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Parents of the 7 Bates brothers of Hickman Co., Tenn.?

The purpose of this monograph is to document the research done by Frances A. Bates in trying to locate the parents of the seven Bates brothers mentioned in Spence's History of Hickman County Tennessee. While the ancestors are mine, she is the Sherlock Holmes of this investigation and my role is that of Dr. Watson.

At the beginning of this effort we had concluded that my great great great grandfather was one of the seven brothers, although at the time we did not know which one. Fran started out by identifying candidates for the seven brothers in the census. The 1830 census is the only one in which all of the names (Robert, James, Jere, Jesse, Josiah, and Samuel) appear at the same time in Hickman County. William is missing. Spence tells of a William Bates who died as a result of a powder mill explosion on Powder Mill Branch of Beaverdam Creek circa 1825. We assume1 the Elizabeth Bates in the 1830 Census is his widow.

Fran followed the brothers and their children through the censuses until 1850 when they began to say where they were born, and on to 1880 when the children began to say where their parents were born. She did the same with neighbors of the seven brothers. The evidence was not without a lot of contradictions. The same individual sometimes gave different information in successive censuses, but she built up a collection of evidence that suggested they came from South Carolina, with North Carolina second choice.  She next looked for some Bates in the 1800 census in North or South Carolina with enough children to be a candidate to be the parent of the seven brothers. She found a promising one in Greenville, S.C.

        Name       <10 10-16 16-26 26-45 >45
    James Bates     4    1     1     1    0     males
                    1    2     0     1    0     females

  Fran's plan was to see if she could identify a migration of a group of people by finding enough unusual names in common between Hickman County, Tenn. and wherever they might have come from. Looking around in Greenville, S.C. records, Fran found a will for a John Bates which looked promising. It had several "good" names in it. He had sons Moses, Isaac, and John. The will was witnessed by George Salmon. (James Salmon lived nearby in Hickman County). Spence says that a sister of the seven brothers married William Chandler. Fran found Chandlers in Greenville. One record2 suggests that William of the powdermill explosion married ----- Green. John's will indicated that some of his children had married Greens. John, however, couldn't be the father of the seven brothers. He died in South Carolina in 1821 and his son, William, was accounted for.

 In Leah Townsend's "South Carolina Baptists 1670-1805", Fran found a James Bates and Elizabeth Bates as members of the Head of Enoree Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C. We examined the original church records at Furman University in Greenville, and found that James and Elizabeth were last mentioned in 1804. In the 1800 census of Greenville County there were actually two James Bates' listed. Could we tell which of these two was the one associated with the Head of Enoree church? We examined the census records, and looked in particular at the people who were listed near each James Bates in the census. Near one, but not the other, were a number of names, which were also listed in the Head of Enoree church membership. The "successful" one was the one Fran had picked as the potential parent of the 7 brothers3.

  No James Bates was listed in the 1810 census of Greenville, Co S.C.. If we have picked the right man, he left sometime between 1804 and 1810.

  Two of the seven brothers, Samuel And Jesse, gave their birthplace as Tennessee. Jesse4 gave his age as 41 in 1850. According to Spence, Samuel was born in Maury County Aug 21,1807. These dates do not conflict with the 1804 date in South Carolina. The 1820 census lists Isaiah5, James, and William Bates in Hickman County. The James listed is one of the brothers. He's too young to be the father. There is no candidate for James, the father, in any Tennessee county in 1820. However, in Maury County there is an Elizabeth Baits who could be his widow. This would be consistent with Spence's statement that Samuel was born in Maury County. We made an extensive effort to locate James someplace else. If we could find him elsewhere, he couldn't be the parent we were searching for. We searched the indexes to the deeds of most of the counties in Eastern and Middle Tennessee, but found no candidates. (Unfortunately we also found no candidates in the deed indexes of the counties we think he went to).

  At this point our research had come to a dead end. We had a plausible story, but did not feel we had enough positive connections to say that the James Bates who was in South Carolina in 1800 was the unknown Bates who came to Tennessee and whose sons were the seven brothers in Hickman County. Our research lay dormant for a couple of years.

  On a Genealogical research trip in 1986, we found a nugget in an old issue of "The River Counties", Vol. 4, #1, Jan. 1975. In this issue a Mrs. Dudley W. Layne of Waco Texas had inserted a query saying she was interested in descendants of James Bates whose wife was Elizabeth sister of Jane Tubb who married William Few and of George Tubb (1760-1836). She had another query on the same topic in a 1978 issue of "The River Counties". In the 1978 query she said, "Descendants of James Bates and Elizabeth Tubb believed to still live in Hickman County".

  These queries caused a new flurry of research activity. Identifying Elizabeth Tubb as the sister of a man who was born in 1760 suggests strongly that her husband, James, is a generation earlier than the seven brothers. We found George Tubb in Dickson County, Tenn. The history of Dickson County says he came there in 1803.

  We began a search to see where George Tubb came from. There was a George Tubb in the Greenville, South Carolina census in 1800. Another look at the membership of the Head of Enoree Baptist Church in Greenville disclosed that there was a George Tubb enrolled in the (very small) church Fran had previously identified. We found a marriage bond for James Baits And Elizabeth Tubbs Rutherford County, North Carolina, 19 July, 1782. Rutherford County, N.C. bordered Greenville County, S.C. at the time. Furthermore the border of the area encompassing the Enoree River and the Pacolet River was in dispute between North and South Carolina during this time period. James Bates had land grants from South Carolina on the Pacolet River in 1785 and 1787. (Ambiguity here. Not certain that these land grants went to "Our" James Bates). The Tubb family intermarried with the John Bates family (of the will mentioned earlier). James Bates sold his Pacolet River land to John Bates 1n 1800. In the Dickson County court records in 1813 we found a James Bates on a road crew. In Hickman County, Tenn. records we found a deed, registered in 1814, to Jeremiah Tubb with James Bates and Samuel Tubb as chain carriers. We can't tell whether these references were to James Bates, the parent, or James Bates one of the 7 brothers, but it really isn't important which one it is. The references suggest a proximity between the two families.

 Further cementing the connection between the George Tubb in Dickson County and the George Tubb in South Carolina is the following: The Will Book in Dickson County, Tenn. lists a will for George Tubb, Oct 17, 1836, in which he names "Pheba Cooksey's children" as his grandchildren. The membership list of the Head of Enoree church, 1800-1801, in Greenville, S.C. lists Pheby Cooksey. There are other names which overlap in the two areas, but these seem sufficiently strong to establish the connection without any doubt. It should be noted that both Dickson County and Maury County are adjacent to Hickman County in Tennessee.

  Thus the query of Mrs. Layne led to the discovery of very strong evidence linking the James Bates In Greenville South Carolina with families which moved specifically to Hickman County. The very link we were missing before and hoping to find.

  We now feel we have enough evidence to support the hypothesis that James Bates and Elizabeth Tubb were the parents of the seven Bates brothers mentioned in Spence's History of Hickman County to warrant exhibiting it. Our hope is that others will examine this hypothesis and evaluate it, possibly put forward other facts which either support or refute it.

  Part of the cement which binds the story together comes from the queries that Mrs. Dudley W. Layne put in "The River Counties". We have written to Mrs. Layne, but our letters have been returned. It would be very useful if she or someone who has access to her research could examine the picture Fran has put together to see whether it contradicts whatever information Mrs. Layne has developed on James Bates and Elizabeth Tubb.

  A year after I wrote the above paragraphs summarizing our research on James Bates and Elizabeth Tubb, I received a golden piece of evidence from Mrs. R. C. Kremser of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Mrs. Kremser has been researching the Tubb family and has written a manuscript (as far as I know as yet unpublished) about them called "An Agnate Line - Tubb". She has sent me the text of a letter written by George Mathiston Tubb to his niece, Maggie Tubb (He was born on 27 February 1826; lived at Waverly, TN.; died 29 April 1922). The letter was written in 1912 and deals with the origins of the Tubb family. I quote a portion of the letter,

 "One of the grand daughters of the first named Tubb married a man named Bates. He lived in Hickman County on Cane Creek. Some of their descendants still live in Hickman County. One of them, Alonzo Bates, a lawyer at Centerville. Another of his grand daughters married a man named _Few We could not have asked for better confirmation of Fran's research. Alonzo Bates was a grandson of the William Bates killed as a result of the powdermill explosion.

1    Compare the description of William's family in Appendix F with the composition of Elizabeth Bates' family in the 1830 Census Appendix E)
2 (  See Appendix F.
3    See Appendices A and B.
4    See Appendix C
5    a.k.a. Josiah.  See Appendx D.