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The text contained in this article is from a Web document that was formerly available at the Sevier County Library's Web site. The document is no longer on-line, but it was located in an Internet Archive. The actual source and transcriber were not identified in the document, nor was there any indication of whether the extraction was complete. Some minor, obvious corrections were made to the text because it appeared to have been mechanically converted (OCR).

No copyright infringement is intended by posting the information here for the benefit of researchers.

William Whitson, Jr., settled on the Big Pigeon River in Cocke County, Tennessee, in 1783, with his wife, Elizabeth. He was the son of William Whitson, Sr., who came to Shenandoah County, Virginia, about 1743, with a group from Westchester and Queens County, New York. The Whitson family center was in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Most of them .settled near New Market along the South Bank of the Shenandoah River. However, William Whitson was near Thorne's Gap, in 1752, in the Blue Ridge, along the south bank of the Shenandoah River, with John Davis, Barnaby Eagen, Henry Netherington (Netherton) and Elisha Jobe, an older brother of David Jobe. The ford, leading from Thorne's Gap to Front Royal, was long known as Whitson's Ford.

In 1775, William Whitson had a large family. He was living near his son, William Whitson, Jr. Before 1783, William Whitson, Sr., removed to Washington County, Tennessee, where he died, leaving a Will. His estate fell to a younger son, Jesse Whitson and named daughters Susannah Eagen, Lydia McKay. Sons Joseph and Jesse were executors and witnesses were Henry Nelson, Jr., William Wood, and Reuben Rider.

There were thirteen children in the family: Joseph; Susannah, who married Barnaby Eagen, Jr.; George; Charles; John; Lydia, who married Jeremiah, son of Moses McKay; Leah, who married Jonah Denton in 1782; Jeremiah, who married Elizabeth Jobe in 1784; Jesse; James; William Whitson, Jr., who married Elizabeth and removed to Big Pigeon River in Cocke Count ; Ann, who married Isaac Denton; Lezeanan, who married David Jobe Abraham married Sally Fine; Joshua married Ruth Tipton, granddaughter of Colonel John Tipton.

William Whitson, Jr.'s home became known as William Whitson's Fort and was situated near the spring now known as Wilton. When plans were being developed for, a Primitive Baptist Church for the new community established on the Big Pigeon, William Whitson, Jr., and Abraham McKay (or McCoy) were elected as a committee to meet with the Baptist Association in Sullivan County, 1786. The next year the church was organized, and William Whitson and wife Elizabeth were charter members.

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