Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Look at Robert Patterson's Five Sons

Looking back at Robert Patterson's sons is always an interesting topic for those of us who descend from him. Robert Patterson was born circa 1705-1711 (place yet unknown). He was in Sussex Co DE by 1732, and left there about 1738 as he prepared to move to the Linville Creek VA area. While in DE he married Sarah. We still don't know her family heritage, but clues point to the Black and Cravens families as our top contenders.

We know that Robert and Sarah had at least four sons, which were named in Robert's 1775 will - written in York Co SC. But we also believe the reason Robert updated his will at such a late date (he died a few months after writing this last will) was due to one of his FIVE sons (James) having just died.

Such an event would have forced him to re-write his will, something that he certainly already had in place for years considering the magnitude of his land holdings.

In July of 2011 I wrote an article called "How Many Sons Did Old Robert Patterson Have After All?" That was the first such article dealing with this topic of James being a son of Robert and Sarah. Much of this analysis has been done by cousin Harald Reksten. Harald descends from Robert's son Robert II. I descend from Robert's son Thomas.

Here is an excerpt from the article last July dealing with the chain of evidence regarding a tract of land that James had owned which passed to his father Robert - indicating a son (James) dying without any dependents.

3) York Co SC, Book H, Page 100. 6 June 1802 Robert Wallace of York District to John Wallace of same for $10, (1) 150 acres on Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek joining Robert Patterson, being originally granted to Robert Cravens and from said Cravens conveyed by deed to Robert Patterson deceased; (2) 40 acres on Hendersons Branch of Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek joining John Patterson, a part of tract granted to Robert Patterson in the year 1794. Signed: Robert Wallace. Witnesses: Samuel Love, Samuel Brown, Andrew Love. Proved: 18 January 1816 by Samuel Brown before Thomas Simpson. Recorded: 4 March 1816. 
So this deed proves the same 150 acre tract passed to Robert Patterson. Which Robert Patterson? Robert Sr died in 1775. Robert Jr died in 1828. This deed was in 1802, so clearly "Robert Patterson deceased" is referring to Robert Sr. We know that Cravens did not sell the land to Robert directly, but rather to James, but the chain of title shows it passed to Robert. The only way that could have happened without James selling it to his father, was for it to pass to him through inheritance. James had to die after February 1774. And since his father died in 1775 between July and November, James had to have died prior to that.  
This is about as solid a case as one could ever present. My hat is off to Harald Reksten for nailing this one to the floor. He presented the theory to me a few months ago and then recently found this 1802 deed, which to me is empirical evidence.

The deed listed within this excerpt is the 3rd deed presented in the original article, but references within to the first two are made and noted. This land was located along Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek in what is now York Co SC near Kings Mountain State and Military Parks.

Again, I would like to thank Harald for his keen eye for detail and his analytical approach to sorting out these old records and relationships.

So once again, this tells us there were (at least) five sons of Robert and Sarah Patterson. They include James who died in 1774/75, plus the other four sons named in Robert's 1775 will, to wit: Thomas, Robert, Peter, and William.


Friday, April 13, 2012

The Patterson Brothers That Split Up

I was born in 1968 in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. I remember visiting my grandparents during the 70's and hearing from my dad at times about our Patterson ancestors. I always heard the stories about a set of brothers who immigrated to America and split up. They were "Scotch-Irish" as the tale went, but nothing more was known directly of them, such as their names, their location of residence prior to immigrating, where they "landed", what year, etc.

As I wrote previously in my article titled "There Were Five Brothers", in recent years I've had the great fortune to be able to answer many of those questions. 

I now know that these brothers didn't immigrate from another continent, but rather they were born in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia in the 1740's and 50's, eventually migrating south to the Carolinas circa 1755-65. There were still Virginia land claims in the family, so at least some of them traveled back and forth between North/South Carolina and Virginia during those decades up until at least 1787 when two of them sold their deceased father's land along Linville Creek near Harrisonburg, Va. (more regarding Robert Patterson's land holdings in VA)

If They Split Up, Where'd They Go?

These five brothers were sons of Robert Patterson who was born ca. 1705-1711. Robert and his wife Sarah had at least five sons and at least five daughters. The sons that we know of were named Thomas, James, Robert, Peter, and William. It appears that son James died around 1774-75 in York Co SC. And son William, while recorded as living during the Revolutionary War (listed as a Tory in SC), nothing further has been found of him after that time frame.

Peter appears to have remained in SC and died there around 1800, give or take a couple years.

Robert (II) moved to Rutherford Co NC and then later to McMinn Co TN where he died in 1827.

Buncombe Co NC (near Alexander)
John Patterson owned 170 acres
surrounding the land from which this picture was taken.
Thomas Patterson owned 50 acres beyond the distant hill.
(photo taken by Wes Patterson, May 19, 2006)
Oldest son Thomas Patterson (my ancestor) moved to Buncombe Co NC in the 1790's apparently, perhaps even a little earlier. He was still living there in 1800 near his son John (also my ancestor). However, Thomas' land in Buncombe was sold at auction by the sheriff a couple years later, and nothing further has been found regarding Thomas.

So it appears that the legend of multiple brothers applies to Thomas, James, Robert, Peter, and William Patterson. We're not sure what happened to William, but it seems James and Peter died in SC. Thomas died in NC apparently, and Robert II settled in Tennessee, thus fitting the legend that the brothers "split up". 

Our family from north Georgia always knew of our ancestor John Patterson, the old patriarch who died not too many years after migrating to north GA from western NC in the 1820's. Old John died after 1840 but before 1850, but that's all we know. This is the same John that was living in Buncombe in 1800. We now know that John was the oldest son of Thomas Patterson (one of the five brothers of family legend). 

John Patterson was born ca. 1762-65 and died in Union Co GA after 1840. He was my gggg-grandfather. Therefore my ancestor (Thomas) who was one of the legendary brothers, was my ggggg-grandfather. Perhaps one day I'll find where he died and was buried. Why not? Those other "dreams" of finding their names, locations, and dates all came true!


Saturday, March 31, 2012

50 Years of Marriage

In two short months my parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary (June 1st). It's hard to believe. I can remember both sets of my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversaries (1974 and 1985-ish).

Frank in 1950

Frank Patterson was born in 1940 in a small town called Ivylog, just north of Blairsville, GA. About 1952 his family moved to High Point, NC.

Vanza in 1945
Vanza Davis was born in 1939 in Greensboro, NC not far from High Point. They met in 1961 while dad was in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Brunswick, Maine, and mom was working as a nurse at a hospital in the High Point/Greensboro area. Frank's father (Clint Patterson) had a heart attack, which in turn placed him under the care of a young nurse named Vanza. Dad was given a leave of absence by the Air Force to visit his father in the hospital, where he met Vanza for the first time.

By the end of the week they were engaged to be married, which took place a year later on June 1, 1962. After another year, my brother Chip (Frank Jr.) was born on May 27, 1963. It was another five years before I arrived, rounding out the family on Feb. 5, 1968. Chip was born in Goldsboro, NC where dad was stationed at Seymour-Johnson AFB. I was born in Decatur, GA - a suburb of Atlanta.

(L-R) Wes, Vanza, Frank, Chip - 1971
In 1971 we moved to Winston-Salem, NC so dad could attend Piedmont Bible College. He finished his five year degree in Theology, graduating in May 1976. Later that summer we moved back to Atlanta, GA. That became my parents base while raising financial support to become missionaries - to Brazil. However, in 1978, the political climate between the U.S. and Brazil waned, eventually causing a change in plans.

(L-R) Wes, Jalal Ahmed, Frank (ca. 1986)
At the home of Mr. Ahmed in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mr. Ahmed was the Secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament
We moved to the S.E. Asian country of Bangladesh in 1979, arriving there on July 4. I remember my mom's 40th birthday the following month. I find it strange that I am now 44. It doesn't seem possible that 33 years have gone by so quickly.

Our family of 9, plus my 1st cousin George Davis
(L-R) George, Kaity, Frank, Vanza, Wes Jr, Ginna, Wes Sr, Morgan, Chip, Jully
Today our family has grown even more. Chip and I both are married. I have a son age 21, while Chip has two daughters, ages 22 and 20. The nine of us are scattered across NC and VA these days, but that's better than being scattered across two hemispheres - like we were for so many years.

I am very grateful for the parents and family that God has given to me. I love you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything! I'm looking forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage with you in a couple months.

Love always,


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