Lawrence County Heritage

The Journal of the Lawrence County

(Tennessee) Genealogical Society

Vol. 1 No. 3 Spring 1998

Table of Contents


From the Editor:

The Family History Fair is scheduled for June 20, 1998. This issue also features information on the First Families of Lawrence County project. There is still a great need for volunteers to help on our projects, to write articles, to proof read the journal, etc.

Wisdoms of Lawrence County, Tennessee by James W. Wisdom

This history covers the Wisdom family of Lawrence County, Tennessee from the arrival of the immigrant ancestor, Thomas Wisdom, in 1663, to the migration to Tennessee. It focuses on the author’s line of descent through Francis Wisdom, son of Thomas.

The Samuel J. Kelley Family by Bruce Johnston & Kathy Niedergeses

The first of a series, this is an account of the Samuel J. Kelley family that came to Lawrence County, Tennessee, sometime between the 1820 and 1830 census. It covers in detail the children of Samuel: John J., James S., Robert J., George B., and Andrew J.

Lawrence County Court Clerk, Wills – January 1829 to October 1847

(continued from Vol. 1 No. 2) abstracted by Shirley Hollis Rice.


Townsend, Chamberland

Horne, Thomas

Christian, Nathaniel

Ross, James H.

Townsend, Chamberlin

Collinsworth, Covington

Allison, Andrew

Ross, James H.

Bumpass, James

Kendrick, John

Brashers, Henry

Depriest, Green

Grimes, Henry & Luke

Davis, John

Basham, William

Curtis, James

Vauter, Richard

Brashers, Henry

Null, John

First Families of Lawrence County, Tennessee

This article explains the First Family project whereby applicants prove by documenting every generation that their ancestor lived in Lawrence County during the time periods listed and that the applicant is a direct descendant. Two categories are: 1817-1850 and 1851- 1900. A list of rules for application is given as well as approved records to use for documentation. A blank sample application and proof of descent form are supplied.

Annual Family History Fair, June 20, 1998

Details are given on the Family History Fair including a table reservation form.

The Book Nook … Book Reviews by Kathy Niedergeses

1820 Census Index of Tennessee, compiled by Elizabeth Petty Bentley.

Kith and Kin of James and Mary (Kellough) Young, by Miriam Young.

1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 Lewis County Census, transcribed and donated by Alec F. Bridges

William and Emeline Davis, by Richard W. Davis.

History of Lawrence County, TN, Volume III, by Bobby Alford.

The Porter-Berryhill Family: 1760 to Present, by Danny Benson.

Early East Tennessee Marriages, Early Middle Tennessee, and Early West Tennessee Marriages, by Byron and Barbara Sistler.

How Do I … Trace My Cherokee Ancestry by Kathy Niedergeses

This articles explains the difficulties involved in researching Native American ancestry and offers specific sources including those available at the Lawrence County Archives. A list of internet sources is included.

Lawrence County, Tennessee, Early Pioneers:

John Franks and Sarah Bird Franks, Part I Researched by Mary Nell Hollis Franks

This is a detailed history of John and Sarah Bird Franks, early settlers on a branch of Knob Creek in western Lawrence County, Tennessee. Using land records, the author traces the family from Edgefield County, South Carolina to Tennessee. The family’s history in Lawrence County is explained through census, county land, court and cemetery records.

Help Save a Cemetery This Year…

Photos show the editor and her relatives cleaning and repairing the Crews Cemetery on Highway 64 west, near CountyLine.

Mystery Families and Photographs

Three photos needing identification are shown. They are from the collection of Aline Newton Crews and might be from the McGee, Crews or Clayton families.

Native American (Cherokee) Research at the Tennessee State Library & Archives

This is a bibliography of Native American material found in the state library and archives. It is arranged by subject with call numbers given for each title.

Our Cherokee Ancestors: Henry McGee and Mary "Polly" Kilburn by Shirley Hollis Rice

This article traces the family of Henry McGee from South Carolina to the Cherokee nation in northern Georgia and finally Lawrence County. It tells of Henry’s work with fur trading companies and his untimely death at the hands of a business partner who desired an interest in McGee’s silver mine. Widowed Polly left Georgia with her children and to join her father and brothers in Tennessee. The article concludes with an accounting of this couple’s children and their offspring.


Surnames include: Milliken, Martin, Holland, Young, Barnett, Milliken, Tait, Pollock, Rone, Browning, Jennings, Cooper, Rittenberry, Pigg, Harris, Newborn, Newbourn, Newburn, Prince, Green, Ricketts, Clemmons, Matlock, McClure, Goodman, Dowdy, Grisham, Gresham.

Minutes of the Meeting of Lawrence County Genealogical Society, December 20, 1997 by Mary Nell Franks, Secretary