Friday, April 16, 2010

Harrison Influence at Newfound

This was an email I sent out to the Patterson research lists today. I started out with the intent of focusing on the Shatteen name, but ended up falling all over the predominant Harrison influence in the church at Newfound Baptist Church, which is located about 8 miles west of Asheville, NC in the modern town of Leicester, in Buncombe County. Here's the email I sent.

Barbara,

You mentioned a few weeks ago that the name Chastain was pronounced "Shatteen" in the early 1800s in western NC. Guess what I just tripped over today?

I am now in the final editing process on the minutes of Newfound Baptist Church in Buncombe Co NC (1802-1865, more specifically). This church began in 1802, and my Pattersons and Blacks and the Ponders, et al were all members and early founders of this meeting. Apparently the Harrisons were a big part, also, as we'll come to see in a moment.

Right off the bat it has a record of a "Brother Shatteen" in its early records, as follows:

March 20th Day 1803 the church of Christ at Newfound being called together with some of our Brethren from the mouth of Milles River Church also Brother Shatteen from our Sister church at Prathers Creek the minds of the Brethren to wit Thos Snelson, J _____ (Saw? Same?), Eton, Daniel Ponder, Nathan Smith, Jn Grantham to attend on the Saturday Beefore the 1 Sunday in May. ADJourned AD

This writing is extremely difficult to read on some pages, this being one of them. This was from page 4 of Book 1.

Daniel Ponder was the uncle of my John Patterson, who also attended this church. John Grantham was married to Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of Thomas Harrison of Buncombe. It seems we now know that John Patterson's mother was a Harrison. I think it very likely that John's mother, Margaret Harrison Patterson, was a sister of this Thomas Harrison. That is not proven, however.

And then we have Thomas Snelson, who was the first pastor of Newfound, from 1802-1815. His full name was John Thomas Snelson. His son Joseph Snelson married Rachel Harrison, daughter of Joseph and Margaret Hill Harrison. Joseph's father was Nathaniel Harrison (m. to Rachel ____), one of the witnesses to old Robert "R" Patterson's 1775 will in York Co SC. It is believed by many Harrison researchers, including myself now, that THIS Nathaniel Harrison was a brother to the aforementioned Thomas Harrison, and quite possibly also to Margaret Harrison Patterson, mother of my John Patterson. So Snelson was no longer the pastor after 1815. Interesting.... now that I think about it, 1815 was also the last time my John Patterson was in these minutes of the church.

Back to Shatteen.... The original typed transcription I have from the church says Shatteen was from Matheus Creek, but it was a guess at the handwriting. It looks more like Prathus or Prathers to me. I did a quick online search and found that there was a Prathers Creek in old Wilkes Co in the part that became Ashe Co in 1799, and then later in the 1820s or 30s it became Alleghany Co. I'm not sure which Shatteen would have lived there in 1803, but I'm convinced this sister church was Prathers Creek.

Again, my John Patterson's son, George (b 1800), later married Rebecca Chastain, daughter of Elijah Chastain. Elijah was a scoundrel and womanizer though, so I know he wasn't the pastor mentioned in 1803.

Any thoughts, Barbara - or anyone else?

Wes Patterson

*****************************
I couldn't attach any images to the emails sent to the lists, but here on my blog I can. The following image is that of pages 4 and 5 of Book 1 from the minutes of Newfound Baptist Church. Look toward the bottom left of the image, which is page 4: