William Randolph Mayfield and his wife Sarah Amanda Davis ca. 1900.

Mayfield Family Genealogy

Tombstone of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838), Revolutionary War Veteran.

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Land Fraud at Mayfield's Station

By Phil Norfleet



Jean Jorgensen, a descendant of James Mayfield (d. 1780),  has graciously provided me with a copy of the surviving papers from a lawsuit brought in the Jefferson County KY, Court of Chancery by a certain Israel Mayfield.  The Kentucky State Archives reference for this lawsuit is Jefferson County, Case Number 172, Year 1808.  The lawsuit is of genealogical importance in that it provides primary evidence that Micajah Mayfield, Jr. and Southerland Mayfield of Jefferson County were the sons of Micajah Mayfield, Sr. (1748-1838).    My analysis of this case is presented in the following paragraphs.

On 18 October 1808, a Bill of Complaint was filed in the Chancery Court of Jefferson County, Kentucky by a certain Israel Mayfield.  In the Complaint, Israel accused Micajah Mayfield, Sr. of Jefferson County and his two sons, Micajah, Jr. and Southerland Mayfield of having fraudulently sold a 100-acre tract of land in Williamson County, Tennessee to him for $800.  The tract was purportedly a part of the 640-acre preemption grant posthumously awarded to Micajah's father, James Mayfield (d. 1780), by the North Carolina State Legislature in 1784.  This same 640-acre tract was near the site upon which Southerland Mayfield built Mayfield's Station in the late 1780's. The purpose of this short article is to briefly examine the official land records and other pertinent events associated with the establishment and disposition of this 640 acre grant and access the validity of Israel Mayfield's Complaint.


The Protagonists

Israel Mayfield:

I have no hard evidence as to the identity of Israel Mayfield; however, my conjecture is that he was the same Israel Mayfield (ca. 1770-1812) who abandoned his wife and family in Knox County KY in about 1806. Court records from Williamson County TN indicate that Israel was dead by the year 1812.  Family legend indicates that he was a gambler who kept a stable of race horses; he ultimately settled in Natchez-Under-the-Hill, the Red Light District adjoining the town of Natchez, Mississippi!  Israel apparently never returned to his wife.

In a letter dated 28 February 1933, Jacob Nelson Mayfield, a great-grandson of Israel Mayfield, had this to say concerning his legendary great-grandfather:

... My great-grandfather, Israel Mayfield and his brother Jacob  came from Virginia or Tennessee, I have forgotten which state , and settled in Whitley County, Kentucky. They had other brothers who came to Kentucky but I do not know their names.  My great-grandfather, Israel, lived at Joefields, now Wooodbine, near Corbin, Kentucky.  He at one time owned most of the land in that district.  He constructed and managed a race track there; He kept race horses and men came from Virginia, Tennessee and the old settlements [of] the Blue Grass Region, to run their horses on this track.  Later, great-grandfather Israel built a flatboat on the Cumberland River, put his race horses and other effects on it and moved downstream to Natchez, Mississippi.  At his death, he owned either Natchez-on- the Hill or Natchez-under-the Hill, I have forgotten which.  He was wealthy when he died [in] about 1835.  His estate was never settled or adjusted because he was separated from his wife who remained in Kentucky.  She was exceedingly unreasonable about the matter and would never go nor authorize anyone else to go and see about the settlement of the estate.  She lived to the age of 115 years.  Members of our branch of the family have always believed that there is considerable property in Natchez, Mississippi that rightly belongs to us.  It has been said that great-grandfather moved to Mississippi because he had relatives at or near Natchez.  I have forgotten my great-grandmother's name, also when and where she was married.

Great-grandfather's brother, Jacob, left Whitley County, Kentucky and moved to Indiana.  I resided in Texas County, Missouri from 1885 until the autumn of 1888.  While there, I got acquainted with one of the sons of great-uncle Jacob.  The sons name was John Mayfield.  He came to Missouri from Indiana.  He was 75 or 80 years old at that time.  I do not know his wife's name nor where they were married. ...

My review of the official records of both Kentucky and Tennessee indicates that there are several errors in Jacob Nelson Mayfield's account concerning his legendary great-grandfather, Israel Mayfield.  The official records provide the following documented facts concerning this Israel Mayfield:

1)  Israel married his wife, Martha (Patsy) Ann Prewitt, in Jefferson County TN on 02 November 1795.  Martha was the daughter of David Prewitt and his wife Elizabeth Parrott.

2)  The couple lived in Green County TN for several years, where Israel was a constable.

 3)  In about 1803, Israel and his wife, along with the family of his father-in-law, David Prewitt, removed to Knox County, Kentucky.  Israel and his father-in-law both settle on the north bank of the Cumberland River in an area that was then part of Knox County.  In 1818, this area would become part of the newly formed County of Whitley.  On 01 August 1803, Israel receives a Certificate for 400 acres of land on " ... on the north side of Cumberland River, beginning on Henry Saunders upper corner ... ." [See Knox County KY Order Book A, page 94.]  On 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.]  W

4)  In 1804, Israel is appointed as the Knox County jailor.  That same year. he is granted permission to keep a tavern in the town of Barbourville.

5)  In 1805, Israel is granted permission to " ... keep an orderly house of entertainment. ... "

6)  In 1804-1805, Israel is involved in four lawsuits - three as a plaintiff and one as a defendant.

7)  In May 1806, a certain Arthur Neel is appointed as Knox County jailor.   It would appear that Israel Mayfield had left Knox County by this time.  The last mention of Israel in the official records of Knox County is in July 1805, when he mentioned as the plaintiff in a lawsuit.  It is reasonable to conclude that Israel removed from Knox County some time in the early part of 1806.  His name never again appears in the official records of either Knox or Whitley Counties.  The records further indicate that Israel's wife and children remained in Kentucky.

8)  There is primary evidence obtained from certain court records that this Israel Mayfield was dead by October 1812:

a) From the minutes of the Knox County KY Court 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.

b) 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 plaintiff sustained damages by reason of detention of debt to $13.49. That 24 pounds, 13 shillings Kentucky money is equal to $82.16. Therefore plaintiff 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 was dead at the time of the above cited jury trial (October 1812).

9)  The Knox County KY tax records indicate that, in addition to Israel, there was another Mayfield living in the County named John Mayfield - no one named Jacob Mayfield appears in any of the Knox County records at this early time frame.  I consider it quite possible that Jacob Nelson Mayfield got the name of Israel's brother wrong; the brother's name being John and not Jacob.  The 1810 Federal Census data implies that this John Mayfield was in the same age group as Israel Mayfield, had a wife, plus three sons and one daughter.  This same John Mayfield also appears in the tax records for Knox County KY from 1806 through 1811; John is listed for the poll tax but no land ownership is indicated.  John Mayfield's listing in the 1810 Federal Census for Knox County is as follows:

White Males Under Age 10


White Males Age 16 to 26


White Males Age 26 to 45


White Females Under Age 10


White Females Age 26 to 45


Jacob Mayfield, Son of Israel:  

The official records of Kentucky strongly indicate that Israel's eldest son was named Jacob (1796-1871).  In 1808 Jacob would have been a minor and only about 12 years old. The 1808 deed made out to Jacob by Micajah Mayfield, states that he was then a resident of Dickson County TN. If true, this would indicate that Jacob may have left KY with his father. Further research in Dickson County will have to be made to see if there is any further evidence of Israel or Jacob Mayfield in that county.  The first mention of this Jacob Mayfield in any official record, that I can find, is in the Knox County poll tax for 1817, indicating that, at some point prior to 1817, he must have returned to live with his mother.  Jacob ultimately removed to Wayne County KY where he died in about the year 1871.

Jacob's mother, Martha (also known as Patsey), resided with Jacob in her old age.  The last reference to Martha in any official record, that I have been able to find, is in the 1870 Federal Census for Wayne County KY, which 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.  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.

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!   I could find no reference to anyone named Martha A. Moss in the 1880 Federal Census for Wayne County KY; I consider it probable that she died sometime before 1880.  Another source, genealogist Sally Silvers Batts, indicates that Martha lived to be about 100 years old; if true, this would place her death in about the year 1875.

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 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.

Micajah Mayfield, Senior (1748-1838):

Micajah Mayfield, Senior's life is outlined in a biographical sketch that is appended to this web site as follows:

Biographical Sketch of Micajah Mayfield

I do not like to believe that Micajah Mayfield, Sr. was explicitly involved in a land fraud, even though this is certainly a possibility. However, I'm not so sure about the ethics of his two sons, Southerland and Micajah, Jr.

Micajah Mayfield, Junior:  

Micajah, Jr. (ca. 1786-1823), who was also known as Catesby Mayfield, appears to have been in almost chronic financial difficulty - the reason he started to go by the name of Catesby was to confound his creditors! In 1814, he even went to the extent of deeding all of his personal property to his father-in-law, Catesby Young (father of Micajah's first wife, Leathy Young) so that his creditors could not get their hands on the property.  I have the following notes in my files concerning Micajah, Jr.:

1) The first appearance of this Micajah Mayfield in the official records is in the tax lists of Jefferson County KY for the year 1807. He continues in the tax lists through the year 1822 (the year of his death). From the year 1818 forward he is listed under the nickname of "Catesby" Mayfield.

2) The name Catesby was apparently adopted from the name of the father of his first wife Leathy Young, i. e., Catesby Young. For further details see notes 6) and 7) below.

3) Micajah (Catesby) Mayfield's first appearance in the 1807 Jefferson County Tax List was for the poll tax, thus indicating that he had reached the age of 21 years. Accordingly, his year of birth must have been about 1786.

4) A careful study of the court records of both Jefferson and Shelby Counties KY firmly establishes the fact that Micajah Mayfield, Jr. and Catesby Mayfield were one and the same person. [See Jefferson County KY, Inventory and Settlement Book 4, page 332; Probate Records of Micajah/Catesby Mayfield at Shelby County KY; and a Jefferson County Chancery (Circuit) Court lawsuit (Hord vs Dorsey), Bundle 1323, filed in March 1826.]

5) Micajah/Catesby Mayfield apparently died on or shortly before 30 November 1822 based on the following Jefferson County Court record:

"We the undersignees appointed by order of the Jefferson County Court to settle the accounts, etc. of Cates B. Mayfield late guardian of John Thomas Pickett and Julian Pickett do report ... It appears that Mayfield was appointed Guardian on the 11th Oct 1819 and died on the 30 Nov 1822 making a little more than three years. ... " [See Jefferson County KY Inventory Book 5, page 166.] 

Comment: Catesby Mayfield's second wife was Sarah Pickett, the widow of John Pickett. Catesby Mayfield had been appointed as the guardian of Sarah's two minor children by her marriage with Pickett, i. e., John Thomas Pickett and Julian Pickett.

6) The following excerpt is taken from the deposition of Robert C. Hord in a lawsuit brought against the heirs of Catesby Mayfield in March 1826:

" ... This respondent further states that said Mayfield died possessed of a Negro boy named Preston, alias Bob, a yellow boy the son of a Negro woman named Matilda who was given to said Mayfield by Cates B. Young, the father of said Mayfield's first wife, and that said Mayfield for the purpose of defeating and defrauding, hindering and delaying his creditors, pretended to have made a sale of said woman Matilda to said Young and still retained her in his possession. Said woman who after said pretended sale had said boy and died, the boy remaining in said Mayfield's possession until said Mayfield's death. ... " [See Jefferson County Chancery Court, Bundle Number 1323.]

7) The above deposition is supported by the existence of an indenture, dated 4 January 1814, whereby Micajah Mayfield conveyed his personal property to Catesby Young as follows:

"Know all men by these presents that Micajah Mayfield of Jefferson County, State of Kentucky has this day sold and by these presents doth grant bargain & sell unto Catesby Young of Shelby County and State aforesaid the following property, viz. one Negro girl named Matildah, two horses, six head of cattle, twelve head of hogs, two beds and furniture and the whole of my household and kitchen furniture, one loom, all my farming utensils, etc. for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars same in hand paid the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and do hereby bind myself my heirs and to forever defend the said property against the claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever. As witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed my seal this 4th January 1814. ... " [See Shelby County KY Deed Book L, Page 436.]

Southerland Mayfield (1785-1862):

 Southerland Mayfield's life is outlined in a separate biographical sketch that is appended to this web site as follows:

Link to Biographical Sketch of Southerland Mayfield (1785-1862)


Bill of Complaint

I have transcribed the Bill of Complaint brought by Israel Mayfield, dated 18 October 1808, as follows:

“To the Honorable the Judges of the Jefferson County Circuit Court in Chancery Sitting, humbly and complacently sheweth unto your Honors, Your Orator Israel Mayfield:  That some time in the month of July 1808, Your Orator had some conversation with Southerland Mayfield and his brother Micajah Mayfield, whom Your orator prays may be made Deponents hereto, respecting the purchase of part of a tract of land lying in the State of Tennessee on the waters of Mill Creek, which they represented to your Orator as the property of Micajah Mayfield their father, who is likewise made a Deponent hereto.

“Your Orator further shews that at the time the above representation was made, they exhibited to Your Orator a bond which they said was made by their father Micajah Mayfield binding himself to make to the said Southerland & Micajah Junior, a Deed of Conveyance for 100 acres of land lying in the State of Tennessee in the County of Williamson and on the waters of Mill Creek.  Your Orator would further shew that having a son, Jacob Mayfield, living in Tennessee, he wished to purchase the said 100 acres of land for him, and accordingly bargained with the said Southerland & Micajah, Junr. for the said 100 acres of land situated as aforesaid and on the same day that the bargain was made, Your Orator paid to the said Southerland & Micajah Junr. $400 in good cash bonds assigned by Your Orator and four geldings valued at $400 amounting in all to $800.  That a few days after this, Your Orator applied to the two brothers for a deed of conveyance for the above land, and Southerland persuaded (?) his father Micajah to sign and acknowledge the deed herewith filed and referred to as a part of this Bill, purporting to be a conveyance to Your Orator’s son Jacob by the said Micajah, Sr. of 100 acres of land lying and being in the County of Williamson and State of Tennessee on the head waters of Mill Creek, patented in the name of James Mayfield.

“Your Orator would further shew, that immediately on receiving the said deed, he went to the State of Tennessee to view the land which he had purchased (for Your Orator had not before seen the land but had heard it … ) but when Your Orator got …

“That the Said Sneed shewed to Your Orator a Deed of Conveyance made to him the said Sneed by George Mayfield. John Mayfield, James Mayfield, John Champ and Robert Sconce, who had the 2nd day of June 1806, received a deed of conveyance from the said Micajah Mayfield Sr. for a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Williamson in the State of Tennessee on the waters of Mill Creek containing 380 acres, being the balance of a survey of 640 acres more or less made and patented in the name of James Mayfield.  A copy of which deed is herewith filed and referenced to as part of this Bill.

Your Orator would state that neither the said James Mayfield nor Micajah Mayfield, Sr. never was entitled to or owned any other or more land in the State of Tennessee beside the said 640 acres above mentioned.  And that prior to the 11th of July 1806, the said Micajah Mayfield, Sr. had sold all his right and title in and to the said 640 acres.  Your Orator would further shew that previous to the sale of the said 100 acres … he has understood and believes that the said Southerland and Micajah Junr. had purchased the said land of their father and that the said Southerland had visited the State of Tennessee for the purposes of appertaining the situation of the said land.  When discovering the facts of the above mentioned previous sale by his father of the entire tract, he returned to this State where the defendants all reside and threatened to sue his father for the purchase money.  Your Orator wanted to … all which acting and doings of the said defendants are contrary to Equity and good conscience and  … to the manifest injury of Your Orator.

“In under consideration whereof and for as much as Your Orator is without a remedy in the process by the strict remedy of the Common Law and the only remedy available is in equity when matters of this nature are properly cognizable to the end therefore, that the said Deponents may respectively full true perfect and direct answer …”  

Unfortunately, the outcome of the above cited lawsuit is unknown.  The Answer, if any, made by the defendants is not among the surviving papers.  The only other documents in the lawsuit packet are orders to the Sheriffs of both Jefferson and Shelby Counties to apprehend the defendants and require their appearance in court.  The reply of the Sheriffs was that the defendants could not be found in their bailiwicks.  Indeed it is quite possible that the defendants were never located by the authorities nor made to appear in court!

A careful analysis of all the pertinent events affecting the 640-acre preemption grant made to James Mayfield (d. 1780) suggests how the 100-acre discrepancy, cited by Israel Mayfield above, may have come about.  I have prepared a chronology of the events that I consider significant to this matter.


Significant Events Chronology

13 July 1780:  James Mayfield and four of his sons (Isaac, Elijah, Elisha and James) are discharged from George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Regiment, at the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville), Kentucky.  Another son of James, Micajah Mayfield, remains with the Illinois Regiment until 31 March 1783.

Late July or Early August 1780:  James Mayfield, his wife Ellender, and his son Isaac, migrate to the Cumberland Settlements.  James Mayfield and his wife settle near Eaton’s Station.

August 1780:  James Mayfield is killed, probably by a Delaware Indian raiding party.  This death of James Mayfield is mentioned in one of the early histories of Tennessee. Judge John Haywood, in his famous book entitled The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee (first published in 1823), at page 125, says the following when discussing the events of the year 1780:

" ... Soon afterward a party of Indians, supposed to be Delawares, killed Jonathan Jennings at the point of the first island above Nashville, in July or August. At Eaton's Station they killed James Mayfield, and at the same place, which is on the north side of the Cumberland River, a man by the name of Porter was shot by the Indians in the cedars, in view of the station, ... "

1783:  Davidson County is formed out of Washington County, North Carolina.

April 1784:  The Law of Primogeniture is abolished in North Carolina.  Under the new law, in the case of intestate death, the deceased’s real property is to be equally divided among all of the deceased’s surviving male heirs (sons).

10 May 1784:  The North Carolina Legislature passes an “Act for the Relief of Sundry Petitioners Inhabitants of Davidson County Whose Names Are Therein Mentioned.”  By this Act, James Mayfield was posthumously granted a tract of 640 acres in Davidson County.  His son, Isaac Mayfield was also granted a 640-acre tract.  These lands were granted without the grantees “ … being obliged to pay any price for the same.  Provided that every person receiving such grant shall pay the surveyors and other fees of office.”  [See Laws of North Carolina – 1784, Chapter LVIII.]

08 September 1784:  Micajah Mayfield of Jefferson County VA grants power of attorney to his brother, Isaac Mayfield, of Davidson County NC with respect to Micajah’s interest in the 640-acre tract of land granted posthumously to their father, James Mayfield.  Isaac is to keep one hundred (100) acres for himself and to equitably divide the remainder of Micajah’s share between their younger brothers, Elijah and Elisha.

03 March 1785:  A 640-acre tract is surveyed for James Mayfield by John Buchanan D. S. in consequence of Warrant Number 245.  Land is located on the head of the west fork of Mill Creek in Davidson County.

04 March 1788:  Land Grant Number 101 is issued to James Mayfield for the 640-acre tract cited above.  [See Davidson County NC, Deed Book A, page 145.]

10 March 1789:  Sutherland Mayfield and his son, William, are killed by Creek Indians;  another son, George Mayfield, is taken captive.  [See Judge John Haywood’s book entitled Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee, pages 248-249; and the Deposition of Benjamin Joselin, dated 27 January 1824, from the Loose Court Records of Williamson County TN.]

December 1789:  The land that today forms the State of Tennessee is ceded (for the second time) to the United States by North Carolina.

May 1790:  The United States Congress designates the area received from North Carolina as the “Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio.” Wealthy North Carolina planter and land speculator, William Blount, is appointed territorial governor.  This area remains a territory until 1796 when the region enters the Union as the State of Tennessee.

26 May 1790:  Isaac Mayfield of Davidson County conveys to George, John and James Mayfield [surviving male heirs of Sutherland Mayfield] a tract of land containing 480 acres in Davidson County on the waters of Mill Creek adjoining the land of Thomas Denton, William Overall and John Henderson. [See Davidson County Deed Book B, page 125.]

Comment:  Since Sutherland Mayfield had already commenced construction of Mayfield’s Station on this same land, prior to his death on 10 March 1789, he undoubtedly had already reached an understanding with his brother, Isaac Mayfield, to acquire said land.  Accordingly, Isaac sold the land to Sutherland’s legal heirs (his surviving sons) per the deed cited above.  After this sale, only 160 acres remained of the original 640-acre preemption grant of James Mayfield.

1795:  The law pertaining to intestate death is revised in North Carolina.  Under the revised law, in the case of intestate death, the deceased’s real property is to be equally divided among all of the deceased’s surviving children (both sons and daughters).

01 June 1796:  The “Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio” enters the Union as the State of Tennessee.

October 1799:  Micajah Mayfield of Jefferson County KY conveys to John Shomate of Davidson County TN a tract of land containing 160 acres on the waters of Little Harpeth adjoining the lands of Richard Hightower and Thomas Denton.  [See Davidson County TN Deed Book E, page 237.]

Comment:  This 160-acre tract is the last remaining portion of the 640-acre preemption grant given to James Mayfield (480 + 160 = 640).

26 October 1799:  Williamson County is formed out of Davidson County TN.  The 640-acre tract of land posthumously granted to James Mayfield falls within the boundaries of this new county.

1803:  Dickson County TN is formed out of Montgomery and Robertson Counties.

01 June 1806:  Micajah Mayfield of Jefferson County KY conveys to George Mayfield, John Mayfield, James Mayfield, John Champ (husband of Polly Mayfield, daughter of Sutherland Mayfield), and Robert Sconce (husband of Jenny Mayfield, daughter of Sutherland Mayfield), for $1.00, a tract of land in Williamson County TN containing 380 acres lying on the waters of Mill Creek being the “balance of a survey of 640-acres made and patented in the name of James Mayfield.”  Micajah signs the deed by making his mark.  [See Williamson County TN Deed Book A-2, pages 410-411.]

Comment:  It is unclear to me why this deed was created.  This 380-acre tract is very clearly a part of the 480-acre tract that Isaac Mayfield conveyed to George, John and James Mayfield (surviving sons of Sutherland Mayfield) on 26 May 1790.  Apparently the legality of the Isaac Mayfield transaction was considered questionable and Micajah Mayfield was requested to issue the instant deed to eliminate any possible legal challenge.  Also, since the law of intestate estates had been changed in 1795 to include the daughters of the deceased, the daughters of Sutherland Mayfield (Polly and Jenny) are also cited in the Micajah Mayfield deed via their husbands, John Champ and Robert Sconce, respectively.  Since this deed is for 380 acres not 480, Micajah Mayfield (who was illiterate) may have formed the impression that he still owned the other 100 acres that his deceased brother, Isaac Mayfield, had tried to convey in 1790.  However, when Micajah had provided a power of attorney to his brother, Isaac Mayfield, back in 1784, he had stated that Isaac was to have 100 acres of the 640 acres.  Accordingly, 100 acres of the 480-acre conveyance was apparently considered legally the property of Isaac and did not require another deed of conveyance from Micajah.  The confusion over the status of this remaining 100 acres probably led to Micajah’s attempted sale of the 100 aces to Israel Mayfield in 1808 and the subsequent lawsuit (see below).

1807:  James Mayfield, son of Sutherland Mayfield, dies intestate in Williamson County TN;  his brother, John, is named as the administrator of his estate.

11 July 1808:  Micajah Mayfield of Shelby County KY conveys to Jacob Mayfield of Dickson County TN, for $800, a tract of land “situate lying and being in the County of Williamson and State of Tennessee on the waters of Mill Creek, patented in the name of James Mayfield.  Beginning at an elm in Thomas Henderson’s East boundary and North West corner of said Mayfield’s Station tract … containing one hundred acres.”  The deed was signed by mark – a large “M.” The deed was recorded in Shelbyville KY, upon the oath of Micajah Mayfield, also on 11 July 1808.  [See Shelby County KY, Deed Book I, pages 156-157.]

18 October 1808:  Israel Mayfield files a Bill of Complaint in Jefferson County Chancery Court against Southerland Mayfield, Micajah Mayfield, Jr. and Micajah Mayfield, Sr. (for the transcript see above).

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