The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Family will ensure that he has the happiest birthday ever…

this year. The tenth of the month marked his birthday party. He will be 80 years of age on his birthday on December 14, 2011. To make the birthday just a little more special for the family, we say this is your life, Alfred Franklin Farris. May you and your family of relatives far and wide enjoy this little walk down memory lane.

Alfred Farris: Dad’s Videos by Michelle Farris:

Video to Celebrate Dad’s 80th Birthday

Video of our childhood – celebrating Alfred Farris’ 80th birthday

Alfred Franklin Farris was born 14 December 1931. His parents were Franklin Cook “Frank”  and Hester Gertrude Wright Farris who lived at Margerum in Colbert County, Alabama. Frank and Hester Farris’ first child died at birth in 1928. A second child, Carroll Eugene “Gene” Farris, was born in 1930; he died in 5 October 2011. Alfred married Wanda Thompson in 1964 and to them four children were born: Michelle, Suzanne, David, and Scot.

The parents of Frank Farris were James Barton “Bart” Farris And Mary E Pounders who was sometimes called “Sis” but whose name was listed as Molly Pounders on daughter Ennis Bell McBroom’s death certificate. Bart Farris was born  24 Aug 1844 in Newworton, Tishomingo, Mississippi. He died  4 Feb 1931 in Colbert, Alabama at Allsboro and is buried at Morris Hill Cemetery. Bart and Mary Pounders Farris’ children were: Ida M Harris Worsham 1873 – 1936, Franklin Cook “Frank” Farris 1875 – 1954, Charlie Williams Farris 1880 – 1954 and Ennis Bell Farris McBroom 1882 – 1949.

Bart Farris served in the War Between the States.  James Barton Farris joined the 7th Alabama Regiment  of Infantry, serving in Company H at age 16. He later joined the 10th Tennessee Infantry and served in Company H. He was captured and became a prisoner of war.

There is a record of a J B Farris of the 5th Texas, Company C, prisoner of war at Ft McHenry that escaped and was recaptured in 1863. They could only hold for two months! This record is Film Number M227 roll 11 at the National Archives. This is for record only and likely is not our Bart Farris.

He fought in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and on Hood’s retreat when he was captured by the enemy and taken prisoner. Alfred believes that he was taken to Rock Island Illinois and was then moved to another prison where he survived smallpox. Alabama, Confederate Pension and Service Records, 1862-1947  for James B Farris, Record #6561, give the information that he was in Company F and H in Morllund’s Regiment. He first registered as Bart Farris when joining Morland’s Battalion of Roddy’s Alabama Cavalry.

 The 7th Alabama Infantry was organized at Pensacola Florida, 18 May 1861, with 8 infantry and 2 mounted companies. It was composed of companies that had rendezvoused at that place from the counties of Autauga, Barbour, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Dallas, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Montgomery, Pike, and Wilcox. It remained on duty there until November when it was ordered to Chattanooga, and then a month later, it was sent to Bowling Green. It was in a temporary brigade under Col. S. A. M. Wood, and it fell back with the army to Corinth. The time of service of most of the companies expired after 12 months during the first week in April, 1862, and the regiment disbanded. However, the two mounted companies from Autauga and Lauderdale retained their organization and fought at Shiloh, as did other men from the regiment. The mounted companies then became part of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry, and the majority of the remaining men and officers joined other organizations.The field and staff officers: Col. Sterling A. M. Wood (Lauderdale; promoted); Lt. Col. John G. Coltart (Madison); Major Alfred A. Russell (Jackson); and Adjutants Simeon Dean (Chambers; promoted); S. A. McClung (Madison; transferred to Gen’l Wood’s staff).There does not seem to be a roster for Company H. But a few names of the soldiers were located as follows: Private M.  Busby, Private S Cockrell, Private H Collier, Private William Collier, Private J L Davenport, Private Thomas H Gammon who served in both Companies H and K, Private George W Garmany, Privates T H Gowan and William H Gowan served in both companies H and K, Private John L Handley, Farrier Doctor H Hann, Private W H Hardy, Private J R Horton, Private F W Killingworth, Private S M McCluny, Captain William W McMiller, Private J C Miller, Private R R Moore, Private G M Moran, Private T J Pollard, and Private T J Pope.

No record was found yet of him serving in the 10th Tennessee Regiment of Infantry; that fact, however, does not mean that he did not serve. Some, if not most, confederate records were destroyed. The 10th Regiment of Tennessee Infantry organized at Fort Henry, May, 1861; Confederate service September 1, 1861; reorganized October 2, 1862; merged into 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.

Back to him serving in Captain Morllund’s Regiment. This was Moreland’s battalion of Alabama Cavalry that was included in Roddey’s brigade and was in north Alabama and Tennessee during the greater part of the winter and spring of 1863-64, serving for a time in Hannon’s brigade. It fought at Tishomingo creek, June, 1864, and was attached to General Maury’s army, serving in central and northern Alabama. It was paroled at Iuka, May 18, 1865.

Extracts From Official War Records

No. 52–(595) Mentioned by Gen. E. A. Carr (Union), Corinth, September 13, 1863. Left in valley on Roddey’s departure. No. 54–(38) Mentioned by General Ferguson near Courtland, Ala., October 31, 1863. (603) Mentioned by Colonel Rowett (Union), Pulaski, Tenn., December 18th. Report of skirmish on Shoal creek, December 12th.
No. 55–(664) Col. M.D. Moreland, Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, detached, November 20, 1863.
No. 56–(92) Mentioned by Gen. J. D. Stevenson, Corinth, November 8, 1863. (619, 806, 888) In Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, October to December, 1863. No. 58—(590) In Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, January so, 1864.
No. 59–(429) Mentioned by Colonel Rowett, Bailey’s Springs, April 18, 1864. (735) Mentioned, March 26th, as being near Moulton.
No. 77–(231) One killed, 5 wounded, at battle of Tishomingo Creek, June 10, 1864. (345) Reconnoissance near Tupelo, July 14th.
No. 79–(817) Mentioned by General Forrest, October 12, 1864. No. 93–(1233) In Roddey’s brigade, district of North Alabama, November 20th
No. 94–(634) In Roddey’s brigade, North Alabama, December 1st.
No. 99–(1150) Mentioned by Maj. John G. Devereux, February 10, 1865, as having belonged to Hannon’s original command.
No. 104–(830) Paroled at Iuka, May 18, 1865.

4th (Roddy’s) Cavalry Regiment was organized at Tuscumbia, Alabama, in October, 1862, and moved to Tennessee where it wintered. The men were from Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, and Walker counties. During the next spring it was sent to Northern Alabama, assigned to General Roddey’s Brigade, then took an active part in raiding and attacking the Federals. In April, 1864, the regiment was transferred to the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. After fighting at Brice’s Cross Roads it saw action in various conflicts from Montevallo to Selma where on April 2, 1865, most of the unit was captured. The remaining part surrendered at Pond Spring. Its commanders were Colonels William A. Johnson and Phillip Dale Roddey, Lieutenant Colonel E.M. Windes, and Majors R.W. Johnson and John E. Newsom.

Bart Farris likely resided on the Alabama and Mississippi state lines; by 1907 his residence was given as Colbert County, Alabama. A photo exists of his old home place which was situated on a hill.

Bart Farris’ father was John L Farris who was born  1819 in Warren County, Tennessee. His death occurred Feb 1880 in McNairy, Tennessee by some accounts; or at  Allsboro, Colbert County, Alabama by other accounts. Mortality schedules give this account of his death:

 J L Farris

Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1818
Age: 62
Month of Death: Feb
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Census Year: 1880
Census Location: (City, County, State)
Civil District 15, McNairy, Tennessee
Enumeration District: 126
Line: 9
Archive Collection Number: T655
Bart Farris’ mother was Elizabeth Betty Lair who was born circa 1824 in Crooked Oak, Franklin, Alabama and who died
circa 1880 in Allsboro, Colbert County, Alabama. Betty Lair and Bart Farris had the following known children: Mahalia Farris 1830 – 1913, James Barton Bart Farris 1844 – 1931, Emma Farris born 1844 , Thomas Champion Farris born 1847, Jane Farris born 1849, John Green Farris 1851 – 1936, Mary Alabama Farris 1852 – 1944, Cynthia A Farris born 1857, Cynthia A Farris born 1857, Julia E Farris born 1858, Virginia Alice Farris 1859 – 1935, Joseph E Farris circa 1859, Emma Farris circa 1861, Mahalia Lair Farris born circa 1863, and Mary E. Farris born circa 1863.
 John L Farris’ father was Davidson Farris born 1794 in Russell County, Virginia and who died Mar 1870 in Cripple Deer, Tishomingo, Mississippi. His mother was Elizabeth Lizzie Nunnally born 1795 in North Carolina and who died 1856 in Iuka, Tishomingo, Mississippi. Lizzie and Davidson Farris had a large family of children: Elizabeth Farris 1815 – 1852, Catherine Farris 1817 – 1905, David Farris born ca 1818, John L Farris 1819 – 1880, Matilda Farris 1820 – 1913, Margaret Farris  born ca 1822, William Champion Farris 1824 – 1900, Sarah Farris 1824 – 1880, James Monroe Farris 1825 – 1913, Sarah Farris 1827 – 1909, Louisa Farris born ca 1833, Mahala Farris 1834 – 1907, Sonia Farisborn ca 1834 and Commodore Perry Farris 1834 – 1880. The Farris family was listed in Tishomingo County, Mississippi  in 1837 when it was formed, making them early settlers to this area.
1837-1838 , Tishomingo County, Mississippi provide the following information:
  • Circuit Court March term 1837 Tish. Co., MS
    Monday, the 4th day of March 1837. Be it known that a circuit court began and held at the court-house in the town of Jacinto in the county of Tishomingo on the first Monday in March 1837, Proclamation being made as the manner is there was present the Honorable F.W. ______ presiding of the 8th Judicial District.
    And the Sheriff of said county _____ into open court the wit of venire Facias executed on the following to wit:
    Number 20: Davidson Farrish (and he served as a grand juror)

    Circuit Court June term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    Davidson Faris was called to jury duty

    Circuit Court June term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    State vs. Abner Moody et al
    Davidson Faris, Elizabeth Faris and Jacob Adin? called recognized in open court to appear as witnesses in _____ at the next term in ____ of one hundred dollars each.

    Circuit Court December 3rd term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    Summoned to appear as a juror: Davidson Farress (he was called to serve)

The following information is gleaned from the police records in Tishomingo County, Mississippi:

  • Board of Police Tish. Co., MS for December term 1861
    It is ordered by the Board that Inspectors of Election to be held at the Several Precincts of this County for Auditor of Public Accounts on the ____ day of _____ be appointed as follows viz:
    At Cripple Deer-J.H. Robins, DAVIDSON FARIS, E.W. Harvey

Land records for Davison Farris include this record for Davidson Farris of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, purchasing 86 acres of Public Land in Alabama, subject to sale at Pontotoc, Mississippi, 22 July 1851:


Davidson Farris married a second time to Mary E Smith Coleman. Their marriage was performed 4 Feb 1857; she was the widow of John Coleman Edmondson who died in 1855. She and John Edmondson had a family of children as well, numbering eight children who are known.
Davidson Farris’ father was Champion T Farris who was born  1766 in Charlotte, Virginia and who died ca 1820 in Franklin County, Tennessee. His mother, Catherine Davidson, was born ca 1770 in Colony, Laurel, Kentucky or in Franklin County, Tennessee. She died ca 1802 in Russell County, Virginia. Champion Farris purchased land in Marshall County, Alabama in 1857. Catherine and Champion Farris had the following known children: Levi Kelly Farris 1785 – 1832, Thomas Farris 1786 – 1862, James Farris 1787 – 1830, Nathan Farris 1790, Davidson Farris 1794 – 1870, Major Washington Farris 1798 – 1862, Elisha Farris 1800 – 1870, William Farris born ca 1800 and Mary Farris born ca 1802.
Champion T Farris’ father was Elisha Farris born 1745 in Brunswick County part, Lunenburg, Virginia and who died 26 Aug 1791 in Moccasin Gap, Washington, Virginia. His mother was Mary Charlotte Vaughn who was born Apr 1749 in Charlotte County , Virginia; and who died 26 Aug 1791 in Moccasin Gap, Russell or possibly Washington County, Virginia. Elisha and Mary Charlotte were married 1 April 1765 in Charlotte County, Virginia. They had the following known children: Champion T Farris 1766 – 1820, Elisha Farris 1767 – 1840, Edward Farris born ca 1768, Mary Farris 1769 – 1791, Nancy Farris circa 1769 – 1791  and Sally Farris 1770 – 1788.
On 9 May, 1786, the first court of Russell County was held in the Castles Woods settlement at the home of William Roberson. Governor Patrick Henry issued commissions to Justices to preside. The Justices were Alexander Barnett, Henry Smith, Daniel Ward, Andrew Cowan, Samuel Ritchie, Thomas Carter, Henry Dickenson and John Thompson.
Andrew Cowan and Thomas Carter were chosen to represent the county in the General Assembly (House of Delegates).Appointed as county officers were: David Ward, Sheriff; Henry Dickenson, Clerk of Court; Samuel Ritchie and Patrick Porter, Commissioners of Revenue; Harry Smith, County Surveyor; Francis Browning, Coroner.Appointed as county militia officers were: Colonel Henry Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Cowan, Major Charles Cocke, Captains David Ward, William Thompson, William Dorton, Charles Bickley, Francis Browning, James Davidson, Samuel Ritchie, Josiah Fugate and William Martin. Lieutenants were: Alexander Barnett, John Bowen, Charles Hays, John Tate, James Osborn, Samuel Roberson, Elisha Farris,Thomas Carter, Moses Skeggs and John Van Bebber. Ensigns were: Samuel Young, John Thompson, Robert Tate, Henry Hamblin, Solomon Litton, William Byrd, Benjamin Nichalson, Joseph Johnson and William Ewing.

Soon after the first court meeting, additional Justices were added. They were: Charles Bickley, William Martin, Richard Price, Christopher Cooper, John Bowen, John Tate, James Wharton, Charles Cocke and John Frazier.

More interesting notes are from M E Farris’ notes on a gateway message board from 2006 as follows:

ELISHA FARRIS was born in 1745 in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He married Mary Charlotte Vaughn on April 1, 1765 in Charlotte County, Virginia. Mary was daughter of Thomas Vaughn. John Vaughn signed as bondsman.

Elisha and Mary had at least three daughters, one of which was named Nancy. There were most likely other children. Note the reference in the British Mercantile Claims below, that his family was living in Kentucky after he and his wife’s death in 1791. It is quite possible Elisha and Mary had at least three sons: Elisha, Jr.; Thomas; and Edward.

Elisha, Jr. and Edward could be the persons listed under the Tax list of their grandfather, James Esom Farris (1794 Tax list for Lincoln County, Kentucky).

Elisha’s HEIRS were named in an 1823 Scott County, Virginia lawsuit over his estate: Elisha (Jr?), Thomas, Sally and Nancy. These were either Elisha’s children or grandchildren. In one passage of this lawsuit the heirs are also described as CHILDREN AND HEIRS.

Some researchers also include these children: Champion, James, and Nathan. Further research is needed to identify correctly the children of Elisha and Mary.

                                        INDIAN ATTACK ON ELISHA’S TAVERN

Elisha, Mary, a daughter (Mary), and grandchild were killed during an Indian attack on Elisha’s Tavern, near Moccasin Gap (near Gate City, VA) 26 Aug 1791. Another daughter, Nineteen-year-old Nancy, was taken by the Indians, but later escaped. Gate City may have also been known as Estillville.


This account given 6 Apr 1794, from the calendar of VA State papers, Vol 7, page 375. follows:

Mrs. Peter Livingston with her children were taken by Captain Bench, from their home on the Holstein (Holston) River. They took them many miles. She whispered to the children to get away, as the Indians did not watch them too closely. The children did get away.

Captain Bench told her he was going to steal all of Isaac Shelby’s slaves. The Militia under Vincent Hobbs attacked and killed Bench and most of the Indians. The one guarding Mrs. Livingston hit her on the head with his “tomhawke”, but she recovered in about one hour. Hobbs scalped Bench and sent the scalp to the Governor of VA.

Note: According to research by Robbie Sue Farris Glover the “Mrs. Livingston” mentioned above was the wife of Peter Livingston; she was not a Farris daughter. Peter’s brother, Henry Livingston, was married to Mary Farris. Mary was the Livingston wife that was killed at Elisha’s home


John Benge, an Indian trader who lived among the Cherokee, was married to Wurteh who was part of an influential Cherokee family. John was previously married to Elizabeth Lewis, daughter of William Terrell Lewis and Sarah Martin. Elizabeth’s sister, Susannah, married John’s brother, Thomas Benge. John and Elizabeth had several children at their home in western North Carolina.

Apparently, John was living with Wurteh at his home with the Cherokee (probably Tuquo) and had several children born there. These were Robert, Utana “the Tail”, Lucy, and Tashliske. After Elizabeth and the Lewis family found out about John’s Cherokee family, their marriage was dissolved.

Wurteh also had a child from a man whose last name was Gist or Guess and their child became known to history as Sequoyah. Robert and Sequoyah were half brothers.

Circa 1788: John’s son, Robert Benge, was married to a Cherokee woman and settled at a site still called Benge’s Field just south of present day Trenton, GA. This was the Cherokee village called Lookout Town.

Summer of 1791: At the Cherokee town called Running Water in present day southernmost Tennessee, Robert Benge announced that he was going to start a raiding campaign against white settlers in southwestern Virginia. Five men joined him and the proceeded northward.


August 23, 1791: Robert Benge’s group raided the William McDowell house near Moccasin Gap (Russell County, VA). Two whites were killed and an 8 year old boy and woman were captured.

August 26, 1791: A party of Indians, headed by Captain Benge of the Cherokee tribe, attacked the house of ELISHA FARRIS, two miles from Mockison (sic) Gap, murdered Mr. Farris at his house, and made prisoner Mrs. Farris and her daughter, Mrs. Livingston, and a young child together with Nancy Farris. All but the latter were cruelly murdered the first day of their captivity. (Bledsoe et al. in Summers, 1903, p 438)

Note: According to research by Robbie Sue Farris Glover, there has been confusion about the fate of Mrs. Livingston. Was she killed, or did she survive the Indian attack? The answer is, there were two Mrs. Livingstons.

The “Mrs. Livingston” mentioned above was Mary Farris Livingston, daughter of Elisha and Mary and the wife of Henry Livingston. Henry Livingston had a brother, Peter, whose wife was also involved in an Indian raid; This “Mrs. Livingston” was tomahawked, but survived the attack. (See notes on Mary Farris Livingston).


From the “Bristol Herald Courier,” Sunday, November 15, 1964


Some suggest that the origin of the Wilderness Road was at Fort Chiswell (Ft. Chissel) on the Great Valley Road where roads converged from Philadelphia and Richmond. Others claim the Wilderness Road actually began at Sapling Grove (now Bristol, Virginia) which lay at the extreme southern end of the Great Valley Road because it was at that point that the road narrowed, forcing travelers to abandon their wagons. It moved through the Cumberland Gap, the only real way to reach Blue Grass land in those days. These travelers, when they had some money in the complicated currency of that day when coin was weighed on scales to determine the value in different states, would buy flour to use on the way.


George Roberts, for the first and only time in his life, was prospering. In spite of the activities of the area, the Revolutionary War was being fought. In general Southwest Virginia knew little, and cared less, about the Revolutionary War. The present day descendant who thinks great-great something or other grandpa decided the fate of the Revolutionary War from Southwest Virginia is merely displaying his own abysmal ignorance. Most of the time, there were only a handful who really knew there was a war being fought; others were too busy trying to wrest a precarious living from the savage land and the landed savages to the southeast (the Cherokees).

There was, of course, one battle-only one-in which the bobtail over mountain men made a contribution to the Revolutionary cause and that was the Battle of King’s Mountain. Many Scott county men fought in this battle, men such as Johnathon Wood, Peter Morrison, and a man already mentioned in this article, James Davidson. This was, of course, the second James Davidson. Almost exactly eight years after the Battle of King’s Mountain, on Oct. 1, 1780, Silas and Sarah Enyart sold their tract of 200 acres of land to James Davidson, Jr., (the elder James Davidson did not die until 1794), the Enyarts having moved into a smaller tract on which they had survey rights later than the Gate City tract.

By the following spring, early in the year, Silas Enyart was dead and his widow and son left the area. Their departure did not resolve the problem that had been raised over the mills of George Roberts and the land around it.


Roberts had understood that he was to have had the ten acres as a gift for having established the mill and that the 40 acres surrounding the original ten would be sold him to allow him a decent tract on which his mill could operate. It must be confessed that George was a rather engaging, but worthless, scamp and he allowed the mill to fall into disrepair as soon as the Kentucky travelers began going through less frequently and, stopping as they did at the Block House of Colonel Anderson, they filled up on provisions there, not stopping at the Roberts mill for provisions.

Regardless of the quality of Roberts’ mill or his activity, he claimed to have been promised by Enyart a deed to the ten acres and a right to purchase forty more. He also claimed that when Enyart sold to Davidson and Davidson to ELISHA FARRIS on August 18, 1789, he was assured of this right. However, Farris was killed by the Indians, with several members of his family, on August 26, 1791, so it is impossible to say whether or not Farris had so promised.

Anyhow, the land eventually sold back to James Davidson, Jr., who made his “patriotic” gesture of offering the land for the courthouse to the county of Scott in 1815. The suit was filed just after the land got valuable enough to quarrel over!


An 1823 Scott Co. lawsuit (Elisha was killed in what is now Scott Co. in 1791) says Elisha’s heirs who are being sued are: Thomas, Sally, Nancy, and Elisha. Also being sued was George Ewing. I thought at first he might be a son-in-law, but I think he got the disputed land so he was probably more the subject of the suit (probably bought Elisha!s land).

Now we already know that a daughter Nancy survived the Indian attack in 1791. And we know that a daughter, Mary Livingston, was killed by those same Indians. So now we know FIVE of Elisha!s kids: Thomas, Sally, Nancy, Elisha, Jr., and Mary Livingston (died 1791). There MAY have been other children: Champion, James, and Nathan.

from Robbie Sue Farris Glover research

“This indenture made this 9th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty three between John S. Martin of Scott County and State of Virginia for and on behalf of Elisha Faris, Thomas Faris, Sally Faris and Nancy Faris, heirs of Elisha Faris, deceased, non residents of the said State of the one part and George Ewing of the said County of Scott and State of Virginia of the other part, witnesseth that whereas by a decree in chancery of the worshipful the court of said county made and prounced on the 16th day of August last in a suit between the heirs of James Osborne deceased, Complainant and the heirs of Elisha Faris deceased, defts.

It was decreed that the said John S. Martin should convey the thirty acres of land in the bill mentioned with special warranty against himself and his heirs, to George Ewing, the present owner
.. as his decree his title from the complts. through purchase made by John Wood and others, the said tract containing thirty acres … by the same more or less and beginning at a iron wood sugar tree and dogwood on the south side of Moquison Creek and turning thence …. ….. poles to a stake ??? crossing the creek, thence 1015 E12 poles to a white oak thence north 46 poles to a stake on an ——- line thence with the same 1052 …. 20 poles to a white oak corner to William Howerton … land thence S s E 97 poles to two white oaks sapplings on a gravely spruce S 23′ .. 23 poles to a smal white oak in a hollow SC E 30 poles to a sugar tree walnut and white oak on the bank of the Creek William Howerton’s Spring. then up the creek and crossing the same 13 poles to the Beginning.

Now therefore I the said John S. Martin by virtue of the authority aforesaid do hereby convey to the said George Ewing the said above described of thirty acres of land be the same or more or less with its appurtenance to him the said George Ewing, his heirs and assigns forever to his and the.. only ….. us and behoof, and the said John S. Martin for himself and his heirs and by virtue of the said decree, doth hereby covenant and agree to /with the said George Ewing … his heirs that he the said John S. Martin and his heirs, the s… tract or parcel of land shall and will warrant and forever defend against himself and heirs.

In witness whereof the said John S. Martin as commission under the decree aforesaid hath hereto subscribed his name and affixed his seal the day and year first above written.
John S. Martin, Coms. SEAL


At a Court held for Scott County the 9th day of September 1823, this indenture of bargain and sale …. John S. Martin coms’er on behalf of the heirs of Elisha Faris deceased to George Ewing was acknowledged in Court by the said Martin to be his act and deed and ordered to be recorded.
Teste John S. Martin, D.C.”

Other historical notes of interest

1 Apr 1765 Charlotte Co. VA: Marriage Bond. Jno. Vaughn, bondsman. States that Mary was the daughter of Thomas Vaughn and she signs her own consent.

1767 Tithed as Elijah, Pittsylvania Co. VA. (Elijah born 1761 in Halifax Co. VA)
16 Feb 1771 Patented 400A, Pittsylvania Co. VA, on Fly Blow creek.

9 Nov 1771 Halifax Co. VA, DB 8, p. 330: Elisha Faris boundary in deed of William Broughill & Sarah, his wife, of Antrim Parish, Halifax to John East of Camden & County of Pittsylvania, 100 acres south branch Brush Cr. Rec. 19 Mar. 1772.

12 Jan 1775 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 140: Elisha Farris, Alex’r Donelson, Thomas Vaughan & John Buckley wit deed of John Clever to James Buckley, about 400 acres in Halifax Co. on Buffalo Cr. bounded by Luke Smith, March Banks. Rec. 25 May 1775.

11 Mar 1775 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 345: wit deed of John Clever to Wm. Lynch.. Rec. 26 Jun 1777.

6 Feb 1777 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 290: Elisha Faris (Farris) of Pittsylvania Co. to Robert (Robertson) Farguson of Pittsylvania for 65 pounds, about 100 acres bounded by Hickeys Road, Clever, Flyblow Cr., William Todd, a corner near the house, Brewes, a corner pine near the Muster Ground. Signed: Elisha Farris. Wit: Ben Lankford, John Buckley, John George, Robert (+ his mark) Bruce. Rec. 27 Feb. 1777.

8 Dec 1777 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 475: John Clever of Pittsylvania Co. to Thomas Tunstall of Halifax Co., for 400 pounds, all that tract of land whereon the said John Clever now lives, containing about 465 acres, being the land that the said John Clever purchased of Elisha Faris, and bounded as by deed from the said Elisha Faris to the said John Clever is expressed. Signed: John Clever. Wit: R. Farguson, Millicent Farguson, Milli Farguson. Rec. 26 Mar. 1778.

1782 Tax Roll, Lincoln Co. VA (KY)

21 Feb 1784 Washington Co. VA – Survey, Elisha Farris 116 acres Mockison Creek. (Another researcher says a Moses Farris did this survey) Also listed on 23 Jan. 1783 is a survey for Moses Pharis, 114 acres on Moccasin Creek).

1787 Tax List Lincoln Co. VA (KY) Listed with Johnson & Cager (Micajah). This MAY have been this Elisha, who then returned to Virginia where he was killed in 1791.

1791 Edward Farris qualifies as Administrator of the estate of Elisha Farris, killed by Indians near Gate City, Virginia (Bk. 1, p. 239- Russell County).

1791 Appraisers appointed for estate (Bk 1, p. 240)

27 Sep 1791 On motion of Edward Faris, Administration is granted him on the estate of Elisha Faris, deceased, whereupon he together with Champ Faris, his security, entered into bond in the penalty of 400 pounds, as the law directs.

27 Sep 1791 Estate of Elisha transferred: 116 acres on both sides of Moccasin Creek to James Osborn. 116 acres granted unto Elisha Faris by patent date of 14 June 1787. Mentions 3 white oak north side Crabtree branch N 56 degrees W 61 poles to a white oak. “Elisha was paid 150 pounds in his lifetime.” Edward Faris signed. Filed same date (Osborn was one of the county commissioners)

August 1792 Ordered that John Tate and James Gibson settle with Edward Faris, adm. of the estate of Elisha Faris, deceased, and return account therof (Bk 2, p. 23 Law Order Books, Russell County).

1792 & 1793 “Eliche” has 200 taxable acres; 1794 No record

5 Aug 1796 Lee Co. VA, DB 1, p. 63: Edward Farris of Lincoln Co. KY, sells 200 acres in Moccasin Gap to Champion Farris of Russell Co. VA. (copy of original deed. Could this have been Elisha’s land?)

“Virginia Genealogist” Vol. 25, No. 1, 1980 – BRITISH MERCANTILE CLAIMS 1775 – 1803
The books show indebtedness in the entries as follows, for Elisha Farris, with the remarks that he had removed from Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties, VA, to “somewhere on the Clinch River, where he was killed by Indians.” Further remarks said his family was now in KY and “are probably able to pay”.

Halifax Store – 29 Jun 1773 – 2 pounds, 8 shillings, 8 pence
Halifax Store – Dec 1773 – bond at 12 pounds, 9 shillings, 6 pence.
Pittsylvania Store – 25 Dec 1773 – 12 pounds, 2 shillings
Pittsylvania Store – 1774 – 5 pounds, 3 shillings, 6 pence
17 Apr 1818 Washington Co. VA Nancy Farris married Harry Garnett

References: Tax Lists Lincoln Co. KY
Published Deed Abstracts from Halifax Co. VA
VIRGINIA TAX PAYERS – Fothergill & Naugle
Photocopy of original marriage bond and consent from Charlotte Co. VA


Excerpt from THE VIRGINIA TOURIST, “Sketches of the Springs and Mountains of Virginia”, by Edward A. Pollard, Published by J.B. Lippincott & Co. 1870, in Philadelphia

“Five miles from Estillville, and on the road by which we approached it from Bristol, are the ruins of a block-house which protected the early settlers; and a fearful story yet clings to a spring within the limits of the village, where a family of the name of FARRIS perished under the tomahawks of the savages, their blood dying the waters of the brook.”

The passage goes on to describe a point west of this location ran the “thoroughfare through which the tribes inhabiting the Rockcastle hills, in the wilderness of Kentucky, passed to the old settlements of Virgina. Not far from here, too, was the range of the celebrated Cherokee chief, ‘Dragon Canoe,’ [should read Dragging Canoe] worthy to be ranked with Tecumseh or Osceola in courage or skill, and who suffered a defeat fatal to his tribe in 1776, at the battle of the Great Island in the Holston River.”

Note: Robbie Sue Farris Glover has located Elisha Farris’s homeplace. It is in Gate City, Virginia. A very large sign stands at the spot where Elisha Sr. was killed. It is at the corner of a Pizza Inn.

Based on the above Elisha Farris’s death, along with some of his family, occurred in Gate City, Virginia, adjacent to the present day Pizza Inn.

There were two different “Mrs. Livingstons”, one of which was a Farris daughter of Elisha who was killed, along with her parents. The other Mrs. Livingston survived her attack.

The heirs of Elisha, mentioned in 1823 Scott Co. lawsuit were listed in one passage as “children & heirs.” In addition to those children mentioned in the lawsuit there is evidence that Edward Farris may have been a son of Elisha.

After the death of the parents Edward administered Elisha’s estate. He took the younger children to Lincoln County, Kentucky where his grandfather, James Esom Farris, lived and consented (later) for Nancy to marry Nimrod Farris. The relationship as “father” to Nancy comes from a typed list that is inaccurate. The original record does not show Edward as father to Nancy Farris.

There is a close relationship between Edward, Elisha (Jr.) and Champion Farris. Robbie Sue Farris Glover maintains that Champion is a possible brother to Edward and Elisha Jr.

Here is another account of the Massacre at Moccasin Gap of Clinch mountain by Emory L. Hamilton:

Pendleton and McDowell, Farris and Wharton Families Killed

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 211-218.

On October 6, 1791, (1) Henry Smith, County Lieutenant of Russell Co., VA, wrote to Governor Randolph, the following:

Immediately on the receipt of your Excellency’s instruction of the 25th of April, 1791, I gave orders to the commanding officers of the companies to raise their proportion of 50 men, which I judged absolutely necessary for our defense, but not one man would serve. The approaching expected peace, to be made the last of May with the Cherokees, seemed to look with a favorable aspect on troubled country.

I, not willing to trust my own judgment called a council of officers, whereupon it was advised to be unnecessary to order any more men until it was known whether the Indians would accept the terms of peace offered them at the expected treaty. After this we remained tolerable peaceful, except some horses stolen, till about the last of August, when part of two families were killed; (Pendleton & McDowell), the week following (early September) Elisha Farris and three of his family were killed, and his daughter, a young woman, was taken prisoner. About a fortnight ago, James Wharton, Esq., and his family was killed, and a Negro taken prisoner.

In this unhappy situation I cannot raise a man in this county for its defense. No man is willing, nor, I believe, can be forced to strip his unguarded family, equally exposed to dangers, of the only help and comfort they have in himself, to defend others more distant, but less dear to his natural feelings.

A very considerable part of the country is at this time, instead of taking up arms to defend themselves, employed in moving their families to the interior parts of the country, out of reach of savage cruelty…

In the foregoing letter Colonel Smith points up the understandable reluctance of the settlers to abandon their own families to serve in the militia as common defenders of all. Undoubtedly the killings mentioned in his letter were perpetrated by the cunning half-breed Indian Chief Benge, for at this time he was leading most of the forays against the settlers. Benge was an uncanny cunning and cruel savage, using secret routes to fall upon the unsuspecting settlers, hurriedly committing his atrocious murders and then vanishing into the wilderness over routes exceedingly hard to find or follow.

The Elisha Farris family lived on Moccasin Creek a short distance fro the present town of Gate City. Although much closer in time than many of the other massacre, I have not been able to determine the names of those slain or the details, nor the name of the daughter taken prisoner and her ultimate fate.

Of the James Wharton family not a lot more is known than that of the Farris family, and just where his descendants emigrated to is unknown to this writer. James Wharton had settled on a large tract of land lying on the south side of Clinch River, near, and below Moore’s Fort in Castlewood in the year 1769, at the time of the first settlers in this area. He had lived through twenty-two years of Indian raids before finally being killed, just three years before the last Indian raid on Southwest Virginia. He seems to have been a highly respected personage always referred to as “Esquire”, a term of esteem and respect as then used. Just the year before he had been one of the appraisers of the estate of his neighbor Thomas Osborne, whose home was visible from his own, and just across a narrow valley on one of the beautiful blue grass hills of lower Castlewood, who had suffered the same fate as the Wharton family.

Tradition has it that a woman had been hired by Mrs. Wharton to do some weaving and was at work in the loom house, which was slightly east of the Wharton home, when she looked out a small window in the loom house and saw the Indian approaching. She crawled through the window and started running across a field where she met a man riding by the name of Smith. Mounting the horse behind him they rode away to Moore’s fort, two mile distant to get help. A company of men accompanied Smith back to the Wharton home where they found the family murdered.

Early records shed no light on the number of people killed in the Wharton family, and little is known of the early life of James Wharton other than that his wife was named Margaret, (2) and that he had a daughter named Margaret who married William Robinson, Jr., (3) and a son named William whose wife was named Jemima. (4)

The Wharton heirs sold their home place to Stephen Gose on the 5th of January, 1799, (5) probably shortly thereafter leaving the area and no known descendants live in the area today.

A small stream running down to Clinch River at Burton’s Ford is still known as “Wharton’s Branch” and local residents still refer to the farm as the “Wharton Lands.”

James Wharton was one of the first Constables of Washington Co., VA, being appointed to that office on the second day of the meeting of that body on the 29th of January, 1777.

Ramsey’s, Annals of Tennessee, page 557, states: “In 1791, on the Russell County side of Moccasin Gap, Mrs. McDowell and Frances Pendleton were killed and scalped.”

A letter from James W. Phillips of Farmersville, Texas dated 25th of April, 1964, to the writer: Now I shall give you the data that I have on the Indian raid:

My first knowledge of the raid came from a note of W. P. Bickley, (a grandson of William and Jane Kilgore Bickley) in which he stated that Allison Pendleton told a story of Reuben Pendleton and a sister involved in an Indian raid. My mother talked to a granddaughter of Reuben’s, a Mrs. Wells, who lived here, and she told her that she knew that her grandfather’s hand was injured as a result of an arrow wound. Mrs. Wells (Patience Pendleton) lived with her grandfather until her marriage and removal to Texas, a short time before the Civil War. She was very old when my mother talked to her and did not recall many things. She was a great disappointment to us all for she surely knew more than she communicated.

This letter from my grandfather, written in 1885, next came to light. I do not quote all of it because it is of little interest, relates who his parents were and something about the Civil War:

Farmersville, Texas
October 19, 1885

Mr. C. H. Pendleton
Berkley Springs, VA

Dear Sir:
Your favor 30th Sept. Rec’d. I herewith hand you as best I can, claims of relationship. First, my grandfather John Pendleton of Scott County, Virginia, a minister of the Gospel for fifty years (of the Methodist persuasion ) emigrated to Texas in 1858. Died two years later here. Had eight sons. Five came to Texas in ’57 or ’58. Three have since died, my father being one, one other lives here, the other one in Jack County. Another Ivey T. Pendleton lives in Boonesville, Kentucky. Jackson and H. K. Pendleton live in Scott County, Virginia, Rye Cove, P. O. My grandfather had a half-brother Reuben Pendleton, older than himself.

When I was twelve years of age, I well remember my old great uncle “Rube” reiterate instances of his boyhood. He died twenty-five years ago at an age of 90 years. An indelible occurrence with Uncle Reuben was when a boy of 12 or 15 years old. He and his sister went to an old peach orchard to get fruit. But few settlers in that country. While gathering peaches the Indians crept stealthily up and demanded their surrender. Old Uncle Reuben, then a boy, seeing them seize his sister, took flight and made his escape, pursued even to the yard fence. When he sprang over the fence, threw up one hand and received a severe wound in the hand from an arrow (the orchard being some six hundred yards from their house.) An improvised scout was at once summoned and pursued the hostiles, two or three days, but returned without the rescue of his sister – however, the young girl strewed many strips of her apron, bonnet and dress, that the party in pursuit might know she was alive and they were on the right trail.

Mr. Phillips continues:
This is an official report from William Blount to the War Department. It was first printed in 1831. It could have been printed earlier in a newspaper, but I have not located the earlier printing, if there was one. I requested a copy of the original from the National Archives, but it is missing from that place.

Washington District

(1) Mrs. McDowell, killed 23 August 1791, near Moccasin Gap, Clinch Mountain by the Bench (Benge) who has attached himself to the Shawnees.
(2) Frances Pendleton, killed August 23, 1791.
(3) Reuben Pendleton, wounded August 23, 1791.
(4) Mrs. Pendleton, prisoner August 23, 1791.
(5) A boy, eight years old, prisoner, August 23, 1791.

(American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, page 331).

This is also told in Haywood’s History of Tennessee (1826). Also substantially the same in Goodpasture’s History of the Indian Wars.

John T. Moore, Tennessee, The Volunteer State, Vol. 1, page 228, reads:

His (Bob Benge’s) first enterprise in this quarter was undertaken in the summer of 1791. Notwithstanding the treaty of July 2nd, on August 23rd he startled the settlements in the neighborhood of Moccasin Gap of Clinch mountain, by a sudden and unexpected assault on the house of the McDowells and Pendletons. Mrs. William McDowell and Frances Pendleton, the seventeen year old daughter of Benjamin Pendleton, were killed and scalped. Reuben Pendleton was wounded, and Mrs. Pendleton and a boy of eight years of age were carried into captivity.

This last is a rewrite of Haywood. I add that the paragraph in Haywood sounds to me as if Haywood lifted it from a contemporary newspaper account of the raid. Although Haywood could have interviewed Reuben.

I think the location of the raid incorrect, or rather vague. Benjamin Pendleton came to Southwest Virginia in 1782 or early 1783; he is on the tax list for 1783 and was living in the Ft. Blackmore area. He had a survey for 70 acres of land on the Clinch in 1784. This land was originally granted Alexander Ritchie, Sr., and confirmed in a grant to Benjamin Pendleton in 1793. The exact location of his house is not known, but his seventy acres included an island int he Clinch, which island today on the U. S. Geological Survey map is shown as Pendleton’s Island.

A note before I get further lost. Reuben Pendleton died March 3, 1860, 86 years old, according to his tombstone. My grandfather was some 4 years in error giving Reuben’s age.

I have some misgivings about Frances Pendleton being the daughter of Benjamin Pendleton. I have even suspected that Frances was Mrs. William McDowell. My reason for doubting the relationship of Frances to Benjamin is based upon a single unsolvable fact. Reuben Pendleton sold land in 1826 which had been granted an Edmund Pendleton in 1799 and there is no recorded transfer of this land from Edmund to Reuben. It would appear that Reuben inherited the land from Edmund. The above named John Pendleton who is said by my grandfather to have been the half brother of Reuben is the only child of Benjamin Pendleton of whom there is any recorded proof of relationship. There are two deeds in Russell County which prove this relationship. There was a relationship between Edmund, Benjamin, Reuben and John, but the degree of relationship between Benjamin and John only can be established. I doubt my grandfather’s statement because it would have been quite simple for him to have missed a generation in his calculation; for my grandfather was reared by his grandfather and was quite near the same age as the youngest uncles and aunts – his own first cousins thought my grandfather their uncle. I think that Benjamin, Reuben and Frances were the children of Edmund, but I cannot prove it; I have only the unexplained land of Reuben. And since Reuben was never taxed for land nor was Edmund, it will probably have to rest there. The knowledge of their relationship comes from a letter written by A. J. Pendleton (a son of John) in 1885 in which he stated he was the son of John Pendleton. Benjamin and Edmund Pendleton died 10 miles from here. Reuben died here (Rye Cove). I could never decide where 10 miles from Rye Cove was. This letter was a reply to an inquiry concerning the family. In this letter A. J., also wrote that he came from Amherst County.

The earliest comprehensive history of the Pendleton family was written in 1858. In that history a note concerning the four eldest sons of William Pendleton of Amherst County, states that the wife and some of the children of either Benjamin, Edmund, John, or Isaac, were captured by the Indians and never heard of again.

(1) Virginia State Papers, Vol. V, page 375.
(2) Russell Co., VA, Order Book 2, page 283.
(3) Deed Book 3, page 25 and Deed Book 2, page 68, Russell Co., VA.
(4) Russell Co., VA Order Book 2, page 283.
(5) Ibid.

NOTE: Benjamin Pendleton is also shown in the 1784 tithable list of Captain Alexander Barnett’s Company of Russell Co., VA, and both Benjamin and Edmund Pendleton are listed in the 1784 tithables in the company of Samuel Ritchie. This latter will also place them in the Dungannon-Ft. Blackmore area.

This story is also told in the Red Book “The Pendleton’s of England and America” – 1988 and confirms above story of indian raid and loss of life of Frances Pendleton, brother Reuben wounded and their mother Fanny kidnapped.


Elisha Farris’ father was James Esom Farris Sr who was born  1722 in North Carolina and died  14 June 1814 in Lincoln County, Kentucky.  His mother was Susanna Luellen Malcolm who was born 1725 in Lunnenberg County, Virginia and died  June 1814 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. James Esom and Susanna Farris had a large family of children: William Farris, James Eson Farris  1744 – 1814, Elisha Farris 1745 – 1791, Isaac Farris 1746 – 1826, John Esom Farris 1746 – 1826, Nathan Farris 1746 – 1788, Isham Farris 1751 – 1848, Elizabeth Farris 1756 – 1842, Moses Farris 1759 – 1841, Johnson Farris 1768 – 1840, Major Washington Farris ca 1770 – 1850, Micajah Farris 1772 – 1832, Bede Farris born circa 1773, Susanna Farris born circa 1775  and William Farris 1778 – 1853. This family was associated with the Wilderness Trail in Kentucky and were early settlers in the area.
Elisha Farris’ father was Henry Farris born 1670 in Little, Roanoke, Virginia and who died 1761 in Richmond, Wise County, Virginia. His mother was Alicia McGuiver who was born  1673 in Glomorozon, Wales and who died 1744 in Lunenberg, Virginia. Henry and Alicia Farris had the following children: Henry Farris ?– 1730, Thomas Farris 1709 – 1797, William Farris 1714 – 1754, Judith Farris 1715 – 1811, James Esom Farris Sr 1722 – 1814, Joseph Farris 1725 – 1816, Charles Farris 1728 – 1810, Elisha Farris 1729, Jacob Farris 1729 – 1815 and John Esom Farris 1752 – 1826.
Henry Farris’ father was Ian Esom Farris. Ian Esom Farris was from Rutherglen, Scotland and was born circa 3 July 1640. This is where the FARRIS (FARIE) people lived for 600 years before emigrating to Albemarle Settlement, North Carolina in 1663. (from “A Partial Genealogy of the Farris Family,” by John Farris McGauhey, Jr of Dallas, Texas. His mother was Emily Jane Cameron who was born  Birth 1643 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland and who died 1695 in Little, Roanoke, Virginia.  The children of Ian Esom and Jane Farris were: Isaac Farris born circa 1662, Samuel Farris born circa 1667, Isaac Farris born circa 1668, Henry Farris 1670 – 1761, Peter Farris 1672 – 1766 and William Farris born circa 1672.  Ian Esom Farris was the Farris progenitor in America.
Farris springs from Ferrex. This is an old name in Wales and Lower Scotland. Rutherglen is the old homeplace from 1000 A.D. until the necessary migration to the old (not but) colonies to escape royal persecution. Farrises are of Royal Danish, Royal Wales, and Royal French (Vayres or Fer) origin also. There are English Royal ancestors. Farris family members are descendants of King David of Israel down from Pharez (an iron forger of the Holy Temple of THE LORD. The Tribe of Judah is the Farris tribe).Again the old homeplace in Scotland Descendants of Ferris & Farris families of Henrico and Lunenburg Counties Virginia ca 1750 carry I1a haplogoup
in Scotland is Rutherglen . . .also known as Camelod (Camelot) (from the Chronicles of Britain). King Arthur’s uncle and father are buried there. The Brits have found the marked graves. King Arthur is a family member through France (Breton relatives the De Ganis or Fer, also d’Albret [for Breton]). He and his knights are ancestors (Fer = De Ganis)( also Morgan = Blamore De Ganis). Baldwin de Fer is an ancestor to link to.All those wondering about the Ferrers link. . .this is it. Ferrex is pronounced Ferresh. Farris is the french pronunciation from a resettlement by David I of Scotland of the French Vayres to the old homeplace to keep the bloodlines. By the way “Henrico” is his favorite son’s name. Ian Essom (read that “Essene”) Farris landed in North Carolina on the bottom region of Henrico to help guard Varina. Turkey Island in the James River area is his home. North Carolina is his death place.
And so December 14th is the day to celebrate Ian Esom Farris’ descendant, Alfred Franklin Farris’, birthday, his 80th birthday. His birthday was celebrated by his family and numbered about one hundred close friends in the crowd. His children and family made the day memorable for sure. There was a party, cake, photo, a scrapbook of cherished memories and photos, and a couple of videos as well. It is hoped that the family and their large number of relatives and descendants enjoy this article.
Just be cautioned that there will be errors that need to be corrected, but the overall treatise is the tracing of roots that family members can enjoy for generations to come. Unless some spelling errors were overlooked, the spelling is as contained in the original documents. Please feel free to post any additions, corrections, or omissions as comments.

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One response

  1. My ancestors are also Henry Farris and Ian Esom Farris. How were you able to link us to King David? Thank you!

    May 29, 2018 at 12:23 pm

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