Facts and Events
John Edmiston was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
This article concerns the John Edmiston who with wife Margaret settled on Borden's Grant about 1740, along with his brothers Robert and William. According to a letter from a grandson, Andrew Edmiston, to Governor David Cambell, the family originated in Cecil County Maryland, moved to what is now Rockbridge County (c1740), then briefly relocated to Grayson County VA, (about 1765), before finally settling in what is now Washington County, Va (about 1770).
Cecil County, MD.
Borden's Grant, VA
Over the next 25 years, John appears on numerous court records and land transactions with his wife Margaret:
This information is not to be changed
E-1-2: John Edmiston b. ?MD, ?PA, ?Ireland, perhaps c. 1714 d. probably Augusta Co. VA, c.1771 m. Margaret ___________
d. after 1772?
Exactly when John Edmiston went out to the Virginia Valley is not in the records. However, in a much later trial, his son Samuel deposed that "he came on the land with his father's family and his brother William" and was living there from 1740 to 1745. The land in question seems to have been on Walker's Creek, since many years later, in 1806, James Mitchell deposed that John had lived on Walker's Creek before getting his land from Benjamin Borden.1 This land is part of the Borden Tract, in the southern part of old Augusta County, the part which later became Rockbridge County.
The source of all of John's land has not yet been ascertained. He is said to have owned more than 1000 acres.5
19 March 1747. Benjamin Borden to Col. John Buchanan. Testator agreed to sell in his lifetime to John Buchanan, £ 3, 100 acres, part of 92,100 acres beginning on the creek, corner to John Edmiston.6 This land went later to Samuel Buchanan: 20 May 1756. John Buchanan, Gent., late of Reed Creek to Samuel Buchanan, 393 acres, corner to John Edmondson on Moffett's Creek. This Buchanan family and the Edmistons were closely involved with each other from then on.
Augusta Co., WB I, 241. 6 Apr. 1749. Will of Robert Edmiston, pr. 22 May 1750. Witnesses are John Edmiston and Samuel Buchanan. Buchanan proves the will on 22 May, but Edmiston is summonsed to appear at the next court.
In the 1740's, there seems to have been at least one other John Edmiston in Augusta County, probably the son of David "Turk" Edmiston, who originally lived on land in the Beverly Manor, some miles north of the Borden tract. David died in 1751. By that time, his son James was already on land further south, and the entire family seems to have moved there. It is virtually impossible to be certain which John is which in some of the entries.
For example: 21 May 1747. John Edmondson given leave to build a mill7. This could be either John, and we originally thought it was this John. However, evidence has emerged showing that the David Edmiston family had one or more mills in this area later on, whereas our John is never referred to as a miller. Therefore, we now think that the John who had the mill was the son of David, D-1-
The following could be either John. 17 March 1748/9. Inventory, David Moore shows a debt to John Edmiston8. This is particularly interesting because David Moore's will, 2 Feb. 1748/9, pr. 15 Feb. 1748/9,9 bequeaths to his sister, Mary Edmondson and her daughter Eleanor. Which Edmondson married Mary Moore is not known. The only other reference to her shows her in Philadelphia in 1771, apparently widowed, deeding 94 1/2 acres of this estate to Samuel Hunter.10 Nothing further is known of daughter Eleanor. Is the John in the Moore estate account the son of David or our John? Moore's land was in the Beverly Manor, which makes it closer to David than to John, but that is anemic evidence at best.
14 Aug. 1753. John Edmiston, Robert Dunlap, Thomas Mitchell, witness deed, Samuel Dunlop to Thomas Beard, land in Borden's Tract.11
Fw: Timber Ridge Chruch, 1753 Resent-Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 08:53:24 -0700 (PDT) Resent-From: EDMONDSON-L@rootsweb.COM Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 10:53:01 -0500 From: Mark Wood <email@example.com.COM> Organization: Microsoft Corporation To: EDMONDSON-L@rootsweb.COM
> Alexander, Archibald > Allison, Francis > Allison, Robert > Beaty, Francis > Berry, Charles > Berry, Thomas > Berry, William > Borden, Magdalena > Buchanan, Samuel > Caruthers, William > Coulter, James > Davis, Samuel > Davis, William > Davison, John > Douglass, John > Dryden, David [Sr] > Dryden, Thomas > Dunlap, Samuel > Eakin, James > Eakin, Walter > Edmiston, John
> Gamble, Robert > Gaor, Edward > Gray, Jabob > Gray, Samuel > Gray, William > Greenlee, James > Hamilton, William > M'Clung, James > M'Clung, James, Jr > M'Clung, widow > M'Cleur, alexander > M'Cluer, John > M'Cluer, Nathaniel > M'Cluer, Halbert > M'Crosky, John, St. > M'Crosky, John, Jr. > M'Crosky, Alexander > M'Cutchen, Samuel > M'Dowell, James > M'Dowell, Samuel > M'Glister, Neal > M'Murry, Thomas > M'Nabb, Baptist > M'Nabb, John > Hawely, John > Hay, Joseph > Hay, Samuel > Hearken, Edmund > Henderson, George > Henry, Robert > Hill, Thomas > Houston, John Sr. > Houston, John Jr. > Houston, Matthew > Houston, Robert > Houston, Samuel > Kennedy, Joseph > Kerr, John > Keys, John > Keys, Rodger > Kirkpatrick, Robert > Lockridge, William > Logan, John > Lowry, John > Lusk, James > Lusk, William > Lyle, Daniel > Lyle, John > Lyle, Matthew > Lyle, Samuel > Macky, John > Martin, Agnes > M'Anelly, Charles > Reagh, William > Robertson, Robert
> Robinson, James > Robinson, Matthew > Robinson, William > Roseman, John > Sayer, David > Shields, John > Smiley, John > Smith, William > Sprowl, John > Steele, Andrew > Steele, Samuel > Stuart, John > Thompson, James > Trimble, James
Next may be John, son of David, since our John's land is not on the River James; however, no land holding for John, son of David, has been found. 17 Aug. 1753. John Risk to Samuel Hays, 100 acres on James River in Borden's Tract, John Edmonson's line.12 18 Sept. 1763. Samuel Hays to William Thomson, 100 acres "in" land of John Edmondson. William Buchanan, George Buchanan, wits.13
Wits: Francis Beaty, Matthew Lyle, John Loggan, Robert Lowry. At a Court held for Augusta County the 21st day of March 1753 this Deed for Land Indented from Benjamin Borden Gent son and heir at Law of Benjamin Borden to John Edmiston as in open Court Proved by the Oaths of Francis Beaty Mathew Lyle John Loggan & Robert Lowery..... Delivered Samuel Bucnanan June 21st 1758
1760, Vestry Book shows John Emiston processioned14
DB XI, 523, 18 Sept. 1763. Samuel Hays/Elizabeth to William Thomson, 100 acres in a line of Borden's great tract, near land of John Edmiston. Wits: Wm. Buchanan, Archibald Reaugh, David Wilson, George Buchanan
Definitely our John: 17 Aug. 1762. Appraisement of Andrew Duncan by William Edmondson, John Edmondson, Samuel Buchanan.15
2 Aug. 1764. John Robinson/Sarah to Daniel Harvey. Wits: John Edmondson, Samuel Edmondson, John Stewart16 The presence of Samuel makes this likely to be our John--unless it is John II.
1765 sees a flurry of activity around John. 20 August 1765, Augusta Co. Court Minutes: a Dedimus to take deposition of John Edmondson, "about to leave the Colony"17. The assumption has been made that John, by this time becoming elderly, possibly in ill health, sorted out his affairs at this time and prepared to go elsewhere for his final days, perhaps further south and west, as his family did within a few years. However, it now seems possible that the John "about to leave the colony" was that other John, son of David, who may well have gone south at about this time as other members of his family are known to have done. After all, a move to Botetourt or Fincastle County would not mean "leaving the colony," and where else might our John have gone outside of Virginia? We should also mention the possibility that the departing John could be E-1-2-5: John II, who might have been old enough by now to be involved in a court case, and who definitely was out of the county a few years later when he married in Pennsyvlania. It might be helpful if we knew what the deposition was, but it has not been discovered.
What is awkward is that in the same year, some of them on the very same day the deposition was ordered, John participated in a number of deeds:
20 Aug. 1765. John Edmiston/Margaret to Samuel Steel, £ 150, 440 acres, Borden's Tract on Moffet's Creek, Buchanan's line. Wits: David Sayer, James Kennedy, William Edmondson, Samuel Edmondson. Delivered to Samuel Steele, August Court 1770.19
20 Aug. 1765. Samuel Steel/Mary to Robert Steel, 34 acres, delivered Robert Steel, August. Court 1770.20
20 Aug. 1765. John Stewart/Mary to Samuel Steel, 140 acres, Borden's Tract. Wits: William Edmiston, Samuel Edmiston, John Edmiston.21
9 Oct. 1765. John Edmiston/Margaret to John Berry, £ 43, 170 acres, part of Borden's 92,100, corner John Stewart. Wits: Samuel Buchanan, George Dougherty, Robert Buchanan, Samuel Edmiston22
Apparently, John was getting rid of some of his lands and some of the transactions seem designed to round out or rectify the borders of older lands. However, John did not sell all his land at this point, and there was still some dispute as late as 1806, when an extensive lawsuit found in the Borden-Peck file in the Augusta County Court House.
Additional lands were sold later:
Rockbridge Co., DB C, 123. 17 Sept. 1794. William/Elizabeth Edmiston, Washington Co., heir at law to John Edmiston dec'd., to John Robertson, £14, 2 tractsm 114 acres, corner to John Stuart, 93 acres + 21 acres, corner to Robertson and John Stuart, both patents of John Edmiston, now in possession of Robertson. Rec. Washington Co., 17 Sept. 1794; Rockbridge Co., 6 Jan. 1795
DB F, 39. 16 Apr. 1806. William/Elizabeth Edmiston to Samuel Steel, $100, 196 acres on Moffett's Creek, part of 609 acre survey belonging to John Edmiston dec'd., adj. Mary Grimes, John Stewart, John Robinson. Wits: Thomas Edmiston, Samuel E. Watson, Samuel Edmiston. Rec. Washington Co., 17 Apr. 1806, Reocbridge Co., 6 Oct. 1806.
Incidentally, the total acreage sold in these deeds and earlier is 1166, which is more than John was said to have procured.
Washngton Co. V, OB XIV< 266, 1 8g; 1771.. John Edmonston's deat abates suit (Chalkley I, 163. \+ This is the only indication of when John died and no estate papers have been found.
Soon, John's family moved south, probably starting c. 1772. , which is after John died. Hwever, the move date is not certainand there is some possibility that John died in Washington Co. One of Col. William Edmiston's descendants, Sarah James McChesney, published a rather confused account of the Edmiston family. She speaks of the death of an Edmiston man at the Edmiston Fort in Washington Co., the first death in the county. Her description of the deceased man's family fits no known Edmiston; however, it has been suggested that the man who died was the elderly John Edmiston, brought to Washington Co. by his children. If so, he is allegedly buried at the site of old Fort Edmiston. As for the widow Margaret, any references may be confused with Margaret Montgomery Edmiston, the wife of John's eldest son, Col. William Edmiston.
Augusta Co. VA, DB 18, 224. 24 Jan. 1772. William and Margaret Edmiston witness an acknowledgement of debt between William and Ann Christall and their son-in-laws Henry Reaburn and Charles Harris. This Margaret is more probably Col. William's wife. However, in 1772, a number of residents of Washington Co. signed a call to the Rev. Charles Cummings to come to preach to them23. William and Margaret sign this, their names not together on the list. Margaret signs next to John Edmiston, presumably but not necessarily E-1-2-5. This is more probably John's widow Margaret. No further record found. Margaret's maiden name is unknown. Since it is known that her son, Col. William Edmiston, was born in Cecil Co., her marriage must have occurred there, nearby in Chester Co. PA or the Philadelphia area, or possibly in Ireland. Early researchers picked up some tradition of a Campbell marriage somewhere in the family, and it would be possible for Margaret to be a Campbell.
Another possibility would be Buchanan. There is no doubt but that the Edmistons had very close ties with the Samuel Buchanan family. Samuel may have been the son of Jean Bohannan (Jane Buchanan) who died in Augusta Co. in 1747, and who nominated Robert Edmiston as her executor. At any rate, it seems likely that Jane lived on the 393-acre tract next to the two Edmistons, a tract belonging to Jane's son John Buchanan. John sold it to Samuel Buchanan in 1756, Samuel's first known land in Augusta Co., and it seems probable that Samuel and family had been living on it for some time previously.
How the Buchanans were related to the Edmistons, if they were, is not known. One possibility would be that Jane Buchanan was herself an Edmiston (although one tradition has it that she was a Sawyers), possibly sister to Robert and John. It would be equally possible for John's wife Margaret to be a Buchanan, perhaps sister to the husband of Jane Buchanan (by unsupported tradition, a James Buchanan). A blood relation to the Buchanans would go far to explain the extraordinary closeness of the families for several generations. It would also help explain the close relationship with Gen. William Campbell, since he was Jane Buchanan's grandson--and this might be the source of the Campbell connection so often rumored.
There might be more children for John than are listed. Those listed are authenticated to some extent. Judge Benjamin Estill wrote to Lyman C. Draper, 21 Aug. 1845, about the Judge's stepfather, E-1-2-2: Samuel Edmiston. He mentions four brothers and a brother-in-law who were at King's Mountain, of whom three were killed. He goes on to say that Col. William was the eldest of his family, Samuel next. Their father owned 200-300 acres in Rockbridge Co., so they went west to seek their fortunes. The farm was on Wardlaw's Creek in Rockbridge County, and it passed to a daughter who married a Steel.24 This letter gives us some of the sons, but is most important as the base for adding in Mary Steele as a daughter--the daughter whose husband Samuel Steele got the family farm (cf. deeds above).
My father commanded as a Major at that battle in the regiment commanded by Gen'l. Campbell. I had in the same regiment several uncles to wit, Samuel Edmiston, John Edmiston, Robert Ednmiston, Andrew Edmiston, & David Beattie & William Edmiston, the two latter of whom were uncles by marriage. Robert Edmiston, Andrew Edmiston & Cap'n William Edmiston three of my uncles were killed there that day, and John Edmiston was wounded.
If Capt. William Edmiston was G.W.C. Edmiston's uncle by marriage, this can only be through the captain's wife Elizabeth, who must therefore be Elizabeth Edmiston and another daughter for John. As for other possible children, there is Thomas Edmiston, who died in Washington Co. 1799. Cole thought that he was "Blind Tommy", who by family tradition was the father of Ann Edmiston, wife of E-1-2-4: Andrew Edmiston. If he was Ann's father, then he was not John's son, since Andrew would hardly marry his niece. However, from the few records on this Thomas, he seems more likely to be of the same generation as the children of John Edmiston and therefore too young to be Ann's father. His wife seems probably to have been Margaret Buchanan, of the Samuel Buchanan family next door to the Edmistons. Therefore, it is at least possible that this Thomas was another son of John, but it also seems doubtful in that no tradition of such a relationship was found by Cole or other earlier researchers. NN.B. I ave recently advanced the argument that Thomas was a brother to John, not a son. But the theory is far from proved.
Hettie McEwen in her family account mentions a daughter of Col. William Edmiston, Betsy, who married a soldier in the British Army named Wallace and died young. The Colonel certainly had a daughter Betsy, but she did not die young nor marry Mr. Wallace. Therefore, there is the admittedly remote possibility that Mrs. McEwen had a generation slip, and that Betsy Wallace was a daughter of John Edmiston and therefore Mrs. McEwen's great-aunt, rather than aunt. The earlier generation makes better sense, since the generation of Col. William's children would hardly be in much position or disposition to marry English soldiers This possiblity would be stronger if John did not have a daughter Elizabeth already documented....this imformation given to me by Pro. Howard V Jones it is his research and he has given me permission to use it on WeRelate although it is copy righted...--Dlbradley1 11:46, 18 February 2009 (EST)