The Thomas Family of
Scott County, Tennessee
(Compiled By Louise Carson)
EMILY had four girls: ERIE (1891); SARAH E. (1893); HESTER (1895); and MANDY (1899). The home place was on Cross Street in Oneida. The youngest daughter, MANDY PARKER, lived there until her death a few years ago. The house was filled with antique furniture and was a beautiful home.
JOHN LAXTON, born November 12,1866, married PARAZIDA CHAMBERS, born April 13, 1872. They were married September 11, 1890. Their children were MARTHA (1891-1974); OSIE (1893-early 1900s); LEVADA LAXTON (1895-1975); WILLIAM SHERMAN (1898-1987); and ALVIN (II) (1899). After PARAZIDA died, JOHN married SARAH HAMMOCK. Their children were CLAUDE and GOLDIE. SARAH married G. HAMMOCK after JOHN died.
JOHN and PARAZIDA made their home at Brushy Fork on Buffalo Creek. Their daughter MARTHA married ANDY CARSON. Their children were: ANDY, LONZO, PRINCE and DEXTER CARSON. Their daughter LAVADA married JOHN M. CARSON and they had seven children: ANNIE MAE, ODELL, OVIE, ARZO, ARVIL and SYLVIA. ARZO CARSON has recently retired as Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He practiced law continuously in Scott County from 1952 until 1979, when he assumed his duties as TBI Director. He had built a reputation as a highly successful prosecutor during his tenure as District Attorney General in this area prior to his appointment to the state post. WILLIAM SHERMAN LAXTON (18981974) was a teacher in Scott County's schools for 43 years. (Laxton information from Laxton stories in Scott County Tennessee And Its Families and from the Independent Herald newspaper, as well as Scott County records and Terry and Carson family research).
The second daughter of ABNER and REBECCA THOMAS was MARY (POLLY), born about 1828. She was the second wife of MOSES LAY. He was a widower with five children. He owned a large amount of land including a farm on Braden Gap, the Berry Lay farm, and the Rock House farm of about 204 acres. He bought the last from THOMAS CHAMBERS for $500 about 1845. Moses was born 1818.
The children of MOSES and POLLY LAY were: RACHEL (1857); THOMAS (1860); JAMES W. (1862); MARTHA (1865); WILLIAM ABNER (1867); and CALVIN OZZIAS (1869). The children by his first wife, DELILA ADKINS, were: NANCY (1840); JUNE (1842); SARAH (18A3); JOHN (1845); PARIZIDIA (1848); and WINNIE (1850). The 1860 census of Scott County lists all of the first wife's children except NANCY living with MOSES and his second wife POLLY THOMAS. Also listed are the first two children of POLLY: RACHEL (1857) and THOMAS (1860).
There are two accounts in the Lay Family History of RACHEL LAY. The first one: RACHEL DELILA LAY, born May 25, 1857, daughter of MOSES LAY and wife MARY POLLY THOMAS, married FRANCIS MARION CHAMBERS, born December 19, 1857. Their children: MARY LASSEE FEE; JERRY J. MOESE LEONARD; Doctor JACOB; DAVINE TEE; L.A.; IDA MAE; STERLING ALONZO; NORRIE; and McKINLEY. F.M. was a farmer and Baptist minister for 60 years. He preached and pastored churches in Oneida, Huntsville, Robbins, Norma, Paint Rock, Bull Creek, Sugar Grove and Stinking Creek. Most of the children stayed in the vicinity. DAVINE TEE became a medical doctor and lived in Norma. As all doctors all, he was well known and did a very great service to his fellow man.
The second account of RACHEL LAY is also from the Bible record of LYDIA LAY. She records, "RACHEL married JOHNNIE ADKINS, a father to PETER and CHURCH ADKINS. THOMAS LAY (1860) married ELIZABETH ADKINS. LYDIA BRADEN married OZIAS LAY, youngest son of MOSES."
There is a record of the marriage of RACHEL D. LAY to FRANCIS MARION CHAMBERS, Jr. Jan. 21, 1875. I do not find a record in the Scott County marriage records of RACHEL LAY married JOHN ADKINS. However, we know that some marriages did not get recorded.
MOSES LAY died on Buffalo Creek on May 3,1886 and is buried across from the "Little" MARION CHAMBERS farm. Lay information is taken from the Lay Family History by ARLY LAY and is copied from the Bible records of LYDIA LAY, who was the wife of OZIAS LAY, youngest son of MOSES and POLLY LAY. She adds a note saying, "His widow married Old BILL COOPER, Uncle GEORGE COOPER's father."
The will of MOSES LAY, dated 9 Oct. 1885, probated 7 June 1886:
To my son OZIAS LAY -- on condition that he remain with me and my wife MARY LAY -- and provide for us during our natural lives, a comfortable living and support. To each and all of my children both by my first and second wife, except my son CALVIN OZIAS LAY and my minor son WILLIAM ABNER. Wife MARY LAY is nominate executrix. (County Court Minutes, 1885-1888, pp. 126-127).
Notes -- Chambers information from Nanna Phillips. All information not included here -- see County Court Minutes listed.
The third daughter of ABNER and REBECCA THOMAS was PRISCILLA. Born in 1830 she was married to SAMUEL CECIL, who was the eldest son of JAMES CECIL. However, there is no record of them in the early census records of Scott County. There were two children, BATY CECIL, born 1850, and JANE CECIL, born April 1851. He must have died sometime in late 1850.
In the County Court minutes of January 1851 it is recorded: "It is ordered that JAMES CECIL be appointed guardian for minor heirs of SAMUEL CECIL, Deceast". The time of his death or number of heirs is not mentioned.
The first listing of PRISCILLA is in the 1870 census of Scott County. She is listed as 44 years old, living with her son, BATY, age 20 years. JANE is not listed with them.
WILDA TERRY in her story in the Scott County family history book of "Judge BATY CECIL" says he is the son of SAMUEL CECIL and wife PRISCILLA THOMAS. She says he was born in 1850 and was married to POLLY BUTTRAM, daughter of BAILEY and LUCINDA BUTTRAM. Their five sons were:
· JOHN (1875-1961) moved to Indiana and was the father of GEORGE CECIL of New River who married MARGUERITE HAIL and lived in the Old Cecil Home.
· JOSEPH SAMUEL CECIL (1878-1940). Spanish American War veteran, regular Army career. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for exceptional bravery. New River Bridge (U.S. 27) is named for him.
· THOMAS CECIL, also a career Army officer, lived in Danville, Kentucky in retirement.
· HENRY BARTON CECIL (188-1933), Navy Air Force in World War I, Commander CECIL lost his life in the dirigible "Akron" disaster of April 4, 1933.
· Dr. JAMES CECIL (1893) served as captain in WW I, as major in WW II, and retired from Patton (California) State Hospital in 1955.
Their father, BATY CECIL, served in the Civil War, 7th Tennessee Mounted Infantry; he served as sheriff of Scott County 1882-1886; Scott County Judge 19021910; Tenn. House of Representatives 18898-1891; Tenn. State Senator 18871889 and again 1913-1915; passed Tennessee Bar Examination in 1887, practicing law for over 40 years.
The F.B. DUNCAN story as told by Judge JOE DUNCAN of Knoxville (Scott County Tennessee And Its Families) lists his father, FLEM B. DUNCAN, as son of EMANUEL DUNCAN (1849-01913) and wife JANE CECIL DUNCAN (1851-1936). EMANUEL was the son of HENRY DUNCAN and his first wife, CATHERINE THOMPSON. JANE CECIL DUNCAN was the daughter of SAMUEL CECIL and wife PRISCILLA THOMAS CECIL. FLEM B. DUNCAN married CASSIE LEE, a school teacher. They were the parents of 12 children, among them was FANNIE HELEN FRAZIER, R.N., second wife of Dr. FRAZIER of Huntsville and Oneida; and Congressman JOHN DUNCAN, Sr., and JOE DUNCAN, lawyer and judge. JOHN was also mayor of Knoxville before becoming Congressman.
The fourth daughter of ABNER THOMAS was JANE (1830-1908). She was married to MILTON TERRY (1834-1904), son of JOSIAH TERRY and NANCY STEPHENS TERRY. MILTON was a large land owner in the area now known as Oak Grove or N. Oneida. He gave or sold a home place to each of his children in this area.
The children of MILTON and JANE TERRY were: AMANDA; REBECCA (married RILEY JEFFERS); SALINA; JOSEPH; JANE (married EWELL DUNCAN); NANCY ANN (married W.C. LITTON); ALVIN (married (1) JANE DAVIS and, (2) NELLIE SMITH); JOHN MARION (married ELIZZA BROWN); MILTON E. (married (1) SARENDA LITTON (2) EMMA TAYLOR (3) ANNA ADKINSON); WILLIAM ABNER (married ROSETTA LITTON). (ALVIN's second wife, NELLIE SMITH, was a granddaughter of ISAAC THOMAS, son of SARAH THOMAS, whose story is told in the first part of the Thomas story).
JOHN MARION TERRY taught school as a young man, brought the first surveying books to Scott County and taught many to survey. He served one term as State Representative in the 1920s. He was very interested in family history and did extensive research in 1942. He and ALVIN and MILTON E. had the contract to build the road up New River Hill and north, now known as Highway 27. JOHN's youngest son, Lt. Col. WM. H. TERRY, spent 32 years in the military: "A professional soldier, highly respected by his
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 9, No. 3 – Spring 1998
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