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

Madison County TN Families

Joel Bird Prewitt (b. abt 1784) and his family migrated from Franklin Co., Kentucky to Madison Co., TN, before 1840, probably along with his father-in-law, Major John Arnold.

In late 18th century Kentucky, there were many "Joel Prewetts" (and other spelling variations, e.g., Prewitt, Pruitt, etc). The most probable attribution for the parents of Joel B. Prewett is the Revolutionary War Veteran, Benjamin Byrd Prewett (abt 1753-1833), and his wife Sarah Hurt. (Byrd Prewett’s brother, Col. Joseph Prewett, also had a son named Joel, but that oft-married Joel Prewett migrated to Howard Co., MO). In July, 2001, Mr. Richard A. Prewitt (editor of semi-annual newsletter of the Pruitt, Prewitt, Pruett family and author of Byrd Pruitt & Nancy Dyer, Their Descendants") wrote to W. D. Bostick:

Joel Bird Prewitt b. 1784 is the right age and in the right place to be the first son of Bird Prewitt of Jessamine Co., KY. All we know about Byrd’s son is that he is said to have moved to Southern Kentucky"

1813 – Joel B. Prewitt enlisted at Great Crossing, Scott Co., KY, to serve 6 months, but after 2 months was returned. Jacket cover no. 13659 or 73659 states Joel served in Capt. Ellison’s Company from May 20, 1813 to August 15, 1813...

1851, Feb. 18 – Joel B. Prewitt, age 67 (b. abt 1784) of Madison County TN applied for a pension. He served in Capt. Jacob Ellison’s Company of the Mtd. Vol. of Col. Richard M. Johnson from May 20, 1813 to Aug. 15, 1813. He received bounty land warrant 31303-40-50.

I checked the 1820 and 1830 KY & TN Census for Joseph-Joel but could not identify him. The 1820 Franklin Co., KY Census has a Joel Prewitt, but he and his wife were listed as age over 45, but they had 1 son 10-16 and 4 daughters under 10.

No further record on Joel. I could not find him in 1850 Census. Perhaps he was living with one of his daughters.


1840 census Madison Co. TN, p. 71: Joel B. Prewitt – 4 daughters but in 1843 (court case) – 3 daughters named in estate: Marietta Hogsitt, Martha C., and Elizabeth (Eliza?). On Nov. 3, 1841 – Marietta Prewitt m. James H. Hogsitt, Madison co., TN. The fourth daughter may have been Nancy Jane Prewitt m. Benjamin T. Norton in Madison Co. TN on Oct 7, 1841, and possibly died before 1843. Then there was a Sarah Prewitt m. Nathan Vick in Madison Co. TN on Jan 5 1843. Either of these could have been daughters of Moses H. Prewitt also in Madison co. TN at that time; Moses H. Prewitt was a nephew of Byrd Prewitt of Jessamine Co., KY.

(Richard also lists several other Prewitts of Franklin Co., KY, where Joel B. Prewitt married Abigail Arnold).

Joel married Abigail Arnold, dau. of Major John Arnold:
Marriage Records of Franklin County, Kentucky 1790-1815 Volume I
Name: Joel Prewitt
Spouse: Abigail Arnold
Marriage Date: 05 Nov 1811

Joel B. Prewett does appear in the 1840 and 1850 Tennessee census (Madison Co.):

1840 Madison Co. TN census: MA-71
1 (50-60) - Joel (b. 1780-1790)

1 (5-10) - (b. 1830-1835) – probably Eliza b. abt 1835 (1870 census) to 1838 (1860 census);
1 (15-20) - b. 1820-1825 (this could be Martha, b. abt 1819, from 1850 census);
2 (20-30) - b. 1810-1820 (one of these is probably Marietta, b. abt 1821);
1 (50-60) - Abigail? (b. 1780-1790)

By 1850, after the death (abt 1840-1843) of his wife Abigail, Joel and his surving minor children were living in the household of his daughter, Marietta Prewett Hogsett:

Madison Co., TN Census 1850, p.281
Hagsett , J.H., 32 (b. abt 1818); Marietta 29 (b. abt 1821); Mary A. 6 (b. abt 1844); Catherine 4 (b. abt 1846); John 2 (b. abt 1848); Joel B. Prewett 66 (b. abt 1784); Martha C. (Prewett) 31 (b. abt 1819); Eliza (Prewett) 16 (b. abt 1834); KY KY, Ma-923-562.