Phillip Family Genesis in Tennessee:

John Phillips A3 (1768-1846)

349 Hale Road • Watertown, TN 37184

One of the first settlers in Watertown, Tennessee (then known as Round Lick, also know as Three Forks) was John Phillips. John Phillips (1768-1846) is our GGGGGF.  John is the son of Reverend/Captain David Phillips (A2). He is the third generation (A3) of America ancestors, and the first born “Phillips” in the United States.

Other family names at this site, include Oakley and Bass. Earliest burial I could find was 1840.

The John Phillips Log Cabin circa 1802?


This rare two-story hewn timber log cabin may be one of the oldest in Wilson County, Tennessee. It was to home of John Phillips and was occupied by several generations. The property was deeded in 1801.

Old log cabins can be dated to a very specific point in time:

Dendrochronology (or tree-ring dating) is the scientific method of dating tree rings (also called growth rings) to the exact year they were formed in order to analyze atmospheric conditions during different periods in history.

John’s father, Rev. David Phillips (one of several by that name), was a Revolutionary War veteran. Could this be his land grant?

John’s son David (A4) was a War of 1812 Veteran.

Normally cut timbers would be cured for 12-24 months, which potentially dates the cabin to 1802 or 1803. The core cabin’s exterior measures 24′ wide, 19′ deep, 13′ to 16′ tall.

“The settlers followed the West fork of the creek until they came to a big spring in the canebrake, and it was there that they made their final halt. John Philips built his home only a short distance from the spring. The farm where John Philips settled is known among the old folks around Watertown as the Henry Bass place. It is now owned by Mrs. Annie Patton, widow of Cecil Patton. The log house which John erected still stands, but has been covered with weatherboarding, and other rooms have been added to the original dwelling”

‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935


We found this by shear luck. It turns out, the property owner is a friend of my brother Blake Henderson.

Recommended Reading:

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.

Update: 17 February 2020

The cabin is getting ready to be dissembled and moved into storage in order to prevent it’s demolition. Stay tuned.

2016 Cemetery Cleanup


December 18, 2016

Wilson and Rutherford County Cemetery Maintenance

Take a Virtual Tour of the progress made today at the Henderson family cemetery clean-up.

From Billy Pittard:

Hey cousins,

Our cousin Bob Henderson and I have started a tradition of cleaning up one of our ancestral cemeteries on the day after Thanksgiving. This Friday, we are planning to go to the Henderson Family cemetery on Puckett Road in Norene, TN. This is where our ancestors Preston and Darotha Henderson established our Henderson family in Middle Tennessee. It’s a beautiful location not far from Lascassas. Click on the map link below to see the specific location.

We plan to be there from about 10am to about 4pm. It would be great to see you there.

Weather is supposed to be good. It’s a beautiful area.

Please share this with our other cousins. Come and see where our ancestors lived and just enjoy the day – or come with garden tools to help do some cleanup. Either way, this should be a special thing for us all – and especially the children.

Since the experts say there will be a million more people moving to Middle Tennessee over the next ten years, if we don’t take care of these sacred places, they will disappear. It’s already happening.

FYI – Bob and I have already cleaned up the Hoover family cemetery at Walterhill, the Henderson-Malone cemetery near Powell’s Chapel, and the Charlton Ford Cemetery near Mona.

If you think you can come, please let me know. Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving!

Billy Pittard

Saving our ancestors one cemetery at a time…

Read more about our heritage at:

Fri Nov 25, 2016 10am – 4pm Central Time
36.04143, -86.22395 (map)

Charlton Ford Heritage

Southern Roots & Branches Restoration:

REHABILITATION of the Charlton Ford Cemetery in northern Rutherford County

February 27, 2016

Charlton Ford Rehabilitation Phase 1

Cousin Billy Pittard and I cleared about 1/4 of the site and 100% of our joint ancestor plots of the Peyton and Donnell line of the family. The oldest grave was from 1806 (Sally Smith). We are pulling up undergrowth by the rootball. This is a very laborious way to clear the land, but extremely effective in keeping it from repopulating.

One of the biggest treats of the day was discovering a large spring not far form the cemetery on Fall Creek. Another surprise was a fly-by an anonymous cousin! Speaking of anonymous, the cemetery is on private property, and although the law allows descendant access to cemeteries, its prudent to ask for permission. If you are a descendant, contact me for more information on the precise location and access points: Bob Henderson (615) 477-0737.

For more information check out Southern Roots & Branches by Billy Pittard.

See a virtual tour of the site in 3D here.

Raiders of the Lost Cemeteries: Cousins Bob and Billy

Please let us know if you can help us maintain these historic sites. We would very much appreciate the help.

Find-a-Grave Burials at Charlton Ford

Bob Henderson, Jr.

(615) 477-0737

Cemetery Preservation

The Cemetery Preservation Project 2015:

Preservation of family cemeteries in north Rutherford County is important. Rural areas are turning into suburbs fast. Vandalism, neglect and real estate development is a growing concern.

Cousin Billy Pittard and I joined forces to clean up the Henderson-Malone Cemetery on Powells Chapel Road this week. As opposed to just cutting the undergrowth, we pulled up the entire root balls of mostly privot hedge and honey suckles. This will make future maintenance much easier. Last Thanksgiving we did the first project like this at the Hoover family cemetery at Walter Hill.

This will hopefully be an annual event following each Thanksgiving on Friday, Saturday or Sunday weather permitting. Fences and gates are also needed for these sites as well.


360 Panorama view of the cemetery