Person:John Nelson (92)

John Nelson
b.15 MAR 1750/51 London, England
m. ABT 1777
  1. Matthew Nelson1778 - 1854
  2. Rebecca NelsonBEF 1780 -
  3. David Nelson1780 - 1850
  4. Peggy NelsonBET 1781 AND 1790 -
  5. Reuben Hay NelsonBEF 1785 -
  6. Sarah Robinson NelsonBEF 1785 -
  7. John R. NelsonBEF 1788 -
  8. Charles H. NelsonBEF 1792 -
  1. Richard R. Nelson1800 - 1865
  2. Rachel Nelsonabt 1801 -
  3. Samuel Nelsonabt 1803 -
Facts and Events
Name John Nelson
Gender Male
Birth? 15 MAR 1750/51 London, England
Alt Birth? March 1752
Marriage ABT 1777 Rockbridge County, Virginiato Jean 'Jennet' Robinson
Death[1] 1 June 1838 Overton County, Tennessee

John Nelson was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Land Records

Rockbridge County, Virginia:
  • Deed in Rockbridge Co., Va. - 4 August 1783 - John Nelson and wife Jennet to Philip Ried for 5 schillings; 100 acres next to Daniel Harvey, crossing a small branch of Back Creek below said Ried’s house. Signed: John Nelson and Jennet. Witness: Daniel Robinson, George Carrick, Timothy Foream.
  • Deed in Rockbridge Co, Va. - 19 September 1787 Samuel Nesbitt and wife Mary Nesbitt to John Nelson, for 160 pounds; 100 acres on the side of a branch in John Robinson’s line. Signed: Samuel Nesbitt and Mary Nesbitt. Witness: Joseph McPheters, John Fulton, William Fulton, John Robinson, Andrew Kennedy.
  • Deed in Rockbridge Co, Va. - 4 December 1787 John Nelson and wife Janet Nelson to James Ranick, for 150 pounds; 100 acres of land said Ranick now lives on, corner to Henry Campbell, crossing Back Creek next to John Robinson and Phillip Reed. Signed: John Nelson and Jennet Nelson. Jennet released her dower.
  • Deed in Rockbridge Co., Va. - 24 Fegruary 1791: John Nelson of Rockbridge Co. and Jean his wife for one part and Torans Falls of Augusta County for the other part. For 102 pounds paid by Falls for 100 acres of land adjoining John Robsons.

Revolutionary War Pension Information

Information from “Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records”, Vol. 4, compiled by Patrick G. Wardell, Lt. Col. U.S. Army Ret. :

Nelson, John - born 3/1752; entered service 1776-7 Rockbridge County (then part of Botetourt County), Virginia in Virginia regiment; granted Pension 1818 in Knox County, Tennessee, but resided in Overton County, Tennessee, when had wife and 5 children living with him; sons Mathew & David then resided in Knoxville, Tennessee; soldier resided 1820 in Overton County, Tennessee, when had wife Sarah age 60, daughter Rachel age 19, & son Samuel age 17 living with him; query letter in file 1915 from great grand-daughter Mary Odell (Mrs. S. C.) Murphy, Belleview, AL' query letter in file says soldier died 6/1/1838 in Overton County, Tennessee either at Livingston or Monroe; query letter in file 1904 from great grandson Seldon Nelson of Knoxville, Tennessee, son of Thomas H.R. Nelson, who was son of soldier's son David (born 2/11/1780 in Rockbridge County, Virginia), further soldier was born 1751 in London, England, came to South Carolina, then to Virginia, where entered service & married while in Revolutionary War service. F-S38958, R1806.
Note: John Nelson married twice, first to Jean "Jenett" Robinson, abt. 1777/78 in Rockbridge County, Virginia and second to Sarah [McGhee], listed in the Revolutionary Pension File, listed above..


From Greene County, Tennessee query:

NELSON/ROBINSON I am looking for information on John NELSON and his 1st wife Jane (Jennet)ROBINSON, daughter of John ROBINSON, in Rockbridge Co., Va. John was born 3-15-1751 in London England. Sons of John and Jane include Matthew NELSON, John NELSON, and David Nelson, father of T.A.R. Nelson. The NELSON and ROBINSON families moved to Greene Co. in the 1790's. Bob Cannon -- 10611 Kinross Ct., Louisville, KY 40243 Submitted on Sun Jan 25 19:14:15 EST 1998

Subj: Re: Robinson/Nelson family of Greene County, Tennessee
Date:1/20/99 5:50:44 PM Pacific Standard Time (Robert Cannon)
Robert Cnnon wrote:
Jim, it is great to hear from you. Here is what I know:
- I know Rebecca made a will and had a sister Jennet (Janet, I suppose) who was married to John Nelson. John and Janet are my direct line.
-A deed in Rockbridge Co., Va. dated 2-24-1791 states that John Nelson of Rockbridge Co. and Jean his wife for one part and Torans Falls of Augusta County for the other part. For 102 pounds paid by Falls for 100 acres of land adjoining John Robsons.
-A deed in Rockbridge Co. dated 8-4-1783 to John Nelson and wife Jeffent Nelson to Philip Ried for 5sh; 100 acres next to Daniel Harvey, crossing a small Branch of Back Creek below Sd. Reid's hourse. Witnessed by Daniel Robinson.
-John married Jane Nelson around 1777 in Rockbridge Co.
-a reference to W.B. , p. 331 shows John Robinson with wife Sarah made a will on March 10, 1787 which was probated Aprill 7m, 1789. He had two sons, John and David and 6 daughters, Isabella Kerr, Mary, Rebecca, Sarah, Jean, and Hannah.
I'm confident that my Jane (Janet/Jennet) is a sister to your Rebecca and that John Robinson was here father and that they lived in Rockbridge Co., Va. I believe they were members of the Tinkling Springs Presbyterian Church in Augusta Co. around 1740. Jennet was christined in Nov., 1746.
What information do you have? Please stay in touch and we will work on this together.
Bob Cannon
Louisville, KY

Also from Bob Cannon:
You have everything I have except the lineage of John Nelson and Jane. There children were very distinguished and I have volumes of informaton on them if you want it. There son Matthew was the 1st treasurer of the state of Tennessee and a member of the Tennessee house of representatives as was his brother John Robinson Nelson. Their son David had a son Thomas Amis Rogers Nelson who was one of the most popular Civil War politicians in Tennessee and was Andrew Johnson's opposition in the state. In the end, he was Johnson's chosen attorney in his impeachment trials. He was really more popular than Johnson until the Civil War. There are books published on his brilliant career. If you have anything else on John Robinson's ancestors or want any of this information, please let me know.

Subj: Re: Robinson/Nelson family of Greene County, Tennessee
Date:1/25/99 5:53:55 PM Pacific Standard Time (Robert Cannon)
Children of John and Jane Robinson Nelson:
1. Matthew born 10-17-1778 in Rockbridge Co., Va. and died 12-1-1854 in Philadelphia, Tn. m. Martha Cannon;
2. David born 2-11-1780 and died 9-2-1850 in Elizabethon, Tn. m. to Phoebe White;
3. Rebecca m. W.G.Z. Williams;
4. Sallie m. Truman Hardin;
5. John R. m. Elizabeth;
6. Peggy m. Andrew Jones.
John had 3 other children by a 2nd married after Jane died.
If you get any more information on John Robinson, please let me know. I will do the same.
  1. Public Member Trees: (Note: not considered a reliable source).
  2.   Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. (Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Historical Society), Vol. 18, pg. 202.

    Nelson Of The Valley Of Virginia, &c.

    Now as to a little history of my branch of the Nelson family. We do not claim to be descendants of Scotch Tom Nelson, the ancestor of Tom Nelson, who signed the Declaration of Independence, of which family I believe Thomas Nelson Page belongs. My great grandfather was John Nelson, born in London, England, 1751. He and his brother, William Nelson, were orphans, and came to America when they were about eighteen and twenty years old. John Nelson married Jane Robinson in Rockbridge county, Va., about the year 1778. Some of their children were Matthew Nelson, David Nelson, John Robinson Nelson, Margaret (called Peggy) who married Andrew Jones, (this family is extinct), Sallie Nelson, married Mr. Hudnell (also extinct), Rachel Nelson, married a Mr. White. Their descendants live in Virginia and North Carolina. I have only recently found theiraddress.

    Matthew and John R. Nelson have numerous descendants in this county (Knox). David Nelson married Phoebe White, a daughter of Benjamin and Martha Jobe White, Seven children were born to this marriage: Judge Carrick W. Nelson, whose children live in Texas; Thomas A. R. Nelson, who was one of President Andrew Johnson's attorneys in the impeachment trial, was my father. John Nelson married a second time, and had Richard Nelson, whose descendants live in Mississippi and some in Illinois. There were other children by this marriage, but I have never been able to locate them. John Nelson was in Capt. Posey's company and Col. Daniel Morgan's regiment in the Revolution. He died in Overton county, Tenn., June, 1838, age eighty-seven years. As to his brother William I have never been able to locate his descendants.

    I have written for the Knoxville Sentinel about the following families, of which all except one trace their Revolutionary ancestors to Virginia. The first article was the Tennessee descendants of Col. Joseph Williams, of North Carolina. 2nd. Capt. Robert Sevier, brother to Governor John, (he was a Virginian); Margaret Christian, who married Capt. Andrew Russell, of Virginia; Col. John Tipton, Frederick county, Va.; Andrew Taylor, Senator R. L. Taylor's ancestor; Rev. Joseph Rhea, of Maryland, born in Scotland, (his descendants are numerous in Virginia and Tennessee); David Deaderick, Frederick county, Va.

    I have in a partial state of completeness a sketch of Robert Hamilton's descendants. Tradition gives him a resident of Rockbridge county. The first census of Virginia puts him down as a resident of Prince Edward county.

    I have the pension application of Samuel Johnston, of Washington county, Va., written by my father in 1832 or 1833, but I have never been able to locate Mr. Johnston's descendants.

    Selden Nelson, Knoxville, Tenn.

  3.   The John Nelson line of Back Creek, Rockbrige County, Virginia.
  4.   Family Record of John Nelson and Wife, Jane Robinson. MSS., Microfilmed 1978: FHL Film 1036817 Item 16.
  5.   Pension Application of John Nelson: S38958

    [State of Tennessee, Knox County} Second Judicial Circuit of Said State
    On the 18th day of November 1818 Before the subscriber one of the Judges of the circuit court of said state personally appeared John Nelson aged to the best of his knowledge sixty six years last March a Citizen of and resident within the County of Overton in said State who being by me first duly sworn deposeth and then by oath states that he the said John Nelson in the latter part of the year one thousand seven hundred & seventy six or the beginning of the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven which he cannot now positively state – Entered at Colonel Samuel Wallace in the County of Botetourt now Rockbridge in the State of Virginia in the regular infantry service of the united states for twelve months in the Company of Captain Thomas Posey (since General Posey) the same being a rifle company and afterward a part of Colonel Daniel Morgans Regiment – that he continued in said company for some time until said Captain Posey being promoted or for some reason this affiant was attached to the company of Captain James Buckannon [sic, s/b Buchanan] which was likewise a Company of Colonel Morgans regiment and in which last mentioned Company the affiant faithfully served the united states as a private soldier the whole of said term of twelve months from which term he as before stated in the manner above stated Enlisted and at the Expiration of his term of service he was by Colonel Morgan honourably discharged from said service but at what place he was discharged he cannot now recollect that he said John Nelson was not in any General action but was in a skirmish at or near Monmouth [New Jersey] and another skirmish at Stony Point [New York] that afterwards during the war he served several Tours in the militia service — The said John Nelson also upon his oath states that he is now in reduced circumstances and stands in need of the assistance of his country for support that he is too old and feeble to labour much that whilst he was in the service of the united states he sustained an injury in one of his feet which some times disables him so much he cannot walk that he is afflicted with a rupture in his body that he has a wife and five children now living with him Dependent on him for support and that his property is by no means sufficient to furnish himself and family with the ordinary comforts of life without his his manual labour — That he has never been a Pensioner for said service and hereby releases all claim to a pension except under the provision of a [one or two words illegible] act of Congress which provides for persons who were engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the revolutionary war which act he prays the benefit of.
    The said John Nelson further states upon oath his discharge was destroyed by mice in a Chest that he has not in his power any writen evidence of his service nor does he know of any evidence now in his power of said service as he Believes Captain Posey & Buckhannan are both dead.
    (signed) John his+mark Nelson
    State of Tennessee} Schedule
    Overton County} July Term 1820
    On the 24th day of July 1820 personally appeared in open court being a court of record (having the power of fine and imprisonment and also having been made a court of record by the laws of said state) for the said County John Nelson aged to the best of his knowledge sixty eight years last March resident in the County of Overton aforesaid who being duly sworn according to Law doth on his oath declare that he served in the revolutionary war as follows.
    I John Nelson enlisted at Col. James Wallaces in the County of Botetourt now Rockbridge State of Virginia in the regular infantry service of the United States for twelve months, in the Company of Captain Thomas Posy (since Gen’l. Posy) the same being a rifle company, and afterwards a part of Col. Daniel Morgan’s Regiment, and I continued in said company for some time until said Captain Posy being promoted, or for some reason, I was attached to the company of Captain James Buckhannan which was likewise a company of Col. Morgan’s regiment, and in which last mentioned company I faithfully served the remainder of the term of service. and I faithfully served the united states as a private soldier the whole of said term of twelve months at the expiration of which I was honorably discharged from said service by Col. Daniel Morgan –
    My original declaration was made on the 18th Day of November 1818. And my pension certificate is number 12769 and I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th Day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift, sale, or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof with intention thereby so to diminish it as to bring my self within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled “and act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service in the united states in the Revolutionary War” passed on the 18th Day of March 1818 and that I have not nor has any person in trust for me, any property, or security contract, or debts due to me, nor have I any income other than what is contained in the Schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed.
    I have no interest in any real estate except a quit claim Deed to one hundred acres of land for which I promised to pay fifty Dollars, which sum I have not yet been able to pay. the following is a list of my personal property, necessary bedding and clothing excepted.
    To wit. Four hogs and pigs. Two [one or two words illegible] 12 sheep.
    Five cows, one calf, and three yearlings– 1 [word illegible] plow, 2 Hoes, 2 axes.– One Oven. One Kettle. One Sett plates.
    The following is the amount of the debt which I owe. One Debt of $26.00. One of 35.00. One of 12.00. One of 10.00–
    (Signed) John [his mark] Nelson
    I am by occupation a carpenter, but am now unable to labor much at any living. I am afflicted with a rupture in my body also with rheumattic fever [sic: rheumatism?] which sometimes disables me so much that I am unable to use my hands & arms. I have only three in family who now reside with me. Viz. my wife Sarah aged about sixty years who has for many years been afflicted with a breast complaint and is unable to labor. – my Daughter Rachel aged about 19 years is moderately healthy and able to labor. my son Samuel aged about 17 years is also moderately healthy and able to labor. –
    Sworn to and subscribed in open Court this 24th day of July 1820
    (Signed) John [his mark] Nelson

    [Note: John Nelson’s 1818 deposition was supported by a statement signed by his sons Matthew and David Nelson, both of Knoxville TN].