Buffalo Presbyterian Church, Guilford, Rowan County, NC



Welcome to the Carolina
……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky

Carolina Cradle


Source:Rankin, 1934
Source:Donnell, et al. 1994
Source:Adams, 2009
Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery
The Nottingham Settlement
Early Members
Church History


Buffalo Creek Presbyterian Meeting House (BCMH) was situated in the northeast section of Guilford County, NC, south of the Haw River, in the Buffalo Creek Watershed.[1]The Meeting House served the needs of the earliest settlers in the area. Its history has been documented in several works, beginning with Source:Rankin, 1934, Source:Donnell, et al. 1994, and most recently Source:Adams, 2009.

BCMH has its origins with members of the "Nottingham Colony", whose agents agents secured 33 sections [2] in what was then Anson County, later become Rowan, and finally Guilford Co. According to most sources these "colonists" originated in the Nottingham Lots near Rising Sun in modern Cecil County Maryland. Adams, 2009 has attempted to substantiate this, but more or less assumed that Rankin and Donnel 1994 were correct in this. Additional work is needed to show whether the early settlers of the Nottingham Colony did indeed come from the Nottingham Lots. Some early members of the Nottingham Colony (the McQuiston's) are known to have come from the Cumberland settlement area in Pennsylvania; they may have been previously present in Nottingham Lots, but this has not been shown. Also, some of the early settlers in this area were Quakers; whether they were part of the Nottingham Colony, or came from the Nottingham Lots, remains to be determined.

Settlement of these lands began about 1753.

The first preaching service in this community...was by Rev. Hugh McAden, a missionary sent out from Pennsylvania, and it was on August 31, 1755 at the home of Adam Mitchell, near where the church now stands. This was two years after the colony had settled here.

Mitchell would later provide the congregation with land for their Meething House.

On October 16, 1768, Adam Mitchell, Sr. provided land for the first church. The deed was made out to John McKnight and William Anderson as trustees for the Presbyterian Congregation on the Waters of North Buffalo for 20 shillings current money.

The Congregation is said to have had three church buildings at different times. The first was a simple log cabin soon replaced by a frame building at the end of the Revolution. The third and present-day building was built in 1827. All three strucutures were probably located on the land at or near the present day location of the church, on land originally provided by Adam Mitchell.


Source:Rankin, 1934 identifies 19 members of the original Nottingham Colony.

We have no roll of the charter members, nor of those who were actually members of the church for many years after the organization. If a roll was made it has long been lost and no one now living knows anything about it. It would be intensely interesting and of great assistance in preparing this history, if we did have the roll of the early members. The earliest roll we have was prepared in 1833, seventy-seven years after the organization. By a close and tedious examination of all the old records in Rowan, Anson, Guilford, and Orange Counties we have been able to collect the names of most of the Scotch-Irish people who lived within the bounds of Buffalo. Some of these were members of the church and all were members of the congregation.

One of the contributors to the North Carolina GenWeb noted that

One error that Rev. Rankin makes is in assuming that people who lived near Buffalo Church must have belonged to it. There were Quakers living next-door to some of these Scots-Irish families, but that didn't make them Presbyterians and members of Buffalo Church.

The following is from Rankin, 1934. A comparison with the list of Donnell, 1999, and of Adams, 2009 is needed, both to identify persons not listed by Rankin, and to identify persons listed by ranking but who later research as shown to not be members of the Buffalo Presbyterian MH.

James Barr located on the Reedy Fork near the mouth of Horsepen Creek. Agnes John, Robert, James, David, Jean and others. David became a Presbyterian minister; Robert (1754-1838) located near Speedwell Church in Rockingham County; James moved to Georgia; Jean married first Mr. Walker, and after his death she married Adam Scott, and was the mother of Thomas Barr Scott; John Barr moved to Alabama.
Thomas Beals secured his section of land on Horsepen Creek. So far as the records show he left but one son, John. John wa a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died in 1778, perhaps from exposure at Valley Forge, Pa. He left a widow, Sarah, and several children. Thomas Beals must have died before the War.
George Black secured his section on the Reedy Fork. He left at least two children, Thomas and Jean. Thomas married Rebecca, daughter of William Denny and granddaughter of James, Sr., and located on North Buffalo; Jean married William Gorrell, son of Ralph, Sr., in 1791.He appears to have been a young man when he came.
John Blair secured his section on the headwaters of North Buffalo. On January 2, 1765, he sold this to Dr. Caldwell, and located on the Reedy Fork. Jean, children were Thomas, John, Andrew, Jonathan, Jean and Martha. All this family moved away. John Blair, Sr., died in 1778.
John Cummings secured his grant on Reedy Fork. He had at least two sons, George and John. George married Mary, daughter of Moses McQuiston, and located near the Rockingham County line, and his descendants are in that county; John located several miles west of the church, and his descendants are now living in the county.
John Cunningham secured his section of 640 acres on the Reedy Fork, near what is now the Hardie Mill. Mary, children were Jean, James, Joseph, Jeremiah, William, Hugh, John, Jr., Mary, and perhaps others. Jean married William Wilson in 1774; James appears to have moved to Tennessee after the War; we have no record of Joseph; Jeremiah married Hannah, daughter of John Coots in 1779; William married Martha, daughter of John Blair, in 1771; we have no record of Hugh after the War; Mary married William Smith, son of Robert, Sr.; John, Jr., married first Margaret, daughter of James Donnell, Sr., in 1786; second, Mrs. Mary Mitchell McMurray, in 1798, widow of John McMurray, Jr., and daughter of Adam Mitchell, Jr., and third, Polly, daughter of James Finley, in 1818. The children of John, Jr., by the first marriage were James (1787-1821), Isabella and John (1795-1817); and by his second marriage, Mitchell (1799-1842), Hannah (1801-1844), Joseph, Polly (1805-1877), William, Andrew, Elizabeth and Nancy (1817-1828). Of the children of John, Jr., James married Mary B., daughter of James Patrick, of Rockingham County; Isabella married Mr. Sims; Hannah married Ervin Donnell, son of Daniel, in 1818; Joseph married Abigail Peoples in 1833 and located two miles south of Doggett's Mill; Polly married William Pritchett in 1823; William died unmarried; Andrew married Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Nehemiah Whittington, in 1849, and lived in Greensboro; Elizabeth married Christopher Brown in 1835; Nancy died unmarried. We have no record of the marriage of Mitchell.
Robert Donnell, Sr., secured two sections, one on North Buffalo and one on Reedy Fork. He first located on North Buffalo and later moved to Reedy Fork. In 1786 he bought one thousand acres on Big Troublesome Creek in Rockingham County. H Mary, children were Robert, John, Thomas, Mary, Margaret and William. Robert married Catherine McCalib in 1776; John married Sarah, daughter of Robert Connell, the 2nd, in 1779; Thomas became a Presbyterian minister; Mary married first James Denny, son of William, Sr., and second, John McAdoo in 1782; William married Martha, daughter of William Denny, Jr., and located on Big Troublesome Creek, Rockingham County.the brother of Thomas Donnell
Thomas Donnell He located on North Buffalo, four miles east of the church. Jane LathamHis children were James (1744-1811), Hannah (1746-____), John (1748-1822), William (1749-1822), Robert (1752-1816), Thomas (1754-____), Andrew (1757-1835), George (1759-____), Jane, Latham (____-1828) and Alexander, who died young. James married Agnes, daughter of William Denny, Sr., and lived just north of the John Rankin farm. In 1799 he moved to Tennessee. Hannah married first Alexander McKnight and second George Denny, son of James, Sr., in 1775; Major John married first Hannah Meek in 1771, and second Elizabeth, daughter of James Denny, Sr., in 1781; William married Nancy, daughter of James Denny, Sr.; Robert married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Donnell, the 2nd, in 1775; Thomas became a physician and located in Mecklenburg County; Andrew married first Agnes, daughter of John Brawley, in [end of page 24] 1779, and second Mary Creswell in 1819; George married Isabella, daughter of David Kerr, in 1784, and lived near Alamance Church, in which he was a ruling elder. In 1804 he moved to Wilson County, Tennessee, and his son George became a renowned Cumberland Presbyterian minister; Latham married Mrs. Charlotte Ervin, widow of Robert and daughter of Adam Mitchell.1712-1795; was born in Ireland, came to Pennsylvania about 1737, and there he married Jane Latham in 1743. He came to North Carolina with the Nottingham Colony and secured grants to three sections of land.
Hugh Foster secured a grant for 640 acres on Horsepen Creek. Martha,children were John, William, Samuel, James, and perhaps others. John married Grace, daughter of Nathan Dicks, and located on North Buffalo in 1771, and their children were Abigail, Nathan, Elmira, and Joshua. [county coordinator's note: This Dicks family was Quaker and not the same family as the Dick family of Buffalo Church. He was a justice of the peace in Rowan County before Guilford was formed.
John McClintock secured his section of land near Martinsville. Isabella, children were John, William, Samuel, Robert, Isabella (1768-1818), Nancy, Margaret, and another daughter who became the second wife of James Coots. John married Isabella, daughter of John Starrett; William married Sarah, daughter of Edward Weatherly; Samuel married Anne, daughter of James Stafford; Robert married and located on the Reedy Fork; Isabella married James Dick, son of William, and was the mother of Judge John McClintock dick and six other children; Nancy married John Ballinger; Margaret married Samuel Thompson. John McClintock, Sr., died in 1807.
James McQuiston located on Richland Creek of Reedy Fork. <td< Janett,
Jane married Thomas Flack;
Lavinia married John Nelson in 1764;
Dorcas, married John McQuiston, son of Thomas, in 1768;
Gustavius moved to Tennessee;
Thomas and
James, Jr., was tried before the session for fighting and withdrew from the church, and deeded to the McQuiston family a plot on his farm for a graveyard.
James, Sr., died in 1766. Brother to Robert and Thomas McCuiston
Robert McQuiston located near his brother at the mouth of Horsepen Creek. Anne, children were Moses, Walter, James, Robert, Jean, Margery, Sarah and Mary. Moses married Elizabeth, perhaps a daughter of Alexander Nelson; Jean married James Finley, son of George; Margery married John Trindell; Sarah married Robert Cherry in 1769; Mary married John Coots in 1769, and she was his second wife. Robert McQuiston, Sr., died in 1766. Brother to James and Thomas McCuiston
Thomas McQuiston, Sr., located on the headwaters of North Buffalo, and was a neighbor of Dr. Caldwell. His children were James, Thomas, John and others.Brother to Robert and Thomas McCuiston

Adam Mitchell secured his grant on the North Buffalo. The church is located on a part of his grant. Mary, and their children, so far as their names appear on any record, were John, Adam, Jr., and Jennet. John's name does not appear on any record after the War; Jennet married her first cousin, Adam Mitchell, son of Robert; Adam, Jr., married Agnes, and their children were Samuel (1771-1851), John (1773-1841), Adam (1776-1841), Mary and Charlotte. Of the children of Adam Mitchell, Jr., Samuel married Margaret, daughter of John McMurray, Sr., in 1795; Adam married first Isabella Gwyn, and second Elizabeth Allen; Mary married first John McMurray, Jr., and second John Cunningham, Jr.; Charlotte married first Robert Ervin and second Latham Donnell; John never married.
Robert Mitchell, Secured his grant near the Guilford Battle Ground. Margaret, children were Adam, Mary, Rebecca, Jean and Henry. All this family moved to Tennessee after the War. He was the brother of Adam Mitchell
John Nicks secured grants for two sections just east of the church.Margaret, children were Sarah, George (1756-1838), John, Elizabeth, Nancy, Quinton, and two other daughters, one of whom married Bazell Brasher, and the other married Isaac Brasher, sons of Robert, and both moved to Tennessee after the War; Sarah married William Spruce and lived on the south side of North Buffalo; John moved to Tennessee after the War; Elizabeth married George Purcell of Rockingham County; Nancy married Zacheriah Roberts and moved to Tennessee after the War; Quinton died unmarried; George married Elizabeth, and their children were John, Sarah, Margaret, George, Elizabeth, Yarburough and Anne. George, Sr., lived at the J. Al Rankin place. John Nicks, Sr., died in 1781.
Robert Rankin secured his section on the waters of Reedy Fork, where the Carlson peach orchard is. He later sold this section to William Denny and secured another section about one mile west of the church. Rebecca,their children were George, Robert, Rebecca, John and others. George died in 1761, leaving a widow, Lydia, and two children, Robert and John; Robert lived at the home of his father, and his children were Robert, William, John and others; John located on Reedy Fork and had one son, John, and perhaps others. All the male members of this Rankin family moved west, most of them to Tennessee. John Nicks entertained Rev. Hugh McAden, the missionary, in 1755.
Samuel Scott secured two sections of 640 acres each on the waters of the Reedy Fork, in what is now known as the Moore community. He had at least two sons, Samuel, Jr., and William. Samuel, Sr., returned to Pennsylvania, carrying all his family with him except Samuel, Jr., who had married and located here. Samuel, Jr., died shortly thereafter, leaving four children: Samuel, Jr. Jr., Jane, Mary and Anne, who married William Gowdy, Jr.; Jane married John Bell, son of Samuel, in 1778; Mary married Robert McMurray, son of John, Sr., in 1791; Samuel, Jr. Jr., married Jane, daughter of James McAdoo, Sr., in 1788, and their children were John, David, Samuel, Joseph L. and Mary. Samuel, Jr. Jr., died in 1797, and his widow married Col. William Ryan in 1799.
Andrew Wilson located some three miles north of the church. married Margaret Robinson in 1774
and this must have been his second wife.
children of Andrew Wilson, Sr., by his first wife:
James, located just north of the church;
Andrew, Jr. (1752-1834),
William located on Reedy Fork,
David, moved to Tennessee after the War;
John, No record
George, on Record
Mary married Robert Russell in 1762;
Margaret married William Jackson, and they named one of their sons Andrew. This Andrew Jackson [end of page 27] is sometimes confused with General Andrew Jackson, as both were here at the same time. Andrew Wilson, Jr. (1752-1834), located on South Buffalo, and built the first grist mill there, now known as the John C. Dick Mill. He married first Agnes, daughter of John Chambers, and their children were Daniel, Robert, and James; his second wife was Mary, daughter of Robert Rankin, and their children were William R. (1787-1855), Andrew and Maxwell; his third wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John McKnight, Sr., and their children were John and David (1798-1856).
He died shortly after 1774. A deed of Andrew Wilson, Jr., calls for the boundary line of the widow Wilson's land.

From Rankin, 1934:

This accounts for nineteen families of the Nottingham Colony, but it does not claim to be a complete list. Others, perhaps, secured grants and did not have their deeds recorded; perhaps others came and looked the situation over and did not locate here; perhaps others belonged to the company, but were not prepared to come when the main body of the colony came in 1753, but came a little later and took up their grants; the names of a few other men appear on the records in 1753, but do not appear again; perhaps other deeds are on record and have not been found. It has been a difficult task to find some of these. All of these and their families were members of the Buffalo congregation, and the descendants of some of them are now members of the church.

The names of all the children in many of the families can not be given, as no will was made by some of the parents. We cannot give all the marriages, as some of the marriage bonds are lost. Many names disappear from all court house records during and just after the Revolutionary War. Some of these were killed in the War and others moved away.