me and Willie

Genealogy research – a hobby or an obsession?

At any rate, I love the research and solving the puzzles (or not) and making the connections (even if quite distant).

Singer/Songwriter Willie Hugh Nelson and I share the same KEITH ancestor. This makes us thousandeth-cousins or something like that.

No musical ability at all.

Nichodemas KEITH (1755?-1831?) , son of William KEITH ( – )  and Ann NEWBERRY ( – ) .

Born 1755 (approx) Virginia or maybe Ireland.  Married Margaret ‘Peggy’ BORDEN “about 1774 -1775”, Virginia,  Died 1831 (approx)  McNairy County, Tennessee.


The Honourable, The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, now in Session.

The prayers of your petitions most humbly herewith:

That, whereas the Warlike, and gloomy attitude of the present crisis very clearly indicates that a considerable number of the Militia of said State will inevitably be called out in defence of their country–And, in as much as there hath been Writs of Ejection served on a large number of the inhabitants of the County of Bledsoe, (and it is highly probable that a considerable number more will shortly share the same fate) in consequence of their Land Claims–Now should those Suits terminate in favour of the Plaintiffs, in the absence of the Defendants (they being in the Service of their Country) and their families be displaced, would consequently subject them to very serious inconveniences, and very probably, to great injuries and hardships.  Therefore it is our earnest prayer, that your honourable God would (if consistent with your policy) suspend the operation of the Land Law in the aforesaid State, during the continuation of the present War between the United States of America and Great Britain, or as long as you, in your wisdom may deem most Expedient.

Included in the approximately 200 hundred names were:

David Keeth

Ely Keeth

Nicodemus Keeth (my ancestor and Willie’s ancestor)

James Keeth

Stephen Keeth

James Keeth

James Keith

Samuel Cowan (my ancestor)


Nichodemas Keith was listed on the tax roll in Knox County, Tennessee in 1799.

He was in Bledsoe County in 1812.

Bledsoe County, Tennessee Deed Book

Page 176

November 14, 1826

Nichodemus Keith and Margaret his wife, show as one of the heirs of John Burdin [Borden], dec’d., and her sister Anna McWilliams, gave Power of Attorney to William Burdin [Borden] of White County, Tennessee to represent them in the “John Borden Estate Court Case” in Virginia.

Willie Hugh Nelson descends from Nichodemas Keith and Margaret Borden Keith’s son Johnathan Borden “Bird” Keith and Polly Ann “Tildy” Crane.

I descend from Nichodemas Keith and Margaret Borden Keith‘s daughter Sarah Keith (sister to Willie’s ancestor Bird Keith) who married Samuel Cowan.

At that point, Willie’s path and my path diverge (naturally, he is totally unaware of our connection).


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