Collier/Douglass Family

Contributed by Nathan Knight
267 Ragland Road, Cottontown, Tennessee 37048

Letter written by Nannie Watkins Collier (1867-1948), daughter of Vines Lucas Collier Jr. (1822-1900) and his second wife Louisa Le Watkins (1827-1879). The letter is dated January 1929.

Surnames mentioned in letter most notably are COLLIER, KEITHLEY, SEWELL, and DOUGLASS. Also briefly noted are WHITFIELD, KILLEBREW, FORT, JOHNSON, RADFORD, METCALFE, YANCEY, and WIMBERLY.

Note: Original spellings and grammar are herein transcribed, although the most accepted spellings of the surnames are as spelled above.

The Collier Family came from Chatham, England and settled in Amhurst County, Virginia in the early days of this country. Isaac Collier was born and married in Virginia. He married Miss Frances Sewell who was a daughter of Benjiman Sewell and was born in Virginia. After their marriage they lived there a number of years and seven of their children were born there. They moved from there to North Carolina near Raleigh and Vines Lucas Collier, Sr. was born there. In 1794 Isaac Collier and wife and some of his children moved to what is now Davidson Co., Tennessee. this was part of North Carolina and then called State of Tennessee, and in 1796 named Tennessee. They lived near the village called Nash and later Nashville. People then had to go to New Orleans in four and six horse wagons to get groceries, clothing, etc. He lived in Davidson Co. several years and moved to Louisiana and then to Mississippi and he and his wife died there and were buried in Woodville.

Vines Lucas Collier, Sr. married Sarah Keithly in Apolousas Parish Louisiana and went to West Feliciana Parish to Kent Co. 30 miles from London (unsure of word) to live and their four children were born there. They then moved to Natchez, Mississippi, and lived several years and came to Sumner County, Tennessee and bought a farm on Woods Ferry Pike in 1833.

Benjamin Sewell, Jr., son of Benjamin Sewell, Sr. and brother of Frances Sewell Collier, was a colonel in the War of the Revolution. He lived in North Carolina. Isaac Collier, Sr. was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. His son Vines Lucas Collier, Sr. was a soldier in the War of 1812.

Thomas Whitefield Collier, son of Vines Lucas Collier, Sr. was in the Mexican War. He got a Mexican saddle that was mounted with silver, and gave some of the silver to his brother, Vines Lucas Collier, Jr. and he made some suspender buckles of it and wore them for years. Thomas Whitefield Collier was a Confederate soldier, and served the four years. After the war he went to Texas, Dallas first and then to Sherman and died in Sherman and was buried there. The silver pencil and knife combined was made of some of the silver from the Mexican saddle. The pencil was made by Vines Lucas Collier, Jr.

Isaac Collier's wife's Sewell ancestors cam from England to Virginia. Vines Lucas Collier Sr. married Sarah Keithly, daughter of Bryant Keithly and Susan Whitefield Keithly. Their other children were Susan, Elizebeth, Bryant and John. The Keithly family came from Scotland to Virginia and their decendents are scattered in North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. The Whitefield family came from London, England to Virginia. Susan Whitefield who married Bryant Keithly was one of twenty eight children. Her father was married four times and his decendents are scattered all over the country, the Whitefield, Collier, Killebrew, Fort, Johnson, Radford, Metcalfe, Yancey and Wimberly families.

The piece of Jewelry that Vines Lucas Collier, Jr. had given him when he was a child, was given by his mother's aunt and had been in the family a long time then. It is a small cross set with Persian garnets as it was called then.

James Douglas and his wife Catherine, daughter of Isaac and Frances Collier, came to what is now Sumner County, Tennessee, but was then part of North Carolina in 1790. After Isaac Collier and his family moved from Virginia to North Carolina, Catherine Collier and James Douglass were married at Raleigh. When they moved to this country they settled four miles north of Gallatin on what is now the Douglass Pike. They lived more than sixty years in the brick house which he had built and died there and were buried on the place not far from the house. The house was made of brick that were made in a kiln on the place. Most of their decendents are in Texas and other Western States. The Indians stole all of his horses once, thirty or forty. His wife would go out to milk and put her baby in a sugar trough while she milked and her husband stood guard with a gun and watched for Indians. The cherry side-board that Vines Lucas Collier, Jr. bought had belonged to Aunt Catherine Douglass and had been made there in the old brick house which is standing yet. James Douglass had a cabinet workman to make several pieces of furniture in the house.

Wilbur Collier, son of Thomas Whitefield Collier, came to Tennessee to see my father, Vines Lucas Collier, Jr., who was his uncle, and a few months after he went back to Texas he had gone to a town not far from Sherman to attend to some business, and was taken suddenly sick and died in a short time. He was carried to Sherman and buried beside his mother and father. I remember him, though I was a child when he was here and liked him. He had such a sweet, quiet manner. I just can remember when his sister Minnie was here, and though I was small, I remember how sad she was, and how she would follow my father around and seemed to want to be near him all the time, though she did not talk much. Her father and mother had not been dead long then. They died in a few months of each other. Minnie did not live but about two years after she went to Texas. She was eighteen when she died. Wilbur was twenty one when he died. I never saw their brother George and sister Susie.

Return to Sumner County, TN Family Album

Return to Sumner County Main Page