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2nd edition Biography of the Bush family-My Ancestors. The main reason for the new edition is to eliminate the association of John (Neptune) Bush of 1618 with Abraham Bush of 1657, documentation and logic has determined they are not father and son. Other minor changes have been made, however as any biography that spans over 300 years there are some speculation rather than fact. If you do not totally agree with my chronology, keep in mind that there is usually more than one conclusion that can be drawn from the same set of facts, and until specific data is found to substantiate one viewpoint vs. another, both can be valid. Clifton W. Bush August 2000
3rd edition Biography of the Bush family-My Ancestors. This edition has been made to update and redefine the relationship of James Bush and his parentage.
Clifton W. Bush December 2013
Bush Ancestors in America
The Virginia Company of London was chartered April 10, 1606 to found the first permanent English settlement in America. On May 13, 1607 ships from England arrived, along the shore of the James River, the first settlement in America began. This was 13 years before the Pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth in New England. The purpose was many things not the least of them being gold, silver, land, and personal advancement. The first task of building a fort was completed around mid June in 1607. It was triangular in shape and enclosed about one acre. The first years in Virginia were hard years and by 1609/10 the population dropped from 500 to 60, due to disease, sickness, malnutrition, and Indians. The colonies were re-supplied several times, but the Virginia Company was yet to get the returns expected from their investments.
This changed by 1617/18 when tobacco became a major export item. Land was the great source of wealth. In the year 1618/19 the division of land became effective with each individual coming to America at his own charge received 50 acres, and for each person transportation was paid for an additional 50 acres was granted.
By 1624 there were four settlements, Jamestown, Kecoughtan (Elizabeth City), Henrico, and Bermuds (Charles City).
John Bush of England is the first Bush we have on record to come to America in 1618 on the ship “Neptune” at his own charge, and settled in a place called Kecoughtan (Indian name, later called Elizabeth City). Originally records Adventures of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1625 first edition, compiled and edited by Martha Woodroof Hiden 1956, shows this John Bush to be father of Abraham Bush b 1622. It has since been determined this is not the case based on several facts, one reprint 2nd & 3rd edition of Adventures of Purse and Person states “ Abraham Bush (Writers direct descendant) of Lancaster County, who is first mentioned in extant records the last of Sept. 1657 when a certificate was issued to Thomas Powell for the “transportation of Abraham Bush, George Spencer, Peter Elinor and Sarah Bannister. Since the importation certificate suggests that Abraham Bush was a recent immigrant, further evidence to establish his parentage and a connection with the family of John Bush is needed. Second Abraham Bush and Peter Elmore were granted 300a of land for transporting 6 people in 1664, this same land was later granted to Abraham’s three sons John, George and Abraham. Third, no records of any kind have ever been located for Abraham Bush prior to 1657.
It is now accepted by most Bush Genealogist John Bush of 1618 is not the father of Abraham Bush of 1657.
Abraham Bush migrated to Lancaster County where he purchased several acres of land, and by 1663 was well settled with a wife Martha (maiden name unknown) and five children, George, Abraham, Thomas, Mary, and the youngest Daniel.
On 25 July 1663 Richard Merryman conveyed a life interest in 200 acres of land to Abraham Bush with the provision for inheritance by Abraham’s son Daniel. On May 2 1666 Susannah Merryman’s consent to the deed was recorded. Who was the Merryman’s? Why did they make provisions for Abraham’s youngest son Daniel and none of the other four children in the Bush family?
In a later year 1677 Richard Merryman was granted 500 acres of land for transporting 10 people to Virginia with Abraham’s son Abraham Jr. as his partner. This brings us back to the question. How was the Merryman’s related to the Bush Family?
Could it be the Merrymans were Martha’s parents? Grandparents to the Bush children? Could Daniel have been born with some deformity? Which would explain why he was being taken care of through an early inheritance from his grandparents, through his father Abraham, and could this deformity have been the reason for his early death at the age of five? Enough speculation, young Daniel’s death was acknowledged by the fact in 1668 Martha Bush, wife of Abraham Bush gave power-of-attorney to her friend Mark Greiner, to acknowledge her consent to the sale of the 200 acres deeded to her husband. With provisions for her son’s inheritance, indicates that young Daniel had died.
By Martha handling the land sale related to Daniel and not Abraham would indicate she had the power of attorney, and she and Abraham had already separated at this time.
Abraham remarried to Ann Alexander in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Around1668/9. Ann was previously married to an Alexander, therefore her maiden name is not known. With Alexander she had three children, William, Mary, and Patience. With Abraham she had five children, John, Jacob, Charity, Elizabeth, and Isaac. Abraham died around 1686 in Lancaster County Virginia. Abraham’s will made provisions for his wife Ann and children by both wives’s. (See Abraham’s will in Genealogy Report)
Some conclusions could be drawn from his will.
1) Martha (Abraham's previous wife) is still living at this time (abt. 1686/7) since in the will Abraham requires some of Martha’s children, to live and work for her, for a period of time. (Up to 3 years).
2) Thomas must be of age since he was not required to live and work with his mother and therefore probably the oldest child, George must have been 2nd oldest since he was only required to stay and work for two years and Abraham 3rd as his requirement was 3 years.
3) Daniel Bush was not mentioned in the will, which would confirm his previous death in 1668.
Ann’s will reads as following.
In the name of God Ame, I Ann Bush of the County of Lancaster being very weak of body but of perect sence thanks be to the Almighty God for it, doe make this my last Will and Testament. Imprs, I bequeath my Soule to him that give it mee and my body to the Earth from whence it came to bee inter'd with a Christian burriall when God shall see his time;
Secondly, I doe will and bequeath unto my Sone, William Alexander, all the rest of my Children as by names hereafter are expressed to dwell and abide with him untill they shall come of age; which is my Daughter, Mary Alexander, my Daughter Patience Alexander, my Daughter Charity Bush, My Daughter Elizabeth Bush, my Sone Isaac Bush & y Sone Jacob Bush and Katherine Taylor untill she shall come to the yeare of sixteene;
Thirtly, I do give and bequeath unto each of my Daughters when they shall come to age or day of marriage, one cow and calfe;
Fourthly and Lastly, I doe make my Sone, William Alexander, Executor of this my last will revoakeing all other Wills, In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal this seventh day of August 1689.
Signed sealed and delievred in the presence of
Henry Pullen, Thomas Carpenter, Maragaret Younge Teste John Stretchley, CLCur
Note: Inventory of the Estate of Ann Bush (Lancaster Co. Va. Wills 1690-1709 p13) shows one Orphan Child which we could assume is the Katherine Taylor mentioned in her will.
Of these children my direct descendant is John Bush son of Abraham and Ann. John ended up in Spotsylvania County, which eventually became Orange County in 1734. John married Margaret Bruce in 1693, we assume in Lancaster County. They had three children, Elizabeth, Martha, and Philip. In the year of 1726 June 30th he was granted 800 acres of new land near Bear Swamp, in Spotsylvania County, adjacent to land of Thomas Chew and extending. Margaret Bush apparently was deceased by 1730, at which time John Bush conveyed land to his son Philip and to Robert Andrews, husband of his daughter Elizabeth, and to David Bruce, husband of his daughter Martha, these conveyances without a wife’s signature. The following year 1731, at which time John Bush apparently was near 60 years of age, he petitioned the Spotsylvania County Court, asking, “to be set levy-free, he being very aged and unable to work.” However, he survived the granting of his petition by 15 years, during which time he married Bridget Braxton around 1732. With her he had an additional four children, Mary, John, Thomas and Daniel. His will, dated September 7th 1745, Orange County Virginia, indicated that he is a “planter of St. Thomas Parish,” and names wife Bridget and children by both marriages. (See will in genealogy report).
It appears at first glance; John only willed his son’s Thomas and Daniel land, with the balance of his children getting five shillings each. But we must remember he gave Philip, Martha, and Elizabeth land, prior to his marriage to Bridget. The only one we cannot find record of getting land from his father is John jr., I’m sure he wasn’t left out, we just haven’t found the records as of yet. The one who seems to have been left out is his wife Bridget, with only one bed and furniture? If that is in fact all she got.
The next branch of my tree is Philip, which was born in Lancaster Virginia around the year 1700, and was the youngest child of John and Margaret (Bruce) Bush. Philip married Mary Bryan around 1732; she was the daughter of William Bryan, who migrated from Brinbridge County Down, Ireland. Mary’s first cousin once removed, Rebecca Bryan ended up marring Daniel Boon, in 1756. The Orange County records show on March 6, 1745, William Bryan of St. Thomas Parish, Orange County, (Philip’s father-in-law). Sold to Philip Bush, in consideration of five Shillings and the rent of one ear of Indian corn yearly, at the Feast Of St. Michael, The Archangel when lawfully demanded, it goes on to state the amount of land and so forth, but what is interesting is that the deed was witnessed by Zachary Taylor, the great grandfather of the President of that time and the other witness was James Madison who became President in 1808. Also, James Madison was a witness for Philip Bush’s Will in 1771. (See will in Genealogy Records). Philip served as Ensign of Orange County Militia.
Philip and Mary had thirteen children. Which will be listed by age oldest first. Josiah, Sarah, Philip, Mary, James, Elizabeth, Joseph, Joshua, John, Fanny, William, Ambrose, and Francis.
How James fit in Philip Bush Family has been in question. There are the Gordon Aronhime Papers, located in the Virginia State Library, which show James bush s/o Philip Bush with document source as the will of Philip Bush dtd. 1771, the copy of the will we have does not show this.
Originally the interoperation of subject court records assumed the Mary Bush in question was the wife of Philip Bush but the court would not have known Mary had a bastard child since she was married unless the child showed signs being of mixed race. The brief court order didn’t describe the child as mixed race.
Therefore the Mary Bush must have been someone other than Phillip’s wife. Philip had a sister Mary Bush born around 1716 she was co-administrator of their fathers (John Bush) will. No records have been located relating to this Mary Bush since the will. She would have been around 23 at the time of James Bush birth and lived in Orange County, and no record of ever being married has been found, In fact we can conclude based on John’s Bush’s will naming Martha Bruce, Elizabeth Sanders, and Mary Bush as daughters Mary was not married in 1745 at the time of the will, six years after James birth.
Since Phillip was named as her Security it would be logical to assume he Phillip had a personal interest in Mary Bush and if not his wife his sister surely would qualify.
There are no other Mary Bush’s in the family listed in any records we have at the appropriate age to have birthed James Bush, To clear the records so to speak against Mary Bryant Bush, my records will be changed listing Mary Bush (Philips Bush’s sibling) as the mother of James Bush.
William Bush, known as Captain Billy Bush the youngest of Philip’s children. (He was not actually a Captain in a Military sense, but was given the title of Captain by those who knew him, and addressed him as a leader.) He (Billy) seemed to be always on an adventure. The first to be documented was being a part of the group of frontiersmen, Daniel Boone gathered to blaze the trail from Cumberland Gap Virginia, to what is now known as Kentucky. This occurred on March 10th, 1775, “Daniel Boone, left Long Island with a party of thirty riflemen to seek out and mark the proposed Trace. To complete this task he had recruited about 20 of the most experienced and capable frontiersmen to be found on the western border. They included such men as Square Boone, Michael Stoner, and William (Billy) Bush, Benjamin Cutberth and many others destined to become famous in the settlement of Kentucky.
About the same time (August 1776) William’s brother James Bush had moved from Amherst County Virginia to Washington county, and was in the process of helping to build Hamblin’s Fort, in Castles Woods, which is a part of Washington County. William and James was the only two Bush’s in the area at the time, (based on diary of Samuel H. Laughlin, as told to him by his grandfather John Dunkin.) “On one occasion while he lived on Clinch, a predatory band of Indians came into the settlement and murdered a man named Bush and his wife, and took their children, three daughters and a son prisoner. The son was nearly grown. Captain Dunkin with a few men, followed the trail, and by hard marching, overtook them, killed three of the Indians, and rescued the prisoners without losing a man.” The only records of the day now available show that only James Bush and William Bush, were living at Castleswood, and both can be accounted for after the Bush family killing. Perhaps there was another Bush family who lived in Castlewood on whom the records are silent.
James Bush Purchased 100 acres in Washington County in April 1782 on the south side of the Clinch River, known as Russians Place.
After William Bush had returned from Kentucky, he painted such a grand picture of the luxuriate rich lands, that he had persuaded forty families of Orange and Culpepper counties to form a colony, and in the summer of 1780 they started for Kentucky. Several of which was William Bush’s family, namely his brothers Josiah, Philip Jr., Ambrose, Francis, and sister Mary, all children of Philip and Mary (Bryan) Bush. Many of the colonies were Baptists, and they organized themselves into a church body and started for Boonesborough, near which they intended to settle. They reached the frontier fort at the Holston River in December 1780. Here they were met by a runner from Captain Billy Bush, who had preceded them. And was then in the fort at Boonesborough, advising them to remain at Holston for the time being as the Indians were giving so much trouble in Kentucky at that time that is was not wise for them to proceed further. They remained at Holston for three years, during which time many other families coming to Kentucky joined them. Among those that joined was Reverend Robert Elkin, a Baptist preacher and they chose him as their pastor. He remained their pastor for forty-two years. During their stay at Holston, one brother Josiah Bush died, in 1781, his wife Sarah elected to go on to Kentucky with her children. Philip Bush was administrator of Josiah’s will. Appraisement of the Estate of Josiah Bush, among the items listed were; a pair of shoemakers pinchers, Bible, old hymn book, and old sword, old Testament and some old books, pipe and tobacco box, Negro man John, Negro man Solomon.
On September 1, 1783, the colony again started on their journey. The long line of travelers, some riding horseback, some walking with their fateful slaves, their bedding and baggage on pack horses, moved cautiously along the narrow Wilderness Road. Over mountains, across valleys, ever on the alert for Indians or other foes that so thickly abounded along their way. Bears, buffalo, wolves, elk and sometimes herds of deer were often seen. They were compelled to encamp for days at a time to rest and forage. Every Sunday they encamped for the purpose of engaging in worship. When these stops were made, pickets were put out both day and night to watch most vigilantly. The distance that now can be traveled in a few days, over the Boone Highway, was then a journey of many weeks. The colony reached Craigs station, near what is now Lancaster, Lincoln County, where they again tarried until the fall of 1784. Here they separated, part of them going to Barrens in the southwestern part of Kentucky. The majority of them however moved to the north side of the Kentucky River and occupied the lands located for them by William Bush. The men were farmers and traders. They were all celebrated Indian fighters. Several of them served in the Revolutionary War.
Now we must go back in time, back to Virginia, Washington County August 1776, with James Bush. Who is in the process of helping to build Hamblin’s Fort at Castle’s Woods. This was one of the first Forts in the area. Those involved in this construction was Henry Hambling of course, Henry Dickinson, Charles Bickley, William Robertson, William Russell, Patrick Porter, Henry Neece, William Wharton, Humphrey Dickinson, Frederick Frley, James Bush, Archelas Dickinson, Samuel Ritchie, Jerry Harrold, Richard and William Long and William Bowlin. All a part of the first settlers in that section. Of the seventeen people involved in building Hambling Fort, five became related to the writer, which shows the close inner circle the Pioneers lived.
James had married Mary (last name unknown) previously around 1757 in Amhurst County where they had purchased land, and started their family. Prior to selling their Amhurst land and moving to Washington County they had four children, Drury born 1758, Austin born 1759, Ann born 1763, and Mary the youngest born in 1765.
Shortly after James moved his family to Washington County (Fall, 1776) his oldest son Drury (18 years of age), entered the service of the United States under Captain William Russell, Lient William Russell and Ensign William Poagues on Clinch River as a regular soldier for one year. After this term he volunteered (1779) to serve another year under Capt. John Williams, lient. Marncy and Ensign Harrison, to go on the exploration to Illinois.
In 1780, the same year James brothers and sister started for Kentucky, when the Indians were on a warpath so to speak, James two girls Ann and Mary was captured by the Indians. James Farley told the story. “ In April, the date has escaped me, 1780 I enlisted for one year in the county of Washington and state of Virginia, as an Indian Spy, under Colonel Campbell, Captain Snoody and Lieutenant Cowan, to spy in the same section. Early in June the Indians made their appearance on our quarter of Washington County. They first stole many horses. In July they killed one Dorton and stole two girls, Ann and Mary Bush, and made off for Canada, (most likely Ohio). They succeeded in getting down on the water of Sandy with them as far as Jenny’s Creek. Our Company came up to the Indians when they were in the act of skinning a buffalo they had just killed. Our men fired on the Indians and they retreated to the camp about 200 yards distant, and as they ran by, they tomahawked Ann Bush. Mary jumped down the bank and escaped any violence.” Ann not only survived to marry and start a family, but was scalped again in 1783.
Ann Bush married Henry Neece, the same Henry Neece who help build Hamblins Fort, some time between her first capture by the Indians and the second capture, and scalping, which occurred early in 1783, (based on a the book History of Southwest Virginia by Lewis Preston Summers.) “Early in the year 1783, about twelve years after the first settlement at Castle’s Woods, a party of northward Indians invaded the settlement and attacked the fort at Hamblin’s Mill. The home of Henry Hamblin had, previously to this time, been twice invaded by the Indians, and in the spring of the year 1682, his entire family, with the exception of a little boy, who was carried into captivity, were killed and scalped, and now this fort was again assailed by a company of Indians numbering seventeen. The Indians first appeared in the community at the house of Joseph Ray, whom they killed and scalped along with several of his family and a neighbor by the name of Samuel Hughes, who happened to be at Ray’s house at the time; beside killing these persons they made several others prisoners before they reached the fort. As they approached the fort they met a young woman by the name of Ann Neece, whom they tomahawked and scalped and left for dead. They then approached the fort and were discovered by Simon Oscher, Henry Dickenson and Charles Bickley, who happened to be working at a mill near by. The Indians observing them about the same time and the white men being unarmed, their situation was a fearful one. It was now to be a struggle which party should get to the fort first. Charles Bickley remarked, “Boys, follow me,” and they all started for the fort at full speed, the Indians halting to fire upon them. They got safely into the fort through a shower of balls, without receiving a scratch, thus literally running the gauntlet. There were but two guns in the fort, and with these Ocsher and Dickenson, each, killed an Indian. The balance of the savages knowing nothing of the strength of the fort, and their guns being empty, hastily picked up their fallen companions and fled into the woods. Meeting with a colored man who was hunting sheep, and who belonged to Henry Dickenson, they captured him and he was never heard of afterwards.
Some hours after their departure, and while there were still apprehensions of their return by the few persons in the fort, Ann Neece was seen slowly approaching, as bloody as if she had been dipped in a pool of gore, with streams of blood jetting from her head apparently as numerous as had been the hairs of her head before she was scalped, each jet about the size of a hair. She recovered, to raise her family. The next documentation we have on James Bush was his efforts along with numerous others living in Washington County, to petition for a division of the county, to make a safer place for their families.
The document was dated December 1785. Petition to Form Russell County. “The petition of sundry inhabitants of Clinch River, Moccasin Creek, Powells Valley, and others, citizens of Washington County humbly represent that your petitioners are situated from the line of Montgomery as it crosses near the source of the Clinch River, down the same eight miles; thence to the extreme settlements of Powells Valley forty more. The greatest portion of your petitioners have to travel from twenty five miles and some eighty or a hundred; moreover are generally interrupted by Clinch Mountain and the north branch of the Holstein River; the former affording very difficult passes; the latter much danger and difficulty in crossing it in spring and after considerable rains; continuous to its southern bank, a chain of hills almost as difficult as Clinch Mountain; so that great difficulty arises to your Petitioners not only in attending Courts, but Court Martial. And from the extent of schism between our small settlements make it exceedingly difficult to arrange campaigns without subjecting some to travel 15 and 20 miles to private muster. There are two difficulties in the militia law that principally affect your Petitioners. There are evils small indeed to the feelings we constantly undergo when obliged to leave our helpless families exposed at so very great distances to obey the laws of our country. And however evident the danger may appear to us will not certainly on our failure of duty plead our excuse. Circumstance alone is sufficient to claim the human respect of the Legislature to remove the grievance. We therefore pray your Honorable House will take our case into consideration and divide the county. We further pray a line may be fixed along Clinch Mountain to the Carolina line; or with the line at present dividing the county into two regiments to the aforesaid Carolina line; then with the said line to Cumberland Mountain including that existing county between Cumberland Mountain and Montgomery line and Clinch Mountain, or the aforesaid regimental line for the new county and southeast of the said Clinch Mountain remain Washington County, and we your petitioners as in the duty bound will ever pray.”
Other surnames who signed the above petition and are grandparents of writer are, Alley, Long, Porter, and Elam, along with Bush. The petition was granted and Russell County was formed. We assume 1785 the same year the petition was issued.
By this time (1794) James son Drury, now 36, after serving various tours with the military, was back in Russell County and married to a Nancy Couch. At some point Drury's home burned, he and his wife moved to Kentucky. James daughters Ann and Mary were already married. Ann to Henry Neece and Mary to Ira Turner. His son Austin age 35 remained at home, helping to maintain the farm.
In June 1796 James purchased an additional 80 acres in Castles Woods on both sides of Mill Creek, adjoining Charles Beckley land. The land was purchased from Henry Hamblin for 80 pounds Virginia money; here James built his home and a Grits Mill. It is interesting to note, at some point James purchased Charles Beckley land, which adjoined his, which, contained Fort Preston, named by Captain William Russell. Also called Cowan-Russell Fort and Bush Fort, this is the location James daughter Ann was scalped in 1783. Charles Bickley’s grave located in the family cemetery at Castle Wood is marked as following “To the Memory of Charles Bickley, Sr. Born in Amhurst County Virginia, July 27, 1753. Died at Bickley’s mills, Russell County Virginia June 1, 1839. He was captain of Militia and one of the three men who defended Bush’s Fort, against 17 Indians.”
In 1798 Austin married a girl by the name of Nancy Cash. Austin was 39 at the time of his marriage, Nancy was only 13. Records show Nancy as being born in South Carolina. It is not known if Nancy Cash was her true name or not, as she was supposedly Cherokee Indian. At that time Indians who decided to stay with the whites, would take an English name, usually someone they respected. However this has not been confirmed. There is also doubt that Cash was her maiden name. If Nancy was Cherokee Indian as suspected, her maiden name has no value since it would have been a name of choice, not pedigree. Austin and Nancy had fourteen children. They were (by age, oldest first), James M., Susannah, Valentine, William, Austin Jr., Dawes, Elizabeth, Thomas M., Francis, Mary, Rebecca, Nancy, Josiah D., and Peggy.
Austin had several acres of his own land; by the time he married Nancy, in 1798. Which records have been found and possibly more? In 1791 he purchased 100 acres for 30 pounds from Jacob and Mary Neese, (which was a part of Neese’s patent land, corner of Ed Stapleton’s line.) Jacob Neese, the son of Austin’s sister Ann (Bush) Neece. In 1792, 125 acres was purchased for 60 pounds from James and Mary Osborne, located on the north side of Clinch River. In 1794 Austin sold 120 acres of the previously purchased land on the north side of the Clinch to John Philips for 60 pounds.
On 18th November 1808, after a long-term illness of about seven years, Austin’s father, James died at the age of 69. His will favored his son Austin. We assume since Austin stayed with his father and help build what assets they had. Drury, who left home around the age of 18, was left only one dollar.
James will dated 20th June 1801 reads in part. In the name of God, Amen, I James Bush being very sick and weak but of perfect memory and sound judgment do make this my last will and testament. First, I recommend my soul to the mercy of Almighty God, my body I decree to by decently buried, and do dispose of the worldly goods in the manner following.
After my just debts being paid, I do give my wife, Mary Bush, my possessions where I now live to support her during her life and to be managed by my son, Austin Bush.
Item: I give to my son Drury Bush, one Dollar.
Item: I give to my son Austin Bush the land whereon William Noble lives; being part of the tract Austin Bush lives on. I leave the land whereon Thomas McDaniel lives to him, the said McDaniel, for six years from the time of his first setting the same rent free, then said land to return to my estate.
Item: I give all my lands save that given to my son Austin to be equally divided between my three children or theirs, namely Ann Neece dec.’d, Austin Bush and Mary Turner, also all my stock of every kind and household furniture and plantation utensils with all my estate of every kind to be equally divided among my above children or their legal Representatives, to be divided at the death of my above named wife.
Lastly, I appoint my son, Austin, Executor of this my last will and testament. Signed, sealed and published in the presence of John Marshall, Charles Bickley, James Bush.
It appears, based on James will, he allowed a Thomas McDaniel and a William Noble to live and farm on his land, which would indicate he had more land than he and his son Austin could handle.
The inventory and appraisement of James estate totaled $281.79 excluding land, structures, and furnishings. It is interesting to note the value of items, the most valuable of all, the plough, valued at $150.00, next most valuable is a man’s horses i.e., Sorrel Mare $51.25, Bay Mare $37.00, Black horse $35.00, Bay filly $30.00 and Black Yearling horse $20.00. Third place was a man’s gun valued at $12.00.
James wife Mary lived another 41 years, died around 1849, this would have made Mary over 100 years old, although it was common for someone to live over 100 years, I have doubts as to the accuracy of the dates we have for Mary.
James son, Austin had a fairly quiet life, or at least we cannot find many records, outside his family life, we do know he served as a spy with James Fraley in 1782 (spy was a term used for scout). Other than being a part of the Militia in that area, any other outside activity is not known. Austin was 43 at the birth of his first child, and 70 at the birth of his last. His wife Nancy was age 13 for the first child and 44 for the last. Based on the 1850 census their 13th child Josiah D. was listed as a Mulatto, their 14th and last child Peggy was listed as idiotic. With Austin’s age of 68 at the time of having a Mulatto child, makes me think Austin was an extremely sexually active man for his age. Or his wife, Nancy age 42 was, should we say lonely. I would tend to believe Josiah belonged to Austin, since he was shown in the 1850 census as his child. Any other circumstance would not have allowed a Mulatto child to be treated as an equal, in the family.
Austin died late 1854 or early 1855, at the age of 95. Based on what we can see, he did not leave a will, or at least his will was not legal or clear, as a complaint was filed on May 7th 1855. The complaint reads, “The objective of this suit is to obtain a decree appointing commissioners to assign a dower to Nancy Bush, widow of Austin Bush, deceased, and make partition of said land amongst the several parties according to their several rights.”
The court settled the dispute on Austin’s land and made disposition as following. In obedience to and order of a court held for Russell County on October 10, 1855. The undersigned commissioners appointed for the purpose of dividing the lands. Belonging to the estate of Austin Bush deceased, having went upon said lands and assigned Nancy Bush his widow, one full third in value of the said lands including the mansion house of which a copy of the survey is hencewith filed. This equated to 105 acres for Nancy.
The balance of land (approximately 177 acres) was divided among the heirs, which amounted to1/14th for each share.
Valentine Bush, third child of Austin and Nancy, was one of the three individuals who registered the original complaint against the division of Austin’s land, and was granted one share or 1/14th of the land. Not that Valentine needed the land as he had married Nancy Gose, whose family was a wealthy family. Valentine eventually owned three mills in Nicklesville, which is in present day Scott County. The entire family operated all the mills with the sons doing most of the hard labor. The mills were all located within ½ mile of each other on Amos’s Branch just outside the town of Nicklesville. There was a carding mill, sawmill and located between the two was a gristmill. The gristmill is the only remaining of the three and has been restored by the Nicklesville Ruitan Club. On October 5, 1996 the mill was dedicated as a National Historical Landmark as it was 100 years old. Valentine built his home just west of Nicklesville towards Gate City. The house was located on an unknown number of acres just above the still standing Kilgore Fort.
Austin’s son Thomas M. Bush born1816 is my direct descendant. He was married twice, first to Mary Polly Ramey in 1837, daughter of Jessee and Mary Ramey. Mary was 23 years of age and Thomas was 25 at the time of their marriage. The amount of farmland Thomas owned is not known. He was homesteading land on the south side of the Clinch River (approx. 75 to 80 acres) based on the claim he filed in 1871 on the homestead act of 1870. He had received approximately 35 acres from his father’s estate. He was farming 1/3 of Jessee Ramey’s land, which his wife Mary inherited from her father. Although this only totaled 105 acres, Thomas Sr. sold to his children over 300 acres, which indicated he had purchased much more land than what we have records for at this time.
Thomas and Mary had 10 children their names (oldest first) was James D., William H., Austin, Hensley, Jessie H., Sary F., Nancy V., Margaret E., Thomas M. Jr., and Mary.
The year 1871 was a busy time for Thomas Sr. and land transactions, as during the year he sold to his daughters, Sary and Margret 68 acres, to son Jessie he sold 50 acres. We assume, Mary died sometime prior to 1885, which is when Thomas remarried. The 1880 census shows a Kato Hellman age 23 as a servant, at this time, Mary would have been 66 years old, and we can assume in ill health since a servant was being used in the household. The year 1885 was related to some big changes in Thomas’s life, first his marriage to Sarah V. Porter, second he sold his land to his son Thomas Jr. for $1200.00 (with some stipulations), which consisted of (1). Thomas Sr. was to keep in possession the boundary of land until his death. (2). Then Thomas Jr. was to take possession for ten years after his father’s death, (3). Then after 10 years he was to pay his brothers and sisters sixty-two dollars and fifty cents each, at which time the land was then his forever free from all claims. We can only assume what was happening in Thomas Senior’s life to warrant these big moves. I would guess at his age 69 at the time, lonely and too old to continue farming, was enough reason.
Thomas Sr. new wife Sarah V. Porter (widow) daughter of Forest and Mary Porter was 58 at the time of her marriage to Thomas Sr. he was 69. Whether Sarah Porter was related to Mary Victoria Porter, wife of Thomas Bush Jr. is not known, but if they were it was a distance kinship. We do not know the date of Thomas Bush Sr.’s death, nor do we know the date of his 2nd wife Sara Porter’s death.
Thomas Bush Jr. married Mary Victoria Porter in 1876; he at the age of 21 and Mary was 16. Mary was the daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Lawson) Porter. Mary’s 2nd great-grandfather Patrick Porter built Porters Fort, in Russell County, which is a historical site today. In 1888 Thomas and Mary leased 50 acres of their land to Linchfield Coal Company for 99 years. This was for coal and iron ore; the work was to commence within five years. They were to be paid on a monthly basis, the coal and ore was to be weighed by the Railroad Company, who was to be hauling the product. The lease stipulated if the work did not commence within the next five years or should work be abandoned for two years at any one time the lease was null and void. How much coal or ore was taken, if any, from the Bush land is not known?
Thomas and Mary had 10 children, George, James Jim, Mae, Fannie, Charles Harrison, Henry, Thomas M. III, Roy, and Delmer. Thomas Jr. died in 1895, in Scott County Virginia. Mary remarried the same year Thomas died, to Henry Morris. Henry was 23 years old; Mary was 34 at the time of the marriage. Mary had additional eight children with Henry, for a total of 18 between her two husbands. The children she had with Henry were, Lakie, Flora, Emory, Ambrose, William Minnie, Nannie, and Everson.
This is the point, where this Bush clan lost all claim of any wealth accumulated by their Bush ancestors, as all was claimed by the Morris family.
Charles Harrison Bush 5th child of Thomas Jr. and Mary Bush was my grandfather. Charles born in 1886, in Scott County Virginia, first married an Eva Richardson, at the age of 24, Eva was 19. Eva’s father was a Minister and performed the ceremony on March 2, 1910. The marriage did not last long. Four years later in 1914, in Gate City Virginia; Charles married Nannie Isaacs, daughter of George Grant and Minnie L. (Elam) Isaacs. At this point we have some uncertain facts, their first child Retha was to have been born on June 9, 1914, Charles and Nannie’s marriage license show May 18th 1914, a picture we have, which suppose to be on their wedding day, does not show Nannie pregnant. Since Retha confirms her birthday, the marriage license is registered, we must assume the picture was not taken on their wedding day, but either, several months before the marriage or sometime after May 18th. All of Charle’s children were born in Virginia, except for Helen, the youngest girl who was born in West Virginia. Charles and Nannie had a total of nine children which were Retha, Lora Mae, Blaine Henry, Geneva June, (Geneva died at age 22 months), Charles H. Jr., Nathan W., Oscar E., (Oscar and Nathan were twins), Helen L., and Harold C. (Harold was killed in Korean war in 1951, at a location called Pork Chop Hill, at the age of 20.)
Since all the Bush land was lost to the Morris family, the trade of being a farmer stopped. Charles became a miner, which was a booming business at the time. Moving from place to place for work, starting in Scott County, Miller yard area. In 1917 he moved to Wilder Virginia, where he worked as a mine assistance foreman. His next move was to West Virginia around 1927. He then moved to Jewell Ridge Virginia (out side of Richlands Virginia) in 1934/35. In 1937 the coal miners were in the process of forming unions, Charles lost his job, he was in favor for, and participated in the union activity. He then moved to Pound Virginia for a short time in 1937, moving back to Dungannon the same year. In Dungannon Chalres died at the age of 60 in September 1946, from all the coal dust he had breathed over the years took his ability to breathe away. I wonder what the actual age of Charles was, the birth year his family uses 1888, the birth year he would have had (1887), based on the age he gave on his marriage licenses for Nannie, or the birth year of 1886 which is what it would be based on the age he gave when he married Eva Richardson. After Charles death Nannie was alone, although she had children in the area (Dungannon), she lived alone. In 1954 she moved to Oklahoma to live with her late husband’s brother Thomas M. Bush III, to help maintain a household, as
Thomas was up in age and needed help, he promised Nannie a home and all living expenses paid. Thomas III was a Police Detective in Oklahoma City. He got his job based on his military record and experience; Tom first entered the U.S. Army in January 1908, and served until January 21, 1911. Tom claimed he was a water boy in the Spanish American war, which occurred in 1886, he was 10 years old at the time, and could have very well been involved, as 10 years old was just about grown up in those days. Other information we have, taken from the Social Security Death Index, puts Tom’s birth in 1883, this would make him 15 during the Spanish American War, and old enough to be involved, without a doubt. In any case whatever his age, it doesn’t change history, His next hitch in the U.S. Army was June 30th, 1917, and landed in Europe in August 1917, he was involved in three Battles (1) Second Battle of the Marne Offensive, (2) Saint-Mihiel Offensive (3) Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was discharged on May14, 1919. I was told by my father (Blaine Bush), Thomas ended up in Oklahoma because of a killing that occurred back in Virginia along the Clinch River. A man (name unknown) assaulted Charles (my grandfather) and Thomas. Charles killed the man with a rock.
Since Charles had a family, Thomas took the blame for the murder. Thomas fled the state and ended up in Oklahoma City. After many years of dedicated service on the police force, Thomas died in 1972; Nannie stayed in Oklahoma until her death in 1977.
Nannie was brought back to Dungannon (Scott County), and buried next to her husband, in the Bush Morris cemetery.
Blaine Henry Bush, Charles and Nannie Bush’s third child, and my father. Born in Wilder Virginia (Russell County), on March 27, 1918. By the time his father moved to Jewell Ridge Virginia (out skirt of Richlands). Blaine was around 16 years of age (1934). Blaine only had a 6th grade education, but was good with numbers, and had a lot of common sense. By lying about his age he (Blaine) got a job in the mines, working in the same place as his father, and unknowingly at the time his father-in-law. By early 1936 he had met Etta Faye Joyce, who was the daughter of one of the mine Forman where he worked, by the name of Cliff Joyce. In September of 1936 Blaine married Etta Faye Joyce, he was 18 and she was 14 years old, by July 4th 1937 they had their first child Thurman Andrew Bush. Like Blaine’s father, keeping a job in the mines was not to be. They moved several times having two more children in the process, Henretta born in 1939, and Clifton Wade, born in 1941.
In late 1943 they moved to Dungannon Virginia (Scott County). In earlier years Dungannon was known as Osborn Ford. There, Blaine tried his hand at leasing his own coalmine, then chicken farming, neither panned out. In July 1944 their 4th child, Jackie Lee was born. By late 1944 (November) near the end of WW II Blaine joined the United States Army, he served 1 year 3 month, and 11 days, he was 26 years old. Details of this tour of service are not known.
Faye and children moved back to Richlands Virginia, during the period Blaine served in the Army.
Faye always seemed to be drawn back to Richlands, in that it was her place of birth, and all of her remaining family lived in the area. This would be an appropriate time to touch on her family, her father William Clifton Joyce, and mother Lillie May (Collins) Joyce.
First, Lillie May Collins was born in Letcher County, Kentucky in 1899. She was the 3rd child of four by William Henderson, and Mary Ann (Lucas) Collins.
Lillie May’s father William Henderson Collins was described as short, very small, with hands and feet to match, gray eyes, brown curly hair, and a fair complexion and though he chewed tobacco, he had beautiful white teeth. He was quiet spoken, little and had a violent temper that matched his cold piercing eyes. He was a cruel man, who seemed to lack compassion or any outward display of love and affection. Although never drunk, he drank regularly. He had problems handling responsibility and thus became a peddler and drifter by trade. He never was a family man and certainly had few, if any friends. It was told by his son, that his mother Errie and a man she lived with, killed William and buried him under the house, this was never confirmed, and how or when he actually died in not known.
Mary Ann, Lillie May’s mother was described as a Christian lady who was kind, loving, and joyful. Short and plump, she had blue eyes,
And on her head carried thick black hair. She was an only child. She had tuberculoses that left her weak, and weighed only ninety pounds when she died giving birth, around 1907. Sadly the child died with her.
Lillie May, who gave an account of her parents, to her daughter Etta Faye Joyce, was plump, short and small boned. She had reddish brown hair. She always seemed sad and, filled with bitterness from a life that was hard. It left her unable to love or express affection. She lost trust for life, and the people around her including her children.
As for Faye’s father William Clifton Joyce, he is of Irish descent, with his grandfather John Rufus Joyce Migrating from Stokes County, North Carolina. John Rufus was described as being a red-faced man, with a violent temper. A head full of reddish brown hair. He was known to be best timber cutter, as well as a farmer and a family man. He used a double blade ax, and could fall a large tree in less time than any man in that part of the country. It was said on one occasion his ax hit a knot glanced off and split his knee through to the bone. He sent someone to his house to fetch him a sewing needle and thread, sat on a stump, sewed up his knee himself, wrapped his knee in a burlap sack soaked in gum oil, finished his days work, never saw a doctor, (did not believe in them).
He walked with a limp and carried a big stick; he had a large farm on Smith Ridge, where he built two cabins on either end of the land for his two Wives, Nancy Jane Smith and Mary Jane Houchins, (Nickname Molly). He fathered children by both women. He was only married to the one Molly Houchins,
James William Joyce 1st child of John Rufus and Molly (Houchins) Joyce, born in 1872, is the father of Daniel Clifton Joyce. James was medium height, very slim, white hair. A rude selfish demanding man. Treated his wife Sarah, like a slave, when he spoke you jumped, his word was law. A KKK Clan member (so was his wife). James always wore a suit, and was involved in Politics (Republican Party).
This brings us to Daniel Clifton Joyce, Faye’s father. He was the 2nd of eight children born in 1895. He had black curly dark hair, when he smiled you could see two gold crowns on his eyeteeth. Every one was afraid of him, always carried a pistol, and a flask of whiskey. Killed at least two men in his time one being the sheriff of that area, Chap Osborne.
The cause of Cliff’s death has been explained by various stories, but the one that has repeated most often is as following. Cliff was making moonshine, who ever was helping him had left to get more grain; a seed had gotten stuck in the still’s coil and blew up. Cliff was burnt, putting out the fire, but not to the degree of being fatal, except he was a diabetic, and his wounds would not heel, he died a few days later, in 1944.
After Blaine completed his tour of service he spent most of his time looking for work and in April of 1951 he re-inlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean Conflict? This hitch he served an additional 1 year 9 month, and 4 days, he was 33 at this time. During his service, in Korea he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with a Bronze Star and the United Nation Service medal. While serving this tour of duty, in 1952, he and Faye divorced. After his release from service he moved to Ohio, where he met Virginia Saul, they married in 1956. He then started his own business in floor and wall covering, which was successful; at the same time he started investing in real-estate (rental Property), his home at this time was Hamilton Ohio.
After his mother moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Blaine sold all of his property in Ohio and moved to Oklahoma to be close to his mother, as she too was getting up in age. Blaine died in December 1997, in Oklahoma at the age of 79. At the time of his death he had acquired over 50 homes that he either rented or sold on contract. This was his source of income in his late, or retirement years, although he never really retired, as he continued to deal in real estate, up to the last year of his life. His wife Virginia and her children took all of Blaine’s assets, whether there was a will was never pursued, by any of his children.
This brings us to the writer who put this documentation together. My name is Clifton Wade Bush, 3rd child of Blaine and Faye (Joyce) Bush. My life has been a good one, but quite for the most part. I lived my youth in Richlands Virginia (Tazwell County), until I was 17 years old, at which time I joined the U.S. Army, 24th Infantry Division, Signal Corp., in 1958, the same year I graduated from Richlands High School. After a 3-year tour with the military, 2 ½ years in Europe (Germany) and the balance in the States, Around August of 1961, I moved to Hamilton Ohio, to find work, staying with my father Blaine. By June 1962, at the age of 21, I met, and Married Judith (Maggard) Hayes, (Nick name Judy). She had two children by a previous marriage with Raymond Hayes, Mary Margaret and Wencella Ray Hayes. In February of 1963, we had our first child Jackie Faye. My profession at this time was a door-to-door bread-salesman, with Omar Bakery. This job was short lived as they went on strike, forcing me to move to find work, which I ended up in Ottawa Illinois, as a manager of One Hour Martinizing Cleaners. In 1963 I changed professions again by taking a job at a glass factory in Streator Illinois. (Owens Illinois). In 1967 my second and last child was born Clifton Wade II.
There were some major changes in my life, in the years to follow. 1) Around 1971 Judy and I Divorced. 2) October 1973, I became a salary employee for Owens Illinois. 3) May 1981 I married Jean Henriksen. 4) August 1988, my daughter Jackie committed suicide (related to marital problems). 5) 1986 to 1992 my son Cliff served 6 years in the U. S. Army, including the tour in Saudi Arabia (Desert Storm). 6) 1993 I retired from Owens Illinois.
Cliff II married Stephanie Crawford in 1993; they have one child Alyssa Rene. Cliff and Stephanie lives in Streator Illinois. Cliff works for Streator Brick, and is involved in real estate.
I am proud of every Bush in my family line, especially the early pioneers, who helped make our country what is today, through blazing trails, homesteading, fighting through the Revolution, and setting the standards my family has today. It never ceases to amaze me, when driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains, and other areas my family came from, how anyone could have traveled through the rough terrain I see today, no less the terrain of 200, 300, years ago.
I really don’t know how to end this, I guess it’s because there will never be an end, or at least until God is ready to make
Clifton Wade Bush
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