Key Family Tree - Part 1
Contributed by Sandy A. Key
William KEY was born in Chesterfield Co, VA on 14 Oct 1761. His Rev. War pension number is R5895 VA. In his records his mother was listed as a widow. William was living in Dinwiddie Co, VA when he enlisted in Line and Sea Service. He enlisted for the first time in Apr-May 1779 for three months as a private under Captain William Lewis's Company, in Colonel Ralph Faulkner's VA Regiment. He then enlisted again in early 1780 for three months as a private under Captain Scott Coleman's VA Troops. William enlisted the summer of 1780 for six months as a Marine under Captain Cook on the schooner, Nancy. He enlisted again May/June 1781 for six months as a private under Captain Baker Pegrim's VA Co. during the siege of York.
He continued to live in Dinwiddie Co. VA for several years after the Revolution. He then lived in Warren Co, NC and/or Sussex Co VA for the next 7-8 years. He married Elizabeth GRIFFIN on 2 April 1789 in Sussex Co, VA. They had 2 children: Jensy and Ruffin. Elizabeth probably died during childbirth, for the same year as the birth of son, Ruffin Key, William remarried Elizabeth GAINES in 1794 in Halifax Co, NC in the home of John ASPLEY, who migrated to Sumner Co, TN, as well. William and Elizabeth moved to what is now Sumner Co, TN between 1794-6. TN became a state in 1796. William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES had 8 children. William's brother, Bingham KEY, and sister, Mildred KEY, moved to Sumner Co, TN as well. It is believed that a brother, John KEY, (possibly born 1765 in VA), remained in VA.
William KEY served as a Methodist minister for about 30 years at one of the earliest Methodist churches in the Bledsoe Creek Valley. The early church was called the Mabry meeting house ( a log building ) which was the forerunner for the present day Bethpage Methodist Church. In 1805 it had 11 members: Seth MABRY and wife, William KEY and wife, John ASPLEY and wife, Moses DUNCAN and wife, Mrs. Bingham KEY, Mildred KEY, and Clifton ALLEN. In 1818, Seth MABRY donated land for the church, and William KEY was one of nine trustees to receive the property, thereby becoming one of the founders.
On Jan. 4 1814, William KEY bought 187 acres of land on the Rogue's Fork of Bledsoe Creek for $500 from Edward GWINN, witnessed by John GWINN, William GWINN, and Charles B. HEBBINS. (Deed Book Vol 7 page 366). In the 1817/1819 tax polls he is shown with 128 acres of land and his brother Bingham with 40 acres. In William's will, he discusses low land lying on Rogue's fork and a tract of land purchased from Seth MABERRY (Mabry). Some land he sold to Moses GAINES and he used some to make a "small reservation" for his brother, Bingham and wife, Susan, (probably the 40 acres). At Bingham's death, this land was to be divided evenly between William's sons: Ruffin and Alfred Cage KEY.
William's land adjoined that of James FRANKLIN. In addition to preaching, William was a farmer. His will speaks of a crop of tobacco, cattle, hogs, sheep, horses, a blacksmith shop, and several slaves. The land is supposedly in possession today (according to a book by J. C. Lane) of a C. D. KEY of Bethpage, TN, William's great-grandson. The blacksmith shop was left to William's son, Thomas. Thomas KEY's heirs remember him being a blacksmith.
William KEY applied for and was allowed a Revolutionary War pension on 16 Nov. 1832. His will was made 24 Dec 1833 (a copy is in possession of Sandra A. Key), and he died on 19 Jan 1834. William's widow, Elizabeth applied for pension benefits on 4 Apr 1844 when she was about 74 years old. She died 28 Jul 1844 leaving children: Thomas KEY, Peterson KEY, Nancy DAVIS, James KEY, Alfred Cage KEY, Harriet ROBERSON, William KEY, Jr., and James Key William and Elizabeth's second daughter, Sally KEY DUNCAN (wife of Hiram DUNCAN) died in Illinois prior to 1833 leaving 7 children. Five of these children were of age in 1846.
William's brother, Bingham, also a Revolutionary War soldier (R35694) never applied for a pension. He was aged about 70 in 1832, and believed to have died about 1840. He married Susan ECKLES in 1783 or 1788? They had a son, Macklin KEY (also McLin, MacLin) who was born 1786 and was also in Sumner Co in 1846.
William's sister, Mildred, was alive and residing in Sumner Co in 1832.
Elizabeth's sister, Sarah GAINES STONE, (married 11 Jan 1808 to William STONE) was in Sumner Co TN in 1854 and referred to her father (not named). Sister Nancy GAINES and brother John GAINES both moved from Halifax Co NC to Sumner Co TN and lived near the widow, Elizabeth GAINES KEY.
William KEY, Sr b. 14 Oct 1761 Chesterfield Co VA d. 19 Jan 1834 married first: Elizabeth
GRIFFIN 2 April 1789.
Children of William KEY and 1st wife Elizabeth GRIFFIN are:
William KEY, Sr b. 14 Oct 1761 Chesterfield Co VA d. 19 Jan 1834 married 1794 Halifax Co
NC second wife Elizabeth GAINES b. 1770 d. 29 Jul 1844.
Children of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES (not necessarily in birth order) are:
Descendants of Ruffin Key (son of William KEY and 1st wife Elizabeth GRIFFIN) 1794-1883
Sumner Co, TN, KY
Ruffin Key b. 19 Mar 1794 NC d. 7 Jan 1883 Claymore, Todd Co, KY married 1820 Mary M? Both are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Claymour, KY. 1830 Sumner Co, TN census lists Ruffin Key aged 30-40, wife same age, one son under 5 yrs. , 3 daughters aged 10-15. Ruffin was one of the executors of his father's will. ( Three of their children were married the same year: 1847!) They had 4 children:
Children of Ruffin KEY and Mary are:
Descendants of Thomas Key (son of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES) 1802-after1850?
Sumner Co, TN
Thomas Key b. 1802 Sumner Co TN d. after 1850 married 7 May 1824 Sumner Co TN Martha "Patsy" ASPLY/ASPLEY b. 1807 Tn (daughter of John ASPLEY and Sarah "Sally" PORTER). 1850 Sumner Co. TN census lists Thomas Key as a blacksmith with property value of $150. Thomas and Martha had 7 children:
Children of Thomas KEY and Martha "Patsy" ASPLY/ASPLEY are:
Descendants of Peterson Woodson Key (son of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES)
1806-1886 Sumner Co, TN
Peterson Woodson Key b. 18 Jan 1806 Sumner Co TN d. 19 Jul 1886 married first: Mary "Polly" RIPPY 27 May 1826 Sumner Co TN, second: Martha A. MEADOR 29 May 1830 Sumner Co TN, third: Martha "Mary Ann" GAY OVERTON b. 1820 (her second marriage - 10 Jan 1848 Sumner Co TN. Peterson was one of the executors of his father's will. In 1850 census his farm was valued at $3,440 in the 13th district. Peterson had 12-14 children, and 3 stepsons, by his 3 wives:
Child of Peterson KEY and Polly RIPPY
Next 7 children are assumed to be by second wife, Martha MEADOR based on dates of
Children born to Peterson KEY and Martha Ann Gay OVERTON:
The 1850 Sumner Co, TN census also lists 3 children of Martha OVERTON by a previous marriage to Thomas OVERTON: Thomas Overton age 10, James E. Overton age 8 and William Overton age 6
Descendant of James Key (son of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES) 1810-1863 Sumner
James Key b. 1810 Sumner Co TN d. 30 June 1863 Sumner Co TN married 24 Apr 1830 Sumner Co TN to Lucinda THURMOND (THURMAN) b. ? d. 1878 (daughter of Fleming THURMOND and Martha STOVALL.) James was one of the executors of his father's will. 1850 census lists James as a farmer with property value of $4,000 in district 12. James Key's will dated 30 Jan 1863. Sumner Co TN.
James and Lucinda have 9 children:
Descendants of Alfred Cage Key (son of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES) 1810-1858
Sumner Co, TN
Alfred Cage Key (sometimes just "Cage") b. 1810 Sumner Co TN d. 26 Aug 1858 Sumner Co TN married 1 Oct 1832 Sumner Co TN Elizabeth WHITE (daughter of Thomas WHITE and Sally ?, sister to Amanda, William Key, Jr's wife) 1850 Sumner Co TN census lists Alfred as a farmer with property value of $500. Alfred and Elizabeth had 8 children:
Descendants of William Key, Jr. (son of William KEY and Elizabeth GAINES) 1814-1889
Sumner Co, TN
William Key, Jr (some sources have him as William Bibb Key, Jr. -important if true, links to certain Va Key family) b. 24 Dec 1814 Sumner Co TN d. 29 Oct 1889 married Amanda WHITE (daughter of Thomas WHITE and Sally ? , sister to Elizabeth above, Alfred's wife) b. 24 Feb 1821 TN d. 10 Jan 1892. William and Amanda are both buried at Bethpage Cemetery, Bethpage TN. William Key is listed in 1836 Seminole War muster. In 1840 he had a horse-powered mill for corn and grain in Bethpage (according to book by Walter Durham). 1850 census lists him as a farmer with property value of $900. William and Amanda had 7 children: