David Ralston, Jr.


David Ralston, Jr., seventh child of David Ralston and Mary Reid, was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, February 16, 1798 and died November 16, 1875 in Davidson County.  David was raised in Nashville while it was still a frontier town.  David married Nancy Bashaw Basye (1804 – 1895) from Virginia, June 13, 1825 in Davidson County.

From: Militia Companies, Davidson County, Tenn. 1836

Records of Davidson County Court, Page 61, October Sessions 1836:

“The court appoints the following Gentlemen Justices to take in Lists of Taxable property in different Militia Companies in Davidson County for the year 1836 to wit:  …John C. Bowen Esquire in Captain David Ralston’ Company”

David was an Asst. Marshall in Davidson County and was involved in taking the 1850 census of Davidson County.  This is a sample of a census form he signed:

From: Clayton’s History of Davidson County 1880:

Page 89 “David Ralston Justice of Peace District 22.”

Page 375, regarding District 22 “Gilbert Marshall father of Dr. Marshall, now above eighty years of age, is the oldest resident of the district and an early settler.  David Ralston and John Cloyd were prominent men and descendants of pioneer families.”




1.              Mary Ann Ralston (1825–1900) m. 1850, Davidson County, William E Cummings (1819–1880) [William’s father, John Cummings, bought the David Ralston, Sr., house and property in 1841. William lived in this house when he married Mary.] William and Mary moved to and farmed in Dyer County, TN, after marrying.

a.              Martha A Cummings (1853–1928) m1. 1873, Dyer County, TN, Elias D Cummings (1851–) m2. 1896, Dyer County, (Rev) Wilson W Harrington (1842–1921) no children, Elias was a farmer, Wilson a preacher and ran a Department Store.

b.             Sarah Cummings (1855–) unknown

c.              John D. Cummings (1857–1937) m. 1884, Dyer County, Safronia Elizabeth Nichols Webb (1854–1934) farmed in Dyer County, TN, Washington and Hempstead Counties, AR

d.             M A Cummings (1861–) female - unknown

e.              William E. Cummings (1862–1945) m. 1889, Dyer County, Martha (Mattie) E. Barker (1869–1947) farmed in Dyer County

f.               Ida Lou Cummings (1866–1963) m. 1892, Dyer County, Obediah Deyer Spradley (1868–1931) farmed in Dyer County, TN, and Pemiscot, MO.  Obediah later worked at an oil refinery in Jackson County, MO

2.              Serafine Ralston (1828–1873) unmarried, lived with parents

3.              William Ralston (1830–1833) died as infant

4.              James Ralston, M.D. (1832–1894) physician in Nashville, unmarried

5.              Martha Jane Ralston (1834–1920) m. 1856, Thomas Pierce Smith (1831–1871) farmed in Davidson County

a.              Jessie Smith (1858–1862) died as child

b.             Josephine Ophelia Smith (1860–1936) m. 1890, Harvey Lincoln Miller (1862–1913) after Harvey’s death, Josie managed their farm in Davidson County.

c.              Cora Lee Smith (1863–1937) unmarried

d.             Mattie Thomas Smith (1866–1933) m. 1894 Lincoln Grant Curtis (1865–1922) farmed in Davidson County

e.              Mary Frances Smith (1868–1958) unmarried, lived with Cora, in 1940 was resident at “Old Woman’s Home”

f.               Roberta Ellen Smith (1870–1941) m. 1891 Henry Jones (1870–1953) farmed and later owned a grocery store in Davidson County

6.              Tennessee White Ralston (1836–1879) m. 1857, Davidson County, Samuel J Nance (1835–) farmed in Giles County. Tennie died of “consumption” at her sister Lucinda’s home in Davidson County. [Lula was living with her mother at Aunt Lu’s.  Sam and Joseph apparently stayed at home.]

a.              Sammy Nance – unknown – died young

b.             William Nance – unknown – died young

c.              Joseph Albert Nance (1859–1919) m. Mary Harriet Corbitt (1864–1910) carpenter in Davidson County

d.             Mattie Lula Nance (1866–1919) m. 1885 Joseph Vaught (1863–1914) lived in Shelby County, TN – Joseph was a tinner

7.              John Ralston (1838–1861) John died at age 23 right after the start of the Civil War.  No records were found as to cause of death or if he was a soldier.

8.              Eleanor Ralston (1840–1841) died as infant

9.              Lucinda Ralston (1844–bef. 1898) m. Jasper Newton Bray (1836–1922) farmed in Davidson County.  There is no record of Lu’s death, but Jasper remarried 13 Jan 1898.  She possibly contracted TB from nursing her sister, Tennie.

a.              Thomas Walter Bray (1868–1943) m. 1896 Laura Carter (1877–1941), Tom was in the wholesale grocery business

b.             Minnie Bray (1870–1967) unmarried. Minnie was a teacher in Nashville, and for a while, Washington, DC

c.               William Sims Bray (1872–) m. 1908, Davidson County, TN, Annie Pauline Binkley (1889–1974) truckdriver for oil company in Davidson County [William Bray’s granddaughter, Courtenay Bray, is a DNA match to Janet Cameron (1952-2018), a granddaughter of David Thompson Ralston, as well as three other descendants of David Ralston, Sr.]

d.             Oscar Bray (1879–1880) died of tubercular meningitis