Transcribed by Melody Carter
There has to be a starting point so ours will be a legend given me by Mrs. Grace P. FONVILLE of Jackson, Tenn. Mrs. Fonville who is descended from another branch of this same Petty family sent me the legend in a letter some years ago. According to this, the origin of the name PETTY is Saxon and came to Normandy with William the Conqueror. The one who received the sur-name for the performance of some deed or for some personal characteristic (That being the manner of receiving a sur-name) had the name PETTITT conferred on him. Later the name took on many different forms of spelling, among them being PETIT, PETTIS, PETITE, PETTUS, PETTYE, PETTIE, PETTEY, and PETTY. My father always insisted that the correct way was “PETTEY” - but in searching wills, deeds and other records of our family alone I have found the name used four different ways.
Continuing with the legend - it states that the “Arms” were bestowed in 1200 A.D. (The one pictured in this book was conferred on Sir William PETTY of England centuries later than that.) Another notation states that in 1188 Sir William La PETITE entered Ireland with Sir Hugh De LACY and was granted the Baroney of Magheyd in County Westmeath, anciently called the Baroney of Molygard. In 1188 Sir William defeated the Irish at Meath.
1190-1191 he was Lord Justice or Governor, of Ireland. In Pitt’s administration a Sir William PETTY was Chancellor of the exchequor in England. I have more about the family in the British Isles, but having set down enough to show its origin I think our chief concern is with the family after it appeared in America.
The first I was able to find was from notes made by Miss Katherine REYNOLDS in her study of North Carolina and Virginia records. Thomas (PETIT) PETTY who married Katherine MORRIS of Major George MORRIS and wife Eleanor of New Kent Co., Virginia. They lived in Farnham Parish, Rappahannock Co., Virginia and Thomas Petty died there in 1663 leaving one daughter Dorothy, and one son born posthumously in May – 1664. Dorothy married James FUGETT. Thomas PETTY’s widow, Katherine MORRIS PETTY married John Long and had a daughter Catherine who first married a TUNSTALL and then a WYATT. Proof for this is found in Tyler’s magizine Vol. 21 – page 241in an article by Geo, H. S. KING: “Memorial to Henry Fox, King Williams Co., Virginia.” In chapter headed: “TUNSTALL-WYATT-LONG-MORRIS.” Major MORRIS patented 1,000 acres of land in Rappahannock and New Kent counties. Major Geo. MORRIS and Mr John LONG received a land patent for 1,600 acres July 29, 1667. On April 1, 1685 Major MORRIS conveyed his half interest in this 1,600 acres to the youngest children of his daughter Katerine MORRIS PETTY – namely Thomas (PETTIT) Petty (1) and his half sister Catherine LONG.
I - Thomas PETTY, son of Thomas PETTY and Katharine MORRIS, born May 1664, Essex (Old Rappahannock) Co., Virginia, died Essex Co., Va. in 1720 (Will pro May 17, 1720). He was Capt. of the Colonial Militia (Dragoon), member of the Council of James City, Va. and in 1714 was sheriff of King and Queen Co., Va. He married Rachael WILSON. His will mentions wife Rachael and six children: George, Thomas, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Rachael and Mary.
II - His son Thomas PETTY born about 1683 married Catherine GARTON, daughter of John and Martha GARTON, in Richmond Co., Va. in 1702. Thomas PETTY'S will pro. Orange Co., Va. May 24, 1750 mentions children: John, Thomas, William, James, George, Rebecca, and Martha PETTY and Mary WRIGHT. (I have the names of most of the families of these children of Thomas PETTY and Catherine GARTON but to follow through with all of these would make this work too voluminous - so we trace here only what we believe to be our own direct line.)
III - John PETTY, son of Thomas PETTY and Catherine GARTON, married Rebecca SIMS, daughter of Thomas SIMS and Rebecca HARAALSON (daughter of Paul Haraalson), in Richmond Co., Va. in 1730. John PETTY died in 1770. His will pro. Sept. 27, 1770 (Will Bk. 2 - 1774-1778), mentions wife Rebecca and children: Thomas (oldest son), Francis, Abner, Luke, George, Zachariah, and John PETTY, Alzira FORD, Anne RANSDAL, Tabitha EDWARDS, Sarah CORLEY, Rebecca BOSTON, Susannah HAWKINS and Jemima BOSTON. It also mentions grandaughter Ann FORD and son-in-law William RANSDAL to whom he left the family Bible. As in other cases I have neither time nor space to follow through with all of these - though I would like it well!
IV - Thomas PETTY, oldest son of John PETTY and Rebecca SIMS, born in Va. about 1731- died in N.C. Will dated Aug. 6, 1766 - pro. 1769 Orange Co., N.C. Mentions wife but not by name and children: Reuben PETTY under age in 1766, Thomas PETTY also under age in 1766. John PETTY and Martha PETTY all under age.
V - John PETTY, son of Thomas PETTY, and under age in 1766 was born about 1756, died 1837. His surviving widow was Martha SANDERS. John was a soldier in the American Revolution. He served from Pittsboro District, N. C. Remembered serving under both Capts, Clark and Ghoulston. Recalled being in the battle of Cane Creek, N.C. and Lindley's Mill 1781. John PETTY had twelve children and when he died all except three (James, Stephen and Elizabeth) lived in another state. Not having exact birthdates we are presuming that Stephen was the oldest son, at any rate, he seems to have devoted time and attention to his father in his old age and it was Stephen who administered the estate, advertising for the absent children. Children of John PETTY:
1- Stephen PETTY born 1774 - died 1850. Dates on tombstone in cem. just outside Pittsboro, N. C. This Stephen PETTY is the direct ancestor of Miss Katharine REYNOLDS of Houston, Texas and more pages will be devoted to him later on in this book.
2- James PETTY born 1786 married Mary BINGHAM. They are buried in Cool Cem., Lee Co., N.C. and have descendants in Oklahoma and Texas.
3- Thomas PETTY (This is our Thomas) born about 1786 - married Wake Co., N.C. Feb. 11, 1811 to Lydia (MAINARD) MAYNARD born 1795 in North Carolina- died 1862 at Stonewall, Tenn.
4 - William PETTY born 1780 in N.C. married Lavinia DILLARD and they migrated to Tenn. about 1813. They appear in the census for Smith Co., Tenn. in 1820. More about him later on.
5 - Joseph PETTY born in N.C. before 1790, also was in Smith Co., Tenn. but have been unable to
trace him further.
6 - Ambrose PETTY born in North Carolina before 1786. No further trace of him. We know only that
he was not in North Carolina at the time of his father's death.
7 - Tapley PETTY - no trace of him. Numerous sons and grandsons of his brothers have had his
name but that is all I know about him.
8 - Sally PETTY - nothing about her.
9 - Elizabeth PETTY married Elijah SORRELL and there is some evidence that she and her family were in Tennessee, but after her father's death.
10 - Nancy PETTY born about 1794 married Henry PICKARD and they, too, were in Tenn.
11 - Polly PETTY born in N.C. married MAINOR - first name unknown- and they had four children: John, Jess, James and Elizabeth Mainor. That was all I could learn about them.
12 - Jesse PETTY born between 1780-1790 was also in Tenn.
3- Thomas PETTY born about 1786 in N.C. married in Wake Co., N.C., Feb 11, 1811 to Lydia (MAINARD) MAYNARD born in N.C. 1795. The marriage record is to be found on page 400 of "Wake County Marriages" in the North Carolina State Library at Raleigh, N.C. and gives Gibson MAINARD as the bondsman and William HILL as a witness. This, of course, is (3) a record of the purchase of the marriage license. I believe, but cannot prove, that Gibson MAINARD was Lydia's father. He shows as having paid tax on 300 acres of land in N.C., Wilkes County. A Gibson MAINARD is in Tenn. by 1830. Lydia (MAINARD) MAYNARD had a sister Serena MAYNARD who married Allen HULL, distinguished statesman from Tenn. He was Sec. of State under Franklin D. ROOSEVELT.
Thomas PETTY and Lydia MAYNARD had two daughter and eight sons. I have tried very hard to find out something about those two daughters but know only their names - not even where they were born. I think their brothers must have loved them for several PETTY daughters were given the names of these two girls.
1-3 Martha Emmaline PETTY and 2-3 Elizabeth PETTY.
3-3 - William PETTY born 1814 in N.C. married Elizabeth (Betsy) DUNLAP. He was the oldest son.
4-3 - Atlas PETTY born 1815 in N.C. married a woman named Nancy ----- and that is all I could find about him.
5-3 - Balaam Baldwin PETTY born 1816 N.C. married Rachael A. McKEE.
6-3 - Henderson B. PETTY born in N.C. 1819 - married Nancy Pryor GRESHAM about 1836 Tenn.
7-3 - Thomas PETTY born in N. C. 1822 - married twice- 1st to Mary ROYSTER- 2nd to Elizabeth BUSH. He was a Confederate cavalryman with Gen. Nathan Bedford FORREST.
8-3 - John Tapley PETTY born N.C. in 1827- married Aug. 22, 1850 in Smith Co. Tenn. to Lucinda PIPER. Before his marriage he had lived in the home of his brother (my grandfather) Henderson B. PETTY- but after his marriage I lost him completely.
Between the years 1827-1834 Thomas PETTY and his wife Lydia move the family across the mountains into Tenn. where two more sons were born.
9-3 - Winship Blackstone PETTY was born in Tenn. Nov. 22, 1834. He married Aug. 23. 1863 to Charlotte S. GREER. Their's must have been a war wedding for Winship B. PETTY organized a Co. of Confederate infantry known as PETTY Co. and served from beginning to end of that most "uncivil" war. (4)
10-3 - Stephen PETTY - youngest son, born July 20, 1838 in Tennessee. He was twice married - 1st to Jane WOOD 2nd to Jane ALLEN. He was a soldier in the Confederate Cavalry.
3-3 - William PETTY born in North Carolina in 1814, oldest son of Thomas PETTY and Lydia MAYNARD, died in a hospital in Nashville, Tenn. about 1870 - at any rate, when his youngest childrend were small. He was married to Elizabeth (Betsy) DUNLAP born in N.C. in 1821. She was of Scotch descent, dau. of Alexander and Margaret DUNLAP. William PETTY and Elizabeth DUNLAP were married in Dekalb Co., Tenn. and all their children were born there. The family moved to Smith Co., Tenn. where many of his descendants still live.
a-3 - Alexander PETTY born in Dekalb Co., Tenn. in 1840. He served in the Union Army in the War Between the States and after the war was over and he came home to the family in Tenn. he found himself very unpopular for his relatives and most of his neighbors were staunch Confederates. Two of his brothers had been in the Confederate Army all the way and in that beaten, unhappy land nobody was in a very forgiving mood. Alexander PETTY went away again- it was said to the West- However, I think he only went to one of the East Tenn. Counties where there was strong Union sentiment. He is in the 1880 census of Dekalb Co. with wife Charlotte ------ and children: Rachael born 1862, Callie born 1865 and James born 1869.
b-3 - Thomas PETTY born 1843 in Dekalb Co. Tenn. (Almost every son of Thomas and Lydia had a son named Thomas- and they in turn! No wonder there are so bewildering many.)
c-3 - Newton PETTY....Will return to him later. (See page 8)
d-3 - Samantha PETTY born 1848- died Oct. 14, 1918. She was married to Louis KIESSHAUR and had at least three children; 1-d- Louis, 2-d- Herman, and 3-d- Mary. Louis KIESSHAUR died in 1900. Herman was killed in a mine explosion in Texas and Mary married Alfred KENNEDY and had seven children: Althea, Claud, Raymond, Roy, Lillie, Evelyn and Minnie. After Louis KIESSHAUR Sr. died Samantha married Richard DILLEHAY. They had no children. I wish I had more about his family- my account of them is so sketchy. (5)