The Hart-Anderson Connection
In 1996 I used some of the information in "Joseph Hart and His
Descendants" to write the following as a 12th birthday present for my nieces. (Give
me a break--I took them to see "Les Miserables" too.) I tried to condense the
story so the girls could easily easily trace their ancestry back to the "Mr.
Hart" who emigrated with his wife to the New World in 1735.
In October 1998 I happened to be driving near Columbus, Indiana, so I stopped to
take a few pictures. The terrain around Columbus is extremely flat, and the soil is so
rich that it's easy to understand why Joseph Hart and his family found the area attractive
for farming. I was somewhat surprised to find that the Sand Hill Graveyard was being well
maintained and that the headstones for Thomas & Elizabeth Hart and David & Nancy
Hart McAllie seemed to have been placed rather recently. Maybe someday I'll discover the
About the year 1735, a Mr. Hart and his wife, both Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, departed
from Wales to emigrate to America. They left their native land because of persecution
directed against Presbyterians and Covenanters. They sought a home in the American
colonies so that they could worship God without molestation.
The voyage to America took more than four months, and during that time Mr. Hart died,
and his wife gave birth to a son whom she named Thomas. The widow and child landed at
Bordentown, New Jersey, where the mother brought up her son until he reached the age of
manhood. Nothing more is known about the mother.
The son, Thomas Hart, married a woman who had been married before (A widow? The book
doesnt say). Her name was Mrs. Nancy Butler; her maiden name had been Nancy Stout;
and she had two brothers, John and St. Ledger Stout. All four of them moved together from
Bordentown, New Jersey to Loudon County, Virginia, where on June 16, 1761 Thomas and Nancy
had a son whom they named Joseph.
Joseph was his mothers only child, and she died while he was an infant. After the
death of Josephs mother, his father placed him with a kind neighbor, and the boy
lived there until he was sixteen years old. When he was about ten or eleven years old, the
boy became a Christian, and his faith gave him great character which lasted throughout his
In the meantime, Josephs father married again and he and his wife had three
children: Isaac, Alexander and Jane. Isaac became a farmer who married, lived and died in
Monroe County, Tennessee. Alexander moved to Georgia, where he became a successful cotton
planter and raised a large family that eventually scattered throughout the West and
Southwest. Jane remained close to her half-brother Joseph, and well discuss her
story a little later.
In the early part of 1777, Joseph Harts foster father was drafted into the Army
of the Revolution from Loudon County, Virginia. In those days, men who were called to
serve could send substitutes, and Joseph volunteered to join the army in his foster
fathers place. He reasoned, "You have a family, and should you be killed, your
family will have no protector. You took care of me in my childhood; I will now be your
substitute in the army, for I have no one dependent on me."
The author of Joseph Hart and His Descendants, C.C. Hart, apparently sent a
request for information about Joseph Harts Army service to the Record and Pension
Office, War Department, in Washington, DC. In October 1895 he received a reply from F. C.
Ainsworth, Col. U.S. Army. The letter reported that Joseph Hart served in Captain
Holcombs company of the Fourth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel Thomas
Elliot, and also in Captain Thomas Ridleys company of the Virginia Regiment,
commanded by Colonel Robert Lawson, Revolutionary War. Josephs name first appears on
the rolls of the Fourth Virginia Regiment for April 1777, and it appears also on the
subsequent rolls until he is reported "Discharged, February 16, 1778." Neither
the date nor the term of his enlistment was shown by the record.
Soon after his enlistment in April 1777, Josephs regiment was ordered to South
Carolina. In the following September, Captain Holcombs company was engaged in a
moonlight battle with some British and Tories near Guilford Courthouse, South Carolina. In
this battle, many of the privates were either killed or wounded, and the muster roll of
the company was lost. It was after this battle that Joseph began serving in Captain
Ridleys company, commanded by Colonel Lawson.
Joseph was wounded in the right hip by a musket ball. After the battle he was placed on
a horse and along with several other wounded soldiers he was taken to a barn two miles
away where he lay until morning. He wore buckskin breeches, and when the surgeon came to
examine him, he found the right leg of his this garment so stiff with blood that it could
not be removed until it was cut from top to bottom. The wound was so severe that Joseph
was found unfit for further military service. The ball had lodged deep in his groin and
was not removed; so for the rest of his life Joseph carried British lead in his body. His
condition meant that he was never afterward able to do a days hard labor, but still
he was very active, even up to old age.
After his discharge from the Army, Joseph returned home to Virginia. But Joseph
wasnt happy in Loudon County, where slavery existed. Josephs Christian
principles had convinced him that slavery was a wrong to his fellow man and therefore a
sin against God. When he was nineteen years old, he left Loudon County, Virginia and moved
to Tygerts Valley in Greene County, Virginia, where at the time, slavery was not
tolerated. But in Tygerts Valley there was much fertile, unoccupied land which
attracted the attention of slave-holding tobacco planters. When the slave-holders moved
in, Joseph left the area, moving to Washington County, Virginia.
Here, in 1788 at the age of 27, he married a young lady named Nancy Shanklin, and their
first son was born in 1789. But then the slave-holding planters began moving into
Washington County, and Joseph started looking around for another place to live. In the
hope that the colony of Tennessee would enter the Union as a free state, he made a journey
to Blount County in East Tennessee. He liked the area, so in the spring of 1790 Joseph
took his wife and child and his half-sister Jane, and moved into the area that is now
The American frontier was a little rougher in Tennessee than it had been in Virginia.
Local Indians of the Cherokee and Creek tribes had been removed to Georgia, but sometimes
a few would return. They were known to steal horses and kill any white people who happened
to be around. To protect themselves, Joseph and other pioneer settlers (including a man
named Arthur Greer) built a blockhouse and fort--known as "Old Fort
McTeer"--part of which was still to be seen within the corporate limits of Maryville
as late as the year 1901.
The Harts lived in the fort for four or five years, and two of their children were born
there. During this time Joseph bought 320 acres, three and a half miles northeast of the
fort, where he cleared land and built the first two-story frame house in Blount County.
The house was located near the "Big Spring," and a part of it was standing in
the year 1900, still occupied by a member of the Hart family. Here Joseph planted an apple
orchard, and some of the trees were still bearing fruit a hundred years after the
planting. When it was considered safe from Indian raids, the family moved into their home
and lived there until 1821.
In 1797 Jane Hart married Arthur Greer in the house, and the two of them lived in
Blount County for the rest of their lives. They raised numerous children, many of whom
were still living in Blount and Knox Counties in 1900. C.C. Hart called them "a noble
race of Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent."
Though converted in early youth, Joseph Hart did not become publicly religious until
about the year 1796, when he and his wife joined New Providence Presbyterian Church. Soon
after joining, Joseph was made an elder in the church and Clerk of Session. He often
"set the tune" and led the singing in the church. Because the congregation had
few hymn books, Joseph would loudly read two lines of a hymn, lead the singing of the two
lines, and then read another two lines and sing and so on.
Tragedy struck in 1807 when, after a short illness, Josephs wife Nancy died,
leaving him with five sons and one daughter: Edward, born in Washington County, Virginia
1n 1789; Thomas, born in the fort in 1791 (This narrative will tell much more about Thomas
and his descendants.); Joseph, Jr., born in the fort in 1793; Silas, born in the farm home
in 1796; Gideon Blackburn, born on the farm in 1798; and Elizabeth, born on the farm in
In 1809 Joseph married again, this time to Miss Mary Means of Blount County, a maiden
lady 32 years of age. Her parents had left northern Ireland about the year 1780 to escape
religious persecution (they were Presbyterians), and settled in East Tennessee. Joseph and
Mary had five sons: William in 1810; Samuel in 1813; James Harvey in 1815; Isaac Anderson
in 1817 (died in infancy); and Charles Coffin in 1820. (Charles Coffin is the Rev. C. C.
Hart who wrote Joseph Hart and His Descendants. He was also known as "Uncle
Charlie.") All were born in the family home in Blount County. C. C. Hart marveled
that Joseph had ten sons and one daughter, and his son Thomas eventually had ten daughters
and one son.
Joseph Hart was quite an industrious man. He taught the first school in Blount County
at a schoolhouse about two miles from Maryville. He also owned the first four-horse team
known in the county. After the countryside began to be settled and there was no longer
danger from the Indians, Joseph became a "frontier truck driver." He used his
four-horse team to carry farm-raised vegetables and other produce into the gold mining
region of Georgia. There he would trade the food for cotton which he took to Baltimore,
Maryland. In Baltimore he traded the cotton for manufactured goods which he brought back
to the merchants of Maryville and Knoxville. The round trip took about three months.
Because of his war wound, Joseph wasnt able to do any hard work on these trips, but
his older sons pitched in and helped. One of them said of his father, "Hes
always in the saddle."
In about 1818 while Joseph was having a vicious horse shod, the horse jumped on him,
injuring his right shoulder, so that he was never afterwards able to put on or take off
his coat without help. The horse belonged to his half-sister, Jane. Mostly, though, the
Harts were a healthy family. During the 26 years that they lived on the farm near
Maryville, a doctor was called only twice: once to see about Josephs shoulder and on
another occasion to see one of the boys who was suffering with "white swelling."
(I dont know what that is, but it certainly sounds bad...BA)
Just as life was becoming comfortable for Joseph Hart and his family, Tennessee entered
the Union as a slave state. Still morally opposed to the institution of slavery, Joseph
decided to leave the South altogether. In the spring of 1820 he sent his son, Gideon
Blackburn Hart, west to find a suitable place for the family to settle. Gideon went to
Indiana, visiting Vincennes, Terre Haute and the central part of the state, and he finally
proposed Bartholomew County, Indiana as the future home of the family. About the middle of
September, 1821, the Harts were prepared for a momentous event: emigration to what was
effectively a new country. They had said good-bye to the old home, to old and familiar
scenes, to old neighbors, to the old church, and to a man who had become their dear
friend, Rev. Isaac Anderson. Neighbors and friends came to see them off. The traveling
company consisted of the father, the mother, Silas and Elizabeth of the first family, the
four boys of the second family, and Robert McClure, a young man hired for the occasion.
They were provided with two wagons, each with two horses, an extra horse with saddle
(which the father rode), a large tent, and two cows which furnished milk for the journey
and (later) at their new home.
The first evening the family pitched the tent by Wills Creek, a whole seven miles
from where they started. (Cross country travel took more time in the days before
interstate highways...BA.) After eating supper and caring for the animals, the group read
the Bible and prayed and took their first nights rest in the wilderness. The next
morning before daylight, William Trotter, a young farmer and a leader of the singing at
the New Providence Church, rode out to the camp on horseback accompanied by his brother.
William Trotter was engaged to be married to Elizabeth Hart, and he had promised to go to
Indiana the next spring to be married there. But it took only one night away from
Elizabeth for William to realize he could not bear to be away from her. He persuaded her
to return to Maryville to be married that morning. Silas Hart accompanied Elizabeth and
the Trotter brothers to the wedding (performed by Dr. Anderson), and the happy couple
rejoined the family at the next campsite. The group never traveled on the Sabbath, and the
entire journey to Indiana took about four weeks.
Gideon Blackburn was still in Indiana--around Vincennes--and when he learned that the
family was moving, he followed the military road opened by Gen. William Henry Harrison,
Governor of the Northwest Territory, from Vincennes to the Tobacco landing on the Ohio
River, near Leavenworth, Indiana. From there he went to Kentucky and met the family in the
region of the Cumberland Gap, and accompanied them to their destination, near Clifty
Creek, five miles east of Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana. The travelers arrived at
Clifty Creek on October 8, 1820.
In those days, when people were just beginning to move west, the government held claim
to much of the land and would not sell an individual less than 160
acres--one quarter section--on which to settle and build a farm. The price of the land was
$2 per acre. But for half the amount--$160--a settler could get a "certificate of
entry" and have five years to pay the remainder of the debt. In addition, no taxes
could be collected during those five years. At the end of the five years, when the rest of
the money was paid, the government would issue a deed (C. C. Hart used the word
"patent") for the land. Joseph chose his quarter section in Bartholomew County
and sent his son Gideon with $160 in silver to the land office at Jeffersonville, Indiana,
about 100 miles away. Gideon entered the land according to law.
Gideon, Silas and McClure cut the logs for a cabin, carved boards for the roof, and
split the puncheons for the floor. A neighbor, Mr. Elijah Sloan, used his team of oxen to
haul timbers to the building spot. The neighbors came together and built the cabin and put
the roof up in one day. The next day they laid the puncheon floor, built the chimney, put
the window and door in place, and by evening the family moved into their new western home.
The neighbors were very helpful; the cabin was built quickly and cost no money.
The cabin measured 16 x 18 feet, and had the common outdoor "mud and stick"
chimney, one window and one door. The window had nine 8 x 10 panes (C. C. Hart called them
"lights") and two sash. There was no sawed lumber except the sash and the window
frame, and these were brought from Tennessee. No nails were used except a few made by a
blacksmith in Tennessee and brought along on the trip. The nails were used in making the
door, the hinges and fastenings, which were formed of hickory. From the time of arrival
until moving into the cabin (about six weeks), the family lived in the tent and the
wagons. Silas, Gideon and McClure dug a well, built a stable, cleared and fenced twelve
acres of land and had it ready for planting by May 1, 1821. Silas and McClure remained
with the family for a year, and in early May 1822 they took one of the wagons and two
horses and returned to Blount County, Tennessee.
Deer, foxes, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, turkeys, quail, pheasant and other wild
game were plentiful in the forest surrounding the cabin. Occasionally the family also saw
wolves, bears and panthers lurking among the trees. The creeks and rivers abounded with
fish. Joseph, however, was opposed to hunting because he thought it encouraged an idle,
shiftless manner of life. He refused to have a gun in the house.
Every morning and evening in the cabin, the family participated in the reading of the
Bible, the singing of a hymn, and the offering of a prayer. When Joseph was away, his wife
Mary conducted the service.
There, in their cabin, by a blazing fire of beech and hickory in the winter evenings,
and in warm weather by the light made by the dry bark of the great poplar trees, Mary spun
flax on the "little wheel" or engaged in knitting, while Joseph and the boys
memorized Bible verses and the questions and answers of the Shorter Catechism. Afterward,
the boys would engage in simple play while Joseph would sing hymns from memory, such as
"How Firm a Foundation Ye Saints of the Lord," "When I can Read My Title
Clear," "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood," "Am I a Soldier of
the Cross" and many others. Once a week one of the boys would read aloud the Cincinnati
Journal, a newspaper, while everybody paid the strictest attention. Every other week
the family shelled a "grist" of corn (two and a half bushels) that was taken by
horseback the next day to be ground at a nearby mill.
Often traveling preachers would stop by for a visit, notably Rev. John M. Dickey, and
would examine the boys as to their knowledge of the catechism. Also, because the cabin was
the only preaching place in the neighborhood for several years, when a preacher arrived
the neighbors would be notified and they would all leave their work and come to the cabin
to hear a sermon.
The familys food and clothing were very simple. Clothes were made almost only of
wool and flax; they had several sheep to supply wool, and they raised a "patch"
of flax every year. The wool and flax were spun, woven and made into garments at home or
by exchanging work with some neighbor. Joseph made the shoes for the family. Hats for
summer were made of rye straw or splits from buckeye trees. Their food consisted almost
entirely of cornbread, mush and milk, and vegetables, with a limited amount of pork, eggs,
chickens, fish and wild game caught in traps. Tea and coffee were almost unknown. They
raised some buckwheat and ground it in a corn mill. For the first five years they raised
very little wheat, because the area had no mill that could grind it into flour. There was
no fruit until seeds they had brought from the old home in Tennessee could grow into fruit
trees. Every spring the settlers made sugar from the sap of the sugar maple trees that
grew abundantly in the area.
The following note is from the history of Bartholomew County: "On the third day of
July, 1824, the Presbyterian church of Columbus was organized, consisting of seventeen
members. Joseph Hart and his wife, Mary Hart, are the first names on the roll. Mr. Hart
was made Ruling Elder, and for many years was the only Ruling Elder, and was Clerk of the
Session until the time of his death. Presbyterianism and Christianity in this community
owe a great deal to this godly man."
In those days whisky was cheap--18¾ cents per gallon--or six gallons for a dollar.
Whisky was customarily served at all neighborhood gatherings, such as log-rollings, house
or barn raisings, harvestings, corn huskings, and sometimes at weddings. Joseph, however,
was a tee-totaler and he would never allow liquor on his land. In the spring of 1825 a
half-days log rolling was to be held, and the neighbors were to be invited. Joseph
instructed one of his sons to deliver the invitation to all the neighbors and to be sure
to tell them, "There will be no whisky, but Father says he will try to treat you
well." All the neighbors came. About the middle of the afternoon Mary sent to the
field a pot of hot coffee, milk, sugar, tin cups and pewter spoons, along with a large
tray of corn pone. Joseph said, "Come men, lets have some refreshments."
The men stopped their work, sat on logs and seemed truly to enjoy this substitute for
whisky. Later in the afternoon, just before sunset, everyone was called to supper, after
which they voted this the best log rolling of the season. Josephs example had a
remarkable effect on local area customs, for in a few years no whisky was seen at any
Joseph served several years as a magistrate (judge). In those days the magistrates of
the county met twice each month and held County Court. Much of the judicial business of
the county was conducted at these meetings.
Joseph taught school in both winter and summer, but mostly in summer. The textbooks
used in these pioneer schools were "Noah Websters Elementary Spelling
Book," "Introduction to the English Reader," the New Testament and
"Pikes" or "Smileys Arithmetic." The students varied in
age and all were taught in a single room. Group classes were conducted only in
spelling--other subjects were taught individually. Children who could spell words of only
one or two syllables were lined up and exercised in spelling from memory (or "for
head" as C. C. Hart called it) just before the noon recess. The more accomplished
spellers went through the same exercise in the afternoons. Reading students read to Joseph
one at a time, several lessons every day. Children studying arithmetic seldom did anything
else, except to practice spelling and writing. The students brought quills to Joseph and
he made them into the quill pens that were used for writing. In those days, some schools
were called "loud schools" because all the students were required to study
aloud. Josephs school was a VERY loud school!
In the spring of 1826 Joseph organized the first Sunday School (Sabbath School) in the
county. The exercises of this school consisted of reading the Scriptures, singing a hymn,
praying, and reciting verses of Scripture committed to memory during the week. Some
students recited 25 to 50 verses every Sunday.
Joseph engaged occasionally in work for the American Bible Society. In 1901 there were
still Bibles in Bartholomew County furnished by Joseph Hart.
Another tragedy struck Joseph and his family on the afternoon of June 6, 1826. Joseph
was teaching in the schoolhouse and his three younger boys were in school. Mrs. Sloan, a
neighbor, was spending the afternoon with Mary. A boy came to the schoolhouse and looking
in, exclaimed, "William is drowned!" Josephs son William was only 16 years
old. Joseph and two of his sons ran to the creek where the tragedy had occurred, half a
mile away, and the other son ran home to break the news to his mother who was preparing
dinner. In a whisper he told her what had happened, and Mary turned to Mrs. Sloan and
said, "My son is drowned!" Mary knelt by a chair and prayed, and after asking
what had happened, she continued with her work, prepared supper, and calmly waited until
the lifeless body of her first born son was brought home. There was no loud crying, but a
quiet resignation to the will of God. William was the first person to be buried in Sand
Hill graveyard, for up until this time the neighbors had buried their dead on their own
About the first of September
1827, Mary suffered a "bilious fever." When Joseph sent for Dr. Kiser, it was
the first time a doctor had been summoned to this home. Some of the ladies of the church
in Columbus came on horseback to show their sympathy and provide as much help as they
could. Mrs. Sloan stayed with Mary through the night of September 10, but left early in
the morning to prepare breakfast for her own family. Knowing she was about to die, when
the sun rose on September 11 Mary gave a parting message to each of her children. Then she
died, as Joseph sang the following verse:
Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are;
While upon His breast I lean my head
And breathe my life out sweetly there.
The family began the day with a simple breakfast and worship. The next day Mary was
laid to rest in Sand Hill graveyard by the side of her son William. Without a woman to
care for their household needs, Joseph and his sons felt they could no longer live
together. The two older boys went to live with two families in the neighborhood during the
coming winter. Joseph and his younger son (C. C. Hart himself) went to live with Gideon
Blackburn Hart who had married and was living on a farm one mile northwest of the home
place. And the little cabin where the family had dwelt for six happy years was sold to
In March 1828, James Harvey was apprenticed to John B. Abbot of Columbus, Indiana to
learn the tailors trade. There he served for six years.
In May 1828, Joseph and his 15-year-old son Samuel traveled to Columbia, Maury County,
Tennessee where Joseph Hart, Jr. was then residing. Joseph bought a one-horse Jersey wagon
to make the trip. The women of the church spun and wove some cloth, and then met at Gideon
Harts house to make suits of clothes for Joseph and Samuel. Also, for Joseph, they
made a Scotch plaid coat with a belt and a velvet collar. (This was the most stylish coat
that had ever been seen in the neighborhood!) The trip to Tennessee took two weeks, and it
was the only journey Joseph ever made in a wheeled vehicle. Joseph remained in Tennessee
two years, teaching most of the time he was there, and then he returned to Indiana on
horseback, leaving Samuel behind. He lived with his son Gideon for the rest of his life.
After Joseph returned to Indiana, Congressman William Herod visited him in 1830 to try
to persuade him to apply for a pension as a Revolutionary War veteran. But Joseph said,
"No; I did not go into the army for money, and I served only a short time."
The congressman replied, "But you were wounded in the service and partially
disabled for life."
Joseph answered, "True, but I did very little service for the country. The
government is now in debt, and I cannot ask for money." Nobody ever persuaded Joseph
to apply for the pension, though several tried.
After his return from Tennessee Joseph taught school several summers, either in his own
neighborhood or in the Haw patch. (I do not know what a "Haw patch" is, and C.
C. Hart did not explain. --BA) In February 1836 when C. C. (Charlie) Hart was a lad of
sixteen, Joseph sent him about sixty miles away to Salem, Washington County, Indiana to
learn a trade. In the following May, Joseph went to Salem and apprenticed Charlie to David
T. Weir to learn the cabinet makers trade. The papers of indenture were carefully
drawn by Joseph, binding the lad to four years faithful service. The papers were
signed by Joseph and Mr. Weir, and then recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds
and indentures. Joseph then returned home.
Some time before this, Josephs only daughter Elizabeth and her husband William
Trotter had moved from East Tennessee to Walnut Ridge, Indiana, ten miles north of Salem.
Joseph visited them in the spring of 1837 and taught school in their neighborhood. This
was the last school he ever taught. He spent the fall and winter at home with Gideon, and
then he returned to Walnut Ridge in the spring of 1838 expecting to teach again; but a
suitable schoolhouse could not be procured.
Apparently around this time there was great dissension in the Presbyterian Church. In a
letter written to his sons in Tennessee from Walnut ridge, Joseph expressed great distress
on account of the division of the Presbyterian Church into Old School and New School,
claiming that the division was unnecessary and a violation of the constitution of the
church. He became a staunch New School man, but always was charitable to members of the
opposite party. (Apparently the separation was caused by disagreement over the question of
slavery, with the Old School accepting the practice and the New School opposing it. I
reached this conclusion after reading a comment in Chapter III of Joseph Hart and His
His return from Salem to Bartholomew County in 1838 was the last journey Joseph made on
horseback, his favorite mode of travel. He spent a considerable part of his time in his
last years working for the American Bible Society.
Joseph Hart stood five feet eight inches in height and he weighed about 130 pounds. He
was always clean and neat. He never had a pair of boots, and he never wore suspenders. He
wore a low hat with a broad brim. His letters, written to his children from 1825 to 1838,
were very lengthy, correct in spelling and grammar, and clear and concise in composition.
Josephs handwriting was a marvel too; the paper he used was large and unlined, but
the text was as straight as if written on ruled paper. The letters were well-formed; every
"i" was dotted and every "t" was crossed. Postage for each letter was
In September 1839 Joseph suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed in his right side,
and he never completely recovered. About a year later he had another stroke which left him
almost helpless. After this he never left his room, and for six months before his death he
could not lie down on account of a "dropsical affection." (C. C. Hart
didnt explain that one either.--BA)
During his final illness, Josephs granddaughter, Mary E. Braden of St. Louis,
Missouri served as his faithful attendant during the day. At night his son Gideon was his
nurse. Gideons wife Hetty was also most helpful.
C. C. (Charlie) Hart visited his father five weeks before his death. Joseph told
Charlie, "My son, I shall live but a short time. When you hear of my death do not put
on any outward sign of mourning; it will be a time of great joy to me." Joseph died
on the morning of June 20, 1841.
In 1901 when C. C. Hart wrote the account above, he said he had knowledge of about six
hundred descendants of Joseph Hart. Now we will follow the story of one of those
descendants: Josephs son and C. C. Harts half-brother, Thomas.
As previously stated, Thomas Hart, second son of Joseph and Mary Hart, was born in the
Blockhouse at Maryville, East Tennessee on October 26, 1791. He was brought up on a farm
three miles north of his birthplace, with the usual experiences of a boy of that day.
Being a son of Joseph Hart, he had a good example to follow, and good influences about
him. As his father was a teacher, Thomas had good educational opportunities; he was very
fond of reading and he had an excellent memory. He enjoyed conversation, but he was a
modest man and he preferred to listen rather than to speak. He kept his home in Tennessee
for a number of years after his father Joseph and other members of the family moved to
Indiana. He was five feet ten inches tall and weighed 165 pounds.
Thomas became a soldier in the War of 1812. He enlisted in Blount County, Tennessee,
May 31, 1812 in Captain Samuel C. Hopkins Company, Second Regiment U.S. Dragoons,
under Colonel James Burns. The command marched to the north and joined the Northwestern
Army, under the command of General William Henry Harrison. In passing through northern
Ohio they frequently marched in water from three to sixteen inches deep, chopped down
timber and bivouacked in the brush. Thomas participated in the siege of Fort Meigs, where
he was wounded in the heel by an Indian concealed in a treetop. Because of this wound, for
the rest of his life he was slightly lame. Thomas was in the battle of River Raisin, and
many other engagements under General Harrison. He remained in the service until January
17, 1814 when he was mustered out at Watertown, New York.
During his life, Thomas witnessed major changes in the United States. While in the army
he walked all the way from Tennessee to Canada through an almost unbroken wilderness. By
the time of his death, this area had grown into a densely populated and thrifty land of
schools, churches, cities, railroads, telegraphs and homes with the comforts and luxuries
he never knew in his youth. This was a neverending source of interest to him, and he often
noted societys progress and compared the differences between the various periods of
Early in life Thomas joined the New Providence Presbyterian Church of Maryville, and he
was a faithful Christian. He was greatly distressed by the division of the Presbyterian
Church into the New School and the Old School, but as he was an opponent of slavery he
remained a firm New School man. It was a great joy to him when the Church reunited in
On December 15, 1814 Thomas married Miss Elizabeth Duncan of Blount County, Tennessee.
Miss Duncan was born in rock Ridge County, Virginia, December 17, 1796. She was a member
of new Providence Church, and a daughter of George Duncan, a well-to-do farmer, a noted
gunsmith of that time, and a mechanical genius generally. He was the son of Scotch parents
who early emigrated to Virginia. He was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His wife
died early in life, and his 12-year-old daughter Elizabeth, or Betsy as she was known,
took charge of the house and the youngest children. She performed her duties well, giving
the children all the love and care of a mother, teaching them morals and manners and
giving them religious training. Her father remarried some years later, and the new
stepmother, upon coming into the household, said that she was surprised to see a girl so
young exhibit such capability.
Thomas and Elizabeth Hart were the parents of eleven children; ten daughters and one
son. Their names were Lavina, Nancy, Angeline, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Eleanor Jane, Benjamin
Franklin, Harriet Newel, Marth L., Frances C, and Frances Juliette. Two of these children
died in early childhood, Frances C. and the only son, Benjamin Franklin.
Something mysterious happened to Thomas and Elizabeth, just a few years after the death
of their only son. One day a strange woman, with a male child about 18 months old, came to
their house and said that as they had daughters and no son, she wished to give them her
child. She would not reveal her own name or that of the childs father. After some
persuasion and a promise never to come to see the child, Thomas and Elizabeth agreed to
take the little boy and raise him as their own, which they did, and the mother never
returned. The child received all the care and affection of a son, and was known as Jim
Hart. When he came to manhood he married a Miss Blessing in Bartholomew County, Indiana.
He and his wife moved to Carrollton, Missouri, where for several years he worked as a
carpenter. By the year 1900 he had become a farmer.
The home of Thomas and Elizabeth Hart was warm and loving. To people accustomed to the
luxuries of the present day, their lives may seem hard and bare. But their children had
many bright memories of happy childhoods in East Tennessee. Elizabeth taught her daughters
to cook, and she also taught them knitting, spinning, weaving and sewing. Some of the
older girls attended school to learn needlework, writing and singing. They learned to sing
"Hail Columbia," "My Country Tis of Thee," and "The Star
Spangled Banner." They studied the Shorter Catechism and read only good books. They
took advantage of everything they could to acquire education and useful knowledge.
At one time bands of roving Indians were sometimes seen near the familys home in
East Tennessee, but the Harts were never molested. Once, though, when Thomas and Elizabeth
were away at a weekly meeting, the children left at home were badly frightened by the
sudden appearance of three or four Indians at the front door. The Indians entered and
looked all about the house, but took nothing. They lifted the lid off the pot where the
dinner was cooking, turned the cover down and took a peep at the babe asleep in the
cradle. Then they nodded, grunted, and left--much to the relief of the children.
One serious accident befell Thomas. On his way home from church with his wife one
Sunday, a temperamental colt, which he was riding, became frightened and ran away,
throwing Thomas against a stump. Thomas nose was almost completely torn off,
remaining attached to his face by only a shred of flesh. A good surgeon, with Gods
assistance, reattached the nose, and although the injury was noticeable, it was not
disfiguring to a great extent. It did alter Thomas voice, though.
In the fall of 1846, Thomas Hart with all his family, three of whom were by then
married, moved to the state of Indiana. The journey, which took five weeks, was pleasant
in the autumn weather. They brought with them both horses and cattle. They settled on
Clifty Creek in Bartholomew County near the home of Thomass father Joseph, and both
Thomas and Elizabeth lived here until their deaths. Thomas became an elder in the
Presbyterian Church of both Columbus and Sand Hill, and he held these offices until he
died on July 28, 1865 at the age of seventy-four years.
At this point in his story,
Thomass half-brother, C. C. Hart, provides the following note:
About two months before his death I heard he was feeble. I made a journey of 250 miles
to visit him. When I arrived he expressed great pleasure and asked how long I could stay.
"Till tomorrow morning," I replied.
"I want you to preach here this evening, for that will be the last sermon I shall
ever hear." The neighbors came, many of them his children or grandchildren. The
women filled the house and the men on makeshift seats filled the dooryard. I stood in the
door and preached from Peter 1:8. (C. C. Hart didnt say whether it was First or
Second Peter...BA) After the people had retired, we talked until midnight. He was not
sick, but feeble, cheerful and happy.
For several years Thomas and Elizabeth, being too feeble to live alone, made their home
with their son-in-law, William McDowell. After Thomas died, Elizabeth continued to live
there until she too died on July 7, 1868. They both lie buried in Sand Hill graveyard by
the side of Joseph Hart, brothers and many of their children and grand children.
Nancy Hart McAllie
Nancy, the second child of Thomas and Elizabeth Hart, was born January 22, 1818 in
Blount County, Tennessee. Early in life she became a member of the New Providence
Presbyterian Church. She was educated at the neighborhood school, and was married to David
Eagleton McAllie September 24, 1835. David was a member of the New Providence Church, took
a partial course at Maryville College, and was a farmer and a teacher. Nancy and David
moved to Clark County, Indiana in March 1844, and to Bartholomew County, Indiana in 1851.
Here David engaged in farming and teaching, and for several years he was connected with
the wool carding business at Lowell Mills, Indiana. He died in Newbern, Indiana on
December 14, 1893. Nancy was still living in 1899. She had a long and useful life in which
she won the love an esteem of a host of friends by her constant cheerfulness and
thoughtfulness for others. With the many cares of a large family resting on her, she could
always enter into the joys and sorrows of those about her. In her widowhood she made her
home with her youngest daughter, Mrs. John A. Williams, at Taylorville, Indiana. Nancy and
David were the parents of nine children:
Thomas Franklin, the first child, was
born in Blount County, Tennessee February 27, 1838. He married Miss Jane Frost of Newbern,
Indiana September 1860 and they had 13 children.
Mary Elizabeth, the second child, was born in Blount County, Tennessee June 23, 1839.
She was married to Mr. Dennis Hopkins, a worthy and prosperous farmer of Bartholomew
County, Indiana, September 25, 1856. They had ten children.
Margaret, the third child, was married to Mr. Henry Ueberroth, a merchant of Columbus,
Indiana, September 28, 1859. They had two children.
Josephine I., the fourth child, was born January 11, 1843. She married Frank F. Wills,
an expert miller of Lowell Mills, Indiana on August 3, 1862. They had seven children.
The fifth child was named Alice J. M. McAllie, and she is the daughter in whom we are
Frances Emma C., sixth child of David and Nancy McAllie was born November 16, 1848 and
died in August 1861.
John Calvin, seventh child of David and Nancy McAllie, was born July 7, 1851. He was
married to Miss Elizabeth A. Edwards of Newbern, Indiana on September 28, 1871. They had
ten children. One of them, Harry Waldron McAllie, born January 2, 1876, enlisted in
Company F, U.S. Infantry, in April 1898. C. C. Hart says that Harry, with his regiment,
"was all through the campaign in Cuba; he was at the capture of El Caney; and when
the U.S. Army attacked San Diego, Harry was one of the detail sent forward to cut the
wires, which were such an effectual defense of the city. It seems almost miraculous that
he came through that and many other thrilling adventures without a scratch. He returned to
the United States in August 1898, and was promoted to corporal for his bravery during the
Spanish-American War. In February 1899, he, with his regiment, embarked for the Philippine
Islands for duty." Another son, Ralph McAllie, enlisted as a private in Company K,
16th Indiana Volunteers, July 3, 1898. In August the regiment was ordered south, and in
December to Havana, Cuba.
Samuel Blackburn, the eighth child of David E. and Nancy McAllie, was born July 2, 1854
and died September 22, 1861.
Dora E., ninth child of David and Nancy McAllie, was born April 30, 1858. She married
John A. Williams, a farmer and carpenter of Taylorsville, Indiana on November 22, 1877.
Alice J. M., the fifth child of
David Eagleton and Nancy Hart McAllie, was born at Henryville, Clarke County, Indiana, May
13, 1845. She was a universal favorite among all the relatives for her sweet personality.
She was married at Lowell Mills to James Anderson, a miller, June 14, 1865. They had three
Their first child was Cora Jim, who was born July 7, 1866. She married Mr. Frank Porter
on October 24, 1894, and they had two children: Virginia A. and Harold A.
Their second child was Nancy Kate, who was born on June 29, 1875.
Their third child was Frank Eagleton Anderson, born on January 28, 1878. In 1901 at the
time of publication of Joseph Hart and His Descendants, Frank was a medical student
at the University of Tennessee.
Now heres a note for anyone who has read this far. Today is February 29, 1996.
Frank Anderson was my grandfather and I know several anecdotes about his life, and the
lives of his wife and children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. One of
those children, Frederick Porter Anderson, is my father. I intend to add more to this
document and include stories about myself and all my cousins, but for the present I will
present just the most basic facts. --BA
Frank Eagleton Anderson married Savannah Ora Hill December 5, 1912. They had
four children: Mary Alice, born August 29, 1913, and now living in North Carolina, married
Maurice Chauncey Stone and they had two children: James and Mariam Ann; Frank Hill and
James Grimmett (twins) were born November 1, 1914. Grimmett suffered from epilepsy and
fell from his bicycle and died at the age of 15 in 1929. Hill married Tempie Finn in 1937
and they had one son, Douglas Hill, born in 1946. Frank Hill died February 5, 1977. The
fourth child, Frederick Porter (not pictured), now lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Frank E.
Anderson died and was buried in Memphis February 17, 1953. His wife Ora died and was
buried in Memphis July 9, 1959.
Frederick Porter Anderson
Freddie served aboard the U.S.S. Santa Fe in the United States Marine Corps, Pacific
Theater, in World War II. He married Leta Fay Thompson on August 11, 1945 in Brunswick,
Georgia. After the war, he returned to Memphis, Tennessee and worked as a tire builder for
the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He and Leta Fay now live in Memphis. They have two
children: William Earl (thats me!) and Cynthia Fay.
Cynthia Fay Anderson Jones
My sister Cindy was born March 4, 1950. She married Harry Alex Jones March 19, 1971 in
Memphis, Tennessee, and they now live in Laramie, Wyoming. They have three children: Eric
Anderson, born October 20, 1979; and Laura Hill and Elizabeth Ora (twins) born February
29, 1984. (Yes, the day I am writing this is the day Laura and Elizabeth become 12 years
old on their "third" birthday, as they were born on "Leap Day.") The
man named Mr. Hart who emigrated from Wales to the New World in 1735 was their great,
great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather!