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Covering their ancestors, siblings, children and descendants

Spring 2001, Vol. 2, No. 2
June 30, 2001

Copyright 2001 by O. James Brown Klein . All rights reserved.
Editor and Publisher

  1. Journal Index
  1. Journal Index.
  2. Announcements.
  3. Addendum to the STEPHENS family section of THE BROWN FAMILY HISTORY by Erold C. Wiscombe, page 50, Regarding Alexander STEPHENS and Mary DAILEY and their ancestors and descendants.
  4. Family Research Projects.
  5. Family Research Ideas and Theories.
  6. Next Journal Issue: Summer 2001 to be published September 30, 2001.

    2.    Announcements and Thanks

1.    Thank You to our Contributor: A very special thanks again to Erold C. Wiscombe! Your continuing time, effort and sharing are greatly appreciated by the rest of us! We look forward to receiving more from you.

2.  Your Research Projects: We would like to share what research projects any one is doing on William and Margret BROWN and their related lines, and maintain this information in this Journal and in the Brown Library/Center on the Internet at http://www.brownhistory.org. See Family Research Projects below. You, or any one you know, are invited to submit what research projects you are working on including how to contact you, so that we can better organize ourselves on research, and know how to contact each other. Please send your information to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.

3. Addendum to the STEPHENS family section of THE BROWN FAMILY HISTORY by Erold C. Wiscombe, page 50, Regarding Alexander STEPHENS and Mary DAILEY and their ancestors and descendants


By Erold C. Wiscombe
May 30, 2001
185 North West Temple, # 204
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103-1548
Tel: 801-355-6691



Many people have made rather complete studies of the Stephens Family of North Carolina. Nearly all of them end up with Richard Stephens, who married Martha Robbins (Robards, Roberts).

Harold G. Barker of Rye, New York, has probably made the most extensive study of this family that has been made. He has been aided by others, namely Clark Stephens of Suisun, California, Arlene Miller of Logan, Utah, and Erold C. Wiscombe of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Older relatives who aided greatly were the four sons of Captain James Brown, the Founder of Ogden, Utah. These four men were sons of Martha Stephens Brown. They, Moroni, Jesse, Alexander and James Morehead Brown, were the ones who did the early temple work for the Stephens Family of North Carolina in 1891.

James Stephens Brown, son of Daniel and Elizabeth Stephens Brown, sat his mother down in his home in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1869, and had her relate the names of her family back as far as she could remember. None of these people went farther back than Richard and Martha Stephens. Elizabeth Stephens was the younger sister to Martha Stephens who married Captain James Brown. Elizabeth did relate quite a bit about her father's brothers and sisters. When Daniel Monroe Stephens went on his mission, he visited the Stephens relatives in Illinois and gathered what he could on the families living there. There was at one time a record known as the "Big Book" which contained the information that Daniel Monroe Stephens collected. It is not known by this writer just where this book is now. At one time it was in the possession of Aldo Briggs Stephens and his wife Laura.

In 1934, Lewis L. McAllister of Galesburg, Illinois printed an article in the Schuylerite (Vol. 15), a genealogical publication of Schuyler County, Illinois in which he stated he had made an intensive study of his roots. He was a descendant of Daniel Stephens of Brown County. As of this date, 200l, Mr. McAllister aged 93 is still living in Texas. Mr. McAllister had claimed he traced some of his ancestors back 200 years in this country. His record did not go beyond Richard, the father of Alexander Stephens.

In the Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, there is a biographical sketch of Daniel Stephens, a son of Alexander. He did not go beyond Alexander, but from his sketch we learn that his mother, Mary Dealy (Dailey) Stephens was from New Jersey and after the death of her husband in North Carolina, she took her family north to Illinois in 1836. Her son Daniel would have been 17 years old at that time.

June Barekman, the author of "Our Bowlby Kin", printed a number of volumes of material on our family. Hannah Martha Bowlby married Edmund Palmer. They were the parents of Mary Palmer who married William Dailey. William and Mary were the parents of Mary "Polly" Dailey, the wife of Alexander Stephens. There is quite a lot of material in her book on the Dailey and Stephens Families. Some of the Stephens material does not agree with what Elizabeth Stephens Brown told her son about Richard Stephen's Family.

A more concise account of the records of Daniel Monroe Stephens and other researchers is found in the preface of Harold Barker's book "The Briggs Families of Old Anson, Old Rowan and Davidson Counties, N.C. and Brown County, Illinois" He gives a more detailed history of the "Big Book".


Alexander Stephens was born 1775, probably in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was a son of Richard Stephens and Martha Robbins (Robards, Robins). Some records state that Alexander was born in Hillsborough, Chatham County, N.C. Further proof of this is needed.

According to his daughter, Elizabeth, she stated that her parents were married 1800, in Rowan County, N.C. Alexander married Mary "Polly" Dailey, born 1778, a daughter of William Dailey and Mary Palmer. Elizabeth stated her mother was born in Rowan County, N.C., but as stated, her younger brother, Daniel stated in his biographical sketch that his mother was from New Jersey.

It is known that Edmund Palmer and Hannah Martha Bowlby, the parents of Mary Palmer were from Sussex County, New Jersey. It is believed by this author that William Dailey and Mary Palmer were married in Rowan County, N.C.

June Barekman in her book "Our Bowlby Kin", page 29, states that Mary Dailey was born 1780 in Rowan County, N.C. This book also states that she took part of her family to Illinois in 1832. Mary's son, Daniel, stated that they went north in 1836, when he was 17 years old.

Alexander and Mary were the parents of eleven children, all born in Rowan County, N.C. The names of the children were William, 1801; Hannah, 1803; Martha, 1806; Elizabeth 1809; John 1811; Alexander Jr., 1813; Mary, 1815; David 1817; Daniel, 1819, Simeon, 1820; and Rohanah, 1822.

Alexander owned land in Rowan County, N.C. on Flat Swamp Creek. His land was bisected by 4 mile branch of the afore mentioned creek. In 1822, Davidson County was formed from Rowan County, and the family farm then became part of Davidson County, N.C.

The book "Centennial History of Davidson County" lists the names of the Conscript Founders, and Alexander Stephen's name is among them.

The Stephens Family were members of the Baptist Church. They first attended the Jersey Baptist Church until the church at Tom's Creek was started in 1813, then they attended this church as it was closer to their home.

In 1818, Alexander was appointed to be the clerk of this church and held this position for about four years. Later, his son-in-law, James Brown was appointed clerk.

In 1818, Alexander was also appointed to be a Justice of the Peace for Rowan County. He likely served the area of Rowan County east of the Yadkin River, where he lived, including the town of Lexington, which area would later become Davidson County in 1822. His appointment is evidenced by a certificate issued by the State General Assembly and Governor’s office. See North Carolina State Archives, Rowan County Justices of the Peace and Magistrates, 1778-1924, in Folder 1819, CR 085.917.1.

Alexander died 7 Feb 1824, in Rowan County, NC. It is not known where he was buried, but most likely it would be the cemetery nearest the old Tom's Creek Baptist Church.

Something must have happened to Alexander between the time he was the clerk of the Tom's Creek Baptist Church in 1818 and Dec. 1819 when he signed his will. His handwriting, which had been clear and steady, was almost impossible to read by December of 1819. After carefully examining the original will, it is believed that the will was written by Richard Briggs, who was also the testator to the will. The original will is found in the LDS Film: 1548676 #0444-448. Spelling remains as found in will.

Will of Alexander Stephens

"In the name of God amen I Alexander Stephens of the County of Rowan Being through the abundant mercies of God though weak in body yet of a sound and perfect understanding and memory do constitute this my last will and testamony and desire it to be received of all men asuch Imprimis I humbly Bequeath my Soul to God my maker beseeching his most gracious acceptance of it through the all sufficient merits and mediaton of my most compasonate redeemer Jesus Christ imprimis I give my body to the earth from whence it was taken in full asurance that it will rise again at the resurrection of the great day as for my buriel I desire it may be decent at the descretion of my wife and executors here after named as to my worldly estate I will and positively order that all my Just debts be paid, Item I will and bequeath all my rail and personal property that I now posess to my dear and loving wife Mary Stephens to do and depose of as she thinks proper to rais my children upon while she lives or during her widowhood and then all my estate to be Equally devided among all my children and I do constitute my wife Mary Stephens my soul Executor of this my Last will and testament in witness where of I do here unto set my hand and seal this 24 of December 1819 in the presence of us.

test Richard Briggs /s/ Alex Stephens (Seal)"

The will was signed and dated Dec. 1819, in Rowan County, but it was not filed until the March Session 1824, in Davidson County, North Carolina. Davidson County having been formed in 1822, between the time the will was written and when he died. It was recorded and registered in Book A page 28 by David Mock the clerk of the court.

In June 1824, Mary Stephens, wife of Alexander Stephens filled out an inventory of the property of Alex Stephens, decd. The description and wording used by Mary in this document is in her own words and spelling. The document is found in LDS Film number 1903138 of the Davidson County, NC, Estate Files.

Inventory of the property of Alex Stephens, decd.

4 hars critters 1 glass 2 umberels

9 hed of cattle 1 churm 1 pale 12 hed of hogs 1 tray 5 vails 16 hed of sheep 2 heckles 1 waggin 1 still an tub 1 clock 2 plains

1 pare of wagin gears 3 beds 1 riffle 1 wagon lode of flax 1 table 1spade 2 dressers an furnitur 1 oven 1 skillet 2 smoothing irons 1 pan 5 raisirs

2 siths an cradles 2 tramels 3 plows 3 half bushels 3 whhels 2 pals

1 gang of chickens 1 pick 1 sprauling 1 pare of plowing gears 4 hoss 3 saws

1 candle mole 9 books 1 chisal 2 pare of shears 8 chears 2 augurs

2 meal bags 1 trumtpet 2 saddles 1 pare of stillgards 1 spade 1 bridles

1 coffey mill 1 tray 1 jug 2 fire shovels 2 candle sticks 5 bottles

3 par of cards 1 grass sith 1 tub 1 pare of traces 1 comb 1 cubbard

77 pounds of iron 1 hammer 2 waggons 1 pare of pinchers 7 shays 1 lock chain

1 pare of teeth drawers 19 gees 7 shays 3700 weight of tobacco

/s/ Mary Stephens adm.

Alexander's wife was left with six unmarried children at home at the time of her husband's death. The youngest being only two years old at the time of her father's death.

Not long after Alexander's death, his wife became involved in a two-year court battle with her mother-in-law, Martha Roberts Stephens Ward. It did not state the exact damage that had been done, but Alexander's mother was claiming damages that amounted to $55.50. Both parties felt that they were wronged. It is doubtful that there was a very good feeling between mother and daughter-in-law after this court case was settled..

It was interesting that Martha chose Sion Jackson as one of her witnesses. Sion was married to Susan Brown, an elder sister of Captain James and Daniel Brown. Poor Sion was embroiled in many court battles. It seemed he owed everybody money and none expected to collect any of it. Susan later left him and took her children else where. Sion was the gunman who tried to shoot his brother-in-law, James Brown, when the latter showed up in North Carolina as a missionary sent to preach Mormonism. (Recorded in History of Captain James Brown). The court case is quite lengthy, some 17 pages long. A short summary is included here. The original can be found in LDS Film number 1903138 The Estate Files of Davidson County, North Carolina. The spelling has been left as it was found in the document.

Davidson County, NC, Statement of 21 Dec 1825.

Court Case
"State of North Carolina, Davidson County. Be it remembered that heretofore to wit at a Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions began and held for the County of Davidson at the Court House in Lexington on the third Monday of March one thousand eight hundred and twenty five, the following appeal from a Justice Judgment was returned unto Court to wit:

Sate of North Carolina, Davidson County

To any Constable or other Lawful Officer you are hereby Commanded to Summon the body of Mary Stephens, Executrix of Alexander Stephens, dec'd if to be found in your county and her safely kept So that you have her before some Justice of the Peace of said County, within thirty days from the date hereof (Sundays excepted) to answer Martha Ward of a plea of debt due by proven account the sum of $55.50 which sum she dalays the payment of. Hereso fact not given under my hand and seal the 8th day of January 1825.

Witness for Plaintif: Alsey Daly; For the Deft. William Grist Jun and Sion Jackson; For the Plaintiff Jenny Garner.

On which said warrant is the following indocument " M. Ward vs M. Stephens is Executed by R. Davis, Con. 8th day January 1825. The parties appeared and was heard, the witnesses examined therefore Judgment is intered against the within defendant for the sum of Eighteen dollars and fifty cents, Costs $1.20 given under my hand and seal. /s/ Ransom Harris, JP.

"From which Judgment the Defd. craves an appeal to the North Court to be held for the County of Davidson and gives for security, William Stephens. /s/ Ransom Harris

/s/ William Stephens

"This cause was regularly continued from .....term until December Sessions 1825 at which ..... time the cause coming on to be tried, John M. Dick appeared as Counsel for the Plaintiff and James Masters for the defendant who entered the following pleas. .... Ajend-essen with leave. The following jury was sworn and empanneled to try same aforesaid .... John C. White, Reuben Sheppard, Hiram Ward, Gasper Smith, Samuel Hamilton, John W. Thomas, Levi Coggens, Wm Sulivan, John Bodenhamer, Wm Milzan (or Milzray), and Adam Mock and Hugh Delap. Who find all issues in favor of the Plaintiff and assess her damage to twenty one dollars and ninety two cents, Eighteen dollars & fifty cents of which is Principle money, wherefore court did order, adjudge and desire that the plaintiff do recover the Sum aforesaid and costs of just, with which said Judgment the defendant being..... prayed an appeal to the next Sessions Court to be held for Davidson County, which was granted, she gave bond with James Brown and Reuben Sheppard, her securities in fifty dollars to prosecute Said appeal, which bond accompanied this record as a part thereof.

Bill of Cost

Process of $1.00 1 Subpoena .15 2 Continuances .60 Judgment .75 Appeal bond .60 Transcript of record & seal $1.05 Exemplification by the copy shed .65 // 4 & 80 Clerk Res Harand Dillock Att.

Sherff Wiseman 1 Subss .20 trial .15 Const Robert Davis 1.20 + .20 Attorney Dick 2.00


8.40 Add for tax 1.00 Total 9.45

I, David Mack, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of Davidson County do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy of record in the foregoing cause.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court at office the 2nd day of March Anno Domini 1826. /s/ Dattock CCle

Martha Ward vs Polly Stephens Summons for Plff, Jenny Garner and Will A. Gallimore. To April term 1826. Signed by James Wiseman, Shiff and A.H. Kennedy. I authorize Absalom Kennedy to execute this subpoena on Jenny Garner /s/ James Wiseman, Shff.

James Wiseman Esqr Sheriff of Davidson County. As the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of Mary Stephens found in your county, make eighteen dollars fifty two and a half cents, late by at October Sessions Court 1826 adjudged follow that Ward for Damages & Costs of which $2.50 is damages. The remainder cost, besided your fee. Return said money and this writ without fail to our next Superor Court to be held in the Court House, Lexinton (Lexington) April 1827. Witness Benjamin D. Rounsaville, Clerk of said Court at office December 29, 1826.

/s/ B.D. Rounsaville

Martha Ward vs Mary Stephens % April Term 1827

To hand 3 January 1827, Satisfied attorney paid by Sheff as his recpt on this Fifd---Balance of cost $11.62&1/2 to office, my fee retained. /s/ James Wiseman, Atty.

Judgment $2.50 Entering appeal .20 Continuance .30 Two subpoenas .30 Rule of reference .20 Judgment .75 This writ .37 Sheriff Wiseman .45 Atty Dick $4.00

9.07 Transcript 9.45

Total $18.52

Had of Jas Wiseman Esqr the Sum of six Dollars my fare /s/ Aridm Dick.

Martha Ward vs Mary Stevens: Oct Term 1826. Appeal judgement by award for Plff $2.50 costs. County Court Costs on transcript $9.45. Entering & filing appeal 2/ continuances 3/ two subpoenas 3/ Rule of Deference Def. Judgment 7/6. Execution 3/9 Clerk B.C. Ransom 2.12. Serving one subpoena 3/ Trial 1/6, Attorney Dick Plaintiffs Counsellor $4.00.

Damages $16.02




Martha Ward vs Mary Stephens, award & Bill of writs, adjudged, Oct Term 1826. Execution paid against Defendant December 29, 1826.

Rule of Deference

Martha Ward vs Mary Stephens, Adm.

This cause is refered to Frederich Hedrick & Jacob Goss Sen. and if they cannot agree, to choose another person and then award or the jury of any two of them to be a rule of this court.

/s/ B.C. Rounsaville, Cl

The 22 Day of April 1826

Jacob Goss and Frederick Hedrick has met according to apointment and could not agree and chosed the third man and we brout in our verdick that the Widow Stephens pays the widow Ward $2.50. /s/ Jacob X Goss (his mark)

/s/ Frederick X Hedrick

(his mark)

/s/ Richard Briggs

Alexander and Mary probably married in 1800. They do not show up in the 1800 Census in North Carolina so they must have married after the census was taken.

Their daughter, Elizabeth, stated that her parents married in Rowan County, N.C. Perhaps they could have been married by Williamson Harris, a justice of the peace on Salisbury prior to 1837. He claimed that he "Threw the liscenses (sic) in the corner of his house along with 475 others, then when he moved from Rowan County to Davie County, He threw then away as waste paper never expecting to be called upon for them again."

The 1810 Census of Rowan County, N.C., lists Alexander Stephens with a wife, one son and three daughters. The children would be William, Hannah, Martha and Elizabeth. This information is found on LDS film number 0337916, page 330.

The 1820 Census of Rowan County lists an additional four sons and one other daughter. There is also one additional older lady living in the household who is over 45 years of age. Since Mary's mother died in 1819, it must have been Alexander's mother, Martha Roberts Stephens Ward, who was living with them. Some records indicate that this older woman died in 1825, but it must have been after 1827, as that is when the lawsuit ended between Alexander's mother and her daughter-in-law.

By 1830, the Census shows the widow, Mary Stevens, living in Davidson County, N.C., with her four sons and two daughters. This would be Alexander Jr. 17, David 13, Daniel 11, and Simeon 10, and sisters Mary 15, and Rohanna age 9. The older three girls and two brothers had married by this time.

Davidson County had been formed in 1822, putting the family farm on Flat Swamp Creek in the new county.

Mary and Alexander's son, William, was living near by with his wife and three sons and two daughters.

In 1831, Alexander's third daughter, Elizabeth along with her husband, Daniel Brown, and her family, along with her brothers, Alexander Jr. and  John Stephens, and a nephew, Homer Jackson, moved north to Schuyler County, Illinois.

Daniel and Elizabeth Brown had just lost their second home in a fire. It was after this incident happened that they resolved to leave North Carolina.

Daniel had written back such glowing reports of their new home in Illinois, that his brother, James Brown, who was married to Martha Stephens, also took his family north to Illinois in 1833.

Three years later, in 1836, Alexander's widow, Mary Dailey Stephens, decided to join her daughters in Illinois. Different family records have differing dates for their exodus to Illinois, but in the history of Daniel Stephens, one of the younger members of the family, he stated they moved to Illinois in 1836. He would have been a 17-year-old boy at that time.

In 1839, Schuyler county was divided into two parts. The LaMoine River bisected the county and the people in the Southern part of the county could not get to the county seat at Rushville during high water times. Thus the part that was West and South of the river became Brown County.

Part of the Stephens Family were in Brown County after the formation of the new county. Some moved to Schuyler County.

On 1 April 1841, Mary Daily Stephens remarried again to George Naught in Brown County, Illinois.

The Genealogical publication, The Schuylerite, Vol. 14, page 62, has an interesting history of the Naught Family. This was published in the Rushville Times, in August 29, 1934.

"The following tribute to the memory of George and Isaac Naught, the first white settlers of Woodstock township, written by Miss Adaline Naught, was read at the Sugar Grove annual homecoming.

"Near the close of the 18th century, two brave, canny Scotch youths of Glasgow embarked on a long sea voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to a promised land of fortune, landed in New York. They remained in that state several years. Later they removed to Kentucky. Again they went to Southern Indiana, from thence locating near Edwardsville, Whiteside County, Illinois.

"After some years spent there, fifty-eight years after the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, Isaac Naught was given two land grants in Schuyler County. They read thus: 'In testamony, I Andrew jackson, President of the U.S., caused these letters to be made patent, and the seal of the General land office to be hereunto affixed. Given under my hand at the city of Washington, this 12th day of March in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-four, and of the Independence of the U.S. the 58th. By President, Andrew Jackson, by H.I. Damleau, Secy., Elijah Haywood, Commissioner of the General land Office'.

"The grants to the land were dated March 12, 1834, and October 10, 1833, and recorded September 26, 1853. The grants were received in Edwardsville.

"George and Isaac Naught were the first white settlers in Woodstock township (and among the first in the county), locating there the year following the first invasion of Schuyler County by home-seekers. They came from Whiteside County in 1824, first settling on Section 36. Soon afterwards, George removed to Bainbridge township, where he made his permanent home. He secured the land now owned by the C.W. Davis heirs, and by his wife rest in the Davis Cemetery. He married Mrs. Mary Stephens of North Carolina, April 1, 1841.

"Isaac and his family continued to make their home in Woodstock township. In 1825, John Starr, Hastings Starr and Thomas Egleston joined the Naught settlement, locating on adjoining sections. Isaac Naught owned what is now known as the Claude Ransom, James Cashman estate, Max Luthy and Adaline Naught place. The old home was torn down several years ago, leaving a portion of the stone fireplace standing. The building probably stood about 100 years, not being occupied in later years.

"When the county commissioners created five election precincts, June 4, 1827, and named the place of voting, the names of the judges being specified, district No. 1 was given as follows: Place of voting, house of Isaac Naught; judges, John A. Reeve, Willis O'Neal and Isaac Vandeventer.

"Isaac Naught gave the deed for the land on which the first church in Woodstock was built, September 24, 1831, one of the first deeds recorded in the county. This was known as the Regan Baptist, or Crooked Creek Church. This was witnessed by Benjamin Gholson and William O'Neal. The church disbanded and the land became the site of the present Naught Cemetery, where many of his descendants lie in sleep, among them Nancy Carlin Naught.

"Know all men by these present that I, Isaac Naught, of the county of Schuyler and state of Illinois, have donated and given, and by these presents donated and give unto the county commissioners of Schuyler County and their successors in office, for the use of the Regan Baptist Church, know by the name of Crooked Creek Church in the said county for the purpose of building thereon a house of divine worship and using and occupying the same as the said church, may think proper a certain panel of land situate, lying and being in said county of Schuyler." Then follows the description of the land. In presence of Benjamin Gholson and Willis O'Neal, September 24, 1831. Book A, page 440. This is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county.

The Naught family, being pioneers in this county, also sent representatives in its defense. During the Black Hawk War, George Naught and his nephew, John Naught, volunteered their services and were assigned to the company of Abraham Lincoln in 1832."

The Schuylerite Vol. 15, page 54 has the following interesting account of the family.


"In the annual picnic of Sugar Grove (South) a brief history of some of the oldest and first settlers was given. The following brief sketch of Woodstock's oldest and first family, was given by one of its representatives, Adaline Naught.

"Two young brothers of Glasgow, Scotland, bade farewell to home and kin and left on a westward journey to a land of promise. Landing in New York, they remained a short time when they emigrated to Kentucky, later removing to Whiteside County and at last coming to Schuyler to become the first white settler in Woodstock township. George Naught, Sr. was possibly the first white settler in Bainbridge also. In pioneer history of the county the names if the two brothers are given a prominent position--George and Isaac Naught.

"Very soon after their arrival George purchased all of the land now owned by the heirs of the C.W. Davis estate, and with his wife, sleeps in the Davis Cemetery. With his nephew, John Naught, they enlisted for service in the Black Hawk War in 1832, five others joining them from the Naught Settlement as it was then called.

"In 1823, upon their arrival in Woodstock, Isaac Naught and his wife, Nancy Carlin Naught, built the cabin home where they raised a family of several healthy, hearty boys and girls.

"This was a home of welcome to the new, incoming pioneer as well as the Indian brave.

"The Naughts were Baptists, and Isaac built the Logan Creek Baptist church, the grounds of which are now occupied by the Naught Cemetery, where many of their descendants lie in mortal sleep. Under the sod, and the dust, waiting the judgement day.

"George Naught Sr. was a mighty hunter--a nimrod of the forest, and often joined the Indian braves of his neighborhood. He became quite well acquainted with a certain Indian brave who admired him very much. They often wandered off in the hunt and chase together. The fast appearing whites, made the Indians become jealous and fearful of their loved hunting grounds. Calling a council of war, they decided to massacre the whites, but George Naught Sr. had an Indian brave who could not betray him. One day at hunt he said: "George, us Red Men kill all white men, and when I kill you, I kill you good."

"The white settlers banded together and drove the Indians across Crooked Creek, or the LaMaone River, it is now called, and the Naught settlement was saved. Although George Naught Sr. died childless, his brother, Isaac, left a large posterity of eleven children, five sons and six daughters."

In the History of Bainbridge Township of Schuyler County, Ill. 1968, there was an interesting article written by Major Thomas McKee. He was a young boy when the Indians were driven across the river. He felt the Indians had been treated shamefully. He watched the "whipping master" administer a whip with a big hickory gad to an old Indian man. He said: "I was a boy then, but I did not think it was right to treat an old man like that." Perhaps young Thomas hadn't received the same message that George had received from his Indian hunting friend.

Lewis L. McAllister had written an interesting article in the Schuylerite, Vol. 15, pp.55-56. This article was written in 1934. "So far as is known, the oldest living descendant of the Stephens family is Mrs. Elizabeth Gaddis Terrill, aged 93 years of Rushville, Ill." (She was the eldest daughter of Rohanna Stephens, Alexander's youngest child.) "Daniel Stephens of near Sugar Grove, Schuyler County, Ill. and John M. Nooner, were both great grandfathers to Mr. McAllister."

"The mother of this large family, who came to Illinois, was Mary Daily Stephens, daughter of William Daily and Mary Palmer of New Jersey. In 1841, she married a second time, by Justice James C. Reid of Brown County, to George Naught, one of the earliest settlers in Schuyler County. Mr. Naught enlisted from Schuyler and served under Captain Moses G. Wilson in the Black Hawk War of 1832."


"George Naught and Mary Daily Stephens are buried in the old Davis Cemetery, north of the well-known Stephens Cave, located south east of Layton. This cave received its name from John Stephens, a nephew of Mary Daily Stephens Naught, who owned land surrounding the cave, and in it operated a mill and distillery from the water power furnished by numerous springs in the cave."

In the record of Wills, Letters and Bonds, October 11, 1844-November 22, 1849, Schuyler County, Illinois, Vol. III, The will of Mary Naught is recorded on p 37, Nov. 17, 1845, dated 20 Sep. 1845. Then on page 46, dated Feb 2, 1846, the will of George Naught is also recorded, his was written 7 Oct. 1844.

Mary Naught's will:

"This day came William Stephens and presented this last will and testament of Mary Naught for probate which after being ------ is ordered to be recorded which is in words and figures as follows viz.

"State of Illinois, Schuyler County, September 20 in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and forty five:

"I being in a low state of health but in my right mind do make this my Last will and testament. First, I will to Hannah Smith and Elizabeth Brown and Roann Gadis all of my wearing cloths. Also I will to James Brown and his heirs, Mary Johnson and Alexander Stephens, fifty cents each and after that if there is any thing left after my being decently buried to be equally divided betwixt William, John, David, Daniel, Simeon Stephens and Elizabeth Brown, Hannah Smith and Roany Gaddis. This my last will hereunto I set my hand and seal. /s/ her mark.

Mary X Naught

mark In the presence of us attest:

Isaac Naught
John Stephens

"State of Illinois, Schuyler County This day personally appeared before me, Adam Dunlop, Probate Justice of the Peace in and for said County in open court, the above named John Stephens a creditable witness who being by me duly sworn on his oath (----) and says that he was present and saw the above named Mary Naught sign the above last will and testament in his presence, that he believed and still believes that the said Mary Naught was of sound mind and memory at the time of signing of said last will and testament in the presence and by the request of the said Mary Naught and in the presence of Isaac Naught."

"Forth this day came Joshua Lama a creditable witness who being by me duly sworn on his oath and says that he was present and saw the within named Isaac Naught sign the written last will and testament by making his mark and from his knowledge of the facts of the attesting the within and forgoing last will and testament of Mary Naught he believes the attesting and subscribing of the name of the said Isaac Naught as aforesaid to be act-(---) and of the said Isaac Naught.

"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 17 day of November, AD 1845. /s/ A. Dunlop P.J."

The will of George Naught

"This day came William Stephens and presented the last will and testament of George Naught deceased for Record which being duly process is orded to be recorded which is in words and figures as follows viz.

"I George Naught of the County of Schuyler and State of Illinois do make and publish this my last will and testament in name and form following that is to say:

"First it is my will and desire that a certain black horse known by the name of pilot shall belong to my wife, Mary as long as she lives. Also it is my will that the balance of my personal and real estate, that executors shall dispose of as such thereof as will satisfy all of my just debts and expenses, also and after this it is my will that my wife Mary shall have her third of the balance of my estate if any.

"Also I will unto my Brother, Isaac Naught and his heirs all my right interest and title to fifty acres of land off the east side of the North East Section thirty one in township one North of the Be--(?) line in Range one west of the fourth principal meridian lying and being in the County of Schuyler and State of Illinois, and then the remainder if any is my will that it shall be divided equally betwixt my wife Mary and Joshua Lamma an orphan boy that I raised, also the Probate Justice shall appoint three disinterested freeholders to lay off and divide the property remaining betwixt the above Mary Naught and Joshua K. Lamma persons expressed in the above will and lastly I humbly constitute and appoint my said brother, Isaac Naught and William Stephens to be the Exedutors of this my last will and testament, In Testimony whereof I have hereunto my hand and seal this the 7th day of October A.D. 1844.

"Assigned and acknowledged in the presence of us who he requested to assign our names as witness to the same.

Enoch Edmonston his

Stafford S. McElhose George X Naught

"State of Illinois, Schuyler County

This day personally appeared before me Adam Dunlop, Probate Justice of Peace in and for said county in open court Enoch Edmonston and Stafford S. McElhose two enscribe witnesses unto being by reason duly sworn on this deposi and say that they were preent and the above named George Naught acknowledged the signing the above last will and testament in their presence and they believed and still believe that the said George Naught was of sound mind and memory as to the signing of said last will and testament in the presence of others. In testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said court of Probate this 3d day of February A.D. 1846. /s/ A. Dunlop P.J.

"And whereas Letters of administration have been to the said William Stephens on the estate of the said George Naught decd. It is therefore asend that the Letters of administration granted to him the said William be recorded and that Letters Testamtntary appear to him as follow viz.

"State of Illinois, Schuyler County: The people of the State of Illinois, to all whom these presents shall come-Greetings, Know ye that whereas George Naught late of the County of Schuyler and State of Illinois died on or about the 16th day of January, A.D. 1846, as it is said after having duly made and published his last will and testament, a copy whereof is here unto (...?) having at the time of his death, property in the State which may be lost, destroyed or diminished in value if speedy can be not taken of the same and inasmuch as it appears that William Stephens has been appointed excecutor in and by said last will and testament to execute the same, and to the end that the said property may be preserved for those who shall appear to have a legal right or interest therein, and that said will may be executed according to the request of the said testament, we do hereby authorize him the said William Stephens as such executor to collect and (...?) all and singular those goods and chattels, rights and credits which were of the said George Naught at the time of his decease in whosoever hands possession the same may be found in this state; and will and truly to perform and fulfill all such duties as may be injoined upon him by the said will so far as there shall be property and law charge him and in general to do and perform all other acts which now are on him after may be required of him by law. Witness Adam Dunlap Probate Justice of the Peace of the said County of Schuyler at his office in Rushville this 6th day of January(word lined through) February A.D. 1846. /s/ Adam Dunlap, Probate Justice of the Peace."

The wills were recorded in the Schuyler County Probate records 1827-1887. Recorded in LDS Film number 1311617, part 3, pages 37-38, for Mary, and pages 46-48 for George Naught.

It appears that George wrote his will 7 Oct. 1844, and Mary wrote her will 20 Sep. 1845, but Mary's will was probated 17 Nov. 1845, and George's will 2 February 1846. Therefore Mary died some two months before her husband.

The Children of Alexander and Mary Stephens

William Stephens was born 11 Nov. 1801, in Rowan County, N.C. He married about 1821, Sarah Garner, born 12 Feb. 1797.

William and Sarah were the parents of seven children. The first child, Honor, was born in Rowan County, N.C. The other six children were probably born in the same house, but a new county called Davidson was formed in 1822. This would be their county of birth.

The 1830 Census of Davidson County shows William and wife with a family of four living near his mother, Mary. The family name was spelled Stevens in this census.

Sometime after February 1836, when his last child was born and before the 1840 Census was taken, William moved his family North to Martin County, Indiana. It was here that his eldest daughter married Moses Williams in March 1842.

On 24 May 1842, William Stephens of Martin County, Indiana received some land in North Carolina to satisfy an old debt from Joseph W. Grist. On 19 March 1844, he sold the land to James Brown, his brother-in-law who was living in Hancock County, Ill.

The Stephens and Williams Families did not remain long in Martin County. By 2 Feb. 1846, William is listed as an executor in his step-father's will in Schuyler County, Illinois. His mother had died two months previously. William lived in Bainbridge Township in Schuyler County.

When the temple work was done for the Moses Williams Family by Aldo Briggs Stephens, he listed a fifth child, Caroline Malhoes Williams. This child did not belong to Moses Williams. Moses died 17 April 1855, after which his wife, Honor, remarried David A. McElhoes. The child Caroline belonged to this second husband.

The children of William and Sarah were:

1. Honor H. Stephens born 24 Feb 1822.
2. John Stephens born 20 Dec 1824.
3. William Stephens born 8 May 1826.
4. Mary Stephens born 4 Apr 1829.
5. Henry Stephens born 13 Sep 1831.
6. Elizabeth Stephens born 10 Dec 1833.
7. Sarah "Sally" Stephens born 17 Feb 1836.

2. Hannah Stephens
was born 13 November 1803, in Rowan County, North Carolina. The Stephens Family of Ogden, Utah has furnished us with the names of their four children. The eldest child was born in Rowan County, North Carolina in January 1824, the other three were probably born in Davidson County, North Carolina.

There are several James Smiths living in the Rowan/Davidson section of North Carolina during the 1820-1830's. It is difficult to tell which one married Hannah.

According to the Ogden, Utah Stephens’ record, the eldest daughter, Mary Smith married about 1846, John Hunt. John was from Kentucky. The 1850 census shows this family living in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, with two children, three year old Mary and one year old Alexander Hunt.

No further information has been found on the family of Hannah and James Smith.

The children of Hannah and James were

1. Mary Smith born 24 Jan 1824.
2. Samatha Smith born abt 1826.
3. James Smith born abt 1828.
4. Thomas Smith born abt 1830.

3. Martha Stephens
was born 12 October 1806 in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. She married 2 March 1823, in Rowan County at the home of James Brown on Flat Swamp Creek, James Brown Jr. who later became Captain James Brown of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War and founder of Brownsville which later became Ogden, Utah.

Martha and her family moved north to Brown County, Illinois in 1833. They lived there for two years then moved to Adams County, Illinois, where he served as a Justice of the Peace.

Martha and James had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brown County in 1838.

Their first five children were born on the farm in Flat Swamp Creek, Rowan County, North Carolina. The sixth child was born at Versailles, Brown County, Illinois, and the last three children were born at Beverly, Adams, Illinois.

The children of Martha and James were

1. John M. Brown, born 1824.
2. Alexander Brown born 3 Mar 1826.
3. Jesse Sowel Brown born 26 Mar 1829.
4. Nancy Brown born 27 Dec 1830.
5. Daniel Brown born 7 Dec 1832.
6. James M. Brown born 17 Nov 1834.
7. William Brown born 21 Aug 1836.
8. Benjamin F. Brown born 9 May 1838.
9. Moroni Brown born 25 Sep 1840.

After Martha's death, the family went with the Mormon Pioneers to Winter Quarters. Martha's husband was recruited to join the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War. He was Captain of Company C in that battalion.

Martha's family settled at Brownsville, Utah, which later became known as Ogden, Utah, the second largest city in that state. Many of her descendants still live in that area.

4. Elizabeth Stephens
was born 10 Feb 1809, in Rowan County, North Carolina. She married 8 Oct 1832, in Rowan County, Daniel Brown, a younger brother of James Brown who had married her elder sister Martha.

Elizabeth and Daniel lost two of their homes by fire. After the second fire they decided to try their luck in some other area. Therefore, on 6 Oct 1831, they left North Carolina for the state of Illinois.

Elizabeth's two brothers, Alexander and John Stephens also went with them as well as Homer Jackson, a nephew of her husband.

Elizabeth's son, James Stephens Brown, stated in his autobiography: "We were the first of the Brown and Stephens Families to go to Illinois."

As a more detailed history of Elizabeth and her husband Daniel Brown is found on the Internet at Brownhistory.org, it will not be repeated here. An even larger account of her family life is found in the book "Life of a Pioneer", written by her son, James S. Brown. The book was later reprinted under the title: "Giant of the Lord". Both books are the same.

The children of Elizabeth and Daniel were

1. William Brown, born 6 Aug 1824.
2. Mary Brown, born 21 Sep 1826.
3. James S. Brown born 4 Jul 1828.
4. Wilson Brown born 24 Jul 1830.
5. Margaret Brown born 15 Jan 1832.
6. Willis Brown born 8 Sep 1834.
7. Nancy Brown born 15 Sep 1837.
8. Daniel Brown born 30 Jun 1840.
9. Elizabeth Brown born 30 Jun 1840.
10. Lucy Brown born 27 Dec 1842.
11. Sarah Brown born 7 Jul 1846.
12. Jerome Brown born 8 Oct 1849.
13. Jane Brown born 18 Mar 1853.

Elizabeth and her two eldest children joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1840. Her husband joined two years later. When the members of the church were driven out of Illinois the Brown Family followed them as far as Winter Quarters (now Omaha, Nebraska).

Due to a disagreement Daniel had with Brigham Young, he took his family North. They became the first white settlers in what later became Harrison County, Iowa.

Elizabeth's daughter, Mary Hammond died from a measles epidemic. She is buried in the Winter Quarters Cemetery.

The first marriage celebrated in Harrison County, Iowa was Elizabeth's eldest son, William to Mary Coon. The first birth in Harrison County was that of Jerome Brown, the youngest son.

After her husband's death in Calhoun, Harrison, Iowa, Elizabeth sold their property and moved with her youngest daughter, Jane, to Utah. She died at Farmington, Davis, Utah, at her daughter, Lucy's home on 12 Oct 1890, in her 81st year of her life.. She is buried in the Ogden City, Utah Cemetery on her son Jerome's lot, and very near to the grave of her brother, John Stephens and his wife, Elizabeth Briggs.

5. John Stephens
was born 31 March 1811 in Rowan County, North Carolina. As a single man he immigrated North to Illinois with his sister, Elizabeth, and her family.

He married Elizabeth Briggs 17 Sep 1890, in Schuyler County, Illinois. Elizabeth was born 14 Mar 1812 in North Carolina.

There are many histories written of this couple. John and his wife joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the same time that his sister Elizabeth Brown joined. He was baptized by the Prophet, Joseph Smith.

John and Elizabeth were the parents of 12 children:

1. James Otha Stephens born 1 May 1834.
2. David H. Stephens born 22 Oct 1835.
3. John C. Stephens born 4 Jul 1837.
4. Almirah C. Stephens born 17 Feb 1839.
5. Alexander N. Stephens born 11 Dec 1840.
6. Daniel M. Stephens born 4 Oct 1842.
7. Elizabeth J. Stephens born 14 Mar 1845.
8. Thomas J. Stephens born 16 Mar 1847.
9. Constant Ann Stephens born 17 Feb 1849.
10. Solomon C. Stephens born 1 Sep 1850.
11. William J. Stephens born 1 Apr 1853.
12. George W. Stephens born 1 Apr 1853.

The first five children were born in Brown County, Illinois. The next one in Nauvoo, Ill, the next three in Pottawattamie County, Illinois, and the last two in Ogden, Utah.

When the Latter Day Saints were driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, John and his wife took their seven children and went with them to Winter Quarters, (now Omaha, Nebraska). They remained in this area for quite some time. John was assigned by Brigham Young to stay and help raise crops for those pioneers that were coming later. It was know as the "poor farm". Later the Stephens Family immigrated to Utah in the Bates Company in 1851. The pioneer companies were divided into hundreds, fiftys and tens. John was captain of one of the ten families.

John settled his family in Ogden, Weber County, Utah. The town that was founded by his brother-in-law, Captain James Brown. A set of twin boys was born to the family at Ogden. One of the twins died at birth, but John and Elizabeth raised all eleven remaining children to maturity.

John died 3 Dec. 1870, at Ogden, Utah from small pox. His wife lived another 16 years and passed away 13 March 1886. She was 73 years of age and at that time had 76 grand children, 54 living, 13 great grand children, with 12 of them living.

They were buried in the Ogden City Cemetery near his sister, Elizabeth S. Brown, and not far from where his brother-in-law, Captain James Brown is buried.

Two of our noted Stephens Family researchers, Harold G. Barker and Clark Stephens are descended from this noble couple.

6. Alexander Stephens Jr.
was born 13 Apr 1813 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married (1) Margaret Northam about 1831 in Rowan County, N.C. They had one son:

1. Ebenezer Stephens, born 13 May 1831.

His wife Margaret must have died as he married her sister, Mary Northam, in Rowan County, N.C. in 1839. Mary was born 1820, in Rowan County, N.C.

Shortly after this second marriage, this couple moved to Illinois where his two sisters and one brother had moved. His second child was born here.

2. Alexander Stephens, born 1840.

Alexander and his wife, Mary, also joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The following account of Alexander and Mary Northam is found in "500 Wagons Stood Still", pages 511-552, by Shirley Maines: "Mary Northam was born in North Carolina in 1820. Very little is known of her parentage or her early childhood. She married Alexander Stephens, Jr. in 1839 in North Carolina. They had a child Alexander Stephens born about 1840 in Illinois.

"Alexander had married Mary’s sister, Margaret Northam in 1831. They had a child, Ebenezer, born May 13, 1832 in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. At the time of Ebenezer’s birth, Margaret died.

"When the Saints left Nauvoo, in 1846, Mary chose not to go with Alexander, remaining behind in Nauvoo.

"Alexander Stephens joined the Mormon Battalion becoming a Private in Company "D" under the command of Captain Nelson Higgins. He marched all the way to California, and was discharged from the army on July 16, 1847 at Fort Moore in Los Angeles.

"After his discharge he left with the Levi W. Hancock Company for the Salt Lake Valley. When the Company met Captain James Brown in the Sierra Mountains with a letter from President Brigham Young to remain a season in California and work, Alexander Stephens was one of the men who turned back and found work with Mr. John Sutter. He was one of the men hired to build a sawmill in the mountains at Coloma. He was there when the first gold was discovered.

"Alexander was with the Holmes-Thompson Company that arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 6, 1848."

In 1846, when Alexander left Nauvoo and was crossing the plains in Iowa, word was received that the United States was at war with Mexico and the president of the United States was asking for 500 Mormon men to volunteer to help in this war effort.

Alexander and his nephew, James Stephens Brown, son of his sister Elizabeth, both joined the Mormon Battalion. Alexander was in Company D of that group of soldiers. His brother in law, Captain James Brown was captain of company C.

The battalion made one of the longest military marches in history. Starting at Independence, Missouri, southerly through Santa Fe, New Mexico and on to San Diego, California where they erected the American flag claiming not only California, but all of the Southwest as part of the United States territory.

During the Battalion’s long march, on one occasion, Alexander Stephens helped save the life of his nephew, James Stephens Brown. It was after they passed the Rio Grande, and had been in the desert a long time, when James had his "hardest day" becoming so sick and weak after weeks of relentless marching that he "laid down" and "could travel no longer". All the other men passed him by, "looking like death", yet unable to help him. As the sun set, and James’ "hopes were flickering as does a candle when the wick has all but burned out," . . . . "my uncle, Alexander Stephens, came in sight" driving a old spotted ox with water in his canteen. He shared the water with James, and had him hold on to the animal’s packsaddle, to walk the remaining 4 miles to the night camp, and thus saved James’ life. This is reported by James Stephens Brown in his autobiography, "Giant of the Lord – Life of a Pioneer", pages 60-61. James Stephens Brown lived to serve 14 missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

Alexander was discharged at Los Angeles, California. Alexander and his nephew, James Stephens Brown, along with several other discharged soldiers worked their way North in California and secured employment near Sacramento, working for Captain Sutter.

These two were part of the five man team working on the millrace when gold was first discovered in California.

The following spring Alexander and James terminated their employment and headed for the Great Basin where Brigham Young and the Saints had settled.

Little is known about what happened to his second wife, Mary Northam. His eldest son, Ebenezer, stayed in Brown County, Illinois. He died there in 1906. The second son was living with his parents in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1850.

On 20 March 1853, Alexander married his third wife. It is not known if wife number two had died before this marriage took place. The third wife was Ann Eliza Palmer, born 27 Aug 1833, in Castile, Wyoming, New York. This wife presented Alexander with one daughter and three more sons:

3. Adelia Ann Stephens born 2 Jan 1854.
4. Abraham Alex. Stephens born 9 Oct 1855.
5. Coriantumr Stephens born 14 Mar 1857.
6. Frank Stephens born abt 1860.

The first two children listed here were born in Cedar City, Iron, Utah. The latter two were born in Salem, Utah, Utah. This family had also lived in Huntsville, and Ogden, Utah.

Alexander was sealed in the Endowment House to two other women, 17 July 1873, to Agnes Rogers, and nineteen years later 2 February 1892, to Alice Eliza Hardman. This last marriage was just two and one half years before his death.

Alexander and his wife, Ann Eliza Palmer, were divorced.

Alexander died 13 September 1894, at the age of 81. He is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery not far from his brother John and sister, Elizabeth Stephens Brown.

7. Mary Stephens
, the fourth daughter and seventh child of Alexander Stephens and Mary Dailey was born 13 Apr 1815, in Rowan County, North Carolina.

She married about the year 1830, in Rowan County, N.C., John Johnson.

Mary and John were the parents of 7 children:

1. Rachel Johnson born 9 Apr 1832.
2. Ivay Johnson born 11 Feb 1834.
3. Alexander Johnson born 8 Jan 1836.
4. Roanah Johnson born 10 Nov 1837.
5. Elizabeth Johnson born 20 Feb 1839.
6. Sarah E. Johnson born 10 Oct 1841.
7. Samuel D. Johnson born 27 Aug 1847.

We are indebted to the Alexander Stephens descendants of Ogden, Utah for furnishing the known birth dates of this family. However, the records of Mrs. Eva H. Stone has all of these children born in Brown County, Illinois. The 1860 and 1870 census records of Harrison County, Iowa, lists Alexander Johnson born in North Carolina. It is therefore most likely his older brother and sister were born there also. It is possible that children numbers 4 through 6 could have been born in Brown County, Illinois.

Between 1841 and 1847, this family moved to the Nebraska Territory, where their seventh child, Samuel David Johnson was born. This is established in the 1860-1880 Census of Raglan Twp., Harrison County, Iowa.

The 1915 History of Harrison County, Iowa mentioned the first white male born in Harrison County was Alexander Johnson. But at the Old Folks meeting in Magnolia, 18 Aug 1887, the chairman called for the oldest settler of the group. Alexander Johnson stood up and said he came to Harrison County where Calhoun now stands in 1847, where upon Honorable S. King pinned upon his coat a red ribbon badge.

The honor of being the first white child born in the territory that now includes Harrison County belongs to Alexander's cousin, Jerome Brown, son of Daniel and Elizabeth Stephens Brown, born 8 Oct 1848.

Alexander Johnson was born 8 Jan 1836, in Rowan County, N.C.

Samuel David Johnson, a younger brother of Alexander stated in the 1891 History of Harrison County, that he came into the county with his parents in 1848 or 1849. He then moved to his present house in 1868.

Since Daniel Brown was the first white settler in Harrison County, Iowa, having gone there in June 1847. He built a small cabin, then went back to Winter Quarters to get his family and moved them in April 1848. Therefore, Alexander Johnson must have been off a year when he said they arrived in the county where Calhoun now stands in 1847. The reason the Johnson Family went to Calhoun was because that is where Mary's sister, Elizabeth and her husband, Daniel Brown lived.

John and Mary's son, Samuel David was born in Nebraska Territory, 27 Aug 1847. It is unlikely they moved to Harrison County in 1847, as Alexander stated, but more likely they went in 1848 or 1849, as Samuel stated.

In Joe H. Smith's early history of Harrison County he states: "There were few squatters west of the Boyer River in Western Iowa before 1850. Most of them were "wayward Mormons". Those who had left the church at Winter Quarters".

It is not known if Mary and John Johnson joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The 1915 History of Harrison County mentioned that Mr. & Mrs. Samuel D. Johnson, Mrs. Joseph Johnson and Mrs. Lydia Johnson (Alexander's wife) all joined the Mondamin Church. The history did not mention what the denomination was. Since the record was speaking about the Mormons, it is likely they were members of that faith also.

It is quite possible that the father, John, died in Nebraska Territory. Harrison County was not formed from Pottawattamie until 1851. In the 1850 Census of Pottawattamie County, Mary Johnson and her three sons, Ivey, Alexander and Samuel were living in a house between Daniel and Elizabeth Stephens Brown and Daniel's two spinster sisters, Polly and Nancy Brown and baby Moroni Brown whom they were raising since Martha Stephen's death.

The family group sheet of Eva Stone shows another son, Joseph, born 10 Jun 1850, but the 1850 Census of Pottawattamie which was taken in November does not show another child, therefore Joseph could not be a part of this family.

It is understandable that after losing her husband, Mary would want to be living near a relative. Elizabeth Stephens Brown would have been her nearest relative.

The Ogden, Utah relatives stated Mary's two eldest children died in January 1859. The 1860 Census of Harrison County lists Mary with her two sons, Alexander 23, and Samuel D. 12, living in Ragland Township, a short distance from the Browns at Calhoun.

After the death of William Brown, Daniel's eldest son, his widow married John H. Johnson (no relation to Mary Johnson's family). When this husband, John H. Johnson died 1 Nov 1875, his widow asked her first husband's cousin, Alexander Johnson to file a bond with her in the sum of $500 as sureties. This Mary was appointed to administer her husband's estate. This indicates there was still a close tie between the Browns and Alexander Johnson.

Alexander Johnson married in Harrison County, Iowa, 6 Mar 1860, Lydia A. Thompson, born 1844, in Ohio. Alex and Lydia had at least seven children. The 1860-70 Census, plus Harrison County marriage and cemetery records list additional information on his children, listing Vay, Henry, Albert, Mary, Calvin, William and John. Alexander died 27 July 1890, and is buried in the Calhoun Cemetery near Daniel and William Brown, his Uncle and cousin.

Samuel D. Johnson married a woman named Margaret E.______. She was born 4 Nov 1848, in Illinois. They were the parents of three children, Mary Ella, 1870, James W., 1871 and Sarah E., 1874. Samuel died 24 July 1901, and is buried in the Calhoun, Harrison County Cemetery near his brother. His wife, Margaret died 12 Mar 1909. She is buried by her husband.

Mary Stephens Johnson died 11 July 1905, in Harrison County, Iowa. Since her two sons were buried in the Calhoun Cemetery, it is likely that she would also be buried there.

8. David Stephens
was born 4 April 1817, in Rowan County, N.C. He married in Rowan County, Celia Northam. It would be interesting to know if she were a sister to the two Northam girls that his brother, Alexander Jr. married.

David and Celia are the parents of eleven children. The first two were born in Rowan County, N.C. Sometime between Jan 1838 and Nov 1839, they moved to Brown County Illinois where his mother and most of his family had moved to. The other nine children were born in Brown County, Illinois.

The children of David and Celia were:

1. William Otha Stephens born 9 Dec 1835.
2. Alexander "Sandy" Stephens born 13 Jan 1838.
3. Martha Adaline Stephens born 18 Nov 1839.
4. Mary Ann Stephens born 29 Aug 1842.
5. Travis Stephens born 9 Sep 1844.
6. Evaline Stephens born 18 Jul 1847.
7. Sarah Stephens born 29 Jun 1849.
8. Jeptha Stephens born 23 Apr 1851.
9. Claria Stephens born 23 Jul 1853.
10. Clark Stephens born 18 Jan 1855.
11. Alfred Stephens born 6 Apr 1857.

Family group sheets on each of the married children will be submitted in the brownhistory.org on the Internet.

David died 24 Apr 1891, in Eklhorn Township, Brown County, Illinois, of emphysema of the lungs.

9. Daniel Stephens
was born 4 Apr 1819, in Rowan County, N.C. He was 17 years of age when his mother took her family North to Illinois.

In the Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, published in 1892, pp. 229-230, the following article is found:

"Daniel Stephens has been closely identified with the history of Schuyler County, Illinois, since 1836, and it is fitting that his name should appear in this volume. He was born in Davidson County, North Carolina (Davidson wasn't formed until 1822), April 4, 1819, a son of Alexander Stephens, who had died in 1825; the mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Mary Dealy, was a native of New Jersey; she was married second time in Illinois, spending the last of her life in Bainbridge township. Daniel Stephens, in early life, became inured to the hard labor of a farm; he made the most of his opportunities to secure an education, but as there were no free schools and his father was in limited circumstances, the advantages offered him very few. He lived in North Carolina until 1836, when he emigrated to the West, and settled in Illinois; the entire journey was made overland with teams, and the country reached was little better than a wilderness. Mr. Stephens settled in that portion of Schuyler county which is now included in Brown County, but he had no means to invest in land, and so was obliged to work for wages; he received $12 a month, and from this small sum saved enough to make a beginning. In 1841 he settled on a tract of patent land that is now a part of his farm, and three years later he bought eighty acres, for which he paid $170; this place was covered with timber and brush, and in the heart of the forest he erected a cabin that afforded protection and shelter; he courageously undertook the task of placing the land under cultivation and as he prospered he invested in other lands, until he now owns 572 acres lying in Bainbridge and Woodstock townships.

"Mr. Stephens was married January 26, 1840, to Rebecca Kimbel, a native of Simpson county, Kentucky, and a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Kimbel. Of this union were born seven children."

The children of Daniel and Rebecca were:

1. George Washington Stephens born 6 Dec 1840.
2. William Marion Stephens born 10 Mar 1843.
3. David Stephens born 7 Oct 1844.
4. Samuel Alexander Stephens born 4 May 1848.
5. Mary Elizabeth Stephens born 6 Jan 1853.
6. John Richard Stephens born 27 Dec 1854.
7. Samantha Jane Stephens born 15 Nov 1856.
8. Olive Stephens born 10 Nov 1861.

Other information on his children was given such as "Mr. Stephens has thirty-five grandchildren and three great grand children".

In Illinois, Daniel and his wife joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Unlike his two older brothers and sisters he did not emigrate West with the church. He remained and died in Schuyler County, Illinois.

The genealogical publication, "Schuylerite", Vol. 6, p. 79, has an interesting account of Daniel's 77th surprise birthday dinner. The party was given by his daughter, Olive Nooner. Those attending from his family were sons, David, Samuel and John. The daughters that attended were Samantha Jane Black and Olive Nooner. Other guests included 10 elderly neighbors and friends of David. The party presented Daniel with a gold headed cane. The article mentioned: "It is impossible to describe the dinner, 'To see is to know'".

Daniel had first lived in the area that is part of Brown County, Illinois, then later he moved to Schuyler County, where he purchased land near Sugar Grove, Bainbridge Township, where he built a home for his family and lived the remainder of his life.

Daniel and Rebecca were buried in the Stephens Cemetery located in Bainbridge Township in Section 30. His little daughter, Mary Elizabeth was also buried here as well as a daughter in law, Jane Riley and a few grandchildren.

The Far West Record printed in 1983 lists this Daniel as a part of Zion’s Camp, but I believe this book is referring to another Daniel Stephens. Alexander's son Daniel, would only have been a 15-year old boy living in North Carolina at the time Zion’s Camp marched to Missouri in 1834. It is doubtful if Daniel was even a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS at that early date.

10. Simeon Stephens
was born 31 December 1820, in Rowan County, North Carolina. He would have been fifteen years old at the time his mother moved her family to Illinois.

He married in Brown County, Illinois 25 Jan 1841, Elizabeth Stinson who was born in 1822 in North Carolina.

Simeon and Elizabeth were the parents of four children:

1. Mary Jane Stephens born 6 Mar 1843.
2. Hannah Stephens born 1844.
3. William Riley Stephens born 1848.
4. Caroline Stephens born 1849.

All children were born in Brown County, Illinois. Simeon's wife, Elizabeth died prior to 1861.

He next married 29 August 1861, in Brown County, Illinois, Nancy Warden, born 1847, in Illinois.

Simeon and Nancy were the parents of five children, namely:

5. Louise Stephens born 1862.
6. Emily Catherine born 12 Apr 1864.
7. Clarisa E. Stephens born 1867.
8. Mary E. Stephens born 1869.
9. Dora S. Stephens born 1873.

Louise and Emily were born in Brown County, Illinois. The other three girls were born in Benton County, Missouri.

Simeon was a Justice of the Peace in Benton County, 1867-1868.

Simeon must have died before 1880. The Census record for that year shows Nancy Stephens, a widow, living with daughters Clarisa, Mary & Dora. Her daughter Emily and husband, James F. Bausworth were living with them along with a 24 year old nephew, Daniel Warden.

Both Simeon and Nancy are buried in the Shilow Cemetery in Benton County, Missouri.

11. Rohanna Stephens
was born 31 October 1822, in Rowan County, North Carolina. She was only two years old when her father died. She went with her mother and family to Illinois in 1836.

She married 9 Feb 1841, in Brown County, Illinois, James Gaddis, of Ireland. He was born 16 Jun 1818.

Rohanna and James were the parents of nine children. All of them were born near Rushville, Schuyler, Illinois:

1. Elizabeth Gaddis born 18 Mar 1842.
2. Mary Emma Gaddis born 31 Jan 1844.
3. John Alexander Gaddis born 25 Nov 1846.
4. William Calvin Gaddis born 3 Dec 1848.
5. Samuel A. Gaddis born 16 Jun 1851.
6. Martha Ann Gaddis born 5 Jun 1853.
7. Robert James Gaddis born 11 Nov 1856.
8. Stewart Gaddis born 23 May 1860.
9. Julia Ann Gaddis born 2 Oct 1863.

In 1844, Governor Thomas Ford of Illinois, believing that he was going to be facing a "Mormon War", called for volunteers from the counties surrounding Hancock County to assist. One hundred eighty nine men from Schuyler County, Illinois volunteered to fight in this war. James Gaddis was one of them. It would be interesting to know what his thinking was, knowing that at least two of his wife's sisters and at least three of her brothers were part of the Mormon faith. They marched to Carthage, Illinois where they were released by the Governor.

The Mormons agreed to leave the state. After they were driven out, the mobs were satisfied for awhile and things quieted down.

Rohanna was probably named after her mother's Aunt, Rohanna Palmer. The name is spelled many different ways in every document. Even her mother's last will and testament spells it two different ways, namely, Roann Gadis and Roany Gaddis.

In all the census records from 1850 to 1880, Rohanna and James are living near Rushville in Bainbridge Township, Schuyler County, Illinois.

On 30 March 1938, Rohanna's grandson, Clarence Gaddis had a tornado hit his farm, which destroyed all the buildings except the garage. His wife was trapped under fallen walls. A block of wood flipped on end and held the debris, otherwise she would have been crushed. She was bruised and battered, but no bones broken. The barn had come down while Clarence was inside but he escaped with only scratches. Four horses were trapped in their stalls but they were not hurt. The shepherd dog was missing until the next day, when he came back with his owner's felt hat in his mouth and a split upper lip. Chickens ran around the next day with bare bodies, the storm had almost picked them clean. A brooder house was built which Clarence and Bertha lived in until their house could be rebuilt. Wonderful neighbors, merchants and the Red Cross helped the family survive this distressing time.


Document Data

Notes: Added Justice of the Peace information on Alexander Stephens, and the account of Alexander  
    Stephens, Jr., helping to save the life of his nephew, James Stephens Brown, during their march in the
    Mormon Battalion. Minor spelling and punctuation corrections provided.
Sources: As identified by Erold C. Wiscombe.
Copyright: Used by permission.
Level: B (document verified and proofed by the transcriber or typist).
Certificate: Document Donor: Erold C. Wiscombe, May 30, 2001. Transcribed: Erold C. Wiscombe, April-May, 2001. Verified/Proofed: Erold C. Wiscombe April-May, 2001. See Donors.

Editor’s Note:
Erold gathered family group sheets and prepared others reflecting this information, which will be placed in the Library once a GEDCOM file has been prepared using this information.

  1. Family Research Projects
  2. Please let all of us know what research projects you are working on so that all family researchers can coordinate and share our information. We invite you to share your research projects and their status so that they may be published here. Please email your information to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.

  3. Family Research Ideas and Theories
  4. Please let all of us know what research ideas and theories you are thinking about so we can coordinate and share our information. We invite you to share your ideas and theories and their status so that they may be published here. Please email your information to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.

  5. Next Journal Issue: Summer 2001 to be published September 30, 2001

We look forward to receiving your contributions for the Summer issue, which will be electronically published on the Internet on September 30, 2001. Thank you.


1.  Published quarterly: March 31; June 30; September 30; December 31. Free subscriptions are available on the Internet. Mailed subscriptions are available at $5.00 per issue, prepaid. Send all inquiries, Internet subscription requests, information, articles and manuscripts according to Journal Policies to O. James Brown Klein, Editor and Publisher, at librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Sponsored by the Klein Storrs Family Association, O. James Brown Klein, President. Affiliated with the William and Margret Brown Family History Library and Center on the Internet at http://www.brownhistory.org

2.  William and Margret BROWN lived in Rowan County, North Carolina in the mid-1700s, with most, if not all of their 9 children. William was of English and perhaps Scottish descent, and Margret might be of Portuguese descent. We do not yet know who are their ancestors or siblings, and we only have verified who are their children, and some of their descendants through one of their children, James BROWN. Any one having any oral or written clues or evidence that verifies, clarifies or even mentions the origins of William and Margret are requested to provide such information immediately to the librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.

3.  O. James Brown Klein (Jim Klein) is a direct descendant of William and Margret BROWN. They are his maternal third great grand father and grand mother. Jim is an attorney and business man living in Mesa, Arizona.

Return to Top


horizontal rule


Covering their ancestors, siblings, children and descendants

Summer 2001, Vol. 2, No. 3
September 30, 2001

Copyright 2001 by O. James Brown Klein . All rights reserved.
Editor and Publisher

  1. Journal Index
  1. Journal Index.
  2. Announcements.
  3. Thomas STILLWELL of Rowan County, North Carolina:  Born  ?  ; Died 1773/1774..
  4. Family Research Ideas, Theories, and Projects.
  5. Next Journal Issue:  Winter 2001 to be published December 31, 2001.

    2.    Announcements and Thanks

  1. Thank You to our Contributor:  A special thanks to O. James Klein for contributing his research report on Thomas Stillwell.
  2. Your Research Projects:  We would like to share what research projects any one is doing on William and Margret BROWN and their related lines, and maintain this information in this Journal and in the Brown Library/Center on the Internet at http://www.brownhistory.org. See Family Research Projects below. You, or any one you know, are invited to submit what research projects you are working on including how to contact you, so that we can better organize ourselves on research, and know how to contact each other. Please send your information to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.


    3. Thomas STILLWELL of Rowan County, North Carolina: Born ? ; Died 1773/1774.

Thomas STILLWELL of Rowan County, North Carolina
Born: ? ; Died 1773/1774

By O. James Brown Klein
September 25, 2001
2038 East Kael Circle
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Tel: 480-969-0032


This research report explores facts gathered on Thomas STILLWELL who made his Will in Rowan County, North Carolina, on 6 July 1773, which Will was probated in Rowan County 2 August 1774. Thomas could have died any time after 6 July 1773, and before 2 August 1774. It is unknown when and where Thomas was born.

This Thomas STILLWELL (Senior) is the father of Thomas STILLWELL (Junior) who married Margaret "Peggy" BROWN, daughter of William and Margaret BROWN of Rowan County. Thomas STILLWELL (Junior) and Margaret "Peggy" BROWN are the parents of Thomas STILLWELL (III) who died in Johnston County, N.C., in December 1819, and whose estate is the subject of the Thomas STILLWELL (III) Estate Papers of Randolph County, N.C. It is in Thomas STILLWELL (III)’s Estate Papers that the clear links between the BROWN and STILLWELL families are identified.

It is hoped this article will shed further light on the origins of both the STILLWELL and BROWN families. Since some of this information is taken from abstracts, finding and analyzing the original documents is important to add clarifying facts.

Background: Chronological Facts of Thomas Stillwell

1761 is the year in which the first record appears of Thomas Stillwell (Senior) in Rowan County. That year he appears on a List in the court minutes abstract on 24 July 1761 where, along with others, he is mentioned as a "Constable to Summon Taxables to Give in Their Taxes" for "District 2. (of) Captain Nation" where "Christopher Nation" was the appointed "Justice to Receive the Taxable Persons".

Footnote 1 on this List states that on "15 July 1757 Christopher Nation and his wife … sold to Benjamin Cox … 216 acres on Polecat Creek … granted Nation by Granville 11 May 1757 (italics added)…. Christopher Nation was a Captain in the Rowan County Colonial Militia and John Nation a Lieutenant…. John Nation was appointed Constable on 25 Sept. 1741 in Orange County, Virginia."

The next document found is the "1761 List of Tithables Taken by Me, Thos. Stilwell, Constable for the Year 1761". This is very likely Thomas Stillwell’s Taxable List mentioned above because it is for the same year and lists on page 50, "Christopher Nation", and on page 57 a "[torn (unknown)] Nation, & sons Jno. and Joseph [torn]". The annotation about this List on page 57 reads: "The original tax list, available at the North Carolina State Archives, is important because it covers an area of Rowan that became Guilford County in 1771, part of which became Randolph County in 1779. There are no extant tax lists for Guilford County prior to 1815, and the first ten years of the Guilford County minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions were burned during the Revolutionary War (italics added)." On page 50, where the list is continued, the annotation on the List is: "Southern Guilford & northern Randolph County area" (italics added).

Thomas’ 1761 Tax List appears to be only a partial list since he does not name himself. He does, however, name a "JNO. STILWELL".

This John Stillwell appears later on the "1768 Rowan County Tax List of Wm Millikan". Thomas Stillwell, however, does not appear on the Millikan Tax List. Nevertheless, it is very important to note that a number of other probable relatives and friends of Thomas Stillwell do appear on the Millikan Tax List. See the discussion appearing below under Analysis – Families - Friends. John Stillwell appears on two earlier lists. First, he is on the 1759 Tax List of Rowan County. Second, he is listed as a private on a 25 May 1759 Rowan County Militia List, which List shows Morgan Bryan, Captain, and Benjamin Merrell, Sargent, which militia men went to fight Indians.

On 22 January 1762, the court ordered that "Joseph Osburn be Appointed Constable in the Room of Thomas Stillwell for Polecat District for the Ensuing Year (italics added)."

On 9 January 1765, along with others, Thomas Stillwell is appointed a "Constable for 1765" in Rowan County "in Room of Saml Osborn". This appears to be for the same Polecat District. Then on March 18, 1765, a publication appears in the court minutes abstract, which states: "To all to Whom these Presence may Cons Know ye that I Thomas Stillwell, Do Acknowledge my Self Wrong for Apersing Joseph Nation in so Publick a manner," with the names of 6 witnesses given thereafter. "Aspersing", according to Black’s Law Dictionary, may mean from: "criticism or censure" to "calumnious report". On 11 July 1765, Abraham Hasket is appointed Constable in room of Thomas Stillwell in Mr. Nation’s District (italics added). Note that this does not say Polecat District. It is uncertain whether Thomas was completely, or partially, replaced in doing his Constable duties, since we do not know whether Mr. Nation’s District is the entire Polecat District area to which Thomas was appointed a Constable. The next brief abstract entry, for 10 October 1765, shows a lawsuit of Thomas Stillwell vs. Gilbert Gibson, Case 7.7.0 pounds.

On 16 January 1768, Thomas Stillwell, along with others, is again appointed a Constable in Rowan County "for John Anderson". On 19 July 1768, Thomas Stillwell is one of two "Securities" appearing for "Robert Walker to have License to Keep an Ordinary at his home in Rowan".

On 14 January 1769, Thomas Stillwell records his "mark" for "Hoggs & Cattle & c". The next day, 15 January 1769, this entry is made: The King vs John Alexander. Recognizance. George Alexr & Thos Stillwell go on his bail for 500 pounds." On 15 November 1979, Thomas Stillwell is one of two "Securities" appearing as "Jacob Byars gets license to keep Ordinary in his home".

On 6 July 1773, Thomas has his Will made and signs it, which Will shows, among other things, that he owned lands on the east and west sides of the Uwharrie River. The Uwharrie River runs close to, and parallel with, the Rowan/Randolph County line.

And finally, on 2 August 1774, the "Will of Thomas Stillwell prvd by Wm Draper. Margaret Stillwell & John Linford [Ledford] qualify."

Thomas and Margaret Stillwell are the only Stillwell’s mentioned in the abstracts of the Rowan County of the minutes for the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for either 1753 – 1762, or 1763 – 1774. John, Thomas, and David Stillwell are named in the Rowan County tax lists of 1757 – 1800.

Summary: Some important genealogical and historical facts from the above entries:

bulletThomas Stillwell (Senior) is found east of the Yadkin River, in eastern Rowan County, being appointed as a Constable of the Polecat District area in 1761. He must have lived in Rowan County earlier than 1761 to be known and trusted to be appointed a Constable.
bulletHe was a Constable for at least three years: 1761, 1765 and 1768. He served as Constable for the Polecat District area during 1761 and 1765. He may also have served there for 1768, unless he moved to his land on the west side of the Uwharrie River before 1768. Polecat District would today include the southern Guilford County and northern Randolph County area.
bulletThomas made his Will in Rowan County on 6 July 1773, and died sometime before 2 August 1774.
bulletAt the time his Will was made, 1773, Thomas owned lands on the east and west sides of the Uwharrie River, which runs close to, and parallel with, the Rowan/Randolph County line.
bulletJohn Stillwell, was also in the same area as Thomas in eastern Rowan County, being identified there in 1759, and he was likely there earlier. He was probably related to Thomas, and might have been his brother. He and Thomas are the only 2 male Stillwell’s reported in Rowan County during the 1759 – 1770.
bulletSee the Note under Analysis – Families below about John Stillwell.

Background: Thomas Stillwell Will of 1773

As noted at the beginning, Thomas Stillwell made his Will in Rowan County, North Carolina, on July 6, 1773. His Will was probated in Rowan County on August 2, 1774.

When did Thomas die? It is not known. In reality, he could have died any time after July 6, 1773, but before August 2, 1774. Some additional information that usually might be helpful in narrowing this time period may not be so here. Nevertheless, it is presented for consideration by the reader.

First, at the time his Will was written, 1773, Thomas owned lands on both the west and east sides of the Uwharrie River, which river is east of the Yadkin River. The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in Rowan County usually met in at the county sear, Salisbury, west of the Yakin River, on three of the four quarters of the year. The other quarter, it met in Lexington, east of the Yadkin River, as a matter of convenience to those living east of the Yadkin. Second, however, the Act establishing these courts expired after the February 1773 court session, and was not renewed until 21 March 1774. There were no courts held during this period. The first Rowan court met in May 1774. The next court met in August 1774 where Margaret Stillwell appears to prove the Will. Therefore, Thomas might have died any time between 6 July 1773, and 2 August 1774, if we assume that the May 1774 court was held in Salisbury and Margaret Stillwell did not attend it if he died before that date.

The Original Thomas Stillwell Will of 1773

"In the Name of god amen.

"I thomas Stillwell being in perfect mind and memory Do heareby make this my Last Will and testement I Desier that I may be Bured in a Christain maner and that my feuneral Charges Do not exeed Sixty pound

"first I do give and beqaiaeth unto my beloved wife margreat all my House hold goods and the Choice of one Hores and one Cow and the youce of the Land on the West Side of Uewwary Deuring her widow hood until my Son David Stillwell Comes to the age of twenty one years then the Said David Stillwell is to have the half of the Saide Land if margrat Stillwelll Should marry again then the Said David Stillwell is to have all the Said land on the west Side of Uewary in his one posestion and the Saide Stillwell is to have a young bay mare

"I do give and beqaieath unto my Son thomas Stillwell Jr[?] all that grant[?]of my Land Ling on the East Side of Uewwary and one black mare[,] and all the Rest of my moveable Estat to be Exposed to Sail and after all my Debts be payd[,] then the Remainder to be put out upon Interist until my Son David Comes of age and the Saide Land on the East Side of Uewwary to be Rented out until my Son thomas Comes of age and the mony put out to yuse until David Comes of age and I Desier that no Shariff may not have any Consasin[?] with it but my Executors may have the Desposial of it at thare own will[,] and after David Comes of age then the Remainder of my Estate to be Equaly Divided between my wife[,] Elizabeth giles[,] mary Iseacs[,] Jemimah Jackson[,] phebe Sluder[,] thomas Stillwell and David Stillwell

"my will is that my wife margrat Stillwell and John Ledford Sr [or Sed] be my whole and So Executors and I do acknowlidg this to be my Last Will and testement

"whare unto I Set my hand and Seal this Day and yeare above menten July the Six one thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy three"

"Witness present
William Drapar     Seal
Henry Ledford     Seal                                                                 Thomas Stilwell Seal "
   his X mark

Summary: Some Important genealogical and historical facts from the Thomas Stillwell Will are:

bulletHis wife is Margaret (Margreat, or Margrat). We do not know her maiden name.
bulletMargaret was to have the land west of the Uwharrie (Uewwarry) River to live on, which land was probably 1) where their home was when Thomas died, and 2) was located in Rowan County. The land Thomas owned east of the Uwharrie River in 1773 would have been in Guilford County, which area became Randolph County in 1779. Since we know that Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line was established in 1771, creating the eastern boundary of the Rowan County, and that Thomas’ Will was proved in Rowan County in 1774, we can safely assume that Thomas’ land on the west side of the Uwharrie River was located in Rowan County. Unfortunately, there are no extant deeds identifying the actual location of his lands to the "west" and "east" of the Uwharrie River.
bulletThomas also owned land east of the Uwharrie River. It seems probable that Thomas used the Uwharrie River merely as an identifying point for his lands on the "west side of" and "east side of" it, rather than meaning that his two identified lands were directly adjacent to the River. He, his family and neighbors all knew where these lands were, so he did not have to be more specific than he was.
bulletHis sons, David Stillwell and Thomas Stillwell (Junior), are under 21 years of age on 6 July 1773, which means that the eldest of the two could not have been born before July of 1752.
bulletDavid Stillwell may be the oldest because he is mentioned as being the first to reach 21 years.
bulletAll of Thomas’ four daughters were married as of 6 July 1773, so they were probably older than the two boys, David and Thomas (Junior).
bulletAfter disposing of his lands, Thomas gives the movables of his estate to his children in the likely order of their birth, except for David and Thomas (Junior):
  1. Elizabeth Giles
  2. Mary Isaacs
  3. Jemimah Jackson
  4. Phebe Sluder
  5. Thomas Stillwell
  6. David Stillwell

Note: While David is mentioned last, the author believes he was older than Thomas (Junior) because, as noted above, he is mentioned before Thomas (Junior) during the bequests of Thomas’ lands.

bulletWhile he owned land, horses, cows and other "moveables", it does not appear that Thomas owned slaves.
bulletThomas Stillwell (Senior) signed his name to the Will, although somewhat weakly. It is apparent from the other writing on the Will that he did not write it. He could write because he served a number of years as a Constable and wrote at least one tax list, all mentioned earlier.
bulletJohn Ledford (Sr.), his executor, and William Draper and Henry Ledford, his witness, were probably good friends and neighbors living some where near him.



    "West Land".  At his death in 1773/1774, Thomas Stillwell probably lived on his land west of the Uwharrie River, within the Rowan County line dividing Rowan from then Guilford County, created 1771, and subsequently Randolph County, created 1779. This is the land his wife retained to live on, and she proved his Will in Rowan County, at court session probably held in Lexington, 2 August 1774. This was the land also inherited by his son, David.

The Uwharrie River is east of the Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line, and runs parallel to the line, north to south, ranging from about 1 to 5 miles from the county line, until it joins the Yadkin River.

The location of Thomas’ "west land" in then Rowan County is confirmed by a number of subsequent references to Thomas’ son David, who inherited the "west land". David Stillwell appears on the Rowan County tax lists in 1784, with 260 acres, and in 1794, with 650 acres, and on the 1790 U.S. Census for Rowan County. In 1822, the area where David lived became southern Davidson County.

    "East Land".  As mentioned above, Thomas’ land on the "east side of the Uwharrie River" was located in what was then, 1773, Guilford County, and subsequently in, Randolph County, 1779. Earlier in his life, Thomas may have lived on this "east land", which he may have settled, purchased, or received as his inheritance. This was the land also inherited by his son, Thomas (Junior), who married Margaret "Peggy" BROWN.

This "east land" is closer to Polecat Creek. In 1761 and 1765, Thomas was the Constable for Polecat District, which included land owned by others on Polecat Creek. He may also have been Constable for this area in 1768.

Polecat Creek flows into Deep River, less than 4 miles east of CROSS ROADS, so named because it was the junction where four major colonial roads crossed: 1) the Indian Trading Path, an old Indian path which connected Virginia to the Carolinas; 2) the Salem to Fayetteville Road; 3) the Salem to Cross Creek Road; and 4) the Moore Road, connecting Anson to Guilford.

CROSS ROADS later became known as JOHNSTONVILLE, where the first court house for Randolph County was located from 1788 – 1793. From 1793 on, it became known as BROWN’S CROSSROADS.

The Uwharrie River is only 7 miles due west of CROSS ROADS, and it is 12 miles if you follow the Indian Trading Path. According to Hughes’ Map of Randolph County, at some time, there were also at number of Indian villages along the Indian Trading Path between the CROSS ROADS and Painted Springs where the Path crossed the Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line. Painted Springs was an important Indian camp site along the Indian Trading Path, and a landmark for the Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line.

We conclude that Thomas’ "west land" and "east land" were very likely within 10 to 20 miles of each other. They must have been both of value and readily accessible to one another using the Indian Trading Path, or he would not have kept them.

The Indian Trading Path deserves much more attention in our future studies. It is also known as the East West Trading Path. Native American Indians used this path and lived near it many years before the white men came. It ran from the Carolinas into Virginia. In the Rowan/Randolph County area, the Indian Trading Path ran from the northeast corner of Randolph County, through the CROSS ROADS, to Painted Springs, passing on near Jersey Baptist Church, then to the Trading Ford at the Yadkin River, then through Salisbury, and on to the southeast. East of the Yadkin River, the Stillwell’s and Brown’s owned land in close proximity to the Indian Trading Path.

Stillwell and Brown Lands

Thomas Stillwell (Junior) married Margaret "Peggy" Brown, whose father was William Brown. During 1772 – 1774, William Brown died in eastern Rowan County in 1772, and Thomas Stillwell in the same area in 1773/1774. The Rowan County lands that they respectively owned and lived on (Thomas’ "west land"), were located east of the Yakin River, some where between Abbotts Creek and the Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line (Painted Springs landmark). The direct distance between Abbotts Creek and Painted Springs is about 10 miles.

More particularly, their lands were what is now the "southern Davidson County area". That is the area spoken of in the Tax Lists identifying both Thomas Stillwell (Senior) and his son, David Stillwell. Unfortunately, we do not yet have any deeds to identify clearly the Stillwell lands. The deeds of land owned by William’s sons, James and William, and his son-in-law, Joseph Elliott, were also located in the now "southern Davidson County area". Their deeds are on, or near, Flat Swamp Creek and Lick Creek, which are about 5 miles east of the Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line (Painted Springs).

So the Stillwell’s and Brown’s lived within miles of each other in what is now the "southern Davidson County area".


Important insight into the family of Thomas Stillwell has come from the 1819 Randolph County Estate Papers of his grandson, Thomas Stillwell (III). These Estate Papers show a legal contest between relatives from 1819 to 1825 over the estate of Thomas (III), including land and a number of Negro slaves in Johnston County. The plaintiffs are the Stillwell/Browns, and the defendants are the executors of the Thomas Stillwell (III) estate.

A detailed analysis of these Estate Papers will be presented in future research reports.

The Estate Papers clearly identify the following relationships:

bulletThomas Stillwell (Junior) married Margaret "Peggy" BROWN, and they had an only son, Thomas Stillwell (III).
bulletThomas (Junior) apparently died some time during the period of the Revolutionary War, 1775 – 1783, because Margaret "Peggy" Brown Stillwell moved with their son Thomas (III), who was reported between 3 and 5 years old, to Johnston County, "several years" before the Revolutionary War ended.
bulletThomas Stillwell (Junior)’s father was Thomas Stillwell (Senior).
bullet"The names of the Stillwell Family" were listed as:
bulletJohn Stillwell
bulletNote: David was living in Gibson County, Indiana, during these court proceedings in the early 1820’s.
bulletNote: Mary is also referred to as Polly.
bulletNote: This John Stillwell appears to be the oldest son and child of Thomas. If so, why was he not named in Thomas’ Will? Perhaps, being the oldest, he had already received his inheritance. This John Stillwell is not named by the plaintiffs. He is named by the defendants as being a son of Thomas Stillwell (Senior). John Stillwell is mentioned by the attorney representing the plaintiffs, Stillwell/Brown relatives, with the attorney saying he had "never heard that John Stillwell had any heir until our last court". John Stillwell, a single man, is found on the 1790 U.S Census for Rowan County, listed one person away from David Stillwell.

Thomas Stillwell (Junior)’s siblings more clearly identified were:

bulletDavid Stillwell
bulletElizabeth Stillwell Giles, married to Richard Giles
bulletJemimah Stillwell Jackson, married to Robert Jackson
bulletMary Isaacs is mentioned.
bulletPhebe Sluder is mentioned.
bulletMargaret "Peggy" BROWN’s father is listed as "old William BROWN".
bulletMargaret BROWN’s siblings were listed as the "Names of old William Brown children":
bulletElizabeth Hendrix
bulletJno. [ or "And."]
bulletAll of these people are listed in William BROWN’s Rowan County Will of 19 February 1772.

    Marriage of Thomas Stillwell (Junior) and Margaret "Peggy" Brown

It is important to discuss the marriage of Thomas Stillwell (Junior) and Margaret "Peggy" Brown. While no direct marriage documents (marriage bonds, license, family bible, etc.) have yet been found, other documents evidence their marriage.

First, the Thomas Stillwell (III) Estate Papers include a number of statements by the Stillwell/Brown plaintiffs that Thomas Stillwell (Junior) and Margaret "Peggy" Brown were married. The executor defendants, however, state that Thomas Stillwell (III) was an illegitimate child of Margaret "Peggy" Brown. Nevertheless, it is persuasive that not only are the Stillwell/Brown plaintiffs consistently together on this point, but that even if Thomas (III) might have been born illegitimately, his father was Thomas Stillwell (Junior), and he and Margaret "Peggy" Brown could have been subsequently married. Also persuasive is that this case is eventually settled with payments for the Stillwell/Brown plaintiffs’ claims.

Second, the LDS Nauvoo Temple records of 1842/1843 show that Brown descendants did vicarious baptismal work for Peggy (Margaret) Stillwell. Peggy would not have been called a Stillwell if she were not one. LDS Logan Temple records in June 1891 also show that Brown descendants did vicarious baptismal and endowment work for both Margaret Brown and Thomas Stillwell, as well as other Brown family relatives. This indicates their understanding that Thomas and Margaret were, in fact, married.

Thomas Stillwell (Junior) and Margaret "Peggy" Brown were likely married after Thomas (Seniors)’ Will was made in July 1773 because Thomas (Junior) is identified as under 21. This conclusion is also consistent with what we learn about the age of their son, Thomas (III), from his Estate Papers.

An point of interest is that Margaret "Peggy" Brown Stillwell apparently married a Roberts after moving to Johnston County with her son, Thomas (III).

    Friends, Associates and Extended Relatives:

The 1819 Thomas Stillwell (III) Estate Papers name a number of friends or associates, and extended relatives, of the Stillwell and/or Brown families who were suppose to be living at that time to be called as witnesses in the case. An April 1823 document lists these potential witnesses as:

Potential Witness for the Stillwell/Brown Families

bulletNathan Elliott, of Randolph County Related to Joseph Elliott?, husband - Hannah Brown
bulletJames Brown, of Davidson County (created 1822) Brother to Margaret "Peggy" Brown
bulletDavid Cox, of Davidson County Estate Witness
bulletThomas Serrat [Sarrat], of Davidson County Estate Witness
bulletWilliam Grist, of Davidson County Estate Witness
bulletJohn Reed, of Davidson County Estate Witness
bulletDavid Reed, of Davidson County Estate Witness
bulletBrittain Roberts and wife, Ailse, of Johnston County Related to the Roberts whom Margaret "Peggy" Brown married in Johnston County after her marriage to Thomas (Junior)?
bulletBenjamin Stevens and wife, Aley, of Johnston County Estate Witnesses
bulletJoseph Ingram and wife, Nancy, of Johnston County Estate Witnesses

The "1768 Tax List of Wm Millikan (now in southern Guilford and north Randolph Co. areas of old Rowan County)" lists all of the following family and friends of the Stillwell’s/Brown’s:

Probable Stillwell Relatives

bulletJohn Stillwell Thomas (Senior)’s eldest son?
bulletRichard Giles Husband of Elizabeth Stillwell
bulletRobert Jackson Husband of Jemimah Stillwell
bulletHenry Sluder & son Mark Relatives of Phebe Stillwell Sluder?
bulletElijah Isaacs … son Saml Relatives of Mary Stillwell Isaacs?

Probable Stillwell Friends (Witness of Thomas’ Will, and in Thomas (III) Estate Lawsuit):


John Ledford … son John Co-executor of Thomas (Senior)’s Will

bulletWilliam Draper Witness of Thomas (Senior)’s Will
bulletThomas Serrat Estate Witness
bulletJohn Grist … son William Grist Estate Witness
bulletJohn Reed Estate Witness
bulletThos Cox, Solomon Cox & John Cox Surname of Estate Witness
bulletAndrew Ingram, Wm Ingram, John Ingram Surname of Estate Witness
bulletJoseph Wade Relative of the Estate Wade attorneys?

Possible Brown Relatives:

bulletJames Brown Brother of William Brown?
bulletJohn Brown Brother of William Brown?
bulletJohn Elliott Relative of Joseph Elliott?
bulletJacob Elliott … son Jacob Relative of Joseph Elliott?
bullet2 John Williams Father of Mary (Polly) Williams Emmerson?
bulletWm Winn Relative of John Winn?

The "1778 Rowan County Tax List of John Ford (Area of Rowan County that became Davidson County)" lists all of the following family and friends of the Brown’s:

Probable Brown Relatives:

bulletWilliam Brown Father of Margaret "Peggy" Brown
bulletJoseph Ellit Husband of Hannah Brown
bulletHugh Davis, 2 John Davis Relative of Diana Davis who married William Brown (Jr.)

Possible Brown Friends:

bulletJohn Reed Estate Witness?
bulletWilliam Giles Surname of Estate Witness
bulletMoses Cox, Israel Cox Surname of Estate Witness

The 1790 U.S. Census for Rowan County shows that three of the Thomas Stillwell (Senior) family and four of the Stillwell/Brown witnesses were then living in Rowan County. They likely moved west into Rowan from the Guilford/Randolph County area in which they lived in 1768. These are:

Stillwell Family:

bullet David Stilwell, 1 adult white male, 3 white males under 16, and 6 white females
bullet John Stilwell, 1 adult white male
bullet Richard Giles (husband of Elizabeth Stillwell), 1 adult white male, 1 white male under 16, and 2 white females

Stillwell/Brown Witnesses:

bullet David Cox, 2 adult white male, 1 white males under 16, and 1 white females, and 1 slave
bullet William Grist, 3 adult white male, 2 white males under 16, and 6 white females
bullet John Reed, 1 adult white male, 2 white males under 16, and 3 white females
bullet Thomas Sarrat, 3 adult white male, 2 white males under 16, and 5 white females
bullet James Brown, 1 adult white male, 3 white males under 16, and 6 white females


We do not yet know when Thomas Stillwell (Senior) came to eastern Rowan County, nor when and where he was born. We do know he was there some time before 1761 when he was serving as a Constable for the Polecat Creek – Cross Roads area. This area was within 15 miles of the subsequent Rowan/Guilford/Randolph County line, which line had Painted Springs on the Indian Trading Path as one of its landmarks.

Thomas was married to Margaret ______ Stillwell. They had four daughters and at least two sons, and possible a third: Elizabeth Stillwell Giles, Mary (Polly) Stillwell Isaacs, Jemimah Stillwell Jackson, Phebe Stillwell Sluder, David Stillwell, and Thomas Stillwell. A John Stillwell may have also been their son. Thomas made his Will on 6 July 1773 in Rowan County, and died some time before it was proved there 2 August 1774.

Thomas owned land on both the "east side" and "west side" of the Uwharrie River, all of which land was originally in Rowan County. In 1771, the "east land" became part of the Guilford/Randolph County area. The "west land" always remained in Rowan County until it became part of the "southern Davidson County area" in 1822. Thomas probably first acquired the "east land" and lived there until he migrated to the "west land", where he was living when he made his Will, and died.

This east-to-west migration was a common process through-out North Carolina, and indeed, the United States. It is also seen in the movement of Stillwell family and friends mentioned in the documents analyzed in this report.

Thomas’ wife, Margaret, used the "west land" after his death. Then his son, David Stillwell, became heir to it when David reached 21 years. Thomas’ son, Thomas (Junior), inherited the "east land" in Guilford/Randolph County.

Thomas (Junior) married Margaret "Peggy" Brown, daughter of William and Margaret Brown of Rowan County, sometime after 1773. They had an only child, Thomas Stillwell (III), and probably stayed on the "east land" until Thomas Stillwell (Junior) died, which probably happened during the Revolutionary War, 1775 – 1783. Margaret "Peggy" Brown Stillwell took their son and moved to Johnston County several years before the Revolutionary War ended. Thomas (III) lived in Johnston County until his death in December 1819.

Thomas Stillwell and William Brown were Rowan County contemporaries, living near each other in what is now the "southern Davidson County area". William died in 1772. Thomas died in 1773/1774. They and their families had to know each other, and lived relatively near each other, since Thomas (Junior), who was his youngest child, married, William’s youngest daughter, Margaret "Peggy" Brown.

A John Stillwell in 1759 appears in the same eastern Rowan County area occupied by Thomas Stillwell (Senior) in 1761, which was the Polecat Creek – Cross Roads area. John was probably related to Thomas and may have been his brother. Another John Stillwell, who may have been Thomas’ oldest son, appears as a single man in Rowan County in the 1790 U.S Census. This John Stillwell is likely the one mentioned as being a son of Thomas Stillwell (Senior) in the 1819-1825 Randolph County law suit involving the estate of Thomas Stillwell (III).


Document Data

Footnotes:  There are 51 footnotes for this article, which unfortunately are not transferred when the document was copied in html.  Therefore, anyone who would like a copy of this article with the footnotes, may request an email copy at librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com.
Notes:        At stated.
Sources:     At stated.
Copyright:  Used by Permission.
Level:         B (document verified and proofed by the author).
Certificate: Document Donor: Jim Klein, September 25, 2001. Verified/Proofed: Jim Klein,
                  September 25, 2001. See Donors.


4. Family Research Ideas, Theories, and Projects

Please let all of us know what research ideas, theories, and research projects you are working on so that all family researchers can coordinate and share our information. We invite you to share your research projects and their status so that they may be published here. Please email your information to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com. Thank you.

5.  Next Journal Issue: Winter 2001 to be published December 31, 2001

We look forward to receiving your contributions for the Winter issue, which will be electronically published on the Internet on December 31, 2001. Thank you.

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