Robert Patterson of Linville Creek: Family Bio

Bio | His Mark R | 1775 Will | Timeline | Sussex DE | Augusta VA | York SC | Thomas Jefferson

By Wes Patterson (Last Revised: 14 August 2018)

Robert Patterson was a very common name, even 300 years ago. Over the last 20 years I have compiled various sets of documentation on the one from whom I descend. The links above will take you to some of those pages.

In summary, however, the Robert Patterson I'm referring to always signed his name with an "R" mark. Some have listed him as Robert R. Patterson, but he did not have a middle initial "R". That was his signature mark. Robert was born sometime between 1705 and 1711. He was described as a "yeoman" in 1732 in Delaware when he bought 106 acres from Matthew Ozburn Jr, which means he was at least 21 years old.

Sometime between 1732 and early 1738 when he sold that same land in DE, he married a woman named Sarah. Her family name is yet to be proven. Possible candidates are Harrison, Cravens, Black, and others. But again, nothing has been proven.

A lot of research has gone into the possibility that Sarah was from any of these families, as well as Ponder, Gum, Smith, Townsend, Stewart, Ozburn, and many others. The ones that make the most sense, however, are Harrison, Cravens, or Black. A case can be made for all three of those families based on circumstantial data, but you can just as easily argue against each of them. Until more data sheds light on the matter, we'll just have to leave it as last name unknown for Sarah.

Robert and Sarah appear to have had at least 10 children. There may have been more, but no evidence has been found for any others thus far. Much evidence exists for sons Thomas, Robert, Peter, and William; likewise for daughters Sarah, Elizabeth, and Lydia. All seven of these children were named on Robert's 1775 Will.

Evidence for the other three children (Mary, Abigail, and James), is more sparse. However, it does exist. We know from Robert's mother's Will which she wrote in 1744, that Robert's daughter Mary was alive and well at that point. Based on his mother's will and the pattern with which she named her oldest granddaughters from each branch of her family, it seems likely that Mary was the oldest living daughter - in 1744. The question still remains, however, was Mary the oldest daughter, or was Abigail? Had Abigail already died before 1744 leaving Mary as the oldest remaining? We'll never know.

We know that Abigail was alive in 1740 when she was baptized by Rev. John Craig. Based on the description of this baptism, and that it occurred at the "Halfway House", we know this was Robert Patterson of Linville Creek, and not the one that lived further south toward Staunton, VA.

As for James, we get wind of him for the first time in the Carolinas when the family was first getting their Clarks Fork lands surveyed. James Patterson was a chain carrier for Robert Cravens' 150 acre tract in 1767. Then seven years later, James bought this same tract from Robert Cravens. There are other land related records that mention James as well. This land was next to Robert Patterson and very near all of the other Pattersons on Clarks Fork in what is now York Co SC. However, it appears that James died between 1774 when he bought the land, and 1775 when Robert re-wrote his Will - likely due to the fact that one of his heirs had just died. We also know that this 150 acre tract was inherited by Robert Patterson, who died later in 1775. We can find later that this tract passed to Robert and was later disposed of after Robert's death. The only way this land could have passed to Robert from James, was if James had no heirs, and his father Robert was the closest kin. *** Evidence has come to light in early 2018 that may indicate James did not die until closer to 1783, and that his land passed into the possession of his nephew John Patterson by 1790.

We may never know how many other children died at an early age in VA. For now, it appears solid that Robert and Sarah had the following children. I am descended from both Thomas and Sarah.
  1. Mary (b. 1736/38; d. aft 1744); nothing else known after 1744
  2. Thomas (b. 1738/42; d. aft 1800); m. 1) Margaret Harrison, 2) ???
  3. Abigail (b. ca 1740; d. aft 1740); nothing else known after 1740
  4. Sarah (b. 1742/44; d. aft 1793); m. Joseph Black
  5. James (b. 1745/50; d. 1775/83); no heirs at death; apparently died b/w 1775 & 1783
  6. Peter (b. 1746/49; d. aft 1800); m. ?Sarah ____
  7. Robert (b. 1748/53; d. 1828); m. Mabel Ponder
  8. Elizabeth (b. 1753/55; d. aft 1820); m. Daniel Ponder, Jr.
  9. Lydia (b. 1755/58; d. 1786/88); m. John Black
  10. William (b. 1758/62; d. aft 1783); nothing else known after 1783
Robert died in 1775 in York Co., SC where he lived on Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek, near the Kings Mountain battle location along the NC / SC border. His wife Sarah died there in 1790.

Parents of Robert Patterson

Who were the parents of Robert Patterson? His father was William Patterson and his mother was Margaret _____. She went by "Margaret", but entered a survey in Orange Co VA in the 1730's under the erroneous name of "Mary Adams", and that name carried forward on any future records for that tract of land. But subsequent court cases after her death prove her name was NOT Mary, but Margaret. Margaret was first married to William Patterson. Together they had at least two children, Robert and Elizabeth. Elizabeth married Jeremiah Harrison in Sussex Co DE.

Nothing is known about William Patterson. We are fortunate to even have a name. We get the name from a 1770 Tryon Co NC record that was entered into the 1770 probate of Margaret Adams' last Will in Augusta Co VA. Robert Patterson wrote a letter of disclaimer regarding her land in VA. In this letter, he named his father as William Patterson, but also named his step father as John Adams. See this image for more details on this 1770 letter.

After William Patterson died, Margaret remarried to a John Adams. They had at least three children - a daughter who married Andrew Donelson, then a son Samuel Adams, and a daughter Jane Adams. Jane married Daniel Love.

John Adams died sometime during the 1720's, and Margaret thereafter was known as Margaret Adams, or Widow Adams. She died in 1769/70 in Augusta Co VA. Her original 1744 Will still resides in the court house at Staunton, VA. See this article for more information.

Wes Patterson

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