An American Family History

John Humphreys 1794

Jonesborough in 1857

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

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

Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.

John Humphreys was born on August 17, 1794 in Washington County, Virginia. He was the son of David Humphreys and Elizabeth Hart.

He married Delila Smith on October 10, 1839 in Washington County, Tennessee. Her parents were Turner Smith and Mary A. Ruble. Delila was born on September 2, 1811 in Washington County, Tennessee.

John and Delila's children included:
William Hart Humphreys (often confused with William Hyder Humphreys, Jr.),
Julia Adelade Humphreys (1842, married Barney Maloney),
John S. Humphreys (1844),
Martha Ellen Humphreys (1847, married William Morris),
Frances Jesse Marion Humphreys (1849),
Sarah Margaret Humphreys (1852, married James W. Range),
Laura Lorina Humphreys (1854, married Michael Jonathan Purkey), and
Mary A. Humphreys (1857).

In 1806, John Humphreys, along with John Johnson, bought 415 acres on the Doe River from Dillon Blevins. The Doe River is a tributary of the Watauga River.

In 1830 his father stated in his Revolutionary War pension hearing that his son, John Humphreys lived in Carter County, Tennessee. The census records show the John Humphreys household consisted of:

a man and two women born between 1790 and 1800
and nine children.

At the time of the 1850 census, they were in subdivision 4 of Washington County, Tennessee. The household consisted of John age 56, Julia age 38, Wm. H. age 9, Julia age 7, John S. age 6, Frances M. age 1, and Martha E. age 3.

In 1860 they were in district 8, post office Jonesborough, Tennessee. The household consisted of John age 65, Delila age 48, William H. age 19, John S. age 16, Jesse M. age 11, Sarah age 8, Laura age 6, and Mary A age 3.

John died on September 22, 1876 and Delila followed on November 30, 1877. They are buried together in the Babb/Smith Cemetery in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Watauga Pioneer Neighbors

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

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

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

Delila Smith Tombstone John Humphrey's Tombstone



September 20, 1806, Carter Tennessee Deed Book B, page 50

Dillen Blevins and John Carter of Carter Co
to John Johnston and John Humphreys of same.
For $2,000 415 acres east side Doe River
beginning at blk oak and dogwood corner of Landon Carter running N73W80 to blk oak; N38W70 to blk oak; W18 to Spanish oak on river corner of of said Carter and Thomas Houghton;
up river 15E145 to sycamore; S35E66 to blk oak; S15E42 to Spanish oak; S30W20 to hickory; S26 to Hickory;
S17E42 to 2 sycamores on river; E200 to wh oak;
N26 to Carter’s corner; further on 160 poles to his other corner; E58 to stake;
N77 to stake; west to beginning.
S/Dillen Blevins, John Carter
Wit: Godfrey Carriger Junr, Alfred M Carter, Daniel Appling
Proven: Feb 1807
Rec: 25 Mar 1808

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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