Sunday, March 2, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Concord Church is not in Concord

"Church Record Sunday" is a blogging prompt used by, of which I am a member.

Concord Methodist Church is not located in Concord. You'll find it listed as being in "Ansonville", but it's not in Ansonville, either. In fact, the name "Concord" has nothing to do with the city of Concord in Cabbarus County, North Carolina, and everything to do with traditional church naming of the 19th century. Within a 40 mile radius of Concord Church, you'll find a Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, a long way from Philadelphia, PA and Miami Church, in Cabarrus County, NC, that in no way ties in to Miami, Florida.

The name "Concord", as in a word once used in the naming of churches, Means: Concord means "harmony." The word is derived from two Latin words and is translated literally as "with one heart."

There is a "Book of Concord" that is associated with Lutheran Churches, but this one is a Methodist Church. It's location is in the fertile area near the fork of the Rocky River and Yadkin/PeeDee river, and just happens to be on the Anson side of the county line. 

Concord Methodist Church is located on part of what used to be the Winfield plantation, prior to 1805, and is one of those churches where several folks in my family tree were laid to rest. 

This Map shows the "Boot" of the Rocky River, which I usually refer to as the "Davis Boot". At the top slightly left of center of the map you see "Boone-Caudle Road". This area is the location of the Benjamin Franklin Davis cemetery and was part of his section of the lands. He was the son of Henry Davis by first wife Sarah Kendall and was the grandson of Reuben Kendall and Job Davis. Bottom center of the map, you see a section of the "Old Winfield Road" which dead-ends now at the Rocky River. There is a section of the Winfield road still in use in Stanly County. It was once a very long and major thoroughfare, and crossed at the point where it now dead ends. There was a "Davis Ford" that was previously "Winfield Ford" around the 1790's -early 1800's. Winfield road formerly followed the northern route similar to Plank Road. Follow Plank Road across the river and you will see first Howell road, and then Kendall Road. Keep going and you will see on the left of the screen, Concord Church Road and Springer Road. Near this intersection is the current location of Concord Methodist Church. The cemetery is actually located around the corner from the church on Springer Road. Howell Road is the vicinity of the  location of the land of Peter Howell, who inherited and repurchased portions of the property that had passed on from his grandfather Peter Winfield, to his father Richard Howell, through daughter Sarah Elizabeth Winfield Howell. The area furthest right, that the church occupies was also part of the Winfield plantation, as it had passed on to Griffin Nash, husband of Winfield daughter Jemima. On the Stanly side of the river, Sarah Winfield, once widowed, had retained that portion of her inheritance that she and her second husband, Job Davis, would farm and reside upon and the "boot" would become the Davis plantation. At one time, the area on both sides of the river, had belonged to Peter Winfield, and upon his death in 1802, had been divided among his four children, Edward Winfield, Sarah (Richard Howell and later Job Davis), Jemima (Griffin Nash) and Ancena (James Morrison and later Thomas Avett).
The Family of James Edward Howell and wife Sarah Frances "Fannie" Andrews Howell

Upon the death of Peter Howell, his portion of the land would be further divided, and as some of his descendants would migrate west, his youngest son Jim Howell, would purchase his siblings portions of the land, including that of his unmarried sisters. So Jim Howell became the steward of the Howell lands. A portion would remain in the hands of Florence Howell McSwain, grand-daughter of Peter Howell though his desceased son Richard II, as she and her brother Robert, who passed away young, would become wards of her grandparents, Peter Howell and Elizabeth Floyd Howell.

Concord Church is the final resting place for most members of the Howell family who remained in Anson and Stanly Counties.

Concord United Methodist Church as is appeared in 1906

This is a rendition of how the church looked in 1906. It is a photograph of a painting hanging in the entrance hall of the church taken by Jerry T. Kendall on April 16, 1994.

The Kendall family was a large part of the Concord Congregation as well as the Howells and there was intermarriage among the families.

Mr. Jerry T. Kendall has done extensive research on the origins of the church and the cemetery, which was a community cemetery in use prior to the building of the first church.

Concord is said to be one of the oldest churches in Anson County. As many churches did in those days, the church started at a site where old-timey "Camp Meetings" were held.

Concord Church was established in 1805, but it was not until 1810 that the first building was built, a log structure located conveniently near a spring. The congregation had the building moved in 1823, however, due to what was seen as 'the devil's work', as some local entrepreneurs had decided to use the spring as a source for a still in which to make alchohol. Although the building moved, the congregation still grew thirsty for more than the Word, and they retained the right to use the spring to quench their thirst for water.

On the same day, November 27, 1830, two deeds were recorded for the Church.

Deed Book X, Page 439, Anson County, North Carolina     10 and 1/4 acres

Avert Verhine to The Trustees of Concord Church

This Indenture.......between Avert Verkine of the State of North Carolina & County of Anson on one part & Richard Randles, Thomas Avitts, Freeman Winfield, Peter W. Nash & John Beard, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Concord Meeting House of the other part Witness the Said Avert Verhine....3 black oak pointers in Nashes line.. Avert Verhine doth further grant unto the said Church privlege to & use of the spring near where the old meeting house now stands &  Avert Verhine doth warrant and forever defend the right and title of said land & premises unto the said trustees or their successors against the lawful claim, right or title or any person or persons whatsoever. 

Deed Book X, Page 507, Anson County, North Carolina    1 3/4 acres

Griffin Nash to the Trustees of Concord Meetinghouse

This Indenture made this 27th day of November in the year of our Lord 1830, between Griffin Nash of the State of North Carolina and the County of Anson of the one part & Richard Randle, Thos. Avett, Freeman Winfield, Peter W. Nash, and John Beard Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Concord Meeting house on the other part.....runs with Verhines line....signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Griffin Nash (Seal) Witnesses Thomas Carpenter, William Dean. 

The above documents list mostly persons in my family tree. I am a direct descendant of Thomas Carpenter.
Griffin Nash and Thomas Avett were both sons-in-law of ancestor Peter Winfield. Freeman Winfield was Arthur Freeman Winfield, who served in the War of 1812 and would migrate to Alabama. He was the son of Edward Winfield and grandson of Peter Winfield. Richard Randle was the brother of Martha Randall Howell, who had married Jordan Howell, the brother of Richard Howell. Peter Winfield. Nash was the son of Griffin Nash and was named for his grandfather, Peter Winfield. John Beard, son of Michael Beard, was a grandson-in-law of Peter Winfield. He married Anabelle Morrison, daughter of Ancena Winfield Morrison and her first husband, James Morrison. John Beards sister Eliza, was married to John Milton Winfield, grandson of Peter Winfield and brother of Freeman Winfield.

So you can see, the properties were adjacent. The spring was on the land of Verhine, no known relation, but the trustees, and Griffin Nash, were all Winfield relatives. This Church was attended and founded by my family.

In 1860, a new church was built, just before the advent of war in Anson County. The building committee consisted of David Carpenter, John A Tyson, B. I. Dunlap, and Jerry Ingram. The community had changed a little in 30 years.

Rocky River Baptist Church was 5 miles away from Concord. Several of Griffin Nash's family attended this church, including his daughter, Sarah Avett.

It is said that the Church was built on the land belonging to Verhine, and the cemetery was on the land belonging to Griffin Nash. The cemetery is divided into two parts, the old part and the new part. The old part is bound by a rock wall, similar to the stones used to build the above monument. The oldest readable marker is that of John Beard, trustee and grandson-in-law of Peter Winfield, with a date of 1837. There are older, unmarked stones or  fieldstone or slate markers that are no longer legible. It may have been in use as early as 1805 to 1810. That is uncertain. It is also very likely that Peter Howell and his wife Elizabeth Floyd Howell are buried here, and also possible that Peter and Charlotte Winfield and even Richard Howell the first are buried here.

The entire cemetery is now on 5 and a quarter acres. The old section has a spooky, intense look and feel to it. The wall is made of  stone with an  intermix of colors of rock, known as iron rock, glacial stones that give this section its unique look.
In an interview with a reporter in 1936, a lady named Charlotte Frances Kendall Knight stated that her father, Dr. John S. Kendall, built the stone fence around the cemetery. Mrs. Knight was 99 years young at the time of the interview.
Charles A. Kendall, on the other hand, in a 1964 church bulletin, stated that the wall was built in cooperation between community citizens from miles around. The stones, of various weights, colors and sizes, show that they originated in multiple places, and were probably brought in by wagon. Slaves may have also taken part in the construction.

The view of the cemetery area from the driveway of the church. 
The new section of the cemetery began in 1899 when Mr. and Mrs. W.E. and Charlotte Hendley donated 2 acres to the church. The predominance in this area of the name "Charlotte" only shows how the grand-daughters and great-grand-daughters of Charlotte Freeman Winfield, carried her name down the line.

The chronology of the church follows:

1785 Great Pee Dee Circuit formed. It extended from 10 miles south of Salisbury, North Carolina to Georgetown, South Carolina. It was also around this time that Peter Winfield and family, along with many of his inlaws, the Freemans and their spouses, including Richard Meanly and Keziah Freeman Meanley, Drury Robertson, Sr. and sons James Roberson who married Martha Winfield, daughter of Peter's brother Joshua Winfield who married Charlotte Freeman Winfield's sister Jemima Freeman , Drury Robertson, Jr, who married Mary, the sister of Martha and also a double-niece of Peter and Charlotte Freeman Winfield, Henry Freeman, and Booth Robertson, and Robertson (or Robinson) Carloss, stepson of Joshua Winfield who married widow Rebecca Thrower Carloss, daughter of Hezekiah Thrower, when Jemima passed away.

1788  Anson Circuit formed
James Edward Howell and wfie Sarah Francis "Fannie" Howell, the son who stayed. 

1805 Rocky River Circuit formed

1810 First actual building built near the spring, which is in the back of the location of the new part of the cemetery.

1813 Concord congregation first mentioned in the Circuit records as having a membership of 61 members of European descent  and 17 members of African descent.

1823 The Church moved from the area of the spring to its current site, away from the still.

1830 The land finally deeded to the trustees of the Church, all members of or inlaws to the Peter Winfield family.

1834 The Circuit now referred to as the Wadesboro Circuit.

1859 Concord considered one of the nine churches in the Wadesboro circuit.

1860 A new building constructed.

1864 The last camp meeting held at Concord "meeting place".

1871 Area transferred from the South Carolina to the North Carolina Conference.

1891 Western North Carolina Conference formed.

1906 Another new Building constructed for the Church

1955  Present building dedicated

1960  Albemarle District formed.

Feb. 21, 1871J. E. Howell, s. of Peter & E. Howell, and S. F. Andrews, d. of Seth & E. Andrews.

No comments:

Post a Comment