Washington County, Tennessee Tombstone Inscriptions by Charles M. Bennett and the Watauga Association of Genealogists. Information used with the permission of Lorraine Bennett Rae.
Volume 3, Page 323 – WCCL Section
“BROWN—13 mi NW Jonesboro, 17th District. Established about 1830 by John S. Brown. Graves here are marked with stones. Information given by Mrs. Nancy Ann Brown Stone, age 85y (1939), dau of John S. Brown.”
The quoted text above is the only written record found so far to document this burial ground. John Smith Brown’s father was John “Redheaded” Brown. John “Redheaded” Brown was born circa 1785 and John Smith Brown born between 1814 & 1816, all dates based upon census records. Based upon these dates, it is more probable that the burial ground was established by John “Redheaded” Brown, not John Smith Brown.
John “Redheaded” Brown was also encountered while researching a deed trail surrounding a several hundred acre parcel at the intersection of SR81 and SR75, which is about 6 miles northwest of Jonesborough and in district 17. John had sold some property to George Ferguson and was found in the same household in the 1860 census. During an interview of a Ferguson descendant, the “Redheaded” nickname came up almost immediately in the conversation. George Ferguson was married to Redheaded’s daughter, Abigail (source – will of John Brown). It appears that John “Redheaded” Brown moved from the Deakins Road area to the land nearer Jonesborough, leaving his son, John Smith Brown, at the Deakins Road area.
John Smith Brown was found in district 13, living adjacent to the George Jackson family, as well as Fulkersons, Coxes, and Hulses during the 1850 to 1880 timeframe. A deed for him was found calling out Kendricks Creek. John Smith Brown’s daughter was Nancy Ann (born 1854), who married first Jesse Bacon and second Reese B. Stone. A deed was found where Nancy and her husband, Reece, conveyed a large, 150 acre parcel in 1903. That parcel was found to have been conveyed to a John Brown (possibly Redheaded Brown, but not John Smith Brown) in 1816. This tract lies to the north of Deakins Road and to the south of Jackson Road and would have been adjacent to George Jackson. The will of John Brown (“Redheaded” is not specified in the will, but his children’s names fit) was found, whereby he left that parcel to the “children of John S. Brown” with John S. and his wife, Eliza, having life rights. John Redheaded Brown’s wife was Nancy Smith.
CENSUS RECORDS – 1850, 1860, and 1880 were reviewed. Based upon his stated ages, John Smith Brown was born between 1814 and 1816. It would appear that he would have been too young (aged 15) to have established a burial ground around 1830. His daughter, Nancy, was age 6 in the 1860 census. Could the John Brown who did establish a burial ground have been John “Redheaded” Brown, (aged 75 in 1860), who would have been about 45 in 1830? It seems more logical that the 1830 date was simply in error and should have been later.
LOCATION – Information furnished by a couple locals in the area of Deakins Road have placed the burial ground in the general area behind what was known in more recent years as the “Dougherty Place” located at 215 Deakins Road (Washington County tax parcel 017-086.00). This was part of the Brown farm and the house has now been torn down. Aerial photographs have been found that show the house and out buildings. The house was said to have started as a log house then added to over the years. The barn is still standing. From descriptions, it is thought that the burial ground was located on the slight rise behind the house by a few hundred feet. This area has had some minor leveling done, probably not enough to impede graves, but any trace of fieldstones would have been removed. A thorough walk of the area provided no additional information or marker sightings.
GPS LOCATION: – approximate only – +36° 23.600, -82° 35.270
DEEDS – Several have been reviewed and are on file with the Cemetery Survey Team. None of the deeds reviewed mention a burial ground. Only those specifically related to Brown family ownership of the approximately 150 acres are called out here.
Deed Book 12, Page 159 (1808) and Deed Book 15, Page 235 (1816) – John “Redheaded” Brown acquires the parcel. His will signed January 25, 1864 (Will Book B, Page 200) provided that the subject property would pass to the children of John S. Brown.
Deed Book 83, Page 530 (1903) – Reece and Nancy Brown Stone to Jacob Hilbert (their share of the inherited farm) along with Minutes Book N, Page 398 (1903) & Deed Book 86, Page 367 – which was the finalized court directed conveyance to Jacob Hilbert. The farm & land was deemed unfit to partition, so it was sold as a whole parcel to Wm E & Nora Sherfey.
Deed Book 86, Page 392 (1904) – Sherfey to George Washington Jackson.
Deed Book 86, Page 423 (1904) Jackson sold 50 acres (including subject area) to J. M. Painter. The parcel sold a few more times before being purchased by Walter & Minnie Dougherty in 1948 (Deed Book 248, Page 432) and then passing to Charles Dougherty in 1992 (Deed Book R7, Page I205).
BURIALS – Unknown, other than the Bennett entry noted above.
Surveyed, transcribed and donated to the Washington County TNGen Web August 2015 by Gordon M. Edwards, member of the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee.
Copyrighted 2015 by the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee. No part of this work may be copied without written permission from the Cemetery Survey Team.
Return to index