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.

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