Patrick Porter, A Family Biography

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Porter Tapestry
Register
Analysis
Notebooks
Data
Graphics
Bibliography
Index
YDNA
……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky

__________________________

A Family Biography

W.M. Willis March 1999
[To be updated... Q 18:15, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

Related

Data. Miscellaneous records for Patrick Porter
Person:Patrick Porter (1)
Bibliography for Patrick Porter (1)

Patrick Porter (1731-1806)

Patrick was born 4 January 1731 (1). Neither his place of birth nor the identity of his parents is known. Some have identified his parents as Benjamin Porter and Mary Campbell of Orange Co., VA, (2) though this also seems unlikely (3). Addington, (4) summarizing Porter family tradition, indicates that Patrick was born in Ireland, though this also seems unlikely. Others think that the Porters originally came to Virginia from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, via Lancaster Co. PA (5). It is perhaps worth noting that 'Patrick' is not a common given name among New England families, but it is relatively commonplace among Anglican families of Virginia.

[The following three paragraphs needs extensive revision reflecting information developed since this article was originally prepared in 1999. {Q 18:15, 18 May 2008 (EDT)]

Patrick appears frequently in records of the period in Augusta, Rockbridge, Fincastle, Russell, and Washington Counties, VA. The first record for him is in a listing of those who contributed to the pastor's salary at New Providence Church in 1753 (6). Patrick's name appears frequently in the records Orange Co NC ca. 1760-1770), and in Washington and Russell counties VA from 1772 to about 1800. At various times he is shown as a member of the militia. He also served as one of the Commissioners of the Revenue for Russell County. His active life in the community seems to have ended about 1795, when he was excused from taxes due to age and infirmity (7).

On 26 February 1799 (8) Patrick sold a 185 acre tract of land on both sides of Falling Creek in Scott Co. VA to sons John Porter and Patrick Porter Jr. This is the last confirmed record that we have of him while he was living. References to 'Patrick Porter' in the court records after 1799 probably concern Patrick Porter Jr. (9). Information in the DAR records suggests that he died on "Johns Creek" in Russell Co., VA (10). A 'John's Creek' has not been identified in Russell or Scott Co. VA, but several of Patrick and Susannah's children relocated to John's Creek in Floyd Co. Ky.; it is possible that Patrick relocated with them, and that the DAR record should read 'Johns Creek, Floyd Co. KY'.

On 12 December 1807 John and Patsy Porter sold the holdings of Patrick Porter 'deceased', on Fall Creek, to the Connaly Findlay Company (11). Since the transaction identifies Patrick Porter as 'deceased' we know that he must have died between 26 February 1799 and 12 December 1807. No clear indication of where he died has been found, though many believe he is buried in a small cemetery on Fall Creek where a small marker to his memory was erected in recent years.

Susannah Walker (1739-aft. 1804)

Susannah's parents were John Walker III (1705-ca 1773) and Ann Houston (ca. 1705-bef. 1772). The extended Walker family had settled near the community of Rising Sun, Maryland about 1726 (12), coming to the area from Newry, Ireland, and prior to that, from Wigton (now Wigtown) Scotland. The Houston's had settled in New Castle County DE, well before 1726. John III and Ann married in March 1734 (13), and Susannah was born 31 March 1739 (14). Where she was born is not clear. Her parents moved from Rising Sun to Borden's Grant (then Augusta Co, now modern Rockbridge Co.) sometime between ca. 1737 and 1740). It is likely that they were on Borden's grant when Susannah was born, but direct proof of this is lacking.

Documentary evidence for Susannah is sparse. Apart from the record of her birth date in Patrick Porter's Sermon Book there are two direct references to her. The first is found in the court records of Orange County North Carolina, where Patrick is enjoined to keep the public peace with his wife Susannah. The second is found in court records of a case between James Allord (plaintiff), and Jacob Castle and John W. Crunk (defendants). A deposition was taken from Susannah on 3 March 1804 to the effect that she had witnessed a sale of land from Amos Allord (James's father) to John W. Crunk about 1786. On 26 February 1805 John Montgomery testified as to the character of Susannah. Montgomery was asked, "What is the character of Mrs. Susanna Porter and Jacob Castle," to which he replied "They both had characters without a blot" (15). We thus know that Susanna Porter survived until at least 1804. Beyond this, we have no information for her.

Married Life

Augusta County, VA---1756-1760 Patrick and Susannah were probably married about 1756 on Walker Creek, Augusta Co. We have no direct record of their marriage. Their eldest child, Samuel, was born in 1757 (16), when Patrick was 20, and Susannah was 19. Given their ages it is unlikely that the couple would have married earlier than 1755. The exact location of their home in Augusta County is unknown. Susannah's parents lived within the Walker Creek watershed southwest of Staunton within the Borden Grant (17). It is plausible that the newly married couple lived in this area. In 1760 Patrick Porter was listed among the planters whose land was processioned "below the road that crosses North River at Widow Allison's and westwardly to the James River" (18). Elsewhere a widow Allison is identified as living at the ford of the North River below the mouth of Kerr's Creek (19). The North River is the modern Maury River. Kerr's Creek enters the Maury River a few miles north of Lexington. This would seem to place the Porter property (and possibly Patrick's homesite) between Kerr's Creek and Lexington, and well south of Walkers Creek. However, the meaning of the phrase "westwardly to the James" is not clear. If taken literally, this might place the Porter property almost anywhere within the western half of Borden's Grant. Nor is it clear that this property was where Patrick and Susannah made their home. Late in life Patrick deposed (20) that he settled on "Hays Creek" in Russell Co. VA (1771-1772). Patrick actually settled on Fall Creek in Russell County. However, we know that Susannah's parents lived near the confluence of Walker and Hays Creek on Borden's Grant (21). The reference by Patrick to Hays Creek may be a memory trace of his home in Augusta Co.

Orange Co., North Carolina --- 1760-1772

Patrick and Susannah moved from Augusta Co. to North Carolina shortly after their marriage, probably in the company of her parents, John Walker = Ann Houston. Sons John Jr. and Samuel Walker (?), and their unmarried sisters (22), probably moved to North Carolina with their parents at the same time.

Samuel Porter (?-?), eldest son of Patrick and Susannah, stated (23) that he was born in Guilford Co. NC in 1757, pointing to a 1756 relocation. However, Patrick is listed in the Augusta Co. militia for 1758 (24). In addition, he apparently still held land in the area as late as 1760 when his lands were processioned (25). These facts might suggest that the couple (and presumably the Walkers and Cowan's), did not leave the area until at least 1758, and perhaps not until after 1760.

It is probable that these families left Virginia due to increasing conflict between the settlers and Native Americans. In 1755 attacks by the Shawnee Indian along the frontier increased significantly. In October 1755 one of George Washington's officers wrote from Winchester, VA that the Indians ...go about and commit their outrages at all hours of the day and nothing is to be seen or heard of, but desolation and murder heightened with all barbarous circumstances and unheard instances of cruelty....The smoke of the burning plantations darkens the day, and hides the neighboring mountains from our sight (26).

These events were part of the struggle now known as the French and Indian War. During this struggle England and France strove for control of the lands west of the Allegheny's between New Orleans and Quebec. In order to forestall French intent, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent a military expedition under General Edward Braddock to the Valley of the Ohio. Braddock and his men, however, were ambushed as they moved into the Ohio Valley; Braddock was killed, and only a few of his men (including George Washington) survived to make their way back to Virginia (27). This defeat left the frontier settlements in the Shannandoah Valley virtually defenseless, and set off a panic among the settlers. Many of the settlers fled to North Carolina at this time. County records of this period frequently identify settlers with the phrase "gone to Carolina." The Porters and the Walkers appear to have been part of this flight.

Several of the Porter children identified Guilford Co. NC as their place of birth (28) Guilford Co., however, was not formed until 1773, by which time the family had left the area. The Porters lived on Moon Creek in what was then Orange Co., but is now Caswell County (29,30). In that year John Walker Sr. sold 260 acres on Moon Creek "...including the plantation whereon Patrick Porter now lives...." (31). It is likely that John Walker lived somewhat further east on Reedy Fork of North Reed Creek, a tributary of the Hyco River. Several of his land transactions between August 1767 and October 1772 were in that area (32). One of these transactions was to a Samuel Walker. This Samuel may have been his own son, suggesting that at least one of the Walkers intended to remain in North Carolina while others of the family relocated to Virginia. This would tend to confirm the statement that Samuel Walker settled in Castle's Woods after some of the early arrivals, (e.g., William Cowan (?-?), John Cowan (?-?), and Patrick Porter (1731-1806) (33). It is of interest to point out that one of the Porter's future neighbors on Fall Creek in Virginia, Charles Kilgore, also came there from the Caswell Co. area (34).

Castle's Woods---1772-1806

Patrick Porter and his father-in-law, John Walker, relocated to Virginia about 1770-1772, settling on the Clinch River in what became Russell Co. Western lands in North Carolina were closed to settlement by Colonial government policy until 1778 (35). In Virginia, however, Indian Treaties of 1768 and 1770, opened the "western waters" for settlement. While there had been settlers in the area before these treaties, emigration into the area did not begin in earnest until 1769/70. It appears that the Walker and Porter families were part of this immigration.

A number of intermarried families moved from Orange Co, NC to southwestern Virginia at about the same time. In addition to the Porters and Walkers these included the Cowan's, three of whom married daughters of John Walker III = Ann Houston (36), the Montgomery's (Martha Walker married Alexander Montgomery) (37,38), and the Kilgore's (Rev. Robert would later marry Jane Porter Green). Other's may have come with this family group as well, but we have no confirmation that they were in North Carolina. These include the Snoddy's (John married Margaret Walker), and the Bell's (Robert married Hetty Walker) (39).

Date of Arrival

Some have held that Patrick Porter was one of the founding fathers of Castle's Woods, and it may be that:

During the winter of 1769 [he and others] built cabins and trapped. In the spring they returned to North Carolina where they gathered their families and took them to Castle's Woods. (40)

Some of the family may have come into the area at such an early date, but their presence before 1771 is not documented. The earliest documented date for the arrival of Patrick Porter on the Clinch is 1771, and that is somewhat ambiguous. In 1798, at the age of 61 years, Patrick Porter made a deposition, stating that he moved to the Clinch in 1771-1772 (41). In 1833 his son, John, stated in a land bounty application, that they had moved to the Clinch in October of 1772.

My purpose was to go to Kentucky, but was compelled to stop at the Clinch River on account of the Indians in Kentucky. We forted there that year and the succeeding years till 1779 in the summer, then hunted in the fall and winter. (42)

Settlement on Fall Creek Whatever the date of the Porters and Walkers arrival in the area, they soon settled a few miles further south on Fall Creek (43), a southern tributary of the Clinch opposite modern day Dungannon, Scott Co.

Falling Creek is very appropriately named for, from its sources, high up on the side of Copper Ridge until it reaches the narrow flood plain of the Clinch, it is almost one continuous succession of plunges. On reaching the lower end of its suspended valley, it makes a sheer drop of some 25 to 40 feet, into a delta-shaped floodplain of the Clinch. On a rather high bluff, on the west side of the Falling Creek, situated at the angle formed by its confluence with the Clinch was situated Porter's Fort (44); about 2 miles east of this fort lay the "Sinking Bottoms" (45). The falls of Falling Creek furnish an ideal location for the "overshot" mill, the kind the settlers most often built. (46)

At the time of the Porter's settlement the "Hunters Trail" (47) ran southwest from Castle's Woods, down the Fall Creek watershed, to Hunter's Ford (later Osborne's Ford) (48). From Hunters Ford the trail continued southwest on the north side of the Clinch, passing though Rye Cove and Ft. Blackmore. Hunter's Trail would later become known as the northern branch of the Wilderness Road; thousands would use it on their way to Cumberland Gap and Kentucky beyond. Today State Highway 65 approximates the route of Hunter's Trail between Castle's Woods and Dungannon.

Land records for the area show that Patrick acquired three parcels of land (49) in the area, over the next several years:

  • 185 Acres on Fall Creek
  • 214 Acres on the west side of Fall Creek
  • 65 Acres North side of Copper Ridge known by the name of McCorkle's Siding

Summers (1929) gives a settlement date of 1772 for the 214 acre parcel on Fall Creek (50). These properties would eventually pass to Patrick's children. The McCorkle's Siding parcel (also known as McCorkle's Clearing) seems to have passed to Dale Carter = Katharine Porter and then to John Montgomery whose first wife was Susannah Elizabeth Porter (51). In 1820 Alexander Montgomery would sell this property to Isaac Flanery (52). In 1799 Patrick sold 185 acres of land 'on both sides of Falling Creek' to his sons John Walker and Patrick Jr. (53). This property was sold to the Connaly Findlay Co. in 1807 (54). The disposition of the 214 acre tract has not been determined.

Several grants (55) were also made to a Samuel Porter, though it is not certain whether this was the son of Patrick and Susannah, or the elder Samuel Porter (relationship unknown) who settled at Temple Hill south of Castle's Woods:

  • 400 acres on the Clynch (sic) River settled 1772 [probably Samuel of Temple Hill]
  • 200 acres north side of Copper Creek [Ridge?] settled 1770 (56)
  • 200 acres south side of Clinch River (see Martin 1983:157)

Whatever the case, Samuel, son of Patrick and Susannah, made his home on 200 acres on the east side of Fall Creek. Other Porter connection settled in the same area. Father-in-law John Walker settled on 300 acres "at the 'sink' of Sinking Creek in 1773...which he called Broadmeadows" (57). The elder John Walker died between 1773 and 1778; his son John recorded a survey (8 Aug 1781) apparently for this property, for which Summers (1929) gives a settlement date of 1773 (58). In 1776 Thomas Alley (father of Mary Alley, wife of Samuel) settled on 245 acres immediately west of Samuel's property and 'above the sink hole spring.' Samuel Porter would later sell 80 acres (known as the "Big Cane Break") of his 200 acre tract to his father-in-law (59). Another Porter connection settling in this area was Charles Kilgore, whose nephew Robert Jr. (later known as "Rev. Robin Robert Kilgore") would marry Jane Porter Green, daughter of Patrick = Susannah Porter. Charles Kilgore settled on 286 acres on the east side of Fall Creek (60). Robert Kilgore Sr. also registered a land survey for 41 acres on the Clinch (61). While the exact location of this property is not known it is reasonable to believe that it too, was in the Fall Creek watershed. Lewis Green, whose son James, would be the first husband of Jane Porter Green, settled on 41 acres next to Porter's Fort (62). James Green secured other land on the North side of the Clinch. Non-Porter connection who settled on Fall Creek included Amos Allord (sometimes given as Alert or Ellord), Daniel Young, and James Watt Crunk. John Duncan, Phillip Phillips, and John McCorkle settled on the north side of the Clinch in the general vicinity of modern Dungannon.

Porter connection in the general area, but not in the immediate vicinity of Fall Creek include John Snoddy and the Cowan brothers. Snoddy (1739-1814) = Margaret Walker) owned Moore's Fort near Castle's Woods (63) and was one of the Commissioners of the Peace during the early years of the Castle's Woods community. William Cowan = Jane Walker (64) lived two miles below Moore's Fort on land acquired from David Gass (65). Samuel Cowan = Ann Walker acquired 254 acres of land on both sides of McKinney's Run (66). David Cowan settled on 264 acres on Mill Creek in 1774 (67). John Cowan settled on 235 acres of land on McKinney's Run (68). Both McKinney's Run and Mill Creek appear to be in the immediate vicinity of Castle's Woods, though they do not show as such on modern USGS surveys of the area.

Life on Fall Creek

The Porter's homesite was located on a small knoll about a mile upstream on Fall Creek. Their home is often referred to as 'Porter's Fort,' but it is likely that it was simply a fortified cabin similar to the surviving 'Kilgore Forthouse' near Nickelsville. Indian attacks were commonplace from 1773 through 1794. The Porter Forthouse undoubtedly provided the family with needed protection. There is no documentation for Indian attacks on the Porter Forthouse, but we do know that they 'forted-up' most years until 1779 (69). At these times the Porter's and other families gathered at larger palisaded forts in the area able to protect 20 or more families (70). Moore's Fort in Castle's Woods, commanded at one time by John Snoddy (Patrick's brother-in-law, was the nearest such fort, and is the likely location where the Porter's and other's retreated. Cowan's Fort, on the land of David Cowan, was also in the Castle's Woods area, but was considerably smaller than Moore's Fort (71). For a discussion of the various frontier forts during this period, see Frontier Forts of Southwest Virginia.

Tax lists for Washington Co. show Patrick Porter with as many as 17 cattle and 9 horses between 1782 and 1787 (72). On this basis we can reasonably assume that the Porters were farming their Fall Creek acreage. However, it seems that Patrick's main business was that of a miller. In 1774 (73) he was granted permission to construct a mill along Fall Creek, taking advantage of its steep descent to the Clinch. The mill was probably in operation before this date, but is considered the first legally permitted mill in what eventually became Scott County. Descriptions of the mill vary, and there appears to have been more than one mill built on the site. It may have been a two-story affair, complete with brick chimney and fireplace, and may have served as a home for some of the Porter family (74). The mill probably served families from the Sinking Creek area, and perhaps farther south. It seems likely that Patrick Sr. turned over the operation of the mill to Patrick Jr. before 1795. (The mill was located on the 185-acre tract that Patrick had acquired and later transferred to his sons John and Patrick Jr. This property was later sold to the Connaly Findlay Co. in 1807, excepting "one acre including the mill seat and mill" (75). According to Hamilton (76) the mill was later owned by the Nash family and continued in operation until the turn of the twentieth century. Today, a State historical marker marks the mill location. Slots for receiving support timbers, sunk into the rock walls bordering the creek, are still visible today.

Patrick Porter appears in the records of the area for almost 30 years following his settlement on the Clinch. Martin (1983:111-116) provides an extensive listing of the references to Patrick in the Virginia Law Order Book (77). In May of 1786 Patrick and Samuel Ritchie were appointed Commissioners of the Land Tax for the County. (Ritchie became prominent in Scott County affairs. He married Ann Porter believed by some to have been a daughter of Patrick and Susannah). Land tax records for Russell County show Ann Ritchie living as head-of-household in 1789 (78). In 1792 Samuel Ritchie filed for annulment of their marriage, though no action seems to have been taken---see summary under children.)

Patrick's appointment as Tax Commissioner suggests that he was seen as a person of some local importance. Not all the records of Patrick, however, are quite as flattering. At various times' charges were brought against him for swearing, drinking, and breaking the Sabbath Day, for assault and battery, for "false swearing to a horse", for harboring horse thieves, and for debt. For the most part these charges seem to have been dismissed, but it is often difficult to tell from the surviving records what the charges were really about, let alone their ultimate disposition.

The Killing of Amos Allord

One particular set of charges and events survives in the court records and is worth describing in greater detail. On July 1 or 2 of 1786 one Amos Allord (?-?) (79) a settler on Fall Creek, was waylaid by his neighbors and killed. The parties involved included John and Samuel Porter, John Montgomery, and perhaps John Watts Crunk, and others. Allord had settled on Fall Creek after the Revolution, and was described as a "daring strong, fearless man, not easily intimidated" (80). He had been imprisoned in April of 1786 in the Washington County gaol, for attempting to steal two horses from Patrick and Samuel Porter (81). He 'broke gaol' and returned to the Fall Creek area. Montgomery would later testify:

he remained in the neighborhood secretly lying out in the woods. Several persons in the neighborhood apprehending danger from him associated together to take or kill him, among them was this deponent and expecting the said Allord to come a certain way this deponent and others waylaid him and as he came along in company with a certain Benjamin Cooper, one of them viz. John Porter shot him through the body and he immediately expired. This took place either on the first of second day of July 1786(82).

Notwithstanding Montgomery's testimony that it was John Porter who fired the fatal shot, it was Samuel Porter who stood trial for the killing of Allord. Samuel was acquitted of the charge on 19 April 1787 (83). Interestingly, Thomas Alley, Samuel's future father-in-law, sat on the acquitting jury.

The surviving information on this event has a certain fascination, but it is not at all clear what really transpired in the spring of 1786 that led to the death of Amos Allord. In May of 1786 a presentment had been made against Patrick Porter for harboring horse thieves, and for "false swearing to a horse". At the same time Robert Kilgore, Patrick's son-in-law, had been sent to 'gaol' and was to be tried on the changes of stealing Henry Fugate's horse (84,85). What exactly was going on is not clear, but it may be that Allord was behind the horse stealing. Montgomery would later testify that in April of 1786 he "understood [from] conversation in the neighborhood...that two men by the name of Shelly, Amos Allard (sic) and John W. Crunk...were confederated in stealing horses and taking them away to foreign parts." (86). Montgomery goes on to say that Crunk, fearing detection agreed to 'disclose' on Allord and the others. As a result Allord was caught in the act of stealing two horses of Patrick and Samuel Porter. Whatever the truth of the matter it seems as though Allord, following his escape, was intent on leaving the neighborhood, for he tried to sell his land to Crunk and to Jacob Castle. Given Crunk's role in his arrest, this does not seem particularly plausible, but evidence was presented in court in 1805 that these sales had occurred. These transactions took place either on the day Allord was killed, or on the preceding day. The transactions were variously witnessed by Samuel Ritchie (thought by some to be the future son-in-law of Patrick Porter), Robert Preston (County Surveyor), Benjamin Cooper, and Susannah Porter (one of the few records for Susannah) (87).

Masonic Lodge

The Porter mill may have been the site of the first Masonic Lodge organized west of the Blue Ridge. This lodge was supposed to have been organized by Patrick Porter and Captain John Snoddy (husband of Susannah's sister Margaret). Their charter was purportedly given by the "Grand Lodge of Dublin Ireland". Snoddy was the first worshipful master of the lodge. After his relocation to Kentucky (ca. 1780) Patrick became worshipful master in his stead (88). Other Porter connection were also Mason's. A story about Samuel Porter suggests that he was a Mason. In June 1779 when Samuel Porter traveling east from the siege of Boonesboro, he passed from Hunter's Ford up Fall Creek to the fort...[where] he discovered a light in his father's mill house. Approaching the mill with great caution, he was hailed with a 'Who comes there?' to which greeting he made Masonic answer. In a few minutes he was directed into the room where a Masonic Lodge was in session, with his father as worshipful Master (89).

According to Addington (90) Jane Porter Green's husband, "Reverend Robert Kilgore was a Mason which emblem of fellowship appears upon his tomb, and is said to be the first Mason to be buried in Scott County."

This may all be so, but there seems to be no documentary evidence that there actually was a Masonic lodge west of the Blue Ridge before the Civil War (91). (The Rev. Kilgore's tombstone seems to be a 20th century replacement; descendants who thought he was a Mason may have put on the Masonic emblem.) I personally do not know the truth of the matter. Those who wish to believe or reject these stories are welcome to do so as it seems mete to them.

Patrick Porter's Violin

Patrick Porter may have been a fiddler. According to Martin 1983 Porter brought with him to the frontier a violin manufactured by the German manufacturer Hapf in the late 1600 or early 1700's.

It has been played so much that it is worn thin in the chin area...The Porter violin was played years ago along with a $30,000 violin and the opinion was the Porter violin was superior. It has a most pleasing tone and mellowness. The violin was given by Patrick Porter Sr. to his son, John Walker Porter, then given to Samuel and Mary Moore Porter, then through the generations to the present [unnamed] owners. The owners protect and take good care of the violin...[Martin] visited the owners in 1979, noted that the violin had rattlesnakes' rattlers inside...the old story being handed down that the rattlers gave a much more beautiful tonal quality. Further, the story is that the rattlers must be over 200 years old (92).
While a good story, Hapf violins date to the 19th century, not the 18th, and it is likely that this particular specimen belonged not to Patrick but to one of his sons.

Religion

For the most part the Scotch-Irish that immigrated to America in the early and middle 18th century were Presbyterian. The Walkers and Porter's were clearly Presbyterian. While in Rockbridge County both John Walker and Patrick Porter had contributed to the minister's salary at New Providence Presbyterian Church. Interesting, there is a small community known as New Providence in the area the Walkers and Porters settled in North Carolina. We have little direct confirmation of the religious life of the Porter's and Walkers in Castle's Woods. As early as 1772 Rev. John Craig and Rev. James Campbell, Presbyterian ministers, had visited and preached to the settlers of frontier southwest VA (120). The Reverend Asbury, a Methodist preacher, was active in the Castle's Woods area. At least some of the Porter's continued in the Presbyterian faith, but others seemed to have adopted the Methodist and Baptists faiths. Robert Kilgore, husband of Jane Porter Green, was a noted Primitive Baptist minister. Samuel Porter of Temple Hill is thought to have been a Methodist, and may have been converted by Reverend Asbury.

The Patrick Porter Sermon Book

The Sermon Book is a key document in establishing the history of the family of Patrick Porter = Susannah Walker. It provides a single source of information on the identity of family members and their date of birth's. It is a copy of a well-known collection of sermons (entitled simply "Works") by John Flavel (1627-1691) published posthumously in London 1701. Much of the book, including its title page, was destroyed in the "1937 Flood". This copy was supposedly used by several generations of family members to record births and brief statements. It is not clear when it came into the Porter family. It was apparently passed from Patrick Porter to John Walker Porter = Martha Hutchinson (121) ultimately coming to Samuel Walker Porter, Jr., who gave it to the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia. According to Samuel Porter: Several different people had written on the title page of the book, both front and back, and in such a manner so as to leave one to think that paper must have been scarce. The small, separated in-thought sentences concerned many topics, mainly concerning family births, deaths, and movements of different members of the family. The name of Patrick Porter did not appear in the notes on the title page of the book...[indicating that he came along later in the line]...Much was made of the fact that William Penn offered the Porters sanctuary near Philadelphia in Berks County. Some of the family did remain there, and are still in the area...

I have no idea how the Book of Sermons remained in my family though the generations. The pages were worn thin and in very bad shape and were wet from the 1937 flood. Some of the pages could not be salvaged. I sent it to Louisville...and had it dried and rebound. I do remember noticing the style and quality of the handwriting seemed to increasingly deteriorate as each generation of the Porters moved further into the wilderness.

There is no doubt in my mind, that from what I remember seeing and reading in the Sermon Book, that my ancestors came from the Massachusetts Bay Colonies and were, as I am, Presbyterian (122).

THE CHILDREN

The best record of the children of Patrick Porter = Susannah Walker is found in the birth record in the Patrick Porter Sermon Book. The following is based on that record, preserving spelling and conforming to the DOB's provided in the Sermon Book.

Samuel 7 February 1757
Jain 9 September 1761
Shusannah 29 July 1763
John 6 January 1766 (123)
Catrin 19 June 1768
Mary 25 January 1771
Patrick Jr. 12 February 1776


The family record in the Sermon Book includes two children listed consecutively with the above that probably represent grandchildren: Alexander Montgomery born the 18th of (?) 1791), and Mary P...y (124) Margaret born 12 February 1778 (125). The 'Alexander' entry is believed to be a grandchild record (most likely John Montgomery = Susannah Porter). Mary (Polly) Margaret is most likely a granddaughter, since there is a previous 'Mary' listed in the sermon book. Mary Margaret, however, has not been clearly associated with any of the Porter's children. Samuel, b. 1757, would seem to be the most likely father of Mary (Polly) Margaret.

The interval between births in this record is roughly once every two years or so, as was typical for the frontier families. Two gaps exist in the birth sequence. A four-year gap exists between the birth of Samuel and Jane, while a five year-gap exists between the birth Mary and Patrick Jr. These gaps probably represent children who died young, but they may be artifacts of errors in the DOB's given in the Sermon Book, or simply unusually long intervals between pregnancies.

There may have been an eighth child, Ann, not listed in the Patrick Porter Sermon Book. We know a marriage between Ann Porter and Samuel Ritchie occurred about 1790 (126) but a convincing demonstration that she was a daughter of Patrick Porter = Susannah Walker is not at hand. Based on a date of marriage of 1790 she was probably born about 1768-1772. This may perhaps account for the gap between the births of Mary and Patrick Jr., though the fit is not especially good. Also, no ready explanation comes to mind why she would not have been included in the Patrick Porter Sermon Book. On this basis she is not accepted as a child of Patrick = Susannah. Her date of birth is too early for her to have been a daughter of one of Patrick's sons. The eldest son, Samuel, would not have reached marriage age until at least 1775 and would not have been likely to have had a daughter of marriageable age as early as 1790. Another possibility is that Ann was the daughter or granddaughter of Samuel Porter of Temple Hill, but there is no direct supportive evidence for that.

Marriages. The following is a brief synopsis of the marriages of the children of Patrick Porter = Jane Walker. For the most part I have chosen not to show detailed citations for these 'mini-biographies'. Helpful sources for the specific individual are shown, and complete references are available upon request.

1. Samuel (1757 - ca. 1800) = ca. 1777 - ca 1880 Mary "Polly" Alley, daughter of Thomas Alley.

Samuel was born in February 1757 (127), most likely in modern Rockbridge Co. Va., and died between 1799 (128) and 1800 (129) in Scott Co. Va. (Some records mentioning Samuel Porter may refer to a man by the same name who was an early settler in Castle's Woods, living at Temple Hill, relationship to Patrick Porter unknown.) Thomas Carter, a nephew of Samuel, stated that In the spring of 1774 Samuel went to Kentucky with Daniel Boone; in 1778 he is also supposed to have gone to Boonesboro with others to relieve the siege. Samuel married Mary "Polly" Alley, daughter of Thomas Alley. Samuel owned 200 acres on the Clinch just north of Fall Creek and bordering the property of James and Thomas Alley on the East and North (130). (This property may have originally belonged to Charles Kilgore who moved from the area c. 1783-87. It probably lay within the Sinking Creek watershed; the property of James Alley included a feature known as "Sinking Spring"). In 1777, prior to their marriage, Mary was captured by Indians at Osborne's Ford (131). She was taken north along with another captive. She eventually escaped, made her way home, and later married Samuel. Their date of marriage is not known, but we would assume it must have been between 1777 and 1780 or so. Samuel acquired rights to 300 acres of land in Ky, perhaps due to his Revolutionary War service; there is no evidence that he himself took possession of the land; the land may actually have been settled by several of his children who later sold their rights to Thomas Bevins, husband of Elizabeth Porter (132). Samuel is supposed to be buried near the old mill site at Porter's Fort on Fall Creek (133).

2. Jane Porter (1761-1843). = Rev. Robert Kilgore

Martin 1983:223-259A Addington 1935:27-70

Jane was most likely born on Moon Creek in Orange Co. NC, (modern Caswell Co.). She first married James Green son of Lewis Green(1724-1784) in Washington Co., VA In December of 1782 James Green was killed by Indians, along with Robert Kilgore, brother of Charles Kilgore who had settled adjacent to the Porters on Fall Creek. James Jr., was born 12 February 1783, less than two months after his fathers death. In 1785 Jane married Rev. Robert Kilgore, son of the Robert Kilgore killed at the same time as James Green. In 1790 Robert and Jane moved across Copper Creek Ridge to settle on the ford of Copper Creek, about two miles west of Nickelsville. There they built what is now known as the Kilgore Fort house, the oldest house in Scott County. The Rev. Robin Robert was a well-known Primitive Baptist minister, and married many couples over the course of his life.

3. Susannah Elizabeth (1763 - ca. 1802) = 1786 John Montgomery (1764-1845).

Martin 1983:35
Martin 1983:260:303

John was the son of Alexander and Martha Walker Montgomery, and Susannah's first cousin. He served in the frontier militia 'during the Indian troubles' and was recommended for Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion 72nd Regiment of Virginia Militia by the court of Russell Co in Aug. 1797. He was in the posse with Samuel and John Porter when the horse thief Amos Allord was killed. After the death of Susanna Elizabeth he married ca. 1804) Elizabeth Harris (1770-1846). Elizabeth and John are buried in the Princeville Cemetery in Peoria Co. Ill. In 1820 John was involved in a land transaction of some sort (Martin 1983:35, does not provide complete information) for "land on Copper Creek Ridge on the waters of Clinch River, known by the name of McCorkle's Clearing...." This may be the property acquired by Patrick Porter in 1783 referred to as 'McCorkle's Siding'. This transaction was witnessed by Wm. Bickley, Thomas Moore, Patrick Porter (presumably Jr.), and Peter Hutchinson.

4. John Walker (1766-1842) (134)

Martin 1983:33-34, Citing unpublished study by Hamilton Martin 1983:375-427

John Walker Porter was born 1766, in Orange Co., NC (now Caswell Co.) He married Martha Hutchinson in Rye Cove Scott Co. VA He died in Floyd County KY in 1842. He and "Patsy" were buried on Johns Creek in Floyd Co. Ky. John served on the Virginia frontier as an Indian fighter and scout, and his Revolutionary War pension application is on file in Floyd Co. Ky.. In later life he was blind. He enlisted in the militia in 1779 and served intermittently though 1781, mostly under his uncle Captain John Snoddy (married Margaret Walker daughter of John Walker = Ann Houston). Patsy was the daughter of Peter and Nancy (Green) Hutchinson of Scott Co. John and Patsy had 12 children. (John's pension application (135) states that he was born 1759, but the Patrick Porter Sermon Book gives a DOB of 1766. His date of marriage of 1789 tends to support a DOB of about 1766; but that would have made him 12-13 years of age while he was scouting for Indians during the revolution. (136) It is possible that had he claimed a DOB of 1766 his pension application would have been rejected. It would be perhaps understandable, therefor, for him to have claimed an earlier DOB.

5. Katherine (1768 -1853).

Martin 1983:36
Martin 1983:304-312
Sutton, Rita K. 1981.

Katherine was born in Orange Co. NC in 1768. According to information in the Patrick Porter Sermon Book, Katherine had a daughter, Elizabeth Fugate. Some have identified the father as Colbert Fugate. Katherine eventually married Dale Carter, who accepted Elizabeth as his own. The couple resided in Rye Cove.

6. Mary B. (1771 -) = 1790 John Alley (1764-1842).

Martin 1983:37-40 Martin 1983:319-337

John was the son of James Alley, and was born in Henrico County VA, dying in 1842 in Franklin Co. Indiana. He served as an Indian spy during the revolution in the Rye Cove area under Capt. James Gibson. Others he served with included brother's in-law John and Samuel Porter, as well as William Hull, Thomas Gray, and Joseph Blackmore. The couple was married 29 April 1790 either at the David Gass log cabin (still standing in 1981) on the Quillen farm near Castlewoods, or at the home of James Osborne/Ausband. Bishop Wheatcoat, a partner of Bishop Asbury, married them. John bought and sold numerous parcels of land along the Clinch. The family moved to Franklin Co. IN about 1814. They sold their slaves before leaving VA, and came overland on horseback. One of the children died along the way. One of the Alley's slaves, Mills, had been given her freedom in January 1802;" But she loved the children dearly and could not bear to be left behind, catching up with the family on the way to Indiana. The family settled on Pipe Creek in Filmore Co. IN. At first they lived in a sod hut until a log house could be built. Both were buried about five miles south of Metamora Ind. in the family cemetery (137).

7. Patrick Jr. (1776 -)

Martin 1983:338-374A Martin 1983:41

Patrick Jr. was born in Scott Co. NC 22 February 1776. He married Elizabeth Pendleton 3 April 1814. Patrick Jr. likely took over operation of Porter's mill from his father. The 144-acre tract on Fall Creek including the mill seat was transferred from Patrick Sr. to sons John and Patrick Jr. In 1807 this property, excluding the mill and mill seat which were identified as the property of Patrick Jr. were sold to the Connaly Findlay Co. In 1811 Patrick and wife Elizabeth sold 180 acres on Falling Creek to William Bayes. The couple is shown in the 1820 census in Scott Co. with 3 sons and 2 daughters. They relocated to Floyd Co. KY shortly thereafter. Four of their children relocated with them, but the eldest, Samuel L= Mary E. Moore either remained on, or eventually returned to Sinking Creek.

Dispersion. Most of the children and grandchildren of Patrick Porter left the area in the decades following Patrick's death. Samuel died in Scott County about 1800, but his children removed to Floyd and Pike Counties, Ky. settling on Big Creek, and Johns Creek of the Tug River. John Walker and Patrick Jr. also relocated to Floyd Co KY.

Of the daughters two relocated out of the area: Susannah Elizabeth moved to Floyd Co. KY with husband John Montgomery; Mary B. relocated to Franklin Indiana ca. 1814 with husband John Alley; Jane married Robert Kilgore and remained in the area, though the couple moved to the east side of Copper Ridge, near Nickelsville. Katherine Porter married Dale Carter and settled in Rye Cove.

There are a number of Porter cemeteries, dating from the period after roughly 1825, in the immediate area of Fall Creek and Sinking Creek. The ancestry for those buried in these cemeteries is not clear to me. Presumably these are the final resting places for descendants of Patrick = Susannah. Available information indicates that all of the male descendants of this couple relocated to Kentucky by 1825. Samuel L. Porter = Elizabeth Pendleton, son of Patrick Jr., and grandson of Patrick = Susannah, is thought to have returned to the Sinking Creek area. He may well be the ancestor of many of the Porters buried in the immediate vicinity of Sinking and Fall Creek. It is also possible that these are descendants of Samuel Porter of Temple Hill.

Frontier Warfare

Dunmore's War

Relationships with the Indians were good during the first few years of settlement on the Clinch and Holston. This began to change in October of 1773 when a party headed by William Russell, and guided by Daniel Boone, was waylaid on Wallen's Creek on their way to Kentucky (93). Several party members were killed, including the sons of Russell and Boone. Hostilities between the settlers and the Indians grew during the summer and fall of 1774. Local militias were mobilized in June, with plans made to defend the frontier (94,95). Governor John Murray, Earl of Dunmore ordered Colonel Andrew Lewis to assemble men from Botetourt, Fincastle and other counties with the objective of attacking the Shawnee villages on the Ohio. Many of the men of Castle's Woods took part in what is now called 'Dunmore's War', serving under Captain William Russell. Patrick Porter was listed on the roster of Russell's Company (he was paid first for 17 days of service and again for 99 days of service (96). Other neighbors on the roster included David, Samuel, and William Cowan, Charles Kilgore, Samuel Porter and Samuel Porter Jr. (97). What role these settlers played in Dunmore's War is uncertain. It may be that they went with Russell to join with other militia, and participated in the only major action of the war, the Battle of Point Pleasant (Kentucky, 10 October 1774). Another possibility is that Porter and others remained behind at Moore's Fort to protect the frontier families. If so, they would have been under the command of Daniel Boone who had been given responsibility for the area between Castle's Woods and Rye Cove.

Chief Logan

Family traditions (98) suggest that both Patrick and his son Samuel were at the Battle at Point Pleasant, though there seems no direct evidence of this. A family story is told, however, of a meeting between Patrick, Samuel, and Chief Logan of the Mingo Indians after the Battle of Point Pleasant. The story is told in several versions, some with greater embellishment than the others, but all consistent as to the essentials. According to the story Logan approached Patrick after the battle saying: You are Patrick Porter. You live on Clinch River. I have been to your fort. Many times I could have killed you, but I would not. You good man. You good father to children who live near your fort...This is Dale [indicating an Indian boy]. White people kill all of Dale's family. Kill all his kin. Now he wants to go with white people and learn to read from their books. He wants to preach the word of God...He want to go with good white people, like you, Capt. Porter. And I know you are good. I pick you to take him (99).

Patrick was initially reluctant to take the boy, so the story goes, but finally agreed. According to some versions of the story Patrick had the boy tutored so he could read and study the bible. He also gave him a more complete name, 'Arter Dale' (100). The boy grew to manhood...and married a white woman...Arter became a leader in his community. He became a convert to Christianity and later joined the Methodist Church. For many years he served in the Church as a minister preaching to white people along the river valley" (101). According to James Taylor Adam's (102) Arter Dale moved to what is now Wise county, and died a few miles east of the town of Wise, where he was buried.

Chief Logan was a well-known historical personage on the Virginia frontier, and before Dunmore's War was known for his positive relationship with the settlers. This story may be true or not, but the timing seems improbable. In September and October 1774 Logan led a campaign against the settlers in the Clinch and Holston River Valleys (103). On 23 September a war party under Logan's direction attacked Fort Blackmore a few miles south of Fall Creek on the Clinch. Two Negro slaves were captured and a number of cattle and horses were killed. The next day they attacked the home of John Roberts near Kingsport, killing Roberts, his wife and children, and carrying off 10 year old James. On the 29th, the war party was back near Fall Creek, killing John Duncan at Moore's Fort in Castle's Woods. On the 9th of October a Negro slave of Evan Shelby's was captured in Bristol, while Dale Carter was killed at Fort Blackmore (104).

These and other attacks were all attributed to Logan. On 10 October the Battle of Point Pleasant was fought. Russell's company, to which Patrick Porter belonged, remained in the area until November. Though it is not clear that Patrick was with the rest of the Company during this period this would seem to have been the most likely time that such a meeting might have occurred. Presumably it would have been possible for Logan, returning north after pillaging the Clinch and Holston settlements, to have paused long enough to place Arter Dale into the hands of Patrick Porter. Given the hostilities on both sides, such an event seems implausible.

Another story is told that may clarify the possible relationships between Chief Logan and Patrick Porter. According to T.W. Carter, son of Catharine Porter = Dale Carter, his mother often told of finding Indian war clubs at the spring near Moore's Fort. Presumably this was at a time that the Porter's were forted up with other settlers. According to Carter, his mother had gone to the spring to get water, when she: ...found a number of Indian war clubs all beautifully painted and with a letter lying on top of them. Setting down her water vessel, she gathered the war clubs into her apron, and with the letter in her hand, she ran for the fort yelling as loudly as she could. Frightened by her noise, the men ran from the fort to meet her...her father and brother Samuel leading the way. On examining the contents of her apron her father remarked 'Well Kate, you have had a powerful fight with the Indians and took their war clubs from them'. One of the war clubs was supposed to be the property of Mingo Chieftain Logan, was kept for many years by Mrs. Carter. T.W. Carter...says he has seen both the letter and the club (105).

Taking the story at face value, from the familiar tone of Patrick's statement, one would guess that Katherine was still a young girl when this event occurred, perhaps as young as five or six years of age. Given her DOB of 1768/9, this would seem to place the event about 1774-1775. The Battle of Point Pleasant broke the power of the northern Indians, and it is unlikely that Logan would have been on the Clinch after 1774. If Logan was at all involved in this event, it would have to have taken place in September or October before the Battle of Point Pleasant on 10 October.

It is likely that these stories intertwine a mixture of fact and fiction, as successive generations added bits and pieces based on what they thought must have happened, with the occasional embellishment to improve the story. It is difficult to clearly see the underlying elements of fact. It should be remembered that these stories were intended more as entertainment than as historical record. The conclusions that can be reached based on these stories are limited. Nonetheless, they provide us with otherwise unobtainable information about our ancestors.

The Cherokee Campaign

The battle of Point Pleasant was tactically inconclusive, each side loosing about the same number of men. Strategically, however, it was a victory for the settlers, as the Indians were unable to continue their campaign. The power of the Shawnee and Mingo was permanently broken, and the settlements on the Clinch gained a heightened level of security for a short time. By 1776, however, renewed hostilities broke out between the Cherokee and the settlers. In July of 1776 Col. William Christian led the militia to attack the Cherokee in Tennessee. William Russell of Castle's Woods, leading a unit ahead of the others, defeated a Cherokee band at the Long Island (Kingsport) on the Holston (106). Christian chose to gather his forces at this location, and in October, "swept down on the Cherokee towns destroying crops, burning homes, and killing Indians. Victorious, he returned to Long Island, and then marched homeward before Christmas" (107). Hostilities with the Indians, however, continued throughout the Revolution. A complete roster of the Cherokee campaign does not seem to be available, but a number of settlers from Castle's Woods are included on a partial list of participants (108). The list includes the names 'John Walker' and 'Andrew Cowan.' Walker is presumably the son of John Walker = Ann Houston (parents of Susannah Walker), while Andrew Cowan is probably the husband of Mary Walker (Susannah's sister).

The Revolution

For the most part, the settlers on the Clinch and Holston had little direct role throughout much of the Revolution. Their primary involvement was a continuation of their role in protecting the frontier from Indian attack. Settlers in Washington County did participate in several battles of the Carolina Campaign, including Guilford Court House, Whiteson's Mill, and King's Mountain (109). (Perhaps others fought with the Continental Army itself.) Charles Kilgore, near neighbor of Patrick on Fall Creek, was at the Battle of King's Mountain serving under Captain James Dysart. His brother Robert is also thought to have been at King's Mountain, though we have no formal record of his participation (110). After they had returned to the Clinch, Robert Kilgore and James Green were killed by Indians on the Pound River. This occurred about Christmas time of 1782. Robert's son, Rev. Robin Robert Kilgore, would later marry Green's widow, Jane Porter, daughter of Patrick Porter (111).

There is no evidence that any of the Porter's served directly in any of the formal campaigns of the Revolution, though they were active in the militia throughout the period. We know that in 1777 Patrick was a Sergeant in the militia, and in command of Moore's Fort at Castle's Woods. He commanded eighteen militiamen, including Charles and Robert Kilgore, Lewis Green Jr., Samuel Porter, and Andrew Cowan (112). In 1782 Patrick made a claim "for 14 men for 27 days finding them provision." This claim was one of many "agreeable to an act for adjusting claims for property impressed or taken for public service" (113) during the Revolution. The services involved ranged from providing provisions, specific services, and even equipment lost in battle. William Treadway, for example, made a claim for 16 pounds 16 shillings "for Smith work done for the use of the Cherokee expedition under the command of Coll. Arthur Campbell." "Lattice Laird Executrix of James [filled a claim for] one rifle gun lost at Kings Mountain...6 pounds 10 shillings." (114). Because of the diversity of claims, and the wide range of times and events that are involved in these claims we can draw little inference as to the nature of Patrick Porters service. Without any record indicating participation in a specific battle or campaign we have to assume that the service of Patrick and his sons was primarily in the defense of the frontier. When the Southwest Virginia militia men rendezvoused near Black's Fort [in the fall of 1780]...to drive back Ferguson...Patrick Porter raised forty-two men in the Clinch Valley, and marched...to the rendezvous. Upon his arrival...it was decided that Porter's men should return to the Clinch Valley to guard the frontier against possible invasion by the Northern Indians...As soon, however, as news of Ferguson's defeat [at King's Mountain] reached the Clinch, Porter disbanded his company and they returned to their homes (115).

It is possible that Patrick's claim in 1782 stems from this event. The number of men that he is supposed to have raised (forty-two) does not match the number mentioned in his claim (fourteen). We know, however, that some of the Castle's Woods settlers did participate in the events at King's Mountain. Moore's Fort at Castle's Woods (where Porter was in command in 1777) was manned by about the number that Porter makes a claim for providing provisions. Porter's claim indicates that he provided provisions for 27 days. The rendezvous at Sycamore Shoals (present day Elizabethton, TN) occurred on 25 September and the Battle of King's Mountain on 7 October. Allowing a week before the muster and a week after the battle, (26 days) seems consistent with the idea that Porter was involved in the King's Mountain campaign as suggested above. ...during the Revolutionary War, especially the years immediately preceding 1780, a group of patriots, western Virginians...[kept] constant vigil against Indian attack on the Virginia frontier. They were organized into groups of two or four...the size of each spy group determined by the seriousness of the need in the particular area. A given territory was allotted each group and upon these spies was given the responsibility of discovering and reporting approaching savages (116).

Patrick's son, John Walker Porter, served as one of these 'spies': I entered the service under Col. William Campbell on the 11th March 1779 and Lt. Jackson. Our business was to scout and camp through all that year in Washington County, Virginia. We were to protect it also and inform the settlements of the approach of the Indians. In a few days after my engagement our company was armed and equipped and we all started. We kept together until about the middle of August for it was about this time that the Indians generally came. We were then divided into squads of two and four men. We also scouted until December 1779. We rendezvoused at a place called Rye Cove....While we saw several Indians and took a few but were not much disturbed during the year 1779. In February 1780 we moved from the cove and went scouting to Scouting Ground' but remained there until the middle of March when we received our discharges and returned home. In April after my discharged returned to Hunterford, and remained there about 4 weeks. I again entered the service under Col. William Campbell and we were called 'Indian Spies' I was again commanded by my old Captain---Snoddy. This was in May (we had not finished planting corn) 1780...Immediately we set out from the settlements in Washington County. ...Our...places of scouting and spying were ...divided by natural boundaries....The Clinch River district fell to this applicant's part and his comrades and he diligently marched and spied according to our orders....This year 1780 was a severe and cold winter. In January the whole company was forced to break up because we suffered so much from hunger and cold. We had nothing provided by the government and had to live on venison, etc. We stayed home until about the first of March and again went out and continued to spy until June, 1781....During this year of service I saw but one Indian and killed none...I never saw a regular officer in my life unless Col. Campbell was one. There were no British where I served, it being entirely backwoods (117).

Patrick's eldest son, Samuel, also saw service In March of 1778 Shawnee Indians under Chief Blackfish laid siege to Boonesboro...A runner from the beleaguered [settlement]...came to Porter's Fort imploring aid.... Early the next morning 23 young men...started out to Boonesboro....Marching almost continuously the company reached Boonesboro in five days, to find that Blackfish had given up the siege and the settlers were safe. They conducted a short campaign in pursuit of the Indians, after which the company returned home except for three, Samuel Porter, John Arter and Stuffy Cooper, who elected to stay for some more Indian fighting. They were in the battle of Blue Lick where...John Arter was among the slain but Porter and Cooper were unhurt.....[They]remained with Boone until the next summer when they joined the command of Colonel Bowman [in an expedition across the Ohio] (118).

Porter was wounded on this expedition, and was sent down river to a trading post at what is now Louisville. He returned to Boonesboro in late December, and returned home on Fall Creek the following June. Substantiating evidence for this family tradition is that in 1779 a Samuel Porter is included in Captain John Holder's Company near Boonesboro KY (119).

ACKNOWEDGEMENT

This paper relies extensively on the compilation by Dr. Henry G. Martin, "Pickin Up the Porters". Dr. Martin collected substantial information on the ancestors and descendants of Patrick Porter and Susannah Walker. His work has proven invaluable in the preparation of this paper. Indeed, if the present work has any value, it is largely in the organization, weighing, and sifting of the data present in Dr. Martin's work. The present work is not intended to provide a base for 'descendant genealogy' of the family of Patrick Porter = Susannah Walker. Those interested in the descendants of this couple are referred to Dr. Martin's work, which includes extensive information on descendant lines.

I would like to thank members of the 'Wigton Walker Discussion Group", a private mail list on 'Rootsweb", for their individual and collective input into this paper; and particularly for their help in reviewing an early draft. In addition, I have greatly enjoyed the exchange of ideas that takes place within this discussion group.


FOOTNOTES

The following footnotes provide references for information used in the preparation of this paper. Additional commentary on specific points is also provided. Sources of information not seen by me personally are noted as 'fide' ("on the faith of").


1. Patrick Porter Sermon Book, fide Martin 1983:110.
2. Hamilton, undated, fide Martin 1983:24.
3. If Benjamin were Patrick's father, he would have been quite old at Patrick's birth. There would also be a 20-year gap in the DOB of Benjamin's other children and Patrick. In addition, Benjamin's will does not mention a Patrick Porter (fide Bob Beverly 98.06.00 WMW.)
4. Addington, 1932:104
5. Martin 1983:428
6. Morton 1973:460.
7. Martin 1983:116
8. Martin 1983:129. Transcript of legal transaction for Russell Co., specific reference not given.
9. For example, a Patrick Porter is identified as commissioner of the Revenue for the lower district, for a number of years after 1800.
10. Boone, Mrs. Ale W., 22 Feb. 1983. Letter from Mrs. Ale E. Boone of DAR to Henry G. Martin, fide Martin 1983:125.
11. Martin 1983:137
12. The location of the Nottingham Meeting House is open to dispute. Traditionally, the Walkers are thought to have settled in Chester County, PA, (White 1902:3) near the Presbyterian Nottingham Meeting House, where both John and Katharine are reputedly buried. While there is a 'Nottingham Meeting House' in Chester Co., it was a Quaker meeting house. There is some evidence that there was a cemetery known as the West Nottingham Presbyterian Cemetery on the same road as the Quaker Meeting House. It is possible that John and Katherine were buried there, though as yet this has not been confirmed. There is, however, other evidence that suggests that the Presbyterian Nottingham Meeting House was a few miles away, near the community of Rising Sun, MD. In 1726 this area was indeed in Chester County PA, but following the settlement of a border dispute between the two states, the area was transferred to Maryland. Since the Walkers had left the area before this happened, as far as they were concerned, they had come from PA, and it is this tradition that was preserved in White 1902. This question is of small importance for our understanding of the lives of Patrick Porter and wife Susannah Walker. It is, however, of some importance for understanding the life history of Susannah's parents. Perhaps future work in this area will clarify this issue.
13. White 1902:6
14. Patrick Porter Sermon Book, fide Martin 1983:110.
15. Martin 1983:386. Two tracts of land seem to be involved in this transaction. One on Fall Creek was sold to John W. Crunk. The second parcel was on the Copper Creek between Grassy Creek and Molls Creek.
16. Patrick Porter Sermon Book, fide Martin 1983:110.
17. White 1902:468 'taken from a pamphlet by Harman and Mayo in 1868". Land records for the area suggest that John Walker settled at the confluence of Hays and Walker Creek.
18. Kegley's Virginia Frontier, Augusta Co. p. 157, p. 481, fide Martin 1983:116.
19. This interpretation is based on Morton 1973:344, citing a land transfer from Samuel Dunlap to Patrick Woods in 1769, which refers to the property being on the "E. bank North River opposite island at mouth of Hays". Modern Hays Creek discharges into the Maury R. that could be described as the North Branch of the James.
20. Martin 1983:145
21. White 1902:6
22. Evidence for the dates of marriage for the daughters is very limited. It is clear that at least one of the daughers (Susannah) was married by the time of the move. Others, such as Jane, clearly did not marry until after the family returned to Virginia about 1772. Marriage dates for the other daughters are wanting. It may be that these marriages did not occur until the Walkers moved to North Carolina, or until after they had moved back to Virginia.
23. Martin 1983:29-41, 325
24. Hennings Statues at Large, Laws of Va. 7:195 pub. 1820, Franklin Press, Market Bridge, Richmond Va., fide Martin 1983: 120.
25. Under colonial Virginia law lands had to be 'processioned' every other year. Processioning involved confirming the location of the property corners. We have no record of Patrick selling his property.
26. Rouse, 1973:85 citing unreferenced documents.
27. The interested reader is referred to Francis Parkman's "Montcalm and Wolfe" (1884), for more information on the French and Indian War. For those interested in the family history of the Walkers, this work is of interest for its mention of Madame Montour, the Indian daughter of a French trader. One of her daughter's married William Walker, son of John Walker IV, son of John Walker III and Ann Houston. William at about age 11 was captured by Indians about 1776 and carried north to Detroit. He was eventually adopted into the Wyandotte tribe, and married the daughter of Madame Montour.
28. Martin 1983:377 citing Bounty Land Warrant No. 26163-160-55 VA. John Porter states he moved to Clinch River in October 1772.
29. Moon Creek is a tributary of the Dan River, and flows from the southwest to the northeast, entering the Dan near the Virginia border, east of Danville, Va.
30. Martin 1983:145. On 10 Sep. 1772, John Walker Sr. to Samuel Walker of Orange Co. 220 acres lying on both sides of Moon Creek, being part of the land Walker purchased from the Earl of Granville by a Deed., witnessed by Samuel Cowan
31. Martin 1983:145. Citing NC Deed Book 3:379, 2 April 1772, sale of 260 acres to by John Walker Sr., to John Graves for 50 pounds
32. Martin 1983:145.
33. Hagy 1966:11.
34. Addington 1935:11. At the time of their relocation this was Orange Co. We presume that the Kilgore's lived near the Walker's in modern Caswell Co.
35. Hamilton and Weaver 1992:3
36. We know the Cowan's were in NC prior to the relocation because Samuel (who married Ann Walker) witness a land transaction of John Walker (Martin 1983:145).
37. Martin 1983:260. John, youngest son of Alexander and Martha, was born 4 August 1764. This suggests a date of marriage of 1763. The marriage must have taken place in NC (conceivably Virginia) but in any case prior to the relocation to SW Va.
38. Martin 1983:67
39. John Walker Jr. is reputed to have married a Long whose first name is not known. The identity of John's wife, may be questionable. Some have suggested that his wife was Mary Walker, and that he eventually relocated to Greene Co. NC with Charles Kilgore (see Edwards and Frizell 1973).
40. Hagy 1966:11, citing various documents. It is not clear what specific sources are the basis for the date of arrival in 1769.
41. Martin 1983:145, citing Chalkley's Chronicles: Augusta County Court Records 2:75. Porter goes on to state that a certain "Robert Elsom came about the same time and settled at the head of Hay's Creek." The reference to 'Hays Creek' looks suspiciously like a memory error, and may refer to Hays Creek in Rockbridge Co. in which vicinity the Walkers lived prior to their relocation to NC. This brings into question the accuracy of Patrick's relocation date of 1770-1771.
42. Martin 1983:377 citing W3037 Bounty Land Warrant No. 26163-160-55 Va.
43. This stream was initially known as "Fall Creek" ; later it was known as Falling Creek.
44. This description implies that the Fort was close to the Clinch River. Most writers place the Fort near a small pond on top of a hill, a bit more than a mile from the mouth of Falling Creek.
45. Also known as "Broad Meadows", the parcel of land on which Susannah's father settled.
46. Martin 1983:143, citing Draper Mss 24074, and Robert Addington 1917.
47. This trail would later become the northern branch of the Wilderness Road; on the west side of the Clinch River the trail corresponds roughly with modern State Route 72.
48. Raleigh and John Duncan, two brothers, settled on the north side of the Clinch at present day Dungannon (presumably the name Dungannon comes from Duncan). At the time the ford was known as Hunters Ford. Indians killed John Duncan 29 September 1774. The attacking party was part of force under Chief Logan just prior to the Battle of Point Pleasant (10 October 1774). At the time the settlers had 'forted up' at Moore's Fort in Castle's Woods. Duncan and two others went out to check a pigeon trap, and were set upon. Duncan was killed and scalped. Later the land of John Duncan was sold to Stephen Osborne, and the Ford came to be known as Osborne's Ford. (Hamilton and Weaver 1992:25-26). Jerry Penley, a descendant of Patrick Porter, recently noted that the Fall Creek was also known as "Shole Creek" (i.e., Shoal Creek"). Fall Creek enters the Clinch at Hunters Ford. The creek descends very abruptly near is mouth making the stream suitable for a mill site. It seems likely that once the stream passed beyond the point where Patrick built his mill, stream flow would have slowed substantially as the creek passed into the Clinch. The sudden decrease in velocity would have permitted trapped sediments to drop out, resulting in a shoal (hence Shoal Creek), and would explain why this particular point was shallow enough to form a ford.
49. Martin 1983:127.
50. Summers 1929:1239
51. Martin 1983:263. This transaction occurred in 1806 after the death of Susannah Elizabeth.
52. Martin 1983:263. The Flanery's also seem to be related to the Montgomery's
53. Martin 1983:129
54. Martin 1983:136
55. Summers 1929:1238-1239
56. This is the property south of Thomas Alley's land settled in 1776 (Martin 1983:157), and east of Fall Creek. In 1770 Samuel would have been but 13 years of age, so a settlement date of 1770 seems improbable. Perhaps the land was actually settled by Patrick who put it into his son's name; this would suggest an earlier date of arrival on the Clinch than the 1772 date accepted here. Another possibility is that this property is actually that of Samuel of Temple Hill, though this seems unlikely. It may also be that the date of 1770 is a transcription error.
57. Hamilton et al 1992:57. This property may overlap that of Thomas Alley whose property included a feature called "the sinkhole spring". This suggests that John Walker died prior to Alley's settlement in 1776.
58. Summers 1929:1252
59. Martin 1983:157 citing Russell Co. Deed Book 2, p. 79
60. Summers 1929:665.
61. Summers 1929:1225
62. Martin 1983:190-191. Perhaps the similarity in acreage between the Green and Kilgore property (41 acres) is coincidental. Perhaps Robert sold or gave the property to his son-in-law, and the transaction was not recorded because of their untimely deaths. Ownership of this property may have become a moot point when Rev. "Robin" Robert married the widow Jane Porter Green.
63. Martin 1983:77
64. The names of the daughters of John Walker = Ann Hudson who married David and William Cowan are unclear. See Fleming 1971 to add to the confusion. This paper follows the presentation in White 1902.
65. Martin 1983:77
66. Martin 1983:76-77. Documentation for these land actions needs to be confirmed. Martin frequently does not provide sources of his information. Available data do not well confirm his information.
67. Summers 1929:1203
68. Summers 1929:1203
69. Martin 1983:377 citing John Porter Bounty Land Warrant declaration 18 Sept. 1833, Floyd Co. KY.
70. Hamilton and Weaver 1992:35 citing an undocumented eyewitness account collected by Hamilton, notes that during an Indian attack c.1776 Houston's Fort on Big Moccasin Creek housed 21 families, including no more than 30 men. They also cite (p. 56) a recollection in the Draper Manuscripts noting that Cowan's Fort in Castle's Woods "was too weak; but seven or eight families").
71. These forts were known by several names, those cited here being the most common usage. Moore's Fort was located 'one half mile west of the "Brick Church" on the north side of the road from Castle's Wood's to Dungannon' (SR. 6 3) (Hagy 1966:16; Martin 1983:82). This appears to be the first fort built in the area, and was apparently first known as Snoddy's Fort, after John Snoddy on whose land it was built. (Snoddy married Margaret Walker, daughter of John Walker = Ann Houston.) Moore's Fort was also briefly referred to as Fort Byrd. Cowan's Fort was from two to five miles from Moore's Fort (Hagy 1966 gives four to five miles; Hamilton and Weaver 1992:56 indicates 2 miles). The fort was apparently built where Jacob Castle built his cabin in the vicinity of Bickley's cemetery and Mud Store (Hagy 1966:17), and may have been located on Mill Creek (Hagy 1966:18). It was also called Bush's Fort, Russell's Fort, and Fort Preston.
72. Martin 1983:50
73. Summers 1929:599
74. Martin 1983:22, 148-149, 151A
75. Martin 1983:136
76. Martin 1983:29
77 Martin 1983:111-116, citing Va. Law Order Book No. 1 1786-1791, and Vol. 2 1792-1799, as summarized by Marian C. Ledgerwood "from microfilm obtained through the LDS Library".
78. see Russell County Tax Lists
79. Allord name is sometimes given as 'Allord', 'Alert' and 'Ellard'. The spelling used here seems as good as any.
80. Martin 1983:386, citing deposition of John Montgomery 26 February 1805, in the case of John W. Crunk plaintiff, and James Allord defendant.
81. Martin 1983: citing the Chancery Court suit of James Allord (son of Amos) vs. John W. Crunk.
82. Martin 1983:385
83. Martin 1983:388 citing Russell Law Order Book 1:32-33.
84. Martin 1983:111
85. Martin 1983:259A.
86. Martin 1983:385 citing the Montgomery deposition of 26 February 1805.
87. Martin 1983:384-388.
88. Martin 1983:147
89. Martin 1983:139 citing T.W. Carter Letter, Draper Msc, 6 C 47. It is my understanding that the ritual Masonic greeting would be particularly appropriate for a man traveling east. (For an explanation of this the reader is invited to examine the discussion of Masonic rituals in Rudyard Kipling's "The Man Who Would be King.") It is the use of this phrase, which fits so neatly with the circumstances, that makes this seem like a yarn spun for entertainment by a later generation.
90. Addington 1929:27.
91. Martin 1983:222, "The lodge headquarters in Richmond write that a chapter did not exist in Western Virginia until 1887 at Fort Blackmore...they have no record of one at Patrick Porter's Mill one hundred years earlier".
92. Martin 1983:131
93. Hamilton and Weaver 1992:16
94. Hagy 1966:43. Fincastle had been formed in 1772 from Botetourt Co. Fincastle was extinguished in 1777, being divided up into Kentucky, Montgomery and Washington Counties. Castle's Woods was in Washington County.
95. Hagy 1966:43, citing letter from Christian to Preston, Draper MS 3QQ63.
96. Martin 1967:120.
97. It is possible that this Samuel Porter is the son of Patrick, but this is questionable. Patrick's son Samuel would have been only 17 at the time. This may refer to the Samuel Porter who settled at Temple Hill near Castle's Woods. The Samuel Porter Jr. is presumably his son. Certainly Samuel son of Patrick was too young to have a son who could have participated in Dunmore's War.
98. Martin 1983:139-140. "Patrick Porter, while serving under General Lewis, in some capacity or other, on the Ohio River, was approached...by Chief Logan...He then made inquiry about his son Samuel, but...seeing Samuel coming toward them, he pointed and said 'Yonder he comes'". For Porter to have served on the Ohio in any capacity under General Lewis suggests that this is a recollection of the Battle of Point Pleasant. Despite Chief Logan's well-known generosity of spirit, exchanging pleasantries on the battlefield seems unlikely. Perhaps another occasion is referred to.
99. This version of the story is presented in Martin 1983. A source for the original is not provided, but it may be that this came originally from the hand of Emory Hamilton. The use of pidgin English suggests that there may be more fiction than fact in this passage. Patrick is listed as a sergeant on military rosters of the period, and there is no evidence that he ever attained the rank of 'Captain'.
100. For what it is worth, this looks suspiciously that an inversion of 'Dale Carter'. Carter was an early resident of Rye cove, killed by Indians about 11-12 October 1774 at Fort Blackmore. Two Indian attacks were made at the same time, one against Rye Cove, and one against Shelby's Fort. According to Hamilton et al 1992:27) these Indians were commanded by Logan. If so, it seems unlikely that Porter and Logan would have been able to have their talk immediately after the battle of Point Pleasant 10 October 1774). If the meeting between Porter and Logan occurred at all, it must have been well after the Battle of Point Pleasant.
101. Addington 1932:109, citing T.W. Carter Letter, Draper Msc. 6C49.
102. Martin 1983:136
103. Hamilton and Weaver 1992:22-27
104. The deaths of Duncan and Carter are of interest to the Porter family. Duncan had settled at what is now Dungannon, directly across from the mouth of Fall Creek where it enters the Clinch. Carter was the brother of Norris Carter; Norris's son Dale would later marry Katherine, daughter of Patrick and Susannah Porter. The similarity of the names 'Dale Carter' and 'Arter Dale' is striking.
105. Addington 1932:55
106. Hagy 1966:65-66.
107. Hagy 1966:66.
108. Summers 1929:1419-1421.
109. Summers 1929:1120, citing Washington Co. Court records for 18 and 19 September 1782.
110. Moss 1990:147, 286.
111. This is somewhat controversial. Addington (1935) gives Rev. Robert Kilgore as a son of Charles Kilgore, and stated that he had been unable to verify that a Kilgore had been killed with Green. According to Martin 1983:257, Green was wounded near Porter's Fort, and died a few days later.
112. Martin 1983:121-122, citing Draper MS 1XX20.
113. Summers 1929:1120.
114. Summers 1929:1117
115. Martin 1983:140, citing Addington 1932, and T.W. Carter letter in Draper Manuscripts.
116. Martin 1983:389 citing Kentucky's last Frontier by Henry Scalf.
117. Martin 1983:377-378.
118. Martin 1983:137-140, citing a letter from 'Judge Wood, Draper MSC. 4 C 26)
119. Martin 1983:178. This may, however, refer to Samuel Porter of Temple Hill. It is possible, however, that this refers to Samuel Porter of Temple Hill. That Samuel Porter is also believe to have campaigned in Kentucky. In his case he was taken captive and turned over to the British who held him for some period of time in Detroit.
120. Martin 1983:320
121. The line of descent would be: through John Walker Porter = Martha Hutchinson, to Samuel = Anna Raines, to John M Porter,(1832-1899)= Amanda Melvina Brown, to Samuel Walker Porter, Sr. (1876-1957)= Helen Smith Dogett, to Samuel Walker Porter, Jr. = Julia M. Walker/Laura E. Jones/Dora E. Adkins. (see Martin 1983:391-393.
122. Martin 1983:432A, citing a letter from Samuel Walker Porter Jr., dated 18 August 1982, to Henry Martin.
123. John Walker testified that he was born in 19 April 1759 (Martin 1983:378, citing unspecified court records for Floyd Co. KY, November 1833.
124. Photocopy is unclear, may be Polly.
125. The transcription given for this page of the sermon book gives the date of birth as "12 Feb 1776 (?)". Examination of a photocopy of the page, also provided in Martin, reveals that the date of birth looks like 12 Feb. 1778, though the '8' appears slightly askew. This entry follows immediately after the entry for Patrick Jr., which is unambiguously 12 Feb. 1776. Perhaps the similarity of the day of birth for Patrick Jr., and Mary Polly Margaret, coupled with the ambiguity of the year of birth led someone to conclude that Patrick Jr. and Mary Polly Margaret were twins. This is difficult to reconcile with the fact that the name 'Mary" had already been previously used for the child born 25 Jan 1771. It is concluded that Mary Polly Margaret was most likely born 12 February 1778. The fact that Mary was previously used in the family of Patrick and Susannah suggests that she was a granddaughter of this couple. If so, it would seem that she was most likely the eldest daughter of Samuel Porter and Mary Alley.
126. Ritchie sought an annulment in 1792. Martin 1983:337 (citing Russell Co. Minute Book 1:373.
127. Patrick Porter Sermon Book. In a court deposition Samuel himself gave his place of birth as 'Guilford Co. NC.' It may be that this reflects his true POB, or it may be simply that his family moved to that general area shortly after his birth.
128. Two Samuel Porters are listed on the personal property tax list for Russell County in the year 1799. One is annotated with the initials "C.W." The initials stand for "Castles Woods" and were used to distinguish "Samuel Porter of Temple Hill" from "Samuel son of Patrick" In 1800 a single Samuel Porter is listed. No annotation to the name was made, indicating that the distinction was no longer important. Thus Patrick Porter's son undoubtedly died between the time of the 1799 and 1800 personal tax surveys. These tax lists may be found on the Russell County Web Site (See http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/census/1799.html and http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/census/1800.html.)
129. An 1801 court order authorized the overseer of the poor to bind...the infant orphans of Samuel Porter, deceased, Martin 1983:31. Mary Porter is listed on the tax list of 1801, and 1802. In 1803 she is listed as a widow. Women were not normally listed on the tax records unless they had been widowed or (rarely) were unmarried heads of households.
130. Martin 1983:157
131. Hamilton and Weaver 1983:47.
132. Martin 1983:31, citing Hamilton study.
133. Martin 1983:133.
134. John Walker testified that he was born on 19 April 1759 (Martin 1983:378, citing unspecified court records for Floyd Co. KY, November 1833.
135. Martin 1983:378
136. Martin 1983:382
137. Martin 1983:319-334.

References

White, 1902

  1. Martin, H.G., 1983. Pickin Up the Porters. Privately Published. Commentary: Pickin up the Porters exists in several different editions, each with new information. The 1983 edition is the one that is currently at hand, but there were later versions with significant additions. Martin's work is a compendium of information, providing data about Patick Porter's family and descendants. Some of the information, however, is now well outdated. As a result, while highly useful, this work needs to be used with some caution.
  2. Patrick Porter Sermon Book, c1757. The family record was recorded on a partially blank page in a copy of John Flavel's 1701 sermon book entitled "Works". The Sermon Book was partially damaged by a flood in 1937, but was preserved as far as possible by its owner, Samuel Porter of Ashland, KY. Mr. Porter donated what remained of the the Sermon Book to the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, where it is available for inspection. While the Sermon Book is believed to have contained much information about the Porter family, only the Family Record of Patrick Porter and Susannah Walker, plus a few incidental marginal notes, have survived.