Monday, October 3, 2016

Who was the Father of my Margaret Harrison (Patterson)?

That's the million dollar question. Many theories. Most have not panned out. But all evidence clearly points to the Isaiah Harrison clan -- of that there is no doubt. But which son of Isaiah can we claim as "ours"?

Isaiah Harrison was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Wright (daughter of Gideon Wright and Elizabeth Townsend) and they married about 1688, their oldest child Isaiah Jr arriving in 1689. After Isaiah Jr, other children were born to this marriage, viz. John (1691), Gideon (1694), Mary (1696) (m. Robert Cravens), and Elizabeth (1698).

Following the fifth child's birth, Isaiah's wife Elizabeth passed away. Soon thereafter he married again, to Abigail Smith. While the children of Isaiah's first wife are clearly documented with birth dates, in the town records of Long Island, NY, we are not so lucky with the fruit of the second marriage, other than the fact that those children started arriving about 1701, with Daniel. Following Daniel, was Joseph (1702-04), then Thomas (1704-05), then Jeremiah (ca. 1707; m. Elizabeth Patterson), then Abigail (ca. 1710; m. Alexander Herring), and also Lydia (ca. 1706; m. Samuel Stewart), and lastly Samuel (1712-13). There may have been other children, but these are the ones we know of.

As for my Margaret Harrison, she was born circa 1740/45. Therefore, she could have been a daughter of any of the sons from the second marriage of Isaiah, but not a granddaughter. Likewise, she could have been a granddaughter of any of the sons of Isaiah by his first wife, but not a daughter. Enough is known of each branch of the family to arrive at those conclusions with confidence.

Looking closer at the sons of Isaiah, we can quickly rule out Isaiah Jr, John, Daniel, Thomas, and Jeremiah, as either fathers or grandfathers of Margaret Harrison Patterson (MHP).

Isaiah Jr may have lived in Salem Co., NJ for a period of time, but nothing has ever been known of him in either DE or VA. Nor has that name shown up in any of the families of MHP (or her presumed siblings). Isaiah Jr. may have died young, but nothing is certain in his case.

On the other hand, sons John, Daniel, Thomas, and Jeremiah are "fairly" well documented. There are holes in each branch, but there seems to be enough evidence to rule them out as potential fathers, or grandfather, in the case of John.

That leaves Gideon (as a grandfather) and Joseph and Samuel (as fathers), as our remaining possibilities. I used to lean heavily toward Joseph as a possibility, but his presumed family seems to be fairly well delineated as that which migrated with the Samuel Stewart clan (S.S. married Lydia Harrison, daughter of Isaiah Sr.) to the Yadkin Valley of NC in the late 1740's and 50's. Furthermore, the Harrison bunch that moved with my Pattersons to the Kings Mountain region of SC didn't move there until the early to mid 1760's. Again, Joseph's branch just doesn't seem to fit well.

Thomas Patterson, who married Margaret Harrison on 24 Dec 1761 in Augusta Co., VA at the Peaked Mountain Church near Harrisonburg, named their oldest son, John Patterson. He is my ancestor. There do not appear to be any Johns in the Patterson bunch prior to this, so it seems the name "John" had to come from the Harrison side of the family. But again, Margaret does not appear to be the daughter or granddaughter of John Harrison, Sr. And John Sr's son John Jr, who was murdered in 1763, never married nor had any children. So again, it seems to rule out the John Harrison branch of Isaiah's clan. Thomas Patterson's parents were Robert and Sarah Patterson. Robert's sister was the Elizabeth who married Jeremiah Harrison.

And then there were two

So that narrows it down to two branches of the Isaiah Harrison clan. Gideon and Samuel. Hardly anything is laid out plainly for either of these sons of Isaiah. I'll come back to Gideon later. As for Samuel, he was the youngest known son of Isaiah. Even that fact, that he is a "son of Isaiah", is not clearly documented anywhere. It is simply assumed to be the case, and has been portrayed as such for generations. I cannot refute that, nor have any reason to. (March 25, 2017 addendum: In recent months as more research is done on the Samuel Harrison family, it seems there is credible evidence that he and his wife Mary are the same Samuel and Mary Harrison who moved back and forth between Augusta Co Va and Lynches River, SC. More research is needed to prove this, but the timing of events in both locations appears to match. However, DNA evidence from known descendants of this Samuel Harrison of Lynches River, SC are not a match for the Isaiah clan. I repeat... there is no known proof that Samuel Harrison was a son of Isaiah - it is simply assumed. I would suggest an alternative theory that would explain the conundrum presented. It is possible that Samuel Harrison was the son of Elizabeth Harrison - the daughter of Isaiah that was born in 1698 and that never married. Is it possible that she had a son - Samuel - out of wedlock? If so, this would explain the DNA mismatch. Again, this is only a theory and warrants more research.)

Samuel was born about 1712/13 - according to Harrison researchers. But no known evidence records this. It is only an assumption. He could have been born as late as 1720. Samuel later married a woman named Mary. It is known that they left VA in the 1750's and moved to Craven Co., SC. However, they still owned land in VA and did travel back and forth a few times through the 50's and 60's. It appears that Samuel was back in VA in the 1780's again, and perhaps left again a few years later. However, Craven Co., SC covered a large area. Although the Kings Mtn region of SC was Craven County in the 1750's, that county also covered the Lynches River area of SC, and there is known to have been a Samuel and Mary Harrison in that area from the 1750's on through the 1780's. I tend to believe that's where Samuel went, and not the Kings Mtn area, but I could be wrong on that.

So if the Kings Mtn Harrisons didn't come from Samuel either, from whom did they come? Let's first look at who the Kings Mtn Harrisons were.

The Kings Mountain Harrisons (aka Buncombe NC Harrisons)

The area just south of Kings Mountain is known as Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek. It was originally Craven Co., SC. Then it was claimed by NC, first under Anson County, then Mecklenburg, then Tryon. In the 1770's, the state boundary line was surveyed west of the Catawba River finally, and it was determined this Clarks Fork land was in fact in SC, and at that time became known as York Co., SC.

Two Harrison men and two Harrison women of that area are presumed to have been siblings. Nathaniel Harrison owned 140 acres, but Thomas Harrison was listed as a Chain Bearer on several surveys in the area. I believe the evidence is clear that they were brothers. Both families later moved to Buncombe Co., NC, although Nathaniel himself had already died in 1783. These Harrison families left York Co., SC in the 1780's, moved through Rutherford Co., NC and eventually to Buncombe.

Margaret Harrison, who married Thomas Patterson, lived right next to these Harrisons on Clarks Fork. And nearby was a tract granted to Robert Cravens Jr (cousin of the Harrisons and Pattersons), and William Cravens was a Chain Bearer on a couple of surveys on Clarks Fork with the Pattersons. Cravens family history tells us that Robert Cravens never moved to SC, but rather only speculated in land. William Cravens, his brother, however did move to SC for about 7 years, from the mid 1760's to the early 1770's. William Cravens was married to Jane Harrison.

In the previous image you can see the proximity of tracts along Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek in York Co., SC. "RP" at the bottom is Robert Patterson, father of Thomas Patterson. Above him was Robert Black, who was married to Majey (Maggie) Cravens, sister of William Cravens, and therefore a daughter of Mary Harrison (dau. of Isaiah). Above him was Thomas Patterson, who was married to Margaret Harrison. Above him was Nathaniel Harrison. Above him was Matthew Black, who was married to Margaret Ponder. I don't have the Robert Cravens (where his brother William presumably lived) plotted on the map, but his tract was bounded by Robert Patterson, as well. Thomas Harrison and William Cravens were chain bearers for surveys along with all of the afore-mentioned grantees, during these 1760's surveys.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Another documented record for Robert Patterson Who Died 1775 York Co SC

Years ago when I first became aware of the Peaked Mountain church records from Augusta Co Va, I didn't know enough about the neighbors and kinsman of my Pattersons to put two and two together on this record. But I now know enough about them to confidently claim another record as being that of my Robert Patterson of Linville Creek, VA who later moved to and died in York Co SC in 1775.

"At a Meeting of ye Congn. November 1st 1763
Muddy Creek quarter for 3 years in 1st Capt Warren was concerned as Collector in Arrear £2.0.3 and from Robert Peterson & Archd. Hopkins for ye year 1762 two reced. 12.15.3 ½.
Ordered that John Davies & Majr. Smith inspect into their Collectors expence Since the Commencement of the Congn. & appoint New Collectors & return an account to ye Session & Daniel Love & Samuel Hemphill act so for Cook’s Creek quarter & Jas. Magill & Edward Irwin act so in North River quarter & yt. This resolution be publickly read next Lord’s day."

This was a church business meeting held on November 1, 1763, in Augusta Co VA a few miles west of Harrisonburg. In this same set of old records from this church, we also have the marriage record of Robert Patterson's son Thomas, styled as "Thomas Peterson". All of the Pattersons listed in these notes are spelled "Peterson", but they were all Pattersons. Most of them are of the other group of Pattersons closer to Staunton, and not my group.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Joseph Harrison at Broadkill River, Sussex Co DE, in 1731

I very accidentally tripped across this church record today, posted online at:

John Baptist Protestant Episcopal Church. Rev. William Beckett in a letter bearing date September 25, 1729, says, that his churches are in a growing condition, and that "a fourth church, built in a forest, was opened by me about a year ago by the name of St. John Baptist, and there is likely to be a numerous congregation' there." In his last letter, September 26, 1742, he states that his four churches are filled on Sundays, and he was often obliged to preach under the trees. The church building was erected at the fording-place of Long Bridge Branch in the forest of Broadkiln where the road crossed that stream, and which was at that time the main thoroughfare leading to the lower part of the County and into Maryland. It was located on the east side of the pond, between the residence of H. S. Marshall and the school-house. Ex-Gov. James Ponder has in his possession a receipt for twenty shillings, bearing date March 16, 1731, and given to John Ponder, his great-grandfather, "for his subscription to the Church St. John Baptist by me Joseph Harrison." 

So this shows Joseph Harrison right on the Broadkill River at Milton, Delaware (Sussex County) in 1731, and that he was involved in the first church there. Furthermore, it shows the Harrisons and the Ponders in the same church. We know they lived near each other on both sides of the Broadkill River, and that they lived near the Stewarts, Blacks, Cravens, and Pattersons

I still lean toward my Margaret Harrison (who was not yet born in 1731 and later married Thomas Patterson, also not yet born in 1731)... I no longer lean toward the theory that she was the daughter of this Joseph Harrison. That theory was mainly due to the

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rev Craig Baptisms in Augusta Co Va 1740s

Rev. John Craig was a Presbyterian minister in the Shenandoah Valley during the 1740's. He recorded in his own diary all baptisms and marriages he performed in the valley from 1740-1749. Those records were transcribed years ago into a book, and a few years ago I took pictures of the pages from this book. They are posted here.

On page 1, you will see a baptism of Abigail Patterson, daughter of Robert Patterson. This occurred in 1740. This Robert Patterson was my gggggg-grandfather. He is different from the other Robert Patterson mentioned later in these records. How do we know the difference? "My" Robert lived next to Jeremiah Harrison, and they both lived near the "Halfway House". There are very few references to the Halfway House in these records. Three I think. All of them are related to Jeremiah Harrison (two) and Robert Patterson (one).

The book is titled List of Baptisms by Rev. John Craig, Augusta County, Virginia, 1740 - 1749. Click on one of the images, then you should be able to navigate from one to the next in your browser.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Robert Patterson: Known By His R Marks

Robert Patterson died in 1775 in York County, SC. His last will and testament still exists today at the SC Archives. It was penned in 1775 not long after one of his adult sons, James Patterson, passed away. We know that Robert died during the calendar year of 1775, but his birth year is a bit more elusive. He first bought land in Sussex Co., DE in 1732. Since he was described in the 1732 deed as a "yeoman", we know that he was at least 21 years of age, so at the latest, his birth year was 1711. However, it is possible he was born as early as 1705.

Given the sheer number of men named Robert Patterson in colonial America, it has always been difficult to distinguish this Robert from the others. Location is usually the key to separating the Roberts. For example, when Robert lived in VA, his land was described as on or near Linville Creek. The other Robert Pattersons lived further south, so that is one key to keeping them apart in research endeavors. But not all records are land related. Others are court records of one kind or another, and so no landmarks are given in the records.

The signature can be a help in some cases. But that's not conclusive always, since many of the records we see are transcripts in the court books or deed books. Where originals are still available, always make reference to them. Furthermore, many times the person in question did not read or write. In which case, someone else would write their name leaving a space between the names, and then they would add the word "his" or "her" above the name, and then "mark" below the name. At which time, the person in question would make a mark on the document in lieu of their signature.

The Robert Patterson who died near Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek in York Co., SC in 1775 always made his mark with an "R". To date, we have discovered four such documents that contain his name and the "R" mark. Those documents were created in 1738, 1754, 1770, and 1775. Keep in mind that the York Co., SC land on which the Pattersons lived, was claimed by various counties and even states between the 1750's and 1770's. At first it was Craven Co., SC, then Anson Co., NC, then Mecklenberg (NC), Tryon (NC), and finally York (SC), which it still is today.

Of the four records we've found to date with the "R" mark, the first three are only transcribed versions in the official records (transcribed by the clerks of court). The fourth, however, from the Last Will in 1775, is the original document and therefore his actual mark. The following records are the transcriptions or extracts of each document, their location details, and images of the documents themselves.

Note regarding the 1754 document. That document makes reference to Robert Patterson and two other men who were the appraisers of a deceased man's estate. The second man in that list was named Joseph Bryan. Later in the 1750's, the Bryans, Linvilles, and Boones - who were all intermarried - moved together to the Yadkin River Valley of NC. That is where I personally live today. This same Joseph Bryan was the father-in-law of the famous Daniel Boone.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Family Pics: Davis and Langley

I recently borrowed five pictures my mom has framed and hanging on her walls. I took them home and scanned them in high resolution and uploaded to my online Photo Gallery. Here are those pictures and details about them. My mother is Vanza Davis Patterson.

Vanza's parents: Lettie Langley and Troy Davis

Troy Lee Davis 1909 - 1988
Lettie Mae Langley (Davis) 1915 - 1990

Lettie's parents: Vanza McGhee and George Thomas Langley

Evanzalene "Vanza" McGhee (Langley) (Davis)
1894 - 1969
George Thomas Langley
1886 - 1921

Troy's parents: Ruth Barber and Wesley Davis

Ruth Frances Barber
circa 1868 - 1940
Wesley Davis
1844 - circa 1911/12


Love's United Methodist Church Cemetery

This post is to document the location of Holton, Carmichael, Jones, Grubbs, Dilworth, Plummer, and Clemmons graves at Love's United Methodist Church Cemetery. The cemetery is located in Walkertown, NC (Forsyth Co.). Family members buried at this cemetery were ancestors of Virginia Holton (Fishburne). Virginia was the mother of Ginna Fishburne Patterson, as well as Chip Fishburne, and Dana Fishburne Kwiatkowski. Virginia was married to Charles Carroll Fishburne, Sr.

Here is the Location of Cemetery on Google Maps.

Here is a Map of Grave Locations in the Cemetery.

Here is my Photo Gallery of Pictures taken in this Cemetery.

Family Graves in Cemetery (Ancestors of Virginia Holton Fishburne)

John Quinton Holton, Jr.
1897 - 1931
#1 in map
Clara Carmichael (Holton)
1896 - 1983
#1 in map
Virgil Salathiel Carmichael
1870 - 1898
#2 in map
Rosa Jane Jones (Carmichael) (Jones)
1876 - 1963
#2 in map
Isaac Newton Carmichael
1847 - 1928

Martha Jane Clemmons (Carmichael)
1844 - 1920
#2 in map
Simon Jordan Jones
1846 - 1887
#3 in map
Lucy Dilworth (Jones)
1847 - 1905
#3 in map
Mary Plummer (Clemmons)
1828 - 1883?
to Mary's left is a daughter with a stone
to Mary's right, is her husband, without a stone
Salathiel Stone Clemmons (no stone)
1822/23 - 1922
#5 in map
Harvey Dilworth
1808 - 1891
#4 in map
Elizabeth Moore (Dilworth)
1813 - 1869
#4 in map
John Grubbs
1799 - 1845
#5 in map

Ancestors of Virginia Holton Fishburne

Ancestors of Isaac Newton Carmichael

Posted by Wes Patterson

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Forsyth Memorial Park - Fishburne / Holton

This post is to document the location of Holton and Fishburne graves at Forsyth Memorial Park. The cemetery is located in Winston-Salem, NC (Forsyth Co.). Virginia was the mother of Ginna Fishburne Patterson, as well as Chip Fishburne, and Dana Fishburne Kwiatkowski. Virginia was married to Charles Carroll Fishburne, Sr.

Here is the Location of Cemetery on Google Maps.

Here is a Map of Grave Locations in the Cemetery.

Here is my Photo Gallery of Pictures taken in this Cemetery.

Family Graves in Cemetery

Virginia Holton (Fishburne)
1922 - 2006
#1 in map

Posted by Wes Patterson

Ginna Fishburne Patterson's Ancestors

My wife, Ginna, and I have recently been digging into her family tree again, taking various lines of her genealogy further back as we discover more through research. One aspect of this recent push in research has been to find the cemeteries and graves of her ancestors, starting of course with her grandparents and going back. Over the coming days and weeks I will be adding information here to that effect. Initially, it will cover more of her mother's family, as they are closer to us in proximity, but will eventually get into her father's line as well, as we do have much on that side also.

Ginna's parents are Charles Carroll Fishburne, Sr. and Virginia Holton (Fishburne). Charles was born in 1919 and is still living, with his second wife, Jane Smith (Fishburne). Virginia was born in 1922 and passed away on March 20, 2006.

At the end of this post you will see a chart that shows Virginia and her ancestors going back four generations prior to her.... but we have much more than that. To see a full listing of  her genealogy that you can navigate through -- and, if you have access to trees -- feel free to view the genealogy there. Below the chart, there is a second chart that picks up with Isaac Newton Carmichael and that branch of the family and goes back from him. I am including that here as we have found several graves in various cemeteries for some of them as well.

Ancestors Whose Graves Have Been Found

Cemeteries and graves that we have so far found and documented are as follows:

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