Deep Roots in Solid Ground

History in my DNA

“I can hardly turn a page of Tennessee history without finding my relatives fingerprints on them.”


From Tennessee founding father Richard Henderson (Hendersonville namesake) to the long line of Phillips military heroes, to the Grand Ole Opry, I can’t turn a page of Tennessee history without connecting a relative to it. My great-great grandfather William Washington Kerr, ran a grocery on Carroll Street in Nashville. My grandmother started a free school meal program at Howard school, food provided by her fathers Grocery. At the time of her death, the Tennessean reported it to be a first of it’s kind.

Notable Kin:free-lunch

Captain / Reverend David Phillips – Revolutionary War Pennsylvania Militia

Captain James Maxwell* (1725–1806) – Revolutionary War

William Maxwell (1756–1838) – Revolutionary War – King’s Mtn.

David Phillips II – War of 1812 – Battle of New Orleans

Richard Henderson – Land Developer of Tennessee

Wilson L. Waters – Industrialist, Whig Party leader, Watertown namesake

Captain Walter Scott Bearden – 41st Tennessee CSA –  Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Fort Donelson, etc. Wounded 3 times Battle of Atlanta (his twin brother Edwin Bearden was an officer in the same regiment). Chancellor Circuit Judge Shelbyville, Tennessee.

2n Lt. David L. Phillips – 7th Tennessee CSA – Pickets Charge, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Seven Pines, etc.

Major Shelah Waters – 5th Tennessee Cavalry USA, Presidential nominee as Minister to Ecuador and IRS assessor.

Edwin Bearden – Judge Shelbyville, Tennessee

Water Scott Bearden, Jr. – Founder of National Life & Accident Insurance Company

old-hickory-singersJoseph Macpherson – New York Metropolitan Opera. First vocalist on WSM radio. Old Hickory Singers.

Uncle Dave Macon – founding member Grand Ole Opry

Margaret Kerr Bearden – first free school lunch program Nashville

J.B. Henderson, Sr. – owner Southwestern Publishing Company

W.E. Henderson – 2nd Lt. 77th New York Regiment, 82nd Infantry – Arden Forrest Champaign- Sales Manager Southwestern Company

Harry Phillips – author of The Phillips Family History, Lt. Cdr. U.S. Navy WWII, Tennessee House of Representative, Assistant Tennessee Attorney General, Federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Bruce D. Henderson – founder The Boston Consulting Group

2nd Lt. David Kerr – 301st Bomb Group B-17 pilot KIA Wiener-Neudorf raid July 1944

Navy Corpsman Edwin Phillips – wounded Normandy landing WWII

J.B. Henderson, Jr. – Navy test pilot

Bobby and Carol Henderson – founders Westminster School (Currey-Ingram Academy)

more notables are in development…

* Father of James Maxwell: Alexander 2nd Baronet of Monreith Maxwell was born in 1682 in Monreith, Wigtownshire, Scotland, to Elizabeth Heiress of Park Hay, age 28, and William 1st Baronet of Monreith Maxwell, age 47.

Birth: 1682 • Monreith, Wigtownshire, Scotland


Phillips Family History: A Brief History of the Phillips Family, Beginning with the Emigration From Wales, and a Detailed Genealogy of the Descendants … Pioneer Citizens of Wilson County, Tenn.


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