Person:James Keys (11)

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m. est. 1751-1755
  1. James Keys1756 - aft 1834
  2. Margaret 'Jenny' KeysBEF 1771 -
  3. John Keys - 1820
  4. Martha Keys
  5. Mary (Polly) Keys
Facts and Events
Name James Keys
Gender Male
Birth? 1756 Augusta County, Virginia
Death? aft. 1834 prob. Washington County, Virginia

James Keys was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia

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Parentage of James Keys

James Keys is a probable, but not proven son of John Keys who migrated to Augusta County, Virginia by 1753, acquired land in 1761 which he sold in 1772, and later acquired land on the Holston River in Washington County, Virginia. The aquisition of land on the "Laurel Fork of the Holstein River", which is the same location that John Keys acquired land in 1772 in Washington County, Virginia certainly provides circumstantial evidence of this relationship. More research is necessary to prove this.


Records in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:

  • Vol. 2 - Irvin vs. Campbell--O. S. 170; N. S. 60--Spa. in Washington County, 8th May, 1804. Orator, John Irvin. Defendants are, viz: James Campbell and James Keys, executors of Jacob Campbell, deceased, Jane Campbell, his widow, and George, Jacob, James (Jr.), Robert Campbell, sons of James Campbell. Bill states orator married a daughter of Jacob Campbell and had by her several children. In 1792 Jacob gave orator a bond to give slaves to orator's children. Jacob died testate. Will dated 28th December, 3794, and devised one slave to George Campbell, son of James Campbell,


Records in Washington County, VA

  • Page 171 - James Keys...385 ac...Preemption Warrant...on both sides of the Laurel Fork of Holstein River on the southeast side of the south fork...Beginning near the Laurel Fork...corner to Christopher Houstons land...under the Iron Mountain...May 11, 1782
  • Page 225 - Christopher Huston...400 ac...Commissioners Certificate...on both sides of the south fork of Holston River...Beginning near the head of a spring...on Gideon Faris line...corner to James Keys land...corner to Samuel Weirs land...corner to Robert Ramseys land...March 17, 1782.
  • Page 235 - Daniel Oldhannas...326 ac...Treasury Warrant of 1000 ac belonging to Robert Houston and assigned to Oldhannas...on the waters of Holston River...Beginning corner to Samuel Wiers line...on James Keys line...Warrant #1980, dated December 20, 1781...December 28, 1782
  • January 1, 1802-James Monroe Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to all to whom these presents shall come greeting know ye that by virtue of a land office treasury warrant number fourteen thousand nine hundred and twenty nine issued the tenth of December seventeen hundred & eighty two, There is granted by the said Commonwealth unto David Craig a certain tract or parcel of land containing fifty acres by survey bearing date the eighth day of August eighteen hundred lying and being in the County of Washington on both sides of the south fork of Holstein River and corner to James Keys land, Christopher Hustons land, Gideon Farris's land, and John Rambors land. Delivered to the proprietor 24th May 1802. (Virginia Land Office Grants No. 48, 1801-1802, p. 366, Reel 114.)
  • 1815 - Washington County Tax Assessments - James Keys, one farm on the Laurel Fork, 340 acres, 1 dwelling house, 20 feet by 18 feet, 1 ½ stories, 1 out house, 1 barn, valued at $850; 1 tract on same, 340 acres, valued at $170; total $1020. Henry Tucker, one tract on the south side of the Laurel Fork, joining James Keys, containing 43 acres, valued at $343.
  • 25 Feb 1820 -- Robert Houston & Theny(/) his wife (to) Hugh C. Neely, both of Washington County, VA -- for $50 -- 50 acres in Washington County. Bounds: South side of South Fork of the Holston River near a large spur of Iron Mountain ... on an old patent line for dividing between Robert Houston & Hugh C. Neely.{Signed} : Robert Houston, Theny (her X mark) Houston. Privy examination of Zelfeny, wife of Robert Houston by James Keys & Robert Edmondson, justices, 25 Feb 1820 ... Deed ordered to be recorded 22 Jun 1820. (Washington County Deed Book 7:216 - 217) (Washington County, Virginia Deed Book 7, 1818 - 1822, by Jack Hockett, page 56)

Revolutionary War Pension Information

Information from “Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records”, Vol. 3, compiled by Patrick G. Wardell, Lt. Col. U.S. Army Ret. :


Keys, James, b. 1756, Augusta County, Virginia; moved 1773 to Washington County, Virginia where he entered service 1774 against Indians & 1775 in Revolutionary War; Pensioned there 1833. F-S15907, R1478. (Note: this account of James Keys moving in 1773 to Washington County provides additional evidence that he was likely a son of John Keys, who also removed from Augusta County (sold his land in November, 1772) to Washington County during the same time period).

Depositions of James Keys

Washington County, Virginia
I James Keys being called on to state the services of the late Col. William Edmondson of said county in the Revolutionary war which is as follows to wit: in the month of September in 1776 I served a two month tour with hmi against the Cherokee Indians. He acted as a Captain under Col. William Christian 1777. I served with him in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians for the term of two months said Edmondson acted as a Captain in 1778. I served with said Edmondson's tour of six weeks in the county of Graysonand in the county of Ash in North Carolina against the torys said Edmondson then acted as a Captain under Col. William Campbell in 1780. I served with him two months against the British & Toryes at Kings Mountain said Edmondson acted as a Major in that expedition. I was with said Edmondson on several other small expeditions but the time we served I do not recollect.
December 15th, 1834
James Keys
I do certify that James Keys was duly sworn before me to the above statement given under my hand this 15th day of December, 1834.
Wm Buchanan, J. P.

[Source: Preston Papers, Draper Collection]


Pension application of James Keys (Keyes) S15907


Virginia, Washington County
On this 24th day of December 1833 personally appeared in open Court being a Court of Record for the County of Washington aforesaid James Keys resident in the said County of Washington aged Seventy eight years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his Oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the Act of Congress passed the 7th of June 1832.
That he was born in the County of Augusta in the State of Virginia in the year 1756 and removed to the County of Washington (his present residence) in the Year 1772. In the year 1774 he volunteered as Ranger & spy on the frontiers in the Indian war with the Shawnees and served as a private for that purpose in a company commanded by Captain William Edminston two months in the Year aforesaid – and in the year 1775 he was again ordered to march in the same service and under the same Officers and served in the same Capacity one month guarding the frontier on the Clinch & Sandy Rivers. In the year 1776 he volunteered in the month of July and entered the Company of Riflemen Commanded by Captain James Thompson and marched against the Cherokees, then at War with the White People, they had a battle with a party of them about 200 strong at the Long Island flats and defeated them, killing & wounding a great many of them; in this service he was engaged two Weeks. He was at home but a short time when the County was invaded by a strong party of Indians committing many Murders and other depredations on the frontier Settlements, he was ordered out to a party from Briant's Fort and joined another party from Black's Fort; they attack the Indian Camp and defeated them on the middle Fork of Holston River killing and wounding many and dispersed the rest; was engaged three days. In September the same year (1776) he was attached began to Captain William Edmiston's Company as a private and marched in a detachment under the command of Colonel William Christian against the Indians – in that service he was engaged two months. In 1777 he was appointed first Sergeant in a Company Commanded by Captain John Campbell to range and guard the Country now the County of Russell; in this service he was engaged two months __ [blank in original] days.
In the year 1778 the Tories had embodied themselves in the Country now known as Grayson County in Virginia & Ashe County in North Carolina, he now again volunteered and was appointed first Sergeant in Captain William Edmiston's Company and marched in a detachment commanded by Colonel William Campbell (the late General W. Campbell) against them, came up with them at a place called the “Round Meadows” -- they wounded and took many of them Prisoners & captured all their baggage; he was engaged one month in this service. In 1779 he entered as first Sergeant in Captain Aaron Lewis's Company and marched in a detachment under the Command of Col Evan Shelby to the Chickamauga Towns which they burned and drove the Indians off; he was two months in this service.
In 1780 he was first Sergeant in Captain David Beaty's [sic, David Beattie's] Company of volunteers and marched in the detachment commanded by Col Wm Campbell against the British and Tories embodied in North Carolina and was in the engagement at King's Mountain where the Army of British & Tories under the command of Furgerson [Patrick Ferguson] was defeated – he was one of the Guard that marched the Prisoners to the Moravian Towns; he was two months in this service. In the year 1783 or 1784 he volunteered against the Cherokees; was appointed Ensign received a commission served as an Officer in Captain Bowen's company of Riflemen and marched in the detachment under the command of Col Isaac Shelby (the late Governor of Kentucky) on their march were overtaken by an uncommon deep Snow which retarded their movements – and the detachment was discharged – he was two weeks in this last service as Ensign and all his service rendered to his Country was as a volunteer Soldier. He lived on the frontiers and pretty generally engaged as a Spy & Patrol where all the efficient men were required; he never received any regular discharge. He hereby relinquishes all claims to a pension except the present and that his name is not on the Roll of any State agency for Pension.
Sworn to and subscribed the day & year aforesaid.
(Signed) James Keys
[Source: http://www.southerncampaign.org/pen/s15907.pdf]