Saturday, July 25, 2020

Stephen Kirk

The seventh person mentioned in the division of land in the John Kirk Dec’d estate file is Stephen Kirk.

Division the 7th Lot No 2 valuation $475 to Stephen Kirk lying on Lick Creek and Clover Fork lying in two different tracts first tract on Lick Creek beginning at a post oak and runs thence east eighty poles to a pine thence north 56 poles to a pine by a pine pointer thence north 54 west 114 poles to a post oak thence south 45 west 20 poles to a post oak thence north 45 west 70 poles to a hickory by a post oak thence south 10 west 76 poles to a red oak on Merrimon’s line thence with is line south 63 west 78 poles to a post oak thence north on other of said Merrimon’s line south 16 west 169 poles to a small red oak thence south sixty poles to a stake between two red oaks and a blackjack pointer thence east sixty four poles to a hickory thence north to and with George Hearn's line to the beginning containing one hundred and fifty one acres. Second tract lying on the head of the clover fork beginning at a sassafras by two red oak pointers William Crowel's corner and runs with his line south fifty four west 118 poles to a post oak Moors old corner thence south 26 east 52 poles to a Spanish oak maple and red oak pointers thence north 65 east 112 poles to a stake by a white oak red oak and sassafras pointers thence south 25 east 76 poles to Watkins line thence as his line north 52 poles thence north 36 west to the beginning containing 56 acres the two tracts contain in the whole two hundred and six acres.

Stephen Kirk was born about 1795 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. I can pin him to the 1800 and 1810 Census living with his father, John Kirk, as a child. The 1820 Census was destroyed, thus the next possible record to find Stephen on is the above survey dated 1818, showing the survey of the land he inherited when his father, John, died.

In September 1818, Stephen, now 23 years of age, enters two land grants for 15 and 30 acres of land joining his father’s, John Kirk dec’d, and the Rowan County and Montgomery County line. Both tracts of land were surveyed by Britain Chappell and chain carriers were brothers, James, Parham, Daniel, and Lewis.

A great substitute for the 1820 Census is Newspapers if you can find your ancestor listed. I can establish that Stephen Kirk was in Montgomery County, North Carolina because John Patterson ran an ad for a $20 reward for a runaway slave by the name of Simon, who was a Blacksmith by trade. John Patterson notes in his ad that Simon is thought ‘to be in the neighborhood of Allenton’ or on the property of Stephen Kirk in Montgomery.

In 1823, 1828 and 1839, another 190 acres of land would be acquired by Stephen, and another 163 acres by 1848.

Stephen Kirk looks to have settled down to raise a family about 1816, when son, Lewis, was born. I found a wide range of dates when researching the children of Stephen Kirk. From Stephen’s will, I know Lewis was his eldest son and Jane (Parker) was his eldest daughter, as he calls them such in his will. Based on the 1830 Census, the best I can calculate the ages of the children are as noted below.

Most research I read in preparation of this Blog post suggests that Stephen married Edith Kimball, daughter of Buckner Kimball. However, I have found zero evidence as to who Stephen Kirk’s first wife is. If anyone knows, please leave a comment with the information and where I can find the documented proof.

By 1840, some of the older children look to have moved from the household but Stephen and wife have had some additions since the last Census. (Note: Kimball is also seen as Kimbrell and Kimble)

Unlike Census data between 1790 and 1840, the 1850 Census lists, by name, all those is the household. It also shows who is missing. From this Census we can tell that Edith, the wife of Stephen, must have died between 1841, when Kimble was born and 21 Aug 1850, when the Census was enumerated. Children remaining at home with Stephen, their father, are Edith, Ezra, Carrol, Jesse and Kimbrell.

On 2 Oct 1851, a little over a year after the 1850 Census was enumerated, the Carolina Watchman, a paper out of Salisbury, North Carolina, announced the marriage of Stephen Kirk to Syntha Goodman, whom Stephen lists as Cynthia is his will, and the step-mother of his two youngest sons Jesse and Kimbrell.

Stephen Kirk wrote his will on 17 May 1852 in Stanly County, North Carolina.
First: I give to my (wife) Cynthia Kirk...three beds and two steeds all her bedding furniture she brought with her and the other property that she brought with her also one end of my dwelling house and one third of my plantation during her natural life or widow hood
Second: I give to my eldest son Lewis Kirk 150 acres where he now lives and other advancements
Third: I give to my eldest daughter jane Parker 100 acres where she now lives and other advancements
Fourth: I give to my son Atlas Kirk 140 acres where he now lives and other advancements
Fifth: I give to my son Ezra Kirk 170 acres, bed and furniture, cow and calf and other advancements
Sixth: I give to my daughter Mary Harris $200, one cow or the worth of one cow with other advancements
Seventh: I give to my daughter Nancy Miller $200 and other advancements
Eighth: I give to my daughter Elizabeth Lentz 200 acres where she now lives and other advancements
Ninth: I give to my daughter Rebecca Foutz $200 and other advancements
Tenth: I give to my youngest daughter Edith Miller one small negro girl slave named Caroline with other advancements...if Edith dies and leaves no child the negro girl and her increase if any to be sold and equally divided among the rest of my children
Eleventh: I give to my son Carrol Kirk 251 acres of land in different tracts, one horse saddle and bridle, one bed and furniture, one cow and calf, and sufficient farming tools to carry on farming
Twelfth: I give to my two youngest sons Jesse and Kimbrell Kirk all my tract of land I now live to be equally divided between them. My desire is that Jesse and Kimbrell support their stepmother as long as she will stay with them. Also, one bed and furniture one horse saddle and bridle each and the balance of the stock, farming tools and old black smith tools, one wagon and hind gear and necessary household and kitchen furniture

Lastly, I want to mention that while researching Stephen Kirk and his family, I noticed what looks to be a discrepancy with daughter, Edith. The 1850 Census lists Edith Kirk as 20 years old, making her born about 1830, living in household of Stephen Kirk, her father.

Stephen Kirk’s will was written in 17 May 1852 and mentions Edith Miller as his youngest daughter, with no children. So, Edith Kirk Miller was married to a man with surname Miller between 1850 when the Census was enumerated and 1852 when Stephen Kirk wrote his will.

Every tree that I have reviewed on Ancestry lists Edith as born in 1812 and the wife of John Franklin Miller. While there is a John F and Edith (age 38) Miller listed on the 1850 Census, I just cannot see how this can be Edith, daughter of Stephen Kirk, as Edith Kirk would have been 4 years old when Jane Miller, the eldest child of John Miller, was born. Stephen Kirk, born about 1795, would have only been 17 years old when Edith was born. Stephen Kirk’s will specifically states that Jane Parker is his eldest daughter… “I give to my eldest daughter Jane Parker”

Find-A-Grave lists Edith as the daughter of Stephen and Cynthia Kirk but this cannot be as Stephen Kirk did not marry Cynthia until 1851, 21 years after Edith was born. Cynthia is named in Stephen Kirk’s will as the stepmother of his two youngest sons, Jesse and Kimbrell, who were born after Edith, according to the 1850 Census.

A scenario I can see is that Edith Kirk lied about her age as she married a man much older than herself who already had 6 children. The 1850 Census shows John F Miller was born in 1804. He has children ranging from 7 to 16, and a 1 year old. This indicates to me that the Edith Miller listed may be a second wife.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Nancy Kirk Jones and Rebekah Kirk Jones

The sixth and eighth persons mentioned in the division of land in the John Kirk Dec’d estate file are Nancy Jones and Rebekah Jones.

Division the 6th and Lot No 4 valuation $175 to Nancy Jones beginning at a black oaks the beginning corner of the old hundred and fifty acre survey near the west bank of the Yadkin River and runs south forty five west 175 poles to a small red oak thence south 45 east 155 poles to a small hickory thence north 45 east ?75 poles to a sassafras by a red oak pointer near the west bank of said river

Division the 8th and Lots No 8 valuation $250 to Rebekah Jones lying in two tracts adjoining one tract of 150 acres called the Walkr (Walker?) field tract beginning at a post oak by a read oak pointer courses not known but may be had by having reference to the Petition (?) granted to sd John Kirk Dec’d also fifty acres adjoining the same survey William Harris and Richard Parker's lines and Stephen Kirk's also.

I have spent the last few weeks reading everything I could get my hands on about the Jones family who lived near the Kirk family on the west side of the Yadkin / Pee Dee River in Montgomery County, North Carolina. I still cannot say who these sisters married. As both husbands have the surname Jones, it is likely that they were related, and could be brothers. It is not uncommon for sisters to marry brothers. My own Marks and Gunter ancestors certainly did.

A Charles (and Thomas) Jones shows up on the 1790 Census for Montgomery County. From the 1800 Census, Charles looks to have been born before 1755 based on age range. He is living 2 doors down from John Kirk, the father of Nancy and Rebekah, so it is very probable that the Jones and Kirk families know each other. In 1810, Charles lives next door to a Moss and Forrest family, of whom, children of John Kirk, married into. It could be that these sisters married sons of Charles Jones.

Charles is shown residing in Anson County as he signed the petition to divide Anson to form Montgomery in 1777. He entered his first land grant in Anson County, around the same time that Montgomery was formed from Anson, and that land grant was issued in Montgomery County. Two more tracts of land were surveyed for Charles in 1799 and 1818, although the later could be for a son.

Clearly Nancy Kirk and Rebekah Kirk married into the Jones family, however, to which Jones each married, it is yet to be discovered.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Daniel Kirk

The fifth person mentioned in the division of land in the John Kirk Dec’d estate file is Daniel Kirk.

Division the 5th Lot No 1 valuation $500 to Daniel Kirk. Lying on the south side of Lick Creek beginning at the same corner of Lot No three a pine by a hickory and post oak pointer and runs with the last line of lot No 3 reverse south forty five east 115 poles to a pine by a red oak thence with another line of said lot south 45 west 112 poles to a post oaks thence south 45 east 108 poles to a Spanish oak thence north 45 east 196 poles to a small hickory thence north 45 west 221 poles to a post oak by a hickory and red oak pointers thence north 45 west 84 poles to the beginning. Containing one hundred and ninety acres.

The first Census I found for Daniel Kirk is 1810, Captain Kirks, Montgomery County, North Carolina. This record shows no females living with Daniel Kirk. The Census captures two white males, one between the ages of 10-15, and another, presumably Daniel, age between 16-25, making his birth year about 1789. The white male between 10-15 cannot be the son of Daniel as he was born about 1798 and is only about ten years younger than Daniel, perhaps this boy is a nephew or neighbor or orphan who resides and works with Daniel. The number of enslaved people is shown as 5. It is assumed that Daniel is single in 1810 as no females or younger children are shown on this Census in his household.

As the 1820 Census was destroyed, other records must be used to locate Daniel Kirk for that year. On 15 Oct 1819, Daniel Kirk entered a land grant for 50 acres of land in Montgomery County joining the lines of his father, John Kirk Dec’d on the south west side of the Yadkin River. Three months later, 15 Jan 1820, the entry taker, D. McRae, ordered the survey of the land. The survey was completed 20 Jan 1820 by Britain Chappell.

The 1830 Census does capture the Daniel Kirk family, including females and enslaved people. It is believed that Daniel married Mary Forrest about 1818/19 as their first child, James Franklin Kirk, was born about 1820. I have attempted to locate any documentation that Mary’s maiden name is Forrest. To date, I have located none and believe that the research that has been done over the years has, by reason of logical assumption based on record association, shown the best surname candidate for Mary’s maiden name is Forrest.

Most trees on Ancestry have Mary listed as the daughter of Nathan Forrest but have no documented evidence of the same. I did find in tombstone records for Badin Baptist Church in Badin, Stanly County, North Carolina, a listing that states the parents of James Franklin Kirk are Daniel Kirk and Mary (Polly) Forrest. This is not accepted as actual proof that Mary’s maiden name is Forrest but is a clue that needs to be investigated further. The record was typed around 1968 from handwritten copies of cemetery records done by David Kirk Shaver Senior and B. W. Cruse.

In 1835, a 100-acre tract of land located on the waters of the Yadkin River in Montgomery County, adjoining the land of Nathan Forrest Dec’d, was surveyed by Lockey Simmons, for Daniel Kirk. The land also joined that of Kinchen Pennington and Alfred Randle. David Pennington and Alfred Randle served as chain carriers.

In 1838, the inhabitants on the west side of the Pee Dee River signed a petition to divide Montgomery and form a new county. The Pee Dee River neatly divided the land from north to south and the courthouse was located some three miles from the river, proving a hardship for those residents who lived west of the river. Daniel Kirk, located in District Number 6, signed the petition to divide the county.

On 2 Dec 1840, a Fayetteville Newspaper, reported that “Mr. Lilly presented a petition from the citizens of Montgomery, with a bill to carry the prayer thereof into effect, entitled a bill to lay off and establish a new county by the name of Stanly. Read first time and passed.”

13 Jan 1841, a Wilmington Newspaper reported the newly created county of Stanly from Montgomery.

19 Feb 1841, a Raleigh Newspaper reported the act passed to create Stanly from Montgomery County.

7 May 1841, a Raleigh Newspaper reported the marriage between Mr. Hudson to Miss. Mary Pennington and Mr. Truxton Kirk to Miss. Tabitha Biles. To date, I have not been able to find proof of parentage for Truxton Kirk.

The 1840 Census shows the Daniel Kirk family living west of the Pee Dee River in Montgomery (soon to be Stanly) County. A total of 34 persons, including 26 enslaved persons, are living on the estate of Daniel Kirk.

Daniel Kirk wrote his last will and testament on 27 Oct 1846 in the presence of David Pennington and Dr. Francis J. Kron. His four-page will laid out his last wishes for his family and his estate, “in a manner to promote the welfare and maintain the harmony of my family...whilst my mind has yet its natural strength and my memory its full recollection.”

Daniel’s wish is that a “full years provision for my whole family set aside” and the balance (including enslaved persons if necessary) “sold to pay lawful debts” although later on in his will, Daniel states that it is his desire “all the slaves not be sold to pay the debts as above stated.”

“$500 bequeathed to each of my sons, James F and Adam over and above their shares for the consideration of their bodily infirmities”

The “slaves shall be divided unto nine lots by Samuel P. Morton, Francis Locke, and Mark Jones, with one exception, that Mary, my wife, shall chose for herself, with the other eight lots drawn for by the hand of a child.”

Daniel lays out how the lots are to be bequeathed, “the first lot drawn shall belong to the children of deceased daughter Martha Parker and the other lots successively to the other children.”

He also states that “the share that I possess in the Bunnell tract of land shall go to the children of Martha Parker.”

To daughter Eva Eddleman “the balance of the old home tract not sold to James Parker and the note of $500, the later gave for two hundred acres of the same tract, leaving it optional for James Parker to pay the $500 or return the land” which would remain under Eva's control.

Daniel completes his will by equally dividing “the balance of the lands among the other six remaining children."

Instruction is given that "Mary, my wife, shall have at her option during her life, either the home tract or the John Forrest tract and the enjoyment of the income from the Mill, which at her death shall be sold and the proceeds equally divided among all the children.”

Lastly, Daniel names his son, “James Franklin Kirk shall have the guardianship of the children underage and shall be sole executor of this last will and testament.”

As noted in Daniel’s will, James Kirk became guardian for the younger children. Archives for Stanly County show James providing returns as guardian for his younger siblings in 1847 and 1848, proving that Daniel Kirk died prior to Nov 1847.

Mary lived long enough to be enumerated for the first time by name on 6 Aug 1850. All other Census records just noting her as / mark as a female. Living at home with their mother are James, Adam, George, Parham, William and Mary.

On 13 Mar 1851, James Kirk, son and executor of his father, Daniel’s, will, advertises that the Saw and Grist Mill, owned by Daniel Kirk is for sale. This is the Mill that Daniel left for Mary Kirk, his wife, “for the enjoyment of the income from the Mill, which at her death shall be sold and the proceeds equally divided among all the children.” Mary Kirk died between 6 Aug 1850, when she was enumerated on the Census and 6 Mar 1851 when James Kirk, her son, first advertised the Mill for sale as according to his father’s will.