An American Family History


The Mulkey Family

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.

Philip Mulkey, Sr. was born in 1732 in Edgecomb County, North Carolina.

He married Anne Ellis.

Philip and Ann 's children included:
David Mulkey (1751),
Jonathan Mulkey (1752, married Nancy Howard),
Sarah Mulkey (1754),
Martha Mulkey (1756), and
Philip Mulkey, Jr. (1756)
Robert Mulkey (1763).

In 1757 Philip was ordained by the Reverend Shubal Stearns at the Sandy Creek Baptist Church.

In 1758, he became the pastor of the Deep River Church in what is now Chatham County. In 1759 Reverend Mulkey and twelve of his congregation abandoned Deep River.

Philip Mulkey, Sr. and Jr. were in the 1776 Cherokee Expedition.

He was excommunicated in 1790 and churches were warned against him for adultery, perfidy and falsehood. 

Philip Mulkey died in Washington County, Tennessee in 1801.


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


Jonathan Mulkey was born on October 16, 1752 in Halifax County, North Carolina. His parents were Philip Mulkey and Ann Ellis.

He married Nancy Howard, daughter of Obediah Howard and Priscilla Avery Breed.

John Mulkey (1773, married Elizabeth B. Hayes),
Philip Mulkey (1776, married Ruth Odell),
Mary Mulkey (1778, married Thomas Means/Mares),
Elizabeth Mulkey (1779, married John Murray)
Nancy Mulkey (1780, married Samuel Billingsley),
Sally Mulkey (1785, married Joseph Bayless/Bayles)
Rebecca Mulkey (1788, married William Slaughter), and
Isaac Mulkey (1788).

In 1776 Jonathan was in the Cherokee Expedition.

He was the second Baptist Pastor (from 1785-1826) at the Buffalo Ridge Church .

In 1785/86, Primitive Baptist preachers, Jonathan Mulkey and William Reno/Reneau visted the Big Pigeon settlement in Cocke County Tennessee.








from Washington County Tennessee Wills 1777-1872 by Goldene Fillers Burgner

Jonathan Mulkey
August 3, 1826

To wife, Anna, her choice of personal property and clothing she has made since she has lived with me.

To son, Isaac, all my land I now live on (180 acres), at his death to be divided between his children.

To daughters, Rebecca Slaughter, Elizabeth Murry.

Other children: John Mulky, Philip, Jonathon Mulky, Mary Mares, Nancy Billingsley, Sarah Marres - have received their sumes.

Executors: Nathan Shipley and 2 sons-in-law William Slaughter and John Murrey.

Wit.: Thomas Galloway, Manly Allgood, Duke Ruble.

Signed: Jonathan (X) Mulky


from History of Washington County, Tennessee

Jonathan Mulkey was a preacher in the tradition of Paul, going from small settlement to small settlement in the wilds of Eastern Tennessee country to found small congregations of Baptists.

Jonathan Mulkey was born Halifax County, North Carolina, a son of Philip and Ann (Ellis) Mulkey.

Philip Mulkey (May 14, 1732-c1801) was amoung the Baptists in South Carolina led by Rev. Morgan Edwards. Philip was a grandson of Eric Pallson Mulca and wife, Ingebord Helm. Eric Pallson Mulca or Mulkey accompanied Colonel John Printz, third Governor of New Sweden (Wilmington, Delaware, to the ocean) to the New World.

Ann Ellis, mother of Rec. Jonathan Mulkey was the daughter of Lt. Colonel Robert Ellis of Wilmington District, North Carolina.

Jonathan Mulkey married first, Nancy, a daughter of Obediah Howard by his wife, Priscilla Avery Breed.

The children of Jonathan and his frist wife were:
Elizabeth, married John Murray;
Nancy married________ Billingsley;
Mary married ______Means;
Philip, born 1775, married Ruth O'del/O'dell;
Isaac, preacher of Washington County Tennessee;
Rebecca married William Slaughter
; Sally married ________ Bayless;
and John Mulkey, born Fair Forest, South Carolina, 14 January 1773.

The Rev. Jonathan Mulkey began preaching in South Carolina and, in 1780 he, William, Reno/Reneau, and others from Carolina and Virginia migrated to East Tennessee and organized a church on Boones Creek, subsequently known as Buffalo Ridge. .


from Annals of Tennessee

The westernmost settlement, late in the fall of this year, (1776) was in Carter's Valley. Mr. Kincaid, Mr. Long, Mr. Love, and Mr. Mulkey, a Baptist preacher, were the pioneers.

Their breadcorn was brought from around the present-day Abingdon, Virginia. During the winter of 1776, these pioneers hunted buffalo and cleared a few acres of land, but the rumors of a Cherokee invasion forced them to leave their farms. All the families below the North Fork of the Holston River recrossed the river and the women and children were taken to the present day Wythe County, Virginia, for safety. On or about March 3, 1818, in Washington County, Jonathan Mulkey married, as his second wife, Anna Lacey.

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.

from Sketches Of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers

In the old cemetery at Buffalo Ridge, Washington County, is a monument with the inscription:

In memory of Jonathon Mulkey, Sen.; born October 16, 1752; departed this life September 5, 1826, after having been a preacher of the gospel of the Baptist order more than fifty years.

Jonathan Mulkey was born in Virginia, and is of Welsh descent. Though there are missing links in the family record. it is reasonably certain that his father was a Philip Mulkey, whom Semple mentions, in connection with William Murphy, as an active pioneer preacher in Virginia, in 1756, and who little later, according to Benedict, was a "'reputable and successful minister for many years" in South Carolina. . .

A bold and spirited adventurer, Mulkey, in early manhood, left his native Virginia and came to what is now East Tennessee. to battle with the wilderness and the Indians. With his little company he made a settlement in Carter's Valley, a little west of where Rogersville now is. The settlers, while clearing their land and preparing for a crop, got their bread-corn from where Abingdon, Virginia, now stands, and for their meat "hunted buffalo." They had planted their corn and worked it once when the rumor of a Cherokee invasion reached them, and all was confusion. The little farms had to be abandoned The families below the North Fork of Holston re-crossed that stream, and the women and children were conducted back as far as the present Wythe County. Virginia. (Ramsey.)

Among my "notes" I find the following "incident of Mulkey," vouched for by the venerable William A. Keen, and generally believed as a creditable tradition handed down by Mulkey himself: In one of these Indian raids, as Mulkey and his companion were trying to make their escape, the Indians overtook them, knocked down, scalped and left for dead Mulkey's companion, while Mulkey himself, slightly wounded by a bullet, leaped into the Holston River, swam across. and made his way to Heaton's Station. But imagine his surprise when. on arriving at that place, he found his companion, whom he had thought scalped and sure enough dead, very much alive. He had not been killed by the Indians, but had made his escape and by a shorter route had reached the station before Mulkey.

In October of 1786, at the organization of the Holston Association, in the meeting-house of the old Cherokee Church, the names of Jonathan Mulkey and Anthony Epperson appear in the minutes as "messengers" from Kendrick's Creek (now Double Springs) Church; of which church he was doubtless the founder and first pastor. He was also pastor of Buffalo Ridge, Cherokee, Sinking Creek, Muddy Creek, and other churches. He was a strong preacher of the true pioneer spirit, and more inclined to do active evangelistic work than to be pastor of churches. He was a leader in the Holston Association for many years; for seven years was its moderator.

James White, a Baptist deacon, living near the center of the "Mulkey dominion," I have been told, would go from seven to ten miles, about every Sunday, to hear "Father Mulkey" preach. He was pastor of Buffalo Ridge as long as he lived, and when too old and too feeble to preach standing, the church, it is said, made him a suitable and easy pulpit-chair, that he might sit down and pour out his soul in melting exhortation to a devoted people who would listen to his every word. . .