2/21/15

An Ancestral Home in Ashe County

by Glenn N. Holliman

Cousin Debbie Porter found this advertisement on line and forwarded it to me.  Take a look at  https://www.presnc.org/properties/sarah-boone-wilcox-cabin/ and read the real estate copy.

Fascinating, but knowing not if the history was correct, I advanced the site to several of the authorities in our Greer, Wilson, Oborne, Forrester, Wilcoxson, Boone et al lines.

Connie Burns quickly enlightened me:

"They have rewritten history a little. ....  Land granted in 1798 to Samuel Wilcockson and maybe he married yet another Sarah Boone because John Wilcockson died c. 1785.  John's wife Sarah Boone, sister of Daniel Boone, lived in the home they built in Mocksville, Rowan Co. until she moved to her daughter's in Kentucky according to my research.......  Very probable Sarah and her brother, Daniel did come by to visit at times!   Thanks for sharing the info about the house, I hope someone takes good care of it."

Then later today, Gary Hodges, an ever fountain of family history, wrote

"Here is the story as I see it from my own research, with background information.
Samuel Wilcoxson moved from Rowan County to Wilkes. The portion of Wilkes is now Watauga. Samuel and his family attended the Three Forks Baptist Church, the church that Benjamin Greer and his second wife attended till they were basically kicked out for their fondness for apple spirits. It seems Samuel moved to Ashe about the same time Ben and his second family moved to Ashe. This Samuel was a son of Sarah and John Wilcoxson. BTW, Samuel is my other Sarah and John ancestor. Remember the marriage of Samuel's son Isaiah to Nancy's granddaughter Fanny Greer?

John Wilcoxson died in Rowan (now Davie) County in 1789. He is buried in the old Joppa Presbyterian cemetery in Mocksville. He is supposedly buried about 20 feet from his in-laws Squire Boone Sr. and Sarah Morgan Boone." 

Below the burial  site of the Boone and Wilcoxson families in Mocksville, North Carolina, less than a mile from the I-40 exit. GNH



"Forget about John being killed by Indians at Bryans Station in 1784. There was a Wilcoxson (only last name recorded) there for a while but I don't think it was John. I think it was one of his sons.  Rowan court records show John Wilcoxson Sr. doing land transactions in 1789. It seems Sarah moved up to Ashe to live with her son Samuel after John died.  Nary a record John ever lived in Ashe but he may have visited Samuel after he moved there. 

The house for sale is the one Samuel had and Sarah lived in for a while before moving to KY to live with a daughter or grandson. Samuel later moved to Kentucky and is buried there.

Buyer Beware!
I first heard about this place  few years ago. The owner at the time had a $225,000 price tag on it and only wanted to sell three acres with it. Later I saw the owner had a price tag of $125,000 on it. Now there are five acres and the price is down a lot from the first one I saw. 

But it is Family!

Be as it may, this is definitely a home Samuel Wilcoxson lived in and his mother Sarah lived in for a while. It's family land. For me it's even closer since I am a descendant of Samuel. Cousin Sharon Buck and another cousin visited the place and were not impressed with it. Too many renovations and only three acres with it at the time.
I contacted one of the owners last year and clarified some information for him. He was of the opinion it had a closer connection to Uncle Daniel Boone and that John Wilcoxson also lived there. As I said, he may have visited Samuel but never had a residence in Ashe, Wilkes, or Watauga Counties. I researched this subject a while back.   So does this fill in any blanks?"

Yes, this fills in the blanks.  Thanks for sharing Debbie, Connie and Gary, all relations connected by family and Internet sharing. 


All are invited to join in building a master family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.





2/11/15

Searching for Grandchildren of Benjamin Greer

by Glenn N. Holliman

Below, Gary O. Hodges interpreting the common great grandfather of many reading this posting, John Wilcoxson (1720-1782) at the July 2014 Boone, North Carolina Greer-Wilson and Associated Families seminar.  In the foreground, left to right are Shirley Sorrell, Connie Burns and Bina Ankers.
One of the delights of the Internet is to work with distant cousins to 'fine tune' family lineages.  Gary O. Hodges of Virginia and I share a common 5th great grandfather, Benjamin Greer (1745-1816).  From February to June 2011 in this space I posted a number of articles on Ben's amazing life fighting Native Americans, Tories and British.  His life was as large but not so famous as his kinsman, Daniel Boone.  As Ben had fifteen children by two wives, he also had to deal with an occasional recalcitrant child, one being my 4th great grandfather, Jesse Greer, Sr, of whom I have written also in this space.

Here is a list of Ben's children which I published in February 2011.  Blogs are recorded in chronological order, so if you are interested, return to my previous articles.

"My 5th great grandmother, Nancy Wilcoxson Greer, was born May 17, 1745, and died October 31, 1790, at the age of 45.  The children Benjamin and she had were:

Rachel Greer (sometimes spelled Grear) - b 1/16/1770
William Greer -  b 1/21, 1772  (Gary Hodges' 4th great grandfather)
Benjamin Greer - b 2/14/1774
Anna Greer - b 4/26/1776
Jesse Greer, Sr. -  11/14/1778 - 9/20/1869 (this writer's generation's 4th great grandfather)
David Greer - 2/2/1781
James Greer - 9/17/1783 (the person whose sons are in question)
Samuel Greer - 11/28/1785
Joshua Greer - 4/8/1788
John Greer - birth date unknown

A Wilkes County marriage bond in the State Archives in Raleigh, NC, dated 4/26/1791 lists Benjamin Greer and Sarah Jones as married.  This would be Mrs. Sallie Atkinson Jones, widow of Thomas Jones who died from a Revolutionary War wound.  She reared children by both husbands.

By widow Sallie, five children were fathered by Benjamin Greer.  They were:

Edmund Greer
Sally Greer
Elizabeth Greer
Mary Polly Greer
Aquilla Greer - b 1797"


Cousin Gary has been assisting other cousins in their search to clarify their blood line to Benjamin Greer.  Some are trying to document their line through two of his grandsons, Andrew S. and Alexander Greer, sons of James.  One is trying to discover her blood line through William Greer's daughter Elizabeth who married Larkin Owens. Gary writes the following of his recent research journey. Perhaps our readers can assist?

"The only help I have been able to render so far is obtaining a copy of Benjamin's handwritten will. I had already found an extract of his will so I had a head start. I then contacted Green County, Kentucky and asked if they had records going back that far. I was informed they did not, but the older records may have been sent to the state archive for safe keeping. 

I called up the Kentucky State Archive and sure enough Green County had sent their old records to them. The records they had for Green County go back to the year before Benjamin's will was filed. I sent off for the will and low and behold they had it. I got a certified copy of the will in the mail a couple of days ago. Took me a few days to get up the energy to scan the document and save it to my thumb drive.

Below is the first page of the Will of Benjamin Greer. The cover states it is in fragile condition.  At the bottom of this article is the 'translation' of the will from another source.  If one would wish the entire copy of the original document, one can email me at gary.hodges1@verizon.net.



Keep in mind, the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution do not always accept a transcript of a will without a copy of the original document.

So, I am still at an impasse trying to document the blood line of James Greer's two sons Andrew S. and Alexander and William's daughter Elizabeth Greer Owens. Ben's will lists James and William as sons of Benjamin, but I cannot find a will for James or documentation showing Elizabeth was William's daughter. 

Benjamin's will does help me with my War of 1812 research. It proves John Greer was a son of Benjamin and brother of my distant great grandfather, William Greer. John Greer was a member of the Militia and served in the War of 1812. 

Unlike the SAR and DAR, the Society of the War of 1812 allows men to join through co-lateral ancestors (for example multi-great uncles). I now have documentation for our one Greer family member who served and two Wilcoxson brothers who also enlisted. There were three Wilcoxson brothers but I can not find documentation to prove one of them. I did find records to prove all four of these uncles did serve in the North Carolina Militia in the War of 1812. 

 Here is that transcription of the Will of Benjamin Greer from 1816:


"In the name of God, Amen. I, Benjamin Greer, of the County of Green, State of Kentucky, being through the goodness and mercies of God though weak in body, yet of a sound mind and perfect understanding and memory, do constitute this my last will and testament and desire it may be recorded as such. I most humbly bequeath my soul to God who gave it, beseeching ... (page was torn and taped at this point and part missing) ... and my body buried like seed in the ground, not to be lost, but here buried to remain till the morning of the Resurrection through Jesus Christ our Lord. As to my burial, I do desire to be interred, at the discretion of my Executors, thereafter named, who, I doubt not will arrange it with prudence. 

As to my worldly estate, I will, and positively order that all my debts be paid. First, I do bequeath to my two youngest sons namely Aquilla and Edmond Greer, the two tracts of land I now live on to be equally divided between them: and the rest of my estate to be equally divided between my three daughters: namely Sally, Elizabeth and Polly Greer; but my wife, Sarah Greer, to hold the same in her hands during live; but the said children to have their equal part as they become of age or marry. At the discretion of my Executors to which I do appoint my wife Sarah Greer, Aquilla Greer and Robert Erwin, and do constitute the executors of this my last will and testament and trustees for my wife and children. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty first day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and sixteen. N. B. and I do will that all my other children namely, John, Rachel, William, Benjamin, Ann, Jesse, David, Samuel, Joshua and James have one dollar each out of my estate. Signed Benjamin (X) Greer, witnesses: Benjamin Bayly, Christopher Hinker, James (X) Lile" (Green County, Kentucky Will Records.)

Hopefully someone reading this may be able to identify the children of James Greer (b 1783), and help some other cousins finalize their lineages. I found the Ben Greer will but have hit a brick wall with some of the next generation."  - Gary V. Hodges



All are invited to join in building the family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.











12/28/14

The 2014 Wilson, Greer and Associated Families Forum 5

by Glenn N. Holliman

 In July 2014 a number of descendants of Greers, Wilsons and Osbornes gathered in Boone, North Carolina to share and learn more about their ancestors who had braved in the late 1700s the wilds of the southwestern Virginia and northwestern mountains of North Carolina.  Here are some photographs and lineages of those in attendance.  Any errors belong to this writer, and I welcome corrections and additions. - GNH

 Left, Gloria Wilson Heimburger and her husband, Wilbur, drove down from Illinois to attend the opening dinner.  Gloria is the daughter of Boyd (1911-1972) and Lexie Lawrence Wilson (1912-1982), grand daughter of Arlie G. (1885-1956) and Bessie Wilson (1887-1976), who was a daughter of John (1855-1928) and Rebecca Wilson (1862-1952)
 Therefore, Gloria is of the generation of whom Isaac (1822-1864) and Caroline Greer Wilson (1828-1911) are great, great grandparents.

Right, back row, left to right: Gloria Wilson Heimburger as a young teenager with Robert Wilson, Lexie Wilson and Boyd Wilson. Front row kneeling: William 'Bill' Wilson and Ann Wilson Trivette.  This picture was taken on the 4th of July, 1950 at the Wilson farm.  Sadly Bob Wilson died on August 16, 1950 of leukemia, a few weeks short of his 18th birthday.
Photograph courtesy of Gloria W. Heimburger.

Below, a year later in 1951, Rebecca Wilson's surviving children met a year before Becky's death in Sutherland, North Carolina. Left to right sitting Conley (1882-1959), Rebecca and Bessie (Gloria's grandmother).  Standing left to right are Mayme (1892-1975), Preston (1900-1989), Robert (1906-1987, Ruth (1903-1999, Cal (1898-1999), 'Meg' Margaret 'Maggie' (1894-1992) , Don (1890-1975) and Minnie (1896-1997). Picture courtesy of Shirley Sorrell.

 Next posting, more on the lineages of those who attended the July 2014 gathering in Boone, North Carolina.

All are invited to join in building the family tree at Wilson-Greer-Osborne-Forrester-Donnelly and Associated Families of Western NC at Ancestry.com.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation.