Tag Archives: Isaac Nation

Land Grant for Isaac Nation Registered 1852, After His Death

Grant to Isaac Nations by State of Tennessee
Overton County, Tennessee DB M:202-203
Source: FamilySearch

While on the hunt for Spear documentation in Overton County, Tennessee, I happily stumbled upon a land grant for Isaac Nation, another of my husband’s ancestors who settled in that area.

However, I was quite surprised because, according to family lore, Isaac died in Texas while en route to settle there, about 1848. This grant wasn’t recorded until 24 November 1852!

I suspect that his heirs needed proof of land ownership and had the grant recorded at the courthouse.

Grant from the State of Ten Deed 50 acres by No 2574 & by Entry No. 466 Situation the Waters of the West fork To Isaac Nations

State of Tennessee No. 2574: To all to whom these presents Shall Come Greeting: Know ye, that for and in consideration of the Sum of twelve and one half cents per acre paid into the office of the Entry Taker of Overton County, and Entered on the 1st day of October 1825 pursuant to the provision of an act of the General assembly of Said State passed on the 22nd day of November 1823 by No. 466. There is Granted by the Said State of Tennessee unto Isaac Nations a certain tract or parcel of land containing Fifty acres by Survey bearing date the 29th day of January 1831 lying in Said county on the waters of the west fork of Obeds River, Beginning at a post-oak and hickory running South Eighty poles to a hickory in Dillons line; thence west one hundred and twenty poles with Dillens line to a black Jack and post-oak in Said line; then North Sixty poles to a white oak and black-oak near the foot of a mountain; thence East Eighty poles to a Stake; thence North twenty poles to a Stake meandering said mountain; thence East Forty poles to the Beginning. With the hereditaments and appurtenances. To have and to hold the Said tract or parcel of land with its appurtenances to the Said Isaac nations and his heirs forever. In witness whereof William Carroll Governor of the State of Tennessee has hereunto set his hand and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed at Nashville on the 18th day of June 1832 and 56th year of our Independence. By the Governor Sam G. Smith Secretary

Wm. Carroll
Isaac nations is intitled to the within described tract of land
R. Nelsen Register of the Mountain Destrict
Recorded in my office Book D page (408?)
R. Nelson Register of the Mountain Destrict
Rec. the State Ten
N.H. Turner – Clk
The foregoing is a correct registry of Grant 2574 also of the certificates thereon & was registered on the 18th day of January AD one thousand Eight hundred and fifty three and was filed in my office for registration on the on the twenty fourth day of November at two o’clock PM in (filation?) Dock at page fifty five

John Kennedy Register

Until finding this land deed, which is the only one Isaac recorded in Tennessee, as far as I have found, I only knew that the Nation family moved from Preble County, Ohio between the 1820 census:

Source: Ancestry

and 1830, when he was enumerated in 1830:

Source: Ancestry

Thanks to the 1825 date in this land deed, I now know that Isaac Nation moved his young family to Tennessee mid-decade.

He left so few records in his paper trail, that I am thankful when I find a new one. And, even better, I wasn’t looking for Nation records when I found this. I was scrolling through the general land deed index and just HAPPENED to stop on the N page as I checked to see how far I’d gone in the digital images.

Thank you, Isaac!

Isaac Nation and Wives Margaret Tillman, ?Unknown and Jane Robbins

Isaac Nation was born c1790, North Carolina. He is said to be the son of William Nation (1755-1809) and Jane (MNU) (c1765-1819). However, I have no documentation for this, so it might be correct – or not!

What is proven, though, is that Isaac Nation married Margaret Tillman on 27 February 1812 in Preble County, Ohio. The Nation family was still living in Preble County for the 1820 census:

The three sons under 10 would be William, Henry and Isaac. the girl under 10 is either a child who died young or daughter Emeline. In 1850, Emeline was enumerated 29 years old, so born 1821. If she was actually 31, she would fit the 1820 census profile.

By 1830, Isaac Nation had moved to Overton County, Tennessee, which has no birth, marriage, death or probate records until 1867 and later.

Margaret was likely born c1792 and likely died between 1824, when daughter Catherine was born, and 1830, when the eldest female in the household was 20-29 years old. The 1830 census accounts for Isaac’s known children, except for one female, born c1825 and one male, born c1826-1830. The female who was 20-29 years old was likely a second wife and it is possible that the two unidentified children were hers, or at least the youngest male was hers.

In 1840, Isaac Nation was living in Fentress County, Tennessee. Again the eldest female was 20-29, although he is enumerated as 40-49. I am assuming that this female is his second wife, Jane Robbins, who doesn’t appear named in any census record. She apparently died before 1850.

Fentress County records are more sparse than Overton County’s as they have no vital records or probate before 1905.

The 1840 census accounts for Issaac’s younger known children, but also has an unidentified male, born 1826-1830, a female about the same age (who could possibly be Catherine) and an unknown female, born 1836-1840.

By 1850, Isaac and Jane had apparently both died. Neither are found in the census. Family lore states that Isaac Nation and his family decided to join the Peters Colony near Dallas, Texas and set out in 1848. Isaac reportedly caught smallpox and was buried on 28 August 1848 on the banks of Duck Creek at the east fork of the Trinity River. I have no idea whether the burial date is accurate or contrived, but with such a detailed description of where he died, I tend to believe that the family made this trek and that Isaac died on the way. Perhaps Jane also died at about the same time..

However, by 1850, Isaac’s two youngest children were living with daughter Catherine and her husband, Jones Ledbetter in Fentress County, Tennessee.

Ledbetter Family, 1850, with Nation Children
Source: Ancestry

Isaac Nation had the following known children. The first six were probably the children of Margaret Tillman.:

  1. William, born c1812, Preble County, Ohio; died 1886, Stoddard County, Missouri; married (1) Mary Ann Hale (2) Charlotte.
  2. Henry, born c1814, Preble County, Ohio; died after 1860, possibly Arkansas County, Arkansas or Scott County, Missouri; married (1) Unknown, but possibly a Ledbetter (2) Unknown (3) Mary Riddle. Mary was born c1825; died after 1880.
  3. Isaac, born c1815, Preble County, Ohio; died after 1830; no further record.
  4. Emeline, born c1821, Preble County, Ohio or Overton County, Tennessee; reportedly died 11 August 1852, Stoddard County, Missouri; married William M. Hale. He was born c1817; died 31 July 1850, per court minutes taken when his will was presented.
  5. Jacob, born c1822, Tennessee; died before 16 September 1856, when his estate was admitted to probate; married Susan Winningham. She was born c1823.
  6. Catherine, born 28 September 1824, Tennessee; died 15 November 1912, Marion County, Arkansas; married (1) Jones Ledbetter. He was born c1825; died 1 November 1862, Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri in war service. (2) Isaac Taber, c1865. He was born c1814.

The remaining four children are likely children of Jane Robbins.

7. Isaac Jackson, born c1835, Tennessee; name is from family lore
8. Margaret, born c1837, Tennessee; name is from family lore
9. Mary, born c1840, Tennessee; died after 1850
10. Vina A., born c1842, Tennessee; died after 1860

There is definitely a lack of documentation for many of these family members. Living in burned counties and being illiterate doesn’t help matters any. I’d love to hear from you if you can add more details to this family’s story.

Henry Nations, Born 1814, Ohio & Missing Family Members

It seems like more of my husband’s ancestors just disappeared compared to mine. I think part of the reason for that is that mine mostly lived in places where the records were well kept and didn’t burn, while his moved around the South, where many records either weren’t kept until later in time or they burned in a courthouse fire.

Today’s disappearing ancestor is Henry Nations. The only reason I was able to find him after 1850 – in one more census – was because he was the only Henry born in 1814 in Ohio living in Arkansas or Missouri. More on that find in  a bit.

Henry was born about 1814, probably in Preble County, Ohio, where his parents, Isaac Nations and Margaret Tillman, married on 27 February 1812. The Nations remained in Ohio through the births of their first three children, William, Henry and Isaac. Between 1815-1820, they migrated to Tennessee, first settling about 300 miles due south in Overton County.

The 1830 census of Isaac Nations has an adult female aged 20-29 in his household. She is likely a second wife. There is a gap between the births of daughter Catherine in September 1824 and a son born before 1830; Margaret likely died sometime between 1824 and 1829 and Isaac remarried. (Land records are extant from 1801, but other records not until after the Civil War.)

Isaac’s unknown second wife died soon and he married Jane Tillman about 1834. They had four children, Isaac Jackson, Margaret, Mary and Vina A. Family lore is that the Nations headed to the Peters Colony (today, Carrollton, next to Dallas) in Texas about 1848. Isaac caught smallpox along the way and was buried on 28 August 1848 on the banks of Duck Creek at the east fork of the Trinity River.

I have no idea of the source of that information, but with that much detail, it sounds plausible. Wife Jane is not found in the 1850 census. She may also have died or remarried.

In any case, Henry Nations was head of his own 1840 household next door to Overton County, living in Fentress County. The adult male was 20-29, as was the adult female. This first wife has never been identified. There were three young children, a male 5-9, a female 5-9 and a male under 5 years old. (Henry’s father, Isaac, was living nine doors away and is the last name on the census page.)

By 1850, we have some more disappearing people. Henry is still in Fentress County. However, his wife is Mary Riddle. My husband’s great great grandfather, Joseph Michael Nation is 14 years old so he was likely the male under 5 in the previous census. Two other children are in the household – Thomas, aged 6 and Nancy, who was one year old.

Henry Nations & Isaac Ridley, 1850

Mary Riddle may or may not be the mother of any of these children since no marriage record exists. She was enumerated on 13 September 1850 in her father’s household, three doors away from Henry Nations, as “Polly Ridley” (Riddle) and as Mary Nations in her husband’s household.

I can see the scenario where Mary was over helping her mother. The census taker arrived at Henry’s house and asked who lived there. Henry said himself, his wife Mary, and the three children. Then he moved on to Isaac Riddle’s house. He asked Isaac who the people were in the house. Isaac named himself, wife Catherine and then said “These are my children. . . .”

As to who the mother of Thomas and Nancy was, I don’t know. My feeling is that Mary may be the mother of Nancy and Henry’s first wife died giving birth to Thomas. However, Mary is certainly old enough to be Thomas’s mother. It also doesn’t answer the question of where the 1840 male and female aged 5-9 and the other male under 5 was in 1850. They all might have died in an epidemic or perhaps Henry and his first wife divorced and she took the other children. There are several possibilities and no records to support or disprove any idea.

By the 1860 census, Joseph Michael Nations was living about 60 miles northwest of Fentress County, Tennessee in Cumberland County, Kentucky with wife Annie (Christianna Riddle and sister of his stepmother, Mary Riddle) and was enumerated as “M. Nations.”

For many years, I could not find Henry Nations in the census and assumed he had died. However, I couldn’t find Mary Riddle Nations either and I know she was living as late as the 1890s because I have a family photo of Annie, Mary and their adult surviving siblings taken about that time.

Mary Riddle, center, front row

How did I find him? I mentioned earlier that Henry being born in 1814 in Ohio was the lucky piece of information. I started searching different states in the 1860 census for a Henry born 1814 in Ohio. Nothing came up in Missouri, but when I tried Arkansas, up came “Henry Nathans” born 1814 in Ohio. With him were wife Mary, born Kentucky and children Isaac S., 7 and Zarelda, 3, both born in Tennessee and baby Sarah E. under a year old, born in Arkansas.

Henry “Nathans” Family, Crockett Twp., 1860

About 1858 or 1859, the family left Tennessee and moved to Crockett Township, Arkansas County, Arkansas. By tracking Mary and the children forward, I was able to determine that this was “my” Henry Nations.

However, this is the last record found for Henry. He disappeared during the Civil War years, although there is no evidence that he served or died because of the war. Some have linked Henry to the Henry Nations who served in the Civil War from OH and who is found in Wisconsin after the war. However, that Henry was 20 years old when he enlisted in 1864 and is found in his parents’ household in 1850 and 1860. They were two different men.

Mary Riddle Nations is next found in the household of James Conkin (Konkins) in 1870 in Scott County, Missouri. No marriage record has been found for them, either. They likely married closer to 1870 than 1860 because they don’t appear as a couple to have any children together.

James Conkin is the next to go MIA. In 1880, there is no sign of him or his children and Mary Nations, widow,  is living with daughter Sarah Emiline Stratton’s family in Richland Township, Scott County, Missouri:

If she was a widow, I’m not sure why she is Mary Nations instead of Mary Conkin; it is possible James Conkin and Mary divorced. The census taker did note that Mary had lung disease.

Mary Riddle Nations isn’t found with any of her children in the 1900 census, nor is she found in back home in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Her brother, Phillip, in the top right corner of the siblings’ photo died in 1906, first of the group to pass away with the possible exception of Mary. I believe she might have gone back home in the 1890’s and died sometime before 1900.

To sum up, we have the following family members MIA:

Isaac Nations
Jane Robbins Nation
Henry Nations
James Conkins
Mary Riddle Nation

That isn’t even including Mary’s daughter, Sarah Emiline, who married George W. Stratton. They both disappear after the 1880 census.

It took years to pick up the trail of Henry and Mary Nations, so I haven’t given up hope of finding more definitive documents about their deaths.