Christianna Gowen, [William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], regarded as a daughter of William Gowen and Sarah Gowen, was born about 1751, according to her tombstone. She was born in 1846 in Granville County, North Carolina, according to the DAR membership application of Mary Hamilton Haile, a descendant who lived in Savannah, Georgia in 1952. Sarah Foster Kelley, researcher of Nashville, Tennessee, regards Christianna Gowen as a namesake of Christianna Hicks of Surry County, Virginia. She was a daughter of John Hicks and Isodenias Christian Hicks. John Hicks named his wife and children in his will written March 25, 1721. Jack Harold Goins states that “Christiannah Gowen” was born in 1762 in Culpepper County, Virginia [without providing any documentation.]
Christianna Gowen was married about 1771, perhaps in Fincastle County [later Montgomery County,] Virginia to John Rains who was born in 1743. Jack Harold Goins shows his date of birth as 1753. Sarah Foster Kelley states that they were married in 1773 in Culpepper County, Virginia which adjoins Stafford County, the ancestral home of the Gowen family. Edward Hickman was shown as a resident of Culpepper County in 1762, according to Jack Harold Goins who states that William Gowen of Davidson County, Tennessee went to the Edward Hickman Fort where he died after being ambushed by Indians in 1790.
Jonathan H. Rains, son of John Rains, stated to Lyman Draper, the historian that John Rains was born in Culpepper County, Virginia [then Orange County.] Joy Quimby Stearns, Rains researcher of Mt. Olive, Alabama suggests that John Rains "came down the valley of Virginia from Pennsylvania."
John Rains was one of the "long hunters" in Kentucky and Tennessee as early as 1769, according to "Calendar of the Tennessee & Kings Mountain Papers of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts," Volume III. Cleve Weathers wrote, "Capt. John Rains apparently had already been in Southwest Virginia for at least four years before his marriage to Christiannah Gowen, since he left on the famous Long Hunters expedition on June 2, 1769, starting from Reedy Creek at New River, about eight miles from Ft. Chiswell.
In "A Past Remembered" the author wrote:
"In 1769, when a party of hunters which included a twenty-six year old Virginian named John Rains and such frontiersmen as Kasper Mansker and Uriah Stone, made their way into the region, the river was already becoming known as the Cumberland. The men, who stayed in the wilderness for nearly a year and became known as the Long Hunters, eventually returned to their homes, but after the Revolutionary War dissolved British authority and opened the wilderness for settlement, John Rains was one of several members of the group who decided to live in the western territory. Rains was traveling with his family to Kentucky when he encountered the group being led to the Cumberland by James Robertson, and he was persuaded to join them."
The long hunters were described in “Early Adventurers on the Western Waters” by Kegley & Kegley, Volume 1 Page 81-84:
"No group on the Western waters was more adventurous than those men who were hunters. Always on the front line of each new frontier, the hunters learned to travel, hunt and explore lands just beyond the settlements. They were the first to bring reports of excellent rivers, bold springs, and fertile lands.
They were among the first to bring reports and evidence of a wide variety of animals which could be found easily enough to earn the hunter $1,600-$1,700 per season, a sum not often realized in the entire lifetime of a farmer of the same period. The hunts into the wilderness usually began in October and extended into March or April of the following year.
During this period the furs and hides were of the finest quality and brought the highest prices. As it became necessary to travel greater distances the hunting expeditions became even more extended, lasting nine to eighteen months and sometimes even two years. When this happened the men who went on these expeditions became known as the Long Hunters.
The hunters usually dressed in hunting shirts, leggings and moccasins. Their equipment included two pack horses each, a large supply of powder and lead for their rifles, a small vise and bellows, a screwplate and files for repairing their rifles, traps, blankets, dogs, and supplies. Although they met and moved into hunting areas in groups of fifteen to thirty men, once the hunting ground was reached they divided into twos and threes and set out from station camp.
Although hunting had been going on since before 1750 on the Western Waters, it appears that perhaps Daniel Boone revived the interest in 1760 when he traveled into Southwest Virginia to hunt. The following compilation includes the names of those who hunted or were associated with the Long Hunters on their trips in the fifteen-year period 1760-1775. The names came from several sources noted at the end of the list, but many more were certainly on these trips and their names have not yet been found.
The list of hunters is as follows:
James Aldridge, William Allen, John Baker, Joseph Baker, William Baker and slave, Thomas Berry, William Blanton, Abram Bledsoe, Anthony Bledsoe, Isaac Bledsoe, John (Jack) Blevins, William Blevins, Daniel Boone, Squire Boone, Castleton Brooks, Cassius Brooks (same ?), Joseph Brown, William Butler (my gggggrandfather), William Carr [Negro, Melungeon?], David Carson, Jeremiah Clinch, William Collier, William Cool or Colley, Charles Cox, Edward Cowan, William Crabtree, Robert Crockett, Benjamin Cutbird, Joseph Drake, Ephraim Drake, James Dysart, John Finley, Thomas Gordon, James Graham, William Harilson, James Harrod, Jacob Harman, Valentine Harman, Isaac Hite, Humphrey Hogan, Joseph Holden, John Hughes, Joshua Horton and slave, Henry Knox, James Knox, Isaac Lindsey, David Lynch, William Lynch, Humberson Lyons, Captain William Linville, John Linville, Casper Mansker, James Maxwell, William Miller, John Montgomery, James Mooney, Robert Moffett, Lawrence Murray, William McGeehee, Alexander Neely, William Newman, Walter Newman, William Pittman, John Rains, "Old Man" Russell, Nathan Richardson, Charles Skaggs, Henry Skaggs, Richard Skaggs, Charles Sinclair, James Smith, Henry Smith, Christopher Stoph(er), John Stutler, Uriah Stone, Michael Stoner, John Stuart (Stewart), Obediah Terrell, Elisha Wallen, Samuel
Walker, James Ward, John Williams, Edward Worthington."
Williams "Dawn of Tennessee" , Chalkley "Chronicles", Waddell "Annals of Augusta County", Ramsey "Annals of Tennessee", Haywood "Civil and
Political History of the State of Tennessee" , Draper Manuscripts,
Arnow "Seedtime on the Cumberland", Bakeless "Daniel Boone", "Filson
Club Quarterly" (second series) volume 5 number 4, Collins "History of
Kentucky", John Redd's Narrative "Virginia Magazine of
Several descendants have been admitted to Daughters of the American Revolution upon his supposed military service as a Revolutionary soldier.
Mary Hamilton Haile stated that Capt. John Rains came to the Watauga area of Eastern Tennessee in 1775 with his wife and children. He built Rains Station there and continued there for four years. On May 27, 1777 "John Reins" acknowledged receipt of "2 pounds, 16 shillings, my pay as a drover" received from Thomas Madison and witnessed by Stephen Trigg in connection with the Cherokee Expedition under Col. William Christian. On the same date "Meredith Reins" received the sum of "8 pounds, 14 shillings, balance of my wages as a drover" from Madison, also witnessed by Stephen Trigg.
Joy Quimby Stearns mentions that the Rains family was associated with the Hance family. She states that John Rains was in Fincastle County and Montgomery County, Virginia about the same time as Adam Hance. Mary B. Kegley substantiates this claim in her "Soldiers of Fincastle County, Virginia, 1774." Kentucky County, Virgina [later the state of Kentucky] was organized in December 1776 with land from Fincastle County, Virginia. Fincastle County was organized in 1772 from Botetout County and was discontinued in 1777 when it was replaced by Montgomery County, Virginia.
"Auditor's Accounts for Dunmore's War," page 30 shows that "Jno. Rains served 108 days @ 2/6" and received a "payment of £13:10 in Capt. Walter Crockat's company." Adam Hance, William Buchanan and James Buchanan also served in this company.
A.W. Putnam writing in "History of Middle Tennessee" states that John Rains was present at the signing of the Treaty of Long Island of Holston near Ft. Patrick Henry July 20, 1777. He mentions other patriots who were present at that event, "Col. William Christian, Col. William Preston, Col. Evan Shelby, John Sevier, Valentine Sevier, Daniel Boone, Isaac Bledsoe, Anthony Bledsoe, Isaac Shelby, Richard Henderson, Thomas Hart, James Robertson, James Eaton, and Robert Cartwright."
Betty Buchanan Ragsdale, a seventh-generation granddaughter of Capt. John Rains, stated in her DAR application of 1978 that he lived for a time in the Watauga Settlement. Dorothy Ann Moseley of Blacksburg, Virginia stated in her D.A.R. application that Capt. John Rains was a son of Barbara Goulden Rains, according to the research of Cleve Weathers.
"John Reins," along with "Meredith Reins and Richard Reins" appeared on the 1788 tax roll of Montgomery County, Virginia, according to the research of Joy Jean Quimby Stearns, a descendant of Mt. Olive, Alabama.
John Rains had made a trip to Kentucky during which he met Capt. James Robertson, founder of Nashville who persuaded him to go to Tennessee with him. John Rains who had hunted on the Cumberland River for many years, led a group of settlers to Ft. Nashborough in 1779.
It is suggested that his father-in-law William Gowen, brothers-in-law John Gowen and James H. Gowen and nephew David Gowen were influenced to accompany him on the trek to Tennessee. About 16 miles north of Cumberland Gap, there are communities named "Goins" and "Rain" located about one mile apart, according to the research of Cleve Weathers, Nashville attorney, a descendant of the Gowen and Rains families. Cumberland Gap, about one mile from the point where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet, was on the route used by settlers headed for Davidson County, Tennessee.
A. W. Putnam, writing in "History of Middle Tennessee" states:
"There were some women and children with the Rains, Eaton and Mansker companies of emigrants. Kasper Mansker, Abraham Bledsoe, John Rains and a few others were adventurous hunters and explorers upon the Cumberland, on the east side, in the year 1769-70. Michael Stoner was hunting upon the east side of the Cumberland River and between that river and the one ever since known as Stone's River. Stoner was here as early as any white man except [Jacques Timothy] Demonbreun, a Frenchman who had a cabin and depot for deer, wolf and buffalo hides and tallow on the north side of Sulphur Spring Branch.
The winter of 1779-80 has ever been mentioned as 'the cold winter,' one of extraordinary severity. The cold commenced early, and the emigrants by land encountered much difficulty in their route, yet they arrived at the place appointed for rendezvous in safety, no deaths having occurred among them and without any attack by the Indians. On their way the Robertson party was overtaken by the one under the direction of John Rains. The overland route the settlers followed from Virginia to Nashville followed a circuitous path through what is now Kentucky, according to "History of Middle Tennessee:"
"The Rains party which probably included the Gowens passed through Cumberland Gap and turned northwest up the Kentucky Trace, to Whitley's Station on Dick's River, thence to Carpenter's Station on Green River, thence to Robertson's Fork on the north side of that stream, down the river to Pittman's Station, crossing and descending that river to Little Barren River, crossing Barren at the Elk Lick, passing by Blue Spring and Dripping Spring to Big Barren River, then up Drake's Creek to Bituminous Spring, thence to the Maple Swamp, thence to the Red River at Kilgore's Station, thence to Mansker's Lick and thence to the French Lick or Bluffs."
"They reached the [Cumberland] River in December 1779 and . . . crossed the river to where Nashville is now situated. The ice in the river was sufficiently solid to allow Capt. Rains' cattle to pass over upon it. It is believed that the first day they passed at the lick was Christmas day 1779. When they were all assembled, there were more than 200 people, and many of them young men without families.
The Wilderness Road became so popular with the pioneers treking to Ft. Nashborough that the Kentucky residents began promoting the route. “The Kentucky Gazette” of Lexington in its edition of Saturday, October 15, 1796 carried the following announcement:
"The Wilderness Road From Cumberland Gap to the settlements in Kentucky, is now completed. Waggons loaded with a ton weight, may pass with ease, with four good horses.--Travellers will find no difficulty in procuring such necessities as they may find in need of on the road; and the abundant crop now growing in Kentucky, will afford the emigrants a certainty of being supplied with every necessity of life on the most reasonable terms. The Printers in the different States are requested to republish this notice.
Joseph Crockett, James Knox, Commissioners”
Some of the Nashville settlers, particularly those with women and children floated down the Tennessee River as far as Muscle Shoals, Alabama and then trekked overland the remaining 75 miles to Nashville.
"A number determined to settle on the east side of the river and selected a station about one and a half miles below the Bluffs, which was called Eaton's Station. Amos Eaton was a member of that party. About the same time there arrived a party from South Carolina in which were John Buchanan, Alexander Buchanan, James Mulherrin, John Mulherrin, Sampson Williams and Thomas Thompson. [John Buchanan was married in Washington/Augusta County, Virginia to Margaret Edmondson, according to the research of Betty B. Ragsdale of Nashville.]
Rains immediately selected his body of land and built pens for his 19 cows, 2 steers and 17 horses near the spring on Brown's Creek [now located between the railroad and turnpike to Franklin] about two and one-half miles south of Nashville. Mr. Rains is entitled to the credit of being the first man to introduce neat cattle and horses upon the west side of the Cumberland River and into Middle Tennessee.
He had occupied his home on Brown's Creek for three months and three days when he learned that the Indians had killed John Milliken on Richland Creek and Joseph Hay near Sulphur Spring. The propriety and necessity of removal to the protection of Ft. Nashborough soon became evident. He lived there for four years before it was safe to return to his home. During that period of time he took his family and slaves to safety in Kentucky. When he attempted to return to Ft. Nashborough he encountered a large party of Indians, and his companion, Zachariah Stull was killed on the spot. Rains fled, was pursued, but escaped; two bullet holes through his clothes and a slight wound to his horse. He wandered through the woods, was out in a great sleet storm and with much difficulty reached Carpenter's Station. While tarrying there Col. Robertson arrived from a Kentucky visit. In a few days four other men joined them, and they came safely to the Bluff."
The Indian threat intensified, and many settlers elected to retreat to the safety of Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee. Some were killed and scalped as they attempted to escape. Col. James Robertson went from station to station to rally the spirits of the settlers. The spies and hunters reported signs of Indians almost daily. The horses had been stolen, and the cattle and hogs at every station driven off or killed. They had no teams wherewith to break up ground for planting.
A conference was called to determine whether to go or stay. Col. Robertson spoke eloquently to the stationers, 'There is danger attendant on the attempt to stay, as there is in the effort to go, and in the attempt to do either, we may be destroyed. We have to fight it out here or fight our way out of here.' Rains caught up the sententious remark and declared, "Fight it out here!" which soon became a rallying cry for the settlers.
Prof. W. Woodward Clayton wrote an article about Felix Robertson Rains in "History of Davidson County, Tennessee" in which he mentioned his grandfather, Capt. John Rains:
"In June 1769, a party from North Carolina and Virginia was formed for the purpose of hunting over the western part of this state. In this company was John Rains. Westward they travelled, reaching the Cumberland River which was afterwards the crossing-point leading to Kentucky. They continued their course until they came to a place since called Price's Meadow in Wayne County. This being an open country and near a fine spring seemed a desirable place for a camp, and they concluded to return here at the end of every five weeks and deposit their game and skins. The hunt was continued eight or nine months.
In October 1779 Mr. Rains left New River, Virginia for Kentucky where he intended settling, but before going very far he met Capt. James Robertson who persuaded him to go to the Cumberland with him.
In January 1780 they came opposite the bluff where Nashville now stands. The winter of 1779-80 is alluded to as 'the cold winter.' Snow had fallen, and the Cumberland was frozen over for many weeks. Mr. Rains, with his family and all his stock, crossed the river on the ice, leaving the remainder of the party on the opposite shore. His children never forgot this occasion, but delighted, in after years, the ears of his children and children's children with the wonderful story of having been drawn across the river on bears' skins used as sleds."
In April 1782 the legislature of North Carolina passed an act allowing to the settlers on the Cumberland rights of pre-emption. By this act each head of a family was allowed 640 acres.
"Rains was a mighty hunter. In one winter he killed 32 bears within seven miles of the Bluff, mostly in Harpeth Knobs, south of Nashville."
On January 9, 1783 John Rains received North Carolina Land Grant No. 5 in the Nashville area "for 640 acres on Brown's Creek of the Cumberland" for services rendered as a North Carolina soldier of the Continental Line, according to descendants who were admitted to the DAR on this claim of service. The Mount Olivet Cemetery office received a letter in March 1885 from Susan M. Gilbert, Route 3, Box 196, Warrenton, Virginia, 22186 in which she stated, "Capt. John Rains was a Revolutionary War Soldier and received a pension from Prince George [County, Virginia?] Company."
On March 4, 1783 Solomon White sued "John Reins & Mark Noble" for breach of contract concerning "the delivery of ye plaintiff a quantity of Indian corn, the plaintiff witness Jno. McAdams, being called, sworn and heard, the committee found for ye plaintiff. Damages £10 & costs, according to Cumberland County, Tennessee court minutes.
John Rains was fined "for swearing in the presence of the Court" in July 1784, according to "Davidson County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1783-1792" by Carol Wells. In the same court session he was named a juror and was called again for the jury panel in January 1785. In the years following he was frequently in the courthouse in various capacities.
John Rains was summoned by the court to answer to a charge of assault and battery by John Boyd, tavern keeper and distiller of Nashville in the April 1795 term. The charge specified that on January 3, 1785 Rains was indebted to Boyd "for merchandise." Additionally Rains "broke and entered Boyd's house and assaulted him. He picked up a chair and knocked the plaintiff down. He also bit the plaintiff's thumb." The case was continued until the July term when the jury awarded the plaintiff "5 shillings."
On January 6, 1785 John Rains and Julius Sanders "on behalf of the state" brought suit against Pollite Laform, a French trader who remained after the French military had been driven out. They charged that Laform had been illegally trading with the Indians on the Tennessee River, "especially the Cherokees and Delawares." They testified that citizens had been "recently robbed of guns, saddles, blankets, etc by Indians who must have been encouraged by Laform." The jury found for the plaintiffs, but the defendant appealed the case to the Superior Court.
In July 1785 John Rains was appointed to the grand jury and also served as a venireman. On October 4, 1785 John Rains was named by the court to assist in "appraising the labor of Absalom Hooper, done for Evan Baker."
On October 5, 1785 John Rains, along with John Buchanan, was appointed to a road venire to "lay off a road from John Mulherin's to Francis William Armstrong's Mill."
John Rains sued William Fletcher January 2, 1786. The jury found for the plaintiff and assessed the defendant "four pounds, nine shillings, 11 pence and court costs." John Rains was a juror again on April 16, 1786.
On October 4, 1786 John Rains was named as garnishee in a suit again Lardner Clark, attorney and Louis Chacre, sheriff who had "attached a negro man named Daniel."
On October 6, 1786 John Rains, John Boyd and James Foster were appointed by the County Court to be "patrollers and searchers for the part of Davidson County lying on the south side of the Cumberland River."
On January 4, 1787 John Rains and Joseph Stanley were appointed by the County Court as overseers of the road from Mansker's Station to Christian Cripps Ferry." Mansker's Station lay northeast of the Cumberland in Sumner County.
In 1787 Capt. John Rains commanded a company of spies [scouts] at Nashville. In that same year, his son, John Rains, Jr. captured an Indian about 19 years old in a battle near Nashville. The Indian youth was turned over to Capt. Samuel Shannon who "domesticated" him and allowed him to live in his home for some time. At his departure back to his nation, Shannon provided him with a horse, clothing, a gun and ammunition. The young Indian took the name of John Rains by which he was ever afterward known.
The Indian attacks intensified in 1787, and the marauders became intensely vicious, given to mutilating the dead. The additional atrocities hardened the settlers resolve to stay.
In that year Col. Robertson, having learned the location of the base of the Creek, Chickamauga and Cherokee raiders, organized the Coldwater Expedition to destroy their town. With a force of 120 men going overland and up the Tennessee River, they surprised the Indians, routed them completely and burned their town. They returned after a 19-day campaign with no casualties among the settlers. Capt. John Rains, along with John Hance, participated in this campaign, receiving payment of "2/6, 2.15.0" for 22 days service. He also served in the subsequent Nickajack campaign.
Cleve Weathers of Nashville, Tennessee wrote in "Early Rainses in Southwest Virginia" that Adam Hance, Jr. was born in 1750 in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Mary B. Kegley and F. B. Kegley, writing in "Early Adventures on the Western Waters, The New River of Virginia in Pioneer Days, 1745-1800," published the names of individuals in Montgomery County who took the Oath of Allegiance kept by James McCorkle. The introduction read, "We whose names are hereunto subscribed do swear or affirm that we renounce and refuse all allegiance to George third, King of Great Britain . . . and bear allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia." A list of persons sworn to the State in Capt. McCorkle's company of Montgomery County by Stephen Trigg in 1777 includes, "Sept. 6, Meredeth Reins, Adam Hance, John Reins, John Hance."
"Meredith Reins" received a grant of 62 acres on "peeck creek of New River, adjacent to Adam Hanches" [Hance?] November 8, 1786, according to Montgomery County Survey Book D, page 45.
On October 5, 1787 Capt. John Rains was named to the grand jury. On July 8, 1788 he sued Elijah Routh, and the jury awarded Rains $60 in damages. The defendant appealed the decision, and the case was retried. In the second case Rouse was victorious, and Rains was ordered to pay him £75 in damages.
On April 8, 1788 John Rains was a member of a jury which heard the case of State of North Carolina vs. Samuel Martin. Martin who was charged with stealing a bull from James Bosley was found "not guilty."
On July 8, 1788 John Rains continued his running court battle with Elijah Routh. On this occasion, the jury found for the plaintiff, and Rains was awarded $60 in damages.
On October 8, 1788 Capt. Rains was back in court charged with "beating and damaging Elijah Routh and for profane swearing." Elijah Routh was also charged with "profane swearing."
The Indian attacks intensified in October 1788. Southerland Mayfield had a station upon the west fork of Mill Creek, a mile above Brown's Station. A party of 10 or 12 Creek Indians attacked Mayfield's Station. Mayfield and one of his sons, along with a soldier were killed. George Mayfield, another son, was captured and held prisoner for ten years in the Creek Nation. The station was abandoned, and the survivors retreated to Rains Station. Brown's Station was also overrun, and its survivors also fled to Rains Station.
On January 8, 1789 the case of State of North Carolina vs. John Rains came to court. Witnesses for the prosecution included Sampson Williams, sheriff, William Loggins, Bradley Gambrel and Elijah Routh. The defendant was found guilty.
On January 10, 1789 Jonas Menifee was appointed to oversee the road "from Nashville to Buchanans Mill . . . those living in Nashville & on Browns & Millers waters as high as John Rains, those living at his station, Hardemans and Buchanans and downward work thereon."
In July 1789 John Rains was again appointed to the Davidson County grand jury. On January 5, 1790, James Mulherin was appointed "to take the white and black polls and taxable property in Capt. Rain's company."
On July 12, 1790 he was nominated as a grand juror. On the same date John Rains "took the oath prescribed by Congress, likewise to the execution of his military commission in Davidson County." On October 12, 1790 John Rains was fined "for not appearing & giving testimony in behalf of Lewis Chaws, plaintiff against Elijah Routh," his old nemesis. The court later rescinded the fine "by consent of Lardner Clark, attorney for plaintiff."
On October 16, 1790 he was appointed by the county court to a road venire "to lay off a road from Jonas Manifee to John Hogans manufactory."
In January 1791 John Rains was again a grand juror. In that session of court the minutes read, "Davidson County, Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio." On January 15, 1791 Capt. Rains was given permission by the court "to build a grist mill on Brown's Creek on land whereon he now lives, agreeable to the petition of a number of inhabitants of this county."
In 1791 Capt. Rains was shown to be indebted to the estate of Edwin Hickman, deceased, for "ferriages and store accounts," according to Davidson County Will Book 1.
Capt. John Rains was appointed as "one of the justices to take the list of taxable property in Davidson County" April 15, 1791.
On July 11, 1791 the grand jury "presented John Rains for profane swearing." He was fined "four shillings." On the same date Rains was appointed to serve on the "ensuing grand jury."
Capt. John Rains served as the head of the scouts in the Nickajack Campaign. Since he could not swim, he did not cross the Tennessee River to engage in the fighting. He was left in charge of the horses and the camp. Seventy Indians were killed in the Battle of Nickajack, according to Col. Brown, commander of the Twenty-seventh Regiment who participated in the campaign.
On January 9, 1792 Capt. Rains was appointed to a road jury to "lay off the nearest & best way for a road from Andrew Ewings to Nashville & from Ewing's office the nearest & best way to John Browns on Harpeth waters."
On January 13, 1792 John Rains and his son, William Rains were named by the county court to assist in "laying off a road from Nashville to where Daniel Williams, Sr. now lives, thence to Mayfield's Station." "All inhabitants living east of Great South Road on the waters of Brown and Mill Creek and west of the Hurricane Trale leading from Nashville towards Mill Creek will assist." On April 12, 1792 John Rains received a deed from Bennett Searcy.
On April 14, 1793 John Rains was commissioned captain of a "company of mounted infantrymen called into service for the protection of the frontier of Mero District," according to Robert Hays, muster master. Capt. Rains wrote the names of the men included in his command. Among the 75 men enrolled for three months service were Sgt. William Pillow and privates William Gowen, John Gowen, John Shute, William Rains.
The "Knoxville Gazette" published a report of the activities of this company in its edition of Saturday, June 15, 1793:
"Nashville, May 12, a detachment of cavalry consisting of one hundred men commanded by Captains Rains and [Thomas] Johnson, set out from this place on a tour of duty to the northward.
On the 16th of May, Maj. Brown, in his cornfield, 4 miles from Nashville and Mr. M'Mulin at the Cotton Manufactory near Nashville were killed by Indians. Many horses were stolen between the 16th and the 20th.
On the 18th a party of Indians were discovered at Capt. Bosley's plantation; they stole four horses near his farm.
On the 20th day of May a boat laden with 350 bushels of salt, belonging to Messrs. Donelson and Jackson was taken on the passage from Kentucky to Cumberland by a strong party of Indians.
A party of cavalry of Mero District, commanded by Captains Rains and Johnson, being out on duty, discovered the trace of about 10 or 12 Indians making into the Cumberland Settlements. On this trace they pursued and soon came to a place where it appeared the Indians had held a war dance. On the 21st ult. the white men overtook the Indians, but it was in ground to very caney, they killed but one Indian. He appeared to be a Creek from the fashion of his hair. The others ran off almost naked, leaving all their baggage behind.
On Saturday evening, 1st June a party of ten Indians attacked.
On the 3d instant, Maj. Beard returned to this place from the relief of Cumberland [Mero District] from the invasion of the Creeks. His route to and from Nashville to this place was by the heads of the southern waters of the Cumberland, and to the southward of the settlements, through the middle of the main Creek camps, from which they have so repeatedly annoyed the frontiers. But unfortunately he found many abandoned camps of numerous parties of warriors; he fell in with only three such parties, of which he killed two and wounded several. A man of his own party, Mr. Alexander, received a slight flesh wound, in the attack on Smith's River. The Indians, finding their main camping ground thus traced with bodies of armed men, will either cease altogether or approach Cumberland with more care than they have hitherto done."
Also in 1793 Capt. Rains commanded a company who served in Gen. John Sevier's Etowah Campaign. The men were finally paid for their service in 1798 by Robert Hayes, muster master who listed their names under "Men who served in Sevier's 1793 campaign who were living in Mero District when paid in 1798." Included in the list were "John Goen, William Pillow and William Pillow, [Jr.].
In 1793 Capt. Rains was called for jury duty on the first three quarterly sessions and on October 14 was named to the grand jury. John Topp gave a release to John Rains and made acknowledgement of it in court October 15. The troops of Capt. Rains, Capt. Thomas Johnson and Capt. John Shannon were in service from October 9 to November 9, 1793 Ca
On April 17, 1794 James Mulherin was named as "magistrate to take list in Militia company of Capt. Rains of taxable poles and property." On July 18, 1794 "Bevely Ridley was named to oversee the road lately laid off from Nashville to John Rains Mill on Browns Creek; those living at McCormick's, Thomas Thompson's, Corbitt's, McCrory's, Tilly's, Ellis's, Topp's, Rains', Cross's, Brewer's, Jackson's & Denton's and all those that reside within sd bounds to work thereon." On July 14, 1795 John Rains was appointed by the court to oversee the road "instead of Bevely Ridley." On July 15, John Rains acknowledged before the court a bill of sale he made to Samuel Deason.
On July 16, 1795 John Rains "on prayer and oath of John F. Meriane was bound in recognizance in the amount of $100 to keep peace toward Meriane. John Bell $50 as his security."
John Rains was sued January 14, 1796 by Joseph Deratt. The jury "found for the plaintiff and assessed damages of 12 dollars" against Rains.
Maj. John Buchanan and Bradley Gambrell were appointed by the county court July 14, 1796 "to procession lands in the bounds of Capt. Rains company."
On July 15, 1796 John Rains was named to a road venire to "lay off a road beginning at marked trees below Rains Mill on the bank of Brown's Creek, thence to the end of George Ridley's lane, then along his lane & from thence nearly to Jonas Manifee's, thence with the marks leaving Mrs. Simpson's plantation on the right hand and thence to Mayfield's old station."
On October 10, 1796 Capt. Rains was recommissioned as a captain in the defense of Nashville against the marauding Indians. On September 1, 1797 William Gowen, nephew [and later to be son-in-law] of Capt. Rains, was elected a lieutenant in his militia company. Lt. William Gowen was married to Martha "Patsy" Rains three months later, December 3, 1797, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 28.
The court ordered October 12, 1796 that "George Ridley to oversee the clearing out and keeping in repair the road from John Rains Mill to Mrs. Simpson's; those living adjacent on each side of sd road, except Gambrels and Hardemans, work thereon. Bartholomew Stovall to oversee remainder of said road from aforesaid Mrs. Simpsons to Mayfields Station with those living adjacent on each side to work thereon under his direction."
On October 11, 1796 John Gowen, Nimrod Manifee, John Tilly, George Ridley & Bevley Ridley were ordered to "lay off a road from John Rains Mill to McQueston's Tanyard by way of John Cummins Sawmill & those living adjacent to said road open the same under the direction of John Rains as overseer of said road."
On January 14, 1797 and on January 9, 1798 James Mulherin was ordered to "take list of taxables in Rains company, agreeable to law."
John Rains was named to a road venire January 13, 1798 "to view any public inconvenience by a road from Willie Barrow's Ferry to join the road at Able's Ferry, thence to Nashville."
On April 8, 1799 Capt. John Rains received a deed from John Tilly which was proven in court by John Currin. On April 12, 1799 John Rains was empaneled on a jury to arbitrate in Thomas Beavers vs William T. Lewis."
On July 12, 1799 Rains was named to a road venire to "lay off a road from Capt. John Rains to McCueston's Mill, to begin at said Rains to Meetinghouse Branch, thence nearest & best way to Cummins new sawmill, thence to McCueston's Mill."
Capt. John Rains was named to a panel to set taxes for 1800 on April 14, 1800. On July 15, 1800 John Rains, Sr. was security for Joseph Johnston, sheriff, $12,500 bond.
On April 14, 1801 the court appointed William Colwell "overseer of the road from John Rains to mills formerly called Cummins Mills instead of John Topp, late overseer."
On April 18, 1801 the court ordered "James Bryan, Robert Kenedy and John Everett to procession the land of John Rains on Brown's Creek and that the same men procession the land of Joel Lewis on Brown's Creek agreeable to Act of Assembly in such cases provided and make return to ensuing court."
On July 18, 1801 the court ordered "Thomas Wilcoxson. William T. Lewis & George Ridley to divide hands between the road leading from Nashville to Buchanan's Mill & the road leading from Nashville to Rains old mill and that William Rains oversee road leading from the fork of the road to Rains old mill with the hands to work thereon that shall be allotted as above."
The court was more specific in an order dated October 12, 1801, "Hands attached by George Ridley and William T. Lewis pursuant to Order of July court to work road from Nashville to John Rains on Browns Creek are hands of Joel Lewis, Thomason Hardeman, Richard Cross's farm hands, John Rains and Musgrove and to begin at forks at Richard Cross's grass lott, thence to Browns Creek at Rains Mill, and those who are to work from Nashville are those that usually work thereon."
On October 17, 1801 Moses Aikens filed suit again John Rains who pled "not guilty."
On January 11, 1802 Thomas Thompson was authorized by the county court "to take list of taxable for the year 1802 in Capt. Rains militia company."
John Rains, administrator of the estate of Thomas Martin, deceased, returned an inventory of the chattel estate April 13, 1802, according to county court minutes.
The estate sale of William Rains, son of Capt. John Rains, was held August 26, 1813, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 251. John Rains, Ursula Rains and Abner Pillow were purchasers at the sale which totaled $988.9975. Jonathan Rains filed an affidavit with Davidson County Court August 25, 1815 that "John Rains, Sr. was due payment from the estate of William Rains, dcsd," according to Davidson County Will Book 2, page 365.
The household of Capt. John Rains appeared in the 1820 census of Davidson County as:
"Rains, John white male over 45
white female over 45
white female 16-26
white female 16-26
white male 10-16
white female 10-16"
Nearby, on a section of land, eight miles south of Nashville was enumerated the household of "John Rains, Jr."
Christiana Gowen Rains died in 1826 at age 71 and was buried in the Nashville City Cemetery. Later she was reburied in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, according to Joy Jean Quimby Stearns. Her death was reported in the "Nashville National Banner" in its March 24, 1826 edition.
Capt. John Rains "lived to a ripe old age and grew loquacious and vainglorious," according to Felix Robertson, son of Capt. James Robertson. Capt. John Rains died March 26, 1834 at the age of 91 and was also buried in City Cemetery. His death was reported in the "Nashville National Banner" and the "Nashville Daily Advertiser" in their editions published Friday, March 28, 1834.
The two graves were not together in the cemetery. Later family members reinterred them in nearby Mt. Olivet Cemetery in a lot owned by Francis Hagan who was born November 13, 1824 and died March 28, 1890 and his wife Christiana Hagan, born March 4, 1829 and died November 9, 1909. Rufus King Hagan, assumed to be their son is buried with him. He was born December 14, 1857 and died May 11, 1891. Their dates are inscribed on a monument, seven feet tall and five feet wide. Facing the monument are six-foot markers inscribed "Flora McIver Hagan, 1871-1963; Alfred Merritt Hagan, 1866-1937 and Mary McIver Hagan, 1900-1935."
An above-ground crypt with a flat top marks the second burial site for John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains. Their inscriptions read:
"Capt. John Rains, Sr, departed this life on the 15th of March, 1834 with four days illness, aged 81 years. He was well known as one of the Pioneers of the Country and lived Many Years to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Christiana Rains, consort of Capt. John Rains, Sr. Departed this life on the 18th of March, 1826, aged 71 years."
Other family members buried in the plot include: "Evander Hagan, 1903, infant; Annie Lawrence Merritt, October 3, 18??-July 26, 1895; Eva Hagan September 1, 1892-July 29, 1977; William R. Hagan June 7, 1898-December 5, 1984."
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, located at 1101 Lebanon Road, is also the last resting place of 1,500 Confederate soliders killed during the battles fought around Nashville. The cemetery which offers a guided tour of its grounds, was described in the May 8, 1996 edition of "The Nashville Tennesseean:"
"This cemetery has been a part of our local history for over 140 years," said Robin Schenk, manager of operations at Mount Olivet Cemetery. "Some of Nashville's most colorful historical figures are buried here." The cemetery, on 250 acres of land southeast of downtown Nashville, was built in 1856 under an act passed by the state's General Assembly.
Its 27-acre predecessor, the City Cemetery--thought to be well out of reach of the city's urban sprawl when built in 1822--was by that time flanked by the main line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad and surrounded by a growing South Nashville suburb. "Often trains would pass during funerals, sending smoke from coal-burning locomotives across the grounds and into the crowd of funeralgoers," said Ridley Wills II of Franklin, a local historian and author of 'A Walking Tour of Mount Olivet Cemetery.' The old cemetery had simply outgrown its boundaries."
So a group of savvy Nashville businessmen formed an investment company to build a new cemetery farther from town. In the following years, the number of senators, governors, mayors and Nashville social leaders calling the cemetery home continued to grow. Mount Olivet cemetery eventually replaced the City Cemetery as the most prestigious resting place in town. Today, more than 140 years later, the cemetery houses the remains of more than 190,000 people, both Schenk and Wills said.
The names are as recognizable as the street and roads, buildings and monuments, cities and counties they now identify: Overton [County], Harding [Place], McGavock [Pike], Ryman [Auditorium] and Acklen [Avenue], to name a few. The "walking" tour of Mount Olivet is a self‑guided, moderate mile‑and‑a‑half trek following along the top of a hill. An audio cassette, narrated by Wills and following the outline of his book may be checked out at the Mount Olivet Funeral Home.
Wills' affiliation with the cemetery goes further than just an observer. More than 100 members of his family and that of his wife, Irene Jackson Wills, are buried there. His personal recollections and vignettes are woven within the historical narrative."
A historical marker was placed on the Rains home on top of Rains Hill. Cleve Weathers wrote, "His descendants built impressive homes around his. Four streets in the neighborhood, Hamilton, Merritt, Pillow and Rains Avenue, are named for Capt. Rains and his descendants.
The estate of "John Rains, Sr, Dcsd." was presented to the Davidson County Court for partition in its October 1834 session:
"State of Tennessee
Davidson County Court, October Sessions, 1834
This day [to wit: November 5, 1834] Ephriam H. Foster, Esquire presented in court here the petition of John Rains; Michael C. Dunn & Elizabeth his wife, formerly Elizabeth Rains; Thomas Massey & Mary his wife, late Mary Rains; Laird Boyd & his wife Nancy, late Nancy Rains; Gibson Merrett & Sarah his wife, late Sarah Rains; Timothy Demumbrane & his wife Christiana, late Christiana Rains; Burwell Quimby & his wife Susannah, late Susannah Rains & Jonathan H. Rains; also Alfred P. Gowen in right of his mother Patsey Gowen, late Patsey Rains; also Wilford Rains, Hance Rains, Lewis Williams & Charlotte his wife, late Charlotte Rains, Wilford B. Gowen & his wife Ursula, formerly Ursula Rains, Edmond Hyde & his wife Christiana, formerly Christiana Rains; Mary E. H. Rains and Martha Rains in right of their father, William Rains decd; also James Condon, Mary Condon, Christiana Condon and Francis Condon in right of their mother Barbara Condon, formerly Barbara Rains, all heirs of John Rains decd, late of this County, representing to the court that the said John Rains died seized and possessed of a tract of land containing about six hundred acres more or less situate in said county near the town of Nashville which are particularly described in said petition which has descended to them as heirs as aforesaid and which they are entitled to have divided and partitioned among them in the proportion particularly mentioned & set forth in said petition and praying the court to appoint commissioners to make said partition and division between the in the manner and proportions stated and set forth in said petition. Which petition the court grant and thereupon appoint Robert Weakley, David Dickson, Richard H. Barry, James H. Foster, James Thompson, William Compton, Phillip Shute, [Jr.] John P. Hickman & Robert Scales, them or any five of them who may be present and act, commissioners to divide and partition said tract of land & said lot between said petitioners upon the terms and in the manner and proportions set forth in said petition and having so done make report thereof under their hands and seals to the ensuing term of our court."
"Agreeable to an order from the Worshipful County Court of Davidson, October term 1834, directed to us as commissioners to lay off, apportion & divide the tract of land whereon John Rains Sr. died, between the several legatees of said deceased, we the undersigned commissioners for the joint interest of all the legatees have divided said tract of land in two divisions with a line running from the North boundary to the South boundary of said tract three poles and a half wide, beginning on the North boundary line, on the West side of the big road leading from Nashville to the fishing ford on Duck River . . . to a stake on the South bank of Browns Creek . . . "
Sally Merritt Lot No. 1 On NW corner near
dwelling of dcsd.
Elizabeth Dunn Lot No. 2 Joins Lot 1 on S
Nancy Boyd Lot No. 3 Joins Lot 2 on S
Alfred P. Gowen Lot No. 4 Joins Lot 3 on S
Heirs of Wm. Rains Lot No. 5 Joins Lot 4 on S
Jonathan H. Rains Lot No. 6 Joins Lot 1 on E
John Rains Lot No. 7 Joins Lot 2 on E
Chr. Demumbrian Lot No. 8 Joins Lot 3 on E
Heirs of B. Condon Lot No. 9 Joins Lot 4 on E
Polley Massey Lot No. 10 Joins Lot 5 on E
Susannah Quimby Lot No. 11 On SE corner land.
We have also proceeded to divide Lot No. 105 in the city of Nashville, [at High Street and Broad Street] agreeable to the plot hereunto annexed.
James F. Foster David Dickinson
R. H. Barry Phillip Shute
James Thompson, Davidson Surveyor"
"At a court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions held for the County of Davidson in the State of Tennessee at the courthouse in the town of Nashville on the third Monday in January A.D. 1835 the following cause came on to be heard and determined to wit:
To the Worshipful County Court of Davidson: The Petition of Jno. Rains; Michael C. Dunn & Elizabeth, his wife, late Elizabeth Rains; Thomas Massey & Mary, his wife, late Mary Rains; Laird Boyd & his wife, Nancy, late Nancy Rains, Gibson Merritt & Sarah, his wife, late Sarah Rains; Timothy Demumbrane & Christiana, his wife; late Christian Demumbrane [error]; Burwell Quimby & his wife, Susannah, late Susannah Rains, Willford B. Gowen & his wife, Ursula, late Ursula Rains; Edmund Hyde & his wife Christiana, late Christiana Rains; Mary E. H. Rains & Martha Rains, children and only heirs at law of Wm. Rains, decd. And also of James Condon, Mary Condon, Christiana Condon and Francis Condon, infant children & only heirs at law of Barbara Condon, decd, late Barbara Rains, decd, who petition by their father & guardian, James Condon:
Humbly representing your petitioners show, that their ancestor, the said John Rains, late of your county departed life intestate on the ____ day of March last leaving your petitioners his heirs at law with right to his estate in the following proportions, to wit: one share or portion each to John Rains, to said Dunn & his wife, to said Massey & his wife, to said Boyd & his wife, to said Merritt & his wife, to said Demumbrane & his wife, to said Quymby & his wife, to said Jonathan Rains & to said Alfred P. Gowen in right of his deceased mother, Patsey, daughter of the said decd. ancestor Jno Rains the elder.
To the following named petitioners, heirs at law of Wm. Rains decd, late a son of their said ancestor one proportion or share to be equally subdivided among them to wit: Hance Rains, Wilford Rains, Lewis Williams & his said wife, Wilford B. Gowen & his wife, Edmund Hyde & his said wife, Mary E. H. Rains & Martha Rains.
And to the following named petitioners, heirs at law of Barbara Condon, late Barbara Rains, decd. in right of their said mother, one proportion or share to e equally subdivided between them to wit: James Condon, Mary Condon, Christiana Condon and Francis Condon.
Your petitioners further represent that their said ancestor, said John Rains the elder, died seized & possessed of a valuable real estate lying in your county aforesaid, to wit: a tract of about 600 acres more or less near Nashville, being all that part of the said ancestor's original preemption not contained in his deed to his dec'd son, Wm. Rains, executed between thirty and forty years ago, bounded on the south by the lands of Geo. Ridley & the portion of said preemption conveyed as aforesaid to said Wm. Rains; west by the land of Joseph W. Horton & George W. Gibbs; North by James Gordon, late Bernard Vanleer's premises, Jno. Carter, Falls heirs & Henry Dickinson, later Charles J. Love & East by said Dickinson and by David Dickinson, late John Bell's premises.
In addition their said ancestor died seized and possessed of a lot in the town of Nashville known & designated in the original plan thereof by number "one hundred & five."
Your petitioners further represent that, that portion of them who represent one share, in right of the said William Rains decd acknowledge that the said Wm. received of his father the said John Rains, decd in his lifetime an advancement in lands worth five hundred dollars. This would of course lessen by that amt. in value their share or lot of the estate herein sought to be partitioned. But in order to avoid the difficulty that such a circumstance would necessarily make in effecting such partition, your petitioners have all agree that said real estate shall be divided without reference to said advancement of $500, your said petitioners, heirs of said William decd. stipulating and agreeing to pay to the other ten shares the sum of $50 cash to each of the said ten shares as a full equivalent taking therefor one equal share of said real estate.
Your petitioners unite in a desire to partition & divide all said real estate so that the claimants may hold the same in severalty according to their respective rights as herein before set forth leaving however the subdivisions between the heirs of William Rains & Barbara Condon to the future request & desires of the parties concerned.
The premises considered, may it please your worships by a decree of your court to commission five or more discreet individuals to make proper examination and thereafter partition & allot said real estate amongst your petitioners according to their several & respective rights as herein before set forth. And that having executed said service according to law they report the same to this honourable court under their hands & seals, for the further & final order & decree of your worships.
Foster & Fogg, Attorneys for Petitioners"
Administration of the estate was given to Alfred P. Gowen, grandson of Capt. John Rains and John Rains, Jr. Alfred P. Gowen was shown as the only heir of Martha "Patsy" Rains Gowen. At that time he was a member of the Tennessee State Legislature, representing Rutherford County.
Children born to Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains are believed to include:
William Rains born about 1769
John Rains, Jr. born about 1770
Martha "Patsy" Rains born about 1773
Barbara Rains born about 1778
Elizabeth Rains born about 1781
Mary "Polly" Rains born about 1784
Susannah Rains born about 1786
Christiana Rains born January 20, 1787
Nancy Rains born about 1791
Sarah Rains born about 1793
Jonathan Hance Rains born about 1794
William Rains, son of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1770, probably in Montgomery County, Virginia. He and his father were selected by the Davidson County Court January 13, 1792 to help "layout a road from Nashville to Mayfield's Station," according to "Davidson County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1783-1792."
According to the County Court Minutes, William Rains was appointed to jury duty July 8, 1793, January 17, 1794 and April 14, 1794. He was fined for "not appeareing & giving testimony in behalf of Castleman & Campbell vs. Robertson. Si fi to issue." He was again called for jury duty July 16, 1794 and January 15, 1795. He was appointed to the grand jury again April 13, 1795.
He was married September 9, 1795 to "Drucilla [Ursula] Pillow," according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 33. She is believed to be daughter of John Pillow, another Davidson County pioneer who arrived about 1791. Abner Pillow is identified as her brother by Cleve Weathers. Another brother, Col. William Pillow, was the bondsman on the marriage bond of Ursula Pillow and William Rains. Her nephew Gen. Gideon J. Pillow was second in command in the Mexican War under Gen. Winfield Scott. Ft. Pillow in northwestern Tennessee, which fell early in the Civil War to Union forces, was named for Gen. Pillow.
Cleve Weathers wrote, "The conclusive evidence is a deed from Abner Pillow transferring land to Ursula's children in 1812. In Deed Book I, page 386, signed Oct. 1, 1812, Abner Pillow of Maury County, Tennessee deeded 274 acres of land to "my nieces and nephews, all sons and daughters of William Rains, deceased," and named the eight children: Naomi; Wilford Hoggett Rains [middle name spelled "Hockett" in other places]; Hance [Hamilton] Rains, Charlotte Rains; Ursula Pillow Rains; Christeny [sic] Rains; Mary Eliza Herman/Harmon[?] Rains; and Patsy Rains. Abner's land was in the vicinity of Capt. John Rains's land. Since no consideration was mentioned in the deed, it appears that land transfer was a gift to his nieces and nephews. William Rains had died only four months earlier on June 9, 1812.
William Rains received a deed from his father to about 40 acres of his father's preemption in 1795, perhaps as a wedding present. John Rains appeared before the court October 18, 1795 to acknowledge the deed.
On April 13, 1796 William Rains sued John Childress, and the jury "found for the plaintiff," awarding him $21 in damages. Witnesses appearing for William Rains included William Lemons, George Gentry, John Scoby, Thomas Thompson, David Nolin, Wright Williams, Samuel Barton and Anthony Foster. John Childress appealed the case to the Superior Court.
On July 15, 1796 William Rains recorded his "stock mark" with the county court.
In 1798 William Rains was listed among the veniremen on January 12, April 9, and October 13. On January 14, 1799 he was appointed to the grand jury. On April 12, 1799 he was selected on a jury panel to arbitrate a case between Thomas Beavers and William T. Lewis.
On April 13, 1799 William Rains received a release for the construction of a shed for which he paid the extraordinary price of $798.
William Rains was commissioned a captain in the First Regiment of Davidson County April 15, 1800. He was named to the Davidson County Court juries April 18, 1800, October 18, 1800, January 12, 1801, January 10, 1803, July 16, 1803 and October 12, 1803.
He died June 9, 1812 and was buried in the Rains family cemetery. The cemetery was later located on the J. W. Russworm farm, according to the research of Joy Jean Quimby Stearns.
The estate of William Rains was administered November 27, 1812 in Davidson County by Ursula Pillow Rains and Abner Pillow.
Included among the assets of the estate was an overdue note on his Melungeon uncle, "James H. Gowan for $100, payable on June 3, 1808."
The estate sale of William Rains was held August 26, 1813, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 251. John Rains, Ursula Rains and Abner Pillow were purchasers at the sale which totaled $988.9975. Jonathan Rains filed an affidavit with Davidson County Court August 25, 1815 that "John Rains, Sr. was due payment from the estate of William Rains, dcsd," according to Davidson County Will Book 2, page 365.
The widow Ursula Rains was recorded as the head of a household in the 1820 census of Davidson County:
"Rains, Ursula white female over 45
white male 26-45
white female 26-45
white female 16-26
white male 16-26
white female 16-26
white male 16-26
white female 10-16
white female 10-16
white female 10-16
white female 0-10"
Children born to William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains include:
Wilford H. Rains born about 1797
Mary Eliza Herman Rains born about 1799
Hance Hamilton Rains born about 1801
Martha "Patsy" Rains born about 1803
Ursula Pillow Rains born about 1806
Christiana Rains born February 14, 1808
Charlotte Rains born about 1809
Naomi Rains born about 1811
Wilford H. Rains, son of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1805 in Davidson County. He was married November 5, 1828 to Maria Louise Gowen, daughter of John Gowen and Lydia Shute Gowen. She was born January 26, 1810 in Davidson County.
The household of Wilford H. Rains, was enumerated in the 1840 census of Davidson County, page 317:
"Rains, Wilford H. white male 40-50
white female 30-40
white male 10-15
white female 10-15
white male 5-10
white female 5-10
white male 5-10
white male 0-5
white female 0-5"
On the same page was enumerated Wilford Burleson Gowen, brother to Maria Louise Gowen Rains. He was the owner of nine slaves. Christiana Gowen, daughter of Wilford Burleson Gowen and Ursula Rains Gowen and a namesake of her great-grandmother Christiana Gowen Rains, was born January 24, 1829, according to the family bible.
Christiana Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Gains, was born February 14, 1808 in Davidson County. She was married January 8, 1829 to Edmund Hyde who was born in 1876. He died March 5, 1849, and she died August 24, 1854.
Children born to them include:
William Rains Hyde born November 7, 1833
William Rains Hyde, son of Edmund Hyde and Christiana Rains Hyde, was born November 7, 1833. He was married January 31, 1855 to Eliza Young who was born in 1835. Eliza Young Hyde died in 1862, and William Rains Hyde died January 4, 1918.
Children born to them include:
William Emmett Hyde born January 11, 1857
William Emmett Hyde, son of William Rains Hyde and Eliza Young Hyde, was born January 11, 1857 in Davidson County. He was married January 3, 1883 to Effie Simpkins. He died at Nashville March 2, 1932, and she died there November 11, 1940.
Children born to them include:
Ruth Hyde born November 7, 1894
Ruth Hyde, daughter of William Emmett Hyde and Effie Simpkins, was born November 7, 1894 in Nashville. She was married December 22, 1920 to George W. Holcomb who was born February 11, 1887 at Mt. Airy, North Carolina. He died in June 1958 in Birmingham, Alabama. She died in Nashville in April 1965.
Children born to them include:
Ruth Holcomb born October 31, 1923
Ruth Holcomb, daughter of George W. Holcomb and Ruth Hyde Holcomb, was born in Nashville October 31, 1923. She was married there June 23, 1949 to Dr. Ward S. Herren. They were living in Birmingham September 8, 1970 when she submitted her membership application to DAR.
John Rains, Jr, son of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1770, probably in Montgomery County, Virginia. He was mentioned frequently in David County Court records after he attained his majority, according to "Davidson County, Tennessee County Court Minutes" by Carol Wells.
In 1787 while serving in a company of spies [scouts] commanded by his father, he took part in a skirmish with the Indians near Nashville. As the braves began to retreat, John Rains, Jr. spied an Indian about 19 years old who attempted to flee. A footrace began, and young Rains finally overtook the Indian, tackled him and pinned him to the ground, according to "History of Middle Tennessee" by A. W. Putnam.
The Indian youth was turned over to Capt. Samuel Shannon who "domesticated" him and allowed him to live in his home for some time. At his departure back to his nation, Shannon provided him with a horse, clothing, a gun and ammunition. The young Indian took the name of John Rains by which he was ever afterward known.
On April 12, 1793 John Rains, Jr. was appointed a Davidson County constable, according to court records.
John Rains, Jr. was appointed April 11, 1799 to a road venire "to lay off a road beginning south of McCutcheons branch thence nearest & best way to Harpeth Road at Jonas Manifee's now residence." He was married in 1800 to Frances O'Gilvie, according to Joy Jean Quimby Stearns. Betty Buchanan Ragsdale states that his wife was named Lucinda.
John Rains, Jr. served on jury panels during 1800 and on October 13, 1800 was named to the grand jury. On January 14, 1801 John Rains, Jr. appeared in court to acknowledge that he witnessed "Thomas & Elizabeth Champ execute a deed to John Tilley." On April 12, 1802, John Rains was one of the bondsmen for John Boyd when he took office as Davidson County tax collector. On October 12, 1803 John Rains, Jr. was again appointed to the grand jury.
He was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1820 census of Davidson County, located on a section of land, eight miles south of Nashville:
"Rains, John, Jr. white male over 45
white female over 45
white female 16-26
white female 16-26
white male 10-16
white male 10-16
white female 10-16
white male 10-16
white female 0-10
white male 0-10
white female 0-10"
John Rains, Jr. wrote an article in 1852 which was published in Nashville in "South-Western Monthly," Volume II. the publication, described as "A Journal Devoted to Literature and Science, Education, the Mechanical Arts and Agriculture and to the Early History of the South-West" was published by Wales & Roberts and was located "on Cedar Street, four doors from the Post Office. It suspended publication with the December 1852 edition, Volume 2, No. 6. The article stated:
"My father came to Tennessee in 1769, from Virginia, with Casper Mansco and others, on an exploring expedition; and ten years later, in 1770, he moved here, coming out with the Buchanan's William's and others. As they crossed the Cumberland, it was frozen quite across at the Sulphur Spring Branch.
It was supposed at that time, that from the fierceness of the Indians, the country would have to be abandoned. He lost a part of his stock of horses, eighteen or twenty in number, the first year, stolen by the Indians, and he then concluded to go to Kentucky. He did so, and his family staid there one year, he returning here with a man named Stull, who had one horse, my father having two. They expected to hunt and trap on the way back to Tennessee. They crossed Green River, and that night it snowed and rained, leaving a deep coating of sleet on the ground the next morning.
In passing along they heard the report of a gun off to one side, and shortly after, another. This alarmed them, and they got down and tied their blankets tightly around them, cut them switches and mounted again.
My father was not quite as prompt as Stull in all this, Stull consequently getting ahead. Suddenly he threw up his bridle, and my father, noticing it, rode up and inquired the cause of his movement. He replied, "Look, see, what a sight of people are coming this way!"
At a glance my father saw that they were Indians, and darting to one side, his horse jumped through a swinging grapevine, clearing it, his packhorse following him. Stull's horse tried it, but was caught and swung right across it by the loins, and after a while getting out, Stull stopped to fix his bag of provisions. My father tried to hurry him, as two Indians were running up; but instead of jumping on his horse, Stull started off on foot. My father tried to keep along with him, but he darted off in another direction and crossed the trace back again. He was very fleet, and my father was sure he would escape; but shortly he heard one of two guns fired and then the yells of the Indians; then all was silent. They had killed Stull.
My father started back toward Green River, but was afraid the Indians would track him by the snow on the ground, so he avoided the river and took to the hills, striking the river higher up. He found it filled from bank to bank, but finding an eddy on the opposite shore, he though that he could cross at that spot.
He got down, tied his hunting shirt close around him and rode in. After a hard struggle, he got his mare started, and they got to the opposite side. Right where they got out there was providentially an old dry stump. He being wet and nearly frozen, he flashed some of the powder which happened to be dry in his wet powder, he having knocked the bottom of his horn out with his tomahawk and dried himself by the fire and reloaded his gun.
After a while, his slut [female dog] appeared on the opposite bank, and thinking the Indians were close behind, he placed himself in ambush, hoping to kill one and then fly to his mare once more. But none came, and he started, as he supposed, back toward Kentucky. He rode one until he came to a large 'sink hole.' Here he tied his mare, kindled a fire and staid all night.
The next morning, the weather having cleared up, and it was getting light, he came to what he thought was a familiar knob, such as he had seen in his hunts before this, but he could not be satisfied that it was quite the same. Approaching another in sight, he recognized it, and thus learned what way to lay his course for the trace. Finding the trace, and his animal being very much wearied, apparently, he got down to drive her before him, but she ran off in advance, so that he despaired of catching her. After a long walk she came to him again, and he did not dismount again that day. He got to Carpenter's Station about dark. About this time Gen. Robertson came along on his way to Tennessee, and my father having joined him, the two came on together, arriving at Nashville in safety.
He settled at the old place about two miles from Nashville, near the spring known as Rains' Spring. Such was the abundance of bear in the vicinity at that time, that he told me he killed in one winter thirty-two, and this without laying out more than one or two nights. They were mostly killed amongst the knobs adjoining Jesse Maxwell's and John Overton's present residences and on Brown's Creek.
My father built a fort at this place and stockaded the spring inside of it, so that we could go to it at all times of the night in safety. The alarms from Indians were almost constant. One time I remember that my father and one of two of us children were out picking beans on one of the ridges up toward the present residence of West H. Humphreys when we heard the guns fire for the attack on Robertson's Station. My father and brother seized their guns and mounting their horses, rode at full speed into Nashville and raised a party and got half way on the relief of the fort before they met the expresses started from the fort for help.
Another time the Indians attacked Gen Robertson and his son Jonathan, with two other men. The two men ran off, but the old General and his son stood their ground bravely and beat the Indians off. The old General afterward meeting my father, told him that in his great extremity [for he was wounded] he could not help thinking, "If only I had old Capt. Rains and Billy [William Rains} here!"
My father, with my brother, William and myself and Patrick Lyons were amongst the first who were summoned to the relief of Buchanan's Station . Patrick Lyons and myself remained in the fort that night. We went along past one or two other Stations the next morning and tried to beat up volunteers, but could get none.
I had only an old horseman's pistol on my arrival, but my father comforted me with the supposition that in the fight expected, I could get a gun when somebody would be killed. I saw the Indian mentioned by Col. Brown as having been killed under the walls of the fort. I talked with Findleston, a half bred Indian, about the killing of the spies [scouts] sent out to see whether the Indians were approaching. Various accounts are given of this affair. He says that the Indians had two of their men disguised as whites going ahead, and they killed the two whites [scouts], shooting one dead and breaking the arm of the other who then ran amongst the other Indians and was killed.
A dispute then arose as stated by others about the manner of attacking the settlements. Watts, being for one course, and the slain Chief mentioned, for a different one. The Indian killed was certainly a desperate fellow, having done his best to fire the fort with his smoking apparatus after being mortally wounded. George Fields, whom I saw several times afterwards in the Indian Nation, told me that he himself was shot in the heel, and gave a ludicious [ludicrous] account of how it made him dance and caper from the pain. He said after going down and standing for some time in the water that the spring house, he walked around behind a large bake oven where he lay.
Watts, the other chief, was very badly wounded. He begged George Fields to cut off his head and carry it away to keep the whites from getting it, as he had no hopes of recovering. The Indians, however, rolled him up in a blanket, carried him off, and afterwards he got well.
On one occasion my sister [Martha "Patsy" Rains] wished to go up to Armstrong's Station, about seven miles from Nashville. She could not get company as pleased her, so she went alone. She got there safely. On her return a young woman [Betsy Williams] at some point desired to come along with her, and they both started on the same horse. A young man named Patton went along as a guard. A small dog became alarmed, and she desired Patton to go ahead. He did so, and the Indians fired at the party. My sister turned her horse and tried to make him leap the fence, but he failed the first trial. The young woman being [riding] behind was hit by the Indians and fell off. The horse then leaping the fence, my sister escaped. As she looked behind her, she saw the Indians in the act of seizing her companion, whom they killed. My sister kept on to Armstrong's Station, and the people being alarmed, went back and found the poor girl's body. Patton ran off in another direction and escaped in safety.
My father and Capt. Shannon commanded afterwards on an expedition made toward the waters of Duck River and beyond. We went on until we came to where we saw a large number of buzzards flying around, when my suggested that there must be Indians on a hunt, these birds being attracted to the spot by the game killed. We camped nearby and found, truly enough, the remains of deer, etc.
The next day we found their trail, and my father was for following it, but some objected. My father said that he had come to hunt for Indians, and he should follow that sign until he had a fresher one. Before night we came upon their locality, and the spies, discovering one of them, fired at him, but without hitting him. He ran off, and we all dashed forward at the report. I was mounted on a race horse and kept close at the heels of my father, until we got into the flat when I struck off on a course by myself.
My father kept on, and discovered the flying Indian who was going as fast as he could run up a ridge. Getting pretty near, my father halloed to him to stop, and he turned for a moment as if he intended to do so, but started off again. My father jumped off his horse and fired, wounding him severely in the hand and arm. He started again, and meanwhile Reuben Parks and Beverly Ridley rode up and joined in the chase. The Indian fired at Ridley, but the ball passed over hi head, and they soon got close upon and knocked him down, Ridley finally killing him with a knife.
For my share, I dashed on until I came face to face with an Indian just coming out of a thicket. He made signals for quarter, and I took him prisoner, and he was afterwards exchanged. We took eight horses with all the traps and other things found at the Indian encampment, and about 300 deerskins and other skins, the produce of their hunt. The horses were afterwards sold at auction in Nashville, and the proceeds of the sale and the other property was divided among the capturers.
One of the most interesting incidents connected with the early history of Tennessee, is one in which a man named David Hood figured. He was coming up from Freeland's Station, the present place of residence of Dr. McGavock, below the Sulphur Spring adjoining Nashville, when several Indians gave chase to him, firing upon him as they ran.
He, thinking there was no other chance for his life, concluded to try "possuming it," and so fell flat on his face in the weeds. The Indians ran up and gathered around him, and one of them very deliberately twisted his fingers into his hair to scalp him. His knife being very dull, he let go, took a better hold and sawed away until he could pull it off; poor Hood bearing it meanwhile without a groan. After the deed was done, they stood around for a little while, reloaded their guns and started on toward town, one of them giving him a few stamps in the back.
After a while, Hood raised his head cautiously, peeped out under his arms, and at last finding the coast clear, got up and started toward town. Mounting the ridge above the spring what was his dismay to find himself once more right in the presence of the whole gang. Again he ran, but they again fired upon him as he ran, one of their bullets cutting him deeply across the breast, but finally after getting so close as to pull off one of the skirts of his coat, the Indians abandoned him. When quite spent, he dropped behind a log in the cornfield nearby, after facing around to get one fire at them, and was rescued by some whites who came out at the sound of the firing.
He was placed in an out-house, no one thinking he would recover, but the next morning someone going in there, asked him, on finding him still alive, whether he 'wasn't dead?' 'No,' he said in a feeble voice, and he 'thought he could live if he could get half a chance!' They cook his case in hand, and he became a sound man and lived many years to glory in his successful instance of 'possuming.' I often saw Gen. Robertson make up rolls of lint for his wounds.
My father was one engaged in a fight at the Sulphur Spring, on the bank of the run, on the side toward Nashville. A party had been out scouting amongst the licks, when returning past the spring mentioned, they encountered the Indians. A battle ensued, my father having lagged behind to let his horse drink; hearing the guns, he rode up and found the whites in the act of fleeing. He rallied them, and the Indians fled in turn, thus causing Daniel Williams, one of the party to be saved, who was severely wounded in the thigh, and could neither mount his horse nor run. He often spoke to me of my father's having saved his life.
I was in the Nickajack campaign, but as that has b been described in other narratives, it is unnecessary to repeat it here. My father was also along. I also served a tour of duty at Ft. Massac the same year, and on my return from there, we found at Eddyville a man named Julius Sanders, who at hunting camp had been shot in four places, but finally escaped, his companion, Col. Montgomery, being killed. He told us that the last he saw of the Colonel an Indian was stabbing him repeated with a huge knife. We went out the next day and found the body, a son of the murdered man being along. We buried him where a tree had been turned up by the roots, putting logs and chunks over him. We then came on to Nashville."
John Rains, Jr. died in 1855 in Davidson County.
Children born to John Rains, Jr. and Frances O'Gilvie Rains include:
Felix Robertson Rains born March 11, 1810
Felix Robertson Rains, the sixth of 13 children of John Rains, Jr, was born March 11, 1810 in the Eighth Civil District of Davidson County. Felix Robertson Rains was married November 30, 1837 to his cousin, Mary Eliza Herman Rains, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 507. He was sheriff of Davidson County for five years and a director of the Bank of Tennessee.
Of him in 1880 Prof. Clayton wrote in "History of Davidson County, Tennessee:"
"Felix Robertson Rains, a prominent member of the Agricultural Association, was awarded a one-hundred-dollar pitcher by the State Bureau for meritorious services in the cause of agriculture."
Two attacks of paralysis have sadly impaired his once vigorous frame. For fifteen years he has been a constant sufferer, but no weight of affliction has disturbed the steady balance of his mind.
About a mile from Nashville, upon a beautiful eminence, his house stands, almost in sight of Rains Station. Death has often broken into his household band, and one son has gone out from under the paternal roof to make a home for a wife and children of his own. In the companionship of his wife, daughter and son, he is spending the remaining years of a long and useful life."
Mary Elizabeth Herman Rains died June 27, 1841, and her husband, Felix Robertson Rains, married his second of three wives, Mrs. Mary D. Hyde Drake, widow of Blount W. Drake July 14, 1842, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 2, page 105.
Children born to Felix Robertson Rains and Mary Eliza Herman Rains Rains are unknown.
Hance Hamilton Rains, son of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1801.
Martha "Patsy" Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1803.
Ursula Pillow Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1806.
Christianna Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born February 14, 1808.
Charlotte Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1809.
Naomi Rains, daughter of William Rains and Ursula Pillow Rains, was born about 1811.
Martha "Patsy" Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1773, probably in Montgomery County, Virginia. She was brought to Davidson County by her parents about 1779.
She had a narrow escape from the Indians when she and her friend, Betsy Williams, were fired upon by Indians while out riding. Martha "Patsy" Rains, riding a fast horse, escaped, but her friend Betsy Williams was killed and scalped. A. W. Putnam writing in "History of Middle Tennessee," stated "Indians shot and killed Betsy Williams who was riding on the same horse behind Martha "Patsy" Rains."
According to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 28. Martha "Patsy" Rains was married December 3, 1797 to William Gowen, believed to be her first cousin. For details of their lives and their descendants, see his narrative in Section .024.
Barbara Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1778, probably in Montgomery County, Virginia. She was married November 8, 1811 to James P. Condon. James P. Condon, normally employed as a tailor and boarding house proprietor, was High Constable of Nashville from 1814 to 1816 and was elected Mayor of Nashville in 1820 in a highly contested election in the midst of a law and morality reform movement, according to Cleve Weathers.
Barbara Rains Condon died August 24, 1824 and was buried in Davidson County.
Elizabeth Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1781 probably in Davidson County. She was married there September 26, 1801 to Michael Carnes Dunn, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 39. He was born in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1770.
Michael Carnes Dunn was elected sheriff of Davidson County in 1808 and served for eight years. She died November 11, 1837 in Davidson County and was buried in the Gressmere family cemetery. Michael Carnes Dunn died at Nashville in 1853, according to Mary Hamilton Haile of Savannah, Georgia in her DAR membership application.
Cleve Weathers wrote:
"Despite the danger and difficulty of life on the frontier, around 1783 Christiana[h] Rains gave birth to a daughter named Elizabeth, and the child spent her early years at Rains' Station, her father's log fort which was located about two miles south of the pioneer settlement of Nashville. The Indian attacks came to an end in 1795, and in 1801, at the age of about eighteen, Elizabeth Rains became the wife of Michael Carnes Dunn.
Children born to them include:
William D. Dunn born about 1804
Mary Elizabeth Dunn born May 11, 1817
William D. Dunn, son of Michael Carnes Dunn and Elizabeth Rains Dunn, was born in Davidson County about 1804. He became a physician and practiced in Mobile, Alabama.
Mary Elizabeth Dunn, daughter of Michael Carnes Dunn and Elizabeth Rains Dunn, was born May 11, 1817 at Nashville. She was married August 8, 1838 to J. W. Hamilton who was born there April 26, 1813. He died there October 13, 1890, and she died there May 21, 1892.
Children born to them include:
William Dunn Hamilton born March 31, 1859
William Dunn Hamilton, son of J. W. Hamilton and Mary Elizabeth Dunn Hamilton, was born March 31, 1859 in Nashville. He was married April 29, 1902 to Margaret Stewart as his second wife who was born April 30, 1879 in Nashville. She died at Columbia, South Carolina February 1, 1907, and he died in Nashville September 24, 1919.
Children born to them include:
Mary Hamilton born May 14, 1905
Mary Hamilton, daughter of William Dunn Hamilton and Margaret Stewart Hamilton, was born in Columbia May 14, 1905. She was married October 16, 1929 at Franklin, Tennessee to Withers Allen Haile who was born April 17, 1903. In 1952 they were living in Savannah where she made her DAR membership application.
Mary "Polly" Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1784 in Davidson County. She was married about 1803 to Thomas Massey. They participated in the partition of her father's property in 1834.
Susannah Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1786 in Territory South of the River Ohio. She was married to Burwell B. Quimby August 9, 1806, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 57. He was born in Wayne County, North Carolina in 1780. They lived in Lawrence County, Tennessee in 1820 and in Perry County, Tennessee about 1823. They were mentioned in the partitioning of the estate of her father in 1834.
Twelve children were born to them, 10 of which were living when she filed for a divorce in 1838 in Davidson County, according to Joy Jean Quimby Stearns, a descendant of Mt. Olive, Alabama.
In 1847 Susannah Rains Quimby received a deed to 623 acres from Lydia Caldwell for $1,800, according to Haywood County deed records. On July 3, 1847 she joined the Harmony Baptist Church there. Her son, John R. Quimby and "wife Eliza" affiliated with the church in 1851.
Susannah Rains Quimby was enumerated as the head of Household 899, District 2 in the 1850 census of Haywood County, along with her three youngest children. Nearby were the households of three other children, John R. Quimby, No. 896, Caswell K. Quimby, No. 897 and William Quimby, No. 898. The 1850 agricultural census showed that Hance R. Quimby was the operator of his mother's farm and during that year had produced "10 pounds of butter, 500 bushels of Indian corn, 15 bushels of Irish potatoes, 30 bushels of sweet potatoes and 2,000 pounds of ginned cotton." Livestock included "1 horse, 5 milch cows, 10 sheep and 30 swine."
In 1852 Susannah Rains Quimby made a gift deed of 150 acres of her farm to her son Hance R. Quimby. Two years later she bought an additional 123 acres from Thomas Adams.
In the 1860 census Susannah Rains Quimby was enumerated as the head of Household 70-70 in Haywood County. Here real estate was valued at $6,000 and her personal property at $1,525. Also living in her household were "William H. Phillips, 55; wife, Elizabeth Phillips, 56; Jesse Phillips, 33; Ben Phillips, 31; and Emma Phillips, 13." Susannah Rains Quimby did not appear in the 1865 and 1866 tax lists nor the 1870 census of Haywood County, suggesting that she died during the decade.
Children born to Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby include:
Caroline Quimby born in 1807
Caswell K. Quimby born in 1808
John R. Quimby born in 1810
Tennessee Quimby born in 1814
William Quimby born about 1820
Barbara Quimby born about 1823
Jonas E. Quimby born about 1825
Christiana R. Quimby born about 1826
Hance R. Quimby born about 1827
Sarah Quimby born about 1830
Caroline Quimby, daughter of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born in 1807, according to Joy Jean Quimby Stearns. She was married October 7, 1828 to William Warmath in Madison County, Tennessee.
Caswell K. Quimby, son of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born in 1808 in Davidson County. He was married there in 1831 to Classie Hopper. By 1846 they were in Haywood County, Tennessee where he was enumerated in 1850 as the head of Household 897, adjacent to his mother's farm. In that year he produced "50 pounds of butter, 300 bushels of Indian corn and 40 bushels of oats," according to the agricultural census. In 1851 they were located in Bradley County, Arkansas. He died there April 27, 1889.
Children born to Caswell K. Quimby and Classie Hopper Quimby include:
Columbus Caswell Quimby born in 1850
Columbus Caswell Quimby, son of Caswell K. Quimby and Classie Hopper Quimby, was born in Haywood County in 1850. Children born to him include:
John Tilman Quimby born in 1870
John Tilman Quimby, son of Columbus Caswell Quimby, was born in 1870. In 1908 he lived in Bradley County. Children born to him include:
Claude Mack Quimby born in 1908
Claude Mack Quimby, son of John Tilman Quimby, was born in Bradley County in 1908. In 1948 he lived in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Children born to Claude Mack Quimby include:
Joy Jean Quimby born in 1948
Joy Jean Quimby, daughter of Claude Mack Quimby, was born in Little Rock in 1948. She was married in 1967 to Charles Stearns. They resided in Lexington, Kentucky in 1977. In 1993 they lived in Mt. Olive, Alabama where she, a member of Gowen Research Foundation, was active in the research of her Rains-Gowen ancestors. She has provided much of the material in this section of the manuscript.
Children born to Charles Stearns and Joy Jean Quimby Stearns include:
Brandon Charles Stearns born in 1977
John R[ains?] Quimby, son of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born in Davidson County in 1810. "John R. Quimby was married to Eliza Gowen October 17, 1837, William Matthews, surety," according to "Marriage Records of Rutherford County, Tennessee, 1804-1872" by Edythe Rucker Whitley. Eliza Gowen, his first cousin, once-removed, was the daughter of William Gowen and Mary "Polly" Crutchfield Gowen who was born in Rutherford County about 1818.
It is believed that Eliza Gowen Quimby was still living in Rutherford County in 1848. A receipt issued to her brother, John Gowen itemizes some cloth he purchased for her.
John R. Quimby was enumerated in Davidson County in 1840. They continued there in 1842 and in 1847. In 1848 "Mrs. Quimby" received some cloth from J. McNichol, merchant of Nashville purchased for her by her brother, John Gowen.
In 1850 they were recorded in Haywood County, Tennessee. In Haywood County they lived near his mother, Susannah Rains Quimby and his brothers, Caswell R. Quimby, Hance Quimby, William Quimby and Jonas Quimby. William Quimby and Jonas Quimby died in Haywood County in the 1850s. Hance Quimby had removed to Texas about 1850. Caswell Quimby removed to Bradley County, Arkansas by 1851.
The genealogy of the Quimby family was written by Joy Jean Quimby Stearns of Mt. Olive, Alabama and published in 1989 in "The History of Haywood County, Tennessee."
By the 1860 census John R. Quimby had returned to Davidson County. They were enumerated in 1870 in Marshall County, Tennessee.
John R. Quimby died December 26, 1882 in Nashville and was buried in an unmarked grave, No. 143, Section 3, SGR3, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, according to the research of Mrs. Joy Jean Quimby Stearns of Mt. Olive, Alabama. He died at age 71 "of consumption," according to the burial records of Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
Children born to John R. Quimby and Eliza Gowen Quimby include;
Mary Quimby born about 1842
John Quimby born about 1847
Cynthia Quimby born about 1851
Robert Quimby born about 1854
James Quimby born about 1858
Tulah Gentry Reddick stated in an interview with Sally Gentry Johnston that she had cousins by the name of "Mary Quimby, Cynthia Quimby and Liza Quimby."
Mary Quimby, daughter of John R. Quimby and Eliza Gowen Quimby, was born about 1842 in Rutherford County. She was married January 16, 1862 to Robert Hamlett.
Buried in the Gowen Cemetery located on the farm of John Gowen at LaVergne, Tennessee is "Frank Vern Quimby, son of R. B. & C. M. Quimby, born April 21, 1885, died October 4, 1887." It was also reported by Samuel Emmett Gowen, grandson of John Gowen that "Francis Quimby" [unidentified] was buried there. Perhaps the two are the same individual. It is possible that Eliza Gowen Quimby is buried there in an unmarked grave.
Tennessee Quimby, daughter of Burrell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born in Maury County in 1814, according to Martha Glen Brooks, a descendant who lived at New London, Missouri in 1979. According to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, Tennessee Quimby was married December 18, 1833 to Pleasant Manly who was born in 1810 in Davidson County. Children born to them include:
Christine [Christiana?] Manly born April 3, 1843
Christine [Christiana?] Manly, daughter of Pleasant Manly and Tennessee Quimby Manly, was born April 3, 1843 at Nashville. She was married in September 1863 to Anthony E. D. Traube who was born April 4, 1825 in Nashville. He died February 15, 1889 in Ralls County, Missouri, and she died there May 31, 1930.
Children born to Anthony E. D. Traube and Christine Manly Traube include:
Mary Glen Traube born July 1, 1874
Mary Glen Traube, daughter of Anthony E. D. Traube and Christine Manley Traube, was born July 1, 1874 in Ralls County. She was married June 11, 1896 to Samuel Davenport Shaw who was born September 4, 1860 at Palmer, Massachusetts. He died July 21, 1904 at Biloxi, Mississippi, and she died December 28, 1959 in New Orleans.
Children born to them include:
Martha Glen Shaw born September 15, 1898
Martha Glen Shaw, daughter of Samuel Davenport Shaw and Mary Glen Traube Shaw, was born September 15, 1898 in Biloxi. She was married there December 17, 1926 to Carl Dimmitt Brooks who was born February 20, 1904 in Hanibal, Missouri. On April 27, 1979 she, a resident of New London, Missouri, applied for DAR membership on the Revolutionary service of Capt. John Rains.
William Quimby, son of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born about 1820 in Lawrence County. He was married about 1843, wife's name Elizabeth. By 1850 he was living in Haywood County, along with other members of his family. He died there in 1857. On October 5, 1857 John Lowry was appointed "administrator of the estate of William Quimby, deceased."
Barbara Quimby, daughter of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born about 1823 in Lawrence County. She was married May 28, 1846 to John Demonbreun in Davidson County, regarded as a kinsman of Jacques Timothy Demonbreun, Jr. who was married to her aunt Christiana Rains.
Jonas E. Quimby, son of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born about 1825 in Lawrence County. He removed about 1846 to Haywood County. He appeared in the 1847 tax list of Haywood County where he died in 1851. On October 6, 1851, "Willie Cherry, administrator of the estate of Jonas E. Quimby, deceased," posted a $1,000 bond with Raleigh Stott and Hance R. Quimby, his bondsmen.
Christiana R. Quimby, daughter of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born in Lawrence County about 1826. She died May 10, 1837, probably in Davidson County.
Hance R. Quimby, son of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born about 1827. In 1850 he was living in Haywood County in his mother's home and was the manager of her farm. He was married April 14, 1852 to Mary Ann Pritchard in Davidson County. His mother made a gift deed to him of 150 acres of her farm shortly after his marriage.
Hance R. Quimby was indicted "for the murder of Alfred Bonner in James Futhey's grocery house in Daneyville" in 1858. A later grand jury exonerated Hance R. Quimby and indicted Samuel Montgomery with perjury in the case. Shortly Horace R. Quimby removed to Texas.
In 1861 Pvt. Hance R. Quimby was serving in Company D of the Tenth Texas Infantry Regiment. During the following years he was promoted to sergeant.
Sarah Quimby, daughter of Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby, was born about 1830, probably in Perry County. Of this individual nothing more is known.
Christiana Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born in Davidson County January 28, 1787. According to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 106, she was married January 10, 1807 to Jacques Timothy Demonbreun, Jr. [also rendered Demumbre and D'monbreaun in Davidson County records].
He was born in Kaskaskia, Illinois April 17, 1787[88?] to Jacques Timothy Demonbreun, a French trapper who remained after the French were driven out, according to Thomas Mason Gowen, member of Gowen Research Foundation. He had settled on the Cumberland when the community was known as French Lick. In 1763 France ceded to Great Britain its claim to the country between the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers in the Treaty of Paris. In 1783 France ratified the cession to the United States in another Treaty of Paris.
A downtown street in Nashville is named for Demonbreun. Nearby Rains Avenue, named for John Rains, runs from Nolensville Pike to Cumberland Park and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The point where Brown's Creek flows through the fairgrounds is believed to be the location of Rains Station. Pillow Avenue is nearby. The Gowen homestead was located about three miles east, now on the Nashville Metropolitan Airport.
On April 7, 1785 the Davidson County grand jury presented the senior Demonbreaun for "retailing liquor without a license." Apparently he was a tavernkeeper and a fur merchant.
Demonbreaun had been "sued by Tristram Hull, and the Court found for the plaintiff" April 8, 1785, according to "Davidson County, Tennessee County Court Minutes, 1783-1792." Demonbreaun was described in the court minutes at that time as "acting magistrate of the Illinois."
Demonbreaun was awarded $44 by the court in a suit against David Hand October 6, 1786. On the same date the court awarded him "20 dollars, 2 shillings" damages in a suit against James Russell. On January 3, 1787 the court awarded him "49 dollars, 2 shillings" in a suit against Bazzel Fry. At the same time the court awarded him "50 dollars, 6 shillings" in a suit against Martin Boston.
On April 6, 1787 Demonbreaun was sued by Julius Sanders, and the jury found for Sanders. On October 2, 1787 Demonbreaun won a suit against Solomon White was awarded $30 in damages. On the following day he was awarded $669.50 in his suit against Anthony Harmand. In another suit on that date against Elijah Routh he was awarded "27 dollars, 7 shillings, 6 pence." On the same day he was awarded "79 dollars, 5 shillings" in a suit against Capt. Eusebius Bushnell.
On April 10, 1788 Demonbreaun was sued by Daniel McDuff. Evidence presented included "depositions of Pierre Langston, Michael Antia and [blank] Carbinsavert at Kaskaskia [Illinois], to be taken before Antoine Beauvais and St. James Beauvais." On October 9, 1788 the jury found for the plaintiff, and judgment in the amount of $1,330 was rendered again Demonbreaun. The defendant appealed the case, and his appeal was granted.
On July 16, 1790 he received a deed from James Hoggatt. On July 11, 1791 he recorded his livestock brand with the Davidson County Court. He deeded land to Elizabeth Bennett in Davidson County in October 1791.
In 1790 Jacques Timothy Demonbreaun attended the estate auction sale of William Gowen. His purchases included "a one-year-old bay colt for 39 pounds; a razor for 24 shillings and tanned leather for 1 pound, 12 shillings."
Since he was a "foreigner," Jacques Timothy Demonbreaun was never called upon to serve jury duty or to hold public office in Davidson County.
On July 13, 1793 Elizabeth Deratt acknowledged that she and her husband, Joseph Deratt executed a deed to Jacques Timothy Demonbreaun for Town Lot No. 45 in Nashville. Howell Tatum proved the deed in court.
Demonbreaun was appointed to a road venire April 6, 1794 "to lay off the nearest & best way from Nashville to John Rains Mill on Brown's Creek. On May 24 the road group recommended to the court that the road follow a course "beginning near Timothy Demonbreaun, thence a direct course, crossing the branch near where Mrs. Gunn lives, thence direct to Rains Mill leaving Richard Cross' Plantation to the east." On July 14, 1798 Demonbreaun was appointed overseer of the streets of Nashville
On April 19, 1800 Demonbreaun was licensed to "keep an ordinary [tavern] in Nashville," and he was very careful to keep his liquor license renewed in April each year. The Davidson County Court firmly maintained a schedule of what tavernkeepers could charge their customers. According to the court minutes, the following prices were posted at that time:
"Good Jimacah Run, per half pint 50c
Good wine, per half pint 50c
Good French Brandy, per half pint 50c
Good Peach Brandy, per half pint 18.5c"
Apparently Jacques Timothy Demonbreaun, Jr. followed in his father's footsteps in managing Demonbreaun fur trading business and the tavern.
Jacques Timothy Demonbreun, Jr. died at age 85 September 17, 1872 and was buried in Battle Creek Baptist Church Cemetery at Coopertown, Tennessee in Robertson County. Children born to Jacques Timothy Demonbreaun, Jr. and Christiana Rains Demonbreaun are unknown.
Nancy Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1791 in the Territory South of the Ohio River. She was married July 4, 1812 to Solomon Herring. Later she was remarried to Laird B. Boyd who was born October 3, 1795 as his second wife, according to Betty Buchanan Ragsdale. They were mentioned in the partitioning of her father's estate in 1834. He died in Maury County, Tennessee January 30, 1843. She died in Davidson County before August 30, 1858.
Children born to Laird B. Boyd and Nancy Rains Herring Boyd include:
Nancy Boyd September 14, 1830
Nancy Boyd, daughter of Laird B. Boyd and Nancy Rains Herring Boyd, was born in Maury County September 14, 1830. She was married January 4, 1848 to William Frank Moore who was born there January 22, 1817. She died there July 17, 1890, and he died there October 23, 1901.
Children born to them include:
Eudora Moore born June 26, 1851
Eudora Moore, daughter of William Frank Moore Nancy Boyd Moore, was born June 26, 1851 in Maury County. She was married February 11, 1873 to Silas Wright Campbell who was born there in 1848. He died in Polk County, Florida May 15, 1886. She died in Hillsborough County, Florida May 20, 1928.
Children born to them include:
Nell Campbell born in 1876
Nell Campbell, daughter of Silas Wright Campbell and Eudora Moore Campbell, was born in Maury County in 1876. She was married November 16, 1898 to William Claude Buchanan who was born in Williamson County, Tennessee August 10, 1871. She died there August 11, 1909, and he died in Hardee County, Florida January 3, 1942.
Children born to them include:
John Burr Buchanan born February 3, 1902
John Burr Buchanan, son of William Claude Buchanan and Nell Campbell Buchanan, was born February 3, 1902 in Williamson County. He was married February 14, 1925 to Laura Ann Warren who was born May 15, 1899 in Williamson County. She died in Davidson County February 4, 1977.
Children born to John Burr Buchanan and Laura Ann Warren Buchanan include:
Betty Buchanan born April 16, 1929
Betty Buchanan, daughter of John Burr Buchanan and Laura Ann Warren Buchanan, was born April 16, 1929. She was married June 16, 1950 to James Sherwood Ragsdale who was born in Davidson County October 13, 1928. They were living in Nashville July 6, 1978 when she submitted her DAR membership application.
Sarah Rains, daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen Rains, was born about 1793 in Davidson County. She was married about 1812 to Gilbert [Gibson] Merritt. They were mentioned in the partitioning of her father's estate in 1834. She died in June 1861, and he died January 4, 1873. They were buried in the Hagan family lot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
Jonathan Hance Rains, son of Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen, was born about 1794 in Davidson County. Jonathan Hance Rains filed an affidavit with Davidson County Court August 25, 1815 that "John Rains, Sr. was due payment from the estate of William Rains, dcsd," according to Davidson County Will Book 2, page 365.
Jonathan Hance Rains was married to Hannah Hinkle [about 1817], according to the research of Daniel Lynn Petty, a descendant.
Jonathan Hance Rains was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1850 census of Williamson County, Tennessee.
Children born to Jonathan Hance Rains and Hannah Hinkle Rains include:
Malvina Rains born about 1822
Malvina Rains, daughter of Jonathan Hance Rains and Hannah Hinkle Rains, was born about 1822. She was married about 1840 to David S. “Dock” Potter, according to Daniel Lynn Petty. Children born to them include:
Malvina Potter born about 1848
Malvina Potter, daughter of David S. “Dock” Potter and Malvina Rains Potter, was born about 1848. She was married about 1867 to James Walter Petty. Daniel Lynn Petty wrote January 26, 2002:
“My line then goes to Raymond Cletus Petty to Dennis Paul Petty, to Dennis Paul Petty, Jr.; to me, Daniel Lynn Petty.”
A. J. Rains, age 37 was buried in Nashville Cemetery November 20, 1858.
Douglas Rains, age 8 was buried March 17, 1883 in Nashville Cemetery.
Jacob Lafayette Rains was born about 1850, according to a letter written January 24, 1991 by Jimmie Kathryn James Black, a great-granddaughter of Bent Mountain, Virginia. He was the father of nine children:
Della Rains born about 1875
Rose Rains born about 1876
James Erasmus Rains born about 1877
Mollie Rains born about 1879
Emma Rains born about 1881
Lela Rains born about 1884
Andress Rains born about 1887
Edna Rains born about 1890
Julian Rains born about 1894
James Erasmus Rains, son of Jacob Lafayette Rains, was born about 1877 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was married to Clara Isabell Morgan December 5, 1897. Later they lived at Farmersville, Texas. He died February 23, 1933 and was buried at Nevada Cemetery, Nevada, Texas.
Children born to James Erasmus Rains and Clara Isabell Morgan Rains include:
Alcie Estelle Rains born February 17, 1899
Alice Estelle Rains, daughter of James Erasmus Rains and Clara Isabell Morgan Rains, was born February 17. 1899. She was married December 19, 1920 to Thomas Carl James.
Children born to them include:
Jimmie Kathryn James born October 2, 1922
Jimmie Kathryn James, daughter of Alice Estelle Rains James, was born October 2, 1922. She was married August 21, 1947 to Malcolm Black. In 1994, she a Rains family researcher, lived at Bent Mountain, Virginia.
Rev. John Rains was born in 1796 in Mason County, Kentucky. He was married in Wilson County, Tennessee Augusty 26, 1824 to Lucinda Cartwright, a native of Georgia, according to Betty B. Ragsdale of Nashville. Fifteen children were born to them, and four suvived to adulthood. He died July 4, 1879 at age 83. He was buried in Nashville City Cemetery.
John D. Rains was among the men who stormed and captured Bexar in Texas December 10, 1835. This battle was a prelude to the Battle of the Alamo a few weeks later. He received a Donation Certificate for 640 acres for his services December 5-10, 1835, according to DAR records at the Alamo.
John N. Rains was married to Sarah Bottom March 16, 1839 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Children born to John N. Rains and Sarah Bottom Rains are unknown.
Lucinda Rains, age 84 was buried July 23, 1887 in Nashville Cemetery.
Mary E. H. Rains was married November 30, 1837 to Phillip C. Shute, according to Davidson County marriage records. [Verification is requested.]
W. T. Rains, age 8 was buried June 17, 1849 in Nashville Cemetery.
Jimmie Kathryn James Black, 9645 Pine Forest NE, Bent Mountain, VA, 24059.
William Dirk Calvin, Box 58143, Nashville, Tennessee, 37205
Miriam Dendy, 1800 Ballard SE, Huntsville, Alabama, 35801, 205/534-0947
Susan M. Gilbert, Route 3, Box 196, Warrenton, VA, 21186.
Arlee Gowen, 5708 Gary Avenue, Lubbock, Texas, 79413, 806/795-8758
Jerry A. Gowen, Box 641, Antioch, Tennessee, 37011
Thomas Mason Gowen, Route 7, Box 7904, Manchester, Tennessee, 37355, 615/728-7495
James A. Hughes, 112 Drummond Road, Huntsville, AL, 35802
Sally Gentry Johnston, Box 892, Jacksonville, Alabama, 36265, 205/435-8519
William B. Landers, Box 1174, Pocasset, MA, 02559
Betty Buchanan Ragsdale, 500 Baxter Lane, Nashville, TN, 37220.
Betty Shea, 506 Front Street, Heber Springs, AR, 72543
Shari Lynn Southard, 5240 W. Las Palmaritas, Glendale, Arizona, 85302, 602/842-4419
Joy Jean Quimby Stearns, 618 Greenwood Circle, Mt. Olive, AL, 35117
Betty Stevens, 2804 W. Boyce, Ft. Worth, TX, 76133
Cleve Weathers, 315 Deaderick St, Nashville, TN, 37238-2075
Elizabeth Rains Webb, 6579 Buzzard Creek Road, Sptingfield, TN, 37122
James H. Gowen, son of William Gowen and Sarah Simpson was born about 1752 probably in Granville County, North Carolina. He was very dark complexioned, had Melungeon features and later had difficulty when he was regarded as a mulatto and a runaway slave.
It is believed that he accompanied his father, his brother, William Gowen and his kinsman, David Gowen when they made a move to Tennessee in a party led by John Rains, his brother-in-law. Levi Gowen of Fairfield County, South Carolina, brother of David Gowen, stated in a Fairfield County court affidavit that "Four mulatto went to Daverson County on the Cumberland River in 1779." David Gowen was killed by the Indians at Mansker's station [later in Sumner County] about 1780, and Levi Gowen was named as his heir.
James H. Gowen settled on land located north of the Cumberland River, and when Sumner County, Tennessee was created in 1786, found himself in the new county.
"James Gowen" purchased a horse for $79.25 at the auction of the estate of Allen Gowen, his kinsman in 1800, according to Rutherford County Court records.
According to the research of Donna Gowin Johnston, Foundation Editorial Boardmember of Casper, Wyoming, James H. Gowen appeared in the court records of Sumner County March 23, 1804. At that time the court ordered that depositions be taken from John Watts Crunk and his wife, Milley Crunk, in addition to a deposition by John McCarton. The case was declared a mistrial by the judge and set to come up again in the June Quarterly Session.
On June 22, 1804, the court did not hear the case, but issued an order that "the deposition of Thomas Elliott of Kentucky to be taken in behalf of the defendant."
It is probable that John Watts Crunk, Mrs. Milley Crunk, John McCarton and Thomas Elliott were able to present convincing evidence that James H. Gowen was born a free man. Daniel Gowen, kinsman of James H. Gowen, was married in Fairfield, South Carolina to Rebecca Elliott. Charles Elliott, George Elliott, Hugh Elliott, James Elliott, John Elliot, Samuel Elliott, Simon Elliott and Tebiah Elliott appeared in Sumner County during this pioneer period.
John Watts Crunk was no stranger to the courthouse in Gallatin. In April 1788 the case of State of North Carolina vs. John Watts Crunk came up, but was dismissed. On September 20, 1804 John Watts Crunk was sued by John Young on an indebtedness, but the suit was also dismissed.
On December 19, 1804 John Watts Crunk was appointed constable in Capt. James Whitsitts militia company. He posted the required performance bond of $625 with Elisha Prewitt and Nicholas Boyce his securities. On December 20, 1804 John Watts Crunk was sued by Henry Fuller on a $4.86 indebtedness, and the court found in favor of the plaintiff. In March 1805 John Coffee sued John Watts Crunk for a $28.86 indebtedness, and the jury found for the plaintiff.
On June 21, 1805 John Young "records his stock mark, also personal mark, a bite out of the right ear done by John W. Crunk," according to Sumner County court minutes.
On June 22, 1805, the appeal of John Coffee & Co. vs John W. Crunk was heard and the court issued a "scire facias against the security of Crunk."
On September 21, 1804 the case of James Gowen vs. Isaac Baker was continued until the fourth quarter. On that date Allen Purvis "impannelled in cause Jas. Gowen agt. Isaac Baker fined $5 for being absent after the hour of adjournment to this day in contempt of court." The judge again ruled a mistrial.
"Pleas at the court house in the town of Gallatin before the justices of Gallatin on the third Monday in December Ano Domini 1804 & 29th year of American Independence.
James Gowen, Plaintiff vs Isaac Baker, Defendant [Trespass, Assault & Battery, Ve.]
Isaac Baker was attached to answer James Gowen in a plea of trespass, assault & battery & false imprisonment with force & arms to his damage Five Thousand Dollars. Whereupon the said James Gowen by John C. Hamilton, his attorney at March term 1804, filed his declaration upon the same in the words following, to wit:
State of Tennessee, Sumner County, March Term, 1804. James Gowen by his attorney complains of Isaac Baker in custody, etc of a plea of trespass, assault & battery for this to wit on the ____ day of ____ in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & two in the county aforesaid with force & arms and assault did make in & upon the body the said James & him the said James did beat, wound & ill treat, and whereas also afterwards towit on the same day & year last aforesaid at the county aforesaid the said Isaac with force & arms did falsely & illegally imprison him, the said James for a long time [to wit] for the space of fifteen days to the damage of the said James five thousand Dollars & therefore he brings suit.
And the said Defendant by W. L. Hannum, his attorney at the term last above mentioned comes into court and defends the force and injury when and where, etc, and for plea saith that the Plaintiff ought not to have or maintain an action or suit ____ and for __________ the Plaintiff by John C. Hamilton, his attorney says he ought not to be barred or precluded from having or maintain his action aforesaid against the said Defendant not with standing any plea pleaded by the Defendant in his aforesaid plea because he says he is not now nor ever has been a slave, and of this he puts himself on his county and the Defendant by W. L. Hannum, his attorney, and at September term a Jury was impannelled & sworn to try the issue aforesaid, but they did not retire, a mistrial being made by consent of parties ____ and now at this term to wit the first above mentioned comes the parties by their attorneys and a Jury to wit, Andrew Blythe, Richard Carr, Robert Robb, Thomas Joiner, George Gillespie, Isaac George, William Bruce, William Snoddy, James Graham, John Shaver, Smith Hansbrough & James A. Wilson, who being elected, tried & sworn the truth to speak upon the issue joined upon their oath do say that they find the issue in favour of the plaintiff, saying that the said Plaintiff is a free man, and do assess the said plaintiff's damages by occasion of wrongfully detaining him in servitude, to six & one-fourth cents. It is therefore considered by the court that the plaintiff recover against the defendant his damages aforesaid in form aforesaid assessed & his costs by him about his suit in this behalf expended."
James H. Gowen received an inheritance of 240 acres of his father's 640-acre land grant. He and brother, John Gowen advertised the property, "containing 240 acres and lying on the main road from Nashville to Jefferson" for sale in a Nashville newspaper December 13, 1806, probably after the death of their mother. James H. Gowen sold the property to Daniel Vaulx who lived nearby June 2, 1807, according to Davidson County Deed Book G, page 199. The land was described as:
". . . beginning at a hickory at the Northwest corner of the preemption originally granted to William Gowen, thence east 332 poles to a red oak, the original Northeast corner of said tract, then South 166 poles to a white oak, poplar and dogwood, then West 145 poles to a post oak, then north 42 poles to a hickory, then North 60 West 98 to a black oak, thence North 80 West 95 poles to a dogwood on the West boundary of the original survey, thence North to the beginning . . . "
Steve Rogers of the Tennessee Historical Commission who researched the deed record of the property wrote, "this 240-acre tract is located on the northern third of the property [pre-emption] north of present-day Murphreesboro Road and is not a part of the Central States Hospital tract. The route of the Murfreesboro Turnpike, established in 1824, followed approximately the southern boundary, according to 'Acts of Tennessee, 1824,' page 148."
Following his abusive experience in Sumner County, it is believed that James H. Gowen moved across the county line to adjoining Robertson County which had been created from Sumner County in 1796. It is believed that land was granted to James H. Gowen, perhaps in both counties.
"James Goin" and "Jeremiah Goin" were recorded in 1812 as taxpayers in Robertson County in Capt. Gabriel Martin's Company, according to "Taxpayer List," Roll 7, Tennessee State Archives.
Included among the assets of the estate of William Rains administered in Davidson County November 27, 1812 was a past due note on "James H. Gowan for $100, payable on June 3, 1808."
Children born to James H. Gowen are unknown. Possible kinsmen of James H. Gowen are Reuben Gowen of Sumner County and Jeremiah Gowen, Benjamin Gowen and Reuben Gowen of Robertson County.
Benjamin Gowen was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1840 census of Robertson County, page 181.
Reuben Gowen was born about 1770. "Reuben Goin, free colored," appeared in the 1820 census of Robertson County page 21, as the head of a family composed of:
"Goin, Reuben free colored male over 45
free colored male 26-45
free colored male 0-14"
One member of the household was engaged in agriculture. It is likely that Reuben Gowen was of Melungeon ancestry. The fact that his skin was dark probably caused the censustaker in 1820 to show him as "free colored."
Children of Reuben Gowen include:
Reuben Gowen born about 1795
Reuben Gowen, son of Reuben Gowen, was born about 1795, probably in Sumner County. He was married there December 6, 1817 to Crisia Ford, according to "Sumner County, Tennessee Marriages, 1787-1859." Samuel Gwin was the bondsman.
"Reuben Gowin, white," was enumerated in the 1830 census of Robertson County, page 415, as the head of a household composed of:
"Gowin, Reuben white male 30-40
white female 30-40
white female 10-15
white female 5-10
white male 0-5
white female 0-5"
The household of "Reuben Goen" free colored appeared in the 1840 census of Robertson County, page 183, as:
"Goen, Reuben free colored male 55-100
white female 40-50
free colored female 24-36
free colored female 24-36
free colored male 0-10
free colored male 0-10"
Reuben Gowen owned eight slaves. Nine members of the household were engaged in agriculture. Reuben Gowen "died testate in April 1849," according to "Abstracts of Chancery Court, Robertson County, Tennessee, 1844-1872."
His heirs were listed as:
John W. Gowen
Matilda Gowen adopted daughter
Belinda Gowen Forrester
Robert Forrester and wife, Belinda Gowen Forrester, [also known as "Malinda Amy Gowen Forrester], filed suit, Case No. 151 in Chancery Court, in 1849 against "John W. Gowen, et al, Re: the Estate of Reuben Gowen, deceased, a free man of color."
Children of Reuben Gowen and Crisia Ford Gowen were:
Matilda Gowen [adopted] born about 1820
Belinda Gowen born about 1822
John W. Gowen born about 1827
Lucinda Gowen born about 1829
Matilda Gowen, adopted daughter of Reuben Gowen and Crisia Ford Gowen, was born about 1820. She appeared in the 1850 census of her brother, John W. Gowen as "age 30, born in Tennessee."
In 1870 Matilda Gowen filed suit in Chancery Court, Case No. 774, against her brother-in-law, "Robert Forrester and William Armstrong, administrator seeking payment of debt owed by Robert Forester to Matilda Gowen."
The court record mentions that "Carrol Forester died intestate March 17, 1860." His heirs were "Robert Forester, brother, William Forester, brother and Nicey Brewer, sister." "Robert Forester lived in Mississippi in 1857, but has not been heard from for 9 years."
Belinda [Malinda Amy] Gowen, daughter of Reuben Gowen and Crisia Ford Gowen, was born about 1822. She was married in October 1847 to Robert Forrester, son of Sarah Forrester. In 1849 she, probably at the instance of her husband, filed suit against her brother John W. Gowen and the other heirs. Shortly afterward she filed suit for divorce, Case No. 167 in Chancery Court, against her husband. The petition appears to have been dropped.
Apparently she went with her husband to Mississippi before 1857, but had not been heard from since 1861.
Children born to Robert Forrester and Belinda Gowen Forrester include:
Lurinda Victoria Gowen Forrester born about 1849
Lurinda Victoria Gowen Forrester, daughter of Robert Forrester and Belinda Gowen Forrester, was born about 1849. She was mentioned in the divorce petition of her mother filed in that year.
John W. Gowen, son of Reuben Gowen and Crisia Ford Gowen, was born about 1827. He was listed in the 1850 census of Robertson County, District 1, September 13, 1850 as the head of a household composed of himself and his sisters:
"Gowen, John W. 23, farmer, $400 real estate, born in TN
Matilda 30, born in TN
Lucinda 21, born in TN"
Lucinda Gowen, daughter of Reuben Gowen and Crisia Ford Gowen, was born about 1829. She appeared at age 21 in the 1850 census of Robertson County.
Jimmie Kathryn James Black, 9645 Pine Forest Rd. NE, Bent Mountain, VA, 24059.
Joy Jean Quimby Stearns, 618 Greenwood Circle, Mt. Olive, AL, 35117
Cleve Weathers, 315 Deaderick St, Nashville, TN, 37238-2075
Peggy Ann White, 109 Underwood Dr, Hopkinsville, KY, 42240-2731
Daniel Gowen, regarded as a son of Alexander Gowen, was born about 1735. He was married about 1760, wife's name Rebecca. He purchased a farm in Fairfield County about 1768.
"Daniel Going" was listed as security May 7, 1782 on the bond of Richard Gladden in the administration of the estate of "John Stuart [Stewart]" according to "Camden District, South Carolina Wills and Administrations, 1781-1787" by Brent H. Holcomb, G.R.S.
"Daniel Goyen" was listed as a purchaser at the estate sale of Nottley Hollis about June 1782, according to "Camden District, South Carolina Wills and Administrations, 1781-1787"
"Daniel Gowen" drew pay for militia duty May 23, 1785 in Fairfield County, according to Book 2, "Stub Entries to Indents," edited by A. S. Salley, State Historian of South Carolina.
He died before October 24, 1785 when "Rebecca Elliot formerly the wife of Daniel Gowen, present wife of John Elliot, appeared in Fairfield County Court Monday," according to Fairfield County Court Minute Book A, page 4:
"The Court met according to adjournment whereupon Isaac Young appeared and produced Rebecca Elliot, formerly wife to Daniel Gowen, deceased from whom the said Young rented a tract of land and had engaged to pay her and her present husband, John Elliot the rent of 55 bushels of corn. The said Rebecca Elliot satisfied the court that her former husband purchased the said land and that she had been 17 years in possession of the same."
A writ of attachment had been granted by Judge John Buchan-an Esq. to Thomas Nelson against Isaac Young for an unpaid rental of 50 bushels of corn. In court “Isaac Young appeared and produced Rebeccah Elliot formerly wife to Daniel Gowen decd, from whom the said Young rented a tract of land and had engaged to pay her and her present husband John Elliot, the rent of 55 bushels of corn.”
The judgement of the court read: “It appears to the court that the plaintiff had no cause of action against the defendant as the said Rebeccah Elliot had never given up possession of the said land for which the plaintiff demanded rent. Therefore ordered to pay cost.”
Children born to Daniel Gowen and Rebecca Gowen include:
Levi Gowen born in June 1762
David Gowen born about 1763
Levi Gowen, son of Daniel Gowen and Rebecca Gowen, was born in Fairfield County in June 1762. "Levi Goines" enlisted "about the time of the fall of Charleston" [May 12, 1780] at age 17 from Fairfield County "where he lived" as a Revolutionary soldier in the South Carolina line, according to his pension application.
In 1792 he inherited the land of his brother, David Gowen located in Davidson County, Tennessee. However, it is possible that, based upon a suit filed by William Gowen in Davidson County Court, that the court had ordered the property of David Gowen sold. Accordingly, Levi Gowen would have received nothing.
"Levi Goyen" and James Scott were sued January 17, 1793 by James Craig, according to "Fairfield County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court, 1785-1799." The case was dismissed when the defendants paid the court costs.
It is believed that shortly after this time Levi Gowen removed to Moore County, North Carolina. “Levy Goin” was enumerated as the head of a household of “five other free” in the 1800 census of Moore County, page 62. His household was composed of “eight other free” in the 1810 census of Moore County, page 615.
"Goins, ----ve, free colored," was listed as the head of a household of “10 free colored” in the 1820 census of Moore County, page 20, according to "Index to the Census of North Carolina." Six families of Goings/Gowens/Gowins were enumerated in the 1840 census of Moore County, but Levi Gowen, approximately 78 by this time, was not recorded as the head of a household.
"Levi Goines" was a resident of Moore County April 26, 1852 when he applied for a Revolutionary pension "aged about 90." His application read:
"Declaration in Order to Obtain the Benefit of the Acts of Congress for the Benefit of Revolutionary Soldiers.
State of North Carolina
County of Moore
On this 26th day of April AD 1852 personally appeared before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the county and state aforesaid, Levi Goines, a resident of said County of Moore and State of North Carolina, aged about Ninety Years, who first being duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Acts of Congress for Soldiers who Served in the Revolutionary War.
That he volunteered in Fairfield County, State of South Carolina and agreed to serve until the end of the War. The time he entered the service he does not recollect, but believes it was about the time that the British took Charleston , that he served as a private in a company commanded by Captain John Gray and was attached to a Regiment which was commanded by Col. John Winn, and Gen. Richard Winn.
He continued in actual service for about the term of twelve months [he thinks nearly two years, but is determined to be within bounds], though his recollection is not very distinct as to the time he served, but he was honorably discharged, as he believes, at the close of said Revolutionary War by his said Captain, having been marched back to said Fairfield County which was also the residence of his captain. He obtained no written discharge.
He was engaged in a battle near the confluence of the Congaree and Santee Rivers. Gen. Lee, he believes, was the commander though his memory to this is indistinct, says the Tories surrendered here without much fighting. His services were entirely confined to the State of South Carolina, marching from Winnsborough to the Congaree Fort and various other parts of said state under his officers.
He recollects the names of many officers and soldiers with whom he served, but does not know many regulars. The following are of them: Maj. John Pearson, William W. Morey, James Steel, Joseph Kennedy, John Greggs, Lt. Andrew Gray and Samuel Croslin [the latter was a Regular]. He knows of no person living whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his Service having removed from the State of South Carolina to North Carolina, Moore County soon after the close of the Revolutionary War where he has resided ever since.
He has never been positive until recently that he was entitled to a Pension. Several years since a Gentlemen informed him that he was entitled and he would procure a pension for him, but as nothing was done, he concluded that he was not entitled to anything and made no further effort until now.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any State.
Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid in open Court.
Test. Aron A. F. Leavell Levi [X] Goines"
Duncan Murchison attached an affidavit to the pension application of Levi Gowen:
"State of North Carolina
On this 19th day of February AD1852 personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, Duncan Murchison, being duly sworn according to law declared that he has been acquainted with Levi Goins for forty-five years, during which time he has resided in the county and state aforesaid, that when he came to this county, he understood and believed that he came from the State of South Carolina.
He is a man of good character whose oath can be relied upon. He is reputed to have been a soldier in the Revolutionary War while living in South Carolina of which there is no doubt.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 19th day of February AD1852.
John C. Jackson, J. P."
Gen. W. D. David provided a corroborating affidavit to accompany the pension application to the Pension Department:
"State of North Carolina
On this 28th day of June AD1852 personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and state aforesaid Gen. W. D. David who being duly sworn according to law declared that he is well acquainted with Levi Goines of said county and from his general character has no hesitation in saying that he is entitled to full credit upon his oath, that he has recently been requested to examine said Goines relative to his Services as a Soldier in the Revolutionary War, that he has examined and conversed with him on that subject at various times and with great particularity and has no doubt that said Goines volunteered in the State of South Carolina for and during the War and continued in actual service in the Revolutionary War for nearly or quite two years, that he has inquired of said Goines when he entered the service.
Said that he could not tell, but it was about the time the British took Charleston, that he inquired what was his age now, he said he was Ninety Years old this month, that he then discovered he must have been under twenty-one years when Charleston was surrendered to the British.
That without making a single intimation to said Goines of that fact [nor can he read a single word of history] that he inquired how old he was when he volunteered, to which he replied that he was about Nineteen years old, that he then referred to the History of the Revolution and found that the time Charleston was surrendered [May 12, 1780]. Said Goines was about Nineteen years old [actually 17].
That he then inquired what general officers he knew. He said 'Green, Sumter, Wynn, Lee.' That he then inquired what battles he was in. He said that he was in but one, which was at the Congaree Fort. That he again referred to the history and finds that this fort was called Moultree, near the confluence of Congaree and Santee Rivers. Gen. Lee was dispatched to this place. That from these facts, together with many other incidents of said war related by said Goines, the conclusion was irresistible that said Goines is one of those Veterans who stood up for his country in the hour of danger and has never yet received a pension.
That said Goines with his aged companion are living along in a very humble condition in life, barely able to afford themselves the comforts which their advanced age require. That it is the universal opinion of all who converse with him that he was a faithful soldier in the Revolutionary War.
W. D. David"
"By reference to history, I find that the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought October 7, 1780 after which Lord Cornwallis left Charlotte and fell back to Winnsboro, the very place and year that Mr. Goines mentions in his declaration. --W. C. Thagard.".
W. C. Thagard provided an affidavit to accompany the pension application:
"State of North Carolina
Pension Office Department
The declaration of Levi Goines, a Revolutionary Soldier with proof of his Services, hereunto annexed, is respectfully submitted for your Consideration. It is believed, that under the Several Acts of Congress, he is entitled to a Pension for life from the 4th of March 1831, to back pay since that time and to Bounty Lands, having volunteered during the War and served, as he believes, until its close or until discharged by his Officers, which several claims he respectfully asks the Department to allow him.
He has no living nor documentary evidence of his Services, but has transmitted a correct statement, under oath, showing as near as frail memory will allow, the time, place and manner of his Services, the Officers under whom he served and with whom he was acquainted.
He also produces the Certificates of three of the most respectable and intelligent men in his County who establish beyond doubt his good character and general reputation as a Soldier, and I imagine there are but few of those Veterans who have been mercifully spared until this day that would swear falsely.
This proof I trust will be sufficient to establish his claim. Time has so reduced the number of these Veterans and of the witnesses of their services and sufferings that to require of them positive proof, independently of their own statement, would be to deprive them of the benefit of the Acts. An early investigation of this claim is respectfully Solicited, if consistent with the Regulations of the Department.
His humble condition in life and very feeble health require it. All of which is respectfully submitted. My address is Carthage, N. C.
W. C. Thagard"
An additional certificate was provided by Duncan M. R. McIntosh, Esquire:
"State of North Carolina
On this 16th day of July AD1852 personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and State aforesaid Duncan M. R. McIntosh, Esq. who being duly sworn according to law declares that he has been acquainted with Levi Goines for about Twenty-five years, that he is a man of good character for truth and veracity. There are but few men more to be relied upon, on their oath, than he is.
He is reputed to have served as a Soldier in the Revolutionary War in the State of South Carolina, that he has no doubt of that fact. He is a man of about Ninety years of age.
D. M. R. McIntosh
Sworn to and Subscribed before me the day and year above written.
Wm. Barrett, J. P."
Alexander C. Curry, clerk of Moore County Court attached his own certificate:
"State of North Carolina
I, Alexander C. Curry, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in an for the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that he declaration of Levi Goines hereunto annexed was duly executed and sworn to in open court by the identical Levi Goines named in said declaration who is reputed and believed to have been a Revolutionary soldier.
I further certify that Duncan Murchison, Esq, D. M. R. McIntosh, Esq. and Gen'l W. D. David whose names appear to the annexed certificates are citizens of said county of high standing whose regard for truth cannot be doubted. Said Murchison is a Prominent Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and each of them has been promoted to distinguished places of trust in their county and state. Said signatures being in their own proper hand writing.
I further certify that John C. Jackson, William Barret and Donald Street whose names appear to the annexed certificates of Duncan Murchison, D. M. B. McIntosh and W. D. David were at the time of signing the same acting Justices of the Peace in an for the county aforesaid, duly commissioned and qualified according to law and that their signatures to the same are genuine.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto affixed my Seal of Office and subscribed my name the 6th day of August AD1852.
Alexander C. Curry, Clerk
Moore County Court"
The pension application of Levi Gowen and accompanying affidavits were mailed to Hon. W. Dockery, House of Representatives with the request that his pension check be mailed to Dockery's Store, N. C.
After a year had passed, W. C. Thaghard wrote a letter on the behalf of the application of Levi Gowen:
"Carthage, N.C, April 8, 1853
Some months since I presented through Gen. Dockery to the Department the declaration of Levi Goines, a Soldier in the War of the Revolution, asking to be allowed a pension for his services in said war. I stated in my letter than the advanced age and feeble health of the old Veteran present Strong claims to the Department for an early investigation. I have waited with great patience, and as yet the Department has not seen fit to address me on the subject.
If there is any informality in the declaration or any lack of testimony that prevents the claim being allowed, will the Department please to inform me or if it has not yet been investigated or has been allowed and no information given, I ask respectfully to be informed thereof.
W. C. Thagard"
He received Pension No. R3865 approved August 4, 1852. It is unknown how long Levi Gowen and his wife received the pension. Of Levi Gowen and descendants nothing more is known.
Mention of the "Goings families" in Moore County appeared in "Ancient Records of Moore County, North Carolina:"
"By strange coincidence, there were two Goings families in Moore County in 1790, one being white; the other listed under the heading of "all other free persons," that is free negro, mulatto or Indian. Both families were headed by William Goings. One William, of course the white one, was later made a justice of the peace for the county. Within the writer's recollection, some of those families held themselves above association with negroes, and their white neighbors accepted them as several notches above their black brethren.
An examination of the 1850 census will show the increase in this clan, all of whom are there listed as mulatto. Briefly, the Goings were classed exactly as were the so-called "Lumbee" Indians of Robeson County. In later years, certain of these families intermarried with negroes, and their descendants now living in Moore County are black. Others, however, has maintained the complexion and characteristics of their more ancient ancestors. The free family lived on or about Pocket Creek, in Lee County [organized from Moore County and Chatham County in 1907] or between there and Lemon Springs.
The writer's father once pointed out to him their location and casually remarked, 'they were not negroes, but probably Indians.' What became of the white family of Williams Goings, the writer has been unable to determine. A few years ago, a writer in the "Saturday Evening Post" wrote a story on the 'Melungeons' [maybe from the French 'melange,' a mixture] who had a colony on the Clinch River in North Central Tennessee, and among whose members were Goings. The description of these people would apply almost 100% to those of Robeson County. How did the Goings get 'way up there?"
David Gowen, son of Daniel Gowen and Rebecca Gowen, was born about 1763 in Fairfield County, according to an affidavit of his mother September 17, 1792. He served in the militia regiment commanded by Col. Benjamin Roebuck of adjoining Spartanburg County about 1779. The estate of David Gowen received "12 pounds, 4 shillings and 3 and one-half pence sterling for duty in Roebucks Regiment," according to a state indent dated August 9, 1786, appearing in "Stub Entries to Indents." The beneficiaries of the estate were not identified.
In a power of attorney signed by Levi Gowen, his brother, it is stated that "four mulatto went to the Cumberland River in the year 1779 and were killed by the Indians in the year 1780."
It is believed that David Gowen accompanied William Gowen, believed to be his grandfather, in a move to the new settlements on the Cumberland River at Ft. Nashboro, Tennessee.
David Gowen received from the state of North Carolina Preemption Claim No. 260 to "640 acres on the south side of the Cumberland River" in Davidson County, according to "North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791." A preemption claim indicates actual residence.
"David Goin and Risby Kennedy were killed at Mansco's Lick Station by Indians in the winter of 1780," according to "Old Days of Nashville" by Jane Thomas. She adds "In the morning when Mansco's Lick Station was broken up, two young men who had slept a little later than their companions were shot by two guns pointed through a port-hole by the Indians. These were David Goin and Patrick Quigley."
J. T. Moore, writing in his book, "Tennessee, the Volunteer State," page 180, reported the incident as, "David Goin and a companion were killed at Mansco's Station near Nashville by Indians while they were sleeping. Unaware that the other members of their party had pulled out of the fortress before dawn, the two slept late and were shot by Indians through the portholes of the fort's walls in 1780." John Carr in his book "Early Times in Tennessee" states that "David Goin was killed in 1778."
In the official records of Nashville it was recorded that "David Gowine was killed in the settlement and defense of Nashville by Indians." He is believed to have been 18 years old and unmarried. The attacks of the Creeks were fierce and savage during the period, and many of the Davidson County settlers withdrew back eastward for safety.
On March 4, 1783 "William Goings entered into bond with James Shaw, security, in penalty of 200 pounds specie" and was granted the administration of "the estate of David Goings, deceased" by the Nashville committee.
In Davidson County Will Book 1, Entry 11, is recorded:
"An inventory of the estate of David Gowine, deceased, "who died in the year 1781." Recorded in the proceedings of the committee, Davidson County, North Carolina, 1781, was "To wit: some cows and calves, one gun, one bull, weeding hoe, one buckskin, one handkerchief, one pair breeches [or buckles?]. Total value, 19 pounds, one shilling."
The return of the estate was signed by William Gowen, administrator.
Shortly afterwards "William Gowens" sued John Gibson in a "plea of detinue" [action to regain personal property wrongfully detained] as administrator of the estate of "David Gowens, deceased" and was awarded "two pounds for a heifer he disposed of," according to Nashville court records.
On May 10, 1784 the Nashville Committee voted that "640 acres of land in the Nashville area be deeded "to the heirs or devisees of David Gowin killed in the settlement and defense of Nashville." This was probably done in conjunction with Land Grant No. 260 issued to "David Gowan" for 640 acres.
The Davidson County Court Minute Book records that "William Gowens" sued the heirs of "David Gowens" in the January, 1788 session of court. The defendants did not appear in court, and the court awarded to the plaintiff "27 pounds, 14 shillings and three pence in damages."
Edythe Rucker Whitley in "Tennessee Genealogical Records of Davidson County, Tennessee" wrote:
"David Gowen, who was killed by Indians in defense of Tennessee about 1779-80, received a posthumous land grant of 640 acres in 1783. His father [error], William Gowen, was one of the signors of the Cumberland Compact entered into by settlers on the Cumberland River May 1, 1780."
The property of David Gowen was inherited by his brother, Levi Gowen, September 17, 1792, according to Fairfield County Deed Book A, pages 162-164:
Cleve Weatthers, an attorney of Nashville, Tennessee and a Gowen descendant wrote an analysis of the power of attorney executed by Levi Gowen”
Comments on the 1792 Power of Attorney by Levi Goyen
and the Supporting Affidavit by Becky Elliot
by Cleve Weathers -- March 2001
My comments are followed by the copies of the docu-ments that I have transcribed as carefully as possible. If you are reading these documents as e-mail rather than as an attached file, then some of the formatting will be off. However, the I think the substance of data will remain. Where you see words abbreviated, the last character of the word was in superscript in the original document with the period directly under the superscripted letter. I do not know how to duplicate that “directly underneath period” in my word processor. I have attached this file in RTF format to achieve as universal compatibility in form as possible.
After studying the following power of attorney executed by Levi Goyen and the supporting affidavit if Becky Elliot in 1792, I think it is clear that both instruments were drawn either by a lawyer or by good court clerk. My perception is that although the Fairfield County area of South Carolina may no longer have been frontier territory in 1792, it was still more or less backwoods country. Considering this, I think both documents were well crafted for their place and era.
My guess is that Levi and Becky came to either the attorney or clerk and told a rather long rambling story of their son and brother going to Davidson County many years earlier and that as a result of David being killed that his heirs had inherited his rights to a cheap preemption grant of 640 acres from the State of North Carolina. The original pioneers who did not flee elsewhere, even temporarily because of the Indian attacks, were also entitled to the same preemption grants. The attorney or clerk then reduced the long rambling story to its essentials either composing it in their presence or asking them to come back later.
I think that neither Becky nor Levi would have had any effective control over the specific wording of the documents even if they had been literate. I think there should be little doubt that it was the drafter of the documents who decided that David and Levi should be identified as Mulatto and John Gowen (John Goyen in the power of attorney) as “gentleman.” I have seen enough Tennessee and Virginia early legal documents using the terminology “well beloved friend” and “trusty friend” to suspect these may have been boilerplate language. No doubt powers of attorney were not granted to enemies or to those one knew to be frequently unfair in his dealings. However, I think it is inappropriate to assume that those terms necessarily were entirely accurate in describing a personal relationship between the grantor and grantee of the power. One of several possibilities is that John Gowen was the only person that Levi Goyen knew in Davidson County, Tennessee or the entire region. It is also possible that he only knew him by reputation, rather than personally.
In Davidson County, the use the term “gentleman” was used somewhat sparingly to refer to persons who had both achieved considerable material success and had a reputation for gentlemanly behavior. My ancestor Capt. John Rains, for instance, achieved quite a bit of material success, and was a highly respected, even legendary, Longhunter and militia leader. He appears to have been honest but was a bit of a ruffian. (Actually he may have been the baddest ruffian in a frontier town that had many ruffians including Andrew Jackson, who served as private under Capt. John. Capt. John’s usual defense to assault and battery charges was that the victim deserved it.) Although quite a bit has been written about Capt. John, I have never seen him referred to as a “gentleman” even though he had a son who was also a captain in the militia, one son-in-law who was sheriff of the county and another who was an early Mayor of Nashville. Unlike Capt. John Rains, I really do not have sufficient information to have an opinion about John Gowen’s character, but he was reasonably successful in his material affairs.
However, knowing generally how the white power structure in South Carolina worked in this era and its more harsh racial code, as opposed to say Virginia, it crosses my mind that we cannot assume the same sparing use of the term occurred in this instance. It is possible that drafter would require a mulatto to refer to pretty much any white person as a “gentleman.” I suspect that if Levi Goyen had suggested that to the clerk or attorney that John Gowen of Davidson County was of mixed race descent, then the drafter would not only have avoided the use of the term “gentleman,” he would have refused to have used it even if requested.
I do not think we can draw any conclusions from the variable spellings of surnames found in these documents.
Finally, I have learned one new interesting tidbit of genealogical history from these documents, which is that David/Daniel Goyen, Sr. and wife Becky were presumably living in Fairfield County at least by 1774 since Levi was reportedly born there. I am assuming he was at least 18 years old when this power of attorney was granted.
Fairfield County, South Carolina Deeds
Book A, pp. 162-164
Power of Attorney granted by Levi Goyen to John Goyen
followed by Affidavit of Becky Elliot
Know all Men by these presents, that I Levi Goyen of the State of South Carolina Fairfield County and for divers and good causes & considerations me herewith ____ing [receiving?], have made[,] ordained[,] Constituted and appointed and by these presents for me, my heirs Extr ____ and any of them do make and ordain Constitute and appoint my trusty and well beloved friend, John Goyen of the state of North Carolina Daverson County, Gentm. my true and lawful attorney for me to take out the rights in him, the said John Goyen’s own name to sell, make over, convey and confirm at his pleasure unto whoever may or shall agree with & purchase of him the said John Goyen a certain tract or parcel of land lying & being on Mill Creek of the east side of Daverson County aforesaid, the said land being first in the name of David Goyen, decd. Four Mullato went to Cumberland River in the year 1779, and were killed by the Indians in the year 1780, and left the said Mula tto Levi Goyen, his proper heir in law[,] the said parcel of land contg six hundred and forty acres and I do hereby grant unto my said Attorney, my sole and full power & authority to take, persue and follow such legal course for transferring the Right of sd land unto himself as I myself might or could do were I personally present[,] Ratifying & Confirming whatsoever my said attorney shall lawfully do or cause to be Done in & about the Execution of the foresaid by virtue of these presents. In witness whereof I have herewith set my hand & seal the 17th September in the year of our Lord, one thousand, seven hundred and ninety two.
Signed, sealed in the presence aforesd McMinn Easley.
Levi X Gowen (LG)
Levi Gowen made his mark as his Signature to the above
Instrument of writing in my presence.
County Before me personally appeared Becky Elliot formerly Becky Gowen by a former Husband David [Daniel?] Gowen & after be[ing] duly sworn Deposeth and saith that she had a son by the afsd. David named David Goyen who about fourteen years ago left this county and as she was informed went to Cumberland River in N Carolina was there killed by the Indians sd. deponent further saith on oath that Levi Gowen who now appoints John Gowen as his atty is the full & oldest Brother of the afsd. David Gowen
Becky X Elcot
Sworn & subscribed this }
17 day of Sept. 1792. before me }
Benjm. Boyd JFC
County I do hereby certify that the above named Levi Gowen passeth in this County aford. as free Mulatto and it is said was Born here.
Given under my hand this 17th day of Septemr. 1792.
Benjm. Boyd J.F.C.
Fairfield County, South Carolina
I do hereby certify that Benjamin Boyd Esqr. is one of the Judges of this our County Court & that full faith and credit is to be given to the above and to his signature the being his proper handwriting.
Given under my hand & seal of office
this 18th day of September the year
of our Lord 1792. & the 16th of American
Recorded 18th Sept:92 D. C. Evans C.F.C.
"I, Levi Goyen of Fairfield County, give power of attorney to my trusty and well-beloved friend, John Goyen of Daverson County, North Carolina, gentleman to sell a certain tract of land on Mill Creek of the East Side of Daverson County aforesaid, the said land being first in the hands of David Goyen, decd. . . . . Four mulatto went to Cumberland River in the year 1779 and were killed by the Indians in the year 1780 and left the said Mulatto, Levi Goyen, his proper heir-at-law, tract of land containing 640 acres. Dated September 17, 1792.
Levi [X] Goyen
Witnesses: William Easley, Benj. Boyd
On the same date, Beckey Gowen, the mother of David Gowen and Levi Gowen, filed an affidavit to support his power of attorney:
"Fairfield County, South Carolina. Personally appeared Beckey Eliot, Beckey Gowen by a former husband Daniel Gowen, and deposeth that she had a son by the said Daniel Gowen named David Goyen who about 14 years ago left this county and, as she was informed, went to Cumberland River in North Carolina and was there killed by the Indians. Said deponent further saith that Levi Gowen who now appoints John Gowen as his attorney is the full and oldest brother of the aforesaid David Gowen.
Signed by Becky Eliot September 17, 1792 before Benj. Boyd, J.F.C. [Boyd also certified on the same date that the above named Levi Gowen passeth in the county for a free mulatto, and it is said was born here.'"
Donna Gowin Johnston inspected the documents and wrote the following report:
On LDS #1,294,177 Fairfield County, South Carolina Court Minutes, 1785-1799:
Regarding the document dated October 24, 1785, the subject's name is written as "Rebeccah Elliot." Her present husband was John Elliot, and her former husband was Daniel Gowen.
On LDS #0,023,991 Fairfield County, South Carolina Deed Book A (2nd Book) p.162-164. There are two deed books marked "Deed Book A." I thought the second book might just be a continuation of the first, but they both start with page one.
I have never seen this before and I have read many, many films of deeds in many, many areas of our country.
On September 17, 1792, Fairfield County, South Carolina, the deposition given by Becky at the end of this power of attorney on pages 162-164 does in fact show her as "Becky Elliot" in the body of the document and "Becky Elcot [her X mark]" at the end of the document. It also states that her former husband was "David Goyen" and that her son was also, David.
I find it curious that in 1785, she, the recorder, and everyone present were comfortable with her husband's name as Daniel, but seven years later in 1792, her former husband was called David.
Cleve Weathers made several minor errors in transcribing the power of attorney, but only one affects any factual information. Near the end where Levi Gowen makes his mark, the document is "Signed, sealed & del'd in the presence of us William Easley." The name is not McMinn Easley.
I will stick my neck out to make one comment. In this power of attorney, we have the following naming descrepancies
Daverson County - Davidson County
Levi Goyen - Gowen
Becky Elliot - Elcot
John Goyen - Gowen
With these examples of very lax and careless recording of information, why then, is so much credence placed on the title "Gentleman" that this recorder placed after John Goyen-Gowen’s name?”