Person:William King (145)

m. Abt 1783
  1. Judah KingBef 1787 -
  2. Henry KingBef 1787 - 1841
  3. William King1786 - Abt 1825
  4. Charles King, IIIBef 1790 - Bef 1821
  5. Alice KingBef 1790 -
  6. John KingBef 1794 - Bef 1825
  7. Timothy KingAft 1794 - Aft 1850
  • HWilliam King1786 - Abt 1825
  • WRachel Petty1791 - 1872
m. 12 Mar 1809
  1. John Rhodes King1816 - 1898
  2. Henry Basil King1818 - 1868
  3. William George King1823 - 1901
Facts and Events
Name William King
Gender Male
Birth? 16 Feb 1786 Bertie, North Carolina, United States
Marriage 12 Mar 1809 Dover, Stewart, Tennessee, United Statesto Rachel Petty
Death? Abt. April 1825 Dover, Stewart, Tennessee, United States
Ancestral File Number GC62-C1

William King d. 1825 in Dover, Stewart Co, TN m. Rachel Petty, d/o of George Petty of Dover, and had three sons John Rhodes King, Henry B. King, and William George King. This much is known for sure from documents in Stewart County, TN. (Documents for Stewart County mentioned on this page may be viewed on microfilm at Repository:Tennessee State Library and Archives, or online at Stewart County Genweb Databases.)



There are many dates found on the Internet in connection with the early history of this family that show great preciseness, but little or no explanation is given to support or explain them. I had assumed the 16 Feb 1786 birth date for William King that is commonly found (e.g., [1], plus others) must come from the Bible of his parents-in-law. This would be one of the few explanations that would explain how a precise birth date is known for William King, but nothing is given regarding his parents. Now that I have finally located the Bible, I know the birth date is not found there, and I have no explanation for how this date was arrived at, even though it falls within the two year interval I have derived from what sources I have found. All the old family documents that were passed onto me surmised that his origins were in Virgina. This has been proven incorrect.

There are two deeds in early Stewart County naming a William King. One names William King of Washington County, VA, executed in 1805 but not recorded until 1809. This is most likely William King of Saltville, the salt magnate who was born in Ireland and was one of the richest men in the area. He owned large amounts of land in Virginia and Tennessee. He died in 1808, leaving no children. His nephew, also named William King, was born in 1803. By virtue of these dates, neither of these men could be the William King who m. Rachel Petty, nor is there any sign either one actually resided in Dover.

The other deed mentioned above, refers to a William King of North Carolina. It was executed 3 Sep 1807, and recorded in 1809. Since John Rhodes King and William George King both gave their father's birthplace as North Carolina in the 1880 US census (Henry, having died 1868, did not participate in the first census to request parent's birthplace), this appears to be our William King. This deed suggests our William King was born bef. 3 Sep 1786 to be of legal age when this deed was executed.

In Bertie County, North Carolina, there is a Charles King, Jr. who married Elizabeth Rhodes. The correspondence of this candidate mother's maiden name with the middle name of William's eldest son (John Rhodes King) is very strong circumstantial evidence that this is the correct set of parents. The will of Charles King Jr. of Bertie County, dated 23 Sep 1819, leaves his son William a slave named Jacob. Stewart County records show William King selling, in 1822, to John King, 5 slaves, including a man Jacob.

(Note: One of the best sources on the North Carolina side of the King family is some work done by Hank King, presented on the webpage GENERATION FIVE - CHARLES KING(15515). Also significant is Source:The Lees and Kings of Virginia and North Carolina, 1636-1976, but be careful with this source in regards to William, as it confuses William the son of Charles Jr. with William the brother of Charles Jr. and actually ends up not showing a son William at all. However, it provides excerpts of original documents, and careful reading of those documents shows that they refer to two separate William Kings who both went to Tennessee! Among other children of Charles, Jr. in Stewart Co., TN, were sons Charles, John, Henry, James, Timothy and daughter Judith (King) Caudle, several which are mentioned further below.)

As far as I have found, the only documentary evidence giving direct evidence of William King's origins is limited to an obscure legal record from Stewart County Court:

Monday, 7 May 1821 Court: 343: deed of gift from William Pugh to William Thomas & Martha Pugh for a Negro boy Mike; subscribing witness Charles King being dead, his brother William King confirms the signature.

The deceased Charles King referred to above was Charles III, the son of Charles King, Jr. Charles III died in Stewart County, TN, bef. 5 Feb 1821, when administration of his estate was granted to Henry King. This identification of William King as a brother of this Charles III confirms that he was a son of Charles King, Jr. and Elizabeth Rhodes.

It is worth noting that the 1820 census of Stewart County shows only one William King in Stewart County. He is listed with 2 sons age 0-10, which would match sons John Rhodes King b. 1816 and Henry B. King b. 1818. So it is unlikely that the William King referred to in the court record was an unrelated William King.

William is listed as the first child in the will of Charles King, Jr., so most likely he is the oldest son. William is listed as 26-45 in the 1820 census referred to above, so he was born between 1775 and 1795. Charles King, Jr., in the NC 1787 state census lists two male children 0-10, i.e., born bef. 1787. In 1790, it is impossible to identify with certainty which Charles King of Bertie County, NC, is Charles King, Jr., but in 1800 he has 3 male children 10-16 (b. 1784-1790). All this is consistent with the age derived from the deed, above, and narrows the probable birth date to between 1784 and 3 Sep 1786, making the Internet date of 16 Feb 1786 very plausible.

Of the 1000 acres on Saline Creek that William King bought in 1807, 660 acres were sold in 1810 to Henry King. Henry King then sold 248 acres to Charles King in 1811. The estate of William King sued the estate of John King (who also d. 1825) for repayment of a $1400 loan made by William King to John King. These are all business transactions between brothers.

One website (, now defunct) hints that William King's birth date was listed in Iris McClain's History of Stewart County (worldcat listing). I did not find his name listed in the index nor could I find any mention of him in this book. If somebody could verify this by providing the pertinent page numbers, that would be helpful.)


See Family:William King and Rachel Petty (1) regarding the date of marriage.

His Life

Other than the two 1807 deeds mentioned above, there is no sign that there was more than one William King active in Stewart County during the lifetime of this William King (no attempt to further qualify the name is seen in town records, no mutually exclusive records, etc.) So, while William King is a common name, the following records are believed to pertain to this William King.

Source:Moore, John Trotwood. Record of Commissions of Officers in the Tennessee Militia, 1796-1815 says William King was commissioned as Capt. of the 26th regiment on 13 Aug 1813. According to Stewart Countians and the War of 1812, William King served in Capt. Thomas Gray's company of Col. Richard C. Napier's regiment, 28 Jan 1814 to 10 May 1814. A description of their activities may be seen here.

William King is frequently mentioned in Stewart County court records as a juror and bondsman.

Later in life, William seems to have met with some financial reverses, and in particular, a deed dated 30 Aug 1822 shows that Rachel's brother, John Petty bought some property of William King at a sheriff's sale, and then deeded those goods to William's sons. Presumably this was to protect that property from further seizures. A letter written by William's son John Rhodes King to his own children outlining his life, says that his father "being involved by endorsing for those in who he had confidence, after his death all of his estate was consumed by the debts". This naturally makes one wonder whether William's problems stemmed from the activities of his brother Timothy (see the probate description for William's father Person:Charles King (52)).


Most sources give a death date of 13 Feb 1825 for William King. He would have been approaching 40, and left three sons aged 9, 6 and 18 months. The probable source for this date is an undated letter written by William's son, John Rhodes King, late in life, where he gives this date.

However, according to court records in Stewart Co, TN, on 2 Apr 1825, William King was selected to serve as a juror for the Fall Term to commence in Sept. If William had died in February, it was unknown to the court in April. Administration of his estate was not granted to his widow, Rachel King until 2 May 1825. Since the letter giving the date 13 Feb 1825 was written some fifty years later, it seems possible that William could have actually died during the month of April 1825? Guardian bonds, as well as other probate records, name as his heirs John R. King, Henry B. King, and William G. King.

Several websites show more children than this for William King. They are apparently attributing to William all minors found on the Stewart County records with a surname of King. As mentioned above, on 5 Feb 1821, administration of the estate of William's brother, Charles King (III), was granted to Henry King. Guardian bonds and other probate documents name Charles' only child as Charles Ann R. King. On 10 Feb 1825, a bond for administration of the estate of another brother, John King, was put up by James King and others. Guardian bonds name John King's three heirs as Charles, Mary Ann, and Elizabeth King. These King minors were not William's.

--Jrich 13:44, 3 September 2008 (EDT)