Lela Mae Scott was born 1911 in Wanette, Oklahoma. In 1928 she married Thomas Edwin “Ed” Rose and later she became my grandmother. We called her “grandma.” No cutesy nickname, just grandma or Aunt Lela to the nieces and nephews—but she also answered to “Aint Leler.”
But this story isn’t about her. It starts with her great grandpa, John Scott who was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Southern Appalachians. Buncombe County to be exact. Buncombe County is in western North Carolina on land the Cherokee occupied until European settlers pushed them out at the end of the 1700s.
After the American Revolution the new country had no money but lots of land. Land was granted to Patriot veterans as payment for services rendered and western North Carolina, on the eastern edge of the mountains was doled out in these land grants. John Scott was born here in 1800 or 1801.
Some sources list Black Mountain, NC—on Interstate 40 just east of Asheville—as his place of birth, but the town wasn’t incorporated until 1893, more than 90 years after John Scott was born. Regardless of where exactly he was born, the area of western North Carolina soon filled up and it wasn’t long before many headed “over the mountains to see what they could see.”
The Scotts, John and his siblings (more about them at another time), headed west across Tennessee with some settling in the area of Nashville, others settling further south in Tennessee, and our John Scott continuing south, probably along the route of the Natchez Trace, to Alabama. In the 1830 US Census he shows up in Lauderdale County, AL, just across the Tennessee state line.
The Scotts probably weren’t traveling alone. Familiar names—Haynes and Lamb come to mind—show up in North Carolina and again in Alabama, frequently as Scott spouses.
So now I am on a quest to assemble, and then write, the story of John Scott. Fortunately I’ve recently connected with lots of Scott cousins on a facebook page, Descendants of Waterloo, Alabama Scott Family. A few cousins have done some very detailed family research so I have a pretty good starting point when I add that to the research my mom has done.
The Scotts have been quite fruitful, and have multiplied significantly in just a few generations. It doesn’t take long to multiply when many families had ten or eleven or a dozen kids, who then went on to have another ten or twelve or so.
So stay tuned. I’ll post what I have on John Scott, his two wives—Mary Carson and Harriet Farrell—and his fifteen children soon. At this stage, everything should be scrutinized and if you descend from some of these people and know more about that line than I do I want to hear from you.
If you’re a Scott descendant follow me by email so I can get in touch with you and we can share family details off-line.