Saturday, June 8, 2024

Can I get a Witness?

Edmund Green Lynch left even less information on himself than his younger brother, John W. Lynch, who only survived life until his early 30's. I believe Green, as he was called, made it well into his 50's, at least, leaving very little information on himself. Edmund Green Lynch was the son of Phillip Lynch, who first settled in an area that was in Anson County, and became part of Montgomery in 1779, then far after Phillips death in 1807, that area would become part of Stanly County. He then moved to the south side of the Rocky River, in what was and would remain, Anson County, North Carolina. His property bordered the old Peter Winfield Plantation, so heirs and inlaws of Peter Winfield were among his neighbors, as were Hogans, Ropers, Lees, Marshalls, Robinsons and Robertsons, Verhines and Ramsey's, and Davis's. And that is why I began giving the Lynch family a closer look. 

The first mention of Edmund Green Lynch was in his father's will. 

"Item I give to my son Green Lynch the upper part of my plantation between the land I lent my wife and William Marshalls supposed to be one hundred acres also forty I purchased of Green Roper, also the land I lent to my wife at her death all the said land to him and His heirs forever. Also I give to my son Green on Negroe man Named Daniel one Gray mare called.... his bed and furniture to him.

In 1810, Elizabeth Lynch, the widow of Phillip Lynch, appears as Head of Household, all of her children are still living with her, with the exception of Sarah, who was already married by then and the only child born before 1790. 

NameElizabeth Linch
Residence Date6 Aug 1810
Residence PlaceAnson, North Carolina, USA
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 151 John W Lynch
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 251 Edmund G. Lynch
Free White Persons - Females - Under 102 Nancy and Bety
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 151 Catey 
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 441 Elizabeth Lynch, widow
Number of Enslaved Persons3
Number of Household Members Under 164
Number of Household Members Over 251
Number of Household Members9

Knowing that John W. Lynch was born in 1799 by his tombstone, located in Autauga County, Alabama, meaning he was only 11 in 1810, Green would be the male aged 16 to 25, closer to 16 than 25, however. Elizabeth was under 44 and as Sarah "Sally" Lynch was not married in 1807, this narrows the year of her wedding to between 1807 and 1810.

In 1814, when I believe Edmund Green Lynch may have turned 21, he begins what I have referred to as his career as a witness. His most numerous appearances in records of any kind, was as a witness to deeds and other recorded transactions, so many and so often, I haven't even included them all.

He seems to have been a persistent voyeur of the legal process, perhaps feeling a Sehnsucht for the legal profession. I imagine him suited and eager, among a group of men pallying,  around the old log courthouse, feeling the frisson of the wait for proceedings to begin. 

On November 8, 1814, Edmund G. Lynch and Levi Braswell both witnessed a transfer of property between William and Stephen Hyde to Smith Medley. It was signed by William, Stephen and Susannah Hyde and proven in 1819 by the oath of Green Lynch. This property was located on Jones Creek, no where close to where the Lynches lived, and the names were not among any of the neighbors or associated families of the Lynches. 

On April 5, 1814, Edmund G. Lynch and Richard Stone were chain carriers for a sale of Will Stone to William Wall. This was a tract of land formerly sold to William Johnson from Jane Nesbit. It was located about a mile and half from the Rocky River. 

Two years later, Edmund G. Lynch, was the only witness to the April 29, 1816 sale of a little girl named Araminta, described as being between 10 and 11 years old, and a mulatto, or of mixed race. She was sold by Malcolm Smith to Thomas Billingsley. The transaction was signed by 'Macom' Smith and Daniel McAuley, whose part in the deal is uncertain. This was found in Book R, page 322 of Anson County Deeds.

In Deed book S, pages 211 & 212, are three separate transactions witnessed by Edmond G. Lynch. Was he just hanging around the courthouse? Was there a reason he was there? He wasn't family to any of the parties, as I could tell. Could he have been serving as an aide to a Magistrate or Clerk ? Was he training or did he fill an office of some kind? I wonder.  

In the first of these three, dated October 24, 1816, Thomas Lacy of Hickman County, Tennesee to Burwell Benton of Anson County, NC,  sold 2/8ths of the following tracts, a) 108 acres, b) 100 acres,  c) 300 acres, d) 67 acres, e) 50 acres, f) 200 acres and g) 150 acres and his sister Lucretia Ross's part of the land of Griffith Lacy, deceased. It was signed by Thomas Lacy and witnessed by Edmund G. Lynch and Jesse Caudle. Proven in 1818 by the oath of Edmund G. Lynch.

The second transaction, related to the first, but dated January 2, 1818 was between Thomas Webb of Anson County to Benton Burwell, 3/13ths on Lanes's Creek being his part and James and David Webb's parts of the lands of  Griffith Lacy, deceased, "descended to me from my mother and being her part of an eighth of Griffith Lacy's land, being 1047 acres". Witnessed by Edmund G Lynch and W. R. Benton.

The third, involving the same family, was dated October 24, 1816, this time with Stephen Lacy of Hickman County, Tennesee,  selling to the same Burwell Benton, one eighth of the same acreage listed in the first by his brother, Thomas Lacy, and one eighth share of the lands of Griffith Lacy, deceased. Witnessed by Edmund G. Lynch and Jesse Caudle.  

There was a fourth deed following, on the very same page, Book S, page 212, involving Burwell Benton and the lands of Griffith Lacy on Lacy's Branch, but no mention of Green Lynch in this one. These indicate that the estate of Griffith Lacy had been divided into eight sections and one of those sections into 13 sections. Thomas and Stephen were probably sons of Griffith, getting one eighth share apiece and Lucretia Ross a daughter. Another daughter seems to have married a Webb and she being deceased, her share would have went to her children, the Webb brothers being grandchildren. There were obviously 4 other shares for heirs unaccounted for in these three deeds. 

On October 17, 1817, Burwell Benton and Edmund G. Lynch witnessed a deed together, a transaction between John Meggs Sr. and  Hezekiah Haney involving 300 acres on Levan's Branch bordering neighbors Isham Saint, Sturdivant and Elias Preslar, Book T, Page 202.

In Book S, pages 448 and 449, he was still involved with Burwell  Benton and back in the Lacey transactions.
August 19, 1818 find Burwell Benton of Anson County selling 1047 acres to Elias Billingsley of Montgomery County, NC on both sides of Lane's Creek, formerly owned by Griffith Lacy and being half of the land he owned when he died.  This was described as the shares of Thomas Lacy, Stephen Lacy, Hugh Ross (remember Lucretia Ross?), Thomas Webb, Joseph Webb, Sherling Webb and William Webb, from Griffith Lacy's land. Witnesses were Reuben White and Edmund G. Lynch. Proved in 1820 by the oath of Edmund Lynch.

If I were researching Lacey's, I would be tickled to have found those transactions, but alas. It's easy to see Hugh Ross was most likely Lucretia's husband, he had to be, as it was her share that was sold and they added another Webb to the mix. 

The second deed was again involving Burwell Benton and Elias Billingsley and Edmund was the only witness. It mentions crossing a new road and Lacy's Branch. Lacy's Branch must have ran off of Lanes' Creek. 

NameEdmond G Lynch
Enumeration Date7 Aug 1820
Home in 1820 (City, County, State)Coppedge, Anson, North Carolina, USA
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 251 Edmund Green Lynch
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 151 Youngest sister, probably Betsy
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over1 Elizabeth Lynch
Slaves - Males - Under 141
Slaves - Females - Under 141
Slaves - Females - 14 thru 251
Slaves - Females - 26 thru 441
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture5
Free White Persons - Under 161
Free White Persons - Over 251
Total Free White Persons3
Total Slaves4
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other7

In 1820, Edmund G. Lynch shows up as Head of Household. He has to be male between 16 and 25, as he was last time, this time closer to 25. These two records pretty much nail his year of birth to 1794/1795. The older female must have been his mother, Elizabeth and the young girl between 10 and 15 must have been the youngest sister, to my estimations, Betsy, as Nancy would have been married as her son, James, was born in 1818, while Betsy's oldest wasn't born until 1828. The family lived in Coppedge Township. As this one was more or less in alphabetical order, divided by Township, there was no way to account for neighbors. 

In Book U page 247, the Hydes are back. December 7, 1820 William Hyde sells to Thomas Avett 438 acres that include a spring and borders "The River", meaning the Rocky River. Names mentioned are James Coppedge, John Avett and J. H. Hagans.

The very next document, p 248, Thomas Avett & wife "Arreny" to William Hyde, 133 acres at the intersection of Randles two lines, joins Nash and the Rocky River. Names mentioned are George Dunlap, Richard Randle and Thomas Threadgill. Ancena, Arrena, etc. Avett was Aunt Ancena Arena Winfield Morrison Avett and the Nash line would have been that of Griffin Nash. 

In January of 1823, Edmund G. Lynch witneses the sells of a 14 year old girl named Sue to Thomas Waddill, a frequently appearing name in deeds involving the Lynches, by John S. Kendall, in conjunction with Henry M. Turner.

Edmund is now seemingly witnessing transactions in his own neighborhood of Wharf. 

On July 15, 1824, John Billingsley of Anson County, gave to his son, Clement Billingsley, "for love and affection" and for 'better maintenance', two little girls, Dalph aged 13 and Hannah, '3 or 4 years old'. There were four witnesses to this transaction, Walter F. Burns, E. G. Lynch, Samuel Billingsley and Griffin Nash.

This is about the time Edmund begins getting himself over his head in debt. 

He appears in two transactions, both on July 4, 1823. Instead of watching fireworks, the fireworks were in court. These could be found in Book U, pages 358 and 359. Joseph Medley, the Sheriff, sold to Stephen Nash, Edmund's brother-in-law,  46 acres for $39, this was one left by Phillip Lynch, and obviously a desirous one. In joined Nash'es own property and had been sold on October 14, 1822 due to an 'execution from Anson County court ..for $30 principal and $5.35 interest due to suit by Benton Burwell (oops, his buddy Benton), to use of Isham Harrel against Edmund G. Lynch. The lands were sold because no goods or chattels were found. Edmund was broke. 

The next one was by Sheriff Medley to Walthell Bibb, 202 acres for $137.50, beginning at the corner of a grant and joins a blown down pine on Griffin Nash's property and that of Verhine, 'sold by John Beard against Edmund G Lynch'. Again no goods or Chattels found. 

Edmund was then back to witnessing the disgusting act of the trading of human beings, something the Market Square in Fayetteville was known for. On October 26, 1826, he witnessed the sell of a 46 year old man named Peter to Thomas Waddill by William J. Turner. Edmund was the only witness and it was proved by his oath in January 1827, when he was referred to as "Green Lynch". 

January 15, 1828, Evert (or Everrett) Verhine traded with Thomas Avett, the same Thomas who married Ancena Winfield Morrison. The deal is explained 'Verhein (it's one of the most multiply-spelled names of the area) owes  John Beard (son-in-law of Edward Winfield) interest in a note and owes William Marshall, executor of John Randle, deceased, interest in a note. To secure his debts, he was selling land along Buffalow Creek that bordered the properties of Edmund Lynch, Griffin Nash, Lindsey and others. Witnesses were James Marshall and "Ean" Beard. 

NameElizabeth Lynch
Home in 1830 (City, County, State)Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 392 Green Lynch & ? John? 
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 591 Elizabeth Lynch
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 231
Slaves - Females - Under 103
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 351
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 541
Free White Persons - 20 thru 492
Total Free White Persons3
Total Slaves6
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored)9

1830, Edmund is no longer Head of Household, I suppose because of debt. His mother, Elizabeth, is again the head of the household, but Edmund Green Lynch appears to be living with her. Elizabeth is in her 50's giving her a decade range of birth between 1771 and 1780. There were two men in their thirties. If Edmund was born around 1795, as I believe he was, he would have been 35 or so. John would have been 31. This could have been him, but we already know he had moved to Autauga County, Alabama. Perhaps he returned for awhile as he is not in the Alabama census for 1830. 

1830 showed Edmund's involvement in several transactions in a row.

In January of 1829, Allen Carpenter was noted as surveryor and Elizabeth Billingsley, Walter F. Burns, Sarah W. Burns, William May, Mary May, David Carpenter and Elizabeth Carpenter, a 'commitee chosen by heirs to divide the land of Edmund Lill Sr. deceased, among his heirs. '  Two tracts went to Elizabeth Billingsley and included the dwelling house, and began at Lynch's corner. 127 acres went to Elizabeth Carpenter on Camp Branch joining McCorkle and Samuel W. Burns, and the Rocky River. To Mary May went 320 acres in Montgomery County, beging at William Walls corner on the River Bank. This was in what would become known as "Shankle" near the forks of the rivers, Rocky and Pee Dee. It also included a dwelling house. Sarah W. Burns recieved 320 acres joining Whitfiled and Tomlinson's Mill Road, joined Dargon and crossed Preslars Branch. Edmund G. Lynch was the only witness and it was recorded in Montgomery County on January 6, 1831 in Book 11, Page 109 and in Anson in Book X, Page 447. 

There follows an Allen family, all inclusive deed, naming Melly Allen, widow of Drury Allen deceased and Julius Allen , Thomas Allen, Jeremiah Smith & wife Susanna, David Allen, Benjamin Allen, Phillip Kiker and wife, Nancy, John Edwards and wife Sarah, William Allen, John Allen and even mentions Drury's brother, Darling Allen in mention of 'land bought of' and his son, Robert Allen. In the signatures, there appears an "Elenor" Allen, which is the legal name of "Melly", (probably "Nellie"). X 449

Then he's again witnessing the Division of Edmund Lilly property. Elizabeth Billingsley (a wife remarried?), Walter F. Burns and wife Sarah (Lilly), William May and wife Mary (Lilly) of Anson and Montgomery, David Carpenter and wife Elizabeth (Lilly). Proved by oath of E. G. Lynch, book X, page 451.

The next we here of Edmund G. Lynch is in his brother's Will. John W. Lynch at just 34 years old,  died on  February 28, 1833, in Autauga County, Alabama. Unmarried and childless, his heirs were his siblings, and nieces and nephews of the two sisters, Nancy and Catherine, who predeceased him. 

To my brother Edmund Green Lynch of Anson County, North Carolina, I give and bequeath one fourth part of the residue & remainder of my property after payment of the debts aforesaid

To Edmund Green Lynch, he left one fourth of his property after his debts and obligations were paid off - 

My will & desire is that all my clothes and wearing apparel be packed up & sent to my brother in North Carolina with the exception of one camel cloak faced with Ermine which I present to William Wyatt.
I give to my brother Edmund G Lynch. 

and wanted his clothes packed up and sent to his brother, except for a special coat to his friend, William Wyatt. They must have been about the same size. 

Edmund witnessed two deeds found in Anson County deed book Z, page 10. Dated December 29, 1934, Lemuel Stokes sold to John S. Kendall for .50 cents sold in trust, 100 acres  that began at Lynches third corner  pine and a drain of McElvale's Branch. Apparently Lemuel Stokes owed loan payments to Griffin Nash of three annual payments of $50. If the debts were not paid, John Spillman had the right to sell the property in Wadesboro after advertising for 30 days."Edward" G. Lynch and William Blaylock were witnesses. There was no Edward, it had to be Edmund. 

The second one was also between Lemuel A. Stokes and John Spillman Kendall, but dated about two weeks later on January 15, 1835. In this one, Lemuel listed all of his personal property, a black mare, cows, calf, sow and 5 pigs, furniture, a loom, and a parcel of corn and fodder. In this deed, it wasn't Griffin Nash that he owed 3 payments to, but to John S. Kendall. The witnesses were the same and again, Edmund's name was mispelled "Edward". 

Following the transactions of Lemuel Stokes, Edmund G. Lynch was witness to a number of deeds involving William Lee of Anson, and his family. This was not the William Lee, whom I previously wrote of recently, but "Rocky River Bill" Lee, called such to differentiate him from others of the same name in the same general area. 

Three were located in Book 10, page 124 and a fourth on page 125.

First, Bill gave to his daughter, Eliza Staton, for love and natural affection, a 13 year old girl named Charlotte. Dated Oct 3, 1836 and witnessed by Edmund G. 'Linch' and Shepherd Lee. Now, they were misspelling the last name instead of the first. 

Second transaction, same date, Bill gave his son Shepherd Lee, 'for love and natural affection' , a 13 year old boy named Green. This time, Uriah Staton co-witnessed with Edmund G. 'Linch'. 

The third transaction, same page, Will sold 33.25 acres to Bryant Braswell, joined Sibley. Irwin Braswell and Burwell Braswell witnessed that time.

The fourth transaction, dated Oct 3, 1836, again, Will gave 2 adjoining tracts to his son Shepherd Lee, located at the mouth of Lanes Creek and joined the mouth of Spring Branch, crossed the road at Still house Branch, met Kiker's land and the throroughfare, known as the Amon Yarborough tract, and goes into timber rights and such, including the Kiker tract. Witnessed by Edmund G. Lynch, spelled properly, and Uriah Staton. 

Now, I don't know if the last transaction was a date error or just a wild coincidence, but on October 3, 1837, Book Z Page 483, William Lee gives to his daughter, Nancy Crump, for the same love and natural affection as her siblings, a 12 year old girl named Harriett, witnessed by Edmund G. Lynch, spelled correctly, and Shepherd Lee. 

A decade later, on October 7, 1846, William Lee R. R. (for Rocky River) wrote his last Will and testament. It's found in Anson County Will Book C on page 122. He refers to himself as "William Lee R. R. " in both the body of the Will and in his signature. He named his wife Catherine Lee, and left her most of everything he owned, then named his children Shepherd Lee, William Lee Jr., and Nancy Crump. He mentions his granddaughter, Amelia Catharine Staton, grandson William Caney Staton. He names as his executors, sons William and Shepherd, John F. Crump and David High. The Will was witnessed by John Winfield, Richmond Lee and David High.

NameElizabeth Lynch
Home in 1840 (City, County, State)Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 291 James W. Nash ?
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 491 Edmund Green Lynch 
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 791 Elizabeth Lynch
Slaves - Males - Under 102
Slaves - Females - Under 101
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 231
Slaves - Females - 55 thru 991
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 492
Total Free White Persons3
Total Slaves5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves8

1840 finds Elizabeth still living in Anson County, now in her 70's, with what appears to be Edmund, in his 40's and a younger man in his 20's, whom I believe to be James W. Nash, her grandson, son of Stephen Nash and her daughter, Nancy, both deceased. 

The estate of Elizabeth Lynch was settled in Henderson County, Tennesee in 1849, where two of her daughters had relocated. The executor was her Grandson, John Lawrence Cawthon, son of her daughter, Sarah. There is no mention of Edmund Green Lynch. It appears Elizabeth outlived all but one of her children. Did Edmund die in Anson and Elizabeth travel West with grandson James W. Nash? Did Edmund Green Lynch travel to Tennesee with his mother and die there? For now, those questions remain unanswered. 

James W. Nash settles in Madison County, Mississippi by 1846, because he marries his first cousin, Mary Nash, daughter of Stephen's brother, Wilson Griffin Nash, on December 3rd of that year. Imagine that, traveling halfway across the country just to marry a first cousin! They had one child, a son, Stephen Lynch Nash, born in 1847, and both James and Mary died young. 

James W. Nash died on August 9, 1853, according to his tombstone in Canton, Madison County, Mississippi. 

As for Edmund G. Lynch, he was no longer a witness. 

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