Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I have been working on the Mumford/Peregoy family from Baltimore County, Maryland for about two months without much progress, however I have received some additional information on other families. I know that you are excited when I throw in some history (he said sarcastically) so here we go.

I have discussed the state of Franklin before and this is a perfect time to bring it back into the family discussion. One of the main reasons that the Haworth/Rees branch of our family fled the relatively cosmopolitan (again, sarcasm) settlement in Guilford County for the wilds of western North Carolina (now Tennessee) was the war. Some other reasons were the corruption of the royal government and slow action of reform on the part of the new federal government.

You may remember that James Haworth and Mary Rees were married in Greene County on February 19, 1784 so I am assuming that both Haworth and the Rees family were in this area by 1783. You may also remember that the Rees family was in Guilford County, North Carolina when the Battle of Guilford Court House took place in 1781.
In 1783 the first reference to a meeting of Friends at Nolichucky (a river located, in part, in what is now Greene County, Tennessee) occurs in the New Garden Monthly Meeting, Guilford County, North Carolina minutes for August 30, 1783, "This Meeting taking under consideration several families of friends that have some time ago removed from here to Nolichucky, refers the matter to next meeting.” The next meeting appointed a visiting committee “to inspect into their situation's circumstances whether their being there tends to honor of truth or not." The report on December 27 suggested that it had "not tended much to the honour of truth" though they were "of the mind that there are some tender minds among them which deserves the notice of their friends". Eventually this Quaker meeting was named New Hope. I do wonder if any of my family were among the “tender minds” or just the tender headed.

Also in 1783 the North Carolina legislature established Greene County taking some of the land of Washington County. The western portion now had three counties, Washington, Sullivan and Greene, with approximately 18,000 people living there. At this time a large tract of land was reserved for the Cherokee Indians.
In 1784 North Carolina ceded western lands to federal government, then repealed the act. This action prompts settlers in the western area to organize the State of Franklin. In 1785 John Sevier proclaimed himself Governor of the State of Franklin. Neither North Carolina nor the federal government recognize this action.
So, for four years there would be dual government in this area with North Carolina and the State of Franklin each, separately carrying on the functions of government such as registering and recording deeds, issuing land grants, issuing marriage licenses and recording marriages. Given the dual government and the Civil War, at a later date, raging through the County, it should be no surprise that many of the records from this area have been lost or destroyed.

However, I have found another record from the area that did survive. It should be noted that the deed was issued when Tennessee was a territory named “Territory South of the River Ohio”. (Above right.)

Map of Tennessee shows (above left), to the right, Green County (Gr) and to the left Dixon (Di) and Williamson (Wms) Counties. James Haworth and William Rees lived in Green County. Joseph Brown lived in Dixon County and his will was filed in Williamson County. (Aw Come on!!! You do remember Joseph Brown whose daughter, Ruth, married John Mendenhall.)

Following is a quote from Goodspeed's History of Greene County, 1887.
“About 1790 a large number of Friends or Quakers began to come into the county from Pennsylvania and North Carolina, although a number of person of that faith had come several years before. Among the pioneers were William Reese, Garrett and Peter Dillion, William and Abraham Smith, Solomon, David and John B. Beales, Samuel and Mordecai Ellis, Abraham Marshall, Samuel Pearson, Samuel Stanfield and George Hayworth. The first religious services were held on the eleventh day of the ninth month, 1791. Other meetings were held from time to time, and on the twenty-eighth day of the second month, 1795, New Hope monthly meeting was organized about one mile west of Rheatown where a house of worship was erected. A church house was also erected on Lick Creek at an early day.”
I believe William Reese was William REES my 5th great grandfather, George Hayworth was the brother of my 4th great grandfather James. Peter Dillon was a cousin of Mary Rees.
You can view photos of the Meeting House at:

William Rees is listed on the 1791 and 1792 Greene County Tax List of Captain George Wilson's Company. In 1791 Rees owned 500 acres with 2 “White Persons” (this normally means white men 21 years old or older). In 1792 he owned 1700 acres with 3 “White Persons”.
William Reess is listed on the 1798 Greene County Tax List of Captain John Heneger's Company. He owned 700 acres with 1 “White Person”.
William Rees died in Greene County September 6, 1822.
William’s wife, Charity Dillon Rees died in Greene County September 21, 1827.