"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

John Henry Hart
1807 - 1879

The second son of Henry and Nancy (Rainey) Hart was John Henry Hart, born 18 March 1807 in SC. He came with his parents to Tennessee and settled with them in the 22nd Civil District of Bedford County. His father Henry had several acres of land situated on the head waters of Big Flat Creek, a south branch of Duck River and is found as a taxpayer in 1812.

By 1827 John Henry Hart was married to Mary Ann. We know of Mary Ann, who was his first wife, through bible records. Mary Ann was born 27 January 1809. By 1830 John Henry and his family are found in the Warren County TN Census records. The mystery of John Henry's marriages remains today. We can find no record of either marriage. We know that his first wife died and that he remarried to Cassandra Jones, a widow. He moved back to Bedford County, sold his property and moved to Lincoln County TN. According to Mrs. Murriel Smith a direct descendant of John Henry, his first wife died soon after 1830 and he did not remarry until 1837 or 1838. He married Cassandra Jones, a widow with two small boys. There is no record of these two boys in the family Bible which is a good indication they were not his children. There is no record that he adopted them. John Henry Hart was back in Bedford County in 1836 as his name is found on the Tax roll that year. He was still there in September 1839 at which time he sold 151 acres of land to his brother-in-law, James Coats, husband of Elizabeth Hart, about 1827. The deed states that both the family of John Henry and that of James Coats were living on the farm at the time of the transaction. It may be that John Henry was still a widower in 1836 and asked his sister Elizabeth Hart coats to move in with her family and make a home for him and his two daughters.

It is believed that John Henry Hart moved to Lincoln County TN but close to the Mt. Hermon area prior to 1840. The record shows John, his wife, two daughters 12 and 10, 2 sons 5 & 4 (children of Cassandra) and a daughter 7 months old. His name is on the membership list there prior to 1840. In August 1840 he was appointed as a delegate to attend the Duck River Baptist Assoc. Annual Session along with his father, Henry Hart and Thomas Conwell. John Henry Hart was a preacher (not completely substantiated). He was granted a letter of dismissal from the church in October 1842 at which time he went to Pope County IL. There is also a family story that John Henry lived in Murphressboro TN prior to going to Pope County IL.

John Henry Hart moved back to Tennessee just before the Rebellion, where his son Martin Hart enlisted in the Union Army, 4th TN Mounted Inf. Company I, under Colonel Blackburn. During the War, John moved back to IL in White County, one mile south of old Kingdom church. We believe he died in White County but no record of his burial can be found there.

Children of John Henry & Mary Ann Hart:
Lethia Ann Hart 24 October 1828
Margaret Hart 24 April 1830

Children of John Henry & Cassandra:
Elizabeth Hart 1 December 1839
Louisa Caladonia Hart 11 July 1841
Sarah American Hart 27 March 1843
Martin M. Hart 20 April 1845
Mitchell Hart 07 May 1847
Nancy D. Hart 23 December 1848
Lenora Matilda Hart 25 May 1851
Milo Jerome Hart 26 January 1853
John Jones Hart 18 February 1855

Transcribed and contributed by Christine Walters April 11, 2006
Source: The Hart Book by Charles Gerton Hart 1974

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