Categories: Douglas Family Brick Walls | Douglas Name Study | Sumner County, Tennessee | Southern Pioneers | Clan Douglas | Continental Army, American Revolution | Douglases in the American Revolution, Patriots | NSSAR Patriot Ancestors.
||Edward Douglass Sr. was part of a Southern Pioneer Family.|
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The Douglass family took a prominent part in the early day affairs of Sumner County, Tennessee. Edward Douglass, Sr. progenitor of this line, was a man of education and said to have been a lawyer, though he never practiced law. 
Edward Douglass was one of the first magistrates of Sumner County, Tennessee. Prior to July, 1796, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions was held in different places, at Edward Douglass' place in 1788 and 1790, and at the Ezekial Douglass place in 1793-1796. The first term of court held under the organization of the State of Tennessee was in July, 1796, and Edward Douglass, (Jr.) and James Douglass were among thos e commissioned as justices by John Sevier, the first Governor of the State. Both sons, James and Edward (Jr.) had served terms as Sheriff of Sumner County. Edward's son, Edward Douglass (Jr.) also served as a State Senator.
By an act of the North Carolina Legislature the county of Sumner was established in November, 1786. It was so named in honor of General Jethro Sumner, a brave officer of the North Carolina line throughout the war of the Revolution, and comprised a scope of country north of the Cumberland River. The first county court thereof was held on the second Monday in April, 1787, in the house of John Hamilton. At this time the following citizens qualified as Magistrates:Gen. Daniel Smith, Maj. David Wilson, Maj. George Winchester, Isaac Lindsey, William Hall, John Hardin and Joseph Keykendall. David Shelby was elected clerk of the court, an office which he held during the remainder of his life. John Hardin, Jr., became the first sheriff of the county and Isaac Lindsey the first ranger. Soon after Col. Edward Douglass and Col. Isaac Bledsoe were added to the court. This first legislative body of the county was composed of men possessed of splendid character and ability, who by the old writers, are accredited with having ruled both wisely and well. 
Col. Edward Douglas was a prominent figure in the affairs of the early settlement. He was a native of North Carolina and held a Major's commission in the Colonial army during the war of the Revolution. He is described as having been a prudent military officer, and in the early years of his residence in Sumner County gained great renown as an Indian fighter. In the latter years of his life he was a successful practitioner and business man. From himself and his brother are descended a long line of honored citizens of Sumner County. Note: Many researchers have confused the elder Col Edward Douglass with his son, Edward Douglass Jr. It was Edward Douglass Jr that was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, a revolutionary war soldier that fought at the battle of Kings Mountain, was a practicing attorney and served in the Tennessee State legislature. Col Edward Douglass Sr would have been in his 70's at the time he followed his sons to Middle Tennessee in 1785/86 He passed away in 1795, about 10 years after resettling in what would become the State of Tennessee after his death.
Edward Douglass, Sr. died 2 Feb. 1795, Cage's Bend, Sumner Co., TN.
The date that Edward Douglass immigrated to the American colony of Virginia is unknown but it was certainly before 1740, the year he is said to have married Sarah George. According to a memoir by Edward's son, James Douglass, Edward is said to have stated he was born in Scotland. Other Douglass researchers however, have placed his Oct 3, 1713 birth in Fauquier county, Virginia. This assertion is doubtful as Fauquier County, Virginia did not exist before 1759, and no record of his parents has ever been found in colonial Virginia.
Edward Douglass and Sarah George were married c 1840 possibly in Orange County, Virginia (founded in 1734 from Spotsylvania County.).  Most of Edward's children are believed to have been born in Orange County, Virginia between 1741 - 1756. 
Move to Washington County
Edward Douglass is said to have moved from Fauquier County to Washington County, Virginia (then Fincastle County, Virginia. Fauquier County,Virginia was formed 1 May 1759 from Prince William County, Virginia.  The exact date is not known however it would have been after 1772, the year that Fincastle County was formed. Washington County was formed from Fincastle County, Virginia in 1777.
John Benham's Fort
Located on the North Fork of the Holston River near Mendota, Virginia was the fort of John Benham. This was perhaps only a family fort for no mention is made of militia troops ever having been stationed there, or that it was in use after the Revolutionary War. The date the fort was built is unknown, but John Benham settled there in 1769. He owned a thousand acres of land along the Holston River about four miles below the village of Holston. John Benham was evidently a brother-in-law to the elder Vincent Hobbs. Hobbs and Benham both had a son named Vincent, and both had sons named Joel. The Hobbs and Benhams lived on adjoining farms.
Daniel Smith map of the headwaters of the Clinch and Holston Rivers, Virginia dating from July 8, 1774. Edward Douglass and son, John lived near Blakemore's Fort, near the mouth of Stoney Creek in what was then Fincastle County, Virginia. Edward's son, James Douglass lived nearby at the location of Maiden Springs Station. August to November, 1774. Washington County was formed from Fincastle County,
There was also a connection between the John Brenham family and the family of John Douglas who was killed by the Indians at Little Moccasin Gap in 1776. John Douglas who lived with his father Edward Douglas on Clinch River, near Flour Ford in present day Scott County, Virginia, may have been returning from a visit with these relatives when slain by the Indians.  John Benham, builder of Benham's Fort died in 1800. Edward Douglass petitioned the Commonwealth of Virginia for a reimbursement of 16 lb 6 shillings for the horse that his son John was riding when he was killed. The horse was taken by the Indians that had attacked him.  Edward Douglass was granted administration of John's estate after he and two of his neighbors in Washington County made bond of 100 lbs.  At the time of John Douglass's death in 1776 he was living with his father, Edward Douglass, on the Clinch River, near Flour Fork in Fincastle County (later Washington then, Scott County), Virginia.   
John Douglass Memorial Marker
There is a memorial marker that was placed by the Virginia DAR to mark the spot where Sgt Douglass was killed, during the American Revolution, while on a mission to warn settlers of the Clinch River area of an impending attack by Indians.
King Charles II of England granted the Carolina charter in 1663 for land south of Virginia Colony and north of Spanish Florida 
From records of the family of Cullen Douglass beginning with Edward Douglass, Sr. "taken from family bible, & other sources on 1 September 1922. Edward Douglass Sr. was born in the Grampian Mts., Scotland October 3, 1713, moved to Fauquier County, Virginia; moved to Culpepper Co, Virginia (formed in 1749 from Orange Couty, Virginia) in "Lord Fairfax Grant"; moved again to Chatham Co. NC, (formed in 1771 from Orange County, NC)., near Guildford Courthouse; emigrated to Station Camp Creek, with all of his children in 1785; Was married to Sarah George in 1740; died in Feb of 1795, on West Station Camp Creek, Sumner Co, Tennessee. Edward and Sarah Douglass were buried in the William Cage Family cemetery, Cage's Bend, between Gallatin and Hendersonville, Tennessee. Based on the Bible records of Cullen Douglass, most of Edward and Sarah's children would have been born in Virginia, They settled in the Province of North Carolina about 1767, were there until after the Revolution, moving westward to what at the time was Davidson County , North Carolina. Sumner County was formed from Davidson County in November, 1786 shortly after Edward and Sarah arrived to settled there a few miles east of Nashville, with other members of their family. The State of Tennessee wouldn't be formed until about 10 years later in 1796. This means that Col Edward Douglass never resided in the State of Tennessee. He passed away in 1795, and Sarah Douglass two years later in 1797. Their final resting place is located in a scenic bend of the Cumberland River on land that that is located at the former plantation site of son-in-law, Major William Cage.
Edward Douglass Sr DAR record
Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Genealogical Research Databases, database online, (http://www.dar.org/ : accessed January 8, 2017), "Record of PATRIOT'S Douglas Edward SR ", Ancestor # A033694.
The DOUGLASS family has been prominent in Sumner County since 1785, when Edward Douglass, with all his children, settled on Station Camp Creek a few miles north of present day Gallatin, Tennessee. He was born in Farquier County, Virginia (Note: Col Douglass had stated he was born in Scotland); married about 1740, Sarah George. He was a commissioned officer in the War of Independence, and a man of education, a lawyer, though he did not practice law. He, when called upon, gave legal advice to his friends, and neighbors without fee or reward, always counseling them not to go into the courts. He was one of the first magistrates of Sumner County, and was active in all public affairs. His home was near Salem Camp Group, on lands still in possession of his descendants.
The descendants of Col Edward Douglass, have been well researched and documented with most lines descending from Col Douglass well known. A question that remains unanswered is who the parents of Col Douglass are. This has been the subject of research for many years and yet there has been nothing but speculative answers. Edward's son, James Douglass recorded in his memoir that his father had stated that he was born near the Grampian Hill region of Scotland, that he had only one brother, and that their father had died while they were still young. At least one researchers has documented that Edwards father was named James, and that he may have been born in Virginia, the descendant of several generations of Edwards, all early immigrants to the American colonies. Another speculation is that he may be a descendant of Lt Col Edward Douglass, an early settler of Jamestown, Colony of Virginia. This Lt Col Edward Douglass, was a planter, large landholder, Jamestown Burgess and married the sister (perhaps niece) of Sir Thomas Dale, Governor of Virginia. It is known that Lt Col. Edward Douglass had at least three children from that union, two daughters and one son. The son's name was also Edward. Making the connection between these two Douglass lines has not been successful and the lack of early records makes connecting the two lines a difficult task. However, some circumstantial evidence does exist. It is known that Col Edward Douglass 1713-1795 did migrate westward from Virginia into North Carolina and eventually to Davidson county, later to be divided, a portion becoming Sumner county. Also, to be considered is the name Edward. Edward is not a common name among males of Scot descent. Edward of England was a very unpopular king in Scotland. Also, there may be connections in Lt Col Edward Douglass 1594-1657 line to the Blakemore and George families, of Virginia, something that is also found in the line of Col Edward Douglass 1713-1795. A coincidence perhaps, but it may be an indication that there is a connection between the two lines. Perhaps, DNA evidence will provide some answers to the question researchers have been asking for decades, just who are the ancestors of Col Edward Douglass 1713-1795 ? It is my opinion Edward's statement that he was born in the area of the Grampians, Scotland should guide research into his ancestoral beginnings. Curious researchers may explore possible connections with the Douglases of Douglases Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland area. Or perhaps research Douglas lines cemeteries around Aberdeenshire. And as mentioned another avenue would be to continue looking into connections with the line of Lt Col. Edward Douglass of Northampton County, Virginia.
Search for Evidence
It is estimated that Edward Douglass' father would have most likely been born between 1660 and 1690. If he did die when Edward was still young (before the age of 20 lets say) then his death date would have been between the years of 1713 - 1733. He would have been about 23 - 53 when Edward was born, He would have been of English or Scottish origin, possibly English given that he named his son Edward, a name that would not have been very common in Scotland at that time. Edward would have already been in colonial Virginia prior to the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 in Scotland. He married Sarah Elizabeth George about 1740. Their first child, John was born about 1741, Edward would have been about 28 years of age when he became a father. All his children would have been born in British colonial America, and subjects of King.George ll. It is likely that none of Edward's children ever knew their grandfather Douglas. None of them are known to have left any record of him. If Edward came to America on his own he must have come as a young man since he was married in Virginia by 1740. His dates of entry would have most likely have been between 1730 and 1740.
Other possibilities are that he came with his parents or an older sibling, or as some researchers believe, he was born in Virginia.
There are a few birth and christening records that may provide some clues to Col Edward Douglas' Scottish ancestry. In one promising Kincardine record a James Douglass is named as father and the christening date would be in the correct range for Edward's birth.   James Douglass is also named as father in a 1717 christening record. The place cited, Kincardine is in the Grampian region This James Douglass may have been born about 1685, in Kincardine, the son of a William Douglass.  and possibly married June 19, 1712 to Christian Murrah A little more than a year later Edward Douglass was born, October 3, 1713. At the christening date of June 3, 1715 he would have been about 1 1/2 years old. Thousands of online archives of birth and christening records, marriage records and death and burial records both in Scotland and England have been searched. The Kindardine, Scotland records listed above are the closest matching the information we have regarding the birth, and father of Edward Douglass.
Possible Parents of Edward
Based on the statements of Edward Douglass, and family traditions speculative candidates have been found for the parents of Edward Douglass. YDNA evidence also indicates there is a connection between the line of Immigrant John Bruce Douglas and Edward Douglass. The parents of John Bruce Douglas are also unknown. A more in-depth investigation is underway.
James Douglass, may have been born about 1685, in Kincardine, the son of a William Douglass. 
Note: Researchers should keep in mind that this information is speculative and unproved. Although some dates and persons given above do seem to fit the search parameters research is ongoing.
The Douglasses had a pretty early settlement on Deeside, it having been about 1479 that David Douglass, a cadet of Douglass of Dalkeith, married the heiress of Ogston of that Ilk and ]Tilwhilly. The Douglasses have possessed Tilwhilly from that time, with the exception of from about 1812 to 1857, when it belonged to Henry Lumsden, Esq., advocate, Aberdeen, from whom, or his heirs, it was reacquired by the Douglasses during the last mentioned year. The castle of Tilwhilly, dated 1576, and now occupied by the tenant of the farm, is in a tolerable state of repair. Bishop Douglass of Salisbury, born at Pittenweem, in Fife, was descended of this family.  
Edward Douglass married about 1740, Sarah George, of Virginia. Their seven sons and the husbands of their two daughters were in the Revolution, which is a remarkable record--ten members of one family, including himself, all in the Revolution.
Signed 28-Feb-1793, recorded 10-Oct-1795
Direct male descendants
Col Edward Douglass predicted YDNA Haplogroup is I-M253.
Douglass descendant, David Douglas I-M253, has several YDNA matches with other Douglass descendants, however the connection between their most distant ancestors has not been made to date. 
Autosomal DNA matches
Comparing Kit T824570 (David Douglas) and T379443 (Martha Brown) (Full Siblings). Match on 51 segments, and all 22 Chromosomes, Largest segment = 153.0 cM, Total of segments > 7 cM = 2,507.4 cM, 51 matching segments. (Gedmatch.com)
Descendants of Col Edward Douglass are encouraged to join the Facebook Group: "Descendants of Col Edward Douglass"
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On 10 Feb 2017 at 01:05 GMT David Douglass wrote:
On 2 Oct 2016 at 19:47 GMT David Douglass wrote:
Edward is 20 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 27 degrees from Carol Keeling, 10 degrees from George Washington and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.