Person:James Greenlee (1)

James Greenlee, of the Borden Tract
b.1707 Ireland
d.bef. 15 February 1763 Augusta County, Virginia
m. 1736
  1. Jane GreenleeAbt 1736 -
  2. John Greenlee1738 - BEF 1809
  3. James Greenlee1740 -
  4. Samuel Greenlee1743 - BEF 1751
  5. Margaret GreenleeAbt 1748 - Abt 1786
  6. Grace "Grizzell" Greenlee1750 - 1823
  7. Samuel "the younger" Greenlee1751 -
  8. David Greenlee1752 - 1820
  9. Mary Greenleeest 1754 -
Facts and Events
Name James Greenlee, of the Borden Tract
Gender Male
Birth? 1707 Ireland
Marriage 1736 Carlisle, Pennsylvaniato Mary Elizabeth McDowell
Death? bef. 15 February 1763 Augusta County, Virginia

James Greenlee, Sr. was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA


James Greenlee's land (Borden Tract SW, 2 Tracts: 1) 200 acres patented in 1747; 2) 203 acres, acquired from Jno. Lyle and Samuel Gray, executors of John Gray in 1757) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.

Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 369.--27th March, 1747. Benj. Borden to James Greenlee (sold in testator's lifetime); 200 acres, 5 shillings current money Virginia, part of 92,100. &c.; corner to John McDowell; Ephraim McDowell's line. Tested and acknowledged as above.
  • Page 487.--20th August, 1752. Thomas and Jane Williams to James Greenlee, 400 acres in Fork of James; Erwin Patterson's survey. Teste: Mathew Campbell, Jno. Mathews, Jr., Wm. Elliot.
  • Page 434.--8th March, 1757. Jno. Lyle and Samuel Gray, executors of John Gray, late of Augusta, yeoman, deceased, to James Greenlee, yeoman, 203 acres devised to be divided be bis executors between his wife and children, but not being susceptible of division, they, with consent of wife and as many children as are of age, decide to sell the land and divide the money. The 203 acres is part of Borden's 92100 and conveyed by Borden to Jno. Gray, 27th July, 1742. £94, on northwest side Timber Ridge. Delivered: Samuel Greenlee, 17th June, 1779.

Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 189.--19th April, 1763. John Greenlee to James Greenlee, £25, 250 acres in forks of James River, granted to James Greenlee, Sr., Gent, deceased, who was father to said John Greenlee, who is eldest son and heir-at-law by patent, 20th September, 1745. Delivered: Samuel Greenlee, 1780.
  • Page 192.--19th April, 1763. John Greenlee to David Greenlee, £10, 400 acres on a branch in forks of James River patented to Thomas Williams, 20th June, 1749, and made over by William to James Greenlee, Sr., Gent., deceased, father of John, who is eldest son and heir-at-law by deed prior to this; corner survey of Erwin Patterson's. Delivered: Samuel Greenlee, March, 1780.
  • Page 194.--19th April, 1763. Same (From John Greenlee) to Samuel Greenlee, £50, 200 acres; corner James McDowell; corner Ephraim McDowell, purchased by James Greenlee, Sr., from Borden, part of Borden's tract. Delivered: Samuel Greenlee, 31st March, 1780.

Estate Records

  • Page 210.--15th February, 1763. Mary and John Greenlee's bond (with Archibald Alexander, James Lockhart) as administrator of James Greenlee.
  • Page 257.--25th April, 1763. John Greenlee's bond (with James McDowell) as guardian (appointed) to Mary Greenlee, orphan of Jas. Greenlee.
  • Page 289.--16th April, 1763. James Greenlee's estate appraised, by Saml. McDowell, Jno. McClung, Jas. McDowell--Negro slaves; Robt. Brownfield's note, Robt. Telford's note, Geo. Seaton's note, David Griffey's note, Lewis Morgan's note, Jno. Logan's note, Jno. Skilton's note, Robt. Bradshaw's note; debt vs. Thos. Cottrel. Insolvent notes of Lawrence Moiren, Joseph and Robt. Tarr, Ezekiel Clements, Jno. Ross, Thos. Taylor, Lawrence Moiren, Patrick Downing, Wm. Centern.
  • Vol. 1 - (90) John Greenlee appointed guardian of Mary Greenlee, orphan of James Greenlee.

Records in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:

  • Vol. 1 - December 10, 1745. - (4) James Greenlee--Constable--vice William Moore in Benj. Borden's Co.
  • Page 19.--6th February, 1745-6. John Patteet, of Frederick County, yeoman. Whereas, James Greenlee, of County of Augusta, yeoman, is bound to John Pateet by covenant relating to two tracts of land lying on South Branch of James River containing 550 acres, purchased by John from James to Charles Sinckler, laborer. Assignment to Charles of John's rights under the covenant with Greenlee.
  • Vol. 1 - APRIL 16, 1746. - (35) Erwin Patterson, sp. Bail for James Greenlee.
  • Vol. 1 - SEPTEMBER 18, 1746. - (111) Motion James Greenlee--added to list of tithables.
  • Vol. 1 - ORIGINAL PETITIONS AND PAPERS FILED IN THE COUNTY COURT. - 1749: Inquisition, 19th May, 1750, at the house of James Greenlee, on James River, before John Mathews, on body of Edward Hogan, late of this County. Found that he was drowned accidentally by the oversetting of a cannow as he was crossing over James River, near the house of James Greenlee, on 13th May, 1750. James Mountgomery, Michael Dougherty, John Hitchins, John Ramsey, Josiah F. Hendon, John Vance, John Poage, Samuel Walker, Joseph Walker, John Mathews, Jr., Joshua Mathews, Mathew Vance.
Examination of John Maxwell and James McDowell, as to the death of Edward Hogan, taken 14th May, 1750. John says: On Sunday, 13th May, 1750, he, with Edward Hogan and James McDowell, being at the house of James Greenlee, went over the main branch of James River in a canoe to a place of James McDowell, and on their return the canoe overset and they fell out into the river. John swam ashore and McDowell stuck by the canoe, and after some time got on its bottom by which he saved himself. John and James stripped themselves and made every effort to save Hogan, but were unable. James McDowell says the same. John Carmichael testifies. James Frazier testifies. John Fetter Soling testifies. One, Salix, fetched him the news. William Frazier.
  • Vol. 1 - MAY, 1750 (B). - James Greenlee and Mary, his wife, vs. John Stevenson and Mary, his wife.--Slander.
  • Vol. 1 - MAY 26, 1750. - (400) James Greenlee, being unable to read or write, is released from being Constable.
  • Page 175.--27th February, 1750-1751. Same (From Benjamin Borden) to George Stevenson, 200 acres of 92100. Greenlee's line, cor. to McMarray; John Stephenson's line, cor. Thos. Paxton; cor. James Greenlee.
  • Page 109.--8th December, 1752. Same (From James Patton) to George Stevenson, 220 acres by patent as above. Poag's Draft of James River; Borden's Patent line. Teste: John and James Greenlee.
  • Page 101.--21st March, 1753. Same (From James Patton) to John Peteet, 40 acres by patent dated as above. James River; corner James Greenlee.
  • Page 505.--21st November, 1753. Same (From William Caruthers) to Nathan Peoples, 187-1/2 acres Borden's land; James Greenlee's and John Gray's, deceased, line; cor. above, McSpeadin's line; Mathew Lyle's cor.
  • Page 280.--13th March, 1756. William Coruthers and Margaret ( ) to John Macky, £115, 361 acres, part of Borden's 92.100 and conveyed to William by John Mathews, gent., 18th June, 1748. Cor. John White in James Greenlee's line; cor. Samuel Gray's new survey; said Coruthers' old survey. (Note: John White's daughter Jane married James Greenlee's son David. This record proves they were neighbors).
  • Vol. 1 - MARCH 17, 1756. - (33) John Burns, servant of James Greenlee.
  • Vol. 1 - NOVEMBER 19, 1756. (248) John Burns, servant of - James Greenlee; John Woster, servant of Danl. Smith; Thomas Garland, servant of Joseph Kenaday.
  • Page 176.--7th February, 1761. Same (from Borden's executors) to Samuel Davis, £__, 200 acres

of 92100; cor. James Anderson in a line of a tract of 636, said to be sold by John Buchanan, gent., unto Robert Allison, side of Mount Atlas; cor. tract surveyed for Mr. James Greenlee, William Davis' Cor.

  • Page 17.--16th May, 1761. Jno. White and Katherine ( ) to Wm. Peoples, £48, 187-1/2 acres; cor. to Corruthers in James Greenlee's line; Nathaniel People's cor.
  • Page 205.--17th May, 1762. George Stevenson, of Louisa, and Rebecca ( ) to Samuel Henderson, of Albemarle, £4, 200 acres in Borden's tract, Greenlee's line; cor. McMurray. John Stevenson's line; cor. Thos. Paxton; cor. James Greenlee. Teste: Wm. Graham, James Hollis, Marget ( ) Luney.
  • Vol. 1 - FEBRUARY 21, 1763. - (504) Robert Lusk vs. James Greenlee } Abates by death of defendant.
  • Page 395.--20th September, 1763. John Bowyer and Magdalen to James McDowell, £200, Rogers Keys' line, James Greenlee's line, Samuel McDowell's line. Delivered: Samuel McDowell, May, 1773.
  • Page 687.--17th August, 1764. Samuel Davis and Mary to Samuel Lyle, £55, 200 acres of Borden's tract; corner James Anderson, north side of Mount Atlas, tract surveyed for James Greenlee; Wm. Davis' corner. Teste: James McDowell. Delivered: Samuel Lyle, August Court, 1773.
  • Page 348.--14th September, 1765. Same (James McClung and Mary) to William McClung, £50, 212 acres on Mill Creek; corner Henry McClung; corner Jacob Gray, Wm. Dean's line; corner survey intended for James Greenlee. Delivered: James McClung, 10th June, 1789.

Information on James Greenlee

James Greenlee II (October 19, 1740 - November 8, 1813)

The following excerpts were taken from: Walton, Col. Thomas George. "Sketches: Of the Pioneers in Burke County." Old Morganton Herald. The Heritage of Burke County 1981. Burke County Historical Society. Hunter Publishing Company, Winston-Salem, NC. 1981. "Mountain View: A Condensed History and A Few Facts on Interest about the Home" From Greenlee Genealogy, owned by Miss Ruth Greenlee, Old Fort, NC Greenlee Genealogy p. 230-231. Roster of Soldiers of NC in American Revolution p. 381. Personnel of NC Convention of 1788. Personal letters of correspondence between Mrs. Ellen David Rodgers of Memphis, Tennessee, and Mr. J. Harvey Greenlee of Morganton, NC; April, 1961. (Held at the Burke County Library, NC). Ervin, Eunice. "Grace Greenlee's story has a fairytale ring." News Herald: August 21, 1978.

The Greenlee's originally lived in England in the time of King Alfred, in the county of Warwick. They later settled in Lochwinnoch, Scotland, but following Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603 and the rise of King James the VI, (who had a fixed aversion to the Presbyterian Church), the Greenlee's fled to Ireland and lived near Limerick until their Hall was sacked and burned. Mr. James Greenlee, who was born in 1707 in Ireland, and was known as "a Presbyterian Irishman of English descent," immigrated to America in 1727, arriving in Delaware. He soon moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania and married Mary Elizabeth McDowell**, the daughter of Ephraim McDowell* and Margaret Irvine.

James and Mary were among the first settlers in the Valley of Virginia in 1737, and settled in Rockbridge, Virginia on Burden's Grant comprised of 500,000 acres. James and Mary McDowell Greenlee had eight children that were noted in writing:

John Greenlee - born 1738 (who is said to have been the first 'white child' born in the Valley of Virginia, and High Sheriff of Rockbridge County, Virginia) James Greenlee II - born October 19th, 1740 Infant Son - deceased at birth Mary Greenlee - born in 1745, married Hugh Hayes Margaret Greenlee - born in 1748, married to William/James Montgomery Grace Greenlee - born June 23, 1750, married (1) John Bowman, (2) Col. Charles McDowell David Greenlee - born 1752, married (1) Jane White; (2) The Widow-Hunter Samuel Greenlee - born 1751 and married Mary Paxton

In the summer of 1757, James Greenlee, Sr. went on a business trip to Pennsylvania where he fell ill and died. James' mother then raised the younger children with the help of her father, Ephriam McDowell. She remained in Virginia until the date of her death on March 15, 1809, at the age of ninety-seven, although some records list her as living until the age of 104.

Record of Probable Brother of James Greenlee

The John Brownlee listed in the following Chalkley's reference could not have been James Greenlee's son (his son John would have been just 14 years old), so it was most likely a brother to this James Greenlee.

  • Page 378.--Patent to John Brownlee, November, 1752. Teste: Joseph Waddell, James Waddall, Joseph Waddall, John Stevenson.