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JOHN WEAVER

born Dec 1763 died 13 Dec 1830

&

ELIZABETH BIFFLE

born 1773 died 8 Apr 1843

LAST UPDATE 25 March 2002

I am proud to present the history of my 5th great grandparents, John Weaver and his wife, Elizabeth Biffle, the first white settlers to establish a home in the "Dry Ridge" section of Weaverville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. This tapestry is on display at the Weaver Museum located in the basement of the library in Weaverville. It was made for the 200th anniversary reunion by descendants.

Map of Buncombe County On this map you will find Weaverville. The library is to the left of this general store. The yellow dot to the left is the approximate location of the Weaverville Cemetery. Just below Weaverville is Reems Creek. To the left is Leicester & the Old Brick Church,  where my Robert Pinkney Wells & Elizabeth Weaver & some of their children are buried. To the north,  on up Hwy 63 will take you to Sandy Mush. Once you get to Reeves Grocery Store continue on approximately a mile to the Little Sandy Mush Methodist Church and cemtery. Just past the store, take the first road to the left by some mobile homes. That will take you to the Big Sandy Mush Methodist Church. Go to the stop sign and turn right. Continue for a short distance and the church & cemetery are on the right next to the Sandy Mush Volunteer Fire Station & school. These two locations are where more of our families lived and are buried, especially the Wells & Reeves families. You will enjoy the scenery around Big Sandy Mush.

On my first trip to Weaverville on 23 February 2002, I stopped to inquire from a gentleman in a parking lot for directions to the oldest cemetery in Weaverville. He knew exactly where it was located and kindly gave me directions. He asked me if I was related to the Weaver family, and I stated yes I was. He kinda bowed over to me and stated "hats off to your family for establishing such a great place to live". I was quite impressed with his gesture, thanked him, and proceeded to the cemetery. I had only arrived and began to search around the cemetery, when this same gentleman showed up at the cemetery. He took it upon himself to drive over to the cemetery to tell me to be sure and stop at the local library where I would find two great books written on the history of my family. I was obliged at his knowledge and kindly gesture to drive over to the cemetery to tell me about my family history. And pleased I was to find at the library the two books he had mentioned to me, "Dry Ridge..Some of its History...Some of its People" written by Nell Pickens 1962 updated 1996 2nd Edition, a reprinting & "The Tribe of Jacob, The Descendants of the Reverend Jacob Weaver of Reems Creek, North Carolina 1786-1868 & Elizabeth Siler Weaver" by Pearl M. Weaver 1962 with update New Introduction, Additions, and Index by Joseph M. Weaver, Chairman, 1991-1997. Send your family updates to Joseph Weaver via email for his upcoming publication on our Weaver families.

In the Tribe of Jacob on Page 8, I found my connections to the Weaver family. Jacob's sister Elizabeth Weaver married Robert Pinkney Wells. Their parents were John Weaver and Elizabeth Biffle.

According to the history of "Dry Ridge" I quote the following from Page 1, 2, & 3: "Dry Ridge is the oldest known name, given by the Indians to an elevation that rises in the lower Reems Creek Valley extending northward, coming to it's highest point on top of Hamburg Mountain. Proof that the Indians were well acquainted with the region is found in the many relics coming to the surface after nearly two centuries have gone by, telling mute stories of the past. The variety of relics and the wide area over which they are found would indicate that more than one tribe used the hunting grounds.

Just what the Indians called the Creek or the Mountain is uncertain. Tradition tells us that a Mr. Rims, Reams, or Reems was scaled by a roving band of Indians, on the north bank of the creek, near the spot JOHN WEAVER chose for his home sometime later. Just who Mr. Reems was, where he came from, what family if any, are among the long forgotten facts, but "Reems Creek" is a constant reminder that much of our history is hidden in the mists of the past.

John and Elizabeth Biffle Weaver were the first settlers to establish a home on Dry Ridge. Their small son, JACOB, who was born in Virginia, Sept. 13, 1786, made the trip with his parents to the new home, evidently without any ill effect.(NOTE: It is believed he was born Happy Valley, Watauga Settlement, North Carolina, which is today located at Washington county, Tennessee.)He in time married Elizabeth Siler and is responsible for the "Tribe of Jacob" who have been holding family reunions, started by Jacob himself, for more than a century, in and around Dry Ridge. (INCIDENTALLY PLAN TO ATTEND THE 2ND SATURDAY OF AUGUST EVERY YEAR)

John and Elizabeth Weaver had six daughters and four other sons and no one knows how many descendants up to the present time! Much of the history of Dry Ridge is interwoven with the history of the family descendants of the first settler and his neighbors.

Not too much is on record of the daily "comings and goings" of these people. It did not take long however for every family to form some sort of ties with every other family and with families in nearby settlements. Many names found in church records, old deeds, and in the 1790 census are familiar names in the area today. Some of the descendants of the early settlers are living in the same county, the same district and on the same home sites their forefathers cleared.

The men and woman who dared so much to make new homes in the wilderness seem to have had two characteristics in common, their devotion to their church and their concern about education for the growing population.

The wagon road was continued on to the Pine Cabin, JOHN WEAVER'S HOME. A camp ground was established at an early date about one half mile from the Pine Cabin. In the late summer people from miles around came to enjoy listening to the preaching, taking part in the singing and incidentally visiting with relatives and making new friends. At first all they had for protection from the weather were their wagons and tents. Later rude shelters were built. It was not until 1834 that the association was incorporated under the name of Salem Camp Ground."

On the Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society website we can find a wealth of additional information submitted by members of our family. JOHN WEAVER submitted by Mary Cook Hyder. Also a heart warming story about the sad death of my 4th great grandfather, Robert Pinkney Wells taking food & supplies to his son during the Civil War.

More websites that give excellent information on our Weaver & Biffle families can be found below: Family Group Record: Adam Biffle (Johannes Adam Buffle) and Catharine Henckel submitted by Janet M. Roseen

Some Early History of Rims Creek Valley - a story about John Weaver and Adam Biffle's families written by my cousin Blanche R. Robertson of Weaverville, North Carolina

Joseph Eller of Buncombe Co. North Carolina His daughter, Elizabeth M. Eller married GEORGE W. PITTMAN, son of Timothy Pittman b. 1794 Greenville Co. South Carolina. This article is from the ELLER CHRONICLES, and a must see site. Here you will find not only Eller family information, but also Weavers & Wells stories.

From the book "The Tribe of Jacob" we find another account of our Weaver family. I quote directly from this book from page 1: "John Weaver was the first white settler in the Reems Creek Valley of Buncombe County--then known as Burke County--the third settlement in the western area of the county.

In the U.S. Census of 1790 (the first made in the Union), listed under Burke County, is found JOHN WEAVER, a son under 16 years of age, a wife and two daughters, and one slave.

In research made for Frank Weaver many years ago, is found "From the Penn. archives, third series, vol.23, containing the Muster Rolls of the Navy and line,--Militia and Rangers 1775 to 1783 and List of Pensioners 1818-1832--it appears that JOHN WEAVER, Northampton Rangers on the frontiers 1778-1783, a private,"see page 299." (It then goes on to list other Revolutionary records & other unrelated Weaver families who also lived in this area.)

Page 3: "Dr. Bascomb Weaver, grandson of Pioneer John, addressing the Family Meeting of Jacob Weaver in 1928, tells the story of his grandfather John's coming to Reems Creek. Some of his story is accepted in this record--with a few notes of explanation. "The four Weaver brothers marching westward, crossed the alleghaney Divide into the valley of the Green Briar river of West Virginia, followed this stream to its confluence with the North New River, a branch of the Ohio River. Here for some unknown reason, the brothers parted company, three continuing toward the Ohio, and the Great West, JOHN turning his compass south up the New river to its headwaters in the Flat Top Mountains of virginia dn North Carolina, then to the headwaters of the Watauga River; down this river to the settlement of a few white people in Happy Valley--where John sevier organized his famous company which crossed the Blue Ridge and helped win the battle of King's Mountain. From Happy Valley, near where Elizabethton (Tennessee)now flourishes, John turned his compass south, following the old Indian trailer acros the Unaka, the Bald, the Ivey Mountains; crossing the Toe, the Cane and Ivey rivers, still following the trail now known in history as the "Old Bald Mountain Road," till he arrived at the exact spot where now lies the mortal remains of John and Elizabeth Weaver. From there he followed a path down into the valley, camped that night near the Indian village, built a wigwarm like theirs and lived with them that year. John Weaver must have known and spoken the Indian language, and early made friends of the Indians."

"Tradition has it that John was married to Elizabeth Biffle in Pennsylvania, and unto them was born in that state, a son, and they named him, Jacob."

Of John's land, Dr. Weaver relates--"Our grandfather entered all these regions around about, comprising hundreds of acres, for 50 shillings for every 100 acres.  The patents granted by the State are dated August 1785 and 1807. Possibly the first deeds registered in then Burke County." He purchased several hundred acres of land adjoining the old homestead, which he divided before his death among his ten children. (NOTE: actually 11 children) He divided the old homestead between Jacob and Montraville--the oldest and youngest sons; the upper tract to Jacob, and the home and lower tract to Montraville.

"John was Presbyterian." This comes from the register of the first church built in Buncombe county--a Presbyterian Church, built by David Vance, and his neighbors of the upper Reems creek settlement.  John Weaver helped build the church, worshipped with them until after 1800 when Bishop Francis Asbury of the Holston Methodist conference crossed--as he wrote in his diary--the "North Carolina Alps," preached in the homes of Fosters, and Killians on Beaver Dam Creek, also in "Col. Buncombe's court House," and the "Newton Academy" in Asheville. After John Weaver, his son Jacob, and some neighbors of the lower settlement heard the Bishop a few times they decided to build a meeting place in this neighborhood. John Weaver gave the lot on the south end of the ridge, and his neighbors helped cut logs, split boards, bring rocks for chimney and build the first Methodist Church," in Buncombe County, "The Reems creek Methodist Church, built about 1805. "Camp Meetings" were popular at this time--an annual Revivial service, when crops were laid-by, wheat harvested; whole families would bring food and camp for several days, enjoying the felloship of neighbors and families they sometimes met only at the camp-meetings; enjoyed the preaching, and the wonderful hymn singing.  This Reems Creek Church organized a Camp Meeting, built shacks in which to camp, a platform for the speakers, log benches for the listeners, brough some slat-backed, hand-made chairs for special guests. Rev. R.N. Price--Historian of "Holston Methodist Conference" wrote of John Weaver--"Bishop Asbury was entertained in his home."

John's sons, Jacob and Montraville, were both converted in the log church and later ordained as local preachers. They served wherever needed, and carried on the work their father began long after he was laid to rest in the churchyard--the beloved spot where he and Elizabeth first rested when coming into their valley."

Page 6: "John continued friendly with the Indians, prospered in farming and cattle raising.  His family increased and he built a new home, hand hewn locust framing; ceiling and weatherboarding hand sawed with a "Rip saw." This was the first framed house in this region, a big, comfortable home.  The nails for building were made in his blacksmith shop, and the bricks for chimneys made of mud, trodden by oxen, shaped in wooden molds, baked in a kiln, of his own building.

John Weaver was a surveyor, a farmer, a carpenter, a "Blacksmith," a cabinet maker--(some beautiful old pieces of furniture as proof) and as Dr. Bascomb proudly relates--"John and his son Jacob in those days had two stills in which they made brandy. When Phillip White and John whitfield came along with their thundering eloquence preaching temperance, they tore down the stills, burnt the lots and quit the business, and, instead, they and their friends built a Temperance Hall and school house in 1800, and later in 1851, another High school, where Weaver College now stands."

In John's will he did give the copper stills to Jacob and Montraville.  What Montraville did with his is not in the record, but Jacob had the top cut from his still, the top of the remaining big pot hammered around a heavy wire to hold it in shape.  It was set in the furance by the big iron pot of the wash house and used for boiling the white clothes. also when peaches and apples were ripe, that pot was scrubbed with vinegar and salt until shining like a new penny, gallons of apple butter, or peach butter cooked in it and stored in stone jars for winter use.  Neighbors came to the "Apple peelings," sometimes bringing their own apples or peaches to cook in that big pot.  This tradition was carried on down through three generations--until some would-be "boot-legger" lifted that precious copper pot from it's place, carried it across the foot-log (dragging and leaving soot) to a parked truck.

The children of  (listed at my rootsweb database) John and Elizabeth Biffle Weaver. Elizabeth's sister Mary Biffle married John Jacob Eller and is also buried in the Weaverville Cemetery.

John & Elizabeth with some of their children are buried in the Weaverville Cemetery. The shrine marks the spot where John & elizabeth first settled when they arrived in Buncombe County.

Jacob Weaver married Elizabeth Siler

Susannah Weaver married John David McCarson. Susannah was the first white female born in the Blue Ridge as her tombstone marker states.

Christiana Weaver married Samuel Vance

James Weaver married Susan Barnard

Mary Weaver married Henry Addington

Catherine Weaver married Rev. Andrew Hallum Pickens

Elizabeth Weaver married Robert Pinkney Wells (They are buried at the Brick Church Cemetery. See inside this very old church. You may want to attend the annual Homecoming on the last Sunday in August at Noon. For further information write to Brick Church Fund, P.O. Box 53, Leicester, North Carolina 28748. If you would like to contact one of the trustees for further information, email me & I'll give you their name & phone number.)

John Biffle Weaver married Lucinda Barnard

Matilda Weaver married Jefferson Griffe Dickerson Garrison

Photo of Matilda Weaver Garrison

Christopher George Weaver married Margaret Lowery

Rev Michael Montraville Weaver married Jane Eliza Baird

Elizabeth Weaver and Robert Pinkney Wells are my 4th great grandparents. Their daughter (my 3rd great grandmother), Matilda C. Wells, born 31 Oct 1824 Buncombe Co. NC died 16 March 1885 Parrottsville, Cocke Co. Tennessee. Matilda married Matthias Wall Faubion about 1848. Their daughter, Margaret Jane Faubion married Henry Girdine Balch. Their daughter, Daisy Balch married Samuel S. Whitaker. Their son, Ugene E. Whitaker & Flossie Bernice Gardner are my grandparents. On the mainpage of my website scroll down to the Whitaker section where you will find much more information about the Balch & Whitaker families. Also, the adoption of my father, Clarence Ugene Whitaker aka Charles Eugene Oyler.

Robert P. & Elizabeth had another daughter, Margaret Jane Wells, who married Dr. Joseph G. Michaux. They also lived in Parrottsville area, Cocke Co. Tennessee and all are buried in the Faubion Family Cemetery. This cemetery is located on Good Hope Road just outside Parrottsville, Cocke Co. ,  Tennessee.

Dr. Joseph G. Michaux was born 8 Oct 1815 Prince Edward Co. Virginia, the son of Joseph Michaux and Judith Anderson Crump "Mrs. Mosby". By 1850 Dr. Joseph had married Margaret Jane Wells and moved over by Margaret's sister, Matilda Wells Faubion, near the small town of Parrottsville, Cocke Co. Tennessee. Here Joseph practiced as a physician. Margaret and Joseph had 5 children, but tragedy had taken its toll on their family.

Allena C. Michaux was born 1852 and died at the age of 25, April 1877 Cocke Co and she is buried in the Faubion Cemetery.

Robert W.(Wells?) Michaux was born 15 Dec 1853 and died at age 34 5 June 1887 and is buried in the Faubion Cemetery. I don't believe Robert ever married.

Dr. John C. Michaux was born 13 Sept 1858 Cocke Co Tennessee and died 14 January 1934 McMinnville, Yamhill Co. Oregon. John married Mary E. Easterly of Cocke Co. Tennessee. (See Biographical Sketch below)

Amelia Elizabeth Michaux was born Nov 1859 and died 25 June 1884 probably in Shelby, Cleveland Co. North Carolina. Amelia married 2 May 1882 Cocke Co. Tennessee to David Augustus Beam (born 2 Feb 1857 NC d 18 July 1935 NC). Amelia and David had one son together, Dr. Calvin Michaux Beam born 23 Feb 1883 North Carolina. Calvin was a dentist for many years in Asheville, Buncombe Co. North Carolina. In 1900 Calvin was residing with his father and step mother in Shelby, Cleveland Co. North Carolina. Around 1907 he married Coral Elizabeth Shelton and moved to Charlotte, Mecklenberg Co. North Carolina for a few years. He then moved over to Asheville where I believe he probably died, but I don't know when. Calvin had 4 children: Margaret Elizabeth Beam b abt 1908 married Frederick Clare Van Dusen; Coral Alberta Beam b abt 1910 married John Herbert Stone; Claudia Michaux Beam b abt 1912 married Gregg Barry; and Dr. Robert Shelton Beam b abt 1917, whom also I believe was a dentist.

Joseph Michaux was born 6 Sept 1864 Cocke Co Tenn and died 3 days before his 6th birthday, 3 Sept 1870 Cocke Co. Tenn and buried Faubion Cemetery.

I had lost track of the family and wondered where Margaret Jane may have gone when she left Cocke Co. Tennessee after the death of her husband. Joseph died 26 May 1891 Cocke Co and he is buried in the Faubion Cemetery. I couldn't find a tombstone for her and thought she had perhaps gone back to North Carolina with her surviving son, John. But finally I was able to locate them when I found John living in McMinnville, Yamill County, Oregon in 1900.

John had married Mary E. Easterly in Cocke County abt 1878. They had one son Carl W. Michaux born June 1880 Cocke Co. Tennessee died 5 Feb 1965 Portland, Multnomah Co. Oregon. Carl was married around 1930 to Lena ___?. I don't believe Carl had any children and so ends this line of male Michaux's. It appears the only living descends would be from Amelia's Beam family.

I was able to find this biographical sketch on Dr. John by a kind soul in Oregon who sent it to me. It appears to be a county history, but I don't know the year it was written, but sometime between 1899 and 1907, when John's mother dies.

Portrait and Biographical Record, pg 705

J. C. MICHAUX, M.D.

As a leading exponent of medical and surgical science Dr. J. C. Michaux is catering to a constantly increasing patronage in McMinnville and Yamhill county, and is besides winning many friends because of stable and admirable personal characteristics. The doctor is a transplanted easterner who did not have to become acclimated in the west, but rather brought with him a breeziness and enterprise which instantly adjusted him to the vigorous opportunities here represented. While appreciating and utilizing the best that his profession holds, his versatility invades various social and other strata, a particularly pleasing trait being his fondness for that noble friend of man, the horse. In the well-equipped stable of Dr. Michaux the horse is seen at his best, both as to appearance and speed, and when he travels upon town thoroughfares or country roads one may be sure that he encounters in his equine life such treatment as is dictated by an inuately humanitarian instinct.

The old-time ancestors of Dr. Michaux emigrated from France, with other religiously persecuted Hugeuenots, and after various migrations settled in America in time to participate in the Revolutionary War. His paternal grandfather, J. E. MICHAUX, was a planter in Virginia, the paternal great grandfather having been a very early pioneer of that state. Here was born J. G. MICHAUX, the father of the physician of McMinnville, who also was a physician, and who practiced for about half a century in NEWPORT, TENN. The elder Michaux was a man of resolute character and uncompromising ideas of honor, and during his lifetime claimed many distinguished friendships, among them being that of ANDREW JOHNSON. He lived to be seventy-six years of age, and was survived by his wife, M. J. WELLS, daughter of ROBERT WELLS, a native of North Carolina, and who at present lives with her son in McMinnville.

The third oldest of the five children in his father's family, DR. MICHAUX, was born in NEWPORT, EAST TENNESSEE, September 13, 1858, and in his youth was favored with exceptional educational advantages. After graduating from NASHVILLE COLLEGE in 1878 he attended VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY for a couple of years, and then entered upon his professional training at the KENTUCKY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE at LOUISVILLE, graduating therefrom in 1889. After practicing for five years in his home town of Newport he removed to Lafayette, Yamhill County , in 1886, and for thirteen years devoted his energies to ameliorating the physical ills of that community, taking also an active interest in the social and other life of the town. He became associated with McMinnville in 1899, and it is to be hoped that his enthusiastic reception by a large contingent of the town and country will inspire a permanent residence within these hospitable and profitable borders.

With him from Tennessee came the wife of Dr. Michaux, formerly MISS M. E. EASTERLY, a native also of east Tennessee, and the mother of one son, Carl. The doctor is a Democrat in political affiliation, and is fraternally associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Lafayette, Ore., the Encampment of Dayton; the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and the Knights of the Maccabees. Genial, optimistic, alert to the pleasures as well as the disadvantages of living; whole souled and generous and thoroughly honorable, the doctor is indeed an acquisition to his adopted town and county.

Copyright 18 March 2002 Carolyn Whitaker

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