PIONEER FAMILIES
of
Henderson County Tennessee

Essary Family
Source: Eula Essary Scatterday "History of Chesterfield"


JAMES ESSARY - The father of James Essary (George Washington Montgomery Essary) came to America from England. James came from near Lynchburg, Virginia where the Essarys had settled originally, to Tennessee. Lived at Kingston in East Tennessee and is buried there.

Children of James Essary:

1. JOHN H. ESSARY - Came to West Tennessee 1821. Lived in Henderson County. Had 8 children, John, Dave, Annie, Betsy, Ona, Disie, Liddie, Nathan Cosby (known as "Uncle Buck")

2. BEN ESSARY - Migrated to Mississippi. Descendants still live there. Had one son named William.

3. DAVE ESSARY - About whom there is no information.

4. JOSEPH ESSARY - Left Kingston and came to West Tennessee about 1821. Married in Irving. Lived to be an old man and is buried in Union Cemetery near Chesterfield. Father of 9 Children.

--A. SARENTA ESSARY - Married Byous Powers. Lived in Henderson County

--B. PARILLA ESSARY - Married H.M. Powers who died a union soldier in prison

--C. BETSY ESSARY - Never married, died when very old

--D. PALMIRA ESSARY - Never married, died when very old

--E. SALLY ESSARY - Married a Miller who died in Andersonville prison as soldier

--F. JOHN TYLER ESSARY - Died in Ancersonville prison as soldier

--G. POLLY ANN ESSARY - Married James Autry, a Union soldier

--H. WILLIAM PEYTON ESSARY - Father of Earnest Washington, Fannie Catherine, Olevia Jane

--I. GEORGE WASHINGTON ESSARY - A union soldier. Lived and died in Henderson Co.

-----1. Montgomery Essary, son of George Washignton, a union soldier. Lived in Henderson county. First married Elizabeth Jane Rhodes. Children were Granville, James, Martha, Ella, Louisa, Sarah Ann married Russell, Carl C. Joe Essary married Mary Frances Hall. Lived and died in Henderson county. They had 5 children. ---------Second marriage was ato Martha Fisher - they had 2 children Charley and Johnnie.


The Esarey, Essery, Esrey, Essary, Essera, etc. family in the United States is of English origin. The name is not now uncommon in, many parts of England but it seems that those of America are principally .from Devonshire . All so far as known were commonne rs and constant at present to remain so, as would be expected the name appears in America first in New England whither most of the early emigrants from Plymouth came. Among the list of soldiers in King Philip's war is the name John Essery who served in Capt. Daniel Henchman's company and who was paid two pounds and seven pence, August 20, 1675. Again on the 24th of June 1676 - he was paid for services in the garrison at Billerica; August 24, 1676 he was paid services at Charles-Towne and October 9, 1675 he was paid for services in Captain Mosely's company of Dadham. This would indicate that he lived near the present southern limits of Boston, though the places named were only those where the militia were paid off. No further records of this individual have been found.

In point of time the next reference is in the Pennsylvania Archives Series V, Vol. 1 p. 12, James Essary enlisted in the provincial troops of Pennsylvania. Captain John Shannon's company, September, 1746. He gave his birthplace, England; occupation a laborer; date of birth August 2, 1715; age 31.

Whether this James Essary is the founder of the Pennsylvania family or whether where were more than this one emigrant is not disclosed by the records. The family lived in Radnor township around Chester and by the days of the Revolution was quite numerous. John Esrey is frequently listed as a laborer in Chester county 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769. Jonathan Esery was a freeman in Chester county 1768. John Esery enlisted in Captain Thomas Paxton's company of rangers Sept. 16, 1776 and served 13 days. This was in Bedford county on the frontier. August 7, 1798, John Essary was a lieutenant in the Delaware county militia. During the year 1781 John Essery entered four different tracts of land in Jefferson county, Kentucky. In the census of 1790 a Jonathan Esarey was listed in Georgia and a Thomas Esiry and family of four were listed in North Carolina. Nathan Esry and Joseph Essery were reported in the Chester county PA militia, the former in 1780 and the latter in 1781 and 1783. John Essary served in the Jefferson county, Kentucky, (Virginia) militia.

There seems to be a tradition among the Tennessee Essarys that the family parted at Cumberland Gap. The oft recurring names in both branches indicate a common ancestry. The fondness of the Kentucky Esserys for horses might be suggested here. All however is more conjecture and leaves us with the only fact, that about 1780 John Essery, his wife Sarah Hester Clark, (she sometimes signed her name "Easter") and one or two children landed at or n ear Louisville.

John Essery seems to have been somewhat of a land owner while in Kentucky, almost a speculator.

On the other hand the family may have passed down the Great Valley of Virginia and through Cumberland Gap. The Essarys of southwest Virginia seem to have established themselves in the neighborhood of old Fort Chisholm on the head of Clinch river about this time and all may have traveled so far together.

NATHAN COSBY ESSARY 1822-1915
Known as "Buck". Son of John Henry Essary and Sephia Hankins Essary. He was born two years after his parents came to this section of West Tennessee.

Nathan married the daughter of Larkin Ingram, Hannah Jane and settled N.E. of Chesterfield on what was known as once the "Old Pleasant Peele" place.

There they reared a family of 11 children. Oney Catherine, Samuel Mesley, Levira (died at age 10), Sarah Ann, George Washington "Buddy", Augusta, Emerson (died at age 9 mts.), Louise Evangeline, Mary Isabel, Leah Jane (died at age 18), John Larkin

Nathan was an upright respected and influential citizen who reflected his English ancestry.


6 of the 8 children of Nathan Cosby and Hannah Jane Essary who lived to adulthood.
Sarah Ann, Bell, Louise
George Washington (Buddy), Wesley and Larkin
Buddy served 2 terms as Trustee of Henderson Co. Wesley was a landowner and Cattlebuyer
lived to be 100 years old. Larkin was a farmer and owner.


Samuel Wesley Essary
In the sunset of life. He prayed to live to be 100 years old, and missed by 1 month.
He was noted for his consistent Christian life. Member of Union Baptist Church a member for 84 years.


William P. Essary


William P. Essary, the father of Ernest Essary, was the son of Joseph Essary and Fannie Irwin Essary, born in 1839. When he was about 22 years ol, strife developed between the North and the South. Although his family was sympathetic to the Union cause, William was conscripted in the Confederate army and for a short time fought on the side of the Confederacy.

With the approval of his family, and at the urging of his conscience, William walked away from the battlefield and walked a long distance to enlist into Co A 110th Illinois of the Union Infantry where he served with honor.

He was wounded by a bullet from the enemy so severely that he was left on the battlefield presumably dead. On the following day, someone noticed signs of life and he was taken to the army hospital where he remained until dismissed. He limped from a hip injury the rest of his life.

His army pension was $4.00 per month, but was gradually raised until at his death at the age of 94, he was receiving $100 per month.

Upon returning home from the army he engaged in farming. He married Louisa Walker, the daughter of Washington Walker. In addition to their son, Ernest, they had two daughters, Fannie Catherine and Olevia Jane.

Fannie married John Moore of the "Moore's Hill" community and together, they operated the two story general store that stood beside the Perryville Branch of the L and N. Railroad in Chesterfield.

Olivia married Ellis Evans, the depot agent, in the depot that stood across the ry. from Moore's store. After the railroad was abandoned, Ellis Evans operated Evan's Store and was Road and School commissioner for many years.

In 1978 the Evan's Store is now operated by William and Louisa Essary's great granddaughter, Dean and husband, Jack Reed, and is now known as Reed's Grocery.

The William Essary house, built around 1780, is still standing in 1978, in a pretty good state of repair and is owned by the Reeds.


Biography of Eula Scatterday
Heart of Chesterfield
Pioneer Family - Essary
Pioneer Family - Ingram
Pioneer Family - McCall
Pioneer Family - Walker
Obituary - Eula Scatterday

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