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Ramsey Cascades shown above, in the Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains, are named after our family! Photography 1998 Chuck Summers

The modern word Scotch-Irish is an American-only word meaning Lowland Scots who left Scotland for Ulster, Northern Ireland, and then to America. For the most part, they were not Irish or kilt-clad Highlanders. In most respects, they were like contemporary Englishmen. Almost all were Presbyterian. But the original word Scots means a Celtic tribe who first lived in Ireland and later migrated to Scotland and assigned its name. For more Ramsey related history Click Here

Our Progenitor was William Ramsey

Ramsey DNA Project

*William Ramsey was born in 1776 in Virginia. He died after 1850 in Cocke Co, TN. He and his family definitely appear in the 1850 Cocke Co, TN census, and he's most likely the 60/70-year old 'William Ramsey' who appears in the 1840 Cocke Co census.
He was married to Mary Pugh?_____ . Mary was listed as 87 years old in the 1860 census and living with son George. Children were: *John Ramsey, Nancy Ramsey, George Ramsey, Jesse Ramsey.
William and Mary Ramsey attended church at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Cocke County.

Known Children of William and Mary Ramsey

1. *John Ramsey was born in ca. 1811 in North Carolina. He died ca. 1893 in Sevier Co, TN. He was living alone, near his son, Isaac, in the 1st District of Sevier County in the 1880 census. Parents: William Ramsey and Mary _____. He was married to Mary "Polly" McGaha born ca. 1815 . dau. of Bill and Betty. Children were: Elizabeth Ramsey, William Ramsey, Samuel Ramsey, John Ramsey Jr., Isaac Ramsey, *Jesse H. Ramsey, Sarah Jane "Sallie" Ramsey, Mary "Polly" Ramsey, Nancy A. Ramsey.

2. Nancy Ramsey was born in 1815 in North Carolina. Parents: William Ramsey and Mary _____. She was married to William N. Smith born in South Carolina and son of William Smith and Jenny ? Smith. Children were: William Alexander "Bill" Smith, Serapsa J. "Rapsey" Smith.

3. George Ramsey was born on 19 Feb. 1818 in North Carolina. He died 26 Oct. 1891 according to cemetery records. His age varies a lot in the early census records. Patsy Jane Ramsey was born 1 May 1826 and died 1 Apr. ?. They are buried at Fowler Cemetery. He was age 26, and counted in the h/h of his father in 1850. He was a 44-year head-of-household in 1860.In 1850 his wife a 25-year old 'Patsy' who indicated her birth in South Carolina. His wife in 1860 was a 37-year old 'Mary', born in North Carolina, and in 1870 a 45-year old 'Martha J', born in South Carolina. In 1880 she again indicated that she was born in South Carolina, with her father born in South Carolina and her mother born in Virginia. It's assumed those were all the same woman. In the 1860 Cocke Co, TN census his mother, Mary, age 87, was living with him. Parents: William Ramsey and Mary _____. He was married to Martha Jane "Patsy" _____. Children were: Lucinda Ramsey, William S. Ramsey, John Ramsey, Mary J. Ramsey, Jesse Randall Ramsey, Nancy Ramsey, Michael Anderson Ramsey, Martha C. Ramsey.

4. Jesse Ramsey was born in 1820 in Cocke Co, TN. When their daughter, Annie, died in 1921 her death certificate listed her mother as 'Polly' Webb. Parents: William Ramsey and Mary _____. He was married to Sarah Webb daughter of Joseph Webb and Barsheba Thomas Webb. Children were: Eli Ramsey, Anna Ramsey, Nancy Ramsey, Jane Ramsey, William Ramsey, Delilah "Lila" Ramsey, James Ramsey , Rhoda Ramsey, George W. Ramsey. Anna Ramsey m. Robert Jenkins. Anna was the daughter of George and Mary Wilson Ramsey. George is son of Jesse Ramsey and Sarah Webb Ramsey.
Anna Ramsey, dau. of George, was born ca. June 1884. Anna had 5 children:Lena Jenkins Taylor, Bonnie and Barney(twins), Roy and Cecil. Bonnie had twins Kermit(George) and Carolyn. Bonnie died 11/27/1935 about three months after the twins were born.


Ramsey Prong, as shown above, in the Greenbrier section of the Great Smoky Mountains, were named after our family! Photography by Roy Sullivan

Children and Grandchildren of John Ramsey and Mary "Polly" McGaha

1. Elizabeth Ramsey was born in 1832. This is POSSIBLY the Elizabeth who married James Mitchell Sutton. James did marry an Elizabeth, it's uncertain if her last name was McGaha or Ramsey.

2. William Ramsey was born in Sep 1833 in Cocke Co, TN. A Union veteran of the Civil War, Co A, 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. He was married to Louisa Emaline Rollins dau. of John and Sarah Rollins. Children were: Lavina Ramsey, William Ramsey, Samuel Ramsey.

sam ramsey.jpg 3.Samuel Ramsey was born in Dec 1835 in Cocke Co, TN. He was a Union veteran of the Civil War, Co A, 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. He was married to Wealthy Whitlock dau. of Lemuel and Rapsy Smith Whitlock. Children were: Amanda Ramsey, Nancy Matilda Ramsey, John E. Ramsey, William "Ance" Anderson Ramsey, Jesse B. Ramsey, Isaac M. Ramsey, Sarah Ramsey, Martha Sue "Tint" Ramsey and Lemuel. Lemuel Ramsey was born Oct. 1870 died Dec. 22, 1963 and married Martha Jane Reagan on March 10, 1895. They had 8 children.

4. John Ramsey Jr. son of John Ramsey was born on 4 Jul 1836 in Cocke Co, TN. He died on 23 Jul 1907. A Union veteran of the Civil War, Co A, 2nd East Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. Unit muster rolls later listed him as a deserter but he was actually taken prisoner by the Confederates at Liberty, in Cocke County. He was 'next-door' to his brother Isaac in the 1870 Sevier Co, TN census. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. He was married to Theodocia "Docia" Baxter dau. of John and ? McMahan . Children of John and Theodocia Ramsey were: Rose "Rosie" Ramsey, Jesse Holloway Ramsey, Samuel W. "Sam" Ramsey, Jane Ramsey, Mary C. "Polly" Ramsey, Rhoda L. Ramsey , William R. Ramsey, Docia M. Ramsey, Lloyd Ramsey, Ellen Ramsey, Isaac Allen Ramsey, Anderson M. Ramsey, Claude B. Ramsey.

5. Isaac Ramsey was born in 1845 in Tennessee. He died after 1910. Isaac and family were next-door neighbors to his brother John and his family in the 2nd District of Sevier Co, TN in the 1870 census. In 1880 Isaac and family were in the 1st District living near his widowed father. Isaac and Anne appeared in the 1900 and 1910 Cocke Co, TN censuses. In those census records his birth year is listed as 1836! Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha.
He was married to Anne "Annie" Grooms dau. of Sol and Betty McGaha on 11 Oct 1864 in Sevier Co, TN. Children of Isaac and Annie Ramsey were: Elizabeth Ramsey, Mary Ramsey.

jesse ramsey.jpg 6.Jesse H. Ramsey was born on 27 Dec 1848. He died on 19 Feb 1922. Jesse and Liney are buried in Headrick Cem, Sevier Co, TN. A new headstone for Jesse and Liney was placed by Delia Ramsey Whaley. His name appeared in the marriage records as 'James' but he was JESSE in the census records and the family says his name was JESSE.. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. He was married to Salina "Liney" McGaha born 9 Apr. 1852 d. 15 Oct. 1920 dau. of Sam and Jane Lindsay McGaha on 11 Dec 1877 in Sevier Co, TN. Children were:Joel A. Ramsey , Caldonia Ramsey, Lavada Ramsey, *William "Mansfield" Ramsey, Lina Cordelia Ramsey, Martha C. Ramsey, Cora E. Ramsey, John Houk Ramsey, James Ramsey.


****Note********* Recent information obtained by family members states that Salina"Liney" McGaha was the daughter of Margaret Moore Canupp, who was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. This would make Salina half-Indian. I have personally seen her picture, which was discovered recently in a ancestors attic, and there is no doubt that she was Indian. Salina`s death certificate does list her father as Samuel McGaha and her mother as Jennie Lindsey. The family story is that Salina`s mother was Margaret Canupp b. Aug. 30, 1795, d. May 10, 1880. Margaret was hidden from the Trail Of Tears by the McGaha`s. Her daughter, Salina, also was raised by the McGaha`s. Margaret Moore escaped from the Trail of Tears by being hidden on Webbs Mountain by her family. In a petition, her granddaughter, Elizabeth Ramsey, requested to be placed on the Cherokee Roll. The tribe denial stated: Applicant nor ancestors ever enrolled. Does not establish fact of descent from a person who was a party to the treaties of 1835-36 and 1846. *Applicant`s ancestor left the Cherokees in about 1825 and lived with white people ever afterwards.******Margaret Moore married Jacob Canup on 10-3-1829. The Bondsman and Witness were Willam Caldwell/ Ro. LoveJ. Source: Haywood County Marriage Bonds. This was in Haywood County, NC. Margaret is listed with the following people in the household: Celie Canupp, Betty Canupp, Jonas Canupp, Lydia Canupp, Joe Canupp, George Canupp, Andy Webb, Ben Shelton, Will Shelton, and Sand Hill. At other times these names appeared: Jim Canupp, Knights Canupp, Mike Canupp, Chrisley Canupp, and Authur Canupp. In a story passed down through the family, it is believed that Authur the Basket Maker was the uncle of Betty Canupp. It was told that he made baskets and would walk to Knoxville to sell them on the streets. These trips to Knoxville would take six to ten days. He had neither horse nor wagon to carry all his baskets. Margaret Moore Canupp and her daughter Betty are buried at the Fowler Cemetery near Baxter`s Orchard. It was a stigma to be considered Cherokee in those years. The Indians, of which were already marrying with the new white settlers, would sometimes take the name of the family that harboured them. Margaret Moore was born about 1805 in North Carolina. She died in May 1880. She was buried in Fowler Cem, Sevier Co, TN. She first appears in the 1850 Cocke Co, TN census where her name was PEGGY, and she was the first CANUPP to appear in either the Cocke or Sevier County census. Her name appeared as MARGARET in 1860.*****She is listed on an old map which was made from land records and made by Lucinda Oakley and Jerry Weir.(copyrighted 1982)She lived on Indian Camp Creek, near the Cocke and Sevier County line. Living at the head of Indian Camp Creek were Joe and Sally Ramsey Maddron, John and Sally Reagan Baxter, Margaret Moore Canupp, John Ramsey (neighbor of Margaret), W.A. "Bob" Baxter, and at the foot of the creek, were N.E. Fowler, and Brickle and Carrie Williams. It was so named because it was a camping place for the Indians that once raided the settlers in this area. A number of Native American artifacts have been found along this stream. Margaret has a headstone in Fowler Cemetery, Sevier Co, TN, with dates of 30 Aug 1785-10 May 1880. That birth date of 1785 is at least 20 years earlier than her birthdate would be as indicated in census records. There's also a notation "Margaret Canup, died 9 May 1880" on the bottom of the headstone/marker for Elva FOWLER. She was married to Jacob Canupp. Children were: Arthur Canupp , Sarah Canupp, Celia E. Canupp, Elizabeth "Betty" Canupp , Nancy Canupp, James Canupp, Martha Canupp, Christley Canupp. Canups family members were described as dark complexioned, black hair, and with black eyes. In the War Between the States some were enlisted in the Indian regiment. Jacob Canup, Private, 2nd Company, 1st Confederate Regiment, Army of Tennessee. Enlisted Feb. 12, 1863. Roll for Aug. 31, 1864, last on file, reports him "absent sick" . No Later records. For more on the Canups, visit Canups in the Revolutionary War, as well as Canups in the Civil War There is satisfactory proof of the Canups and their Indian heritage. Plenty can be found on the web. More later when this story is investigated ***End Note

7. Sarah Jane "Sallie" Ramsey was born on 10 Dec 1850 in Cocke Co, TN. She died on 28 Jul 1921. She was buried in Cohutta, Whitfield Co, GA. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. She was married to Dr. Joseph Milton Lon Maddron son of Lawson Maddron about 1869. Children of Dr. Joseph Milton Lon Maddron and Sarah Jane "Sallie" Ramsey Maddron were: Martha Maddron, AnnaLee Ervy Maddron, John L Maddron, Rutherford Maddron, Luvenia C. "Vinie" Maddron, Margaret F. Maddron, James Walter Maddron, William H. Maddron.

8. Mary "Polly" Ramsey was born in Jan 1856. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. She was married to John Martin Duggan son of Arch and Jane Shults Duggan on 17 Nov 1874 in Sevier Co, TN. Children were: Mary Michelle Duggan.

9. Nancy A. Ramsey was born in Nov 1859. Parents: John Ramsey and Mary McGaha. She was married to William Sutton on 6 Jan 1897.


1850 Cocke County Tennessee Census
Page 112 entry 979
John Ramsay 42 N.C.
Mary (Polly) 35
Wm 17
Samuel 15
John Jr. 12
Isaac 5
Jesse 1

(same census) William Ramsay
William 74 born in VA.
Mary 74 Va
George 26 NC
Patsy 25 SC
Lucinda 6 TN
William S. 4 Tn
John 3/12 TN

Notice how tradition in the earlier generations of Scottish-Irish descent would name the first son after the husband`s father. The second son after the wife`s father. The first daughter after wife`s mother. The second daughter after husband`s mother.This leads me to believe John Ramsey father was William.

State of Tennessee Cocke County

By virtue of an entry made in the entry takers office for said county at Newport of NO 622 dated the 28th of March 1827. I have surveyed for WILLIAM RAMSEY seventy five acres of land on the waters of NOBB CREEK beginning at a stake near a white oak on STARLING HUDSON line running north fifty five poles to an ash and dogwood East one hundred and eighty to a beech south thirty six-sixty poles to a stake eight poles from a marked chestnut oak north forty west fifty two poles to a dogwood DAVID SURHEYS line then with ditto north fifty five East six poles north sixty two East eight poles north thirty eight East eight poles north twenty two east twenty eight poles to a beech north forty three East eighteen poles to a walnut and mulby north eight poles to a beech and hickory north forty five west forty two poles to a white oak south seventy and a half west forty six poles to the beginning.

Surveyed the sixth day of October 1828.

Ramsey Database on The Common Thread

The Surname Ramsey Evolved From The Name For Wild Garlic, Hramsa. People In Ireland Who Lived In The Lowland Areas Where Hramsa Grew Eventually Were Referred As Hramsa People, And Later, Ramsey Or Ramsay.

No one is ever born into Life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people it is the most important bond of all.

Ramsey Reunion Photos

Ramsey Family Reunion Info:
Last Sunday in July every year. Held at the Apple House,Ramsey Orchards, Cosby, Cocke County, Tennessee Hwy 321, 12 Noon, Bring a covered dish for potluck Ramsey Family connections to Cocke and Sevier Counties, Tennessee are welcome

days 'til the Ramsey Family Reunion!

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