Category Archives: Daniel Boone

Here’s Your Sign #11 ~ Moore’s Fort ~ The Road To Kentucky

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

William Moore

 

Moore’s Fort was located in “lower Castle’s Woods” between the Clinch River and the Hunter’s Trace (later the Road to Kentucky), and was described in one pension application as being one mile from the Clinch River. Moore’s fort was probably the largest of the frontier forts in southwestern Virginia. Its central location on the Clinch River meant that the militia could be stationed here and sent either north or south to repel Indian Raids, whether they came through the Sandy War Passes, or through Cumberland Gap. Moore’s Fort came under siege a number of times, and it figures in the personal history of many of the pioneer families. Initially constructed during the opening of Dunmore’s War, its importance in frontier defense continued throughout the period of Indian Hostilities.

This was the fort that sheltered Daniel Boone and his family after their return to the Clinch in 1773. By petition of the people of Blackmore’s Fort, Daniel Boone was placed in command of Moore’s and Blackmore’s Forts in 1774 as a Captain of militia and continued in command of them until he went to Kentucky in the spring of 1775 to found Boonesboro.

This Fort was built on the land that my 5th great-grandfather, William Moore  (1726-1799) owned and he eventually sold the land to John Snoddy in 1775 when he and his family accompanied Daniel Boone and others to settle in Kentucky.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under Ancestry, Daniel Boone, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Here's Your Sign, History, Indian Wars, Kentucky, Moore's Fort, Uncategorized, Virginia, William Moore

Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Benjamin Cleveland ~ Terror of the Tories ~ Finale

Benjamin Cleveland StatueOver the last 3 weeks, we have taken a close look at Benjamin Cleveland’s life. All of it, including the good, the bad, and the very ugly. He was honored as a hero in the Revolutionary War, and he was also convicted as a murderer in the same war. He was called the Terror of the Tories and a man with no morals, but he was also called a kindhearted, fair, Patriotic, and loving man. He was a man of many contradictions.

This week we will pick up where we left off, life after the war. After the war, homeBenjamin returned to his beloved Round About, but he was able to remain there for only four years before he lost his plantation to a “better title.” At that time in North Carolina history, land speculation and claim jumping were rampant in the Yadkin Valley. Anyone who had been away fighting in the war for any length of time could expect to be victimized. Even Benjamin’s good friend, Daniel Boone, encountered these problems.

Benjamin directed his ambitions toward the beautiful land he had seen in the Tugaloo River Valley in South Carolina. In 1785 when he was granted 1050 acres on the Franklin County, GA, side so he began selling off his remaining Wilkes County property. Sometime between 1786 and 1787 he moved his family to their new home in the fork of the Tugaloo River and Chauga Creek in the Pendleton District.

Tugaloo mapHe added to his new farm by buying land from other Revolutionary grantees. Between 1779 and 1793 he acquired, through grants and purchases, nearly seven thousand acres of land on both sides of the Tugaloo River. Some of this land he kept as part of his “estate,” and some he sold. One record, for example, shows him selling 650 acres on Mill Creek of the Chauga River to a blacksmith named Littleberry Toney (November 29, 1790). All the land retained in his estate was eventually passed on to his son Absalom. Over the years this large estate has been bought in small portions by local residents and newcomers to the area.

Benjamin soon became involved in the affairs of his new state and served for many years as a judge of the court of Old Pendleton District along with General Andrew Pickens and Colonel Robert Anderson. As a judge, he continued the philosophy he had perpetuated in warfare. Lacking the formal training of a lawyer, he relied on his own keen sense of right and wrong when issuing a legal decision. In truth, he had tremendous contempt for the technicalities of law and all the resulting delays. When lawyers expounded their legalese before his bench, he often fell asleep, sometimes lapsing into snores that interfered with the litigation until one of his associates could nudge him awake. Consequently, all the long, prosy legal speeches had little effect on the judgments he rendered. Both on the field of battle and in the court of law, he was considered a fast man with a rope as he administered justice promptly and fairly. Any unfortunate horse thief brought before Benjamin received the same treatment as the Tories had, usually hanging.

Several years before his death in 1806, Benjamin became so large in size that heGrave stone could not mount his favorite saddle horse. Estimates placed his peak weight somewhere between 450 and 500 pounds. His arms could not meet across his body, and he became an object of curiosity to strangers. In his final years, he was able to wear only loose-fitting gowns made of light fabric in the summer and heavier material in winter. He was confined to a special chair that was built especially for him and mounted on rollers. By day he sat in it to direct the operation of his farm; by night OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe slept in it, for his bulk hindered his breathing whenever he laid down. Benjamin’s special chair became his death chair, too, when he died in it at his breakfast table in October of 1806. He was sixty-nine years old. His wife, Mary, had predeceased him by ten years, and his younger son John had also died a few years before. He was buried in the family cemetery on the grounds of his plantation.

The story of his life would not be complete without the story of his illegitimate daughter. “When young, back in Virginia, Benjamin Cleveland, though married, had an illegitimate daughter [Jemima]. She married a man named Evan Edwards and they moved ‘to the west’ and had several children. They were very poor. Benjamin had a friend who knew where his daughter was living to ask her to come to him and he would help her. After she received the verbal invitation she came from Powell Valley to Tugaloo, where he was then living. The Indians had killed her husband, and she was in dire circumstances. When he discovered that his daughter has indeed come to see him and was nearby, Benjamin wept. When he told his family about his daughter they surprised him when they said they would receive the daughter as one of their own, which they did. She then settled near the Cleveland home. She was quite a remarkable, and respected woman. She then remarried and she did very well for herself.”

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, Daniel Boone, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, Military Service, Revolutionary War, Sunday Salute, Uncategorized

Sunday Salute ~ Colonel Benjamin Cleveland ~ Terror of the Tories ~ Part 1

An image of the american revolutionWhen you think about those who rose to the occasion of fighting for our countries freedom we tend to think of that patriot as a morally upstanding person. You can envision all the heroic deeds that they did were for unselfish reasons. You may also believe that the person was raised in an honorable home, being taught right from wrong. Well, this is the life of my 1st cousin 6x removed, Colonel Benjamin Cleveland who was none of these things. His life was so diverse I decided to have this first part of the blog be about his life before the Revolutionary War. Part 2 will cover all he did during the War and Part 3 will cover his post-war exploits.

Benjamin Cleveland was born May 26, 1738, to John (1695-1778) and Elizabeth (Coffey) (1705-1772) Cleveland. He was raised in Orange County, Virginia, about seven miles from where he was born on the mouth of Blue Run, in Prince William County. Benjamin’s father, John owned six hundred acres of land in Orange County in 1734. Cleveland’s Run was about a mile northeast of Barboursville in Orange County, and it was named for Benjamin’s family

Benjamin and 8 his brothers were considered “a reckless lot” by all who knew them in Orange County and Benjamin was the worse of them all. All of the boys were considered “immoral”. He alone exhibited raw courage that few boys his age possessed. Even the drunken rowdies who were bent on destruction could not intimidate him. It is no surprise that he would earn the nickname “Terror of the Tories” during the Revolutionary War. Benjamin grew to be 6 feet tall and weighed close to 300 pounds. He was a man who gave in easily to many debaucheries. This had him in trouble throughout his youth.

You could always find Benjamin playing cards in the local tavern. He never lost a handTavern c. 1750 gambling because his strategy was to first accuse the other player of cheating, then he would strike the man causing him to fall down and then take all of the money. Not one opponent ever challenged him trying to get the money back because of his size and overbearing presence. He also frequented the racetrack, losing his money betting on the races and he and his brothers never left the track without starting or participating in a fight or two. Although he could be good-natured, he was also considered reckless, hot-tempered, and determined. He also did a lot of carousing and drinking,

Benjamin had no use for school. He did attend long enough to learn the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. He did, however, have an excellent mind and a natural intellect. He was a quick thinker and had the ability to think through a problem with a positive outcome.

He loved hunting and spent most from his early years roaming the surrounding Plantationwilderness securing furs and skins. In 1758 he married Mary Graves (1740-1800) daughter of Joseph (1715-1774) and Sarah (Crank) Graves. She was a great influence on him, trying to steer him in a moral direction. During the early years of his marriage, Benjamin fathered three children. However, only two of them, his sons Absalom and John, were by Mary. A daughter named Jemima was born by another woman. The newlyweds had to settle on Joseph Graves’s plantation because Benjamin’s “habits and pursuits” had prevented his accumulating any property of his own. On the other hand, Benjamin’s father-in-law “had a good living consisting of a tolerably good plantation and plenty of other good property.” During the harvest season, Benjamin invited his neighbors to help on Joseph’s plantation, rewarding them with plenty of liquor and fiddle music. The day’s work usually ended in debauchery.

In 1769, Benjamin moved his family, his father-in-law’s family, and his brother Robert to the newly opened backcountry of North Carolina settling near Mulberry Fields in Wilkes County.  He tried his hand at being a farmer, however, he didn’t like it. He moved his family to the northern bank of the Yadkin River and built a new plantation that he called “Round About”. He called it this because the land it was on was a horseshoe-shaped piece of land which was situated in a loop of the Yadkin River that ran “roundabout” his place. He soon focused his attention back to hunting and exploring the wilderness once again collecting pelts and furs. He would then take them to Salem and Salisbury to sell them. He also loved hunting deer at night.

His neighbor was Daniel Boone who was a fellow hunter and horse breaker. He toldDaniel Boone Benjamin many stories about the Kentucky country and the wonders of the long hunt. In the summer of 1772, along with 4 “long hunters”, he set out to hunt and to explore the Kentucky wilderness. The party was seized and robbed by a band of Cherokees. The Indians took everything, leaving the tattered band to find its way back through miles of wilderness. Cleveland was a fighter and a man of action. Delaying only long enough to regain his strength and to select a party of riflemen, he boldly returned to the Cherokee country, retrieved his horses, and returned in triumph to the Upper Yadkin, his reputation as an Indian fighter solidly established.

Upon returning from the hunt Benjamin began making friends and influencing people through his new vocation of surviving. Although he had in the past was by trade a house carpenter and builder, he discovered that surveyors were in great demand in North Carolina as people moved in and claimed the land. He also served as a tax collector for the part of Surry County that eventually became Wilkes County. Because of his connections with the residents due to his surveying, he was chosen to serve as the areas’ first representative in the legislature in 1778 and then the State Senate in 1779.

Part 2 of this blog will continue next Sunday with Benjamin’s astounding feats, both heroic and disgusting, during the Revolutionary War.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ My Big Mistake ~ Assuming Civility

facebook-logoFor over 10 years I have been using Facebook to keep my relatives informed about my Genealogical finds. I have posted some of my blogs and made inquires of those who may know more than me about family relationships. My personal Facebook page is basically for family only. Of the 140+ “friends” I have only met 6 in person. I wasn’t raised around family so most of these people are relatives who have found me over the years through other relatives. Most have expressed appreciation for all the history and stories I post.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about my 9x Great Uncle Jonathan Singletary who changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name of Dunham after he had gotten in Zachary Taylor 2some trouble. While researching I discovered that President Barack Obama and I share my 10x Great Grandfather Richard Singletary. I thought this was a find worth sharing with my family. I had previously shared that Daniel Boone is my 1st cousin 8x removed and that President George Washington is my 3rd cousin 8x removed, and also President Zachary Taylor is my 1 cousin 6x removed. Everyone had been so excited over this news.

Again, I reiterate that I do not personally know most of my family personally. I have my own very strong political beliefs which I have never shared on Facebook. I do not put up memes supporting or disparaging any candidate as this has never been my purpose for my page. I do have several cousins who regularly post their views, some very vigorously, but I do not respond to their posts.

HereticThat brings me to Monday evening when I naively put up the post about my discovery. I did make mention that regardless of your political views this was an exciting find and to please remember this is a genealogy post not a political endorsement of any kind. After putting the post up I had an errand to run so when I returned home about 1 hour later I was shocked to see what had happened. Immediately after I posted, I had gotten a barrage of “worst President, best President” responses, then the fighting began! I do not use curse words, ever! I was shocked by the cursing, swearing, name-calling, and yes, even the threats that went on. Some of the cousins even “blocked” each other. I felt so defeated as all I wanted to do was share my discovery. I took the post down!

I felt bad because I know some of my civil minded relatives would have liked finding out who they are related too! However, I am now hesitant to inform them of it as some of the ones who reverted to name-calling, etc were ones I also thought were this way! This was definitely a lesson learned. I think from now on I will only post about ancestors who were not famous or controversial!

How do you or would you handle such a situation?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Barack Obama, Blogging, Cousins, Daniel Boone, Dilemma, Facebook, Family History, Family Search, Famous, Genealogy, George Washington, Saturday's Dilemma, Uncategorized

You Are Just Now Finding That Out?

Daniel Boone picI have a personal Facebook page for family only. Most of the family I have never met as I was raised about 1300 miles from them. Only 2 of the 150+ cousins are doing any kind of Genealogy research. So as I find new or interesting information on one of our Ancestors I post my findings on my page. In the last week, I discovered that Daniel Boone is my 1st cousin 8 times removed. I posted this along with his line to me and I got great responses. Except for one cousin. They made the following comment ”Why would this be a new find? Shouldn’t you have completed our Genealogy by now?”

I just shook my head and laughed. I have been searching my family roots for over 20 years now and I fully understand the effort and time it takes to thoroughly research each Ancestor. I know this cousin has no idea. I sent her a private message and told her the following.

Thank you for your response. Yes, I am just now finding this Man Standing At Beginning Of Winding Roadinformation on our cousin Daniel Boone. Researching Genealogy is not a short sprint, it is a never-ending journey. It can take weeks, months and in some cases years to find the correct ancestor and their documentation so they can be placed in the tree. Every person must have documentation otherwise it is guesswork and hoping that this ancestor is ours.

Another problem is as you go further back you have a large number of Ancestors to go through. Daniel Boone is our cousin through his maternal Grandmother, Sarah Morgan’s father Edward Morgan. Edward is my 8 times Great Grandfather. To put this in perspective, by the time you are researching 8 generations back you will have over 1020 3 times Great Grandparents! So you can see why it could take years to make new discoveries”

I hope this explains it well enough for her. On a side note….when I told my youngest Grandson he was related to Daniel Boone his response was….”You mean he is real?”

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under 8 times Great Grandparents, Ancestry, Cousins, Credibility, Daniel Boone, Documentation, Edward Morgan, Facebook, Family History, Family Search, Famous, Genealogy, Hayes Family, History, Research, Story telling, Truth, Uncategorized