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Many thanks to Andy Harris for permission to reprint information he has posted to Rootsweb as part of the Andy Clay Harris Family Tree. Thanks also to Sherri Sontag who allowed Boswell and Avery information to be reproduced from her website www.ourtennesseefamilytree.com

James Arlean Avery

born 1822 in Johnston Co. NC, died 2-9-1900




1800-Eliza Warren

1803-BGHB Avery

1807-Winifred McEwen

1809-Rev. William "Alexander" Avery

1811-Drury Vinson Avery

1813-Troy (prob same person as Reuben T)

1815-John Avery

1817-Reuben T. "Sidney" Avery

1820-HDC Avery

c.1825-Sarah Elizabeth Avery (McDouglad) (Hall)


Troy and Drury "Drew" Avery took over Wm. Avery's farm after his death. Wm's daughter Ida Tennessee Avery was raised by Nancy and her husband, Doc Boswell.



Sarah "Sallie" Lanier*

born 1821 NC



 c.1844-Drury Vinson

 c.1845-Emeline (Boswell)

 1847-Troy H.

 c.1848-Rose Anna (Boswell, Boon, Wellborn)

 1850-Ascenith (Sims)


 c.1859-Cinthy/Zilpha (Ray)

 c.1861-Nancy (Boswell)

 1864-Addie Elnora


Note: for some reason some internet sources list Ascenith Avery Sims, wife of James R. Sims, with lifespan 1878-1933. Casual check of 1880 and 1900 census refute this, and match her up with James' Avery's daughter


Alexander Averet Jr.


Elizabeth Vinson

spouse's parents:


Hosea Lanier



maternal grandparents:

Drury Vinson & ?

paternal grandparents:

Alexander Averet Sr. & Sarah

maternal aunts & uncles:


paternal aunts & uncles:

c.1764-Margaret "Peggy"; c.1766-female Avery (m. Seals); c.1768-female Avery (m. James); c.1772-Christian Keziah Duncan; c.1776-Sally Norris


*Regarding spouse Sally Lanier--there is a Lanier family tree posted on Rootsweb with no source listed (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~digginforroots/lanier/lanierwilliam.htm)

This family tree shows Sally Lanier's sister Elizabeth Lanier as the wife of Drury Vinson Avery (brother of James). Another Lanier sister, Amelia (born 1814) married James T. Aspray.


Email July 2007 from Sherri Sontag said in part, regarding the children of James Avery, "Most of their kids married into my Boswell family...My great-great-grandfather, Napoleon Boswell, was the only one who did not marry an Avery.

John Thomas Boswell was the father of the Boswell family.

James Thomas Boswell married Emeline Jane Avery

Lucy Boswell married Drew Avery

Charles Boswell married Rose Ann Avery

John "Doc" Boswell married Nancy Avery."

Goodspeed's Directory 1886 (about James' son, Troy): T.H. Avery was born in what is now Crockett County (formerly a portion of Gibson County( 8-27-1846. His father, James A. Avery, was born in NC in 1822, and immigrated to Tennessee with his parents at a very early age. He was married to Sally Lanier, who was born in North Carolina in 1820. T.H. Avery is of French descent, and until he was 27 years of age he assisted his parents on the farm. He then began farming for himself, and the same year was elected constable and served the people in this capacity for about six years. After his he engaged in the family grocery business at Crockett Mills but only continued a short time. He was elected deputy sheriff in 1884, and was re-elected in 1886. In 1874 he lead to the hymeneal altar Miss Mattie Nichols, daughter of Lazareth and Martha Nichols. Mr. and Mrs. Avery are the parents of five children: R.H., Lillie May, Florence Annie Lee, Rosa Blanch and Asenath. Mr. Avery is a thoroughly self-made man, and has accumulated his property through unremitting energy and toil. He is worth about $3000 and is a Democrat and Mason and belongs to the I.O.O.F. (Transcribed to Rootsweb by Lynn Pierce Appling)

1850 census, Gibson County District 4:

(household below his mother, Elizabeth, and sister Winifred McEwen, household before his brother John)

James Avery, age 28, born NC, estate value $400

Sarah, age 29, born NC

Drury age 6, born TN

Emeline, age 5, born TN

Troy, age 4, born TN

Rosanna, age 2, born TN

Anna, 1 month (census taken in October)


1860 census, Gibson District 10 (household below his brother JW Avery)

J. Avery, age 38, born NC, real estate value $2600, personal estate $4000

Sarah, age 38, born NC

Drewry age 16

Troy, age 14

Rosanna, age 11

Sanny, age 10 (Ascenith)

James, age 4

Zilpha, age 1


1870 census, Gibson County, District 20, Post Office Robinsonville

(near the households of his brother Drury's children with what might be his sister Winnie, his brother Henry, his brother John W)

J.A. Avery, age 48, born in NC

Sallie, age 48, born in NC

Troy, age 28, born in TN

Ceneth? age 20 (female) born in TN (Ascenith)

James, age 14, born in TN

Cilthy (Zilpha?) age 11 (female) born in TN

Nance, age 9, (female) born in TN

Addie, age 6, born in TN


1880 census, Crockett County, Crockett Mills, District 6:

J.A. Avery, age 58, born NC of parents born NC ("Cannot write" is checked, but cannot read is not)

Wife Sarah A, age 58, born NC of parents born NC

Daughter Addie E, age 16, born NC of parents born NC (perhaps just lazy census taking)



Alamo Signal (contributed to Crockett Page, Rootsweb by Natalie Huntley)

"Uncle J.A. Avery, at the age of 78, quietly and peacefully passed away Friday morning, Feb 9th, 1900, at the home of his son, Esq. T.H. Avery. He was buried Saturday evening at the Avery grave-yard. He was one of the first residents of this county and a consistent member of the Primitive Baptist Church for 25 or more years. He leaves two sons and five daughters, some grandchildren, and many relatives and friends to regret his loss.


Dyersburg State Gazette 1-31-1907, Chestnut Bluff: "We are proud of our fine school, under the management of Miss Cynthia Avery." and the same publication, on 4-18-1907, Chestnut Bluff: "Miss Senath Avery will teach next term. She is a very good teacher." (The latter cannot be James' daughter Ascenith because she is already Ascenith Sims, and has moved to IL. It therefore may be the Ascenith Avery who was d/o James' son, Troy.)


Crockett County Sentinel 1-26-1950: DEATH... Services for Mrs. Lillie Turner of Alamo, who died at a hospital in Jackson Saturday night was held Monday at Alamo Methodist Church, burial in Cairo Cemetery. She was 69. She leaves he husband, John Turner; three daughters, Mrs. J. W. Mayfield of Alamo, Mrs. R. C. Franks of Milan, and Mrs. Sanders Lewis of Bells; three sons, Colie Turner, John Henry Turner and Reams Turner of Alamo; a brother, Troy Avery of Alamo.


8-9-1951 Crockett County Sentinel

Mrs. Joe Ray--Mrs. Joe Ray died Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W. J. Hunt, in Alamo where she had been making her home for the past few years. She lived with another daughter, Mrs. Anderson, wife of Judge Hu Anderson, in Jackson, for about 15 years before moving to Alamo. Mrs. Ray was born on a farm near Alamo, October 4, 1858, daughter of the late James Arlen Avery and Sallie Lanier Avery and was the last of eleven children. Mrs. Ray was the widow of the late Joe Ray who passed away about 35 years ago. Besides her daughters, she is survived by one son, John, of Alamo, nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. She was a sister of the late Sheriff Troy Avery and an aunt of J. B. Avery, Sr., member of the Railroad and Public Utilities Commission. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Crockett Mills and a great Bible student, having read the Bible through many times. She was well informed through the reading of books, newspapers and magazines and up until just a short time before her death kept up with world events through the reading of the daily press, reading sometimes without the aid of glasses. "Aunt Zilphia" as she was familiarly known to a legion of friends and relatives, enjoyed talking and being with the children, grandchildren and other relatives and old friends and neighbors. Services were held Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at Nance Church of Christ with Rev. W. Floyd Cates officiating. Burial was in Nance Cemetery with Alexander-Wray Funeral Home of Jackson in charge