James Ellison, Sr.
Last Updated 09/22/09
Summary Trying to
search for Ellisons online using search functions is very difficult. Even in the early 19th Century in the
United States, James Ellison was an extremely popular name. By 1820 there
were no less than 27 individual "James Ellisons" listed as head of household in the United
States. This does not include the James Ellisons that were living on the
frontiers and not located by
the census takers.
James was of Irish decent and likely had dark hair and fair skin like his
sons as stated in their military enlistments.
Trying to search for Ellisons online using search functions is very difficult. Even in the early 19th Century in the United States, James Ellison was an extremely popular name. By 1820 there were no less than 27 individual "James Ellisons" listed as head of household in the United States. This does not include the James Ellisons that were living on the frontiers and not located by the census takers.
James was of Irish decent and likely had dark hair and fair skin like his sons as stated in their military enlistments.
Because James' sons state that they were born in South Carolina between 1805 and 1810 an image of the Heads of Families for the 1790 can be drawn up showing where the soon-to-be Claiborne County, Tennessee family surnames possibly originated. As seen in the image below, most of these families lived in PE (Pendleton) or in LAU (Laurens) county, South Carolina. This is an image displaying were the heads of households lived during 1790.
After enlisting as a private in the war of 1812, James, his wife, Elizabeth and at least three children settled in Blue Springs Hollow of Claiborne County, Tennessee.
According to one tradition , James married Susannah Ausmus (1781-bef 1860), daughter of Philip Ausmus (c1728 - 1809), even giving a date of marriage of 2 Jan 1798. However, Philip's daughter Susannah Ausmus - not Susannah Ellison was excepted by experience into Davis Creek Baptist Church in Claiborne County, Tennessee on November 2, 1798. Furthermore, James certainly married an Elizabeth (__) as shown in the 1850 census who was born in South Carolina. This same Elizabeth Ellison born in 1783 lived in the home of James' son, James Ellison, Jr.
Ausmus family tradition states that Robert, James, Berry Ellison came from North Carolina and settled in the Blue Springs Hollow area of Claiborne County; both James and Berry married Ausmus sisters and Robert, the eldest weighed 400 lbs falling over in his chair killing himself.
When the War of 1812 broke out James Ellison was about 35 years old and enlisted as a private. There were at least 4 or 4 James Ellisons that served in the War.
James' first record in Claiborne County is when he was listed twice as a juror and is listed as a defendant who lost a case to Nathaniel Cary. Unfortunately no 1820 for Claiborne County exists.
James and Elizabeth are listed in the 1830 census for Speedwell, Claiborne County, Tennessee. James is between the ages of 50 and 60 and his wife is listed as age 40-50; No children live in the home, but are heads of their own households nearby. According to the record from the Union County Cemetery Association, James died in 1835. He would have been about the age of 57. He was buried in the Braden Cemetery near his home in Lost Creek in present day, Union County, TN.
When the 1833 tax list was taken for Claiborne County only Berry, Robert and and unknown Thomas Ellison can be found. Neither James Ellison Jr or Sr and be found and may have removed to a few miles southwest to then Campbell County. Thomas may be unrelated.
One obscure record found at ancestry.com lists the burial of James Ellison. This may be taken from the cemetery association of Union County which states the same information, however, adds the birth date of 1778 and death of 1835.
|Name:||James Sr Ellison|
|Service Info.:||PVT US ARMY WAR OF 1812|
|Cemetery Address:||Speedwell, TN 37870|
The Braden cemetery is listed in the Powder Springs USGS topographic quad maps recorded on May 19, 1980 and is located on Hickory Valley Road in that part of southern Claiborne that became Union County, TN in 1850, a few miles south of Speedwell, Claiborne County, TN. Aaron Lynch (1797 - 29 Mar 1860) is also buried in the same cemetery. Aaron was born in Laurens, South Carolina near Warrior Creek and married Susanah Cain (2 Feb 1803 - 16 Aug 1867), daughter of Jesse Cain and Sarah Ausmus.
James' wife, Elizabeth died before 1860 in Claiborne County, TN. Her maiden name may never be known but strong candidates would be, Berry, Sharp, or Carr whose kin followed or were followed by the Ellisons from South Carolina to Claiborne County, TN.
1789 (age 11)
Pendleton County, South Carolina is formed from Indian Lands creating a rush of new white settlers in the area.
c1804 (age 26)
James Ellison, Sr marries Elizabeth (__) possibly in South Carolina. As stated in the 1850 census for Claiborne County, TN, she was born in South Carolina and so were their children until 1810. The estimated date of marriage can only be assumed by the date of their children as no documents have yet been discovered.
1805 (age 27)
James and Elizabeth Ellison give birth to Robert Ellison (1805 - 10 Aug 1868) who is born in South Carolina. Reference  states he was born in Nov. 1799 but this doesn't agree with his census records for 1850 Claiborne County. If tradition is correct, Robert was named after James' father. Circa 1822, Robert married Betsy Polly Kirk (1795 - 1839), widow of Isaac Bollinger (c1790 - c1821). Isaac died in Claiborne County prior to February 1821 . Isaac's estate was ordered by the Claiborne County Court of Pleas be be administered by his brother, Frederick Bollinger, Jr. (19 May 1796 - 9 Jun 1864) and Isaac's widow, Betsy Polly [Kirk] Bollinger who entered bond with Betsy Polly's brother, Armsted Kirk [c1785 - ?] as security. When the 1830 census was taken for Campbell County, TN Robert can be seen living adjacent to his brother-in-law, Josiah M. Kirk. The number of children in the home indicate that Betsy and Isaac had several children; by 1840, their were 16 children living in the home, some of which were the Bollinger children. These children between Robert Ellison and Betsy Polly are:
1826 McKendre Ellison (10 Mar 1826 - 29 Nov 1905) m1 Nancy Minerva Lynch. They were the first settlers of Plum Creek Precinct, Pawnee, Nebraska in 1865. A painting of them is available at ancestry.com . He m2 Esther Wright abt 1884 and moved back to Union County, TN. They had the following children:
1832 Sally Ellison
1832 Robert Ellison
Betsy Polly's first husband was the oldest son of Frederick Bollinger (1765 - 1840) and Mary Weaver, sister to Samuel Weaver who married Mary Bollinger.Both Frederick and Mary Bollinger were children of Chatarina (__) Bollinger and Isaac Bollinger of Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania. Chatarina married second, Philip Ausmus (1728 - 1809).
Between 1832 and 1835, Robert Ellison married second, Sarah Ausmus (1805 -aft 1870), widow of Joseph Berry (1800 - aft 1832). She was born in Tennessee and was the daughter of Henry Ausmus and Linda Price who removed from Washington County, TN to Claiborne County, TN circa 1804. Joseph was the son of John Berry (1779 - ?) and Elizabeth Cawood (1782 - 22 Jan 1851) who m. by license 24 Mar 1795 in Washington County, Virginia. The Berrys and Cawoods moved from Washington County, Virginia to Claiborne County bef. 1806. John was born in Maryland and Elizabeth was born in Virginia. After Joseph Berry's untimely death, his children can be seen in the home of Robert Ellison and their new step-father in the 1850 census for Claiborne County. Sarah and her first husband, Joseph Berry and Sarah had the following children:
1825 Male Berry - shown in the 1830 census
1827 Benjamin Berry - named after Sarah's brother
1828 Henry M. Berry - named after Sarah's father
1831 Elizabeth Berry
1832 Prior L. Berry
The marriage between Robert and his second wife Sarah (Ausmus) Berry Ellison brought the following additional children:
1835 George Ellison
1838 Mary Ellison
1839 Susan Ellison
1840 Hiram Ellison
1841 Christopher Ellison (10 may 1842 - ) m. Elizabeth Lynch dau of Chaney Lynch and Malinda Hunter
1842 Eliza Ellison - named after Sarah's sister
1845 Joseph Ellison (5 Feb 1844 - )
1846 Berry Ellison m. Martha Boruff moved to Lost Creek, TN where his mother Sarah can be see living in the household
By 1850, Robert and his wife moved to Tazewell, TN in nearby Claiborne County amongst both Sarah and Robert relatives. When the 1862 tax list was taken, Robert Ellison was listed as owning 200 acres of land valued at $1,200. Shortly thereafter they removed to Lost Creek in that part of Claiborne County that would be annexed by the newly created Union County. Tradition states that Robert died on 10 Aug 1868 while another  November 1868 and that Robert Ellison weighed over 400 lbs and fell over in his chair killing himself. When the 1870 census was taken, a widowed Sarah can be seen living in the home of her youngest son, Berry. Sarah is not found in the 1880 census.
c1809 (age 31)
Circa 1809, James Ellison and his 26 year old wife, Elizabeth (__) gave birth to James Ellison Jr in South Carolina. James Ellison Jr., married Eliza Ausmus (1812-aft 1880) whose sister Sarah married James' older brother, Robert.
c1810 (age 32)
James Ellison Senior and his wife give birth to Berry Ellison (Sr.) (c1810 - 1 Mar 1879) in South Carolina. He later marries Catherine Boruff (1805 -c1876) in Speedwell, Claiborne County, TN who was five years his senior. Berry and his relative, Berry Lynch (1806- 1850) are both named after the Berry family from Laurens, South Carolina. When the 1850 census was taken, Henry Berry (b. TN) can be seen working as a laborer on Berry's farm.
Berry Ellison moved to that part of southern Claiborne County that would become Lost Creek, Union County, Tennessee after Union County formed in 1850. Neither Berry nor his wife learned to read and write as stated in the 1850 & 1860 censuses. In addition, each time the census was taken, his date of birth varied greatly. When the 1870 census was taken, he and Catherine are living in the home of their daughter, Parmenta or Permelia and her husband, Andrew Dosset his entire family was listed with a tick mark in the census column for "either deaf, dumb, blind or insane."
Berry Ellison and Catherine Boruff's children are as follows:
Parmelia c1844 m. Andrew Dosset
The Move to Blue Springs Hollow, Speedwell, Claiborne County, TN
Whether the Ellisons moved directly from South Carolina or stayed for a short while in another state, is not known. What is certain is that upon the end of the War of 1812, they relocated to Blue Springs Hollow area of Claiborne County, TN in what would later become Union County, TN. Relocating in this part of Tennessee is easy to understand, most of their relatives from South Carolina relocated here some fifteen years prior.
The War of 1812
Although there were several James Ellisons that served in the War of 1812, the most likely candidate would be the follow:
1820 (age 42)
Unfortunately, the U.S. Federal Census for 1820 did not include the County of Claiborne. However, James can be found in the court records as a juror for Claiborne County on May 10, 1820 . On Tuesday, February 13, 1821, James Ellison was cited as a defendant in a jury case brought by Nathanial Cary. The plaintiff was awarded $54.40. James' security was listed as William Lanham whose brother John married a Berry.
According to http://joepayne.org/lanham.htm, William Lanham or Langham was born 4 Jan 1792 in Hawkins Co., TN He married Vina Laura McClary. William's father, August Able Lanham (b1762) was born in York County, South Carolina and died in Claiborne County, Tennessee. He married Jean (__) c1814 and removed to Washington County, Tennessee circa 1782 after enlisting in the war in Rutherford, North Carolina and staying for a short while in the Orangeburg District of South Carolina to visit his sister. After moving to Washington County, he enlisted with Col John Sevier and Captain Samuel William in the Indian Campaign of 1782. Abel's other son, Joseph Lanham (12 Mar 1794) married Ann Berry (c1792 - ?).
Tuesday, 14 Aug 1821 (age 43)
James Ellison appears as a juror in the case, Richard Moore vs. Daniel Sowder .
When the 1830 Census for
James Ellison Sr. age: 50-60 [born 1770-1780]
James Ellison Jr. age: 20-30 [c1809 - Mar 1851] Known to have been born in SC
Berry Ellison age: 20-30 [born 1810] Known to have been born in SC
James' oldest son, Robert Ellison had moved to nearby Campbell County.
Other names on the 1830 Census for Claiborne County, TN
Sharp, William & George
Green, Richard G.
Lynch, Aaron - (1797-1860) m. Susannah Cain -Aaron is buried in the Braden Cemetery with James Ellison.
Cain, John, Jesse
Graves, Boston Sr.,
Braden, John & Alexander
Williams, Silas & William
Collins, Owen & Sarah & Mathew
Queen, Francis & James
Long, Henry Jr. and Sr. and Conrad
Critchfield, Joshua Sr.
Shutter, George & Elijah
St. John, William
Rogers, Samuel & William (Jr & Sr.)
& Peter & Joel
In the summer of 1833, Benjamin Cloud collected taxes in Claiborne County's district 2. The list comprised adult white males older than 21 years of age who were taxed. On the list were several hundred names, some of which were:
James, Yelventer, John, Jesse [jr & sr] Carpenters
Bartlet Odle [O'dell]
Charles M. Hooper
John, William and Thomas Dunn
Jacob Bolinger [s/o Frederick]
Benjamin Ausmus (age 32) [s/o Henry]
Hiram Ousms (Ausmus age 22) [s/o Henry]
Henry Ausmus [(age 59) James' son, James Jr. would marry the daughter of Henry Ausmus]
David W. Rogers
Frederick Bolinger [Was living in Pendleton County adjacent to James Ellison according to 1790 census.]
John Hunter - [Was living in Pendleton County adjacent to James Ellison according to 1790 census.]
William M. Hooper
William Hooper Jr.
Berry Ellison [born 1810] m. Catherine Boruff
Robert Ellison [born 1805] m. to Sarah (Ausmus) Berry
Spencer Edwards [m. Catherine Riddle]
In 1835 James Ellison, Sr. dies and is buried near his home in the Braden Cemetery. He would have been about 57 years old. The 1839 tax list for Claiborne County fails to show James Ellison.
According to the 1838/39 tax list for Campbell County District 1 (later Union) James' son Robert Ellison is taxed on 50 acres of land valued at $200. Could this 50 acres of land have been James' land and Robert moved there after his death? This could explain why he cannot be found on the Claiborne County tax roll for 1833.
When the 1840 census was taken for Claiborne County, Elizabeth can be found in the home of her youngest son, Berry and living next to James. Living in Robert's home was not an option, due to his step children, there were already 18 mouths to feed.
When the 1850 census was taken Elizabeth can be found in the home of her son, James.
Elizabeth cannot be found in the 1860 and is assumed to have died prior in her middle 70s. There are no records for Elizabeth filing for a pension application in the U.S. National Archives.
4. Washington County, Tennessee Deeds, 1775-1806, Rae, 1991 Souther Historical Press, Inc.
5. Claiborne County, Tennessee Court of Pleas & Quarter Session 1819-1821
6. Historical reg. of officers of the Continental Army. By Francis Bernard Heitman. Washington, DC, 1914. (685p.): 215
7. Ausmus Family History, Harry L. Ausmus; 1963
8. South Carolina Naturalizations, 1783-1850, State Records from Miscellaneous Records at the South Carolina; pg 89
9. The Jury Lists of South Carolina, 1778-1779, Miscellaneous Act No. 1123 - The Determination of Jury Lists for District 96,
10. Claiborne County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session 1819-1821; Nashville, Mountain Press
11. Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South, Michael P. Johnson, James L. Roark
12. U.S. Pensioners, 1818-1872, Virginia, pg 306
13. Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia (1769-1800)
14. Two worlds in the Tennessee Mountains: exploring the origins of Appalacian; David C. Hsiung
15. King's Mountain and its heroes: history of the Battle of King's Mountain; Lyman Copeland Draper, Anthony Allaire, Isaac Shelby
16. LDS film 471042; sealings for the dead, couples and children; 1944-1970, heir index, Manti Temple
|Name:||James Sr Ellison|
|Service Info.:||PVT US ARMY WAR OF 1812|
|Cemetery Address:||Speedwell, TN 37870|
John Lynch (1763 - 1846) of Laurens, SC m. Elizabeth Jane Allison
- Sarah "Sally" Lynch
-Rispah Lynch (1790 - 1850) of Laurens, SC m. Martin Sharp (1787 - 1871)
-Alfred Ford Lynch
-William Lynch (1783 - 1824)
-Watson Ellison Lynch (1795 -?) m. Sallie Casey
Aaron Lynch (1738-1838) Jean Jane Allison give birth to
Jessee Lynch (1784 - ?) m. Mary Polly Stone in Laurens, SC
a. Chaney Lynch (1805 -8 Dec 1859) died in Speedwell, Claiborne County m. Malinda Hunter (4 Feb 1810 -23 Sep 1881) dau of Henry Hunter and Barbara (Bollinger) Hunter
b. Berry Lynch (1806 - 1850) m. Jane Henly
c. Aaron Lynch (1810 - 1885) m. Elizabeth (Cawood) Rogers
d. Nancy Jane Lynch
e. Elizabeth Caroline Lynch
John Lynch of Laurens South Carolina
a. Aaron Lynch (1800 - 1860) m. Susannah Cain
Nancy Minerva Lynch (1822 - 1882) m. McKendrie Ellison
Margaret Elvery Lynch m. Jonathan Sharp
Riley H. Lynch
b. Elizabeth m. Cornelius Bowman
c. John Lynch (1805 - ?)
d. Nancy Lynch (1806 - ?)
e. Joseph R. Lynch (1808 - 1884)
f. Jane Lynch (1813 -
Description: RAVENEL, DANIEL JR., PLAT FOR 2,000 ACRES ON FORK BETWEEN THE BROAD AND SALUDA RIVERS.
Names indexed: ADEARY, JOSEPH; ELLISON, THOMAS; EWING, THOMAS; EWING, WILLIAM; GREGROY, BENJAMIN; GREYER, JOSIAS; HANNAH, WILLIAM; KIRKLAND, MOSES; LONG; RAVENEL, DANIEL JR.
Locations: BROAD RIVER; DUNCANS CREEK; SALUDA RIVER
Description: LYNCH, AARON, MEMORIAL FOR 150 ACRES BETWEEN BROAD AND SALUDY RIVERS, BERKLEY COUNTY.
Names indexed: ELLISON, JAMES; LYNCH, AARON; NUTT, ANDREW
Locations: BERKELEY COUNTY; BROAD RIVER; LYNCHES CREEK; SALUDA RIVER; WARRIOR CREEK
Document type: MEMORIAL
13, August 1821
Ordered by the court that Jessee Lynch be appointed overseer of the road leading up and down powels vally [sic] begining at the branch below James Rogeres thence up to the Haw Branch in room and stead of John Bowman and have the same hands that Bowman had .
October 26, 1786
North Carolina to James Ellison Esquire; from him to John Crouch; by Crouch to Watson 11/15/1790; Signed William X Watson. Witness: John Strain CT; Feb 1793. 2/9/1793: William Watson to James Adair; 100 acres on Big Limestone consideration 40 lbs...
5 Apr 1791
Territory of the United States of America south of the River Ohio, Washington County, Records Land Book B.
pg 159-60; William Houston To Robert Allison, Sullivan County; 400 acres, Consederation: 270 lbs. For part of lands of Abreham Kirkindal, John Houston, George Shields, Adjacent George Shields, Gisned: Wm Houson. Witness; James (?ing), Abraham Anthony, James Ellison. [4; pg 88]
19 Jan 1810
Deed Book H. pp 100-101
19 January, 1800, John Lynch, planter to Joseph Lynch, both of Laurens County, South Carolina, consideration: $50.00. 192 acres "On Enoree, beginning at a pine, corner of Jessee Holder land along said line to a black oak corner of Samuel Styles land, thence along said line to a hickory, thence to a white oak corner of John Caseys, thence to a stake, thence to a white oak corner Aron Lynches line, thence to a post oak corner of said Lynches land, thence to a hickory corner on said line, thence to the beginning corner." BEING PART of a tract of land containing 500 acres dated July 31, and granted to James Smith on Coxe's Creek.
Witnesses: Jessee Lynch, Angus Campbell
Signed: John Lynch
Before: George Gordon, J.P.
"The history of the Lynch family in Tennessee begins with Jesse Lynch, who had participated as a soldier of the American army in the Battle of King's Mountain, and who subsequently moved over the mountains from South Carolina, locating first in eastern Tennessee and then, at the beginning of the century, in Franklin County. He was a nephew of the famous Thomas Lynch, whose name appears as a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Jesse Lynch was among the very pioneer founder of civilization in Franklin County and spent his active years here as a farmer.
Sometime between Feb 1812 and Nov 1814, John Lynch is appointed commissioner of Claiborne County.
Monday, 8 Nov 1819
A deed of conveyance from Thomas Adkins to Jesse Kain for fifty acres of Land was duly proven in court by the oath of John and Alfred Lynch subscribing witnesses thereto admitted to record and ordered to be certified for registration .
A deed of conveyance from David James to Valentine Boroff for one hundred and fifty three acres of Land was proven in court by the oaths of Samuel Boroff and John Lynch witnesses thereto admitted to record and ordered to be registered .
for St. Thomas Township, Cherwas District shows
Robert & Joseph & Thomas
96th District, Laurens County
Aaron Lynch 32400
96th District, Edgefield County
John Berrey, Sr.
John Berry, Jr.
24 Dec 1792 (age 14)
Description: HUNTER, ANDREW, PLAT FOR 275 ACRES BETWEEN JEFFRYS AND BLACK CREEKS, CHERAW DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY ROBERT ELLISON. [This would be esquire]
Names indexed: BERRY, WILLIAM; BOOMER; CONNELL, THOMAS; ELLISON, ROBERT; HUNTER, ANDREW; RUSSELL, MICHAEL
Locations: BLACK CREEK; CHERAW DISTRICT; JEFFERIES CREEK
Document type: PLAT
Description: NETTLES, JAMES, PLAT FOR 222 ACRES ON MIDDLE SWAMP, CHERAW DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY ROBERT ELLISON.
Names indexed: BERRY, WILLIAM; CANNON, HENRY; EDWARDS, HENRY; ELLISON, ROBERT; MELTON; NETTLES, JAMES
Locations: CHERAW DISTRICT; HIGH HILL CREEK; MIDDLE SWAMP
Document type: PLAT
November 17, 1794
Robert Ellison can be seen as an adjacent land owner on Big
Limestone Creek, Washington County, Tennessee. This land was also adjacent to
Philip Ausmus & John Hunter Sr. land on Little Cherokee Creek. It should be
noted that John Hunter Jr. was at this time living (or just leaving) Pendleton
South Carolina to return to Tennessee eventually settling in Powell's Valley,
Claiborne County, TN.
William Humphreys to Jacob Bales; 150 acres on Big Limestone Creek, Cons: 666 Spanish dollars. Adj: Robert Ellison; Sig: Will'm Humphreys. Wit: Isaac Beales, Daniel Beales, CT: Nov 1794.[4; pg 155]
Description: BARRY, JAMES, PLAT FOR 310 ACRES IN CAMDEN DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY BENJAMIN HART FOR DAVID DODD ON MAY 10, 1794.
Names indexed: BARRY, JAMES; CARR, JOSEPH; DODD, DAVID; ELLISON, MRS.; HART, BENJAMIN
Locations: CAMDEN DISTRICT
Document type: PLAT
Tuesday, 9 Nov 1819 
Court met according to adjournment present the worshipful John Evans John Lynch, Aaron Davis Mercursus Cook and John Neil Esquires
Dennis Condrey Sheriff of Claiborne County returned the venirefacins Executed on the following named person to wit:
Peter Neal Jr.
Samuel Going George Hopkins
out of which the following named person was balletted a Grad Jury to the present Term to wit:
Hurion Hurst, foreman
Tuesday, 15 Feb 1820
A deed of conveyance from David James to John Lynch for five hundred and fifty acres of land was proven by the oath of Jesse Daver and filed for further probate .
A deed of conveyance from David Lynch to John Lynch one hundred and twenty four acres proven by John Bowman and filed .
11 May 1830 (age 52)
Ordered by the court that the following named persons be appointed Jurors to the next Circuit Court to wit:
John H. Lee
George Sharp Jnr.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids