An American Family History

Amos Pitts

Jonesborough in 1857

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

Learn more about Piney Flats.

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

Amos Pitts was born about 1825 in Tennessee. His parents were probably John and Sarah Pitts.

Amos married Ruth Ann Sell. Ruth Ann was born in 1822 in Tennessee. She was probably related to Adam Sell of Knob Creek. He was the only Sell in Washington County. She was not mentioned in his will.

Sarah Pitts Curtis (1845, married William M. Curtis),

William Pitts (1846, married J. J. R.),

Martha Jane Pitts Curtis (1852, married Maranda G. Curtis),

Rebecca L. Pitts Yones (1852, married James M. Yones),

Dimon Pitts (1855, married Elizabeth Catherine Range great granddaughter of George Humphreys),

Amos Pitts (1857, married Rebecca Curtis who married John Yones after Amos' death),

John H. Pitts (1857, married Mary C. Stevens),

Joseph Pitts (1859),

James R. E. Pitts (1860),

David Pitts (1865).

In 1860 the Amos Pitts household was in Piney Flats, District 9, Sullivan County, Tennessee, The household consisted of Amos Pitts age 35, Ruth A. age 38, William age 14, Sarah , age 12, Limeon age 10, Martha age 8, Rebecca age 6, John age 4, and James R. E. 2 months. Joshua Miller was a 20 year old farm laborer in the household. Amos was a farmer.

Amos seems to have died between 1864 and 1870.

Sarah married William M. Curtis before the 1870 census.

In 1870, Ruth A. Pitts was the head of household in Jonesboro, District 15, Washington County, Tennessee. The household consisted of R. L. Pitts age 17, John Pitts age 15, Amos Pitts age 13, Joseph Pitts age 11, and David Pitts age 5. R. L and Amos were attending school and John was working in a brick yard. The entire family was illiterate.

Pitts, Boy
On last Sunday evening, a boy by the name of Pitts, eight or nine years of age, was drowned in the Watauga river near Mr. Henry Curtiss’s in this county. We learn the following particulars of the sad occurrence: The unfortunate boy was playing on the bank of the river with two other lads, one of whom said to him that “he was going to learn him to swim" and then threw him into the river. The water was deep, but Pitts after much struggling reached the bank and got out almost exhausted. He was again thrown into the water by the same boy, and sank to rise no more.(Jonesboro Herald-Tribune, Vol. II. #39, Thursday., June 1, 1871)

In 1872 Denman married Elizabeth Catherine Range in Washington County. She was the granddaughter of Isaac Range.

About 1874 Amos, Jr. married Rebecca Curtis. She later married John Yones.

About 1875 Martha married Maranda Curtis.

In 1880 Ruth was living next to the Moser's (Martha's family). William was married and was a brick mason in Jonesborough. Sarah and William Curtis were in District 11 of Washington County. Rebecca was also living in District 11 with shoemaker Isaac White and his wife Sarah, as their "adopted" daughter who did housework. Denman was in Dallas Texas.

John H. married Mary C. Stevens on May 21, 1884. Rebecca Pitts married James Yones on May 28, 1884 in Washington County, Tennessee.

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.

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




During the Civil war many citizens of East Tennessee opposed secession, but the area was under Confederate control from 1861 to 1863. Some citizens engaged in guerrilla warfare against state authorities and joined the Union army, while others were loyal to the confederacy. It was a heartbreaking case of neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother.

The Interesting Connections among the Akers Families of Washington and the Pitts and Smith Families of Washington County, Tennessee by Ronald L. Akers, October 1997.

This is a story of the strange connections among my grandfather's families My grandfather had three wives and therefore three distinct families but they were connected in ways far beyond him as the common link....

My grandfather. Robert Alexander Akers, was bom in Floyd County, Kentucky in March 1853 and in February 1873 married Malinda Catherine Charles ...Malinda unexplainedly died in December 1882... Robert and his four young children
had moved to Whitman County, Washington...In October of 1891 he married my grandmother. Mary Jane Range. ... Mary Jane was born in Washington County, Tennessee, the daughter of George and Susannah (Klepper) Range...

During the above period of time the family of Mary Jane's oldest sister, Elizabeth (Range) and husband E Demin Pitts, were also in the Whitman County, Washington area. Most likely through this family connection, Robert's first born son, William [Akers], courted and married the Pitts daughter, Lena, in December 1901...

[Robert Akers was introduced to a young Washington County lady by the name of Maria Catherine (Smith) Cloyd. Cassie, as she was known by was born in October 1866 the daughter of William H. M. Smith. She was the widow of John Cloyd of Washington County ...

Watauga Pioneer Neighbors

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


Michael Yones married Katherine Zimmerman. He was a private on the Pennsylvania line during the American Revolution. They made their home in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Katherine applied for her widow's pension in Sullivan County, Tennessee where her brother lived. Their children included James M Yones and John Yones.



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
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