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34. Caleb Bedwell45 was born after 1750 in Kent County, Delaware.5,50

The Kent County (Delaware) Orphans Court handled cases for persons not yet 21 years of age. Because Caleb's case (see his notes) was in Sept 1771, he must have been born after 1750.
He died between 1823 and 1827 in Lincoln County, Tennessee.5

Caleb is listed in the 1790 census of Rowan County, North Carolina as living in McKnight territory. This is presently in Forsyth County just outside Winston-Salem in and around a public park called Tanglewood. Caleb later moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee. The names of two children are known at this time. Since Caleb is 20 years older than Rebecca, she is most likely a second wife. Caleb would have been 40 years old at the time of the 1790 census. The census shows 2 males over 16, two males under 16 and four females. This would indicate more children.

According to Carolyn Ericson, Caleb moved to Montgomery County, Virginia, where he acquired land between Elk Creek and Cripple Creek near his brother Robert. This would be in current day Grayson County, Virginia.

Marriages of Rowan County, North Carolina 1753-1868 shows Caleb Bedwell as bondsman for the marriage of John Barry and Susanna Patterson on 5 Feb 1779. William Davie is listed as witness.

Abstracts of Deed Books 11-14 of ROWAN COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA 1786-1797
Copyright James W. Kluttz, 1996. Published by James W. Kluttz, 106 Chancellors Ridge Ct., Cary, NC 27513-2749. ISBN 0-9651941-0-8
Library of Congress Catalogue Number 96-75840

(Page 91) Deed Book 13, p. 188. 19 March 1793. Bill of Sale. Calep (X) Bedwell to George Spraker for £23, one bay colt two years old, one rone (sic) horse, a couple of good feather beds and furniture, twenty acres of rye and twelve head of hogs. Wit: John Bedwell, James (X) Chaney, Peter Easter. Prvd. By Easter at May Ct. 1793.

• Tennessee's Second Surveyors District Early Survey Recordings Abstracts, 1808-1809 ( shows Caleb Bedwell as an "auxillary name" (main name: William Irwin).

• There are two listings in the 1820 census that might actually be the same Caleb Bedwell:

1820 Census for Lincoln County, Tennessee shows Caleb Bedwell as head of household containing one male between 10-15, one male over 45, and one female over 45. Two people are engaged in agriculture.

1820 Census for Bedford County, Tennessee, page one, shows Caleb Bedwell as head of household containing one male between 10-15, one male between 26-44, and one female between 26-44. There are two people engaged in agriculture.

Was this family counted twice? Caleb Bedwell's land in Lincoln County was bordered by Bedford County on one side. It's possible that the Bedford County census taker mistakenly thought that it was inside the Bedford County line. The two census listings are obviously in a different hand, so the two census takers would not have known about the duplication. Note the striking similarity between the two: the only difference is that the adults are between 26-44 in one, and over 45 in the other. Either one of the two put the mark in the wrong column, or they were genuinely mistaken.

• When did Caleb Bedwell and family leave North Carolina to settle in Tennessee? The available evidence is sketchy but suggestive:

-- There is a record of a Caleb Bedwell in Jefferson County, Tennessee court proceedings in 1801.
-- Caleb Bedwell witnessed two deeds for his father-in-law, John McNatt, in North Carolina in 1803.
-- Later census records show his son John Bedwell as having believed he had been born in North Carolina around 1805.
-- Phillip Anderson married Polly McNatt, Caleb's sister-in-law, on Feb. 24, 1806 in Wilson County, TN. Leven McNatt, Caleb's brother-in-law, was the bondsman.
-- In 1809, Leven McNatt received a land grant in Bedford County.
-- In 1809, Caleb Bedwell's name appeared as an auxiliary name in another man's land deed in Bedford County.
-- In 1811, Reuben Bedwell, Caleb's nephew, was a representative for his region of Bedford County at a Presbyterian Church society meeting.
-- Reuben Bedwell and his son Archibald served with the West Tennessee Militia in the War of 1812. This unit reportedly assembled in Lincoln County before moving south to battle. Leven McNatt also served in this war, fighting the Creek Indians.
-- Leven McNatt served under General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans in January, 1815.
-- In 1818, John McNatt was one of several trustees who received land in Bedford County for purposes of building a community meeting house.
-- In the 1820 census, Caleb Bedwell, Major Bedwell, John McNatt, and Leven McNatt were neighbors in Lincoln County, in that section where Bedford, Lincoln, and Moore counties now adjoin. Rueben Bedwell and his many grown children were living in Bedford Co. during this census.

Several questions and possibilities are raised by this evidence. Were Caleb Bedwell and family, also in Wilson County, TN (which is due north of present day Bedford County, with one county in between them) along with the McNatts by Feb 1806? Did Caleb Bedwell and family migrate south to Bedford County sometime around 1809 (or before) along with the McNatts and Reuben Bedwell's family? Did they all remain in Bedford County until sometime after 1818, when all but Reuben and his descendants moved down the road to Lincoln County? Or did they move earlier and was their land in Lincoln County close enough to Bedford County that John McNatt would still have been involved in the Bedford community house planning in 1818?

• Tennessee General Grants
Caleb Bedwell received grant # 20405, Lincoln County, Sept. 22, 1823. Book X, p. 12.

Middle Tennessee Land Grants
Rebecca Bidwell received #5020, Lincoln County, 6 acres Jan. 4, 1827 Bk. 6, p. 591.
Major Bedwell received #5023, Lincoln County, 50 acres, Jan. 4, 1827, Bk. 6, p. 594.
John Bedwell received #11392, 450 acres, Dec. 10, 1832, Bk. 13, p. 856.

Rebecca McNatt5,56 (daughter of John McNatt and Sally Benson) was born about 1770 in probably Kent County, Delaware.57 She appeared in the census in 1850 in Henderson County, Tennessee. She appeared in the census in 1860 in Henderson County, Tennessee. She died after 1860 in Henderson County, Tennessee. She was also known as Becky McNatt.

It is probable that Rebecca's maiden name is McNatt. According to numerous McNatt researchers, Rebecca (Becky) McNatt, daughter of John McNatt and Sarah Benson, married an unknown Bedwell. The 1820 Lincoln County, Tennessee census, page 24, shows Levan McNatt, John McNatt, Caleb Bedwell, Peter Wolfe, Richard McNatt and Major Bedwell living adjacent to each other in McNatt's Hollow, Lincoln County, Tennessee (this part of Lincoln County is now part of Moore County). After Caleb's marriage to Rebecca, distinctive names (Levan and Major) occur frequently in this particular line of Bedwells. John McNatt's mother was Rebecca Anderson who had a brother Major Anderson. In addition, John McNatt had a brother named Major McNatt. Sarah Benson's father was Levan Benson.
Rebecca is found living with John Bedwell in the 1860 Henderson County, Tennessee census. Birthplace is listed as North Carolina and age is given as 90 years. Rebecca is also found living with John in the 1850 Henderson County, Tennessee census. Birthplace is listed as Delaware and age is given as 70 years. She is listed in this census as Rebecca B. Malet. Did she remarry after Caleb's death or is Malet? The difference in age and birthplace are probably the result of some other member of the household providing the information for her in 1860.
Caleb Bedwell and John McNatt knew each other in North Carolina as evidenced by the following:
Abstracts of Deed Books 20-24 of Rowan Co NC 1807-1818 by James
W. Kluttz, 1999.
DB 18, p 648. 26 Feb 1803. RICHARD [X] McNATT to JOHN McNATT for L95, 152 A
on south Yadkin R adj John Evans, Thomas Bean, and Joseph Horton. It being a
State Grant to Alexander Hardin in 1779 [?] [09:668]. Wit: Daniel Brinkley,
CALEB BEDWELL. Prvd. by Brinkley Aug Ct 1803.
DB 18, p 649. 26 Feb 1803. RICHARD [X] McNATT to JOHN MCNATT 126A on Little
Creek adj. Alexander Hardin and Henry Guffie. It being half of a State
Grant to Thomas Renshaw on 27 Nov 1792 [ see 15:274 from Renshaw to Evans
and 18:647 from Evans to this Grantor]. Wit: Daniel Brinkley, CALEB BEDWELL.
Prvd. by Brinkley Aug Ct 1803.

Rebecca McNatt's birthdate is a puzzle. Here is the census record:

In 1820, she is over 45 (born 1775 or earlier).
In 1840, she is between 60-70 (born bet. 1770-1780).
In 1850, she is 70, born in Delaware (born 1780).
In 1860, she is 90, born in North Carolina (born 1770).

Generally, I tend to go with earlier statements of age and birthplace, since those reportings are closer in time to the actual events. So, the "over 45" in 1820 sticks out to me. However, there certainly isn't any guarantee that ANY of the above was accurate reporting. Maybe the 1784 estimate from a McNatt researcher who has a family bible is closer to correct. Major was born around 1802, so she would have been old enough. HUGE age difference between her and Caleb, however; 20 years if she was born in 1770, 34 years if 1784. There's no record of any children after John, born about 1805, which would have been unusual for the day if she really was only 21 years old. Heck, it would have been unusual if she was 35, but not quite as much. Of course, there could have been others that died before the 1820 census.

• Rebecca's land grant: Contains several dates. She paid 12 1/2 cents per acre for six acres on June 24, 1824. It was surveyed on Novcember 27, 1824; signed by the Governor on January 4, 1827 and recorded July 30, 1827. Would guess Caleb probably died between June 24, 1824 and January 4, 1827.

Caleb Bedwell and Rebecca McNatt had the following children:



Major M. (M.M.) Bedwell.



John Bedwell.