Come Sit a Spell With Jacob Dobkins – 52 Ancestors #345

Most likely 20 years in the past, I found that Jacob Dobkins (1751-1835) was my ancestor, and started researching in Claiborne County, Tennessee the place his daughter, Jenny Dobkins lived along with her husband, John Campbell.

In truth, two of Jacob’s daughters married Campbell males. His daughter Elizabeth married George Campbell, believed to be John’s brother, again in Hawkins County earlier than your entire group moved to Claiborne. Jacob lived there in 1801 when the county was fashioned.

Jacob bought 1400 acres for $100, land roughly a mile broad and about two and a half miles lengthy. That’s a LOT of land. After all, it was densely forested and no homes or different enhancements had been made. Jacob instantly started parceling it out to his sons and sons-in-law, basically assuring that almost all of his household would keep close by.

Within the analysis course of, I met different Dobkins researchers, together with Invoice Nevils, a neighborhood historian, and genealogist. He too was descended from Jacob.

In 2006, cousin Daryl talked to Invoice who informed us he knew the place Jacob Dobkins was buried.

Stopped us chilly in our tracks. There was no marked grave. No recognized Dobkins Cemetery.

Say what?

Jacob’s grave?


Cousin Daryl found greater than that too. She made different calls and the house owners in 2006 had been relations who had VERY INTERESTING images of the unique cabin.

This very outdated photograph from (most likely) someday within the early 1900s or probably even late 1800s reveals Jacob Dobkins’ homestead, fenced, with a secondary, bigger constructing having been added to the left. But, one other constructing is proven within the distance and a construction to the rear as effectively. Discover the fieldstone chimney.

Sure, that is Jacob’s authentic cabin! Be nonetheless my coronary heart.

How can I make sure? The deed work reveals that in 1835, when Jacob died, his heirs quitclaimed his property to Betsy Campbell, his daughter who was married to George Campbell. From that time on, her son, Alexander, then his son Arthur lived on this dwelling till Arthur died in 1969. The household had constructed a brand new dwelling and retained the property.

Jacob’s cabin within the Sixties or Seventies, deserted.

Jacob’s cabin lasted for at the very least one other 150 years after his 1835 loss of life earlier than it was bought, disassembled, and reassembled elsewhere – we expect someplace in North Carolina (possibly) in some form of reenactment or historic park. If you happen to acknowledge this cabin, please let me know.

Daryl made contact with the woman who owned the farm in 2006:

I simply had a stunning dialog with our cousin who owns the property and descends from Barney Campbell. Her household just lately celebrated her birthday on the outdated farm and gave her a photograph body with digital household images that embody the outdated cabin.

She claims the farm has been within the household since about 1820, however she has by no means checked it out. Her nephew is the one within the household historical past. Her grandmother, Sally, died when she was about 10 and she or he heard the story of Barney many occasions rising up…Barney was a Dobkins, his mom was Elizabeth and he took the Campbell title when Elizabeth married George Campbell.

The unique outdated home was 2 tales, lounge & one bed room on the principle flooring and a couple of extra bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen was indifferent from the unique home. I quizzed her a bit, as a result of there weren’t too many homes two tales in these woods within the late 1700s or early 1800s. She didn’t understand how outdated the home was, or who the primary occupants had been. She assumed it was Barney.

The home was moved about 1970. All she remembers is {that a} man who owned a pottery firm, manufacturing unit or store purchased it. He took it aside and it was to be reassembled at his enterprise in western NC. A cousin in Tazewell was constructing a home about the identical time and he took the chimney/hearth and linked it to his home. He has since died. She mentioned the outdated home reminds her of 1 she noticed within the Museum of the Appalachia brochure, the one close to Norris Dam.

It’s price noting that the founding father of the Museum of the Appalachia started gathering in 1969, so the timing could be proper. Possibly Jacob’s home is there. If that’s the case, it’s most likely labeled because the Campbell dwelling.

Right here’s the cabin from a distinct view after it was deserted, however earlier than it was deconstructed.

And right here, earlier than it was deserted, with the “wash” hanging on the road. It appears to be like like a typical dwelling right here.

I ought to point out that this constructing doesn’t seem, on the floor, to be the standard log cabin, however is as an alternative a plank or clapboard constructing. If Jacob did certainly personal that sawmill, as was described within the 1819 deed from Jacob Dobkins to John Whitaker, this wouldn’t be too stunning. Regardless, this tells us {that a} mill was very shut by someday earlier than 1819.

One other story says that this constructing included the unique construction, however was constructed by Barney Campbell, probably within the 1830s.

Based on relations:

There was a kitchen behind the previous home which was transformed right into a loom home and the earlier dwelling quarters used as kitchen services when the brand new home was occupied. The kitchen and eating ell of the current outdated home is just not as outdated because the dwelling quarters however a number of the materials of the unique home was included into the ell which might point out that a part of the home might date again to 1800.

Based on this, the unique dwelling was included into the “new” home, a quite common observe of that point. Frugal settlers wasted nothing and didn’t merely “transfer” to a brand new home. They added on.

A 3rd story says that Barney constructed this cabin, however his first spouse, then pregnant with twins, died earlier than ever attending to reside there. That will have put the origin of this constructing about 1838 or so. Jacob’s authentic cabin would have been greater than 30 years outdated by then, and Barney had a passel of children – one thing like 17 between each wives, not counting the twins that died when his first spouse did! Sure, Barney positively may have used extra room.

However that story doesn’t fairly make sense both – as a result of no one would deliberately construct a log cabin and instantly cowl it up with lap siding.

Do we have now any proof? Why sure, sure we do.

Aha – this photograph of the cabin throughout disassembly clearly reveals a chinked log cabin beneath the clapboard siding.

Right here’s the rear through the deconstruction course of. Take a look at these dovetailed logs. Certainly, that is the home that Jacob constructed from the timber he felled clearing the land. Later deeds additionally check with this property as being the place Jacob lived.

Barney’s grandson lived right here till someday within the Sixties, so this land by no means left the Dobkins/Campbell household.

About Barney

Apparently, we have now Y DNA genetic proof that conflicts with the story about Barney being adopted by George Campbell. A few of Barney’s descendants match the Y DNA of the Campbell line, and a few don’t. On condition that at the very least one among Barney’s son’s strains matches the Campbell Y DNA, it’s unlikely that Barney was not George Campbell’s son! To not point out that George was very beneficiant with Barney.

Barney is in fact a Dobkins on his mom’s aspect, so I’m not precisely positive how that authentic story was meant. It’s ironic that the household story contains an unknown father, however the DNA would possibly disprove that, and show {that a} Campbell male was certainly the daddy – precisely the alternative of what generally occurs.

Clearly, we have now completely NO IDEA what really occurred again in 1797 when Barney was born, or later along with his descendants.

What I can say is that we may most likely resolve this query if male Campbell males descended immediately by way of all males from Barney by way of the next sons would do a Y DNA check.

Barney had the next sons by way of his first spouse, Mary Brooks:

  • Benjamin Campbell (1820-1882) married Eliza or Louisa Eastridge, born and died in Claiborne County, TN.
  • George Campbell (c1821-1860s) married Nancy Eastridge, lived in Claiborne County and died through the Civil Struggle.
  • Andrew Campbell (c1826-?) married Louisa (Eliza) Campbell, lived in Claiborne County.
  • John Campbell (c 1829-after 1900) married Mary Ann Chadwell, lived and died in Claiborne County.
  • Toliver Campbell (1835-1899) married Sarah Lewis, lived and died in Claiborne County.

Barney had these sons by way of his second spouse, Martha Jane “Jennie” Kesterson:

  • David Campbell (c 1841-1919) married Missouri Williams, lived and died in Claiborne County.
  • Arthur L. Campbell (born circa 1842)
  • Newton J. Campbell (1845-1911) married Lucy Williams, lived and died in Claiborne County.
  • Abraham Campbell (1850-1914) married Nancy Cornelia Williams, lived, and died in Claiborne County.
  • Alexander Campbell (1853-1923) married Sarah “Sallie” Campbell, lived, and died in Claiborne County.

Come On – Let’s Go to Jacob!

Invoice Nevils and his mom hosted us for a stunning lunch, however we may hardly wait to set out for the Dobkins land and cemetery, circled in crimson, above. The home was positioned close to the constructing with the white roof, midway between the principle highway and the cemetery.

Jacob is buried within the Campbell Household Cemetery at 230 A. L. Campbell Lane in Tazewell, though there is no such thing as a reference to a cemetery on the deed again within the 1800s. Cemeteries had been assumed again then and infrequently talked about. It’s nonetheless a non-public cemetery right this moment.

I can’t inform you how a lot enjoyable Daryl and I had that day. This chimney, at the very least that’s what I believe it’s, was most likely for the surface kitchen. This chimney was not taken when the cabin was eliminated – most likely as a result of it was not connected to the home. We all know that the chimney on the home was moved to Tazewell.

I can solely think about cooking exterior in all sorts of climate, all seasons of the 12 months. Effectively, really, I can’t think about that.

There’s one other very early constructing too.

Take a look at the dimensions of these logs. That is clearly a really early construction. Is that this the constructing that was transformed into the loom home? If that’s the case, then it was right here when Jacob lived. It’s standing beside that chimney or stone column, no matter it’s.

Behind these buildings and the modern-day home, we crossed by way of the working farm, drove by way of a gate, and throughout the sector.

This is identical path that will have been adopted when a “buryin’” wanted to happen. The wagon with the coffin, pulled by horses or mules, would lead the procession of strolling relations from the home the place the household would have “stored watch” and ready the physique for burial. The wagon wheels would have squeaked beneath the load. The household knew this was Jacob’s final journey – that late fall day in 1835 – accompanied by a preacher.

Jacob had cleared the sector the place his funeral procession passed off greater than three many years earlier. We drove as much as the cemetery 171 years after Jacob’s remaining journey.

Jacob Dobkins Cemetery, Often called the Campbell Cemetery

A fence surrounds the cemetery which is much to the rear of the property, close to the Powell River. You didn’t need a cemetery too close to a home, or the effectively for that matter.

Cousin Invoice and me earlier than coming into this sacred floor. I’m so extremely glad we made this go to once we did, as a result of Father Bill, an Episcopal priest, has gone on now to satisfy Jacob. Invoice spent years researching this household and I want he would ship a couple of solutions!

A HUGE, large tree grows within the middle of the cemetery.

As we strolled in that path, Invoice informed us that it’s believed that each Jacob and his spouse are buried beneath that expansive tree.

That is smart provided that the newer graves radiate out in direction of the sides. Jacob assuredly wasn’t the primary burial right here, however he was doubtless one of many early ones. He would have established the cemetery after he purchased the land, as want dictated.

Graves had been marked solely with rocks. Everybody who wanted to know already knew who was buried the place. They’d stood graveside because the casket was lowered. Neighbors would have come over to assist dig the graves and canopy them after the service. Maybe they had been marked with a easy wood cross on the time.

Wanting round, we are able to see Wallen’s Ridge there within the distance.

John Campbell’s land, a part of which was apparently initially owned by Jacob, lies throughout the ridge on this path. As we speak’s there’s a cemetery behind Liberty Church, established within the 1850s, on John’s land, however I wager in that point, everybody within the household was merely buried right here, within the Dobkins household cemetery. Jacob was the household patriarch.

The photograph beneath connects with the one above on the mountain, trying again over the homeplace, offering a panorama vista of kinds.

Elisha Wallen, the Longhunter, claimed huge tracts of land and offered this farm to Jacob instantly after Claiborne County was fashioned.

Jane Dobkins Campbell who had married John lived throughout what’s domestically referred to as “Little Ridge.” It doesn’t look little or no to me.

I’d wager she’s buried right here too.

Jacob would have cleared these fields, tree by tree. Aside from that one tree, in fact. It was left to shelter these attending funerals. I can’t assist however marvel if Jacob did that deliberately. Or possibly he merely began burying relations beneath its branches.

Standing beneath the tree, that is what I see.

I can solely think about the quantity of labor that was invested in establishing a farm from the wilderness. By the point Jacob purchased this land, he was 50 years outdated. He did have sons and sons-in-law, however that they had their very own farms to clear.

Jacob offered the land within the photograph beneath to his son-in-law, George Campbell who was married to Elizabeth.

Even after clearing, Cedar timber aggressively attempt to reclaim the land for the forest.

You may see that this a part of George’s land may be very rocky. Inconceivable to plow after clearing, however jogs my memory a lot of Scotland.

I can see Jacob Dobkins and Elisha Wallen, strolling this land collectively earlier than Jacob’s buy, discussing the land, and possibly a lot extra. Each males had confronted unbelievable challenges on this new land and in some way survived.

Each had adopted what would turn out to be the Wilderness Highway, when it was wilderness and earlier than it was a highway. The one factor there when Jacob and Elisha first arrived was buffalo and Native folks, indignant on the incursion. Elisha’s first go to was about 1761, and Jacob’s was about 1779 when he arrived at Fort Harrod earlier than the Revolutionary Struggle.

This stunning stream, Russell Creek, is barely about 15 miles, much less because the crow flies, from the place Jacob traveled again in 1779 between his dwelling in Shenandoah County and Fort Harrod. In 1779, this land was past the frontier line.

The realm was a lot tamer 20 years later when Jacob purchased this land from Elisha Wallen. Jacob’s service helped to tame the area, making it protected for settlers. Jacob switched from soldiering to homesteading. It’s ironic that Jacob survived the Revolutionary Struggle battles, though bullets ripped by way of his garments – however homesteading, which you assume could be safer, broke his collarbone and shoulder, disabling him.

Did Jacob look throughout these ridges from Cumberland Hole and fall in love again in 1779? Did he inform his son-in-law, George about these adventures as they walked this land earlier than Jacob offered him this portion?

Clearly, Jacob wasn’t simply shopping for land for himself, however with the intention of buying sufficient land for his total household, most likely in order that his sons and sons-in-law wouldn’t really feel the necessity to “transfer on.” Finest funding ever!

That’s most likely the precise cause he offered his land on White Horn Creek close to Bull’s Hole and moved everybody to Claiborne County the place giant tracts of land had turn out to be obtainable. Alternative was knocking.

After all, Jacob was additionally establishing a household cemetery whether or not he initially meant to or not. Each household had one. I ponder if he considered the place could be a superb location for a cemetery on his land or if he solely considered that when, as a consequence of necessity, they wanted to bury somebody. Would that first burial have been one among his grandchildren? I might wager so.

Cemeteries had been usually on larger land in order that they didn’t flood and contaminate the water provide. Did Jacob select this location due to this stunning tree?

Did he determine that he’d wish to be buried proper right here?

Cousin Invoice, dwarfed, pondering beneath Jacob’s tree.

I can’t assist however marvel if this tree was already outdated when Jacob purchased this land greater than 200 years earlier than.

If solely this tree may speak. What tales it must inform.

I believe it is a maple tree. Medium progress fee for a maple tree is a few foot annually, so this tree have to be historical. Primarily based on the images, I’m guessing at the very least 300-400 years and possibly extra.

Some gravestones are positioned beneath its sprawling branches. Invoice informed us that Jacob is meant to be buried beneath this tree.

A lot of the house beneath the tree consists of unmarked graves. Apparently, there are lots of, many unmarked graves.

Maybe Jacob is resting proper right here within the shade. Surrounded by his youngsters and grandchildren.

Some died in his lifetime. Jacob’s son Reuben died in 1823 on the age of 40.

Extra unmarked graves.

Many graves weren’t marked, apart from discipline stones, if that, till within the 1900s. A headstone was a luxurious none may afford.

Some discipline stones stay, however others are clearly gone.

Findagrave reveals the Arch Campbell Cemetery with a complete of 138 burials, some with images of the stones.

Barney Campbell’s son Benjamin is listed among the many burials. Assuredly, Barney was buried right here too following his loss of life between 1853 and 1855, as are his mother and father who died about the identical time, and grandparents who died twenty years earlier.

The day in Might that we visited was stunningly stunning with spring’s heat not but giving solution to the oppressive summer time warmth.

Daryl, Invoice, and I walked each inch of this cemetery, searching for any clue. Simply being with Jacob and our relations for a short while.

I couldn’t assist however look over every fence and movie Jacob standing and doing the identical. After all, his break up rail fences would have regarded fairly totally different.

Did Jacob go to the far aspect of his property every day and fell extra timber?

Did he stand right here pondering life’s unfairness when he buried relations?

I slowly turned in a circle to see what Jacob would have seen.

I can’t assist however marvel how all of those persons are linked to Jacob. Possibly some aren’t however many seem to have “married in” to the household. After a couple of generations, these Appalachian households are all associated to one another a technique or one other.

Daryl and I, all the time the consummate genealogists, photographed gravestones.

This cemetery is just not small. Many areas are completely vacant, signifying unmarked graves. It appears to be like like there are as many unmarked as marked, or possibly extra.

Whereas the outdated burials are close to the center, there are modern graves too.

Areas in direction of the fence had trendy burials.

Irrespective of the place you look, the mountains are ever-present within the distance. As we speak, simply as Jacob noticed them two centuries in the past.

By now, there are most likely 8 or possibly 10 generations of relations all resting collectively right here. Jacob would most likely be fairly happy that his funding in a considerable amount of frequent land, sufficient to share along with his sons and sons-in-law, paid such good-looking dividends. Certainly, many stayed and proceed to remain.

Of his personal youngsters, 5 lived out their lives in Claiborne County, two struck out for Texas, and one is unsure.

Lots of Jacob’s descendants nonetheless reside in Claiborne County, Tennessee, and maybe some nonetheless reside on Jacob’s land.



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