Abt 1695 -
||John Amory |
||The Hennessee Family
||5 Jul 2005 |
- Notes on the English and Cherokee ancestry of JOHN HEMBREE, WILLIAM EMORY, DRURY HEMBREE, ABRAHAM HEMBREE, ISAAC AMORY and ROBERT EMERY
John Amory (c.1695 - 1746) came to Savannah, Georgia in December 1737, then to Charleston, South Carolina in December 1738. He was an Indian trader among the Cherokee and the father of two other Indian traders: William Emory and Robert Emery (or Emory). He was also the father of JOHN HEMBREE (b. 1742) and Rev. Isaac Amory. His son William Emory is most likely the father of Drury (Drewry) Hembree and Abraham Hembree (many of whose descendants reverted back to the surname Emory or Emery).
Based on published and unpublished sources and the oral family tradition handed down from Sarah Ann Hembree (1840-1909), daughter of Edward Hembree Jr. Sarah (Sallie) claimed to be "a full quarter Cherokee" because she had two grandparents that were one- quarter Cherokee. Although she was several generations removed from tribal affiliation, she was proud of her heritage.
John Amory (c.1695 - 1746) - the gentleman Indian trader of South Carolina
John Amory was born c. 1695 in England. His parentage has not yet been discovered, but there is evidence that he had some formal education (in law or mercantile) and he had the means to transport his entire family to the New World without indenture. The family name may have been EMERY in England. (One researcher traced the family back to Bedfordshire, another traced the family back to Surry-with London, Rutland and Jamaica possibilities to be explored as well.)
Two traditions may be helpful in identifying his family: he was related to a colonial governor of the Carolinas, and he was close to the family of JONATHAN AMORY (1654-1699). Jonathan was Speaker and Treasurer of the Carolina Assembly and this could be the "governor" our John was related to (a cousin?). But our John was also close to Gov. Sir Nathaniel Johnson (1649-1713) and his son Gov. Robert Johnson (1677-1735) whose fever-ravaged household and business affairs were
placed in John Amory's hands for administration. Thus far, however, no direct relationship to either Jonathan Amory or the Johnsons has been established. (The Isaac Amory Johnson and Mary Amory Johnson of South Carolina belong to Jonathan Amory's line but the Johnson surname is not related to the governor's.)
John Amory was one of the "gentlemen" brought over by James Edward Oglethorpe (1696 - 1785) to settle in Georgia and he was one of the men who helped convince the crown that Georgia was ill-prepared to receive and protect English families and Georgia almost returned to its reputation as a colony of convicts. (John's eldest son would die protecting Georgia two years later, so there can be no doubt as to the Amory's commitment to that colony.)
John Amory and family boarded the ship Minerva under Captain Nicholson on October 8, 1737.
They set sail from England. Besides John, there were his wife, 3 grown sons, a younger son, and 3 daughters. They formed a friendship with the younger family of ISAAC GIBBES, his pregnant wife, and his two young sons. The Minerva ran aground near Charleston in December and Mrs. Gibbes was somehow exposed to the cold ocean water in the rescue attempt and she became ill, lost her child, and died the following June.
The ship and passengers made it to Savannah on December 21, 1737. There was a delay in getting their lands surveyed and allotted and it was not until March 1738 that John Amory got his land on Pipe Makers Creek. Amory and Gibbes petitioned the trustees back in England to have adjoining lands and the overseer's letter making this request was somewhat favorable:
. . . Mr. Isaac Gibbs being desireous to live near Mr. John Amory with whom he seems to have contracted an intimacy . . .
. . . Mr. Amory and he are both well pleased with their Situation. . .
The Colonial Records of Georgia, 1737-1739
Vol XXII, p. 103,104
But the trustees in England, trying to micro-manage what was going on in the Georgia colony, disallowed the arrangement. To Amory and Gibbes, who had been clearing the land and breakingthe ground with a rake and hoe between them, this was insufferable. They complained in October and were dismissed as "clamorous malcontents". Gibbes, meanwhile, was ejected off the land he had been clearing.
Besides complaining about the lack of farming tools, livestock, farming goods, and viable seed stock, they both had a remarkable objection to "the inhuman and abominable use of negroes" to work the fields.
John Amory was persuaded to move his family to Charleston two months later (December 1738) to become the administrator of the estate of the late Gov. Robert Johnson (1677-1735). Johnson's eldest son Robert returned to England in 1737. His 2nd son and wife had died of fever in 1732. His 3rd son died in 1737. His 4th son, Thomas, was only 16. Amory closed out the business affairs of the estate and sent Thomas to school back in England. (The Magazine of American Genealogy, No.5 Dec. 1929, p.51 Chicago)
Rather than return to Georgia, Amory got drawn into the exciting world of trade with the Indians.Charleston was a hub of commerce for Spanish, French, Dutch, and English traders (and pirates). Indian traders operated in a shadowy world of adventure and enterprise where almost none of them got rich or had long lives. (There is an indication that the Gibbes family later followed the Amorys to Charleston.)
John Amory's biggest recorded deal was a transfer of horses to fellow trader William Elder on 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. . . . " Berkley County Archives, 12 May 1744
(William Elder or Elders would later marry Sarah Amory, daughter of Thomas Amory of Charleston, in 1747. He died in 1748. A William Elders-perhaps a descendant-was among the Cherokee "Old Settlers" in Arkansas in 1839.)
But the most important deal John Amory made was when he redeemed and returned two Cherokee who were illegally sold into slavery. This was not a big deal to him, but to the Cherokee it was. This good deed made the name of Amory or Emory well-regarded among them for the next 100 years.
The death of his eldest son in 1740 and the lack of English women to marry his other sons was a concern to John Amory. Fellow Indian trader Ludovic Grant, on the other hand, had 2 daughters by his Cherokee wife (Elizabeth Coote) whom he wanted married to men of good character. The two older Amory sons married the two Grant daughters. The younger Amory son returned to England with his mother sometime in the 1740's. He would return 20 years later as a minister of the Anglican Church.
In October 1742, John Amory had 500 acres surveyed and allotted to him near Purrysburgh (a fortified trading post built by Col. John Purry). There he met a young widow of Cherokee blood who was "civilized" and had even been to England ("presented to the Queen"). The woman was said to be the daughter of a chief and it is my speculation (not family tradition or any other supporting information) that she could be the one descended from a colonial governor: James Moore was governor of the Carolinas and an Indian trader active in that area - could be her father.
John Amory and she had a son together and named him John. John Amory the elder met with a sudden death on the trail in October 1746 and was buried at St. Philip's Parish in Charleston on October 5, 1746.
The mother (according to family tradition) returned to England on behalf of tribal business and died there while John was rather young (perhaps in 1750 or so when Cherokee delegations went to England).
How much of the "Cherokee princess" legend was fabricated to comfort a boy who was born out of wedlock and lost both his father and his mother at a young age is now impossible to quantify. John was raised by his older brother William Emory (with assistance later from another older brother, Rev. Isaac Amory).
The other brother, Robert, traveled the North Carolina and Virginia trade route and little else is known of him at this time. He shows up as a trader in Documents Relating to Indian Affairs 1750-1754.
Children of John Amory, Esq. (b.c. 1695 England d. 1746 SC)
Children by first wife (who died in England before 1722):
i. John Amory Jr (1st)
b.c. 1715 Eng
d. Oct 1740 GA bur. 12 Oct 1740 St Philips Parish, Charleston, SC
died in colonial military action in Georgia, serving as drummer; recorded as "John Emmar" (see John Emory or Hembree Jr (2nd) below)
ii. Robert Emery or Emory
b. Sep 1718 Bedfordshire (??), Eng
d. Mar 1790 SC bur. Charleston, SC
m. 1744 MARY GRANT (1726-1762) - a daughter of Ludovick Grant, Indian Trader
iii. William Emory
b. c. 1720 Surry (??) Eng
d. July 1770 TN or SC bur. 31 Jul 1770 St Philips Parish, Charleston, SC
m(1) 1744 "MARY" SUSANNAH (or NINA) GRANT (1729 -d.bef.1770? ) - another daughter of Ludovick Grant, Indian Trader -- resided in TN - was half Cherokee
m(2) in South Carolina , a Cherokee woman
Children by second wife :
iv. Sarah Amory
b. c. 1723 Eng
d. unk. Eng
m. 18 Oct 1749 Charleston (or Kershaw), SC Mungo Graham of Savannah, son of Patrick Graham, Esq.
v. (Rev) Isaac Amory
b. c. 1726 Eng
d. 1765-66 SC bur. near Purrysburgh or Johns Island, SC
vi. a daughter
b. c. 1730 Eng d. unk
vii. Elizabeth Amory
b. c. 1734 Eng
d. 1744 SC bur. 5April 1744 at St Philips Parish in Charleston
Child by unknown Cherokee woman :
viii. John Emory or Hembree Jr (2nd)
b. c. 1742 near Purrysburgh, SC
d. bef . 1810 SC
mother died bef 1755; raised by older brothers William Emory and Rev. Isaac Amory
Notes on ROBERT EMORY or EMERY:
Had one known daughter among the Cherokee and perhaps other children who may or may not have taken his surname. (Cherokee society was matrilineal.)
m. 1744 MARY GRANT (1726-1762) - daughter of Ludovick Grant, Indian Trader (1698-1755 or 1688-1760)
Robert was, for a time, an Indian Trader among the Cherokee. Mary Grant was half Cherokee. (Grant either had 2 daughters who used the "white" name Mary or this was Mary's 2nd marriage, her first being to William c. 1743 and this marriage to Robert c. 1750.)
His will is recorded in Vol 23, p.626 Charleston County Wills 1786-1793
SUSANNAH REBECCA EMORY b. 1750 Martinsville, Henry Co VA d. 1820 Cherokee Nation, TN
m(1) John Stuart (Oo No Du Tu) - he d 21 Feb 1779 Pensacola, FL (acc to Starr) or b. 25 Sep 1718 Scotland d. 1783 Pensacola, W.Fla
British superintendent of the Cherokee Nation -- "Bushy Head" was his Indian name and this became a surname
son John Stuart was b. 1763 TN d. 1841 Cherokee Nation West
(sometimes attributed to Susannah Emory, daughter of William) (Seems odd that a man as old as her father was would marry her when she was 12 years old . . . . )
[It is likely that the other Emorys listed by Starr in his Cherokee Families were grandchildren of this Robert. From Starr:
CATHERINE EMORY m. James Madison Carselowry (a son of George Carselowry and
Mary Daniel who then married Isaac Woodall. Mary Daniel
or McDaniel was a granddaughter of Mary Emory and
ANDREW EMORY m. Celia Woodall (a daughter of Robert Woodall and a sister of Isaac Woodall who married Mary (Daniel) Carselowry).
Notes on MUNGO GRAHAM:
The father of Mungo Graham was Patrick Graham, Esq., who had land close to JOHN AMORY'S original grant on Pipe Maker's Creek near Savannah (about where the current airport is).
Patrick Graham came from Scotland (via Barbados) to Georgia. He died in 1755 and is buried at Christ's Church Parish in Savannah.
Mungo had a brother, David Graham who also gave up his land in Georgia. At one time the Graham family had a 450+ acre plantation called Redford along the Savannah River.
Mungo or his son of the same name returned as a British officer during the Revolution.
Notes on SARAH AMORY:
returned to England in 1758 (with her mother?) and was followed by her husband
Another SARAH AMORY, of the same age, in the same place, at the same time as the above, also had a brother named Isaac Amory (1716-1793):
SARAH AMORY "spinster" m(1). WILLIAM ELDER (or ELDERS) at St Philips
Parish in Charleston 17 Aug 1747 (he was bur 1748 at St Philips)
m(2) 13 or 30 Nov 1749 THOMAS NIGHTINGALE (1724-1769) at St Philips
Parish, Charleston, SC (he was bur 4 Nov 1769 at St Philips)
This Sarah is said to be the daughter of THOMAS AMORY (1682-1728) of Charleston, then Boston. (Son of Jonathan Amory 1654-1699.)
Her first husband was an Indian trader and an associate of our JOHN AMORY. (There is a likely but unproven connection between THOMAS and JOHN AMORY.) Her 2nd husband was also an Indian trader: "a prolific trader with the Catawbas". [Documents Relating to Indian Affairs 1750-1754 and 1754-1765)
The will of a SARAH AMORY is listed in Charleston Co Wills 1767-1771 vol 13, p.809.
Notes on Rev ISAAC AMORY:
studied for ministry in England
wife or mother d. 1769. Rev Amory was attacked in 1765-struck in the head. Died shortly thereafter. A church letter in 1766 (and another in 1771) referred to him as deceased.
Served briefly (Nov 1764 - Sep 1765) as rector at St Johns (Colleton Co?, SC) but created some controversy when he was "solicitous" toward the black attendees of the church. He then went up to Purrysburgh where he was assaulted.
Besides our Isaac and Isaac Amory (1716-1793) son of Thomas, there was an Isaac Emmery (Embree) in the Carolina backcountry - a Quaker who died in 1764 (estate inventoried 19 Oct 1764 Newberry Co). The name "ISAAC HEMBREE" and "ISAAC EMORY" among the descendants of John, Drewry, and Abraham Hembree is in memory of the "reverend uncle" who tried to civilize, educate and sanctify them.
Notes on JOHN EMORY or HEMBREE :
this is the same as "John Hembree b. 1731 VA or SC" and "John Hembree b.c.1756 SC" noted in various family trees and queries. See Richard H. Martin and Dale Standifer's, "The Descendants of John Hembree" at familytreemaker.com
Raised by older brothers after the death of his mother and then, after the death of William, took his nephews Drewry and Abraham under his wing. Served as a loyalist during the Revolution until around 1779 (or after the fall of Charleston) when he switched sides. Was a carpenter and was involved in the building of forts in SC, NC, and Kentucky.
Slurred the name to "Embray" (his service record is under that name and "Emry") and then, influenced by the Virginian families of David and James Hembree moving into upper South Carolina, he adapted that spelling of the name. A relationship to these Virginia families is assumed by Hembree researchers - and this is not unreasonable, but, for now, I would have to keep them separate.
His wife is thought to have been named MARY and she may have been part Cherokee as well. He fathered a child out of wedlock in 1788. He was summoned for jury duty in 1798 but was out of the state at the time. (SC Magazine of Ancestral Research Vol XV, No.3, 1987)
Notes on WILLIAM EMORY :
Was an Indian Trader among the Cherokee and had a rank of Colonel among the frontier militia. Traveled widely and had children in 2 states (SC, TN) by at least two Indian wives.
Had three known daughters among the Cherokee who figured prominently in tribal history. Also had 2 sons born in SC and a son born in TN and raised as a Cherokee. There is some confusion between the names, dates, and spouses of the Emory daughters. Here is a recap:
The daughters of William Emory:
(The birth dates of 1734 given for the daughters of William Emory are impossible. He was still in England at that time.)
MARY EMORY b.c. 1747 TN d.c. 1796 ? TN
m(1) c. 1763? Rim Fawling (he b.c. 1725 or 1747)
had 2 or 3 ch born in 1770's
m(2) c. 1781 Joseph Martin Jr., Brig. General (his 4th wife) (he b. 1740 d. 1808)
had 1 ch b.c. 1782
m(3) c. 1764? Ezekial Buffington (he b.c. 1738 Eng ) - (she married as Mary Fawling?)
had 6 ch born mid 1760's to mid 1770's
the math, birth dates and order of marriages are hard to reconcile for this woman
(the Martin child is usually listed in the middle of the others-the first few Buffington
children could be from his first marriage and just listed as Mary's)
ELIZABETH EMORY b.c. 1749 TN (christened 1754 in Charleston?) d. aft 1782 TN
m(1) c. 1766 Robert Due (b.c. 1730 or 1740 TN in Cherokee territory)
had 2 ch
m(2) John Rogers, Sr he d. 1846 Wash DC (acc. To Starr)
had 5 ch
m(3) Sr. Tah-lon-tee-skee (same as 2?)
had 2 ch including Chief Tah-lon-tee-skee and Chief John Jolly
Emmet Starr calls John Rogers the founder of the Cherokee Rogers family but it should be noted that the great humorist Will Rogers, an Oklahoma Cherokee, was not related to John. TIAN ROGERS (c. 1795 - 1838), the wife of General Sam Houston, is descended from John Rogers (her father) and Elizabeth Emory (her grandmother) via Jennie Due (her mother, John's step- daughter). Tiana's sister Martha married Jesse Chisholm - famous scout of the West (the Chisholm Trail).
SUSANNAH EMORY b. 1751 TN ( 25 Nov 1751?) d. 1784 VA
m(1 ) Richard Fields Sr. he b. 29 Oct 1745 Stafford, Eng. d. unk
had 7 or 8 ch incl. Chief Richard Fields Jr (1780 TN -1827 TX) (Starr confuses
Sr. with Jr.'s death)
m(2) c. 1779 Joseph Martin Jr., Brig. General (1740-1808)
(his 3rd wife , he then m. MARY EMORY)
had 3 children incl Judge John Martin (1781-1840)
(possible that Susannah and Mary were pregnant with Martin's children at the same time) there are problems reconciling birth and marriage dates and ages, but this is not uncommon in Native American genealogy
The sons of William Emory:
WILL EMORY b.c. 1744 TN d.bef. 1783 Will's Knob, PA
"Capt Will" or "Chief Wautagua" of the Cherokee. Somewhat of a renegade but regarded as a great warrior. Mentioned by Daniel Boone in his memoirs. Probably a son of the first wife.
The birth date of 1750 sometimes suggested for him is too late. The "half-breed Cherokee" was described as "flourishing" in 1760. (Theresa M. Hicks, South Carolina Indians, IndianTtraders and Other Ethnic Connections Beginning in 1670, ed. p.148, Spartanburg, SC 1998, reprint for Peppercorn Publications)
It is not known if Will left any descendants.
The next sons were born in South Carolina to a second wife, who was also part Cherokee (or Creek), Living among whites. They may have married women of Cherokee blood.
DRURY (DREWRY) EMORY OR HEMBREE b 12 Dec 1755 Spartanburg, SC
d. 1845 Taney Co, MO (bur. in Stone Co, MO)
Served with the British during the Revolution (as Duiry or Drury Emery) and also with the Americans, being drafted by both sides. He served with the Americans in 1777, 1778, and 1779/80 and was mustered into the British army at Orangeburgh, SC 25 Apr to 19 Jul 1781. His first pension application was rejected for lack of details and the second was rejected because it lacked dates and had too much self-aggrandizement. His third application was accepted but he had moved to Indiana and he reapplied in that state. By the time the fourth application was accepted he had moved again. His widow filed a petition to receive his benefits. Most of his war record describes fights against the Cherokee.
Moved to Tennessee, then back to SC, then back to Tenn, then to Indiana, then perhaps to Arkansas, and finally to Missouri in his old age.
Children of Drury (Drewry) Hembree: (or Emery or Emory)
(name of wife not known) (these are the children that survived to adulthood and most, if not all, had descendants and some of these used the name Emery or Emory)
1) Rachel Hembree b.1783 SC
2) James Hembree b.c. 1785 SC prob. d. Hamilton Co. TN (see Abraham's son James)
resided Camplbell Co TN in 1830 near father & brother
3) dau b.c. 1788 SC
4) ? b. 1790
5) John Hembree b. 1792 Knox Co, TN d. 5 Feb 1867 Stone Co MO
on Cherokee Miller Applications List (#14517? from Arkansas)
6) Benjamin Hembree b. 1794 resided in Campbell Co TN in 1830
7) Isaac Hembree b. 3 May 1797 TN d. 1 Jun 1860 Martin Co, Indiana
m(1) Sally Ledgerwood 6 Aug 1818 Knox Co, TN
8) Rebecca Hembree b. 1800 SC m. Solomon Jackson 3 Apr 1815 Knox Co, TN
9) Lewis Francis Hembree b. 1805 TN d. aft. 1880 Stone Co, MO
ABRAHAM EMORY OR HEMBREE b. 16 May 1757 Spartanburg, SC
d. 1835-1839 Hamilton Co, TN
Abraham also applied for a pension for his service during the Revolution. His service record was listed under "Emery" "Hemery" and "Hembre". On October 19, 1835 he signed an affidavit on his brother's behalf and noted that he (Abraham) was currently drawing his pension in Knoxville.
He resided in SC, NC, and Tennessee. Probably buried in the old Emery cemetery in Soddy-Daisy (which is being relocated and paved over).
Children of Abraham Hembree: (or Emery or Emory)
Wife was Winnefred (Jackson?). The descendants are mostly Emery or Emory.
1) (Polly) Hembree b 1782 SC age 43 in 1825
2) Easter or Esther Hembree b. 1784 SC
3) (Sally) Hembree b. 1786 SC d. Cobb Co, GA
4) Matilda Hembree b. 1788 SC
5) James Lee Hembree b. 1789 SC m. Nancy Rice d. GA (Milton or Murray Co.?)
(sometimes shown as James M. Hembree b. 1793 or 1812 d. 3 Apr 1882 Gilmer Co, GA)
(had a grandson named Drury S. Hembree b. 1835 SC res. Murray Co. GA)
6) Nancy Hembree b. 1789/90 SC twin sister of James?
7) Betsey (Elizabeth) Hembree b. 1791
8) Hezekiah (or Reuben) Hembree b. 1792 SC d. 15 Sep 1896 ?
9) Rebecca Hembree b. 1794
10) Ephraim Hembree b. 1796 d. bef. 1850 MO m. Rachel Pettit
11) Jane or Jinnie Hembree b. 1799 m. Jack Hall died in TX
12) Isaac Hembree b. 1805
13) Joel or Joseph Hembree b. 1807
14) Abram (Abraham) Hembree b. 1813 m. Rebecca or Rhoda
15) Davis (or David) Hembree b. 1816 Spartanburg Co, SC (or b. NC) resided Cocke Co, TN
then Buncombe Co, NC 1870-1880
16) Allen Hembree b. 1819 
- Source: Larry Petrisky; firstname.lastname@example.org
Abraham Hembree - an introduction
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 1720 - 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, had some children, and may have remarried and had two or three more (including our Abraham).
William probably left the family when Abraham was very young [for military service during the French-Indian War 1758-1763, we believe] and died when Abraham was 13, so the impact of his father on Abraham's life is not known.
Abraham's mother was a half-blood Cherokee woman who probably lived with others of her kind, but still had tribal connections. 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 the back country, but more likely 1769 from another sickness that struck.
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 1720 - 1728 in (or near) 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 ch., and 2 indentured. His sons "Will" and "John" (who d.1740) are listed.] 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 southeast Tennessee the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina (on the Valley River).
From 1741 to 1744 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 and Elder 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 formerly 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 or so she had a son 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 son William and an older son Robert (who may have been a nephew who came over as an indentured servant to John) were of age 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 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.
This 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 Wawhatchee 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 killed and SC "officially" halted the trade with the Cherokee even after peace was restored.]
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 and unreliable.
The drama and tragedy that unfolded in the South Carolina upcountry from 1750 to 1778 will be expanded in the next volume 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 a successful Indian trader of that era (in terms of money) was Mrs. Sarah Amory, followed in the next era by Mrs. Sarah (Amory) 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 first 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 near Little Tellico and/or in Tomatly near Chota (Monroe County), Tennessee, and (we suppose) also among the Upper Cherokee in what is now Roane or Morgan County - based on what became the Emory 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).]
He had three famous daughters and one infamous son among the Cherokee (Will, a confederate of Dragging Canoe). But long before the war with the French broke
out along the Indian frontier in 1755, Emory moved down into South Carolina. (Ludovic Grant also withdrew from the Cherokee and retired to Charleston in 1755, where he shortly died.)
In South Carolina, we figure, William took up with another Cherokee woman (see "Abraham's Mother") for a discussion. But others insist that there is no evidence for this. Around that time his half-brother John Emory (b.1744) was orphaned after the death of his Cherokee mother in 1751/2 and John was sent by Wawhatchee to live with white "cousins", the Nightingales of Goose Creek, SC. Thomas Nightingale (c.1713-1769) was an Indian trader among the Catawba and Cherokee. His wife was Sarah Amory Elders, widow of another Indian trader, William Elder or Elders, and the daughter of Thomas Amory of Charleston and Boston.
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 near Keowee. It may be that William was a captain of a militia force around that time, or a lieutenant in a troop of "rangers" (paid militia).
We have not found him on the roster of "provincial troops" (militia paid by England) but there are few rosters of "rangers" (militia paid and directed by Carolina) and none of the volunteer (unpaid) militia for that period. Plus there were "independent companies" (serving the crown, not the colonies) running around at the time too.
[I have not yet undertaken a search of the regular British army rosters, or of Virginia's.]
He certainly 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 in the next volume. 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 retired to Charleston by 1765, 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 father lay.
The Mary Emory of Goose Creek who died in 1769 and was buried at Saint Philip's could be Mary (Grant) Emory, the daughter of Ludovic Grant; she could also be Mary (unk) Emory, his supposed second wife. 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. 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 a half-blood Cherokee, b.1727 or 1736 in SC d.bef 1770 SC. 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 family lost their homelands and tried to live as farmers in upper South Carolina among other half-breeds and tolerant whites.
Could Mary Grant (b.c. 1727) be Abraham's mother? I have not thought so. I
assumed along with others that Abraham and Drury were from a second wife, but
a family tradition from two different descendants of Abraham say that "William
and Mary" were the parents. (This, I believe, could indicate a second Mary.)
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 %.
(revised: Joel is not her son - the computer was wrong.)
Her 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)
An interesting possibility is that her maiden name was Moore and that John (b.
1744), Abraham's uncle, may have married her younger sister Elizabeth Moore.
Another possibility is that her maiden name was Lyons, the daughter of Isaac
Lyons of Goose Creek, SC. (The Lyons family supports a Matilda Lyons
marrying an Emory. But this would be Joel. << her name was not Lyons)
Abraham's first name
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's last name
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.
The Pre-War Years
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.
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 hosted the peace party where Mrs. Sarah
Amory hosted others before (she had returned to England by way of Georgia).
[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, (110 mi.) on horseback].
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].
I believe William Emory stayed there for a while but the money and excitement
of establishing the fort at Keowee must have lured him back to the upcountry
in 1753 where he met (and married) his second wife. [Up there, it is certain that she was
not white. With Emory, it is certain that she was not an insignificant trading post wench.] My
family colleagues disagree, but Emory's NC / TN family (1744-1751) with their
later presence in Tennessee, and his SC family (1753-1758) with their
continued presence in South Carolina make most sense if a second wife is
considered. (The Tennessee family from 1759 on became militantly Cherokee,
while the Carolina family was only mildly Cherokee.) [Ezekiel Buffington, who
married two of Emory's daughters, left them in Tennessee when he retired with his uncle Ellis
Harlan, fellow Indian trader, to Pendleton County, SC. See 1790 census here p. 82 and 83.]
What about Ludovic Grant? He retired to Charleston in 1755 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 record.
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 1765 or so. Here is
where the Old John Hembree connection, an old family legend, and the puzzling
affiliation with the Hembrees of Virginia come in.
Old John had no known siblings; Drury and Abraham had no proven siblings.
Old John lost his father when he was only 2 or 3 and his mother was "gone to
England" around 1751. Notice that Mrs. Sarah Amory, the mother of William,
was "gone to England" around 1751. John was sent to "cousins" in Goose Creek
and had a "revered uncle". The revered (not reverend as my grandmother and I
figured) was Thomas Nightingale. The Mary Emory who died at Goose Creek
in 1769 was almost certainly the mother of Drury and Abraham. Thomas Nightingale also died at that time. Where would John Hembree (who was about
24) go? And what would he do with his "nephews" Drury (14) and Abraham
This is where an old family legend has to bridge the unknown. William Emory
was in Charleston at the time and, I am sure, he took them in. But he died in
1770. John Hembree was, by then, back up in the Ninety Six District.
Drury (15) and Abraham (13), having nowhere else to go, probably joined him.
Why did John go up there? He was returning a Cherokee woman to her
homeland. 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 noticed 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. She lived with the Amorys (and then the
Nightingales) off and on (she was a French instigator in Keowee and had a brief
marriage) from 1744 to 1770, then in her old age. She was known as Nana or
Nina - "the French Woman of Keowee". I believe she took little John Emory into
the house of Mrs. Sarah Amory after John Amory died in 1746 and then took him
in 1752 to the Nightingales. She was born around 1730 and died around 1832 in
the house of Edward Hembree. 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 or
grand-mother-in-law (or both?) and she 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 1768 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 actually 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 the same time. Their father's
wife would die 8 months later and their father just days after her.
Still, the boys had land papers in hand and they went looking for Old John in 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 had his second
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 was associated with 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?
Who was David Hembree?
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. He was a descendent of Henry Embry of Virginia and established a
plantation in the Camden District. This William Embry is often confused with
a presumed brother of David Hembree.
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.
Could David Hembree have been a cousin of William Emory, father of Abraham?
It is unlikely. William did have a brother or cousin Robert (1718-1790) who is
thought by Martin family genealogists to have lived in Virginia and upper North
Carolina, but I respectfully dispute that. (I have him in Tennessee, South
Carolina, and perhaps 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 confusion between the two
lines (and they seem to merge via William W. Hembree and Joel Hembree).
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 see 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, the Moores
and the Jacksons 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,
pp. 365-366] But be careful about linking them to the Granville County
Embrys, which trace back to Surry County, Virginia.
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.
Abraham's brother Drury (Drewry)
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 circa 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 but the better
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!
Of Cherokee note, though, is Drury's son Benjamin (b. 1783 or 1793) 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.)
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.
Footnote on DeKalb Co TN family:
Thomas Emory (b.c.1805) m. Hester (Esther) (b.c.1807). He died before 1840. She married ------- Capshaw. By a treaty made in 1828 Thomas voluntarily sold his
property to the government on the condition that he would emigrate to tribal lands in Oklahoma. He made claims for reimbursement along with other Cherokees such as Corn Tassel (not the old chief who d.1788), Susannah, Mrs. Bullfrog and Human Tracker.
His first claim (no. 186) was for 5 acres, 2 peach trees. His second claim (no. 212) was for 3 acres, 9 peach trees, and 1 cabin. His claims were approved for payment of $22.25 and $38.12 1/2 in March 1830. (Susannah had 4 acres, 36 peach trees, and 3 cabins and was paid $88.50.)
[Larry S. Watson, Cherokee Emigration Records 1829 - 1835 Reprint SenateDoc #403 24th Cong. 1st Sess. (Laguna Hills, CA.: Histree,1990): pp.35,39,333]
Like some other Cherokee, Thomas Emory did not go to Oklahoma (or he went and died on the way). He died before 1840 and his family passed for white in DeKalb Co, TN. There is an indication that he showed up at the deportation camp at New Echota without his family. So did some of the men who made claims with him, above. They may have gone along as warriors, considering who they were: Drowning Bear, Corn Tassel, Dragging Canoe, Five Killer, Human Tracker, Young Turkey - all named for notable warriors and chiefs. He was not hanging around a bunch of "squaw men", in other words, and it says something about his ancestry. [James L. Douthat, Cherokee Ration Books 1836-1837-1838 New Echota (Signal Mtn, TN : Mountain Press, 1999).]
In June 1838 the following Cherokee men often drew rations together at New Echota:
Draggon (Dragging Canoe) William or W. Downing
Charles (Charles Downing) Corn Tassel
Drowning Bear Tracker (Human Tracker)
Thomas (Thomas Emory?)* Frog (Bull Frog)**
* no entry after 19 Jun **not listed when Thomas is listed
These families went mostly to the Flint District, Cherokee Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Abraham's other brothers Joel & Joel?
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 belongs to
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.
Or the (other) other brother Joel
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 new Joel (b.1753-1773) married a Matilda (Lyons?) and was the father
of Col. Joel Hembree (b.1793 SC) of Roane County, Tennessee (where the other
Joel b.1755 wound up).
These Hembrees (Joel b.1753-1773) 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
The census model predicts that this Joel is the under-16 male in the 1790
household of Henry Emry (remember Col. Joel was born 1793) OR that this is
the same person: Joel Henry Emry or Henry Joel Emry. If Joel is a son (b.1773?)
of Henry (b.c. 1753?) then this Henry would fit as the other son of William if the
Cherokee tradition holds true. But he could just as well be a brother of William
W. Hembree (1754-1821) who came to the area about that time and whose wife
is said to be Cherokee (though how William W. found a Cherokee wife in Wake
County, North Carolina, presents another mystery).
Nobody has come forward to claim this Henry, so we will leave it up to the
descendants of Col. Joel to figure out where he belongs. (He's probably an
Embrey/Embry unrelated to our family. But see also a mysterious Robert
Hembree in that area on page 53.)
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.1753-1773 d.18xx 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 1796
d.23 Dec 1868 Roane Co, TN). (Note another Joel Hembree b. 1779 d.1866-68
Roane Co. TN is unidentified - see page 61-62.)
These Joels and their sons lived in Roane County, Tennessee. There is no proof
that either are related to our family. (The Joel b.1753-1773 does seem to be a
better fit as a brother of William W. Hembree though.)
left blank for notes on the Joels
The War Years 1776 - 1783
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
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. His war record shows that
he neglected to draw his pay and the army still owed it to him in 1783.
Joel Hembree was 21/23 and served in South Carolina but I have not been able to
verify his service details.
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 Carolina.
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
(See also "Abraham's Pension Applications")
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, not Cherokee
Abraham Hembree came from an Anglican (English) Church tradition with a dose
of Cherokee Christianity. 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 as the war began and they had a war-time
marriage in 1778 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. [But he was not in Spartanburg before the war. If he found his wife in the
Ninety Six District then the back-country Jacksons (mixed blood) and the Loyalist Jacksons who
were associated with the Moores of Halifax Co, NC and Long Canes, SC (originally of the "Goose
Creek Faction") need to be considered. As for a Baptist conversion Rev. Aaron Pinson and others
led a revival among the unchurched upcountry folk at Little River of the Saluda River 1771-1775.
The sons of Rev. Pinson were very close neighbors to Drury Hembree in 1790 and Drury's move
to east Tennessee after the war, then back to Spartanburg in the late 1780's, then back to the
Knoxville area, mirror the movements of the Pinsons. ]
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 tribal affiliation
Abraham's father, William Emory, lived among the Cherokee in North Carolina
at Tomatley village. His supposed second wife was a tribal member up until 1761
(when all the Lower and Middle towns were destroyed and tribal affiliations were
broken). 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.
Abraham's Church Years 1798 - 1828
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 Ba 
- [S46169] Larry Petrisky | January 2001 | email@example.com.
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