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Linage of

Nathan Bedford Forrest



Dr. Kenneth B. Jaggears

Gadsden, Alabama

September 2003

Much has been written locally about Nathan Bedford Forrest because he had a huge impact on the history of Etowah County. Not much, as far as I know, has been written about his lineage. I think this should be of interest to us because some of us may be related to him, if for no other reason. His ancestors were in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi and so were ours. We see some of these surnames around us today.


The information I am compiling here is taken from a submission to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Mrs. Lee Ellen Morris of Walla Walla, Washington in 1995. I have not verified it, but she was a prolific researcher in the 1990's and before.


Nathan Bedford Forrest was born 13 July 1821 at Chapel Hill, Bedford County, Tennessee. His father was William Forrest and his mother was the former Miriam Beck.


William died in Tippah County, Mississippi in 1837. They had six sons and three daughters. Nathan Forrest's brothers were:


John N. Forrest, next in age to Nathan. He was in the Mexican War and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery. (This is probably a Mississippi cemetery.)


Aaron, who commanded a regiment and died of pneumonia in West Tennessee in 1864.


Jessie, who was lieutenant colonel of a regiment and was disabled by wounds inflicted in a battle.


William H., who was a captain and is buried at Elmwood.


Jeffery, who was the youngest son and who was born after his father's death. He was a colonel and was commissioned a brigadier general at age 26. He was killed at the Battle of Okolona before his commission came through. He died 22 February 1864 and is buried at Elmwood.


Nathan had three sisters. All of them died in infancy. His sister, Fanny, was his twin.


Six years after William Forrest's death, Miriam married Joseph Luxton. They had three sons and a daughter.


Nathan Bedford Forrest married Mary Ann Montgomery, 25 September 1845, at Hernando, Mississippi. They had one son, William Montgomery Forrest, and one daughter, Fannie Ann Forrest.


William Montgomery Forrest was born in 1846 and died in 1908 in Memphis, Tennessee.


He married Jane Taylor Cook, daughter of James Cook and Elvira Darnell. Jane was born 3 February 1847 at Oxford, Mississippi. William Montgomery and Jane had four children: Mary Elvira Forrest, Nathan Bedford Forrest, William Montgomery Forrest, and James Cook Forrest, who died in 1878 at age four.


Mary Elvira Forrest married Thomas Jessye Bradley 17 February 1892. He died in 1918, and she died in 1965. They had five children: William Forrest Bradley, Kathleen Forrest Bradley, Nell Bradley, Cecil Taylor Bradley, and Thomas Jessye Bradley, Jr.


Nathan Bedford Forrest's grandfather was married to Nancy Baugh. He was born in North Carolina, and he and Nancy migrated to Tennessee.


Nathan Bedford Forrest's great grandfather was Shadrach Forrest, who moved from Virginia to Orange County, North Carolina. Shadrach's wife's name was Jane


Shadrach's parents were William Forrest and Lavenia Gresham. They had 11 children.


This William's parents were James Forrest and Ann Ashley. They had four known sons and a daughter, Ann, who married John Manning. James and Ann were in Orange County, North Carolina when James' will was probated in 1755.


General Nathan Bedford Forrest died 29 October 1877 in Memphis, Tennessee.


COMPILER'S COMMENT: It would be a shame to give up the memory of this man who played such a key role in the history of this area. Whether one likes him or not, THIS IS HISTORY, and it should be preserved.

Respectfully submitted,

Kenneth B. Jaggears






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