Buffalo Presbyterian Members Part 1

History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church
Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina
~ Members of the Congregation ~

The following excerpts are quoted from History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People, Greensboro, N. C., by Rev. S. M. Rankin, published by Jos. J. Stone & Co., Greensboro, NC, (publication date not specified, but apparently during the 1920’s), pages 22 -__.

Readers are encouraged to verify information contained in this chapter with their own research. There are errors, and source documents from two centuries ago have been misinterpreted.   Rev. Rankin assumed that anyone living near the church must have been a member, and attributes some people to the membership who were in fact Quakers.  “War” in these notes refers to the Revolutionary War.  Unfortunately, Rev. Rankin did not cite his sources, or footnote his statements.

Members of the Congregation

We have no roll of the charter members, nor of those who were actually members of the church for many years after the organization. If a roll was made it has long been lost and no one now living knows anything about it. It would be intensely interesting and of great assistance in preparing this history, if we did have the roll of the early members. The earliest roll we have was prepared in 1833, seventy-seven years after the organization. By a close and tedious examination of all the old records in Rowan, Anson, Guilford, and Orange Counties we have been able to collect the names of most of the Scotch-Irish people who lived within the bounds of Buffalo. Some of these were members of the church and all were members of the congregation.

So far as we have been able to collect their names the following appear to have been members of the Nottingham Colony: James Barr, Thomas Beals, George Black, John Blair, John Cummings, John Cunningham, Robert Donnell, Thomas Donnell, Hugh Foster, John McClintock, James McQuiston, Robert McQuiston, Thomas McQuiston, Adam Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, John Nicks, Robert Rankin, Samuel Scott and Andrew Wilson. Most of these took one section of 640 acres, but some of them took title to two or three sections. Their grants were signed by the agents of Lord John Carteret, Earl of Granville, and are dated December, 1753. We take these up in alphabetical order.

James Barr located on the Reedy Fork near the mouth of Horsepen Creek. His wife was Agnes, and their children were John, Robert, James, David, Jean and others. David became a Presbyterian minister; Robert (1754-1838) located near Speedwell Church in Rockingham County; James moved to Georgia; Jean married first Mr. Walker, and after his death she married Adam Scott, and was the mother of Thomas Barr Scott; John Barr moved to Alabama.

Thomas Beals secured his section of land on Horsepen Creek. So far as the records show he left but one son, John. John was [end of page 22] a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died in 1778, perhaps from exposure at Valley Forge, Pa. He left a widow, Sarah, and several children. Thomas Beals must have died before the War.

George Black secured his section on the Reedy Fork. He appears to have been a young man when he came. He left at least two children, Thomas and Jean. Thomas married Rebecca, daughter of William Denny and granddaughter of James, Sr., and located on North Buffalo; Jean married William Gorrell, son of Ralph, Sr., in 1791.

John Blair secured his section on the headwaters of North Buffalo. On January 2, 1765, he sold this to Dr. Caldwell, and located on the Reedy Fork. His wife was Jean, and their children were Thomas, John, Andrew, Jonathan, Jean and Martha. All this family moved away. John Blair, Sr., died in 1778.

John Cummings secured his grant on Reedy Fork. He had at least two sons, George and John. George married Mary, daughter of Moses McQuiston, and located near the Rockingham County line, and his descendants are in that county; John located several miles west of the church, and his descendants are now living in the county.

John Cunningham secured his section of 640 acres on the Reedy Fork, near what is now the Hardie Mill. His wife was Mary, and their children were Jean, James, Joseph, Jeremiah, William, Hugh, John, Jr., Mary, and perhaps others. Jean married William Wilson in 1774; James appears to have moved to Tennessee after the War; we have no record of Joseph; Jeremiah married Hannah, daughter of John Coots in 1779; William married Martha, daughter of John Blair, in 1771; we have no record of Hugh after the War; Mary married William Smith, son of Robert, Sr.; John, Jr., married first Margaret, daughter of James Donnell, Sr., in 1786; second, Mrs. Mary Mitchell McMurray, in 1798, widow of John McMurray, Jr., and daughter of Adam Mitchell, Jr., and third, Polly, daughter of James Finley, in 1818. The children of John, Jr., by the first marriage were James (1787-1821), Isabella and John (1795-1817); and by his second marriage, Mitchell (1799-1842), Hannah (1801-1844), Joseph, Polly (1805-1877), William, Andrew, Elizabeth and Nancy (1817-1828). Of the children of John, Jr., [end of page 23] James married Mary B., daughter of James Patrick, of Rockingham County; Isabella married Mr. Sims; Hannah married Ervin Donnell, son of Daniel, in 1818; Joseph married Abigail Peoples in 1833 and located two miles south of Doggett’s Mill; Polly married William Pritchett in 1823; William died unmarried; Andrew married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Nehemiah Whittington, in 1849, and lived in Greensboro; Elizabeth married Christopher Brown in 1835; Nancy died unmarried. We have no record of the marriage of Mitchell.

Robert Donnell, Sr., the brother of Thomas, secured two sections, one on North Buffalo and one on Reedy Fork. He first located on North Buffalo and later moved to Reedy Fork. In 1786 he bought one thousand acres on Big Troublesome Creek in Rockingham County. His wife was Mary, and their children were Robert, John, Thomas, Mary, Margaret and William. Robert married Catherine McCalib in 1776; John married Sarah, daughter of Robert Connell, the 2nd, in 1779; Thomas became a Presbyterian minister; Mary married first James Denny, son of William, Sr., and second, John McAdoo in 1782; William married Martha, daughter of William Denny, Jr., and located on Big Troublesome Creek, Rockingham County.

Thomas Donnell (1712-1795) was born in Ireland, came to Pennsylvania about 1737, and there he married Jane Latham in 1743. He came to North Carolina with the Nottingham Colony and secured grants to three sections of land. He located on North Buffalo, four miles east of the church. His children were James (1744-1811), Hannah (1746-____), John (1748-1822), William (1749-1822), Robert (1752-1816), Thomas (1754-____), Andrew (1757-1835), George (1759-____), Jane, Latham (____-1828) and Alexander, who died young. James married Agnes, daughter of William Denny, Sr., and lived just north of the John Rankin farm. In 1799 he moved to Tennessee. Hannah married first Alexander McKnight and second George Denny, son of James, Sr., in 1775; Major John married first Hannah Meek in 1771, and second Elizabeth, daughter of James Denny, Sr., in 1781; William married Nancy, daughter of James Denny, Sr.; Robert married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Donnell, the 2nd, in 1775; Thomas became a physician and located in Mecklenburg County; Andrew married first Agnes, daughter of John Brawley, in [end of page 24] 1779, and second Mary Creswell in 1819; George married Isabella, daughter of David Kerr, in 1784, and lived near Alamance Church, in which he was a ruling elder. In 1804 he moved to Wilson County, Tennessee, and his son George became a renowned Cumberland Presbyterian minister; Latham married Mrs. Charlotte Ervin, widow of Robert and daughter of Adam Mitchell.

Hugh Foster secured a grant for 640 acres on Horsepen Creek. He was a justice of the peace in Rowan County before Guilford was formed. His wife was Martha, and their children were John, William, Samuel, James, and perhaps others. John married Grace, daughter of Nathan Dicks, and located on North Buffalo in 1771, and their children were Abigail, Nathan, Elmira, and Joshua.
[County Coordinator's note: This Dicks family was Quaker and not the same family as the Dick family of Buffalo Church.]

John McClintock secured his section of land near Martinsville. His wife was Isabella, and their children were John, William, Samuel, Robert, Isabella (1768-1818), Nancy, Margaret, and another daughter who became the second wife of James Coots. John married Isabella, daughter of John Starrett; William married Sarah, daughter of Edward Weatherly; Samuel married Anne, daughter of James Stafford; Robert married and located on the Reedy Fork; Isabella married James Dick, son of William, and was the mother of Judge John McClintock Dick and six other children; Nancy married John Ballinger; Margaret married Samuel Thompson. John McClintock, Sr., died in 1807.

There were three McQuiston brothers who were members of the Nottingham Colony.

James McQuiston located on Richland Creek of Reedy Fork. His wife was Janett, and their children were Jane, Sarah, Lavinia, Mary, Dorcas, Gustavius, Thomas and James. Jane married Thomas Flack; Lavinia married John Nelson in 1764; Dorcas married John McQuiston, son of Thomas, in 1768; Gustavius moved to Tennessee; James, Jr., was tried before the session for fighting and withdrew from the church, and deeded to the McQuiston family a plot on his farm for a graveyard. James, Sr., died in 1766.

Robert McQuiston located near his brother at the mouth of Horsepen Creek. His wife was Anne, and their children were [end of page 25] Moses, Walter, James, Robert, Jean, Margery, Sarah and Mary. Moses married Elizabeth, perhaps a daughter of Alexander Nelson; Jean married James Finley, son of George; Margery married John Trindell; Sarah married Robert Cherry in 1769; Mary married John Coots in 1769, and she was his second wife. Robert McQuiston, Sr., died in 1766.

Thomas McQuiston, Sr., the other brother, located on the headwaters of North Buffalo, and was a neighbor of Dr. Caldwell. His children were James, Thomas, John and others.

Adam Mitchell secured his grant on the North Buffalo. The church is located on a part of his grant. His wife was Mary, and their children, so far as their names appear on any record, were John, Adam, Jr., and Jennet. John’s name does not appear on any record after the War; Jennet married her first cousin, Adam Mitchell, son of Robert; Adam, Jr., married Agnes, and their children were Samuel (1771-1851), John (1773-1841), Adam (1776-1841), Mary and Charlotte. Of the children of Adam Mitchell, Jr., Samuel married Margaret, daughter of John McMurray, Sr., in 1795; Adam married first Isabella Gwyn, and second Elizabeth Allen; Mary married first John McMurray, Jr., and second John Cunningham, Jr.; Charlotte married first Robert Ervin and second Latham Donnell; John never married.

Robert Mitchell, a brother of Adam, secured his grant near the Guilford Battle Ground. His wife was Margaret, and their children were Adam, Mary, Rebecca, Jean and Henry. All this family moved to Tennessee after the War.

John Nicks secured grants for two sections just east of the church. His wife was Margaret, and their children were Sarah, George (1756-1838), John, Elizabeth, Nancy, Quinton, and two other daughters, one of whom married Bazell Brasher, and the other married Isaac Brasher, sons of Robert, and both moved to Tennessee after the War; Sarah married William Spruce and lived on the south side of North Buffalo; John moved to Tennessee after the War; Elizabeth married George Purcell of Rockingham County; Nancy married Zacheriah Roberts and moved to Tennessee after the War; Quinton died unmarried; George married Elizabeth, and their children were John, Sarah, Margaret, George, Elizabeth, Yarburough and Anne. George, Sr., lived at the J. Al Rankin place. John Nicks, Sr., died in 1781. [end of page 26]

Robert Rankin secured his section on the waters of Reedy Fork, where the Carlson peach orchard is. He entertained Rev. Hugh McAden, the missionary, in 1755. He later sold this section to William Denny and secured another section about one mile west of the church. His wife was Rebecca, and their children were George, Robert, Rebecca, John and others. George died in 1761, leaving a widow, Lydia, and two children, Robert and John; Robert lived at the home of his father, and his children were Robert, William, John and others; John located on Reedy Fork and had one son, John, and perhaps others. All the male members of this Rankin family moved west, most of them to Tennessee.

Samuel Scott secured two sections of 640 acres each on the waters of the Reedy Fork, in what is now known as the Moore community. He had at least two sons, Samuel, Jr., and William. Samuel, Sr., returned to Pennsylvania, carrying all his family with him except Samuel, Jr., who had married and located here. Samuel, Jr., died shortly thereafter, leaving four children: Samuel, Jr. Jr., Jane, Mary and Anne, who married William Gowdy, Jr.; Jane married John Bell, son of Samuel, in 1778; Mary married Robert McMurray, son of John, Sr., in 1791; Samuel, Jr. Jr., married Jane, daughter of James McAdoo, Sr., in 1788, and their children were John, David, Samuel, Joseph L. and Mary. Samuel, Jr. Jr., died in 1797, and his widow married Col. William Ryan in 1799.

Andrew Wilson appears to have been a member of the Nottingham Colony, and located some three miles north of the church. Andrew Wilson married Margaret Robinson in 1774, and this must have been his second wife. He died shortly after 1774. A deed of Andrew Wilson, Jr., calls for the boundary line of the widow Wilson’s land. When there is no will these early records are hard to find. The following appear as the children of Andrew Wilson, Sr., by his first wife: James, Andrew, Jr. (1752-1834), William, David, John, George, Mary and Margaret. James located just north of the church; William located on Reedy Fork, David moved to Tennessee after the War; have no record of John and George; Mary married Robert Russell in 1762; Margaret married William Jackson, and they named one of their sons Andrew. This Andrew Jackson [end of page 27] is sometimes confused with General Andrew Jackson, as both were here at the same time. Andrew Wilson, Jr. (1752-1834), located on South Buffalo, and built the first grist mill there, now known as the John C. Dick Mill. He married first Agnes, daughter of John Chambers, and their children were Daniel, Robert, and James; his second wife was Mary, daughter of Robert Rankin, and their children were William R. (1787-1855), Andrew and Maxwell; his third wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John McKnight, Sr., and their children were John and David (1798-1856).

This accounts for nineteen families of the Nottingham Colony, but it does not claim to be a complete list. Others, perhaps, secured grants and did not have their deeds recorded; perhaps others came and looked the situation over and did not locate here; perhaps others belonged to the company, but were not prepared to come when the main body of the colony came in 1753, but came a little later and took up their grants; the names of a few other men appear on the records in 1753, but do not appear again; perhaps other deeds are on record and have not been found. It has been a difficult task to find some of these. All of these and their families were members of the Buffalo congregation, and the descendants of some of them are now members of the church.

The names of all the children in many of the families can not be given, as no will was made by some of the parents. We cannot give all the marriages, as some of the marriage bonds are lost. Many names disappear from all court house records during and just after the Revolutionary War. Some of these were killed in the War and others moved away.

Other Members of the Congregation

[One error that Rev. Rankin makes is in assuming that people who lived near Buffalo Church must have belonged to it. There were Quakers living next-door to some of these Scots-Irish families, but that didn't make them Presbyterians and members of Buffalo Church. A check of Quaker records will make this invalid assumption clear to those investigating those particular families. I will insert notes on this subject about other families, if it is requested. I cannot verify each individually. I could have tried to leave those Quaker families out, but I decided to include the whole. Some Quakers did marry non-Quakers, leading to their dismissal from the Quaker congregation.]

Other families were constantly moving into the bounds of the church. For twenty-five years the country was rapidly being settled. So far as possible we are giving a chronological list of these as they located in the bounds of the church. The reader should keep in mind that the bounds of the congregation from the time of the organization of the church to 1800 covered a territory about eighteen miles square. It is impossible to give a complete list of these, as some did not tarry long, and others [end of page 28] have left no living descendants to consult, and no records of the children in the family. It would be interesting to trace the descendants of some of these families right down to the present, but that would make the book too large. Where it is possible the names of the children in the family are given and whom they married.

Walter Carruth may have been a member of the Nottingham Colony. He came in 1753 and located in their bounds, but he did not take up a full section of land. His children were James, John, Agnes, Sarah and Ann. These married in the congregation, but in a few years the name disappears from the records.

William Mebane bought 600 acres on the north side of Buffalo Creek in 1753. This was outside of the bounds of the plot surveyed to the Nottingham Colony, but he must have attended Buffalo Church. In 1759 he moved to the south side of South Buffalo and became associated with Alamance Church. His wife was Elizabeth, and their children were Samuel, William, John, David, Robert, Mary, and perhaps others.

William Mebane must have been a brother of Col. Alexander Mebane, who settled in the Hawfields Church community of Orange County. Alexander was a witness on the deed of William; and a son of William witnessed the deed of Alexander when he sold land in Guilford. When Rev. Hugh McAden came from Alexander’s community to Buffalo he came straight to William’s and spent three days with him.

William Denny bought of Robert Rankin 640 acres on the waters of the Reedy Fork in 1755 and located here. His wife was Anne, and their children were William, James, Margaret, Hannah, Jean and Agnes. James married Mary, daughter of Robert Donnell, Sr., lived at the home place, and died in 1779, leaving two children, James and William, Jr. Jr.; William, Jr., located in Rockingham County; Jean married Robert Rankin. William Denny, Sr., died in 1770.

There were two Finley families in Guilford. Andrew (1714-1780) located near Alamance Church, and George near Doggett’s Mill on Reedy Fork in 1755. It appears the Finleys were the first to build a mill at that place. Some of George’s children were Josiah, George, Jr., James and Joseph. Josiah married [end of page 29] Alsey, and their children were George, James, Betsy, Rachel, Lettie, Polly and Abigail; James married Jean McQuiston, daughter of Robert, and their children were Elizabeth, who married Mr. Walker; Polly, who married first John Cunningham, Jr., and second James McIver; George B., who married Nancy, daughter of Elisha Wharton, and moved to Missouri; Sarah married Mr. Reid; Nancy never married. These were members of the congregation and some of them active members of the church.

George Hamilton secured a grant for 640 acres in 1756 on the North Buffalo, what is now known as the John C. Cannon place. His wife was Frances, and their children were George, Thomas, John, James, Robert, Hance, William, Joanna, and perhaps others. George, Jr., married Jane, daughter of James Denny, Sr., and moved to Tennessee after the War; Thomas married, and lived at the home place and reared a family of nine children; John held several offices in the county; James and Robert moved to Tennessee after the War; Hance held office in the county; William married Mary and died in 1785, leaving no heirs but willed land in Tennessee to his nieces; Joanna was the first wife of Thomas Grier.

Robert Smith located on North Buffalo, where Walter L. Wharton now lives, in 1756, and it appears his children were mature when he came here. He died in 1778. His wife was Mary, and their children were John, William, Robert, Andrew, Elizabeth, Mary and Isabella. It is pretty well established that this John located on Rock Creek and is the ancestor of the Smiths of that community. John’s wife was Elizabeth McComb, and their children were John, William, Thomas, Robert, Samuel, Jesse, Elizabeth and others; William, son of Robert, Sr., married Mary, daughter of John Cunningham, Sr., and lived at the home place. Their children were Margaret, Samuel, Robert, William, Cunningham, Jonathan and Anne. He died in 1783. It was his son Robert who sold this place to Watson Wharton in 1796 and moved to Tennessee. In fact, it appears that many of this Smith family moved to the west. Cunningham married Abigail Rankin and moved to Illinois. Andrew, the son of Robert, Sr., located on the Reedy Fork.

Robert Thompson secured two grants of 640 acres each, one on Buffalo and one on the Reedy Fork. He lived on the Reedy [end of page 30] Fork. He witnessed the deed of John McKnight and others on North Buffalo. On the day of the Alamance battle, May 16, 1771, he went with his pastor, Dr. Caldwell, to Governor Tryon’s camp to try to effect some kind of a compromise to avoid a battle. Dr. Caldwell returned to the Regulators to deliver his message, but Robert Thompson and Robert Mateer, of the Haw River Church, were detained. Later when Thompson started to return to his men he was shot down by Governor Tryon. (Life of Caldwell, page 153.) His was the first blood shed for the rights of the American Colonies. Robert Thompson left two sons, Samuel and John, and a daughter. Samuel married Margaret, daughter of John McClintock, Sr.; the daughter married Abram Whitesides, and their daughter married James Cannon, the grandfather of Congressman Joseph G. Cannon, of Illinois, and father of Governor Newton Cannon, of Tennessee.

John McKnight secured a grant from Earl Granville for 639 acres on both sides of Nick’s Creek in 1756 and located here. His wife was Catrine, and their children were Robert, William, Elizabeth (1756-1838), and Catrine. We have no record of Robert; he must have died about 1800, leaving only one son named John. This John sold his father’s half of his grandfather’s land in 1810 and moved west; Elizabeth married Andrew Wilson in 1794 and they had two sons, John and David; Catrine married James Denny, son of George, in 1801, and moved west; William married Mary, daughter of Thomas Cummins, in 1802, lived at the home place, and their children were John, Amelia, William and Anne. John and Anne died unmarried; Amelia married William M. Denny, son of James, Jr., and grandson of James, Sr., in 1836, and moved to Missouri; William married Mrs. Elizabeth Albright Efland, in 1849, widow of Sampson, and daughter of Jacob Albright, and they had one child, John E. The descendants of John, Sr., still own part of the original grant.

John Brawley was born in Ireland and came here about 1757 and secured a grant from Earl Granville for 696 acres of land on Reedy Fork. He married Sarah, daughter of Walter Carruth, and their children were Nancy, John, Peggy, Walter, Anne, Hugh, Sarah, James and Mary. Nancy married Andrew Donnell, son of Thomas, Sr., in 1779, and some of their descendants [end of page 31] are still with us. After the War John Brawley moved to Iredell County.

William Anderson, tradition says, was born in Ireland and came here in 1758 and secured a section of land on the Reedy Fork Creek. He had at least four sons, William, John, Thomas and James. William married Anne, daughter of James Denny, Sr., and they had eight children, one of whom, John, became a Presbyterian minister; John, Sr., was long a ruling elder in this church; Thomas and James must have moved away some time after the Revolutionary War.

Nathan Dick bought of Mordecai Mendenhall 450 acres on Horsepen Creek in 1758. His wife was Mary, and their children were John, William, Hannah, Deborah and Grace. He died in 1766.
[county coordinator's note: This family was Quaker, although they lived in the midst of the Scots-Irish group. The surname is spelled Dicks or Dix in the Quaker records. This has led to confusion of the two different family groups. Nathan's son William had different dates of birth, marriage, death, and different wife and children, than William Dick of Buffalo Church.]

A few years later William Dick was trading in land in the same community and living at Martinsville. He may have been a son of Nathan. We are not sure about that.
[county coordinator's note: Rev. Rankin states his uncertainty about this, but some have ignored this statement. He was right to feel uncertain!]
William’s wife was Rebecca, and their children were Thomas, James, John, Samuel, William, Obediah and Susannah. Thomas located on the Reedy Fork and owned two mills and 1500 acres of land; he married Jane, daughter of Robert Erwin, and their children were Martha W., Nancy, Elizabeth, John W., Rebecca, Jane E. and Thomas J. James married first Isabella, daughter of John McClintock, in 1786, and second Mrs. Patsy Galbreath in 1823, the mother-in-law of his son Reuben. His children were by the first marriage and were Judge John M., Reuben, William, Thomas, James T., Jane M. and Hiram Campbell. We do not know what became of John and Samuel, except that John had one son, Thomas H., who settled in the Alamance Church section and was the grandfather of John C. and Samuel D. Dick. William, Jr., moved to Orange County; Obediah married Rebecca Thompson in 1809. He located on the Reedy Fork and in 1829 moved away; Susannah became the second wife of Moses McLean. William, Sr., died in 1810 and he and his wife are buried in the Buffalo cemetery.

Robert Ervin bought 640 acres of John McClintock in 1758 and located on the Reedy Fork. His wife was Martha, and their children were Isabella, Robert, Richard, Joseph, Mary, Jane and Sarah. Isabella married Robert Hanner, of the Alamance [end of page 32] Church section, in 1773; Robert married Charlotte Mitchell, daughter of Adam, in 1794; Joseph married Lavinia McComey in 1782; Mary married Daniel Donnell; Jane married Thomas Dick, son of William; Sarah never married.

Joseph Unthank located on Brush Creek of Reedy Fork in 1758, and must have been a member of the Buffalo congregation. Dr. Caldwell preached occasionally in that community. His wife was Judith, and their children were Allen, John, Josiah, and three daughters. He died in the early part of 1780. Of the three daughters, one married Jacob Hunt; another William Hunt, and the third married William Robinson. We do not know what became of Allen and Josiah; John married Sarah, and died in the latter part of 1780, leaving four children: Joseph, Jr., John, Mary and Hannah. This Joseph, Jr., died in 1823, leaving two children, William and Temple. This William married Sarah, daughter of Thomas McQuiston, and died in 1835, leaving two children, Rufus and Narcissus. This Narcissus married Hon. J. Robert McLean, son of Levi, and was the mother of Mrs. C. M. Vanstory, of Greensboro.

Hugh Brawley, a brother of John, came from Ireland in 1759, and secured from Earl Granville 359 acres three miles northeast of the church. His children were Hugh P., John, James, Joseph and perhaps others. He died about 1781.

Samuel Brown secured from Earl Granville a grant for 300 acres on Buffalo Creek in 1759. His children were James, Joseph, Benjamin, John and others. James bought of William Anderson 282 acres on the Reedy Fork, just where the old county line between Rowan and Orange crossed the creek, in 1772. He sold this 282 acres to John Stewart in 1787 and moved to Tennessee. He was a ruling elder in this church. Benjamin was killed in the Revolutionary War. Joseph and John were either killed in the War or moved to Tennessee shortly thereafter.

Alexander McKnight bought of his brother John 511 acres on the north side of Buffalo Creek in 1759. In 1765 he sold this place to John Rankin and bought of Thomas Donnell 393 acres on the headwaters of North Buffalo, and built the first grist mill there. The old dam may yet be seen. It appears that he married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Donnell, and after his [end of page 33] death in 1774, she married George Denny. Alexander and Hannah McKnight’s children were Robert (1767-1841), and Jean (1773-1841). Jean never married; Robert’s second wife was Mary, daughter of David Wiley. They were married in 1816. The third wife was Martha Patterson, whom he married in 1827. His children by the first marriage were Robert, Alexander, James, Thomas and John. Robert died unmarried; Alexander moved to Franklin County, N.C.; James married Hannah, daughter of William Montgomery, Sr., and moved to Virginia; Thomas moved to New York City; John married Anne, daughter of Samuel Allison, in 1813 and located two miles west of Greensboro, and their children were Lydia, Mary M., Hannah J., Elizabeth A., Rebecca and John H.

James Donnell, son of William, of Cecil County, Md., bought of Thomas Donnell 320 acres on North Buffalo in 1760 and located here. His wife was Margaret, daughter of William Edmundson, and their children were Margaret, Jean, Hannah, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary and Samuel. Jean and Elizabeth never married; Margaret married John Cunningham, Jr., in 1786; Hannah married James Denny, son of James, Jr.; Thomas married Nancy, daughter of John Rankin, in 1800; Mary married Joseph Rankin, son of John; Samuel married Anne, daughter of William Rankin, in 1800. James Donnell died in 1796.

Edward Ryan located on the headwaters of South Buffalo about 1760. Two of his children were James and John. James married and had two sons, James and Patrick. John married Eleanor McAdoo, sister of James and John, and their children were Eleanor, Robert, John, Margaret, Mary Ann, William and Grima. John, Sr., died in 1794.

Robert Brasher secured a grant from Earl Granville for 240 acres on Buffalo Creek in 1761. His children were Asa, Zaza, Bazel, Isaac, Martha and others. Bazel and Isaac married daughters of John Nicks and moved to Tennessee after the War; Martha married David Morrow; Zaza married Elizabeth Adkinson in 1775; Asa’s wife may have been a Nelson and his children were Zaza D., Jesse, Nathan, Samuel and a daughter, who married Arthur Morrow. Zaza D. married Lucy, daughter of William McGee, and held several offices in the county. [end of page 34]

Thomas Flack, a young man, secured a grant from Earl Granville for 481 acres on Walnut Branch, two miles north of the church in 1761. He married Jean, daughter of James McQuiston. In 1773 he sold this place to John Chambers, and located near Haw River Presbyterian Church and joined there.

Robert Breeden secured from Earl Granville a farm on both sides of North Buffalo about 1760 and located there. His wife was Mary, and their children were Alexander, Robert, Charles and Margaret. Alexander died in 1793 and his is one of the few wills Dr. Caldwell witnessed; Charles sold his farm and moved away in 1802. Robert Breeden, Sr., died in 1778, and his stepson, James Donnell, and John Rankin were the executors of his will. His wife’s first husband must have died before they came to North Carolina, and it appears that this James Donnell was the grandfather of Mr. Robert G. Donnell, of Alexandria, Tenn.

Benjamin Starrett secured from Earl Granville a grant for 547 acres on South Buffalo in 1761. The grave of his wife, Mary, is the oldest one marked in the Buffalo Church cemetery. She was born in 1723 and died in 1775. Benjamin died in 1778, leaving the following children: Benjamin, James, Mary, Joanna, Hannah and Hester. He had located in the Alamance Church community before his death. Joanna married Charles Breeden, son of Robert, in 1779.

James Starrett located on the Reedy Fork at an early date. He was perhaps a brother of Benjamin. His children were John, James H. and others. John was a surveyor and married Anne, daughter of Alexander Gray, Sr.; James H. married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. John Gillespie. This Starrett family became affiliated with the Haw River Church after it was organized.

Francis McNairy located on Horsepen Creek in 1762, buying 640 acres from Hermon Husbands. He had married Mary Boyd in Lancaster, Pa., in 1761. Their children were John, Mary, Andrew, Robert, Margaret, James and Catherine. John was licensed to practice law in 1784 and moved to Tennessee with General Andrew Jackson in 1788, where he died; Andrew and Robert also went to Tennessee; James married Elizabeth Jeans and remained here and is the ancestor of all the Guilford McNairys. [end of page 35]

Robert Bell came here from Caswell County in 1762 and located on Sugar Tree Creek (Jordan’s Branch). His children appear to have been Samuel, Robert, Francis and James. Robert, Sr., died shortly after the Revolutionary War and his sons moved to Tennessee. Rev. Robert Bell, a noted Cumberland Presbyterian minister, was the son of Robert, Jr., who had married Mary Boyd in 1775. Hon. John Bell, United States Senator from Tennessee, was the son of Samuel.

Samuel Bell, a brother of Robert, Sr., located on the Reedy Fork in 1762. His children were James, Francis, Thomas, Samuel, John, Mary and Agnes. James married Mary Carson in 1773; Thomas married Elizabeth Carson in 1774; John married Jane, daughter of Samuel Scott, Jr., in 1778; Mary married William Donnell, son of Robert, the 2nd, in 1773; Agnes married Henry Reed in 1766. Samuel, Sr., died just at the close of the Revolutionary War, and the most of his children moved to Tennessee.

Col. John Gillespie was born in 1741 in Frederick County, Va., and came here in 1762, and secured a grant from Earl Granville for 640 acres on the south side of South Buffalo. His wife was Elizabeth, and their children were Daniel, James S., Elizabeth and Anna. Daniel (1766-1833) married Lucretia Gott in 1788 and lived on the north side of North Buffalo at what is known as the Cannon place; James S. married Hannah, daughter of James Denny, in 1791, and lived on the Reedy Fork; Elizabeth married James H. Starrett, son of James; Anna married John Hanner, son of Robert, in 1802.

Nathaniel Brown located on Horsepen Creek about 1762. He had two children that we know of, Elizabeth and Thomas. Elizabeth married James McMurray, son of John, Sr., in 1774, and their children were John, Anne, Uphiah, Jane and Hannah. Thomas married Agnes, daughter of David Kerr, in 1793, and moved to Tennessee.

James Denny, of Lancaster County, Pa., bought of John Nicks 650 acres just east of the church in 1763. HIs wife was Agnes, and their children were Mary, Anne, Marianna, George, Jane, Agnes, Elizabeth, James, Hannah and William. Mary married Samuel Duck [CC's note: possibly Samuel Dick] and lived on Richland Creek; they sold out in 1796 and moved to Tennessee; Anne married first William [end of page 36] Anderson, son of William, Sr., and after his death she married Mr. Bass; Marianna married Col. John Paisley, son of William, Sr., in 1769; George married Mrs. Hannah Donnell McKnight, widow of Alexander McKnight and daughter of Thomas Donnell, Sr.; Jane married George Hamilton, son of George, Sr., and moved to Tennessee after the War; Agnes married William Donnell, son of Thomas, Sr.; Elizabeth became the second wife of Major John Donnell, son of Thomas, Sr., in 1781; James married Rebecca, daughter of Robert Rankin, Sr., and reared a family of several children; William married first Margaret, daughter of William Paisley, and second Jane, daughter of James McMurray.

James Coots was born in Ireland; came to America and located for a short while in Halifax County, Va., then came to North Carolina about 1763 and located on the Reedy Fork. He married first Sarah, daughter of James McQuiston, and second a daughter of John McClintock. His children were Jennie, Louvenia, Vertie and another daughter who married James Spence. Jennie married Alfred Dillon; Louvenia married Leven Aydelotte, son of Benjamin, in 1811; Vertie died unmarried.

John Coots, a brother of James, came with him and located on the Reedy Fork in 1763. He married Mary, daughter of Robert McQuiston, in 1769. He must have been married before this, for his daughter Hannah married Jeremiah Cunningham in 1779. After the death of his second wife he married Hannah, daughter of John Hamilton. In 1788 Samuel and Thomas Thompson and John Coots secured title to 4,260 acres of land in Tennessee, and in 1796 he sold his farm here and moved to Tennessee.

William Spruce, a young man, secured from Earl Granville 394 acres on the south side of North Buffalo in 1763. He married Sarah, daughter of John Nicks, and their children were John H., William, Joseph, Quinton, Thomas, Sarah, George and Elizabeth. Joseph married Shealy, daughter of Benjamin Aydelotte, in 1797; Sarah married Mr. Strain; Elizabeth never married. William Spruce, Sr., died in 1808.

Arthur Forbis secured a grant from Earl Granville for 640 acres on Hunting Creek in 1764, and that same year he married Mrs. Lydia Rankin, widow of George. Their children were [end of page 37] Jennet, Elizabeth, Anne and Lydia. Jennet married Hance McCain in 1787 and they reared a family of ten children. Lydia married George Donnell, son of Robert, 2nd, and they reared a family of five children. Arthur Forbis was a ruling elder. He died in 1789, and his stepsons, John and Robert Rankin, were the executors of his will.

Dr. David Caldwell (1725-1824), son of Andrew, of Lancaster County, Pa., bought 550 acres of John Blair on the head waters of North Buffalo January 2, 1765, and permanently located here. He married Rachel, daughter of Rev. Alexander Craighead, of Mecklenburg County, in 1766. Their children were Samuel C., Alexander, Andrew, Patsy, David, Thomas, John W., James Edmond and Robert C. Rev. Samuel C. married first Abigail, daughter of John McNitt Alexander, of Mecklenburg County, and second Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Lindsay, Sr., of Guilford County; Rev. Alexander married Sarah Davidson; Andrew, Patsy and James Edmond never married; Dr. David Caldwell, Jr., a physician, married Susan Clark in 1811; Thomas married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Doak, in 1813; John W. married first Martha Davis in 1800, and second Margaret Cabe, of Orange County, in 1822; Robert C. married first Maria B. Latta, of Orange County, in 1823, and second Marjory, daughter of Robert Woodburn, in 1850, and third Mary Clancy in 1855.

Col. Daniel Gillespie (1743-1829), a brother of Col. John, secured a grant from Earl Granville on South Buffalo, just south of Greensboro, about 1765. His wife was Margaret Hall, and their children were Daniel, John, James, Nancy, Anne, Robert, Patrick and Thankful. Daniel married and died before his father, leaving two children, Daniel and Peggy; John became a Presbyterian minister; James moved to Tennessee after the War; Nancy married George Rankin, son of Robert, in 1791; Anne married William Anderson, son of John; Robert married Nancy, daughter of Robert Hanner; Patrick married Margaret, daughter of Patrick McGibbony; Thankful married Col. William Doak, son of Robert, in 1802.

John Rankin (1736-1814), son of Joseph of Delaware, bought of Alexander McKnight 511 acres on the north side of Buffalo Creek in 1765. He married Hannah Carson in 1765, [end of page 38] and their children were Rebecca, Samuel, Jane, Abigail, Joseph, Nancy, Robert, Hannah, Polly, Margaret, Anna and Ruth. Rebecca married Rev. John Rankin, son of George, in 1786, and moved to Tennessee; Samuel married Mary, daughter of William Scott, in 1800, and located three miles north of the church; Jane married John Paisley, son of William, Jr., in 1790; Abigail married Cunningham Smith, son of William, in 1794, and moved to Decatur County, Illinois; Joseph married first Mary, daughter of James Donnell, in 1805, and second Nancy, daughter of Andrew Donnell, in 1828, and lived near Alamance Church; Nancy married Thomas Donnell, son of James, in 1800; Robert married first Margaret, daughter of William Scott, in 1805, and second Margaret, daughter of William Patterson, in 1827; Hannah married Thomas Denny, son of George, in 1803; Polly married first Samuel Thom, son of John, and second Adam Scott, son of William, in 1799, and lived near High Rock on Haw River; Anna married David Wilson, son of Andrew, in 1829; Ruth married Joseph Hanner, son of Robert, in 1807.

For the history of the Rankins and the complete genealogy of the John Rankin family see “Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy,” by S. M. Rankin.

James Archer secured a section of 640 acres on Horsepen Creek in 1765 and located there. His wife was Catherine, and their children were David, Sarah, John, Mary, Thomas and Elizabeth. John married Agnes McCain in 1783, a sister of Hance. James Archer died in 1799.

John Gilchrist, the son of William, of Lancaster County, Pa., was here in 1766. He was then a very young man and his father may have been living here at that date. In a dispute about a farm boundary line in 1795, John Gilchrist testified that the line had been pointed out to him in 1766, so he was here at that date. In 1788 William Gilchrist, of Lancaster County, Pa., gave John the 640 acres on Reedy Fork on which John was then living. His wife was Jean, and their children were John, William, Robert, Samuel, and three daughters, one of whom, Hannah, married William Montgomery, Sr.

Francis Cummins bought of Thomas Donnell, Sr., 400 acres on South Buffalo in 1766 and located here. Some of his children [end of page 39] were married when he came. His wife was Jean, and their children were Thomas, Francis, Anne, Martha, Thankful and Elijah. Thomas located further east on Buffalo Creek, and his children were Thomas, Samuel, Robert, David, Anne, Rachel, Mary and three other daughters, one of whom married Samuel Climer; another married James F. McCauley; and another R. B. Barkmon; Francis, Jr., became a Presbyterian minister; Anne married David Mebane, son of William; Elijah located southwest of Greensboro, and died in 1818, leaving the following children: Millikan, Martha, Enos, Jean and Anne. Francis, Sr., died in 1799, and Thomas, Sr., died in 1808.

David Allison came from Orange County, N.C., and bought of William Trousdale 490 acres on the headwaters of North Buffalo in 1767. His wife was Jennet, and their children were John, Alexander, Samuel and others. John was already married when they came to Guilford, and he lived southeast of the church; Alexander lived near the church; and Samuel located on the south side of Buffalo Creek on Blackwood Branch.

John Chambers (1720-1806) bought of Thomas Flack 481 acres on Walnut Branch, two or three miles north of the church, in 1773, and located there. But he had been here for some years before this date, for he was a ruling elder in Buffalo in 1773. His wife was Elizabeth, and their children, when he made his will in 1800, were Agnes and Jane. He may have had some sons who were killed in the War. Agnes married Andrew Wilson, son of Andrew, Sr.; Jane married William Rankin, son of Joseph.

William Rankin (1744-1804), son of Joseph, of Newark, Delaware, came in 1768, and lived with his brother John for three or four years, then bought the eastern part of John’s farm, and located there. He married Jane, daughter of John Chambers, in 1772, and their children were Elizabeth, Nancy, Sarah, John Chambers, Anne, Thomas, Jane, Robert C. and William, Jr. Elizabeth married Elam Wharton, son of Watson, in 1791; Nancy married John Schoolfield in 1800; Sarah married John Wharton, son of Watson, in 1800; John C. mararied Tabitha, daughter of Watson Wharton, in 1801; Anne married Samuel E. Donnell, son of James, Sr., in 1800; Thomas married first Hannah, daughter of John Smith, and second Patsy, daughter [end of page 40] of Moses McQuiston, in 1812, and located near Alamance Church; Jane married Eli Smith, son of John, in 1810; Robert C. married Sarah, daughter of Joshua Lee, in 1813, and located at Benaja; William, Jr., married Thankful, daughter of John Smith, in 1812, and lived at the home place.

For the history of the Rankins and a complete genealogy of the William Rankin family see “Rankin and Wharton Families and Their Genealogy,” by S. M. Rankin.

Hugh Mecklin located north of the church about 1770. There were at least two sons, James and Hugh, Jr. Hugh, Jr., married Agnes, daughter of William Anderson, Jr., and became a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. All of the Mecklin familiy moved to Tennessee after the War. Robert Mecklin was ordained to the ministry by Orange Presbytery in 1783, and he may have been a son of Hugh, Sr.

Three Nelson families located in Guilford. David on South Buffalo in 1758, William in the northeast part of the county in 1770, and Alexander on Brush Creek in 1770. Alexander had at least seven children: George, John, James, Robert, Elizabeth, Ruth and Isabell. Dr. Caldwell preached occasionally on Brush Creek, and this family must have been members of the Buffalo congregation.

William Scott, son of Samuel, Sr., located here in 1770. His father was a member of the Nottingham Colony, but had returned to Pennsylvania. Samuel, Sr., gave to his son William 640 acres on the waters of the Reedy Fork in 1770. William had also returned to Pennsylvania with his father and had perhaps married there before coming back to North Carolina. His wife was Rebecca, and their children were Samuel, Thomas, Adam, William, Mary, Margaret, Rebecca and Nancy. Samuel married Mary Bell in 1793 and moved to Tennessee; Thomas married Sarah Lemmons; Adam married first Mary, daughter of William and Mary Bell Donnell, second Mrs. Jane Barr Walker, daughter of James Barr, Sr., and third Mrs. Polly Rankin Thom, widow of Samuel Thom and daughter of John Rankin; William married Martha, daughter of William Donnell, and moved to Tennessee; Mary married Samuel Rankin, son of John, in 1800; Margaret married Robert Rankin, son of John, in 1805; Rebecca married James White and moved to [end of page 41] Tennessee; Nancy married James Donnell, son of Major John, in 1807. William Scott, Sr., died in 1801.

Walter Denny was born in Ireland in 1730, married Margaret Smart there in 1755, came to Pennsylvania in 1760, came to North Carolina in 1770, and located on the north side of Reedy Fork, east of Doggett’s Mill. Their children were Joseph, John, William, and Rachel. Joseph married Sarah, daughter of Alexander Gray, Sr., in 1791; John moved away after the War; William married Jane, daughter of Alexander Gray, Sr., in 1796; Rachel married her first cousin, Robert Hatrick, in 1791. Walter Denny died in 1805.

Samuel Duck, a young man, located on Richland Creek about 1770. He married Mary, daughter of James Denny, Sr., and they had at least two sons and one daughter. In 1796 he sold his land here and moved to Tennessee. [county coordinator's note: this Samuel Duck may be Samuel Dick, son of William Dick]

This ends the first portion of this paragraph, ending in 1770.  The next section begins with 1771, the year Guilford County came into being.

Buffalo Presbyterian Church ~ Other Members of the Congregation, Section Two

This page of information is strictly for private use and not for republication.