An American Family History

William Hart

Jonesborough, Washington County, Tennessee was founded in 1779. In 1784, it became the capital of the State of Franklin.

William Hart was born on September 11, 1797 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. He was the son of Leonard Hart and Sallie Goodman.

He married Orra (Orry) Boring/Boren on November 16, 1824 in Washington County, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Elijah Boring/Boren and Sarah Reno/Reneau.

Orra was born on November 25, 1797 in Jonesborough, Washington County, Tennessee.

William died shortly after his marriage and after his death Orra married Edward Hicks on January 28, 1828. Edward was the son of Jacob Hicks.

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.

Watauga Pioneer Neighbors
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.



The State of Franklin was an unrecognized, independent state in what is now eastern Tennessee. It was created in 1784 with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state. Its first capital was Jonesborough. It existed for about four and a half years and then North Carolina re-assumed control.

The Massengills, Massengales and Variants, 1472-1931 by Samuel Evans Massengill, M.D. The King Printing Company, Bristol, Tennessee, 1931.

David Humphreys' wife was named Betsy, but her surname is not positively recalled. However, her maiden name is throught to have been Betsy Hart. His daughter Catherine (Humphreys) Smith, was know to have been closely related to William Hart and her youngest child was known to have been named William Hart Smith.

Jonesborough in 1857

The American folk hero, David "Davy" Crockett (1786 – 1836), grew up in East Tennessee.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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