Jesse Shelton and His Pegram Plantation

Jesse Shelton, my sixth-great-grandfather, once owned a plantation in present-day Pegram, Cheatham County, Tennessee. His land was on Turner Creek and the Big Harpeth River according to his 1809 deed. The below map marks that spot and has an estimate of what his 640-acre spread (one square mile) might have looked like to help you get an idea of large his plantation was.

In this article, I will document what we know that is supported by records.

*Note: Cheatham County, Tennessee was part of Davidson County until 1856. Jesse’s land and home would be in present-day Cheatham, not Davidson.

Wives

Jesse’s first wife is unknown. He didn’t marry Elizabeth Lacy until 1805, when most of his children were already born. Elizabeth did refer to all of Jesse’s children as her own in her will in Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1843.

Children

Maria Shelton, abt. 1789?–1831
married Micajah McQuary

Franklin Shelton, abt. 1795?–1839
married Nancy Shelton

William H Shelton, 1797–1853
married Jane Gower

Elizabeth Betsy Shelton, abt. 1799–1856
married Thomas DeMoss

Jesse Shelton, 1802–after 1880
married Sarah Barclift

Washington G Shelton, 1803–1863
married Lucadia Taylor

Priscilla Shelton, 1808– abt. 1870
married Enos Evans

Timeline

1751 – 1760: Jesse Shelton was born in Louisa County, Virginia. His father was William Shelton. William’s home, where Jesse would have likely grown up, was called Red House plantation. (1830 Census; Deeds; Louisa, Virginia court cases 109-1843-009 and 109-1850-013) I have not yet found documented proof of his mother.

5 Apr 1788: Cornelius Dabney granted land to William Shelton. Jesse was a witness.
Cornelius Dabney to William Shelton, both of Louisa Co. St. Martins Par; £63-8s-9 for 361/4 acres adjoining Dabney and Shelton. wit. James Shelton, Jesse Shelton, William Shelton, Jr., Philemon Frayser. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book: E, Page: 299, http://trevilians.com)

26 Aug 1795: William Shelton of Louisa County, Virginia gives to his son, Jesse, a tract of land containing 394 acres. This also references that Jesse is currently living in Goochland, Virginia. William Shelton of Louisa to Jesse Shelton of Goochland for 5s and natural love William bears his son, Jesse, and for his support and maintenance all of tract I purchased of David and George Hudson on Owens Creek Louisa County containing 394 acres. Also land I now live on reserving my life in same. Sig. William Shelton. wit. Wm. Lovell, Wm. Foster, James Addams. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book I, Page 75, http://trevilians.com)

31 Oct 1800: William Shelton of Louisa County, Virginia writes his will. To Jesse, he leaves slaves named Simon, Juda and Fanny. The will was proven 12 Jan. 1801. (Louisa County, Virginia, Will Book: 4, Page: 137)

13 Sep 1802: This Louisa County, Virginia deed mentions Jesse. Francis Underwood and wife, Nancey, to Matthew Grubbs; 267 Lb. 12s adjoining Jesse Shelton, Humphrey Parrish, William Slater, William Powers, John Hancock, Jesse Haiden. 223 acres and house . No wit. Rec. 13 Sep 1802. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book: J, Page: 452, http://trevilians.com)

4 Mar 1803: In Louisa County, Virginia, a deed from George Adams and his wife, Agnes, to Thomas Shelton mentions the land is beside Jesse Shelton. George Adams and Agnes his wife of Louisa to Thomas Shelton of same for £103-15s current money of Va. for tract in Louisa on Owen’s Creek cont. 411/2 acres being part of tract said Adams now lives adjoining Adams, Shelton, Jesse Shelton, Thomas Shelton. Wit. Reubin Ford, Alexander Kersey, Nathaniel Burford, James Dabney Shelton. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book: J, Page: 508, http://trevilians.com)

10 Mar 1803: When George Adams wrote his will, he also mentions his land is by Jesse Shelton. Will George Adams of Louisa, to my wife Agness that part of my land my son Wilson now resides on the line dividing Louisa from Goochland adjoining Three Notched Road, Jesse Shelton, the county line, cattle, bed & furniture, plantation tools, etc, Negro named Moses, £40 of “the redemption money” during her natural life. to son James land whereon I reside, bed and furniture and residue of personal estate. Also land and other properties lent to wife at her death to be equally divided between my children viz. 1/9 to son Wilson, 1/9 to son John, 1/9 to son Jonas, 1/9 to dau. Susannah, 1/9 to dau. Elizabeth; 1/9 to dau Nancy; 1/9 to dau. Mary 1/9 to be equally divided between Robert A. Uclride? and Lewis Uclride the sons of my dau. Mildred; 1/9 equally divided between Nancy Thomas and Fanny Thomas the children of my dau. Sarah now dec’d. My residue [sic] for not making my son William a legatee in my will is I have already provided for him other ways., Appoint my son James and son John to execute my will. 10 Mar 1803. wit. Thomas Shelton, James D. Shelton, Alexander Kersy. Sig. George (x) Addams. Recorded 14 Feb 1814. (Louisa County, Virginia Cty. Lou, Book: 5, Page: 460 http://trevilians.com)

24 Apr 1805: Jesse marries Elizabeth Lacy in Goochland, Virginia. Since most of Jesse’s children were born before 1805, this indicates his marriage to Elizabeth Lacy was at least his second marriage. Family trees credit her as being the mother of all his children, but this isn’t possible.

13 Nov 1805: Jesse Shelton is still living in Louisa County, Virginia. A deed where Francis Underwood granted Matthew Grubbs land mentions Jesse. Francis Underwood to Matthew Grubbs £20 8s. adjoining Jesse Shelton, Jesse Haiden, John Hancock, Matthew Grubbs 17 1/2 acres. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book: K, Page: 195, http://trevilians.com)

13 Oct 1806: Jesse Shelton is mentioned in a deed. William Johnson and Sally his wife of Goochland to Robert Johnson his brother of Louisa for ?100-4s all their interest in tract deeded them by Elizabeth Johnson their mother in whose possess land now stands cont. 88? acres adjoining Majr. Thomas Shelton, Matthew Farrar, James Dabney, Jesse Shelton. Sig. William and Sally Johnson. (Louisa County, Virginia Deed Book: K, Page: 296, http://trevilians.com)

7 Aug 1807: Jesse’s daughter Maria Shelton marries Micajah McQuary in Davidson County, Tennessee. Bondsman is Pleasant McQuary.

13 Feb. 1809: Jesse Shelton bought 640 acres of land on the north side of the Big Harpeth River on Turner’s Creek. The land was purchased from John and Thomas Blount on Feb. 13, 1809, and recorded in Dec. 1809. (Davidson County, Tennessee Land Deeds)

29 Sep 1810: Jesse Shelton and Micajah McQuarry witness the sell of a slave named Moses to Mary Sadler from Thomas Sadler.

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16 Aug 1810: Jesse sells 250 acres on the Big Harpeth River to Francis Newsom. The record for this is found in the Grantee-Grantor indexes in Davidson county, Tennessee. The reference book I, page 11 is given, however, that page is missing from the scanned book on FamilySearch.org.

1811: Jesse was listed on the Davidson County tax list near Daniel Martin, John Anderson, Robert Anderson, Thomas Sadler, Abraham Smith, Eli Smith, William Howard, John Harwood, William Reaves, James Reaves, and Philip Cloyd to name a few. (Tennessee, Early Tax List Records)

1812: “Jesse Shelton Senior” was listed on the Davidson County, Tennessee tax list. *His sons that were listed also would be at least 21 years old.

Jesse Junior
William H, 204 acres, 4 slaves
Washington G, 2 slaves
Jesse Senior, 160 acres, 5 slaves

13 Jun 1812: Jesse, assignee of John Caffrey and George Deadrick, registers eight acres on “Turners or Parners Creek”. This indicates Turners Creek was also known as Parners — and explains why I couldn’t find it on a map. (Tennessee Early Land Registers)

00 --  JS1812.PNG

14 Feb 1814: Will George Adams of Louisa, to my wife Agness that part of my land my son Wilson now resides on the line dividing Louisa from Goochland adjoining Three Notched Road, Jesse Shelton, the county line, cattle, bed & furniture, plantation tools, etc, Negro named Moses, £40 of “the redemption money” during her natural life. to son James land whereon I reside, bed and furniture and residue of personal estate. Also land and other properties lent to wife at her death to be equally divided between my children viz. 1/9 to son Wilson, 1/9 to son John, 1/9 to son Jonas, 1/9 to dau. Susannah, 1/9 to dau. Elizabeth; 1/9 to dau Nancy; 1/9 to dau. Mary 1/9 to be equally divided between Robert A. Uclride? and Lewis Uclride the sons of my dau. Mildred; 1/9 equally divided between Nancy Thomas and Fanny Thomas the children of my dau. Sarah now dec’d. My residue [sic] for not making my son William a legatee in my will is I have already provided for him other ways., Appoint my son James and son John to execute my will. 10 Mar 1803. wit. Thomas Shelton, James D. Shelton, Alexander Kersy. Sig. George (x) Addams. Recorded 14 Feb 1814. (Cty. Lou, Virginia, Book: 5, Page: 460, George Adams, Will)

14 Jan. 1815: Jesse found a bay mare near Newsom’s Mill. The below article ran in the Jan. 17, 1815 edition of the Nashville Whig.

00 -- Jesse Sh Horse

14 Oct 1817: Jesse Shelton places an ad for land for sale in the Nashville newspaper The Clarion and Tennessee State Gazette.

00 Jesse Shelton land

19 Feb 1818: Jesse, assignee of Robert Searcy, purchases eight acres of land between Sam’s Creek and Dog Creek. (Tennessee Early Land Registers)

41659_290549-00410.jpg

7 Aug 1820: Jesse Shelton and his family, along with eighteen slaves, are listed on the census near neighbors Nathaniel Gilliam, Machac Pinckston, Bartholomew Stephens, Andrew Work, Greenbury Greer, and Thomas Loftin.

Name: Jesse Shelton
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Davidson, Tennessee
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 18: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 8
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 1
Slaves – Males – 45 and over: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 3
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 3
Slaves – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves – Females – 45 and over: 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 13
Free White Persons – Under 16: 2
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Slaves: 18
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 24

21 Jul 1823: Jesse Shelton has a letter waiting at the Nashville post office. (Nashville Whig newspaper)

25 Feb 1826: Jesse bought 25 acres on Turner Creek on the border of his already-owned land. (Tennessee Early Land Registers)

41659_290544-00297.jpg

15 Dec 1828: Jesse Shelton wrote his will. (Davidson County, Tennessee, Vol. 9, page 529)

1830: Jesse and his family are listed on the census. His age is 70 – 79.

Name: Jesse Shelton
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Davidson, Tennessee
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 60 thru 69: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 10: 4
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 4
Slaves – Males – 55 thru 99: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 3
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 3
Slaves – Females – 55 thru 99: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total Slaves: 16
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 20

25 Aug 1831: Jesse’s will is probated in Davidson County, Tennessee. (Vol. 9, page 529)

004769072_00615

Details of Will

Wife, Elizabeth
Slaves to Elizabeth: Simon, Venus, Roger, Rachel, and Fainy
Also to Elizabeth: his household, kitchen furniture, tools of every kind, and two horses
At the end of her widowhood, all of her property should be sold and the profit divided among all children, except Maria, which her children are to have together but on part equal to one of the children named above

Daughter, Maria’s children 
Slaves to Maria’s children: Milley and her children, along with Nanny and Allen

Son, William
Slaves to William: Fleming, Aaron and Stephen

Son, Jesse
Slaves to Jesse: Patrick, Delphia and Cato

Son, Washington
Slaves to Washington: Robert, Sally, Charles and Maria

Daughter, Elizabeth
Slaves to Elizabeth: Fanny, Miriam, Charles and Fanny daughter of Rachel

Daughter, Priscilla
Slaves to Priscilla: Nancy, Susannah, Niles (?) and Dorinda

Son, Franklin
Slaves to Franklin: Leonard, Charles, George and Matt

Sons William, Jesse, Washington Green and Franklin are named executors of this will. They provided $10,000 in court as bond to Thomas Demoss.

*Some of the land deals and other records may refer to Jesse’s son, Jesse, if not indicated as Sr./Jr.

Originally posted August 11, 2020

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