Dr. Kenneth B. Jaggears
Much has been written locally about Nathan Bedford Forrest
because he had a huge impact on the history of Etowah County.
Not much, as far as I know, has been written about his lineage.
I think this should be of interest to us because some of us may
be related to him, if for no other reason. His ancestors were in
Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi and so were
ours. We see some of these surnames around us today.
The information I am compiling here is taken from a
submission to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by
Mrs. Lee Ellen Morris of Walla Walla, Washington in 1995. I have
not verified it, but she was a prolific researcher in the 1990's
Nathan Bedford Forrest was born 13 July 1821 at Chapel
Hill, Bedford County, Tennessee. His father was William
Forrest and his mother was the former Miriam Beck.
William died in Tippah County, Mississippi in 1837. They had six
sons and three daughters. Nathan Forrest's brothers were:
John N. Forrest, next in age to Nathan. He was in the
Mexican War and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery. (This is probably
a Mississippi cemetery.)
Aaron, who commanded a regiment and died of pneumonia in
West Tennessee in 1864.
Jessie, who was lieutenant colonel of a regiment and was
disabled by wounds inflicted in a battle.
William H., who was a captain and is buried at Elmwood.
Jeffery, who was the youngest son and who was born after
his father's death. He was a colonel and was commissioned a
brigadier general at age 26. He was killed at the Battle of
Okolona before his commission came through. He died 22 February
1864 and is buried at Elmwood.
Nathan had three sisters. All of them died in infancy. His
sister, Fanny, was his twin.
Six years after William Forrest's death, Miriam married
Joseph Luxton. They had three sons and a daughter.
Nathan Bedford Forrest married Mary Ann Montgomery, 25
September 1845, at Hernando, Mississippi. They had one son,
William Montgomery Forrest, and one daughter, Fannie Ann
William Montgomery Forrest was born in 1846 and died in 1908 in
He married Jane Taylor Cook, daughter of James Cook
and Elvira Darnell. Jane was born 3 February 1847 at
Oxford, Mississippi. William Montgomery and Jane had four
children: Mary Elvira Forrest, Nathan Bedford Forrest,
William Montgomery Forrest, and James Cook Forrest, who died
in 1878 at age four.
Mary Elvira Forrest married Thomas Jessye Bradley 17
February 1892. He died in 1918, and she died in 1965. They had
five children: William Forrest Bradley, Kathleen Forrest
Bradley, Nell Bradley, Cecil Taylor Bradley, and Thomas Jessye
Nathan Bedford Forrest's grandfather was married to Nancy
Baugh. He was born in North Carolina, and he and Nancy
migrated to Tennessee.
Nathan Bedford Forrest's great grandfather was Shadrach
Forrest, who moved from Virginia to Orange County, North
Carolina. Shadrach's wife's name was Jane
Shadrach's parents were William Forrest and Lavenia
Gresham. They had 11 children.
This William's parents were James Forrest and Ann
Ashley. They had four known sons and a daughter, Ann,
who married John Manning. James and Ann were in Orange
County, North Carolina when James' will was probated in 1755.
General Nathan Bedford Forrest died 29 October 1877 in Memphis,
COMMENT: It would be a shame to give up the memory of
this man who played such a key role in the history of this area.
Whether one likes him or not, THIS IS HISTORY, and it
should be preserved.
Kenneth B. Jaggears
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