Friday, May 29, 2009

Vance county

There is an important man, well more than one of course, but one of special note concerning the Revolution. He is John Williams. 

Williams, John, of Montpelier (1731-1799) — of Granville County (part now in Vance County), N.C. Born in Hanover County, Va., March 14, 1731. Double first cousin of Richard Henderson and Thomas Henderson; first cousin of John Williams,Nathaniel Williams, Jr.Robert Williams and Joseph Williams of Shallow Ford; father-in-law of Robert Burton; double first cousin once removed of Archibald Henderson; double first cousin once removed and uncle by marriage of Leonard Henderson.

Vance county seems to be in need of a Revolution now. This native son must qualify it for some notice in the National Heritage Area.

Who knows more about him?  And who are all those relatives?

1 comment:

DWilliams said...

Called Judge John Williams, he was born March 14, 1731 in Hanover Co.,VA, and died October 10, 1799 in Granville Co.,NC. Judge John studied carpentry in his early years, but ended up becoming a lawyer and later a judge. In 1759,he married Agnes Bullock-Keeling, the daughter of Richard Bullock & Anne Henley, of New Kent, VA; Agnes was the widow of Capt. George Keeling, who died in 1759, with whom she had 5 children, Ann, Frances, John, Elizabeth and Agatha, the youngest of which was adopted by John Williams and considered as his daughter from then on. John and his younger brother, William (b. March 11, 1733, d. Dec. 27, 1775,Boonesborough, KY) were apparently partners with their cousin, Col. Richard Henderson, in his Transylvania Company venture. Here is a brief description from my files:
Richard Henderson was also known as Colonel Richard Henderson. He was one of the original founders of Kentucky, and along with Nathaniel Hart, John Williams, and 5 others, owned the Richard Henderson (Transylvania) Company. Richard was a compatriate of Daniel Boone, who believed in the prospect of expanding civilization past the mountains. He sent Boone on his first trip to Kentucky in 1764. Boone was represented by Henderson, then a lawyer, in Richard's enterprise to settle the land "west of the mountains". Henderson was seated as a Superior Court Judge at Salisbury, March 5, 1768 and ceased to represent Boone in a litigation pending before the Superior Court. They did, however, continue to confer with each other on the contemplated venture into Tennessee and Kentucky.. In December 1778, due to Henderson's influence with the lawmakers in Kentucky, the Virginia House of Delegates granted his Company 200,000 acres of land in Kentucky between the Ohio and Green Rivers. In 1783, North Carolina delegates also granted land to Henderson, giving him 200,000 acres in Powell's Valley, which became Henderson County, NC. In Kentucky, Henderson County was formed from part of Christian County on June 4, 1799 in honor of Colonel Richard Henderson. Henderson later returned to his home in North Carolina, where he died in 1785 at the age of 50. He is buried at his homestead, Ashland, in Nutbush Creek District of Granville, NC in an unmarked grave.

While John seemed to have settled down with his family in Granville, his brother William was somewhat more adventurous, and although he was married with 5 children, William travelled with Boone on a trip to the new settlement of Boonesborough, in what later became Kentucky. The Cherokee Indians had become greatly aggitated at having the new fort on their ancestral land, and they attacked the fort in December 1775; William Williams was seriously wounded during the attack, but he lived long enough to write a will before he died.