Nashville History

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Charles M. Hall of Davidson County, Tennessee

Facts gathered from Davidson County, TN records and published material concerning Charles Merryman Hall by Debie Cox and Ronald C. Hall

Original Marriage bonds and licenses - Davidson County, William Williams to Martha Hall 1/12/1819, bondsman J. Hoggatt                  Consent - Davidson Cty January 12th 1819 Sir This is to certify that I have given my concent to a contract of marriage between my daughter Martha Hall and Mr. William Williams boath of this county Pleas to issue a lisens for that Purpus - - Charles M. Hall

Original Marriage bonds and licenses - Davidson County, Charles M. Hall to Nancy Steel 3/12/1816, bondsman Jacob Shall

Original Marriage bonds and licenses - Davidson County, John B. Hall  to Nancy T. Cooke 3/30/1816, bondsman John C. Hall

Original Marriage bonds and licenses - Davidson County, Charles M. Hall  to Eliza Greene 11/20/1809, bondsman  Saml Pryor, Letter of consent to clerk signed by bride Eliza Greene

Original Marriage bonds and licenses - Davidson County, Maclin Cross to Polly Hall 5/5/1800, bondsman Samuel White, MB has Groom's name as Martin Cross

Davidson County Will Book 9, page 98 Charles M. Hall decd Inventory, recorded March 19, 1827, Nancy B. Hall, admninistrator, Dec 22, 1826.

Davidson County Will Book 9, page 103 Charles M. Hall decd sale, recorded March 20, 1827, Nancy B. Hall, administrator.
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 111 Charles M. Hall decd Additional Inventory, recorded June 14, 1827
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 203 Charles M. Hall decd Hiring of Negroes, June 9, 1828
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 321 Charles M. Hall decd  Settlement, heirs not named.
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 376 Nancy B. Hall Inventory Recorded March 9, 1830, taken Dec. 23, 1829, Samuel Steele administrator.
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 409 Nancy B. Hall Inventory of Sale, Samuel Steele, administrator.
Davidson County Will Book 9, page 572 Nancy B. Hall Settlement recorded Apr. 11, 1832, Samuel Steele, Adm.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 371, Jan. Session, Jan. 1 1826, Sheriff to summon a jury -   Be it remembered that on this day there was produced and read in the court an affidavit in the following words and figures to wit, “In the matter of Charles M. Hall a citizen and resident in the county of Davidson Zachariah Noell makes his oath that he is now and has  been long acquainted with the said Hall and that he verily believes his mind is so much decayed by age & other causes that he is wholly incompetent to manage his own affairs, that he has a large real and personal estate liable to be lost or injured greatly for want of some person legally authorized to protect the same.  Z. Noell     Sworn to in open court Jany 21st, 1826  Nathan Ewing clerk.

Whereupon and upon the information thus made the court order adjudge and decree that the sheriff of Davidson County do summon a jury consisting of  twelve free holders and them first being duly sworn do ______ ____ the idiocy or lunacy of said Charles M. Hall and make report thereof to the next succeeding court and also report what chattel or lands if any the said Charles M. Hall is possessed if he be found an idiot of lunatic at the time of taking such inquisition.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 427, Apr. Session, Apr. 18, 1826, State vs Charles M. Hall - The jurors who were summoned and sworn by the sheriff of this county to enquire into the idiocy or lunacy of Charles M. Hall having made their report to this court.  On motion of John H. Martin in behalf of said Charles M. Hall said report is set aside and motion made by Ephraim H. Foster to have the former order revived.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 516, July Session, July 25, 1826,  C. M. Hall jurors report postponed - The jurors summoned by the sheriff in presence of an order of the preceeding court to inquire into the idiocy or lunacy of Charles M. Hall &c returned into court their report.  And thereupon came hereunto court James _. Rucks Esquire and moved the court for leave to the cause of why said report should be Quashed &c and to him it is granted.  And said rule is extended and continued until next court.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 550, Oct. Session, Oct. 16, 1826, Hall admx of Hall - Ordered that Nancy B. Hall have letters of administration granted to her Penden___ on the estate of Charles M. Hall deceased.  She having given bond in the sum of twenty five thousand dollars with James Buchanan, Edward H. East, Absalom Gleaves, William Stewart and Eli Cherry her securities for her faithful administration and qualified according to law.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 555, Oct. Session, Oct. 16, 1826,  Nancy B. Hall support to be laid off - The court appoint Andrew Jackson, Edward H. East, John W. Jones, Zachariah Noell and Absalom Gleaves Esq. Or any three of them commissioners to lay off and set apart to Nancy B. Hall widow and relict of Charles M. Hall deceased, one years support for herself and family out of said decedents estate and having so done make report thereof to our ensuing court.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826,page 557 and 558, Oct. Session, Oct. 16, 1826, Charles M. Hall will - This day came William Hall, John B. Hall, John G. Neely and Nancy C. His wife, Elizabeth Shropshire and Polly Cross here unto open court and bring with them a paper writing in the words and figures following:  To wit  In the name of God amen I Charles M. Hall of the county of Davidson in the State of Tennessee for the purpose of avoiding as far as possible any difficulty as to the disposition of my estate after my death, Do make ordain and publish this instrument as my last will and testament hereby revoking all others previously made.  First of all it is my will and desire that all my just debts be paid by the sale of ___crop of every description which may be on my farm at my death.  If that farm should be insufficient then I wish my ___ of every description, farming utensils, household and  kitchen furniture to be ___ and it is my express wish that my slaves shall be resorted to for the payment of debts only in the event of the failure of the foregoing funds.  Item 2nd My son in law John G. Neely and Nancy C his wife having consented to live with me and attend to my business both general and domestic nature until my death.  I therefore give and bequeath to said John G. Neely the following slaves to wit, Sam a negro man, his wife Louisa and their two infant children Mary an Dorothy Ann - having heretofore given to said Neely the said four negroes upon the condition that he and his wife Nancy C. shall remain in my service during my life.  Item 3rd the remainder of my estate of any description both real and personal except a negro boy Claiborne, I give and bequeath share and share alike to my five folling children, to wit, William Hall, John B. Hall, Betsy Shropshire, Polly Cross and Nancy C. Neely.  It is my will however that the portion of my daughter Betsy Shropshire shall descend to the heirs of her body this bequest being inpurely designed to rest in her my said daughter a life estate only with remainder to her children.  It is also my will and desire that the portion of my daughter Nancy C. Neely shall rest in her only for her natural life.  I hereby vest her with all the power however to dispose of the whole or any part of her said portion by written will or otherwise at her death.  Item Fourth I give and bequest to the oldest son of my present wife to wit Charles M. Hall the negro boy Claiborne before spoken on account of his having been called after me although I am well satisfied that neither he nor either of her other children were begotten by me.  And lastly as I hope to live with my debts paid it is my will and desire that without the appointment of an executor or administrator my children named in above ___ meet as soon after my death as may be convenient and allot amongst themselves my estate as before described.  Witness my hand and seal  this fifteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty six. 
Charles M.  X    Hall

Signed sealed delivered and declared by the above named Charles M Hall to be his last will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names witness in the presence of the testator.  James M Hoggatt, Nimrod Ragsdale, Cons. H. P. Maxey, Milton H. Marr(?), Jos. Cook.

Which they say is the last will and Testament of Charles M. Hall deceased late of the said county and offer to prove it to be such.  And thereupon came Nancy B. Hall for herself and as natural guardian to Charles M. Hall, Eliza Ann Hall and Aristine L. Hall and pray to be admitted to contest the validity of said supposed last will and Testament.  And thereupon they say that said paper writing above set for is not the last will and Testament of said Charles M. Deceased and that they put themselves upon the county.  And the said William, John B., John G., Nancy C., Elizabeth & Polly do the like.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 561, Oct. Session, Oct. 17, 1826, Power Hall to Brooks & Steele - Power of Attorney, Nancy B. Hall administrator of Charles M. Hall decd to Christopher Brooks and Samuel Steele was acknowledged in open court.

Davidson County Deed Book E, page 136 Charles M. Hall - Nov 27, 1799
This indenture made 7 July 1799 between John Caffrey of Davidson County of the one part and Charles Merryman Hall of the other part.  John Caffrey conveyed unto Charles M. Hall a tract of land containing 440 acres in Davidson County on the waters of Stones River, originally granted to William Moore the same being conveyed to Benjamin Knox and from said Knox to John Caffrey, adjoining a corner made for Christopher Wagner's land.  Wit: William Sanders and John Erwinde, Oct. term 1799.

Davidson County Deed Book E, page 243 William Hall - Nov 11, 1800
This indenture made 7 Feb 1800 between Charles M. Hall of Davidson County of the one part and William  Hall of the same place of the other part.  Charles M. Hall  conveyed unto William Hall a tract of land containing 177 acres in Davidson County being part of  William Moore's preemption lying between Stones River and McCrorys Creek adjoining McMurray's line and Thomas Gallaspie's line.  Wit: John Hoggett and John Bowls. Oct. Term 1800.

Donelson Tennessee - It's History and Landmarks by Leona Taylor Aiken, 1968.
Page 69
Old Blue Brick, one of the oldest brick houses in Middle Tennessee, was built before 1800, and was the first substantial house built on the original fifteen hundred acres that made up the sprawling Clover Bottom Plantation...
History on the home is sketchy. It was "built in North Carolina" about 1790 when Tennessee was still part of North Carolina. The Hall brothers who built it were partners of Archibald Buchanan and they also built the McCampbell home about the same time.
Page 219
Miss Maggie McCampbell, on July 7, 1936, told the history of the McCampbell home. "This house was built before the Ridley place which was built in 1829. Our house and the old Blue Brick were built alike, but ours has been changed as rooms have been added to it. Major Hall and his brother built the two houses..."
(Found that many of the mentions of Hall in the Donelson book were quotes from Old Days in Nashville. )
Old Days in Nashville, by Miss Jane Thomas, originally published 1897.
Notes in parens ( ) added by Debie Cox (Miss Jane Thomas was born in 1800 so the young men that she mentions socializing with are possibly of an age to be grandsons or great-nephews of the elder Charles M. Hall)
Page 32
In 1812 Jesse W. Thomas, my father, was a militia captain. His muster - ground was William McMurray's farm, near Todd's Knob, on the Lebanon Turnpike...
This is his muster list...John B. Hall, James McFerrin (half brother to Nancy B. Steele Hall), ...Thomas Fuquay (Fuqua was married to a neice of Nancy B. Steele), ...Zachariah Noel (gave statement concerning mental state of Charles M. Hall, DCCM 1824 -1826, page 371, ), ...Archibald Hall, ...John E. Hall (Another listing of this company shows this as John C. Hall)...
Page 105
The young ladies in our neighborhood were Misses Jones, Cooper, Hall and Thomas. The young men were the three sons of Capt. Hoggett, Standifer, James and Jack; William, Henry, James and Langston Cooper; Jack and Ben Clopton; John, Charles, Elisha, and Lindsley Hall; the Flournoys, Buchanans, Jones and others.
(Ronald you asked about Elihu S. Hall. I think he is a different person than Elisha Hall mentioned above. Miss Jane moved into town to live as an adult and would have know Elihu S. Hall as he was quite prominent. I think the Elisha Hall of her youth is not the same as Elihu.)
Page 105 cont.
In 1812 Mr. Richard Drake kept a tavern at Clover Bottom. On the fourth of July he gave a ball... The young ladies who went were Misses Martha and Virginia Johns, Rody and Besty Hall...
Page 107
Lindsley Hall went to Princeton from Major Exum's school and studied law...
Obituaries From Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794 - 1851, compiled by Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr.
Page 157
Hall, Mr. Charles M. Aged 78. Died in this County. National Banner & Nashville Whig. Sat., Oct. 7, 1826.
Pioneers of Davidson County, compiled by Edythe Rucker Whitley
page 19, In Capt. Thomas Militia Company
Seth Cason..., James McFerrin..., John C. Hall, John B. Hall, Archibald Hall..., Wm. Hall..., Charles Mc Hall, James Buchanan...
Interesting note ...Archibald Buchanan's sister Rebecca married a William Hall, Jr. in Augusta Co. VA. She was married first to Robert Brafford
1787--June 11, Wm. Hall and Robert McChesney, surety. Wm. Hall
and Rebecca Brafford, widow.

Bibliography: Acklen, Robert, Tennessee Records, Bible Records and
Marriage Bonds, Nashville, TN: Cullom & Ghertner Co., 1933.
page 130
Samuel Steele, father of Andrew Steele, born 1709, died 1790, in
Virginia. (DOC note: This Samuel Steele is of the Steele family of Steele's Tavern, VA. He did have a son named Andrew but it is not the same person as the Andrew who married Martha Buchanan. His son Andrew married mary Ramsey and stayed in VA.)
Andrew Steele, born about 1755. He married Martha Buchanan in 1780.
Martha Buchanan was the daughter of Archibald and Agnes Bowen McFerrin
Buchanan, born 1762.
Andrew Steele came to Tennessee from Montgomery County, Va., and bought
land on Caney Fork in 1793. (DOC note: He was in Davidson Co., TN by 1787. He lived in Sumner Co., then Wilson Co. Did not got to the Caney Fork area, White Co., until about 1808 The information that he came from Montgomery Co., is based on faulty research. He most likely was one of the Andrew Steele's that lived in Washington Co., VA, where Archibald Buchanan lived.)
The children of Andrew and Martha Buchanan Steele were:
Archibald Steele, who married and left a family near Natchez, Miss.
John and James Steele, who were twins. John married a Miss Compton. James
married on Caney Fork.
Andrew Steele, who married on Caney Fork.
Mary Steele, who married Perry Magnes.
Nancy Steele, who married Charles Hall.
Samuel Steele, born 1782, and married Patience Shane 1805.
The children of Samuel and Patience Shane Steele were:
Rebecca, who married Thomas Wood.
James Steele, who married Judith Wood.
Polly Steele, who married William Harper Wright.
Martha Buchanan Steele, born in 1811, and married Joseph Shackleford
Binkley in 1833.

Subject: Hall Records in Davidson County, TN
Date: 6/13/04 12:28:08 PM Central Daylight Time
Reply To: 

Here is what I have so far:
Davidson County Circuit Court Records
November 21, 1826
p. 18
Grand Jury issues an indictment against John C. Hall (a son of William Hall, brother to Chas. M. Hall, Sr.?), Ellen (Buchanan) Cason, Nancy B. Hall (widow of Chas. M. Hall, Sr.), Betsy Hall (who is this?) and James Buchanan for an affray and assault and battery. A true bill was issued and the Grand Jury withdrew to consider further presentments.
[Note from Ron C. Hall Sept, 7, 2011 - To answer the question "Who was Betsy Hall?"  She was Elizabeth Hall London, widow and daughter of Charles M. Hall.   "Who is William Hall?" While it is often reported that William Hall andCharles M. Hall were brothers that built some of the old homes noted in
Nashville (and that may be), the William Hall who's son is John C. Hall was
a nephew of Charles M. Hall.  His father was Charles's older brother, John
of Bedford and Campbell County, Virginia.  This William moved to Yazoo
County, Mississippi shortly after 1820.  He owned land next door to Charles
M. Hall in Davidson County, Tennessee.
The William who married a Buchanan in Augusta, Virginia is a good candidate
for being our Charles M. Hall's brother.]
p. 46-47
vs. Ellen Cason - Jury Trial ordered to pay fine of $1.00 plus costs.
vs. James Buchanan – Ordered to pay costs. No fine and drop related suit.
vs. John C. Hall – Pleaded guilty to indictment. Fined $49.00 plus costs.
vs. Betsy Hall – Pleaded guilty. Ordered to pay fine of $1.00 plus costs.
vs. Nancy B. Hall – Pleaded guilty. Ordered to pay fine of $1.00 plus costs.
May Term 1827
Page 112
Ellen Buchanan Cason and Betsy Hall arrested for failure to pay fine. They stated they did not have it. Fine was dismissed.
John B. Hall vs. Nancy B. Hall
Contested will, case continued.
Page 123 – May 21, 1827
John B. Hall vs. Nancy B. Hall
Plaintiff asks for more time to depose witnesses.
Page 253 December 8, 1827
John B. Hall vs. Nancy B. Hall
More depositions requested, including one from Adaline Taylor (a daughter of Elizabeth Hall London Shropshire)
Davidson County Minutes of the First Circuit Court Vol. G 1828-1831
November Term – 1828
Page 9
Page 12-13
John B. Hall vs. Nancy B. Hall
Contested will appealed – jury trial, will is not valid.
Nancy B. Hall vs. John B. Hall
Judge decides on formula to divide estate
Page 30
May Term 1829
Page 108-110
Nancy B. Hall vs. John B. Hall
Judge divides property (in detail) in consultation with appraisements given by appointed Clerks and Masters.
November Term 1829 – January 14, 1830
Page 211
Court notices that Nancy B. Hall has died. No one denies it.
November Term 1830
Page 381
Charles M. Hall vs. John B. Hall
Nancy B. Hall, deceased, is stated to be the mother of her children and Samuel Steele is named guardian of same.
November Term 1831
Page 520 –
Page 560
Charles M. Hall, Eliza Ann Hall, Austin L. Hall (?) infants by their guardian Samuel Steele vs. John B. Hall, William Hall, John G. Neeley & Nancy, his wife, Maclin Cross and Polly, his wife, James H. Shropshire and Elizabeth, his wife
Appears to be a disposition of the proceeds of the sale of land, perhaps the homestead.
(Note: the name Austin L. Hall seems to be pretty clearly spelled on this document.)
I had thought Samuel Steele was Nancy B. Hall’s son from a previous marriage. No proof, just working theories as names and context presented itself.
Hope some of this is helpful.
What do you think?
Ronald C. Hall

Subject: Re: Hall Records in Davidson County, TN
Date: 6/13/04 2:19:49 PM Central Daylight Time
From: DebieCox
Reply To: 

I suspect that Nancy's full name was Nancy Bowen Steele, but the B may have stood for Buchanan or something else. Nancy's parents were Andrew Steele and Martha Buchanan Steele. Her grandfather was Archibald Buchanan who owned the old Blue Brick that was built by the Hall's.  [Note: Contrary to family tradition, it has come to light, that the old Blue Brick was not Archibald Buchanan's home as it is not located on his property.]  Her grandmother Buchanan was Nancy Agnes Bowen. Samuel Steele, born May 13, 1782, was Nancy's older brother, he being the oldest child of Andrew and Martha Buchanan Steele. 

James Buchanan that was mentioned in the court minutes you referenced was Nancy's uncle and brother of Martha Buchanan Steele. Martha had a sister named Ellen and I don't have any info on who she married. Ellen was unmarried when her father wrote his will in 1803. In 1812 an Elnora Buchanan married Seth Cason in Davidson Co. and James Buchanan was the bondsman.

Just curious: in your post on genforum you mention a child Austin L. I did not find this name in any of the records I had accessed. I did find a child named Aristine L. She is mentioned here as one of the children of Nancy B. Hall: Davidson County Court Minutes 1824 -1826, page 558 and here:
Davidson County Court Minute Book B. Page 73, Jan. 1836, Saml Steele guar return - Samuel Steele guardian for Charles M. Hall, Aristine L. Hall, and Ann Eliza A. Hall minor orphans returned into court on oath an account of his said Guardianship and ordered to be recorded.
I also have found her in subsequent entries in minute book B but don't have them posted ont he website yet. My current project is to transcribe county court minutes for the website. They are poorly indexed and almost worthless unless one goes through them page by page at present.
Do you know if Charles M. Hall was one of the "Hall brothers" who were house builders and credited with building the "old Blue Brick" home of Archibald Buchanan as well as the McCampbell home that is still standing today in Davidson Co.?

This family is on Debie's maternal side.