A Little Piece of History

Very near to where I live right now is an old house with a historic marker out front. Next door is an old cemetery with some beautiful tombstones.  I’ve been driving by this house for months, always curious what the marker says and who is in the cemetery.  So, yesterday, Kalonji and I finally stopped.


I did not take a picture of the main house, but as we drove around the house, we realized that yes, someone did live there and yes, we were probably trespassing! I felt so bad. But,  then I thought – they must get people doing that every now and then…   The cemetery next door was in fact the DeMoss family cemetery. I took some pictures just in case it was not on FindAGrave, but to my delight the whole cemetery was there.  There are several obelisks, one of which is Abraham DeMoss (1779 – 1849) himself


I noticed that many of the men were masons, and only a few feet from the house is a Mason Lodge that I learned was built in 1855.  I’m sure the DeMoss family was involved in it’s founding.

Some Google searching revealed several sites with some information about the family – the Bellevue Harpeth Historical Association has recently restored Abraham’s father’s log cabin house and are working on a publication about the DeMoss family.  One tidbit about this family that I am particularly interested in was that I read that Abraham was killed in his dining room just after the Civil War by a former slave.  I must learn more about this….

Comments (6)

  1. Jerry G. Marable

    A family relative of mine, Francis Horn, who was born and raised in this house in 1932 said the person killed was his Unlce Skelton Demoss, possibly (not verified) by a Union slave and it was not after the war but during the war. Skelton Demoss is also buried in the Demoss Cemetery to the left of the house. The cemetery is not owned by the present owners but we had to get permission to access the cemetery through their property.

  2. taneya (Post author)

    Hi Jerry,

    How interesting! I’m going to email you!

  3. Al Colbert

    Taneya, thanks for posting this. Abraham is actually an ancestor of mine that I just find out about this year via autosomal DNA testing and estate records. Just FYI, it definitely was not Abraham that was killed in the story above…he died in 1849, well before the Civil War, and the bulk of his slaves were in Arkansas anyway (most of them seem to have come from his wife’s family and went by the name Newsom after the War).

  4. taneya (Post author)

    Very cool Albert!! Yes, Jerry corrected it in his comment — stating that it was likely Skelton Demoss. If I’d had any sense, I’d realize that Abraham’s headstone said 1849 and that was certainly well before the Civil War :-).

  5. Felicia

    Thanks for the little piece of history! I try and research The DeMoss family as much as I can. My father has always told me that we are all related some how. I’m not sure how true that is, considering there are far more than I thought! I’m not from Tennessee, but I did enjoy the photos and the story.

  6. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Glad you enjoyed it Felicia! Perhaps one day you will find a connection to this TN family. 🙂

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