Zephaniah Woolsey (1740-1807) was born 3 June 1740 in Marlborough, Ulster County, New York to John Woolsey (1706-aft1778) and Mary Sammis (c1710-c1773) and died 14 May 1807 in Greene County, Tennessee of unspecified causes. He married Sarah Woolsey (1747-1834) 20 February 1776 in Westchester County, New York. Ancestors are from the United States, the United Kingdom.


Offspring of Sarah Woolsey and Zephaniah Woolsey (1740-1807)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Stephen Woolsey (1767-)
Catherine Woolsey (1769-)
Jemima Woolsey (1771-)
Ruth Woolsey (1771-bef1831)
Rebecca Woolsey (1772-bef1819)
Nehemiah Woolsey (1774-1832)
Mary Ann Woolsey (1779-)
Sarah Woolsey (1781-)
William Woolsey (1782-1846)
Hepzibah Woolsey (1784-)
Abigail Mackey Woolsey (1788-1852) 22 May 1788 Washington County, Tennessee, United States 18 August 1852 Atchison County, Missouri, United States Gilbert Woolsey (1785-1864)

Hannah Woolsey (1790-)

Public Records

  • God, A Hundred Years and A Free Will Baptist Family by Rev. Paul Woolsey
    • "One Summer afternoon as he was returning from a 'grist mill' (run by old fashioned wooden wheel) some few miles away, Zedekiah (penciled in is Zephaniah) noticed the tracks of a band of Indian warriors in a field of standing corn not too far from his house. He prepared for the attack by carefully loading each of the three old "flinklock long muskets" that he owned. Just before twilight, while two of the daughters were milking at the nearby barn, the Indians attacked. Zedekiah, with a prayer for his women fold and aged father-in-law, who was past ninety yeaers of age, made ready to defend his home with his life if necessary. One man and God against sixteen blood thirsty savages. he drew a "bead" on a warrior and it was fifteen to one. He reached for and fired the second musket which further reduced the band by one. However as he was ready to fire the thrid and last loaded gun, he was shot in the hand and his gun fell to the floor. One of his two daughters had made good her escape from the barn and now fired the last musket. The home was now defenseless except for the other and more powerful defender, the Lord himself. The warriors of this tribe carried their dead braves with them. Two having been slain and a long journey over the mountains with almost certain pursuit by the aroused settlers, caused the chieft to give the signal for retreat little dreaming that the homse was entirely at their mercy. In the meanwhile, as most of the braves attacked the house, two made for the two girls who were milking. As had been stated the first made her escape. However Mary, or Polly as she was called, caught her strong homespun dress on the paling of the fence and was seized by a brave who proceeded to take her scalp but, as he finished and was about to complete the task with the death blow from his tomahawk, the chief gave the signal to leave. Polly was only nineteen at the time. She married a man by the name of Doan and lived until she was past fifty and had several grandchildren. However she finally died from the 'bealing' of her head which never healed. To illustrate the hot passions of the time it may be well to relate the aftermath of the above incident. Some years after the Indian raid, Polly's brother was at a still owned by a man named Kelly - an ancestor of W.S. Kelly, Esq. of Greeneville, Tennessee and a deacon in the Free Will Baptist Church. In those days most pioneers had their distilleries - they were quite within the law and the good graces of public opinion. On this particular day, the Indian (the Indians were now "civilzed") who had taken Polly's scalp was present and began boasting how years ago he had taken a fine red scalp in that very community. Quick as a wink, Polly's brother grabbed the Indian and threw him into the vat of 'boiling mash'. Instant death from scalding was the inevitable result. Needless to say the brother was never bothered by the law enforcing officers of those days."
  • Ready for the Grave by William B. Woolsey
    • "On the third of September 1773, a party of some fifteen Indians attacked the house of Zephaniah Woolsey on the south side of Nolechecky River, about ten miles south of Greeneville, Tenn., they shot his wife slightly though the head, she recovered. They caught one of the girls and scalped her, shot another, grazing her thigh with a ball. Mr. Woolsey, though shot through the breast, recovered. I will say more about the fight. The night before, grandfather was at Cove Creek at the home of a neighbor and said he would go home, but the man insisted not, when he said he was going home to fight Indians, that he had seen some of their signs and had stayed to go after night came so they would not see him. And sure enough the next morning while the girls were milking they hollowed, "Indians". The old man took down his gun and ran out and shot one and ran back in the house and got another gun and shot another. Thus two Indians were killed. He got another gun and presented, but the third Indian was too fast for him and shot him through the hand and breast. Great-grandfather was sitting in the corner shaving, and being asked how he could shave at such a time, he said he could not do anything in the fight and if the Indians killed him he would be shaved ready for the grave....."
  • Greene County, Tennessee Administrative Settlements, Book 2, Pages 195, 196, 187, 188, 189. Copy of Will recorded, Will Book A, Pages 67-69.
    • The following is from the Will of Zephaniah Woolsey, May 9, 1801, Greene County, Tenn.: To wife Sarah, Dwelling, peach, apple and cherry orchards; daughter Sarah Brauser, $5.00; son Stephen, 50 acres; son William, 170 acres; and son Nehemiah, 170 acres. Executors were sons William and Nehemiah. Test; Wm. Mott, James Huston and James Williams. Signed by Zephaniah Woolsey



(See also the "Ancestor tree" tab above.)
  • 1. Zephaniah Woolsey (1740-1807)

Footnotes (including sources)


  Elrondlair, Robin Patterson