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An American Family History

Nancy Pitts Hammet

Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

During the Civil war many citizens of East Tennessee opposed secession, but the area was under Confederate control from 1861 to 1863. Some citizens engaged in guerrilla warfare against state authorities and joined the Union army, while others were loyal to the confederacy. It was a heartbreaking case of neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother.


Nancy Pitts Hamett was born on August 31, 1834 Sullivan County Tennessee. Her parents were John Pitts and Sarah Stanfield.

She was 14 at the time of the 1850 census.

She married David Hammett (Hammet, Hammit, Hamet, Hammitt) on October 24, 1857 in Washington County, Tennessee. The marriage was performed by L. H. Hunt, J. P.

David was born about 1842. He was only about 15 when they were married. His parents were probably Ezekiel Hammett and Phebe Chandler (married 1838 in Washington County). At the time of the 1850 census, an eight year old David Hammet was living with Phebe's parents, David and Hannah Chandler in Subdivision 4 of Washington County (record). He was born in Tennessee. Another 6 year old David Hamet was living with Ezekiel and Phebe Hammet (record). He was born in North Carolina. This may be the same David. He was staying with his grandparents, but also listed in his parent's home.

David and Nancy's children included:
Sarah Hammet Jackson (1859, married William Jackson),
John Hammet (went by the name Pitts, 1862, married Julia A. Ford (daughter of David Peter Ford) and he married Maria Bishop),
and Henry (Joseph) Pitts (1867, married Katie Ford).

According to Nancy's death certificate, she and David divorced. In 1860 Nancy was living in Buffalo Ridge in Washington County with her parents. The household consisted of John Pitts age 74, Sarah Pitts age 66, Edny Pitts age 45, Nancy Hammet age 23, and Sarah Hammet age 1.

In 1860 a D. Hammet, born in 1842, was in the Tennessee penitentiary in Nashville for larceny. (record) The Tennessee State Library and Archives online confirm that David Hammet age 18 from Washington County was convicted in 1859.

In 1863 David joined the Confederate army. David was a Corporal in Company A of the 8th Tennessee Cavalry from June 11, 1863 to September 11, 1865. He served for one year and three months. The Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Tennessee from 1861 to 1866 says he was 21 when he enlisted.

In 1870 Nancy was living with her father and sister. Nancy Hammet was 35, John Hammet was 8 and Joseph was 3. The adults were illiterate. Sarah did not appear in the Pitts household, but was living with 53 year old Fannie Hammit in the next household.

After their divorce, David married Elizabeth Keen about 1871.

She had three children before their marriage:
James Hammett or Keen (1863),
Joseph Hammett or Keen (1867, married Mary Ellen Jackson),
and Sarah A. Hammett (or Keen) Gray (1870, married Dolphius B. Gray)

David and Elizabeth's children included:
Amanda Hammett (1872),
Margaret (Maggie) Hammett (1875-1930, never married),
Martin P. Hammett (1876), and
Richard Calvin Hammett (1877, married Sarah Ellen Cooley).

In 1880, Nancy was living with her sister, Edna, in Sullivan County. The household consisted of Dentney Pitts age 59, Nancy Pitts age 45 and Henry F. (Joseph?) Hamet age 13.

John Hammet married Julia A. Ford (daughter of David Peter Ford) before the 1880 census when he was living with her family. John was 18 and Julia was only 14. They all used the name Pitts.

Sarah M. Hammet married William Jackson on May 22, 1884 in Washington, Tennessee. Joseph Hammet married Mary Ellen Jackson on April 25, 1887 in Washington County. William and Mary Ellen were the children of John W. Jackson and and Margaret Hale.

In 1920, she was living with her son Henry and his family in Sullivan County. The household consisted of Henry Pitts age 53, Katie Pitts age 51, Nancy Pitts age 85, Emory Pitts age 26 and Steward Pitts age 15.

She died on June 20, 1922 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. She was buried in Smith Cemetery. John C. Pitts signed the death certificate.

Washington County, Tennessee,was established in 1777 as Washington County, North Carolina. From 1784 to 1788,it was part of the State of Franklin.

The Confederate States of America (CSA), also known as the Confederacy, was a government set up by southern states during the Civil War. The states who left the Union were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.


North Carolina was one of the thirteen original Colonies. It was first settled by small farmers and grew quickly in the mid 18th century.

 

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