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Archiver > COUTS > 2005-02 > 1108658175

Subject: Obit, Gerald Couts, Trip to TN, Cave Couts
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 11:36:15 EST

Hello Everyone,

The obituary below appeared in Wednesday's Nashville Tennessean. As near as
I can figure from the information at Barb's website (,
Gerald is a descendant of John Couts, d. abt 1828, Robertson Co. TN (will
probated there, though several websites say he was in Sumner Co.). Descendancy
through his son John Franklin Couts.

I descend through daughter Nancy who married John Bird, a fact which Bird
cousin Launa Kitros and I were able to obtain additional proof recently, beyond
an oldtimer sometime in the 1970s telling Launa that John Bird and Nancy Couts
came to Dade Co. Mo down the "Trace". We assume this refers to the Natchez
Trace, which clips a corner of Carroll Co. TN, where we believe they lived.

This additional proof is in the form of a letter we found at the Huntington
Library in Los Angeles from a John Couts in Springfield, TN to Cave Johnson
Couts in San Diego, grandson of John d. ca 1828 via son William who married Nancy
Johnson, in the early 1870s (if memory serves, it's packed in a box at the
moment). The letter at the end has a paragraph updating Cave, who apparently
made an inquiry, on the whereabouts of his three aunts who married Bird,
McConnell and Appleton. It says very clearly that Nancy married John Bird, had been
a widow some years, and raised a respectable family in Dade County Missouri,
post office Kings Point (where they are buried in the local cemetery).

Launa and I were privileged to spend an unbelievable day going through a
small portion of the letters, pictures, documents that comprise the Cave Johnson
Couts papers that are housed there, under strict copyright rules (sigh). Our
purpose was to find some sort of proof of the above John Bird and Nancy Couts,
but to also find some other mention confirming that John and Nancy Bird came
from Carroll Co. and describing John Bird's family. We didn't find such a
letter, but we didn't have time to read all. I got quite caught up in letters to
Cave, who's training at West Point was sponsored by his Postmaster General
uncle Cave Johnson, from his brother John, all of which I was able to copy, as
well as a few letters from his parents. They span more than 30 years and
chronicle the life of a family, including numerous family squabbles and trials (now
don't tell her I told you about X), the difficult times during and
particularly after the Civil War. I have not read them all. We also have several
letters from the sisters to Cave, giving a different view of things! FYI, most of
the letters are from Clarksville in Montgomery County, TN not Springfield.

Separately, I recently returned, via car, to Virginia (my mother, the Couts
descendant passed away last June). I spent a day at the Robertson County
archives, primarily searching for info on John Bird. The archivist there Yolanda
Reed and her staff were unbelievably helpful. Using some information from a
cousin-in-law Ken Betts, who is married to another descendant of William Haley &
Lucy Stone (my Choate line), she not only pinpointed on a map the Armstrong
farm, but also where Nicholas Stone lived and Edward Choate's adjacent land.
The latter is very close to White House, which is in Sumner County, while the
Couts/Armstrong farm is more decidedly in Robertson Co., which makes me wonder
why everyone says John died in Sumner Co. (though he may actually have died
there for all I know). It was bitterly cold when I passed through, and when
I got out of the car in this rural area to take a picture, the inevitable dogs
came running, and I ended up taking a "drive-by" picture.

There is a Choate cemetery on what was Choate land, that is fenced off in the
middle of a small, new White House housing development. Buried there is
Steptoe Choate, brother to my Powhatan Choate who married Winnie Haley, two of
whose children married John & Nancy Bird's children. It is so close to the
houses and road that I have to believe that some bones were displaced in the
process. If anyone is planning a trip, I would recommend you do it soon before the
whole area becomes a bedroom community for Nashville (15 minutes from the
Nashville beltway, White House being right on the interstate). Since it and
the housing development, appear to be surrounded by what was once Choate and
other early neighbors land, I have to imagine their father Gabriel, his father
Edward, etc. were probably buried there as well.

When I get settled, will hopefully have time to review the material from the
Cave Johnson Couts collection.

Best Regards, Janet Baugh Hunter -- John Couts & Leah Stark>Nancy Couts &
John Bird>Henry Bird and Lucy Choate>Casselia Bird & Wm Michael Marsh, my great

Subj: [TN_ROBERTSON] Gerald COUTS Obituary
Date: 2/16/2005 3:45:32 PM Eastern Standard Time

This obituary appeared in the Nashville Tennessean on Wednesday, 16 February

Gerald COUTS
Age 79
February 15, 2005
Age 79 of Springfield, died Tuesday, February 15, 2005. Born June 7, 1925 in
Springfield to the late Clifford Earl and Sallie Mae Fiser Couts. He worked
a mechanic for Durrett Transfer and later became co-owner of Couts Brother's
Express. He then went into business for himself as owner and operator of
Service Station, Gameland and Couts Sweeping Service. Mr. Couts was a veteran
of the U.S. Navy, where he served in WWII. He received a Letter of
Commendation for saving his commanding officer's life at Omaha Beach on D-Day
during the
Normandy invasion. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sharon Couts
Woodstock and by his twin sister, Geraldine Couts Riggs. Mr. Couts is
survived by
his wife of 42 years, Dorothy Layne Couts; son, Terry Wayne Couts of Santa
Barbara, CA; brothers, Cliff and Dixie Couts, both of Springfield and Wendell
Couts of Nashville; grandchildren, Pam Couts Drake, Carrie Couts Ledsinger,
Cassy Shively; great-grandchildren, Devin, Drew and Braden Drake, Taylor,
Lexi and
Jarrod Ledsinger, Jeremiah Tiefenback and Macey Erickson. His remains rest at
the Robertson County Funeral Home, where funeral services will be conducted
Thursday at 2 p.m., with Rev. Joe Hinkle officiating. Interment will follow
Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, from 4 p.m.
until 8 p.m. and on Thursday, from 12 Noon until the hour of service at the

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