William and Fereby - Ancestry
The ancestry of William Vaughan and Fereby Benton is currently unknown. However, there are some clues and deductions to be made that might help point some day to their ancestors.
William Vaughan: Who William's parents were remains a mystery. In Southwest Virginia, in Amelia county, there was a "Mr. Vaughan" who in the year 1740 was employed as a packman with a number of Indian traders to the Cherokee Nation. He died in 1801, and this could have been William Vaughan's father.
In the summer of 2004, members of The Vaughan Pioneer Group compared Y-Chromosome DNA samples from a descendant of William Vaughan to a descendant of a John Vaughan, who we suspected was William's brother. John was born in 1762 and married Nancy Callicott. John and Nancy lived in Charlotte County, VA., until running off to marry in Halifax County, Virginia. Later on, John lived close to William Vaughan in Hawkins County, Tennessee. John's son James married William's daughter Martha. Family tradition said that they were cousins and that their fathers were brothers.
The Y-DNA test between the two descendants compared 25 markers on the Y-Chromosome of each man. If they didn't match in at least 22 of the 25 matches, it would be doubtful that they were related, except distantly. The results shown a perfect 25 for 25 match and shows both men shared a common male ancestor. It also strongly points to the two being brothers. Later we upgraded the test to 37 markers and the two samples matched in 35 out of 37 markers, indicating a very close relationship between the two men.
Of course, the next step is to find who their father was. The prime choice so far is an Abraham Vaughan, of Charlotte County, Virginia. His wife was Ann Bouldin. Abe had several sons, including a William and a John. Current research is trying to determine if there is some sort of documentation that could prove William and John were his sons. We are also looking for a male descendant (must have the surname Vaughan or Vaughn) of one of Abe's "known" sons, such as Bouldin Vaughan, to compare this descendant's Y-DNA against John and William's DNA. If you are a descendant of Abe Vaughan through a direct line of sons (in other words, your father's, father's, father's, father's father (and so on back) was Abraham Vaughan who died in Charlotte County around 1795) please contact me.
Fereby Benton: Research conducted in 2000-2001 by some members of the Vaughan Pioneer group has clarified some family rumors about the ancestry of Fereby Benton.
The primary story that has circulated about Fereby Benton is that she was of Cherokee Indian ancestry. For 5 and 6 generations, she has been referred to as either full-blooded Cherokee or of mixed ancestry.
In looking at her background, the Vaughan Pioneers group did not take any of the family legends for granted. According to the 1850 Madison County, Arkansas Mortality census, Fereby, who died in May of 1850, was 105 years old at the time of her death. This would indicate a birth year of 1745, which, when compared with the dates of birth of her children seem to be too early. She married William Vaughan in 1772, and their first child was born the following year. If she had been born in 1745, she would have been 28 years old before her first child was born, and in her mid forties when the last children came along. This seems unlikely, and as there is no family tradition that she had been married prior to marrying William, it tends to point toward the date of her birth as being later then 1745. Perhaps no-one knew exactly how old she was when she died and only guessed. A fairer estimation of her age at the time of her death was from 95 to 100 years old, making her birth date about 1750-1755. I tend to narrow it down to about 1752-53.
Her oldest child, Thomas Vaughan, was born in 1773 in what is now Swain County, North Carolina. Sources from the LDS research center claim that Thomas was born in "Cherokee", which was a Cherokee town in Swain County. This has never been confirmed. This tends to put William and Fereby in North Carolina in the early 1770s. Fereby was listed on the 1850 Mortality schedule as being born in North Carolina and family tradition tends to support this. However, during the 1750s, what is now part of Tennessee was then part of North Carolina, so it is possible that she could have been born in "both" states, the location changing from North Carolina to Tennessee when the state was created.
In 2000, members of Vaughan Pioneers decided to see if they could find any Benton men in the western part of North Carolina in the 1740s and 1750s that could have sired Fereby. As much of the area was wilderness, there were very few records of the area. Through extensive research, it was concluded that Jesse Benton, of the same family that Senator Thomas Hart Benton comes from, could NOT have been the father of Fereby, nor could his father, Samuel. Some had speculated that Jesse Benton was Fereby's ancestor, but after looking at the records dealing with Jesse Benton, -- especially his land dealings with the Transylvania company-- it is apparent that he would have been very unlikely as being a candidate for Fereby's father.
In the wilds of western North Carolina, there were actually only two Benton men that would have been likely to have had intimate contact with Cherokee women. Fereby's father has usually been said to have been a white man, and these two Benton men were both traders and long hunters in the area that the Cherokee lived. Long Hunters were men who went deep into the wilds - as a group- and hunted game for extended periods of time. Naturally, the occupation was rather dangerous, and there was considerable contact with Native Americans during the time out in the uncharted regions.
The two Benton men were brothers, their names were Lazarus Benton and Titus Benton. Both men participated in the Long Hunt of Capt. Elisha Wallen in 1761. They lived in an area around the Dan River in what is now Stokes and Rockingham Counties, North Carolina. In the 1700s, what was later to become Stokes County, N.C. was then part of Surry County. The Dan river flows from Patrick County, Virginia, south through Stokes and Rockingham Counties, North Carolina, then empties into the Stauton River. It is in the Stokes and Rockingham area of N.C., as well as the Patrick County, Virginia area, that we searched for records on these Benton brothers and for Fereby.
Fortunately, Mr. Ray C. Riley, a early Benton researcher, provided our group with considerable research he conducted on the early Bentons, including Lazarus and Titus. From Mr. Riley we learned that Lazarus was the brother who left more records of his presence (and they are far from considerable in number). As for Titus Benton, there is extremely little information. We believe he settled in Rye Cove, Virginia but exactly what happened to him after this we don't know. There is a spring in the area named Tye Benton's Spring which is a clue to his presence in the area.
Below is a summary of the search for the ancestry of Fereby Benton, given by Mrs. Beverly Neises to the Vaughan Pioneer group, made in a series of postings to the group in the summer of 2000:
We know from the census that FEREBY BENTON was born between 1750-1760,
and that she married WILLIAM VAUGHAN in the Old Cherokee Nation. I have
always thought of her as living in the Overhill Cherokee towns, along
the Little Tennessee River, because her mother's maiden name was
LOONEY. The surname LOONEY is derived from the white Looney family of
Virginia, who made contact with the Overhill Cherokees. ROBERT LOONEY
arrived on the frontier with ten grown sons, in about 1739. They
erected their cabin on the Great Road (Indian War Path), at Looney's
Ferry of present Botetourt County, Virginia. This was the direct route
connecting northern and southern Indians, and members from several
tribes likely passed through the Looney homestead.
It is well documented that Robert Looney and sons were explorers and
hunters all over southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee. They
were well acquainted with Indian customs and later served as scouts
during military campaigns. They definitely made contact with the
Overhill Cherokee Nation, and Fereby's mother's birth (estimated about
1740) coincides with the arrival of the white Looney family on the
frontier. We have not been able to determine whether Fereby's mother
was a daughter of one of the Looneys of Virginia, or if the Cherokee
Looneys were namesakes only of the white family.
The connection to the white Looney family is my primary reason for
placing Fereby in the Overhill Cherokee Nation. A confirming factor
would be that the earliest record for WILLIAM VAUGHAN was on Holston
River, adjacent to the Overhill Cherokee Nation. While we cannot prove
Fereby's place of birth, circumstantial evidence does point to
That having been established (more or less), our goal was to find a MR.
BENTON who had contact with the Overhill Cherokees during the 1750's.
We have exhausted many records of Virginia, North Carolina, and South
Carolina. There was just no one... except the Bentons who settled on
the edge of the North Carolina frontier, in the 1750's. We now know
there was a Long Hunter in that group, and he certainly fits the
description of someone who could have been Fereby's father. Our Mr.
Benton of interest left only scant records, but this is what we have
pieced together thus far:
RECORDS COMPILED BY RAY C. RILEY:
Lord Granville to William Haltman - 13 March 1755
510 acres in Orange County, in the Parish of St. Matthew, on the north
side of Dan River OR: s/s William Holtman
Wit: W. Church, James Hampton
Surveyed on 30 May 1753
SCC: ADENTON BENTON, LAZARUS BENTON, W. Church
S Sur Plat reads ".....land surveyed for Mcmullin (from Steve Mienecke)
Orange County, North Carolina, Patent Book 14
Orange County, North Carolina, Court Minutes - June, 1759, p. 392
LAZARUS BENTON vs. TITUS BENTON
Petition: Titus owed Lazarus Benton fourteen shillings and sixpence.
Orange County, North Carolina, Court Minutes - November, 1760, p. 455
John Kelly agt. JOSEPH BENTON, orr attachment
Orange County, North Carolina, Court Minutes - May Term, 1764, p. 727,
and February Term, 1765, p. 890
EPAPHRADITUS BENTON and uxr agt. Mordicai Sutherland
T.A.B. Judgment by Default
North Carolina Land Warrant #5682
LAZARUS BENTON, Stones Creek, Orange County, North Carolina
This isn't much to go on, but it does establish that Bentons settled in
the vicinity of Dan River, North Carolina, prior to 1755. The famous
Long Hunter, ELISHA WALLEN, lived only a few miles north on Smith River
(a tributary of the Dan) two miles west of what is now Martinsville,
Virginia. During the French and Indian War, a fort was constructed two
miles west of Martinsville, and that was the absolute edge of the
frontier in that day.
The Wallens settled on Smith River (present Henry County, Virginia), in
about 1745. Elisha's parents were Elisha Wallen, Sr. and Mary Blevins,
and both the Wallen and Blevins families settled together on Smith
River. Mary Blevin's grandfather and his brother had been Long Hunters
on Smith River in the early days. The Wallens and Blevins had a very
successful Fur Company, and I believe this is where the involvement came
between they and the Benton hunters.
In 1761, ELISHA WALLEN led a Long Hunt into northeastern Tennessee and
southwestern Virginia. Writers suggest some in that party had already
hunted in that region and were now returning for a more thorough
investigation. This Long Hunt is well documented in "The History of
Pittsylvania County, Virginia," by Maud Carter Clement, 1987, and she
referenced the VA Magazine of History. Says Ms. Clement, "...a party of
eighteen men, made up of his friends and neighbors, formed themselves
into a company for the purpose of taking a 'long hunt'." (p. 89) She
identifies members of the Blevin family, Henry Scags, Newman, Charles
Cox, and others as members of the hunting party. The Bentons are
identified as members of the hunting party in a separate document listed
The Skaggs were famous hunters and explorers associated with Daniel
Boone. Note several members of the Scags/Skaggs family were
contemporaries of WILLIAM VAUGHAN in Russell County, Virginia. It is
said that William Vaughan went on long hunting and exploration trips of
his own, having once met up with Daniel Boone in the wilds of Kentucky.
Perhaps he also hunted with some of the Skaggs.
Returning to the Elisha Wallen expedition, Ms. Clement writes, "They
remained on this hunt eighteen months, ranging over southwestern
Virginia and eastern Tennessee and Kentucky, naming mountains and
springs as they came to them." (p. 90) Walden's Ridge was named for their famous leader. They also named Clinch River and Cumberland Gap.
Years later, some of the Wallens and Bentons returned as settlers to
present Scott and Lee counties, Virginia. The brothers, JOHN and TITUS
BENTON were killed there by Indians in April of 1777. You will find an
account of this tragedy in an article by Emory L. Hamilton, "John and
Titus Benton Killed in Rye Cove," at:
DOSWELL ROGERS, who in 1812 gave deposition concerning the deaths of the
Benton brothers, had been a Smith River neighbor back in Pittsylvania
(now Henry) County, Virginia. His account definitely ties the Bentons
to the 1761 Long Hunt when he states: "The Wallens, Bentons, William
Roberts and others named these streams as they went through hunting
lands." It has been documented that these streams were named back in
Doswell Rogers also names William Roberts as a member of the hunting
party. William Roberts, from the old Smith River neighborhood, was the
brother of CORNELIUS ROBERTS (b. ca. 1749) who married MARY BENTON abt.
1766-1767. Mary Benton was a daughter of one of the Dan River Bentons
and could have been a half-sister or half-cousin of our Fereby Benton.
Cornelius Roberts lived near WILLIAM and FEREBY (BENTON) VAUGHAN in
Russell County, Virginia. He was killed by Indians on Black Mountain,
in June of 1788. For an account of his death, see
http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/indian/77.html There is no evidence
to suggest William Vaughan knew any of these people prior to their
arrival in southwestern Virginia. We cannot tie any Vaughans to the
Smith or Dan River community of Long Hunters.
Some of the Wallens were also attacked by Indians. See at
http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/indian/80.html It might be added
that there are records all over the web on the Wallen family. Elisha
Wallen, Long Hunter, settled for a time on the Holston River of
Tennessee, then pressed on to Missouri.
The Wallens, Roberts, and Doswell Rogers were listed with William
Vaughan in Capt. David Looney's Company, during Lord Dunmore's War of
1774. Since no Bentons were listed on the muster roll, it was originally surmised they had not yet arrived in southwestern Virginia. That was not necessarily so, if the elder Mr. Benton was merely too old for soldiering.
This is assuming there was an elder Mr. Benton in Rye Cove. The
brothers JOHN and TITUS BENTON could have gone to Virginia with the
Wallen and Roberts families. Writers suspect the Bentons and Wallens
were related, and we know for certain there was a family relationship
between the Bentons and Roberts. JOHN BENTON served in the Cherokee
Expedition of 1776, so we know only that he had come of age by that
date. If he was living in southwestern Virginia, during Lord Dunmore's
War of 1774, he had not yet come of age to serve in the militia.
Emory L. Hamilton, in the article referenced above, notes 343 acres were
surveyed for one William Nash in Rye Cove, on 20 November 1782. The
land was situated on a barren ridge above TYE BENTON'S SPRING. Tye
would have been TITUS BENTON. Was he the Titus Benton killed by
Indians, or was Tye the father of the brothers killed by Indians?
We are very fortunate to find a Benton family with
the distinctive naming patterns of Titus, Epaphraditus, and Lazarus.
These names positively identify the Dan River and Rye Cove Bentons as
originating in Nansemond County, Virginia and Chowan County, North
Carolina. This group was living west of the
FEREBEE family of Currituck County, North Carolina. If one of the Dan
River Bentons was the father of our FEREBY (BENTON) VAUGHAN, I would not
expect her to name her children Titus, Epaphraditus, or Lazarus. I
believe the hunter Mr. Benton did not remain in the Cherokee Nation, and
there is no reason Fereby would have named her children after any of his
relatives. She was raised in her mother's clan, whatever that may have
been. If Mr. Benton was long gone, Fereby's mother probably had at
least one other Cherokee husband. It is quite likely Fereby had
half-siblings in the Cherokee Nation.
It now appears quite probable FEREBY (BENTON) VAUGHAN was the daughter of a fur trapper who hunted early on Cherokee lands. There is a strong possibility her father was one of the Bentons of Dan River, North Carolina, and that he was involved in the fur trade of Wallen and Blevins. The Benton(s) were known hunters, as proven by their participation in the Long Hunt of CAPT. ELISHA WALLEN, in 1761. The inclusion of the Bentons in this hunting trip proves they had a prior relationship with the Wallens and Blevins, and it was almost certainly through their fur trade.
This writer conjectured that MR. BENTON did not remain with the Cherokees, since the name Benton appears non-existent in the Cherokee Nation. This could be an erroneous assumption, however, since Fereby could have had Benton sisters....or male siblings who died young or were killed in battle. We will probably never know if Mr. Benton was just passing through, or if he made return trips to the Cherokee towns. There were Bentons who left no other records but their name on early Dan River. Only LAZARUS BENTON is documented with a continuing existence in that region, and the others simply vanished. If they were hunters, anything could have happened. We just don't know. Ray C. Riley believes TITUS BENTON was the one who settled with his sons in RYE COVE, but there are no land records to prove his existence in southwestern Virginia. TYE BENTON'S SPRING is the only tangible clue to support this theory. If Titus was the frontiersman, it could explain why he eluded the land records and tax lists of civilized society. Maybe he did prefer the wilderness as his home. It is generally assumed that LAZARUS and TITUS BENTON, of early Dan River, were brothers. The Dan River flows from Patrick County, Virginia, south through Stokes then Rockingham counties, North Carolina, then back up through Pittsylvania and Halifax counties, Virginia, where it empties into the Staunton River. If the Bentons were on Dan River, they would have settled early in what is now either Stokes or Rockingham County....just south of the Wallens and Blevins of Halifax (now Henry) County, Virginia. LAZARUS BENTON entered land in that part of Surry County which became Stokes County, North Carolina, in about 1779-1781. Since he did not appear on the 1771-1774 tax lists of Surry County, he could have lived on the Guilford (now Rockingham) side of the county line. Those boundaries were constantly changing, so he could have lived in one county one day and another the next. The Dan River was still very much wilderness in that day, and many settlers were not accounted for on the tithables lists. Ray C. Riley has compiled the following records on Lazarus Benton,:
RECORDS OF SURRY COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA Entry #1386 LAZARUS BENTON enters 100 acres on land in Surry County, on the south side of Dan River near the mouth of Turkey Branch, including the plantation whereon he lives. Warrant granted. (No date given, but surrounding dates 1779-1781) Entry #1835 William Haley enters 500 acres of land in Surry County adjoining Joseph Murphy, including whereon JOHN BENTON now lives. Warrant granted. (No date given, but surrounding dates 1779-1781)
Surry County, North Carolina - February 12, 1782 Ordered LAZARUS BENTON, an aged infirm man having scarcely any property, be exempt from paying taxes. Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 16 Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen: On reading the recommendation of the Courts of Orange and Surry Counties, resolved that LAZARUS BENTON of Surry and William Watson of Orange County be exempted from paying poll taxes. Ordered that the following message be sent to the Senate: Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen: With this you will receive the resolve of your House exempting LAZARUS BENTON and William Watson from the payment of poll taxes, concurred with. May 2, 1782 Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen: With this you will receive the resolve of your house exempting LAZARUS BENTON and William Watson from the payment of poll taxes concurred with. May 3, 1782
Ray C. Riley believes JOHN BENTON was probably a son of LAZARUS BENTON. Another probable son of LAZARUS or TITUS BENTON was JAMES BENTON, who lived on Stoney Creek and Benton Fork of Caswell County, North Carolina.....about 30-35 air miles east of LAZARUS BENTON of Dan River. JAMES BENTON, born about 1739, was too young to have been the father of our Fereby. James first appeared in records of Orange (later Caswell) County, N.C., in November of 1761, and he migrated with some of his sons to Robertson County, Tennessee, about 1797-1800. His sons were Epaphraditus (b. 1762), Richard, Robert, Titus, Joseph, James M., Cary, and Redmon Benton. Another son of either Lazarus or Titus Benton was LAZARUS BENTON of early Fincastle County, Virginia. Young Lazarus did not appear on the muster rolls of Lord Dunmore's War, in the summer and fall of 1774, but he entered 116 acres of land soon after the men disbanded and returned home. Fincastle became Montgomery County, Virginia, before the onset of the Revolutionary War. The name LAZARUS and LAZ. BENTON did appear in the Montgomery County military accounts, during the Revolutionary War, but his Captain's name is unknown. [Ref: Montgomery County's Military Heritage, by Ruby Altizer Roberts, Cambria, VA]
LAND RECORDS OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA Survey for LAZARUS BENTON of 116 acres in Fincastle County. Signed: Robert Preston and William Preston 12 December 1774 [Ref: Preston Family Papers (Didier Collection), 1747-1897, ca. 180 items, Ms 85-020, Folder 12]
No further records have been located to determine where young LAZARUS BENTON was living. He too vanishes from sight, having left only a name to prove his existence.
Emory Hamilton documents an 1811deposition given by WILLIAM WALLEN (born 1761), in which he indicated JOHN BENTON'S mother gave him John's shot-bag after he and brother TITUS BENTON were killed by Indians, in April of 1777. This was a sentimental gesture on behalf of two friends, and it could be these boys were in the
same age group.
WILLIAM WALLEN's invaluable statement does affirm that JOHN and TITUS
BENTON were in Rye Cove, Scott County, Virginia, with their parents. I
may be going out on a limb, but now tentatively identify their father as
TITUS (TYE) BENTON, SR., for whom Tye Benton's Spring was named. Since
those who took part in the Long Hunt were the ones who returned to
southwestern Virginia, I believe TITUS BENTON was the Long Hunter. I
always refer to the Dan River Benton(s) plural as hunters, allowing that
Titus was not the only family member who ventured onto Cherokee lands.
We know nothing about EPAPHRADITUS, ADENTON, and JOSEPH BENTON, who
appeared in Dan River records of the 1750's and 1760's. Did one of
those men partner with Titus on hunting trips....even disappear
somewhere out there? I'm just leaving a question mark over that one,
unless further records come to light. BUT Titus Benton does remain a
person of interest in the search for FEREBY (BENTON) VAUGHAN'S father.
It seems TITUS BENTON went to Rye Cove with THOMAS WALLEN, brother of
CAPT. ELISHA WALLEN. Thomas Wallen had also participated in the Long
Hunt of 1761. His sons, STEPHEN WALLEN (born 1757) and WILLIAM WALLEN
(born 1761), gave depositions on 11 March 1811 concerning the deaths of John and Titus Benton in Rye Cove. The Wallen and Blevins family records are found at several sites on the web, but I have compiled a brief outline. There are contradictions in these records, depending upon the submitter, but an overview will suffice.
ELISHA WALLEN/WALLING, SR. - Son of Thomas Wallen, Sr. and Sarah
Elisha's siblings were: Abigall, Thomas, John, Mary, James, Samuel,
Elisha, Joseph, Benjamin, Deborah, Rebecca, and the undutiful son William Wallen.
Born: 26 July 1708, Salem County, New Jersey
Died: 1785, Pittsylvania (now Henry) County, Virginia
Married: MARY BLEVINS, daughter of Capt. William Blevins
According to Alfred Walling of San Antonio, Texas, the Wallens and
Blevins were involved in a very successful business:
WALLEN/SKAGGS/COX/BLEVINS FUR COMPANY.
1) THOMAS WALLEN - born 1730, Prince George's County, Maryland; died
1800, prob. East Tennessee
Married: Mary Cox, daughter of William Cox - prob. by 1750
Driven off by Indians when JOHN and TITUS BENTON were killed by
Indians in Rye Cove. Ref: Deposition of Thomas Rodgers in March,1811.
1. Stephen Wallen - b. 1756-57, Halifax (now Henry) County, VA
[Went hunting with JOHN BENTON after his return from the
2. William Wallen - b. 25 Dec 1759 (deposition says 1761); d.
Hancock County, TN; married Mary ______
[Was given JOHN BENTON's shot bag, after his friend was
killed by the Indians.]
3. Elisha Wallen - b. 6 Mar 1760; d. 1852, Warren County, OH;
married Ann _____
4. Thomas Wallen, Jr. - b. 1762
5. Joseph Wallen - b. 1775-1776; d. 1820, Scott County, VA;
married Frances ______
2) CAPT. ELISHA WALLEN, JR. - The Long Hunter
Born: 1732, Prince George's County, Maryland
Died: January, 1814, Wallen Plantation, Washington County,
Married: Catherine Elizabeth Blevins, daughter of John Blevins
There is a contradiction in records, but I believe it was Capt. Wallen's wife Catherine Blevins, not his mother Mary Blevins, who was the granddaughter of either James or Daniel Blevins, Long Hunters on Smith River (present Henry County), Virginia.
Children: William B., Catherine, Berryman, John Vard, Lucy,
Elizabeth, and Elisha Wallen
3) JOSEPH WALLEN - born 1734, Prince George's County, Maryland; died
Married: Milly Jones
Known son: James Carr Wallen, born 1771
Joseph settled on the north side of Clinch River at Kyles Ford, present Hancock County, Tennessee. His land extended across Newman Ridge into Lee County, Virginia.
4) SARAH WALLEN - born abt. 1736, Prince George's County, Maryland
Married: Clement Lee - abt. 1757
5) MARY WALLEN - born abt. 1737, Prince George's County, MD; died 5
Sep 1799, Hawkins County, TN
Married: John Weddle
6) MARGERY WALLEN - born abt. 1738, Prince George's County, MD
Married: Isaac John Rice - abt. 1759
7) JAMES WALLEN - born 27 July 1746?, Lunenburg (now Henry) County, VA
Died: 28 March 1786, Grant, Grayson County, Virginia
Married: Mary White - abt. 1766
Known son: John Wallen - married Anna Chisum
8) JOHN WALLEN - Took part in the Long Hunt of 1761
[Thomas Rodgers, age 46, gave deposition in 1811 that "John
Wallen has known this country nearly 50 years."]
Died: 22 Apr 1836, McMinn County, Tennessee
Married lst: MARY ROBERTS [d. 17 March 1785, VA]
Married 2nd: ELIZABETH ROBERTS - 18 Feb 1786
Children: John M., James, Jesse, Nancy, Thomas aka Grandsir,
Sarah, Isaac, Mary Ann, Matilda, Elizabeth, and Stephen Wallen
9) ELIZABETH "BETSY" WALLEN - born abt. 1748, Lunenburg (now Henry)
Married: WILLIAM ROBERTS - abt. 1768
William Roberts b. abt. 1744, brother of CORNELIUS (NEAL) ROBERTS,
took part in the Long Hunt of 1761.
The 1767 Tithables of Pittsylvania (now Henry) County, Virginia, show
the following as close neighbors:
WALLEN/WALLING - Elisha, Sr., Elisha (Jr.) and negro Jake, Thomas,
James, and Joseph BLEVINS - Capt. William and negroes Dawl & Peter, John Sr., John son of Daniel, Jas Jr., Dillion, and Little William Blevins
ROBERTS - Neal (Cornelius) Roberts, James Roberts
OTHERS - DAUZWELL ROGERS (gave 1811 deposition concerning Bentons,
Roberts, and Wallens on Long Hunt of 1761); Charles Skaggs, John Newman, Daniel Newman, Jr., John Cox, Sr. and John Cox, Jr.
Note: The Newmans and Coxes also took part in the Long Hunt of 1761.
CAPTAIN DAVID LOONEY'S COMPANY OF VIRGINIA MILITIA, 1774, LORD DUNMORE'S WAR:
(Formed from Southwestern Virginia and Sullivan County, Tennessee)
Lt. Daniel Boone
Lt. Jno Cox
John Cox, Senr.
John Cox, Jr. (Some Coxes were from Capt. William Herbert's Company,
present Grayson & Carroll counties, VA)
Deswell Rogers (Dauzwell/Doswell Rogers)
I had wondered if there was another Wallen sister who married TITUS
BENTON, SR., but if that was the case, there is no documentation to
prove her existence. JOHN BENTON, son of TITUS BENTON, SR., must have
been born by about 1755-1758, since he took part in the Cherokee
Expedition of 1776. This placement is based on the assumption that
Titus Benton, Sr. was already in southwestern Virginia during Lord
Dunmore's War of 1774, and that his sons had not yet come of age to
serve in the Militia. If this was the case, JOHN BENTON must have been
in the same age group as the sons of THOMAS WALLEN......and, I might
add, FEREBY (BENTON) VAUGHAN.
TITUS BENTON, SR. must have been born by about 1735, but much earlier if
he was a brother of LAZARUS BENTON. The only clue to his age might rest
again in Lord Dunmore's War. If Titus was already in southwestern
Virginia in the summer and fall of 1774, he must have been too old to
serve in the Militia. Would that make him above age fifty or so, in
1774...born before 1724? This is delving into unknown territory, but
the possible relationship between Lazarus and Titus Benton will be
examined in Part III of the Benton Frontiersmen report.
We now know there were at least five Benton frontiersmen who settled early on Dan River, North Carolina.
Scant records have survived to identify them as TITUS BENTON, LAZARUS
BENTON, EPAPHRADITUS BENTON, ADENTON BENTON, AND JOSEPH BENTON. We know they arrived on Dan River before 1755, but the exact year is unknown.
They originated in Chowan County, North Carolina, and the last record
back east for anyone in this group was some twenty years earlier.
LAZARUS BENTON witnessed the will of John Glisham, dated 20 Sept 1734,
probate in November Court, 1734, Bertie Precinct, North Carolina.
Evidently, Lazarus was living in that part of Chowan County which had
became Bertie County. In that day, Bertie County was everything west of
present Gates and Chowan counties, North Carolina, so we have no idea
how far west he was living. There were no further records for Lazarus
Benton, until he witnessed the land record on Dan River 13 March 1755.
There is a deed for 300 acres of land on the south side of Lizard Creek,
Brunswick County, Virginia, in the name of EPHRODITUS BENTON, dated 13
Oct 1727. In that day, Brunswick County was everything west of the
present eastern boundary of Greensville County, Virginia. Since
Brunswick County, Virginia, adjoined Bertie County, North Carolina, to
the south, we might conclude Lazarus and Epaphraditus were living close
to the present Virginia and North Carolina line. If anyone can pinpoint
the location of LIZARD CREEK, we might have some idea of how far west
they were then living.
The name TITUS BENTON appeared only once in eastern North Carolina
records as follows:
Chowan County, North Carolina - February 8, 1719, Entry #1285, p. 36
William Moore of Chowan Precinct, planter, to John King of Nansemond
County, Virginia, for 50 barrels of Tarr 200 acres on the northeast side
of Chowan River where TITUS BENTON now liveth, commonly called Cald and
known as Cow Landing.
Wit: ___Cockburn, ___Holmes
Ack: 1 April 1720
Titus, born before 1697-1698, remains the elusive one. We do not know
if he was the same Titus who moved to Dan River, but if so, he was too
old for the Long Hunt of 1761. TITUS BENTON LONG HUNTER was likely a
son or nephew of the earlier Titus. If the Long Hunter was born in the
1720's, he was the right age to have been a son of the first Titus of
Chowan River, but I would not venture to speculate on that one. The
parents of Titus Long Hunter remain "unknown."
The names ADENTON BENTON and JOSEPH BENTON did not appear in early
records of Chowan County, so they likely belonged to the younger
generation. They virtually disappeared, with their names mentioned only
once on Dan River. We do not know if they were sons of Titus, Lazarus,
or Epaphraditus Benton. It is quite likely the Bentons made hunting
trips to Dan River before returning with their families.
THE BENTONS OF CHOWAN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
The 1704 Quit Rents of Nansemond County, Virginia, list the names
EPAPHRADITUS BENTON, FRANCIS BENTON, and JOHN BENTON. Ray C. Riley
presumed they were brothers, and evidence does suggest they were from
the same generation.
The next record for this group was on 17 July 1716, when EPAPHRADITUS
BENTON requested "rights for ye importation" of himself and the
following individuals from Nansemond County, Virginia, to Chowan County,
North Carolina: ELIZABETH, LAZARUS, ELIZABETH, JR., LEMUELL, JOB,
SARAH, and EPA BENTON, and William Hardy. It may be assumed Elizabeth
was the wife of Epaphraditus and that Lazarus, Elizabeth, Jr., Lemuell,
Job, Sarah, and Epa (Epaphraditus, Jr.) were hs children. Ray C. Riley
believes it was this son LAZARUS BENTON who moved to Dan River and was
listed as "an aged and infirm man," in 1782. His brother, EPA BENTON,
could have been the Epaphraditus of Lizard Creek and later Dan River,
North Carolina. Ray C. Riley suggests the following dates (estimates
only) for the family of Epaphraditus:
Born: c. 1670-1680
Died: aft. 10 Oct 1726, Chowan County, NC
Married: Elizabeth - abt. 1693, prob. Nansemond County, VA
1. Titus Benton? - b. abt. 1697, Nansemond
2. Lazarus Benton - b. abt. 1702, Nansemond
3. Elizabeth - b. abt. 1704, Nansemond
4. Lemuell Benton - b. abt. 1706, Nansemond
5. Job Benton - b. abt. 1708, Nansemond
6. Sarah Benton - b. abt. 1710, Nansemond
7. Epa (Epaphraditus) Benton - b. abt. 1712, Nansemond
8. Possibly other children born after the move to Chowan County, NC
TITUS BENTON was mentioned in Chowan County records of 8 Feb 1719. Ray
C. Riley suggests Titus was an older son of Epaphraditus, who had
already come of age before the importation record of 1716. Perhaps
Titus was already living in Chowan Precinct when Epaphraditus and family
arrived. There is no proof they were father and son, so this placement
JOHN BENTON and JAMES BENTON served as witnesses in Chowan County on 18
Aug 1719. Since James did not appear on the 1704 rent rolls of
Nansemond County, Virginia, Ray C. Riley believes he was the son of
either John, Epaphraditus, or Francis Benton. He estimates James' birth
in about 1698. It is not known if JOHN BENTON, of the 1719 record, was
the same John listed on the Nansemond County Quit Rents of 1704. A
submitter to the LDS Ancestral File claims descent from a John Benton
born 1694, who died in 1750, Chowan County, North Carolina. Ancestral
File dates are not particularly reliable, but if the submitter was
correct, there would have been a John Benton, Sr. and John Benton, Jr.
in early Chowan County, North Carolina. If there was a John, Sr., his
sons could have been John Benton, Jr. and James Benton. Land records
show a JOHN BENTON sold JAMES BENTON a tract of land in Chowan County,
Ray C. Riley believes James (of the 1719 record) was the same JAMES
BENTON who deeded 100 acres of land to his son, JAMES BENTON, JR. on 24
March 1760, Edgecombe County, North Carolina. We do not know if James
Benton, Jr. was the same James Benton (born c. 1739) who appeared in
1761 records of Caswell County, North Carolina, then later removed to
Robertson County, Tennessee. James (born c. 1739) named his first son
Epaphraditus and had a younger son named Titus, so we do not know if he
was actually a son of one of the Dan River Bentons. As might be
recalled, James (born c. 1739) lived some 35 air miles from Lazarus
Benton of Dan River.
The North Carolina reconstructed Colonial Census shows EPHRAIM BENTON (a
copyist's misinterpretation of the name Epaphraditus?) in Chowan County,
in 1717, and FRANCIS BENTON in Chowan County, in 1721. Francis married
MARTHA COTTON, and he was deceased by 1728. Martha, "widow of Francis
Benton," witnessed the will of John Cotton in May, 1728, Bertie County,
North Carolina. The children of Francis and Martha are unknown, but one
son may have been FRANCIS BENTON who appeared in Chowan County records
Ray C. Riley has reconstructed the family of a JOHN BENTON who died in
Chowan County, in 1750. He is uncertain as to whether this was the
family of a John born c. 1694 (as recorded in the LDS Ancestral File),
or if he was John Benton who appeared on the 1704 Quit Rents of
Nansemond County, Virginia.
Born: c. 1694?
Died: 1750, Chowan County, North Carolina
Children: (dates estimated)
1. Charity Benton - b. abt. 1720
Married: James Parker
2. Epaphraditus Benton - b. abt. 1720-23
(signed Chowan County Vestry record in
1761 or 1764)
Was he the Epaphraditus who moved briefly
to Dan River? Or was Epaphraditus of Dan
River the brother of Lazarus?
3. Mary Benton - b. abt. 1722
4. Elijah Benton - b. abt. 1723-25
Died: aft. 1756
Believe his son was William Elijah Benton
of St. Genevieve District, Missouri, 1806.
5. Jethro Benton - b. abt. 1725-27
6. Judith Benton - b. abt. 1728
Married: Adam Raby - 30 Sept 1748, Chowan
Of Bertie County, NC
7. Moses Benton - b. abt. 1729
Of Gates County, NC
"The Pipkin Family in America" records show their JOHN PIPKIN living
near Peter's Swamp, in 1719. In other land patents, Peter's Swamp was
said to be located in that part of Nansemond County, Virginia, which
became part of Chowan Precinct, North Carolina. John Pipkin's neighbors
were JOHN BENTON, Richard Barefield, Joseph Braddy, JOHN PARKER,
Christopher Dudley, Thomas Norris, Samuel Merriot (Merritt), and Henry
Goodman. They lived in that part of Chowan County which is now Gates
County, North Carolina.
Two of JOHN BENTON's daughters married into the Parker family. Ray C.
Riley notes there were Parkers in Chowan, Edgecombe, and Caswell
counties with the Bentons...a possible clue for future researchers.
The Colonial Census of North Carolina shows the following:
CHOWAN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
1753 - Elijah, Epaphraditus, Jethro, and John Benton
1758 - Elijah, Epaphraditus, Jethro, John, and John Benton, Jr.
PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
1754 - John, Samuel, Vincent, and Elizabeth Benton
1769 - Vincent Benton
1786 - Devotion Benton and Eleany Benton
SOUTH CAROLINA COLONIAL ARCHIVES
1779 - Lazarus Benton, Old 96th District
1778 - Samuel Benton, Cheraws District
1780 - Samuel Benton, Cheraws District
1785 - Samuel Benton, Darlington District, South Carolina
CORNELIUS (NEIL) ROBERTS was a person of particular interest to our
search. He married MARY "POLLY" BENTON, a possible daughter of one of
the Dan River, North Carolina, Bentons. They settled in the same
general area as our WILLIAM VAUGHAN and FEREBY BENTON in Russell County,
Virginia. Eddie Davis acquired the Roberts family records of Eleanor
Sue Holmes, and I wanted to see what comes up if we glean from those and
merge with a few land records.
CORNELIUS (NEIL) ROBERTS
Born: abt. 1749, Virginia - probable son of James Roberts of
Snow Creek, present Franklin County, Virginia
Brothers of Cornelius: WILLIAM ROBERTS, Long Hunter;
Abner Roberts, and Isaac Roberts
Died: June 1788 (Killed by Indians on Black Mountain)
Married: MARY "POLLY" BENTON - abt. 1766-1767, Pittsylvania (now Henry) County, Virginia, or North Carolina
Born: abt. 1750, North Carolina
Died: abt. 1830, Green County, Kentucky
Married 2nd: Rev. John Frost - bet. 1789-1793
Washington County, VA
1. Elizabeth Roberts - born abt. 1768; died 17 Feb 1833
Perry (now Breathitt) County, Kentucky
Married: Abraham Childers abt. 1784, Russell Co., VA
2. James Roberts - Of Pike County, Kentucky
3. Polly Roberts - married _____Monk, of Lee County, VA
Died: bef. 5 Oct 1829
Children: Rhoda Monk - m. Joseph Riddle
Biddy Monk - m. ___Smith
Betsy Monk - m. Holt Colley
Peggy Monk - m. ___Gibson
4. Jesse Roberts - of Green County, Kentucky
[His mother and step-father were listed in his household
on the 1830 census of Green County, Kentucky]
5. Milly Roberts - married Edward Frost, of Tennessee
6. Nathan Roberts - of Alabama
Son: Cornelius Benton Roberts
7. Daniel Roberts - of Alabama
8. Sina Roberts - married Peter Anderson, of Alabama
9. Isaac Roberts - of Alabama
10. Mourning Roberts - married Jacob Talley, of Alabama
11. Archibald Roberts - of Indiana
12. Susanna Roberts - married Lot Literal, of Ohio
Descendants of CORNELIUS AND MARY (BENTON) ROBERTS have speculated she
was from the family of SAMUEL BENTON of early Granville County, North
Carolina. Samuel's son, JESSE BENTON, was a prominent lawyer with
Richard Henderson and Company (formerly Transylvania Company), and
Jesse's son was the famous SENATOR THOMAS HART BENTON. Eleanor Sue
Holmes cites a family tradition that MARY BENTON was a cousin of SENATOR
THOMAS HART BENTON.
Although Samuel and Jesse Benton were contemporaries of the Dan River
Bentons in early Orange and Caswell County records, no connection has
been made between the two families. There was a SAMUEL BENTON who
appeared briefly in Pasquotank County, North Carolina (adjoining Chowan
County), in 1754, but we do not know if he was the same SAMUEL BENTON
who later appeared on the 1755 census of Granville County, North
I had considered it geographically unlikely that Cornelius Roberts
married a daughter from the Samuel and Jesse Benton family. Many miles
lay between them, and the terrain was still wilderness in that day.
Roberts descendants may have been unaware of the much closer Benton
family of Dan River. Since a relationship has positively been
established between the Dan River Bentons and the Roberts' of Smith
River, it seems far more likely MARY BENTON, wife of CORNELIUS ROBERTS,
came from that group. It would be nice to know if the family tradition,
concerning a relationship to Senator Benton, was merely an
assumption...or if it had some basis in fact? If Mary was a daughter of
the Dan River Bentons, and if she was in fact related to Senator Benton,
perhaps the two families were related afterall. The two families were
somewhat dissimilar, however, and there is no reason to suspect blood
If MARY BENTON was from the Dan River family, she could have been a
daughter of either TITUS BENTON, the presumed Long Hunter, or LAZARUS
BENTON. It might be noted that naming patterns for Mary's children are
not consistent with the naming patterns of the Dan River family. There
was a JOHN BENTON listed on the 1782-1787 Census of Henry County,
Virginia. This was probably the same John Benton mentioned in Surry
County, North Carolina, records for the period 1779-1781. Ray C. Riley
thought John was the probable son of LAZARUS BENTON. Evidently, John
Benton was a landowner in Henry County, and a search of Pittsylvania
County deeds might reveal something of his identity. It might be
anticipated that he was a relative of Mary (Benton) Roberts.
THE MARRIAGE OF CORNELIUS ROBERTS AND MARY BENTON
The Roberts family dates the marriage of CORNELIUS ROBERTS and MARY
BENTON about 1766-1767. They were living on Reed Creek, a tributary of
Smith River, in Pittsylvania (now Henry) County, Virginia. Cornelius
was listed in the Smith River neighborhood with members of the Wallen
and Blevins family, on the 1767 List of Tithables for Pittsylvania
County, Virginia. Land records show that CORNELIUS ROBERTS purchased
800 acres on Reed Creek, in August of 1767. [Ref: "Entry Record Book,
1737-1770: Land Entries in the Present Virginia Counties of Halifax,
Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin, and Patrick," transcribed by Marian
Dodson Chiarito, 1984, p. 379] Reed Creek was southwest of Snow Creek
in present Franklin County, Virginia, where the Roberts family had
THE MOVE TO SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA
Land records of Pittsylvania County should prove when Cornelius and Mary
sold their land on Smith River and crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains into
southwestern Virginia. Descendants say he was listed in CAPT. DAVID
LOONEY'S Company, with his brother WILLIAM ROBERTS, between 1770-1771.
Cornelius was also listed with WILLIAM VAUGHAN in Capt. David Looney's
Company during Lord Dunmore's War, in 1774.
The Washington County, Virginia, Surveyor's Record, 1781-1797, says
ELISHA WALLEN settled on Fifteen Mile Creek, on the northwest side of
Holston River, on a branch called Dry Run, in 1769. [p. 174] It is
possible WILLIAM and CORNELIUS ROBERTS.....and possibly TITUS
BENTON....arrived in the same year. If Cornelius Roberts and wife Mary
Benton had settled in Rye Cove with Titus Benton, we might conclude she
was his daughter. Tye Benton and some of the Wallens settled on Clinch
River, present Scott County, Virginia, but Cornelius settled much
further north on Clinch River, in present Russell County, Virginia.
There is no evidence to suggest Cornelius followed Titus Benton to
southwest Virginia. He could have gone with his brother, WILLIAM
ROBERTS, who was the brother-in-law of CAPT. ELISHA WALLEN, Long Hunter.
LAND RECORDS OF RUSSELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA
CORNELIUS ROBERTS purchased 352 acres from William Smith, on both sides
of Glade Hollow Branch, waters of CEDAR CREEK of Clinch River, on 14
January 1783. [Ref: Washington County, Virginia, Surveyor's Record,
1781-1797, p. 73] Cornelius received a patent for an additional 352
acres on both sides of Glade Hollow Branch, on 6 May 1787, which he
resold to Francis Price on 4 Dec 1787. [Ref: Russell County, Virginia,
Deed Book #1 Abstracts, pp.94-95.]
WILLIAM VAUGHAN lived on the north side of LITTLE CEDAR CREEK, a south
branch of CEDAR CREEK where Cornelius Roberts settled. Glade Hollow
Branch is not on my map of creeks, but a USGS map might show its
location. Cedar creek wound its way north, and Glade Hollow Branch
could have been anywhere along its route. The most that can be said is
that William Vaughan and Cornelius Roberts lived in the same general
section of Russell County, Virginia. Incidentally, HENRY SCAGGS was
right in there around Cedar Creek as well. He has been identified as
part of ELISHA WALLEN'S hunting party, on the 1761 Long Hunt.
The dates on the above land records may represent "dates recorded," and
not actual dates of settlement. We do know WILLIAM VAUGHAN and
CORNELIUS ROBERTS knew each other from their service in Capt. David
Looney's Company. We do not know if they formed a friendship, or if
they moved together to Cedar Creek. Whether their wives were
recognized as "somehow related" is unknown.
The Vaughans and Roberts seem not to have maintained a close
association. CORNELIUS ROBERTS sold his land on Cedar Creek, in 1787,
and moved to the NEW GARDEN SETTLEMENT in far western Russell County,
Virginia. He went to Black Mountain with neighbors (two of the Elams
and three of the Breedings) where they were killed and scalped by the
renegade Chief Benge of the Cherokees. Their mission had been to dig
ginseng, a medicinal herb. MARY (BENTON) ROBERTS was remarried to a
minister and moved to western Kentucky.
SOURCE FOR NOTES ON CORNELIUS ROBERTS:
Rodney Veitschegger, 2072 Quail Run Drive, Bowling Green, KY 42104
According to Ray C. Riley, SAMUEL BENTON first appeared in North Carolina records of 1744, at which time he was already living on the head waters of Tar River, in what is now Granville County. He was well-educated, politically powerful, and somewhat wealthy from his early years. It is believed that he migrated from Europe in about 1740-1744, possibly on a political appointment. From 1750 until his death in 1770, Samuel was given numerous political appointments. Samuel's first wife is unknown, but his son JESSE BENTON (born c. 1744) was the only known child from this marriage to survive until adulthood. Jesse was the father of Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Samuel married second Frances Kimbrough, in 1751. Frances, born about 1732, filed an affidavit in Orange County court on 25 Sept 1819, in which she named her children with Samuel Benton in their order of birth. Those children were listed as follows: Betty, Lemuel (Lam), Penny, Martha (Patty), Samuel, John, and Augustine. All of these children were born after 1751. SAMUEL BENTON made his will on 18 Feb 1770, and it was proved in April Court, 1770, Granville County, North Carolina. He named wife Frances, son Lam, son Jesse, daughter Betty Bruce, daughter Penny, daughter Patty, son Samuel, and son Augustine. This is definite proof that MARY (BENTON) ROBERTS, born about 1750, was not the daughter of SAMUEL BENTON of Granville County. Children who had crossed the Blue Ridge were named as heirs along with those who remained behind. If Samuel Benton had a daughter Mary Roberts living on either side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she would most certainly have been named in his will. If LAZARUS BENTON's son was JOHN BENTON of Surry County, North Carolina, and Henry County, Virginia, (as suggested by Ray C. Riley) I wonder if he was the father of MARY BENTON? If Lazarus was born c. 1702, son John would have been born in the1720's. He would have been the right age to have a daughter Mary born c. 1750. Since Ray C. Riley has already checked North Carolina records, perhaps undiscovered clues lie buried in land records of Pittsylvania and Henry counties, Virginia. If MARY (BENTON) ROBERTS was a daughter of JOHN BENTON and granddaughter of LAZARUS BENTON (speculation only), her relationship to our Fereby would have been practically nil. Maybe second half-cousins?
Here we find LAZARUS BENTON on the 1751 Dan River Tax Lists. This means
the Bentons were definitely on the frontier prior to the birth of our
FEREBY BENTON, and our timeline is confirmed by documentary evidence.
As may be recalled, the earliest records for our frontier Bentons were
in ORANGE COUNTY, North Carolina. In studying map overlays for county
boundary changes in North Carolina, it seems the eastern 2/3 of present
Rockingham County were within the bounds of Orange County, in the
1750's. The western 1/3 of Rockingham County was within the bounds of
This means the Bentons were living along Dan River, within the eastern
2/3 of present ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, North Carolina. This locates them
precisely near the confluence of Dan River and its tributary Smith
River. The Bentons were, as supposed, just down river from the WALLENS
and BLEVINS Fur Company of Smith River, present Henry County, Virginia.
ROCKINGHAM AND STOKES COUNTY, NC - CENSUS - 1751 Dan River Tax List
1751 Dan River Tax List
Mr. Nathnl Guest 1
Christopher & Negor Jo
Benjamin Young 1
Edward Nicks 2
Phillip Wilson 1
John Mackdaniel 1
Hew Dunnom 1
Enoch Connerly 1
James Hampton 2
Lewes Wonworth 1
John Watson Senor 2
John Watson Junor
Reason Rutledge 2
Wm. James 1
Wm. Fisher 1
Thos. Randolf 1
Wm. Mollins 2
James Lankford 1
Joseph Attaway 1
Abraham Witworth 2
Benodictus Townson 1
James Goolsbee 1
Wm. Bowling 1
John Jefferis 1
Johnson King 1
Daniel Gaggers 1
Thos. Mackey 1
Nathan Turner 1
John Bowling 1
Abner Bishop 1
John Kerby 1
Richard Crunk 1
John Gibson 1
Darby Calaham Senor 2
Darby Calaham Junor
Owen Sweloven 1
Jinkin Herry 1
John Calaham 1
Wm. Hopper 1
John Young 1
Joseph Fenn 1
John Price 1
Ephrom Potter 1
Joseph Cloud 1
Wm. Bridges 2
Samel Deason 1
Benjamin Deason 1
Wm. Shepard 2
John Rutledg 2
Neal Mackcafferter 2
David Lay 1
Thos. Lay 1
Richd Robbins 3
Joseph Gibson 1
William Hogg 1
Henery Hicks 1
Elias Barker 1
Nathnel Dennis 1
Thos. Linvil Senor 3
Thos. Linvil Junor
Joseph Teat 2
James Watkins & Negor 2
Lennard Vandergrift Senor 3
Lenord Vandergrift Junor
Thos. Waters 1
Edward Tomson 1
John Russell 2
Lamberd Dodson 1
Henery Stone 1
Andrew Spradlin 1
John Laws 1
John Thresher 1
Danel Mackcollom 1
Joseph Scales 1
Venerius Turner 1
Thos. Jones 1
Archable Blake 2
Benejer King 1
Wm. Armstrong 1
Anthony Hampton & Negor Addam 2
Thos. Lovelatty 2
Lazorus Banton 2
James Neall 1
John Walters 1
William Crowell 1
William Aftom 1
I do believe we can lay to rest the Jesse and James Benton theories. Those names were
obviously introduced by researchers (like ourselves) who found the names
James and Jesse Benton on early records and merely made an erroneous
assumption. Even if it started out with a question mark next to their
names, it only took one person to draw up a chart with one of those
names at the top. Those charts go out, and people who have not done the
original research just accept it as fact and drop the question mark.
Serious errors spread like wildfire, in the computer age, and it is a
monumental task to undo the damage.
JESSE BENTON, of the Watauga Settlement, was the son of SAMUEL BENTON of
Granville County, North Carolina. Jesse (born 1744) was the father of
Senator Thomas Hart Benton, and he is eliminated as possible father of
Fereby by virtue of his age. Jesse was a lawyer associated with RICHARD
HENDERSON AND COMPANY (The Transylvania Company). In 1775, Richard
Henderson and Company (i.e., Richard Henderson, Thomas Hart, Nathaniel
Hart, John Williams, John Luttrell, William Johnson, James Hogg, David
Hart, and Leonard Hendley Bulloch) purchased nearly 20,000,000 acres
from the Cherokees. This land was handed over to the Americans by the
Chiefs of the Cherokees at the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, on March 17,
1775. JESSE BENTON, of North Carolina, was listed as a spokesman for
the Transylvania Company at The Treaty of Sycamore Shoals. [Ref:
"Heart of the Eagle," by Yanusdi Cox, p. 162]
The land was immediately resold to settlers in the Watauga Settlement,
who had been living there without legal title to the lands they
occupied. JESSE D. BENTON was listed as one of the patentees of that
land, on March 17, 1775. [Ref: "The Annals of Tennessee," by J. G. M.
Ramsey, A.M., M.D., J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1860, p. 120] According to
Ray C. Riley, JESSE BENTON bought thousands of acres in Tennessee sight
unseen, but his residence remained in North Carolina. JESSE BENTON's
wife, Ann Hart Gooch, was the niece of Senator Thomas Hart, Nathaniel
Hart, and David Hart of the Transylvania Company, which explains Jesse's
involvement as their lawyer.
The name JESSE BENTON needs to be eliminated from all charts as a
possible father of Fereby. I suspect the name JAMES BENTON entered the
fray because JAMES BENTON (b. 1739) of Caswell County, North Carolina,
and Robertson County, Tennessee, did appear as one of the only Bentons
in early TN and NC records. Ray C. Riley compiled exhaustive records of
JAMES BENTON, and he was definitely not the father of Fereby.
According to Ray C. Riley, the Chowan County/Dan River Bentons and the
Granville County family of Samuel and Jesse Benton were the only two
families of that surname in early North Carolina. Our Fereby was not
connected in any way to the Granville County Benton family. I am
confident we have found our Mr. Benton among the frontiersmen of Dan
River. We can rest assured that the names JAMES and JESSE BENTON are no
longer relevant to our search.