Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Gist's Move to Southern Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee


I apologize for this blog entry. I have so little time to prepare these things, but I am doing the best I can.
I think this Nathaniel is the son of Nathaniel, b. 1736, and later killed at Kings Mountain in 1780. He did purchase lands in what was then Russell County, Virginia where this later Nathaniel appears by 1800.
1801 Russell County Virginia Personal Property Tax List
Guest, Nathaniel -- 1
1802 Russell County Virginia Personal Property Tax List
Note: All households have one tithable unless otherwise noted.
Gess, Nathaniel

We have no record of him for eight years. Then --
The 1810 census of the community of Wayne Co, Ky
Jas. Heavin 01110,001011, meaning 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 1 male 25-44, 1 female 16-25, 1 female 26-44, 1 female 45 or over.
Nathaniel Gist, 11010, 00010, meaning 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 25-44, 1 female 15-44. This tells us Nathaniel was born between 1766 and 1785. Since a so was living in the household  10-15 years of age and we expect Nathaniel was at least 20 years old at the time of the birth of his eldest child. In this case, we can estimate Nathaniel to have been born between 1775 and 1780.
1820 census, Wayne County, Ky
Nathaniel  101110,000010; or 1 male under 10, 1 male 16-25, 1 male 26-45, 1 male, 1 female 26-45
Gist’s Station’s Camp on the Pulaski/Wayne County, Kentucky Line
             About Gist’s Station camp, we have the following –
            Nathaniel Buchannan was apparently asked to give a diposition at some point and here is a transcription of parts of it:
Wayne County, KY Deed Book A, Page 213-216 (LDS Film #590703)
The deposition of Nathaniel Buckhannon of lawful age and first sworn deposeth that some time in the year 1795 this Dept. in company with Benjamin Price & others launched a canoe above the mouth of this Creek to __?__ meadow Creek and cross the river and ever after the place was called and known by the name of Prices landing because Price was considered by us the head of the Company.
 . . .
Ques. by same - - What was your Companies motive for preferring the travelling the new trace to the old one?
Ans. - - Because we thought it was nearest from the landing to the meadows and because we had encamped in the salt petre cave six or eight weeks and by that means the new trace became more plain than the old one.
Question by Young - - Was there not another trace besides the two above spoken of leading from Cumberland River to Prices Meadows?
Yes, from Gesses Station Camp near the big Cotton to Prices meadows.
Ques. by Mills - - How far was Gesses Station Camp from the mouth of Pitmans Creek?
Answer - - Opposite on the contrary side of the River.
Question by Young - - Was not the trace last spoken of very much travelled?
Ans. - - It was our general crossing place when we came to or returned from Prices meadows.
Question by same - - Was not the trace leading by the salt petre cave generally called the salt petre cave trace?
Ans. - - Yes it was.
Quest. by same - - By whom was it called the salt petre cave trace?
Ans. - - Our Company called it the trace leading by the salt petre cave.
Question by Young - - Are you certain the trace you shewed the Surveyor this morning is Prices Old Trace leading from the landing to his improvement?
Ans. - - I am certain it is a s far as from the River to the Rush Glade and divers places this side of that.
Question by same - - Are you certain this spot is Prices old improvement?
Ans. - - I was here with Price in 1775 and assisted in building this Cabin and the Glade facing the Camp nearly a North Eastwardly course was at that time bare of timber and not more than 70 or 80 yards from the Camp and the meadow ground as this Dept. thinks extended somewhere about a quarter and half a quarter of a mile across.

                JOHN AND AARON GIST
The Land of the Lake: An Early  History of Campbell County, Tennessee
By Dr. G. L. Ridenour, LaFollette, TN, 1941
Excerpt from Pages 7 and 8
The winter of 1779-1780 was very cold.  So many elk, deer and buffalo gathered in the shelter around the meadows and cane-brakes along the creek between Pine mountain and Walnut mountain that the food for these large animals was soon exhausted, and scores of the them perished in severe continued cold.  Hunters and Indians alike avoided the beautiful valley in the spring and early summer of 1780 on account of the stench from the dead game.  The name Stinking Creek has persisted for the scenic stream until the present. 
In the summer of 1785 several parties of surveyors were running the metes and bounds of North Carolina land grants of the south side of Clinch River.  At the same time the surveyors could not resist crossing the stream to select the choice locations for land grants with reference to Henderson and Company’s Great Survey.  Thomas Hutchins, a brother-in-law and a Deputy Surveyor under Stockley Donelson during the fall and winter of 1785-86, surveyed tracts on both sides the river.
Brooks and a number of woodsmen in company that year surveyed land “Including a Large Buffaloe lick.”  This party gave the name of Reed’s Creek to one of the streams.  George Brooks, a brother of Castleton Brooks, a Long Hunter who settled in Hickory Cove and had been killed by the Indians in 1776 or 1777 at his cabin, and Andrew Reed were skilled woodsmen and famous hunters and were often directing parties of woodsmen for the protection of the surveyors.  
One 340 acre tract of land calls for a location on both sides Beaver dam Creek “including William Sharp’s improvement at Reed’s corner along a conditional line between William Sharp and John Brady on a cross fence down a small branch, thence along the fence twenty-nine poles striking the creek at a bent so up said creek to Miller’s line where John Guest (Gist) now lives.”
This John Gist was the son of an Indian trader and a Cherokee woman.  He was kinsman of Sikwayi, or Sequoya, whose English name was George Gist, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet of syllables.  Years later Aaron Guest of Kentucky acknowledge the receipt of his part of  “the estate of my father Aaron Guest, Deceased, where Jason Cloud and John Guest (Gist) were executors.”  
The following is also from "Land of the Lake" by Dr. G. L. Ridenhour, which was printed by Campbell County Historical Society. In the Preface his daughter, Crea Ridenhour says "Much detailed research and time went into the writing, and the information included in the book was painstaking historically correct. . . . much that he knew died with him." Crea Ridenhour, Nov. 11, 1991.
                We have, from;
Wayne County, Kentucky Deed Book G, page 44             LDS Film 590706
David Smith and Charlotte Smith his wife to Nathaniel  Guess
This Indenture made this 13th day of May in the year of our Lord 1836 between David Smith and Charlotte Smith his wife of the County of Wayne and Commonwealth of Kentucky on the one part and Nathaniel Gess of the County of Campbell and State of Tennessee of the other part,  Witnesseth that the said David Smith and Charlotte Smith his wife for and in consideration of the sum of $150.  Current money of Kentucky have granted , bargained and sold and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and confirm unto the said Nathaniel Gess his heirs and assigns all that tract or parcel of land situate and being in the County of Wayne & Pulaski on both sides of the Big South Fork, containing 150 acres and bounded as follows to wit.  Beginning at the west bank of said Big South Fork of Cumberland River at a sweet gum, running N11W meandering down said river 74 Poles to a sycamore tree, then N3, E still down the river 60 poles to a stake on the bank, thence N60, E 38 poles to a birch tree on the west bank of the aforesaid River to a stake, thence S40, W 160 poles to a stake, thence to the beginning together with all and singular the premises thereunto belonging  or in any wise appertaining.  To have and to hold the land hereby conveyed with the appertainens unto the said Nathaniel Guess his heirs and assigns forever, and the said David Smith and Charlotte Smith his for themselves , their heirs, executors and administrators the aforesaid tract of land and premises unto the said Nathaniel Guess his heirs or assigns against the claim or claims of all and every person or persons whosoever the said David Smith and Charlotte his wife do and will forever defend by these presents.  In witness whereof the said David Smith and Charlotte his wife have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and date first above written.
Acknowledged in )                 David Smith (seal)
Presence of           )                 Charlotte Smith (seal)
State of Kentucky
County of Wayne . . . I Wm Simpson clerk of the Wayne County Court do certify that the foregoing Deed from David Smith and Charlotte Smith his wife to Nathaniel Gess was on the 13th day of May 1836 acknowledged before and by said David Smith to by his act and deed.  And the said Charlotte Smith being examined by me separate and apart from here said such and declared that she did freely and willingly seal and deliver said writing and wishes not to rescind it and acknowledged the same again shown and explained to her to be her act and deed and considerith that the same may be recorded.  Whereupon said deed together with this certificate hath been duly recorded this 16th May 1836.
Wm Simpson,  Clerk
If you look at a map, Pittman Creek would have been in Pulaski County, but the opposite of the creek, where “Gist’s Station’s Camp” was located, was in what is today Wayne County, Kentucky.
We have also provided a document saying the Smith’s and Nathaniel Gist of Campbell County, Tn were in a land transaction involving land in Wayne and Pulaski County.  Smith’s mother was a Gist (per his son’s writings). We have a John Gist in 1785 living in land that became Campbell County, Tennessee. We have a Nathaniel gist living in Campbell Co., Tn in 1836. Remember David Smith’s (David is mentioned above) mother was a Gist.
And where was Nathaniel living for the 1810 and 1820 census records? In 1810 he was in Pulaski County, Ky., records, and in 1820 he was in Wayne County, Ky. Also we have a record of James Gess on 1808 tax list for Wayne County, Ky. This puts James in Wayne Co., Ky in 1808 and the father of his future bride, James Havens (spelled here “Heavin”) in Wayne County, Ky in 1810. An unknown Gist married Rachel Havens, and their eldest son was named “James”. I believe his father was the James Gess mentioned on that 1808 tax list. However we can not prove this and may never know for sure, unless some unknown document comes to light.
My Gist’s went from Western Virginia to Northern Tennessee/Southern Kentucky. One was called a mixed-blood Cherokee, and a relation of Sequoyah. Most of us were in Lawrence County, Alabama by the 1820 census. The first record of un in Alabama is the 1818 marriage of Thomas Gist to Nancy Roney.
Perhaps John and Nathaniel were brothers.  John had an adult son, Aaron by 1800 with a small child also named Aaron, so if we subtract 20-30 years he too might have been born about 1770 or 1780. Either very well could have been a half-brothers to Sequoyah.
Much has been written online about Cherokee communities in southern Kentucky. They were said to have lived EXACTLY where my Gist’s can be proven to have lived, as well. Next week’s blog will about these “Kentucky Cherokees.” Did they exist or were they fabricated?
Below Pitman Creek by the River is Wayne County and above it is Pulaski County.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mapping Nathaniel Gist to Southwestern Virginia

Mapping Nathaniel Gist, b. 1736 to Gist’s Station, and Southwestern Virginia

The Dorsey’s said Nathaniel Gist (b. 1736), son of Nathaniel b. 1701), moved to Washington County, Virginia, shortly before the Revolutionary War. Washington County was formed by 1776. Refer to the map here to see how Virginia’s county map changes over the years.

By 1791 the major part of Wahsington County was formed into Russell County. In the 1850s, Wise County was formed out of parts of 3 counties, including Russell.  We are interested in the area around Coeburn, Fort Blackmore, and Castlewood. This is near the local where the three counties, Scott, Russell, and Wise meet. A map of this region is below.

The Dorsey’s said:

From here Nathaniel Gist and his family and others went to the new lands that were being made available in Washington County, Virginia. Soon after they arrived the Revolutionary War started, and he and his brothers Richard Gist and Thomas Gist enlisted in Col. William Campbell’s Regiment of Washington County, Virginia. It is thought that Nathaniel was killed. The name of Nathaniel Gist appears on the monument of those killed during the encounter with the British forces at the Battle of Kings Mountain (L. P. Summers, History of Southwestern Virginia, pp. 859, 164) (record of the monument on the battlefield).

Children of Nathaniel and Dinah Gist (thought to have been their children)

i.] Nathaniel Gist 5. On October 14th, 1791, Nathaniel Gist by warrant entered 800 acres of land lying on the waters of Holstein River and on the top of White Mountain to have the naked place or old field in the center and running according to law by quantity . . . (Washington Co., Va. Record Entry and Surveys, No. 1, p 99). No records have been found of the sale of this land.

ii.] John Gist 5, may have gone to Tennessee.

iii.] Aaron Gist 5, may have gone to Tennessee.

iv.] George Gist 5, On March 28th, 1796, George Gist bought 50 acres in the Raccoon Valley on a branch of the North Fork of Holston River, from James Walsh. On August 9th, 1797, when living in Russell County, Virginia, he sold this land to William Gilson [Vance’s note: Gibson?] (Washington County, Va Deeds 2, pp21, 88).

Probably others. [Vance’s note: according to the Smith’s, they also had a daughter named Mary.. Also Don and I disagree on this. He places Mary as a daughter of Nathaniel b. 1707, and I think she was a daughter of Daniel b. 1736; but it is impossible to prove either.

Gist’s Station

An early Virginia fort was named “Gist’s Station.

At the above link is a discussion of Virginia’s Seven  entitled “FRONTIER FORTS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA”; By Emory L. Hamilton, which she says comes from “Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia,” Number 4, 1968, pages 1 to 26. She  lists far more that seven forts. About  Fort Blackmore, and Guess’s Station, she writes;


. . .


This is the "small fortification" that Captain Russell wrote Preston was being built at Blackmore’s at the mouth of Stony Creek, but which in time grew to be the second most important fort on the frontier. Built on the lands of Captain John Blackmore, who along with his brother Joseph had come from Fauquier Co., VA, with their families to carve out homes in the wilderness in the year 1772.

Being more exposed it was attacked by Indians more often than Moore’s and many people were killed and captured in and around this fort. The fort stood on the north side of Clinch, just outside the village of Fort Blackmore. It was to Blackmore’s that all the people came when the forts in Powell Valley were evacuated in 1776, just prior to the outbreak of the Cherokee War, as did the people from Rye Cove Fort. It must have been of large proportions, but no one has left any known description of this fort. According to Samuel Alley who was born in sight of the fort in the year 1801, it was torn down and no vestige of it remained in 1887, when he paid a visit to his old home and found the ground where the old fort stood being tended in corn. However, nearby stood an apple tree planted by his father which to that day was known as the "John Alley Apple Tree." (11)

Across the road in a fringe of trees and brush, and slightly northeast of where the old fort stood is the old fort graveyard, with rows of small, uncut stones marking the final resting place of those who died from either the stroke of disease or tomahawk in the long ago.

Always known as Blackmore’s Fort, the village today, almost two centuries later still bears the name except in the reverse order of Fort Blackmore.


Of all the frontier stations along the Clinch this one presents the greatest enigma. The location is between Big and Little Tom’s Creek, on Guest River at the present site of Coeburn, Wise Co., VA. Outside of deed references which mention this station frequently no other direct reference has been found pertaining to it, and no militia correspondence or pensions applications make mention of it.

Charles B. Coale, in "Wilburn Waters" tells of the Indians going to this station in 1777, after their capture of Jane Whittaker and Polly Alley, and finding it well defended make no attack upon it. Coale gives no authority for this statement and search for it has proven fruitless. Who built the station and for what purpose is unknown. There are several opinions, but opinions unless backed by factual data should never become a part of written history. This writer does categorically deny that it has any relation with Christopher Gist as has been written, since Gist did not travel through the present bounds of Wise County.

Elder Morgan T. Lipps, who settled on Tom’s Creek in the spring of 1838, states in his diary:

That the old settlers showed him some of the logs of the old fort and chimney rocks still lying upon the ground when he arrived there in 1838. Even if Christopher Gist did visit this spot in 1750, he could never, with the help of a small Negro boy, have built a structure whose remains would have lasted 88 years after his departure.

That some sort of fortification existed at Coeburn is unquestioned, since from the earliest times the place was called Guesses Station, and retained that name until the coming of the railroads when the name was changed.

Nathaniel Gist and Cassels/Castle’s Woods

Page 192 - John Dickerson...286 ac...Commissioners Certificate...on the north side of Clynch River...Beginning on the bank of Clynch River below Gists Ford...corner to Henry Dickerson...on John Barsdales a path...March 15, 1783 - John Dickerson, heir of Humphrey Dickerson, assignee of Joseph Blackamore, assignee of Nathaniel Gist...310 ac on the north side of Clynch River in Cassels Woods, includes improvements...surveyed on May 28, 1774, actual settlement made in 1769...August 23, 1781.

So . . . Remember John and his brother Joseph came to Southwestern Virginia and they built Fort Blackmore. Joseph was assignee of Nathaniel, the same Nathaniel mentioned by the Dorsey’s, implying the Gist’s and Blackmore’s knew each other. This also tells us where Nathaniel’s original place was located – the North side of Clynch River near Cassel’s woods. It says the original settlement was made in 1769. SO although our Nathaniel was in Cumberland County, North Carolina, he also had a place near the border of 3 present day counties – Wise, Russell, and Scott. Also notice the copy of that old map as well as a modern map to find the locations Coeburn, which was originally named Gist’s Station, Wise County, Va.;  Cassel’s/Castle’s Wood, on the south side of Clinch River (Nathaniel was on the North side of the river), and Fort Blackmore, in Northern Scott County.

Lewis Jarvis

There is an article that can be found all over the internet with respect to the Melungeons. Just type his name in any search engine and you can recover his entire statement. I have recovered only those parts that mention Fort Blackmore.

The white emigrants with the friendly Indians erected a fort on the bank of the river and called it Fort Blackmore and here yet many of these friendly “Indians” live in the mountains of Stony Creek, but they have married among the whites until the race has almost become extinct.  A few of the half-bloods may be found - none darker - but they still retain the name of Collins and Gibson, &c. From here they came to Newman’s ridge and Blackwater and many of them are here yet; but the amalgamations of the whites and Indians has about washed the red tawny from their appearance, the white faces predominating, so now you scarcely find one of the original Indians; a few half-bloods and quarter-bloods-balance white or past the third generation.

The old pure blood were finer featured, straight and erect in form, more so than the whites and when mixed with whites made beautiful women and the men very fair looking men. These Indians came to Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater.

Jarvis also wrote ;

These people, not any of them, were here at the time the first white hunting party came from Virginia and North Carolina in the year 1761...Vardy Collins, Shepherd Gibson, Benjamin Collins, Solomon Collins, Paul Bunch and the Goodmans, chiefs and the rest of them settled here about the year 1804, possibly about the year 1795, but all these men above named, who are called Melungeons, obtained land grants and muniments of title to the land they settled on and they were the  very first and came here simultaneous with the white people not earlier than 1795. They had lost their language and spoke the English very well. They originally were the friendly Indians who came with the whites as they moved west.

Remember it says they had lost their own language – some Catawba had lost their language, but the Cherokee hadn’t. AT this time in history very few of the Cherokee could even speak English.

Recall Ms. Hamilton writing about Virginia’s Southwester Fort’s, she mentioned Charles B. Coale, in "Wilburn Waters" with regards to Gist’s Fort/Station, found in chapter 29. This entire book can be found here

I have found the references I question. Here is what Coale wrote:

[p. 173] The Indians, finding that they had been discovered, and that they were. not strong enough to attack or besige the fort, started in the direction of Castle's Woods. The persons at Bluegrass knowing that the settlement at Castle's Woods was not aware that the Indians were in the vicinity, determined to warn them, but the difficulty was how this was to be done, and who would be bold enough to undertake it, as the Indians were between the two forts. When a volunteer for the perilous expedition was called for, Matthew Gray, who but an hour before had made such a narrow escape, boldly offered his services, and, getting the fastest horse and two rifles, started out through almost unbroken forest. Moving cautiously along the trail, he came near Ivy spring, about two miles from the fort, when he saw signs which satisfied him that the Indians had halted at the spring. There was no way to flank them, and he must make a perilous dash or fail in his mission of mercy. Being an old Indian fighter, he knew that they seldom put out pickets. The trail making a short curve near the spring, he at once formed the plan of riding quietly up to the curve, and then, with a shot and yell, to dash through them. This he did, and before they had sufficiently recovered from their surprise to give him a parting volley, he was out of reach. He arrived at the settlement in safety, and thus in all probability saved the lives of all the settlers. The Indians, however, captured two women on the way--Polly Alley at Osborn's Ford, as they went up the river, and Jane Whitaker near Castle's Woods.

Finding the fort at Castle's Woods fully prepared for their reception, the band had to abandon their murderous purpose and pass on with their captives, without permitting themselves to be seen. Reaching Guess' Station, they remained part of the night, but finding it well prepared for defense, they continued their journey to the "Breaks," where the Russell and Pound forks of Big Sandy pass through the Cumberland mountain. Here, tradition says the tarried half a day, and loaded themselves with silver ore. This tradition has led some to suppose that this was the place where Sol Mullins, the noted maker of spurious coin, obtained his metal, as he long inhabited that region.

Coale also says the following about Waters, at the end of chapter 1;

Wilburn is one-fourth Indian--what is called a quarteroon. For some reason he has never given, except his fondness for solitude and hunting, he sought and settled the obscure spot in which he has resided so many years, and still thinks he would be crowded to suffocation were a family to settle within sight or hearing of him. The writer of this, soon after hearing of the hermit-hunter, now more than twenty-five years ago, found his way into the mountains and sought him out. When he found him, he was eating his morning meal upon a log,--which consisted a corn cake, bear-meat and wild honey, and water from the spring--his two savage bear-dogs meanwhile standing sentinel, awaiting his word for action. We broke bread together, and from that day to this, if the writer has a friend upon whom he could rely in any emergency, that friend is Wilburn Waters, the great hermit-hunter of White Top Mountain.

Coale starts chapter 2 by saying;

Chapter II


Wilburn Waters was born on what is called Ready's River, a branch of the Yadkin, in Wilkes county, North Carolina, on the 20th day of November, 1812. From the best information that can now be had, his father, John P. Waters, was a French Huguenot, who emigrated to America in early life, about the beginning of the present century, and settled in South Carolina. He was a man of some education and liberal acquirements, of strong prejudices and passions, restless, reckless and fond of adventure. Being remarkably stout, fearless and passionate, he was considered dangerous when excited or laboring under a sense of injury, and was supposed by those with whom he communicated most freely, to have been a refugee from South Carolina, if not from France, from some cause he never revealed to others. He settled down, without any apparent calling, among the simple and obscure people on Ready's River, where, after a time, he married his wife the mother of Wilburn, who was a half-breed of the Catawba Indian.

So our Gist’s were in Wise County long before there was a Wise County. We have discovered some of the builders of Fort Blackmore were Indian (no tribe is mentioned, except the Catawba), and that Wilburn Waters, the only man who tells of Gist’s Station from a firsthand account, himself was part Catawba Indian. There are other records (I haven’t mentioned yet) that speak of the Melungeons as having mixed-Catawba.

At this point we have no connection at all with the Cherokee. But our Gist’s might connect with the Catawba, as some of their neighbors did.

Please note on the map Gist’s Mountain near Coeburn, Wise County, andGist River running through the town. Please note the location of Castlewood, about 7 miles away, as the crow flies, in western Russell County. Also see Fort Blackmore to the south of Coeburn, and to the west of Castlewood. Our Nathaniel b. 1736 would have known these places well before his life was cut short at Kings Mountain, in 1780. There is a Nathaniel Gist shown living there in 1801 and 1802 (probably a son), and then he too disappears.
The maps below help us understand the locations of the various names mentioned in this report.



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gist, Guess and Guest of Lawrence County, Alabama

Gist, Guess and Guest of Lawrence County, Alabama
Please know there were other Gist's in Lawrence County, Alabama at the same time. But according to DNA evidence, we are NOT related to them.

The following is via Don Sticher, a Gist/Guess/Guest family researcher. Some of what he has recorded, especially those things directly pertaining to my family, were things I shared with him. However, he has independently verified them.His research in turn, has greatly aided mine.

When I showed Don a rough draft of my coming book he replied with the following:

Hello Vance,

Looks like you have been really busy.  I'm glad someone is taking the effort to document this story.  This is a difficult story to tell, and harder to document in an easily understood manner.  The sources always seemed to be two or three times removed from each other, and most of the connecting of the dots comes from the process of elimination.  Still, once everything is collected together, and presented in an orderly fashion, you can make sense of it.  I think you have pulled everything together quite effectively. 

You have my permission to use anything I have ever sent, and do anything you like with it - - edit it, change it, or use any parts you see fit. 

I have recently updated the Group 1 Y-DNA test report and a copy is attached.  The biggest difference is that I added an additional test subject for Group 1- - that being Harold Wallan Gist, a known descendant of Nathaniel Gist (1807) and Mary Howard.  The version you were working with (Mar 2011) was a hasty draft.  I'm not sure if the new version really changes anything you wrote, but there does seem to be some rather compelling DNA evidence the NW AL Gists (and east KY/TN Gists) were descendants of Nathaniel Gist and Mary Howard. 

Good work Vance!
Don Sticher

Don mentioned a report he had prepared on the y-chromosome DNA test for the Guest/Gist/Guess/Gess surname. It is too long to include, but excerpts are below.

Gist/Gest/Gues(s)(t) Y-DNA Project, Group 1       19 Oct 2012        Donald Sticher

An analysis of the test results for those of Group 1 of the FamilyTreeDNA Gist/Gest/Gues(s)(t) Y-DNA Project.
Y-DNA test lab  

As of October 2012, the Gist/Gest/Gues(s)(t) Y-DNA Project has 63 members, 6 of whom are in Group 1.  A complete list of all the Project Y-DNA test results can be found online at:

The test results (2006-2012) show all seven subjects are very closely related.  It's also interesting to note this group of Gist families (Group 1) have their own unique Y-DNA pattern, and are a total mismatch to all the other 57 Guess/Guest/Gist Y-DNA Project participants, including those of the Maryland Gist families.

All seven test subjects of Group 1 descend from three major GIST family groups:

1.  Northwest Alabama Gists - - a group of families who first show up in the area northwest of Birmingham, AL between 1818 and 1850 (Lawrence, Winston, Walker and Marion Counties).  Included in this group were:

    a.  Christopher McNutt GIST, born about 1804 in TN, married Mary McNutt
         31 Mar 1824 in Lawrence County, AL.

    b.  Aaron Gist and wife Nancy - - Aaron Gist was born about 1807 in KY, and
        was probably a brother of Christopher Gist (b.1804).  Aaron Gist and Nancy
        were probably the parents of the following three men:
            Thomas O. GIST, born about 1830 in KY.  Married Sarah Gist, daughter
        of Christopher Gist, about 1858.
            James Harvey GIST, born Feb 1836 in Wayne County, KY according to
        his Civil War records.
           Elijah GIST, born about 1837 in KY. 

2.  Major Thomas GIST and wife Martha - - Major Thomas Gist was born estimated 1750-1765 in Union District, SC.  Lived in Knox County, TN in 1797.  Helped establish the town of Smithland in Livingston County, KY in 1798.  Sheriff of Livingston County, KY when he died in early 1807.  Origins unknown, but perhaps a son of Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) and Mary Howard.

3.  Nathaniel GIST and wife Mary Howard - - Nathaniel Gist, born 1707, was a son of Richard Gist and Zipporah Murray of the Maryland Gist families.

. . .

Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) is a known member of the historic Maryland Gist families.  There are other Y-DNA test subjects from the Maryland Gist families who have a widely different Y-DNA pattern than found here in Group 1.  The other Maryland Gist test subjects fall into Group 2 of the FTDNA Gist/Guest DNA Project.   

The big question is:  Exactly how are these seven test subjects related?  Christopher Gist (b. abt 1804) and Aaron Gist (b. abt 1807) were about the same age and lived near each other, and were probably brothers.  Thomas O. Gist, James Harvey Gist and Elijah Gist appear to be brothers, and also appear to be sons of Aaron Gist (b.1807) and his wife Nancy.  Thus the close Y-DNA match of the five descendants of the NW Alabama Gists was anticipated.  That leaves Major Thomas Gist (b. est. 1750-1765) and Nathaniel Gist (b.1707), whose family connections to each other and the five NW Alabama families are unproven at this time. 
. . .

There are two records that place members of the NW Alabama group of families in Whitley and Wayne County, KY prior to their move to Alabama.  Whitley and Wayne County are adjacent counties in southeastern Kentucky.

1.  Aaron Gist "and his wife Nancy" sold two parcels of land in Whitley County, KY in May 1849.  This information is found in Whitley County, KY Deed Book 3, pages 233 and 237.

2.  James Harvey Gist stated he was born 15 Feb 1836 in Wayne County, KY when he applied for a Civil War pension.

In the area around Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley County, KY in the early 1800s you find references to:

1.  A long hunter named Gist who had a hunting camp in Wayne/Pulaski County, KY in 1775-1777.  The camp was located across the Cumberland River from the mouth of Pitman Creek, about 5 miles due south of Somerset, KY on the Wayne County side of the Cumberland River.

2.  A Nathaniel Gist in Pulaski and Wayne County, KY, born about 1775, who had several children, including a daughter named Dinah who married Allen Bond 27 Feb 1827 in Pulaski County, KY.   This Nathaniel Gist disappears from the records after the 1830 census.

3.  Vanhook families from Russell County, VA.  These were the same Vanhook families the Dorseys showed interacting and intermarrying with members of the Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) families.  See Dorsey page 60 for more information about the Vanhook families.

4.   David Smith, whose parents were Robert Smith and Mary Gist.  Mary Gist was a daughter of Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) and Mary Howard.

5.  James Havens, whose daughter Rachel married a Gist about 1812 and was widowed before 1820.  The James Havens family was later found in NW Alabama with the Gist families.  Charlotte Havens, another daughter of James Havens, married David Smith (#4 above) in Lawrence County, AL in 1829.

The NW Alabama Gist families in Group 1 used the same given names common to the Maryland Gists (Christopher, Nathaniel, Thomas), but do not share the same Y-DNA pattern as the Maryland Gists, who are found in FTDNA Group 2.  The NW Alabama families seem to belong to a "lost" branch of the Maryland Gist families.  In particular, they seem to be descendants of Nathaniel (b.1736)  and/or Richard Gist (b.1742), both of whom were sons of Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) and Mary Howard, and both of whom died at King’s Mountain in October 1780.  The Nathaniel Gist who died at King’s Mountain (b.1736) had a wife named Dinah (probably Dinah Fulkerson).  The Nathaniel Gist (b.c1775) who lived in Pulaski County, KY had a daughter named Dinah.  It is very probable that  Nathaniel Gist (b.1736) and Richard Gist (b.1742) of Russell County, VA were the long-hunters who used the camp in Pulaski County, KY in 1775-1777.

The close Y-DNA match of Harold Wallon Gist presents an interesting conflict.  Harold Wallon Gist is a well documented  descendant of Nathaniel Gist (1707) and Mary Howard.  However, other test subjects from the Maryland Gist families have a different Y-DNA signature than those of Group 1, including Harold Wallon Gist.  All the other Maryland Gist test subjects are found in Group 2 of the Y-DNA Project.  This seems to indicate Nathaniel Gist (b.1707) did not share the same Y-DNA as the other Gists from Maryland.  Further testing of additional test subjects from different branches of the Maryland Gist families may provide more insight into how the families are related.

The close Y-DNA match of Harold Wallon Gist to the others of Group 1 may provide the link between the Gist families of Group 1 and the Gist families of Group 2 (Maryland Gists).  The NW Alabama Gists are thought to be a “Lost” branch of sons of Nathaniel Gist (1707) and Mary Howard.  Harold Wallon Gist is well documented to be an actual descendant of Joseph Gist (b.1748), who was a son of Nathaniel Gist (1707) and Mary Howard.  Thus we have a Y-DNA match between test subjects “thought” to descend from Nathaniel Gist (1707) and Mary Howard (the NW Alabama Gists), and another test subject “known” to descend from Nathaniel Gist (1707) and Mary Howard (Harold Wallon Gist, 1932-2010). 

From another of Donald’s writings:

[Christopher McNutt Gist (1804), Thomas Gist (1799), Richard Gist (1800), David Smith (1790) and Ruth Gist (est 1770)]

A number of Guest-Gist names are found in the early records of Lawrence County, AL.  They are all thought to be related, with origins in east Kentucky and/or east Tennessee.  The descendants of these families have a unique Y-DNA signature that does not match any of the other Guest-Gist Y-DNA test subjects.  Based on the evidence to date, it appears these Guest-Gist families are probably a “lost” branch of the Maryland Gists.  They are thought to descend from Nathaniel Gist (b.1736) and/or his brother Richard Gist (b.1742), both of whom died at King’s Mountain in 1780.

Most of those found on the early Lawrence County, AL records were living in other surrounding counties after 1830;  Marion, Walker, Winston, or even in other states.   The names of those found in early Lawrence County are as follows:

Thomas Gest/Gist, born about 1800, married Nancy Roney in 1818.

Thomas Gest can be found in Lawrence County, AL for the 1820 census, married but not yet 21 years old in 1820.  Thomas Guest deserted Nancy Roney before 1830, and Nancy was granted a divorce by the AL State Legislature in 1831.  Nancy was on the 1830 Walker County, AL census, living near Richard Guest and Christopher Guest.  Thomas may have gone to MS with Richard Gist (his brother?) around 1836.  Only the names of Thomas and Nancy and the date of the marriage are found in the Marriage Book.

Rachel Guess/Gist, born about 1797, married Thomas Tolbert in 1820. [Vance's note: this is MY family]

Rachel Guess was a widow with 4 children when she married Thomas Tolbert in 1820. The marriage bond was signed by James Havins (Rachel’s father) and Thomas Tolbert.   Rachel was a daughter of James Havins and Sarah Miller and Rachel Havins had previously been married to an unknown Mr. Gist (married about 1812).  Rachel’s first husband was probably the James Gess found in Wayne County, KY in 1808.  Evidently Mr. Gist died before 1820 and Rachel married 2nd Thomas Tolbert in 1820.  Thomas Tolbert died within the year and Rachel married 3rd Emanuel McNutt in 1822.

Richard Gest/Gist, born about 1800, married Jane McKinney in 1821.

Richard Gist and David Madling/Madlin posted the marriage bond.  Both signed their name with “His Mark”.   Richard Gest was in Walker County, AL for the 1830 census, living near Christopher Guest and Thomas Guest's deserted wife Nancy.  Richard moved across the state border into Mississippi around 1836, and can be found in Itawamba County, MS for the 1840 census, and in Pontotoc County, MS for the 1850 census.  Both of these Mississippi counties are just west of Walker County, AL.  Richard’s sons James and David moved further west, and were in AR for the 1860 census.

Rachel Talbot married Emanuel McNutt in 1822.

Rachel Talbot was the same person as the Rachel Guess who married Thomas Talbot in 1820.  Rachel Havins married 1st a Mr. Gist about 1812, married 2nd Thomas Talbot in 1822, and married 3rd Emanuel McNutt in 1822.  Rachel’s marriage to Emanuel McNutt is found only on the Gandrud Marriage List, which gives only the name of the bride and groom and the date of the marriage.  There are no original records for this marriage.

Christopher McNutt Guest/Gist, born about 1804, married Polly McNutt in 1824.

This marriage is not recorded in the Lawrence County marriage books.  The only record that exists at the Lawrence County Archives is a loose, original marriage bond. Christopher’s middle name (McNutt) is given on the marriage bond.  Christopher McNutt Guest and William McNutt signed the marriage bond, and both signed with “His Mark”. William McNutt was probably Polly’s father.  Christopher married after he moved to AL.  Christopher next shows up in Walker County, AL for the 1830 census.  Christopher was probably a brother of the above Richard Gist and Thomas Gist.  All seem to have arrived in Alabama around 1818.  Descendants of Christopher Gist claim Christopher’s parents were Thomas Gist and Sallie McNutt. 

David Smith, born 1777 (or 1790?), married Charlotte Havens in 1829.

David Smith was the orphaned son of Robert Smith and wife Mary Gist.  Charlotte Havens (b.1800) was a daughter of James Havins, and was a sister of the widow Rachel Havins Guess who married Thomas Tolbert in 1820.  David Smith was from east TN/KY, and is also associated with the Gist families of Pulaski and Wayne County, KY.

Early Lawrence County, AL marriages, 1818-1825

There were several Gist/Guess/Guest marriages in Lawrence County, AL between 1818 and 1825.  Lawrence County, AL has an on-line listing of all the marriage records, available at the Lawrence County Archives.                                      

Lawrence County, AL marriage records found at the on-line Lawrence County, AL Archives website. 

Note:  The entries listed as “Gandrud” refer to a list of marriages compiled by Pauline Jones Gandrud.  In 1942 an Aldridge descendant found that part of Marriage Book 1 was falling apart and copied all of the marriages in the book (1816-1823).  That particular marriage book has disappeared, and the 1942 “Gandrud list” is the only record of what was in that particular marriage book.  However, even though the Marriage Book itself is lost, there are still marriage bonds and licenses to be found for some of the marriages.

Groom             Groom             Bride       Bride
Surname          Name               Name     Surname       Date                  Book & page
Gest                 Thomas            Nancy     Raney          11/6/1818         Book 1
Talbert             Thomas            Rachel     Guess          12/7/1820         Book 1  57
Talbot              Thomas            Rachel     Guess           12/7/1820        Original
Gest                 Richard            Jane         McKinney    9/13/1821        Gandrud 14
Gest                 Richard            Jane         McKinney    9/13/1821        Original
McNutt            Emanuel          Rachel     Talbot          12/31/1822      Gandrud 25
Guest               Christopher      Polly        McNutt        3/31/1824        Original
Smith               David               Lotty        Havens        04/27/1829      Moulton, AL

Copies of all the above records were obtained in August 2011.  The original documents are in poor condition and the copies received from the Lawrence County Archives were very poor, but can be made out.

Gist-Guest who bought GLO land in Lawrence County, Alabama
The only Gist, Guess or Guest name found in the GLO records for Lawrence County was “Ruth Gist”, who was an intermediate owner of property patented to David Smith in 1828.  David Smith was the assignee of Ruth Gist, who was the assignee of Samuel Ackley.

The identity of Ruth Gist is unknown at this time.  This is the only place her name has been found to date.  However, David Smith, and neighbor James Havins, are closely associated with the Gist families who lived in the area of east Kentucky around Pulaski and Wayne County.  

A biography of Dr. John Randolph Smith, who was born 1836 in Wayne County, KY,  states Dr. John R. Smith was the son of David Smith and Charlotte Havins (b.1800), a daughter of James Havins.  According to the biography, David Smith was born 1777 and was the son of Robert Smith and Mary Gist (of the Maryland Gist families).  Also according to the biography, David Smith was orphaned at a young age.  However, the biography does not give the name of the family who raised David after his parents died. 

Perhaps David Smith was taken in by a Gist family since his mother was a Gist.  David Smith was the “Assignee” of Ruth Gist when he received his Land Patent in Lawrence County, thus David had obtained the land from Ruth Gist in some manner.  One possibility is that Ruth Gist was part of the foster family that raised David Smith after David was orphaned.  It is possible that David Smith moved to Lawrence County, AL about 1818 with a Gist foster family and the Gists died shortly thereafter.  

David Smith was in Wayne County, KY in 1814 when he bought land from Henry Beeson, a neighbor of a Nathaniel Gist (b. abt 1775) who lived in Wayne/Pulaski County, KY.  David Smith was in Lawrence County, AL by Aug 1822 when he was appointed executor (along with widow Sarah Havins) of the estate of James Havins who died in Lawrence County, AL in Dec 1821.  David Smith married Charlotte Havins in Lawrence County, AL in 1829 and moved back to Wayne County, KY at that time.

James Havins had another daughter named Rachel who married an unknown Mr. Gist about 1812.  This unknown Mr. Gist may be the James Gess found on the 1808 Wayne County, KY Tax List, and then disappears from the records.  Rachel’s husband Mr. Gist died about 1818-1820 and the widow Rachel Guest married 2nd Thomas Tolbert in 1820.  Thomas Tolbert was a neighbor of James Havins in Lawrence County, and Thomas Tolbert had previously been married to Cynthia Havins.  Cynthia was another daughter of James Havins and apparently died at a young age (during childbirth perhaps?).

Thomas Tolbert married 1st Cynthia Havins, a daughter of James Havins, about 1815.

Cynthia died young and Thomas Tolbert married 2nd Rachel Havins Guest, a widowed daughter of James Havins, 7 Dec 1820.  Rachel Havins had previously been married to an unknown Guest or Gist who died about 1819.

David Smith married Charlotte Havins, a daughter of James Havins, 27 Apr 1829.

Other Records relating to the Guess/Guest families of Lawrence County, AL

1820 Alabama “State” Census

The 1820 federal census for Alabama is completely destroyed.   However, there was also an 1820 “State” census, of which only 6 of the 30 counties have survived, those being: Baldwin, Conecuh, Dallas, Franklin, Limestone, Shelby, St. Clair and Wilcox.

In addition to these surviving  “State Census” records, a portion of the 1820 Lawrence County “State Census” has also survived.  At the partial census of Lawrence County is included as part of the Franklin County records.   However, there are numerous on-line sources that have split out the partial Lawrence County census from the Franklin County records, and show only the Lawrence County records.

1820 Lawrence County, AL State Census
males                     females
over 21, under 21, over 21, under 21
Page 11 line 21    Thomas Tolburt       1000
Page 12 line 05    David Smythe          1210
Page 12 line 18    James Havens          1224
Page 24 line 15    Thomas Guist          0111
Thomas Tolbert, living alone for this census in 1820, had been married to Cynthia Havins (b.1795), an older daughter of James Havins.  Thomas Tolbert married Cynthia Havins after 1815, and apparently Cynthia died before the 1820 census.  Shortly after this census Thomas Tolbert married the widow Rachel Havins Guest (7 Dec 1820).  Thomas Tolbert died within a year and Rachel Havins Guest Tolbert married 3rd Emanuel McNutt (31 Dec 1822).

David Smythe or Smith was the son of Robert Smith and Mary Gist.  David Smith was orphaned as a young child and was raised by a family unknown at this time (perhaps a Gist family).  David Smith apparently came to Alabama about 1818 from the area around Pulaski, Wayne and Whitley County, KY.  He may have come to Alabama with Christopher, Richard and Thomas Gist.  David Smith was made Executor of the estate of James Havins (along with the widow Sarah Havins) after James Havins died in Jan 1822.  David Smith married Charlotte Havins, a daughter of James Havins, in Lawrence County, AL in December 1829.

Thomas Guist on page 24 is probably the Thomas Gest (Gist?) who married Nancy Roney 6 Nov 1818  in Lawrence County, AL.  Interesting that Thomas was not yet 21 in 1820, indicating he was only about 18-20 years old when he married Nancy Roney.

1830 NW Alabama Census, Heads of Household

Legend (same for males and females)
            5          10        15        20        30        40        50        60        70        8
<          to          to        to          to        to        to        to        to        to        to       
5          9          14        19        29        39        49        59        69        79        89
1830 Lawrence County, AL census, page 270
Emanuel McNutt          0 0 2 0 1       1 1 0 2 0 1      Married about 7 1/2 years
1 male 20-29   (Emanuel about 29)
1 female 30-39  (Rachel about 33)
2 females 15-19  (2 female Guests, one is probably Harriet)
2 Males 10-14   (2 male Guests, one is probably James, b.1819)
1 female 5-9    (McNutt daughter born about 1824)
1 female 0-4    (McNutt daughter born about 1827)

This is Rachel Havins and 3rd husband Emanuel McNutt, who married 31 Dec 1822 in Lawrence County, AL.  Rachel married 1st an unknown Mr. Gist/Guest about 1812  (probably the James Gess on the 1808 Wayne County, KY Tax List).  Mr. Gist died about 1819 leaving Rachel with four Gist children, two boys and two girls.  Rachel married 2nd Thomas Tolbert 7 Dec 1820 and he died within a year.  Rachel married 3rd Emanuel McNutt 31 Dec 1822.  Rachel and Emanuel McNutt had been married about 7 1/2 years at the time of this census, and the four older children in the household are Gists.  Two of these Gist children have been tentatively identified as Harriet Guest/Gist (b. about 1818) and James Gist (b. about 1819).  See the separate paper James & Harriet Gist for more detailed information about this family.  

This family moved to Shelby County, TN before 1840 and can be found in Shelby County, TN for the 1840 census.  Neither Emanuel McNutt nor Rachel can be found after the 1840 Shelby County, TN census.  Harriet Guest/Gist married David Brown 25 Aug 1841 in Shelby County, TN, and they can be found in Lawrence County, AR for the 1850 and later censuses.  James Gist married Elizabeth Frazier 14 Oct 1848 in Shelby County, TN, and they can found in Dade County, MO for the 1850 and 1860 censuses. 

After 1820 many of the families found in early Lawrence County can be found in other nearby counties, or even in other states.

Additional records for the early Lawrence County, Gist-Guest families, after 1820.

1830 Walker County, AL, pages 258, 270, 271, 272
GUEST, Richard          20-29   page 258          2 1 0 0 1 0 0 - 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
NUT, William              60-69   page 270-6       0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
RONEY, Lewis            30-39   page 270-14     4 2 1 0 0 1 - 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 1
GUEST, Nancy           30-39   page 270-15      0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
McNUTT, Henry         40-49   page 271-12     0 1 1 0 1 1 - 1 1 0 0 1
NUT, William              30-39   page 271-23     0 1 1 0 1 1 - 0 1 1 0 1 0 1       
BROWN, William        60-69   page 272-2      0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
GUEST, Christopher    20-29  page 272-4       1 0 0 0 1 0 0 - 1 1 0 0 1 0 0
BROWN, John             60-69   page 272-7       1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 - 2 1 1 2 0 0 1 [Vance's note: my direct line, also]

This group of Guest and related families appears to have origins in Lawrence County, AL, which is just north of Walker County.   Richard Gest married Jane McKinney in Lawrence County 13 Sep 1821.  Thomas Gest married Nancy Roney in Lawrence County 6 Nov 1818.   Christopher Guest married Polly McNutt in Lawrence County 31 Mar 1824.

Nancy Guest was Nancy Roney who married Thomas Gest in 1818.  Thomas Guest had deserted Nancy Roney before 1830, and Nancy was granted a divorce by the AL State Legislature in 1831.  Lewis Roney, who lived next door to Nancy Guest for this census (1830), is thought to be Nancy’s brother.  In Nancy’s household for this census was a daughter 10-14 years old and a son 5-9 years old.  The daughter has been identified as Elizabeth Guess/Guest who married John Rackley in Gibson County, TN in 1839.  The son has not been identified as of this date.  Lewis Roney and Nancy Guest moved to Gibson County, TN before 1839 and can be found there for the 1840 census.  These families moved further west after 1840, and were in Mississippi County, AR by 1850-1860.  See the separate paper Thomas Guest & Nancy Roney for more detailed information about this family.  [Vance's note:  Carla Davenport, the wife of my great aunt's grandson, dicovered this family's wanderings. She forwarded it to me and I to Donald, and he verified it.] 

Richard Guest, married to Jane McKinney, moved across the border into Mississippi around 1836 and can be found in Itawamba County, MS for the 1840 census, and in Pontotoc County, MS for the 1850 census.  Both of these Mississippi counties are just west of Walker County, AL.  Richard’s sons James and David moved further west and were in AR for the 1860 census.

There is no trace of David Smith in the 1830 Alabama census.  Perhaps David was living in some other household in 1830.  David Smith married Charlotte Havins 27 Apr 1829 in Lawrence County, AL and apparently moved to Wayne County, KY shortly thereafter.

1840 Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, heads of household

legend (same for males and females)
            5          10        15        20        30        40        50        60        70        80
<          to          to        to        to          to         to        to         to          to        to       
5          9          14        19        29        39        49        59        69        79        89

1840 Marion County, AL, page 059   
GUESS, Christopher  30-39                 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 - 0 0 0 0 1 0 0    
wife                             20-29
1 male                          10-14
1 male                            5-9
1 male                            0-4

This is Christopher Gist, who had been living in Walker County, AL for the 1830 census.  Marion County, AL is the next county NW of Walker County.  Richard Guest, who was in 1830 Walker County, AL with Christopher, had moved west into Mississippi about 1836 and Richard is found in Mississippi for this 1840 census. 

Christopher Gist cannot be found for the 1850 Federal census.  However, Christopher is found in Marion County, AL for the 1850 “State” census.

Christopher can be found on the Federal censuses in 1860 and later, living in Winston County, AL, the county just east of Marion County, and between Lawrence County and Walker County.  In 1880, Christopher Gist was living in Winston County, in the household of James H. Hand.  Christopher was listed as ”grandfather”, 76 years old and born in TN.  (Christopher was the grandfather of James Hand’s wife, Wealthy Gist)
1840 Itawamba County, MS, page 147 (On MS border NW of Walker County, AL) 

GESS, Richard 40-49               0 1 1 1 0 1 1 - 1 3 2 0 0 0 1
wife                             40-49
1 male                          30-39   (Is this Thomas Gist, who deserted Nancy Roney?)
1 male                          15-19
1 male, 2 females        10-14
1 male, 3 females          5-9
1 female                        0-9

This is the Richard Guest (b. abt 1800) who had been living in Walker County, AL for the 1830 census.  The number of children and approximate ages of everyone in the household matches the 1830 Alabama family.  There were two adult men in the household for this census, one 40-49 years old and one 30-39 years old.  Which one was Richard, who was about 40 years old?  And who was the second man?  Could the second man be Thomas Guest, the one who had deserted his wife Nancy Roney before 1830?

Richard Guest married Jane McKinney 13 Sep 1821 in Lawrence County, AL.  Richard kept moving west and can be found in Pontotoc County, MS for the 1850 census (next county west of Itawamba).

1840 Gibson Co, TENNESSEE census, stamped page 177, line 27

Lewis Roney     0022001, 0001001
1M                   40-49   Lewis
1F                    40-49   Wife Elma
2M, 1F             15-19
2M                   10-14

This is the same Lewis Roney who was in Walker County, AL in 1830.  Also in Gibson County for the 1840 census was John Rackley, who had married Elizabeth Guess in Gibson County in 1839. 

1840 Gibson Co, TENNESSEE census, stamped page 191

John Rackley -- 10101, 0001001
1M                   20-29   (John Rackley)
1F                    15-19   (Elizabeth Guess)
1M                   10-14   (Elizabeth’s younger brother?)
1F                    40-49   (Nancy Roney Guest?  Elizabeth’s mother?)

This is the John Rackley who had recently married Elizabeth Guess in Gibson County, TN (3 Jan 1839).  Elizabeth is almost certainly the daughter of Nancy Roney and Thomas Guest.  Later records give further proof of this.  The identity of the 10-14 year old boy in the household has not been identified as of this date.  He is most likely the younger (Guest/Gist)  brother of Elizabeth, who was also in the Nancy Guest household in 1830. 

The records of 1850 and 1860 Gibson County, TN, Lauderdale County, TN and Mississippi County, AR were searched for a male named Gist, Gest, Guest Guess, born 1820-1830, but none were found who were thought to be the above boy.