An American Family History

Keen Families in Washington County, Tennessee


Eli Keen was born about 1778 in Maryland.

He married Nancy Barron on March, 7, 1820 in Washington, Tennessee.

Mary Keen,
Arabella Keen,
Joseph Keen (1829)
Nancy Keen,
James Keen,
Matilda Keen,
Adaline Keen,
Jane Keen,
Sarah Keen,

Eli died on  October 3, 1858 in Monroe County, Kentucky.


Jonah Keen was born about 1757 in Virginia

Joseph Keen (1820, married Nancy Barron),
Robert Keen (1818)
Elijah Keen (1822)

Jonah Keen was in the 1814 and 1819 tax lists of Washington County.


A man between 50 and 59
a woman between 60 and 69
a man between 20 and 29
a girl between 15 and 19
a boy between 10 & 15

1838 tax list


a man between 60 and 69
a man between 20 & 29




Elijah Keene was born in 1791. He married Rosanna White.

Terry White Keen,
Eli Ashley Keen,
William Arthur Armstrong Keen
Sarah Keen (1821)

Terry was in the 1838 tax list of 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.

Joseph Keen was born about 1820 in Washington County, Tennessee.

Joseph Keen was in the 1838 tax list of Washington County, Tennessee

He married Sarah Anna Barron (Barsen) on July 24, 1842 in Washington County, Tennessee. Sarah Anna was born in August, 1822. She was probably a daughter or granddaughter of Thomas T. Barron, Sr. and Phoebe P. Jobe.

Joseph and Sarah's children included:
Elizabeth Keen Hammett (1843, married David Hammett),
Amanda Keen Estep ( 1844, married William Estep) and
John B. King (1855, married Artemesia Denson).

In 1853, Joseph inherited 50 acres from his father. He was living in Boone County, Missouri and sold the 50 acres for $290 through his power of Attorney, Robert Trevitt.

In 1854 he bought 40 acres in Boone County, Missouri.

Joseph was convicted of larceny in 1857 in Sullivan County, Tennessee and sent to the state penitentiary for 6 years.

In 1860 Anna Keen was living with 84 year old Thomas Barron in Buffalo Ridge. She was 40 years old. The household also included her 17 year old daughter, Elizabeth Keen and six year old son, John B. Keen.

Sarah and Joseph divorced in 1865. Joseph was convicted of desertion and adultery and sent to the state penitentiary

Sarah Anna married Calvin R. Cox on February 18, 1866 in Washington County. Calvin's first wife was, Sarah Anna's sister, Phoebe Barron.

In 1870, 27 year old Elizabeth Keen was living in Washington County at Haws Roads with 7 year old James (b. 1863), 3 year old Joseph, and 1 year old Sarah.




Amanda Keen Estep

Amanda Keen Estep

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



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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