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The family of George Gillespie, Amherst County, Virginia (1731-1803)

George GILLESPIE is commonly listed as being born in 1731. Where he was born, and who is parents are is unknown. There are a few random places on the internet that list possible parents for George, but I have been able to disprove these parent child relationships, and I will not bother to list them here.

GILLESPIE is a Scottish name, associated with the MACPHERSON clan. I suspect that George is what is commonly referred to as Scotch-Irish, meaning that his family migrated first from Scotland to Ireland and then to America. Western Virginia was heavily populated with the Scotch-Irish.

George had two wives, both named Mary very little is known about his first wife’s family, but many researchers believe that her maiden name was MOORE, as two of their children, Sherod Moore and Letitia Moore, have MOORE as a middle name. All of George's 12 children were by his first wife. George married his second wife in late 1785, so George's first Mary, must have died sometime between 1779 and 1785. GEORGE and MARY’s youngest child Nancy was born in 1779 in Amherst County.

George Gillespie was born in 1731 and died in 1803 in Piney River Valley, Amherst, VA. He married Mary Moore about 1752. Mary was born about 1732 in Virgina and died in somewhere in or before 1785 in Amherst, VA. He married Mary Ann SAUNDERS on Dec. 26, 1785 in Louisa, Virginia. Mary Ann, daughter of Hezekiah SAUNDERS and Martha ELMORE, was born in 1742 in Virginia and was the widow of Charles FARIS. She was the mother of 12 children

Children of George GILLESPIE and Mary MOORE

George married Mary MOORE, probably sometime in 1751/1752 location unknown. George may have been 21 and Mary may have been that age as well when they were married. I am guessing the years 1751 or 1752 as William is believed to have been born in 1753. I have never seen any documentation for either William or Sherod's birth date, it is an educated guess based on their brother and sister's birthdates and the knowing that William was the oldest and Sherod was next.

  1. William GILLESPIE was born in 1753 in Albemarle, VA and died on Oct. 22, 1794 in Paint Lick, Garrard, KY.
  2. Sherod Moore GILLESPIE was born in 1755 in Albermarle, VA and died Between 1822 and 1829 in Amherst, VA.
  3. Frances Fanni GILLESPIE was born in 1757 in Albemarle, VA and died in 1818 in Caldwell, KY.
  4. Letitia Moore GILLESPIE was born in 1762 in Albemarle, VA and died on Aug. 7, 1850 in Amherst, VA
  5. Lucy GILLESPIE was born in 1761 in Albemarle, VA and died in Aug. 1815 in Amherst, VA
  6. Elizabeth Betsy GILLESPIE was born in 1765 in Albemarle, VA and died on Feb. 14, 1826
  7. Alexander GILLESPIE was born in 1767 in Albemarle, VA.
  8. Sarah Sally GILLESPIE was born on Mar. 7, 1768 in Albemarle, VA and died on Aug. 8, 1840 in Princeton, Caldwell, KY
  9. George GILLESPIE was born in 1770 in Albemarle, VA and died in Mar. 1842 in Franklin, TN
  10. Dicey GILLESPIE was born in 1774 in Amherst, VA.
  11. Lewis GILLESPIE was born in 1775 in Amherst, VA and died in Dec. 1841 in Franklin, TN2
  12. Nancy GILLESPIE was born in 1779 in Amherst, VA

We do know that George and Mary purchased land in Amherst County on 17 Apr 1770. I have read that they moved from Albemarle County, though I do not have copies of those deeds.

Moving to Amherst

On 17 Apr, 1770, GEORGE purchases land in Amherst as evidenced by these deeds:

17 Apr 1770
PAYTON RANDOLPH, BENJAMIN GRYMES & JOHN ROBINSON, Gents., executors of PHILLIP GRYMES, and LUNSFORD LOMAX, the younger, Caroline Co., to GEORGE GILLESPIE. (See Murphy from GRYMES, p. 33, for details.) For 89-5 pounds, 875 and ˝ acres on Tye River. Lines: CARTWRIGHT, ROSE, JONE, sapling on a mt., EDMONDS. Witnesses: ZACH TALIAFERRO, RODERICK McCULLOCK, THOMAS MITCHELL, THOMAS HAWKINS, THOMAS REID, AMBROSE JONES.
17 Apr 1770
A bunch of different parcels of land were sold that bordered the property bought by George GILLESPIE. He was witness on most of the transactions. Buyers included: RICHARD TANKERSLEY, MOSES CAMPBELL, AMBROSE JONES, WILLIAM BIBB and WILLIAM LAVENDER.

I assume that he moves his family to Amherst at this time. It is unclear where he was living before this. If he was born about 1731, he would have been 39 years old at the time. There were a group of deeds processed at the same time GEORGE’s land was purchased. You see the surnames CAMPBELL, JONES, BIBB, and LAVENDER associated with various GILLESPIE’s from time to time, but I have found no direct connection with the men buying property at this time.

GEORGE and his first wife were not getting along as noted in the Virginia Gazette, on Jun 6, 1778, where he published:

Jun 6, 1778, The following notice appeared; "Galaspie,George, of Amherst Co., adv. that from late behavior of his wife, Mary Galaspie, he has reason to doubt her attachment to his interests and will not be answerable for any of her debts.

I assume that Mary MOORE GILLESPIE, died sometime after 1779 and the birth of her youngest daughter Nancy, and before 26 Dec, 1785, when George remmaried.

George married Mary FARIS, widow of Charles FARIS, on 26 Dec 1785 in Louisa County. George was about 54 and MARY was about 43 when they were married.


GEORGE and MARY had 12 children, 5 boys and 7 girls: WILLIAM, SHEROD, FRANCES, LETITIA, LUCY, ELIZABETH, ALEXANDER, SARAH SALLY, GEORGE, DICEY, LEWIS and NANCY. GEORGE died intestate sometime in 1803 and all 12 children are named in the settlement of his estate.

William,the oldest was believed to have been born in 1753 in Albemarle County, although I have seen no documentation of the date or the place. The first child with a documented birth is Francesin Albemarle in 1757, and often children were born about 2 years apart, so I assume that WILLIAM, who is known to be the oldest, and SHEROD, the next oldest were assumed to be born in 1753 and 1755 respectively.

This would mean that GEORGE and MARY would have been married in 1751/1752, and GEORGE would have been around the age of 20, which is not an unreasonable guess. MARY would have most likely been born sometime between 1730 and 1735, if all these dates are indeed correct. My guess is that they were from and married in one of the burned counties, which may be the reason why there is no record of there marriage.

William and Sherod may also have been born in one of the burned counties and not in Albemarle, which is why we have no exact dates for their births.

These are the documented descendants of George GILLESPIE and Mary MOORE and their spouses:

George Gillespie 1731 - 1803
.. +Mary Moore 1732 - 1785
........ 2 William Gillespie 1753 - 1794
............ +Nancy Ann Hudson  - 1838
........ 2 Sherod Moore Gillespie 1755 - 1825
............ +Sally Sarah Horsley 1758 -
........ 2 Frances Fanni Gillespie 1757 - 1818
............ +Justinian Jesse Cartwright 1752 - 1831
........ 2 Letitia Moore Gillespie 1759 - 1850
............ +James Bolling 1752 - 1836
........ 2 Lucy Gillespie 1761 - 1815
............ +Robert Hudson - 1791
........ 2 Elizabeth Betsy Gillespie 1765 - 1826
............ +Charles Jones 1754 - 1826
........ 2 Alexander Gillespie 1767 -
............ +Lucy
........ 2 Sarah Sally Gillespie 1768 - 1840
............ +Robert Howard Cash 1768 - 1835
........ 2 George Gillespie Gillespie 1770 - 1842
............ +Mary Polly Faris 1765 - 1838
........ 2 Dicey Gillespie 1774 -
............ +Jesse Wright 1772 - 1850
........ 2 Lewis Gillespie 1775 - 1841
............ +Elizabeth Betsy Faris 1775 - 1845
........ 2 Nancy Gillespie 1779 -
............ +Ambrose Cambell 1751 - 1811
  2nd Wife of [1] George Gillespie:
 .. +Mary Ann (Molly) Saunders 1742 -

You will notice that both George JR and Lewis married daughters of Mary FARIS, George’s second wife. After George’s death, supposedly George JR., Lewis, their wives and their mother-in-law/step-mother moved to Franklin Tennessee. When this happened is not clear to me, as I have evidence of George JR in Amherst County past 1804, which is when the time they were supposed to have migrated.

William married Nancy Ann HUDSON; Lucy married Robert HUDSON. Nancy and Robert were bother and sister as well, children of Joshua HUDSON and Mary TERRELL, who lived many years in Amherst County.

5 Apr 1790 George Gillespie on the 1790 B Tax list of Amherst. Listed with 3-4-0-5 Apr 1799 George Gillespie on the 1799 B Tax list. Listed with 1-5-0-5 and 2.8 pounds tax

1803 George Gillespie died in Amherst County.

Deed from 1804, where George's children sell the land that they inherited

26 Nov 1804
George, Alexander, Lewis Gillespie for themselves and for Sherod Moore Gillespie, James Bowling (Bolling) & wife Lettice, Charles Jones & wife Betsy, Howard Cash & wife Sally, Jesse Wright and wife Dicey, all heirs of George Gillespie, dec’d, Amherst County sold to David S Garland, Amherst County for 66-13-4 pounds, 403 acres on Piney. They own 1/12th each. Witnessed by Joel Franklin, James Camden, Moses & Benjamin Wright. Memo: reserved – not over Ľ acre for family graveyard where George Gillespie is buried.
(Note: It is interesting to note here that William’s heirs are not mentioned, Robert and Lucy Hudson are not mentioned and Ambrose and Nancy Campbell are not mentioned, even though it is mentioned that each child owns 1/12th All 12 children are mentioned in the settling of George’s estate in the will book. I am in the process of transcribing that and will post it at some later date. -- Anne)