Henderson County Tennessee

Rufus Haney Family

Contributed by Katherine Ann (Haney) Williams
March 22, 2012
Katherine has all the documentation on this family
Should need help, get in touch with her.

Rufus Haney Jr. and his wife Sarah Elizabeth (Taylor) Haney

"Great-Grandmother Haney"
In memory of Sarah Elizabeth Taylor Haney
February 19, 1855 - January 12, 1897
Doe Creek, Henderson County, Tennessee

I hold an old, worn portrait in my hands.
her eyes look straight into mine.
Her lips do not smile.
Her long hair is pulled back in a pun.

I wonder what it was like to be my great-grandmother.
Do I see my own blue eyes in hers?
My granddaddy said I have her auburn hair.

She was born in 1855, married at age twenty-one,
Birthed her first child when she was twenty-two,
Buried him when he was nine,
Died in childbirth at age forty-one with her tenth child.
Her eight little children gathered around her bed.

Did she love life or was life too hard to love?
Did she ever dance, sing a song, or visit with a friend?
If I could travel back in time, what would we do?
I would love to brush her hair, see if her eyes are blue, and make her smile.

Katherine Haney Williams
Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee
written July 7, 2006

Elvin Ernest Haney Sr. Family

Seated: Bessie Ora Eason Haney (daughter of Robert Sampson and Bertha Idora Clenney Eason)
Standing: Billy Joe Haney, Elvin Ernest Haney Sr. (son of Rufus Hardy and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor Haney),
Mary Helen Haney Eads, Inis Lee Haney Thrasher, Nina Faye Haney Johnson, Robert Hardy Haney,
Elvin Ernest "Fat" Haney Jr., Charles Kelly Haney

Ernest, Bessie, and their daughters were born in Henderson County.
Their sons were born in Bemis, Madison County, Tennessee.
Ernest and Bessie attended Doe Creek School and Church which was near their homes.

Rufus Hardy and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor Haney

Rufus Hardy Haynie/Haney Sr. and his first wife, Elizabeth Caudle, traveled from Anson County, North Carolina, to Henderson County, Tennessee, by covered wagon probably 1852 to 1855. Since Elizabeth was crippled, she rode in the wagon for the entire trip. Hardy's parents were Hezekiah Haynie and Winnifred Bridgman. They lived in Northumberland County, Virginia, before moving to North Carolina where Hardy was born.

After Elizabeth's death, Hardy married Mary Bennett in about 1856. Hardy and Mary's son, Rufus Hardy Haynie/Haney Jr., was born August 19, 1858, in the Doe Creek community of Henderson County, Tennessee. Rufus met and fell in love with auburn haired Sarah Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of Jacob and Minerva Francis Sheppard Taylor of Reagan, Henderson County, Tennessee. Sarah Elizabeth was born on February 19, 1855. Her father was murdered in 1872 on horse trading day.

Rufus and Elizabeth married on April 4, 1876, when Rufus (Roof) was seventeen and Elizabeth (Bett) was nineteen. Nine months later, their first child (J. T.) was born. The 1880 Henderson County census tells us that they lived next door to Elizabeth's widowed mother and Elizabeth's five brothers and one sister. Four more children (Mary Frances, Mazie Azalee, William Wiley, and Nannie E.) were born to Rufus and Elizabeth between 1879 and 1885.

The Haney home was in the Doe Creek community (south of the Doe Creek School and Church - down the road on the left) in Henderson County. Unfortunately, there would not be a happily ever after for Rufus and Elizabeth. Tragedy stuck on September 3, 1886, when J. T. died at the age of nine. Between 1888 and 1895, four more children were born (Rufus Solomon, Elvin Ernest, Roy Lester, and Zula Edna). On January 9, 1897, Elizabeth gave birth to her tenth child. This son died the same day, and Elizabeth was not well. Three days later, the eight children were gathered around their mother's bed as she took her final breath. January 12, 1897, was a sad day.

Ernest was only six years old when his mother died. Her portrait hung over his bed throughout his adult life. In the portrait, Elizabeth's long auburn hair is parted in the middle and pulled back into a bun. She inherited her auburn hair and light colored eyes from her Irish ancestors.

In the 1900 Henderson County census, Rufus was a widower with seven children in his home. Mary Frances had married and was no longer living in her father's home. About 1905, Rufus married a widow, Jennie Adeline Stevens Turner, who was twenty years younger than Rufus; and she had two sons (Frank and George Turner). Rufus and Jennie had five children (Lula, Luther Edward, Myrtle, Jennie Ruth, and Raymond). In 1910, they lived in the 10th district of Decatur County. In 1920, they lived in Madison County. Most of Rufus' children moved to Madison County to find work.

The spelling of the family name was often listed as Haynie, Hayney, and Haney for Rufus Hardy Haynie/Haney Sr. and his children and grandchildren. The descendants now use the spelling of Haney.

Elvin Ernest and Bessie Ora Eason Haney

Elvin Ernest Haney and Bessie Ora Eason grew up in the Doe Creek community near Scotts Hill, Tennessee, and attended the Doe Creek School and Church. Bessie's parents, Robert Sampson and Bertha Idora Clenney Eason, raised their family in a home across the road and just slightly north of the school. Ernest's parents were Rufus Hardy Haney Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor Haney. The Haney home was a short distance south of the school. Elizabeth died when Ernest was only six years old. Eight children were left without a mother.

In The History of Scotts Hill, Tennessee, Gordon Turner included a photo of Ollie Culp, Sam Rhodes, and Ernest Haney. The caption read: "Scotts Hill Blades, in the presence of either one of whom girls were said to almost faint." Ernest was medium height and medium build, but he was known as a fighter. Ernest and Bessie had been dating; and when she was angry with him one day, she went to a worship service at Doe Creek Church with another young man. Ernest heard about her date, and he went to church and sat beside Bessie with her between him and her date. As soon as the service ended, her date quickly left without saying a word.

Bessie was baptized in 1915 by Charles Smith Austin in the “Christian Church” as Church of Christ was known then. He baptized at the old Mill Pond in Scotts Hill.

October 1, 1916, was a pretty Sunday in Henderson County, Tennessee. The landscape was beautiful with autumn colors when twenty-six-year-old Ernest helped his pretty nineteen-year-old bride, Bessie, into the buggy to look for the preacher. They were ready to get married. Their friend, Vida Kennedy, and Bessie's sister, Gertrude Lois Eason, went along to be witnesses. They found Samuel Duck, and he performed their wedding vows while he was sitting on his horse and Ernest and Bessie were sitting in their buggy. The wedding took place at Fellowship near Sardis.

Ernest and Bessie had three daughters while living in the Doe Creek area. Their daughters were Nina Faye, Inis Lee, and Mary Helen. The family moved to Bemis in Madison County, Tennessee, in 1921. Ernest worked in the Bemis Cotton Mill, and they grew cotton and raised livestock. They added four sons to the family. Their sons were Robert Hardy, Elvin Ernest "Fat" Jr., Charles Kelly, and Billy Joe.

Bessie taught herself to play the piano and organ. She shared her talents and her love of music on Sunday mornings at 8:15 a.m. on WTJS-AM radio around 1938 to 1941 when Reverend L. H. Brown of Bemis Orthodox Missionary Baptist Church presented a message to the west Tennessee area. WTJS call letters stood for “The Jackson Sun” which was the newspaper for Jackson, Tennessee, and the west Tennessee area. WTJS was the only radio station in Jackson. Doe Creek was approximately 40 miles from Bemis and Jackson. Due to Bessie's responsibilities of home and family and lack of transportation, she was unable to frequently visit Doe Creek. Her Doe Creek family and friends enjoyed hearing her music on the radio.

In the late 1940s to mid-1960s, Ernest and Bessie entertained their nine grandchildren with barbecue picnics in their backyard on North Street in Bemis. These were simple times when watching the stars, picking four-leaf clovers, and telling stories of ancestors kept some of the children occupied.

Ernest often talked about his auburn-haired mother who died when he was young and his grandfather, Rufus Hardy Haynie Sr., who moved from North Carolina to Tennessee in a covered wagon. Bessie always talked about her family and friends that she missed so much in Doe Creek. The family often took her to Decoration Day at Doe Creek for dinner on the ground. The young granddaughters wished they did not have to wear their best Sunday clothes with starched standout petticoats and uncomfortable shoes. One grandson said he chased lizards in the Doe Creek Cemetery and wished he had taken his BB gun. Looking back, the grandchildren wish they had allowed their grandparents and parents the opportunity to visit with family and friends without complaining.

Ernest and Bessie lived happily ever after until Bessie's death on June 2, 1966, which was four months before their golden wedding anniversary.

Bessie descended from at least five ancestors who were patriots in the American Revolutionary War. They were Isaac Eason, George Cogburn, Christopher Woodward, Jourdan Woodward, and Daniel Murphy. She descended from Doe Creek pioneer families: Austin, Clenney, Duck, and Eason. She descended from Micajah Scott, the first merchant in Scotts Hill, Tennessee. The town was named in his honor.


Doe Creek School, Church, and Cemetery
The Doe Creek School and Church building was restored and dedicated in July 2007



Haynie/Haney Lineage

1. John Haynie (born in England in 1590) & Elizabeth

2. John Haynie (born in VA in 1624 died in 1697) & Jane Morris (born in VA in 1630)

3. Richard Haynie (born in VA in 1658 died in 1724) & Elizabeth Bridger (born in VA in 1665 died in 1697)

4. John Haynie Jr. (born in VA in 1682 died in 1723) & Mary Sadler (born about 1660 died in 1706)

5. Benjamin Haynie (born in VA in about 1715) & Susannah (born about 1715)

6. Hezekiah Haynie (born in VA in 1763) & Winnifred Bridgman (born in 1770)

7. Rufus Hardy Haynie/Haney Sr. (born in NC about 1801) & Mary Bennett (born in TN about 1832 died in 1874)

8. Rufus Hardy Haynie/Haney Jr. (born in Henderson County, TN in 1858 died in Madison County, TN in 1930) & Sarah Elizabeth Taylor (born in Henderson County, TN in 1855 died in Henderson County, TN in 1897)

9. Elvin Ernest Haney Sr. (born in Henderson County, TN in 1890 died in Madison County, TN in 1970) & Bessie Ora Eason (born in Henderson County, TN in 1897 died in Madison County, TN in 1966)

10. Robert Hardy Haney (born in Madison County, TN in 1923 died in Madison County, TN in 2002) & Rachel Louise Maness (born in Henderson County, TN in 1926)

11. Katherine Ann Haney (born in Madison County, TN in 1950) & Connie Marshall (Butch) Williams III (born in Henderson County, TN in 1951)

Elizabeth Bridgar Haynie

Elizabeth Bridgar Haynie was born July 16, 1665, to Richard and Jane Bridgar in Rappahannock County, Virginia. She married Richard Haynie on October 10, 1681. They had eight children. He was a captain in the militia of Northumberland County, attorney, sheriff of Northumberland County, and representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Elizabeth died April 21, 1697, in Heathsville, Northumberland County, Virginia. According to Elizabeth's memorial on, her grave was discovered in 1913; and the location was described as being at the edge of town. It is now in the center of town and believed to be located behind the bank, just off route 634, and almost directly across from the Heathsville court house. In about 1959, the grave was surrounded by a brick wall that was erected by Lillian Anderson Metcalf, a descendant and a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Elizabeth's grave marker reads:


Rufus Hardy Haney Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor April 4, 1876

Children of Rufus Hardy Haney Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor:
Mary Frances Haney and Thomas Allen Ervin
Mazie Azalee Haney and William Buckner Martin Jr. September 26, 1903
William Wiley Haney and Maggie May Austin May 17, 1908
Nancy E. Haney and Loranza Newman August 3, 1904
Rufus Solomon Haney and Flossie Milam March 18, 1911
Elvin Ernest Haney Sr. and Bessie Ora Eason October 1, 1916
Roy Lester Haney and Effie Gathing November 1942
Zula Edna Rosie Haney and Troy P. Mullins December 8, 1912
Children of Elvin Ernest Haney Sr. and Bessie Ora Eason:
Nina Faye Haney and Charles Edward Johnson December 1942
Inis Lee Haney and James Henry Thrasher May 17, 1940
- - Child: James Lee Thrasher
Mary Helen Haney and James Paul Eads December 25, 1940
- - Children: Bobby Gene Eads, Donald Ray Eads
Robert Hardy Haney and Rachel Louise Maness October 28, 1943
- - Children: Barbara Faye Haney Shepard, Katherine Ann Haney Williams, Kenny Robert Haney
Elvin Ernest Haney Jr. and Virginia Nell Davidson September 4, 1954
- - Child: Mary Susan Haney Reagan
Charles Kelly Haney and Mary Nell Miller September 28, 1957
- - Children: Karen Lee Haney Fletcher, Charles Joseph Haney
Billy Joe Haney and Shirley Weeks (divorced)

Ernest and Bessie (Eason) Haney /// Hardy and Rachel(Maness) Haney /// Butch and Kathy (Haney) Williams

Sarah Elizabeth (Taylor) Haney /// Children of Rufus Hardy Haney Jr.

On the Left: Bessie's mother, Bertha Idora Clenney Eason, is the fourth person from the left standing.
Bessie's grandparents, William Parley and Sarah Ann Austin Clenney, are seated.

On the Right: Bessie's father, Robert Sampson Eason, is on the right in the second row.
These two photos were taken from The History of Scotts Hill, TN by Gordon Turner

Roy Lester Haney on the right

The Haney Family in Bemis, Madison County, Tennessee
Elvin Ernest and Bessie (Eason) Haney moved from Henderson Co. to Madison Co. in 1921/1922.

Faye, Helen, Lee (about 1922) //// Helen, Lee, E.E. Jr. (Fat), Hardy, Faye (about 1926)

Left - Helen, Lee, E.E. Jr. (Fat), Hardy, Faye (about 1926)

Bill, Ernest Sr., Helen, Lee, Faye, Hardy, E.E. Jr. (Fat), Kelly, Bessie (seated) (about 1940)

Ernest Haney in Bemis Cotton Mill /// Ernest Haney in the wagon

World War II and Korean War
Grandsons of Rufus Hardy and Sarah Elizabeth Taylor Haney

Left: Robert Hardy Haney US Coast Guard - WW II Son of Elvin Ernest Haney
Middle: Elvin Ernest Haney, Jr. US Army - WW II Son of Elvin Ernest Haney
Right: John Rufus Haney US Navy - WW II Son of William Wiley Haney Died in service

Left: Charles Kelly Haney US Army - Korean War Son of Elvin Ernest Haney
Middle: Billy Joe Haney US Army - Korean War Son of Elvin Ernest Haney
Right: Walter Mack Haney US Army - WW II Son of Rufus Solomon Haney

Elvin Ernest and Bessie Eason Haney and six of their seven children are buried in Hollywood Cemetery in
Jackson, Madison Co. Tennessee. Mary Helen Haney Eads is buried in Highland Memorial Gardens Jackson, Madison Co. Tennessee.

Elvin Ernest Haney, Sr. 1890-1970 // Robert Hardy Haney 1923-2002// Bessie Ora Eason Haney 1897-1966

Elvin Ernest Haney, Jr. 1926-1980// Nina Faye Haney Johnson 1917-1998//Charles Kelly Haney 1928-1995

Inis Lee Haney Thrasher 1919-2001 /// Billy Joe Haney 1931-1990

Mary Helen Haney Eads 1920-2003 // Hollywood Cemetery Jackson, TN

Doe Creek School - A Pioneer Family