Chapter 20 – Charles Arthurbury of Chester County

Charles Arthurbury in ChesterCounty

Charles Arthurbury first appeared in South Carolina records when he filed a plat map for 100 acres on Little River on 22Oct1773.  This patent abutted lands of his older brothers: Edward Arthurbury and Michael Arthurbury, as well as land owned by Benjamin Dove.  The author has assembled a plat map reconstruction as illustrated in Figure 20-1 which contains the plats surveyed for all three Arthurbury brothers, along with the plat surveyed for Benjamin Dove.  Additionally, plats surveyed for David Doute, Stephen Ditshaw and Mary Long have also been added to this map layout.  These plats have been overlaid onto a topographic base, however, it should be noted that the actual placement of these tracts on this topo base is uncertain, other than having been on the drains of Little River, which probably placed the land within the boundary of future Fairfield County.

It is worth mentioning the methodology utilized in building the plat map reconstructions that are presented in this manuscript.  When available, the author traced the outline of each tract from the image presented on the recorded plat map or deed record.  Further, all relevant geographic features, i.e. waterways, paths, roads, etc. were also traced from the original documents.  And, lastly, the bearings and distances, and adjacent ownerships were also copied from the original record.  When an image of a tract was not available, an effort was made to reconstruct the tract from data contained in abutting tracts, or from the metes and bounds descriptions contained in deed documents.  These tracts were then scaled to a ratio of 1″= 2,000′, and fitted together based on recorded adjacent land ownerships and matching boundary segments. 

Further, it should be noted that land surveying in North America during the 18th and early 19th centuries was performed with the use of two basic tools, a linked surveyor’s chain and a magnetic compass as illustrated in Figure 20-2.  The chain was comprised of 100 links, each measuring 7.92 inches in length, with a total chain length of 66 feet.  Measurements were most frequently recorded in multiples of whole chains, but occasionally recorded in fractions of a chain, denoted by multiples of links.  Bearings, on the other hand, were almost always recorded in measurements of whole compass degrees, but occasionally in 1/4 or 1/2 degrees.  Consequently, bearings were recorded as deflections from magnetic north.  Further, map boundaries were most frequently recorded in a clockwise direction around a parcel or tract of land from a designated point of beginning.  Occasionally, map boundaries were recorded in a counter-clockwise direction. 

Any attempt to assemble plat maps into a conjoined mosaic (plat map reconstruction) is as much an art as it is a science.  Although two plats may be identified on their face as abutting one another, their corresponding boundaries may not have exactly matching bearings.  Minor variances of a few degrees may be considered acceptable and ordinary, given the rustic tools and variances in time and training.  Bearing variances of more than five degrees is beyond the range of normal circumstance, and may suggest that the presumed conjoining boundaries were not contiguous along their entire length, but may have been separated, or perhaps actually overlapped.

Ideally, it would be possible to site these tracts on a topographic base in order to provide a geographic context, but such placement depends on matching a geographic feature presented on a plat map with its corresponding feature on the topo base.  For a variety of factors, the author is of the opinion that these early Arthurbury patents were situated along West Fork Little River.  The main factor in drawing this conclusion was the general alignment and trajectory of the Little River watercourse shown on some of the plat maps, compared to the topographically mapped alignment of West Fork Little River, versus the alignment of other branches of Little River.

It should also be recognized that the alignment of a stream as laid out on a plat map oftentimes was the surveyor’s approximation, and not based on an actual survey of the waterway course.  Having scrutinized literally hundreds of plat maps compiled in this region of South Carolina in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the author has observed that waterway alignments were mostly gross approximations.  Presumably, the surveyor did make a fairly accurate measurement of the location at which the watercourse transected a surveyed tract boundary.  Consequently, if a stream fully bisected a tract, its point of entry and exit might be assumed to have been fairly accurate.  However, the stream’s alignment within the parcel, and the actual juncture points of branching tributaries within that parcel likely were generalizations or approximations.

Having said all that, the author must confess to a certain degree of uncertainty about the exact location of these tracts along West Fork Little River.  The best stream alignment elements in the vicinity appear to have been on the 590 acre tract laid out for Minor Winn on 8Feb1787 shown in Figure 20-3.  This tract contained a fairly lengthy reach of Little River, and provides three separate branches that might be used in positioning this tract along the waterway.  Further, when the two abutting tracts filed by Nathan Arthurbury and Samuel Biggerstaff are added, there appears to be further continuity with other reaches and branches.  Such location places Minor Winn’s and Nathan Arthurbury’s tracts near the confluence of Williams Creek.  This location might be further strengthened by the references to Thomas Williams as an abutting landowner on both the Winn and Biggerstaff plats. 

There were several grant filings for a person named Thomas Williams in the 1780’s, two of which were identified as having been situated on Turnip Patch Branch of Little River of Broad River.  From these plat descriptions, there would seem to be no doubt that these two tracts were situated on a tributary of West Fork Little River.  One of these grant filings by Thomas Williams is of particular value to siting the Arthurbury, etal. tracts on the West Fork Little River.  That tract is summarized from SCDAH records as follows:

Williams, Thomas, Plat For 170 Acres On Turnip Patch Branch, Camden District, Surveyed By Alexander Johnston. Date: 2/9/1787

People in this record:

Biggerstaff, Samuel; Johnston, Alexander; Jones, William; Williams, Thomas

Places in this record:

Turnip Patch Branch

Also: Broad River; Camden District; Little River

No waterway known as Turnip Patch Branch as a tributary of Little River could be found on any maps, past or present.  However, given the continuity between the surname of Thomas Williams and Williams Creek, and that his name was given as an abutting property owner on the Minor Winn and Samuel Biggerstaff plats, it seems highly probable that Williams Creek and Turnip Patch Branch were the same waterway.  This probability is strengthened by the fact that Samuel Biggerstaff was identified in association with only two grants, one being his own filing for 270 acres in 1785, and the other being the filing by Thomas Williams for 170 acres in 1787. 

Extensive effort was made to site these tracts elsewhere along West Fork Little River or along other tributaries of Little River, and no other location even remotely fit as well as the Williams Creek [aka Turnip Patch Branch] location.  Having exhausted all the resources and techniques available to the author, he is inclined to accept that these early grants filed on Little River by Charles, Edward, Michael and Nathan Arterbury were within about one-half mile of the locations depicted in Figure 20-3.

Other “facts” that might be inferred from this plat map study are as follows:

  1. Three of the nine Arthurbury brothers elected to file for patents within about one year of each other, and Edward and Charles appear to have filed on the exact same date.  Further, their tracts abutted one another.  This suggests that all three may have traveled from Loudoun County Virginia to Camden District South Carolina together, and that they may have had some particular kinship connection that may have led to this joint migration.
  2. Nathan Arthurbury is believed to have migrated separately from Charles, Edward and Michael, since he is recorded having acquired a 100 acre tract on Cane Creek on the south side of the Broad River in the southeast corner of Union County in about 1776-9.  It seems probable that Nathan was drawn to the Little River location in 1784 by the presence of his older brothers.
  3. The size of the grants issued to Charles, Edward and Michael may be suggestive of their respective marital status at the time of entering the province.  Under the headright rules in force in colonial South Carolina, each male adult over the age of 21 years, having paid their own transport, would have been entitled to a grant of 100 acres.  They would also have been entitled to a grant of 50 acres for each additional member of their household for whom they had paid transport.  Consequently, it might be inferred that both Charles and Edward probably were unmarried and had no dependents when they filed for patents in Oct1773, or that their spouse’s transport was claimed by others.  It might further be inferred that Michael was married and probably had three children on arrival, thus entitling him to a grant of 300 acres.
  4. It seems possible that Charles and Edward arrived with Michael as single men, and that they may have assisted Michael in making initial improvements to Michael’s homestead before filing for their own grants on neighboring tracts the following year.
  5. It seems probable that Charles, Edward and Michael continued to live on their Little River grants for at least the next ten years, as they did not file for, nor are known to have acquired further lands until after the close of the Revolutionary War in 1784.
  6. According to the record contained in South Carolina State Grant Book No. 3, p. 121, Charles Arthurberry had a warrant for 100 acres issued on 4May1773, which was surveyed on 22Oct1773, plat was certified 24Aug1784, and patent was granted on 15Oct1784.  So, from this State patent record, it would appear that Charles Arthurbury completed the patenting process for his 100 acres on Little River shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War.
  7. Michael Arthurbury also appears to have completed his patent filing, as he was recorded as an abutting land owner when David Doute filed for his 100 acre grant on 5Oct1785.  Moreover, the grant filings by Stephen Ditshaw in 1785 and 1788 appear to overlap the grant of Edward Arthurbury, suggesting that he may not have finalized the patent on his Little River tract and that it was escheated.  In fact, in Sep1784 both Edward and Michael filed patents for State grants of 100 acres each on the waters of Brushy Fork in Chester County.
  8. Edward and Michael Arthurbury were granted reimbursements for supplying crops and/or livestock to the militia during the War, a strong indication that they were actively engaged as farmers along the drains of Little River during that conflict.
  9. Now, as for any possible further kinship associations that may have existed between Charles, Edward and Michael Arthurbury, beyond their having been siblings, it seems possible that they may have married their 1st cousins: Sarah, Keziah and Elizabeth Mitchell, respectively, daughters of David Mitchell and Mary Davidson.  These marriages are largely based on speculation and “educated guesses”, but might explain their apparent close familial bindings, as contrasted with their other siblings.  These possible intermarriages between Charles, Edward and Michael with their Mitchell 1st cousins is a very complex matter, which receives extensive evaluation in other work compiled by the author.

Charles Arthurbury does not appear again in South Carolina records after his grant filing on Little River until he begins to emerge in other land and civil records in the vicinity of Welches Fork, Chester County after the end of the Revolutionary War.  These subsequent records related to Charles Arthurbury and his immediate family are presented and discussed/analyzed in chronological order hereinafter.

  1. 18Jul1785 – Deed Book A, pp. 205-210:  Charles Arturbury purchased 100 acres from John Bell, Esq. for the sum of £150 southern currency, situated on waters of Welches Fork, small branch of Sandy River, vacant on all sides, originally granted to Bell on 30Sep1774.  Aside from having been situated on the waters of Welches Fork, the author was unable to establish with certainty any more precise location for this acquisition.  The deed record indicates that the tract was originally granted to John Bell on 30Sep1774, yet, no grant record could be identified with this tract.  It seems possible that the tract may have originally been surveyed for another person, but later patented by John Bell.  This might explain the inability to locate the actual grant record.  A person(s) named John Bell did receive several grants of 100 acres each in Craven County in the early 1770’s, but none appear to be situated on the Sandy River watershed. 

That being said, the author does have a hypothesis regarding the probable location of this tract.  Nathan Atterberry received a grant of 500 acres on Welches Fork on 9Dec1789, yet the dimensions of that patent calculate to an area containing 600 acres.  As will soon be disclosed, all of the tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry on Welches Fork either abutted or were contained within Nathan Atterbury’s grant.  It seems probable to the author that the tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Bell was also contained within the boundaries of the Nathan Atterberry grant.  This possibility is strengthened by the fact that Charles Atterberry appears to have sold all of his lands, totaling 520 acres, to Alan Degraffenreid on 6Nov1804.  The boundary description of Charles Atterberry’s lands contained in that deed appears to incorporate all of Charles Atterberry’s known tracts, which totaled to only about 395 acres, so it seems likely that this sale also included the 100 acres acquired from John Bell, placing it somewhere within, or nearby to Nathan Atterberry’s tract.

As this is our first encounter in this manuscript of the waterway known as Welches Fork, this would seem the appropriate place to introduce the geographic location of this waterway.  First, let it be said that no stream known as Welches Fork or near facsimile could be found on any map, past or present.  Yet, there are numerous instances in the land records of Camden District and Chester County which reference a stream known variously as Welches, Welchers, Welshes, etc.  Several of these records also make reference to additional watercourses in the near vicinity, such as Martins Branch, Stones Creek, Mobley Creek, Sandy Run, Little River, etc.  When those tracts, which reference Welches Fork in combination with another waterway, such as Martins Branch or Stones Creek, are plotted in association with other tracts which only referenced Welches Fork, it becomes clear that Welches Fork was located about midway between Martins Branch [aka Coon Creek] and Stones Creek [aka Mobley Creek].  Not surprisingly, there is an unnamed watercourse situated about midway between Stones [aka Mobley] Creek and Coon [aka Martins] Creek as illustrated in Figure 20-4, which the author believes to have been Welches Fork.  Absent further information, the exact location of this tract purchased from John Bell cannot be determined with specificity at this time.

  1. 7Oct1791 – Deed Book D, pp. 321-2:  Willis Carrell sold to Charles Atterbury for the sum of £25, a tract of land containing 50 acres, being part of a grant of 800 acres situated in Camden District on the NE side of Broad River, on a branch thereof, originally granted to Solomon Peters on 17May1774, transferred by Peters to Carrell on 23Jul1789.  Witnessed: William Graham and Phillip Noland.  Recorded 14Feb1792 on oath of William Graham.  Six years had elapsed since Charles Arthurbury filed his patent for 100 acres on Little River and he purchased 100 acres from John Bell on Welches Fork.  Given Charles’ acquisition of this 50 acre tract from Willis Carrell, it might be surmised that Charles had relocated about five miles northerly from the Little River tract to the Welches Fork tract sometime after 1784/5.  The location of this 50 acres tract is not readily apparent from the information provided in the deed, other than having been on the north side of Broad River, and having been part of a larger (800 acres) tract granted to Solomon Peters on 17May1774.  A search of South Carolina grant records disclosed that Solomon Peters received only one patent on the north side of Broad River, that being for 800 acres on the northeast side of Broad River, situated on a stream known as Sandy Run, abutting Charles Nix to the southwest, vacant all other sides.  This description alone is not sufficient to refine the location of this tract purchased from Willis Carrell.

A further search of grant records yields a plat map for 300 acres granted to Charles Nix, warrant dated 7May1771, situated on a small branch of Little River, and vacant on all sides.  This was the only grant found for Charles Nix on Little River, so it seems likely that it was the same tract that abutted the southwest corner of Solomon Peters’ tract.  The location of Charles Nix’s 300 acre grant, being situated on the drains of Little River, suggests that the Solomon Peters tract may also have been on the drains of Little River, however, further digging into the chain of title of Solomon Peters’ tract will disclose that it was actually on the drains of Welches Fork of Sandy River.  If Solomon Peters’ tract was on Welches Fork and Charles Nix’s tract was on Little River, this would suggest that these tracts straddled the watershed between Sandy River and Little River, with Solomon Peters’ tract having been on the headwaters of Welches fork.

The chain of title of Solomon Peters’ 800 acre tract is summarized as follows:

  1. 1Jul1786 – Solomon Peters of Orangeburgh District sold 400 acres to Charles Coleman situated on a branch of Sandy River of Broad River, being half of an 800 acre tract granted to Peters on 17May1774.  The deed contains four metes and bounds courses (sans degrees), which lengths correspond with a half part of the whole, with long axis running north-south.  With the following tract sold to Willis Carrell being identified as the eastern half, it is reasonable to assume that Charles Coleman purchased the western half of the original 800 acre grant. (Deed Book C, pp. 279-80)
  2. 23Jul1789 – Solomon Peters sold the east half of his 800 acre tract to Willis Carrell, no definitive geographic references in the deed.  Referred back to original grant plat map.  (Book B, pp. 624-5)
  3. 3Mar1791 – Willis Carrell sold 122.5 acres to Francis Land (Deed Book F, pp. 233-4).  This tract’s boundary was described in metes and bounds in its entirety in the deed.  Its location is given essentially the same as the original grant to Solomon Peters: “in the District of Camden on the northeast side of Broad River near a branch thereof”.  Since no other record could be located for Willis Carrell having acquired property in this area, it was assumed that this 122.5 acres was part of the 400 acres purchased from Solomon Peters.  Moreover, some of the segments of the tract boundary correspond with the boundary of that 400 acre tract.  Lastly, this tract was recorded as abutting land of Coleman, Nathan Atterberry and Ephriam Lyles.  The reference to Nathan Atterberry as an abutting land owner is important to the siting of the 500 acre tract granted to Nathan Arterbury in 1789, which was described as being situated on Welches Fork.  [NOTE:  Nathan Arthurbury’s plat map filing was recorded in Grant Book 16q, the microfilm of which is missing from the microfilm on file at Family Search.  The author has acquired a copy of this map from the SCDAH.  The location of Nathan’s 500 acre tract will be evaluated later in this manuscript.]  By virtue of the reference to Nathan Arterbury as an abutting land owner, it would seem to follow that Solomon Peters 800 acre tract was situated on the waters of Welches Fork.
  4. 7Oct1791 – Willis Carrell sold 50 acres to Charles Atterberry, tract starting at the northeast corner of the original survey (NE corner of Peters’ tract), thence SE18º an unspecified distance to a small branch, thence downstream along the meandering courses of two waterways to an intersection with the north line of Peters’ tract, thence NE72º unspecified distance to beginning (NE corner).  This tract description reads in a clockwise direction.  Nothing in this deed provided any further identifying geographic features. (Book D, pp. 321-2)
  5. 9Mar1796 – Willis Carrell of Fairfield County sold 82 acres to Ephriam Lyles situated in Chester County on waters of Welches Branch [Fork] (Deed Book E, pp. 119-20).  This is believed to have been the tract identified in the Francis Land deed (above) as abutting to the south.  No description of this tract is contained in the deed, but the deed has a plat map attached which provides metes and bounds for all but one boundary segment, that segment is said to traverse along a branch of Welches Fork.  This tract was abutted NE by Francis Land, NE by Jean Coleman, W by John Coleman, and S by Peter Holsey [Halsell or Holsell].  Deed was witnessed by Charles Arthurbury. 

Of the various tracts described hereinabove associated with the Solomon Peters grant, the tract sold to Ephriam Lyles was the first to provide a specific geographic reference other than being northeast of Broad River on branch of Sandy River.  The Ephriam Lyles tract map would clearly place Solomon Peters’ grant on the drains of Welches Fork.  As discussed earlier in connection with the abutting tract of Charles Nix, there is good reason to believe that Solomon Peters’ tract was situated on the headwaters of Welches Fork near the watershed between Sandy River and Little River.  One additional grant, this time to Thomas Roden, further strengthens the location of Welches Fork for the Solomon Peters tract:

  1. 27Aug1789 – Thomas Roden was surveyed a tract containing 128 acres situated on the waters of Welches Fork, the south boundary of which was described as abutting a survey for Solomon Peters, and running NE72º-84, a bearing and distance which closely comports with the north boundary of the Peters tract.  Since Solomon Peters is not known to have owned any other land in the vicinity of Sandy River, Camden District, this grant awarded Thomas Roden almost certainly abutted Solomon Peters’ 800 acre tract on the south.

The author has compiled a plat map reconstruction for the Welches Fork-Martins Branch-Stones Creek watersheds as presented in Figure 20-5 (larger-scaled image contained in Appendix 20-A).  It must be acknowledged that the placement of several tracts on this reconstruction map, which were affiliated with Charles Artherbury and Nathan Artherbury, is generalized due to the deficiencies of specific boundary descriptions contained in some grant and deed documents.  In fact, the precise configuration and placement of a specific tract in many instances was determined more by the references to adjacent properties than by the specific descriptions of the target tracks.  For example, the description of the 50 acre tract purchased by Charles Artherbury from Willis Carrill has been transcribed as follows:

“all that parcel of land containing 50 acres, be the same, more or less, being part of a grant of 800 acres situated in Camden District on the N.E. side of Broad River near a branch of said river, the part of land herein conveyed, begins on a post Oak, the N.E. corner of the whole survey and on the original line, south 18 degrees east to a small branch that crosses the line, thence running down the small branch to where it empties into a large branch, thence running down the large branch to where the original line of the whole tract crosses the large branch, thence running north 72 [degrees] east on the original line to the beginning…”

The description of this tract transcribed from the original deed document would appear to clearly place this tract in the northeast corner of the original Solomon Peters grant.  However, the entire southwest boundary of this tract was described as “running down” an unnamed small branch to its mouth, thence down a larger unnamed branch to its intersection with the north boundary of the original grant.  Consequently, in order to establish the exact boundary of this 50 acre parcel we must be able to site the original Peters grant on the ground, and then to locate the two streams which intersected the east and north boundaries of the Peters’ grant. 

The author attempted to site the original Solomon Peters grant on a topographic base as illustrated in Figure 20-5.  This specific siting of the Peters grant was guided by the placement and contiguity of that tract in relationship to the 128 acre grant awarded Thomas Rodin on 27Aug1789.  The siting of the Thomas Rodin grant was established by the author in part with the aid of an earlier plat reconstruction map of the Little Sandy River region compiled by Thomas Mayhugh in 2010 as illustrated in Figure 20-6.[1]  As can be observed in this graphic, Mayhugh has identified the same intermediate waterway between Coon Creek and Stones Creek as Welches Fork.  This identification is consistent with the author’s own analysis and determination discussed hereinbefore.  For whatever reason, Mayhugh appears to have taken a snapshot of land ownerships in this area as they may have appeared around 1820 to 1850, with only a very few plats actually depicting the original underlying grants from the 18th century.  Fortunately, Mayhugh did include a depiction of the original tract granted to Thomas Rodin in 1789 (highlighted in blue).  Assuming that Mayhugh was relatively accurate in the placement of the Rodin tract, the author then proceeded to utilize the Rodin tract siting as suggested by Mayhugh as the anchorage for placing other relevant tracts in its vicinity.  It is worth noting that Mayhugh also plotted a tract of 416 acres in possession of William Halsell in 1821, which appears to have abutted Thomas Rodin’s tract along its northern boundary.  In fact, the William Halsell tract appears to have included the Thomas Rodin tract, and part of the Solomon Peters tract.  Also, Mayhugh identified Franklin Land as an adjacent owner to the east of William Halsell’s tract.  These two additional ownership references were used by the author as a means of validating and siting the Solomon Peters grant immediately south of Thomas Rodin’s grant.

Figure 20-7 presents an inset of the plat reconstruction map compiled by the author.  This inset encompasses five separate properties acquired by Charles Arterbury between 1791 and 1803, as well as the underlying grants from which those five tracts were subdivided.  Figure 20-8 provides a further enlarged inset containing these five tracts.  The additional tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry, following his purchase of 50 acres from Willis Carrell in 1791, are presented as follows:

  1. 29Aug1794 – Deed Book H, pp. 501-2:  Charles Atterberry purchased a 30 acre tract from William Rainey situated on a small branch of Welches Fork.  This tract was described as being part of a larger tract containing 126 acres, which Rainey had purchased from Nathan Atterberry in 1793.  Rainey’s tract was described as extending along the entire north side of Nathan’s 500 acre grant, and bounded to the south mainly by several small branches of Welches Fork (high-lighted in gray).  Charles Arterbury’s 30 acre piece lay on the south side of the creek, and abutted Charles Atterbury’s land on the west.  It was through the description of Rainey’s tract, juxtaposed to Charles Atterberry’s earlier 50 acre tract in the northeast corner of the Solomon Peters tract, that the author was able to site Nathan Atterberry’s 500 acre tract as abutting the old Solomon Peters tract to the east.
  2. 6Mar1798 – Deed Book H, pp. 499-50: Charles Atterberry purchased 143 acres from Richard Yarborough.  This tract was described as being the southwest part of a larger tract containing 640 acres, granted to Thomas Holsey on 5Feb1787, and transferred to Richard Yarborough on 30Nov1792.  A map of this tract was included with the deed, and was described as beginning at the head of Pannel’s Meeting House Branch.  It was further described as abutting land laid out to Nathan Atterberry on the north.  William Pannell had been granted a 154 acre tract immediately south of the Yarborough tract and situated on the head of a small branch of Little River, probably named Pannell’s Meetinghouse Branch.  The southeast corner of this Charles Atterberry tract was traversed by the Road to Columbia.  If the precise alignment of the old Columbia Road were known, if might be a further means of siting these tracts on a map.
  3. 18Oct1802 – Deed Book K, pp. 243-4: Charles Atterberry purchased a 145 acre tract from the estate of Nathan Atterberry, viz. Polly Atterberry, Executrix, and James Atterberry, Executor, being part of a larger, 500 acre tract granted to Nathan Atterberry on 7Dec1789.  The precise siting of this 145 acre tract within Nathan Atterberry’s grant is largely guesswork by the author.  Although most of the tract boundary was defined by metes and bounds in the deed, very little geographic references were provided.  Perhaps the most telling reference was to a small stream branch identified as Coggin’s Spring Branch.  There were also two separate references to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner.  The single longest side was described as running NE80º-40 chains.  Also, the other courses appear to run in a counter-clockwise direction around the tract.  Since the single longest course generally corresponded with alignment of the south boundary of Nathan’s tract (79º), the author concluded that this 145 acre tract was situated along the south boundary.  Further, the references to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner to the south corresponded with the tract purchased earlier from Richard Yarborough.  Lastly, the reference to Coggin’s Spring Branch would appear to coincide with the fact that William Coggins purchased a 270 acre tract from Richard Yarborough on 7Nov1799, which abutted Charles Atterberry’s tract to the east.
  4. 9Feb1803 – Deed Book K, pp. 245-6:  Charles Atterberry purchased a 17 acre tract from John Whitted [aka Whitehead], being part of a larger 457 acre tract surveyed for George Thomas, but patented by Daniel Brown, who later conveyed to John Whitted, described as having been in the waters of both Sandy River and Little River.  The Brown grant was identified as an abutting property to the east of the 73 acre tract granted to Peter Halsel on 27Mar1798.  Further, the Brown grant was described as abutting the Solomon Peters grant on the northwest.  Also, the William Pannell grant identified George Thomas as an abutting land owner on the west.  Based on these various references to abutting land ownerships, the author was able to place the Brown grant along the southeast side of the Solomon Peters tract, and between the Peter Halsel and William Pannell tracts.  A map of the 17 acre tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Whitted was actually contained in the deed.  This tract was described as beginning on one of the original lines on a small branch of the Sandy River, thence running NW22º-28 chains to a corner and bounded by Charles Atterberry land, thence SW76º-5.9 chains and on land laid out to Isaac Taylor, thence SE72º-28 chains to a corner on small stream and bounded by land laid out to Solomon Peters, thence up said stream to beginning.  There are some aspects of this plat description which are a bit confusing, but there are sufficient clues to suggest that it was situated in the northeast corner of the Brown grant.  The reference to the stream having been a branch of the Sandy River probably is in error, and should have been a branch of Little River.  The reference to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner almost certainly was in reference to the 143 acre tract purchased from Richard Yarborough.

Although the stream locations and alignments depicted on some of the plats included in this reconstruction effort do not match with actual stream locations shown on the topo base, the author believes the general location and contiguity of these various plats to be fairly accurate, within a margin of error of say, one-half mile.  It would be nice, if these plats all fit snuggly together into a composite, but the reality is that surveying methods and record-keeping during the colonial and post-colonial periods were not that precise.  Consequently, vagaries, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies abounded.  One case in point is the plat map of the 500 acre grant to Nathan Arthurbury in 1789.  In the grant description and on the plat map, this grant is clearly described as having been for 500 acres.  Yet, the metes and bounds shown on the plat map identify a rectangular tract of land oriented 15 degrees west of north and measuring 76 chains by 79 chains.  These dimensions calculate to a tract containing 600 acres, not 500 acres.  As stated earlier, it is the author’s belief that Nathan Atterbury’s grant encompassed the 100 acre tract Charles Arthurbury purchased from John Bell.  In fact, it may have been one of the Charles Atterberry lands identified as abutting the 145 acres purchased by Charles from Nathan’s estate on 18Oct1802.

This concludes our discussion of the lands acquired by Charles Arthurbury in Chester County.  One final note is regarding the sale of land by Charles Arthurbury described as follows:

  1. 6Nov1804 – Deed Book O, pp. 340-1:  Charles Arthurbury sold 520 acres to Alan Degraffenreid.  The deed contains a very lengthy description.  The author has attempted to reconstruct this description into a tract layout, but discovered that there are segments which are presented only as nondescript waterway courses.  One particular sequence of courses consisting of six consecutive segments appears to match the southern perimeters of two tracts: (1) the 143 acres purchased from Richard Yarborough and (2) the 145 acres purchased from Nathan Atterberry’s estate.  A second sequence of courses consisting of four consecutive segments does not appear to match with any particular tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry, but the longest course does appear to correspond with the western border of the Nathan Atterberry tract.  The various waterway courses contained in this description also appear to generally correspond with several of the waterway courses associated with three tracts: (1) the 50 acres purchased from Willis Carrell, (2) the 30 acres purchased from William Rainey, and (3) the 145 acres purchased from Nathan Atterberry’s estate.  Based on the author’s analysis of the boundary description related to this land sale, it appears to contain all of the lands acquired by Charles Atterberry in the Welches Fork area, with the possible exclusion of the 17 acres acquired from John Whitted.  It is also inferred by the amount of land being sold, that the 520 acres may have included the 100 acres purchased from John Bell.  Although the tract map reconstruction of Charles Atterberry’s lands on Welches Fork indicates that they may not all have been contiguous to one another, it is possible that they may have been joined together by the 100 acres purchased from John Bell.  Since the description of the 520 acres does not appear to be bifurcated into multiple tracts, it is logical to conclude that Charles Atterbury’s lands on Welches Fork were all joined together, i.e., had abutting boundaries.  Otherwise, the description may have encompassed lands not owned by Charles Atterberry.  Even though the total acreage of the six tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry on Welches Fork (including the 100 acres purchased from John Bell) amounts to only 485 acres, it seems probable that the sale of land to Alan Degraffenreid incorporated all six tracts.  The author has compiled a boundary layout for the 520 acre tract as illustrated in Figure 20-9, which incorporates a combination of the metes and bounds segments from the deed interconnected with an assumed waterway alignment for the various waterway segments mentioned in the deed.  This layout includes an assumed boundary of the John Bell tract inserted between the other tracts, outlined in red.  This layout results in a figure-eight configuration, which is unique to the author’s experience, but is the only layout that seems to make sense of the otherwise convoluted description contained in the deed.

This concludes our discussions of land transactions involving Charles Atterberry in South Carolina.  Given the timing of each land acquisition it seems probable that Charles Atterberry resided on and farmed his 100 acre tract on Little River from about 1773 to about 1785.  It seems probable that the soils on Charles’ initial tract on Little River had become depleted, and that he relocated to the 100 acre tract on Welches Fork purchased from John Bell.  Even though Nathan Atterbury acquired a 200 acre tract on Little River in 1784, it would appear that Michael, Edward and Charles had commenced relocating from Little River to the drains of Sandy River around that same time.  Michael and Edward acquired grants on Brushy Fork in 1784, and Charles acquired land on Welches Fork in 1785.  Given that the 100 acres purchased from John Bell was located almost five miles north of Charles’ Little River tract, it seems probable that he moved his family and farming operations to that Welches Fork tract in about 1785.  Even though Charles continued to add to his land holdings on Welches Fork over the next 18 years, he probably continued to reside on the Bell tract and expand his farming operations into adjoining tracts.  It seems probable that, following the sale of what appears to have been his entire holdings on Welches Fork in the Fall of 1804, he packed up his family and started the long overland journey to Hardin County Kentucky, probably in the Spring of 1805.

Having fairly thoroughly examined Charles Atterberry’s real estate holdings in South Carolina, let us now turn our attention to the few records available from Court and Census records.  We will begin that further exploration with an analysis of the census records:

1790 Census, Chester County:

Name:     Charles Aturburry

Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Chester, South Carolina

Free White Persons – Males – Under 16:          5

Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females:          5

Fairfield and Chester Counties were formed in 1785.  The fact that Charles Atterberry was recorded living in Chester County in 1790 is clear indication that he had relocated from the Little River grant to the John Bell tract on Welches Fork sometime before 1790.  His household composition in 1790 included five males under the age of 16 years, probably Charles’ sons.  There were also recorded 5 females in his household, probably consisting of his wife and four daughters.  Seven of Charles’ presumed brothers: Edward, Thomas James, John, William, Richard and Nathaniel were also recorded living in Chester County.  The eldest brother: Michael, had relocated to Orangeburgh [Ninety-Six] District sometime around 1786-7.  There were a total of nine pages in the 1790 Chester County Census Record, and the eight Atterberry brothers all appeared on Page 3.  Each page was ordered into four columns, with about 42 households per column, or about 168 households per page.  Charles’ and Nathan’s households appeared in Column 1, whereas all six of the other brothers appeared in the bottom half of Column 4.  The 12 nearest neighbors of Charles Atterberry are listed as follows:

  1. Patrick  Henderson
  2. Capt       Frost
  3. Nathaniel Aturburry
  4. James     Gore
  5. James     Loy [Lay or Leigh or Lee]
  6. Thomas  Free
  7. Charles  Aturburry
  8. John       Paggot
  9. Ephram  Liles
  10. Moses     Stone
  11. William  Hollyfeild
  12. Mary      Free
  13. John       Jones

First, it should be noted that Nathan Atterberry was listed as living in close proximity to Charles Atterberry, so it might reasonably be assumed that Nathan also relocated to the Welches Fork area sometime after his acquisition of the 500 acre grant in 1789.  Other “near neighbors” comport with the names of parties recorded as landowners abutting to Charles Atterberry: John Paggot [aka Padget?], Ephriam Liles [aka Lyles], Moses Stone and William Hollyfield.  It also seems possible that the person listed as James Loy may in fact have been James Leigh [aka Lay or Lee] associated on other deed record(s) in connection to Lee’s Mill.  It also seems possible that Richard Lee, who married Elizabeth Atterberry, daughter of Nathan Atterberry, may have been a son of James Lee [aka Loy, Leigh, Lay]

Since the other six Atterberry brothers were clustered relatively close together in Column 4 on Page 3, it might be assumed that they too lived relatively close to one another.  In fact land records will show that all six Atterburys lived on the north side of Sandy River, with Edward, Richard, James and Thomas living along Brushy Fork, and John and William living farther easterly, along the drains of Seeley Creek.

1800 Census, Chester County

Name:     Charles Arterberry

Home in 1800 (City, County, State):  Chester, South Carolina

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males -10 thru 15:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         3

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         2  [Unknown, total mystery]

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1  [Charles]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       3 

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      4  [possibly Priscilla’s daughters: Permelia and Elizabeth?]

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      3  [Priscilla Mayfield Atterberry, Nathan’s widow?]

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1  [Martha Atterberry, Nathan’s widow?]

Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over:  1  [Sarah Mitchell?]

Charles Atterberry’s household was recorded in the 1800 Chester County Census on Page 7 of 51.  His nearest neighbors were as follows:

  1. Isaac      Taylor                    Chester  South Carolina
  2. Stephen Lee                          Chester  South Carolina
  3. Francis  Land                       Chester  South Carolina
  4. Ephraham Lile                     Chester  South Carolina
  5. Jeremiah Gresham              Chester  South Carolina
  6. Charles  Arterberry             Chester  South Carolina
  7. Thomas  Reny [aka Rainey]              Chester  South Carolina
  8. Wm          Coggen                  Chester  South Carolina
  9. ??and    Mccown                 Chester  South Carolina

Five of these adjacent land owners comport with the names of parties known to possess land in the immediate vicinity of Charles Atterberry’s land along Welches Fork.  So, it would appear that Charles Atterberry was still residing along Welches Fork in 1800, probably on the 100 acre tract purchased of John Bell in 1785.  No other Atterberry household was recorded within 20 households of Charles Atterberry, even though the widow of Charles’ brother, Nathan Atterberry, is known to still have been in possession of a residual of Nathan’s 500 acre tract on Welches Fork.

In the 1800 Census Charles Atterberry’s household was recorded as containing a total of 22 persons.  Charles and his presumed wife were reported as being over the age of 45 years, yielding a birth-year before 1755.  There were also five young males between the ages of 10 and 25, who might be presumed to have been the same five apparent sons from the 1790 census.  There were also seven young females between ages 10 and 25, four of who might be assumed to have been the apparent daughters in the 1790 household.  Additionally, there were two young males under age 10, and three young females under age 10.  These five younger children may have been further additions to Charles’ family.  If so, Charles would appear to have had a total of 14 children by 1800.

In addition to the above described household members, there were also recorded two males aged 26 thru 44, and one female also aged 26 thru 44.  Altogether, there appear to have been as many as six persons in Charles’ household, who were not in his household in 1790, and who were too old to have been of his immediate blood.  There were also the five younger additions, who may or may not have been of his immediate blood.

The author cannot identify with certainty any of these additional persons appearing in Charles’ household in 1800, but can offer a few hints or suggestions as to the possible identity of some:

  1. We know from estate records that Nathan Atterberry died in 1796.  We also know from our earlier analysis that Charles and Nathan very likely lived on adjoining tracts along Welches Fork.  It seems entirely possible that the female aged 26 thru 44 could have been Nathan Atterberry’s widow, Martha [aka Patty or Patsy].  If that were the case, then it also seems possible that some of the other unknown parties in this household may have been Nathan and Martha’s three children: Elizabeth, Moses and Elijah.  The possible identity of the two older males aged 26 thru 44 are a complete mystery to the author.  It appears that Charles Atterberry may have moved his family from Chester County SC to Hardin County KY in late 1804 or early 1805.  It is worth noting that Nathan’s widow, Martha, is believed to have married Abraham Myres in Hardin County on 2Aug1805, which might suggest that Martha also moved to Kentucky around the same time as Charles, perhaps as part of the same party of emigrants.
  2. One further hint is the possibility that one of the females aged 16 thru 25 may have been Priscilla [Mayfield] Atterberry, widow of Nathan Atterberry, deceased son of Michael Atterberry.  This possibility is predicated on the fact that Priscilla could not be located elsewhere in the 1800 Census of Chester County, and there is reason to believe that she was still living in Chester County at that time.  If that were the case, then it also seems possible that two of the young females aged 10 thru 16 were Priscilla’s daughters: Elizabeth and Permelia.  You may well ask, who was Priscilla Atterberry, and why might she have been residing in the Charles Atterberry household?  Well, we know from land records that a Priscilla Atterberry purchased a 75 acre tract from her presumed brother-in-law, William Rodin, situated on Smith Creek, tributary of Brushy Fork, on 19May1790.  Priscilla sold that tract to William Skief in Feb1803.  Priscilla Atterberry was named as a beneficiary in her father’s [Jonathan Mayfield] LWT in ???  And, lastly, we have the proxy baptism records from the Nauvoo Temple in the 1840’s undertaken by Elizabeth Edwards [Atterberry] in which she identified her parents as Priscilla Mayfield and Nathan Atterberry, and her grandparents as Elizabeth and Michael Atterberry.  Priscilla Atterberry also appeared in the 1820 Census records in Jackson County TN, along with Moses Atterberry as a near neighbor.  This Priscilla was almost certainly Priscilla Mayfield, widow of Nathan Atterberry, and Moses Atterberry was almost certainly the son of Nathan and Martha [Patsy] Atterberry.  The apparent fact that Priscilla and Moses should appear in Jackson County TN around the same time hardly seems like a coincidence.  There were no other Atterburys known to have lived in this part of Tennessee at that time.  The contemporaneous appearance of Priscilla and Moses in Jackson County TN suggests a very close association, and the probability that they had migrated to that remote part of the wilderness together.  This seeming reality lends support to the possibility that Priscilla and Moses may have formed an especially close association while living in the household of Charles Atterberry in the latter part of the 1790’s and early part of the 1800’s.
  3. Some of the unidentified parties in Charles Atterberry’s household in 1800 could have been the family of Charles’ presumed brother, Richard Atterberry, who could not be located elsewhere in the 1800 census.  The age of Richard Atterberry is not known with certainty.  His household was reported in Chester County in the 1790 census with what appears to have been four sons and one daughter, ages uncertain.  The earliest known record of Richard, after the 1790 census, was when he was identified as an adjacent landowner in Jan1792 in a grant of 222 acres to William Rodin Sr. on Brushy Fork (other adjacent owners included Abraham Myres, Abraham Mayfield, Thomas Morris, etal).   Next, Richard Atterberry sold a 142 tract of land situated on the drains of Brushy Fork to Charles Morris in Nov1793.  The author was unable to ascertain exactly when or how Richard had come into possession of this 142 acres (the deed of conveyance is mute on the subject).  However, there is a record of Richard Atterberry filing a patent for a 142 acre tract situated on Brushy Fork on 7Dec1804.  Ostensibly, according to SCDAH online records, this tract abutted Abraham Mayfield, John Rodin, and Thomas Morris, and was surveyed on 15Aug1791.  This grant record appears to have been incorrectly indexed in the Family Search Library microfilm archives, so the author has yet to obtain a copy of this grant record.  However, given the similarities, it seems probable that Richard Atterberry was the original grant filer, or that he took over a grant initially warranted by another party.  Regardless, it is suggested from these records associated with the 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork, that Richard Atterberry was in Chester County at around 1791-2.  On 25Mar1794 Richard Atterberry purchased a 100 acre tract from William Rainey, whereon Richard was currently living.  This deed does not identify the location of this tract, but does provide a metes and bounds description, and stipulates that it was patented to William Rainey on 4Dec1771.  However, a search of the grant records reveals only two tracts of 100 acres each: one granted to William Rainey Jr. on Sealey Creek on 17Oct1772, and another granted to William Rainey Sr. on 9Jan1773, location unspecified other than Craven County.  The descriptions of these two tracts do not match the description of the tract purchased by Richard Atterberry. 

Further investigation into the chain of title of the tract purchased by Richard Atterberry indicates that it likely was a tract originally patented to Hollis Tims, situated on Sandy Run [aka Stones Creek? or Welches Fork?].  That tract passed through several hands until purchased by William Rainey on 14Nov1791.  The original patent granted to Hollis Tims abutted a 100 acre tract granted the same date to Joseph Tims.  Following the chain of title on the Joseph Tims tract suggests that it was purchased by Thomas Atterberry on 9Oct1795.  The identity of this Thomas Atterberry is uncertain to the author.  This Thomas may have been one of the nine Atterberry brothers, or he could have been the eldest son of Richard Atterberry.  It is the author’s belief that Richard Atterberry had moved from his 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork to the 100 acre tract on Sandy Run purchased from William Rainey in about 1792.  Assuming that analysis to be correct, then Richard Atterberry would appear to have moved to the south side of the Sandy River, and was living in relatively close proximity to his brothers, Nathan and Charles Atterberry.  Richard was not found to have acquired any other lands on Chester County.  Given that one of Richard’s younger sons reported himself having been born in South Carolina in 1801, and that Richard filed the patent on the 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork in 1804, it is reasonable to conclude that Richard continued to live in Chester County until sometime after 1804.  Consequently, his household should have been recorded in Chester County in the 1800 Census.  Since his household was not recorded, it seems possible that his family may have been reported with the Charles Atterberry household.  If that were the case, then it would appear that Richard Atterberry may have been born after 1755, perhaps as late as 1760, and may have been nearly the youngest of the Atterberry brothers.

  1. One further possible explanation of the extra parties reported in Charles Atterberry’s household could be that they may have been totally unrelated “boarders”.  Charles purchased a 143 acre tract from Richard Yarborough in 1798, which was situated on the Columbia Road.  This roadway probably would have been the main north-south arterial through Chester County in the early 1800’s.  It seems possible that Charles Atterberry may have owned and operated some sort of boarding facility on this newly acquired tract of land, which could have accommodated traveling families.  Pure speculation, but a possibility.

Chester County Court of Common Pleas records involving Charles Atterberry are abstracted as follows:

  1. 3Jan1787 – An indenture of L&R from John Bell, Esq., to Charles Arterbury, was acknowledged and ordered to be recorded.  This was the deed recording for the 100 acre tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Bell.
  2. 24Jun1791 – Grand and Petit Juries drawn to serve Jan1792:  Grand Jury included Nathan Jaggers…  Petit Jurors included Elias Mitchell, Charles Arterbury, etal…  Charles Atterberry and his 1st cousin, Rev. Elias Mitchell, were selected to serve on the Petit Jury during the Jun1791 session.
  3. 24Jan1799 – Grand Jury drawn for Jul1799 Term, including Charles Atterbury, Elijah Nunn, Thomas Roden Jr., etal…  Petit Jury drawn, including William Roden (B.F. [Brushy Fork]), etal…  Charles Atterberry was selected to serve on the Grand Jury during the Jan1799 session.
  4. 1Feb1799 – John Graham vs. Charles Atterberry (debt) case, same jury, except Hugh McClure instead of James Atterbury (potential conflict), who returned their verdict as follows, viz., all agreed that Charles Atterberry shall pay to John Graham for damage the sum of $4.00 and cost of suit…  Charles Atterberry was sued for indebtedness to John Graham.  James Atterberry was replaced on the Jury, probably due to possible conflict of interest.  The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and Charles Atterberry was ordered to pay the sum of $4.00 damages.
  5. 1Feb1799 – James Boyd proved eight days of attendance as a witness in the suit of John Graham vs. Charles Atterbury…  James Boyd was reimbursed for eight days expense as a witness in Graham vs. Atterberry suit.
  6. 13Apr1801 – Grand Jurors drawn to serve at Nov1801 term, including Charles Arterberry, etal…  Also, 48 persons drawn for Petit Jury service, including Moses Grisham, John Jaggers, etal…  Charles Atterberry was once again selected to serve on the Grand Jury during the Apr1801 session.

In addition to the court records already presented containing Charles Atterberry as an involved party, there were a few other estate records in which Charles Atterberry as an incidental or indirect party:

11Apr1800, LWT of Richard Head, witnessed by James Head and Charles Atterbury (his mark).  Richard Head was a near neighbor of Charles Atterberry, owning lands to the east of and abutting Nathan Atterbury’s tract.

Fall, 1796 – Estate administration was recorded for James Atterberry, deceased, by his unnamed widow:

Account of the debts that the widow Atterbury paid since her husband died:

  1. Moses Grisham nine shillings four pence
  2. Noah Bennet nine shillings four pence
  3. Willis Correll four shillings eight pence
  4. Andrew McQuiston four shillings eight pence
  5. James Young seven shillings to pence
  6. Thomas Means 1 pound 15 shillings
  7. Jeremiah Gresham three shillings
  8. Charles Atterbury four shillings eight pence
  9. James Leigh [aka Lee, or Lay] seven shillings eight pence
  10. Seamen Butler seven shillings sixpence
  11. Daniel Malone three shillings
  12. Richard Head two shillings
  13. Thomas Gwynn 1 pound eight shillings
  14. James Cooper 16 shillings four pence
  15. Alexander Patton 2 pounds 18 shillings sixpence
  16. David Grisham 2 pounds four shillings
  17. James Blaine 2 pounds six shillings
  18. James Thomas 2 pounds six shillings
  19. George Thomas 2 pounds 14 shillings
  20. Edward Blackstock two shillings
  21. Enoch Grubbs 1 pound four shillings
  22. Efrem [Ephriam] Lyles 19 pounds 15 shillings
  23. Francis Land 8 pounds six shillings

An account of what debts have been paid to widow Atterbury since her husbands death:

  1. Richard Atterbury 5 pounds 10 shillings
  2. Charles Atterbury 1 pound 16 shillings
  3. Richard Yarborough 1 pound
  4. Thomas B Franklin nine shillings four pence
  5. Solomon Barnett eight shillings sixpence
  6. William Lyles one shillings sixpence
  7. Stephen Adair one shilling two pence
  8. Charles Atterbury 1 pound 10 shillings
  9. William Murray 1 pound 10 shillings four pence

The identity of this James Atterberry is not known to the author with certainty.  From the list of accounts from his estate it would appear that this James Atterberry was engaged in some form of mercantilism, probably a merchant of some sort.  Charles Atterberry was listed as both a creditor and a debtor to James’ estate, with the greatest amount due as a debtor.  The only other Atterberry listed in these accounts was Richard Atterberry, presumed younger brother, and near neighbor of Charles Atterberry.  Many of the other parties listed in these accounts were also near neighbors of Charles Atterberry in the vicinity of Welches Fork, i.e., George Thomas, Moses Grisham (who purchased 90 acres from Nathan Atterberry), Willis Correll [Carrell][who sold 50 acres to Charles Atterberry], James Leigh [Lee’s Mill?], Richard Head, Edward Blackstock [Town of Blackstock], Ephriam Lyles, Francis Land, Richard Yarborough [who sold 143 acres to Charles Atterberry], Thomas B. Franklin, and William Murray [who purchased 200 acres from Thomas Holsey].  Given the high level of continuity between the persons listed in the James Atterberry account records and the Welches Fork area, it is reasonable to believe that James Atterberry conducted his business in the general area around Welches Fork.

No land records were found associated with this James Atterberry, but the author has reason to believe that this James Atterberry was the same person who was named as an executor in the estate of Nathan Atterberry.  Through a rather lengthy and convoluted analysis performed by the author into the identity of Greenbury Atterberry, adopted son of William Atterberry III, it was concluded (rightly or wrongly) that this James Atterberry was an elder son of William Atterberry Jr., and the father of Greenberry Atterberry.  That analysis may be found in the chapter on the family of William Atterberry Jr.  William Atterberry Jr. is believed to have been among the last of the Atterberry brothers to relocate from Loudoun County VA to Chester County SC, probably around 1788.  William Jr. is known to have acquired only one tract of land in Chester County, that being a 200 acre tract purchased from Thomas Hughes, situated on Wrights Mill Branch.  The exact location of William Atterberry Jr.’s tract is not known to the author with certainty, but may have been south of the Sandy River, between Welches Fork and Stones Creek.  James Atterberry and his presumed brother, William Atterberry III, may have been the two males over age 16 reported in William Jr.’s household in the 1790 census.  By his LWT recorded in 1795, William Atterberry [Jr.] devised his land (presumably the 200 acres on Wrights Mill Branch) equally divided to his three eldest sons: Thomas, William and James.  William Atterberry Jr.’s LWT named Nathan Atterberry and William Murray as Executors, and William Estes was one of the witnesses.  This Nathan Atterberry is presumed to have been William Jr.’s younger brother.  William Murray may have been William Atterberry Jr.’s in-law, as William is purported by many family researchers to have married Bridget Murray [no documented proof found].  William Estes may have been a near neighbor of Charles and Nathan Atterberry to the southwest of the Solomon Peters tract on Welches Fork/Coon Creek.  Clearly, William Atterberry Jr. had strong connections to the Welches Fork area, which might explain the apparent strong connection of his presumed son, James Atterberry to that same location.

This concludes the presentation and analysis of records from Chester County SC related to Charles Atterberry.  Since Charles appears to have sold all of his land holdings in Chester County to Alan Degraffenreid in Nov1804, it seems reasonable to conclude that he may have relocated his family from Chester County SC to Hardin County KY in the Spring of 1805.  Thus far we have presented a great deal of information about Charles Atterberry in Chester County, but we have presented absolutely no information about his immediate family, except as generally connected with the 1790 and 1800 census records.  From those records it was concluded that Charles probably was married in South Carolina sometime after 1773, and that he probably had a wife and nine children: five sons and four daughters, by 1790.  Because of the excessive number of persons reported in Charles’ household in 1800, it was not possible to state with certainty whether he had further children born after 1790.  The next direct record found for Charles Atterberry was in the 1810 from Grayson County KY summarized as follows:

1810 Census

Name:     Charles Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):  Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        3

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      3

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

By 1810 Charles’ wife appears to be absent from his household, possibly she had died sometime between 1800 and 1810.  She was reported over age 45 in 1800, so she probably would not have been the mother of any of the three children under age 10 in the 1810 household.  It is possible that the three males aged 26 thru 44 were the same three males aged 16 thru 25 reported in 1800.  That being the case, then it would appear that the two males, aged 26 thru 44, reported in 1800 were no longer in this household.  Similarly, one of the four males aged under 15 years in 1800 also was no longer reported in the household.  The three females, under age 10 in 1800 appear to still be in the household in 1810.  However, all but one of the eight females, aged 10 thru 44 in the household in 1800 no longer appeared in the household in 1810.  Those missing females may have been daughters of Charles Atterbury, who had married or died.

For geographic reference, it should be noted that Grayson County was formed in 1810 from that part of Hardin County lying westerly of the Nolin River.  It should further be noted that there were a total of eight Atterberry households recorded in Grayson County in 1810 listed as follows:

  1. Nathan Atterbury                Grayson , Kentucky                            4
  2. Michael Atterbury               Grayson , Kentucky            4
  3. David Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            2
  4. Charles Atterbury               Grayson , Kentucky            14
  5. Melcheyedick Atterbury    Grayson , Kentucky            3
  6. James Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            11
  7. Isaiah Atterbury                  Grayson , Kentucky            9
  8. Israel Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            7

Whereas there were seven Atterberry households recorded in Hardin County listed as follows:

  1. Miche Atterberry                 Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 5             
  2. Edwd Atterberry                                  Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 7             
  3. Wm Atterbury                       Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 5             
  4. Elijah Atterbury                   Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 4             
  5. Thos Atterbury                     Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 6             
  6. Elijah Atterbury                   Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 4             
  7. Thos Atterbury                     Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky  2              13

Additionally, the household of Richard Atterberry was recorded in Ohio County, just northwesterly of Hardin and Grayson Counties.

The Charles Atterberry household was recorded on Page 6 of 8.  Also recorded on that same page were three other Atterberry households listed in order as follows:

  1. Nathan  Atterbury
  2. Edward  Lee
  3. Abrm      Neighbours
  4. James     Burtle    
  5. Isaiah     Atterberry
  6. James     Atterberry
  7. Charles  Atterbury

James Atterberry is believed to have been Charles’ brother.  According to Descendants of William Atterberry[2], Isaiah Atterberry very likely was an older son of Charles Atterberry.  The identity of Nathan Atterberry is not known to the author with certainty.  He was quite young (under age 25) and apparently recently married, as his two children were under age 10.  It is worth noting that James Atterberry is believed to have moved his family to Missouri Territory sometime between 1810 and 1820.  Given the relatively close living proximity of this Nathan Atterberry to both James and Charles, it seems probable that Nathan Atterberry was a son of either James or Charles.  The fact that Nathan Atterberry did not appear in the 1820 census of Kentucky might suggest that Nathan may have been a son of James Atteberry, and that he had moved with his father, James, to the Missouri Territory.  However, it should be noted that there was a Nathan Atterberry in the 1830 census of Grayson County, whose demographics fit fairly closely with the Nathan Atterberry household from the 1810 census.  If the Nathan Atterberry in Grayson County in 1830 were the same person who appeared in the 1810 census, this begs the question regarding his whereabouts in 1820.  If this Nathan were a son of James Atterberry, it is possible that he may have traveled to Missouri with his father, and later returned to Grayson County.

1820 Census

Name:     Charles Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): 

Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 18:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over :1

Although seemingly absent from his household in 1810, there was again an older woman in Charles’ household in 1820, over age 45.  It is difficult to explain this inconsistency, except to suggest that perhaps the recording of Charles’ wife in 1810 may simply have been omitted.  Again, we have two young males under age 10, who clearly were not the children of Sarah (Charles’ presumed 1st wife), but could have been the children of Charles.  It is estimated that Charles would have been about 70 to 75 years old by 1820.  Given the presence of three males aged 26 thru 44 and one female aged 16 thru 25 in Charles’ household in 1810, it seems reasonable to assume that the two males under age 10 in this household in 1820 could have been Charles’ grandchildren.  However, it should not be discounted that Sarah may have died sometime before 1810, and that Charles remarried another woman, still of child-bearing age, but who was over 45 by 1820, and who could have been the mother of the three males under age 10 in 1820.  The three males aged 16 thru 25 in 1820 align with the three males under age 15 in 1810.  Also, the one female aged 16 thru 25 in 1810 aligns with the female aged 26 thru 44 in 1820.

1830 Census

Charles Atterbury was not recorded in the 1830 census, so presumably he had died sometime between 1820 and 1830.

Any attempt to analyze the composition of Charles Atterbury’s households between 1790 and 1820 can be described as challenging, if not outright impossible.  The author has attempted just such an analysis, the results of which are reflected in the link-diagram illustrated in Figure 20-10.  Starting in 1800 there are persons reported in Charles’ household, who clearly could not have been his direct offspring, denoted by green circles.  In 1800 it appears that Charles’ household was composed of his immediate family plus remnants of two, perhaps even three additional families.  There appears to have been two extra young adult males, and four young adult females.  In every census year from 1800 to 1820 there are new members under age 10 being added, to a total of six males and four females.  Also, in every census year from 1800 through 1820 there were reported young adults over the age of 26 years, totaling five males and two females.  These young adults could have been children of Charles and Sarah, as there were ample children in the households of previous years to have supplied these young adults. 

In the author’s experience it is not the norm for so many children to continue living with their parents after the age of 20, but it obviously did happen.  There may have been something peculiar to Charles’ and Sarah’s lifestyle that led to so many of their young adult children remaining in their household.  It is also possible that they may have maintained a boarding facility in their home or business, both in Chester County and later in Grayson County, which could explain the presence of these apparent extra members of their household.  The only thing that might be stated with some degree of certainty is that Charles and Sarah very likely had at least five sons and four daughters of their full-blood by 1790.  Whether any of the children in their households after 1790 were of their full-blood cannot be stated with any degree of certainty, as there were other young adults of child-bearing age reported in their households in each of the ensuing census years, who could have been the parents of the young children (under age 10) added to the household each successive year. 

Almost certainly any of the children under age 10 in 1810 and 1820 were not Sarah’s children, given her being aged over 45 in 1800.  It should be noted that in 1810 the older adult female (over 45) was not reported in the household, suggesting that Charles may have been widowed sometime between about 1805 and 1810.  By 1820 there was again a woman, over 45, in Charles’ household.  Does this suggest that Sarah may still have been alive, and simply not reported in 1810, or that Sarah had died, and that had Charles remarried after 1810?  Regardless of one’s interpretation of these census records, it seems possible that Charles and Sarah did bear at least seven males and seven females before 1800, and perhaps two more sons and one more daughter after 1800.  Just how many of these possible children survived to adulthood cannot be known with certainty.

James E. Branch[3] ascribes a total of nine children to Charles and Sarah: seven sons and two daughters.  Branch also accredits three of those sons having been born between 1790 and 1800.  A review of Ancestry public trees offers essentially the same identity for Charles and Sarah’s children as offered by James E. Branch, with a few minor exceptions.  None of these sources suggest the birth of any children beyond 1800.  From the information reported in the 1790 and 1800 census, there is good reason to believe that Charles and Sarah may have had at least seven sons and seven daughters.  However, given the presence of the mature young adults reported in their household in 1800 (continued from 1790), it must be acknowledged that some of the five children added to their household between 1790 and 1800 may not have been the children of Charles and Sarah, but possibly children of one or more of the other young adults in their household (i.e., Isaiah).

That being said, it must be acknowledged that there were numerous children reported in the Charles Atterbury households between 1800 and 1820, who possibly were grandchildren of Charles and Sarah.  An analysis of the young males appearing in Charles’ households between 1800 and 1820 does not provide any direct suggestion of early deaths of any of these persons.  Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that there could have been several more sons born to Charles and Sarah, of whom the genealogical record has failed to discover.  In fact, we cannot be all that certain of the validity of the sons who are attributed to Charles and Sarah by James E. Branch and others.  The 1830 census could hold the key records in which we might expect to find remnants of male offspring descended from Charles and Sarah.  

Before beginning the search for possible male descendants of Charles and Sarah, it may be useful to identify the sons posited by James E. Branch, etal., as sons of Charles:

  1. Melchizedek – b. abt 1770, d. 1853, Girard County, IL
  2. Isaiah – b. abt 1775, died [abt 1844] unk. in Lafayette County, MO
  3. Charles [Jr.] – b. abt 1782, d. 1855, falling off horse.
  4. Zachariah – b. abt 1784, d. 20Jul1855
  5. Michael – b. 17Oct1793, d. 20Jul1888 [actually 22Jul1855] in Grayson County, KY
  6. Nathaniel J. – b. abt 1797, d. unk, Hunt County TX
  7. John – b. abt 1803, d. unk.

The author cannot attest to the accuracy of the foregoing list of purported sons of Charles and Sarah, but can state with certainty that persons bearing each and every name attributed hereinabove as sons of Charles Arterbury (excepting Charles Jr.) can be found in the census records in Kentucky or Missouri summarized as follows:

1810 Census

Name:  Isaiah Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           3

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

GraysonCounty was formed in 1810 from the southwestern part of HardinCounty.  Given the apparent children in this household aged 10 thru 25, it seems probable that Isaiah, if he was a son of Charles, was an elder son.  Further, that Isaiah, his wife, and possibly his three oldest children may have been living in Charles Arterberry’s household in ChesterCountySC in 1800.  It should be noted that Isaiah’s household was listed next door to Charles Arterbury in 1810.

Name:  Melcheyedick Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Given the absence of any children over the age of 10, and the age of the presumed wife being under 25, it seems probable that Melchizedek, if he was a son of Charles, was probably born after Isaiah.  It should be noted that Melchizedek’s household was listed next door to Israel Arterbury and Michael Arterbury [Sr.], and nearby to his presumed father-in-law, John Peebles in 1810.  It seems curious to the author that, if Melchizedek were a son of Charles Arterbury, he and his father-in-law would be living in such close geographic proximity to Michael Arterbury, and Michael’s presumed son, Israel Arterbury.  The author has found no documented proof for any of the children ascribed to Charles and Sarah Arterbury.  Given the relatively close geographic proximity of Melchizedek to Michael and Israel, might it not be more reasonable to assume Melchizedek to have been a son of Michael, rather than of Charles?

1820 Census

Name:  Isaiah Arterbury

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Woodsonville, Hart, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         3

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

HartCounty was erected in 1818 from the southern part of HardinCounty and the northern part of BarrenCounty.  It would appear that Isaiah had moved his place of residence easterly from its 1810 location in GraysonCounty.  The 1820 census records were enumerated in alphabetical order, so it is not possible to infer relative geographic proximity from these records, other than the identification of the township within HartCounty in which they were recorded.  In 1820 there were a total of 584 households reported in HartCounty.  The County was segregated into two townships: Munsfordville and Woodsonville.  Munsfordville was situated north of the Green River, and contained 450 of the reported households.  The remaining 134 households were located within Woodsonville, south of the Green River.  It is worth noting that there were a total of six Arterbury households in HartCounty in 1820, all reported in WoodsonvilleTownship, listed as follows:

  1. Elisha Arterbury
  2. Michael Arterbury
  3. Thomas Arterbury
  4. Jessa [Jesse] Arterbury
  5. Isaiah Arterbury
  6. Thomas Arterbury

For what it’s worth, none of the other Arterbury’s in Woodsonville are claimed to have been full-blood kinsmen of Isaiah, but most likely were his 1st cousins or uncles.  It is also worth noting that Isaiah’s household contained one more young adult male aged 16 thru 25, and one more young adult female than would be expected from the 1810 household composition.  This raises the question as to whether this represented a young married couple.  Might this have been John Arterbury, Isaiah’s purported younger brother and his wife, who were recorded in HartCounty in 1830?

Further, upon its erection in 1820, an inventory of landowners within HartCounty was compiled.  The Atterberry and allied family landowners contained in this inventory are listed as follows:

  1. Thomas Atterbury – 385 acres, Bacon Creek
  2. Elijah Atterbury – 140 acres, Nolin
  3. Michall Atterbury – 10 acres, Bacon Creek
  4. Elisha Atterbury – 150 acres, Bacon Creek [possibly son of John Atterbury and Sarah Hill]
  5. George Blissett – 325 acres, Nolin [father of Reason Blissett, who married Anna Atterberry, elder daughter of Richard Atterberry]
  6. Perdy [Priddy] Meeks – 450 acres, Nolin [possibly the father of Benjamin Meeks, who married Rebecca Atterberry, daughter of Richard Atterberry]
  7. Abraham Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek [presumed brother of Mary Peebles, who married Melchezedek Atterberry]
  8. Bird Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek [ditto]

For what its worth, Isaiah Atterbury was not listed as a landowner in HartCounty at the time of its formation in 1820.  It is further worth noting that all of these Atterberry and allied parties were identified as owning land along Bacon Creek [tributary of Nolin River] or along the drains of Nolin River.  Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that Isaiah Attebury was also living in the near vicinity of Bacon Creek and/or NolinRiver, which would place this cluster of Atterburys and allies in the western central part of HartCounty, immediately across the NolinRiver from GraysonCounty.

Since Isaiah Atterberry appears to have been one of the elder children of Charles Atterberry, it might be possible to establish a more precise date of Charles’ migration to Kentucky by studying the birthplace and approximate birth year of Isaiah Atterberry’s presumed children (assuming that Charles and his children migrated together).  Of the children ascribed to Isaiah Atterberry (James E. Branch), Hiram Atterberry is the only presumed son for whom we have later census records.  Hiram appears to have been born about 1804 in South Carolina according to the 1850 census record from LoganCountyIL.  From this “fact” and assuming that Isaiah moved his family to Kentucky at the same time as Charles, it would follow that Charles likely moved to Kentucky in 1805 or shortly thereafter.

Name:  Melcherideck Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           3

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

GraysonCounty was formed in 1810 from the southeastern part of OhioCounty and the southwestern part of HardinCounty.  Grayson County reported 357 households in 1810, and 649 households in 1820, an increase of more than 80% over a 10 year period.  In 1820 Melchizedek was still reported living in GraysonCounty along with four other Atterberry households listed as follows:

  1. Charles Atterbury [son of William, the Immigrant]
  2. Solomon Atterbury [presumed son of Richard and Rebecca]
  3. Hoppy Atterbury [widow of unknown Mr. Atterbury, possibly Israel’s widow]
  4. Melcherideck Atterbury [son of Charles or Michael?]
  5. Michael Atterbury [presumed son of Charles and Sarah]

Charles Atterbury is the subject of this immediate analysis; Michael Atterbury is ascribed as another son of Charles and Sarah; Solomon Atterbury is claimed by most genealogical researchers to have been a son of Richard Arterbury I (based on Solomon’s death record on 10Feb1859); and Hoppy Atterberry was the presumed widow of an unknown Mr. Atterberry, possibly the widow of Israel Atterberry, son of Michael and Elizabeth.  Since these records are ordered in alphabetical order, it is not possible to assign any geographic proximity more finite than the boundary of Grayson County.

Name:  Michael Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

This Michael Atterberry was first recorded in the 1820 census in Grayson County KY, and continued in Grayson County in 1830, 1840 and 1850, until his death on 20Jul1855.  Michael’s burial record gives his date of birth as 17Oct1793, and his parents were identified as Charles and Sarah.  In the 1850 census Michael reported being born about 1792 in South Carolina, so presumably Michael would have been one of the three males in Charles’ household in 1800, under age 10.  He is on record marrying Elizabeth Kessinger in Hardin County on 15Dec1816.  There was nothing in the marriage record to suggest Michael’s parentage.  Joseph Kessinger (presumably Elizabeth‘s father) signed the marriage certificate.  Most genealogical researchers ascribe this Michael Arterbury as a son of Charles and Sarah, presumably based on the death record for Michael.

1830 Census

Name:  Sicah Atteberry

[Isaiah Atteberry]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1

Isaiah, Melchizedek and John were reported living in HartCounty in 1830.  There were a total of six other Atterbury households reported in HartCounty, none of which are purported to have been sons of Charles and Sarah:

  1. Wm Atteberry
  2. Thomas Atteberry
  3. Richard Atteberry
  4. James Atteberry
  5. Elisha Atteberry
  6. Jesse Atteberry

Again, the records in 1830 were ordered in alphabetical order, so geographic proximity cannot be established.

Name:  Malchesadeck Atteberry

[Atteberry Melchesadeck]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Munfordville, Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Ditto.

Name:  John Atteberry

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Munfordville, Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

It seems probable that this John Atteberry was the purported son of Charles and Sarah.  His age is a good match for the reported birth year of John Atterbury, son of Charles Atterbury.  Further, there are records for a John Atterbury household in GraysonCountyKY in 1840, 1850 and 1860, which also closely matched this purported son.  The 1850 census indicates his birth in about 1803 in South Carolina, whereas the 1860 census gives a birth of 1797 in Kentucky.  The age range reported for John in 1830 and 1840 more closely matches the 1850 record, indicating John to have been born after 1800, maybe about 1803.  Assuming that to have been the case, then John very likely was one of the two young males under age 10 reported in Charles’ household in 1810, and probably the young male aged 16 thru 18 in 1820.  Note that there appears to have been an error on the form used in the 1820 census collection in which there was a two-year overlap between two male age brackets: i.e., 16 thru 18, and 16 thru 25.  In the 1860 census John was reported living at Millerstown, which is situated on the west bank of the NolinRiver near the junction of Grayson, Hart and HardinCounties.  No record was found for either John Atterberry or his wife, Nancy, in the 1870 census.  However, their eldest son, Milton Atterberry, was recorded as the head of his own household living near Millerstown, with his two youngest sisters, Lydia R. and Sarah E. living in his household.  Two of John’s daughters: Sarah E., and Elizabeth were described in records as having been “idiots”, suggesting some sort of genetic malformation.  Is it possible that this seeming genetic defect could have traced its roots back one generation to Charles Atterberry?  Might that be a possible explanation for what appears to have been a pattern of adult children in Charles’ household beyond the age of 20 years?  From these facts it is logical to conclude that John and Nancy probably had died sometime before 1870, probably in the vicinity of Millerstown.

Name:  Michael Atterbury

[Michael Atterberry]

[Michael Merbrery]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1

Ditto, Michael, above.

Name:  Zachariah Arterbury

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Howard, Missouri

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Zachariah was found in only two census records: 1830 and 1840.  He is purported to have had a son named Isaiah, who was recorded in Missouri census records in 1850 and 1860, along with his presumed widowed mother, Naomi.  Isaiah reported himself born in Missouri in about 1824, which suggests that Zachariah had moved his family to Missouri sometime before 1824.  In the 1840 census record there was an adult male, aged 80 thru 89 years living in Zachariah’s household.  That advanced age points toward only one person, James Arterbury, son of William Arterbury, Immigrant.  James is reported to have been buried in Monroe County, MO in about 1843.  Given that James Arterbury had two adult sons (James Jr. and Ashford) living in Missouri in 1840, it seems highly likely that Zachariah was also a son of James Arterbury, and not of Charles and Sarah.  Otherwise, why would James be living with his purported nephew, rather than with one of his sons?

Name:  Nathan Atterbury

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

This is believed to have been the earliest record of Nathaniel J. Atterbury, presumed son of Charles and Sarah, and father of Amanda, born 1837 in Indiana.  Nathaniel later moved his family to Spencer County IN, then Missouri, and ultimately to HuntCountyTX.

Name: Charles Atteberry

Although James E. Branch identified a son named Charles, born about 1782 and died about 1855, it should be noted that no census records could be found for a Charles Atterbury, which even remotely matched these purported demographics.  In fact, the author could find no real evidence that such a person ever existed.

From the foregoing analysis of the census records for the seven purported sons of Charles and Sarah, we have discovered that two of those purported sons (Zachariah and Melchizedek) possibly were not sons of Charles.  There is strong evidence suggesting that Zachariah Arterbury very likely was a son of James and Dorcas.  Also, given the close living proximity between Michael Arterbury Sr., and Melchizedek and his father-in-law, John Peebles, in 1810, it seems entirely possible that Melchizedek was a son of Michael Arterbury.  And, finally, no evidence was found for the existence of the purported son named Charles.  If Zachariah, Melchizedek and Charles were not sons of Charles and Sarah, then we are left with only four purported sons: Isaiah, Michael, Nathanial J. and John.  Further, the birth year data reported for John Atterbury in the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census records suggest that he was born about 1803.  If we were to accept this approximate birth year as fact, then he could have been a son of Charles, but not likely of Sarah, if Charles’ wife were his 1st cousin, Sarah Mitchell.  Yet, the compilations of the 1790 thru 1810 census records for Charles Arterbury’s households suggest there to have been at least eight sons: five before 1790, two more before 1800, and at least one more before 1810. 

This analysis suggests that Charles and Sarah may have had as many as five sons, who are unknown to genealogical researchers.  It seems entirely possible that some of those sons could have survived to adulthood, and could have married and had children, who also survived to adulthood.  Since three presumed sons of Charles (John, Nathaniel and Michael) resided in Grayson County after their father’s death, it might be possible that other son(s) also settled in Grayson County.  In 1830 there were a total of five Arterbury/ Atterbury households in Grayson County in 1830, summarized as follows:

  1. Nathan Atterbury [presumed son of Charles and Sarah]
  2. Richard Alleber [possible son of Thomas Atterbury [Jockey Tom] and Elizabeth Clement]
  3. Michael Attebery [probable son of Michael Atterbury and Elizabeth Kessinger]
  4. Thomas Atterbury [Thomas Atterbury, aka “Jockey Tom”, eldest son of Richard Atterbury I]
  5. Michael Atterbury [presumed husband of Elizabeth Kessinger and son of Charles and Sarah]

So, in 1830 there was an admixture of the presumed children and grandchildren of Charles Atterbury and his brother, Richard Atterbury I, living in relatively close geographic proximity in Grayson County.  The census record for Grayson County was not enumerated in alphabetical order in 1830, so it is possible to speculate on the relative geographic proximity of these Atterbury households to one another.  It should be noted that Nathan, Michael Jr., Richard and Thomas were listed virtually contiguous to each other (Michael Jr. being separated by only two households from the other three), and Michael Sr. was removed from Michael Jr. by only six households with John Peebles’ household being one of the intervening households between Michael Sr. and Michael Jr.  These Atterbury’s and their near neighbors are listed in order as follows:

  1. Kessinger              William                   3
  2. [Atterberry]           [Michael]               10
  3. Johnsey                 George                   7
  4. Rooks                     Thomas                  7
  5. Coonrod                               George                   6
  6. Peeples                  John                       6
  7. Nalley                     William                   10
  8. Alvey                     James                     8
  9. Attebery                                Michael                  4
  10. Logston                 William                   8
  11. Holston                  Thomas                  4
  12. Atterbury              Thomas                  12           
  13. Atterbury              Nathan                   7             
  14. [Atteberry]            [Richard]                3

There were a total of 632 households reported in Grayson County in 1830, so it is reasonable to assume that all five of these Atterbury households were clustered within a one-mile radius, some perhaps even abutting one another.

From the LWT of Richard Atterbury I, it can be inferred that there was a particularly close affiliation between himself and his elder brother, Charles.  This close affinity is born out by the fact that Richard I named his brother, Charles (his “good and trusted friend”), as a co-Executor, along with Richard Atterbury II.  It is curious that Richard I named his 2nd born son, Richard II, as a co-Executor, since normal conventions of the time typically would confer that responsibility on the eldest son, Thomas.  It may simply have been a matter of geographic proximity, yet Richard II was recorded in Ohio County in 1810, whereas Thomas was recorded in Elizabethtown, Hardin County in 1810.  From these limited facts, it would appear that Richard II may have been living in relatively close geographic proximity to his father when Richard I penned his LWT.  The decision to name Richard II as co-executor may have stemmed from the likelihood that Richard II was still living at home and only recently reached his majority, when Richard I drafted his LWT in Hardin County on 4Oct1806.  Richard II likely did not settle in Ohio County until after his marriage to Martha Moore in Ohio County on 9Apr1807.  Regardless of a possible estranged relationship between Thomas Atterbury and his father, Richard I, it does not appear to have interfered with Thomas’ relationship with his cousins: Michael and Nathan, presumed sons of Charles and Sarah, given their close geographic living proximity in Grayson County in 1830.  Particularly considering that Thomas appears to have moved from Hart County in 1820 to Grayson County in 1830.

We have now completed a fairly thorough investigation and analysis of the Charles and Sarah Atterbury family, without having specifically identified any potential descendants.  Our analysis of Charles and Sarah did disclose the possibility that there may have been several male offspring from that family, which are presently unrecognized by Atterbury family researchers.  The difficulty we encounter with the identification of the children of these early 19th century migrants is the lack of more specific record data.  Census records did not commence in Kentucky until 1810, whereas census records commenced earlier in some of the other colonies, like South Carolina, which commenced in 1790.  This leaves a 20-year record gap during which time some families had begun to separate and spread out into other jurisdictions.  The problem is made even more complex for women, whose identity, once they marry and assume their husband’s surnames, may be lost forever.  Equally problematic is the fact that only the names of the heads of households were reported in the censuses prior to 1850.  Add to these factors the practice of repeated usage of the same given names within families, resulting in multiple households headed by persons with the same name.

In Kentucky, where most of our early American Atterbury research is centered, we do have the good fortune of extant marriage records, court orders, patent and deed records, estate records, and an occasional family bible, but these records are fragmentary, and not always published.  Consequently, we have an almost 60-year period (from 1790 to 1850) during which we are oftentimes left with guesswork and deductive reasoning as our only means to reconstruct family units. 

Finally, as regards the name and identity of Charles Atterberry’s wife.  Many researchers identify Charles’ wife as having been named Sarah Mitchell.  Some even go so far as to identify Sarah Mitchell as Charles’ first cousin, daughter of David Mitchell and Mary Davidson, born Sep1741 at Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland.  If that assumption were correct, Sarah’s age would seemingly negate the possibility of any children born after about 1796.  The author found absolutely no documented proof of the identity of Charles’ wife.  In fact, the author found only one record in which the name of Charles’ wife was given, that being the death record of Michael Atterberry, their presumed son, who married Elizabeth Kessinger, summarized as follows:

Name:     Michael Atterberry

Gender:  Male

Death Age:            63

Birth Date:             abt 1792

Residence Place:  Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Death Date:           20 Jul 1855

Death Place:          Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Father:    Chas Atterberry

Mother:  Sarah Atterberry

The only other reference found by the author for the name of Charles’ wife was supplied by James E. Branch, when he referenced a deed record from Chester County as follows:

  1. 1796 Charles and Sarah Atterbury deeded land in Chester County, SC to Gain Thompson (Book D, page 321)

Regrettably, a search of Deed Book records failed to locate the referenced record purportedly naming Charles and Sarah.  In fact, the referenced record: Deed Book D, page 321, was actually for the purchase of 50 acres by Charles Atterberry from Willis Carrell, a transaction discussed in great detail earlier in this manuscript.  It is the belief of the author that he has thoroughly researched all land records from Chester County SC associated with Charles Attebury, and none of them had any reference to Charles’ wife.  Typically, a wife’s name would only be associated with the disposal of property.  In those instances, the wife is typically required to relinquish here dower right, in order for the transfer to be consummated.  If Charles Atterberry did in fact sell a tract of land to Gain [aka Gan, Gaun, Goun] Thompson, it is conceivable that that deed record may have included Sarah Atterberry when she relinquished her dower.  There are several deed records on file in which Gan Thompson was named as a grantee, but none involved a transfer from Charles Atterberry.  It is conceivable that such a record exists, but for whatever reason failed to be indexed in the deed records.  Absent that actual record, it cannot be established that Charles’ wife in Chester County was named Sarah.  It is worth noting that when Charles Atterberry sold 520 acres to Alan Degraffenreid in 1804, there was no evidence of his wife relinquishing her dower.  Does this suggest that Charles’ wife may have been deceased by that date?  The author thinks it probable that Sarah may have been the mother of most, if not all, of Charles Atterberry’s children.  However, given the evidence known at this time, it is not possible to establish the surname of that wife, nor whether she may have been Charles’ 1st cousin.

This concludes our research and analysis of the life and times of Charles Atterberry.  The exploration of his descendants will be left to others.

Appendix A

Welches Fork Plat Reconstruction Map


[1] https://www.rootsandrecall.com/chester/files/2017/04/Little-Sandy-River-PDF.pdf, accessed 8Jun2020.

[2] https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/b/r/a/James-E-Branch/GENE10-0002.html, accessed 7Jul2020.

[3] Ibid.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 20 – Charles Arthurbury of Chester County”

  1. Your plat maps of the Chester and Fairfield area of South Carolina have been invaluable to my research into an elusive ancestor, Thomas Free, who was an Arterberry neighbor on the 1790 census. This is the only direct evidence of his existence, although I have found what I believe are family members through naming traditions and land deeds. I sincerely appreciate the incredible difficulty of compiling such plat maps, given the vagaries of land descriptions of the time period, and the name changes to places on modern maps.

  2. I wonder if you could tell me, is there a distance scale on the topo may you used for the plat compilation that appears on page seven of this document? That would be very helpful for me.

Leave a Reply