Tennessee Migration

4th-generation Simon
(son of John, son of Dennis II, son of Dennis I)

Simon and his wife Samford First had three children between 1775 and 1780 in North Carolina, in Craven or Duplin counties.

  • Dennis b. c1775
  • Samford b. c1777
  • Mary b. 1780, North Carolina

Their childbearing years were, of course, in particularly tumultuous times as the American Revolution was unfolding. North Carolina and the other British colonies became the 13 states of the newly formed United States of America. In the midst of all of this, Samford died in Duplin County between 1780 and 1790.

Simon Remarries – Moves to the Back Country

After the death of Samford, Simon married Ann Snell and, some time thereafter, they moved over the Appalachian Mountains, deep into the “back country” of the state of North Carolina, to a place along the Cumberland River about 10 miles east of that which is now known as Nashville, Tennessee. Simon’s children, Dennis, Samford, and Mary,  from his deceased first wife, Samford First. Dennis married Winifred Green on October 19, 1799 in Davidson County, Tennessee, so the move occurred prior to that date. He is also listed as one of 2,232 free male citizens in the 1812 census of Nashville. He is designated there as a member of Capt. Bell’s Militia. He is also listed as on the tax assessment of 1816 as an inhabitant of District 3, south of the Stone’s River and bordering Rutherford County in southeastern Davidson County (map below). Dennis’ sons, Jesse and Green, were born in 1802 and 1807 respectively, in Davidson County.

British Territorial Expansion 1763-1774

By Jon Platek – Own work by uploader, base map used is found here, uploaded by User:Roke, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

“Control” over this land was was ceded by the French to the British only a couple of decades earlier in 1763, as a result of the French and Indian War.  North Carolina back country (now Tennessee) was a relatively small part of a vast land bordered by the Apalachicola River and Appalachian Mountains and Quebec on the East, the Gulf of Mexico on the south, the Mississippi River on the West, and the Canadian wilderness on the north. The war also left the formerly French territory west of of the Mississippi in Spanish control, 150 miles away. Many of the indigenous people in the “Indian Reserve” area migrated westward to minimize contact with the British. Others, most notably the Acadians, were forcibly moved to New Orleans and Haiti.

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