I spent the entire day looking into our Watts past and Jessamine County, Kentucky. It’s safe to say we were in Kentucky early in the state’s history. As early as 1797 we know William Watts was born in the state to George and Susan, living in what would become Jessamine County. And now that we know those kids…William, John C., George and Saint Clair…I was looking for what happened to them in the mid-1800′s. I’ve got nothing concrete, but here’s some speculation.
I’m guessing that William is the oldest son, therefore born 1797 or earlier…but not much. John C. was born in 1798. I think George Jr was born in 1800 and Charles St. Clair about 1802. This family lived near the tri-county border of Jessamine, Madison and Garrard. Look at this map:
Using coordinates 9 B and 9 C you’ll find the part of Jessamine County our guys lived in along with the Sagesers, Bruners, Walkers, Waters and Owens. Back in those days, the Danville Pike was the main road through the county. It’s on the map as highway 27 now. The winding river through this map is the Kentucky river. It’s the southern border of the county. And if you look closely, you’ll see that Madison and Garrard counties meet with Jessamine in section C on the line between 9 and 10. This answers the question I always had about how John was born in Madison, lived in Garrard and Jessamine, was at one time sheriff of Madison. They lived in the same area where moving just a bit changed the county you lived in. Plus, the county lines change around them. Madison was formed in 1786 out of Lincoln. Garrard was formed out of part of Madison in 1797. Jessamine was formed out of the lower part of Fayette in 1799.
Looking at the map, you’ll see Camp Nelson on the edge of C9. Camp Nelson figures in the lives of several of our ancestors. And at the top of B9 you see Hanly, a town that figures in the life of James Monroe Watts. Between the two on Danville Pike is Roberts Chapel where Thomas Harrison and Nettie Bell are married. And it still stands.
But I digress. I now believe Samuel was a brother of George…an uncle to the four boys. In 1810, Sam’s Jessamine county census has a modest family. By 1820 there’s an extra four boys that don’t make sense given the couple’s age. I’m thinking some of those nephews came to live with him. Then by 1830, William and Charles St. Clair have moved off by themselves in Madison county and George has gone west to Hardin county.
The George in Hardin county is the right age. He marries Mary McMahon and has four kids who mostly stay in the county . He dies between the 1860 and 1870 census.
Charles S starts his family in 1835 and by 1850 has six kids and his mother-in-law living with him on a fairly large farm in Madison county. Here’s an interesting note…in the 1860 census his first name is listed as Cinklare. In 1870 its Sinclair. There’s even a nephew in Jessamine county whose name is Sinkly. Sink dies before the 1880 census but his wife Mary is living with her son William, still in Madison county.
One interesting note…two generations later, in Jessamine county, Charles St. Clair Watts, son of another William Watts, marries Mary Jane Walker, sister of Nettie Bell, who of course marries Thomas Harrison Watts, our great grandfather.