Tennessee Land Records


Early land grants were issued to individuals who performed Revolutionary services in North Carolina, including veterans, commisioners, guards, surveyors and chain carriers who laid off Congressional Reservations for soldiers' grants and the Cumberland settlers. These grants were frequently assigned to other persons and not taken up by the original grantee.

Blackley Shoemake was found in Knox County, Tennessee, in 1797 to 1808, in that part that became Anderson County in in 1801. In 1799, a Robert Shoemaker appeared next to Blackley on the tax lists. A David Shoemaker was on the Anderson County taxlists, in 1805. (Shoemaker Pioneers by Benjamin H. Shoemaker, page 391).

Blackley, William and Robert Shumake/Shuemake appear as signers in a 1799 petition of residents of Knox County, Tennessee, requesting of the General Assembly a division which would make it easier for them to attended courts and hold elections. Anderson County and Roane County were formed out of Knox County in 1801. The relationship of these men according to Mrs.Strong is not known. She does state that these men and other Shoemake/Shoemaker families were in the same general area of east Tennessee during the late 1700's and early 1800's.

Blackley and David Shoemake were listed in a petition in Anderson County in 1805. Also, Blackley, Jr., obtained a survey of 37 acres on the Beaverdam fork of New River on May 15, 1808 This David could well be the David found in Chesterfield Country, SC in 1800.

A reference to William Shoemake appears in Roane County, Tennessee records in 1801. He and James Shoemaker were among the petioner signers to create Roane County out of Knox County. Again, William Shoemaker was listed in the tax records of Roane County in 1802 along with Evan Shoemaker. In 1805 William and James were on the tax lists.

On August 17, 1814 in Roane County, William Shoemaker and Benjamin Poore were sworn chain carriers in the survey of 2 acres of land for Moses Shoemaker located on on the Crooked Fork of Emery River on the south side fork and "includes the house where William Shoemaker lives." This is now in Morgan County. The Roane County marriage records contain an entry for Nancy Shoemaker to Benjamin Poore on June 9, 1814. Surety was Moses Shoemaker. Moses Shoemaker married Martha Williams on December 28, 1814. Surety was Benjamin Poore. (Could this Moses be the Moses who disappears from the Chesterfield County, S.C. census roll in 1820? I do not know)

Robert Shewmaker sued William Davis in Anderson County in the early 1800's.

In 1807 John Shumak (apparently John, Jr the son of John Shoemake I of Chesterfield County, S.C. who appeared on the census roll in 1800). had filed a petition to build a grist mill in Roane County. On June 8,1808 John Shoemaker was a sworn chain carrier for the survey of James Wakefield's 100 acres in Roane County between Clinch and Emory Rivers. John and Moses Shoemaker were assigned 50 acres by William Shoemaker on Crooked Fork of Emory River on May 2, 1814. John Shoemaker was taxed on 25 acres as was Moses Shoemaker in 1814. In 1815 John Shoemaker was a member of the grand jury.

The records of Anderson, Roane and Knox counties in Tennessee contain more references to Shoemake/Shoemaker. In 1804, Thomas Shoemaker failed to pay his poll tax.. James Shoemaker married Sary Streat on December 7, 1801. On September 18, 1806 James Shoemaker sued William Henery for tresspass in the amount of $200. The suit was later dismissed. David Shoemaker, Thomas Aldred and William Harris were defendants in a court case in Anderson County in 1804. Mrs. Strong states that this David may be the same David that appeared in the 1800 Federal Census of Chesterfield County, S.C. who was living near Samuel, Moses and John.

Evan Shoemaker married Eve Elliott in Knox County on April 19, 1802. We find that Evins Shoemaker bought two tracts of Land from Cincinnati Land Office in 1812 and 1813, both located in Wayne County, near Centerville, Indiana. The 1820 Federal Census of Wayne County, lists Evan Shoemaker living in Centerville over 45 years of age. Eve Shoemaker and Henry Shoemaker were appointed administrators of Evan's estate on May 17, 1821.

At this time, I would like to look at the records of Bledsoe County, Tennessee. It is said that Bledsoe County came off of Roane County in 1807. (Roane County and Anderson County were formed out of Knox County in 1801). There are no early census for East Tennessee. It is said they were destroyed in a fire. So we look to other records such as the tax lists and court records.

The Roane county taxlist for 1805 shows a James Shoemaker living there (The Shoemaker Pioneers by Benjamin H. Shoemaker 3rd.) In 1807 this would be Bledsoe County. There was a James Shoemaker in this general area who married a woman by the name of Street. It is believed that this James moved to Perry County, Tennessee.

NOTATION: At the time of this writing, December, 19, 1998, I do not have sufficient records to show who was a son of whom. However, through reasoning, and following the location of certain Shoemake males, along with information gathered from members of the Shoemake Family, we can make some identifications.

Observation 1. Let's begin with Blackley Shoemake. In 1790, according to Federal Census of Chesterfield County, S.C., page 378 he had in his household:
(a) 2 males 16 years and older;
(b) 1 male under 16 years of age;
(c) 5 females
*He was living near Lucy Shoemake **(Our Shoemake Roots)

Observation 2. In the 1800 Federal Census of Chesterfield County, Blackley is not found, but records found in Knox County, Tennessee, 1799, show him living in that county and signing a pitition. The following Shoemake names appear on that document:
(a) Blackley, Shoemake
(b) Robert, and
(c) William. Shoemaker
*What appears to be a bit of confusion, there is a Robert and William appearing in Alabama who were born in 1806, 1815. Therefore, I can not reason the Robert and William of 1799 in Knox county are the same as those in Alabama. Those in Alabama were not born at that time.

Observation 3. Legal documents of Knox County, Tennessee show the following Shoemake males to be living there:
(a) In 1801. A James Shoemaker married Sary Street.
(b) In 1804, there was a Thomas Shoemaker. This could prove to be the husband of Hannah who appears later in Bledsoe County. This county was once a part of Knox County. (
( c) In 1814, there was a John and Moses who were assigned 50 acres of land by a William Shoemaker. (John's name appears as John Shumak).
(d) In 1814 (on June 9) Moses received 2 acres of land in Roane County
(e) In 1807 John Shumak (apparently John Jr. the son of John Shoemake I, of Chesterfield County, S.C. that appeared on the census roll in 1800), filed a petition to build a grist mill in Roane County, Tennessee. This John could not be John Fletcher, for John F., was born in 1795 and would hardly be old enough to sign the petition for the grist mill. I have a copy of the original petition and John's original signature appears on the petition; hardly the signature of a boy 12 years of age. However, this John could well be the father of John Fletcher.
(f) Roane County, Tennessee is situated South West of Knox County. Bledsoe County was formed from Roane County on November 30, 1807. A John Shoemake bought land on Walton's Ridge in 1825 in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. This could have been John Fletcher, but there is no evidence in my hand at this time.

The 1830 Census of Jackson County Alabama shows a John Shoemake living in that county. If I had to draw a conclusion, I would conclude that the John in Jackson County, Alabama was John Jr., and the John in Bledsoe County, Tennessee was John Fletcher the son of John Jr., and was later living in Marion County.

Observation 4. Therefore, I reason that this John who bought the land on Walden's Ridge in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. could be John Fletcher. I offer the following reason: the spelling of his name when filing a pitition for building a grist mill.was "Shumak." The name "Shumak" is more likely to be Shoemake rather than Shoemaker. It is believed that John Fletcher's father, the John who appeared in Knox County moved on to Jackson County, Alabama where he appeared on the census list in 1830.

Observation 5. Having had the opportunity to talk with Richard Arthur Shoemake in 1980 who was living in Jackson County, Alabama, he told me that his ancestors who lived Bledsoe and Marion Counties, Tennessee, sold their land and built house boats and traveled down the river to Jackson County, Alabama. He was well up in years when I spoke to him. This leads me to believe that this same John Shoemake, Jr., travelled on to Jackson County, Alabama where he was living in 1830. He was recorded being 84 years of age in the 1850 census. On the following pages, I shall discuss the Shoemakes, Shumates found living in Tennessee and Alabama.