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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who was Thomas Twitty?

  Can court records lead us astray? I posted a blog on Saturday, February 26, 2011, about Fort Twitty, or the Little Fort, named for Captain William Twitty who died there. Recently, I was asked to research Thomas Twitty.  Dr. Don Chesnut, Geology Professor at University of Kentucky has compiled a list of the Boonesborough Settlers at  Twitty surname descendants want to know just who was Thomas Twitty on this list? 
  It appears that some of the names on the Boonesborough Settlers list were taken from depositions given by pioneer settlers during law suits over early land boundary disputes. Because the names are in the Madison county court records, does that necessarily mean they were early settlers at Fort Boonesborough? Madison County was formed in 1785. Should Thomas Twitty be listed there? 
  The following document was found in Madison County Circuit Court Complete Records Book B, part 2, page 528 Blythe Heirs vs Kincaid. These volumes of the Madison County court records are photocopies of the actual circuit court records, not transcriptions, or abstracts.
I have transcribed the document in slightly different format, in order to more clearly see the questions and answers. 

The deposition of Samuel Estill who being of full age deposeth and sayeth by use of interrogatories: 
Question by Complainant: When did you first become acquainted with this place called the little fort?
Answer: In 1779 or 1780 I can't say positively whether I was acquainted with it in 1779 or 1780, but know it was early in 1780. [Note: this was four or five years after Twitty's death]
Question: By some was it not a place notoriously known by the name of the little Fort at that time? 
Answer: It was notoriously known by the little Fort but after called Twitties fort as Twitty was killed at or near the fort and I understand was buried at the fort and I saw T.T. on a tree which was the first letters of his name as I was told his name was Thomas Twitty and it was called the little fort from there being a small fort erected but Twitty and the little fort are both one place. [The interrogation continues regarding other known landmarks.] 

As I mentioned in the previous Fort Twitty blog, there are the other personal accounts of Daniel Boone in his letter to Col. Richard Henderson April 15, 1775, and Felix Walker's narrative, Memoirs of a Southern Congressman. Felix was also wounded at the time Captain William Twitty was killed.   Lastly, there is the nuncupative will of Captain William Twitty. With those together in context, I suggest that Samuel Estill was mistaken in his recollections given in the above deposition. I would also suggest that Thomas Twitty was not among the Boonesborough settlers as there is no other mention, or record of a Thomas Twitty other than in this deposition.

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