Summer 2013 Newsletter # 12

Greetings. Hope your Summer is Going Well!

On 28 June, I was an invited guest for the opening ceremony of the interpretive center at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton representing the TFAA. The center is informative and beautiful and takes the ability of the Park to tell the story of old Fort Watauga and the Overmountain Men to the highest level. Jennifer Bauer, Park Manager, and her staff are to be congratulated on this outstanding achievement.

While attending, I was able to give Governor James Haslam of Tennessee a Tipton Family Crest coffee mug.

Sycamore Shoals, which is a ford on the Watauga River, and the history it represents, are important to our Tipton family because Major Jonathan Tipton was a member of the Watauga Association and an early settler in this part of North Carolina which became East Tennessee in 1796 when that state was formed. Major Jonathan was among the fighting men who answered the call as these frontiersmen rode over the mountains to defeat Major Ferguson and his Tory militia at the Battle of Kings Mountain 7 October 1780 during the Revolutionary War. History remembers them as the Overmountain Men.

Also, the Fort and park are located on land some of which belonged to Isaac Tipton (1763-1827) son of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813). Major Jonathan (1750-1833) was the brother of Colonel John Tipton. Most of the Tiptons who settled this area had land in the vicinity.

Everyone travelling to the October 12th TFAA meeting in Burnsville, North Carolina will want to consider visiting the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, Tennessee while in this area. The Park is about sixty miles north of Burnsville.

The picture below is a reenactment of the Overmountain Men fording the Watauga.

Reenactment of the Overmountain Men fording the Watauga

Reenactment of the Overmountain Men fording the Watauga

A donation has been made in memory of Kara Calvin Gregory, Senior, descendant of William “Fightin’ Billy” Tipton (1761-1849), fourth son of Colonel John Tipton, to start the fund to memorialize William at the Battle of Savannah Revolutionary War Memorial in Savannah, Georgia. The names of soldiers who fought in this battle can be recorded on a stone in the battle field. It was at this battle that William received the wounds that would hamper him all his life. The battle took place 9 October 1779.

The memorial is maintained by the Coastal Heritage Society of Savannah. The TFAA Fall
Newsletter # 9 gave more details on the memorial and the Society.

Sue Head, daughter of Mr. Gregory says, “Daddy was a man well respected by all the family, his friends, and acquaintances. People felt free and comfortable calling to ask him about life in the Cove and about their own families. His family placed a great emphasis upon children learning about their heritage.

Uncle Lawrence told one of my brothers about a game the family did in the evenings around the kitchen table. One would begin a story about the family, making sure all the facts were correct. Then another would take up the telling.

The older children especially always considered it a contest to see who could
remember the most facts.

I hope that others will be encouraged to donate to the recognition of William Tipton in Savannah. It is something that we as a family should want to have remembered.”

Robert Tipton Nave has taken residence at the Ivy Hall Nursing Home in Elizabethton, Tennessee. If you wish to drop Robert a note, you can do so at Ivy Hall, 301 Watauga Avenue, Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643.


Embroidered Tipton Family T-Shirt with the family crest

Embroidered Tipton Family T-Shirt with the family crest

The embroidered Tipton Family T-Shirt with the family crest shown above can now be ordered from the TFAA for $ 18.00 plus $ 3.50 shipping and handling. The shirt is available in men’s or women’s sizes and in four colors: navy blue, red, white or black. Plus sizes are three dollars additional. Mail your order to the TFAA, 314 Oak Place, Asheville, North Carolina, 28803-1930; please include advance payment.

The family crest is available to all if you wish to have something embroidered. The set up fee has been paid so your cost would be the article you have embroidered and the charges  from: Doe Valley Printing, 1282 Riverview Drive, Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643. You can place orders by mail or contact Anita Remme at or call (423) 542-4616.

Everyone who has purchased items with the embroidered crest has been pleased with their purchases and the service from Doe Valley Printing.

Geraldine Hansen of Idaho writes, “I found the products to be well made and reasonably priced. The service was excellent. Many members of our family now have shirts, sweatshirts and vests with the Tipton Family Crest.”

In 1797, Major Jonathan Tipton (1750-1833) left the Watauga River Valley of East Tennessee and went south across the Unaka Mountains into the Toe River Valley of western North Carolina. He was the Tipton who established the family in this area. He is recognized as the founder of Tipton Hill, North Carolina in what is now Mitchell County. In 1797, the area was in Buncombe County which initially encompassed most of western North Carolina running from the Tennessee state line south all the way to the South Carolina state line.

Because of his move and the fact that he had many children, the counties of Buncombe (established in 1791), Yancey (established in 1833) and Mitchell (established in 1861) in western North Carolina are home to Tiptons and Tipton descendants today.

While the records are not perfectly clear, Major Jonathan fathered perhaps thirteen children and eleven were males. Three different mothers were involved.

Major Jonathan’s son Jonathan was born in 1783. He was a farmer and merchant whose store was at the intersection of Brummetts Creek and Tipton Hill roads in Yancey County. Jonathan married three times and fathered perhaps 23 children. He was a leader in Yancy County instrumental in the formation of the county. His store is said to have remained open in Tipton hands for 150 years.

Another son, Wiley was born in 1785. He married Anna McKinney and they lived in Yancey County. Wiley and Anna had twelve children; seven of their children were boys who further contributed to establishing the Tipton name in the Toe River Valley.

There were many more children of Major Jonathan and his sons and daughters’ offspring.

At the 2013 TFAA meeting on 12 October, the collected Tiptons and Tipton descendants will have the pleasure of learning more about the family in the Toe River Valley from highly regarded genealogist Elaine Dellinger of Burnsville as she presents The Tiptons of Yancey County.

Note: the area of Mitchell County where Tipton Hill is located became a part of Mitchell County in 1861 when this county was formed.

For those traveling to Burnsville, North Carolina for the 2013 TFAA meeting on 12 October; Johnson City is 58 miles to the north, Asheville, North Carolina is 45 miles to the southwest and Tipton Hill is 16 miles north.

Tipton house at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, Tennessee

Tipton house at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, Tennessee

The Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, Tennessee was the home of Colonel John Tipton (b.1730) from the time he built his log house there until his death in 1813. Following his death, his son Abraham lived on the farmstead until his death whereupon John Tipton, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Snapp Tipton and their family occupied the house and farm.

Subsequent to the construction of the log house, the structure was enlarged and sided becoming the beautiful old house it is today. The historic site, about sixteen acres, contains barns, sheds, still and spring houses and a slave cabin.

On the place is the large cave first visited by non-Indians in the 1670’s and later by Daniel Boone himself in the 1760’s. During an excavation within the cave, the tooth of a dire wolf was found attesting to the caves long history of providing shelter and comfort. The Tipton-Haynes Education Center has a wonderful exhibit of the history of the house, the Tiptons and this area of Tennessee.

Tennessee Historian Samuel Cole Williams called it “Tennessee’s most historic site” It is a must-see visit for every Tipton and Tipton descendant.


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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