Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee 
James Todd (1788 NC- )

Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee is committed to documenting, with original historical documents, the relationships among five Todd individuals who have been proven related, proven with Y-DNA from descendant donors plus original historical documents, proving son to father, generation to generation, from donor to ancestor, meaning there is one common male ancestor somewhere in the pasts of these five: Joseph Todd born 1798 in Northern Ireland and four Carson Fork Todds: James Todd born 1788 in North Carolina, William Todd born 1793 in North Carolina, William (Wm) Todd born 1816 in Tennessee and Micajah Franklin Todd born 1817 in Tennessee. As yet, that common male ancestor has not been identified, and the exact relationship among these individuals is unknown.

Equally fascinating to the Early History of the Todds of Carson Fork is the history of one of the earliest Todd pioneers to settle in Rutherford County, the earliest and eldest of the Carson Fork Todd pioneers, James Todd (1788- ), who lived along the waters of Horse (Haws) Spring Fork, of Carson Fork, tributary of East Fork Stones River, and located near Burt. (map) (interactive map) Though Y-DNA proves a relationship among James and the three other Carson Fork Todds listed above, original historical documentation has yet to prove the nature of the relationships, excepting that with his documented offspring: David, Ransom, Granville, Tolbert F., Elisabeth J. and Sarah.

 

Original historical documents shed light on but a portion of the life of James. Much is known, yet much remains a mystery.

 

His full name was James Todd, and though some have mistakenly referred to him as James "B" Todd, no primary source has stated a middle initial. A collection of censuses, dating from 1820 Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee, through 1860 Bradyville, Cannon County, Tennessee, substantiates the name of James Todd and documents his birthplace as North Carolina. 1820 census, 1830 census, 1840 census, 1850 census, 1860 census page 1, page 2

 

Will Thomas Hale and Dixon Lanier Merritt, in A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans, The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce Industry and Modern Activities, Volume III, published in 1913, on page 1 and page 2, wrote, “The territory embraced in Cannon County was settled in part as early as 1807 or 1808. Among the pioneers – who, it is thought, came largely to East Tennessee from North Carolina and Virginia and then crossed the mountains into Middle Tennessee – were (among others) James Todd.

 

And, per the description above of those times in Tennessee’s history, James, from his birthplace in North Carolina, did indeed come to Rutherford County, Tennessee, long before Cannon County was carved from Rutherford County, in 1836.

 

James is stated by some to have married Jane approximately 1810, in Tennessee, the date and place lacking documentation. The first documented appearance of his name in Rutherford County is in a tax list in 1811.

 

Early federal censuses (1790 - 1840) generally named only the head of the household but reported the age of each household member in age categories. The 1820 Murfreesboro, Rutherford County census enumerates:

Name James Todd

Home in 1820 (City, County, State) Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Tennessee

Enumeration Date August 7, 1820

Free White Persons - Males - Under 10 4

Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44 1

Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44 1

Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture 1

Free White Persons - Under 16 4

Free White Persons - Over 25 2

Total Free White Persons 6

Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other 6

 

By 1824, James had purchased a 30-acre tract in Rutherford County, adding an additional and adjacent parcel in 1826, of 100 acres on the waters of Horse (Haws) Spring Fork of Stones River.

 

By 1830, the Rutherford County census enumerates:

Name James Todd

Home in 1830 (City, County, State) Rutherford, Tennessee

Free White Persons - Males - Under 5 2

Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9 4

Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49 1

Free White Persons - Females - Under 5 1

Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39 1

Free White Persons - Under 20 7

Free White Persons - 20 thru 49 2

Total Free White Persons 9

Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored) 9

 

The 1840 census was the first census enumerated after Cannon County was carved from Rutherford County in 1836, and in that census, James is enumerated as James Todd Sr., living in Cannon County, and enumerated immediately before Wm Todd Jr. The 1840 Cannon County census enumerates:

2M 5/10, 1M 10/15, 2M 15/20, 1M 20/30, 1M50/60, 1F U 5, 1F 15/20, and 1F 40/50.

 

In 1850, James, age 62, is enumerated in Bradys Rock, Cannon County, where he is shown farming and living with his wife Jane, age 56, born in Virginia. Their family living with them are David age 29, Ransom age 21, Granville age 18, Tolbert F. age 15, Elisabeth J. age 13, and Sarah age 10, all born in Tennessee; additionally, listed is a mulatto Nancy age 8.

 

Per Land Deed Genealogy of Cannon County, Tennessee Deeds, Deed Books A-L 1836 – 1857, page 214, on October 24, 1856, in Cannon County, A.F. McFerrin conveyed to James Todd 75 acres in the 4th District.

 

The 1860 Cannon County census, page 1 and page 2, enumerates James, age 72, retired near Bradyville with wife Jane, age 65, and Sarah age 19. The 1860 census is the last event documenting the life of James Todd.

The collection of original historical documents for James Todd (1788- ) reveals a close interconnection between James and another early settler to the Carson Fork area of Rutherford County, Tennessee, William Todd (1793- ), yet no original historical documentation has proven a family relationship; circumstantial evidence tempts persuasion, but again, without primary documentation to prove …

Both James Todd and William Todd are documented from primary source census, page 1, page 2, to have been born in North Carolina.

 

Upon migrating from North Caroline westward, both James Todd and William Todd settled in Tennessee, on the waters of Horse (Haws) Spring Fork, of Carson Fork, a branch of East Fork Stones River, and located near Burt, in Rutherford County, (map) (interactive map), and the 1820 Murfreesboro, Rutherford County census enumerates both James Todd and William Todd, one space apart. The arrival of James is recorded in Tennessee and Tennesseanspage 1, page 2, as being in the “ ... territory …  settled in part as early as 1807 or 1808. Among the pioneers … were (among others) James Todd.” The History of Woodbury and Cannon County records William Todd, "Billie", as among the original settlers of the area resting along the banks of Horse (Haws) Spring Fork, further documented in part with William's 1815 Rutherford land purchase.

Though Y-DNA proves a familial relationship between James Todd and William Todd, for lack of an original historical document, the exact relationship between the two is yet unknown. 

N Todd

n@reagan.com

September 2020

      Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee

committed to documenting, with original historical documents