Susannah (Hatcher) Burton

1646 – c.1706

Thomas Burton settled in Bristol Parish, Virginia. In the mid 1600s, he purchased a piece of land on the Appomattox River near Swift Creek called “Cobbs Plantation” or “Cobbs Hall” after its original owner, Ambrose Cobbs. Here he and his wife Susannah reared four sons (Thomas Jr., John, Isaac, and Abraham) and a daughter, Ann. (Mary Etta Hazlewood descended through Susannah’s daughter. See  chart.)susannahburtondescent

Thomas Jr. apparently had a close relationship with his Grandfather Hatcher, Susannah’s father. William Hatcher left a codicil to his will giving the boy a farm. Though generous, Hatcher was also a contentious old man who seemed to always be stirring up trouble. One such altercation took place in 1680, which is where this account begins.

“Lantroope picked up the axe as instructed.”axe

He took one good whack at the canoe owned by Mr. Robert Woodson. William Hatcher ordered Lantroope to do the same to any other boats found in the swamp. The former Burgess didn’t tolerate neighbors fishing on his land without permission.

His daughter, Susannah knew only too well how combative her father could be. Three years earlier, he had been found guilty of supporting Bacon’s Rebellion. Long ago, when she was only a child, the court forced her father to publicly apologize on bended knee for slandering a public official. This time was different, however. This time it involved her son.

Mr. Woodson sought redress in civil court for the damage done to his boat. Sixteen-year-old Thomas Jr. having witnessed the event was questioned. Susannah’s son testified “that he saw John Lantroope strike a piece out of the head of Mr. Robert Woodson’s cannoe with an axe, and that ye deponent heard Mr. William Hatcher order ye said Lantroope and his other servants to splitt all ye cannoes they found in the swampp and further saith not.”

Susannah may have wanted to keep Thomas Jr. from spending so much time with his grandfather after such an incident. But it wouldn’t matter. William Hatcher died shortly after the April court date. Her father was gone.

Five years later, the other important man in her life lay on his deathbed. An ailing Thomas Burton was about fifty when he dictated his will. In it he gifted 100 acres of land to each of his sons. Susannah widowed at age forty quickly remarried. She became the new wife of Mr. John Stewart. In turn, Stewart became a step-father to Susannah’s children.

The older couple was blessed with a child of their own. Little Mary Anne Stewart would be Susannah’s last baby. No doubt she relied on her daughter Ann to help look after her much younger half-sister. As for Susannah’s sons, the Burton boys had grown into young men. Thomas Jr. married and moved to Boston, opting for a cosmopolitan life in the busy seaport.

Bad news arrived from Massachusetts about 1691. Susannah’s eldest son had died in the prime of life at age 27. Her brother, Benjamin Hatcher traveled to Boston to help settle the estate. According to her father’s will, the farm William Hatcher had gifted to his grandson was only for Junior’s lifetime. A Virginia court awarded the land to Benjamin upon his petition.

Life went on. Susannah watched her Mary grow from toddler to little girl. At the same time, she saw her teenage daughter Ann mature into a young woman. A summer wedding in 1693 joined Ann Burton and Bartholomew Stovall, a former indenture on a neighboring plantation. Step-father John gave his surety. Susannah looked forward to many grandchildren in the years to come.

One of Susannah’s grandsons, Bartholomew Stovall, Jr. would continue the family line to later include Mary Etta Hazlewood.


1646       Susannah Hatcher born

1676       Bacon’s Rebellion and the burning of Jamestown

1692       Salem Witch Trials (Susannah’s son lived about 15 miles from Salem.)

1700+    Susannah Hatcher Burton dies before her second husband

1706       Benjamin Franklin born


Henrico Co. Deeds & Wills 1677-92, p. 121.

Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia (McIIwaine), p.458; Heming’s Statutes at Large, (Hening) vol 2, pp. 551-2.

“Thomas Burton, Sr.” Thomas Burton, Sr b. Abt 1634 HenricoCo, VA d. Abt Feb 1685 HenricoCo, VA, 7 Dec. 2011,

Yates Publishing. US and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.




William Hatcher

c.1614 – 1680

During the 17th century, the House of Burgesses convened in Jamestown, Virginia. One of Mary Etta’s ancestors, William Hatcher served as a Burgess representing Henrico County. He was elected five times while civil war raged in England.hatcherdescent

When Cromwell’s Reformation ended, the monarchy reassumed power. In 1676, one hundred years before the American Revolution, a young Burgess named Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion against the local colonial government. He and his followers challenged Governor William Berkeley, set fire to the capital Jamestown, and ravaged the plantations of Royalist neighbors. But Berkeley’s soldiers soon regained control over the chaos.

Hatcher like many others was prosecuted for his support of Bacon’s Rebellion. Several men were sent to the gallows the following January. More executions followed.

“Sentence of death therefore past upon him…15th instant.”

A specter of death arrived in Virginia on the Ides of March 1677. Giles Bland, Robert Jones, Anthony Arnold, Richard Farmar, Robert Stokes, John Isles, and Richard Pomfrey climbed the steps of the gallows. Governor Berkeley was on a vengeful tear. Over twenty colonists would hang for their participation in Bacon’s Rebellion of the previous year.

William Hatcher’s trial was about to begin. Four cases were scheduled that ominous day before a civil court. Hatcher’s would be the first. The elderly governor himself was there, presiding along with his commissioners.berkeleypic

Sir William Berkeley governed Virginia by appointment of King Charles II of England. Despised by Bacon for his unwillingness to defend frontier settlers from native Indians, Berkeley subsequently lost favor with his King. In a royal proclamation the previous autumn, Charles granted a general pardon to the rebels. Instead, Berkeley brought charges of treason against Bacon’s supporters in military court. Those found guilty hung by their necks.

The governor’s flagrant disregard for the King’s order resulted in royal commissioners sailing to Virginia. Beginning March 1st, rebels were no longer tried at court martial. The commissioners insisted on a trial by jury. Hatcher would have the advantage of a civil court.

At age 63, William Hatcher was an old man. He had left England many years before to make Henrico County, Virginia his home. As a large landowner and former Burgess, he had attained a certain social standing in the community. Now in the court room awaiting the jury’s decision, he appreciated that more than just his reputation was at stake.

The room quieted as the judgment was read aloud:

“William Hatcher being brought before the court for uttering divers mutinous words tending to the disquiet of this his majesties country, and it being evidently made appeare what was layd to his charge by divers oaths, and a jury being impanelled to  assesse the damages, who bring in their verdict that they award the said Hatcher to pay tenn thousand pound of tobacco and caske, which verdict of the jury this honorable court doth confirme; but in respect the said Hatcher is an aged man, the court doth order that the said Hatcher doe pay with all expedition eight thousand pounds of drest pork unto his majesties commander of his forces in Henrico county, for the supply of the souldiers, which if he fayle to doe, that he pay eight thousand pounds of tobacco and caske the next cropp, and pay costs.”

No hangman’s noose. A relieved Hatcher walked outside into the early spring air a free man. He could afford the loss of several hogs. Even so, the penalty must have stung.outspoken box

Berkeley used the civil courts to target wealthy landowners. He imposed fines of tobacco and butchered livestock to feed royal troops, the same soldiers who had put down the rebellion. Hatcher probably took some satisfaction when King Charles recalled Sir Berkeley to England a couple of months later. The hanging governor no longer held power over the Virginia colonists. In fact, William Berkeley died that May. William Hatcher survived his nemesis by three years, dying in 1680.


“William Hatcher.” William Hatcher b. Abt 1613 England d. Bef Mar 1680 HenricoCo, VA, Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Ridpath, John C. Governor William Berkeley and the insurgents. Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Papers relating to Bacon’s Rebellion The Statues at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, From the First Session of the Legislature, in 1619., Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

“Dale & Henrico Parishes Hatcher Wm.” Ancestry, Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.

Bartholomew Stovall


Another of Mary Etta’s English ancestors emmigrated to America in the late 1600s. Bartholomew Stovall (aka Stovell) was born in Surrey County in the summer of 1665 to Quaker parents George and Joan (Tickner) Stovall. George Stovall, possibly a victim of the Great Plague of London, died within weeks of his son’s birth. About ten years later, widowed Joan also died leaving her young son an orphan.


When Bartholomew turned eighteen, he was baptized at St Peter and St Paul Episcopal Church in Albury, England. (Originally a Saxon church, the building still stands. See photo.) By age 21, Bartholomew found himself alone with few prospects.

This short biography spans the years of Bartholomew’s early adulthood. For those readers interested in a fictionalized history of his entire life, I recommend Bartholomew Stovall- An English Immigrant, written by my distant cousin William Stovall. 

The Booth was a slave ship.

In midsummer 1684, she sailed south from London toward her first port-of-call in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Bartholomew Stovall watched as the English coastline faded from view. Along with other passengers both male and female, he had committed himself to a new life in a new land far across the ocean. Although not slaves, they were certainly no longer free. Each signed away on average four years of servitude in exchange for passage to His Majesty’s Plantation of Virginia.indentureBartStovall

Captain Peter Pagan had witnessed Bartholomew’s indenture contract “To and with John Bright a London Merchant.” The young man from Surrey was destined to likely work the tobacco fields of the Chesapeake area. At least he would have a roof over his head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. No more scrounging the crowded streets of London. Once he completed his indentured term, he could make an independent start in Virginia. But first he had to get there.

It took six weeks to reach the Canaries. After resupplying the ship’s stores, Pagan followed the current west to the Caribbean. For another six weeks, Bartholomew saw only vast ocean in every direction. By October, the Booth arrived in the Virgin Islands.

Life aboard a wooden sailing ship was confining, whether at sea or in port. The captain was responsible for conveying cargo to its destination, including the transport of indentures to Jamestown. Bartholomew stayed on board when the ship dropped anchor, confined to the Booth lest he slip away. There would be no long walks on tropical beaches for Stovall.(c) Merseyside Maritime Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The last leg of the voyage veered north. Sailing along the Atlantic seaboard, Bartholomew naturally wondered what life would be like in Virginia. He and his fellow passengers probably debated among themselves: What of possible Indian attacks? Would their masters be fair-minded or cruelly demanding? How did one grow tobacco?  When would they arrive? Would they meet again? All that was certain was uncertainty.

Yet another six weeks slowly passed. Each day ran into the next. The sun rose later in the morning and set earlier each evening. The transatlantic trip that began in July finally concluded in early November as the Booth sailed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Henrico County, Virginia

Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in Virginia had a tumultuous history. The early settlers had endured starvation, disease, and Indian raids. Yet the town survived. Around the time of Stovall’s birth, a powerful hurricane nearly washed away the town altogether. In 1676, fire razed the town during Bacon’s Rebellion. By the end of the century, Jamestown’s population dwindled. The new power center would be Middle Plantation, later called Williamsburg. But that was in the future.

After three quarters of a century, Virginia had established itself as a land where tobacco was king. The local economy depended on the plant’s cultivation. Payments were made in pounds of tobacco leaves instead of hard currency.indenturebox

Plantation owners such as Richard Kennon of Henrico County needed many laborers to clear the forest and drain the swampy ground. Bartholomew Stovall worked for Kennon throughout his indenture. Four years later, Stovall struck out on his own.

The young man was ready for marriage and a family. He set his eye on the granddaughter of William Hatcher, a neighbor of the Kennons. On an early August day, twenty-eight year old Bartholomew married Ann Burton. Together they started a new life.

The Stovalls had at least five children, one of whom was named after his father. Bartholomew Stovall Jr. continued the family line to Mary Etta Hazlewood. (Click here to read of Bartholomew Junior’s daughter, Anna Stovall and son-in-law George Gaddy.)bartstovalldescentbox

The orphaned boy from Surrey, who crossed the Atlantic to make his mark in the world is one America’s earliest success stories. He worked hard. Married and raised a family. He went from having nothing to owning a 318 acre farm on the James River. However, his greatest legacy was not land, but progeny. Over 100,000 Americans descended from Bartholomew Stovall and his wife Ann.

Sources England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage, and Death Registers, 1578-1837 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Accessed 31 Aug. 2017.

Robert Beverley, The History of Virginia, in Four Parts, reprinted from the author’s second revised edition, London, 1722 (Richmond: J. W. Randolph, 1855), 219–222.


Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.


George Gaddy


Mary Etta’s Scottish ancestry can be traced back to George Gaddy of Virginia. Family history maintains that his father, William Gaddy was born in Cupar, County Fife, Scotland in 1695. Sixteen-year-old William (Gaddyn) boarded a ship in Bristol, England. He disembarked fifteen days later in the Colony of Carolina.  From there he traveled to New Kent County, VA.

William’s future son, George lived to see Virginia transform from a British province into an independent state. His wife and children witnessed Kentucky County, Virginia attain its own statehood in 1792. Over two hundred years later, Gaddy descendants continue to call central Kentucky home.GeoGaddieDescendancy

Mary Etta Hazlewood of Hart County, KY descended from George’s eldest daughter, Mary Gaddy. (Click here to read of Mary and her daughter RUTHA PARRISH MEARS.) Please note that the Gaddy name has multiple variant spellings: Gaddie, Geddy, etc.


The Gaddy Family of Virginia

Eighteen-year-old Mary Ann Sherwood of Goochland was born and raised in the Virginia Colony. Her parents likely preferred her to wed an Englishman. Instead, a Scottish newcomer named William Gaddy won Mary’s heart. On a cold January day in 1725, she gave birth to George, one of their seven children. The Gaddy clan grew as the siblings each established families of their own.

George celebrated the Christmas of 1752 with his newlywed wife Anna Stovall. In 1770 the couple settled in Bedford County (near present day Lynchburg) raising their family on Fleming’s Mountain. The cold water of Ivy Creek ran through the farm on its way downstream to the James River. IvyCreekVATwo hundred acres of ridges and hollows boasted plentiful game. Walnut groves provided an annual nut harvest. George kept apple and peach orchards for fresh fruit, hard cider, and maybe a bit of peach brandy.

Anna managed a comfortable household, which included the luxury of feather beds. A nearby barn sheltered their horses and dairy cows. She tended the garden, while her daughters helped with the cooking and cleaning. The boys fished and hunted the mountainside together. But not all was idyllic.

By the time Anna gave birth to their last child in 1772, Virginia and the other colonies were tiring of British oppression. The Gaddys sided with the Patriot cause. Son George, Jr. volunteered towards the end of the Revolutionary War, returning to Bedford County in 1781 after a six month tour of duty.ordinary

In March of 1785, George Sr. was ailing. He drew up his last will and testament in the presence of his neighbors, Reuben Cobbs and Baptist minister John Anthony. Sometime that spring/summer George died at the age of sixty.

Six sons and three daughters survived their father. Most of them remained in Bedford, yet nearly half headed west into Kentucky: George, Francis, and Mary moved to Green County with their respective families. Elijah relocated to Madison County, KY. Even George’s widow, Anna moved to Nelson County, KY where she married her second husband, Abraham Uncil in 1793.

Sources Nelson County, Kentucky, Marriage Index, 1785-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2001.

Bailey, Chuck. “Ivy Creek, the Old Stomping Ground.” The William & Mary Blogs. N.p., 24 June 2014. Web. 16 July 2017. <;.

Earle, Alice Morse. “Taproom of a Tavern,” Project Gutenberg. Stage Coach and Tavern Days. New York: MacMillan and Company, 1900, (accessed May 2, 2012).

“George E. Gaddy, Sr.” Genealogy. N.p., 01 Dec. 2007. Web. 16 July 2017. <;.

The National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, compiled ca. 1800 – ca. 1912, documenting the period ca. 1775 – ca. 1900; Record Group Number:15, Pension Number R. 2778.

Whitten, Joida. Abstracts of Bedford County, Virginia, wills, inventories, and accounts, 1754-1787. Dallas: n.p., 1968. Print.

John Ashley

(1625- after 1671)

Mary Etta’s ancestry traces back to Colonial America. John Ashley and his wife Jane Cooper emigrated from England to Lancaster County, Virginia by 1652. The previous blog post featured their son Isaac’s daughter, Anne Ashley Forrester. (See the descent line pictured to the right.)johnashleydescendants

The following sketch is fictionalized. Nevertheless, the year 1667 was probably talked about in the Ashley household long after the event. Young Isaac no doubt heard stories about the year he was born. And they may have sounded something like this.


”On the 27th of August followed the most dreadful Hurry Cane…”

The Great Storm of 1667 slammed into the coast. Historically one of the worst hurricanes to hit southeast Virginia, the massive storm delivered torrential rains driven by powerful winds. For twelve days, wild weather battered coastal settlements such as Jamestown and caused extensive inland flooding.

John had known that the northerly wind boded ill that morning. A wall of dark clouds loomed across the bay. A storm was coming. But never in his forty-two years could he have anticipated how much havoc was headed his way.

The Ashley home sat at the head of Antipoison Creek. ashleyplantationlancasterva John had obtained the 240 acre plantation only five years earlier. Sandwiched between the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay, the farm may as well have been an island. While he battened down the outbuildings, his wife Jane gathered the children inside the main house. And then it hit.

The wind roared continuously. Rain swept against the wooden house in wave after wave. Water leaked in. Shingles blew away. The fearful cracking of falling trees and the groaning of the house throughout the night kept the Ashleys on knife’s edge.

At daybreak, John ventured outside. The decimated corn and tobacco crops lay flattened in the field. One outbuilding was missing its roof. Another was missing entirely, literally blown away by the hurricane in the night. He and the family salvaged what they could from the tangled mess. And then the rain began to fall – again.

By the second day, the ground was muck. The creek rose quickly. Flooding waters swept livestock away. Seepage in the root cellar threatened the family’s food supply. And still it rained.

After several days, the atmosphere inside the home was almost as intense as the weather outdoors. The late summer heat and humidity grew stifling. Everything felt damp. Sweat soaked clothing clung to skin. John’s children, at first frightened then bored, spent hour upon hour listening to the storm. Cabin fever was setting in. And still it rained.

johnashleytimelineJane tried to feed the family as best she could.  She had some vegetables picked from the garden patch before the storm. A butt of salt-cured meat had been recovered from the smokehouse. But the family consumed all the eggs and milk early on and there would be no more. (The cow and most of the chickens had been missing for days.) Eating little food herself, Jane breastfed baby Isaac. She was as relieved as everyone else not to hear his cranky crying. And still it rained.

By this time, John accepted the worst. His plantation would take years to recover. It was unlikely that any Ashley cattle would return. Downed trees blocked the muddy road and littered the fields. The remaining outbuildings like the house itself required extensive repairs. Autumn labor would be spent rebuilding instead of harvesting. The family might even face a food shortage going into winter. How low his spirits must have been.sunclouds

But on the thirteenth day, the clouds parted. The sun shone bright. And John Ashley gave thanks to God that the rain had finally ceased.

Post Script

While the Ashley family account is fictionalized, the hurricane that struck in 1667 was very real. An excerpt from a London newspaper read:

Sir having this opportunity, I cannot but acquaint you with the relation of a very strange tempest which hath been in these parts … it overturned many houses, burying in the ruines much goods and many people, … blowing many cattle that were near the sea or rivers, into them., whereby unknown numbers have perished, … much corn was blown away, and great quantities of tobacco have been lost, to the great damage of many, and utter undoing of others. Neither did it end here, but the trees were torn up by the roots, and in many places whole woods blown down so that they cannot go from plantation to plantation. The sea (by the violence of the wind) swelled twelve feet above its usual height drowning the whole country before it.

An estimated 10,000 houses were lost. The Ashleys (like the majority of other affected colonists) faced the prospect of starting over. Two years later, John obtained a second property about 10 miles north of Antipoison Creek. He apparently doubled-down instead of giving up.


Roth, David. Seventeenth Century Virginia Hurricanes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2017. <;.

Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and pioneers: abstracts of Virginia land patents: volume two 1666-1695. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1977. Print.

Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Vol. 1 1623-1666 Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 2004. Print.

Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

Ann (Ashley) Forrester



annashleydescentAnn (Ashley) Forrester’s life spanned the first three quarters of the 18th century. Her world was that of an American Colonist. Shortly after she died, her youngest son Thomas Forrester joined in the Revolutionary War. 

Fast forward another 111 years on the family tree timeline: In 1891, Ann’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter, Mary Etta Hazlewood was born. While Mary was going through her “terrible twos,” a church official in Maryland was re-recording her Great Grandmother Forrester’s birth…


“Ann Ashly dau of Isaac and Elizabeth Ashly b Jan 2 1701”

St. Paul’s Church

On a July day in 1893, the Reverend Denroche began copying the original manuscripts of St. Paul’s Parish. When completed, the archival project would preserve early vital records for Kent County, Maryland dating back to circa 1690. Ann and her seven siblings were listed in birth order: John, Isaac, Mary, Thomas, Elizabeth, William, Ann, plus little brother Abraham.


Isaac and Elizabeth Ashley raised their children on farmland near the Chesapeake Bay:“There was the magnificent expanse of the Bay; …there were mighty forests stretching as far as the eye could reach, unchoked by briers, and containing ‘strange and beautiful trees’; there were banks and groves dotted with the early flowers of spring ; The bay and rivers were teeming with fish and covered with water fowl, while the forests held multitudes of wild turkeys, deer, bears and small game. (Usilton, 1997.)” Yet the fauna was not entirely native.

Early Kent settlers brought domestic stock with them when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, including Sussex cattle. The dark red cows were docile despite their horns. Farmers even employed the robust bulls as draft animals, similar to oxen. However, Sussex cattle were primarily bred for beef production.

sussex bull
Sussex Bull

Whether Sussex or another breed, cattle roamed the Ashley farmstead. Ann likely enjoyed various dishes prepared by her mother such as fresh rump roasts, brisket stews, fried steak with gravy, calf’s brains patties, roasted tongues and udders, marinated liver, cow heel pudding, and kidney pie. Her father would have sold/slaughtered cattle as payment for debts, or traded in kind for other goods or services.

Cattle farming must have proven profitable. In the spring of 1707, Isaac Ashley secured a grant for 300 acres of land at the head of Worton Creek. This expansion of the family plantation was known as “Ashley’s Lott.” Two years later, tragedy struck.

Isaac died in the late winter of 1708/09. The next summer, his widow Elizabeth also died leaving their neighbor Mrs. Twigg as executrix of the Ashley estate. Ann’s mother left instructions that the cattle be distributed equally among the Ashley children when they reached age 21. Her brothers would inherit the various farms. Ann being a daughter was expected to marry.

 North Carolina

At age 8, Ann was an orphaned minor. Where and with whom she and her siblings were raised is uncertain. Her two oldest brothers married into the Wroth family and remained in Kent County, MD. Her uncle (Isaac’s brother, Thomas Ashley) had moved to North Carolina before 1720. His niece eventually settled in the same southern colony marrying a James Forrester.

Ann and James Forrester lived along the Eno River in what later became Orange County, NC. The Forresters were early settlers in old Indian Territory. Named after the Eno Indian tribe of the 1600s, the river country became Ann’s new home. About 1726, she gave birth to a son named William. Other children followed: James, Benjamin, at least one daughter, and finally Thomas about 1737.

As the family grew, so did the surrounding population. More farm families moved in from Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina. Towns established nearby.hillsboroughmap

The county seat of Hillsborough sat at a crossroads with its own saw mill, grist mill, courthouse, stockade jail, market house, church, inns, general store, taverns, and “race ground” for Saturday horse racing. The Forresters may have hauled logs or corn to the mills four miles away in Hillsborough. Maybe they patronized Johnston & Thackston’s General Store for items they couldn’t manufacture themselves.

In 1755, Ann’s husband of almost thirty years died. Their grown sons each received portions of land bordering the Eno. Ann in her mid-fifties remained on the Orange County farm near her children and grandchildren. Her youngest son Thomas eventually moved west to Surry County perhaps to escape the violent political upheaval brewing in Orange County.

In September 1770, riots broke out in Hillsborough. The majority of the county’s 8,000 residents supported the Regulators’ cause against British tax corruption. But the governor of North Carolina, William Tryon, was incensed. He described the riotous behavior in a proclamation issued two weeks afterwards:

“…a great number of outrageous and disorderly Persons did tumultuously assemble themselves together in the Town of Hillsborough… audaciously attacking his Majesty’s Associate Justice… committing the most violent Outrages on the Persons and properties of the Inhabitants of said Town, drinking Damnation to their lawful sovreign, KING GEORGE…( USGenWeb Archives.)”

Ann surely would have heard of the incident. A mob numbering about 150 descended on the wooden courthouse beating and whipping attorneys, dragging officials by their heels into the street, setting houses afire, damaging businesses and beating Hillsborough residents. The next year, six Regulators hung from a large tree at the edge of town- the sentence for treason.

Citizens of Orange and bordering counties could presage the inevitable conflict soon to follow. Ann did not live to see the war. She died in 1775, one year before the American colonies declared independence from the English Crown.


Sources, Maryland, Calendar of Wills, 1635-1743 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA; Operations Inc, 1998.

Barnes, Robert William., F. Edward. Wright, and Henry C. Peden. Colonial families of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Westminster, Md. (Rear 63 E. Main St., Westminster 21157): Family Line Publications, 1996. Print.

“Breeds – Sussex.” The Cattle Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2017. <;.

Cameron, Annie S. Hillsborough and the Regulators. Hillsborough, NC: The Orange County Historical Museum, 1964. Print.

Kinsman, D. M. Meat Preparation and Preservation in Colonial America. Thesis. University of Connecticut , 1976. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2017. <;.

Orange County, North Carolina historic information cache – maps – cities and towns. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017. <;.

USGenWeb Archives – census wills deeds genealogy. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2017. <;.

Usilton, Fred G. History of Kent County, Maryland, 1630-1916. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Co., 1997. Print.

Wright, F. Edward. Maryland Eastern Shore vital records, 1648-1725. Lewes, Delaware: Colonial Roots, 2011. Print.


Farm Life Friday

Cow versus Hog

The next biography to be posted (Ann Ashley Forrester) describes a Maryland cattle farm from the 1700s. Today in Hart County, KY you’ll see beef cattle grazing the hillsides, but in the early 1900s farmers typically raised hogs.

Mary and Claud slaughtered three or four hogs each year. That equates to three quarters of a ton of live animal for a big farm family. It wasn’t just about the ham and bacon either. A hog provided all important fat as well as meat.

(Rendered hog fat becomes lard. Any of you old enough to recall life before Crisco shortening remember lard.)

Mary used lard for baking and frying. She cut lard into flour when making morning biscuits. She prepared that southern staple of fried chicken (freshly killed that day) in a cast iron skillet with lard. She packed homemade sausage balls in canning jars and topped them with melted lard to preserve the meat without refrigeration. (The Jaggers had no electricity, remember.)hogring

There’s another reason farmers preferred hogs over cattle: Pigs are efficient garbage cans. They eat nearly anything you feed them. Hogs will also root and tear up the ground foraging for food. That’s why farmers clipped rings into the hog’s nose. The metal ring causes the pig pain when rooting around damaging the yard or field.

So never try to pull a great big 500 pound hog by his nose jewelry. It won’t work and you’ll make him mad. He’s a pig, not a cow.