An American Family History

Elizabeth Humphreys Greenway

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln

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

Elizabeth Humphreys Greenway was born on December 26, 1761. She was the daughter of John and Susannah Humphreys.

She married William Greenway about 1777 in Washington County, Tennessee when she was about 16 years old. William was born in 1755 in Fredrick County, Virginia. He was the son of William Greenway and Mary Stevens. His father died in 1767 and in 1770 it was

Ordered that the church wardens bind William Greenway, George Greenway and Hannah Greenway, poor orphans, unto Elisha Dungen until they come of age and that he learn the said George and William to read, write and cypher and the trade of Mason and the said Hannah to read, write and that he immediately give security not to carry the said children out of the county.

William was a soldier in the American Revolution. He first enlisted in 1774 in Frederick County, Virginia.

Elizabeth and William's children may have included:
Dorcas Greenway (1777, married John Jordan),
Anna Greenway (1780, married Isham Looney son of Benjamin Looney and Mary Johnson),
Hannah Greenway (1785, married Jonathan Waddell),
Richard Greenway (1786, married Sarah Coldwell),
Susannah (Susan) Greenway (1790, married Joshua Green),
William Greenway, Jr. (1796, married Margaret McCracken),
Elizabeth Greenway (1798, married William G. Payne),
George W. Greenway (1800, married Malinda Carter),
Polly Ann Greenway (1800),
Mary Ann Greenway McNees (1801, married John M. McNees),
Jesse Humphreys Greenway (1807, married Eliza Glaze),
John Humphreys Greenway (1808), and
Martha Greenway (1810, married John P. Goodwyn).

William appeared in the tax list for Washington County in 1814 and 1819.

In 1830 William, Sr. and Elizabeth were still in Washington County. The multi-generation household included:

a man and a woman between 70 and 79
a man between 30 and 39
2 men and a woman between 20 and 29
a boy between 5 and 9
an enslaved person

Elizabeth died on August 15, 1837 in Washington County, Tennessee when she was 75 years old.

In 1838 William had 200 acres valued at $1,700.

William wrote his will on March 13, 1839 and died on April 3, 1839.

They were buried in Greenway Cemetery in Limestone Creek, Washington County.

The executors of his estate were his sons Jesse H. and John H. Greenway. The witnesses were William Patton, and G. W. Telford.

Greenway home

Life Sketch William G. Greenway
Real Son Of War 1812
To Be Honor Guest Tenn., Council

among the honor guests at the state council of the Daughters of 1812 will be a real son of the War of 1812, William Grantson Greenway, of Washington College, Tenn. This real son who will celebrate his nineth (sic 90th) birthday on July 13, is a Confederate veteran. He served in Capt. Gallagher's company D, Pitts regiment, Bond's brigade, and was captured at Big Black, Miss., on May 17, before the Federals took Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. He suffered 21 months in Federal prison before he was released.

On July 13, 1928, the Colonel David Henley chapter. U. S. D. 1812, placed the National Society's official marker, at the grave of his father, William Greenway, a soldier of the War of 1812, who is buried in Old Salem cemetery, at Washington College, Tenn.

William Greenway, our hero of 1812, was born on a farm along the Nolichucky river, March 5, 1796. He was the oldest of fourteen children of William Greenway and a Miss Humphreys. - The first William Greenway came to Washington. county, North Carolina, from Virginia. Family tradition says that he was of English birth and came from the same part of England as the Washington family, and that he served in the Revolutionary war with Gen. George Washington. He came to the Watauga settlements early and settled on the opposite side of the Chucky river from a Jacob Brown farm.

The will of this first William Greenway, the father of our 1812 William Greenway is recorded in the Washington county court house at Jonesboro, and shows that he was a large land owner. It is recorded as made March 12, 1839, and was probated the same year. All of the fourteen children are mentioned:
twins Jehu and Jesse,
Elizabeth Payne,
Dorcas Jordan,
George, Martha,
Mary Ann McNees,
Anna Looney,
Polly Ann,
Hannah Waddell and
His son William and son-in-law, Joshua Green, husband of Susan, were executors. This William and his wife are buried on he old farm on the Chucky river.

William Greenway II our 1812 hero, was only a lad when he volunteered his services against the Creek Indians in 1812-1814. He served a private in Captain Joseph Bacon's Co., Fourth (Bayless) Regiment, East Tennessee, Militia. His service began on November 13, 1814, and he was discharged February 15, 1811. His company was at Mobile Bay when the Battle of' New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815.

He married Margaret McCracken (b. Feb. 13, 1778---d. Dec. 10, 1856). Both lie burled in Old Salem Cemetery. Margaret McCracken Greenway died July 13, 1844, when her only child, an infant son was only at hour old, and is buried on the old farm. This son, William, who will be an honor guest at the State Council of the U. S. D. of 1812, in Johnson City, April 11, tells us that he was reared by his aunt Susan Greenway Green, sister of his father, This aunt with her husband, Joshua, are also buried In Old Salem,

William Greenway never married again:and lived to the good old age of 84 years, 1 month, dying April 5, 1880, and was buried in Old Salem. To complete this family sketch, the son of William Granison Greenway married a second cousin Hester McCracken (born Nov. 26, 1841 died Feb. 2, 1916), at tile close of the war between the states and to them were born nine children, only Thomas survives, He makes his home with his son. (from Johnson City Chronicle, April 1, 1934)


Children of John and Susannah Humphreys
  • William Humphreys
  • David Humphreys
  • Richard Humphreys
  • Moses Humphreys
  • Mary Humpreys Tullis
  • Jesse Humphreys
  • Elizabeth Humphreys Greenway
  • Elisha Humphreys
  • George Humphreys
  • Watauga Pioneer Neighbors

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

    Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

    The Nolichucky River flows through Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. It is a tributary of the French Broad River. During the 1770s, European Americans established the "Nolichucky settlements" in what is now Greene County, Tennessee.

    The Village Messenger 
    Fayetteville, Tennessee
    06 Oct 1824, Wed  •  Page 2




    Will Abstract

    A-261William Greenway:
    12 Mar 1839;
    sons William, Jesse H., John H.;
    daus Martha Greenway, Mary Ann McNees;
    my children Anna Looney, Polly Ann Johnson (dec.), Hannah Wandel, Richard Greenway, Susan Green, Elizabeth Payne, Dorcas Jordan, William Greenway, Patsey Greenway, George Greenway;

    grson Elridge A. Young;

    negroes Robert, Lizzy, James, King, Charles;

    land bought of James Graham running from the sheep log to Richard Greenway's line;

    Jehu (or John) Greenway has the waggon and horses on the farm.

    Ex: son William Greenway, Joshua Green

    /s/ William x Greenway
    Wit: William Patten, G. W. Telford. Proved 1839


    Washington Tennessee Marriages

    Greenway, Hannah–Jonathan Waddill, 17 Dec 1803 by John Huston
    Greenway,, Maryane married McNees, John on 06-OCT-1825
    Greenway, Susannah married Green, Joshua on 19-DEC-1810
    Greenway, William married McMacken, M on 27 August 1839


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

    Washington County Soldiers in War of 1812 compiled by Mary Hardin McCown

    William Greenway II was born on March 5, 1796. He died on April 5, 1880. William married Margaret McCracken (born July 4, 1802 – died July 13, 1844). Greenway was the son of William Greenway, Sr. His mother’s surname is believed to be Humphreys.

    William Greenway, Sr. was of English descent. He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War with General George Washington. William Greenway Sr. came to Washington County, Tennessee from Virginia, and settled on the opposite bank of the Nolichucky River from Jacob Brown.

    On his farm Greenway, Sr., his wife and daughter-in-law Margaret McCracken Greenway lie buried.

    William Greenway II only got to Mobile Bay when he Battle of New Orleans put an end to the war. Therefore, William Greenway II saw no active service.

    William II and Margaret McCracken Greenway had only one child, William Granison Greenway. He was born July 13, 1844, his mother dying when he was a half-hour old. . .


    In 1607 the London Company established Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony.

    Washington County Tennessee Tombstone Inscriptions by Charles M. Bennett and the Watauga Association of Genealogists, vol. II, p. 191

    William Greenway and his wife are buried on the farm that they purchased from her brother, Richard Humphreys. His stone is so badly eroded that it cannot be read. The will of William Greenway, Washington County, Tennessee Wills, Vol. 1, p. 261, dated March 12, 139 establishes the following heirs:
    Jehu H.,
    Jesse H.,

    Mary Ann McNees,
    Anna Looney,
    Hannah Waddell,
    Susan Green,
    Elizabeth Payne,
    Dorcas Jordan,
    Patsy Greenway,
    and the heirs of Polly Ann [Johnson ?].

    Grandson, Eldridge.

    Also, his Negroes to be sold to the highest bidder among his heirs so that they would be kept in the family. Viz., Robert, Lizzy, James, King, Charles, etc.

    Frederick County, Virginia was formed in 1743 from Orange County. Old Frederick County included all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia: Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick, as well as five in present-day West Virginia: Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.

    from History of Washington County Tennessee, 1988, p.352

    William Greenway married Elizabeth Humphreys (born 26 December 1761, daughter of John and Susannah Humphreys) about 1783, possibly in Virginia, but no marriage record has been found.

    They were the parents of twelve children, eight of whom were living at the time of William’s death, 3 April 1839. Both William and his wife, who died 15 August 1837, were buried in the Greenway Family Cemetery on the old Greenway farm in Washington County, Tennessee.


    Order Book 14 of Frederick County Virginia

    At a court held for Frederick County May 1, 1770
    Present John Hite, Adam Stephen, Angus McDonald and John McDonald Gentlemen Justices.

    Upon petition of Frances Austin and Mary his wife setting forth that Elisha Dungen had not complied with the order of the Court directing him to bring in George Greenway from New River and for not giving him Bond according to the said order, it is ordered that he be summoned to appear at the next Court to answer the same. (Order Book 15 May 9, 1772)

    George Washington ( 1731/32  – 1799) was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789–1797).

    The New River flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia .In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) was captured by Shawnee warriors near Blacksburg and taken to Ohio. She escaped and made her way home by following the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.

    State of Tennessee September Twelve 1832
    Washinton County

    On this 12th day of September 1832 personally appeared in open Court before the Honorable Samuel Powel now sitting as a Court of Law of Equity for the County of Washington within the State aforesaid,

    William Greenway, a resident citizen of the and State aforesaid aged seventy six who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed 7th June 1832.

    That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers, and served as herein stated – that being at the time and before a resident citizen of Frederick County, Virginia, in which he was born and raised,

    and in the year 1774 volunteered under Capn. Morgan in the Spring of the year to go on an expedition against the Shawnee and Mingo Indians and assembled at Winchester and set out from there under Capn. Morgan to the frontier at the mouth of Wheeling via port, down the Ohio and there remained as a guard until the arrival of Gov. Dunmore, with his troops,

    that when at the same time Col. Lewis with troops from upper Virginia had marched to the mouth of New River and had his battle with the Indians – That Dunmore and Col. Stevens commanded after their arrival and marched on within five miles of the treaty ground where was held a treaty with said Indians

    and after the treaty returned home, having been verbally discharged by Capn. Morgan, being at that time in service six months, after which in the ensuing year in the month of July about the first, he well recollects that he was reaping in the harvest field of Capn. Morgan afterwards (General Morgan) when the express came

    and he again volunteered under said Capn. Morgan in the same County and assembled again at Winchester and there under Capn. Morgan’s men marched, without any superior officer to Boston (which was made in nineteen days) and on the arrival of said company, the militia from the other parts of Virginia and Maryland arrived in the suburbs of Boston and were put under Gen’l Washington –

    the cause of the steady march to that place was the news of the Battle of Bunker Hill, shortly after which the said march was made – and after the arrival of said army at said place at which time a part of the men under Montgomery took shipping for Quebec, and four hundred chosen men were ordered to pass a highway through the wilderness to Quebec and await the arrival of Montgomery of which number he was,

    and set out on foot under Capn. Morgan and marched forty miles to the Bay and there took water, after building their battouxs and ascended dead river (or Kennebec) to the lake, and marched round to the St. Lawrence River, opposite to Quebec, and there remained for news from Montgomery,

    and then crossed over to Quebec in the night and formed a line from the two rivers and there waited the arrival of Montgomery who in a short time came down the St. Lawrence and landed in St. Abraham’s plains and joined them –

    after which they waited for a dark night to ascend the eminence and a picked party of men were chosen to take the ladders to ascend (called the forlorn hope) of which he was one, Montgomery having gone round with his men, and men under Montgomery never got wide of the walls but was killed at the pickets and never reached the church where they and the men with him under Arnold had arrived at the proper signal and then failing to get succor from Montgomery’s men fought for several hours and finally were obliged to surrender and was ironed and put to Jail in the Town of Quebec where he remained about eight months,

    and the men with him, and at the expiration of that time, parolled him and the other men and sent to New York at which place he arrived shortly before the Battle of Long Island,

    and from thence went to White Plains with Washington’s Army and from thence returned home and recruited under Capn. (Col.) Morgan for about eighteen months, on account of his parole of honor, obliging him not to fight thereafter and was in service as before stated and in prison the month of June 1775 until the month of November 1777 in active service from June until the December following, when he was taken prisoner at the fall of Montgomery (under command of Arnold) and remained a close prisoner in irons until the ensuing August or September and as aforesaid was paroled –

    and then left the service and returned home and by the advice of his Capn. Morgan (then Col.) commenced recruiting and continued eighteen months, that he has no documentary evidence, nor does he know of any person by whom he can prove his said service, nor is there a resident minister of the Gospel in his vicinity who knows the facts required to be proved by the instructions of the Secretary of War.

    He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.
    William X Greenway
    Sworn and subscribed in open
    Court this 12th September 1832. Test. Jas V. Anderson, Clk.
    We, John Blair and John Kennedy presiding in the County of Washington and State of Tennessee do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with William Greenway who has subscribed and sworn to the foregoing declaration, that we believe him to be seventy six years of age, that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood in which resides to have been a soldier in the revolution and that we concur in that opinion.
    John Blair
    John Kennedy

    The American Revolution was ended in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

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


    History of Randolph County, Indiana with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches; E. Tucker; 1882; page 469.

    John M. McNees, born in Tennessee in 1805; married Mary Ann Greenman (sic) in 1825 (who was born in 1801); came to Randolph County in 1829; entered eighty acres of land and lives there still.

    Mr. Mcnees laid out Georgetown, one mile west Farmland, in 1835 and kept hotel there fourteen years. There was very much travel on that road in those times, wagons, men on horseback, droves of horses, passing west; and, some years after, great droves would pass eastward. Sometimes 700 to 800 head of cattle would go by in a single drove. Georgetown never got to be much of a town. There was never more than six houses. The village is now totally extinct as such. Four houses stand there yet, but the lots are town lots no longer. Mr. McNees is a farmer, though now getting too old to perform much labor

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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