Tennessee: McKenneys and Uhlians

ImageCharles James McKenney arrives with his parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee after the Civil War. His father George soon establishes a “trunk” manufacturing company on 821 Market Street which today is an empty lot next to a Quiznos Sub Shop.

Charles was to marry Emma Sutherland but she died suddenly before the marriage. Her sister began a correspondence with Charles which led to a romance and marriage in 1887. Lyda Mae and CharlesImageare living in Nashville by 1910. Charles gives his occupation as Blacksmith working for the rail road. His son, James Poynter is a mailing clerk at a bank. The Chattanooga trunk company was an expanding company in 1912 so something must have happened with the company after his father dies in 1886. James and Lyda Mae will have four children – Roberta Lee, Myrtie, Osse Anna Eliza and James Poynter born in 1892 who is our direct ancestor.

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Gertrude Uhlian had moved to Nashville, Tennessee from Wartburg, Tennessee by 1900.

Gertrude Uhlian

Gertrude Uhlian

At 20 she marries the handsome James and take up residence in Nashville.

James and Gertrude McKenney

James and Gertrude McKenney

Gertrude’s family the Uhlians had immigrated to Wartburg, Tennessee. The first to arrive was Christian at the ripe old age of 4 in 1845 with his father, Valentine of whom we have no records. Many of the group that arrived via New Orleans was from the town of Igis in the Graubunden region of Switzerland. They were part of a group of German and Swiss immigrants who were recruited by a land speculator named George Gerding. He named this community Wartburg after Luther’s castle residence. Needless to say, most of the immigrant purchasers were Lutheran.

Wartburg Church

Wartburg Church

Uhlian House in Nashville

Uhlian House in Nashville

Tourist on the sidewalk in front of the Uhlian House

Tourist on the sidewalk in front of the Uhlian House

Christian marries Lucia Kreis in Wartburg and moves to the Nashville outskirts and by 1900 has established himself as a self-described market farmer on a bluff above the Tennessee River in Nashville. By 1910 he is a “proprietor” with fertile land a mile or two from the center of Nashville. Pictured above is the family home and the limestone wall constructed in front of the property. Much of the farm is now the Nashville water treatment facility. He dies in 1911 and wishes to be known as a gardener.

Christian Uhlian Grave at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville

Christian Uhlian Grave at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville

Peggy and I managed to find this marker along with many other of the Uhlians and McKenneys in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. The place is huge and we were about to give up looking when someone intervened and showed us that were practically standing in the midst of the Uhlians.

Christian and Lucia’s son was also named Christian. He stays with his father as they move to Nashville and assists in the family market farm. He marries Nannie Jenkins who dies at age 30 in 1901 but not before giving birth to five children including Gertrude Uhlian, Peggy’s Grandmother in 1896. Her husband, Christian will also die young in 1913 at the age of 43. His eldest son, Charles continues to run the family farm. By coincidence, the Jenkins family originated in the New England town of Scituate in 1634. A number of the La Porte side also were in Scituate about the same time. The Jenkins family will be explored a bit further since they seem to be the source of some Cherokee ancestry through Yellow Bird Jenkins.

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