Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually Titled Calís Column
May 8, 1952
†† We are in receipt of an interesting letter from Rev. William J. Gammon, a Presbyterian minister of Montreat, North Carolina, concerning the Gammon family. He has long† been interested in the history of this family and plans to publish his records of the family in the near future. We are publishing his letter for the information it will give to the numerous members of the family who read the Times. The letter is as follows:
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Montreat, N. C.,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† May 1, 1952
Rev. Calvin Gregory,
Dear Rev. Gregory:
†† I wish to thank you so very much for the article in your paper on the Gammon family, that part of it in your own and in Smith County, Tenn. While I have some of the facts which I copied some years ago at the court house in Smith County, yet you gave other facts. I wish I could repay you.
†† In reply to your request for other data in my note books, which I copied from various counties, from 1914 through 1916. I find Pittsylvania County, Va., which is almost certainly† the county from which the Gammon family came to your county, the following: John Gammon, Sr., sells lands to John Gammon, Jr., to William Gammon and others, from 1784 to about 1815. From 1807, Drury Gammon and Presley Gammon are mentioned in the records of that county, William Gammon, Sr., whose wife was Elizabeth Gammon, William Gammon, Jr., and James Gammon are mentioned in the year 1813. Much of the land sold was adjoining Harris Gammon, who later, or at least, one Harris Gammon, a soldier in the Revolution, moved to Grundy County, Tenn., and later to Knox County, where he died. I have stood at his grave, and also at the grave of his son, Harris Gammon, Jr.
†† William Gammon, Sr., made his will in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1836, and named in his will the following children: Drury, Presley, James, William, John, Levy, Nancy Scarce, Levicy Beggerly, Lucy Scarce, Elizabeth, Parthenia and Amy Gammon, the will being probated in 1837. Most likely some of these sons, as John Gammon, Sr., or Junior, William Gammon, Jr., James and Levy went to your county, as these names are found there.
†† John B. Gammon married Eliza Collins April 3, 1860, but this is not likely to have been your John B. Gammon. A James Gammon married Rhoda Horner in 1792, but he was probably not the James Gammon of your county. A James Gammon married Eliza Harp in 1811. All these records are to be found in Pittsylvania, County, Va.
†† In my notes, from the records of Smith County, I find the following: James Gammon buys land in Smith County from Nicholas Shrum in 1807, on Dixon's Creek. In 1808 James Gammon sold land to Shrum on same Creek. In 1816 John Gammon buys land in Smith County, on Dixon's Creek. Jeremiah Gammon bought land on a fork of Goose Creek from Henry Shrum in 1817. John Gammon, Jr., bought land on Dixon's Creek from Gideon Gifford in 1826. In 1840 John B. Gammon, Eli Gammon, Thomas Carman and Caleb Carman bound themselves to pay $15 per year to support Susannah Carman. Priscilla Carman was the wife of John B. Gammon. In 1844 Frances was the wife of Eli Gammon. In 1844 Elijah Gammon was dead and part of his heirs were named.
†† About 1916, I met in Nashville, Tennessee, Harris Coleman Gammon, born in Macon County in 1831, he said; had three full brothers, Peter, married five times; John, who had sons as follows: Jefferson, Carl, Pole and Robert Gammon; and Moses Gammon, called Mode Gammon, who was the father of Richard Alex Gammon, whom I visited on Goose Creek about 1934. Harris Coleman Gammon's wife was the former Cynthia Uhles. His sisters were: Susan, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Letitia. His father was Robert Gammon, born in the present Macon County. Robert's wife was Polly Shrum.
†† If you can get an idea, or the fact from any reliable source, please state who was the father of this Jeremiah Gammon, and who his brothers were, and also give the name of the father of Harris Gammon, the Revolutionary soldier, and his brothers. I have a copy of the will of Harris Gammon, from Knox County, Tenn. I visited about 1934, a Robert Gammon, at Westmoreland, Tenn., in Sumner County, some miles west of Lafayette. He was, I believe about 60 or 65 years of age at the time.
†† I have a strong impression that these Gammons of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, went there from Norfolk County, Va., where John Gammon is mentioned as granted land in 1675. The given names are similar. My people came to Eastern Kentucky from Norfolk County about 1797.
†† If I can aid you, write me. I am awfully busy, preaching and doing some heavy manual work to repair and improve our home here, and also have done some visiting among church people.We have a movement in the county where I serve churches, known as "Back To Church in Haywood, March 29- June 30." Haywood County is next west of this county, Buncombe.
†† You are likely to come to the Baptist Conference center, Ridgecrest, just four miles from us. Come to see us some time. We are just two miles from Black Mountain, a station on the Southern Railway, 17 miles east of Asheville, with a good paved road. You could stay in our home most any time except for the period from July 2nd through the 9th, when our largest conference, the Women's comes. Our Conferences here extend from June 24th through Aug. 27th. After August, come stay several days.
†† If you can answer any of the questions I sent you several days ago. I shall be glad to hear from you. I enjoy the historial items in your paper.
†† Our daughter, wife of a minister, lived in Pulaski, Tennessee, until last October, when they moved to Texas.
† With many thanks and best wishes, I am
†††††† Sincerly yours,
†††††††††† William J. Gammon
†† ( Editor's note. We appreciate the fine letter above for the information it contains, for the kind words about our efforts, and for the spendid invitation extended to visit this man. We hope some time in the future to pay him a visit.
†† As to Jeremiah Gammon's father, we have no record as yet. As stated in our recent article on the family, it appears that he might have been the son of either John Gammon, of Smith County, Tenn., who in 1820 was above 45 years of age; or the son of James Gammon, another Smith Countian who in 1820, was above 45 years of age. We have also the descendants of Elihu Gammon listed, as well as part of the offspring of John B. Gammon and other early members of the family. We are striving to get together all the facts that are available and have them ready for the Rev. Gammon at an early date. In the meantime, we suggest that he keep us supplied with any additional information he may obtain.)