A.J. Abernathy's Branch
of the Abernathy Family

The following was found in the papers of William Walker May (1908-1983), grandson of Susannah Harris Abernathy May, daughter of Charles Clayton Abernathy and Susannah Waddy Harris Abernathy and sister of the writer, A.J. Abernathy.

I give the following history of the Abernathy family, as far back as I can, regretting that I did not receive further information from my father Charles C. Abernathy and his sister, Mrs. Susanna Abernathy (Aunt Sookie) while they lived.

I have heard it stated as tradition in the family, that the Abernathys of the Southern States of the Union are the descendants of two brothers who came from Scotland and settled in Virginia at an early date. I remember to have heard my father say that he had never met one of the name, whom he could not trace back to this old Virginia source.

My father's grandfather was named Charles Abernathy, and he was the earliest ancestor of whom I have any Knowledge. William Abernathy, my grandfather, was a son of Charles and Ellis (or Alice) Abernathy, born 4th day of April, 1742, baptized 13th day of June, 1742. (See Bristol Parish Register 1720-1789).

William Abernathy intermarried with Elizabeth Clayton in Brunswick County, Virginia, where they reared a family of five sons and four daughters, names and dates of birth given below; they came from Virginia to Tennessee in 1808, having arrived at their home on White's Creek near Nashville on April 30, after having been on the road from March 17th since leaving Virginia- 1 month and 14 days.

They were preceded by their son John, who started with part of his father's property Nov. 22, 1807, and arrived at White's Creek 31st January, 1808. They remained in Davidson County about two years when they removed to Giles County, bought land and settled the place on which Sidney Abernathy now resides, and where they lived and were buried.

Grandfather William died February 8th, 1832, in his 90th year. Grandmother Elizabeth C. Abernathy died October 23rd, 1815. Birth of nine children of William and Elizabeth taken from his small account book commencing March 4, 1791, and kept by him until his death in 1832, and then by his son Charles C. Abernathy, until his death in 18(?), which is now in my possession-over 116 years old.

1. Clayton Abernathy was born September 21st, 1769.
2. Alce (Alice) Abernathy was born December 17th, 1771.
3. William Abernathy was born July 29th, 1774.
4. Jesse Abernathy was born July 3rd, 1778.
5. Caty Abernathy was born November 11, 1781.
6. Susanna Abernathy was born March 20th, 1783.
7. John Abernathy was born February 23rd, 1785.
8. Elizabeth Abernathy was born March 4, 1787.
9. Charles Clayton Abernathy was born July 27th, 1790.

1. Clayton Abernathy was the father of Mrs. Eliza Thweatt who lived and died at her home in Giles County, Tennessee on the Pulaski and Pisgah Road about five miles east of Pulaski. He had another daughter, Martha Smartt, a son, Turner Abernathy, who remained in Virginia, and other children whose names I do not know.

2. Alce became the wife of one George Williams, and she was the mother of John Williams, who was the grandfather of Mrs. Asa Moore, Charles O. Bull and others. She was also the mother of a daughter named Alce, who married one Jason Hopkins and became the mother of Gray Jones, Gustavus Adolphus and Holmes Hopkins, all born and reared in Giles County. She had another daughter who became the wife of William Baker Pepper, Esq., and they lived on the Pulaski and Elkton turnpike about four miles south of Pulaski. Another daughter Rebecca married Absalom Harwell, and they were the parents of Clayton A. Harwell, Mrs. Stephen D. Williams, and other children to me unknown. Lewis Morris, a son of Lester Morris (the latter a soldier of the Revolution) married another daughter Martha. Among Martha Morris' children, whom I remember, a daughter called Puss, first wife of Holmes Hopkins, another daughter Rebecca, and two sons, Absalom and Lester Morris.

3. William Abernathy, my uncle, removed with his family from Virginia to Newberry, South Carolina, where some of his descendants were living during the latter part of the Civil War in 1865.

4. Jesse Abernathy came to Giles County and resided on Big Creek at the home now owned by the family of the late James E. Abernathy. He was the father of the late Dr. Jesse Abernathy, Mrs. Elizabeth Denty, Richard C., William F., and Burwell Abernathy, and of a daughter, who married William Webb.

5. Caty Abernathy married Alexander Tarpley and they resided in Giles County, about half a mile east of the old William Abernathy home, now owned by Dr. Sidney Abernathy. They raised a large family of children, of whom I now remember Paschal, Ezra, John Clayton and Ira, who have many descendants now residing in Giles County.

6. Susanna Abernathy married Alan Abernathy (a distant relative). They had their home on Big Creek and reared a large family of children of whom Adne or Ariadne, who intermarried with Dr. Swanson was the only daughter, and their sons were Charles, William T., Robert, Erasmus G., John O., and Benjamin F. Abernathy.

7. John Abernathy married Caty Tarpley (Alexander's sister). They raised several sona and daughters, among them were William, Jesse and Charles Clayton Abernathy (all dead) and Minerva who became the wife of Spencer Young and mother of J. Calvin Young and others. Another daughter, Louisa, first wife of Archibald S. Young and mother of J. Crutch Young and others, and another daughter, Eliza, wife of W.W. Stephenson (Mack).

8. Elizabeth Abernathy was married to Jonathan Drake, and they lived and died in Nashville or Davidson County. Their descendants known to me are their grandson M.M. Barnes and his family, now living in Nashville. M.M. Barnes mother was Ann Eliza Drake, whose first husband was Hyde; after Hyde's death, she married a Barnes. Of the first marriage two daughters were born, Martha Hyde and Lou Hyde, who were both married, but whether they are living or dead, or have any offspring, I do not know.

9. Charles Clayton Abernathy intermarried with Susannah Waddy Harris, June 15th, 1815, and fruits of this marriage were eleven children, as follows:

1. Elizabeth Clayton, who married Richard Daly. Both died, leaving one son, Richard Thomas Daly who died leaving children now living in Alabama.

2. Mary Ann became the wife of Alfred H. Eason. They left numerous offspring, Rufus, Swift, Clate and others.

3. Gilbert Taylor, first, married Louisa Baxter in Montgomery County, Tenn., of which union two children were born, Rebecca who married A.J. Gilbert, and Mary, wife of G.W. Talley. His second wfe was Emily B. Talley of same County and they have many children, Dr. Gilbert T. Abernathy, of Paris, Tenn., Alfred H. Abernathy of Dickson, Tenn., George, John Clayton, Andrew J., and others, of Montgomery County, Tennessee.

4. Alfred Harris Abernathy married Elizbeth Todd Butler and left several sons and daughters, Henry G. Butler, A. Sam, Jerome C., and others.

5. Maria D. became the wife of James Milton Paine and they left one son, Strling c., and three daughters, Lizzie, Mollie and Fannie.

6. Susannah Harris, first wife of J.P. May and mother of Charles W. May, Dr. J.P. May and Mrs. Emma Westmoreland, of California, wife of Alonzo Westmoreland.

7. Dr. C.C. Abernathy, who left two daughters, Mollie Byrnes and Lizzie Paisley. First wife, Martha J. Stockard- last, Mrs. Josephine McNairy.

8. William Allen Abernathy died in his eighteenth year, unmarried.

9. John Seward Abernathy died of wounds received in skirmish on Cheat Mountain in September, 1862. Never married.

10. Andrew Jackson Abernathy, only one of the eleven now living.

11. Caty, who died in infancy.

Susannah W., wife of Charles C. Abernathy died April 10, 1840. Charles C. Abernathy's second wife was Elizabeth H. Dickson; they were married on the 16th day of July, 1848. Children of Charles C. and Elizabeth Abernathy:

1. James Polk Abernathy
2. Hibernia Abernathy, died October 30th, 1852.
3. Ada Elizabeth Abernathy, wife of E.D. Aymett, the latter deceased.
4. Robert Dickson Abernathy
5. Delia Taylor Abernathy, widow of S.W. Butler.
6. Charles Moulton Abernathy, wife of Frank Williams.
7. Albert Sydney Abernathy

Present or future generations may continue the history of the family, if they desire, but the field is too vast to be further explored by me at this date.

Andrew J. Abernathy
Pulaski, Tennessee, April 17th, 1907.

(NOTE: The above A.J. Abernathy's Branch of the Abernathy Family was copied on Sept. 20, 1953, from an original carbon copy in the possession of Mrs. Edward Lee (Mary Elizabeth Amyett) Hopkins, of R.F.D.#5, Pulaski, Tenn., which she stated was given to her mother, Mrs. J.V. (Betty Butler Abernathy) Amyett by the writer, Andrew J. Abernathy, and the carbon copy, consisting of two pages, was in the old Family Bible.

John F. Morrison Jr.,
Lawrenceburg, Tenn.)

On the page is also written Pulaski Citizen May 30th, 1907.

Questions may be addressed to Patricia May Touw