This is the migration pattern of one Rutledge line that starts far back as we know in Virginia....and before that perhaps in South Carolina.


Historical timeline for Tennessee

Map of Tennessee

Stephen's Death Certificate

Migration pattern of the Stephen W. Rutledge line from Tennessee

This is July 2008 and we still do not know the names of Stephen's grandfather and grandmother, but there are clues to explore.

Family story holds that Stephen's grandfather brought his family from Virginia to Hawkins County.

Census records confirm that the Rutledge brothers Thomas F., Lorenzo Dow, Emanuel and their sister Lucy, were born in Virginia. Scott County Virginia is a good guess because it is close to Rogersville, Tennessee, Hawkins County, where the family lived from at least 1820 to 1836, but left Hawkins County before census of 1840  

Church records of the Hickory Cove Baptist Church document membership  between 1820 and 1836.


In Hawkins county they lived north-east of Rogersville between the Holston and Clinch Rivers. The church they attended was Hickory Cove church, but it is not shown on this 1895 map. Church Record

We will provide what we know about Thomas and his wife "Polly" Rutledge and their children, Stephen, Joseph, Cornelius, Nancy, Sarah and Mary.

We appreciate any information about this family, which will be posted here for everyone to research.

Scott County, Virginia is just north of Hawkins County, TN. The Holston River Valley was a natural passage for wagon trains from Scott County, VA into Hawkins County, TN.

The earliest known Rutledge in Hawkins County was H. Rutledge found a member of Masonic  Overton Lodge, No. 5 which was founded 1805. His relationship is unknown.

The earliest known Wilson was William who appeared on the  1811 tax roll. His relationship is unknown.

Records of the Hickory Cove church started in 1820 and ended in 1836. The majority membership of that church was surnames Rutledge and Wilson.

This Rutledge family came from Virginia, (likely Scott County) to Hawkins before  1820.

Part of the family left Hawkins after 1836 1836 (Probably after 1840 as Stephen was in school so at least seven years old, which suggests the year 1840.)




Stephen was born 1833 in Hawkins County, TN. Stephen mentioned in his Civil War era diary that he lived close to the Holston River and he knew a girl in school called Sally White Apron. Stephen in 1840 was 7 years old and with his father in Bledsoe County, TN. If he knew Sally in school, it must have been in Bledsoe County. I believe the Holston river runs through the Pikesville (Bledsoe) area.

Years later he would meet Sally again, but as a nurse at a civil war prison in Northern Illinois called Camp Douglas.

Chicago, Illinois

First prisoners were 8000 Confederates taken at Fort Donelson, TN.

Stephen Rutledge was part of that group.

More about Rutledge and Wilson.

Links to Hawkins Resources


Stephen was born in 1833 and at age 17 was in his fathers house 1850 in Bledsoe County enumeration district 9 and Uncle Lorenzo Dow and family were living in the eastern enumeration district of Bledsoe County.

So in 1850 Thomas F. and Lorenzo Dow and their families are documented by census in Bledsoe County.

But it appears some of the family stayed in Hawkins Co. In 1885 two men named Emanuel and Thomas Rutledge were ministers of churches around the same area where the family lived 55 years earlier.



While Stephen's family crossed Franklin County three times we know of, we find no record that they ever actually lived there.

This is interesting background because  federal census for Tennessee in 1830 enumerated a Jackson M. Rutledge aged 50 to 60 living alone in Franklin County. The largest town in the county at that time was Winchester.

If Jackson M. Rutledge was the same man born 1777 in South Carolina, this Jackson in 1830 was 53 years old in 1830, and 73 years old in 1850.

NOTE: In 1830 our Rutledge line lived  in Hawkins County and in 1840 lived in Bledsoe Co.

Franklin County sets midway between Bledsoe and Sequatchie east and Giles and Lawrence Counties to the west, all counties Stephen's family lived in before 1870.


Winchester was the main town in Franklin County in 1830. It appears that Jackson may have lived in the outlined area.

Better photo of Winchester area.


In 1851 Stephen in his diary said that he traveled by horseback from Pikeville, Bledsoe County south across the river to Sequatchie County to witness the hanging of a murderer named Godfrey.

While crossing the river he rescued his future wife Mary who's horse had foundered in mid stream. 

As she caught her breath she stated, "I am Mary Massey from Sequatchie." 

Stephen was eighteen and Mary sixteen years old  when they married in 1851.


That same year they moved to Henryville in Lawrence County. It seems that after 1851 the family moved several times within 20 years.

This was a problem when trying to figure out when and where the ten children were born.




1852 in Henryville, Lawrence County, Tennessee

 at the birth of their first child, Mary who was born in 1852, but died young.


Chronology of birth records at this point gets more confusing. In 1853  John B. Rutledge was born in (unknown county) Alabama.

Two Alabama counties are close to Lawrence county, so best guess is John was born in either Lauderdale or Limestone counties which are immediately south of Giles and Lawrence Counties.

This is another question we need to find the answer to.

As a young man in 1873 John married into the Roark family.





1855 the family is next door in Giles County east of Lawrence County for the birth of their third child Sarah.

Sarah grew up and around 1875 married into the Marsee family.




1858 the family back in Lawrence County and the births of two more children:

Virginia was born 1858, but like her first sister Mary, died young.

Chelnessee, my great grandmother, was born 1860 and grew up to marry Henry Owen in Tyrone, MO. The Owen family came from Smith County, TN. Tennessee.





1861 and more confusion. From Stephen's diary, his family was in  Bledsoe County June 8, 1861. He and a friend were monitors at the polling place in Pikeville. Stephen and friend voted to maintain the Union. The votes became public knowledge and members of the community threatened to hang them unless they joined the army.

Around 1863 Stephen and a friend escaped from a train bound for a federal prison, probably Andersonville. From near Rome, Georgia they walked home to Tennessee. The diary told how they avoided capture and got home.

1864 James (Harve) Rutledge born. He married a Quackenbush.

1867 Jerome Rutledge born. He married a Urbeck




Between 1867 and 1869 the family moved to Tyrone, Missouri where four more children were born.  Map of Tyrone MO area.

1869 Flora born. Married a McKinney.

McKenney: See record of Sarah's family.

1872 William born. Married a Morgan.

1874 Martha born. Married a Wilkerson.

1877 Theresa born. Married a Kyger.


In 1876 in Tyrone Missouri Chelnessee Rutledge married Henry Mentlo Owen. Twenty years later they moved their large family to Benton County Arkansas.

One daughter, Sarah Flora Owen Kelly, was my grandmother.

Her sister Matilda married Andrew Lay who were parents of Omer Lay who then became the father of Kenneth L. Lay.

So the Lay family are cousins to the Owen and Kelly families.

NOTE: This is a picture of Grandfather Andrew and Grandma Matilda Owen Lay. Grandma Lay was a daughter of Henry and Chelnessee Owen. Chelnessee was daughter of Stephen W. and Mary Massey Rutledge.

The Lay family managed Stephen's old store in Tyrone, MO. during the 1920's.


That picture was taken abt. 1946.  Loyal Lay sent that to me. 

Matilda was his grandmother.  I do have a small picture of Henry and Chelnessee taken abt. 1903.  I'll send you a copy.

I have another picture to send to you taken abt. 1900. I feel that it was taken earlier, probably about 1890 as Sarah looks to about 10 to 12 yrs. old. 

This also came from Loyal Lay.  He let me borrow it to have it restored.  I sent him a restored copy in payment of letting me use it.

I'll get this into the mail for you, my scanner isn't working.  Love Monty



Map of Tyrone MO area.

NOTE: Obit

Ken Lay died Wednesday morning from a heart attack in Aspen, Colo.

NAME: Kenneth L. Lay

BORN: 1942 in Tyrone, Mo. His father, Omer, tried selling farm equipment and working in a feed store, but became a Baptist minister after bankruptcy forced the family to seek refuge with relatives.

FAMILY: Wife, Linda; son Mark, daughter Robin from a previous marriage.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Missouri; a doctorate in economics from the University of Houston.