Sunday, December 27, 2020

John Chisholm, son of Murdock

John Chisholm is the son of Murdock and Mary Chisholm. He was born about 1776 in Scotland. He came to America with his parents and siblings before 1780, most likely following the path that many Scots did, arriving in Wilmington, North Carolina and making their way up the Cape Fear River to Cross Creek, now Fayetteville, and then migrating to Richmond County and later to Montgomery County. 

John married Elizabeth Stanback, daughter of Thomas and Mary Jennings Stanback, a prominent family in the area. Elizabeth died 20 Jul 1817 and John, shortly after, in Oct 1818. Both are buried on Luther Mountain, just west of Harrisville, Montgomery County, North Carolina.

Find-a-grave shows six people with the surname Chisholm buried on Luther Mountain. 

Adaline Chisholm: 10 Mar 1815 - 23 Jan 1816 

Elizabeth Chisholm: unknown - 20 Jul 1817 

John Chisholm: unknown - 10 Oct 1818 (Inscription: Aged 42 yrs.) 

John Chisholm: 1776 - 8 Mar 1805 (Find-A-Grave mistake - there is no grave for this John Chisholm on Luther Mountain)

M. P. Chisholm: 1815 - unknown 

S. P. Chisholm: unknown – 1818 

Also buried on Luther Mountain are those with surnames Jennings, Horne, Luther, Poole, Powell, Smith 

Adaline Chisholm was 10 months old when she died and could possibly be the child of John and Elizabeth who died young. M.P. Chisholm and S.P. Chisholm may have also been children at the time of their deaths. I have not been to this cemetery yet but hope to at some future date. I am told by those who have visited this cemetery that John Chisholm (age 42) is buried next to Elizabeth Chisholm.

Based on the dates of death, 1816 – 1818, most of these people probably died of some epidemic that was ravaging through the area at that time. In a Newspaper article published in the Weekly Raleigh Register, Raleigh, North Carolina, 10 May 1816, is found the obituary of Ralph Gorrell Esq, who died “of the prevailing Epidemic.” In years to come, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm, will marry the grandson of Ralph Gorrell Esq.

John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm had two children, Calvin J., and Mary Jennings Chisholm. In the 1818 Richmond County estate file, found at Family Search, of Thomas Stanback is found the documented proof to show that the children of John Chisholm are heirs-at-law of Thomas Stanback. The file states, “to Calvin Chisholm & Mary Chisholm infant children of John Chisholm Dec’d”
Later in the file, at the time of distribution, we find out that Anguish (Angus) Chisholm, the brother of John Chisholm Dec’d, is the guardian of Calvin Chisholm and Mary Chisholm.
Richmond County, North Carolina Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions June Term 1818, Mary Morehead Stanback, second wife of Thomas Stanback, petitions the court for her dower. In this document can be found further proof that Elizabeth (called Betzy / Betsey) is the daughter of Thomas Stanback, that she married John Chisholm, who is now dead, and that Calvin Chisholm and Mary Chisholm are her children and the grand children of Thomas Stanback.
Thomas Stanback is probably best known for his purchase of Mask’s Ferry. At the March Term of Court in 1781 it was ordered that Thomas Stanback would maintain a tavern at Mask’s Ferry. Legend has it that from that time onward, Mask’s Ferry became known as Stanback’s Ferry, until it closed about 1928.
However, of interest, Mask’s Ferry still looked to be in operation in 1811 and was still known as Mask’s Ferry, as it is noted in a newspaper article “Roads from McFarland’s Turnpike” in the Weekly Raleigh Register.
Thomas Stanback married first Mary Jennings, daughter of John Jennings and Lydia Batts. According to a Newspaper article from 1931, most North Carolina Jennings claim descent through Colonel John Jennings who came from Virginia to Anson County, North Carolina about the year 1774. Mary Jennings Stanback died after 1781.
Thomas Stanback married second to Mary Morehead daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Turner Morehead. Joseph Morehead came from Scotland and landed at Charleston, South Carolina. He made his way up the Pee Dee River and settled near Blewitt’s Falls in Richmond County, North Carolina. He married Betsy Tanner, but record nor tradition survives to tell us the date or place of their marriage. His 1806 will named his heirs as: James, Joseph, John (father of North Carolina Gov. John Motely Morehead), Charlie, Turner, Keran, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary (second wife of Thomas Stanback), and Nancy (Ann). 

Some of the Morehead family eventually made their way to Rockingham County, where in 1821, Ann Eliza Lindsay married John Motley Morehead, the nephew of Mary Morehead Stanback. Later, the couple moved to Guilford County. The Lindsay’s were associated with a resettlement group of two-dozen or so families who arrived in the area around 1753. The group was known as the “Nottingham colony” and originated from the Nottingham Presbyterian Settlement area near the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. The family’s patriarch was Robert Lindsay, Sr. (c.1735-1801). (

I wrote about the Lindsay family in my blog post Crump v. Morgan

Mary Jennings Chisholm, daughter of John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm, was born 4 Apr 1812 and was undoubtably named for her grandmother Mary Jennings Stanback, the first wife of Thomas Stanback. She was but 5 years old when her mother, Elizabeth, died and 6 years old when her father, John, died. Mary, and her brother Calvin, became wards of their Uncle Angus Chisholm, brother to their father, John.

I do not know where Mary or her brother Calvin grew up. Possibly in the home of their uncle, Angus, but I think it is more likely, due to the future connections in Guilford County to the Gorrell and Kerr families, that they lived in the home of their grandfather, Thomas Stanback and, after his death in 1818, Calvin and Mary continued to live with their step-grandmother, Mary Morehead Stanback, who did not die until 1836.

The 1830 Census for Richmond County, North Carolina was enumerated on 28 Jun 1830 and shows Mary Morehead Stanback, age between 50 & 60 and living in her household is a female between age 20 & 30 who could be Mary Jennings Chisholm. Both Mary and Calvin, based on future records, look to have been well educated.

In Dec 1830, the wedding of Ralph Gorrell Esq. and Mary Jennings Chisholm is announced in the Weekly Raleigh Register. The couple wed in Mary’s hometown of Lawrenceville, Montgomery County.
From the website NC Pedia, Ralph Gorrell, lawyer, was the eldest son of David (1770–1848) and Euphemia Stewart Gorrell (1770–1850) of Guilford County. His grandfather was Ralph Gorrell, Esq. (1735–1816), who migrated from County Donegal, Ireland, to Boston in 1750, and thence to Guilford County where he settled near and became an active member of the Alamance Presbyterian Church.

As a side note, Ralph Gorrell Esq married Mary Kerr, daughter of David and Katherine Kerr. Mary had a brother named William Kerr.

Continuing from NC Pedia, like his grandfather, Ralph Gorrell developed an interest in politics. After graduation from Greensboro Academy in 1820 and The University of North Carolina in 1825, he was licensed to practice law in 1827. He ran for the House of Commons in 1832 but withdrew when he discovered that he was three acres under the constitutional property requirement of one hundred acres. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1834, 1835, and 1854. He also served Guilford County in the state senate in 1856 and 1858; there the minority party supported him for presiding officer.

As a lawyer and a businessman, Gorrell achieved a good reputation and moderate wealth. From 1830 to 1835 he organized a business partnership with William Kerr and Calvin J. Chisholm to operate mercantile houses in Greensboro and Morganton. In 1851, he became the first president of the Greensboro Mutual Life Insurance and Trust Company. Gorrell also owned a plantation—in 1860 he listed the value of his property at $46,000 (worth $1.4 million today). He also had a flourishing law practice.

Gorrell was a devoted husband and father. He married Mary Jennings Chisholm of Richmond County, North Carolina, but their lives were saddened by the deaths of seven of their ten children. One son, Captain Henry Clay Gorrell, died leading troops in the Civil War. Anne Eliza Gorrell, who married Joseph B. Fariss in 1869, was the only child to bear him grandchildren.Gorrell was noted for holding daily family devotions after he joined the Presbyterian church in 1843. He became the ruling elder of his church in 1849 and was regularly called upon to represent it at meetings of the presbytery, synod, and general assembly.

From the website Carolana, historical records show that this staunch Presbyterian group “developed a democratic, individualistic, self-reliant society very different from that of the older, settled coastal regions.” They have been characterized as having three distinct loves: religion, democracy, and education. Many of the names of the early settlers are familiar names today, particularly, Gorrell, Hunter, and Lindsay.

In 1807, when the county seat of Guilford County was moved to a more central point, it was found to be on the land of Ralph Gorrell (grandfather of Ralph Gorrell, husband of Mary Jennings Chisholm Gorrell); and the following deed was drawn: 

"Ralph Gorrell, Esq. to the Commissioners This Indenture made the Twenty fifth day of March in the year one thousand eight hundred & Eight Between Ralph Gorrell, Esq. of the County of Guilford & State of North Carolina of the one part & Charles Bruce, Hugh Forbis, Jacob Clap, Wm. Armfield, David Caldwell, [Jr.], George Swain, Nathan Mendenhall of the County & State afs. of the other part - Commissioners appointed by the Act of Assembly for the purchasing a Suitable Tract of Land at or Contiguous to the Center of Guilford County for Erecting a Town Court House Prison and Stocks & Such other publick uses as they may Deem Necessary thereon witnesseth that the S. Ralph Gorrell for and in Consideration of the Sum of Ninety Eight Dollars to him in hand paid by the Said Commissioners and Receipt whareof is hereby Acknowledged hath granted & by these presents Doth grant Bargain & Sell alien and Confirm unto the S. Commissioners all thate Tract Mesuage or Tenement of Land in Guilford County on the waters of Buffelow - Beginning at a Post Oak grub on the west Side of his land turning thence East Eighty four poles to a willow Oak thence North Eighty poles to a stake thence west Eighty four poles to a Post Oak grub on his west line thence along S. line to the first Station containing forty Two acres." (

Ralph and Mary Chisholm Gorrell's spacious home was a meeting place for preachers as well as lawyers and statesmen. It was there in 1865 that General Joseph E. Johnston delivered the last message to his troops before surrendering.

After Gorrell's death (1875), the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Company purchased his homeplace for its general offices. (

Mary Jennings Chisholm Gorrell, daughter of John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm, died 16 Aug 1887 and is buried in Guilford County, North Carolina.In Mar 1833, Calvin J. Chisholm, of the county of Burke (North Carolina), son of John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm, ordained Ralph Gorrell of the county of Guilford (North Carolina) as his true and lawful attorney to sell a tract of land in the county of Richmond adjoining the lands of David Stanback and Elizabeth Stanback on the Pee Dee River. On 27 Apr 1833, Duncan Kerr proved the execution of the power of attorney and it was ordered to be registered in Richmond County.Within weeks of the power of attorney being granted, Ralph Gorrell sells to David Stanback, brother of Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm, on behalf of his brother-in-law, Calvin J. Chisholm, and his wife, Mary Jennings Chisholm Gorrell, for the sum of $1400, a tract of land in Richmond County on the Pee Dee River beginning at a poplar formerly Ratliff's corner on the river and runs to the Ferry Road up to the fork of the path that leads to the former mansion house of Thomas Stanback deceased, and with the old path, to the river road near the said house, to the corner of the heirs of George Stanback, on said road, to the bank of the river called Denson's beginnings, then down the course of the river to the beginning, containing 92 acres more or less. It being the interest of the aforesaid Calvin J. Chisholm and Mary J Gorrell in the lands of their grandfather Thomas Stanback, and the part laid off to them in the partition of the lands of said estate.

In an interesting weave of associations that could only have been brought together through the family of Mary Morehead Stanback, I found that Calvin J. Chisholm had business dealings with William Kerr, a man who settled and established a business in Greensboro, and evidently achieved some prominence in the community, as he served as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners in 1833. Ralph Gorrell, husband of Mary Jennings Chisholm Gorrell, became a business partner of Kerr’s about 1831.

The Greensboro History Museum houses letters that relate to the operation of William Kerr’s business in the early 1830s and one letter includes a lengthy discussion of Hugh Campbell’s partnership with Ralph Gorrell.

A folder includes Kerr’s correspondence (1831-33) from Col. C.J. Chisholm, a Morganton, NC, merchant with whom Kerr worked. Chisholm writes of the connection between his business and “court days,” and his letters also provide insight into life in the gold region of Western North Carolina.(

I have emailed the museum requesting copies of the letters and expect to hear back after the holidays. C. J. Chisholm was in Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina in 1832 selling wares he had obtained in Philadelphia and New York.At a Rail Road Meeting in Nov 1833, the citizens of Burke County “convened at the Court House for the purpose of expressing their sense upon the various schemes of Internal Improvement proposed in the State” of North Carolina and for choosing delegates to the Convention in Raleigh. Four delegates were chosen, Colonel C. J. Chisholm being one of them.This is the last I heard of C. J. Chisholm in public record. I did find a Calvin J. Chisholm in Amite County, Mississippi around 1840 but am not yet sure if this is the same Calvin Chisholm, son of John and Elizabeth Stanback Chisholm. More research will be required to uncover what happened to Calvin J. Chisholm.

This is the last blog in the series on Murdock and Mary Chisholm and their children, who came to America from Scotland and settled first along Mountain Creek in Richmond County, North Carolina. Later, the family moved to Rocky Creek, on the waters of Little River, in Montgomery County, North Carolina.

Stay tuned for the next blog on Malcom Chisholm, who came from Scotland to America in 1790 and with him brought a letter that I will share on the blog. This Malcom has been very confused with Malcom, son of Murdock, and I hope to clear up some of that confusion.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Daniel Chisholm, son of Murdock

Daniel Chisholm, son of Murdock, is perhaps best known through his daughter, Mary, who married John Ewing before 1824 as Daniel's will is dated Oct 1824 and Mary is mentioned as Mary Ewing in the will. John Ewing was born to Isaac and Phoebe Jackson Ewing on 4 Oct 1797. Issac is the son of John and Mary Pratt Ewing. The Ewing family migrated from Maryland to North Carolina around 1785 and settled on Mountain Creek in Richmond County. 

I do not yet know the full names of Phoebe Jackson Ewing’s parents, but based on clues in a 1927 Newspaper article, we know that she is a first cousin of Naomi Sprawls Bostick and that their maternal grandfather is Richard Thompson. Naomi Sprawls Bostick is the daughter of Solomon and Mary Ann Thompson Sprawls, making Mary Ann Thompson Sprawls the aunt of Phoebe Jackson Ewing, and a sister to Phoebe’s mother, whose first name is currently unknown to me. 

When searching for records on the Sprawls family, I found the surname listed as Sprawls and Sproles.

In a book titled John Ewing, immigrant from Ireland, 1660-1974, is found a transcribed copy of the will of Daniel Chisholm. The transcribed copy indicates that Daniel was in a state of disability but was of sound mind. The will mentions sons William and John, who inherited all the lands of Daniel, equally divided between them, with dower property going to Daniel’s spouse. He secondly mentions that all the slaves and perishable property were to be divided between “all my children” with the exception of Ben, who was given to John and Chloe who was loaned to his wife, Miriam, during her widowhood. Daughters Nancy Yarbro (Yarbrough) and Mary Ewing are also mentioned. It is interesting that Daniel did not mention any of his other children, yet records indicate he did indeed have other children. 

Sarah, family trees show she married Norman Bethune 

Martha, married Mastin Pankey 

Elizabeth, married Auzey Pankey (named as one of the executors of Daniel’s will) 

Margaret, married Elijah Brown 

Rachel, married John Rhodes

It is no surprise to find Joel Harris a witness to the will of Daniel Chisholm as he lived next door. I have not had time to dig deeply into Joel Harris yet but am confident he is somehow related to the other Harris families in the area.

Cabon Pugh, the other witness to the will of Daniel Chisholm is no doubt part of the Pugh family from Randolph County. My own 2nd cousin 1x removed, Allie Marie Bescher (she descends from John Jacky and Amelia Morris), married into the Pugh family in 1933 and I already knew the interesting history behind the Pugh family from the research I had done on Allie Marie Bescher Pugh’s husband, James Pugh. 

But how are the Pugh’s related to the Chisholm’s? 

Read on to find out the interwoven connections. 

The early Pugh's were Quakers from Pennsylvania and were deeply involved with the Regulator movement all the way up to the Battle of Alamance, which took place on May 16, 1771 and was the final battle of the War of the Regulation, a rebellion in colonial North Carolina over issues of taxation and local control; considered by some to be the spark that culminated in the American Revolutionary War.

Mary Pugh, daughter of Thomas (1705–1797) and Elizabeth (1709–1794) Pugh, who were the first Pugh's to arrive in Randolph County, married Herman Husband, who was a Quaker, and the leader of the Regulator movement.

The Pugh family were at constant odds with the Quaker Church and were expelled from the church several times for taking up firearms as well as being involved with the Regulator movement and for marrying outside the church. The Pugh family became interconnected with the Chisholm family through Daniel’s nephew, also named Daniel Chisholm (1795-1849), son of Malcom and Mary Sellers Chisholm, when he married Mary Allred (1797-1858) daughter of Joseph Allred of Randolph County, North Carolina. The Allred’s and Pugh’s seem to have a lengthy history of intermarriage.

Mahala Allred was born to Mary Allred Chisholm's 1st cousin, Sarah, daughter of Johnathan Allred who was Joseph Allred's brother and paternal Uncle to Mary Allred Chisholm. Mahala, as is told in her 1882 estate file, was illegitimate. The estate file names "John Chism of Montgomery County NC, son of (Mary) Polly (Allred) Chishm dec'd," and listed as an heir to the estate of Mahala in Randolph County.

Per Mahala’s estate file: 

1. The Heirs of Jonathan Allred, deceased, another brother of intestate's (Mahala) mother (Sarah Allred ((Mary Allred Chisholm's 1st cousin)), to wit: 

2. Miriam Welborn, wife of Levi Welborn 

3. Sarah (Allred) Pugh, wife of William Pugh 

4. The heirs of William Allred, deceased, a son of Jonathan 

5. Miriam (Allred) Pugh, wife of Manly Pugh

William Pugh is the son of Thomas Pugh and Eva Amick. Thomas is the brother of Mary Pugh Husband, wife of Herman Husband mentioned above. William married Sarah Allred, daughter of Jonathan Allred, in 1829 and the couple had at least 6 children. 

John Manly Pugh was born in 1823 to Jesse Pugh and Rebecca Frazier. Jesse is the brother of William Pugh (noted above), making John Manly Pugh the nephew of William and Sarah Allred Pugh. 

Why Cabon Pugh was present and chosen as a signer of Daniel Chisholm’s will is anyone’s guess. Thus far I have not been able to connect Cabon Pugh to his parents (it is possible there is a mis-translation of the first name in the transcribed copy of Daniel’s will) but I am certain he descends from the Pugh family in Randolph County, North Carolina and knew the Chisholm family through his relative Mary Allred Chisholm.

Several members of Daniel Chisholm’s family migrated to Hardeman County, Tennessee. In an 1848 letter written by James Pankey, the son of Auzey Pankey and Elizabeth Chisholm, to John Ewing, husband of Mary Chisholm Ewing, James looks to be replying to a letter he received from John Ewing and is sending word home of his "relations." (see below for a copy of the letter)

James tells John that he has forwarded on his letter to his mother-in-law, Miriam Chisholm Gadd and that Miriam is in good health, religious and has Chloe, a slave that was willed to Miriam by her husband Daniel, with her.

James goes on to tell John that Felix Rhodes married Rachel (Chisholm) and they live in sight of Miriam. Elijah Brown and wife Margaret Chisholm live within 2 miles of Miriam. Of particular interest are two Sellers families from North Carolina who live close to Elijah and Margaret Chisholm Brown.

The Sellers are an allied family by intermarriage to Malcom Chisholm, the brother of Daniel Chisholm, whom this Blog is about.

The letter written by James Pankey to John Ewing goes on to say that D. Pankey, who may be Mastin D. Pankey, who married Martha Chisholm, daughter of Daniel, lives 12 miles away in Moore's Crossroads, which is now Grand Junction, and that William Chisholm is living in Panola County, Mississippi and little is known of him.
Daniel Chisholm’s widow, Miriam, is still a mystery to me. In several papers given to me by a Chisholm descendant, some clues to Miriam’s identity might be found. In 1804 and 1807, John Trusdel pays to Daniel and Miriam Chisholm a legacy left to them by William McDonald deceased. I do have some theories as to how William McDonald and John Trusdel are related to Daniel and Miriam Chisholm.

I know that John Trusdel married Nancy McDonald and this couple migrated to South Carolina. Nancy died in 1854 in Lancaster County, South Carolina. The inscription found on her gravestone reads: 

SACRED to the memory of Nancy, widow of John Trusdel and daughter of John McDonald born in Richmond Co NC the 22nd of August 1780 married to John Trusdel the 1? June 1797 and died the 11th August 1854

In 1801 John Trusdel writes a letter from Kershaw District, Hanging Rock, South Carolina, probably to Daniel Chisholm. In the letter John states that he has the money that Saul Hunt owes him and that he had expected to see him before now. John also says that Father McDonald, probably Nancy’s father John, is in poor health and unlikely to recover.

Saul Hunt can be found on page 9 of the 1800 Census for Lancaster District, South Carolina. On page 8 is found Will McDonald, over the age of 40 and living next door is John McDonald, between 20 and 40 years of age. My best guess is that John McDonald is probably the son (or brother) of Will McDonald. Of interest is Richard Ussery who is living just a few doors down from Will and John McDonald. 

The Ussery's, Robinson’s, Rush’s, Love’s, Carter’s, and Blackman’s (intermarried with Stringfellow), all names from Montgomery and Richmond Counties in North Carolina, make their homes between and around the McDonald’s and Saul Hunt. 

John Trusdel is on the 1800 Census for Kershaw District, South Carolina.

In 1805 Robert Stringfellow and John Trusdel of South Carolina, executors of William McDonald Dec'd make a deed for land on the south side of Cheeks Creek in Montgomery County, North Carolina. The land is near William Pickett’s line and being part of a tract of land granted to William Ussery, no doubt related to the Richard Ussery who is found living close to the McDonald's in South Carolina. The said tract was left to William McDonald and James McDonald by the last will and testament of their Uncle William McDonald Dec'd.
There are 2 land grants for William Ussery on Cheeks Creek when the county was still Anson. The only McDonald with a land grant on Cheeks Creek at the same time as William Ussery was Soirle McDonald.

The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada tells the story of Soirle. His first wife was Flora Nicolson, they married in Isle of Skye, Scotland 6 Aug 1765. They had four children, two males and two females; Mary being a named daughter, before emigrating to North Carolina, arriving on the brig Liberty 20 Dec 1771. Soirle’s mother was with him; she died before the Revolutionary War and is buried on his plantation named Sarthill near Mount Gilead, North Carolina. Soirle fought in the Revolutionary War for the British. He hid from the Patriots after the 1776 defeat of the Royal Highland Emigrant Regt, at Moore's Creek bridge. 

Soirle made his way to Nova Scotia and then back to Scotland where he died in Isle of Skye, 10 Oct 1830, according to several published death notices in Newspapers, aged 106. Presumably, he is buried in the family vault at Skye. His maternal uncle Hugh Macdonald was the stepfather of Flora Macdonald, wife of Allen Macdonald of Kingsburgh. Both were involved in the guiding to safety Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) after the battle of Culloden in April 1746. Soirle was a great-grandson of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat and named after his maternal grandfather Somerled.

Flora MacDonald is perhaps best known for her involvement in the plot to help Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) escape after the war of Culloden. Disguising the prince as her maid, Flora helped the prince escape to the Isle of Skye and then back to France. Flora was arrested for her part and spent time in prison. After her release from prison, she married Allan MacDonald, the brother of Donald MacDonald, veteran of the battles of Culloden and Bunker Hill and the most significant Scottish Highlander to serve the king's cause in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Donald and Allan MacDonald would be taken prisoner during the fighting at Moore’s Creek bridge and Allan’s son-in-law, Major Donald McLeod, would be killed there. 

Allan and Flora arrived in North Carolina in 1774, where he bought two plantations in Anson (now Montgomery) County, North Carolina. The couple returned to Scotland after the Revolutionary War. Allan and Flora were survived by three sons and a daughter; their other son, Alexander, had been killed during the war. All four sons—John (ultimately to achieve the rank of colonel in the British army and become a writer on military subjects), James (a lieutenant of infantry in the British Legion by 1782), and Charles (by 1782 a captain in the British Legion), as well as Alexander—served the British cause during the Revolution. John died in Exeter, England, in 1821 at age seventy-two. The only surviving daughter, the widow of Major Donald McLeod, died at Steine, Isle of Skye, in 1835. (

I recently had the opportunity to visit the area where Allan and Flora MacDonald settled in North Carolina. Once a hot bed of Revolutionary War activity, now just peaceful, private woodland. A stone has been erected showing the place of the MacDonald plantation site.

Revisiting the 1817 letter that Eli Stringfellow wrote to Mary Chisholm, daughter of Daniel and Miriam Chisholm, now leads me to believe that Miriam may have been the sister of John McDonald – Eli Stringfellow writes, “your Uncle John McDonald” and the only way John McDonald can be Mary Chisholm Ewing’s Uncle is if he were a brother to her mother, Miriam. 

In conflict to the letter itself, Eli opens the letter, "Dear Niece" making one believe that he is also an Uncle of Mary Chisholm Ewing. This has caused great confusion on my part as I know Eli is not a blood Uncle to Mary, nor is he an Uncle by marriage. I continue to build theory trees (as I call them) and find possible ways that both John McDonald and Eli Stringfellow can be an Uncle to Mary. 

I believe it is possible, based on the found documentation, that Miriam Chisholm and Nancy Trusdel are most likely first cousins, their fathers, John, and William, being brothers. 

There are, of course, other scenarios to be investigated but at this time, I do believe these ladies were somehow related to each other.

Miriam Chisholm remarried after the death of her husband, Daniel Chisholm. In a document provided to me by a Chisholm descendant, dated 11 Oct 1827, Miriam Gadd is noted as the “late widow of Daniel Chisholm deceased” meaning that she is no longer a widow (thus the use of the word late) because she has remarried.

Miriam is a widow again by 1830 as she is listed on the 1830 Census as head of household. She is between 50 & 60 years old on this Montgomery County Census, living East of the Pee Dee and Yadkin River; in her home are one female between 5 & 10 years, one female between 20 & 30 years and one female slave between 10 & 24 years old. 

I believe the female slave to be Chloe who was willed to Miriam by husband, Daniel Chisholm.

In 1840, Miriam and Chloe are found in the household of John Felix Rhodes, Miriam’s son-in-law who married Rachel, the youngest daughter of Daniel and Miriam Chisholm, in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
Living nearby, just one page over is William Chisholm, the son of Daniel and Miriam and two pages over can be found Elijah Brown who married Margaret Chisholm, daughter of Daniel and Miriam.

Miriam Chisholm Gadd can be found on the 1850 Census for Hardeman County, Tennessee. Living nearby are Joseph and Rachel Lambeth Gadd and their children. While I am not sure which Gadd line Joseph descends from, I am sure that Rachel is the daughter of Samuel Lambeth from Davidson County, North Carolina. Both Joseph and Rachel are mentioned in Samuel’s 1848 estate file and Newspaper articles from 1846 and 1850 show that Joseph and Rachel are not inhabitants of the state of North Carolina. 

I believe they had already moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee where they are found on the 1850 Census. Joseph could be Miriam’s stepson.

In 1830, Joseph Gadd Sen of Montgomery County, North Carolina and his brother, William Gadd Sen of Richmond County, North Carolina sold to Ebenezer Ingram a tract of land in Anson County, North Carolina adjoining Elias Preslar, containing 160 acres. J. A. Dumas, B. L. Dumas and Joseph Gadd Jun signed as witnesses. I believe that Joseph Gadd Jun may be the same Joseph Gadd who married Rachel Lambeth and migrated to Hardeman County, Tennessee. 

It’s just a guess but perhaps Joseph Gadd Sen and William Gadd Sen’s father has died, and they are selling land that they inherited from him. More research is required to uncover how these two Gadd brothers came to own this tract of land.

In March 1845, an article was printed in The North Carolinian, Fayetteville, North Carolina called Sketches of Travel. The journalist traveled to Hardeman County, Tennessee in January 1844. While there, he found many old acquaintances from Montgomery and Richmond Counties, North Carolina. He visited Col. Mask, John Dockery, Thomas Bowden, William Usher, Mastin Pankey and James Pankey. He reported that all men were well and running a large business.

Miriam wrote her will on March 5, 1853. A main portion of the will was written with instructions to her family on the care of her slave Chloe. The will was proven by oath of James Pankey in April Term 1857. 

Miriam writes, “I give and bequeath to John Sasser and his wife Mary Ann Sasser my negro woman Chloe and require them to treat her well and not sell her during their lives and if the said John or Mary Ann Sasser should find annually that the labor of said negro was worth more than her expenses they shall divide the surplus between themselves and Peggy Brown and Rachel Rhodes.” 

Miriam nominated John and Mary Ann Sasser her Executors.

Peggy is Margaret Chisholm Brown; wife of Elijah Brown and Rachel Chisholm Rhodes is the wife of John Felix Rhodes. Margaret and Rachel are the daughters of Daniel and Miriam Chisholm. 

John Sasser married Mary Ann Chisum (Chisholm) in 1835. Elijah Brown, son-in-law of Miriam Chisholm Gadd, was bondsman.

John and Mary Ann Sasser lived just a few doors down from Elijah and Margaret Brown. Interestingly, Abraham and Susannah Sellers lived in the same neighborhood. If you have followed along with this Blog, you will recall that Malcom Chisholm, brother of Daniel Chisholm, married Mary Sellers. There is most likely a family connection here, but that is for another Blog.
Mary Ann Chisholm Sasser died In May 1904 in Bolivar, Tennessee. I do not know how she was related to Miriam Chisholm Gadd.

The 1850 Slave schedule shows Miriam Gadd as the owner of one female slave, age 24. This is no doubt Chloe, making her birth year 1826, which cannot be true as she is mentioned in the 1824 estate papers of Daniel Chisholm. My guess is that Chloe was a baby or toddler when Daniel Chisholm died. I can only speculate why Daniel left a baby slave for Miriam to raise and why Miriam took such care in writing her will to ensure that Chole would be cared for by her family. 

To date, I have not been able to find out what happened to Chloe.