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Settling On The Holston River

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Note 1427 by Jerry Cox

Originally posted to William Cox [1]

Ancient Hunting Grounds of Cherokees

The French Broad and Holston Rivers join togather just North of Knoxville to form the Tennessee River. Before 1780 Americans begain settling along these rivers, but the Cherokee Indians claimed these settlements were on part of their ancient hunting grounds, which had been unfairly taken from them by the Americans. The Cherokees raided the settlements and made life bitter for the settlers. In 1780 American troupes invaded Cherokees villages in and near the American settlements, distroying crops and homes. The Indians were left homeless, hungry, and without ammunition, even enough to hunt for food. Also Americans won the Revolutionary War in late fall of 1779.

William Cox and His In-Laws

Now with the war over and the Indians no longer a major threat to settlers, Americans moved in to claim the land. Soon after Reed was born in Virginia in 1785, William Cox settled on the south side of the Holston River in Jefferson Co Tn on Mosey Creek. He built and opperated the second grist mill on the creek, Adam Peck having built the first. (William Cox married Mary Stone, probably at Watauga Tn, but they may have lived close by in Fincastle Co Va.) Michael Massengill, brother-in-law, settled across the river from William Cox on land which would later be in Granger County. Their father-in-law, William Stone, followed in 1796 to live near his family. He, like Michael, settled in Granger County.

Marriages of William Cox

One Cox researcher thinks William Cox may have been married three times. His first wife was the sister of his second wife, Mary Stone. So if this is true, then the mother of William's oldest grils, born before 1780, is unknown. The birth of Mary Stone recorded by the Stone family as 1764 would make Mary very young to be their mother. Mary would be about 12 years old, at the time Mary, William Cox's first recorded child, was born. The only evidence for three marriages is the age of Mary Stone, which makes her very young to be the mother of the older girls. However, there is no memory or record that William was married before he married Mary Stone. William Cox's last wife was Mary Neal. Possible marriages for William Cox are: 1st Unknown Stone, 2nd Mary Stone, 3rd Mary Neal. or 1st Mary Stone, 2nd Mary Neal. Stone family history records that Mary Stone married William Cox about 1781. If this date is correct, then Mary is probably the mother of Dudley, William Jr, Reed and the younger children born before she died in 1794, but probably not the mother of Mary and Elizabeth.

William Cox married Mary Neal in Jefferson Co, Tn, on 5 Aug 1894. There daughter Leannah followed.

Marriages of William Stone's Children

Stone family history records the marriages of William Stone's children. Dorcus' and Mary's record is copied here: " Dorcas married Michael Massengill in Washington County in 1779 and some years later they settled on Buffalo Creek, either when it was in Hawkins County or later when it fell into Grainger. Susan, who never married, is believed to have gone with them and when Dorcas died, she remained in the Massengill home and took care of Dorcas's children. Also in Washington County, around 1781, Mary married William Cox and they moved to Jefferson County, where she died in 1794, leaving children who were reared by Cox's second wife." (Note: Stone family reports just two marriages for William Cox) William Bean, William Stone and others came to Watauga Tn from VA. William Cox may have came with that group, but there is no memory or record of same.

Research Notes

Mary Cox e-mails to Jerry Cox:

Subject; Mary Stone on Saturday, April 20m 2002 8:52 PM

Dear Jerry and Mary, You are right about our not knowing which children were Mary Stone Cox's. I have only guessed and speculated in the past. Reed, Hopkins and Dudley seemed to want to perpetuate those names, and they show up in the names of grandchildren, too. The second William had only one son and one daughter to reach adulthood. He named that son William Napoleon (which was a surname in Tenn.) I wonder if Donna McGraw in Pendleton would know the date of Dudley's Birth or perhaps the name of Dudley's mother. Before I delve into Tenn. records at courthouses or libraries, I will send her an E-Mail. I have gone through all my notes about Stones and Coxes. It hasn't helped .Yes, I have actually seen the death notice of Mary Stone Cox in a microfilm copy of the Knoxville newspaper. There were no details. This is the quote: "Mrs. Mary Cox wife of William Cox esq. died in Jefferson County on the 12th ult." Knoxville Gazette, April 10, 1794, Vol. 3, no 10. From the Allen Papers, McClung Collection, Lawson McGhee Library, Penelope Allen had written, after quoting from the newspaper, "She was Mary Stone, Sister of Dorcus wife of Michael Massengail of Grainger Co Tenn. Then Mrs. Allen signed her name as P.J.Allen. Have a good weekend. Love, Mary and Vincent

Subject: Re: William's brothers Date: Friday, April 12, 2002 10:32 PM

Dear Jerry and Mary, Samuel and William I may have been related, as they came together to the areas of Jefferson and Grainger counties, according to Dr. Ramsey. They both died in the early l800's-Samuel in l808. I thought they might be close to each other in age. They both left minor children. They had both lived previously in Washington Co. I have a copy of the inventory of Sanuel. It was quite substantial. I have never seen one for William Cox. In Samuel's will he lists John as one of his sons. He also says that one of the executors is a relative, and I presume it is the one named John Cox. I wonder if John was a brother or his own father. The will was recorded in Knox Co, as I suppose the court in Grainger Co had not yet begun to function for recording Grainger Co. Wills. I can look up more information about those two Coxes, if it would help. Love and good ancestor hunting, Mary and Vince

Subject: Samuel Cox Date: Thursday, August 16, 2001 9:39 AM

Dear Jerry and Mary, Our granddaughter, Mary, downloaded your letter to Dick Davis. Thanks! It's good to locate a Samuel Cox descendant. Our Samuel's will was filed in the Chancery Court of Knox County, as were the early Jefferson Co. wills. The names of his children were John, Coalman, Jacob, Bruce, Samuel, Polly, Rachel and Sarah Byland. His wife was probably Margaret, because she bought many items at the Estate Sale. We'll be at Mark's for a few days. I'll contact you on my return. Love to both, Mary and Vince

William Cox and Michael Massengill were Brother-in-laws.

Mrs Penelope J Allen is quoted in "The Massengill, Massengale and Variants" as stating William Cox and Michael Massengill were Brother-in-laws.

Passing on of Cox Family History

William Cox's son William Jr fathered son William Napolian Cox. William Napolian's son, Joseph William Cox, fathered seven children, incliuding Lula Belle Cox. Lula Belle was born 3 Feb 1885, 42 years after the death of William jr, her g-grandfather. From an early age she listened to memories about William Jr and memories going back to William sr and Mary Stone Cox. She died in 1986 having lived 101 years. She passed along her memories and her passion for Cox family history to Mary Eleanor King Cox, wife of Vincent Cox, ggg-grandson of William Cox sr. Mary E. added much research to Lula Belle's memorties and produced the book "Descendants of Joseph William Cox Mill Springs, Jefferson Conty, Tennessee 1847-2004. " Much thinks to Mary and Lula Belle. The business papers, documents, letters and also the bible of William Jr were saved and passed down from generation to generation. Hopkins, James, and Reed are mentioned in the documents. Mary E. possesed and perserved them all and at one time was making arrangments to donate the records, except the bible, to the McClung Library in Knoxville. Family history recorded in the bible is that the bible belonged to William Jr, and states his birthday. This Cox family branch has a tradition that William Cox sr came from Ireland. If this memory came from Lula Belle, then is best info avaiable now. Also Mary E. noted that a man often named his first son after his father and his second son after himself. William sr could have followed that practice, as first son was Dudley and second son William. His father would be named Dudley, and he lived in Ireland. Note: There is a Dudley Cox recorded in the Parish and Probate Records in England, see: Buckinghamshirre, Middlesex, Staffordshire. These can be found at, must be a member. Mary E said William Cox and his Wife, Mary, are buried on the Cox Plantation. Info may have came from Lula Belle.


Jacob Carper and William Cox had their names drawn in the lottery. "The Knoxville Gazette"

Settlement at Muscle Shoals

(Haygood "History of Tennessee" p268) In 1791 and later Zackariah Cox of Jefferson Co. was active in attempting to place a settlement at Muscle Shoals on the Tennesssee River. Zackariah had a brother named William, however no connection to our William Cox has been found in the record.

Paying Taxes In 1800

In year1800 William Cox (probably William Cox sr William Jr was age 18) paid taxes on 450 acres and 3 blacks. Also Dudley Cox paid tax in 1 white.

Placed a "Circular"

10 Sept 1828 William Cox placed a "circular" in "The Knoxville Enquirier." It would be nice to find and read same.

Using note as source

Source: <span id='Cox'></span> [[#Cox|Cox]], Jerry '' [[Space:Settling On The Holston River|Note 1427: Settling On The Holston River]]''

Inline citation:
For entire note:
<ref name="Cox1427Full"> [[#Cox|Cox]]: [[Space:Settling_On_The_Holston_River|Note 1427: ''Settling On The Holston River'']]. </ref>
For part of note:
<ref name="Cox1427AncHunt "> [[#Cox|Cox]]: [[Space:Settling_On_The_Holston_River#Ancient_Hunting_Grounds_of_Cherokees|Ancient Hunting Grounds of Cherokees]]. </ref>

Research Notes


  1. Creation of Profile for William Cox which was merged 4 April 2017.


Thank you to Jerry Cox for sharing this note with WikiTree

Note as moved from William Cox

NI427 by jerry Cox who did not want this note changed. On 16 Oct 2013 at 12:30: Jerry Cox imported the data for William Cox from jcoxff.ged which created the profile of William Cox. The unchanged note in it's entirety has been moved here and then hidden. The visible text is unchanged (except for minor typos). However, titles and links to WikiTree profiles have been added to help locate/reference the data better.


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