FREEMAN

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson


                    * Freeman Ancestry Note *

John Freeman and Mary William Freeman and John Freeman and Mary
 Elizabeth Bridges Bridges Freeman and Elizabeth Thomas Freeman and Mary Howell Freeman and Elizabeth Peter Freeman and Faithy William R. Freeman and John Freeman and
Mary Massie Barbara Painter James Howell Freeman and Wilkerson Bell Freeman and
Lucy Jane Hazelrigg Lucilla Margaret Wallace Scott Cyrus Freeman and George Romulus Freeman and
Malinda Margrett Sears Susanna Carpenter Lucy Jane Freeman and Aretus Erastus Freeman and
James Martin Lawson Minnie Elsie Morey Donald VanHoosier Lawson and Iva Melvina Freeman Stephen Martin Lawson

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Freeman Ancestry Note

The ancestry of John FREEMAN of Surry Co., VA is unknown. One suggestion is that John FREEMAN was the son of James and Mary FREEMAN of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co., VA, and grandson of Lt. Col. Bridges and Bridget FREEMAN of Oxfordshire, England and James City Co., VA, as found in Freeman Forebears, by Garland Evans Hopkins (monograph about 1942/3), edited by Virginia Lee Freeman Taylor & Robert Brant Taylor (Arlington, TX: August 12, 1995). Another suggestion is that John FREEMAN was the son of William FREEMAN (b. 1645, England), who arrived in America at age 11 from Bristol, England, indentured to John BARNES until Feb. 10, 1664, as researched by Marianne Freeman Miller. However, Mrs. Blankenship points out that the 1701 land patent of 300 acres by John FREEMAN was "for the trans. of John Freeman & Mary his wife & 4 rights paid for" (see publications list below).

Currently, the earliest documented ancestors are John FREEMAN, Sr. and his wife Mary. Some uncertainties remain concerning the families of John and Mary FREEMAN and of their children. Y-DNA analysis has confirmed the common ancestry of descendants of first cousins Bridges FREEMAN and Thomas FREEMAN, grandsons of John and Mary. In August 2006, Miles Philbeck published his article on the "Background of a Freeman Family," providing an analysis of the known documents concerning the Freeman family in Virginia, and continuation of the line into Rutherford County, NC through Peter Freeman, son of Thomas Freeman. Mr. Philbeck, long time editior of the Bulletin of the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon County, has conducted extensive research on the Freeman and related families of Rutherford County. The Freeman families of John Sr., John Jr., Thomas, and Peter as presented here are essentially constistent with Mr. Philbeck's research.

This compilation is an amalgamation of information from a number of publications and other sources, and, as usual, the compiler is fully responsible for any errors in the interpretation and blending of data from the various sources, including the following.


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John and Mary Freeman


John FREEMAN, Sr. - b. about 1665; d. Feb. 1725, Surry Co., VA. Parents unknown. John resided in Surry Co., VA in 1701 when he and wife Mary patented 300 acres on the south side of the Nottoway River "for the trans. of John Freeman & Mary his wife & 4 rights paid for." This land was sold to Nathaniel HARRISON in 1724. John patented an additional 300 acres on the south side of the Nottoway River on Dec. 16, 1714, which was deeded to his son William. John patented 431 acres on the north side of the Nottoway River on Apr. 1, 1717, selling 150 acres of the patent to his son Henry. Will dated Oct. 17, 1724, and proved Feb. 16, 1725. Married about 1685 in England. In addition to those listed, John and Mary likely had other children.

Mary - b. England; d. before Oct. 17, 1724, Surry Co., VA. Mary is not mentioned in her husband's will.


Children of John and Mary Freeman

  1. Henry - b. about 1686, England; d. 1755, Sussex Co., VA. Henry was of Surry Co., VA when he wrote his will in 1753, which was probated in Sussex Co., VA in Apr. 1755. In 1745, Henry patented 225 acres on the north side of the Nottoway River, Surry Co., VA. Married Prudence JONES, daughter of Arthur JONES. Children of Henry and Prudence FREEMAN: Arthur married Agnes STOKES; Josiah married Phoebe (STOKES) BELL; Henry married Amy GILLIAM; Jones married Rebekah; Amy married first Henry VanDYKE, and second Joseph BLANKS; Joel married Patty RICHARDSON.
  2. A daughter - b. about 1689, England. A daughter of John FREEMAN Sr. may have married Nathaniel HARRISON (based on place and date, Nathaniel HARRISON may have been of the Benjamin HARRISON families, ancestors of the Presidents HARRISON). Note that the 1701 patent was for a total of 6 transports, which may imply that John and Mary FREEMAN came with four children.
  3. John, Jr. -  b. about 1693, England.
  4. William - b. about 1694, England; d. 1761/2, Granville Co., NC.

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Son of John Freeman, Sr. and Mary

John and Mary Freeman

John FREEMAN, Jr. - b. about 1693, England; d. about Dec 1766, Brunswick Co., VA.  Son of John FREEMAN, Sr. and Mary. Patented 200 acres of land on the south side of the Nottoway River on Mar. 23, 1715, adjoining the land of Benjamin HARRISON, deceased. This 200 acres was sold by John FREEMAN, Jr. and wife Mary on Sep. 10, 1719. On Sep. 16, 1730, John FREEMAN and Nathaniel ROBERSON witnessed a deed with Nathaniel MALONE as grantor. Surry County Court cases in 1743 and 1745 identify Thomas FREEMAN as "son of John FREEMAN." In 1747, John FREEMAN sold 220 acres in Surry County to John FREEMAN, Jr. John FREEMAN purchased land in Brunswick County in 1747 and in 1753 he and Edward FREEMAN were there on the list of tithables. Between 1762 and 1764, Edward and Jesse FREEMAN received payment for the maintenance of their father, and on Dec. 22, 1766, Jesse received payment for the burial of his father. Married before Sep. 1719 and probably several years earlier, Surry Co., VA.

Mary
- Surname may have been MALONE of ECHOLLS. One descendant suggests she was the daughter of Edward ECHOLLS, whose land admoined that of John FREEMAN. In addition to four sons, John and Mary likely had other children.

Children of John and Mary Freeman

  1. John III -
  2. Thomas - b. about 1717, Surry Co., VA; d. aft 1763, Brunswick Co., VA.
  3. Jesse - d. after 1789. Jesse and his wife were of Brunswick Co., VA when they sold land on Jul. 25, 1770. Married Elizabeth.
  4. Edward - b. 1733, Surry Co., VA. d. after Mar. 1792. Edward appears on the Brunswick County tithables list in 1753. Edward served in the French and Indian War, enlisting under Col. Joshua LEWIS at Fredericksburg, VA on December 5, 1755, described as a planter, aged 22, 6' 1" tall. On Aug. 27, 1759, purchased 100 acres on the north side of the Meherin River from his father for very little money "and other good and sufficient causes." On Apr. 25, 1762, Edward FREEMAN and wife Sarah of Meherrin Parish, Brunswick Co., VA, sold 50 acres to Peter FREEMAN of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick Co., VA. And in June 1762, Edward FREEMAN and wife Sarah, sold one half of his 100 acre tract north of the Meherin River for 20 pounds to John ROBINSON. In 1764 Bridges and Elizabeth FREEMAN of NC sold land in Brunswick Co., VA which adjoined land of Edward FREEMAN, with Edward signing as a witness. Bridges FREEMAN was the son of William FREEMAN, who was brother of Edward's father. Edward was still living on Mar. 26, 1792, when he sold land to John BURWELL. Married Sarah, who died Jan.-Mar. 1792. Sarah was living Jan. 4, 1792, but is not mentioned in Edward's land sale of Mar. 26, 1792. She was possibly the daughter of William DUGGER and Martha, and sister of Benjamin DUGGER, all of Brunswick Co., VA. The children of Edward and Sarah, if any, have not been determined.


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Son of John Freeman, Sr. and Mary

William and Elizabeth (Bridges) Freeman

Due to the scarcity of records thus far located and an age difference of about 20 years between William and his wife, it is possible that there is an additional generation between John FREEMAN, Sr. and the William FREEMAN who married Elizabeth BRIDGES.

William FREEMAN - b. about 1694, England; d. 1761/2, Granville Co., NC. Son of John FREEMAN and Mary. William FREEMAN witnessed a deed in 1719 by mark between John and Mary FREEMAN and George CANE. He received 300 acres on the south side of the Nottoway River, Surry Co., VA from his father in May 1725 for 'love and affection.'  A resident of Granville Co., NC from about 1757. A deed from William and Elizabeth to "Henry Freeman his brother" indicates William was living in Feb. 1761, while a 1762 tax list indicates he was then deceased. Based on the estimated date of his marriage to Elizabeth, William may have had an earlier marriage. William married about 1732.

Elizabeth BRIDGES - b. about 1715, Surry Co., VA; d. after 1771, Bute (now Franklin) Co., NC. Daughter of William BRIDGES and Susannah. Elizabeth appears on a tax list in 1762 as head of the household, with Henry FREEMAN residing with her. The Bute Co., NC tax list of 1771 lists Elizabeth FREEMAN with sons Henry, John and Joseph, William FREEMAN with sons Robert and William, Edward FREEMAN and Bridges FREEMAN.


Children of William and Elizabeth Freeman

  1. Bridges - b. before 1734, probably in Surry Co., VA; d. after 1820, Limestone Co., AL.
  2. Anna - bap. Jan. 24, 1741/2, Albemarle Parish, Surry Co., VA. Godparents at christening were William MOSS, Susanna FREEMAN, and Anne SANDEFOUR.
  3. Mary - bap. Mar. 11, 1743/4, Albemarle Parish, Surry Co., VA. Godparents at christening were Thomas FREEMAN, Mary PORCH, and Susanna FREEMAN.
  4. Henry - bap. Jul. 28, 1748, Surry Co., VA. He took the oath of allegiance of the Bute County Committee of Safety in 1778. Possibly married the Chuby, a co-witness to sale of land by Bridges FREEMAN to Howell FREEMAN in 1784.
  5. John - Granted land in Bute Co., NC and took the oath of allegiance of the Bute County Committee of Safety in 1778. Married Ester. Children of John and Ester FREEMAN: Mary died as infant; Mary; Kesiah; and John.John - Granted land in Bute Co., NC and took the oath of allegiance of the Bute County Committee of Safety in 1778. Married Ester. Children of John and Ester FREEMAN: Mary died as infant; Mary; Kesiah; and John.
  6. Robert - d. 1775, Bute Co., NC. Married Mary.

    Research Note: Mrs. Mosher, in the reference cited above, also includes Joseph FREEMAN (b. about 1755; d. 1828, Wake Co., NC) as a son of William and Elizabeth. However, evidence presented by Wanda Freeman Ridge convincingly shows that this Joseph was the son of Edward FREEMAN (b. about 1730, Surry Co., VA; d. 1811, Franklin Co., NC), will dated Oct. 7, 1811, with estate sale on Dec. 19, 1811. Possibly married Elizabeth ROWLAND. Children of Edward FREEMAN: Joseph married Aggy FREEMAN; William; Sarah married William MASSEY; Henry married Mary; Daniel; Roland married Sealey TRUELOVE; Rebeckah married William REAVES; and Patience married David JONES.

    Y-DNA analysis has shown that Edward FREEMAN was not a descendant of the same FREEMAN ancestors as other descendants of William FREEMAN (abt 1694-1761/2) and his father John FREEMAN (abt 1665-1725). William FREEMAN, son of Capt. William FREEMAN and Lucretia EZELL, named "cousin Sealey FREEMAN" in his will. Therefore, Capt. William FREEMAN (abt 1730-abt 1800) is likely not a son of William FREEMAN (abt 1694-1761/2), although the "cousin" relationship between his son William and Sealy (TRUELOVE) FREEMAN may be through either the EZELL or TRULOVE family. Further Y-DNA analysis and research is needed concerning this family.


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While unproved, it is probable that Bridges FREEMAN was the son of William FREEMAN and father of Howell FREEMAN. Much of the material used to construct the family of Bridges FREEMAN is based on four decades of research by Bobbie Jo FREEMAN LANE PINSON and generously shared in Freeman Chronicles, Issue 1 (Garland, TX 1996).


Bridges and Elizabeth Freeman

Bridges FREEMAN - b. before 1734, probably in Surry Co., VA; d. after 1820, Limestone Co., AL. Probable son of William FREEMAN and Elizabeth BRIDGES. On Nov. 4th and 11th, 1749, Bridges FREEMAN was a witness to deeds for the sale of land by William BRIDGES in Surry Co., VA. Since law required that witnesses be 16 years of age, Bridges was born in or before 1733. On Dec. 18, 1751, Bridges purchased goods on account in Surry Co., VA. He was apparently unable to repay the account and other debts, resulting in several Sussex Co. (formed from Surry Co.) court orders in 1755 and 1756 in favor of his creditors. Bridges FREEMAN appears on the Insolvent List of those owing taxes to Sussex Co., VA in 1756. Bridges may have lived in Brunswick Co., VA for several years prior to recording a Patent for a land grant of 350 acres in that county on Mar. 25, 1762 in consideration of 35 shillings. He then coveryed the land to John PHILIPS for 30 pounds, and purchased 200 acres in Granville Co., NC on Apr. 3, 1762 from John MOONEY for 30 pounds. In addition to the name of Bridges FREEMAN, the names of his probable mother and brothers, Elizabeth, William, Henry and Joseph, appear on the 1762 tax list of Granville, Co., NC. In Feb. 1764, and deed was recorded in Brunswick Co., VA for the sale of 350 acres by Bridges FREEMAN and his wife, Elizabeth, of NC to John PHILIPS of VA, the actual sale of which appears to have occurred in Mar. 1762. Bridges witnessed deeds in Bute Co. (formed from Granville Co.) in 1764 and 1765, and appears on the Bute Co., NC tax lists of 1766, 1771, 1777, and 1778. On Nov. 13, 1770, "in the room & precinct of Bridges FREEMAN," he relinquished his office as Constable to the new Constable, John WILLIAMS. On Feb. 17, 1777, the 200 acres he had purchased from John MOONEY in 1762, now in Bute Co., was sold be Bridges to Jn. COOLEY, both being residents of Bute Co., NC. Bridges FREEMAN took the oath of allegiance of the Bute County Committee of Safety in 1778. On Sep. 20, 1779, a land grant deed of 620 acres to Bridges FREEMAN in Franklin Co. (formed from Bute Co.) was recorded. By Feb. 20, 1784, Bridges was a resident of Johnston Co., NC when he sold 125 acres of his 1779 Franklin Co. land grant to Howell FREEMAN, with witnesses Henry FREEMAN and Chuby FREEMAN (female). This deed, proved by Henry FREEMAN at the September Court 1784, reads as follows:

This indenture made this 20th day of February in the year of our Lord 1784 between Bridges Freeman of Johnston County and the State of North Carolina of the one part and Howell Freeman of the County and State aforesaid on the other part Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of fifty pounds apiece[?] to him in hand paid by the sd. Howell Freeman the Receipt whereof the said Bridges Freeman doth hereby acknowledge he hath given granted bargained & sold & by these presents doth give grant bargain sell deliver and Confirm to him the said Howell Freeman his heirs and assigns for ever, one certain Tract or parcel of Land Situate lying and being in the County of Franklin on the waters of Andrews Creek Containing a hundred and twenty five acres be the same more or less bounded as follows, beginning at a pine - Hartsfields corner thence East unto pine Mullinses line thence West to a post Oak near Cody path thence along the said path to post oak thence along a line of marked trees to Jakes path thence Jakes path to red oak thence North to Henry Freemans Corner thence west to a Spanish Oak thence South to a pine thence East to the first Station The priviledges & appurtenances To have hold use Occupy possess & enjoy all the above sold land with all the appurtencances thereunto belonging unto the said Howell Freeman his heirs & assigns ofr ever, against to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Howell Freeman his heirs and assigns for ever against the said Bridges Freeman his heirs or assigns and against the Claim of all other persons whatsoever shall & by these presents warrant and for ever defend In Witness whereof I have herunto set my hand and seal this day and year first above Written /s/ Bridges Freeman

Additional parcels of the Franklin Co., land grant were sold at various times between 1780 and 1788. For the year 1790, Bridges FREEMAN was listed as an insolvent on the tax list for Johnston Co., NC, with 200 acres of land. In Aug. 1806 in Wake Co. (formed from Johnston Co. in 1771), NC, Bridges FREEMAN was named a keeper of the old road. Bridges FREEMAN appears in the 1820 census of Limestone Co., AL (1 male over 21 and 1 female over 21). This is the latest record found for Bridges FREEMAN, born by 1734 and over age 86 in 1820. No direct evidence has been located proving that Bridges was the father of Howell. It appears that Bridges married twice, with both wives named Elizabeth. Bridges FREEMAN and Elizabeth LOVE married on Jan. 21, 1803 in Wake Co., NC (this marriage may be for Bridges FREEMAN, Jr.). Married first before 1760, probably in Surry Co., VA.

Elizabeth - d. about 1802, NC. Perhaps surnamed HOWELL. It is possible that Bridges FREEMAN, given his mother's maiden name, did the same for his firstborn son. The children of Bridges and Elizabeth listed here are all unproved, but based on various evidence suggesting a close relationship. Several others of the FREEMAN name in Bute Co., NC are more likely the widowed mother and brothers of Bridges, namely Elizabeth, William, Henry, and Joseph, and possibly Edward FREEMAN who witnessed a 1764 deed.


Children of Bridges and Elizabeth Freeman

  1. Howell - b. 1760, Sussex or Brunswick Co., VA; d. May 4, 1836, Dickson Co., TN.
  2. Bridges - b. 1762-1770, Bute Co., NC. Possibly the Bridges FREEMAN who married Elizabeth LOVE on Jan. 21, 1803 in Wake Co., NC. Sometime prior to May 27, 1809, a Bridges FREEMAN had settled on Chicksaw lands in the area of today's Giles Co., TN and LImestone Co., AL. On that date, by Presidential Order of James Madison, he was among the settlers who were removed from Indian lands, and was signer number 172 of a petition signed on Sep. 5, 1810. Bridges FREEMAN is found on the Giles County, TN tax list of 1812. On Apr. 23, 1818, Bridges is listed as a purchaser of a section (640 acres) of land in Limestone Co., AL. These records between 1809 and 1818 may be for Bridges FREEMAN, born by 1734, or more probably for a younger man of that name, likely his son. Bridges FREEMAN is listed in the 1820 census of Limestone Co., AL (1 male over 21, 1 male under 21, 1 female over 21, 1 female under 21), possibly the son of Bridges and Elizabeth.
  3. A daughter - Possible daughter. Married Jesse ROWLAND in Chatham Co., NC.
  4. A daughter - Possible daughter. Married Mr. UNDERWOOD in Dickson Co., TN.
  5. Edward - Possible son. On Bute Co., NC tax lists of 1777 and 1778. Lived in Giles Co., TN and AL.
  6. Henry - Possible son. Witnessed 1784 deed in Johnston Co., NC from Bridges FREEMAN to Howell FREEMAN.
  7. Susanna - Possible daughter.

    Other children - Though undocumented, it is possible that Bridges and Elizabeth had other children.


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Modified: 9/17/06