Francis STURGILL, Sr.
From David A Sturgill's book:
Francis Sturgill and Rebecca Hash
Francis Sturgill Sr. was born in present Greene Co., Va., about 1755. As a youth, he came with his father's family to present Alleghany Co., N.C., wher they settled on New River. The birth place of his wife, Rebecca Hash, is not known, but it is known that her father, John Hash, lived only a few miles down the river from James Sturgill, Francis's father. Francis and Rebecca were married about 1776, but no record of their marriage has been found, but Francis is named in John Hash's will, which was probated in 1784.
Francis first appears in public records when he enlisted in the Montgomery Co. Militia in 1776, in the company of Capt. Enoch Osborn, who is also mentioned in the will of John Hash; he is known to have been his brother-in-law. Family tradition has it that Francis was in the Battle of Kings Mountain and received a wound there from which he never completely recovered. This wound is thought to have contributed to his early death in 1807.
His name, however, does not appear on any list of soldiers who fought at Kings Mountain, but no one in the family ever doubted that he had. The units which participated in that battle were never under a single unified command, and the published lists of the participants in it were compiled from militia rosters and applications for war pensions after the Revolution. Capt. Osborn's Company was normally under the command of Col. William Campbell, whose headquarters were near Abingdon, Va. Campbell gathered his units at Abingdon and then marched south to Sycamore shoals, near the present town of Elizabethton, Tenn., where he met the Tennessee units under the command of John Sevier. They then crossed over the mountains to join forces with the North Carolina units under the command of Ben Cleveland, William Lenoir and others.
In the Military Archives in Washington, D. C., there is an application for a pension by the widow of Martin Gambill. This application was handwritten by James Sturgill in 1834, a Magistrate of Ashe Co., N. C., and Francis's son. This document states that Martin Gambill carried the message from Sevier to Campbell from Wataugh Coutny, N. C., to Abingdon,Va., killing three horses during the ride. His first horse fell dead after he crossed the river at Enoch Osborns. Gambill had ridden all night, and Osborn was just hitching up his horses to a plow, when he arrived there. While Gambill ate breakfast, Enoch Osborn switched his saddle to one of his plow horses so Gambill could continue his journey.
This record shows that Capt. Osborn's Company was alerted to the impending battle, and other pension applications show that some men who served in his company were also at Kings Mountain. Capt. Osborn's Company is not listed among the units which fought under Campbell at this significant battle, but it is now known that some of the units composed of men who lived along the North Carolina-Virginia line on New River crossed over the Blue Ridge to join Cleveland's men in Wilkes Co., rather than make the long circular march across two mountains to Abingdon and then back across the even higher mountains between Sycamore Shoals and the Carolina battle ground.
Francis Sturgill died before the pension law was passed by Congress, and Rebecca, his widow, never made application for a pension; probably because she did not think she needed it. She is said to have been a proud and independent woman. After her youngest daughter, Nancy, married about 1829, Rebecca's older children, all of whom lived along the river near by, did not want their mother to live alone. She refused to live with any of them, and eventually they hired a young widow from Wilkes County, Mary Hewlin, to stay with her. Mary had two small daughters, Jane and Susan, who later married two of Rebecca's grandsons, Daniel and James Jr. During her last years, Rebecca lived with her son Francis Jr. When she died in 1841, she was buried beside her husband, Francis Sr in the family cemetery. The widow Hewlin later married a Baldwin, and after he died, she spent her last years at the home of her son-in-law, Daniel Sturgill.
The first record of land owned by Francis Sturgill is a grant for 500acres on New River, dated 1797. From 1782 through 1789, he paid taxes on 100 acres in Montgomery Co., Va., but no deed for that land has been located. His grant of 500 acres was made on two Treasury Warrents, which were given for military service, but such warrents were negotiable and could be bought and sold on the open market. Francis sold this land to John Cox in 1802 for $1,000, a very large sum for that time, when land still sold for a few cents per acre, which indicates that this was a well developed farm in 1802. It is believed that Francis and Rebecca had lived on this farm since their marriage in 1776. This farm is in Virginia, near the farm owned by John Hash. Census records reveal that all of Francis and Rebecca's children were born in Virginia, except the youngest daughter, Nancy, who was born in North Carolina in 1803.
In June of 1798, Francis Sturgill bought two tracts of 100 acres each from Zacharia Wells on New River [Wilkes Co. Deed Book D, pp 438-450]. In October, 1799, Francis obtained three grants in Ashe County which are numbered 4, 5, and 6, for 44 acres, 50 acres, and 100 acres, all adjoining land he had bought from Wells. The grant for 100 acres included part of the land on which his father had lived. It is believed that Francis moved to this farm in 1802, after selling his other farm to Cox. This farm in five tracts, totalling 394 acres, is referred to asthe "Wells place" in several deeds made in the settlement of Francis'sestate. When Francis died in December, 1807, he was buried in the family cemetery on this farm, where his father was buried. Now owned by the State of North Carolina, this faarm is part of the New River Park System. There are plans to make this farm headquarters for the Park System and to rebuild a typical log house on the spot where Francis and Rebecca lived.
According to family tradition, Francis and Rebecca had twelve children: six sons and six daughters. Ashe County deeds made in the settlement of his estate identify eleven of them beyond dispute, and there is little doubt about the other one. Five of their sons and three daughters settled further up the New River, mostly on adjoining farms, which have been identified from deeds. A few years after settling there, their feet began to itch, and they began to leave that area.
David first appears in public records in the census of 1810, when he is still living with his mother. In 1822, he was witness to a deed in which Lydia (Sturgill) Parsons sold her share of her father's estate to her brother Francis Jr. David witnessed other deeds in 1836 and 1838 and is listed in the 1840 Ashe County census, but for no other year. John, the first to leave, sold his farm and moved to Wise Co., Va., in 1812. James, William, Joel, and Francis are all listed as residents of Ashe County in the 1820 census.
Deeds show James and Francis still in Ashe Co. in 1828, and William is still there in 1823. According to the census of 1830, William is in Grayson Co., Va., but James, Joel, Francis Sr. and Francis Jr. and their families are shown in both the census of Ashe Co., N. C., and of Scott Co., Va. (These censuses have been rechecked, and there is no question that these are the same families). This indicates that ll of them moved to Scott County in 1830 and were enumerated in both states. James, Joeland Francis Jr. (son of James) had all returned to NC by 1834, Francis Sr (brother of James and Joel) returned by 1838 and William went on into Ohio before 1840. -p. 41-42
Francis Sturgill Sr. was born in present Greene Co. VA and came to present Grayson Co. VA in 1770-71 in his fathers family. He married Rebecca Hash, daughter of John Hash, about 1776, no record found. He was granted 100 a of land in present Grayson Co in 1782 and in 1798 he obtained 500a more on two land warrents which were probably for his military service during the revolutionary war. In 1798 he received three grants from the state of NC which covered the land on New River claimed by his father James. In 1802 he sold the 500a in VA and moved up theriver to live with and take care of his father who died the following year and was buried in the family cemetery on this farm. Francis and Rebecca were also buried in this cemetery as were two daughters.
It has long been family tradition that Francis and Rebecca had twelve children six sons and six daughters. Deeds made in the settlement of his estate prove eleven of the children and there is no question about the other who was in KY when the final settlement was made and whose whereabouts was probably unknown. When this son, David, returned to NC in 1839 the estate had been settled and the original farm sold.- p. 43
James STURGILL, Sr.
d: 9 JUL 1855
d: 13 AUG 1846
d: 1 JAN 1829
d: 15 JUN 1861
d: 11 JUL 1881
d: 30 NOV 1894
b: 22 SEP 1782
b: 20 MAR 1786
b: 1 MAR 1791
b: 25 FEB 1778
b: 24 OCT 1799
b: 15 JAN 1803