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

Would these patriots approve of what we…

have allowed to happen to this country they bled for? So many Shoals area citizens can trace their history far back into the annals of time. So is the Sledge family that finds roots in the Shoals area from about its very beginning – even back to when it was a territory.

The first Sledge to immigrate to America was from Shropshire, England. That part of England is lush green with rolling hills, tudor houses, and huge castles. It is also the birthplace of Charles Darwin who is the father of Darwinism -Survival of the fittest. Darwin was born in Shrewsberry near the center of Shropshire. There is still a question of which Sledge was the first immigrant; but without doubt Charles Sledge is documented and the Sledge lines flow from him. He was born circa 1650 and died in Surry County, Virginia on 16 Feb 1726.  Many researchers report that the lineage goes like this:

Thomas Sledge born 1565 in England

> Richard Thomas Sledge 1585-1606

>>Richard Thomas Sledge 1607-1699

>>>Richard Sledge 1638-1725. He was born in England and died in Surry County, Virginia

>>>>Charles Sledge named above

Richard was imported as a headright into the colony by John Longworth as an indentured servant for five years. Charles arrived in Virginia in 1681 under an indenture, Richard 8 Sep 1684, and Ann 8 Oct 1684. These three along with the John Sledge who arrived about 1677 imported by Richard Kennon, give us a total of four Sledges to reach Virginia. Some researchers have stated that Charles Sledge born 1650 in Shropshire. The arrival dates documented by others give some researchers second thoughts about whether  Richard and Ann are Charles Sledge’s parents. Charles Sledge was granted land as early as 1710 and  a land grant in 1716 as follows:

CHARLES SLEDGE LAND GRANT – 1716

There is something that looks like a seal that reads: Geo. Sledge New Land to the side of the text of the document. George, and all, know ye that for divers good reasons and considerations but more especially for and in consideration of the importation of two persons to dwell within that our colony of Virginia where names are Hugh Price and John Taylor, we have given granted and confirmed and by here presents for us our heirs and henceforth do give grant and confirm unto Charles Sledge of Surry County one certain tract or parcel of land containing one hundred acres lying and being in the county aforesaid and bounded as followeth, to wit, beginning at a hickory on the north side of a small branch and near Eliza Carlisle’s cornfield and some of a corner of the said Sledge’s old land thence west by south one hundred poles to a red oak, thence south by east one hundred and sixteen poles to two liverys hence south forty-four poles to a black oak, thence east by north one hundred poles to a lightwood post in Samuel Chappell’s line thence by Chappell’s line north fifty poles to a red oak, a corner of the above named Sledge’s old land by his old line north by west one hundred and ten poles to the beginning, with all and to have and to hold and to be held and yielding and paying and provided and in witness and witness our  trusty and well-beloved Alexander Spotswood, our Lt. Governor and at Williamsburg under the seal of our said colony, the fourteenth day of August, one thousand seven hundred and sixteen in the third year of our reign.

A. Spotswood

Charles Sledge and his father, Richard Sledge are the first in the proven line of Sledges in the United States. This is likely true, but requires more research.

In 1685 the King of England, Charles II, son of James I, died, leaving no legitimate heirs to the throne. However, he had an illegitimate son named the Duke of Monmouth who King Charles II recognized, honored, and endowed with certain entitlements throughout his life. The Duke of Monmouth felt that the throne should be his upon the death of his father. However, the title was taken by James II, a brother of Charles II, and an uncle of the Duke.

The Duke of Monmouth gathered about him a group of supporters and invaded from the West of England, which was the stronghold of Protestant dissent. He and his followers seized Axminster and Taunton. Parliament retaliated by making it an act of treason to support him. The Duke retreated through Frome, and was defeated nearby, at the Battle of Sedgemoor on July 5, 1685. Over 300 of his followers were beheaded, and their heads placed on long pikes for all to see. Today in Frome, this passageway is known as Gore Hedge. The Duke of Monmouth was captured and beheaded a short time later.

It was told to Jim Hicks, by Henry Sledge of Frome that Charles Sledge was a follower of the Duke of Monmouth, and upon sensing the certain defeat of the Duke, made his way on the fastest horse he could find to the nearest Port, which was nearby Bristol. He and his parents, Richard and Ann, then took passage on the first boat, Alithea, leaving for the Colonies. his arrival date is estimated at 1685-86 and confirmed by certain land grants from the Colony of Virginia. He entered this country as an indentured servant to pay for his passage. Other information on Charles Sledge states this: Charles Sledge came from England to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia in 1686. Charles received a land grant 7 November 7 1710 for 50 acres of land for importation of himself into this colony. Surrey County order book 1691-1713, page 353. Charles received two land grants on August 1716, one for one hundred acres  another for one hundred fifty acres, south of the Blackwater River, now Sussex county: recorded in Surrey County, Land Grant Book, 10.

It took him around a quarter of a century to become a landowner in 1710. In 1690, Charles Sledge married Mary Clarke, daughter of Robert Clarke of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. The Charles and Mary Sledge Plantation was in the part of Surry County that became Sussex County in 1753, along part of the Black Water River. Charles and Mary’s holdings were quite extensive, and from the number of recorded land transactions, they were buying and selling as well as working the land.

Charles Sledge and Mary Rebecca Clarke married 1960 in Surry County, Virginia. Their children were: Judith Sledge, 1693 – 1787 who  married John Ellison; Rebecca Sledge, 1696 – 1718 who married Thomas Ivey; John Sledge, 1698 – 1750  in Surry County Virginia which is now Sussex County; and Martha Sledge, 1700-1760 who married Peter Hayes and died in Halifax County, North Carolina.

A copy of John Sledge’s Will is on  file from Surry County Virginia will book 9 – page 674 and “Wills and Admons Surry county, VA, 1671-1750” in the DAR Library.  The devisees in the will were sons Charles, Daniel, and Amos Sledge as well as daughters Ann Griffin or Griffis, Sarah, and Rebecca. Witnesses were Hugh and Thomas Ivey. The will states: To my son, Daniel Sledge, part of a tract of 200 acres in Brunswick County, also pewter dishes, etc. [snip]   The remainder of estate to be divided between, Charles, Daniel, Sarah, John, and Amos. He made his wife the Exerx. The will was made 27 December, 1749 and Probated 18 Dec. 1750.  Book 9 – Page 674.

A small remembrance of Charles Sledge is a smokehouse belonging to Charles Sledge (the father of John Sledge) was erected about 1700 and later moved in 1928. It was still standing at Chester Plantation in Sussex County VA until 1973.

Map of Virginia highlighting Surry County

Map of Virginia highlighting Surry County. Surry County later  became Sussex County. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portions of the original residence of Charles Sledge that had been erected about 1700 and was later destroyed by fire, was seen there for some 40 years but nothing remains today. The land was sold by relatives in 1786 to Captain William Harrison and a new house was built on it in 1793. The present owner may still be Gary M. Williams, County Court Clerk of Sussex County Virginia.  Gary M. Williams is a descendant of the Harrisons, who were his maternal ancestors. It is his belief that John Sledge was the first person to live on this land because this territory beyond the Blackwater River was not open to settlement until after 1700. This area became part of Sussex County VA in 1753.

Charles Sledge’s wife’s, Mary Sledge, will was quite different. Mary Rebecca Ivey Sledge died 1752 in Surry County, Virginia and her will is in Will Book 9, page 694 and is documented in the Wills and Admons of Surry County, Virginia 1671-1750, by Eliza Timberlake Davis, DAR Library. The will states: Sledge, Mary: Leg. – Makes small bequests to son. John Sledge; daughter Rebecka Ivie, granddaughter, Judith Ellison, when the latter is 21 years old. He gives daughter, Martha Hay, all the rest of the estate; makes son-in-law, Peter Hay Exer. Made: 8 Jan. 1726/7. Prob., 17 July, 1728. Wit: Edward Prince, Eliza, Prince, Thos. Hay. Bk 7, p 826.

Children of John Sledge and Mary Rebecca Ivey Sledge are: Sarah Sledge who married Amos Morton Martin, Rebecca Sledge, Charles Sledge born 1722, Surrey County, Virginia and died 1770, Sussex County, Virginia; Daniel Sledge born 1731, Surrey County, Virginia and died 10 January 1793, Warren County, North Carolina; Amos Sledge born 1732, Surrey County, Virginia and died 1780, Surrey County, Virginia.; Ann Sledge born 1734 – 1828 who married Peter Hayes and together they had twelve children; and John Sledge born 1730, Surrey County, Virginia and died 11 October 1798, Hancock County, Georgia. Daughter Rebecca Sledge’s birth and death date of 1718 – 1827  provided only in family histories indicate that she lived to be 102; there is no further documentation of her at present. Surry County, Virginia, on  the James River, is one of the oldest regions settled by Englishmen in America,and  lies only a brief ferry ride from Jamestown.

It is noted that John Sledge was the only known son of Charles Sledge and is credited with establishing the Sledge surname in America. All the descendants of that name go back to one of John Sledge’s four sons: Charles, John, Daniel, and Amos. Each one of these sons had large families with many sons.

Charles and Mary Rebecca Ivey Sledge’s son Charles married Elizabeth Sammons. They had nine known children, seven sons and two daughters. Records in Sussex County Virginia tell us a story of a family line with strong ties and love of this country; this is evident through their service to gain our independence from the heavy-handed monarch, King George.  In Sussex County Administrations Book # E, page 283, bond dated 10 October 1770, Larry Dale Sledge states that all seven sons of Charles (2) Sledge served in the Revolutionary War. He also states that every able-bodied male between the ages of 14 and 50 was required to serve in the Virginia Militia, except those already in the Continental Army. Boys 12 and 13 years old also served in the Virginia Militia. The records of the Militia were county records and many were destroyed – so no one will ever know just how many served!

Charles and Elizabeth Sammons Sledge’s sons were John Sledge 1746-1793, Henry Sledge 1749-1794 , Thomas Sledge 1751-1800 , Augustine Austin Sledge 1756-1733 , Charles Allen Sledge 1758-1848, Jesse Sledge 1760-1850 , and Noah Sledge 1769-1815. The daughters were Susanna Sledge 1753 – 1847 and Sarah Ann Sledge 1769 – 1853.  It seems that Sarah Ann Sledge married first to Amos Horton in 1789 in Virginia and had three children; then married Grover Hardy Sammons in Virginia in 1791 and went on to have a large family of Sammons children. Nothing further is known about Susanna, although I somehow doubt the death date to be accurate.

Charles Sledge who was husband of Elizabeth  Sammons was born in Surry County Virginia about 1722. He lived and died in an area located about eighteen miles from the current Sussex County Court House. This area beyond the Black Water River became part of Sussex County Virginia in 1753. Charles Sledge inherited 150 acres in 1750 from his father, John Sledge. He sold this land on 21 July 1758 to Edward Weaver (Sussex County Virginia Deed Book # A, page 308) and bought 130 acres, on the Great Swamp, from James Bass and wife for 25 pounds on 14 November 1758. This is documented in Sussex County Virginia  Deed Book # A, page 337. This couple had seven of their seven sons all serving in the Revolutionary War; can you phantom that? It would be interesting to know if their sons-in-law also served.

Charles Sledge died in 1770 in Sussex County Virginia according to the Sussex County Administrations Book # E, page 283, bond dated 10 October 1770). He was but forty-eight years old at the moment of his death. Below are the items Charles Sledge died possessed of:

An Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of Charles Sledge deceased, take this 8th of December 1770
Vizt.

one feather bed & furniture… L 3 10 –
1 ditto do. .l
1 ditto do. ..3 10 –
2 chests 12/.6 old chairs 9/…1 1 –
2 iron wedges 5/. a parcel of tools 8/.71/2. 13 7 1/2
a set of cart wheel boxes ..- 3 –
1 horse bell & a jointing iron…- 2 –
a parcel of Pewter…1 1 –
Sunday wearing apparel..3 2 6
a parcel of knives & forks…- 4 –
a parcel of crookery ware ..- 12 –
1 jug, 1 butter pot and 2 bottles..- 4 –
2 tables 2/6, two washing tubs 5/…- 7 6
2 water pales & 3 piggins ..- 7 6
4 old meal tubs ..- 11 –
1 meal sieve & 2 trays..- 2 3
2 iron pots, 2 do hooks, 1 skillet & frying pan..- 18 3
1 pocket bottle & rasor ..- 1 –
a parcel of old hoes & axes…- 15 –
1 spinning wheel spindle &cards..- 7 6
6 baskets…- 7 6
a parcel of feathers…- 8 –
a gunn, a sword and bayonet…- 12 6
a reap hook and some old lasts.. – 2 6
a small looking glass…- 2 –
2 horse bells & some horse harnesses ..- 6 –
1 cow hide and 2 sheep skins ..- 7 6
24 barrels corn at 8/.p barrel…9 12 –
a parcel Ditto short about 4 barrels at 5/.p barrel.9 12 –
a parcel nubbins 5. …- 5 –
a stack of tops shorks & blades..1 12 6
16 geese at 1/3 ..1 – –
4 shoats ..- 17 –
4 sheep ..- 17 –
1 bay mare and colt .. 7 – –
1 gray Ditto .. 8 – –
1 mans saddle, 1 woman do., 2 bridles & 1 halter.1 5 –
1 p cart wheels & a carry logg .. 1 – –
2 sons & 16 pigs ..1 5 –
9 young hoggs ..5 8 –
7 dead of cattle ..8 5 –
a second stack of tops blades & a few nubbins . – 18 –
a parcel of books 2/. ..- 2 –
1 box iron and heater ..- 3 –
2 Ornabrugs shirts …- 3 9
1 pair of stockings & a pair of leggins..- 4 –
a parcel of wool .. – 6 –
1 hatt & a padlock …- 2 6
a parcel of cotton .. 1 5 –
a parcel of old shoes & some toe..- 3 6
a parcel of shoemakers tools …- 3 –
________
L 74 17 10 1/2
Eliza. Sledge – Admr.
Nathan Northington )
Thomas Avent ) Appraisers

At a Court held Sussex County the 21st day of March 1771.
This Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of Charles Sledge deceased was returned into Court, and by the Court ordered to be recorded.

Exd. Teste
/s/ A. Claoborne CSC

Will Book B, page 293 Sussex County, Virginia verified on 8-19-98 by Ronald E. Sledge
William Seaborn )

An attempt to find a description or photo or drawing of a osnaburg shirt (this is the correct spelling) was not successful. There were innumerable ads in the 1700s in reference to run away slaves, however, and it seems that most of them were described as wearing an osnaburg shirt. The best match was a frock or a hunting shirt. Those were long rough-hewn shirts that came to about the knees, some were split collar while others were not, they had long sleeves and a belt was usually worn around the waist. These were worn over the clothes to save the clothes when a messy job was to be carried out, or when hunting. They also provided just the right amount of warmth when a jacket would have been too heavy.

One of the heroes of the Revolutionary War and son of Charles and Elizabeth Sammons Sledge was Augustine Austin Sledge. There is a noteworthy historical fact related to the land that Austin Sledge owned. It is documented that Sir Francis Henry Drake who was born about 21 August 1701 in Fairway, Devon, England and died about 1794 at the age of 93 in Edgecombe County, Virginia (now Nash County). Francis with two of his brothers, Joseph and Bampfield, his wife Mary and their son, James, then six years old (1733) came to America from England in 1733 and first settled in Surry County, Virginia. His brothers Joseph and Bamphylde, Jr. were scalped by native americans; they left no issue upon their deaths. At the same time James, son of Francis, was captured by the native americans. He was delivered to his father by friendly native americans; but for a large reward.

Later, while prospecting in Austin Sledges in the woods near where his brothers had been killed, Francis was shot at by native americans. Being disgusted with this section of the country, he moved his family to Edgecombe County, now Nash County, North Carolina. There he was granted a tract of land – 2000 acres of which was in Swift County.This Francis Drake is not to be confused with Francis Drake, son of Richard who owned land in Orange and Chatham Counties in NC.

John and Mary Rebecca Ivey Sledge’s second son was Daniel Sledge. He was born 1731 in Albemarle Parish, Surry County, Virginia and he died in 10 January 1793 [date also given as 17 March 1793 by some researchers] in Littleton, Warren County, North Carolina. He moved to North Carolina in 1762; and served as a Captain in1777 during the Revolutionary War. In 1771 Daniel Sledge was appointed Lieutenant for County Militia in Warren County, North Carolina. In 1777 Governor Richard Oaswell appointed him Captain in the State Militia, Captain in the Navy. Daniel and Winnifred Isham House Sledge had 5 sons, four served in Revolutionary War. Their descendants are in North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas. 

Winnifred Isham House Sledge was born 1734 and died in 1777. Daniel and Winnifred Isham House Sledge’s children were: James Sledge 1753 – 1834, Arthur Archibald Sledge 1754 – 1805, Isham Sledge 1759 – 1793, Joel N Sledge 1763 – 1837, Delilah “Dilley” Sledge born 1766 and married Robert B Waller, Winnifred Sledge born 1767 married Larkin Dawson and died in Alabama, Sherwood Sledge 1769 – 1842, and Lucretia Sledge born 1776.

The following tells a little more of Daniel Sledge’s service during the Revolutionary War.

Service: NORTH CAROLINA    Rank(s): CAPTAIN, Civil Service

Birth: (ANTE) 1731    ENGLAND

Death: 2- -1793     WARREN CO NORTH CAROLINA

Service Source:

CLARK, State Records OF NC, VOL XII, P 183, 184; HOLCOMB, BUTE CO, NC MINS OF THE COURT OF PLEAS & QUARTER SESSIONS 1767-1779, P 246

Service Description:

1) CMSR TO EXAMINE & RECEIVE GUNS MANUF.
2) BY JAMES RANSOM,CAPT BUTE CO MIL.1777

Residence 1) County: Bute County – State: NORTH CAROLINA

Daniel Sledge’s service include that he served in the American Revolution from Bute County,North Carolina. He was appointed a captain in February 1775 by

Photo of Captain Daniel Sledge

Captain Daniel Sledge was a patriot who served during the Revolutionary War along with two of his sons and seven nephews among numerous other relatives. The seven sons were all the sons of his brother John Sledge.

Captain Daniel Sledge a Revolutionary War patriot

the Committee of Safety in that county. In June 1775 he was elected to be a member of the Commitee, and in July 1775 he was one of the signers of a resolution to uphold the acts of the Congress at Philadelphia, he executed the preceding in November. On 5 August 1775 Daniel Sledge was one of the Bute County citizens to pledge to fight for and defend the rights of the colonists. In November he, with others, issued a resolution to resist taxes imposed on the colonists and to support the Continental Congress.By February 1776 Bute County had actively entered the war. (Bute County Committee of Safety Minutes, 1775-1776-Publication of Warren Co., NC.Bicentennial Committee, 1977), The history of the counties in North Carolina that Daniel Sledge lived in informs us that he did not necessarily relocate,but rather that the counties and county boundaries changed. Warren County, North Carolina was formed from a part of Bute County.

A copy of Daniel Sledge’s will is in file from Warren County North Carolina,
C.R. 100.046 Vol, V. Page 2 – 3 Folios 2,3.

Daniel Sledge — Warren County, N.C. – 1791

In the name of God Amen; I Daniel Sledge of Warren County, State of North Carolina, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

Item – I give to my son James Sledge the following negroes, VIZ: Tom, old Phillis, Stephney, and Young Phillis, the daughter of Beck. Also one walnut desk, to him and his heirs. All which he has in his possession except young Phillis.

Item – I give an bequeath unto my son Archibald Sledge, the following negroes; Grace, David, and young Dick, as also one walnut desk to him and his heirs, all which he has in his possession except young Dick, and the desk

Item – I give and bequeath to my son Isham Sledge, the following negroes. John, Ben and old Jenney, as also one bed & furniture, four cows & calves, four sheep, and one walnut chest, to him and his heirs.

Item – I give and bequeath to my son Joel Sledge, the following negroes, Grant, Dick & Phillis his wife, Charity, the daughter of Beck & Kate, as also one bed & furniture, four cows & calves, four sheep. One folding table, one iron pot, one woolen wheel, one saddle & bridle, one axe, and two broad and two narrow hoes, to him and his heirs. All which he has in his possession except the negroe’s and sheep.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daugher, Deliah Waller, the following negroes; Judy and Violet, also four couws and calves, four sheep. One bed & furniture, one woman’s saddle and bridle, one linen wheel, and one young mare called Fly, to her and her heirs. All which she has in her possession.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Winnifret Dawson the following negroes; yellow Jenny, the daughter of Pall & Nell, also one mare called Gray, four cows & calves, four sheep, one bed & furniture, one woman’s saddle & bridle, to her and her heirs.

Item – I give and bequeath to my son Sherwood Sledge, all that tract of land whereon I now live, including the land I purchased of George Kirk, and the following negroes, Simon, Pall Sarah, Geoge, Doll, Anneky & Cenha. As also one mare called Frower, one bed & furniture, four cows & calves, four sheep, one side saddle, one bridle, one safe, one frying pay, one large iron pot, one box iron & heaters, one looking glass, one square walnut table, all my carpenter tools, one narrow axe, two iron wedges, one pair large steelyards, one can of bottles, two broad & two narrow hoes, to him and his heirs.

Item – I give and bequeath to my daughter Lucretia Sledge, the following negroes, Bess, Ester, Sane & Aaron. As also one young mare called Tiny, one bed & furniture, four cows & calves, four sheep, one woolen wheel, one side saddle and bridle, to her and her heirs.

Item – It is my will and desire that the residue of my estate of what kind or nature, shall be equally divided between my children, without being sold, VIZ; James Sledge, Archibald Sledge, Isham Sledge, Joel Sledge, Deliah Waller, Winnifret Dawson, Sherwood Sledge and Lucretia Sledge, share and share alike, as nigh as possible. After paying my just debts, which division is to be made by James Sledge, Col. James Paine, Thomas Miller, and John Faulior or either three of them. I do hereby constitute ordain and appoint.

My sons, James Sledge, Archibald Sledge & John Faulior executors of this my last will and testament, in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed my seal, this 26th day of November
Anno Domini, 1791       Daniel Sledge (seal)
signed, sealed published and declared to be the last will and testament of Daniel Sledge, in the presence of us.
Lucretia Laulcon, Lewis Ballard, J. Fauleon Jural.
Copy from Warren County, NC wills C.R. 100.046 Vol., V. Page 2-3 Folios 2,3. Daniel Sledge

To be continued…

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2 responses

  1. I so enjoyed the information on Richard, Charles and John Sledge. I am eager to read the continuation of this article. How can I find it?

    April 23, 2014 at 3:25 am

  2. Kenneth Wise

    This is CRAZY! I never knew my father. My mother and he met here in Central PA in 1966 and I am the by product of that union. I never knew his family. In finding all of my ancestors, while looking for my Peter Hayes/Hays, I find that he married Martha Sledge. My mother’s friend from back in the 1960’s, Joyce Cubbage, met and married William “Bill” Sledge, and he was from NC. I grew up with their children. Our families have been friends our whole lives, 50 plus years! And NOW… I find that we are related… WHAT are the chances?!! That two families in PA and two related families in NC (who have been removed from each other for 200 years AND separated by almost the whole State of NC) would have a family member from each family meet and have children…. and those children spend their whole lives being friends?!!! I NEED a freakin drink! ROFLMAO!

    May 8, 2017 at 4:32 pm

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