It would be good now to list Richard and Sarah Sally Watts children again, as their family was completed after they moved to Kentucky with the birth of their daughter Frances.
According to Edward Watts in his book Thomas Watts of Stafford County Virginia and his Descendants, Richard Watts appeared on the tax rolls of Mercer County through 1809. The tax records indicated that Richard owned 15 acres and 10 horses in August 1803. Tax records from 1806 to 1808 reveal that Richard had 260 acres near the Salt River and that in 1809 he had no taxable real estate.
The Salt River is further west in Mercer County going toward Washington County.
We can see from these records that Richard Watts and family probably moved from Mercer County KY to Washington County KY in 1809. From here on the story of my direct line in the Watts family is intimately tied up with the Chaplin River. The valley of the Chaplin River is a fertile area particularly good for growing grains. Our Watts family has lived along the banks of this river from Perryille, KY in Boyle County, to Cornishville, Ky in Mercer County and in Washington County. The Watts family were changing from hunters for furs to farmers. They had probably been doing both since they lived in Culpeper County VA. Of our other ancestors, Beverly Williams farmed and had a grist mill on the Chaplin River and three generations of the Huff family - Richard, James and Tilford Marion Huff farmed on the Chaplin River. Tilford Marion Huff wrote an article for many years for the local newspaper, The Harrodsburg Herald, entitled “On the Banks of the Chaplin”.
Before going on with our Watts family to Washington Co. however, let’s take a look at what was going on in Mercer County. In 1800 in Mercer Co. KY we have Peter Watts and Richard Watts. Gideon Watts has moved to Henry Co. KY. There is a William Watts in Shelby Co KY. In 1785 before there was a Mercer Co., Peter Watts married Margaret Fisher in Lincoln Co. KY on 11 November. Margaret Fisher’s parents Adam Fisher and Elizabeth Garr were from Culpeper Co VA. In 1790 William Watts gave consent for the marriage of his daughter Nelly (Eleanor) to Turner Rogers in Mercer Co. At this wedding Gideon Watts was the bondsman and Peter Watts was a witness. Gideon Watts married Sarah Reed 9, February 1795. Consent was given by the bride’s stepfather and mother John Rian and Sarah Rian. On 16 September 1800 Bettsey Watts and Joseph Garshwiler were married. Edmund King certified the bride was 21. This was the eldest daughter of Richard and Sarah Watts. Peter Sheafor and Sally Watts were married 24 November 1802. Bondsman was Cornelius Vanarsdalen and the bride’s father was Richard Watts. Beverly Dickerson and Nancy Watts were married 9 May 1804. Bondsman was Joseph Garshwiler who certified the bride’s age and consent was given by Richard Watts. Witness was Peter Sheavor . These marriage records were copied by Roselynne Jones.
During the early 1800’s both Peter Watts and Richard Watts were buying land, although I have found no transactions between the two. However Wade Watts states Peter and Richard were defendants in a law suit in Mercer Co KY.
Richard and Peter Watts families apparently went in different directions after about 1809 when Richard Watts, his wife and remaining children moved to Washington Co KY. Peter’s father William Watts died in 1797 in Woodford Co KY and he and his wife Elizabeth are buried near Spring Station in Woodford Co Ky. Peter had two sister’s Mildred Watts who married Abraham Gregory and Eleanor (Nelly) who married Turner Rogers. Mildred and her husband are buried near Spring Station in Woodford Co KY. Peter Watts and his wife Margaret moved to Shelby Co KY probably after 12 December 1815 when he signed consent for his daughter Ann to marry Ezekial Fisher in Mercer Co. KY. Peter Watts, born 10 July 1756 in Culpeper Co VA, was a Revolutionary War Veteran and served as a Captain in the War of 1812. He died 5 May 1833 in Shelby Co KY and is buried near Simpsonville, KY in a family cemetery which is located on the Rutledge dairy farm. His will lists children William, Ann F., Mary Gill, Mildred Waller, Abraham Gregory Watts, Simeon Watts, and George W. Watts. Some of Peter Watts descendants may still be in KY but others have scattered throughout the United States. Some of Peter’s sons went to Missouri and a descendant Dr. Wade Watts currently lives in St. Louis, MO.
We have seen the marriage records for three of Richard and Sally Watts daughters in Mercer Co KY. Elizabeth (Bettsey) Watts, the eldest child, married Joseph Garshwiler on 16, September 1800. She was age 23 at that time. In July 1810 the estate of Joseph Garshwiler Jr. was settled and David G. Cowan was appointed guardian for his heirs John and Furnata Garshwiler. So Bettsey Watts was a widow by age 33. Elizabeth Watts Garshwiler married Seaton Beadles 30 April 1817 in Mercer Co. KY. On 12 September 1826 two Garshwiler couples and Elizabeth and her husband Seaton Beadles sold 55 acres near Danville, KY on the northwest side, adjoining the road from Danville to Harrodsburg to James J. Miles. Mercer Co. Deed Book 14, p. 112. They moved to Johnson Co. IN where Seaton Beadles died in 1829. Elizabeth and Seaton Beadles also had children. Elizabeth Watts Garshwiler Beadles died on 31 January 1847 at age 69 in Johnson Co IN.
Nancy Jane Watts was received by experience at the Shawnee Run Baptist Church in Mercer Co. KY on 1 January 1802 according to the Minutes for 1799 through 1907 p.76. As we have seen she married Beverly Dickerson 9 May 1804 at age 23. Joseph Garshwiler her brother in law provided surety, her father Richard Watts gave consent, Peter Shaver her brother in law and Joseph Garshwiler were witnesses. Beverly and Nancy Dickerson owned land in the forks of the Chaplin River and the Deep Creek areas both near each other in westernmost Mercer Co KY. The Dickerson’s were listed in the Federal Census in Mercer Co KY in 1840. Nancy Watts Dickerson died 18 November 1866 10 days after her 87th birthday. She and her husband Beverly Dickerson are buried in the Dickerson family cemetery in Jenkinsville, Washington Co. KY.
Sarah Watts married Peter Shaver (Sheafor) 2 December 1802 in Mercer Co. KY. On 15 October 1806 their son Miranda was born. On 12 March a son Lorenzo Stubblefield was born to them. A daughter Amanda was born 10 March 1810. Peter Shaver (Sheafor) was on the tax list in Mercer Co KY 18 August 1813, however they must have moved to Butler County Ohio shortly afterward as their son Hayden was born in Butler County Ohio in 1815. After Peter Shaver died Sarah married Joseph Compton in 1822 in Butler Co. OH. Joseph Compton died in 1841 and there is no record of Sarah Compton after 14 March 1842 when she received the last payment allowed her from the estate of Joseph Compton. She was about 60 years old.
As we have seen, Richard Watts moved to Washington County KY in 1809. His wife Sarah “Sally”, daughter Frances and sons John Stubblefield Watts and William Russell Watts moved with them. On 12 November 1810 Richard and Sally’s daughter Frances Watts married Alexander Murray in Washington County KY. In 1819 they bought land in Barren County KY and appeared in the Federal Census in 1820 with 5 children – 3 males under 10 and 2 females under 10. This family appears again in the Barren Co KY census in 1830 but in 1840 the Murray family appears with an adult male and female ages 50-60 and one male 15-20 in Hart Co. KY.
The 1810 Federal Census for Washington Co. KY shows Richard Watts listed with 2 males 16-26, one male over 45, one female 16-26 and one female over 45. Next door is a William Watts with 2 males under 10, one male 26-45, 2 females under 10, 3 females 10 to 16 and one female 26-5. It is unclear who this William Watts is but he could be the William Watts who married Sally Devine 9 July 1794 in Mercer Co. KY. This William was the son of Aaron Watts of Washington Co. KY who died and left orphans William and Aaron Watts as well as a daughter. He was also a possible cousin of Richard Watts. This however is unproved at this point.
Richard and Sally Watts joined the Bethel Baptist Church in Washington County KY after their move there. The minutes from 1817-1875 reflect that Richard was quite active in church affairs. Very little is mentioned about women in the church records.
Dec. 13, 1817 minutes
June 13, 1818
Apr 10, 1819
Aug. 7, 1819 Brother R. Watts messenger to bear letter to association.
Dec. 11, 1819 Bro R. Watts seconded motion that Bro. Jonathan Royalty make report to church.
Feb. 12 1820 Next meeting to be at Bro. Wattses.
July 8, 1820 Bro. Watts and Bro. Prather app. To bear letter to assoc.
Jan 13, 1821 a charge was exhibited against sis. Mary Graham for the sin of adultery by Bro. R. Watts. She is no more with us.
Aug. 12, 1821 Bro R. Watts, Bro D. Waughner, Bro. W. Prather to bear letter to assoc.
Aug 10, 1822 to bear letter Bro R. Watts, Bro. D. Waughner & Bro A. Darnel
June 14, 1823 App by church Bro R. Watts to view a place to build a meeting house.
Aug 12, 1824 R. Watts to bear letter.
We can see from the records that Richard Watts was not only an active member of the Bethel Baptist Church but was a Deacon and then later became Moderator. During this period he and the family members living with him lived on the property that Richard had bought from the Robersons on the forks of the Chaplin in Washington County in 1809. He apparently added to this land tract when he bought 305 3⁄4 acres on the north bank of the Chaplin River in Washington County in 1814. (suit by son John S. Watts against the heirs of Isaac Cox claiming his father Richard Watts was shortchanged by Isaac Cox in acreage at the sale.) On October 3, 1825, John S. Watts and his wife Polly sold a tract of land on the waters of the Chaplin fork in Washington Co. which they stated was bounded on a part of the line which Richard Watts deceased had purchased from Isaac Cox. Therefore we can tell that Richard Watts died sometime between August 12 1824 and 3 October 1825.He was then approximately 66 or 67 years old. We do not know when Sarah “Sally” Watts died nor where either of them are buried. Records of burial at the Bethel Baptist Church or tombstones recorded in the Bethel Baptist churchyard reveal no record of Richard and Sarah Watts. ( Land sold by John S. Watts and his wife Polly in which it is stated that Richard is deceased made October 3, 1825 and recorded October 27, 1828 Book J 1827-1829 p. 232. Washington County KY.) One possibility is that Richard and Sally Watts are buried in a family cemetery near where they lived on property owned by the family.
Deed Book S 1851-1853 p. 59. William R. Watts and Jane his wife sell to Benjamin Bull, all of Washington Co. KY, land on Glenn Creek mouth of Graves Branch, 62 acres out of which boundary is reserved one acre square around and to include the graveyard, which is not to be sold. Wm. R. Watts
Richard and Sally Watts had two sons John Stubblefield Watts and William Russell Watts. When Richard, Sally, their daughter Frances and two sons moved to Washington Co. KY from Mercer Co. KY in 1809, we find that on 10 May 1809, John S. Watts was listed on the personal tax list of Mercer Co. with one white over 21 and one horse. So he moved shortly thereafter with the family to Washington Co. Frances married Alexander Murray 12 November 1810 in Washington Co. KY and this left John S. Watts and William Russell Watts at home with their parents. John S. and William R. appeared to be close if one looks at the land dealings they had together and the fact that after they joined the same unit of the Kentucky Militia in the War of 1812, participated in the same battles and returned home, they married sisters Mary (Polly) and Jane Schooling, daughters of James Schooling, a Revolutionary War Veteran and Mary Hardwick both of Virginia. The Schooling family had moved to Washington Co. KY after the Revolutionary War.
In 1850 William Russell Watts applied for bounty land for which he stated he was entitled due to his service in the War of 1812. On 14 April 1871 at age 82, William Russell Watts applied for a pension for having served in the War of 1812. He states he enlisted in Captain Samuel Robertson’s company, Colonel Rennick’s regiment, King’s brigade, Shelby division of the Kentucky Militia on 08 August 1813 in Springfield KY and was honorably discharged in November 1813. He stated that he “was at the Battle of the Thames on the 5th of October 1813, saw Tecumseh as he was identified by the prisoners and also Col. Whitely as they laid near to each other and from all the circumstances was satisfied they killed each other. We crossed Lake Erie by order of General Harrison”.
On 03 April 1878, William Russell Watts’ second wife Martha Ann Burnham Watts appeared before the Clerk of the Court of Washington Co. KY. She declared that he had served in the War of 1812 as a Private in the Company commanded by Captain Samuel Robertson of the Kentucky Militia. She stated that he was 5 foot 10 inches, had a fair complexion and black eyes. His brother, his niece and three of his brother’s grandchildren were said to have had black eyes. (Watts-Hayes Letters by John S. Watts’ daughter Margaret Watts Hays). Martha Ann Watts states that her husband’s first wife was Jane Schooling. She states that she is a widow and that both her husband and his first wife died in Washington Co. KY. Her stepson, William Russell Watts Jr., signed as a witness.
These documents give us a good picture of the experiences of William Russell Watts and his brother John Stubblefield Watts during the War of 1812. John enlisted in the same unit and participated in the same battle that His brother William did.
Upon the brothers return from the war, John married Mary (Polly) Schooling on 3 August 1814 and William R. married Jane Schooling on 15 April 1815. The Schoolings were sisters and daughters of James Schooling, a Revolutionary War veteran, and Mary Hardwick. James Schooling is listed as bondsman at both weddings. According to Edward Watts, Washington Co. KY tax records indicate that John S. Watts owned 250 acres along Chaplin’s Fork in 1817. He owned 507 acres along Chaplin’s Fork in 1819-21 and 300 acres in 1825. As we have seen previously, John S. and his wife Polly sold 25 acres on 3 October 1825 which bordered on land previously owned by Richard Watts now deceased. On 3 October 1828, he and Polly sold 135 acres on waters of the Chaplin Fork and Bee Run. Both transactions are in Deed Book J p. 232, p. 236 Washington Co KY. In addition to land dealings, an order of the court directed the clerk of said court to bind out Vardiman Bolds an infant orphan age 17 to John S. Watts to learn the art of blacksmith Made 14 June 1824. Book I 1823-1827 p 28. Washington Co. KY.
Polly Schooling Watts and John Stubblefield Watts had ten children, but only five survived to adulthood. These children were Mary E. Watts 1820-1845, Leticia Stubblefield Watts 1821-1910, John S. Watts Jr. 1827-29-1901, Dewitt Clinton Watts 1829-about 1894, Cleon Bolivar Watts 1831-unknown. Mary (Polly) Schooling Watts died in 1835. Her place of burial is unknown.
On 21 December 1835 John Watts married Elizabeth Yocum a widow with several children. On 14 November 1838 John S. Watts and his wife Elizabeth E. Watts of Callaway in the State of Missouri sold to John Peters of Washington Co. KY 96 1⁄2 acres in Washington Co. on waters of Glenn Creek bounded by a tract formerly owned by Joseph Schooling deceased etc for the sum of $600.75. Deed Book N 1836-1840 p 503 Washington Co. KY. This gives us an approximate time for John and Elizabeth’s move to Missouri. In October of 1841 the Watts and several male Yocum family members appointed Jesse Yocum as their lawyer for the purpose of selling all their land in Washington Co. KY. Deed Book O 1840-1842 p 467 Washington Co. KY.
John S. Watts and Elizabeth Ewing Berry Yocum Watts had the following children: Margaret Jane Watts 1836-1873, Sarah L. Vaughn Watts 1837-1892 and Andrew Jackson Watts 1838-1894.
John S. Watts led wagon trains to California and wound up remaining in California. He settled in Mariposa California and became a magistrate. He died 26 April 1860 at age 73 of apoplexy (stroke). His obituary indicated he was well revered and admired in his community. His funeral services were held in the Methodist Church in Mariposa California. (Watts-Hays Letters)
William Russell Watts, the son of Richard and Sally Watts and brother of John Stubblefield Watts, upon his return from the War of 1812 as we have seen, married Jane Schooling. She was the daughter of James Schooling a Revolutionary War veteran and Mary Hardwick as well as the sister of Mary (Polly) Schooling, the wife of John S. Watts. Edward Watts cites Washington Co. KY records which indicate that in 1817 William had 160 acres on Glenn Creek. In 1818 he was granted permission to build a grist mill on Glenn Creek. William resigned as constable in 1818 but was reappointed in April 1823. As we have seen earlier, William and Jane sold 62 acres along Glenn Creek in October 1851 except for one square acre reserved for a cemetery. Glenn Creek appears to originate in Jenkinsville, KY in Washington Co. Jane Schooling Watts died on 26 January 1855 at approximately age 58 and is buried in the Gillespie Cemetery in Jenkinsville, KY Washington Co.
(NOTE: If you have stories to contribute from your branch of one of these families, please email Marian Franklin. firstname.lastname@example.org.)