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Lane, Abraham, 1783-1869

ABRAHAM LANE AND CATHERINE WOLFE Abraham Lane was born at Red Hill, Russell Co, Virginia, on January 18, 1783. This area is now part of Scott Co, Virginia, and located north of Gate City. He was a son of Corbin Lane and Frances Prock who moved from Baltimore Co, Maryland, and Bedford County, Pennsylvania, about 1779-81. He was a grandson of Samuel Lane and Jane Corbin of Baltimore, Maryland. Frances Prock's parents have not been identified, but it is possible that she was part of the Proctor family of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, and/or may be related the the Prock's that lived in Greene Co, Tennessee around 1800. Catherine Wolfe was born in North Carolina on October 3, 1782. The exact site is not known, but it was probably in the Moravian settlement (German) near present day Winston-Salem. Her parents were John Wolfe and Catherine Bar, who married in the northern part of present day West Virginia. Both parents were born in Germany and came to America as young children. The family lived in North Carolina in the 1780s and settled on the North Fork of the Holston River at Holston Springs near present day Yuma in 1789. John Wolfe was quite prosperous, but had a tragic life. After John Wolfe's death in 1811, Catherine Bar Wolfe lived the rest of her life with Abraham Lane. Corbin Lane surveyed 250 acres of land at Red Hill on February 18, 1782, and it was recorded in Lee County, Virginia. He was on the 1781 tax list in Washington County, North Carolina (now Tennessee), and sold 150 acres on a branch of Lick Creek on January 14, 1783. Corbin Lane did not appear on any tax lists in Washington County or Greene County between 1782 and 1786 so he apparently lived on the farm in Red Hill. He appeared again in Greene County, North Carolina (Tennessee) in 1787. Indian raids were a major problem in southwest Virginia at that time, so it is probable that the family left Virginia because of the threat. The Indian problem was eliminated in 1794, and Corbin Lane returned to the farm at Red Hill in 1795. The farm at Red Hill was in the valley north of the present day Red Hill Church; the church is located at the southeast corner of the farm. Abraham Lane started acquiring land in the early 1800s. The exact locations of his early land acquisitions have not been determined, but they are thought to have been in the area between present day Manville Road (Burnt Cabin Branch) and Corbin Lane's land at Red Hill. Abraham and Catherine moved the family to Floyd County, Kentucky, about 1808-1810. He and his brother Samuel appeared in the 1810 Floyd County census, and Joseph T. Lane is known to have been born in Kentucky. But all other children were apparently born in Scott County (then Russell County), Virginia, so the stay in Kentucky was short. After John Wolfe's death in 1811, Abraham and Catherine Lane led the other Wolfe children and filed a lawsuit to get a fair claim of the estate for each of the Wolfe children. By some tranactions prior to John Wolfe's death, Henry and John Jr had all of the estate. The Wolfe vs Wolfe court case lasted at least five years in Wytheville, Virginia. As a result, Catherine and the other children got shares of the estate. Interestingly, Abraham Lane's argument was that he was uneducated and unfairly treated by his brothers-in-law, but it was admitted that his wife Catherine was at least moderately educated. Abraham never signed his name but used an "x mark," but his lifelong behavior and prosperity indicated that he was at able to read and calculate - possibly quite well. There is a family legend that the huge oak tree at John Wolfe's grave in the Lane-Wisley Cemetery near Burnt Cabin Branch on Manville Road was planted by Abraham and Catherine Lane after bringing it back with them from Kentucky. The tree is in the white oak family, but seems to be different from other species in Scott County. Corbin Lane died in November, 1816, and willed the 250 acre farm at Red Hill to Abraham Lane. In 1820, Abraham built a 30 foot by 30 foot two story oak log house on the site. It was said to be the largest and finest log house in Scott County, and was located near the springs at the northern part of the valley of the Red Hill farm. In 1841, Abraham sold the Red Hill property to George Vineyard for $1000. By that time, the land consisted of six tracts totaling 500 acres. The Vineyard family at one time used the house as a church meeting place when the Red Hill Church burned. The house burned in 1943 while owned by Oscar and Eva (Lane) Wagner, and was documented at that time by a newspaper story by Professor I. C. Coley. Abraham Lane started acquiring land on Copper Creek in 1828 and by the 1840s he had about 1000 acres there. All land transactions have not been determined, but some of the larger tracts were between his home on Copper Creek and Manville. At one time, he surveyed most of the land on both sides of Copper Creek between his home near the mill dam and Bellamy Church a few miles downstream, but there is no evidence that he actually owned that land. In addition, he owned several tracts totaling about 350 acres on the North Fork, Holston River, that were part of the original John Wolfe estate. In 1836, Abraham Lane build the house on Copper Creek that still is occupied today. The house is on the south side of Copper Creek on the Manville Road near the point where it crosses Copper Creek. The Taylor Cemetery is across Manville Road from the house. There are thought to be about 150 Lane descendants buried in this cemetery, but most graves are unmarked. There are no grave markers for Abraham and Catherine Lane, but it is almost certain that they were buried in this cemetery. Abraham and Catherine had fourteen children, and all lived to be adults. The children and birthdates are known because a Family Bible was maintained; it was lost a few years ago but the family information had been copied. The children were as follows: 1. Mary "Polly" Lane (20 Jul 1803 - 1870/77) married William P. Peters.
2. John R. Lane (27 Feb 1805 - ) married Nancy Nelson. Nothing more is known of him.
3. Abraham Z. Lane Jr (16 Sep 1806 - 20 Jan 1891) married Barbara Lotts, widow of Squire Lane.
4. Samuel W. Lane (8 May 1808 - ) said to have married Miss Holman and moved to Middle Tennessee and/or Texas.
5. Joseph Tyler Lane (22 Mar 1810 - 6 Jan 1888) married Elizabeth Jane Shoemaker.
6. Squire Jacob Lane (23 Jan 1812 - abt 1840) married Barbara Lotts.
7. James Harry Lane (8 Jul 1814 - 1851) married Elizabeth Prewett.
8. Margaret Lane (15 Dec 1816 - 19 Nov 1891) married Robert A. Bailie Jr.
9. Jonas Lane (23 Sep 1818 - 31 Jul 1876) never married. He was disabled.
8. Enoch P. Lane (3 Apr 1820 - 24 Jul 1877) married Jane Bailie.
9. Katharine Lane (4 Nov 1821 - 29 Jan 1917) married John Cooley Taylor.
10. Frances Lane (19 Apr 1823 - 25 Oct 1889) married William Farley Templeton.
11. William D. Lane (15 Jun 1825 - abt Apr 1857) married Nancy W. Lawson.
12. Martha Lane (25 Jun 1827 - 4 May 1904) married Nelson Horton Taylor.
So far, 83 grandchildren and almost 7000 descendants have been identified for Abraham and Catherine Lane.
Donald W. Lane 9 Mar 1997

Submitted by Donald W. Lane ( on Sun Mar 9 08:02:12 1997
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