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John Heath of Middlesex, Virginia
The parentage of John Heath of Middlesex County is unknown, though various claims have been suggested, they remain unproven. I believe that the most likely candidate for his parentage is John Heath of Somerset County, Maryland. Based on his own testimony John was born in 1692. John Heath married Frances in Christ Church Parish, Middlesex County, Virginia. The records of Christ Church Parish, Middlesex note these children:
Anne Heath born September 24, 1724
William Heath born January 19, 1725/26
John Heath, Jr. born April 14, 1728
Henry Heath born March 22, 1729
Children born in North Carolina included:
Thomas Heath, Sr.
Frederick Heath, Sr.
John Heath first bought land in Craven County in 1730, paying for it in current money of Virginia. This suggests, but does not prove, that he may formerly have lived in that colony. However, added support is given to this theory by an entry in the court minutes of June, 1745: two negro men – James and Peter Black came into court to state that they were free-born persons in the county of Essex in Virginia and brought to this Province by John Heath. There is also a statement made by John Heath at the April Court, 1763, saying that he brought a free Negro named Martin Black from Middlesex, Virginia. (Craven County Wills, Deeds and Inventories, Part II, page 14, North Carolina Archives.) Although the place of his birth is not given, the court minutes of October court, 1766 show the date: John Heath, aged seventy four years came into court and prayed to have a Certificate to the Assembly Recommending him to be exempt from Paying Taxes and doing publick Duties, which was Granted.
Shortly after settling in Craven County, in September, 1730, John Heath petitioned to have his mark recorded. At that time all livestock ran free. Each owner had to register the mark used to identify his swine or cattle. In December, 1732 he was appointed to serve as Overseer, where Cornelius Loftin died. This indicates that he had established himself in the community and was considered capable of carrying out the responsibility of keeping up the records in his neighborhood. In many deeds recorded for him he is referred to as planter although in his will he spoke of himself as farmer. In 1737, 1738 and 1739 he is mentioned as being a defendant in suits over minor matters, one of these cases was dismissed, another resulted in his having to pay damages of ₤40, along with William Martin Herritage, a prominent citizen of the county, and a third suit is merely mentioned with no other information given. In 1743 he asked the court for fees due him after serving as a witness, and in 1748 he submitted a certificate for reimbursement of travel expenses for nine days of jury duty. In 1743 he was one of a committee apointed to appraise an estate; in 1753 he and John Green were appointed to serve on a committee to divide the estate of John Holloway among his heirs.
Court minutes of September, 1771 show that Letty Black, a free born negro girl aged 10 years be bound to Mary Heath to be taught spinning and weaving until 21 year old. Other entries in the minutes of this date suggest that Letty belonged to the family who had earlier been brought to Craven County from Virginia by John Heath. Mary, the widow of John is also mentioned in his will in this interesting provision, I give and bequeath to Mary, my dearly beloved wife all the Estate she was possessed of at the time of our marriage. Mary, a widow before her marriage, clearly brought a widow’s dower to her marriage with John Heath.
In a deposition made in 1766, John Heath stated he was 74 years old. He settled in 1731 on the south side of the Neuse River in Craven County. His land lay on Half Moon Swamp and Handcocks Creek, where he built his home. Although his will notes he made his mark, books were contained in the inventory of his estate.
In April 2, 1751, John Heath was granted 100 acres in Craven County. As early as 1756 Heath Swamp was noted in deeds in Craven County. John Heath, planter, sold 9 acres to John Lane on the Neuse River adjacent to George Lane and Col. Mosley. The witnesses were William Jones and John Heath, Jr. This deed created in November, 1753, was filed in 1754 in Craven County. In 1755 John Heath, planter, for good will to Henry Heath, planter, deeded 127 acres at the head of Gofden’s Branch. Witnesses were Cornelius Loftin, John Heath, Jr., and William Powell.
John Heath arrived in North Carolina with two free blacks, who he sold to William Handcock. In 1745 they sued for their freedom and won. In Pursuance of an Act of the General Assembly of this Province Complaint was made by two Negro men James & Peter Black, that they were free born persons of the County of Essex in Virginia, & brought into this Province by Jno. Heath & by sd. Jno. Heath sold to Wm. Hancock as Slaves which now Claims & holds them, as such, That the Court taking the said Complaints under their considrn. & after hearing the evidence on both sides & likewise the Arguments of ye Council on both sides, were of Opinion that the said Negros are free persons & having been so born Do therefore order adjudge & Determine that they are free men & Do hereby set them at Liberty from the Services of any person or persons whatsoever pretending any Claim to them.
After the death of Peter Black, and the declaration that his wife Betty was insolvent, his children, James, David, Dozey, and Martin were bound out to Thomas Heath to be taught farming, and daughter Lettice was bound to Mary Heath. Later, in 1811, Martin Black, son of James Black, came to court claiming his children had been bound out by the court without his knowledge or consent. His sister, Lettice was bound to Samuel Griffith.
In 1751, in Craven County, the List of Foot Company of Soldiers, from the lower side of South West Crick (Creek) to the town bounds, led by Captain Thomas Graves, lists Henry Heath and John Heath, who were two sons of John Heath, Sr. In April 2, 1751, John Heath was granted 100 acres in Craven County.
Will of John Heath (1769-71)
In the name of God Amen. The Seventeenth day of June 1769 I John Heath of Craven County & Province of North Carolina Farmer being of perfect mind and memory, Thanks be given unto God: Therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make & ordain this my last will & Testament: That is to say, principally and first of all, I give & recommend my Soul into the Hand of Almighty God that gave it, and my Body I recommend to the Earth, to be buried in decent Christian Burial, at the Discretion of my Excrs., And as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this Life, I give, demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form:
First, I give and bequeath to Mary, my dearly beloved Wife all the Estate she was possessed of at the time of our marriage, likewise a Bed and Furniture which we usually sleep on and the half of all my other Estate I lend her during her widowhood and if married again or at her Decease to Convert to my four Daughters Viz. Mary, Francis, Jean & Temperance, Observing first my set of Smiths Tools, I give and Bequeath to my five sons, Viz. John, Henry, William, Thomas, & Frederick.
Also I give to my son Frederick the other part being half my Estate: I likewise constitute, make, and ordain my Beloved wife Executriss, and my sons Thomas and Frederick Excrs. of this my last will and Testament. In Witness whereof, I have herunto set my hand and Seal, the day and year above written. John Heath (his mark) Seal.
Signed, Sealed, Published, Pronounced and declared by the said John Heath … in the presence of James Green, Farnifold Green (esquire), Francis Fonvielle. It was probated in 1771, however his absence from the 1769 census seems to indicate he died in that year.
The 1769 Census for Craven County notes James, Henry and William Heath. It seems this is an incomplete record. The 1779 tax list for Craven County notes John Heath, who would have been John, Jr., Richard Heath, Jr., Richard Heath, Sr., William Heath, William Heath, Jr., Frederick Heath, Thomas Heath, and Henry Heath.
Children of John Heath of Middlesex
Anne, William, John, Henry, Mary, Francis, Jean, Temperance, Thomas, and Frederick
William Heath, Jr. son of John Heath of Middlesex
William Heath Jr. was known as Junior to separate him from William Heath, Senior, who resided in the same vicinity, who may have been related but this is unproven. William Heath, Jr. was purchasing land as early as 1756, which clearly precludes him from being a grandson of John Heath, Senior. Additionally, a deed in 1761 states …John Heath, Sr. of Craven County for love and affection to son William Heath, Junior, land on South Side of Neuse River, upper side of Half Moon Swamp, including the Plantation whereon he now lives, beginning at a White Oak, John Holloway’s corner tree, and running N50W40 &c to John Williams line on the Half Moon Swamp, 100 acres, more or less. Witnesses: Benjamin Heith (sic), John Heath, Junior, John Jones. The Patent was from The Crown.
In 1756 William Heath, Jr. bought 160 acres from Smith Fields that was located on the east side of Half Moon Swamp at the mouth of Mill Branch in Craven County. Witnesses: John Heath, and Samuel Pierson Proved Oct. 1767 Inferior Court Book 2, Page 186:
In June, 1763 Longfield Cox sold to William Heath, Jr. for 10 lbs. land on the south side of the Neuse River and the west side of Half Moon Swamp to Half Moon Swamp, to old mill, to John Williams, etc. Witnesses were Thomas Heath, William Cox.
In 1768, William (X) Heath of New Bern, yeoman, and wife Ann (X), to Thomas Duncan late of said town, sadler, and wife Susanna, for 5 sh., lease for yearly rent, 1/4 part of lot in Town of New Bern whereon I now live, lot # (blank), adj. Andrew Moyer’s lot; if Thomas dies before his wife, she continues the lease for her life or widowhood; wit. N?. Ward, Rigdon Brice. (FHL film 18,648.)
In September, 1770, William bought 95 acres of land from his brother Henry that was located on the south side of the Neuse River near Dudley’s Branch, adjacent John Heath, Sr.’s. This was part of the original plantation on Handcock Creek. At the same date, Benjamin Heath sold 30 acres to William on the east side of Half Moon Swamp at a Dogwood at Longfield’s Corner. The witnesses were John Heath and John Heath, Jr.
In 1772 William sold the 100 acres which had been gifted to him by his father, and 50 acres he had purchased from Longfield Cox. The witnesses to the deed were Silas and Dorothy Stevenson and Henry Heath. Then in May, 1772 Rigdon Brice deeded to William Heath land on the south side of the Trent River, Brice’s Creek, except 25 acres sold to Moses Almond. In June, 1772 William bought the Manor Plantation being the residence of the late William Brice, containing 520 acres on Brice’s Creek. The deed was from Cassandra Pindar, the widow of William Brice and now wife of John Pindar. The witnesses were Captain Pindar, Jr. and Rigdon Brice. In September of that year William deeded to Alexander Gaston land that had been conveyed by Cassandra Pinder being her right of dower lands. The witnesses were Sarah Berry, and Rigdon Brice.
In June, 1774 Thomas Loftin sold William land on Half Moon Swamp, adjacent to Benjamin Griffin’s near the Mill Branch being 100 acres. The witnesses were Thomas and John Heath. In 1775 William sold land on the south east side of Half Moon Swamp. In July, 1775 William sold to Silas Stevenson, for 10 lbs, land on South East side of Half Moon Swamp &c Mill Branch, to Lambeth Heath, to Daniel Lane, &c, Rice Mill Dam, including all of the swamp land, part of a tract granted to Cornelius Loftin. The witnesses were James Stevenson, and John Heath. Book 22, Page 444. The following month Silas Stephenson sold to William, for 10 lbs conveys, land on East side of Half Moon beginning at the a gum standing in the run of Mill Branch, William Heath’s corner, &c 10 acres. The witnesses were Longfield Cox, and John Jones.
William married Elizabeth Brice in February, 1760. In 1779 William Heath Jr. was taxed for 380 acres, Negroes, horses, and cattle in Craven County.
Will of William Heath, Junior
February 6, 1780 and proved September 1782.
In the name of God Amen William Heath Junior … being sick and weak in body… appoint my beloved wife Elizabeth Heath and John Heath my whole and sole Executor….
To wife Elizabeth Heath the plantation I now live on during her life or widowhood… then to my son Jeremiah Heath. To my wife one Negro wench named Tillis… at her death to bestow on which girl child she sees fit…. …all my house hold good and chattels and horses, Cattle, and hogs, and sheep. I likewise desire as my sons come of age they may have each of them a horse or mare to be spared.
Item: to my son William Heath at the age of 21 that plantation lying on the Mill Swamp.
Item: to my son Christopher Heath, one Negro boy named Dick.
Item: to my son Rigdon Heath on Negro boy named Jim.
Item: to my daughter Cassia Heath one Negro girl named Nann, and (her increase if any) to next Lize, next Zilphia, the remainder equally divided among my children.
Signed William Heath in the presence of Frederick Heath (his brother) John Heath, Jr. (his brother), and Sara Heath (wife of John).
Christopher Heath administered the will of his mother, Elizabeth in 1798.
Children of William Heath, Jr.
Lizzie, Cassia, Zilphia, William, Christopher, Rigdon, Jeremiah
Lizzie Heath is likely Elizabeth Heath who married Elisha Hall in 1799 in Craven County with Christopher Heath as bondsman.
Cassia Heath married first William Wadsworth, in 1788 then John Bryan Griffin in Craven County.
Zilphia Heath married Samuel Street of Craven County in 1798. This was a poor match, as he was soon in trouble. James Houston filed a complaint against Samuel Street that Street had added an extra line of words to a deed from Houston to Street, dated January 21, 1799, and that this damaged Houston. The deed referred to land given to Reuben Heath by his father Thomas Heath, orginially granted by John Heath. The Sheriff arrested Street, and in August he was found guilty. Witnesses in this case included George Lane, Spires Heath, Samuel Lambeth. In 1804, an arrest warrant charged that Samuel Street struck and abused Spires Heath with a club at his own plantation. George Lane, justice, based on the oath of Spires Heath that he was afraid that Samuel Street would do him injury, ordered that Street be summoned to appear at the next court, and keep the peace toward all, especially Heath. Samuel Lambeth was summoned to testify on behalf of Street. Then, in 1805 in the records of New Bern District, Dobbs County is an indictment of Samuel Street, laborer, for perjury by swearing that he appeared as a witness in a case brought by William Martin Herritage on behalf of Furnifold G. Herritage, infant. Street charged Herritage with witness fees for his appearance, but in fact he was not summoned in the case and did not appear.
William H. Heath served in 1782 as a private in Raiford’s Company for 18 months. William inherited his father’s plantation on Mill Swamp and was counted in the census in 1790 for himself and 3 slaves. William H. Heath died in 1797. His brother, Christopher Heath administered the estate.
Jeremiah Heath, Sr. died unmarried in 1798 in Craven County. He resided on the family plantation on Dudles Branch and Powells Spring Branch purchashed in 1731 from William Handcock. Jeremiah’s will noted Pitt Heath, sister Zilphiah, and nephew Jeremiah.
Christopher Heath, son of William Heath, Jr. married in 1790, Sarah Lambeth, daughter of Samuel Lambeth. In the 1790 census his household included Sarah and two other females, as well as Christopher and another male over 16. These are likely Lizzie and Zilphia, his sisters, his mother, Elizabeth, and his brother Jeremiah who was single. Christopher held 3 slaves.
In 1793 Christopher patented 205 acres on the south side of the Neuse River. In 1794 the estate of Thomas Gatlin included payments for debts owed to Christopher Heath, Jeremiah Heath, Reuben Heath, and Jesse Heath. Christopher, Reuben, Rigdon, and Thomas Heath were purchasers of items and stock at the sale of the estate.
The family moved to the area of Rowan County which became the Greensboro District of Guilford County with Sarah’s family. According to the family history, Christopher died there in 1802 leaving five underage boys: Levi, Edwin, Lambeth, Jeremiah, and Christopher. He is absent from the 1800 census, and it may be that his family was counted with the Lambeths. Sarah went to court in Rowan County to receive the guardianship of her children. She married John Garren in 1805, and in 1806 her brother, Samuel Lambreth, Jr. asked that he be made their guardian. The court split the estate into six 100 acre parcels. Jacob Garren was a neighbor, and the land was near the Randolph County border. In 1807 Levi was placed under his uncle’s guardianship, and then in 1812 he obtained the guardianship of Lambeth and Christopher. Another uncle, Moses Lambeth was also involved in their care.
From the Heath Family Association Quarterly, Vol 4, #2 is this record from a Heath Family Bible: (a partial transcription of earliest dates follows)
Christopher Heath, son and Sarah Lambeth, his wife was married in Dec the 19th in the year of our Lord 1790.
Levi T (difficult to read) Heath was bornd the 24th day of Sept AD 1791.
Edwin Heath was born the 8th day of Aug in the year of our Lord 1794.
Lambeth Heath was born Feb the 7th day in theyear of our Lord 1797.
Jeremiah Heath was born the 18th day of May in the year of our Lord 1799…in Rowan County, N.C.
Christopher Heath was born the 11th day of April AD 1802
Lambeth Heath & Nancy Johnston was married Aug. 13th 1818
Jeremiah Heath & Nelly Johnston was married Mar. 3rd 1825 in Covington, Ind.
Randolph County, North Carolina
Children of Christopher Heath
Levi Heath was born September 24, 1791, in Craven County. He married Mary Wilson who was born May 5, 1791 in Rowan County, North Carolina. Levi Heath was a Baptist preacher. He was also a carpenter. Levi resided in Rowan and Ashe Counties where he was counted in 1810, before migrating to Johnson and Carter Counties in Tennessee. Eventually they migrated to Missouri where Levi died after 1860 in Crawford County. Their children were:
Sarah Heath (b. 4/10/1814, Rowan County) who married Andy Potter
Rachel Heath (b. 3/10/1816, Ashe County) who married William M. Cook of Carter County, Tennessee
Urania Heath who married Leonard Osborne
Elizabeth Heath (b. 5/5/1821, Ashe County) who married Alison Gray Twidwell
Gatsey C. Heath who married William F. Twidwell
John Wesley Heath (b. 1/1/1826) who married Nancy Jane Twidwell
Eliza Heath (b. in Carter Co. Tenn.) who married William Proffit
William F. Heath
Caroline Heath married William Pinson.
Edwin Heath was born in 1794. He went to Kentucky, then to Putnam County, Indiana where he died in 1862. He married Elizabeth Tucker.
Lambeth Heath was born in Craven County in 1797. He also went to Kentucky, then on to Texas where he died in 1878 in Johnson County. He married Nancy Johnston in Rutherford County, Tennessee. They went to Johnson County, Texas.
Jeremiah Heath was born in 1799 in Rowan County. He married Nellie Johnston in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and died in 1849 in Covington, Fountain County, Indiana.
Christopher Heath was born in 1802 in Rowan County. He married Patsy Tucker. Their son, Zabedde was born in North Carolina in 1822. Eventually the family migrated to Johnson County, Texas where Christopher Heath died in 1893. Sarah, Christopher’s widow, married John Garren. Christopher was an attorney. His son Zebeddee was a private in the 18th Texas Cavalry, and a miller. Their daughter, Amanda, married Thomas Morris of Parker Texas who served in the 1th Texas Infantry.
Rigdon Heath, Sr. was born December 2, 1767. He was noted in the 1790 census for Craven County with his wife, one daughter and one slave. The will of Rigdon Heath was written in January 20, 1796, and filed in the March Court, 1799. It notes his son Jeremiah and daughters Helen and Winifred. The executives were John Busby, Joseph Hall, and his widow Elizabeth. The witnesses were Christopher Heath and Elijah and Joseph Hall. Rigdon’s wife was Elizabeth Jackson and she married as her second husband, Joseph Hall. Joseph and Elizabeth Hall moved to Georgia. In 1815 the heirs of Rigdon Heath were taxed for 100 acres in Craven County.
Children of Rigdon Heath
Helen, Winifred and Elizabeth, Rigdon, Jr., Jeremiah
Winnifred Heath married Levi Griffin and went to Baker County, Georgia. Levi and Winnifred went to Wilderson County Georgia with Rigdon Heath. Levi settled in Baker County Georgia where he was a Minister of the Free Will Baptists.
Elizabeth Heath born in January, 1790 married William Griffin of New Bern District, Craven County.
Rigdon Heath, Jr. was bound to Daniel Shackelford in June, 1815 to learn the trade of shoemaker and bootmaker, at the request of his brother Jeremiah Heath, as he was an orphan. The petition stated he would be 18 on the 16th of October, 1815. Rigdon first went to Wilkinson County Georgia where his children were born and he was counted in 1820. In 1830 he was in Burke County. His first wife is not known. Their children were James Washington Heath of Augusta, GA; William Oliver Heath; Theophelus Berrien Heath of Kansas; Crawford Heath of Bulloch County, GA; J. C. Heath who went to Texas. Rigdon Heath III married Rebecca, then Mary in 1863 in Rusk County, Texas. His children were: Angelina, Jeremiah, Powell, William Leveret, Jesse, Rebecca, Joseph, Mary, Catherine, Benjamin, and Nancy Melinda. Jeremiah Heath was likely a grandson, who married Martha Snelson in 1825 in Merriweather County, Georgia, and died in 1854 in Panola Texas. In 1856, a Rigdon R. Heath married Sarah Smith in Craven County. His relationship is unclear.
Jeremiah Heath was born in October, 1793. He founded the Core Creek Free Will Baptish Church in Craven County, and died in 1867 in Cove City, Craven County. He married Hollon Jones.
The family papers of Jeremiah Heath are held by the Joyner Library, East Carolina University. Jeremiah Heath was the father of William T. Heath, grandfather of Jeremiah Heath. He was a surveyor and pastor of the Free Will Baptist Church, New Bern, North Carolina. It includes letters to relative in Alabama and Tennessee. Noted in the material is Daniel T. Heath of Core Creek in Craven County, William and Mary Heath, and Jeremiah Heath, the will of Rigdon Heath and Mary Heath.
John Heath, Jr. son of John Heath of Middlesex
John Heath, Jr. was born in 1728 in Middlesex County, Virginia. He obtained 350 acres as John Heath, Jr. in April 1768 which was located on the south side of the Neuce River. In 1779 he was taxed for 240 acres, horses and cattle. His wife was Sarah, as noted in his brother, William’s will. They were the parents of: James Heath, Mary Heath, Richard Heath, Stephen Heath, William Heath, John Heath and Hannah Heath who married George Lane. John was shown in the 1790 census with himself and a son over 16 and another under 16, as well as his wife. Living nearby in 1790 was William H. Heath. In 1800 John was 72 years old. An examination of the census at that time does not indicate he was in Craven County, but his sons were. It is likely that he and his wife had died.
The children of John Heath and Sarah
Hannah, John, Richard, William Blount, James, Levi, Mary, and Stephen
Hannah Heath married George Lane in 1811. He lived near Richard, Stephen and Thomas Heath in Craven County in 1800.
John Heath III was born about 1766. He married Sarah Sherrod in January, 1794. She was the daughter of Joseph Sherrod. In the 1800 census, John Heath Jr. is noted near his brothers with 3 sons and a daughter under 10, and he and his wife were noted as 26 to 44 years of age. In 1815 John Heath was taxed in Craven County for 175 acres. They removed to Stokes County, North Carolina where he died in 1823.
Richard Heath Jr. was born about 1768. He was taxed for personal property in 1779. In May, 1783 Richard Heath requested a patent of 62 acres on the south side of the Neuse River. He married Ferebe Sherrod, in January, 1786. In 1793, Joseph Sherrod, her father, granted to Richard Heath 18 acres on the south side of the Neuse River. The witnesses were Mary Sherrod, and George Lane. Richard was noted in the Craven Census in 1790 with his wife and one son under 16 and one daughter. His land lay near James, Christopher, Stephen and Rigdon. Not far away were Thomas and Frederick Heath.
In 1800 Richard lived near his brother, John Heath, Jr. He was counted as over 45 years of age, which places his birth before 1745. In his household was a son age under 10, one 10 to 15, and another 16 to 25. He also had a young daughter under 10 and another 10 to 15. His wife was listed as over 45 years of age.
William Blount Heath was noted in the 1790 census for himself and 3 slaves. In the records of Craven on 1 Dec 1792 (Book 30, Page 58}: Richard Heath, James Heath, Phereby (Ferebe) Heath, Mary Heath, brothers and sisters of William Blount Heath, deceased, and Levi Heath, deceased, assigns to John Heath for value rec’d, 5 shillings, real estate of William Blount Heath and Levi Heath. Witness: John Cox
Levi Heath died before 1792. Levi Heath married Prisey Lane daughter of Daniel Lane whose will in 1834 notes his four grandchildren Bryan Heath, Sidney Heath, Aby Heath, and Lewis Heath. Lewis Heath married in 1818 in Williamson County, Tennessee to Elizabeth Ray. He lived near his aunt Laney (Sherrod) Taylor, wife of Absalom Taylor. They lived in Bedford County, Tennessee. He was a Baptist Preacher and eventually went to Benton County, Arkansas. Daniel Lane lived near Frederick Heath.
James Heath married Elener Turner in 1786 and that same year he obtained 95 acres on Harris’s Branch joining his own Line which indicates he held land in the area prior to this purchase. James and Elener were noted in the 1790 census with a young daughter and son. He did not hold any slaves. They lived near his brothers. James Heath appears to have settled in that area that became Johnston County. In 1810 he was noted with 2 sons under 10, and 1 10 to 15. He and another man, likely an elder relative, were counted as over 44 years of age. An older woman is also counted in the household. In 1818 86 acres on the south side of the Neuse River, held by James Heath were among lands to be sold for unpaid 1816 taxes by the County. The amount owed was 36₵.
Ferebe Heath married John Carmack in July, 1795 in Craven County. In 1800 John Carmack, Jr. and Sr. were noted in Craven County, near John Heath.
Stephen Heath married Elizabeth Marshall in March, 1794. William Heath stood bond. She is clearly his second wife as Stephen was counted in the 1790 census in Craven County with a wife, a daughter, a son over 16, and 4 sons under 16. Stephen Heath obtained 200 acres on the north side of the Neuse River in 1793. In 1794 he patented 8 acres on the south side of the Neuse River. Stephen was summoned for jury duty in 1797 and the next year he was fined for failing to appear for jury duty. In 1800 he was living near Richard and Thomas Heath. He had 3 sons under 10 years of age. He and his wife were noted as 26 to 44 years of age. In 1815 Stephen was taxed for 250 acres.
Henry Heath son of John Heath of Middlesex
Henry Heath was born in Middlesex County Virginia in 1728. In 1755 Henry Heath resided on a plantation on the south side of the Neuse River, near the head of Gordon’s Branch which was given him by his father. He was a carpenter and house joiner. In 1763 he purchased 125 acres from his father-in-law. It was along the Williams Branch on Southwest Creek and Whipping Hill Branch near the Lenoir County line. He left his Whipping Hill plantation to his son Samuel Berry Heath. He also owned a plantation called Snow Hills which he purchased in October, 1770 from Robert Worthington. It contained 160 acres joining at Snow Hills and Daniel’s and McFarson’s corner. This deed was witnessed by John Heath, Jr. and Frederick Heath. Henry sold this land to William Cox in 1784. In 1779 Henry Heath was taxed for 360 acres horses and cattle.
Henry married Mary Berry, who died in 1771. They were the parents of eleven children. The 1790 census shows him with 1 son over 16, 3 under 16, and 4 daughters. These would have been Samuel Berry, William, Francis, and Bethany. Henry and John already were on their own.
Henry Heath Will,
Probated in February, 1798
To my son Samuel Berry Heath …125 acres where I now live, joining the river, joining the patent given to Samuel Berry, Whipping Hill Branch, Williams Branch, Berry’s corner; my horse saddle and bridle….
To my daughter Mary Heath … 1 bed and furniture which I now lie upon…
To my son John Heath … 1 shilling specie….
All my other property to be sold to satisfy my debts and any remainder to be divided between nine of my children namely: Francis Heath, Mary Heath, Henry Heath, Diannah Heath, Bethany Heath, William Heath, Elizabeth Heath, Temperance Heath, Samuel Berry Heath.
Executors my sons John Heath and Henry Heath.
The witnesses were Daniel Simmons, James Jackson, J. Ward
It would seem that an epidemic struck the Heath family. In 1798 Henry, Jeremiah, Rueben and Rigdon died.
Children of Henry Heath
Samuel Berry, William, John, Francis, Mary, Sarah, Dyannah,
Bethany, Elizabeth, Temperance, and Henry Heath, Jr.
Samuel Berry Heath married Elizabeth Killibrew. They removed to Jones County, North Carolina in 1810 and was noted there in 1820 and 183.
William Heath bought 100 acres from Thomas Loftin in 1778. In 1791 as William Heath, Sr. he sold 350 acres to Joseph Loftin being part of several parts; Constantine Shitfield’s; Longfield’s; Cox’s; on south Wilkerson Branch to Spring Branch. This was witnessed by Frederick Lane and William West. William married Elizabeh Howard on March 1, 1792 in Craven County. John Heath, his brother, stood for the bond. She is probably his second wife as William was counted in the 1790 census with a son over 16, and one under 16, and a wife and 5 daughters. He did not hold any slaves.
John Heath was counted in 1790 living near Henry. He is counted with 2 sons under 16, and 3 daughters, as well as his wife. In 1800 John, age 26 to 44, is noted with one son, age 16 to 25, and 2 daughters age 20 to 15. He did not have a wife. By 1810 John had relocated to Jones County. He and his wife were counted there as over 26 years of age, but under 44. They had a daughter and 2 sons, age 10 to 15 and 1 son age 16 to 25. His will was filed in 1848 and notes: wife Nancy; son Silas; daughter Argent, grandson Joel Almond Heath, son Amos who was executor. Nancy’s will in 1866 notes Lavenia Stanly, children of James A. and Mary Ann Stanly, grandsons Thomas Stilly, William M. and James F. Green, and granddaughter Mary Ann Stanly who inherited the remainder of her estate. Argent’s will was filed in 1866 and notes nephew Joel A. Heath, to whom she left all her lands, including the two Beaver Creek plantations known as the Joseph Rhem and John Heath plantations, including the mansion house, mills, etc. then to his children. Amos Heath’s will asked that he be buried between his two wives, Mary and Elizabeth, and notes daughter Sarah Becton, and son Joel Almond Heath, who received the remainder of the estate.
Francis Heath evidently went to Georgia.
Mary Heath married James Houston June 23, 1796 in Craven County. James Houston filed a complaint against Samuel Street that Street had added an extra line of words to a deed from Houston to Street, dated January 21, 1799, and that this damaged Houston. The deed referred to land given to Reuben Heath by his father Thomas Heath in his will. The Sheriff arrested Street. In March he was indicted for forgery. Street forged a deed purporting to be from James Houston for land on the south side of the Neuse River, bordering Thomas heath’s piney wood, this deed granted by John Heath to Thomas Heath, which included all the land given to Reuben Heath by the will of Thomas Heath, being 94 acres. In August judgment was given to the state.
Sarah Heath married William Watson
Dyannah Heath married Andrew Antwine whose will was filed in 1807 in Jones County.
Bethany Heath a son who was the father of Barnett Heath born in 1796 in Jones County.
Elizabeth Heath married Samuel Lambreth December 17, 1793 in Craven County.
Henry Heath, Jr. was born January 17, 1765 at Whipping Hill Plantation. The 1790 census shows him living near Henry Sr. and Reuben Heath, and John Heath in Craven County. He was counted for himself and held no slaves. He married Mary Hart, who born May 4, 1777 and died in 1855. Henry died May 25, 1840 in Lenoir County, North Carolina where he had relocated before the 1800 census. He and his wife, Mary Hart were counted for 4 sons under 10 years of age in 1800.
Henry was a Baptist minister. In 1810 his family included 2 sons under 10, 3 between 10 and 15, 1 between 16 and 25, 2 daughters under 10, his wife, and himself, over 45 years of age. The 1820 census for Lenoir included Silas, Henry, John, and Tobias Heath.
Henry and Mary were the parents of:
Tobias (1790-1881) who went to Lawrence County, Illinois after 1820. He married Catherine Erwin and they had 5 children: George; Amos; Dorothy; Lovey; Doris Ann;
John Heath (1/2/1800-1/27/1890) of Poor Hopes Plantation, Jones County, North Carolina, married Levina Turner and was the father of 11 children. John was noted in Jones County living near several Turner households in 1830.
William Henry Heath was born February 19, 1809. He married Winifred Brown. They had 14 children;
Temperance Heath (b. 1812) married James Jones;
Mary A. Heath (1815) married William Boyett;
Ira Heath (1820) married Mary E. Davenport;
Della Heath (or Delia b.1823) married David Jones
Jesse Heath was taxed in 1815 in Craven County for 100 acres. He lived next to Tobias and Henry in the 1830 cenus and is noted as instrumental in the foundation of the Free Will Baptist movement on Little Contentnea Creek in Greene County.
Thomas Heath son of John Heath of Middlesex
Thomas Heath was born about 1740. In 1771, James, Martin, David, and Dozy Black, freeborn brothers, were bound as children to Thomas Heath to learn farming. John Heath, Sr. gave him a deed for 20 acres on the south side of the Neuse River in October, 1777. The land was on the upper side of Dudley Branch adjacent to Frederick Heath. Thomas witnessed several deeds in Craven County. In 1779 he was taxed for 265 acres, horses and cattle. In 1783, Edward Black, a freeborn six year old was bound to Thomas to learn shoemaking.
In the records of North Carolina is this regarding the Craven County Militia:
Captain Simon Edwards, of the State Regiment appearing before the Council and informing that he had in pursuance of orders received, been with a party after sundry deserters from the Militia belonging to Capt. Thomas Lier’s Company of the Craven Regiment; that he had apprehended several of them, and the general complaint was against the conduct of the said Captain and Thomas Heath his Ensign, who appear to have discouraged service on several occasions and intimidated the friends to the present government.
Resolved, That the governor be advised to order a Court Martial to be held on the said Captain Lier and Ensign Heath and Captain Edwards be required to furnish a list of witnesses to be called on that occasion. Council held at Kinston, September 9, 1779.
Thomas was living near Frederick and James Heath when he was counted in the 1790 census for Craven County. He was noted with 3 sons over 16, 1 under, and his wife and 5 daughters. This matches the family outlined in his will.
Thomas Heath wrote his will in March, 1796 and it was filed in the March Court in Craven County. His wife was Mary. The will lists sons Reuben, Furnifold and Thomas. Daughters listed were Polly, Nancy, Lacey, Gatsey, and Elizabeth, some of who were minors. The will also mentions neighbors with adjacent land: Thomas Heath, Sr., Jeremiah Heath, and Stephen Heath. The witnesses were Daniel Lane and Stephen Heath. The executors were his friends George Lane and William Cox. Interestingly, Thomas Heath, Sr. was not counted in the 1790 census for Craven County, which implies that he no longer resided in the county. Also, the use of Thomas Heath, Sr. indicates he was older.
Children of Thomas Heath
Reuben, Furnifold, Thomas, Polly, Nancy, Lacey, Gatsey, and Elizabeth
Reuben Heath was counted in the 1790 census for himself and his wife. His will was filed in Craven County in the December Court and was written in June 7, 1798. It notes his brother in law Samuel Street, and his wife who was not named. Son Samuel Street Heath received all of his lands. His daughter was Beneta Heath. In 1800 Martha Heath was noted with 2 daugters under 10, and herself, and I suspect this is Reuben’s wife.
Furnifold Heath sold 336 acres to James McCauley in 1808 in Guilford County.
Thomas Heath was counted in the 1800 census for himself, a wife, and probably 2 sisters, who were the same age as Thomas and his wife. He was the father of William and John. The will of Joseph Loftin of Chapel Hill, filed in 1806 notes that “Lands I bought of Thomas Heath to be sold” in Craven County. The witnesses to the will included George Lane.
Frederick Heath son of John Heath of Middlesex
Frederick Heath was born about 1742. In 1769 John Heath Sr. and John Heath Jr. gave a gift deed of 87 acres to Frederick Heath, upon the oath of Thomas Heath. Then in 1771, Frederick Heath signed an indenture for 100 pounds payable to the widow Mary Heath, giving in exchange a life estate to harvest timber for rails from 10 acres of wooded land. In 1773 Mary Heath, widow sued Frederick Heath for nonpayment of the 100 pounds. Frederick Heath was taxed in 1779 for 90 acres, horses and cattle.
In 1774 John and Thomas Heath, who were probably elder brothers, deeded 15 acres to Frederick Heath for 5 lbs. land between the two dividing lines of John and Thomas, made by John Heath, Sr. along Haw Branch.
Frederick married Sophira Prescott daughter of Willis Prescott and Martha Austin. The 1790 census in Craven County note that they lived near James and Thomas Heath. They were noted in 1790 with 5 sons under 16 and 3 daughters. In 1800 Frederick was counted in Craven County with 2 sons 10 to 15, 2 sons 16 to 25, 2 daughters under 10, and 2 between 10 and 15, as well as his wife, who was 26 to 44, and Frederick himself who was over 45 years of age.
Frederick Heath purchased in January, 1783 from Charles Acclen (Acklind) for 100 pounds, 150 acres on Gore Creek, adjacent to James Coward, to Rattlesnake Branch, being a tract patented by John Daly in April, 1770; 130 acres on Gore Creek, adjacent Widow Beasley. The witnesses were Willie McCoy and John Heath. In 1784 Frederick received a patent for 100 acres on the southside of the Neuse River and east side of Poplar Spring. Including vacant land within bounds of the plantation where Frederick Heath formerly lived and Thomas Heath now “tends.” Later there were legal difficulties between John Land and William Cox the sellers. There were 450 acres involved and the deed was withdrawn. In 1793 Frederick Heath and Sophia Heath sold 100 acres to Rigdon Heath on the south side of the Neuse River and the east side of Core Creek.
Frederick made his will in February, 1818 in Craven County and died in 1819. To his daughter Sarah McCoy he left one shilling; to his daughter Courtney Russel one shilling, to his daughter Elizabeth Besley one shilling. To his son Frederick all his land on the lower side of Rattle Snake Branch purchased from Elisah Beesley. To his son Zachariah a track or parcel of land where he now lives known by the rest of the heirs …. To his beloved wife Sophira the plantation whereon he lived, one feather bed and furniture, timber and wood for the plantation use during her widowhood. To son Edmond Heath his plantation and other lands not otherwise given. To daughter Mary Heath one feather bed stead and furniture, and one cow and calf. To daughter Therrcey Heath one feather bed and stead furniture and one cow and calf. To Sophira Heath two Negores named Ben and Venus during her widowhood then to Edmond Heath. Edmond and Sophira were the executors. The witnesses were William Prescott and Susan Prescott.
Children of Frederick Heath
Edmond, Shadrack, Theresa, Zachariah, Frederick, Jr.
Sarah, Courtney, Elizabeth, Mary, and Theresa
Edmond Heath married Sarah Morris, then Zilphia. He died in 1872 in Craven County..
Shadrack Heath married Euphamia Prescott in January, 1808. In 1815 he was taxed in Craven County for 130 acres. His will was filed in 1816 in Craven County. He was the father of Jeremiah Heath and Matilda who married Samuel Pearson.
Theresa Heath married Burton Carmon.
Zachariah Heath married Sally White. He was taxed for 100 acres in 1815 in Craven County.
Frederick Heath, Jr. was taxed for 350 acres in 1815 in Craven County. married Mary Acklind and died in 1840 in Craven County. His sons were Shadrack and Jerry Heath of Craven County.
Courtney Heath married Malachi Russell.
Sarah Heath married Reddin McCoy
Elizabeth Heath married Benjamin Beesley
William Heath, Sr. of Craven County
It is also unclear what if any relationship existed between John Heath, who came from Middlesex County, Virginia and William Heath, Sr. noted in Craven County at the same time.
William Heath, Sr., Cooper
William Heath Sr., cooper, was noted in the records of Craven County, at the same time as William Heath, Jr. They were not father and son, and were most likely, uncle and nephew, if they were related. They held land close to each other along the Neuse and its tributaries.
On September 27, 1755 is this entry: Upon a hearing on the Caveat Entered by William Heath against John Jones’s Obtaining a patent on a Warrant Granted him the Twenty fourth Instant for One Hundred and fifty Acres in Craven it is Ordered that the Warrant to Jones be Confirmed and a patent issue thereupon. North Carolina Craven County Deed Books Book 12 and 13, Page 170:
On September 26, 1760, William Heath, Senior, Cooper, deeded to John Carlton for 25 lbs current money, land on East Side of Heath Swamp known by the name of Island, beginning at a gum and runs &c 100 acres. Witness: John Witherington. A few months later, on June 16, 1761, William Heath, Senior recorded a survey of a Plantation containing two hundred acres of land in Craven County on the South Side of Neuse River beginning a white oak near the river bank and runs S10W120 poles to a hickory Henry Smith corner then along John ? line S45 ?232 Poles ? S35 E 40 Poles then N80 E 90 Poles to a white oak to John Williams corner on the River Pocoson then upper ? ? of the River to the first Station. Craven Land Grant #2014, Oct. 23, 1761 Book 2, Page 124. William Heath was a chain bearer for this survey of 200 acres of land issued to William Heath, Sr. in 1761.
Then on October 23, 1761 William Heath, Senior, recorded a deed for 200 acres in Craven County on the SS of Neuse River, joining Henry Smith, John Williams, the River Pocoson, and the River. Book 17, Page 35: This 200 acres was sold in April, 1767 by William Heath, Senior to Longfield Cox. It may be that a portion of land was later conveyed by Cox to William Heath, Junior.
In 1762 William Heath, William Heath Jr., James Heath, and Richard Heath were among the bidders at the sale of the estate of Cornelius Loftin. A few other notations in the records for William Heath, Senior or Junior not indicated, may be for the Senior Heath.
In March, 1770 William Heath and his wife Ann sold a parcel of land in New Bern on Broad and Craven Streets where William lived to James Coor, trader. This was house No. 247, and included houses, gardens and improvements. It would seem that this was William Heath, Senior.
In 1779 it is likely this William Heath who was taxed for personal property in Craven County. In June 1781 a land grant was recorded for William Heath, Sr., for 200 acres on South Side of the Neuse River near River Bank, to Smith’s ? corner to John William’s line. Craven County Grant file no. 2014.
In 1790 the census lists Mary Heath, neighbor of John Williams, with a son under 16 years, herself and 3 daughters, a free person of color and 10 slaves. It would seem that William Heath Sr. was the father of Thomas Heath, Sr., Richard Heath, Sr. William Heath, and Benjamin Heath. Lambeth Heath is likely a grandson.
The Heaths noted in the area whose parentage is unknown were:
Benjamin Heath who witnessed a deed from John Heath, Sr. to his son William in 1761, and then in 1770 sold to William Heath, Jr. 30 acres on half Moon Swamp in 1770.
Richard Heath, Sr. was taxed for 117 acres in 1779. Richard is absent from the 1786 Tax Roll.
Lambeth Heath who held land in 1777 on Half Moon Swamp and Mill Branch near Daniel Lane and Rice Mill Dam.
Thomas Heath, Sr. noted in a deed as holding land adjacent to Thomas Jr.
Spires Heath, whose death was noted in the Raleigh Minerva on October 29, 1807.
John William Heath married Nancy (Peggy) Harman. It is stated in the family history that he was a gunsmith. A descendent, Reverend John H. Heath wrote that an heirloom rifle was made in 1778-1780, being a flint and steel lock, by Major John Heath, and it saw service in the Revolutionary War. I believe this line has some significant errors of association as compiled by Rev. John Heath. John is alleged to have been a Major in the Revolution.
William Heath, Innholder is noted in The Journal of the Congress at Halifax, 5th Dec. 1776 states William Heath, of the town of Newbern, charged with Toryism, was taken in custody and imprisoned by order of Congress. Whereas in consequence of the Representation of a few persons in the Town of Newbern, Richard Ellis, Esq., was directed to attend the House and answer a charge exhibited against him for directing Captain Hampstead to commit William Heath on Board the Armed Brig Pennsylvania Farmer, the said Richard Ellis, Esq., appeared, and upon examination of the Evidences, it appears to the House that the said charge is malicious and altogether groundless.
Your Committee having examined William Heath of Newbern, Innholder, and upon hearing Evidence, it appears that the said William Heath, at divers Times, and in different places, hath made use of Expressions tending to dissuade the good people of this State from opposing the measures of the British King to enslave America, and that the said Heath hath been at two different times apprehended, and had before the County and Town Committees at Newbern, and that the said Heath, being considered as an Enemy to this State, the Oath prescribed by the Council was administered, since which he hath continued to behave himself disorderly.
Your Committee are therefore of Opinion that the said William Heath be removed from this Town to some County not less than 100 miles from Newbern, there to remain twelve months, and that he take an Oath to this State, and in mean time be of good behaviour. All which is submitted to the House.
Resolved, That the said William Heath be parrolled to the County of Northampton, and that he remain within six miles of the Court House in said County for and during the Term of twelve months from this day. In 1777 he was allowed to return to Craven County after placing a 2000£ bond.