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.

William M. Watridge
My 3rd Great-grandfather, 1798-1864

William M. Watridge was born in 1798 in North Carolina. He married Milly Thompson (b. 1799 d. 1875) on 31 March 31, 1821 in Bertie Co., NC.

Millie Thompson was the daughter of Sarah and William Thompson. Her brothers were James (who would marry Rachael Evans) and John Thompson and a sister named Sara Thompson (Who would marry a Best). All were from Bertie Co. NC.

James and Rachel Thompson are buried on the land on which they lived and their homeplace is still standing in Bertie Co. Their property was right on the Bertie Co/Hertford Co. line.

The Will of James Thompson

December 6, 1823; May Term 1824

Wife: Sarah

Children: Milly Watridge, Sarah Haste, James and John Thompson

Executor: Wife

Testified by: Jas. Freeman, Seth Morgan

Source: The North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 2 edited by James Robert Bent Hathaway, pg 550

The sources for much of the following include “Nicholas Cobb Descendants” by Joe H. Cobb and “A History of Zion Baptist Church” by Bernie Cobb.

According to the birthplaces of their children, given to the 1850 census taker, William and Milly moved to Haywood County between 1836 and 1838.

On Saturday, December 17, 1836 William became a deacon of Zion Baptist Church which had only recently been formed.

In 1841 he was one of the delegates to a Baptist Association meeting. In 1843 he was again elected to the position of deacon. In 1846 he was again elected to attend an association meeting, this time in Denmark, TN. In 1849 he was on the church’s new building committee. Also on the same committee was John Hardy Cobb who is my 4th great grandfather and T.J. Castellaw who is my 2nd great grandfather.

Also in 1849, William was assigned the task of auditing the collection of the church from 1838-40 and reporting back his findings.

On March 8, 1852, the deed to the Zion Baptist Church property was written, “To M. Watridge and Others…”

He is again mentioned in the minutes of November 1855 as being responsible for communicating with a potential pastor for the church.

In the tax year of 1862, the value of William’s property was $700.

In 1863 the minutes of Zion record that William Watridge became ill.

He died January 2, 1864. Considering his intense connection to Zion Baptist Church, one would think he would be buried there but he nor his wife Millie are included in any lists of those at the Zion cemetery.

The children of William and Milly Thompson Watridge were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Watridge James F. 1823 Bertie Co., NC 1875
Age: 52
Haywood Co., TN Martha Perry
b. 1827
James and Martha were the parents of Martha Jane Watridge, the mother of Will Williams, the father of Lloyd Williams, the father of Bob Williams, the father of me. More details on James and Martha Watridge included below.
Watridge Daniel W. 1835 Bertie Co., NC unknown Haywood Co., TN Mourning Adeline “Addie” Cobb
b. 1799
m. 18 Aug 1860
d. 1875
Elizabeth Jane Marcom
b. Dec 1831
m. 28 Nov 1877
d. 3 Mar 1906
Likely a photo of Zula Zera Watridge who married Robert Edward “Bob” Castellaw.

Daniel and Mourning were the parents of Zula Zera Watridge Castellaw who is the mother of Elizabeth Williams who is the mother of Bob Williams who is the father of me. Their other children were Mary Ann (1862 – 1913), John William (1864 – 1873), and Sara Frances (1869 – 1910).

His wife was the daughter of John Hardy and Harriet Warren Castellaw Cobb. When Addie died in 1876 she was buried in the Cobb Family cemetery. More about Daniel is included below.

Watridge Dorsey H. 18 Jul 1840 Haywood Co., TN 12 Sept 1890
Age: 50
Haywood Co., TN
Buried: Zion Baptist Church Cemetery
Mary E.
b. 10 Dec 1844
d. 1899
Age: 55
Burried: Zion Bap Church Cem
They donated the land for the Holly Grove Baptist Church (Haywood County Courthouse, Deed Book 11, pgs 45-46, dated July 23, 1886).

Dorsey and Mary’s children were Dorsey Thomas, Eller, Bernard, Stella, Floy, Sarah, and Ida.

May 1885, D. H. Watridge was ordained as a deacon of Zion Baptist Church.

On September 27, 1885, Mary’s name is included in the list of members of Zion Baptist Church who were “petitioning letters of dismission for the purpose of organizing a church at Holly Grove.”

In September 1890, Andrew Jackson Outlaw and Simeon Amherst Cobb were two of the Zion Church members who wrote the obituary for Dorsey Watridge. Andrew and Simeon were brothers-in-law. Andrew Outlaw’s sister, Elizabeth Temperance “Bet” Outlaw was married to William Thomas Cobb. Simeon Cobb, William Thomas Cobb and Daniel Watridge’s wife, Mourning Adeline Cobb were all siblings.

Brother deacon D. H. Watridge died at his residence of malarial fever seven miles northeast of Brownsville on the 12th day of September 1890. He was born in Haywood County, TN on the 18th day of July 1840. He professed religion and was baptized into the fellowship of this church by the Rev. Josiah Daws in September, 1854. He was ordained a deacon of this church the first Sunday in May 1885. He was a devoted husband and affectionate and idolized father, a true friend and a good neighbor and citizen. He left a wife and seven children to mourn his loss.

Dorsey is buried at Zion Cemetery.

James Watridge
My 2nd Great-grandfather, 1823-1871

James Watridge was born in 1823 in Bertie Co., NC. He moved with his family to Haywood Co., Tenn. in a wagon train when he was around 13.

He married Martha Perry in Haywood Co., TN before 1846. There are many Perry connections with the Cobbs, and Watridges other Haywood County families but Martha’s specific lineage has not yet been determined.

In March of 1850 James and Leonard Decatur Cobb witnessed the deed of John Hardy Cobb selling land to his son-in-law James Cobb.

Tom Cobb’s diary mentions that on January 6, 1866 he went to Brownsville with Edward Steele and James Watridge to “fix up their article of agreement between them and their hirlings.”

In the census of 1860, James and Martha lived in district 5 of Haywood Co. He was 37 and she was 34 and they had three children; William Henry who was 14, Mary Emily who was 11 and Martha Jane who was eight. The value of his real estate was $1,000 and the value of his personal property was $655. He was a farmer. Both of his oldest children, William and Mary had attended school in the last year.

The family’s farm was next door to the farm of his brother, Daniel W. Watridge and his wife Mourning Adeline Cobb.

In the 1862 tax assessment list, James taxable income was assessed as $250 for which he has to pay a tax of .88.

In the census of 1870, James is 46 and Martha is 44. James lists his occupation as “farmer” and Martha lists hers as “keeping house.” The value of their real estate was $700 and the value of their personal property was $400.

A the time of that census, their farm was next door to the farm of James Cowan Cobb and his wife Sarah Frances Cobb. Sarah Frances was the daughter of John Hardy and Harriett Castellaw Cobb and the sister of Mourning Adeline Cobb.

James died the following year, on Feb. 23, 1871 at 48.

Simeon Amherst Cobb’s diary includes an entry in May of 1875 that said, “Bet (his wife) went to Mrs. Martha Watridge” so we know she was still living then.

The date of her death and the place where she and James are buried has not yet determined. They are not included in the lists of those buried at Zion Baptist Church cemetery, The Cobb Family cemetery or Holly Grove Baptist Church cemetery.

The children of James and Martha Perry Watridge were:

Last First Born Location Born Died Location Died Spouse
Watridge William Henry 1846 Haywood Co., TN 1900
Age: 54
Haywood Co., TN
Burried Holly Grove Baptist Church Cemetery
Zilphia Elizabeth Castellaw
b. 1850
m. 24 Dec 1868
The children of William and Zilphia were James Thomas, Champ Conner, William H. Jr., and Eddie.
William Henry Watridge’s uncle, Dorsey donated the land for Holly Grove Baptist Church and Zilpha’s brother, Fletcher Castellaw, donated the land for the cemetery.
William was one of the first to be buried there.Many years later, William’s 22-year-old grandson, John Dawson Watridge, the son of William Jr. “Will,” was buried there as well. On July 4, 1930, he was on his way from Memphis (he was living in my current neighborhood at 2185 Cowden) to a picnic at Providence, a neighboring community, when he lost control of the Ford Roadster he was driving and landed in a ditch. His friends who were also traveling with him all survived. He is burried in Holly Grove Baptist Church Cemetery but does not have a headstone. Source: “Holly Grove Baptist Church Directory,” Jean Mann, 2009
Watridge Mary Emily 1848 Haywood Co., TN 1910 Age: 62 Haywood Co., TN George Castellaw
b. 1848
m. 25 Nov 1866
d. 1918
In the 1900 census, George and Mary Emily Watridge Castellaw and their “nephew” Willie Williams (my paternal great grandfather) who was 12 were living together in the same house. As you will see below, Willie’s mother and Mary Emily’s sister, Martha Jane died in 1888, likely after childbirth so he possibly went to live with them very early in his life. Although, no family members who remember him are aware of him ever mentioning it.

In the 1920 census, living in the same house is Will and Eva Williams and Will’s nine year-old son Jesse Lloyd “Bo” Williams, my paternal grandfather.

Also note, George was a son of T.J. and Mary Cole Castellaw, my second great grandparents.

Watridge Martha Jane 27 Aug 1851 Haywood Co., TN 22 Dec 1888
Age: 37
Haywood Co., TN George D. Williams
b. 1847
m. 17 Dec 1868
d. 2 Apr 1919
Age: 72
The children of George and Martha were E.L., James Solomon, John, George T., Elberta and William Lafayette “Will.”

Will was the father of Lloyd “Bo” Williams, who was my paternal grandfather.

Martha Jane Watridge Williams Obituary Martha J. Williams died 22 Dec 1888 wife of G.D. Williams and daughter of James Watridge and granddaughter of Bro. Decaon W. Watridge. Married George D. Williams 17 Dec 1868. She was born 27 Aug 1852. Leaves husband and 4 Children, one and infant babe. Source: Zion Baptist Church Book of Obituaries, pg. 5

George D. Williams Obituary G.D. Williams died 2 April 1919, born 6 Nov 1847. Professed religion 1862 at Zion Church. Baptized by Rev. G.E. Thomas. Source: Zion Baptist Church Obituary Book, pg. 88

It is thought George is buried in a family cemetery on the farm of Milton Booth. Several headstones are thought to have once been located in the cemetery so it’s possible Martha Jane and other family members are buried there as well. Could her parents James and Martha also have been laid to rest there?

More about George D. and Martha Jane Watridge Williams and the Williams family

In this map of district five of Haywood County, TN from 1877, you can see the location of the farms of several members of the Watrdidge family as well as others who are my direct descendants. For orientation, note Zion Baptist Church, at the bottom of the map. Mrs. A. Lovelace was likely the widow of Thomas A. Lovelace and the location of their farm seems to be approximately where the former home of Guy and Viginia Lovelace and the current home of Bill Lovelace home sits today. Following the road northeast, is the farm of John Hardy Cobb as well as several others from the Cobb family. Daniel W. Watridge’s farm is right next to John Charles Warren Cobb’s farm. Further northeast and near what is now the corner of Poplar Corner Rd. and Dr. Hess Rd. is Dorsey Watridge’s farm across the street from his nephew, William Henry Watridge who was married to Zilpha Castellaw. The Castellaw family farming in that area included Fletcher and Tom.

Daniel Washington Watridge
My 2nd Great-grandfather, 1835-1880

Photo of Sim Cobb from “Nicholas Cobb Descendants” by Joe H. Cobb

Daniel Washington Watridge was born in 1835 in Bertie Co., NC. He was a small child when his family moved to Haywood County, Tenn. They joined many family members and friends from the Bertie County area who had already moved to the Haywood Co. area during the previous two years.

Daniel married into another well-established Bertie County family when he married Mourning Adeline “Addie” Cobb on August 18, 1860. She was the daughter of John Hardy and Harriet Castellaw Cobb.

Both Daniel and his brother Dorsey served in company L of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, CSA.

In October 1865, after the Civil War, John Hardy Cobb who was Daniel’s father-in-law, sold him 50 acres of land. It adjoined John Hardy’s on the West, John Charles Warren Cobb on the south and James Cowan Cobb on the north.

On January 10, 1866, Tom Cobb included in his diary, “Helped D. Watridge ride and break his horse.” Then on January 11, he wrote, ” helped D. Watridge again with his horse after which we hauled wood til night then went to Sim Cobb and stayed all night. It rained all night.”

On December 14, 1872, John D. and Rebecca Cobb (son and daughter-in-law of James Cowan Cobb) sold Daniel 45 acres that had been called the “Thomas Vann land.”

Simeon A. “Sim” Cobb included in his diary an entry in early 1875, “James White moved to D. W. Watridge.” James was the wife of “Tiney” and, according to family legend, James let to get firewood and didn’t return until many years later and only stayed a short time then. According to this entry, he must have gone to live with the Watrdidge family for at least a while before leaving for the wood.

About Sim Cobb’s Diary

Sim was the brother of Daniel’s wife, Mourning Cobb. Their parents were John Hardy and Harriet Castellaw Cobb.

Sim’s wife, “Bet,” was Nellie Elizabeth White. She was the daughter of Jacob O. White and Martha A. Nowell who had also moved from Bertie Co., NC to Haywood Co., TN.

According to Joe H. Cobb’s book, “Sim Cobb made notes of some of his daily activities for the entire year of 1875…He ceased making notes after his first wife, Bet, died.”

Sim’s son, L.A. Cobb had the diary in his possession and made it available to Joe when he was writing his book. The diary really shows what an important role extended family and community played in the every day lives of people living in that time and place.

Sim would go on to marry his third wife when he was 63 and she was 32.

She was younger than two of his children. They were married 24 years and had four children together.

Sim is buried in the Cobb Family Cemetery.


Other entries in Sim’s 1875 diary that mention Daniel include:
(Where known, initials have been replaced with full name.)

Sunday January 17 – went to father’s in company with William Thomas Cobb and back to John Charles Warren Cobb and from there to Daniel W. Watridge and took supper and cam home – Bet went to Daniel W. Watridge.

Sunday January 31 – Bet went to her mother’s and I went to Daniel W. Watridge; faired off about 12 o’ clock; took dinner at Daniel’s and came home.

Friday February 12 – Went and asked hands to help roll logs. John Charles Warren Cobb, Leonard Decatur Cobb, Daniel W. Watridge, John F. White, W.G. Booth and J.E. Lott helped some

Sunday May 2 – went to Sunday School; Daniel W. Watridge and family was here and stayed until after supper.

Monday October 4 – Daniel W. Watridge came to get me to go with him to hunt horses.

Tuesday October 5 – Cloudy and rainy; went with Daniel to hunt horses, we went to the bottom as far as Lewis Tatum by 12; took dinner at his house; went to near Woodville and back to Tatum’s by night.

Wednesday October 13 – Went to Daniel W. Watridge and got his mules; James L. White came with me and drug old Jack off (dead mule or horse possibly).

Elizabeth Watridge’s headstone in Zion Baptist Church Cemetery

Addie Watridge died in 1876 after she and Daniel had been married 16 years and had four children together.

Around a year later, on November 28, 1877, Daniel married Elizabeth Jane Marcom.

The date of Daniel’s death has not yet been determined but Elizabeth died on March 3, 1906. She was buried at Zion Baptist Church cemetery.

The burial place of Daniel and his first wife Addie is undetermined but my grandmother wrote in the margin of her copy of the Joe H. Cobb book, “Nicholas Cobb Descendants” that D.W. and wife were buried “at Noel Reid’s” which is where some of my Castellaw descendants are buried.

There is no other indication that this was their burial spot but my grandmother was the granddaughter of Daniel and Addie so it is likely she would have heard from relatives the location of their graves.

Note written in the margin of the Joe H. Cobb by Elizabeth Castellaw Williams


For the children of Bob and Zula Zera Watridge Castellaw see The Castellaw family.

For the children of George D. and Martha Jane Watridge Williams see The Williams family.