Knox and Jefferson Counties
Simon Adamson of
By Andy Adamson,
For many years there have been questions
identity of the person or persons named Simon Adamson in
1. How many Simon Adamsons were living in Jefferson Co., TN (1790-1830)?
2. Were Simon Adamson Senior and Junior the same person?
Which Simon Adamson wrote the will proven
What is the family relationship between
Adamson and all of the other Adamsons living in
Part One: “Simon Adamson” as found in the original records.
In order to help answer the four questions listed above, I have listed all of the Jefferson and Knox county original records that I have been able to gather over the years. I have abstracted those records for their pertinent information, included the names of all Adamsons listed in those records, and given the original source documentation or each record.
1. Jan 1793 Session Knox Co. Ct grant John Adamson and Simeon Adamson a permit to build a public grist mill on their Lyons Creek land.
Jefferson Co., TN tax list, Capt.
Jefferson Co., TN tax list, Capt.
34. 1824 Jefferson
Co., TN tax list, Capt. Bakers
Co.; Capt. Thornburgh’s Co. Eleanor Adamson 160 acres; John Adamson 125
Enos Adamson 276 acres; Simon Adamson 230 acres; Enos Adamson 123.
35. 24 Jun 1824 Simon Adamson and Abraham Adamson listed as buyers at the estate sale of Smallwood Middleton in Jefferson Co., TN. Will Book 2, page 448 to 457.
Jefferson Co., TN tax list, Capt.
Jefferson Co., TN tax list; Capt.
page 341 Elinor Adamson 0-2-1-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 males
page 341 Thomas Adamson 3-1-0-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 males
page 301 Thomas Adamson 2-1-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 males
page 301 Larkin Adamson 0-0-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 males
Part Two: Answering the questions about Simon Adamson of Jefferson Co., TN
Based on the information contained in the 47 records listed in Part One, I believe that historically solid answers can be made to the several long-asked questions concerning the identity of the Simon Adamson found in the original records of Jefferson and Knox Counties, Tennessee.
many Simon Adamson was living in
were at least two, if not 3, Simon Adamsons living in
Note: There are nine Simon Adamson records (28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36) made after the death of a Simon Adamson in early 1814. These nine records could only have been made by a living person!
Note: There are seven Simon Adamson records (6, 7, 11, 13, 15, 19, and 22) using the either term : Senior ( 6, 11, 13, and 22) or Junior ( 6, 7, 15, and 19).
contains both a Simon Adamson Junior of
Note: Records # 4, 6, 10 & 13 shows that there were at least two Simon Adamsons in Jefferson Co., TN before 1808. A Simon Adamson bought land “adjoining” or “including” that of Simon Adamson Senior.
Lost Creek MM contain requests for membership for a Simon Adamson, Jr.
and Simon Adamson, Sr. in 1810. The 1805
entry occurs within a grouping of entries relating to the family of
Mary (Wells) Adamson between 1800 and 1807. This family had a son named
Adamson, listed in the records of New Hope MM, on
Question 2: Were Simon Adamson Senior and Junior the same person?
Answer: No! The evidence shows that they are two different persons! While this question is basically answered in the response to question one, a careful review of the answer to question three will provide a definite answer to this question.
Note: While Senior and Junior did not always denote a father and son relationship, why would the same person request membership at Lost Creek MM, first as Simon Jr., then five years later as Simon Sr.? Since there is no record of a Simon Adamson being disowned in the interim, then it is reasonable to conclude that those two requests at Lost Creek, came from two different individuals.
Note: The record of document # 6 clearly shows that a Simon Adamson, Junior and a Simon Adamson, Senior were living during the same time period.
Note: A careful review of the records to determine the identity of the Simon Adamson whose will was proven on March 14, 1814 (record 25), will provide a definitive answer to this question.
Simon Adamson wrote the will proven on
believe that the evidence shows without doubt that this will belong to
Adamson “Junior”, and is not the will of Simon Adamson “Senior”, that
Adamson researchers have mistakenly asserted to be the fact, i.e. “Lost
Note: The key to understanding which Simon Adamson wrote this will is found in the records related to the settlement of this estate, i.e. The will itself (record 25 and 27), and some deed records in the settling of the Simon’s estate (record 20, 45, 46, 47).
Note: In the Will, Simon Adamson lists three of his children and his wife by name, mentions “younger children” and “my place on Lions Creek”. The will is signed Simon Adamson, without adding Senior or Junior. The last record using those terms was in 1810 (19,22). And Jesse Adamson (his son) and Zaccheus Routh (his in-law) were listed as co-executors, with Jonathan Adamson and Zaccheus Routh as witnesses.
record 30, Elinor Adamson, for the estate of Simon Adamson, received a
claim deed to a salt lick on Lions Creek in
records 8, 12 and 23 Simon Adamson owned 115 acres in
records 4, 6, and 18 Simon Adamson buys 167 acres in Jefferson Co.;
records 45, 46 and 47, Elinore Adamson,
their 10 children and heirs, sell the same 167 acres in
Note: According to records 25, 45, 46 and 47, Simon and Eleanor (Routh) Adamson did not have a son named Simon; and all records using the name Simon Adamson “Senior” end in 1810; therefore, the testator was most likely Simon Adamson “Junior”, and not Simon Adamson “Senior”.
was the family relationship between the Simon Adamson whose will was
1814 and all the other Adamsons living in
Simon Adamson whose will was proven in 1814 in
to records (45, 46 and 47), Simon was the father of:
Jesse Adamson and his wife Priscilla, Jacob
Adamson and his wife Ruth, Lydia (Adamson) and
her husband Joshua Covey, Esther
(Adamson) and her husband William Wilson, Thomas Adamson and his wife
Susannah (Adamson) and her husband Eli Wilson, Larkin Adamson and his
Nancy F., Mary (Adamson) and her husband Andrew Douglas, Levi Adamson
wife Pollyan, and Elinor (Adamson) and her husband Joseph Hearn. Simon Adamson’s widow, children and heirs
combined with the information contained in the will of Thomas Adamson
Note: David Adamson and Thomas Adamson are witnesses to a land purchase of Simon Adamson in record # 18. More ever, David Adamson and Thomas Adamson are witnesses to John Adamson and Jonathan Adamson’s land purchases from 1796 to 1810.
fact, Simon Adamson, John Adamson, Jonathan Adamson, Thomas Adamson and
Adamson are all listed in each others land purchases in early
Simon Adamson, did between 1812 and 1814 in
Was Simon Adamson, Sr. of
To date, no original record has been found showing that Simon Adamson, “Junior” was the son of Simon Adamson, “Senior”, and the grandson of John and Ann (Skuce) Adamson; however it does seem probable. The names are right, the time frame is right, yet no original record has surfaced.
Simon Adamson Sr. probably is the father of Simon Adamson Jr. and his four brothers; but he is not the testator of the will of 1814, for he would be too old to be the father of ten children listed in the three deeds of Simon Adamson’ estate (records # 45, 46 and 47), and the grandson of eight children born between 1758 and 1780 in North Carolina, i.e. Jesse T., Enos, John, Jonathan, Thomas, David, Susannah and Simon Adamson.
This conclusion was suggested to me by another
Bliss Brimley in 1976, after her examination of the deed records of
According to the Dixon’s first book: The Adamson Source Book, the Thomas and Rachel (Williams) Adamson descendants in Lawrence County, Indiana have a family tradition that an Alexander Adamson of New Hanover, NC was the immigrant Adamson and father of father of the Adamson brothers of Jefferson Co., TN, rather than Simon, son of John and Ann (Skuce) Adamson. Frankly, this family tradition has kept me from completely accepting the latter.
Another puzzle is the identity of the Simon Adamson living after 1814 in Jefferson Co., TN. I believe that this third Simon Adamson to be the son of Jesse and Mary (Wells) Adamson. The Jefferson Co., TN records of this Simon Adamson end in 1824/25, when records in Wilson Co., TN appear.
Yet since 1972, I have not been able to prove
reasonable doubt the ancestry of my
Adamson ( 1767-1828), who married Mary Hammer in
William Andrew Adamson
Typo corrections by jfa 2/2004
dates corrected on items 2,11,13,17 and 47.
Correction to spelling of Zaccheus Routh---2/5/2005