Saturday, August 25, 2012

NC Quaker family: Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott and family during years from 1763 to 1787

I had an e-mail from a man today about my Elliott family in NC.  It made me want to post some of my answers to him on my Blog so that they can be viewed by others.   If at any time the people are confusing, please go to the Ancestry site where I have tried to put in many of the people named below in family charts.  The URL is on the right hand side at the very beginning of this blog.

I have to start this story with the serendipity of the internet.  Roberta McReynolds and I were chatting about eight years ago about a possible family connection between her husband's Elmore line and my Elliott line in Indiana.  Roberta was working on getting ready for a reunion for her husband's people.  I was volunteering at my local LDS FHL.  It was almost time to go home and we had no patrons that day.  So I decided to take a look among the microfilm/fiche that was on hand to see if I could find anything helpful for Roberta.  I was looking at a book 

By crazy luck on the same page as the Elmore entry, there was a biography of Joab Elliott who was the brother of my Catherine Elliott who married Nehemiah McKinsey and the son of Abraham and Rachel Elliott..   The biography was the link taking me back to Randolph County, NC with this Elliott family.

 Here is the story told in Joab Elliott’s biography:

Joab Elliot, retired, Crawfordsville, now a man of seventy-three years, has spent his life in Indiana.  He has seen the state grow as he grew to manhood, and he has grown gray has beheld his state continue to develop.  His father was a native of Randolph County, North Carolina, and in 1806 made a trip to Indiana territory and purchased 160 acres of land in the twelve-mile purchase.  In the following year he moved his family in a four-horse wagon a distance of 700 miles, from Tennessee to his lately purchased farm.  Stopping over night in a log-cabin just within the Indiana border, and within six miles of their destination, where all was wild and only wild animal or wilder savage broke the silence, a child was born November 18, 1807, and they called his name Joab.  This was on Green’s Fork, one and a half miles northwest of the present city of Richmond.  They soon settled on their frontier home and here in the then Far West they lived several years. Here Joab was raised with few other companions than nature furnishes where civilized foot has never yet trod.  The Elliots lived within the bounds of the friendly indians; but just beyond, the whoop of hostile foes rent the air, and made the forest more weird.  Forts or block-houses were built on the Elliot farm, in which the few whites of the region took refurge.  In 1811 they experienced the earthquake of that time, and which Tecumseh thratened the Indians of the south when they refused to join him in the attempt to exterminate the whites.  This was a peculiar occurrence and the Indians imagined it was the fulfillment of the chief’s threat.  The war of 1812 brought the bloodthirsty savage closer to the threshhold of the pioneer.  The Elliotts, becoming tired of risking danger, moved to Warren County in 1813, wherethey remained three years.  Then Mr Elliot went to Cincinnati, and with five other families took a flat-boat for Jefferson County.  After wandering considerably he settled eight miles south of Terre Haute.  The head of the family ceased the toils of earth May 30 1821 at the age of fifty six years.  His wife had died November 26, 1819.  The boy Joab was left parentless, yet hardships were not new to him.  While among the red men he became quite efficient in  the use of the Indian language. Many a time he has been carried on the back of John Green, the chief of the friendly tribe, and he relates with freshness and vigor thrilling incidents of his early days.  His brother served in the war of 1812.  His people in early times were Quakers.  His grandfather being called upon to fight by the tories in the Revolutionary times refused, on account of his religious scruples, where upon the tories tied him to a tree and gave him his choice to fight or die.  He preferred death to a violation of his oath.  The tories arranged themselves in line sixty steps distance, preparatory to shooting the steadfast man.  All was ready when a son of the doomed man, and brother to Joab’s father, interfered with these words:  “Men, if you must shoot anyone, shoot me, as father has a family to support.”  Saying this, the brave son placed himself in front of his father to shelter him.  Even the tory heart was moved, and both father and son were allowed to live.  After the death of his parents, Joab lived with his brother in Ohio, but in 1828, he made Montgomery County his permanent home and bought eighty acres, the W. 1/2 of N.E. 1/4 Sec 23, Ripley township.  There he married, December 31 1829, Susan Mann, the daughter of an early settler.  He built the old-time log hut and around the crackling fire did he and Susan muse and think of the roof left and that which they yet would build. The years hastened on and no family was born to them to fill the space around the board, but their hearts went out to the needy, and eight children have found homes within their doors, but one of whom (Nettie Elliot, or Jennet Aprag) is now at home.  Mr. Elliot was partly raised by her gr-grandfather. About 1857 Mr. and Mrs. Elliot moved from their farm to Crawfordsville, and in 1874 made their residence where Mr. Elliot with their adopted daughter, Nettie, now live;  Mrs. Elliot having died Arpil 17, 1876 at the age of sixty-three years, after a life well spent.  At her table the present Hon M.D. White had boarded many years, and he was pleased to call her mother; also John White, now of Danville, Ilinois, became as one of the family under her roof.  With her husband she was a member of the Christian Church.  Mr. Elliot was an early whig in politics, but for many years he has ever been found true to republicanism and in his old age loves his party.  Joab Elliot is one of Indiana’s oldest living children.

From clues in the above,  I found the Elliott family that I know so well now in Randolph County, NC.

 My own proven research on my Elliott family begins in Rowan County, NC in 1763 when Jacob and family moved from PA to NC:

1763, 11, 26.  Jacob (Ellott) & W& ch, Jacob, Elizabeth, Hannah, Israel & William rocf Warrington MM, Pa, dated 1763, 9, 20 (I have a copy of the original MM records for this) This is found in the records of New Garden MM in what is now Guilford County, NC.  It would have been Rowan County in 1763  Information found in Hinshaw.

This was confusing for me for a while as my Abraham was not born yet and thus not named in family record.  In addition Randolph County had not been formed out of it was a little bit of time before I understood that I needed to look in the Rowan County records to find the family before the formation of Randolph County. 

Jacob's brother, Abraham, also moved to the area as found in Hinshaw:

1765, 3, 30 Abraham, & w. Priscilla & ch Stephen, Ruth, John, Samey, Joseph, Abraham, Hester, & Jemima, rocf Warrington MM, Pa. dated 1764, 7, 14 endorsed by Cane Creek MM, NC 1765,1,5

A land transaction supports the move from PA to Polecat Creek in NC:

7 Dec, 1763  Benjamin Cox and wf Martha of Orange county, NC to Jacob Ellitt for 48 pistoles, 216 a on Polecat Creek adj Benjamin Beeson, granted by Grannville to Crsfr Nation 11 MAY 1757 and sold by him and wf Elizabeth to sd Cox 16 July 1757.  Christopher Nation, 11 May 1757, sold by him and wife Elizabeth to Benjamin Cox 16 July 1757.  Wit Christopher Nation andThomas Cox, Prvd Apri. Court 1764.

It took me several years to sort out the Abraham Elliotts in Randolph County, NC.  They were all living on Polecat Creek when the census of 1790 was taken.  You can see Polecat Creek right on the border of Randolph and Guilford County.

If you click on this image it will show up in an easier to read format so that you can better identify where Polecat Creek is located.

There were three Abraham Elliotts in this census:  Abraham brother to my Jacob Elliott.  Abraham who was the son of this Abraham.  And MY Abraham who was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott.

As one can tell from Joab's story, not all of the family remained Quaker in following generations.  However, the family was committed to the Quaker faith during the mid to late 1700's.  In my data base, I have made note from looking at records in NC:  

1779 Jacob, John, and Abraham Elliott are all found in Joseph Hind’s district and have not taken the Oath of Allegiance and have refused or neglected to return Inventories of their Taxable property.  Jacob Jr. did not take the Oath but he did return his Inventory of Taxable Property.  He is in the same district.  Abraham Jr. is in the same district and is single and has neither taken the oath nor returned his Inventory.  William Elliott is on Windsor Pearce’s List and has either refused or failed to return his Inventory. 

At this time the Quaker families were trying to remain neutral in the war between Great Britain and what we would now call the Patriots who were trying to win freedom from Great Britain.  They not only refused to fight, but they also refused to support the war with monetary
contributions.  Thus the above shows this family not taking sides with the patriots when they refuse to take the Oath of Allegiance but also refusing to pay taxes that they believe would be used to support the war.  This was happening in many part of the country in areas that had Quaker families.  

By 1779 the Revolution had spread from the northeast to the southern states.  The Revolution in the southern States is one of my favorite subjects.  It is fascinating!  But I will skip much of what I have learned to talk about a man who was causing great trouble in Randolph County by 1780.  

Herman Husband lived in Randolph County and probably went to Meeting with the Elliott family.  In an article in the Randolph Story Bicentenial Edition 1776-1976 by the Randleman Rotary Club the following information is noted about Husband.  Husband seemed to have been a friend of Benjamin Franklin.  He had been a member of the church of England when he lived in Maryland.  After moving to what is now Randolph County in 1763 he became a Quaker.  He had a large grant of land and owned a mill on Sandy Creek. Husband was receiving pamphlets from Franklin that were advocating resistance to the English taxes and government.  Husband distributed these pamphlets in the general area of Orange and Rowan Counties.  It is believed that Husband was in the area of the site of the Battle of Alamance and that he made a last minute attempt to bring about a truce or a settlement.  Some historians say that Husband left a short while before the battle began.  After the battle Edward Fanning destroyed the home and farm of Husband.  Husband then left NC.  I would guess that Husband would have influenced my Elliott family.

The above map is taken from the 1873 Beane Map of Randolph County.  This map is in the NC State archives.  You can see how close Pole Cat Creek is to Sandy Creek (Pole Cat Creek is directly north of Asheboro while Sandy Creek is just northeast)

There is information about the location and use of the Cox's Mill site as headquarters for David Fanning at the following sites authored by Warren Dixon:

and an excellent article that explains where Cox's Mill was located by Mark Chilton:

Another event that happened in 1781 that could have contributed to Jacob’s moving his family to Virginia is the fact that Cornwalis marched his army across the area in his chase of Green’s army toward Virginia.  There is an excellent explanation of the troops movements across Davie County in the file:  Revolution in the Carolinas.  I copied the pages while in the Rowan County Library in Salisbury.  Feb 3, 1781, Cornwalis was in Salisbury with swollen Yadkin decided to go north before crossing.  He marched his men north in Davie County to Shallowford Crossing which is near present day Huntsville, NC

According to   Much of the fighting in North Carolina took place between Feb 1781 which was the battle of Cowan’s Ford, NC and March 1781 which was the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.  So it is likely that the incident in which Jacob was threatened with shooting happened in this time frame:

This also seems to be the right time frame from the actual move made by the family.....

1781, 7,21.  Jacob (Ellot) and w. Eliz and children William, Abraham, Eliz and Rachel gct New Garden MM, NC ) 

believe that this entry in Hinshaw is the family preparing to move to Montgomery County, VA.  New Garden would have been the closest MM to the area in which they would live in this time period.  

It is my interpretation and guess that Joab's story about his father told of  a direct encounter between Fanning and/or his men and the Elliott family.  And that the 1781, 7,21 Hinshaw entry is Jacob and his families move to Montgomery County for safety after the terrible scare that Jacob and family had received.  

There is further proof that they had moved to Montgomery County by 1782.  Mary Kegley published a book called Tax List of Montgomery County, Virginia 1782.  On page 11 of her book we find Jacob, Jacob, Jr, and Israel.  My Abraham would have only been 17 at this time and probably still in the home of his parents.  Jacob, Jr had married Betty Beeson c. 1775 and most likely had a family of his own.  I do not have a date for Israel's marriage, but assume that he, too, had a family.  

I want to add a note here that I will come back an fix.  I was chatting with another researcher about Obadiah and found that there is an Isaac who is a son of John Elliott and grandson of Abraham and Priscilla Foulke Elliott who may have been the Isaac Elliott on the Flower Swift militia list.  I want to take a look at this and give it some thought....also add in the one other Elliott male who is in Montgomery County to see if anyone recognizes him.

So where did they move?  Again, I'll copy a slide or two from my slide show to explain where I believe that they were living in Montgomery County, VA.  One first needs to know that Montgomery County was a huge county in this time frame.  Montgomery County is on the border of NC and goes all the way to the Ohio River.  

It wasn't until 1789 that the county began to be broken into smaller units:

I know that the Elliott family would have been in the Chestnut Creek area of Montgomery County, VA because they are found on the Flower Swift Militia lists.  It looks as if Chestnut Creek begins near NC as the east and west fork....the goes right though the middle of Galax and flows into the New River north of Galax.  It is a bit hard to see on this map....but if you look just north of Galax you will see Chestnut Creek labelled going north to flow into the New River.  This scan comes from a DeLorme Atlas, so if you have access to DeLorme of VA, you can see this for yourself in an easier to read format.  

There is more information about the Flower Swift Militia list on Jeff Weaver's wonderful New River Notes site.  It is possible that you may have missed the news that Jeff died this year and Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc. has taken over the site so  that Jeff's wonderful work will not be lost.

Don't miss the page on the families that are named on the Flower Swift Militia lists:

I spent some time at the Kegley library last spring and made copies of pages from a WONDERFUL book about the area in which we find the Elliott family living during the Revolution.  The book is Carroll 1765-1815 the Settlements A History of The First Fifty Years of Carroll County, Virginia by John Perry Alderman.  Using this book and land records, I have concluded to my satisfaction that the family of Jacob and Elizabeth Elliott were living in the area marked on the map below during the years that they lived in Montgomery County, Va:

From Hinshaw:

1784, 1,31, Jacob (Ellot) & w. Elizabeth, & ch. William, Abraham, Eliz & Rachel, gct Center MM from New Garden MM, NC (I believe that they may have moved back home from Montgomery Count, VA)

By 1787, Jacob and Elizabeth had moved back to Polecat Creek with their family as evidenced by the following: 

There is no doubt about which MM the Elliott family would have attended.  Look how close Centre MM is to Polecat Creek.

Polecat creek is the waterway that goes just beside Centre MM to the can see the word Polecat just above the circle indicating Centre MM an the word Creek in Blue south of the fodder of Guilford and Randolph.

I quit for the day.  Please contact me with suggestions, additions, corrections and thoughts about what you would like to see next on this post.  I can continue to add to this post or I can post other information in another post with different dates to make it less confusing.  Thoughts on this?  Please use the search box at the top of the page and don't forget about the URL that connects to my family tree on ancestry.  Polecat

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