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son of Wyatt



There are few documented records about Samuel Holt.  He was the first son, second child, of Wyatt Holt and his first wife. Although he grew up in Buncombe County, North Carolina, he was born in 1802, in Rowan County, in or near the town of Salisbury. The exact time his father moved their family from Salisbury is unknown...he first had to fulfill an obligation to train an orphan boy as an apprentice in the Joiners trade which began February of 1805.  By 1810, Sam's father had moved the family south into Buncombe County, where he later bought property on Shaws Creek in a wilderness area, a few miles west of Hendersonville.    The family resided there until the end of 1824.

Sam was living with his parents when he married sometime in 1819- 20.   He was 17 or 18 years of age when he married an older woman.  The age of  their first child varies in the Census;  therefore, we cannot predict an accurate year of their marriage.  The age of his wife, Asenath, varies in all census, so her age remains unconfirmed.   However, if born in 1790-91 as recorded, she may have been age 29 - 30 when they married.

Samuel's wife seemed  to be named ASEANETTE ...per handwriting by the 1870 Census Taker.    However,  a careful study of  names penned by this Census Taker was made.   Results showed that names with a 'th' were written similar,  each having  a wide-stroke on the ' h'  and  crossed like a 't '.  This was used for names  Elizabeth, Martha, Cintha,  Catharine, Nathan,  Rutha  and  Matthew.   Because this same stroke of his pen was used in writing the name Aseanette, this study revealed he actually wrote the name  Aseaneth ... which was another misspelling for the name often suspected as being her true name...ASENATH.   A check of these census pages 1-19, will easily verify this.

So ... her true name was ASENATH,  the Biblical name of Joseph's wife.   With her nickname being  'Seny', this was another reason her real name was thought to be Asenath.    The 1870  Census  now  proves  this. Derivatives of  her name  used  in census, church  and mortality records are: Sena, Seny, Seneth, Sina and Acenth.

In 1840,  the census birth data for  Asenath was  in the  40-50 age column (1790-1800), while Samuel,  b 1802, was accurately in the  30-40 age column (1800-1810).  In 1850, her age was listed as 52 (1798); then 1860, at age 70 (1790), and  in 1870, at age 75 (1795).      Cocke County, Tennessee records her death in March of 1880at age 90 years  (1790). With such differences in  the ages she gave in her census, it is obvious Asenath did not want to tell her true age,  which seems to point towards the oldest date being her true age.

Research often reveals when some women were young, they gave their correct age  in  the census.   As they aged  and  apparently became sensitive about  it,  they grew younger  in the records ... that is, until they were so old  that some family member told  their age.  Considering all of Asenath's records, it seems she was sensitive being older than Samuel.

Descendants in the past  believed  Asenath  gave  her  last son her maiden name... Bradley...but research through the years found no record of  an  Asenath BRADLEY (by any spelling).   Also, this Researcher found she was not listed among the Bradley families living in the French Broad River area near to Holt's property at Shaws Creek.  Bradley descendants have done extensive research into the North and South Carolina families for years,  uncovering much data,  but  Asenath's name was not with any individual family record.

It has been thought Asenath visited kinfolk living in the general area of Shaws Creek at some time.   She certainly didn't live in that wilderness by herself!   It seems unlikely young Samuel  traveled very far to court his bride...considering he still lived in his father's house in a wilderness  until he married.  Nevertheless...if Seny's father did not live or work there, then she must have visited kinfolk in the area.  However, it's still possible Sam met her in Greenville, South Carolina ...if and when he and father traveled there for supplies or work.   For now it remains a mystery how they met.

In the search for  Asenath's father among the Bradley lineage,  Asa Bradley was a good candidate for he was the only Bradley in Buncombe County in 1810,  per census,  living not far from  the Wyatt Holt family.  In 1820, Asa Bradley was still there. The spelling of Asenath's name begins basically the same as  Asa's ... so with no other clues about her father,  it seemed logical to try and place her with  Asa's family.  However, none of his census can support Asenath being part of his family.

Back to square one,  all correspondence from past years becomes the focus from which to search in another direction. In doing so an Email (saved for 5 years)  was found which mentioned  TIDANCE BRADLEY as son  of  ABRAHAM BRADLEY of Greenville, S.C.    The U. S. Census was not OnLine when this first came in and altho kept, it was out of sight and out of mind.   But Tidance Bradley was now easily found in 1800 Census, Greenville County.  Along with his wife,  Susannah Roy,  they were in the age column of 16-26 years.  Susannah was the daughter of Thomas Roy of Greenville, South Carolina.  (More on the Roy family is below.)

In this Census,  Tidance and  Susannah had  1 son and  1 daughter under age 10.   Their son was named Greenberry.   In his later census he was called Granberry,  Green B. and just plain Green Bradley.   The name of the daughter, his sister, has not been found listed anywhere!  Per this census, she was from age 1 to 9 years old...1791-1799.

Green was born the  22nd of January in 1800.  His birthdate is very important for being born in the first month and also counted in that year census means his Sister was definitely older than him.     This broadens possibility that Asenath was his Sister; however ...  proof  of his Sister's name is needed.   Using Tidance's 1800 Census with her 1840 and 1850 Census with Samuel, Asenath may have been born in 1798 ... and likely only 2 years older than Green.  Yet IF she was born in 1790, as her 1860 Census and death record gives,  she was at least a good  '9' years older than Green!  Clearly...IF Asenath was 9 years older than her brother, she may have been his 'half-sister' ...a child Susannah may have had before marrying Tidance!    It is unlikely that many years difference would have existed in  their ages otherwise ... .for Tidance and Susannah had other children born abt every two years after Green's birth.  After researching Asenath since 1977, it's taken this long to allow this avenue of  thought after no firm record came to light. Still ...this is a theory and is 'not set in stone' for the truth is simply unknown.  YET... IF Tidance Bradley's 1810 Census were found we could probably have the answers!

On April 30, 1802, TIDANCE BRADLEY was among the Legatees in Greenville, South Carolina, District Court,  who relinquished claim to the 150 acres of  land on  the Saluda River owned by the recently deceased THOMAS ROY.  Witnesses signed 16 October 1802, and it was recorded October 30, 1802.  In order to provide for Thomas'  widow,  Margaret,  all agreed to give the land to ISAAC BOWEN,  in exchange for him & family taking care of Margaret.   Isaac was married to  MARY  ROY, daughter of Thomas and Margaret. They married 11 May 1785, in Wilkes County, N.C. This sheds light on where the  Roy's lived before migrating to Greenville. There would be no reason for  Tidance  Bradley  to be mentioned in this document unless he was married to the Roy's daughter. So this is proof Thomas Roy was indeed Susannah Bradley's father.  The Roy's had five daughters and one son,  per census.  The son, George, was listed in this document, but his sisters were not...a common practice towards women back in those days.   IF ...proof is found that Tidance and Susannah Roy Bradley were the parents of our  Asenath Holt,  this information will also add two more Ancestors to our family tree .... Thomas and Margaret Roy. This document is posted on GenForum's     ROY Family Forum,    Post # 3844. Many thanks to Annette Bowen for sharing this document ...  and marriage data. <>

In 1820, Tidance Bradley was in Greenville, South Carolina, Census with 3 sons and 3 daughters ...  with 1 daughter in  the 16-25 age column, (which fits his 1800 Census) and 2 daughters in the 10-15 age column. IF Asenath was born in 1790-91, per Tidance and  Asenath's census ... then she was not this older daughter in their home. Asenath would have been age 29 or 30 in 1820.  So, instead of this daughter being Asenath, another daughter may have been born in 1802, and, at age 18 would have been in the 16-26 category.  Yet IF this female was Aseneth, with an incorrect age listed, then she was still unmarried and living with parents. This could be solved IF Tidance's 1810 Census could be found.

If the birth of  Tidance Holt,  Asenath  and  Samuel's  first child, was actually 'sometime' in 1821,  and not in 1822 ...  then they may have been married at time of the 1820 Census.   No date is known when this census was taken.   No proof seems to exist when Tidance was born, but 1821 is the date generally accepted, per his census.

In 1830,  Tidance  Bradley  and  wife  were  still  living  in Greenville, South Carolina, per the U.S. Census.  They were living alone...both in the 50-60 age column.   In  the  Census  INDEX ... Tidance  Bradley's name is misspelled as Sidener ...  but on the original page,  it  is written clearly as Tidance not Sidener.   Those familiar with this name can see this at once. The  Census Taker's  'T' was mistaken to be an 'S' by a person Indexing this Census.

In 1840, Tidance Bradley's name is again misspelled in the Census INDEX.   One only needs to view the original census page to see that the name Tidance was heard by the Census Taker as Didan ce but the Index lists him only as  Didan.   In this Census, Tidance and wife were in the 60 to 70 age columns, with one female, age 10 under 15  ... and most likely a visiting granddaughter.

In 1850, Tidance Bradley was deceased.  His wife, Susannah, was listed in  the Census with  their son,  Greenberry  Bradley.   Susannah's age was  given as 83 (1767).   This family had moved to Bradley County, Tennessee.  Greenberry named his one-year-old son, Tidance.  By 1860, Susannah Bradley was deceased and her son, Greenberry,  had moved his family to Ringgold in Catoosa County, Georgia, where he continued farming.     The N. E. corner of Catoosa County borders Bradley County, Tennessee.  Four of Green's children were living at home in 1870 and he was still in Catoosa County at 1880 Census.   He died there 21 Aug 1887. Evidence is needed to determine if Samuel Holt's wife,  Asenath, was the older sister of Greenberry Bradley. If anyone has this information please contact me. Thanks,  Jean.

Some interesting data and alot more food-for-thought as research continues:

It seems most Researchers agree on the names of ABRAHAM and SARAH BRADLEY's children: Priscilla,  AQUILLA,  George,  TIDANCE, Isaac,  John  and  ELIZABETH.

Due to the names of Asenath and Samuel Holt's children, it is likely she named them all.  They were:  TIDANCE,  Jasper  N.,  SARAH,  Oliver, Delilah, ELIZABETH, Mary Adeline, Rufus and  BRADLEY.  Although she did  not  give the first name of  'Susannah'  to a daughter,  it might have been a middle name for one of  the girls.   Still ...  Asenath may not have been the daughter of Tidance and Susannah Bradley...YET she did give four Bradley and Lane family names to her children.  With this pattern of naming children,  it may be that Asenath's parents named her for one of Tidance Lane's daughters.  This is such a mystery!

The well-known Baptist preacher in those days ....  TIDANCE LANE, listed his children's names in his Will: Samuel,  JOHN, SARAH, AQUILLA, Richard,  Joseph,  SENIA,  Tidance, and Dutton, b 1786.  (NOTE: Senia is a known derivative of  the name Asenath.) Samuel and Dutton Lane were in the 1850 Greene County, Tennessee Census.  If Dutton Lane was born (per census) in 1786, that's only 4-5 yrs older than Asenath ...IF... she was indeed born ca 1790-91.  Regarding Senia Lane, some researchers have different data for this child: some say Senia was female, others say Senia Lane was male.   But no one seems to know what happened to her - him... still ... by the name, it appears to be for a female.   Some believe Abraham Bradley's wife,  SARAH,  was a descendant  from the same LANE lineage as the Rev. Tidance Lane.   It is very interesting that Abraham and Sarah named some of their children the same as Rev. Lane's children. Whether this was from admiration or a family connection, is not known.

In going through past  Emails from Bradley Researchers, it is clear that  much  is  left  to  be  proven  regarding  the  South  Carolina  lineage. Hugh Johnson, his wife,  Sarah Lane Bradley, and family lived on Shaws Creek.  Her father was George Bradley, brother to Tidance,  both sons of Abraham, per information from a descendant.  Wyatt sold some property to James Johnson when he left North Carolina,  and Hugh Johnson was James' son!   Turns out there were several Bradley families in that area.

Since Asenath gave a different age in most census, it's possible in 1820,  she might  have said her age was "25" even  if  she was older.    In Wyatt Holt's Census, his Wife was not listed and it has been thought she was incorrectly listed in the 16-25 age column with daughter, Mary.    But what IF... Wyatt's  wife  was  missed  by  the Census Taker  because she was not at home... and, the other woman, age 25,  was Asenath?

It is possible that Wyatt's wife was missed by  the Census Taker IF she was not at home when he came. It was time for little Elizabeth Elmira to be born... so... she may have been taken to the Doctor's office early to wait the birth there?     We have no records of how things worked in that wilderness area,  and In those days a Doctors office probably was in his home.  He may have had an extra room or two for overnight patients. Or, perhaps Wyatt's wife was at the house of kinfolk's not discovered as yet. OR, at a close friend's house?    If she had problems with her last birth, it may have been decided for her and baby's well-being, to take her where she could be helped immediately.  These are questions we will likely not ever have an answer for.   But, from research experience we find that the more details are studied, sometimes the answer becomes fairly clear.

It's true that mid-wives were usually brought to the home when a baby was coming.   But ... there was some reason  Wyatt's wife was not listed in this Census,  which is where theories...and speculations...come in,  for we know not why his wife was missed in the 1820 Census.   She had two more children after 1820,  so she was not dead.    But knowing that she apparently died after Hiram's birth in  1824  ...  we can rightfully consider  she  was  having  problems  giving  birth.  Therefore, it's quite possible the pending birth held much concern.

These are some theories with possibilities.   But whatever was the truth, whether it was a simple Census Taker error or not,  it remains that Wyatt's wife was either not counted in the 1820 census... OR ... she was counted incorrectly, for she was still living.

By working with these family names through the years,  we get to know them pretty well. Then suddenly after many years a logical answer will pop up out of the blue, just as if we were seeing these people for the first time.   When mentioning to Cousin Richard Holt that Asenath might have been the extra 25-year-old listed in the 1820 Holt census,   he gave forth a theory that IF she indeed was the extra woman listed, it could be she was not a visitor but that Samuel and Asenath were already married and she was living in the home!  IF ... this was the case ... then they were newlyweds!...and she gave her age younger than she really was!     This theory would make perfect sense, and seem to solve the mystery of  the extra woman!

So ... as previously noted,  Tidance Bradley's 1820 Census had a daughter in the 16-25 age category... and...since Asenath gave her birth year to be 1790 in 3 of her census...this also fits Tidance Bradley's 1800 Census.  In reality, she was actually age 29 or 30.  So IF she and Samuel were married and she was the extra woman in their census,  it could be  very likely  Tidance Bradley  had another daughter born circa 1802 who would fit in his 1820 Census.   If only we could find the 1810 Census for Tidance Bradley.

With Samuel Holt being the eldest son,  he likely worked daily with his  father  as  he  grew up.    In those days children worked side by side with parents in the fields and/or in the father's occupation. They learned very early to work for a living.   Rowan County Court records show  that Wyatt Holt was a Joiner, which was someone skilled in the art or craft of fine woodwork, which included making cabinets, stairs and furniture.

It's quite possible Wyatt made and sold furniture, and if so, Samuel would have been his helper and would have traveled around with him to sell the furniture from an early age.  During months of easy passage thru the mountain areas, they could sell furniture when not gardening and/or tending to whatever he farmed or raised for extra income.  Quite possibly as teenagers, Samuel and brother, James, may have gone by themselves to sell furniture, so their father could stay with the family at Shaws Creek.

Such might have happened but proof  of  this  theory  exists at this time.  Did one of Wyatt Holt's children pass down stories about him making and selling furniture?

Such a story would help make sense as to how Samuel, (being so young when he married)  knew how  to safely  travel  through  mountain areas,  back and forth from North Carolina to South Carolina, with a new wife...for...that's exactly what he did over a period of years!   It's possible Seny's father needed help to bring in his crops,  and if so,   Samuel may have moved back and forth into S.C.  to work on his father-in-law's farm at different  times.  This theory as to why Sam migrated between the two states may indeed have merit.    Now knowing the "Buncombe Turnpike" was built starting in 1824 through 1828, Samuel could have traveled this road to Greeneville, South Carolina.     (See "Travel Data" on page titled 'Selling Real Estate for more about the Buncombe Turnpike.)

The Shaws Creek area where Wyatt Holt owned property is shown on the Pisgah Quadrangle 1906 geological survey map. This creek flows into the French Broad River, a mile more-or-less from Wyatt's land.   The French Broad flows near to the Pickens County, South Carolina line. It is uncertain where Samuel and Seny lived 'at times' in South Carolina... but in 1850,  Samuel lived in Pickens County with his second  family ...  so he knew that area. (Click the LINK found on page titled "From Rowan Co. to Buncombe Co." to see the Shaws Creek map.)

It has been confirmed that large Rafts cannot be used on the creeks flowing off the French Broad River in order to  join a South Carolina river. "The French  Broad  River Basin  is  formed  by  the  Eastern  Continental Divide ... so none  of  the streams  entering the French Broad River Basin enter  into  or  exit  from  South  Carolina.    Some  streams  in  far  south and east of Henderson County  enter South Carolina, but those streams have some of the most  severe whitewater  in the eastern United States." Quoted from a most reliable source.     This means only canoes,  kayaks and small rafts can maneuver through  those  creeks in  different places for most creeks have huge rocks in them ... so straight passage was not possible.  Therefore, the creeks were not used for travel.

Although Wyatt Holt  traveled  by  horse and wagon,  which would have been a slow way to go ... especially in  that part of the country ... at times he may have traveled  up and down  the  French Broad River on a flat-bottom  barge he built himself,  selling his  furniture in villages easily reached via the river.  At times he may have traded his furniture for items needed.  Bartering was often the way supplies were obtained from store-keepers.  Also, farmers often traded among themselves. Perhaps we will never know why he bought property that had easy access to the French Broad River,  or,  why he chose  to live in  the wilderness rather than in a town ...but, because he grew up around a lot of creeks in Rowan County, that kind of environment may have felt like home. Cheaper furniture may have been quicker  to make  from the sappling  trees  on his property,  as well as furniture made from the canes growing along Shaws Creek.    It is possible he made this same kind of  furniture in Rowan County for quick sale, in addition to better-made furniture. (Today, North Carolina is noted for fine furniture made from the variety of trees that grow there.)

An article about travel on the French Broad River years ago is on a website for the  Old  Buncombe  County,  North  Carolina,  Genealogical Society at <>.     This article refers to a book that was honored by the Library of Congress and written by Wilma Dykeman, titled  "The French Broad".  The Reader is opened to the very earliest known days along the French Broad River.  Because Wyatt Holt and family lived on  Shaws  Creek that pours into the French Broad,  his descendants can learn about the dangerous and primitive way of life the settlers (he too being an early settler) faced in that area of  the American wilderness.   Unfortunately, Shaws Creek and  Wyatt Holt are not named within this book,  but places all around his area are it gives a good understanding of what those days were like for him and family.   In realizing he raised a family in a wilderness,  keeps one from losing sight that regardless of Wyatt Holt being a furniture maker, and carpenter...his house could have been a crude log house  made from trees likely on his property.    With carpentry ability, his house may have consisted of more than the usual 2 or 3 rooms the book mentions most settlers had.     This book tells of the rich soil along the French Broad and the thick growth of canebrakes.   By this we can know Wyatt had good soil for farming,  and canes were there for making furniture....if  indeed he made furniture from canes.. This book is about real American pioneers like our own ancestor, Wyatt Holt,  who made his living in that vast wilderness along the French Broad River.

Our  first clue  to Wyatt's capabilities was the discovery by Cousins Mary and Lee of Knoxville of his craft being fine woodwork and furniture making. learning about the wilderness where he lived,  we have considerably more understanding of his 'daily lifestyle'.  We know that he owned property ... and to feed his family we can assume he farmed some. He was a Christian and raised his family in the Baptist faith. Theories can point to an even closer view of his life by using these clues.

You may ask...Why try to figure out how Wyatt Holt made a living for his family? Because this site is mainly about him.  Much about his life is a mystery due to lack of documented evidence, and so the environment of a family  can  often  give very  credible clues  that may have gone unnoticed. So looking into every clue gives  possible insight  into  the life of this man who was our Ancestor.    Because of  him we have breath and the fortune of living in the most plentiful times in history.

Wyatt Holt's  property  is among clues about his life that has sparked these theories.  Some may come to agree these clues, (being unique to his environment),  are theories worth consideration ... although we may never prove his precise lifestyle.   Yet It may be interesting to some descendants that we take a closer look at what  is  known,  for it is  unlikely  Wyatt made his full living at  farming ... simply because he was a  Joiner and carpenter, with his trade specialty being in furniture making.

After Wyatt became a property owner, it's reasonable to consider he made furniture using wood of  his own trees,  altho using  large-size trees may have been no short  and easy process... yet old records mention of a Mill being only a few miles from Shaws Creek.   Having a big family would necessitate a  need  to increase his income,  so likely he made and sold a type of furniture he built specially for wilderness living ... doing this when he wasn't farming or clearing his land.   His craft would have helped them survive the hardships of  those times.  Although his property was  5 miles or so from Hendersonville, back then it might have been a longer route for the city would not have extended out as far as today.   Likely in 1815-1820 the trails would have been very rough  and winding,  thus creating longer passage into town than by the roads built in later years.

Learning what N.C. history mentions about  Shaws Creek is needful in order to figure out how useful this Creek was to the Holt's daily life. The Creek today is from 8 to 20 feet across in different places of its course but  it is not a very deep creek.  Where there are some deeper places along the creek may be due to heavy rainy seasons of  years past which caused the force of running water  to dig into the creekbed ...  yet it doesn't now show it ever was up to knee deep    Sources knowledgeable about Shaws Creek say, from what is known of  the area, this creek is believed  to be much the same  today as  it was when Wyatt Holt and family lived there.    By this we know Shaws Creek was never used for straight travel. Wyatt Holt possibly traveled to towns for supplies via the close-by French Broad River, or , by horse and wagon into Hendersonville.

In addition to raising food for family and farm animals ... (a cow, two horses, pigs, chickens? etc) ... what Wyatt needed was a cheap and  fast way to make furniture that country people could afford.

To recap, the idea of  Wyatt Holt making furniture using canes is not out of the question ... canebrakes were and are found along creeks.  Why does this idea merit any consideration?   Because he was an established Joiner-Carpenter in court records.  A Joiner  was  a craftsman with ability to do intricate woodwork and this record proves Wyatt Holt was a Master craftsman.  Research revealed the Court system appointed only Master's in their profession to take an Apprentice to train. Working with wood was his profession, not farming. That Wyatt made furniture to sell is a credible theory. Years ago people would go into small towns with a wagonload of chairs and sometimes small tables, made of canes ...some for household use and some was yard furniture. It was not unusual to see "cane chairs" in any country home or out in a yard.

To give this theory a big boost is the fact that Wyatt Holt apparently always lived on a Creek.     He grew up In Salisbury, Rowan County,  N.C. and within this area were a number of very long, major creeks.   A map of the area will show this area had alot of water.  But wilderness areas were not heavily populated, so alot of tree and brush foliage growth remained untouched for years in many places.    Along the creeks grew tall, sturdy canes.   Country people had no fishing pole other  than a CANE pole and they were plentiful.  These same canes were used to make "furniture".  It may be safe to consider a creek owner might have appreciated someone removing canes from his creek banks and saving him the chore.  If Wyatt used canes growing on his Shaws Creek property,   could be at times he needed more canes.  If so, he could have made a deal with a neighbor to use his canes and in payment he would present the neighbor with a new cane chair per the number of canes he removed.      This theory may well have merit.

Bamboo and rattan are types of canes used in these days to make this same kind of  basic furniture.   So ... IF   Wyatt Holt made furniture to sell and IF he actually traveled up  and  down the French Broad River  to sell his creations  ...  cane furniture would have cost him nothing but his labor.   Plus ... this furniture  would have been lighter  and easier to haul than solid wood furniture.    Canes grew along creeks and Wyatt owned 355 acres  on  both  sides  of  Shaws  Creek.  Profits from cane furniture would have been clear income to support his family.  Or could well have been  traded  for  some  other  product.   This may have been the reason Wyatt Holt bought creek property less than 1-1/2 miles  from  the French Broad River.    Therefore ... Shaws Creek may be the best clue that Wyatt Holt sold and/or traded  furniture he made from canes, in addition to any furniture he made from sapling trees and other  North  Carolina trees on his property.

It's possible Wyatt discovered the areas around Cocke and Greene counties in Tennessee,  while traveling on the  French Broad River for it flows into Cocke County from where he lived in Buncombe County, N.C. Or, with Caney Branch being a few miles north of  the Cocke County line, he may have found the area while selling cane furniture there.   Since we do not know the answer to this, still it's a thought that may be mentioned on this site in other places.




Samuel and Asenath Holt's first child was son, Tidance Holt.    In 1850, 1860 and 1880,  his census  gave  North Carolina  as his birthplace. But his 1870 census gave  South  Carolina for his birthplace...which was apparently in error.   His  birth year  may have  ranged from  sometime in 1820  to  early 1822,  but it  is thought  he  was  born  in  1821.    When he married, Tidance lived in  Greene County, Tennessee for a few years but then he moved  into  Cocke County ...  adjoining Greene County's south side,  where he lived out his life.   A street and small Baptist church there still bear his name.  Also, Saint Tide Hollow  was named for him.  O'Dell's book  "Over The Misty Blue Hills"  a history  of  Cocke County, mentions Tide Holt.  Tidance was called 'Tidings' Holt in most census.  He married twice...first to Nancy Boleypaw,  21 Sept 1843,  believed a younger sister to Mary Boleypaw,  Wyatt Holt's second wife.  Tide and Nancy had eight children.   Nancy died before 1875.  Tidance then married Martha C. Hale. They had two sons, William T. Holt and John Holt.

The date of Tidance's death has never been discovered.  However Cousin Julie Smith discovered a  Cocke County Deed dated Jan 9,1886, proving Tidance and Martha were alive at that time.  Therefore, Tidance Holt lived longer than was previously known.

Samuel and  Seny's second child was son,  Jasper N. Holt.    He was born in South Carolina, May 12, 1825.  What the initial "N" stood for has not been found.   Jasper  married  Elizabeth Isenhour  when  he was age 21 and she was age 16, born 31 Dec 1846.   Elizabeth's ancestor was Martin Eisenhower, a brother to Peter, who was the ancestor of the 5-star General  and  U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower .. per Huntley's book, "Lutherans in Greene County". Jasper and Elizabeth had six children. In the Civil War  Jasper was a Confederate soldier.   He was ambushed and killed on his way home as he walked along the Old Jonesborough Road. This was in Greene County, Tennessee, June 1, 1864.

Back in North Carolina once again, Seny gave birth to a daughter in 1826.  She was named Sarah Holt.     On 29 September 1842,  at age 16, Sarah married  John Gregg,  who was about 30 years of age.     His name was at times spelled as Gragg.  They first lived in Greene County but later moved to Cocke County, two houses from Sarah's brother, Tidance Holt and family.  In the 1850 Census, Sarah's father,  Samuel Holt and second wife, lived seven houses from her parents.     Sarah and John had eleven children.  She died btwn 1881 and 1900.   Her husband, John, died before 1880.   Descendants say they were buried in the Caney Branch Cemetery although no gravestones survived.

Many thanks to George H. Gregg for the following pertinent data on Sarah  and  John Gregg's family:    "Sarah Holt Gregg was my great-great-grandmother.   She married John Gragg 29 September 1842.   John's birth date isn't clear because he had uncles and cousins who were also named John. His ancestry isn't clear either, but his great-grandfather was Robert Gregg,  who moved from  Augusta  County, Virginia, ca 1788,  into Greene County, Tennessee.  Altho there's quite a lot of information about Robert, there's very little  data about some of his children  and grandchildren who remained in Greene County.  Most of  this family's  Cocke County records were lost when the courthouse burned in 1876.

"John Gragg  and  Sarah Holt's children were:    1) Elizabeth b 1843, who wed  Matthew Boleypaw;   2) Martha J. b 1845;   3) HENRY DERRIS, born 1846 ... d 16 Jan 1929  ...  buried Knoxville's  Old National Cemetery. During the Civil War,  Henry Gragg served as a Union Private in Co. F, in the 4th Tennessee Infantry, receiving a pension for his War Service.  He was disabled by deafness due to measles.  Around 1872, Henry married Matilda OWENS,  born 14 Feb 1841.    She died 5 May 1895 and buried at  Ottinger or Boyer Cemetery near Parrottsville in Cocke County.            4) Wm. A. was born 1848-49; wed Mary Hensley ;  5) Thomas W., b in 1851,  married Mary E. Toby,  b 1851,  daughter of Jonas;   6) James A., b 1855;  7) Jonathan, born 1857, married Jane WELTY  19 Oct 1886;       8)  Sarah, born 1860;   9) Catherine, b 1861;  10) Adeline, born  15 September 1863,  married Benj. Franklin ALLISON; 11) John Wesly Gregg, born May 1865, married Sallie.

"My great-grandfather was Henry.   During the  Civil War the Army spelled his name as 'Gregg'.  He found it more convenient to keep it that way in order to get his pension.  Interestingly, Robert's father, John, the original Irish immigrant, spelled his name as 'Gregg'. The family is Ulster Irish, having come from Scotland, being descended from the MacGregor clan, which is, in itself, another long story.

"Henry  and  Matilda lived in Newport,  Cocke  County,  Tennessee, where their children were born.   They were:  1) Andrew J., b in 1873;  2) Derris, b ?,  married Lavada Gunter;   3) Hunley, b ?, married Dorothy; 4) David, born ?;   5) Joseph, born 4 May 1884, married Florence Wyrick; 6) Wm. H., b&d in 1889;   7) Laura born 27 July 1872;   8) Sarah (Sally), b in 1875.  The family says that Matilda was a Cherokee."  (End of the Quote) Mr. Gregg can be reach by Email at

It's puzzling why Samuel moved his family to North Carolina again after Jasper's May 1825 birth in South Carolina ... but that's what he did. His family was again living at Shaws Creek at time of Sarah's 1826 birth. Because crops in South Carolina were harvested by September, could it be there was no more work there in wintertime?  Was there another work he could do in winter months at  Shaws Creek?    Or, if no available work during wintertime, was this the cheapest place for his family to live?   We know Samuel had family, neighbors  and  church friends still living there tho his father was living in Tennessee by early 1825.    A number of such questions might be solved IF the birth month for Samuel's children were known.

Whatever were his reasons, within a period of  two years, Samuel Holt had moved his family back into South Carolina.  Son, Oliver Holt, was born there sometime in 1828.    In Oliver's 18th year,  he married on August  9, 1846,  to Mary Ann Blazer,  age 17.   By that time Samuel Holt and family were living in Tennessee.  Oliver and Mary Ann were married at Caney Branch,  Greene  County, Tennessee.    Mary Ann was born to Samuel and Sarah Benner Blazer, 28 February 1829. She and Oliver had seven children.  The years passed but their teenage marriage didn't last and  they  separated.   Mary Ann  and  their  children  moved  to  Pulaski County,  Arkansas.  Oliver remained  in  Greene County.  They divorced. Oliver died between 1881 and 1900.   Mary Ann Blazer Holt  died  April 1, 1887, at age 58.   She's buried in Little Bethel Cemetery,  at Old Warsaw, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

It is thought SAMUEL Holt stayed in South Carolina for a time after the birth of son,  Oliver in 1828 ...  but he is not  there at time of  the 1830 Census.  However,. we find a Samuel HALT listed in the 1830 Census of Buncombe County,  North Carolina.   This was Wyatt Holt's son with his name interpreted and spelled incorrectly by the person who indexed the original Census page. In viewing the original page, his name was written clearly as Holt.  The ages for Samuel, Tidance,  Jasper and  Oliver match correctly.  However ... once again Seny gave an different age for herself. Daughter Sarah was added in the 5-10 age column,   for the census was taken when she was nearer to age 5 than to age 4,  as was the practice. According to statement on the last page, that census was completed in November of 1830.

It's easy to see how this listing was overlooked because of Seny's incorrect age  and  the  spelling  error of Samuel's name as HALT in  the Index.  Although Sarah's age seemed to lead research astray,  there are enough checks and balances  which say this was indeed Samuel HOLT not   HALT.   (Actually, Ancestry's 1810 Census OnLine has Wyatt Holt's name  Indexed as Wiat HALT.)

Sarah's age column listing was balanced as explained above.  And by checking Wyatt Holt's Census in 1820 ... we  find  some  of  his  same neighbors then...were still there ten years later, in 1830.  And this Samuel Halt lived right in the middle of these same neighbors in 1830.   Jonathan King and wife,  Mary Holt,  (daughter of Wyatt, sister to Samuel)  were not living near Wyatt's former neighbors, which says that although the Kings bought Wyatt's property, they had not moved into his home.  So from the 1830 census, it is clear Samuel Holt and wife, Seny, were living in Wyatt's former house,  perhaps as renters.   A good guess would be that Samuel and Seny stayed here each time they returned from South Carolina.  With this house available to them it gives insight into why Samuel could easily move his family back there every couple of years.  Apparently he worked as a migrant farmer going where the work was.

A story passed down in  Oliver's family  through the years about a U.S. Vice President  who  was  sworn  in  as  President  wearing Oliver's trousers! This story always came up at a family gathering but usually no one  could  remember  which president  the story pertained to altho they knew it was either...Lincoln, Garfield or McKinley!  Although  this  was  a 'treasured memory' in our family's history, no one ever wrote it down  or checked to see the Vice President's name during Oliver's life-time.    The story goes that when the president was assassinated, the vice president wrote to Oliver asking to borrow his trousers ... because he had climbed over a fence and tore his. He remembered Oliver Holt bought a matching suit  and  since  they  were the same size, a solution would be to borrow Oliver's  trousers to wear when he would be sworn in as president.

It was said by 'later descendants' that this letter was kept in a trunk stored in an Aunt's barn.   However,  the barn later  burned and the letter was lost!  For many years this  story remained a  'treasured memory'  for the family.  No one ever challenged it for there was no reason was believed true. Then, many years later, a family member began genealogy research and this story was  the first thing checked to have proof for the family books.   Well...It turned out that Oliver Holt lived during the time of Abraham Lincoln,  so  it  took  only  seconds to check and find Lincoln's Vice President was none other than Greeneville, Tennessee's proud son Andrew Johnson!     This town was in the same county where Oliver Holt lived at Caney Branch.  Low and behold ... ole Andrew had been a  'tailor' at Greeneville!   Well, from there it didn't take but a few seconds to realize this could only have been a  bedtime story for Oliver's children!   Zip Zap! the treasured memory became as a punctured balloon!    All of it's air just vanished and was suddenly gone!   With Johnson being a tailor, he likely had the best wardrobe of suits  than any  politician in the nation's capital. Not only that... he was sworn in as President the next day  after Lincoln's assassination!   'No way' could a letter go to Tennessee and  back to D.C. in one day by horseback!  IF there was any truth to this story at all, it may have been that Oliver Holt owned a suit tailored by Andrew Johnson, the same as a lot of other men in Greene County.     When results of this fact-finding mission was  told to the family,  it was  met with  amazement and shock!

What we now know about ole Oliver Holt ... is that he was a mighty good storyteller to have concocted this tale so very well that his children believed it until they died!   If he ever told them different,  we don't know, for they continued telling it as truth to their children, too.   A funny thing about old family that often no one bothers to research if it has any merit.  However, sometimes it's more fun to not  know!  One thing for sure, Oliver had many laughs out of it!

Although Samuel and family were in Buncombe County at  time  of 1830 Census.  Yet ... they were again back in South Carolina,  when their daughter,  Delilah Holt,  was born ca 1831.   She was nick-named Dilla. On March 25, 1848, at age 17,  Delilah married John  A.  Renn,  at Caney Branch, Tennessee.  In September, 1861, Dilla was expecting  their  fifth child,  when her husband, John,  died.   She remained a widow for eight years.   She then met and married  Wiley Bailey, August, 1869...and they moved to Knox County where she had three more children. Delilah died August of 1904.   Her gravesite is unknown.

Another daughter was born  in South Carolina, in 1833-34. She was named Elizabeth Holt.   When she was age 17 or 18,  Elizabeth married George Adam  D.  Nease, on 19 August 1851, in  Caney  Branch, Greene County, Tennessee.   George had a twin named John Syram Nease who later married Dolly Ann Blazer, sister to Oliver Holt's wife.   When George and  Elizabeth  moved  to  Whitestown,  Indiana,  they  had  six  children. Four more children were born  in  Whitestown.      Elizabeth died in 1876, on March 21.  She and George are both buried in Boone County, Indiana, where they belonged to St. Luke's Lutheran Church.

Son,  Rufus Holt,  was  born 1838,  in  Greene County, Tennessee. At time of the 1860 Census, Rufus was single and still living at home with his mother,  Asenath.    He married  Sarah Ann Marsh, on 2 January 1866. Sarah Ann was born ca 1850, in Orange County, Virginia.    By 1870, they had two daughters. Rufus is listed as head-of-house in the 1870 Census, yet  it  was  most  likely  the  home of  his  mother,  Asenath,  for  she was listed with his family.  Rufus Holt was not in the 1880 Tennessee Census but was in Lamar County,  Texas.   His  First Cousins,  Ben Franklin Holt and brother Andrew M. Holt,  sons of his Uncle Jacob Holt, were living in Fannin County, Texas, at Honey Grove Community  by  the 1870 census. Likely word came from the Cousins that  N. E. Texas was a good place to live,  for Rufus and  family were there by  1880,  where four more children were born to them.  Rufus Holt may have died before 1900. His youngest child was living with his oldest child, Clara, and her husband  in the 1900 Census.  Sarah Ann  moved  to Tuttle Town, in  Grady County, Oklahoma, and was listed as a Widow in 1920 Census.  She died before 1930 census and was buried in Tuttle Town.

It is not known if Samuel Holt moved his family to Tennessee before 1837 or 1838... but, a court record dated February 18,1839, in Greene Co., verifies they were living there.   On May 15, 1839, a daughter was born  to Samuel and Seny in Greene County named Mary Adeline Holt.  At age 16,  she  married  Christopher  Blazer  in Greene County, on 20 May 1855. Christopher's sister was the  wife of  Mary's  brother, Oliver.   Children of the  two couples  were double-cousins  to each other.   Blazer families of Greene and Cocke County's  belonged  to St. James Lutheran Church at Caney Branch, where services were held in the German  language.   Mary Adeline gave birth to eight children.  Christopher died  April 9, 1900.   On 13 Feb 1903, Mary Adeline Holt Blazer died.   She and Chris are buried in Oven Creek Cemetery, in Cocke County, Tennessee.

The  last  child  of  Samuel  and  Seny  was  named  Bradley Holt, born 8 October 1841.   Bradley married  Hannah Nease,  August 20, 1857. His age varied in each of his own census, but using his mother's census data, we know he was age 9 in 1850.    If...the Census Taker got it correct, this means he married Hannah when he was about age 16. They had two children, then...divorced Feb 14, 1867.   He then married  Nancy A. Jones, Feb 21,1867.   Nancy was born in March, 1844.     Bradley and Nancy had six children.  Bradley and family lived in Greene County, Tennessee.   He died 21 May 1879, in Hamblen County, Tennessee, and was buried in the Macedonia Cemetery.  Nancy lived until 21 May 1911.

The 1840 U.S. Census has Samuel's last name, Holt, written in the Tennessee fashion of that time, and is hard to read.    The census page gives no clear district  where he lived,  but  in  the  page border is listed Civil District's 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10 and  13.    In 1850,  these  same  neighbors were  in  District 9 ... so  if  district  lines did not change after 1840,  then Samuel's family were living in District 9 in 1840.

Per  a  document  recorded in Greene County,  Samuel Holt was a sharecropper on the Plantation of Thomas Jones.   In this document he mentions he lived on a Plantation where he was selling his corn crop to his brother,  Jacob Holt, August 1841.  One of Samuel's neighbor's was named Wyatt Jones.   Three houses the other direction was Ann Jones who was an older woman, (and probably the widow of Thomas Jones).

No marriage record has been found for Samuel Holt and Asenath in North or South Carolina. 




There also is no record when Samuel Holt and Mary Skiles married and very little has been found about the Skiles family history.  Perhaps a descendant will  share names of  Polly's siblings with this site.    Samuel, Polly and their children were in Pickens County,  South Carolina,  at time of  the 1850 U. S. Census.  Samuel's brother, James Holt and family lived next door.  These two Holt brothers lived near  to each other throughout their lives.   Sam was born 1802 in Rowan County, N.C.  and Polly ...per a daughter's death record ... was born in the Tennessee Sequatchie Valley ca 1816-17, which is southwest of Cocke County.

Samuel  and  Polly  had  eight  children.  Their first child was named Mary Holt,  b ca 1838,  in Cocke County, Tennessee.  It seems that Mary remained single.   Her sister, Lucretia, at young age of 12,  was living with her in 1870.    Their mother,  Polly,  has not been located in 1870.  but with Mary taking care of her younger sister, this may be an indication that their father had passed away.

Son, Augustus Holt, was born in Cocke County, June of 1840. He married  Amanda  J.  Bailey  in  February of 1868.  They raised their family of  5 children in Washington County, Tennessee.

Samuel and Polly had a son named  JESSE HOLT,  born ca 1844. His parents 1850 census lists his birth as being in Tennessee.   But their 1860 census lists his birthplace as South Carolina.  They moved around so much in his young years,  they apparently forgot where he was born. Jesse has not been found in a census since 1860.  However, this may be due to him using a middle name...since several other Holt's were named Jesse.

There is a James Holt  listed in the 1870 and  1880 Cocke County Census,  who was born ca 1842  in  Tennessee.   This man lived among families who were married to one of our Holt's or kin to them...clearly he was not of  the  Bybee Holt clan.    It's thought  his full name might have been Jesse James Holt, a name used in Wyatt Holt's family. Nancy _?_, born ca 1843,  was the wife of  this James Holt.     They had 11 children: Martha,  James,  Nancy,  William,  Joseph,  Roenna,  Lula (Ida?)  Mary E. and twin, Emma, LIzzie and  Robert Holt.  This is only a  theory ... for no proof has been found.    Possibly this James Holt was the same man as Samuel and  Polly's son, Jesse?    However, to be clear ... until  proof or other clues are uncovered,  this remains a theory.

Sam and Polly's census did not always agree with their children's census after they were adults.   Daughter, Martha Jane Holt, b 1845-46 was listed born in Georgia in her parents 1850 census.      But their 1860 census lists her birth in South Carolina;  after marriage the 1880 census lists her  birth in Tennessee;  in 1900,  the census lists her birth in North Carolina.  Therefore...with her census data not consistent,  we cannot be positive where she was born.   She was called Jane.   She married Oliver Smith in 1868-69.    They resided  in Cocke County and  six children were born to them there.  In 1880, Jane's Mother,  Polly Holt, age 68, was living with her and it is clear that Samuel Holt had died.  This was the last Polly was found  in a census.  By 1900, Jane and Oliver had migrated to Wright County,  Missouri,  living in Pleasant Valley Township,  and had been married  for 32 years.    Two children were born  to them in Missouri. By 1910, daughter Lavina had been married for 3  years to Will Anderson. They lived  in Jasper County,  Missouri, in Mineral Twp.  Jane's husband, Oliver Smith, age 71, lived with the Andersons, which is a good indication that Martha Jane Holt Smith had died after 1900 and before 1910.    Oliver was deceased before 1920.

According to Samuel's 1850 Census, daughter, Emma Anne Holt, was born ca 1847, in Georgia.    His 1860 census gives (Pickens County), South Carolina as her birthplace in 1848.   This was Emma's last census with her family.  Who did Emma Anne marry?

Daughter, Ara Holt was born June 1850 in Georgia, per information in her father's census. In 1860, his census gives Ara's birthplace as being Pickens County, South Carolina.   Ara,  also called Aary,  per 1870 census, was newlywed to James A. Keller and living in Cocke County, Tennessee. Their name was written as Kelly...both Ara and James were age 20.   They lived next door to her sisters...Mary, 29 and Lucretia, age 12.  This census, with the 1910 and 1920 census, confirm Ara's birth in South Carolina.    In 1900 Ara stated she had 14 children, 12 living ...  and had been married for 30 years.   Ara and James lived to be into their 70's.    Her death in 1928, is recorded in Cocke County.  James died in 1930. Both are buried in Forest Hills Cemetery.

Another daughter Louisa Holt, was born 1853,  Pickens County, South Carolina.  Who did Louisa marry?  What happened to her?

Daughter, Lucretia Holt,  was born ca 1856,  in Pickens County, South Carolina ... per her father's census.  The 1860-1870 Census gave her birthplace as being  in  South Carolina.   Lucretia was listed in 1870 with her sister, Mary, age 29, in Cocke County.  What happened to her? That's been the question...until March of  2006!

Cousin Richard Holt found a  Lucresia Southerland,  born 1859 in South Carolina, living in Cocke County with her husband,  Lafayette, in 1880 census.  The  only  difference was the spelling of  her name by the Census Taker, which was obviously an error.  It seems they married ca 1873.  With his innate talent for genealogy research, Richard shares this amazing  discovery ... although no  single document contains all  of this information ... yet all  evidences  found point  to this lady being  Lucretia Holt...daughter of Samuel and Polly.

Louiza,  William Milburn and  James A.  were the children at home with  Lucretia and Lafayette in 1880.   The evidences begin with Louiza, for Lucretia had a sister, Louisa, who was  three years older.   While we believe Lucretia's brother was named Jesse James Holt ... possibly her 2nd son was named after him.  Richard's ability to unravel the often mis- spelled Census Index ... led him to find  Fail  and 'Cressie' Sutherland  in 1900 Cocke County Census,  District 6.    Cressie followed  the 'ole rule' when women didn't offer their true age, for she made herself younger in this census. Other children born before 1900:Van, Joseph Jerome, Carl, Mary Erie and Carrie.  Although different spellings for the name Lucretia are used in each Census, without a doubt, Cressie and other nicknames were the same person as Loucresia in 1870.     Lafayette  and  Lucretia's children are in the Census after 1900 with their families...some moved to Missouri.  This family connects to the family of  Elijah Gregg and his wife Mary J. Sane.  Elijah was a son of  Samuel Gregg  and  wife, Mahala Holt, daughter of  Wyatt Holt  and  Mary 'Polly' Boleypaw.

'Creecy'  Southerland  was a widow before the 1910 Census.   She died in 1918.  On her gravestone her name is Lou Creasy.  Evidences as these help prove this was Lucretia Holt,  daughter of  Samuel and  Polly. Lucretia Holt Southerland is buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery in Cocke County. Her gravestone dates: 30 May 1854 to 17 October 1918. Lucretia was buried beside her husband, Lafayette Southerland.   His gravestone dates are 4 April 1844  to 18 July 1907,  although the state records list his death in 1909.

Some updates on Lucretia. Turns out a Researcher submitted data on the LDS website we had not seen.  It shows Mary E. Southerland with her husband (after 1900)  and,  that her mother was .... Lou Creasy HOLT. Unfortunately, no Submitter name is given.    This confirms descendants knew her maiden name to be HOLT.     Lucretia HOLT Southerland was a granddaughter of  Wyatt Holt.    Many thanks to Cousin Richard Holt  for sharing this discovery, so Lucretia's family is listed in our family history.


                Their Final Days

 Asenath "Seny" Holt  died due to paralysis,  March of 1880, at age 90.    In the 1870 Census,  she was listed with son,  Rufus Holt and family in Greene County, altho they may have been living with her. Whether she moved in with one of her other children after Rufus moved to Texas, or if someone moved in with her,  is not known.  Her  youngest  son,  Bradley, also lived in Greene County  but  he died in May of  1879.    She lived only 10 months after his death.    Whether losing  two sons or old age brought on a stroke is not known. Seny had a long life for a woman living in those days.   She was without a  husband for  38-39 years after  the birth of  her last child.   From that time raising the children alone could not have been easy for her.  Her four youngest children were still living with her in 1850. Since she died in Cocke County,  it is surmised that Seny was then living with son, Tidance Holt,  or one of her daughters,  Sarah Gregg or  Mary A. Blazer, all  residents  of  Cocke County.   Asenath was a member  of  Flag Branch Baptist Church.   Altho her grave has not  been located,  she was likely  buried in the same Caney Branch Cemetery  where Jesse Holt and wife Elizabeth were buried. Wyatt Holt is believed to be buried there also.


In 1850, Samuel Holt was listed in Pickens County, South Carolina Census with his second family.     By 1860,  they had moved into Cocke County  County,  Tennessee.  Samuel and Polly have not been found in the 1870 Census.   However...Polly was listed in the 1880 Cocke County Census living with their daughter,  Martha and husband, Oliver Smith.  If Samuel had died by 1870 where was Polly?   Does anyone know death dates for Samuel and Polly and where they were buried?