Hood County Texas Genealogical Society

Biographical Note:

The NISBETT Family
The Nisbetts Come To Texas

The following family biographical note was scanned from the
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 15; August 1987
Editor: Merle McNeese


    My great-grandfather, JOHN NEWMAN NISBETT, and his brother,
Alexander Nisbett, left Rutherford County, Tennessee, by horseback
on 15 October 1849, headed for Texas, arriving there on 2 December 1849.
    An old diary kept by them on their trip from Tennessee, shows
each item of their expenses, as they divided the cost of their trip
upon their arrival at their destination. When they arrived in Henderson
County, they divided their expense by one-third, with one named "Tom"
(it is not known who he was). The total expense to that point was
$49.42. The total cost for John & Alexander to a "Mrs. Box Place",
in Washington County was $51.45, which they divided on 20 January 1850.
According to this diary they crossed the following rivers; Tennessee,
Mississippi, St. Francis Longie, White & Brazos , and the following
Texas counties; Bowie, Cass, Titus, Upshur, Rusk, Nacogdoches, Cherokee,
Houston, Walker, Leon, Grimes, and Washington. They traveled approx-
imately 511 miles from Tennessee to Texas.
    The two brothers first settled in Robertson County, near old
friends and neighbors from Rutherford County, Tenn. From letters and
old documents it seems that John handled land transactions for many
people. Although he never had a formal law degree, his advise was
much sought, on land matters.
    John Newman Nisbett was born 25 October 1824, Rutherford Co.,
Tenn., son of Joseph William Nisbett and Rosanna Newman, The first
Nisbetts emigrated from Scotland in 1731. On 24 February 1857, John
married the widow, Catherine Stokes Fulcher. To this union came two
children; Rosanah Samantha, b.23 Dec. 1857, d. 10 Aug. 1864, after
being accidentally shot by Uncle Dilly Shields. A son Joseph Alexander
b.13 Nov. 1859, d. 22 Dec. 1897. Catherine died 24 Nov. 1859,
apparently from childbirth complications.
    On 1 April 1860, John married Samantha K. Oldham Shields. She
was the widow of Nathaniel Shields and had the following children;
Catherine, William N., James B., & Mary Elizabeth. John & Samantha
also had two children; Jefferson Davis b. 19 Dec. 1860, d. 2 Nov. 1943,
and Christianna Jane (Kitty) b. 2 Oct. 1863, d. 3 Jan. 1892.
    When the Civil War broke out, John enlisted 29 March 1862.
serving in the Texas State Troops. By this time the family was living
in Bell County. After the war the Nisbetts moved to Milam County,
settling near Davilla & Bryants Station. There Samantha died 11 Aug. 1870,
    Then John married his third & final wife, Ann E. Bryant Lowery,
on 25 Dec. 1871. This was my great-grandmother, and she was also a
widow her first husband was William Thomas Lowery, 3 Texas Ranger.
She also had a small son, Thomas Alien Lowery. Ann's parents were
Jesse Bryant and Mary I. Williams. Ann's grandfather was Major Benjamin
.Franklin Bryant, a participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. He
later Established a fort on the Little River, in Milam County, known
as Bryants Station. John & Ann's first two children, Jesse Bryant and
Emma Newcom were born near there. Around 1876, the family moved to
hood County, settling in the area known as Leach Bend. John had
property here that he had inherited thru his first wives. Other
children born to this union were Lena E., Eliza D.(my grandmother),
Eura Alice, John Ephrim, William Adolpus, & Leona Velmer.
    John Newman Nisbett died 14 May 1890, in Granbury & is buried
in the Granbury Cemetery. Before her death on 22 Feb. 1930, Ann married
again, to Hillary W. Ridgeway. But she outlived him by 30 years.
    On 17 Oct. 1895, my grandparents, William Parker Ferry and Eliza
D. Nisbett were married in Granbury. My family has had a long history
with Hood County, until about 1910, when the family land was sold to
H. L. Nutt.

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