John R. Petty was born about 1836 in Tennessee. He was the son of John Petty, but John's wife who was the mother of his children is unknown.
John was in McMinn County, Tennessee in 1840, in adjoining Bradley County in 1860 and 1870, and in nearby Whitfield County, Georgia in 1880. The family has not been located in the 1850 census. John had at least 10 children, all likely by his unknown first wife who was no longer with him and the children by 1860.
John Petty's other children were: Caroline (married Lemuel Young), Charlotte (married John E. Hambright), Martha (married John W. Martin), Rash P., James, Joseph, Angeline "Ann" (married Wiley Long), Mary Elizabeth (married John Cooper) and an unknown daughter who may have married a Milsapp.
Family stories (in other branches of the family, not mine) indicate that John's wife and Charlotte's husband both drowned during flooding in the area around 1850. A newspaper article from the Athens Post (McMinn County) published 23 August 1850 tells that John Hambright drowned in the Hiwassee River while attempting to cross it on horseback. No mention of flooding or his mother-in-law.
If you know anything about this Petty family, email me or leave a comment here.