This Blog is Moving!

To all the wonderful Blount County researchers who have been following this blog for the past 4 years – the blog is moving.  I will leave this old one up for archival purposes, but will be migrating the information here over to the new site.

I finally have the ability to incorporate the blog directly into the Blount County, TNGenWeb site so it will be moving there.  Please update your bookmarks to http://www.tngenweb.org/blount/category/announcements to read the blog there.  The specific URL for the RSS feed is here.

Along with the move comes a site redesign for Blount County, so check it out and let me know what you think! Click on the image below to visit the new site.

The TNGenWeb site for Grainger County, nearby to Blount – has a new website.  The site is managed by a group of volunteers and they would very much welcome your visit and potential contributions!

You can find the site online at http://grainger.tngenealogy.net.  Built using WordPress, the same system this blog uses, you can comment on individual items of interest, share them via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and follow the site additions by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also sign up for an account if you’d like that will connect you to other county researchers.

The following article on the anniversary of Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church was likely published in a September 1973 issue of the Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times.  Article submitted to the Blount TNGenWeb Project by Caleb Teffeteller.


“Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Blockhouse Road, Maryville, marked the 100th anniversary of its founding on September 5, 1973.

A church history was prepared by Mrs. R.E. (Mayme) Parker, a member of the Piney Grove Church since April 1933, and church clerk since April 1943, for the centennial celebration September 2, 1973. Material and pictures were furnished for today’s column by Ollie White and Mrs. W.E. (Edna McDonell) Morris.

Information for the contents of the church history came from reading all past records available in the Chilhowee Baptist Association office, Maryville, and from talking with older members, such as “Uncle Sam” James who passed away in 1964, and “Aunt Mary” White who died in 1965, both in their 90s and with many other members. Materials was also obtained by reading all church minutes available since the organization of the church on Friday, September 5, 1873.

The people in the vicinity of the Grindstaff School (called by some Piney Grove School) held a revival under a brush arbor in a little hollow in back of the Delve Grindstaff home, and on Friday, Sept. 5, 1873, organized the Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

The membership consisted of Henry Russell, Margaret Russell, M.J. Russell, Isaac Russell, Permelia Russell, Sophina Russell, Dorthula Russell, James W. Hall, William L. Cupp, Margaret Cupp, William Everett, Daniel Headrick, Caroline Headrick, Mary Ann Whitehead, Mary Jane Nuchols, Hannah Cupp, Catherine Teffeteller, Henry C. Cupp, Frances N. Cupp, Jacob Simerly, Jane Simerly, James Simerly, Margaret Simerly, H. Simerly, Martha Everett, Thomas Gaines, Mary C. Hall, Martha Curtis, Josiah Curtis, Rebecca Hall, Margaret Hall, Henry Barker, John Morton, William Hall, Theo Everett, Mary Nuchols, G.A. Brannen, Eliza Jane Hall and Isaac T. Nuchols.

Land on which to build their house of worship was given by Mr. & Mrs. Sam Campbell (she was the former Rachel Feezell, daughter of George Washington Feezell & Margaret Eliza Guin Feezell). The land was about two miles from the site of the brush arbor where the group first met in revival.

The membership then called Brother James R. Coulter, who served one year as pastor. Brother James W. Hall was elected church clerk. This body bound themselves under a covenant similar to the standard church covenant we now have, and also accepted the 18 articles of faith.

The first deacons were Isaac Russell and J.T. Nuchols.

The first building was erected on the location near where Old Piney Church now stands. The material for the building came from an old federal still house located back in the mountains [located off Mell Hall Road] which the government was no longer using. Some notes say this building was also used as the Piney Grove School house.

In the first business meeting, delegates were appointed to meet with the Pleasant Grove Church in a convention to unite with them in the organization of a new association. The early associations were: Little River Association; Mt. Harmony Association; Tuckaleechee Association; and the Association South of the Holston River. The Chilhowee Association was not organized until 1885. After that, delegates were sent to the Chilhowee Association.

In November 1873, the church voted to have a “protracted” meeting with Brother James V. Iddins “to attend at that time.” The first communion meeting (Lord’s Supper) was taken in May 1874, with Brother Iddins preaching on Baptism.

Delegates from the church were sent to associational meetings and willing workers meetings which were held alternately with various churches. Delegates were also sent to Baptist State meetings and Sunday School meetings.

Many successful revivals were held in the early days of the church, some lasting as long as 23 days, with as many as 50 additions to the church. Offerings during the revivals rarely exceeded $15. Though money was scarce, regular mission offerings were taken, some of which totaled less than a dollar. The pastor received as his salary whatever amount the offering might be, usually from two to five dollars. The first fixed salary mentioned for a pastor was in about 1902, when the church voted to pay $50 a year, and once because the pastor was so “satisfactory,” he received a raise to $60 for the next year.

The early church was more apt to discipline the membership than the present day church. Charges were brought against members, both men and women. These members were dismissed from the fellowship for: profanity, drinking, bootlegging, playing cards, fighting, lewdness, fornication, adultery, improper conduct, departing from the faith and for non-attendance. Many times during the winter months the pastor could not get to the church, at which times no business meetings were held.

Sunday School was not organized until March 7, 1886. It was during this year that the deacons were charged to attend to difficulties in the church as far as possible.” —-Elizabeth “Tizzy” Timmons.

Yesterday while at a local bookstore, I saw several copies of Arthur Randolph Shields’ book,  The Cades Cove Story.

This book was originally written in 1977.  The version I picked up was of the 20th printing and the book is still available for sale by publisher, Great Smoky Mountain Natural History Association.  Obviously, a popular book!

I’ve only had a chance to read about the first third of the book, but I learned quite a bit about the history of the township.   This book paints a nice portrait of its history, with several profiles of families of the area — Cable,  Oliver, Shields, McCaulley, Lawson, Abbott, Burchfield, Gregory, Myers, Sparkes, Powell,  Post and Foust are some included.  The Wikipedia page has good detail on the history of the area as well.

I’ve enhanced the record about this book on the Open Library website to include the Table of Contents.   I have also added the book to the Bibliography on this site.   There are  a couple of appendices I am hoping to get permission from the publisher to share on the Blount TNGenWeb site.  I’ll keep you updated!

Items from the collections of Maryville College have now been digitized and made available online at the Internet Archive! I found this out last night after browsing the RSS feed of new items added and had to announce it here.  If you have ancestors that may have attended the college or were involved in it, you’ll want to check it out.  I even found the senior picture of one of my co-workers!

Here is a synopsis of items added:


Yearbook/School Catalgoues


Alumni Publications

Other School Publications

I will be working to get these items added to the Blount County TNGenWeb site, but wanted to at least let everyone know of their availability.   I will also keep a close eye for additions .  Enjoy!

Updated TN Death Index

One of the resources I use often when verifying or seeking information on deaths in Tennessee is the index created by the Shelby County Register of Deeds.   Recently updated, the index now covers 1949-2009!

What kind of information can you learn from the index?

  • Decedent’s Name
  • Date of death
  • County of death
  • County/State of residence
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Race
  • File #
  • Link to a request form to order the death certificate

The Register of Deeds also has a Facebook page; you can follow along to stay aware of updates for they have additional indexes in addition to the one for deaths for both Shelby county and across the whole state.

Monroe County Archives Blog

A hearty WELCOME to the Monroe County Archives Blog.   Please visit them at http://www.monroetnarchives.blogspot.com/.

Maryville Obituaries

GenealogyBank.com recently announced new additions to their obituary database.  They now will include obituaries from the Maryville Times starting with those from December 23, 2009 to present.

While GenealogyBank is not a free resource, it may still be helpful to know of this availability.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) continues to bring us all valuable resources as part of their FamilySearch site.  One of the latest resources includes a database of TN Death and Burials that covers 1874-1955.

The information in the database is extracted from various sources; you can learn more here.   It may not be a fully comprehensive database, but it is certainly worth consulting.

A link has been added to the Deaths page on the Blount County TNGenWeb site.

Moses Gamble 1830-1895

From the March 14, 1895 issue of the Maryville Times

“The great monster, death, has again visited our community and, taken one of our good citizens, Moses Gamble.  He was born May the 8th, 1830 died March the 8, 1895, age 64 years 10 months he leaves a wife, seven children and a host of friends to mourn his loss.  We all sympathize with the bereaved family and hope they will look to a higher power. ”

March 14, 1895 issue of the Maryville Times