William USSERY and Sarah ‘Bays’

William Ussery was the son of WILLIAM USSERY and Minerva Judith MAYES. Some think his birthplace was present day Lunenburg Co., VA.

There is a mystery about William’s wife, Sarah “Bays”. No one, at least to my knowledge, has been able to prove that her last name was indeed Bays. She has been identified as such for years, and no doubt, will continue to be. For the sake of reducing confusion, Sarah Bays will remain named as she is and hopefully another researcher will be successful in solving the mystery. It is believed that Sarah was born in Halifax Co., VA. and died in Giles Co., TN.

William Ussery’s residence in Anson County was about a mile south of the old Flora McDonald place on Cheek's Creek. His brother, John Ussery lived on the south side of the creek near him. Flora McDonald is famous in Scottish literature and song for her heroics in hiding Bonnie Prince Charles Edward of the House of Stuart during his time of need. She narrowly escaped Scotland and made her new home in the Highland Scot community in North Carolina. She and her husband, Col. Alan MacDonald lived in Montgomery County from 1774-79. They fled America after her husband and John McLeod recruited two companies of Scot Highlanders to fight for the Crown during the Revolution.

· ANSON CO., NC- Deed Book H page 40, July 30, 1767. John Ashley of Craven Co., to John Robertson of Anson, 100 acres N. of Cheek’s Creek- Wt: Thomas Ussery, Luke Robinson and William USSERY.

· ANSON CO., NC - Petition from Anson County in 1777 for dividing County. Among signers John USSERY, Thomas USSERY, Peter USSERY, and William USSERY. In 1770 William USSERY, SR., his sons Welcome and Thomas Ussery, and his brother John Ussery , signed a petition to the Governor, Council and Assembly by Inhabitants of Anson County against the court at Salisbury, saying that they spent of necessity much gold and silver there which finds its way to Virginia and South Carolina from the Province of North Carolina; asks that a court at Campbellton be established for Anson, Orange and Cumberland Counties.”

All of these men were very active in the growth of Anson County, and directed those same energies toward developing the new county of Montgomery which was formed from Anson in 1779. In 1777, they, along with hundreds of others, sent a petition to the Governor requesting the county line of Anson be redrawn, or to relocate the courthouse. The PeeDee River was dividing the county making it very difficult to the inhabitants to travel to the courthouse.

In 1785, William and Sarah entered into an indenture agreement with Charles Robinson purchasing land from him.

This indenture made this eighteenth day of June and in the year 1785 between William Ussery, planter and Sarah his wife of the county of Montgomery in the state of North Carolina of the one part and Charles Robinson of the other part witnesseth that the said William Ussery and Sarah Ussery his wife for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred pounds specie to them in hand paid by the said Charles Robinson before the......... two hundred and fifty acres of land lying and being in the county of Richmond in the state of North Carolina being part of two tracts of land granted by letters patent to William Ussery , Dec'd, the father of him the above William Ussery and descended to him as heir at law. The first to be one half a two hundred acre tract on the north east of Little River on the drafts of Cheek's Creek and beginning at the south corner of the south line at a stake and white oak.....to be the one half of a tract of.......three hundred acres being in the county aforesaid......and Cheek's Creek east of Little River beginning at a pine.......Luke Robertson (Robinson) corner.....crossing the tract then north...............to the beginning for 150 acres of line crossing the tract then north...........to the beginning for 150 acres of line...........

..Witnesses: Peter Ussery/ Thomas Ussery
Signed: William Ussery Sarah (her mark)

Richmond County Court, Oct 1787, Deed Book B, pp 188-189

Deed Book B pg 188 Richmond Co. NC dated March 5 1787, Sold Two tracts of land East side of Little River, south of Cheeks Creek,"patented by my father William Ussery, patent May 4 1769 and since fallen to the said William Ussery (wife Sarah Bays) as heir at law." They were selling two tracts of land to their son Peter.

This indenture made this fifth day of March in the year of our Lord 1787 between William Ussery and Sarah his wife of Richmond County and state of North Carolina planters and Peter Ussery of the county and state aforesaid planter of the other part witnesseth that hethersaid William Ussery and Sarah his wife for and in consideration of two hundred pounds specie to him in hand paid him by the said Peter Ussery the Reseptes payment whereof is hereby fully acknowledged hath granted bargained Sold assigned enfeoff conveyed and confirmed unto the said PETER USSERY his HARES or asighns forever two certaine tractes as perseles of land situated lying and being in the county of Richmond and State aforsaid on the Eastern side of Little River and on the south side of Cheeks Creek. THE FIRST IS A TRACT OF LAND [pat. # 47] that was granted unto William Ussery, Sen. by his majesty's latter paton baring date May 4, 1769. and since has fell to the said WILLIAM USSERY as heir at law and begining at a hickray and runs thence south 22 chains 36 links thence Et 44 chains and 73 links thence N 22 chains and 36 links thence W 44 chains and 73 links to the Beginning for one hundred acours of land. THE SECOND TRACT [pat. # 2576] WAS GRANTED TO WILLIAM USSERY desct by his Majesteys later pattion baring date sence the above date and absended to the said WILLIAM USSERY as heir at law Beginning on Charles Robertsons second corner and turns thence south 22 chains and ? (could be 91) links thence No 84 Et 74 chains and 10 links thence No 40 Wt 27 chains and 65 links thence south 84 Wt 56 chains and 52 links to the beginning containing 150 acours situated laying and being as aforsaid to have and to hold the Sd two tracts of land together with those appertenances with those improvements to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Peter Ussery his heirs and sighnes for ever and the said WILLIAM USSERY and SARAH his wife for themselves their Heirs Executors and aministrators Doth hereby covenant and agree to and with the said PETER USSERY his heirs and assignees shall and may forever hereafter have hold possession and Reasonably Enjoy the aforesaid granted land and premises without threat of Molestation any person or persons whatsoever and the said WILLIAM USSERY and SARAH his wife doath heare by oblige themselves their Hares Executors administratours to warant and four ever defend these lands and premises unto him the sd PETER USSERY his hares and assighnes for Ever against all Lawfull claime or clames of any persones whatsoever and to be clear of all maner of incombarences in Witness whare of the sd WILLIAM USSERY and SARAY his wife has heare unto set thare hands and seles the day and yeare first above written.

William Ussery
Sarah (her mark) Ussery

Witnesses: Sollomon X hismark Sproles
John Robertson
Luke X his mark Robinson

Richmond County and Court 1787. Then the within deed was duly improved in open Court by the Oath of John Robertson ordered to be registered. Wm. Love / Clerk

In 1788, Welcome, Peter , David Ussery and James Ussery , as well as brother-in-law Isaac Armstrong, petitioned the General Assembly to allow part of the inhabitants of Montgomery county to be annexed by the neighboring county of Richmond. It seems that many of Montgomery’s citizens were having to travel some forty miles, as well as cross the PeeDee River which was sometimes impassable, in order to travel to court. They asked that the land be annexed from Coleson’s ferry landing on PeeDee river direct to the head of Drowning Creek and all that part of Montgomery county east of said line. On Nov 10, 1788 the House of Commons passed a bill allowing Richmond County to annex that portion of Montgomery. JAMES USSERY was chosen as one of the Commissioners to run the dividing line.

Children of William USSERY and Sarah Bays

Christina Ussery and Luke Robinson

Source: Anne G. Tindall, PO Box 356, Laurel Hill, NC 28351-0356, 910 462-2943. email: agt@nconline.com.
Please contact Anne or Jean McCullough LJM39@aol.com if you have any info on this Robinson family.

Christina/Christian Ussery was born in Lunenburg Co., VA. or Montgomery Co, NC. Her father was William Ussery

She died before 1785. Her husband was Luke Robinson. In the 1782 Tax list of Montgomery Co, NC, Luke was listed as an invalid with 1117 acres and 1 slave . He was also listed on the 1779 Voter list of Montgomery Co., NC. Luke had the following known deed transactions:

They had the following children:

  1. Obedience Robinson mar. Nelson Gibson b abt 1757 d. 1824. Ch: Agnes, Divinity, Stafford and Cornelius
  2. John Robinson
  3. Thomas Robinson
  4. Leggett Robinson
  5. Christian Robinson mar. Josiah Chambers ch Alethia who mar. Shadrack Denson
  6. Sally Robinson
  7. Mary Robinson
  8. William Robinson

** Christian and Josiah moved through TN in the early 1800's, into Mississippi Territory (Washington Co) where Christian probably died. Eventually, they settled around the Leake/Rankin/Scott, MS area where Josiah died about 1827. At least three of their sons left MS after 1850 and went to Texas.

Luke married a second time to Obedience Adams, widow of William Adams.
"March 1785 Richmond Co Court Minutes: "Luke Robeson and Obedience his wife late the relict of Wm. Adams, Deceased came into Court and Prayed letters of Administration and was granted to the Court and gave Solomon Gross and Richard Leveret Bail for their perform and in the Sum of Seven Hundred Pounds."

Luke Robinson's Will was signed Sept 7 1812 and recorded Marlboro Co., SC Dec 25, 1812; loc. Apt.No. 8, pkg No 16,probate judge office, Bennettsville, SC.

WILL OF LUKE ROBESON Marlboro Co.. S.C.; Probate Judge Off.; Apartment No. 8; Package No. 16; Recorded Dec. 25, 1812; Written (Signed) Sept. 07, 1812

In the Name of God Amen.

I Luke Robeson of Marlborough District in the State of South Carolina planter being sick and weak of body, but of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, thanks be given unto god for the same, do make and Ordain this my last will and Testament. That is to say, first I recommend my Soul into the hand of God who gave it, nothing doubting but at the resurrection I shall receive the same again through his might power and my body I recommend to the earth, to be buried in a Christian-like and decent manner, at the discretion of my executors, and touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give, dispose of the Same in the manner and form following that is to say,

First I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife Obediance Robeson One feather bed and furniture Two Cows and their calves and all my hogs, to be holden and used at her Own discretion, to her and her heirs forever, also I lend to her my said plantation and houses I now possess with all the profits and advantages thereunto appertaining during the time fo her widowhood.

Item I give and bequeath to my Son Jepthah Robeson at the time of the expiration of my wife's widowhood the plantation whereon I now live and all the lower part of my lands with all the profits and appertenancies thereunto belonging, which part is now divided off from the upper part by a line of new marked trees beginning at an old Corner pine Stump, on the woods Side of my Land; thence running a strait course across my land to the sasafrass Island cornering on a Maple, 3 chafs on my Creek line, the management ordering and disposing of the profits of which I and I leave in the care and power of my executors until the time of my said Jepthah Robeson shall arrive to the age of twenty five years and not for my said Son to have the power and disposal of the same until he shall arrive to the said age of twenty five years, but then to his and his heirs forever after my wifes enjoying the same during the time of her widowhood I also give to my said Son Jepthah my horse Cole to be fully posessed at the time of his coming of the age of twenty one years to him and his heirs forever and also one feather bed and furniture.

Item I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Robeson the remaining and upper part of my Lands with all and Singular the rights members heridaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to him and his heirs forever.

Item I give and bequeath unto each of my eight Children John Robeson, Thomas Robeson, Leggitt Robeson, Christian Chambers, William Robeson and Obediance Gibson and Sally Usery & Mary Usery the sum of five Shillings Sterling to be raised out of my present estate & paid to them by my executors. My will and desire is that my Executors should make sale of my Still, and out of the money arising from the sale thereof pay all my Just debts, and that they divide the Overplus of the same equally Amongst my three sons, William, Samuel & Jepthah Robeson And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint My Trusty & well beloved friends & Step sons William Adams, John Adams and Shockly Adams, Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking and making void all former and other Wills and testaments at any time heretofore by me made, and ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament in Witness thereof I the said Luke Robeson have hereunto set My hand and Seal this Seventh day of September in the Year of Our Lord on thousand eight hundred and Twelve.

Signed Sealed published pronounced and declared By the said Luke Robeson to be his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who at this request and in his presence have hereunto subscribed our names as witness.

Luke X Robeson

___________ Recorded in Will Book A;Page 90. Recorded Dec. 25th 1812, Case 1 Box 8
Wm Easterling Ordy MD
The words & Mary Stacy erased was enterlined before signed. Wiliam Bennett , Henry Beverly, Thomas Laster

Rhoda Ussery and John Gross

Rhoda Ussery was born about 1774, possibly in Montgomery Co, NC to William Ussery. It is believed she died in Screven Co., GA. Her husband was John Gross. He was born about 1766 Anson Co., NC to Solomon Gross and Mary Irwin. He died before 1820. Rhoda and John had the following children:

  1. John Gross b: Screven Co., GA mar. Mary Ann
  2. William Ussery Gross
  3. Mary Gross
  4. Barsheba (or Bathsheba) Gross b: Screven Co., GA mar. Solomon Kemp

Mary (Polly) Ussery and Solomon Gross

Mary Ussery was born to William Ussery and Sarah Bayes. It is believed she was born around 1767 and died in Warren Co., GA. What is known about Mary is very little, and has been gleaned from the activities of her husband, Solomon Gross. I have no information about children born to this couple, if there were indeed any.

Solomon was born in 1735 and to Edmund Gross and Sarah Childress, and died in 1810 in Screven Co., GA. He was married three times, but in what order is unclear. I believe he married Mary Ussery last. One of his wives was Mary Covington. In 1764 he married Mary Irvin, by whom he had the following children:

  1. Edmund Gross b: Abt. 1774 d: Jun 1831 Screven Co., GA mar. Betsy and Sarah Freeman
  2. Elizabeth Gross b: 1768 d: 1851 or 1835 mar. William Brannen
  3. Solomon Gross b: 1769 d: 1843 Jasper Co., GA? mar. Sarah Leverette b: 1775
  4. John Gross b: Abt. 1766 Anson Co., NC d: Bef. 1820 mar. Rhoda Ussery
  5. William H. Gross b: Abt. 1780 Montgomery Co., NC d: 1830 Screven Co., GA mar. Jane and Harriett Burns

Records indicate that the Gross family was divided during the Revolution and that JARED ELISON GROSS, a patriot, moved to Lincoln Co., GA and changed his name to GROCE. His son, JARED ELLISON GROCE III was one of "The 300" of Stephen F. Austin's colony in Texas, ; 1st planter of cotton on Brazos River.; wealthy and influential. (History of Grimes Co., Texas by Blair, 76-80; SW Quart. XX, 358-368. "JARED ELLISON GROCE" by Ross Groce Berleth.

In Anson, Solomon Gross was a Loyalist. During the mid 1700's, he was very active in his community of Anson County, NC as the following reveals:

20 Jany 1775: Sale of est Henry Chambers. Buyers: Solomon Gross, Wm. Ussery, Thomas Ussery, etc.

Abstracts of Deeds:

Abstracts of County Court Minutes, 1771-1777

Listed on the Montgomery Co., NC Voter List for 1779 (Box 178 of the NC Legislative Papers, 1800 Session) is Mr. Solomon Gross ...his number of Tickets 223. The rest of the list is compiled of freemen over the age of twenty-one years who possessed freeholds of fifty acres or an equivalent in other property.

The following letter was published in the N.C. Gen. Soc. Journal in May 1984, pg. 115, which had been written by a descendant of Solomon:

"The latest issue on p.44 (NCGSJ, Feb 84)...(shows) the abstract by Miles Philbeck on the first election on March 10 and 11, 1779 in the newly created Montgomery County. This election was for 2 seats in the House of Commons for 1779. Montgomery was created on Feb 6, 1779 from Anson County. John Kimbrough and Solomon Gross were elected...Solomon Gross was my grt-grt-grt grandather, he first appears on Anson records in Feb 1767. He was a Regulator and led the riot at Anson Courthouse of 500 angry men in April 1768, soon after Solomon headed a list of 99 names on a petition to Gov. Tryon asking for pardons...Tryon pardoned all but Solomon. Appears that Solomon and 3 other brothers came to Anson from Newcastle, England. Joshua and John Gross were on the list of qualified voters..All 4 brothers settled near Little River and the village of Peking, 1775...the famous Flora McDonald settled in this area. Solomon raised 4 sons and 1 daughter, all moved to Screven County, GA by 1791. I am a native of Screven County. Joshua was in Oglethrope County, GA, in 1805. John Kimbrought in the election of 1780 was elected to the Senate for Montgomery but resigned a few months later...There are some rumors..that John Kimbrough formed an Army of Tories and started an uprising but was defeated by the Rebel militia of Montgomery and Anson...I have a document from the N.C. Archives that shows Solomon Gross awarded 165 pounds of NC paper money for his services in 1782...I believe this was for his service in September and October 1781 in Gen. Griffith Rutherford's Campaign against the Tories known as the Raft Swamp Campaign, but I have no proof at all...Gen Rutherford recruited in the area and spent about 2 weeks training his 1200 men army at Drowning Creek in Montgomery County before marching down to the Raft Swamp and almost to Wilmington severely destroying the Tories who were at war with the Rebels in that area in 1781 when Cornwallis left NC for VA. I have a number of documents about Solomon's activities in NC and GA"

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