|Volume 2, Issue 5|
Home Page and Index
In a continuation of a series providing comprehensive descriptions of the children of Nicholas-I Gentry, his son David, is described along with a listing of virtually all known references to David. A summary is provided of his children together with a sampling of pertinent references to these family members.
- born about 1706, New Kent County (later Hanover County), Virginia;
- married (1) (Speculation) about 1728, in Hanover County, Virginia, to [Unknown],
- married (2) about 1734, in Hanover County (later Louisa County), Virginia, to Sarah Brooks;
- died about 1765 in Lunenburg County, Virginia.
Was David a son of Samuel?
[This section on David Gentry has been revised from the original version published in May 2002. The changes reflect the author's reaching the conclusion that David was probably a son of Nicholas Gentry the Immigrant rather than a son of Samuel Gentry, son of Nicholas, as originally argued. We also suggest that David was a child of a second marriage of Nicholas Sr. A later issue of the Journal of Gentry Genealogy, issued in 2008, discusses this possibility of Nicholas having married a second time. The present revisions come about partly because of new information and partly because of a re-evaluation of the evidence upon which previous conclusions were based.]
In Volume 1, Issue #4, of this Journal, we stated that the absence of Nicholas' name in the St. Paul's Parish records after 1709 suggests that he died at about that time, or within a year or so afterward, at a moderate age of some 50-odd years. His last documented child was "Mable", baptized in December 1702. We suggest that Nicholas may have had three more sons, all younger than Mabel, born between about 1704 and 1708. These were James, David, and John. There is no certainty as to the order of birth of these sons. We somewhat arbitrarily place David in the middle position, born about 1706. We have earlier (in Volume 1, Issue #10 of this journal) discussed James. We now will consider David and his family in detail.
When Was David's Son, Hezekiah, Born?
A critical point in the decision of David's parentage is the date at which Hezekiah Gentry, David's oldest son, was born. A recent report of a remark in the journal of John Benjamin Carter, who lived more or less contemporaneously with Hezekiah, and whose sister married a grandson of Hezekiah, gives the death date of "Hezekiah Jentry" as 4 April 1824. Carter went on to state that Hezekiah was about 95 years of age at the time<12>. This observation leads to a conclusion that Hezekiah was born in about 1729. In turn we can estimate a date of birth for Hezekiah's father, David, that must have been several years before 1710. This was too early for him to have been a son of Samuel Gentry, so we can confidently conclude that he was a brother of Samuel and a son of Nicholas-I.
David Gentry's Early Years
There are no references to David in any Virginia records prior to 1743, when David's father- in-law, Richard Brooks, gave him 100 acres of the latter's land on Dirty Swamp in Louisa County<3a>. We have just estimated his birth as approximately 1706, undoubtedly on his father's plantation next to Totopotomoy Creek at the eastern end of St. Paul's Parish in what was then New Kent County but became Hanover County in 1720. To reconstruct his life in the years between we have to use our imagination together with the facts that are known about the movements of his brothers.
We know that after Nicholas-I died, his oldest son, Joseph, took over operation of his plantation on Totopotomoy Creek and continued to live there throughout the remainder of Joseph's life. Nicholas' 250-acre farm was relatively small for a tobacco plantation. We can imagine that a time came when it could no longer adequately support the growing families of Nicholas' descendants. Samuel appears to have been the earliest to leave, settling near Stone Horse Creek, at the westernmost limits of St. Paul's Parish, up the Pamunkey and South Anna Rivers from his father's home. Samuel's first presence near Stone Horse Creek is documented by a vestry order in 1716 ordering him to supervise the building of a road eastward from Stone Horse Creek to Stony Run<1a> (see map, Figure 1). His brother, Nicholas II, had joined him in the same precinct by 1719 when Samuel and Nicholas were listed in the processioning report for that year<1c>.
We don't know when others in the family moved from Totopotomoy Creek. We do know that James-II was present in the area in later years, and his son George eventually took over the land held initially by Nicholas in the Stone Horse Creek precinct. We also know that by the time of the next surviving processioning report in 1731, their older sister, Mary Spradling and her husband, John, had also settled in the precinct. Samuel obtained land nearby, in the vicinity of Beech Creek, in 1723 and 1724<2ab>, and moved from Stone Horse Creek, leaving his brother, Nicholas, there. We suggest that it may have been at about the time of Samuel's departure that David's mother, a presumed second wife of Nicholas I, left the Gentry family plantation on Totopotomoys Creek accompanied by her youngest sons, James, David and John, all teen-agers at the time, and moved in with her oldest son, Nicholas.
The first documented move of Gentrys from western Hanover County into the area that became Louisa County was by Nicholas<2d>. He obtained a grant in 1736 for 400 acres on a small tributary of the South Anna River named Dirty Swamp which adjoined a grant held by Richard Brooks. Brooks left St. Paul's Parish in 1731 and obtained a grant, also for 400 acres on Dirty Swamp<2c>. It is easy to understand why Nicholas happened to file on a neighboring plot of land -- Richard Brooks was the father-in-law of Nicholas' brother, David. It is not entirely clear, however, how and when David and Sarah Brooks met. The Brooks family lived in generally the same region of St. Paul's Parish as did David and the rest of his family, but they were not immediate neighbors. If David married Sarah before the Brooks family moved west, it is probable that he accompanied them, then sent word back to Nicholas about the availability of unclaimed land in the vicinity. If David married Sarah after she and her family moved, then presumably David moved separately. He may already have met Sarah and by arrangement or otherwise, followed her to her new home. Another possibility is that he was led west, not by the Brooks family, but following in the footsteps of John Sims who was a neighbor in the Stone Horse Creek precinct. John obtained a grant west of St. Paul's Parish in 1727 on Locust Creek, then moved to Dirty Swamp and was already there as a neighbor to Richard Brooks when the latter obtained his land grant. If the John Sims scenario in fact took place, David may have visited or accompanied John, then met and married Sarah Brooks after 1731. Whatever the circumstances, once married, it seems certain that David continued to live with the Brooks family until 1743. In that year, Samuel Gentry's son, Nicholas-III, married Sarah's sister, Mary, and Richard gave the newly-married couple 100 acres of land for their own use<3b>. [Nicholas' father, Samuel Gentry had moved to Louisa County in 1742 when he obtained a grant for 700 acres of land on Dirty Swamp which included a part of the same land that had been granted originally to Richard Brooks and next to his brother, Nicholas' land<2e>.] At the same time, Richard gave 100 acres of land to David and Sarah even though they had been married for some considerable period of time.
David Gentry in Lunenburg County
From 1743 on, we can follow David's movements in the records of Louisa and Lunenburg Counties. In 1748, David and Sarah sold their Louisa County land to John Brooks (possibly a brother, or a first cousin of Sarah)<3c>, the same year that Richard Brooks sold his own land. David moved to Lunenburg County along with his Brooks in-laws. He is known to been in Lunenburg County at least as early as 1749, as shown by his presence in Lunenburg tax lists<4>. The tithables list references to David (and to his brothers Nicholas and William) are frustratingly incomplete. Of the Lunenburg County tax records accessed by the compiler, Landon Bell, he chose to publish only those before 1752 when Halifax County was divided from Lunenburg County, and those for 1764 when Mecklenburg and Charlotte Counties were divided from Lunenburg. This has left a gap of missing records extending from 1753 to 1763, which if they were available would likely give much valuable information concerning the various Gentrys present in the county.
Until 1757, there are no records of David owning any land in the county. There are, however, a number of court orders which reflect duties that would be expected of a responsible citizen of the time in the case of laying out a new road, and in serving as surety for his sister-in-law Susannah Brooks for her duties in administering the estate of her husband Richard Brooks Jr. Unfortunately, the court records also, in 1752, began a pattern that was to continue for the remaining dozen years of David's life. This was the fact that David repeatedly incurred debts and was sued for payment of those debts. We will have more to say about this later.
In addition to the court orders, there was one deed (in which David was cited as an adjoining land owner/occupant) that identified him as living in the vicinity of Reedy Creek and adjacent to both Richard Brooks and Joseph Gentry (Samuel's son). In 1757, Richard Brooks Sr., after his son Richard Jr. died, sold to his son Elisha a part of the plantation "wheron the said Richard Brooks lately dwelt; [marked by a] line laid off for Richard Brooks, Junr., deceased, thence to a line laid off for David Gentry, being part of larger tracts [of portions of grants sold to Richard Brooks (and lying at the north end of Reedy Creek)]". This implies that David was living at the time on land owned by Richard Brooks Sr.
The only record of any land purchase by David was in 1757 when for 40 pounds he bought 112 acres of a larger parcel of land that had originally been granted to Richard Taliaferro along Flat Rock Creek<5a>. Whether he or anyone in his family ever occupied that land is not known. The land was part of three adjoining tracts, the remaining two portions being bought by David's son, Hezekiah, and by French Haggard (husband of Samuel Gentry's daughter, Ann). This purchase may have been primarily for investment, for in 1759, David turned around and sold the same land for 50 pounds<5b>. These coordinated purchases appear to have been planned in advance, for the seller, William Embry, in a codicil to his will in 1759, makes a reference to an agreement that had been made by himself to sell this land to David Gentry, French Haggard, and a William Allen<6>. Hezekiah Gentry replaced William Allen at the time of sale, but otherwise the agreed plan had been carried out. Two years later Hezekiah sold half of his portion to Allen Gentry and the remaining half to his neighbor, John Simpkins. A year later, Allen in turn sold that half to a Roger Atkinson, a land speculator living in Dinwiddie County.
David Gentry in Johnston County, North Carolina
David's deed of sale in October 1759 identified him at that time as being "of Johnson [Johnston] Co. NC", although he was in Lunenburg County Court in June of that year. There are no records in Johnston County, North Carolina, for David, and it is uncertain how much time he spent there. The Johnston County connection is a very strange one that has never been satisfactorily explained, yet there is no question that there were Gentrys in that county even if there is no record (other than this one reference) of David being there. In 1759, we find a record of a John Gentry witnessing a deed in Johnston County, and in 1761 and 1762, Samuel Gentry was serving as a chainbearer for a survey crew<7>.
The deed which John Gentry witnessed in 1759 was for the purchase of land by a "Runnel Allin" on Richmond Creek on the Neuse River. This was one of the tributaries in the upper reaches of the Neuse River, in an area that is now inundated by the damming of the river to form Falls Lake in present Wake County. The identity of John cannot be completely verified. He could have been the son of Samuel Gentry who died in 1761, leaving an orphaned son who was put under the guardianship of his grandfather. Or, more likely, John could have been the son of David. The Samuel Gentry in Johnston County, by a process of elimination, has been identified as a son of Samuel Sr., probably his youngest. The 1762 survey plat by Samuel was for David Allen and involved land bordering "Reynold Allen" . The latter first name was frequently spelled "Runnel" or "Runnels" in documents, and there is no question that this was the same individual as that involved in the 1759 deed and was probably a son or brother of David Allen. David's oldest grandson, the son of Hezekiah, was named Reynolds, presumably for Hezekiah's wife, Catherine Reynolds. The appearance of the name Reynold or Reynolds in the Allen family suggests a relationship through marriage between David Gentry's family and the Allen family.
The linking of references involving the Gentrys and Allens in North Carolina and Virginia must surely be more than coincidence:
All of this is strong evidence of a close relationship between the Gentry and the Allen families and suggests that David's venture to North Carolina, along with John and Samuel Gentry, was at the instigation of the Allens. Not only may there have been a relationship of David Gentry with the Allens through marriage with the Reynolds family, but also Samuel Sr's wife, Ann, is widely thought to have been an Allen and perhaps an aunt of William and David Allen.
We have no idea what happened to David Gentry in North Carolina. If this author were to hazard a guess it is that David may have found some suitable land, but probably did not have enough money to complete the process of applying for and receiving a grant. There is no further reference in the Virginia records of David, after the one deed in 1759, being "of Johnston County", and the many references that continued for him in Lunenburg County argue for the fact that he returned to Virginia rather than move to North Carolina even for a short time. During 1759 and 1760, his connections with Johnston County, conveniently allowed him to witness deeds involving Lunenburg County and Johnston County principals<5c-f>. In December 1759, David and Hezekiah Gentry witnessed a deed in which a John McDaniel of Johnston County, North Carolina, traded land in Lunenburg County to William Allen, in exchange for land which the latter held in Johnston County. In July 1760, David witnessed two deeds by Francis Ray of Johnston County, who was selling land Francis owned in Lunenburg County. The deeds were probably signed in Lunenburg County rather than in North Carolina, but there was undoubtedly some association between David and both William Allen and Francis Ray in their North Carolina ventures.
[In trying to understand how and why David became involved with Johnston County, it is worth spending a few minutes to review this episode a little more in depth. Johnston County was formed from a much larger embryonic North Carolina county in 1746 and at that point in history covered roughly the combined area of present Wake and Johnston Counties. Like all of North Carolina, it was far less settled than Virginia. North Carolina settlement began with the granting by the English Crown of all rights and privileges to a group of royal favorites known as the Lord Proprietors. In 1729, these rights were withdrawn, and the Crown repurchased all of the land in the colony that had not already been granted. This land then became available for purchase by would-be settlers through the Crown land office. In addition, John Earl Granville (Lord Granville), was given an enormous stretch of land in North Carolina by the British Crown, to do with as he pleased. This included almost a third of the northern territory of the Colony. An applicant could buy as much land as he could afford from the Land Office established by Granville, though limited to 640 acres per purchase. This was generally at the rate of 50 shillings per 100 acres of land, without having to turn in headrights or satisfy other prerequisite conditions. The applicant had only to find a plot of vacant land, pay a deposit and have it surveyed, and return the survey to the Land Office where he would be issued title to the grant on payment of the final fees. This situation lasted until Lord Granville's death in 1763 and included Johnston County, and resulted in a large influx of settlers to the Colony. Virginia land owners who were facing over-crowding and loss of fertility in their tobacco plantations were gazing across the state border at areas where the grass looked considerably greener and many of them took advantage of the opportunity. David Gentry may have been trying to do the same.]
The last years of David's life must have been unhappy ones. Beginning in 1761, David was sued repeatedly in court for the settlement of debts he incurred<8b>. We have no idea why he went so heavily in debt--he may have suffered ill health; he may have incurred unusual expenses related to his North Carolina venture; his business judgment may have been affected by old age. Whatever the reason, the last five years of his life involved a continuing succession of court cases. Most of his debts he acknowledged by default, not appearing in court to contest the suit. In each case, however, a summons was issued by the court to David, and he was never identified as no longer being a resident of Lunenburg County. Whether David lived part time in both Lunenburg and Johnston Counties during this time, or when he might have returned to Lunenburg County full time, we do not know.
During all this time between 1757 and 1764, David's son, Hezekiah, was living independently, and we have already seen that in 1757, he bought a portion of the same land on Flat Rock Creek that William Embry had sold in part to David Gentry. Hezekiah kept his land until 1761 and must have moved his family there. But there is no mention of any of the rest of David's family until David Jr. was summoned to court with his father in 1762. We presume that the family must have been living on the Brooks plantation property where they had been from the beginning of their time in Lunenburg County and that they did not accompany David to North Carolina. A tax list reference in 1764, to a David Gentry may have been for David Jr. for the listing is qualified by the phrase "call him Long David" as if to distinguish him from his father<9>. The last reference to anyone in the David Gentry family in Virginia appears to have been a court case against John Gentry that was dismissed in 1766 because John was no longer an inhabitant of the county.
The suit brought to the April 1765 court is the last known reference to David. Sarah Gentry left Virginia and took her children to South Carolina along with her brother, Elisha Brooks. It is not known whether their father Richard accompanied them -- a Richard Brooks who obtained a land grant nearby at about the same time was the son of their uncle, Robert, rather than their father. Sarah was granted 450 acres of land in Colleton County, South Carolina, in 1766 as a widow<10> [see refr. for access to online copy of plat map for this land]. We can assume, therefore, that David probably died in 1765 in Lunenburg County. We have no knowledge as to whatever eventually happened to Sarah, but she was still living on her new property in 1773<11> The further history of this family, and a summary account of the children of David Gentry, continues below.
Family of David Gentry
In discussing David's family we are faced with two problems. The first is whether Sarah Brooks was his only wife or whether he had another wife before her. The second is to clearly identify, place in order, and estimate the dates of birth of his children. There is no evidence one way or the other as to dual marriages. The question only arises because a marriage of Sarah to David in about 1728 implies an age for Sarah that seems to be much older than one would expect for any of the children of Richard Brooks. Unfortunately, this writer has not been able to find reliable information in Brooks Family records as to birth dates for this Richard's children. Rather there is a great deal of confusion mixing records for Richard's family, his brother Robert's family (which also had a Richard), and his uncle Robert's family (which likewise had a Richard). The writer is left with a feeling that indeed David had a first wife who was probably the mother of his first two children. [In addition there is a lingering question as to whether this first wife might have been a part of the Allen family which was so much a part of David's life in Lunenburg County.]
Our second problem with David's family lies with the children. Nowhere is there any document that specifically ties either David or Sarah Gentry with any one of their children. The closest thing to a direct reference is the case of "David Jr" who is listed as such together with "David Sr" in a Lunenburg County court case in 1762<8b>. Because the suffix Junior and Senior did not necessarily imply relationship to each other at that time in history, this juxtaposition of names is sufficiently persuasive for us but not absolutely conclusive. The presence of a John Gentry in one of the North Carolina references, and in the final Lunenburg County court reference is persuasive of his identification as a son of David also. The fact that these two and Hezekiah all ended up in South Carolina with David's other children is the only evidence of their relationship.
The identification of the other children is based entirely on geography--the fact that Sarah moved to South Carolina after the death of David, and all of her proposed children lived most of their lives in South Carolina close to where she settled. Sarah Gentry received a grant of 450 acres of land when she moved to Colleton County, South Carolina in 1766 (in an area that later became Edgefield County). The size of this grant was determined by an allowance of 100 acres for herself, and 50 acres for each of the members of her household, whether minor or adult children (or in some case including an allowance for slaves). We can account for six of these children easily, the younger sons of David, all of whom were living in Edgefield, Abbeville, and Greenville Districts at the time of the 1790 census. It is not clear whether Hezekiah moved with Sarah and his siblings. He appeared in a tax list in Rowan County, North Carolina, in about 1768 along with his uncles, Nicholas and Joseph Gentry<'15a>, but he certainly did not remain there, and settled permanently in South Carolina along with the rest of David's family.
Other than the fact that the Virginia evidence suggests that David was the oldest of the children excluding Hezekiah, and that possibly John was the next oldest, we are left with great difficulty in determining the order of birth of the children, let alone any estimate of their date of birth. This writer has suggested an order, and approximate years of birth for David's children in the listing below. We make no claims as to their correctness. The best that we have been able to do is guess their relative ages based entirely on assumptions as to the relative ages of their children .
|i.||Hezekiah Gentry, born about 1729, Hanover County, Virginia; married about 1753 Lunenburg County Virginia to Catherine Reynolds; died 4 Apr 1824, Edgefield District, South Carolina.|
|ii.||David Gentry, born about 1732, Hanover County (later Louisa County), Virginia; died possibly about 1795, Pendelton District, South Carolina.|
|iii.||John Gentry; born about 1737, Hanover County (later Louisa County), Virginia; died bef.1820, probably in Edgefield District, South Carolina. Probably married twice, spouses [Unknown].|
|iv.||Allen Cain Gentry, born about 1740, Louisa County, Virginia; married (1) [Unknown]; married (2) Lydia ("Liddie") Youngblood; died about 1809 in Edgefield District,South Carolina.|
|v.||Simon Gentry, born about 1745, Louisa County, Virginia; married (1) [Unknown]; married (2) Rebecca Cobb; died bef.1800, Edgefield District, South Carolina.|
|vi.||Elisha Gentry, born about 1747, Louisa County, Virginia; married Naomi/Neomy [Unknown] (possibly Martin); died 1803, Clarke County, Georgia.|
|vii.||Elijah Gentry, born about 1750, Lunenburg County, Virginia; married Hannah [Unknown]; died about 1817, Monroe County, Mississippi Territory.|
The Early History of South Carolina
We are handicapped in developing a hypothesis for the children of David by the lack of records before about 1785. The area of South Carolina in which Sarah Gentry settled was at the far limits of concern by the colonial government which centered around Charleston. Virtually no records were kept of these outlying areas of "Indian country". A judicial district organization was adopted in 1769 that placed Sarah in Ninety-Six District, from which Edgefield County was formed in 1785 after South Carolina became a state. Prior to that time, land or court or other records, if recorded at all, were kept in Charleston. When we see that Edgefield County Deed Books began in 1786, it is because information prior to that time was not kept. Moreover, with respect to land titles, during the Revolutionary War, South Carolina revoked all individual titles to land, and it was necessary for land owners to reapply to the state after the war ended for grants to the land they were occupying.
Originally the up-river area of South Carolina was all a part of Craven County, dating from 1685. In 1769, Ninety-Six District was created extending roughly to the North Carolina border. The latter boundary was uncertain, and grants from North Carolina in Mecklenburg and Tryon Counties overlapped with grants from South Carolina in Ninety-Six District.
A Commission of the General Assembly in 1783 and 1785 laid off Ninety-Six District into six smaller counties for greater ease in administration and attendance at courts. Abbeville, Edgefield, and Newberry Counties were created in 1783. It was not until 1785 that Spartanburg, Laurens, and Union Counties completed the division of Ninety-Six District. Following this division, the Ninety-Six District Circuit Court met on an established schedule at each of the county seats, while county courts and county officials were established in each county separately. An Act of 1798-1799 abolished county courts. Thereafter each of the six counties was designated a District, with a separate District Circuit Court. All South Carolina districts remained such until the adoption of the Constitution of 1868 at which time (under Federal pressure), the designation "County" was adopted.
The Children of David Gentry - Continued
We will briefly discuss each of the children of David and provide the few references that have surfaced relating to each one. The term "few", however, does not apply to Hezekiah. There is an abundance of references to him and to his family, in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We are showing only a sampling of these references below. They begin with a court action in 1755 in Lunenburg County, Virginia, against Hezekiah and his uncle Nicholas Gentry for debt<14a>. This was followed by Hezekiah's purchase from William Embry in 1757, of 147 acres of land on Flat Rock Creek near its junction with the Meherrin River in Lunenburg County (see Fig. 2)<13a>. Hezekiah continued to appear in Lunenburg County records until 1765. For a final court case in 1766, he did not appear in person but was represented by an assignee. In that same year, his uncle Joseph and a John Gentry (who presumably was Hezekiah's brother) were charged in court in a case that was dismissed because the defendants were no longer residents of Lunenburg County<20a>.
Hezekiah and Joseph both appeared next in a tax list in Rowan County, North Carolina (later split off as Surry County), in 1768<15a>. From this it appears that Hezekiah joined Joseph in leaving Lunenburg County and moving to North Carolina at the end of 1765 or the beginning of 1766, at the same time as Sarah Gentry was moving to South Carolina. There is no further evidence of Hezekiah remaining in North Carolina, other than an apparent brief visit in 1782 to Surry County. This visit, in which he was accompanied by his sons Robert and Runnels ("Reynolds") and by Nathaniel Gentry from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, may have been a "fishing" expedition, looking into the possibility of picking up confiscated land forfeited by North Carolina Tories at the end of the Revolutionary War<15b>.
The earliest reference to Hezekiah or any of his brothers we have found in South Carolina was 1779, when Hezekiah, John, and Nicholas Gentry were named in an act of the General Assembly, along with many others, as individuals to be considered for jury duty <25f>. Hezekiah was on a list for both grand jury duty and petit jury duty and was identified as being in Spartan District at the time. His name was to be subject to drawing at lot for jury service. Nicholas was living in an area near Cuffee Town and Turkey Creek, and was to be subject to petit jury dury. John was living near "Ninety-Six Courthouse" and in Spartan District, and was subject to petit jury and special court assignment duty. The intervening ten years of time since Hezekiah last appeared in any records, and the corresponding lack of any references to the rest of David's family, reflects the wasteland of record-keeping associated with pre-Revolutionary War South Carolina.
Hezekiah settled in Edgefield County (as it was still called) after the war was over and obtained three grants of land totalling almost 700 acres in the vicinity of the Little Saluda River, in the northern part of the county, as well as another grant of almost 200 acres of land in Union County<25ab>. It is hard to know the purpose of the last land grant as Hezekiah sold it again almost as soon as he received the grant. There are many references to Hezekiah and to members of his family from 1786 until his death in 1824<16,17>. For the most part these relate to an extensive history of buying and selling property. We will not attempt to describe them here, as they deserve a separate Journal article of their own at a later date. In addition, we know more about Hezekiah's immediate family than any of his siblings because his sons Reynolds, Robert, and Thomas all left wills that for the most part name the members of their own families.
Hezekiah left a will, signed 19 Jun 1820, and received for probate in Edgefield District Court, 12 Apr 1824<18>. He named all of his children in this will, all but three of which were living. A part of his bequests consisted of slaves given to various members of the family who were than asked to pay back various amounts of cash to the estate. The cash and personal property in the estate was then to be equally divided among five of the heirs. His plantation on which he was living at the time of his death was divided half-and-half between his son, Robert, and Sarah Gentry, the widow of his son, Thomas. His son, Hezekiah Jr., also pre-deceased him, but a bequest was made to the latter's son, Reynolds. Hezekiah Sr.'s wife is believed to have died shortly before 1800 and so was not mentioned, but we know from other evidence that her name was Catherine (probably Reynolds). Hezekiah is believed to have been living with a granddaughter, Keziah Gentry at the time of the 1820 census when his will was written.
David Gentry Jr
Of all of David Sr.'s children, we probably know the least about David Jr. We have mentioned above that he was named in a court case, along with his father, in Lunenburg County, Virginia in 1762<8b>. In addition, he is probably the David in the Lunenburg tax lists of 1764 who is given the nickname of "Long David"<4>. We also know that David owned two tracts of land totaling 151 acres in 1790, probably in the vicinity of Big Horse Creek (directly across the Savannah River from present day Augusta, Georgia)<19,25bc>. Despite his ownership of land in Edgefield District in 1791, he was listed in Pendleton District for the 1790 census (which incidentally was actually conducted in 1791 in South Carolina). He apparently bought land there, which he sold in 1795 along with all his household furniture and farm animals to Major Gentry (probably one of his sons). This is the last we know of him and we presume the sale was in anticipation of death. [We suggest that "Major" was the son's first name, not a military rank.]
There is almost no information as to David Jr's wife, or of his children. We can only speculate that Joel Gentry, who settled in nearby Laurens District, South Carolina, and a David Gentry who moved to Greenville District, were sons. Both appeared in the 1800 census for those districts, Joel remained in Laurens District, but the younger David, who was newly-married, left before 1810. He may have been the David Gentry who settled in Baldwin County, Alabama, where he was listed in the 1820 state census. A son of the elder David who was included in the 1790 South Carolina census is thought to have been the Major Gentry who took over his father's property. Two daughters were also present in 1790 and no information is available about them.
We propose that a John Gentry who appeared suddenly in the 1810 Abbeville District census with a rather large family and no prior record of association with David <26>, was David's oldest son who had left the family before 1790. This family, for the most part, did not remain in Abbeville District, but moved to Hall County, Georgia, after 1810. (For convenience, this John is identified as "John Gentry of Abbeville" in other articles in the Journal of Gentry Genealogy.)
The John Gentry who appeared in a court case in Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1766 can best be explained as being a son of David Sr<20a>. If this is so, it is probable that he was the third in order of age of David's children. Beyond this brief, inconclusive reference, there is nothing in the land or census records of South Carolina that give us a clue to his age. We mentioned above in the section on Hezekiah, that John was named in the list of potential court jurors for Ninety-Six District in 1779 at which time he was living in Spartan [Spartanburg] District. John has been cited in Revolutionary War records as having served in the militia after the fall of Charleston<25de>. His only appearance in land records was as a witness in 1790 and 1792<20b>. What little else we know comes from the census records. He was listed in Edgefield District in 1790 and 1810, but in next-door Abbeville District in 1800. He apparently died between 1810 and 1820 without leaving any will.
John's children, other than a daughter Elizabeth who married Andrew Shelnut, are entirely speculative. The census records show the presence of two sons in 1790 and apparently four daughters besides Elizabeth. The two older sons have been suggested as being William and Allen Gentry who appeared in the tax lists of Roane County, Tennessee, in the 1820's. The addition of another male child in the 1800 and 1810 census has been suggested to be the Wyatt Gentry who shows up initially in census records in the 1820 Elbert County, Georgia records. He was included in later Georgia censuses and in 1850 was listed in Benton County, Alabama, age 59, born in South Carolina. If we are right about John Sr.'s age, this son, and his two youngest daughters, born well after the youngest of John's other children, were probably a product of a second, late marriage. A further proposal for John's family is that a second John Gentry family that showed up suddenly and unexpectedly in the 1810 census, was the oldest son of our John Sr. This John was listed in Edgefield District with fourteen children <26>. He may have been the John Gentry who was taxed in Wilkes County, Georgia, in 1790, and who then moved on to parts unknown. (For convenience, this John is identified as "John Gentry of Edgefield" in other articles in the Journal of Gentry Genealogy.) If this John was indeed a son of John Sr., his approximate date of birth of roughly 1765 matches well with the estimated age of John Sr.
Allen Cain Gentry
Like his brothers John and Simon, Cain is credited with serving in the militia in the Revolutionary War in 1781 and 1782<25de>. There is a reference to him being an adjoining land owner in a deed of sale in Edgefield County in 1798<22>. This land was in the vicinity of Stephens Creek (which runs from Abbeville County through the southwest corner of Edgefield County into the Savannah River). There is also a reference in 1808 to a Cain Gentry owning land in Abbeville District (presumably an extension of the Stephens Creek land across the district border). Cain's sons John and Cain Jr. apparently took over this land before or after Cain Sr.'s death, as there is a record of a sale by each of them in 1809 and 1810 of at least a portion of the property. (Both Cain Jr. and John can be unambiguously identified in these sales by a reference to the relinquishment of dower rights by their wives, Judith and Elizabeth respectively). Cain Sr. is assumed to have died shortly before these sales. Other references to a Cain Gentry, in Jackson County, Georgia, are believed to refer to his son, Cain Jr, (named Cain Allen Gentry as opposed to his father, Allen Cain Gentry)<27>. Cain Sr. was listed in the Edgefield District census records for 1790 and 1800 (the printed AIS indexes have him listed as "Jane" Gentry in that year).
Cain married Lydia ("Liddy") Youngblood, daughter of Peter Youngblood. She probably was a second wife to judge from her own age (born 1755-1774) and that of some of Cain's older children (e.g. John, David, Cain Jr. and Matthew all born before 1774 and two of them married by 1790). There is no information about the proposed first wife. Cain's family has a very unusual census pattern. His oldest son, John, was listed continuously in South Carolina census records from 1790 to 1840 in Edgefield and Anderson districts. For 1810, none of the rest of Cain's children can be found in any census records. Then suddenly, in 1820, all but one of his sons were represented in Pendleton District--John, David's son Archibald, Cain Jr., Matthew, and Bartlett (only William was missing). This writer has speculated that there may have been a provision in Cain Sr.'s estate settlement that left his property to his widow, Lydia, during her lifetime, and that she may have died in 1820, giving rise to a family reunion to dispose of the property. [The Allen Cain family is described in much more detail in 2012, issue(B) of the Journal]
Simon served as a sergeant in the militia after the fall of Charleston in the Revolutionary War<25de>. He is cited in Edgefield County Court records three times between 1786 and 1789, and his name is found in a mortgage document in 1792<21>. Other than these few citations, and census records, we have found no other records pertaining to Simon. The 1792 document is significant in that he binds himself to pay his two step-sons, Jeremiah Cobb and Sanders Cobb, for the use of land belonging to them. They were the children of Simon's second wife, a widow Rebecca Cobb (the name of her first husband is uncertain). Considering this document, and census records, it appears probable that this second marriage took place shortly after the 1790 census (as indicated earlier, this census was actually carried out in South Carolina in 1791).
Simon, himself, was not in the census records after 1790, but had two sons born after that date, so probably died shortly before 1800. His widow continued to appear in the 1800 and 1810 census. The former year her listing in the Edgefield District census has been transcribed as "Dukey". Her name was probably actually written as "Becky" In 1810, Rebecca was in Abbeville District. In identifying Simon's children, we can be fairly confident that the two youngest sons, Daniel and Lewis were children of Simon and Rebecca. His older children are much more problematic. The 1790 census included one son born before 1774 who may have been the Francis Gentry, who witnessed a deed in 1798 and was listed in the 1800 and 1810 Edgefield District census records. The 1790 census also included three sons born after 1774, two of whom were still living with Simon's widow in 1800. These were all presumably children of Simon's first wife. One of these teenage sons was probably Allen Gentry who was living near Rebecca Gentry in Abbeville District in 1810 and who eventually moved to Shelby County, Mississippi. The other was probably Isaac Gentry who moved to Bibb County, Alabama. The missing son could well have been the David Gentry who moved to Cherokee territory in Tennessee and eventually married Tiana Rogers, the half-breed daughter of the famed Cherokee leader John Rogers. Simon appeared to have had four daughters, one of whom is believed to have been Elizabeth Gentry who married James Davenport.
This son of David Gentry, named for Sarah's brother, Elisha Brooks, was the subject of an article by Bryant Gentry in this year's March issue of the Gentry Journal. The only South Carolina reference we have found for him records his service on jury duty in Edgefield County Court in 1787<23a>.
Beginning in 1790, and continuing until his death in 1803, Elisha's name appeared a number of times in tax lists in Wilkes County, Jackson County, and Clark County, Georgia (these do not represent moves from place to place, but rather the organization of new county boundaries for his property)<27>. His will, which was recorded in Clark County, is summarized here in the reference section of this article<23b>. Further references to an Elisha Gentry in Georgia after 1803 refer to his son. His widow Neomy (or Naomi) also continued to be listed in Georgia records.
Elijah appears to be the youngest of the sons of David and Sarah Gentry. He joined several of his brothers in serving in the South Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War<25de>, but then the next reference to him comes in Georgia, not South Carolina<27>. Like Elisha, his name appears occasionally in early Georgia records that predate census and other records, continuing until perhaps 1802 (later references to an Elijah Gentry in Georgia probably were to Elisha's son). We have no further knowledge of him until 1818, when Elijah's son, James, was named executor of Elijah's will in Monroe County, in the newly formed state of Mississippi. From this will, and later court and census records, we learn that Elijah had children that included James, Simon and Sarah who were all born in South Carolina, and at least two sons, Elijah Jr., and Josiah who were born in Georgia. In a later divorce proceeding involving Simon, Elijah's widow is identified as being Hannah Gentry.
What about Nicholas Gentry?
The fact that a Nicholas Gentry appeared briefly in the records of Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, and then in about 1779 left for Tennessee where he died at the hands of Indian marauders, has led many to the conclusion that Nicholas was a member of David-II's family. This writer is convinced that this Nicholas was a son of Nicholas-III and Mary Brooks Gentry. The elder Nicholas was a son of Samuel-II Gentry and a nephew of David, living in Surry County, North Carolina at the time the younger Nicholas passed through South Carolina. Several facts argue for this relationship, no one of which would be conclusive, but taken together help to bolster each other.
We have attempted to present to the reader a comprehensive picture of David Gentry and his family. There are many questions that remain to be answered concerning David and particularly the details of his children's descendants. This compilation, however, may be helpful to other researchers by trying to bring together in one place most of what we know of David, Sarah, and their sons.
|A. References to David Gentry|
|1.||"The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Va, 1706-1786", transcribed & edited by C. G. Chamberlayne, published by The Library Board [of Virginia], Richmond, 1940, reprinted 1973. Processioning records for 1716 and 1719.|
|(a)||1716||Sep 22||p.75 : Vestry meeting:|
|"In Obedience to the [Order of new Kent County Court] its Ordered that all the Tithables from Golden mine Creek, to Stony run with Mr. Geo. Dabney's Quarter, and Thomas Harris, do assist Sam'l Gentry in Clearing a road, from Stone Horse Creek to Stony Run."|
|(b)||1719||Feb 27||p.263 |
|[Precinct 24]: "The lands of Mr. John Perkins, John Jones, John Tyler, Peter Harroldson, John Tinsley, Edw'd Chambers, Mr. Pettis (Edw'd Harris), Jos. Gentry & Alex. McKenzy, being one Precinct, of which Mr Jn'o Perkins and John Jones were Overseers, who made this return, according to the Order of vestry the within Land is procession'd by us Feb'r 27, 1719.|
|(c)||1719||"8br" [Oct] 10||p.265 : Processioning return:|
|[Precinct 31]: "The lands of ... Nich'o Gentry, ... Sam'l Gentry, of which Mr. Geo. Alves & Nich'o Gentry were Overs'rs; who made this return, the within Order comply'd with ... [signed] Geo. Alves, Nich'o Gentry."|
|(d)||1719||"8br" [Oct] 10||p.266 |
|[Precinct 38]: "Lands of Edward Nix, Rich'd Brooks, Cap't Nath'l West, Jn'o Stone, Francis Stone, John Burch"; Rich'd Brooks and Edw'd Nix overseers, return dated 8 Feb 1719/20. [This precinct is 4 away from precinct 31 above, precincts 35-37 missing].|
|2.||"Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of
Virginia Land Patents and Grants"|
"Vol III (1695-1732)", abstracted by Nell Marion Nugent, published by Virginia State Library, Richmond, 1979;
"Vol IV (1732-1741)" and "Vol V (1741-1749), edited. by Denis Hudgins, published by Virginia Genealogical Society, Richmond, 1994;
|(a)||1723||Feb 20||Vol III p.260 (Patent Bk 11, p.328):|
|"Samuel Gentry, 400 acs (new land) Hanover Co., on N. side the South Anna (Riv), bet. lines of Drumond, Scott & Taylor".|
|(b)||1724||Feb 22||Vol III p.277 (Patent Bk 12, p.145):|
|"Samuel Gentry, 196 acs (new land) Hanover Co., on both sides of Beech Cr.; adj. Mr. Alves cor; William Harris' line; & line of Drummond & Scott".|
|(c)||1731||Aug 25||Vol III p.400 (Patent Book 14, p.219)|
|"Richard Brooks, Junr, 400 acres (new) Hanover Co., on both sides of Dirty Sw; adj. Mr. George Alves."|
|(d)||1736||Dec 28||Vol IV p.125 (Patent Bk 17, p.222)|
|"Nicholas Gentry, 400 acs Hanover co., both sides Dirty Sw; adj Richard Brookes/Brooks, Capt. Overton, Mr. Charles Aarret [Barret?] & Thomas Rice".|
|(e)||1742||Jul 30||Vol V p.23 (Patent Bk 20, p.347)|
|"Samuel Gentry, 700 acs. Hanover Co. on both sides of dirty Sw; adj Clark, Henson & Brooks. 108 acs part formerly gtd Richard Brooks by Pat. 5 [sic] Aug 1731 (Patent Bk 14, p.219, 400 acs to Richard Brooks Junr. dated 15 Aug 1732 [sic]) & by him sold and conveyed unto the sd. Samuel Gentry. The Residue never before gtd."|
|3.||Louisa County, Virginia, Deed Books|
|Richard Brooks of Fredericksville Par., Louisa Co., Planter, for paternal affection for my son-in-law, David Gentry and his wife, Sarah Gentry, my daughter...100 acres on Dirty Swamp, Fredericksville Par. Signed: Richard (R) Brooks. Wit: John Venable, John Clark. Ack. 13 Jun 1743 by Richard Brooks.|
|Richard Brooks of Fredericksville Par., Louisa Co., Planter, for paternal affection to my son-in-law, Nicholas Gentry, the younger, and his wife, Mary Gentry, my daughter...100 acres on Dirty Swamp. Signed. Richard (R) Brooks. Wit: John Venable, John Clark. Ack. 13 Jun 1743 by Richard Brooks.|
|David Gentry of Fredericksville Par., Louisa Co., to John Brooks of same place for 30 pounds, sold 100 acres on both sides of Dirty Swamp and was given by deed of gift 13 Jun 1743 by Richard Brooks to said David Gentry ... wit: Abra. Venable, John Richardson, Robt. Wathen. Ack. 28 Aug 1748 by David Gentry & Sarah, his wife, relinq. dower.|
|Thomas Lane of Louisa Co, and Ann, his wife, to John Starke, for 37 pounds, sold 100 acres on Dirty Swamp in Fredericksville Par., conveyed 22 Sep 1746 by Nicholas Gentry, the younger, and Mary, his wife to said Lane. Signed: Thomas Lane, Ann (A) Lane. Wit: John (X) Brooks, David (D) Gentry, Allen (X) Gentry. Ack. by Thomas Lane 27 Aug 1751, Ann, his wife, gave consent.|
|Samuel Gentry of Lunenburg Co VA, Planter, to David Cosby of Louisa Co VA, for 15 pounds, sold 108 acres in Frederickville Par...Signed: Samuel (S) Gentry. Wit: Charles Cosby Junr., David (D) Gentry. 22 Nov 1757 ack. by Samuel Gentry.|
|4.||Landon C. Bell, "Sunlight on the Southside, Lists of Tithes, Lunenburg County, Virginia, 1748-1783", Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1974.|
|1749||David Gentry||- Tithable List by Hugh Lawson Between Hounds Creek & Meherrin, with Robert Brooks as a tithable in his household.|
|1750||David Gentry||- Tithable List by Richd. Witton, with Wm Gentry in his household.|
|1751||[David Gentry||- NOT found on existing Tithable Lists of that year.]|
|1752||David Gentry||- Tithable List by Richd. Witton.|
|1764||David Gentry||("call him Long David") - Tithable list by David Garland.|
|5.||Lunenburg County Deed
David Gentry as Principal
|William Embry to David Gentry, both of Lunenburg Co VA, for 40 pounds, sold 112 acres on upper side of Flatt Rock Creek and Beaver pond branch, adj. James Chiswell, being a part of a larger tract granted 5 Sep 1749 unto Richd. Talliaferro and since conveyed to said Embry in general court...Recorded 6 Jul 1757.|
|David Gentry of Johnson Co NC to William Cross of Amelia Co VA, for 50 pounds, sold 112 acres, adj. James Chiswell on Flat Rock Creek...Wit: Richard Gentry, Joseph Gentry, William Burgamy, Robert Hawkins...Signed: David (mark) Gentry. Recorded 1 Feb 1760.|
|David Gentry as Witness|
|John McDaniel of Johnston Co NC to William Allen, 200 acres on south side of Meherrin River in the fork of Little Mountain Creek, adj. James Arnold, James McDaniel, Grainger & Welton. Wit: James East, Hezekiah Gentry, David (D) Gentry, Moses (M) Govea? (Cockerham?).|
|Francis Ray of Johnston Co NC to John Brooks of Lunenburg Co VA for 50 pounds, sold 197 acres, adj. Wm Allen's spring branch down Meherring River...mouth of Crooked Creek...Wit: William (A) Allin, William (W) Gentry, David (D) Gentry. Recorded 3 Feb 1761.|
|Francis Ray of Johnston Co NC to William Gentry of Lunenburg Co, VA, for 25 pounds, sold 50 acres, adj. Andrews' Rock...Wit: William (A) Allen, Allen (A) Gentry, David (D) Gentry. Signed: Francis ( ) Ray. Recorded 3 Feb 1761.|
|Joseph Simkins to James Cooper...adj. lands of French Haggard being part of R. Tallafas [Taliaferro] grant of 5 Sep 1749...Wit: William Gentry, John (B) Brooks, David (D) Gentry.|
|6.||Lunenburg County, Virginia, Will Books|
|Will of William Embry. Dated 6 May 1759, Recorded 5
|Codicil. Dated 7 May 1759|
|I left out 3 tracts of land on Flatrock Creek and branch thereof, formerly granted to Richard Talliaferro and since then conveyed to testator; and since that conveyance the testator did covenant with and agree to sell to David Gentry, French Haggard, William Allin & James Chiswell all of this land which they agree to divide.|
|7.||Johnston County, North Carolina, Deed and Patent Books|
|(a)||"Johnston County, North Carolina, Abstracts of Deed Books A-1 to D-1, 1759 thru 1771", by Weynette Parks Haun, Durham, NC, 1981|
|Tibetha Keeton, Johnston Co., widow, to Runell Allin, Johnston Co., for 20 pounds, 220 acres on Richland Creek, Johnston Co., and upper side of said creek, being part of tract granted to Tibetha in her widowhood...; witnessed by John (X) Gentry, and Wm (X) Manerin; proved at last Tues of Oct Court, 1759, by Cornelius.|
|(b)||"The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748-1763", by
Margaret M. Hofmann, The Roanoke News Co., Weldon, NC, 1987|
Vol II "Abstracts of Land Grants (covering Granville, Halifax, Hyde, Johnston, Northampton, Orange and Tyrrell Counties)", p.211
|1761||Jul 22||#3308 Patent Book (14-244)|
|John Spencer granted 700 ac in Johnston County on the south side of Neuse River joining Brogdens line. Signed: John Spencer; witness: J. Ballard, Robt Rainey. Surveyed 5 May 1761; chainbearers Millington Blaylock, Saml Gentry; Charley Young surveyor.|
|(c)||ibid, Vol V "Abstracts of Misc Land Office Records"|
|(p.88) Plat for John Spencer, 700 ac in Johnston Co., on the south side of Neuse River joining Brogdens line. Chainbearers: Mickington [?] Blaylock, Samuel Gentry; Charles Young, surveyor.|
|(p.40), Plat for David Allen, 520 ac in Johnston Co. on both sides of Neuse River, joining Reynold Allen. Chainbearers: Saml Gentry, Robt Cook; Charles Young, surveyor. [Refr #4403, a warrant for survey, refers to Neuse River at the mouth of Cedar Creek].|
|8.||Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Books|
|On motion of Susannah Brooks granted letters of administration of the estate of Richard Brooks decd, her late husband, giving her security. David Gentry and Robert Brooks, her security, acknowledged their bond for the due administration of the said estate. Appraisers of Estate: John Williams, Rep Jones, Samuel Gentry & Drury Moore.|
|Petition by John Hobson & others for a road to be laid and cleared the best and most convenient way from Reedy Creek church to the forks of Witton's Road. John Bacon, David Gentry & Simon Gentry to view and examine the way and report to the next court.|
|John Bacon Sr., Simon Gentry and David Gentry report on the road from Reedy Creek to forks of Cal'v Witton's Road. Road ordered to be established.|
|William Burgamy ordered to pay David Gentry for attendance as a witness at a suit by David Garland against Burgamy.|
|(b)||Suits in Settlement of Debt|
|1752||Jul Court||Bk(2 1/2A-72)|
|Henry Embry Plt vs David Gentry, Deft. Suit dismissed.|
|1752||Nov Court||Bk(2 1/2A-333)|
|Henry Embry Plt vs David Gentry, Deft, suit for debt (£1 16/7). Judgment and costs against the Deft.|
|Robert Wade Junior Plt vs David Gentry - in
Plt appeared by his attorney and Deft in his Proper Person. Settlement of a debt.
|John Jennings, Plt vs David Gentry, Deft. Existence of debt by Deft determined by the court and assessed costs.|
|Theophilus Field, Plt, vs David Gentry, Deft. Suit dismissed and Plt ordered to pay Deft his costs.|
|Richard Hanson & Michael (?) Hawkins, Plt, vs David Gentry, Deft. Plt came by his attorney, but Deft came not but makes default whereupon conditional judgment by the court against Deft and his bail William Gentry is confirmed. Deft ordered to pay debt plus interest.|
|Henry Blasgrave(?) vs David Gentry. Deft not coming, although duly summoned, judgment awarded to Plt with his costs.|
|Joel Thranicks(?) assignee of Samuel Simkin(?) vs David Gentry. Deft not appearing altho duly summoned, judgment is ordered for the Plt for cash payment and fee.|
|Jonathan Patterson & Hebron vs David Gentry Jr. & David Gentry Sr. Defts not appearing altho duly summoned, judgment for the Plt against Deft Gentry Jr. for payment and costs. Dismissed against Gentry Sr.|
|Jeffrey Ruffaill(?) vs David Gentry. Deft not appearing altho duly summoned, but makes default, whereupon the conditional order against the Deft and Wm Allen his bail is confirmed.|
|Richard Hanson vs David Gentry. Deft comes not altho duly called and acknowledges debt by default, whereupon the conditional order of the court against the Deft and his bail William Allen is confirmed. Judgment for payment with terms of payment.|
|John Granger vs David Gentry, upon an attachment. It appearing to the court that there are no effects, suit dismissed.|
|James Thornton vs Joseph Simpkin and Allen Gentry, in Debt. Defts came not. Order that the Plt recover against sd Deft Simpkin and David Gentry and David Brooks, his security. Suit dismissed as to Gentry at his costs.|
|George Potter, assignee of George Brown vs James Denton and David Gentry, in Debt. Defts came not. Ordered that Plt recover against sd Defts and David Gentry [sic] and David Brooks their common bail.|
|Zachariah Bullock ordered to pay Joseph Williams, a witness for him against David Gentry.|
|Thomas Tabb, Plt, vs Hezekiah, David, and Joseph Gentry. In Debt. By agreement suit discontinued and Defts to pay Plt his costs.|
|9.||"Cumberland Parish, Lunenburg County, Virginia, Vestry Book 1746-1816", edited by Landon C. Bell, Richmond, VA, 1930, p.505.|
|1760||Mar 1||Procession returns, Precinct #14:|
|Land of Allen Gentry - present Wm & David Gentry.|
|10.||"Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Vol VI, 1766-1770", transcribed by Brent H. Holcomb, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1999, p.39.|
|"The following Petitions Praying for Warrants of Survey, to Prolong Warrants and Certifying Platts were presented and read Viz:|
|Elisha Brooks||400 [ac] at (96 [Creek]) South side Saludy River.|
|Sarah "Gently" [sic]||450 [ac] between Saludy [Saluda River]
and Savannah [River].|
[Note. A copy of the plat map dated 7 Jan 1767 for this warrant may be seen online by searching for "Gentry, Sarah" in
|11.||"South Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1773-1778", transcribed by Brent H. Holcomb, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1993, p.33|
|1772/3||Dec 31/Jan 1||Bk(G4, p.440-444)|
|Lease and release by Isaac Mitchell of Colleton Co., and
Mary his wife, of 296 ac on a branch of Ninety-six Creek, waters of Saludy River, on a small
branch ... adj. land of ... Sarah Gentry ... [and others]. Rec. 7 Jan 1774
[Presumably Sarah still living as of this date.] |
Note. Prior to 1785, all deeds were recorded in Charleston, where the original deed books are still held.
|B. References to David's Children|
|References to Hezekiah Gentry|
|12.||"The Carter Family Ledger, by John Benjamin Carter (1799-1856)", transcribed by Donald Edwin Gross, Jr.|
|John Benjamin Carter observed in his journal that "Hezekiah Jentry" died 4 April 1824 and that he was about 95 years of age at the time. Carter was a brother of Artemesia Carter who married a grandson of Hezekiah Gentry, Pleasant Burnett Jr., son of Anna Gentry and Pleasant Burnett Sr. Pleasant Sr. died in 1794 after which Anna remarried and lived long enough to be listed in Hezekiah's will. While John Carter's relationship was with the Burnett family not the Gentry family, initially he would have been reasonably aware, at least by reputation, of Hezekiah, but the long period between the death of Pleasant Sr. in 1790 and Hezekiah's death in 1824 may or may not have had an effect upon how well Carter still knew Hezekiah by the time he died.|
|13.||Lunenburg County, Virginia, Deed Books|
|William Embry to Hezekiah Gentry, both of Lunenburg Co VA for 20 pounds, sold 147 acres, adj. French Haggard, being part of a larger tract granted 15 Sep 1749 to Richard Talliaferro and was conveyed to said Embry in general court. Recorded 3 Aug 1757.|
|Hezekiah Gentry to Allen Gentry for 20 pounds, sold 73 acres granted 5 Sep 1749 to Richard Taliaferro, adj. French Haggard and Joseph Simpkin's corner...Recorded 7 Apr 1761.|
|Hezekiah Gentry to Joseph Simkins, for 8 pounds, sold 73 acres granted 5 Sep 1749 to Richard Taliaferro, adj. to French Haggard. Signed: Hezekiah Gentry. Recorded 7 Apr 1761.|
|14.||Lunenburg County, Virginia, Court Order Books|
|Hampton Wade,Plt, vs Hezekiah Gentry & Nicholas Gentry, Defts. Plt came by his attorney, defts in person acknowledging debt. Assessed interest from April 6 last past. By consent of Plt, payment to be made in 2 months.|
|Hezekiah Gentry, Plt vs James Campbell & Thomas Nobles, Defts. Plt came by his attorneys but Defts came not. Judgment against Thomas Nobles and his bail John Hight for debt and costs. As to the other defendant, James Campbell, the suit is continued to the next court.|
|Richard Hanson vs Drury Hawkins & Hezekiah Gentry. Deft Gentry not appearing, acknowledging by default his debt, judgment for the Plt, and the Deft is to make payment with interest from 2 Mar 1762 and costs. Suit dismissed as to Deft Hawkins.|
|Richard Hanson vs Hezekiah Gentry et al in Debt. Defts came into Court and confessed judgment.|
|Richard Witton, Sheriff vs Matthew Wells, Joseph Gentry, Henry Mays, and Hezekiah Gentry, Defts in Case.|
|Henry Vandyke vs Hezekiah Gentry, Deft in Debt. This day came the Plt by his atty and the Deft in his proper person. The Deft acknowledges the debt. Arrangements made for settlement.|
|Thomas Tabb, Plt, vs Hezekiah, David, and Joseph Gentry. In Debt. By agreement suit discontinued and Defts to pay Plt his costs.|
|15.||Surry County, North Carolina, Tax Lists|
|(a)||"North Carolina Genealogy", vol 17, p.2688 (1971)
[Tax listings for area of Rowan County that was separated as Surry County in 1770, date estimated as 1768]
|Capt. Wright district:|
|(b)||"1782 Tax List of Surry County, North Carolina", transcribed by Mrs. Robert Taylor, Cimarron, Kansas, 1974|
|Capt. Martin district:|
|Richard Gentry||200 ac||3 horses, 4 cows||Fox Nob|
|Hezekiah Gentry||0||3 horses|
|Samuel Gentry||400 ac||3 horses, 6 cows||Fox Nob|
|Robert Gentry||0||1 horse|
|Runnel Gentry||0||2 horses|
|Nathaniel Gentry||0||1 horse|
|16.||South Carolina Deed Books|
|(a)||"Edgefield County South Carolina Abstracts of Deed Books 1 - 12, 1786-1796", Ge Le Corley Hendrix, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1985.|
|1788||Jul 18||Bk(1-244), p.12|
|Bartholomew (Bartlett) Corley & Delilah his wife,
Yeoman, to Hezekiah Jentry, Yeoman, all of Edgefield Co., SC for 20 pounds, sold 73
ac on Indian Creek of Little Saluda River, granted 3 Apr 1786... /s/ Bartholomew Corley,
Wit: Sanders (X) Corley, Runnels (X) Gentry, ack 20 Apr 1789.
|1793||Sep 13||Bk(9-9), p.125|
|Hezekiah Gentry to John Abney, D.S. both of Edgefield Co., SC for 20 pounds sold 100ac originally granted 6 Mar 1786 unto said Gentry being on head of Indian Creek of Little Saluda River. /s/ Hezekiah Gentry|
|Wit: Thomas (X) Gentry, John Bolger ack 14 Sep 1793|
|(b)||"Edgefield County South Carolina Deed Books 13, 14, 15", Carol Wells, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD 1997.|
|1793||Oct 10/11||Bk(13-432) p.33|
|Edmund Riggs to Hezekiah Gentry, for 60
pounds, sold 150ac on Bigg Creek branch of Little Saludy, part of original grant to Wm Moulton
1792. /s/ Edmund Riggs |
Wit: James McKnight, David Pugh, Jesse Griffin, ack 14 Apr 1797
|1795||Aug 12||Bk(13-621) p.47|
| Hezekiah Gentry to Robert Brooks, for
sold 350ac on Indian Creek of Little Saluda Rive; 200ac of which adj Hezekiah Burnett,
Starlings branch, Runnel Gentry, James Petty, John Griffin, Robert Gentry,
Anthony Lear; the 350ac are part of four surveys; first granted by Gov Bull 21 Apr 1775 to Peter
Whitten for 1200ac; second granted by Wm Moultrie for 100ac to Bartholomew Corley 3 Apr
1795, third granted by Gov Wm Moultrie to Hezekiah Gentry for 521ac 6 Feb 1786;
fourth not known not being at hand now; all having been sold to Hezekiah Gentry but
what was granted to him. /s/ Hezekiah Gentry, Catherin Gentry|
Wit: Thomas Largent, James Sanford, ack 29 Dec 1797
|1798||Mar 3||Bk(15-196) p.88|
|Hezekiah Gentry to Hezekiah Burnett, for
SC money, sold 100ac being part of survey of 1200 ac originally granted by Gov Wm Bull unto
Peter Whitten 21 Apr 1775 and sold by Peter Whitten to James Minge Burton and part thereof by
sd James Minge Burton conveyed to me 11 Oct 1793; first mentioned hundred acres being part of
that part which sd James Minge Burton conveyed to me on both sides of Indian Creek of Little
Saluda River bounded by land of Robert Brooks. /s/ Hezekiah
Wit: Anthony Leech, James Corly, ack 9 Mr 1798
|(c)||Wells, "Deed Books 30 & 31", 1997|
|1813||Jan 23||Bk(31-421) p.159|
| Hezekiah Gentry to Robert Brooks for $300,
sold 100ac on Indian Creek of Little Saluda River, being part of land originally granted to Peter
Abney 21 Apr 1775 by Gov. Wm Bull, conveyed to me and Jacob Pope decd by James Minge
Burton. Bound by Stony Ridge, lands of Robert Brooks, Jesse Chandler, Red Lick branch,
Thomas Warren, Thomas Smith. /s/ Hezekiah Gentry|
Wit: Reason Gentry, Absalem Corley, Robert Gentry, ack 28 Oct 1813
|(d)||"Some South Carolina County Records, Vol 2", Silas Emmett Lucas Jr.,, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1989, p.517|
|1786||Aug 8||Union County Deed Book B-14, p.15|
|Hezekiah Gentry and Catarine, his
of Edgefield Co., to James Hogin [also Hogan] of Union Co., for 100 pounds
sterling, [sells] 197 ½ ac in Union Co. on a branch of Tyger River called Bogan's Creek.
Granted to sd. Hezekiah Gentry on 5 Jun 1786.|
Wit: John Jenkins, Robert Leverell, Ridge (X) Hogins. Rec. 25 Dec 1786.
|17.||" Edgefield County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court 1785-1795", by Brent H. Holcomb, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1979.|
|(a)||1787||Jan 6||p.34 (Court Minutes p.60)|
|"Ezekial Gentry" [presumed to be Hezekiah Gentry] ordered to serve as Petit Juror.|
|(b)||1790||Jan 11||p.130 (Court Minutes p.300)|
|Hez Gentry ordered to serve as Petit Juror.|
|(c)||1794||Oct 13||p.152 (Court Minutes p.8)|
|On application for Hezekiah Gentry for letters of admn. on Pleasant Burnetts estate. Granted|
|(d)||1795||Jan 5||p.161 (Court Minutes p.34-35)|
|Ordered that all the personal estate of Pleasant Burnett dec'd be sold at the house of Hezekiah Gentry on the fourth Month in January instant.|
|18.||WPA Will Transcriptions, Edgefield Co., Bk 3, p. 228-229, abstract:|
|Hezekiah Gentry will sg. 19 Jan 1820, pr. 17 Apr 1824 in Edgefield Co.|
|Wife:||[None listed--presumed dead];|
| ||Children:||Runnels Gentry... Anna Teer... Gillie Abney... Robert Gentry... Delilah Taiket... Elizabeth Nichols... Thomas Gentry dead and to his widow Sarah in trust for his children... Mourning Gentry dead and her share to her children;|
|Grandson:||Runnels Gentry, son of Hezekiah Gentry;|
|Exec:||Runnels Gentry, Robert Gentry;|
|Wit:||Gilson Yarborough, Richard Coleman, & Nathan Trotter.|
|19.||References to David Gentry (Jr)|
|(a)||See Lunenburg County, Virginia, County Court Orders Bk 8, p.35A, June 1762 (refr. #8(b) above)|
|(b)||1793||Nov 15||Edgefield County Deed Bk(11-96) p.169|
|David Gentry witnessed mortgage between Abraham Richardson and Joseph Hightower... for 890ac part of tract... on Big Horse Creek ack 16 Jan 1794|
|(c)||"Pendleton District, South Carolina, Deeds 1790-1806", Betty Willie, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1982, p.92|
|1795||Jul 10||Pendleton County Conveyance Book C/D, p.50 (1795-1799)|
|"I, David Gentry sell to Major
horses, hogs, beds, and furniture for 40 dollars." Signed David (his mark)
wit: Evin Smith, Jas. McBride; Recorded 7 Aug 1795.
|(d)||See also Andrea references #25(b) and #25(c) below.|
|20.||References to John Gentry|
|(a)||Lunenburg County, Virginia, Order Books|
|Paul Carrington vs Joseph Gentry and John Gentry, Defts in Debt. Defts not inhabitants of this county, suit abates.|
|Estate of William Stone: credits include John Gentry. Recorded 9 Aug 1770.|
|(b)||Corley, loc cit.|
|1790||Oct 1||Bk(5-7) p.55|
|David Siglar, Sr to George Sigler, both of Edgefield Co.,
SC for 25 pounds,sold 126ac being part of a grant until said Sigler Sr. /s/ David
Siglar Sr |
Wit: Wm Watson, Sr, John (+) Gentry, ack 4 Dec 1791.
|1792||Dec 26||Bk(8-5) p.101|
|George Seglar to John Hardy, both of Edgefield Co. SC for 50
pounds, sold 128ac where said Seglar now lives. /s/ George (X) Seglar|
Wit: James Baker, Chearls [sic Charles?] Bussey, John (X) Gentry ack 2 Mar 1793
|(c)||See also refr #25(d), (e) and (f) below.|
|21.||References to Simon Gentry|
|(a)||Corley, loc. cit.|
|1792||Jul 11||Deed Bk(7-245) p.93|
|Simon Gentry to my step-sons Jeremiah Cobb
& Sanders Cobb property made use of belonging to said step-sons; am bound for 50 pounds
provided said 50 pounds is not demanded in less time than 4 yrs & for better securing of
payment have sold 147 ac on head of little Creek adj N by William Thomas & the land
where said Gentry now lives; also horses, cattle & household furniture.
/s/ Simon Gentry|
Wit: Green Moore, Martin Morgan, ack 11 Jul 1792.
|(b)||"Edgefield County South Carolina Deed Books 27, 28 and 29", Carol Wells, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD 1998.|
|1805||Nov 25||Deed Bk(27-227)|
|Sanders Cobb to William Dorris of Abbeville District,
$230 deeds 47 ac of waters of Cuffeetown Creek of Savannah River. /s/
Sanders (x) Cobb|
Wit: Thomas Lively, Nathl Day; Justice John Lyon certifies the relinq of dower rights by Rebecca Gentry, widow of Simon Jentry, 26 Nov 1805; ack 28 Jan 1806>
|(c)||"Edgefield County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court 1785-1795", Brent H. Holcomb, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1979.|
|1786||Apr 12||p.12 (Court Minutes p.22)|
|Judgment by Fields Perdiew & Co against Simon Gentry.|
|1788||Apr 16||p. 81 (Court Minutes p.168)|
|Judgment by Drury Pace against Simon Gentry.|
|1789||Jan 12||p.107 (Court Minutes p.226)|
|Judgment revived for Fields Pardue Cunnington and Moore vs Simon Gentry.|
|(d)||See also refr. #25(d) and #25(e) below.|
|22.||References to Allen Cain Gentry|
|(a)||"Edgefield County, South Carolina Deed Books 16, 17 and 18", Carol Wells, Bowie, MD,1997|
|1798||Jun 9||Bk(16-152) p.11|
|John Hancock to Thomas Hancock, for 100 pounds
sterling, sold 221ac bounded on lands of Cain Gentry, John Hancock Jr., Simon
Hancock, William Hancock. /s/ John Hancock, Ann Hancock|
Wit: George Hancock, Peter Hancock, ack 7 Dec 1798
|(b)||See also refr. #25(c), #25(d) and #25(e) below.|
|23.||References to Elisha Gentry|
|1787||Jul 9||p.47 (Court Minutes p.91)|
|Elisha Gentry ordered to serve on next Petit Jury.|
|(b)||Clarke County Georgia Ordinary Court Wills|
|Will of Elisha Gentry bequeathing to wife
Neomy, sons Elisha, Elijah, Martin, David,
Cain, and Micajah and daughter Patience;|
names Elisha Gentry and Jacob Martin executors. Rec. 7 Jun 1804 in Ledger B.A. Folio 9.
|24.||References to Elijah Gentry|
|(a)||"The Early History of Jackson County, GA", J. N. Wilson, 1914|
|1797||Aug 4||Elijah Gentry appointed constable.|
|(b)||"Gone to Georgia, Jackson and Gwinnett Counties and their Neighbors in the Western Migration", William C. Stewart, National Genealogical Society, 1965, p.281|
|1799||Aug 4||Elijah Gentry appointed a justice of the peace.|
|(c)||"The Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia", Marie DeLamar and Elisabeth Rothstein, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1985.|
|p.170||Elijah Gentry, juror, Wilkes Co.|
|(d)||"Jackson County Georgia - Superior Court Records 1796-1803", Teresa W. Dunn & Vivian Walls, ,|
|Oct 1796 - Oct 1802|
|pg.48 Grand Jurors drawn for next term listed: Elijah Gentry and Cain Gentry [Jr.]|
|pg. 74 Petit Jurors for next term listed: Elijah Gentry|
|(e)||See also refr. #25(d) and #25(e) below.|
|South Carolina References - General|
|25.||"Gentry Family", Manuscript compiled by Leonardo Andrea, for Mrs. John F. Gannon, Montgomery, AL, and part of Leonardo Andrea collection at Univ. of South Carolina Library, Colombia, SC.|
|After the Revolution, a man could take as many acres as he could secure, Index II for land grants shows:|
|Hezekiah Gentry||241 ac on Indian Crk in 96 Dist [Edgefield County], 6 Feb 1784|
|Hezekiah Gentry||100 ac, same location, 6 Mar 1784|
|Hezekiah Gentry||197 ½ ac on Bogins Crk [Union County], 5 Jan 1784.|
|Index III shows:|
|Hezekiah Gentry||77 ac on Indian Creek in 96 Dist, 6 Feb 1796|
|David Gentry||50 ac in 96 Dist, 4 Oct 1790;|
|David Gentry||101 ac in 96 Dist, 5 Dec 1791;|
|Land plats indexed after the Revolution show:|
|Cain Gentry||in Abbeville Dist. in 1808;|
|David Gentry||2 in 96 Dist in 1790;|
|Hezekiah Gentry||4 in 96 Dist, 1784-1795;|
|Names indexed in SC Historical Commission for
Revolution [LA: may be for service, for supplies, or as witness to some other name]"|
Cain Gentry, John Gentry, Elijah Gentry, Hezekiah Gentry, Simon Gentry.
|(e)||"Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution", by Bobby Gilmer Moss, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1985, p.350|
|Gentry, Cain||Served in militia under Capt. Dawson, 1781 and 1782.|
|Gentry, Elijah||Served as private in militia.|
|Gentry, John||Served in militia after fall of Charleston.|
|Gentry, Simon||Served as sergeant in the militia after the fall of Charleston.|
|(f)||South Carolina General Assembly Ordinance, MS Act No.1123, 20 Apr 1779|
|Hezekiah Gentry||pg.80,101||Spartan District liable for grand/petit jury|
|John Gentry||pg.88,104||Spartan District liable for grand/petit jury|
|Nicholas Gentry||pg.89||Cuffee Town & Turkey Creek liable for court service|
|26.||Census Listings for South Carolina Gentrys|
|27.||Miscellaneous Georgia References, 1790-1805|
[Note. Jackson County was split from Franklin County in 1796; Jackson County was divided further in 1801 by the formation of Clarke County; Oglethorpe County was formed from Wilkes County in 1793; Lincoln County was formed from Wilkes County in 1796.]
|1790||Elisha||Wilkes||tax, 200 ac + 1 slave||(1)|
|1799||Cain [Jr.]||Jackson||jury list|
|1802||Elijah||Clark||tax, 150 ac||(4)|
|1802||Elisha||Clark||tax, 1 slave||(4)|
|1803||Elisha||Clark||tax, 1 slave||(4)|
|1804||Elijah [Jr.?]||Jackson||tax, poll||(4)|
|1804||Naomy||Jackson||tax, 325 ac, 1 slave||(4)|
|1804||Elisha [Jr.]||Jackson||tax, poll||(4)|
|1805||Naomi||Jackson||tax, 325 ac||(4)|
1. Frank Parker Hudson, "A 1790 Census for Wilkes County Georgia", The Reprint Co., Spartanburg, SC, 1988, p.87.
2. Rev. Silas Lucas Jr., "Index to the Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia, 1756-1909, Southern Historical Press, 1982, p.223.
3. Ibid., p.326.
4. Larry W. Parr, "Clark County Georgia Tax Digest", "Gentry Family Gazette & Genealogy Exchange", vol 2, p.54 (#10, Dec 1981), published by Richard H. Gentry, McLean, VA.
5. Ronald Vern Jackson, "Early Georgia, 1733-1819", Accelerated Indexing Systems, Bountiful, UT, p.173.
6. Ibid., p.251.
7. Virginia S. Wood and Ralph V. Wood, "1805 Georgia Land Lottery", The Greenwood Press, Cambridge, MA, 1964.
[A married man was entitled to two draws, a bachelor over 21 to one; blank = unsuccessful draw.]
Revised August 2008, February 2011, July 2014
© 2014, W.M. Gentry - All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes provided that proper attribution (including author and journal name) is included.