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William Greer

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Date: 27 Apr 2020
Location: United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Greer One Name Study Group Biographies Sources
Profile manager: Carole Taylor private message [send private message]
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William Greer Sr.

The goal of this project is to ...

Right now this project just has 2 members,

  1. me. I am Carole Taylor.
  2. James McGuire
  3. Misty Musco (Rish)

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. We'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Start this FREE SPACE
  • Make the Profile so anyone, Descendant or NOT can read it and understand his Life............
  • clean-up the profile by moving any NOTES over here
  • Add SOURCES and attach copies of those sources

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!



  1. Marriage Record for William Greer Sr to Mary Ann FITCH
  2. SOURCE to prove Benjamin Greer born 1740 Maryland
  3. THEN we also need SOURCE to prove John Greer born 1737 Maryland

Basic Profile Data

McGuire: Several things about William's profile need some adjustment, I think.

Until someone can confirm William’s military service, his designation as “Capt.” should be removed form the profile. There is nothing on him in Fold3. And if he was born in 1710, he would have been 66 when the RW started. Possibly, he was in the militia at some point but no records have been located. There is one record (which needs to be confirmed in Henry Co. court records) that William may have been a Loyalist in 1781.

There is no documentary evidence of a middle name. Likewise, there is no such evidence his son was named William Shadrack Greer. Known records simply refer to him as Shadrack. The middle name for William, Sr. should be removed, unless we post a short statement to the effect that a possible middle name remains to be confirmed.

William’s place of death is incorrect. Franklin Co. did not exist in 1785 and there are no probate records in Franklin for a William Greer at this time period. Probate records for Henry and Bedford need to be checked. Tax records seem to indicate William died in Henry Co. sometime between 1783-1787. I recommend indicating place of death was "Virginia".

County boundary changes must be factored into any discussion of William’s residence. Available records suggest a residence in Henry Co. at the time of his death. Prior to 1777, Henry Co. was part of Pittsylvania, Halifax and Lunenburg Counties.

Moved over from profile

This section contributed by Carole Taylor
ALSO, If he is a Senior, and the Junior's middle name is "Shadrach" then Senior's middle name MUST BE Shadrach as well...................
1) Place of birth? England or Maryland--
Answer: UNLESS, his father sailed back to ENGLAND with his wife and she gave birth in England in 1710, then I can not see where he could have been born in England since his grandfather James GREER is the Progenitor of "The Greer's In America."
SOURCE= Passenger LIST 1674 Immigration
DATE: 6 Nov. 1674 --NAME: James Greer ( this would be his grandfather). ex Bristol. Indentured. (Early Settlers Book 18, folio 152) - 2112 ...
(A second listing is also shown:) GREER, James. Born probably Dumfriesshire) (2) James. (D. C., 22 Apr., 1961) - 2117." (These two entries are from A DICTIONARY OF SCOTTISH EMIGRANTS TO THE USA by Donald Whyte, 1972.)"
2) Parents? William's FATHER=
ANSWER SOURCE- LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JOHN GREER: "North Carolina" can be seen in total on John Sr.[1] Including all the children.
3) A person really needs to read the profile that Ralph Terry has researched and made his "statements" regarding all the info... and DATA that he has uncovered the last 10+ years. He is THE Authority, of the Greer-Grierson lineage as far as I am concerned. capenoch Ralph Terry has UNLINKED our James Greer of Maryland with the "father in Scotland" He could NOT find a source to prove it/" "DNA tests have disproven it."
4) ("Greer Family, Originating in Maryland," by Robert M. Torrence; this is the original writing, not the revision appearing in his work GREGOR, MacGREGOR, MacGHEE, MABRUDER, GRIERSON, GRIER, GREER; this original write-up came from the Maryland Historical Society, where it is on file.)
"Supplemental Account ... William Greear (Greer) --- Reference is made to page 153, wherein this William Greer is shown as being the son of John Greer of Baltimore County, Maryland. It will be seen that William Greer's children are the same, but one, in both accounts. The accounts to follow contain a great deal of new information of value and interest to members of this family, so it appears to be intelligently fair and unbiased to quote them in full. The lack of accurate dates in these early accounts is a great handicap and detriment in drawing conclusions.
5) Source: St John's Parish, Joppa, Baltimore County, Maryland
I have not actually seen the original copies but Researchers have given the Parish as having the Christening records of the children, Marriage records of the children, The Admonishment of John Greer and Chloe Jones. (I contacted the church to ask for copies but they just gave me the name/# of the DAR lady from the church, currently. no luck there)

William Greer was Not a Legislator in Virginia

Some sources say William Greer was a member of the legislature.[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] There is no record of William Greer being a member of Virginia's House of Burgesses[8] or elected to the Virginia Legislature as a Delegate or a Senator;

Moses was the first Greer elected to the Virginia General Assembly, representing Franklin county in the House of Delegates for the 21 October—12 December 1793 Session, and many times after that.[9]
William was also not a member of the United States Congress in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.[10]

McGuire: I agree there is no evidence any William Greer served in Virginia legislature. Historical accounts of such are almost certainly confused with Moses Greer. All references to such service should be removed form William's profile, unless we want to add a brief note explaining the confusion with Moses.

William was born in England

Source: About the year 1730, there came from England one William Greer who settled in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was of Scotch-Irish descent and during his sojourn in England, he married Mary Finch (some say Fitch ). Before coming to America, this couple had born to them four sons, William, James, Shadrack and John Greer. After their arrival in America , four more sons and one daughter were born, Mary, Walter, Aquilla and a son whose name is unknown and Rebecca Greer. The four sons born England took no part in the Revolutionary War, except Shadrack, who joined the British Army. The four sons born in America enlisted in the Continental Army and were American patriots. The son, Moses Greer, was in Washington's Army as it moved on Yorktown. He is said to have served as Aide to General Washington. Having married Nancy Bailey, moved with his family to Franklin County, Virginia, where he settled and accumulated much property in land and slaves. He [Moses] served as a member of the Virginia Legislature many times and was for fifteen years the Presiding Judge of Franklin County, Virginia.[12]
Disproven: The Maryland Historical Society states:"Traditions in this family say that William Greer married his wife in England where their first four sons were born; that some were Tories, the others loyal. No records have been found to substantiate this. Mr. Sylvester Greer, of Dixiana, Alabama, a descendant, wrote the compiler, April 7,1940: " I have never believed that William Greer came from England, but was born in Baltimore County and married Ann Fitch there." The above facts, found later, prove that he was right. The Fitch family came originally from England and may have given the tradition a basis. The names of the children have been handed down from one generation to the next and will be so used." "[13][14]

McGuire Addition:
One other source claims William came to America about 1735. The author gave no other supporting detail and probably got his information, word of mouth, from a descendant of Moses Greer. Work was originally published in 1964 and is known to contain some errors. Pioneer Families of Franklin County, Virginia, by Marshall Wingfield, p. 85-86 “William Greer and Mary Anne Finch of English extraction, were married in Ireland and came to America about 1735, and settled in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. They had eight sons and one daughter. The four oldest sons were born in Ireland and the other children were born in America”. The book continues, listing all 9 children – William, James, Shadrack, John, Aquilla, Benjamin, Walter, Moses (md. Nancy Bailey) and Rebecca. Other Greer’s named were all descendants of Moses, said to be the progenitor of the Franklin Greer’s.

McGuire Addition:
Library of Virginia; Survey Report, June 1 and 2, 1936; Biography collected by Works Progress Administration Historical Inventory by Alice Peak Hopkins of Rocky Mount, Virginia; In the home of Mrs. Cabell Smith in Hopewell, Virginia. Note: June 2 version appears to be a replacement for the June 1 version, with an added page. “Moses Greer was born in Ann Arundel County, Maryland, June 2, 1744. He was the youngest of seven sons. His father, William Greer, married Ann Fitch (sometimes written Finch) in England about 1720. Three sons William, James and Shadrock, were born in England. The family then came to Maryland where John, Aquilla, Benjamin (sometimes called Steve or Steven), Walter, Moses and one daughter, Rebecca, were born. The daughter married ___ Divers. William, the oldest son, remained netural (sic) during the Revolution, Shadrock joined the British Army causing great distress to the family. James, Aquilla, Walter and Moses fought under Washington. John emigrated to Bledsoe County, Tennessee and was the first settler in that remote region.” Note: In 1931, Mrs. Cabell Smith was appointed organizing Regent to form a chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution to be called the ‘Captain Moses Greer Chapter’…On account of the depression, the organization was not completed. Note: IF William married in 1720, his birth date would be much earlier than the c. 1710 reported in his profile. It also raises questions about his being a son of John Greer and Sarah Day, who supposedly married in 1704.


  1. farmer
  2. judge [15]
  3. He was a Justice of the Peace, and presiding judge of Franklin County (which indicates that he must have been living after 1785, as that was the year Franklin Co., was formed.)
  4. Military, Captain [16] Revolutionary War SOURCE: The Sons of the Revolution office at Knoxville and Baltimore County Families, 1659 - 1759 both provide data that William was the son of John and Sarah Greer. The only place I see a source is: Ralph Terry's rootsweb.com (Guess we need to write a letter for copies of the data they have for him. To prove it to you/ us. [1] "William joined the American Army and served as a captain of Militia under Colonel Calloway." He was a Justice of the Peace, and presiding judge of Franklin County (which indicates that he must have been living after 1785, as that was the year Franklin County was formed). He became a large landowner and had many slaves." (GREER KINSMEN by J. B. Bell)
  5. Slave Owner [17][18]
They had eight sons, William, James, Shadrach and John, Acquilla (or Acquilla),Walter, Benjamin and Moses.
There was also a daughter Rebecca. This sentence is in direct conflict with the information on this profile.

This list is from the "Penelope Johnson Allen, State Genealogist of Tennessee, THE CHATTANOOGA TIMES, May 3, 1934" Which has been PROVEN incorrect by many.

'According to the The Descendants of Aquilla Greer, Sr. 1719-1790]]' (August 2005) The only child that is not on this LIST of children is Shadrach, they do agree there was a daughter, Mary Rebecca. However, this research book is only about the Descendants of Aquilla Greer, Sr. (1719-1790) and it does not go further than the children of William Greer/Mary Ann FITCH.....

Furthermore, the first paragraph has been disproven and UNLINKED as the father of the America James Greer, born Scotland 1627 died 1688 ................................ When the Revolutionary War broke out the four youngest of the sons took part with the Army of the Revolution. The four eldest either remained neutral or took part with the Tories. Especially Shadrack supposed to have joined the British Army. For this his younger brothers are said to have disowned him. Are Sandrach and Shadrack one in the same? YES.

This is the only SON on this profile that is in QUESTION...Steven GREER b: 1741 in Baltimore Co., MARYLAND

Alternate list of children:[19] [2]

William Shadrach Greer JR b: 1732 d:9/19/1802 (NO Middle name)
James Joseph Greer b: 1733 Maryland d: circa 1806
John Fitch Greer John 1736 d: circa 1782
Aquilla Greer b:1738 (nothing else)
Benjamin Greer b:1740 d:after 1789
Walter Greer b:1742 d: 2/13/1835
Capt. Moses Greer b:2 Jun 1744 d:10 May 1834 Franklin, Va


probably, but headstones not found yet on the plantation. His son/grandson are buried on the family plantation. Greer, Moses Family, Gogginsville, Franklin County, Virginia. I believe, now that they were laid to rest in Gogginsville Franklin County, with his son Moses and his family. William was the owner of the land at one time, looks like.


  1. rootsweb.com
  2. Ralph Terry, "Judia and Ralph Terry - Family and Neighbors of Coleman County, Texas", WorldConnect Program, (2017), RootsWeb (https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=capenoch&id=I770 : accessed 2 April 2018).
  3. Sue Wilcox-Hosbach, "Glenn Greer & Branches", WorldConnect Program, (2012), RootsWeb (https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=wwofn&id=I142 : accessed 1 April 2018).
  4. William Dodson, "dodson family tree", WorldConnect Program, (2015), RootsWeb (https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=mathew1967&id=I1380 : accessed 3 April 2018).
  5. Torrence
  6. Maryland Historical Society:
  7. Josh Bowles Bell, Greer kinsmen of American descendant, (Hernando, Mississippi : J.B. Bell, 1986).
  8. Wikipedia: List of members of the Virginia House of Burgesses, accessed 3 April 2018.
  9. Earl G Swem and John W Williams, A Register of the General Assembly of Viriginia 1776—1918 and of the Constitutional Conventions, (Richmond: Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing, 1918), 23-4 (first representatives from Franklin) and 39 (first time Moses was elected), Digital Image Internet Archive (https://archive.org/stream/registerofgenera00virg#page/22/mode/2up/ : accessed 1 April 2018).
  10. "Historical List of Members of Congress", GovTrack,(https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/all#all_role_states=VA&sort=first_took_office : accessed 3 April 2018.
  11. Allen
  12. Allen
  13. Maryland Historical Society:
  14. Torrence
  15. Maryland Historical Society:
  16. Maryland Historical Society:
  17. Torrence
  18. Maryland Historical Society:
  19. OQuin: Page 3

McGuire Sources

Note: Several references to 'William Greer' are available in Lunenburg, Bedford, Henry and Franklin Counties before William's estimated date of death. The records here are those most likely to be the subject's records.

  • History of Henry County, Virginia with Biographical Sketches of its most Prominent Citizens, by Judith Parks America Hill, 1925, p. 305-306, Undated (probably 1777); Citizens of Henry County Who Took the Oath of Allegiance [Note: All listed were free male inhabitants over 16 years old. From ‘among the files in the Clerk’s Office’]; William Greer, Aquila Greer. Note: According to a different source, History of Henry County, Virginia by J. P. A. Hill and Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol, p. 138-140, this record applies to Aquilla, age 59 and son, William, age 28.
  • Architectural Survey of Henry County, Virginia, by Hill Studio, P. C, 2009, p. 16; “At the close of the Revolutionary War, Henry County officials took action to punish a few Loyalists who had favored the British, and to reward many Patriots who had supported the War of Independence. On March 22, 1781, immediately after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Henry County Justices fined William Greer for “suspicion of conspiracy against the State of America.” Four months later the justices fined and imprisoned Abraham Cristman, and ordered James Baker to appear at the next court on “suspicion of being inimical to the rights and liberties of America.” Finally, after the British surrender at Yorktown, in January 1782 the Henry Court ordered Isaac Donelson to trial “on suspicion of High Treason.” Cristman apparently left the county after his release from prison, but the other suspected Loyalists seem to have reentered the economy and life of their neighboring and far more numerous Patriots. Greer purchased land in Henry County...”.

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