Jonathan Potts 1714 -1785

Compiled By: Joseph J. Reichel

Published: 1980, Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A., by the compiler; corrections and revisions as of 1982, 1989, 2004 and 2011

Format: Looseleaf Notebook, 8.5" x 11", 180 pages including index

Table of Contents:


The book is dedicated to the memory of Joe's mother, Lena Parsada Reichel (1887-1981).

Preface (2 pages)

The author considers his work a limited history and genealogy of the ancestors and descendants of one Jonathan Potts of Virginia and Kentucky. He indicates his sources, and acknowledges the help of family members and various cousins.

Introduction (4 pages)

Very quickly the compiler points out that there are uncertainties in the descendentcy in this Potts line, not the least of which concerns the subject himself, Jonathan. Suggested theories regarding Jonathan’s parentage are offered. The compiler’s numbering system and abbreviations are also explained.

PART ONE - Background & Probable Ancestry of Jonathan Potts

Chapter One - Derivation of the Name (1 page)

Absent proof a British origin is suggested for the surname Potts and its variations (Pot, Pott, Potes, Pottes) since, it is claimed, these names were found in isolated instances in different parts of Great Britain at a very early period. Some Pott(s) families later became so distinguished as to warrant the granting of "arms", and several designs appear in English records.

Chapter Two - British Origin (6 pages)

Pott(s) families were noted in Derbyshire and Cheshire, and one branch settled in Montgomeryshire, Wales. At least some, and perhaps all, of the Potts in Wales were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). As a result they later suffered persecution at the hands of both Puritans and the Church of England. Abstracts of early Pott wills in Wales are examined.

Chapter Three - Colonial America (2 pages)

In the mid 1600s, to escape increasing persecution, many members of the Society of Friends fled to the colonies in America only again to be subjected to humiliating indignities and where strict laws were passed to limit their activity. Some of the first to arrive were deported or flogged and driven from town to town. William Penn enters the picture.

Chapter Four - The Potts Families of Early Pennsylvania (3 pages)

In the late 1600s there were many persons with the surname Potts who had arrived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A plausible explanation of their relationships is asserted based on the work of Thomas Maxwell Potts.

Chapter Five - Jonas Potts of Wales and Pennsylvania (7 pages)

Jonas Potts is thought to have arrived from Wales with his widowed mother Elizabeth and several brother and sisters. Records of his presence in Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania. Descendants are traced to Loudoun Co., Virginia; Washington Co., Maryland; Washington Co., Pennsylvania; and Jefferson Co., Ohio, among other locations.

PART TWO - Jonathan Potts and His Descendants

Chapter Six - The Potts Family of Botetourt County, Virginia (2 pages)

Jonathan Potts is believed to have followed his half-brother David to Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Virginia, yet no record of him can be found there. He is found in Augusta Co. though, in an area which later became Botetourt Co.

Chapter Seven - Jonathan Potts 1714-1785 (11 pages)

About 1779 Jonathan Potts sold his property and removed to Kentucky Co., Virginia (later to become part of Kentucky, the state, June 1, 1792).

Chapter Eight - David Potts of Mercer County, Kentucky (10 pages)

Jonathan’s son David Potts and his family are detailed.

Chapter Nine - Joel Potts - Son of David Sr. and Martha Short (25 pages)

Chapter Ten - Amos Potts of Bradley County, Tennessee (12 pages)

Chapter Eleven - Martha (Potts) Langston of Tennessee (4 pages)

Chapter Twelve - Archibald R. Potts of Bradley County, Tennessee (2 pages)

Chapter Thirteen - William Amos Potts of Texas and Oklahoma (5 pages)

Chapter Fourteen - Lena Parsada (Potts) Reichel of Oklahoma and California (9 pages)

Chapter Fifteen - Mary Marthena (Potts) Wolfe of Tennessee (3 pages)

Chapter Sixteen - Nancy Matilda (Potts) Kelley of Tennessee ( 9 pages)


  1. Revolutionary War Service of David, John and Jonathan Potts (2 pages)
  2. Chronological Research Notes 1752 – 1800 (3 pages)
  3. Land Purchases by Amos and John Potts, Jr., 1763 (1 pages)
  4. Abstracts of Marriage Bonds (2 pages)
  5. Inventory of Estate – John Potts, Jr. (2 pags)
  6. Land Sale by John and Nathan Potts, 1790 (1 page)
  7. Bible Record, Albert Potts Family (1 page)
  8. Bounty Land Warrant for Amos Potts (1 page)
  9. Amos Potts Pension, War of 1812 (1 page)
  10. Widow’s Pension for Rachael Potts (1 page)
  11. H. D. Kelley vs A. R. Potts, et al (6 pages)
  12. Isiah Potts and Polly Blue, by William R. Carr (22 pages)
  13. The Legend of Billy Potts (3 pages)


Five illustrations within the book are listed.


Twenty-one published references are cited, plus private correspondence.




  1. This web site, in Adobe .pdf format, download here. You will need the free Adobe PDF Reader to open and read the book in this format.
  2. Joe Reichel's website in Adobe pdf format. go to website
  3. Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219.
  4. Oklahoma Historical Society, 2100 North Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
  5. Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.
  6. Denver Public Library, 10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO 80204.
  7. Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150.

Note: This work is an enormous expansion of chapter X of Thomas Maxwell Potts’ compilation, The Potts Family.

The Potts Surname Database

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