by Larry Petrisky
edited by Joyce Reece
© 2002 no restriction on
using or copying this data
if properly cited
Revolutionary War Soldier,
frontier farmer, part Cherokee, Baptist,
and one of the original Smoky Mountain “Hillbillies”
born May 16, 1757 Upper* South Carolina
died circa 1837 Tennessee (Hamilton County?)
married 1777 or 1779 Winnifred “Winnie” Jackson
(b.c. 1760 d.c. 1808)
William Emory b.c. 1727 England
d. July 1770 Charleston, SC
buried 31 July 1770 St Philip’s Parish,
Mary Grant, Cherokee
b.c. 1728 Tellico, Cherokee Nation
d.c. 1766 Goose Creek, SC
Preface & acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . 5
Abraham Hembree – an introduction . . . . . . . . . . 7
Abraham’s father . . . . . . . . . . 8
Abraham’s mother . . . . . . . . . . 14
Abraham’s first name . . . . . . . . . . 15
Abraham’s last name . . . . . . . . . . 18
The Pre-War Years . . . . . . . . . . 19
Who was David Hembree? . . . . . . . . . . 24
Abraham’s brother Drury . . . . . . . . . . 27
Abraham’s other brothers Joel and Joel? . . . . . . . . . . 29
The War Years 1776 - 1783 . . . . . . . . . . 31
Abraham’s wife . . . . . . . . . . 32
Abraham’s tribal affiliation . . . . . . . . . . 34
The Church Years 1798 – 1828 . . . . . . . . . . 35
The Pension Applications 1819 – 1835 . . . . . . . . . . 38
Descendant’s Cherokee Applications . . . . . . . . . . 41
The Hembree & Emory Family Tree . . . . . . . . . . 48
Notes on the Amory – Emory Family . . . . . . . . . . 56
John Amory Family Sheet . . . . . . . . 56
Sarah (Wilson) Amory Nightingale . . . . . . . . 62
Family Sheet: John Robert Emory (1727) . . . . . . . . 68
Family Sheet: William Emory (1728) . . . . . . . . 71
Family Sheet: John Hembree (1744) . . . . . . . . 73
Family Sheet: James Hembree (1785) . . . . . . . . 75
Family Sheet: Drury Hembree (1755) . . . . . . . . . . 80
Family Sheet: Benjamin Hembree (1795) . . . . . . . . 86
Family Sheet: John Hembree (1797) . . . . . . . . 88
Family Sheet: Isaac Hembree (1797) . . . . . . . . 90
Family Sheet: Abraham Hembree (1757) . . . . . . . . . . 92
Notes on Abraham Hembree’s Children . . . . . . . . . 93
Family Sheet: James Lee Hembree (1790) . . . . . . . . 101
Family Sheet: Ephraim Hembree (1796) . . . . . . . . 104
Family Sheet: Joel Joseph Hembree (1802) . . . . . . . . 108
Family Sheet: Reuben Emery (1804) . . . . . . . . 109
Family Sheet: Isaac Hembree (1806) . . . . . . . . 111
Family Sheet: James M. Hembree (1809) . . . . . . . . 112
Family Sheet: Davis Hembree (1817) . . . . . . . . 116
Family Sheet: William Hembree (1754) . . . . . . . . . .118
Family Sheet: William W. Hembree (1774) . . . . . . . . 123
Family Sheet: Owen Hembree (1777) . . . . . . . . 126
Family Sheet: Isaiah Hembree (1781) . . . . . . . . 129
Family Sheet: Irah Hembree (1783) . . . . . . . . 131
Family Sheet: Johnson Hembree (1784) . . . . . . . . 132
A Compendium of Joel Hembrees . . . . . . . . . .135
Family Sheet: Joel Hembree (1755) . . . . . . . . .141
Family Sheet: Joel Hembree (1770) . . . . . . . . .144
Family Sheet: Joseph Joel Hembree (1779) . . . . . . . . 147
Family Sheet: Joel Hembree (1802) IL . . . . . . . . 149
Family Sheet: James Lindley Hembree (1808). . . . . . . . .150
Mapping the family using census data . . . . . . . . . . 151
1790 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 152
1800 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 156
1810 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 158
1820 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 159
1830 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 161
1840 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 164
1850 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 169
1850 Family locator . . . . . . . . . . 172
1860 Census data . . . . . . . . . . 173
The Abraham Hembree Data Project began in a Spartanburg court
house in 1825 when Judge Theodore Gaillard tried to organize
some facts about Abraham Hembree in a way that could be under-
stood and accepted by others.
It was revived in northern Georgia in 1906 when some of
Abraham’s descendants tried to prove to United States Special
Commissioner Guion Miller what they all knew was common
knowledge: that the family had Cherokee blood in them going back
to Abraham Hembree.
In the late 1990’s, with the boom of shared genealogy via the
Internet, dozens of people around the United States (and Australia)
attempted to pool what they knew about Abraham Hembree and
come to some understanding of who he was, where he came from
and who was in his family.
I will admit that I avoided the Abraham Hembree / Drury Hembree
families (and all of the Spartanburg Hembrees) because my
ancestor, “Old John Hembree” of Pendleton District, South
Carolina, was difficult enough to follow. I was armed with some
specific information about John Hembree that was passed down
from his great-granddaughter and this information was so different
from any information available that I spent twenty years ignoring
and trying to disprove it until I had one of those “Eureka” moments
in the basement of a state archive building.
When I finally came “on line” in 2000, I was stunned to see in the
late Richard Martin’s work, “The Descendants of John Hembree”
(on familytreemaker.com) that Old John was represented as the
father of Drury and Abraham. Senior Hembree researchers Bob
Hembree and Dale Standifer quickly disputed the father-son
connection but, sadly, Dick Martin had passed away before he
could amend his genealogy.
I was somewhat relieved to have Abraham and Drury shaken out of
my family tree until I found out that Standifer and Hembree agreed
that the real father of Abraham and Drury was William Emory – the
brother of my “Old John”. This “clicked”. My John was orphaned in
mid-childhood and taken in by cousins who lived at Goose Creek,
South Carolina, then taken in by his “uncle” – his much-older
brother William. When William died, I was told, John took care of
his nephews, which apparently included Abraham.
In defense of Dick Martin’s assumption, John was more of a father
to Abraham than William was. (Notice the avoidance of the name
“William” in Abraham and Drury’s line.)
Assumptions are a necessary evil when piecing together a puzzle
such as Abraham Hembree. The available data is slim, confusing,
and contradictory. Plus, the families of Abraham, Drury, Old John,
and others work as though the other branches of the family do not
The big assumption in this project is that the census data should be
the proving ground of family data. For example, there are no sons
in Abraham Hembree’s household in 1790 so this project rejects
the “older son William” theory that I myself embraced.
I am indebted to many researchers who have helped me. First,
to my great-great grandmother Sarah Ann Hembree who wrote
down what she heard and carefully repeated it to the next two
generations. Then to the current generation of researchers, both
the “old school” who lost their eyesight on microfilm readers and
the “new school” who can access information quicker than the time
it takes me to find a blank census form. Some of those who have
helped me: Danica Love, my cousin Hilda, Ed Copeland, Leslie
Ashman, Brenda Bridges, Deana Hembree, Phil Hembree, Patsy E.
Bowers, Dale Standifer, David Hembree, Janice Stokes, Bob
Hembree, Linda Eaton, Dick Martin, Guy Merritt, Artie Morgan,
James Hembree, Sandy Otos, Leslie Bell, Tammy Hembree-Reavis, Margaret Harris, David & Elesa Hembree, Leota Bennett,
my friend Joyce Reece, and many others.
All mistakes and faulty reasoning are mine – not theirs. Complain
to me – not them.
Abraham Hembree (or Emory) was born May 16, 1757 in upper South Carolina
(traditionally, but incorrectly, Spartanburg County). He is an elusive but
rewarding target for genealogical research. Just when you think you have him
characterized, he leaves and becomes another person.
He grew up between three different worlds. His father, William Emory, was
born 1728 in England and came to Charleston, South Carolina in 1738.
William was the son of Indian traders and he lived among the Cherokee. The
Emory family was strongly British, active in the colonial government of South
Carolina (under the name Amory). William married the half-blood daughter of
another Indian trader and had six children. William probably left the family
c.1758 to join the British Army during the French-Indian War (1758-1763).
Abraham was 13 when his father died, so the impact of his father on his life is
Abraham’s mother was a Cherokee woman who lived with the tribe but went
to lower South Carolina during the French-Indian War. This second world, the
Cherokee, was disappearing from South Carolina during Abraham’s youth.
The tribal towns were being wiped out and by 1776 they were gone. It is possible
that Abraham’s mother died in 1760 (smallpox) or 1766 during the “plague” that
swept lower South Carolina.
The third world that had a claim on Abraham was the emerging world of the
American: Abraham was not really British, not really Cherokee – he was an
American at a time when nobody was sure what that meant.
Abraham Hembree was a colorful character of the frontier. He lived on lands
that were historically part of Cherokee territory and he died on the “front porch”
of the Trail of Tears. I hope to bring out some of his Cherokee tradition.
Abraham’s father was William Emory, who was born 1728 in Lincolnshire,
England. He was the son of John Amory, an Englishman who brought his
family to Savannah, Georgia in December 1737 but, after securing a land grant
of 500 acres in Purrysburg in South Carolina, he was persuaded to move to
Charleston which he did in December 1738. [The Colonial Records of the
State of Georgia, edited by Kenneth Coleman (Athens, GA: U. of Ga. Press, 1989) :
XXXII, 249, 264, XXIX 233-234; also The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia,
edited by Allen D. Candler (Atlanta : State Legislature, 1916): II, 215, IV 164, V 137. John
came with wife Sarah, 3 young ch., sons “Will” and “John”, and 2 indentured. ]
John Amory became the steward of the household of the late Governor Johnson
and lived at the governor’s residence in Charleston. (The youngest son of the
governor returned to England, fever had killed the rest of the family.) [The
Colonial Records of Georgia, Candler: IV 238, 241 ]
While residing at the governor’s house he hosted delegations of Indians who
came to conduct tribal business. The king of England was represented by the
royal governor of South Carolina in all affairs concerning the southeast tribes.
The tribal chiefs were always accompanied by white men they trusted (usually
those who lived with them – the traders), interpreters, and people of their own
tribe who could best understand whatever European language (English, Spanish,
French) was being used. Delegations from the Cherokee nation went down to
Charleston yearly on official visits and unofficial visits (to receive presents)
An important trading agent to the Cherokee was James Adair (1709-1783) but in
1744 he relocated to the Chickasaw nation (Mississippi). One of his
“lieutenants” in the Cherokee trade was Ludovic Grant, who resided among the
Cherokee in what is now the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina (on
the Valley River). From 1741 to 1746 (and beyond) John Amory and his wife
Sarah hosted Cherokee delegations several times. [The Colonial Records of South
Carolina : Journal of the Commons House of Assembly 1742-1744 , edited by J.H. Easterby
et al, (Columbia: SC Archives Department, 1954) : 167, 195, 251 etc.]
John himself became a licensed Indian trader and associated with Ludovic Grant
and William Elders. [Berkeley County, South Carolina Archives, entry made May 12, 1744]
(Cherokee descendants of Grant, Elder and Amory could still be found on the Valley
River in 1835 and 1852.)
A young Cherokee woman who may have attended those delegations because she
understood many languages also served as a trading interpreter in Purrysburg,
where Swiss, German and Dutch were being heard as often as English, French
and Spanish. She was the consort/translator of Thomas Ayers (Eyres), the
Cherokee agent for Georgia. [The Col Recs of Georgia, Candler: IV 372,424,487,501;
V 276,277] In 1744 she had a son by John Amory and named him John Emory.
[South Carolina sent for Thomas Ayers in 1743 to advise them on fort construction, in particular:
a fort at Purrysburg. (Col. Recs. of SC, Journal of the House 1742-1744, Easterby, pp. 218, 240,
241, 262, 268). John Amory had his lands surveyed there in Oct 1742, and began spending time
there and upriver in the Indian trade, having his wife Sarah submit his expenses in Charleston.
Just as Oglethorpe had his “Creek Mary” to make his appeal to the Creeks, Ayers had his
“Cherokee Mary” to make his appeal for Cherokee help against the Spanish in 1740.]
Around that time John Amory’s sons William and an older son John Robert (who
came over as indentured servants to John) were of age (16) and they too entered
the Indian trade. (Each licensed trader had, under his general license, up to a
dozen men who worked as tanners, packhorsemen, traders, and guards.)
The John Emory born 1744 became known as “Old John Hembree”. Whether
John Amory or his son William Emory was his father is hard to solve. The oral
history of my line back to then goes: “Sallie, daughter of Edward, son of Edward,
son of John, then William or John, William being the son of John, the
Englishman.” I am pretty sure William Emory is not the father of Old John
Hembree but my own family tradition does not exclude the possibility.
John Emory who became “Old John Hembree” had white relatives through
his mother and Carolina Cherokee relatives as well. She was therefore the
daughter or granddaughter of a white man and we suspect his name was John or
James Moore of Goose Creek (Indian trader) but we have never found the
connection. She was a tribal member and her half brother was the war chief Warhatchie (Wawhatchee or Wauhatchie) of Keowee. (The Lower Cherokee
had an “R” in their dialect, the Upper and Overhill did not.)
The name of “Old John” Hembree’s mother is not known but her “nicknames”
were “Mary Ayers/Eyres” and “Many Ears” – it was written both ways in her
notes and my great-grandmother could not make sense of it. She thought it was
Ayers. Family legend says she went to England on tribal business, was
“presented to the queen”, and died over there from a sudden illness. Since her
father was a Moore and her first husband was Ayres, we construct her name Mary
(Moore) Ayres, b.c.1721, d.c.1751.
Her death supposedly happened while “Old John” was in mid-childhood. The
best fit for this legend happened in 1751 when a delegation of Cherokee from
Keowee, Tellico and elsewhere (mostly from South Carolina) set out to be heard
by the king of England concerning their frustration with the governor of South
Carolina. Little Carpenter (Attakullakulla) and Wauhatchee were among them.
The “Young Emperor” recalled that the king told them in 1730 that if they ever
needed to speak with him they could go to the royal governor in Carolina or
Virginia and be heard. So off to Virginia they went. [The Colonial Records of South
Carolina : Documents Relating to Indian Affairs 1750-1754: p.151-154, 161. In 1751 four
Indian traders were reportedly killed and SC “officially” halted the trade with the Cherokee
even after peace was restored and it turned out only one trader was killed.]
The Cherokee were well-treated in Virginia but ridiculed in South Carolina and
their “understanding” in Virginia was voided. “Old John” Hembree’s mother
did not come home. Perhaps she died in Virginia or perhaps some enterprising
sport did transport her to England.
The bad blood between the Cherokee and South Carolina continued to rise. The
death of the Old Warrior in 1753 shifted the balance of Cherokee political power
from the Lower towns (in South Carolina) to the Overhill towns in Tennessee.
(Smallpox in the Lower towns and humiliating defeats against the French-armed
Creeks who destroyed 2 villages in South Carolina caused many Cherokee to
move into the middle and valley towns.)
This came at a time when Virginia and England wanted Cherokee support in the
war with the French. The Cherokee offered to join the war, but could not get the
governor of South Carolina to furnish them with the same kind of weapons that
the French were giving the Shawnee. Besides, the Cherokee warriors did not
want to leave their families unprotected against Catawba and Creek opportunists
who would kill their sons and steal their daughters. The Cherokee wanted forts
built for the protection of their families. They made this request every year from
1746 on. The governor of South Carolina (James Glen) agreed, but could not get
the funding. Virginia really wanted Cherokee help so the governor of Virginia
stepped in and hastily built a “fort” near Chota in 1755. This embarrassed Glen so
he set out in 1756 to personally oversee the building of a better fort near Great
Tellico. (The Virginia fort was never garrisoned.)
Glen was replaced as governor enroute and the new governor ordered the fort
building expedition to halt. To the Cherokee, this was another example of
bad faith. They had ceded land in 1746 for a fort at Ninety Six on the Saluda
River (not built), and ceded land in 1753 near Keowee for Fort Prince George
(built 1753) but there was no good fort in the Overhill towns.
This is just a little background. A more complete and footnoted version of how
the Hembree/Emory families were involved with the Cherokee will be forth-
coming. We just want to lay the groundwork for establishing the location of
Abraham’s birth and proving his Cherokee heritage and proving that William
Emory is his father.
A descendant of William Emory, Ludovic Grant, John Stuart, and General Joseph
Martin, Jr. gave me a detailed account of how William Emory was a Captain in
the militia and involved with the events of Fort Prince George (near Keowee) and
Fort Loudon (near Tellico) and was killed by some of John Sevier’s men but this
account has, alas, been unprovable concerning William (but his son “Captain
Will” was killed by Sevier’s men in June 1788).
The drama and tragedy that unfolded in the South Carolina upcountry from
1750 to 1778 will be expanded in a later work but, in short, the Cherokee were
wiped out of South Carolina except for a few holdouts in the northwest (what is
now Oconee County). The Emory (or Amory or Hembree) family was closely
related to these events but William Emory’s precise role is hard to determine.
The evidence strongly suggests Robert and William Emory were not in South
Carolina 1758 – 1763 (during the French-Indian War). There is a tradition that
William was an officer, a captain, but apparently not in a colonial company.
The complete account of how the Amory/Emory family got drawn into the
world of Indian traders will be developed in a separate report with ample
references but trust me for now that Ludovic Grant and other traders had visits
to the Amory residence and the most successful Indian trader of that era (in
terms of money) was William Emory’s mother, Mrs. Sarah Amory, who was
later Mrs. Sarah Nightingale. [The Col Recs of South Carolina : Journal of the Commons
House of Assembly 1741 thru 1757 numerous refs. When Grant came down from the Cherokee in 1755 he
asked for Gov. Glen’s protection against his creditors. SC Docs Ind Affairs (3) 5, 53-9 from Brown, p.48 ].
William Emory married a half-blood daughter of Ludovic Grant and lived
with her in the Cherokee Nation in the Snowbird Mountains of North Carolina
in Tomatly (on the Valley River).
[The Tomatly in TN is obscure before 1760; Ostenaco moved Tomatly from North Carolina during the siege of Fort Loudon. Grant was in NC. See Duane H. King (ed.), The Cherokee Indian Nation (Knoxville : U of TN Press, 1979).]
William had three famous daughters and one infamous son among the Cherokee
(Will, a confederate of Dragging Canoe). But when the war with the French
broke out along the Indian frontier c.1753, Emory moved down into South
Carolina (residing at Ninety-Six, his family moved to Goose Creek c.1760).
(Ludovic Grant also withdrew from the Cherokee and retired to Charleston in
1756, where he shortly died.)
In South Carolina, William went off to join the British Army. His half-brother John Emory (b.1744) was orphaned after the death of his Cherokee mother in
751/2 and John was sent by Wawhatchee to live with white “cousins”, the
Nightingales of Goose Creek, SC. Thomas Nightingale (1716-1769) was an
Indian trader among the Catawba and Cherokee. His 2nd wife was Sarah Amory
Elder, William Emory’s mother, widow of John Amory, and widow of another
Indian trader, William Elder or Elders, (not the daughter of Thomas Amory of
Charleston and Boston, Massachussetts; she was a Wilson by birth).
William had two sons in South Carolina:
Drury Emory / Hembree b. 12 Dec 1755 SC
Abraham Emory / Hembree b. 16 May 1757 SC.
In a land grab meant to protect the Cherokee (by putting them and therefore their
land under British sovereignty), Gov. James Glen opened up the upper part of
South Carolina for settlement in 1755 after the building of Fort Prince George
William Emory had access to the upcountry, though he cannot be located in
Spartanburg. Settlers began appearing on the Tyger River by 1756 but that
was well into Catawba territory and a man with three Cherokee daughters
would never locate himself among the enemy of the Cherokee.
Another family tradition has William serving in Georgia or Alabama after 1758
and fathering a few children there by a Creek woman. Capt. Raymond Demere,
who would be the leading officer at Fort Loudon (until relieved by his brother
Paul) was deployed in Georgia around that time, with “three independent
Companys of South Carolina under his Command” in Georgia. [The Col Recs
of Georgia, Candler, VII 133. Capt. Paul Demere was deployed likewise but his 1756 muster
roll is known and includes names like Jacob Bright, Daniel Davis, Nicholas Murphy, Paul Pettit,
William Love, John Wilson, John Beard, George Davis, James Sullivan, and John Martin – all
recruits from the Cherokee back country. (See June Clark Murtie, Colonial Soldiers of the South,
1732 – 1774, (Baltimore : Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986): pp.992-998)]. As to the rumor
of Creek children, Don L. Shadburn, the foremost researcher of Georgia
Cherokees, says in his Cherokee Planters in Georgia 1832-1838 (Roswell, GA: W.H.Wolfe Associates, 1989, 1990): “. . . William Emory . . . sired both Cherokee and Creek children in the 1750’s and 1760’s”. (p.16)
Although we have yet to locate William from 1758 to 1765, and it is doubtful
that he had anything to do with Fort Loudon, the family had a lot of ties to the
events. These will be developed in the next report.
The controversy over the most famous Cherokee Emory, Susannah, will be
treated at length then. She “married” Capt. John Stuart in 1757/8. Stuart
(1718-1779) was older than William Emory, and he left the Cherokee country
for good after narrowly escaping with his life in August 1760 at the fall of
Fort Loudon. (He too retired to Charleston.) That Stuart’s Susannah is the
daughter of Robert Emory, not William Emory, will be demonstrated more fully
later. William’s Susannah was no more than ten years old in 1760.
(The Creek children, we believe, are probably Robert’s as well.)
The British army struck the Cherokee hard and forced a peace in September 1761
which pretty well ended the French-Indian War in the Carolinas and Tennessee.
Cherokee territories were reduced as well. William returned to Charleston by
1766, perhaps at Goose Creek. On October 2, 1766 he witnessed a deed (as
William Amory) in Charleston for a land sale in Saint Mark’s Parish. [Book G-3 Charleston Land Deeds – Lease & Release, p.373]
On November 18, 1768, his marriage “settlement” (acknowledgement) to the
widow Mrs. Sarah (Loocock) Cantle was noted in the “Miscellaneous Records”
Volume OO 1767-1771, p.97-101 (1768). [from Barbara R. Langdon, Implied
South Carolina Marriages Vol III 1671-1791, (Aiken, SC: Langdon): p.2] (The
Loococks resided in the Goose Creek parish as well as Charleston.)
He is shown as “William Armory” in the records but in her will she is shown
as Amory. The will of Sarah Amory of Saint Andrew’s Parish is dated
November 11, 1769. She gives her “husband William my plantation in trust
for life.” Her will was proved on July 20, 1770. Just a few days later, William
died as well. He was buried July 31, 1770 at Saint Philip’s Parish, where his
The Mary Emory of Goose Creek who died in 1769 and was buried at Saint
Philip’s is probably not Mary (Grant) Emory, the daughter of Ludovic Grant;
but the second wife of John Emory, according to the journal of Colonel
Isaac Hayne (d.1781). Thomas Nightingale, who died within days of Mary’s
death, was also buried at Saint Philip’s.
Besides Ludovic Grant, the names of Cornelius Daugherty (associated with
Grant in the Valley towns), Abraham Smith (a trader associated with Keowee
and Robert Emory), Ambrose Davis (an interpreter and messenger)*, and, of
course, Thomas Nightingale are important white men to track to locate William
Emory. Among the Cherokee are Corn Tassel (or Old Tassel), Abraham (Old
Abram), Wawhatchee, and Attakullakulla (or Little Carpenter). Tassel (Grant’s
brother-in-law) and Abram were killed by Sevier’s men in 1788 under a flag of
truce. Wawhatchee was among those murdered at Fort Prince George (1761).
And Little Carpenter was the benefactor of Captain John Stuart, saving him
from execution at the fall of Fort Loudon (part of the revenge for the Fort Prince
George executions). Little Carpenter, who went to England in 1730 as a young
man, was also the father of Dragging Canoe, who would figure in the next
generation of the Emory Cherokee story. [Little Carpenter’s connection to Grant began in
1730. The thick mythology around him ignores the fact that prior to 1755 he was associated with the
Lower and Middle towns and was often considered an enemy of the British. He was not “Peace Chief” or
“Second Man” and was the only Cherokee bef. 1758 to have “dead or alive” warrants issued on him by the
governors of SC (1746) and VA (1757—for military desertion).]
* Abram/Ambrose Davis of the Cherokee village of Ioree (Ayoree) in North Carolina. He
was an interpreter and somewhat of a rascal. He had a run-in with William Emory’s
father-in-law, Ludovic Grant in the turbulent 1750’s. Davis helped to defend Fort
Prince George in what later became Pickens District when it came under Cherokee attack.
Ambrose Davis, who styled himself a “linguister”, wrote the report from the Overhill
towns that the French were trying to recruit the Cherokee into frontier warfare in 1746.
Davis was an occasional traveler to Charleston with the Cherokee delegations hosted by
Mrs. Sarah Amory and others.
Abraham’s mother was born Cherokee, c.1728 in Tellico (now in Tennessee)
and d.c.1766 in Goose Creek, South Carolina. She was part of the “aristocracy”
of the Cherokee, a tribal member.
Since she was a tribal member, her children were born Cherokee (membership
followed maternal lines). (The notion of “half blood, quarter blood, 1/32
blood” and so on, is a white invention. If you were a tribal member, you were
Cherokee, period. The unfortunate racial purge in the mid 1800’s in Oklahoma
based on blood percentage and skin color was not “the old way”.)
Cherokee lands, villages and tribal affiliations were destroyed from the 1750’s
through the 1770’s, so her people lost their homelands and tried to live as
farmers in upper South Carolina among half-breeds and tolerant whites.
Was Mary Grant (b.1728), daughter of Ludovic Grant, Abraham’s mother? I
have not thought so. I assumed along with others that Abraham and Drury were
from a second wife, but family tradition from two different descendants of
Abraham say that “William and Mary” were the parents. This could indicate a
second Mary but a careful analysis of the movements of Ludovic Grant, William
Emory and Thomas Nightingale along with parallel movements of the Vann,
Watts and Welch Cherokee families to Ninety Six at the same time seem to clinch
Mary Grant as the mother. Of considerable weight is the fact that the “Emory
boys” (Robert and William) and the “Grant Cherokee girls” (Susannah and Mary)
were just youths when they married and had that romantic bond of youth that kept
them together. (This was not the typical case of a 45-year-old trader fathering a
child with a 15-year-old Cherokee.) Plus, the apparent bond between William and
his father-in-law Ludovic Grant was a fortifying influence on the marriage.
The computer-predicted name of Abraham’s mother was:
Matilda 30 % (with Joel b.1755 as her son, 20% without)
Nancy 20 %
>> Mary << 15 % (with Joel b.1755 as her son, 25% without)
Catherine 5 %
Rebecca 5 %
Margaret 5 %
Unknown 20 %.
Her computer-predicted date of death was:
1769 30 % (a Mary Emory of Goose Creek and a
Catherine Emory were buried at St. Philip’s
that year) << revised : Mary is the mother
1766 20 % (“plague” hits upper SC)
other yrs bef 1770 10 % (with Joel b.1755 as her son, 20% without)
between 1800-1810 30 % (with Joel b.1755 as her son, 0% without)
other yrs aft 1770 10 % (with Joel b.1755 as her son, 30% without)
Where did the name Abraham come from? Three possibilities arise:
Abram (Abraham) of Chota and Chilhowee, later known as “Old
Abram”; a Cherokee chief. Abram’s Creek in the Great Smoky Mountain
National Park is named for him. Timberlake’s 1762 / 1765 map shows
“Abraham’s Cr.” feeding into the upper Tennessee River. This is the
most intriguing possibility. An incorrect family legend was that William
Emory was killed by John Sevier’s men but it is a fact that Old Abram was
killed by Sevier’s men in 1788. Abram (c. 1725-1788) led the attack on
Fort Watauga (Capt. John Sevier’s post) in 1776. He and Old Tassel
(c.1712-1788) were killed under a flag of truce at Chilhowee. I have a
hunch without any justification at all, that Abram was a son of an early
Indian trader (Grant? Daugherty?). (See “Old John” Hembree’s son
Michael Emery for another connection between our family and Abram.)
Abraham (Abram) Smith, an Indian trader born inVirginia (?) who was
affiliated with Robert Emory in 1750 and in the supply of Fort Loudon
in 1757 and 1758. He was based in Keowee and held a license to
trade in the lower towns until around 1754 when South Carolina felt he
was helping Virginia too much. He was also affiliated with Thomas
Nightingale and delivered Nightingale’s alarming letters from the
Cherokee nation in May 1749. [The Colonial Records of South Carolina :
Journal of the Commons House of Assembly March 28, 1749 – March 19, 1750,
edited by J.H. Easterby pp. 87,163,201,216].
The third possibility is that this is a family name from England. In the
northwest part of Lincolnshire there were several Abraham Amory,
Isaac Amory, John Amory, Robert Amory and Andrew Amory families
that seem to be related to our John Amory. The family in Lincolnshire
came to England in the 1600’s from Normandy (Protestant Huguenots).
They followed Biblical naming patterns such as “Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob” (Exodus 3:16), “Andrew, James, John” (Luke 6:14) with an
occasional David or Peter. Where, though, do they get “Robert” and
Robert, Duke of Normandy (b.1027) was the father of William the
Conqueror. Modern England began with William’s invasion of the
island in 1066. Proud Normans (who were being crushed in the 1600’s)
liked to remember that they “fathered” England.
Note on Abraham Smith:
When South Carolina tightened the regulation of the Indian trade in 1751, Smith
was listed as one of the traders who “were of a known good Character and
Reputation” and “who have given sufficient Proof of a good Behaviour amongst
these Indians for some Years.” [The Colonial Records of South Carolina : Documents
Relating to Indian Affairs 1750 – 1754, pp. 165-166 ].
He was at Keowee with Richard Smith, who could speak Cherokee. A third man
who was from Virginia was trader Richard Pearis, who could also speak the
language. Pearis recruited Wawhatchee and other Lower warriors to assist the
Virginians on three separate occasions in 1755-1756, 1756, 1757. These Virginia
connections will become important in the next volume when we develop the
tragedies of Fort Prince George, the murder of Wawhatchee, the destruction of
Keowee, the siege of Fort Loudon, the Revolution, the Cherokee’s continued war
after the Revolution, how the Emory girls wound up with Gen. Joseph Martin, Jr
(Virginia’s Agent to the Cherokee) and so on. (Pearis, a Loyalist, set up his
trading post (replacing Abraham Smith’s) on the Keowee River before the war.
His descendants and those of Smith were still there in 1790.)
Abraham Smith’s assistance to Virginia almost cost him his license in South Carolina
then Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie’s letter to South Carolina’s James Glen
of August 5, 1754, (in which Dinwiddie apologized for Smith’s behavior) dashed
any hope of Smith working for Virginia. (Dinwiddie would also dismiss Pearis after
he and his Cherokees were honored by Maryland and Pennsylvania and he had a low
opinion of George Washington too.) [The Dinwiddie Papers, The Papers of George
Washington, numerous refs. and examples available online].
The mixed-blood descendants of Abraham Smith, Richard Smith and Ambrose
Davis remained in upper South Carolina. (See 1790 census at page 82, 83.)
Both Thomas Nightingale and Abraham Smith made supply transports from Keowee
to Fort Loudon in late 1756 and early 1757. (This is how Susannah Emory wound up
there in 1757.) [SC Commons Journal of 11 Mar & 21 Mar 1757, 19 Jan & 2 Feb 1759, etc].
Smith also met Capt John Stuart in Dorchester, SC, and guided him for 8 days on his
reinforcement expedition to Fort Loudon in 1759. [Ibid. 11 Jun 1760].
Abraham used the name “Emery” on legal documents but was comfortable
with Hembree as well. Since some of his daughters married Hembrees, it is
impossible to say which form of the name is correct for his descendants.
The name “Hembree” speaks uniquely of South Carolina, and is the preferred
form in that state. Descendants also have gone by Emery and Emory. We use
“Hembree” in this report because the initiative for the project came from
Abraham’s father spelled his name Emory, which should settle the matter.
Abraham’s grand-father spelled his name Amory, which should settle the
But back in England the Amory and Emery forms are used equally.
In short, the matter cannot be settled. (Among the Cherokee the name
“Emory” is known.)
Drury’s descendants have gone by “Hembree” more so than Abraham’s but it
all seems to come down to preference, not any patronymic certainty.
Embree families in the south descend almost entirely from Quaker pioneers and
are not included here.
Embrey, Embry families where possible are kept distinct from those who used
the name Hembree.
Was Abraham born in Spartanburg?
Of course not. Spartanburg did not exist in 1757. At the time of Drury and
Abraham’s birth there were only four counties in South Carolina (Craven,
Berkeley, Colleton, Granville) and these counties had no definite boundaries.
It was not until 1785, when Drury was 30 years old, that the state was split into
seven court districts and 34 counties. But in 1791 the state was redivided into
nine court districts and an uncertain number of counties.
By the time Abraham was 62, when he had to declare under oath where he was
born, he probably said something like “right here, this land”, and Spartanburg
was written down on his behalf. [It’s important to note that Drury’s pension
application says they were in the Fair Forest/Spartanburg area when the war
Locating William Emory in the period 1752-1758 has not yet been proven but I
can say with confidence that he was not in Tennessee and he was not east of the
Saluda River. Although some settlers appear along the Tyger River (in what was
to become Spartanburg County) by 1756 [The Colonial Records of South Carolina :
Journal of the Commons House of Assembly 1755 – 1757, edited by Terry Lipscomb
(Columbia: U of SC Press, 1989): p. 350,352], an earlier settlement was reported along
the Saluda River by 1751. The “fort” at Ninety Six at the Saluda River was built
in 1751 (it was not much more than a horse corral and a few huts) to protect the
Cherokee from the Catawba (and the traders from both). It is not difficult to
imagine Emory near Ninety Six, but difficult to picture him among the Catawba
who were at war. Was not peace made between the Cherokee and Catawba in
1752? Yes – Thomas Nightingale and wife Sarah (Wilson) Amory Nightingale
hosted the peace commission from both tribes.
[The Col Recs of South Carolina : Journal of the Commons House of Assembly 1751 – 1752, edited by Terry Lipscomb and R. Nicholas Olsberg (Columbia: U of SC Press, 1977): p.119, 175, 311]. But war drums were beating up and down the frontier, and this was a time for war, not peace. Nightingale had retired from the Cherokee upcountry by 1751. William Emory came down with him or with Ludovic Grant by 1755.
Why did Nightingale (and Emory?) exit the Cherokee Nation? Some Cherokee
hotheads began attacking the traders in 1750 and 1751. James Maxwell, one of
the “master traders”, heard at Keowee “that the Indians were very insolent, and
talked of killing the Traders”. [The Col Recs of South Carolina : Journal of the House of
Assembly, edited by Olsberg : session of May 13, 1751, p.442]. Maxwell ignored the
report and continued on to Ioree (Hyoree, Joree), then to Ludovic Grant at
Tomatly town. [Ibid. p.443. Maxwell’s statement clearly puts Grant in NC. On today’s map
he went from Walhalla, SC to Franklin, NC, then to Murphy, NC, on horseback in 2 days].
When he headed back toward Keowee he heard that runners were coming after
him to kill him, “which I took as a good Hint for me to be gone”. At the urging
of their Cherokee wives, sixteen white men fled with Maxwell down to
Augusta where they met with other white men who had fled from Keowee and
Ninety Six. [Ibid. p.443-444] Some of the traders returned after the instigators
were punished but some, like Nightingale, stayed in the low country.
Nightingale’s Goose Creek residence was a safe place for Indians (and half
bloods). [Col. Recs SC, Journal of the House 1750-1751, Olsberg, pp. 171,173,205,206].
He also had land at Ninety Six, part of which he sold to Robert Gouedy. I
believe William Emory took his family to Ninety Six, Ludovic Grant retired
at Goose Creek. When William went off to war, he moved his family down
to Goose Creek. [Nightingale married William Emory’s mother – that’s the
connection between the families. See Part Two.]
What about Ludovic Grant? He retired to Charleston in 1756 after a dispute
with a drunken Little Carpenter. [John P. Brown, Old Frontiers, (Kingsport, TN:
Southern Publishers, Inc, 1938): p.64] He probably died in 1757, though there is no
After Abraham’s birth, where did William Emory go? Some think to the Creek
Nation in the early 1760’s, before retiring to Charleston in 1766 or so. It is more
likely that he went into the British Army with his brother Robert.
Here is where the Old John Hembree connection and an old family legend come in. Old John had no known siblings; he lost his father when he was only 2 or 3 and his mother was dead or “gone to England” around 1751, when he was only 7.
John was sent to “family” in Goose Creek and had an “uncle” who was a half
brother (English) and another “uncle” who was referred to as a “revered uncle”.
The revered (not reverend as my grandmother and I figured) was Thomas
Nightingale. The other uncle was said to have died young and left sons who
were Old John’s nephews. John took these nephews under his wing. The uncle
who was a white half-brother had to have been William Emory, and the nephews
were Drury and Abraham. The dates, names, and places all fit together. Before
I arrived at this conclusion, and unknown to me, Bob Hembree, the dean of
Hembree researchers, published his opinion that Drury and Abraham Hembree
were sons of William Emory.
Thomas Nightingale died in 1769 and William Emory died in 1770. Where
would John Hembree (who was about 26) go? And what would he do with his
nephews Drury (15) and Abraham (13)?
This is where another old family legend has to bridge the unknown. William
Emory died in 1770. John Hembree headed back up to the Ninety Six District.
Drury (15) and Abraham (13), having nowhere else to go, probably joined him.
John already had a young child but had lost his wife to the “fever” or “plague”.
His Cherokee mother-in-law remained with him to take care of the child. This
Cherokee woman, I believe, was the same one who took care of John when
he was a small child. She actually remained with the family until her death in
1831 or so. She was called “Nani” or “Nina” or “Nana”.
Nana – the French Woman of Keowee
Her legend is more fully set out in “Old John Hembree aka John Emory” and
“John Amory and the Emory Cherokees” but is worth including here in part.
She was a Cherokee born c.1733 in Keowee and was acquainted with the mother
of John Emory (b.1744), Mary Moore. It is entirely possible that she was a
Melungeon Cherokee. When she was a young girl she was kidnapped, sold into
slavery, and wound up in the French West Indies. When she was a young
woman her French owners set her free and put her on a ship to Charleston. The
ship’s master, however, tried to auction her as a slave in Charleston. She saw
there were some Cherokee onlookers and she called out to them in their language.
There was a great commotion and finally an Englishman arrived with more
Cherokee and bought her. The Englishman is not known but the young girl
wound up at the household of John and Sarah Amory, and was returned to the
tribe c.1746. “Somehow” she became pregnant with a child by William Elder,
an associate of John Amory. John Amory died in 1746, his widow married
William Elder in 1747 (he died in 1748) and she married Thomas Nightingale
She married Little Carpenter (no children). Around 1752 she came to Charleston
with Little Carpenter and dropped off the orphaned John Emory with Sarah
Amory Nightingale. She herself joined the Nightingale household by 1759 when
the warriors of Keowee went off to Virginia and Pennsylvania to fight the French.
She lived with the Amorys (and the Nightingales) off and on into her old age.
She was known as Nana or Nina – “the French Woman of Keowee”. The name
could be French, Cherokee or simply “Nannie”. She died around 1831 in
the house of Edward Hembree, a son of Old John. She knew “Mary Ayers”, she
knew the Nightingales, she knew about the governor’s house, she knew about
Wawhatchee, she knew about Keowee. She is just a legend for now but how
else could these names have been transmitted through John’s line (especially
since he was orphaned at age 8 or so)? She is the bridge. She was Edward
Hembree’s “nanny” and is listed in his household in 1830 as a family member.
She is buried with the family in what is now Oconee County, South Carolina –
close to Keowee. She is the family “a ga yv li ge hee”, or “old woman” – the
story-teller of the oral family tradition.
It was around 1765 that John Hembree got married and began having children
of his own. If John had a reason to go to upper South Carolina, did Drury and
Abraham? In fact, yes. Their father came through for them in his final days.
Perhaps it was moreso the “revered uncle”, but both men acted on the knowledge that their days were few, they had no male heirs, and they had three
young men who could use their help. Nightingale began acquiring properties
in upper South Carolina that he would never see. He encouraged William
Emory to also get a land grant. On June 6, 1769 William Amory, Thomas
Nightingale and Aaron Loocock (the nephew of William’s wife and a land
speculator) petitioned for land warrants in a Charleston courthouse. William’s
was for 300 acres between the Pee Dee and the Savannah Rivers. [Brent H.
Holcomb, Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Journals Volume VI : 1766 – 1770
(Columbia: SCMAR, 1999): p.233] William did not need this land – he was
comfortably situated at his wife’s plantation and his back country days were
long over. And look at how he requested the grant: between the Pee Dee and
the Savannah – that’s the entire state! He wanted his boys to pick a spot, stake
it out, apply for the survey, and William would secure the title. When
Nightingale died a few months later he had title to several lands upstate that his
only heir (daughter) Sarah would never need nor want. Drury and Abraham’s
mother died at around this time. Their father’s wife would die in 1770 and
their father just days after her.
Still, the boys had land papers in hand and they went with Old John into the
Ninety Six District. Having Drury and Abraham there must have been a help
to John’s family because that area was still considered dangerous frontier (and
would again erupt in war just several years later).
Thomas Nightingale had lands in the Ninety Six District in the 1750’s, 1760’s,
and 1770’s (after his death). [Clara A. Longley, South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1719 –
1779, (Easley, SC : Southern Historical Press, 1983): IV 26, 39, 319] His lands on Ninety
Six Creek of the Saluda River, I believe, is where William Emory moved his
family in the 1750’s. [Nightingale was hired to transport ammunition to Fort Prince George in
1753, and he had an active part in the supply of Fort Loudon, including a private shipment of rum
to Capt Paul Demere via James Beamer in 1758. (The review committee disallowed that voucher.)
(SC Commons Journal 28 Jan & 5 Feb 1754; 2 Feb & 8 Mar 1759)]
John Hembree can be located in the Ninety Six District before the war because
he witnessed two deeds there in December 1773 and proved the deeds by his
oath on 14 February 1774. The lands involved were “on the waters of Bush
Creek in Ninety Six District, S.C.”. [Brent H. Holcomb, South Carolina Deed
Abstracts 1773 – 1778, SCMAR : Columbia, SC, 1994, p.95 a 3rd deed on p.105] [This was
Brush or Brushy Creek of the Saluda River. In 1805 William Hembree, son of Old John, sold
the Hembree’s 150 acres on Brushy Creek to Peter Laboon. (Ibid., p.244). The Laboons
already had adjoining lands on “Brushy Creek of Saluda River” (Ibid., p.294), as did Elijah
Moore and William Welch – probable sons-in-law of Old John (p.295). The 1773 deeds were
to “Joseph Thompson, Tanner” and were also witnessed by John Turner and Samuel Kelly.
All three witnesses were sons of Indian traders and “tanner” implies Indian trader – deerskins
were the currency of the Indian trade.]
By 1773, though, there was a steady stream of migration into South Carolina
from the north. The “Presbyterians” from Pennsylvania and New Jersey filled
the northern and eastern farm lands. Many Virginians moved to the back
country to establish their own churches. The migration from Virginia was
driven by a religious revival known as “anabaptism” (what we would call
“born again” Christianity).
Anabaptism was a return to the Bible and a rejection of the Anglican Church,
which was so powerful in Virginia. Anabaptists did not name their sons after
English kings: William, Henry, George, John, James. They preferred names
from the Bible: Benjamin, Isaac, David, Reuben, Moses, Jesse, Joel, Joseph,
Isaiah, Elijah, Ephraim and so on.
Into the upper reaches of Spartanburg came the Anabaptists, with David Hembree
and his brother James and their families. David’s uncle William was a founder of
the Meherrin Baptist Church of Lunenburg County, Virginia. This congregation
wanted to establish a pilot church in a place free from Anglican control. They
went to North Carolina for 10-15 years then found the upper corner of South
Carolina more to their liking. Who was David Hembree and what was his family
connection to the family of Old John Hembree?
[Aaron Loocock had lands in Spartanburg on the Pacolet River, which is
probably where the boys lived in 1776. He was a Tory and left these lands to his
wife in his 1799 will (he was exiled in New York). So it was easy to remain on
the land – they just could not sell
On January 30, 1760, David Hembree received a patent for 690 acres in Orange
County, VA, in Saint Matthew’s Parish on Blue Wing Creek.
On July 5, 1768 David Hembrey was granted 200 acres in Craven County, SC
(afterwards part of Spartanburg County) in an area called “Fairforest” – “on a
branch of Tyger River called James Creek, bounded southeast by Wm. Hendricks.
Survey certified 11-27-1767, granted 7-5-1768. Quit Rent begins in 10 years.
Recorded 4-29-1768.” [Newberry County Court Records] On September 6,
1768 “David Amery” made a petition for a survey warrant for the same 200
In 1768 Samuel DeSaurency, a Huguenot, was granted 367 acres in Craven
County and 67 acres of that was then granted to “James Amare”.
Other French Protestants moving into the South Carolina back country were
Rev. Abraham Imer / Emer of Purrysburg then of Saxe Gotha, who died Oct
1766. David Lewis Imer / Imrie who died April 1781 and was buried at St.
Philip’s Parish in Charleston. And Dr. Frederick Imer / Imrie who was granted
100 acres in Craven County in May 1768 but died in 1771. (Abraham Emer was
married at St. Philip’s.)
A William Embry of Virginia also moved into the upcountry in the Camden
District. Bob Hembree links this William Embry to Col. Henry Embry of
Does David Hembree (1728-1809) belong to the plantation Embry’s of Virginia,
the French protestants, a different Virginia family, or the South Carolina
Emorys/Amorys? I tend to think he belongs to a Virginia family but not
necessarily part of the Henry Embry “plantation” line. I think he is the same
David Emray on the 1749 tax list of Lunenburg Co, Virginia (listed near William
Embry of the “plantation” line and Edward Owen). He was the father of Rev.
James H. Hembree (1759-1849). Bob Hembree, the “dean of Hembree
researchers”, has traced this family back to Goochland County, Virginia. As
Bob frequently notes, David’s father was a James Hembree (b.c.1700), not
William as so often reported. (See the section on the Hembree & Emory Family
Could David Hembree have been a cousin of William Emory, father of
Abraham? It is unlikely. William’s brother Robert (d.1790) is thought by
Martin family genealogists to have lived in Virginia and upper North
Carolina, but I respectfully dispute that. (I have him in North Carolina, South
Carolina and Georgia or Alabama before retiring in Charleston.)
Although no relationship has been proven between David and James of
Virginia and the South Carolina Emory/Hembrees, there is the tendency to
consider the two lines together.
When David came to Spartanburg District he was affiliated with the Virginia
and North Carolina Baptists. I once considered him to be the “revered uncle”
of John Hembree’s youth but could not prove any connection. David’s family
sometimes spelled the name Emery. In 1800 “James Emery” (James H.
Hembree) was the representative of the Shockley Ferry Baptist Church. (So the
surname was not precise.)
The Hembrees were early members of the Tyger River Baptist Church, which
became the Friendship Baptist Church, and possibly the Goucher Baptist Church,
both of which Abraham attended. (But note that Drury, Old John, and the
Moores of our family had little or no Baptist connection before 1810.)
It is important to remember that David and James Hembree did not come into
upper South Carolina before 1768. Drury and Abraham were born before that in
upper South Carolina.
According to The Descendants of David Hembree by Patricia B. McMillan,
David and James Hembree served in the Granville County, North Carolina,
militia in 1755.* [“Colonial & State Records of North Carolina”, Vol XXII,
A land deed in 1773 refers to 150 acres on “Jameys Creek of Tyger River”
surveyed in 1770 as being adjacent to land of “David Hembry”. (Deed recorded
December 31, 1785.)
* Also cited by John B.G. Hembree Jr & Clara A. (Hembree) Maxcy in Hembree
(self published, 1983): p.3. [June Clark Murtie, Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732-1774,
(Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co.,1986): pp. 723,756]
In South Carolina Baptists 1670 – 1805 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing
Co, Inc, 1974), Leah Townsend notes the beginning of the Baptist migration:
About 1759 or 1760 Mr. Mulkey led a group of thirteen from Deep
River in North Carolina to Broad River in South Carolina. They were
incorporated into a church at this place, their membership soon
increasing to over a hundred. However, the original body remained only
until December, 1762, when they moved to Fairforest, a tract lying in
the fork between Fairforest Creek and Tyger River. . . . Three hundred
families were connected with the congregation [by 1772]. (pp. 125-126)
Tyger River Church (Friendship) . . . which claims 1765 as its date of
constitution, was so near to Fairforest as to indicate a connection in their
early history. . . . Other records give 1777 as the date of constitution.
The Hembrees were among members listed 1801 – 1804.
In conclusion, although the circumstantial evidence of a relationship between
the Virginia Hembrees and the South Carolina Emorys (Hembrees) appears
compelling in both Spartanburg and Pendleton, a generation earlier they were
worlds apart and no blood connection can be assumed.
For more detail on the connections between the two lines see The Hembree &
Emory Family Tree in Part Two, which was done thanks to Jane Hembree’s
Family Tree site at http://pages.ivillage.com/fp-olevia/ and in large measure
thanks to Dale Standifer’s preservation of Bob Hembree’s “Roots Branches
Drury Hembree was born December 12, 1755 upper South Carolina (by
tradition, the Spartanburg County area). In many ways he is even more elusive
than his brother. The lack of other siblings has led to the conclusion that their
mother died rather young, leaving uncle John, Drury, and Abraham to raise
Drury moved to Tennessee, then perhaps back to South Carolina, then back to
Tennessee, then up to Indiana, then finally to Missouri, where he died around
the age of 90 years old.
It is possible that Drury’s first name was Andrew and that he went by that
name at times. Some think that his only name was Andrew and “Drewry” is a
nickname based on Andrew, but his war record with the British and a civil
lawsuit in 1787 suggest “Drury/Drewry” as his correct name (whether first or
(See also reference to Andrew Amory as a family name back in England.)
In Henry Guppy’s 1890 book, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, he
indicates the following surnames among those peculiar to Lincolnshire:
Drewery, Drewry, and Drury. [www.genuki.org.uk site]
Who was Drury’s wife? She is known as “M” born in Pennsylvania c. 1756
(1766 is more likely given the earlier census ages and childbirths for her). She
died after 1850 in Taney County, Missouri. Some believe she was part Cherokee;
another guess is that she was from Virginia, the sister of James Harbison (1763-1841). If that guess is true, James Harbison would have been Drury’s brother-in-law, neighbor, and son-in-law in DuBois County, Indiana, all at the same time!
(Another theory is that her last name was Shirley.)
Of Cherokee note, though, is Drury’s sons Andrew & Benjamin who most
likely married a Cherokee woman and is the father of some central Tennessee
Cherokee Emorys, including Andrew, Catherine, Benjamin, and Thomas.
(Note that the DeKalb County, Tennessee Cherokee Emorys come from a
different Thomas b.c. 1805 and his sons and grandsons include Thomas b.c.1830,
Carroll David b.c.1835, and John Richard b.c.1855.)
One little mystery surrounding Drury is this notation in Virgil D. White’s
Index to Revolutionary War Service Records (Waynesboro, TN: National
Historical Publishing Company, 1995): II, 865:
Emery, Abraham, srv as a Pvt in the 6th SC Regt
Emery, Drury, srv as a Pvt in the 2nd VA State Regt
Could this be a transcription error? (It appears in another book of Virginia
colonial military rosters.)
And there is a Drury Emery in the 1812 Viginia Militia (which could include
Kentucky and Indiana) as a private in Company I, Allen’s Regiment. [Roll Box
63, Rec # 2363.]
Drury went to Tennessee before 1800 and records in that area are incomplete
but we are hoping some notice of him can be found there that can help shed some
light on him.
The computer model definitely makes Joel Hembree (1755-1825) a brother of
Abraham and Drury. The certainty is very high, based on census data, naming
patterns, migrations, place of birth, Revolutionary War service in South Carolina,
and lack of intermarriage between their children.
But Bob Hembree, a descendant of this Joel, has linked Joel to James (his father)
of the Virginia families (and shows his place of birth as VA, not SC as everyone
else does). I would trust Bob Hembree over a computer model when it comes to
Joel Hembree but the circumstantial evidence suggests that Joel is connected
somehow to Abraham’s family. [Revised – Bob Hembree is re-examining the
line with a view toward settling the differences.]
Here’s a teaser: the 1790 and 1800 census data suggest that Joel has his mother
or mother-in-law in his household with some slaves (presumably hers). His
mother-in-law and father-in-law (the Pettits) are accounted for in those census
years and had no slaves – they were from New Jersey. The Virginia Hembrees
had a few slaves but the mother of that line is accounted for in Pendleton (not
Spartanburg). (This may not be true: Joel b.1755 is the son of James b.1730
and lived on or near James’ 200 acre grant (of 1772) on the north side of Tyger
River before getting several grants of his own on the north side of the river. The
original 1768 grant of 200 acres was on the south side of the Tyger River (at
James Creek) and an 1811 deed for land on James Creek mentions “Susannah
Hambry’s old line” – she being, perhaps, an unmarried daughter of James.)
Here’s another teaser: Joel b.1755 named one of his sons Isaac Lyons Hembree.
Isaac Lyons was from Goose Creek, SC, where William Emory sometimes
And another teaser: “Old John” Hembree fathered a child out of wedlock in 1788
by Rebecca Sullivan and in the 1790 census, she is found next to this Joel. Also
in that year John obtained a grant of land on the Pacolet River with Joel’s brother
in law: Joshua Pettit.
In the 1790 Spartanburg census (p.86) there is a Henry Emry listed (1-1-1-0-0)
not too far from Drury, Abraham and Joel (b.1755) (p.87). In the 1800 census,
Henry is gone but there is a mysterious Joel (p.207) listed near Joel’s (b.1755)
son Zachariah (p.206). (Abraham is on p.198 and Joel b.1755 is on p.199.)
This other Joel (b.1765-1770) married a Matilda and was the father of Col.
Joel Hembree (b.1796 SC) of Roane County, Tennessee (where the other
Joel b.1755 wound up).
The Hembrees of Joel b.1765-1770 were also slave owners but they too have
a family tradition of Cherokee blood going back to pre-Revolution days. Col.
Hembree (for whom Fort Hembree in N.C. is named) was one of the officers
who rounded up the Cherokee for removal in 1838. (This does not necessarily
peg Col. Joel as “anti-Cherokee”. Army correspondence – official and personal –
show that a lot of the soldiers involved in the removal were compassionate and
sympathetic.) Furthermore, a descendant of Col. Joel has written to me telling
of a family legend identical to the one I heard concerning the mother of “Old
See more detail on the various lines in Part Two.
To recap the Joels:
Joel Hembree (b.1755 VA d.1825 Roane Co TN) – son of James (b.1730) and
Sarah Hembree, grandson of James (b.1700) and Sarah Hembree of Virginia. He
is NOT Joel “Bird” Hembree (though by repeated usage he is known this way)
but he had a son named Joel Bird Hembree (b.1804 SC d.1860).
Joel Hembree (b.1765-1770 d.182x Roane CoTN) – he is a puzzle. He may
have Indian blood (or had a mixed blood wife). He is the father of Col. Joel
Hembree (b.1793 – his official biography for the Tennessee legislature says b.
1796 d.23 Dec 1868 Roane Co, TN). (Note another Joel Hembree b. 1779 d.1868
Roane Co. TN is thought to be a son of another William Embry/Hembree.)
These Joels and their sons lived in Roane County, Tennessee. There is no proof
that either are related to Abraham. (The Joel b.1755 does seem to be a good
fit as a brother of Abraham Hembree though.)
See The Compendium of Joel Hembrees in Part Two.
In 1776 John Emory was about 32, married, and struggling to keep a little farm
going and also hiring himself out as a carpenter. During the Revolution he was
known as a Tory or Loyalist and he fled SC in 1778 to avoid being hanged. He
enlisted with the British and served briefly as a private in Lt. Col. Alexander
Inne’s Company of the South Carolina Royalists (out of Savannah, GA). He was
enlisted on December 1, 1779. After the fall of Charleston, or in 1781, he
took several families up to North Carolina (among neutral Cherokee or Catawba
farmers) and served with the Americans in that state. (A possible, but doubtful,
record of his service there shows that he neglected to draw his pay as of 1783.)
Joel Hembree was 21 and later made a loss claim in South Carolina but no war
record has been asserted.
Drury Hembree was 21 and was drafted two times by the Americans then once
by the British, doing pretty much the same thing for both sides: firing his musket
at Indians who fired at him. As the war wound down, Drury took a wife (of
unknown name) and started a family. Drury’s pension application and service
details are given in Martin & Standifer’s “The Descendants of John Hembree”
on familytreemaker.com, which covers his service with the Americans. He
served from 25 April to 19 July 1781 (as “Duiry Emery”) as a private in Capt
Isaac Stewart’s (British) Troop of Light Dragoons out of Orangeburgh, South
Abraham Hembree was 19 years old when the war broke out and he enlisted
with the Americans in March 1777 before his 20th birthday. He joined the 6th
Regiment (SC). In April 1778 he deserted and was soon apprehended. Knowing
our Abraham, he was either getting married or conceiving his first child (or
both). He resumed service in the 6th but was transferred to the 1st Regiment (SC)
where he served until May 1780.
Abraham’s unit saw action at the battle of Stono Ferry near Charleston (June
1779), then the Siege of Savannah (October 1779), then retreated to Charleston
with the Continental Army. In May 1780, after the surrender of Charleston,
Abraham was captured by the British. He escaped some time later.
In the year 1784 he obtained a certificate of military service so he could apply
for a land warrant, which was granted under the name “Abraham Emery” on
May 7, 1792, for 200 acres near the Keowee River. [See also Land Grant index for
1788 Vol 21, p,135 and Vol 22, p.280; also for 1796 Vol 40 p.219 for Abraham
Abraham’s wife was given as “Winnie” “Winnifred” and “Nancy” in the
1907 Cherokee applications. It was also suggested that her maiden name was
“Jackson”. We are still looking for a Jackson family that fits. Abraham’s mother
was half Cherokee. The computer model rejected Cherokee blood for Abraham’s
wife as none of the applications made a specific mention of her tribal roots, and
a few even indicated that she was NOT Indian.
Here’s a surprise:
Family tradition: Winnifred (“Nancy”) Jackson, possibly part Cherokee
Computer model: Winnifred (“Nancy”) Lee (b.1760 – d.1808) daughter of
James Lee of Virginia, later of Spartanburg District, SC,
Abraham Hembree came from an Anglican (English) Church tradition. It is
likely that he married a strict Baptist girl and she made a Bible-thumpin’
believer out of him. The Lees of Virginia (not the famous Lees, but the poorer
up-country Lees) came to Spartanburg in the 1770’s (to escape the Anglican
church tax in Virginia). A James Lee lived near Abraham in Spartanburg
District. “Winnifred” is a name more common among Virginia families such
as the Lees than among the back-country Jacksons.
Abraham named his first surviving son “James Lee”, in a departure from his
Bible names (so a family importance can be inferred, such as his father-in-law).
It is likely that Abraham met his wife during the war and they had a war-time
marriage in 1781 or so. But there needs to be more research to be conclusive.
In defense of the Jackson name for Abraham’s wife, there are two widows in
Spartanburgh County living nearby Abraham in 1790: Elizabeth Jackson and a
Hannah Jackson, listed next to Thomas Jackson (her son). This Thomas Jackson
was about Abraham’s age and he served in the 1st Regiment during the
Revolutionary War, under his older brother Capt. William Jackson, so perhaps
this is the family.
New data (since the first edition) suggests that Abraham did not marry c.1778
but in 1781 or so. The Jackson family that was close to Abraham’s family in
Spartanburg and later in Georgia and Missouri were white Baptists from Virginia
by way of North Carolina. The names Matilda, Ephraim and Reuben, which
Abraham’s wife chose as names for children match the Jackson names of the
North Carolina line.
More research and analysis is needed. Identifying the parents of Ephraim
Jackson (d.c.1849 Spartanburg) will very likely yield further clues as to the
identity of Winnefred Jackson, Abraham’s wife. (Or perhaps our Ephraim
is the one in Pendleton District in 1790.)
A search of the land records provides a solid link to an Ephraim Jackson, and
further data on Abraham’s wife: [from A.B. Pruitt’s Deed Abstracts, op cit.]
On January 27, 1792, “Abraham Hembrey and wife Winey” sold 117 acres of his
265 acre grant (of 7 Jan 1788) between Cain’s Creek and Dutchman’s Creek north
of the Tyger River (near the lands of Joel b.1755 and Hannah Hembree).
On November 19, 1795, “Abraham Emery and wife Winnefred” of Spartanburg
sold his war service grant of 200 acres (of 7 May 1792) on the Keowee River in
Pendleton County, SC. Ephraim Jackson was a witness to the transaction.
On November 1, 1809, Abraham Hembree, without wife, bought additional land
on Goucher’s Creek: “increasing all the land where Abraham Hembrie lives on
Ephraim Jackson moved up to that area in 1805 (buying land from William Land)
and he lived next to Joshua Pettit’s land. This Ephraim seems to be a “nephew”
of Abraham. He married Rebecca Sullivan and raised her illegitimate son by
Old John Hembree as his own. (See note under Children of Old John Hembree.)
An older Ephraim Jackson, along with his brother Samuel, are found in Pendleton
District, living at the boundary of Indian lands along with names familiar in the
family: Moore, Smith; and names familiar in Cherokee genealogy: Martin,
Pearis, Murphy, Fields, Buffington, Harlan, etc. This Ephraim and Samuel lived
close to the lands of Old John Hembree in Pendleton County in 1790.
Abraham’s father, William Emory, lived among the Cherokee in North Carolina
at Tomatly village. He came down from the Cherokee Nation before 1755. He
lived near Ninety Six or Keowee when Abraham was born.
It is likely that Abraham spent time in his youth among the Cherokee in South
Carolina, and was accepted as “tribal blood”. He was, after all, born to a woman
who was a tribal member so that made him a Cherokee by birth. But there is no
evidence that he claimed tribal membership. He spent his whole life near
traditional tribal lands and was regarded as a brother but the evidence is
conclusively against formal tribal membership in his later years. He could not
have drawn his war pension or received his land grant had he claimed to be
Cherokee. He asserts in his 1825 pension application “that he was a resident
citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March, 1818” (when Congress
passed the pension act. Indians were not citizens.)
There is, however, a strong family tradition (from the 1907 Cherokee
applications) that he died at Ross’ Landing near Chattanooga shortly before
the forced removal began in the Spring of 1838. Ross’ Landing was the
gathering point for the removal. So, symbolically, he was born a Cherokee, and
he died a Cherokee on “The Trail of Tears”, spending his entire life on Cherokee
soil and dying on the “doorstep” of the Trail of Tears.
Is the Ross’ Landing tradition reliable? The applicants were mostly unable to
read or write, and probably had no idea of the significance of the place, so it
seems reliable. On the other hand, newspaper accounts describing the court
settlement surely mentioned the removal from Chattanooga, which was called
Ross’ Landing at the time.
Q. Were the “half breed havens” (the trading posts and families around them)
part of the Cherokee Nation? Were the children born there (such as Abraham)
A. The answer to both is “no” but a lot of such children became tribal leaders.
Others went west and became the “mountain men”, cavalry troops, prospectors,
cowboys of western legend. Consider John Watts, who was born at Ninety Six
in 1753. He became a warrior and a chief. If blood percentage and birthplace
define who is Cherokee, then Abraham was as much Cherokee as John Watts was.
In many ways, these were Abraham’s golden years. He had a large family and
gained influence in the community as a member of the church. Many of his
children learned to read (and some learned to write) as the result of the church.
In 1807 Abraham (along with his wife and daughter) were granted papers from
the Friendship Baptist Church (lower Spartanburgh District) and relocated to
upper Spartanburgh (where they joined Goucher Baptist Church). But, alas, the
death of his wife in 1808 or so put the family in a tailspin. She seems to have
kept the family together. After her death, the family scattered west and north.
The eldest son, James Lee, left home and headed for Georgia. The eldest
daughter, Sallie, went with her husband James to Georgia also.
Matilda married and went up to North Carolina.
The death of his wife must have been hard for Abraham. He did not remarry,
he had trouble working the farm, and he began to acquire a taste for corn whiskey.
Yet the influence of the church kept him somewhat respectable: the Baptist
church was an early voice for temperance (moderation) and even prohibition.
Without the church, Abraham’s intemperance would have been much more than
Thanks to the judicious nature of the Baptists, we have some colorful notes
regarding the behavior of Abraham Hembree while he and his family were
members of the Goucher Baptist Church in Union County (now part of Cherokee
County), South Carolina. Disciplinary actions were carried out by requiring a
member of the church to “report” to the church and answer to whatever charges
might be brought. If satisfactory answer (and/or repentance) was offered, the
member would remain in good standing.
Here are some examples:
Saturday May the 20th 1815 Brother Abraham Hembree reported to the Church.
David Lipscomb failing to go, that he had Cited Brother Hugh Moore to attend
on Saturday before the third Sunday in May.
Abraham reported but Hugh Moore did not and Jonathan Bice was sent to collect
Moore’s membership letter:
Brother Hugh Moore did not appear to his citation and was Excommunicated
for neglecting to hear the Church--Also Brother Jonathan Buice was appointed
to go to Hugh Moore and request him to give him his Credentials as he may
bring them to the Church. Signed by order of the Church--
A business loan gone bad created a stir in the church the following year. Because
it involved two different congregations, members from both had to hear the
matter. The sum of money was considerable – forty dollars, and it involved one
brother assuming the debt of another and then failing to pay on the note. Brother
Prewett was the “injured” party and Brother Spencer was the one in default:
Friday the 16th day of February 1816
In Conference the case of Shadrick Prewett & William Spencer was
taken up the members from Buck Creek Church presen[t] James
Turner Henry Turner Ephraim Potter John Cantrell Richard Turner
& Samuel Trollenger the Question was put Whether Brother Spencer
should pay Brother Prewett forty Dollars on a note of John Kiger and
them that thought Spencer ought to pay Prewitt was to make it known
by Rising up. Brother Henry Turner Ephraim Potter John Cantrell
Richard Turner Joshua Richards & Samuel Trollenger. Six Rose for
Brother Spencer paying of Brother Prewitt the $40 which was a majority
That did not settle the matter for Abraham, though. He exacted his own
righteous indignation against Brother Spencer:
Saturday Conference March the 16th 1816—
Sister Elizabeth Petty petitioned the Church for a Letter of dismission
to join providence Church her request was Granted & Brother Joshua
Richards was to apply for her Letter I have Wrote it & Gave it to Brother
John Lipscomb C. C
A Report against Brother Abraham Hembree Chargeing him of Giting
drunk and Swearing and wanting to fight Brother Spencer appointed to
cite him to our next Church Meeting
(Note that the lack of punctuation could allow for a period after “fight”, with
Abraham not wanting to fight Spencer specifically. The Spencer family could
have been in-laws of some sort. Spartanburg neighbor Jesse Spencer’s family
wound up close to Abraham’s family – his son Ephraim – in Missouri.)
Two months later our Abraham acquitted himself well before the inquiry:
Saturday May the 18th day 1816.
In Conference Brother Abraham Hembree Came forward and Gave
Satisfaction to the Church
The Buck Creek [Church] sanctioned the Request Handed by Brother
John Pettet in Case of Brother Prewett & Brother Spencer
A few months later Abraham was on the “list of subscribers” (supporters) for
the next meeting at the regional association and was tapped 12 ½ cents for
support (the average amount). But in the same business meeting yet another
case against Abraham was brought up:
A Report against Brother Abraham Hembree Chargeing him with
wanting to fight and of haveing some Immorrel conduct
Brother Hembrees case laid over untill our next November meeting
Well, he beat that rap too:
Saturday Conference the 14th day of November 1818
Brother Hembree[s] Case Dismissd
There were other incidents, but the fight at his 64th birthday celebration deserves
May 19, 1821
Brother Hembree came to the Church and said he was informed by his
daughter Polly that Jack Weaks had threatened to go to his daughter
Metilda and behave himself unseemly with Metilda. Brother Hembree
said when he heard it, it put him in such a passion that he went to the
end of the house and listened a considerable he saw him leaning on the
bed and there was a fight. Brother Pettet was appointed to talk to Metilda
Hembree. Pettet reported that Brother Hembree’s and Metilda’s stories
did not agree.
This is Henry Pettit and his family also wound up close to Abraham’s family in
Missouri. (The name became Petty by 1850.)
About five years later Matilda would be cited by the church on charges of
fornication. She refused to report and was excommunicated. Shortly after,
she moved back up to North Carolina and then Abraham and household moved
up there as well.
(Follow-up on Hugh Moore: he became a minister and remained close to the
church and to the Hembree family. Another Hugh Moore lived in Pendleton
District near the Keowee River and had other lands on the waters of the Saluda
River. Both of these Moores are probably unrelated to our Moores.)
Congress passed a disability / hardship pension for Revolutionary War soldiers
in 1818 and then expanded it in 1820.
On April 9, 1819, Abraham applied by oath for his pension but was denied.
On April 11, 1825, he applied again. He appeared before Judge Theodore
Gaillard at the Spartanburgh Court House with a very detailed declaration.
Judge Gaillard was quite helpful in getting the proper information out of
Abraham. (There were two Theodore Gaillards : one from Saint Philip’s who
died March 29, 1824 and the other from Saint Stephen’s Parish in Charleston,
who died March 24, 1829 – they were first cousins.)
On July 19, 1825, Abraham began receiving a pension payment of five dollars
a month but, because the War Department deemed him eligible back to 1819
he was paid eight dollars a month to catch up on the arrears owed.
On July 29, 1828, he applied to transfer his pension up to Rutherfordton, North
In February 1834 he applied to transfer his pension to Jonesboro in Washington
County, Tennessee, but as he resided in Cocke County, he was assigned to draw
his pension down in Knoxville.
His brother Drury was living nearby in Campbell County, Tennessee at the time
(near Jacksboro) and Abraham assisted him in obtaining a war pension.
A veteran had to establish need or disability to be eligible for the pension and this
was no problem for old Abraham, who suffered from a heart condition that he and
Judge Gaillard ably diagnosed as angina pectoris:
. . . a fluttering or palpitation of the heart, owing as he supposes to
debility, and which frequently continues for the space of two or
three weeks at a time during which paraxism he is entirely unable
and unfit for manual labor.
Judge Gaillard also inventoried Abraham’s personal property, chief of which
was half ownership in a whiskey still ($10.00). The rest of his sellable personal
property included an axe ($1) a hand saw ($1) a drawing knife ($0.45) a
“coopers crain” ($0.25) and one old mattock – estimated total worth: $14.50.
When he moved up to North Carolina a clerk court out of Rutherfordton made
a survey of Abraham’s economic condition on September 3, 1828:
…there can be no doubt that he is very Needy. I was at the place
where he Stays. The Cabbin and all the Visible property is not worth
five dollars he is not able to labour and himself & wife are really
Objects of Charity. . . .
The clerk mistook Polly (age 46) for Abraham’s wife, giving rise to a
misstatement by the War Department in a 1934 letter to Isaac Hembree of
Chattanooga that “Soldiers wife was living in 1828.” In 1825 Abraham
detailed his household as daughters Polly, “who is unhealthy and unable to
contribute any thing towards his support”, Jinny, and Jinny’s two sons
Hampton and Isaac.
The July 1828 declaration was attested to by James Emry (who signed his
own name) and Lewis Ballard (who made his mark). This James was James
M. Hembree, raised as a son by Abraham and closer to him than James Lee
Hembree, the son born 1790.
In his July 29, 1828 statement to John Logan, Justice of the Peace, Abraham
had to set forth his reasons for transferring to North Carolina, as recounted by
. . . his reasons for removing to the State of North Carolina is first
provision is much Cheaper. Rent for a place to stay at much lower
and this Country healthyer and a much better range for Cattle &
But gold was discovered in upper Rutherford County in that year and soon prices
and taxes began to rise. Abraham had to move on. Again in March 1834, in
Cocke County, Tennessee, he had to explain his reasons for transferring his
. . . his reasons for removing . . . to Cocke County Tennessee towit
that the means of living are more abundant & cheap. There are two
agencies in East Tennessee and he resides nearer to that at ----- Wells.
On March 29, 1834, an Isaac Hembree wrote and signed an affidavit (on his
own) for Abraham’s behalf. This was Abraham’s son who resided in Cocke
County. (His nephew Isaac, son of Drury, had been in Campbell County but
was in Johnson County, Indiana by 1830, so the declarant was the son of
Abraham.) (He must have learned how to read and write at the church.)
A witness attested to the truthfulness and character of Isaac Hembree:
I do hear by sertify that Isaac Hembree Is A man of Truth &
Respect to billity and, that his actson do have full Faith and Credit.
Problems arose with Abraham’s pension claim in 1819 because he was “quite
illiterate” according to one judge and was not sure by what name he was enrolled
into the army: Emory, Emmery, Embree, Emery or Hembree. Also, the name of
his company captain (Warley or Marley) could not be found in the 6th Regiment.
(Capt. George Warley shows up in the pay records, as does Abraham Emery. The
pay records were not added to the archives until the 1900’s.) But Abraham did
know one of his captains (John Montgomery) and the commanding officers of the
6th (Col. William Henderson) and 1st (Col. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney)*
Regiments. Furthermore, because he was taken prisoner by the British at the end
of his term of service he “was not regularly discharged”. Then, the certificate he
obtained in 1784 he left on file at the land office in 1792.
Abraham made his mark on his 1819 statement with a bizarre pictograph which
is either a Cherokee bird-man or an ink splot. Most other times he signed with an
‘X’ though on his July 1828 declaration he made a very attractive ‘A’, leading
some to venture that his middle initial was ‘A’. It wasn’t, any more than his
middle initial was ‘X’.
From April 1825: From July 1828:
Abraham X Hembree Abraham A Hembree
Finding the last payment issued for Abraham, minus three or four months, should
give us a better idea of when he died but those pay records seem to be lost.
* Judge Gaillard may have helped Abraham remember Col. Pinckney’s name.
Gaillard and Pinckney were neighbors in Charleston and Gaillard went to the same
school at Oxford that Pinckney had attended a generation earlier. Plus, Pinckney was
the Federalist candidate for president and vice president in three national elections.
In 1906 and 1907 quite a few descendants of Abraham Hembree applied for a
share of the settlement made by the US government with the Eastern Cherokee.
The purpose of the applications was to establish a financial claim based on tribal
membership in 1835 or in 1851. It was not to establish Cherokee ancestry.
The Hembree descendants knew that they were of Cherokee blood and knew they
were living on Cherokee lands since way before 1838 but did not know that their
formal tribal affiliation was from pre-Revolution days in South Carolina and
those Cherokee were burned off their lands without any “census” or “list” being
made of them.
The Hembree descendants (most of whom could barely read or write) set about
to lay down the family history in a way that would make sense to outsiders and
would be supported by available facts. In a way, this data project is a tribute to
their work and a continuation of it.
The data provided in the applications is rich with speculation but it is of dubious
genealogical value. The applicants knew little about their own generation, less
about their parent’s generation, and almost nothing about their grandparent’s
generation. Nonetheless, the applications provide the best glimpse into the
family as it looked 100 years ago.
The applications can be divided into three groups:
1) The Mahala Clonts / Margaret Ross Group (apps 2661, 4968-4974,
2) The Minverva Key Group (apps 6078 thru 6087)
3) The Mary Houser / John W. Hembree Group (apps 44517, 44739)
The Mahala Clonts / Margaret Ross Group
(apps 2661, 4968-4974, 13120)
2661 - Margaret C. Ross, dau of Mahala Clonts
4968 – Samuel A. Clonts, brother of Margaret Ross,
son of Mahala Clonts
4969 - Mahala Clonts – mother of Margaret Ross, dau of
James M. Hembree
4970 - Julius C. Ross, son of Margaret Ross
4971 - Artemincey Barnes, dau of Margaret Ross
4972 - Harriet D. Keener, dau of Margaret Ross
4973 - John W. Clonts, son of Mahala Clonts, brother of
4974 - Margaret Ross – (duplicate of 2661)
13120 - Jodie Stancil, dau of Joseph Hembree, great-grandau of James
M. Hembree (also grand-niece and neighbor of Mahala
Clonts) (filed January 1907, with the help of Mahala
Clonts who signed her affidavit)
On November 9, 1906, Atlanta attorney H. H. Walker prepared and filed
most of the above applications on behalf of the family. Commissioner Guion
Miller himself wrote back and said they were illegible and all based on the
same information so he instructed that Mahala Clonts ought to redo hers (4969)
and the other claims would stand or fall on hers. A year later, on December 4,
1907, the rewritten 4969 application was resubmitted. All were rejected because
the family could not establish tribal membership in 1835 or 1851 and thus did not
have a claim against the government because of the removal of 1838.
1) The birthplace of James M. Hembree is given as North Carolina. This turns
out to be an important piece of information.
2) The applicants state that Abraham had 14 children which, remarkably, appears
correct even though only seven of the children were named.
3) Mentions that Abraham died near Ross’ Landing (Chattanooga), Tennessee.
4) Provides information on Nancy Floyd and her parents Thomas and Sallie.
Nancy was the first wife of James M. Hembree.
5) States that they declared their Cherokee nationality to a J.W. Harris in
Carterville, Georgia (circa 1880?). Could this have been the 1880 census?
6) Mentions Abraham’s wife as “Winnie” “nee Jackson” and says she was “not
1) Mahala contradicts herself in saying “Abraham Hembree lived to be over 100
years old” and “My Grand Father Abram Hembree was born in the Cherokee
Nation in the year 1793.” She has Abraham living in Hamilton County, TN in
1851. All three of these are wrong.
2) She was sure about when and where she was born (November 3, 1829
Rutherford County, NC) and sure her father James M. Hembree was born in
North Carolina as well. Abraham did not move to that area until 1828.
There is evidence that James M. Hembree left South Carolina in 1826 (a letter of
release from the church) and he appears in the 1830 census for Rutherford Co,
There is evidence that Matilda Hembree, Abraham’s daughter, married a Hembree
before 1810 and moved to North Carolina, had two sons there, but returned to her
father’s household by 1820. (Her sister Elizabeth also married a Hembree after
1810 and moved to NC.) Matilda was dismissed by the same church a month
before James M. was. Matilda and James M. resided nearby in the 1830 census
and they both are gone by 1840.
Mahala knew she was the oldest surviving child of James M. but knew she had a
brother who was born & died in 1827. She does not give a birth date for her
father, but might have had 1810 in mind (1793+17 = 1810, 1810+17 = 1827).
Although Mahala attempts to prove that James M. is a son of Abraham, she
actually proves that he is a grandson, the son of Matilda, as it turns out. But
since he was raised as a son, Abraham is fairly considered his father.
The Minverva Key Group (apps 6078 thru 6087)
6078 - Minerva A. Key, dau of Reuben Emery and 1st cousin of
Mahala Clonts (4969)
6079 - Enoch Key, son of Minerva Key
6080 - Mrs. Elsada Frady & ch, dau of Minerva Key
6081 - Henry Key, son of Minerva Key
6082 - Missouri Dale, dau of Minerva Key
6083 - Allen Key, son of Minerva Key
6084 - Mrs. Fannie Bryant & ch, dau of Minerva Key
6085 - Mrs. Dela Worley & ch, dau of Minerva Key
6086 - Mary Jane Key, dau of Minerva Key
6087 - Pinkney Key & ch, son of Minerva Key
Mahala (Hembree) Clonts lived in Santa Luca (Gilmer County), Georgia.
So did her cousin, Minerva (Hembree) Key. A month after the Clonts group of
applications were completed, the Minerva Key group of applications were
completed (December 17, 1906).
1) The birthplace of Reuben Emery is given as Spartanburg, South Carolina.
This is an important fact because these people knew nothing of census data
which confirms this fact.
2) Mentions the uncle James Emery or Hembree who was half-blood Cherokee.
This mystery could only be resolved by an unrelated James marrying one of
Abraham’s daughters. James Hembree, son of an unknown Hembree married
a Sarah and joined the church where Abraham Hembree was a member. James
was a half-blood, who later went to Georgia. Abraham had a daughter Sarah
who died in Georgia. James and his wife Sarah joined Abraham’s church
(along with Owen and his wife, also a daughter of Abraham).
3) Legitimately refers to Reuben as one-quarter Cherokee which is the tribal
standard for someone whose grandmother was a tribal member, regardless of
blood percentage. Abraham’s mother was a tribal member in South Carolina.
4) Calls Reuben’s mother a half-blood Cherokee but certainly this is true of
Abraham’s mother (Reuben’s grandmother) – one generation off. There is no
indication that Abraham’s wife was any part Cherokee (though, of course, she
could be). There is every indication that Abraham’s mother, however, was
half-blood Cherokee, a tribal member, and part of the “Cherokee aristocracy”
of South Carolina, perhaps owning slaves and residing in a house. (This would
fit William Emory’s aristocratic tastes.)
5) Calls Reuben’s mother “Nancy” which might be a nickname or middle name
along with “Winnifred”, or the Nancy may also refer to Reuben’s grandmother.
That it refers to Reuben’s mother (Abraham’s wife) is hinted at in the naming of
his first two daughters:
Elizabeth (named for his mother-in-law)
Nancy / Susan (named for his mother)
(The name Winnifred does not show up among his daughters but it may be an
unused first name.)
6) Gives the names of the parents of Sarah Laird (Lard) and these are confirmed
by census records.
1) Makes no mention of Abraham at all. Asserts Cherokee blood only through
Reuben’s mother “Nancy”. Cannot name one other child of Nancy or where she
was born, whether she was alive in 1851, etc.
2) Located Reuben in Gilmer County in 1851 and claims that Minerva Key was
born 1845 in Gilmer County. She was born in Murray County (near the home
of Cherokee Chief John Ross at Spring Place) and that’s where Reuben lived in
The Mary Houser / John W. Hembree Group (apps 44517, 44739)
44517 - John William Hembree, son of James M. Hembree, filed on
February 29, 1908.
44739 - Mary (Hembree) Houser, daughter of James M. Hembree,
filed on April 11, 1908.
Both of these applications seem to be instigated by their older sister Mahala
Clonts. The above were two of the children born to James M. Hembree in his
old age (70 or so) and right before his death. They knew little about their father
and, it turns out, he died just two weeks after their mother died. Neither of them
were sure where they were born (John simply puts “Ga.” and Mary puts “Murray
Co., Ga” but she was probably born in Gilmer County). They know nothing
about their siblings (mentioning only each other and, of course, Mahala Clonts).
Mary does mention Sarah Ann Scott, who was Mahala’s full sister. They know
almost nothing about their parents and really nothing about their grandparents,
repeating Mahala’s information that James and Abraham were enrolled in the
1835 and 1851 rolls in Murray County, GA.
Not only do these applications lack information, but they contradict Mahala’s
application – and she was their source.
Although very little information provided on the Miller applications can be
trusted, there is the underlying truth that the family was part Cherokee.
The best conclusion to the question of Cherokee blood among the Hembrees was
set forth in the sworn statement of G.W. Blaylock in 1906 (on behalf of Mahala
I was here before the Indians were removed. I knew James M.
Hembree and I know his daughter Mahala C. Clonts . . . a great
many years. They were always known here as part Cherokee
Indians and had that reputation generally and it was never
disputed. It has always been talked here that James M. Hembree
was enrolled at Washington D.C. as having Eastern Cherokee
blood in him.
This is a rough sketch of possible ancestors of the Spartanburg, South Carolina, lines
of Hembree, Embry, and Emory. Some unrelated lines are shown to differentiate them
from the target group.
The first generation is actually more than three different lines. The verified Virginia line is given a “1v.” initial ancestor; the unrelated Virginia line that went through Wake
County, North Carolina is given a “1w.” initial ancestor and the verified South Carolina
Emory (aka Hembree) line is given a “1s.” ancestor . Note that the Wake County line
is a composite of three lines which may or may not have gone through Wake County.
Since most Spartanburg Hembrees can trace through William Hembree who appears in
the 1790 census of Wake County, it serves as a “general purpose” bucket.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A SKETCH, NOT A BLUEPRINT!
1v. unknown Virginia HEMBREE
Children of unknown Virginia ancestor are:
2v. i. James2 HEMBREE b.c.1700 d.bef.1770 Lunenburg Co, VA
3v. ii. William HEMBREE b.1695-1705 d.1783 Lunenburg Co, VA
He lived in Goochland, Halifax and Lunenburg Co, VA.
4v. iii. John HEMBREE b.1700-1710 VA d.c.1785 Surry Co, VA
He lived in Goochland, Lunenburg and Surry Co, VA.
1w. unknown Wake Co, NC or Virginia EMBRY
Various persons of interest (not necessarily related) are:
5w. i. William2 EMBRY b.1715-1720 d.1760 Lunenburg Co, VA
m. Elizabeth Allen. He was a son of Col. Henry Embry d.1763.
6w. ii. Old Joseph Joel EMBRY b.c.1720 VA d.bef 1785 Wilkes Co, GA
He was in Wake Co by 1761, Georgia by 1777, where his sons joined
7w. iii. Thomas EMBRY II. b.c.1710 Surry Co, VA d.c.1790 Fauquier Co,
VA. Son of Thomas Emery or Embry d.1734 Surry Co, VA.
On 1749 tax list for Lunenburg Co. (5 tithes) on Col. Henry Embry’s
plantation, though not a son (per will).
1787 tax list, 1790 tax list/census Fauquier Co, VA
8w. iv. William EMBRY b.c.1720 VA d.bef.1790 VA; m. Rachel Davis?
His sons were in Fauquier Co, VA then into KY after 1800. Father
of William Grancer Embry of Kentucky genealogy?
9w. v. other EMBRY b.1700-1720
1s. unknown South Carolina EMORY
Child of unknown South Carolina ancestor is:
10s. i. John2 AMORY b.c.1698-1705 England d. 1746 South Carolina
2v. JAMES2 HEMBREE (UNKNOWN1v) b.c.1700 d. bef. 1770 Lunenburg Co, VA. He married SARAH. It is believed that he was born in Virginia among early settlers
along the James River. He appears on records of Hanover, Goochland and Halifax Counties, Virginia. A civil suit Clement Read vs. James Hembry in Feb 1754 Halifax
Co, VA validates the Hembree name. Clement Read, an attorney for Col. Henry Embry, would presumably know the spelling.
Children of JAMES HEMBREE and SARAH are:
11. i. DAVID3 HEMBREE b. 1728 Goochland County, Virginia;
d. 1809 Pendleton District (now Anderson Co) South Carolina.
12. ii. JAMES HEMBREE b. 1730 Goochland County, Virginia; d.bef. 1790
Spartanburg County, South Carolina. m. Sarah
Went into SC by 1770 with Baptist group, had land by 1767.
13. iii. JOHN HEMBREE b.c. 1730-35 Goochland County, Virginia; d.bef 1800
Rowan County, North Carolina; m. unknown
Descendants in Rowan Co, NC & Spartanburg, SC 1790-1850.
14. iv. WILLIAM HEMBREE b.c. 1740 Goochland County, Virginia; d.unk
No further information established. Probably d. young; perhaps m.
Susannah and d.bef.1790 in Spartanburg, SC.
3v. WILLIAM2 EMBRY (UNKNOWN1v) b.1695-1705 VA, d. 1783 VA.
He married UNKNOWN. He appears on the tax list for Goochland County, Virginia,
in the mid-1750’s. He also appears in Halifax Co, VA, in an Aug 1754 civil suit. In
1769 he is listed in Lunenburg Co with 1 tithe (cf. estate of Wm. Embry who d.1760
and still had 18 tithes). (He was the “poor” William in Lunenburg. See 5w.)
He was a member of the Meherrin Baptist Church but was too old in 1772 when the Separatist faction of the church headed for NC.
Children of WILLIAM EMBRY and UNKNOWN are:
15. i. JOSEPH JOEL3 EMBRY b.c. 1730 Brunswick Co, Virginia; d. 1819
Madison Co, KY
1787 tax list Lincoln Co (Ky); 1792 tax list Madison Co, KY
1800, 1810 census Madison Co, KY
16. ii. THOMAS3 EMBRY b.c. 1735 Brunswick Co, Virginia; d. Sep 1797
Wake Co, NC; m. Anne JACKSON of Goochland Co, VA
1790 Wake Co NC p.106: 3 – 3 – 2 – 0 – 0;
17. iii. WILLIAM3 EMBRY b.c. 1730-40 Brunswick Co, Virginia; d. bef 1810
Wake Co, NC
1790 Wake Co NC p.106: 2 – 2 – 4 – 0 – 0; 1800 Wake Co, NC p.729
4v. JOHN2 HEMBREE (UNKNOWN1v) b.1705-1710 VA, d.c. 1785 Surry Co.,
VA. He married UNKNOWN. He lived in Goochland, Lunenburg and Surry Co,
Virginia. A 1739 deed in Hanover Co, VA refers to him as John Hembrow. A 1744
deed in Norfolk Co, VA, refers to him as John Hamberry. He appears on the 1750 &
1751 Lunenburg tax list with 6 tithes. He is on the 1782 & 1784 tithe census (8
persons) in Surry Co, VA, as John Sr. Another John Emery, son of Thomas Emery
d.1734, went to Granville & Halifax Co, NC by 1760 with his brother Green Emery
(who d.1763 Halifax Co, NC). Their descendants in NC went by the Emory name.
Children of JOHN HEMBREE and UNKNOWN are:
i. JOHN3 EMERY b.c. 1730-45 Virginia; d. 1824 Surry Co, VA
On 1784 & 1787 tax list Surry Co, VA; 1799 property listed close to
David Emery. Wife was Mary.
ii. ROBERT HEMBREE b.c.1730-40 VA d.aft.1799 TN or SC;
m. Sarah. Sold land in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1799.
On 1787 tax list Caswell Co, NC, or Fauquier Co, VA.
To Spartanburg, SC c.1794 to 1799. May appear in 1790 census
of Burke Co, NC (formerly part of Rowan) as Robert Hambrick.
iii. JAMES3 EMERY b.c. 1730-45 Virginia; d.c.1805 Surry Co, VA;
On 1782, 1787 & 1800 tax list Surry Co, VA;
iv. DAVID EMERY b.c. 1740-50 Lunenburg Co, Virginia; d. unknown
On 1787 & 1799 tax list Surry Co, VA (had a son 16-21 in 1787).
18. v. WILLIAM W. HEMBREE b.c.1750/4 Lunenburg Co, Virginia,
d.1821 Union County, South Carolina; m. Orindah.
Remained in VA until at least 1785 (per children’s birthplaces).
Appears in Surry Co. Shipping Order Book 1780-1785 as Wm. Emery
and perhaps as Wyatt Emery (middle name) 1785 road survey and
1787 tax list Surry Co, VA. (A William Embry is with Robert in
Caswell Co, NC but that was Robert’s son.) To Wake Co, NC c.1788.
1790 census Wake Co, NC; 1800-1820 census Spartanburg, SC.
In 1820 census Spartanburg, SC, listed twice: p.255, 279.
5w. WILLIAM2 EMBRY (UNKNOWN1w) b.1715-1720 d.1760 Lunenburg Co,
VA; m. Elizabeth Allen. He was a son of Col. Henry Embry d.1763 & Martha
Children of WILLIAM EMBRY and ELIZABETH ALLEN are:
i. HENRY3 EMBRY went to KY; wealthy
1787 tax list Lunenburg Co, VA, etc, etc – very well documented
19. ii. WILLIAM EMBRY went to Camden District / Chester Co, SC
b.c. 1745 d.aft. 1810 Chester Co, SC; m. Martha
Purchased land on Broad River in 96 District, SC in 1776. Listed in
grandfather’s and father’s estates.
1790 & 1800 census Chester Co, SC [Bob Hembree’s # 9 William]
iii. ELIZA EMBRY m. Brooks
iv. ERMINE EMBRY
6w. Old JOSEPH JOEL2 EMBRY (UNKNOWN1w) b.c. 1720 VA d.c. 1785
Wilkes Co, GA. He was in Wake Co by 1761, Georgia by 1777, when his sons joined
the militia. Deed in 1761 to Joseph Emborough on Neuse River in Wake Co, NC.
Often confused with his nephew who went to Kentucky.
Children of JOSEPH JOEL EMBRY and UNKNOWN are:
i. Old REUBEN EMBRY b.c.1750-5 VA d.aft. 1812 Franklin Co, TN
tax list 1812 Franklin Co, TN
He drew land in Oglethorpe Co, GA bef. 1810 for service in Revolution.
(Thus, he cannot be same as Reuben b.1780 or b.1770.)
ii. Old BOLEY EMBRY b.c.1750-5 VA d.aft. 1800
He drew land in Oglethorpe Co, GA bef. 1810 for service in Revolution.
iii. JESSE EMBRY b.1754 VA d.1800 Oglethorpe Co, GA
m. Anne (Nancy); she b.1755 d.1805. Probate in Georgia 1800. He was
Revolution soldier, serving in GA in 1777. Confused with nephew who
d.c.1848 Franklin Co, TN. He had lands in Jackson Co and Wilkes Co,
GA and was a justice of the peace. [Jesse Embree of Columbia Co, GA was
from Quaker parents.]
iv. JOSEPH WILEY EMBRY b. 1758 prob NC d.1850 Coosa Co, AL.
m(1) Rachel Olive (she b.1759 Wake Co, NC); m(2) Mary Glen 1809
Oglethorpe Co, GA. Part of Separatist Baptist migration.
He drew land in Oglethorpe Co, GA bef. 1810 for service in Revolution.
Sons Britton, Joel, Jesse, went to Alabama & Mississippi by 1830.
1840 census Talladega Co, AL age 80-90; 1850 Coosa Co, AL age 97.
Grandfather of Owen Embry (1807-1869) of Carroll Co, GA. (cf. Owen
Hembree (1777-1837) of Carroll Co, GA.)
v. BRITTON EMBRY b.c.1760 d.aft. 1812
tax list 1812 Franklin Co, TN
He drew land in Oglethorpe Co, GA bef. 1810 for service in Revolution.
vi. WILLIAM EMBRY b.c. 1762 VA or NC; d. 1802 Wake Co, NC.
Not located in 1790 (in Georgia), returned to Wake Co with widowed
mother. Wrote will in 1795, no male descendants. Wife d.bef. 1795.
vii. ENOCH EMBRY b.1765 Wake Co, NC d.c. 1856 Coosa Co, AL
Not located in 1790 (in Georgia), returned to Wake Co with widowed
mother and brother William.
7w. THOMAS2 EMBRY II. (UNKNOWN1w) b.c.1720 VA d.bef.1800
Fauquier Co, VA. Son of Thomas Emery or Embry of Surry Co, VA
who d.1734. Grandson of John Emery & Susannah Green.
His son Thomas Embry becomes “Thomas Sr.” in 1800 in Fauquier County.
His brothers Green (d.1763 Halifax Co, NC) and John went to North Carolina
c.1760 and their descendants are known by the Emery, Emory name. His
brother Benjamin b.1700-1712 d.bef. 1799 Surry Co, VA had sons Charles,
Peyton, Thomas, Nathan and Harwell (Hartwell or Howell). Wyatt is probably
a son or nephew of Benjamin as well. A William Emery (1751-1779) killed in
the Revolution could belong to the Surry County Emerys (7w) or our Embrys
of Lunenburg Co (4v).
Children include Thomas Embry Jr, John Embry both listed in Fauquier Co,
VA in 1787.
8w. WILLIAM2 EMBRY (UNKNOWN1w) b.c.1720 VA d.bef.1790 VA;
m. Rachel Davis 1743. He’s the presumed father of William Grancer Embry.
Websites are dedicated to tracing his descendants but beware of “black hole”
genealogies that pull every known Embry into his line.
9w. other2 EMBRY (UNKNOWN1w) b.1700-1720
10s. JOHN2 AMORY (UNKNOWN1s) b.c.1698-1705 England d. 1746 South Carolina. He was buried 5 October 1746 at St. Philip’s Parish, Charleston, South
Carolina. (See Family Sheet)
11. DAVID3 HEMBREE (JAMES 2v,UNKNOWN1v) was born 1728 in Goochland
County, Virginia; and died 1809 in Pendleton District (now Anderson County),
South Carolina at his home on 26 Mile Creek. He married ELIZABETH. He was in
the Granville County, North Carolina militia in 1754/55.
Children of DAVID HEMBREE and ELIZABETH are:
23. i. (Rev) JAMES4 HEMBREE b.1758 prob. Granville County, North Carolina,
d. 1849 Anderson County, South Carolina; m. Asenath Felton
24. ii. SUSANNAH HEMBREE b.1761 prob. Granville County, North Carolina,
d. unk. m. Mark Pitts
25. iii. ELIZABETH HEMBREE b.1767/76 South Carolina, d.unk
m. William Butler
26. iv. MARGARET (Peggy) HEMBREE b.1770-1775 Spartanburg, South
Carolina; d.bef.1810 Pendleton District, South Carolina.
m. Nicholas Welch (b.c.1765 NC d.bef. 1830 GA).
12. JAMES3 HEMBREE (JAMES 2v,UNKNOWN1v) was born 1730 in Goochland
County, Virginia; and died before 1790 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. He
married SARAH (BIRD?). He was in the Granville County, North Carolina militia in
1754/55. Part of the Separatist Baptist split in NC (Deep River & Sandy Creek
Association) siding with Philip Mulkey and removed to Abbeville & Fairforest
(Spartanburg), SC by 1765.
Children of JAMES HEMBREE and SARAH are:
27. i. JOEL4 HEMBREE b.1755 North Carolina d.1825 Roane County,
Tennessee (See Family Sheet.)
Joel Emry 1790 census Spartanburg, SC p.87: 2 - 1 - 6 - 0 - 3.
Joel Hembrey 1800 census Spartanburg SC p.199 0 3 1 0 1 - 0 0 1 1 0 - 0 5
28. ii. WILLIAM4 HEMBREE b.1758 North Carolina d.bef 1830 Spartanburg,
South Carolina. He m(1) unknown, m(2) Lucinda (Lucy) (b.c.1765 VA d.aft.1860 Spartanburg).
Land in Pendleton District 1785, in Rutherford Co, NC, Spartanburg, SC.
William Hembree 1820 census Spartanburg, SC p.271.
(This is the father of Joseph HEMBREE b.1779 NC d. 1868 Roane Co, TN.)
29. iii. unknown HEMBREE b.1765-1775 South Carolina , d.bef. 1810 NC or SC,
m. NANCY (b.c.1770 d.bef 1840 South Carolina)
Nancy Hembree, next to William 1820 census Spartanburg, SC p.271.
13. JOHN3 HEMBREE (JAMES 2v,UNKNOWN1v) was born 1730-35 in Virginia;
and died bef. 1800 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married UNKNOWN. He
came to Rowan County c.1793 when the Sandy Creek Baptist Association established
a church on the Yadkin River. The parent church was Haw River in Chatham County,
which also planted a church in Pendleton District, SC (under Elnathan Davis).
Children of JOHN HEMBREE and UNKNOWN are:
30. iii. JOHN4 HEMBREE b.1766 North Carolina, d.c. 1852 Union County, Illinois; m. Lydia ------. On 28 Sep 1799 John & Lydia Hembree witnessed the will of
Edward Gates in Rowan County, North Carolina. He is listed in that county in the 1800, 1810 census. Father of Joel Joseph EMERY (b.1802 NC d.aft. 1860 IL) of Union County, Illinois. (See Family Sheet.) They are listed together in 1850 Union Co, Illinois.
31. ii. JOEL4 HEMBREE b.1765-70 North Carolina d.bef 1830 Roane County, Tennessee. (cf. #20). Father of Col. Joel Hembree (1796-1868).
He m. MATILDA (part Cherokee?).
Joel Hembrey 1800 census Spartanburg Co, SC p.207
14. WILLIAM3 HEMBREE (JAMES 2v,UNKNOWN1v) was b.c.1740 Goochland Co,
Virginia; d.bef. 1790 Spartanburg, SC (?). He m. Susannah(?).
She is listed as a widow in the 1790 census for Spartanburg SC p.86: 1 – 2 – 5 and
in an 1811 deed from William L. Allen to John Arnold selling land on James Creek
of the Tyger River bordering “Susanna Hambry’s old line”. She appears to be a
Hamby but cannot yet be accounted for among the Hambys, although her 3 sons
could not be accounted for as Hembrees.
Failing this construction, nothing is known of William and perhaps he does not
exist here as a brother but elsewhere as a cousin (see #17, #18, #19).
15. JOSEPH JOEL3 EMBRY (WILLIAM3v,UNKNOWN1v) was b.c. 1730 in Brunswick County, Virginia; and d. 1819 Madison Co, KY; m.
1787 tax list Lincoln Co, (KY); 1792 tax list Madison Co, KY;
1810 census Madison Co, KY: 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1. . . 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 . . . 0 – 1
Joseph’s sons Talton and Joel are sometimes confused with the wealthier and
older cousins of the same name.
Possible ch: Thomas, John, Martha, Susan, Robert, Temperance, Jesse, Talton,
Sarah, Joel Jr.
16. THOMAS3 EMBRY (WILLIAM3v,UNKNOWN1v) was b. 1735 in Brunswick
County, Virginia; and d. September 1797 Wake Co, NC; m. Anne JACKSON.
She was b.1737 Goochland Co, VA d. 30 Sep 1830 Oglethorpe Co, GA.
1790 Wake Co NC p.106: 3 – 3 -- 2
Children of Thomas Embry and Anne Jackson:
i. THOMAS J. EMBRY b.1758 VA d.aft.1810 Jackson Co, GA
ii. WILLIAM EMBRY (aka William Jackson Embry) b. Feb 1760 VA
d.1829 Oglethorpe Co, GA; m. Frances
His estate entered a claim c.1830 in Oglethorpe Co, GA based on his
service in the Revolution.
iii. JOHN EMBRY b. April 1763 VA d.c. 1840 Madison Co, GA
m. Nancy Luckie
John & Nancy Embry witnessed a deed in Wilkes Co, GA in 1793.
His son Hezekiah Embry b.1787 appears in 1810 Spartanburg SC
census close to Owen Hembree.
iv. MARY FANNIE EMBRY b.c.1765 VA
m. Mark Simms 1784 Wake Co, NC
v. REUBEN EMBRY b.c. 1770 VA d.1835 Oglethorpe Co, GA
m. Nancy d. Aug 1869 Tippah Co, Mississippi
vi. TEMPERANCE (TEMPY) EMBRY b.c.1772 VA
m. Charles Ritch 1792 Wake Co, NC
vii. BOLEY EMBRY b.c. 1775 VA d.1832 Franklin Co, TN
m. Winnie KEY 1807 Jackson Co, GA
1812 tax list Franklin Co, TN
viii. ENOCH J. EMBRY b.c.1780 NC d. TN?
[this is an abbreviated version . . . ]
Notes on the Amory-Emory family of Charleston
The ancestor John Amory (d.1746) spent only a few years on American
soil and left no white descendants, although he had six children.
But the mixed-blood children of his son William Emory (d.1770) and his
son John Robert Emory (d.1790) fill the pages of Cherokee genealogy.
His own mixed-blood son John Emory aka Old John Hembree also left
John Amory came first to Savannah, Georgia, then to Charleston, South
Carolina, where he became the caretaker of the Governor Johnson estate
on Charles Town Neck. There he (later his wife alone) hosted numerous
delegations from the Cherokee nation: Indians, traders, interpreters, agents.
Some of the “conventions” lasted several days and, from the expense
accounts submitted by Mrs. Amory, copious quantities of spirited beverages
were consumed. Since the governor (Governor James Glen) and many
councilmen attended these conventions, Mrs. Amory’s expense accounts
were approved without going into much detail.
An earlier Amory family in Charleston is better known in the history books, but
if history were written by the men who lived it, Mrs. Amory’s hospitality would
deserve its own chapter.
Jonathan Amory (1654 – 1699) came from a merchant family whose pursuits
took them across oceans. He was born in England, raised in Ireland, and
went off to the West Indies, and then to Charleston in Carolina (before the
North and South were split). He became the Speaker of the House of
Assembly and the Treasurer. As noted below, he had a brother Thomas, and
a brother Robert. He had a son Robert who died young. His son Thomas is
Thomas Amory (b. May 1682 d. 20 June1728), a son of Jonathan Amory and
Rebecca Houston, came to Charleston via the West Indies as a child (1686).
In 1694 he was sent back to England to complete his studies and by 1706 he
was a trade agent in the Azores. In 1719 he went to Massachusetts (Boston)
where he had relatives and then he went down to Charleston. He married
Rebecca Holmes on 9 May 1721 at Saint Philip’s Parish in Charleston and
they moved up to Boston, leaving his sister Sarah Amory Middleton (1690 –
1722) to watch over the family interests in the south.
In Boston, Amory was a distiller of rum and turpentine, quite successful, and
his meticulous business journals offer historians a great source of information.
It is believed he died after falling into a cistern at his distillery.
[Dictionary of American Biography, I, 260, 261]
We know that the family of John Amory was living in Boston, Lincolnshire, in
1737. His grant by the Common Council on 5 October 1737 (giving him 150
acres in Georgia) refers to him as “John Amory of Boston in the County of
Lincoln, yeoman” and another entry refers to “John Amory and Sarah his Wife
(now going to Georgia)”. This same entry notes that they had an estate in
collected at least
L 50 yearly in rents.
A yeoman was a skilled laborer or a tradesman, below a “gentleman” or
“esquire” in social status but above a commoner, laborer or farmer. A later
reference shows that he had training in surveying, so perhaps that was his
Read a Grant and Enfoefment of One hundred and fifty Acres of Land to
John Amory of Boston in the County of Lincoln, Yeoman.
Palace Court Wed. October 5th , 1737
[Candler, Colonial Recs of GA, II, 212]
Grant and Enfoeffment (with Livery and Seisin indorsed) made the 5th of
October 1737 to John Amory of Boston in the County of Lincoln yeoman. . . .
150 acres in Georgia of the same Tenor and as the Indenture to Joseph
Wardrope Entd. in Page…As by a Counterpart thereof remaining with the
Trustees at large appears.
5 October to John Amory of Boston in the County of Lincoln Yeoman 150
Acres to take 3 Servants at 20 Acres each.
[Coleman, Colonial Recs of GA, XXXII, 249,264]
The “servants” were indentured servants who could not pay their way to the
colonies but agreed to work in servitude for a number of years, after which
they would take an oath as freemen and be able to have property in their
name. It was hard to get enough men to go over as servants so there were
Resolved: That to Each of the Servants Who are out of their time before
Christmas next fifty Acres of Land be granted (the Land to be set out in
Villages) on proper Certificates of their good Behaviour; And that a Cow
and a Sow be given to Each of them.
[Candler, Colonial Recs of GA, II, 206]
John was allowed three indentured servants but took only two: his eldest sons
John (Robert) and Will.
John AMORY b.1698-1705 in England, buried 5 October 1746 Saint Philip’s
Parish, (Charleston) South Carolina. He m. Sarah WILSON 13 February
1726 at Silk Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. She was b.1703-1711 in
England and was buried 31 Mar 1765 at Saint Philip’s.
She m(2) William ELDER 17 Aug 1747 at Saint Philip’s. He d.1748. She
m(3) Thomas NIGHTINGALE 30 Nov 1749 at Saint Philip’s (Charleston,
South Carolina). He was b.1716 d. 2 Nov 1769, buried at Saint Philip’s.
Children of John Amory and Sarah Wilson:
i. John Robert Emory chr. 30 Oct 1727 Great Hale/Little Hale,
Lincoln; bur. March 1790 at Saint Philip’s.
m. Susannah Catherine Grant (Cherokee) 1743 had 1? ch.
See John Amory and the Emory Cherokees for descendants.
(Ancestor of Bushyhead and Chief John Jolly.)
A John Emmar buried 12 Oct 1740, thought to be a son of John
Amory, was b.1722 in Bedfordshire as John Embury, and was the
indentured servant of John Taylor of Charleston.
ii. William Emory chr. 20 Oct 1728 Alford, Lincoln and chr. again
15 Sep 1731 Great Hale/Little Hale, Lincoln (by a Wilson bishop)
bur. 31 Jul 1770 at Saint Philip’s (Charleston, South Carolina).
m(1) Mary Grant (Cherokee) c.1743 had 5-6 ch.
m(2) Mrs. Sarah ( ) Irish Loocock Cantle 18 Nov 1768.
She d. July 1770. (4 husbands, no known children)
iii. Sarah Amory chr. 8 Sep 1730 Great Hale/Little Hale, Lincoln
d. England? aft 1760 no ch?
m. Mungo Graham 18 Oct 1749 at Saint Philip’s,
son of Dr. Patrick Graham of Savannah, Georgia (Georgia’s
Agent to the Creek Nation).
iv. Mary Amory chr. 11 Mar 1733 Wrangle, Lincoln, England
d. 19 Sep 1734 Lincolnshire, England
v. Elizabeth Amory chr. 8 Dec 1735 Boston, Lincoln, England
bur. 5 Apr 1744 at Saint Philip’s (Charleston, South Carolina).
vi. (Rev.) Isaac Amory chr. 16 Mar 1736 Boston, Lincoln, England
d. 1789 Rockingham, England.
m. Mary Wilson 24 Apr 1780 Carlton Scroop, Lincoln, England,
no children (she d.1833)
[New Eng Hist. & Gen. Reg. Jan.1856, X, 59-65; IGI England]
Child of John Amory and Mary Moore (Cherokee):
vii. John Emory (or Hembree) b.1744 SC d.c.1809 SC or KY
had many children
See Old John Hembree aka John Emory for descendants.
Notes on John Amory
When John Amory arrived in Savannah he had a series of setbacks. First, the official surveyor (named Jones) would not set out his grant. Then the land
was marshy, on Pipe Makers Creek (about where the current airport is). The
only crop he could put in was rice. Then he was denied a line of credit to buy
tools and seed. The dissatisfaction with Jones was acute since Amory himself was qualified to survey his own grant but required Jones to do it.
William Stephens to the Trustees: Surveyor Jones has certainly been
negligent in his Duty of running out Lands. . .
There is a person come, among some of those lately imported, a Mr.
Amery, who tis said understands that Business well; & might therefore
opportunely supply his place: nevertheless . . . in some discourse I had
with Mr. Amery, I found he should not think it worth his pains, to work on
that Affair at so low a rate, as he understood Jones was to be allowed.
[Candler, Colonial Recs of GA, XXII, 79-80]
The authorization for the line of credit was given by the Trustees but not honored
Read a Petition of John Amory and Sarah his Wife (now going to Georgia)
praying a Credit if Occasion should require of fifty Pounds Sterl. in Provisions
or Necessaries in Georgia.
Resolved: That a Letter of Credit be given to the Petitioners on their giving a
proper Security for the payment of the same out of their Estate in Lincoln Shire.
[Coleman, Colonial Recs of GA, II, 215]
The lack of tools and seed was one reason the line of credit was not given. But
if the landholder was not raising crops, he would forfeit his land. It was hard
enough to make marsh savannah land arable without tools and without the other
engine of agriculture available in other colonies: slavery. The Trustees could
not subsidize the importation of slaves until income was generated by crops.
The other hitch in the Georgia charter was that land was held by the grantee and
his male heirs. So if a man spent three years clearing ground and died, leaving
a widow and minor children, the survivors would be bankrupt and removed off the
Read a Letter from Mr. William Stephens dated Janry. 19 1737/8 wherein he
acquaints the Trustees of the Dissatisfaction among several Persons upon the
Tenure of their lots being confin’d to Heirs Male. . . .
They are to be reminded of the terms they agreed to and reminded that anyone
not cultivating their land will forfeit it. [Coleman, Colonial Recs of GA, II, 227-228]
The situation was different across the river in South Carolina. In 1738 John Amory got a grant of 500 acres there and also got a job offer too good to refuse: the management of the empty estate of the late Governor Nathaniel Johnson.
Dec. 4, 1738. Monday. . . . Mr. Bradley got a grant in Purrysburgh. . . .
Mr. Amory who went with him was also said to have obtained a Grant of five
hundred Acres for his Family; but that the Reason of his not returning with
Mr. Bradley was, because Mr. Johnson, the late Governor’s Son, being a
Passenger with him from England this Time Twelvemonth, and discovering
him to be a Person of some Qualifications desirable, now meeting him in
Carolina, persuaded him to stay, and be Steward and Supervisor of his Estate
in that Country, which was pretty considerable; for that he himself was purposing
to go for England. [Coleman, Colonial Recs of GA, IV, 238]
John Amory’s entry into the Indian trade in 1741 is covered in John Amory
And the Emory Cherokees.
May 4, 1744.
"Know all men by these presents that I, John Amory of the
Province of South Carolina, Indian Trader, have bargained,
sold and delivered and by these presents do bargain, sell
and deliver unto Wm. Elder all these geldings and mares
hereafter mentioned.... " Berkeley County Archives, 12 May 1744
Witnessed by John Watts and William Winsmore.
Mrs. Sarah Amory then Nightingale had three husbands who were in the
Indian trade but she made more in the Indian trade than all of them combined,
submitting annual expense accounts for hosting Cherokee, Catawba, Creek
and Chickasaw. Just a few samples:
An Account of Mrs. Sarah Amory, amounting to the Sum of fifty-one Pounds and
ten Shillings, being for dieting and Liquor for the Indians &c.
[SC Commons Journal of 22 Jan 1745]
An Account of Sarah Amory, amounting to the Sum of £ 970:06:00, for Sundries
supplied the Indians.
[SC Commons Journal of 13 Feb 1746]
An Account of Mrs. Sarah Amory in the Amount of £ 1399 : 5, being for the
Entertainment of the Cherokee Indians upon Charles Town Neck and for the
Pasturage of their Horses. [SC Commons Journal of 9 Feb 1750, 3 May 1750]
An Account of Thomas Nightingale amounting to the Sum of two hundred and
seventy seven Pounds, seven Shillings and six Pence, it being for the entertainment
of twenty seven Chicasaw Indians and twenty five Catawbas upon Charles town
Neck and for the Pasturage of the Horses &c. (The committee found 14 pounds
overcharged.) [SC Commons Journal of 18 Jan 1751, 27 Feb 1751, 9 May 1751]
Two Accounts of Sarah Nightingale, one amounting to £103 for entertaining
Indians and the other to £150, for damages sustained by the Royal American
Regiment being encamp'd in her Pasture. [SC Commons House of 18 Jan 1758]
An Account of Sarah Nightengale for Board and Lodging White Men and Indians
& Pasturage for their Horses to 21st November 1758, Seven hundred and fifty
Pounds 2/6. Friday the 19th of January 1759.
Sarah Amory (before she became Sarah Nightingale) had a prodigious
budget for Indian expenses. She continued this trend as Sarah
Nightingale. In some years she submitted claims for over a thousand
pounds. To put this in perspective, the Indian Agent to the Cherokee was
paid only a hundred pounds a year.
Notes on William Elder
“And that his Honour be also desired to dispatch another Messenger with a
Letter to Mr. William Elder, and other Traders in the Cherokee Nation, to
acquaint us with their [ the Cherokees] Disposition, and what Measures are
most proper to be taken to secure their Fidelity to us. And that such Messenger
be agreed with to go constantly between us and the Cherokees for the bringing
of Intelligence.” [SC Commons Journal of 31 Jan 1740]
All Persons indebted to the Estate of William Elder Indian-Trader, deceased, are
desired to pay their respective Debts to the Subscriber – and all those to whom the
said Estate is indebted, are desired to bring their Accompts, properly attested, to
Sarah Elder, Administratrix
N.B. As there is great Reason to believe that some of the said Deceased’s Effects
are concealed, Notice is hereby given to any Persons possessing the same, that
unless they immediately deliver them to the Administratrix, or acquaint her therof,
they will be prosecuted with the utmost Severity.
[SC Gazette Mon. Feb. 1 to Mon. Feb. 8, 1749 (old style: 1748)]
Letters from Ludovic Grant, James Beamer and Thomas Nightingale “in the
Cherokee Naton” were read to the South Carolina legislature on 16 September
1746. (They reported on the presence of “French” Indians at Keowee.)
[SC Commons Journal of 16 Sep 1746.]
Another letter from Thomas Nightingale, “a Trader in the Cherokee Nation” was
read to the legislature on 25 May 1749.
[SC Commons Journal of 25 May 1749.]
On 24 October 1757 Thomas Nightingale, saddler, and Sarah (Amory) his wife,
sold to “Robert Gouedey, Indian trader, of Ninety-Six” 200 acres on Ninety Six
(a branch of the Saluda River)
[Brent Holcomb, SC Deed Abstracts 1773-1778, p.26]
Thomas Nightingale was buried 4 November 1769 according to the records of
Saint Philip’s Parish in Charleston. His death was reported in the Tuesday,
7 November 1769 issue of the South Carolina Gazette. Colonel Isaac Hayne,
who was a personal acquaintance of Thomas Nightingale (they purchased lots
together in Beaufort on speculation) noted in his journal the death: “Thomas
Nightingale of Newmarket aged 53, 4th of Novr 1769.” [SC Hist Mag, X p.158]
Children of Thomas Nightingale and Sarah (Wilson) Amory:
i. Sarah Nightingale b. 28 Aug 1751 d. 5 Oct 1825
buried at Saint Philip’s
m. 15 May 1769 William Johnson (b.1741 NY d. 21 Mar 1818
Charleston, SC); a patriot and leading figure of the SC Revolution.
Had 12 children, see:
ii. John Nightingale bapt. 24 Mar 1762 at St. Philip’s bur. 12 Jun
1764 at St. Philip’s.
Notes for Sarah Amory (b.1729/30) & Mungo Graham
Sarah Amory, the daughter of John Amory and Sarah Wilson, married Mungo
Graham of Savannah on 18 October 1749 at Saint Philip’s in Charleston by
the Reverend Alexander Garden. Mungo Graham was the son of Dr. Patrick
Graham of Savannah, Georgia, another one of the “clamorous malcontents”
listed with John Amory.
Dr. Patrick Graham “of Crieff in the County of Perth in Scotland” received a
grant of 100 acres in the Georgia colony by the London board on 19 May
1736. [Coleman, GA Col Recs, XXXII, 210] His land was on Pipe Makers
Creek, close to the land of John Amory.
Patrick Graham acted as Agent to the Creek Nation and helped to work out
the treaty with the Creek Indians. [Coleman, GA Col Recs, XXXI, 556; XXXIII,
Patrick held onto the land on Pipe Makers Creek by leasing it on a yearly
basis perpetually to Mungo Graham “for the term of one whole year paying
the rent of one peppercorn only.” [Beckemeyer, GA Absracts, 278]
In his will, dated 26 May 1755, Patrick gave to his sons David and Mungo
Graham lands which included a plantation called Redford. On 7 July 1758
Mungo leased the Redford Plantation to a ship’s captain named John
Robinson (of Philadelphia). At this time his father and brother were dead and
his wife “Sarah Graham” could not sign the document because “she is now in
Great Britain”. [Beckemeyer, GA Absracts, 279]
In another mention in the colonial records of Georgia, Sarah Graham, wife of
Mungo, was said to be returning to England in 1755 with her mother [Sarah
Amory Nightingale] to be followed by her husband but the death of Dr.
Graham in 1755 delayed the return. But the confirmation that she was back
in England in 1758 is important in helping to track the elusive William Emory
(Sarah Graham’s brother), who we believe served in the British army for
seven years, returning to South Carolina in 1765. With the formal declaration
of war against France (pending in 1755, official in 1756), William was obliged
by duty to report for service to his country.
There is some indication that Mungo Graham did not return to England, but
the research on Mungo and Sarah is scant.
Notes for Isaac Amory (b.1734/5) son of John Amory (d.1746)
Isaac was sent back to England to study and there he entered the ministry.
He returned to South Carolina by 1764, perhaps hearing of his mother’s
illness. He remained in South Carolina less than two years, returning to
England shortly after being assaulted almost mortally.
In my January 2001 paper on the Amory family, I wrote that Reverend Isaac
Amory was killed in 1765/66. Here are my sources for that impression:
A Letter to the Bishop of London Charlestown Oct. 19, 1766
. . . Not a House could I set foot in but found some sick, some dead so that [I]
have had a melancholy Progress. . . .But I have a wide field before Me! My
District is 150 Miles in breadth and 300 Length: And as this Country ever was
the Grave of the Clergy, it has been bitterly so this Summer.
For, In May, landed Mr. Lonsdale his Wife, 5 Children and Servants who went
to Prince William Parish, where they were soon cut off by the Endemic Fever that
rages here, and not one now left.
Mr. Tonge of St. Pauls and his Wife were taken in July –She is since dead – His
Recovery is doubted. . . .
Mr. Amory of Purrysburgh, and Mr. Drake of Christ Church are returned home.
[The Carolina Backcountry, p.84-85]
The journal of the same clergyman also notes:
. . . A most pious and devout Young Man, and yet he could not escape the Censure of
these flighty, Proud, Illprincipled Carolinians. They are enough to make any Person
run Mad – And they crack’d the Brain of one Young Man Mr. Amory the Year before.
We have two now in the same Condition—And others, whose Situation is so uneasy,
that Life is a Burden to them—I would not wish my worst Enemy to come to this
Country . . . to combat perpetually with Papists, Sectaries, Atheists and Infidels – who
would rather see the Poor People remain Heathens and Ignorants, than to be brought
over to the Church. Such Enemies to Christ and his Cross, are these vile Presbyterians.
[The Carolina Backcountry, p.62]
A footnote in that source comments on Rev. Amory:
The Rev. Isaac Amory, A.M., became rector of St. John’s Church on John’s Island in
November, 1764. The particular attention he paid to some Negroes in his parish brought
remonstrances from his congregation and led, finally, to his resignation in September, 1765.
“Minutes of Vestry of St. John’s Colleton, 1734-1817”, 1, 75, typescript in S.C. Hist. Soc.;
Dalcho, An Hist. Account of the P.E. Church in S.C.,361-2
The language that Amory “returned home”, I assumed was like the language
“carried him off” describing the death of another minister and was part of a
list of people who had died. Amory, though, returned to England.
The baptism of an illegitimate child is noted twice in the register of Saint
9 June 1765 Elizabeth Hall, dau of Geo. Abbot & Lois Hall bapt. at Johns Island
by the Revd. Mr. Isaac Amory. (page 100 in original)
9 June 1765 Elizabeth Hall, dau of Geo. Abbot & Louisa Hall bapt. by the Revd.
Mr. Isaac Amory at St. Johns Colliton County. (page 114 in original)
Oral family history has a “revered uncle” taking care of my ancestor, John
Emory/Hembree (b.1744). This refers to Thomas Nightingale rather than
The “Memoir of the Family of Amory” in the New England Historical &
Genealogical Register of January 1856 (Vol X, pp.59-65) mistakenly calls
Isaac a “grandson of the Treasurer” (Jonathan Amory) but provides this
Important data: Isaac returned to England and obtained a rectorship near
Newark upon Trent in Lincolnshire. He married Mary Wilson. He had no
children. He died at Rockingham in 1789, and his widow lived until 1833.
Gertrude Euphemia Meredith’s The Descendants of Hugh Amory 1605-1805,
(London: Cheswick Press, 1901) examines and dismisses the connection
between Jonathan Amory and Reverend Isaac Amory and “regrets” that
there is no relationship (p.98).
An Isaac Emmery’s estate inventoried on 19 October 1764 in Newberry
County, South Carolina, was for Isaac Embree of the Quaker Embrees.
Family Sheet: John Robert Emory (1727 –1790)
b. 1727 Lincolnshire, England
d. March 1790 buried in Charleston, SC
m. 1743 Susannah Catherine Grant, dau of Ludovic Grant and Elizabeth
He was the son of John AMORY and Sarah WILSON (see below). His wife was a daughter
of Ludovic GRANT. She was b.c.1727 Cherokee Nation, Tennessee and d.1769 at Goose
Creek, South Carolina. She is probably the Catherine Emory buried at Saint Philip’s on 22
Child of ROBERT EMORY and SUSANNAH CATHERINE GRANT (Cherokee):
i. SUSANNAH EMORY b. 1744 Tomatly, Cherokee Nation, North Carolina,
d.c. 1765 Cherokee Nation . Her name may have been Susannah Catherine, after her mother, or Susannah Rebecca.
She m(1) JOHN STUART (1718-1779); m(2) JOHN JOLLY.
John Stuart was a politician of Charleston who thought a brief commission as a captain during the building of Fort Loudon on the Tellico River would be helpful. (He had a white wife in Charleston.) He fathered a child with Susannah Emory
and barely escaped with his life from the siege of the fort. John Jolly was a young
soldier from Virginia during the Cherokee War (1760-1761) who assisted the Emory
family. Susannah died (probably of smallpox, possibly killed) and her children were
raised by the tribe. She had two sons: Bushyhead (b.1758/9) and John Jolly
The birthdate of 1750 for her shown in the Martin genealogy cannot be correct.
The earliest contact she would have had with John Stuart was in 1756 and the last
contact she had was in August 1760, after Stuart escaped with his life and retired
to Charleston. The son she bore him (Bushyhead) was most likely born in 1758
or 1759. Stuart was at the fort 15 Jul 1756 thru 5 Mar 1757 and he may have
returned in 1758 for a visit but he was in Charleston for most of 1759, arriving
with reinforcements at the fort in late 1759 under perilous, not happy, circum-
stances. He did not return to Cherokee territory after 1760. (The Bushyhead family
was still residing near Tamahli, NC in 1817, 1835 and 1852.)
Notes on Robert Emory
JOHN ROBERT EMORY was christened 30 Oct 1727 Great Hale/Little Hale,
Lincoln, England; buried March 1790 at Saint Philip’s in Charleston, South Carolina.
He was the son of John AMORY (d.1746) and Sarah WILSON (d.1765); both of his
parents were active in the Cherokee trade. His mother married two other Indian
traders (William ELDER and Thomas NIGHTINGALE) after the death of his father.
Some Cherokee came with their traders to Charleston in the winter of 1742/1743 to
discuss ongoing treaty and trade violations by the upper Creek Indians. Ludovic Grant
came down from Tomatly (in what is now North Carolina) and camped at the late Governor
Johnson fields on Charlestown Neck (the New Market Plantation).
[SC Commons Journal 19 Jan 1743, 28 Feb 1743]
The Amory family were stewards of the Johnson estate and hosted Indian delegations to
Charleston for 15 years. They hosted this delegation. [SC Commons Journal 28 Feb &
28 Apr 1743]. Ludovic Grant’s legal residence was in Charleston. When he returned to
the Cherokee Nation in 1743 he was joined by the young brothers Robert and William
Emory (Amory) who went to work for Grant and married his daughters.
It might seem odd that two young men (17, 18) would be allowed to go off into the
wilderness by their parents but these were the considerations: (1) the sickness in lower
South Carolina. They had one sister die young in England and another sister would die
April 1744 in Charleston. (2) The opportunities for enterprise and marriage were very
limited in Charleston. (3) “The Cherokee Silver Mine Scheme” was a brilliant (if
illusory) opportunity for the Amory family.
Some of the Cherokee chiefs and traders developed a plan to secure the rights to mine
silver on the Cherokee land of north Georgia. [Candler, GA Col Recs, XXIV, 124,125]
James Beamer , Cornelius Daugherty, Thomas Nightingale, John Amory and Ludovic
Grant were involved. [SC Commons Journal 7 Oct 1743] The idea was to bring the
silver down the river then through Purrysburg to Charleston. John Amory owned land
in Purrysburg and was ready to reap a windfall. [SC Commons Journal 24 Feb 1743,
12 Mar 1743] Unfortunately, the silver ore was very low grade and all rights to it
belonged to the crown. While the Emory boys did not find silver, they did find wives
and they remained in the Cherokee Nation.
“This House, having received Information that a Silver Mine has been
found in one of the Indian Nations, which has been, or is intended to
be, opened. . . . ” [SC Comm Journal 7 May 1743]
“The Commons House of Assembly submits a report that the silver mine
in the Cherokee Nation is being worked.” [Ibid. 14 Oct 1743]
“…the mine is in the Nation of Cherokee Indians. . . Advertisements have
been posted up in Orangeburgh and other Townships, promising £ 15
(which is two Guineas) a month to any who will work at the Mine.”
[Candler, Colonial Rec of Georgia, XXIV, 123]
Robert Emory was licensed to trade among the Cherokee and, in August 1750,
was granted access to trade with the Creek Nation. [The Colonial Records of
South Carolina: Documents Relating to Indian Affairs 1750-1754, p.128]. With him were
Abraham Smith and others. In Emmett Starr’s source the Susannah Emory who
consorted with Capt John Stuart is merely called a grand-daughter of Ludovic Grant;
her father is not named. William and Robert went off to join the British in the war
against the French (1757-1763). William’s Susannah was his youngest daughter;
Robert’s Susannah (b.1744) was the consort of John Stuart.
Robert Emory had a Creek wife and a son who was a Creek warrior (named Emory or
Emar- hee) in Georgia but little is known of them.
Robert witnessed the will of Paul Murrel in Berkeley County, South Carolina in
Robert Emory’s will is dated 19 March 1790 and it was entered for probate 30 March 1790.
Robert Emmery, his mark, signed will 19 March 1790 in Charles Town.
Gives “all my estate whatsoever” to Daniel Watson Turner. Witnessed by
John Jarman, Daniel (or David) Graham. Proved 30 March 1790.
>> David Graham (“Grayhams”) is found in Spartanburg living near Drury and
b. 1727/8 Lincolnshire, England
d. July 1770 SC buried 31 July 1770 St Philip’s Parish in Charleston, SC
m(1) 1743 Mary (“Nina”) Grant, Cherokee dau of Ludovic Grant and Elizabeth
(Euighoote). Mary b.1729 TN d. 1766 or 1769 Goose Creek, SC
m(2) Mrs. Sarah (Loocock) Cantle (Nov 1768 in Charleston) she d. July 1770
WILLIAM EMORY was born c.1727, christened 20 Oct 1728 at Alford, Lincolnshire,
and christened again (by a Wilson family bishop, his mother’s family) at Great Hale/Little
Hale, Lincoln, England on 15 Sep 1731; buried 31 July 1770 at Saint Philips in Charleston,
He was the son of John AMORY (d.1746) and Sarah WILSON (d.1765); both of his
parents were active in the Cherokee trade. His mother married two other Indian
traders (William ELDER and Thomas NIGHTINGALE) after the death of his father.
William Emory m. MARY GRANT (Cherokee) in 1743. She was a daughter of Ludovic
GRANT. She was b.c.1729 Cherokee Nation, Tennessee and d.c. 1766 at Goose Creek,
South Carolina. She was probably not the Mary Emory buried at Saint Philip’s in 1769.
William Emory lived with his wife and her father among the Cherokee at Tomatly, and
preceded his father-in-law down to South Carolina in 1753. As a British subject, he
reported for military duty (with his brother) and is “missing” from 1758 to 1765.
He m(2) Mrs. SARAH (LOOCOCK) CANTLE 18 Nov 1768. Her will was proved 20
July 1770, just 10 days before William Emory died. (Aaron Loocock was her brother.)
Children of WILLIAM EMORY and MARY GRANT (Cherokee) are:
i. WILL EMORY b. 1744 Tomatly, Cherokee Nation, North Carolina, d. June
1788 Chota, Cherokee Nation, Tennessee. (Had one known child, Thomas, Long Tom, b.c.1780)
The “Indian Will” of Will’s Creek and Will’s Mountain in Bedford County,Pennsylvania,
and the Cumberland Mts. of Maryland was most likely killed in 1758. “Captain Will”
is the one who captured Daniel Boone in Kentucky in 1769/1775/1779. Willstown in Alabama
(Dragging Canoe’s second stronghold) was said to be named for Will Webber, though it is
more likely to be named for our Will. “Halfbreed Will of Naquassee” (NC, 1760) is probably
ii. MARY EMORY b. 1746 Tomatly, Cherokee Nation, North Carolina, d.c.
1800 Cherokee Nation, Tennessee.
She m(1) William “Rim” Fawling c.1766 (2 ch. 1766-69); m(2) Ezekiel Buffington c.1770 (6 ch.
1770-80); m(3) Capt. John Martin c.1782
(1 ch. 1782).
iii. ELIZABETH EMORY b. 1748 Tomatly, Cherokee Nation, North Carolina, d. 1781 Cherokee Nation, Georgia.
She m(1) Ezekiel Buffington c.1767 (1 ch.1768?); m(2) Robert Dewes c.1770 (1 ch. 1770-1); m(3) John Rogers c.1772 (5 ch.. 1772-80).
iv. SUSANNAH EMORY b. 1750 Tomatly, Cherokee Nation, North Carolina, d.c. 1796 near Tugaloo, Georgia.
She m(1) Richard Fields c.1765 (7 ch. 1767-78) ; m(2) Capt. John Martin 1781 (4
Note: Starr confirms the order of daughters: Mary, Elizabeth, Susannah. This makes William’s Susannah an impossibility to be the mother of Bushyhead.
v. DRURY EMORY (or HEMBREE) b. 12 December 1755 South Carolina, d. 1845 Stone County, Missouri. (See separate Family Sheet.)
vi. ABRAHAM EMORY (or HEMBREE) b. 16 May 1757 South Carolina, d. 1837 Hamilton County, Tennessee.
b. 1744 South Carolina
d. 1808-1810 prob. Knox County, Kentucky
m(1) 1765 Nani (Nancy) Jane, Cherokee b.1746/7 d.c.1768
m(2) Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cantle (Jan 1769 in Charleston) she d. 9 Nov 1769.
m(3) Mary or Martha she d.c.1785 North Carolina.
JOHN EMORY or HEMBREE was born 1744 in South Carolina (perhaps Purrysburg)
and died 1808-1810 probably in Knox County, Kentucky. He was the son of John
AMORY (d.1746) and Mary MOORE (Cherokee).
He married (1) NANI JANE (ELDER?) in 1765. She d.c.1768. A second marriage in
1769 to a Mrs. MARY ELIZABETH CANTLE (who d. Nov.1769) is likely. A marriage
to a MARY or MARTHA in 1770 is certain. She died at the end of the war (1784/5). He
fathered two children by two women in his “widower hood”.
[See Old John Hembree aka John Emory for more details.]
Child of JOHN HEMBREE and NANI JANE (Cherokee) is:
i. ELIZABETH JANE HEMBREE b. 1765 South Carolina, d.bef. 1820 prob.
in Lawrence or Hardin County, Tennessee. She m(1) JOHN WELCH (c.1753 –c.1809)
son of James Welch of Ireland; m(2) WILLIAM WELCH (c.1760 –1838) of North
Carolina. The sons born to John Welch were Cherokee tribal members.
Children of JOHN HEMBREE and MARY or MARTHA (Mixed blood?) are:
ii. MARY “POLLY” HEMBREE b. 1771 South Carolina, d.11 June 1865
Milton County, Georgia. She m. Notley MASTERS (1745 – 1819).
iii. WILLIAM HEMBREE b. 1774 South Carolina, d.c. 1811 Pendleton District,
South Carolina. He m(1) Selah HUGHES (Cherokee); m(2) Polly.
iv. JOHN (JR.) HEMBREE b. 1776 South Carolina, d. 1836 Knox County,
Kentucky. He m. Mary LAWS (b.1780 NC d.bef.1830 KY).
v. JAMES HEMBREE b. 1778 or 1782 North Carolina, d.c. 1828 South Carolina.
He m. Martha STRATTON (b.1782 NC d.c. 1841 SC).
vi. EDWARD HEMBREE b. 1780 North Carolina, d. 1863 Oconee County, South
Carolina. He m(1) Eliza STRATTON (b.1780 NC d.c. 1835 SC); m(2) Phene -----
Child of JOHN HEMBREE and SUSANNAH (Cherokee) is:
vii. MICHAEL “MAX” HEMBREE b. 1785 Cherokee Nation, North Carolina,
d. 1853 Henry County, Tennessee. He m(1) Parthena LATHAM (b1790 d.1819
TN); m(2) Lucretia ----- (b.1795 VA d.c.1860).
Child of JOHN HEMBREE and REBECCA SULLIVAN is:
viii. SOLOMON (SULLIVAN)4 JACKSON b. 4 December 1788 Spartanburg,
South Carolina, d. 8 July 1852 Texas. He m(1) Rebecca HEMBREE or EMORY;
m(2) Mrs. Susannah Minerva (Emory) Sifford (both these were daus. of Drury
Hembree or Emory); m(3) -------. He was raised by stepfather Ephraim JACKSON.
Rebecca Sullivan is listed in the 1790 Census (0 – 1 – 1 – 0 – 0) next to Joel
Emry and Susannah Jennings (1790 Spartanburgh Co. p.87 see here p. 81).
“The State against Rebekah Sullivan. Bastardy. The Defendant came into open court and made
oath that the child unlawfully Begotten of her body was got by John Hembry and to the best of
her knowledge and belief on the 4th of Dec.
1788. Ordered that she be fined
money, deferring execution nine months on her giving surety for the payment thereof.”
“Rebecca Sullivan as principle, and Abraham Fowler & Ezekiel Sullivan her sureties came into
Court and acknowledged to owe to the State
L 5 proc. Money as aforesaid,
for a fine imposed
upon said Rebekah for Bastardy.”
Court of the Ordinary session of 16 June 1789
[Brent H. Holcomb, Spartanburgh County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court
1785-1799, (Easley, SC.: Southern Historical Press, 1980): p.103]
Note the Ezekiel Sullivan: he was Rebecca’s brother. His friend, Ephraim
Jackson, married Rebecca and raised John’s child as his own. Ephraim and
Rebecca remained in the Spartanburg area until at least 1825. (There are two
other Ephraim Jacksons: one in Spartanburg and the other in Pendleton then
Oglethorpe County, GA.) The Ephraim who married Rebecca lived close to
Abraham Hembree, he moved up to the Goucher Creek area in 1806 and lived
next to Joshua Pettit (perhaps on or near the lands surveyed for John Hembree
and Joshua Pettit on 15 Nov 1788).
John Hembree was living in Spartanburg before and after the war but is not
found in the 1790 census (unless as John Hembey). He obtained a land grant
with Joshua Pettit in 1788, he fathered a child there, and he is mentioned in a
civil suit for costs, but I think he went back up to North Carolina in 1789.
Family Sheet: James Hembree (1785-1845)
James Emery b.c. 1785 Cherokee Nation d.c. 1845 Sevier Co, TN
m(1) Sarah Hembree b. 1794-98 SC d.c 1828 Cobb Co, GA dau of Abraham Hembree
m(2) Esther (Hester) b.c. 1807 Rutherford Co, NC d.aft.1875 TN; dau of Josiah
(Joseph) & Elizabeth Capshaw; she m(2) ---- Grammer Dekalb Co, TN
(His parents have not been determined. He was mixed blood Cherokee. He
may be aka James Welch, son of John Welch & Elizabeth Emory, Cherokee)
(The reconstruction of the family is tentative, much more work is needed.)
1) James EMORY b.c. 1818 Spartanburg, SC d.aft. 1850 unknown
m. Mary L. 1850 census Dekalb Co, TN p.87
2) J. EMORY b.c. 1821 Spartanburg, SC d.bef. 1850 or aft 1870
(John? See 7) m. Nancy Murphy (Cherokee) dau of Edward Murphy
had sons Johnson Murphy Emery & David Emery (aka David Hood?)
widow or divorced wife 1850 census Hamilton Co, TN hh 839
3) dau EMORY b.c. 1823 Spartanburg, SC d. aft 1860
Sarah Jane or Elizabeth Jane
4) Mary (Polly) EMORY b.c. 1825 SC d. aft 1870
m. William Capshaw (b.c.1805 NC) 1870 census Dekalb Co, TN
----children by 2nd wife -----------------------------------
5) Minerva EMORY b.c. 1827/29 GA or TN ; d.aft.1875 TN or KY
unmarried? (may be dau of 1st wife) aka Manerva Capshaw
1850 census Dekalb Co, TN p.85 (under Capshaw family)
6) Thomas EMORY b.c. 1828/30 TN d. aft. 1880 Allen Co, KY
m. Julia Watson (mixed blood) dau. of John & Margaret Watson;
served Co. H Tenn Mounted Infantry (Cooke’s Rgmt) CSA and
Co. H 59th Tenn Mounted Infantry CSA
1850 census Dekalb Co, TN p.85 (under Capshaw family)
7) Jonathan (John) EMORY b.c. 1831 Sevier Co, TN d. 9 Feb 1865
near Liberty (Dekalb County), TN (killed as a Confederate guerilla)
m. Maria ------ (mixed blood)
widow 1870 census Jefferson Co, TN p.492
Sgt, 4th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Murray’s) (Confederate)
8) William EMORY b.c. 1833 Sevier Co, TN d. 9 Feb 1865
near Liberty (Dekalb County), TN (killed as a Confederate guerilla)
m. Elizabeth ------ (mixed blood)
widow 1870 census Jefferson Co, TN p.367
Pvt, 4th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry (Murray’s) (Confederate)
9) Carroll David EMORY b.c. 1835 Sevier Co, TN d.c.1863 or c.1875
m. Maria Crockett (Melungeon Cherokee)
1850 census Dekalb Co, TN p.85 (under Capshaw family)
1860 census Dekalb Co, TN p. (w/wife & ch)
1870 census Dekalb Co, TN p. (3 oldest ch. listed w gr-mother)
widow 1880 census Rutherford Co, TN p.308d
Probably died in Civil War (as Confederate).
10) Eleanor (Elander) EMORY b.c. 1837 Sevier Co, TN d. aft 1880
aka Eleanor Capshaw;
Notes on the Capshaw family of Warren & Dekalb Co, Tennessee
James Emory’s second wife Hester or Esther was probably a Capshaw by birth
(born in Rutherford County, North Carolina) but she could just be a daughter in
law of the Capshaws. The estate or will of Josiah Capshaw should be helpful in
settling this. She could even be an “extra” daughter fathered by a Cherokee girl
or a servant. Or a niece.
The pioneer, Josiah Capshaw, was a Revolutionary War soldier from Delaware
who settled on the North Carolina frontier (Rutherford County). His son Josiah
came to White or Warren County, Tennessee, during the War of 1812. On 16
June 1814 Josiah and wife Elizabeth Capshaw sold interest in land in Rutherford
County (NC) to John Moore (recorded 3 Nov 1815 White Co, TN). On 25 Jan
1822 William Franks and his two brothers were tried for the assault & battery of
Josiah Capshaw in White County. In 1836 Josiah and William Capshaw were on
the tax list for Warren County in that part that later became Dekalb County. The
Capshaw family became numerous in Dekalb County and fielded Confederate
and Union soldiers from that county.
Because Hester (Esther) Emory is shown as a Capshaw in the 1850 census it is
possible that she was an Emory (Hembree) by birth who married a Capshaw then
when she was widowed she (and some of her children) reverted back to the
Emory surname. This is possible because the Emory (Hembree) family was in
Rutherford County, NC when she was reaching marriage age (1830). The Esther
name runs in the Abraham Hembree family. This possibility should be further
investigated. I found no Capshaw in the 1830 or 1840 census that plots to Esther
and her children as well as the census for James Emery in Sevier County does.
She and her children match the James Emery family but if a Capshaw family is
discovered that provides a fit, it should be examined. Because the CARROLL
family can be found alongside the CAPSHAW family in Rutherford Co, NC,
it is more than likely that she was a Capshaw who married James Emery in
Rutherford County soon after the death of his first wife. This would be the
source for the Carroll David (David Carroll?) name of one of the sons.
Notes on James Hembree (Emery)
Who is the James Hembree that joined a church with wife Sallie (the daughter of
Abraham Hembree) along with Owen Hembree (son of William W.) and Owen’s
wife Delilah (Rebecca Delilah, the daughter of Abraham Hembree)?
Who is the James Hembree b.1780-90 shown in the census of 1830 and 1840 for
Sevier Co., TN?
We have tentatively made them one and the same, and continued analysis of this
James has led to a sounder construction of this family. First, the 1800 James of
Spartanburg is NOT this James but the James b.1774, son of Joel Hembree.
Second, the 1820 census Spartanburg James and the 1824 church membership
James and Sarah are likely the same, and they are this James, requiring a much
younger Sarah (not b.1780 but more like 1794). Third, descendants of Abraham
are more comfortable with Polly being the oldest daughter (b.1782) so this works
out to that end. Fourth, the two Confederates killed as renegades have been
identified as John and William Emory who enrolled at Chattanooga in Hamilton
The Sevier County James Hembree (Emery) definitely lived among the Cherokee
and he was regarded as Cherokee, though perhaps not a tribal member, just mixed
James and Sarah were in Spartanburg in 1824 (where they joined the Goucher
Church with Owen and Rebecca Delilah Hembree), they went to Georgia during
the Cherokee land rush (1828). Sarah died in that year and James, with young
children, remarried quickly.
The father of this James b.c. 1785 is still a mystery. He cannot be a son of
Drury, as that would make him a direct first cousin of Sarah, Abraham’s
daughter, and they would not be admitted as church members if that were so.
Abraham’s grandchildren regarded him as a “Cherokee” uncle according to
some of the Miller applications.
The Cherokee known as Thomas Emory or Long Tom or Bullfrog was a
cousin of this James Emory, whose son Thomas Emory also went by the
Cherokee name of Bullfrog.
The Tennessee Confederate 4th Regiment (Murray’s Cavalry) was staffed at
Murfreesboro but drew its recruits from Chattanooga (Hamilton County) and
Sparta (White County). They operated in central and upper Tennessee. John
Emory and his younger brother William Emory joined the unit at Chattanooga.
John was a sergeant, William a private. They were killed by Tennessee Union
troops on 9 February 1865 in Dekalb County.
The Cherokee Emory family of eastern Tennessee was connected to the Welch
and Murphy families who have pre-Revolution Cherokee roots.
The mixed-blood Murphys descend from SC Cherokee traders: Daniel Murphy was killed
in April 1751 along with 3 other traders. Each trader was killed in a different location.
Murphy was killed near Canutre (Connutra), a Cherokee village on the Tuckasegee River in NC,
about where the town of Cullowhee (Jackson Co) is. His family moved down to Keowee (Fort
Prince George), SC. Hugh Murphy, his brother, was shot at Coronaca near Ninety Six (SC)
around the same time. He survived. His family too lived in upper SC. Ludovic Grant spoke
of Daniel in 1752. [SC Commons Journal 8 & 13 May 1751; SC Docs Indian Affairs 1750-
1754, 178, 219, 261, 262]
Melungeon Cherokee in Welch / Emory line
There is no doubt that the Welch and Emory Cherokee line includes some very
dark people. The Cherokee “Shoeboots” was a Welch who married a black
slave. The “French Woman of Keowee” Nani – the ancestor of some of the
Welch Cherokee, was a Melungeon Cherokee who was sold into slavery in the
West Indies. My own Emory ancestor married a former slave and was listed as
“colored” for many years. Some of the Cherokee Welch applications include
references to slaves as ancestors.
I am inclined to think James Emory was born Cherokee in the line of the above
Nani. His marriage to a daughter of Abraham Hembree was not an issue in the
church because of the distance of the relationship. His membership in a church
in the 1820’s is very consistent with a Christian revival that swept the Cherokee
(and the South) in the early 1800’s.
The James Emory b.1785 Cherokee heritage would look like this:
1. Nani (Melungeon Cherokee, tribal mbr of Keowee) + William Elder (white)
2. Nancy Elder (mixed) (d.1765) + John Emory (mixed) (1744-1808)
3. Elizabeth Jane Emory (mixed) + John Welch (mixed, tribal mbr)
4. James Welch aka James Emory (1785-1845) (trbl mbr at
Valley River lands in North Carolina)
John Emory was the son of John Amory (white) Indian trader and Mary Moore,
Cherokee of Keowee (half sister of Warhatchy or Wauhatchie).
John Welch was the son of James Welch (white) and a Cherokee woman. (See
“Old John Hembree aka John Emory” and “John Amory and the Emory
Cherokees” for more information.) This Welch line is the line of Lloyd Welch,
Chief of the Eastern Tribe.
His first wife’s Cherokee heritage (and his relation to Thomas Emory) would
look like this:
1. John Amory (white) + Sarah Wilson (white)
2. William Emory (white) + Mary Grant (Cherokee, tribal mbr)
3. Will Emory 1744-1788, tribal member
(aka Long Will, Long Fellow, Capt Will, Will of Nuquasse, Wauhatchie)
4. Thomas Emory b.c.1780-86, tribal member
(aka Long Tom, Bullfrog, Wauhatchie)
3. Abraham Emory (mixed) + Winnefred Jackson (white)
4. Sarah Emory (mixed) (1794-1828)
1. John Amory (white) + Mary Moore (Cherokee)
2. John Emory aka Old John Hembree (1744-1808) + Nancy (Cherokee)
3. Elizabeth Jane Emory (mixed) + John Welch (mixed) (1753-1809)
4. James Welch aka James Emory (1785-1845)
(The Emory-Grant line is the line of several Cherokee families.) The above
shows that James Emory and Sarah Emory did not have a grandparent in
common, and had only one great-grandparent in common, making them okay
for church membership under North Carolina & Virginia Baptist conventions.
Yet another possibility is that James Emery is a son of John Emory and the
Cherokee woman Susannah (see Michael Hembree b.1785). This works as
Drury Hembree b. 12 Dec 1755 SC d. 1845 MO
His wife M. b.c.1766 PA d.aft 1850 Taney Co, MO
Drury Hembree or Emory was the son of William EMORY and Mary GRANT (Cherokee).
1) Andrew James? Hembree b.c. 1783 SC d.bef. 1850 Arkansas
[1790 census w/father]
2) Rachel Hembree b.c. 1785 SC d.bef 1860 IN
m(1) ------- m(2) James Harbison (1763-1841) a veteran of
Revolution and 1812 War (they m.1826 Knox Co, TN)
[1830 Johnson Co IN, 1840,1850 DuBois Co, IN]
3) Matilda Hembree b.c. 1787 SC d. bef. 1850 MO?
(m. ? John Lee or Lea 1837 Randolph Co, Arkansas?)
4) dau b.c. 1789 SC
m. ---- McHill? McElwain? widow in 1838 Stoddard Co, MO
(Emery McHill purchased land next to Solomon Jackson and Samuel Sifford,
his uncles, 1838 Stoddard Co, MO. “McElwain” in 1830 Johnson Co, IN)
5) Benjamin Hembree b.c. 1793 SC d.c. 1840 Arkansas
m. unknown, Cherokee (possibly a sister of William Weir)
[1830 Campbell Co TN]
6) Rebecca Hembree b.c. 1795 SC d.c. 1830 MO
m. Solomon Jackson 3 April 1815 Knox Co, TN. He was the son of
John Hembree (1744 –1808) and Rebecca Sullivan and the adopted
son of Rebecca’s husband Ephraim Jackson. See Susannah, below.
7) John Hembree b. 1797/9 SC or TN d. 5 Feb 1864 Stone Co, MO
m(1) ------ m(2) Mrs. Maggie Butler (b1805 OH)
[1830 Johnson Co IN, 1840 &1850 Taney Co, MO, 1860 Stone Co, MO]
8) Isaac Hembree b. 3 May 1797/9 SC or TN
m. Mrs Sarah (Sallie) (Pierce) Ledgerwood, widow of Samuel Ledgerwood
she b.c. 1790 TN d. 6 Sep 1856 Martin Co, IN
[1830 Johnson Co IN, 1840 Dubois Co, IN, 1850 Martin Co, IN]
9) Lewis Francis Hembree b. 23 Mar1805 TN; d. 6 Feb 1882 Stone Co, MO
m. Phoebe Elizabeth Warwick (b. 1810 KY or TN) m 28 Sep 1826
Knox Co, TN
[1840&1850 Taney Co, MO, 1860, 1870, 1880 Stone Co, MO]
See Jane Hembree’s website for list of children: http://pages.ivillage.com/
10) Susannah Minerva Hembree b. 1808 TN d. 6 April 1844 Navarro
m(1) (Samuel?) SIFFORD
m(2) Solomon JACKSON (1788-1852), widower of her older sister. They
married 2 March 1831 in Cape Girardeau Co, Missouri
Her daughter (or niece), Sarah Hembry, m. George Sifford in 1843.
Both Sarah and George died before 1850 and their children are in
the 1850 household of Solomon Jackson, widower, Bexar County, Texas.
Notes for Solomon Jackson:
See “Old John Hembree aka John Emory” for more information.
On 1 August 1838 Solomon Jackson entered a claim (cash purchase) for 40 acres
in Stoddard County, Missouri. (Stoddard was formed in 1835 from Cape Girardeau
County.) On the same day his nephew Emery McHill and his brother in law Samuel
Sifford entered land practically next to each other and not too far from Solomon. (On
the same day Andrew J. Harty/Hardy, Robert Miller and Isaac Taylor also entered
land patents but no connection is known.)
On 10 August 1841 Solomon Jackson entered another stake of 40 acres next to Lewis
Sifford, the father of Samuel Sifford. Esther Taylor made an entry on that date also,
though no connection is assumed.
Notes for Drury Hembree:
Drewry Embry vs. Ambrose Yarborough : “The Plaintiff being called came not to
Prosecute his Suit. Ordered that he be Nonsuited.”
Ambrose Yarborough against Drewry Embry : “Ordered to be Dismissed at the
Union County Court session of 26 September 1787
[Brent H. Holcomb, Union County, South Carolina Minutes of the County Court
1785-1789, (Easley, SC.: Southern Historical Press , 1979): p.125]
Several web sites have Drury’s pension application (and Abraham’s affidavit
on his behalf). (Most are copied from Martin & Standifer’s John Hembree
tree at familytreemaker.com.)
Drury’s wife known as “M” was born in Pennsylvania (1850 census). The
application for widow’s benefits, dated 30 November 1850, is unclear:
The widow of one Drewry Hembree a Revolutionary soldier is
desirous of drawing her husband’s pension. She says his papers
were made out and she thinks the pension allowed some 10 to 14
years ago – her husband resided in Tennessee at the time and the
papers prepared by one Richardson. Mr. Hembree left before the
money was drawn has since died and his widow is now in Mo. and
wishes to draw what now is due. If you will cause such information
to be forwarded to me at Springfield Green County Missouri – as
may enable an old lady to obtain what the acts of Congress entitle
her to as one of the widows of a revolutionary soldier.
Thusly will confer a favor to an old lady – who is poor and in want
of the means for her subsistance circumstance.
I am not prepared now to say who the Captn or other officers under
whom Mr. Drewry Hembree served
John S. Taddill
It sounds like she was not living with Drury 10 to 14 years prior. Her place
of birth (Pennsylvania) is more consistent with a marriage in Indiana 1840 than
in Spartanburg 1781. But she could be associated with the Buffington, Baldwin
and Harlan families (formerly Quakers) who came to central South Carolina by
1765 and married into the Emory family.
Thomas Elder and the Elders of Spartanburg
Drury Hembree was living in Spartanburg in 1777 and volunteered in the
local militia under Captain Joseph Wofford and Lieutenant Thomas Elder.
The Spartanburg militia was at first “neutral” in the Revolution, preferring to
defend themselves and owing no allegiance to a distant government. They
built their own forts and organized their own troops. George Elder and his
7 or 8 sons figured prominently in the militia. Thomas Elder was one of his
sons, as was a John Elder. The lieutenant, however, was not the son of
There was an older Thomas Elder and an older John Elder of Charleston who
also settled in the 96 District, adding to the confusion. The older Thomas
Elder was the militia lieutenant and is called Dr. Thomas Elder. He was a
prosperous businessman of Charleston, selling slaves in 1772 and 1779 in the
public records. He also lent the rebel government 2000 pounds to finance the
Revolution and was repaid in 1779 or 1780. The archive record shows he was
paid as a lieutenant in Roebuck’s militia (Spartanburg).
The younger Thomas Elder was paid at the same time for service in the same
militia but he was killed 8 September 1781 and his next-of-kin William Elder
signed Thomas Elder’s pay over to Hugh Means (of 96 District).
Old John Hembree and John Elder were involved in a civil (debt) suit against
William Weir in Spartanburg in 1788. This appears to be a son of George
Elder, although much older than some genealogies have him because he bought
land in 1765.
On 16 Jan 1765 John Elder purchased 125 acres on Dutchman’s Creek of
the Tyger River from Robert Crowden, who received a royal grant of 600
acres there on 3 Sep 1753. In 1775 John Elder received a 450 acre grant
on the Broad River. He also had a small piece of land on the Enoree River,
which he sold on 18 Dec 1778 to William Hendrix. He was described as
“John Elder of Dutchman’s Creek, farmer”. The transaction was witnessed
by James and Sarah Elder and testified to William Gist, the Tory who lived on
the Broad and Enoree Rivers (SC).
On 4 May 1795 John Elder sold his 125 acres on Dutchman’s Creek to his
brother-in-law, Samuel Morrow Jr. He headed off to Kentucky. The Morrows
continued to live on Dutchman’s Creek alongside Abraham Hembree
(brother of Drury Hembree) and later William W. Hembree and Owen Hembree.
On 4 Aug 1796 Gideon Herralson and wife Elizabeth sold 50 acres on
Dutchman’s Creek bordering Samuel Morrow, Abraham Hembree, and others.
The land was part of a 1786 grant to William Weir.
On 3 Dec 1807 Owen Hembree (son of William Hembree) sold to his brother
William Hembree a 40 acre parcel on Dutchman’s Creek. John Morrow and
William Morrow witnessed the deed, which was proved before Samuel Morrow.
Other Spartanburg Relationships
The 1790 census for Spartanburg shows Drury Hembree in the midst of the
Elder and Morrow families (I took the liberty of using standard spellings):
NINETY SIX DISTRICT, SPARTANBURGH COUNTY p.87 (partial list)
Roebuck, Capt. George 1-3-3-0-0 p.86
Wofford, Bejanim 3-2-5-0-9 p.86 (built fort)
Wofford, Joseph 2-2-5-0-5 p.86 (Drury’s “Capt. Warford”)
Moore, William 2-4-3-0-0
Graham, David 1-4-6-0-0 “Grayhams”
Morrow, Capt. Samuel 1-2-3-0-0 father-in-law of John Elder
Hembree, Drury 1-0-3-0-0 (Hemery)
Morrow, David 1-0-1-0-0 “Murrow”
Elder, Robert 1-0-1-0-1 bother of John Elder
Elder, John 1-3-3-0-0 d.1799 KY
Elder, Haman 1-1-1-0-0 son of Samuel
Elder, Samuel 1-1-3-0-0 d.1797 brother of John Elder
Means, Benjamin 2-2-3-0-0 son of Hugh Means
Morrow, Samuel 1-0-0-0-3 (Murrow)
Hembree, Abraham 1-0-6-0-0 (Hambray)
Sullivan, Rebecca 0-1-1-0-0 (she has John Hembree’s child)
Hembree, Joel 2-1-6-0-3 (Emry)
Price, Sarah 0-0-2-0-0 sister of Joseph Price (1766-1834)
Elder, Alexander 2-0-1-0-0
Elder, William 2-4-5-0-0 d.1808 KY brother of John Elder
I’ve omitted quite a few families to emphasize how Drury is embedded among
the Elders and Morrows. The Morrows and Elders intermarried. Running down
these names over and over leads one to the conclusion: there is no relationship
between the Spartanburg Elder family and William Elder, Indian trader and
associate of Drury’s grandfather John Amory.
Stripping the above list down to a few pertinent names, however, reveals some
Moore, William 2-4-3-0-0 << Drury’s cousin
Graham, David 1-4-6-0-0 << Drury’s cousin
Hembree, Drury 1-0-3-0-0
Hembree, Abraham 1-0-6-0-0
Sullivan, Rebecca 0-1-1-0-0 Solomon Jackson
Hembree, Joel 2-1-6-0-3
Price, Sarah 0-0-2-0-0 sister of Joseph Price (1766-1834)
William Moore is a mixed-blood relative of the Emory family. David Graham
is the same as “Daniel” Graham who witnessed the will of Robert Emory, the
uncle of Drury. Drury’s aunt Sarah married Mungo Graham, who had a brother
David Graham. Drury’s “uncle” Aaron Loocock had lands by royal grant in the
Spartanburg District (he was a Tory and fled to New York). Rebecca Sullivan’s
child is Solomon Jackson, who married Drury’s daughter and went to Arkansas
and Missouri in the 1830’s. Joseph Price, a grandson of the above Joseph Price,
purchased land in Taney County, Missouri on the same day that Drury’s son John
Hembree purchased land in Taney County: 10 December 1850.
Although this sounds like “spaghetti genealogy” it illustrates how frontier people
tended to live close to their own, and when they moved, they did so in familiar
Family Sheet: Benjamin Hembree (1793/5)
b.c. 1793/5 Spartanburg, SC d. c. 1840 Arkansas; son of Drury Hembree
m. unknown Cherokee woman (possibly a sister of half breed William Weir)
Note that another Benjamin Hembree b.1793 was a son of Joel Hembree b.1755.
1) unk daughter b.c. 1820-1825 Knox or Campbell Co, TN d. unk
2) unk daughter b.c. 1820-1825 Knox or Campbell Co, TN d. unk
3) Andrew Emory b.c. 1825 Campbell Co, TN d.c. 1855 Arkansas
m. Celia Woodall (b.c.1834 Georgia or Arkansas), dau. of Thomas
Woodall. She m(2) Joseph Cephas.
Catherine Emory b.c. 1850-52 Arkansas, daughter of Andrew Emory,
married distant cousin James Madison Carselowry (b.1848), who was a
nephew of her mother and a descendant of William Emory d.1770. (He
was a son of George Carselowry (white) and Mary McDaniel (Cherokee),
the grandson of James McDaniel and Mary Buffington. His mother
married (2) Isaac Woodall.)
4) Peter Emory b.c. 1827 Campbell Co, TN d. Oklahoma
(Perhaps same as Andrew, i.e., Andrew Peter, and this would be
another unknown son in this slot.)
5) unk son b.c. 1829 Campbell Co, TN d. unk
He appears in the 1830 census for Campbell County, Tennessee, not far from
his father Drury, a Jos. Pettit b.1770-1780. (Another Benjamin Hembree
b.1793, son of Joel Hembree, appears in the 1830 census for Rhea Co, TN and
is found later in Jackson Co, AL.)
He went to Arkansas with his brother-in-law Solomon Jackson (and probably
his older brother Andrew Emory) c.1835 and settled on the (White??) River.
Benjamin Emory and his son (or brother) Andrew Emory were known as
medicine men, doctors, herbal health practitioners – whatever you choose to
call them. Benjamin may also have been a preacher.
This art or science of herbal and spiritual medicine was practiced in our
Cherokee ancestry for quite a few generations. The “Smallpox Conjurer”
of Keowee (aka Charity Haig) was a woman of great tribal rank in 1720
and negotiated the alliance with Colonel James Moore. (These negotiations
led to the birth of Mary Moore, mother of John Emory, and James Moore,
the father of both William Moore of Ninety Six District and the Tory
halfbreed James Moore.)
Benjamin’s wife, while unknown, was most likely Cherokee, as the family associated themselves with the tribe in Tennessee and Arkansas in a way
that indicates tribal connections.
The connection to the Weir family appears to predate the Revolution and is
seen in Spartanburg land records and perhaps in Tennessee. (The family was
also known as Ware, Wire.) While possible, more research is required.
Family Sheet: John Hembree (1797 - 1864)
b.c. 1797/9 Knox County, TN d. 5 Feb 1864/7 Stone Co, MO; son of Drury Hembree
m(1) ? ; m(2) Mrs. Maggie Butler Dubois Co, IN; she b.c. 1805 OH
1) Simeon Hembree b. 1818 or 1828 TN d.aft 1850 California
“Sim Hembrie” p.317a 1840 Dubois Co, IN age 20-30 wife 15-20
“Simon Emery” age 22 or 32 b. IN 1850 census El Dorado Co, CA p.481
2) Richard Hembree b.c. 1820-26 TN
Richard Hembree, Private, Co. B, Stone Co Regmt, Missouri Home Guard
3) Susannah Hembree b.c. 1824-1832 TN or IN
4) William Hembree b. 9 March 1836 IN or MO d. 12 March 1910 Stone
William Hembree, Pvt., Co. B., Stone Co Regmt, Missouri Home Guard
(Union); and as Corporal in Capt Kindle’s Co, Stone Co. Home Guard
(cf. William Hembree Co. I, 1st Ark Cavalry, Private, Union.)
5) Rachel Ellen Hembree b. 20 July1837 Dubois County, Indiana
6) Lewis Hembree b. 1839 MO
Lewis Hembree, Pvt., Co. E., Stone Co Regmt, Missouri Home Guard
(Union); and as Corporal in Capt Kindle’s Co, Stone Co. Home Guard
(cf. Lewis Hembree Co. M 1st Ark Cavalry, Private, Union.)
7) Benjamin Franklin Hembree b. 1 May 1842 Taney County, Missouri; d.
14 July 1932 Laclede County, Missouri
Benjamin Hembree, Pvt., Co. B., Stone Co Regmt, Missouri Home Guard
(Union); and as Corporal in Capt Kindle’s Co, Stone Co. Home Guard
Land Patents in Indiana (Drury Hembree descendants)
Hembree, Lewis 9/1/1838 Martin & Dubois Co 40 a.
Section 29 Township 1-N Range 4-W
Hembree, John 6/1/1839 Dubois Co 40 a.
Section 5 Township 1-S Range 4-W
Hembree, Isaac 10/1/1840 Dubois Co 40 a.
Section 17 Township 1-S Range 4-W
Hembree, John 5/25/1841 Dubois Co 40 a.
Section 17 Township 1-S Range 4-W
Hernbee, John 10/1/1852 Martin Co 40 a.
Section 9 Township 1-N Range 4-W
Hembree, Drury 8/30/1858 Martin Co 40 a.
Section 8 Township 1-N Range 4-W
Family Sheet: Isaac Hembree (1797-1860)
b. 3 May 1797/9 TN d. 1 Jun 1860 Martin Co, IN son of Drury Hembree
m. Mrs. Sarah Pearce Ledgerwood 1818 Knox Co, TN; she b.c. 1790 TN, d.
6 Sep 1856 Martin Co, IN. She was the daughter of James & Margaret Pearce.
1) John Hembree b. 1819 Knox Co, TN d. 23 Dec 1898 Martin Co, IN
m(1) Martha Mathis (1823-1881) (dau. of Reuben Mathis & Mary
m(2) Hannah (widow of Harbison)
[See post 732 Deana Hembree, Hembree Forum www.genforum.genealogy.com]
John Hembree Co. E, 58th Indiana Infantry, Private (Union)
2) Nancy Hembree b. 1820 Knox Co, TN
m(1) Michael Lemon m(2) Jefferson Waggoner
3) Jonathan K. Hembree b. 1821 Knox Co, TN d.aft 1880 Martin Co, IN
m(1) Dorcas Reed m(2) Elizabeth Potts
Jonathan Hembree Co. H 129th Indiana Infantry Private (Union); also in
80th Indiana Inf. Volunteers, Pvt, and as Jonathan K. Hembree in the
7th Veteran Reserves Corps, Indiana
4) Drewry Hembree b. 10 June 1824 TN d. 27 Apr 1907 Martin Co, IN
m. Ellenor Truelove (b. 1833 IN)
Drury Hembree Co. A 22nd Indiana Infantry, Private (Union)
5) Richard Hembree b. 26 June 1826 TN d. 8 Sep 1905 Martin Co, IN
m(1) Margaret Ann Sanders
m(2) Martha Risley
Richard Hembree, Private, Co. E, 58th Indiana Infantry (Union)
6) Calhoun Hembree b. 1830 Dubois Co., IN d.
m. Sophie Inman 30 June 1850 Martin Co, IN
(Supposedly had first marriage to Ilsora ----.)
7) James M. Hembree b. 1833 Dubois Co., IN d. aft 1870 Martin Co, IN
m. Catherine (b.1828 IN)
Family Sheet: Abraham Hembree (1757)
Abraham Hembree b. 16 May 1757 South Carolina, d. c. 1837 Hamilton
County, Tennessee. Wife was Winnefred (Winny) Jackson (1760 – c.1808).
He was the son of William Emory (d.1770) and Mary Grant (d.c.1766).
1) Mary (Polly) Margaret Hembree b.1782 SC d.unm. c.1852
Hamilton Co, TN
2) Esther Hembree b.1784 SC d.aft 1830 in SC
m. Irah Hembree (1783-1810)
3) Rebecca (Becky) Hembree b. 1786 SC d.aft 1840 GA
m. Owen Hembree (b.1777 d.1837)
4) Matilda Hembree b.1788 SC d. aft. 1830 NC?
m. ------ Hembree (?Joseph Hembree b.1779? --not proven)
5) Elizabeth (Betsy) Hembree b.1789 or 1792 SC d.aft 1850 in
Rutherford or Buncombe Co, NC
6) James Lee Hembree b.1790 SC d.c.1871 Union Co IL
m. Nancy Jane Rice (b.1790 d.1868)
7) Sarah (Sallie) Hembree b.1794/5 SC d.c. 1828 Cobb Co GA
m. James Hembree (b.c. 1785 d.c. 1845 Sevier Co, TN)
8) Ephraim Hembree b.1796 SC d. bef 1850 MO m. Rachel Pettit (b.1796)
9) Minerva Jane (Jinnie) Hembree b.1798 SC d.aft 1860 TX
m(1) ---- m(2) Jack Hall m(3) ----- Johnson
10) Nancy (Winnifred?) Hembree b.1800 SC d.aft. 1860 NC
m(1) ------ White m(2) John Floyd 1831 NC
11) Joel (Joseph) M. Hembree b.1802 SC d.bef 1860 Jefferson Co,TN
m.c. 1823 Sarah ---- (b.1808 SC)
12) Reuben Hembree b.1804 SC d. 15 Sep 1896 GA m. Sarah Laird
13) Isaac Hembree b.1806 SC d.c.1848 Greene Co, TN
m. Elizabeth White
1) Polly (= Mary Margaret) Hembree b.1782 SC d.unm. c. 1852 TN
In his 1825 pension application Abraham mentions his daughter Polly,
who was “about 43 or 44 years of age” and “who is unhealthy”. When
her mother died before 1810, Polly took on the burden of running the
household, sacrificing her “courtship” years. It’s possible she had a
couple of children (see 1830 Census) but it’s more likely that these
were nieces and a nephew. She went with her father into Tennessee,
where she probably died before 1860 in Hamilton County. In the
Goucher Baptist Church minutes she was one of the few family
members that escaped censure. She shows up in the 1850 Census
of Hamilton County, TN as “Margaret age 78 b.SC”.
In the first edition, her name was reported as Martha but the basis for
that name might better fit “Martha Esther”, the next daughter rather
than the daughter known as Polly and Margaret.
2) Esther Hembree b.1784 SC d.aft 1830 SC
m. Irah Hembree (b.1783 d.1810).
The Esther Hembree shown in the 1810, 1820 and 1830 Census for
Spartanburg is claimed by three different branches of the family. The
census Esther is the widow of Irah Hembree, a brother of Owen
Hembree (see Rebecca) and fellow member of the Friendship Baptist
Esther stayed in Spartanburg after Abraham moved up to North Carolina.
She died there sometime after 1830. (See family sheet.)
3) Rebecca Delilah (Becky) Hembree b. 1786 SC d.aft 1840 GA
m. Owen Hembree (b.1777 d.1837)
Becky married Owen Hembree (b. 1777 d. 1837) and had a large family,
moving to Georgia in the 1830’s. Owen was the son of William
Hembree (b. 1754VA d. 1821 SC) and Orindah. Owen and Abraham
lived close to each other in Spartanburg District but their relationship is not clear. They may be related through the Jackson family of Virginia
rather than the Hembree family.
The published data on Owen is vague – especially regarding his age. I
think he was born in 1777, but the census data (and Bob Hembree)
support 1765 as a better date. His first child (Laura Susan) was born 1801.
Rebecca, his wife, is listed with her father in 1800, and with Owen in
1810. They had their last presumed child in 1825/30 which is about
right for Rebecca’s last (45) and Owen’s last (53). (They probably
had their last in 1825.)
Owen’s wife is shown as Rebecca or Delilah. They joined the Goucher
Baptist Church (where Abraham and children attended) as Owen and
Delilah in 1824 but both families know her as Rebecca or Becky.
Owen died in 1837 in Carroll County, GA and Becky died before 1850,
we believe, in the same location. (See family sheet.)
4) Matilda Hembree b.1788 SC d. aft. 1830 m. --- Hembree??
I think Matilda married Joseph Hembree (b.1779) but they separated by
1812 and he remarried. (See separate family sheet.) Matilda and 3 or so
children are listed in Abraham’s household in the 1820 census. Matilda and her children went up to North Carolina and she is shown as a head of household in the 1830 Census. She had at least two children out of wedlock. Her oldest child appears to be James M. Hembree (b.1809) (see separate family sheet). Did she die or remarry after 1830?
Matilda made things interesting for the Goucher Baptist Church,
scandalizing the whole family and vexing her father Abraham (who got
into a fist fight at his 64th birthday party defending Matilda’s honor). In
March 1826 the church called her to answer for charges of fornication.
She refused to respond and was excommunicated. Her son James M.
Hembree was granted a more honorable exit from the church a month later
(they were moving up to North Carolina anyway).
Children of Matilda Hembree and Joseph? Hembree :
James M. Hembree b.1809 NC d. 30 Apr 1882 GA m(1) Nancy Floyd
m(2) Sarah Jane Buchanan m(3) Martha Payne (or Pain)
(See family sheet.)
Abraham (=J. Abraham?) Hembree b. 1811 NC d.c. 1860 GA
m. Levina Floyd (b.1813) -- dau of John Floyd (see Nancy b.1794,
daughter b.c. 1813 NC (1820 census Abraham Hembree household)
Children of Matilda Hembree and unknown:
Jane b.c. 1818 NC (1830 census see 1860 Murray Co, GA, sister of
James M. Hembree)
daughter b.c. 1822 NC (1830 census)
daughter b.c. 1826 NC (1830 census) (grand-daughter?)
5) Elizabeth (Betsy) Hembree b.1792 or 1789 SC d.aft 1850 NC
Elizabeth (Betsy) is listed in her father’s household in 1800 and 1810
but she married c. 1814 and moved up to North Carolina. She married
a Hembree (Emery) and had a son James Emery b. 1815 NC. She is
also the mother of Davis Hembree/Emery b.1817/8 NC and the mother
of Allen Hembree (b. 1825 NC). She is a widow in the 1840 and 1850
census for Rutherford County, NC. She died there or went with her
sons to Buncombe County, where some of them were born.
She may have married a John Emery (b.1792 SC) (1860 Polk Co, NC)
or have married someone else and she (and her children) reverted back
to the Hembree name.
Children of Elizabeth (Betsy) Hembree and unknown:
James Hembree b. 1815 NC
m. 22 Jul 1852 Delilah Hembree in Rutherford Co, NC
Davis Hembree b. 1817/8 NC d. 1877 MO m. Adaline Miller (b.1814)
(See family sheet.)
daughter b.c. 1819 [1840 census]
Allen Hembree b. 1825 NC d.unm NC (deaf & dumb)
6) James Lee Hembree b.1790 SC d.c. 1871 Union Co IL
m. Nancy Jane Rice (b.1790 SC d.1868 TN)
Since James is not shown in the 1790 Census, the birth year of 1789
shown for him is off by a year. James is as challenging as his father
to figure out. He struck out on his own before the 1810 Census and may
have gone up to NC. He also has been reported in TN, GA, SC, MO, IL.
He is listed in 1830 Campbell County, TN (living near Uncle Drewry),
then 1840 Meigs Co, TN and 1850 Meigs Co as well. Then in 1860 in
Hamilton Co, TN.[?see p.69] At age 80 he is listed in the 1870 census for
Union County, Illinois, but his descendants say he is buried in Georgia.
(The Nancy Cox, age 78 b.SC in the household of Humphrey, their son,
in the 1870 census for Murray Co, GA, is Humphrey’s mother-in-law.)
The Union Co, IL listing is interesting. That’s where Ephraim headed
in the 1830’s. There’s a Joel Joseph listed in that county in 1850 - 1870
-- see family sheet -- but this Joel Joseph is not ours. The Hamilton Co,
Tennessee, Emerys in 1870 Union County move to Missouri by 1880.
Note also another James L. Hembree who shows up close to our line:
James Lindley Hembree, b.1808 Pendleton District, South Carolina;
Resided in Cobb, Milton and Fulton Counties in Georgia. He is the son
of Amariah Hembree, and a grandson of Reverend James Hembree.
(See family sheet.)
7) Sarah (Sallie) Hembree b.1794-8 SC d.c. 1828 Cobb Co GA
m. James Hembree (b.c. 1785 d.c. 1845 Sevier Co, TN)
She was part of Abraham’s household in 1800, 1810 and listed with
husband James Hembree (26-44) in Spartanburg in 1820. She is 16-25
in the census, with a son. James Hembree was born c. 1785 and died
around 1845 in Sevier County, Tennessee.
James and Sarah joined the Goucher Baptist Church in 1824 along with
Owen (son of William W.) and Delilah (Rebecca) (daughter of Abraham).
This is the uncle James Hembree mentioned in the Reuben Emery
Cherokee applications by his descendants as being half-Cherokee. My
family history (through Old John 1744-1808) acknowledges this James
as a “known cousin” but the relationship has not yet been established.
(See separate family sheet.)
8) Ephraim Hembree b.1796 SC d. bef 1850 MO
m. Rachel Pettit (b. 1796)
Ephraim’s descendants have done a good job tracing his movements.
In 1820 he is listed in the Spartanburg County Census but by 1833
he shows up in the southern part of Illinois (Union County). Around
1840 he is Ripley County, MO (near the Arkansas border). Then over
to Taney County, MO before 1850. His widow and children show up
in Schulyer County and McLean County, Illinois and in Barry County,
Missouri. The Pettits and Hembrees attended the Goucher Baptist Church
together. Rachel is the daughter of Joshua Pettit 3rd (d.1827).
Ephraim received from his father-in-law 100 acres above the Pacolet River
(will proved 20 Aug 1827) but on 4 Dec 1827 he sold the land to Edward
Patterson for $100. The will (giving the land to Rachel) and the land deed
(dower released by Rachel) prove that Ephraim’s wife was Rachel Pettit.
The land was part of a 620 acre grant originally laid out in 1788 for Joshua
Pettit and Old John Hembree.
Ephraim Hembree was a witness to a deed involving the family of
William W. Hembree and Joel b.1755 Hembree. Joel b.1755 Hembree
was Joshua Pettit’s brother-in-law and he acted for Wiiliam W.
Hembree’s estate in another land deal on 13 Feb 1826 (selling to
Ephraim Story the land he was then living on). Ephraim Hembree was a
witness to this deed as were Isaiah and Polly Hembree – son and daughter-in-law of William W. Hembree. (Three different Hembree lines on one
9) Minerva Jane (Jinnie) Hembree b.1798 SC d. aft 1860 TX
m(1) ---- m(2) Jack Hall m(3) --------- Johnson
In Abraham’s 1825 pension application he mentions his daughter Jinnie
(age 26) and her sons Hampton (age 6) and Isaac (age 3). Both were
surnamed Hembree, so her marriage to Jack Hall came after their birth.
Jane was married briefly but in 1821 returned home, transferring from
the Lindsey Baptist Church to the Goucher congregation (in what is now
Cherokee County, SC). Shortly after she had her son Isaac and was
rebuked by the church.
Her nieces and nephews only recall her marriage to Jack Hall. In the
1860 Census she is a widow, listed with her son Hampton Hembree in
Hamilton Co, TN, as “Minerva Johnson”. During the Civil War she
moved down to Texas.
10) Nancy (Winnifred?) Hembree b.1800 SC d. aft 1860 NC
She m(1) ------ White, m(2) widower John Floyd in Rutherford Co, NC
on 19 Jan 1831. (Notice the Floyd intermarriages and the proximity of
John Floyd to the Hembrees in Spartanburg as well.) Her father Abraham
was bondsman for the marriage.
There are also Whites living close to the Hembrees in Hamilton Co, TN,
but the connection is not known.
She is perhaps the Nancy Floyd age 50 in the 1860 census for Rutherford
County, North Carolina.
11) Joel (Joseph) M. Hembree b.1802 SC d.bef 1860 Jefferson Co,TN
m. Sarah ------- (b.1808 SC)
This is the same son sometimes shown as Joseph M. Hembree.
He is confused with Joel Joseph Emery (b. 1802NC) of Union Co, IL.
(See family sheets for both.)
The Joel Hembree of Cocke Co, TN 1840 is ours. He is then found in
the 1850 Census for Jefferson Co, TN. We think he died before 1860
in that county but he may have left Tennessee.
See “A Compendium of Joel Hembrees” in Part Two.
12) Reuben Emery b.1804 SC d. 15 Sep 1896 GA m. Sarah Laird
There are three Reuben Hembrees on Cherokee lands in Georgia. The
older one is Reuben Embry (b.c. 1780 VA d.1835 Oglethorpe Co. GA).
He was the son of Thomas Embry and Anne Jackson. Our Reuben
arrived in Georgia in the late 1820’s (he did not go up to NC). A third
Reuben (probably ours) drew lands in the 1832 Cherokee lottery in Hall
(not Union) County, GA near Abel Owen Embry (b.1806). Abel Owen is
the son of Merrell Embry and his wife Divine Howard, daughter of Abel
Howard. [“The Merrell Embry Family Bible”, Carroll County
Genealogical Quarterly, Summer 1993, p.48]
Reuben’s daughter said he was ¼ Cherokee but his mother “Nancy” was
½ Cherokee; and he had an uncle James Emery who was ½ Cherokee.
The uncle, at least, we figure was James Hembree, husband of Sallie
Sarah Laird was the daughter of Curtis & Betsie Laird) (spelled Lard in
SC, GA). Curtis was the son of James Laird. James Lard, Curtis Lard
and James Lard Jr. won lots in the 1827 Cherokee land lottery in Hall
County. In the 1832 Cherokee land lottery, Reuben “Hembree” won a
lot in Hall County. In the 1832 Cherokee Gold land lottery, James L.
Hembree won land in Hall County. I believe this was James Lindley
Hembree, son of Amariah Hembree, who was in Hall County by 1822.
Reuben was in Hall County in 1830 but in the 1840’s he was in Murray
County (the county boundaries and names shifted—his lottery land may
have wound up in Murray County.) On July 21, 1848, the Holly Creek
Baptist Church was formed in Murray County with a congregation of five
adult male members and ten adult female members, including: Reuben
Emery, William Jackson, Sarrah Emery, Elizabeth Emery, Nancy Black,
and Lucy Jackson. [Murray County Heritage, by the Murray County History
Committee, (Roswell, GA.: WH Wolfe Associates, 1987): pp.249-250] William
Jackson (1798-1872) was ordained a deacon by the members.
In a special census of 1834 of Cherokee territory in GA, Reuben shows
up in Lumpkin County with five family members. Nearby is William
Jackson with two family members. The county lines were deliberately
changed several times in the 1830’s to prevent the Cherokees from filing
land titles and lawsuits (there was a gold rush into Georgia Cherokee
lands). Reuben’s apparent moves from Hall, Union, Murray, Lumpkin
and Gilmer County may have been on paper only – he may have been in
the same place the whole time. (See family sheet.)
13) Isaac Hembree b.1806 SC d.1848 Greene Co, TN m. Elizabeth White
Isaac Hembree m. Elizabeth White 4 Jan 1830 Rutherford Co., NC.
(His father Abraham was the bondsman for the marriage.)
In the 1830 Census he is listed as Isaac Himbree, close to James M.
He then crossed the mountains into Tennessee and settled there.
Isaac filed an affadavit in Cocke County, TN in 1834 on his father’s
behalf. The 1840 census data is partially lost and what appears to be
his widow and children are shown in 1850 Greene County (next to
Cocke Co.) TN.
Isaac is sometimes shown as a grandson of Abraham but his proximity
to Abraham (plus his affadavit) suggest that he was a son.
(See family sheet.)
Three Matilda Hembrees
Three women, born around the same time (1787/8) and the same place (Spartanburg, South
Carolina), with the same name: Matilda Hembree. Ordinarily, this would indicate a family
name but nobody has come up with the family source*. Since the name all but dies out after
their generation this was probably not a family name. There were other Matildas in the same
area and time frame (1785-1800) such as Matilda Dempsey, Matilda Jackson, Matilda
Shirley, Matilda Bishop.
*The mother of Joel Hembree (b.1793 or 1796) was a Matilda in the Spartanburg area. If
she’s our family source she must have been a remarkable woman.
She appears to be the first. Drury Hembree’s widow is known only as “M.” and Drury’s first
daughter is named Matilda. Is she the source of the name? Not for Abraham or Joel.
Since her family went to the Tennessee frontier before 1810 she disappears after marriage and
there is no idea yet what became of her but perhaps in time some family will come forward
with a “brick wall” ancestor named Tilly or Mattie or Matilda who was part Cherokee and
lived in eastern or central Tennessee, perhaps following Drury’s family to Indiana then west
to Missouri or she may have remained in Tennessee.
This Matilda is our “Cherokee” Matilda: displaying the scandalous boldness and independence
of her Cherokee tribal aunts. See notes on her elsewhere and her separate family sheet.
This Matilda had a child by Charles White then later married Benagah (or Benajah) Pennington 26 July 1814 in Roane County, Tennessee.
Family Sheet: James Lee Hembree (1790)
b. 1790 SC d.c.1871 Union Co, IL.
m.c. 1810 Nancy Jane Rice (b.25 Mar 1790 SC d. 25 Mar 1868 GA/TN)
He was a son of Abraham Hembree (1757-1837). See also James M. Hembree.
? 1) Elizabeth Hembree b. 1811 SC or TN
m(1) John Pendergrass ?m(2) Wiley C. Arwood? 1880 Dent Co, MO
2) Humphrey Hembree b. 21 May 1812 SC or TN d.aft 1890 Ark
m. Jeanie Idensey Cox
3) Abram Hembree b. 1813 TN d.aft 1888 Wright Co, MO
m. Rhoda Mallicoat b.c.1815 TN d.aft 1888 Wright Co, MO
dau of James Mallicoat and Rhoda Witcher
1850/1860 Rhea Co, TN p.280/476; 1880 census Wright Co MO p.508A,
1888 land patent Wright Co, MO
4) Andrew Hembree b.c. 1815 TN d. aft 1880 Dent Co, MO
m(1) Elizabeth ------
1850 Rhea Co, TN p.280 (near brother Abraham)
5) John Hembree b.c. 1817 TN d. aft 1880 Hamilton Co, TN
m(1) Phereby (February) (divorced); m(2) Nancy Jane – (she d.1877)
1850 Hamilton Co, TN p.856 also 1860, 1870, 1880 Hamilton Co
6) Susan Hembree b.c. 1822 TN d.aft 1880
m. Abner Dotson 28 Jul 1846 Meigs Co, TN (he d.1865)
7) James Hembree b.c. 1824 NC or TN m. Adaline (Fannie)
1850 census McMinn Co TN
8) Matthew Hembree b.c. 1827 SC d.bef.1870
1850 census McMinn Co TN listed w/bro. James
9) Jonathan (John) Hembree b. 1829 TN d.bef 1880 Wayne Co, MO
m. Caroline (b.1833 TN d.aft.1880 Wayne Co, MO)
1870 Union Co, IL p.374; widow 1880 Wayne Co, MO p.354a
10) William W. Hembree b. 1831 or 1837 Campbell Co, TN d. 28 April
1926 Wagoner County, Oklahoma
m(1) ---------? m(2) Mary Jane Taylor 18 Jan 1870 Hamilton Co, TN
She was b. 1 Oct 1846 Blount Co, TN, d.21 May 1928 Wagoner Co, OK
See 1870 Union Co IL p.374; 1880 Dent Co, MO p.354a.
He was a Civil War pensioner: Co. C 7th Rgmt Tn Vol. Inf;
and Co. B, Co. F 1st Regiment Tn Inf , Private.
11) Emanuel Thomas Hembree b.c. 1833 TN d.1918 Mountain Grove,
Wright Co, MO
m. Mary Jane Gross (b.1840 TN d.13 Mar 1934 Wright Co, MO)
1850 census Meigs Co, TN p.721 w/father; 1870 census Union Co, IL
p.374; 1880 census Wright Co. MO p.508a (Mountain Grove);
Pvt., Co. C 5th Regiment Tennessee Infantry (Union)
12) Benjamin A.Hembree b. 6 Oct 1832/5 Campbell Co, TN; d. 2 Apr 1914
Hamilton Co, TN m(1) Harriet (Hettie) Pendergrass (b.9 Apr1840 TN
d. 23 Aug 1909 TN); m(2) Flara (b. Aug 182x d. 20 Oct 1920 TN)
he was a Civil War soldier (Union) and pensioner: Co. I 7th Rgmt Tn
*) dau b. 1832-5 TN in 1840 census grand-daughter? or d.young
13) Nancy Jane Hembree b. 1838 d. 20 Oct 1902 Fulton Co, Arkansas
m(1) John W. Carr 9 Nov 1854 Meigs Co, TN (he died in Civil War)
m(2) Robert Todd
1884 Fulton Co, Arkansas
James Emery served in the War of 1812 in Capt James Stewart’s TN Militia.
His pension application is SC-18930, which shows he married Nancy Jane
Rice 1810 in Spartanburg, SC. He resided in Meigs Co and Roane Co, TN and
also in Wright Co, MO, per his pension application and land grant.
(Lola Allen has researched some of his descendants & posted them online.)
Some federal land patents in Missouri:
HEMBREE, BENJAMIN F 2/1/1873 Wright Co, MO Springfield office
120 acres Homestead Act entry Section 15 Twshp 30-N Range 15-W
(This is a grandson of Drury, born in Ohio.)
EMERY, ABRAHAM 6/23/1888 Wright Co, MO Springfield office
(jointly) 80 acres Homestead Act entry Section 21 Twshp 28-N Range 12-W
EMERY, JAMES 6/23/1888 Wright Co, MO Springfield office
80 acres Homestead Act entry Section 21 Twshp 28-N Range 12-W
EMERY, EMANUEL 9/5/1890 Wright Co, MO Springfield office
160 acres Homestead Act entry Section 28 Twshp 28-N Range 12-W
Section 33 Twshp 28-N Range 12-W
From Wright Co, MO website:
Plat locations Section Township Range (undated)
EMERY, Abraham 21,
EMERY, Emanuel 28-33, 28N, 12W
EMERY, James 1, 28N, 12W
HEMBREE, Benj F. 15, 30N, 15W
A comparison of the 1870 and 1880 census plus the land patents show Manuel
(Emanuel) Emery to belong to the Abraham Hembree line.
Who is buried in James Lee Hembree’s tomb? For a discussion, see James M.
Family Sheet: Ephraim Hembree (1796-1849)
Ephraim b. 1796 SC d.bef 1850 MO son of Abraham Hembree
Rachel Pettit b. 1796 SC d.aft 1870 MO
she m(2) ------ Mathes / Mathis who d.bef. 1850 also
1) unknown son b. 1816 SC d.aft. 1830
2) Robert J. Hembree b. 1818 SC d.bef. 1880
m. Elizabeth (Ayers?) (b.1822 VA)
3) Abraham Hembree b. 1819 SC d. 10 Oct 1843 in MO.
m. 20 or 27 July 1843 Mary A. Allison (Lawrence Co, MO)
(A daughter was born of the union.)
“Abraham Hernbue m. Mary M. Allason, July 20, 1843” [see post #894
Hembree Forum on www.genforum.genealogy.com by Leslie Ashman]
4) unk dau b. 1821 SC d.aft. 1830
5) Lucinda Hembree b.c. 1823 SC d.bef 1880 Barry Co, MO
m(1) Jesse B. Brewer 15 Sep 1842 Lawrence Co, MO
m(2) Isaac Weatherby 18 Nov 1846 Randolph Co, Arkansas
m(3) Anthony Hall c.1868 Barry Co, MO
See 1880 census Barry Co, MO (White River) p. 288c
6) Mary Magdalene Hembree b.1826 SC
m(1) James Barnes 2 Nov 1845 Ripley Co, MO
m(2) Hezekiah M. Harbert c. 1852-1857 prob. Taney Co, MO
m(3) Lewis Haines 20 Apr 1865 Schuyler Co, IL
7) unk dau b. 1828 NC (alive in 1830)
8) unk dau b. 1830 NC (alive in 1830)
9) Ephraim F. Hembree b. 22 Oct 1833 Union Co, IL d. 20 Oct 1897
Golden (Barry Co) MO; m. Mary Ann Clark (or Parkinson)
1860 Arkansas, 1870 IL or MO, 1880 MO
Ephraim F. Hembree Co. L 1st Ark Cavalry, Private (Union)
E. F. Hembree Co. F. (Capt. Lee’s) County Regmt, Missouri Home Guard,
10) William Hembree b. 1839 AR d.aft 1862 bef 1880
William Hembree Co. I 1st Ark Cavalry, Private (Union)
11) Rachel Hembree b. 1841 AR d.c.1878 Barry Co, MO
m. Elijah or Elisha HALL (b.1837 KY) son of Anthony HALL (b.1802
NC). See census Barry Co, MO 1870 (p.3) &1880 (p.288c).
Notes for Ephraim Hembree:
Ephraim went to Illinois by 1833 then to Missouri before 1840. He located
in the old Greene County area which became Taney, Stone, Barry and Lawrence
Counties. He was close to the Arkansas border so we might find records in
Benton and Carrol County, Arkansas. (An E. Hembree is listed in the 1839 tax
records for Lawrence Co, Arkansas.)
Ephraim died before 1850 and his children and grandchildren have not all been
found but they were in the lower Missouri & upper Arkansas area. The widow of
Drury Hembree is found in Taney County, Missouri, in 1850.
Ephraim Hembree Jr. claimed 80 acres in Barry County, Missouri on 7 March
1892 under the Homestead Act of 1862. Since it is likely he was living close by
since 1875 or so, it is interesting to take a look at who his neighbors were. His
land was in Section 24 of Township 22-N, by Range 26-W. Land to the east and
south of Hembree’s land was vacant.
The first to register land in that section was Jesse Spencer (on 27 March 1861).
He died or left the area a few years later and James M. Aldridge got the land and
an additional 40 acres on 1 July 1874. Elisha Burk got the 80 acres below
Aldridge on 15 February 1876. Others who registered land about the same time
as Ephraim Hembree were William J. Edie (or Ady), Thomas E. Meadows
(or Meaders), Andrew R. Ethridge (or Aldridge), and the widow Amanda Petty
with her adult children Caleb Petty and Amanda Scott (I could have the mother &
Petty is a known variant of Pettitt, and there was a George Pettitt (b.1792) in the
area in 1850. Not sure if there is a connection yet. This group appears to be
related to Joel H. Petty b.1815 KY d.1863 who came to Barry County from Knox
Jesse Spencer was in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1800 then in Knox
County, Kentucky in 1810. He may have been the son of Benjamin Spencer of
Spartanburg (a neighbor of Abraham Hembree in 1790). Or he could be the older
Jesse Spencer, son of John and Susannah Spencer of Anson County, NC then of
Spartanburg. (See Dr. Barbara Inman Beall’s discussion of the Spencers at
11 April 1791. Robert Patten of Burke Co, NC to Jesse Spencer
of Spartanburg; for 20 pounds sterling does sell 100 acres on
Ward’s Branch of North fork of Tyger River. Bordering all vacant
Land. Granted 24 Aug 1779 to Alexander Curry who then sold to
Robert Patton on 12 Jan 1775. Witnesses: Lawson Thomson and
James Scott. Signed Robert Patten. Witness oath 13 Jun 1791 Lawson
Thomson to Thos. Moore. Recorded 1 Sep 1791. Spartanburg B:460
The Meadows / Meaders family could trace to Spartanburg and/or Pendleton,
27 Jan 1792. Abraham Hembrey and wife Winey to Thomas Meadows
(all of Spartanburg) for 20 pounds SC money sells 117 acres on North
side of Tyger River. Bordering Tobias Bright and Albutus Bright. Part
of a 265 acre grant 7 Jan 1788 Gov. Thomas Pinckney to Abraham
Hembrey on branch of Dutchman’s and Cane [Cain] Creeks and N side
of Tyger River. Witnesses: Gideon Hearlson, Jesse Meaders (or
Meadows) and William Meadows. Signed Abraham Hembrey and Winey’s
Marks. Witness oath 10 Jan 1793 Jesse Meaders to Wm. Smith.
Recorded 3 Apr 1794. Spartanburg C:223
On 15 Jan 1806 Thomas Meader (Meadow) bought 100 acres on Dutchmans
Creek adjacent to Abraham Hembree. Thomas Meadows lived next to the
Abraham Hembree family on the north side of Tyger River and then on
Dutchman’s Creek. Spartanburg K:301. A family connection is possible.
Elisha Burk is worth investigating because Ephraim Hembree’s
nephew John married Elisha Burk’s daughter Martha Ann on 28 January 1877.
In the 1909 plat map, Ephraim Hembree’s land is shown under E. Williamson
and the Williamson family lives there to this day. I have not checked the 1900
census listing for this family but Frank Williamson, a descendant, surely has
and he has gone no farther back than Walter Williamson (1875-1914). A James
Williamson (b.c.1828) m. Elizabeth --- (b.c.1827) in Lawrence County, MO.
She would fit in nicely as one of the unknown daughters of Ephraim Hembree.
(James Williamson was the son of Jesse Williamson b.1805 VA.)
Also worth investigating is the Polly or Dolly Allfrey (1821-1890) buried on the
land in what is known as the Edie/Aldridge Cemetery. (Frank Williamson shows
her as Dolley A. Allfrey 27 Aug 1821 – 24 Jun 1890.) This could be Mary Ann,
the wife of Ephraim??
Ephraim F. Hembree, Lewis Hembree (son of Drury) and William Hembree
served together in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry (Union).
Family Sheet: (Joel) Joseph M. Hembree (1802-1858) SC-TN
b. 1802 SC d.bef 1860 Jefferson Co, TN son of Abraham Hembree ?
m.c. 1823 Sarah -------- (b.1808 SC)
1) Hulda Emory b. 1824 SC or TN m(2) Thomas Griffith (b.1822 TN)
2) Sarah b. 1826 SC or TN
3) ? Rebecca Emory b. 1828 SC or TN m. ----- Moore (d.bef.1870)
4) Joseph Marion Emery b. 1830 SC or TN d.aft. 1900 TN
m. Manerva Tipton 19 Aug 1867
(A son of Joseph Hembree & Sarah Melton, not the son of this
Joseph Hembree & Sarah? 1840 census shows a son here so
perhaps there are two Josephs? Or this son b.1830 is unknown.)
5) Franklin or Francis Emery b. 1835 SC or TN
prob d. bef 1870 and prob m. Elizabeth ---- (b. 1833 TN)
6) Hester or Hettie Emory b. 1837 SC or TN
m. James Ballard ?
7) Samuel Emory b. 1840 TN
Private, Co. C, Tennessee Lt. Artillery, Confederate (as Samuel Emery and
8) Martha Emory b. 1842 TN
Family Sheet: Reuben Emery (1804-1896)
Reuben Hembree b.1804 SC d. 15 Sep 1896 Gilmer Co, GA son of Abraham Hembree
m. c. 1826 Sarah Laird, dau. of Curtis & Betsie Laird (Lard)
she d. 15 July 1891 Gilmer Co, GA
1) Elizabeth Hembree b.24 Aug 1828 GA d. 1860
2) Nancy (Susan) Hembree b. 12 Oct 1830 GA d. aft 1907
m(1) 1847 ------ Black? or ?m. 18 Oct 1846 David Rogers, Gilmer Co GA
3) Catherine Hembree b. 1832 d. Apr 1879
m. 13 Jan 1863 Jasper Key in Gilmer Co, GA
4) Martha Hembree b. 20 May 1833 GA d.bef 1907
5) Mary Louisa Hembree b. 10 Aug 1835 GA d.bef 1907
6) Talitha Hembree b. 23 Jan 1838 GA d.aft 1907
7) Malinda Hembree b. 5 May 1839 (or 1850) GA d.
8) Celia Hembree b. 1843 GA
9) Minerva Hembree b. 27 Aug 1845 Murray Co GA d.aft 1907 GA
m. Alpheus Key
10) Divina Hembree b. 1848 Murray Co GA d. Sep 1, 1849
11) John Hembree b.1850 Murray Co, GA d. 14? Jan 1876
From 26 Jan 1876 : “John Emory (or Emery), who resided near Santa Luca,
was shot and killed on Friday night last, supposedly by one W. O. Grady (or
O’Grady), a United States soldier. Grady was arrested Sunday by Sheriff
Randell, and is now undergoing a preliminary examination.” [George Gordon
Ward, The Annals of Upper Georgia Centered in Gilmer County, (Carrollton, GA.:
Thomasson Printing Co., 1965): p.353]
12) Charles Hembree b. 1854 Murray Co, GA d.aft.1907
(See discussion under “Notes on the Children of Abraham Hembree” and in
the chapter on the pension applications.)
In the 1827 Georgia land lottery, Curtis Lard (Laird), James Lard, and James
Lard Jr. drew lots in what was then Hall County. In the 1832 Cherokee land
lottery, Reuben Hembree drew land in Hall County. In the 1832 gold land
lottery, James L. Hembree drew land. The 1830 census for Hall Co, GA
Reubin Embry 0 0 0 0 1 …….. 1 0 0 0 1 ……… and
Amariah Hembree 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 ….. 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0, 4 slaves
Because another Reuben Embry was in the state we have to be sure that the
above is ours. The age (20-30) indicates that this is our Reuben. The other
Reuben b.c.1770 is said to have gone to Franklin Co, Tennessee by 1812, but
returned to Georgia where he died c.1835 (Oglethorpe County). (That could
be another Reuben Embry.)
The 1834 state census of Lumpkin County, Georgia, however, shows a
Reuben Emery with 5 “heads” in addition to his own so the household of 6
persons would match exactly the family sheet as we show it.
Family Sheet: Isaac Hembree / Emory (1806)
b. 1806 SC d.c. 1848 Greene Co, TN son of Abraham Hembree
m. Elizabeth White 4 Jan 1830 Rutherford Co, NC she b. 1808 NC
1) Anna Emory b. 1831 NC
2) Margaret Emory b. 1837 NC or TN
3) Drucilla Emory b. 1843 TN
4) Joshua Emory b. 1845 TN
A Joshua Emery was a private in Co. E 20th Regiment GA Vol. Infantry CSA. He
enlisted 27 June 1861 in Harris Co, GA. He died of typhoid fever at Culpepper, VA.
on 8 Oct 1861. [Lillian Henderson, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia
1861-1865 (Hapeville, GA : Longino&Porter): II,799]
Family Sheet: James M. Hembree (1809-1882)
James M. Hembree b. 1809 SC d. 30 Apr 1882 Gilmer Co, GA
m(1) 1826/7 Nancy Floyd, dau of Thomas & Sallie Floyd
(she d. 27 Nov 1840 Hamilton Co, TN)
m(2) 1842 Sarah Jane Buchanan
(she d.bef 1860 Murray Co, GA)
m(3) 1864 Martha Payne (Pain), dau of Asa Payne
(she d. 15 Apr 1882 Gilmer Co, GA)
Pvt. Co. C 11th Regmt GA Vol Infty CSA enlisted 3 July 1861 disability disch. 18 Nov 1861.
He was the son of Matilda Hembree (dau. of Abraham) and Joseph Hembree (b.1779).
children by Nancy Floyd
1) Ephraim Hembree b.& d. 1827 Rutherford Co, NC
2) Mahala Caroline Hembree b. 3 Nov 1829 Rutherford Co, NC d.aft 1908 GA
m. John Clonts on 6 May 1850; he d. 19 Jul 1879 Gilmer Co, GA
3) Sara Ann Hembree b. 1831 Rutherford Co, NC d.c. 1901 MO (or GA)
m(1) ---- m(2) Pleasant Scott (b.1826 SC)
children by Sarah Jane Buchanan
*) Francis M. Hembree b. 1841 d. 10 July 1862 Lynchburg, VA
-- see 1860 census Pvt. Co. C 11th Regmt GA Vol Infty CSA d. pneumonia in hospital
4) Andrew Jackson Hembree b. 23 Apr 1843 TN d.c. 1900 TX
m. Louisa Latch (had son Joseph Emory who m. Talitha “Dixie” Jones
16 Jan 1887 Gilmer Co, GA, of Cherokee blood)
Pvt. Co. C 11th Regmt GA Vol Infty CSA enlisted 3 July 1861 captd at Gettysburg 5 Jul 1863
5) Harriet Israel Hembree b. 5 Aug 1865 GA d.aft 1907 GA
(in 1880 household)
6) Isaac Hembree b.c. 1870 d.aft. 1907 TN
(not in 1880 household)
children by Martha Payne (Pain)
7) Mary Hembree b. 11 May 1876 Gilmer Co, GA m. William Scott Houser
8) Martha E. Hembree b. 1878 Gilmer Co, GA
m. David Dale 17 Jan 1895 Gilmer Co, GA
9) John William Jasper Hembree b. 11 May 1881 Gilmer Co, GA
res Ark in 1907
His census ages present a huge difficulty:
in 1880 he says he’s 88 (b.1792 SC) (Murray Co, GA)
in 1870 he says he’s 77 (b. 1793 SC) (Murray Co, GA)
in 1860 he says he’s 64 (b. 1796 SC) (Murray Co, GA)
in 1850 he says he’s 50 (b. 1800 SC) (Hamilton Co, TN)
in 1840 -- no record found
in 1830 he says he’s 20-29 (b. 1801-1810) (Rutherford Co, NC)
in 1820 he’s in the household of Abraham Hembree
(Spartanburg, SC) a list of males besides Abraham:
male b.1810-1820 grandson
male b.1810-1820 grandson
male b.1810-1820 grandson
this list includes 3-4 grandsons and perhaps a son-in-law
in 1810 the household of Abraham Hembree (Spartanburg, SC)
presents this list of males besides Abraham:
in 1800 the household of Abraham Hembree (Spartanburg, SC)
presents this list of males besides Abraham:
in 1790 the household of Abraham Hembree (Spartanburg, SC)
has no males besides Abraham
Since Abraham’s wife died before 1810, the 1810 census provides a final
snapshot of his sons. We can take these sons: Ephraim (1796), Joel (1802),
Reuben (1804) and Isaac(1806) and plug them into 1810. That means the
son James would be the older of the sons b.1790-1794.
But we have James Lee Hembree and James M. Hembree both claiming to be
that son. Assume that one of these is a grandson instead of a son. Following
James Lee Hembree backwards from 1850 to 1840 to 1830 we see that his
age in all three point to a birth period of 1788-1790. James Lee fits better as
the older son. If we assume James M. is a grandson b.1809 the 1810 and 1820
census data make sense.
How do we know Matilda is his mother? In the 1830 census Matilda Hembree,
James M. Hembree, Isaac Hembree, Ephraim Hembree and Abraham Hembree
are all listed as household heads in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Children
of James M. said they were born in Rutherford County on their 1909 Cherokee
applications. Matilda has a son b.1810-1815 in her household so it would not
be difficult to imagine that James b.1800-1809 in the census could be her son
as well. The Goucher Baptist Church records show that both James and
Matilda were given letters of membership when they left to go to North
Carolina. (James left as a member in good standing. Matilda left with a charge
of being pregnant outside of wedlock.) The 1830 census shows a daughter was
born c.1825. The selection of Matilda as the likely mother of James M. is based
on this circumstantial evidence, while also eliminating almost every other
Who is his father? Since he was admitted into church membership, it is doubtful
that he was an illegitimate child. A descendant of this family believes that
Matilda married a Joseph Hembree. There is a Joseph Hembree that fits the bill
perfectly: right age (b.1779) and right location (Spartanburg, Rutherford County).
Until another theory is presented, this one fits quite well.
Who is buried in James Lee Hembree’s tomb?
The Murray County Heritage by the Murray County Historical Society
(Roswell : 1987) says “the James Lee Hembree grave is on the old church
grounds near Hassler’s Chapel. . . . Emory Creek feeds Hassler’s Creek
near Gilmer County.” (p.284, 287) But even the historical society has the
two confused since I found James Lee with his son William in Union County,
Illinois in 1870 and he would be much too old (age 80 in the census) to make a
move. He apparently died there by 1871, because the son he was living with
(William) moved to Missouri in 1871, having a child there. His other family
members in Union County also moved to Missouri around that time. So James
Lee Hembree probably died in Union County, Illinois. Unless there is some
evidence to the contrary, it appears that James M. Hembree, who died on
30 April 1882 in Gilmer County, is buried in James Lee Hembree’s grave.
Family Sheet: Davis Hembree (1817-1877)
Davis Hembree was the son of Elizabeth (Betsy) Hembree and an unknown Hembree. He
was born 1817/8 Rutherford County, North Carolina, and died 1877 in Missouri.
He m. Adaline MILLER (b.1814 d.aft.1880 Missouri).
1) James Washington Hembree b. 9 Sep 1836/1838 TN d. 17 Jan 1912 NC
m. Martha Lucretia Fore on 16 Nov 1868 (she b. 1848 d. 1927)
2) (Rev) Joseph C. Hembree b. 1840 NC d.aft 1880 Bollinger Co, MO
m. Charity b.1842 TN d.aft 1880 Bollinger Co, MO
3) (Rev.) Abraham A. (Tommy) Hembree b. 1845 NC or TN
4) Charlotte or Charity Hembree b. 1846 NC or TN
5) Sarah Ann Hembree b. 1850 NC d.1910 NC
m. David Surrett / Surratt (1846-1911)
6) Miller A. Hembree b. 1852 NC m. Laura Surret (Surratt)
7) Lucinda (Nancy) Hembree b. 1854 NC
8) George Columbus Hembree b. 1858 NC d. 14 July 1953
m. Lou b. 1861 TN
1880 census Reems Creek, Buncombe Co, NC p.183b
Notes on the Civil War service of the sons of Davis Hembree
James W. Hembree enlisted in Buncombe Co. on 7 May 1861 serving as a pvt.
in the 16th Regiment. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. He was
taken to a civilian hospital in New York where his right leg was amputated on
22 July 1863. He was paroled and exchanged by the Union on 27 Sep 1863 and
awarded a Confederate disability retirement on 14 Oct 1864.
Joseph C. Hembree was born in Buncombe Co, but enlisted in Madison Co, NC
on 3 Mar 1862, joining the 16th Regiment as a private. He too was captured at
Gettysburg and sent to the army prison at Fort Delaware (in Delaware). He was
transferred to the prison at Point Lookout, MD. He joined the Union army as
a condition of his release from jail on 24 Feb 1864 serving in Co. F 1st Rgmt
US Vol Infantry.
Abraham A. Hembree resided in Buncombe Co. He enlisted as a private in Co. C
29th Regiment NC at age 18 on 17 Sep 1863.
Davis was the bondsman for the marriage between James Hembree (his brother)
and a Delilah Hembree on 22 July 1852 in Rutherford Co, NC. Who is she?
Joyce Reece, a descendant of Davis Hembree, has extensive information on this
Family Sheet: William Hembree (1754-1821)
William Hembree was the son of John Hembree (b.1710 VA d.c.1785).
b. 1750/4 Lunenburg Co, VA d. 1821 Union District, SC
wife Orinah or Orinda b.c.1759 d. Dec 1834 Spartanburg, SC
1) William W. Hembree b. 1774 VA d.aft 1835
m. Martha (Patsy) Ann (b.c. 1778 d.c.1840 GA)
William W. and wife Ann witnessed a deed on 30 Sep 1835 but on a deed of 5 Feb 1835
his wife is called Martha and Patsy, so her name was probably Martha (Patsy) Ann.
2) daughter Hembree b. 1775 VA d. 1821 Spartanburg SC.
m. Ephraim Story (b.c.1778 d.bef 1850)
In the 1800 census, she is still at home (16-26) with her father William in Spartanburg,
SC (p.199). In the 1820 census, she (45+) is listed with husband Ephraim Story (26-44), living
close to her father William (p.255). Her name is not yet known. Esther Hembree (26-44), her
sister in law, is listed in the same census close to her father Abraham Hembree (p.263). Esther
was the widow of Irah Hembree.
3) Owen Hembree b. 1777 VA d.1837 Carroll Co, GA
m. Rebecca Hembree (1786-aft 1840) dau of Abraham Hembree
4) Isaiah Hembree b. 1781 VA d.11Sep 1853 Carroll Co., GA
m. Frances Polly Brock (1788-1872 Fulton Co., GA)
5) Irah Hembree b. 1783 VA d.1810 SC
m. Esther Hembree (1784-aft 1830) dau of Abraham Hembree
6) Johnson Hembree b. 1784 VA d.c.1867 Spartanburg, SC
m(1) Rachel (Hembree) Davis dau of Joel Hembree, widow of
Hugh Davis in 1807
He appears in the 1860 census, so the 1827 sometimes shown for his death is incorrect. On
3 Oct 1807 he took over as administrator for the estate of Hugh Davis and married the widow.
The Hembree (Emery) family lived next to the Johnson family in Surry Co, VA and close to
the family of Hugh Davis, Nathan Davis. Perhaps Johnson was a cousin of Hugh Davis.
7) unknown daughter Hembree b.c. 1787 NC d.bef. 1800 Wake Co, NC
[1790 census shows extra daughter who is not in 1800 household]
William Hembree’s Parents and Birthplace
Some facts about William: he was born in Virginia, all of his known
children were born in Virginia; he was related to the other Virginia Hembrees
of Spartanburg; he and his children were Baptists. Two sons of his married
two daughters of Abraham Hembree, so we can rule out a close relationship
between Abraham and William per Virginia Baptist rules about marriage.
(Turns out they are not related at all, no problem.) A son of his married a
daughter of Joel Hembree. Aside from the fact that the parentage of Joel
b.1755 is in question, by long convention we can assume he is the son of
James Hembree b.1730 who came to South Carolina by 1768, probably 1766.
This makes James b.1730 impossible as the father of William but the new
construction of his uncle John b.1710 d.c.1785 shows this John to be the
likely parent of William b.1750/54. John Hembree was in Lunenburg
County in this time frame, so we can put that down as William’s birthplace.
He went to Surry County, Virginia by 1770, and died there, so we might
assume that as the birthplace for some of William’s children. An earlier
family descended from John Emery who married Susannah Green was in
Surry County, so the John Hembree family often appears as Emery. When
John Hembree died, William left Virginia and went to Wake County, North
Carolina, where he had cousins. Although we are not sure yet of the family
picture, these cousins had roots back in Halifax and Goochland Counties in
Virginia as did the other Hembrees of Virginia. Plus, they were of the same
Further notes on the family of William Hembree
Elesa & David Hembree of Kennesaw, GA, wrote that William was a brother
to Joel Hembree b.1755, and that they were the sons of James Hembree (b.1730) and Sarah Byrd, she being the daughter of John Byrd and Margaret Dean. This
was years before the theory that John Hembree in Surry County is the father.
Although some sources show William death as 1823, the Kennesaw Hembrees have convincing proof (a probate order) showing the death was before
October 4, 1821. They, and many others, do not agree that James Hembree (b.c.1785) and Joseph (b.1779) beong to William because neither are mentioned in the will of William. (Joseph is a son of a different William, James is unknown.)
Esther Hembree in the 1810, 1820, 1830 census is not mentioned in William’s 1821 will. An Ephraim Story received from William’s estate so it is probable
that he was married to a daughter of William Hembree. [See Barbara R. Langdon, Spartanburg County Marriages 1785-1911 Implied in Spartanburg County
South Carolina Probate Records (Aiken, SC: Langdon&Langdon,1992): p.219]
But there seems to be a Cynthia Hembree who was left out of the estate
(she was daughter of Johnson – see family sheet). Johnson Hembree was
the administrator of his father’s estate but the oldest son William W. Jr sold off
50 acres for $37 and Johnson took him to court in March 1823. The land was
taken on 5 June 1824 and sold at a sheriff’s sale and was purchased by
“Benjamin Nickolls for Cynthia Hembree” for $30. (Witness sworn and deed
recorded in 1836.) (See explanation under William W. Hembree Jr.)
William W. Jr. also had disciplinary problems with the church much the same
as Abraham. Some of the Hembrees were coopers – they made barrels – and
they enjoyed the contents thereof.
Investigation into the origin of the name Joel / Joel Bird Hembree has led to
solid proof that this William Hembree was in Wake County, North Carolina, in
The 1790 census for the Hillsborough District (Wake County section), NC:
p.103 Embrew, Wm. 2 – 4 – 3 0 - 0
p.104 Embrew, Thos. 3 – 3 – 2 0 - 1
p.106 Emborough, Wm. 2 – 2 – 4 0 - 0
First, the William Embry on p.103 matches the family shown for our William
Hembree: 2 males over 16, 4 males under 16, 3 females. This is a unique
match: there is no other family group in the 1790 census for the entire United
States that matches as well. One that comes a close second is the William on
p.106, with 2 males over 16, 2 males under 16. This William died c.1802 in
The Thomas Embry in the census is Thomas Embry b.c.1735 VA d. Sep 1797 Wake Co, NC. His wife was Anne Jackson of Goochland Co, VA. She
went to Oglethorpe County, Georgia, with her sons and died there 30 Sep 1830.
In the 1800 census, William the elder (p.106) is listed in Wake County, but our
William is in Spartanburg County (p.199): 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0.
Second, these Embrys come from the same place in Virginia (the Goochland County area) as our Hembrees.
Third, they were active Baptist pioneers, as were our Spartanburg Hembrees.
Richard Hartsfield went from Wake Co, NC to Wilkes Co, GA in 1785, then into
Ogelthorpe Co, GA by 1795. This follows the movements of Joseph Joel Embry.
He was a neighbor of the Embrys in Oglethorpe County until his death bef. 1830.
His son Henry Hartsfield sold 200 acres on Little Beaverdam Creek in that county
to Enoch Embry on 10 Dec 1803. (Enoch Embry’s son Joel Embry is in 1830
census for Grainger Co, TN.)
The Hartsfields, Olives, Standifers and Embrys were pioneers of the Clouds Creek Baptist Church in Oglethorpe County 1788.
Fourth, the Bird and Joel Bird name is found in Wake County:
Marriage License Bond.