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Todds of Carson Fork, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, Tennessee
Joseph Todd (1798 Ireland - 1879 IL)

Rustic Tennessee Mill | Todds of Carson's Fork

Todds of Carson Fork tells of the relationships among a small group of Todd relatives: James Todd (1788 NC- ), William Todd (1793 NC- ), William Todd 1816 TN- )Micajah Franklin Todd (1817 TN- ) and their relationship to Joseph Todd (1798 Northern Ireland-1879 IL).


James 1788, William 1793, William 1816 and Micajah 1817 lived in the Carson Fork area of Rutherford County, Tennessee, an area that decades later became Cannon County, Tennessee. The  immigrant ancestor of the Todds of Carson Fork is, as yet, unknown.


Joseph is an invaluable part of this accounting. Joseph never lived among the Todds of Carson Fork; he may never have known of his kin already living in America at the time of his immigration here from Northern Ireland; but Joseph nonetheless links the Todds of Carson Fork to not only Joseph but to the common ancestors of Northern Ireland shared by Joseph and the Todds of Carson Fork through Y-DNA.

Joseph was born in Northern Ireland, and descendant Y-DNA results have proven a match of Joseph to the Y-DNA of the Todds of Carson Fork. Now, through Joseph’s Y-DNA match, Todds of Carson Fork descendants have come to know their Northern Ireland roots, an ancient and proud heritage, substantiated by Y-DNA genetic studies as originating in Northern Ireland around 4400 BC, one of the earliest inhabitants of Ireland.

The story of Joseph is a most interesting one; the headstone at his interment states he was born 1798 in Ireland, and according to family history, he was born and lived in Londonderry (Northern Ireland), where he and his wife, Ann,  welcomed into their family 3 children by the time of an 1831 Templemore City Parish of Londonderry census, where the Todd family is enumerated with number of persons in family 5, 3 males and 2 females, all of Roman Catholic faith.

Three years later, the dream of Joseph to immigrate to America became a reality; in 1834, he filed in Philadelphia his declaration of intent:

1789-1880 Naturalization Records

Name Joseph Todd

Place of Origin Great Britain and Ireland

Declaration of Intent Date Sep 26, 1834

Declaration of Intent Court Quarter Sessions

Signature 1

Signature 2 Joseph Todd

As good fortune would have it, after 1837, every ship entering a port in the United States was required to have a manifest indicating the name of the ship, the port from which it sailed, the date of its arrival in the United States and a list of all passengers, indicating their age, sex, occupation, and nationality; and because it was yet another four years from his declaration of intent in 1834, to the August 1838  emigration of the Joseph Todd family from Ireland to Philadelphia, a record of the family is revealed in a Pennsylvania Passage and Crew List in the Report and List of the Passengers on board the ship Jane Ross of Philadelphia … Bound from the Port of Liverpool for Philadelphia:

Joseph Todd    39 M baker

Ann Todd         33 F

Patrick Todd    10 M

James Todd        9 M

Catharine Todd  4 F

Mary Jane Todd 2 F

1 box, 1 trunk and bedding

A Passenger Record shows: Joseph Todd, age 39, M, baker, Ireland to U.S., accompanied by Ann, Patrick (others listed on the reverse side not shown) to Port of Entry Philadelphia on the Jane Ross, dated 8-2-1838.


By 1840, Joseph and Ann had settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where they had welcomed another member to their little family, a baby boy. Enumerated were:

Free White Persons - Males - Under 5 1

Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14 2

Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49 1

Free White Persons - Females - Under 5 2

Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39 1

Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade 1

Free White Persons - Under 20 5

Free White Persons - 20 thru 49 2

Total Free White Persons 7

Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves 7


Between 1840 and 1850, the Todds relocated their growing family to Perry County in southern Illinois, where history describes the majority of early settlers:

"… not wealthy, but they lived well due to their resourcefulness. They had to be farmers, hunters, mechanics, blacksmiths, harness-makers and any other occupation necessary to provide for their families. They lived in well-built log homes, usually with dirt floors, with crude furniture of their own making. They sat down to a crude table to eat from pewter or tin dishes, but the meat was plentiful – deer, bear, wild duck, turkey, quail and squirrel. The bread they ate was made from corn or wheat of their own raising.

“Two indispensable items the early settler brought with him were an axe and a rifle. The first was necessary to clear the land on which he settled; the second was needed to defend himself against the Indians who still roamed the forest. Clothing was simple but adequate, usually made from homespun fabrics and tanned hides. Only after the 1820’s were manufactured clothes common in the territory.

“For entertainment there was quilting, house-raisings, corn-husking. On these occasions, the youngsters held running, wrestling and jumping contests. In the evenings, things were not too much different from today. A fiddler was obtained and everyone danced – and usually imbibed a little from a bottle called “Black Betty”, filled with the whiskey of that day.”


As reflected in the 1850 Perry census, Joseph had begun utilizing his skills farming as well as baking to provide for his growing family. By this time, the family had welcomed 3 additional children.

Enumerated names and ages:

Joseph Tod 50

Ann              40

Patrick         21

James          20

Catharine    14

Mary Jane   12

Richard        11

Joseph           6

Ann                3

Thomas   4/12

From an 1883 publication, Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois, page 1, page 2:

In 1845, William Hutchings, Jr. built a tread grist and sawmill combined upon the old homestead place on the bank of Beaucoup. He ground corn and wheat and sawed lumber with it a number of years. Joseph Todd and sons put up a steam circular sawmill on the farmer's farm in 1854.

The community around this location came to be known as Todds Mill, Illinois, an unincorporated community  8.5 miles (13.7 km) north of Pinckneyville.

The 1860 Perry census reflects the sad loss of wife and mother Ann.

Enumerated names and ages:

Joseph Todd   62 farming

James Todd    27 farm laborer

Peter R Todd  19 farm laborer

Joseph Todd   16 farm laborer

Thomas Todd  21

Catherine Todd 9

Ann Todd         12


As stated above in the 1831 census, Joseph was Roman Catholic, unusual for a native of Northern Ireland, an Ulster Scot, a Scots-Irish, most of whom were Presbyterian, Protestant. Yet history reveals repeatedly that the Joseph Todd family was Catholic. Additionally, this article states: “In the early 1860's, Father Walsh had Mass at the home of Joseph Todd, which was probably the first Mass within the present parish boundaries."

From the 1883 publication, Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois,page 1, page 2:

"In 1871, the congregation was divided, and two new congregations founded, one (St. Bruno's) at Pinckneyville, and the other, (St. Mary Magdalen's) at Todd's mill, Beaucoup precinct.

"At Todd's mill a chapel was built, where services are held once a month, by the priest of Pinckneyville."

The 1870 Perry Illinois census reflects the many changes in the Joseph Todd family over the many years since his immigration to a new life in America. The family now misses its matriarch and all of the children are grown, the eldest child having moved away.

Enumerated names and ages:

Joseph Todd      72 citizen, farmer

James Todd       40               farm laborer

Richard P Todd 32               school teacher

Thomas Todd     19               farm laborer

Catharine Todd 35               keeping house

Ann Todd            23               at home

The next family enumerated on this census is:

Joseph Todd      26               farmer

Mary Todd         22

James Todd    7/12


Joseph died 1879 in Perry, at age 81, with interment at St. Mary Magdalen Cemetery.

In the 1894 publication, Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties Illinoisp 1, p 2, a  biographical sketch of James Todd (son of Joseph and Ann) includes the names of the eight children of Joseph and Ann Shannon Todd:

In addition to James

Patrick A., a farmer in Washington County, Illinois

Catherine, the wife of Charles Latchner of St. Louis

Mary J., deceased wife of Peter Rendelbarger

Richard P., also deceased

Joseph, who resides in Texas

Annie, Mrs Patrick Smith

Thomas, who resides on the old homestead and is the possessor of about three hundred acres of land

Todd Mills Cemetery, 1, 2, also known as St. Mary Magdalen Cemetery, is located in Beaucoup Township on the north side of Todds Mill Road east of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, in Todds Mill, Perry County, Illinois. This cemetery too tells much of the story of the Joseph Todd family. Resting in those hallowed grounds are:

Joseph Todd 1798 – 1879, Native of Ireland, Gone but not forgotten

Ann Todd 1807 - April 1, 1855, Native of Ireland Wife of Joseph Todd born in the city of Londonderry

Patrick Todd October 28, 1829 - February 19, 1906 Born in Londonderry Ireland

James Todd July 5, 1830 - April 1, 1896, Born in Londonderry Ireland

Catharine Todd Lachner November 1, 1834 - August 4, 1898, Born in Londonderry Ireland

Mary J Todd Reidelberger 1839 - December 9, 1871, Wife of Peter Reidelberger, Born in the city of Londonderry

Richard Peter Todd - 2 Jan 1878

Ann Todd Smith October 17, 1847 - October 31, 1926, Wife of Patrick Smith

Thomas Todd 1850 - 1907

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