My direct ancestors are in bold. This is a work in progress. Much of my direct line is documented, but some may not be. If there is a question, I usually include words like "seems likely" or "possibly" in hopes that it may help someone else or eventually get me closer to documentation. Also, I do make errors when transferring info to my files or to the site. If you find errors that you can correct, please e-mail me and I'll gladly make the changes or if you have more information on anyone mentioned here and can share it, I would be really appreciative.

James Castellaw
My 6th Great-grandfather, 1685-1749

James Castellaw was born Nov. 6, 1685 in the County of Renfrew, Scotland and in the Abbey Parish, which is also called Paisley Parish because it’s near the town of Paisley. His father, my 7th great-grandfather, is thought to have been Thomas Castellaw who was a minister who preached in the presbytery of Dunfermline after graduating from Edinburgh University in 1663.


Castelaw (or Castellaw), Thomas, A.M. – a Scotch clergyman, took his degree at the Edinburgh University in 1663; was sent to preach in the presbytery of Dunfermline in 1691; was a member of the General Assembly in 1692; and died after Dec. 1, 1703. See Fasti Eccles. Scoticanae, 1, 763. McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia


James entered The University of Glasgow in 1703. Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. There is no record of his graduation.

The original record of James’s 1685 baptism from the Old Parish records of births and baptisms in November, 1685. It is located in the Scottish General Register Office.

Many people did not graduate during this time, and the graduation records of these very established institutions are pretty complete, even from this long ago. Since the university has no record of his graduation, James may have actually left college early to seek his fortune in America. Although no record of his graduation has been found, there is a record that shows he was taught by Gershom Carmichael, the Presbyterian minister who was banished by the Scottish privy council for his religious opinions. James’ wife was definitely Sarah Williams. However, Sarah’s family had been in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, one of the original eight counties in the colony of Virginia, for at least two generations, and possibly three. Therefore, James certainly met Sarah after he arrived in America.

The family of Sarah Williams Castellaw

My 6th great-grandmother Sarah was the granddaughter of John Williams who was born about 1640/45 and his wife Anne (possibly Vasser). Although his birthplace is unknown, Virginia Colonial records indicate that the majority of the families who settled in Surry and Isle of Wight Counties were from the southwestern English counties that surround Bristol or the principality of Wales.  According to genealogy researcher Ben Williams, DNA evidence shows that John Williams descended from the powerful medieval Griffith and Williams families of northern Wales.

As a young man in his twenties, my 8th great-grandfather, John Williams, signed a contract of indenture to Captain William Butler of Surry County, Virginia for four year of work for passage to America. Land records show that on Nov. 3, 1666, John Williams set sail with two other young men, John Moor [Moore] and Rowland Pitt, who also each signed an indenture to Captain Butler. Once the three young men completed their four years of work, they remained friends and settled in Surry County and Isle of Wight, Virginia.

John Williams married Ann in 1671. From his will, dated March 9, 1682, we know John and Anne were the parents of 10 children.

Sarah Williams Castellaw’s father, my 7th great-grandfather, was John’s son, John Williams Jr., who was born in Isle of Wight, Virginia in 1673 and Anne Moore who was born in 1675, also in Isle of Wight.

Ann Moore was the daughter of John Moore with whom John Williams Sr. had traveled to America. In addition to owning land, John Moore was a shoemaker. How satisfying it must have been for these two men to have traveled to a new land together as indentured servants, become wealthy landowners and to see their children marry. Sadly, they would not see their grandchildren born as both died in their forties.

John Williams Sr. wrote his last will and testament on March 9, 1692. He had arrived in America a poor indentured servant but, by the time of his death, he owned 975 acres near Antioch Swamp, 150 acres of land on Parson’s Branch, 200 acres of land on the eastside of Blackwater River near Jenkins Swamp and 600 acres on Mill Swamp in Surry County. He was likely buried in the family burial grounds at the headwaters of Burgh’s Swamp but the exact location has been lost to history.

James and Ann lived in Bertie County, North Carolina and, in addition to Sarah, their children were John Williams, Theophilus Williams, James Williams, Anne Williams Herring, James Williams, Mary Williams Herring, Isaac Williams and Arthur Williams.

For more about this line, visit Ben Williams’ blog

Because the lineage of my Williams family line goes back only as far as George Williams of Bertie County (born 1797), I wonder if he is part of this Williams family who settled the area one hundred years before his birth?


No records have been found yet for exactly when James Castellaw came to America or specifically where he landed but certainly ended up in Bertie County.

The University of Glasgow around 1650

Both Virginia and the Cape Fear areas were likely ports of landing, but it is not known for certain.

Eventually, James owned much land around Chowan and Bertie Counties in North Carolina. He was “one of his Majesty’s Court Justices” in 1724 and in 1729 was a member of the North Carolina Assembly. Numerous actions in the Colonial Records of the North Carolina Assembly refer to his service there throughout the rest of his life. He was Treasurer of Bertie Precinct from 1735 to 1748.

James was a merchant and owned a warehouse situated on the Cashie River near what is now called Hoggard Mill. He built this mill, originally called Castellaw Mill. The millsite became a hub for local shipping back to England and Scotland. James used his influence to site the Bertie County Courthouse there when the Courthouse had to be moved after Northampton County was split from Bertie in 1744. A Courthouse, Jail, Tavern, and Stocks were constructed at the site. He died in 1749 in Bertie County. The location of his burial site is unknown.

The children of James and Sara Williams Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Bethia 1715 Bertie Co., NC 1805 Hancock Co., GA John Samuel Alexander
b. 1703
Castellaw Thomas 1720 Bertie Co., NC 10 Apr 1790 Barnwell Co., SC Sara Williams

Mary Hand

Castellaw Catherine 1723 Bertie Co., NC Sampson Co., SC
Castellaw William 1727 Bertie Co., NC Jul 1749
Castellaw John 1726 Bertie Co., NC 1815 Martha Butler
b.1734Margaret Dawson
m. 1775
Castellaw James 1735 Bertie Co., NC 26 Sept 1785 Barnwell Co., SC Priscilla
d. 1826
James served in the military on 14 February 1777 in USA, South Carolina. He was a private in the Revolutionary War. He served in the Continental Line, in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment. He enlisted on February 14, 1777. He served with Francis Marion. He was issued on August 10, 1785. (Source: South Carolina Indents for Revolutionary Claims Book, Volume YZ, page 14 and 229. DAR Patriot Index, Volume 1, page 119).
Lovelace Sarah 21 Jan 1738 Halifax, NC 11 Jun 1818 Muhlenberg Co., NC Jesse Barfield
m. 1768
After her husband’s death, Sarah “lived with her oldest son, Frederic. She had the misfortune to lose her eyesight when he was an infant, and although she was the mother of nine children, he was the only one whose features she ever saw. She lived to be ninety years old and was ever cheerful and apparently happy.” (from the memoirs of Pauline Craig Hughes) Frederic was twice married. After his marriage he lived in Tennessee near Stone River. One of his daughters, Susan – by the first marriage – married Needham Bryan, and about 1836, moved from Tennessee to Alabama. During the Revolutionary War, when he was quite a young man and still living in North Carolina, he and his brother Solomon were fired upon by some of their Tory neighbors. He was seriously wounded and Solomon shot down. Frederic managed to get home, leaving his brother, as he thought, dead. Late in the night the family heard someone moaning as if in distress. Some of them went out to investigate and found Solomon crawling slowly and painfully toward the house. They carried him in and did what they could to relieve his sufferings, but he died before morning dawned. Frederic recovered and lived many years, suddenly dying of apoplexy.” Source

John Castellaw
My 5th Great-grandfather, 1726-1813

John Castellaw was a wealthy land owner and member of the “assembly” in Bertie County, North Carolina. He was born in 1726. In 1755 when he was 29 he had a son named William with Martha Butler who was 21.

Although they could not marry because she was a “mulatto,” she is thought to have been his common law wife and eventually, in addition to William, they had at least four other children; James, Prudence. John and Elizabeth. Although it’s impossible to know, one could assume John would have married Martha if he could have. At the time, interracial marriages were forbidden by law, and any minister or Justice performing one lost his license. It is unknown for certain whether Martha was part Indian or black because the term “mulatto” referred to anyone with a mix of any race other than white. Martha is “taxable” in John’s household from 1761 to 1772. In 1771, John made a deed of gift to his son William of land.

It appears John married Margaret Dawson around 1755. Margaret was possibly from a very influential and well-respected Colonial family. In several places John Castellaw’s “second wife” is referred to “a Dawson from Eden House.” Although the connection with John Castellaw has not been proven, the first Dawson to live at Eden House was Colonel John Dawson who married Penelope Johnstone.

Penelope was the daughter of the Royal Governor of North Carolina, Gabriel Johnstone, and a much-married, colonial socialite, Penelope Golland Maule Lovick Phenney Johnston. Colonel John Dawson was the son of Rev. William Dawson, the second president of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. The Reverend Dawson’s maternal grandparents were Colonel William Randolph and Mary Royall Isham Randolph who have been referred to as “the Adam and Eve of Virginia” because of both the number of children they had but also the significant historical personalities from their line. Those in this ancestry line include Richard Bland, the first to put in writing the legal reason the colonies should become independent from England, John Marshall, Chief Justice of the US, Thomas Jefferson and many others. More about this interesting family

The children of John and Margaret Dawson Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Charlotte 1776 Bertie Co., NC Haywood Co., TN
In 1837 Charlotte Castellaw and her servant Rose joined Zion Baptist Church. Source, History of Zion Church
Castellaw Bartholomew 1778 Bertie Co., NC 2 May 1845 Haywood Co., TN
Castellaw John Dawson 1780 Bertie Co., NC 15 Feb 1859 Haywood Co., TN Zilphia Spruill
m. 21 Jan 1804
27 Apr 1842
Castellaw Henry David Bertie Co., NC 1844 Haywood Co., TN Sally Spruill
m. 28 Sept 1831
Castellaw Nancy 1784 Bertie Co., NC 1815
Castellaw Thomas
Castellaw John William

John Dawson Castellaw
My 4th Great-grandfather, 1780-1859

John Dawson Castellaw was born in Bertie County, North Carolina in 1780. He married Zilphia Castellaw on Jan. 21, 1804 in Tyrell, North Carolina. They were original members of Capeharts Baptist Church in Bertie Co, North Carolina. There were 74 charter members of the original church who had received letters of dismissal from the Cashie Baptist Church of Windsor and the Wiccacon (Colerain) Baptist Church of Colerain, North Carolina so they could begin the new church at the Capeharts Meeting House.

They had their first service on December 10, 1824. On September 10, 1825 John was elected to represent the church at the “annual Union meeting.” John was very active in his church.


Photo from my visit to Capeharts Baptist Church in Bertie County, North Carolina. You can read more about my 2013 Genealogy Road Trip on this blog entry.

Here are just a few mentions of his activities from the Capeharts Baptist Church from minutes compiled by Neil Baker:

Brother Charles Waters asked for forgiveness and he was forgiven. Brothers John D. Castellaw, John Hunter and Archabald Morriss represent us at annual Union Meeting, and Brother Worley to send letter.

Prayer by brother E. Miller. Brother Worley and J. D. Castellaw to be bearers at Meeting and to sent $1.50.

…dissatisfaction between sisters Martha Morgan and Mary Cobb. Committee of Wm. W. Pierce, H. Phelps and J. D. Castellaw to inquire.

Church informed of some disorder of Charles belonging to Thomas Holly, committee of T Hunter, T McGlawn and J. D. Castellaw to inquire. Prayer by J. D. Castellaw.

Brother J.D. Castellaw to write letter to our Annual Union Conference. Prayer by Brother J. D. Castellaw.

Brother Castellaw dissatisfied with Bro Morgan. Agreed that we appoint Committee to inquire of the affair, they reported satisfied with Bro Castellaw and dissatisfied with Bro T. Morgan.
Prayer by Bro J. D. Castellaw.

Charge brought against Richard belonging to Bro Castellaw, no satisfaction found, he was excluded from Church.

Prayer by Bro Castellaw
Brother and Sister Castellaw petitioned for letter of dismission.

It was early in 1834 that John D. Castellaw led his final wagon train to Haywood County, Tennessee and stayed. It has been said that John led many wagon trains into the area.

He was listed in the Haywood County 1840 census. His household included:

  • two white males between 0 and 5 in age
  • 1 white male between 5 and 10
  • 1 white male between 30 and 40
  • 1 white male between 60 and 70
  • 1 white female between 30 and 40
  • 1 white female between 50 and 60

This would suggest that John was living with his wife Zilphia, son Thomas Jefferson and daughter-in-law Marah. John’s grandsons, John Edward, Joseph Dawson and James Williams, would have been ages 7, 4 and 1 in 1840. Zilphia Castellaw died on April 27, 1842 at the age of 38 and is thought to be the first person buried in the Cobb Family Cemetery. John D. Castellaw lived for 17 more years. He wrote his will in 1853 and died on Feb. 15, 1859 at age 79. E.R. Jones and A.P. Steel witnessed his will.

The Will of John Dawson Castellaw
I, John D. Castellaw, do make and publish this my last will and testament. First, I direct that my debts be paid.
Second, I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Harriett Cobb, one Negro woman named Catherine and her three children. She has them in her possession. Also thirty-two acres of land that I purchased of Edward Steele; also my riding horse. It is my will and desire that in case my son-in-law, John H. Cobb, should have any claims against my estate that it come out of my daughter Harriet Cobb’s part.
Third, I give and bequeath to my son, Thomas J. Castellaw, one Negro woman named Lavinia and her two children. I have given him a deed for her. Also, the tract of land on which I live with all its improvements during his life, containing 104 acres of land. He has a deed for the same. Also, I give him my half of the two tracts of land we purchased together; one from Ewing and the other from Booth. Also I give him all my stock, horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs, all my farming utensils and wagon; also, all my household and kitchen furniture; my part of the gin stand. I do this to prevent selling my property and in consideration of it, it is my will and desire that my son, Thomas J. Castellaw, pay to my daughter, Harriet Cobb, five hundred dollars in two years after my death. In case my son, Thomas, should have any claims against my estate, it is my will that it come out of his part.
Fourth, it is my will and desire that all my slaves not given away be equally divided between my two children. I own but half of boy Washington and girl Harriet.
Fifth, it is my will that after the death of my son that the land on which I live go to my grandson, Joseph D. Castellaw.
Sixth, it is my will that my son shall have one little Negro names Viole; he paying half the value of said Negro to my daughter Harriett Cobb.
Lastly, I nominate and appoint my son, Thomas J. Castellaw and my friend and esteemed brother George E. Thomas, executors to this my last will and testiment. In witness whereof I do this last will and testament set my hand and fix my seal this 7th day of October 1853.
Signed: J.D. Castellaw.
Source: Nicholas Cobb Descendents, pg. 347

The children of John Dawson and Zilphia Castellaw were:

(One sibling is in my paternal line and the other is in my maternal line)

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Harriet Warren 9 Dec 1804 Bertie Co., NC 11 Nov 1869 Haywood Co., TN John Hardy Cobb
b. 4 Apr 1798
m. 29 Apr 1821
d.Apr 1880
Harriet Castellaw and John Hardy Cobb’s children included William Thomas Cobb father of Mary Etta Cobb mother of William Day Brantley father of Virginia Brantley mother of Shirley Ann Lovelace, the mother of Scott Williams. More about the Cobb Family
Castellaw Thomas Jefferson 15 Sept 1808 Bertie Co., NC 23 Dec 1878 Jones Station, Haywood Co., TN Marah Elisar
b. 1809
10 Mar 1830
d. 1840
Mary Elizabeth Cole
b. 1809
m. 1840
d. Oct 1875
Their children included Thomas Jefferson Jr. father of Bob Castellaw father of Elizabeth Castellaw mother of Robert L. “Bob” Williams, the father of Scott Williams.

Thomas Jefferson Castellaw
My 3rd Great-grandfather, 1808-1878

Thomas Jeffereson “T. J.” Castellaw  was born September 15, 1808 and moved to Haywood County, Tennessee in 1832 from Bertie County, North Carolina with his wife Marah, parents and many other family members. He married Marah Elisar on March 1, 1830 before leaving for Haywood County. According to “Nicholas Cobb Descendants” by Joe Cobb, T.J. Cobb was also “the guardian of Henry K. Cobb’s orphans before moving to Tennessee.”

Shortly after T.J. and Marah’s third son James was born, in 1840, Marah died at age 32. T.J. remained a widower only a short time. In 1840 he married Mary Elizabeth Cole who was 31. In 1839, T.J. “professed religion and joined Zion Baptist Church.” By 1849 he was listed as one of 10 men on the building committee for Zion. His and Mary’s family grew with the birth of their first son together, my 2nd great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Jr., on June 1, 1841. The slave schedule of 1850 lists 20 slaves owned by T.J. Castellaw so the family was quite wealthy and he was a substantial landowner. In the census of 1860, T.J. is 51, Mary is 50 and they have four children living at home. T.J. Jr. was 19, George was 15, Jeremiah was 11 and Zilpha was nine.

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1875 Sim Cobb mentioned attending Mary’s funeral in his diary;

Tuesday, fair; went to father’s and went with him to aunt Mary Castellaw’s burial; then got father’s buggy and went to see John F. White marry…”

T.J. likely moved in with his son, George W. and died three years later on December 23, 1878.

T.J. Castellaw Obituary

Brother T.J. Castellaw. Sr. died the 23rd December 1878 at the residence of his son, G. W. Castellaw, near Jones Station. T.J. Castellaw Sr. died in the 71st year of his age. He was born in Bertie County, North Carolina on the 15th September 1808. He moved to Haywood County, Tennessee while young. He married Mary Cole at age of thirty-one years. He professed religion about 1839 and joined Zion. He was a sufferer for many years before died.

A letter sent to Reese Moses of Haywood County from Mr. Melvin Cobb of Merry Hill, North Carolina expresses the opinion that T.J. Castellaw “had bad health, probably Parkinson’s disease which had not been named at that time.” Although there is no headstone, it is likely that T.J. was buried in the Castellaw Family Cemetery on Poplar Corner Rd. T.J. left his son Tom as executor of his estate, but Tom himself died only three months after his father. His will stated that his sons John Edward, Joseph Dawson and James William be given one dollar each so it is likely he had given them their inheritance before the will was written. The remaining property, money and possessions were left to his other four remaining children.

The children of T.J and Marah Elisar Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw John Edward 1 Mar 1833 Bertie Co., NC 16 Nov 1896 Haywood Co., TN Margaret Wood Johnson
b. 1836
d. 1870Mattie Coleman
b. 13 Mar 1851
m. 25 Oct 1870
d. 12 Jun 1886Nancy Miranda Johnson
b. 20 Jul 1844
m. 1888
d. 8 Jan 1921
John’s wife Margaret and children Mary, Dicy, and William Castellaw all died in April and May of 1870. Thanks to his descendant, Morgana, I know John Edward and his second wife, Mattie, had twin boys, James Ebeneezer and John Edward on November 27, 1871. After Mattie’s death, John Edward married the wife of his late brother T.J., Nancy Miranda Johnson Castellaw (my second great grandmother).
Castellaw Joseph Dawson 17 April 1836 Haywood Co., TN Oct 1913 Haywood Co., TN Time Elliotte

Emily Thomas
b. 24 Jun 1841
m. 15 Jun 1869
d. 20 Sept 1907

Joseph and Emily had six children; Bernice, Tennie E. “Myra,” Kenneth, Mary F., Emily and Joeseph Lydia. Mary married Archie Brantley, Emily married Walter Brantley and Joseph(ine?) married Vivian E. Brantley. All the boys were sons of Henry Day Brantley and the brothers of Henry Preston Brantley. Three daughters from this Castellaw family married three sons from the same Brantley family. It is presumed that after her father died, Joe Castellaw’s wife Emily’s mother moved with her to Haywood County to be near her brother, the Rev. George Thomas who came to Haywood County around 1840 to pastor Zion Baptist Church.
Castellaw James Williams 1839 Haywood Co., TN 1918 Haywood Co., TN Rebecca Thomas
James and Rebecca had five children; Alice Evelyn, Mary Leodicea, George Thomas “Sam,” (Sam’s daughter Olis would marry my great-uncle Ovid Lovelace) James William Jr., and Margaret Ann. James Castellaw fought in the Civil War in Co L, 7th TN Cav, CSA.

The children of T.J. and Mary Cole Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Thomas Jefferson Jr. 1 Jun 1841 Haywood Co., NC 5 Mar 1879
age: 37
Haywood Co., TN
buried: family cemetery off Poplar Corner Rd.
Nancy Miranda Johnson
b. 20 Jul 1844
m. 16 Aug 1865
d. 8 Jan 1921
Castellaw George W. June 1844 Haywood Co., NC 5 Mar 1879 Haywood Co., TN Mary Emily Watridge
Nov 1848
m. 25 Nov 1866
d. 19 July 1910
In 1900, George and Mary E. Watridge Castellaw and their “nephew” Willie Williams who was 12 were living together in the same house. Next door was John and Mary Watridge Williams. 20 years later, in the census of 1920, John and Mary Williams were in their late 60s and living in the same house only next door was now Will and Eva Williams and Will’s nine year-old son Jesse Lloyd “Bo” Williams, my paternal grandfather. This would indicate that it was Will Williams, my paternal great-grandfather and for some reason, he was not living at home at age 12 but with maternal aunt and uncle.
Castellaw Jeremiah Fletcher 28 May 1847 Haywood Co., TN 1915 Haywood Co., TN
burried: Holly Grove Baptist Church Cemetery
Mary Aurelia Blaydes
b. 22 Feb 1848
m. 5 Oct 1865
d. 30 May 1933
In 1900, Jeremiah Fletcher Castellaw and his wife, Mary, donated the land west of the Holly Grove Baptist Church in Haywood County, Tennessee. This land was to be used for the cemetery. Jean Mann says the first person to be buried there was a black vagrant. He had been found dead near the railroad tracks at Jones. Some speculated that he was a hobo that had fallen off the train. Since no one could identify him, someone suggested that he be buried in the newly formed Holly Grove Church Cemetery. Everyone agreed and he became the first buried in the new cemetery.

Jeremiah and Mary were the parents of nine children; Lucy Albina “Bina”, Egbert O., Thomas Jefferson “Tom,” Jack Coleman, Charles, Authur Fletcher, Myrtle, Jelks F. and Jessie Beatrice.

Jelks moved to Necessity, Texas and opened a men’s clothing store. As secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Ennis, TX, he organized one of the first state fairs in Texas. He was the founder of “Texas Livestock Journal.”

Egbert O lived to be 92 and never married.

Jack Coleman Castellaw (obit below) became a pharmacist and lived in Ennis, TX where he owned and operated the Castellaw Drug Store until his death in 1951. Their son, Jack Pender Castellaw, was killed at the age of twenty-one, along with 9 others, while a student at Baylor University when a train collided with their bus on their way to a basketball game in Austin. They are now known at Baylor as “The Immortal Ten” and are honored each year at Baylor’s Homecoming and with a Prior to her death, Jack’s wife made a donation to Baylor University for the construction of the Castellaw Communications Center which was named in memory of her son. More info. You can purchase a book about The Immortal Ten.

In the book, “Nicholas Cobb Descendants” there is a story about a time at Holly Grove Baptist Church when Fletcher was called on to pray. Some young men were outside throwing acorns. The windows to the church were open, because it was so hot outside. When he was asked to pary, he went down on his knees and began. He was beginning his prayer and just as he said, “God…” an acorn struck, and he said, “Damn, who hit me on the head?”

The family of Jeremiah Fletcher and Mary Aurelia Blaydes Castellaw
Back row: Lucy Albina “Bina” Castellaw Cobb and Albert “Al” Lafayette Cobb, Likely Arthur Fletcher Castellaw, Jack Castellaw, Thomas Jefferson “Tom” and Helen Moody Castellaw, Rosie Whitamose (girl the Castellaws raised) and Egbert Castellaw
Front row: Paul Cobb & Flynn Cobb, Jelks F. Castellaw, Jeremiah Fletcher Castellaw, Charlie Castellaw (in framed photo) Mary Aurelia “Pus” Castellaw, and Jessie Beatrice Castellaw. (Myrtle Castellaw died when a small child). You can read more about the photo on my blog.

Castellaw Zilpha Elizabeth 5 Dec 1850 Haywood Co., NC 3 Jan 1922 Haywood Co., TN William Henry Watridge
One of the first to be buried in the Holly Grove cemetery on the land donated by her brother was her husband, William H. Watridge. He was the nephew of Dorsey Watridge. Dorsey Watridge, along with his wife, had donated the land for the Church itself (Haywood County Courthouse, Deed Book 11, pgs 45-46, dated July 23, 1886).


Photos from Lynn J. Graves left: Jelks Castellaw with parents Jeremiah Fletcher and Aurelia Blaydes Castellaw, middle: Jelks Castellaw, right: Jelk’s first wife, Rosalie Roberts Castellaw with Mary Aurelia Blaydes Castellaw and Jack Coleman Castellaw’s wife Lila Jane Pender Castellaw


Obituary for Jack Coleman Castellaw

Funeral services were to be held at 5 p.m. Friday at the Keever Chapel in Ennis for J.C. Castellaw, a 78-year-old native of Jones, Tennessee and druggist in Ennis since 1895 who died in his home, 305 West Baylor Street at 4:45 p.m. after a long illness (June 14, 1951). J.W. Pender of Denton will officiate at the services. Mr. Castellaw was a member of the Tabernacle Baptist Church, the Masonic Lodge and the Knights of the Pythias in Ennis and the Hella Temple in Dallas.
Surviving are his wife; one brother Jelks Castellaw of San Antonio; and one sister, Mrs. J.H. Shettlesworth of Memphis, Tenn. Also surviving are six nephews: Billy Castellaw of San Antonio; Clarence Castellaw and Moody Castellaw of Bells, Tenn, Charles Shettlesworth of San Antonio, John Shettlesworth of Memphis, and Jesse Shettlesworth of Birmingham, Alabama; also two nieces, Mrs J.D. Graves of Gilmer, Texas and Mrs. Ellis Powell of Bells, Tenn.


Thomas Jefferson Castellaw
My 2nd Great-grandfather, 1841-1879

Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Jr.

Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Jr. was the oldest son of his father T.J. Sr. and his second wife, Mary Cole. He was born on June 1, 1841. It is not certain when, but at some point, Tom Jr. joined the Confederate Army and fought in the Civil War as part of 7 Duckworths Tennessee Calvary as did his uncle, James Williams Castellaw. This unit was organized as a battalion in Memphis in October, 1861. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. In the Battle of Shilo, April 6-7, 1862, most of the regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Kelley, was assigned to the duty of escorting to the rear the Federal prisoners from General B. M. Prentiss’ Division. His were the last Confederate forces east of the Mississippi to surrender. The regiment, as part of the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was surrendered and paroled at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865. Throughout the Civil War, this battalion fought many battles throughout the south. They were the last Confederate forces east of the Mississippi to surrender. The regiment, as part of the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was surrendered and paroled at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865.

Tintype photo thought to be Nancy Miranda Johnson Castellaw

After the Civil War, Tom Jr. married Nancy Miranda Johnson who was 22.

Nancy was the daughter of Charles Randell Johnson and his wife Louisa Woods. In the census of 1850, the Johnson family was living in District 12, in the Johnson Grove community, which is slightly northeast of Brownsville near Alamo, Tennessee in what would become Crockett County.

Nancy’s maternal grandfather, Frances M. Wood was one of the original settlers of Crockett County, Tennessee. Louisa’s father, Charles R. Johnson was a wealthy landowner and donated the land on which the Johnson Grove Church was built.

Nancy’s father died on April 14, 1864. In his will, he left property and slaves to his nine heirs, among them, his daughter Nancy. The value of each share was to be $811. Charles’ will includes the names and values of each of the slaves he left to his heirs. The comparative value of that in today’s dollar is approximately $38,000 per heir. Source


Charles Johnson’s Estate

C.R. Johnson – negro woman Martha and boy Jerry valued at $925

Nancy Johnson – negro woman Manda & Cherry valued at $675

Sarah Sanders – negro woman Margaret and child Georgianna valued at $75

Louisa Johnson – negro woman Mary and her child Willie, also a boy John valued at $975

Z.T. Johnson – negro woman Priscilla & boy Silvester valued at $950

R. Johnson – negro man Nelson valued at $700

B. Midyett – negro man Peter valued at $700

John E. Castillow – negro girl Amanda & negro man Matthew valued at $807

D. Whitaker – negro girl _______ and boy Joe valued at $825

If Tom Castellaw Jr. was part of the regiment that surrendered and received parole in May 1865, he made it back to Haywood County by August 16, 1865 when he married Nancy.

He farmed in the areas of the Holly Grove and Johnson Grove communities and he and Nancy had nine children. One died at birth, two died as infants, but the others lived to adulthood. Tom died just three months after his father on March 5, 1879 at the age of 37.

According to the book Nicolas Cobb Descendants, on April, 12, 1879, Nancy Castellaw and her minor children were assigned a year’s support from the effects of T.J. Castellaw, and according to Lura Cobb, she had “two of them Castellaw men.” Marriage records show a J.E. Castellaw, likely Tom’s half brother John Edward, and an N. M. Castellaw marrying in 1888 so it can be assumed Nancy married him when she was 44 and he was 55. His first wife, Margaret A. Wood Johnson had died in 1870. She and three of their four children died within weeks of each other.

Margaret died April 18, 1870. Mary L. died April 21, 1870, Dicy A. died April 30, 1870 and William R. died May 14, 1870. John Edward then married Mattie A.E. Coleman and they had twin sons, James Ebeneezer and John Edward who were born on November 27, 1871.

John Edward died Nov. 16, 1896.

In the early 1880s, Nancy donated one acre of land at the corner of Poplar Corner Rd. and Dr. Hess Rd. to be used for the first school in the Holly Grove community. Her daughter, Jennie, was the school’s first teacher.

In the census of 1900, Nancy was a 55 year-old widow living with her daughter, Nora Hilman who had been married for three years and Mattie Mitchel who was a 50 year-old single female from Mississippi who worked for the family. Nancy could read and write and owned her home without a mortgage.

Nancy lived next door to her son Jack F. and his wife Ida and two of their children: a son, Be M who is three and Ida P. who is one. Next door to Jack is another of Nancy’s son’s, Bob and his wife Zula along with their children: Isaac who is four, Daniel who is one and their 4-month old daughter, Zera. Both Jack and Bob Castellaw farm and both rent their homes, likely from Nancy.

Nancy died on January 8, 1921.

All that remains of the Castellaw Family Cemetery on Poplar Corner Rd. in Haywood County, TN. At one time, many other headstones existed in the cemetery but these are all that exist today.


The Children of Tom and Marianna Johnson Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Mary Jennie 19 Aug 1866 Haywood Co., TN 23 Jan 1946 Louisiana James Alonzo Jacocks Jr.
b. abt. 1865
d. 11 Aug 1941
The children of Jenny and J.A. Jacocks were Ella Mae, Sarah C., Thomas Hill, James Alonzo, Williams Johnson, Zachery T., Clara C. and Myra M. Jennie Jacocks was the first teacher at Holly Grove School in Holly Grove, TN. You can find more about Jennie on my blog.

James Alonzo Jacocks, Jr., Mary Jennie Castellaw Jacocks and an unidentified grandson. Photo from Jean Mann.
Castellaw Robert Edward “Bob” 24 Dec 1868 Haywood Co., TN 15 Aug 1954 Bolivar, TN Zula Zera Watridge
b. 22 Feb 1875
m. 11 Dec 1894
d. 8 Mar 1940
Castellaw C.R. 1870 Haywood Co., TN 1870 Haywood Co., TN buriel: Castellaw Family Cemetery
Castellaw John Frank 22 May 1871 Haywood Co., TN 4 Jan 1941 Haywood Co., TN Martha Agnes Parlow
b. 1873
m. 5 Dec 1895
div. 1918
d. 1961Bertha L. McBride
m. 1 Mar 1918
d. 1927Louise McBride
With Martha, Bertha and Louise, John Frank had around 17 children. With his first wife, Martha Agnes Parlow, who was from a wealthy, well-educated family in Crockett County, he had eight children; Thomas Jefferson III, Lisa Margaret Arlesia “Leasy”, John Frank Jr., Leola Gertrude, James Francis, a twin who died, Malcolm Robert and Aaron Samuel.

The family lived in a large white house across the street from the cotton gin on Poplar Corner Rd. While divorce was uncommon during that time, especially in that area, according to family stories, Frank was habitually unfaithful so in 1918, they divorced.

Right after his divorce from Martha Agnes, he married Bertha L. McBride. Bertha came to the marriage with a daughter named Louise. Together, John Frank and Bertha had Martha and Minnie (Minnie Married Finis Watridge, one of the sons of Champ Watridge, who was a brother of my second great grandmother, Martha Jane Watridge). They also had a couple of babies that died.

After Bertha died, John Frank began a relationship with her daughter, Louise McBride, and they had five children: Mary Frances. Helen, John Lee, Zach Fletcher and James Carl.

John Frank was estranged from most of his family. Thanks to Martha Jean Mann and Cheryl Carroll for help getting this information correct.

Photos from Julia L. Castellaw via Cheryl Carroll – Left: John Frank Castellaw about 1903 with wife Martha Agnes Parlow Castellaw, son Thomas Jefferson Castellaw, daughter Margaret Arlecie Castellaw and baby, John Frank Castellaw, Jr. Right: John Frank about 1900 with son, Thomas Jefferson Castellaw and dog.

Photo from Roland Reid – l to r: Malcolm Robert Castellaw, Aaron Sammy Castellaw and James Francis Castellaw in 1916

Photo from Joe Reid – James Francis Castellaw and Iva Belch Castellaw with children Ann, Betty, Jamie, and Don. Son Dwayne was not yet born.


“Military services for Sgt. Aaron S. Castellaw were held at Zion Baptist Church near Brownsville, September 16 at 2 o’ clock. Sgt. Castellaw was killed overseas January 30th after 9 years service in the army. He had been overseas six months at the time of his death. Sgt. Castellaw was born December 6, 1914. He is survived by his wife; mother, Mrs. Agnes Castellaw of Bells; four sisters, Mrs. W. C. Baily, Mercer; Mrs Jack Stewart, Bells; Mrs. George Yearwood, Alamo; Mrs. Finis Watridge of Brownsville; three brothers, Tommy and J. F. of near Brownsville and Malcolm Castellaw of Bells and other relatives. Burial was at Holly Grove in Haywood County.”

John Frank married Bertha immediately after divorcing Martha Agnes and together they had Louis McBride, Martha Castellaw Yearwood and Minnie Castellaw Watridge.

States Graphic, Friday, July 21, 1961, Mrs. Agnes Castellaw, 88, died Sunday at Jackson-Madison Co. Hosptial; services 4 p.m. Monday, Holly Grove Baptist Church, Rev. W. A. David officiating, burial in church cemetery; Brownsville Funeral Home in charge.
She was born in Madison Co TN and the widow of John F. Castellaw and a Baptist.
Survivors: 2 sons, J. F. Castellaw of Memphis, Malcolm Castellaw of Peoria IL; 2 daughters, Mrs. Jack Stewart of Bells, Mrs. Nancy Bailey of Jackson TN; brother, Ause Parlow of Alamo; 2 sisters, Mrs. Sarah Cates and Mrs. Lizzie Conley both of Alamo TN; 10 grandchildren; 20 greatgrandchildren.

Castellaw Marene Pink 12 Mar 1874 Haywood Co., TN 1875 Haywood Co., TN buriel: Castellaw Family Cemetery
Castellaw Zach Fletcher 1876 Haywood Co., TN 22 Aug 1951 Haywood Co., TN Ida Simpson
b. 1879
m. 11 Nov 1985
At age 19, Zach married Ida Bell Simpson. Ida’s mother was Mary Ann Bell Watridge, a daughter of Daniel Washington Watridge and Mourning Adeline Cobb and a sister of my great grandmother in the photo, Zula. The children of Zach and Isa were William Benjamin “Be,” Ida Pearl, Mary Bertha, Emma, Vera, and Zach Thomas. You can read more about Zach Castellaw on my blog.

Zach Fletcher Castellaw

Castellaw Dora 12 Nov 1878 Haywood Co., TN 1878 Haywood Co., TN
buriel: Castellaw Family Cemetery
Castellaw Nora 12 Nov 1878 Haywood Co., TN 29 Nov 1941 Haywood Co., TN
Burried in Holly Grove Baptist Church Cemetery
John T. Hilburn
d. 1939
The children of John and Nora were Benjamin, Mable Lorine, Dora Belle, Herman Lawrence, Carrie Louise, Edith Kathryn, James A., and Thomas Jefferson. You can read more about Dora Castellaw Hilburn on my blog.

John and Nora Hilburn

Bob Castellaw
My Great-grandfather, 1868-1954

Robert Edward Castellaw with Zula and children Back row, l to r: Bob, Issac, and Daniel Front row, l to r: Brant, Rob, Zula and Irene. Ruby and Elizabeth were not yet born photo when photo was taken. Isaac had one twin named Pinky who died at birth. Sylvia was the last child born and died at approximately two months.

Bob Castellaw was born on Christmas Eve, 1868 in Haywood County, TN. On December 11, 1894, he married Zula Zera Watridge. Zula was the daughter of Daniel W. Watridge and Mourning Adeline Cobb. Both her father Daniel and his brother Dorsey fought in Civil War in Company L “Western Rangers” of the Seventh Tennessee Calvary.

Both Zula’s parents were from families who had moved into Haywood Co., TN from Bertie Co., NC in the 1830s and settled in the area.

Bob was the oldest son and his father died when he was just eleven in 1879. His mother was left land rich and, although the slaves had been freed 14 years previously, for such a large amount of land, once can assume she had many sharecroppers who continued to work on their land.

In the census of 1900, Bob and Zula are 32 and 25 and have two young children at home. Isaac is four, Daniel is one.

Irene, Elizabeth and Ruby Castellaw

A daughter, listed as Zena Z had recently been born but was no longer living. Zula is listed as the mother of four children with two living so another child either died at birth or shortly after. The Bob Castellaw family lives on a farm next to his brother Zach Castellaw and their mother.

By 1910, Bob and Zula had five children, now owned their farm and likely moved because they now have different neighbors. In the census of 1920, they have five children living at home. Their youngest daughter, Elizabeth is five. The next to youngest child is named Buster and is listed as 11 making his birth 1909. It is not certain who this is.

Bob and Zula Castellaw shortly before her death in 1940

In 1930, Bob and Zula are living with two children. Lizzie B. is a daughter who is 13 and Frank who is listed as a “relative” and is five. The value of Bob’s property is $7,800 so he has aquired a great deal of farm land. Although Bob always lists his occupation as farmer, it is known that he also owned a country store located near the corner of Poplar Corner Rd. and Doc Hess Rd in the Holly Grove Community in Haywood Co. In 1930 the Bob Castellaw family has remained physically close as Irene and her husband Abner “Bear” Mann, John Frank, Brant, Daniel and Robert Jr. all have farms located around Bob and Zula. Elizabeth and her husband Bo live about three miles down the road but also farm a piece of Bob’s land behind Holly Grove Baptist Church.

Bob Castellaw struggled with some sort of mental illness and the family worried about Zula’s safety.  In late Feb. of 1940, she called one of her daughters to let the know she had struggled with Bob and had been injured. She was taken to the hospital where she died on March 8. Bob was committed to Western State Mental Hospital in Bolivar, Tenn. where he died on Aug. 15, 1954. After his death, he was buried next to her in the cemetery at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Haywood County.

Robert Edward “Bob” Castellaw and sons Isaac, Daniel and Robert Jefferson around 1899.

Obituary for Zula Zera Watridge Castellaw

Mrs. Castellaw Dies March 8 Following Twelve-day Illness
Mrs. Zula Watridge Castellaw, 67, died at the family residence in the Holly Grove community on March 8 at 3:30 p.m. following a twelve-day illness.
Mrs. Castellaw was a native of the Holly Grove community and a member of the Baptist church in that place. She was a splendid Christian lady whose passing is a source of genuine regret.
She is survived by her husband R.E. Bob Castellaw, four sons, Ike Castellaw of Jackson, D.W., R.J. and F.B. Castellaw of District 5; three daughters, Mrs. Abner Mann, Mrs. Chas. R. McKay Jr., and Mrs. Lloyd Williams. Funeral services were held at Holly Grove Church Sunday afternoon at 2 o’ clock, conducted by Rev. Gardner. Interment was in Holly Grove Cemetery.

Obituary for Robert E. “Bob” Castellaw

R.E. Castellaw Burried at Holly Grove Monday
Services were held at Holly Grove Baptist Church Monday afternoon at 4 o’ clock for Robert E. Castellaw who died Sunday following a long illness.
Rites were conducted by Rev. Roe Neal with burial in Holly Grove Cemetery under the direction of Brownsville Funeral Home.
Mr. Castellaw spent most of his life in Haywood County where he engaged in farming.
He leave four sons, I.E. Castellaw of Jackson, D.W. Castellaw, R.J. Castellaw, daughters, Mrs. A.B. Mann, Mrs. J.L. Williams, both of this county and Mrs. Charles McKay, Jr. of Jackson, 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grand children.
Pallbearers for Mr. Bob were Albert Booth, Dorris Booth, Bryant Booth, J.B. Simpson, Everette Watridge, Sonny Boy Taylor, Robert Tritt and William Fred English.

Bob Castellaw at Western State, shortly before his death. Pictured is his daughter (my grandmother) Elizabeth, her son (my father) Bobby and an unidentified child. On the back of photo. my grandmother wrote, “August 15, 1954 Popa left us to go rest. This picture was made the first Sunday in June.”

The children of Bob and Zula Watridge Castellaw were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Castellaw Isaac Edward 10 Oct 1895 Haywood Co., TN 1 Oct 1964 Jackson, TN Winnie White
m. 22 Dec 1918
Isaac had a twin who died at birth.
The children of Isaac and Winnie Castellaw were Ike, Jean C., Marie C., Virginia Hess, Winne Marie, Emma Jean, Isaac Jr. They moved to Madison Co., TN near Jackson.
Castellaw Daniel Washington 9 Jan 1898 Haywood Co., TN Jan 1987 Haywood Co., TN Maude Mullins

Ethel Felps

Daniel and his first wife Maude had a son named Daniel Washington Jr. who was killed on 10 Oct 1924 when he was 2-years-old when he fell from a buggy after the horse hitched to it bolted. During the 1930s, Daniel was forman of a gang of WPA workers who maintained the county roads. Their second son was named Edward Levi. He died in 1997 and is burried at Providence Methodist Church cemetery.
Castellaw Pinky Zera 6 Feb 1900 Haywood Co., TN 1900 Haywood Co., TN
burried in Castellaw Family Cemetery
Castellaw Robert Jefferson 4 May 1902 Crockett Co., TN 28 Jan 1977 Jackson, TN Mae Rassman
b. 1 May 1905
m. 4 Aug 1920
d. 12 Sept 1998
The children of Rob and Mae Castellaw were Carl Jefferson, Charles Ray, and Zuline

Rob and Mae lived in the Green Frog Community of Crocket Co., TN. Brownsville States-Graphic 9/17/1998
Funeral services for Mrs. May Rassmann Castellaw, 93, of Bells, Tenn., were conducted Tuesday, September 15, at the Bells Funeral Home at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Bob Williams and the Rev. Eddie Spegal officiating. Burial followed in Belleview Cemetery in Bells. She was a homemaker, a member of Crossroads Baptist Church and the widow of the late Robert Jefferson Castellaw.
Mrs. Castellaw died of heart failure Sunday, September 13, in Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. She was preceded in death by a son, Carl Jefferson Castellaw, and leaves one son, Charles Ray Castellaw of Springville, Tenn.; a daughter, Zuline Castellaw Blackburn of Bells; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
The family requests memorials be made to Crossroads Baptist Church or the American Heart Association.

Castellaw Velma Irene 1904 Haywood Co., TN Abner “Bear” Mann Sr.
b. 1902
d. 1966
The children of Velma and Abner Mann were Abner B. Mann Jr. (died at 2) Carolyn Janette Mann, Grover Castellaw Mann, and Geneva
The lived in the Holly Grove community. It is said Abner got his nickname from a hunting incident when he was a boy. He thought a bear was in thicket but when he shot, it turned out to be the family’s hunting dog. He was called “Bear” from the on.
Castellaw Finis Brant 25 Dec 1907 Haywood Co., TN 15 Sept 1995 Haywood Co., TN Wilma F. White
b. 8 Nov 1909m. 9 Sept 1928
d. 29 Aug 1979
The children of Brant and Wilma Castellaw were Wilma Evelyn, Bobby White, Billy Hugh and James Brant “Jimmy.” Brant and Wilma owned a country store in Holly Grove for many years.
Castellaw Ruby 6 Jan 1911 Haywood Co., TN 17 Jan 1999 Jackson, TN Charles McKay
The children of Ruby and Charles McKay were Charles Ross McKay III, Hattie Ann McKay Latham and David McKay. Charles worked for the electric company in Jackson, TN and it is said that in the late 30s the lights of The Holly Grove Baptist Church were run on a gas powered generator that Charles tried to keep running.
Castellaw Henrietta Elizabeth 13 June 1915 Haywood Co., TN 31 Dec 1998 Haywood Co., TN Jesse Lloyd “Bo” Williams
Castellaw Sylvia 2 Feb 1919 Haywood Co., TN 24 Mar 1919 Haywood Co., TN


The Bob and Zula Castellaw homeplace, the site of the home today with their grandson Bob Williams, great-grandson Scott Williams and 3rd great-grandson Caleb Durham, and their headstone at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Haywood Co., Tenn.

For more about Bo and Elizabeth Castellaw Williams, visit the Williams Family page.

Do you have more facts, information or photos you would like shared here or do you see errors? Please let me know by posting below or sending me a message on Facebook.

Return Home