Peter Elder of Virginia

William Elder of Dinwiddie County, Virginia and of Rutherford and Gibson Counties, Tennessee

In the course of searching for my ancestors, I collected data for Elders who lived in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, and in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It appeared from the start that there were two principal Elder families in Rutherford County, and I collected information to sort them out. My ancestor James Elder was head of one family - my notes on him are given here. William Elder was head of the other family. This page presents the data I've collected on him and his family. James and William were born about the same time, and may have been cousins.

  1. William Elder death notice:

    "WILLIAM ELDER SR., born Dinwiddie Co., Va., June 7, 1767; moved to Rutherford Co., Tenn., 1815; moved in fall of 1837 to Gibson Co., Tenn. where he died December 12, 1851"


  2. 1810 Census of Dinwiddie County, Virginia [Series M252, Roll 67]:
    Surname Given Name Page Data
    Elder Wm 85 00100 | 00000 | 00
    Elder Wm M 85 34010 | 21010 | 00
    Elder Wm Sr 85 10201 | 00101 | 02
    Towler Benj 104 00001 | 00001 | 00

  3. William Elder and Benjamin Towler Virginia property taxes [details]

    Personal Property Tax lists of Dinwiddie County, Virginia [Microfilm Reel 87, Library of Virginia], show
    1815: William Elder (bricklayer); William Elder Jr.; William Elder Senr. Est.; Benjamin Towler
    1816-1817: no William Elder; no Benjamin Towler

  4. William Elder and Benjamin Towler Virginia land taxes [details]

    Land Tax lists of Dinwiddie County, Virginia [Microfilm Reels 85 and 86, Library of Virginia], show
    1815: William Elder Senr. (100 acres on Reedy Branch); William Elder (bricklayer; 277 acres on Hatchers Run); Benjamin Towler (196 acres on Hatchers Run)
    1816-1817: no William Elder; no Benjamin Towler on Hatchers Run

  5. William Elder served on juries in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in January and April 1817 [Tennessee, Rutherford County, Minute Book, volume K, 1816-1817, pages 63, 66, 70-76, 78 (at DAR)]
  6. John Bowls sold 129 acres on the waters of Overall Fork to William Elder on 20 Nov 1817; witnesses Henry D. McBroom and James Wilson, Samuel Wilson attorney for John Bowles [Marsh and Marsh, Land Deed Genealogy of Rutherford County, Tennessee, 1814-1819, volume II, page 199 (Deed Book L, page 234)]
  7. 1820 Census

    Dinwiddie County, Tennessee [Series M33, Roll 137]

    Name Page Data
    Claiborne Elder 1013 010111 | 11201
    Daniel E Elder 1013 400010 | 12100
    Francis Elder 1013 100000 | 01100
    Peter Elder 1013 400010 | 22010
    Thomas Elder 1013 000201 | 00000
    William Elder 1013 200010 | 00101

    Rutherford County, Tennessee [Series M33, Roll 124]:

    Name Page Data
    James D. Scrape 140 210210 | 00100
    Robert Elder 168 000010 | 01002
    William Elder 171 320001 | 01010
    Benjamin Towler 174 000001 | 00001
    Eli T. Elder 180 100100 | 00100
    James Elder 192 111101 | 01500
    James Elder Jr 193 000200 | 20100

    Age ranges men <10; 10-15; 16-17; 16-25; 26-45; >45; Age ranges women <10; 10-15; 16-25; 26-45; >45

  8. William Elder land transactions [Rutherford County, Tennessee, Deed Books, LDS microfilm 0377685]:

    William Elder deed of trust to Benjamin Towler, secured $800 loan with all possessions, 15 Jan 1820, Book M, page 366

    William Elder sold to Benjamin Towler, 80 acres for $800, the balance of land on which Wm Elder now lives including the house in which he lives and improvements, adjoining John Smith, Burras, James D. Scrape, Jenkins, 15 Jan 1820, Book M, page 421

    William Elder sold to James D. Scrape, 50 acres for $500, on Overall's Creek, the west part of Wm Elder's 130 acres, adjoining Burress and Hiram Jenkins, dated 5 Jan 1820 and registered 15 May 1820, Book M, page 422

    William Elder and James D. Scrape sold to Fayette Burras, for $550, the east part of the tract conveyed by Samuel Wilson to William Elder 20 Mar 1817, witnesses Benjamin Towler and William Crisp, dated 20 Mar 1822 and registered 25 Oct 1822, Book O, page 304.

  9. Thomas Elder, son of William Elder

    William Elder, for diverse causes and for $300 paid by son Thomas, sold a wagon, a gray mare and two horses to Thomas, recorded 25 Apr 1820 [Rutherford County, Tennessee, Deed Book M, page361, LDS microfilm ]

    An account of the sales of the estate of Thomas Elder deceased was returned to June Term 1820 by William Elder administrator and recorded 16 Oct 1820; sales included a gray mare and two horses [Tennessee, Rutherford County, Wills, Inventories and Settlements, volume 5, 1820-1823, page 19 (41) (at DAR)]

  10. Elder marriages in Rutherford County [Marriage Record, Rutherford County, Tennessee, 1804-1850, Colonel Hardy Murphree Chapter, DAR]:

    Elder, Benjamin and Eliza Wade Feb 7, 1827 (bond)
    Crisp, Wm and Mary Elder Apr 4, 1821 (bond)

  11. 1830 Census

    Rutherford County, Tennessee [Series M19, Roll 179]:

    Name Page Data
    William Elder 274 1000100000000 | 0000100000000
    James Elder 277 1200010000000 | 2020100000000
    James D. Scrape 277 0021010000000 | 2000100000000
    David Elder 279 1000100000000 | 0000100000000
    Robt Elder 301 1100001000000 | 1000010000000
    Elias Elder 301 0110010000000 | 0000010000000
    Benj Towler 334 0000000000100 | 0000000001000
    William Elder 334 0120100100000 | 0000001000000
    Joshua Elder 340 2000010000000 | 2100010000000
    Benj Elder 359 0000400000000 | 1000100000000

    Gibson County, Tennessee [Series M19, Roll 176]:

    Name Page Data
    William Elder 229 0000100000000 | 0000100000000

    Age ranges: <5; 5-9; 10-14; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-79; 80-89; 90-99; >100 (men first, then women)

  12. Benjamin Towler pension application for service in the Revolutionary War:

    Applied 2 Oct 1832 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, age 80, born Charles City County, Virginia, moved to Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Served under Capt. William Lewis and Capt. Baker Pegram; was at the taking of Lord Cornwallis. William Elder was a witness. Pension was approved.

  13. Abstract of the Will of Benjamin Towler (father-in-law of William Elder) dated 4 May 1831 in Rutherford County, Tennessee

    After all debts paid...
    Grandson John Reese, son of John Reese and Martha Reese – $5
    Granddaughters Sally Scrape and Polly Crisp – $5
    Wife Martha Towler – balance of property during her life
    Daughter Mary Elder – tract of land where I now live and William Elder now lives, slaves; during her life and not to be liable for any contracts of her Husband William Elder; at her death the property is to be equally divided amongst the following Persons, Witness Benjamin Elder, William Elder Jr., James Elder, Robert Elder, Monroe Elder, John W. Elder, and Harry L. Elder
    Grandchildren Sally Dancy heirs – slaves (some already in possession of Isaac Dancy) and $300 from the sale of my stock
    Granddaughters Sally Scrape and Polly Crisp – balance of my stock and household furniture together with the five dollars apiece before named
    Executor Grandson Benjamin Elder

    Benjamin Elder and James D. Scrape posted executors' bond 24 Jul 1838

    Transcribed by Michael Scrape []

  14. 1840 Census

    Gibson County, Tennessee [Series M704, Roll 533]:

    Name Page Data
    Wm Crisp 178 1210000100100 | 1121010000000
    Wm Elder 179 1000100001000 | 1000100010000
    Wm Elder 185 2300010000000 | 1100100000000
    B. Elder 193 2202210000000 | 1011010000000
    James D. Scrape 194 0000201000000 | 2110010000000
    Wm Elder Jr 208 1002010000000 | 1010100000000

    Rutherford County, Tennessee [Series M704, Roll 533]

    Name Page Data
    Joshua Elder 62 2220001000000 | 1111001000000
    Elizabeth Elder 106 0111000000000 | 0110010000000

    Age ranges: <5; 5-9; 10-14; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-79; 80-89; 90-99; >100 (men first, then women)

  15. 1850 Census of Gibson County, Tennessee [Series M432, Roll 878, page 265]
    Name Age Sex Occupation Value -
    Real Estate
    Wm Elder 77 M Farmer 2500 VA
    Mary Elder 70 F VA

  16. Benjamin Elder Bible, originally owned by Benjamin and Eliza A. Wade Elder [Mid-South Bible Records, Volume I, Fort Assumption Chapter, DAR]

    His father William Elder and mother, Mary Towler, together with her parents, Benjamin Towler (Revolutionary Soldier) and wife Martha Darby came to Rutherford County (Murphreesboro) Tennessee from Dinwiddie County, Virginia. The Elders were Methodists, with the exception of my great-grandfather Benjamin Towler Elder who married Eliza Wade a Presbyterian, and on their arrival in Trenton, Tennessee (Gibson County) took his own slaves and built the First Presbyterian Church. He was a large landowner, and in 1835 was listed as a leading merchant of Trenton (Gibson County History)... Signed Ellen Elder

    Benjamin Elder and Eliza Wade was married Feb 8, 1827

    Benjamin Elder was born April 27, 1803
    Eliza A. Wade was born Septr 6, 1809

    Benjamin Towler departed this life March 11, 1838
    Eliza A. Wade ... departed this life July 3, 1861 in the triumph of a living faith
    Benjamin Elder died Feb 15, 1835 (sic-cemetery records say 1895)

  17. Gibson County cemetery records

    Oakland Cemetery, Trenton, Tennessee

    Elder, Benjamin Towler 4-27-1803 2-15-1895
    Elder, Eliza A. Wade 9-6-1809 7-3-1861
    Elder, Robert P. 2-12-1811 9-16-1852
    Elder, John Wesley 6-4-1819 11-12-1902
    Elder, Henry Lucas 6-14-1821 11-17-1878
    Elder, Nancy Marie "Mary" Towler abt 1780 1-??-1865


  18. Biographical sketch of John W. Elder (excerpts)

    There were but few men now living in the city of Trenton whose lives are more intimately connected with the commercial and social history of the place than that of John W. Elder… Mr. Elder has been identified with the growth and development of the town of Trenton almost from the period of its birth. The town was located in 1824 and Mr. Elder became one of its citizens in 1835. From that time forward for more than sixty-seven years, except about three years he spent in Alabama during and after the Civil War, he has been a prominent and active figure in the affairs of the town and county. Mr. Elder is well known to the business world as a merchant and banker, his long career in these pursuits having given him an extensive acquaintance throughout the county. He is the oldest merchant and banker in the county, and, with few exceptions, the oldest citizen.

    Mr. Elder came to Trenton from Rutherford County, Tenn., when a lad of fifteen, in the year 1835.

    Mr. Elder married Miss Martha G. Huston of Alabama in 1841, a noble Christian lady, who remained by his side, contributing to his success and sharing in his disappointments, until July 23, 1879, when she was called away.


  19. Biographical sketch of James Elder (excerpt) [History of the City of Memphis and Shelby County TN, Volume 3, 1888, page 108 (at DAR)]

    James Elder was born 8 Oct 1809 in Dinwiddie County, VA. In 1815 his family moved to Rutherford County, TN, where he resided until 1835. He then moved to Marshall County, MS, and in 1850 moved to Memphis, where he became one of the most successful bankers and capitalists. He married Elizabeth H. Niles of Murfreesboro in 1832. She died 29 Dec 1882. They had 6 daughters, one of whom died in infancy.

    Perhaps this is the infant daughter: Old City Cemetery, Murfreesboro, TN. Elder, Elizabeth, born 2 Aug 1833, died 3 Aug 1834 [Rutherford County, TN, Cemetery Records, page 4 (at DAR)]

  20. Monroe B. Elder death notices [GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS FROM REPORTED DEATHS, THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE 1900-1901, By Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith]

    Page 24, 28 Jun 1900:
    "MONROE B. ELDER born Rutherford Co., Tenn., Oct. 12, 1817; moved to Gibson Co., Tenn. in 1832; until Civil War he was a merchant in Trenton but afterwards farmed; married Lucy Baber, Nov. 2, 1836; she died June 14, 1893; 5 daus., 3 sons. He died in Memphis in residence of his daughter, Mrs. Patterson, May 4, 1900; burial in Trenton, Tenn. [Corrected obituary in July 5, 1900 issue, page 17.]"

    Page 25, 5 Jul 1900:
    "MONROE B. ELDER born Murfreesboro, Tenn., Oct. 17, 1816; married Lucy Baber of Liberty, Va. in 1837; died in Memphis, May 4, 1900. [Evidently a correction of his birth date from obit. published in June 28, 1900 issue.]"