An American Family History

Jesse Humphreys

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.

Carter County, Tennessee was organized from Washington County on April 9, 1796. Elizabethton is the county seat.

Jesse Humpreys was born about 1760 in Virginia. He was the son of John and Susannah Humphreys.

He was drafted to serve in the American Revolution, but his brother Elisha served in his place.

He married Mary Hendry who was the daughter of George Hendry and Deborah Borden. She was born in Frederick County, Virginia. When her father died in 1782, they were already married and she inherited 5 shillings.

In 1789 Jesse served with his brother, Moses as an administrator of his father's estate.

In 1795, Charles Reno/Reneau sold Jesse Humphreys 150 acres in Washington County, Tennessee.

He appeared on the tax of of Carter County, Tennessee in 1796.

When Sarah's mother died about 1799, she inherited one fourth of the land that would have been her deceased brother George's and her best gown.

In 1803, he bought four sheep (1st choice) and 20 pounds of cotton at David Jobe's estate sale.

On November 14, 1820 when he was about 60 years old, his brother, Moses, petitioned the Carter County court to declare him a "lunatic."

Mary Humphreys was made her husband's guardian and in 1823 the general assembly repealed their requirement for bond unless she squandered the estate and gave her the right to sell farm stock and produce.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That so much of the before recited act as reqires the said Mary Humphreys to give bond and security for the guardianship of her said husband, be, and the same is hereby repealed; and that the county court of Carter county are hereby authorized and requiared to appoint said Mary Humphreys, guardian, as pointed out in the before-recited act with the above exception.

Sec. 2. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of the court, on it being made to appear to them that said Mary Humphreys is squandering or wasting the estate of her said husband to require of her bond and security agreeably to the provisions of the before recited act; and in case she fail or refuse to give such security to remove her from said guardianship, and appoint some other person in her stead.

Sec. 3. Be it enacted, That said Mary Humphreys be, and is hereby, authorized to contract and be contracted with, as a feme sole, in all matters relating to the stock or produce of the farm of her said husband.

October 7, 1823 [information courtesy of David Curtis]

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
  • During the 17th and 18th centuries an adult unmarried woman was considered to have the legal status of feme sole, while a married woman had the status of feme covert. A feme sole could own property and sign contracts. A feme covert was not recognized as having legal rights and obligations distinct from those of her husband and could not own any property. When a woman became a widow she became a feme sole again.

    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.

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



    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 2023
    An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
    an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
    As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.