The Isaac Anderson Family of Early Warren County Tennessee
and Some Curtis Family Kin
Isaac Anderson probably entered Warren Co. Tennessee from Buncombe County, North Carolina in the year of 1809.
He first appears on the Warren Co. TN 1812 tax list. There is recorded in Buncombe Co. N.C., a Power of Attorney,
5 Oct 1811 by Isaac Anderson of Warren Co. TN to Joshua Whitaker. Isaac ultimately settled along the Barren Fork of
the Collins River, west of Crisp Springs and on the south side of river. [See map] Isaac
brought his growing family with him;
and about the same time the John Curtis Sen. clan also settled the Barren Fork. The Curtis clan also came from
Buncombe Co. N.C.
Additionally, we find a survey done for a Thos. Vaughan, dated 2 April 1814 and located on
the Barren Fork of
the Collins River wherein is mentioned a spring that Isaac Anderson makes use of . . . This location would be west
of McMinnville and east of Crisp Spring. [TSL&A, RG 50, 3rd Surveyors District, Book 34, Page 357.]
We first find Isaac Anderson in Lincoln Co. NC where on 2 Oct 1797, Isaac marries Sarah Curtis, daughter of John
Curtis Sen. and Elizabeth ______. Both families appear on the 1800 Lincoln Co. census. It would appear that the
Andersons had in their household a first born child, a female.
Shortly after 1800, both the Anderson and the Curtis families moved to Buncombe Co. N.C. where in 15 Jan 1802
Isaac purchased 2 tracts, one of 170 acres on Flat Creek, the second of 50 acres. Flat Creek flows into the French
Broad River, about 10 miles north of Asheville NC.
John Curtis Sen. bought and sold a number of tracts of land during his years in Buncombe Co. N.C. The tracts
were on the Hominy and Beaver Dam Creeks, west of Asheville, and on Flat Creek.
On 7 Sep 1804 John Curtis bought 80 acres on Flat Creek and Isaac Anderson was a witness. Again, Isaac was a
witness when on 29 Nov 1805, James Curtis, son of John Curtis Sen., purchased 200 acres from James Leaky.
On 3 Feb 1809, Isaac Anderson of BCNC sells a 145 acre Lytles Cove tract to Jesse Whitaker, and on 23 Feb 1809
he sells his 170 acre Flat Creek tract, also to Jesse Whitaker. Isaac Anderson does not appear on the 1810 BCNC
census, however, some of the Curtis folks are still in Buncombe Co. N.C. John, James and Edmond Curtis all
appear on the 1812, Warren Co. TNtax list, and we find them in the Barren Fork area.
Two other related land transactions are recorded in Buncombe Co. N.C. One sale by John Curtis, on 8 Sep 1814,
the other sale by James Curtis on 5 Sep 1818, wherein both men are described as, of Warren Co. TN.
In Warren Co. TN, Edward Curtis, another son of John Curtis Sen., was granted 320 acres in the Second
Surveyors District, on the Barren Fork River and bounded by a schoolyard and running to the mouth of
Looneys Spring. This tract was surveyed 23 Sep 1808 and recorded 6 Mar 1816. On 14 Nov 1814,
Edward sells 100 acres, including the plantation where he lives, to Elisha Hammer Sen.
We have not found the original recording of Isaac Andersons home tract, however, from court
records we know he lived on a 200 acre grant. As we do not find a granted to Isaac, we must assume that
Isaac bought the land. This land can be identified today as being on both sides of Old Shelbyville Road,
at Smoot Bluff, south of the Barren Fork in Warren Co. TN. In the Warren Co. TN Plat Book 1, page 139, we
see a survey done for James Curtis, dated 3 July 1824 and on the Barren Fork of the Collins River, that
mentions that the Curtis tract borders a tract of land deeded to Isaac Anderson.
In the 1820 Warren Co. TN census, we find John Curtis Sen. and his two sons, John and James . We
do not find Edward Curtis on that census, however we do find him on a 6 February 1823, 10 acre survey on
the waters of the Barren Fork. That surveyed tract was Six poles west of Isaac Andersons West
boundary line. [TSL&A, RG 50 2nd Surveyors District, Survey No.8838].
Isaac Anderson appears on the 1820 Warren Co. TN census, and there his household contains 14 children,
4 males and 9 females. A total of 9 children are proven later by Isaacs will so all of the noted 14
may not be his children.
During the 1820s, there were a number land transactions involving the Curtis family. The most
interesting is a 4 acre grant, made on 8 Sep 1827 to Benjamin Hawkins, Asahel Rains, John Curtis and Samuel Riley,
as trustees of the Barren Fork Baptist Church. The land contained the Barren Fork Meeting House.
On 1 Sep 1828, John Curtis Jr. made his will and apparently died soon after. He named his wife Rachel
and the unnamed children. It is believed that Elizabeth Curtis, daughter of John Curtis Jr. and Rachel _____ ,
married Larkin Rains of Warren Co. TN.
On 3 Apr 1829, John Curtis Sr. made his will, which was proved 5 July 1830. In his will John Sr. names his
beloved wife Elizabeth, my Daughter Sarahs Children, son John Curtiss Children,
and my five
Children (To Wit ); James, Edward, Polly, Nancy and Charlotte.
Edward Curtis can not be placed on the 1830 Tennessee census. James Curtis has moved to Gibson Co. TN and by
1860 James lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
While the Curtis name fades away in western Warren Co. TN, the Anderson name did maintain a strong presence
there into the 20th Century.
Isaac Anderson And Some Descendants
Isaac Anderson was born in NC about 1770. He was married twice, first wife being Sarah Curtis, the second wife
being Polly _____. We have not been able to prove either the death date for Sarah or the marriage date to Polly,
therefore it is unclear if Polly is the mother of any of Isaacs children.
Children of Isaac Anderson
1. Nancy Anderson, married William Brown, son of Thomas Brown (Revolutionary War Soldier)
2. John Anderson, married Nancy______.
3. James Anderson, married Elizabeth Smoot. This Elizabeth Smoot is probably a daughter of Thomas Middleton
Smoot, and sister of William Smoot of Warren Co. TN and Daniel Smoot of Lincoln Co TN (read Lynchburg, now
Moore Co TN).
4. Susannah Susan Anderson, married Alexander Eoff, son of Isaac Eoff (Revolutionary War Soldier) and Margaret Knox.
Eoff is a Coffee Co family.
5. Louissa Anderson, married ______ Mathews.
6. Elizabeth Anderson.
7. Charlotta Anderson.
8. Luhany Anderson, married ______ Caton.
9. Matilda Anderson, married William Smoot, son of Thomas Middleton Smoot and Venettie Kennedy.
The exact order of births are not known to us, however note that John and James start their families in the 1820s,
while Matilda was born in 1822.
We can find two claims for land entered by Isaac in Warren Co. TN. The first claim is for 10 acres, made 1 Jan
1827. This land adjoins Isaacs other 10 acre tract. The second claim is for 80 acres, made 30 Jan 1837.
This claim adjoins the land of John Anderson.
The 1836 Warren Co. TNtax list shows Isaac with 275 acres. By the time of his death in 1847, Isaac had
acquired even more land.
Isaac made his will on 8 Mar 1847. The will was probated in Jul 1847. Isaacs son-in-law, William Smoot
was named the executor.
Isaac named his (second) wife, Polly and each of his 9 children. Seven children received land. Susannah Eoff
was excluded; the heirs of James Anderson received only money. The heirs of John Anderson received one half of
Isaacs home tract, while Matilda Smoot received the other half of the home tract which included
Isaacs house and two,10 acre tracts. To Nancy Brown went the land whereon she now lives. To
Elizabeth and Charlotta Anderson went the Vandagrift tract, which was probably next to John Andersons
home place (see 1830 Warren Co. TN census). Louissa Mathews received 215 acres next to Chesly Crisp, while Luhany
Caton was willed the tract whereon McGill now lives.
Isaacs wife Polly received the place whereon William Smoot formerly lived, to be used during her
Three grand children are mentioned in the will, Elijah Anderson, John Brown and Mary Smoot.
The will was witnessed by George Rains, Stephen Banks and Chesly Crisp.
In a 31 Jul 1849 court settlement, made with Wm Smoot, executor of Isaac Andersons estate, we find
this statement, Executor charges ............ for the purpose of inclosing said deceased & his first
wife ........$85.00. It would seem then, that the estate was closed except for that part relating to Polly
The Mary Anderson that is named in the 1850 Warren Co. TN census is most probably Polly. In Marys
household is a young Isaac Anderson , probably the son of James Anderson.
Polly is now dead reads a Warren Co. TN court record of the March Term 1866. In the case of Wm Smoot,
executor of Isaac Anderson, deceased and Matilda, his wife, vs. Elijah Anderson and Heirs of John and James
Anderson, deceased, the final disposition of Isaac Anderson estate occurred. The land willed to Polly for her
lifetime use could now be sold. There were 8 shares (remember, Susannah Eoff had been excluded in the will).
Matilda Smoot had 1 share and Wm Smoot had purchased 5 shares, leaving only the shares held by the heirs of
John & James Anderson in other than Wm Smoots hands. The court ordered an auction, and Wm Smoot was the
highest bidder for the land. Of course Wm needed only to pay for the last two shares.
Isaac Andersons original home was a traditional two room log house with a dog trot, or breeze way
between the rooms. There were fireplaces at the east and west ends of the building. The house had been remodeled
many times and in later years doors from the abandoned Crisp Springs Hotel were added. The house was razed in
The family cemetery on the farm was south west of the old barn and contained at least five graves: Isaac
Anderson, three women and one infant. The cemetery has been destroyed.
John Anderson, Son of Isaac Anderson
It would seem that John Anderson was born in NC, perhaps in Lincoln Co., ca. 1800. He would have come to
Warren Co. TN as a child with his parents. For good reason, we believe Sarah Curtis to be Johns mother, however
this is not proven. He probably married in Warren Co. TN ca.1822. Later court records shows Nancy Anderson as
selling her widows share of Johns farm. Court records indicate John had a 200 acre grant; the original
grant has not been found. John claimed 50 acres adjoining his home tract, on 13 May 1824. He paid taxes on 250
acres, as shown on the 1836 Warren Co. TN Tax List. John died about Dec 1836. His children are proven by
guardianship papers. His wife Nancy appears not to have remarried and it would seem that Nancy died in Arkansas,
many years later.
Children of John Anderson and his wife Nancy ________.
1. Benjamin H. Anderson, married Francis Fanny Adams, daughter of Robert Adams.
During the 1850s the heirs of John Anderson sold their shares of Johns farm to Elijah Anderson, their
cousin. Then it would appear that most of Johns heirs left TN. Benj. Anderson moved from Warren Co. TN to
Pulaski Co. MO, later (1880) to Lawrence Co. AR. James & Catherine Cullender moved, by 1860 to Washington Co. AR,
as did John Anderson (Jr.) and mother Nancy Anderson. Isham and Sallie Craven were also in Washington Co. AR,
in the 1850s.
2. Catherine Jane Anderson, married James Cullender.
3. Sarah O. Sallie Anderson, married Isham Yancy Craven.
4. Isaac Anderson, married Nancy Henegar, daughter of George Washington Henegar and Elizabeth Freeman.
5. John Anderson.
James Anderson, Son of Isaac Anderson
James Anderson was also probably born in NC ca.1800, and came to Warren Co. TN with his parents. It would
seem that James married in Warren Co. TNca. 1824. The traditional name of his wife is Elizabeth Smoot. From 1836
until his death about Oct 1846, James was guardian to the children of his late brother John.
We find James with 50 acres on the 1836 tax list, however by the time of his death, James had acquired more land
in the county. The home tract held 200 acres, the river tract held 104 acres while the Derly tract held 196 acres.
James apparently died intestate. We do find the 19 Nov 1846 Inventory & Sale of his property. George Rains and
Chesly Crisp were the Administrators of the estate.
From very sound family sources, we know that James and his wife Elizabeth both died at about the same time, 1846,
from Typhoid Fever. This claim is substantiated by the fact that Elizabeth, or widow, was not shown at the sale
of James estate.
Elijah Anderson, the eldest son, became the guardian for the minor children, and certain guardianship papers show
6 minor children & Elijah as guardian. In addition, there is 1 court paper that names all 9 children, which also match family records.
Children of James Anderson and his wife Elizabeth Smoot.
1. Elijah Anderson, married Elizabeth Crisp, daughter of Chesly Crisp and Sarah Burch. (I believe there is now
some *question* as to Sarahs surname.)
During the 1850s Elijah Anderson, as guardian, sold the estate lands. The river tract (from an 1837 grant to
James) was sold in part to Wm Smoot. This land was located on the north side of the Barren Fork at Smoot Bluff.
Shields ford crossed the river there. The Derly tract was sold to William B.Anderson, the son and an heir of
James. This tract was originally sold by Geo.W. Derly to James Anderson in Jan 1846, the year of his death. This tract
was located on the Barren Fork and bordered the south line of Robert Browns 200 acre Red Banks tract.
The Home tract was sold to George Washington Hennegar; we have not placed this tract yet.
2. Isaac Anderson.
3. William B. Anderson, married Nancy Eleanor Hammer, daughter of Asahel Rains Hammer Sr. and Elizabeth Swope.
4. Mary Polly Anderson, married (as second wife) John Brown, son of Wm Brown, grandson of Robert Brown.
5. James J. Anderson, married Mary J. Jones, daughter of Andrew Jones and Mary ______.
6. Frances Caroline Anderson, believed to have married Isaac Harding in Stone Co. MO.
7. Louisa Anderson, married George P. Holmes.
8. Daniel Smoot Anderson, married Olive Melton.
9. Thomas Lebern Anderson, married Emily Jane Hammer, daughter of Asahel Rains Hammer Sr. and Elizabeth Swope.
Elijah Anderson then bought the land of his late uncle, John. He then acquired more land between what today
is called Old Well Road and Morrison-Crisp Springs Road and created a large farm.
An Old Anderson House
On Andy McGowan road (a dead end road) in south-west Warren Co., there was an old building with some pioneer
stone work in an old chimney. This building was located on the farm of E.L. Maynard and was very much in contrast
to Mr. Maynards new home. As it turns out, the old building was the home of Elijah Anderson, then the home
of his son, Isaac Alexander Anderson, then passed to Isaac A.s daughter Elizabeth Anderson, her husband
Andy McGowan and sister Mary Ellen Anderson. This house has been identified by good family sources as having been
built by Elijahs father James, and probably was so built by James, and his brother John. It is thought,
however, this house was the home of John & Nancy Anderson, and was purchased by Elijah in the 1850s. The building
was a two room log house with a dog trot, and was in 1993 found covered with old wood siding. There was an
extremely early kitchen addition and a more modern cinder block garage. It is said that Andy had the house
updated in the 1940s which no doubt saved it from destruction. For an old log house of its antiquity, it was in
remarkably good condition. Mr. Maynard showed us the interior, even removing some modern paneling to expose the
primitive hidden stone work. In front of the house was a large flat rock, that we are told is called a upen rock.
Seems in the olden days the ladies would get upen the rock, then upen the horse.
On a trip to house in May of 1995, we found the house about to be disassembled and removed to Georgia or North
Carolina. The contractor has exposed the old logs so a customer could see original buildings. It was obvious that
the building was constructed as two structures, the earliest, a single story cabin (20 x 20 sq.),
being on the south. Later a one & a half story building, with a brick chimney, was built to the north
(also 20 x 20 sq.). The stone work on the southern most chimney (and the kitchen addition) was older
than the brick chimney in the middle of the dog trot. Therefore it shows that the southern most
building to be the earliest built. At an even later date, the dog trot between the two buildings
was enclosed. At that time, the walls of the shorter, earlier building were raised to match the other building
and a new roof was constructed over the old section and the then new dog trot. Apparently, the early stone chimneys
had brick extensions added when the higher roof was added. The walls of the dog trot and the upper addition to the
southern most building were framed in with hand hewn lumber and was not of the log construction of the original two
buildings. Square nails were used in framing in the dog trot.
An effort to negotiate a move of the house to the Pioneer Village at the Warren Co. TN Fair grounds had failed,
and the house was totally removed.
A few months prior to his death in 1993, Logan Darnell Watley (a cousin) marked a topographical map of the Barren
Fork area with the location of two very old graves. Logan remembered the graves from his childhood. The graves were
just west of the Garner Branch, and a little north/west of the old Anderson house. These could be the graves of James
and Elizabeth Smoot Anderson?
Isaac Anderson and Isaac Anderson: Cousins.
Both John and James Anderson named a son Isaac, and therein lies the problem. As we went through the court records,
we noticed that the Isaac, son of James seemed to vanish. We knew that an Isaac Anderson married Nancy Henegar in
Warren Co. TNin 1856, and some folks think that this Isaac is the son of James, but is he? Here is a piece of
a old family letter that lists the children of James and Elizabeth Anderson and that needs to be considered: Isaac,
who died while away in school, I think in Illinoise. He was burried there and was three wks before the family knew of
his death. The letter was signed by Aunt Cumi, (Talitha Cumi Anderson, daughter of Thomas Lebern Anderson). So even
if all of John Andersons other children left state, it looks as if his son Isaac might have stayed in TN.
Here is the heading from a September 1866 Warren Co. TNCourt Case:
Wm Smoot Executor of Isaac Anderson Dec. and wife Matilda, formerly Matilda Anderson
Elijah Anderson, Wm Anderson, J. J. Anderson, D. S. Anderson, George Holms and his wife Louisa, John Brown & wife
Polly, Caroline Anderson, Benjamin Anderson, James Cullender & his wife Jane - Yancey Craven & wife Sallie, John
Anderson & Isaac Anderson.
Listed first are the children of James and Elizabeth Smoot Anderson, and starting with Benjamin Anderson are the
children of John and Nancy Anderson. There is only one Isaac Anderson, and he is listed in the John Anderson family.
Susannah Susan Anderson, Daughter of Isaac Anderson
Susannah Anderson was born ca.1809, probably in Warren Co. TN. She married Alexander Eoff. The Eoff family had
settled the Hickory Creek area of what is now Coffee Co. TN. Alexander Eoff appears as a chain carrier on two 1826
Warren Co. TN Hickory Creek grants. One of the grants went to Isaac Eoff, Alexs father, while the other grant
went to the Eoffs neighbor, Elijah Fletcher. Isaac died in Coffee Co. TN. 2 Oct, 1841. Alexs mother
Margaret Knox Eoff died in Carroll Co. AR. (now Boone Co. AR.)], 21 Sep 1848. Isaac Eoff is listed in Roster of
Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee by Marsh. The Eoffs are well covered in the
TN archives. See Roll # 6, MS # 69-145. Alexander and Susan Eoff can be found on the 1850, Carroll Co. AR census.
In their household are these children: Catherine J., age 20; John, age 18; Isaac, age 16; James, age 13; George,
age 10; Joseph, age 7, Burnes, age 5; Luhana age 1/12. All children except Luhana were born in TN.
1. Much work on the Curtis family of Warren Co. TN. was done by Don Martini; his paper which includes the Curtis
family of eastern Warren Co. TN., is available at the Magness Library in McMinnville, TN.
2. Ann Turner of Menlo Park CA contributed the information on the Brown family
3. Clede ONeal of Wilcox AZ helped with the Benjamin H. Andersons family and their travels through
4. Velma Chipley of Athens TX contributed some very important Anderson family records.
5. Betty M. Majors of Tullahoma TN did a fine job sorting out the Eoff family.
6. Bonita Mangrum of McMinnville sent this information from the Tom Barnes papers, Isaac, (son of John Anderson)
married Amanda Naylor, daughter of Dixon Jr. and Nancy Neal. This did *not* match other information. My WCGA friends
tell me that the Barnes papers contain many errors, however, this tidbit needs to be in this record.
7. Miss Dean Brewer of McMinnville researched the Warren Co. TN obituary records for us.
8. Matilda Anderson, daughter of Isaac Anderson: see W.C.G.A. Journal Vol 3, No.1, Spring 1994.
9. East of and adjoining Robt Browns 200 acre Red Banks tract, lies his brother Thomas Browns 150
acre tract. The 150 acre tract was part of a 200 acre grant to the heirs of Moses Davis (Plat # 1243, 2nd
Surveyors District). Most interestingly, the east boundary of the Davis grant is also the east boundary of
the 2nd Surveyors District and meets the west boundary of the 3rd Surveyors District at that line.
We tentatively place this tract east of Crisp Springs, at the location of the Brown Family Cemetery, on Old
Shelbyville Road, at the Walker Farm. See Warren Co. TN Cemetery Book 1, Cemeteries A-F, Pg. 133.
© Frederick Smoot, 1995, 2001