W. D. Bostick, Wdbostick@aol.com
125 Indian Lane
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Rev. 3/2002


This narrative presents information on the family of John Arnold, who died about 1830 in Madison County, TN. He apparently was a man of some means, since there was litigation over his estate for several years after his death. Fortunately, these court records (ca 1834) allow us to surmise some of his descendants and their relationships, including that for Eliza Arnold Prewett, wife of Levi Hall of Madison County, TN.

Name: John Arnold
Birth: (abt) 1748
Death: Abt 1830 in Tenn.
Father: Stephen Arnold b: ABT. 1717 in VA; d. 26 DEC 1793 in Mercer Co., KY.
Mother: Jane Finney b: BET. 1712 - 1720 in VA
Marriage 1 Jean (or Jane) Scott (see also end notes)
Married: 11 JUN 1782

Major John Arnold was born in Virginia, and migrated to Kentucky region (then a part of Virginia). He served in military units during the Revolutionary war, Indian wars, and the War of 1812. He was appointed as magistrate in Franklin Co. KY, and later to the State Legislature. He moved to Madison County, TN abt 1822, where he died on Sept. 2, 1830. His distinguished career is summarized in his obituary, appearing in the Jackson Gazette, Sept. 4, 1830:

Another revolutionary hero has sunk to his silent tomb, full of years and honors. Our venerable and highly respected fellow-citizen Major John Arnold is no more! He died at his residence, in this vicinity, Thursday morning after a protracted illness.
        The deceased was a native of Virginia, and at the commencement of the revolutionary war, he entered the service of his country, and continued to serve until the close of the war. He was among the first settlers of Kentucky, and lived thirteen years in the forts erected for the defense of the inhabitants, and on all occasions displayed that cool intrepidity for which he had rendered himself conspicuous in the war of the revolution. During the Indian war in Kentucky and on the north-west frontier he commanded a spy company, and such was his vigilance in partisan warfare, that he was known among the Indians as the "Black Wolf."
        After peace had been made with the Indians, he retired to his farm, near Frankfort, until the late war, when he again (at the age of sixty-two) entered the service, and was in all campaigns at the northwestern frontier, the last of which eventuated in the defeat of the famous General proctor, and the death of Tecumseh, at the battle of Thames. After the war ceased, unsolicited and unsought for, he was elected to the Legislature of Kentucky, from Franklin County. In 1822, he removed to this county, where he lived highly respected by all who knew him, and has left a numerous offspring to lament his loss.

The obituary notice above gives excellent biographical information for Mjr. Arnold, but does not tell us much about his family, who were prominent in Kentucky. Some information on his parents and family is given in "The Arnold Family Association of the South," Vol. IV, No. 2 (Winter 1973) [SUE ALEXANDER PAPERS, archived at http://searches1.rootsweb.com/usgenweb/archives/special/afas/volume4/vol4no2.text]:

Generation I STEPHEN(1) ARNOLD was born c1717/26, probably in Virginia. His parents are not known. His wife was Jane (sometimes written Jean) Finney, who was born about 1712 (in Virginia?), said to be daughter of Captain John or James Finney and Ann (Arnold?). She died about 1806 in Franklin County, Kentucky (her will is in that county). In 1752, Stephen Arnold received a Patent to land in Augusta County, Virginia on Taylor's Branch of Buffalo Creek, a north branch of the James River. This was in what later became Rockbridge County (formed in 1778). Stephen Arnold died after 6 December 1793 and before March 1794 in Mercer County, Kentucky (Will Book A pp. 159-60). Children of Stephen Arnold and Jane Finney:

  1. Stephen (2) Arnold born c1740, died before 1817; married Sarah Jones. (See p. 55)
  2. John (2) Arnold born c1742, died c1834, Tennessee; married Jane (Jean) Scott, (See p. 55)
  3. James (2) Arnold born c1744, Virginia; died 1809 Franklin County, Kentucky; married (1) Lucy or Marguerite Robertson; (2) Ann Berrisford, (See p. 55)
  4. Elizabeth (2) Arnold born c1746, Virginia, died 1799. Married Thomas Wilson.
  5. Jane (2) Arnold born c1748, Virginia, married James Ritchey (Ritchie, Ritchey).
  6. Sarah (2) Arnold born c1750, Virginia died 1807. Married Henry Gibson (who died 1801). Children: i. Jane Gibson, married 1799. ii. John Gibson, married 1796. iii. Betsy Gibson. iv. Sally Gibson.
  7. Abigail (2) Arnold born c1752, Virginia died 1793; married Alexander Armstrong 10 January 1781 in Mercer County, Kentucky.
  8. (Benjamin (2) Arnold, born c1754 Virginia.) Not mentioned in Stephen's will.
  9. (Benedict (2) Arnold, born c1756 Virginia.) Not mentioned in Stephen's will.

Later, p. 55 in Ms. Alexander's account: JOHN (2) ARNOLD, son of Stephen (1) Arnold and Jane Finney, Married on 11 June 1782 (1762?) to Jean Scott, daughter of George Scott. He died about 1834 in Tennessee. Children:

  1. Patsy (3) Arnold married 15 February 1817 James Theobold
  2. Sarah (3) Arnold married 14 January 1800 William Hogsett
  3. John (3) Arnold (Jr.).

The information (above) from Ms. Alexander does not include all of the children of John Arnold. Estate disputes after his death offer additional insight to his heirs. Madison Co. deed book 7, p.262-265 (see notes below) suggests that the children/heirs of Major Arnold also include Mary Arnold (married 13 Feb 1809 in Franklin Co. KY to Samuel Shannon), Abigail Arnold (married 5 Nov 1811 in Franklin Co. KY to Joel Prewett), and William Arnold. The latter is believed to be Major General William Arnold, one-time resident of Madison Co., TN (see notes below).


John Arnold in the Madison Co., TN Census (1830):

The elder John Arnold (Sr?) is abstracted under MA-84 for 1830. The eldest male in the household is 80-90 years of age (DOB abt 1740-1750). Also in the household are 3 other males: 1 age 15-20 (DOB abt 1810-1815), and 3 age 20-30 (DOB abt 1800-1810). There are a number of females in the household. The eldest female is 50-60 years of age (DOB abt 1770-1780); she could therefore be about 20-30 years younger than John. Assume that this is Jane Arnold, a dowager by 1834 court hearings. There are numerous other females in the John Arnold household: 1 age 0-5 (DOB abt 1825-1830); 1 age 10-15 (DOB abt 1815-1820); 1 age 15-20 (DOB abt 1810-1815); 1 age 20-30 (DOB abt 1800-1810).

There is a younger John Arnold enumerated separately. The younger John Arnold (Jr?) is abstracted under MA-111 in the Sistler census index for 1840. The eldest male is age 30-40 (DOB abt 1800-1810) - note that the 3 penultimate eldest males in the household for the 1830 census for "John, Sr" were each born between abt 1800-1810. Thus, this presumed "John, Jr" could be an elder son of the presumed "John, Sr." The eldest female in the 1840 household is also age 30-40 (DOB abt 1800-1810), and is presumably the wife of "John, Jr." They have 8 minor children in the household: 2 males, age 10-15 (DOB abt 1825-1830); 3 males age 5-10 (DOB abt 1830-1835); 2 males age 0-5 (DOB abt 1835-1840); and 1 female age 0-5 (DOB abt 1835-1840).


Notes on John Arnold's Civil Career:

L.F. Johnson, History of Franklin Co., KY (1912), p. 6: In May 1795, Gov. Shelby appointed John Arnold, Anthony Crockett, and others as Justices of the Peace (J.P.). p. 8: James Arnold, brother-in-law to Anthony and father of John & Stephen Arnold, all 3 were magistrates. (John Arnold was magistrate in 1809).

Klotter, J.C. (ed.), Genealogies of Kentucky Families, A-M, p. 22: (James Arnold and his Descendants) John Arnold represented Franklin Co. in the Kentucky Legislature in 1813.


Notes Re: Revolutionary War Service

Madison Co. TN Circuit Court Minutes 1821-1828, p. 58. The affidavit of Major John Arnold of the County of Madison and State of Tennessee made in writing & sworn to in open court in favor of Samuel Woods, of the County (of Shelby?) & State of KY, that he was Leut. In the continental Army (the member of the Regt not recollected but believed to be the 25th VA Regt..) that I knew the said Woods to be in the service at the month of the great Kinhawa on the Ohio River, where said Wood & myself served together 15 months or thereabouts, in the years 1775 & 1776 to the best of my recollection & belief, and I believe said Woods served faithfully during that time, and I knew him to be an officer & respected him as such. Witness my hand this 22nd October 1823. John Arnold.

Gwathney, Virginians in the Revolution, lists Arnold, John, Spy, Northwestern Territory List.

Clark, M.J. (1990), "American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796", Genealogy Publ. Co., Baltimore, MD, pp. 51ff, 81ff, 93ff: muster rolls for "a company of mounted spies and guides under the command of Captain John Arnold, Major William Price's Battalion, in the service of the United States, commanded by Major General Charles Scott" (1794). The roster includes Capt. John Arnold, Cpl. John Arnold, Pvt. William Crockett, etc., p. 93 refers to Maj. Gen. Charles Scott's Command, Corps of Mounted Kentucky Volunteers, Wayne's war, 1794, and includes Capt. John Arnold's Company of spies.


Re: Indian wars and War of 1812:

Green, K.M. (1985), The Kentucky Gazette 1801-1820, p. 192 (No. 38, Vol XIV, Tues. 21-Sept-1813, Vol. 27): a note regarding the Kentucky Volunteers mentions Major John Arnold.

"Roster of the Volunteer Officers & soldiers from Kentucky in the war of 1812-1815 (Frankfort, 1891). P. 159: Major John Arnold, Col. John Calloway's Regt., KY Volunteers, war of 1812.

S.K. Eddleman, "Kentucky Genal. Records & Abstr., Vol. 1. 1781-1839. P. 174: Mercer Co. KY Militia Officers:
John Arnold, recommended Jan-1791, commissioned Capt. 27-Jun-1791
Stephen Arnold, recommended Sep-1787, commissioned Capt. Nov 1787
Stephen Arnold, Jr., recommended Apr-1788, commissioned Lieut.

G.W. Rank (1872), History of Lexington, Kentucky, p. 246: (war of 1812): of one company, Captain John Arnold's riflemen, we could find no list whatever. p. 168: expeditions of 1791 (against Kickapoos): volunteers included John Arnold.

C.R. Staples (1939) History of Pioneer Lexington Kentucky 1779-1806, pp. 70-1: Events of 1791: the troops from Lexington who served in the campaign from Ft. Washington against the Indian towns on the Wabash returned to Lexington during the month of June (this included John Arnold).

Col. Bennett H. Yound (1903), The Battle of the Thames, in which Kentuckians defeated the British, French, and Indians, October 5, 1813. The Eighth Regiment (Calloway's) included Major John Arnold. The great Indian chief, Tecumsah, was killed at this battle.


Additional notes for JOHN ARNOLD:

M. L. Cook, Lincoln Co. Records, Vol. 1. (Note conflicting dates for bond/wedding):
p. 7: Bond for John Arnold to marry Jane Scott, with James McCown as surety, June 20, 1782. Consent by George Scott, father of the bride, July 19, 1783, witnessed by Robert Scott and James McCown.
p. 268: (Marriage Register) 6-12-1782: John Arnold (married) to Jane Scott (footnote: "taken from a compilation by John Bright in 1908").
p. 52; (Aug 19. 1783) Ordered that one tithe belonging to John Arnold, the one belonging to Stephen Arnold, the one belonging to Stephen Arnold, Jr., (etc.) be added to the tax list taken this year.
p. 115: Wm. McBrayer, John Arnold, Alexander Armstrong, and James McCoun, Jr., or any 3 of them, to view the best way for a road…
p. 132: Another road survey by General Scott's estate, included John Arnold and Alexander Armstrong. (Could this be Arnold's father-in-law?)


Madison County, TN, Deed Books, J. K. T. Smith, compiler (1995):
Madison Co deed book 7, p.262-265. In case held in Chancery Court, Carroll Co., Huntingdon, Tenn, styled JANE ARNOLD, JOEL B. PREWITT and wife ABIGAIL, JOHN ARNOLD, complaintants V. BRYSON B. TROUSDALE and others, defendants. "This case came on for final hearing upon the report of the Clerk and Master on this 6th day of August 1840 in the presence of counsel for the complainants as well as the defendants" and report was confirmed by the Court. SARAH HOGSETT, MARY SHANNON, SAMEUL (sic) ARNOLD, WILLIAM ARNOLD have received "by way of their ancestor/father/, JOHN ARNOLD an amount more than equal to their respective shares of the estate real and personal of their said ancestor, after bringing into hatchpot all they received with estate real and personal now remaining, and to make a partition of the real estate remaining including the dower of JANE ARNOLD the widow of the deceased, between the said complaintants JOHN ARNOLD, JR. and the said ABIGAIL PREWITT would not make the latter equal to the advancements made to the former, the Clerk and Master therefore directed the commissioners appointed by the said interlocutory decree to make partition of the real estate mentioned in the Bill into two equal parts between JOHN ARNOLD, JR. and the said ABIGAIL PREWITT, JOHN ARNOLD and JANE ARNOLD, three of whom after being duly sworn acted / and/ made report..." B.B. TROUSDALE, adm., charged the estate for filing answer to this Bill but Clerk and Master determined it was not valid as he had failed to make a settlement with the Madison County Court over a period of several years. The Commissioners, SAMUEL LANCASTER, THOMAS LACY, CLEMENT R. JAMESON divided the Negroes and land to these hrs., including 300 acres assigned to ABIGAIL PREWITT, wife of JOEL B. PREWITT. Reg Nov. 5, 1840.


Notes Re: (General William) Arnold:

Ref: S.C. Williams, "Beginnings of West Tennessee," Watauga Press (1930):
p. 228: (re: militia) [In 1825, there] was a battle royal for the major-generalship (regarded as a high honor) between two gallant soldiers – Col. R.H. Dyer and Col. William Arnold, both at the time residents of Madison Co. Arnold was elected and became the first Major General of the District. Alexander Bradford succeeded him in this post in 1836.
p. 233: (re: soldiers of the Revolution) Madison, TN: John Arnold, father of General William Arnold, died about Sept 1, 1830, age 82 (b. abt 1748). [Note: This matches well with the 1830 census for Madison County, TN, with the eldest male in the household being 80-90 years of age (DOB abt 1740-1750)].

Lucas, Obituaries from Early Tenn. Newspapers, 1794-1851. "Arnold, Gen. William of Tennessee, died in Velasco, Texas (from National Banner & Nashville Whig, Fri., Nov. 18, 1831).


Notes Re: Eliza Arnold Hall, granddaughter of Mrs. Jane (Scott) Arnold:

Genealogical Abstract from Will Book B, 1994-1914, Madison County, TN, abstracted by J. K. T. Smith (1994):
pp. 175-176. ELIZA A. HALL, Dec. 31, 1900-Sept 18, 1903. Son WILLIAM T. HALL "because of the tender kindness shown to me in my old age" since the death of my husb. LEVI HALL all personality and tract I live on, 82 acs CD 8, Madison Co. which I bought with money from my grandmother MRS. JANE ARNOLD's est and used by my husb. to buy this acreage. Son WILLIAM T. HALL, exec. Wits P.B. ROBINSON, S.J. EVERETT.


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