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William Gregory

Male 1776 - 1858


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  • Name  William Gregory  [1
    Born  8 Feb 1776  Pittsylvania County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender  Male 
    Residence  Abt 1780  probably in Washington County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence  Abt 1785  probably in North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence  1806  Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Residence  Feb 1811  Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Military  1812  [5, 6
    • William served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Tipton (Captain Lennis Company, Indiana Volunteers). He moved his family into Morgan County, Indiana, where his wife Lucy (born in Kentucky) died May 17, 1835.
    Moved  1820  Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Harrison County, Indiana 
    Moved  1842  Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Indiana 
    Will  11 Feb 1850  Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • I, WILLIAM GREGORY, of the County of Louisa and State of Iowa, being old and infirm but of sound disposing mind and memory recollecting that life is uncertain and death the portion of all do make this to be my last Will and Testament in the following words to wit:

      First, after death it is my will that my body be decently entered in Bethel graveyard in my own family ground.

      Second, I give and bequeath to my son Denis Gregory 50 acres off the East end of my farm beginning at the N.E. corner of section 17 Township 73 N of Range 3 West thence running due west 50 poles thence due S 160 poles to the place of beginning containing 50 acres be the same more or less.

      Third I give and bequeath all the balance of my land to my beloved wife Naoma Gregory so long as she remains my widow; after her death or marriage to be equally divided among my four minor children to wit William Liton Gregory, Wallas W. Gregory, Winfield Scott Gregory and Edward Isett Gregory.

      Fourth, I order and direct and bequeath to my wife Naoma Gregory to be allowed two horses and harness, one wagon, all my farming utensils, all the sheep, three head of milch cows, all the household and kitchen furniture, loom and weaving apparatus, all the hogs on the farm, designed for her use and support of herself and my four minor children as named above in the third article.

      Fifth, it is my will and I so direct my executor to sell all the balance of my personal property at public sale and after payment of all legal claims the balance to be put at interest or the benefit of my four children as named in third article to be applied to their use as my Executor thinks best.

      Sixth, it is my will and I so direct that the following of my heirs be paid by my executor in one year after my death the sum of one dollar each to wit: Robert Gregory's heirs, James Gregory, John Gregory, Catharene Gregory who intermarried with James Crutchfield, Thomas Gregory's heirs, Daniel Gregory, Nathan Gregory, Susan Gregory who intermarried with Francis Wicher, Levi Gregory, Nancy Gregory who intermarried with Alfred Jackson, Beverly Gregory's heirs, Willy Gregory, David Gregory, Hiram Gregory, Fanny Gregory who intermarried with Grant Stafford, Eliza Gregory who intermarried with Jonathan Bowdan, and Milton Gregory. Seventh, I do constitute and appoint Dennis Gregory Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made making and confirming this written this 11th February 1850.

      S/William Gregory

      Signed, published and declared in presents of us who have signed our names by the request of William Gregory who is personally known to all of us who at the same time requested E. B. Isert to write his name to the same.

      We, Merit Jamison, E. B. Isett and Samuel Hamilton being called upon by William Gregory to subscribe our names as witnesses to this his will done so at his request believing him to be of sound disposing mind and memory and after having this his last will read he declared himself well satisfied with all its provisions, signed by us as witnesses this 11th February 1850.

      S/Merit Jamison, Edward B. Isett, Samuel Hamilton.

      Ref: Unicoi County Tennessee: Colonel Robert Love was a revolutionary soldier, from Virginia, and in his old age drew a pension as such. He was born near Tinkling Spring Meeting House, Augusta County, Virginia, 11 May 1760. His father was Samuel Love, son of Ephraim Love, Captain. Of the Colonial Horse, and his mother was Dorcas Bell, second daughter of James Bell, to whom had been issued a Commission of the Peace in 1745. In the year 1875 David Bell, possibly a descendant of James Bell, was one of the Commissioners appointed to organize Unicoi County. Colonel Robert Love came to Washington County, Tennessee, from Wythe County, Virginia, with the family of WILLIAM GREGORY and settled in Greasy Cove (now known as Erwin, Unicoi County, Tennessee) along with the family of Colonel Thomas Dillard, another revolutionary soldier and his family, whose daughter, Mary Ann Dillard, became Colonel Love's wife. Ten years later, 1792, Colonel Love pulled up stakes and moved to Buncombe County, North Carolina, which county he served as a member of the North Carolina Legislature several terms, as did his brother Thomas Love who had also lived in Washington County, Tennessee.
    Cemetery Info/Epitaph  Louisa County, Iowa, Cemetery Records  [10
    • Name: William Gregory; Sex: M; Born: 1776; Died or Buried: 1858; Age: 82; Buried: Concord (township = Morning Sun); County/State: Louisa, Iowa; Military Service: Sp-Am.; Book: LCC 1990 - page MS-15; Notes: born 1776; died 25 Sept 1858, aged 82 yrs.
    Biography 
    • (An attached note from the online cemeteries database for Louisa County, Iowa:) William was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, the 8th of February 1776, and died in Louisa County, the 25th of September 1858. He was the son of William Gregory and Sarah Graves. He is said to have served in the War of 1812, and one source, not checked, says he got land in Iowa for this. He married four times, and had 28 (or maybe 29) children, and 13 stepchildren.
    The Biography and Will of William Gregory (1776-1858)
    The Biography and Will of William Gregory (1776-1858)
    This Gregory family, of which William was the patriarch, intersected with the extended Walker family and many other families of Louisa County, Iowa.

    William Gregory was married to four women and had 28 children (26 are listed), most of whom grew to adulthood and continued their own families. William's son Edward Isett Gregory was the father of Henry Allen Gregory who married William Pearsey Walker's daughter, Alice Walker.

    Jessie Mae Swan, who married Pearl Alfred Moyers, was the great granddaughter of William Gregory through her mother, Samantha Jane Gregory.

    David Gregory, William's son,was married to Marietta Umphrey.
    Biography 
    • PIONEER FAMILIES

      It was no uncommon thing to find a large family of children among the first settlers. If the husband and wife were of fairly robust health and lived past middle age, from six to ten children usually encircled the hearth-stone, and it was no uncommon thing to find families numbering as high as fifteen. If there was any one thing - more than another - that the pioneers rejoiced in, it was a family of good, big strong boys and girls - mind you, for parents were as sensitive about flat failures as they are today. They knew, as well as we do, that much depends on the quality than the quantity of the increase of population. The present generation has learned very much that was unknown to the pioneer. Some of it is well worth knowing, as it relates to hygiene and reproduction. "Othersome" would better be unlearned, but there are few people who can learn to unlearn, so it is that desires, habits and society "fads" are stronger than the strong-minded.

      Today, among those who make an pretensions to paternity, the average number of children to the family may run from two to four. Others there are endeavoring to cheat nature out of the whole crop. Whatever the faults and failings the pioneers had (and doubtless they had many), failure to be "fruitful and multiple" could not be reckoned among them. At the present rate of diminution, we shall soon be on a level with France, with her two children to the pair among the "bon tons," leaving the sustaining of the population to the poorer and less prepared classes, who have always borne more than their share of this natural burden. There is no good reason why a husband and wife should bring into existence a greater number of children than they can reasonably hope to provide for, and if we are to have "survival of the fittest," there is still less reason why strong healthy husbands and wives should bring in none at all. It will be good for the world when the time comes - if it ever does - that none but the true and brave, the honest and good, will be engaged in this co-operative industry, and when public opinion will be so formed and ripened as to reduce the procreation of criminals, imbeciles and paupers to the minimum number. Among those in our country who have stood pre-eminently at the head of large families, was William Gregory, a remarkably vigorous and energetic pioneer, who was born in Pittsylvania county, Virginia, February 8th, 1776. His father's name was also William, and his mother's maiden name Sally Graves. They were both natives of Virginia. When but a boy, young William's parents moved to Washington county, Tennessee. Soon after their arrival, his mother died. About two years after this sad event, his father married again and soon after moved to North Carolina, where he passed the remainder of his life as a local Methodist minister. He died at the age of seventy years.

      The subject of our sketch was first married in North Carolina, March 25th, 1795, to Miss Nancy Laws. In 1806 he moved to Kentucky, where he remained until February 1811, when he came to Harrison county. this state (then a territory), and settled near Corydon. Here his wife died, May 15th, 1814. To them had been born eleven children, between the 10th of July, 1796, and May 15th, 1814. Ten of them were living at the time of the mother's death, which occurred within thirty minutes after the birth of the eleventh child. Their names and dates of birth are as follows: James, February 9, 1796; John, July 1, 1798; Beverly, June 11, 1800; Katy, April 24, 1802; Thomas, April 1, 1804; Daniel, May 5, 1806; Susan, March 29, 1808; (the eighth was still-born.) Nathan, March 22, 1810; Levi, January 22, 1812, and Nancy, May 15, 1814.

      Shortly after the death of his first wife, Mr. Gregory was married to Mrs. Lucy Maffett (September 1st, 1814), a young widow with three children. Be it said to the credit of Mr. Gregory, that he cared for his step-children as tenderly as he did for his own. This second wife, in due time, added eleven other children to his already large family, as follows: Wiley, October 9, 1815; Dennis and Robert, September 13, 1817; David, May 12, 1819; Fanny, April 17, 1821;(twins still-born in 1823); Hiram, June 14, 1825; Milton W., April 7, 1829, and Eliza D., December 15, 1831.

      Many old citizens will remember John Moffett, the tanner, who for many years lived in and near Martinsville; also Mrs. Grant Stafford, his sister, Mr. Stafford's first wife. These were Mr. William Gregory's step-children. Grant Stafford's second wife was Miss Fanny Gregory, half-sister to his former wife. After Mr. Stafford's death she became the wife of the late John W. Ferguson.

      The exact date of Mr. Gregory's coming to our county is not given but it was early in the '20s. He first settled on the east side of White Lick, on the road from Lyon's mills to Mooresville, where he engaged in milling and farming until 1832, when he purchased a farm in the north-west corner of Green township, on the road from Martinsville to Indianapolis. This farm is now owned by C. G. Renner, Atty., of Martinsville. Here, Mr. Gregory added a country store to his farming for eight or ten years. On the 17th of May, 1825, his second wife died. Eighteen of his twenty-two children were then living. He soon after (August 1835) made another matrimonial adventure. This was Mrs. Polly Lang, widow of James Lang, a very early settler. She had five daughters and three sons living, and all grown excepting the youngest son. This match proved to be ill-sorted and brought trouble, not only to the principal parties, but to their children as well, who all felt more or less aggrieved at the "unpleasantness." After much court maneuvering a divorce was obtained and peace restored "all along the line." The fact was, there was no congeniality between them. Both were stern and unyielding. She was a thoroughbred Calvinist and he was an overflowing Methodist. In those days soda and acid would not effervesce much quicker than "Free Grace" and "Unconditional Election," when thrown together. But Mr. Gregory was "foreordained" to be a patriarch, as the sequel shows, for after his divorce from "Aunt Polly" he married, September 28, 1840, Mrs. Naomi Scott, who had two children. She was the daughter of John and Susan Jackson, and sister of James Jackson, Elder of the Christian church at Martinsville, and clerk of the Morgan circuit court during the forties. With her, he passed the remaining years of his life, adding six more children to his remarkably large family. William G. was born July 11, 1841; Wallace, December 6, 1843; Scott, September 20, 1847; Edgar, June 22nd 1849 and Mary, March 19, 1851.

      The panic of 1840 dealt Mr. Gregory a hard blow. He was then in his sixty-sixth year, a time in life when most men are ready to "throw up the sponge." But he was not a man to "sulk in his tent," or "strike his colors" as long as there was a foot of tenable ground on the battlefield. He gathered up the fragments of his estate, in 1843, and moved to Iowa, then a territory, and settled about twenty-two miles north-west of Burlington. Having served in the war of 1812, he received a land grant which he laid on 80 acres of prairie land adjoining his homestead. He held an enormous sod-plow, dragged by five yoke of oxen, until the last foot of sod was turned up to the sun for the first time. Here Mr. Gregory found more "snakes in the grass" than he had encountered, hitherto in all the ups and downs of his eventful life. His son, Milton - at that time a lad of fifteen years, and principal driver - says: "When a rattle-snake got tangled in the grass about the cutter, the plow was allowed to hold itself until a "quietness" was put upon the "rattler." When finishing a land, as the grassy strip grew more narrow, the snakes would crawl out of the grass and over the ploughed ground trying to escape, but he had become so expert with his ox whip that he could clip the head off one nearly every snap of the lash. One day he "lynched" seventeen of the "little prairie devils" with out "judge or jury," and it was no great day for the snakes either.

      Here upon the broad prairie of the West he made his last home. Far, far away from where he gave the first infant wail - far from the scenes of childhood and first love - with his children scattered far and wide - some dead, some in childhood, other busy with the common concerns of life - himself well worn with toils, cares and sorrows of a mortal existence - his journey from the cradle to the grave came to an end September 25, 1858, in his 83rd year.
    Biography 
    • (Biographical notes from genealogist Joy Conwell:)

      "The Pioneers of Morgan County, Indiana, Memoirs of Noah J. Major"
      Copy of book at Martinsville, Indiana, Morgan County Library.

      William Gregory served in the War of 1812 - Captain Lennis Company, Indiana Volunteers.

      Moved to Kentucky in 1806 and then to Harrison Co, Indiana, 1811-14 and to Louisa County, Iowa, in 1842. Stillborn twins born in 1823, sex unknown - Morgan County, Indiana, from [?]

      "One Hundred Men" by Judge Noble Littell - "he patented land in Green Township of Morgan County. He was four times married, the father of 29 children and stepfather to four more. After several years he disposed of his holdings,including a country store, and removed to the state of Iowa.
    Died  25 Sep 1858  near Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Buried  Concord Cemetery, Morning Sun Township, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Person ID  I8696  All Families
    Last Modified  31 Mar 2015 

    Father  William Gregory,   b. Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Sally Graves,   b. Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Washington County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F3144  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Nancy Laws,   d. 15 May 1814, Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  25 Mar 1795  [4
    Research 
    • Nancy was William Gregory's first wife of four wives.
    Children 
     1. James R. Gregory,   b. 9 Feb 1796, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. at sea Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. John Gregory,   b. 1 Jul 1798, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >3. Beverly Gregory,   b. 11 Jun 1800, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1839, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location
    >4. Catherine "Katy" Gregory,   b. 24 Apr 1802, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >5. Thomas Gregory,   b. 1 Apr 1804, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >6. Daniel Gregory,   b. 5 May 1806, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. Susannah "Susan" Gregory,   b. 29 Mar 1808, Knox County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Stillborn Infant Gregory,   b. Abt 1809, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1809
     9. Nathan Gregory,   b. 22 Mar 1810, Knox County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. Levi Gregory,   b. 22 Jan 1812, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >11. Nancy Gregory,   b. 15 May 1814, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F3142  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Lucinda "Lucy" Jones,   b. 1776, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 May 1835, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  1 Sep 1814  Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 11
    Research 
    • Lucinda was William Gregory's second wife of four. According to son David's biography, William and Lucy had twelve children. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
    Children 
    >1. Wiley Gregory,   b. 9 Oct 1815, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Robert Gregory,   b. 13 Sep 1817, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1850
    >3. Dennis Gregory,   b. 13 Sep 1817, Harrison County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jul 1908, Morning Sun, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
    >4. David Gregory,   b. 12 May 1819, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Oct 1906, near Paris, Monroe County, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location
    >5. Frances "Fanny" Gregory,   b. 17 Apr 1821, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Apr 1873, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. (Infant Stillborn Twin - 08810) Gregory,   b. 1823, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1823, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. (Infant Stillborn Twin - 08811) Gregory,   b. 1823, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1823, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location
    >8. Hiram Gregory,   b. 4 Jan 1825, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Mar 1858, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Grant Gregory,   b. 1 Feb 1827, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >10. Milton Wesley Gregory,   b. 7 Apr 1829, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Mar 1912, Martinsville, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location
     11. Eliza D. Gregory,   b. 15 Dec 1831, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. (Child - 39561) Gregory,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Photos
    Milton Wesley, David, and Dennis Gregory
    Milton Wesley, David, and Dennis Gregory
    This photograph was published in a document (also available) named "Real Estate and Insurance." These are three of the children of William Gregory (1776-1858) and Lucinda "Lucy" Jones (1776-1835). Milton Wesley Gregory is standing, David Gregory is on the left, and Dennis Gregory is on the right. All three moved from Indiana to Louisa County, Iowa, but Milton returned to Morgan County, Indiana, after three years and settled there.
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F601  Group Sheet

    Family 3  Polly Turpin,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Divorced  Yes, date unknown 
    Research 
    • Polly was William Gregory's 3rd wife; they divorced shortly after their marriage. Arguments about religion were noted as a reason.
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F3143  Group Sheet

    Family 4  Mrs. Naomi "Naoma" Jackson,   b. Abt 1812, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  28 Sep 1840  [11
    Research 
    • Naomi was William Gregory's 4th wife.
    Children 
     1. William G. Gregory, III,   b. 11 Jul 1841, Morgan County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1862
    >2. Wallace William Gregory,   b. 6 Dec 1843, Iowa Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Francis Marion Gregory,   b. 6 Dec 1843, Louisa County, Iowa Territory Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Winfield Scott Gregory,   b. 20 Sep 1847, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    >5. Edward Isett Gregory,   b. 23 Jun 1849, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jul 1932, Knox County, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Mary Ellen Gregory,   b. 19 Mar 1851, Louisa County, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2014 
    Family ID  F3141  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S534] Online Record (Reliability: 3).
      http://www.the-roundup.com/quaker/bevans/bevans3.html

    2. [S424] 1856 Iowa State Census.

    3. [S634] Louisa County, Iowa - Cemetery Records Through 1997 (Rootsweb).

    4. [S1617] Gregory, William (1776-1858) - Biography, N. J. Major, (originally published in About Old Settlers; Morgan County, Indiana).

    5. [S534] Online Record, see: http://www.the-roundup.com/quaker/bevans/bevans3.html (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S33] Conwell, Joy Lynn (Ferguson) (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S394] Louisa County, Iowa - A Portrait and Biographical Album of Louisa County 1889, (Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, published in 1889) (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S394] Louisa County, Iowa - A Portrait and Biographical Album of Louisa County 1889, (Acme Publishing Company, Chicago, published in 1889) (Reliability: 3).
      Reprinted online at the Louisa County, Iowa GenWeb site, URL: http://iagenweb.org/boards/louisa/biographies/index.cgi?read=182882

    9. [S9627] Gregory, William (1776-1858) - Last Will and Testament, (originally filed February 11, 1850; Louisa County, Iowa) (Reliability: 3).

    10. [S634] Louisa County, Iowa - Cemetery Records Through 1997 (Rootsweb) (Reliability: 3).

    11. [S636] World Connect - Harmon, Tucker, Musig, Smith and related families: lrharmon, (last updated: 2007-03-06 17:55:10 UTC (Tue), contact: LaRay Harmon) (Reliability: 3).