An American Family History


The Reno/Reneau Family

  also spelled Renow  

The State of Franklin was an unrecognized, independent state in what is now eastern Tennessee. It was created in 1784 with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state. Its first capital was Jonesborough. It existed for about four and a half years and then North Carolina re-assumed control.

John Reno was born April 13, 1715 in Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia. His father was Lewis Reno. In 1749 Faquier County was formed out of Prince William County.

He married Susannah Thorn(e) on November 17, 1737 in Greenbrier, Vale, Virginia.

Susannah and John's children probably included:

William Reno (1739),
Benjamin Reno
Sarah Reno Rogers
John David Reno (1746 - 1839),
Mary Reno Calvin,
George Reno
Charles Reno (1754, married Elizabeth Tipton),
Lewis Reno (1756),
Francis Reno (1758 ),
Thomas Reno
Margaret Reno Vance (1762)

On March 5, 1764, he and wife Susannah sold land in Prince William County that his father had left him to William French. The land excluded the family graveyard.

About 1772, after Susannah died, most of the family moved to what is now West Virginia.

Between 1784 and 1787 they moved to Washington County, North Carolina, which later became Carter County, Tennessee. He was among the first settlers on Sinking Creek.

In 1785/86, Primitive Baptist preachers, Jonathan Mulkey and William Reno visted the Big Pigeon settlement in Cocke County Tennessee.

During the State of Franklin controversy between Colonel John Tipton and Colonel John Sevier, the election was held at the Reno's home.

I hereby give public notice that there will be an election held the 3rd Friday in August next at John Rennoe's near Sickamore Sholes where Charles Robinson formerly lived, to choose members to represent Washington County in the General Assembly of North Carolina...

John Reno's will was dated June 14, 1806 in Carter County, Tennessee. He named his children William Reno, Benjamin Reno, Sarah Rodgers, John Reno, Mary Calvin, George Reno, Lewis Reno, Francis Reno, Thomas Reno, Margaret Vance, and Charles Reno. Charles was named the executor and the witnesses were John Dunlap, William Lacey, and Samuel Tipton (husband of his granddaughter Susannah Reno, daughter of Rev. William Reneau.)

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 Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

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

Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Charles Reneau was born on March 14, 1754 in Fauquier County, Virginia. He was the son of John Reneau and Susannah Thorn (Thorne).

He married Elizabeth Tipton on October 12, 1772 in Frederick County, Virginia.

Charles and Elizabeth's children included:
John Reneau (1772),
Sarah Reneau (1774, married Elijah Boring),
William Reneau (1775, died as an infant)
Francis Reneau (1777),
William Reneau (1778),
Jonathan Reneau (1780),
James Reneau (1782, died as an infant),
Rebecca Reneau (1783),
Benjamin Reneau (1785),
Mary Reneau (1787),
Joseph Reneau (1788),
Elizabeth Reneau (1790), and
Lavina Reneau (1790, married Isaac Little).

Charles was a Private First Class, Capt. Charles Reed's 2nd Company, 4th Battalion, Washington County (Pa) Militia in the Revolutionary War.

In 1790, Charles was "defellowshipped" by the Sinking Creek Baptist Church for "arguing and leaving the church in a rude and angry manner." He was later restored in good standing.

July the 01:1790 at a monthly meeting met according appointment met to Gether and Proseeds Busnesses as follows

Charles Reneau Requests a Coppy of his Excommunication and it is Granted to him and that is for obscenting him Self from the Church and for Refussing to hear the Church.

Charles was one of the "schoolmasters" of Hughes School in the Sinking Creek Community.

On May 23, 1794, Caleb Odell sold Charles Reneau 91 1/4 acres on a fork of Brush Creek for 150 pounds Virginia money. The land bordered Joseph Denton, William Boring/Boran. The deed was witnessed by Reuben Moore (son of James Moore) and, John Thomas.

In 1795, Charles Reneau sold Jesse Humphreys 150 acres in Washington County, Tennessee.

Absolom Boring bought 91¼ acres on Brush Creek from Charles Reneau for 150 pounds. The land bordered Joseph Denton and William Barron. The witnesses were Thomas and Elizabeth Ford.

On February 13, 1796, Sinking Creek Church found Sarah Reneau guilty of fornication.

Samuel Tipton sold land in what is now the town of Elizabethton to Charles Reneau on October 4, 1796.

Joseph Tipton sold land to Charles on January 20, 1806.

About 1808, John Reno died and left his farm to his son Charles, who sold it to Nathaniel Taylor.

The Clarion and Tennessee State Gazette 
Nashville, Tennessee
29 Oct 1813, Fri  •  Page 2

Elizabeth died in 1822 in Carter County, Tennessee.

Charles died on August 04, 1828 in Clinton County, Kentucky.

Watauga Pioneer Neighbors

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

Johnson City, Tennessee is in Washington, Carter and Sullivan Counties. It was known as Brush Creek for the Creek than runs through it.


In 1795 Garrett Reasoner ordered to administer the estate of Lewis Renow, dec’d. David Jobe security for $600..

Mary Renow came into court and chose Charles Renow as her guardian. Joseph Tipton his security for $400.






Will Abstract

John Reno, Carter County, Tennessee
dated June 14, 1806,
and names children: William Reno, Benjamin Reno, daughter Sarah Rodgers, John Reno, daughter Mary Calvin, George Reno, Lewis Reno, Francis Reno, Thomas Reno, daughter Margaret Vance, Charles Reno;
Charles is executor, and witnesses are John Dunlap, William Lacey, Samuel Tipton (husband of his granddaughter Susannah Reno, dau. of Rev. William Reneau.)


War of 1812 Pension application
Abstracted by Mrs. McAlister, Elliott, St. Louis, Mo.

July 21, 1856.
Affiant stated in Clinton County, Kentucky, Court that she is the widow of Christopher Myers, deceased, and was formerly the widow of John Wardin, deceased. She is presently a resident of Clinton County, and lives about 2 miles from William Vann, presiding Judge of the Court, and is a woman of Good Character; her name was formerly Elizabeth Reneau

and that she married John Warden, now deceased, on Jan. 17, 1811, in Carter County, Tennessee, by Samuel Watson, a Methodist preacher; that said John Warden served for 3 months under Capt. Jesse Cole and was again drafted and served under Capt. Solomon Hendricks, as she thinks of the 4th Regiment Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812, under Col. Samuel Boles, mustered into service at Knoxville, Tenn., marched to Hiwassa Garrison; there her husband was taken sick and died; that she was left his widow with three children, to wit: James V. Warden, Manervia Warden, and John Jackson Warden. She remained a widow about 8 years, moved from Carter County, Tenn., to Cumberland County, Ky., not far from the Tennessee (line?),

and was there married to Christopher Myers, who was also a soldier in ~he War of 1812, by Squire Samuel Witson (Wilson?),
just across the line on the Tenn. side and about 6 miles from where affiant lived.

Mentions her sister-in-law Elizabeth Reno, who has a Bible in which is recorded her marriage with Warden; brother-in-law Isaac Little lives about three miles from Affiant and was also in the service;

Christopher Myers died on July 18, 1856, in Clinton County, Ky.
J. J. Wood and Jesse Wood file affidavits in support of Mrs. Myers' affidavit.

Sept. 10(?), 1856. Elizabeth Myers, 65 years old, resides about two miles from Albany, Ky., where she has resided for a great many years. William J. Dabney of Albany is her agent.

August 21, 1858. Elizabeth Myer, 67 years of age, etc., that she makes this affidavit for renewal of her pension and is still a widow.




from History of the Western Reserve, Volume 3 by Harriet Taylor Upton andHarry Gardner Cutler

Lewis Renault (Americanized Reno), French Huguenot, departed from France for Brazil, about the time of the "Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, (A. D., 1685)" with ancestors of Huger and Marion and other Huguenot families, about the year 1710, with the intention of establishing a Huguenot colony in Brazil; but were prevented by a severe storm, which did much damage to their ship and to repair which the captain determined to land at the nearest port in North America, which proved to be Charleston, South Carolina. When the ship was repaired, many of the former passengers, reluctant to again trust themselves to a sea voyage, remained in South Carolina, of whom Lewis was one.

With his five sons, he changed locations from time to time, and we find them in Prince William county, Virginia, of which one of the five sons, Lewis, was sheriff; another, by the name of Enoch, was commissioned to sell glebe lands, and Lewis, a corporal, doing service in the French-Indian war, from the same county, received 2,046 pounds of tobacco for his service. John's name appears in a list of the vestry of St. Peter's parish, New Kent county, Virginia.

. . .John Reno, one of the five sons of Lewis mentioned above. He was born in 1696, and died in 1800, at the good age of one hundred and four years. He was said to be a very active man up to the time of his death, and an especial friend of Colonel John Savier, the great Indian fighter, and governor of Tennessee. They lived together in a place called Mud Creek and were intimate friends, having known each other in Virginia.

He married Susannah Thorn. November 17, 1737, and they were the parents of eleven children.

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 2020
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