An Essay By Phil Norfleet
The Prewitt family was closely allied to the family of Israel Mayfield (ca. 1770-1812) of Knox County KY. I have not personally researched the genealogy of the Prewitts; the following report has been generated from secondary sources only. Accordingly, the report should be used as a starting point only, to use in forming genealogical hypotheses. To prove these hypotheses, the reader of this report must provide his/her own supporting rationale obtained from personal family documents such as Bible records and/or memoranda; and from official documents such as wills, deeds, court minutes, etc. The ancestor numbering system utilized in the report is that recommended by the National Genealogical Society (NGS).
Generation No. 1
1. DAVID1 PREWITT was born Abt. 1750 in Virginia, and died Aft. 1812 in Knox County KY. He married JANE PARROTT Abt. 1770 in Virginia.
Children of DAVID PREWITT and JANE PARROTT are:
i. DAVID2 PREWITT, b. Abt. 1771; d. Abt. 1833; m. PEGGY KIZZIAH, 22 March 1804.
2. ii. MARTHA (PATSY) ANN PREWITT, b. Abt. 1775, Virginia; d. Aft. September 1870, Kentucky.
iii. JOHN PREWITT, b. Abt. 1781.
iv. ELIJAH PREWITT, b. Abt. 1783.
v. WILLIAM PREWITT, b. Abt. 1787.
vi. JAMES PREWITT, b. Abt. 1791.
vii. ELIZABETH PREWITT, b. Abt. 1794.
Generation No. 2
2. MARTHA (PATSY) ANN2 PREWITT(DAVID1) was born Abt. 1775 in Virginia, and died Aft. September 1870 in Kentucky. She married ISRAEL MAYFIELD 02 November 1795 in Jefferson County TN, son of _____ MAYFIELD and NAME UNKNOWN. He was born Abt. 1770, and died Bef. October 1812 in Davidson County, Tennessee?.
Notes for MARTHA (PATSY) ANN PREWITT
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.
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."
Most of the information that I have gathered concerning the family of Israel Mayfield has been obtained from secondary sources - particularly from genealogists of the Prewitt family such as Carl Edward Bird of Williamsburg KY. This Mayfield family's tradition is that Israel's father was a certain Abraham Mayfield who came to America from Cambridge, England in the 1750's. However, I have not found any documentary evidence that supports this assertion.
The earliest written account of this Mayfield family, that I have found, is one written in 1933 by a certain Jacob Nelson Mayfield (1865-1946), son of John Martin Mayfield (1827-1909), both of Acorn KY. Unfortunately, Jacob's account contains errors and is based on hearsay with respect to the earlier generations.
Prewitt family genealogist, Carl Edward Bird, indicates that most of Israel Mayfield's children were born in Anderson County SC in the 1796-1804 time frame. This is obviously wrong since Anderson County/District was not formed until 1826 being formed out of Pendleton County/District. Also, the evidence set forth below indicates that Israel lived in Greene County TN at least from 1799 to 1803.
The records of Eastern TN and Knox County KY reveal the following information concerning Isreal 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 Isreal 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 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.
Children of MARTHA PREWITT and ISRAEL MAYFIELD are:
3. i. JACOB3 MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1796, Tennessee; d. Abt. 1871, Wayne County KY.
ii. MARTHA (PATSY) MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1797; m. JOHN DE MOSS, 16 April 1812, 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.
iii. ROBERT MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1799, Green County TN; m. ELIZABETH MAYFIELD, 04 February 1815, 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.
iv. RACHEL MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1800, Green County TN; m. BENJAMIN MILLER, 22 June 1815, Knox County KY; d. Bef. 1820, 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 assignee 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.
v. MARY (POLLY) MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1802, Green County TN; m. DAVID PREWITT, 28 January 1825, Whitley County KY.
Mary (Polly) Mayfield's marriage to David Prewitt occurred in Whitley County KY.
4. vi. ISAAC MAYFIELD, b. 09 April 1804, Knox County KY; d. Aft. 1860.
5. vii. ISRAEL MAYFIELD, b. 09 April 1804, Knox County KY; d. 08 January 1869, Whitley County KY.
viii. WILLIAM MAYFIELD, b. 17 August 1806, Knox County KY; m. DARCUS MEADOWS, 09 May 1826, Whitley County KY.
Generation No. 3
3. JACOB3 MAYFIELD (MARTHA (PATSY) ANN2 PREWITT, DAVID1) was born Abt. 1796 in Tennessee, and died Abt. 1871 in Wayne County KY. He married LETITIA T. _____ 1816. She was born Abt. 1796 in Tennessee, and died Aft. 1880.
Notes for JACOB MAYFIELD
The 1860 and 1870 Federal Census Reports for Wayne County KY both indicate that Jacob was born in South Carolina. If true, then Jacob's parents, Israel and Patsy Mayfield, must have briefly resided in that state, sometime during the late 1795 to early 1799 time frame.
Jacob Mayfield's will, dated 28 November 1865,was probated in Wayne County KY on 23 September 1875. In the will, Jacob mentions his mother Martha A. Moss, his wife Letitia T. Mayfield, his son William Mayfield, his son-in-law Wesley New, and his son Israel Mayfield. Also, Israel Mayfield is named as the executor (See Wayne County KY, Will Book A, page 219.)
However, Jacob must have died a few years earlier than the year 1875 - the year that his will was entered into probate. In a deed dated 30 August 1871, William Mayfield of Wayne County KY, son of Jacob, sells his interest in the estate of "Jacob Mayfield, deceased" to a certain James Thompson. [See Wayne County KY, Deed Book R, page 499.] Also, the last year that the Wayne County KY tax lists show Jacob as a taxpayer is for 1871. In 1872, the only Mayfield listed for Wayne County is Jacob's son, William Mayfield.
Jacob's year of birth is estimated to be 1796 based on the information contained the the 1860 and 1870 Federal Census Reports for Wayne County KY.; in those reports, Jacob's age is stated to be 64 years and 74 years respectively.
Notes for LETITIA T. _____
Some Mayfield researchers have stated that Letitia's maiden name was Pleasants; however, I have not yet found any documentary evidence to support that assertion.
The 1880 Federal Census for Wayne County KY indicates that Letitia T. Mayfield was living in the household of her son Israel Mayfield and that her age, as of the date of the Census, was 84 years! This fact indicates that Letitia must have been born in about the year 1796. The 1890 Census is no longer extant and I cannot find Letitia Mayfield in the Soundex for the 1900 KY Census.
Children of JACOB MAYFIELD and LETITIA _____ are:
i. ISRAEL BRAZIL4 MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1818; d. Bef. 1900; m. ELIZABETH WALLS, 24 November 1847, Pulaski County KY; b. Abt. 1822; d. Aft. 1900.
ii. SARAH MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1822.
iii. ISAAC MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1824.
Isaac is the twin brother of Philip Mayfield.
iv. PHILIP MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1824.
Philip is the twin brother of Isaac Mayfield.
v. JAMES MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1827.
vi. MARTHA (PATSY) MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1829.
vii. ELIZABETH MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1830.
viii. JEMIMA MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1832.
ix. WILLIAM MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1834.
x. MARY (POLLY) ANN MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1836.
4. ISAAC3 MAYFIELD (MARTHA (PATSY) ANN2 PREWITT, DAVID1) was born 09 April 1804 in Knox County KY, and died Aft. 1860. He married (1) MARGARET SOUDER 22 August 1827 in Whitley County KY. She died Bef. August 1828 in Whitley County KY. He married (2) MARGARET (PEGGY) SNYDER 23 August 1828 in Whitley County KY, daughter of PETER SNYDER and OLIVIA SEXTON. She was born Abt. 1803 in Virginia, and died Aft. 1880.
Notes for ISAAC MAYFIELD:
Isaac is the twin brother of Israel Mayfield (1804-1869).
Child of ISAAC MAYFIELD and MARGARET SOUDER is:
i. GREEN B.4 MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1828; m. ELLENDER MAHAWN, 04 April 1850, Whitley County KY; b. Abt. 1833.
Children of ISAAC MAYFIELD and MARGARET SNYDER are:
ii. WILLIAM4 MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1833, Whitley County KY; d. 15 April 1855, Whitley County KY.
William Mayfield's death is recorded in the Vital Statistics for Whitley County KY for the year 1855; cause of death is listed as a "cold!"
iii. PETER FRANKLIN MAYFIELD, b. 01 April 1835, Whitley County KY; d. 05 February 1922, Whitley County KY; m. (1) MAHALIA WHITE, 01 August 1859; b. Abt. 1841; d. Bef. July 1874; m. (2) RACHEL SAMANTHA SMITH, 10 July 1874, Whitley County KY; b. 16 August 1856, Whitley County KY; d. 12 October 1944, Whitley County KY.
iv. HANNAH SAMARITAN MAYFIELD, b. 30 March 1839, Whitley County KY; d. 12 January 1910, Whitley County KY; m. NATHANIEL JAMES SMITH, 01 September 1859, Whitley County KY; b. 10 March 1839, Whitley County KY; d. 22 August 1927, Whitley County KY.
v. JESTON MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1843, Whitley County KY; d. 10 February 1923, Oklahoma City OK; m. CYRENIUS (RENE) WAITE SMITH, 26 September 1859, Whitley County KY; b. 03 June 1833, Whitley County KY; d. 14 May 1893, Oklahoma Territory.
Jeston Mayfield is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Oklahoma City OK.
vi. JAYNE MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1845.
vii. JOHN (JACK) MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1847.
viii. MARTHA MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1849.
5. ISRAEL3 MAYFIELD (MARTHA (PATSY) ANN2 PREWITT, DAVID1) was born 09 April 1804 in Knox County KY, and died 08 January 1869 in Whitley County KY. He married HANNAH SNYDER 17 February 1825 in Whitley County KY, daughter of PETER SNYDER and OLIVIA SEXTON. She was born 25 February 1805, and died 08 April 1863 in Whitley County KY.
Notes for ISRAEL MAYFIELD:
Israel is the twin brother of Isaac Mayfield (1804 - aft. 1860).
Both Israel Mayfield and his wife, Hannah Snyder Mayfield, are buried in White Oak Church Cemetery, Whitley County KY.
Children of ISRAEL MAYFIELD and HANNAH SNYDER are:
i. LOUISA4 MAYFIELD, b. 13 December 1825; d. Abt. 1868; m. GEORGE W. TYE, 21 December 1852, Whitley County KY; b. 02 February 1829; d. Abt. 1867.
ii. JOHN MARTIN MAYFIELD, b. 13 November 1827, Whitley County KY; d. 25 July 1909, Acorn, Pulaski County KY; m. (1) ELIZABETH MALINDA JONES, 09 December 1847, Whitley County KY; d. Bef. 1863; m. (2) HEPSIA CAROLINE HARPER, Abt. 1863, Whitley County KY; b. 09 July 1832; d. 21 April 1917, Pulaski County KY.
Both John Martin Mayfield and his wife, Hepsia Caroline Harper Mayfield, are buried in Acorn Cemetery, Pulaski County KY
iii. FREDERICK MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1830; d. Abt. 1863, Vicksburg MS.
iv. MARGARET (PEGGY) MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1832.
v. JACOB H. MAYFIELD, b. 1835, Whitley County KY; d. Abt. 1898, Whitley County KY; m. MARIAH BARNETT, 09 September 1857, Whitley County KY; b. Abt. 1838.
Jacob H. Mayfield is buried in Ryans Cemetery, Whitley County KY. His tombstone indicates that he was a Sgt. in Company F, 16th KY Infantry.
vi. MARTHA MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1839.
vii. WILLIAM F. MAYFIELD, b. Abt. 1842.