I don't have a documented connection that this William Apple is the one you are looking for, but here goes. William is listed at age 9 in the 1850 census in Jackson Co. TN with his parents Ridley (age 34) and Margaret (age 32) and siblings. In the 1860 census for Putnam Co., William, age 19, is listed with his brother George W (age 21) as head of household, other siblings, and his mother Margaret (age 45). Apparently Ridley died before the 1860 census.
Ridley's parents are George Apple (born circa 1792 in Guilford Co. NC) and Mary McDonald (born circa 1797 in TN, dau of WIlliam McDonald and Elizabeth Sadler). George Apple and two of his brothers, David and Daniel Jr., moved west from North Carolina to settle in Tennessee. David was in TN by 1815, Daniel sometime after 1809, and George by 1827.
George was the son of Daniel Apple and Barbara Spoon. Daniel was born in 1761 in Pennsylvania and served in the Revolutionary War from North Carolina. Daniel's father was Adam Apple, born circa 1734 in Germany, emigrated to America 26 Sep 1749 on Ship Ranier to Philadelphia. Adam brought his family to NC sometime between 1762 and 1771. In 1783 he purchased land in NC. In the early 1800's, Adam and his sons founded Apples Chapel in Guilford County, NC.
Check out Catherine Monticue's web page - search the Surname Index for Apple - to see the most current research on the Apple lineage back to Germany.
If this is correct, then your William is cousin to Milton T. Apple in Harold Marsh's posting above.
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