More than one source has said that John Scott, father of John Wilson Scott I, was born in or about 1734 in Pennsylvania, the son of Andrew Scott, who emigrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania in or about 1725 ("Annals of Iowa", Vol. XIII, No. 4, April, 1922; "History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon co. Illinois", 1876). These sources relied heavily on 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of John Wilson Scott I, so their information was apparently the family tradition passed down by John Wilson Scott I.
Anna's maiden name was long thought to be Wilson, which would account for the name being passed down to her sons and beyond. However, no proof has ever been found. Many sources have repeated the obvious date errors in "History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon co. Illinois" (that the John Scott who was born in 1734 and married in 1756 also fought in the Revolutionary War and had his eldest son born in 1786); also listed in this book was that John Wilson Scott's first wife was Ann Craytin. However, since many of George & Anne Scott Kincannon's (see below) descendants passed on the family name "Creighton" (including to their youngest daughter, Isabella Creighton Kincannon), and absolutely none of the descendants of George Kincannon's brothers and sisters passed on that name, it was thought by Kincannon family researchers- and is reasonable to conclude- that the name was passed from Anne Scott's family. The confusion in "History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon co. Illinois" may have come from Ann Creighton being John Wilson Scott's mother's name, not his first wife's name. There is also the fact that a granddaughter of John Wilson Scott was named Anna Crayton Scott - I hardly think she would have been named for her grandfather's long-dead first wife, who no one else in the family had ever met!
The basic problem may be that all the family tradition information before John Wilson Scott I was passed down by him and him alone- there is no proof so far of any of his brothers and sisters interacted with his family after his marriage to Nancy Keith. It is understandable that one detail that would be incorrectly repeated by his second family is the name of his first wife.
Very little evidence places John Scott in Pennsylvania. His son John Wilson Scott stated in his pension application that he was born in York county, Pennsylvania, and we know by his tombstones that he was born in 1763. In the 1762 tax list of York county (the county at that time comprised the present-day areas of York and Adams counties), one and only one John Scott is listed, in Cumberland township in what is now Adams county. One other Scott, Robert, was in Cumberland township; 7 other Scotts were elsewhere in the county. Robert and John "Craghton", two of four Craghtons in York county, were also in Cumberland township. Francis Kincannon ("Cancanan" here) (see below) was listed in Menallan township (of present-day Adams co.).
However, other evidence of a John Scott in Cumberland township may point to another man. A man named John Scott settled in Cumberland township in May 1740 when it was still part of Lancaster county (it was split in 1749). This or a different John Scott was deeded 125 acres in Cumberland township on 16 Apr 1765, and the deed refers to John Scott's farm as "Plantation Rosenhill". This subsequently was known as the "Pascoe farm", which is believed to have been situatied on what was to become the battlefield of Gettysburg.
Some family history has been recorded of a John Scott of Cumberland township. He was said to have been born about 1735, married Margaret Erwin, and had two sons:
A possible descendant of David Scott has matched DNA with the author. There are still two shaky assumptions of parentage along the way, though.
In fairness, two pieces of evidence stand in my way: 1, the marriage date of 1756 given for John and Ann (from the "History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon co. Illinois", known to be riddled with errors in early data) and 2, the stated death date of 1785 for John Scott, husband of Margaret Erwin (source: ("A Family Outline of the Brewers and the Scotts and Sundry Kin, 1946", which I have not yet found so I cannot vouch for its accuracy). Also, one source lists the parents of John Scott as John Scott and Hannah Merrick.
According to "Annuals of Southwest Virginia", under 'First Surveys of Land in Washington co. Va.', p. 1245, John Scott was surveyed with 400 acres in Washington county on 20 Aug 1781 that was actually settled in 1772, as well as 400 acres that probably was the same land on 29 Jan 1783 on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston River, and 400 acres (again, may or may not be the same land) on a branch of the Little Hoston River and the north side of the middle fork of the Holston River.
On 18 May 1781, John Scott was a part of a grand jury (along with Francis Kincannon) in a case between William Jenkins and his father Thomas Jenkins.
From 1781 to 1802, John Scott was listed in various tax lists and personal property lists in Washington county, Virginia. He was always listed as owning as few as 3 or as many as 6 horses. Because there was another extended Scott family living nearby at the time, it is difficult to ascertain which other Scotts belong to which family, but I believe his son John (listed as "John Jr.") was enumerated with him 1783; his son Wilson in 1788 & 1789; and his son Andrew in 1795 and 1797-1805 (when the lists I had access to ended). Since we know John (Jr.) was born in 1763, resonable estimates for Wilson & Andrew's birthdates would be 1768 and 1775 respectively, if they ventured onto their own land at the same ages. However, my birthdate for Andrew is changed to 1772/3 because in 1789, John Scott's number of "county levys" (white males 16 years or older) increased from 1 to 2, and it only went back to 1 in 1795 and 1797 onward, while Andrew was living out of the house. 16 years from 1789 yields 1772/3.
No other John Scott is listed in 1784, so our John (Wilson) Scott had left the county, either as a widower, or with his young wife and child- the wife dying shortly after. In 1785 another John Scott is listed, and in 1786 two "J. Scotts" were listed, but they did not live near the elder John Scott of our line. Also in 1786, Russell county was formed from part of Washington county. In 1787 and 1788, our John Scott is the only one listed- it would seem the other J. Scotts lived in what became Russell county. At this point, it is believed our John W. Scott I was married to Nancy Keith and they had had their first child, Andrew.
On 17 Aug 1788, a tax list shows listed next to each other a John Scott with one male age 16-21 and 6 horses, and a William Scott with one male age 16-21 and 2 horses. On 17 Oct 1788, a tax list shows a John Scott and a Wilson Scott in Washington co. Va., listed next to one another, as being white males and having 6 and 2 horses respectively (establishing, at least, that Wilson was sometimes enumerated at William). Only John Scott was shown to own land, the same 400 acres, 3.4 per, and value of 66.13.4. Wilson Scott appears again in 1789 (now with 3 horses), but not again thereafter. John Scott continues to list 2 "county levys" (adult white males), so it would appear Wilson Scott left the county in 1789/90.
A John Scott Jr. is listed in the Washington county tax lists beginning in 1789. Eventually, he owns three parcels of land consisting of 231, 60, and 20 1/2 acres (from 1801 on). This by the 1800's is clearly a son of Samuel Scott Sr., of the other Scott family near Ebbing Spring (although it's important to note that in 1789, John Scott Jr. is listed between John Scott and Wilson Scott). There are also other John Scotts in those lists- a John Scott listed as "John Scott R. O." (1791-1794), "John Scott W. M." (1795-1798), and "John Scott R. V." (1799-1802) all seem to refer to the same person living on 126 acres. There is also an "extra" unaccounted for John Scott listed in 1789, another John Scott Jr. in 1790, and a John Scott in 1791. It's possible our John W. Scott I lived in Washington county for some time before finally settling in South Carolina- he isn't listed in the 1790 census in South Carolina where we know he lived. My feeling is that John W. Scott, the revolutionary soldier, returned to his father's land in Washington county Virginia for a short period of time, perhaps 1789 to 1791; during those years, the tax lists show one John Scott Sr. and two John Scott Jr.'s. From 1792 on, the John Scott Jr. listed slowly becomes more obviously a member of the other Scott family in the county.
On 15 Dec 1794, John and Anne Scott sold, for £75, 81 acres on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston River in Washington co. Va., to Jacob Wolf, The next day, 16 Dec 1794, John and Anne Scott sold, for £150, 160 acres on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston River in Washington co. Va., to John Orr. On that same day, they sold, for £100, 150 acres on a branch of the middle fork of the Holston River in Washington co. Va., to Isaac Williams. In the tax lists for 1793 and 1794, John Scott is listed with 250 acres; from 1795-1798, with no land. From 1799 until his death, he shows as having 122 acres.
In the History of Rhea County, Tennessee, where George and Ann Scott Kincannon lived for a time (see below), John Scott was referred to as "Captain John Scott".
Sometime shortly before Thursday, 4 Mar 1803, John Scott died in Washington co. Va. without leaving a will. In a document (will book 2, page 419) filed on 4 Mar 1803 and proven in court on 18 Oct 1803, John Scott's heirs relinquished any claims to his estate, in consideration for their mother, who was said to be in a "forlorn situation", with "an unfortunate child being an ideot". They left the estate "to her own use & for the benefit, raising & nurturing the said unfortunate child Mary W. Scott".
On 9 Mar 1803, an inventory was taken of all the personal property of John Scott.
On 1 Jan 1804 (the document was proven in court 17 Jan 1804), Ann Scott sold, for $1 (implying it was a gift), the tract of land where she lived on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston River in Washington co. Va., to Andrew Scott (her son). The land totalled about 6 acres. On 14 Jan 1804, Andrew Scott sold, for $280.25, 31 acres and 36 poles on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston river in Washington co. Va., where the heirs of Gabriel Gills lived, to Philip & Margaret Greever. On 19 Oct 1807, David Clark and Ann Scott sold 116 acres on the north side of the middle fork of the Holston.
John & Anna Creighton Scott had at least 6 children, according to John Scott's will: