New River Valley History: Welcome and we hope you join the discussions. On January 21, we switched in the last of the updated files and final page revisions. In January we introduced the new site layout but because there were many pages left to do there was a big red Under Construction on the front page.
A year later we've finished all of the pages that were on the original site. We have a great looking site full of material to help you in your research and possibly entertain you. A site like this can't just freeze in time. It must be maintained, New River Notes was originally launched in by Jeffrey C. Weaver providing New River Valley researchers with a new wealth of information and that tradition is continued today by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc.
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Introduction Following the Battle of Alamance, a group of intermarried families left the Piedmont of North Carolina and moved just across the Virginia border into virgin wilderness along Chestnut Creek and its tributaries. These families were mostly Quakers or disowned Quakers and many of the men had been active in the Regulator movement and participated in the Battle of Alamance. Amongst them was a Baptist named Flower Swift.
The largest extended family was the Quaker Cox family. The Cox family was related by blood to Herman Husband. Husband was the best known leader of the Regulation and was a fugitive after Alamance , traveling under the pseudonym Tuscape Death. Almost all of this group came from today's Randolph, Guilford, Alamance and Iredell counties.
Before they were in North Carolina, most of their familiess had migrated thusly: The non-Quakers were mostly Baptists. The area to the west and east of them had been previously settled by Long Hunters and their relatives.
The Long Hunters had a very diverse ancestry including: There were also some non-Quaker participants from the Regulator movement in the area to the west who were farmers, not Long Hunters. The Chestnut Creek community was probably fairly self-sufficient and almost everyone farmed and had a moderate amount of wealth. Some were also craftsmen and millers and Elisha Bedsaul was a blacksmith. In the entire community there were only two slaves, one owned by Elisha Bedsaul and one by David Fulton.
They probably met for worship in someone's home, as no Friends meeting was established here until Mt. The Revolutionary War in the upper New River can be divided into two parts. The first part, , was a war against the Cherokee. This war was likely to have been unpopular in the upper New River community served by the Osborne, Cox, Baker and Swift militia companies.
Quakers preferred to send peace emissaries to the Indians instead of troops -- such as Thomas Beals who lived in the Chestnut Creek community off and on from to The Chestnut Creek neighborhood for the most part did not participate in the Osborne and Cox companies and Swift's militia company did not exist until 8 September The two companies to the west of Chestnut Creek, Capt.
Cox's did partially participate in the Cherokee war, but the county commanders complained that they did so with no enthusiasm. In fact, it appears these companies mutinied in and captured their own commanders, Cox and Osborne. It is unclear if the people of the Chestnut Creek community participated in this revolt as none of them was named in the report of Capt.
John Cox to his superiors, nor in the pension applications of James Cox and Benjamin Phipps later on. The exception to this may be James Blevins but probably not. A James Blevins confessed to Tory activity in , but there are three James Blevins in Montgomery County at this time, and it appears that the two James Blevins who were active Tory supporters are not the one in the Swift company.
Captains Cox and Osborne were freed unhurt and the mutiny was put down by militia troops that came from the north, led by Colonels Preston and Crockett.
By the end of the Tories in the upper New River had been defeated and in a pardon was offered to those who would change sides and a number of the men who had captured Cox and Osborne are found once again on their militia rolls. Many Tories who did not take the pardon fought a guerilla war and were killed in battle with local militias or hung by Benjamin Cleveland in his sorties across the Blue Ridge. The second phase of the war begins with the attack of the British on the Carolinas and their initial victories at Camden and elsewhere.
As they moved northwards into the North Carolina homeland of the Swift company, the cause of the Whigs became more popular with the Swift company. The cause of American Independence and the Regulator cause of are in many ways one.
There is no evidence that Swift's company, as such, participated in the major battles in North Carolina, but several individual members of the company did go to North Carolina and joined with old neighbors there in the American army. We know they did this because a few of them filed pension applications in the s and s. We also have a surviving family tradition of the Quaker Ruddicks fighting in North Carolina. It should be pointed out, though, that letters form Col.
Preston to his superiors noted a difficulty in recruiting troops for fighting throughout Montgomery Co. After the war, the New River Valley saw a huge influx of people headed west, some staying in the New River, but most headed farther into the wilderness. A new meeting, Mt. Pleasant, was established there in , the same year that Grayson County was formed. A tax list that year shows that none of the Quakers, including the Bedsauls owned any slaves.
If number of horses is an indicator of wealth, the members of the Swift company had not much more in than in Not long after , the members of the new Quaker meeting began to move west themselves, particularly to Jefferson and Greene Co. In the years this out-migration increased, and most of the men of Swift's company departed for Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois with some of the non-Quakers also going south to South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Pleasant meeting still exists and is probably still being used.
Quinn , January September Rolling hills near Mt. Pleasant Meeting House, Carroll Co. The names of these men were obtained from two undated, poorly labeled militia musters. The two muster lists are similar with 41 of the 64 names on the Draper manuscript repeated on the document at Christiansburg. The manuscript in the Draper collection has been mislabeled by him as a list of Tories and Quakers instead of as a militia roster.
The Draper manuscript seems to be the older of the two and dates most likely to either or The second roster dates within a year of , most likely. Two other militia rosters for Swift's company also exist, and I believe them to be from or later referred to as List 1 and List 2 on the New River Notes Revolutionary War militia roster web page.
The genealogies presented below were gathered in a four step process. Find individuals on RootsWeb WorldConnect database. My search strategy was first to search on the man's name with the date set to plus or minus 20 years.
Next I would input the man's last name only and check for deaths in Grayson Co. If this failed, I just input the man's name and looked at all the hits, possibly with Metaphone turned on. Finally, this failing, for rarer names I just input the last name and let Worldconnect give me everything.
I consulted the family boards on GenForum and searched with Yahoo on the man's name. I submitted the results to the New River History Forum for criticism. Step 5 is up to you. Submit any corrections, additions or family stories to this site by contacting the author. Jacob Quaker only on Draper's list could this name be Hammons? There is a man by this name in Worldconnect and he was born in Scotland and dies in Virginia.
His wife's name is Barbara. The genealogy looks confused as his father is supposed to be born Germany and Jacob from Scotland!? He is given one son, John Thomas Ammons, b. I looked at the variant Emmons a German name and found no matches. The Hammons family of Surry Co. They intermarry with the Simmons family another name on this militia muster e.
The Hammons families in North Carolina have two origins. None of these lines are well-defined on the internet. Both lines use Jacob.
The Croatans today spell the name Ammons as on the militia roster. The Virginia line is a Richmond Co. Judy Rhodes has a Worldconnect database with some documentation for this line. Amongst her documentation is mention of a Revolutionary War pension for John Hammons which mentions a marriage in Lunenburg Co. They have a daughter Elizabeth who marries a member of the Bryant family from the Swift militia roster. This name was suggested as a possibility by an e-mail correspondent.
A Quaker family from eastern Virginia? James Johnson in of the Hanover Co.