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William Vaughan and Fereby Benton:

Research into their ancestry

 

 

 

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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

northeastern Tennessee.

 

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

(Need date)

 

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

below.

 

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:

http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/indian/23.html &

ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/2court26.txt

 

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

1761.

 

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/66.html and

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

Elwell

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.

 

Children:

 

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.

Known Children:

1. Stephen Wallen - b. 1756-57, Halifax (now Henry) County, VA

[Went hunting with JOHN BENTON after his return from the

Cherokee Expedition.]

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,

Missouri

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

1792, Tennessee

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)

County, Virginia

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

David Cox

John Cox, Senr.

John Cox, Jr. (Some Coxes were from Capt. William Herbert's Company,

present Grayson & Carroll counties, VA)

William Roberts

David Roberts

Henry Roberts

Cornelius Roberts

Deswell Rogers (Dauzwell/Doswell Rogers)

James Walling

Joseph Walling

Thomas Walling

WILLIAM VAUGHAN

NO BENTONS

 

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:

 

EPAPHRADITUS BENTON

Born: c. 1670-1680

Died: aft. 10 Oct 1726, Chowan County, NC

Married: Elizabeth - abt. 1693, prob. Nansemond County, VA

Children:

 

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

remains "theory."

 

*************************************************

 

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,

in 1736.

 

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

of 1746.

 

*******************************************

 

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.

 

JOHN BENTON

Born: c. 1694?

Died: 1750, Chowan County, North Carolina

Married: Unknown

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

Married: _____Parker

 

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

Married: Abscilla

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

Children:

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

John Monk

Biddy Monk - m. ___Smith

Betsy Monk - m. Holt Colley

Ezekiel Monk

Peggy Monk - m. ___Gibson

Polly Monk

Milly Monk

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

Carolina.

 

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

ties.

 

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

originally settled.

 

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?

 

ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/nc/rockingham/census/danr1751.txt

 

 

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

Rowan County.

 

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

John Gibson

Phillip Wilson 1

John Mackdaniel 1

Hew Dunnom 1

Enoch Connerly 1

James Hampton 2

Andrew Noble

Wm. Lawson

Lewes Wonworth 1

John Watson Senor 2

John Watson Junor

Reason Rutledge 2

Moses Watson

Wm. James 1

Wm. Fisher 1

Thos. Randolf 1

Wm. Mollins 2

John Mollins

James Lankford 1

Joseph Attaway 1

Abraham Witworth 2

Isaac Witworth

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

Marshal Doncom

John Young 1

Joseph Fenn 1

John Price 1

Ephrom Potter 1

Joseph Cloud 1

Wm. Bridges 2

James Bridges

Samel Deason 1

Benjamin Deason 1

Wm. Shepard 2

Nathn Shepard

John Rutledg 2

Edward Rutledg

Neal Mackcafferter 2

Wm. Crisp

David Lay 1

Thos. Lay 1

Richd Robbins 3

Jacob Robbins

Isaac Robbins

Joseph Gibson 1

William Hogg 1

Henery Hicks 1

Elias Barker 1

Nathnel Dennis 1

Thos. Linvil Senor 3

Thos. Linvil Junor

Wm. Linvil

Joseph Teat 2

Negor Yene

James Watkins & Negor 2

Lennard Vandergrift Senor 3

Lenord Vandergrift Junor

Jacob Vandergrift

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

Benjamin Knoles

Benejer King 1

Wm. Armstrong 1

Anthony Hampton & Negor Addam 2

Thos. Lovelatty 2

John Lovelatty

Lazorus Banton 2

William Watts

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.


 

 

 

 

 

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