Nashville History

Read my other blog - Nashville History

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Miscellaneous Notes on the Steele family of Middle Tennessee

Notes for Andrew Steele:

1787 Davidson County, TN Tax List - Andrew Steel

The theory that our Steele's (and many USA Steeles for that matter) descend from Richard Steele who married Mary Scurlock has been around for a long time and is unfounded. I was very excited when some years ago, I found that my local library had a biography of Richard Steele. "Sir Richard Steele, 1672-1729" by Willard Connely. Went and got the book (actually they had two), it was the same guy, born 1672, died 1829 and married to Mary Scurlock. But guess what? This Richard Steele had no legitimate children who lived into adulthood. He did have some female illegitmate children who lived to be adults but they did not carry the name Steele.

Samuel Steele born 1709 died 1790 did have a son named Andrew. However his son Andrew was married to Mary Ramsey and is not our Andrew Steele who married Martha Buchanan. At the time our Andrew was in TN, the other Andrew, son of Samuel 1709-1790 was back in VA. You can find him in many records. There is enough evidence just in Chalkleys' Chronicles of Virginia to show that the son of Samuel Steele, 1709-1790 is not our Andrew. Also look for information on the Ramsey family for further evidence.

Our Andrew Steele was in TN as early as 1787 when he appears alongside his father in law Archibald Buchanan on a tax list for Davidson Co. Andrew owned land in both Davidson and Sumner Co. and owned a ferry on Stones River in Davidson Co., that had previously been owned by his father in law. When Wilson Co was formed in 1799 from Sumner, Andrew's land was in the new county. In the early 1800's, Andrew began to sell his land and by 1810 he had moved to White County. A parcel of land sold in Davidson County in 1810 shows Andrew to be "a resident in the county of White in Tennessee". This proves he was still living in 1810. The tract of land was on the east side of Stones River and included "the ferry landing known by the name of Buchanan ferry at the old fields". The "old fields" was also know as Clover Bottom, a part of which was owned by Archibald Buchanan, Andrew's father in law.

Found on the 1820 Census of White Co., TN are Alexander, Andrew, Andrew H. and John Steele.  Andrew is listed as being over 45, and Alexander and  John and listed as being between the ages of 26 and 45 and Andrew H. is listed as being aged 18-26. Andrew is too young to be Andrew Sr., husband of Martha Buchanan and so must be Andrew Jr. Andrew H. is probably a son of Andrew Sr.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am a descendant of Andrew and Martha through their daughter Rebecca. My reading of the 1820 census of White County shows Andrew as over 45.

    1. I went over the 1820 census data and you are correct about Andrew. I made a change in the noes above.

  2. This family is also being researched on the wiki site at the following URL:

    Would appreciate any additional sources to determine Andrew's parentage.

    Best regards:)

  3. It has to be considered that Andrew might have been an immigrant and came to this country as an adult. That may be the reason he has not, so far, fit into any of the families investigated.