Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Monday, October 29, 2012

The James Whitlock Family of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 3



Surry County, NC Court Minutes ~ February 12, 1801
James Whitlock  "road overseer"


Of the several children born unto James Whitlock and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock, the child that merits a closer examination in regards to the topic of my blog, would be their son James Whitlock Jr. because of his son Bowen's marriage to Isaac Jones' daughter Alavina. As I mentioned in my first Whitlock post, based on census records James would have been born sometime between 1766-1770 and most likely in Rowan County, NC. With his first appearance on a tax list being in the year 1791 and only being taxed a single white poll, I would tend to believe his birth was most likely in 1769 or 1770.

Not long after relocating with his family to the Hunting Creek area of Surry County, NC in the late 1780's, James would marry Nancy Bowen the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Bowen. Based on census records, Nancy was born at some point between 1770-1774. Unfortunately an actual marriage record has yet to surface, but I would imagine it occurred in either 1789 or 1790. The 1790 Surry County census listing for Thomas Bowen would certainly lend itself to the possibility of the newlywed couple living in his home at that time. It's not until the 1793 tax list for Capt. Hudspeth's District that you see James Whitlock being documented owning any land, which at that point in time was 100 acres. I have yet to be able to locate any sort of document indicating how he came by this land. This would also be the case for the additional 100 acres he shows having acquired by the time of the 1800 tax list. My theory is that this additional 100 acres is the same 100 acres purchased by his father-in-law Thomas Bowen from Ashley Johnson Sr. on May 31, 1800 that I mentioned in my post concerning Achilles Whitlock. That would certainly explain how James Whitlock came to live near the Johnsons for the next 40+ years. If it wasn't just transferred by a now lost deed between the two men, it's possible that the land was part of the "two thirds of my estate real and personal" Thomas Bowen left to his grandson Bowen Whitlock "as soon as he is of age" in his will written later that same year on September 19. Despite Thomas further stipulating in his will that the land remain in the care of his wife until Bowen was of age, I would imagine that being Bowen's father, James would have to assume the tax liability on the land until that time came. With the remaining third of Thomas Bowen's estate going to his wife Sarah, this would seem to indicate that James Whitlock's wife Nancy was an only child. This notion seems to gain further weight when Nancy's stepfather Phillip Howard writes his will eight years later on July 28, 1808. In it he stipulates that "the eight children of Nancy Whitlock, grandchildren of my present wife are to have three dollars each to be paid to their father James Whitlock." With no other children or grandchildren of his wife Sarah mentioned, as also with the Thomas Bowen will, that would seem to indicate to me that Nancy (Bowen) Whitlock was an only child.

Although he doesn't mention them by name, it's very fortunate that Phillip Howard makes mention of "the eight children of Nancy Whitlock" when trying to determine James and Nancy's children. The 1800 Census makes it pretty clear that by 1800 the couple had three boys and one girl all under the age of 10, but by the 1810 Census and forward, there is always the presence of a possible second married couple in the home making it difficult to attribute children to James and Nancy. Of these eight children born prior to 1808, I've only been able to positively identify three: Bowen Whitlock, James J. Whitlock, and John Whitlock who married Hannah Padgett in Surry County on January 10, 1819. Other individuals I believe to be likely candidates are William Whitlock who married Nancy Myres on January 4, 1823 and Samuel Whitlock who married Theney Bowles on July 28, 1829. With James Whitlock's brother Thomas having most likely relocated to Warren County, TN by 1820, I feel the Thomas Whitlock mentioned as a buyer in the 1828 estate inventory for Sarah Howard is also a likely candidate as a possible son of James and Nancy. There's also a pretty good chance that the Rowland Whitlock seen nearby Bowen Whitlock on the 1830 Census for Lincoln County, TN is another son of James and Nancy, although, Rowland could just as easily be a son of James Whitlock's brother Thomas.

James Whitlock's undocumented land acquisitions appear to have continued, because by 1812, county tax lists for Capt. Hatley's District now show him owning 318 acres. Of these 318 acres, only a single 18 acre tract can be explained by any sort of existing documentation of transfer. This section of land located on Hunting Creek was acquired through a state grant issued to him on December 5, 1804 which he had entered a vacant land entry for back in 1800. A good indicator of the area where the Whitlocks were living can be found in the Surry County Court minutes where the court orders on February 12, 1801 that James Whitlock be "appointed overseer of the road in the room of Jacob Bolen from the Pole Branch to the Wilkes Line." Nine months later he would act as a witness along with John Brown for Isaac Jones' first land purchase in Surry County on October 10, 1801.

After scouring every deed book in Surry County, I've only managed to locate a single deed where James Whitlock acted as a primary participant either as a grantor or grantee. This lone deed was written up on August 20, 1814 and involved James Whitlock selling 100 acres on the Rocky Branch of Hunting Creek to Ephraim Padgett for the amount of 100 pounds. The deed was witnessed by James Parks and an indecipherable Whitlock which appears to possibly read as "Bo Whitlock". The selling of this land definitely corresponds with later tax lists for Capt. Denny's District now showing James Whitlock with only 218 acres of land.

The final mention of James Whitlock in the Surry County land records finds itself in a pair of deeds of mortgage involving his son James J. Whitlock in 1835. The first of these dated June 17, 1835 involves James J. Whitlock securing payment on two separate debts through the transfer of personal property. The initial debt involves a "judgement" against him by John Jones for the amount of $14. In exchange for a loan on the amount, made by Elisha Roughton and Jinkins R. Felts, James J. Whitlock puts up the following property as collateral: one bay horse about two years old, two cows and calves, and a yoke of small stears (sic). Once the judgement is paid off, the property is to then act as security against "four notes" totaling to the amount of $28.04 held against him by J. F. Dowthit (John F. Dowthit). In addition to the property already mentioned, additional collateral put up by James J. for these notes include: five head of hogs about two years old, two feather beds and furniture, one cotton wheel, one flax wheel, two pots, and all his household and kitchen furniture. The following month on July 24 James J. Whitlock writes up a second deed of mortgage to John F. Dowthit to secure "certain debts to the amount of thirty dollars." As security this time he puts up "all my crop of oats which I now have on hand and all my interest in the crop of corn and fodder now growing on the plantation where on my father now lives."

Both James and his wife Nancy (Bowen) Whitlock, now in their 70's, can still be seen alive and well five years later on the 1840 Census for Surry County. I've examined all the county estate records from 1840-1857, of which there is no mention of either James or Nancy, and neither of them appears on the 1850 Census for Surry County so I don't know what ultimately became of them. There is an intriguing listing for an 80 year old Nancy Whitlock on the 1850 Census for Alamance County, NC though. She is found living in the home of her daughter Rebecca who had married Robert Cheek in Orange County, NC on May 28, 1841. Now I've seen where there are some who have made the connection that this Rebecca was the daughter of James Whitlock and Nancy Bowen, but I've never seen anything presented beyond the census to back this claim up. This theory definitely presents some very interesting possibilities. The part of Orange County that became Alamance County in 1849 is roughly about 70 miles to the east of the Hunting Creek area of what was then Surry County. Not a great distance, even for that period of time. Despite this Robert Cheek having a long history in Orange County, the Whitlocks were certainly living around Cheeks in the Hunting Creek area of Surry County. It's certainly possible that the two groups of Cheeks were related, thus leading to a future encounter with Rebecca Whitlock if she is in fact a daughter of James Whitlock and Nancy Bowen.

The real mystery surrounding this Rebecca Whitlock's mother Nancy is the fact that she had an earlier connection with Orange County through a man named Charles Christmas. In his Orange County will dated September 1, 1811 Charles Christmas makes provisions for the raising, clothing, and schooling "of a child of Nancy Wilcox's  (viz) Rebeckah." I've also seen the name transcribed as "Willocks". It's assumed by most that this is actually meant to read Whitlock because Rebecca and her husband Robert Cheek would later name one of their children Charles Christmas Cheek. With that being said and assuming this Nancy Whitlock is indeed Nancy (Bowen) Whitlock, one must then ask; what was the connection between her and this Charles Christmas prior to 1811 and why his special interest in this one child who would have been two at the time of the writing of his will? And furthermore, if this was in fact Nancy Bowen Whitlock who was married to the still-living James Whitlock at the time of the writing of this will; why wasn't the wording phrased "a child of James Whitlock" which would have been more in line with the protocol of the time?

A closer look at the background of Charles Christmas does indeed produce a number of Whitlock connections going back to Virginia. Charles himself is believed to have been born in Bute County, NC in the year 1771 to John Christmas and Mary Graves. His father John's younger sister Agnes is believed to have married a James Whitlock in Hanover County, VA in 1730. The Nathaniel Whitlock found in Surry County in 1772 and the Charles Whitlock living in the Snow Creek area of Stokes County are commonly thought to be children of theirs, not to mention it is also believed they had a son named James. Some have come to the conclusion that this James is the James Whitlock that married Sylvia Jones, maybe, I've never seen much to say one way or the other. But if that is the case, that would make Charles Christmas and the James Whitlock that married Nancy Bowen first cousins once removed. Why exactly would Charles Christmas feel the need to provide total financial support for the youngest daughter of his first cousin's son who was still alive at the time and for many years to come? And once again, why would he not make mention of his actual living relative and father of this child in the wording of the will, but instead name the mother, who was only related through marriage?

I think it's pretty safe to say that what became of James Whitlock and Nancy (Bowen) Whitlock after 1840 still remains a mystery.

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Ashley Johnson Sr. to Thomas Bowen (page 1)

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Ashley Johnson Sr. to Thomas Bowen (page 2)

1800 Surry County, NC Will ~ Will of Thomas Bowen (page 1)

1800 Surry County, NC Will ~ Will of Thomas Bowen (page 2)

1808 Surry County, NC Will ~ Will of Phillip Howard (page 1)

1808 Surry County, NC Will ~ Will of Phillip Howard (page 2)

1814 Surry County, NC Deed ~ James Whitlock to Ephraim Padgett (page 1)

1814 Surry County, NC Deed ~ James Whitlock to Ephraim Padgett (page 2)

1835 Surry County, NC Deed of Mortgage ~ James J. Whitlock to J. F. Dowthit (also Elisha Roughton and Jinkins R. Felts)

1835 Surry County, NC Deed of Mortgage ~ James J. Whitlock to John F. Dowthit

        


Friday, October 26, 2012

Achilles Whitlock of Halifax County, VA????


1808 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Ashley Johnson & wife 
Elizabeth to Achilles Whitlock


While I was gathering my material concerning the Whitlock family I happened upon a lone deed that I find very interesting and quite possibly a link to the family of James Whitlock of Rowan County, NC.

Dated August 1, 1808 and written in Surry County, NC, it involves a local Hunting Creek resident named Ashley Johnson and his wife Elizabeth selling an 18 acre lot in Halifax County, VA to a man living in Halifax County named Achilles Whitlock. The land had been left to Elizabeth Johnson through the estate of Thomas Beach and makes mention that Elizabeth was formerly Elizabeth Brown.

First let me start with some of the ideas being tossed around out there concerning this Achilles Whitlock. It's thought that Achilles was born in 1750 or 1759 in either Goochland or Lunenburg County, VA. Considering I believe James Whitlock came to Rowan County from Lunenburg County, VA, this certainly strikes my interest. Especially since Halifax County was formed from Lunenburg in 1752. I've seen where some out there believe Achilles to be the son of John Whitlock and Ann Logan. With my great-great-great grandfather being named John Logan Jones, that certainly piques my interest. Unfortunately the compiled notes left by the Rev. William Douglas of Goochland County, VA, collectively known as The Douglas Register, dashes any notion of that due to it containing records of the couple's first six children's births and baptisms from 1757-1772. 

The connections start to get even more interesting when you take a closer look at Ashley Johnson and his wife Elizabeth (Brown) Johnson. The earliest connection between Ashley Johnson and the Whitlocks in Surry County is found in a deed dated May 31, 1800 when Ashley Johnson Sr. sells 100 acres of land to Thomas Bowen the father-in-law of James Whitlock Jr. James also acts as a witness for the transaction. As I mentioned in my first Whitlock post, you find a number of Bowens in Lunenburg County, VA surrounding a James Whitlock on the 1764 tax list. I also find it interesting that Ashley's wife Elizabeth was originally a Brown considering that in 1803 the Thomas Whitlock I believe to be a son of James and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock sold his 130 acre tract on the North Fork of Dutchman's Creek to a Joshua Brown.

Surry County tax lists as late as 1819 indicate that Ashley Johnson was living next to James Whitlock Jr. Upon Ashley's death in 1818/1819 his son Ashley would continue to live in the area and is most likely the individual who acted as bondsman for the January 4, 1823 marriage between William Whitlock and Nancy Myres. Later census records for 1830 and 1840 also show their close proximity.

Could it just be mere coincidence that this Ashley Johnson had dealings with Whitlocks in two entirely different states? Hmmmm......    

Monday, October 22, 2012

The James Whitlock Family of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 2


So I ended my last post discussing how the widow and family of James Whitlock Sr. had left Rowan County and resettled just to the north in Surry County, NC at some point in the 1780's. But at exactly what point? The earliest mention of any Whitlocks in Surry County that I've been able to locate is the 1772 Tax List where you find a Nathaniel Whitlock listed. I have no idea who this gentleman is or if there is any relation to James Whitlock. The next individual to appear in the county records is a Charles Whitlock who is found receiving a 640 acre grant on the waters of Snow Creek on April 3, 1780. It's important to make note of the date and watercourse mentioned, because at the time, this area would have been located in the far northeastern section of Surry which ultimately became the far northeastern section of Stokes County in 1789. This is quite a ways away from the Hunting Creek area of Surry County where the family of James Whitlock Sr. are known to have resettled.

The next person to emerge from the county records shows a little more promise, but at the same time provides just as many questions as answers. This would be the listing of a Silvis Whitlock on the 1782 Tax List for Capt. Gains District. It's pretty clear that James Whitlock's wife Sylvia was indeed a widow by this point, which is based on a petition she had made to Brigadier General Davidson on January 20, 1781 which states "the widow of James Whitlock requests the return of a Negro boy, and she wants to retain 20 bushels of corn demanded of her." Sylvia can also be found this same year making a claim for compensation in the Revolutionary War Army Accounts housed at the NC State Archives. With the very similar name and knowledge that Sylvia was a widow by this point, one might be quick to make the assumption that she is this "Silvis" listed in 1782. The first issue to arise from making this connection is once again location. The area of Surry County that was considered Capt. Gains District in 1782 later became what is today known as the township of Peters Creek in north central Stokes County. Once again, pretty far off the mark from the area of Hunting Creek where the family is known to have lived not very long after this point. With this "Silvis Whitlock" shown being taxed for 100 acres of land, 4 horses or mules, and 10 heads of cattle, signs of an obvious working farm and not just land owned, it's difficult to determine why Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock would have done this when she already owned a working 620 acre farm in Rowan County during this time, and for the next 8 years to come. Not only this, but the rest of her extended family and Methodist neighbors in the area of Dutchman's Creek all made the short 10 mile migration to the Hunting Creek area around this time. So why would she have chose an area so far removed, only to end up in the same area as everyone else just a few years later?

The first individual to appear in the Surry County records that is known to be related to this family is James and Sylvia's son John Whitlock. On September 5, 1787 he can be found acting as a witness along with James Hudspeth and Henry Speer for a land transaction between Thomas Cain and wife Lelah and a man named George Brooks. The land is described as being on Harmon's Creek which lies between the towns of Yadkinville and Hamptonville and eventually connects to South Deep Creek. Definitely the right geographic area for the James Whitlock family. Despite being in the county in 1787 and being shown listed as "of Surry County" in 1790 when he sells his father's land on Dutchman's Creek, he doesn't appear on the 1790 Census for the area or the county tax lists until 1793. In fact, the only Whitlock to show up on the 1790 Census for Surry County is a William Whitlock. I would tend to believe that he shares a connection to this family based on his close proximity to James, John, and Thomas Whitlock ten years later on the 1800 Census. I've often wondered if he might be the same William Whitlock arrested in Rowan County in 1774 for producing and passing counterfeit money and a possible brother to James Whitlock Sr.

Since I've brought up the 1800 Census, now is as good of time as any for me to make the statement that I believe James, John, and Thomas to all be sons of James and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock. The first mention of a Thomas Whitlock in Surry County is found in a deed dated March 24, 1788 between James Meredith and William Martin. With the land being on Crooked Creek which ended up in the far northeastern corner of Stokes County the following year, I don't believe this to be the correct Thomas Whitlock. With the William Martin who purchased the land showing up on the 1790 Census for Stokes County on the same page as Charles Whitlock, I tend to believe this Thomas is actually part of that group of Whitlocks. William Martin and this Thomas Whitlock are mentioned together once again in a deed dated September 15, 1789 acting as witnesses for the sale of land between John Childress and wife Nancy and a David Dalton. Once again this land is listed on Crooked Creek and adjacent the Virginia line. The correct Thomas Whitlock makes his first appearance in the Surry County records on November 9, 1795 when he purchases 128 acres on the North Fork of Dutchman's Creek in from William Steelman. The land is described as "adjoining the Rowan County line, Thomas Cook, and Jesse Reavis." Later land and tax records would seem to indicate that the amount of land was actually 130 acres. The following year a deed is written up in Surry County on May 7, 1796 showing Thomas Whitlock selling 80 acres of land on Dutchman's Creek to a George Moore of Rowan County which was witnessed by John Reavis and William Steelman. I don't believe the 80 acres he sold in 1796 was part of his 128 acre purchase from William Steelman because when Thomas makes his first appearance in the Surry County tax lists in 1796 for Captain Hudspeth's District, and the following year, he is shown still owning 130 acres of land and listed adjacent his brother James Whitlock. By 1798, county tax lists show him having acquired an additional 95 acres on Hunting Creek which was finalized in a deed from Matthew Brooks of Stokes County on September 16, 1799. This land was later sold to Reuben McDaniel on November 11, 1815. Reuben McDaniel was the brother of Isaac Jones' son Wiley's wife Nancy. The tax list for 1799 once again shows Thomas owning 225 acres in Surry County, but more importantly, it shows him listed adjacent Bennet Wood.

As I believe I've mentioned before, Bennet Wood was the son of the Stephen Wood who acted as a witness for both of the Rowan County deeds involving the sale of the land once owned by James Sr. and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock. With Bennet Wood's proximity to Thomas Whitlock on the 1799 Tax List, I would say it's very likely that the Betsy Whitlock he married in Surry County on November 30, 1799 is the sister of Thomas Whitlock and thus a child of James Sr. and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock. I think further weight is added to my theory with Bennet Wood's acting as bondsman for the May 17, 1799 Surry County marriage of Thomas Whitlock to Mary Ponsonbay. The deed that really pulls James, John, and Thomas Whitlock together can be found in Surry County and was written up on New Years Day in the year 1803. On this day Thomas Whitlock can be found selling his 1795 130 acre purchase on the North Fork of Dutchman's Creek to a man named Joshua Brown with John and James Whitlock acting as witnesses. The connection between John and James Whitlock is cemented even further with the November 15, 1803 court judgement against the two men who are being sued by Joseph Smith and ordered to pay "26 pounds 9 shillings and costs."


Surry County, NC Court Minutes ~ November 15, 1803


While on the topic of Surry County marriages, I believe it's also a pretty safe assumption that the Mary Whitlock who married John Anthony on February 26, 1799 is also a daughter of James Sr. and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock. This John Anthony was the son of Thomas Anthony, and brother to David Anthony, as stated in Thomas' Surry County will dated October 8, 1816. It is this David Anthony that people widely view as having married a Sylvia Whitlock in 1788, and that he and his brother John eventually left Surry County for Franklin County, Georgia around the year 1800. It's also generally believed that David Anthony was born on August 26, 1764 in Amherst County, Virginia which would make him a bit young to have married Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock as it would appear from all the deeds I discussed in my last post. I have yet to find an exact birth year or anything that even alludes to it for Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock, but based on those of her siblings and the possible birth years of her children, I feel it's safe to say it was sometime between 1745 and 1752.

For the sake of argument I'm going to assume that James and Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock might have had a daughter named Sylvia. Based on the Rowan County court records I discussed in my last post, Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock was still alive in 1788 for the settling of her husband's estate. We also know that by 1788 she was living in the Hunting Creek area of Surry County based on the vacant land entry made by Henry Speer that mentions the land being adjacent to "Sylvanus Whitlock". If the Sylvia Whitlock that married David Anthony was actually a daughter of Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock, one then has to determine how the couple ended up with her mother's entire 300 acre land grant in Rowan County which I discussed in my last post. Not very likely considering she would have had at least three brothers to contend with over that land, and that's assuming the mother Sylvia died at some point between 1788-1790. I should also point out that there are no existing records pointing to any sort of transfer of this land from Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock to David Anthony or anyone else for that matter.

David Anthony is the only "Anthony" that appears in Surry County records in 1790. There are two vacant land entry records for a Thomas Anthony dated February 1, 1783 for land on the waters of Deep Creek, but by the time the grants were issued in 1789 and 1801 he had already sold them, one to Francis Clayton and one to Drury Holcomb. Because of this and the fact that he doesn't appear on any of the pre-1790 county tax records, it's difficult to say whether he actually ever occupied the land. As with the census, David Anthony is the first to make an appearance in the tax records in 1790, shown being taxed for one white poll and owning 300 acres of land. It's not until 1793 that you see Thomas Anthony make his first appearance on the county tax list in Capt. Hudspeth's District along with his son James. David Anthony is also listed, now shown owning 385 acres. Interestingly enough, I've never been able to locate any documents related to how he came to own or sell this land. The fact that David Anthony drops from the tax record completely between 1794-1797 and his father Thomas shows back up with 390 acres, I'd be inclined to believe David transferred or sold it to him. It's not until 1798 that he reappears with 200 acres, which would coincide with his 1798 purchase on Hunting Creek from Isaac Mize. The tax records for Capt. Hudspeth's District that span 1790-1797 do seem to indicate a family connection between David and Thomas, as well as what I can only think to call.....inter-family land switcheroo. Here are the Anthonys and their land acreage as they show between those years. (an "X" means the individual is absent from the tax list)

                 1791    1792   1793   1794   1795   1796   1797
David         300      300     385       X        X         X         X
Thomas        X          X      200       X       390     390     390
James           X          X         0      200     200     200     400

As I mentioned earlier, David Anthony makes a return to the county tax lists for the years 1798-1800 shown being taxed for 200 acres which he purchased from Isaac Mize and later sold to James Parks in 1800. The county court minutes provide pretty clear evidence that this is the same David Anthony on the tax lists for the years 1790-1800. On May 14, 1793, the courts ordered that "David Gault be appointed overseer of the road in the room of David Anthony" which coincides with his disappearance from the tax list the following year. This would be the same David Gault mentioned owning land adjacent the 200 acres David Anthony would later purchase in 1798 from Isaac Mize.

Now what about the 1790 Census listing for David Anthony. The first thing that catches my eye is that the household seems strangely crowded for a newlywed couple of only two years. There is one male over the age of 16 which is of course David Anthony, but then there is one male under 16 and four females. Now there's a couple of different ways to view this living situation, but I believe it represents David Anthony the son of Thomas Anthony, his wife Sylvia Whitlock who is a daughter of Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock, his wife's younger brother Thomas Whitlock, her two sisters Betsy and Mary, and then the mother-in-law Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock. This might explain how Sylvia's daughter and husband came about selling her mother's 300 acre grant in Rowan County. It's quite likely that it may have been gifted to them somehow as a means of financial support for taking in and housing her and her underage or unmarried children. Some may also make the case that the "one male under 16" is David and Sylvia Anthony's son Martin who is thought to have been born around this time.

David Anthony drops from the Surry County records entirely after 1800, so it's difficult to argue against the 1801 first appearance of a David Anthony on the Franklin County, Georgia tax list for Captain Moses Wilcoxes Company. When one also sees a John Anthony, and more importantly a Bennet Wood listed in the same tax list company, it becomes pretty clear that these are the two sons of Thomas Anthony and the three men had most likely married Whitlock sisters.

The document that seals the deal for me that David Anthony married a daughter of Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock named Sylvia, and not Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock herself, can be found in the Surry County Records of Inventories & Accounts of Sales. Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock's son James eventually married a woman named Nancy Bowen whose mother Sarah married a man named Phillip Howard upon the death of her first husband. When Sarah Howard died in Surry County in 1828, it was James Whitlock who administered her estate. The document I mentioned is the inventory of the estate and eventual selling of it's items where you find a Silvey Whitlock purchasing two dishes, one bottle, and one other illegible item for $1.62. By this point in time, Sylvia (Jones) Whitlock would have most likely been in her late 70's so it's entirely possible that this could be her. With the presence of a woman over 45 in the household on the 1810 Census, it would seem to indicate that she was possibly living with her son James after David Anthony and her daughter left for Georgia in 1800.

.......to be continued.


1795 Surry County, NC Deed ~ William Steelman to Thomas Whitlock (page 1)

1795 Surry County, NC Deed ~ William Steelman to Thomas Whitlock (page 2)

1796 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Thomas Whitlock to George Moore

1799 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Matthew Brooks to Thomas Whitlock

1803 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Thomas Whitlock to Joshua Brown (page 1)

1803 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Thomas Whitlock to Joshua Brown (page 2)

1815 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Thomas Whitlock to Reuben McDaniel (page 1)

1815 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Thomas Whitlock to Reuben McDaniel (page 2)

1828 Surry County, NC ~ Inventory of the Estate of Sarah Howard           

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jeffrey Family UPDATE!!!!!!!


Well, all you descendants of William Jeffrey Sr. (1765-1831) and his wife Patsy will be happy to know that I found out what happened to Patsy after her husband's death in 1831.

Apparently she died in Surry County, NC at some point prior to February of 1835.

Here's the proof from Surry County's Record of Inventories & Accounts of Sales.....



Friday, October 12, 2012

The James Whitlock Family of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 1



Dutchman's Creek, Davie County, NC
(where it crosses James Whitlock Sr.'s 1787 land grant)
Since been dammed to create this small lake. 


Born circa 1766-1770, James Whitlock Jr. joins the extended family of Isaac Jones through the Surry County, NC marriage of his son Bowen Whitlock to Isaac's oldest daughter Alavina. James was the son of James Whitlock Sr. and Sylvia Jones who was the sister of the well-known Methodist Hardy Jones and daughter of Samuel and Sarah Jones. The earliest mention of any Whitlocks in Rowan County, NC can be found on the 1761 Tax List for Caleb Osborn's District which ultimately became Davie County in later years. On this tax list you find a Joseph Whitlock with a James and Mark Whitlock residing in the home or sharing the property. Despite what would appear to be the right name and location, it is my opinion that James Whitlock was actually in Lunenburg County, Virginia at this time. My reasons for believing this are based on the fact that James Sr.'s wife Sylvia, and her family, were all from Lunenburg County, as well as the fact that a James Whitlock can be found on the 1764 list of tithes for St. James Parish in the county. Further confirmation that this is indeed the correct James Whitlock I feel can be seen in the fact that he is listed adjacent to a Robert and Jessey Bowin on the tithe list. Considering his son James Whitlock Jr. eventually married a Nancy Bowen and even went a step further by naming their oldest son Bowen, this would have to be more than sheer coincidence.

At some point prior to 1768 the family of James Whitlock Sr., and his Jones in-laws, decided to relocate to the northwest corner of Rowan County, NC. The earliest mention of James Whitlock that can definitely be attributed to the subject of this post is the 1768 Tax List for Morgan Bryan's District where he can be found being taxed for himself and a "Negro Fan". This is certainly the correct James Whitlock based on the other individuals listed adjacent to him which correspond with the same names shown adjacent him or in close proximity on the 1772 Tax List for William Sharp's District. Once again, James Whitlock is shown being taxed for himself and "one negro". More importantly, James Whitlock is listed directly adjacent a man named Robert Farrington. Two years after the tax list the two men are mentioned together in the minutes for the county's Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions where it is recorded that on August 4, 1774 that the court issued James Whitlock the "letters of administration" to the estate of Robert Farrington. Currently at this point I am unaware of what the prior connection was, if any, between these two men, but it would be 10 years before the courts would declare the estate "settled" and by this point James' wife "Silvia" is listed as the "Admx de bonis non" due to her husband's death that same year. Another interesting mention of a Whitlock can be found in these same records from earlier that year on May 4, 1774. On this particular day it was ordered that James Cole and William Whitlock be taken into custody "on suspicion of having knowingly passed counterfeit money of this province." There must have been something to the case because two days later it was ordered that the two men were to be "kept in common gaol of the District of Salisbury" with that word "gaol" being an Old English word for jail.


1778 Vacant Land Entry entered by James Whitlock
for 320 acres on Dutchman's Creek, Rowan County, NC.


The following year James Whitlock makes a return to the county court records on May 2, 1775 when "letters testamentary" for the estate of his father-in-law Samuel Jones are granted to him and Samuel's wife Sarah. It's not until 1778 that you find mention of James Whitlock in any of the county land records. On July 28 of that year James Whitlock makes a land entry for 320 acres which lay on both sides of Dutchman's Creek in what is now Davie County. I expect this is also where he had initially settled when coming to the county because the land is described as including "his own improvement". The land wouldn't be officially granted to James by the State until August 9, 1787 which also happens to be three years after his death. At the time the grant is issued, it is listed as Grant #1596 and adjacent "John Beeman and Silvas Whitlock". The fact that the land was granted to James after his death has lead many to question whether this could be the same James Whitlock. To this, I say yes based on the history of the North Carolina land grant system itself. It's important to know that in the initial years of the land grant system started in 1778 all fees, which included the entry fee, surveyor's fee, and the grant fee (cost of land) were required at the actual time of entering a land entry.With the land having already been paid for, it was just understood that the individual who made the land entry owned the land, and unless the claim was sold before the official grant was issued, it was issued to the name of the original entry maker.

This 1778 land entry made by James Whitlock also provides clarification concerning his inclusion on the 1778 "List of Tories in Capt. Johnston's District". It's important to note that this isn't the official title of that list, but rather a misleading title created by author Jo White Linn in her book Rowan County, North Carolina Tax Lists 1757-1800. This listing of individuals is actually transcribed from the Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Rowan County where it was announced on August 7, 1778 that certain individuals in Capt. Johnston's District, including James Whitlock, had "neglected or refused to appear before the Justice of their respective Districts and take the Oath of Affirmation of Allegiance to the State". In the case of James Whitlock, it was certainly due to neglect and not refusal because he wouldn't have had any reason to believe he needed to make an appearance having already sworn his allegiance to the State eleven days earlier when he made his land entry on July 28. As part of the requirements to apply for a land grant in 1778, the individual had to swear the "oath of allegiance to the State" at the time of making his initial land entry. This system was set up specifically with the intent of keeping Tories (British Loyalists) from acquiring land that had been recently confiscated from the King by the Colonial government. Further negating the claim that James Whitlock was a Tory is the fact that two months later James Whitlock entered a second land entry on November 3, 1778 for 300 acres on Dutchman's Creek that was ultimately "made to William Cook".


1785 Vacant Land Entry entered by Silvias Whitlock
for 170 acres on Dutchman's Creek, Rowan County, NC


In regards to the 1787 land grant, one of it's most important aspects that merits discussion is the mention of it being adjacent land owned by Silvas Whitlock. The same exact day that James Whitlock receives his grant, the State also issues 300 acres on Dutchman's Creek to "Silvas Whitlock" which is listed as Grant #1562 and described as being "adjacent James Whitlock, William Halmar, William Cook, and John Gwaltney." This person is indeed James Whitlock's wife Sylvia. Although I have yet to find anything that states it in these exact words, I am fairly certain that a woman would not have been able to purchase a state land grant during this point in time. The wording in the statute by the North Carolina General Assembly that created the state land grant system in 1778 hints to this fact. Despite using the term "any person" in the law, when referring to said persons throughout the statute, it is done in the masculine form using words such as "him" and "he". Women were certainly able to own property during this time, but taking part in the state land grant system seems highly unlikely. But in the case of this particular land grant, Sylvia wasn't the original person to make the land entry. According to records at the NC State Archives this was actually done by Thomas Prather on October 12, 1779, who then sold the land to the Whitlock's neighbor John Beeman, who in turn sold the land to "Silvas Whitlock" who was then issued the official grant. Interestingly enough, two years prior on September 24, 1785 Sylvia, now listed as "Sylvias Whitlock", is found making a land entry for 170 acres on Dutchman's Creek adjacent John Beeman and James Whitlock. This land entry was ultimately "made over to John Bruman" who I expect is actually supposed to be listed as John Beeman due to the same piece of land being officially granted to him on August 9, 1787 as Grant #1558. While women were indeed able to own property during this time, usually through inheritance, this is certainly a rare instance of a woman actually purchasing land. I know this person to in fact be the wife of James Whitlock due to a series of deeds that would occur after his death.

James Whitlock Sr. would die at some point shortly prior to the Rowan County court granting the administration of his estate to his wife Sylvia on February 6, 1784. A man named Isaac Enochs acted as security on the 1000 pound bond that was required by the court. Nine months later the estate inventory was filed with the court on November 4, yet it would be just shy of four years before the Rowan County courts announced on November 6, 1788 that the estate had finally been settled. I have yet to uncover the details of how the estate was ultimately settled, but it would appear that eventually all of James Whitlock's land ended up in the hands of his son John Whitlock. Evidence of this can be found in a Rowan County deed dated March 13, 1790 showing John Whitlock of Surry County selling 320 acres of land to John Beemon that are described exactly as his father's 1787 grant and the 1778 land entry. It's important to note that Stephen Wood of Surry County fame, along with a man named Henry Johnston, were the witnesses to the transaction. This is important because in the vacant land entry records for Surry County a record can be found from two years earlier on February 11, 1788 showing Henry Speer entering 100 acres on Hunting Creek "adjacent Sylvanus Whitlock and Stephen Wood."

Now here's where it gets interesting. On that very same day James Whitlock's land was sold by John Whitlock to John Beeman, a second deed was written up involving this same Henry Johnston of Rowan County purchasing 300 acres of land on Dutchman's Creek from a "David Anthony and wife Silva of Surry County." The land is described as being adjacent James Whitlock, William Holoman, William Cook, and John Gwaltney; the exact same individuals listed adjacent Silvas Whitlock's 1787 land grant. The transaction was witnessed by John Beeman and once again Stephen Wood. With page two of the deed even mentioning the other 320 acre transaction between John Whitlock and John Beeman, it's pretty clear that this is indeed the same piece of land. Surry County tax records for this same year (1790) show David Anthony being taxed in Captain Hudspeth's District which is the same district where you find just about every Surry County resident I've ever mentioned in this blog, including eventually James Whitlock Jr. I would say that it's extremely likely that this David Anthony's wife Silva is actually the remarried widow of James Whitlock Sr. My theory would certainly make a solid explanation for how all of James Whitlock Sr.'s land ended up in the hands of his son John. Further evidence that David Anthony's wife Silva is actually the remarried Sylvia Jones Whitlock can be found in a later series of Surry County, NC deeds.

The first of these deeds is dated January 30, 1798 and shows an Isaac Mize of Kentucky selling to David Anthony of Surry County, 200 acres on Hunting Creek adjacent to a man named David Gault. Roughly three years later on October 9, 1800, David Anthony and "wife Silvanus" are found selling this same piece of land to James Parks. In case I failed to mention at some point earlier in my blog, James Parks was a famous Methodist minister who helped co-found the Cokesbury School in Rowan County with Sylvia Jones Whitlock's brother Hardy Jones. Not only this, but James Parks was also Hardy Jones' son-in-law through his marriage to Hardy's adopted ward Elizabeth Jones. With this "wife Silvanus" most likely being the remarried widow of James Whitlock Sr., it comes as no surprise to me that you find their son James Whitlock acting as a witness for the transaction. Not only this, but the second witness on the deed is William Holeman, the same individual that owned land next to Sylvia Jones Whitlock's 1787 Rowan County land grant. It also comes as no surprise that less than two months later on December 1, 1800 you find James Parks selling this same piece of land to none other than Hardy Jones. As with the prior land deed, James and Sylvia Jones Whitlock's son James Whitlock is once again found acting as a witness for the transaction.

To be continued...........


1774 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of Robert Farrington

1775 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of Samuel Jones

1778 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ No Oath Of Allegiance To The State List (Capt. Johnston's District)

1784 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of Robert Farrington

1784 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of James Whitlock

1784 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of James Whitlock #2

1787 Rowan County, NC Deed ~ James Whitlock land grant (page 1)

1787 Rowan County, NC ~ James Whitlock land grant (page 2)

1787 Rowan County, NC Land Grant Plat Record ~ James Whitlock

1787 Rowan County, NC Deed ~ Silvas Whitlock land grant

1787 Rowan County, NC Land Grant Plat Record ~ Silvas Whitlock

1788 Rowan County, NC Court Minutes ~ Estate of James Whitlock

1790 Rowan County, NC Deed ~ David Anthony & wife Silva to Henry Johnston

1790 Rowan County, NC Deed ~ John Whitlock to John Beemon

1798 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Isaac Mize to David Anthony (page 1)

1798 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Isaac Mize to David Anthony (page 2)

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ David Anthony & wife Silvanus to James Parks

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ James Parks to Hardy Jones (page 1)

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ James Parks to Hardy Jones (page 2)