Tag Archives: Tennessee

Sunday Salute ~ John “Blackbearded” Parrott III ~ Mosby’s Ranger’s

Parrottsville mapJohn Parrott III, my 1st cousin 3 times removed, was born on September 30, 1800, in Parrottville, Cocke County, Tennessee. He is the 4th of 9 children born to John Parrott Jr. and Elizabeth Hall. He moved with his family to Fayette County, Ohio in 1814 but returned to Parrottsville in 1820. Here he met and married Mary Nancy Copeland in 1825. They quickly moved back to Fayette County and had 2 children, a son, and a daughter. Mary died on March 8, 1850.

John then married Rachel Whitcomb in 1852. They had no children. John Parrott III photoWhen the Civil War broke out, John signed up with the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby’s Rangers. It was a battalion of partisan cavalry in the Confederate army during the Civil War. They were known for their lightning strike raids on Union targets and their ability to consistently elude pursuit, the Rangers disrupted Union communications and supply lines.

Col John S. Mosby

Mosby

The 43rd Battalion was formed on June 10, 1863, at Rector’s Cross Roads, near Rectortown, Virginia, when John S. Mosby formed Company A of the battalion. Mosby was acting under the authority of General Robert E. Lee, who had granted him permission to raise a company in January 1863 under the Partisan Ranger Act of 1862, in which the Confederate Congress authorized the formation of such units. By the summer of 1864, the battalion had grown to six cavalry companies and one artillery company, comprising about 400 men. After February 1864, the Confederate Congress revoked the authority of all-partisan units, except for two, one of which was the 43rd Battalion. The battalion never formally surrendered but was disbanded on April 21, 1865, after Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House to Ulysses S. Grant, but not before attempting to negotiate a surrender with Major General Winfield S. Hancock in Millwood, Virginia.

What to call the Confederate 43rd Battalion was a matter of contention during the war. The members of the battalion were referred to as soldiers, partisans, rangers, and guerillas. The Union viewed them as a loose band of roving thieves. Northern newspapers and Unionists referred to them as guerrillas, a term of disgrace at the time. One of Mosby’s men stated in his memoirs published after the war that “the term guerrilla was not applied to us in the South in any general way until after the war, when we had made the name glorious, and in time we became as indifferent to it as the whole South to the word Rebel.” Mosby himself avoided overtly militaristic words like “troops” or “soldiers” or “battalion” in favor of the more familial “Mosby’s Men” or “Mosby’s command”

After the war, John returned to Fayette County, Ohio and it appears he Obitwas able to put aside his actions during the war and live a respectable life. In his obituary, it states that “Mr. Parrott was highly respected by all who knew him. He was a kind husband and father, and a zealous and consistent church member.” John died on June 26, 1873. I have never discovered why he had the nickname “Blackbearded”.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Hickory Creek Cemetery ~ Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee

pic TATCHickory Creek Cemetery is also known as Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Cemetery. It is located outside the town of Knoxville, Tennessee in Knox County. Most of the stones in this cemetery have been well cared for and so has the grounds. I have decided to feature this cemetery because I have several ancestors that are buried here. The first one is also the most “famous” of them all Colonel Joseph Hardin.

 

Hickory Creek CemeteryIn all, I believe there are about 20 Hardins buried Hickory Creek Cemetery #3here that are ancestors of mine. So for the next few weeks, I will be displaying the headstone (if there is one) and writing a short biography of each one. This week I will just be highlighting the first of the Hardin’s interred here.

 

Colonel Joseph Hardin 1734-1801

 

Col. Joseph Hardin was born on April 18, 1734, in Richmond, Virginia. He is the second son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Hooper) Hardin Jr. He married Jane Gibson (1742-1817) in 1761, in Knox Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia. They had 15 children, 9 sons, and 6 daughters. I don’t feel the need to explain his life as the tribute on his headstone does an excellent job of chronicling the highlights. Here is the transcript of the stone.

 

JOSEPH HARDIN
FARMER-SOLDIER-STATESMAN

Born April 18, 1734, in Virginia of English Ancestry.
Died July 4, 1801, in Hardin Valley, Tennessee.
A strict Presbyterian, stern, and fearless in discharge of duty.
Loved and trusted by his friends, feared by his enemies.

PIONEER-PATRIOT-PATRIARCH

Major 2nd N.C. Minute Men, Salisbury District, 1775.
Captain Tryon Co., N.C. Light Horse, Cherokee Expedition, 1776.
In battle of Ramsour’s Mill and at Kings Mountain, 1780.
Colonel for Western Counties (Tenn.), 1788.
Lost three sons in Tennessee Indian Wars.

Member Committee of Safety, Tryon Co., N.C., 1775.
Member Provincial Congress at Hillsborough 1775 and at Halifax 1776.
Member General Assembly of N.C., 1778-79 and (from Tenn.) 1782-88.
Organizer State of Franklin, Jonesboro, 1784-1785.
Member General Assembly, Territory South of the Ohio, Knoxville, 1794.

For his military services during Revolutionary War and Indian Wars he received in 1785 from North Carolina, 3000 acres of land in the middle district, now Hardin County, Tenn named for him.

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Sunday Salute ~ The First Woman Soldier I Have Found In My Family

Ada Millburn Divine PhotoI feel very honored to be able to write this blog about my maternal 3rd cousin, Ada Milburn Divine. Since I started this weekly blog I always thought it would be great to find a female who served in the Military, but after months of searching I almost gave up. I do have a habit of searching my paternal line first, then my maternal one is always an after-thought. I am so glad I strayed from the norm!

Ada Milburn Divine was born on January 6, 1909, in Johnson City, Washington InkedYearbook Ada Divine_LICounty, Tennessee. She was the second of three daughters born to Paul Eaves (1871-1935) and Lula nee Milburn (1881-1955) Divine. Growing up, Ada was known as “Sis”. She had many interests while attending school. She was an accomplished artist (painting) and writer. After graduating High School she attended East Tennessee State Teacher’s College in 1927, where she was a member of the Pi Sigma Literary Society. She attended college for 4 years graduating with a degree in science in 1931. She taught school in Johnson City for a few years, then she moved to New York City to pursue her painting career.

Here she met Reginald Randall (1901-1938) and they got married on January 22, 1937, in Manhattan. Reggie was a veteran of WWI and he had been deeply affected by what had happened during his time overseas, and the things he saw and did in combat. He and his bride moved to Johnson City to be near Ada’s family. However, the move did not keep the memories away. On July 21, 1938, Reggie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. This impacted Ada so much that she never remarried, nor had any children. For some unknown reason, she began to go by her middle name Milburn, and people called her “Millie”.

Ada Millburn Divine WWII PhotoMillie began working as a purchasing agent and buyer for the N.E.C.Company. In the 1940 census, we find her living with her mother Lula, and both women are listed as widowed. When WWII started on December 8, 1941, Millie wanted to join the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp but she discovered that all the women did was paperwork, laundry for the troops, and miscellaneous cleaning. This didn’t appeal to a college graduate with a degree. In July 1943 the organization was renamed the Women’s Army Corps when it was authorized as a branch of the US Army rather than an auxiliary group. The WAC’s received the same rank insignia and pay as men later that September and received the same pay allowances and deductions as men in late October. They were also the first women officers in the army allowed to wear an officer’s insignia. Millie enlisted in the WAC’s on November 13,1943.

Although women were prohibited from being in combat zones, some women who WAC_Air_Controller_by_Dan_V._Smithshowed a good knowledge of the technical field could be sent to England to help assist the troop in a non-combat fashion. Because of her degree in science, Millie was trained as one of the first women air traffic controllers. She spent the next two years in England directing the pilots as they flew their missions.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn November 13,1945, Millie returned home to Johnson City. She began painting again and teaching art to the local children. However, she missed the control tower. In 1944, she started working as an air traffic controller at the Nashville International Airport, She continued working there until she retired in 1970. Ada “Millie” Divine Randall died on February 4, 2001, in Johnson City, and she is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, located in Greenville, Greene County Tennessee.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Hometown Tuesday ~ Tazewell, Claiborne County, Tennessee

hometown tuesdayThe Tennessee General Assembly formed Claiborne County in 1801 from parts of Grainger and Hawkins Counties and it was named for William C.C. Claiborne, who was Tennessee’s first congressional representative. The most important historic feature of Claiborne County is the Cumberland Gap, located south of where the states of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky meet. Native Americans called this natural gateway to the north and west the “Warrior’s Path.” In 1750 Dr. Thomas Walker claimed discovery of the gap and named it Cumberland Gap in honor of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the son of King George II and Queen Caroline. Daniel Boone led thirty men through the gap and opened a road west to settlement in 1775.

The first settlement was in the Powell Valley along the Clinch River. Shortly afterward, settlements were established at Sycamore Creek and Fort Butler. In 1801 the town of Tazewell was laid out as the county seat. The town received a post office in 1804, and James Graham served as the first postmaster. The county court met three times in the homes of John Hunt and Elisha Walling before a small frame courthouse was erected in 1804 on land belonging to John Hunt Sr., probably the first settler in the area and the first sheriff of the County. A jail was constructed at the same time as the courthouse, and a second jail was TazewellTN Home 1812built in 1819. Luke Bower, one of the first Watauga settlers, was the first attorney and the first merchant was William Graham, a native of Ireland. Graham had extensive real estate holdings, and around 1800 he completed a stone residence known as the Graham-Kivett house. (photo) Other historic buildings include the Parkey house, also thought to have been built by Graham, which was used as a hospital during the Civil War and survived the great fire of 1862. A frontier church at Springdale on Little Sycamore Creek was erected by Drew Harrell and the Reverend Tidence Lane sometime around 1796.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tazewell did not have a church building until 1815, but settlers probably worshipped in open-air assemblies and in homes prior to that time. William Graham, a Presbyterian, erected the first church building, which was used by all denominations. In 1844 the Baptists and Methodists both erected buildings on Russell and Church streets, respectively.

Tazewell, Claiborne County, and the Cumberland Gap figured prominently in the Civil War strategy of both the North and the South.  The town changed hands four times. Although no major battles were fought in the county, there were several bloody skirmishes. On November 11, 1862, at the height of the Civil War, Confederate troops occupied Tazewell as part of the greater struggle for the strategic Cumberland Gap. When the Confederates evacuated the town in November of that year, a fire followed, destroying much of Tazewell including some twenty buildings including the courthouse, a large hotel, and several brick storehouses.

My paternal Great Grandfather, Hamilton Hayes was born in Tazewell, Hamilton Hayes picTennessee, on December 15, 1856, almost 6 years before the town was burned. He was the 4th child born to George W. Hayes (1817-1898) and Elizabeth Coffey (1821-1883). Within a year of the fire, his family moved to Grainger County Tennessee. Then in 1860, after the death of his slightly older sister Mary, the family moved to Rockcastle, Kentucky. Ten years later his family once again moved, this time to Mount Pleasant, Cass County, Missouri. Here he met and married Elvira Register (1861-1936) on March 16, 1979. They had 9 children, 4 sons, and 5 daughters. Hamilton was a farmer. In 1906 he passed away at the age of 52, in Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Thomas Coffey ~ They Called Him “HellFIRE” ~ #52Ancestors ~ Week 15

Thomas Coffey picThomas Coffey my 2nd cousin 2x removed, was born in Grainger County, Tennessee on December 7, 1852. He married Martha Jane Shockley in 1872. They bought some land in the county and began to farm and raise their 13 children. Life was not easy for the Coffey’s, not because they were farmers, or because they had so many children or the fact that they didn’t have much money. Life was hard because Thomas was a difficult man. There was a saying in Grainger county about the Coffey family: it was said, the reason so many Coffey’s intermarried was that only a Coffey could tolerate a Coffey.  I have found the intermarriage part to be very true.

grainger co tn map

It didn’t help that Thomas has redheaded and a lot of people just assumed he had a bad temper because of that. However, in this case, they were correct! He was always ready for an argument or a fight. As a matter of fact, Thomas was known as the “Meanest Man in Grainger County”. He also earned the nickname “HellFIRE” because of his out of control temper.

Apparently, this temper problem ran in the family. One of his cousins beat her husband to death with a bridal because he forgot to pick up flour at the mercantile. No one wanted to walk past their farm because Thomas would throw stones at them. When he went into town he would sit in front of the stores and he would try to hit any child of any age that walked by with his walking stick.  If they got close enough, he would spit snuff at them, and he had a very good aim.

Thomas Coffey hs 2

At his funeral, his children asked the funeral home to tie a large strap around the casket to make sure that he stayed inside.  They also said that neither God nor the Devil wanted him and that’s why he lived to be 73 years old.  He died on January 3, 1925, and is buried in the Emma Jarnagin Cemetery in Morristown, Hamblen County, Tennessee. The birth date is wrong on his headstone. It is said that his oldest son Caleb wanted to have “HellFIRE” as his dad’s first name on the stone and the stone maker refused. So he gave the wrong month and day of his birth.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Hometown Tuesday ~ Parrotsville, Cocke County, Tennessee

hometown tuesdayParrottsville, Tennessee is the second oldest town in the State. Located in the South Eastern section bordering on the State of North Carolina it rests in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains. This area has very fertile soil in which corn and wheat grew abundantly. There was no shortage of wildlife, lakes, rivers, timber, and gorgeous scenery.

The town was officially founded in 1769 and it was eventually named for John Parrott HSRevolutionary War Patriot John Parrott. He and his family settled in the town in 1781 shortly after marrying his second wife. He had 3 children from his first marriage and he and his new wife went on to have 5 more. The last one born on December 28, 1799, was Catherine Parrott, my 2x Great Grandmother. Her father died the next year.

Parrotsville TN sceneryCatherine’s mother never remarried so her two older sisters helped to raise her. Four of her five older brothers took care of the farm. Life wasn’t easy but they were able to apply for and receive the pension that was due to their father for his service.

In 1825 she married George Hershel Hughes. George had been born and raised in Catherine Parrott HSVirginia but he had enlisted in the Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry during the War of 1812 and served in the area of Parrottsville. After George’s wife died he moved his family there. He and Catherine had 4 children in 4 years. They then packed up their family and moved to Benton County, Missouri. They had 2 more children there. After her husband died, she went to live with her daughter, Harriett Williams, in Wheatland, Hickory County, Missouri, where she died on 23 Oct 1864. Catherine was buried in the Williams Bend Cemetery.

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Lewisa Bean

question markThis is the ancestor that I have the least amount of information about. There has been a lot of debates on Ancestry.com concerning her name, year of birth, and marriage. Let’s take a look at what I do know about her.

 

My 3 x Great Grandmother, Lewisa Bean as born in 1860 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. She married John Parrott, the founder of Parrotsville, Cocke Co, Tennessee, on June 27, 1881. Reverend Jacob Snyder performed the ceremony. She was John’s second wife.

Over the next 17 years, the had 5 children. The 3 sons were Joseph, Larue, and Jacob. The 2 daughters were Rachel and Catherine. Catherine is my 2x Great Grandmother.

She apparently died in Parrotsville, TN. Date unknown.

There is great controversy as to her name. First the spelling. In most of the Ancestry John Parrott Lewisa Bean MLtrees, I find it listed as Louise or Louisa.  Some of them have the name, Louisa Lucy. I understand that there are different ways to spell names and Louise or Louisa could be another way of writing Lewisa. However, as of this writing, I only have one document pertaining to her and her name is Lewisa on it. I have never found anything with either of the other 2 spellings or with the middle name of Lucy. That brings us to the year of birth and the year she got married.

Lewisa Bean John Parrott ML.I found one “record” of their marriage in the publication “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia”. It states that they got married at the date listed above. It has her name spelled as “Lewisa”. However, there is a “U.S. and International Marriage Record” that has a Louise Bean marrying a John Parrett in 1861. If this was Lewisa she would have gotten married when she was 1 year old!  Also, her last child was born in 1899 so calculating this she would have been anywhere between 55 to 60 years old when Catherine was born. One thing that people keep pointing out to me is the marriage month and day are the same on both “records”, just the year is different.

So, as you can see, until I find more concrete documentation I am at a standstill. I have turned off the comments on Lewisa’s page so I don’t continue to get harassed because of these discrepancies.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I may look for more information on her?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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52 Ancestors, Week #11 – Thomas Lee Divine – Luck of the Irish

Thomas Divine back tombstoneThomas Lee Divine is my maternal 4th Great Grandfather. He was born on February 21 1748 in Dublin, Ireland. At the age of 17 he made the decision to start a new life in America. He arrived in Kent County Delaware in 1765.  He soon found his new adopted country was in great turmoil, most of his fellow citizens wanted desperately to break away from England and begin a new, more Democratic Country.

Thomas Divine letter

When the Revolutionary War broke out Thomas enlisted as a private in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-six under Captain Gray in the Continental Line in Kent County in the State of Delaware and served for six years until shortly after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and was then honorably discharged. He was in the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and he was at the siege of Yorktown. Thomas was wounded by a cannon-ball on the side of the left leg above the ankle in a skirmish with the British when they fired across a small lake or pond but he continued to fight and to serve once his wounds were healed.

In 1782 he married Miss Jemima Dill at the house of Esgr Calhoun that was located within one mile of Black swamp-causeway in the county of Kent and State of Delaware. They lost their first four children to miscarriages but went on to have 6 more children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Prior to 1790 Thomas moved his growing family to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

After moving to South Carolina on the waters of Pacolit River in the Greenville District, the house they were living in burned to the ground and they had to start all over again, building a new home and getting new furnishings. Over the next several years he expanded his lands and crops and provided a very good life for his family.

church_3_945_334_c1In 1825 Thomas moved his family to McMinn County Tennessee. In 1834 on land given by Thomas the Big Creek Baptist Church was constituted. He also furnished the land for the cemetery, which is up the hill from the church.

Thomas Divine tombstone

Thomas Divine died on the twentieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty at the age of ninety years old.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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52 Ancestors #7 -For the Love of his wife –John Parrott

Parrottsville TnMy 3rd Great Grandfather, John Parrott was born in 1740 in Toms Brook, Shenandoah, Virginia to Frederick and Barbara (Edwards) Parrott. He was the oldest of 11 children. In 1761 he married Catherine Meyers. He and Catherine had seven children. In 1769 they moved their family to Tennessee where he founded the town of Parrottsville. (It is currently the third oldest town in that State)

When the Revolutionary War broke out all of his younger brothers joined the fight. It wasn’t until July 4 1777 that John enlisted as a private in Colonel William Grayson’s Virginia Regiment. He would have been 37 at the time of his enlistment, comparatively old for a soldier in those days. His age probably accounts for why he did not enlist earlier when his brothers did. It was undoubtedly a sacrifice for him to serve, for he left a wife of 17 years and a large family behind.

John’s regiment was one of sixteen organized by a congressional resolution in Congress in December 1777. Four of the sixteen units were composed largely of Virginians. John’s commander, William Grayson, had been assistant secretary and aide-de-camp to George Washington at the time he was put in command of his regiment. John was assigned to Captain Thomas Triplett’s company. By April 1779, the regiment, significantly reduced in size due to a smallpox epidemic, merged with Colonel Nathaniel Gist’s regiment, where John served under the command of Captain Joseph Smith.

The entire Parrott family was very Patriotic. That is why it was a shock that on August 19, 1779 John deserted his regiment after serving only 14 months of his three-year commitment. It was not uncommon during the Revolutionary War for soldiers to leave their troops for family emergencies. John deserted because the love of his life was gravely ill. He cared for Catherine until her death in 1781. Within a few months John married Louisa Bean. Together they had 5 children, the youngest one being Catherine my 3rd Great Grandmother. Catherine was named for John’s first wife.

John Parrott DAR

John Parrott HSAlthough John deserted his responsibility to the War he was still honored with a commemorative marker at his gravesite by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The marker that was placed there in 1783 still remains today. It is speculated that this was because he only deserted for the love of his wife and not because he didn’t believe in the cause.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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