Friday, April 26, 2013

Story of Phillip "Pennsylvania BuckSpike" Williams

  • story supplied by  Donna Rich


  • 1. Philip was present in the field when his father was killed and scalped outside the fort by Indians.Note: "...the Colonists had to fight the Indians and British upon the same field. This was notably the case at the battle of King's Mountain, in which Uncle Philip Williams, grandfather's older brother, participated..."Note: "Sam Williams, Printer's Devil, Mary Medearis, Editor, Etter Publishing Co.,1979, p. 197.Note: From "Maternal Genealogy of Three PK's," Deward C. Williams:"Among the Williams men who signed a petition to change the county seat (Black's Fort, now Abingdon, va.) dated 11-6-1777 were the following: No. 49, James Williams, and No. 50, Phillip Williams; these two are in a list centered around the junction of the north and south forks of Holston; No. 103, John Williams, who lived near Long Island, and No. 280, Samuel Wilson, who lived on Big Creek in Hawkins County.

    Wilson is included in this list, because James Williams, II married Wilson's daughter, Keziah Wilson." PTS note: According to the 1917 Shields paper, another of Samuel Wilson's daughters married one of the Shields' 10 brothers.2. Pensioner #S 1269; Certificate #19588from 1835 Kentucky Pension Rolls:PHILIP WILLIAMS - MORGAN COUNTYPRIVATE - VIRGINIA LINE$80.00 ANNUAL ALLOWANCE$240.00 AMOUNT RECEIVEDSEPTEMBER 24, 1833 PENSION STARTEDAGE 773. In September 1840, Philip moved from Morgan County, KY to Claiborne County, TN to live with his son George, a widower.4. PHILIP WILLIAMS(abt 1757 - 1843)Very little is known about this older brother of James(2) and Hardin(1). With the exception of the references to Philip in SAM WILLIAMS: PRINTER'S DEVIL, there is no mention of him in any family correspondence, bibles, etc., except on family DAR applications. Fortunately Sam Williams confirms that Philip was indeed a brother to James(2) and Hardin(1). He mentions (p. 199) that son Philip was with his father (James(1)) at the time of his death at the hands of Indians. And Sam Williams confirms Philip's service in the American Revolution. "The Revolutionary War in the meantime had broken out in the states, and the Indians, availing themselves of the opportunity, began hostilities against the whites. As a result eastern Tennessee, the western portion of Virginia and North Carolina, and northern part of Georgia became the theater of a bloody conflict.

    Whenever they could communicate with the savages, or form an alliance with them, it was done by the British, and in any engagement the Colonists had to fight the Indians and British upon the same field. This was notably the case at the battle of King's Mountain, in which Uncle Philip William's, grandfather's older brother, participated" (p.201) It was during 1780 that local Backwoods Militia forces under Col.'s Isaac Shelby and John (Nolichucky Jack) Sevier surprised and defeated a British Column under Major Patrick Ferguson. Lord Cornwallis, in an attempt to cover his left flank, advanced up the eastern Colonies from South Carolina to meet the Regular Continental Army under General George Washington. He (Cornwallis) had counted on Ferguson to quell any "Over-mountain men" that would impede his advance. The succeeding victory over the British and Tories was fought on a steep timber-covered hill which lay within the boundaries of both Carolinas and is now referred to as the "Battle of King's Mountain". General Washington later cited this battle as one of the major Colonial victories that directly led to his defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Va. one year later. 3. Dec. 2003.

    Philip "Buckspike" Williams Chronology Family Origins Note: Philip's Nickname could have been the common Cherokee name of Buck (Galigina) or, as suggested by family lore, named after a spikebuck (young male deer just getting his antlers) because he could slip through the woods unobserved While most attempted chronicles of this particular family either describe its origins in either Wales or Northern Ireland, there is a definite family legend in the descendents of Buckspike that this Williams family stems from a branch of the Roger Williams family -he who founded Rhode Island.

    Perhaps from a nephew or grandson of the Rev. Roger Williams. Thus far, nothing of a concrete connection would seem to indicate this. Certainly, the account of Sam Williams indicates Wales while the account of Rev. D. Williams indicates Northern Ireland. Either could be plausible, including the Rhode Island connection. Indeed, in exploring that possible connection I was intrigued to find a John Francis Williams of SC marrying a girl from Rhode Island at the very time that we find our John Williams in the colony. Therefore, we know that , at least among the mercantile class, there was communication and even intermarriage between the colonies, mainly through the seaports. We may never know for sure. Roger Williams was, of course, of an English Williams family which had been established in England for centuries.Philip WilliamsWhat I know as of December, 2003Incorporating documents and family oral tradition we find:3.1 1755-1756 Born - 96th Military District, SC. This encompassed some of the territory of present day TN also at the time - Probably in a Lower Cherokee Town (SC)- Although may actually have been at Wataugo in Overhill Towns (Now TN). (Source- Guion roll testimony Claim 10862 of Great-Grandson Robert S. Williams and Philip's 98 year old neighbor Mrs. Mahala Turner in 1908 at Vanceburg,KY that " Philip was quarter blood Cherokee, white bred and educated for a chief and that Philip had always told her same." Also testimony of Great-Great Grandson Alfred Greeley Williams at Marble City.OK re Guion Rolls Claim 8370 in 1907 that "My great -great grandfather was Philip Williams, a minister of the tribe and died in the tribe". Note: The Guion Roll Claims were for the Eastern Band Cherokee enrollees who had not been captured or submitted and sent to Oklahoma.

    Also, the fact that history records that in 1776 two of the four Indian Traders in the Overhill Cherokee main town (Chota?) left the town to warn the Wataugans. One was Garrett Williams and the other Isaac Williams. Garrett was named as brother to Philip in the following two books and Philip's father was identified as James by Sam Williams (Sam Williams, Printer's Devil), also by the Rev. Deward C. Williams in his book( Cumberland Mountain Kinfolks) who also identified the mother of Philip as "a French Woman". My own family account, passed down from my great-grandmother Nancy Jane Williams Compton, Daughter of Jefferson Brooks Williams and sister to Martha Williams Kennard ,told her daughter, Dora Evalyn Compton, my grandmother, in late 1800's, that Philip's father took the daughter of a French Fur Trader and Cherokee Chief as wife. She was half-breed Cherokee. Thus Philip was quarter blood Cherokee. Philip's Mother's name was translated as something like "Floating Cloud"-Source for name -"No More Muffled Hoof Beats" by Estelle S. Rizk 1960 (based on interviews with Thornton Kennard).The death notice of Martha Williams Kennard,( probably written by her son Thornton) appeared in Carter Co.,KY Herald in September 29,1927 and said, re Philip- "Philip Williams (grandfather of her father Jefferson B,) was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, led many Indian tribes against other tribes of Indians who sought to destroy them and his mother was a full blooded Cherokee ,which gave him quite a little bit of knowledge of how to wage the Indian battles.Because of his chicanery, and his ability to get by without being caught, he was generally known as "Buck Spike" ,meaning that he could not be captured". Research in the South Carolina colonial records show that there was a John Williams, Master Trader to the Cherokee trading in the Overhill Cherokee Towns in what is now Tennessee at Wautogo in 1751. Whether this was Philip's grandfather John, the carpenter from Charleston named by Sam Williams or, more likely, one of Jame's uncles (the father John had 12 children) is not known. Needless to say, with this kind of family interest in the Indian Trade, it is likely that Philip's father James also participated before suddenly appearing out of the blue in Big Creek (Now Hawkins Co.,TN) in 1776

    . I therefore conclude ,but haven't proved, that Philip's father James also traded in the villages and had the opportunity to father Philip with a French half-breed girl, daughter of a high personage in the the main town. Whether his mother also gave her bloodlines to the succeeding children is currently unknown. As for Philip's age- his 3 June 1833 Pension application identifies him as 76 but later in the same year when he serves as witness for another veteran he is identified as aged 78 ( Dec 1833). His age in census of 1840 for Johnson Co. ,KY is listed as 87. I would say that is closer to the truth than the previous younger date and would place Philip's birth at 1755 or 1755 at latest rather than as early as 1753 or as late as 1757. In that time and place such niceties as birth records and courthouse recording were a total luxury that most pioneers didn't participate in. August 1776 Listed as Private in the NC Cherokee Expedition under Col. Christian-Draper Papers1776 October Philip was drafted in Captain Gilbert Christie's company as a private ,Evan Shelby was Major ,in Washington County,VA (TN) ,Colonel William Christie's Virginia Regiment in pursuit of the Cherokee Indians on the Tennessee River and served three months.Was marched back home to Washington County,VA (TN) and discharged in January 1777 (Philip's pension application -1833,Morgan County,KY)1777 March, Philip called out in March and served a tour of two months in Captain A. Campbell's Virginia Company against the Cherokee Indians. He was discharged after marching back to Washington County,VA (TN) (Philip's pension application of 1833)1777 Muster Roll of Capt. Isaac Bledsoe's Co 1May,1777 -Philip and James Williams-Draper Ms1777 July, Philip was again drafted in July by Captain David Haley, Colonel Martin's Virginia Regiment, in pursuit of the Cherokees.He served three months and was marched back to Washington County,VA (TN) and discharged. (Philip's pension application of 1833)1777 - Philip enlisted in Bedford County,VA in the latter part of October or first of November for three years and served in Captain Crawford's company, Colonel Abraham Buford was Colonel of the Regiment and was marched from Bedford County,VA to Philadelphia and was there attached to the regiment commanded by Colonel A. Buford and was stationed at Philadelphia until the latter part of the spring or beginning of summer of 1778(9) and was then marched to the Peedee River in South Carolina. (Philip's pension application of 1833)1777 Philip signs Washington County,VA petition as "North of Holston Man".

    Petition received and recorded in November,1777 at capitol in Williamsburg.1777 Philip enlists for three year enlistment in Bedford County, Va in 5th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line. Regiment fights at Brandywine,PA under General Washington. Per his attestation on the part of Samuel Kelly in Morgan County KY (Draper Papers)1777-April 1778-after defeat at Brandywine Philip spends winter with regiment at Valley Forge. (Col. Josiah Parker, Lt.Col. Buford -General Muhlenberg's Brigade). Philip furloughed April,1778. (Philip's attestation on part of Samuel Kelly-Morgan County,KY (Draper Papers) 1778 Thomas Hamilton, Morgan Co.,KY testifies that he knew Philip during the Revolution-"I was in the army at Philadelphia and saw the said Philip Williams Col. A. Buford's regiment as a regular soldier from which place and at which time I learnt that Col. A. Buford's regiment marched to South Carolina and the said Philip Williams was marched off with the regiment...

    I saw the said Philip Williams in the army in North Carolina whilst I was in the army of General Green."(Pension application of Philip 1833)1778-1779(?)-Philip serves in NC under Col. Davidson and saw Jonathan Pitts there serving under Gen. Greene. -Source -Philip's affadavit for Jonathan Pitts' Rev. War Pension application Floyd Co,KY June,1833.1780 Philip serves under Col. Walter Crockett -(in Witness for pension of Benjamin Hamilton -Sept.1833 Morgan Co,KY)1780 -Philip at Battle of Kings Mountain as Watauga Volunteer (Sam Williams Journal and Philip is also listed as participating by the Draper Papers)1781 Philip's first child - Mary, is born in NC.(TN ) -Source- Death Notice Johnson Co. KY 9 Dec. 1859 "Mary Johnson, age 78 died Dec. 2, 1859. Parents Philip and Ann Williams; married, b.North Carolina,d. Johnson County".1782 Philip serves under Capt. Burks and Col. Christian in NC (pension attestation for Benjamin Hamilton, Morgan Co,KY Dec,1833). 1782 Philip at Long Island Fort on Holston and with father, James Williams when father was slain by Indians. Philip barely escapes.(Source-Sam Williams Journal)1782 & 1783 Two NC military pay Vouchers for Philip Williams in Washingon and Sullivan Counties, NC (TN)1782-Philip's second child John W. born in NC (TN)-Source -1850 Census Perry Co,KY and testimony of Alfred G. Williams in Guion Roll Claim. Note: A descendent of a John Thomas Williams who was supposedly born the same year currently claims this John to be Philip's son John. In short it was John T. not John W. He married Rebecca Combs.(Ltr from Larry Combs). For now we'll call him John. A John Williams is listed on Philip's application for pension in 1833 but the relationship is not specified.1786 Philip deeds to Ben Sheppard 640A NC Military Land Warrant-Philip Listed as 84 Months Service.1788 Philip's son Robert S. is born in Sullivan County ,NC (TN) (1850 Census,Johnson Co.,KY and letters in John Fred Williams collection)

    1789 Philip assigns NC Military Land Grant to Jesse Reed on waters of Hickman's Creek.West Side Caney Fork. Philip listed as Private. (NC Land Grants in TN record)1799 -Philip's daughter Lurana (Lourana?)(Lieuraney on gravestone) born in TN-Philip posted bond for her marriage in 1821 to Nathaniel Picklesimer in Floyd Co.,KY 1800 -Philip's son George W. born in Clay Co.,KY (Source ltr from John Fred Williams citing this info per George's 1860 marriage record in Carter Co.,KY). It is also reported that George was born in Sullivan Co,TN (Hawkins Co,TN now).1801 Philip witnessed deed for his brother Hardin Williams in Lee County, VA1801 -Philip signs petition in Hawkins County, TN1801 August- Philip witness to deed transfer between William Runnels and Matthew Runnels in Hawkins Co,TN1802(?) Susannah- daughter of Philip born ca.1802 Philip gave permission for her marriage to Jesse Fortner in 1822.1803 -Philip paid bond for Anis Johnston's bastard children in Claiborne County, TN1803 -Philip on jury-Dec. Session,He also served on jury with a Charles Williams in March session- Claiborne Co.,TN1803-Philip signs petition Claiborne Co., TN1804 Philip ordered to pay $24.08 10 Nov. Court, Claiborne County,TN1805 Joel Elkins ordered to pay Philip $20 plus court costs, Claiborne County,TN1806 Philip registers ear mark of livestock -a shallow fork in each ear-Claiborne County, TN1807 Philip vs. Wm. Gosage case in court-Philip also served on jury in August- Claiborne Co.,TN1808 Philip ordered to pay John Daughterty $30 and filed appeal-Claiborne Co.,TN1808 Philip vs. James Gahan in court-for Philip-Gahan had been supposed to pay Philip $20 in 1804 - Claiborne Co,TN 1810 Philip on Clay Co.,KY census1820 Philip on Floyd Co.,KY census 1820 Philip was on the Head of Laurel, above Red Bush,(now Johnson Co.) KY before 1820 said John Fred Williams1821 Philip deeded 50A on Big Blaine Creek, Floyd Co,KY 1821 Court order of Floyd Co,KY -Philip appointed Superintendent for road and to call "those residing on the open Fork of Paint" to assist him1822

    Philip listed on "First Tax List of Lawrence Co., KY"1830 Philip listed in Morgan Co,KY tax list as no land 1830 Philip appears under census index of Morgan Co,KY and it is marked "Pension Roll"1831 Philip appears on Morgan Co,KY tax list-no land1833 3 June - Philip files his application for pension in Morgan Co,KY1833 -6 December- Philip and Robert Williams (likely his son Robert S. who lived nearby) ,residents in the neighborhood of James Pratt in the County of Lawrence (KY) made certification of acquaintance with James Pratt and to their belief in his services...(Rev. War Pension Applicant-Philip obviously hadn't served with this individual).1834 Philip makes affadavit for pension application of James Blevin , Morgan Co,KY -states he knew James Blevin in VA1835 Philip on Census of Pensioners -Morgan Co.,KY1840 Philip listed with 50A on Mud Lick, Floyd Co.,KY Tax List1840 Philip on Floyd Co,KY census of Pensioners1840 Philip's wife Annie dies and is buried at Volga, Johnson Co.,KY. Annie was supposedly full blood Indian from the Great Lakes (unknown tribe) and her Indian name was "Running Fawn" (interview notes of John Fred Williams in 1981 with Young Kennard and Ernest Williams-desc. of Philip).

    I interviewed Ernest in 1986 and got same story, only greater detail re Philip's capture by the tribe in the Illinois Country and his subsequent adoption into the tribe and the fact that he brought Ann back with him to TN and then to KY. 1840 Philip makes application for a transfer of his pension to Claiborne Co,TN as he now resides there with his son George who was a widower with no family of his own. Philip declares he formerly belonged to the company commanded by Captain Haley in the First Regiment commanded by Col. Martin...(application made in Claiborne Co,TN)1841 November 27-Philip made oath in Floyd Co.,KY that he found conditions suiteable(?) in TN and has returned to Floyd Co.,KY where he intends to remain. (Pension abstract of Philip from Floyd Co,KY)1843 Morgan Co,KY 12 Sept. Philip makes application for moving pension back to KY as he now has moved back to KY with his son where he, Philip, has several children living. 1848 -10 December Philip dies at Volga,Johnson Co.,KY at the home of his daughter Lurana Picklesimer, aged 94.Summary- Philip "Buckspike" Williams born in the Cherokee Nation ca 1754-1755 Son of James Williams and Floating Cloud, a half breed French/Cherokee (Metis is the usual French term here)Grandson of John Williams of Charleston Had known brothers: Hardin, James ,Mark, Jarrett (Garrett) , John (John was specifically mentioned as a brother of Jarrett, the Indian Trader and as participating in the Battle of Point Pleasant, by John Williams the well known historian of Tennessee in an article.

    Muster roles show John definitely was there ,along with Mark, who was killed in that Battle)Possible other brothers include but are nothing other than conjecture at the moment: Isaac, Sherrod,Children-known: Mary, Susanna, Robert S. ,John ,Lurana, GeorgeOther possible children but not documented:David (a David appears on 1820 census for Floyd Co,KY on same page living beside Philip and is aged 16-24 with wife and no children. This usually indicates relationship), James (Dr. Walter Wms. Correspondence) ,Thomas S. (John Fred correspondence 1970-however, Philip was 91 when Thomas S. was married so very doubtful) There may have been others but nothing to show they were possibly related as son or daughter of Philip. Note:When last documented child was born around 1800 or so Philip and Annie would have been 45.

    The above is intriguing and shows how much can be gathered up over the years about one individual, even in a moving frontier in the South during trying times. However, some of the "evidence" is hearsay, even though it may be a hundred years old. This researcher is fully comfortable with this data and the conclusions thus far. You, the genealogist must make up your own mind re the evidence and your wits and experience. I intend to prepare a list shortly of the other Philip Williams's and where they show up and thus, where our Philip wasn't!Also , My conclusions earlier about ever "Knowing" or "proving" these individuals:In a spate of agonizing over the many pieces of paper I have recently reviewed, I am forced to conclude the following:1. We will probably never be able to "prove" that James I was the father of my Philip Williams who died in KY in 1848 and was the Rev. War pensioner or that he had brothers Hardin, Jarrett, Mark, James and probably others. However, I do conclude so based upon two published accounts, one written in the 19th century as well as ancillary proofs in pension records, tax and land records, petitions to several colonies, militia and federal records of battles and rosters, etc. All of these point strongly to these relationships. I am happy with that, given the abysmal state of recordkeeping in the old southwest. Since the Wataugans didn't even know which state had jurisdiction over them at the time, they filed with the party of common record or didn't file until there was evidence of a governmental jurisdiction being in place. 2.

    There is no doubt in my mind that my Philip Williams, Rev. Pensioner who died in 1848 in KY was a quarter Cherokee. We have 100 year old applications to the Guion rolls by three descendents claiming Eastern Band Cherokee remittances for Philip wherein one produced a 98 year old neighbor-one Mrs. Turner, who knew Philip well and testified that he had a strong Indian appearance and ,furthermore, had told he was part Indian. However, there is no indication that his younger siblings were Indian and one should probably conclude that Philip's father later may have taken a white wife when he decided to settle down in Watauga. This may have occurred after the French & Indian war as Philip was born just before that conflict. When we evaluate early records we find that in 1776 two Indian Traders named Jarrett Williams and Isaac Williams were in the town of Chota with Nancy Ward, beloved woman and came down with two others and warned the Wataugans of an impending attack by dissident Cherokees. We further note that one John Williams was registered in SC as an Indian Trader in the 1750's. This same John Williams operated out of the new frontier town of Augusta, GA as a mercantile base and we find a letter in 1752 stating a complaint to the governor of SC that ..." At Wettongo, there is a Georgia Trader Mr. John Williams who has brought rum to sell and says that he will send or go for more which will make a great deal of disturbance..." Wettongo was the Cherokee Overhill town of Wettogo or Wataugo which was in what is now East TN.

    Was this a brother of James I? This was only 4 to 5 years previous to Philip's birth. Was it the original John Williams, carpenter, named by Sam Williams in his account, who lived in Charleston or was it a son? 3. As for Sherrod, we still don't know whether he was a brother or a son of one of the brothers. I am convinced he was family, just don't know where to place him. Hopefully the DNA tests will help. The repetitious unique naming patterns by all the brothers for their generations would point to strong family ties. The assigning of the middle name "Loney" to James II's grandson, the giving of the middle name Brooks to Philip's grandson as well as the overwhelming use of the name Hardin in all its variants throught the generations is proof enough for me. Remember, in the case of Philip, his unnamed Brooks friend at Kings Mountain mentioned by Sam Williams and the fact that George Brooks bought land directly beside James I on Big Creek lend strength to these conclusions. Only problem is it is not pure genealogical proof. But then, I don't believe there will ever be found proof of this sort. It is a detective story that has occupied me for 30 years and I will cite my conclusions based on these strong pieces of evidence and not worry about proofs. If DNA produces it, then fine. All I can say is we are all family if we stem from one of these brothers or nephews or cousins.

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