Joseph Atherly Sr.
- Born: Cir 1711, New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States 268
- Marriage (1): Sarah about 1734 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States 267
- Died: Cir Dec 1769, New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States about age 58 249,269
In the name of god amen July the 17th Day 1769.
I Joseph Atherly of North Carolina being very sick and week in body [but] of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to god therefore, Calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die, Do make and ordain this my last will and testament. That is to say principally and first of all I give and Kommend my Sole into the hands of god that gave it and my body I Kommend to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian manner at the Discretion of my Executor as nothing Doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the Same again by the mighty powers of god and of touching [taking] back worldly Estate when with it hath pleased god to bless me with in this life, I give Promise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
I give and Bequeath to my well beloved wife Sarah Atherly alle my hole ~~~~ aState to Dispose of as she thinks proper, also I appoint my well beloved wife Sarah Atherly Executor to this my last will and testament and I also Dispute, revok and Dissolve alle other will or wills by me maid before.
Signed Sealed published and pronounced
To be the last will and testament of his.
/s/ Joseph Atherly
/s/ Elias Justes
/s/ Susanna Justes
Rebecca X Justes
North Carolina December Craven Inferior Court 1769
Present his Majesty's Justices
the annexed last will and testament of Joseph Atherly declared was duly proved in Gen court by the oath of Elias Justice one of the subscribing witnesses. At the same time Sarah Atherly a widow herin named Quallified as such agreeable to law.
Ordered that M Secretary have notice thereof that suffers testimony give therin accordingly.
/s/ Thadius Nealy, Clerk 270
Joseph Atherly 20 ......2/... 2. -. -
By Cash pd. at Atherly's for Dinner & for 16 men & feeding for 16 horses ... 2. 7. 1
The attached document of Atherly court records and land deeds is a breakdown of all public records I have in my possession for the Atherlys in North Carolina from 1731-1811.
• The very first Atherly record found in Craven County, North Carolina indicates that Joseph Atherly wasn't there alone. In fact, a John or Jonathan Atherly is first found in 1731 witnessing a land deed. Was this a brother? A Cousin? What happened to him? He sells land in 1748 and that's the last we find of him in North Carolina.
• Joseph & Sarah Atherly can be found living in Craven County, North Carolina from 1731 to 1848. They lived on the north side of the Neuse River. This means that all their children were definitely born in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina.
• Joseph's wife, Sarah, is also proven to not be a Skillern due to the fact that William Skillern's will indicates none of his children were of age in 1744 when he died. Sarah Atherly was married and had four children in 1744.
• Through the land records, we can document/prove that Jonathan Atherly was married by 1765 and his wife was named Elizabeth. No proof yet found on her maiden name….we can be fairly certain it's not Skillern; so we are trying to determine whether she might be a Warren. There is a Jacob Warren who shares a property line with the Atherlys. More research on the Warrens need to be made to determine if there is a relationship. Since no documentation can be found that the Atherly's were in Virginia or that the Skillerns were in North Carolina around Jonathan's marriage time, it is not reasonable to go along with the theory that Elizabeth was the daughter of William & Elizabeth Skillern. Elizabeth Atherly dies somewhere between 1796 when they sell property and 1801 when Jonathan writes his will.
• Joseph & Sarah had a daughter. Her first name is not yet documented. However, according to Sarah Atherly's will, we know she married Samuel Roberts. Samuel also shares a property line with the Atherly's as seen in 1750 when he sells his land to his brother James. Samuel's family is determined in 1745 when his father's will is proven.
• Sally Atherly witnesses Sarah's will and she purchases property from the inventory of Joseph Jr.'s estate when he dies. Given that there is a 11-year period between the two events, she would likely have married in between those years and have a different last name if she were a daughter of either of the two Joseph's. Since she wasn't mentioned as a daughter in Sarah's will, I'm inclined to believe that she was Joseph Jr.'s wife. Unfortunately, Joseph Jr. died without a will and his apparent son, James, had to take care of the details. James and Levi buy a few things from the inventory, suggesting they are sons. Sally is probably a wife. Ruthie is probably a daughter buying from the inventory as well. We also see some family friends at the sale of the inventory who appear again to help Jonathan take care of a legal matter and when Levi dies. But this is just theory since there is no real proof.
• Jesse Atherly makes his first appearance in 1796 when the property he owns with Jonathan and Elizabeth is being sold, perhaps as they prepare to leave for Tennessee. No land deed shows Jesse purchasing the land. Two theory's on who Jesse is: a son of Joseph Jr. or a son of Isaac who was born in South Carolina while Isaac was there. These are only theories; but we know Jesse is not a brother because of the will of Sarah Atherly.
Public Records of North Carolina
[1730 - 1830]
[Spellings as they appear on original documents; opinions [brackets] “Atherly” is only spelled with an A, never “Eatherly” in North Carolina]
Craven County was formed in 1712 from the county of Bath. The first book of Wills for Craven County begins in 1713. The court dockets being in 1746 and the first deed book begins in 1739. The first census is 1790.
1731 [Source: Craven County, N.C. Deed Abstracts, Vol. 1, Book I, #243, 1707-1775]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA ___ ___ 1748
Cullen Pollock and Walter Lane Comr. To John Rogers, 2 pounds, 2 front lots contg. Half an acre each Nos 43,44…as by plot made by Richd. Graves Esqr…. The 1st course on the front S85W13 pole then runs back N5W13 pole then N85E13 pole then S5E13 pole to beginning…Wit: Jno. Adderly, Robert Webb. [This is a misread of Atherly. Could this be a brother of Joseph who came with him to North Carolina?]
1733 [Craven County, N.C. Abstracts of Wills - obtained from Sandra Cantrell]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, 30 March 1733
Purchase of plantation witnessed by Abner Neale, Jno. Kannady, John Jones, Jos Atherly.
1742-1748? [Not sure on date] [Craven County, N.C. Court Minutes, Book III, pg. 31, 1742-1748 ]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA
A Deed of Sale from Francis Dawson to Joseph Atherley for 320 acres of land which was proved by the oath of Wheelwright Pearson as subscribing Evidence thereto said Atherley prays admittance to Record. Granted.
1745 [Abstracts of Wills, 1690-1760 pg. 316 ]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, July 24, 1745
James Roberts: This is a nuncupative will proven before Dan'l Shine by James Conaway; Sons: Samuel and James. Daughter: Margret Roberts. Wife: Isabel.
1748 Records of Craven County - Vol. 1 pg. 14 [SLC 975.6192 Pzm V1]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, April 5, 1748
John Atherly sells land to Silvanus Justin, 50 acres on north side of Neuse River, south of Greens Creek.
[Can't find the record showing when John Atherly purchased the land. Could it be that Joseph came to North Carolina with a brother who apparently left town as no other record of him has been found?]
1749 [Abstract of North Carolina Wills, by J. Bryan Grimes 1690-1760 pg. 363]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, March 30, 1753
Francis Stringer will written January 8, 1749. Exec: Daniel Shine, etc. Witnesses: Jos. Atherly, John Jones, Jno. Kennadey. Relationship unknown. Will proven March 30, 1753. [Dan'l Shine has property by the Atherlys]
1750 [Craven County, N.C. Deed Abstracts, Vol. 1, Book I, #570, 1707-1775]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, 29 Aug 1750
Samuel Roberts sold to James Roberts land beginning at Dawsons Creek running then up a branch commonly called Race Path branch then to a line of marked trees to Arthersley's [Atherly's] line & including all Whartons Neck, all houses, etc.
[This Samuel Roberts is likely the husband, or future husband, of Joseph Atherly's daughter who dies before 1790. The land he is selling to his brother, James, borders the Atherly's property]
1753 [Craven county Court Minutes -1757-1763 Book IV pg. 35 [SLC 975.6192 Pzh V5]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, August 1753
Joseph Atherly appointed to serve as grand juryman and as petty juryman.
1755 [Craven county Land Deeds - see green paper copy in Jonathan's file]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, September 5, 1755
I, Joseph Atherly, for and in consideration of love, good will and affection which I have and do bear to my son Isaac Atherly give and grant certain parcel of land bounded on north side of Neuse River on Dawson Creek….300 acres. [Isaac is now of age to have land, so he was born about 1735, give or take a couple years.]
1758 [Records of Craven County - Vol. 1 [SLC 975.6192 Pzm V1]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, April 11, 1758
Joseph Jackson sells land to Isaac Atherly, 65 acres on Upper Broad Creek.
1758 [Craven county Court Minutes -1757-1763 Book V pg. 35 [SLC 975.6192 Pzh V5]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, May 1758
Joseph Atherly [who is apparently lame or very ill] petitions court to be “excused from paying publick taxes and doing publick duties.” Petition was granted.
1761 [Craven county Court Minutes -1757-1763 Book V pg. 91 [SLC 975.6192 Pzh V5]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, July 1761
Joseph Atherly to build a road. [As Joseph Sr. is old and his health is failing, this is more likely to be Joseph Jr.]
1761 [Records of Craven County - Vol. 1 [SLC 975.6192 Pzm V1]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, October 8, 1761
Isaac Atherly sells land to Gidion Tingell, 65 acres on north side of Neuse River, west side of Upper Broad Creek. [Same land he purchased in 1758 from Joseph Jackson]
1763 [Craven county Court Minutes -1757-1763 Book V [SLC 975.6192 Pzh V5]]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, October 1763
Isaac Atherly appears as juror several times on pages 144, 147, 148.
1767 [Craven county Court Minutes -1767-1778 Book VII. Pg 10 ]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA July 1767
A Deed of Sale from Jonathan Atherly & Wife to Thos, Lorrence for 150 acres of land was proved in open court. Evidence thereto agreeable to Law and Ordered to be Registered. [The first time his wife is mentioned; Jonathan probably married about 1765]
1767 [Craven county Court Minutes -1767-1778 Book VII, pg 10 ]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, July 1767
A Deed of Sale from Thomas Lorrance and wife to Jonathan Atherly for 94 acres of land was proved in open court. Evidence thereto agreeable to Law and Ordered to be Registered.
[The time period of the Lorrances and the Atherlys selling and buying land from each other suggests a “trade” of sorts; they must have thought the pasture was greener on the other's property]
1769 [North Carolina Wills, SLC Film #1548458 Item #2]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, July 17, 1769
In the name of God, Amen, July the 17 Day of 1769, I, Joseph Atherly, of North Carolina being very sick and meek in body, but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God. Therefore, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die to make and ordain this my last will and testament that is today. Principally and first of all I give and commend my sole into the hands of God that gave it and my body I commend to Earth to be buried in a decent Christian manner at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting, but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the power of God and as touching such worldly estate where with it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give, demise, and dispose of the same in the following manner and form… I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Sarah Atherly all my hole moveable estate to dispose of as she thinks proper. Also I appoint my well beloved wife, Sarah Atherly, executrix to this my last will and testament and also dissolve, revoke all other wills by me made before. Joseph Atherly
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, December
Craven Inferior Court 1769
Present his Majesty's Justice the announced last will and testament of Joseph Atherly, deceased, was duly proved in open court by the oath of Elias Justice, one of the subscribing witnesses. At the same time Sarah Atherly, Executrix, therein named qualified as such agreeable to law.
1774 [Handwritten papers sent from Sandra Cantrell]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, July. 22, 1774
Purchase of land by Jonathan Atherly, 75 acres in Craven county on the north side of Neuse River joining Mt. Pleasant Swamp and [a point] near Shine's line.
1774 [Craven County Court Minutes - Book VII 1767-1778]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, Sept. 13, 1774
At an Inferior Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessins Begun and held for the County of Craven at the Courthouse in New Bern on Tuesday the 13th day of September in the Fourteenth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King Defender of the Faith & in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Four…Ordered that William Dubberly and Jonathan Atherley have leave to Renew their Ordinary Licenses giving Bond agreeable to Law.
[Note: According to the Webster Dictionary: “Ordinary” is a British term for a tavern or eating house serving regular meals to all comers at a fixed price.]
1775-1779 Revolutionary War Involvement
North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, Secretary of State, Treasurer's & Comptroller's Papers, Journal “A”, [Public Accounts] Researched by Sandra Cantrell
By Cash pd. At Atherly's for Dinner & for 16 Men & feeding for 16 Horses……..2. 7. 1 [Pg. 26]
[This was likely Jonathan Atherly because as he had his ordinary [tavern] license renewed in 1774]
By Joseph Atherly 20 …….2/… 2. -. - Pg. 142 [Same Source as above]
[Soldier's pay. This would be Joseph Jr. as Joseph Sr. is dead]
North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, Vol. IX Book No. 14, Part VII Pg. 986
Jona. Atherley #79 1:10: 8 [soldier's pay]
Source: Didn't record source - at the time Cheryl found it she wasn't sure it was our person. Further research has shown there was no “Eberly” living in North Carolina - this is just a misprint of “Atherly.” John Eberly prisoner on a British ship
1778 [Craven County Land Entries [SLC 975.6192 Rzp]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, April 1, 1778
Definition of land sold between two other parties, the description uses “corner of Jonathan Atherly's property on the North side of Neuse River.”
1781 [Pennsylvania Marriages to 1810; Marriage Record of Christ Church, Philadelphia 1709-1806]
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, 12 July 1781
Elizabeth Atherly marries George Price.
[No idea who these people are, but thought it should be included for future reference.]
1783 [Craven County Land Entries [SLC 975.6192 Rzp]
CRAVEN COUNTY, PROVINCE of NORTH CAROLINA, August 20, 1783
Definition of land sold between two other parties, the description uses “corner of Jonathan Atherly's property on the North side of Neuse River.”
1789 [Craven County Land Entries [SLC 975.6192 Rzp]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, May 1, 1789
Jonathan Atherly's property on the north side of Neuse River mentioned again.
1790 [1790 Census Records of North Carolina ]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
Atherby, Joseph 2 (16 & up) 1(0-15)males ; 5 (all ages) females; 0 slaves [14 neighbors apart]
Atherby, Isaac 1 (16 & up) males ; 1 slave [Considerable distance apart]
Atherby, John 3 (16 & up) 4 (0-15)males; 6 (all ages) females 0 slaves
[If Jesse is here by now, he is not yet a head of household, so is living with either Isaac or Joseph Jr.]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, November 13, 1790
In the name of God, amen, I Sarah Atherly of Craven county in the province of North Carolina being sick and weak, but of sound mind and memory do make this my Last Will and Testament that is to say, principally and first of all I commend my soul unto God who gave it and as to my worldly estate, I dispose of the same in the following manner: I give and bequeath unto my son Jonathan Atherly all my personal estate that is now in his custody to him and his airs for ever. I also give to my son Joseph Atherly that part of my estate which is in his possession to him and his airs for ever. I give to my son, Isaac Atherly one shilling sterling and I also give to my son and law Samuel Roberts and his airs one shilling sterling. This I acknowledge to be my Last Will and Testament and do make void revoke all wills and testaments by me formerly made. I constitute my two sons Jonathan and Isaac Atherly my executors of this my last will and testament in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand fixed my sele this thirteenth of November One thousand Seven Hundred and Ninty. Sarah Atherly [her mark]
Witnessed by Sally Atherly and Lewis Jones [Sarah's Will is proven in 1796 after she dies.]
1791 [Craven County Land Entries [SLC 975.6192 Rzp]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, April 25, 1791
Jonathan Atherly enters 25 acres on the North side of Neuse River; border; on south side of his “plantation” and joins Mitchel.. Issued Nov. 1, 1791. [A William Mitchell is an administrator & witness to Isaac Atherly's will - is there a connection?]
1791 [Craven County Land Entries [SLC 975.6192 Rzp]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, July 30, 1791
Jonathan Atherly enters 30 acres on the North side of Neuse River; border: Jacob Warren, Jacob Palmer and his own existing line. Issued Nov. 1, 1791. [Could there be a connection to this neighbor Jacob Warren?]
1791-1795 [New Bern District Loose Estates Papers, pg. 4]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, Sept. 1791
Superior court Sept. 1791. Isaac Atherly sued Alexis Mador Forster for 400 pounds South Carolina money for a bond made 3 Feb 1770 at Granville county, South Carolina; both parties are noted in the bond as being of Granville county, South Carolina. A summons issued to Brunswick Co. A receipt dated Mar 1774 indicates monies paid by James Donnom for the estate of Jonathan Donnom, monies paid by George Warren.
19 Sep 1793. John Cooper a justice in Liberty Co Georgia to take the deposition of John Lambright of same in the said case.
19 Mar 1795. A summons to Brunswick Co reveals that in Isaac Atherly vs Alexis Mador Foster, that sd Foster had died & thus are summond Francis Foster & William Goss admrs of the said dec'd.
[Looks like Isaac moved to South Carolina for a little while and loaned some money while he was there. Is Alexis a male or female and who is he/she?. Isaac returns to Craven, North Carolina by the 1790 Census.]
1796 [North Carolina Wills, SLC Film #1548458 Item #2]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, March Term 1796
Sarah Atherly's will proved in open court by the oath of Lewis Jones, one of the witnesses thereto …
1796 [Deed Book 32, page 709]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, September 5, 1796
Jonathan Atherly and Elizabeth, his wife, and Jesse Atherly, all of Craven county, in providence of North Carolina, of one part, sell 100 acres of land to Joseph Jackson of Pitt County, on Sept. 5, 1796 recorded in December term of court, 1796. [Jonathan Atherly purchased this land in 1767 from Thomas Lawrence.]
NOTE: This establishes that Jonathan's wife's name was “Elizabeth” [maiden name uncertain]
1800 [Census Records of North Carolina]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, 1800
1801 [Wills & Estates - copy sent from Sandra C.]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, June Term 1801
Know all men by these presents that we James Atherly, Roger Jones and Ephraim Fulshire[?] are held and firmly bound unto Joseph Leech, Esq. Chairman of the Court of pleas and quarter sessions of the county of Craven, in the sum of two hundred pounds current money…this 8th day of June A. D. 1801. The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bounden James Atherly, Administrator of all and singular the Goods and Chattels, rights and credits of Joseph Atherly, deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all goods and chattels… [Joseph died without a will - this must be Joseph, Jr. James must be his son, taking care of the legal work.]
18 July 1801
Account of Sales of the Estate of Joseph Atherly, Dec'd. this 18th day of July 1801: James Atherly bought a horse, a cow, sheep, hogs, one bed and lots of misc. household items and farm tools; Levi Atherly bought one cow and yearling, and misc. farm tools; Sally Atherly and Ruthie Atherly bought one bed and furniture; Jacob Hoover bought a grub hoe; Barry Cannady, William Vendrick and Abraham Harper also purchased items. [Since Sally also appears as a witness on Sarah Atherly's will 11 years before, she may likely be Joseph's wife.]
1801 [Wills & Inventories of Tennessee Vol. 1, 1783-1816]
DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tennessee, 27 Aug. 1801
Jonathan Atherly writes his will, naming his children; wife not mentioned - probably already dead. Not proved or recorded until Jonathan dies in 1807. See Tennessee Records for full account.
1803 [Wills & Estates - copy sent from Sandra C.]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, 14 October 1803
Inventory of the goods and chattels of the estate of Isaac Atherly, deceased, taken the 14th day of October 1803. The following debts appear from the interstate paper to be due to him, but the collection of them is uncertain. I protest against being considered as chargeable for them only and until they are paid to me. William Mitchell & Elizabeth Foley, Administors. Following owed Isaac money: John Hoover, Henry Carraway, Joseph Nelson, Edward Carraway, Joseph Carraway, John Carraway, Able Broton[??], Hardy Hughkins, John ?, John S. West, Edward Bower, Thomas Hyman, Roger Jones, John Banks & Francis Vendrick.
12 December 1803
Know all men by these presents that we Elizabeth Foley, William Mitchell, Francis Webber[?] and Charles Landen are held and firmly bound unto J. F. Smith, Esq. Chairman of the Court of pleas and quarter sessions of the county of Craven, in the sum of two thousand five hundred pounds current money…this 12 day of December A.D. 1803. The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bounden Elizabeth Foley and William Mitchell, Administrators of all and singular the Goods and Chattels, rights and credits of Isaac Atherly, deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all goods and chattels… [Isaac died without a will]
1804 [Copy sent from Sandra Cantrell]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, 11 December 1804
To the Sheriff of Craven county, You are hereby commanded to summon Charles Williams, Roger Jones, Abraham Harper and Charley Landen the Elder personally to be and appear before the Justices of the County Court of Pleas an Quarter Sessions, to be held for the county of Craven at the Court House in New Bern immediately then and there to testify and the truth to say in behalf of the administrators of Jonathan Atherly in a certain matter of controversy before said court depending, and then and there to be tried; wherein said administrator is plaintiff and Joseph Whiff[?] defendant. And this they shall in no wise omit under the penalty of law. Samuel Chapman, Clerk of the court at New Bern the 11 day of December 1804. [Note that the document does not indicate deceased as it does on other court documents where the administrators are inventorying an estate. Apparently Jonathan, who is now living in Tennessee, needs his friends to take care of an item of business for him with Joseph Whiff [?] in North Carolina. Roger Jones is a family friend that helps administrates Levi's estate and Joseph Jr.'s estate.]
1811 [Craven County Marriage Records.]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, 7 February 1811
Levi Atherly married Nancy Cannady; Bondsman: James Cannady
1817 [Wills & Estates - copy sent from Sandra C.]
CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, 8 September 1817
Know all men by these presents that we James Atherly, Roger Jones and Joshua Hoover are held and firmly bound unto John F. Smith, Esq. Chairman of the Court of pleas and quarter sessions of the county of Craven, in the sum of thirty pounds current money…this 8th day of September A. D. 1817. The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bounden James Atherly, Administrator of all and singular the Goods and Chattels, rights and credits of Levi Atherly, deceased, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all goods and chattels… [Levi died without a will, apparently unexpectedly since he wasn't married long - do not have copy of inventory. James is apparently Levi's brother, helping out Levi's widow.]
Marriage Records, Craven County, North Carolina, [SLC Microfiche #0928005] includes all the Atherlys found.
1811 Levi Atherly married Nancy Cannady 7 February 1811 Bondsman: James Cannady
1826 James Atherly married Mariam Hoover on 7 March 1826 Bondsman: B. C. Good
1829 Mariam Atherly married Edward Vendrick on 31 Mar. 1829 Bondsman: James S. Wood [Newlywed James dies and his widow remarries two years later. This is also a second marriage for Edward as he married Mary Broughton on 20 June 1827]
1849 Jesse Atherly married Susan Dixon on 27 April 1849
James and Levi Atherly marry long-time family friends and neighbors' daughters Hoover and Cannady. These names appear many times in land deeds and as witnesses in wills.
Brief Skillern Family Information
William Skillern's will is included here with the Atherly information because there are some researchers that believe the maiden name of Joseph Atherly's wife, Sarah, was Skillern and that she is the daughter of William and Elizabeth Skillern of Orange & Augusta Counties, Virginia. However, the underlined phrase in the will “…till my eldest children come of age” indicates his children are not of age at the time the will was written in 1744, thereby proving that Sarah Atherly, who is married with four children in 1744, is not Sarah Skillern.
1744 [Orange County Will Book 2, page 63; Skillern Family History pgs. 1-2]
ORANGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA, 16 January 1744
I bless God that I am in my full senses now at present and recommend my soul to God who gave it I desire that at my departure I may be buried in a Christain manner first I bequeath and give to my eldest son George 300 and thirty five archers [sic] of this tract that I now live on of the end next to Gabriel Alexanders line…I also bequeath and give to my son William 300 archers whereon I now live joyning James Carr to them and their lawfull heirs forever as also 300 and forty seven archers lying at Linnvelles Creek I bequeath and give to them both to be equally divided between them if they don't find it convenient when they come to age that their E's may have liberty to sell it and divide it betweixt them both and the money laid out upon use til they come to age or that they themselves after they come to age providing they do it with one consent may sell it and also divide it equally betwixt them both but if my wife intend to have the third of my land after my death I order that she should have that said three hundred and forty seven archers induring her natural life and at her death to return ye said land to my son George and Willaim or their heirs as also my three daughters Isabel & Elizabeth... [name is illegible, but in his oath as a land claimant we know it is Sarah]. I order ten pounds apiece for each of them to be given into…hands and lawful interest for their uses and if any of them dies without heir that it shall fall to them that is alive of the sisters and if they all die without heirs that it may return to my son George and William and their heirs and as to cattle mears and horses I allow that my wife and children may have of what they now claim and the remainder be equally divided amongst them I allow the bigg horse to be sold and young breeding mears bought for his price one to George and one to William Still I order without dispute that all their horses and mears shall be obliged upon all occasions to work the plantation and all other business that it requires a I also order and allow that my wife shall have the whole rule and command of all as she formerly had until she marry and then she is to withdraw and have no further concerns in this estate but if she inclines never to marry whichever of her sons she inclines to live with is obliged to maintain her as he lives himself with the help of her own industry induring her life but still minding to school and cloath her children while she is over them out of the produce of what they make there is a nigger boy that is to be got from Cornill Willm Randle of Tookaho which I order shall work for the good of the family till my eldest children come of age and whomsoever of the children my wife chuses to live with I allow the said nigger to work their to help to maintain Still allowing that my two sons may aid and assist one another with the help of the said nigger in any business that they are throng in and all things in peace which I desire of them and at my wifes death the said nigger is to be equally divided betwixt George and William or if she marry the nigger to be divided when William comes to age as aforesaid and also when she marrys she has no further right nor interest but what is her own I revoke and deny all other testaments and wills but this as witness my hand and seal this 16th day of January 1744. I constitute and appoint Cornili James Patton and Captain Peter Jefferson Capn Thomas Minersathers & Thomas Skillern Executors as witness my hand and seal the day and year 1744 William Skillern
Witnesses: Robert Black; Robert Black 271,272
Joseph married Sarah about 1734 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States.267 (Sarah was born circa 1716 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States 266 and died in 1796 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina, United States 266.)
JOSEPH & SARAH ATHERLY
Our earliest recorded ancestors, Joseph Atherly and his wife, Sarah, date prior to the American Revolution. His birth is calculated around 1711, based on when he died, the ages of children, and the first court record in 1733 as a witness to a land purchase, which shows he is of legal age. We do not yet know where he was born, so we refer to him as being “of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina” where we know he lived from 1733 to 1769.
New Bern is a major port of call in North Carolina. Family tradition has it that the family lived close enough to the water's edge to “hear the beat of the sea.”
John Atherly, perhaps Joseph's brother, also appears in early Craven County court records, first in 1731 where he witnesses the purchase of land and again in 1748 where he sells land. No other records of this John Atherly have been found. However, based on the fact that he sells land in 1748, he had to have purchased the land prior but no land records reflect this purchase. Likely Joseph also purchased land early on, but no record is available.
Between 1742-1748 (date on my records unclear), Joseph buys 320 acres of land from Francis Dawson which contains a creek. This becomes known as Dawson Creek. The land is on the north side of the Neuse River. This is the area where the Atherlys stay throughout their time in North Carolina. One of Joseph's neighbors is Samuel Roberts, who eventually becomes his son-in-law. By 1753, Joseph is well established in the community and is appointed to serve as grand juryman and petty juryman.
In 1755 Joseph deeds 300 acres of land to his son, Isaac, “love, good will, and affection.” As it's the only land deeded to any of his sons, it indicates Isaac is his oldest son and he is now of legal age to own property. This was to be his inheritance, as he only receives “one shilling sterling” when his mother dies. Using the year 1755, we can calculate that Joseph married sometime around 1733-1734, and Isaac was born about 1735, using the 1790 census calculations.
We know that Joseph's wife is Sarah as he names her as his executor in his will of 1769. Her maiden name is unknown, although there is an unsubstantiated theory that she was a Skillern, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Skillern of Orange county, Virginia. However, a review of William Skillern's will proves Sarah Atherly is not William Skillern's daughter, because William makes the statement in his will of 1744/45 “…til my eldest children are of age…” If none of his children are “of age” in 1744, then his daughter can't be Sarah Atherly with four children in 1744.
During their marriage, at least three more children were born to Joseph and Sarah. These children are listed in Sarah's will as Jonathan, Joseph Jr. and an unnamed daughter married to Samuel Roberts. We assume the daughter past away prior to the mother's will of 1790 since Sarah only mentions her son-in-law in giving him one shilling sterling. Jonathan seems to be the next oldest son as he is co-executor of her will with Isaac. Because his birthday is calculated later around 1740 based on census records, the daughter is placed as second child in birth order to fill in the five-year gap between Isaac and Jonathan. Joseph Jr. is named last in the will, so he is placed last in the birth order.
Around 1758, Joseph's health begins to fail him so he petitions the court to excused him from paying public taxes and doing public duties. His petition was granted. This was usually only done for the infirm, so Joseph must have been quite ill. However, his son Isaac is found doing his share of jury duty.
In 1769, Joseph and Sarah were both listed as tax payers and can be found on the tax records of North Carolina. Their sons, Jonathan and Joseph Jr. are also listed on these tax records. They are all living in Craven county. However, Isaac is not listed on the taxpayer lists for North Carolina. Apparently, Isaac left North Carolina for a period of time and went to Granville County, South Carolina at this time. While there he loans 400 pounds to Alexis Mador Forster (relationship unknown) and on the bond it is noted that they are both of Granville county, S. C. By 1790 Isaac has returned to Craven county, North Carolina as he appears on the 1790 census as living alone with one slave. In 1791 he files suit to the estate of Forster for his money.
On July 17, 1769 Joseph made his will stating he was very sick, and leaving all his worldly goods to his “well beloved wife” Sarah Atherly. His will was proved in December court of 1769, so he died between July and December. As his executor, Sarah made an inventory of her deceased husband's belongings in early 1770.
The Revolutionary War breaks out in America and the Atherlys must decide where their loyalties lie: with the patriots in the new country or as English subjects to the King of England. The battle of New Bern, North Carolina took place near their home, and the sons of Joseph were soldiers. We have documentation that show Jonathan and Joseph Jr. as soldiers and Jonathan was once a prisoner on a ship during the war.
On the 1790 Census of Newbern, Craven, North Carolina, Sarah is not listed as head of household, so she is likely living with her son, Jonathan. Sarah Atherly made her will on 13 November 1790, stating she was of Craven county in the province of North Carolina. She also names her children: Jonathan, Joseph, Isaac, and her son-in-law Samuel Roberts. Jonathan and Isaac are her executors (indicating they are likely her two oldest sons), and a Sally Atherly is a witness. Sally is likely Joseph's wife, though we have no proof. Sarah's will is proven in March Court 1796, indicating she has died by 1796.
In all the land deeds in which Isaac is involved, there is no mention of a wife. In the 1790 census he is found living alone. Whether he ever married and had kids is unknown. He did not leave a will. However, it is possible that while Isaac was in South Carolina after 1770, he may have married and had children: Jesse and a daughter, the married Elizabeth Foley who is one of the administrators of his estate when he dies in 1803. No research on Isaac in South Carolina has yet to be conducted, but this might prove of value to establish the relationship of Jesse and Elizabeth. Jesse Atherly makes his first appearance in North Carolina in 1796 when he sells the land he owns with Jonathan and Elizabeth Atherly. We known Isaac returned to North Carolina by 1791 as he appears in court to sue someone back in South Carolina, so this ties in well with the appearance of Jesse - but it's just a theory.
Joseph Jr. is also a mystery. No records are in the county of him buying or selling land. However, he did build a road in 1761. Family tradition believes he left North Carolina with his brother Jonathan to Tennessee, but no records in Tennessee show this. Instead, Joseph died around 1800, without a will, in Craven County, North Carolina, where James Atherly, who is probably his son, was the administrator of his estate in 1801. James prepared an inventory of Joseph's estate and the goods and chattel were sold off to friends and family. Sally Atherly purchased furniture from his estate. Eleven years have passed since she was a witness to Sarah's will. Sally is likely Joseph's wife. Levi Atherly also purchases from the estate sale, indicating he is probably a son. Ruthie Atherly is likely a daughter (or is it Mary who is left as “head of household in the 1800 census??). Could Jesse Atherly be a son also?
Sometime after his mother died in 1796 and before 1801, Jonathan Atherly and his family left North Carolina for the wild frontiers of the west in Tennessee. For some unknown reason, when they arrive in Tennessee, the spelling of their name changes with an “E” added to it: Eatherly. It appears that Jesse Atherly went with Jonathan to Tennessee as there are two lines of Atherlys in Tennessee.
Levi Atherly married Nancy Cannady in 1811 In 1817 Levi died without a will, leaving James to be the administrator of his estate. .. again, another indication that the two are brothers. James eventually married in 1828 to Mariam Hoover. However, James must have died shortly afterward because Mariam Atherly is shown to have married two years later. The last Atherly found in North Carolina is Jesse Atherly who married Susan Dixon in 1849 - his relationship is unknown, but he was likely James or Levy's son from their short marriages.
Joseph Atherly, Sr.
born: abt 1711of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina (1733-1769)
died: 1769 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina
married about 1734 to Sarah (Maiden name not known, but it's NOT Skillern)
born: abt 1716 of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
died: 1796 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina
Born: About 1735 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Married: Believed to be a bachelor as found living alone in 1790 census and no family named in will.
Died: 1803 in New Bern, Craven, North Carolina.
? Atherly (female) (no record proving name yet found)
Born: about 1738 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Married: Samuel Roberts about 1758 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Died: Before 1790 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Born: about 1740 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Married: Elizabeth ??? (not Skillern) about 1765 probably in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Died: 1807 in Davidson county, Tennessee (wrote will in 1801)
Joseph Atherly, Jr.
Born: about 1742 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Died: 1800 in New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina
Sally Atherly is a witness to Sarah's will. Could she be a wife? What about Mary Atherly who is found as head of household in 1800 census? 273