John Dulworth & Hyla Willis of KY & TN

Although I’ve left the Adams clan for a while, I am not quite ready to let go of the Dulworth extended family. Since Dulworth is quite a unique name (never found as Dilworth, which is much more common) and all Dulworths can be trace back to John Dulworth in Knox County, Tennessee by 1794, I am sharing family sketches of the four known Dulworth children and the next generation of grandchildren.

Today’s sketch covers the family of John Dulworth, oldest child of John and Mary (MNU) (Broadway) Dulworth, who lived in Knox County, Tennessee.

John Dulworth was born c1803. Before we get started, I need to clarify two pieces of information found online about this man. He left little in the way of a paper trail, but on the handful of surviving documents, he is John, and only John, Dulworth.

There isn’t a single shred of proof that his name was John Burrell Dulworth or John Taylor Dulworth. Burrell is name that came into the Dulworth lines through the Willis family.  Taylor is the middle name of John and Hyla’s youngest son, Zachary Taylor Dulworth. Hmmm. I wonder who Z.T. was named for? In any case, Taylor was not the middle name of John Dulworth.

Neither John nor Hyla lived to see all of their children grow to adulthood. In 1850, they were living in Cumberland County, Kentucky with eleven children still at home. However, I think they had thirteen children in total.

As mentioned, John Dulworth was born c1803 in Knox County, Tennessee. Hyla Willis was born c1810, in Kentucky, and probably in Cumberland County. Note that Hyla’s name is also found as Hila, Hiley and Highly.

The 1850 census taker unfortunately took the short way out when he enumerated the family, as he only identified most of the people in the home (and in his census district) by first and/ first/middle initials.

Both John and Hyla died between 1850 and 1860, either in Cumberland County, Kentucky or just over the state line in Overton County, Tennessee, where several of their children were living in 1860. I have seen, but haven’t been able to document, an 1855 death date for John Dulworth.

The 1830 census of Cumberland County includes the household of John Dulwich (sic). Both John and the adult female at home were aged 20-30 years old, which matches with their stated ages in 1850.

Also at home were three females and one male under the age of five. B(urrell) and P(aralee) Dulworth were both listed as 20 years old in 1850 and I suspect that they were twins.

That would date John’s and Hyla’s marriage c1825, when she was about 15 years old (not unusual in this branch of the family tree) and John would have been about 22 years old.

By 1840, the Dulwit (sic) family had grown quite a bit, with 8 children at home:

John – 30-39 years old
Hyla – 20-29 years old (probably closer to 29)

Female, 10-14 (Mary)
Female, 10-14 (Paralee)
Male, 10-14 (Burrell)
Female, 5-9 (Alcy)
Female, 5-9 (Elizabeth)
Male, under 5 (John)
Female, under 5 (unknown)
Female, under 5 (Hyla)

By 1850, we have the following family cluster, all born in Kentucky with the exception of John Sr.:

John, 47
H(yla), 40
B(urrell), 20
P(aralee), 20
E(lsee or Alcy), 18
N(should be E for Elizabeth), 16
John, 14
Hila, 12
J(ames) S., 10
Wm., 8
M(artha) E., 6
N(ancy) A(nn), 4
Z(achary) Taylor, 2

From these records, plus marriage and death records, the following family can be documented:

John Dulworth, born c1803, Knox County, Tennessee; died between the 1850-1860 census, married Hyla Willis, c1825, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Hyla was born c1810 and also died between 1850-1860. Whether they died in Kentucky or Tennessee is unknown.

John Dulworth appears on the Cumberland County tax list until 1855, owning 75 acres. However, in 1856, only his brother James and James’ son Jacob are found. Neither Hyla nor any of their children appear on the tax list after 1855. There are no land deeds in the names of John or Hyla Dulworth or their heirs between 1850 and 1875, so I don’t know how the land was disposed of.

I found no evidence that John or Hyla owned any land in Overton County, Tennessee, although his Cumberland County property was on the state line.

I tend to believe that John and Hyla both died in Kentucky.

It appears that they were the parents of thirteen children, and  likely fourteen:

  1. Mary, born 6 December 1826; died 19 March 1892, Texas; married Hiram Hughes, c1843, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky.
  2. Female, born c1828; died before 1840
  3. Burrell, born 28 June 1829; died 14 December 1912, Ellis County, Texas; married Hyla Willis, c1850. (Yes, his wife’s name was the same as his mother’s.)
  4. Paralee, also born 28 June 1829, if a twin; died 1900, Clay County, Tennessee; married William Thomas Short, 30 March 1853, Cumberland County, Kentucky.
  5. Alcy, born 19 June 1831; died 27 April 1914, Cumberland County, Kentucky; married John Whitson Moore, c1851, probably Cumberland County, Kentucky.
  6. Elizabeth, born c1834; married John Long, c1851, probably Cumberland County, Kentucky.
  7. John, born c1836; died 29 January 1913, Dent County, Missouri; married (1) Rebecca Ann Bass, c1859 (2) Sarah B. Smith, c1866.
  8. Hyla, born c1838; died after 1850; no further record.
  9. James, born 20 March 1840; died 23 August 1911, Clay County, Tennessee; married Mary Ann Clary.
  10. William, born c1842; died after 1850; no further record.
  11. Martha E., born April 1844; died 1900-1910, Clay County, Tennessee; married William Canada Long, 21 October 1872, Clay County, Tennessee.
  12. Nancy Ann, born May 1845; died 26 March 1931; married Benjamin Rush, c1870. He was the son of John Rush and Louvina Broadway. Louvina was a half sibling to Nancy’s father.
  13. Zachary Taylor, born 12 October 1848; died 12 December 1929, Ballard County, Kentucky; married Eunice Elizabeth Phillips, c1873.
  14. Hannah, born c1852; died after 1880. Hannah Dulworth, aged 8, is living with Alcy and John Moore in 1860 and I believe she may be John and Hyla’s youngest child. Hannah Dulworth, 28, living in Clay County, Tennessee in 1880, is enumerated as divorced. She has four children – Elizabeth, 12, and Sevina, 8, both born Kentucky along with James, 6 and Turner, 4, both born Tennessee. I can’t find any of them after 1880 and think the census taker may have erred in recording the children’s surnames, calling them Dulworth when Hannah had taken back her maiden name. I found a Social Security administration record dated 1942 for one Jim Thomas Johnson, born 6 June 1876, Cumberland County, Kentucky. His parents were named as Andrew Johnson and Hannah Dulworth. He married Margaret Etta Banks, 27 March 1907, Morgan County, Alabama and died on 6 September 1951, also in Morgan County, Alabama. However, I still can’t locate him or any of this family in 1900!

Next, we will look at the families of the ten children who lived to adulthood and married.




One thought on “John Dulworth & Hyla Willis of KY & TN”

  1. It’s not Burrell, it’s Durrell.
    Hubert lee Dulworth is my grandfather, grandmother is (Vienna norton). Hubert’s father’s name is Joe f Dulworth,

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