Letter of Testimony Attesting to Revolutionary War Service of Jobe Gargis

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Surname/tag: Gargis
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From https://web.archive.org/web/20061022100605/http://www.garrigus-family.com/job1.html

The Genealogy of a Garrigues Family, Electronic Library, online (http://www.garrigus-family.com), Robert Garrigus, rgarrigus @ hotmail.com (9579 Sea Shadow, Columbia, MD 21046), downloaded (add date). Mr. Garrigus further cites: James Cooley to State of Tennessee, letter, 7 May 1823, Revolutionary War Military Papers, folder 545.2, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

This letter was transcribed from the testimony of James Cooley of Humphries County, TN on May 7, 1823 attesting to the Revolutionary War service of Jobe Gargis. Some have assumed that Job was actually short for Jacob but no evidence exists to support this theory. A transcript follows:
"State of Tennessee, Humphries County,
"I hereby certify that James Coley came personally before me John Maden one of the acting Justices for the aforesaid county and being duly sworn deposeth and saith as follows. I am personally acquainted with Jobe Gargis and have been for this fifty four or five years and I know that in the time of the Revolutionary War the said Jobe Gargis served three years as a regular solger under Captain Toley Powel in Magor Hog's Batalyon. Sworn to before me this seventh of May in the year of our Lord 1823. James Coley [mark]"

End of transcript.

Historians of the Garrigues/Garrigus/Gargus family have long asserted that the origins of the Southern Branches all find their roots in Halifax County, NC (with the family of Matthew Garrigus) later migrating to points in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Alabama. However, very few records exist to positively identify any of the Halifax County family members having relocated to the aforementioned regions. Census records do confirm that many of the earliest residents moving westward had been born in North Carolina but virtually no records exist for them in that state. Tax records of 1786 show the following living in Halifax County: Matthias Gariguss (District 13), Joseph Garges (District 15), Job Garregus (District 6), Rebecca Gargiss, and Mary Garigus. By 1820 Job Garges is found in Surrey County, NC.

We can positively identify the subject of the letter above, Jobe Gargis (aka Job Gargus, Job Garrigus, and Job Carrigus [1790 U.S. Census]) as having lived in Halifax County, NC both before and after the Revolutionary War as well as in Humphries County, TN. Job remained in Halifax County into 1800 as is evidenced in the census of that year. The same folder cited above contains another letter by a man named Jeff Cooley of Halifax County, NC. What's more, we can confirm that Job resided very close to (or possibly with) the claimed progenitor Matthew Garrigus in District 6, Halifax County, NC. We know this due to Job's military record and the fact that a man named Gilliam Newsome stated so in a letter on his behalf written October 19, 1820. Gilliam Newsome is known to have been a neighbor of the Garrigus family in Halifax County as well as Captain of the county militia and county tax collector. Numerous extant records confirm this including the 1790 U.S. Census, tax lists naming Job as insolvent, and numerous land records for Garrigus-640Matthew Garrigus specifically identifying Mr. Newsome as a neighbor. Gilliam Newsome's letter appears below and is followed by a transcript:

"State of North Carolina, Halifax County,
"Sometime ago perhaps in the latter end of the old Revolutionary War, there was a law of the State saying that fifteen men should raise one. Accordingly the class hired Job Garrigus from a tower of eighteen months. The said Garrigus was received of this deponant Gilliam Newsome who was at that time Capt of the Company then in District No. 6. This deponant believes that the said Garrigus performed his tower of duty given under his hand & seal this 19th day of October 1820. Gilliam Newsome [signed]"

End of transcript.

Where can we go from here?

Two other Gargas/Garges/Gargis/Gargus men can be specifically identified as having lived in Halifax County, NC and tracked on their migration westward. These men appear to have been brothers named John and Joel. Based on early census enumerations for Job Garrigus these two men may very well have been his sons. Subsequent census schedules for John and Joel indicate that they were born in North Carolina. John was born about 1788-1791 and Joel about 1790. Joel lived in Surrey County, NC per the 1820, 1830, and 1840 U.S. Census. By 1850 he had moved to Pettis Township, Platte County, MO. In this enumeration we find that Joel was born in NC about the year 1790. Joel's neighbors in 1850 included James Garges (b. abt. 1822 in NC), Nathan Garges (b. abt. 1820 in NC), and Margaret E. Garges (b. abt.1822 in MO). In 1860, 1870 and 1880 we find a man named Joel Garges living in Liberty Township, Schuyler County, MO but this man appears to be a son of the elder Joel's brother John as he was born about 1827 in NC.

John Gargus also lived in Surrey County, NC in 1820. By the 1840 and 1850 census he is found living in Lawrence and Marion Counties, IN respectively. Included in a list of his neighbors in 1850 were three young men named John Garges, Jr. (b. abt. 1823 in NC), William Garges (b. abt. 1819 in NC), Joel Garges (b. abt. 1826 in NC), and James Garges (b. abt. 1817 in NC). These are likely the sons of John Garges formerly of Halifax and Surrey Counties, NC. In 1870 John Garges is living with his son Joel in Liberty Township, Schuyler County, MO at the age of 78.

These men have the best documented connections to the Garrigus family of Halifax County, NC. It is very likely that we can locate living descendents of both of these men as they had several sons who also left posterity. We would benefit greatly by identifying lineal male descendents of this family for the Garrigues Surname DNA Project as this family presents us with the only specific identifying information for the Garrigus family of Halifax County, NC. Comparing descendents of this line with the Garrigues haplotype would give us solid evidence to tie the Southern Branch back to Halifax County, NC.

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