Peregrine Magness, Jr.

Male Abt 1722 - Abt 1800  (~ 78 years)

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  • Name Peregrine Magness 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born Abt 1722  (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died Abt 1800  (Warren County, Kentucky) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Will 8 May 1800  Warren County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Also Known As Perygren Mackness 
    Military Revolutionary War Patriot  [5
    Person ID I3927  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 1 Jul 2017 

    Father Peregrine Mackness, Sr., The Immigrant,   b. ~ 1698, (Fosdyke) Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jun 1763, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years) 
    Mother Mary (Miles),   b. (CIRCA 1700),   d. 1757-1764, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married (~1720)  (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 6
    Family ID F8409  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Naylor,   b. ~ 1725, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800  (Age ~ 76 years) 
    Married Abt 1745  (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
     1. William Magness,   b. 0___ 1747, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 May 1816, (Rutherford County) North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years)
     2. James Magness,   b. ~ 1750, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ~ 1781  (Age ~ 31 years)
     3. Perry Green Magness, Jr.,   b. 0___ 1753, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1785, (Rutherford County) North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 32 years)
     4. Benjamin Magness,   b. 6 Apr 1754, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jan 1828, Rutherford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     5. Jonathan Magness,   b. 0___ 1757, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1834, Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 77 years)
     6. Samuel Magness,   b. ~ 1761, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1831, Marion County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years)
     7. Zachariah Magness,   b. ~ 1759, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Robert Magness,   b. 0___ 1763, Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1837, Pulaski County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years)
     9. Joseph Magness,   b. 0___ 1765, (Bedford County) Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Warren County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. George Magness,   b. 1768, Lincoln County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1817, Orange County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     11. Sarah Magness,   b. 16 Feb 1772, Lincoln County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Oct 1828, Lincoln County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
    Last Modified 17 Dec 2018 
    Family ID F1556  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1722 - (Prince George's County, Maryland) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Abt 1745 - (Prince George's County, Maryland) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Abt 1800 - (Warren County, Kentucky) Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsWill - 8 May 1800 - Warren County, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • The following paper on Peregrine Magness, Jr. was written by the DeKalb County Historian, Thomas G. Webb. The contents of these pages are copyright 2000 to Thomas G. Webb. all rights are reserved. The information on these pages are free for private use, but may not be included in any compilation or collection in any media form for either private or commercial use without the author's consent. I am using these papers on this page with Mr. Webbs permission.


      Magness History

      I have compiled this Magness family history in order to get a comprehensive picture of the entire family of Peregrine Magness, Jr., of Maryland and North Carolina. I have not been able to get completely reliable information; therefore some errors will appear. It is my hope that those who see such errors will let me know what they are and will send me the correct information, along with supporting evidence. I have no telephone or computer, but my mailing address is:

      Thomas G. Webb
      835 South College Street
      Smithville, Tennessee 37166

      My line of descent is from two of the daughters of Perry Green Magness (1796-1884), son of George Magness (born about 1768), son of Peregrine Magness (about 1722-1800). Much of the Magness research I have done myself, especially in Maryland and Tennessee. Most of the research in the North Carolina records was done in the 1970’s by Miles Philbeck, Jr., and is very reliable. However, some of it is not complete, partly because the records themselves are not complete. I have used some information from the Verna Magness book, Magness Migration, 1733-1986. I also have correspondence from a number of Magness descendants, including Mrs., Mary Pugh, Mrs. Nell Henry, Bob Wall, Mrs. Vida Harris, James Magness, Mrs. Marilynn Knowles, David Hennessee, G. David MacKenzie, and several others.

      I am doing this not as a completed work, but as a work in progress. I am hoping to correct all errors, add such further information as may be available, and eventually be able to compile an accurate and comprehensive history of the Peregrine Magness family.

      As you will see, some of our Magness relatives have not behaved as well as they should have. However, most of them paid the penalties for their misbehavior, and most of them and their descendants went on to become useful and productive citizens. And before we condemn too quickly, let us remember the words of the apostle Paul, that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), including ourselves.

      The Magness family has proved to be somewhat more interesting than most of my other ancestors. When I began My family research in my early teens, my father told me that I would probably find a horse thief. Sure enough, I did, and he turned out to be the ancestor of both my mother and my father. I have sought the facts, whatever they were, for I wanted to know everything I could about these ancestors. To quote scripture again, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) I find the magness family extremely interesting, and as we all attempt to discern the truth about them, I hope that you will too.


      Peregrine Magness, Jr., was born about 1722, possibly in England, but more likely in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He was the son of Peregrine Mackaness, Sr., and his wife Mary.. His names, both first and last, have been spelled in many ways in various records. He himself spelled his last name in different ways, mostly as MACKNESS and MAGNESS, with Magness becoming the generally used name by 1780, and the name used by almost all of his descendants.

      Peregrine Magness, Jr., was evidently the only child of his parents, or at least the only one who lived to adulthood. He grew up in colonial Prince George’s County, Maryland, where his father was living by 1729. (1) His father was a blacksmith and made more money than did many people of that time. He accumulated land, livestock, and slaves, not in large quantities, but he had enough to give him a comfortable living.

      Prince George’s County was very rural and hardly had a town worthy of the name. Young Peregrine’s opportunities for education were somewhat limited; nevertheless he did learn to read and write. There is no evidence that he followed his father in the blacksmith trade; the Maryland deeds speak of Peregrine Jr. as a “Planter”, that is, a farmer. His father owned land, and on April 22, 1757, he gave to “his son the Perygrene Mackaness Junior” for “natural love and affection” one half of a tract of 105 acres called Part of Stoke, lying in Prince George’s County, Maryland. (2)

      By the time his father gave him land, Peregrine had been married about twelve years and had five sons. His wife, like his mother, was named Mary, and her maiden name is presently not known. (Some have thought that Peregrine’s wife was Sarah Hamrick, but all evidence indicates that she was definitely not Sarah Hamrick.) Mary was probably born about 1727 in Maryland, and they likely married about 1745 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Their first known child was born about 1747; the last child (and only daughter) was born 1772. They had probably ten sons and one daughter.

      Peregrine Magness, Jr., and his wife Mary were apparently members of the Church of England, but the references I have are confusing. One reference says that their son Benjamin was born 6 April, 1745 in St. George's’sa Parish in Prince George’s County, Maryland. A second reference says that in 1759 Perygreen Mackness, Jr., signed a petition to divide Prince George’s Parish in Frederick County, Maryland. (3) Wherever the parish was located, Peregrine was evidently interested enough in the church nearer to his home, as attendance was compulsory, and in the larger parishes many had to travel long distances to reach the church. Maryland had shortage of Anglican ministers, especially in the rural areas such as Prince George’s County.

      Whatever interest he may have had in the church, Peregrine Magness did not remain much longer in Prince George’s County. On February 9, 1760, he sold for 20 pounds to George Naylor the 51 acres his father had given him three years earlier, of the tract called Part of Stoke. On the same day hid wife Mary came and relinquished her right of dower, which is the first public record I have found of his wife. Another note of interest in this document is that in the deed itself the name is spelled Perygren Mackness Junr., while in the relinquishment of dower it is spelled peregrine Magness Junr. (4)

      Exactly where Peregrine went after selling his land is uncertain. His father, Peregrine Mackaness, Sr., was living in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1764 when he sold his land in Prince George’s County. (5) His wife was apparently dead, and he may have been living with his only known child, Peregrine, Jr. However, in the Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Published 1936, is a reference to Frederick County, Virginia, where the will of Nathaniel Thomas was proved on March 1, 1763, with witnesses Mary Magnus and Perry MackNess. This sounds very much like our Peregrine Magness.

      An even more definite reference is found in Bedford County, Virginia, Court Order Book 3, Page 172, when in February 1765 Peregrine Magness was ordered to help view a new Road. This road was from Nicholas Davis’ ferry to James Callaway’s road, and was evidently near the home of Peregrine Magness. This same order book in Bedford County, Virginia, on pages 815 and 820, shows the record of two trials held in 1771. They were not related to the Magness family, but they show the kind of justice administered at the time, with which the Magness family would soon have some experience.

      Both trials dealt with black men held as slaves, and the law was harsher with blacks than with whites, but not much. Dick Nanes, valued at 90 pounds, was charged with stealing goods from a store on December 11, 1771. Brought to trial the next day, he pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty, and the court ordered that "the sheriff hang the said Dick on the 27th day of this month until he is dead." Justice was swift and sure; sixteen days after committing the crime he was dead.

      The other trial was held on December 27, 1771, on the very day Dick was hanged. Robin, the slave of James Buford, was charged with entering the house of John Dawn and stealing "sundry things." He was found guilty, and the court ordered that "the Sheriff set the sd. Robin in the pillory & nail his Ears to the pillory" for one hour, and then give him 39 lashes "on his Bare Back" and then discharge him. Robin was more fortunate than some; he was not hanged, and he did not even have his ears cut off, as was done in some cases.

      Similar administration of justice was found in most of colonial America, including North Carolina, which was where the Magness family went next, and where they stayed for 30 or more years. On December 21, 1786, an order was made to survey for Perry Green Magness 200 acres on both sides of Knob Creek in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. A month later, on January 23, 1769, Perrygreen Magness bought 300 acres on Buffalo Creek in Tryon County from William Sims. (6) In November of that year Peregrine entered 300 acres on both sides of Hickory Creek. He continued to acquire land, and by 1795 owned more than 1500 acres in what started as Tryon County, but later became Rutherford, Lincoln, and cleveland Counties.

      Clarence Griffin’s history of these counties, printed in 1973, notes several patriotic activities of Peregrine Magness. The April 1770 Tryon County Court Minutes show that Perrygreen Magness was commissioned as an ensign in the Tryon milita. On July 26, 1775, the Tryon Committee of Safety was organized, including Captain Mackness’ Company: William Graham, James McAfee, and Perrygreen Mackness. Perrygreen mackness also signed the resolution supporting resistance to British forces, which was drawn by the Committe of Safety. He was among those present at the September 14, 1775, meeting of the Committee of Safety. (7) Besides the contributions of Perregrine Magness, provably all four of his oldest sons served the American cause during the Revolution.

      By the time the Revolutionary War ended, Peregrine Magness was beginning to prosper. The Rutherford County, North Carolina tax list of 1782 shows him with 2 slaves, 8 horses, 27 cattle, and 700 acres of land. (Horses were almost the only transportation at that time, as roads were very poor.) (8) By the 1790 census he owned 3 slaves, which was a relatively small number, but in Rutherford County at that time, only one family in seven owned any slaves at all. Peregrine and Mary in 1790 only had two children at home, apparently their son George and their daughter Sally. Peregrine was about 68 and Mary about 63. They had done well financially and owned much property. Their children were grown and most of them married; they had several grandchildren. They should have been ready to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Instead, they faced difficult years of trouble and turmoil which would take most of their property and leave Mary and Peregrine almost destitute in their old age.

      I can offer little explanation for the behavior of their sons. They may have had little moral influence in their lives. The Church of England in colonial Maryland was very weak, and we presently have no evidence that the Magness family was active in any church in North Carolina. Historians say that the Christian church in general was weak from the time of the Revolution until the Great Revival of 1800. Some of peregrine’s sons seemed lacking not just morals, but even common judgment. When Peregrine tried to help them, he ended in financial ruin, and in his last years he left his home in North Carolina for the Kentucky frontier. At least four of Peregrine’s got into sever legal difficulties. His son Joseph in 1787 married Arabella Twitty, and in 1789 Joseph’s apparent brother, Zachariah Magness, was tried and convicted of raping Arabella; she accused Joseph of aiding and abetting the act. We still do not know what penalty was imposed on Zachariah; quite possibly it was death by hanging. God lawyers were expensive then, as they are now, and very likely much of the legal expense in this case fell on Peregrine, the father. Joseph got into further difficulties involving his brother George Magness, and by 1795 Joseph had left North Carolina and moved to the Kentucky frontier, in what was then the west.

      George Magness was Peregrine’s youngest son, and he had been in the Morgan District Superior Court in 1785, when he was only 17. He was giving testimony there in 1792. In April 1794 in Lincoln County, George was found guilty of petty larceny. Though a motion was made for appeal, and Robert Wier and Perrygreen Magness each offered to put up 500 pounds bond, the motion was overruled. George was sentenced to “receive ten lashes on the bard back well laid on by the Sheriff between the hours of twelve and one o’clock this Day at the public whipping post.” Even after suffering this punishment, George still had to make bond with his brother William Magness for 500 pounds each "for the good behavior of the said George for one year & a Day." Five hundred pounds was a sizable sum of money for that time; it would buy several hundred acres of land or five strong young slaves.

      Quite possibly the 500-pound bond was forfeited, as George was back in court in October 1794 as the admitted father of a base born child. Again, bond had to be made. Less than a year later he was again in Superior Court on a charge of stealing a horse. Though found not guilty, he was charged with court costs. Having no property other than the clothes on his back, George had to spend three months in jail.

      Meanwhile, George’s brother, Robert Magness, had also been accused of stealing a horse. Like George, he was found not guilty of stealing the horse, but he was found guilty of perjury. As we have already seen in the Virginia cases in 1771 and from George Magness’ ten lashes on the bare back, the penalties of the law could be very harsh. Robert did not want to receive the penalty, whatever it was, and he left the state. This left his father, Peregrine Magness, and his brother, Jonathan Magness, to pay the bond they had put up. Peregrine’s sons William, Benjamin, and Jonathan had made bond in several of these cases, and some had been forfeited. Peregrine had also made bond, besides bearing much of the legal expense of these cases. By 1795 Peregrine was selling land to his son William. (9) Robert’s bond forfeiture was the final blow. In the summer of 1796, the sheriff sold more than 1150 acres of Peregrine’s land at public auction. (10)

      Like his sons before him, Peregrine left North Carolina; in fact, he apparently followed his son Joseph to Woodford County, Kentucky, where on November 3, 1798, he sold to William Magness two slaves for $500. (11) A little over a year later, Peregrine and his sons George and Joseph (and probably Robert) were all in Warren County, Kentucky, where Peregrine on May 8, 1800, made his will. He left all his property (which was probably very little by that time) to his wife Mary to dispose of as she pleased. George and Joseph Magness were named executors, and the will was proved in July 1800. (12) The exact burial place of Peregrine Magness is not now known. Some have thought that he was buried in North Carolina, but I believe that to be extremely unlikely. I would think that he is buried somewhere in Warren County, Kentucky, in an unmarked grave. How long his wife Mary survived him is not now known.

      All the children of Peregrine Magness and his wife Mary are not definitely established, but evidence indicates that they had the following ten sons and one daughter.

      Children of Peregrine Magness and wife Mary

      1. William Magness was born about 1747 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and moved with his parents to Virginia and later to Tryon County, North Carolina, which in 1779 became Rutherford and Lincoln Counties. William served as captain of a company in Col. Wm. Graham’s Tryon Regiment of Militia during February and March of 1776. (13) William began acquiring land by 1774 (14) and by the time of his death owned about 2500 acres. The 1790 Lincoln County Census shows him with 12 slaves; the 1810 census shows him with 19 slaves. William Magness never married, and he died on May 6, 1816, “Intestate and without legitimate issue.” (15) His estate was eventually divided into seven shares, which went to his living brothers and sisters, and to the heirs of those deceased. However, there was considerable litigation, and the estate was not settled until 1825. Much of what we know about the family comes from these court proceedings. In 1819 four of William’s brothers (Robert, Jonathan, Joseph, and Samuel) brought suit against the administrators, John Roberts and Benjamin Magness. The suit claimed that personal property had been sold worth about $17,000.00 but that still unaccounted for were nine slaves and a large quantity of cider and brandy. (16) When the real estate was divided in 1825, each of the seven shares was valued at $1400.00ma a considerable sun for that time. William Magness was buried near Shelby, North Carolina, on Buffalo Creek in what is now Cleveland County, North Carolina, in the same cemetery as his sister Sarah Roberts and her family. His tombstone says “Sacred to the Memory of William Magness, who died May 6, 1816, age 69 years.

      2. James Magness was probably a son of Peregrine and Mary Magness, but no conclusive evidence has been found to establish him positively as one of their children. James was probably born about 1750 in Maryland. On August 2, 1778, in Tryon County, North Carolina, he made claim to 150 acres on Little Broad River, but the claim was denied because someone else had a prior claim. At the October 1783 Rutherford County, North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, and inventory of the estate of James Magness was returned by Abraham Collins, administrator. (Collins appears as a witness on several Magness deeds.) James Magness was apparently unmarried and died with heirs. Some have thought that James died at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, and this seems quite possible, though no record has been found at this time.

      3. Perrigreen Magness, Jr., was born in 1753 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He was technically Perrigreen Magness III, but apparently was never so designated. Both he and his father were sometimes referred to as Perrigreen Magness, Jr., causing occasional confusion. He apparently enlisted in the army on two successive years. He was age 21 and 5 feet 9 inches tall on July 1, 1775 when he enlisted in Captain Eli Kershaw’s Company of Colonel Thompson’s Regiment of South Carolina Rangers. His name also appears on the roll of Colonel William Thompson’s 3rd South Carolina Regiments, with an enlistment date of July 24, 1776. he probably died in early 1785, as William Magness was appointed administrator of his estate in April 1785 by the Rutherford County, North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. The inventory showed that he owned four horses and 60 gallons of whiskey (which were sold to William Magness for 32 pounds 5 shillings) and that Ben Magness owed the estate 10 pounds. He was apparently unmarried and died without heirs.

      4. Benjamin Magness is said by one source to have been born April 6, 1754, in St. Georges Parish, Prince Geroge’s County, Maryland, and to have died January 26, 1828, in Rutherford County, North Carolina. (17) He was married about 1775 to Katie Mooney, Daughter of Jacob Mooney, and they had probably eight children. He married second July 10, 1808 in Rutherford County, Nancy Walker, by whom he had four children. On October 20, 1779, he bought 200 acres on Sandy Run Creek. (18) He is listed in the 1790 census of Rutherford County with 1 male over 16, 5 males under 16, and 3 females. Benjamin and his brother-in-law John Roberts in 1816 were appointed administrators of his deceased brother William, (19) a difficult job which lasted nine years. Benjamin himself had a large amount of property at the time of his death. One source says Benjamin had a child jeremiah born 1779 and crushed to death by soldiers in 1781. (20) His other children were named in his will:

      I. Perry Green Magness, born about 1777, lived in Berrien Co., Michigan.

      II. Jacob Magness, born about 1781, died 9 Nov. 1855 in Rutherford Co., NC, married 21 Aug. 1806 in Bath Co., NC, to Edith Webb.

      III. Mary Ann Magness, b. about 1783, d. 1860 Cleveland Co., NC, married John Washburn, 1779-1857.

      IV. James Magness

      V. Benjamin Magness, Jr.

      VI. William Magness, married 29 Jan. 1818 Rutherford Co., NC to Sarah Hamrick.

      VII. Catherine Magness, b. about 1790, married 7 Jul 1810 to John Reynolds.

      Children by second wife, Nancy Walker

      VIII. Joseph Magness, b. 7 Jan. 1810, m. 19 Dec. 1827 Rutherford Co., NC Esther Beam.

      IX. Sarah Magness, b. about 1812, m. 14 Nov. 1831 to Benjamin Franklin Goode.

      X. Samuel Magness, b. 22 Aug. 1817, d. 5 Oct. 1894, Cleveland Co., NC. Married first Susanna Grigg, second 20 Aug. 1868 Mary Whisnant.

      5. Jonathan Magness, also known as John, was born about 1756 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is said to have died in 1834 in Independence County, Arkansas. he married about 1779 Patty------, by whom he had several children. She died at age 74 on March 8, 1832, in Independence County, Arkansas. (21) Jonathan married second on June 3, 1832 in Independence County, Rebecca Hammond. The Arkansas Gazette of July 18, 1832, in reporting their marriage mentions that Jonathan was 76 and Rebecca was 20. They are said to have had one daughter Mary Ann, who died young.

      Jonathan in 1779 was granted 150 acres on Big Hickory Creek in Tryon County, joining land of his father. He sold this land in 1790, having in 1788 bought 300 acres on Brushy Creek in Rutherford County, which eh sold in 1794, it being the “Place where said John Magness now lives.” (22) He had five more tracts of land, but in the summer of 1796 they were sold by the sheriff at the same time that much of Jonathan’s father’s land was sold by the sheriff. Apparently this was a result of Jonathan’s making bond for his brother George in the Rutherford County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in October 1794. When George did not fulfill his obligations, the bond was forfeited, and the sheriff sold the land of both Jonathan and Perrigreen Magness. Both of them had also made bond for Robert Magness with similar results. Jonathan apparently left North Carolina about this time. He may have gone with his father to Warren County, Kentucky, or to Davidson County, Tennessee. A few years later he was in neighboring Wilson County, Tennessee, where on 24 August 1806 he paid $800 for 640 acres near Stones River and the Davidson County line. Witnesses were his sons Perry Green and John. On 3 Sept. 1807 he paid $640 for another 640-acre tract on Stuart’s Creek in Wilson County, Tennessee; his sons John and David M. were witnesses. (23)

      About this time Jonathan Magness and his sons became involved with a man named Patton Anderson, an involvement which would have a profound effect on their lives for years to come. The precise nature of their quarrel is not known; it is said to have begun in a land transaction. Whatever it was, it developed very strong feelings on both sides, with bitter disputes between Anderson and Magness whenever they met. They met in October 1810 at the Bedford County courthouse, where the case was to be heard. Before the judge arrived, Jonathan Magness and Patton Anderson began to discuss their old grievance, and both became highly excited. Jonathan’s sons Perry Green and David were standing near, and when Patton Anderson raised his hand with a large knife in it, David Magness drew his pistol and shot Anderson dead. He then gave himself up to the authorities, saying that he did it to save his father from being killed.

      The trial was held in November 1810 at the Williamson County courthouse in Franklin, Tennessee. A rather detailed account of the proceedings is given by John B. Cowden in his book Tennessee’s Celebrated Case, published in 1958. Cowden’s basic account is factual, but he had the mistaken idea that the Perry Green Magness involved was Perry Green Magness (1796-1884) of DeKalb County, Tennessee. (Perry Green Magness of DeKalb County was actually a son of George, making him a younger first cousin of the Perry Green Magness involved in this case. See George Magness listing.)

      Andrew Jackson was a friend of Patton Anderson, and he vowed that all three Magnesses would hang. Jackson appeared as a character witness for Anderson, but the Magnesses had hired the very able Felix Grundy as their attorney; he would one day be Attorney General of the United States. The trial is said to have lasted two weeks and had dozens of witnesses, but when the verdict was returned, David Magness was found guilty not of murder, but of manslaughter. He was sentenced to eleven months imprisonment and to have his left hand branded with the letter M, which was done.

      Jonathan Magness was returned to jail to await his trial, which for various reasons was delayed until May 1812, when he was acquitted by the jury. David then had served his eleven months, but both were still in jail in Nashville. Good lawyers were expensive then, as they are now, and evidently legal charges had taken all the money and property of Jonathan Magness and his sons. When they were required to pay the court costs of some $800, they were unable to do so. They were then held in jail until they should pay. They applied to the Circuit Court to be discharged under the law for the relief of insolvent debtors, but were rejected and so faced the prospect of “perpetual imprisonment.” On September 9. 1812, both Jonathan Magness and his son David petitioned the Tennessee Legislature to release them. No record of action on these petitions was found in the Journal of the 1813 General Assembly, and exactly when the Magnesses were released is not now known.

      Apparently all of them left Tennessee. Jonathan’s son Perry Green was in Arkansas in 1814, and on January 5, 1815, was appointed a justice of the peace in Independence County. Jonathan’s son David Magness, who was branded, apparently became a major in the militia in Arkansas, and on July 4, 1822, made an outstanding patriotic speech at the Independence County Grand Jubilee. (24) Jonathan Magness in 1817 was in Lawrence County, Missouri Territory; (25) in 1819 he was still in Missouri. By 1826 Jonathan was living in Independence Co., Arkansas, (26) where he apparently spent the remainder of his life. Little information is available to me on the children of Jonathan Magness and his wife Patty.

      Those I have are:

      I. David M. Magness, lived in Independence Co., Arkansas.

      II. Perry Green Magness, married Mary ----- (possibly Mary Steele in 1807 in Tennessee), had several children, died in 1828 in Independence Co., Arkansas.

      III. John Magness, who married and had descendants in White Co., Arkansas.

      IV. William Magness

      V. Morgan Magness, born December 18, 1796, died September 1, 1871. married first May 14, 1827 Kezziah Ann Elliott, second june 23, 1845 Susan Dunnigan, 5 children.

      6. Zachariah Magness was probably born about 1759 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and appears to be the son of Peregrine Magness and wife Mary. More research needs to be done on Zachariah, but the records of Morgan District Superior Court of North Carolina reveals quite a bit. In 1789 Zachariah was convicted of raping Arabella Twity Magness, wife of his brother Joseph; She also accused Joseph of aiding and abetting the act. The papers of Morgan District Superior Court (in Bucked County?) show that on March 12, 1789, the sheriff of Rutherford County was commanded to seize 54 pounds and 9 shillings from the property of Zachariah Magness for debts and sossts in the Morgan Superior Court of Law and Equity “in that case expended whereof the said Zachariah Magmess is convicted and liable of record.” He was convicted, but his sentence has not been found at this time. In 1789, long prison terms were seldom given; the usual sentences were whipping, branding, or hanging. Was Zachariah executed? or did he receive other punishment and move away? His name has not been found further in the North Carolina records. No claim was made on the estate of his brother William Magness who died in 1816, so we assume that Zachariah had died without heirs by that time.

      7. Samuel Magness was born about 1716, probably in Frederick County Virginia. he is thought to have married first about 1784 Mary Morgan, and second by 1800 Nancy Ragin. Nancy and Samuel signed a deed on 22 january 1800, recorded in Greenville Co., SC Deed Book E, page 405. By 1790 Samuel Magness was living in Greenville County, South Carolina with a son and two daughters; by 1800 he had five daughters and three sons. On 3 May 1792 Samuel had a land transaction recorded in Greenville County Deed Book C, page 436. Samuel was still living in Breenville County on December 19, 1817, when he sold his share of the William magness estate to his brother-in-law, John Roberts, for $625. (27) Nevertheless, he joined his three brothers in 1819 in a lawsuit over William’s personal property. (28) Samuel Magness is thought to have moved to Arkansas about 1828, first to Independence County, then to marion County. On 15 August 1829 he made a deed as Samuel Magness of the Territory of Arkansas, County of Independence. (29) Samuel Magness died in Marion County, Arkansas, in 1831. His wife Nancy died there in 1841. Samuel had several children by his two wives; some of their names are not known.

      I. James Magness, b. 25 May 1789 South Carolina, died 2 Aug. 1872 Marion Co., Arkansas. married 22 July 1813 in South Carolina to Narcissa Barnett, b. 12 Feb. 1796 SC, died 26 May 1862 in marion Co., Arkansas.

      II. Joseph Magness, born about 1790 South Carolina, died 1840’s Marion Co., Arkansas, married Martha (Patsy) Springfield in South Carolina.

      III. Perry Green Magness, born about 1801 Greenville Co., SC, married Jane -----. Lived Union Co., Ga 1850, later in Polk Co., Tn., and died after 1880, probably in Fannin Co., Ga. (both James and Perry Green are mentioned as sons of Samuel Magness in Greenville Co., SC Deed Book Q, page 86.)

      IV. Elizabeth (Betty) Magness born about 1810 SC, died 14 July 1889 in Independence Co., Arkansas, married there on 20 Sept. 1829 to Washington Bradley.

      Other Possible children of Samuel:

      V. David Y. Magness, born 1785 NC

      VI. Mary Magness, married ------ Johnson.

      VII. Robert Magness, born about 1809, possibly married Sally Wherle.

      VIII. Daughter who married John Owens.

      8. Robert Magness was born about 1763, probably in Frederick County, Virginia, and died June 22, 1837, in Pulaski County, Arkansas. Some think that his first Wife was Mary Wilson and that his second wife was Lydia Gamble. his wife at the time of his death was Sarah. During the 1790’s at least four of the Magness sons had difficulties with the legal authorities. Robert Magness at this time was tried for stealing a horse and acquitted, but later convicted of perjury. Not wishing to take the punishment (which could be quite harsh), Robert apparently

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      found at


      January 1999

      Additional Magness material was recently sent to me by Miles Philbeck of North Carolina, a Magness descendant who has done family research for many years. This material consisted mainly of photocopies of original Rutherford County, N.C. court documents. these were warrants, appearance bonds, depositions, etc., and apparently they existed only as loose papers which were not recorded in the record books. Most of them deal with the case in which Zachariah Magness was accused of raping Arabella Magness, wife of Joseph Magness.

      I give a summary of these papers in more or less chronological order, followed by some further information on Joseph, George, and Robert Magness. These papers do give some possible indication as to how the Zachariah case was resolved; some questions are still left unanswered.

      These papers indicate that not only Zachariah Magness, but William Alexander was also involved in the case with Arabella Magness. No explanation is given for Arabella being at the home of William Magness for several days without her husband, nor is any reason given for the parties involved being so fearful that the slaves of William Magness would hear them. (See Jan. 1788 depositions of Robert Wier.) Arabella made no accusation against her husband Joseph until a week after complaints against William Alexander and Zachariah Magness.

      The final disposition of the case is still not entirely clear. On 16 January 1788, four justices of the peace of Rutherford County signed an order consigning Zachariah Magness, charged with rape and incest, to the jail of Morgan District Superior Court. However, this order was apparently superseded at the same term (Jan. 1788) of the Rutherford County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions when bond was made for Zachariah Magness. Zachariah made bond for 500 pounds to insure his appearance on March 1, 1788, at the Morgan Superior Court "to answer a charge of rape." Perry Magness and Elias Morgan were his sureties for 250 pounds each.

      At the March 1788 term of the Morgan District Superior Court a true bill was returned, apparently by a grand jury, indicting "Zachariah Magness late of the county of Rutherford Labourer" for making an assualt "upon one Arabella Magness...forcibly to ravish and carnally know her..." However, it seems that Zachariah Magness himself did not appear at the March term of the Morgan District Superior Court. Consequently, on 12 March 1788, the clerk of Morgan District Court sent an order to the sheriff of Rutherford County to make known to Zachariah Magness, Peregrine Magness, and Elias Morgan "to appear before the judges of Morgan Superior Court" on September 1, 1788, to show cause if any why final judgment should not be had against them, causing Zachariah to forfeit 500 pounds and Perregrine Magness and Elias Morgan to forfeit 250 pounds each. The deputy sheriff made this know to them on 19 August 1788. So apparently Zachariah Magness did not appear in court on the charge of rape, and the sizable bond was forfeited. In all likelihood, Zachariah left the state in order to avoid the severe penalties which would have been imposed had he been found guilty. By not appearing for trial, he was not found guilty on the charge of rape. However, he had apparently earlier been found guilty of a lesser charge, now unknown, in the Morgan District Superior Court. On 12 March 1789 the clerk of Morgan Superior Court commanded the sheriff of Rutherford County to seize property of Zachariah Magness to the value of 54 pounds 9 shillings "which lately in Morgan Superior Court of Law & Equity the State recovered against him for debt & costs in that case expended whereof the said Zachariah Magness is convicted and liable as appears of record." (The sheriff reported that no goods were found by him.) This obviously was not the rape case, which involved a bond of 500 pounds. The sheriff found no property of Zachariah Magness; probably Zachariah had already left the county and the state. Where Zachariah went is not known, but apparently he had died without heirs by 1816, as neither he nor his heirs made any claim on the estate of his brother William Magness. Arabella Magness and William Alexander:

      30 Oct. 1787. Rutherford Co., N.C., Warrant to bring William Alexander before Jno. Riggs, Justice of the Peace, to any lawful officer of Rutherford Co. Arrabella Magness, wife to Joseph Magness, complains on oath that said Alexander on Saturday, Oct. 20, did with force "enter into her bed where she lay at the house of William Magnesses" and attempted "to commit a Rape on her," and would have "if it had not been for Zachariah Magness who came & Prevented his bad & wicked intention." Also said Alexander on Oct. 26th "did come into the house of William Magness's and in the dead time of the said night did then and there come into her bed when she was asleep...[and] contrary to her will did then and there Feloniously Ravish her the said Arrabella"

      6 Nov. 1787. Rutherford Co. N.C. Jno. Riggs, Justice of the Peace, to the sheriff of gaol [jail] keeper of Morgan District. Riggs sends "the body of William Alexander, apprehended for forceably commiting a Rape on the body of Arrabella Magness the wife of Joseph Magness on friday night the 26 of October last... him safely keep in the gaol...without not."
      14 Jan. 1788.Rutherford Co., N.C. George More, Justice of the Peace. William Graham is security for 100 pounds for Arrabella Magness wife of Joseph Magness to appear on 1 March in Superior Court of Law & Equity to prosecute William Alexander for rape.

      Zachariah Magness

      30 Oct. 1787.Rutherford Co., N.C. Jno. Riggs, Justice of the Peace, to any lawful Officer of said County, warrant to bring Zachariah Magness before him or some other J.P. Arrabella Magness, wife to Joseph Magness, complains that on Saturday, Oct. 20th "Zachariah Magness did come in a forceable manner into her bed where she was alying and did violently make and assault and with force did then and there endeavour to Ravish her the said Arrabella, the first time he came in said night, and afterwards in the said night, he did come again into her bed, and when she awoke, did find him the said Zachariah Magness upon her and carnally aknowing of her, contrary to her knowledge 7 will..."
      16 Jan. 1788. Rutherford Co., N.C. Jno. Riggs, Jas. Whiteside, Wm. Grant,and Stephen Willis, all Justices of the Peace, to the sheriff of Rutherford County and to the Gaoler of Morgan Superior Court & Gaol, "send you the body of the said Zachary Magness... him safely keep within the walls of your prison until he shall be thence Discharged by due course of law..." [No mention of bail] He is "charged with Rape and Incest by the oath of Arrabella Magness..."

      at January Court 1788. Rutherford Co., N.C. Zachariah Magness is indebted to the State of North Carolina 500 pounds; debt to be void if he makes his personal appearance on March 1 at Morgan Superior Court "to answer a charge of Rape...& not depart thence without leave"

      Zach X Magness
      Perry Magness, security, is indebted to State 250 pounds if Zachariah does not appear.
      Elias Morgan, security, is indebted to State 250 pounds if Zachariah does not appear.

      March term 1788. Morgan District, N.C., Superior Court of Law & Equity.
      A true bill [from the grand jury. An indictment, meaning that the defendant must stand trial for this offense.] W. Avery, attorney for the state. "The Jurors for the State upon their oath, present that Zachariah Magness late of the County of Rutherford Labourer on the Night" of October 20, 1787, made an assault "upon one Arabella Magness wife of Joseph Magness... forcibly to ravish & carnally know her the said Arabella... against the peace & Dignity of the State.

      January Court 1788. Rutherford Co., N.C. Deposition of Robert Wier.
      "On a complaint Arrabella Magness wife of Joseph Magness against Zachariah Magness now under consideration of the court -- Incest & Rape.

      Robert Wier maketh oath that he was at the house of William Graham Esquire about a week after the affair happened which is now the cause of complaint before the court. That after some other conversation passed, the above named Arrabella did not mention to him the deponent anything for her being ravished by Zac; Magness, but said words to this effect, that William Alexander and Zac: Magness had to do with her three times each in one night -- twice she was awake and four times asleep -- he the deponent asked the reason why she did not cry out for assistance. She answered that they, meaning Zac: and William, requested that she ought not to make a noise lest the negroes should hear her or them -- and further that she said that the first time William had to do with her she did cry out for Zachariah.
      Sworn & signed in open court. "Robert Wier"

      12 March 1788. William Erwin, clerk of Morgan District, to Sheriff of Rutherford Co., N.C. Make known to Zachariah Magness, Peregrine Magness, and Elias Morgan to "appear before the Judges of Morgan Superior Court" on Sept. 1 to show cause if any why final judgment should not be had against them and they forfeit for Zachariah 500 pounds and 250 pounds each for Peregrine and for Elias Morgan. Endorsed on the back: "August 19th... Maid known in the presence of John Roberts & John Ward by Me Yelvaton Nevill C shff"

      12 March 1789. "To the Sheriff of Rutherford County, Greeting. We command you that of the goods and chattels Lands and Tenements of Zachariah Magness you make the sum of Fifty four Pounds Nine shillings which lately in Morgan Superior Court of Law & Equity the State recovered against him for debt & costs in that case expended whereof the said Zachariah Magness is convicted and liable as appears of record and have the said monies to pay into my office on the first day of September Next. Witness William Erwin clerk of said court at office the 12 day of March 1789."
      [On the back.} "State vs. Magness to Morgan Sup. Ct. March 1789"
      Know goods found by me Heardford [?] D Shff

      Know goods found by Robt. Irvine shff [Illegible date] 1789

      7 November 1787. Rutherford Co., NC. Jno Rigg, Justice of the Peace to any Lawfull Officer of sd. County, warrant to bring Joseph Magness before him or any other J.P. to answer complaint of Arrabella Magness wife of Joseph Magness "that she has good cause to suspect that her husband Joseph Magness was present Aiding and Assisting or procuring her being Ravished by William Allexander on the night of the 26 of October last."
      "Summons George Magness and Anneriter McCray for Evidence in the above case"

      9 Nov. 1787. Jno. Riggs, J.P. Joseph Magness and John Magness, his security, make bond for 200 pounds each that "Joseph Magness should personally appear at our Next Superior Court to be held on the first day of March Next at the court House of Morgan District to Answer the Accusation of Arribella Magness his wife on Suspition of his procuring her being Ravished."

      George Magness
      12 Sept. 1789. Morgan District, NC. William Erwin, Clerk of Superior Court to sheriff of Rutherford Co., NC. George Magness made bond for 100 pounds and Peregrine Magness and John Magness, his securities, for 50 pounds each, on condition that George Magness appear in Superior Court "for Morgan District at Burke Court House' on Sept. 1. "They were solemnly called failled to appear" and judgment was entered against them for 200 pounds. They are to be notified to appear in Superior Court on March 1, [1790]
      Endorsed on the back thus:
      Jan. 27th 1790 Perygreen Magness notified in presence Thos. Harden and John Roberts. Robt. Irvine Shff
      John Magness Notfd. in presence of Thom Coventon John Herod by me Robt. Irvine Shff
      George Magness Notfd. in Presents of Thos. Camp and James Camp by me Robt. Irvine Shff

      Robert Magness
      7 January 1793. Rutherford Co., NC. Wm. Graham, Justice of the Peace, receives complaint of Robert Magness that William Tate does detain from him his lawful property, a bay horse with a blaze face.

      10 January 1793. Wm. Graham, J.P., took depositions in the above case from Isaac Collins, Thomas Harrid, Jr., Jonathan Fouch, and John Fouch.
      Deposition of George Magness:
      "George Magness saith 25th Decbr. 1792 he & his brother Robert met William Tate Between his fathers & his house." At that time Robert Magness and Tate swapped horses, with Tate giving 6 pounds boot. If not satisfied, Magness could have his horse back within a week or ten days.
      Signed George Magness
      Wm Graham took bond of 20 pounds each from William Tate and his security James Burkendol. Also from Robert Magness, George Magness, Isaac Collins, and Thomas Harrid, Jr. All are to appear in Morgan Superior Court on March 1, 1793.

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      Peregrine Magness Jr. (1722-1800)

      End Notes

      (1). Prince George’s Co., Maryland Deed Book Q, p. 218.

      (2). Prince George’s Co., Maryland Deed Book NN, p. 522.

      (3). Calendar of Maryland State Pagers, The Black Book, 1758-59, p. 137.

      (4). Prince George’s Co., Maryland Deed Book RR, p. 44.

      (5). Prince George’s Co., Maryland Deed Book RR, p. 231.

      (6). Tryon Co., North Carolina Deed Book, 1, p. 51.

      (7). Griffin, Clarance W., History of Old Tryon and Rutherford Counties, North Carolina, 1730-1936. Asheville, 1937. Pages 10, 16, 18, and 27.

      (8). Griffin, History, p. 122.

      (9). Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book M-Q, p. 241.

      (10). Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book R, pages 52, 54, 62, 64, 66, and 92.

      (11). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 19, p. 16.

      (12). Warren Co., Kentucky Will Book A, p. 16.

      (13). Roster of North Carolina Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, page 42.

      (14). Tryon Co., NC Deed Book 2, p. 31.

      (15). Lincoln Co., NC Chancery Court of Equity, Magness suit, April 23, 1819.

      (16). Same.

      (17). Rutherford Co., NC, Deed Book 2, p. 31.

      (18). Rutherford Co., NC, Deed Book J-L, p. 198.

      (19). Lincoln Co., NC Chancery Court of Equity, 23 April 1819.

      (20). Heritage of Cleveland County, Vol. I, p. 409.

      (21). Arkansas Gazette, 21 March 1832.

      (22). Rutherford Co., Nc Deed Book J-L, pages 224 and 407.

      (23). Wilson County, Tennessee Deed Books B, p. 227 and C, p. 113.

      (24). Shinn, Joseph H., Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas, Little Rock, 1908, page ---.

      (25). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 28, p. 36.

      (26). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 36, p. 38.

      (27). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 28, p. 160.

      (28). Lincoln Co., NC Chancery Court of Equity, Magness suit, April 23, 1819.

      (29). Greenville Co., South Carolina Deed Book Q. p. 223.

      (30). Warren County, Kentucky Order Book B. p. 82.

      (31). Rutherford County, Tennessee Deed Book B, p. 82.

      (32). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 28, p. 106, and Lincoln Co., NC Chancery Court of Equity, Magness suit, 23 April 1819.

      (33). Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book J-L, p. 123.

      (34). Warren Co., Kentucky Will Book A, p. 16.

      (35). Warren Co., Kentucky Deed Book 5, p. 447.

      (36). Lincoln Co., NC Deed Book 27, p. 383.

      (37). Warren Co., Kentucky Order Book E, p. 123.

      (38). Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book 35, pages 221 and 224.

      (39). Rutherford Co., NC Deed Book R. p. 95.

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      A prominent North Carolina Patriot as evidenced as one of forty-nine signatories of the Tryon Association's Statement, August 14, 1775;

      "An Association

      The unprecedented,barbarous and bloody actions committed by the British Troops on our American Brethren near Boston on the 19th of April and 20th of May last ,together with the Hostile operations and Traiterous Designs now Carrying on by the Tools of Administerial Vengeance and Despostism for the subjugating all British America, suggest to us the painful necessity of having recourse to Arms for the preservation of those Rights and Liberties which the principles of our Constitution and Laws of god, Nature and Nations, have made it our duty to defend.

      We, therefore, the Subscribers, Freeholders and Inhabitants of Tryon County do hereby faithfully unite ourselves under the most sacred ties of Religion, Honor and Love to Our Country, firmly to Resist force by force, in defense of our Natural Freedom and Constitutional Rights against all Invasions, and at the same time do solemnly engage to take up Arms and Risque our lives and fortunes in maintaining the Freedom of our Country, whenever the Wisdom and Council of the Continental Congress or our Provincial Convention shall declare it necessary, and this Engagement we will continue in and hold sacred till a Reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America on Constitutional principles, which we most ardently desire.

      And we do firmly agree to hold all such persons Inimical to liberties of America, who shall refuse to subscribe to this Association. Signed by:

      Perygren Mackness

      Resolved that we will continue to profess all Loyalty and attachment to our Sovereign Lord, King George the Third, His Crown & Dignity, so long as he secures to us those Rights and Liberties which the principles of Our Constitution require. Signed by John Walker, Chairman."

      Abstracted by David A. Hennessee from "The Annals of Lincoln County", pp., 20-21, by William L. Sherrill and re-published, 1972, by Regional Publishing Company, Baltimore,MD


      Abstracted from, "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1956, p. 7;

      "In the name God Amen. I Perregreen Magnis of the County of Warren and the State of Kentucky being in a low state of health but in perfect sence and memory do constitute & appoint this my last Will & Testament in manner & form following (Viz.)
      1st. My will is that all my just debts shall be paid. I then lend to my loving Wife Mary Magnis my whole Estate during her natural life and at the death of the said Mary Magnis she is to have the free & and voluntary
      disposal thereof. Also my Will & and desire is that George Magins & Joseph Magnis shall by my whole & and soul Executor.

      In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this the 8th day of May 1800.

      Test. Perregreen Magnis (seal)
      Wm. Black
      John Black.
      Probated July Court 1800


      20 Sep 2009:

      This census is from Microcopy No. T-498 Roll 2

      "Magnes, Peregreen 2,0,2,0,3"

      1790 Census North Carolina
      Rutherford County Morgan District

      2 of 1st # free white males 16 year upwards and head of families
      0 of 2nd # free white males under 16 years
      2 of 3rd # free white females and head of families
      0 of 4th # all other free persons
      3 of 5th # slaves

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      Re: Peregrine Magness

      Home: Surnames: Magness Family Genealogy Forum

      Re: Peregrine Magness

      Posted by: David Dunn Date: February 01, 2002 at 15:07:17

      In Reply to: Re: Peregrine Magness by David Dunn of 592

      Thanks and please do let us all know if you find anything new. I did follow up on the Frederick Co. reference when in DC in January. It occurs in the book "Hopewell Friends History" p. 18 where "Mary Magnus" and "Perrygren MackNess" are named as witnesses to the will of Nathaniel Thomas probated there in 1763. Iooked at every other Frederick Co. source at the DAR and LOC and found no other references to the Magness family. Now, Benjamin is certainly the son of Peregrine (Jr.) and Mary - his birth record appears in the parish records of Prince George's Parish, Prince George's Co MD.

      Home: Surnames: Magness Family Genealogy Forum

      Posted by: Jeffrey L. Martin Date: June 08, 1998 at 16:43:15
      of 695

      Well.. after reading EVERY post to this Magness Forum Page.. this is what I came up with. Please feel free to comment on any mistakes I've made. I'm interested in the Magness family that married into the Hamricks, Roberts and Martins in and around Rutherford/Cleveland Co. NC during the early 1800s.
      Descendants of Perrygreen Magness

      Generation No. 1

      1. Perrygreen1 Magness was born Abt. 1722 in England, and died July 1800 in Warren Co. KY. He married Mary.

      Children of Perrygreen Magness and Mary are:

      2 i. Susannah2 Magness.
      3 ii. William Magness, born 1765; died 1817.
      4 iii. Joseph Magness, born 1768. He married Anna Belle Twitty August 03, 1787.
      5 iv. Benjamin Magness, Sr., born 1772; died 1828 in Rutherford Co. NC. He married Nancy Elizabeth Mauney.
      6 v. Sarah Magness, born February 16, 1772 in Tryon Co. NC; died October 16, 1828 in Lincoln Co. NC. She married John Morris Roberts, Col. Abt. 1790 in Rutherford Co. NC.
      7 vi. George Magness, born 1774. He married Mary Durham.
      8 vii. Jonathan Magness, born 1778. He married Elizabeth Staritt Abt. 1810.
      9 viii. Robert Magness, born Abt. 1780.
      10 ix. Patsy Magness, born 1782. She married David Preston July 02, 1997 in Lincoln Co. KY.
      11 x. David Magness, born 1784.
      12 xi. Morgan Magness, born Abt. 1791 in Tryon Co. NC.
      13 xii. Sallie Magness, born Abt. 1794. She married William Hicks.

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      Subject: Children of Perygren Mackness
      Author: HarrietFrye
      Date: Tuesday, 15 February 2000

      Don, I haven't been ignoring you. Since I left my message, I've realized there are considerably more than two versions of the list of Perygren Mackness' children. In fact, there seem to be almost as many versions as there are researchers. I think the best way to answer your question is to tell you which children I'm able to document, and which ones I'm still unconvinced about, and why.

      First, I use "Perygren Mackness" for the patriarch of this North Carolina branch of the family because that's the way he spelled it when he signed the Old Tryon County Declaration of Independence. Several transcribed deed records from Old Tryon use the name "Magness," but as far as I can tell from Rutherford County records, Perygren himself always used the name "Mackness."

      If we start with the fact that Perygren named George and Joseph as his sons in his will, then we can document some other family members for certain. When William Magness died in 1816, he left a large estate, and there's a lot of paperwork naming the siblings who were entitled to inherit. Here are the people in my records:

      William, 1747-1816. Died in Lincoln County, NC. Although one record says he was married to Jane Onstott, I think the compiler of this record has confused him with one of his nephews from Arkansas. Apparently, Perygren's son William never married, which is why his siblings and their descendants were his heirs.

      George. Most people seem to think he was a younger son, but I'm dubious. When William died in 1816, George's son Perry Green Magness was living in Indiana. He filed papers regarding William's estate, identifying himself as the son of George Magness, deceased. The 1820 census shows that he was already over 45 at the time, which means he was born before 1775. This means that George was probably born before 1755 and was an elder son, not a younger.

      Perry Green Magness. Born about 1753 or 1754. He was 21 when he entered Revolutionary service in 1775. He died before 1785; his brother William was the administrator of his estate. Although we can't document that he was Perygren's son, it's hard to see who else he could have been, so I don't have any qualms about including him on the list.

      Benjamin. His descendants always thought he was born about 1755, but they also said he was the second son. If so, he was probably a little older than they thought. His oldest son, Perry Green Magness, gave his age as 83 when he was enumerated in the 1850 census of Berrien County, Michigan, which would have given him a birth date of c.1767. He may have been a little off, but I still think Benjamin was probably born around 1749 or 1750.

      Jonathan. Moved to Independence County, Arkansas. Filed papers regarding William's estate. I have no fix on his age, but he was having kids in the 1790's.

      Robert. Everything I just said about Jonathan applies to him, too.

      Samuel. Born in Maryland about 1761, according to nearly everybody. Filed papers regarding William's estate. You'll find some sources that claim Samuel's first wife was Ann Ware, but I think they're confusing him with one of his cousins from the branch that remained in Maryland.

      Joseph. Moved to Kentucky with his father. Filed papers regarding William's estate.

      Sarah. Supposedly born in 1772, which agrees with your records. Married Colonel John Roberts. Also an heir of William Magness, according to estate records.

      There was one more heir in William's estate records that I can't pin down for certain: Perry Green Magness of Warren County, Tennessee, who was born in 1796. Some sources, including yours, claim that he was a late son of Perygren. At least one descendant claims that he was a son of George and supports this claim with quite a bit of documentation, but I keep coming up against the fact that George's son Perry Green was much older, was living in Indiana when William died, and filed a separate set of papers in the estate records.

      The people who have been researching this Perry Green Magness don't agree on his parentage, but they all say he had a sister Sally, who married William Hicks and also moved to Warren County. This seems to argue against his having been a son of Perygren, whose daughter Sarah was still living when her brother William died in 1816. I'm wondering whether he might have been a grandson, rather than a son -- especially because I seem to be finding records of an extra George Magness who may have been a son of one of Perygren's sons. (Sorry to be so vague on this one; I'd have to dig through all my paper piles to find it, and it would be an ugly process!)

      I've tentatively assigned one more son, James, to this family. All I know about James is that he died in Rutherford County, NC before July 1783 and that he was old enough to have an estate. A man named William Twitty, quite possibly related to Joseph Magness' wife Annabella Twitty, was one of the bondsmen in his estate records.

      If there was a son named David, I haven't ever seen a trace of him, and he almost certainly wasn't living when William died in 1816. I've been wondering whether somebody has confused him with Jonathan Magness' son David, who served as his father's attorney in the estate of William.

      Since I wasn't aware that anybody had assigned daughters named Patsy and Susannah to Perygren, I didn't think to look for their husbands' names in William's estate records. I'm wondering whether they might also have been grandchildren; a check of the North Carolina records might answer that question for us. In the case of Susannah, it would surprise me if she were Perygren's daughter, because she supposedly lived and died in Rutherford County, yet none of Benjamin Magness' descendants include her in their records of Benjamin's siblings. Patsy supposedly married in Kentucky in 1797; if I had to guess, I'd theorize that she was a daughter of either George or Joseph.

      I've been wondering whether some of these "extra" children (Susannah, George, and one or two others I can't pin down) might actually have been the children of Peregrine Magness, Jr. He was about 30 when he died, but we don't seem to know anything definitive about his family. I've even seen one message claiming that he, and not his father, was the person who married Sarah Hamrick. (The Hamricks are a whole different story -- most researchers of this line have concluded that George Hamrick and Nancy Cook, whoever they might have been, had nothing to do with anything.)

      I've seen at least one record that includes another supposed son, Zachariah. Again, I can only say that I haven't seen a trace of anybody by this name in this generation of Magnesses.

      I hope I've clarified things a little, rather than confusing them utterly. Maybe, if we all get our heads together, we can straighten some of this stuff out. [13]

  • Sources 
    1. [S4304] "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1876-1965, published 1956,, p. 7 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S7891] Thomas G. Webb | DeKalb County, TN Historian | 835 South College Street, Smithville, TN 37166 | Abstracted from his, "Ma.

    3. [S903] "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1876-1965, published 1956., p. 7 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S44674]

    5. [S806] Thomas G. Webb | DeKalb County, TN Historian | 835 South College Street, Smithville, TN 37166 | Abstracted from his boo.

    6. [S32480] Prince George Co.,MD Deeds,p. 143,abstracted by Marilynn Knowles,187 Strong,.

    7. [S4304] "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1876-1965, published 1956,, p. 7.

    8. [S47832]

    9. [S806] Thomas G. Webb | DeKalb County, TN Historian | 835 South College Street, Smithville, TN 37166 | Abstracted from his boo (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S47828] "The Annals of Lincoln County", pp., 20-21, by William L. Sherrill and re-published, 1972, by Regional Publishing Compan.

    11. [S47829] "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1956, p. 7.

    12. [S47830]

    13. [S47833]