Tag Archives: Edward King

The Lewis Family of Wilkes County, NC, 1700s: A Timeline, Part 3 – Recap

Finding the sketch for the family of James Lewis, born c1767, in the Annals of Platte County, Missouri helped to sort out some family details in spite of the fact that there is no mention of elder Gideons.

I’m not positive that James Lewis was born as late as 1767, given that he owned land by 1785 – I think the date in the Platte County history might be about three years too late.

However, I am certain that the man who left Wilkes County and moved on to Indiana and Missouri was born in the 1760s.

How can this help sorting out the Gideons?

Well, to review, we have several tax lists to help out, plus the 1790 and 1800 censuses which include:

Edward King [born by 1738], in Rowan County by 1759, if he is the same man later residing in Wilkes and then Ashe Counties. [Note – There is only one Lewis on that list – Daniel. Nothing further known about him.]

Gideon Lewis [born by 1747], on Rowan County 1768 tax list of Gideon Wright. James Lewis [born by 1747], on Rowan County tax list of John Brevard. It is not known if James on Brevard’s list is the same man on the 1787 list in Wilkes County. There were several other Lewises early in Rowan County. The Brevard family lived in a section of Rowan that later became Iredell, so he may just be another man of the same name.

Edward King and James Lewis in Vannoy’s Company in 1787, neither with land and each taxed for one poll.

Gideon Lewis taxed on 384 acres and James Lewis taxed on 344 acres in Wilkes County in 1779.

James Lewis with 150 acres and taxed on one poll and Gideon Lewis with 300 acres and taxed on one poll in Nall’s Company in 1787.

Therefore, by 1787, we have two or possibly three men named James Lewis living in two different military companies, but only one Gideon Lewis.

James Lewis who appears on the 1779 tax list would have been born no later than 1758, and 21 years old, to be included. By 1787, James born c1767 is reportedly married and so listed.

Next, we have the 1790 census of Wilkes County, which indicates that a second Gideon Lewis is now of legal age with a family. I believe that he is the son of James Sr. and the brother of the second James (James Jr.), all living in the 10th Company district.

Gideon Sr. is now living in the 16th Company district, as a neighbor of Edward King.

1790 – Gideon, census, M +16, 2M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – James, census, M +16, 3M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – James, census, M +16, 2M -16, F, page 7, 10th Company
1790 – Gideon, census, 2M +16, 2M -16, 5F, page 11, 16th Company
1790 – Edward King, census, 2M +16, 4M -16, 5F, page 11, 16th Co.

The 1800 census of (now) Ashe County, North Carolina includes no Gideon Lewis over the age of 45, so he may have died. There are three Gideons enumerated, two of whom are 26-44 and one who is 16-25.

The identity of the Gideon Lewis living next door to James Lewis in Barren county, Kentucky is uncertain. Some believe he is Gideon Sr. and it is possible the Rowan County settler moved on with his son, James.

On the other hand, we don’t know who reported that Gideon was over 45 years of age. Was it Gideon himself or one of the others living in his home who didn’t know for sure how old Gideon was. They might have said, “Oh, he’s about 46” when in fact perhaps he was 44, which would have placed the tick mark in the younger category.

I think it is equally possible that this Gideon Lewis was the brother of James and that the two of them decided together to move west. Given the absence of either of their names from the land and tax records of Barren County, there is no way to prove or disprove this theory.

I realize that some of this pondering and sleuthing has been repetitive, but with the overwhelming lack of records, I had to cast a wide net.

After scouring through all these details, I am unable to find a James Lewis in the King FAN club who could be the father of the Feeley/Phebe Lewis, who married Edward King.

The earliest James I can document is the man born c1767, who eventually settled in Platte County, Missouri, where he died after 1860, in his nineties.

Therefore, by process of elimination, there is only one man in Edward King’s FAN club who is old enough to have a daughter who married c1767 – the first Gideon Lewis, first seen on the 1767 tax list of Rowan County.

Edward’s surviving son and daughter deposed that their parents married in Wilkes [sic] County in 1767, so Gideon fits the bill perfectly.

That’s my theory for now, and I’m going to stick to it – unless, of course, future research determines that Gideon was a contemporary of Edward and that an earlier, unidentified Lewis was his father and also the father-in-law of Edward King.


William Morrison Sr. of Rowan County, NC, 1771

I am sharing the will of William Morrison Sr., who died in Rowan County, North Carolina c1771 because one of his legatees is Robert King, about whom I would like to know much more.

Children of William Morrison & wife (Marriage records all from Rowan County, NC):

  1. Hugh, no marriage found and died after ihs father’s will was written in 1771.
  2. Andrew, married (1) Elizabeth Sloan, 26 March 1766 (2) Elizabeth Potts, 18 February 1768
  3. William, married (1) Martha Miller, 19 February 1767 (2) Elizabeth Mordoch (Murdock?), 9 January 1769. Per DAR Patriot Index, William was born c1740, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
  4. Patrick, married Ann Foster, 9 August 1768
  5. Margaret, married George Ervin/Irwin
  6. Rebecca,  married Samuel Harris, per DAR Patriot Index – Samuel was born c1735, Bladen County, North Carolina.
  7. Marymarried Robert King, before 1771. Robert King died c1806, Sumner County, Tennessee.
  8. Martha,  married John Foster, 20 March 1768

Will of William Morrison Senr.
Rowan County, North Carolina Will Book A:105-106

In the Name of God Amen. I William Morison senr of the County of Roan & province of North Carolina being sick and weak in Body but of perfect Mind and Memory. Therefore calling to Mind the Mortality of my body and that is is appointed for all men to die and
after that ye Judgment, I therefore constitute and ordain this to be
my last Will & Testament that is to say principally & first of all I
recommend my Soul into the Hands of God who gave it and my Body
to the Earth to be buried in christian Burial at the Discretion of my
Executors, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again at
the last Day by the might & power of God.

Itim I give demise (sic) & bequeth to Hugh my dear & loving
Son one hundred & fifty pounds current money of North Carolina & one Bed and Furniture which I alow my Executors to give him as they see his Need requires.
Itim I likewise give demise & bequeth to my loving Son Hugh aforsaid three Horses and a Mare and her followers.

My Will and Pleasure is that if there be a necessity for taking out a New Deed for that plantation I Sold Andrew Miller that must be done by my Executors and at the Expense of my Estate.

Itim, I give demise and bequeth the Remainder of my Estate not yet bequethed to be equally divided amongst my children (viz: Andrew, William and Patrick, George Ervin, Samuel Harris Robert King and John Foster.

Itim I constitute appoint and ordain my three Sons (viz) Andrew William & Patrick to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and disanuling all other Executors Ligacies and bequests & ordaining this & no other to be my last Will & Testament.

In Witness hereof I have hereunto set my Hand & Seal this 18th Day of July one thousand seven hundred & Seventy one. —

William Morrison

Signed sealed published
pronounced & declared
in presence of us
William Waddell
Samuel Murphy
James Miller

A notation at the top of the will says Aug. Ct. 1771, so William Morrison did not live long after writing his will.

If you can add any information about Robert King, who married one of William’s daughters, I would love to hear from you.


The King Family of Wilkes & Ashe Counties, NC, c1800, Part 4: Observations

My research into the family of Edward King has been difficult because of the several men named King who lived in Ashe, Wilkes, and Rowan Counties, North Carolina during the second half of the 1700s.

For the moment, my working hypothesis is that a daughter of Edward King, whether named Sophia or not, was likely the young lady who married William Sturgill, probably in Ashe County, c1805.

If the Ashe county courthouse hadn’t burned and destroyed the marriage records, at least her name could be proven for posterity. As it is, only family lore (dating back to the late 1940s, a full century after her death) has given descendants her possible given name.

Past experience with North Carolina records gave me the impression that extant records were quite good, if they survived the ravages of time.

This experience reminds me that the records are only as good as the clerks who created them.

For example, it doesn’t appear that clerks often noted the wives’ names in land records, whereby they would have waived their dower rights when land was sold. I did find a few references to wives being examined separately noted in court minutes, but not in land records themselves.

Another oddity which I don’t ever remember coming across in the 40+ years I’ve been researching is the clerk using probate terms so loosely.

An executor is the person who makes sure the wishes outlined in the will of a deceased person are followed.

An administrator is the person who handles the affairs of settling the estate of a person who died leaving no will.

Yet, in several records I found (and read for myself), the deceased clearly left wills, but the court minutes call the executors the “administrators.” Sometimes, the land records also call sellers “administrators” when they were clearly executors/executrixes.

Additionally, in the case of the land deed filed by ‘Phebe’ King, she is called the administrator, but the county clerk never once mentions whose estate she is administering, leaving me to suspect because of the year – 1804 – that she is probably the widow of Edward King who married ‘Feelie” Lewis. If the clerk had called her the “administrator of Edward King deceased’, there would be no doubt.

My research was also hindered by gaps in extant records. Edward King definitely died between the 1800 and 1810 censuses, but seems to have died by 1804, when Phebe sold land.

Unfortunately, Ashe County, formed in 1799 from Wilkes County, has no extant court minutes surviving before 1806.

On top of that, Wilkes County, from which Ashe was formed, has hundreds of pages of court minutes back to its formation in 1777, but is missing the volumes from c1784 well into the 1790s, which cover years when Edward King might have bought or sold land, served as a juror, been sued, or was named in some other capacity in those records. Any and all details help shed light on his life.

Somewhat surprisingly, census records have not been much help. In 1800, the first year of Ashe County’s existence, the only Kings to be found were Edward and Robert. Whether or not they were related is unknown, but they did know each other because one Edward King sold 39 acres of land to Robert King (Ashe County Deed Book A:73) in December 1800.

Ashe County in 1810 had E. King and R. King living there, but this E. King was Junior. He was also probably the young man living in his (supposed) father’s household in 1800.

Moving back in time, Wilkes County had only a single King family, that of Francis King, living there in 1800.

Robert King (Senior) of Wilkes County died in 1799; he is the man who so kindly left a will naming only his wife, Mary Ann. By the way, court minutes call Mary Ann the administrator, not the executrix, of Robert’s will.

Wilkes County land deeds include a state grant of 150 acres to Edward King (Wilkes County Deed Book D:604), in 1798.

This Edward is Edward Sr. because immediately following the recording of the Ashe County 1800 deed to Robert King is a second sale by Edward King to John Ellsbury, completed on the same day. Ellsbury’s portion is identified as part of a 150 acre grant made to Edward. Thankfully, witnesses are named and Edward King Jr. is one of the three.

Next is a curious clue. James King sold 75 acres of land (A:363)  to Francis King (presumably the man in Wilkes County in the 1800 census). The deed is recorded in Ashe County in 1798, although both are called residents of Wilkes County.

There is one Frank King in the 1790 census, but Francis King in 1800 is too young to be that man.

Twenty pages later in the Ashe County deeds is the recording of a state land grant made to James King in 1798. The land description states that it borders land granted to Edward King.

However, there is no James King in Ashe or Wilkes or even Rowan County in 1800. Did James die and Francis needed to make sure to record the grant and the sale of land from James to himself to protect his interests?

James also sold land in 1798 to Jacob May.

For James to receive a land grant that bordered Edward King, it seems that they would have been related in some way, but whether as brother, son or cousin, who knows?

The fact that James King immediately sold off his land grant in 1798 leads me to think he was a younger man preparing to move and he may well be one of Edward King’s ten children.

Robert King, presumably not the one who died in 1799, but the man in the 1800 and 1810 censuses, recorded a 1798 Wilkes County land grant on the page before that of Edward King and both pieces of land had originally been issued to one George Hays.

In 1827, Edward King (Junior) sold land to William Daniels that bordered that of Robert King.

This land connection between Edward and Robert makes me inclined to think that Robert King was also a son of Edward King.

Earlier records in Rowan County include wills for Peter King, noted as being of Orange County, who died in 1763, Richard King, who died in 1782 and William Morrison Sr., who died in 1771 and who named Robert King among his children (presumably married to a daughter) and legatees.

However, Edward King’s name doesn’t appear anywhere except on the 1759 tax list.

Was this my Edward? Well, a quick survey of Orange County, North Carolina records does include a second Edward King and Orange County borders early Rowan County. Orange County was created in 1752 and Rowan just one year later in 1753.

Not all research projects come to a neat, happy, tidy conclusion. This is one of them.

There are so many unresolved relationships.

It will take a lot more digging into North Carolina records and casting a wider net to try to establish relationships among these Kings and other early King families found in  Rowan and Wilkes County records.