Dsmurl McKnight And Other Men To Learn About


Men (and women) traveled in packs to migrate anywhere and everywhere they ever went.

The research and these notes for this man taught/reinforced three things: go back to the original records, do not depend on any man/woman made index without checking again and again, and not only must you research the siblings and the descendants for personal family information but also the 1st wife/husband through the last wife/husband not just your direct line, and research the community as a whole for earlier ancestors in the Americas, learn when your ancestor(s) arrived in a place and who they would have traveled with, your ancestor might disappear but maybe the neighbor came from the same place and if you can find them and carry back you might find your own.


Mis-identified ancestors, yours, mine, ours and others.

Which lines in jeopardy – paper wise? All of them. Poor readings of difficult to read handwritten script, old and new. Misunderstandings reading old notes and taking notes and everyday transcription errors. Failed memories recorded by people who did not know anyone personally, and missing all family secrets never shared with anyone. Records lost or destroyed, burned counties and burned homes and floods and wind. People taken, stolen, and enslaved, their identities removed, people moved and lost touch and lost history. Countless reasons why people do not know their family histories.

Some of the ancestry, can be recaptured through y-DNA testing. y-DNA testing, changed genealogy forever by the testing, being able to compare two men (on the specific y-DNA gene) and identify if they both descend from the same father.

These y-DNA genes (set(s) of genes) mutate so slowly, we know there are few mutations of the genes over many generations. So a man (or boy) alive today, will have relatively the same gene values as not only his father, brothers, paternal uncles, paternal grandfather,  and paternal line great and great great and great great great grandfathers, and so on, have for almost countless generations.

So as example, if a male was born in 1750, and he had three sons. All the male descendants of those three sons, through their sons only, to today, will have almost identical y-DNA marker values. That man and his brother and his uncles for eons – all will match.

The y-DNA can be used to identify family groups by matching genetically – this hopefully will identify the people of the same surname and so identify the genetic signature of the male ancestor and identify family groups. In the event of non-paternity events, adoptions and other ancestry questions, one can sometimes identify family lines.

Also using the newer autosomal DNA, a person can match to any male and identify that the two are related (in a specific way) and then with that male’s y-DNA, any person can identify multiple family lines genetically and have the proven family ancestry confirmed with DNA.


01a Copy of cherie known dna haplogroups

Each one of these family lines with either y-DNA or mt-DNA haplogroups beside the name have been proved and identified by DNA. The mt-DNA haplogroup H10a1 is the only one in my DNA to test. All the rest are known because I match, in autosomal DNA a male cousin, who has tested his y-DNA and matches me at the correct distance for what ever cousin we happen to be.


Today, work for a family historian like me, might use DNA to help someone identify their cousins, on paper, so specific cousins, or closer, could be DNA tested to prove ancestry, first to the main person and then what can be learned from their haplogroups, for ancestry.

In the absence of digging up a grave and pulling a tooth, which I still hope to do one day – legally of course, digging in records for cousins is the way to discover people to DNA test for proving many of your own families and this is correcting the paper documentation of countless families and their family trees.

For a more in-depth explanation of the three DNA tests and the only company that is doing this y and the matching in the US – with – the marker values to move and compare is Family Tree DNA – as of this writing.

Identifying Dsmurl McKnight


In the beginning… being a genealogy newbie… connecting to the State of Franklin is a wannabe – but then you read the history and, someone like me hopes it is not right.

A connection to State of Franklin is like being part of the Mason family murderers, I guess is the best way to put it. I had invested so much in time and effort in researching my father’s paternal Knight line that I faced the dilemma, do I hate them all, and never speak of them again, or do I just write up the research like you would describe any group of marauders. Marauders who stole life and land from Native Americans, even though they were part of several treaties, this was still taking the land, taking the country, and these Franklinites never looked back.  I guess, never looked back, maybe like a lot of people of the book, there is concern about making peace and asking forgiveness for sin on one’s death bed and this makes new men. But these men and their women were the trail blazers of the continuous move west.

It is worth adding a Wikipedia link and paragraph about the last hold outs of Sevier’s men who were in the soon to be Sevier County and were on the south side of the French Broad River.


Copy of franklin 1

Wikipedia on the State of Franklin – our Thomas Knight (genetically matching McKnight and Knight (and Wilkerson for flavor) is first found in Sevier County, Tennessee, part of the original State of Franklin and one of the men who took the French Broad River. A must read and all the links     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Franklin

It is true these men are the Indian traders and and trackers and it must have been many of these men who “took” Native American wives. The region at the time, from the 1760s, with the trails of migration being followed south from Pennsylvania and Maryland through Virginia to what became Tennessee and was the expanded North Carolina, had few permanent settlers. The lands of the mountains and their rivers of the interior, held ten thousand year old trails, forests as old as man could imagine and mists filled with all the ghosts of all those years.


The first transcription of the names on the State of Franklin holdouts petition had a mistake Dsmurl and at that time I did not know the DNA would match the surname McKnight so when I saw Dsmurl McKnight, he meant nothing to me. I was reading more about the Birds who I knew were in-laws or better.

After the y-DNA came in and my Knight guy matched McKnight guys also – I had a flash of memory of the McKnight male in the State of Franklin, my Sevier County, my French Broad River and on searching I saw there had been another transcription of the same list and there was not Dsmurl McKnight but Samuel McKnight and I knew this was most likely – but will it ever be proved some way? I am not dead yet.

What we know:

Our guy, Thomas Knight McKnight is there in Sevier at least 1830, and prior to that there was a Thomas McKnight we ignored. We know our Knight McKnight y-DNA matches males whose ancestors are also in nearby county of Burke, North Carolina, Cocke County, Tennessee, also part of the early State of Franklin, and also matching east Pennsylvania Knight and McKnight, then although we do not have an ancestor name for Thomas Sr., born 1787 we have many of his male cousins and uncles and likely earliest grandfather or great uncle from Pennsylvania. But no one knows where he was from. And the Pennsylvania Native American removal is another blog.



1799 Petition of Sevier Countians to the Tennessee Legislature


For alternate interpretation, click here to see Mrs.James Maddux’ transcription.

Shared by Jan Oldham on 15 October 1998.

Found in a scrapbook in the Sevierville Library in March, 1998.
Transcribed by Mrs. Beulah D. Linn, former Sevier County Historian, and originally published 26 Aug 1975.

Sixteen years after the end of the Revolutionary War, President John Adams had the trying task of guiding a young nation which was torn with party strife at home and was regarded with none too great respect abroad.  Our relations with our ally France were growing worse.  Congress had denounced the Treaty of 1778 and had authorized our ships to prey on French commerce.  In 1799 a state of war with France existed.  However, Napoleon was intent on establishing his power in France and Europe and wanted no trouble with the United States.  Adams, by his skillful negotiations with France, was able to avert war.

In 1799 the Second General Assembly of the State of Tennessee was in session.  Peter Bryant (Bryan), a Revolutionary soldier, frontiersman, and Indian fighter of Dumplin Valley, who lived at Henry’s Crossroads near the present Douglas Dam, represented Sevier County in the House.  Spencer Clack, a Revolutionary War soldier who had been a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1796 and signed the first Constitution of Tennessee, also represented Sevier County, in the house.

In 1799 the people who owned land in Sevier County had gained ownership in the following ways: (1) Military grant for service in the Revolutionary War; (2) a North Carolina land grant; (3) State of Franklin grant; (4) purchase from another person; (5) inheritance.  Many people were living on land which they held as occupants.  Eventually occupancy grants were issued by the State of Tennessee in 1808.  However, in 1799, the people who did not have a title – the occupants – made an appeal to the Second General Assembly in the form of a petition which is one of many in the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee.  The petition which folows is of historical significance.  In the absence of any Sevier County census records before 1830, many of the signatures are the names of pioneer families whose descendants are living in Sevier County today.

No action was taken on the petition.  On August 22, 1799 it was read in the House and referred to the “Committee of Proposition.”  In the Senate it was read and marked “Not Reasonable.”

A Petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad to the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Tennessee and To the Speaker of Both Houses:

We, your petitioners, humbly beg leave to show to your honorable body that the local situation of our county is such that it contains a great quantity of poor, barren land which we through necessity have been forced to settle on and which is in ——-not fit for cultivation.  We look up to you as the guardians of our rights and pray you in your wisdom, patriotism and virtue may, if you should think proper, to open a land ofice that we may have our land at a modest price agreeable to the different qualities of the same and that we may be indulged for the purchase money as ong as you in your wisdom may think proper.  We also pray a repeal of that act that binds taxation on our lands not being held by deed, grant or entry.  We further represent as a grievance the excise tax and stamp act as infringing upon our rights and we your petitioners as in duty bound shall pray:”

Jesse Renfro Cornelius Guin
John Clack William Freshour
Robert Henderson Jeremiah West
Andy Bales Homer Bales
James Oldham John Moon
Richard Fancher Richard Shields
Daniel McLaughlin Alexander McLaughlin
William Walden Jno. Bell
Ebenezer Donelson William Conelson
Thos. Davis William Isbels
David Nelson John Herod (Howard?)
William Walker William Bird
Nathaniel Perry James Warmack
John Dillard Jessica Kelly
John Beard Zebulon Bird
Joseph Headly Robert Coonce
Samuel Coonce William Davis
Harrison Cooper Martin Cooper
Jesse Cooper John Lewis
Robert Moore George Ammons
Mandy Lewis Alexander Anderson
Elijah Veach Andrew Smith
Moses Baskins John Rogers
Wm. Anderson Benjamin Johnson
Thomas Boykin Rubin Walden
Wm. Thomas Benjamin Cooper
Isaac Thomas, Jr. Thomas Beavers
James Henderson James Creighton
Richard Woods Richard Randles
Lamon Trigg John Davis
Richard Eastrige Shadrack Coonce
Jesse Coonce Josiah Rogers
James Major John Miller
John Guin Hugh Boykin
Wm. Varnall Nathaniel Moon
James Manifold Henry Haggard
John Fryer Joseph Taylor
James Walden David Walden
James Pinkerton John Kelly
Humphry Donelson Robert Smith
Robert Davis Levi Isabels
David Taylor David Walker
Charles Thomas Jerusha Davis
Jacob Adams E. Dillard
David Fields Wm. Miller
David Bird J. Fielding Davis
Elisha Dillard Robert Herman
Thomas Whitten Benson Davis
William Cooper James Barnes
Wm. Lovelady Thomas Lovelady
William Hatcher Haney Person
Joseph Wilson Phillip Roberts
John Baskin Edmond Ellege
Macheck Tipton Mordecai Tipton
Henry Rogers William Crowson
Aaron Crowson Ma Crowson
Dsmurl McKnight John Thomas
Henry Turner Muler Isabels
Valentine Shults William Colvert
William Henderson John Parker
James Runion James Randles
John Randles Daniel Small
Robert Davis Wm. Blackburn
Philip Coonce Shadrack Jerman
Jonathan Bird James Saunders
John Coak Wm. Donnell, Jr.
Joseph Bowyers James Moore
Andrew Bird Adam Tooley
Daniel Richmond Wm. Crabtree
Joseph Wright Robert Donnell
Robert Hancock John Foster
Alex Hicks Black Hedley
James Richmond Wm. Smith
Luke Osborn Joseph Crabtree
Wm. Donnell Jesse Thompson
John Brownlee Matthew Richmond
Wm. McNelly Robert Mitchell
Robert Tipton Samuel Donnell


1799 petition

Then another work of transcribing records from the original and we see Samuel McKnight, not Dsmurl McKnight and with every branch of our family having one Samuel after another with generation something clicked, I have to look at this person.

For alternate interpretation, click here to see Ms. Linn’s transcription.

Important note: The text presented here has NOT been compared to the original petition by the Webmistress. It has, however, been compared to the published transcription in Ansearchin’ News.

Source: Ansearchin’ News, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct-Dec, 1967), pp. 163-164. Transcribed from the original document by Mrs. James O. Maddux, Spring City, TN. No copyright infringement is intended by posting this information here.

Outside fold: “1799 Sep. 18 House representative read and referd [sic] to the committe [sic] of proposition – sent to the senate – Read and referred as above, signed John Kennedy.” “Not reasonable.”

August 22, 1799 Sevear County

A petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of french Broad —

To the Honorable the general assembly of the state of tenesee [sic] and to the speaker of Both houses we your petitioners humbly Beg Leave to show to your honorable body that the Lokal cituation [sic] of our country is such that it contains a great quantity of pore [sic] Barren Land which we through necessity have been forcd [sic] to settle on and which in fact is not fit for cultivation could we have got Better & we look up to you as the gardenes [sic] of our Rights and pray you in your wisdom partriosm [sic] and virtue may to order if you should think proper to open a land office that we may have our Land at a modest price agreable [sic] to the deferent [sic] qualleties [sic] of the same and that we may be indugd [sic] for the purchase mony [sic] as long as you in your wisdom may think proper we also pray a repeal of that act that binds takation [sic – taxation?] on our Lands not being held by deed grant nor Entry we think the constitution of the state takes no land of the above descriptions we further Represent as a greavence [sic] the excise tax and stampt [sic] act as infringing our Rites [sic] and we your pethoners [sic] as in duty bound shall pray.

Jesse Renfro Wm. Davis Josiah Rogers Benjman Cooper
John Clack Harson Cooper James Major Benson Davis
Wm freasher Martin Cooper Re (?) freasher William Cooper
gong fresher Jesey Cooper Wm. freasher James Barns
Robert Henderson Jon Lenre (Lewis?) John Miller Wm. Lovelady
Jermiah West Robert Moore John guin Thomas Lovelady
Cornelious Guin george Ammons High Botkin Jese Lyniffin (?)
Andy Baulis Mandy Luis Wm Varnall Wm. Hatcher
Haman Balis Jese Cooper Nathn Moon Haney Person
James Oldham Alexander Anderson James Manifold Joseph Willson
John Moon Elija vetch (?) Henry Haggard Philip Roberts
Richard Franshare Andrew Smith John fryer John Baskin
Richard Shields Moses Baskin Alexander Mcgloghln Edmun Ellerge
Daniel Mc laughn John Rogers Joseph taylor Masheeck tipton
Alexander Mclayhen Wm. Anderson James Waldin Mordica Tipton
William Walon Benj. Johnson David Waldon Henry Rogers
Jno Bell Thomas Botkin Jas Pinkerton Wm Chrusen
Blake Rulting (?) Richard Chusen Jno Kelley Aaron Chreyen
Ebenser Donelson James Manlendest Humphry Donelson Ma Chrousem (?)
William Donelson Rubin Waldin Robart Smith Samuel McKnight
Thos Davis Jas Chaphu (Chasshu?) Robert Davis Jno Thomas
William Isbels Wm. Thomas Levi Isbels Henry Turner
David Nelson John Carrut David taylor Muler Isbels
John Herod Benjamin Cooper David Walker Valentine Shoults
Wm. Walker Isaac Thomas Jun Chas Thomas William Colvert
__an Loften Thomas Beavers Jeusha Davise William Henderson
William Bird James Henderson Jacob Adams John Parker
Nathanil Perry James Craton Fields Morce James Runion
James Wammick Richard Woods Ezacirick Dillard James Randles
John Dillard Richd Randles David fields John Randles
Jessheca kelly Phillip Rouel Wm Miller Daniel Small
John beard Lamon Trigg David berd Robt Davis
Zebelun berd Jno Davis J. Fielding Davis Wm Blackburn
Joseph Hedley Richad Estrige Lisha dilard Philip Koonce
Robt Coonce Shadrick Coonce Robt Jerman Shadr Jerman
Samuel Coonce Jessee Koonce Thos. Whitten Nathaniel Seudder (?)
Jonathan Bird Andrew Bird Alex Hicks Jesse Thompson
Ricd Searcy * Adam Tooley Blake Hedley Jno Brownlee
John Searcy * Reyford Rutlin Jas Richmond Mathew Richmond
Richard Searcy * Daniel Richmond Luke Osburn Wm McNeeley
Jas Saunders Wm Crabtree Joseph Crabtree Robert Mitcheel
Jas Aouate (?) Joseph Wright Wm Donnell Robert Tipton
John Doak William Donnely (?) Alexander Donnely * Samuel Donnely (or Donnell)
William Donnell Jun Robert Donnell [blank] bradien Wm Smith
Joseph Boyers Robert Hancock Jas Warnick
James More John Foster Wm Mclean (or McMun?) * indicates names marked out on petition














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