Summer 2016 Newsletter #25

All Aboard for Johnson City, Tennessee

All Aboard for Johnson City, Tennessee

All Aboard for Johnson City, Tennessee

Arriving 8th October at Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site For the 2016 Tipton Family Association of America Meeting

Can you hear the Conductor calling, “Make Tracks to Johnson City!” ?
Dozens and dozens of Tiptons and Tipton family descendants are making plans and reservations to attend this year’s meeting. For the first time since 2009, The TFAA is meeting at Tipton-Haynes and in Johnson City.

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

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

If you need accommodations in Johnson City, consult the Johnson City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (423) 461-8000.

Start Your Adventure in Johnson City, Tennessee

Start Your Adventure in Johnson City, Tennessee

FYI, the Quality Inn at 1900 South Roan is about one mile north of the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. (423) 928-9600

If you prefer an elegant& historic hotel, consider the Carnegie Hotel at 1216 West State of Franklin Road, Johnson City (423) 979-6400

As in past years, the meeting will start at 8:30am with a gathering for coffee and conversation. Registration at 9am.

A schedule for the day will be sent out in late August or early September.


One of the family needs help and sends the following:

Hello from a Tipton Cousin. My little family needs our big Tipton Family’s help locating the Oklahoma relatives and friends of Barbara Jean Tipton Bright. She was born Nov. 28th, 1930 in Tulsa, OK and her family descent is Jonathan,, Col John, Thomas, George Washington, David, John Langley, John Clifford, and then Barbara. If you recognize her details, please get word to her Oklahoma Family that she passed away Sunday, June 29th , 2016 in Kingsport, TN. We would like them to know Barbara died content and quietly after her very long illness. I know my
Mother would really want her only Sister to know of her final peace.

Thank you for any help you can offer. Cheryl B Brown

The information below tells of many of the Tiptons who were early settlers in the Watauga Settlements which became Washington County and Carter County, Tennessee. Hopefully, you will find some information regarding your Tipton ancestor. Unless otherwise noted, all town and area references are located in Tennessee recognizing that the area was part of North Carolina until 1796 when Tennessee became the 16th state. Regrettably, research on some of the settlers is more extensive than on others.

Jonathan Tipton (1699-1786?)
moved from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia by circa 1774. He made the trip with his son Jonathan, known as Major Jonathan. His son Joseph either accompanied them or followed shortly thereafter. Jonathan is also the father of Colonel John Tipton. Little is known of his life in the Watauga Settlements or his exact date of death.

Joseph Tipton (1738-1842)
was a Revolutionary War soldier who served in the North Carolina Line. He moved to the Watauga Settlements by 1778 where he took up 1,300 hundred acres of land. He was an early member of the Sinking Creek Baptist Church. He was at the Jonesborough Convention of 1784 where he voted against the formation of the State of Franklin. He represented Washington County with his brother, Colonel John Tipton, at the 1788 North Carolina Constitutional Convention which considered adopting a proposed constitution for the United States. He voted against ratification allegedly because the document lacked a Bill of Rights. He owned land on which present-day Johnson City is now located and General Nathaniel Taylor bought the land on which he built Sabine Hill from Joseph.

Major Jonathan Tipton (1750-1833)
moved to the Watauga Settlements circa 1774. He signed the Watauga Association’s petition to North Carolina. It is reported that he brought his father to the Watauga country. Jonathan participated in numerous battles with his neighbors against the Cherokees and was a major at the Battle of Kings Mountain in October, 1780. Afterwards, he served with Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in General Nathaniel Greene’s Army.

He owned land in the Brush Creek area of present-day Johnson City.

About 1796, Major Jonathan went south over the Unaka Mountains into the area of present day Western North Carolina establishing the town of Tipton Hill. There are many descendants of Major Jonathan Tipton in this area of North Carolina.

Samuel Tipton (1752-1833); son of Colonel John Tipton,
was a Revolutionary War soldier who moved to the Watauga Settlements about 1783. His church letter dated September 6th, 1783 was accepted at the Sinking Creek Baptist Church where he became a prominent member. He became a large landowner and operated an early iron works.

Samuel is the founder of Elizabethton and the town is located on land he sold to the first townspeople. He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He is buried in the Tipton Family Cemetery, now known as Greenhill Cemetery.

Benjamin Tipton (1755-1807); son of Colonel John Tipton
served in the Revolutionary War as a Lieutenant in the Virginia Line. He was one of the purchasers of an original Elizabethton town lot however he moved and lived most of his life in the Ellejoy area of what would become Blount County, Tennessee. Other details of Benjamin’s life are vague.

William “Fightin’ Billy” Tipton (1761-1849); son of Colonel John Tipton
was a Revolutionary War soldier who served in the Virginia Continental Line and was badly wounded at the Siege of Savannah on 9th October 1779. William lived for a time in what is now Greene County, Tennessee and states he fought with his father in the Battle of the Lost State of Franklin in February, 1788. He then moved to today’s Blount County where he lived the rest of his life. He is considered the first grant holder in Cades Cove.

Isaac Tipton (1763-1827); son of Colonel John Tipton
was a soldier of the Revolutionary War who was present at Yorktown. He owned extensive, productive farmland around Elizabethton, Tennessee and is buried in the Tipton Family Cemetery (now Greenhill Cemetery). Tennessee’s Sycamore Shoals State Park is partially located on land of Isaac.

Jacob Tipton (1765-1791); son of Colonel John Tipton
was present with his father during the February 1788 Battle of the Lost State of Franklin.

Following the battle, he became Washington County Sheriff.

Jacob was killed 3rd November 1791 at St. Clair’s Defeat in the Northwest Territory near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to an article in the Knoxville Gazette for 17th December 1791; Jacob, a regular US Army officer, was impatient to get to the fighting and joined some Kentucky militia first engaged. When he received his mortal wound, he is quoted as saying “My brave fellows, I am a dead man; do you fight on, and bravely do all you can for your country”. His heroism was widely recognized in the young United States. Future President Theodore Roosevelt wrote of Jacob in his books on US history.
John Tipton (1769-1831); son of Colonel John Tipton
aka John Tipton, Jr.
served in the Tennessee Militia and as a private in the US Army under his older brother Jacob on the march to St. Clair’s Defeat. He married Elizabeth Snapp whose father, Lawrence, was a close friend of the Tiptons in the Shenandoah Valley. John had a long career as a Tennessee legislator dying in Nashville on October 8th while serving in the 19th Tennessee General Assembly. The State honored him with a funeral procession and a monument at his gravesite in the Nashville City Cemetery. His funeral procession and the monument resolution were reported in the National Banner & Nashville Whig newspaper for October 12th and November 30th, 1831. That article lists the order of the procession as follows: The Body, Relatives and attending Physician, Clergy, Speakers and Officers of both Houses, Members of both Houses, Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Mayor and Aldermen of Nashville, President and Trustees of the University, Judiciary and Citizens. In the 1890’s, the 49th Tennessee General Assembly replaced John’s original monument with a much grander one. The monument inscription describes a life of service and a man “bold in conception and fearless in execution”. The funeral was the largest to date in Nashville.

Following his father’s death, John inherited Colonel John’s plantation at Buffalo Mountain. He also inherited his father’s love for race horses as he advertised Don Quixote at stud in the Knoxville Gazette of February 24th, 1808.

Thomas Tipton (1771-1840/50); son of Colonel John Tipton
was the eighth son of Colonel John and Mary Butler. He served in the Carter County Militia and may have been a Captain which would indicate military action.

In 1791, he married Rebecca Lacy in Washington County, North Carolina which became part of Tennessee after statehood in 1796. They had nine children.

Thomas and Rebecca lived in Washington County and the evidence indicates that they moved to Blount County, Tennessee between 1816 and 1821. They moved to Walker County, Georgia about 1831. Thomas’ date of death is not recorded but he was on the 1840 census in Walker County and not on the 1850 census however Rebecca was on that census. A history including Walker County states Thomas and his son Samuel had a mill built southeast of Ringgold in 1835. So, his death is postulated as between 1840 and 1850.

Thomas was an early settler in Cades Cove in Blount County. Publications on Cades Cove show Thomas purchased 640 acres of land from his brother William in 1830. Thomas and William recorded a land grant for 1255 acres on 16 Jan 1835. Often, a land grant was issued and the land settled well in advance of the title being recorded. As early as 1821, William recorded grants of 1280 acres and Thomas could well have been farming in Cades Cove at this time. Thomas’ first son, Jacob, was killed in the Cove about 1821.

Jonathan Tipton (1776-1858); son of Colonel John Tipton
was a Colonel of the Carter County Militia who married Lavinia Adams Williams, a niece of President John Adams. He served as a Sergeant in his brother Jacob’s company and was elected Colonel of a Light Horse Regiment in the Tennessee Militia in 1822. Jonathan spent some eighteen years as a Tennessee Legislator; he represented Carter, Washington, Blount and Monroe Counties.

Abraham Tipton (1781-1820)
was the only child of the marriage of John Tipton and Martha Denton Moore Tipton.

Tipton Jobe (1826-1890)
was one of the original businessmen in Johnson City. He owned a key parcel of land on which the settlement’s main spring was located. That parcel today is bounded by Tipton Street, Spring Street, Main Street and Buffalo Streets. The spring was the source of water for Johnson’s Tank, which became Johnson Depot establishing the reason for the train to stop in what is now downtown Johnson City. In 1884, Jobe opened Johnson City’s first entertainment venue, Jobe’s Opera House.

The Comet of 15 May 1890 reported Jobe’s funeral cortege as the “longest ever seen in this city.”
Research resources will be available at the meeting or can be ordered from the TFAA. Items ordered are subject to a $ 3.00 additional charge for postage and handling.

  • Dale Reed’s book John Tipton, John Sevier, and The State of Franklin $ 25.00
  • John Parrish’s book The Life of Colonel John Tipton $ 12.00
  • Copy of Spoden Map, Courtesy Sycamore Shoals State Park $ 2.00
  • 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 $ 12.00
  • The Lost State of Franklin by Kevin T. Barksdale is available through bookstores.
  • Tiptons: The First Five Generations by Charles D. Tipton on CD $ 14.00
Embroidered Tipton Family T-Shirt with the family crest

Embroidered Tipton Family T-Shirt with the family crest

The embroidered Tipton family crest shown in the pictures above is available to all if you wish to have something embroidered. The set up fee has been paid so your cost will 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


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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