Children of Thomas Whitlock (abt. 1745 – 1830) and Wife Hannah Phillips: Daughter Who Married William Hannah

The Children of Thomas Whitlock and Hannah Phillips

My last posting about Thomas Whitlock surveyed his Cumberland County, Kentucky, estate records. In the posting prior to that, I discussed Thomas’s 22 January 1824 will, which he made in Cumberland County, Kentucky. We know from this will (augmented by other documents) that Thomas Whitlock and wife Hannah Phillips had the following children: 

  1. An unnamed daughter who married William Hannah
  2. An unnamed daughter who married John Hammons
  3. Charles Whitlock (abt. 1773 – April 1796), who married Mary, daughter of Henry Davies/Davis and Jane Crockett
  4. Sarah Whitlock (8 June 1774 – 16 August 1837), who married Thomas, son of Thomas Brooks and Margaret Beaumont/Beamon
  5. Nancy/Ann Whitlock (abt. 1777 – 1860), who married Abner, son of James Bryson and either Catherine or Margaret, whose surname is often given as Cox[1]
  6. Mildred Whitlock (1784 – 15 December 1860), who married William, son of Absalom and Elizabeth Hurst

All of these children are named in Thomas Whitlock’s will, which states that his son Charles was deceased and makes a bequest to Charles’s daughters Agnes and Hannah without naming them. The will states that William Hannah and John Hammons were sons-in-law of Thomas Whitlock and makes a bequest to both. It does not name the wife of either son-in-law. In my view, the daughters of Thomas Whitlock who had married William Hannah and John Hammons had both died prior to the writing of their father’s will. 

Thomas Whitlock’s will names his living daughters — Sarah Brooks, Nancy Bryson, and Milly Hurst — and appears to do so in the order of their birth. We know from the bible of Thomas Brooks and Sarah Whitlockthat Sarah was born 8 June 1774, and from the death certificate of Thomas’s daughter Mildred Whitlock Hurst that she was aged 70 when she died 8 June 1854, placing her birth in 1784. As we’ll see down the road, both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses place Nancy/Ann Whitlock Bryson’s birth in 1778, so the proven birth years of the three daughters named in the will support the conclusion that Thomas is naming them in order of birth.

Marriage of Daughter of Thomas Whitlock to William Hannah

I have not been able to find the given names of Thomas Whitlock’s daughters who married William Hannah and John Hammons. In fact, I’ve found no substantial information about either daughter except the information provided by the will, that is, that Thomas Whitlock had daughters who apparently predeceased him and who married William Hannah and John Hammons. The will names the two men in this order, and if Thomas is following here the same pattern he appears to have been using in naming his daughters who were living when the will was written, William Hannah and his wife may have been older than John Hammons and his wife.

As we’ll see in a moment, some researchers think — plausibly, it seems to me — that William Hannah was born around 1767. Down the road, we’ll see that some researchers think John Hammons was born about 1770-2. If their Whitlock wives were close to them in age, then the unnamed Whitlock daughter who married William Hannah may have been born 1767-9, and was perhaps the oldest child of Thomas and Hannah Phillips Whitlock. And the daughter who married John Hammons may have been born in the early 1770s, between that first daughter and their brother Charles.   

With those prefatory remarks out of the way, I’m now going to launch a series of postings discussing the children of Thomas Whitlock and Hannah Phillips. Since, as I’ve just noted, I’ve concluded that the unnamed daughter who married William Hannah was likely their oldest child, I’m going to start this series with that Whitlock daughter. As I do so, I should tell you that for quite a few years, I was operating under the misapprehension that this daughter of Thomas Whitlock married a William Cammack and not William Hannah. It was only this past December as I re-read Thomas Whitlock’s will and estate documents while preparing postings on this blog that I realized I was entirely mistaken in thinking a Whitlock daughter married William Cammack. The correct name, I now saw, was Hannah, not Cammack, and the Whitlock researcher who convinced me some years ago to read Cammack in the will and estate documents when they clearly speak of William Hannah was simply wrong.

As a result, I’ve had to do a lot of quick work to try to figure out who the William Hannah named as Thomas Whitlock’s son-in-law in Thomas’s will was and where he lived at various points in his life. My research about him still contains many gaps, but I’m confident of the following:

William Hannah’s Father John Hanna

The William Hannah who married a daughter of Thomas Whitlock was the man of that name named as a son of John Hanna in John’s Surry County, North Carolina, will dated 15 April 1793.[2] Among other children, John Hanna leaves to sons James and William, named in that order, half (each son receives a half) of John’s “Cumberland land,” which was evidently in Sumner County, Tennessee, since both sons relocated from Surry County, North Carolina, to Sumner County, Tennessee, some years after their father John died in or before February 1794.

Surry County, North Carolina, Will Bk. 3, p. 13

John Hanna’s will appears to name his children in order of birth, with various pieces of data corroborating this assumption: Robert Hanna, Mary Hanna (Doak), John Doak Hanna, Martha Hanna (Thomas), Roddy Hanna, Margaret Hanna (Doak), James Hanna, William Hanna, and Samuel Hanna. Note that the will spells John’s surname as Hanna. The spelling Hannah is also found in various records about this family, as is the spelling Hannar or Hanner. 

Tombstone of James Hanna,Bethpage cemetery, Sumner County, Tennesseesee Find a Grave memorial page for James Hanna, created by L.M.L, maintained by Miss BeeHaven, with a tombstone photo by Danny Richards

James Hanna’s birthdate is recorded. He and wife Susannah Bryson Hanna are buried in Bethpage cemetery in Sumner County, Tennessee, with tombstones stating their dates of birth and death.[3] The tombstone, which appears to date from close to James’s death on 29 March 1833, states that he was born 15 June 1765. 

If John Hanna is listing his children in chronological order in his will, as I think he was, then William Hanna was born after James. As Austin W. Spencer proposes, this indicates a birthdate of around 1767 or not long after that year for William Hannah (I’m using the spelling of his surname found in Thomas Whitlock’s will and other documents, though the surname Hanna is also found in some of William’s documents).[4]

I’ve noted above that James Hanna married Susannah, daughter of James Bryson and wife Catherine or Margaret (Cox?). Susannah was a sister to Abner Bryson who married Thomas Whitlock’s daughter Nancy/Ann Whitlock.

I can’t say that I’ve done much research to speak of regarding the Hanna/Hannah family and its whereabouts prior to the family’s settlement in Surry County, North Carolina. If William Hannah was born about 1767, as Austin Spencer thinks likely (and this seems plausible to me), then he would perhaps have first married around 1787 or thereabouts. William seems to have married a number of times. In addition to his marriage to a daughter of Thomas Whitlock, he married Nancy Jones in Sumner County, Tennessee, not long before his death, as we’ll see below. As we’ll also see, Mary B. Kegley thinks he was married to Polly Reeder, a daughter of Stephen Reeder/Rader, in 1811, though I haven’t found any verification of such a marriage.

In my view, William Hannah married his Whitlock wife around or not long before 1800. I’m basing that deduction on the what’s known about the birthdates of his children by that wife, something I’ll discuss below. It’s possible that he had married prior to this marriage, but if so, he left no surviving children by any marriage than his marriage to Thomas Whitlock’s daughter. It’s also possible, of course, that William and his Whitlock wife had married some years before 1800 and had children prior to the ones listed in William’s estate records, who did not live to the point of their father’s death.

As previous postings have noted, I think Thomas Whitlock and Hannah Phillips married around or a bit before 1770. We know from a Bedford County, Virginia, court record, in fact, that the couple had married prior to 26 July 1769. I suspect that their first-born child, who I now believe was the daughter who married William Hannah, may have been born around 1769-1770. 

Bond of Alexander Doak for marriage to Margaret Hannah, 9 August 1786, on file at the Montgomery County, Virginia, courthouse in Christiansburg, and is available digitally at FamilySearch

A 9 August 1786 marriage bond shows Alexander Doak giving bond with his brother Samuel in Montgomery County on that date to marry Margaret Hannah, the sibling of William Hannah listed immediately before their brother James in John Hanna’s will.[5] The marriage bond states that Margaret was of Montgomery County at the time Alexander Doak made bond to marry her. Note that the family of Thomas Whitlock was living in Montgomery County, Virginia, at this point.

Austin Spencer thinks that John Hanna’s oldest child, Robert, was born around 1751.[6] If this is correct, then it would appear that John Hanna may have married Robert’s mother about 1750. According to descendant Hall Arnold, the John Hanna family “moved from Virginia with other family members, to what was then Rowan Co. in 1761 (became Surry Co. in 1771).”[7] Hall Arnold thinks that the Hannas settled on a Granville land grant in what became Surry County, though it’s not clear to me whether he’s indicating that John Hanna received a Granville grant. The marriage of Margaret Hannah to Alexander Doak in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1786 surely indicates that the family had some tie to that Virginia County, in which the Whitlocks also lived in an area that became Wythe County in 1790.

I do not find a marriage record for William Hannah and a Whitock wife in Montgomery or Wythe Counties, Virginia (or anywhere else in Virginia), or in Surry County, North Carolina. If census data about the birthplaces of William’s children by his Whitlock wife are correct, their first child, their second son John Hannah was born in Virginia in 1804 and John’s siblings born after that from 1806-1814 were born in Tennessee.

William Hannah’s father John was definitely in Surry County, North Carolina, by 13 June 1778, when, for £150, he bought 336 acres on a fork of the Tararat (now Ararat) River in that county from William Porter of Montgomery County, Virginia.[8] The deed states that John lived in Surry County at this time and that the land adjoined Andrew Bailey’s old tract. William Porter signed the deed with witnesses William Whorton and Joseph Porter (mark). Whorton proved the deed at August court 1778 and it was recorded. On the same day, Porter sold Hanna another 200 acres in Surry County for £100. The land was on Stuart’s Creek of the Tararat adjoining Andrew Bailey on Stuart’s old tract. William Porter and wife Jean signed with the same witnesses, and with Whorton proving this deed, too, at August court.[9] I use the Hannah spelling here because that’s the spelling that occurs in these deeds.

On the same day (13 June 1778) for £100, John Hannah and wife Martha sold their son John Doak Hannah 200 acres out of the 336-acre tract they had just bought on the west fork of the Tararat adjoining Bailey’s old tract and Harrison, with John and Martha signing (she by mark), and Whorton and Joseph Porter as witnesses.[10] John Hannah acknowledged the deed at August court and it was recorded. As this deed indicates, John Hanna/Hannah had a wife Martha by June 1778. A number of researchers of this family think that Martha’s surname was Doak, though proof of this has not been found; nor has proof that Martha was the mother of John Hanna’s older children been found.

On 29 December 1782, John Hanna entered 280 acres on the north fork of Hunting Creek in Surry County.[11] Henry Speer surveyed the tract on 27 March 1783 with chain carriers Moses Mitchell and James Kealy. The survey notes that the land bordered Henry Speer and Samuel Mosby.

On the day that he made his will, 15 April 1793, John Hanna sold all of his remaining land on the Tararat River to his son John Doak Hanna.[12] The will John made on the same day made his son John Doak Hanna along with John Hanna’s unnamed wife executor and executrix; it was witnessed by Thomas Burris, Robert Hamock, and Nathaniel Doak. Nathaniel was a brother of Alexander Doak who married John Hanna’s daughter Margaret, and of David Doak who married Margaret’s sister Mary. These Doak men were son of an older David Doak who died testate by October 1787 in Montgomery County, Virginia.[13]

John Hanna’s son James is thought to have married Susannah Bryson around 1796 in Surry County, North Carolina. The Bryson family is found in Montgomery County, Virginia, records prior to showing up in Surry County, North Carolina, records after the family moved to the latter county in the 1779-1782 period.[14] The first child of James Hanna and Susannah Bryson, James Bryson Hanna, was born in Surry County on 13 February 1797.[15] On 18 January 1797, James Hanna had a grant of 100 acres in Surry County on Moore Fork on the west side of Stewart’s Creek.[16]

Note the pattern here: prior to showing up in Surry County, North Carolina, records, the Bryson family was in Montgomery County, Virginia, at the same time the Whitlock family lived there. Though the Hannas were in Surry County by 1778, when John Hanna’s daughter Margaret married Alexander Doak in 1786, Alexander’s bond for the marriage says that Margaret was living in Montgomery County, Virginia, so the Hannas/Hannahs had a tie to that county. James Bryson, whose daughter Susannah married James Hannah and whose son Abner married Nancy/Ann Whitlock, had a sister Margaret who married a Whitlock (his surname is thought to have been Thomas) who appears to have been a cousin of Thomas Whitlock with wife Hannah Phillips. There are multiple ties of the interconnected Hanna/Hannah, Bryson, and Whitlock families to each other in Montgomery (later Wythe) County, Virginia, and Surry County, North Carolina, where Thomas Whitlock’s brothers Charles and Nathaniel settled, and where Thomas Whitlock’s daughter Mildred married William Hurst in 1805.

Surry County, North Carolina, Records for William Hannah

William Hannah, son of John, is in Surry County records along with his brother James and other family members in the 1790s. If he married Thomas Whitlock’s daughter in Montgomery County in the latter half of the 1780s, as I think was the case, then he moved his family after the marriage to Surry County, North Carolina, to join his relatives there. On 10 October 1798, William’s brother John Doak Hanna, both of Surry County, sold him for £ 200 162 acres on the west fork of the Tararat River in Surry County.[17] John Doak Hanna signed, and Charles Taliaferro and James Hanna (William and John D.’s brother) witnessed. Charles Taliaferro proved the deed at court in February 1801 and it was recorded. 

Surry County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. I, p. 106

The preceding deed in Surry County’s Deed Bok I is one that John Doak Hanna made on 13 October 1798 to his brother James, both of Surry County, for 353 acres on the west fork of the Tararat adjoining William Hanna and Burris (likely the Thomas Burris who witnessed John Hanna’s will).[18] John sold James this land for £ 20. Witnesses were Charles Taliaferro, M. Jouett, and W. Hanna. Charles Taliaferro proved the deed at February 1801 court and it was recorded. Note that in 1798, James and William, to whom their father bequeathed half each of his ”Cumberland land” in Tennessee, appear to have been living next to each other in Surry County — or, at least, to have owned adjoining pieces of land there.

Note that, as stated above, census data suggest that William Hannah’s second child by his Whitlock wife, John Hannah, was born in Virginia in 1804. William’s first child by his Whitlock wife, Thomas W. Hannah, was evidently born around 1801-2. These pieces of information suggest to me that William Hannah and Thomas Whitlock’s daughter married around 1800 or shortly before that date.

Move to Sumner County, Tennessee

William Hannah had moved to Sumner County, Tennessee, by 19 April 1806, when Richard Parker sold William Hanner, the spelling used in the deed, both of Sumner County, 133 acres for $465.50.[19] The land abutted a 640-acre tract granted to John Grant on which Parker was living in 1806. The deed was witnessed by William Seawell and Peter Fisher, and Parker acknowledged the deed at April court 1806, when it was recorded.

Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 4, p. 147

James Hanna also owned land in Sumner County, perhaps the land bequeathed to him by his father’s will, by 1806: a 4 September 1806 Sumner County sheriff’s deed from Reuben Cage, late sheriff, to John Harriman deeds Harriman 400 acres on the north bank of the Cumberland River adjoining James Hannah and Richard Waller.[20] According to T.M. Woodson, James Hanna did not move his family from Surry County, North Carolina, to Sumner County, Tennessee, until 1816, however: Woodson states,[21]

On the 17th of April, 1816, they [James and Susannah Bryson Hanna], with a family of four daughters and three sons, having journeyed from Surry county, N. C., arrived at what is now known as the old ‘Hanna Homestead,’ and cast their lot in a land of strangers.

On 26 October 1809 in Sumner County, William Hannar witnessed a deed of Ethelred Bunn to William Durham of a tract on Drake’s Creek of the Barren River.[22] The other witness was William Seawell, who, as we’ve seen, witnessed Richard Parker’s April 1806 deed to William Hannah.

According to Mary B. Kelgey, when the land and enslaved persons of Stephen Reeder/Rader of Wythe County, Virginia, were divided among his heirs in 1811, the heirs included William Hannah and Stephen Reeder’s daughter Polly, and the couple were living in Sumner County, Tennessee.[23] Kegley states that Stephen Reeder died in Wythe County about 1809, and when the estate’s land was divided in 1811, William Hannah and wife Polly Reeder received a tract of 135 acres on Reed Creek in Wythe County, which they sold to William King. Kegley does not cite specific sources for these pieces of information.

Kegley’s research is meticulous, and I wouldn’t want to doubt what she states about William Hannah’s marriage to Polly Reeder. But I’m puzzled that the well-documented history of the Reeder family at the John Reeder Family Association website offers what appears to be a complete transcription of the 19 January 1811 division of Stephen Reeder’s land and enslaved persons, and it mentions no daughter Polly or her husband William Hannah. Since I have not seen the original document cited by Kegley and the Reeder Association website, I cannot say with certainty whether William Hannah did, in fact, marry a daughter of Stephen Reeder named Polly. If he did so, I’d be inclined to think this marriage occurred after his Whitlock wife had died.

On 17 January 1811, William Hannah entered 30 acres on Brushy Fork of Bledsoe’s Creek in Sumner County as assignee of Peter Fisher, who had an Evans warrant for 400 acres on 14 April 1792.[24] The land was surveyed 11 January 1815. The grant was made 27 March 1816.[25]

On 14 October 1814, William Hanna had a survey for a state grant of another 20 acres on the Brushy Fork of Bledsoe’s Creek in Sumner County, Tennessee.[26] Again, William was the assignee of Peter Fisher, who had a warrant on 14 April 1792 for service in a North Carolina Revolutionary militia unit, which he entered 17 January 1811 (#5768). William Allen and Thomas W. Hannah were chain carriers. The survey was filed 11 January 1815.[27] Thomas W. Hannah was William Hannah’s oldest child by his Whitlock wife; I’m quite certain his full name was Thomas Whitlock Hannah. As we’ve seen, Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks named a son Thomas Whitlock Brooks, and down the road we’ll see that Abner and Nancy/Ann Whitlock Bryson named their first child Thomas Whitlock Bryson.

On 26 August 1814, the estate of John D. Hanna was inventoried in Sumner County, Tennessee, by Martha Hanna, W. Hall, and William Hanna, executors.[28] This is William and James’s brother John Doak Hanna, who had accompanied his brothers to Sumner County.

Tennessee Early Land Registers, Series 3, Bk. 20, pp. 30-1

On 14 May 1817, William Hannah entered 10 acres by virtue of certificate #2641 on waters of Bledsoe Creek in Sumner County adjoining James Hannah, John Grant, and William Allen.[29] The survey of this land was dated 27 December 1817, entry #18744. The grant was made on 5 May 1820. The plat for the survey says that James Hannah and William Allen were chain carriers when Thomas Murry surveyed the tract.[30]

On 1 July 1817, William Hanna witnessed the sale by John A. Mebane, along with his brothers living in Orange County, North Carolina, of 528 acres in Sumner County to William’s brother James Hanna, who paid $2,500 for the land. In addition to William Hanna, witnesses were William Allen and John Kerr. William Hanna and William Allen proved the deed at February court 1818 and it was recorded 7 May 1818.[31]

Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 8, p. 235

On ? (the day is unclear to me) October 1817, Andrew Rule of Floyd County, Kentucky, sold William Hanner of Sumner County, Tennessee, for $630 135 acres in Sumner County on Bledsoe’s Creek out of a tract of 640 acres granted by the state of North Carolina to John Grant, including where William Hanner then lived, being the said land which was conveyed by R. Parker to said William by deed bearing date 19 April 1806. Andrew Rule signed with witnesses Clement McDaniel, Nicholas Green, and J. Whiteside. McDaniel and Green proved the deed at May 1818 court and it was recorded 19 July 1818.[32]

Note that on 26 January 1822, Andrew Rule sold William’s brother James Hanna of Sumner County for $225 25 acres on the middle fork of Bledsoe’s Creek. The land adjoined William Whiteside. Rule signed, with witnesses William Whiteside and James B. Hanna and both witnesses proved the deed at May court 1822 when it was recorded.[33] James B. Hanna was James Hanna’s oldest son James Bryson Hanna.

Several days earlier on 19 January, Elijah Dorris had sold James Hannah for $200 50 acres in Sumner County at the head of Sulphur Lick Fork on Drake’s Creek of the Barren River.[34] Davis signed, and James’s brother William Hanna witnessed along with James B. Hanna. Both witnesses proved the deed at May court 1822.

On 14 February 1818, James Hanna sold to his brother William Hanna, both of Sumner County, Tennessee, for $200 30 acres on Bledsoe’s Creek bordering William Allen in Sumner. James Hanna signed with no witnesses and acknowledged the deed at February court, and it was recorded 1 May 1818.[35]

On 1 April 1818, as assignee of William McCulloch, William Hannah entered ten acres on Brushy Fork of Bledsoe’s Creek in Sumner County adjoining his 20-acre tract, by virtue of certificate #993 for 640 acres issued to McCulloch by the commissioners of West Tennessee.[36] The land grant was made 5 May 1820; note that this document gives the name of the original warrantee as Benjamin McCulloch, not William McCulloch.[37] Thomas Murry surveyed the land 29 May 1818 with chain carriers James and Thomas (probably Thomas W.) Hannah.[38]

William Hanna appears on the 1820 federal census at Gallatin in Sumner County, Tennessee.[39] The census shows his household with 1 male -10, 1 male 10-15, 2 males 16-18, 1 male 45+, 2 females – 10, and 1 enslaved male 26-44. Note the absence of a female in an age category to be William’s wife, and note that this census places his birthdate prior to 1775.

As we’ve seen previously, William Hannah is named as a son-in-law of Thomas Whitlock in Thomas’s 22 January 1824 will in Cumberland County, Kentucky, which makes a bequest to William Hannah, naming him as a son-in-law, of an enslaved man Ben.[40] The 16 June 1830 account of the sale of Thomas Whitlock’s estate in Cumberland County shows Thomas Cain renting the enslaved man Ben, and the 9 March 1832 final settlement document for Thomas Whitlock’s estate shows Ben valued at $439 and indicates that this is William Hannah’s portion of Thomas Whitlock’s estate, but does not note that William had died by 12 August 1829, as we’ll discuss below.[41] William’s share of Thomas Whitlock’s estate would have been divided among his children.

Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1820-9, available digitally at FamilySearch

On 2 October 1826 in Sumner County, William Hannah gave bond with his brother James to marry Nancy Jones, and received license for the marriage on the same day.[42] William and James both signed their surname as Hannar. This confirms what we can deduce from the 1820 federal census — namely, that William Hannah’s wife had died by 1820. If Mary B. Kegley’s information is correct, that wife was Polly Reeder/Rader, and she would have been William’s second wife following his marriage to Thomas Whitlock’s daughter. If William did not marry Polly Reeder/Rader, then William’s Whitlock wife had died by 1820.

William Hannah’s Death

William Hannah died in Sumner County by 12 August 1829, when, according to county court minutes, his widow Nancy entered into articles of agreement with his children Thomas, John, Ansalem (i.e., Anselm), Agnes, and Almira (i.e., Elmira). These were filed at Sumner County court on 1 February 1830 with witnesses James E. Hanna, William Allen, and James Hanna.[43] I suspect that James E. Hanna is James Hanna’s oldest son James Bryson Hanna, and that the court minutes have gotten his middle initial wrong.

Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 8
Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 2
Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 5

At the same court session (i.e., 1 February 1830), James Hannah, as administrator of his brother William’s estate, filed an estate inventory.[44] The court minutes spell William’s surname as Hannah and James’s as Hanner. Also at this court session, James filed his inventory of the estate’s notes, his surname now appearing in court minutes as Hannah and William’s as Hanna.[45]

Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 425

Sumner court minutes for 14 November 1831 show James S. Carr reporting to the court that he had purchased the interest of William Hannah’s sons Thomas and Anselm in land they were inheriting from the estate on Bledsoe’s Creek bounded on north by James Hannah and William Allen.[46] The court ordered Nathaniel Parker Sr., William Whiteside, Jacob Gillespie, William Allen, William Durham, John Parker, Reuben Brown, and John Lauderdale or any five of them to act as commissioners to divide the land of the estate and apportion two-fifths of it for Carr.

At court the following day, 15 November, the court then ordered John Parker, John Lauderdale, and William Barr or any two of them to be commissioners to settle with James Hannah as William Hannah’s administrator and report to the next court.[47]

By 21 November 1831, William Hannah’s son Thomas W. Hannah had died, since court minutes for that date state that John Hannah had been appointed administrator of the estate of Thomas W. Hannah deceased, and he had given bond in the sum of $500 with Moses H. Henry and Josiah Lauderdale for his administration.[48]

According to Austin Spencer, William Hannah’s wife Nancy Jones died by February 1837 when Thomas Gilmore and Robert Dorris were appointed commissioners to settle her estate.[49] Spencer lists William Hannah’s children by an unnamed wife prior to Nancy Jones as they are listed above in the 12 August 1829 articles of agreement their step-mother Nancy made with them following their father’s death.

Children of William Hannah and ? Whitlock

If William Hannah was married only once prior to his marriage to Nancy Jones in October 1826, then the following children all belong to his Whitlock wife. As I note previously, I have found no proof of a marriage to Polly Reeder, and I think the following children all belonged to William Hannah’s Whitlock wife. The children of William B. Hannah were as follows:

Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1820-9, available digitally at FamilySearch

a. Thomas W. Hannah (whose name, in my view, was almost certainly Thomas Whitlock Hannah) gave bond for his marriage Sally, daughter of John Turner, in Sumner County, Tennessee, on 8 March 1823.[50] Thomas gave bond for the marriage with his first cousin James Bryson Hanna, son of James Hanna, both signing their surname for the marriage bond as Hanna. As we saw above, Thomas W. Hannah had died in Sumner County by 21 November 1831. I have found no document indicating when and where he was born. If his marriage to Sarah Turner was his first marriage, it’s likely he would have been born about 1800-1803. The 1830 federal census, which enumerates his family in Sumner County, Tennessee, places him in the 20-29 age bracket.[51]

An inventory of the estate of Thomas W. Hannah was made in Sumner County on 10 December 1831, with no indication of who compiled and filed it.[52] It states that his account for the year 1831 included $92.52 owed to him from the estate of Thomas Whitlock, deceased; this document thus proves that his father is the William Hannah who married a daughter of Thomas Whitlock. The estate sale was held on the same date, 10 December, and was returned to court in February 1832; the widow Sarah Hannah was the primary buyer.[53] These estate records spell the surname as Hanna. A Sumner County settlement account dated August 1841 states that James H. Turner had been guardian of William Hannah’s children following William’s death, and names them as William W., Julia Ann, John A., and Mary T. Hannah.[54]

Tombstone of John Hanna, John and Jane Hanna cemetery, McKenzie, Carroll County, Tennessee — see his Find a Grave memorial page, created by ~B~, maintained by HGWells, with a tombstone photo by Gary Barnes
Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1830-9, available digitally at FamilySearch

b. John Hannah was born 20 May 1804 in Virginia, and died 21 February 1898 in Carroll County, Tennessee.[55] John gave bond on 18 December 1830 with Richard H. Hannah for his marriage to Jane Laffata in Sumner County.[56] He and Richard both used the Hanna spelling of their surname on the marriage bond.

Tombstone of Anselm L. Hannah, Stapp cemetery, Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri — see his Find a Grave memorial page, created by Jan&Mike, with a tombstone photo by Bill Wealot

c. Anselm L. Hannah was born in 14 September 1806 in Sumner County, Tennessee, and died 9 October 1870 in Jackson County, Missouri.[57] Anselm made a will the day before he died, on 13 September 1870, in Jackson County. It was probated 30 September 1870.[58] His wife Mary, who is buried with him, is identified on her Find a Grave memorial page as Mary W. Farley.

d. Agnes Hannah was born 21 October 1811 in Sumner County, Tennessee, and died 3 March 1856 in Holt County, Missouri.[59] She married Richard Graham Byrns in Sumner County, Tennessee, who gave bond for the marriage on 15 August 1831 with Allen Byrns.[60]

Rev. Jacob E. Gillespie — see Find a Grave memorial page of Rev. Jacob E. Gillespie, Gillespie cemetery, Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, created by Kathy Heath, maintained by Gillespie Cemetery Association, photo of Jacob Gillespie uploaded by Jan&Mike
Tombstone of Elmira Hannah Gillespie, Stapp cemetery, Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri — see her Find a Grave memorial page, created by Jan&Mike, with a tombstone photo by Bill Wealot

e. Elmira Hannah was born 15 February 1814 in Sumner County, Tennessee, and died 8 November 1846 in Lafayette County, Missouri.[61] On 1 August 1831 in Sumner County, Jacob Gillespie gave bond with Elijah Allen to marry Elmira in Sumner County, Tennessee, and shortly after the marriage, the couple moved to Lafayette County, Missouri.[62]

Several noteworthy points regarding the preceding pieces of information about William Hannah’s children: first, as noted above, an inventory of the estate of his son Thomas W. Hannah states that Thomas was owed $92.52 by the estate of Thomas Whitlock. This proves that Thomas W. Hannah’s mother was a daughter of Thomas Whitlock (and that William Hannah had married a daughter of Thomas Whitlock).

The $92.52 was likely Thomas W. Hannah’s share of his grandfather’s estate, his parents having died. If this was his fifth share of Thomas Whitlock’s estate, then the amount bequeathed to all five of William Hannah’s children was (probably with interested added) $462.60. As noted previously, the 9 March 1832 final settlement document for Thomas Whitlock’s estate shows Ben, the enslaved man Thomas’s will bequeaths to his son-in-law, valued at $439. This is not very far from the $462.60 figure. That fact suggests to me that all five of William Hannah’s children received a bequest from Thomas Whitlock’s estate of something in the range of the $92.52 we know Thomas W. Hannah had received by the time of his death — and that adds further proof to the deduction that the five children William Hannah’s estate records name as his heirs were all children by his Whitlock wife.

We can further deduce from the information we have about the children of William Hannah and his Whitlock wife that she died, almost certainly in Sumner County, Tennessee, on or after 15 February 1814. 


[1] As Marty Grant explains, “James Bryson (1745) and Catherine — of Surry Co, NC; Montgomery Co, VA and Sumner Co, TN,” at his Marty and Karla Grant website, a “1959 sworn statement” shared with Marty Grant by Lawrence Wood states that James Bryson’s wife was named Margaret, but public records give her name as Catherine. Marty Grant thinks it’s possible James was married twice, or that there’s confusion about his wife’s name as Margaret since it’s known he was the son of John and Margaret Bryson. 

[2] Surry County, North Carolina, Will Bk. 3, p. 13. The original will is on file with the North Carolina state archives, and is available digitally at FamilySearch.

[3] See Find a Grave memorial page for James Hanna, Bethpage cemetery, Sumner County, Tennessee, created by L.M.L, maintained by Miss BeeHaven, with a tombstone photo by Danny Richards. 

[4] See Austin W. Spencer at his “Rooted Ancestry” website.

[5] The original bond is on file at the Montgomery County, Virginia, courthouse in Christiansburg, and is available digitally at FamilySearch.

[6] See supra, n. 4. 

[7] See Hall Arnold, Surry County Genealogical Association, queries 2005, at the website of Surry County Genealogical Association.

[8] Surry County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. A, pp. 254-5.

[9] Ibid., pp. 255-6.

[10] Ibid., pp. 256-7.

[11] North Carolina Land Grant file, #1351, Surry County, entry #883, grant #1566, Bk. 70, p. 399.

[12] Surry County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. F, pp. 96-8.

[13] Montgomery County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, pp. 123-4.

[14] See James L. Pauley, Jr., Bryson to Rice and Pauley (Jefferson, Iowa, 1992), pp. 16-18.

[15] See T.M. Woodson, Second Reunion of the Descendants of James and Susan Bryson Hanna, Held at Bethpage, Sumner County, Tennessee, April 17, 1891, with a Genealogical Record (Nashville: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1892), transcribed by Howard Stone Baulch at the Sumner County, Tennessee, GenWeb project. Woodson was citing “an old family record” when he presided at the April 1891 reunion of Hanna family members at Bethpage, Tennessee.

[16] Surry County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. I, p. 51.

[17] Ibid., p. 106.

[18] ibid., p. 105.

[19] Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 4, p. 147.

[20] ibid., p. 166.

[21] See supra, n. 13.

[22] Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 5, pp. 130-1.

[23] Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, vol. 3 (Wytheville: Kegley Books, 1995), pp. 745-6.

[24] Tennessee Early Land Registers Series 2, Bk. 30, #5767.

[25] Tennessee General Land Grants Bk. N, p. 2, #9012.

[26] Ibid., Bk. M, p. 391, #9013.

[27] Tennessee Early Land Registers, Series 3, Bk. 20, p. 30.

[28] Sumner County, Tennessee, Inventories, Settlements, and Guardian Accounts Bk. A, p. 182.

[29] Tennessee General Land Grants Bk. Q, p. 351, #14544.

[30] Tennessee Early Land Registers, Series 3, Bk. 20, pp. 30-1.

[31] Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 8, pp. 188-9.

[32] Ibid., p. 235.

[33] Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 10, p. 174.

[34] Ibid., p. 154.

[35] Sumner County, Tennessee, Deed Bk. 8, p. 185.

[36] Tennessee Early Land Registers, Series 2 Bk. 30, #19759, #19888.

[37] Tennessee General Land Grants Bk. Q, p. 352, #14565.

[38] Tennessee Early Land Registers, Series 3, Bk. 20.

[39] 1820 federal census, Sumner County, Tennessee, p. 306.

[40] Cumberland County, Kentucky, Will Bk. B, pp. 423-4.

[41] Cumberland County, Kentucky, Will Bk. B, pp. 430-3, and Bk. C, p. 21.

[42] Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1820-9, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[43] Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 8. Austin W. Spencer notes the same date (supra, n. 4), citing Sumner County Loose Records, Lawsuit #373, frame 593; and Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose Court Records, Estate #843, microfilm A-5179, frames 92-4, at 93, both on microfilm at Tennessee State Library and Archives. I have not seen these documents. Shirley Wilson has published an index to Sumner County loose-court papers entitled Sumner County, Tennessee Index to the Loose Records: 1786 to 1930 (1988, 1991) for which the Sumner County GenWeb site kindly offers to do look-ups, noting as it makes that offer that the loose court papers are held by the Sumner County Archives.

[44] Sumner County, Tennessee, Court Minute Book Feb. 1830-Nov. 1831, p. 2.

[45] Ibid., p. 5.

[46] Ibid., pp. 411-2.

[47] Ibid., p. 425.

[48] Ibid., p. 456.

[49] See supra, n. 4, citing Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose Court Records, Estate #843, microfilm A-5179, frames 92-4, at 93, TSLA, commissioners’ report dated 4 Mar. 1837.

[50] Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1820-9, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[51] 1830 federal census, Sumner County, Tennessee, p. 162.

[52] Sumner County, Tennessee, Inventories and Settlements, May 1831 – Feb. 1836, pp. 65-6.

[53] Ibid., pp. 68-9.

[54] Ibid., Feb. 1839 – Mar. 1842, p. 358.

[55] John’s dates of birth and death are recorded on his tombstone in the John and Jane Hannah cemetery at McKenzie in Carroll County, Tennessee — see his Find a Grave memorial page, created by ~B~, maintained by HGWells, with a tombstone photo by Gary Barnes. On all federal censuses from 1850 to 1880, John consistently reported Virginia as his birthplace. The tombstone appears to date from close to John’s death. Note that the tombstone spells John’s surname as Hanna.

[56] Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1830-9, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[57] Anselm L. Hannah’s tombstone in Stapp cemetery, Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri, states that he died 9 October 1870, aged 64 years and 25 days — see his Find a Grave memorial page, created by Jan&Mike, with a tombstone photo by Bill Wealot. The 1850-1870 federal censuses give his birthplace as Tennessee. The tombstone gives Anselm’s name as Anslum L. Hanna, His will and federal land certificates to him in Missouri give his name as Anselm L. Hanna.

[58] Jackson County, Missouri, Will Bk. N, pp. 48-9.

[59] Agnes’s dates of birth and death are recorded on her tombstone in Guillams cemetery at Craig in Holt County, Missouri — see her Find a Grave memorial page created by Peggy Durand, with a tombstone photo by Kerry Kellermeyer. It’s a shared tombstone with her husband Richard G. Byrns’ dates of birth and death also recorded on it.

[60] Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1830-9, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[61] The dates of birth and death are recorded on her tombstone in Stapp cemetery, Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri — see her Find a Grave memorial page, created by Jan&Mike, with a tombstone photo by Bill Wealot. 

[62] Sumner County, Tennessee, Loose-Papers Marriage Records, 1830-9, available digitally at FamilySearch. See also Find a Grave memorial page of Rev. Jacob E. Gillespie, Gillespie cemetery, Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, created by Kathy Heath, maintained by Gillespie Cemetery Association, with a tombstone photo by Kathy Heath and transcribed obituaries from Eugene Daily Guard (23 May 1898) and Cumberland Presbyterian (11 August 1898).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.