Researched by my mother, Annette Batey Pittard, May 10, 2000
Updated by Billy Pittard July 22, 2013
This is the story of my Henderson ancestry in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It begins with Samuel Henderson, my first Henderson ancestor to move to the area, and comes forward to my mother’s generation. This story was researched and prepared by my mother, Annette Batey Pittard in the year 2000. I have made a few edits to bring it up to date, and added pictures. My mother was a G.G.G.G.G. granddaughter of Samuel Henderson (1737-1818), the progenitor of my Henderson line in Rutherford County.
The Henderson family has been present in Rutherford County, Tennessee for over 200 years. I am aware of three Henderson lines from the early days of settlement of Rutherford County. Samuel Henderson (1737-1818) had two sons, Richard and James who both established long lines of ancestors in Rutherford County. The third line is that of Logan Henderson (1785-1846). There is no known family connection between the Logan Henderson family and the Samuel Henderson family.
– Billy Pittard
Samuel Henderson (1737-1818)
Around 1805 Samuel Henderson and his wife Mary Ann Waldrop left their home in Laurens Co. South Carolina and moved to Middle Tennessee. With them came at least two of their children, Richard and James, as well as several of their son Richard’s small children. Samuel and Mary Ann would have been in their late sixties at this time, so they must have had true pioneer spirits to leave their home and take a long treacherous journey to a new home in the Tennessee frontier. They established a family line that is still present throughout the area.
The pioneering and patriotic spirit was strong in Samuel’s family. His first cousin Richard Henderson is famed as an explorer and first developer of the Tennessee Valley, and whose accomplishments include the founding of Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky which he named in honor of his friend and employee Daniel Boone, and the founding a temporary settlement on the banks of the Cumberland River known as French Lick which later became the city of Nashville. Other members of this Henderson family include Thomas Henderson who was recognized for piloting General Greene’s army across the Dan River during the retreat from Guildford Courthouse during the American Revolution, and Judge Leonard Henderson who was Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1829-1833. Several counties and towns across the South have derived their “Henderson” name from this family.
Samuel Henderson was born in 1737 probably in Hanover Co. Virginia where his father Richard Henderson was High Sheriff. In 1757 Samuel married Mary Ann Waldrop (b. 1738). Samuel served as a lieutenant in the American Revolution under Colonel Francis Marion. The earliest known record of Samuel in Rutherford County is dated Aug. 7, 1805 when Robert Weakley and John R. Bedford deeded 244 acres to “Samuel Henderson of Rutherford Co.” Samuel and Mary Ann had nine children:
- Mary (b. about 1758) married Robert McNeese
- Richard (b. 29 Dec. 1765) married Mary “Polly” Tinsley
- Nancy (b. 1768) married William Rodgers
- Susannah (b. 1769) married John Rodgers
- Patience (b. 15 Feb. 1770) married Andrew Rodgers
- Christian (b. 24 Nov. 1771) married John Davis
- Sally (b. about 1783) married John King
- Samuel T. (b about 1784) married Sally Pyles
- James (b. 1785) married his cousin Fannie Henderson
Two of Samuel and Mary Ann’s children are known to have moved to Tennessee around 1805: Richard whose descendants are described here, and James who also established a line of descendants in Rutherford County.
Richard Henderson (1765 – 1833)
Named for his grandfather, Richard Henderson was born in 1765 in Laurens County, SC. His wife, Mary “Polly” Tinsley, the daughter of Isaac Tinsley and Elizabeth Golding, was born in 1776 in South Carolina. Richard and “Polly” were married March 22, 1794 in Laurens Co. South Carolina where they had the first eight of their thirteen children. Along with Richard’s parents and uncle James, they moved to Wilson County, TN around 1805 where they had five more children. Some time after 1813 Richard moved most of his family to Athens, Limestone Co., AL where he died in 1833, followed by his wife in 1856. Their children:
- Preston W. (b. 1795) married Darotha Teague
- Permelia (b. 1796) married Pitts Chandler in Wilson Co. TN
- Margaret Tinsley (b. 1798) married James Miller
- Sarah “Sally” (b.1799) married Anderson Miller
- Isaac (b. 1800) married Cynthia Beaver
- Elizabeth (b. 1801) married John Tucker
- Samuel (b. 1803)
- Mary Ann “Polly” (b. 1806) married William Young
- Richard (b. 1807) married Mary Ann Teague Simpson
- Robert McNeese (b.1809) married Sarah Neely
- Caroline H. (b. 1811) married Thomas Stockton
- Susanna (b. 1813) married Bluford Henderson
- Martha (b. 1818) married William Alexander
Preston W. Henderson (1795-1857)
Preston Henderson was born in 1795 in Laurens Co. SC and came to Wilson Co. TN at an early age around 1805 with his parents and grandparents, and lived there the rest of his life. He married Darotha Teague (b. 1798) in 1816. She was the daughter of William Teague and Elizabeth Miller. Preston established their family home at Henderson’s Cross Roads, (now called Norene), TN (now adjacent to Cedars of Lebanon State Park). Preston and Darotha had eight children:
- Richard (b. 1821, d. 1842)
- Harmon Luster “Lus” (b. 1826, d. 1905) married first Louisa Catherine Henderson in 1846, second married Sarah Ann Phillips in 1852
- Mary Ann (b. 1829, d. 1913) married James A. Blankenship, an attorney
- Henrietta “Rettie” (b. 1832, d. 1911) married Thomas Phillips
- John Bond (b. 1834, d. 1898) married Sarah Jane Bass
- Jeremiah Tucker “Tuck” (b. 1836, d. 1913) married Sarah E. Thompson
- Robert H. “Hert” (b. 1839)
- Marsalete S. E. (b. 1842) married Wilson Shelah Phillips
The three Phillips spouses mentioned above were the children of David Phillips (b. 1794) and Mary “Polly” Waters (b. 1802). Mary “Polly” Waters was the granddaughter of Shelah Waters the Tennessee pioneer and one of the original settles of the Watertown area in Wilson County, TN.
Three of Preston and Darotha’s four sons fought for the Confederacy in the War Between the States. Harmon Luster and John Bond were in Co. D. 3rd Battalion of Forrest’s TN Cavalry. Jeremiah Tucker was in the 9th Battalion TN. John Bond rode his horse from Wilson Co. to Huntsville, Alabama so the three brothers could serve together. The youngest brother, Robert (age 22) stayed behind to help his widowed mother Darotha (age 63) run the family farm. All three Henderson brothers survived the war.
Preston died in 1857. Darotha died in 1868 and is buried beside Preston in the Henderson Cemetery off Puckett’s Lane in Wilson Co. near the home where they raised their family.
John Bond Henderson (1834-1898)
John Bond Henderson (b. 1834) married Sarah Jane Bass (b. 1840) in Wilson Co. TN on Nov. 22, 1855. She was the daughter of John B. Bass and Susan Barbee. They had five children:
- George Thomas (b. 1858, d. 1860)
- Wilson Perry “Wilse” (b. 1856) married Maggie Williams, daughter of James A. Williams and Bertha Short
- Robert Hatton “Bob” (b. 1861, d. 1943) married Elizabeth Jane Malone “Betty”
- Mary Floy (b. 1868, d. 1945) married Andrew Malone Jr.
- Zoa Almeda (b. 1873) married John Hickman Jones
John Bond served in Forrest’s Tennessee Cavalry during the War Between the States, and was always known as an excellent horseman. After the war he was known for the fine horses he raised on the family farm.
Sarah Jane died in 1876 when their youngest child, Zoa was only three years old. John Bond later married Mary Bryan. They didn’t have any more children, however, Mary cared for Sarah Jane and John Bond’s children and they were a loving and close-knit family.
John Bond continued to live in the home at Norene, TN where he was raised until his death in 1898 and is buried in the family cemetery in a stand of woods a short distance from the house.
Robert Hatton Henderson “Bob” (1861-1943)
Robert Hatton Henderson “Bob” (b. 1861) married Elizabeth Jane Malone “Betty” (b. 1859) on Nov. 30,1882. She was the daughter of Andrew James Malone and Amanda E. Peyton. “Betty” and “Bob” had ten children:
- Andrew Hatton (b. 1883, d. 1954) married Florida Pilcher
- John Bernice “J. B.” (b. 1886, d. 1966) married Ceacy Constance Doolin
- Eddie, died age two
- Robert Clarence “Tab” (b. 1889, d. 1973) married Hattie Roberta Phillips
- Gertrude B. “Gertie” (b. 1892, d. 1925) married Johnny Kornman Phillips
- William Eugene (b. 1894, d. 1965) married Jean Blackwell Nichols
- Carrie Davis (b. 1897, d. 1938)
- Laddie Peyton (b. 1900, d. 1979) married Ollie Mae Lahew
- Lassie Dayton (b. 1900, d. 1959, d. 1939) married Sam Franklin Adkerson
- Bertha Eleanor “Nell” (b. 1904) married Anderson Rankin Smith
This large family lived in an equally large colonial home that always seemed to be full of family and friends. The writer has heard many accounts of the numerous visitors and guests in this home. One of “Betty” and “Bob’s” granddaughters, Ruth Henderson (Batey) remembers a nightly ritual of taking an oil lamp from Grandma’s room, going through the long dark halls and huge rooms to the parlor where the family enjoyed music together. “Aunt Nell played the piano, Aunt Lassie sang and Uncle Laddie played the violin.” Little Ruth always stayed until the music was finished because she was afraid to go back through the big, dark house alone.
Their home has been continuously occupied by members of this family since the original family member purchased the property in 1824, and remains in the family to this day. The house stands on Powell’s Chapel Road in the north part of Rutherford County.
“Betty” died in 1938 and “Bob” died in 1943. They are buried in the Malone-Henderson cemetery at Powell’s Chapel near their home.
Robert Clarence “Tab” Henderson (1889- 1973)
Robert Clarence Henderson “Tab” was born Sept. 30, 1889. He went through life known as “Tab”, a nickname his older brother, Hatton had given him when he was a baby. “Tab” married Hattie Roberta Phillips (b. 1885) daughter of John Houston Phillips and Susan Roberta Short on Sept. 30, 1908. In 1915 they bought a family farm on the banks of Fall Creek in the area known as Lamar. Here they raised their eight children, seven girls and one boy:
- Elizabeth Louise “Sissy” (b. 1909, d. 1939) married Frank Miller Patton
- Ceacy Ruth (b. 1911, d. 2008) married Frank Blackburn Batey
- Herbert Winfred (b. 1913, d. 1996) married Cordelia Crutcher Batey
- Roberta Nell “Pretty” (b. 1915) married Charles Raymond Carter
- Mary Evelyn “Price” (b. 1918, d. 2002) married Theron Monroe Killough
- Mattie Frankie (b. 1920, d. 1971) married Bill Allen Martin
- Zoa Syble (b. 1922, d. 2003) married Louis Milton Deckelmann
- Sarah Marguerite (b. 1924) married Joseph Dennis Minton
Hattie and Tab’s two-story colonial home had an upstairs porch where the girls loved to sleep on pallets on warm summer nights. Their home was always overflowing with people, food, music, laughter and happiness.
A typical summer breakfast in their home consisted of country ham from the smokehouse, fried chicken right off the yard, eggs straight from the hen’s nest, fried corn from Papa’s corn field, tomatoes from the garden, gravy and homemade biscuits from the oven of the wood-burning cook stove, coffee, and cool milk that was kept in a tub of cool well water in the well house. There was always lots of damson preserves and pear honey made from the fruit trees that grew in the yard. But breakfast was just the start; the big meal of the day was dinner at noon and its preparation began as soon as breakfast was over. Supper, the evening meal, consisted of leftovers from dinner. Nobody ever left this home hungry.
Summer fun consisted of croquet, horseshoes, walking in top of the wooden plank yard fence, and going down to the waters of Fall Creek. Winter past times were playing the card game Rook, Parcheesi, checkers, and eating hickory nuts. Year-round fun was being in the parlor with Marguerite or Frankie playing the piano and everybody singing. Both Hattie and Tab played the piano. Tab also played the banjo and French harp. However, Marguerite their youngest child was the star musician, not only performing for the family but for the public, playing both piano and organ. Easter was a big event every year. All the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and cousins came for an unforgettable annual egg-hunt. Life was busy, full, and rewarding at Mama and Papa Henderson’s house.
Tab died in 1973 and Hattie died in 1975. They are buried in Roselawn cemetery here in Rutherford Co. where they lived their whole lives.
Sadly, their antebellum home was razed by the federal government when Percy Priest Lake was built. The formerly beautiful site of their home is still graced with an annual bloom of daffodils and lilacs. The area adjacent to their home site is now a boat ramp known as Tab’s Creek in honor of the family that lived there.
Ceacy Ruth Henderson (1911-2008)
Ceacy Ruth Henderson was born July 21, 1911. She married Frank Blackburn Batey (b. Dec. 1904, d. June 1998) on Dec. 31, 1931. As a young couple, they ran a general store in Lamar, TN (now under the waters of Percy Priest Lake), and moved to Walter Hill in 1946 where they inherited a farm from Blackburn’s parents, David Frank Batey and Tempie Ransom Crutcher. They maintained this family farm for well over fifty years. They had five children:
- Ceacy Ruth (Bradford)
- Cordelia Annette (Pittard)
- Mary Wheeler (Richardson)
- David Winfred
- Gary Henderson
Ruth died in 2008 at the age of 97. When she passed away she was survived by all 5 of her children, 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.