REFLECTIONS OF A TENNESSEE TOWN
COMPILED BY PEGGY STEPHENSON WILSON
PRODUCED BY NOLENSVILLE RECREATION CENTER, INC., NOLENSVILLE,
The following quotation taken from Nolensville 1797-1987: Reflections of a Tennessee
Town compiled by Peggy Stephenson Wilson.
“John Nolen migrated to Tennessee from Albemarle County, Virginia, about 1790.
Records indicate that he helped erect public buildings in Jonesboro, Tennessee during
John Nolen served in the Commissioner’s Guard in the Revolutionary War. He was
granted land in the North Carolina territory for his war service. A land grant for 250 acres
was given to John Nolen under the date of December 15, 1792, and is signed by Richard
Dobbs Speight with the Seal of the State of North Carolina dated April 27, 1793, and
countersigned by James Gladstone, Secretary, North Carolina. John Nolen moved on into
what is now the State of Tennessee and his land was represented by North Carolina Grant
#116, dated February 28, 1796, and was located in what is now the 16th District of
Williamson County. This property remained in the hands of John Nolen’s descendants for
many years after his death in 1811.
John Nolen was born about 1744 in Virginia and died October 17, 1811 in
Williamson County, Tennessee. It is believed that John is buried on the old place of his
brother, William, which is now the Newt McCord farm.
In his will dated September 23, 1808, John leaves his daughter Aggey Stovall $1.00,
his son, Goolsby, $1.00, and his daughter, Sally Duffy, $1.00. He leaves his wife certain
household goods, horses and other livestock of her choosing and $50.00 in cash. The
balance of his entire estate is to be divided equally between his sons, David and Littleberry.
He also requests that his brother William, and William’s son, General Lee, act, as
executors of his will.
John Nolen did not live many years after migrating to Tennessee and there are very
few of his descendants still living in Williamson County and in the area around Nolensville.
He has three great-great-great-grandchildren living who were born on the farm he settled.
They are: Elizabeth Lane Butts of Franklin, Louise Lane Coleman of Smyrna, and Oscar
Brown Lane of Nashville. These are children of Mary Nolen Lane whose father was Joseph
Nolen, a son of David Nolen.
Following is a limited genealogy of the John Nolen family. This information was
given by the children of Mary Nolen and Oscar Rhose Lane, Terri Parker, research from
the Tennessee State Library and Archives by Peggy Wilson and Billie Ann Epps White.
Miscellaneous research was contributed by Marie Batey. A photo of Elizabeth Nolen
Shacklett is used courtesy of Lillian Johnson of Smyrna. Oral information has been given
to the History Committee by various people who are too numerous to be recorded.
*John Nolen was born before 1744 in Virginia, died October 17, 1811, in Williamson
County, Tennessee, was married to Anney Goolsby before 1765 (born about 1746, died
between 1812-1814). Anney Nolen was born in Virginia and died in Williamson County,
Tennessee. It is believed that she is buried in the graveyard on the Oscar Lane farm, which
is where she made her home. John and Anney Nolen were parents of five children:
*1. David, born 1769 in North Carolina, died October 13, 1839 in Williamson
County, Tennessee. He is buried on the old Damascus Layne farm just off Owl Creek
Road near Split Log. He was married about 1794 to Mary _______ who was born
August 15, 1772 in North Carolina and died September 30, 1849 in Williamson County,
Tennessee. She is thought to have been buried near her husband.
2. Aggey, date of birth unknown. She was married to Bartholomew Stovall.
3. Goolsby Nolen, date of birth unknown.
4. Sally, date of birth unknown. She was married to John Duffy.
5. Littleberry, born October 31, 1777, died March 13, 1850 in Williamson County,
Tennessee, was married to Rachel Thomas, born 1775. These dates are from “Soldiers
of 1812 Buried in Tennessee” which says he was a Captain of Williamson County
Militia and buried in the McConnico Church Cemetery just off Highway 96 about two
or three miles from Franklin going towards Arrington/Triune. One report says that
Littleberry Nolen had migrated to Lauderdale County, Alabama, and died while
visiting Williamson County.
*Children of David Nolen and Mary Nolen:
1. A. Joseph Nolen born 1795, died December 12, 1838, married
December 23, 1817 to Peggy Brown.
B. Polly born 1799 was married November 20, 1820 to George Davis.
C. Delilah Nolen born 1801 married January 31, 1822 to Henry Gray.
D. Tabitha Nolen born 1807 married John Taylor.
E. Thomas J. Nolen born 1810, unknown whom he married.
F. Eliza Nolen born 1812 married an Edmondson.
In his will dated July 29, 1835, David Nolen makes the following
1. Leaves his wife, Polly, 120 acres of land on which “I now live,”
household goods, miscellaneous animals, provisions for her
lifetime, during her widowhood. In the event she should
remarry, the land would be divided among his children.
He asked that at the death of his wife that all property be sold and
divided equally among his six children. His son, Joseph
preceded his father in death,
having died in 1838.
*1. A. Children of Joseph and Peggy Brown Nolen:
a. William Nolen born 1828 died about 1890
married 1855 to Mary Eliza Crocker who
was an orphan. She died in Davidson
County, Tennessee, at her son’s home near Wrenco and is buried
in yard of the old Nolen home out Bluf Road off Nolensville
Road. There were, in 1975, two graves covered with
rocks at the side of a branch. The home has
long since burned.
Children of William and Mary Eliza Crocker
Nolen (not in order of birth):
1. William married Janey (last name unknown).
a. Allen married a Tyree.
1. Ernest Nolen.
2. William Nolen married Ellen
Collins, had three girls.
3. Eddie Nolen.
b. Joseph Nolen.
c. Elizabeth (Betty) Nolen born
September 10, 1860, died June 5, 1823,
married February 14, 1879 to Joel M.
1. Leona Shacklett married
a. Leona married Charley
1. Charles Allen
Warren has one
2. Patricia Ann
Rains, has one son.
3. Joyce Marie
b. Langdon Scruggs, Jr.,
married Mary E.
Jackson, has seven children.
c. Harold Buford Scruggs
married Alma Jean
2. Maggie Shacklett, died at age
3. Ralston Alexander Shacklett
died at age one.
4. Cleo Shacklett married a
5. Clarence M. Shacklett.
6. William Edward Shacklett.
7. John Snowden Shacklett.
8. Mamie Carson Shacklett, died
9. Joel Allen Shacklett.
10. Claude H. Shacklett.
11. Baby Shacklett, died at seven
12. Roy McMurray Shacklett.
d. David Nolen born 1872, died
September 25, 1958, married, (1)
Nannie Barnes, and (2) Susie Briley.
1. Carrie Nolen married Jess
a. Nolen Cyrus.
b. Raymond Cyrus.
c. Charles Cyrus.
d. Donald Cyrus.
e. Clyde Cyrus.
f. ____ Cyrus.
2. Nadie Nolen married Floyd
Wade, three children.
3. Docie Nolen married (1) a
McPherson, had six children, (2)
4. _____ Nolen married W. E.
5. Dave Nolen.
e. Mack Nolen married Etta Wheeler.
1. Ruth Nolen married Leslie
a. Douglas Stevens.
2. Rena Nolen married Major
3. Ernest Nolen.
f. John Nolen born 1866 died July 7, 1955
married (1) Mina Thornton
and had one son; (2) on November
30, 1905 he married Molly Mullen born July 5, 1877,
died August 2, 1955.
1. John Nolen born May 22, 1901
died February 17, 1940.
2. Robert Nolen born 1909, died
June 22, 1959 married Alva
3. Mary Elizabeth Nolen born
August 9, 1910, died 1973 married
William David Mays born September
a. Sammie Marilyn Mays
married Brown Taylor
Jr., four children.
g. Margaret Nolen born June 7, 1870,
married (1) Jimmie Watson and (2) a Davis.
1. Annie Watson died young.
2. Hugh Robert Watson born
September 6, 1888.
3. Sarah Dicie Watson married
4. Gracie Watson born November
16, 1893 married (1) a Garner, and (2)
Joe J. Lovell.
5. Eva Watson born June 26. 1900.
6. Gladys Davis married Buford
7. Minnie Davis married Irvin
8. Elizabeth Davis married Luther
9. Maggie Davis married a
h. Robert Nolen died unmarried
and old (birth date unknown).
i. Martha Nolen born May 10, 1880 died
July 16, 1956 married December
26, 1900 to Rufus Jones born
October 30, 1880 died October 17, 1948.
1. Thomas Murrey Jones born
September 28, 1901 died June 6, 1967,
married January 7, 1925,
Gladys Geneva Hicks.
a. John Thomas Jones born
January 31, 1926 died
February 1, 1926.
b. Martha Helen Jones
born December 29, 1927 married
September 3, 1948 to
Wallace R. Kinkade, three children.
c. Cynthia Marie Jones
born November 30, 1931 married
March 30, 1951 to Jimmy E.
Mooneyhan, three children.
d. Ellen Claire Jones
born June 28, 1934
married February 17, 1951 to Roy Lee
Frizzel, four children.
e. William Bass Jones born
March 28, 1939 married June
5, 1959 to Juditth Donelda
Smith, three children.
2. Ella Gladys Jones born October
2, 1907 married October 10, 1959 to
W. W. Crutcher, no children.
3. Virginia Dare Jones born
October 28, 1915 married
September 22, 1938 to Herman B. Allen,
j. Mary Nolen born ____, died July 13,
1914 married Oscar Rhose Lane
(sometimes written Layne) who was
born November 6, 1870 and died March 1, 1950. Mary
Lane is buried on the old family home place and the house
burned many years ago. Oscar Rhose Lane was the son
of Washington and Elizabeth (Fly) Lane. He
married (2) Florence Oliver who died
several years after her husband. Oscar Lane is
buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in
Nashville. Children of Oscar and Mary Lane:
1. Thomas Jefferson Lane born
1898, died January 28, 1923 unmarried.
He was buried near his
mother. He was accidentally electrocuted where he
worked at an auto shop on Second Avenue,
Nashville, when a high powered wire fell across a
drop cord in which he was
screwing a bulb.
2. William Washington Lane born
August 12, 1900, died September 20,
1969 is buried at Woodlawn,
Nashville, married September 9, 1922 to Ellen
Marion Mullen, born November 12, 1900.
a. Donald William Lane
born May 22, 1924, married July
17, 1949 to Mildred Heath
Speight (daughter by first marriage see
1. Donna Gail Lane
born July 1, 1953
married David McDonald
2. Wilma Jean
December 2, 1941, died April 9,
3. Lawrence Nolen
Lane born 1902
died November 5, 1965 married (1)
Willie Mae Shaw, died 1938, and (2)
Sara Haley, daughter of Booker
a. Mary Della
May 30, 1927 married
March 16, 1946 to Charles
B. Haley born October 2,
1917, son of Booker Haley.
November 14, 1948,
married December 5,
1967 to (1) John
Randall Mays, (2) a
Grizzard, two children
Haley born November
Truman Lane born
November 28, 1928.
Edward Lane born
March 23, 1930 married
September 18, 1956 to Mary
Ellen _____ born March 12,
1936, three children.
d. Kay Ellen
August 21, 1944.
Nolen Lane born
February 23, 1946 married
November 7, 1969 to
Frankie Mae Ray born
September 14, 1945.
born October 11, 1954
married December 24, 1974
to John R. Layne.
4. Louise Lane born
married October 12, 1923 to (1) Earl
Bennett Ragsdale, and (2) Aubrey
Coleman on September 29, 1937.
One child by first marriage.
born August 13, 1924
married (1) John Palmer, and
(2) Roy Hernandez.
Myron Palmer born
January 15, 1950.
November 19, 1952
married (1) 1972 to
Gary Allen Mason,
and (2) William Bart
Smith. One child:
Gary Allen Mason,
August 2, 1960.
5. Elizabeth Lane
born June 1, 1907,
married March 10, 1928 to Paul
Butts born August 22, 1907.
Thomas Butts born
January 3, 1930 married
January 6, 1957 to Barbara
Betty Ann Butts.
Butts born December
born September 17, 1931
married Diane _____.
Butts born May 4,
Stephen Paul Butts
born May 7, 1958.
Elizabeth and Paul
Butts have just
6. Rosa Lee Lane
born August 5,
1910 died on January 15, 1872 was
married on November 29, 1930.
Louie Cass Williams, born October
4, 1901 and died September
6, 1967. Louie Cass
Williams was a son of
Cass and Clara Yeargin Williams.
The Cass Williams family were
some of the first settlers to come to
Nolensville and still have
living in the area.
a. Betty Lou
November 29, 1932 was
married May 16, 1959 at
Nolensville to Armand
Alzamora of California.
7. Oscar Brown
Lane born 1812
married (1) Beatrice ____, no
children, (2) Mabel _____, no
children, and (3) Thelma Lucy
born July 5, 1958.
Compiled from Marie Batey from information on the John Nolen Family, 1975, by Rosa
Lane Williams and Ellen M. Lane; report from Terri Parker, miscellaneous newspaper
articles and other data researched by Marie Batey.”