Submitted by Claude Schoch
I'm not related to any Kentons, but own the property in the Bull Run Mountains in the immediate area where it looks like Simon Kenton was born and raised until he was 16. I have done extensive early deed and property tax research on the earlier owners of my property who seem to be the Kentons landlords and neighbors.
Part of my property includes the 100 acres that William Leachman and his wife Ellen leased prior to 1779 and then owned between 1779 and 1803. (William is the gentleman that 16 year old Simon Kenton had the fight with, and Ellen was the girl fought over.) The stone house Leachman built still stands and is located along a road between what was once called Hopewell and Landmark that historic deeds call "Leachman's Road" (now VA Rt 629).
Of greater interest, another part of the property (adjacent to the above mentioned Leachman property) includes a rocky 130 acre parcel that historic deeds call "Devils Bed". Some historical accounts list "Devils Bed" as Simon Kenton's birthplace. There are two very old crumbling home sites in this area. Is one of them Simon Kentons birthplace? Any historic description of the Kenton home or more precise location would help determine if one of these sites should be preserved.
Some of the old deeds (1780's) for neighboring properties mention "Simon Kenton" having "warrants" on certain parcels, and other deeds call certain tracts "The Kenton Tract" (The Kentons were tenants). The purchase of land "warrants" mentioned in deeds show that Simon Kenton must have come back to Virginia with at least some thoughts of returning there, though the warrants were never exercised.
The land owners within a mile of Devils Bed during the 1760's included Sullivan, Mercer, Monday, Harrison, Skinner, Bryant, Sanford, Johnson and Crain. Perhaps some of these neighbors married Kentons and this info could be of use to someone on this list.
All of the above information is from deed and personal property tax records at the Fauquier County Court House and Library relating to my property. I keep thinking that there should be a wealth of information from other sources that was kept through the years on Simon Kenton's youth in Virginia in my neighborhood. If anyone could direct me to any source of information on the Kentons or Leachmans relating to Virginia in the mid to late 1700's I would appreciate the info. If anyone is interested in copies of deeds relating to the Kentons or above mentioned families I can send Deed Book and page references or copies.
Submitted by Claude Schoch
I have finally located a 1859 survey map showing the location of the "Kenton Tract" in Fauquier County Virginia. This is 224 acres that William Kenton (oldest of Mark Kenton, and brother of Simon) bought from George Mercer in the fall of 1774. This was Lot #1 of a division of George Mercer's land. William Kenton never had the deed recorded at the county court house. The deed was conveyed and signed by Mercer friend George Washington on Mercer's behalf. (Richard already owned a couple of thousand acres nearby he had bought from George Mercers father John.) Richard Graham in 1817 sold the property to Amos Johnson which WAS recorded.
It is only from the Amos Johnson deed, that the previous William Kenton ownership is documented. That deed describes the property as the "Kenton Tract". Finally, Amos Johnson's children were envolved in a friendly lawsuit in 1859, and a survey map of the "Kenton Tract" was included in the records of that court case at the court house! Please note, that this tract is nearby, but not the Mark Kenton (1730) Homestead.
The tract is bounded on the west by Little River, and due to some very unique bends on the river which are included on the survey map I've been able to precisely pin point the location as Lot#1 of George Mercer's division. The property today is a beautiful pasture and STILL has the same property lines as it did in 1774 except that it extends a little further east. It is located a short 1.7 miles NW of Devil's Bed, the most likely location of the Mark Kenton homestead. It is just NW of the present day intersection of VA Rt 686 and Logans Mill Rd about 2 miles south of Middleburg Virginia.
Speaking of Amos Johnson (1780-185?), who by 1830 had bought both William Kenton Tract AND the Devil's Bed Tract, I had the pleasure of meeting his g-g-g-grandson Myles last night who has compiled an extensive history of his kin in the area of the Kenton Homestead. His names from the area are Johnson, Brent, Nut, Wheatley, Hathaway and Herndon. Some of them might have joined the Kentons out west too.
On the Kenton homestead front, I've found a couple of oldtimers in the area that say they will show me the Mark Kenton homestead and the cave that Simon hid in during the first night after the fight with William Leachman!
I drove out to the site of the William Kenton Tract today and it is REAL easy to see!!!!! It's a vineyard!!! With tours everyday! Here's a blurb on it.
Meredyth Vineyards Va. 628, Middleburg (540) 687-6277
This pretty Fauquier County vineyard is among the most prized in Virginia, with excellent offerings of Seyval Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay. Meredyth is situated on a 56-acre farm outside of Middleburg along the edge of the Bull Run Mountains, foothills to the Blue Ridge that are also among the oldest mountains in the world. The Archie Smith family opens the vineyard for public tours from 10 AM to 4 PM every day of the year except Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. The vineyard store is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.
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