This Melkijah Vaughan was an
early resident of
Cotaco/Morgan County, Alabama, which he represented
at the Alabama Constitutional Convention and in the
Alabama State Legislature. Unfortunately, a well known
book, A History of Morgan County, Alabama by John
Knox, contains erroneous information about the Mr.
Vaughan who did those things and one reason for my
writing this paper is to show that Mr. Knox was mistaken
in his identification of this person.
Ref: A History of Morgan County, Alabama.
Page 1: Melkijah Vaughn, co-operator of one of Somerville's
first stores was a delegate to the first constitutional
convention, and served as a representative from Cotaco
County in the 1818 General Assembly.
He had come from Brunswick Co., Virginia, where he
had married Delilah McKenny in 1791. She died in 1815
and his second wife was Dicey (Wesson) Walker. Vaughn
moved to Georgia about 1798-99, returned to Virginia for
a while, and then came to Morgan County about 1817.
He seems to have returned to Morgan, since he served in
the legislature again in 1825 and 1827. He died in Morgan
County about 1828. His land grants were in the region
north of Florette and near the site of the first county court,
but his business and political interests seem to have centered
Mr. Knox was correct in stating that
there was a Micajah
Vaughan in Brunswick County who married (1) Delilah
McKenny and (2) Dicey (Wesson) Walker, but he was
mistaken in saying that it was this Micajah Vaughan of
Brunswick County who was the politician of Cotaco/Morgan
Melkijah and Micajah are NOT the same
while the name of the Brunswick County man is never
seen with an "l" in it, that of the Alabama-Tennessee man
is almost never seen without the "l". Micajah was a very
common name in early nineteenth century America and it
is understandable if, occasionally, the name "Melkijah"
was written as "Micajah". The earliest instance of the
name "Melkijah" that I have found is in the Sprag(g)ins
family of Halifax County, Virginia, with whom the
Vaughan family of Catawba Creek in that county inter-
married. In the early nineteenth century, there was a
man named Melkijah Spraggins Vaughan who bought
land in southern Louisiana, I believe, but cannot prove,
that he was the same man who lived in Alabama and in
Wilson County, Tennessee
The name Melkijah Vaughan is found
branches of the Vaughan family in Mississippi, Tennessee
and Texas, often in families which also used the given
The earliest known Hundley Vaughan was definitely from
Caroline, later Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties,
Virginia, and is not known ever to have been associated
with the Brunswick County Vaughan family.
The Personal Property Tax Lists of Virginia,
at the Virginia State Archives, are a most useful tool for
proving residence in Virginia after 1782, since a man will
not be shown on one of these lists unless he actually resided
in the county during the year in question. I have read these
lists for Brunswick County for the years 1810 to 1825; I
wanted to see if Micajah Vaughan was living in Brunswick
County at a time when Melkijah Vaughan is known to have
been in Alabama, which would, of course, prove that they
were two different men. I chose the years 1810-1825
because I can pinpoint Melkijah as being in Alabama in
at least some of those years, I did not find Micajah in
every year's tax list; I read hurriedly and it is possible
that a more careful reading would locate him. I did find
that Micajah was in Brunswick County in 1812, 1813,
1814 (and other years), and Melkijah can definitely be
placed in Alabama during that time.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, VIRGINIA, PERSONAL
PROPERTY TAX LISTS
Columns: (1) White male tithables (2 and 3) Slaves, most
years the two columns are designated "Slaves under 12"
and "Slaves over 12" (4) Horses.
Micajor Vaughan 1--1
1807 Micajor Vaughan 1--1
1808 There is no list for 1808
1809 Micajor Vaughan 1--1
1810 Micajah Vaughan 1--1
1811 Micajah Vaughan 2--2
1812 Micajah Vaughan 2--2
1813 Micajah Vaughan 2--2
1814 Micajar Vaughan 3--2
1815 Micajar Vaughan 3--2
1816 Not found
1817 Not found
1818 Micajah Vaughan 1--1
1819 Not found
1820 Micajah Vaughan 1--1
1821 Micajah Vaughan -1--
1822 Micajah Vaughan 1--1
1823-1825 Not found
Melkijah Vaughan was in Alabama in
1813. He served
in the 7th Regiment, Mississippi Territorial Militia
from Madison County, Alabama, from November 8, 1813
until December 9, 1813.
He was also in Alabama in 1818.
On July 8, 1818,
the Land Office at Huntsville (Alabama) issued a document
which states, "It is hereby certified that Melkijah
Vaughan of Cotaco County, A. T., did on the Eighth day
of July 1818 purchase the lot or North East quarter of
Section numbered one in Township No. Seven, Range No.
Two West, in the District of Lands offered for sale at
Huntsville...159 80/100 acres in Mad. Dist., A. T ...
$319.00. . ." So he must have been in Alabama in 1818,
and that is confirmed by the fact that he served in the
General Assembly from Cotaco County that year. It is
further confirmed by the fact that his name appears in
a record of the Cotaco County Orphans Court in 1818.
It seems highly unlikely that he could
have been in
Virginia in both 1813 and 1814, then would have gone
to Alabama just long enough to do a short stint in
the militia before returning once again to Virginia.
It is, of course, possible that a man was in Virginia
early in 1818, then moved to Alabama, but it seems
quite improbable that he would have been chosen that
very same year to represent his Alabama county in the
General Assembly, that he would then have returned to
Virginia to be found once again, a year later (1820),
on the Brunswick County Tax List.
I briefly checked the deed index in
for Micajah Vaughan; I found only two entries:
(Brunswick County, Virginia, Deed Book 20, page 284).
April 5 1807, Griffin Stith of Brunswick County to
Micajah Vaughan of same... I didn't make an abstract
(Brunswick County, Virginia, Deed Book 23, page
January 4, 1815. Micajah Vaughan and Delilah his wife
sold to Sarah Tacket of Brunswick County, for $25.00,
16 acres in Brunswick County bounded by: Burchetts
Road, John (?)Frasers line, John Sadlers line and Susan
Sadlers line ...
Wits: Thomas Dr_______ /s/ Micajah (X his mark)
John Wyche /s/ Delilah (X her mark) Vaughan
Matthew M. Harris
To whom it may concern. . .we John (?)Fraser and
(?)Fraser wife of said John. . .for ourselves. . .and each
of our heirs. . .and any other person claiming under us. . .
relinquish all right and title. . .we have or May have had. .
by virtue of any conveyance from Micajah Vaughan . . .to
the described land ...
Note that Micajah Vaughan of Brunswick County signed
his name by mark and could hardly have been the man
who was a professional school teacher in Wilson County,
Tennessee, or (as has been said) was Clerk of the Court in
Blount County, Alabama.
Further confirmation that Melkijah
Vaughan of Alabama
was not Micajah Vaughan of Brunswick County, Virginia is
found in History of Tennessee, Sumner, Smith, Macon and
Trousdale Counties. Goodspeed. (Nashville 1887), page
923. The subject of this biographical sketch is Dr. T. S.
Vaughan who at that time lived near Gallatin, Sumner
County, Tennessee, and who presumably was the person
who gave the information for the sketch.
"T. S. Vaughan, M. D ... is a
native of Wilson County,
Tenn. born in 1820 and the son of Rev. M. S. and Sarah
R. (Vaughan) Vaughan. The father was of Welsh descent,
born in Georgia in 1797, and when a child went to Alabama.
He was married in Wilson County, Tenn. and located in
Blount Springs, Ala., after marriage. At an early age he
took an interest in politics, and soon became one of the
leading politicians of Alabama, and one of its most
influential citizens. He was one of the framers of the
constitution of the State, and afterward served in both
branches of the Legislature for several years. About 1832
he moved to Wilson County, Tenn.. and in 1839 entered the
ministry, advocating the Cumberland Presbyterian faith.
He was both a circuit and local minister, having charge
of one church for eighteen years. He was also a teacher
by profession being for twenty-four years principal of
the La Guardo Academy ... He died in 181. For several
years he was engaged in surveying cotton lands in
Mississippi for the Federal Government. He served
through the war of 1812. His wife wasborn in 1798 in
Wilson County, Tenn. She died in 1873. . ."
I cannot account for the statement
of John Knox in
History of Morgan County that Melkijah Vaughan, the
early settler in Cotaco/Morgan County, was the same man
as Micajah Vaughan of Brunswick County, Virginia, since
that obviously is not the case. As I have shown,
Melkijah’s own son, Dr. T. S. Vaughan, refutes it, and
the available documentary evidence supports Dr. Vaughan's
As stated in the referenced biographical
although married in Tennessee, Melkijah and Sarah made
their home in Alabama for a few years before settling in
Wilson County, Tennessee, near some of Sarah's brothers,
where they lived out their lives. In 1922, a granddaughter
stated that they "reared 9 children all boys."
1. (Dr.) Tallyerand
S. Vaughan (born November 2
(or 5), 1820, in Alabama, died October 28, 1892
and buried in Gallatin Cemetery, Sumner County,
Tennessee). He married, in Sumner County, July
12, 1850, Mildred Ann Lane (born October 23,
1832; died August 9, 1901, and also buried in
2. Elisha B. Vaughan
(August 2, 1822 - February
3. Thomas Lafayette
Vaughan (February 12, 1825 -
August 12, 1837)
4. Hundley L. Vaughan
(born October 18, 1826;
died in Wilson County, Tennessee, November 22,
married, November 26, 1868, Semi Donnell, and
had one daughter, Anna Hundley Vaughan (born
1869-1870, and mentioned in the will of her
grandfather, Melkijah S. Vaughan. Untraced.
5. Unwin Adison Vaughan
(January 4, 1829 -
January 25, 1829)
6. William Wirt Vaughan
(born March 30, 1830 or
July 2, 1831 [Sources differ] at La Guardo,
Wilson County, Tennessee; died in Crockett
County, Tennessee, August 19, 1878, and buried
in Oakwood Cemetery, Brownsville, Haywood
married, September 11, 1858, Mary W. Allison
(born in Tennessee ca 1841) and had daughters
Allis born before the 1870 census; possibly
there were other children born after 1870.
The Biographical Directory of the United States
1774-1989, lists William Wirt Vaughan as a Representative
from Tennessee to the Forty-second Congress, and un-
successful candidate for reelection to the Forty-third
Congress. He was an attorney and was "one of the prime
movers in the building of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad
branch from Brownsville to Newbern, and was president
of the system at the time of his death..."
7. James T.
Vaughan (born February 24, 1833;
died June 7, 1878)
married, October 15, 1862, Sanny Kilebrew)
8. Edmund Davis
Vaughan (born April 27, 1835;
died at Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee,
February 26, 1906) married, in Wilson County,
November 1, 1865, Ella J. Kirkpatrick, who
survived him and applied for a Confederate
Pension in Tennessee. She stated that they
had eight children, two of whom were John C.
and M. K. (male).
9. John Dillard
Vaughan (born March 5, 1837;
died of tuberculosis in Davidson County,
Tennessee, ca 1886).
married, September 5. 1866, in Haywood County,
Tennessee, Mary R. Loving (born in Brownsville,
Tennessee, March 19, 1847; died there in 1930),
daughter of General Will H. and Ruth (Fletcher)
Loving and granddaughter of Judge Thomas
Fletcher of Nashville. They were the parents of
nine children, including the daughter who
answered the questionnaire of the Tennessee
Historical Committee. In 1921, she stated that
all nine children had lived until "a few years ago"
when the oldest, William Loving Vaughan, died.
When Mary (Loving) Vaughan died her obituary
listed her surviving children as:
Mrs. Joseph Walker of Joelton
Mrs. J. T. Lansden of Livingston
Miss Susie Vaughan
Miss Lena Vaughan
Mrs. Ruth Taylor of Nashville
Mrs. Ewing Tune of Una
J. D. Vaughan of Nashville
R. H. Vaughan of Glasgow, Kentucky
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