The Steele Creek Historical and Genealogical Society
Of the Old Steele Creek Township
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Families of Steele Creek:
John Carothers (1726-1783) was born in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, and was the first in the Mecklenburg line to come to America by way of Northern Ireland about 1745. He married Sarah Neely in 1748. Sarah Neely Carothers (1727-1798) is buried in the Neely family plot at Steele Creek Presbyterian Church. They had a farm in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. John is buried in Pennsylvania at the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church next to his son Andrew. Sarah moved to Steele Creek to live with her son James after her husband's death.
John Carothers (1755-1838) was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and was the third son of John and Sarah Neely Carothers. He married first Mary Vance (1764-1785) and second Ester Sample (1765-1818). John served in the Revolution with his brothers James (1750-1836) and Robert (1750-1837) in the Mecklenburg Militia under Colonel Robert Ervin. They were in the Battle of Hanging Rock. James and Robert had previously settled in Mecklenburg County on 150-acre farms given to them by their father who had purchased the land from his brother Hugh, of Mecklenburg. John also had a large farm as recorded in his will. His family remained in Mecklenburg County until after WWI. Reference is made to his military pension file S8182. John and Mary Vance Carothers are buried at Steele Creek as are her parents David Vance (1736-1800) and Ruth Wilson Vance.
It should be noted that James Carothers' family moved to York County in 1803 to 1000 acres of land leased from the Catawba Indians in the India Hook section. Robert's family moved to Tennessee. Many of the Carothers of Tennessee are descended from Robert Carothers.
David Carothers (1782-1865) was born in Mecklenburg County and was the second son of John and Mary Vance Carothers. He married Nancy Knox (1787-1860). Nancy was the daughter of John T. Knox (Abt. 1757-1829) who was the son of Matthew Knox (Abt. 1730-1800) of Steele Creek. David acquired 110 acres of land from Thomas Grier in 1812 as recorded in the Registrar of Deeds Office. The farm was located on the Catawba River on the north side of the NC-SC line on what is now McKee Road. There is no record that David's older brother John ever married; however, he did acquire 66 acres of land from Walter Faires in 1810.
David was a founding Elder of the Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in 1834. A granite marker in front of the church lists his name with many of his neighbors and kin.
Many of the Carothers (sometimes spelled Carithers) of Gaston County, York County, and western South Carolina are descended from David Carothers through his son David Jno Carothers (1822-1865) and grandson Samuel Ervin Carothers (1857-1924) and another son Joseph Addison Carothers (1828-1904) and grandson Ross Hicklin Carothers (1871-1958).
(497 Words) Submitted by Warren Woodrow Carothers, 1720 Willow Creek Drive, Columbia, South Carolina, 29212. Sources: NC and Pennsylvania Archives, records of churches listed, US Census, and personal interviews.
John Carothers is found in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, East Pennsboro Township - 1750. He married Sarah ----- before 1750. He made a will in 1767, recorded 1783 in which he named as heirs; wife Sarah; sons Robert, James, John, William, Andrew, Samuel, Ezekiel, Archibald; daughters Margaret, Isabella and unborn child (Jean).
After the death of John, Sarah went to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, around 1790, where she died September 15, 1798, leaving a will, recorded at Charlotte, North Carolina, in which she mentions as heirs: Robert, James, John, Margaret Strohn ( or Sloan); Isabelle Woodward, William, Andrew, Samuel, Archibald; son in law Samuel Neely (who had married Jean); grandsons, John Neely, Samuel Neely and Ezekiel Neely (Jean had died in 1797); James Carothers, granddaughters, Mary Vance Carothers and Mary Carothers.
James Carothers, 2nd son of John and Sarah, was born in Pennsylvania April 17, 1750, went to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in 1772, settling on 150 acres, deeded to him by John, his father in 1774, in Steele Creek Township. Here he married Mary Neely, daughter of Thomas Neely and Hannah his wife, January 11, 1776. They had two daughters and two sons, all of whom died young except John, who reached manhood and married. Mary died September 10, 1784, and James married her sister, Agnes June 9, 1785, and by this marriage there was born the following children: Samuel, born March 31, 1786, James, born October 25, 1787, Mary, born May 11, 1790, Thomas Neely, born 1792, William born September 21, 1796. James and Agnes went to York District, South Carolina, in 1803,where he died December 7, 1836. Agnes died November 24, 1814.
Samuel Carothers, oldest son of James and Agnes, married Nancy Calhoun Neely about 1807, daughter of Thomas Neely Jr., and Ann -----, his wife, his cousin. They lived in York County until after 1820, where she died in 1818, aged 31. They had two sons and perhaps daughters by this union. Samuel moved to Madison County, Tennessee, before 1830. He married a second wife and had a family, also. Samuel died in 1847, in Madison County, Tennessee, near Jackson.
Thomas Neely Carruthers, born in York County, South Carolina, 1808, married Eliza M. Gaither, about 1829, and died in Tipton County, Tennessee, after 1853 in which year he witnessed the will of James. James Madison Carruthers, second son of Samuel and Nancy Neely, born 1812, York County, South Carolina, married Emeline Gaither, sister of the wife of his brother Thomas Neely Carruthers. He died in 1853, Tipton County, Tennessee. They changed the style of spelling back to Carruthers. Their father used the style Carrothers in signatures in York County, South Carolina. His full name was Samuel Madison Carrothers. The Gaither women were from Mocksville, North Carolina.
From the Federal Census of Tipton County, Tennessee, for 1850, I get the following data: Thomas N. Carrother, 43, born in South Carolina; Eliza M. Carother, 42, born in North Carolina. (Children follow) Gaither Carrother, 21, student born in Tennessee, James Carrother, 16 farmer born in Tennessee, Cornelius K. Carrother, 13 born in Tennessee, Thomas M. Carrother, 9, born in Tennessee, Louisianna A. Carother, 5, born in Tennessee, ----- R. M. McEwin, farmer born in North Carolina.
James M. Carrother, 38, farmer, born in South Carolina, Emeline Carrother, 40, born in North Carolina, (children) Nathan S. Carrother, 12, born in Tennessee, Caroline U. Carrother, 10, born in Tennessee, Uvinia A. Carrother, 6, born in Tennessee, James L. Carrother, 3, born in Tennessee.
This is as far as I can trace, but I feel sure that Thomas Neely Carruthers, father of Bishop Thomas Neely Carruthers, was a grandson of this Thomas Neely Carruthers. Also a direct descendent of Thomas Neely and Hannah, his wife and of James Carrothers and Agness of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. I have a pretty complete record of both families and can enlarge on them but think this the line. Mrs. Florence Carruthers Leiper, 1603, Broadway, Little Rock, Ark., is a direct descendent of Thomas Neely Carruthers and wife Eliza Gaither, and can give a full record of the family. James Carrothers was a Revolutionary War Soldier, in Mecklenburg Militia. I would like to have the Revolutionary War record of Thomas Neely, either Senior or Junior of Mecklenburg County.
I can give some history of the derivation of the Carruthers name, but not of Neely's. See Mrs. James Campbell Pilcher's book "The Campbell, Pilcher and Kindred Families", published in Nashville in 1911, for sketches of Andrew and James Carothers, and also of the line of Caruthers of Rev. Eli W. Caruthers and Mr. W. B. Burns descendants.
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