A Brief Biography of John McAdoo
by Nova A. Lemons  (copyright by author, 2000)

[From pages 3-5 of John McAdoo of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
by Nova A. Lemons (1991); with revisions and abbreviations made by the author in 2000.]

John McAdoo was of Scotch-Irish descent and came from Ulster to Virginia in the early part of the eighteenth century according to p. 140, Vol. 1, of Notable Southern Families by Zella Armstrong.  This statement is apparently based merely on family tradition as no reference is cited.

John McAdoo settled in what was then Augusta Co., VA, and is mentioned in the 1753 records of that county as one of those ordered to work a road near the Roanoke River.

On 26 Sep 1760, John McAdoo was granted 253 acres on Wolf Creek, a branch of the Roanoke River.  The land adjoined that of Daniel Monahan.  Although the land was then in Augusta Co., it fell into the new county of Botetourt when Botetourt was formed in 1769.  The land is now located in Roanoke Co.  It was in the area of Garvin's Creek and Glade Creek and about the Great Lick.  Wolf Creek is a small stream flowing from the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Roanoke River not too far from the Bedford County line.  ...

The records of Botetourt Co., VA, have several references to John McAdoo and also to "Ann McAdoo, wife of John McAdow."  The name in the old records is variously spelled McAdoo, McAdow, McDow, Mcadoo, McAdoe and the handwriting of the old records has been misinterpreted so that the name has been copied as McDons, McAdams, Meadows, McDove.

John McAdoo sold his land in Botetourt Co. on 7 Sep 1778, to William Tabler and Christian Vineyard and then or soon afterwards moved south to what is now Greene Co., TN.  At that time it was Washington Co., NC.

John McAdoo is considered a Revolutionary War patriot not only because of his jury duty but also because he received North Carolina land grants in 1778 and 1779.  According to DAR regulations, "Patriotic Service may be awarded to any person who received a Land Grant in North Carolina between 15 November 1777 and 26 November 1783."  (See page 33 of Is That Service Right? published by the DAR, 1986).

During the period 1778-1787 John McAdoo received four grants of land:  three in what is now Greene Co., TN, and the fourth in what is now Hawkins Co., TN.  He sold his land in Greene Co. on 4 Jul 1791, to Thomas Ripley.  He sold the land in Hawkins Co. on 4 Dec 1790, to William Cox.

After that he moved north to Mercer Co., KY, where his daughter Martha McAdoo Allen was living with her family.  John McAdoo witnessed his son-in-law William Allen's signature on a marriage consent in 1792 in Mercer Co. but whether John McAdoo was living in Mercer Co. then or just visiting remains uncertain.

On 15 Jul 1794, in Botetourt Co., VA, Ann McAdow wife of John McAdow signed her acknowledgement to her husband's deed of 1778 to William Tabler and Christian Vineyard.  ... As there is no other record of Ann after 1794 perhaps she died in VA and that is why John McAdoo went to live with his daughter.  [It is possible that Ann and John were separated and / or Ann remained behind in VA.]

John McAdoo is listed on the tax records of Mercer Co., KY, for 1795.

The Allens moved about 1797 to Barren Co., KY, and John McAdoo went with them.  He is listed as paying taxes in Barren Co. in 1800 and 1801.  His daughter Rhoda McAdoo Flippin and her family also moved in 1797 to Barren Co. settling in the area of Blue Springs.

John McAdoo wrote his will on 27 Apr 1800, and it was probated in Jan 1802, Barren Co., KY.  In his will he mentions his daughter Nancy Ralston (to whom he left one dollar) and "the Rest of my children which is  William Mcadoo  Martha Allin  John Mcadoo  Rode Flipping  Mary Moore."

The Allens continued to live in Barren Co. for awhile.  Rhoda McAdoo Flippin died 1810-1816 in Barren Co. and her husband and some of their children moved to Henry Co., TN.  John McAdoo, Jr., settled in Anderson Co., TN.

William McAdoo was mentioned in his father's will of 1800 but is not listed among the legatees to whom settlement was made in July 1803.  There was a William McAdoo who witnessed a deed in Augusta Co., VA, in 1768 (suggesting he was born about 1745-1750).  There was a William McAdoo who served from Virginia in Lord Dunmore's War and was at Elk Garden in 1774.  A William McAdoo served on a jury in Washington Co., NC, in 1780, and a William McAdoo married on 1 Jun 1790, in Washington Co., NC [VA?], to Elizabeth Evans.  William McAdoo paid taxes in 1836 on 136 acres of land in Henry Co., TN, where the Flippins lived after leaving Barren Co., KY.  It seems unlikely that all of these references pertain to the same William McAdoo, but it is not certain which references pertain to the son of John McAdoo.

No definite information has been found about Nancy McAdoo Ralston or about Mary McAdoo Moore.  According to Ray's Tennessee Cousins (page 151) there are several Moores buried in the old McAdoo Cemetery near Clinton, Anderson Co., TN, where John McAdoo, Jr., and his wife are buried.  Presumably these were descendants of Mary McAdoo Moore.

There was an Andrew McAdoo who died 1797 in Jefferson Co., TN (before John McAdoo wrote his will).  Jefferson County was formed in 1792 from Greene and Hawkins Counties.  Andrew McAdoo wrote a will naming only daughters.  Perhaps he was a son of John and Ann McAdoo but this has not been definitely established.  He is not mentioned in John McAdoo's will (written in 1800) because he was dead by then but if he were a son, one wonders why John McAdoo did not leave Andrew's share of his estate to the granddaughters.  John McAdoo, III (son of John McAdoo, Jr., and Martha Grills) was born 21Jun 1790, in Jefferson Co., TN.  This would certainly suggest that John McAdoo, Jr., and Andrew were brothers or at least related.

[This is a slightly condensed version of the chapter from my book.  This book contains 52 pages with a full name index, photocopies of several records, wonderful maps and the family histories of John McAdoo's children.  The main portion of the book features the chronology of John McAdoo with all the records / references found on him and his family.  Many references are listed.  I am out of this book John McAdoo of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and KentuckyContact me if you're still interested in the book.]

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