Case Study: Taking a New Look at Francis Sturgill, Rev. War Soldier, Part 3

We are winding down the examination of primary sources to document the life of Francis Sturgill and identify his children.

Census records are not too much help for Francis himself, as the early censuses of Virginia are lost and Francis isn’t found in the 1800 census of Ashe County.

However, in 1810, there are several Sturgells in Ashe County. Unfortunately, the census taker only wrote first initials, but names can be assigned with some certainty:

J(ohn?) Sturgell, page 2
R(ebecca) Sturgell, page 2
J(ames?) Sturgell, page 7
J(oel?) Sturgell, page 10
W(illiam) Sturgell, page 10
F(rancis, son)Sturgell, page 13

In addition, we have:
S(olomon) Parsons, page 2
W(illiam) Weaver, page 2

Rebecca has one unidentified male at home, aged 26-44, and one female under 10. Here we have somewhat of a problem, given that the girls (wife of Timothy Perkins, Jane, Elizabeth and Nancy)  are mostly estimated to be the youngest children. Since the birth years are estimates for the entire family, it’s very possible that the births are quite a bit off with children in the wrong order, but in the range of 1776-1803.

Let’s take a look now at land deeds for the children. Only one will be necessary for each child. GREEN means they sold land which is identified as part of the estate of Francis Sturgill, deceased.

Remember that Francis Sturgill bought at least one tract of 100 acres from Zachariah Wells in 1798 and perhaps 200 acres. He also received land grants of 44, 50 and 100 acres, respectively, totaling either 294 or 394 acres.

Possible Children:

1. Lydia, born c1776, probably Montgomery County, Virginia; died after 1860, probably Alleghany County, North Carolina; married Solomon Parsons, c1796.


Lydia Parsons, Left Page
Source: FamilySearch

Partial transcription:
Lydia Parsons the wife of Solomon Parsons and Francis Sturgill. . .both of Ashe County. . . $80 to her in hand paid. . a certain parcel of land on New River being in five tracts . . .containing 394 acres it being part of the estate of Francis Sturgell deceased. . .

Lydia signed with an X and the deed was witnessed by John Sturgell and Daniel Sturgell.

I’d say we have two documented facts here. Lydia married Solomon Parsons and she was an heir/daughter of Francis Sturgill.

2. John, born c1778, probably Montgomery County, Virginia; died after 1860, possibly Letcher County, Kentucky; married Jemima Wells, c1800.

John Sturgill, Left and William Jones, Right, both to Francis Sturgill
Source: FamilySearch

Partial Transcription:
John Sturgill to Francis Sturgill. . .land containing 395 acres. . .part of the estate of Francis Stogell.

John Sturgill signed on 8 October 1815 and the witnesses were William Weaver and Joel Stogil.

This page does double duty, as Francis Sturgill was buying up his siblings shares in their father’s land, paying each heir $80.

John Sturgill was an heir and son of Francis Sturgill.

3. James, born c1780, probably Montgomery County, Virginia; died before May 1856, Ashe County, North Carolina when his heirs sold off his land; married Mary Herrin, c1802.
4. Francis, born c1782, probably Montgomery County, Virginia; died 1846, Ashe County, North Carolina, where he left a will; married Phebe Weaver.

Preponderance of evidence: Given that Francis bears the same name as Frances Sturgill, the Revolutionary War soldier, that he was buying up estate shares of siblings and was frequently a witness on their deeds, I’d say that there is an excellent chance of Francis being the son of Francis, the Revolutionary War soldier.

5. William, born c1784; died between 24 June 1844, when he filed a land deed and the 1850 census, in southwest Missouri or just over the Arkansas border; married (1) Sophia King (no proof found of her name!) (2) Catherine Elizabeth Yingling, 12 March 1839, Lawrence County, Ohio.
6. Joel, born c1788; died after 1870; married Rachel Waters.
7. David, born c1790; died between 4 February 1848 and the 1850 census, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; married Elender Jones (no proof).
8. Rebecca, born c1792; died before 1830, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; married William Weaver, c1810.
9. Daughter, born c1794; possibly died before 26 September 1813, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; married Timothy Perkins.


Timothy Perkins to Joel Sturgell, Right Page
Source: FamilySearch

Partial Transcription:
Timothy Perkins to Joel Sturgill. . . $30. . .tract of land on the north fork of New River called the Howard Place. . .joining the mouth of River Dam Creek. . . part of the estate of Francis Sturgill deceased. . . lying in four tracts containing 625 acres in all.

Timothy Perkins signed on 26 September 1813 with John McMillan as witness.

Wait a minute! 625 acres??? Deeds for Francis Sturgill total either 294 or 392 acres. I have no idea about the remaining acres in these tracts unless 625 was written down in error.

There is one more deed from Timothy Perkins to Rebecca Sturgill.


Timothy Perkins to Rebecca Sturgill
Source: FamilySearch

Partial Transcription:
Timothy Perkins to Rebecca Sturgill 394 acres. . .$80. . .394 acres in five tracts. . .part of the estate of Francis Sturgill

Timothy signed this deed on 29 November 1813. Witnesses were William Weaver and Frank (X) Sturgill.

It definitely appears that Timothy married an unnamed daughter of Francis and Rebecca Sturgill, as he had claim to Francis’s estate.

10. Jane, born c1798, Virginia; died between 1840-1850 censuses, Lawrence County, Ohio; married William Jones, c1816.


John Sturgill, Left and William Jones, Right, both to Francis Sturgill
Source: FamilySearch

William Jones’ deed was created on 26 June 1819 when he was living in Grayson County, Virginia.

Partial Transcription:
William Jones to Francis Stogill 394 acres. . .for the sum of $80. . .being part of the estate of Francis Stogill deceased

Further, there is a 4 June 1828 bill of sale recorded by William Jones and Jane, his wife, to James Sturgill and Frances Sturgill for $500 for their part of the estate of Frances Sturgill deceased which is the eleventh part of the aforesaid estate, now in the hands of Rebecca Sturgill:


William & Jane Jones to James & Frances Sturgill
Source: FamilySearch

William Jones and Jane (X) Jones both signed the deed with Jesse Linch as witness.

11. Elizabeth, born c1801, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; died after 1860, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; married (1) Nathan Weaver, c1817 (2) Allen Stedham, before 1830.

While I have no proof, just family lore that Elizabeth married Nathan Weaver (who did die young, based on his disappearance from the records after the 1820 census, this land deed does prove that she married a Stedham and is, in fact, found in the census records in 1850 and 1860 with Allen Stedham.


Elizabeth Stedham, Left Page, to William Weaver
Source: FamilySearch

Partial Transcription:
Elizabeth Stedham to William Weaver. . . $80. . .tracts of land called the Wells Place. . .part of the estate of Francis Sturgill deceased. . .containing 394 acres.

Elizabeth signed the deed, which was witnessed by Rhoda (X) Beck and Francis Sturgill on 17 April 1833.

12. Nancy, born c1803, probably Ashe County, North Carolina; died after 1880, probably Grayson County, Virginia; reportedly married Andrew Osborn.

What of James, William, Joel, Rebecca and Nancy? The evidence isn’t nearly as clear. Plus, William and Jane Jones 1828 bill of sale identified their share as 1/11th of the estate of Francis Sturgill. Did that mean the widow plus ten children? Or eleven children? Or eleven surviving heirs as of June 1828? That’s a bit of a sticky wicket. We’ll take a closer look at them in the last part of this case study, Part 4.

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