An American Family History


The Blevins Family
of Sullivan County, Tennessee

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

There were two men named William Blevins who settled on the Holston River.

Colonel William settled on the south side of the Holston River about 1780.

"Devil Will" settled on the north side of the river some time between 1770 and 1774. He witnessed the Watauga Purchase in 1775. He and his brothers James, Abraham, and John, Jr., signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

William and John Blevins were listed among the long hunters.


Colonel William Blevins

William's children listed in "Additions and Corrections to The Blevins Men of the Holston" by Robert P. Blevins were:

Catherine Blevins (1771, married Henry Blevins),
Milly Blevins (1772),
William R. Blevins (1774, married Mary Cawood),
Abigail Blevins (1776, married John Cawood),
Sarah Blevins (1777),
John R. Blevins (1778, married Ruth Morrell),
Elizabeth Blevins (1780, married John Blevins),
James Blevins (1781, married Sally Blevins),
Clara Blevins (1783, married Matthew Blevins),
Walter Blevins (1785, married Elizabeth Hinkle), and
Gatewood Blevins (1790)



Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

Dillon Blevins was born about 1750 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He was the son of Daniel Blevins.

He married Ann Armstrong about 1770. They moved to Sullivan County, Tennessee.

Dillon and Ann's children may have included:

Nancy Blevins (1772, married William Bean),
Armstead Blevins (1775),
Amarilla Blevins (1778, married Thomas Moore),
Catherine Blevins (1780, married John Carter and Cullen Arp),
Kiturah Blevins (1785, married John Edward Taylor),
William Blevins (1792, married Matilda Phillips),
Dillon Blevins, Jr. (1773, married NancyWilliams),
John Blevins (1795, married Margaret Oldham Connally).

In 1779 at the Washington County, Virginia Court

from the Examination of Dillen Blevins on suspicious of Faloniously taking a number of Cattl four from George Martin and three from John James. . .it was the Oppinion of the Court that the said Dillen Blevens be presented to the Grand Jury whereupon the Said Blevins together with John Blevins, Jonathan Douglass and John Bunch his Securities Entered into and acknowledged thier Recognizance in the Sum of Twenty five Thousand pounds. . .

Ordered that dedimus Issue to take the deposition of Robert Webb and Thomas Webb in a suit depending betwixt the Commonwealth plantiff and Delin Blevins defendant.

In 1806, Dillon and John Carter sold John Humphreys and John Johnson 415 acres on the Doe River.

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.

David Blevins was born about 1776 in Sullivan County. His father was James Blevins.

He married Sarah Torbett. Their children probably included:

Hugh T. Blevins (180o, married Ann Looney),
James T. Blevins (1802, married Ruth Rockhold),
Mary (Polly) Blevins (1807, married Peach Taylor),
Susan Blevins (1809, married William S. Russell),
John T. Blevins (1810, married Jane Adams Darwin), and
Lucretia F.Blevins (1813, married Henson Thomas and William Lillard).

They moved to a part of Rhea County that later became Meigs County, Tennessee.

David died in 1830 at about the age of 54 in Rhea County Tennessee.

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.


Armstead Blevins was born about 1775 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and was the son of Dillon Blevin.

Hugh Armstrong Blevins (abt 1796)
Carter Blevins (abt 1798)
Dillon Blevins (abt 1800)
John Blevins (abt 1803),
Keturah Blevins (abt 1804)

Armstead was a War of 1812 veteran.

About 1814 Armstead deserted his family. His wife, Keturah, filed for divorce in
1814, but it took 7 years for the divorce to become final in 1821.

1812 Armistead Blevins v. John Armstrong Smith Injunction Blevins sought to enjoin defendant from proceeding on a judgment rendered against him. From the Circuit Court of Law and Equity.

Abraham Blevins was born about 1755.

During the American Revolution, he served under Captain James Robertson.

In 1799, he made a bet for $500 with Moses Humphreys that Henry Massengill's horse, The Collector, could beat any other horse. Humphreys claimed his brother, Richard Humphreys', horse, Paul Jones, could beat The Collector.

Abraham had to buy Massengill's horse for $500, but Humphreys failed to appear on the appointed day of the race because Paul Jones had become lame in an earlier race. Abraham sued Moses and won for the amount of the bet.

Abraham moved to Kentucky.


Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

William Blevins was born about 1760 in Virginia. He was the son of William Blevins.

He served in the Revolutionary War under Captains Swift and Osborne.

In the 1778 Washington County Court:

Ord that Thomas Price and William Blevins be sumd. to appear at next term of court to prove the convey of the Watauga Purchase to Charles Robertson on behalf of the people living thereon.

In 1786 William Blevins signed the Petition for Division of Sullivan County.

In 1787, William received warrants for land in Sullivan County, Tennessee. At that time it was in North Carolina.

On February 21, 1806, Agatha Cawood sold William Blevins her right to the 740 acres she inherited from her husband, John.


John Blevins was born on February 2, 1778, Virginia. He was the son of William Blevins.

He married Ruth Jane Morrell (1780), the daughter of Catherine Odell and Jonathan Morrell.


Moses Blevins was born about 1789. He married Christina Mottern.





European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

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

Pension application of Abraham Blevins R941 fn6NC
Transcribed by Will Graves September 15, 2010

State of Kentucky Knox Circuit: SS
On this 14th day of October 1825 personally appeared in open Court, it being a Court of record made so by act of Assembly and proceeding according to the course of common law being the 15th Judicial district Abraham Blevins aged seventy years the 23rd day of August last and a resident citizen of the County of Knox aforesaid who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provisions made by the act of Congress of the 18th March 1818 and the 1st of May 1820.

That he the said Abraham Blevins enlisted for the term of eighteen months on the ? day of ? (not recollected) in the year as he believes 1775, in the County of Sullivan in the State of North Carolina in the Company commanded by Captain James Robertson in the line of the State of North Carolina on Continental establishment. That he continued to serve in said company until the full expiration of his term of enlistment when he was discharged by his Captain aforesaid, from said service in the County and State aforesaid. That he has long since lost the discharge aforesaid. He states that he does not know that the Company commanded by Captain James Robertson was attached to any Regiment. That from the time of his Enlistment until his discharge the said Company was stationed on the frontiers of the said State to protect the Inhabitants from the Savages except a short explanation made shortly after his enlistment by said Company to the Cherokee Nation under the command of Colonel Christie [William Christian], whether a regular or militia officer he does not recollect

And in pursuance of the act of the first of May 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner whatever disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provision of an act of Congress entitled ―an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the revolutionary war‖ passed on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not nor has any person in trust for me any property, or securities, contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed, viz. Memorandum of property owned by Abraham Bivins on the 1st day of May 1820, to wit,

1 Horse of the value of $20.00 since dead
at present his property consist of
1 Cow & yearling of the value of $14.00
4 Hogs of the value of 6.00
[total] $20.00

S/ Abraham Blevins
He lives alone, having no family. He is by profession a farmer, but owing to old age and infirmity he can do but little in his occupation. The reason why he has not applied sooner to avail himself of the provisions of the Acts of Congress aforesaid is, that he had hoped until lately to be able to support himself having an aversion to being supported by Government, but he is admonished by old age and infirmity that he should no longer abstain from availing himself of the provisions made for him by his Government.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.

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.

Washington County Marriages

Blevins, Daniel married Postlethwait, Agnes on 10-SEP-1788


1803 Sullivan County Tennessee Deed Book 9, p. 169 - John Carter to John Blevins

1805 Sullivan County Tennessee Deed Book, p. 650 - Armisted Blevins 200A on Holston River to David Martin

1805 Sullivan County Tennessee Deed Book 4, p. 664 - William Blevins dec'd...by heirs to John Blevins

1806 - Sullivan County Tennessee Deed Book 9, p.124 - John Blevins granted 500A ....John Carter assignment

1808 - Sullivan County Tennessee Deed Book 4, p. 792 - John Blevins deed grant from William Blevins