Submitted by Jan J. Barnes
It appears that there was a great fondness for family names throughout the Northam lineage. There are numerous Georges, Elis, Williams, Johns, Sarahs, Marys, and Rachels, so it is most often difficult to place them in family groups. My great, great grandfather, Eli Northam, lived in Simpson Co., KY, owning land there and also in Sumner Co., TN. He was listed as being born in NC, as was his wife Mary. He was found listed on the War of 1812 Muster Rolls for Richmond County, NC, which led me to begin searching for his parentage there.
The earliest George Northam that I discovered in records is from the First Census of the United States, North Carolina, Edenton District, Bertie County, 1790 with the following information listed:
Free White Males of 16 and upward: 1
Free White Males 16 and under: 2 (Sons Thomas and Eli)
Free White Females: 2 (daughter Hester and Wife)
From Guilford Co., NC Marriage records, we find a George Northam married Sarah Powell on October 1, 1804. We assume that this is a second marriage for George Northam, dec'd 1820. Son Eli was born about 1790/1791 and son Thomas was probably born prior to that date. In George Northam's will, proved April, 1820, his wife is named Sarah and his youngest son is named Powell. Powell Northam was born about 1806.
Richmond Co., NC deed records show that George Northam purchased land on the waters of Hitchcock Creek from Samuel Cope on 5th September 1808 for two hundred pounds. On December 26, 1808, George Northam purchased three parcels of land from Hector McKinnon, first tract containing 160 acres of land on the North side of Hitchcock Creek, 50 acres known as land granted to John McKay by patent, and another 26 acres which known as the land granted unto John Williams by patent. The price was $472.00 paid in full at the time of purchase to Hector McKinnon, witnessed by L. M. and Daniel McKinnon. A final purchase of a parcel of land was recorded from William Smith to George Northam found on the Northwest side of Hitchcock Creek containing a total of 11 acres, 1810.
The 1810 Richmond Co., NC (Rockingham District) census records gives the following information on George Northam:
Free White Males under 10: 2
(Possibly sons John and Powell)
Free White Males of 10 and under 16: 2 (sons George and William)
Free White Males of 16 and under 25: 1 (son Eli)
Free White Males of 45 and up: 1 (George Northam, Head of Household)
Free White Females under 10: 2 (daughters Salley and Rachel)
Free White Females of 10 and under 16: 1 (daughter Hester)
Free White Females of 16 and under 26: 1 (wife Sarah)
The following will was written on April 7, 1818 and recorded in court during the April Term, 1820 (Will Book I, page 214, Richmond Co., NC)
In the name of God Amen. I George Northam of the State of North Carolina Richmond County being of a sound and disposing mind and memory but a low state of health do make this my last will and testament In manner and form following to wit:
first I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Northam one dollar. 2nd I give and bequeath to my Son Eli Northam one dollar, 3rd I give and bequeath to my daughter Hester Lawson one dollar, 4th I give and bequeath to my son George Northam one dollar, 5th I give and bequeath to my son William Northam one dollar, 6th I Lend to my unfortunate daughter Salley Northam during her natural Life for the maintenance and support the Tract of Land which was deeded to me by Samuel Cope known by the name of the Hint? Tract with the exception of about ten acres beginning at the head of a branch running by Maske's ____ which I made with my own Lands across the big Road to a corner in Hampton Covington's Line also an exception of about ten to George Northam on the west side of the shady Branch. 7th I lend to my beloved wife Sarah Northam all the remaining part of my Lands that I purchased of Hector McKinnon that is not already Given away. Also three acres I purchased of William Smith also forty six acres Laying on the north side of Hedgecock creek above the Persimmon Branch the said forty six acres to possess until my son John becomes to the age of twenty years. I also leave her all my Stock of house hogs cattle sheep household and kitchen furniture and all my Plantation tools except one third of sd. Perishable property which I shall hereafter convey with an exception of twenty dollars to be raised of sd. property which I intend for my son John Northam also to possesss the Land I Lent to my unfortunate daughter Sally as Long as she lives with her Mother for the purpose of her maintenance.
I give and bequeath to my son John forty six acres of land as has been already mentioned when he arrives at the age of twenty years, (turn over) also the Land that left to my daughter Sally for her support to my son John at her death also Twenty five dollars as before mentioned with the addition of twenty five dollars to be raised out of the perishable property before the division takes place belonging to my wife's Estate also the whole of the Land I purchased of Hector McKinnon and the Ten acres Excepted out of as before mentioned at his mothers death.
I give and bequeath to my daughter Rachel one third of the perishable property consisting of hogs cattle honey sheep household and kitchen furniture as has been already mentioned at my death. Lastly I appoint my wife Sarah Executrix and Elijah Thomas Executor to this my last will and Testament. Signed sealed and delivered and acknowledged to be my Last will and Testament April the 7th 1818.
George (his mark) Northam (Seal)
In the presence of M. D. Crawford
State of North Carolina
Richmond County April Term 1820
The within will was proven by William Smith ordered to be recorded.
Martin D. Crawford CCC
Little information can be verified for Thomas Northam. There was a Thomas Northam living in Guilford Co., NC, born in Accomack Co., VA, in 1850. He is listed as 74 years old which would make his birth year approximately 1776 and could possibly be a brother or cousin to George Northam dec'd 1820. There is a another Thomas Northam listed in Guilford Co., NC 1850 census records, but he appears to be a son of the elder Thomas Northam. Another Thomas Northam resides in LA, 1850, West Baton Rouge Parish, born in NC, but he is listed as age 47 and would be too young to be the son of George Northam, dec'd 1820.
In 1820, sons Eli and William Northam were residing in Simpson Co., KY. Eli Northam married Mary McDowel in NC prior to 1814 (the approximate year of their first daughter's birth). Eli and Mary have a son George M. Northam, born about 1828. (Click here to view the Descendants of Eli Northam)
Son George Northam (listed in census records as George Northam, Senr.) lived in Richmond Co., NC. and remained there until his death in 1875 (his will was proved in December, 1875). He had a son named George Northam, Junr.
William Northam was married to Telitha Unknown, as is evidenced by a lawsuit (Simpson Co., KY Court Records, 1827) which he and his wife filed against Alexander Frazier, who accused Telitha of whoring. The lawsuit was dismissed by mutual agreement. William leaves Simpson County after this date and it is unknown where he went.
Sarah Northam served as Executrix for the estate, and records also show that on December 5th, 1820, wife Sarah and daughter Rachel made a division of the household goods including: "the stock of hogs, the beds and furniture, the loom & cattle, one arm chair & chest, two tables and four chairs and one chest, three pots and two ovens, tea cettle and spider, two pot tacks and three pare of pot hooks, one coffee pot, three iron wedges and two powderin tubs and two cags and two fat crocks" as testified by James Webb (Estate of George Northam, 1822, Richmond Co., NC.) In the sale of personal property, Sarah, Powel, George, and John Northam are listed as purchasers of many of the articles. There is no mention of the "unfortunate" Salley or Rachel after this date. There is a Sarah Northam found in the 1850 Sumner Co., TN., census records as residing in the poor house and she is listed in poor house records for that year as being in poor health and 80 years old. It is not known if this is the wife of George Northam, dec'd 1820.
Deed records show that John Northam (married to Nancy Lampley prior to 1827) sold land to William Smith in 1827 and moved to AL. From researchers Edith Northam and Jean Pequinot, direct descendents of John M. Northam, it is known that he died there in 1898. He had sons named William and Eli.
There is no record of land sold by Sarah or Powell. Powell next appears in Simpson Co., KY court records serving jury duty, 1827 and is found on tax records for the years 1827 and 1828. (Click here to see Powell and Comfort Northam) In the 1830 Sumner Co., TN. census records, there is a Peter Northan listed that is possibly Powell, as his brother Eli was listed in the 1830 Sumner Co., TN. census living not too far away. I believe that Powell's first son, Eli, (found in 1850 living in Stoddard Co., MO) was born in 1828 in TN. He had another son named William and a daughter named Rachel. His wife is listed on census records as Comfort and this family spends the next 30 years moving throughout TN, KY, and MO.