Adam Fox, Jr.
b. c1760 d. between 1814-1830
From the time I was in about fifth grade and first studied Gatlinburg history
in school, I was under two misconceptions. These misconceptions were not taught
to me as fact; I just assumed them into being. The first was that Martha Jane Huskey Ogle and her family were our family’s
first ancestors in Sevier County. (I was wrong.). The second misconcepteion was that a very small group—Martha Jane,
her children, and her brother--made the trip from SC to TN. Actually she arrived
around 1804 or 1805 with at least forty relatives who scattered out to the surrounding area.
The Huskeys moved furthest away to Walden’s Creek, Emert’s Cove, and eventually Missouri. The McCarters moved to Cartertown, and Martha Jane and her Ogle family stayed in White Oak Flats. (For more information, see “Pioneer Travelers” on the Navigation Bar.)
Though they were early settlers in Sevier County, the Ogles, McCarters,
and Huskeys were not our first ancestors here. Adam Fox (Adam Fuchs) and
his wife Elizabeth (Eliza) Derrick made their way to Tennessee and what would eventually become Sevier County in about 1786,
almost twenty years before Martha Jane arrived. The Foxes were among our first--if
not the first--of our Sevier County ancestors.
Johann Adam Fuchs: The
Adam Fox was the son of Johann Adam Fuchs, a German immigrant who had arrived
in Philadelphia before 1750. Since there were several Johann Adam Fuchs in Virginia
and Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, we are not exactly sure which one is our original immigrant. One Johann Adam arrived in Philadelphia on the Loyal Judith on 2 Sep 1743. He arrived with his sister Elizabeth. Traditionally, he is
considered our original “Immigrant” for the Fox branch of the family tree.
Another Johan Adam Fox arrived in Philadelphia aboard the Davy in 1738.
He arrived with a group of Palatine immigrants. Since our Adam was of
German descent and settled in Berks Co., PA where many other Palatine refugees lived, this Adam might be considered as a possible
ancestral candidate. A third Johan Adam Fuchs arrived with Johann Henrich Fuchs
in Philadelphia aboard the Two Brothers in 1749. Since this Adam had a
family with him, he is not likely our ancestor. Several other Adam Fuchs and Johann Adam Fuchs show up on ships’ lists
and early PA and VA records. One of these includes a Revolutionary War soldier,
who, unfortunately, was killed during the war and therefore not our ancestor. I
tend to side with the majority who choose the Adam on the Loyal Judith as
our first Fox Immigrant..
Our Immigrant Johann Adam Fuchs, whichever he was, apparently arrived in Philadelphia
much as the other Palatine immigrants and lived in Berks County. He soon changed his name to Adam Fox Adam probably changed his name for the same reason our other German ancestors did—misspelling
on the part of ships’ personnel and colonial officials. Not long after
arriving in the colonies, he married a woman named Catherine whose surname is unknown. (There
is speculation but no proof that Adam’s wife may have been the sister or daughter of Mark Ilor (Eyler, Eilor). The Ilor
name occurs several times in records relating to the Foxes.)
Early Days in PA
In Berks County Adam apparently worked in a freight hauling or drayage business
owned by another one of our ancestors, Robert Stapleton. Also working in the
drayage business was our ancestor Simon Durck (Simon Derrick) who married Stapleton’s daughter Catherine. (I still have not been able to find corroborating evidence for this drayage business since last mentioning
it in the AOM article about Simon Derrick.)
Shortly after Adam and Catherine were married, they began acquiring land in
the region. By 1752 they had moved to Virginia (as did the Derricks and Stapletons)
and built a home on Stony Creek in what later became Shenandoah County. Later
they sold this land and purchased acreage further south on Mill Creek where they moved and lived until Adam died. (Further
evidence that Johann Adam Fuchs [Adam Fox, Sr.] was originally from Germany may be seen in some of the original documents
and land warrants and deeds that are written in German. In addition the family
was Lutheran and attended a Union church [Lutheran and German Reformed.])
Adam Sr.’s Family
Adam Fox, Sr. and his wife Catherine had seven children, some born in PA, some
(1) Eva Margaretha (b.17 Oct
1751) in Berks Co, PA
(2) Catherine (c.1753-?) m. Jacob Rausch
(3) Barbara (c.1755-?) married
(4) Anna Marie (c.1757-?) m.
(5) Magdalena (c.1759-?) m.
(6) Adam, Jr. (c.1760-before1830)
married Elizabeth (Eliza) Derrick, and
(7) Mark (c.1761-1787)
m. Ann Baughman.
Adam, Jr., Mark, and Eva Margaretha
and their families were all destined to move from their homes in Virginia to Sevier Co., TN.
Catherine and Barbara moved with their husbands to Ohio. Anna Maria and
Magdalena may have stayed in VA with their families. Their adult lives and histories
are yet to be discovered.
Adam Sr.’s Will
Adam Fox, Sr. wrote his will in 1768
and died sometime between that date and the time the will was probated in 1769. At
that time his son Adam, Jr. was about eight or nine years old. When Adam, Sr.,
died, his will stipulated that his daughters should receive an equal share with the sons.
However, instead of land, the daughters were to be paid their share in cash.
Documents show land being sold within the family so that this bequest could be accomplished. The estate was not completely settled until 1784, about 15 years after the elder Fox’s death.
Life as a Widow
Adam, Jr.’s, mother Catherine
proved herself to be a remarkable woman. Generally widows in the colonies, particularly
on the frontier, remarried quickly. They needed help in holding onto their lands
and in providing for their families. Catherine survived Adam, Sr. for at least twenty years, and there is no record that she
ever remarried. She managed to bring up her seven children alone and even added
more land to the family’s holdings. Quite probably she had help from the
Derricks, Stapletons, Rauschs, Birts (Birds) and other German families in the Shenandoah region. Two of her children, Catherine
and Barbara, married into the Rausch family, and our Adam chose as his bride, Elizabeth (Eliza) Derrick (1760-c1830)d
Adam, Jr. Assumes
The Fox family not only survived; they prospered. In 1781 Adam, Jr. was listed with his mother as two of the Lutheran congregation who helped to pay
off a debt owed by the church Later, on 24 April 1783, Adam Fox, Jr., took
the oath of constable for the county, which shows that he was civic-minded and respected.
In 1782, Adam, Jr. married Elizabeth (Eliza) Derrick, daughter of Johannes
(John) Derrick and granddaughter of Simon Derrick. The couple had eight children:
five boys and three girls.
(1) John (b. February 19, 1784, Shenandoah
County, Virginia; d. October 25, 1852, Sevier County, Tennessee) m. Nancy Patterson (b. 1787 VA, d. ?) Sevier County, TN) (John is our ancestor)
(b. 1785, Shenandoah County, VA; d. 1843, Sevier County, TN)
(b 1789, Sevier County, Tennessee; d. 1859, Sevier County, Tennessee) m. Christina Eversall (b? d?)
(4) Adam III (b. 1794, Sevier County, Tennessee;
d. November 08, 1867, Jefferson County, Tennessee) m. Mary (Polly) Shrader (b. c1799 d?)
(5) Mark (b. 1798, Sevier County, Tennessee; d. 1864,
Sevier County, Tennessee) m. Anna Dickey (b.? d.?)
(6) William (b. December 12, 1803, Sevier County,
Tennessee; d. December 13, 1874, Sevier County, Tennessee) m. Rebecca Dickey (b.? d.?)
(7) Elizabeth (b. 1805, Sevier County, Tennessee;
d. December 13, 1874, Sevier County, Tennessee) m. Alfred Allen (b? d?)
(b? Sevier Co., TN d.?) ) m. Unknown Strickland (b? d?)
The Foxes were a prolific family. Although
Adam, Sr. did not live to see any of his grandchildren, he had a good number of them
Adam, Jr., however, had even more. His son John had nine children; George
had thirteen. Adam III had 13 with his wife Polly and possibly 6 more. Mark
had 10, and William had 9. In addition the girls provided grandchildren, too. Catherine Fox Keeler had 11 children, and Elizabeth Fox Allen had 8. Martha, it is reported, married a man named Strickland, moved away and no one ever heard from her again,
so we don’t know how many she added to the group. In any event Adam, Jr.
probably had at least 73 grandchildren by this account, and assuming Martha had children, the list grows even longer. Large families, however, were the norm for the frontier, and although there were more
mouths to feed, there were more hands to work.
The Move to TN
According to one source, in 1783 Simon Derrick, his brother Jacob and Jacob’s
son Henry Derrick had moved a branch of their drayage business to the eastern part of Sevier Co. Adam’s brother Mark had visited TN, probably during this business move, and apparently liked
what he saw. He returned home and married Ann Baughman on 5 Jun 1785 and began
making arrangements for the family’s move to TN. Not long before the trip,
Ann gave birth to a daughter whom she and her husband named Catherine. Simon
Derrick and his son Johannes (Adam’s father-in-law) did not move to TN as they were both too old, but apparently a number
of the Derrick children including some of the daughters and their families, Adam and Mark Fox, and their families, Jacob Bird
and his family, and possibly other friends and relatives formed a caravan of wagons, carts, pack horses and pack mules and
migrated to Tennessee (A modern day historical marker was erected in Sevier Co. to tell
of the “Dutch Settlement” established by Jacob Derrick, Jacob Bird, and Adam Fox.
The marker also mentions an early Lutheran church that was once located near the Fox cemetery.)
Adam, Jr. and his brother Mark were still in VA in 1785-86, but they and their
families made the move to Tennessee in 1786 At the time of the move, Adam
had two children and Mark had one. It is not clear exactly how many people
came with them on their journey, but like Martha Jane Ogle and her family, they probably welcomed any family member or friend
who wanted to come. They were, after all, moving into the “real”
frontier region of the time where rumors of Indian raids, attacks from wild animals, and the like were commonplace. No records exist for Catherine Fox, the boys’ mother, after the 1785 VA census. There is some speculation that she may have finally remarried at this time—thus, as a Fox she
disappeared from records. There is also speculation that she died at this time or that she may have accompanied the group
to Sevier County. At present the general thought is that she died, but since
she was such a strong woman, she, too, may have made the trip to Tennessee.
By 1786 Adam, Jr. and Eliza were living in Sevier County. Shortly after their arrival they were met with a shattering experience when brother Mark was killed and scalped by Indians on the banks of Muddy Creek on 21
June 1787. Mark was the first person to be buried in a marked grave in Sevier
County. His grave marker is still standing and is considered the oldest in the
area. He is buried in Fox cemetery.
There is dispute over the fate of Mark’s family. One source says Ann and fifteen-month-old Catherine moved away from Tennessee after Mark’s
death. Ann may have remarried, either to David Shaw on 19 Jul 1797
or to William Duggan about 1798. Mark’s daughter Catherine (b. 1786 VA-d. 1877 IN) grew to adulthood apparently in
Virginia or Indiana. She married a man named Jesse Shields (1782 VA d. 1848 IN) who was from VA, and both she and her husband died in Harris Co., IN.
Most of Adam, Jr.’s children
made him proud. All survived to adulthood, and most became farmers. John, our ancestor, farmed in the Harrisburg area of Sevier Co. George
moved to Fair Gardens where he bought a farm. William remained on Adam’s
home place and farmed there. Sister Catherine married Joseph Keeler who was a
farmer who raised horses. Keeler fought in the War of 1812 and lived to be 103. Sister Elizabeth’s husband, Alfred Allen, was a surveyor. They lived in McMinn Co., but she moved back to Sevier Co when her husband died. Mark was a farmer who was later killed by Confederate soldiers because of his Union sympathies. At the time he was 66 years old and a civilian. Martha married
and moved away. Brother Adam, III was a story unto himself.
(For your information: In Virginia Adam Fox was called Jr. to distinguish
him from his father. In TN, however, he did not have that problem. Thus, he became Adam, Sr., and Adam III was known as Adam, Jr. For
the purpose of clarity, I will continue to call the grandfather “Sr.’, the son “Jr.”, and the grandson
III, volunteered in Knoxville to serve in the War of 1812. He served for 3-6 months in the Creek campaigns in a company of mounted infantry of East Tennessee Volunteers. He married Mary (Polly) Shrader in 1815, and he was commissioned as a lieutenant in
the Sevier County militia in 1816. Long after the war and after his
parents had died, he was taken to court in 1844-45 and sentenced to jail for consorting with a woman “of ill fame.” After he was released from jail, he and the woman left Sevier Co., apparently leaving
his wife Mary to fend for herself and her children. (She had given birth to one
of their children, Nancy, in 1842) Adam traveled and lived in Middle TN, Kentucky,
and Missouri with his mysterious woman. Later he lived in Virginia, in Claiborne
Co., TN., and in Kansas In 1851 while in VA he received land grants for
his war service. In the 1860 census of Claiborne Co., TN, Adam, III, is listed
with six children ages 3-15 living in his household. His wife (?) is listed as “Mary” who is 39 years old. In the same census year, Adam’s first wife Mary Schrader Fox is listed in the
Sevier Co census as living with two of her children--William and Nancy--at her son Mark’s home. She is listed as being 66 at this time. Thus, Adam III
must have had at least six children with the “new woman.” (I could
find no evidence of a divorce or remarriage.)
In 1862 Adam III was accused of murdering a man in Kansas and was sentenced to be hanged. Before the sentence could be carried out, however, he was freed by a band of Kansas Jay Hawkers (a group of antislavery guerrillas operating in Kansas and Missouri before and during the Civil War). After his escape, he returned to TN where he lived in Dandridge until his death three
years later. In 1878 when she was 79 years old, Adam, III’s, wife Mary
(Polly) Schrader Fox applied for a widow’s pension based on her husband’s War of 1812 service. She was awarded $8. per month and received the pension until 1886 when she was 87 years old. In 1909 a neighbor wrote to his commissioner to ask that Mary Fox be allowed back on the pension rolls. Since Adam’s first wife Mary would have been 110 years old at this time, perhaps
the letter was in behalf of the second or “ill reputed” consort (apparently also named Mary) who was only 39 in
the 1860 census and who at 73 in 1909 was 27 years younger than Mary Shrader Fox. (Most
of this is pure speculation on my part)
Although Adam III may have turned out to be somewhat of a rascal, at least his parents were not alive to bear the
sorrow of his behavior. Adam, Jr. died between 1814 and 1830. He was 54-70 years old. Elizabeth died after 1830; she lived at least 68 years. The couple is presumed to be buried in
Fox cemetery in Sevier County.
The Pioneer Spirit
Adam Fox, Jr. suffered a number of hardships to bring his family from Shenandoah to Sevier County. Like his father before him, he was a strong man whose determination and adventurous spirit helped his family
to survive and prosper. Both he and his father Adam Fox, the Immigrant, were
part of the pioneering forefathers who helped to settle this country. We can
be proud of them.
Adam Fox, Jr., is Mamaw’s 3-great grandfather; Johann Adam Fuchs (the
Immigrant) is her 4-great grandfather.
Direct line from
Adam Fox to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher
Adam Fox, Jr. + Elizabeth Derrick
John Fox + Nancy
Christina Fox +
Sutton + Elizabeth Ann (Betsy) Headrick
Susan Sutton + Elder
Mary Elizabeth (Betsy)
Hatcher + Rev. Eli McCarter
“Dick Fox’s Homepage”
Kerrihard, Bo. “America's
Civil War: Missouri and Kansas” (Jayhawkers) http://rotator.adjuggler.com/servlet/ajrotator/260687/0/cj?ajkey=V1251065B7DL26648AC864487AC864487L260699L260704QL260665QQP0G0014
McCarter/Hatcher family charts