Transcribed by Pat Stubbs
September 11, 1952
* CAL'S COLUMN *
One of the editor's great-grandmothers was the former Miss Frances Snipes. She was called "Frankie" Snipes. We have met only one person of this name in all our years, he being a young Cumberland Presbyterian minister from Warren County. He had never heard of "Frankie" Snipes. So in our investigations, we decided to look through the census records of 1790, which may be seen at either the Carnegie Library or the State Library in Nashville. We were unable to find even one family by the name in either Virginia or North Carolina. So we would judge that this great-grandmother of ours must have home from South Carolina.
We found the following in the 1790 census of South Carolina: William C. Snipes, in the Charleston District of St. Bartholomew Parish, South Carolina , had in his family two males over 16, three females over 16 years of age; and 87 slaves. Evidently this man was well-to-do and was a very prominent citizen. As to whether he was the ancestor of "Frankie," we do not know. "Frankie" was born about 1825 from the best information available. So if she descended from William Snipes, she must have been his granddaughter.
Benjamin Snipes lived in the same district in South Carolina in 1790.. He had in his family one male over 16, undoubtedly himself; one female over 16, supposedly his wife; and 27 negro slaves. He was no doubt a substantial citizen of the Palmetto State.
William Snipes lived in the Camden Distrrict of Lancaster Parish, South Carolina, in 1790. He had in his family one male over 16, himself; one male under 16, and two female over 16. He owned no slaves and he might have been the ancestor of the writer.
Robert Snipes lived in the same section and had the following in his family: One male over 16, himself; and one female over 16. No slaves.
William Snipes lived in the Georgetown District of Prince George Parish of South Carolina. His family was listed as follows: One male over 16, himself; two males under 16, presumably sons; and one female over 16, supposedly his wife. He had no slaves.
George Snipe without the "s" at the end of his name, lived in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1790. He had eight white members of his family, including himself; and no slaves. So we are still in the dark as to what line of descent "Frankie" Snipes, the wife of Isaac Kittrell, belonged to. But we are quite sure that she was descended from one of the men above- mentioned.
Isaac Kittrell was the son of Joshua Kittrell, who married Tabbie Bryan perhaps 200 years ago. Joshua Kittrell was the sone of Jonathan Kittrell, the son of Jonathan, the son of Dutton Kittrell. This takes the family back to sixteen hundred and something, exact date not being known. Dutton Kittrell was the writer's great-great-great-great-grandfather.
In our recent prowlings into the old records we learned that Abram Gregory lived in Essex County, Virginia in 1790, and that he had two whites and eight negro slaves in his family. The two whites were presumably Abram Gregory and his wife. But we have no idea as to what, if any, relation they were to the Chatham County, North Carolina, Gregorys from whom we are descended.
In Middlesex County, Virginia the census of 1790 listed the estate of James Gregory, as having 38 negro slaves. In Gloucester County, Va. in 1790, Mary Gregory had seven white persons and 14 slaves in her family.
In Chesterfield County, Va., Thomas Gregory had four white persons and two slaves in his family.
In Pittslvania County, Virginia, in 1790, Thomas Gregory had four white persons in his family and two slaves.
In Chatham County, North Carolina, from which county the editor's Gregory ancestors came directly to what is Smith County, Tennessee, in the autumn of 1791, the census lists the following Gregorys as heads of families: Harden Gregory, one male over 16, one male under 16; and two females. Harden Gregory was a brother of our great-great-grandfather, Bry Gregory, and removed from Smith County to Giles County, Tennessee, about 1805. He and his brother, William H. Gregory, were executors of the will of their father, Thomas Gregory, Sr. Thomas Gregory, Sr. lived in the same county, in the Hillsborough District in 1790, and in his family were one male over 16, one male under 16, and five females. This is the same Thomas mentioned above as the father of Harden. He was our own great-great-great-grandfather. He married Elizabeth _________, the last name not being known to the writer. He made his will in 1817 or 1818, and final settlement of the estate was made on February 22, 1827. His son, Bry Gregory, was our ancestor, although his son, Thomas Gregory, Jr., is another ancestor by intermarriage. This son, Thomas Gregory, Jr., married Phoebe Hawkins in Virginia in 1787, and was dead at the time of the making of his father's will, which shows that he died between 1787 and 1818. He left three sons, Big Tom Gregory, another of our ancestors; Gabriel Gregory and A. J. Gregory, of whom we know absolutely nothing. Two daughers are indicated in the old will, one having married Basil Burch and the other marrying Richard Brown.
In the final settlement of the old man's estate, the following received one full share of $1,539.29: Thomas B. Douglass, who was either a son-in-law or an only son of his mother, thus, being a grandson of the testator; Isaac George, a son-in-law; Bry Gregory, William H. Gregory, Abraham Gregory, of Robertson County, and Harden Gregory. The three sons and two daughters of the of the dead son, Thomas Gregory, Jr., received among them one full share. Thus the old man's estate was worth in cash in 1827 a total of $10,775.03. He died in the Nixon Hollow of Peyton's Creek and is buried there. He was a soldier of the American Revolution, as were Bry and William H. Gregory, known as Squire Bill. We wish we knew who his wife was prior to her marriage, but we do not.
The old record of the 1790 census lists next William Gregory, presumed to have been the William H. or Squire Bill Gregory, just referred to. He had in 1790 one male over 16, himself, no doubt; four females and no slaves.
Next is the name of Bray (Bry) Gregory, who had in 1790 one male over 16, himself; two males under 16, and three females. He had no slaves. This man was the father of Betty Gregory, the mother of Sina Gregory, the mother of Thomas Morgan (Dopher) Gregory, the father of Calvin Gregory the writer of this "colymn.".
Next in the old list is the name of Presley Gregory, who is presumed to have remained in North Carolina and never did come to Tennessee. In his family in 1790 were two males over 16, one son and himself, we would suppose; one male under 16, two females over 16, and four slaves.
Isaac George is listed as having one male over 16, two males under 16; one female over 16,and one slave. He supposed to have come to Robertson County, Tennessee in pioneer days, and was a son-in-law of Thomas Gregory, Sr.
Next in the list is the name of Jeremiah Gregory, who was one of our great-great-grandfathers. He was the son of John Gregory and his wife, Judy Morgan Gregory, and came to Smith County, about the time the other members of the Gregory family arrived. He was the man who knelt down to drink form a fine spring on Nickojack Branch and became aware of a feeling of something wrong. He rose from his kneeling position and gazed upward, to find a large panther placing his feet in readiness to leap from a tree upon the man who had prostrated himself upon the ground to secure the fine water that flowed from the big hill near which Thomas Dias now lives. Gregory seized his trusty rifle and fired at the big cat which tumbled from the tree to fall almost at his feet lifeless and harmless. The old spring still flows on and is as good and sweet as when our ancestor bowed down for a drink. But the characters upon the stage of action in that far distant day and time have long since "gone the way of all the earth." He died in 1856, in a log house that then stood on the site of the present home of Henry Taylor, long known as the Tom Earps place. It is on Nickojack Branch at Peyton's Creek, about a quarter of a mile from the spring above referred to. His father was John Gregory, as given above, but the father died in North Carolina and the widow and children came to Smith County about 160 years ago. Jeremiah Gregory married Barbara Rawls and they became the parents of a large number of sons and a daughter. He was an early member of Mt. Tabor Baptist church, near Pleasant Shade and on the main stream of Peyton's Creek. He is buried in the cemetery at the old Cicero Taylor home on Nickojack. He was the father of Major Gregory, the father of Stephen Calvin Gregory, the father of Thomas Morgan Gregory, the father of Calvin Gregory, who is the gatherer of the items that appear under the heading, "Cal's Column."
Next in the census list is the name of John Gregory, but we are not able to identify him. We suppose he could not have been the father of Jeremiah Gregory, for this John Gregory died prior to the family's coming to Tennessee, which occurred in the autumn of 1791, and the census record was made in 1790. Moreover, this John Gregory, from the record, was a comparatively young man, for he had one male in the family over 16, three males under 16, and three females.
The John Gregory, father of Jeremiah, and the Thomas Gregory, Sr., were brothers, and the writer descended from each of them, his grandparents, Stephen Calvin Gregory and his wife, the former Miss Sina Gregory, having been third cousins. Sina descended from Thomas Gregory, and her husband from John Gregory.
The last of the Chatham County Gregory's listed in the 1790 census was Thomas Gregory. The record is as follows: Thomas Gregory, head of family; one male over 16, himself; one male under 16; and three females. We do not know who this Thomas Gregory was. It could not have been the Thomas Gregory, Jr., who married Phoebe Hawkins in 1787 unless two of the females were twins. This may be the solution to our puzzle. This man was evidently well-to-do, for he had seven slaves. We wish we knew who he was with certainty, but it is almost impossible to trace family history with certainty after 160 years have passed by.
We have had quite a lot to say about our own people, but we are offering these things only for the interest they hold for the many members of the Gregory family descended from these two brothers, John and Thomas Gregory, who number now more than 10,000 person, most of whom we know personally. If any reader feels that any boasting is intended, please remove such thoughts from your mind. We have been just an average family, no better and we hope no worse than the genral run of families through North Middle Tennessee. We have had "black sheep" in the family and will no doubt have some more in the years that lie ahead.
Since our last article about the Witcher family, we have done some additional investigating and have discovered that they came to Smith County, Tennessee, from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, as early as 1800. The following items appear in the census record of Virginia in Pittsylvania County, for 1790: James Witcher, head of family, five whites and one slave; William Witcher, head of family, with five white person and 15 slaves; John Witcher, four whites and one slave; William Witcher, Jr., three whites and one slave; and Daniel Witcher, ten white persons in the family, of which he was head; and two slaves.
The Daniel Witcher, last named above, was the man who came to this county and settled on Long Fork and who died there in 1815. As has been stated he had a family of three sons and a large number of daughters, the sons being Lacy, Tandy and Booker Witcher. One of the daughers married a Ramsey, and we find in the old census records that Thomas Ramsey lived in 1790 in Pittsylvania County, and had a family of 12 whites and three slaves. Thomas Ramsey, Jr., had three white persons in his family, and one slave in 1790; Presley Ramsey, same county, had four whites and no slaves; Absalom Ramsey, three whites and three slaves; and James Ramsey had nine white persons and one slave in his family in 1790. Whether one of these married the daughter of Daniel Witcher, we do not know. Also one of Witcher's daughters married Reuben Goad, born in 1770, and later came to Smith County, later a citizen of what is now Macon County, and the founder of the Goad family in North Middle Tennessee. In 1790 the old census records showed the following Goads as heads of families in Pittsylvania County, Virgnia: Charles Goad, seven whites and two slaves; William Goad, ten whites and two slaves; John Goad, four whites and one slave ;and Thomas Goad, three whites and no slaves. We are quite sure that one of these men was the father of Reuben Goad, but we are not able to say which.
We also know that the Gammon family of Smith and Macon Counties, Tennessee came out of the same county in Virginia and we believe the Brawners also were from Pittsylvania County.
(To be continued)