John Knox of North Carolina

Goodman: Knox of NC

Selected Genealogical Resources

Goodman: Knox of NC GA Land Lottery Knox Descendants Hopkins Co. History KY Minuet Book KY Deed Book

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The Knox Family - A Genealogical And Biographical Sketch Of The Descendants Of John Knox Of Rowan County, North Carolina And Other Knoxes - By Hatie S. Goodman

I am providing all of the pages of this text which I have photocopied as images, below, which you may read. Several transcribed pages of this very useful text are also provided at the bottom of the page. As OCR software improves, I hope to transcribe all of the pages so they can be easily searched.


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John Knox, Immigrant

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John Knox, Immigrant

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Will of Jean Knox

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Will of Jean Knox

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Will of Jean Knox

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Will of Jean Knox

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William Knox

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William Knox

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Samuel Knox

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Samuel Knox

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James Knox

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James Knox

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James Knox

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Absalom Knox

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Absalom Knox

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Absalom Knox

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Absalom Knox

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John Knox, Jr.

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John Knox, Jr.

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John Knox, Jr.

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John Knox, Jr.

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Joseph Knox

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Joseph Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Benjamin Knox

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Mary Knox





John Knox, emigrant progenitor, represented by the trunk of our Knox Family Tree, was a native of Scotland, born about the year 1708. The exact locality of his birthplace is not certainly known. Some of the descendants on two different branches have it by tradition that Renfrewshire was his native place. He went from Scotland to Ireland, with other Scotch emigrants, by invitation of the King of England, to constitute a balance of power against the insurgent Irish Catholics. He married an Irish Presbyterian wife, Miss Jean Gracy, whose. mother's name was Jean Sinclair. They emigrated to America (from Coleraine, Ireland) about 1740, in company with his brother-in-law, Patrick Gracy, and others. It is thought that he first settled in Pennsylvania before coming South to Carolina. He was one of the early settlers of Rowan county, N. C. He bought six hundred acres of land on the south side of Third Creek for £37, 10s., which land had been granted by Earl Gran­ville to James Stuart.

[Most of this information was furnished by Rev. James Knox, who drew, up the original sketch.]

Some have gotten the idea that, for some service rendered the English government, this old Knox ancestor obtained a land warrant for six hundred acres and located it in Rowan county. We cannot vouch for the correctness of this. The writer has in her possession old land deeds and other papers, in pieces with age - one conveying land from Earl Granville to James Stuart, with the Earl's seal affixed, and signed by his agents, Francis Corbin and Joshua Bodley; another from Stuart to John Knox, yeoman.

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 We know very little of the life and character of this ancestor, John Knox. An old paper gotten up and signed by several of his neighbors or friends as a certificate of recommendation "to show - as he traveled southerly, selling some of his horses," certifies that he was a man of worth and integrity. We conclude, almost be­yond a doubt, that he was a Presbyterian, from the name he bore, and having married a Presbyterian wife, and also that he was laid to rest in a Presbyterian burial ground. We inquired of the clerk of session of Thyatira Church, where he and his wife were buried, to know if their names were on the church roll there. He replied that. "the old records of that church were destroyed by fire about 1826. Though he thinks it very likely that they were both members of Thyatira Church, says those old Scotch people were noted for their Christianity. They brought their religion with them, and it is not likely they would forsake it when they came to this country." Indeed, it may be possible that perse­cution drove them from the mother country.

We are informed by the family of "Knox the Hatter" that they have old letters and papers which show that the Knox family from Glasgow and Edinburgh, and from the North of Ireland, are of one family, and were persecuted on account of their religion, some of them having to leave their homes in the night. Coleraine, where, as we have it, our Knox people came from, is in the extreme north of Ireland.

Toward the end of the seventeenth century the disputes be­tween the Presbyterians, or Covenanters, and the representatives of the Church of England were marked with great intolerance, to which was added the Stuart uprising. Many a peace-loving Scotchman grew weary of such continual strife, and began to seek freedom of conscience and other blessings in the American colonies of the new world.

While engaged in this work we have frequently been asked whether this John Knox was a descendant of John Knox the Reformer. We conclude that he was not. As we learn from McCries' Life of Knox, and also from Genealogical Memoirs of John Knox and the Family of Knox, by Rogers, that his two sons both died without issue, consequently the family of the


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 Reformer was extinct in the male line. The daughters married into other family names, as may be seen from the genealogy of John Knox the Reformer, in another chapter. Some of our line have it by tradition that we are descended from William Knox, the brother of the Scottish Reformer, though we have not suc­ceeded in tracing the connection.

 We had search made in the Rowan county records for old wills, etc., and find one of Jeane Knox, which we copy below.


NOV. 1772.

 In the name of God, Amen. the thirteenth of September, one thousand seven hundred & seventy-two, I, Jeane Knox, in the parish of St. Luck, in the County of Rowan, in North Carolina, being through the aboundant mercy & goodness of God, though weak in body, yet of sound understanding & memory, blessed be God for the same, Do ordann & appoint this my last Will & Tes­tament, and order and desire that it may be resaved by all whom it may concern as such.

 Imprimis, I most humbly bequeath my soul to God my maker and Redeemer, and satifier beseeching his most gracious accep­tence of it, through the merits of my compassinat Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself an atonement for my sins & is abel to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make Intercession for them, in whom I trust he will not reject me a returning penitent when I come to him for mercy. In this hope and confidence I render up my soul with comfort, humbly beseeching the most glorious Trinity, one eter­nal God, to prepare me for the time of my dissolution, & that he take me to himself into that peace & rest which he bath prepared for all those that love & fear his holy name, Amen.

 Witnesseth. Imprimis, I give my body to the earth from when it was taken, in full assurance of its Resurrection from thence at the laste Day; & for my burial I desire it may be desent, without form, at the discretion of my executors, herein-  

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after mentioned, who I do not doubt will manage it with pru­dence & gravity.

And as to my worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to blis me, I will positively order the same in the following maner & Form: after payment of all my Detets & funeral Expense, Item, I absolutely give & bequeth, devis & demis unto my well beloved youngest son, Benjamin Knox, one negro man child named Jacob, & the yong black Hors, sadil & Bridel, as also my own Bed that I now ly on, with all the sheets, bolsters, & blankits that belongs to it, & two cows and calfes, to wit, Brindel & Twin. Also one plow, with the Irons and all Tackling belonging to it, & the big pot & littel pot, & the chest & dogh chest, cheeck Real & Gridel, & ax. and I aloes my negro wench to be his for four years after my Deseas, & then to be sold by my executors, to the purpose hereinafter directed. I glow the Quit Rent of this place to be paid to this present Deat, all the above as it stands stated to him & his heirs forever.

Item, I give, devise, and demis unto my well beloved son Jo­seph one pot & puter bacon to him & his heirs forever. Item, I give, devis, & demis & bequeth unto my well beloved daughter, Mary Rosbrough, all my own clothing, of every kind, to her and her heirs forever.

As for my corn & foder & wheat, and beef stear and hogs, I aloes for the use of my four sons whet they keep in this hous to be for the use of them all; & I do aloes, after all my debts & funeral charges is paid, the money arising from the diferent sales of goods & the sale of the wench above mentioned, when she is to be sold, to be equally divided between my sons Samuel, James, Joseph and Benjamin and to them and their heirs for­ever; & I do heareby constute & apoint my well beloved sons, Samuel Knox & Benjamin Knox, Executors of this my last Will and Testament; and I do utterly revock, disanull and every way forbid, gainsay & disalow, all former & other Wills or Codicils to wills by me heretofore maid; and I do now ratify, declare & confirm, this my last Will & Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand & affixed my seal the day, month and yeare first within writen.


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 Signed, sealed, published and declared, by the Sd Jean Knox, to be her last Will & Testament, in the presence of us the sub­scribers.

 Henry Chambers.            her.

John Graham.            JEAN            [X]            KNOX (Seal).

John Kerr.            mark.

 [By comparing dates, the above will must have been made only a few days previous to the death of the testator. This may account for "her mark." She died September 18, 1772, we learn from the inscription on her tombstone.]

 John' Knox, emigrant, and wife, Jean Gracy Knox, had seven sons and one daughter, viz., William, Samuel, James, Absalom, John; Joseph, Benjamin and Mary.

 We are not informed as to the order in which they come. In the mother's will Benjamin is called the youngest son, and the date of his birth, 1759, is gotten from the pension roll, or cen­sus of pensions, at Raleigh, N. C. It is thought by some of the descendants of William Knox, that he was the eldest.

 From the records sent in on the several branches, we gather that these sons all took part in the revolution. Of which further details will be given under each head, or name.

John Knox died 1758.

In the old Thyatira Church graveyard, Rowan county, among the old graves we find a small tombstone, now overgrown with moss, and blackened with age, bearing the following inscription

"John KNOX, died October 12, 1758, age 50 years.


JEAN Knox, his wife, died September 18, 1772, age 64."

The clerk of session of Thyatira Church has the old deed of land on which the church now stands, given in 1753, about five years before John Knox's death. So that we imagine there are but a few graves antedating his in that cemetery.  

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This is to certify that there appears on the Revolutionary records of this department, pay rolls, etc., the following

Army accounts, Vol. VIII., Books E-F, No. 2 and 11, for cash paid by Jacob Blount, paymaster, to the officers and sol­diers of the North Carolina Brigade, as follows (No. 2, F)

 Page 62. Voucher 1559, June, 1779, George Knox.

Page 62. Voucher 1608, March, 1777, Samuel Knox.

Page 62. Voucher 1619, January, --- , Samuel Knox.

Page 77. Voucher 2070, March, 1776, Capt. William Knox. The name of Capt. William Knox appears several times.

Page 78. Voucher 2093, February, 1, 76, John Knox. The name of John Knox also appears in several places. These men were soldiers in active service.

(Seal.) B. F. DIXON, Auditor.

Later. - I had other researches to make, and came across the following, which you may insert in that certificate I send you: "Page 34, Book No. 2, Public Accounts," a payment made to "Absalom Knox." The name "James Knox'' was also found on page 34, same volume. (Mrs.) FANNIE W. SMITH, Aud. Dept.


The following sketch of Patrick Gracy, brother-in-law to John Knox, emigrant, was furnished by two of his great-granddaughters, Mrs. I. R. Alexander, of Mooresville, and Mrs. Dr. J. R. B. Adams, of Statesville. N. C.

Patrick Gracy was born in Ireland, in 1700; emigrated to America, with his sister, Jean and John Knox, in 1740.

It is thought he married in this country. Mrs. Adams says he married a Miss Rebecca Barnett, while Mrs. Alexander informs us that he married a Miss Hall, daughter of Rev. James


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(Sorry, that's all that I have converted at this point.)