"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County


Henry Hart Family

Henry Hart, our most elusive ancestor, was the second son of James and Elizabeth (Jernigan) Hart. Henry settled in Middle Tennessee in the early 1800's, was a farmer and a man who loved the rolling hills and rich farm land such as is found in Middle Tennessee.

A grandson, John B. Hart, said that his grandfather Henry, was born on the line between North and South Carolina. This is possible as we have no record of where Henry's father James was living until 1787 when he received a state land grant in Edgefield County South Carolina. Henry and Nancy lived in South Carolina for at least two years. Their oldest child was born 11 October 1805 and another son John Henry was born 18 March 1807 South Carolina.

Henry had evidently spent some time in Bedford TN on or before 1812 since his name is found on a list of Taxpayers for that year. He was No. 43 in Capt John McWilliams Co. Bedford County is the area in which our Hart ancestors are known to have settled and where they have lived for many years. The first grant he received gave the information that a house and improvements were already there. This was grant # 19178, recorded 3 June 1823 in the TN Archives at Nashville. Henry eventually acquired 147 acres. This land was all located on the head waters of Big Flat Creek, a south branch of Duck River. It was hilly land, with a creek running nearby. The road parallel was known as Rainey's Branch Road. It has changed very little and is now known as Possum Trott Rd. Henry and Nancy were associated with the Mt Hermon Baptist Church located in the 22nd district of Bedford Co, organized 14 August 1833. However records date back to January 9, 1830, when services were being held monthly. The minutes of this church have been recorded by faithful clerks for over 140 years. The present church clerk (1976) Frederick Steed is a great great grandson of Henry Hart. He has in his possession all the minutes from 1830 to the present time. The first membership list gives the name of Henry Hart, Nancy Hart, James Coats, Elizabeth Coats, and Leatha Hart.

Henry & Nancy (Rainey) Hart were the parents of 14 children. The first three children, James Williamson, John Henry and Rachel were all born in Edgefield SC. All the rest of their children were born in Bedford County; Elizabeth, Malinda, Nancy, Nathan, Derrel J., Catherine, Jesse, Agnes, Martin Marshall and William. Henry's had a huge family and they scattered around the county. James Williamson and John Henry both moved to White Co IL while still single. They married and raised their families there. Rachel married Lewis Farris and settled in Pope Co IL. Letha married Wm. Martin and moved to Texas Co MO along with her sister ELizabeth who had married James Coats. Malinda is thought to have remained in Bedford County and died by 1840. Nancy Elizabeth married George Washington Gossage and later settled in Pope Co IL. Nathan and his wife Martha Rice also moved to Pope Co. Jesse had also moved to White Co IL where he met and married his first wife, Lucinda Freir in 1848. After he death he married Catherine Washburn Hill, they later moved to Bollinger Co MO. Catherine married James Shook. James is found in White Co Il by 1860 but Catherine must have died here in Bedford County as she is not there with him and the children. Agnes married Wm. Jasper Morris and died right about the time they moved to Texas Co MO. Martin Marshall and wife Mary Morris settled in Pope Co Il and the last child William is said to have married a woman by the name of Jemima but we no nothing further about him.

Derrell J. Hart is the only one of Henry's 14 children that remained in Bedford County. Derrel J. was married to Rachel Morris about 1838. She was the daughter of Samuel & Mary (Saint) Morris, another old pioneer family of Bedford County. Rachel was born 19 March 1819 and died 26 March 1914 dying a few days shy of her 95th birthday. Together they raised a family of nine children.

James Williamson Hart
John Henry Hart
Rachel Hart
Letha Hart
Elizabeth Hart
Malinda Hart
Nancy Hart
Nathan Hart
Derrell Hart
Catherine Hart
Jesse Hart
Agnes Hart
Martin Marshall Leroy Hampton Hart
William Hart

Contributed by Christine Walters Third Great Grandaughter of Henry Hart
Source:The book "James Hart and his Descendants" Written and published by Charles Gerton Hart 1976

Created by Christine Walters