LT Zachariah Isbell, II

LT Zachariah Isbell, II

Virginia, USA
Death 1799 (aged 53–54)
Sevier County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 166256400 · View Source
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Some researchers give his birth as circa 1751 Bedford County, Virginia.[1] Ann Blomquist (First Families of Tennessee) gives his birth as circa 1745 and death 1796-99.[2]

On record in Orange County, Virginia, before his appearance in the records of Bedford County, Virginia.

Zachariah Isbell Jr. was a Revolutionary War-era soldier[48] like his father[49], but historians and family genealogists over the years have disagreed in attempts to identify Zachariah Senior from Zachariah Junior in the meagre records.

"A Plea of Trespass" by Stephen C. Wicks, p. 4, shows Zach Sr. at King's Mountain: "At King's Mountain, differences set aside, Zachariah Isbell, James Robertson, John Sevier, and William Cocke fought together in a common cause."[50]

Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution (1932) by the N.C. Chapter DAR, ed. by Gertrude May Sloan Hay, p. 482: "Page 192. Zachary Isbell, early Watauga settler," listed among the King's Mtn. (p.479).

Another source says the list comes from Pierce's Register, 17th Report of the NSDAR; "The general index of the register is preserved in MSS. in the Library of Congress."
North Carolina Revolutionary War Soldiers, by the DAR, p.192: Zachary Isbell.

Roster of Soldiers & Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee (1974) by Lucy Womack Bates, p. 210: "Isbell, Zachary - early Watauga settler - at King's Mt. One of 13 Commissioners elected by 1772 Convention to formulate laws. Justice of Washington Co. 1778. Signer of Halifax Petition. Ref.: White: KMM p.192." (This is Zach Sr)
NSSAR PATRIOT & GRAVE RECORD (1993) by Clovis H. Brakebill: "Ancestor #P-189996, Zachary Isbell, N.C. Patriot, buried in Washington Co., TN." (National Society Sons of the American Revolution). (Zachary Sr; Jr died in Sevier Co)

North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, ed. by Weynette Parks Haun, p.23:
Isbell, Zacha, I-48-2 (vol. 1)

Revolutionary War Army Account
Volume 1 reports certificates that were used by the holders to pay state fees for land entries made during 1783-84 in what later became eastern Tennessee... The volume does not state why the holders were issued the certificates, whether for military service or other service, although many were for military service.

Treasurer and Comptroller s.115.57
Military Papers
Revolutionary War Accounts (N.C. State Archives)
Vol. 1, T&C Military Papers 55:
Page 480
Folio 2
1695 ditto (Bledsoe & Adams) Zachr. Isbell 12 June 1783 (sum: 5 lb 10 )

Treasurer and Comptroller s.115.101
Military Papers
Revolutionary Vouchers
The State of North Carolina No. 1695 5lb /10
The ** sureties? For the Counties of Washington & Sullivan certify that Zach….h Isbell
**real five pounds ten shillings **(pence?)
(something) Voucher(?) 12th of June 1783
(s) J. Sevier, Sec.(or Sen.?) Landon Carter
Anthony Bledsoe

The sole voucher does not distinguish between two men of the same name. Only one Zachary Isbell (Sr., the Wataugan) is discussed in KK White's book (pp. 7, 192), although both Sr & Jr signed the Watauga Petition. Pat Alderman's books list two Zachary Isbells.

Zach Jr. was at the Battle of King's Mountain[48], as was his father [49] according to most accounts with oral family history of Zach Sr. documented as early as 1860 [27,37]. Lay researchers and armchair historians have been satisfied with the family lore recited in numerous secondary sources that both were Revolutionary War soldiers and both at King's Mountain. The current thought is that Zachariah Jr. (aged about 30-36) is the one designated as Lt. Zachary Isbell since his father Capt. Zachariah Isbell was older (55-60) and also would have had to take a demotion in rank to be a lieutenant. Capt. Zach and Zach Jr., as family researchers once referred to them, are often styled Judge Zachary and Lt. Zachary today [2,46,47].

September 25, 1780: 1,100 militiamen mustered at Sycamore Shoals (Elizabethton), Tennessee, adjacent to Fort Watauga. Colonel William Campbell arrived with 400 Virginians from the Holston Valley. Colonel Benjamin Cleveland and Major Joseph Winston brought men from the Yadkin Valley in Wilkes and Surry counties, N.C. Col. Isaac Shelby brought 240 militiamen from N.C.; Colonel John Sevier provided approximately 200-250 men including his local militia. No muster list has been preserved showing the names of the Watauga militiamen who went to Kings Mountain but some historians such as Katherine White and Pat Alderman have made extrapolations including some family and oral histories to compile partial rosters. While there is no muster roll or roster showing every soldier that fought at Kings Mountain, it strains credibility to claim (for lack of additional documentation) that Col. Sevier's 200-250 militiamen did not include Capt. Godfrey Isbell, Lt. Zachary Isbell and other militiamen documented to have served under Col. Sevier the same year. It is more probable they did, especially in light of the family stories[1,17,37,38] handed down.

THE KING'S MOUNTAIN MEN (1924; 2010) by Katherine Keogh White, p.192.
GENEALOGY OF THE ISBELL FAMILY (1929) by Mary Scott, p.217(1927 letter of Ellis Isbell).
ONE HEROIC HOUR AT KING'S MOUNTAIN (1968; rep. 1990) by Pat Alderman, pp 56, 50, 88.
THE OVERMOUNTAIN MEN (1970; rep. 1986) by Pat Alderman, pp 118 and 122.
THE PATRIOTS AT KING'S MOUNTAIN (1990;2003 reprint) by Bobby Gilmer Moss, p. 285.

Zachariah or Zachary Isbell Sr. is styled a magistrate, sheriff[14], and a Captain in Colonial records[15], qualifying descendants for membership in the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century. He is often referred to as Capt. Zachariah Isbell among Isbell family researchers, and Judge Zachariah Isbell. Many descendants believe his wife Elizabeth was Elizabeth Miller.

Others believe Elizabeth Miller was the wife of Zachariah Isbell Jr.[2], as is the accepted opinion of the genealogists for the First Families of Tennessee.
Zachariah Jr.'s wife is called Polly Miller by some descendants.[1,3] Elizabeth Miller Isbell was the daughter of John and Hannah Miller and a sister of Abraham Miller.[10,11,12] Descendants of John and Hannah Miller qualify for:

Descendants of Zachariah Isbell and Elizabeth Miller qualify for membership in

1778 Washington Co. Tax List shows in consecutive order Godfrey Isbell, Joseph Pinson and Zach Isbell. (Joseph was a son of Judge Aaron Pinson, on the court with Zach Isbell Sr) . Then further down the list is "Zach Isbell, Esq.” (which is Zach Isbell Sr., proving that the first Zach Isbell in the list next to Joseph Pinson was Zach Isbell Jr.).

Kentucky Records Series, vol. 28, by Michael L. Cook (1988): 23 June 1786, p.513:
"Upon the petition of James Davis and Deborah Davis his wife, and Abraham Miller the Younger, a minor, by the said James Davis his Guardian, it is ord'd that the Sheriff of Rockingham County summon to appear here on the ninth day of the next Supreme Court, John Thomas to prove the will of Abraham Miller the Elder, dec'd, and take upon himself the execution thereof, or show cause to the contrary. And also that the said Sheriff summon the said John Thomas and Jemima Thomas his wife, and that the Sheriff of Lincoln County summon Zachariah Isbell and Elizabeth Isbell his wife, Wm. Field and Mary Field his wife, and Hannah Robertson, legatees under the said will, to appear here on the same day to answer the petition of the said James, Deborah and Abraham exhibited against them. And it is further ord'd that the present Admrs do not pay away any legacy or legacies or any part thereof to any person whatever claiming the same until the further order of this court."[12]

1792-94: Several Tennessee (N.C.) land grants originally granted Zachariah Isbell (Sr) were finally patented by the current owners (after several years): 1 land grant in Washington Co., TN. and 3 in Greene Co., TN.

1794: His brother Jason Isbell had already gone to Sevier County before 1794. *Hist. of Washington Co., TN (1988) by the Watauga Assn. of Genealogists, p. 383; also: Heritage of Jackson Co., AL., p.206: "Jason Isbell had a land grant in Greene Co., N.C. (later TN) in 1788 and was found February 1794 in Jefferson Co., N.C. (now TN) on an indenture with William Thornton to John Knave, Sr. The… (p.207)…of Jason's name to William Fox.
Jason was found recorded on 3/8/1794 on the church minutes of Big Pigeon Baptist Church. The record reads: "Received a friendly letter from the Little Church at Little Pigeon (Sevierville) requesting us to look into the matter of their members who were living in bounds of our church, to wit, Brother Jesse Isbell and wife and Vine Taylor. Upon investigation, this reports that Jason Isbol has gone to Caintuck (Kentucky)."

Nov 6, 1795: Zachary Isbell of Sevier County bought 190 acres in Jefferson County, TN. from Henry Webster for £50; witnesses: John Wright, Thomas Henderson, Samuel Sellers, and Henry Thornbury. [5,6,7]

March 22, 1796: Zachary Isbel(l) of Sevier County sold the 190 acres (above) to James Tucker for only £43 (for a loss of £7). Witnesses: John Wright, Joseph Patterson, and William Sally. He signed his name Zachr Isbel(l). [8]
No release of his wife's dower, so perhaps she had died.[2]

July 1796:
Tennessee Genealogical Records: Records of Early Settlers from State and County Archives (1980) by Edythe Rucker Whitley, p. 131:
An undated legislative petition circa July 1796 was signed by Miller Isbell, William Isbell, and Jason Isbell, but not by Zachariah Isbell.

Roster of Soldiers & Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee (1974) by Lucy Womack Bates, p. 210, says Zachariah Isbell is buried in Tennessee but no specific place named.
"Alphabetic Kings Mtn. Patriots and Others" from the BKMnp website online lists Lt. Zachery Isbell and cites "Rev. War Soldiers Who Are Buried in TN" p. 90, no author given but possibly an earlier edition of the Bates book).

Zachariah and Elizabeth Isbell are probably buried on their farm near Sevierville, as was the prevailing custom, unless buried at a nearby church or cemetery.

1799 Sevier County Petition: Zachariah Isbell not listed (deceased), but three sons: Miller, Levi, and William Isbell. [9] Petition of Sundry Inhabitants South of French Broad to the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Tennessee and To the Speaker of Both Houses.

In 1807, William Isbell was mentioned in a Sevier County land record as adjoining Robert Bird (Fox, George and Juanita. Sevier County, Tennessee/ State of Tennessee Land Grants 1806-1900 (2002); Bk 2, p. 523, No. 1434). William's land may have been inherited from his father Zach Isbell.

Early family histories report the earliest ancestor as Sir William Fitz-Isbell, Viscount London, or Lord London (c1160).[16]

1 John Isbell (England to Gloucester County, Virginia by 1664), presumptive father of
2 William Isbell of Isbell Spring, St. John's Parish, King William County; father of Henry, William Jr., John
+ wife unknown; next door to Enfield Plantation
3 Henry Isbell b.c1690 of Orange Co.; constable of Caroline Co., d. c1760
+ daughter of "James Cox, Gent.," d c1739 St. Mark's Parish, Orange Co. (July 25, 1733; Spots Orders, 7 Aug, p.240); sons: William, James, Henry Jr., Zachariah
4 Hon. Capt. Zachary/Zachariah Isbell b c1722-6
+ Elizabeth
5 Lt. Zachariah Isbell Jr.
+ Elizabeth Miller

1. McKinney, Wanda L. "Descendants of Zachariah Isbell From Kings Mountain to the Present," ARKANSAS FAMILY HISTORIAN, vol. XV, no. 2 (April-June 1977), pp. 67-70.
2. Ann Blomquist, historian, official genealogist of the East Tennessee Historical Society and editor, First Families of Tennessee. Available online in her "Tates of the South" gedcom at, WorldConnect Project.
3. Wayne Peters, "The Peters Heritage." This shows Eliz. Miller as wife of Zach Sr.
4. Heritage of Walker County, Georgia, 1833-1983 p.43b.
5. Jefferson Co., TN. Deed Bk C, p. 183
6. Holdaway, Boyd. Land Deeds of Jefferson County TN 1792-1814 (1991) p.54
7. Fox, George and Juanita, Sevier County TN Pre-1856 Courthouse Fire Records (2009) p. 134.)
8. Jefferson Co. Tennessee Deed Bk C, p. 232; Holdaway, 57; Fox, 35)
9. Sistler, Byron and Barbara. Early Tennessee Tax Lists (1977), p.103.
10. John Miller estate. Lincoln County, Kentucky, Inventories, Book A: July 17, 1781.
11. Hannah Miller died 1795 Mercer Co., KY. Her will dated 1786 names her four daughters, Jemima Thomas, Elizabeth, Mary Fields, and Hannah Robinson. Mercer County Kentucky Will Book 1, pages 157-59. Some family trees show Hannah Miller's maiden name as Isbell. Several other family trees on (not verified) show her as Hannah Crawford Miller, daughter of James Crawford and Sarah Biddle of the Baltimore and Philadelphia Biddles.
12. Virginia Supreme Court, District of Kentucky, Order Books 1783-1792: Estate of Abraham Miller: 23 June 1786, page 513. (Kentucky Records Series, vol. 28, by Michael L. Cook [1988].)
13. Miller, John. "The Isbell Family of Washington County, Tennessee," Bulletin of the Watauga Association of Genealogists, Vol. 25, No. 2 (1996), pp. 112-114.
14. He was the first sheriff and magistrate of Bedford County, Virginia; helped lay out the first county seat, New London; one of three county trustees. Bedford County Deed Book A, p. 113: "This indenture made the 28th of March one Thousand and seven Hundred and fifty-seven Between William Callaway of the County of Bedford of the one Part and Richard Callaway, Zachary Isbell and Benjamin Howard, Gents, trustees for the said county of Bedford of the other part...." Most transcriptions read "Howard, Gent."(Putnam's Historical Magazine (1898) vol. 8, p.175;etc. ) and others say "Gents." (New London the Forgotten By Claude A. Thompson).
15. (A) "Unrecorded Plats to Lands not Granted," Box 4, #1037 (S. C. Archives): Plat for William Price on Sandy Run of Broad River in Craven County, S.C., dated April 18, 1768, in which the adjoining property is "land laid out to Capt. Isbell"; (B) a deed dated May 14, 1778, from Thomas Roden and his wife Mary, of St. Mark's Parish, South Carolina, to Richard Nance, for 112 acres on Sandy Creek north of Broad River, 50 acres of which were part of a grant of 250 acres to "Capt. Zachariah Isbell."
Called "Capt. Zachariah Isbell" in numerous online postings claiming he served in the French and Indian War. Likely in a local militia in Virginia, if not S.C.
16. GENEALOGY OF THE ISBELL FAMILY (1929) by Mary Scott, pp. 11, 216. A survey of London (1842) By John Stow, pp. 185-86; The Medieval English Borough (1936) by James Tait, pp. 168-69; A Chronicle of London, From 1089 to 1483 (1827) by Sir Humphry Davy, p. 2, etc. Often written Fitz-Isabel. Also project description at Isbell DNA website, FamilyTreeDNA dot com.
17. Heritage of Marshall Co., AL, p. 198
18. Heritage of Jackson Co., AL., p.207.
19.Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution (1932) by the N.C. DAR, ed. by Gertrude May Sloan Hay, p. 482 lists "Zachary Isbell, early Watauga settler," and others at King's Mtn. from Pierce's Register, 17th Report of the NSDAR; "The general index of the register is preserved in MSS. in the Library of Congress."
Also: North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, p.23.
Also: North Carolina Revolutionary War Soldiers, by the DAR, p.192.
20. Cited in pension application of soldier who served under him (National Archives).
21. The Overmountain Men by Pat Alderman, pp. 118, 122, which differentiates between Zachery Isbell (Sr) and Lt. Zackery Isbell (Jr). See Footnote 23.
Also SAR Revolutionary War Graves Register (1993) by SAR, compiler Clovis H. Brakebill: Ancestor #P-189996, Zachary Isbell, N.C. Patriot, buried in Washington Co., TN. (CD from Progeny Publishing Co., Buffalo, NY, 1998). That is Sr.
22. First Families of Tennessee: A Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-Day Descendants, p.187, by the East Tennessee Historical Society, Ann Blomquist, editor.
23. The Overmountain Men (1970;rep. 1986) by Pat Alderman,
page 59: Zachariah Isbell, Esquire.(Zachariah Sr)
An incomplete listing of the officers and men that participated in the King's Mountain Campaign
Rank listed is at time of battle. ...
p.118: Isbell, Godfrey, Captain
Isbell, Zachery, Lieutenant. (Jr)
Other soldiers (common soldiers or rank unknown):
p.122: James Isbell, Francis Isbell, Livingston Isbell, Thomas Isbell, ZACKARY Isbell, Henry Isbell. (This is evidently Zach Sr. on p.122, definitely not the same Lt. Zachery Isbell shown on p.118.)
24. The King's Mountain Men (1924; rep. 2010) by Katherine Keogh White, p.192: "Zachary (Isbell), an early Watauga settler, was in the battle. He was one of thirteen commissioners elected by the convention of 1772 to formulate laws. The others were William Been, Jacob Brown, John Carter, John Jones, Robert Lucas, Jacob Womack, Charles Robertson, James Robertson, George Russell, John Sevier, James Smith and William Tatham. ALL WERE PRESENT AT KING'S MOUNTAIN."
On page 7: "All the men signing the petition were frontier soldiers, and nearly all fought at King's Mountain. The names found in the North Carolina Records are William Been, Jacob Brown, John Carter (chairman), Zachary Isbell, John Jones, Robert Lucas, James Robertson, George Russell, James Smith, James Stephenson, William Tatham (clerk), and Jacob Womack." Page 226: "Zachary Isbell, and Robert Davis were lieutenants."
25. Roster of Soldiers & Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee (1974) by Lucy Womack Bates, p. 210 says he was at King's Mtn.
26. Tennessee the Volunteer State (1923) by John Trotwood Moore & Austin Powers Foster, p. 93 ("fearless soldier").
27. Genealogy of the Isbell Family (1929) by Mary Scott, p.217, letter from Col. John Ellis Isbell (1852-1945), founder of the town of Isbell, Alabama, dated Feb. 27, 1927: "My father (Ellis Isbell, 1797-1880) was born in Caroline County, Virginia, and came to Alabama in 1815. He told me that all the Isbells in the United States were descendants of three brothers… I know about Zack. Isbell at King's Mountain, and my father said that he was a son of one of the three brothers mentioned above." Ellis Isbell was Zachariah's grand-nephew. This letter references the Isbell family tradition that Zachariah was at King's Mountain. See Footnote 38.
28. Tennessee Historical Quarterly (1967), p.140.
29. Monroe Co., TN Heritage (1997), p. 253
30. History of Washington Co., TN (1988), p.383 at King's Mtn.; p.381 says he was in the militia.
31. Dawn of Tennessee Valley and Tennessee History (1937) by Samuel Cole Williams, p. 374
32. Heritage of Marshall Co., AL, p. 198
33. The Isbill Branches (1992) by Robert Taylor Lee & Edith Ward.
34. Samuel Sherill And Some of His Descendants (1994) by M.L.& J.D. Sherrill, p.73 (says most of the commissioners were at King's Mtn).
35. Heritage of Jackson Co., AL., p.207 (says Zach Jr was in Revolutionary War).
36. Annals of Tennessee (1853) by James G.L. Ramsey, p. 108: "Zachariah Isbell was a fearless soldier, and was, for years after, engaged in the military operations of the country." This, just 65 years after Zach's death. The earliest published references appear to focus on his involvement in the Watauga settlement and serving in the militia under Col. Sevier and seem to indicate he was at King's Mountain but don't seem to state so directly (as Footnote 27 is specific).
37. The late researcher Ethlyn Isbell Rainey Bartle wrote about 1980 that after the death of her grandmother Jane Dowdy Isbell, who lived with her parents, a letter from Lyman Draper (1825-1891) was found in her effects asking if E.M. Isbell's grandfather was Zachariah Isbell who was in the Battle of Kings Mountain. He was her husband's great-grandfather. A copy of the response was not with the letter, but Ethlyn's aunt Nora McGriff stated that she wrote the response for her parents and that the response was, yes, Zachariah was "a grandfather" of E.M. Isbell. (Zachariah Jr. was his great-grandfather.) The Ethlyn Rainey Collection was donated to Samford University upon her death several years ago but does not appear yet to have been assessioned and available for search. Two nieces and Rev. Sherman Isbell were scanning and organizing the entire collection.
38. In 1980, Laura Gregory wrote that her grandfather Col. John Ellis Isbell saw a book or article around 1920 mentioning Zachariah Isbell at Kings Mountain and it jarred his memory or caused him to tell his children and grandchildren that he remembered his father telling him (c1860-80) about his grand-uncle Zachariah Isbell being at the Battle of Kings Mountain as mentioned in the letter he wrote Mary Scott in 1927 (see footnote 27).
39. ONE HEROIC HOUR AT KING'S MOUNTAIN (1968; rep. 1990) by Pat Alderman, pp 56 (Isbell, Zachery, Lieutenant), 60 (Isbell, Zackary), 88 (Isbell, Zachary). See Footnotes 21 & 23. Page 56 is officer Lt. Zachery Isbell while p.60 is private or unknown rank Zackary Isbell (two different men), while index says Zachary pp. 60 and 88.
40. "Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals," a 3-hour outdoor theatrical production performed annually at the Fort Watauga Amphitheater in Elizabethton, Tennessee, includes Zachariah Isbell who was at the Battle of King's Mountain and his wife Betsey.
41. A citation says "The Patriots at King's Mountain (1990, reprint 2003) by Bobby Gilmer Moss, p. 285: Francis Isbell, Godfrey Isbell, Livingston Isbell, Thomas Isbell, William Isbell and Zachary Isbell. James Isbell (p.133), Pendleton Isbell (p.134). A reprint published together with K.K. White's roster." Page 133, however, is in K.K. White's section. I believe the citation is incorrect and this was a reprint of Pat Alderman's book.
42. The Tennessee Rifleman, Volumes 1-13 by Tennessee Soc. SAR, p.47.
43. Ann Blomquist, FFT; the late researcher Sarah Coon, internet posting; Rev. Sherman Isbell, and Ray Isbell.
44. Bound for the Promised Land (1992) by Joan Cobb, pp. 333-34.
45. Cobb, pp. 333-34, 341.
46. Cobb, p. 334;
47. The Watauga Association of Genealogists, vol. 25 no. 2 (1996), pp.112-14, "The Isbell Family of Washington Co., TN." by John Miller; p.113 says Lt. Zachariah Isbell Jr. was at King's Mountain.
48. Footnotes 1-4,13,17-20,23, 35,37,39,40-44; see also 38 and 49.
49. Footnotes 1,3,4,13,18-34,36,38,39,45, 50. Also stated in Isbell Country by Odessa M. Isbell, p. 8; History of Washington County, Tenn. (1988), Compiled by the Watauga Assn. of Genealogists, p.383.
50. The Library Development Review, 1985/86 , Univ. of TN., edited by John Dobson.

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  • Created by: Ray Isbell
  • Added: 30 Jun 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 166256400
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LT Zachariah Isbell, II (1745–1799), Find A Grave Memorial no. 166256400, citing Forks of the Little Pigeon Cemetery, Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Ray Isbell (contributor 47188697) .