William Rountree (c1765 – 1836)

We have only circumstantial evidence that this William Rountree was the same person as Richardson Rountree’s son William.  But that evidence is overwhelming – and is treated in a separate page.

The earliest record of him was on 22 June 1789 when his application “to keep a Tavern or Public House” in Union County, South Carolina was approved by the court.1  This endeavor must not have lasted long, because nine months later, on 26 March 1790, William “Roundtree” of Union County purchased 100 acres in Laurens District.  A later record suggests that he may have operated a tavern there as well.2  He was probably the same William “Rouentree” listed in the 1790 census of Laurens County.3  That listing shows a total of two males over 16 and three females, although he was, we think, childless at the time. These extra persons may have been relatives of his wife.

The 1790 land purchase was from Denny Anderson of Spartanburgh County.  By 21 September 1790, Denny Anderson was suing William Rountree in the Spartanburgh County court.4  After several continuances, the case was resolved in Anderson’s favor on 13 June 1792.5    At least two witnesses from outside the county were paid for travel of 96 and 120 miles, respectively, suggesting that the dispute itself took place outside Spartanburgh County.  On 17 January 1794, William Rountree sued Dudley Red in the same court.6  James Rountree, evidently his brother, was a witness on his behalf, and was paid for travel from outside the county.  (James Rountree was, from other records, living in Union County at the time.)

On 12 April 1800 he sold the land purchased in 1790, and on 2 February 1801 bought 55 acres in adjoining Greenville District (witnessed by Patsy and Isaac Gray) and another 200 acres in Laurens District.7  There was no William Rountree in the 1800 census of Laurens, but there was one in neighboring Greenville District, with his brother-in-law William Goldsmith living nearby.  He and his wife were both aged 26-45 with two boys and one girl in the household, all under the age of ten, thus matching his known family profile. There were also three slaves in the household. (I might note that this is the only William Rountree enumerated anywhere other than his uncle, the brother of Richardson Rountree.)   William Rountree appears periodically at this time in the records of both Greenville and Laurens Districts, which abutted one another, mostly as a witness to deeds.

He added to his land in Laurens by purchases of adjoining property on 28 March 1803 (225 acres) and 3 February 1805 (83 acres).  The land was still referred to as “lands of William Rountree” in an 1806 survey.8

In 1806 William Rountree was charged with the murder of one Thomas Owens in Laurens District, based on circumstantial evidence. Although indicted in early 1807, he was eventually acquitted. [See separate page on the murder indictment.] Perhaps as a result, he soon left South Carolina.

He moves to Tennessee, becomes a justice

Two years later we find him in Tennessee.   It appears that William Rountree and his brother Thomas Rountree migrated at about the same time to Bedford (later Lincoln) County.   William seems to have moved into the southern part of Bedford County, Tennessee which in early 1810 became Lincoln County.   The earliest records of Bedford County no longer exist, so we’re not sure exactly when he moved into the area.9   However, he entered two land claims in September 1809 and on 11 October 1810 he received three Tennessee land grants for a total of 183 acres on the north side of the Elk River just east of Fayetteville, and containing a creek which was later referred to as “Rountree’s Creek”.10  All three patents were recorded in Lincoln County on 9 March 1811.11   The Elk River runs northeast to southwest through the county and into Alabama. Fayetteville, the Lincoln County seat, lies about 30 miles due north of Huntsville, the seat of what was to become Madison County, Alabama.

The earliest court records of Lincoln County mention William Rountree several times. On 26 February 1810, a few months after the state legislature created it, William Rountree was commissioned as one of the county’s first justices.  At he same meeting, he was nominated for sheriff, but received no votes.12   Jesse O. Tate was appointed a constable and a few months later, on 8 May, William Rountree and Jesse O. Tate witnessed the sale of a female slave to Zedekiah Tate, who was (or would become) William Rountree’s son-in-law.13

On 20 June 1810 the Lincoln County court ordered a road to be laid out “from where the road leading to Huntsville to Squire Rountree’s ford on Elk River intersects with the state line…”14   On 26 November that same year another road jury was instructed to lay out a road “from Squire Roundtree’s ford on the Elk River, the nearest and best way to the county line…”15  The ford evidently included a ferry, for a 12 March 1811 court record refers to “Roundtree’s ferry.”16

He moves south into Alabama

William Rountree’s stay in Tennessee was very short. He likely was attracted to the same fertile land and somewhat larger population thirty or so miles to the south at Huntsville, in what was then Madison County, Mississippi Territory.   He may also have anticipated that Huntsville would become the Alabama state capital, however temporarily. Indeed, at the same time he was acquiring land in Lincoln County, he was also obtaining patents on the other side of the state line in what would shortly become Alabama.  On 18 September 1809 as William Rountree of Bedford County, Tennessee, he was claiming two patents in northern Madison County.17

He apparently moved across the state line sometime in the spring of 1812, perhaps leaving a son behind on the Lincoln County land. He was mentioned as a justice in Lincoln County as late as 10 March 181218 but four months later, on 10 July 1812, he was being sued as a resident of Madison County.19) On 20 December 1812 the Governor of the Mississippi Territory appointed him a Justice of the Peace for Madison County.20  Following statehood, the Governor reappointed him a J.P. in 1820, and he served continuously in that position until his death in 1836.21

He sold his land in Tennessee after moving into Alabama. On 25 January 1814, one part was sold to John Isbell.22  The land patented in Madison County in 1809 was, however, held until his death and was clearly his homestead, for it was the land he described in his will as the land he lived on.  He entered additional land in Lauderdale County, Alabama on 6 March 181823 and patented fractional sections in Madison County in 1830, 1834, and 1835.

The 1809 census of Madison County (found in the Territorial Papers), as expected, does not list any Rountree.   The 1816 census of the Mississippi Territory, which included Alabama, lists William Rountree in Madison County.  The 1820 federal census for Alabama no longer exists, except for a few scattered counties.

The divorce from Sally Hopt

William Rountree and his wife Sally separated about the time he moved into Alabama and she may have remained in Tennessee.  In November 1814 Thomas and William Allen obtained a judgment in Lincoln County against  Zedekiah Tate, and attempted to seize his slaves as payment.24  On 20 March 1815, William Rountree convinced the court that the slaves did not belong to Tate by explaining that he had given the slaves to Tate for the support of his wife Sally Rountree.  Tate attempted to return the slaves, but the court ruled that he must continue to hold the property.  William deeded additional slaves to Tate, as trustee for Sally, in 1822 – or perhaps merely formalized the arrangement made years earlier.25

In 1822 William and Sally entered into a divorce action, which culminated in an Act of the Alabama legislature which dissolved the marriage.  More details are in a separate document.

Sally’s identity is uncertain.  Since this is a worth covering in more detail, it is also treated in a separate document:  Identity of Sally Rountree.

It isn’t clear what happened to Sally Rountree after the divorce.  A “Sarah Rowntree” married John Williams on 8 September 1825 in Madison County, but whether that was her or not is unknown.26

William Rountree remarries to Harriet Sherrod

William Rountree, however, did remarry, to “Miss” Harriet Sherrod of Limestone County, on 28 December 1826 as reported in The Huntsville Democrat.27   Prior to the marriage they executed a marriage contract, dated 7 November 1826 and recorded in the Madison County court on 20 December 1826.28   Harriet Sherrod relinquished her dower right to 400 acres where William then lived and to his slaves in exchange for a one-fifth share of his estate…which is an equal share with William’s present children.29 Any property he acquired after the marriage and two town lots in Tuscumbia were to be vested in her and her “children, if we should have any.”

William Rountree’s new wife Harriet was apparently the eldest daughter of John Sherrod, who appeared in the 1830 census of Limestone County.  Her father died sometime later that year, as a petition by his administrator to sell his real estate, 160 acres, was recorded in the Limestone County Orphans Court on 10 October 1830.30   Among the heirs summoned were Lawrence and Wiley B. Sherrod, William Rountree, and minors Mary Moore, Albert, and Carr B. Sherrod by their guardian was Clement T. Baldwin, and minors John and Robert Sherrod by their guardian William T. Gamble.

The 1830 census of Madison County lists William Rountree with one male 10-15 (?), two males 20-30 (?), one male 50-60 (William), one female 20-30 and 22 slaves.

Aside:  Other Rountrees in Madison County

There were other Rountrees in Madison County in the 1830 census, including one other William Rountree.   From about 1815 through the early 1830s, William Rountree’s first cousin Woodson Rountree was also living in Madison County.   Although his complete family is uncertain, Madison County records establish that Woodson Rountree had children named Thomas B., Benjamin W., James, Robert, Jane, and Martha Mary.  There were probably other children as well.  It appears that the entire family left Madison County by 1840.  The 1830 census shows a William Rountree “Jr.”, aged 40-50, whose identity is unknown.  He was clearly not the son of William Rountree (“Jr.” not implying kinship, but merely used to differentiate him from the elder person of the same name).  Could he have been Woodson Rountree’s brother, recently arrived from South Carolina?  His land claims and deeds place him in the vicinity of Woodson Rountree.  An 1833 deed establishes that his wife was named Elizabeth.  He does not seem to appear in Madison County records until 1827 at the earliest, when it becomes unclear which William Rountree might apply to some records.  He then seems to disappear before 1840, when no William Rountree appears in the Alabama census.  An Elizabeth Rountree, who may be his widow, appears in the 1840 Jackson County census with a household that generally matches.  One uncertain record is the William Rountree who administered the estate of a widower named Samuel Mitchell in 1827 and who was guardian to his minor sons through the early 1830s.  If that were our William, it is possible the two unknown males in his 1830 household were the two orphaned Mitchell sons.

William Rountree’s final days

On 2 May 1834 William Rountree and Harriet deeded 111 acres to Clement T. Baldwin (which land William had acquired by grant in 1830), apparently in trust for his daughter Milly Tate.31   On the same date, he deeded his homestead land to his son Seaborn J. Rountree, with possession deferred until his death.32   Less than a year later, on 10 January 1835, Seaborn and Elizabeth Rountree, perhaps planning a move to Texas, deeded the land back to William Rountree.33  This latter deed was for “the tract of land which William Rountree Senr. conveyed to said Seaborn J. Rountree” and included “the part that Seaborn J. Rountree is now in possession of” as well as the portion he “was to have at the death of said William Rountree Senr.”

William Rountree made his will, signing it as “Rowntree”, on 22 February 1836, and it was recorded in the Madison County court on 3 January 1837.34   The relevant portions are worth repeating (spelling errors corrected except in names, and punctuation added for clarity):35

…First I desire to be decently buried near where my son William lies if I should die at or near home without any unnecessary expense.  And as touching my worldly goods I wish all of my just debts to be paid then I wish my wife Harriet to have the negroes that I have purchased since our marriage, except Enoch and John which is to balance against some negroes I bought with some money that was on hand previous to our marriage, to wit: Annis, Sip, and Daniel those last named negroes and Arramenter with Annis’ children that she has at this timeand all their increase.  I wish her to have my Hericain [read Hurricane Creek] land and the stock that belongs there and all the plantation tools, wagon that belongs there and the crop, also two beds and furniture and bedsteads of her own choice after making the beds and steads and furniture as equal as possible, also to have one half of all my household furniture, one dining table and a small dressing table and glass; which she is to take the above property at my death without waiting for any administration, to have the property forever and at her own disposal, and that to be her part of my estate in full.

The remainder of my property and estate to be equally divided among Seborn J. Rountree, Milly Tate, Chesley B. Rountree’s children and Nancey Donohoo’s children, taking into view the property that I let said Seborn and Milley have in December 1833 which was valued by Gross Scruggs and Waddy Tate.  Seborn recd thirteen hundred dollars and Milley recd one thousand and fifty dollars.  Now I wish said Milly Tate to have two hundred and fifty dollars and Chesley B. Rowntree’s children thirteen hundred dollars and Nancey Donohoo’s children to have thirteen hundred dollars and then the balance of my estate equally divided amongst the above four legatees, to wit: Seborn J. Rowntree, Milley Tate, Chesley B. Rowntree’s children, and Nancey Donohoo’s children – except what money is on hand and all that is owing after my death debts are all paid I wish the balance to be divided into five equal parts and my wife Harrietto have one part, the other four to the above legatees.  I wish my Executors to act justly with those legatees who have lost their parent.  I also wish Seborn J. Rountree [and] Clement T. Baldwin to act as executors…What I mean by my wife having half of my household furniture is one bureau and half of my glass and crockeryware and kitchen utensils.

The will references the earlier deed to Seaborn Rountree, and apparently the deed to Clement T. Baldwin for Milly Tate. The will also provides a clue to William Rountree’s likely burial place, which is presumably the land he patented in 1809 and still owned at his death.  Assuming that William Rountree was buried on his own land, his grave should be northwest of Huntsville, Alabama.  His plantation included much of Township 1, Range 3 not far outside the city limits of Huntsville.  No record of any cemetery exists today.

Harriet, the widow, appears to have disputed the distribution of land, but I did not screen the relevant records, noting only that she brought an equity action against Seaborn J. Rountree as executor over land.36   The issue must have been settled, for she transferred 333 acres (which William had acquired by patent in 1834) to her own son, Albert Sherrod, in 1840.37   Harriet does not appear to be a head of household in the 1840 census, and was perhaps living with a relative.

As an historical side note, the inventory of the estate did not include “two Negro men being run off and could not be found, and two old Negroes a man and a woman not supposed to be worth anything.”38  The final settlement is undated, but included payments to Harriet Sherrod, the four children of Chesley B. Rountree, the three children of Nancy Donohoo, Milly Tate, and Seaborn J. Rountree.39

The five children:

William Rountree had five children.  Sally Hopt was probably the mother of all five.  She declared in the divorce case that they were married in 1793, but William’s statement was that they had married 31 or 32 years before 1822.   Unfortunately, there are no Laurens District marriage records extant for that period.  The 1800 census record seems to match the known facts.

  1. Seaborn Jones Rountree (11 August 1792 – 1885?) See separate page.
  2. Chesley B. Rountree  (c1795 – 1832/3)  I’m not sure whether Chesley or Seaborn was the eldest, for we have no good clues to his age.  What evidence we have suggests he was the younger of the two.  The first sighting of him is his witness to a deed on 5 June 1817 in Madison County.40   However, he was appointed ranger for the newly formed Lauderdale County in February 181841, commissioned as Sheriff in 1820, and tax collector in 1821.42   He was “of Lauderdale County” in 1822 when he bought slaves on two occasions.43   He was still Sheriff of Lauderdale County in 182244 but was said to be a former Sheriff when charged with gaming in 1824.45

    He appears to have been the father of the illegitimate child mentioned in his fathers’ divorce action (see below).  He married Lucinda Catherine Sessums on 28 February 1822 in Lawrence County, Tennessee (which bordered Lauderdale County to the north).46   The 1830 census is the only one in which he appears as head of household, and his age is given as 30-40.47   There were three sons and one daughter in the household, matching later records of the children, plus 12 slaves.  Chesley B. Rountree’s death in Lauderdale County was reported in the 19 March 1833 issue of a Nashville newspaper.48  One secondary source indicates that a will exists.49 Another record says he died intestate, which seems to be the case.50  In 1838, the widow Lucinda remarried to John Keenan in Giles County, Tennessee (north of Lauderdale).  In 1839, Richard Sessums and John Keenan,  in right of his wife, filed a final settlement and petitioned to partition the land and negroes among the widow and four children.51 The entire family apparently remained in Keenan’s household in Tennessee for the next few years.

    Sometime about 1845 John and Lucinda Keenan moved to Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, where John Keenan became the county Treasurer.52   [Their son Walter A. Keenan, born October 1845, consistently gives his birthplace as Texas.]  They brought with them the two younger Rountree sons, three children of Keenan’s by a prior marriage, and two children of Keenan’s by Lucinda Sessums Rountree.  John Keenan died in February 1850 according to the mortality schedule, and left a will dated 11 February 1850 and proved 25 March 1850 naming his wife and five Keenan children.53   The 1850 census of Walker County shows Lucinda living with her sons Leonidas C. Rountree and John M. Rountree.  Her son Walter A. Keenan and daughter Alice L. Keenan were in the same household.  Lucinda gave her age as 42 in the 1850 census, and as 55 in 1860.

    2.1.   Thomas Paine Rountree (c1817 – aft1880)   Thomas was clearly the illegitimate child referenced in the William Rountree 1822 divorce papers.  An Act of the Alabama Legislature in 1822, which called him “the natural child of Chesney (sic) B. Rountree”, changed his name from “Thomas Paine Dameron” to Thomas Paine Rountree.54  He was the male aged 15-20 in Chesley’s 1830 household, though his age appears to have been overstated.  He was acknowledged as a son and heir of Chesley in the settlements of both his father’s and grandfather’s estates.  Richard Sessums was his guardian after his father’s death, but he reached the age of 21 sometime before 14 November 1839.55  He is in the 1850 census of Rusk County, Texas , the 1860 and 1870 census of Hays County, and the 1880 census of Blanco County.  Thomas gives his age as 33, 41, 52, and 60 in these four censuses.  His wife in each census was named Eveline A., and the children were:  Henry C. Rountree [“Thomas” in 1850] (c1841), Leonidas A. Rountree (c1843), James O. Rountree (c1848), Chesley B. Rountree (c1853), and Samuel H. Rountree (c1855).  The son Henry (Thomas) was born in Arkansas, the son Leonidas in Tennessee, and the rest in Texas.

    2.2.   Leonidas C. Rountree (1827 – 11 December 1875)  He served in the Mexican War in 1846, for his wife later applied for a pension.  He evidently came to Walker County, Texas about 1845 or 1846 with his mother and stepfather.  According to his widow’s  pension application file, he enlisted in the Mexican War from Walker County, Texas on 9 June 1846 and was discharged as a sergeant on 2 October 1846 [see footnote for file summary].56   His stepfather’s 1850 will (see above) mentions a tavern in which he and his mother were partners – presumably the semi-famous Keenan House in Huntsville.  He and his brother John were also in some sort of business together in Walker County.  The 1850 census shows him as a single man, a tavern keeper, with his widowed mother (age 44) and stepbrother Walter A. Keenan (age 6) in the household.  His brother John was enumerated next door with apparently another step-sibling, Alice L. Keenan (age 6).  He married Anna Eliza Smither on 19 June 1851 in Walker County.57    In 1860 he and his brother were still next door to one another, and Leonidas’ household included himself, his wife, and four children.  He was not found in the 1870 census, which is incomplete for Walker County.  [His widow’s pension application says he resided in Walker County for about 20 years after 1846 then resided in Galveston for 11 years.  However, he is not in the 1870 census for Galveston, or indeed anywhere in Texas.]  He is presumably the same Lee C. Rountree who was a major commanding a cavalry unit  (the 35th cavalry) in the Civil War, though his wife’s pension application does not mention it..  He died of “heart disease” in St. Louis, Missouri apparently while visiting, on 11 December 1875.58   Again, according to the widow’s pension file, he was interred in Huntsville.  After his death, his family moved to Sherman, Grayson County where his widow and six children were enumerated in the 1880 census.  The West Hill Cemetery in Sherman has gravestones for Leonidas C. Rountree (evidently a memorial), his wife, and six of their children, most marked with only the years of birth and death.  From these gravestones and the 1860 and 1880 censuses, the children were:  a son H. L. Rountree (1852-1910) whose initial was G. in 1860, a daughter M. R. Rountree (c1853), Lee Anna Rountree (1857-1891), Chesley C. Rountree (1859-1923), Ida L. Rountree (1861-1934), Carrie S. Rountree (1863-1957), Mary S. Rountree (1865-1952), and Lella Rountree (c1868).

    2.3.   Catherine E. Rountree  (c1825 – bef1880)  She was the female under 5 in the 1830 census, identified as “Catherine E. Rountree” in the settlement of her father’s estate in 1839, and was still an unmarried minor as late as February 1841.59  The settlement of her grandfather’s estate, which is undated, identified Catherine E. the “wife of Marion C. Brown” as an heir of Chesley B. Rountree.  She must have married Brown by about 1842.  She is surely the Catherine E. Parish, wife of W. A. Parish, who appears near the other members of this family in the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Huntsville, Walker County, Texas.  In both households is Marion C. Brown, age 8 in 1850 and 17 in 1860.  The other children, apparently hers by W. A. Parish, were Joel Parish (c1846), Leonidas C. Parish (c1847), John McKinley Parish (1850), William G. Parish (c1852), and Lucinda E. Parish (c1854).  Catherine and W. A. Parish were probably in the missing part of the 1870 Walker County census, and neither appears in 1880.  The sons Joel and John M are both listed in 1880 as deputy sheriffs of Walker County, with William G. listed as a cotton broker.

    2.4.   John McKinley Rountree (24 August 1829 – 30 January 1888)  He presumably moved with his mother to Walker County about 1845 as well.  In 1850 he was in the Huntsville, Walker County census next door to his brother Leonidas, enumerated as a clerk.  He married Mary Jane Lowe on 30 May 1855 in Walker County.60   She died on 4 April 1858 according to her gravestone in the Oakwood Cemetery, and sometime before 1860 he remarried to a woman named Eliza Jane.  The 1860 Walker County census shows them still living next door to Leonidas Rountree, with his mother and his two Keenan step-siblings in the household.  Interestingly, he is listed with more than ten times the assets he owned in 1850.  The 1870 Walker County census is mostly missing, so he is not in the extant records, but in 1880 he is listed with his wife Eliza J. and three children:  Mollie B. Rountree (c1865), John Markham Rountree (1871-1930), and Thomas Hamilton Rountree (c1873).  His gravestone in the Oakwood Cemetery gives his birth and death dates, with records of both wives.  His son John Markham Rountree is also buried there.  J. G. Rountree’s book does not mention the daughter Mollie at all, and attributes to him a daughter named Irene Eleanor, born 1856, by his first marriage, but there is no such child in the 1860 census household.61   The book does, however, mention his sister Catherine Parrish and one of his stepsisters.

  3. Mildred Rountree (1790-95 – aft 1860)  Her age is uncertain, being given as 55 in 1850 and 70 in 1860.  She married Zedekiah Tate, probably in Tennessee.  Apart from the several references proving this which are quoted above, the citations issued to the heirs of William Rountree included one to Mildred Tate, widow of Zedekiah Tate, of Lauderdale County.62  According to a Tate family history, he was born about 1782 in North Carolina, the son of Capt. Waddy Tate and Nancy Ann Simpson.63   Mildred may have been Tate’s second wife.  Zedekiah Tate was in Lincoln County, Tennessee on 9 June 1812 when he was commissioned a captain.64   Like his father-in-law, he was listed on the 1816 territorial census of Madison County, and was a surveyor for Madison County in the period 1815-1818.  He moved into Lauderdale County by its formation, where he was appointed a Justice of the Peace and tax collector in 1818 and assessor in 1819.65  A petition was present to the legislature to remove him from his office as a justice of Lauderdale County on 11 November 1820, which might be interesting for descendants to follow up on.66

    Zedekiah Tate died “near Belleview” according to a 4 February 1835 newspaper notice.67   His will, dated 18 January 1833 and proved 19 January 1835 in Lauderdale County, mentions Milly and eight children and names her and son Napolean executors.  Milly appeared in the 1850 census of Lauderdale County, age 55 with the younger children.  That 1850 household includes several children named Tate born after the death of Zedekiah Tate, who may have been children of a deceased son:  Virginia (age 15), Amanda (age 14), and Francis (age 7).  She is in the 1860 census of Lauderdale County, age 70, in the household of Vincent M. Benham.

    The eight children named in Zedekiah Tate’s will were:  Napoleon B. Tate (c1808 – c1838)68, Elmira T. Tate (c1819 – ?) called Elmyra T. Burton in the will, Richard Tate (c1812 – ?) who married  Sarah Yancey 7 September 183769, John A. Tate (c1825 – ?) who married Eliza A. Hough in Lauderdale County on 7 December 1854, Waddy C Tate (c1827 – 1847) who died in Lauderdale County70, Eliza Caroline Tate (c1833 – ?),  Hiram W. Tate (c1827 – 1868?)  who died in Texas according to a notice in the Huntsville Democrat71, and Franklin Sidney Tate (c1831 – ?).   A genealogy of Zedekiah Tate’s ancestry is found in Tate and Allied Families of the South, Ethel S. Updike (1971).

  4. Nancy Rountree (c1800 – c1825)  There was only one female child in her father’s household in 1800, so Nancy was probably born after that census.  She married John Donahoo on 6 May 1817 in Madison County, Mississippi Territory.72   John Donahoo may have been the son of Samuel Donahoo, who patented land there in 1811 and died in Madison County in 1818.73   It is probably the same John Donahoo who is in the 1820 state census of Limestone County (one of the few Alabama counties whose census exists.)  His household includes himself, a wife, a minor male and female, and eleven slaves.74   Nancy must have died about 1825, as John Donahoo remarried in Lauderdale County to Mary Fuqua on 15 November 1826.75   John Donohoo is in the 1830 Lauderdale County census with a household of two males and a female 5-10, one male and one female 10-15, his new wife and himself (age 40-50).  The records of William Rountree’s estate identify three children of Nancy Donahoo as legatees:  Sarah Ann Rountree, who married William Petrie in 183576 and is referred to as Sarah Petrie in the estate records, Elmira Garner (wife of Samuel K. Garner) who is also called Milly in the estate records, and William R. Donahoo.77   John Donohoo is said to be buried in Killen, perhaps his first wife’s burial location as well.78
  5. William Rountree (aft 1800 – by 1826)  Judging from census records, he must have been the youngest child, born after the 1800 census.  He is likely the “little son” Sally Rountree had with her in 1816.  He was clearly deceased, and without heirs of his own, when his father died.  In fact, he must have been dead by 1826 when his father wrote his marriage contract with Harriet Sherrod, for the contract gives Harriet a one-fifth share equal to William Rountree Sr.’s “present children.”  If there were only four children’s shares at the time, one of the children must have died without heirs prior to 1826.  That could only be William Jr.  Although Nancy Donahoo was also dead by then, her own children were legatees in her place and due a child’s share of the estate, as later records show.  William Jr. probably died in Madison County and was buried on the family farm, for his father’s will asks that he be buried “where my son William lies if I should die at or near home.”
  1. Union County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court 1785-1799, Brent Holcomb (1978), p211. []
  2. An 1806 deposition in the murder case (see separate page) says the deponent “went to Wm Rountrees Esq’r after whiskey.” []
  3. 1790 Laurens District, p75:  William Rouentree 2-0-3-0-0.  This is indexed as “Roventree” but appears to read “Rouentree”. []
  4. Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court 1785-1794, Brent H. Holcomb (1980), p138. []
  5. Ibid., p155, p168. []
  6. Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court 1794-1799, Brent H. Holcomb (1980),  p196-7 []
  7. Greenville County Deed Book F, p216 (55 acres on Brush Creek of Reedy River, from William Blythe, witnessed by Patsy and Isaac Gray).  I also note that William Rountree witnessed an Isaac Gray deed of 1801, and was involved in some sort fo lawsuit against Gray in 1800. []
  8. Plat Book A. #88. []
  9. The first Bedford County courthouse in Shelbyville was destroyed by a tornado in 1830.  The replacement was burned in 1863.  Its replacement was destroyed in a fire in 1934. []
  10. Grants #2611, 2618, and 2619.  The latter two grants were entered in September 1809 as assignments from William T. Lewis. #2611 was an assignment of a warrant issued in 1808 to John Keiney, entered in August 1810. []
  11. Lincoln County Minute Docket Book 1[transcribed by DAR, 1936], p43. []
  12. Lincoln County, Tennessee Pioneers, Jane Warren Waller (1976), Vol. 5, p47. []
  13. Waller, p66. []
  14. Waller, p57. []
  15. Waller, pp71-72. []
  16. Lincoln County Minute Docket Book 1[transcribed by DAR, 1936], p47. []
  17. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 4 and Vol. 189 (Madison County plat books) and Vol. 53, p62 (applications for patents). []
  18. Lincoln County Minute Docket Book 1[transcribed by DAR, 1936], p157. []
  19. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 80 (Superior Court Records []
  20. Valley Leaves: A Special Edition (Tennessee Valley Historical Society), Dec. 1969, p23. []
  21. bid., p38. []
  22. Lincoln County Deed Book D-1, p62. []
  23. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 123, p64. []
  24. Waller, p57. []
  25. Waller, pp71-72. []
  26. Madison County Marriage Book C, p 503.  It’s not who this Sarah Rountree was.  Unfortunately, there is no John Williams in the 1830 census of Madison County and there are so many of them in the surrounding counties in Alabama and Tennessee that we can’t determine which one this was.   It is possible she was he divorced wife of William Rountree, but she may have been a daughter of Woodson Rountree or the widow of some other Rountree. []
  27. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 5. []
  28. Madison County Deed Book K, p434.  Also see Madison County Minute Book 4, p84. []
  29. The four “present children” must mean that the son William Jr. was dead by this date.  Although Nancy Donohoo was deceased by this time, her children were legatees of her father’s estate. []
  30. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Volume not noted. []
  31. Madison County Deed Book P, p56 — both deeds on this page. []
  32. Madison County Deed Book P, p56 []
  33. Madison County Deed Book P, p239 []
  34. The petition to probate was dated 3 January 1837 (Minute Book 6, p563) and the will was proved on 9 January 1837 (Probate Record Book 7, p605) The petition to probate was will and probate records are found in several places:  Madison County Orphans Court Records, Book 6, p563 and Book 7, p116; Will Book 6, p574; Probate Record 7, p605; Probate Record 10, p324 and p328. []
  35. Madison County Probate Record Book 7 (1834-1837), p605. []
  36. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 111 quoting Chancery Court Book K, p430. []
  37. Madison County Deed Book U, p382. []
  38. Madison County Probate Book 8, p61. []
  39. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 76 and Vol. 4. []
  40. Madison County Deed Book E (reported in Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 147). []
  41. A History of Lauderdale County, Alabama, Jill Knight Garrett, (1964), p4. []
  42. Lauderdale County Inventory Book (Minute Book) A1, p4. []
  43. Lauderdale County Inventory Book (Minute Book) A1, p88 and p129. []
  44. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 82 (Madison County Chancery Records #46, carrying date of 14 September 1822). []
  45. A History of Lauderdale County, Alabama, Jill Knight Garrett, (1964), p80. []
  46. Loose Marriage Bonds of Lawrence County, Tennessee. []
  47. 1830 census, Lauderdale County, p189:  Chesley B. Rountree 200101-10001-12 []
  48. Obituaries from Early Tennessee Newspapers: 1794-1851, Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr., from the National Banner & Nashville Daily Advertiser issue of 19 March 1833.  See also a mention in Some Lauderdale County, Alabama Cemetery Records, Jill Knight Garrett. []
  49. Lauderdale County Will Book 3, p4 according to Index to Alabama Wills 1808-1890, Alabama DAR (1954). []
  50. Lauderdale County Wills & Estates Book A4, p202. (Petition by Thomas P. Rountree). []
  51. Lauderdale County Wills & Estates Book A3, p287, p291, p296, and Book A4, p202. []
  52. Huntsville and Walker County, Texas: A Bicentennial History, D’Anne McAdams Crews (1976), p327. []
  53. Ibid., p327.  The children named were Dr. Charles G. Keenan, Nancy Barrett, and Mary Wiley (all by a prior wife) and Walter A. Keenan and Alice Leanna Keenan (minors, the children of Lucinda). []
  54. A Digest of the Laws of the State of Alabama… (1928), page 66.  Illegitimate children carried the surname of the mother.  Only a legislative act could alter the name. []
  55. Lauderdale County Wills & Estates Book A3, p291. []
  56. Texas pension application #12869, certificate #2978, widow’s pension #9978.  She applied on 15 July 1895 while living in Sherman, Grayson County.  She stated her maiden name was Anna Eliza Smither and that she was born on 17 November 1832 in Huntington, Carroll County, Tennessee.  Her husband Leonidas C. Rountree was born in Florence, Lauderdale County, Alabama and was 18 at the time of his enlistment (another paper says he was 19).  The files shows he enlisted as a sergeant in Captain Gillespie’s company, under Col. J. C. Hays, 1st Texas Mounted Rifles, “after the battle of Monterey” on 16 May 1846 and was enrolled in Mexican War service on 9 June 1846 at Fort Polk.  He was discharged six months later on 2 October 1846 at Monterey, Mexico.  The widow stated that after leaving the service, he resided at Huntsvile, Walker County, Texas for 20 years, then at Galveston, Texas for 11 years.  He died in St. Louis, Missouri of “heart disease” on 11 December 1875 according to a doctor’s affidavit.  She states his body was interred at Huntsville.  Mrs. Rountree herself died on 24 April 1915, according to this file.  This file included a letter written on A. Sessums & Co. Cotton Factors & Wholesale Grocery Merchants letterhead, dated 29 January 1869, by Leonidas C. Rountree.  The letter is addressed to a company in Huntsville but dated from Galveston, and deals with a business report.  The letter does not imply that he was living in Galveston, rather that he was employed by a Huntsville company to investigate a market in Galveston. []
  57. Walker County Marriage Book 5. []
  58. From the widow’s pension file referenced elsewhere, which includes a document signed by a St. Louis physician. []
  59. Lauderdale County Wills & Estates Book A4, p202. []
  60. Walker County Marriage Book 5. []
  61. Rowntree and Rountree Family History 1521-1953, J. G. Rountree II (1959), p18. []
  62. Madison County Court Record Book 6, p363. []
  63. Tate and Allied Families of the South, Ethel S. Updike (1971), pp8-9 and pp27-8. []
  64. Record of Commissions of Officers in the Tennessee Militia 1796-1815, Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, p181. []
  65. Garrett, p4.  See also Lauderdale County Inventories Book A1, p1 for his bond as tax collector. []
  66. Alabama House Journals. []
  67. Some Lauderdale County, Alabama Cemetery Records, Jill Knight Garrett. []
  68. Records of his estate are in Lauderdale County Inventory Records 3A, p93 and A4, p82 showing that his mother was his heir. []
  69. Lauderdale County Marriage Book 3. []
  70. Southern Advocate issue of 30 July 1847 from Alabama Records, Vol. 86. []
  71. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 213. []
  72. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 4 (Marriages of Madison County, 314). []
  73. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 115. []
  74. This census enumerated only males and females 21and over and males and females under 21. There was one person in each of the four categories in this household. []
  75. Lauderdale County Marriage Book 2, p85. []
  76. Lauderdale County Marriage Book 3, p112. []
  77. Madison County Probate Records 10, p324 [Pauline Jones Gandrud Vol. 4]  and p328 [Pauline Jones Gandrud Vol. 76].   Also named in Orphans Court Records Vol. 7, p116 [Pauline Jones Gandrud Vol. 4]. []
  78. Alabama Records, Pauline Jones Gandrud, Vol. 221, p59. []