THE MATTHEW COX FAMLY
OF GREENE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Matthew Cox, a
Revolutionary War soldier, is buried in Kidwell’s Cemetery in Greene
County. Several of his descendants are also buried there. By the
mid-20th Century, this historic cemetery had fallen into a
state of disrepair. Cattle had been allowed to roam freely within the
During the 1980’s, Mr.
T. Elmer Cox a descendant of Matthew Cox by his son Eliakim Cox,
organized a clean-up project for the historic Kidwell Cemetery. The
cemetery was restored and fenced. A number of military markers were
erected for Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers.
The Cemetery is now
maintained by the Hardin’s Chapel Methodist Church, the successor to the
old Kidwell Meeting house. This area of northern Greene County is now
called the Hardin’s Chapel community.
Mr. T. Elmer Cox
(1907-1995) was the Official Historian of Greene County, Tennessee for
many years. Through his generosity the T. Elmer Cox Genealogy Library
was founded. T. Elmer Cox did not have children.
Early researchers of the
Matthew Cox Family of Greene County, Tennessee believed that Matthew Cox
(1732-1807) was descended from the Matthew Cox who died in Virginia
during the Indian Wars before 1753. And, this Matthew Cox was descended
from a Matthew Cox who died in Goochland County, Virginia about
1733/34. The Will of Matthew Cox of Goochland County does not support
this conclusion because he did not include a son named Matthew. Future
DNA testing may ultimately resolve this issue one way or another. The
Will of Matthew Cox who died in Goochland County, Virginia is included
Transcription of Mathew Cox Will
dated January 15, 1733 and recorded March 18, 1734 in Goochland County,
John W. Cox from the Goochland County Virginia Book 2, page 271
In the name of God Amen
Matthew Cox being in perfect sence and memory I do make and ordain this
to be my last will and testament in mannor and form following. Imprimis
I Give to my son John Cox one hundred acres of land with the plantation
their to belonging it being the land and plantation where I now dwell
after the decease or marriage of my wife Katharine Cox to him his heirs
and assigns for ever.
Item I Give to my said
son John Cox one young hors to be valued at bout five pounds and one of
my guns to have his choise to be delivrd to him when he comse to be att
Item I Send my said wife
Katharine Cox all the rest of my Estate negroes chattels and other
moveables during her natuall life.
Item I Give to three
daughters Winny Agathy and Judah twenty five pounds Current Cash to each
of them and each of them to have two years schooling to be out of the
Item I desire that if my
wife shall or dye my two sons William Cox and John Cox his heirs and
assigns shall equally divide my said negroes goods and Cattles between
them after my aforesaid three Daughters are paid their potions.
Item I constute make and
appoint my said wife Katharine Cox and my two Sons Wm Cox and John Cox
Executors Item I Mathew Cox desire the estate not to be put anprisement
of this my last will and testament Wittness my hand and Seal this 15 day
of Jenawary one thousand seventeen hundred thirty three.
Signed an Sealed
in the pressents
Mathew Cox Seal
Robert Carter. John
THE ELIAKIM AND NANCY LONG COX FAMILY
OF GREENE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
THIS HISTORY IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF
MR. T. ELMER COX (1907-1995)
Eliakim Cox, born c.
1790, was the son of Matthew Cox (1732-1807), a Revolutionary War
soldier who is buried in Kidwell Cemetery. Nancy Long was born in
Virginia about 1790, the daughter of Nicholas Long. Family tradition
has passed down through the generations that Nancy’s mother was a Native
American. Nancy Long was first married to George Graham on 9-26-1807.
Nancy had two children with George Graham. These sons were George
Graham Junior (born 3-29-1810) and James Graham (born c. 1808). After
George Graham Senior’s death, Nancy Long Graham remarried to Eliakim Cox
about 1813. Eliakim lived in District 12 near today’s Baileyton Road.
Eliakim Cox is listed in the 1830 Tax List of the Captain Samuel Gass
Company, where he owned a 152 acre farm on Roaring Fork.
Eliakim and Nancy Cox
are in the 1850 Greene County census. Their youngest three children
were still in their household. For reasons that are now lost to the
present day generations, after many years of marriage and eleven
children, Eliakim and Nancy had a bitter separation. It is believed
Nancy Long Cox then migrated with some of her children to Missouri. On
12-18-1854, Eliakim remarried to Elizabeth Redenhour. In 1857, Eliakim
sold his home in Greene County to Absolum Thompson. The house was a
fine, two-story home with flanking end fireplaces. A picture of this
fine old home is on page 89 of the book, Pocket Note History,
compiled posthumously from the notes and writings by T. Elmer Cox.
Sometime after 1857,
Eliakim and his second wife removed to nearby Hawkins County. Eliakim
Cox signed his Will on 12-13-1860. The Will was probated in Hawkins
County in September 1862. Perhaps because of the ill-parting of the
parents, Eliakim Cox disinherited all of his children except his
youngest son, Hugh. Ten children were named in the 1860 Will of
born on 12-13-1813. Ann married Cornelius “Neal” Hardin. Cornelius,
born 1-10-1809, was the son of John and Clarissa Newman Hardin. Ann and
Cornelius Hardin are in the 1850 Greene County Census. The Hardin
daughters were closely married into the Gass Family of northern Greene
County. Daughters Clarissa, Jane and Bethia Hardin married James A.,
John and Charles Gass. Cornelius and Ann Cox Hardin had 13 children:
(1) Nancy, born c. 1832, who apparently did not marry;
(2) “Clara” (Clarissa), born on 11-10-1833. Clarissa married
John Gass on 11-4-1856, marriage by John Kidwell, Justice of the Peace.
John Gass, born on 11-10-1830 was the son of John Gass (1791-1839) and
Polly McAmis Gass (1798-1856). Clarissa Hardin and her sister Bethirie
Hardin married brothers, John Gass and Charles Gass. Clarissa died in
childbirth on 5-15-1869. She and her infant are buried at Kidwell
Cemetery. Clarissa’s husband, John Gass died on 4-26-1914. They and
several of their children are buried at Kidwell Cemetery: Cornelious H.
Gass (1857-1882), Elender Gass (1862-1886), and Charles Gass
(1868-1896). (3) Jane, born on 10-20-1835, married James
A. Gass on 4-9-1857. James A. Gass, born on 4-7-1836 was the son of
Hezekiah Balch Gass (1791-1836), the son of John Gass Senior
(1758-1840). James A. Gass died on 4-13-1891. Jane Hardin Gass died on
5-22-1908. Both are buried at Cross Anchor with several of their
children: Sallie A. Gass (1858-1939), John F. Gass (1865-1884) and
George G. Gass (1859-1882). Jane and James had five children who died
in childhood and are buried in the Fortner Cemetery: Bethire
(1860-1872), Hezekiah B. (1862-1863), James A. (1867-after 1870—the
cemetery transcription gives James’ date of death as 9-7-1868 which is
incorrect), David S. (1870-1872), and Bruce B. (1873-1879). (4)
Bethia (Bethirie), born on 2-5-1838 married Charles Gass.
Charles Gass, born on 9-17-1836, was a brother of John Gass who married
Clarissa Hardin. Charles Gass died on 2-14-1891. Bethirie Hardin Gass
died on 8-17-1892. Both are buried at Kidwell Cemetery. (5) John,
born 1839, who married Malinda Kidwell (1842-1923) on 7-4-1861. They
had five children including: Robert (1862-1929); Charles (1866-1922);
and Lillian and Joseph Hardin, who had died before 1910. John Hardin
died in 1917. He and Malinda are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery.
(6) Mary Ann, born on 5-11-1842, died on 7-5-1851and buried
Kidwell Cemetery; (7) Elizabeth R., born on 10-15-1843,
who married John R. Long (1847-1906) on 5-24-1919. They had four
children, of whom only a daughter, Josie, was living in 1910. Elizabeth
and John R. Long are buried at the Hardin’s Chapel Methodist Church
Cemetery. This Church was the successor Church to the old Kidwell
Meeting House after it burned. (8) “Nelly” (Elender),
born c. 1846; (9) Margaret, born c. 1848; and (10)
Eliakim A., born on 11-12-1849. Eliakim A. Hardin inherited his
grandfather Eliakim Cox’s farm. Eliakim married Mary E. Carter
(1852-1937). They had ten children. Eliakim died on 11-26-1924.
Eliakim and Mary Cox are buried at the Hardin’s Chapel cemetery as are
several of their children. (11) Rebecca, born on
7-21-1851, who died on 5-29-1855 and is buried at Kidwell Cemetery;
(12) Annie, born c. 1854; and (13) Martha O.,
born c. 1856. Another person who is buried in the Kidwell Cemetery is
Catherine Hardin (1850-1889), the wife of Robert Powell Johnson
(1837-1891). The cemetery transcription has the notation “daughter of
Cornelius Hardin”. This is not correct. She was a daughter of Jacob
and Abigail Hardin according to the book Historic Greene County and
Its People, page 172, which is substantiated by the Will of Abigail
The Cornelius and Ann
Cox Hardin family lived on or near Roaring Fork in District 12 by
today’s Baileyton Road. This area is known today as the Hardin’s Chapel
Community. Cornelius Harden died on 8-18-1873. Ann Cox Hardin died on
4-19-1895. Cornelius and Ann Cox Hardin are buried in Kidwell Cemetery.
Cornelius Hardin’s parents are also buried there. The Hardin Family
became one of the most prestigious families in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Much information is given on this family in Historic Greene County
and Its People, pages 129-132.
The Kidwell Meeting
House burned in the late 19th Century. The Church was
re-established as the Hardin’s Chapel Methodist Church and a new
cemetery was begun. Subsequent generations of the Hardin and Cox
Families are buried in this cemetery as are many District 12 Families.
born on 1-9-1815. Matthew married Nancy Carter on 1-27-1841. Nancy,
born on 4-14-1814, was the daughter of Elisha and Peggy Anderson
Carter. Mathew and Nancy Carter Cox are found in the 1850 Greene County
Census. Their children were: (1) Elisha, born on
1-9-1842. He was the only son of Mathew and Nancy Carter Cox. Elisha
was a Civil War soldier serving in Co. D, 8th Volunteer
Infantry. He married Catherine Thompson on 9-9-1866, marriage by John
Kidwell, Justice of the Peace. Elisha and Catherine had eight children:
William A. born on 3-12-1868, died on 1-21-1929 buried at Hardin’s
Chapel; James H. born on 4-29-1871, died 3-15-1940 buried at Hardin’s
Chapel; Jessie Fean born on 12-21-1872, who died on 1-21-1875 and is
buried at Kidwell Cemetery; Matthew born on 12-24-1876, died on
3-14-1965 buried Hardin’s Chapel, the Father of Mr. T. Elmer Cox; Robert
Franklin born on 9-18-1879, died on 2-19-1936 buried at Cross Anchor
Cemetery; an infant who died on 2-7-1882 and buried at Kidwell Cemetery;
Ninnie Cox Dodd born on 5-21-1883, died on 2-12-1966 buried at Hardin’s
Chapel; and Ethel Cox Foshie, born on 9-21-1887, died on 12-4-1962
buried at Hardin’s Chapel. The children of Elisha and Catherine
Thompson Cox formed the nucleus of the well known Cox Family of the
Roaring Fork area of Greeneville, Tennessee. Elisha and Catherine were
the grandparents of Mr. T. Elmer Cox (1907-1995), the noted Greene
County Historian; Mrs. Nelly Mae “Nelle” Cox Carter (1909-2002), a
Greene County Genealogist; Mrs. Bertha Harmon (1910-1996), the author of
Falling Leaves of Appalachia; Mrs. Mary Fonda Cox Dixon
(1906-1991); and an adopted son, Mr. Jack Cox. Elisha Cox died on
5-18-1907. Nancy Carter Cox died on 8-17-1892. Elisha and Nancy are
buried in historic Kidwell cemetery. (2) Adeline, born
on 11-11-1845. Adeline was still in her parents’ household in 1880.
She married late in life to J. N. Holdbrook. Adeline witnessed the
capture of her Uncle William A. Cox (child #10) by Confederate soldiers
from her Father’s home. Adeline Cox Holdbrook died on 5-2-1896. She is
buried at Cross Anchor. (3) Margaret, born c. 1849, who
was also in her parents’ household in 1880; (4) Nancy,
born on 10-2-1852, who married William Swatzel (1857-1889). Nancy died
on 11-3-1895. She and her husband are buried at Hardin’s Chapel.
(5) Mary, died on 9-7-1859 and is buried at Kidwell cemetery.
Matthew Cox died on
4-14-1884. Nancy Cox died on 8-17-1892. Both are buried in Kidwell
born on 2-12-1816. Margaret Cox married James Johnson (1812-1899) on
4-10-1834, bond by James Graham and Dave Reynolds. James Johnson was
the son of John Johns(t)on (born c. 1788; died 1855), who was the son of
Revolutionary War Soldier Zopher Johnston Senior. James and Margaret
Cox Johnson had 11 children. In 1859, the family was the last of the
intermarried Cross Anchor families to migrate to Sullivan County,
Missouri. Margaret Cox Johnson died on 9-11-1862. James Johnson died
on 6-23-1899. James and Margaret Cox Johnson are buried in the
Campground Cemetery in Sullivan County, Missouri. For further
information please refer to the separate article on The James and
Margaret Cox Johnson Family.
born c. 1819. Martin married Malceny Myers on 1-14-1841. He married a
second time to Mary Jones on 5-19-1850. Martin’s 1850 household
included a daughter by his first wife: (1) Martha, born
c. 1845. Other children in his household were Martha Jones (born
c. 1838), Nancy A. (born c. 1840), Samuel J. (born c. 1842), and Rebecca
(born c. 1844). Because of the order of the children in the household,
the last four children may all have the surname of Jones. About
1851/52, Martin removed to Vernon County, Missouri. Martin and his
family are found in the 1860 Census of Vernon County. Martin’s children
with his second wife included: (2) Franklin, born c. 1851
in Tennessee; (3) a son, born c. 1853 in Missouri; and
(4) Joseph, born c. 1857. The Jones children were no longer
in Martin’s 1860 household.
Martin Cox was a Union
sympathizer in southern Missouri during the Civil War. He was murdered
by “bushwackers” in 1863. Martin may be buried in an unmarked grave in
the Cox Family Cemetery on his brother’s farm in Vernon County,
Missouri. At the present time it is not known what became of his
born c. 1821. Rachael married Moses Foster (1818-after 1880) on
10-25-1838, bond by John Foster and Elias Delashmet. Moses Foster was
the son of Robert and Mercy Johnston Foster. Mercy Johnston was a
daughter of Zopher Johnston Senior. Moses Foster served in the Civil
War with the 8th Regiment TN Infantry Company D. Moses and
Rachael Cox Foster remained in Greene County up through the 1870
census. They had 11 children. Rachael Cox Foster died between
1871-1879. It is not known where she is buried. By 1880, Moses Foster
and a few of his children and two young grandsons lived in Caldwell
County, North Carolina. For further information please refer to
the separate article on The Moses and Rachael Cox Foster Family.
born on 9-8-1824. Mariah married Joseph A. Foster (1820-1881) on
5-11-1843, bond by Ephraim Carter. Joseph A. Foster was also a son of
Robert and Mercy Johnston Foster. Joseph and Mariah Cox Foster remained
in Greene County. They had 10 children. Mariah Cox Foster died
sometime after the 1900 Census. She and her husband are buried at the
Cross Anchor Cemetery on Old Baileyton Road and Babbs Mill Road. For
further information please refer to the separate article on The Joseph
A. and Mariah Cox Foster Family.
7. Eliakim Junior,
born on 8-8-1826. Eliakim married Sarah Hale on 9-11-1849, bond by
Thomas Lane Senior. They removed to Vernon County, Missouri shortly
after their marriage. They had one child, (1) Archie G.,
born 7-29-1850. Sarah died on 2-14-1852. Eliakim Cox Junior remarried
to Louisa Dickson. With Louisa, Eliakim had five children: (2)
William H., born c. 1862; (3) Nancy C., born c.
1865; (4) Enoch A., born c. 1868; (5) Ruth Alice,
born c. 1871; and (6) Edwin J., born c. 1877. Eliakim
Junior was a prosperous farmer in Vernon County owning 800 acres of
land. He served in the Civil War under Colonel Hunter’s Command
(CSA). About 1887, the Vernon County Historical Association published
historical biographies written by the early pioneers. Eliakim provided
information for this book.
Eliakim Cox Junior died
on 8-31-1902. He and both of his wives are buried in the Cox Family
Cemetery on Eliakim’s farm near Eve, Vernon County, Missouri.
born c. 1825. “Cinda” married Riley Macken Johnson on 2-7-1841, bond by
John Foster, (Landon) Carter Johnson and Mitchell Delaschmit. Riley was
a son of Joseph and Elizabeth Cooper Johnston. Joseph Johnston was a
son of Zopher Johnston Senior. Riley and Cinda Johnson left Tennessee
in 1856 and migrated to northern Missouri, settling in Grundy County.
They had eight children. Riley died in 1882. Lucinda died after the
1880 census. Their burial place has not been located, although they are
most probably buried in unmarked graves in the Willis Family Cemetery in
Grundy County, Missouri. For further information please refer to
the separate article on The Riley and Lucinda Cox Johnson Family.
J., born c. 1829. Mary is in her parents’ 1850 household; yet
she is not listed in her Father’s 1860 Will. On 3-20-1853, Mary Cox
married Robert Anderson, bond by W. C. Willis. The marriage was
performed by John Kidwell, a Justice of the Peace who lived in District
12. Robert Anderson is in the 1853 District 12 Tax List. This family
is not found in the 1860 census. Because Mary was not named in
Eliakim’s 1860 Will, she was apparently deceased before 1860.
10. William A.,
born c. 1833. William married Rebecca Jane Brown on 5-18-1854.
Rebecca born on 6-23-1837 was the daughter of Harvey and Eleanor
(Malone) Brown. William was a soldier in the Civil War in the 8th
Regiment TN Infantry, Company D. After the War, the Adjutant General’s
Report for the 8th Tennessee Infantry lists William A. Cox as
a Deserter. As such, his widow, Rebecca, and three young daughters were
denied pension benefits. This horrific mistake took many years to
correct. Subsequent affidavits by fellow soldiers and officers proved
William A. Cox was an honorable soldier who had been taken as a prisoner
of war during the Atlanta Campaign. Upon his release, William returned
to Greene County to recruit new soldiers for his Company.
While visiting his
brother Matthew Cox, William was captured by Confederate Guerrillas led
by Rebel Captain William Fry. William was taken to nearby Washington
County where he was shot about 2-12-1865. Affidavits by Rebecca’s
father, Harvey Brown, and William’s brother-in-law, Cornelius Hardin,
stated they went to Washington County and disinterred William’s body.
Years later on 2-17-1886, William A. Cox received an Honorable
Discharge. William’s widow, Rebecca Jane Brown Cox, was deceased by
this time. The children of William A. and Rebecca Jane Brown Cox
were: (1) Nancy J., born on 6-2-1855, who married Peter
Luster; (2) Sarah Ann, born on 10-15-1860, who married
Alexander Dixon (Dickson); and (3) Mary Catherine, born
on 12-12-1863, who married John Stine. After the War William’s family
was destitute, and his widow lived with her parents in the Locust Grove
Rebecca Brown Cox died
on 1-15-1885 and is buried at the Cross Anchor Church Cemetery. The
burial place of William A. Cox is not known, although it is presumed he
was buried at either Cross Anchor Cemetery or in Kidwell’s Cemetery.
The story of William A. Cox is among the most sad and shameful stories
of the Civil War. For further information please refer to the
separate article on The Harvey and Eleanor Brown Family.
11. Hugh Douglas,
born on 6-10-1839. Hugh was living in his parents’ 1850 household. He
is identified as “the youngest son” in the 1860 Will of Eliakim Cox Sr.
Hugh was bequeathed his father’s farm if he would “….come and live upon
it….”. At the time of his Father’s death, Hugh Douglas Cox had removed
to Vernon County, Missouri. On 3-23-1860, Hugh married Sarah Hereford
in Vernon County. Hugh and Sarah had two children: (1) James
Albert, born on 1-9-1865; and (2) unnamed
child born in 1869 who died at birth. Sarah died with the birth
of her second child. She and the baby are buried in the Cox Family
Cemetery in Vernon County, Missouri. Hugh remarried to Rebecca J.
Lawrence. In the 1900 Census of Barton County, Union Township, Rebecca
Lawrence Cox stated she had two children, both deceased. One of these
children was (3) John W., born c. 1872, who was in their
1880 household. The (4) and last child of Hugh D. Cox is
not known and had died before 1900.
Hugh Douglas Cox died on
4-4-1921. He is buried with his second wife in Lake Cemetery in Lamar,
Bob Singleton a
descendant of Hugh Douglas Cox is a co-author of this article.
The 1887 autobiography
submitted by Eliakim Cox Junior to the Vernon County, Missouri
Historical Society stated his mother, Nancy Long Graham Cox, raised a
family of fourteen children to maturity. Her oldest two
children were by Nancy’s first husband, George Graham Senior. They are
George Graham Junior (born on 3-29-1810; died on 11-22-1875) and James
Graham (born c. 1808; died on 7-2-1880), who are both buried at the
Cross Anchor Church Cemetery. Nancy had 11 known children with her
second husband, Eliakim Cox. The 14th child of Nancy Long
Graham Cox is not identified as of this writing. It is unknown if this
child was fathered by Nancy’s first husband, George Graham Senior, or by
her second husband, Eliakim Cox. This child was not named in Eliakim
Cox’s 1860 Will and was apparently deceased at this time. Based on the
1830 Census, the 14th child was a daughter.
It would seem that after
so many years of marriage, the separation between Nancy Long Graham Cox
and Eliakim Cox alienated the children from their Father. By the time
of Eliakim’s death in 1862 half of his children had migrated to
Missouri. Eliakim disinherited all of his children except Hugh Douglas
It is not known where or
when Nancy Long Graham Cox died. It is believed she migrated to
Missouri with her children. Eliakim Cox died in Hawkins County,
Tennessee in 1862. His burial place is not known.
WILL OF “ELIAKENN” COX
WILLS OF HAWKINS COUNTY, TENNESSEE 1786-1864, VOLUME I, Page 133
(Spelling and punctuation unchanged)
“I, Eliakenn Cox, do
make and publish this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and
making void all other wills by me at any time made.
First. I direct that my
funeral expenses and all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as
possible, out of any money that I may die possessed of or may first come
into the hands of my hereinafter named Executor.
Secondly. I give and
bequeath to my wife Elizabeth Cox my farm for her own use. After the
death or marriage of my wife Elizabeth, I give and bequeath the said
farm to my youngest son Hugh Cox, provided he will come and live upon
it, and if he will not come and live upon the farm, then I give said
farm to my grandson, Eliacium Hardin.
Third – Twelve. I give
and bequeath to my following children one dollar each: Ann Hardin,
Mathew Cox, Margaret Johnson, Rachael Foster, Martin Cox, Mariah Foster,
Eliacuim Cox, Lucinda Johnson and William Cox. Said money to be paid by
my Executor as soon as may be convenient.
Lastly. I do hereby
nominate and appoint Daniel M. Sheffey Executor. In witness whereof I
do to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal this 13 day
of December 1860.
E. Cox (seal)
Signed, sealed and
published in our presence and we have subscribed our names hereto in the
presence of the Testator. This 13 day of December,
1860. Thos J. Lee “x”, his mark
Gale Walker “x”, his mark”
The Will was “proven” in
the Hawkins County Court in the September Term of 1862.