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John McFarland (1): born 1706-1708 in Ireland. Married in 1728 in Lancaster Co. Penn. to Mary Montgomery. Mary was born in 1712, daughter of John Montgomery. They moved to Virginia around 1747 to Augusta Co., later called Montgomery (and now Wyeth Co.). Served as an Ensign in 1752 in Augusta Co. Later moved to Bedford Co. Virginia.
Robert: 1730 in Donegal, Penn.-married Martha___?. Named a Lieutenant in the Augusta Co. militia in Virginia. Children: Robert b. 1759 who served in the Revolutionary War, died in 1837 and is buried in the McFarland Cemetery in Hamblen Co. Tennessee, Benjamin b. 1769
Nancy: 1731 in Donegal, Penn.-married Andrew Evans
James: 1733 in Donegal, Penn.-never married, died in 1755 in New River, Augusta Co. VA. fighting Indians.
Rachel: 1737 in Donegal, Penn.-married John Hunter
John (2): 1739 in Lancaster Co. Penn. Married Mary Kinder
Arthur: Jan. 19 1741 in Lancaster Co., Penn. Dies as infant.
Mary: Feb. 11, 1743 in Lancaster Co.-married James Hunter
Joseph: Mar. 30, 1745 in Lancaster Co. or Virginia, Russell Parish, Lunenburg Co.-never married, accused of disloyalty in 1779 during Rev. War. Agrees to kill wolves for govt. in 1785. Dies between 1785 and 1800 in Montgomery Co. VA- in a fight or duel.
Benjamin Anderson: April 16, 1747 in Virginia, Russell Parish, Lunenburg Co. (Later becomes Bedford Co.) Marries Mary Blackburn. Fought in Rev. War 1777-1779. Died in 1823 in Dandridge, Jefferson Co. Tennessee
Around 1747, itchy feet and a promotion to settle new territory, led our forefather John (1706/08), who from now on we will refer to as John 1, to pack up his family with Mary and move south to the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 300 miles south of Donegal. Travel would have been through the famed Shenandoah Valley. On today’s map that first Virginia land they (John 1 and son Robert) claimed is near Wytheville (1020 acres on Black Buffalo Lick and then land on Reed Creek). John 1 served as Constable in the Reed Creek area and was appointed as Surveyor for Augusta County. John helped survey the land and build roads in the territory. Records show that John qualified as an Ensign in Augusta County in 1752, and his son Robert was a Lieutenant for the Virginia Militia.
This land was virgin land for European settlers and the Native Americans were probably not very happy to have these settlers move in, even though a treaty had been signed between the Six Nations and the Colonies of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania in 1744. Conflicts between the Indians and the settlers led to numerous deaths, one of those being James, son of John 1, in 1755. France and England were also at odds over colonial issues and began fighting each other in the Seven Years War (1756 to 1763). French and Indians attacked the frontier settlements at Reed Creek, New River, and the Roanoke River (all around John McFarland’s land). The British and local militias were not able to protect these outlying places, so John McFarland’s family, along with many others, moved to the safer, more settled areas in Bedford County.
In 1763, he purchased land on the Otter River and over the next few years sold all of his land in present-day Wythe Co. to his sons and others, while buying more land in Bedford Co. Tax lists and deeds from the time also show that John owned slaves and sold some to his son Benjamin along with land in 1777. The pride that comes with having ancestors that helped settle America has to be tempered with the knowledge that they prospered at the expense of Native Americans and with the aid of African slaves who had no choice in the matter.
Mary died in 1782 in Bedford Co., Virginia and husband John 1 died around 1784/5.
(The source for a good portion of the section above is Stitches in Time: The Myth of Sir John Macfarlane by an Oklahoma relative James A. McFarland. This is an excellent manuscript that I highly recommend.)
John McFarland (2): born 1739 in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. Came with his father to Virginia in 1747 at age eight. At age 18 he served in the Virginia militia as John McFarlin-7th Company, Virginia Regiment-July, 1757 under Capt. John Lewis. He married Mary Kinder around 1763 (b. ca. 1742 in Bedford Co. VA, from the household of Peter Kinder, a neighbor) and had 13 children. The family moved to the State of Franklin between 1784 and 86. Had a land grant on the Nolachucky River. This area becomes Greene Co., then Jefferson Co. Tennessee. The family moves again around 1795 to North Carolina, Buncombe Co. In 1809, Buncombe Co. becomes Haywood Co.
John (3): Feb. 28, 1764 in Bedford Co., VA.- married Rebecca Bell.
Mary: Feb. 28, 1764 (twin of John)-(called Polly), married Sam Montgomery
Rachel: 1766 in Bedford Co., VA. Married John Ward
Benjamin: 1767 in Bedford Co., VA. Married Ruth Buchanan Jack-move to Adair Co. Kentucky. Died 1859 in Russell Co. Kentucky
George: 1769 in Bedford Co., VA. Married 1. Sally Jack, 2. Nancy Golden. Died in 1837 in Knox Co. Kentucky
Jacob: 1772, Feb. 21. in Montgomery Co., VA. Married 1. Elizabeth Webb, 2. Nancy Cathey. Children born in Buncombe Co. Died in 1846 in Cooper-Moniteau, Missouri.
James Ray: 1773, Dec. 20. in Montgomery Co. Va. Married Frances Webb in 1793. Eleven children born in Buncombe Co. One of those, Benjamin Franklin, b. March 5, 1807 in Buncombe, died March 20, 1885 in Grayson, Co. Texas.
William: 1775 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Susannah George in 1798. Had 9 children-half in Buncombe Co., half in Missouri. Died in 1834 in North Carolina
Reuben A.: 1778 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Martha Campbell. Child Reuben b. 1810 marries Mary Catherine Pettit. Died in 1867 in St. Francois, Missouri
David: 1780 in Montgomery Co., VA.
Catherine: 1782 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married a Cain.
Jesse: 1784 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Isabella Boyd. Died 1826 in Missouri
Anna: 1786 in State of Franklin (Greene Co., later Jefferson Co., Tennessee). Married George Cathey. Died in Bates Co. Missouri
John McFarland 2 spent some very busy years between the Seven Years War and the Revolutionary War creating a family. After marrying Mary Kinder in 1762/3 in Bedford Co., they settle there and have their first children, twins John and Mary on February 28, 1764. As you can see above, eleven more followed during the next 22 years. Assuming that all these children belong to our John and his wife Mary, she would have been around 44 years old when her last child Anna was born in 1786. If it is true, then Mary Kinder McFarland deserves the “Mother of the Century” award!
Looking at the birth dates of John 2’s children, it becomes obvious why he did not actively serve during the Revolutionary War. In 1776 John 2 was 39 years old with 8 children under the age of 12 living at home. James A. McFarland told me that the D.A.R. considers John 1 as a “Patriot” who furnished food for the Continental Army (he was 70 years old when it started). And he was able to show that John 2 was in the Militia in Montgomery Co., VA during the war and that qualified membership for the D.A.R.
However, several McFarlands from this family group did actively serve. They are: Benjamin Anderson McFarland (John 2’s brother-He was a Private in the 3rd VA Regiment serving from Sept. 1777 to Dec. 1779), and Robert McFarland (John 2’s nephew, son of brother Robert and Martha-was a Lieutenant and Captain in the North Carolina militia).
Not every McFarland was happy with the war. John 2’s brother Joseph (born 1745) seems to have favored the British, or at least not favored going to war, because he was put on trial for treason in 1779. He seems to have made an agreement with the Virginia government to use his skill at arms during the conflict for no purpose other than killing wolves to protect livestock in the county. Joseph would have been an interesting person to know more about, besides being against the war, he was killed in an argument or duel by a Doak around 1785-1800 in Bedford Co.
By 1787, and possibly a year or two earlier, John 2 packed up his family and moved about 200 miles away to present-day eastern Tennessee. He had been speculating in land there as early as 1784. In 1784, the area briefly existed as the State of Franklin, County of Caswell. This had been the far reaches of North Carolina, and in 1784 North Carolina ceded its western territory to the federal government. The inhabitants of the three counties elected John Sevier (for you Hill relatives, he was a close friend and commander to Nathaniel Evans, the grandfather of Sevier Evans-Amanda Meredith Hill’s first husband) as governor of Franklin. In 1796 Franklin ceased to exist, and was made part of Tennessee and North Carolina again. Sevier went on to become Tennessee’s first governor.
The McFarlands settled on the Nolachucky River, which is across the Appalachian Mts., today Cocke Co. Tennessee. All the birth records of the next generation will list Greene County and then Jefferson County-but they are the same location, just changed names. Other McFarlands lived in the area. William McFarland is a close neighbor and Joseph McFarland receives a grant on the Nolachucky River also. Robert McFarland, John 2’s nephew, also moved there a few years later. After only being in Tennessee for around 9 years, the McFarlands move again in 1795-96 to North Carolina This time the move is only about 50 miles away, and is the only time the McFarlands moved east.
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