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Daniel Small

Also Known As: "smalley/"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Virgina
Death: 1838 (66)
Immediate Family:

Son of Matthew Small and Jane Small
Husband of Mary Small (Hutchings)
Father of Andrew Jackson Small; Alexander Small; Narsissa Small; Minerva Kizer; Willis Reddick Small and 3 others
Brother of Rebecca Small; Alexander Small, Sr.; John Small; Thomas Henderson Small; William Small and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Daniel Small

On 27 Nov 1797 when Daniel was 25, he married Mary HUTCHINGS, daughter of Colonel Thomas HUTCHINGS Senior (1750-Sep 1804) & Catherine DONELSON (1752-1835), in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Born on 23 Feb 1775 in Virginia. At the age of 70, Mary died in Henderson County, Tennessee on 5 Jan 1846. Buried in Jan 1846 in Kizer Cemetery, Wildersville, Henderson County, Tennessee. Alias/AKA: "Polly".

They had the following children: 2 i. Andrew Jackson (1798-1850) 3 ii. Alexander (1806-1856)

My Daniel SMALL came down the Cumberland River as a 7 yr old boy, With John Donelson's Flotilla of settlers. He later Married Mary Hutchings, Daughter of Thomas Hutchings. (There is a neat story of Mary and her quilt on Jim's Web site.) The Hutchings family was part of the Donelson party as well. I still have not been able to confirm from what SMALL line he (Daniel) was from. In the late 1800s, at the turn of the Century, he was listed as a son of Matthew SMALL of Pittsylvania County, VA, by a family researcher who was meticulous but unfortunately she kept no sources with her information. Sources weren't a big deal to family record keepers back in the 1800s. Daniel SMALL was born in Pittsylvania CO, VA in 1772.

His father was a ship owner, and made trips between America and the old world. Their children were Daniel, Willis Reddick, Alexander, Ragsdale Wilson, Andrew and Elizabeth, and Minerva. Elizabeth Hutchings married Mr Bryant. Jennie (Jean) never married.

From Richard Paddock, USA, ret.,


I no longer continue to chase after more information on my ancestor Daniel Small, and in particular, who his parents were and how he died. I still haven't found anything concrete about his parents and unless someone turns up something deep in the bowels of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) , a Virginia CO courthouse, or something buried in a trunk in some attic, I seriously doubt I'll ever know for sure who were his ancestors. Matthew Small, Thomas Hutchings, and John Donelson lived in the same area of Pittsylvania (And later Henry CO in the case of the Smalls, which was created out of Pittsylvania ) CO. In the process of pondering, I have formed a few more assumptions about his life as I have been turning my notes into a narrative.

I have never been able to prove Daniel was a son of Matthew Small. He is not listed as a son in the Hervey Small Bible. Daniel Small is listed as an off-spring of Matthew Small in LDS records but like any other source, there are errors in LDS records. It is possible that Daniel was an illegitimate kid or adopted by Matthew. My best theory as of now is that it's likely that Daniel was a son of one of Matthew's siblings, namely a mysterious William Small. I say mysterious because I am only aware of one mention of him: Fothergill and Naugle published, "Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87: Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau" (Richmond, 1940), which contains lists of taxpaying heads of households. Their principal source for each county is the earliest surviving state personal property tax list. The personal property tax returns, most of which begin in 1782, are also in the Library of Virginia and have been microfilmed. Listed in the Henry CO records for 1782 are John, Matthew and William Small. I think this William was a brother of the the other two, or a cousin. This William was not the William, son of Matthew Small. That William would only have been 13 in 1782. Perhaps he had children or at least a son, named Daniel. Maybe something happened to cause him to give up Daniel to the custody of Thomas Hutchings or a member of the Donelson family. William is not listed in the 1787 tax list. I theorize this way because I just can't get over the fact that the Smalls, Hutchings, and Donelsons knew each other in Pittsylvania CO.

Family tradition offers a little information about Daniel. Most of that information comes from the writings of Mary Adeline ("Addie")(Timberlake) McCall and Hugh L. Small.

Addie (Mimi, as she was called by her family) came a generation before Hugh Small. She was able to obtain information orally from several relatives, as she lived most of her life in Carroll CO TN (Hugh went to TX at age 16). Born in Huntington in 1864, the daughter of Edward J. and Louisa H. (Small) Timberlake, of Carroll CO. She married attorney and future Congressman John McCall on Oct. 14, 1885. McCall's father was a Doctor in Carroll CO. She was thus financially well equipped to pursue her family history which she began in 1918 after raising her kids. Addie published her 134 page manuscript in 1936. By the end of WWII, She had compiled about 300 total pages of manuscript but the remainder was never published. She pretty much ended her research due to advancing age. Most of her information was on the Timberlakes but she had some on the Smalls. She employed genealogists and compiled lots of information. Addie McCall died in 1950.

Writing to a cousin from her Huntington home in 1946, She reflected, "Glad to get your letter and the data it contained. This data will go into my genealogy book of more than 300 pages. I have 160 pages on Timberlake family all collected since 1918. Besides Timberlake I have history of ten other ancestral lines. Six or seven others I have not been able to complete and reckon I never will. I am 82 years old and almost blind. Will not write any more letters.

Some of my information also comes from "The Small Family Tree", a 47 page history of my Small line. Author was Hugh L. Small, the other family member who had the interest and financial means to pursue his family history. I first learned about his work as a youngster, from my Grandmother Augusta (Augie), who married Hugh's brother Alfred. His history was published by 1957. He died before completing it but other relatives got together and had it printed in hopes others might pursue the ancestry of the Smalls. Hugh too, employed researchers to delve in to the history of the Smalls.

Neither of these histories were complete nor did they contain source records, but they were valuable nonetheless for their treatment of the history of the Smalls. My own interest in genealogy began in 1998 after I rediscovered one of Hugh's histories in a box in my basement. Unfortunately, before the age of the computer, few people pursued ancestral lines because of the expense involved. When research was done, references were seldom used. Thus it is often difficult to distinguish between fact, fiction, and family lore. It's interesting to note while family tradition says Daniel Small had 6 children, A DAR filing for membership, based on Mary (Hutchings) Small, by Louise Cutler in 1988, reflected seven children and that Daniel's father was a ship owner who made several trips across the Atlantic.

Family lore, recorded by Addie McCall, mentions Daniel Small being born in VA about 1772. This means he could have been born in any part of Virginia, North Carolina from 1728 to 1779, any part of Pennsylvania from 1752 to 1786, any part of Tennessee from 1760 to 1803 or all of West Virginia from 1769 to 1863. In December, 1779, Daniel came down the Cumberland with the Donelson party. Also in the flotilla were a family, the Hutchings, among whom was Daniel's future wife, Mary Hutchings. A complete list of the persons who came with the Donelson party does not exist. The only record is that in the journal of John Donelson. It is quite possible that Daniel was in the party. It is estimated that between 200 and 400 people were in the party. The question then becomes, was he with his parents or one parent? Or was he handed off to a member of the Donelson Party for some reason we will never know as I theorized previously?

There is no record of any Small family in Nashville in 1780 or later. I have to assume that if Addie's information was correct, that Daniel at age seven was with a guardian or had been indentured to someone. If he was alone, perhaps he was on the Hutchings/Donelson raft until the Hutchings left The Donelson flotilla for Illinois. I have found no mention of Daniel's early years in Nashville. Perhaps he was a ward of one of the Donelson families until he reached manhood. He certainly was involved enough with the Donelson clan to establish a relationship with his future wife, Mary, after the Hutchings returned to Nashville briefly, before moving on to Hawkins CO.

Daniel's possible status as an orphan, ward, or indentured child reminds me of the book, "Middle Tennessee's Forgotten Children: Apprentices From 1784-1902."

The books description reminds one that:

"The institution of apprenticeship was a common means of providing for the maintenance and future self-reliance of orphaned children as well as for any children whose parents had abandoned them or otherwise refused to support them. Apprenticeship records are ordinarily buried among volumes of original county court minute books. They are nonetheless valuable to genealogists because they establish the existence of young people who might otherwise go undetected in the more conventional genealogical sources." But I digress.

Family lore says Daniel was a land surveyor; he and Mary's grandfather, John Donelson, surveyed much of the land around Nashville and the Cumberland Valley, including the extensive holdings of General Andrew Jackson, and his home, the Hermitage. This is possible but I don't think it is correct. Col John Donelson had sold his surveyor transit in 1779 prior to leading his river expedition by flatboat to the Cumberland district near present-day Nashville. When I visited the TSLA in 2009, I could find no record of Daniel's work as a surveyor. He probably had a basic education, enough to read and write, as he signed documents later in life.

I think he is mentioned with Col John Donelson as an embellishment to add some color to his life. I do believe that he had close ties to the Donelson family and must have done work for some of them. He might well have worked for Mrs. Donelson, doing chores and helping her with the Boarding house she ran after her husband's death. After the unfortunate death of Col John Donelson, Mrs. Donelson was left with few resources for a time. Since it is all her husband left, the widow turned her home into a boarding-house. Her sons were actively involved in land dealings and speculation and it would take a few years for them to regain wealth. Capt John Donelson stayed close to his Mother and saw to her welfare until her death in 1801.

How Daniel may have benefited from his enduring relationship with The Donelson family is evident from a snapshot of the family involvement with Tennessee land speculation. William Blount serves as good example for some background.

In 1776, the settlers of Watauga and Nolachucky petitioned for the protection of North Carolina. The area then became The District of Washington. A year later, the District became Washington CO, essentially the entire state of Tennessee. In 1784, North Carolina ceded western lands to the Federal Government. The State of Franklin was organized. Four years later, the State of Franklin collapsed, and the following year, 1789, North Carolina again ceded western lands, and in 1790 they became a part of the Territory of the United States South of the Ohio River. In 1790, President Washington chose Blount, his old comrade in arms to serve as territorial governor of the trans-Allegheny lands ceded by North Carolina to the new nation in 1789. Thus Blount was appointed to a 3 year term as Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio River (the Southwest Territory). He also appointed Blount to the post of superintendent of Indian affairs for the Southern Department. This was a trumped up title that meant he tried to resolve conflicts between the various tribes and settlers and keep America out of a full-scale Indian war that would cripple the government and probably hand it back over to the British.

These dual responsibilities tested Blount's political abilities to the utmost, forcing him to balance the expansionist interests of the frontier settlers/speculators like the Donelsons against the protectionist policies of the national government toward the Indian tribes. He organized the territorial militia, supervising its training and deploying it in conjunction with the militias of neighboring states to protect settlements and punish roving bands of hostile Indians. This combination of diplomacy and force preserved the peace during a period when the Regular Army's single regiment was fully committed to operations in the Northwest Territory. It also won Blount the respect and support of the settlers pouring into the region. He led Tennessee to full statehood in 1796.

Blount's vast land holdings, virtually ensured that President Washington would appoint him to the all powerful post of territorial governor. Blount saw the position’s potential. “The appointment is truly important to me,” he wrote to a friend, “More so in my opinion than any other in the Gift of the President could have been, the salary is handsome, and my Western lands had become so great an object to me that I should go to the Western Country to secure them and perhaps my presence might have enhanced their value.” Moreover, given his longstanding position that “It is a principle with me never to . . . stand between a friend and a benefit,” Blount’s formal appointment meant that land speculators would come to represent the overwhelming majority of the new territorial government

In 1784, while a member of the North Carolina legislature, Blount, in a letter to Col John Donelson, Joseph Martin, and John Sevier, urged the securing of the lands at the Great Bend of the Tennessee, but the letter continued with advice to open warrant claim bids as low as an eighth of a dollar an acre. The men also were told to create fictional names, in order to get as much land as possible. All these lands thus claimed were later transferred to Blount. The design was, as Blount said, "to get as much land as possible." Usually, surveyors working for Blount decided what were the best ways to do that. Later on as Territorial Governor, rewards for Blount's friends in land dealings were forthcoming; Stockley Donelson became the surveyor for what is now East Tennessee, while Capt. John Donelson (the son) got a similar appointment in the Cumberland (Nashville) area.

So, getting back to Daniel; if indeed he had worked for Widow Donelson, by the 1790s she was no doubt frail with age (dying in 1801) and Capt John Donelson was a wealthy land speculator who perhaps took Daniel under his wing at some point. Daniel did acquire some parcels and that was probably due to his work for one of the sons. I suspect he was an assistant on surveyor parties and worked as a chain carrier or in other capacities for Capt. john Donelson.

Digressing again, since somehow, somewhere, a courtship of some form evolved with Daniel Small and Mary Hutchings, I think it necessary to track the movements of her family. Keep in mind that the whereabouts of Daniel Small in all of this is unknown. He could have been in three places; in the Nashville area, with the Hutchings or thirdly with a Donelson family.

At present day Paducah, KY, at the confluence of the Tenessee and Ohio Rivers, some of the party in the Donelson expedition decided to abandon the journey to French Lick (Nashville); among them were Thomas Hutchings and wife, John Caffery and wife, both sons-in-law and daughters of Colonel Donelson. The Hutchings family struck out for Kaskaskia, in the Illinois country. The Hutchings resided for a time at or near Kaskaskia, in present day Randolph CO IL. Little of the city remains today, although it was once a prosperous and thriving settlement. Kaskaskia was a small peninsula that jutted out just north of the present-day location of Chester. There still remains a portion of what was once Kaskaskia, which is accessible from Illinois today, but the peninsula is now an island, cut off from the state by a channel change in the Mississippi River. Much of the area was flooded at that time and it is now largely a ghost town, consisting of a few scattered homes and a handful of residents. The remains of the town, while still considered part of Illinois, can now only be reached from Missouri. The vanished town was founded by French settlers and it was once considered the "Metropolis" of the Mississippi Valley and the main rendezvous point for the whole of Illinois country. It also served as a springboard for explorations to the west and in time, became the state and territorial capital of Illinois.

It was a rowdy place and tough on families, not so much because of Indians but because of the frontiersmen and troops garrisoned there. On 8 November 1779, a few months before Hutchings arrived, the town complained to the American magistrates about the burden of feeding the American troops. On 4 May 1781 a long list of Kaskaskian men petitioned the governor of Virginia (which claimed and administered what is now Illinois from 1778 until 1787) for redress for wrongs committed by American soldiers.

Capt Hutchings probably engaged in land speculation and surveying but quickly grew tired of the life in the Kaskaskia area. Capt Hutchings kept up with the news of the Donelsons; they had made it to French lick but had soon resettled in the vicinity of Bowman's fort, about two miles East of Harrodsburg, in present day Mercer CO KY. He saw greener pastures with Colonel Donelson in The Tennessee lands and Catherine missed the family. They left Kaskaskia and rejoined Colonel Donelson's family near Harrodsburg probably in 1781 after they learned Col Donelson had relocated his clan there. There are at least 15 survey (Certificates of Settlement & Preemptions for Lincoln CO KY) records on file in the Kentucky Secretary of State Land Office dating from 1781 to 1783 and naming Thomas and/or his son John in various capacities. Another son, Christopher Hutchings, was born at their cabin at Bowman's Fort near Harrodsburg.

When it was determined safe in 1783 to 1784, the Hutchings and the Donelsons (Minus Colonel Donelson who had been killed in Kentucky after the relocation back to French Lick.) then settled near the future site of the Hermitage. The Hermitage is located west of Mount Juliet in adjacent Wilson CO. Daniel Small's future Wilson CO land was just outside (NE) of Mt Juliet. The Hutchings may have departed prior to the Donelsons, as a source in the Lyman Draper papers says the Hutchings were living in Sullivan CO NC, and after Sullivan was divided, in Hawkins CO, NC, by 1783 (This was later in TN). Goodspeed's History of Tennessee mentions Thomas Hutchings settling in Hawkins CO (Sullivan County at that time) prior to 1783.

At a North Carolina General Assembly in November, 1786, Elected Members of the General Assembly included Thomas Hutchings representing Sullivan CO.

Hawkins CO was first established as a separate North Carolina county on January 6, 1787, when the state legislature divided Sullivan CO, NC. The first elected county officials included Thomas Hutchings, clerk. Thomas may also have served as Colonel of the militia as well, and this may be how he came to be referred to at times, as Colonel Hutchings. Thomas Hutchings was one of the commisioners appointed to lay off the town of Rogersville on June 15, 1787. On December 22, 1789, the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina enacted "That Thomas King, Thomas Hutchings, Joseph McCulloch, Thomas Jackson and Elijah Chissom were appointed, commissioners and trustees for designing, building and carrying on a town at Hawkins Courthouse in Rogersville. Thomas Hutchings presided over the first marriage recorded in the Hawkins CO Marriage Book 1 in 1789.

Thomas was listed as a voter in the election for the County of Hawkins on March 8, 1790 to elect a representative to Congress, for the Western District of NC (Tennessee didn't become a state until 1796). Some time after 1790, the Hutchings moved back to Nashville. They probably lived with one of his sons (Probably John who was in business with Andrew Jackson) until Thomas died in 1804. His will, dated Sept 4, 1804, was probated Jan 1805. Executors were General Andrew Jackson and his son, John Hutchings.

I assume the relationship blossomed between Daniel Small and Mary Hutchings during the period between 1790 and 1797. He married Mary on November 27, 1797 in Nashville. Daniel and Mary were living in Nashville in 1802. On April 14, 1802, Daniel and Capt John Donelson had letters waitng for them at the Nashville Post office.

Daniel moved East of Nashville to a parcel of land he probably obtained through his relationship with Capt John Donelson. Daniel was one of the signers of the Petition to Establish Wilson County, Tennessee, July 25, 1799. He signed on the same page (5) as: Shadrick (Shadrack) Coonce, Robt. Coonce, Philip Koonce, Shad Jarman, Samuel Koonce, Robert Jarman, Jesse Koonce...all from Jones Co., NC, originally. A George Koonce signed on Page 4. Robert Jarman married Susannah Small, daughter of Reuben Small and his wife, Catherine. This brings an interesting question; was there a relationship between Daniel and Susannah Small or the other Smalls who intermarried with the Koonces? Maybe it was just coincidence that two lines of Smalls were in Wilson CO.

The Daniel Small family lived for several years in Wilson CO, where they began a family of of six children. He was listed on the tax rolls for Wilson CO. I found records for him in 1803 and 1805. On the 1805 tax list he was shown to own 332 acres in the Cedar Lick (Cedar Creek) area. This land would have been NE of present day Mt. Juliet off of Curd Road. In the early spring of 1818 Daniel sold part or probably all of his land. John Curd had moved to Tennessee in the late fall of 1817 or early Spring 1818 with his wife and 11 children. He sought land to settle and on 27 March, 1818 he purchased from Daniel Small a tract of 334 acres of land in the first district of Wilson CO, part of a larger tract originally granted by the State of North Carolina to Capt. John Donelson on 20 May 1793, Grant no. 2167.

In 1820 or 1821, Daniel moved the family to West TN, settling in Henderson CO near Pleasant Exchange. Daniel Small is not in the 1820 federal census for Wilson CO. James Curd is listed there. James was the son of John Curd who was dead apparently by the time of the census. John's tombstone says he died in 1822. I assume from this that The Daniel Small family had moved out of Wilson CO.

Little is known about Daniel's activities in Henderson CO. He did have a farm. Addie McCall wrote that Daniel Small settled four plantations. He sold one to his neighbor and friend, Mr. Mitchell and it was known as the old Mitchell place; another was the Jimmy Douglass place; another the old Tom Stanford place; these farms so called from names of men to whom he sold them; the fourth was the Small family place.

In 1838, Daniel went down the Natchez Trace on a business trip and was never seen again. Some people thought he was killed in Madison County. He may have been going to visit relatives in Madison CO. It's possible he may have just left for greener pastures, although I think this unlikely as he would have been 56, a little old to abandon his family. We can only speculate as to how he died or when. His body was never found and I could find no record of his death in the library in or courthouse in Jackson when I visited there in 2000, 2001, and 2009. After his death, his wife Mary lived on the farm and then with her son Alexander until her death in 1846. Mary is buried in the Kizer Cemetery, located off the Timberlake-Wildersville Road in Henderson CO. The cemetery began as a burying ground for the family of Alexander Small about 1838 on his farm. The last Small family burial there was his wife Phoebe Small in 1864.

In summary, Daniel Small certainly lived an interesting and at times, an exciting life. He was close to several influential folk in the development of Tennessee. For now, He remains an enigma especially with respect to his origins and his demise.

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Daniel Small's Timeline

Age 26
Nashville, TN
June 8, 1806
Age 34
Tennessee, United States
Age 66