JAMES THOMAS SCOTT MYSTERY

He served two terms in the Tennessee State Penitentiary, one for stealing another man's slave and another for stealing another man's horse. He was also Perry Hill's nephew, but that relationship remains a mystery. Here is what we know about James Thomas Scott:

Circuit Court records are found for both crimes mentioned above. The first record is dated June 1839 relating to a grand jury indictment in Davidson Co., TN against Thomas Scott for theft of a "slave" in June of 1839 and related court minutes in 1840. The second record is dated in 1847 relating to an indictment in Franklin Co., TN against Thomas Scott for "horse stealing," including an incarceration order.

BACKGROUND:
1840 May Term - First Circuit Court, Davidson Co., TN: State of Tennessee vs. Thomas Scott, brought before a grand jury for the stealing of a slave named "Toby," the property of James Morton on 26 June 1839. Source: Davidson Co., TN, First Circuit Court Minutes, Volume L-M, (1839-1841), May Term 1840, Pages 310-311. Microfilm Roll #527.

1840 May Term - First Circuit Court, Davidson Co., TN: The case of Thomas Scott was continued and he was "remanded to Jail" until September Term. Three plaintiffs were named (James Morton, A. A. Harris, and A. Koker, assumed to be Armon Coker who married Perry Hill's daughter Nancy) and agreed that they owe the court $250 each to insure their own appearance to give testimony on behalf of the State in the September term, debt to be voided if they appear. Source: Davidson Co., TN, First Circuit Court Minutes, Volume L-M, (1839-1841), May Term 1840, Page 367. Microfilm Roll #527

1840 September Term - First Circuit Court, Davidson Co., TN: Thomas Scott was found to be "destitute of counsel." Attorneys were appointed. Jurors were appointed, found Thomas Scott guilty, and sentenced him to five years in the State Penitentiary. Source: Davidson Co., TN, First Circuit Court Minutes, Volume L-M (1839-1841), September Term 1840, Page 543. Microfilm Roll #527.

1840 September Term - First Circuit Court, Davidson Co., TN: Indictment for "stealing a slave." Thomas Scott appeared with his attorney requesting a new trial, a hearing was granted "December next." Thomas Scott was again remanded to Jail until the December term. Source: Davidson To., TN, First Circuit Court Minutes, Volume L-M (1839-1841), September Term 1840, Pages 551-552. Microfilm Roll #527 (Note: no record of him appearing at the December term)

Note: From the book "Tennessee Convicts- Records of the State Penitentiary" by Charles A. Sherrill and Tomye M. Sherrill, pages 129-130, it states "James Scott. From Davidson County. Crime: Negro Stealing. Sentence: five years from 15 Dec. 1840. Rec'd 15 Dec 1840. He is 38 years old, 5' 9 1/2 high, weighs 180 lbs. Born Lincoln Co., North Carolina, brought up in Overton Co., Tenn. He has been twice married, had two children by his first wife, one of whom is dead, the other is married to a man by the name of George Hill and lives on Crow Creek in Franklin County. His second wife lives in the round cove in the last named county near her father Wm. Wilkinson, four miles s(outh) w(est) of Shumacher's meeting house. Has one uncle in Franklin County by the name of Perry Hill. Two in Hardeman County by the names of Quiller Nearing and John Piles near Bolivar. Said Scott has dark gray hair, hazle eyes and dark skin. Has had a small piece bit off his right ear, has several scars on the middle finger of this left hand caused by a bite. Has worked at shoe making." Ledger 45, p. 185

Note: Franklin County marriage records show that Nancy Scott married George Hill on Jan 20, 1840. This was apparently George Hill's second marriage. He is shown in 1830 census with a wife b/1800-10 and daughter b/1820-25. George Hill lived on Crow Creek near W. WILKERSON.

Note: From the book "Tennessee Convicts: Records of the State Penitentiary" by Charles A. Sherrill and Tomye M. Sherrill, page 224, it states "James Scott, age 38, born in North Carolina, occupation: shoe maker. Convicted of Negro stealing by a court in Davidson County, and sentenced to 5 years in the Penitentiary. Received Dec. 15, 1840 and discharged Aug. 30, 1845, under the Act of 1836. Ledger #86:482

1847 January Term - Circuit Court, Franklin Co., TN: Thomas Scott was sentenced to "Hard Labor" for five years in the state penitentiary for "horse stealing" commencing on 16 January (1847) and remanded to the jail of Franklin Co., TN until he was delivered to the "keeper of the penitentiary." Source: Circuit Court Minutes, Franklin Co., TN, Volume 4 (Nov. 1841 - Jul 1849). January 1847, Page 305, Microfilm Roll #2.

Note: From the book "Tennessee Convicts: Records of the State Penitentiary" by Charles A. Sherrill and Tomye M. Sherrill, pages 280, it states: "Thomas Scott, age 45, born NC, occupation: stone cutter. Convicted of larceny by a court in Franklin Co., TN, and sentenced to 5 years in the penitentiary. Received Jan 16, 1847 and discharged Sept. 26, 1851." Ledger #86:915.

THE MYSTERY:
How is it that James T. Scott is a nephew to Perry Hill? Is James' mother's maiden name Hill? Is Perry Hill's wife's (Sarah) maiden name Scott? Did either of James Scott's parents have a sibling married to a sibling of Perry or Sarah Hill? Did either of Perry or Sarah Hill have a sibling married to a sibling of James Scott's parents? Years of research have not answered these questions. Hopefully, someone some day will solve the mystery. Here are some findings/clues:

* Lincoln County, North Carolina (LCNC) connections. James Scott b/1802, "in Lincoln Co., North Carolina."

1790 Census - James SCOTT (31200)
1790 Census - Abram SCOTT (22207) d/bef 1800 LCNC
1800 Census - Margaret SCOTT (01020-00001-08) b/bef 1755 (widow of Abram Scott)
1800 Census - William SCOTT (00010-20010-06) b/1755-74
1810 Census - Abram SCOTT (00001-00000-03) b/bef 1765 (next to Polly SCOTT) no wife - no children ???
1810 Census - William SCOTT (00010-01000-06) b/1765-84 (1765-75)
1810 Census - Polly SCOTT (10000-10010-09) b/1765-84 who is this? (James Smith between Polly & William)
1820 Census - William SCOTT (100001-00110) b/bef 1775 (lived on South Fork of Catawba River)

Family history: Abraham SCOTT m/Mary Margaret JOHNSTON. Children:
1. William SCOTT b/1765-75; Children:
.....(a) Nancy Johnston SCOTT m1/Alexander JOHNSTON 1784 LCNC; m2/David B. CARNES 1812 LCNC, moved to Hardeman Co., TN c1826.
1. William SCOTT m2/ Rosannah ___; Children:
.....(a) William SCOTT, possible m/Lucy JOHNSTON in LCNC in 1800. Possible father of James T. Scott.
.....(b) Mary D. SCOTT m1/1823 LCNC to William JARMAN; moved to Hardeman Co., TN, m2/1831 HCTN to Albert DUNCAN.
.....(c) Elizabeth SCOTT m/___JARMAN 1830 HCTN); moved to Hardeman Co., TN
2. Abraham SCOTT, Jr. b/bef 1765 NC (not married in 1810 census LCNC)
3. James Johnston SCOTT b/c1782 NC, d/1809 (where?), m/1803 Mary J. ALEXANDER. Children:
.....(a) Abram SCOTT b/after 1803
.....(b) Mary SCOTT b/after 1803

Note: If Abraham SCOTT d/bef 1800; wife Mary Margaret d/bef 1810; sons James J. m/aft 1802 & Abraham not m/1810, THEN: James SCOTT shown in 1790 census is the best case scenario as a parent of James SCOTT b/1802 LCNC. Only problem, James SCOTT (1790 census) is not in 1800 census.

* Overton County, Tennessee (OCTN) connections. James Scott was "brought up in Overton County, Tennessee"

1801 Smith Co., TN - William MARCHBANKS, Jr., Administrator of the Estate of William Young (deceased) within the District of Pendleton, SC, gives Power of Attorney to Benjamin Barton of Pendleton Dist., SC as his "true and lawful attorney". Witness: James Jett, Joshua Barton, & Samuel Smith. Mar 18, 1801. Note. Wm. Marchbanks, Jr. probably lived in the area that later became Overton County in Nov 1806 (formerly Jackson County, formerly Smith County).

1801-1809 Edward SCOTT (indenture - #189) Vol. B: Date 1801-1809. Possibly Edward Scott b/1766 Surry Co., NC, m/Mary Martin, s/o John Scott and ____ Owens. An Edward Scott lived next to Jesse Scott in Surry Co., NC in 1800.
1801-1809 Richard M. SCOTT (land dispute - #46) Vol. B: Date 1801-1809
1801-1809 Jesse SCOTT (indenture - #321): Vol. A: 1806-1809

Note: A Jesse SCOTT b/c1770 NC, d/aft 1832 Cumberland, KY, m/unknown. Children: James, John b/1810 NC/TN, & Allen b/c1812 Cumberland Co., KY (next to OCTN). John b/c1810 NC/TN, d/aft 1850 KY m1/Margaret Woodall b/c1820; m2/Katherine/Catherine Green b/1809 - children b/1819, 1832, 1834, 1838, 1840, & 1842 in OCTN.

1801-1809 Elizabeth & William HILL (bill of sale #333)
1801-1809 John HILL (grant #261) and (indenture #113)
1801-1809 Sybia & Thomas HILL (bill of sale #335) Thomas was b/abt 1750 m/Sybia Cope abt 1796. Brother to William Hill b/c1766 died bef 1850 Overton Co., TN who m/Elizabeth Cope (sister to Sybia) in 1789 Wake Co., NC.
1805 OCTN - Jones (Jonas) HILL witnessed a deed transaction in which William Marchbanks Sr. sold land in the Pendleton Dist., SC on 30 May 1805.
1806 - John PILES of Overton County, sold 70 ac on Howard's Cr (LCNC)
1806-1809 Samuel SCOTT ( grants - #24, #25 & #26): Vol. A: 1806-1809;
1806-1809 Robert HILL (indenture #242 & #435)
1806-1809 Thomas HILL (indenture #201). See above Sybia & Thomas Hill.
1807 - William MARCHBANKS, Jr. appoints James Jett as power of attorney for the estate of William Young. Witnessed by Jones (Jonas) Hill 4 Oct 1807, Overton Co., TN
1807 - Charlotta HILL 1790 NC-1863 OCTN m/Jarriott Morgan Huddleston b/1775 VA. Children b/1808 - 1817 OCTN.
1808 OCTN - William MARCHBANKS, Jr. - of TN (Overton County) purchased 115 acres of land July 22, 1808 on a "prong of 12 Mile River"in Pendleton Dist., SC. Witness: Jonas HILL, Nathaniel NEWMAN. Recorded Aug. 1, 1808.
1808 OCTN: Conrad PILES Land Grant (from Orange Co., NC? - see 1790 cen) Edward SCOTT Register of Land Office E. TN
1809 Auction - William MARCHBANKS bid on 6 slaves. Purchased for $8.357.
1808 NC Warrant #5256 - State of TN to Conrad PILE, 125 ac on Clear Fork of Cumberland R, 4th Dist. Edw. SCOTT, Reg.
1808 NC Warrant #5258 - State of TN to Conrad PILE, 75 ac, Clear Fork of Cumberland R., Edw. SCOTT, Reg.
1809 deed: Conrad PILES & State of TN to Thomas RICH, 140 ac $1,000. Test: John W. Williams (probably father of Comfort E. Williams who married Jacob PILE) & Jacob PILE (s/o Conrad)
1809 deed: Conrad PILES to Thomas RICH (probably father of John RICH who married 1810 to Catherine PILE, d/o Conrad). 100 ac $100, Caney Fork of Wolf River, same test. As above.
1810 NC Warrant #1052 - State of TN to William MARCHBANKS, 78 ac on Turkey Creek, part of 3rd Dist.
1810 NC Warrant #3818 - Josiah MARCHBANKS 200 ac, Bear Creek, Branch of Spring Creek of Roaring River. 3rd Dist. (The place where Leonard PILES lived. Three miles from William.)
1811-1813 Richard M. (Martin?) SCOTT (grant - #244); Vol: C: 1811-1813
1811 Aug 9 - OCTN - Isaac HILL, Lieutenant, 35th Regiment
1812 Tax List: James SCOTT?? (does such a tax list exist?)
1816 deed: Conrad PILE to Anderson Tibbs for 12.5 ac for $36 on waters of Caney Fork of Wolf River.
1816 deed: Conrad PILE to Jacob PILE (s/o Conrad), 50 ac for 25 cents, East side of Rolling Fork. Attest. Lucy PILE
1816 deed: Conrad PILE to Elizabeth RULE, 18.5 ac for $50, on waters of Wolf River.
1820 Census - Jesse SCOTT: 000101-00101) bef 1775 next to William Green between John Hill & Jesse Scott
1820 Census - John HILL: 000001-00001) b/bef 1775 next to Edward Scott
1820 Census - Edward SCOTT: 201201-12010) bef 1775
1820 Census - Samuel SCOTT: 20001-00100) bef 1775 near Edward Scott

Family History: Jesse SCOTT, b/bef 1765, Surry Co., NC, d/bet 1821-1830 in OCTN; m/bef 1782 Surry Co., NC to Fanny WOOD b/bef 1770 - Children: Nancy 1782-1868 KY, m/c1805 to John Coe 1784 Surry Co., NC; Mary b/1783; Sarah 1785-1872 KY, m/John Kerr 1803 Surry Co., NC; Frances b/1787 m/William Barry bef 1832; Rebecca 1790-aft 1832, m/Thomas Halsell; Martha Patsy 1791 NC-1870 MO, m/Benjamin F. Sims abt 1791 in Greenville Co., SC; Obediah b/1795; Elizabeth 1796 NC-1890 KY, m/1817 OCTN to John L. Sims b/1794 Greenville Co., SC; Polly b/c1798 m/John Harris bef 1832; Jesse Jr. b/Sep 1798 NC . 1832 deeds: Benjamin Sims & Patsey his wife late Patsy Scott heirs & representatives of Jesse Scott, decd, of Monroe Co., KY; John Coe and Nancy Coe, his wife late Nancy Scott of Cumberland County, KY; John Kerr and Sally his wife late Salley Scott; William Barry and Frances his wife late Frances Scott; Thomas T. Halsell and Rebecca his wife formerly Rebecca Scott; John Sims of OCTN-163 acres land in OCTN.

Family History: Samuel SCOTT, b/bet 1775-1794, d/aft 1820? in OCTN; m/Sarah HILL b/bet 1802-04, d/aft 1820 OCTN. Sarah was d/o John N. HILL 1769-1843 Lexington, MO & Margaret JONES b/1771, whose children were Elizabeth 1798 KY-1872 MO m/Isham Martin 1817 KY; Sarah b/abt 1803 m/Samuel Scott; Margaret b/bet 1794-1804 OCTN m/David Parks; & William Flemming 1789 NC-1835 MO (in 1820 census, OCTN??) m/Polly Creed 1818 OCTN, d/o Colby Creed shown in 1800 Census, Surry Co., NC (b/1755/74) & 1820 Census, OCTN (b/bef 1775) next to Jesse SCOTT. John N. Hill was the s/o Henry Hill b/1743 Middlesex Co., VA, d/1815 Culpepper, VA and Ann Powell b/1745. Henry Hill was s/o Russell Hill 1717 VA-1789 VA & Anne Stolely Towles b/1719 VA. Russell Hill was s/o William Russell Hill and Frances Mann Needles.

* Hardeman County, Tennessee (HCTN) connections. James Scott had two uncles in Hardeman County by the names of Quiller Nearing and John Piles near Bolivar.

1830 Census - Isaac SCOTT ( 000001-032001) b/1790-1800
1830 Census - James T. SCOTT (00001-1001) b/1800-10 (This appears to be James Thomas Scott b/1802)
1830 Census - John D. SCOTT (10001-00001) b/1800-10
1830 Census - Walter SCOTT (010101-201001) b/1790-1800 (lived near John PILES & Aquilla NEERING)
1830 Census - Robert SCOTT (11110001-2222001) b/1770-80
1830 Census - Robert SCOTT (11110001-2222001) b/1770-80
1830 Census - John PILES (0100000001-0132001) b/1750-60
1830 Census - Lennard PYLES (000000001-10001) b/1760-70 next to Lennard PILES (00001-1001) b/1800-10
1830 Census - John NERIN (12001-10001) b/1800-10
1830 Census - Aquilla NERREN (001200001-001110001) 1760-70
1840 Census - Nathaniel Scott (00001)
1840 Census - John D. Scott (001011)
1840 Census - Robert Scott (01211001)
1840 Census - Lunsford M? Scott 120001
1840 Census - Robert Scott (001100001)
1840 Census - Sandy Scott (11001) near Martin Purtle
1840 Census - Mary Ann Scott (0001)

Family History: John PILES b/1760/70 England, d/Nov 1844 Tishomingo Co., MS, m1/Unknown (HILL???). Children:
(a) Overton PILES, m/1833 HCTN to Lotty ROBERTSON, Johnson HILL bond.
(b) William PILES
John PILES m/2 - 29 Apr 1800 LCNC to Mary NEARNS b/1785 NC, d/1844 TN. Children
(a) Sarah b/c1807, m/1828 HCTN to Jesse PIPKIN
(b) Leonard b/1808 HCTN m/1826 to Martha McIVER (named a son JOHNSON PILES)
(c) Hester b/1809 HCTN m/1834 Samuel DEASON
(d) Hiram b/1814 m/1833 Elizabeth WRIGHT (named a son JONAS W. PILES)
(e) Mary b/1819 TN m/1840 Tishomingo Co., MS to John GATTIS
(f) Margaret b/c1820 TN m/1841 Tishomingo Co., MS to Jacob WRIGHT
(g) John, Jr. b/1825 AL m/1844 Alcorn (formerly Tishomingo) Co., MS to Susan E. DOWELL
(h) Nancy A. b/1829 ?? m/1853 Alcorn (formerly Tishomingo) Co., MS to David CHOAT.

Family history: Aquilla NERREN b/1760-70 SC, d/1848 Lafayette Co., MS, m/Emily/Emelia LEARWOOD (possibly HILL) b/1760-70, d/1849. Several children, including:
(a) John b/1800 TN (12001-10001) m/Elizabeth MOONEY (1830 census near Aquilla)
(b) Sarah b/c1802 m/William PARKER b/c1805 (1830 near John Piles & Aquilla Neeren)
(c) Benjamin F. b/c1810 TN, d/1882 Lafayette Co., MS m1/Susan; m2/Ann E. Walker. Son Edmond Learwood b/1850 MS
(d) Emily b/1810, m/Archibald McFadden
(e) Frances Ann b/1818 m/John MOONEY (10001-20001 1830 HCTN) near Aquilla NEEREN in 1830
(f) Edmond Learwood b/1818 TN. After Aquilla's death, Emelia gave slave to him and named him in Aquilla's will as a son. (Edmond age 32, Elizabeth 22, Mary 4, Dorrathy 1 in 1850 census HCTN.)

Aquilla NERREN sightings:
1800 Abbeville Co., SC: Aquilla NERREN (10010-30010-01) b/1755-74
1804 Anderson Co., SC: Aquilla NERREN sold a slave (need record)
1810 White Co., TN: Aquilla NERREN ??
1820 White Co., TN: Aquilla NEAREN (310001-21301) b/bef 1775
1830 Hardeman Co., TN: Aquilla NERREN (001200001-001110001) b/1760-70
1840 Should have been in Hardeman Co. Was he in Lafayette Co., MS??

* Franklin County, Tennessee (FCTN) connections. James Scott "has been twice married, had two children by his first wife, one of whom is dead, the other is married to a man by the name of George Hill and lives on Crow Creek in Franklin County. His second wife lives in the round cove in the last named county near her father Wm. Wilkinson, four miles s(outh) w(est) of Shumacher's meeting house. Has one uncle in Franklin County by the name of Perry Hill."

1820 Census - Benjamin NEARN: 100010-40100) 26/45 1775-1794
1820 Census - John SCOTT (130311-10010) b/1775-94 26/45
1820 Census - Samuel SCOTT (100010-20100) b/1775-94
1820 Census - John PYE (PYLES?) 200110-00100) b/bef 1775
1830 Census - Jesse NERREN b/1777 NC m/Mary BRINDLE.
1832 Census - Jesse NERREN Jury duty

Possible descendants:
1900 Census - Thomas J. SCOTT 39, Fannie (wife) 40, Alma 16, Oscar 14, Clyde ?, Gilbert 9, Thomas 6, Brown 4, Robert 2, Jo 6/12
1910 Census - Thomas J. SCOTT 47, Alma L. 26, Gilbert 19, Thomas 17, Brown 15, Robert 13, Joseph 10
1920 Census - Tom J. SCOTT 57, Ruth 45, Thomas 24, Robert 22, Virginia 3 5/12

Family history: Robert SCOTT, m/1831 Davidson Co., TN to Margaret SPICE. Children:
(1) James Lewis SCOTT b/1832
(2) Thomas Nelson SCOTT b/1834 m/Hester A. Bowden
......(a) Thomas J. SCOTT 1861-1942, m1/Fannie Austin CAMPBELL b/1859 FCTN. Children: Alma Evelyn b/1883, Oscar Maks b/1885, Clyde Vincent b/1888, Gilbert Campbell b/1891, Thomas James b/1893, Sterling Brown b/1895, Robert Paul b/1897, Joseph Nelson b/1899. TJS m2/Ruth MORTON. Children: Ruth Louise 1911-1912, Morton b/1913-1913, William Reams 1914 -1916, & Virginia 1916-1999. All above buried at Winchester Cemetery, FCTN.

Family History: William C. Wilkinson was born 1770 in Nansemond Co., VA, and died Bet.1850 - 1852 in Franklin Co., TN or Jackson Co., AL.
He married (1) SALLY YATES 12 Aug 1802 in Barren Co., KY. He married (2) Amy Lawrence 07 Apr 1814 in Barren Co., KY. She was b/c 1790, and died Bet. 1840 - 1885 in Keith Springs Cemetery. Children by Amy Lawrence were:
(a) Elizabeth Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1815, Temple, Barren Co., KY.
(b) William L. Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1817, Temple, Barren Co., KY; m. Nancy Stubblefield, 06 Aug 1841, Franklin Co., TN.
(c) Sarah Wilkinson, b. 1820, Temple, Barren Co., KY.
(d) John P. Wilkinson, b. 25 Apr 1823, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; d. 16 Nov 1882, Crabtree Cove, Franklin Co., TN.
(e) Nancy S. Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1830, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; m. Samuel McBee, 12 Mar 1857, Franklin Co., TN.
(f) Thomas Peden Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1826, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; d. 26 Feb 1863, Tullahoma, Coffee Co., TN.
(g) Martha Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1829, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; m. (1) George Henson, 21 Dec 1845, Franklin Co., TN;
(h) Thompson Payton Wilkinson b. 1829, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; d. Sinking Cove, Jackson Co., AL.
(i) HARRIETT Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1835, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; m. John Stubbelfield, 15 Jan 1849, Franklin Co., TN;
(j) MILES Wilkinson, b. Abt. 1835, Crow Creek Area, Franklin Co., TN; m. (1) H. E. Fitzgerald; m. (2) Elizabeth H. Fitzpatrick