Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Elliott family in TN: Lost Creek MM and Grassy Valley 1798 to 1816

This post began with my spending time the past weekend sending out e-mails from my old computer to researchers who were in my Elliott file on my old computer to check to see which address's were still working and which researchers were still doing research.  I heard back from Rick Duran with a very interesting new piece of information.  Rick gave me permission to share it via this blog.  Rick and I share 6-gr-grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott.  I descend from the couple's son, Abraham.  Rick descends from their daughter, Elizabeth, who married Hugh Maxwell.  The information that Rick sent is from a travel diary in which both my Abraham Elliott and also Rick's Hugh Maxwell are mentioned.  The men are living in TN at the time that the entry is made into the man's diary.  So, Rick's new document copy had me thinking about the Elliott family during the years they were in TN.  First I will give some background information.  Then I will talk about which family members moved to TN and when.  Then I will share the copies excerpted from books that Rick sent to me.  And finally I will talk about the move made by this next generation of the Elliott family from TN to Ohio and Indiana.  If you would like to see a list of family members in tree form go to:


Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott had moved from Pennsylvania to Rowan County, NC in the part of Rowan that later became Randolph County in 1763 with their older children who had been born in Pennsylvania.

1763, 11, 26.  Jacob (Ellott) & W& ch, Jacob, Elizabeth, Hannah, Israel & William rocf Warrington MM, Pa, dated 1763, 9, 20 (I have a copy of the original MM records for this) This is found in the records of New Garden MM in what is now Guilford County, NC.  It would have been Rowan County in 1763

Warrington Monthly Meeting 

Interestingly enough I believe that the Elizabeth who moved with her parents from Pa to NC died young and a second daughter who was then born in NC in 1766 was named Elizabeth.  This was not an unusual occurrence in the time period when many families lost children but perhaps wanted a name carried on in the family.  I believe that Rick's 5-gr-grandmother was the second Elizabeth born to this family.

Many Quaker families as well as German and Scots-Irish were moving at this time from Pennsylvania down the Great Wagon Road to Virginia, the Carolinas and some even as far south as Georgia:

Jacob and Elizabeth and their family stopped in the area that is labelled Bethania, Bethabara, Salem.  Just to the East of the stop on the road was the area that is now Guilford and Randolph Counties in NC.  At this date, the entire area was a part of Rowan County.  We find Jacob buying land in Rowan County.  Benjamin and Martha Cox must not have been living on the land at the time of this purchase as it says they are "of" Orange County.

7 Dec, 1763  Benjamin Cox and wf Martha of Orange county, NC to Jacob Ellitt for 48 pistoles, 216 a on Polecat Creek adj Benjamin Beeson, granted by Grannville to Crsfr Nation 11 MAY 1757 and sold by him and wf Elizabeth to sd Cox 16 July 1757.  Christopher Nation, 11 May 1757, sold by him and wife Elizabeth to Benjamin Cox 16 July 1757.  Wit Christopher Nation andThomas Cox, Prvd Apri. Court 1764.

Below is a map of Randolph County showing where Polecat Creek was located in NC.  Polecat Creek continues up into Guilford County.  However, the Elliott men are found on the 1790 census in Randolph County, so we can narrow down where they lived by knowing county and waterway.

The above map was found at http://www.danielhaston.com/people/nc-connections.htm

 For more information on this family while they were in NC and during the Revolutionary war years, go to my entry for Saturday, Aug 25, 2012.  The Aug 25 post will tell about their move to Montgomery County, Va.  The post has title: NC Quaker family: Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott and family during years from 1763 to 1787.  This post can be found at:


The below information supports the fact that they had moved back to Polecat Creek by 1784. 

1784, 1,31, Jacob (Ellot) & w. Elizabeth, & ch. William, Abraham, Eliz & Rachel, gct Center MM from New Garden MM, NC

The move back to Randolph County is further supported by the next deed:

19 Nov 1787  Jacob Elliot of Randolph County, NC planter....in consideration of the natural love and affection which he hath and beareth to Isrel Elliott....land on Polecat Creek....granted to the said Jacob Elliot by Benjamin Cox and his wife 8 Dec 1763 and entered in Rowan County office  ...(216 acres)  Signed by Jacob Elliott    .  Wit by Simeon Green and Peter Elliott.

In the transcription of this that I put on the Aug 25th post,  Jacob indicates that he has plans to move when he sells his land to his son Israel.  It would seem that Israel has no plans to leave NC at this time.  And Israel and family are definitely found in TN with the rest of the Elliott clan by 1797.

Elizabeth’s death date is found in Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy Vol 1 under Center MM.  Center MM is in Guilford County, NC but reasonably close to the where the Elliott family lived on Polecat Creek.  I was unable to look at the original records for this fact as there are no existing original records for Center MM before 1825.

The information in Hinshaw is for Center MM page 85 Volume I
Elizabeth Elliott, w. Jacob, d. 10-28-1791 aged 58 years.

 I have not found a death date for Jacob.  Had Jacob died when many of his children moved to TN?  Did he move with them?  Did he stay behind with a son or daughter who did not move?

I am not clear yet on why many of Jacob and Elizabeth's children chose to move to Tennessee. 

Tom Hamm suggested an article that I have not yet read:

A very helpful article on this subject is Dorothy Lloyd Gilbert, "Quaker Migration to the Western Waters." It was originally published in "The East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications" in 1946, pp. 47-58. It was reprinted in "The Southern Friend," the spring 1982 issue, pp. 3-15. She finds that most Lost Creek people came from Guilford and Randolph counties. Among them were my Beals/Bales ancestors. 

 Many of the Quaker families were moving out of the south in what I call the mass exodus of the Quaker families out of the south and into the non-slavery states of Ohio and Indiana.  And indeed that is where most of Jacob and Elizabeth's children and grandchildren finally ended up.   Jacob and Elizabeth had seven children who lived past childhood:  (not in order of birth)  Abraham, Jacob, Elizabeth, Israel, Hannah, William, Rachel.  The Quaker records prove that Elizabeth, married to Hugh Maxwell and Israel married to Welmet Lamb and familes were in TN.  I have proof that Abraham and wife Ruth were also there that I will add soon.  I can not find Hannah and husband Stephen Ward in the Quaker records for Lost Creek.  They do not seem to have taken a certificate from Cane Creek MM to TN, Ohio, nor Indiana.  I do not see record of deaths for this couple.  Perhaps Cane Creek did not have records after a certain date.  I need to do research on this.   Jacob was married to Betty Beeson....need to look for that.....that leaves William and Rachel.....but at least we have firmed up the dates of coming and going for the TN stay.

Above are the Lost Creek MM records for the surname Elliott.  It would seem that Israel and family moved to TN from Randolph County in 1797.  Israel was married to Welmet Lamb. Eve was a daughter of Israel and Welmet.  The records of Cane Creek MM tell us that Israel's sister, Elizabeth, who was married to Hugh Maxwell moved about the same time.  Probably the families traveled together.

Cane Creek MM page 408 Hinshaw Vol I
1790,8,7 Elizabeth rocf Center MM, NC, dated 1790,7,17
1792,10,6  Hugh recrq (received by request)
1792,10,6 Elizabeth, dt Hugh and Elizabeth, recrq
1797, 10, 7  Hugh and sons gct Lost Creek MM [Tenn]
1797, 10, 7 Elizabeth (with h) and children gct Lost Creek MM [Tenn]

The records of Lost Creek spell out the names of Hugh and Elizabeth and all of their children with birth dates:  From the

They later go to Lost Creek Monthly Meeting in Tenn and listing of  their children is on page 1108 of those records.
Hugh b. 2-9-1762
Elizabeth Maxwell b. 6-7-1766
John b. 5-10-1789
Elizabeth b. 1-9-1791
Jacob b. 9-4-1792
William b. 3-8-1794
Hannah b. 11-4-1795
Thomas b. 3-10-1797
Mary b. 3-20-1799
Hugh b. 1-11-1801
David b. 11-23-1802
Ruth b. 3-9-1806
Matilda 5-8-1808
Lydia b. 1-2-1810

p 1125 Lost Creek MM Tenn

1798 4, 21 Hugh and sons John Jacob, William and Thomas, rocf Cane  Creek MM, NC dated 1797, 10,7.
1798 5, 19 Elizabeth and dau. Elizabeth and Hannah rocf Cane Creek MM  dated 1797, 10,17.
1816, 2,24 Hugh and fam. get White Water MM, Ind.
1816, 2,24.  Elizabeth and dau. get White Water MM, Ind.

White Water MM EQG p 139
4-27-1816 Hugh and s. William, Thomas, Hugh and David, rocf Lost Creek  MM. Tenn.
4-27-1816 ? says Hannah but I think they goofed and it is Elizabeth and  d. Hannah, Mary, Rachel, Ruth, Matilda and Lydia, rocf Lost Creek MM,  Tenn.

From the records of Lost Creek, we know that the family remained in Tennessee until 1816 when they moved to Indiana.
Information found at:  http://drwilliams.org/iDoc/index.htm?url=http://drwilliams.org/iDoc/lost_creek.htm  Says that Grassy Valley which is the preparatory meeting under Lost Creek that the Maxwell family attended was discontinued in 1815 as did all of the other smaller meetings under Lost Creek.  That left Lost Creek is the only surviving meeting in that part of Tennessee.  

Lost Creek Friends Church in TN.

In June 2017 I was in Knoxville attending the wedding of Barbara Moses Atkins and Ted Cook.  I made a quick jaunt up highway 11 to find Lost Creek Friends Church for myself.  Wow, the area is very sparsely inhabited.  Both New Market and Strawberry Fields are not even a wide place in the road.  Strawberry Fields had a small library that was not open on a Saturday and New Market had just a few houses as far as I could see and a couple of businesses out on Highway 11.  But the church was not hard to find and is in fairly good shape with indications that it is still used.  To find the Lost Creek Quaker church if you are driving west from New Market you turn right just after you pass the junk yard that is on both sides of Highway 11.  It is a very small road and easy to miss....but absolutely just after the junk yard.  

The below photo shows the marker that has been placed to mark what was probably the burial ground.  It is just an empty field now with one stone.

Where did the Elliott Clan live in TN?  In the below map one can see New Market, TN.  Information says that present day Lost Creek MM meets close to New Market.   There is a nearby Golf Club with name of Lost Creek Golf Club.  These two identifiers lead me to believe that this would have been the general area for the original Lost Creek MM. 

 Here is what can be found in The History of Campbell County, TN:   http://www.tngenweb.org/campbell/history/Quakers.html

....Others settled near what is now called New Market, Tennessee along Lost Creek and in what they called Quaker Valley (now known as Rocky Valley). John Mills, a Quaker from Guilford County North Carolina, brought his family to Lost Creek where they built a log cabin. 

The below map shows Lost Creek and further supports the fact that Quaker families were living in the area by the name Friends Station just along the Lost Creek.

It is clear that the Maxwell family was connected to the preparatory meeting of Grassy Valley.  Grassy Valley was never a MM.  Hinshaw says the following about Grassy Valley:  At the first session of Lost Creek Monthly Meeting, "Friends inhabiting about Thomas Marshall's in the head of the Grassy Valley" (across the Holston River in Knox County) requested the privilege of holding a First Day Meeting. 

I can not find a modern day version of Grassy Valley that would make sense for this description.   Here is what I DID find and is my best guess for where the Maxwell family was living.  My best guess is that the other siblings who were children of Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott were living in the same neighborhood.  There are no extant census returns for TN in the years that we would be checking.  Thus I can not double check to see where these families were living.  It is possible that there were tax lists that can be found in the future to corroborate these guesses.  

In the above map you can see the Holston River snaking along just north of the Andrew Jackson Highway.  The dotted line just below Strawberry Plains on highway 11E is the dividing line between Jefferson County and Knox.  Below shows that from different perspective.

So I propose that the Maxwell family and perhaps others of Jacob and Elizabeth's children were living somewhere around north side of the Holstein river on the last bend before the river is totally in Knox County.  That is on the Knox County side of the Holstein River in the one bend in which the river is the boundary between Knox and Jefferson.  Now finally

Now finally, the pages from the journal that mention both Hugh Maxwell and my ancestor, Abraham Elliott.  It would seem that Abraham is no longer Quaker or at least somewhat associated with Baptists.  

Summer 2014 a researcher sent post saying  that Find A Grave had information at:

Some of the other families that were at Lost Creek in the same time period as my Elliott family are represented by the following messages:

My Quaker Millikan/Millican family also followed the Randolph > Guilford Co., NC > Lost Creek in Jefferson Co., TN and then about 1860 moved to Crittenden Co., KY with some of the family going on to Indiana.
 (Information from Pat Smith   flpossum@gmail.com )

Tom Hamm has Beals/Bales who made a similar move to Jefferson County, TN in this time period.

Tom also mentioned:

 A number of Lost Creek families moved to Wayne County after the War of 1812--Mills, Bales, Marshall, Swain, Osborn, Underhill, Thornburgh, Lee, and Macy among others.

This is the opposite of what my Elliott family did.  Abraham Elliott moved his family directly to Wayne County from Jefferson County, TN.  He then moved them back to Warren County, Ohio during the war of 1812 for safety from the Indians.  After the war of 1812, Abraham and his family moved to Vigo county, Indiana to take up Bounty land that had been awarded to his son-in-law, Nehemiah McKinsey.  

I would add to the remarks by Tom Hamm, that the Haworth and Mills 
families also migrated from Guilford county to Lost Creek.
I have a picture of the Lost Creek Meeting:

Ron Haworth
In January 2015, I received hints from Ancestry.  One of the hints had more information on Elizabeth Elliott Maxwell.  It is information about her birth, death, and gravesite:  

Another of the hints says that her death date of 4 Mar 1841 is taken from the minutes of Salem MM in Indiana.

Find a Grave also has a bit of information about Lost Creek MM and the Quaker families who were a part of this group at:

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