John Dulworth is a bit of a mysterious person. He is my husband’s 4X great grandfather. He left very little in the way of a paper trail, apparently migrating from Germany via an alien space ship which landed in Knox County, Tennessee in the 1790s.
John’s year of birth is unknown, although he appears on a circa 1793 Knox County militia list in that year, so he likely was at least 21 and perhaps even a fair amount older than that, as Mary, his wife, was born c1765.
There are no other Dulworths in Tennessee at the same time as John. Notice that his name is inscribed as “Dulwitt,” which I think may be due to a German accent.
If John was married by 1793, there is no documentation to identify who, where or when he wed. There is a recorded marriage for him to Mary “Brawdeway” (Broadway) on 2 December 1803 in Knox County. Many of John’s descendants list Broadway as Mary’s maiden name, but I believe she was a widow. I can find no records for Mary before her marriage, but the Broadway name is as rare in Knox County pre-1800 as the Dulworth surname is. Yet, there is one other Broadway marriage for a Broadway found in Knox County and a presumed Broadway marriage in Cumberland County, Kentucky.
First, Peggy Broadway married Thomas Robinson on 23 December 1813 in Knox County. She was likely born c1795, but little else is known about her.
Second, family information indicates that a Louvina Broadway married John Rush. The Rush family has ties by marriage to the Dulworth clan. This John Rush was born c1799 in North or South Carolina and lived his adult life in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Per 1860 and 1870 census information, his wife “Luvenia” reported that she was born c1801 in “East Tennessee.”
When John and Luvenia’s son Samuel died in 1913, family members reported on his death certificate that his parents were John Rush and Louvenia Dulworth, but she was born several years before Mary Broadway and John Dulworth married and family lore gives her birth surname as Broadway.
John Dulworth and Mary had several children of their own:
i. John, born c1803; married Hyla Willis
ii. James, born c1805; married Elizabeth Gwinn Spear
iii. Daughter, born c1811; nothing further known
iv. Hannah, born c1813; married William Spear
By 1820, Mary “Dulwit” is head of a household in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Exactly when Mary left John or when he actually died is unknown. Family lore claimed that daughter Hannah cared for John before he died and “his will” left what he had to her, since Mary had left him “long ago.”
I have never, ever been able to find a will or even a hint of an estate administration in either Knox or Cumberland County. However, I did find an interesting land deed dated 19 April 1817 and recorded in Knox County on 26 September of the same year. John Dulworth gave Jacob Horne his 31 1/4 acres of land on Stock Creek in return for his care in his “old age.”
Know All men to whom itt
may concern that I John Dulvert of Knox County &
state of Tennessee being wore out with old age & na-
tural infirmity and not being able to work for
my living therefore I give my land with all its
appurtenances unto Jacob Horne on condition of
his maintaining me as long as its shall please God
to keep me on this Earth to live in the family &
to have as the family (Same?) food & (raiment?) (Wherefor?)
I give all my rights & title clear of all incumbrance
State of Tennessee} July Sessions
as before (mentes?) (?) (?) I have sett my hand and
seal this 17 day of April one thousand eight hundred
John (X) Dulvertt }Seal
Knox County) 1817
James (X) Graves
Thomas M Cammon The execution of the within deed
was proved in Court by the oath of James Graves and
Thomas MCammon witnesses thereto & admitted
to record. Let it be registered the state tax being paid
Given under my hand and official seal this 15 day of
Charles McClung by his Dep. Hugh Broson(?)
Who is Jacob Horne you ask? I have no idea. The 1820 census for this area of Tennessee is missing and this is the only entry in either the grantor or grantee index for Jacob Horne.
I also have no idea with whom the young Dulworth family migrated to Cumberland County, Kentucky. Depending on which area of each county they lived, the trip would have been roughly 100 miles. I don’t know if John Dulworth himself ever went to Kentucky. I doubt not, though, because of the family lore that “my wife left me long ago.”
However, it is apparent that John Dulworth died sometime between April 1817, the date of his land deed, and definitely before the 1830 census, where he is not found. It is certainly possible that he might even have died before 26 September 1817, the date Jacob Horne recorded the deed.
In any case, Hannah was only a very young girl in 1817 and certainly was not caring for her aged father.
It seems that John Dulworth led a sad, lonely life. When Mary and the children left him, he likely never saw any of them again.