An American Family History


The Sevier Family


The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

Valentine Sevier married Joanna Goade and settled in what was then Augusta County Virginia, but is now Rockingham County, Virginia.

Valentine and Joanna's children included:

John Sevier (1745),
Valentine Sevier (1747),
Robert Sevier (1747, married Kesiah Robertson/Robinson),
Mary (Polly) Sevier (1753),
Catherine Sevier (1757),
Charles Sevier (1757),
Bethenia Sevier Hawkins (1759, married James Hawkins)
Abraham Sevier (1760, married Mary Little)
Elizabeth Sevier (1762, married William Matlock)
Joseph Sevier (1764), and
Sophia Sevier Peters (1764, married William Peters).

In 1774 Valentine was a sergeant in the Fincastle County Militia during Lord Dunmore's War.

Valentine Sevier was at a court begun and held for the County of Washington on the 23rd February, 1778. He was chosen sheriff.

At the same court, the case of Elijah Robertson vs. Robert Sevier for an assualt was heard. The court ordered that Robert Sevier be bound to his good behavior and enter Recognizance with two securities in the sum of ten pounds himself (and five pounds each of his security) for his good behavior for the Time and Term of Twelve Months. William Parker and William McNabb entered themselves Robert Sevier's security for his good behavior. Ord. that Robert Sevier be admitted to keep an ordinary in this county at the court house.

In 1780

Valentine Sevier vs. George Dayley. Debt. A jury to-wit: David Job, Jas Wray, William McAdoo, Martin Maney, Julius Roberts., Jacob Brown, Jonathan Tipton, Samuel Tate, Robt. Lusk, John Jones, William Cox, Hosea Rose, Sworn. The Jury assess two hundred pounds damages and six pence costs.

Rockingham County, Virginia was established in 1778 from Augusta County. European settlement began in the 1740s.

from The Annals of Tennessee by James Gettys McGready Ramsey

On Monday, the 19th of January, 1792, the Indians killed Robert Sevier and William Sevier, sons of Valentine Sevier, who lived at the mouth of Red River, near the present site of Clarkesville; they had gone to the relief of the distressed families on the Cumberland River, who had sent an express for assistance; the officers of Tennessee county could give none.

A part of the crew was on shore getting provisions to be carried in boats to the sufferers; the boats were ahead of them when these young men discovered the enemy, whom they mistook for their own party, the Indians having been seen late in the evening at a considerable distance from that place. Robert Sevier hailed them, who answered they were friends, with which answer being satisfied, he sailed on, and the Indians carelessly began to chop with their hatchets, till the young men in the boats got very near them.

Robert said to the man who was with him in the boats,' these are not our friends, steer off.' The Indians then fired upon them; the man leaped out of the boat, and left them in it about three rods distant from the shore.

Before the 25th, William was found and buried, but Robert met a party of twelve white men, pursued, but did not overtake the Indians. Ou the 16th of the same month, Valentine, a third son of this unfortunate parent, also fell by the hands of the savages; he was in a boat ascending the river, and was fired upon and killed dead in it; two others were wounded, one of them, John Rice, died, and both he and Valentine were buried about sixty miles below the mouth of Red River.

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.
John Sevier

Colonel John Sevier was born in 1745. He was Valentine Sevier's son.

He married Sarah Hawkins in 1761.

Sarah and John's children included:
Joseph Sevier,
James Sevier,
John Sevier, Jr.,
Elizabeth Sevier,
Sarah Sevier,
Mary Ann Sevier,
Valentine Sevier,
Rebecca Sevier,
Richard Sevier, and
Nancy Sevier.

John Sevier was a captain in the Cherokee Expedition.

John Sevier was at a court begun and held for the County of Washington on the 23rd February, 1778. He was chosen clerk.

He married Catharine Sherrill on August 14, 1780 in East Tennessee.

He died on 24 Sep 1815, near Fort Decatur, Alabama, and she died 02 Oct 1836 at Russellville, Franklin County, Alabama at about age 80 (born about 1756).

Their children included:
George Washington Sevier,
Samuel and Robert Sevier,
Elizabeth Sevier McClelland
Mary Sevier Overstreet and
Joanna Sevier

and a step-daughter, Mary Garland,

Alison BarronBean BlevinsBoringBroylesCarrCobbColbaugh Cole CoxCross CrouchCurtisDeckDenton Dungan EmmertGreenwayHartHendrixHendryHicks Hunt Humphreys Isbell JacksonJobe King LattureLittle Looney MaloneMassengilMauckMcCorkleMcKinleyMillerMooreNavePitts RangeReno/ReneauRhea SevierSmithSmithStanfieldTipton TullisWaggoner Webb


Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

Washington County, Tennessee Marriages

Sevier, Nancy — King, Walter – 19 Feb 1795 [Pension]
Sevier, Rebecca — Waddell, John – 26 Feb 1795 [John Sevier’s Diary]
Sevier, Ruth — Sparks, Richard – 29 Jun 1797 [John Sevier’s Diary]
Sevier, Sarah — Brown, Benjamin – 06 May 1789



European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

The Holston River in northeast Tennessee has given its name to Holston Mountain and the Holston Valley.

from King's Mountain and Its Heroes by Lyman C. Draper

[Colonel John Sevier]. . .was born, September twenty-third, 1745. . . .before he had turned of seventeen, he married Miss Sarah Hawkins, cleared up a farm, and engaged in excursions against the Indians--on one occasion, he and his party narrowly escaping a fatal ambuscade by a timely discovery of the trap their enemies had set for them. He laid out the village of New Market, and there for some time he kept a store and inn, and carried on a farm; and then engaged in merchandizing in the neighboring village of Middletown. . . Late in 1773, John Sevier removed his family to the Holston country, and first located in the Keywood settlement, on the north shore of Holston, half a dozen miles from the Shelby's. Before his removal from Virginia, he had been commissioned a Captain by Governor Dunmore.

[During the Indian attack on the Watagua Fort]. . .was Catharine Sherrill, who when she reached the gate, found it shut; but equal to the emergency, she threw her bonnet over the pickets, and then clambered over herself, and, as she jumped within, was caught in the arms of John Sevier— her future husband.

. . .John Sevier was among the foremost in the defence of the Watauga and Nolachucky settlements. He had been elected Clerk of the first self-constituted court in 1775; and, in 1776, he was chosen one of the representatives of the united settlements to the North Carolina Convention at Halifax, and took his seat, securing the establishment of the district of Washington. Hastening back home, he reached there in season to serve on Christians's expedition against the Cherokees at the head of a fine company of riflemen; and also, at Colonel Christian's request, he acted as a spy during the campaign. He continued his services, till the conclusion of the treaty at Long Island of Holston in July, 1777. In the fall of that year, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel for Washington County. During the period 1777-79, the Indians, Tories and horse-thieves required Colonel Sevier's constant vigilance. In the summer of 1780, he was left in defence of the settlements, while Major Charles Robertson led the Watauga troops on the campaign in South Carolina. During their absence, August fourteenth, having some time previously lost his wife, he was married to Miss Catharine Sherrill.

His gallant services at King's Mountain cannot be too highly extolled. December sixteenth following, he defeated the Cherokees at Boyd's creek, killing thirteen, and taking all their baggage, and then joined Colonel Arthur Campbell on an expedition against the hostile Indian towns. On the third of February, 1781, he was made a full Colonel; and in March, he led a successful foray against the Middle Cherokee Settlements, killing about thirty of their warriors, capturing nine prisoners, burning six towns, and bringing off about two hundred horses. . .

Having, in February, been appointed by General Green one of the Commissioners to hold a treaty with the Indians, a conference took place with the Cherokees at the Long Island of Holston in July, Colonel Sevier and Major [Josiah] Martin attending, but without any permanent results. In the autumn of this year, Colonel Sevier served under Generals Greene and Marion in South Carolina; and, in 1782, he carried on a campaign against the Cherokees.

In November, 1784, he was appointed Brigadier-General, which he declined because of his leadership in the effort to establish the republic of Franklin. During the period of 1784 to 1788, he was made its Governor and defender. He was apprehended by the North Carolina authorities, on a charge of rebellion against the State, and conveyed to Morganton, where he was rescued by a party of his friends; and returning home, "Chucky Jack" led a campaign against the Indians. As the East Tennesseans were divided in sentiment, the Franklin Republic, after a turbulent career of some four years, ceased to exist. In 1789, General Sevier was chosen a member of the Legislature of North Carolina, when an act of oblivion was passed, and he was re-instated as Brigadier-General. In 1790-91, he was elected to represent the East Tennessee district of North Carolina in Congress. When Tennessee was organized into a Territory, he was appointed by President Washington a Brigadier-General in the militia; and he continued to protect the frontier settlements, carrying on the Hightower campaign against the Cherokees in 1793. In 1798, he was made a General in the Provisional army.

On the organization of a State Government in 1796, General Sevier was chosen the first Governor, and by successive re-elections was continued in that office till 1801. In 1802, he served as a Commissioner in running the boundary line between Tennessee and Virginia. He again served as Governor from 1803 till 1809, and then a term in the State Senate. He was chosen to a seat in Congress in 1811, serving, during the war, on the important committee on military affairs, till 1815; when President Madison appointed him one of the Commissioners, to ascertain the boundary of the Creek territory, and died while on that service, in camp, on the east side of the Tallapoosa, near Fort Decatur, Alabama, September twenty-fourth, 1815, closing a busy, useful life at the age of seventy years. As a proof of the love and veneration of his neighbors and friends, while absent in the Creek country, they had again elected him to Congress without opposition. . .

The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle of the American Revoluton. It took place on October 7, 1780, nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson.

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

During the American Revolution a Tory or Loyalist was used in for those who remained loyal to the British Crown.


The Battle of Point Pleasant (Battle of Kanawha) was on October 10, 1774. It was between the Virginia militia and the Shawnee and Mingo. The Shawnee unsuccesfully  attempted to halt the militia's advance into the Ohio Valley.

from King's Mountain and Its Heroes by Lyman C. Draper

Valentine Sevier was born in what is now Rockingham County, Virginia, about 1747, and settled at an early period in East Tennessee. He was a Sergeant, and one of the spies, at the battle of Point Pleasant, where, says Isaac Shelby, "he was distinguished for vigilance, activity, and bravery."

He subsequently served in the Indian wars in East Tennessee, and commanded a company at Thicketty Fort, Cedar Springs, Musgrove's Mill, and King's Mountain.

He was the first Sheriff of Washington County, a Justice of the court, and rose in the militia to the rank of a Colonel.

He removed to the mouth of Red river on Cumberland, now Clarksville, where he was attacked by Indians, November eleventh, 1794, killing and wounding several of his family.

After long suffering from chronic rheumatism, he died at Clarksville [Montgomery Co, TN], February twenty-third, 1800, in his fifty-third year; his widow surviving till 1844 in her one hundred and first year.



Bauman & Dreisbach

©Roberta Tuller 2017