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James Defrees (abt. 1737 - abt. 1827)

James Defrees
Born about in New York, New York, British Americamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1755 in New York, British Americamap
Husband of — married 2 Dec 1777 in Goshen, Orange, New York, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Sumner, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 15 Aug 2014
This page has been accessed 604 times.



James was in Braddock's war. He also was in the Revolutionary War for at least 3 days. He was in the Music Corp and played the drums. According to a 2nd great granddaughter years later. His drumsticks were still in the family.

Name: James Defrees. [1] [2]


Date 1737 in New York City, New York, New York, United States[3]


Date Aug 1827 in Sumner, Tennessee, United States[4]


Date Aug 1827 in Defree's Cemetery, Sumner, Tennessee, United States


MILITARY: 1778 - served for 3 days in Col. James McClaughry's militia regiment in nearby Ulster county.
1779 - served for 8 days as stated above. Was listed as Drum major and Drum.


1800 in Salisbury, Surry, North Carolina[1]
1820 in Gallatin, Sumner, Tennessee, United States [2]
LAND: Hanover tax list-1779 "Hannover" Precinct, Ulster county, tax list.. James was taxed for 100 acres of land, valued at 200 pounds, on which the tax was L 36-16-8 and personal property valued at pound 70, with a tax of pound 12-10-10. He is listed in close proximity to a David Ricely, his wife's brother.
LAND: James was in Rockbridge county, Virginia by 1780 where, on 10 August, he bought 100 acres of land described as being on South river, "corner to Borden's Great Tract." This property, located between the Alleghenies to the west and the Blue Ridge to the east, was in an area that had been settled mostly by the Scotch-Irish, connoisseurs of fine farmland who had come southwest through Pennsylvania.
The deed refers to James as being of Rockbridge county, and state the price of the land as pounds 6,000. James then mortgaged the property for pound 4,048, to the two men from whom he bought it, James and John Lyle, to be repaid as follows: pound 1048 by 10 Nov 1781, pound 1500 by 1 May 1782, and pound 1500 by 1 May 1783. On 2 May 1783, presumably the day after completing these payments, he sold the same property for pound 237. The property sold is described as being on the Mary of South River, a branch of the James River, and bears the same legal description as the property bought in 1780.
LAND: 2 May 1783 James bought 187 1/2 acres for pound 225. beginning in 1784 and continuing through 1791, he paid taxes on 188 acres of land. in 1782 he paid taxes on 150 acres, although the only record of land purchase at that time was of the 100 acre parcel.
LAND: 4 Oct 1790, James and his wife, Sophina, sold 74 acres for pound 10. The following month, with a deed identifying his wife as Seviah, they sold 48 acres for pound 10. On 26 Nov 1791, James and Seviah sold the 188 acres tract bought in 1783 for pound 240.
LAND: 1789 James bought 250 acres on the southside of Forbids's Creek (present Yadkin county, NC) Surrey, North Carolina. In 1797 he sold this in two transactions, 125 acres each time for pounds 80 each. In 1792, he bough 250 acres on the south side of the Yadkin River on Tumbling Falls. The same property was sold to John Spencer to $1150 in 1801. In 1800 he bought from John Spencer 150 acres on Grassy Creek, and sold the same tract three years later for the same amount. 1801 bought 116.5 acres on Mitchel's River, at the mouth of Meadow Branch. 1807 100 acres on Mitchel's River. In 1811 and 1812 an agent was appointed to dispose of 100 acres located in a mountainous section near present Lowgap, probably indicating that the land was sold for him after he left the County.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Year: 1800; Census Place: Salisbury, Surry, North Carolina; Series: M32; Roll: 32; Page: 646; Image: 652; Family History Library Film: 337908 File
  2. 2.0 2.1 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Gallatin, Sumner, Tennessee; Page: 292; NARA Roll: M33_124; Image: 172 File
  3. Title: Godfrey Memorial Library, comp., American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data - Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA: Godfrey Memorial Library.Original data: Godfrey Memorial Library. American Gen) Repository:
  4. Title: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch," database, FamilySearch   ( This just points to a website, not a particular file or document. Not a valid source
  • National Archives, Revolutionary War Service REcords; Letter with copy of transcription by Goldie Defrees as she took down a history of Defrees clan given her by her grandfather, John Henry Defrees (1821). Anthony Defrees letter (son of Joseph Hutton Defrees (1754)) as he gives a brief history of his father's family and includes some data on his Uncle James and on the Hutton family.
  • Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.) Note: This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created. Repository: #R8 No REPO record found with id R8. Unsourced Family Trees are not considered a source.
  • Tennessee, Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895 Publication: Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2013; Unsourced Family Trees are not considered a source.

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