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An American Family History

 

The Shelby Family

 

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War. The British and French were fighting over claim to the territory between the Appalachians and the Mississippi.

Colonel Evan Shelby was born about 1723 in Wales and was the son of Evan Shelby and Catherine Davis.

He married Leticia Cox.

Isaac Shelby (1750, married Susannah Hart),
James Shelby (1752),
Evan Shelby (1754), and
Moses Shelby (1760).

Evan served He under Captain Moses Chapline during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) in Maryland.

In 1774, Isaac, James, and Evan served in the Fincastle County Militia during Lord Dunmore's War.

In 1776, Evan Shelby was a major in the Cherokee Expedition. Isaac and James Shelby were calptain.

Moses, James, Isaac, Evan Jr., John and David Shelby, signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

He built a fort in eastern Tennessee in 1771.

He died in 1794.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

     
 
 
     
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.

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.

Colonel Isaac Shelby was born about 1750 in what is now Washington County. He was son of Evan Shelby and Laetitia Cox,

He he married Susannah Hart in Boonesborough, Kentucky. Susannah was the daughter of Nathaniel Hart and Sarah Simpson.

Sarah Shelby McDowell (1785, married Ephraim McDowell)
Evan Shelby (1787, married Nancy Wilcox Warren)
Thomas Shelby (1789, married Mary Bullock)
Susan Shelby Fishback (1791, married James Fishback)
Nancy Shelby Nelson (1792, married Samuel Nelson)
Isaac Shelby (1795, married Mary Boswell)
John Shelby (1797)
Letitia Shelby Todd (1799, married Charles Todd)
Cathrine Shelby (1801)
Alfred Shelby (1804).

About 1770, a portion of the tract (973 acres) was purchased by Evan Shelby and Isaac Baker. In 1771 Col. Shelby, a noted Indian fighter, erected a fort on a hill overlooking what is now downtown Bristol. It was an important stopping-off place for notables such as Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark, as well as hundreds of pioneers enroute to the interior of the developing nation. Shelby's Fort is best known as one place where the Battle of King's Mountain was planned. 

He served as a lieutenant in his father's Fincastle Company, at the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore's War.

He was appointed Captain by the Virginia Committee of Safety in July, 1776, and in 1779, became a member of the Virginia House of Burgess for Washington County.

At the Battle of King's Mountain in 1780, he led his regiment which was the left interior column. During the battle the middle two columns exchanging fire with the English for fifteen minutes while the flanking columns moved into position. The English drove back Colonels Shelby and Campbell with a bayonet charge.

He was appointed by Virginia Governor Jefferson as a Major in the escort of guards for the commissioners appointed to run the western boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina.

In 1782, he was a member of the legislature of North Carolina and later served as commissioner to settle claims on the Cumberland River and to lay off solders' lands near the site of Nashville. He attended the convention that framed the first constitution of Kentucky, and was elected that state's first Governor, was re-elected in 1812, serving until 1816.

In the War of 1812, he commanded 4,000 troops under General Harrison and marched into Canada in 1813.

He died July 18, 1826.

Fincastle County, Virginia, was created in 1772 from Botetourt County. In 1776 it was divided into three counties; Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky (which the state of Kentucky).

In 1774 Governor Dunmore declared war against Native Americans. The war ended after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774. However, during the American Revolution, the Indian nations regained power and mobilized to attack the colonists.
 

 

 
 

John Shelby was born about 1723 in Wales and was the son of Evan Shelby and Catherine Davis.

He married Louisa Looney.


John Shelby, Jr. (married Elizabeth Brigham)
David Shelby (1763 married Sarah Bledsoe)
Evan Shelby
Thomas Shelby
Isaac Shelby
Louisa Shelby (married William McCrab)
Catherine Shelby, married Evan Shelby III; her cousin.

In 1777 the Washington County Court

ordered that Capt. Robert Craig and Capt. John Shelby be added to the Commissioners appointed to receive and destribute the Flour contributed in Augusta or elsewhere for the distressed inhabitants of this County.

In 1778 the Washington County, Virginia Court heard

the complaint of Mary Daily against her Mistress Katherine Shelby for misusage this day the said Mary Daily in her proper person and the complaint aforesaid bieng fully heard on consideration whereof it is the opinion of the Court the complaint is groundless & it is ordered that she seve her Master one year after the time of her indenture is expired for having a Bastard Child.

 
     
     
 

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from Notable Southern Families, Volume 2

John Shelby, son of Evan Dhu Shelby and Catherine Davis Shelby, served with his brother, Brig-Gen. Shelby, at the Battle of King's Mountain. He and Louisa Loonoy Shelby had issue:
(1) John Shelby, junior, married Elizabeth Brigham;
(2) David Shelby born about 1763 in Virginia, married Sarah Bledsoe;
(3) Evan Shelby;
(4)Thomas Shelby;
(5) Isaac Shelby;
(6) Louisa Shelby, married William McCrab;
(7) Catherine Shelby, married Evan Shelby III; her cousin.

 
 
 

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 Notable Southern Families, Volume 2

David Shelby, son of John Shelby and Louisa Looney, was born about 1763 in Virginia. He was the ancestor of a family which has been prominent in America and England.. David Shelby was also a King's Mountain hero though he was only a lad of seventeen. He served in Isaac Shelby's Regiment. He moved to Sumner County, Tennessee, and was Clerk of the Court unUIl his death in 1822.

He married Sarah Bledsoe, daughter of Anthony Bledsoe...

Sarah Bledsoe was born in Virginia in 1763. came to Sumner County, Tennessee, in 1781. the same year she married David Shelby, and died March 11, 1852. They had issue :
1 John Shelbv, born May 24, 1785.
2 Anthony Bledsoe Shelby, born Jan. 15. 1789.
3 Philip Davies Shelby, born March 7, 1791, died May 27, 1799.
4 IViscilla Shelby, born March 8. 1793.
5 LuciiKia Shelby, born March 24, 1795.
6 James Shelby, born July 13, 1797; died Aug. 28, 1797.
7 Nellie Shelby, born Jan. 14. 1799.
8 David Davies Shelby, born July 15. 1801, died Aug. 2, 1805.
9 Orville Shelby born Jan. 21. 1803.
10 Sarah Bledsoe Shelby, born Jan. 21. 1806.
11 Albert Shelby, born May 25, 1808.

 
     
 

from The Militia of Washington County, Virginia, by Gerald H. Clark

About 1770, a portion of the tract (973 acres) was purchased by Evan Shelby and Issac Baker. In 1771 Col. Shelby, a noted Indian fighter, erected a fort on a hill overlooking what is now downtown Bristol. It was an important stopping-off place for notables such as Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark, as well as hundreds of pioneers enroute to the interior of the developing nation. Shelby's Fort is best known as one place where the Battle of King's Mountain was planned.

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

from Goodspeed's History of Sullivan County, Tennessee

Gen. Evan Shelby located on Beaver Creek, at what was known as the Beaver Dam Bottoms, in 1771, where he erected a fort on an eminence overlooking the site of Bristol.

He was born in Wales in 1720, and before coming to Tennessee had taken an active part in the French and Indian war on the borders of Maryland and Pennsylvania. He commanded a company of militia from Sullivan County at the battle of Point Pleasant, and was the leader of the famous Chickamauga expedition. Afterward he was appointed by Virginia a general of her militia.

He died in 1794, and was buried in the old family burial ground at Bristol, which was removed a few years ago.

His son, Isaac [Shelby], was made a lieutenant of militia in 1774, and as such participated in the battle of Point Pleasant. In 1776 he was appointed commissary, which position he held at the battle of Long Island Flats. Prior to the extension of the boundary line between North Carolina and Virginia, he served a term in the Legislature of the latter State. His last public service in Tennessee was as commander of the regiments at King's Mountain.

Evan Shelby, Jr., was a major in his brother's regiment at King's Mountain. In 1790 he went to Kentucky, where he was killed by the Indians about three years later...

The Bledsoes and Beelers located on land adjoining the Shelbys. The Beelers owned the tract of land on Cedar Creek known as Sapling Grove.


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.
     
 

Colonel Evan Shelby was one of the great men produced by the conditions existing upon the frontiers in those days. He was well educated, patriotic and a very wise counsellor, and many times did he command expeditions against the Indian tribes living south of the Tennessee.

The Virginia Government greatly appreciated his worth, and prior to 1781 conferred upon him numerous (very valuable) tracts of land within her territory, and subsequent to 1781 the Government of North Carolina showered upon him every honor that could be thought of.

Colonel Shelby departed this life in the year 1794, leaving Isaac Shelby, Moses Shelby, Evan Shelby and James Shelby, sons, and several daughters.

His remains were interred in a grove of very fine trees and within view of his former residence, and remained there until the growth of Bristol required their removal to the present cemetery. The location of his grave previous to this removal is now pointed out as being on Fifth street immediately in front of the First Presbyterian church, Bristol, Tennessee.

 
 
 

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

The second mercantile establishment in the settlements was actually a combination trading post, way station, and stockade erected north of the Watauga by hard-drinking Evan Shelby, a Marylander originally from Wales. This fort, known as Shelby's Station, covering over an acre and a half, was built on a hill above Beaver Creek (above the corner of present-day seventh and Anderson streets in Bristol, Tennessee) as a bastion against the Indians.

During the French and Indian War Shelby was a scout with Braddock and commanded a company with Forbes. Afterward, he became a fur trader amont the Indians. During his travels in and out of the western wildrness, he heard about a tradesman named William Bean and a farmer, James Robertson, who had settled on the Watauga and the Sycamore Shoals, respectively...

He first appeared in what is now the East Tennessee country about the close of the year 1770 and was excited by all he saw. He wrote his sons of his satisfaction with the territory, telling them that the soldiers and officers of the French and Indian War would undoubtedly receive grants of land there, and for them to purchase as many of the grants as possible. They did as he suggested.

The following year, at the age of 51, Shelby moved his family to the Holston Country and settled at a place called "Big Camp Meet" (now Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia). The place was a prehistoric Indian village named, according to legend, because numerous deer and buffalo met here to feast in the canebreaks. An Indian trail, which the early settlers would traverse, followed an old Buffalo path from what is now Bristol to present-day Blountville. Shelby renamed the site Sapling Grove (which would later be changed to King's Meadows and still later to Bristol). Here, the Shelby family engaged in merchandising, farming and cattle raising.

 

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.