Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Faulkners of Featherbed Branch

When digging through ancient, weathered deeds, one will come across many names, some who still color the hills on mailboxes and businesses, others who only graced the landscape with their presence for a brief era. Sometimes, when there is a lack of Wills, probate records, marriage bonds or Family Bibles, a story can be told in land records. Who was connected in some way or manner to who? Who lived on connecting properties? How was land divided? Who ended up with the property and how? Who sold the property and why?

The Anson County, North Carolina Faulkner family was a tangled web of unidentifiable relationships. They landed in the Jones Creek and Wilkey's Mill Creek area, just off the Pee Dee River, and not far from the South Carolina border, early on in the Revolutionary War era, and nearly all of them were gone by 1820. Only the son and daughter of Asa Elijah Faulkner and wife, Elizabeth Huntley remained, and that of my ancestor, John Falkner, born around 1807. He is the mystery.

 The line of one Francis Falkner has been reasonably well traced. Both Sr. and Jr. ended up spending the final years of their life in Anson County. Then, most of children of Francis Jr. seem to have migrated to Kentucky via Tennessee. But there were others, many others. One of them had to be the parents of John Faulkner. DNA confirms it. Two descendants of sons of John Faulkner have taken YDNA tests that point to them being descendants of Francis Falkner Sr., and out of the Queen Ann's County, Maryland group of Falkners. Keep in mind the surname can be seen as Faulkner, Falkner, Forkner, Falconer, Fortner, even for the same individual. Some Faulkners moved to Tennesse or South Carolina and became Fortners to this day.

Nathan Falkner is one of those phantom Falkners. He obviously had plenty of children, but in family trees, only one, Abraham, is tied to him. To me, there obviously appears to have been more. People have tied individuals I would think were certainly his sons, to a couple from elsewhere, who never even graced the area.  I can find no semblance of record, or even idea, on why one would think or link the two together. On the other hand,.....

Nathan Faulkner first appears in the 1771 tax record of Butte County, North Carolina, which no longer exists, but became Franklin and Warren Counties. He was a young man then, so thought to have been born between 1745 and 1750. Nathan is supposedly one of the younger sons of Francis Falkner, Sr.

He arrived in Anson County as soon as 1777, as is found in the following transaction.

On April 2, 1786 Richard Odem sold a tract of land to John Johnson, both of Anson County, a tract of land on the upper fork of Jones Creek that had been granted on January 2, 1772 by the King to Thomas Mitchell, who had sold it on March 18, 1774 to John Mitchell, who sold it on November 1, 1777 to Nathan Falkner, who sold it on April 10, 1778 to Henry Wilson, who sold it on Feb. 26, 1779 to Thomas Jones, who sold it on Sept 17, 1779 to Thomas Mitchell. Signed by Richard Odem and witnesses by John and Jonah Jackson. Book 2 Page 459.

They really played hot potato with that tract of land. Makes one wonder what was wrong with it. The same surnames pop up around the lands of the Faukners; Mays, Chiles or Childs, Wisdom, Buchanon or Bohannon, and Jarmin or German. The Standfields or Stanfills, were a family known to have migrated from the Cumberland River to Anson on the Pee Dee River, with the Faulkner family. There may have been an intermarriage or two between the families at some point. I do not know. I've included some deeds with their names as well. 

Book 7 P 29,  Oct 3, 1778 Gideon Brown, a farmer from Anson County, sold to James Brooks, also of Anson, 108 acres on the southwesst side of the Pee Dee River that bordered Robert Edwards lower corner of land that he had sold to James Brooks on the North side of Wilkey Mill Creek of Jones Creek and Drury Sims, part of a grant dated March 4, 1775 by the King to William May, deceased and sold June 27, 1778, by his heir, William May, to Gideon Brown. Witnesses were Nathan 'Falker' and Nathan Melton, oath Oct 1778.

Book 7 P 31 June 27, 1778 William May, planter to Gideon Brown, both of Anson, 640 acres on the south side of the PeeDee River and a fork of Jones Creek that bordered Robert Edwards lower corner of land he sold to  James Brooks on the North side of Wilkey's Creek of Jones Creek and Drury Sims, being where Gideon Brown lives; granted by the King to William May, signed William May Sr and witnesses by John Hurley and Nathan Melton in October of 1778. 

So William May, son of William May promptly sold this tract and then the very next page -

Book 7, P 32  Oct. 5, 1778 William May, Planter and wife Lucy of Anson to Sarah Flandemagem, spinstress, 200 acres bordering a small drain that's the first line of land of which it is a part of a 640 acres granted July 25 by the King to William May. Signed by William May with no witnesses.

Book 7, Page 166 On Sept. 30, 1779 Mr. Nathan Falkner appeared before Stephen Miller, Justice of the Peace and swore ' about 4 years since he bought 34 acres from William Eddins and paid Eddins for the land', (this would put it at about 1775) that he sold the land to Mr. Robert Hall, Falkner returned the deed to Eddins and Eddins gave Robert Hall a deed for 34 acres with Falkner as witness. The land was part of a grant to Mr. Lewis Lowery and joins Nathan Melton, John Stanfelt & Thomas Myers, signed by Nathan Falkner and Stephen Miller. 

There is the name of one of the Standfields that had migrated with the Faulkner clan and then again, Nathan Melton, another neighbor who had co-witnessed the May deed. Lewis Lowery is another name seen often in these transactions. 

Then.. "Robert Hall before    ----- swears he bought a tract of land from Nathan Falkner and made full satisfaction to Falkner, he recieved a deed from William Eddins and receipt for the money, Edens repealed Hall's deed, in the deed, John Street gave him for the tract adjoining John Stanfield, Nathan Melton and Thomas Myers on the north prong of Jones Creek of (the) Pee dee River  called Wilkes Mill Creek both Streets deeds to Edens and Edens deed to Hall were consumed by fire in his house with all his other writings. Witnessed by Michael Auld, clerk of Anson Court Oct. 1779

Book 4 Page 138. On Jan 25, 1780 James Mathews of Orange County to Nathan Faulkner of Anson County, 200 acres on the south side of Wilkey's Mill Creek, a fork of Jones Creek, near William May's line and granted to Drury Sims who had sold it to Zachariah Moorman. Signed James Mathews and witnessed by William May and Jeremiah Lewis.

Book 4, P 142. On August 9, 1780 Henry Wilson of Anson sold to Richard Odom of the same 100 acres on the south side of  Jones Creek bordering Thomas Mitchell and his two fields, granted to Thomas Mitchell by the King and sold by his son John to Nathan Falkner, who had sold it to Henry Wilson in 1778. Signed by Henry Wilson and witnessed by William Gulledge, Elisha Breeler and Sukey Granade 1783

Book 4, P 43 Dec. 20, 1780 Joshua Hodges, a farmer from Orange County, NC to Patrick Boggan, a farmer from Anson County, sold 100 acres on the SW side of the Pee Dee River. Other names mentioned were McNatt, Hurley, William May, Francis Thompkins, Joshua Hodges and wife "Liv". Witnessed by William Vaughn and Nathan Falkner in January 1782.

Anyone familiar with Anson County history is familiar with the name Patrick Boggan, a Revolutionary War hero. Next to this deed is another one involving William May and William Wood a 'wood joiner' and this one names 'William May, carpenter, son of William May, Sr.', which leads me to think they are referring to his trade to differetiate him from his father, not naming an individual 'William May Carpenter' which I've seen addressed as a full name.

Book 4 P 103 William McDaniel sold 300 acres on the east side of the Middle Prong of Jones Creek to Richard Odam  on Jan. 28, 1782, witnessed by Nathan Falkner "Jurat" and William Mays.

In October of 1782, Gov. Alexander Martin granted 100 acres on Featherbed Branch to Lawrence Franklyn.

Book 4, P 140. William McDaniel, Planter sold to Timothy Haney, a blacksmith, both of Anson, 150 acres on the Featherbed Branch of Jones Creek and bordering Robert Granade. Had been granted to William McDaniel in 1773. Witnesses were Nathan Falkner and Thomas Hutson. Oath on Oct 1782 by Nathan Falkner.

Featherbed Branch is a very important clue.

Book C p 456 On July 23, 1784, Timothy Haney, blacksmith, sells to Asa Faulkner, planter, 150 acres that began at a hickory in Malachi Watts line near a drain of Featherbed Branch of Jones Creek and joined the lands of Robert 'Jerman'. The lot had been granted to William McDaniel in 1773. Signed Timothy Haney. Witnesses were Nathan Falkner, Reubin Phillips & Sarah 'Boslick".

Now we see that Asa Faulkner has joined his brother Nathan in Anson County. In October of 1782, Asa had been in Granville County, NC, the first mention of him, and witnesses the wedding of his cousin, Moses Faulkner, who had married Sussanah Salter or Saulter. This was also one year after Nathan and his wife had witnessed the will of Benjamin Falkner

The land being transferred was the very same lot that William McDaniel had sold to Timothy Haney just two years earlier, that Nathan had been a witness to.

Book 2 p 305, on Jan. 5,1785, Nathan Falkner and John Lowery witnessed a deed between Abraham Strickland and Malachi Watts concerning a property on Little Brown Creek.

Book 2 p 302 , just a month later, on Feb. 15, 1785, both of these same men, Nathan and John Lowery, witnessed a deed between John Duncan and Malachi Watts on the same creek and bordering the property of Abraham Strickland. Malachi might have been a friend of Nathan or might have even married a Falkner.

Book 2, p 15 Robert Hall of Anson sold 100 acres to Benjamin Buchanan Sr. of Chatham County, NC that crossed the road to Robert Hall's place. Witnesses were Benjamin Buchanon, Jr. and Stephen Pace

On April 11, 1785 Charles 'Lizenbee' and wife Elizabeth, of  'Camblin' (Camden) District, SC sold 322 acres to Benjamin Buchanon Sr. of Chatham County, NC. This lot joined Tyson Meador Jr's and was on the southside of Jones Creek and had been granted by the King to Lewis Lowery. Witnesses were Stephen Pace, who now is mentioned several times, and Ben Jr..

Enter the Buchanons. A Benjamin Buchanon appears in many of the later dealings with the Faulkners, and even with my John Faulkner. 1785 must have been the year they moved from Chatham County. It must also be around the year that Charles Lisenby relocated from Anson County to Chesterfield County, SC. I'm also researching my genetic connection to a set of Lisenby's, who, as fate would have it, descend from this Charles Lisenby.

Book 2 P55 December 2, 1786 Stephen Pace, Esquire, of Anson to 'Stalin' May of the same, 200 acres on the South Side of Wilkey's Mill Creek and fork of Jones Creek. It bordered William May and was part of an older grant sold by Drury Sims and Zachariah Moorman who had sold it to James Mathis, who had sold it to Nathan Faulkner , who had sold it on Feb. 10, 1784 to Stephen Pace. Witnesses were William May and Jonah Jackson.

Book 2, Page 20 Jan. 19, 1788, James Farr of Anson sells to Asa Faukner, 50 acres on Jones Creek, on George 'Londsell' Rudds lines, borders Thomas Jones, Bexley John Lamden and Morrises' Branch, including a mill seat. Witnesses were Peter Bond and William Ricketts.

Asa has purchased his mill.

1790, the first census of the United States of America is taken. Five households of the Faulkner family is found in Anson County, NC.

Name:Nathan Falkner
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:2
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:5
Free White Persons - Females:4
Number of Household Members:11

First there is Nathan. He has 2 males over 16 in the home, and 5 under 16, which appears to mean that he was the father of several sons, and possibly 3 daughters, as there are 4 females in the home and one would be Sarah.

Name:Archd Falkner
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:1
Free White Persons - Females:2
Number of Household Members:3

Nathan's son, Archibald, is already head of his own household. He must have been the oldest son. Archibald is the one son attributed to Nathan. He has a young family, probably his bride and their first little baby girl. He's living near John Culpepper, Sterling May and the Granades.

Name:Asa Falkner
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:1
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:3
Free White Persons - Females:3
Number of Household Members:7

Then there's Asa, he has a household of 7, himself, three males under 16 and 3 females. It is unknown who they would be, as his three known children were not born yet. Perhaps siblings.

Name:Francis Falkner
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:3
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:1
Free White Persons - Females:4
Number of Household Members:8

Then there is Francis. This is Francis, the brother, as Francis the father supposedly died in 1783. He has a household of 8, four females, three males under 16, and himself. Actually, Francis was enumerated twice, or there were two Francis's. In this record he was sandwiched in between Gilchrist Johnson and Edward Lloyd.

Name:Francis Falkner[]
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:3
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:1
Free White Persons - Females:4
Number of Household Members:8

In the next one, he's sandwiched between Ruth Conner and  Isom Melton, Benjamin Rudd is nearby. The family dynamics are the same. Exactly.

The other household is that of Elizabeth, widow of Benjamin Faulkner, with her two sons, John and Henry, and an extra female in her home.

Francis had two Land Grants in Cumberland County. Elisha Faulkner had one in Anson on the head 'drains' of Morris's Branch, dated 1801. Elisha has not been mentioned yet. Nathan had two.
Nathan FaulknerAnson1790-11-16178450Beg. in Jermans line in a pine in Cunninghams line on the waters of Gold Fork4781

One on the waters of Gold Fork and Jermans line dated 1784.

Nathan FaulknerAnson1790-11-161787100Beg. at a stake on Wm. Mays line4875

Another on William May's line dated 1787.

Jno. FaulknerAnson1799-07-261797150Beginning at a hickory on the Feather bed Branch5380
There's also a John, who hasn't shown up yet. And he lived on Featherbed Branch.

None for Francis in Anson County. 

Yet on May 10, 1789, just before 1790, David Jameson, 'late' Sheriff of Anson County sold to John May (those dang Mays!) 62 acres on Wilkey's Mill Creek of Jones Creek that bordered Lowery's, part of a tract involving Thomas Myers and Nathan Melton that was sold during a "fieri facais", which is a levy on goods due to a judgement against a debtor. This action was due to a suit dated April of 1789 in the Anson County Pleas and Quarters Sessions between John May and Francis Falkner. Witnesses were James jameson and Isaac Lanier.

Book F Page 152. This one is a really confusing deed to me. In my previous post, 'The Letter', I examined the family of Asa Falkner, who married Elizabeth Huntley, and died in 1806. They had three named children: Job, Asa William Luther, Sr. (who married Susan Myers) and Sarah Susannah, (who married Willam Webb). In the letter from Asa W. L to his 'Uncle' Job, in Georgia, he called his father, Elijah. In this deed, Asa and Elijah are obviously two different people. 

Januay 29, 1799, Benjamin Duckworth to Alexander McRea, for $100 NC money sold 150 acres on Lowrey's Branch that bordered the property of Thomas Dickson, a Dry fork, Rainey, the Great Branch and 'Odoms old line' that had been granted to Charles Lisenby. Signed by Benjamin Duckworth and witnessed by Asa Faulkner and Elijah Faulkner. Witness oath July, 1799 by Elijah Falkner. Book F Page 152.

Elijah did not appear in the 1790 census. Was he living with Asa or Francis? How does he fit in?

Book F P. 159  Marianne Jarman, spinster (or single woman), sold 200 acres to John Cason. The property began at a stake in Boyd's third line and was part of a tract of land that was patented to Robert Jarman on the south branch of Jones Creek. Marianne signed with an "M" mark and the witnesses were William Wisdom, Asa Fallkner and Nathan Falkner. Witness oath in July 1779 by Asa Falkner.

Enter the Wisdom family, and Marianne must have been a daughter of Robert Jarman. Quickly, who were the Jarman/ Jerman/ German family? 

According to online information on the family, they had came from England and originally settled in Calvert County, Maryland on the Patuxent River. Quite interestingly enough, one of their neighbors there was a William Lowery. A John and Robert Jarman, brothers, then sold their land and moved across the Chesapeake Bay to Queen Anne's County, Maryland, on Tuckahoe Creek. Coincidentally, Queens Ann's County, Maryland is where the Faulkner family originated. Francis and possbily Nathan, too, had been born there. Could they have migrated with the Jarman's? From there, the Jarmans migrated to Craven and Onslow County, NC and like the Faulkners, eventually to Anson County, where they settled in the same general area as the Faulkners.

Map of Queen Annes County, Maryland

Book C2 dated April 30, 1793, 'Samson' Stanfield  and Easter Stanfield of Anson County to John May, Sr., 58 acres on the North Bank of Wilkeys Mill Creek of Jones Creek in Lewis Lowrey's upper line and joins Nathan Melton. Signed by Sampson Stanfield and Easter Stanfield. Witnesses were Joseph Falkner and 'Ede' Falkner. Witness Oath July 1793 by Josesph Falkner.

Ok, here are two new, before unmentioned Falkners, Joseph and Ede, in association with Sampson Stanfield, whom we know had migrated several times with the Faulkners already. Sampson Stanfield, was the son of John Franklin Stanfield and Mary Sherod. The Stanfields had migrated from Virginia to Cumberland County, North Carolina, where they had made association with the Francis Faulkner Sr. family and had migrated with the Faulkners to Anson County, NC. John Stanfield died in Anson County, as did Francis Falkner. Sampson Stanfields wife Easter, was in all liklihood, a Faulkner. She died before 1799, when he remarried to a Nancy Thomas. He had 5 children with Easter and 9 with Nancy. Together with children of Francis Falkner Jr., including son Francis Ballenger Faulkner, Sampson and Nancy migrated through East Tennesee to Knox County, Kentucky. 

Joseph was a son of Francis Falkner, Jr. and 'Ede' may have been his sister Edith, who married a Price. Joseph and Sampson Standfield were among the group that would move soon, after this, to Blount County, Tennesse, and then, by 1810, to Knox County, Kentucky and Whitley County, which was carved out of Knox in 1818.

Another deed involving the Stanfields was the following: Book C2 Page 301 was a transaction dated Jan. 22, 1794 wherein William Johnson of Anson County sold 300 acres to Isaac Shepherd and wife, Margaret, John Baily and wife, Elizabeth and James Stanfield and wife, Mary. The land was on the Pee Dee River near Island Creek, sold to William Johnson by Mary Cox "for and during" her lifetime. The land had descended to her after the death of her husband, William Cox and her son, William Cox (Jr.) . It was signed by William Johnson, Benjamin Carter and Mary Carter, with the witnesses being Rufus Johnson and Arthur Davis. 

Just a week or so later, on Feb 7, 1794, Book C2, P 290,  John Bailey, Isaac Shepherd and James Stanfield of Anson, sold to Lot Strickland of Richmond County, NC, the same above mentioned tract at the mouth of Island Creek. It was said to be the original tract of a division line between Jacob Paul and William Cox and a dividing line between John Hornbeck and William Hoggat, part of a 500 acres tract granted in 1747 to John Newberry, who sold it to John Hornbeck, who sold it to a Chambers, who sold it to William Cox, Sr., who had bequeathed it to his 3 daughters, Elizabeth, Margaret and Mary, who had 'since intermarried' with John Bailey, Isaac Shepherd and James Stanfield. It was signed by the Cox sisters and their husbands and witnessed by William Jurnigan, Sampson 'Stanfill', Nevel Bennett, and William Shepherd. 

I will exit here and continue with more from the late 1790's and early 1800's on the Faulkners of Featherbed Branch, their neighbors and associates. 

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