From the files of Stephen M. Lawson

Samuel Biggerstaff and Elizabeth Moore

Benjamin Biggerstaff and Mary Vanzant

Elizabeth Biggerstaff and Daniel McGaughey

James Withrow McGaughey and Elizabeth O. Megahey

Mary McGaughey and John H. Carpenter

Susanna Carpenter and George Romulus Freeman

Aretus Erastus Freeman and Minnie Elsie Morey

Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson

Stephen Martin Lawson

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Samuel and Elizabeth (Moore) Biggerstaff

Samuel BIGGERSTAFF - b. 1720; d. Nov. 8-19, 1764, Rutherford Co., NC. A weaver by trade who arrived in Philadelphia, PA about 1740. Will dated Nov. 8, 1764 names wife and three sons. Married Nov. 10, 1741 at Conococheaque, MD, by Rev. Johann Casper Stoever, Lutheran Minister of York, PA.

Franklin's Gazette

Darby, August 18, 1740


Aged 20 Years, 5 Foot 6 Inches and 3 quarters high without Shoes, brown Complexion, well-fet, by Trade a Weaver, had on a light colour'd cut Fustian Jacket and Breeches, a good Hat and Cap, &c. and Englishman.

Whosoever secures any of the said Deserters, and brings them to their Commanding Officer, at Darby, shall have Forty Shillings Reward paid for each; and all Persons are to take Notice not to entertain or conceal them, on the Penalties inflicted in the Act against Mutiny and Desertion.

Elizabeth MOORE - b. about 1723; d. about 1788, Rutherford Co., NC. On Dec. 2, 1773, Elizabeth, widow, deeded to son Benjamin her "land on the first large creek above the Indian path on the north side of second Broad River including the first large meadow below and joining the mountain, 100A." She signed with her mark, witnessed by John BEEMAN and Aaron BIGGERSTAFF. Daughter of Benjamin MOORE.

Children of Samuel and Elizabeth Biggerstaff

  1. Aaron - b. about 1742; d. October 1780. Moved to KY sometime after 1776. Married in 1764 to Mary (d. Mar. 1806). Children: Benjamin did not marry; Elizabeth married James SHEPHERD; Thomas married second Nancy VUCEL; Mary married Nicholas PHELPS; Samuel married Patsy BILLINGS; John married Elizabeth WILKINS; Susanna married Alexander WHITTAKER; and Nancy married Moses ATHERTON.
  2. Samuel - b. about 1743; will proved Nov. 28, 1825, KY. Moved to KY sometime after 1776. Married first Martha LITTELL (d. about 1819), and second Mrs. Mary MAYS. Children of Samuel and Martha BIGGERSTAFF: Samuel Lytle married Araminta WILLOUGHBY; Cornwallis; Moses married Sally Ann MOORE; William Paul married Nancy BLACK; David married Elizabeth Frances TRICE; Aaron married Henrietta MOORE; Hiram married Mary 'Polly' WATTS; Benjamin married Elizabeth HICKLIN; and Judge John Jefferson married first Lovina or Rebecca JACKSON, and second Zilphia LAINHART.
  3. Benjamin - b. about 1744; d. Feb. 1, 1782.
  4. Martha - b. about 1745. Married first about 1778 John MORGAN (d. 1783), and second about 1795 William JENNINGS. Son of Martha and John: John.
  5. Molly - b. about 1746; d. 1800-1810. Unmarried. Son: Elias BIGGERSTAFF, son of Samuel MCFADDEN, changed name to MCFADDEN in Apr. 1796 court.

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Benjamin and Mary (VanZant) Biggerstaff

Benjamin BIGGERSTAFF - b. about 1744; d. Feb. 1, 1782, Rutherford Co., NC. Son of Samuel BIGGERSTAFF and Elizabeth MOORE. Was a constable 1770-1773 in Rutherford Co., NC. Served in Revolution on American side in attempt to relieve Charleston, and was captured by British. Appears to have joined with the British in Dec. 1781 shortly before his death. Once source reports that Benjamin and Mary were married in Anson Co., NC in 1764.

Mary VANZANT - b. Dec. 17, 1746, PA; d. about 1816, NC. Daughter of Garrett VANZANT and Mary. For unknown reasons, the children of Mary were place under Court appointed guardians in the Oct. 1787 Court. Extensive court records have reference to Mary. BIGGERSTAFF Third Edition 1988, by Ralph Biggerstaff provides many details and the following summary:

In Mary Vanzant Biggerstaff Whitecar McGaughey we have the picture of an energetic pioneer woman perfectly capable of taking care of herself in what was then a man's world. She outwits the vultures who got rich after the war by filing false information against their personal enemies in order to get their property confiscated and got her husband's property safely in her own hands. She filed for additional land grants. When most of the provender for the men who fought the war was taken as found from either friend or foe, she apparently gets a good settlement from the government after the war. She walks a tight rope in her dealings with Tories and Patriots and comes out unscathed. She uses whichever name she chooses and which is most practical in her dealings with 'City Hall'. It is only logical to conclude that her second and third marriages were for some special purpose. She is in and out of court for over thirty years and either won out or stalled until she was overlooked. The one great puzzle in her life story is why the Court took her children away and placed them under Court appointed guardians.

Mary married second about 1783 James WHITECAR, and third Oct. 3, 1786 John MCGAUGHEY (d. by Oct. 1810).

Children of Benjamin and Mary Biggerstaff

  1. Elizabeth - b. about 1766, NC; d. 1850-1859. Married Daniel MCGAUGHEY.
  2. Rebecca - b. about 1769. Under guardianship of Daniel MCGAUGHEY 1787. Unmarried. in 1850 she was living in Rutherfordton with niece Leviney BIGGERSTAFF and the family of Benjamin HAMILTON, son of Leviney.
  3. James Benjamin - b. about 1771. Under guardianship of John MCKINNEY. Married about 1792, but wife's name is unknown. Children: Leviney did not marry; Aaron married Ellen Judith BEATTY; Elizabeth did not marry; Moses married Elizabeth NICKERSON; Kincheon married Marilla DENTON; a son; a daughter; a son; and John married.
  4. Samuel - b. Feb. 15, 1774; d. Feb. 11, 1850. Under guardianship of John MCKINNEY 1787. Married Feb. 12, 1805 or 1806 (bond) Sarah EAKINS (b. Dec. 17, 1778; d. Jul. 17, 1862), daughter of Joseph EAKINS and Isabella WALKUP. The Dec. 24, 1824 will of Joseph EAKINS names "daughter Sally Biggerstaff," and "Samuel Biggerstaff, sons Benjamin & Joseph." Children: Benjamin married first Jane GOFORTH, and second Nancy Louisa VICKERS; Joseph married Mary Elizabeth BABER; Mary died young; Samuel married Nancy Matilda BABER; Isabella died young; and Aaron married Mildred Ann BABER.
  5. Susanna - b. about 1777. Under guardianship of John MCKINNEY. Unmarried. Daughter Elizabeth 'Betsey' BIGGERSTAFF married Jacob DAVIS. Susanna possibly had other children.
  6. Aaron - b. May 31, 1780. Under guardianship of John MCKINNEY. Married first Jul. 5, 1800 (bond) Jane CARTER (b. 1774-1784; d. about 1816), and second about 1821 Martha (b. 1781). Children of Aaron and Jane: Luranah married John HUTCHINS; Noah married Letitia PRICE; Sarah married Henry BRENDLE; Nancy married Thomas WALKER; Aaron married first Amanda PORTER, and second Margaret GOLD; Benjamin B. married Mary 'Polly' MAUNEY; and Jane married James H. MELTON. Son of Aaron and Martha: Samuel P. married Nancy TONEY.

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Modified: 2/6/03