Researching Jeremiah Campbell Sr., Ancestor #2/52

Here is the main post for Jeremiah Campbell Sr. (1762-1843), Ancestor #2/52

Jeremiah in the Records

1762 | Jeremiah was born somewhere on 15 Dec., probably in either Virginia or Scotland. So far, there is absolutely zero–ZERO–recorded documentation at this time of Jeremiah’s place of birth, despite what is posted in about 200 family trees on Ancestry and despite the information included in the accepted 1924 and 1931 DAR applications for Jeremiah Campbell.

From a typewritten document found in Jeremiah’s pension application, dated 8 Dec 1932, in answer to a query about the records of James and Jeremiah Campbell, “pensioners of the Revolutionary War, of Carter County, Tennessee, under Act of 1832. Their histories follow”:

The data furnished herein are obtained from the papers on file in Revolutionary War pension claim, S.3131, based upon the military service of Jeremiah Campbell in that war.

Jeremiah Campbell was born December 15, 1762, place not stated. . . . He died October 4, 1843. There are no data as to his family.

1766 | Age 4. Jeremiah’s brother Isaac was born. I have seen no evidence to date about his place of birth.

1771 | Age 9. Jeremiah’s brother Zachariah Jr. was born in Virginia (according to the 1850 census). If Jeremiah was 9 years old, then it’s reasonable to assume that he was living with his parents, Zachariah and Leah, in Virginia.

1775 | Upper East Tennessee became Washington District, North Carolina.

1777 | Age 15. Jeremiah’s sister Hannah was born in Virginia (according to the 1850 census). If Jeremiah was 15 years old, then logic says that 15-year-old Jeremiah would have been living in Virginia also.

1777 | Designation of Washington District changed to Washington County The first courts were held in 1778. I’ve found Zachariah Campbell in Washington County–about 25 entries.

1779 | Age 17. Jeremiah’s father, Zachariah Campbell, bought 100 acres of land in Washington County (then North Carolina), entered 12 Sep 1779 and registered 5 Dec 1797. It’s impossible to say when Zachariah and his family began living on the land in Washington County.

1780 | Age 18. In October, Jeremiah enrolled as a volunteer

in the County of Washington, then the state of North Carolina (now Tennessee) under Col. John Sevier, Valentine Severe the Captain of the Company, and was commanded by Gen’l. McDowel and Col. Campbell which tour was for three months, and was marched to the point where was the battle well known by the Kings Mountain Battle in which this deponent was, and continued to serve out the term of three months for which he enrolled, & was discharged by Col. Sevier at the Catawba [River] in N. Carolina, which he has long since lost [i.e., lost his discharge papers].

1781 | Age 19. September, again enrolled as a volunteer.

His second service was also by enrollment as a volunteer for six months at the same place under Col. Sevier, Captain Landon Carter was his Captain which was early in the month of September 1781 and joined Gen’l Marion on [illeg] river in the state of South Carolina, that on his march he [illeg] over the Yellow Mountain & through the State of North Carolina entering S Carolina [illeg] Charlottesville; was in same [illeg] engagements in which seventy British were taken prisoners on the waters of [Ashley?] river and was in [illeg] at the time of Cornwall’s defeat, encamped on the [Waxaw creek?] at the time, and saw the [illeg] [illeg] in from Lt. Washington to Gl. Green, & continued in service until discharged on account of no further service being necessary which was of actual service four months, tho. enrolled for six & liable to perform that term if the war in that quarter had not ceased. That he has no documentary evidence at this date herin, having also lost his second discharge which Gen’l Marion had given him at [Santer], and that he knows of no person whose testamony [sic] he can provide who can testify to his service, nor is there a [illeg.] [illeg.] in his vicinity. –He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed this day and year aforesaid. [Signed] Jeremiah Campbell [August 1, 1832, Carter County, Tennessee]

The above is a transcription of the narrative of his service, written by hand and signed by Jeremiah Campbell, age 70 years. The document was from Jeremiah Campbell’s Pension Application, found at The handwriting of this document is similar to or the same as the handwriting of a subsequent document that was signed by the clerk of the court.

From this we learn that Jeremiah volunteered under Col. John Sevier at the age of 18 in what was then Washington County, North Carolina (and later became Carter County, Tennessee). Men came from Virginia and they also came from North Carolina to join up with Col. Sevier, so the place of Jeremiah’s birth is still inconclusive, but the evidence points to Jeremiah living in Virginia before 1780 and living in (later) Carter County, Tennessee at least by 1796–and possibly considerably before that. There is no reason to think from anything in the records that Jeremiah was born in South Carolina, as many family trees state. He fought in South Carolina; he wasn’t born there.

1784-88 | East Tennessee settlers attempted to form the state of Franklin.

1789 | North Carolina ceded claims to the area.

1789 | Age 27. 12 September. Marriage to Sarah Marr/Murr/Mann in Washington County, Tenn. (later Carter County). Sarah is one of my BRICK WALLS. No one that I know of has ever documented conclusively the spelling of her maiden name. In this record, the name looks like either Marr or Murr. However, “Mann” is also a name that appears in this area going back to the earliest census records. More research needs to be done on Sarah.


1792 | Age 30. 27 Nov. Jeremiah paid fifty shillings for 94 acres that he received as part of a Revolutionary War land grant, located in the County of Washington (later Carter County) on Doe River. He was required to register the grant at the Register Office of Washington County within twelve months.

1796 | The State of Tennessee was created and Carter County (formerly Washington County in North Carolina and also formerly in the [failed] State of Franklin) became part of the State of Tennessee. So before 1796 it does no good to look for Tennessee records.

1796 | Age  34. Jeremiah Campbell appears on the Carter County Tax List for 1796–94 acres. His father Zachariah Sr. appears with 100 acres; and his brothers also appear–Zachariah Jr., 94 acres and Isaac, 150 acres.


He also appears on the early tax list records for the years 1797, 1798, 1799, and 1800, all for Carter County.

The 1800, 1810, and 1820 census records for this area have been lost.

1819 | Age 57. Jeremiah Campbell appears as “Jeremiah Campbell, Esquire” in a document of the court, ordering that an individual be appointed overseer of the public road. He also appears in a list of names of men enlisted to work on the road. Was Jeremiah a justice of the peace?

1820 | Tennessee-Kentucky border conflict resolved (with a portion formerly claimed by Kentucky now falling into Tennessee).

1825 Age 63. 24 March. Jeremiah was granted by the State of Tennessee a tract of land containing six acres. Added to his 94 acres from the Revolutionary War Grant, that would make an even 100 acres of land.

1830 | Age 68. Jeremiah and his family appears in the 1830 census for Carter County, Tennessee: Head of Family: Jeremiah Campbell. 1 free white male, age 10-15; 1 free white male, age 60-70; 1 free white female, age 20-30. [Who was this female and adolescent male living with Jeremiah in 1830?] 1 female slave under 10.

1831 | Age 69. 16 Sep. Jeremiah bought 6 acres “on Doe river adjoining an 8 acre entry of John Lions.”

1832 | Age 70. 14 August, Jeremiah applied for a Revolutionary War pension while living in Carter County, Tennessee. He was awarded an annual allowance of $23.33.

1840 | Age 78. Jeremiah appears in the 1840 census for Carter County, Tennessee. Head of the Family: Jeremiah Campbell. 1 free white male 70-80; 1 male slave under 10; 1 female slave under 10; 1 female slave 10-23.

1841 | Age 79.  1 March. Book I/25. Jeremiah Campbell sold to Daniel Smith for $50 [looks like] one acre. That would be a lot of money for one acre. Witness: N.T. Campbell and Nicholas Smith.

1843 | Age 80. Jeremiah left a will, dated 11 Aug 1843, which I found in the courthouse in Elizabethton, Tennessee; I transcribed the hand-written document in the year 2000:

Early Wills Book 1

I, Jeremiah Campbell, do make and publish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made.

First–I direct that my funeral expenses and all my debts be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any moneys I may die possessed of, or may first come into the hands of my executor.

Second–I give and bequeath to Nathaniel T. Campbell, my negro boy Joel, aged five or six years, and also the first child that Amanda may bring forth hereafter, and no more hereafter, and also one of two young horses in the woods at this time.

Third–I give and bequeath to Andrew J. Campbell my negro woman Amanda and her child Eliza Ann, and also two head of horses and one wide horned cow, one red cow, and also two red barrows and one sapid cow. Also my household furniture, also one big pot except one bureau, which belongs to Nathaniel T. Campbell, and also my crop now growing, to wit: wheat, rhy [sic], oats, corn, and buckwheat.

Lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint Nathaniel T. Campbell my executor.

In witness whereof I do, to this my will, set my hand and seal. This 11th day of August AD 1843.

[signed] Jeremiah Campbell

Signed, sealed, and published in our presence, and we have subscribed our Names hereto in the presence of the testator. This 11th day of August 1843.

Witnesses: Benjamin Dyer and Alexander Lacey

Nothing is said in the will about Jeremiah’s land, indicating perhaps that he had disposed of the land he owned before writing the will. –Right. See below.

1843 | 11 Aug. From land entries found at the Carter County courthouse, Elizabethton, Tenn. June, 2004. Aug. 11 is the same day he wrote his will. Book K/9. Jeremiah Campbell sold  to Andrew J Campbell, 75 acres for $375. District #3. Witnesses: Nathaniel T Campbell and J. Hampton Jr.

1843 | 11 Aug. Same source as above. Book K/10. Jeremiah Campbell sold to Nathaniel T Campbell, 18 acres for $90. District #3.

1843 | 8 Oct. Jeremiah Campbell Sr. died. Where is he buried?

Research Questions

  1. Jeremiah left a will. Is there also a probate record?
    FamilySearch: Probate Court Books, Carter County, Tenn. The Inventories file index for 1839-1855 shows Jeremiah Campbell on page 10 and 194.
    FamilySearch: Probate Court Files, Carter County, Tenn., 1796-1915.  Probate records for the following Campbells: Alfred, Eliza, Elizabeth, H.N., Nathaniel T, Samuel, Smith, and W.R. No probate file for Jeremiah.
  2. Jeremiah had 100 acres of land from a Revolutionary War land grant in Carter County, but the land doesn’t appear in his will. What did he do with his land prior to writing the will in August of 1843? Did he transfer the title to the land to one of his sons?
  3. I still don’t know exactly where Jeremiah’s land was located. Work needs to be done in the County land records.
  4. A book I need to see again: Tennesseans before 1800, Washington County. Marjorie Hood Fischer, Fronteir Press, 1996. “This book contains a total of 72,203 entries from records created in the county between 1778 and 1800.”
  5. Who are the people closest to Jeremiah either in family grouping or in dates for whom I can find a gravesite? If Jeremiah’s gravesite had been moved because of the TVA and the Watauga project, where would it likely have been moved from and to what cemetery would it have been moved? I should make up a database of the oldest Campbell Family graves.

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One Response to Researching Jeremiah Campbell Sr., Ancestor #2/52

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors: #2 of 52 – Jeremiah Campbell, Sr. (1762-1843) | The Shoebox Under the Bed

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