William Nelson Crockett

William Nelson Crockett

My object, or purpose, in doing this family write-up is not to give a complete history of the Crocketts. But merely to tell my story from my own viewpoint. And from my own knowledge, derived partly from my acquaintance and association with some of the descendants of William Nelson Crockett, who migrated here to Casey County, Kentucky, from Fentress County, Tennessee. Back in 1939, Mr. William Watkins, a Superintendent of Casey County Schools, and now 101 years of age, compiled a history of Casey County, Kentucky. But my own Wrights, and several of the other families that I have been closest associated with, were not even mentioned in his book. So, I want to see that these families are, at least, mentioned in the history of Fentress County, Tennessee; as our parents, grandparents, etc., were from there. I am doing this for the benefit of the people in both counties, and for the other readers as well. Mr. Watkins included a 173-word family tree of the Crocketts, in his book. But he listed only two dates -- 1786 and 1816 -- which both referred to the famous Davy Crockett. I want to do a little better by these Crocketts that that.

First, I'll give a tiny bit of background on the ancestors, then come on down to some of the descendents. According to the information that I have, the Crocketts originated in France. Some of them went to England and Ireland; then came over to New Rochelle, New York. From there, some of their descendents came south to Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Then some came from Fentress County, Tennessee to Casey County, Kentucky. It seems that there was a David and Elizabeth Crockett living in Frederick County, Virginia, who had the following sons: William, born in 1750, in Virginia, who married Catherine Hawkins: He was the William Crockett who later lived near Boatland, in Fentress County, Tennessee; Alexander: John, (b. 1754, in Va.) who married Rebecca Hawkins. They were the parents of the famous Davy Crockett; Robert, (b. Aug. 13, 1755, in Va.), who married Margaret --?; Joseph, (b. 1756, in Va.), and James "Dumb Jimmie," (b. 1758, in Va.). John lived in Lincoln County, N.C. a while. Then he, his family, parents, and brothers Joseph and James, Lived in the Greene County, Tenn. area a while. Davy was born there. John's parents were killed by Indians, his brother James was carried off by them, and Joseph was shot in an arm and wounded. James was bought back from the Indians. Then 4 of the brothers, William, Robert, Joseph, and James, came to the Wolf River area in what is now Fentress County. Then William, the oldest brother, moved to the Boatland area of Fentress County. He died there about 1840.

Robert's children; Jane, married George Highsaw; William Sr., married Delilah Lucinda Pile, daughter of Coonrod, in 1810; Elizabeth, married James Boyter; Mary, married William Travis; David B., married Drucilla Elder; and James, married Maths Crouch. The children of William Sr. and Delilah Lucinda Crockett; Mary, b. 1815, married Benjamin Bronson; Sarah, b. 1816 or 1817, married Thomas Cobb; James B., b. 1818, married Caroline Davis; Jane, b. 1820, married --; Robert, b. 1823, married Mary R. Francis; Coonrod, b. 1825, married Mary Anderson; William Nelson, (William Jr.) b. 1827, married Rebecca Anderson; Joseph M., b. 1830, married Selina Hill; and John B., b. 1837, married Charlotte --; The children of William Nelson Crockett, (June 1, 1827-Sept. 16, 1903), and Rebecca (Anderson) Crockett, (Dec. 26, 1830-Apr. 10, 1918): Lucinda, b. 1853, married Joseph Powell; Granville, 1856-1935, married Mary Helm; Robert, b. July 1859, married Mollie Rich; William Riley "Dock," May 22, 1861-Dec. 11, 1940, married Susan Taylor; Elizabeth, May 19, 1863-Sept. 24, 1879, never married; Sarah "Sal," Aug. 7, 1865-Oct. 14, 1899, married her double first cousin Calvin Crockett, son of Coonrod; Mollie, Mar. 27, 1867-Jan. 18, 1959, married George W. Hughes; Abigail, June 1, 1869-Aug. 29, 1968, married Thee Walden; John F., Feb. 25, 1871-Oct. 14, 1951, married Mary White; and James L., b. 1873, first married Lou Napier, then Ollie Goodin.

William Nelson Crockett migrated to Casey County, Kentucky with his family between March 27, 1867 and June l, l869. His first 7 children were born in Fentress County; his last 3 here in Casey County. William died in 1903, before I was born. So, I didn't know him personally; nor his wife either. But I was, or am, more or less acquainted with several of their descendents. Including Granville, Mollie, Abigail, John, James; Granville's son & daughter Bill Helm and Lulu (Crockett) Davis some of Bill's sons and daughters; Lulu's sons and daughters, Ada, Ed, Ora and Elmer; "Dock"s daughter, Clarcie (Crockett) Mills, and six of her 13 children -- Voicel, Eula, Nellie, Ballard, Zeoma and Kelma and Clarcie's husband Fraudie Mills; Sarah's son Owen Crockett and his wife Lou (Hatfield) Burton, Crockett; Mollie's son Claude and Will Hughes; Claude's wife Emma and their 3 children, Hazel, Esther and Kelly Hughes; Will's daughter Marie Hughes; Abigail's husband Thee Walden and their daughter Opal (Walden) Monday. I attended school with Hazel, Esther and Kelly Hughes. Ed Davis dated my youngest sister, Ruby, about two years. He is a friend of mine. And I wrote a song about a fight between Lou Crockett and her niece against Clarcie (Crockett) Mills and her daughter Nellie, titled "The Creston Dagger Fight." I used to be around some of these persons quite a bit.

William Nelson Crockett's son John was a friend of mine. He was quite a character; had a nice sense of humor. He was a bachelor for several years, living alone in a log cabin at Rheber, Ky. on Tennessee Ridge, here in Casey County.-During 1939, my brother-in-law and sister, Riley and Mossie Brown, Lived on John's tenant farm below Rheber. One day, John had me to re-daub some chinks in the hack side of his cabin. I made up a big batch of mud and began on it. He left about that time I filled the holes good, then stood off about eight feet and flung mud between the logs, a handful at a time. I splattered a little on the logs. In fact, the back wall resembled a mud-wasp's nest. John came back just as I was finishing and caught me in the act. But he just stood and laughed. Some "big shot" men from The Bluegrass Region used to come down and bird hunt with John. My sister Mossie had torn all the old paper off her bedroom wall and re-papered it; putting leaves from a mail-order catalog on the outside. John saw it and liked it. One day, he brought one of his big shot friends down to see it. He said, "I want to show you Flossie's pretty room," as he walked in, with the man at his heels. (He called my sister Mossie "Flossie"). She was so embarrassed, she wanted to drop through the floor -- or hide in a closet. Once he came to the field where we all were working, got on a low stump and made a long political speech, using a lot of big long words -- as if he were running for state senator or governor. Another time, he stood on a stump, saying that he was going to "preach Flossie's funeral." He made a long flowery talk, paying her several nice compliments. Then, as he concluded, he pointed to an imaginary casket, saying -- "and there lies that d--n-d old Flossie!" He was so proud of being kin to the famous Davy Crockett. John's father -- William Nelson Crocket, Jr. -- built the first schoolhouse at Rheber. And when the road was rebuilt past there, creating Highway 206, it was named "The Crockett Trail," in honor of this family. William and Rebecca, and some of the other Crocketts are buried in the Salem Cemetery at Rheber.

by Roseoe Hollis Wright
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Posted with permission from Curtis Media Corporation
This page was last updated on 09/19/98.