Israel Mayfield (d. ca. 1812) of Knox County KY
By Phil Norfleet
ISRAEL MAYFIELD was born about 1770, and died before October 1812 in Davidson County, Tennessee. He married MARTHA (PATSY) ANN PREWITT on 02 November 1795 in Jefferson County TN. She was the daughter of DAVID PREWITT and JANE PARROTT. Martha was born about 1775 in Virginia and died after September 1870 in Kentucky.
Notes for ISRAEL MAYFIELD
The spelling of this Mayfield's first name is quite varied - Isreal, Isril, Israel, etc. For the purposes of this family tree, I use the modern day, preferred spelling of "Israel."
The records of Eastern TN and Knox County KY reveal the following information concerning Israel Mayfield:
02 November 1795: Israel Mayfield and Martha Ann (Patsy) Prewitt, daughter of David and Jane Prewitt, are married in Jefferson County TN. [See marriage bond records for Jefferson County TN.]
Israel Mayfield is mentioned several times in the Deed Books and in the Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas for Green County TN as follows:
11 November 1799: Indenture witnessed by Isreal Mayfield: John Allen to John Brotherton for a 35-acre tract of land on Lick Creek. [See Greene County TN Deed Book 1. page 344.]
05 May 1800: Indenture witnessed by Israel Mayfield: John Love to Mary Misiner for 100-acre tract of land in Greene County TN. [See Greene County TN Deed Book 1, page 504.]
27 October 1802: Israel Mayfield, a constable, to attend next term of Court, to attend the Grand Jury.
30 April 1803: Israel Mayfield paid $7.50 by Commissioners of the Court appointed to settle the estate of Alexander Purdom, deceased.
01 November 1805: "Bail of Israel Mayfield" in lawsuit of Jacob Collins vs Jacob Hennegun & Henry McBroom. The Bail did not appear.
Apparently the families of Israel Mayfield and his father-in-law, David Prewitt, removed to Knox County KY some time in 1803. The following entries were found in Knox County KY, County Court Order Book A::
01 August 1803: Israel Mayfield receives a certificate for 400 acres of land " ... on the north side of Cumberland River, beginning on Henry Saunders upper corner ... ." [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 94.]
08 November 1803: David Prewitt receives a certificate for 150 acres of land " ... on the bank of Cumberland River ... ." [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 104.]
06 February 1804: Israel Mayfield posts the appropriate bond ($1000) and is appointed as the Knox County Jailor. No other Jailor for Knox County is appointed until May 1806 (see below) - hence, Israel Mayfield probably served in that capacity until his apparent departure from the County in 1806. [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 111.]
06 February 1804: Israel Mayfield is granted permission " ... to keep a tavern in the town of Barbourville for and during the space of one year ... ." Israel posts bond in the amount of 100 pounds. [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 110.]
05 March 1805: " ... It appearing to the satisfaction of this Court that Israel Mayfield will keep an orderly house of entertainment, leave is granted him on his entering into bond and surety as the Law directs ...." Israel Mayfield, with Richard Sutt as his surety, posts a bond of 100 pounds. [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 151.]
05 May 1806: Arthur Neel is appointed as Knox County Jailor. This appointment is a good indicator that Israel Mayfield had left Knox County by this time. [See Knox County KY Court Order Book A, page 209.]
1804-1805: Israel Mayfield becomes involved in at least four lawsuits in the Knox County Circuit Court - three as a plaintiff and one as a defendant. A review of the original lawsuit files, kept at the KY State Archives in Frankfort, provides the following limited information:
1) Israel Mayfield vs John Slaughter: an action of trespass with damages set at $40, Summons issued to Slaughter on 07 May 1804
2) Israel Mayfield vs James McPhirren: complaint dated 04 June 1804, where Mayfield asserts that McPhirren is indebted to him in the amount of $112.
3) Jacob Myers vs Israel Mayfield: Myers complains that Israel Mayfield is indebted to him in the amount of 24 pounds, 13 shillings and asks for a further 10 pounds in damages. Summons issued to Mayfield on 01 July 1805. On 02 July 1805, Mayfield posts a bond of 49 pounds, 6 shillings, the same to beome void if Mayfield appears in Circuit Court to answer Myers's charges at the next day of Court, i. e., 03 July 1805.
4) Israel Mayfield vs Patrick Pease: complaint dated 02 July 1805, where Mayfield asserts that Pease is indebted to him in the amount of 17 pounds, 16 shillings and 7 pence.
According to a family legend recounted by a direct descendent, Jacob N. Mayfield in 1933 (see above), Israel Mayfield supposedly abandoned his wife a few years after their settlement in Knox County KY; he was said to have gone to Natchez MS where he became financially successful, gambled, raced horses and died in about the year 1835. I have never seen any credible evidence supporting this old legend; however, the above cited evidence does strongly imply that Israel Mayfield abandoned his family in the early part of the year 1806.
Even though Israel is mentioned in the Knox County KY records, in the 1804-1806 time frame, his name does not appear in the 1810 Federal Census for KY (in Knox County or anywhere else in the state). There is a certain John Mayfield listed for Knox County in 1810; unfortunately, I have no idea as to his identity. A careful review of the 1810 Knox County KY Census indicates that Israel's wife, Martha, and their children were probably living in the household of Martha Mayfield's parents - David and Jane Prewit.
October 1808: Israel Mayfield sues Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838) and two of his sons, Micajah, Jr. and Southerland Mayfield in the Jefferson County Court of Chancery for land fraud. The alleged fraud was connected with the sale of 100 acres of land, located near Mayfield's Station in Williamson County TN and is the subject of a separate essay appended to this web site.
Death of Israel Mayfield:
I now believe that this first Israel Mayfield (of Natchez legend) was dead prior to October 1812! There is primary evidence of this from the comparison of two court records -- one from Knox County KY in 1805 and the second record from Williamson County TN in 1812.
1) From the minutes of the Knox County KY Court (also see above) is the following entry concerning a lawsuit involving a certain Jacob Myers vs Israel Mayfield:
Myers complains that Israel Mayfield is indebted to him in the amount of 24 pounds, 13 shillings and asks for a further 10 pounds in damages. Summons issued to Mayfield on 01 July 1805. On 02 July 1805, Mayfield posts a bond of 49 pounds, 6 shillings, the same to become void if Mayfield appears in Circuit Court to answer Myers's charges at the next day of Court, i. e., 03 July 1805.
2) From the minutes of the Williamson County TN Court, October Term 1812:
"Jacob Myers vs Israel Mayfields heirs: Debt $107, Dam. $50. Justices Samuel Akin, Collin McDaniel, John J. Henry. Jury: Wm Dowdy, Thos Walker, ... David Craig say plaintif sustained damages by reason of detention of debt to $13.49. That 24 pounds, 13 shillings Kentucky money is equal to $82.16. Therefore plaintif recovers agt defendants debt of 24 pounds, 13 shillings KY money equal in cash to $82.16 and interest on the debt from 01 March 1805. ... "
It is apparent, given the fact that the exact amount of money involved (24 pounds, 13 shillings) is the same in both cases, that the same people, i.e., Jacob Myers and Israel Mayfield, are involved and that Israel Mayfield is dead at the time of the above cited jury trial (October 1812).
1818: The area in which the family of Israel Mayfield lived becomes part of the newly formed County of Whitley.
1820: In the 1820 Census for Whitley County KY, Israel's wife, Martha (Patsy) Mayfield, is listed as the head of household in her own right.
Notes for MARTHA (PATSY) ANN PREWITT - Wife of Israel Mayfield
Martha was the daughter of David and Jane Prewitt. Records for the David Prewitt family indicate that they resided in Greene County NC (now TN) for a number of years, from about 1783 to 1802. Subsequently, David moved to Knox County KY where his name may be found in the records of that county from 1803 to as late as the year 1820.
Jacob Nelson Mayfield, writing in 1933, states that Martha (Patsy) Prewitt Mayfield lived for 115 years; however, I have found no hard evidence to substantiate this. If true, she would have died in about 1890! Another source (Sally Silvers Batts) indicates that Martha lived to be about 100 years old, but I know of no hard evidence supporting even this assertion. What I have found is that her eldest son, Jacob Mayfield, in his will (see Wayne County KY, Will Book A, page 219), dated 28 November 1865, references his mother (Martha A. Moss) as being alive at that time.
The 1870 Federal Census for Wayne County KY indicates that Martha A. Moss was blind and living in the household of her son, Jacob Mayfield; her age, as of the date of that Census (16 Sep 1870), was 95 years! This fact also indicates that she must have been born in about the year 1775.
I reviewed the 1880 soundex for all of Kentucky for anyone named Martha Moss, but could find no one. It is probable that Martha died sometime between 1870 and 1880. Per the 1880 Census, Jacob's widow, Letitia Mayfield, was still alive and living in the household of her son, Israel Mayfield of Pulaski County; however, Martha Moss was not listed as being in that household.
Jacob Mayfield, in his will, names her as Martha A. Moss (could this really be DeMoss??), thus indicating that she had remarried. Also, the 1870 Federal Census substantiates this fact. I have not yet found any record of this marriage, but I continue to search. Her remarriage to a member of the Moss family must have occurred after the 1830 Federal Census for Whitley County KY, as she is listed as "Marthew Mayfield" in that document.
Children of ISRAEL MAYFIELD and MARTHA PREWITT
1. JACOB MAYFIELD was born about 1796 in Tennessee; he died about 1871 in Wayne County KY.
2. MARTHA (PATSY) MAYFIELD was born about 1797; she married JOHN DE MOSS on 16 April 1812 in Knox County KY.
Notes for MARTHA (PATSY) MAYFIELD
Patsy Mayfield and her husband were married by James Sullivan (d. 1817), a Revolutionary War Veteran and pioneer Methodist Minister, who also lived on Cumberland River near the Prewitts and Mayfields. Patsy's marriage is documented in Knox County KY, Marriage Book A. Unfortunately, I have not found any further mention of Patsy nor her husband in the records of either Knox or Whitley County KY.
John DeMoss was probably a son of Andrew Demoss, who owned a small tract of land (36 acres) on Cumberland River, near the land of the Prewitts and the Mayfields in the period 1803 -1807. [See the Tax Lists of Knox County KY for the years 1803-1807.] Andrew was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and ultimately removed to Orange County, Indiana. Other children of Andrew DeMoss married members of the Prewitt family.
3. ROBERT MAYFIELD was born about 1799 in Green County TN; he married ELIZABETH MAYFIELD on 04 February 1815 in Knox County KY.
Notes for ROBERT MAYFIELD
Per Knox County KY, Marriage Book A, Robert Mayfield marries a lady named Elizabeth Mayfield in 1815. They were married by James Sullivan (d. 1817), a Revolutionary War Veteran and pioneer Methodist Minister, who also lived on Cumberland River near the Prewitts and Mayfields. I have no idea as to the identity of Elizabeth Mayfield; however, she may be a daughter of the John Mayfield who appears in the 1810 Federal Census for Knox County KY. In that Census, John Mayfield is shown as having one female of age 10 years or under in his household. If this is the Elizabeth Mayfield that marries Robert, then she would have been only 15 years old or even younger at the time of her marriage!
Robert Mayfield appears in both the 1820 and 1830 Federal Census for Whitley County KY, but not in the 1840 Census. The last year that Robert Mayfield's name appears in the Whitley County Tax Lists is for the year 1837. Robert probably removed from Whitley County some time in late 1837 or early 1838.
4. RACHEL MAYFIELD was born about 1800 in Green County TN; she married BENJAMIN MILLER on 22 June 1815 in Knox County KY. Miller died before 1820 in Knox County KY.
Notes for RACHEL MAYFIELD
Rachel Mayfield and her husband were married by James Sullivan (d. 1817), a Revolutionary War Veteran and pioneer Methodist Minister, who lived on Cumberland River near the Prewitts and Mayfields. [See Knox County KY Marriage Book A.]
Rachel's husband, Benjamin Miller, must have died within a few years of their marriage; Rachel Miller is listed as the head-of-household in the 1820 Federal Census for Whitley County KY. Rachel apparently soon resumed the use of her maiden name as she is called "Rachel Mayfield" in many of the later records of Whitley County.
Rachel, as "Rachel Mayfield" appears in the records for Whitley County, Kentucky at a fairly early date, she surveys two 50-acre tracts of land on Cumberland River in Whitley County KY - on 22 November 1822 and on 12 August 1824. [See Whitley County KY, Survey Book One, pages 49 and 143 respectively.] It is interesting to note that Rachel was the asignee of David Prewitt, with respect to the land she had surveyed in 1822.
The last record I have found pertaining to Rachel occurs in the Whitley County Tax Lists for 1833, where she is listed under the name of "Rachel Miller" as having paid that year's taxes for 100 acres of land on Cumberland River. She either died or, more probably, left Whitley County after 1833.
5. MARY (POLLY) MAYFIELD was born in about 1802 in Green County TN. She married DAVID PREWITT on 28 January 1825 in Whitley County KY.
6. ISAAC MAYFIELD was born on 09 April 1804 in Knox County KY; she died after 1860.
7. ISRAEL MAYFIELD was born on 09 April 1804 in Knox County KY; he died on 08 January 1869 in Whitley County KY.
8. WILLIAM MAYFIELD was born on 17 August 1806 in Knox County KY; he married DARCUS MEADOWS on 09 May 1826 in Whitley County KY.