An American Family History

Anthony and Mary Head

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

Kentucky was originally a county in Virginia and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.

The Great Wagon Road was the most important Colonial American route for settlers of the mountainous backcountry. It went from Philadelphia to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One fork went to the Tennessee Valley and Knoxville and the other to the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.

Anthony Head was born about 1730 in Culpeper County, Virginia. His father was Anthony Head.

His wife was named Mary. They settled in Washington County, Virginia.

Mary and Anthony's children may have included:

Mary Head Pitts (1750, married Lewis Pitts),
Phoebe Head Livingston (1759, married Samuel Livingston),
William Head (1760, married Susannah Livingston),
Elizabeth Head Livingston (1761, married Peter Livingston),
Susannah Head (1762),
Millicent (Milly) Head Bledsoe (1765, married Loving Bledsoe),
Jeremiah Head (1766),
Sarah Head (1768),
Gavin Head (1772, married Catherine Hensley),
Joseph Head (1774, married Mary Young), and
James Head (1776).

In 1763 it was

ordered that Anthony Head be appointed Surveyor of the road from Pophams Run to Ashleys Ford and that the Hands Appointed on the said Road do Attend him & obey his Direction Clearing & keeping the same in lawfull Repair. (Minute Book of Culpeper County 1763-1764, 16 June 1763, page 369)

By 1773, Anthony Head was in Washington County, Virginia. He had 210 acres on the north fork of the Holston River in Rich Valley. The property was on the Washington County line just northwest of Shelby's Fort.

William Head, heir at law to Anthony Head, decd
400 ac
bounded by Samuel Hensley and the Carolina line in the Rich Valley
actual settlement made in 1773
210 ac
surveyed for Anthony Head on February 15, 1774
August 25, 1781

On October 17, 1774, Anthony Head delivered a letter to Colonel William Preston from Major Arthur Campbell. He wrote about

  • distribution of powder to Montgomery and Henderson on the Holston
  • a request for more men
  • the request of families for forts and guards,
  • famers distressed about saving their corn
  • return of Captain Thompson, Lieutenant Cox at Blackmore’s, Eaton and King’s stations should be strong,
  • Blackmore’s being the most convenient place to oppose the enemy.

The 1782, 1783, 1784, and 1787 Washington County personal property tax lists showed Mary Head as head of household. She was not on the 1782 land tax list.

On August 15, 1786, Anthony's wife, Mary, became the executrix of his estate. The 200£ bond was secured by James Thompson and John Latham. The estate was inventoried and appraised on November 11, 1786. His son, William Head, inherited 400 acres from him that was bounded by Samuel Hensley and the Carolina line in the Rich Valley.

Mary remarried in 1787. She married Isaac Baker of Sullivan County, North Carolina on September 4, 1787. He agreed to convey one third of his real and personal property to her and to provide her two youngest sons with 100 acres each.

Isaac Baker died in 1793.

After Mary Head Baker died, her heirs filed a court case against the administrator of her estate, James Head.

Bledsoe, Loving et al vs. James Head, administrator.
New suit to Oct term 1816.
Executed 2nd August on James Head by copy left.
Nicholas Longsong not found.
Ca Loving Bledsoe & Milly, his wife;
Lewis Petts & Mary, his wife,
Eliza Lovingston, widow and relict of Peter Lovingston;
William Head,
Gaven Head;
Anthony Head &
Joseph Head, heirs and distributees of Mary Baker,
Dec'd versus James Head, administrator of Mary Baker and Nicholas Lonsong.
Dismissed for want of ? bill.”

On September 17, 1811, William and Susannah Head of Washington County, Virginia sold 305 acres to Martin Booher of Sullivan County, Tennessee for $2,000. After the sale, William, Anthony, and Gavin Head moved to Missouri.

A militia is a military unit composed of citizens who are called up in time of need.

Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.

Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.
The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.




North Carolina was one of the thirteen original Colonies. It was first settled by small farmers and grew quickly in the mid 18th century.

Articles of Agreement made and agreed on between Isaac Baker of Sullivan County, and the State of North Carolina [later Tennessee] of the one part and Mary Head of Washington County and State of Virginia of the other and whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be had and solemnized between the said Isaac Baker and Mary Head it is therefore covenanted and agreed on by and between the said parties to these present in manner & form following that is to say.

The said Isaac Baker for himself his heirs Executors and administrators doth covenant and agree to give unto the said Mary Head his intended wife in case the intended marriage shall be solemnized the third part of his estate both real & personal freely to be possessed and enjoyed by her without interruption with half the plantation he now lives on with half the house and orchard during the term of her natural life if in case the said Mary Head survives the said Baker and after her decease the then remaining part of said estate shall return to the heirs of the said Isaac Baker. And whereas the estate that the said Mary Head can dispose of the same as she thinks proper.

And now know ye that the said Isaac Baker has likewise agreed to give unto the said Mary Head’s two sons namely Gavin and James Head one hundred acres of land each lying on the main Waggon road formerly the property of Nealy [Cornelius] Carmack in consequence of which I bind myself my heirs and Executors firmly by these presents in the penal sum of two hundred pounds current money of Virginia to make unto the aforesaid persons when thy come of age of maturity a firm Deed for said land. In consequence of which I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 4th day of September on thousand seven hundred & eighty seven.
Isaac Baker (seal)
Test Ephraim Smith, David Worley.

At a Court held for Washington County, November the Thirteenth day one thousand seven hundred & eighty seven – This marriage settlement from Isaac Baker to Mary Head exhibited in Court acknowledged by the said Isaac Baker and ordered to be recorded. Teste Andrew Russell c. o. w. c. Recorded in Book A.

Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.
East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.