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First/Given Name(s):


John Cox
 1723 - 1791

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  • Birth  1723  Baltimore County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  1791  Sullivan County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I302  Cox Family Tree
    Last Modified  15 Oct 2013 00:55:55 
    Family  Elizabeth Sympson, b. Abt 1725 
    Married  16 Nov 1742  Baltimore County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. William Cox
    >2. Edward Cox, b. Abt 1758, Baltimore County, Maryland
    >3. John Cox, Jr., b. 28 Mar 1758, Baltimore County, Maryland
    >4. Thomas Cox, b. 07 Jun 1761, Baltimore County, Maryland
    Family ID  F193  Group Sheet
  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1723 - Baltimore County, Maryland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 16 Nov 1742 - Baltimore County, Maryland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend = Address   = Location   = City/Town   = County/Shire   = State/Province   = Country   = Not Set

  • Notes 
      by William G. Cooper, 102 Valley View Drive
      Erwin, Tennessee 37650

      In 1907, the Governor of Tennessee, John I., Cox, asked the state archives to trace his Sullivan County Cox family, and they had to give it up. Since this time the Cox family has changed from the least known to one of the best known families and has been used for DAR membership.

      The Cox Heritage begins with John Cox, of Baltimore County, Maryland. It is possible, but not probable, that he was the Cox immigrant, from England. I have not found his parents amoung the numerous Cox families in Baltimore County in the 1700's. The earliest I know a bout John Cox is that he married Elizabeth Sympson ( found in Maryland Marriages 1634-1777 as Elizabeth Simpson) in Baltimore County on 16 Nov. 1742, and that he had 85 acres surveyed in what is now the nor theast corner of the county, near Gunpowder River Falls, in 1752.

      It was called Cox's Park, the only property in the county with Cox in its name, at that time. I also know that he was an early convert to Methodism, and he befriended the English missionary, Francis Asbury, in 1771. Asbury was one of the few English missionaries that did not return t o England during the Revolutionary War. He promoted the circuit rider system of preaching, and in 1784 he was promoted to bishop.

      The three known children of John and Elizabeth Cox were Edward, John, Jr. and Thomas. Edward (1757-30 Nov 1850), John,Jr. (28 Mar 1758-5 Nov 1798) settled near Rogersville, in Hawkins County, Tennessee. and Thomas Cox (7 Jun 1761- 13 Dec 1830) settled near Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee. Some say there were eight other siblings, who probably stayed in Maryland. The last record of John Cox in Baltimore County was in Feb 1764, when he leased Cox's park to George Myers.

      By the early 1770's, John Cox was established in what is now Tennessee, being the second permanent Cox resident in the area (the first was William Cox of Baltimore). By 1774 he had build a log cabin, which is still standing, in what is now Bluff City, in Sullivan County. At that time it was called Shoat's Ford, and it has had other names.

      John Cox became involved in the newly established Watauga Association , in what is now Tennessee. He was a true pioneer, living on the frontier during the Revolutionary War. The Watauga Association was formed in 1772, and historians have hailed it as the first free and independent governing body in America and the first permanent American settlement outside the 13 colonies.

      Land records of Sullivan County indicate that John Cox died shortly after 1791. He had lived to see his sons participate in the Revolutionary War, to see his cabin expanded to a beautiful two-story, four-room structure with a staircase and breezeway between, and to see his home used as a Methodist meeting place and overnight abode for Bishop Asbury, beginning in 178. Today this log structure is owned by the Methodist Church is one of about 19 early Methodist shrines in the U.S.

      There are some who think the Cox family may have originally been Quakers from Virginia, who went to Maryland because of its religious toleration. Research continues in Maryland records, especially in Old Joppa Town , a state
      historic site and seat of Baltimore County from 1712 to 1768.

      !1774 HISTORY: Sourced from the book "AMERICA FIRST WESTERN FRONTIER: EAST TENNESSEE", by Brenda C. Calloway printed by The Overmountain Press, Johnson City , Tennessee. The following is excerpts from book.

      "Evan Shelby, a Marylander, established the second merchantile establishment in the settlements, actually a combination trading post, way station and stockade, erected north of the Watauga. He first appeared in East Tennessee country about the close of 1770 and was excited by what he saw. Shelby was 51 years of age when he moved his family to the Holston country establishing his establishment at a place called "Big Camp Meet" (now Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia) Shelby's estate became what is now present day Bristol , Tennessee.

      Shelby's Station was an important trading post which soon became a rendezvous for migrants passing through the territory on their way farther west and for expeditions heading northward Shelby's son's assisted him with the store and among their many customers were Daniel Boone, James Robertson, and his brother Charles, JOHN COX, Valentine Sevier, father of General John Sevier, William Bean, and many other well known pioneers.

      !1776 HISTORY: The following information sourced from "Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee" page 138.

      THE WATAUGA SETTLEMENT: First settlers arrived there in abt. 1766. in 1772 the settlers drew up articles and rules to form their own government, appointed officers and set up courts. Theirs was the 1st constitution ever adopted by a community of freemen. They called it "The SEPARATE STATE OF WATAUGA".

      The Articles of Association have been lost but the names of their 1st 13 Commissioners remain (surnames were Carter, Robertson, Isbell, Sevier, Smith, Brown, Bean, Jones , Russell, Womack, Lucas and Tathem.)

      In 1776 the Watuagans petitioned the North Carolina Legislature for annexation and in response they were noticed and the county of "WASHINGTON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA was established in 1777.

      SIGNERS OF THE WATAUGA PETITION for the District of Washington in Year 1777. I have excluded all names except for the following:


      The following is the 1776 Petition of the Inhabitants of the Washington District:

      The humble petition of the inhabitants of Washington District, including the River Wautaugah, Nonachuckie, etc., that about six years ago , Col. Donelson, (in behalf of the Colony of Virginia), held a treaty with the Cherokee Indians, in order to purchase the lands of the Western Frontiers; in consequence of which Treaty, many of our petitioners settled on the lands of the Wataugah, etc., expecting to be within the Virginia line, and consequently hold their lands by their improvements as first settlers; but to their great disappointment, when the lines was run they were (contrary) to their expectations left out ; finding themselves thus disappointed , and being too inconveniently situated to remove back, and feeling an unwillingness to loose the labour bestowed on their plantations, they applied to the Cherokee Indians, and leased the land for the term of ten years, before the expiration of which term it appeared that many persons of distinction were actually making purchases forever, thus yielding a precedent , (supposing many of them who were gentlemen of the law, to be better judges of the constitution than we were) and considering the bad consequences it must be attended with, should the reversion be purchased out of our hands, we next prodeeded to make a purchase of the lands , reserving those in our possession in sufficient tracts for our own use, and resolving to dispose of the remainder for the good of the community. This purchase was made and the lands acknowledged to us and our heirs forever, in an open treaty, in Wautaugah Old Fields , a deed being obtained from the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, for themselves and their whole nation, which deed was for and in consideration of the sum of two thousand pounds sterling,(paid to them in goods), for which consideration they acknowledged themselves fully satisfied, Contented and paid; and agreed, for themselves, their whole nation, their heirs, etc. forever to resign warrant and defend said lands to us, and our heirs, etc., against themselves, their heirs, etc.

      The purchase was no sooner made, than we were alarmed by the reports of the present unhappy differences between Great Britain and America, on which report, (taking the now united colonies for our guide), we proceeded to choose a Committee, which was done unanimously by the consent of the people. This committee (willing to become a party in the present unhappy contest) resolved, (which is now on our records ), to adhere strickly to the rules and orders of the Continental Congress, and in open committee acknowledged themselves indebted to the united colonies their full proportion of the Continental expense .

      Finding ourselves on the frontiers, and being apprehensive that, for the want of a proper legislature, we might become a shelter for such as endeavoured to defraud their creditors; considering also the necessity of recording Deeds, Wills, and doing other public business; we , by consent of the people, formed a court for the purposes above mentioned, taking (by desire of our constituents) the Virginia laws for our guide, so near as the situation of affairs could admit; this was intended for ourselves, and was done by the consent of every individual; but, wherever we had to deal with people out of our district, we have ruled them to bail; to abide by our determinators, (which was in fact, leaving the matter to reference) otherways we dismissed their suit, lest we should in any way intrude on the legislature of the colonies, in short, we have endeavoured so strickly to do justice , that we have admitted common proof against ourselves, on accounts , etc., from the colonies, without pretending a right to require the Colony seal.

      We therefore trust we shall be considered as we deserve, and not as we have (no doubt) been many times represented as a lawless mob-it is for this very reason we can assure you that we petition; we now again repeat it, that it is want of proper authority to try and punish felons, we can only mention to you murderers, horse-thieves and robbers , we are sorry to say that some of them have escaped us for want of authority. We trust, however, this will not long be the case; and we again, repeat it, that its for this reason we petition to this Honourable Assembly.

      Above we have given you an abstract of our proceedings, since our settling on the Wataugah, Nonachuckie, etc., in regard to our civil affairs we have shown you the causes of our first settling and the disappointments we have met with, the reason of our lease and of our purchases, the manner in which we purchased, and how we hold of the Indians in fee simple; the causes of our forming a committee, and the legality of its election; the same of our court proceedings, and our reasons for petitioning in regard to our legislature.

      We now proceed to give you some account of our military establishments, which were chosen agreeable to the rules established by convention , and officers appointed by the committee. This being done, we thought it proper to raise a company on the District service, as our proportion, to act in the common cause on the seashore. A Company of fine riflement were accordingly enlisted, and put under Capt. James Robertson, and were actually embodied, when we received sundry letters and depositions (copies of which we now enclose to you,) you will readily judge that there was occasion for them in another place, where we daily expected an attack. We therefore thought proper to station them on our Frontiers, in defense of the common cause, at the expense and risque of our own private forturnes, till futher public orders , which we flatter ourselves will give no offence. We have enclosed you sundry proceedings at the station where our men now remain.

      We shall now submit the whole to your candid and impartial judgement . We pray your mature and deliberate consideration in our behalf, that you may annex us to your Province, (whether as county, district, or other division,) in such manner as may enable us to share in the glorious cause of liberty; enforce our laws under authority, and in every respect become the best members of society; and for ourselves and constituents we hope we may venture to assure you, that we shall adhere to your determinators, and that nothing will be lacking or any thing neglected, that may add weight (in the civil or military establishments) to the glorious cause in which we are now struggling, or contribute to the welfare of our own or ages yet to come.

      That you may strickly examine every part of this our petition, and delay no time in annexing us to your Province, in such manner as your wisdom shall direct, it is the hearty prayer of those who, for themselves and their constituents, as in duty bound shall ever pray.

      Signers-Members of the Committee

      John Carter * Zach Isbell * Jacob Brown * George Russel * Charles Robertson * John Sevier * Wm. Bean * Jacob Womack * James Robertson * Jas. Smith * John Jones * Robert Lucas

      Jacob Womack * Jos. Brown * Adam Sherrill * Joseph Dunnam * Job Bumper * Samuel Sherrill * Rice Durron * Issac Wilson * Ossa Rose * Edward Hopson * Richard Norton * Jos. Grimes * Henry Bates, Jr. * W. Boyer, D. Atty. * George Hutson * Joseph Buller * Thomas Simpson * John Brown * Andrw. Greer * Henry Gates,Jr * Valentine Sevier * Joshau Barton * Sen. Joab Mitchell * Wm. Dod *
      Jonathan Tipton * Gideon Morris * Robert Sevier * Drury Gordon * Shadrack Morris * Govers. Morris * Wm. Crockett * Wm. Bates * Richard Fletcher * Thomas Dedmon * Ellexender Grear * Ge. Hartt * David Hickey * Andrew Grear, Jr. * Isaac Wilson * Mark Mitchell * Teeler Nave * Jno. Waddell * Hugh Blair * Lewis Jones * Jarrett Williams * Elias Peeber * * JOHN I. COX ** Jos. Brown * Oldham Hightower * * JOHN COX, JR. ** Abednego Hix * John Neave ** ABRAHAM COX * * Charles McCartney * John Robinson * Emanuel Shote * Frederick Vaughn * Christopher Cunningham * Tho. Houghton * Jos. McCartney *
      Jas. Easley * Jos. Luske * Mark Robertson * Ambrose Hodge * Wm. Reeves * Joseph Calvitt * Dan'l. Morris * David Hughes * Joshua Houghton * * WILLIAM COX * * Landon Carter * James Easley * John Chukinbeard * John McCormick * James Cooper * John Haile * David Crockett * William Brokees * Eliijah Robertson * * EDWARD COX * * Julius Robertson * William Clark * Tho's Hughes * John King * John (X) Dunnam * William Robertson * Michael Hider * Wm. Overall * Henry Siler * John Davis * Mat Hawkins * John Barley *Frederick Calvitt * Chris. Cunningham * Sen. Wm. Newberry

      !1791 DEATH: Sourced from book by William G. Cooper titled "COX HERITAGE and FAMILY" states that John Cox, Sr. died about 1791 in Sullivan Co. , Tennessee.

      I have no proof that William is the brother of John Cox,Sr. But in "Families
      and History of Sullivan County, Tennessee 1779-1992" on page 382, --Ruth
      Boseley (c1744-1800) and William Cox (1730-1766) were wed in Baltimore County Md. William and his brother Greenberry explored the western frontier and decided to settle there. William died of pneumonia but his widow determined to make the westward trek. She married Greenberry Cox and in the spring of 1767 arrived in what is now Sullivan County.

      !1997 HISTORY: Received from Willard Peil via AOL Internet the following information on the Cox family. Butch and I had answered Willard's e-mail that he had sent Butch, on seeing our quiry on the Internet, information that he had a ancestor by the name of Thomas Cox b. 1790 in Sullivan Co. We wrote him back about the info that we had on our Thomas Cox and his brother Edward. He than replied with following, amazing info. From Willard's e-mail, we found out for the first time about John Cox, Sr. and John Cox, Jr.

      His e-mail:

      This is some info I got from the East Tennessee Historical Society. It was submitted to them by a Evelyn S. Thompson, 37 Dolphin Dr., Treasure Island, Fl. 33706. The Cox family from Maryland to Sullivan Co. Tn. John Cox Sr., the earliest known ancestor of this family, brought his family to the Holstein Country in the early 1770's. John Cox was on the payroll of Capt. John Shelby. John Cox
      received a land grant from the State of NC in 1780 for 346 acres. In 1788 he is deeding this same land to his son Edward. This is the place where John Cox formerly lived. This is where Edward Cox always lived and the log house is now a Methodist Shrine. It shows a picture of it. Known children of John Cox Sr., John Cox Jr. (1758-1798) of Hawkins Co., Edward Cox, Thomas Cox(1761-1830) of Davidson Co.It is said that John Cox Sr. had eleven Sons. If you would like a copy of this by snail mail let me know . I hope this helps you Willard Peil.

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