Transcribed by Pat Stubbs


September 3, 1953




The Adams Family



     We have recently received a communication from Mrs. DeForrest C. Parrott, of 3137 S. W. 12th Street, Des Moines 15, Iowa.  She is tracing her mother's people, the Adams family.  In an effort to assist her, we are publishing this week the line of descent of the Adams family, or shall we say, one of the Adams families of this county?  There are at least three Adams families in the county, one that we call the New Harmony branch, because they settled largely in the community now known as New Harmnony; another, the Salathiel Adams group largely early settlers on the waters of Spring Creek in the extreme north side of the county; and the other in the Gibbs' Cross Roads section of the county.   The family that we give today, we will call the New Harmony Adams.


     The oldest known member of this group was Harrison Adams, born in Virgnia on August 20, 1772.  He died in Pittsylvania County, Va., date not known.  His wife was Fannie Chatham. Chatham being the county seat of Pittsylvania County.  Their sons and daughter were:


     Nathaniel Muse Adams, born July 25, 1796, and died February 10, 1835.  He lived in the vicinity of the present Hartsville, in Trousdale County, which was formed in 1870 from the east end of Sumner County and other counties.  Hartsville is about six miles east of Rocky Creek, which rises among the hills that separate the waters of Goose Creek from Bledsoe's Creek.  Rocky Creek runs into the Cumberland not far from what is called Payne's Store, at the crossing of the present Highway 25 and Highway No. 10-A.  We are virtually certain that this is the same Rocky Creek on whose waters early members of Mrs. Parrott's Adams family bought land in the long ago.  It is now in Trousdale County, but was up to 1870 in Sumner County.


     But to come back to the children of Harrison and Fannie Adams:  Peyton Adams, born September 27, 1798, and married Polly _________; and Martha L. Adams, born September 1, 1801, exactly 152 years ago, as we write this article on September 1, 1953.  There might have been other children in the family but these are all the names that have come down to us.


     Nathaniel Muse Adams married Nancy Holladay on December 19, 1819 in Clark County, Ky.  We have no information on Peyton Adams, in addition to that given above, except that he lived and died in Winchester, Ky., and we are in the same situation as respects Martha L. Adams, except that she married a man named Haggard, and that she lived and died in Clark County, Ky.


     We have the line of descent of Nathaniel Muse Adams and his wife, Nancy Holladay, fairly complete.  Their children were as follows:  First child born and died September 27, 1820; second child, born and died, July 7, 1821; Fannie Chatham Adams, born July 14, 1822, and married William Thomas, in Clark County, Ky., October 2, 1836; Martha Holladay Adams, married Harris Brown, in Allen County, Ky.; Absalom Harris Adams, born February 28, 1829, and died February 10, 1835; John S.B. Adams, born November 9, 1825, died October 5, 1830; one, still born on March 9, 1827; Robert A. Adams, born July 10, 1832, and married Ellen Thompson;  Nathaniel Muse Adams, Jr., born September 5, 1834, and married Isabella Cage;  David T. Adams, born April 19, 1837 and died June 12, 1838;  James Wilson Adams, born May 4, 1839, and died October 1, 1912; married in early life to Amanda Jane Adams, daughter of Leroy P. Adams and his wife, Sarah Rose Adams, but no relation is known; and William R. Tolofer Adams, born October 6, 1842, and died January 7, 1843.


     Fannie Chatham Adams, married William Thomas, was the mother of:  John Holldady Thomas, born April 19, 1838, and never married; Robert T. Thomas, born October 17, 1839, and never married; Mary Jane Thomas, born June 20, 1841, married James Parker, who died in the cholera epidemic that struck the South more than a hundred years ago; and later, after Parker's death, she married Joe Freman; William H. Thomas, died young; James L. Adams, died young; Nancy Thomas, married Charles Grigg; Josiah M. Thomas, born May 3, 1847, and married Susan Keene; and Peyton Adams, born September 19, 1849, and married Mary Borden Cage.  It may be added at this point that Mary Jane Thomas and her first husband, James Parker, were the parents of one son, John Thomas Parker, born August 3, 1866, and died in the vicinity of Hillsdale, this county, in 1952, and whose funeral the writer conducted.   Mary Jane Thomas Parker and her second husband, Joe Freeman, were the parents of one daughter, Fannie Freeman, who never married.  Josiah M. Thomas and his wife, Susan Keene, were the parents of:  Alice Fannie and Will Thomas, the latter still living and resident of the Beech Grove section of Trousdale County.   Peyton Adams Thomas and his wife, Mary Borden Cage, were the parents of one daughter, Hollie, who married a Stubblefield.  Johnnie Peyton Stubblefield and Mrs. Gallie Winn, both still living, are children of this marriage.


     Martha Holladay Adams and her husband, Harris Brown, were the parents of:  Nathaniel Brown, died in Texas; Nannie Brown, married Billy Briley, and went to Texas; Shelton Brown, went to Texas, and never married; and Kate Brown, married Willie Johnson.  She resided for a number of years in Allen County, Kentucky, which joins Macon County.


     Robert A. Adams and his wife, Ellen Thompson, were the parents of:  Betty Adams, went to West Tennessee, but we are not certain as to whom she married, Batalvos or some such name being the best we are able to do on this point; Mattie Adams, to West Tennessee; Joshua Adams, to West Tennessee; Arch Adams, to West Tennesse; Clint Adams, no further record; and Will Adams, who resides at this time at Union City.


     James Wilson Adams and his wife, Amanda Jane Adams, were the parent of:  Sarah Adams, born August 5, 1862, died April 2, 1946, and never married; and Nancy Holladay Adams, born September 29, 1869, married Jacob Story, January 7, 1891, and died June 22, 1940.


     Nancy Holladay Adams, married Jacob Story, and became the mother of:  First child, born dead November 25, 1891; Leonard Lee Story, February 20, 1893, married Maggie Cothron; Sarah Magdalene Story, born September 26, 1895, married Oscar Carr; Leslie Gilliam Story, born September 25, 1899, married Sadie Kelley, of Louisiana; Paul Lloyd Story, born June 9, 1903, married Elizabeth Langford;  Mattie Lou Story, born February 28, 1908, married first to a Harkreader and later to Virgil Brooks; and John Lewis Story, born June 7, 1912, and married Reta Mae Penick, of Mississippi.  It may be added that the above information on the Adams family was given the writer by Mrs. Mattie Lou Brooks, who resides here in Lafayette.  If any person desirous of learning more of the family, will write to her, she will be glad to correspond with them.


     Mrs. Parrott, above referred to, asks where she may obtain the census of Smith County, Tenn.  If she will write to Annie Walker Burns, P. O. Box 6183, Apex Station, Washington, D. C., she may be able to obtain the census records of Smith County for 1820, 1830, and 1840.  She also asks if we can tell her anything of the Gregory who married an Adams a long time ago in Sumner County.  We are sorry, but we do not find the name on our old records.  However, Billie Gregory, a relative of ours, settled in what was Sumner County about 160 years ago.  We hope to find time a little later to investigate this.


     We hope to find space to publish the letter from Mrs. Parrott in the near future. In the meantime, we would like to hear from her with any additional Adams data.


                                                                       The Old Records


     We resume the account of the old records.  The next item is as follows:  "Deed, 10 acres Henry W. Lawson to Barnabas Powell, proven by the oath of Silas Jernigan, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto.  Ordered to be registered."  Henry W. Lawson is another of whom we know nothing.  He is not mentioned in the census of 1820, although Moses Lawson is mentioned.  He was a man with a large family of seven males, three females and 11 Negro slaves.  John Lawson appears to have been an old man, he and his aged wife making up all the members of the family.  These were the only Lawson families in Smith County 133 years ago.


     There is no record of Barnabas Powell in the census of 1820 for Smith County.  However, the records shows Edmund Powell, Abram Powell, Dempsey Emsey Powell, Jesse Powell, John Powell and Charles M. Powell.


     Silas Jernigan was an early officer of the Court, if we remember correctly.  Where he lived we do not know, although we are virtually certain that Silas Jernigan was a relative of the Elder Jernigan, Church of Christ minister, of Portland.  There is also a Jernigan in a barber shop at Springfield.


     "Deed, 125 acres, John Crosslin to Freeman Burrow, proven by the oath of James Hibbetts, one of the subscribing witnesses.  Ordered to be registered."   This land, we would judge, lay on the present Big Goose Creek or its waters.  James Hibbetts is known to have lived on the lower part of the Carter Branch, not far from the present Hillsdale.  The Burrows were among the earliest settlers on the old creek.  John Crosslin is another of whom we know nothing.


     "James Cherry exhibited his stock mark, being a crop off each ear, and an underkeel in the right.  Ordered to be recorded."  We have no knowledge of James Cherry.


     "Ordered that Lee Sullivan, Esquire, be overseer of the road leading from Williams to Sullivan's Ferry, and that the hands liable to work on said (road) below Hurrican Creek, work under said overseer."  Lee Sullivan was a leading member of the Sullivan family of the early part of the past century, but we do not know exactly where he lived.  However, we would suppose that he most probably lived in the Sullivan's Bend section of Smith County, just to the north of the present Elmwood.  The road, as to its location, is rather vague.  Whether Williams meant the place now called Difficult, but called Williams Cross Road long ago, we do not know.  Sullivan's Ferry was some distance above the mouth of Defeated Creek.  Hurrican Creek empties into the Cumberland below the present Granville and not far from Sullivan's Bend.


     "Ordered that Charles J. Love be allowed a list of his taxable property for the year 1802, who returned the same and paid the tax to the Sheriff." William Love and Matthew Love are the only Love heads of families in the county in 1820.  So we have no information as to Charles J. Love.  Elzie Love is an 80 -year-old farmer of the Clampitt Hollow of Macon County at this time, but we do not know if he is related to Charles J. Love.  Mrs. Love is related to Oakley Cook, of the Times force.


     "Ordered that Judd Strother and John Gordon be valuers of the property under execution in Captain Sullivan's Company; and that Thomas Draper and Willeroy Pate be valuers of property under execution in Capt. Pate's Company; and William Marchbanks and George Leeper be valuers in Capt. Anderson's Company."


     Jud Strother was a leading citizen of Smith County in his day and time.  He is listed in the 1820 census as Judd "Strather" and had the following in the family:  One male under 10, one male between 18 and 26, and one over 45, no doubt Judd himself.  He had the following females:  Three under ten, three from 10 to 16, and one female between 26 and 45, doubtless, Mrs. Judd Strother.  He owned in the year 1820 a total of 19 slaves.  Gideon "Strather" was another member of the same family.  He had one male under 10, and one between 18 and 26, Gideon himself, we are sure; and two females under ten, one female between 10 and 16, one from 16 to 26, and one between 26 and 45, perhaps Mrs. Gideon Strother.


     John Gordon was associated with Governor John Severe in quite a lot of land deals of a century and a half ago.  We do not know who Captain Sullivan was, nor do we know who Captain Anderson was.  Thomas Draper is believed to have resided on Jennings' Creek in that day and time.  Willeroy Pate is thought to have been a resident of Salt Lick Creek, of Cumberland.  We have no information as to William Marchbanks and George Leeper, although Captain James Leiper was a brave Indian fighter of 1780 in the vicinity of the present Nashville.  The name is spelled differently by the two families but we are sure that one and the same family is meant.  Captain James Leiper is said to have been the first man to get married at the present Nashville.  Whether he was related to George Leeper, is not known.  Captain James Leiper lost his life in the battle of the Bluffs, fought at Nashborough in April of 1781.  He fell with Peter Gill, Alexander Buchanan, George Kennedy and Zachariah White, on that memorable day when Mrs. Robertson loosed the large number of vicious dogs and set them on the Indians.  Samuel Leiper fought in the battle of  Crab Orchard and was scalped by the Indians.  This was in 1792, we believe. On the 24th of October, 1794, a party of Indians fired upon John Leiper on Red River in the present Montgomery County.


     "Court adjourns until tomorrow nine o'clock."  Thus close the record of the work of the Court of Tuesday, December 21, 1802.

                                                                           (To be continued)