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SAMUEL KERR

 BORN:          2 Jul 1790 Headwaters of Eno River, Orange Co., North Carolina

MARRIED:    1st - Anna Paisley,  5 Oct 1820 Giles County, Tennessee, daughter. of James and Hannah Denny Paisley. She was born 6 Jul 1797 in Guilford County, North Carolina

CHILDREN: Caroline Paisley Kerr; Nancy Minerva Kerr; Elizabeth Jane Kerr; Addison Mitchell Kerr; Eleanor Hannah Kerr; James T. Paisley Kerr; Maria Frances Kerr & William Archibald Kerr

Samuel married a  2nd time to Sarah Ball. Note: In a letter dated 11/26/1957, Luther Earl Walker, great grandson said, “ Widower Samuel deeded his land to his children in equal shares in 1865 provided that each paid him $35.00 per year during his life. (Canny Scott, Records in Giles Co., TN Courthouse). Sometimes prior to 1863 Samuel went to see about a disturbance in the barn one night and somebody shot him thru the chest. He was nursed back to health by a neighbor widow woman named Sarah Ball. He married her on the 15th day of July 1863. Later, when she found he had given his land to his kids she lost interest and left. There is a deed remaining today where Samuel gave Sarah S. Ball Kerr 65 ˝ acres and in effect divorced her? Deed Book CC, page 278 registered Nov 29, 1865. On the 1876 D.G. Beers map the property is shown on Jenkins Creek listed as Mrs. S. S. Kerr just above the Kedron Church. She's buried in the Kedron cemetery along side the Ball family. There is no grave stone listing that matches Sarah, but instead Sidney S. Kerr which we believe to be her possibly using her full name Sidney S. (Sarah) Kerr. Perhaps Sidney Sarah Ball Kerr.

Samuel died 22 Apr 1881, Giles County, Tennessee, and is buried in Stella Cemetery, about 100 feet out from the old Stella Cumberland Presbyterian Church front door.

Samuel came by wagon-train with his father's family to Maury, Co., TN in 1807. His parents were James & Nancy Mitchell Kerr, who died in the old Jackson College (then called Manual Labor Academy) neighborhood near Spring Hill, Tennessee. Samuel is listed in a tax list for Maury, Co. for 1816. After his marriage on October 20th 1820 to Anna Paisley he settled in Stella, Giles County Tennessee.  Later censuses show him living next to his in-laws, the James Paisley’s where he was a slave-holding farmer and planter. He lived out his life in Stella dying past 90 years of age.

Samuel was a cabinet maker and wheelwright and had a well equipped woodworking shop. He was a maker of wagons, buggies, furniture, looms and spinning wheels. He made approximately three thousand spinning wheels including one for his daughter Caroline and his granddaughter Annie Josephine Walker.

His
age made him a non-combatant during the Civil War, but his home was along the dividing line of the two armies when they were fighting in Giles Co. This unfortunate location made him a target for both factions and he was repeatedly ambushed and scarred by the Confederates as well as by the Federals.

 Anna Paisley Kerr died 29 Sep 1849, Stella, Giles Co., TN and is buried In the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Stella, Giles County, Tennessee. Anna Paisleys great - great - grandfather was from Paisley, Scotland.

Several of Samuel & Anna's children eventually moved to Texas.

Extracted with permission from the book “Kerr History Project”, By Frank Kerr McDaniel, Santa Clarita California. Initially 17 0ct 1986; Revised 12 Sep 1987; 25 June 1989 -Thanks to Cathie Seaver; 16 Oct 1990, Thanks, K. B. Walker; 4 Nov 1991. Revisions by Wayne Austin 7-15-2004


Shown above is a photo of the home once owned  by the Samuel Kerr family made by Guy Mitchell during the 1980s, who grew up in Stella. The house is still standing today on H. Smith Road having been moved a few hundred feet from its original place and a new home constructed there. It was again remodeled. It is not known when it was built, but we know there were modification to the original log structure. Samuel Kerr was living in Stella by 1820.  Dr Waters was an early community medical practitioner. Marilyn Hare, a descendent says Addison Mitchell Kerr also lived in this house house occupied later by Renzo C. Smith.


A letter detailing the family history of Samuel Kerr is given here. It was written by Andrew Ross Kerr in 1875 of Campbell Station Tennessee just about 25 miles to the north of this place. He was addressing John T. Kerr a nephew from Texas. This letter has been passed around thru the Kerr descendents and was first translated in May 22, 1922 by Lula Kerr Dorris and transcribed for this site by Wayne Austin July 12, 2004. My collection came from Raymond Kerr Evans thru the efforts of Mr. Sharp a later Kerr researccher.

Mr. John T. Kerr                         Fountain Creek, Tenn.                     August 25, 1875.
 
Dear Sir: 
Please excuse me for delaying answering your letter of November 4th, 1874 so long. I was trying to hear from uncle Samuel Kerr, he could have given more of the history of our ancestry than I can, but Calvin Warden (aka Calvn Kerr Warden, b. 1816) thinks he is dead. You ask for the history back as far as your grandfather. I can give some of our history as far back as your great-grandfather. He was a native of Ireland. He brought the Kerr name to America. I do not know the date, (perhaps uncle Samuel could have told.) but it was some time before the Revolutionary War. I think he was married in Ireland, do not know his wife's maiden name. He was a weaver by trade, and taught school. I think he was a high churchman in religion, and died, I would guess, about the year 1800 in Orange County, N. C. His name was James Kerr. He had three sons and seven daughters. The names of his sons were William, John and James. William and John died in the army of the revolution, both single men, leaving James, my grandfather and your great-grandfather, to perpetuate the name. About the year 1780 he married Miss Nancy Mitchell, they raised six sons and two daughters, all lived to be old and brought up families.
Grandfather's occupation was farming. He and all of his family came to Tennessee in the year 1807, none of them were married at that time except my father, he being the eldest. They settled in Maury County, where Spring Hill now stands, then that part of the country was cane break.

Grandfather died about the year 1816 or 1817 in this county near were he had first settled. His religion was old Presbyterian; he was a leading member of that      church. I remember hearing him sing, pray and exhort at the meetings, when I was small. I thought he was a preacher. I can remember hearing him sing and shout in the fields while following the plow. He cared but little for the things of this world, a competency was all he desired.
We will now come a little nearer to home. My father, your grandfather, William Kerr, was born in the year 1781 in orange county, N.C. In 1804 he married Miss Kate Ross. They raised eleven children, six boys and five girls, Nancy Simpson the eldest, and Taswell, the youngest. Your father T.B. Kerr (Thomas B. Kerr), was the seventh child. My mother (Kate Ross) died in 1826. In 1827 father married widow Polly Crafton, by whom he had seven more children, five girls and two boys. Four of the first set of children are dead and five of the last, leaving nine still living. Father died in the year 1853, he was about seventy-two years old at his death. He was a mechanic, a turner, by trade, and a member of the old Presbyterian Church. He raised his children to be sober, honest and industrious.
 I will now trace our race back as far as I can on my mother's side. Grandfather Ross was married in Edenburg, Scotland. He was a blacksmith by trade and worked for the Revolutionary army. His name was Andrew Ross after whom I was named. Grandmother Ross' maiden name was Aley Pratt. I think she was born in America. Great-grandmother Pratt's maiden name was Wriley. I do not know her given name, but I think it was Susan.
 I have now gone back to your great-grandfather, James Kerr, on my father's side, and your great-great-grandmother Wriley on my mother's side. I believe this is all I can do for you in that direction. If you wish to file this, you are a good scribe, copy it in a better hand and please correct the orthography. Your Uncle, A.R. Kerr (Andrew Ross Kerr)

Notes by Wayne Austin July 17, 2004: The writer Andrew R. Kerr sadly would live only 36 more days after issuing this letter. The Samuel Kerr mentioned above was the brother of the William or the father of Andrew Ross Kerr the writer. It must be pointed out that Samuel Kerr was not in fact dead but lived until 1881. The confusion might have occurred because the son of Samuel who was Addison M. Kerr had recently died in 1872 and communication was very slow in those days. According to Samuel's tombstone inscription he was born in July 2, 1790 and died Apr 22, 1881. He lived in the Stella Community, Giles County, Tennessee and is interred there. Stella is nine miles south of Pulaski in Giles County and this PO Fountain Creek is about 15 miles northeast of Pulaski in Maury County, Tennessee. According to the Tombstone inscription of James Kerr of Springhill Tennessee, he died in 1818, so A. R. Kerr's date of 1816 or 1817 was quite close. The Calvin Warden above was Calvin Kerr or known as CK Warden a native of Campbell Station Tennessee. He was a Christian Church minister, and was found by the D. G. Beers mapping company during 1876 as living there in Campbell Station where he called home. The post Office at Campbell Station was known as Fountain Creek at that time so this letter was written by Andrew Ross Kerr who was a resident of Campbell Station. The D. G. Beers map finds his estate in 1876 located just to the east of what was the Shane (Methodist) Meeting house. That is just to the east of the present day Shane Cemetery, the community cemetery of Campbell Station. Calvin Warden transferred before his death to the Campbellsville village where he died in 1891 and is interred there. He followed two of his daughters there. 
The A. R. Kerr mentioned was Andrew Ross Kerr, 1807 - 1875, the son of William & Kate (Ross) Kerr. Andrew R. is buried in Campbell Station Tennessee in the Shane Cemetery about 600 yards west of his old home place which still stood in 2004 though in poor repair. The letter was addressed to John T. Kerr who lived in Texas but he was mentioned as the son of Thomas B. Kerr of McNairy County Tennessee. Thomas B. was the son as mentioned of William & Kate Ross Kerr of Maury County. So this John T. Kerr removed to Texas from McNairy County Tennessee. Later he moved back to Giles County settling somewhere around the Roberson Fork or Buford Station Community as a clerk for his uncle Richard Warden's store. Later he took over that store and operated it as sole owner. John T. Kerr is interred in the Lynnwood Cemetery. b. 1846 d. 1927.
The above letter was transcribed into MS Word on 17 Jul 2004 by Wayne Austin for this site.