What Happened to the State of FranklinI have an ancestor, John Smith, aged 50 when he served as a Minute Man during the Revolutionary War. His son, Alexander, stated that he was born in Sullivan County, North Carolina, which later became Sullivan County, Tennessee. A further study of the matter disclosed that this territory was once part of the State of Franklin. I have not been successful in locating any records designated under the former State of Franklin; however, did learn that Sullivan County, North Carolina is now Sullivan County, Tennessee and those records do not begin until 1792. Persons who resided in the Alleghany Mountains of western Virginia were mountain people who traveled the old Wilderness Road from Pennsylvania, through North Carolina, into Western Virginia, and finally into Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. These were pioneers families frequently subjected to Indian attacks. In fact, a number of diaries have surfaced recorded by white women who were taken as slaves, and on the move with various tribes. I recently read an old Virginia will where the testator said that his two daughters had been taken by the Indians, and thirty years later, he was remembering them in his will: " if they are ever found, I want them cared for." Imagine the heartache of this settler. There is much unwritten history concerning the migrants westward. A good resource is the Inferior Court Minutes (of any county) which lists daily activities, such as working on the roads, etc. I could one entry wherein my ancestor was chosen to do road work (required of all persons aged 21 and upwards). It was a complaint that the proposed road would not adjoin at the planned juncture. The complaint described the entire area, and I was able to zero in on the the location of a home which was built before 1730. Reading old wills and estates informed me that this same home was passed down to a grandson, who also passed it down to his son when he died in 1789. Thus, the entries contained in the Minute Book, although seemingly trivial, enabled me to have a broader picture of the necessary hardships and what was required of the early pioneers. Incidentially, I discovered from the deed records, that this same home was first in Spotsylvania, then Orange, and finally in Botetourt County, Virginia. This is why we need to follow the deed records, tax digests, wills, estates, etc. in court house records. Why did John Smith remove his family from the mountains of North Carolina and go to Georgia? Why, American was at war with England, at that time a campaign being fought in the Northeast. By 1780, the war had moved into the Carolinas and Georgia and was known as the Southern Campaign. Captain Smith enlisted and received a land grant for his service. The next step in discovering more information, is to note the name of the officer who signed the land grant, then trace his participation in the war. That will help explain the sacrifices being made by our ancestors and what battles they fought in.
Irishman Beheaded by ToriesWilliam Barron Sr. was born in Ireland and emigrated to the American colonies, and settled in Warren County, Georgia. However, British soldiers were not known to be nice. Especially, when during the Revolutionary War, a group of Tories beheaded Barron and putting his head on a pole, paraded it around Augusta for three weeks. It occurred during the battle of Augusta in September of 1780. While he was lying wounded on the battlefield during a flag of truce while the dead were being removed for burial. A Tory by the name of Grayson found him and removed him to an old plaza and as soon as the Tories learned that it was Captain Barron, a large sum of money was offered for his head. An Indian did the deed. There were many horrors which occurred at the hands of british soldiers by citizens and rebels as well. The only way to learn about the hardships enduring during those years of fighting for freedom is to read old pension records of Revolutionary War soldiers. It is quite interesting to read their own words, as they describe the battles and events of the war. One begins to truly appreciate the price which our ancestors paid for the American Constitution.
The Fearless Smith's of GeorgiaBy Jeannette Holland Austin
Pictured is the rifle used during the Battle of Savannah. There are a number of exciting persons to meet in the past. Yes, in the past. And they are our ancestors. One such person was Alexander Smith who was born about 1760, died 1820 in Laurens County, Georgia. It took a great deal of research, including identifying every Smith in Georgia before 1800, to get this genealogy worked out. Alexander came from far-western North Carolina to Georgia about 1791. I finally found the proof that he was the father of Davis Smith in the Laurens County estate records. A witness to this estate was David Culpepper, also found in the Wilkes County records with the parents of Alexander Smith. Witnesses are important notations! Alexander's wife was Martha Franklin, a daughter of William Franklin, Indian Fighter, Revolutionary War Soldier and a hero of this times. When the Indians were robbing, marauding and taking white girls as slaves in the Allegheny Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, The Royal Governor of Virginia called the militia to go after the Shawnee. A treaty result, but the Shawnee did not keep it. Finally, white settlers like William Franklin began moving back East. Alexander's parents were situated in the State of Franklin at the time. (Now Sullivan County, Tennessee) Just as the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War began, the Franklins and the Smiths left the mountains. They came East. Alexander and his father were already expert riflemen. After the war, they were both awarded lands in Wilkes and Warren Counties.
The Escape of Loyalists after Revolutionary WarBarbados, a British owned island of planters of sugar cane served as an for Loyalists avoiding treason and hanging. As soon as the war ended, while the British prepared to depart Savannah, "Mad Anthony" Johnson was en route from North Carolina to Savannah in the hopes of acquiring the confiscated lands of the Loyalists. General Johnson had made some unfortunate tactical decisions during the war and his reputation suffered because of it. A List of Traitors was quickly compiled of some of the most prominent persons of the age. Robert Baillie, James Butler, Philip Delegal, Samuel Douglas, Thomas Flemming, John Fox, Donald Frazer, Thomas Gibbons, John Graham, Lachlan McGillivray and John Mullryne were numbered among those owning large plantations. The intention of the General was to establish order to the city and gain a prize for himself. But it did not work out that way, because some of the more successful generals, such as Nathaniel Greene, were awarded the confiscated estates. Not wishing to be hanged for traitors, the departure of the Loyalists from Charleston and Savannah was a hasty retreat into Northern Florida, North Providence and Barbados. Generally speaking, the Loyalists North of Charleston and in the New England States escaped into Halifax, Nova Scotia and other areas of the Canadian province.
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Warren County Wills, Estates, MarriagesWarren County was established on December 19, 1793 by an Act of the Georgia General Assembly, and was created from parts of Columbia, Washington, and Wilkes Counties. It was named after General Joseph Warren, famous general killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill. At first, the courts met in the home of James McCormick and in 1796 in the home of Sterling Gardner. An Act dated February 9, 1797 designated a lot on Gardner's plantation as the permanent county seat and became the town of Warrenton. In the front of the Warren County Will Book 1798-1807 is a series of administrator's appointments, etc. Some of this information is scarcely readable, but is included below.
Warren County Databases Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- List of Warren County Wills 1793 to 1811
Images of Will Book A 1793-1811Testators:Allison, Margaret; Ansley, Thomas; Barden, William; Barron, John; Beasley, James; Breed, Joseph; Brooks, Joab; Broom, Burrel; Brown, John; Burson, Joseph; Butt, Moses; Carter, James; Chapman, John; Cloud, Joel; Cooper, George; Coram, Vann; Culpepper, William; Davis, David; Davis, Gahaze; Davis, Nathan; Davis deed; Dove, Thomas; Dozier, James; Drake, Thomas; Fluellen, Betty; Flewellin, Elizabeth; Fluvanna, Benjamin; Fontaine, Thomas; Gardner, Pryer; Granbery, George; Granberry, Moses; Hall, Thomas Lent; Harp, Henry; Heath, Abraham; Heath, Richard; Hester, Hardy; Hill, Henry; Hilson, John; Hines, Barnabas;Hinton, Robert; Hodson, Peter; Holladay, Margaret; Hood, Nathaniel; Horn, Jacob; Hubert, Benjamin; Johnston, Abraham; Kendall, William; King, Ephraim; Lockett, David; McCullers, Drury; McKinez, Moses; Medlock, Charles; Medlock, George; Montray, John; Moon, Samuel; Myrick, John Sr.; Napier, James; Neal, Thomas; Neice, Henry W.; Newman, Samuel; Newsome, Peter; Oliver, Benjamin Sr.; Parkes, Samuel; Perkins, Peter; Pinson, Winney; Pool, Philip; Renfroe, Enoch; Reynolds, Thomas; Roquemore, James; Simmons, Benjamin; Sims, Bartlett; Smith, James; Smith, Thomas; Smith or Stith, William; Todd, Hardy; Travis, William; Verdan, Egenius; Wester, Hardy; Young, William
Images of Will Book B 1810-1829Testators: Adams, James,Akins, John,Anderson, William,Ansley, Abel,Baker, John, Baker, Sally,Bass, Reddick (hard to read),Barksdale, Henry,Bealle, Georgia Francis,Bealle, Mannam,Bealle, Robert,Bird, William,Brantley, Philip (2),Bray, Joseph,Bunkley, Jesse,Burns, James,Bush, Thomas, Buttrell, Thomas,Cary, Finston,Castleberry, Nathan,Chapman, Asa (hard to read),Cody, James,Cooksey, Hezekiah,Culpepper, David,Danielly, Andrew,Durden, Jesse,Ellis, Sarah,Figalee, William,Franklin, Archilaus, Grier, Aaron,Gwynne, William,Hamilton, John,Harris, George,Hatson, Mark,Haynes, Thomas,Heeth, William,Herbert, Nicholas,Hight, Howell, Hill, Robert,Hilsman, Wader,Hurt, Elisha,Ivy, Sampson,King, Elizabeth, Lacy, Archibald,Lassiter, Burke,Latimer, Rebecca,Leek, Jonathan,Levin, Job, Locke, John,Lowe, William,McCormick, John,McMath, Joseph,Nealy, Sarah,Pate, Herbert,Roberts, Elisha,Sanders, Abram,Shivers, Jonas, Smith, John,Stainbeck, Francis,Stanford, Jesse,Stanford, Joseph, Stanford, Joshua,Thompson, James,Thompson, Lucy,Torrence, John, Tucker, Josiah,Upton, Benjamin,Wheeler, Benjamin,White, William, Wiggins, George,Wright, Amos,Wynne, Robert
Images of Will Bk C, 1829 to 1852Testators: Abercrombie, Nancy;Adkins, Daniel;Adkins, Daniel;Adkins, Nancy; Allen, Benjamin;Allen, Jacob;Andrews, M.;Andrews, Mary;Ansley, Thomas;Baker, William;Banfield, Sarah;Beall, Nathan;Belks, Henry;Berry, Jilson;Bird, Ebenezer;Booth, Edward;Burnley, Stephen;Butt, Jeremiah;Clarke, John;Claud, Joel;Cleary, Judith; Cody, Edmund;Cody, Michael;Conner, Elijah;Craper,James;Crenshaw, Benjamin;Creton, Maria;Dawson, Wilson;Dennis, William;Dewberry, James;Elliott, James;English, Matthew;Fickling, Bernard;Fleming, Robert;Flewellin, Elizabeth;Gardner, Pryor;Geesling, Benjamin; Gibson, Thomas;Harris, John;Harrison, Benjamin;Hart, Isaac; Harty, Edward;Heeth, Sarah;Heeth, William;Hill, Sion;Hill, William;Hillman, Samuel;Hilmon, Frances;Huff, George;Hyman, John;Ivey, Ephraim;Ivey, Randolph;Ivy, Matilda;Jackson, Aaron; Jackson, John;Jenkins, Arthur;Johnson, Amos;Johnson, Reese; Johnson, Seaborn;Jones, Adam;Jones, Henley;Jones, Hendley; Jones, Starling;Jones, William;Kent, Thomas;Lockett, Solomon; Lockett, Thomas;Lovett, Richard;Maddux, Thomas;Marks, Stephen; May, Jeremiah;Mayes, John;McCoy, David;McCrary, Levi;McKinney, Moses;McLaughlin, John;Miller, Martha;Moody, Anna;Muncrief, Ann; Nesbit, Sarah;Norris, James;Norris, Joel;Norris, Thomas;Norton, Patrick;Parham, Frances;Pitts, Hardy;Posey, Marcus;Proctor, Frances;Proctor, William;Quisenby, Ann;Reynolds, Thomas; Rivers, Thomas;Roberts, Joseph;Rogers, James;Rogers, Micajah; Rogers, Reuben;Rourke, Belitha;Shows, Daniel;Simpler, William; Smith, Jacob;Smith, Samuel;Spinks, Ephraim;Story, Samuel; Swint, John Sr.;Thompson, Nancy;Tims, John;Todd, James; Turner, George;Walden, Richard;Wheeler, Isham;Wigginis, Richard; Wilder, Charles;Williams, Elizabeth;Williams, Nicholas; Wilson, John;Wright, Esther;Wynne, Benjamin;Wynne, Clement
Indexes to Probate Records
- Estates, Wills, Letters of Administration (1797-1807)
- Will Bk A (1810-1829)
- Will Bk B (1829-1852)
- Annual Returns, Bk B (1811-1826)
- Marriage Contracts found in Deeds and Other Documents.
- Origins of Early Settlers to Warren County.
Images of Miscellaneous Estates
- Beasley, James, Sr. Estate.
- Chaffin, John Estate.
- Cook, Jesse, Orphans.
- King, Jefferson Estate.
- Rivers, Thomas, LWT, (1847) typed copy.
- Vann, James Estate.
- George Franklin deed, as administrator of estate of William Franklin, deceased.
- William Franklin Deed (1796).
- Francis Danielly deed.
- Map of Warren County
- Map of Warrenton, founded 1797.
Traced Genealogies: Warren County Families
Adams Adkins Ansley Cody Crenshaw Farr Franklin Heath Jackson Jordan Lamar Lockett Madison Mershon Murrah Perkins Reese