Photo Album

The photos are all copyrighted to protect them from being stolen. Some images may have the watermark over areas you would wish to see. If that is the case, please let me know.

The Bess family can be traced to Wilhelm (abt. 1680-abt. 1749) and Anna nee’Michael Baest/Bescht/Bast (abt. 1682-abt. 1749). Both apparently born in the German Palatinate, they married abt. 1710, also in the Palatinate. The name “Bast” means “bark,” and in this case refers to the inner bark of certain deciduous trees and plants, including the linden and some varieties of elm. From the coarse fibers of this bark, a strong woven fabric was made, also called bast. From this fabric was woven mats, baskets, etc. There are various other variations of this name in early records, including the later variation, Best, by which the family became known in America.

The Bast families were peasants, living in the lower Palatinate of Germany. The first of which we have any history was Wilhelm Bast, a farmer in the area. He was married to Anna Michael, a daughter of John Michael, a neighboring farmer. Reportedly these farms were on a plain lying between two of the Bavarian Alps.

Wilhelm and his wife, Anna, are said to have had seven sons, four of whom were probably born before they left for Switzerland. All were very large men, one being 6’2” was nicknamed "Runt".

Our ancestor, Jerg Sebastian "Boston" Bess, was born in Germany in 1723 to Wilhelm & Anna. Jerg (George) emigrated to the New World with his parents October 5, 1737 on a boat named, Hecla aka, Townsend.

Christian "Christy" Best (Bess) was born in 1758, in North Carolina to George & Katrina Heyl (Hoyle) Bess. Christy settled in Carpenters Campground area and was also one of the first to be buried in the Carpenters Methodist Church Cemetery.

The Bradley family is only able to be traced back to Ireland. Most of the family remains behind brick walls which require many timeouts to keep from going crazy while trying to research them.

One claim to fame with the Bradley family was a man with the name of Sue. Judge Sue Kerr Hicks was made famous by a world renowned country singer by the name of, Johnny Cash back in 1969. He sung a song called "A Boy Named Sue" that hit the charts and became Cash's number one hit, staying at number two on the charts for three weeks. Sue Hicks married Reba Bradley. She was the daughter of Charlie Bradley, Benjamin Bradley's brother. Benjamin is Mamie Sue's great grandfather making Charlie her great uncle.

Several other very famous people are the Presidents of the United States. George Washington, James Madison & James “Jimmy” Carter are three that have been linked. More will likely come about because all presidents are related in some way or another except for one, Martin Van Buren.

The Raines family is also a very hidden gem. I've only been able to go back just a short generation. Apparently the Raines family has been a difficult family to research for everyone because I am a part of several groups online researching their hidden linage. There are Texas Raines, Georgia Raines and a small group of North Carolina Raines. All of which are none of our Tennessee Raines (that I've studied). I am actually the only one in these groups researching the Tennessee Raines! So just how far back am I able to research? Just a few, Mamie Sue's 3rd great grandfather to be exact. It's been said that Cherokee Indian is the reason, but the Cherokees kept very good genealogical records. It's a mystery unless someone can crack it.

The “BATEY” family can be traced back to Ireland, 1710 to a Thomas Batey. Taken from the notes of Mr. Batey:

The surname of BEATY was a well known Scottish border surname, a baptismal name 'the son of Bate or Baty' a pet form of Bartholomew, the son of a twin. The name in Ireland is principally found in Ulster where it is often spelt Beatty. The name in Irish is Betagh (Biadhtach).

Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Early records of the name mention Gilbert fitz Beatrice of the County of Roxburgh, 1296. John Betty in Aberdeen, in the year 1433. Robert Bettie, was documented as the burgess of Montrose in 1535. William Baty was the burgess of Dumfries in 1567. John Bety rendered to the Exchequer the accounts of the burgh of Roxburgh in 1558.

In the parish of Laurencekirk, in the 18th century, nearly every farm in the area at one time, was in the hand of families called Beattie.

At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armor encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armor. Since the dawn of civilization the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organized the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

The Myers or Mayers have been traced to the year 1535 in Germany. They then came to the United States (Pennsylvania) sometime in the late 1700’s. John & Jane Dunn Myers quickly established themselves in the Cades Coves area of Tennessee.

A well known football player and politician is in this linage, Heath Shuler. Shuler got his start playing football for the VOLS in his college years between 1991-1993. After his start with the VOLS, he was a first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft taken by the Washington Redskins. In 1996 he was traded to the New Orleans Saints and sustained a major foot injury which removed him from the field. In 1997 he signed with the Oakland Raiders and then re-injured his foot during training camp. He was then cut and later retired from professional football. He was later rated badly by ESPN and the NFL Network. He was a Democratic Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina’s 11th district from Jan. 2007 - Jan. 2013.

After some tedious investigation, I found whom these possibly belong to. However, with the photo's being unwanted and unmarked it brings sadness to know, we may never know who these people are.

This is a collection of documents from an estate sale in Knoxville, TN.

From the linage of Rev. John Michael Jr. & Martha Jane Sloan Best. Henry & Margaret Lucy Jane Giles Best.

Comments are closed.