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Early Leslies in York County, South Carolina

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Abbreviation: Leslies-Murphy
Title: Early Leslies in York County, South Carolina, their Migrations to Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas, 3rd Ed.
Author: Murphy, Marion Emerson
Publication: privately published, 1976
«b»... pp. 1-3 introductory discussion...«/b»
«b»CHAPTER 2«/b»
«b»... pp. 4-5 contain a general account of the Leslie family in Scotland and Northern Ireland without mentioning specific individuals who might be related to Leslies in America...«/b»
«b»In the historic "Plantation of Ulster", which started in the first decade of the 1600s, the English planted settlers from Scotland and England in North Ireland, the Scots being predominant in numbers. Leslies were among those settlers. They settled in the Hamilton estates in the western half of County Down, known as Upper Channeboye Country. The executors of one John Leslie appear on the rent rolls in 1681 and in 1688. Other counties also received Leslie immigrants. Our Leslie ancestors are known to have located in County Antrim, and it is said that they were there as early as 1680.
Our Leslie kin in County Antrim were neighbors and friends of a family of linen weavers by the name of Hutchinson, who lived in Carrickfergus. The Hucthinsons were also of Scotch extraction and originally from Ayrshire, Scotland. It is said that one of the Leslie women married a Hutchinson in County Antrim. From this union came six daughters, all of whom could read and write -- which for women of that time was quite and accomplishment! These Hutchinson daughters were destined to get a small niche in history. Some of the daughters married in County Antrim, the others in America, to which all of them emigrated in the succeeding years. Samuel Leslie (L1) our ancestor, married Sarah Hutchinson, one of the six, the place of marriage reputedly being County Antrim. His brother John Leslie (L2) married another sister, Mary Hutchinson. The youngest of the six sisters was Elizabeth Hutchinson. She married Andrew Jackson Sr., and they produced Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States, as history so well records.
«b»There is evidence of a close relationship between the Leslies and Hutchinsons in North Ireland. This carried over into Pennsylvania and the Carolinas after they came to America.. Whether the reputed Leslie who was the mother of the six Hutchinson daughters was closely related to our forebear Samuel Leslie (L1) is not known. Since the marriage of first cousins was frowned upon it is not likely that Samuel Leslie's father was the uncle of the Hutchinson girls. However there was in all likelihood some blood relationship.
«b»The lives of the Leslies and Hutchinsons will be pursued further in the next chapter.«/b»
As brought out in the preceding chapter, the Leslie and Hutchinson families had a close relationship in County Antrim, North Ireland, in the early and middle 1700's. A Hutchinson, who is said to have had a Leslie wife, is our forebear, but we do not know his first name, not his wife's. At any rate, they had six daughters: Margaret, Grace, Jane (Jennett), Mary (Molly), Sarah and Elizabeth. Two of them, Sarah and Mary, married Leslie brothers. Elizabeth married Andrew Jackson Sr. and one of their three sons was Andrew Jackson, Seventh President of the United States. The Leslie brothers were Samuel Leslie (L1) and John Leslie (L2). There will be more of this later.
This Hutchinson family with the six daughters lived near Carrickfergus, North Ireland, in County Antrim. They were a family of linen weavers. John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee historian, describes these six sisters as "comely, sprightly, thrifty well bred, and from the competition for their hands for their hands most desirable Hutchinson sisters". This article appears in the April 8, 1928 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Unlike most women of their times, they could read and write. The exact order of their birth is a matter of speculation, but it is believed, based on a few known factors, that the approximate order of birth is as shown in the preceding paragraph. (According to one account, they had a brother, Col. John Hutchinson, who married Elizabeth Crawford, born about 1740, this marriage being in York Co. Pa. on Sept. 26, 1762).
It appears that four of the Hutchinson sisters emigrated from North Ireland to America about middle 1750s in company with relatives and friends. These four were Grace, Jane, Mary and Sarah. At least one of them, Sarah Hutchinson, had her husband at that time, it is believed. He was Samuel Leslie (L1), the author's great-great-great-grandfather. John Leslie (L2), Samuel's brother, married Mary Hutchinson, but whether in North Ireland or America is not known. It is fairly certain that Grace Hutchinson left North Ireland unmarried and remained with a sister's family until she found a husband later on. Jane Hutchinson married James Crawford in Pennsylvania, according to one source.
The shipload of immigrants which included the Hutchinsons and Leslies arrived in Colonial America and landed near Newcastle on the Delaware River. They settled near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, amongst the Scotch Irish immigrants who had preceded them. It was not a propitious time to settle there. The French-Indian War was in progress. Indian raids incident to this war began to occur too close to home. Some families stuck it out, and there are Leslie families who survive in Lancaster Co., Pa. to this day. Others joined an exodus, initiated about 1756, which was to take them into Virgina and the Carolinas. This movement became a migration of massive proportions. It accounts for the large Scotch Irish population content of the present day Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, particularly in the western parts of these states.
Samuel Leslie (L1) and his wife Sarah Hutchinson Leslie joined one of the parties moving south, sometime in the early or middle 1760's. They traveled a trail already blazed by pioneers. It led from Pennsylvania into Maryland, across the Potomac, down through Virginia skirting the Blue Ridge Mountains, into the Uplands of North Carolina and over the Catawba Traders' Path in North Carolina. (So great was the tide of migration that, in the year 1765 residents of Hillsboro, North Carolina, counted a thousand wagons that went through in that year). The Path led through what is now Salisbury, North Carolina, at which point it led west (the main route) or south (a branch) toward the Waxhaws, named for an Indian tribe. The town of Salisbury was the last one before reaching the "Garden of the Waxhaws", an area destined to attract countless settlers from Pennsylvania.
It is probable that James Crawford and his wife Jane Hutchinson Crawford preceded the Samuel Leslies in the southern movement, and some say that John Leslie and his wife Mary Hutchinson Leslie remained in Pennsylvania. However, the latter is not supported by available evidence. All four Hutchinsons sisters, viz. Grace, Jane, Mary and Sarah, ended up in the Waxhaws, with two others, Margaret and Elizabeth, to arrive later. It appears that the Crawfords had a better choice of land, which points to their arrival earlier than the others.
The Waxhaw settlement was first established about 1750. It was located near the boundary line separating the present states of North and South Carolina, and it extended into both colonies, with the major portion in South Carolina within a few miles of the present city of Lancaster. Indeed this city was so named because its founders had come from the county of Lancaster in Pennsylvania. York County South Carolina, just to the westward of Lancaster County, was also named for its sister county, York County Pennsylvania. (Originally, counties in South Carolina were called "districts", a practice that persisted until after the Civil War). It was in the Waxhaw settlement that all six of the Hutchinson sisters reunited, Elizabeth being the last to arrive. A short account of the sisters, their husbands and families now follows:
A. Margaret Hutchinson (H1), the oldest, was born in 1730 and married George McKemey in North Ireland. The spelling M'Kemey appears on his tombstone, though other variations, such as McCamie, McCamy, MeKemie and McAmie, occur in the records. He was born about 1714. He went to America, leaving his wife to follow later, and settled in the middle 1760's in the Carolinas, on the north side of Waxhaw Creek, some six miles from the Catawba River, which was to the west. The McKemy location was about one half mile northwest of Samuel Leslie's homesite. This McKemey location was in South Carolina in 1767; a boundary change in 1771 supposedly placed it in North Carolina, but jurisdiction remained under South Carolina for a decade or two and indeed was not officially shifted to North Carolian until the new boundary was ratified by the legislatures of both states in 1815!
The exact location of the McKemey home is important because Andrew Jackson was born there, according to documentary evidence, and for the further reason that Jackson's birthplace has been a matter of controversy between North and South Carolina till this day. The McKemey house was situated one quarter mile east of the old public road leading from Lancaster, S.C., to Charlotte, N.C., and was about one mile north of Waxhaw Creek and about one quarter mile east of the N.C.-S.C. state line which runs in a north-south direction for several miles in this area. In short, the house was in a corner of the present day North Carolina. A monument erected by the state of North Carolina marks the spot.
Margaret Hutchinson McKemey, George McKemey's wife, followed her husband later and joined him at their house north of Waxhaw Creek. They had one child but it died. He outlived his wife who died April 30, 1790 at the age of 60. He died Oct. 10, 1793 aat age 79. Their nephew George Leslie, who lived with them for a number of years, was named his heir, according to one account. George McKemey's only claim to fame is that his house was, in the view of some historians who have given it careful research, the birthplace of Andrew Jackson. There will be more of this later.
Whether George Leslie was actually George McKemey's heir is somewhat moot. According to Nancy Crockett (a descendant of Samuel Leslie (L1)), Deed Book 14, page 48, Mecklenburg Co. N.C. shows that George McCamey conveyed the 220 acre McCamy place to Thomas Crawford of Lancaster Co., S.C. for 200 pounds on 3 Jan. 1792, this land having been purchased by McCamy from R. Townsend on 13 Jan. 1776 for 90 pounds. Also in Deed Book C & E (old Series), pages 70-71 (Feb. 15, 1791) there is an indenture of 25 Aug. 1790 between George McCamy of North Carolina, Mecklenburg Co., and Elizabeth Crawford (his niece) of South Carolina, Lancaster Co., which called for the transfer of a seven year old negro girl Venus to her on his death (he died in 1793).
At this point a word about Nancy Crockett is appropriate. She lives on Route 4, Lancaster, S.C. and is the Principal of the H. R. Rice Elementary School in that city. She has double descent from Saamuel Leslie (L1) through his daughters Sarah and Mary. Not surprisingly, she is a genealogical researcher in her spare time and has special knowledge of the early Leslies, Hutchinsons and Jacksons. She has made many recent contributions to this book as will become apparent in this and the succeeding chapter. Now we continue with the Hutchinson sisters.
B. Grace Hutchinson (H2), the last of the Hutchinson sisters to get married, is thought to be one of the older ones, although the exact order of birth is not known, except for the first and last. She became the wife of James Crow, born about 1717. He came from Ireland, landed in Charleston, S.C., and was granted land in the Waxhaws in1778 (recorded in 1770). Grace Hutchinson seems to have accompanied other sisters and their families to America in the 1750's and later to the Waxhaws. It was there that she apparently met and married James Crow. They settled near Lands Ford, S.C. He died intestate on July 17, 1775, age 59. Apparently, there were no children. In connection with James Crow's estate Nancy Crockett says that his original land was near where she now lives (or nearby). She reports an entry in Deed Book F (Old Series), pp. 228-229, dated 4/15/1805, recorded 5/10/1805, to the effect that Thomas Douglas (husband of Grace Crow who was the lawful heir of her deceased father John Crow) sold for $345 to Nat. Stephenson a part of that tract of land originally granted to James Crow 11/27/1770. James Crow and John Crow are assumed to be brothers. It would appear that James Crow had no issue and that his land went to John Crow's daughter, Grace Crow, whose husband was Thomas Douglas. The land contained 165 acres.
C. Jane (Jennett) Hutchinson (H3), who signed herself as "Jennett" on June 1, 1774, as per Deed Book H, Page 100, Lancaster Co., S.C., and in another deed as "Jean", married James Crawford in Lancaster or Cumberland Co.. Pa. (accounts differ)/ She was known to all as Jane and will be so referred to. Her husband was a native of southeastern Pennsylvania, son of Col. John Crawford, who in turn was a native of Ayrshire Scotland. James Crawford and his wife joined the movement of Scotch Irish from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas and settled about the year 1760 north of what is now Lancaster, S.C., near the present state line, but inside South Carolina, and about two and a half miles southwest of where Samuel Leslie (L1) settled a few years later. There the Crawfords prospered. Jane is said to have been an invalid and her widowed sister Elizabeth, mother of Andrew Jackson took over care of the household. However, Jane's infirmity could not have been too limiting for she produced a family of several girls and at least two boys, viz, Thomas Crawford and James Hutchinson Crawford. The latter was the ancestor of W. P. Neely, resident in 1929 of the town of Waxhaw, N.C., who furnished valuable information to the author by letter and personal interview. James Crawford (the first settler) had a brother Robert who settled near him (about 1763) and built up a large plantation. Robert Crawford served with distinction in the Revolutionary War and attained the rank of Major. So prominent became Major Crawford that his house was selected as a stopping place for President George Washington on his tour of the South in 1791, according to John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee historian. Jane Crawford is said to have died by 1780.
D. Mary (Molly) Hutchinson (H4) married John Leslie (L2), Samuel's brother, either in County Antrim, North Ireland or in Pennsylvania. (It is probable that John Leslie was older than his brother Samuel, since John's daughter Sarah seems to have married before 1778). One of the affidavits in the Walkup Papers states that John Leslie and family came to the Waxhaws and settled on Camp Creek. There two Camp Creeks, one north of Lancaster, S.C., and one south. The Camp Creek in question was the north one. There is a South Carolina record which states that John Lesley's land was ordered surveyed Oct. 7, 1766 by S.C. authorities -- judged to be the same John Leslie. Leslie was spelled in various ways: Lessley, Lesslie, Lashley, Lassly, Lesley and many others -- people were indifferent to spelling in those days. John Leslie does not appear in the 1790 census records, and on page 192 of the first and second editions of this book there is a notation that no Leslies or Lesleys appear in th 1800 census of Lancaster Co., S.C. However, the latter is incorrect. More recent findings by Nancy Crockett, show the following in this 1800 census: "Lasly, John - 1 male between 26-45 years, also Lasley, Robert - 1 male under 10, 1 male and 1 female between 16 and 26 years". The identity of "Lasley, Robert" is not clear, but "Lasley, John" was surely John Leslie Jr., son of John Leslie (L2).
Nancy Crockett also reports on three legal documents which deal with the sale of land belonging to John Leslie Sr. and John Leslie Jr., both deceased, and the settlement of their estates. These documents appear in Deed Book I (Old Series), Lancaster Co. S.C., as follows: one document is on page 3, dated 12/2/1811, recorded 2/21/1817, by Robert Montgomery:one document on page 2, dated 7/13/1816 by Gilbert and Sarah Kennedy; and the third on pages 3 and 4, dated 11/14/1816, by Isiah Thompson, John Montgomery (attorney) and Elizabeth Ormand. The property iwas stated as being on the north side of Camp Creek and comprising 260 or 270 acres. It appears from these documents and other known facts that John Leslie Sr. had a son and five daughters, at the minimum. The son was John Leslie Jr., born between 1755 and 1774, and the daughters were: (1) Jennet Lessley who married James Lessley; (2) Margaret Lessley who married first a Carroll, then Robert Montgomery, and who lived in 1816 inAdams Co., Miss.; (3) Sarah Lessley who married Gilbert Kennedy and they are recorded as having sold on 12/28/1778 100 acres of land on the east side of the Catawba River, Waxhaws to Amos Richards, and they moved to Lincoln Co., N.C. where they lived in 1816; Elizabeth Lessley who married an Ormand and in 1816 lived in Mecklenburg Co. N.C.; and (5) a daughter whose name might have been Ann) who married Isaiah Thompson and lived in Lancaster Co. N.C. The ages of the sisters were not revealed. It can be inferred that John Leslie Sr. is John Leslie (L2) and that when he died, year of death not known, his son John Leslie Jr. lived on the farm for a number of years. Ir seems that John Jr. died without issue (some time before 1811) because the papers indicate that his five sisters each had a one-fifth interest in his property. Also the 1800 census does not mention anyone else in John Jr.'s household. The above mentioned legal papers dealt with the sale of the land to one William Robinson for $250 and the identity of the five remaining heirs. The land in question comprised: 150 acres on Molly Moore's Branch of Camp Creek, precept dated 7 Oct. 1776, certified by Wm Glascook DS 16 Oct.. 1766, ord. 3 Feb. 1768; and 120 adjoining acres on Waters of Camp Creek (Molly Moore's Branch crosses the plat), certified for John Lasley, surveyed for Andrew Gable 7 Feb. 1792, Henry Massey DS 18 Oct. 1792.
E. Sarah Hutchinson (H5), the author's great-great-great-grandmother, born probably around 1740, married Samuel Leslie (L1), as before stated, most likely in County Antrim, North Ireland. Sarah is one of the two Hutchinson sisters we know most about, the other bein Elizabeth, who was Andrew Jackson's mother. Samuel Leslie and family moved south from Pennsylvania in one of the migrations and settled in the early or middle 1760s on the north side of Waxhaw Creek, near George McKemey. Their lives will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.
Samuel Leslie had another brother besides John. Recently, in early 1976, it was learned that there was a George Leslie (1734 - 1775) who is buried near the dity of York, S.C. He is believed to have been a brother of Samuel and John and he is assigned the family designator of L3. He, of course, did not marry a Hutchinson sister, therefor it is more appropriate to cover him and his descendants in the next chapter.
According to the Walkup Papers«sup»1«/sup», there was a James Leslie living within 100 yards of Samuel Leslie in the 1790's. The relationship of Samuel and James Leslie is not clear. Though there is no proof that they were brothers , or indeed any blood kin, the families of Samuel, John and James Leslie were closely associated in other ways, and there is a need for a means of easy reference to James. Therefor James Leslie is assigned the family designator L$ (actually he was older, born about 1724).
F. Elizabeth Hutchinson (H6), the youngest of the Hutchinson sisters -- short, plump, blue-eyed and red-headed -- was probably born in the early 1740s. She married Andrew Jackson Sr. in Carrickfergus, North Ireland in 1761. They came to America in 1765 with their two small sons, Hugh and Robert. They landed in the Philadelphia region, headed south on the trail of their kinsmen and settled in the Waxhaws on Twelve mile Creek near the present site of Pleasant Grove which was some six miles north of the main settlement. (Some biographer contend that the Jacksons and Crawfords entered this country through Charleston, S.C., but this is not substantiated by the lists of immigrants coming through that port).
The going was hard on Twelve Mile Creek and Andrew Jackson Sr. died trhere in early 1767, and was buried in the Waxhaw cemetery. In a matter of weeks the widow, expecting a baby shortly, proceeded with her teo sons to her relatives closer to the settlement, hoping to reach James Crawford's place. Caught short, their mother and sons stopped at George McKemey's house on the night of 14-15 March, 1767, where she gave birth to Andrew Jackson., who was later to be President. Sarah Hutchinson Leslie, sister of Andrew Jackson's mother and also a neighbor of her sister Margaret Hutchinson McKemey, is said to have assisted in the birth.
Andrew Jackson's birthplace is a matter of dispute among historians and a running controversy between the states of North and South Carolina. On the one hand there is Andrew Jackson's own belief that he was born on the plantation of James Crawford, husband of his aunt Jane Hutchinson Crawford, which was some two and a half miles to the southwest of McKemey's place -- and in South Carolina. He is supported in this by several historians. however, in 1845, and again in 1858, Col. S. H. Walkup, a distinguished North Carolina lawyer, state senator and later a colonel in the Confederate Army (historian James Parton refers to him as General Walkup), visited the Waxhaw area and conducted an in-depth study of Andrew Jackson's beginnings. He took fourteen affidavits of residents who were knowledgeable of Jackson's early life, they having heard about it from their parents and older relatives. It was the most exhaustive study ever undertaken on the subject. It was the firm consensus of these affidavits that Andrew Jackson's mother was unable to reach James Crawford's place on her journey to the settlement , but instead stopped at George McKemey's on the way where she was delivered of her child, and further that after the mother and child were able to travel they continued their journey to the Crawford plantation. It was there that Andrew Jackson spent his childhood and got the impression that he was actually born on the plantation. With historians presenting these two points of view, it is small wonder that North Carolina has put up a monument marking Andrew Jackson's birthplace at the McKemey site, and South Carolina has put up a similar type of marker at the Crawford place about two miles to the southwest, eacn being within the present boundaries of their respective states.
A footnote to the Jackson story is that Andrew's brothers, Hugh and Robert, died at the ages of seventeen and fourteen, respectively, from wounds and exposure in the Revolutionary War. He had no sisters. Hugh and Robert Jackson, like their father Andrew Jackson Sr., are buried in the old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church cemetery. Nancy Crockett belongs to this old church and was instrumental in arranging for government markers to be placed in the cemetery for them. In 1931 the Catawba Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a granite boulder at the burial place of Andrew Jackson Sr. This was a couple of years after the author visited the cemetery (1n 1929) and was shown the location of teh grave. Also the DAR chapter placed a monument (figure of a woman) in the cemetery in memory of Elizabeth Jackson.
Elizabeth Jackson is credited with having boundless energy, rare native intelligence, courage, determination and "spunk" -- to use a commonplace term. She endured much with fortitude. She was widowed early, lost two teenage sons in the War, and indeed lived a life of trauma. This would have been too much for most women. Not so with her. It did not deter her from a final act of courage and service. She traveled to Charleston and helped nurse Revolutionary War soldiers who were sick of "ship fever" in a British prison ship, where she herself caught the plague and succumbed to it on an unrecorded day in November 1781. She was buried with other victims in an unmarked grave somewhere north of Charleston. Fourteen year old Andrew remembered one of her last words to him: "Make friends by being honest, keep them by being steadfast". Consult James Parton's and Marquis James biographies of Andrew Jackson for further information.
Andrew Jackson seems to have inherited the Hutchinson character exemplified by his mother which also had a Leslie touch to it, if it is true that his grandmother was a Leslie, as oral tradition tells us. Other Hutchinson sisters no doubt passed similar traits of character down to their descendants. Our great grandmother Grace Leslie Murphy has been described as having some of these courageous qualities.
Andrew Jackson was the author's first cousin, four times removed. In the last quarter of the twentieth century this relationship seems remote, but to the Leslies of the early nineteenth century the accomplishments of Andrew Jackson and their kinship to him were of more recent memory and were a matter of family pride. This is reflected in the fact that three chapters of this book are headed by an Andrew Jackson Leslie, each a different person and each in a different family branch which settled in different States. Furthermore, many more Andrew Jacksons, belonging to later generation, are submerged in the context of various chapters, and the first name Andrew persists to this date in various family lines.
We shall now leave our distinguished kinsman to the history books, where he may be studied at any desired length, and turn to out American Leslie progenitor, Samuel Leslie (L1) and his wife Sarah Hutchinson Leslie, who are the primary subjects of the next chapter, together with their close relatives.
The next chapter has been expanded to include a wealth of new data on the eaqrly Leslies of Lancaster and York counties, South Carolina, Many bits of documentary evidence have been brought to light by Nancy Crockett and others, which have allowed us to identify many more Leslie names in that area that hitherto have been shrouded in mystery. The chapter has also been lengthened by the discovery that Samuel Leslie (L1) had another brother beside John Leslie (L2). He was George Leslie (L3) of York County, some of whose descendants are recorded in the chapter. More is also told of James Leslie (L4). It is safe to say that Chapter 4, as well as Chapter 3, should provide a more fruitful source of data for further research by these interested in collateral lines, in addition to their own.
...succeeding chapters treat the descendants of Samuel and Sara Hutchinson Leslie in some detail; nothing is said of John and Mary Hutchinson Leslie...

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