Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Featherstons

From the evidence, Charles and Gene Featherston are my great-great-great-great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line. I know Charles lived because I know he died. I can’t prove when he was born or who his father was. I have suspicions but suspicions are only that. But I do know he died between 1788 and 1790 because I found him on the tax list of 1788 and his will was proved in 1790 in Brunswick County, Virginia. [1]  It has been frustrating when searching for him online. There are so many Charles Featherstons. Many people have linked him to a family in Henrico and Amelia Counties, Virginia. However, I think they are in error.

In 1765 he had been married to Gene Wright for five to ten years  and had fathered at least five children, maybe more, maybe with more than one wife.(1)[2]  According to Virginia courts, Charles and Gene’s kinsman Reuben Wright gave or was commandeered to give property as aid for the Revolutionary War.[3] This is more evidence that he was living in Brunswick County after 1776.
I have not been able to trace Charles back any farther. According to Goodspeed, Charles was born in England. However, evidence for when and where Charles was born eludes me. I am still searching.

Charles' children were Faith or Fathey, Charlotte, Carolus, Hezekiah and Jeremiah. I am uncertain of the birth dates for all except Jeremiah who was born in 1776. He also possibly fathered an older son named William. He is found on marriage records in Brunswick County in 1791. He is also claimed on some family trees. But we all know that doesn't prove anything.

In following up on the children I have found that Faith and Charlotte married two brothers, David and Burwell Grant. David even served and died in the Revolutionary war.  "June Court 1783 (Halifax County Virginia) (Entry at the very bottom of page - last 3 lines) ORDERED that it be Certified that Faith Grant is the Widow of David Grant deceased and that she is the Mother of a Son of the said David both of whom died in Service of the Southern Continental Army."

I don't believe her son was actually a soldier. A John Grant, a civilian,  died at Yorkfield.  In 1781, British general Lord Charles Cornwallis brought his army to Yorktown to establish a naval base. In the siege by American and French forces that followed, much of the town was destroyed. David's will was probated on September 21, 1781. I believe both men died as the result of the siege.

[1] Brunswick Co., Va., Will Book 5, pp. 342-43
[2] The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 23, No. 1 - Jan/Mar 1979 'Beware of the Charlotte Co., VA Marriage Bonds: The Featherston Family' by Mrs.Margaret T. Macdonald, Chapel Hill, NC.
[3] Virginia Military Records, Brunswick County, 1782.