An American Family History

The Hicks Family of Sullivan County, Tennessee


Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

The children of Nehemiah Hicks and Philliazanah Hitchcock from Baltimore Maryland were among the earliest settlers in Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Their children may have included:

Mary Hicks (1726),
William Hicks, Jr. (1727),
Isaac Hicks (1729)
Rebecca Hicks (1731)
Nehemiah Hicks (1735),
Philizanna Hicks (1737, married Christian Adrian and John Cross),
Meshack Hicks, (1740)
Tabitha Hicks (married Richard Cross)
Adednigo Hicks (1742)
Margaret Hicks (1743)

Ulius, William, Mashack, Abednego, and Willam, Jr. Hicks signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

from Baltimore County Families

Nehemiah Hicks
s. William,
d. 1769; m on 12 June 1725 Philizanna Hitchcock, d Willliam;
in 1750 he owned 100 a. Timber Hall and 100 a. Haile's Forest;
d. leaving a will, 7 Sept. 1769 - 2 Oct. 1769, named w. Philizanna and ch. ; Abraham, Jacob, Mary William, Isaac, Rebecca, Nehemiah, Philizanna, John, Margaret and Sara as well as two servants John Mayes and Thos. Lacey;

had issue:
Mary, b. 13 Dec 1726 or 27
William, B. 14 Jan. or June 1728
Isaac, b. 3 or 5 Jan. 1729/30
Philizanna, b. 23 May 1737 m. John Cross on 28 Jan. 1753
Rebecca, b. 4 April 1731 m. Stephen Price on 20 April 1749
Elizabeth, b. 20 Nov 1733
Nehemiah b. 30 Sept. 1735 m. by 17 Oct. 1744 Elizabeth, dau. of Charles Robinson,
John, b. 8 April 1740
Jacob, b. 25 June 1742
Margaret, b. 22 July 1743
Sarah, b. 8 Jan. 1744;
and Abraham.


William Hicks (1727) and Flora Cole married in Baltimore, Maryland.

Their children may have included:
Hicks (1750),
Isaac Hicks (1753, married Elizabeth), and
Jacob Hicks (1760, married Mary Lewis).

William served as a captain in the 1776 Cherokee Expedition.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.


Jacob Hicks (1760) married Mary Lewis.

Jacob and Mary's children included:

Edward Hicks (1797, married Orra Boring/Boren the widow of William Hart),
Reuben Hicks (1800, married Mary Mottern),
Nancy Hicks,
Susannah Hicks Cross (1805, married Jesse Cross).


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

John Hicks was born about 1747 in Maryland. He was the son of Shadrach Hicks (1725). He was a cabinetmaker.

John married Comfort Malone daughter of John Malone about 1771 in Maryland. Comfort was born about 1755 in Maryland.

John's children probably included:
Isaac Hicks (1772),
William Hicks (1774, married Anna Milard)
Shadrack (Shade) Hicks (1775, married Elizabeth Nash),
John Hicks (1778, married Margaret (Peggy) Houk),
Abraham Hicks (1781),
Charles B. Hicks (1783, married Sarah Houk)
George M. Hicks (1789, married Mary Houk),
Sarah Hicks (1795, married John Diddle and William Stone).

They moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee about 1776.

Three of the boys, John, Charles, and George, married sisters who were their cousins and the daughters of Mary Malone and Adam Houk.

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.

  In 1793 a William Hicks was in the Sullivan County Militia.  

Isaac Hicks (1753) and his wife Elizabeth's children included:

Isaac Hicks (1780),
Nathaniel Hicks (1785, married Mary Smith),
Jemima Hicks (1787, married Thomas Miller)
Elizabeth Hicks (1788), and
Stephen Hicks (1790).

In 1786 Isaac Hicks signed the Petition for Division of Sullivan County.


Nathaniel Hicks (1785) married Mary (Polly) Smith

Children of Nathaniel Hicks and Mary Smith included:
Kesiah Hicks (1809, married Andrew Odell),
Elizabeth Hicks (1815),
Abraham Hicks (1815),
Reuben Hicks (1817, married Julie Ann Emmert daughter of Jacob Emmert and Mary Polly Smith),
Isaac Hicks (1820),
James B. Hicks (1822, married Agnes E. Spurgeon)
Nathaniel R. Hicks (1825, married Jannett Alison Gregg)
Jacob Hicks (1827, married Elizabeth Emmert)
George Hicks (1829, married Deborah Emmert daughter of John Emmert and Ruth Webb)
Mary Hicks (1831),
Rebecca Hicks (1833, married James Emmert, son of of Jacob Emmert and Mary Polly Smith)
Nancy Hicks (1837, married Henry Jones).


Ruben Hicks (1817) and Julia Ann Emmert

Mary A. Hicks (1846)
Francis Hicks (1848)
Elizabeth Hicks (1849)
John W. Hicks (1851)
Sarah J. Hicks (1853)
Susannah Barsha Hicks (1855)
Abraham McDonald Hicks (1856)
George Hicks (1859, married Catherine Elizabeth Smith daughter of Prince David Smith)
Nancy Matilda Hicks (1861)
Reuben L. Hicks (abt 1863)

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.

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

from C.W. Hick's Civil War Questionaire

Tradition in our family is that a family of Hicks from England landed in Baltimore in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and one of the girls married Isaac Sheppard a noted cutlerist of that place. They migrated to Rockbridge county, Va. From there three brothers, Shadrach, Meshiac and Abednigo, (shortened to Shade, Mesh and Bed) moved to Sullivan Co., Tenn. amoung its earliest settlers.

On of them, Shade I believe, was the father of my great grandfather, John Hicks. He and Adam Houk married sisters, the former Comfort and the latter Mary Malone, and both moved to Sevier county, Tenn.

John Hicks' children were William, Isaac, John, Charles, George, Abraham, Shadrach and Sarah.

[Adam] Houk's children were Mary, Mary (Peggy), Rebecca, Flora, Sarah, Archimedes and John (Jack).

Both John Hicks and Adam Houk moved from Sullivan to Sevier county. There
John Hicks married his cousin, Peggy Houk,
George Hicks married Mary Houk
and my grandfather, Charles Hicks, married Sarah Houk, from whom, and my father I got most of the history of the families - father, Mark More Hicks.

Grandfather, Charles [Hicks] moved on Boyd's Creek in Knox county where my father was born, Feb.21, 1811. From Boyd's Creek grandfather moved to Louisville, Blount county, where George Milton was born in 1817. Other children, Albert, Rolston, Narcissa, were born either here on Boyd's Creek.

When the lands of the Hiwassee were put on sale in 1819 grandfather [Charles Hicks] entered a quarter section of land in Monroe county, six miles southwest from Madisonville, one mile from Chestua Campground, built a cabin and moved to it in Feb. 1820. Here two more children Eliza Crawford in 1823 and Wesley Jones in 1826. The latter was the author of Hicks Manuel of Chancery Practice which he mainly wrote at Madisonville, Tenn. where he practiced law from 1856 to 1869, when he went to Knoxville and formed a partnership with Judge George Brown, a former Monroe countian. He died in 1876 and his body rests in Gray Cemetery.

Four of grandfather's brothers, also, came to Monroe county in the same neighborhood, to wit: John, Abraham, Shade and George.

George [Hicks] however, settled in Madisonville, one of the first where the town was later located, and put up a horse power cotton gin. He was a fine cabinet maker and carpenter, as his father, John, had been before him.

Grandfather, Charles, and my father, Mark More, also did work of that kind. Two of George's sons, Geo. Wash. and James Crawford, followed the cabinet makers trade until their demise several years ago. That trade by hand craft has ceased.

The father of Adam Houk is said to have come from Bavaria, Germany and thereby hangs a story. He and his young wife were strong, protestants, in a Roman Catholic community. She visited a sick Roman Catholic cousin and found an image of the Virgin Mary set up at the gate to be prayed to for the recovery of the sick one. In contempt Mrs. Houk took a pair of scissors swinging to her apron string and clipped off the ears of the image. That was a crime against the law of the land for which they sought to arrest her. She hid out on the banks of a river until arrangements were made and they came to America.

William Hicks, son of John, was the father of the late Rev. William Hicks who was the father of Rev. W.W. Hicks of the Holston Conference, M.E. Church, South.

Isaac Hicks, son of John moved to Illinois and at last account one of his sons was a prominent lawyer and Judge there.

Sarah [Hicks], daughter of John Hicks, married William Stone, moved to Morganton, Blount co., then to near Chestua Campground, Monroe co., and both died and are buried there, where a large number of Hicks families are buried.

Rebecca Houk married George Millard, moved to Madisonville, where he built a house and lived several years, then moved to near Riceville, McMinn co. He was from Philadelphia, Pa.

Another daughter of Adam and Mary Malone Houk, Eliza [Houk], as I now remember married a Chandler, William, I think it was, and they raised a family in Sevier county.

One of the daughters married the late E.E. McCroskey of Knoxville.

John (Jack) Houk raised several children in Sevier co. by his first wife. The late Hon. Leonidas C. Houk of Knoxville, was his son by a second wife,

Arch. If Arch. Houk was ever married or left any descendants I never heard it mentioned. Like nearly all the Houk men he was a carpenter


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.


from Sullivan Co., Tennessee Deed Book 3, p. 393: Isaac Hicks to Jamima Hicks Transcribed by Robert Keyes Feb 10, 2005 Source: LDS FHL film #972706

August Session 1801

Know all men by these presents that I Isaac Hicks Senr of Sullivan County and State of Tennessee for and in consideration of the natural affection which I have for my daughter Jaminma and for other good and Sufficiant Causes me thereunto moveing I the said Isaac have given granted and confirmed and by these presants do give grant and confirm unto my said daughter all and singular the plantation or tract of Land where on I now Reside situate in Sullivan County aforesaid in as full and ample mannor as I now hold and enjoy

the same and containing one hundred and thirty six acres be the same more or less and

also for the consideration above mentioned I give and grant to my said Daughter Jamima my negro man named Jobe and my negro girl caled Elie to have hold and Enjoy all and Singular the said tract of Land and negroes aforesaid unto her the said Jamima her Executors adminitrators and assigns to the only proper use benefit and behoof of her the said Jamima her heirs

Executors administrators and assigns in manner following and subject to the Reservation herein after that is to say the said Land to be the property of the said Jamima her Executors adm'r and assigns from and Immediately after my deceace forever and the said Negroes for and during their natural lives and the Life of the Survivor of them from this date Reserving to my wife Elizabeth the full quiet and peaceable possession of the dwelling house I now live in for and during her natural life and also Reserving to my said wife for the of her life as aforesaid a full maintenance of the Land hereby given and granted to my said daughter Jaminma to be Delivered to my said wife by the said Jamima her heirs Ext'r adm'r and assigns in such manner and such Terms and to consist of such necesiaries as my said wife shall chose and I the said Isaac Hicks the Land and negroes here before men tioned Subject to the Reservation herein before Reserved to my said wife to her the said Jamima her Excutors adm'r and assigns against me the said Isaac Hicks my heirs Executors and adm'r and all and Every person and persons whatsoever Shall and will forever warrant and defend by these presants of of all which land and negroes which I have put the said Jamima in full possesson of said land by dwelling unto her livery and surson? thereof and by delivering to her the sd negroes personally at the time of the ensealing and Delivering of these presants in witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal the 12th day of august 1801
Isaac Hicks (seal)

Signed Sealed and delivered in the presants of us
John Spurgin
William Morgan

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.

from Washington County, Marriages

Hicks, Abraham married SHEPPARD, Elizabeth on 06 January 1828
Hicks, Eli married CARSON, S on 24-DEC-1840
Hicks, J married CARSON, M on 03-SEP-1840
Hicks, Jater married NELSON, Julia D on 21-JUL-1819
Hicks, Samuel married ROGERS, P A on 18 August 1840

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 2019
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