Al Dorr Family

Boswell Ancestors




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8. Thomas BOSWELL, son of Edward BOSWELL and CRAVEN ? , was born on 27 Sep 1779 in Prince William County, VA and died on 6 Oct 1822 in Hend. County, TN, at age 43.

Thomas Boswell was born in Prince William County, Virginia. He was married to Mary Sims, daughter of Edward Sims, in 1802 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He bought 100 acres of land there from his father, Edward Boswell, in 1809.

He left North Carolina and traveled to Henderson County, Kentucky, where his brother Craven had settled. His daughter Susannah was born while they were there. The Chickasaw Cession with the Chickasaw Indians, signed in 1818, allowed settlers to legally settle in West Tennessee and spared them wars with the Indians. By 1819 and 1820 settlers were entering the Henderson County area regularly. Thomas moved to Henderson County, Tennessee about 1820 and died there in October of 1822. There were a number of other family members who came to Henderson County, Tennessee about this same time, possibly with Thomas and his family - his brothers Matthew and Edward Boswell, his nephews Brown Boswell and James Iverson Boswell and most likely the Graves and Fielder families.

The early settlers of Henderson County, Tennessee taught their children at home until schools were established. The first schools were subscription schools, financed by payments made monthly by parents. They operated from sixty days to six months a year. In 1822 there were schools at Mifflin and Jack's Creek. In 1823 a school was started in Lexington.

Life in Henderson County was simple. They slept on crude beds of straw or bear hide on dirt floors. Cooking was done in a fireplace. The eating utensils were usually wood. The oxen, mules, horses and other livestock had to be guarded from wild beasts. The soil was rich and they grew corn, vegetables and some cotton. Wild honey was used as a sweetener. The first mill was built in 1821 and the first cotton gin in 1823.

Cumberland Presbyterians were the first to have ministers in Henderson County. The Methodists soon followed. Thomas' son, Craven Carlyle, became a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and his son, Thomas Leachman, became a Methodist minister.

Thomas Leachman Boswell notes in the front of his father's Bible that "He was my father and was very kind to me, and though a little boy I remember seeing him reading in this blessed book."

The Henderson County court house burned so there are few records about this family available there.

After Thomas died his wife Mary continued to live there and was listed with their son Edward and his wife Barzilla in the 1850 census. She moved to Madison County, Tennessee sometime after this because that is where their three daughters had settled with their husbands. She died there in 1858. Her son, Reverend Thomas L. Boswell, wrote in his Bible:

"Mary Boswell, my mother, died in peace in Madison County, Tennessee on the
23rd of May, A.D. 1858 'Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.'"

Thomas married Mary SIMS on 10 Dec 1802 in Caswell, County, NC.

Children from this marriage were:

4         i.   Thomas Leachman BOSWELL (born on 9 May 1816 Orange County, NC - died on 12 Apr 1898 in Macon, Fayette Co., TN)

         ii.   Lillinda BOSWELL (born in Jan 1810 Orange County, NC - died on 27 Nov 1884 in Henderson County, TN)


9. Mary SIMS, daughter of Unknown and Zebiah RICE , was born on 9 Feb 1787 in NC and died on 23 May 1858 in Med. County, TN, at age 71.

Mary married Thomas BOSWELL on 10 Dec 1802 in Caswell, County, NC.