Hicks Family Reunion 2013

It was the last Sunday in July again, time for Mom put on her program for the annual Hicks Family Reunion.  I went down to assist.  This year she was doing her grandmother’s line.  That’s our claim to the Hicks family.

It all started with David C. Hicks and Sarah Dennis Hicks. They married in Cocke County, Tennessee in 1830.  David met Sarah when he crossed the mountain from Virginia on his way to buy a farm and set up housekeeping in Middle Tennessee.  He must have been a non-inheriting son to be moving like that.  He was born 10 Apr 1804 in Albemarle County, Virginia and died 09 Oct 1850 in Cocke County, Tennessee. All I know is that his father was David James (or possibly James David) Hicks born in 1774 in Virginia.  David C.’s mother was Jemima Tennal (spelling according to their marriage record also spelled Tinnell in family Bibles).  They married in 1770 in Albemarle County, Virginia.  It is very probably that David James’s father fought in the Revolutionary War given his age and location, but on what side we don’t know.

Sarah Dennis was born about 1812 in June in Cocke County, Tennessee and died 8 Mar 1898 in Cocke, Tennessee.  Her parents came to Tennessee to live on her maternal grandfather’s land grant for service in the Revolutionary War.  He was Hugh Creighton (B 1730 Ireland, D.1804 New Jersey where his son Patrick lived) and served in the Revolutionary War.  He already had a farm in South Carolina so he gave (or they purchased) his land grant in Tennessee to his daughter Anne and her husband John Dennis.   The name Creighton with various spellings was carried forth in the Hicks family in his honor to this day.  Anne and John had at least three children one of which was the first Joel Dennis.  He  married Margaret Henry (which makes this line from my maternal grandfather related to the line of my maternal grandmother truly kissing cousins) and they were the parents of the Sarah Dennis that founded the Tennessee Hicks line from which I am descended ( the post about Joel Dennis from the Civil War was his son, Sarah’s brother)

Sarah and David C. had 8 children.  Their youngest was David Crockett Hicks ( his father’s middle initial is C. but we don’t know what it stood for, he was however a constituent of the famous David Crockett of Alamo fame) who is my great great grandfather.  Crockett was a character about whom tales are still told.  He had a temper and was lazy.  He was born 27 Jul 1852 Cocke, TN and died 16 Aug 1943 Sevier, TN.  He married a Margaret Jane Denton (from whom I have another Revolutionary War ancestor) in about 1873.  The courthouse burned in Cocke County so the exact date has been lost.  She however was born 18 Jun 1854 Cocke, Tennessee and died 04 Jan 1949 Sevier, Tennessee.  Here’s a photo of them and their living adult children.

Hicks, Crockett and Dennis Jane with their grown children

Back L to R: Bon Dalls, Dibrelle Augusta, Ollie Belle, Crayton Dennis, Mark Clyde, Bessie Paralee, Crayton Dennis Front L to R: Sarah, Fred Ashberry, Margaret Henry Hicks, David Crockett Hicks, Minnesota, and Jerome.
Their son Joel David Hicks died before this photo was taken.

The reunion consists of the descendants from those in the picture. In their later years Crockett and Margaret moved about living with their children as Crockett never owned land or made a homestead. Each living child (Dibrelle was killed soon after this photo but that’s a story for another post) took turns keeping crochety old Crockett and quiet Margaret. My great grandmother was Ollie Belle (b 16 Jan 1888 Cocke,TN d 25 Oct 1975 Blount,TN) and if you were being disagreeable she’d call you Crockett.

She married Milas Lavator Rolen (b 22 Jun 1880 Sevier, TN d 28 Dec 1936 Sevier, TN) on 12 May 1907 in Sevier, TN. Here they are on their wedding day.

Rolen, Milas Lavator and Hicks Rolen, Ollie Belle

He was a sheriff for a few years then went to the US Marshals and became a Revenuer. They had 7 children. Here they are with their family.

back row L to R  Herbert, Bennie Zue, George Ann, Milas Lavator Jr.,  John Hollis, Sammie Sue.  Front row L to R Lavator, George Ann, Ollie Belle

back row L to R Herbert, Bennie Zue, George Ann, Milas Lavator Jr., John Hollis, Sammie Sue. Front row L to R Lavator, George Ann, Ollie Belle

My grandfather was John Hollis Rolen (b. 23 Nov 1909 Sevierville, TN d. 08 Feb 1975 Sevierville, TN). He did many things in his life and some day I’ll share his security clearance form for WWII in a post that outlines many things he did some we didn’t know. However most of my mother’s life and all of mine he was an engineer for the 3M Company. Yes the post-it and Scotch Tape people. He married Johnnie Mae Temple (b 23 May 1913 Sevier, TN d. 11 Feb 2007 Sevier, TN). Here’s a photo of them just shortly after they married. They married 08 Apr 1939 in Alcoa, Blount, Tennessee.

Johnnie Mae Temple Rolen and John Hollis Rolen.

Johnnie Mae Temple Rolen and John Hollis Rolen.

They had two children. My mom Sylvia came first then John Hollis Jr. Unfortunately Junior died of a heart defect shortly after being born. Mom made it and is still going strong. She married my dad Sidney Bright. Here they are on their wedding day.

Bright, Sidney and Rolen Sylvia cut their wedding cake

Well they had me! That’s how I wound up being at the Dandridge Tennessee Senior Center on the last Sunday in June this year for the Hicks Reunion. Mom traced down all the descendants from Ollie Belle.  She worked on it for the full year!  It took three volumes.  She not only got a data on everyone but also did a small personal biography of each person and a photo page.  Really hard work and excellent results.  Here’s my copy of all three volumes.


Turn out was good. Ollie Belle Hicks Rolen, Sarah Hicks Rolen Baxter, and Bessie Parlee Hicks Williams decendants were represented.   Here’s this year’s group shot.

Descendants of David Crockett Hicks and Margret Jane Denton.

Descendants of David Crockett Hicks and Margret Jane Denton.

The next reunion with be year after next. That’ll give mom time to relax and work on the Williams line from Bessie Parlee Hicks.

8 thoughts on “Hicks Family Reunion 2013

  1. Just came across your blog while doing my Hicks genealogy search. I too am a descendant of David and Sarah, although my line goes through Joel William Hicks and Charity Jaynes to their son, James Crayton (Creighton?) , who married Kate Pugh, onto their son, James Clare Johnson who married Henrietta Louise Hicks. My father, JC Johnson Jr. was their only child, as am I.

    I am planning on coming to Tennessee on a research trip either this year or next and would love to meet some Hicks relatives!

    Lynne Johnson

  2. Pingback: Cherokee National Forest | Mary Louise Eklund

  3. How exciting learning about your roots and such a lot of work. Did your mom or you need to do much travelling while digging u this information?

    The pictures are awesome. So valuable now. Great reading.

    • We are lucky in that we stand on the shoulders of good hobby genealogists before us. Also in the South it’s a tradition to know your roots, so Mom knew back to Crockett by memory and the family bible went back to David C. and Sarah.

      Mom and I divide it by living and dead. A year after death (when records become public) they are MINE. I enjoy doing research and have traveled to genealogy libraries to work on things but more and more is available online through Ancestry and Fold3. I pushed it back to Creighton with his Revolutionary War records. It’s an enjoyable hobby for me playing detective. Honestly it could be my family or someone else’s I just love the challenge.

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