Person:Michael Kerns (4)

Michael Carn
b.Abt. 1729 Germany
d.BEF 23 Feb 1807 Bedford County, Virginia
m. ABT 1718
  1. Johan Nicholas KernABT 1720 -
  2. George CarnABT 1727 - 1767
  3. Michael CarnAbt 1729 - BEF 1807
  • HMichael CarnAbt 1729 - BEF 1807
  • WElizabethABT 1740 -
m. 13 Mar 1759
  1. Mary Magdelena 'Polly' CarnBEF 1761 - ABT 1830
  2. Jacob KarnesABT 1763 -
  3. George KarnesABT 1763 - ABT 1835
  4. Adam Kerns1766 - 1844
  5. Abraham Kerns1768 - 1820
  6. Michael Kerns1770 - 1847
  7. Barbara KarnesABT 1771 -
  8. Job KarnesABT 1772 -
  9. Thomas Kerns1772 - 1845
  10. Elizabeth KarnesABT 1774 - BEF 1849
  11. Hannah KarnesBET 1774 AND 1776 -
  12. Susannah KarnesABT 1779 - ABT 1835
  13. John Karnes1781 - 1836
  14. Catherine Kerns1782 -
  15. Moses Karnes1783 - 1851
  16. Reuben Karnes1784 - 1835
Facts and Events
Name Michael Carn
Alt Name Michael Kern
Alt Name Michael Karnes
Gender Male
Birth? Abt. 1729 Germany
Marriage 13 Mar 1759 Peaked Mountain, Augusta County, Virginiato Elizabeth
Death? BEF 23 Feb 1807 Bedford County, Virginia
Burial? 1807 Bedford Co. VA

Michael Carn (Kern) was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Advisory on Michael Carn

There are varying accounts of the parentage, wives and children's identities of Michael Carn (Kearn), and his brother George Carn of Augusta and Bedford County, Virginia. Some researchers have claimed that his father was a Nicholas Carn, but other researchers have dis-proved this story. Researchers are highly cautioned about using information found on the internet and should consult concrete sources before making conclusions regarding his family. The source listed below appears to be fairly well researched in its conclusions. Some claim that Michael married twice, but there are no records to substantiate this. In addition, some claim that Michael married an Elizabeth Persinger, but it appears that this may be confused with Michael's brother, George Carn, who married Elizabeth Persinger, daughter of Christopher Persinger. More research is necessary on this family.

Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA

Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Michael Cairns from Bedford bought land on the Cowpasture in Augusta County of Jeremiah Seeley and Hannah, his wife, for 350 pounds, fourteen acres of the homestead adjoining Robert Shanklin, 1771. The high price is because of depreciated paper money. [A Centennial History of Alleghany County, Virginia", By Oren F. Morton]
  • Page 426.--18th March, 1777. John Yancey and Susanna to Michael Kern, 139 acres patented to William Thompson, 20th August, 1748; 6 acres patented to Samuel Hinds 14th February, 1761.

Will of Michael Carn

  • Will of Michael Karnes - Bedford Will Book 3, page 143; Probated 23 Feb 1807.
I, Michael Kern of the County of Bedford and State of Virginia do make m y last will and testament in the following manner:
1st) I bequeath to my wife Elizabeth during her life all my land and pl antation whereon I now reside, including the Mill and Distillery with a ll the household furniture and the tools and utensils belonging to the p lantation Mill and Distillery, also my Negro slaves Kate and Lawry and t heir increase, likewise her choice of two horses, two cows, six sheep, a nd six hogs.
2nd) After the death of my wife I emancipate and from slavery set free t he said Negro slave Kate.
3rd) I bequeath unto my sons Adam Michael and Abraham twelve hundred ac res of my land on the sixteen mile creek in Kanawha County to be equall y divided amongst them, and to my sons John Moses Job and Reuben eight h undred acres of the same land to be equally divided amongst them, and a ll the residue of my said land I direct to be sold and conveyed by my Executors to the highest bidder at public sale.
4th) As soon as my sons John Moses and Reuben shall attain the age of t wenty two years I bequeath unto them the tract of land in Adair County, State of Kentucky to be equally divided amongst them on condition that t hey pay unto their brother Thomas their respective proportion of whatev er sum he shall pay over and above one thousand one hundred and forty f our dollars for the said land, but in case the title to the same shall p rove defective and William Burbridge shall not reimburse the value ther eof then the said sons John Moses and Reuben shall have two hundred acr es each of the residue of my lands in the County of Kanawha herein before directed to be sold.
5th) In case the Negro Lawry shall survive my wife I bequeath her unto m y daughter Catherine Rexroat in full of her portion of my estate.
6th) All the residue of my estate real and personal shall be sold at pu blic sale by my executors and the amount thereof divided as follows viz : the proceeds of my personal estate equally between my daughters Mary, B arbara, Elizabeth, Hannah and Susannah (and in case Lawry dies before m y wife an equal share to Catherine) deducting from the share of my daug hter Mary the sum of Fifty pounds which I formerly paid her.
Lastly - I appoint my sons Abraham and Michael to be the executors of t his Will as Witness my hand and seal this twenty fourth day of November O ne Thousand eight hundred & Theree
Witnesses: James Peatrop, Jacob Learcork, Andrew Donald

As a codicil to the annexed will which I confirm I appoint my son Thoma s Kern to have the land in Adair County divided into three tracts accor ding to quantity and quality and that the same shall be distributed amo ngst my sons John Moses and Reuben by Lot drawn in the presence of my E xecutors, or either of them who may act on behalf of any absentee or of t he heirs of any of them who are deceased. - :Witness my hand and seal th is 29th October 1805

Witnesses: Andrew Donald, Hannah B. Skillern
I declare this my Codicil annexed to my will bearing the date the twent y fourth day of November 1803 and a codicil there to annexed bearing da te the 29 of October 1805 both of which I do here by confirm and now de clare that in the residuary clause to my said will when I directed the s ale of my estate both real and personal and after which a division of t he proceeds of such sale but found I have only disposed of the proceeds o f the personal estate where as my intention was and I do now here by de clare that the money arising from the sale of my lands shall be equally d ivided amongst all my sons and their heirs. In witness whereof I do her eby put my hand and seal this 20 day of January 1807
Witnesses: Christopher Clark, Henry Jeter

Records of Michael Carn in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:

  • Page 271.--3d November, 1750. Mathew Shaup's will--Eldest sons-in-law, Michael Cam, George Cam (s/b Carn), the full estate their own father left them; one-third to be divided between 8 children; one-third to be divided between his own 6 children; two eldest sons, John and Adam Shaup. Executors, George Carpenter, Jacob Pence. Teste: Henry Dickey (Dickins), Jacob Nicholas, George Bernhart Mann. Proved, 28th November, 1750; proved by Nicholas, and others summoned.
  • Page 144.--20th February, 1750-51. Sale of personalty of Mathias Shaw, by James Nicholas, executor--Recorded 18th May, 1762, viz: Sold to Jno. Craig, Wm. Frazier, Jas. Downey, Jno. Love, David Nelson, Henry Dooley, William Craig, Bernard Man, Joseph Wait, Saml. Muncy, Joseph Muncy,

Casper Faught, Owen Reed, Joseph Wait, Jacob Harmon, Jno. Stevenson, Jacob Nicholas, Peter Herman, James Beard, Cathrine Pence, Michael Cam, William Williams. 5th May, 1755--2d sale, to viz: Jacob Nicholas, Henry Dooley, David Nelson, Peter Miller, Conrad Kimsley, Catrine Shawp 3 books), Michael Cam, Francis Kirtley, Jno. Davison, Margaret Shawp, Jno. Davis, Charles Man, Joseph Cravens, Jno. Couch, Robt. Craig, Jacob Courtsious, Simon Powell, Geo. Cam, Henry Long, Evan Evans, Conrad Backfish, Patrick Wilson, Jno. Hetrick, Nicholas Brock, George, Robert, and widow Scott. By sundries received of the estate of the deceased Jacob Pence.

  • Vol. 2 - List of Delinquents, 1755 - Mich'l Carn, not found.
  • Vol. 1 - MAY 24, 1766. - (365) Michael Carn, juror. (367) Michael Carn, witness from Bedford--80 miles.

Information on Michael Carn

From Ancestry website of Ted Pack:

Michael was probably married once to "Elizabeth" (surname still unknown ). The Bedford County marriage record for his daughter Barbara (born ab t 1771) states that Elizabeth was her mother. This Michael Karnes never sold any land requiring a wife's signature, but he named Elizabeth as his wife in his will of 1803. Michael named 14 children in his will:

Sons: Adam, Abraham, Job, John, Michael (Jr.), Moses, Reuben, Thomas, a nd daughters: Mary, Barbara, Catherine, Elizabeth, Hannah, Susannah. Ad am was born in 1766 (date inscribed on his tombstone) and was evidently the oldest son who was named in Michael's will. Jacob & George Karnes of Low Moor, Virginia (twins born abt 1763) were not mentioned in Michael's will, but they relinquished any claim to their father's Estate in return for their land.

Michael bought part of that land in 1777, and there are various other r ecords which indicate a strong possibility that Jacob & George were act ually his eldest sons. Michael's oldest daughter was apparently Mary Magdalene Karnes (born abt 1761, married Henry Mayberry 2 Apr 1778), and h e evidently gave her the sum of 50 pounds when she moved to Hickman Cou nty, Tennessee.

Deeds and Grants show that Michael never owned any land in Monroe Count y, Virginia (Now WV). Between his will of 1803 and his death in 1807, Michael owned about 265 acres in Bedford County, 360 acres at Low Moor i n Botetourt County, 3000 acres in Kanawha County (now Mason County WV), a nd 645 acres in Adair County (now Russell County) Kentucky.

During the Revolutionary War, there are records to show that Michael may have served with the Bedford County Militia and that he was a patriot w ho provided supplies to American soldiers. He did not serve with Capt. Uriah Springer's contingent of Monongalia County soldiers.

Contrary to at least two often-told stories from numerous Karnes/Kerns f amily researchers, Michael's father has not yet been correctly identified:

1) He was not the Nicholas Kern who arrived on the Adventurer in 1727. That Nicholas is well documented in the book "History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania", and he didn't have any sons named Michael. There was an o lder "Michael Kern" on the Captain's list of the 1727 voyage of the Adv enturer, but he didn't sign the "Oath" lists. Nothing else has been fou nd.

2) He was also not Abraham Kerns who arrived on the Britannia in 1731. A braham moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (NE of Euphrata), and died intestate in 1773.

Matthew Shaup arrived with no family on the ship Pennsylvania Merchant n Philadelphia in 1732, and was in Augusta County, Virginia by 1747. Matthew became the father-in-law of Michael and George "Carn" between 173 2 and 1750. Since Matthew Shaup mentioned "bonds" in his will, a search is underway for Guardian bond records, primarily in Virginia. and Pennsylvania., but nothing has been found to date. Michael's mother has been called "Catherine", but no records have been found to prove that. She was alive on 4 Dec 1749, but had evidently died before 3 Nov 1750.

NOTE - A great deal of confusion has occurred because many researchers have not been able to determine that other adult men named "Michael Karnes" were living in western Virginia before the Revolutionary War. Sorting out their records is a very difficult task.

A second Michael Karnes (abt 1745-1814) was easily confused because he m oved through Augusta County (1772-1780), Botetourt County (1780-1794) and Bedford County (1794 - abt 1803). Then he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he d ied in 1814. His wife was named "Catherine".

A third Michael Karnes (abt 1740-1833) lived in the part of Augusta County that later became Morgantown, in Monongalia County, West Virginia.

F. Landis Weaver examined the "three Michael" problem in detail in an essay. Here is an excerpt about our Michael, who Mr. Weaver identifies a s "Bedford" Michael, since he died in Bedford County.

A careful study of Virginia land records in old Augusta, old Botetourt, Bedford, and a few other counties has revealed that three different men named "Michael Karnes/Kerns" moved through old Augusta County, Virginia b efore the Revolutionary War. This discovery explains conflicts in various other records and stories that were mistakenly applied to just one m an. Signatures and records indicate that all three men were familiar wi th the German language. Some reports that they were Dutch or Scotch-Iri sh don't seem to be true. A few records seem to indicate that all three men probably migrated from Pennsylvania to Virginia. It seems that no on e has been able to find any records to support their speculations about t he identities of the parents of the three Michaels.

Michael bought 165 acres of land on the lower eastern slope of Peaks of Otter in Bedford County in 1760 (Bedford County Deed Book 1, page 340), a nd his brother, George, bought 400 acres of adjacent land in 1764 (Bedf ord County Deed Book 2, page 302). George died later that year. Various other records seem to indicate that Michael continued to reside in Bedfo rd County until his death in Jan-Feb 1807. Botetourt County Deed record s show "Michael Kern of Bedford County" bought 135 acres at Low Moor on 13 May 1777 (Botetourt Deed Book 2, page 261). This was almost certainly " Bedford" Michael, because no other adult "Michael Kern" was known to be living in Bedford County at that time. He also received two Land Grants (Virginia Grant book 17, page 442) & (Virginia Grant book 47, page 434), until he owned 360 acres at Low Moor. He also obtained about 3000 acres in present-day Mason County, West Virginia in 1786-87, on Treasury Warrant #8995. He probably purchased that Treasury Warrant.

Michael also purchased about 645 acres of land in Adair-Russell County, Kentucky before his death (Adair County Deed Book A, pages 205 & 459). Many of Michael's sons moved to Adair County after his death. "Bedford" Michael apparently had no Revolutionary War service with any Continental L ine unit. But his name appears on Anspaugh's list of Bedford County mil itia, and he filed a Public Service claim for providing supplies to the W ar effort. Michael's will of 1803 (Bedford County Will book 3, page 143 ) names his wife, Elizabeth, and 14 children. In early 1804, the 360 ac res of Low Moor land were deeded, instead of any inheritance, to twins J acob & George (named as sons of Michael in Botetourt Deed Book 8, page 4 12 & 420). This indicates that "Bedford" Michael had 16 children. He ne ver sold any land which required a wife's signature, so we can't tell if Elizabeth was always his wife. But the Bedford County marriage record s mention Elizabeth as the mother of Barbara (born abt 1768).