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B.5. Mary Berry {B.5.}


    Mary Berry {B.5.} was born in 1748, according to bible records of her descendants, but her place of birth is more problematic. Although the whereabouts of her father, the elder John Berry, are not known with certainty prior to 1753, it is fairly certain that this Berry family lived somewhere in the American colonies, possibly in the Scotch-Irish enclave around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania prior to their arrival in Virginia. Consequently, a best guess for her birthplace would be Pennsylvania. By at least 1753 and until his death in 1770, her father can be documented as living in Augusta County, Virginia, so Mary probably spent her youth growing up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She married Samuel Nesbit (~1745 – March/July 1814) a young man probably of Scottish background who lived nearby. Although the date of their marriage is not known, a reasonable estimate can be made based on the birth date of their first son, John Nesbit. Mary was 18 years old when her first child was born, so it is reasonable to assume that she got married not long before that date, possibly 1765. She was also most likely living in her father’s household at the time of her marriage, and since he can be documented as living in Augusta County, Virginia at the time, it follows that her marriage took place there.266,267,278,281,778

 

   One source records the birth date of Samuel Nesbit as 1754, but this seems highly unlikely, since by 1770 he was the father of at least one child and owned property in Augusta County. With a birth date of 1754, Samuel would have been 12 years old when his oldest child was born in 1766, which is, to say the least, highly unlikely. It seems more logical to assume that Samuel was about the same age as Mary with a birth date in the mid to late 1740s. Based on an estimated birth date of 1745, Samuel would have been 21 years old in 1766 when his first baby was born, which is much more believable. Census and tax data narrow the range only slightly. From the 1810 census both Samuel and Mary fall under the > 45 years old category, which places their birth dates at least prior to 1765. The 1783 Rockbridge County tax listing indicates that Samuel is at least 21, placing his birth date as being sometime prior to 1762. Unfortunately, no source material has yet been uncovered that identifies the parents of Mary’s husband, Samuel Nesbit. The earliest records documenting Samuel’s existence constitute a 1770 Augusta County, Virginia land sale, and another Augusta County entry notes that he had moved to the area sometime after the death of Borden, Jr. The latter is clearly a reference to Benjamin Borden, Jr., the son of Benjamin Borden, Sr., who was the Borden for whom the Borden Grant was named. Benjamin, Sr. passed away in 1743, but Benjamin Jr. lived 10 more years, passing away in 1753. Samuel Nesbit, thus, first arrived in the Augusta County area sometime during or after 1753, and most likely before 1761. Only one other Nesbit, William Nesbit, can be found in Augusta County records, and he first appears in 1761, although he subsequently appears in the 1783 and 1787 Rockbridge County tax listings. William’s relationship to Samuel is unclear, but it is, definitely, not that of a son, although the reverse could be true, William certainly could be Samuel’s father, or even an uncle, cousin or brother. Without a doubt they were very closely related, since they are the only known Nesbits in the area. It seems logical to assume that William was older than Samuel, based mostly on Samuel’s presumed age in 1761, and the most logical conclusion is to interpret William as Samuel’s cousin, father or possibly an older brother.21,92,141,267,277,411,412,413,778

 

    While there are no other Nesbits in the Augusta County area, there are a multitude of them in the Scotch-Irish enclave of south central Pennsylvania, all of whom can be traced back to Scotland. One group, in particular, consisted of seven sons of a John Nesbit (~1720 - ?) in Lancaster County, two of whom (Jeremiah and William Nesbit) can be documented as migrating to Bourbon County, Kentucky via the Ohio River by at least the early 1780s. As will be shown in the timeline analysis, Samuel and Mary (Berry) Nesbit moved with their family to Fayette County, Virginia in late 1788, eventually moving to Harrison County, Kentucky. Figure 42 shows the distribution of all Nesbits in Kentucky from 1790 through 1810 (based on their appearance in federal census records), and two particularly striking features are readily evident. First is the small number of Nesbits that lived in Kentucky during this time period. Second, is that these Nesbits lived practically next to each other, in Harrison and Bourbon Counties, which are adjacent to each other. The fact that the only Nesbits in the state lived right next to each other strongly suggests a close family relationship among these people. It, thus, seems very likely that both groups of Nesbits (Samuel & William of Augusta County, Virginia and the Bourbon County Nesbits) were related and were derived from the same Nesbit lineage in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.102,279,280

 

   Through tax listings, family history information, deed, will, marriage and various court records, Mary and Samuel Nesbit can be traced from Augusta County, Virginia to Fayette County, Virginia, thence to Harrison County, Kentucky and finally to Washington County, Indiana. Samuel passed away in Harrison County in 1814, and was probably buried on the family farm on Gray’s Run in Harrison County or, possibly in a local cemetery. Mary (Berry) Nesbit remained on the family farm at least until 1820. In 1824, she moved to Washington County, Indiana to live with her daughter Mary (Mrs. Alexander Martin) until her (the elder Mary’s) death in 1828. Mary was interred in the Livonia Cemetery in Livonia, Washington County, Indiana.266,267,488,618,782,788

 

Timeline of Mary Berry and Samuel Nesbit

 

~ 1749781

DAR Patriot Index (2003) National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Millennium Administration. (Baltimore: Gateway Press 2003) Vol. II p. 1956
Birth of Samuel Nesbitt
Samuel Nesbitt: b. a 1749 VA d a 7- -1814 KY m. (1) Mary X Sol VA

~ 1748778

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Mary Berry estimated birth date based on Martin-Wright bible entry stating that Mary Nesbit died October 22, 1828, aged 80 years

Between Aug. and

Dec. 176621,617,761

Fayette County, Virginia/Kentucky Tax Books, 1787 – 1804
Augusta County Virginia, Marriage Bonds, Consent, No 87-50

John Nesbit born in Augusta County, Virginia

1 Mar. 177021,399

Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 16, page 336
THIS INDENTURE made the first Day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy BETWEEN Archibald Alexander Executor and Magdalene Bowyer Relict and Executrix of Benjamin Bordin the Younger Late of Augusta County and Colony of Virginia Gentleman Deceased who as the Eldest Son and Heir at Law and also was the only acting Executor of his late Father Benjamin Bordin the Elder late of Orange County and Colony of Virginia Gent deceased of the one part and Samuel Nusbitt of the County of Augusta and Colony of Virginia of the other part WITNESSETH that whereas Benjamin Bordin the Father in his lifetime was seised in his demesn as of fee of and in several Tracts and parcels of Land Situate lying and being in Virginian and in the province of New Jersey and being so thereof seised made his last Will and Testament in Writing Bearing Date the third Day of April MCCCXLII and therein did order and direct that all his Estate in Land which he hade in Virginia and therein new Jersey excepting MMMMM acres on Waters of James River and the Land he then lived on should be sold and did Constitute and appoint his wife Jemiah Executive and his son Benjamin Bordin the Younger and William Fornly Executors of said Will and did impower his said Executors to make good and sufficient Conveyances in the Law to the several purchasors as well for those Lands which he himself had sold as for the several pieces parcels and Tracts which they his said Executors should sell by Virtue of said Will which said Jemiah and William Fornly hath failed and refused to prove so that the whole Burthen thereof fell upon Benjamin Bordon the Younger who proved said Will in the County of Frederick where the same remains of record and whereas Benjamin Bordin the Younger as Heir at Law to his said late Father and only acting Executor of his said Will did in persuance of the power given him by said will promise Covenant and agree to sell and convey the fee simple Estate of and in one hundred acres of land of the Estate of his said late Father unto the said Samuel Nusbit for and in Consideration of the sum of seventeen pounds Current and lawfull Money of Virginia unto the said Benjamin Bordin in Hand paid by the said Samuel Nisbit which one hundred acres of land lyeth in the County of Augusta and is part of a Large Tract of 92100 acres granted to Benjamin Bordin the Elder by patent Bareing Date the sixth Day of November MCDCCXXX/X and is part of the Lands which the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger by said Will was directed ordered and impowered to sell and is no part of MMMMM acres above excepted and more particularly discribed and Bounded as followeth viz

BEGINNING at a poplar on the side of a Branch in John Berreys line then his line North seventy five Degrees West forty pole to a Black Oak North twenty two Degrees West one hundred and thirty four pole to a white Oak on the Top of a high Hill then North thirty Degrees East sixty poles south seventy five Degrees East one hundred and twenty pole south nineteen Degrees West one hundred and twenty pole to the BEGINNING

but before any further Conveyance of the said discribed parcel of land was made the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger departed this Life having first made his last Will and Testament in Writing Bearing Dathe the thirtieth Day of March MDCCLIII and therein among other things did direct and order his Executors John Lyle and Archibald Alexander together with Magdalen then his wife Executor and Executrix of said will to sell all the lands of his late Father then remaining unsold which in his life time he was ordered and impowered to sell and to make sufficient conveyances in the law to the Several persons for the same and further did direct and oder by his said will that his said Executors and Executrix should make good and sufficient Conveyances in the Law to the several persons who hade purchased of his late Father or of himself in his life time any of the Lands of his said late Fatehr as by his said will duly proved and remains among the records of the Court of Augusta may more fully appear and whereas John Lyle one of the Executors one of the Executors named in the said will of the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger has refused to act as such and the other two therein named to wit Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath taken upon themselves the Execution thereof NOW THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer Executor and Executrix of the said Benjamin Bordin the Younger deceased hath for and in consideration of the above -------?----- premises and of the further sum of one shilling sterling to them in hand paid by the said Samuel Nusbit the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath given granted bargained sold enfeeofed aliened released and confirmed and by these presents and by virtue of the two Receipted Testaments and for the above considerations doth absolutely give grant bargain and sell aliene release and confirm unto the said Samuel Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns forever all the aforesaid parcel of Land Hereditaments and and appurtenances to the same more or less together with all Houses Building Orchards Ways Waters Watercourses Profits Commodities Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents ---?-- and profits thereof and also all the Estate right Title Interst use trust property claim and demand whatsoever of them the said Benjamin Bordin the Elder or Benjamin Bordin the Younger or either of them or any time of their lives or at their Deaths either in law or equity of in and or to the said premises and all records evidenceds or writings touching or in any wise concerning the same TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said discribed parcel of Land and all and singular the premises hereby granted and sold or released or mentioned or intended to be mentioned with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said Saml Neisbet his Heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Samuel Neisbit and of his Heirs and assigns forever and they the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer for themselves and each of their Heirs Executors Admin.s and each of them do Covenant promise and Grant to an with the said Samuel Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns by these presents that they the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath not nor neither of them hath done commiteed or suffered any act or Cause or thing whatsoever whereby the said pareal of Land Hereditaments or Appurtenances or any part or parcel or Member thereof are or shall or may be impeached charged or incumbered either in title Charge or Estate or otherwise whatsoever and futher that the premises now at the time of sealing delivery these presents are free and clearly acquited and discharged sold and sufficiently saved and kept harmless and indemnified and from all arrearages of Quitrents and Incumbrances whatsoever prior to the Date of these presents to the Quitrents hereafer to grow due and payable to our sovereigh Lord the King his Heirs and Successsors for and in respect of the premises only accepted and foreprized and lastly that the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer shall and will at any time hereafter at and upon the reasonable requst proper costs and charges in the law of the said Sam.l Neisbit his Heirs and Assigns make execute and acknowledge or cause to be made executed and acknowledged all and every such further reasonable act Deed or devices in in the Law whatsoever for the further berter conveyance and assuring of the same discribed parcel ofland Hereditaments and appurenances hereby granted and released with their and every of theri appurenancdes unto the said his Heis and assigns as by him or them or his or their council learn.d in the law shall be reasonably advised or required IN WITNESS whereof the said Archibald Alexander and Magdalene Bowyer hath hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the day month and year first above written
Sealed and delivered 
in presence of Arch.d Alexander (SS) 
Magdalene Bowyer (SS)
James McDowell
Saml McDowell 
Lew Bowyer
At a Court held for Augusta County June 19th 1770 Archibald Alexander one of the acting Executors of Benjamin Bordin dec.d acknowledged this his Deed of Feeoffment to Samuel Nusbit which is ordered to be recorded.

28 Sept. 1770273

Rockbridge County, Virginia Plat Record Book 1, pages 120
Know all men by there presents that I John Berry of Augusta County am held to County Court unto Hugh McCling and Francis McCling of the said County in the ??? and full sum of two hundred pounds Virginia conscience to be paid unto them & their heirs or Executor or a person to which payment well & truly to be made I bind myself my ??? ??? heirs executors administrator ??? and ??? ??? by these presents sealed with my seal and dated this twenty Eight day of September Anno Domini One thousand seven hundred and seventy
The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound John Berry do and shall well and truly make or cause is be made a good & indefensible title in fee simple for a track of land containing one hundred & Seventy acres it being the place where he now lives on clear of any incumerence is the said Hugh McCling and Francis McCling there being or assigns when the first payment is made then the above obligation is be void or else is full force and valid.
John Berry{Seal}
Snd Sealed & delivered in the presence of 
Samuel Henderson
Samuel Nesbet

10 Oct 1770211

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 4, page 404
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I John Berry of the County of Augusta and Colloney of Virginia being weakly of body but of perfect mind and Memory thanks be given to Almighty God there fore Considering the Mortallity of my body Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I do Make & Ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say Principally first of all I recommend and Commite my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the Earth decently buried at the discretion of my Executor doubting nothing but I shall receive the same again by the Mighty Power of God at the General resurection and as Touching what estate it hath Pleased God to bless me with in this life I give devise & dispose of the same in the following Manner and form Impremis it is my Will and I do order that all my lawful debts and funeral charges be fully Paid and Satisfyed 
Item- unto Mary my Daughter one Pounds five shillings Curant money of Virginia I likewise give and bequeath unto John Neisbit six shillings and six Pence Curent Money of Virginia 
Item - I give and bequeath unto John Berry sun of James Berry deced. six Pounds Current Money of Virginia I give and bequeath unto John Berry sun of William Berry ten pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give & bequeath unto John Berry Sun of Francis Berry ten pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give & Bequeath unto Fra Berry Wheel right five pounds Current Money of Virginia 
Item- I give and Bequeath unto Mary Berry daughter of William Berry Fowar (4) Pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item I give and Bequeath to her Sister Elizabeth Berry Six pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item- I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Berry Daughter of Charles Berry five pounds Current money of Virginia 
Item- I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca Berry twenty pounds Curent money of Virginia I likewise Constitute and appoint my trusty friends Alexander Walker Wheel wright & William Edmoston sole Executors of this my last will & Testament and do hereby disanul & revock all other Wills or Testament by me made declaring & Publishing this my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand & seal this tenth day of October in the year one thousand seven hundred and Seventy 
Published & Pronounced in the presence of us:
John Walker 
John Walker, Junior John Berry 
James Walker 

Nov. 1774622

The Missouri Whig, Vol. X, Palmyra (MO), Thursday, February 22, 1849, No. 23
Birth of Robert Nesbit, probably in Augusta County, Virginia

~1776276

Harrison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, page 244
Birth of Unidentified Daughter in Augusta County, Virginia - one of three married daughters in Samuel Nesbit’s 1814 will

1778158

Rockbridge County, Virginia Tithable Lists 1778 - 1779
Joseph Moore's List of Tithables
Samuel Nesbat (?) 1

20 Sept 1779266,267,281,778

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995

Birth of Mary Nesbit in Rockbridge County, Virginia

~1780276

Harrison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, page 244
Birth of Unidentified Daughter in Rockbridge County, Virginia, one of three married daughters in Samuel Nesbit’s 1814 will

1 Mar. 1781 266,267,281

Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995
Birth of Samuel Nesbit, Jr. in Rockbridge County, Virginia

6 May 178121

Augusta County, Virginia Will Book 6, page 173
An account of Estate of John Berry deceased

The account of said estate

£/s/d

Received in cash by Sundry persons

170.6.4

the price of the land was twice put in this account and again deducted

 

By the sale of the said Estate

42.12.8

By cash the price of land sold

124.0.0

Totle

336.19

The price of the land deducted

124.0

Amount of the Estate

212.19

Amounts debts & legacies paid

170.3

Balance due to the Estate

£42.15.8

Errors excepted

Account of more debts paid by the Executor

 

To Margaret Kirkpatrick

0.12.6

To the sherrif for fees 46 lb Tobacco

0.3.10

To John Berry Jun. 

1.19.0

To John Gilmore

0.12.4

To William McFeeters

6.1.3

To Samuel Neizbitt 

0.6.6

To fees 

0.0.10

To Eliz. Henry

5.0.0

29.12.8

 

Brought over 

140.10.8

Total 

170.3.4

Debts paid & Legacies by the Executor

 

To George Berry for funeral charges 

1.13.6

To the Shirrif of Augusta 

0.14.11

To John Buchanan for crying the vendue

0.10.0

To David McCrea for funeral Liquers

1.7.0

To Luke Bowyer employed as Lawyer

0.18.0

To Liquor for the Vendue

0.12.6

To Anthony Kelly for a coffin 

0.10.0

To the remainder of a bond to Wm McFeeters

3.11.?

To Margaret Rutherford for Bond

2.16.9

To Capt. John Gilmore

10.5.0

To William Berry

8.10.0

To George Matthews Shirref 

0.16.3

To John Stuart 

0.16.3

To William Berry

5.14.3

To James Berry

4.0.9

To Rebecca Buchanan 

2.17.3

To Robert Franies (?)

0.3.0

To Alexander McIlroy

0.16.3

To George Berry

0.16.6

To Charles Berry

0.15.0

To Robert Kilpatrick

0.12.6

To Robert Fanies (?) 

3.9.0

To George Gibson

2.2.7

To William Gilmore

4.7.1

To William Gilmore 

0.12.0

To Rebecca Kelly

2.12.4

To Wm Moody

0.11.6

To Gabril (?) Fortec (?) 

0.15.0

To William Berry

4.13.0

To Mary Johnson

0.12.6

To James Wallace

0.2.6

To Eliz. Bell 

1.4.10

To John McCrossory (?)

2.10.0

To Andw Buchanan

1.9.1

To James Coulter 

0.7.3

To Andrew McCampbell for Jn Berry Jun

7.0.0

To Francis Berry 

1.4.0

To Eliz. Berry

5.0.0

To Eliz. Berry

1.0.0

To Mary Berry

4.0.0

To John Berry

11.0.19

To Mary Niezbitt

1.5.0

To John Berry Shoemaker

6.0.0

To Mary Berry

5.0.0

To Samuel Lyle

2.15.0

To Rebecca Gillesy

20.0.0

To Eve_?_

19.0.0

To balance due the Estate

23.15.8

Pursuant to an order of the court March 1781 We have examined the within account as it stands stated & find the amount thereof to be £242.19 and the debts paid

170.3.4

Ballance due said Estate as per account on the hands of Alexander Walker Executor O.E.

42.15.8

Test Elijah McClenachan William McFeeters
At court Cont. and held for Augusta County May 16th 1781
This account of the administration of the Estate of John Berry decd. was reported pursuant to an order of Court and Ordered to be Recorded
Test.

 

1783159

Rockbridge County, Virginia Tax Listing
Samuel Nesbit
1 free white male over 21 years of age
no slaves over the age of 16
no slaves under the age of 16
3 horses
11 cattle

2 July 1785754

Fayette County, Virginia Survey Number 8608, Virginia Patent #8608, Original Virginia Surveys: Vol. 76, Patent Numbers: 8585-8673
[drawing of tract in upper right hand corner]
Surveyed for Samuel Haws 1220 acres of Land by Virtue of part of an entry made on part of a Treasury Warrant No. 3090 entered November decim. 3rd 1782. Situate lying and being on the So. side of the So. fork of Licking adjoining a Settlement Preemption Granted to James Haggin on the So. westward side & Benjamin Harrisons 500 acre Survey on the westward and bounded as follows towit, Beginning at A a double white Thorn the most westward corner of Thomas Johnsons Preemption formerly James Haggins. Running So. 45 West 394 p.o to B a Hicory & Buckeye on the So.west bank of a small drain of Greys run thence S.o 65 East 652 p.o to C a Stake thence No 25 East 40 p.o to D an Ash, Sugar tree and Hoopwood corner to Benjamin Harrisons 500 acre Survey thence N.o 15 East 290 po. with Harrison line to E an Ash & two Hickories in Johnson preemption line thence N.o 75 West with said line 154 p.o to F two Sugar trees & Ash in Alline & Smiths this line thence N.o 32 East with the s.d line 38 p.o to G two Sugar trees & hoopwood thence No 58 West 332 p. to the beginning
Thomas Allin }
W. Smith DSFC
William Rennine}
Tho. Marshall SFC
Thos. Allin Marker
See Survey #2890 for Warrant No. 3090
[Back of Document]
Samuel Haws claims no Land adjacent or contiguous to the within Survey either by Patent of Survey to my knowledge or belief.
W. Smith DSHC
Warrant sent to the register office
with a survey of 4271.
8608
Saml. Haws plat
of 1220 acres
Survey 2nd July
1785 8608
18.??
2.6
.3
1.0.10
Ret. 23 May
Grant Issued 22 May 1787
[Unreadable] Recorded --?-- 207

Nov. 1785266,267,281

Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995
Birth of James Nesbit in Rockbridge County, Virginia

~1787487

1810 Federal Census Harrison County, Kentucky
Birth of Jane Nesbit in Rockbridge County, Virginia

1787102

Rockbridge County Tax Listing
Samuel Nesbit 
0 white males between 16 and 21
0 blacks > 16
0 blacks < 16
5 horses/mares/colts/mules
4 cattle

24 August 178721,761

Marriages Licenses in Augusta County, page 306
Augusta County Virginia, Marriage Bonds, Consent, No 87-50
Honr. Sir
Agreeable to us both partys Concerned that Jno Neisbit & Sarah Hunter be Joined in the bonds of holy matrimony we Desire the favour of you to Give him the Licents
Samuel Neisbit (Seal)
William Hunter (Seal)
Jno. Yeager
Jas. McCutchan
Know all men by these presents that we John Neisbet and James McCutchen of the county of Augusta are held and firmly bound to Edmd. Randolph Esq. Governor of Virginia and his Successors in the sum of fifty pounds current money. To the payment whereof well and truly to be made we do bind ourselves our Heirs, Executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals this 24th day of August 1787 and in the 12th year of the commonwealth.
The Condition of this obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John Neisbet and Sarah Hunter of the county of Augusta for which he hath this day obtained a license; if therefore there shall be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force.
Sealed and delivered in the presence of
John Nisbett (Seal)
James McCutchan (Seal)

19 Sept. 1787124

Rockbridge County, Virginia Deed Book A, page 696
THIS INDENTURE made this 19th Day of September in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundrend & Eight Seven between Samuel Nisbit and Mary his Wife of the County of Rockbridge and State of Virginia of the one part & John Nealson of the County and State aforesaid of the other part

WITNESSETH that the said Samuel Nesbit for and in Consideration of the sum of one hundred & sixty pounds in hand paid by the ---?-- John Nelson the Receipt whereof the s.d Samuel Nisbet and Mary his Wife doth hereby acknowledge and of every part and pa---?- thereof doth clearly acquit Exonerate & discharge the s.d John Nelson hath granted bargained and Sold aliened & Confirmed & by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien & Confirm unto John Nealson & his Heirs one certain Tract or parcel of Land containing One hundred acres be the same more or less lying in the County of Rockbridge and bounded as follow. Viz Beginning at a poplar on the side of a Branch in John Robinson Line thence with his line North twenty five Degrees west forty poles to a Black Oak North twenty two Degrees West one hundred and thirty four poles to a White oak on the top of a high hill thence North ---?--- ---?-- East Sixty poles South seventy five Degrees East one hundred and twenty poles South Nineteen Degrees West one hundred and Twenty Poles to the Beginning

and now in possession of the said John Nealson with all houses ways Easements or Appurtenanies and advantages whatsoever to the said Land and premises belonging or appurtening and also all the Estate rights Title Interest Claim and Demand of him the said Samuel Nisbet and Mary his wife of in and to the same. To have and to hold the said land and premises with the Appurtenances unto the s.d John Nealson his heirs & Assigns forever. And the said Samuel Nisbet and Mary his Wife and his Heirs the Land and premises above mentioned with the appurtenances to the said John Nelson his Heirs and assigns against him the said Samuel Nesbit and Mary his wife and his heirs and all other persons whatsoever will warrant and for ever Defend by these presents. In Witnesss whereof the s.d Samuel Nisbit and mary his Wife hath hereunto set their hands & Seals the day and year first above Written.
Signed Sealed and Delivered
Samuel Nisbet
Mary Nisbet

in presents of
Jo.o Mc.Pheters
Wm. Futton
Andrew Kennedy
John Fulton
John Robinson

S INDENTURE made this 19th Day of September in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundrend & Eight Seven between Samuel Nisbit and Mary his Wife of the County of Rockbridge and State of Virginia of the one part & John Nealson of the County and State aforesaid of the other part - WITNESSETH that the said Samuel Nesbit for and in Consideration of the sum of one hundred & sixty pounds in hand paid by the ---?-- John Nelson the Receipt whereof the s.d Samuel Nisbet and Mary his Wife doth hereby acknowledge and of every part and pa---?- thereof doth clearly acquit Exonerate & discharge the s.d John Nelson hath granted bargained and Sold aliened & Confirmed & by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien & Confirm unto John Nealson & his Heirs one certain Tract or parcel of Land containing One hundred acres be the same more or less lying in the County of Rockbridge and bounded as follow. Viz Beginning at a poplar on the side of a Branch in John Robinson Line thence with his line North twenty five Degrees west forty poles to a Black Oak North twenty two Degrees West one hundred and thirty four poles to a White oak on the top of a high hill thence North ---?--- ---?-- East Sixty poles South seventy five Degrees East one hundred and twenty poles South Nineteen Degrees West one hundred and Twenty Poles to the Beginning and now in possession of the said John Nealson with all houses ways Easements or Appurtenanies and advantages whatsoever to the said Land and premises belonging or appurtening and also all the Estate rights Title Interest Claim and Demand of him the said Samuel Nisbet and Mary his wife of in and to the same. To have and to hold the said land and premises with the Appurtenances unto the s.d John Nealson his heirs & Assigns forever. And the said Samuel Nisbet and Mary his Wife and his Heirs the Land and premises above mentioned with the appurtenances to the said John Nelson his Heirs and assigns against him the said Samuel Nesbit and Mary his wife and his heirs and all other persons whatsoever will warrant and for ever Defend by these presents. In Witnesss whereof the s.d Samuel Nisbit and Mary his Wife hath hereunto set their hands & Seals the day and year first above Written.
Signed Sealed and Delivered
Samuel Nisbet
Mary Nisbet
in presents of 
Jo.o Mc.Pheters
Wm. Futton
Andrew Kennedy
John Fulton
John Robinson

13 Dec. 1787475

Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records

Robert Johnson’s District
Saml Nisbet
1 white tithable
6 horses

~1788779

Inscription of Lewis/Nesbit Tombstones, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery,Smith Township, Posey County, Indiana in Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Birth of Margaret Nesbit in Fayette County, Virginia. Tombstone inscription reads: Margaret Nesbit, died November 21, 1858, aged 70.

1 Apr. 1788124

Rockbridge County, Virginia Deed Book A, page 697
At a Court held for Rockbridge County April the 1st 1788
This Indenture of Bargain & Sale from Samuel Nisbet and Mary his wife to John Nelson for Land was proved by the Oath of John Robinson John Fulton and Andrew Kennedy Witnesses thereto and Ordered to be Recorded.
Teste A. Reed Ct

1789475

Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records

Thomas Lewis’ District
Saml Nisbit
1 white tithable
5 horses

1789 - 179321

Books marked "Records from September 1789 to April 1793" Augusta County District Court, p. 113
John Walker, aged 57, deposes, same time and place. Samuel Nesbit came to the country after death of Borden, Jr.

1789 - 179321

Books marked "Records from September 1789 to April 1793" Augusta County District Court, p. 119.
Saml. Steele, aged 67, deposes, ditto, son of Andrew Steele, to whom 40 acres were conveyed; bought about 50 years ago. Saml. Had brother Robt. Saml. Nesbit went out as a pack horseman on an Indian Expedition in order to raise money to pay for his land.

13 Dec. 1789268

Federal Census, Fayette County, Virginia (Kentucky)
Samuel Nesbet

1790475

Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records
Thomas Lewis’ List
Saml Nisbit
2 white tithes     Samuel, John (?)

10 horses

~1791484

1850 Federal Census, Harrison County, Kentucky
Birth of William Nesbit Fayette County, Virginia

1791475

Fayette County, Virginia Tax Records
Book # 3
Samuel Nisbit
2 white tithes     Samuel, John (?)
6 horses

1794282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Niesbet
2 white males > 21    Samuel, John (?)

6 horses

27 cattle

1795282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Niesbet
3 white males     Samuel, John (?), ?

7 horses

20 cattle

264 acres
Watercourse: Grays Run

1795269

The 1795 Census of Kentucky
Samuel Nusbit Harrison County

26 Feb. 1796405

Deed Book 1, Harrison County, Kentucky, page 198
Nicholas Arnold & Sarah of Bourbon Co, KY sells to Samuel Nisbet of Harrison Co, KY, 300 acres for 150 pounds Fee simple. County of Harrison on the waters of Grays run waters of the South fork of Licking it being part of a survey made in the name of Samuel Hawes of 1,220 acres and in the most westwardly corner of said survey containing 300 acres & bounded as follows, To wit: Beginning at a hackberry & ash thence thence North 28 & _ degrees East 216 poles to an ash & sugartree corner in William Moores line thence North 60 West 182 poles to two sugartrees thence South 45 West 240 poles to a hickory & buckeye on a branch of Grays run thence South 65 East 243 poles to the Beginning. is a part of a tract of land purchased by the aforseaid Nicholas Arnold from Lewis Craig and not conveyed from said Lewis Craig to the said Nicholas Arnold now the said Nicholas Arnold doth bind himself his heirs executors & administrators in the (?) & full sum of 1,200 pounds current money to be paid to the aforseaid Samuel Nesbit his heirs & assigns make a more legal conveyance of Deed in fee simple with a general warrant unto the aforesaid 300 acres of land as before described in witness the said Nicholas Arnold & Sarah his wife have hereunto set their hands & affixed their seals. 
/s/ Nicholas Arnold & Sarah
Recorded, October Court 1796, Harrison County

1796282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Neesbit, Samuel 
300 acres on Gray's Run, original 
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1797282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Nesbet, Samuel

[unreadable acres] on Grays Run
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted Sam.l Haws

16 Nov. 1798405

Deed Book 1, Harrison County, Kentucky, page 406
Lewis & Elizabeth Craig of Mason Co, KY sell to Samuel Nisbet of Harrison Co, KY, 300 acres for 1,200 pounds
Fee simple. County of Harrison on the waters of Gray's run waters of the south fork of Licking, it being part of a survey made in the name of Samuel Hawes of 1,220 acres and in the most westwardly corner of said survey containing 300 acres. To wit: Beginning at a hackberry and ash corner to William Moore thence North 28 & _ degrees East 216 poles to an ash and sugartree corner in William 
Moores line thence North 60 degrees West 182 poles to two sugar trees thence South 45 degrees West 240 poles to a hickory and buckeye on a branch of Gray's run thence South 65 degrees East 243 poles to the Beginning.
/s/ Lewis Craig & Elizabeth
Recorded, January Court 1799, Harrison Co, KY

10 Aug. 1799273

Rockbridge County, Virginia Plat Record Book 1, pages 120 - 123

In the County Court of Rockbridge before the Justices of said Court in Chancery Sitting, on the (blank) day of August in this year 1799.
Be it remembered that heretofore, in court at Rules held in the Clerks Office of the Court aforesaid for the month of November in the year 1797 John Robinson by his attorney filed his Bill in Chancery against Samuel Nesbit and Mary his wife late Mary Berry in the records alleges following to wit: To this worshipful Court of Rockbridge County in Chancery siting Hereby complaining herewith unto your worship your orator John Robinson That a certain John Berry was seized in his lifetime no fee of a certain tract or parcel of land lying in S(aid) County, at that time Augusta, That this Berry on the 8th day of September 1770 sold the S(aid) land to a certain Hugh McClung & Francis McClung as will appear by his Bond for a title which is hereunto refer.d as part of this Bill That S(aid) Berry afterwards to wit on this (blank) day of (blank) departed this life intestate as to this land the Title remaining in him leaving a certain Mary Nesbit late Mary Berry his only child & heiress at law That this S(aid) Berry before his death made & established his last will and Testament whereby he left Samuel Walker Executor who had the S(aid) will duly proved & qualified as Executor as well [unreadable] fully appear by the records of Augusta Court That your orator afterward purchased the S(aid) Tract of land from the S(aid) McClungs as will appear by their Bond to give him possession thereof & by their assignment of the Bond aforesaid from Berry & your orator in part consideration was to pay to Walker the Exp as aforesaid the original consideration money amounting to 85 or thereabouts with [two words unreadable] the s.d Mc Cling Bond Your orator states that he paid said money to Walker suffering he could make [unreadable] a Deed & ??? the S(aid) Bond but which he hath since lost with a number of other valuable papers of which he was robd but presume the payt may be seen by the settlement of said estate. That your orator hath been if possession of S(aid) land & paid the taxes therefore upwards of 22 years tho he hath never been able as yet to obtain a title That he for a considerable time was ignorant having never taken advice that the legal title was in said Nesbit, who before that discovery was removed with her husband Samuel Nesbit to the State of Kentucky That some years ago when S(aid) Samuel Nesbit was in this county your orator applied to him about the Title who strongly advised your orator to go to Kentucky for the purpose of getting the same which he gave orator every reason to believe would be made without trouble This your orator will hope & would have been done as the S(aid) Nesbit had lived in the Neighborhood when your orator bought & took possission of the lan`d & for long after & knew the whole circumstances, except that he was ignorant as your orator believes until he told him that the title was in the S(aid) Margaret’s Your Orator further states that under these imperfections he went to Kentucky & applied to said Nesbit & wife in a friendly way for a title but was much surprised & disappointed to find S(aid) Nesbit utterly unwilling & refusing to make the same all which actings & doings of the S(aid) Nesbit & wife whom your orator prays may be made a Defendant to this Bill of Complaint are contrary to equality & good conscience In Tender consideration whereof & for as much as your orator is without relief except in a Court of Chancery where matters of this kind are properly relievable & specific performance of Covenants aforesaid To this end therefore that these Defendants may on them corporal oath been sworn & perfect answer make is all & singular the premises as fully & particularly as if the laws were herein again specifically interrogated That the Court may compel the S(aid) Defendants to make a title to your orator in fee simple for S(aid) Land & or that the Court would such other relief as may seem equitable & just.

Exhibits filed with & made part of the foregoing Bill

Know all men by there presents that I John Berry of Augusta County am held to County Court unto Hugh McCling and Francis McCling of the said County in the ??? and full sum of two hundred pounds Virginia conerece to be paid unto them & their heirs or Executor or assigns to which payment well & truly to be made I bind myself my ??? & Several heirs executors administrator assigns firmly by these presents sealed with my seal and dated this twenty Eight day of September Anno Dom One thousand seven hundred and seventy
The condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound John Berry do and shall well and truly make or cause to be made a good & indefensible title in fee simple for a track of land containing one hundred & Seventy acres it being the place where he now lives on clear of any incumberence to the said Hugh McCling and Francis McCling there heirs or assigns when the first payment is made then the above obligation is be void or else in full force and valid.
John Berry{Seal}
Snd Sealed & delivered in
The presence of
Samuel Henderson
Samuel Nesbet
Endorsed We assign over all our right and tittel of the within bond unto John Robinson & desiring and empowering him to crave (?) sew & receive the within conditions as if we wer personally present. Given under our hands this twenty seventh day of September in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy three.
Hugh McClung
Francis McClung

We Hugh & Francis McClung promise to pay unto John Robinson or his assigns the full sum of eight five pounds current money of Virginia upon the second day of November first after the hereof to be pay.d unto him his heirs or assigns to the which payment need and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs Executors administrators and assigns formly by these presents sealed with our seals and dated this 27th day of September 1773. The Condition of the above obligation is such that if the above bound Hugh and Francis McClung do give s.d Robinson [peasible ?] possession of the house whereon s.d McClung lives with the cobs boards in s.d house with the fall grain that is not in the ground against the first of November next enshuring then the above obligation shall be void otherways remaining in full force and virtue. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seal this 27th day of September 1773.
Hugh McClung
Francis McClung
Test
John Walker
Alex.n Walker
And now at this day to wit, In the County Court of Rockbridge on the 10th day of August 1799 first aforesaid
This day came the complainant by his [unreadable] and thereupon the [unreadable] & other exhibits in this cause being seen and inspected and the order of publication duly made being considered. It is ordered adjudged and decreed by the Court that the Bill of the Complaintant be taken for con[unreadable] and that the Defendants do convey to him by proper assurances in law their title in [unreadable] the said lands and that they pay in the Complainant his costs about his suit in this behalf expended.
Copy of the order of publication in this cause
Rockbridge County, May Court 1791
John Robingson C[unreadable]
In Chancery
against
Samuel Nesbit & Mary his wife late Mary Berry, Defts.
The Defendants not having entered their appearance according to law and the rules of this court and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that they are not inhabitants of this Commonwealth on the motion of the complainant by his Counsel: It is Ordered that the said Defendants do appear here on the first Tuesday in November next to answer the bill of the complainant and that a copy of this order be forthwith inserted in the Virginia Gazette for two months successively and published at the door of the Courthouse of said county.
[a copy] Test A. Reid CRC
I do certify that the advertisement in the newspaper which accompanies this between John Robingson and Samuel Nesbit & Mary his wife late Mary Berry, in the county court of Rockbridge, has been inserted in the Virginia Gazette & General advertiser [unreadable] to Law.
Richmond Tarlton W. Pleasant
August 26th 1797 for Auguston Davis
Teste Andrew Reid CRC

1799282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nesbit
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1800270, 282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbet

200 acres

Gray's Run
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

~1798 - 1800267, 281

Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995
Birth of Rebecca Nesbit, probably in Harrison County, Kentucky

1801282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbet

Gray's Run
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1802282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nesbett

200 acres

Gray's Run
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

21 Jan. 1805283

Harrison County, Kentucky Deed Book 2, page 71
THIS INDENTURE made this twenty first day of January one Thousand Eight hundred and five Between Samuel Nisbet of Harrison County and State of Kentucky of the one part & Robert Nisbet of the County and State aforesaid of the other part WITNESSETH that the s.d Samule Nisbet for and in Consideration of the sum of five shillings Current money and for the Natural Good will and affection which he doth Bear towards his son, the s.d Robert Nisbet doth give grant Bargain Sell alien Convey & Confirm unto the s.d Robert Nisbet his Heirs and assigns forever all That Certain tract or Parcel of Land Situate lying and Being in the County afores.d on the waters of Grays run being part of a Tract of land Entered Survey and Patented for Samuel Haws & Bounded as follows to wit, Begining at a white ash & Sugar tree near the Road leading to Cynthiana Thence North Sixty Degrees west fifty six poles to two Sugar trees thence South 30 degrees west nine poles to a hickory and Walnut Thence North sixty west forty poles to a Stake thence South thirty degrees west twenty six poles to a hickory & White oak thence north Sixty degrees west one hundred poles to a White ash hickory & ironwood thence South forty five degrees west Seventy one poles to a Stake near Masseys fence thence South Sixty Degrees East two hundred and nine Poles to a Sugar tree Buckeye & Ironwood on the Road to Cynthiana Thence with the same North 28 1/2 Degrees east ninety nine & Third Poles to the Begining Containing by Survey one hundred acres which s.d tract of land and premises with all the Appurtenances thereunto Belonging or in any wise appertaining unto the s.d Robt Nisbet & to his heirs and assigns from me & my Heirs and all persons Claiming under me shall and will warrent and forever Defend and should the s.d land be lost or Taken by any Better Claim or Tittle that the Claim of the s.d Haws the s.d Robt. is to have his recourse to Lewis Craig of whom I the s.d Samuel purchased the same and I herby authorize him the s.d Robert to look up to the s.d Craig and Receive from him his whole or an equal proportion of what will be lost if any should be out the tract I purchased from the s.d Lewis But if s.d land is lost as afores.d the s.d Robt. is to have no Recourse to me or my Heirs to Recover any Thing for the same, IN Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Date above written
Harrison County Jany the 21 1805 [?] Saml. Nisbet L.S.
This Indenture of Bargain & Sale from Saml. Nisbet, to Robt. Nisbet was acknowledged Before me by the s.d Saml. Nisbet & ordered to be Recorded.
Att. W. Moore, C.H.C.

17 Mar. 1808780

Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington DC, HR 81: 'A Bill Concerning Invalid Pensioners
(excerpts)
No. 81
March 17, 1808
Read the first and second time, and committed to a committee of the whole house on Monday next.
A Bill Concerning invalid pensioners.
Sec. 1 BE it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America, in congress assembled, That the secretary of war be, and he is hereby directed to place the following named persons, whose claims have been transmitted to congress, pursuant to a law passed the tenth of April, one thousand eight hundred and six, on the pension list of invalid pensioners of the United States, according to the rates, and to commence at the times, herein mentioned, that is to say:
[p. 3, line 47:] Samuel Nesbit, at the rate of five dollars per month, to commence on the eighteenth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and seven.
[p. 7:] Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the pensions of the following persons already placed on the pension list of the Untied States, whose claims for an increase of pension have been transmitted to congress. . .be increased (and more names follow).
[p. 11:] Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the pensioners becoming such in virtue of this act, shall be paid in the same manner as invalid pensioners are paid, who have heretofore been placed on the pension list of the United States, under such restrictions and regulations in all respects, as are prescribed by the laws of the United States, in such cases provided.
(End of bill excerpts)

06 June 1809282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbet, Sr.

1 white male > 21     Samuel

9 horses

180 acres on Gray's Run

In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

30 June 1810282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbet

1 white male over 21     Samuel

9 horses

In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1810487

Federal Census Harrison County, Kentucky
Samuel Neasbit

2 males 16 - 26
1 male > 45       Samuel
1 female 10 - 16
2 females 16 - 26
1 female > 45     Mary

30 August 1811282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbett, Sr.

1 male > 21     Samuel

10 horses

180 acres on Gray's Run

In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1812282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nisbet

2 males > 21     Samuel, William (21)

9 horses

180 acres on Gray's Run,
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

1813282

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Listing
Samuel Nesbitt

2 males > 21     Samuel, William (22)

7 horses

180 acres on Gray's Run
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: Sam.l Haws

Captain Gray's Company
$1550 value in town lots

7 Mar. 1814276

Harrison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, page 244
In the Name of God amen, I Samuel Nisbet of Harrison county & State of Kentucky, being weakly in body but in perfect mind & memory thanks be to God for his mercies & Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I do make & ordain this my last will & Testament by me made and first of all I do commend my soul to God who Gave it and my body to the Earth from whence it came to be decently buried & as touching my worldly Estate that is has pleased God to bless me with I do dispose of in the following way & manner I do order all my Lawfull Debts to be paid and my funeral charges and as for the balance of my Estate I do dispose of in the following way & manner that is to say to John my son I do Give one hundred & twenty Dollars and to Robert my son I do Give ten Dollars as he had Got his Share before and to Samuel my son I do Give the piece of Land that is laid off to him adjoining Roberts line supposed to be twenty acres more or less and to James my son do Give thirty Dollars as he had Got his share before and to William my son I do Give the plantation whereon I now live with all the plantation, tools & 2 horses and the waggon to be Be---?-- [possibly between] William & Sam and Each of my Daughters now living at home is to have a horse or Mare & for my other three that is Married I do Give ten Dollars to each one & the balance of the Estate I do leave the Sole disposal of to Mary my wife and she is to have a Good Sufficient living on the place and to keep possession of the house and that three un Married Daughters to have their living on the place while un Married and I do leave Mary my wife and William my son Sole Executors of this my Last will & Testament by me made I do revoke all other wills or Testament by me made __ Given under my hand this 7th day of March 1814.
Test Samuel Nisbet L.S.
W. Moore
A. Moore
Henry C. Moore

July 1814276

Harrison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, page 244
Harrison County July Court 1814
This Last will & Testament of Samuel Nesbett deceased was Returned into court & proved by the oaths of William Moore & Andrew Moore subscribing witnesses thereto & Ordered to be Recorded.
Atest. A. Moore D.C.Ck.

Nov. 1814284

Harrison County, Kentucky Will Book A
An inventory of the estate of Samuel Nisbet, Sr. Deceased. 1814

1 grey mare

$40.00

 

1 other bay mare 4 yrs. old 

$55.00

$95.00

1 bay mare 15 yrs. old 

$30.00 

$85.00

1 strawberry roan mare 

$25.00

 

1 old mare and colt 

$25.00

$50.00

1 yearling stud colt 

$20.00

 

1 old grey horse 

$18.00

$38.00

1 old brindle steer 1 brown steer 

$9.00 

$20.00

1 red steer 

$10.00

 

The spots on the rump 

$10.00 

$20.00

1 brindled and white steer 

$7.00

 

1 red and white steer 

$6.00

$13.00

1 small brindled steer 

$5.00

 

1 small red steer 

$4.00

$ 9.00

1 small freckled steer 

$4.00 

 

1 fleet-------------heifer 

$9.00

 

1 red and white heifer 

$4.00

 

1 old see (?) cow 

$12.00

$16.00

1 red yellow young cow 

$12.00

 

1 brindle cow and calf with a white back 

$14.00

 

1 brindle cow and calf with a white spot 

$14.00

 

1 brindled cow with a star on her face 

$14.00

 

1 brindled heifer

$ 6.00

 

3 small poor yearling

$12.00

 

18 heads of hogs

$30.00

 

8 small shoots 

$13.00 (?) 

$33.00

20 head of sheep 

$40.00

 

1 cupboard and furniture

$20.00 

$60.00

2 chests 

$4.00

 

2 candle stands 

$4.00

 

2-------- ? trunk 

$2.00

$10.00

1 bedstead and furniture

$10.00

 

1 bedstead and furniture No. 2

$40.00

 

1 bedstead and furniture No. 3

$25.00

 

1 bedstead and furniture No. 4

$40.00

 

1 bedstead and furniture No. 5

$30.00

 

1 bedstead and furniture No. 6

$30.00

 

7 pairs of blankets

   

5 second rate blankets

$59.00

 

2 rugs

$12.00

 

5 quilts

$25.00

 

5 coverlets

$14.00

$51.00

5 calico quilts

$25.00

 

3 old calico quilts

$10.00

 

1 counterpane

$53.00

 

9 sheets

$22.50

 

21 pounds of pewter

$8.20

 

1 clock

$20.00

$50.70

1 kettle

$2.75

 

1 skillet & pot

$2.00

 

1 oven

$2.00

$ 6.75

1 tea kettle

$6.00

 

1 x 18 gal. Kettle

$5.00

$11.00

1 loom and appurtenances

$18.00

 

5 side saddles

$84.00

 

1 man's saddle

$15.00 

$100.00

Notes on Demand on Different Persons

$734.50 (sic)

$749.50

Mary Nesbit
William Nesbit Administrators
Alexander Lewis, James Grinvell (?), Wm Cummins, Noath Spears, Appraisers.

1817618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Mary Nesbit
1 male > 21              William (26)
9 horses
180 acres on Gray’s Run
In Whose Name Entered,/Surveyed/Granted: S. Haws
Value/acre: $18
Total Value: $3540

1820488

Federal Census, Harrison County, Kentucky
South Side of Licking River
William Nisebutt

1 male 26 – 45

William

(29)

1 female 26 – 45

Jane Nesbit

(~33)

1 female > 45

Mary (Berry) Nesbit

(~72)

24 Aug. 1828782

Sessional & Other Records, Livonia Presbyterian Church, Samuel Nesbit, DAR Documentation File
Livonia Presbyterian Church, Washington County, Indiana
Mrs. Mary Nesbit received by certificate

28 Oct. 1828266,778

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Death of Mary (Berry) Nesbit, Washington County, Indiana

 

Analysis of the Timeline

 

     Based on family bible records, Mary Berry’s 1748 birth date is satisfactorily documented. As noted above her birth place is not known with any such certainty, although, based on circumstantial evidence, it appears that she may have been born in the Scotch-Irish enclave thriving in south central Pennsylvania. The birth date of her husband, Samuel Nesbit, has been documented in DAR records as being 1749, and, although these records indicate he was born in Virginia, that seems highly unlikely. Although no definitive evidence can be found one way or another, he was probably connected in some way to the Scotch-Irish community of south central Pennsylvania. Both Mary and Samuel migrated to Augusta County, Virginia when they were young, and grew up in the Shenandoah Valley. Although no marriage records have been located for them, based on the birth date of their first child in 1766, they most likely got married about 1765 in Augusta County, Virginia, since that was where both of them lived. At the time of their marriage, both Mary and Samuel would have been in their late teens, probably requiring parental approval for them to wed.617,761,778,781

 

     The oldest verifiable primary source documenting the existence of Mary Berry and Samuel Nesbit comes from the spring of 1770 in Augusta County, Virginia, when Samuel purchased 100 acres of land in the Borden Grant. In the fall of that year, Mary’s father, the elder John Berry, passed away, and both her and her oldest child, and only child at that time, were mentioned in his will. For some reason, the final settlement for John Berry’s will was not completed for another 11 years, and both Mary and Samuel received monetary distributions, totaling to just under 2 from the estate. The Borden property that Samuel purchased in 1770 for 17 can be identified on the Borden Grant Map (Figure 8/Table II, Figure 10), and the land description notes that Samuel’s land was adjacent to that of a John Berry, although it is apparent from the segment of the report dealing with the elder John Berry (section B) that Samuel’s land does not appear to be located correctly on the Borden Grant map (Figures 8 and 43). Based on an analysis of the surveyor’s notes, the adjacent property owners and the topographic expression of the area, the actual location of this property is more likely farther downstream on Moffet Creek as shown in Figures 10 and 13. The purchase date for Samuel Nesbit’s land was March 1770, but the land wasn’t delivered to Samuel until May 1787. This 17 year lag between initial purchase and delivery is somewhat mysterious, but can be explained if it is assumed that Samuel Nesbit financed the purchase with a loan and took a long time to make all the payments. Augusta County records from the period of 1789 through 1793 note that Samuel Nesbit had raised cash for a land purchase by hiring out as a pack horseman on an Indian Expedition, and, since he cannot be definitively tied to the purchase of any other property in the area, this explanation certainly could be referring to his Borden land purchase.124,399


     Calculations and derivations of the identities and birth dates for the children of Mary and Samuel have come from some secondary sources, but mostly from such primary sources as county personal property taxes, marriage records, federal census data, tombstone inscriptions, newspaper obituaries and family bible records. Combining these dates with the family’s known dwelling locations has allowed a determination to be made of the birth places of these children. Their firstborn child, John Nesbit, was born in the late summer or fall of 1766. Another son, Robert, was born in 1773 or 1774 and they probably had a daughter when the Revolutionary War began in 1776. All of these children were born while the family was living in Augusta County, Virginia. In 1778, Rockbridge County was formed from a portion of Augusta and Botetourt Counties, and the Borden land that Samuel had purchased in 1770 became a part of Rockbridge. The following year Mary Nesbit was born, probably followed in 1780 by another daughter. Two sons, Samuel and Robert, were born in 1781 and 1785, respectively, and another daughter, Jane, joined the family in 1787. Despite the fact that the family had not moved, all of these children were born in Rockbridge County, Virginia rather than Augusta. In the fall of 1787 the family moved to Fayette County, Virginia on the western side of the Appalachian Mountains, where Margaret (1788) and William (1791) were born. In 1791 they moved to an unknown location, possibly what would eventually become Scott or Woodford County, and during this time Kentucky was separated from Virginia into a separate state. They moved again to a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Licking River, just south of the present day town of Cynthiana in what became Harrison County, Kentucky in 1794. Their last known child, Rebecca, was born sometime between 1798 and 1800 in that county.21,266,276,281,402,484,

487,617,622,761,778,779,783

 

   Shortly after it was formed in 1778, Rockbridge County imposed a tax upon its citizens, and, on Joseph Moore’s List of Tithables, Samuel Nesbit was listed as the only taxable male (i.e. over the age of 21) in his household. Since the incorrect location of Samuel Nesbit’s property on Figure 8 places it in Augusta County after Rockbridge was split off from it, and the revised location places his property in Rockbridge County, the accuracy of the revised property location seems to be validated by the Rockbridge County tax records. About half of the Rockbridge landowners on this tithable list could be identified as original Borden Grant purchasers, and the locations of these properties are shown in Figure 43. It should be noted that, although this is the incorrect location for Samuel Nesbit’s property, it is close enough to the actual location to have no adverse bearing on this analysis. Of the unidentified landowners, many, undoubtedly, purchased property from original Borden landowners, while others could be sons of original purchasers. This map also broadly defines Joseph Moore’s area of tax collection responsibility. No other Augusta County properties owned by Mary and Samuel are known, and since their only known property appears fairly close to the main clusters of known properties on this list, the Borden tract they purchased in 1770 was probably the site of their residence.21,158,159


    While Mary and Samuel were still living in Rockbridge County, Samuel Haws obtained a survey, and eventually title from the state of Virginia, to 1,220 acres of land along Gray’s Run in what would eventually become Kentucky, based on a claim he had submitted late in 1782. Samuel would purchase a portion of this acreage in 1795, and eventually, the Nesbit family moved there. Samuel was again taxed in Rockbridge County in 1787, and the family was listed as owning 3 horses, 11 cattle and no slaves, the latter, of which, places them in the majority of white settlers in Rockbridge County. Based on the available 1783 Rockbridge tax figures, only 17% of Rockbridge County property owners were slave owners. The tax data also reflects the fact that none of Mary and Samuel’s boys were between the ages of 16 and 21 yet. Their oldest son, John, got married in the late summer of 1787, and, according to his calculated birth date, he should have been 21 at the time, which is just over the age bracket. Their next oldest son, Robert, was 13 years old, so he didn’t quite make the age bracket from the other end.405,754


Samuel Nesbit and the Battle of Cowpens

 

   Several lines of evidence indicate that Samuel Nesbit participated in and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina on 17 January 1781 as a member of the Virginia militia. The following analysis reviews the evidence for Samuel’s involvement, the events leading up to the battle and a detailed account of the battle itself. The US Congress didn’t pass any legislation to provide assistance to Revolutionary War veterans until 1818, but many had passed away by that time, including Samuel Nesbit. They did, however, pass a bill in 1808 that would provide financial aid to veterans in serious need, and a Samuel Nesbit was listed as being eligible to receive a pension.


Virginia Military Units

 

   Virginians served in three military capacities during the Cowpens battle. There were long term regulars, typically referred to as Continentals, shorter term state troops, who typically served between six and 18 month enlistment terms, short term militia units, who served temporarily to meet a crisis. During October of 1780 two militia drafts were organized in Augusta County in order to counter the menacing and expanding British presence in the southern piedmont and coastal plain of South Carolina and Georgia. Capt. James Tate commanded one the resulting companies, while Capt. Patrick Buchanan commanded the other. Capt. James Gilmore also led a militia group from Rockbridge County, the Rockbridge Rifles, consisting of 42 enlisted men recruited from the Lexington, Virginia area, as well as from adjacent Botetourt County. All of these units were drafted to serve a three month enlistment, beginning in October of 1780, but, since the threat was not yet passed by the end of their enlistment term, most of them were extended by a month by the time of the Battle of Cowpens. While some of the Virginia militia units that participated in the Battle of Cowpens were long-standing militia units from Augusta, Fauquier and Rockbridge Counties that had served in many campaigns throughout the war, many members of the Virginia militia did not have any prior service. Militia companies typically consisted of anywhere from 10 to 40 men, which were half the size of regular army companies. Consequently, especially when they served alongside regular army units, it was not uncommon for several militia companies to be merged together. For example, three militia companies from Fauquier County were merged into one company for the Cowpens Campaign.786,787,788,789

 

   Samuel Nesbit’s connection to the Cowpens Battle is documented by the DAR Patriot Index and a family oral tradition, as well as from a congressional invalid pension bill. From these sources it can be gleaned that Samuel Nesbit was a member of Capt. Alexander Stewart’s militia company, but, from the available data, it is not known whether he was a member of the local Augusta County militia or the state militia. Capt. Stewart is not mentioned as being one of the company commanders from the October 1780 Augusta County militia draft, but membership rolls for militia units were not commonly preserved and quite difficult to find, so the question cannot be settled adequately at this time. A Nesbit family oral tradition, one of which originated from Samuel Nesbit’s daughter, Margaret, who stated that her father had his chin cut off during the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Cowpens. Another source from the same DAR application, a granddaughter of Samuel Nesbit’s son, Samuel Nesbit, Jr., noted that her great grandfather’s chin had been cut off with a saber, and that he replaced the piece, bound it with a handkerchief, and laid down to sleep on a log that night. In the morning he made his way to the home of a local resident where he remained – too injured to rejoin the retreating army. An 1808 congressional bill to provide monetary assistance to destitute and seriously wounded Revolutionary War veterans lists a Samuel Nesbit as a valid pensionee, and while it is not clear if that this Samuel Nesbit is the same Samuel Nesbit who was wounded at Cowpens, it does seem highly likely that it is, based on the serious nature of the wound. Both militia and Virginia state troops experienced upper body saber wounds during different parts of this battle, so a saber wound does narrow down where Samuel was actually located on the battlefield, but does not provide enough information on the military unit under which he served. With a saber wound to his chin, he clearly suffered an attack by British cavalry, and there, there are only two places on the battlefield where such wounds were common to militia soldiers – in the British breakthrough on the American left flank early in the battle and in the late phases of the battle when British cavalry defended the attack against their artillery. Militia units were involved in the left flank cavalry attack and state militia troops were involved in the later artillery defense.281,780,781,790,791


Background to Battle

 

    After an initial unsuccessful attempt by the British to take the southern American colonies in 1776, they withdrew, temporarily abandoning the campaign. In February of 1780, however, they returned, capturing Charleston, South Carolina and quickly expanding inland to occupy the backcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, capturing the towns of Camden, Ninety Six and Augusta by the end of June 1780 (Figure 62). In the middle of August, a Patriot army made up of militia and regular continentals was soundly defeated at Camden (partially because the militia turned and ran when confronted), making it appear that the British now had firm control of the south. Patriots who surrendered at Camden were shot/executed by the British/Loyalist army, generating a great deal of bad feelings on the part of the Americans, and probably providing a great motivating force for subsequent atrocities. In a series of battles that followed, the tide of the southern campaign, and the course of the war, itself, was completely reversed. First, Patriot militia soundly defeated the British-run Loyalist militia at the Battle of King's Mountain in early October 1780 (Figure 62). After that, General Nathaniel Greene took command of Patriot forces in the southern colonies. The American forces were not strong enough to directly face the British, nor was there enough food and supplies to concentrate them, so he divided his outnumbered army, sending half with Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, and dispersing them into small units operating throughout the South Carolina back country, quite often terrorizing and plundering Loyalists in the process of supplying themselves in their foraging activities. The militia forces acted as a protective layer between the main British and American forces, while hampering communications and supply lines. Supplies could easily reach the Americans by being floated downstream, but British supplies had to move upriver or along roads, both, of which, were easily subject to guerilla actions. As the Patriot military threat grew, General Cornwallis, the overall British commander, feared an attack against his supply outpost at the town of Ninety Six, so he sent his fast-moving light troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in search of Morgan.786,787,788,789


   Morgan crossed into South Carolina with his "Flying Army" on 22 December 1780, then moved on to a crossing of the Pacolet River where his forces were joined by other militia and Continental units operating throughout the area. For the next three weeks they remained at this location, the plantation of a Loyalist American colonist, plundering his holdings and property to feed the Patriot army. By about this time Colonel Tarleton felt that his supply base at Ninety Six was secure, so he headed northward in pursuit of Morgan, led by Captain Alexander Chesney whose plantation was then being plundered by General Morgan's troops. On 14 January 1781, Morgan moved his forces to block the Pacolet River crossings, and gradually began to retreat upcountry, pulling Tarleton farther away from his base of supply and reinforcements, as well as concentrating his own dispersed forces. Many of the Patriot militiamen guarding the fords, however, were at the end of their three month enlistments and it took quite a bit of effort to encourage them to stay, especially with the obvious danger of approaching British troops. On the evening of 15 January 1781, British forces set up camp and appeared to be settling down for the night. Instead, after dark, they broke camp and crossed the Pacolet River fords, getting within six miles of Morgan, who immediately withdrew his army northward upon hearing the news, leaving behind half-cooked breakfasts in the rush. British troops soon occupied the site, and gorged themselves on the abandoned food, suggesting that a food shortage was developing in their ranks. For the rest of the day and throughout the night, Morgan's troops began converging on Cowpens, where the Patriot militia had concentrated their forces just before the King's Mt. battle, several months before. Much of the Virginia militia arrived late in the afternoon of 16 January. Morgan and his staff committed to battle and, with the assistance of loyal, local farmers, soon selected the ground where the battle would take place and the tactics to be used.786,787,788,789

 

   To do battle against Tarleton's eleven hundred troops, Morgan had around 1600 experienced Continentals and militia men, including over a thousand militia troops from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The battle plan called for the militia, well known for their marksmanship, as well as their tendency to panic and run when directly attacked, to fire several well-aimed volleys into the attacking British force, then fall back through the lines of the regular soldiers behind them to take new positions. This reinforced the line, and combined with the appearance of a panicky route, would give the false appearance to the British forces that they were in the process of trouncing the American militia again, just as they had at Camden. Tarleton's plan was to overwhelm the overstressed militia with a rapid infantry attack, then a cavalry charge, followed by an envelopment of the Americans on both of their flanks by his cavalry. With a deep creek valley to their right and a creek along the left side, however, Morgan's forces were protected on both flanks by ground unsuitable to cavalry actions, the strong suit of the British forces. The real story of this battle is the fact that an American general was able to fuse regular troops and undisciplined back country militia into an effective fighting force that defeated a British army, using classical European tactics with a uniquely American twist (Figure 62).786,787,788,789


The Battle


  At the battlefield site, the Green River Road, nothing more than a wide dirt track, ran along the high ground of a forested drainage divide between two stream valleys, and, at the north end of the battlefield, connected with a side road. The hills of the drainage divide were the only high ground in a countryside characterized by subdued and generally low topography. The woods covering the area were mostly clear of underbrush from years of firewood foraging, open range cattle grazing and occasional forest fires. Springs along the heads of the streams along the margins of the drainage divide made for mushy and swampy grounds in the low valleys, rendering these areas quite unsuitable for rapid cavalry movements. On the morning of the battle, all participants were experiencing a typical southern piedmont winter day. The air was cold, damply humid with a misty rain from low, hanging clouds driven by a crisp wind.786,787,788,789

 

    The first line of American defense was a skirmish line of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina militia, posted about 150 yards in front of the second line. The militia line, in turn, sat 150 yards in front of the line of well seasoned Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Continentals. The battle initiated at early dawn as British cavalry was sent forward to chase off the skirmishers and gather intelligence on the American positions, which were mostly hidden from view beyond the crest of a ridge. Mounted British troopers swept to their right, the American left, taking fire from the skirmishers, who were well covered behind trees. Failing in this attempt, , the aggressive British commander determined that his best course of action was to have his infantry close in, so they formed up, centering on the Green River Road and began advancing with fixed bayonets, confidently pushed uphill against the retreating skirmishers. The skirmishers, primarily southern country boys, provided a continuous, well aimed and heavy fire. They would typically fire their rifle, withdraw to another tree, reload and fire again, with the general movement being back. Their retreat was also directed up a ridge, now referred to as militia ridge, where the second line of defense, the militia line, lay hidden, just beyond the crest. As the skirmishers withdrew, they took their places in this line, thus greatly reinforcing I (Figure 62).786,787,788,789

 

    When the British infantry passed over the crest of the ridge, they were surprised by the second line of defense, but grimly pressed on, bayonets facing forward. The militia line held its fire until the quickly advancing infantry approached within 40 yards, then cut loose with several volleys, one after another, with deadly and devastating effect. Responding instinctively to their training, the British infantry charged in the face of fire. Several charges were made, each met with a volley of deadly, close range rifle fire, inflicting heavy losses and stopping the charge. Soon, however, the militia were out of ammunition, and, without a chance to reload and in the face of yet another charge, they withdrew, passing through the last line of defense, the regular army Continentals, as they headed to the rear to reorganize. Despite their heavy losses, the British infantry at this point, after having routed the skirmishers and the militia line, felt that the battle was all but won, and vigorously pressed on in utter confidence, soon encountering the main line of waiting regulars.786,787,788,789

 

   In the midst of mass confusion in the American rear, as the militia was reloading and trying to reorganize, British cavalry swept down the American left flank in hot pursuit of the militia. Their flashing sabers quickly hacked down many fleeing militia, causing numerous head and shoulder wounds. American cavalry, up to now held in reserve, were quickly brought into action against the outnumbered British cavalry, and their effort, combined with the now reorganized militia, succeeded in driving off the attackers with heavy losses. The militia soldiers returned to the lines, reinforcing them, others mounted up and participated in the cavalry pursuit, and still others remained behind, becoming long range snipers into a target rich environment.786,787,788,789

 

    As this was happening on the American left flank, their right flank became hotly engaged with the advancing British infantry as they encountered the waiting Continentals of the main line. The crack and flash of rifle volleys filled the battlespace with bullets that zipped through the air, ripping into trees and impacting human flesh and bones, quickly followed by the agonized groans and screams of the wounded. Most casualties in this 10 minute firefight were belly and extremity wounds. On the far right flank on the American side were North Carolina militia, who then began retreating around the right side of the Continental firing line. The Continentals were supposed to merely turn to the right to allow the militia to pass. Battlefield orders, however, were misunderstood and the Continental troops instead, began an organized retreat, reloading as they headed back. Observing the retreat, the British assumed that they were routing the enemy on this flank, as well, and, once again sensing victory to be within their grasp, vigorously charged. The battle now became a race to safety, hinging on the Americans reaching the safety of some nearby woods before the British ran them down. As they reached their rallying point in the woods, they were then ordered to abruptly turn and fire at close range upon their pursuers. The deadly close-range volley, immediately followed by a wild bayonet charge, completely stunned the British infantry. Compounding their problems was a simultaneous attack by American cavalry that had circled around the American right flank and began attacking the British left flank from their left and rear. The combined effect of this envelopment with the sudden, completely unexpected and stunningly effective volley and vicious bayonet attack completely overwhelmed the disorganized British troops, causing them to completely collapse in utter panic, either surrendering or retreating. The Continentals surged forward and quickly captured the cannons, but in an effort to save them, the British commander ordered his cavalry to counterattack. The brief engagement that followed resulted in a number of saber wounds to Virginia State militia troopers, but the British were soon driven off.786,787,788,789

 

    After the battle ended, the Americans were faced with a delicate and thorny situation. British troops would soon return to continue their pursuit, but, in the meantime, there were numerous casualties that needed attention. The walking wounded moved north with General Morgan, along with the prisoners, while the more seriously wounded were left in the care of local residents. The types of injuries also reveals a great deal about where on the battlefield a participant was, and in what phase they were wounded. Bayonet wounds typically came from the close infantry encounters, whereas saber wounds occurred during the British cavalry breakthrough on the American left flank, as well as in the final phases of the battle. Gunshot wounds typified the infantry encounters along the middle of the line. Morgan soon headed northward, and Cornwallis quickly continued his pursuit, consequently, activities soon became part of the next engagement which took place in the middle of March at Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina (Figure 62).786,787,788,789

 

Back to the Timeline Analysis

 

   The Borden property purchased by Samuel and Mary in spring of 1770 was “delivered” to them in May of 1787, which probably means they finally received clear title to the land at that time. The following September they sold this parcel of land. The next land entry for Samuel Nesbit is a tax listing from Fayette County, Virginia several months later in December of 1787, so, clearly, they sold their land and moved to western Virginia during the fall of 1787. (Figure 21) Presumably, Samuel and Mary traveled along the Great Wagon Road, through the great valley lying between the Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains just to the east, to Washington County, Virginia. Many other Berry families already resided there, so it is easy to imagine the Nesbits stopping there for a short time. Probably after resting and visiting with relatives, they continued westward along the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap to Fayette County, Virginia into what would eventually be referred to as the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. (Figure 31 and Figure 44) They appear in Fayette County tax records from 1787 through 1791, then reappear in the newly formed Harrison County in that county’s first tax assessment. The location of Samuel and Mary is quite difficult to pinpoint during this time period because of rapidly changing county boundaries, missing tax records and the fact that Samuel and Mary appear to have made several physical moves. In order to accurately determine their movements, the county boundary changes need to be closely examined and all county tax records need to be evaluated. As of this writing, the county boundaries have been mapped, but not all tax records have been examined, so the following analysis may change somewhat after Woodford and Scott County tax data files are examined.34,124,137,190,282,475

 

   Figures 57, 58, 59, 60 and 61 show the development of the Kentucky counties of Virginia east of the Kentucky River from 1780 through 1793, which covers the time period where Samuel was first taxed in Fayette County records and when he finally appeared in Harrison County, Kentucky, where he remained (and was taxed) for the rest of his life. As shown in these maps, the entire area east of the Kentucky River that eventually became part of the state of Kentucky in 1792 comprised Fayette County, Virginia in 1780. That county was reduced in extent by 1786 with the formation of Bourbon County, which is where many of the Pennsylvania Nesbits settled. Not long after Mary and Samuel moved to Fayette County in late 1787, Fayette’s areal extent was reduced further with the formation of Woodford County in 1788, and since Samuel and Mary can be traced through Fayette County tax records until 1791, it stands to reason that they must have been living in the portion of Fayette County that had not been split off to form Woodford County. Their abrupt disappearance from Fayette County tax records after 1791 strongly suggests that the family changed the location of their household. Since they next appear in tax records in Harrison County, which is in the general vicinity, they probably did not move far away, and it seems quite likely that they moved either to Bourbon, Woodford or Scott County.784,785

 

   Bourbon County was formed from Fayette County in 1786, and Bourbon County tax records extend back to that date. Samuel and Mary cannot be found in Bourbon County tax records, so, clearly, they did not ever live there. In 1788 Woodford County was formed from Fayette County, and Woodford tax records extend back to that date, At this time, however, these tax records have not yet been reviewed. In 1792 Scott County was formed from Woodford County, but there are no tax records until 1794, either because they were lost or because the county legal apparatus was not fully prepared for conducting business. If the latter is the case, then it would seem likely that anyone living in the area of Woodford County that was split off to form Scott County, would have been taxed in Woodford until the Scott offices were ready. Quite obviously, the next direction of Nesbit research in this area must be directed toward examining the tax records of Woodford and Scott Counties.

 

   As noted above, in 1794, Samuel and Mary were taxed in the newly formed Harrison County, which was formed from parts of Bourbon and Scott Counties in late 1793, however, they were not yet landowners, so may have been “squatting” on open land, or on land they intended to buy. By the following year, 1795, they were taxed on property they owned along Grays Run. Since a deed record from early 1796 documents their purchase of Grays Run land from Samuel Haws, it appears very likely that they were already living on that land by late 1795, and possibly as early as 1794. If they moved to the Grays Run land after Scott County was formed in 1792, but before Scott County collected taxes in 1794, then one would expect them to be taxed in the parent county that was split to form Scott County, which would be Bourbon County. As noted above, however, they are not found in Bourbon County tax records, which seems to nullify this theory. This means that, when they left Fayette County in late 1791, they must have moved to a part of Woodford County that was not used to form Scott County, then moved again in late 1793, to the newly forming Harrison County. On the other hand, if the Scott County tax records from 1792 through 1794 were actually recorded but subsequently lost, they could have moved to the Grays Run location when they left Fayette County and “squatted” there until they actually bought the land after it had become part of Harrison County.


    In the fall of 1797, a lawsuit in Rockbridge County involved Mary and Samuel. It seems that not long before Mary’s father, the elder John Berry, passed away in late 1770 or early 1771, he had sold some land to Hugh and Francis McClung, and the latter had agreed to make a series of payments over a number of years until the purchase price had been met. Samuel Nesbit was listed as one of the witnesses to this contract. John Berry’s estate appraisal noted that these payments were to be made to the executor of the estate in the case of John Berry’s death. John Robinson testified in 1797 that he had purchased the land from the McClungs and had made full payment to the executor of John Berry’s estate. He further stated that he had paid all taxes on the land since 1775. Unfortunately he had failed to acquire a deed or title and had since lost the receipt of payment. When he decided to sell the land, no clear title could be produced, so he appealed to Mary and Samuel Nesbit for it. Even after traveling to Nesbit’s new home in Kentucky, Mr. Robinson had been unable to obtain the document from the Nesbits (apparently due to unwillingness on their part), so he appealed to the court for assistance.273


    Documentation proving the exchange between the McClungs and John Robinson was produced in the course of the proceedings, which clearly recorded John Robinson as the true owner of the land. The legal fight, however, appears to have lasted for several years. There is a reference to a 1791 court document, which notes that Samuel and Mary did not live in the Rockbridge County area anymore. It ordered them to appear in court, and directed that a copy of the order be printed in the local newspaper and displayed at the court house. In 1797, it is recorded that the information had been published in the newspaper, as directed, and in the summer of 1799, the judge ruled against Mary and Samuel.273


    The paperwork for this lawsuit produced several confusing and contradictory statements in regard to Mary Berry. First, she was referred to as “his late wife Mary Berry”, and while this may suggest that Mary has passed away, it, actually, is merely referring to her maiden name. It made the point that when she had previously been known as Mary Berry, but her name had changed (due to marriage), and Mary Berry’s name was now Mary Nesbit – a legal statement of marital fact. Another entry in the same document refers to the wife of Samuel as Margaret, which may lead to the erroneous conclusion that Samuel was married to a woman named Mary and later to another named Margaret. The actual reference reads “the said Margaret”. If a Margaret had been referred to earlier in the document, it could lead to the conclusion that there were two wives, but since the only earlier reference to a female is to Mary, these names are clearly referring to the same woman. In addition, in Samuel’s will, which was written in 1814, he refers to his wife as Mary. Either Margaret was Mary’s middle name or Mary was often referred to as Margaret. In his lawsuit, Mr. Robinson notes that Mary was the only child and heiress at law of John Berry. This is also factually incorrect, since there was another daughter mentioned in the will, Rebecca Berry (who did not pass away until 1825), not to mention all of the males who have been interpreted to be his sons. The reference most likely refers only to the children of John Berry that possessed a legal stake in the particular tract of land under discussion, and that would be Mary (Berry) Nesbit. This lawsuit clearly highlights the dangers of discerning basic family relationships from a third party in an adversarial legal encounter. Mary Berry had not passed away prior to 1797. Samuel Nesbit did not marry another woman named Margaret, and Mary (Berry) Nesbit was not the sole heir of her father.273,295,296


    In 1798 Mary and Samuel purchased additional lands along Grays Run that had been originally purchased by Samuel Haws, so they, most likely, were adding adjacent lands to their existing property holdings. The Nesbits were recorded in Harrison County for the 1800 Kentucky tax listings, which served as the basis for the 1800 federal census. In 1805, Samuel sold 100 acres of his property on Gray’s Run to his son, John Nesbit, for 5 shillings, and Figure 45 shows the property outlines as defined from the indenture agreement. Considering that just 18 years earlier, Samuel had sold the same amount of acreage on his Borden land in Rockbridge County, Virginia for 160, this land deal seems more like a giveaway to his son, and probably represents John’s share of his inheritance. Samuel Nesbit was recorded as the head of this Harrison County Nesbit household in the 1810 federal census. Based on known birth and marriage dates, the two males between 16 and 26 in the household are probably Mary and Samuel’s youngest sons, James and William. The female in the 10 through 16 year age bracket is probably Rebecca, and Jane and Margaret are the two females in the 16 through 26 year age bracket.487

 

    Samuel Nesbit wrote his will in the spring of 1814 in Harrison County, Kentucky, and by July it was proved in court, which means he must have passed away sometime between 7 March 1814 and July 1814. He probably died on his farm, and in all likelihood, was buried there, as well. In his will he identified his wife Mary, five sons and, while he did not identify any of his daughters by name, he noted that he had three daughters that were married, and three that were still single. He mentioned that his wife, Mary, should remain on the farm in her widowhood, and that Robert and James had already received their share of the inheritance. Samuel was to receive 20 acres of land adjacent to Robert’s land, and William was to inherit the land on which the family farm was situated. He further noted that William, Samuel and each of the daughters living at home would get a horse and mare, and that his three married daughters would receive $10 each. He also noted that his three unmarried daughters could live at home until they got married.276 

 

   After his death, Samuel’s personal estate was appraised, as directed by the court. The appraisal information in the timeline has double dollar value entries, the meaning, of which, is unclear, so only the first value was used in the analysis below. Using the descriptions and dollar figures from the estate appraisal, Samuel Nesbit’s personal estate calculates to a value of $1680.95, and, when adjusted for inflation, this correlates to $14,061.90 in 1999 dollars.285 It should be noted that there is no real estate or crops in the ground included in this appraisal, presumably, because the land had already been divvied up among his children (as noted in the will) and the crops harvested and sold. The Harrison County tax listing for 1814 shows Samuel’s son, William, apparently owning the land that Samuel had owned up to 1813. The actual property items from the appraisal were grouped, as shown below in Table VI into three categories with a fourth category for loans due to Samuel. The bulk of his estate consisted of outstanding loans with the next most valuable item being livestock. Other than the large amount of livestock noted in Samuel Nesbit’s estate, there are several other interesting items. There’s a fairly large number of blankets, quilts, rugs and coverlets listed (a total of 32), indicating that there was a lot of sewing going on, and with a family comprising six daughters, this should not appear too surprising. There is also a loom and the associated equipment, so cloth was clearly being manufactured at home. The 20 sheep itemized in the estate probably indicates the type of cloth and cloth products being made. There is also 21 pounds of pewter, which may suggest that Samuel did some metalworking when he wasn’t busy raising all the livestock.284,285

 

Table VI
Summary of the Appraisal of Samuel Nesbit's Personal Estate

 

Item

Total

Percentage

Livestock

$457

27%

Furniture

$199

12%

Household Items

$290.45

17%

Loans

$734.50

44%

Total

$1680.95

 


    Mary (Berry) Nesbit remained on the farm, now run by her youngest son, William, at least until 1820, when she was recorded in William’s household for the 1820 federal enumeration. Mary Berry Nisbet went to Washington County, Indiana in 1824 to live with her daughter, Mary Nisbet Martin, and died at her home on October 19, 1828. She was buried on the Alexander Martin lot at the Livonia Cemetery in Washington County, Indiana in what is now an unmarked grave. Alexander Martin had a brother, William, who was a great Presbyterian missionary in southern Indiana and was Pastor of the Church at Livonia.266,281,488,778,782

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