Appalachia Genealogy

The Reverend Thomas W. and Amanda Hyde Truett Family


Back from left: Henry, Gertrude, Harrison, Hardy. Front from left: Charlie Jenkins, Pearl, Gazzie, Thomas, Byers, Amanda, and Grace (Kate wasn’t born yet)

Thomas W. Truett was born August 31, 1883. He was the son of William Henry and Susie Moore Truett. Amanda Hyde was born December 3, 1886. She was the daughter of Thomas and Jane Sawyer Hyde. The couple were married in 1902 and had nine children; Gazzie Jenkins, Henry, Harrison, Gertrude McClure, Hardy, Pearl Touhy, Byers, Grace Gregory, and Kate Williams.

Amanda was a homemaker all of her life. She died in November, 1951.

Thomas attended school in Cherokee County and finished his education at Young Harris College in Georgia. Brother Tom, as he was known to most everyone, was a Baptist minister for fifty-five years. The minutes of the West Liberty Baptist Association meeting of 1931 reveal some of his dedication to this work. Mr. Truett was elected moderator of the meeting and was pastor of four churches that year; Culberson, Mt. Morriah, Shady Grove, and Hopewell.

Shortly before his death in 1965 an estimate of the results of his years in the ministry was given. He baptized approximately 2,000 people, conducted about 1,500 funerals, performed 300 weddings, ordained 20 ministers, and organized 15 churches.

He never drove a car. His highest salary in any year was $2,000, which he received during the time he was mission pastor for the state mission.

Reverend Tom also had a great love for music and he possessed a powerful voice. During his last hospital stay, he sang the hymn “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” for a group of visitors. At the time of his death, Tom was pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church. He is buried in the cemetery there.

Several years after his death, the local Baptist association was renamed the Truett Baptist Association in honor of Thomas Truett and his first cousin Dr. George W. Truett, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.

—Excerpt from “The Heritage of Cherokee County, NC, Volume II”


Thomas and Amanda were Granny’s grandparents. Drop back by tomorrow and I’ll let Granny tell you a little bit about them.


*Sources: “The Heritage of Cherokee County, NC, Volume II,” 1931 Minutes from West Liberty Association, Betty Coffey.


Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Sherry Cole Dockery
    August 21, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Let me introduce myself. I am a granddaughter of Jennie Hyde Freeman, who was Amanda’s younger sister. She was married to Thomas Lee Freeman. My mother was Ethylene Freeman Cole. My grandparents moved to High Point in the early 1920’s, after the loss of their first two children, Jemima and Loftin Freeman, who are buried in Sawyer Cemetery. I visited their graves a few years ago. I wish my grandparents had stayed in the Bryson City area as I love the area and feel drawn to it. I remember visiting Harley and Pet Hyde and their wives as a child. I was more acquainted with Great Uncle Byers Hyde and Great Uncle John Hyde, who lived in High Point. My mother was Ethylene Freeman Cole. Your pictures are beautiful, and I would love to talk with you.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Old pictures share a lot, just the look on folks faces tells a story, I actually have a copy of a picture of my Great Grandfather and Mother and my Grandmother and her siblings beside me that my Dad gave me one of my last visits. Their last names were Southern, kinda fitting I think.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Is “Gazzie” a given name or a nickname for “Grandma”?

    • Reply
      February 19, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Jeanne-Gazzie was her given name…well at least one of her given names 🙂 That’s another story I need to tell you all!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Thank you for sharing this aspect of a wonderful heritage! I know you are thankful for the photos and tracing the resemblance. I look forward to reading Granny’s memories.

  • Reply
    Debra Osborne Spindle
    February 19, 2019 at 10:53 am

    I was going to say what Pinnaclecreek said. The young woman who is to Rev. Truett’s right. When I saw the picture, I thought “They have to be relatives.” 🙂 What a treasure to have a picture of such a large family.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Can’t wait to hear ..:)

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 10:40 am

    One of my good friends goes to a church call Shady Grove, i wonder if its the same one Tipper? My father in law is a pastor and has preached, held many funerals, married couples and did Revivals and still our pastor at our church. He in his 70’s and still going.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Gazzie and Amanda look like twins! And the good looks continue after several generations.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I always treasure the old pictures of families and of course mine. You and your daughters do resemble Gazzie and Amanda. How very special that is and to have the history of your grandfather’s ministry recorded just adds to it. I wonder if the church names Mt. Moriah and Hopewell were repeated as people moved further South? Maybe coming from England or Ireland. My parents joined the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church when they were teenagers, one of many I am sure in northern MS . It was a very old church and is no longer there now. One set of my grandparents were members of Hopewell Church also in northern MS. The old Hopewell Church still stands today way out in a forest now although it was moved off its foundation about two or three inches when a tornado went through the area 2016.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

    To know where we came from gives us a hint of where we are and where we’re going.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 19, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Great family history.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 19, 2019 at 8:13 am

    PRO10:07 The memory of the just is blessed:

    I have good memories of several preachers who were old men when I was a child. If there is a single word to describe them, I don’t know what it is. The word ‘integrity’ comes to mind but it was more than just one thing. It was the sum total of a life that was consistent throughout. As I’ve heard it said, “Wherever you see them, they are the same.” It is a reputation I much desire to have before I leave here. I very much expect your Dad had it.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    February 19, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Tipper, you really do resemble your Great Grandmother.
    This got me to thinking about my Father. He pastored 3 churches and was sometimes the moderator of the association of several Baptist churches. He worked a full time job and took off many days to preach funerals. Held many revivals in churches as much as 50 miles away and drove ever night. Being the old fashioned Baptist that didn’t believe in paying the preacher made it hard on all of us. Things have changed somewhat, although we still don’t pay our pastor He is compensated for funerals and other church related expenses. I wished it had been that way years earlier.
    If Dad hadn’t been such a high energy person, He couldn’t have done all these things and still found time to take me hunting and fishing. He was 85 yrs, old and died quickly with a heart attack. I’ll see him again in the not to distance future.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 19, 2019 at 7:07 am

    The old time people never smiled in their pictures and they almost always had big families like this one.
    Your girls went to the same college as Thomas, wow, that’s really something.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Tipper, you and your beautiful daughters favor the lovely lady in front. You can tell she is family.

  • Leave a Reply