Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Fourth Great-grandfather's Stuff on Ebay

I've spent the last few months trying to uncover as much as I could about my Forrest family line and finally get the "Forrest" page of my website uploaded.

One ancestor from that line who really captured my imagination is Samuel W. Forrest. I originally thought he was my fourth great-grandfather but he may actually be the uncle of my third great-grandfather.

No matter the exact connection, there are enough echoes left from Sam's life that exploring him has been especially rewarding. Also, his Last Will and Testament really offers some great insight into the lifestyle of those ancestors who were among the earliest settlers of Haywood County.

Sam Forrest was born Nov. 25, 1794 in Wayne County, N.C. to George Forrest and Winifred Joiner Forrest. The year Sam was born, George Washington was the president of the United States.

In 1826, Samuel migrated from Pitt County, N.C. to Haywood County, Tenn. with his brother, Thomas Joiner Forrest, and the family of Thomas' wife, Charlotte Brown. A one-mile square tract of land (640 acres) had been given to Charlotte's father, Samuel Brown, for service in the Revolutionary War but he died before he was able to actually migrate west.

According to the Brown family Bible, they “left North Carolina on Thursday March 16, 1826. Their journey ended ‘in the Forkodeer Hinterland 11 May which was 8 weeks on the road.’ The family traveled with a number of other families in covered wagons to their new home in the Tennessee counties of Madison and Haywood. Included in the group were the Dickinsons, Forrests, and Musgraves.” Source

Samuel Forrest's 1859 Will 

By the time Sam wrote his will on Aug. 19, 1859, he was successful enough that he had acquired a great deal of household items, supplies and farming equipment.

Like most of the farmers of large amounts of land in that area, he was also a slave owner. According to the slave schedule of 1860, he had two slaves who were ages 12 to 50 but we know from his will that he actually owned six slaves, so five of them must have been 11 or younger.  In his will, he lists his slaves as, "one woman by the name of Wineford, two boys: Reuben and Moses and three girls: Melisa, M? and Violet."

When the census of 1860 was taken, the value of Sam's real estate was $2,640 and the value of his personal estate was $10,660, which in 1860 had roughly the same buying power as $295,000 today. Source 

Sam died Dec. 30, 1860. After his death, his widow Zilpha moved in with Ann and Samuel where she lived for another 10 years.

Sam left most of his property and belongings to his widow Zilpha and his nephew Samuel.

By looking at the items he left in his will, you can get a good idea as to what he considered most valuable.

Since all Sam's stuff is long gone, I decided to do a quick Ebay search to see what a few of these items could have looked like.

His will included:

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Bed stands & furniture...
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One folding leaf table and all of "my" sitting chairs...
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She is to keep all "her" table wear, knives,
forks, spoons, earthenware, and crockery...
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Two chests...
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One clock...
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Three pair of fire irons...
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All my books...
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One shot gun...
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One loom...
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Two spinning wheels...
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One sythe and cradle...
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As much of my stock as she may need,
consisting of horses, mules, cattle, hogs,
one yoke of oxen, one cart and wheels,
and oxen of all kinds...
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A sufficient quantity of corn, fodder,
wheat, oats, and plenty of coffee...

Where Samuel Forrest's plantation used to sit is now a cotton field and even his and his wife's graves were forgotten and plowed over. Fortunately, Bill King, a friend, and Denmark, Tenn. historian was able to rescue Samuel and Zilpha's headstones and move them to a Forrest Family Cemetery in the same area.

The next chance I get, I plan to visit and photograph the cemetery.

For lots more about the Forrest family, you can visit their page or you can check out Samuel Forrest's entire will.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.


  1. Scott, Gene Forrest sent me the leger book from Forrest Family Store, I think the store belonged to D. A. Forrest, I am not sure of the date it looks like around 1917. A note says D. A. Forrest & Co. Dry Goods, Shoes, Groceries, and Furniture, and list all the account name of the store. I found tucked in the book "Annual Announcement Woodland School, W. B. Bruce, Principal 1923-1924" It list teachers and subjects. Gene also sent me the record book of Brown Creek Baptist, 1906, thru what looks like 1923. The church split and this brench stayed Pramitive, the Forrest and Musgraves atayed and rest of the congregation formed the Brown Creek Missionary Baptist, now Woodland, the slaves all went with the missionary group and decendants still worship at Browns Creek Missionary. Tina Turner family is connected with the slaves from the Primative Church, her, g g g g grandfather is Logan Currie, hia mother Lucy Timbro was a slave of the Currie Family. He became a Baptist preacher and married the first 50 Aferican American in Madison and Haywood Counties. Bill

    1. Great info Bill. I'll work that into the site for sure. Appreciate it much!

    2. Great info Bill. I'll work that into the site for sure. Appreciate it much!