GENERATION #3: John Owsley and Charity Barton
John Owsley, born 6-Nov-1757, Loudoun County, Virginia, married 16-Aug-1778, in probably Rowan County, North Carolina, Charity Barton, born 12-Feb-1760, North Carolina, (daughter of John Barton Sr.) died 20-Feb-1848, Claiborne County, Tennessee, John died 19-Dec-145, Claiborne County, Tennessee.
John Owsley was the oldest son of John Owsley and Ann Stephens. He was raised in Loudoun County, Virginia, and was just six (6) years old when his father was killed in 1764. John Owsley first appears in 1774 at age seventeen (17) years on a Loudoun County, Virginia tax list as a single man. This is the only instance that he is named on a Loudoun County tax list. On March 8, 1775, he witnessed a deed in Loudoun County between Thomas, Lord Fairfax, and William Stephens, probably an uncle (Loudoun County Deeds L: 39-42).
John reached adulthood during perilous times, as the American Revolutionary War was about to begin. John made his decision to fight in the War and did so in 1776 and 1777. He resided in Loudoun County, Virginia, during the American Revolution and assisted in establishing American Independence, while acting in the capacity of Volunteer in the Minute Service, guarding the Virginia frontiers with General George Rogers Clark. In 1776, John Owsley (Ousley) enlisted at Loudoun County, Virginia in the Army of the United States under Lieutenant William Housley (Owsley), in the company commanded by Captain Joseph Combs for 6 months service in the Minute Service. The company was stationed at Alexandria, Virginia to keep the British from landing. Sometime in 1777 in Loudoun County, John Owsley volunteered again and served under Captain Charles Porterfield in General Morgan's brigade, which marched to Philadelphia and on to join General George Washington at White Plains. This army marched in and around Philadelphia and New York. Later, John volunteered again and served guarding the Virginia frontiers. This service probably occurred in 1783, while serving in the Montgomery County, Virginia Militia.
John received a pension from the United States government from 1833 until his death in 1845 for his service in the Revolutionary War. After John's death, his wife, Charity, applied for a widow's pension in April of 1846. Her pension request was denied due to John's alleged desertion in August of 1777. It has not been determined why John deserted the Army. Records show hundreds of other soldiers also deserted. John may have left so he could move south to North Carolina with his mother and stepfather. John moved to Rowan County, North Carolina where he married Charity Barton on August 16, 1778. It is believed Charity may have been the daughter of John Barton Sr., who paid taxes in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1759. The marriage of John Owsley and Charity Barton produced at least eight children.
John Owsley and his family were living in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1778, where John was listed as having paid taxes. By 1784, they were living in Wilkes County, North Carolina, where on October 27, 1784, John (Howsley) was listed as working on a road crew. They lived in the Roaring River community, along with John's mother (Ann Adams and her husband, John Adams). John Owsley paid a poll tax in Wilkes County in 1786. Charity (Hously) and her children were living in Wilkes County, North Carolina, according to census records. John was away from home for some unknown reason.
Some Owsley family researchers believe John Owsley lived in Lincoln County, Kentucky for a short period of time in 1782. If so, he would have lived near his uncle, Thomas Owsley III. There is a John Owsley listed as serving in an expedition against the Shawnee Indians from October 22, 1782, through November 25, 1782. This John Owsley served in Captain John Snoddy's Company of Lincoln County Militia. Also serving were four sons of Thomas Owsley III: (Thomas Owsley, William Owsley, Anthony Owsley and Daniel Owsley). (NOTE: It is my belief that the John Owsley who served in the Lincoln County Militia in 1782, was probably Jonathan Owsley, another son of Thomas Owsley III. Another possibility is John Owsley, son of Sarah Owsley, sister of Thomas Owsley III.) On April 2, 1783, there was a John Onsley listed as serving in Captain Enoch Osborn's Company, Montgomery County, Virginia Militia. Most of the men serving in this Militia were from Wilkes County, North Carolina. Two of the men serving from Wilkes County, North Carolina were Isaac Barton and John Barton, brothers of Charity Barton Owsley. (NOTE: In 1783, Montgomery County, Virginia bordered Wilkes County, North Carolina.) I believe the John Onsley listed in the Militia was actually John Owsley. In John Owsley's Revolutionary War pension application, he described his last enlistment as having volunteered himself to guard the frontiers of Virginia for one month. It is my belief John was referring to his service in the Montgomery County, Virginia Militia in 1783.
It is believed that in the 1790’s, John Owsley had a relationship with a lady (name unknown) who lived in the Indian Ridge area of Grainger County, Tennessee. This relationship produced at least four children: Joseph Owsley (Ousley, Housley), Amy “Ann" Housley, Elizabeth Housley, and Robert Owsley. Joseph Ousley was listed in the 1810 Census of Grainger County, Tennessee. He later married Phoebe Longmire around 1812 and settled in nearby Campbell County, Tennessee. (NOTE: DNA tests conducted in 2003 proved, without a doubt, that Joseph and Robert were sons of John Owsley.) Amy “Ann” Housley married Samuel Gilmore in 1809, while Elizabeth Housley married Joseph Smith in 1811. Both marriages took place in Grainger County. The Gilmore family resided in Grainger County, but later moved to Gasconade/Osage counties in Missouri in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s, other Owsley families also settled in Osage County, Missouri, and were close neighbors with the Gilmore family. These families were children of Joseph Owsley and Robert Owsley. The family of Joseph Smith and Elizabeth Housley settled in Campbell County, Tennessee. They were close neighbors with Elizabeth’s brother, Joseph Owsley.
Sometime after 1790, the family of John Owsley and Charity Barton moved from North Carolina to Tennessee. (NOTE: In census records, the birthplace of their daughter, Anna Owsley Keck, is listed as Tennessee. Anna was born in December of 1792.)
By 1802, they were residing in Claiborne County, Tennessee, which borders Grainger County in East Tennessee. John and Charity lived there for the remainder of their lives. They first settled in the Sand Lick area of Claiborne County near the Clinch River.
On March 2, 1802, the Claiborne County court minutes record "John Housley' as a hand to work for Nimrod Dodson, overseer of the road from Jacob Capses to Bald Creek. On December 8, 1802, "John Housley Sr." succeeded Nimrod Dodson as road overseer.
On March 7, 1803, John was appointed overseer of the road leading from Bullard's Ferry to Fielding Lewis's. His son, John Housley Jr., was one of the hands to assist him in maintaining the road. (NOTE: The Fielding Lewis family is said to have been one of the first families to settle in Claiborne County, Tennessee. They moved to Claiborne County from the Roaring River area of Wilkes County, North Carolina around 1792. The Fielding Lewis family had been neighbors of the John Owsley family in Wilkes County, North Carolina.)
On February 7, 1807, John Owsley of Claiborne County, Tennessee purchased (for $200.00) 100 acres of land from Enos Johnson of Jefferson County, Tennessee (Claiborne County, TN Deed Book B). The land was located as follows: "lying and being in the county of Claiborne on the waters of the Big Barran Creek." (NOTE: The purchaser of this land was apparently John Owsley Junior.
On October 17, 1808, John Owsley Junior of Claiborne County sold "for $300.00" 100 acres of land to William Savage of Claiborne County. The land was located on the waters of the Big Barran Creek.) (NOTE: Enos Johnson may have been the father-in-law of John Owsley Junior and Stephen Owsley, sons of John Owsley and Charity Barton. John Owsley Junior was married to Rachel Johnson, while Stephen Owsley was married to Rhoda Johnson. It is known that Enos Johnson had a daughter, Rachel, who was born in 1787. He also had a daughter, Rhoda, who was born in 1789.)
On August 10, 1816, John Owsley of Claiborne County purchased (for $300.00) 400 acres of land from William Narvell of Claiborne County (Claiborne County Deed Book E). This land was in Henderson and Companys survey in Lot A. The land was located on the south side of the Powell River near Old Town Creek.
On August 1, 1817, John Owsley of Claiborne County sold (for unspecified amount) 100 acres of land to John Keack (Keck) of Claiborne County (Claiborne County Deed Book E). This land was in Henderson and Companys survey in Lot A. John Keck was married to Anna Owsley, daughter of John Owsley and Charity Barton.
On August 15, 1820, John Owsley of Claiborne County purchased (for $120.00) 100 acres of land from Luke Perry of Claiborne County (Claiborne County Deed Book E). This land was in Henderson and Companys survey in Lot A. The land was located on the south side of the Powell River near Old Town Creek.
In Claiborne County, John Owsley was a member of the Old Town Creek Primitive Baptist Church. Charity Barton Owsley was also a member of the Big Barran Primitive Baptist Church, where her death is recorded in the church records. John's occupation was a cooper.
The death of John Owsley occurred in 1845, while Charity died a few years later in 1848. Both were buried in the Pleasant Point Cemetery in Claiborne County, Tennessee.
(OWSLEY FAMILY DNA TESTING)
THE WILL OF JOHN OWSLEY: In the name of God Amen--I John Owsley of the County of Claiborne and State of Tennessee at this time being very weak of body but of sound mind and disposing memory and being desirous to dispose of all the earthly substance that it has been please God to bless me with do make this my last will and Testament. I in the first place commit my soul into the hands of God and my body to descent burial. Secondly all my funeral expenses paid together with all my just debts & thirdly I bequeath to my beloved wife Charity Owsley my household and kitchen furniture together with all the bedding and furniture that may be in the house at the time of my departure. I Also bequeath to her my plantation and the choice horse beast that may be on the plantation and also either of the cows and calves one sow and pigs and all the sheep that belong to the plantation or that may be at the time of my Death and one third of the crop that is now on the plantation and also three hundred lbs. of pork for her first years support. All which I will and bequeath to her during her natural life to dispose of for her support and at her death the same to fall to my lawful heirs as I will afterward name and the ballance of my propperty I wish it all taken and sold at the highest bidder on a twelve month credit & the money arising from the sale to be equally divided amongst all my heirs with the exception of John Owsley's heirs and I will and beqeath unto them one dollar which I wish my Executors to pay over to them twelve months after my Decease and at the death of my before named wife the plantation & all that is left of the property or its proffitts or increase I will and direct the same to be sold or divided amongst my lawful heirs begotten of my body Equally with the exception of John Owsley's heirs as I before named. And I John Owsley do make this my last will and Testament Revoking all former wills & devices that may have been made heretofore if any there should be & I do hereby constitute and Appoint John Keck and Stephen Owsley my executors to this my last will and testament confirming every item in the same to be my act and deed. Give under my hand and Seal this 3rd day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five.
signed by John Owsley (his mark) signed, sealed and delivered in presence of Thos. C. Norvell, Elizabeth Owsley (her mark)
Codical: A Codical to the above--I further will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Charity Owsley the benefit of all notes of my hand that I may hold at my death, together with all the moneys that may be in my house at the time of my death or in the hands of any person to collect, and direct in particular that my executors collect all such notes as is die and that may fall due and pay the same over to her when collected. Given under my hand and seal this eighteenth day of January 1839. John Owsley (his mark) Witness: Thos. C. Norvell, James Jinkins
CHILDREN OF JOHN OWSLEY AND CHARITY BARTON:
I. Tabathia Owsley (daughter of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 15-Mar-1780, North Carolina, married 1800/05, in Tennessee, William Drummonds, born 1779/80, North Carolina, died 1832, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Tabathia died -Jul-1849, Claiborne County,Tennessee.
II. John Owsley (son of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 17-Mar-1783, North Carolina, married Rachel Johnson, born 01-Oct-1787, Tennessee, (daughter of Enos Johnson and Sarah Weathers) died ABT 1852, Hancock County, Tennessee. John died 7-Nov-1811, Indiana Territory. John Owsley was killed in the Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana.
III. Isaac Owsley (son of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 27-Apr-1785, Wilkes County, North Carolina, married (1) BEF 1813, in Tennessee, Judith Brock, died BEF 1815, married (2) 1815, Sarah Stephens, born 2-May-1787, (daughter of Dudley Stephens and Nancy ________) died 1857/60, Monroe or Rhea County, Tennessee. Isaac died 1840/45, ? Monroe County, Tennessee.
IV. Stephen Owsley (son of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 24-Jun-1787, Wilkes County, North Carolina, married ABT 1810, in Tennessee, Rhoda Johnson, born 27-Jun-1789, Tennessee, (daughter of Enos Johnson and Sarah Weathers) died 1860/70, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Stephen died 1881, Claiborne County, Tennessee.
V. Matthew Owsley (son of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 23-Sep-1789, Wilkes County, North Carolina, married (1) ABT 1811, in Tennessee, Sarah Keck, born 25-Dec-1790, Tennessee, (daughter of Frederick Conrad Keck and Mary Ann Moser), died 02-Dec-1850, Union County, Tennessee, buried: Irwin's Cemetery, Union County, Tennessee, married (2) 19-Aug-1857, in Claiborne County, Tennessee, Susannah A. Collins, born ABT 1817, Tennessee, (daughter of Moses Collins), died 18-May-1890, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Matthew died 21-Apr-1862, Union County, Tennessee, buried: Graves Cemetery, Union County, Tennessee.
VI. Anna Owsley (daughter of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 28-Dec-1792, Tennessee, married ABT 1812, in Tennessee, John Keck, born 1795, North Carolina, (son of Frederick Conrad Keck and Mary Ann Moser) died 1859, Claiborne County, Tennessee, buried: Pleasant Point Cemetery, Claiborne Co., Tennessee. Anna died 5-Apr-1868, Claiborne County, Tennessee, buried: Pleasant Point Cemetery, Claiborne County, Tennessee.
VII. William Owsley (son of John Owsley and Charity Barton) born 9-Apr-1796, Tennessee, married (1) ABT 1815, in Tennessee, Mary Sharp, born ABT 1797, (daughter of Henry Sharp and Elizabeth Moser), died ABT 1855, married (2) 1855/60, in Missouri, Sarah Watson, born 26-Jun-1800, died 13-Jun-1884, Johnson County, Missouri, buried: Wall Cemetery, Johnson County, Missouri. William died 11-Mar-1875, Johnson County, Missouri, buried: Wall Cemetery, Johnson County, Missouri.
It appears William Owsley and his family moved to Indiana in 1828, probably at the same time as his younger brother, Robert. According to census records, William had moved back to Tennessee by 1830. William and his family were close neighbors in Grainger County, Tennessee, with his nephews, Thomas Owsley and John Ransom Owsley. Their last names were spelled Housley in the 1830 Grainger County census. Shortly after 1830, William Owsley moved back to Indiana. After 1835, he moved to Missouri and was listed as living in Van Buren County, Missouri, in 1840, and Cass County, Missouri, in 1850. In 1860 and 1870, he lived in Johnson County, Missouri. William Owsley was a Baptist preacher.
CHILDREN OF JOHN OWSLEY AND UNKNOWN:
VIII. Joseph Owsley (son of John Owsley) born ABT 1790, Tennessee, married ABT 1812, in Tennessee, Phoebe Longmire, born ABT 1797, North Carolina, (daughter of John Longmire and Nancy Marshall) died AFT 1880, Campbell County, Tennessee. Joseph died BET 1870-1880, Campbell or Union County, Tennessee.
IX. Amy (Ann) Housley (daughter of John Owsley) born ABT 1793, Tennessee, married 18-Sep-1809, in Grainger County, Tennessee, Samuel Gilmore, born BET 1780-1790, in probably Georgia, (son of John Gilmore) died February 1848, Osage County, Missouri. Amy died BET 1850-1860, in probably Barton County, Missouri.
X. Elizabeth Housley (daughter of John Owsley) born 17-Jun-1795, Tennessee, married 31-Aug-1811, Grainger County, Tennessee, Joseph Smith, born 21-Dec- 1792, North Carolina, (son of Thomas Smith and Mary) died 5-Feb-1875, Campbell County, Tennessee. Elizabeth died BET 1860-1864, Campbell County, Tennessee.
XI. Robert Owsley (son of John Owsley) born ABT 1802, Tennessee, married ABT 1818, in Tennessee, Nancy Elizabeth Miller, born ABT 1803, Tennessee, (daughter of Martin Miller) died 1887, Hickory County, Missouri, buried: Guier Cemetery, Hickory County, Missouri. Robert died ABT 1858, Morgan County, Missouri.
Robert Owsley was not listed as a child of John and Charity Owsley in the Bible record which was submitted by Charity Owsley to the government in her request for a widow's pension. Robert Owsley's name can be found in Claiborne County records in 1823 and 1827. According to census records, Robert lived in Putnam County, Indiana in 1830, and Morgan County, Missouri, in 1840 and 1850.
(NOTE: DNA tests conducted in 2003 proved, without a doubt, that Robert Owsley was a son of John Owsley of Claiborne County, Tennessee.)
Nancy Rebecca Owsley Morris (1871-1929) related the follwing remarks to her descendants concerning her grandfather, Robert Owsley. "Robert and one of his brothers had their names removed from the family Bible. His brother (she did not know a name) married a half breed Indian and was disowned. The Owsleys were hard-shell or primitive Baptists and did not believe in dancing. Robert went to a neighbor's house on business at a time when a dance was in progress. His parents found out about it and removed his name from the Bible." It has been related to this writer from several descendants of Robert's older brother, Joseph Owsley, that Joseph was disowned for marrying Phoebe Longmire who was said to be full or half Indian. Along with Robert, Joseph's name was not in the family Bible record.
It now appears likely that Robert was the son of John Owsley, but not by Charity Barton. Robert's mother (name unknown) is believed to have lived in Grainger County, Tennessee.
1790 Wilkes County, North Carolina Census
0 males - over age 16
4 males - under age 16
2 females - all ages
1830 Claiborne County, Tennessee Census
1 male age 70-80
1 female age 70-80, 1 female age 15-20
1840 Claiborne County, Tennessee Census
1 male age 80-90
1 female age 80-90
MONUMENT - JOHN OWSLEY AND CHARITY BARTON
PLEASANT POINT CEMETERY
CLAIBORNE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
REVOLUTIONARY WAR MARKER - JOHN OWSLEY
PLEASANT POINT CEMETERY
CLAIBORNE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
John Owsley, son of John Owsley and Charity Barton
Killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811
Battle of Tippecanoe Monument and Plaque
Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County, Indiana
Tintype photograph (est. 1857/59) of Elizabeth Keck Yadon (standing),
and her husband. William Proctor Yadon (sitting).
The older lady sitting beside William is believed to be Elizabeth’s mother,
Anna Owsley Keck, daughter of John Owsley and Charity Barton.
Photograph submitted by Judith Anne Polodna Wilkinson
John Keck and Anna Owsley Keck Gravestone
Pleasant Point Cemetery
Claiborne County, Tennessee
Matthew Ousley Gravestone
Graves Ousley Cemetery
Union County, Tennessee
Sarah Keck Ousley Gravestone
Union County, Tennessee
William Owsley Gravestone
Johnson County, Missouri
Sarah Watson Owsley Gravestone
Johnson County, Missouri
Joseph Owsley and Phoebe Longmire Owsley Gravestone
Bakers Forge Memorial Cemetery
Campbell County, Tennessee
Joseph Smith Gravestone
(Note: Joseph was the husband of Elizabeth Housley Smith.)
Bakers Forge Memorial Cemetery
Campbell County, Tennessee
Nancy Elizabeth Miller Owsley Gravestone
(NOTE: Nancy was the wife of Robert Owsley)
Guier Cemetery, Hickory County, Missouri
(Were they daughters of John Owsley?)