THE GILLESPIE FAMILY
By Gladys Wheeler Farris
The Gillespie ancestry may be traced to Rev Andrew Simson who was born in Scotland in . He married Violet Adamson, sister to the Archbishop of St Andrews. One of their sons, Patrick, became a Presbyterian minister. Rev Patrick Simon, 1556-1618, married Martha Baron. One of their daughters, Lilias, born about 1580, married Rev John Gillespie, 1580-1627. He was ordained to Alva, 18th July 1603. Their children: John, George, Patrick, William, Janet, Lilias, Christian and Mary. John became captain in the army. Patrick born about 1616, became Principal of Glasgow University. He was also known to be a friend of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Proctor of Great Britain from 1653-1658.
Rev George Gillespie (1613-1648), married Margaret Murray. Their children were: Rev Robert. George, Archibald and Elizabeth. Before his death at the age of 35, he became quite prominent in the Scottish Presbyterian Church. His portrait is preserved in a stained glass window of the church in Edinburgh to commemorate his church work.
George Gillespie (1644-1722), immigrated to America, settled in Cecil Co., MD and married the daughter of John Garner. Issue: Patrick, Rev George, Robert, Allan, James, Ellen and Sarah.
Patrick Gillespie, died 1747, married Ann, daughter of Daniel Dennison, and raised his family in Frederick Co., VA. Issue: William, John, Daniel, Jane and Sarah.
Daniel Gillespie (1743-1829) married Margaret Hall. Issue: Daniel, Rev John, James Smiley, Nancy, Ann, Robert, Patrick and thankful. Later, along with is brother John, Daniel, moved to North Carolina. Daniel became a colonel during the Revolutionary War and fought with George Washington at Valley Forge. He was one of the first settlers of Guilford Co., NC and one of the founders of Greensboro. He served in both Houses of the Legislature of North Carolina for Guilford Co., when North Carolina was a colony and later when North Carolina became one of the States. He helped write the Constitution of North Carolina and was a member of the Assembly that ratified the United States Constitution for the State of North Carolina. His remains rest in the Old Buffalo Presbyterian Churchyard just north of Greensboro, NC.
James Smiley Gillespie 91771-1859), the third son of Col Daniel and Margaret, married 19 June 1791, Hannah Denny, daughter of James Denny who was born in Ireland in 1715. James Smiley and Hannah came to the Versailles Community shortly after their marriage to take care of the land which his father had acquired as Revolutionary War Grants. In the early 1800's Rutherford Co. Tax records show James Smiley Gillespie as the largest tax payer in Rutherford Co. He and Hannah had five children: John William, Robert, Thomas, Nancy and Margaret.
John William Gillespie (1798-1892) married Parmelia Cheatham, born 1793, the daughter of Dr William Cheatham. Their children were: William Cheatham Gillespie, Phebe Ann Gillespie, and Nancy D Gillespie. John William carried on his father's love for tending the soil and also had the time to operate a blacksmith shop at Versailles. At the age of 14 years he marched with General Andrew Jackson to New Orleans.
Nancy D Gillespie (19 May 1829-29 April 1885) married 26 Feb 1846, Robert Drury King (13 Nov 1824-1 Oct 1903) , the son of Rev John and Rebecca Upshaw King and the nephew of the Rev Samuel King, one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1810. Nancy and Robert had seven children: Nealus Brown King, Lyvonia King, Joseph King, Kenneth R King, Virginia D King, Euphamie King, and Phoebe Ann King.
Phoebe Ann King (1 March 1865-7 Sept 1938) married 26 16 Feb 1886, James Thomas Davis. The couple lived hear Versailles all their lives and had four children: Margaret Elizabeth Davis, James Ivie Davis, Effie Frances Davis and Robert Lee Davis.
Effie Frances Davis (27 July 1895-24 July 1921) married Amos McKinley Wheeler (b. 19 Sept 1901) They had two children: Gladys Ann Wheeler and Ruby Elisabeth Wheeler.
Gladys Ann Wheeler (17 March 1923-_____) married 20 April 1946, Limeul Fount Farris. They have two children: Shirley Frances Farris and Deborah Elizabeth Farris. (See Farris family.)
Ref: The University of Glasgow; The Dictionary of National Biography, by George Smith; From the Earliest Times to 1900 written by Gladys Wheeler; Scotts Ancestry Research Society of Edinburgh, Scotland; Lost Tribes of North Carolina by Ray; Founders and Builders of Greensboro by Caldwell; Williamson and Rutherford Cos., TN records; Family Bible records; History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People by Rankin.