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Yesterday's Tennessee

Rushing Family Outline

Decatur County, Tennessee


The Rushings of Decatur County are descended from several lines of the family originating in Anson County, North Carolina. The earliest Rushing in North Carolina was a Mathew Rushing with wife Elizabeth. Mathew had sons William, John, and Mathew. The Rushings in Decatur County are descended from two contemporary William Rushings who settled in Anson County, both probably grandsons of Mathew.

William Rushing (Brown's Creek)

This William Rushing seems to have lived on Brown's Creek near Black Jack Branch, near the present community of White Store in Anson County. This William Rushing may have been the one who received land grant No. 6531 dated April 19, 1763, for 150 acres on both sides of Deep Creek, including his own improvement. He is mentioned in land grant No. 3092 dated April 18, 1771, to Josiah Herndon, Jr., for 200 Acres in Anson County on Black Jack Branch of Brown's Creek, joining William Rushing. Most likely name of father: William.


William Rushing (Thompson's Creek)

This William Rushing seems to have lived between Little Brown's Creek and Thompson's Creek, either in the southeastern corner on present Union County, NC, or in adjacent Chesterfield Co., SC. His wife may have been named Mary. Most likely name of father: John.


ABRAHAM RUSHING (Circa 1742-1805)

Abraham Rushing was born circa 1742 and died in 1806 in Anson Co., NC. Abraham Rushing received land grant No. 6314 dated November 15, 1762, for 300 acres in Anson County on the North Fork of Thompson's Creek joining above John Jackson. Abraham Rushing received Land Grant No. 8814 dated July 25, 1774, and issued by Josiah Martin, Royal Governor of the Colony of North Carolina. The grant was for 150 acres in Anson County on the branches of Thompson's Creek, joining Thomas Creek and Rushing's own survey, between the two prongs of Thompson's Creek. Abraham Rushing married Mariah Meador, daughter of Jason Meador. Their children are listed in Abraham Rushing's will.


ASA RUSHING (1801-1851)

Asa Rushing, son of Jason Rushing and Alice Gullege, was born December 25, 1801, in Anson Co., NC, and October 15, 1851. He is buried in New Hope Cemetery, Decatur Co., TN. He married Nancy G. Hendrick, possibly a daughter of Hillary Hendrick, 1825, in Anson Co., NC. Born, 1803. Died, 1875, in Shelby Co., TX.


BURRELL RUSHING (Circa 1798-1867)

Burrell Rushing was born circa 1798 in Anson Co., NC, and died May 5, 1867. He is buried in a fieldstone marked grave in Rushing Grove Cemetery, Decatur Co., TN. Some descendants claim that Burrell Rushing is the son of Revolutionary War veteran Phillip Rushing because a pensioner named Phillip Rushing is listed in Burrell's household in the 1840 census of Perry County. However, Burrell's family probably is in Phillip's household because Burrell had replaced Calvin Lacy as Phillip Rushing's court appointed guardian. Burrell is well outside the 1765-1785 age range for Phillip's children. Burrell probably is son of Richard Rushing, with whom he is tied in land records and the 1820 and 1830 census. Richard may have had eight sons under age 20 in the 1800 census.

Burrell Rushing married Mary Elizabeth Rhodes. She was born circa 1806. She is buried in a fieldstone marked grave at Rushing Grove Cemetery.


CALVIN RUSHING (1804-1860)

Calvin Rushing, son of David Rushing and Nancy Deason, was born March 31, 1804 in Anson Co., NC, and died January 1860. He is buried in Campground Cemetery in Decatur Co., TN. He is listed in the 1850 census as a teacher but earlier was a merchant in business with his brother-in-law Robert Lowry. Perry County court records show Lowry and Rushing to have been sued more than once. Calvin may have gone bankrupt. Decatur County property records seem to show Calvin Rushing desperately trying to raise money, and later his wife gets property in her own name from her father and brother. Calvin Rushing married Rebecca White (October 5, 1815-March 20, 1878), daughter of Reuben R. White and Isabella Welch. She was born in NC and is buried in Campground Cemetery.


CLINTON C. RUSHING (Circa 1843-After 1910)

One line of Rushings which was in Decatur County between 1880 and 1900 was the family of Clinton C. Rushing. This family came to Decatur Co. from Humphreys Co. before 1880 and moved to Dyer Co. after 1900. The following family for Clinton C. Rushing is based solely on census data and may not be complete. He seems to have married three times.

Clinton Rushing's first wife is unknown.


Clinton Rushing married, second, Louisa (possibly Moody), circa 1868. She was born circa 1842 and died before 1893. Census: 1880, in Decatur Co., TN.


Clinton Rushing married, third, Isabelle Rosson (born April 1865, in MO), June 8, 1893, in Decatur Co., TN.


ELIJAH RUSHING (Est. 1791-before 1840)

The most obscure of the early Rushings who settled in the Decatur Co. area was Elijah Rushing. His birth date can be estimated only from the known ages of his children. He appears in the 1830 census in Perry County. Based on census data for his children, he first settled in Alabama before moving to Perry Co. Both he and his wife died before the 1840 census. The remnant of Elijah's household in the 1840 is that headed by Sarah Rushing, who probably was Elijah's mother. Sarah Rushing's household in 1840 includes the youngest of Elijah's sons, Burrell Rushing (born circa 1821). Based on interactions among their children, Elijah seems to have been a brother of Burrell Rushing (1798-1867) and Isaac Rushing (1799-1853). Elijah probably was a son of Richard Rushing.

The family of Elijah Rushing is outlined in a letter dated December 27, 1986, from Sonja Jenkins to Virginia Whitaker, Monroe, LA. Ms. Jenkins writes: "I know that Elijah was the father to: 1. John P.; 2. Milly (married a Stinson); 3. Caroline (married John Hambleton); 4. Burrell; E. R. Chambers; 6. William R. This is from a deed I have from Decatur County, Tennessee."


ISAAC RUSHING (Circa 1799-1853)

Isaac Rushing was born circa 1799 in NC and died April 1853 in Natchitoches Parish, LA. Isaac is an interesting early Rushing. He appears frequently in early Perry County court records, often in scrapes (assault and battery, assault to commit murder). Did he leave Perry County because things were getting too hot? An oral tradition among descendants of Morning Rushing Tolley is that Isaac abandoned his family. This probably is not correct. Other records show that Isaac's Louisiana family and his Decatur County family remained in contact with one another until the Civil War. The family of Issac Rushing is outlined in the probate records of Natchitoches Parish, LA, which name all of Isaac's children and all the children of Isaac's two wives. All children born before 1840 were born in Perry Co., TN.

Isaac Rushing married, first, Rebecca Saint (circa 1800-circa 1839), daughter of Isham Saint and Mary.


Isaac Rushing's second wife was a widow Elizabeth Griffin (circa 1801-April 1853), circa 1836. She died in Natchitoches Parish, LA.



The family of James Walter Rushing was the last Rushing family line to move to Decatur Co. James Walter Rushing was born February 10, 1872, in Mitchellville, Saline Co., IL, and died October 4, 1959, in Dyersburg, Dyer Co., TN. He married Mary Angelyn Cooper, daughter of John Gilbert Cooper and Lettie Texas Biggs, January 5, 1901, in Hickman Co., TN. She was born January 14, 1886, in Coble, Hickman Co., TN, and died, November 24, 1971, in Lexington, Henderson Co., TN.


James Walter Rushing was son of Abraham Franklin Rushing (February 10, 1843-1890), who lived in Saline Co., IL. He married Isabell Reed (April 28, 1852-October 9, 1910), daughter of Johnson Reed and Elizabeth Randolph, 14 May 1871, in Saline Co., IL. She died in Mitchellville, Saline Co., IL.

Abraham Franklin Rushing was son of Alfred Rushing (December 25, 1810-December 24, 1865). He was born in Bedford Co., TN. He married Esther H. (May 11, 1813-January 3, 1885). She was born in NC. Both are buried in Robinson Cemetery, New Burnside, Johnson Co., IL.

Alfred Rushing was son of Peter Rushing (born circa 1785). Alfred Rushing lived in Bedford Co., TN; Calloway Co., KY; and Johnson Co., IL. This is the Peter named in the 1806 will of Abraham Rushing in Anson Co., NC.

JASON RUSHING (Born Circa 1875)

Jason Rushing was a son of Abraham Rushing and Mariah Meador and is mentioned in the 1806 will of Abraham Rushing. Jason Rushing never lived in the Decatur Co. area, but some of his children did. He married Alice Gulledge, daughter of William Gulledge and Bathsheba. The names and ages of Jason's children are preserved in the Autobiography of John Bateman Rushing. John Bateman Rushing was a grandson who lived in Appleby, Nacogdoches Co., TX.


JOEL RUSHING (1806-1889)

Joel Rushing, son of Jason Rushing and Alice Gullege, was born September 6, 1806, in Anson Co., NC, and died December 3 1889, in Decatur Co., TN. Joel Rushing arrived in the Decatur Co. area about 1845. This story was told by Leonadus Rushing, who called Joel "uncle." Joel Rushing was a lay preacher and a farmer. If Joel Rushing had to preach a sermon on a Sunday he practiced while he plowed his field. He would be preaching hell and damnation to his mule while he practiced. Leonadus would hear him in the field and would yell out "Uncle Joel, what are you preaching on this Sunday?" That mule must have really known the Bible.

He married, first, Zelphy, Dec 18, 1830, in Anson Co., NC. She was born September 17, 1808, in Anson Co., NC, and died June 6, 1879. Both are buried in New Hope Cemetery, Decatur Co., TN. Family traditions says she was Dutch (probably Deutsche of German). She may have been a sister of Hosea Presslar.


Joel Rushing married, second, a widow Lucy J. Sykes (June 15, 1819-June 27, 1896), December 31, 1879, in Decatur Co., TN. Lucy is buried in Campground Cemetery.


Leonadus Rushing, son of William Gilbert Rushing and Eliza, was born April 13, 1837, in Perry Co., TN and died February 27, 1902. He was a farmer. Leonadus Rushing enlisted in the Confederate Army at Trenton, Tennessee, on September 26, 1861. He served in Company H, 31st Regiment, Tennessee Infantry. The regiment was stationed at Island No. 10 for seven months. His military record shows that Leonadus was listed as deserted from Columbus, Kentucky (no date); was listed as deserted May 30, 1862, during the withdrawal from Corinth, Mississippi; appears on the muster roll of Company H on May 11, 1863, near Shelbyville, Tennessee; and was promoted to 4th Sergeant (no date). Company H participated in the battles at Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Jonesboro, Franklin, and Nashville. Company H was payrolled out of service at Jackson, Tennessee, in May 1865.

Leonadus married, second, Mary Jane Jones (November 27, 1853-March 8, 1901), December 22, 1892, in Decatur Co., TN. She is buried in Campground Cemetery.



One of the oldest carved markers at Campground Cemetery is that for Nancy Rushing who died October 3, 1857. Nancy Rushing was the daughter of Enoch Deason and Rebecca. She married David Rushing (born circa 1778). David died before 1828 in Anson Co., NC. David's father was Robert Rushing and his mother may have been Jemima Jackson. The widow Nancy and her family were living in Perry Co. in 1836. The family of Nancy and David Rushing is proven in the records of the settlement of the estate of Enoch Deason Rushing in Sumter Co., AL.


PHILLIP RUSHING (Circa 1746-After 1840)

Phillip Rushing was a Revolutionary War veteran who filed a pension application from Perry Co., TN, in 1834. At the time of the filing Phillip's memory was failing. He was unable to provide information about his service on his first attempt to file and may have had to get the information from Richard Rushing. Phillip had court appointed guardians in his old age. Perry County court records show an 1838 petition by Calvin Lacy (probably a grandson) to be replaced as guardian. Burrell Rushing (probably a nephew) seems to have suceeded Calvin Lacy as guardian. Whether because of failing memory or error on the part of the court clerk, Phillip's age is off by about 10 years in his pension application which lists him as born in 1756. Census records clearly show Phillip to be older. Phillip's pension application notes that he was at skirmishes at Thompson Creek, Lynches Creek, Hills Creek, Richardson Creek, Drowning Creek, and Bettys Bridge. He also served on the Cape Fear River near Wilmington.

Phillip probably is buried in one of the old cemeteries in the southern part of Decatur County.

Phillip Rushing's wife, proven in Anson Co., NC, property records, was named Hannah (before 1755-after 1815). Phillip probably had about four sons and four or five daughters. The birth range for Phillip's children is 1765-1785. While younger children appear in Phillip's household in between 1800 and 1820, there are always multiple adult females in the household as if the families of some of Phillip's children lived in Phillip's household.



Richard Rushing was born in Virginia according to his pension application. Before moving to west Tennessee he lived on Brown's Creek in Anson County, North Carolina. He served in the Revolutionary War and received a pension (S21457) for his service. A summary of his service contained in his pension file: "In 1776, three months in Captain John Jackson's Company, was in a skirmish at Drowning Creek where his brother William was wounded and soon after died; in 1777, nine months in Captain Stephen Jackson's Company; in 1778, ten months in the same company; in 1779, eight months in the same company; in 1780, six months in the same company. A part of the time he served in Colonel Wade's Regiment. He was in skirmishes on Black river, Bates Bridge, Lynch's Creek, Richardson's Creek and Thompson's Creek."

Richard Rushing moved to Tennessee in 1819 and settled on the south side of the Beech River. While he claimed to live on Rushing Creek in his pension application, property records show that he had extensive land holdings in the 7th and 8th sections of the 8th range along Turkey Creek.

Richard Rushing seems to have married twice. About 1783 he married a daughter (name unknown) of the William Rushing who settled between Little Brown's Creek and Thompson's Creek. (This is why in Benton County, Dennis and Willis are said to be cousins of Abel and Robert.) The Sarah Rushing, age 80 in the 1850 census, seems to have been Richard's second wife. They would have married circa 1790.

Proven Children:

Generally Accepted Children:

Sarah Rushing's Family:

Other Probable Children:

ROBERT RUSHING (Before 1755-After 1820)

Robert Rushing has the best documented family of any of the early Rushings in Anson Co., NC. Robert was the son of the William Rushing who settled between Little Brown's Creek and Thompson's Creek. As proven by land grants and deeds, Robert lived "on the lower side of Little Brown Creek, joining William's [Rushing] line, north of Haw Branch and a point near Johnston's line." The name of Robert Rushing's wife has not been proven, but some Rushing family researchers believe she was Jemima Jackson. Robert's children are proven by deeds in Anson and Union Cos., NC. All of Robert Rushing's children were born in Anson Co., NC.



William Gilbert (Gil) Rushing was born October 23, 1810, in Anson Co., NC, and died April 15, 1875. He had moved to Decatur County, then Perry County, by 1836. He was a farmer. In 1841 he donated the land where Campground Cumberland Presbyterian Church now stands for use for a church and cemetery. His wife Eliza was born April 20, 1819, and died March 14, 1881. Among descendants of Eliza's granddaughter Sophia Rushing Moore there is an oral tradition that Eliza was sister of Noah Williams. However, in the marriage record of son Millard Fillmore Rushing in Massac Co., IL, she is listed as Eliza White. William Gilbert Rushing and Eliza are buried at Campground Cemetery, Decatur Co., TN.


REBECCA RUSHING JACKSON (Circa 1805-After 1860)

Rebecca was the daughter of David Rushing and Nancy Deason. She was born circa 1805 and died after the 1860 census. She may be buried at Smith Chapel, Henderson Co., TN. In the 1850 census she is a widow living next to her brother William Gilbert Rushing in Decatur County. Her husband was John Jackson who died circa 1849. The name of her husband is proven in Anson Co., NC, Deed Book 13, page 139, dated December 3, 1849. "William H. Bennett & wife to Griffin Avitt, Power of Atty--W. H. & wife, Temperance, formerly Temperance Jackson of Co. of Decatur, State of TN to receive for us a sum of money in the hands of Darling Rushing, guardian of said Temperance Jackson $200 more or less her portion in the estate of John Jackson deceased late of Union County, NC. Attest: William G. Rushing/John Garrett."



The Lacy family of Decatur County is descended from Hiram Lacy, son of Jess Lacy and Millie Rushing. The following information about the family of Jesse Lacy comes from Sara Fulks, with additional information from Brian Eigelback, and was posted on the Prodigy genealogy bulletin board, January 16, 1995.

Thomas Lacy (born circa 1650 Wales or England, probably died Hanover Co., VA) married Phoebe Rice, daughter of Thomas and Marcey Rice. They immigrated to America between 1680 and 1685, settling in that part of New Kent Co., VA that became Hanover Co., VA. Among their children was:

Thomas Lacy (born circa 1680s New Kent Co., VA) married circa 1704-06 New Kent Co., VA to Anne Burnley (born circa 1688). Among their children was:

Stephen Lacy (born circa 1708 New Kent Co., VA, died 1772 Goochland Co., VA, with will dated March 16, 1771, and proved July 20, 1772) married 1738 to Sarah Johnson. They were Presbyterians. Among their children was:

Thomas Lacy (born circa 1725-28 Hanover Co., VA, died October 1, 1793 Anson Co., NC) married second time 1764 to Keziah Griffith. He fought in Revolutionary War. Their children were: 1. Mary B. Lacy (born October 14, 1761, died before 1824) married Theodoric Webb of Fort Mill, York Co., SC. 2. Sarah Lacy (born December 22, 1763, died before 1824) married unknown Webb. 3. Stephen Lacy (born October 18, 1765 Anson Co., NC, died December 23, 1851 Madison Co., TN) married circa 1800 to Katherine Ross, daughter of Hugh Ross and Margaret McDonald, went from Anson Co., NC to Hickman Co., TN circa 1810. 4. Thomas Lacy (December 21, 1768, died Madison Co., TN) married circa 1797 to Jane Ross, daughter of Hugh Ross and Margaret McDonald, went from Anson Co., NC to Hickman Co., TN circa 1810. 5. Jesse Lacy (born March 20, 1770, died circa 1824 Perry Co., TN) married Millie Rushing. 6. Griffith Lacy, unmarried. 7. Elizabeth Lacy (born December 20, 1771, died after 1824), married unknown Jackson. 8. Lucretia Lacy (born October 25, 1776, died October 1840 Henderson Co., TN) married February 18,1800 to Hugh Ross, son of Hugh Ross and Margaret McDonald, went from Anson Co., N.C. to Hickman Co., TN circa 1810. 9. Anna Lacy married Hugh Campbell.

Another Lacy, not a direct ancestor, also lived in the area. Until 1991, a carved fieldstone at Duke Chapel Cemetery marked the grave of Wm. Lacy, d. 1836, Age 80. The fieldstone was somewhat difficult to read and was hidden under a bush. This fieldstone marked the grave of William Lacy, born May 5, 1755 in Orange Co., NC. William Lacy was a Revolutionary War veteran who filed pension claim S21342 dated August 14, 1834, from Henderson Co. The bush and fieldstone have since been removed.

JESS LACY (1770-Circa 1824)

Jesse Lacy, son of Thomas Lacy and Kesiah Griffith, was born March 20, 1770, in Anson Co., NC, and died before 1830, in Perry Co., TN. He married Millie Rushing, daughter of Phillip Rushing and Hannah. Jess lacy's family moved to Perry Co. about 1814. Three sons and four daughters are known. "Uncle Jessie Lacy died in Decatur County, Tennessee, about 1820. He was supposed to have died in consequence of his being very fleshy, died of suffocation." [Transcription of letter written about 1890 by Stephen L. Ross, who lived in Florida, to Thomas Lacy, Denton, Texas, on file in Public Library in Wadesboro, NC.]


The daughters Anna and Elizabeth are believed to been married in Perry Co., TN.


Near the intersection of state highways 69 and 202 in Decaturville, in the woods behind the antique store, is the grave of Jemima M. Lowry, wife of Robert Lowry. The grave is outside the fence of the later Young family cemetery known as the Houston Cemetery. This, and confusion with another unrelated Robert Lowry who lived near Scotts Hill, lead the compilers of the cemetery book assembled by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1970s to suggest the older cemetery outside the fence was a negro or slave cemetery. This is not correct.

Jemima was the daughter of David Rushing and Nancy Deason. She was born August 15, 1806 and died September 10, 1840. She married Robert Lowry, born January 28, 1806, in the Chesterfield District of SC and died April 22, 1880, in Prentice Co., MS. Robert Lowry was the son of John Paul Lowry (1771-1823) and Temperance J. Rushing (1778-1823). Robert and Jemima came to Tennessee about 1832 with Robert's brother Thomas Jefferson Lowry and Jemima's brother Holden Rushing. The diary of Thomas Lowry describes their journey. They came in a Jersey wagon drawn by one horse. Thomas and Holden walked most of the way. Their journey took them through Buncombe Co., NC; down the French Broad River; to Knoxville, Nashville, then Humphreys Co. (now Benton Co.) where they stayed for a while near relatives before moving to Perry Co. Robert was a merchant in business with his brotherin-law Calvin Rushing. Robert moved to Tishomingo Co., MS, between 1840 and 1842 and remarried there.


The above information about children comes from the research of Frances Thomas of Nederland, Texas.


Leroy P. Moore (May 27, 1830-may 21, 1887) was the son of Jesse Moore (ca. 1780-1841) and Margaret (Peggy) Denton (circa 1785-1858). He was born in the Cedar Creek Community of Perry Co. Jesse Moore purchased land on the Beech River in 1839. After the death of Jesse Moore, the farm was managed by James Lomax who was married to Jess Moore's daughter Malinda. The Lomax lived midway between the Moore home where Maggie Mae Moore now lives and the Beech River.

Leroy P. Moore attended an academy at Decaturville, but there is no evidence he became a teacher. He and, later, his son William Garrett Moore serves as members of the school board for the Garrett Community school. Leroy P. Moore farmed jointly with James Lomax during the two periods when the Lomax family lived on the farm. One of Leroy P. Moore's farm journals describes a molasses making operation.

Before his marriage, Leroy P. Moore was best friends with W.H.H. Rushing. He and W.H.H. Rushing made barrel staves which W. H. H. Rushing took to New Orleans to sell. Leroy die not fight during the Civil War. The Confederates confiscated his rifle. He had to use a special license to vote in 1866 and 1867.

In the 1870s there was a struggle for ownership of the Moore farm. John Myracle returned from Missouri owning a two fifth shares of the property, one inherited by his wife Nancy and another purchased from Serena and Caleb Horner. John Myracle and appears to have tried to get control of the property. The Lomax share seems to have been deciding factor. Leroy P. Moore bought out John Myracle. William G. Moore eventually bought the Lomax share from Francis Marion Harrington.

Leroy P. Moore was a member of New Hope Baptist Church and was secretary for the church for many years.

He married Mary Ann Rushing (January 4, 1833-May 13, 1878), daughter of Joel Rushing and Zilphy. Both are buried in New Hope Cemetery, Decatur Co., TN.



Martha Rushing was the daughter of David Rushing and Nancy Deason. Her birth date is not known but probably was 1814-1818. She died before 1850. The children of Martha Rushing are recorded in the probate records of the estate of Enoch Deason Rushing in Sumter Co., Alabama. Thr probate record generally lists the children in the order in which they later appear in the 1850 census in Decatur County. The probate records lists daughters Frances White and Matilda White not listed in the 1850 census. One of these probably is the Melvina listed in the census. The Sumter Co. probate records note that George W. Harrell had been appointed by the Decatur Co. Court as guardian of Martha's children.

She married Albert White, son of Reuben R. White and Isabella Welch, circa 1834. He was born October 18, 1814, in NC, and died March 15, 1885. Albert is buried in Ebenezer Cemetery, Henderson Co., TN. Albert White was a farmer. One source lists Albert White as a son of Henry White and Hannah Rushing. Based on age and location, he seems more likely to have been a son of Reuben White and grandson of Henry White. In the 1850 census Albert White is living in Decaturville (household #57) near William H. Morgan (#58), Nicholas D. White (#59), and Ruben White (#61).


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