Knox Craig Eoff Families after the Revolutionary War

By 1783, James Knox Sr., at the age of seventy, was made Justice of the Peace in Chester County, South Carolina, four years before he died. A copy of his signature, with JP for Justice of the Peace after his signature, is in the Petersen/Lyle book, so he was literate.

 With the disruptions of the moves from Scotland to Ireland, then to the frontier, James and Elizabeth’s  children were probably not literate; their pension applications were signed with their mark. Illiteracy was almost the norm in Scots-Irish, as people moved west ahead of schools and churches. This lack of education led to a distrust of bankers, lawyers, politicians, even preachers who could read, since, in their experience, most of the educated people just tried to take advantage of them, still leading to a distrust of education in some parts of the county. By the Civil War, more people could read and write.

In October 1786, James and Elizabeth sold their Royal Grant and divided the proceeds among their heirs. The 450 acres sold for the 2012 equivalent of $90 US dollars. Sometime 1787, James Sr. died.

In 1788, Elizabeth Craig Knox moved to Crab Orchard, Madison County, Kentucky with some of her childrens’ families (Samuel Morrow, Robert Knox, Samuel Knox, Isaac Eoff and Jacob Sutton) in a train of six wagons. The families of John Gaston Jr., Jannet Miller Knox and William Knox stayed in South Carolina.  The Robert Knox and Jacob Sutton families stayed at Crab Orchard. John Knox with his mother Elizabeth, along with the Samuel Knox and Samuel Morrow families, moved to the southern part of Lincoln County which is now Pulaski County. The Isaac Eoff family moved northward into Madison County.

Sometime in 1809, Robert Knox when back to South Carolina to settle his wife’s estate. Upon his return, he invited Nellie, his niece, to return home with him on the extra horse. With the arrangement made, Nellie rode side-saddle all the way to Frankfort. While in Kentucky, she also visited her uncle Samuel Knox. There she met her cousin William. In October, they were married with another uncle Samuel Morrow as bondsman. At the time of their marriage, William was almost 21 and Eleanor (Nellie) was 24.

In 1812, at the age of 93, Elizabeth Craig Knox, traveled with her daughter Ann’s family again, moving to Puncheon Camp Creek, Garrison Fork, Duck River, Bedford County, Tennessee in another wagon train. Included in the caravan were her daughters’ families – Elizabeth Morrow, Margaret and Ann Sutton and most of the others who had left South Carolina. John, at sixty seven, and Robert stayed in Crab Orchard.

In 1822, at the age of 103, Elizabeth Craig Knox died in Puncheon Camp Creek, Tennessee. She was probably living in a log cabin, with Ann and Jacob Sutton, at the time of her death. She is thought to be buried in Stevenson Cemetery, in an unmarked grave, as was the custom in that day. She was a very long way from her comfortable place of birth, probably as an educated Lady in sophisticated Edinburgh, Scotland to the frontier of a county which didn’t even exist at the time of her birth.

In December 1826, Isaac Eoff had surveyed 25 acres in Warren County, Tennessee warrant #2031 and 50 acres surveyed on warrant #1233, adding to land already owned. The new land may have been land grants for his Revolutionary War service.

On Aug 7, 1832 while living in Rutherford County, Tennessee, Isaac applied for a Revolutionary War pension in the courts of Bedford County, Tennessee. The pension was approved and he drew $60.00 per year. He and Margaret had eight children. One of their sons, John W. (Go Back) Eoff, is our direct ancestor.

John W. (Go Back) Eoff was born on March 15, 1795, in Madison County, Kentucky and  died about 1867 in Carroll County, Arkansas. First, John may have been married to Mary Jane last name unknown but perhaps Knox, who died after the birth of her first or second child. Shortly afterwards, he married Lucy Shaw, born March 10, 1804; she died between 1867 and 1870 in Boone County, Arkansas.   John became known as “Go Back” Eoff because he couldn’t seem to decide just where he wanted to live. It is said that he returned to Tennessee after the move to Arkansas, then returned to Izard County, Arkansas and was there when his mother Margaret died in 1849, then back to Carroll or Boone County. He is said to even moved to Texas for awhile!

Lucy Shaw’s parents haven’t been proven. It is thought by some genealogists that Lucy was the daughter of Christopher Shaw of South Carolina and Bedford County, Tennessee, where there are no courthouse records before 1850 due to a fire. Christopher Shaw deeded land to his three surviving sons. On the deed of land in Bedford County, Tennessee from Christopher Shaw to John Eoff no mention is made of any relationship. Lucy is believed to have been borne in Kentucky, but there is no proof. Christopher Shaw is a proven DAR patriot through his three sons. The three sons’ names are spelled out in full detail in the deeds from their father and mother. No daughters are listed in the deeds for him, although on the 1800 Edgefield District, South Carolina census there was a young female in his household at the time. More research needs to be done in Edgefield District, South Carolina to see just when Christopher Shaw sold his holding there. If he sold out between 1800-1804 then it is quite possible he did go to Kentucky before making the final move to Bedford County, Tennessee. (Details in this paragraph by Pauline Mitchell Pierce.)

In 1841, a wagon train comprising the families of John, Samuel, William and Alexander Eoff made their way through Tennessee, across the Mississippi, into Northwest Arkansas. John dropped from the train in Izard County, with the rest of the family settling in Carroll County, where Margaret Knox Eoff passed away on Sept 26, 1848 at the age of 85. Her remains are buried in the Eoff Cemetery near Harrison, (now) Boone County, Arkansas. Her husband, Isaac, the 3rd generation of Revolutionary War patriots died 1841. (See his headstone and details in the previous Revolutionary War section.)


  • “Knox, James Knox, Sr. and Elizabeth Craig Knox and their Descendants,” compiled by Lorene K. Petersen and Jennie Bell Lyle, 1984 for much of the material in this Knox section.
  • “The McIntires and the Elliotts of Bickle’s Cove, Stone County, Arkansas and the descendents of John McIntire of Maury County, Tennessee,” by Pauline Mitchell Pierce, January 1997.

About Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Genealogy research on my own ancestors is a new focus. Posts will include information about those ancestors including the social and economic issues, along with techniques for research.
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