Person:Godfrey Isbell (1)

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Godfrey Isbell
  1. Godfrey Isbell1750 - aft 1830
  1. Nancy Isbell
  2. Thomas Isbell1784 - 1862
Facts and Events
Name Godfrey Isbell
Gender Male
Birth? 1750 Virginia, United States
Death? aft 1830 Alabama, United States

Contents

State of North Carolina, Morgan District Superior Court

September Term 1783

"State of North Carolina, Morgan District Superior Court of Law and Equity, September Term 1783. The jurors of the State upon their oath present that, James FLETCHER esquire being a justice of the peace for the county of Wilks, and having information duly made to him that a certain Godfrey IZBEL had committed a murder in the said couny did issue his warrant in due form of law in the said county, to apprehend the said Godfrey that the said Godfrey might be proceeded with agreeable to law for the said offence and that for want of a proper officer to execute the said warrant, the said James directed the same to be executed by Nelson DONATHAN than and yet of the said County of Wilks and that the said Nelson afterwards to wit on the tenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty three took upon himself to execute the said warrant in due form of law on the said Godfrey and the jurors aforesaid and in the eigth year of Independence of the said state did then and there in the county and district aforesaid unlawfully deceitfully and with intent to prevent the said Godfrey from being brought to justice for his said offence, did hire and procure a certain Thomas NORRIS to inform the said Godfrey of the legal measure aforesaid taken to apprehend the said Godfrey, and did also then and thre unlawfully deceitfully and with his intention aforesaid by means of the said Thomas NORRIS give notice to the said Godfrey of the said warrant and measures aforesaid taken to apprehend him the said Godfrey and did also then and there unlawfully deceitfully and with wicked intent aforesaid advise and perswade the said Godfrey to conceal himself and avoid being apprehended by means of the said warrant and evil example to all others in like cases offending and against the peace and dignity of the said State. Presentment vs. Nelson DONATHAN."


There is a story handed down in the Chapman family that during the Revolutionary War Godfrey Isbell murdered a John Chapman, who was a Loyalist. I have often wondered if this court record may have referred to that murder. Unfortunately, this record and the two similar records dated 1784, do not mention just who Godfrey is supposed to have murdered. Although I have gone through the loose Wilkes County and Morgan District papers that are in the North Carolina archives, I have not been able to find that a trial was actually held regarding the murder charge. Godfrey went into hiding at the suggestion of his attorney, but he doesn't appear to have left Wilkes County until he and his supposed brother, Pendleton Isbell, migrated to South Carolina with a large group of settlers led by Colonel Benjamin Cleveland and his brothers sometime around 1788-89.


here is a transcribed muster roll on the Sullivan County, Tennessee Genweb site, and Godfrey Isbell is posted as enlisting in 1776 to defend "Womack's Fort"[1] against the Native Americans. Captain Jacob Womack was in charge of this group of men. I belive the site has listed the geography of the fort wrong. They say it was in Fincastle County, Virginia, but Sullivan County, Tennessee was at that time claimed by North Carolina if I'm not mistaken. So that puts Godfrey in the area quite early.


Virginia Genealogy

"Magazine of Virginia Genealogy" and states the following:

"Four Militia Lists, 1776-1777 Fincastle County, Virginia Transcribed by Hunter Applewhite

Militia lists, especially those in the years of the Revolution, are always welcome. These apparently are not found in the Virginia State Archives and do not appear in Loyd Brockstruck's 'Virginia Colonial Soldiers'. The Editor is indepted to William Douh Bennett, CG, of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, for submitting them to the 'Magazine of Virginia Genealogy'. They were found by Mr. Bennett in the North Carolina State Archives, Military Collection, Frontier Scouting and Indian Wars, Box 1, and are presented here with the kind permission of the North Carolina State Archivist."

There follows a listing of soldiers, among whom is Godfrey Isbell who enlisted on July 15 and was discharged on October 12, 1776.

Godfrey probably enlisted while he was still living in Lunenburg or Charlotte County, VA. Fincastle County was created in 1772 from Botetourt and abolished in 1777. What is interesting about these lists of soldiers is that they are found in the North Carolina State Archives and not in the Virginia Archives.

Yes, there are many researchers who have tried to find any sort of estate record for Zachariah Isbell to no avail. And yes, after moving from Amelia County, VA to Lunenburg County, Henry Isbell, Jr. served as clerk of the Little Roanoke Church. Henry and Hannah Isbell's names appear on the list of the founding members of the Meherrin Baptist Church. Court records show that Henry Isbell, Jr. was in Lunenburg County, VA, then his land fell into Charlotte County when it was formed. Finally, Henry and Hannah moved to Halifax County, VA, but first apparently were in Wilkes County, NC for a short time. This was around the same time that Henry's supposed brother, James Isbell, moved his family to Wilkes County from Albemarle County, VA.


In 1797, he gave permission for his daughter Sarah to marry in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Using the approximate age of 18 for Sarah she would have been born around 1779. At that time Godfrey was out in the Tennessee area. It is most probable that he and his wife were married in that area also

In Lincoln County Records Volume 1, page 50 (Cook, 1987), there is an entry "consent of Godfrey Isbell for his daughter Sarah Isbell to marry James Morris (some list it Moore but it is Morris) of Garrard County. No date. Witnessed by Jonathan Moore and Richard Armstrong. Note: Marriage was October 4, 1797". Using the approximate age of 18, she would have been born in 1779.

Ther are three volumes to this set covering county court minutes. Also in Volume 3, page 176 recorded for July 10, 1798, "on the motion of Thomas Hansford, it is ordered that Michael Keeny, James Gilmore, William Williams, and Godfrey Isbell, or any three of them, view the best way for a road from Hansford's Mill on Pittman Creek to intersect the State Road at Davis's tavern at the Crab Orchard" (p.158b).

So apparently Godfrey moved from Madison County, Kentucky (where he is on the tax lists for 1795 & 1796) to Lincoln County before leaving Kentucky.


Here is a very brief time line of Godfrey Isbell's migrations:

  • 1771 - Charlotte County, VA
  • 1774 - Ninety-Six District, SC
  • 1778 - Washington County, NC (now Tennessee)
  • 1780 - Battle of King's Mountain
  • 1781 - Wilkes County, NC (witness to marriage of Thomas Isbell and Descretion Howard)
  • 1789 - Pendleton District, SC
  • 1794 - Madison County, KY
  • 1797/98 - Lincoln County, KY
  • 1799 - Cumberland County, KY
  • 1801 - Wayne County, KY
  • 1807 - Warren County, TN
  • 1816 - Jabez Isbell appointed administrator of Godfrey Isbell's estate in Madison County, Mississippi Territory (now Alabama)

1790 United States Federal Census

1790 United States Federal Census
  • Name: Godfrey Isbell
  • County: Pendleton
  • State: South Carolina


Source Citation: Year: 1790; Census Place: , Pendleton, South Carolina; Roll M637_11; Image: 0019.



Kentucky Census, 1810-90

Kentucky Census, 1810-90
  • Name: Godfrey Isbell
  • State: KY
  • County: Cumberland County
  • Township: No Township Listed
  • Year: 1799
  • Record Type: Tax list
  • Database: KY Early Census Index


Source Information:

Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Kentucky Census, 1810-90 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.

Description: This database contains indexes to the Kentucky (U.S.A.) portions of the 1810-1870 U.S. Federal Censuses as well as indexes to the 1840 Pensioners Lists, 1850 Slave Schedules, the 1890 Veterans Schedules, and other early censuses. Information contained in these indexes can include name, state, county, township, year of record, and name of record set.


War of 1812 Service Records

  • Name: Godfrey Isbell
  • Company: 7 REG'T (GRAY'S) VIRGINIA MILITIA.
  • Rank - Induction: PRIVATE
  • Rank - Discharge: CORPORAL
  • Roll Box: 108
  • Roll Exct: 602


Source Information:

Direct Data Capture, comp.. War of 1812 Service Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M602, 234 rolls.


War of 1812 Service Records

  • Name: Godfrey Isbell
  • Company: 8 REG'T (WALL'S) VIRGINIA MILITIA.
  • Rank - Induction: PRIVATE
  • Rank - Discharge: PRIVATE
  • Roll Box: 108
  • Roll Exct: 602


Source Information:

Direct Data Capture, comp.. War of 1812 Service Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: National Archives and Records Administration. Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M602, 234 rolls.



There are documents in the loose papers where Henry Isbell states that Godfrey was his son