1791. Elizabeth A. Adams was born September 25, 1799. William T. Adams was born June 11, 1835. Solomon Adams was born May 26, 1832, Martha Smith Adams was born July--, 1836. James Frye and Lucinda J. Adams were married November 27, 1883. Judy Marutha Adams was born July 6, 1859.
Saraugh Elizabeth Adams was born December 27, 1861; Lucinda Jane Adams, February 22, 1864; John Etter Adams, February 2, 1866. Mandy Susan Adams was born November 11, 1867. Willis Solomon Adams was born October 17, 1870. William Samuel Adams was born November 23, 1875.
In the record of marriages part of the figures are so dim that they cannot be made out. We are giving them the best we can discern them, and any error will be corrected. John and Elizabeth Adams were married March 12, 18--. Solomon Adams and Martha Smith were married October 1, 1858. Solomon Adams and Jane Barber were married December 31, 1869. William and Eloie White were married November 12, 1927.
John Etter Adams departed this life July 12, 1866. Martha Adams departed this life October 7, 1866. Solomon Adams departed this life January 8, 1889. Jane Adams departed this life September 23, 1891. Selmer Adams departed this life July 3, 1909. Eugene Adams departed this life August 7, 1928. Father John Adams died September 3, 1873. Brother W T Adams departed this life December 21, 1882. Brother Elijah Adams departed this life December 16, 1874. Mother Elizabeth Adams departed this life March 3, 1884. Sarah Adams departed this life April 20, 1933. Lucinda Jane Adams departed this life January 30, 1937. Juda Adams departed this life November 11, 1938. Willie S. Adams departed this life October 8, 1936.
Then follows the dates of birth of some later members of the family as follows: Hasse Adams was born May 8, 1905. Ernest Adams was born July 4, 1906. Selmer Adams was born March 4, 1908. Willie Adams was born September 25, 1909. Aaron Adams was born September 9, 1912. Eugene Adams was born May 9, 1914. John Royce Adams was born June 1917. William Eugene Adams was born June 18, 1931. Joyce Lee Adams was born August 24, 1933. Bobbie Jolene Adams was born November 3, 1935. Wanda Glenn Adams was born September 25, 1938. Olene Adams was born January 26, 1925.
Robert Adams was born May 19, 1927. Linda Faye Adams was born September 23, 1942. Tommie Hugh Adams was born July 12, 1944. Sarah Josephine Adams was born April 3, 1947.
W T Adams’ children were born as follows: Charles F. Adams was born August 2, 1855. Sarah E. Adams was born December 3, 1856. Santifoe Adams was born December 3, 1858. Dorothy Adams was born August 9, 1860. Harding Adams was born September 23, 1862. John W Adams was born March 11, 1865. Andrew Adams was born May 24, 1867. Martha C Adams was born July 19, 1869. Thomas J Adams was born May 25, 1872. Allen Adams was born October 10, 1874.
Among the earlier members of New Harmony Baptist Church were several men of the Adams family.
N. M. Adams was clerk of the church from its formation in 1848 to 1858. Leroy Adams was ordained as a deacon of the church in 1849, as was John Adams. In 1870 J W Adams was ordained by the same church as a deacon.
It may be added here that the original name of New Harmony Church, which is now located about six miles southwest of Lafayette, was Middle Fork of Goose Creek. It was organized in Frog Pond schoolhouse which has long since ceased to be called by this name. In 1850 the church moved down the creek a mile and a half and built a log house of worship at the juncture of Adams and Bear Creeks or branches. Adams’ Creek or branch was the old name for the stream on which the church now stands.
In Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee, we learn that at Brown’s Station, near Nashville, the Indians in 1788, killed Mr. and Mrs. James Haggard, John Haggard and a man named Adams. But there is no given name to show what Adams he was. The first Court in Cocke County, in the extreme east corner of Tennessee, was held in the home of Daniel Adams. I am not sure, but I believe that Cocke County was formed in October of 1796.
John Adams was a member of the group of Commissioners for the regulation and management of Jonesboro, in Washington County, Tennessee. This appointment as a Commissioner took place on April 23, 1796. The same man was also a magistrate for Washington County in 1796. He was also a presidential elector in 1796. Here our information concerning John Adams, of Washington County, ceases. Whether he was related to the Adams family of Macon County, we do not know. Our information is that the Adams family of this county came to Middle Tennessee from Virginia. Perhaps they were from the same county, Bedford, from which the Fuquas, Whites and other families came to Tennessee.
We do not know if they are related to the second president of the United States, John Adams, but have an idea that they were distant kinsfolk of our second president.
In the 1830 census of Smith County, we find Solomon Adams as having one male between 5 and 10, one between 10 and 15, one 15 to 20, and one from 50 to 60, Adams himself, we are sure. Females in the family were listed as follows: one between 30 and 40, one 40 to 50, and one 50 to 60, perhaps his wife.
John Adams in the same Census is listed as having one male between 20 and 30, himself, we are sure; and one female under five and one from 20 to 30, no doubt, Mrs. John Adams.
Another John Adams who lived near the other two just listed, Solomon and John Adams, is listed as follows: Two males under five, one from 5 to 10, two 10 to 15, one 20 to 30, and one 30 to 40, Adams himself; and females, one from 5 to 10 years of age, one 30 to 40, and one from 40 to 50. Here it would appear that Mrs. John Adams was the woman between 30 and 40, but we have no way of knowing who the other female in the family, between 40 to 50, was.
Next follows two neighbors, Richard Haynes and Rebecca Brown, when Aaron L. Adams is listed as follows: one male 10 to 15, one 30 to 40, himself we are almost certain; and females as follows: one under five, one 10 to 15, and one 30 to 40 no doubt, Mrs. Aaron Adams. The next neighbors going in the direction that the census enumerator took in 1830 were: Sarah Haynes, Joseph Arnold and Matthew Morningham (Mooningham?).
Next in the list of 1830 citizens named Adams was Francis Adams, with one male under five, two from 5 to 10, and one from 30 to 40, Francis himself, we would judge; and one female under five, and one from 20 to 30, Mrs. Francis Adams, we judge. This man seemed to have been a resident of Defeated Creek judging from his neighbors, among whom were James, Edward, Miles and Jesse West, who lived in 1830 on Defeated Creek, according to the best information we have. We would doubt if this Adams were closely related to the group that lived in the present Macon County.
Elijah Adams is next in the 1830 records. His record is as follows: One male 15 to 20, one 10 to 30 and one 60 to 70, himself, we would judge. Females, one from 50 to 60, perhaps Mrs. Elijah Adams. Nearest neighbors of this family 123 years ago were: Talafaro Hammock, Nathaniel Dillon, William L. Howell, George White, Daniel Clyburn (Claiborne?), Joel Simmons, Ivy Meadow, John Meadow, and Joel Meadow.
Next is Aaron Adams, whose name is spelled Aron. He was in 1830 between 70 and 80 years of age, and had in his family, besides himself, one female, between 70 and 80, presumably his wife. His nearest neighbors were: William Carman, Bennett Wright, John Parker, Dougald Campbell and Patrick Donoho. From this list of neighbors and the name Aaron, we would judge this man to have been one of the New Harmony Adams.
Daniel Adams is the next listed. We had: one male, 20 to 30; and three females under five, one from 5 to 10, and one from 20 to 30, perhaps his wife, although she would have been older than her husband. Near neighbors of Daniel were: Hickerson Parker, Henry McWhorter, Daniel Griffith, John Henderson, George McWhorter, Abraham Parker, James Witcher.
While on this point we have learned that another man living in the general vicinity of the home of Daniel Adams was Golsberry Parker, born between 1800 and 1810. His wife falls into the same age group. They had no children in 1830. One of the nearest neighbors was John Drewry, now spelled Drury. We suppose that this was the man later called Berry Parker, father of Andrew Washington (Bose) Parker, the father of the Parker Brothers, Luther and Will, of our local bank. Berry lost his life in a Civil War scrap and is buried not far from Long Creek Baptist Church. If we are wrong on our surmising, let us know and we will gladly make necessary correction.
The next Adams listed in 1830 are: Daniel and Matthew Adams. Daniel was born between 1770 and 1780. He had in his family: Males, one under five, one from 5 to 10, and himself; females, one under five, two 10 to 16, one from 15 to 20, and one 50 to 60, no doubt Mrs. Daniel Adams. Next is Matthew Adams, presumably a son of Daniel Adams as they lived near each other. Matthew had one male under five, and one from 15 to 20, presumably himself; and one female 10 to 30, his wife, we suppose, although she was older than her husband. Near neighbors of the two families were: Mary Minick, David Turner, Thomas Shockley, John Vaughn, John Gum, David Campbell, Peter G. King, Charles Holland, William Holland and Jehu Meadow. We are unable to obtain much of an estimate from these neighbors as to where the Adams families lived 123 years ago.
Henry Adams is next in the census of 1830. He had: one male 5 to 10, one 10 to 15, one 40 to 50; and females, two under five, and one from 30 to 40, Mrs. Henry Adams we would judge. Their nearest neighbors were: John Roe, James Craig, John Buford, Berryman Turner, Ruth Jones. From this group we are unable to judge just where Henry Adams live, but doubt if he lived in the New Harmony section.
Now we are anxious to preserve all family records we can find. If any member of the Adams family has information not given in this write-up, send it to us and we will try to get it into the paper in the near future. If any errors are discovered in the above, also let us know for we are anxious to get the facts and to leave off the errors, although we make mistakes, many of them in spite of our best efforts.