Posted By:Connie McKenzie
Subject:William Gillespie d. 1817 Sumner Co. TN and wife Elizabeth Allcorn
Post Date:October 04, 2007 at 14:14:51
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Forum:Allcorn Family Genealogy Forum
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Much of the information below has been reported by earlier researchers, but has not been confirmed by documentation.

During the summer of 2007, a descendant of WILLIAM GILLESPIE and ELIZABETH ALLCORN had his DNA tested for the Gillespie DNA Project. He is a close match to DNA GROUP 1 which includes THOMAS GILLESPIE b. 1719 of Rowan Co. NC and also Col. GEORGE GILLESPIE of Limestone, Washington Co. TN.

DNA TEST KIT #96468 -- This is a 67 marker DNA kit. As of Oct. 4, 2007 we have the 37 marker results. The 67 marker results will be in before the end of October 2007.

There is an oral tradition in this Gillespie line that Generation #1 William is a son of Thomas b. 1719 of Rowan Co. NC who married Naomi Thompson. However, William is not named in the will of Thomas, so has never been listed by researchers as being a child of his. A letter written about 1920 by a Nashville descendant of Thomas referred to this William as a "half brother" of the known children of Thomas.

DNA results have proven that the descendant of William is a close match to GROUP 1, but cannot prove that William was a son of Thomas - the 67 marker results will give us more clues as to whether he is closer to the GROUP 1 line of Thomas Gillespie of Rowan or Col. George Gillespie of Limestone, Washington Co. TN.

The Sumner Co. TN deed records were found by Connie McKenzie in Sept. 2007. More research is planned. We still don't know how Thomas of Rowan and Limestone George are related.

The will of WILLIAM GILLESPIE was signed on Feb. 22, 1816 and produced in Sumner Co. TN court in Feb. 1817. There are no birth or death dates on his headstone. A birth date of 1745 has been noted for him, but there is no documentation at present for this date.


#1 WILLIAM GILLESPIE b.unk d. 1817 Sumner Co. TN, m. #1 ELIZABETH ALLCORN. The location and date of this marriage has not been confirmed and may have been Apr. 18, 1785 or July 27, 1785 possibly in Fort Chiswell, Wythe Co. VA or Montgomery Co. VA. The couple are said to have moved from there to Max Meadows a few miles away, then to the east TN Watauga Settlement in Washington Co. TN. Their final settlement was in the Station Camp Creek area of Sumner Co. TN. But records in Sumner Co. TN also indicate that William was in Davidson Co. TN before Sumner Co. TN. William and Elizabeth had seven children. The DNA test participant descends from their last child Robert Knox Gillespie. William and Elizabeth were buried on his Station Camp Creek property and moved abt. 1915 to the Gallatin City Cemetery where they share a headstone. They are buried near their daughter NANCY GILLESPIE HARVEY and a few other family members.

Wife #2 was Mrs. POLLY WYNNE CROCKETT. There were six children from this marriage.

#2 ROBERT KNOX GILLESPIE b 12-1-1796 in Sumner Co. TN, d. 5-26-1866, m. #1 ADALINE MORGAN CAGE on 4-12-1827, m.#2 MRS. CATHARINE ROGERS on 5-24-1849. Robert Knox Gillespie had an older brother named James Allcorn Gillespie b. 11-6-1794 or 10-1-1794 and d. 10-15-1879. James A. married Jane Amanda Smith in July 1827. She was from Adams Co. MS.

#3 JAMES ALLCORN GILLESPIE ( son of Robert Knox Gillespie and Adaline Morgan Cage ) b. 5-12-1837, d. 11-15-1865, m. JANE AMANDA GILLESPIE ( first cousins – she was the dau. of James Allcorn Gillespie and Jane Amanda Smith ) on 4-1-1860. They are part of the Gillespie family from the Hollywood Plantation of Natchez, Adams Co. MS. They are buried at Mt. Carmel Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Kingston ___________. They had two sons: ROBERT KNOX GILLESPIE and ALFRED HARVEY GILLESPIE.

#4 ALFRED HARVEY GILLESPIE b. 1865 in Mississippi.

Notes from Connie McKenzie:

The earliest deed record I found for WILLIAM GILLESPIE in Sumner Co. was in July 27, 1791- Nov. 10, 1791 where he bought 640 acres from George Mansker for 640 pounds. ( Mansker’s Station in nearby Goodlettesville was established by his famous brother Kasper Mansker. ) This 640 acres was on Station Camp Creek - this is south of Gallatin toward Hendersonville. William was listed as “WILLIAM GALLASPY of Davidson Co. TN.”

Both of the links below which chronicle the lives of Kasper Mansker and his brother George mention this 640 acres that had been a North Carolina land grant to George Kasper. Other families that were connected to the Gillespie family in Sumner Co. TN are mentioned in these articles.

Another entry for WILLIAM GILLESPIE was between him andJOHN KNOX of Barber Co. KY. William surveyed 3,840 acres belonging to Knox and located in Sumner Co. TN near Smiths Branch and Coney Fork. Knox received this land as a grant in 1702. The wording was confusing, but it appeared that Knox granted 840 acres to William for his service as surveyor. This transaction was on Oct. 29, 1796.

A John Knox was the great-grandfather of Pres. James Knox Polk. James Knox, son of John Knox, married LYDIA GILLESPIE who was a daughter of Thomas/Naomi of Rowan Co. NC. Their daughter JANE KNOX was the mother of Pres. Polk.

In 1800 WILLIAM GILLESPIE received another 400 acres in Sumner Co TN.

Then in 1821, several years after his death in 1817, part of the estate of WILLIAM GILLESPIE was split - looks like it was after a bit of a fight - this was for 293 acres and 251 acres.


So I just did a quick online search in Davidson Co. TN for William and found a number of William Gallaspy/Gillespie entries in that county that must be him and not other Williams from Group 1. The earliest notation of him being there is a 1787 tax list.

Some unconfirmed reports that I found in Sumner Co TN said that William Gillespie was in the Watauga Settlement in Washington Co. TN before coming to the Sumner Co. TN area. On the Davidson Co. TN website I found lists of the signers of the Watauga petition and also a list of Wataugans that decided to move from Watauga to Davidson Co. to start Nashville. There were no Gillespies on any of those lists. He may have just passed through the area since he was further north in VA. Supposedly, William and Elizabeth Allcorn were married either on April 18, 1785 in Montgomery Co. VA or on July 27, 17-- in Wythe Co. VA. I don't think I have confirmed this marriage yet or whether William was actually in that area at that time.

Supposedly their first child was Lemuel Gillespie b.12-25-1785 in VA


Online I could also see that there were lots of other records naming a William Gillespie/Galaspy in Davidson Co. TN in the right time period between VA and when he settled on Station Camp Creek in Sumner Co. TN. So maybe if I keep looking I will find something that connects him to Thomas/Naomi of Rowan or Limestone George.

Please contact Connie McKenzie - Gillespie DNA Project Administrator directly at