My direct descendants are in bold type. 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.
John Patterson
My 7th Great-grandfather, 1690-1754
John Patterson, my 7th great-grandfather, was born in 1690 in what would soon become Prince George Co., Bristol Parish, VA. It appears his father’s name may have been Joseph and his mother’s name was possibly Janet but that is not confirmed. The Joseph thought to be his father was born around 1660 and died after 1693 in Virginia. It’s possible Joseph was my Patterson ancestor who first came to America from Scotland.
Patterson is among the most common Scottish surnames.

It is estimated that about 25,000 Scots settled in the 13 colonies between 1763 and 1775.

At the time of our first federal census in 1790, people of Scottish (including the Scots-Irish) origins made up more than six percent of the population, numbering about 260,000.

When John was born in Prince George County, VA, a little over 1,500 people lived in the area.

The Accokeek Foundation manages the National Colonial Farm, a living history museum which includes a great example of what John Patterson’s farm could have looked like in the early 1700s.
“Prince George’s County grew in the 1700’s. Its land was settled, and frontier became civilization. Men and women from all parts of the British Isles, as well as other countries of Europe, came to find homes here. Prince George’s County, despite the growth, remained predominantly agricultural. Agriculture was the basis of the economy and directly or indirectly provided the livelihood for every resident. One crop was at the heart of this agricultural economy and that crop was tobacco.”
On 10 Sept 1716 a land deed indicates John Patterson sold land on the Great Swamp next to a plantation given to him by his father, Joseph Patterson. The land was formerly part of a larger tract of land owned by his father.

During his lifetime, it is thought John migrated from Virginia to counties in North Carolina including Granville, Bute, Warren, and Edgecombe.

John married Jane Smith before 1720.

Their first son, Smith Patterson, born in 1720, is my sixth great grandfather. They had two additional children, Francis in 1722 and Eady in 1724 before Jane died around the age of 24.

Before 1727, John married Mary Taylor and they had three more children; Lewis, Catherine and George.

A Crown Grant of 300 acres in Edgecombe County, North Carolina was issued to Mary Patterson in NC 15 Nov 1743 so we know they had moved by then.

John died in 1754 at the age of 64 in North Carolina, possibly in Edgecombe County.

Smith Patterson
My 6th Great-grandfather, 1720-1788

Smith Patterson was born 28 Aug 1720 in Prince George Co., Bristol Parish, VA before his family migrated to North Carolina.

He was the first-born son in his family and was six years old when his mother, Jane Smith Patterson, died.

His father remarried soon after and, in addition to the two siblings from his mother and father, he would gain three additional ones from his father and stepmother, Mary Taylor.

It appears Smith married Sarah Turner around 1750. She was possibly born around 1724 in Virginia. Since Smith was 30 and Sarah was 26 at the time of their marriage, it was possibly a second marriage for one or both of them.

In 1750, Smith and Sarah had their first child, Sarah possibly in Virginia and then in 1753, they had their first-born son, Young who is my fifth great grandfather.

Young was born in Guilford Co., NC so it appears that between the birth of their first two children, Smith and Sarah moved from Virginia to North Carolina.

Note: Records for two of Smith’s stepbrothers, Lewis Patterson and George Patterson also show them migrating south. As early as 1755, census records show Lewis already in Granville Co., NC where he would die in 1810 at the age of 83. He and his wife, Lucy Jordan, had 10 children.

Smith’s stepbrother, George Patterson, migrated from upper North Carolina to the south. Records on him can be found in Bute, Warren, Granville, Tryon, and Edgecomb Counties of North Carolina, finally settling in York County, South Carolina. He died there in 1803 at the age of 74. George’s son, Littleberry Patterson and his descendants were some of the earliest pioneer families to settle in Monroe, Polk, and McMinn Counties in Tennessee.

It appears my ancestor, Smith Patterson, migrated to Granville Co., NC with his two stepbrothers, Lewis and George.

The October 1754 Muster Roll of the 8th Regiment in Granville County, NC, under the command of Col. William Eaton includes:

Capt. Daniel Harris’s Company
Smith Patterson, Sergent
Lewis Patterson
George Patterson
James Bettis

In 1755, Smith appears on the Granville NC taxpayers list along with his brother Lewis. George had possibly already headed south.

In 1761, Smith and Sarah’s son, Tillman was born in Granville Co., NC.

Smith and Sarah appear in a Granville Co., NC deed transaction 2 Oct 1763 (Book E. 1761-1762):
Smith Patterson and wife Sarah of Granville Co., deeded to Jememiah Neil of Granville Co. for 33 pds 6 shls 6 pence, 250 acres onside of Reedy Creek on James Alston’s old line to Lemuel Hargrove’s Corner, to Mangum’s Acock’s lines.

Smith appears in another Granville Co. NC, deed 1 Apr 1763 (Deeds 1746-1765, pg 245-46):
Grant to Smith Patterson for 700 acres on north side of Reedy Creek at Adcocks’s corner, Macon’s Creek, Hardway’s and Young’s lines.

In 1763, their third son, Drury, was born in Granville Co., NC.

Photo of Bellview School in Granville County, Source

Granville County was formed in 1746 from Edgecombe County. It was named for John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Granville County played a pivotal role as tobacco supplier for the southeast United States. With many farms and contracts tied to major tobacco companies like, American Tobacco Company, Lorillard, Brown & Williamson, and Liggett Group the local farmers became prosperous. With the Great Depression came a plague new to the people of Granville County. The Granville Wilt Disease as it became known as destroyed tobacco crops all across northern North Carolina.
4 Jan 1764 Smith is in the Granville Co. Deedbood (Abstracts of Granville Co. NC, Deeds 1746-1765, pg 240-41):
Smith Patterson to Mathew Morrell of Southhampton Co. VA. for 40 pds., 500 arces on Meltons Creek in Granville Co., NC at Jeremiah Neils corner Hardway’s and Young’s lines.

In 1767, their final child, Gideon, was born in Granville Co., NC.

1786 Smith Paterson is included in the 1790 Fort Creek District listing in Granville Co. NC.

Smith Patterson died in 1788 in Franklin Co., NC.

Note: Smith and Sara Patterson’s daughter, Sarah Patterson married William Bettis and migrated to Tennessee. William and Sarah Patterson Bettis’ son, Tillman Bettis (named after his uncle), was among the earliest settlers of Shelby Co., TN and is buried in one of the oldest cemeteries in the county. You can read more about them on this blog entry.

Smith and Sarah Patterson’s son, Tillman Patterson, enlisted in the army on 1 Nov 1778 and served during the Revolutionary War as a sergeant in Captain Sharp’s Company. His pension application, which was executed on 11 Sept 1826, shows he was 65 and living in Franklin Co., NC. which is where he died 30 Nov 1849.

Smith and Sarah Patterson’s son, Drury Patterson, married Mary Unk in 1794. Drury and his son Thomas and their families were with William Bettis and the other settlers that departed Wilson Co., TN in 1819 headed for Texas but stayed in Shelby County, TN and waited for the Indian lands to be made available.

Young Patterson
5th Great-grandfather, 1753-1821
Young Patterson was born in 1753 in Guilford, NC in 1753. In 1778, at the age of 23, he married Elizabeth whose maiden name is currently unknown.

Although his sisters and brothers migrated to Shelby County, TN, he likely spent his entire life in Guilford, NC. Young and Elizabeth had three children: Nancy, Wilson and Thomas.

Their daughter Nancy Patterson married Aaron Walker 23 Nov 1799 in Wake County, NC. They had several children, one named Erasmus. You can find more about Nancy Patterson Walker here.

Young Patterson died in April of 1821 and his will was probated in November of that year.

Young Patterson’s Will
“Guilford Co, NC Will Abstracts 1771-1841” Published by Irene B. Webster Reference: B:05265
Date: 29 Apr 1821
Probated Nov. 1822
Wife Elizabeth – all my person and real property during life. Son Wilson – estate after decease of his mother; Son Thomas and Dau. Nancy Walker — each five shillings.
Exr: Wilson Patterson
Witnesses: Jonas Case, Charles Case
Wilson Patterson
My 4th great grandfather, 1781-1850
Wilson Patterson, was born in 1781 in Guilford Co., North Carolina.

On 23 Jun 1803, he married Charity Walker in Wake, NC. Charity had been born in 1781, also in North Carolina.

In 1803, they had their first child, my 3rd great grandfather, James Patterson.

In the 1810 census, Wilson and his family were living in Guilford Co.

Listed in the Patterson home was:
Free White Males Under 10: 4 (James was seven and Thomas was four)
Free White Males 26 – 44: 1 (Wilson was 29)
Free White Females 16 – 25: 1 (Charity was 24)
Wilson Patterson served in the North Carolina militia during the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the United States and the British Empire. It lasted for over two years, and while it ended in stalemate, it once and for all confirmed American independence.

Wilson was a Private in the infantry assigned to the 2nd Company, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade of the North Carolina Militia from Guilford County.

While all men belonged to the militia, not all were called into actual military service.


War of 1812 Verterans from North Carolina gathered foe a reunion

To fill the quota of detached militia was to call for a muster of the militia of a certain county on a given day and then ask for volunteers to fill up a company, usually around seventy (70) men. If not enough men volunteered, then lots were cast, or every tenth man was taken. Substitutes were permitted if the draftee could find someone willing to go in his place.

In Granville Co., no one volunteered so all th men and boys had to be drafted.

Wilson was drafted on November 28, 1814 at the age of 33. He initially went to Hillsborough, NC for organization and training, then his unit marched to Norfolk, VA and he began his service Federal service in the United States Army. I am uncertain how long he served but, since he had children born in 1814 and 1815 and the war actually ended on 24 Dec 1814, about a month after he began his service, I doubt it was very long.

By 1829, Wilson and Charity’s family had grown to include eight children.

In the census of 1830, the family was still in Guilford Co. Living in the Patterson home were:

Free White Males 5 – 9: 1 (Benet was 6)
Free White Males 10 – 14: 1 (Jonas was 12)
Free White Males 15 – 19: 1 (Smith was 18)
Free White Males 20 – 29: 1 (Thomas was 24)
Free White Males 50 – 59: 1 (Wilson was 49 or possibly 50)
Free White Females Under 5: 1 (Charity was one)
Free White Females 15 – 19: 1 (Priscilla was 15)
Free White Females 40 – 49: 1 (Charity was 44)
Free White Females 70 – 79: 1 (Possibly Wilson or Charity’s mother?)
The family owned no slaves. Daughter Bridget Anna at 16 had just married Nathaniel Bonaparte Faucett. Their son, James, had married in 1826 in Surry, NC and that is where it appears he was living in 1830.

By 1840, Wilson Patterson and his family had migrated from Guilford Co., NC to McNairy Co., TN. In the census, there were four people living in the household.

Living just one farm over was Soloman Fowler and next door to him was Oliver Fowler. Nearly 30 years later, on 27 Mar 1868, Wilson Patterson’s grandaughter, Sarah E. Patterson would marry Oliver Fowler’s son, Louis in McNairy Co. Louis and Sarah Patterson Fowler would name one of their sons Oliver.

In the McNairy County, TN census of 1850, Wilson was 69, Charity was 63 and living in the house with them was Charity (age 21), Thomas Smith (age 13) and George Smith (age 3).

The family living on the farm next door to their son Benit and his wife Anna and their children; Elzabeth, Martha and Thomas.

Ten years later, in the McNairy Co., TN census of 1860, Wilson had very likely died because his wife, Charity, was living with their daughter Charity who had married a man named Reddin Fowler. Reddin was a son of Obediah Fowler. Also, still living with 73-year-old Charity in the home of her daughter and son-in-law was George Smith who was now 13.

Charity died before the 1870 census. It’s likely her daughter, Charity, died before 1880 because Reddin was married to Nancy Plunk on 4 Feb 1880. It appears Nancy Plunk Patterson lived in district eight for her entire life so further research in that area could yeild more information about these Patterson and Fowler ancestors.

James Patterson
My 3rd Great-grandfather
James Patterson was born in 1803 in Wake, NC to Wilson Patterson and Charity Walker Patterson. He was the oldest of the siblings.

10 Oct 1826 he married Nancy Holcomb in Surry County, NC.

In the US census of 1830 James and Nancy are still living in Surry, NC. They have one slave, a female who is age 10 – 23. Also living in the home is one male and one female under five.

They moved to McNairy County, TN between 1832 – 1834 as did his parents and the families of several of his siblings.

While the 1840 McNairy County Census does not list names, the ages for this “James Patterson” line up well with the ages of the children who are listed in subsequent years for James and Nancy so I am certain this is my ancestor.

Free White Persons – Males, Under 5: 1 (Richard was age 4)
Free White Persons – Males, 5 thru 9: 3 (Smith was 9, Jesse was 8 and Frances was 6)
Free White Persons – Males, 10 thru 15: 1 (William was 11)
Free White Persons – Males, 30 thru 39: 1 (This would be James )
Free White Persons – Females, Under 5: 2 (Caroline was 2 and Martha was 1)
Free White Persons – Females, 30 thru 39: 1 (This would be Nancy Holcomb)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9
Also in the McNairy Co. TN census were the families of James’ brothers, Jonas Patterson and Thomas Patterson and his father, Wilson.

Nancy Holcomb Patterson died after 1844 after having given birth to nine children. James then married Nancy McMillan by 1847 and on 9 Aug 1848, she gave birth to their first daughter, Lucy Jane, followed quickly the next year by a son, Colen M.

In 1850 census of McNairy Co, 47-year-old James Patterson is farming 1,200 acres which was a lot for that time. Children living in the home were:

William, age 21, born about 1829 in North Carolina
Smith, age 20, born about 1830 in North Carolina
Jesse, age 18, born about 1832 in North Carolina
Frances, age 16, born about 1834 in Tennessee
Richard, age 14, born about 1836 in Tennessee
Caroline, age 12, born about 1838 in Tennessee
Martha, age 10, born about 1840 in Tennessee
Mansfield, age 8, born about 1842 in Tennessee
Bennet, age 6, born about 1844 in Tennessee
Lucy, age 2, born about 1849 in Tennessee
Colen, age 1, born about 1849 in Tennessee
While the Patterson family setted in McNairy Co., TN, on March 1, 1879, some of the area in which they lived was changed to Chester County. The new county was carved from sections of McNairy, Hardeman, Madison, and Henderson counties. The original proposed name for the county was Wisdom, but Chester County was selected as an honor for Col. R.I. Chester, of Jackson, Tennessee, the State Legislator. The new county’s public officials were elected on May 29, 1882. Because of the many large plantations in the region, Chester County’s economy was based on cotton farming.
On 29 Nov 1851, the already large family was made even larger with the birth of my second great grandmother, Sarah E.

After Sarah, James and Nancy had Nancy in 1853 and Matilda in 1855. It is thought James Patterson died in 1855 at age 52 and, if that is correct, Nancy was prgenant at the time with their sixth child, Effie. James had fathered 15 children with two wives before his death at what was a very young age.

In the 1860 census of McNairy, TN, Nancy Patterson is the head of the family at 44. She is quite wealthy with the value of her real estate being $3,000 and the value of her personal property being $475.

Living with her on the farm at that time were ten of her children:

William, age 30, born about 1829 in North Carolina
Richard, age 23, born about 1836 in Tennessee
Caroline, age 21, born about 1839 in Tennessee
Bennet, age 16, born about 1844 in Tennessee
Lucy J., age 12, born about 1849 in Tennessee
Colin, age 10, born about 1849 in Tennessee
Sarah E., age 8, born in 1853 in Tennessee
Nancy R., age 7, born in 1853 in Tennessee
Matilda, age 6, born in 1854 in Tennessee
Effy E., age 4, born in 1856 in Tennessee
By the time of the 1870 McNairy County Census, Nancy is 53 and living with her still are three of her children:
Colin, age 19, born about 1849 in Tennessee
Rebecca M., age 18 (Not certain who this is as she has not shown up in the family previously)
Matilda C., age 16, born in 1854
Effy M., age 13, born in 1856
Nancy died at some point after 1880.
The headstones of members of the Patterson family in the Old Estes Cemetery in Chester Co., TN between Henderson and Finger, TN. Included are Colen M. and Mary Jane Patterson, Jennie B. Patterson, A. P. and M. A. Patterson, Lushion W. and Maggie E. Patterson, James L., Margaret L and Bettie O. Patterson and M. J. Patterson.
Here are a few details I picked up about James Patterson’s children:
  • William Patterson was born about 1829 in North Carolina.
  • Smith J. Patterson was born about 1830 in North Carolina, married Susan B. Aldridge (1842 – 1925) and had a daughter, Jennie B. He died in 1904 in Chester Co, and was buried in the Old Estes Cemetery in Chester Co.
  •  Jesse Patterson was born about 1832 in North Carolina.
  • Frances Patterson was born about 1834 in Tennessee.
  • Richard Patterson was born about 1836 in Tennessee.
  • Caroline Patterson was born about 1838 in Tennessee, married Alexander Robert Russell (1 Aug 1839 – 17 Nov 1992) and migrated to Red River Co., TX. She possibly died before 1882 when her husband remarried. He is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Montague, TX.
  • Martha A. Patterson was born about 1840 in Tennessee, married James Dickey about 1859 and was the mother of Sarah Josie, James Bennett and Thomas Mansfield. She died and was buried in Finger, TN in McNairy Co. Her husband is buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Stantonville, TN in McNairy Co.
  • Mansfield Jenkins Patterson was born 13 Sept 1842 in Tennessee, married Nancy B. Lipscomb (1847 – 1927). They lived in Finger, TN and were the parents of Mary E., Indiana P., Ora L, Martha “Mattie” A. and Grover Franklin. He died 27 April 1919 and is buried in Old Estes Cemetery in Chester Co., TN (formerly part of McNairy Co., TN)
  • Bennet Patterson was born about 1844 in Tennessee married Sarah Bean and is buried in the Old Estes Cemetery.

    With Nancy McMillan:

    Lucy Jane Patterson was born 9 Aug 1848 in Tennessee, married Moses Washington Faucett and they were the parents of James F., Oscar L., Lora N., and Frances. She died 17 Oct 1927.

    Colen M. Patterson was born 9 Sept 1849 in Tennessee, married Mary Jane Highfield (Oct 18 1850 – Jul 27 1947) on 20 Aug 1873 and they were the parents of James F. Oscar L., Lora N. and Frances A. He died Nov 9, 1914 and was buried at Old Estes Cemetery.

    Sarah E. Patterson was born in 1853. She is my second great grandmother and more about her is in the next section.

    Nancy Rebecca Patterson was born in 1853, married Samuel Ballard had they were the parents of Thomas, James, Clarence and Harriet. She Died 6 Feb 1928 in Madison Co., TN and was buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Jackson, TN.

    Matilda Catherine Patterson was born Nov 18 1855, married a widower, Francis Marion Putman on 18 Nov 1875. They were the parents of Hubert L., William Allen, James Freeman, and Nora E. “Euda.” Frances died in 1913 and Francis died in 1920.

    Effy E. was born in 1856.

Because so many of the family is buried in the Estes Cemetery in Chester Co., it’s logical to assume this is the community in which many of the family lived.
Sarah E. Patterson Fowler
My 2nd Great-grandmother, 1851-1920
Sarah E. Patterson was born Nov 1851 in Chester Co., TN to James Patterson and his second wife, Nancy McMilland. She was the 12th of 15 children born to his father and his two wives. Her father died in 1855 when she was just four years old.

She lived her childhood on a plantation with many brothers and sisters and a few slaves.

At the age of 17, on 27 Mar 1868, she married Louis M. Fowler in McNairy County, TN. Louis was 23. The Fowlers lived just a few farms away from the Pattersons. Like Sarah, Louis’ father also died when he was a very young child.

In the 1880 census, Sarah and Louis lived in McNairy Co. with their five children: Mary C. (age eight), Lula M. (age seven), Olivier W. (age six), Vernettie A. (age four), and Thomas M. (age one month)

At some point in the next 20 years, they moved about 60 miles northwest to District Four in the north section of Haywood County. In the 1900 census Sarah was only 48 yet she had been married 32 years and had nine children. Their oldest daughter Mollie was 23 and listed her occupation as “dressmaker.” Their next to youngest daughter was Ruby who was 12 and is my second great grandmother.

In the 1910 census, they have moved to District Five of Hawywood Co. Lewis was 62, Sarah was 59 and only one child is still at home; Daisy who was 17 at the time. They have purchased and moved to the area where the maternal side of my family would live for generations and where my uncle still lives today. They lived next door to their 22-year-old daughter, Ruby, and her husband James L. “Jim” Lovelace who was 24. Next door to Ruby and Jim, lived Lynn B. and Anna L. Lovelace. Lynn is Jim’s great uncle.

In the 1940s, my mother, who is their great niece, Shirley Lovelace Williams, remembers Anna Lovelace being called “Aint Anna” by the rest of the family and that she was a small woman. Shirley remembers she had two rows of dark green boxwood shrubs leading up to her front door. Her house was an old wooden house but a brick house sits on the same spot today. Anna and Lynn B had sons Russell B., Walter Lee, and Vernan C.

Walter married Ruby’s youngest sister Daisy.

Sarah died on 25 Jan 1920 at 5:30 a.m. from Influenza and Pneumonia. The informant for the information on her death certificate was her daughter, Lula M. Fowler.

Sarah was buried in Zion Cemetery on 26 Jan 1920.

In the 1920 census for Haywood Co., Louis was 68 and living with his daughter Ruby’s family. In addition to Louis, two other Fowlers are also living in the home; Jissie who was age 13 and Leslie who was 11.

On Aug. 10, 1938 Louis Fowler died at age 86 and was also buried at the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery.

The headstone of Louis and Sarah E. Patterson Fowler in Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood Co, TN.
The children of Louis and Sarah E. Patterson Fowler were:
Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Fowler Mary C. 1871 Haywood Co., TN
Fowler Lula M. 1873 Haywood Co., TN
Fowler Oliver W. 1874 Haywood Co., TN 9 June 1951 St. Francis, AR Lucy Browder

Lillie Dell Hudson
b. 1886
d. 1971

The children of Oliver W. and Lucy were Vassie A., Rose Lee, Willie O., and Otis.
Fowler Mollie F. 1876 Haywood Co., TN John Henry Fowler
b. 1871
m. 1892
d. 1945
The children of Mollie and John Henry Fowler were: Jim, Burt, Emer, Jessie and two others.
Fowler Thomas M. 1880 Haywood Co., TN
Fowler Samuel Dalton 16 Jan 1882 Haywood Co., TN 2 Oct 1913 Haywood Co., TN Clyde L.
The children of Samuel and Clyde Fowler were: Jessie T. and Williams L. Also living in their house in the 1910 census was Virgie Patterson age 33.

The headstone of Samuel Dalton Fowler in Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood Co, TN.

Fowler Elender M. 1884 Haywood Co., TN
Fowler Ruby 1887 Haywood Co., TN 29 Jan 1952 Haywood Co., TN James Luther “Jim” Lovelace
b. 27 Sept 1885
m. 28 May 1905
d. 31 March 1968
Fowler Daisy June 1893 Haywood Co., TN Walter Lovelace
b. 21 Oct 1890
d. Dec 1976
Daisy and Walter had five children, three who are apparently living as of 2010. Starley, Amelia and Walter Jr. The two who have died are Mildred Louise (1916 – 2001) and Anna Elizabeth (1927 – 1996).

Walter Lee was one of the sons of Lynn B. Lovelace while James Luther Lovelace was the son of Lynn’s brother, Charles Buchanan Lovelace. More about the Lovelace Family