An American Family History


Russell Family


 Spotsylvania County, Virginia was established in 1721 from parts of Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. In 1734 Orange County was created from part of Spotsylvania.

Culpeper County, Virginia was established in 1749 from Orange County.

William Russell was born about 1680 in Virginia.

He may have married Martha Henley or Henry.

Martha and William's children may have included:

William Russell (1714, married Tabitha Adams and Elizabeth Henry),
George Russell (1720, maried Elizabeth Bean),
John Russell (1722, married Henrietta Burleson),
Jemima Russell (1724, married Valentine Sevier),
Lydia Russell, (1726, married William Bean),
Absalom Russell (1726), and
Pleasant Russell (1728).

He was granted ten thousand acres in a part of Orange County, Virginia which was formed from Spotsylvania in 1734. His land was in Culpeper county when it was formed from Orange in 1749.

In 1735, two tracts of land in Frederick county, containing respectively 4,950 and 3,650 acres, were patented to him.

Martha died in 1784 in Frederick County, Virginia.

The first European settlement in Orange County, Virginia was in 1714 and the county was officialy formed in 1734 with no western border. In 1738 the western part became Augusta County.


George Russell was born about 1720 in Virginia. His father was William Russell.

George married Elizabeth Bean.

William Russell (1750)
George Russell (1752)
Lydia Russell (1758, married James Roddye),
Sarah Russell (1760, married Isaac Lane),
Absolom Russell (1764),
Isham Russell (1766),
Mary Russell (1767, married Noah Jarnigan),
Jemima Russell (1769, married George Horner),
Elizabeth Russell (1770, married John Horner), and
Lewis R. Russell (1774, married Esther Horner).

The family moved to the Watauga Settlement about 1770.

In 1772, George was a commissioner for the Watauga Association.

During Lord Dunmore's War in 1774, George participated the Battle of Point Pleasant under Colonel Andrew Lewis.

In 1776, George was appointed by the General Assembly of North Carolina as one of the first Justices of the Peace in Washington North Carolina. That same year he was in the Battle of Island Flats and Siege of Fort Watauga.

In 1779 George was among the men who laid out and supervised the building of Jonesborough, Tennessee.

In 1780, George was a captain of a company at Kings Mountain under John Sevier. After the battle, Sevier sent Russell's company back to the Watauga Settlement where they participated in the Battle of Boyd's Creek against the Cherokee in December of that year.

In 1782, George fought in the last battle of the American Revolution on Lookout Mountain.

In 1782 members of the Russell Family were in Womack's Militia.

George received multiple land grants:

Wasington County (became Carter County)
1782 grant 210 and 177
1783 grant 389
1786 grant694

Sullivan County
1784 grant 1315

Greene County
1787 grant 31769 and 1804

About 1785, the family moved from the Watauga Settlement to German Creek in what became Grainger County, Tennessee. They were members of Bent Creek Baptist Church and were recorded in the church minutes:

  • June, 1786: The church met and received William Russell by experience and baptism.
  • October, 1787: Church met and received allegations against William Wells by Tidence Lane, William Russell, and Richard Byrd. (Mr. Wells had been charged with unseemly behavior with a woman at unreasonable hours of the night)
  • February, 1790: The church met and received Elizabeth Russell by experience
  • March, 1790: The church met and received Jemima Russell and Rachale Lane and Caleb Witt and Negro Terry by experience.
  • February, 1791: The church met Br. George Russell and Brother John Ward to be cited to the April meeting.
  • April , 1791: The church met and Br. George Russell and Br. John Ward being cited to this meeting appeared and difficulties adjusted.
  • January, 1800; Sister Elizabeth Russell is dismissed.

George died in 1796.

Elizabeth Russell was listed in Capt. George Bean's Company in Grainger County, Tennessee in 1799.

She asked to be dismissed from Bent Creek Baptist Church in January, 1800.


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








"The Founding of Russellville Tennessee." Citizen Tribune, March 31, 1968

... An army of patriots from this section [East Tennessee] had been formed and they soon moved with all fury upon a British force at Kings Mountain, claiming a decisive victory.

Among the ranks of this force from the western settlements was Captain George Russell. Some four years after America had won its independence, Captain Russell and his family moved into an area about 25 miles West of Greeneville and settled near a creek, now known as Fall Creek. The stream was probably the main attraction to Captain Russell, as an excellent spring was located there.

Russell was granted a large tract of land in the vicinity by the State of North Carolina for his services in the Revolutionary War and in a place that would later be known as Russellville, Captain Russell built his home.

Russell had formerly settled on the Watauga, and was one of the 100 signers of a petition to North Carolina for the organization of the Watauga Association.

His sister was the wife of William Bean, first known frontiersman to settle on the Watauga. Russell was also prominent in the history of Jonesboro, TN, having helped to lay out the town and to determine the location of the court house.

When Russell and his family arrived in the Fall Creek area about 1785, by way of an Indian trail, they found only wilderness, deer, raccoons, fox, panthers and other "critters" filled the woods and made their way often to the creek for water. It wasn't long, however, until other pioneers moved into the area, and transaction of land owned by Russell followed.

One such transaction was the sale of 500 acres of land to Col. James Roddye, who was the son-in-law of Captain Russell. It is indeed possible that Col. Roddye settled in the area at the same time as did Captain Russell. At any rate, in 1785, the former delegate to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention erected a tavern on the Kentucky Road..... It is told that Andrew Jackson spent nights at Roddye's tavern, for Jackson traveled quite extensively. Not only that, but his fondness for a "good drink" is well known. The tavern was known as The Red Door, or Hayslope.

.... The most accepted story [of his death] is that he went out in the woods around Russellville, TN ,to hunt, and while gone, was killed by Indians. The next day, when the family set out in search for him, they found Captain Russell lying in the woods with his hunting dog whimpering beside him.



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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