Joel Dunlap Nave was born the 16th of seventeen chcildren of Abraham Nave Sr. and Mary Williams. He was named for the husand of his older sister, Elizabeth. Joel was a strong Union supporter during the Civil War but avoided being conscripted to serve in either army. He inherited the prosperous Abrahem Nave farm for taking care of his parents in their old age and his epileptic brother John. He was a prosperous farmer and a personal friend of President Andrew Johnson. Joel married Sarah Ann Barbara McQueen on 3 jun 1849 in Johnson,TN.