Summer 2012 Newsletter # 6

Greetings from Your Tipton Family Association of America!

The TFAA 2012 meeting is scheduled to be held October 6th at the Talley Ho Inn, 8314 State Hiway 73 in Townsend, Tennessee.
The highlight of our program will be “How the Tiptons Played a Part in the Early Mountain Life of Cades Cove” presented by Lendel Abbott whose parents resided in Cades Cove until about three months before he was born.  Growing up, Lendel spent much time in the Cove with his grandfather, John ‘Gull’ Tipton.  Lendel knows as much about Cades Cove as any man living.  In addition to his presentation, he has ‘hog eye’ rifles belonging to the Tiptons, the plats for William Tipton’s land grants in the Cove and other Tipton memorabilia from that era.

Registration for the meeting will be at 9am in the Talley Ho Inn lobby.  Advance reservations are not necessary but advance notice of your intent to attend will be appreciated.

Townsend is one of the three gateways to Great Smoky Mountain National Park and is called The Peaceful Side of the Smokies because of its rustic environment without the bustle of the commercial developments surrounding the Gatlinburg and Cherokee gateways.  The Talley Ho Inn’s phone number is (800) 448-2465.

Pictured below is the Tipton Cabin located in Cades Cove on the driving loop through the cove maintained by Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Senator John Tipton of Indiana
In 1831, John Tipton (1786-1839) was elected by the Indiana State Legislature to a seat in the United States Senate.  He served in the Senate until his death.  Previously, Tipton had been in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1819 to 1823 when he became United States Indian Agent for the Potawatomie and Miami tribes.

At age 17, Tipton moved to what is now Harrison County, Indiana near the Ohio River where he farmed and served in the militia.  In 1809, he was commissioned an ensign in the renowned mounted riflemen known as the Yellow Jackets.  In 1811, he commanded a unit at the Battle of Tippecanoe serving under future US president William Henry Harrison.  Tipton rose in military stature to become a major general in the Indiana Militia.  He served as Sheriff of Harrison County and performed numerous other civic duties.

Tipton was a founder of several Indiana towns including Indianapolis, Logansport, Fort Wayne and Columbus which was originally called Tiptonia.  Five years after his death, Tipton County was organized by the Indiana Legislature and named in his honor.  In 1847, the county seat also became Tipton.  Today; Tipton, Indiana is a prosperous city of 5,000.  Tipton and Tipton County are located in the central part of the state.

John Tipton was born 14 August 1786, the son of Joshua Tipton and his wife, Janet Shields Tipton.  Joshua and Janet moved to present-day Sevier County, Tennessee in East Tennessee.  Joshua was the son of Mordecai and Sarah Tipton.  He was killed by Indians on the east fork of the Little Pigeon River 18 April 1793 when John was not yet seven years old.

Grandfather Mordecai was a first cousin of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813) who married Colonel John’s sister Sarah.  Thus, Senator John Tipton referred to Colonel John Tipton as his great uncle.  His great grandfather was William Tipton, a brother of Jonathan Tipton, Colonel John Tipton’s father.  Mordecai was born in Baltimore 18 Apr 1724 and then migrated into the upper Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  By 1776, he was living in Botetourt County, Virginia with his family including Joshua.

Senator John Tipton died 5 April 1839.  On occasion, in casual sources, he is confused with his famous Tennessee great uncle Colonel John Tipton.  However, John Tipton of Indiana was a famous pioneer American in his own right.

Note of Interest: For those who remember the popular television series The Millionaire we recall the fictional wealthy benefactor John Beresford Tipton.  While an intriguing choice of names made by the show’s producer, Don Fedderson, there is no know connection between the fictional Tipton and other famous John Tiptons.  The television series ran from 1955 to 1960.

Sources: Robert Tipton Nave; John Parrish; Wikipedia; Charles D. Tipton

Dedication of First Vermont Brigade Monument at Gettysburg Battlefield in October, 1889.  Photo taken by W. M. Tipton

Numerous research resources are available from the TFAA:
Dale Reed’s book John Tipton, John Sevier, and The State of Franklin        $ 17.00
John Parrish’s book The Life of Colonel John Tipton            $ 10.00
Teter Nave, Pioneer of East Tennessee by Robert Tipton Nave        $ 30.00
Copy of Spoden Map, Courtesy Sycamore Shoals State Park        $ 1.00
Copy of Keesee Map                        $ 2.00
The Watauga Land Purchases by Troy R. Keesee is available from the Sycamore Shoals State Park Bookstore.
History of East Tennessee 1740-1800 by George and Juanita Fox can be ordered from the authors at  Very informative
There is a new book on the State of Franklin, the Lost State of Franklin by Kevin T. Barksdale which is available through bookstores.
Tiptons: The First Five Generations by Charles D. Tipton can be purchased on CD from the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site Bookstore.


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Please share this newsletter with everyone you know that could be interested in our family’s history and association. If you are receiving this newsletter by snail mail, please let me know your email address so you can get the newsletter electronically and in color.  My email is

Previous newsletters are archived on the TFAA website.

The TFAA and President thank the many TFAA members and friends who support our Association financially.  That support makes our family’s association prosper and achieve its goal to preserve Tipton family history in the present!

Please support the Tipton Family Association by making your membership donation to the Tipton Family Association of America on the TFAA website:

Many Thanks to All Who Make Their Membership Donations to
The Tipton Family Association of America

Tipton Family Membership donations make the TFAA able to accomplish the goals of the membership. In recent years, the TFAA has re-established meetings and newsletters, made the book We Tipton and Our Kin available on CD, provided a plaque in honor of William “Fightin’ Billy” Tipton in Savannah, assisted research in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on the farmland of Colonel John Tipton and the successful quest to find the burial place of Major Jonathan Tipton. With your financial support, we can continue to succeed and do more!

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About TFAA President

John Parrish served as president for many years and stepped down at the October 2018 meeting. We thank John for the fine work he has done and thank you all for the opportunity to serve as your TFAA president. I’m Kathryn (Kathy) Hoffmann, I was born in Savannah Ga and raised by my Tipton grandparents in North Florida and around my teenage years I moved to Naples and Fort Myers Florida where I raised my family and worked for the State of Florida Division of Forestry as their public information and education specialist until budget cuts and I was laid off, but God blessed me with a career at Fort Myers Police Department where I became a Crime Prevention Practitioner thru the Florida Attorney General’s office. During my career I’ve served on many boards: President of Southwest Florida fire prevention association, Fire Marshals association, Regional Director of Fire Prevention, SW Florida Crime Prevention Association, Crime Stoppers board member, State of Florida Crime Prevention Regional Director. I am looking forward to serving as your TFAA president/coordinator. Please feel free to call, text or email me. Let’s move forward! Tipton Teamwork