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.

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