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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON
NICHOLAS SPEAK

(From "Early Settlers of Lee County, Virginia and Adjacent Counties, Volume II" by Hattie Muncy Bates, Copyright 1977, pages 947-8)



        Nicholas Speak, the progenitor of the branch of the Speak family in Southwestern Virginia, was born March 3, 1782 in Charles County Maryland.  When a young man, and sometime before 1804, he removed from Maryland to southwestern Virginia and settled in Washington County, where on August 12, 1804 he was married by the Rev. Charles Cummings to Sarah Faries (Farris) who was born March 8, 1786 in Washington County, Virginia.  The names of Sarah's parents are not definitely known.  Nicholas and Sarah Speak lived in Washington County, Virginia for a number of years, and where all their children were born except their two youngest daughters.  The first land record found in Washington County was October 17, 1809 when William Brown and Elizabeth his wife of Washington County conveyed 60 acres lying on the south side of the Holston River to Nicholas Speak for $300, and on December 18, 1810, Nicholas Speak purchased 28 acres lying on the north side of Little Stone mountain in Washington County, adjoining William Hickenbottom's land, from Robert Caldwell and Jane his wife for $70 (DBK 4, 231, 396).  February 16, 1813, Nicholas Speak and Sarah his wife conveyed the above two tracts to Christopher Ketring of Washington County (DBK 5, 61, 170).

        Nicholas Speak of Washington County, Virginia, on November 29, 1823, purchased a tract of land lying in Lee County, Virginia on the head of a small east branch of Martins Creek (now known as Speaks Branch) containing five hundred and twenty acres from Robert E. Cummings and his wife Mary of Washington County for seven hundred eighty dollars. (DBK 5, 145).  After the purchase of this land, Nicholas Speak removed with his family to Lee County and settled on his newly acquired land where he became a well known citizen and a leader in the County and the Community.  Nicholas Speak was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was the founder and a piller of the Church bearing his name--Speaks Chapel.