An American Family History


Jonathan Naff

  orginally Näf, also spelled Knafe, Naff, Nave, Neave, and Neff  
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.

Jonathan Naff was born about 1771 in Frederick County, Maryland.

He married Catherine Hoss on August 31, 1795 in Franklin County, Virginia.

Abraham Naff (1797)
Henry Hoss Naff (1799, married Mary Tipton daughter of Isaac Tipton),
Jacob Naff (1805, married Amanda Broyles),
Jonathan Naff, Jr. (1807, married Elizabeth C. Massengill), and
Catherine Naff (1809, married William Crawford).

In 1809, Jonathan was in Green County, Tennessee.

When Catherine's father died in 1817, his will said

I give and bequeath unto my eldest daughter, Catherine Nave, wife of Jonathan Nave, one negro girl named Susannah to be hers and her heirs forever. Also I give and bequeath unto her the sum of two hundred dollars to be paid within two years of my decease . . .

He married Elizabeth Matthews on June 11, 1828 in Greene County, Tennessee. Elizabeth was the widow of William Matthews.

At the time of the 1840 census they were living in Greene County. The household consisted of

a man between 60 & 69
a woman between 40 & 49
a girl beteen 10 & 14
an enslaved girl between 10 & 23

He died on August 15, 1853 in Greene County.

Elizabeth, widow of Jonathan Naff, received a pension for her husband's service in the War of 1812 in the Tennessee militia.

He left everything to his wife, Elizabeth. After her death, his plantation went to John Humphreys Smith who was married to Elizabeth's daughter, Malinda. John and Malinda were to take care of Elizabeth for the remainder of her life.

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.







His [Jonathan Naff] Will dated 24 Sept. 1851 contained the following provision

Secondly I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth Naff all my personal estate that may be left after paying my just debts, and I also give to her during her natural life, my plantation on which I now live.

Thirdly I give and bequeath to John Smith my step son in law at the death of wife the plantation on which I now live, on condition that he should take cair (sic) of my wife Elizabeth and remain on the Plantation with her and see that she be maintained comfortly (sic) during her natural life.

The will was probated 5 Sept. 1853.

His children were not mentioned in his will.

There were five children, the first two. b. in Franklin Co., Va., the three in Green (sic) Co., Tenn., as follows:

Abraham Naff, b. 5 Aug 1797.
Henry Hoss Naff, b. 26 July 1799 [married Mary Tipton].
Jacob Naff b. 26 May 1805 [married Amanda Broyles, daughter of Adam].
Jonathan Naff, Jr. b. 24 Nov. 1807.
Catherine Naff, b. ca. 1809.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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