Samuel Stewart

(ca. 1709/11 - 1768/70)

From The Maiden family of Virginia and allied families, 1623-1991 : Aker, Alburtis, Butt, Carter, Fadely, Fulkerson, Grubb, Hagy, King, Landis, Lee, Scudder, Stewart, Underwood, Williamson, and others / by Sarah Finch Maiden Rollins.  Henington Pub. Co. ; Houston, Tex. : Order from S.F.M. Rollins, c1991. 

"Samuel Stewart , John's father, was the oldest son of David Stewart, and was born ca. 1709 in Sussex County, Delaware. His mother's name is not known. David, Samuel's father, died when Samuel was about ten years old and Sussex County records do not show who came into possession of David Stewart's land. When Samuel married ca. 1729 and had his first son, he named him David for his father. Samuel Stewart's wife was named Lydia, and it is thought she was a Harrison. The marriage date for Samuel and Lydia is not known, but presumably it was ca. 1728. They had six sons, and if there were daughters, they are not known. The 5 eldest sons were born in Delaware, the youngest in Augusta County, Virginia."

"The first deed on record in Sussex County, Delaware, for Samuel Stewart was dated 1 November 1729. Samuel and Lydia had probably been married about a year. Three months later, on 3 February 1729/30, Samuel Stewart, yeoman, sold this same land to Robert Cravens, yeoman, for a profit of five pounds. (In British usage, a yeoman was a freeholder, i.e. landowner, qualified to vote and serve on a jury. The yeoman class was the backbone of society.)"

"There are no concrete records for Samuel Stewart from 1730 to 1744. On what land in Sussex County, Delaware, Samuel and Lydia and their growing family were living is not known. It is possible they moved to Augusta County, Virginia, as early as 1741. Many of Samuel's relatives stayed on in Sussex County, and records of the Lewes Presbyterian Church from 1756 on&emdash;when church records were kept&emdash;reveal the familiar names of younger Davids, Samuels, Williams, and Johns. There was even a John Albertus Stewart who on 21 June 1787 married Rachel Scudder, both unidentified, but with those names they must have been distantly related to Samuel Stewart's family line."

"My Samuel Stewart came from Sussex-on-the-Delaware. Samuel and Lydia and their family moved in the early 1740s. Reports of the good land must have been enticing to Samuel. This was truly the frontier, and new settlers arriving west of Massanutten did not apply for land patents at once. Officially, there seemed no reason to. Samuel, seeking land, fortune, and adventure, had brought his family to the area around Linville Creek in the Shenandoah Valley where Harrisons, Herrings, Potters, Cravens, and other Sussex County families had settled a few years earlier. Samuel Stewart was in his early thirties."

"Sussex-on-the-Delaware to (then) western Orange County in the heart of the Valley of Virginia. It is believed that many families in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay areas moved westward after 1730, going first up into Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to go through the Cumberland Valley up (meaning going south) into the Valley of the Shenandoah River. But a little later&emdash;and it is thought the Samuel Stewart family came in the early 1740s&emdash;settlers entered the valley from the east through the gaps in the Blue Ridge. If the Stewarts came this way, they could have come through Ashby's Gap to Winchester, and there joined the Great Wagon Road to go on southwest to Linville Creek."

"When Augusta attained separate county government in 1745, the population of its vast area was only about 4000. Samuel was sufficiently well established in 1745 to be appointed a road overseer for the new county. The Orange County Court order, dated 24 May 1745, was to establish the first public road in that part of this county called Augusta." The newly formed county of Augusta extended from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Ohio River, and from the (new) Frederick County line on southwest through the whole valley. One of the chief needs of the area was good roads. The road would run to the New River. For the section from Colwell's Path across Beard's Ford on the North River and Thompson's Ford on the Middle River (of the Shenandoah), the overseers would be Samuel Stewart, John Harrison, Capt. Daniel Harrison, Robert Craven, William Thompson, and John Stenson. Their "Gang" (word used in the record) would be "all the inhabitants between the Mountains [Blue Ridge and Alleghanies] above Colwell's Path to Thompson's Ford."

"The North and Middle Rivers, joining and flowing northward, feed into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River that flows on northward to empty into the Potomac River. These road overseers who were assigned the task were living in the same area where Samuel Stewart lived. It was their responsibility to see that their section of the road was worked and kept in passable condition, using the laboring taxpayers, who were required by law to give a certain number of days a year for this kind of work."

"Other records for early Augusta County show that Samuel Stewart was appointed a precinct constable in 1745 and in 1746. The 1745 source shows "Linwell's (sic) Creek," and the 12 May 1746 source shows Samuel's territory as "Head of Linville's Creek."

"When "processioning" was done in Augusta County in 1747/48, Samuel Stewart and his oldest son David were part of it. Processioning was the walking- off and rechecking and remarking of boundaries every four years, and was a parish function."

"A sale was held 1 September 1748 in the home of Samuel and Lydia Stewart for Jeremiah Harrison to sell the goods of Joseph Harrison, deceased, a Harrison relative of Lydia's who probably had been living with Samuel's family."

"Samuel and Lydia Stewart lived in Augusta County, Virginia, ten years or more before moving to North Carolina in 1753. In 1748 Samuel and Lydia's oldest son David had gone to the northwest Carolina frontier. This was very early in the white history of this area, as by 1746 there were only a few settlers west of the Yadkin River. In 1748 it took Morgan Bryan (connected with the Daniel Boone family) three months to travel with his family from the Shenandoah to the Yadkin River, clearing the way as he went. If by any chance David Stewart traveled with the intrepid adventurers of Bryan's group, he was not part of the settlement they formed. Speculation: Since Isaiah Harrison, Jr., thought to be David's maternal grandfather, went to North Carolina between 1848 and 1850 , David and his adventuresome fifty-nine year old grandfather may have journeyed together."

"David, Samuel and Lydia's oldest son, found land near the Yadkin River about twenty miles below Virginia's southern border and about eight miles from what would in 1753 become the Moravian's "Wachovia settlement" (present-day Winston-Salem, in Forsyth County, North Carolina) in the hilly piedmont."

"David was the first of the Stewart family to obtain a land grant in North Carolina. He was the advance scout for the family, and was obviously satisfied with reports of an unlimited amount of good, cheap, available land in the northwestern part of North Carolina along the reaches of the upper Yadkin River."

"Probably it was in 1753, but it certainly may have been earlier, that Samuel and Lydia Stewart moved with the rest of their family from Augusta County, Virginia, to Rowan County, North Carolina."

"By the time Samuel Stewart and his family moved to join David (and possibly Samuel, Jr.) in North Carolina in 1753, twenty-four year old David was already one of twelve constables recently appointed for the large, newly created county of Rowan. David's beat was on the north side of the Yadkin River, from Muddy Creek and upward."

"Certainly the route to North Carolina was easier to travel in 1753 when Samuel, Lydia, and the rest of the family joined David, than when David had made the trip five years earlier. It probably took Samuel and Lydia about a month to make the trip down the Great Wagon Road. By the time the rest of the Stewarts came, the difficult wagon road was somewhat improved, even the last twenty or so miles of the journey. Contemporary North Carolina maps called their route the "Great Road from the Yadkin River through Virginia to Philadelphia," spacing that long name along the trail."

"Samuel Stewart received a warrant for 508 acres, dated 30 November 1753. This land was surveyed on 24 May 1754, with the chain carriers being Samuel's third son (our ancestor) John Stewart and John Dawson. The deed from the Rt. Hon. Earl Granville for this land was dated 9 May 1757, and the price was 10 shillings sterling. One of the witnesses was Samuel's oldest son David, who had already settled near the Yadkin River and had set up a store in that primitive region. (In the Moravian Diary is this entry dated 24 January 1754: "After the noon liturgy Brother Herman went 8 miles to order certain things from David Stuart.")

"In North Carolina Samuel Stewart did not live very far from the Moravian community, the Wachovia Tract. The Earl of Granville, who had been anxious to get settlers for his wilderness tract, had offered some Moravian leaders 99,000 acres of land in North Carolina if they would bring a number of settlers to his part of the province. Accordingly, in November 1753 a group had set out from the Moravian community in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to go to the promised land, which they named Wachovia. Samuel is first mentioned in the Moravian's official Diary in the entry dated 30 June 1755: "Brother Kalberlahn went to Mr. Steward's to see his patient." People came from as far away as a hundred miles to be treated by this good doctor, until his death in 1759 from typhoid."

"The creek on Samuel's land took his name. Stewart's (also Steward and Stuart) Creek is described as being on the west side of the Wachovia Tract and "sometimes called Tomahawk Branch." Stewarts Creek was a northwestern branch of large Muddy Creek."

"A 1759 Rowan County Tax List shows Samuel Stewart (Sr.), David, and John listed separately. A 1761 Tax List shows all of the family except Benjamin. In that enumeration Samuel (Sr.) is listed with sons Samuel, Isaiah, and Joseph. Joseph had just come of age, but Benjamin was still in his mid-teens. The first and third sons, David Stuard and our John Stuard (sic), are listed separately."

"To add to his initial Rowan County tract of 508 acres Samuel acquired 332 additional acres for "10 shillings proclamation money." The deed from Earl Granville is dated 10 August 1762. Although the average amount of land owned by each settler was approximately one square mile (640 acres), Samuel Stewart now owned a total of 840 acres."

"It was not until 10 August 1766 that Samuel Stewart sold his land back in Augusta County, Virginia, that he had acquired by Virginia patent in 1749. The deed shows that Samuel Stewart of the province of North Carolina, yeoman, sold Jacob Caplin of Augusta County, Virginia, 143 acres for 25 pounds."

"Samuel Stewart was about sixty years old when on 20 August 1768 he made his will. All of his sons were grown and married except twenty-three year old Benjamin who would marry Elizabeth Winscott in 1769. By his will Samuel left all his moveable estate to his wife Lydia, referred to affectionately as Liddy. He left the land he lived on equally to his two youngest sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Samuel appointed his two oldest sons, David and Samuel (Jr.) executors. Sons John and Isaiah were not mentioned. One of the witnesses to the will was Elizabeth Winscott. The first notation indicates Samuel Stewart died between ca. 21 August and 21 December 1768, and the 1770 date was when the instrument was recorded."

"Lydia, widow of Samuel Stewart, wrote her will on 11 January 1771. It is recorded in Surry County, as Surry had been created the previous year from Rowan County. Lydia's will appears to reveal a defect in the title to the 10 August 1762 tract of 332 acres that Samuel had purchased. This land was situated on the south side of the Yadkin River on both sides of Swan Creek and adjoined Benjamin Pettit and James Carson.&emdash; Lydia states that if a title can be obtained, the land should be sold and divided equally among her sons David, Samuel, our John, and Isaiah. After bequests of beds and a heifer, Lydia willed that all the rest of her estate be equally divided among the four older sons. As for Samuel's will, again the executors were the two oldest sons, David and Samuel. Lydia's death occurred after November 1772, about four years after Samuel's death."

John Stewart, son of Samuel


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