15. ELIZABETH PLEDGE16,17,18 was born about 1740 in Goochland County, Virginia.19 She died on 9 February 1816 at the age of 76 in Surry County, North Carolina.19
The Comstock book gives her birth year as 1742; her grave marked as 1740.
There exists a persistent story that Elizabeth Pledge was part Cherokee. Traditionally her mother Elizabeth was the daughter of Chief Donohoo and a white woman named Mary Wentworth. William Pledge, father of Elizabeth did marry Ann Redford, but the possibility that he had an earlier marriage to the first wife named Elizabeth cannot be ruled out. Other children ascribed to this earlier and illusive Elizabeth include Francis "Frank" Pledge, John Ayers and Junalusky. [John Ayers & Junalusky seem to have been made up...] Eventually some 1500 individuals attempted to claim Cherokee bloodlines from these four "children" of Elizabeth, daughter of Donohoo & Mary Wentworth - Case #664 in the Guion Miller Cherokee Rolls. All claims were rejected as no one could prove Chief Donohoo was actually Cherokee or ever lived with that tribe.
I have also found evidence that suggests perhaps William Pledge had daughters older than Elizabeth & Frank, who do not carry the Indian tradition. This would also cast doubt that they were children of any sort of Indian relationship. At the time William Pledge was having children, he was living in Goochland Co VA, a relatively settled area no longer under threat of Indian attack.
An interesting version of this story is in the Dec 1989 "Yadkin County Historical & Genealogical Society Journal" titled "Chief Donnahoo, My Indian Ancestor" compiled by Ruby Bray Canipe. These stories are so persistent that the Pettitts concluded in their book that there was possibly Indian blood but perhaps from an earlier generation. Likely this problem will never be solved. The truth is that the Poindexters had a ferry that crossed the Yadkin at a settlement known as Donnaha. There was living nearby a Donnaha family - white, not Indian. I have often wondered if bedtime stories were told about the name "Donnaha" adding certain Indian flavor ...stories that later took on a life of their own.
Another version of the tale is in The Heritage of Yadkin County, 1980, Frances H. Casstevens, Editor, Article 184. It says in part, " Donnahoo ...was a Cherokee Chief and that he married a white woman, Elizabeth Wentworth" and is from a manuscript written by A. H. Jarratt Sr. about the stories handed down in several Yadkin Co families. In reading this fanciful tale about a young Donnahoo rescuing a young English woman from hostile Indians there are some serious discrepancies. First of all Jarratt describes an Elizabeth Wentworth - in other versions she is Mary Wentworth that was rescued, Elizabeth being the daughter who would marry Pledge. The most disturbing part about the story is the presence of William "Bill" Pledge in the area near Edenton, North Carolina at a time he was instead living in Goochland, Virginia. I simply do not believe he was in North Carolina to meet Elizabeth Wentworth - and it's just as unlikely the incident related took place back where William Pledge was in Virginia, as it was a relatively settled area. Jarratt calls Bill Pledge a trapper - nothing in the records of Goochland indicate William Pledge was anything other than landed gentry, or that he made early hunting forays into North Carolina. In fact, William Pledge died in Goochland Co VA never living in North Carolina at all.
The Poindexter family was fond of using family names and the name Wentworth is used among the children of Elizabeth Pledge and Thomas Poindexter. There are other possibilities. Wentworth could very well have been the surname of Dorothy, mother of William Pledge and Elizabeth Pledge's grandmother, as her surname has never been discovered. Wentworth could have been a surname in the family of Thomas Poindexter's first wife. William Pledge could have been married more than once, and Ann Radford his second wife.
The Supplemental DAR application of Martha Eileen Duffy Douglas, National #617278 who is a descendant of William Arche Poindexter & Rebecca Flynn [makes her my double cousin - Poindexter & Flynn] has Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter as a Patriot in the Revolution. Here is her summary of her ancestor's service taken from the DAR Patriot Service Index:
"Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter performed Patriotic Service in NC during the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth is listed as a Patriot as a result of sewing letters to her daughter's petticoats and the daughter went through the lines delivering letters to proper parties. [DAR #494459]"
Then she cites the DAR Patriot Service Index, p.539 as her authority.
However, the person checking the applications usually adds notes/corrections and the following had been written in:
"In Data File:
Notarized Statement by Great Granddaughter [of Elizabeth Pledge Poindexter] given in 1916. She was the Granddaughter of Mary Poindexter Ridings - who was the little girl who delivered the letters. She was told the story by her grandmother."
So apparently at some time this notarized statement was in the DAR files and has been accepted as proof. Someone visiting the DAR library could get copies of the statement if it existed, but it apparently does not.
Dar application #494459, Copy sent by email from Richard Elliott. Application for #617278 is also in my files. No one is allowed to join DAR on this line any longer. The line has been closed if you cannot furnish new proof.
1810 Census, Surry Co NC
Elizabeth Poindexter. No males in household. One female age 26-45, 1female over age 45.
Elizabeth Poindexter is also listed in Capt. Stow's District, 1812 Surry Co tax list with 247 acres. Daughter Dorothy, sons John G., Robert, Archibald, and Thomas P. W. are on the same list, as is John (Stray) Poindexter believed to be a nephew.
ELIZABETH PLEDGE and [Capt] THOMAS POINDEXTER were married on 13 February 1760 in Goochland County, Virginia.20 [Capt] THOMAS POINDEXTER21,22, son of THOMAS POINDEXTER and SARAH (?Bond) VEALE, was born about 1733 in Louisa County, Virginia.19 He died on 1 January 1807 at the age of 74 in Surry County, North Carolina.19,23
Is this about the time Thomas Poindexter became acquainted with William Pledge's daughter Elizabeth?
St. James Parish Vestry Book, 1744-1850, by William Lindsay Hopkins, self-published, 1987
There is no evidence that Thomas's father ever lived in Goochland County, the location of St. James Parish. On 22 Oct 1759, Thomas Poindexter and Tarlton Woodson were appointed processioners of lands that Jacob Woodson and Stephen Sampson had done in 1755.
William Pledge, father of Elizabeth, was also appointed as one of the processioners.
Goochland Co VA, DB 8
p.155 14 Jul 1761 Robert Pleasants of Henrico, Thomas Pleasants of Goochland & Jacob Oglesby of Albermarle to John Bradshaw of Goochland. 50#'s 200 acres on branches of Beaverdam. Part of 600 acres granted by patent to Richard Oglesby & by him in his LW&T bequeath'd to sd Jacob. Bounded by James & Samuel Coleman, Josias Payne Junr, Gill Whitlock, Willm Rountree. Signed: Robert Pleasants, Tho. Pleasants, Jacob Oglesby. Wit: Wm Pledge, Thos. Poindexter, John (X) Prewit. Proved by wit. 21 Jul 1761.
Marriage bond dated 12 Feb 1762 in Goochland. Thomas Poindexter to Elizabeth Pledge, daughter of William Pledge. Security: Wm. Robards. William Pledge letter of consent. Bonds abstracted in WILLIAM & MARY COLLEGE QUARTERLY, Vol. VII, No. 2; Oct 1898; Series 1; p.98-106.
Douglas Register for Thomas & Elizabeth Pledge states "both of this parish". Virginia Marriage Index gives date as 22 Feb 1760 - obvious error.
Witnesses were William Robards, William Pledge Junr, Martha Pledge
Virginia Gazette, 8 Aug 1766, p. 3, col. 2 [Colonial Williamsburg website]
July 15, 1766
RUN away from the Subscriber in Goochland County, the 29th of June, a tall black Negro man named JACK about 35 years of Age, his Head is grey, his Beard thin, and his Teeth good, speaks plain for an African born, but avoids looking in the Face of them he is speaking to as much as possible. Had on a Cotton Jacket, a coarse Felt Hat, Osnabrigs Shirt and Roll Trowsers, all about half worn. He is apt to change his Name, and will probably change his Dress also, if he can get an Opportunity of stealing another. He is apt to break Prison, or make his Escape from a Constable.
Whoever secures the said Negro, so that he may be had again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, besides what the Law allows, paid by THOMAS POINDEXTER
and more about Jack
Virginia Gazette, 25 May 1769, p.2, col. 1
Goochland county, May 1, 1769
Run away from the subscriber living near Goochland courthouse in June, 1766, a Negro man slave named JACK, though very apt to alter his name. He is a tall black fellow, about 40 years of age, stoops in the shoulders, his head is grey, beard thin, good teeth, speaks plain for an African born, but will not look any one in the eyes when [unreadable words] county about 12 months ago, and was taken up, but made his escape on the way home, and is a very great rogue. I will give 40s. to the person who takes him up, and 4d. a mile for bringing him from thence to me; and if it is inconvenient for the taker up to bring him home, I will give the same reward of 40s if he is delivered (and well secured in irons) into the gaol of the county where he is taken, till I send for him. THOMAS POINDEXTER
Moved to Surry County, NC about 1771 or soon after. There is a deed in 1771 in NC but their 5th child, Thomas, was baptized in Goochland Co VA in Nov of 1771.
Thomas Poindexter was recorded in a list of residents of Surry Co NC in 1772 - COLONIAL AMERICA 1706-1789 CENSUS INDEX [CD-Rom FTM]
Thomas served in the state militia which also served with the Continental Line in the Revolution. His rank was Captain. He was paid for an expedition against the Cherokee in 1775 and again in 1776. The DAR has deemed him a Patriot. His wife Elizabeth is also a Patriot - she sent messages through the enemy lines sewn in her daughter's petticoat.
SURRY CO NC DEEDS; Vol 1 DB A; 1770-1783; Mrs. W. O. Absher, Mrs. Robert K Hayes
p.103-105 3 Nov 1774 Deed of Mortgage. Thomas Poyndester, planter, to John & Thomas Carson, planters, of Rowan Co. £284.2.2 443 acres in Surry, formerly Rowan. South bank Yadkin opposite Yellow Banks, conveyed to Poyndexter by deed from James Carson & Honour his wife on 15 Apr 1771. And the following Negroes: James, Philis, Jane, Dow, James, Cotton, Selah, Young Philis, Judith. To pay above before 3 Nov 1776. Wit: John Williams, John Braley.
p.311 20 Sep 1779 NC Grant to Thomas Poindexter. 540 acres both sides Harrisons Branch. [300 acres sold to Wm Phillips on 14 Mar 1785]
The Virginia Gazette, 25 July 1777, p.4, col. 1
RUN away from the subscriber in Surry county, North Carolina, a negro man named JAMES about 50 years old, 5 feet 2 or 3 inches high, and was formerly the property of John Poindexter of New Kent Co, Virginia. Also a middle sized negro fellow named WILL, about 30 years old, remarkably black, stutters much when he is scared, and was formerly the property of Col. Chiswell. Whoever apprehends the said runaways and brings them to me, or secures them so that I get them again, shall be amply rewarded.
Surry DB A, p.311 20 Sep 1779. NC Grant to Thomas Poindexter. 540 acres both sides Harrison Branch
JOSEPH WINSTON HIS ENTRY BOOK, SURRY CO NC, LAND ENTRIES; 1778-1781 by Agnes M. Wells, Virginia G. Phillips, Carol J. Leonard; 1987
p.10/97 Thomas Poindexter entered 540 acres both sides of Harrisons Branch. 15 May 1778. [Grant dated 20 Sept 1779; Surry DB 1, p.311]
p.42/460 Mary Nowlin entered 200 acres on Bailey's Creek adj Thomas Poindexter & Job Martin beg on Job Martin's line, North side of creek running up and including her improvement. 12 Aug 1778.
p.75/842 Thomas Poindexter entered 640 acres on South side of the Yadkin R adj Job Martin's line including my claim. 12 Oct 1778. [Warrant granted 13 Oct 1783; DB B, p.279]
p.78/884 Valintine Martin entered 640 acres on head branches of Bailey's Crk beg at pine on Capt Poindexter's West line. 10 Nov 1778. [Warrant granted. Charlotte Martin, dau of Valentine was the 2nd wife of Robert Alexander Poindexter.]
p.102/1155 Abraham Creeson entered 350 acres in Surry Co on South side of the Yadkin adj Thos. Poindexter and Benjn. Pettit, Senr. Including the improvement of Hezh. Wright known as Stewart's Old Survey. 30 Dec 1778. [Entry withdrawn, transferred to Hezekiah Wright and money settled with Wright.]
p.121/1389 Thomas Poindexter entered 350 acres of land on South side Yadkin R on Bailey's Crk to include the improvement made by David Poindexter. [no date given, but prob 1779, 1780 based on other entries.
p.173/2037 William Shepperd entered 400 acres beg at upper end of his field he bought of Badget, on North side of Yadkin R, crossing the river and adj Job Martin's line, running down river to Thomas Poindexter's line and along his line on the river 40 yards below the Bank Ford, thence across the river, to my line. [no date given]
p.183/2167 Thomas Poindexter entered 640 acres, South side Yadkin, mouth of Bigg Bean Crk, waters of Beaverdam, Grassey & Muddy Creeks. [no date given]
The Thomas Poindexter Ferry across the Yadkin was first recorded in 1779. It is mentioned in The Heritage of Yadkin County, 1981, Frances H. Casstevens, Editor, as being near Donnaha. This was also the location of the Yellow Bank Ford. Donaha is sometimes referred to "old Richmond".
SURRY CO NC DEEDS; Vol 1 DB B; 1770-1783; Mrs. W. O. Absher, Mrs. Robert K Hayes
p.89 3 Apr 1780 NC Grant to William Head. 200 acres crossing Dills Creek, Poindexter's line.
p.279 13 Oct 1783 NC Grant to Thomas Poindexter. 640 acres, South bank of the Yadkin above Job Martin's deeded land. [This tract sold to son-in-law Daniel Scott 27 Nov 1790]
p.180 14 Feb 1785 William Head to Levin Savage. 20 acres Dills Creek, corner of 200 acres surveyed for sd Head; Poindexter's line.
p.411 14 Mar 1785 Thomas Poindexter to William Phillips for £5. 300 acres both sides Harrison Branch, corner of 540 acres surveyed for Poindexter. [Granted 20 Sep 1779; DB A, p.311] Waddles road. Signed: Thomas Poindexter. Wit: Francis Poindexter, Jesse Scott.
ABSTRACTS OF LAND ENTRYS: SURRY CO NC 1784-1795; Dr. A. B. Pruitt, 1988
#49 Entry Withdrawn. 15 Jun 1784. Thomas Poindexter entered 237 acres on Yadkin, own deeded land, corner of new survey to include improvement where Abraham Wood Sr & Jr live.
SURRY CO NC DEEDS; DB D; Mrs. W. O. Absher, Mrs. Robert K Hayes
p.98 18 Nov 1786 John Thomas Longino to Thomas Poindexter for £80, Lot #8, Town of Richmond. SW square fronting Broad St. Wit: Zachariah & Job Martin, John Davis
p.133 10 Dec 1790 NC Grant to Henry Speer. 100 acres, bank Yadkin R adj Creson below Frosts old Mill above mouth of Deep Crk. Adj. Poindexter & Kimbrough.
Recorded in 1790 Stokes Co NC Census. 2 m 16+, 1 m-16; 5 females, 13 slaves.
SURRY COUNTY NC DEEDS; DB E; Mrs. W. O Absher, Mrs. Robert K. Hayes
p.121 27 Nov 1790 Thomas Poindexter & wife Elizabeth, Stokes Co NC to Daniel Scott for £640. 640 acres South side Yadkin above Job Martin. Signed: Thomas & Elizabeth Poindexter. Wit: Job Martin, Alexander Kerr, Arthur Scott [Daniel Scott was married to Ann Radford Poindexter, oldest daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth.]
SURRY CO NC COURT OF PLEAS & QUARTER SESSIONS; Vol 1; 1790-1795; Agnes M. Wells & Iris M. Harvey, 1990
Tues 15 Feb 1791 Deed from Thomas Poindexter & wife to Daniel Scott proved by oath of Job Martin and ordered recorded.
Tues 14 Feb 1792 Release from Arthur Scott to Thomas Poindexter proved on oath of Job Martin and ordered recorded.
Surry Co NC Court Minutes 1796-1800
Agnes M. Wells & Iris M. Harvey 1991
Tues 15 Feb 1798
p.104 Thomas Poindexter vs. Jesse Lester. Appeal. Jury impaneled & sworn, find for defendant.
Thur 14 Feb 1799
p.138 Set Thomas Poindexter's Ferry Rates:
Load wagon 7sh empty wagon 5sh
man & horse 1sh footman or single horse 6p
Pack horse 1sh cattle 4p per head sheep or hogs 2p per head
Ordered that William Phillips be appt overseer of road from Poindexters Ferry to Rockford, from the ferry up to the Cross Road from the Iron Works to the Ore bank and the hand convenient work thereon
Wed 12 Feb 1800
p.178 Deed from Thomas Longino, exr of John Thomas Longino, dec'd to Thomas Poindexter ack by Longino and ordered to be recorded.
p.179 Bill of sale from Thomas Poindexter to Daniel Scott proved by Valentine Martin and ordered recorded
Surry Co NC Deed Abstracts G&H 1795-1800I
Carol Leonard Snow 1995
DB H, p.259 6 Aug 1799 Thomas Longino, ext of John Thomas Longino to Thomas Poindexter for 50£. 100 a in Surry adj William Robinson. Part of 393 acres granted Longino 20 Dec 1791 & sold to satisfy the debts of Thos. Longino dec'd. Wit: J. G. Poindexter, Drury Halcomb. Ack Feb Term 1800 and OR
1800 Census, Surry Co NC, p.683. Thomas Poindexter
1m 10-16 [Robert], 2m 16-26; 1m +45 [Thomas]. 1f 10-16 [Dorothy], 2f 16-26 [Sarah & Mary] and 1f +45 [Elizabeth]
Surry Co NC County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
Vol III, 1801-1804
Iris M. Harvey & Agnes M. Wells 1992
Wed 10 Feb 1801
p.4 Bill of sale from Thomas Poindexter to Geo. Pettit proved on oath of Archebald Poindexter and ordered recorded.
SURRY COUNTY NC DEED ABSTRACTS
VOL G 1795-1797
Deed Book I, p.418 30 Nov 1801 State of NC to Thomas Poindexter. 340 acres. #2105. South side Yadkin River. Adj Job Martin, Valentine Martin, Wm Hand, Thomas Pettit, Gideon Wright, Nowling, & Stow. Entered 11 Feb 1777.
Surry Co NC County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
Vol III, 1801-1804
Iris M. Harvey & Agnes M. Wells 1992
Thur 11 Nov 1802
p.91 George Pettit overseer of road from Thomas Poindexter Ferry to Dills Crk below Poindexters Mill.
Wed 10 Aug 1803
p.126 Deed from Thomas Poindexter to Wm Davenport ack'd in open court and ordered recordeed.
SURRY COUNTY NC DEED ABSTRACTS
VOL G 1795-1797
Deed Book I, p.502 8 Aug 1803. Thomas Poindexter to Wm Devonport. For £50. 298 1/2 acres on Dills Creek adj Isaac Wright, Montgomery, Longino & Robertson. Granted Robert Lanier 20 Aug 1797 and sold by him to Thos. Poindexter. Except for 14 acres near the road at the head of a hollow that empties into the Mill Pond immediately above the mill. Also excepted is timber for the use of the mill, for firewood and rails except the finishing of the mill. Ack. by Poindexter, Aug Term, 1803.
VOL K&L 1803-1808
Deed Book K, p.379 7 Feb 1805 Thomas Poindexter to William Apperson. 6.7.6. 10 acres in Surry Co part of his Whealin tract adj Floyd's old corner & Nowlin's old line. Wit: Job Martin, Daniel (X) Scott. Proved Feb Term by Scott.
Died intestate. Inventory, various court proceedings, beginning Feb 1807.
Lands mentioned in estate papers include:
[1.] 443 acres bought from James & Honour Carson where the manor house was located. [prior to 1774 - see Mortgage deed in previous note] Part had been conveyed to Job Martin.
[2.] 340 acres granted by State of NC, Nowlin's Corner. [Surry Co. Deed Book I, p.418]
[3.] 540 acres granted by State of NC [Surry Co. Deed Book A, p.311 20 Sep 1779 NC Grant to Thomas Poindexter. 540 acres both sides Harrisons Branch.] [300 acres sold to Wm Phillips on 14 Mar 1785]
[4.] 100 acres conveyed from Thomas Longino
[5.] 14 acres on Dills Creek. [Surry Co, Deed Book I, p.502 8 Aug 1803. Thomas Poindexter to Wm Devonport. For £50. 298 1/2 acres on Dills Creek adj Isaac Wright, Montgomery, Longino & Robertson. Granted Robert Lanier 20 Aug 1797 and sold by him to Thos. Poindexter. Except for 14 acres near the road at the head of a hollow that empties into the Mill Pond immediately above the mill.]
The estate was divided in 12 parts after the widow's dower. Son Francis was deceased and his five children received his part.
Buried Poindexter Family Cemetery on a bluff above the Yadkin River on his original property.
ELIZABETH PLEDGE and [Capt] THOMAS POINDEXTER had the following children: