George Magness

Male 1768 - 1817  (49 years)


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  • Name George Magness 
    Born 1768  Lincoln County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • formerly Tryon County, North Carolina. The county seat, finally designated in 1774, was located eight miles southwest of the present-day community of Lincolnton , in Lincoln County, North Carolina.

      In 1772, when the state line was surveyed between North and South Carolina, much of what was thought to have been Tryon County was found to be in South Carolina. So the original Tryon County included all or part of a number of South Carolina Counties including present day York, Cherokee, and Spartanburg Counties. In 1779 what remained of Tryon County in North Carolina was abolished and split into Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. In 1841 Cleveland County was formed from parts of Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. And in 1846 Gaston County was formed from Lincoln County.
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1800  Warren County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Died 1817  Orange County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I4137  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 8 Sep 2018 

    Father Peregrine Magness, Jr.,   b. ~1722, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ~1800, (Warren County, Kentucky) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Mother Mary Naylor,   b. 1725, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 76 years) 
    Married ~1745  (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Family ID F1556  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary "Polly" Durham,   b. ~1770, Orange County, North Carolina, a British Colony in America Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1840, DeKalb County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Married 0Oct 1794  Lincoln County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Married 0Sep 1795  Rutherford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Children 
     1. Sarah G. "Sally" Magness,   b. 0Sep 1794, Rutherford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1880-1890, DeKalb County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 95 years)
     2. Perry Green "Old Grandsir" Magness,   b. 23 May 1796, Rutherford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Mar 1884, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
    Last Modified 30 Jun 2020 
    Family ID F1616  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1768 - Lincoln County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 0Oct 1794 - Lincoln County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 0Sep 1795 - Rutherford County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1800 - Warren County, Kentucky Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1817 - Orange County, Indiana Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Monograph by Thomas G. Webb, October 22, 1981:

      GEORGE MAGNESS AND POLLY DURHAM

      George Magness was born about 1768 in North Carolina, probably in the year that his parents moved to Lincoln (now Cleveland) County, North Carolina. He was the son of Perrigreen Magness and his wife Mary. In a family of nine or more childrem, George was apparently the youngest son. Perhaps he had less work to do than the older boys, perhaps he was catered to and spoiled. Whatever the reason, George was wild. Before he was twenty years old,he was in trouble with the courts, and in 1794, he got in real trouble. In April of that year he was found guilty of petty larceny, his motion for appeal was overruled, and the court ordered "that George Magness receive ten lashes on his Bare Back well laid on by the Sheriff Between the hours of twelve & one o'clock this day at the public whiping post...". Following this, George's oldest brother William (a man of considerable property) and Mark Bird made bond of 500 pounds each for George's good behavior for a year and a day.
      Within six months, however, there was more trouble, and in October, 1794, George's brother John (Jonathan) made a 200 pound bond to indemnify the county from the maintenance of George's base born child born of Polly Durham.

      On May 20, 1795, George Magness sold to William Earles 50 acres on Hickory Creek, which the State of North Carolina had granted him two years earlier. He was thus left with no property to pay court costs or to make bond, he was held in jail from 26 June 1795 to 16 September 1795. He was released after being tried and found not guilty.

      George seems at this time to have settled down to some degree, and apparently he married Polly Durham shortly after his release from jail. Polly was the daughter of Achilles Durham and his wife Mary Cates, and was a source of much grief to them. Polly's parents were dedicated church members, and her behavior disppointed them greatly. However, her family stuck by her, especially her sister Sarah, who married Abraham Cantrell. George Magness, however, did not stick by her. Their first child, Sarah (Sally), was born in 1794, before they married. Their second child, Perry Green Magness, was born May 23, 1796, apparently after they married. Perry Green Magness eventually was able to establish himself as "the son and only heir-at-law of George Magness". However, this was accomplished only with considerable difficulty after eight
      years of litigation. Sally was not considerated an heir because illigetimate children were prevented by law from sharing their parents' estates.

      George Magness apparently did not live with Polly long after their son was born; by 1800 George was in Warren County, Kentucky, where he was an executor of his father's will. George himself died sometime between 1800 and 1816, but just when, where or under what circumstances is not known. Polly was left in Carolina with two children and little else. She apparently made her home with or near her sister Sarah and Sarah's husband Abraham Cantrell and moved with them about 1808 to Warren (now DeKalb) County, Tennessee. About 1827 Polly married a widower, Benjamin Cantrell, an uncle of Abraham. She died a few years later, between 1830 and 1840. The two children of George Magness and Mary (Polly) Durham were:

      -------

      Excerpted from "Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session:1799-1803 of Burke County,NC", complied by Daniel D. Swink, 1988, p. 31:

      "October Session, 1799

      James McEntire came into open court and made oath in due form of law that the accomps. exhibited abt the following persons for maintainance in jail as annexed to their respective names were just and true and that he had not received them or any of them of any part thereof & believes them to be insolvent, to wit, George Magness L8.5.4., et. al.".

      _____ [8]
    • George Magness was born about 1768 in Tryon County, North Carolina, and died between 1800 and 1816, possibly in Kentucky. George, like some of his brothers, was in various legal difficulties. as with Zachariah and Robert, the court records are not complete, but they furnish enough information to give us a general idea of what was taking place. George made his appearance in court when he was still young; in July 1785 he was about 17 when Benjamin Rice and Benjamin Magness made a 200 pound bond that George would appear in Morgan District Superior Court of Law and Equity on 1 September 1785. On September 7, 1792, George and his brother Robert appeared in the same court to give testimony in a case.

      In April 1794 George had not one but two cases of his own. One was in the Rutherford County, North Carolina , Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, where the trial docket showed Polly Durham vs. George Magness, but the case was dismissed. The same docket showed Polly Durham vs. Joseph Magness for slander, but that case was not prosecuted. Just as swell that these were dismissed, as George had big trouble in the Lincoln County, North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter SEssions.

      In the April 1794 Session he was found guilty of petty larceny and ordered to “receive ten lashes on his Bare Back well laid on by the Sheriff Between the hours of twelve and one o’clock this Day at the public whipping post.” This should have tamed him somewhat, but he already had more trouble underway back in Rutheford County. Polly Durham, whose case was dismissed in April, by October 1794 had been delivered of a "base born child." George was evidently the father, as his brother John Magness made 200 pound bond on behalf of George Magness to indemnify the county from having to maintain the child. (This child was Sarah Magness, Born 1794, who later married William Hicks and lived in Tennessee.)

      Still more trouble lay ahead for George. In 1795 he was tried in the Morgan District Superior Court in Burke County, North Carolina, on an accusation of horse stealing, but found not guilty. He was nevertheless charged with the court costs and held in jail from June 26, 1795, to September 16, 1795, when a hearing was held at which George declared that he had no "property or money to pay and satisfy the costs, saving the clothes and apparel which eh commonly wears." (One of the witnesses called was Abraham Collins, the same man who was administrator of the James Magness estate in 1783.) Apparently George was released from jail on or about September 16, 1795, and almost exactly nine months later, on May 23, 1796, a son named Perry Green Magness was born to him and Polly Durham. Though no record has been found, we assume that George Magness and Polly Durham were married, as in 1824 Perry Green Magness was declared in court to be "the son and only heir at law of George Magness." Under the North Carolina law, only children of a legal marriage could inherit where there was no will. George’s daughter Sarah, having already been declared base born by the October 1794 court, had no right of inheritance.

      Probably neither Polly nor her two children were concerned at this point with rights of inheritance; they were simply trying to survive. George owned no property; he had acquired 50 acres in 1793, but had to sell it in 1795. (39) He was no provider, and evidently he and Polly did not live together long. There were no more children, and she probably returned to her family. George’s name appears in the Burke County, NC, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for October 1799, when he was listed as owing more than 8 pounds for his maintenance in jail. Whether this was the old debt from his 1795 stay or a debt from a more recent time is not clear, but he was believed to be insolvent. Probably in 1799 George joined his father in Warren County, Kentucky. Peregrine’s will, proved in July 1800, names George and his brother Joseph as executors. No further record of George Magness has been found. He was dead by 1816, but we know no more. In all the years of litigation over the William Magness estate, the only mention is of "George Magness deceased"; no record is found of when or where he died.

      George’s two children went with their mother to her family; they probably lived with or near their mother’s sister Sarah Durham and her husband Abraham Cantrell, and moved with them about 1809 to Warren (now DeKalb) County, Tennessee. Perry Green Magness married Mary Cantrell early in 1815; in 1816 he got the news of the death of William Magness. Perry Green apparently never went to North Carolina himself to see about his uncle William’s estate, but he made at least three different powers of attorney regarding it. The first two are recorded in Lincoln County, NC, Deed book 28, pages 37 and 686. He made one on 4 September 1816 in Warren County, Tennessee, giving power of attorney to Francis Alexander. The following year Perry Green had moved to Orange County, Indiana, where he lived for a year or more before moving back to Warren County, Tennessee. On May 24, 1817, (he had his 21st birthday on May 23) in Orange County, Indiana, Perrygreen Magness "son of George Magness Dec’d" gave power of attorney to Berryman Hicks of Rutherford County, North Carolina. (Berryman Hicks was married to Elizabeth Durham, sister of Perry Green’s mother.) A third power of attorney was recorded in Rutherford County, NC Deed Book 34, page 135, and is even more specific as to his relation to George Magness. It was made 4 December 1817 in Orange County, Indiana, by Perrygreen Magness, "son and lawful heir of George Magness, decd.," and gives authority to Berryman Hicks.

      Berryman Hicks had difficulty establishing Perry green as George’s legal heir. Perry Green never claimed to be George’s only child; he did claim to be his only legal heir. The Execution Docket of the Superior Court of Law and Equity in Lincoln County, North Carolina, shows that in October 1818 the heirs of William Magness petitioned for a division of the real estate. No division was made, however, and in October 1824 the case of Heirs of Wm. Magness vs. Perrigrene magness was brought to a jury, which found “that the said Perregrine Magness is the son and only heir at law of George Magness dec’d, a brother to Wm. Magness dec’d.” The real estate was ordered to be devided into seven parts, of which Perry Green Magness would receive one.

      Actually the seventh part went to Berryman Hicks, who had agreed to pay Perry Green Magness $1500 for Perry Green’s share of the estate if Berryman Hicks succeeded in establishing Perry Green’s claim. Difficulties must have arisen over that after Berryman Hicks died about 1842. In the North Carolina Archives, the Cleveland County Miscellaneous Files contain the suit of Hazael Hicks, admr. of Berryman Hicks, vs. John Roberts, admr. of William Magness. Within this suit is a deposition of Perry G. Magness, aged about 48 years, at Smithville, DeKalb Co., Tennessee 27 May 1844, stating that “I did transfer my interest in the estate of my uncle Wm. Magness deceased to the said Berryman Hicks about the year 1817 or 1818. We came to a settlement about the year 1825.” A second deposition was made by Perry G. Magness, aged about 51 years at Smithville, DeKalb County, Tennessee, on 17 July 1847, stating "I did sell and transfer my interest in said estate to Berryman Hicks for fifteen hundred dollars, provided he established my heirship in said estate."

      With the $1500 , which was a considerable sum at the time, Perry Green Magness bought land and made investments and became a merchant. his sons and grandsons became merchants and bankers, and many of them prospered greatly. Whether Perry Green’s sister was given any of the money is not known; it is known that she was provided for in her old age by her brother Perry Green. Their mother Polly Durham magness, married in Warren County, Tennessee, about 1827 Benjamin Cantrell She died a few years later, between 1830 and 1840. The two children of George Magness and Polly Durham both lived in Warren and DeKalb Counties, Tennessee.

      I. [9]
    • In 1772, when the state line was surveyed between North and South Carolina, much of what was thought to have been Tryon County was found to be in South Carolina. So the original Tryon County included all or part of a number of South Carolina Counties including present day York, Cherokee, and Spartanburg Counties. In 1779 what remained of Tryon County in North Carolina was abolished and split into Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. In 1841 Cleveland County was formed from parts of Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. And in 1846 Gaston County was formed from Lincoln County. [10]

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

    2. [S2191] Cantrell,Warren G.;Premier Conservator and source for "Cantrell" records (Reliability: 3).

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

    4. [S14481] "Mary Magness (Naylor) (1725-aft 1800)", Profile, no sources, https://www.geni.com/people/Mary-Magness/60000000377456999.

    5. [S38562] Lawson,Darral;lawsdar@earthlink.net;DURHAM Family Genealogy Forum.

    6. [S13178] "Perry Green Magness", Cemetery Profile, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=magness&GSfn=perry&GSbyre.

    7. [S14646] "Mary (Durham) Cantrell (abt. 1770 - abt. 1835)", Biography, Antecedants & Issue, select tab, "Ancestors", to follow her.

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

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

    10. [S47827] http://www.logan-family.org/doc/tryon.html.