I made a trip to the Dallas Public Library last Saturday (2 March 2013). They have an incredibly good selection of material relating to East Tennessee genealogy, including many records from Sullivan and Washington Counties on microfilm, family histories, local histories, journals (they have recent copies of TGS Ansearchin’ and the WAGS Bulletin).
My reason for going was to review a copy of Rogers and Bullock’s “Thomas King and Susan Ann Sharp” family history, which was published in 1970. I found that the DPL had two copies through Worldcat (record here). Four-hundred copies of this book were originally printed; it is not known how many still exist. I was unable to find one of the two copies that DPL was supposed to have; the one that I was able to find is probably the only copy of this book available to the public in the State of Texas.
I do not intend to infringe the copyright of this marvelous work; my intent in this post is to reproduce a part of it in an original order, and I feel that is a “fair use” under the copyright laws.
This is a remarkable book in that allows us to trace back one family line to 17th-century Britain. This line is one that is particularly well-known to my grandfather Archer, as he joked during my last visit that we are descendants of “a King from England” (the punchline in italics).
I am summarizing in part, and transcribing in part, references in this book that are relevant to tracing my family lineage, arranged in approximate chronological order.
The book is primarily organized to show descendants of Thomas King and Susan Sharp, but toward the end discusses the ancestors of Thomas King and Susan Sharp. Thus, to start at the beginning, one must go to the end.
On page 630-34 of this book, there is a discussion about the Sharp family, which is of Anglo-Saxon (by way of Yorkshire and Scotland) origins:
- Christopher Sharp, the elder. d. about 1541.
- John Sharp, the elder, m. Mary Clarkson. Mentioned as secretary to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
- (Unknown son of John the elder and father of John the younger)
- John Sharp, the younger, grandson of 2, “strongly supported Parliamentary interest in Bradford during the Civil Wars.
- Abraham Sharp, b. 1651 d. 18 July 1742, “a noted mathematician; an associate of the great scholars of his time: Flamsteed, Newton, Halley, Wallis, Hodgson, and Sherwin.” It is noted that Abraham Sharp and his brother Thomas Sharp were Presbyterians there cousins were Anglican; and this religious rift divided the family. It is stated that “the line, from which the King and Sharp descendants came, was from either Abraham or his brother Thomas, 1633-1693.”
- “Thomas Sharp, b. Scotland; m. (1) Cynthia Wallace (Needs proof); m. (2) Katrina …… Thomas Sharp’s will dated 5 Feb. 1758, Lancaster Co., Pa.; was drawn up 24 Oct. 1757… His will names sons: John, William and Thomas; daughters: Anne (Sharp) Todd, (kin of Mary Todd, who married Abraham Lincoln), Sarah (Sharp) and Mary Sharp, his wife Katrina Sharp, and Arthur O’Mullen, an indentured servant….”
- “John Sharp, Sr., b. 1720, Scotland; d. 1796, Sullivan Co., Tn., a faithful Christian, a Revolutionary patriot and worthy citizen; m. (1) 1740, Pa., Jane Hamilton, b. 1721; d. aft. 1788, Sullivan Co., Tn.; m. ()…., Sarah …..”The Sharp Family were in Holston Country, Sullivan Co., Tn., in 1765; they moved their families in the spring, 1766….”John Sharp, Sr. owned 700 a. north of the Holston River….” John Sharp was the father of Susan Ann Sharp, who will be described later. The authors mention that John Sharp, Sr. did not leave a will but did leave a Power of Attorney.
Let’s turn now to pages 635-36 to summarize a discussion of the Nichols family, which is of Anglo-Norman (by way of Wales and Bedforshire, England):
- “Rev. Henry Nichols. (son, Jonathan Nichols, 1665-1717, Vicar of Llamblethian, [Glamorganshire, Wales], bu., Cowbridge, England), b. 1 Aprl. 1678, Bedfordshire, Eng.; d. 1 Feb. 1748, Talbot Co., Md.; m. (1) Mrs. Elizabeth (…..) Rowle, a widow; d. bef. 1748; both bu., St. Michael’s Parish Church, Talbot Co., Md.; (by request of her husband in his will); m. (2) Dorothy ……”Henry Nichols was the first residential missionary to Pennsylvania for the ‘Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,’ arriving in 1703. His churches are located at Chester, Concord, Radnor and Montgomery….”The following is a translation of the Latin inscription found in the slab over his tomb: “Here lies the remains of Henry Nichols, M.A., formerly a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, England, and a pastor of this church for 41 years – most unworthy. Born April 1st, 1678; died Feb. 12th 1748. Save his soul, O Christ for Thy own merits. Tread upon salt without savor.’ He [note – Henry Nichols himself] ordered these words to be inscribed….”A record of his will was obtained from the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Md. (Will Book 25, Pp. 513-516). In it, he named his wife Elizabeth Rowle, a widow, his sons: Henry, Charles, Jonathan, Jeremiah, James and his second wife Dorothy, and her son William, and his sister Elizabeth for whom he generously provided….
- Jonathan Nichols, d. 1774, Talbot County, Maryland. Son of Rev. Henry Nichols, father of Elizabeth Nichols.
- “Elizabeth Nichols, b. abt. 1728, Md.; m. 1748, Anne Arundel Co., Md., Edward King, (son, Thomas, Sr. & Jane (Sharp) King). See- history of King Families….”
And as instructed, we shall turn now to page 626 to review the pre-Colonial and early Colonial history of the King Family. A few key points:
- Citing the Media Research Bureau of Washington, D.C. : “The King name is research in England, Ireland and Scotland, and does not signify ‘royalty.’ It indicates that those bearing the name were leaders, or Kings men.”
- “The name is so wide spread in England, it is clear that many families are not blood relatives.”
- “The English men bearing the name Kyng, Kynge, Cinge or Kinge [appear] on early records” The book notes references as far back as 1308.
- One upshot of their being so many King families in the British Isles is that it is difficult to determine which one is relevant to tracing our family line. A family oral tradition is noted on page 627, claiming that “that the Kings from whom we claim descent were in the Bloody War of Reformation of Scotland, and were Presbyterian Scotch-Irish Covenanters (followers of John Knox’s teachings) and were among those, who having fled to Ireland for refuge, were active in the siege of Londonderry.” Although no sources are cited (aside from the oral tradition passed down through distant cousin Elisha Sterling Price King, a third generation American), the authors imply that the reason why our forbears came to the United States (William Penn’s Pennsylvania colony, to be precise) was to escape religious persecution.
At the bottom of page 627, the authors discuss Thomas King, Sr., d. bef. 1764, who is denoted as “1-1” in the family tree, beginning with speculation about his (unknown) date of arrival:
There were three distinct immigrations of the Scotch Covenanters: 1711, 1735 and 1750, arriving in ports of Philadelphia, Pa. and New Castle, Delaware. It is probable that Thomas King, (the beginning of our line in America), came to this land from Ireland about the same time Thomas Sharp arrived from Scotland. Later Thomas King married Thomas Sharp’s sister Jane. Thomas Sharp left a will, 1757, in Lancaster Co., Pa.
(It is noteworthy at this point that PaBob’s crack about “a King from England” should probably be revised to “a King from Ireland.” )
First Generation in Pennsylvania
1-1 Thomas King, Sr., immigrant ancestor of our line of descent, d. bef. 1764, [p. 628] Lancaster Co., Pa.; m. Jane Sharp, brother [sic, probably means “sister”] of Thomas Sharp of Scotland. Their three known children: 2-1 Thomas, Jr., 2-2 Edward, 2-3 Elizabeth.
2-1 Thomas King, Jr., b. 1716, Pa. d. 1786. Little is known about Thomas King, Jr.; he was a private in the French and Indian War, 1754; also he signed to support the call of the Rev. John Elder as pastor of the Paxtang Presbyterian Church in Pa. In 1764 he is mentioned in a suit pressed by his brother Edward over land settle-mentioned [sic] in the will of their father, Thomas King, Sr….
2-2 Edward King, b. 1720, Lancaster Co., Pa.; d. aft. 1790, Sullivan Co., Tn.; bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn. (Grave marker now lost); m. 1748, Maryland, Elizabeth Nichols (Nicholls), (dau., Jonathan & Mary… Nicholls of Talbot Co., Md. (see Pp. 636-638), b. abt. 1730, Anne Arundel Co., Md.; d. Greene Co., Tn. After the death of her husband, she lived several years with her daughter, Elizabeth (King) Dinsmore, wife of Samuel Dinsmore…. Church affiliation of Edward and Elizabeth (Nichols) King, Paxtang Presbyterian Church, but later they were charter members of the first Presbyterian Church organized, 1782, in Sullivan Co., Tn. by the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak at Piney Flats. Edward King is listed on Capt. Van Braam’s Co. in William Armstrong Crozier’s Virginia Militia, p. 116; was awarded 100 a. of land for his services in the Battle of Meadows, Fort Necessity, Pa. in the battle against the French and Indians, which is now a State Park. (Gen. Braddock was killed in this battle and young Major George Washington was placed in his first command).
The authors then list all 10 children of Edward and Elizabeth, who were “all born in the Colonial period in Lancaster County, Pa. near Middletown.” I am going to ignore all but two of them, beginning with…
3-2 Thomas King, 1754-1847; m. Susan Ann Sharp. See Part I, Pp. 1-542.
Thomas and Susan Ann Sharp, are, of course, the primary focus of this book.
Note, however, that our family is both descended from (3-2) Thomas King as well as from his brother, (3-3) John King, because Thomas’s grand-daughter Susan Sharp Dyer married Isaac M. King, a first cousin (once removed).
3-3 John, b. 1 Sept. 1758; d. 18 Sept. 1837.; m. (1) 1 Mar. 1787, Tn., Mary McKinley, (Kin of Pres. William McKinley, 1843-1901, 25th president of the U.S.); m. (2) 4 Sept. 1817, Sarah White; all three bu., New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn. Children-1st marriage (6): Edward; Elizabeth; Jane; William; John, Jr.; Priscilla. Children-2nd marriage (4): Isaac M.; Ann; Pollie; Sarah.
The rest of Edward King’s children are given on pages 628 and 629.
At this point, we are now ready to flip to…
… PAGE ONE.
The first page is transcribed below:
THOMAS KING, 1754-1847, and SUSAN ANN SHARP, 1756-1822 from our first known King, who came to America. See: COLONIAL ALLIED FAMILIES, Pages 626-708.
1-1 Thomas King, Sr. and Jane (Sharp) King
Children: Thomas, Jr., Edward, Elizabeth and others.
2-2 Edward King and Elizabeth (Nichols) King – Ancestors for the following families:
Children: William, Thomas, John, Sr., James, Isaac, Samuel, Elizabeth, David, Margaret, Sarah.
OUR DIRECT LINE
3-2 THOMAS KING, b. 17 Mar 1754, Middletown, Lancaster Co., Pa.; d. 18 June 1847, Sullivan Co., Tn., age 93 yrs., 3 mos. and 1 da.; Revolutionary patriot; farmer; church aff., Presbyterian; m. 1783, Sullivan Co., Tn., SUSAN ANN SHARP, (dau. John Sharp, Sr., b. 1720 Scotland, Revolutionary patriot, & Jane (Hamilton) Sharp), b. 22 Mar. 1756, Lancaster Co., Pa.; d. 3 Apr. 1822, Sullivan Co., Tn.; both bu., New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn.
Children: 4-1 James Harvey, 4-2 Julia Annis, 4-3 Elizabeth, 4-4 Mary, 4-5 Ellener, 4-6 Llewallen, 4-7 William I., 4-8 Lavinia King, b. 21 Jan. 1799, Sullivan Co., Tn.; d. 10 June 1852, same pl., bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn.; unm.
For my family, we next turn to page 172, to review the history of 4-4, Mary King:
4-4 MARY KING, b. 1790, Sullivan Co., Tn.; d. aft. 26 Mar. 1883, Coryell Co., Tx. church aff., Presbyterian; m……, Sullivan Co., Tn., ALEXANDER DYER, b. 1790, farmer; (Federal Census, 1850, Sullivan Co., Tn); d. ……, Sullivan Co., Tn.; bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn. Children: 5-1 John Dyer, b. 1816,, Sullivan Co., Tn. (In 1888, he lived in Pleasantville, Marion Co., Ia.) No further record, 5-2 Sarah Jane, 5-3 William, 5-4 Thomas Leander, 5-5 Susan Sharp, 5-6 David, 5-8 Amanda, 5-9 Robin Dyer, b. 1833, Tn. (In 1888, lived in Mo., county unknown); No further record, 5-10 Samuel.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Mary King Dyer moved to Coryell, Co., Tx. with her youngest son, Samuel. She is listed in the 1860 Federal Census, Coryell Co., Tx., age 70 years, mother of Samuel Dyer.
I am intrigued that one of my earlier direct ancestors lived in Texas. Since Coryell County is just about an hour up the road, I may want to try to find Mary King Dyer’s grave site in the near future.
(According to FindAGrave.com, Mary King Dyer lived 1790-1867 and is buried at Walker Cemetery, which is now within the confines of Fort Hood Military Reservation. I will contact the Fort Hood public affairs officer to see how I can visit it).
The apparent omission of a “5-7” in the record for Mary King Dyer appears in the original and is probably a typographical error.
We now turn to page 194 to address:
5-5 Susan Sharp Dyer, b. 18 Aug. 1822, Piney Flats, Tn.; d 13 June 1896, same pl., m. abt. 1840, Piney Flats, Tn., Isaac M. King (Reverend), son (John – brother of Thomas King, 1754-1847, & Sarah (White) King), b. 4 June 1818, Sullivan Co., [p. 195] Tn., d. 24 Apr. 1902, same pl.; both bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn. (Tombstone record as of 1966); farmer; church aff., Presbyterian; minister. Children: 6-1 John A. King…; 6-2 Edward Rutledge, 6-3 Amelia Adaline; 6-4 Sarah Ann, 6-5 Melissa Jane; 6-6 Mary Edna King…; 6-7 Sophia L. King…; 6-8 Julia T.; 6-9 Priscilla A. King, b. 12 Nov. 1860, Sullivan Co., Tn.; d. .. Dec. 1860, same pl….; 6-10 Pemberton Lee King…; 6-11 Susan E. King…; 6-12 Martha A. King …; 6-13 Name, birth & death death date unknown. Only five were reared to adult age.
The children who made it to adulthood were Edward Rutledge, Amelia Adaline, Sarah Ann, Melissa Jane and Julia T.
Turning to page 210:
6-5 Melissa Jane King, b. 27 Apr. 1848, Piney Flats, Tn.; d. 8 Jan. 1919, same pl., m. 3 Sept. 1871, (Blountville, Tn. Marriage Record, Bk. I, P. 66), George Washington McKamey, (son, Zebedee & Louisa (Millhorn) McKamey), b. 25 May 1846, Tn.; d. 1 Oct. 1900, Tn.; both bu., New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn.; Confederate [p. 211] soldier, Civil War, Home guard; teacher of first school in Shell’s Chappell, Tn.; church aff., Presbyterian. Children: 7-1 Charles Franklin, See P. 230, 7-2 William Edward, 7-3 Rufus Burton, 7-4 Samuel Roscoe, 7-5 Maude Louise, 7-6 Robert Taylor, b. 18 Feb. 1881, Sullivan Co., Tn.; d. 3 Apr. 1891, age 10 yrs., 1 mo., 17 da.; bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn., 7-7 Susan Bertha, 7-8 Alice Myrtle, 7-9 Ida Pearl McKamey, b. 1 Apr. 1887, Sullivan Co., Tn,; d. 22 Jan. 1888, same pl.; age 9 mos., 22 da.; bu., Piney Flats, Tn.
Our next stop is my second great grandmother, Maude Louise (sometimes shown in records as Louisa) McKamey, on page 218:
7-5 Maude Louise McKamey, b. 22 Dec. 1878, Sullivan Co., Tn.; d. 12 Nov. 1942, Kingsport, Tn.; m. 4 July 1904, Tn., Daniel Webster Archer, b. 3 Jan. 18.., Johnson City, Tn.; d. 24 Dec. 1936; both bu. New Bethel Cem., Piney Flats, Tn. Children: 8-1 Robert Taylor, 8-2 Nell, 8-3 Frances, 8-4 Fred Marvin.
By best reckoning, which I will elaborate upon elsewhere, is that D.W. Archer was born in 1862. Continuing on the same page.
8-1 Robert Taylor Archer, Sr. b. 4 May 1896, Johnson City, Tn.; d. 25 May 1968, Kingsport, Tn.; bu., Oak Hill Cem., same pl.; Contractor, carpenter, church aff., Methodist; m. 18 Sept. 1915, Johnson City, Tn. (m 52 yrs in 1967), Ida Della Ann Mills, (dau., James Preston & Mary Orlene (Hodges) Mills), b. 23 Nov. 1895, Piney Flats, Tn. Address: 923 Eizabeth St., Kingsport, Tn. 37660. Children: 9-1 Harry Preston, 9-2 Daniel Webster, 9-3 Hunter Elmo, 9-4 Aaron Alfred, 9-5 Geraldine Patsy, 9-6 Robert Taylor, Jr., 9-7 Emma Lee, 9-8 Buddy Frederick, 9-9 Betty Jane.
9-1 Harry Preston Archer, b. 21 July 1916, Johnson City, Tn.; m. ….., Mary June [p. 213]Wheatley (dau., Joseph & Bertha (….) Wheatley), b. ……., No further record….
The book says Harry Preston Archer has an unknown child, but when I last spoke to my grandparents they did not mention Uncle Harry having a child. His obituary (Kingsport Times News, 22 October 1979, p 5A) mentions a son, Donald R. Moffitt of Blountville, Tn.
9-2 Daniel Webster Archer, b. 3 Feb. 1919, Piney Flats, Tn.; m. ….. Mary Blanche Webster, (dau., Robert & Effie (Bacon) Webster), b. …. No further record.
Address: Johnson City, Tn. 37601
Children: 10-1 Suzan Archer, b. .. May 1952, Tn.
10-2 Robert Daniel Archer, b. 15 Apr. 1954, Tn.
9-3 Hunter Elmo Archer, b. 17 July 1921, Kingsport, Tn.; carpenter; church aff., Baptist; W.W. II, 1942-45/Inf., 32nd Div., Asiatic Pacific Ribbon & Combat Inf. Badge; m. 25 Oct. 1947, Kingsport, Tn., Una Jeanette Williams, (dau., Hardin Benjamin & Minnie (Sally) Williams), b. 1 Oct. 1926, Jonesville, Lee Co., Va.
Address: Rt. 2, Box 358-A, Sanford Fl. 32771
Children: 10-1 Michael Hunter Archer, b. 7 Oct. 1951, Kingsport, Tn.
9-4 Aaron Alfred Archer, b. 20 Apr. 1924, Kingsport, Tn.; m….., Jonesboro, Tn., Mary Evelyn Perry, (dau., Carson Columbus & Ola Nell (…..) Perry), b. …… Address: 295 Alabama Ave., Kingsport, Tn. 37660.
9-5 Geraldine Patsy Archer, b. 3 Mar. 1926, Kingsport, Tn.; unm.; employe [sic], Salvation Army. Address: 923 Elizabeth Street, Kingsport, Tn. 37660.
9-6 Robert Taylor Archer, Jr., b. 29 Oct. 1928 [sic], Kingsport, Tn.; m. ……, Kingsport, Tn., Connie Bishop (dau., William T. & Iva Nell (…..) Bishop), b. …….
Address: 321 Elmhurst Drive, Kingsport, Tn. 37660
Children: 10-1 David Archer, b. 8 Aug. 1957; 10-2 Pamela Archer, b. 28 Nov. 1959; 10-3 Keith Archer, b. 22 Dec. 1963; all born in Kingsport, Tn.
Robert Taylor Archer, Jr. (9-6) is of course my PaBob. Note the birth date is incorrect (he was born in 1927). This same error appears in the family Bible, and I suspect the common source of both errors was a mis-rememberance on the part of my great-grandmother Della Ann Archer, who would have been about 70 years old when this book was compiled. I suspect the notes in the family Bible (currently in the possession of my grandparents) were written up about the same time.
Continuing at the bottom of page 219:
9-7 Emma Lee Archer, b. 3 Aug. 1931, Kingsport, Tn.; m. ….., Blountville, Tn., Jack Carl Gardner (son, Dee & Sally Kathryn (….) Gardner), b. …… Address: 106: Devault Street, Kingsport, Tn. 37660
9-8 Buddy Frederick Archer, b. 1 Dec. 1932, Kingsport, Tn.; U.S. Army, Spec. 4, [p. 220] Ft. Knox, Ky., Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., Ft. Chaffee, Ar., 1956-58, Aide to Chief or[sic] Staff; Plant Supt., General Shale Products Corp.; church aff., Methodist; m. 17 July 1954, Kingsport, Tn., Shirley Annette McKinney, dau., James Patton & Alta (Caudill) McKinney), b. 25 Feb. 1936, Kenkins, Ky.; church aff., Catholic. Address: 1129 Culbert Dr., Marion, Va. 24354
Children: 10-1 Kevin McKinney Archer, b. 15 Apr. 1958, Ft. Smith, Ar. 10-2 Harriett Allyson Archer, b. 18 July 1968, Chattanooga, Tn.
9-9 Betty Jane Archer, b. 22 Oct. 1937, Kingsport, Tn.; church aff., Methodist; m. 12 Dec. 1959, Kingsport, Tn., Franklin Berry Brewer, (son, Norman Eugene & Lois Gertrude (Davis) Brewer), b. 19 May 1937, Hawkins Co., Tn.; Building contractor. Address: Rt. 6, Box 1285, Myra Heights, Kingsport, Tn. 37662
Children: 10-1 Harold Franklin Brewer, b. 30 Aug. 1960, Kingsport, Tn.
10-2 Karen Suzanne Brewer, b. 19 Apr. 1965, Kingsport, Tn.
Information about my grandfather’s aunts and uncles is also available, which I will summarize below:
- p. 220: 8-2 Nell Archer, b. 25 Sept. 1902, Johnson City, Tn.; married a man by the name of Mercke, had two children: Hoyt Wayne Mercke and Joan Mercke.
- p. 220: 8-3 Frances Archer, b. 8 June 1906, Johnson City, Tn.; m. (1)….., Paul John Swift… m (2) ….. Mann…. Son-1st marriage: 9-1 Samuel Joseph.
- p. 221: “8-4 Frederick Marvin Archer, b. 7 Mar. 1910, Washington Co., Tn.; Major League Baseball pitcher, ret.; steam-fitter; church aff., Lutheran; m. (1) Nellie Lee Wright, b. 26 May 1906, Eidson, Tn.; div.; m. (2) 18 Apr. 1935 Asheboro, N.C. , Pauline Margaret Upright, (dau., Henry Clinton & Lillie (Karriker) Upright), b. 28 Dec. 1915, Rowan Co., N.C. Address: Rt. 1, Box 203, China Grove, N.C. 28023 Children- 1st marriage: 9-1 Eugene Wright, 9-2 Gloria S. Son-2nd marriage, Frederick Melbourne.”
A few final notes from this marvelous book:
- On page 620, it is noted by Vivian King Bullock that: “Edward King lived within a mile of the New Bethel Church. The original King School House on page 621 was located on land later owned by Thomas King, son of Edward and Elizabeth (Nichols) King. We do not know the year it was built. It was used as a Sunday School meeting place as well as for a Public Day School.”
- Citing the 1787 Washington County, Tennessee Tax List (from Creekmore), we see that in 1787 Edward King had 640 acres of land, Thomas King his son had another 200 and John King had 175 acres of land.
- Citing “North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791”, it is noted that Edward King’s land was the result of a North Carolina Land Grant, entered 10 Oct. 1781.