Isaac GREGORY Benjamin GREGORY Richard GREGORY Isaac GREGORY Jemima FULLENS Mini tree diagram


17211 - UNKNOWN

Life History






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    Gregorys and Fews in Migration Patterns from the 1700s
    By Orville Boyd Jenkins
    Posted on 16 October 2017

    One factor in reconstructing a family lineage are patterns of movement and migration.  These migration paths are helpful in finding and evaluating records in our Gregory and related Few line.  We see Gregory records in a generational pattern along the migration streams along the tidewater area or valleys southwards and westward.

    Records are being discovered in the westward line from Philadelphia through Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland, through what is now West Virginia, still part of Virginia in the era we are looking at, and on to Ohio and Indiana.  Brothers John, Richard and Benjamin Gregory, thought to be sons of Isaac Gregory of Pennsylvania, are mentioned several times in lists of residents of old Frederick County, Virginia, a large area at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, also on a common east-west migration route.

    Records for a younger Richard Gregory are found in Culpeper County and Fauquier County, Virginia, on this westward path south of the Pennsylvania border.  These two counties were established in 1749, cut out of Orange County, the original huge area from which Frederick County was originally established in 1743.  These counties bordered Frederick County on the east.

    Dates and locations of various records match a line of movement from the residence of Richard's likely grandfather Benjamin Gregory of Pennsylvania, into Frederick County, and later back to eastern Virginia in Prince William County, across the Potomac from Washington, DC.  This westward line of migration connects with the great Shenandoah Valley running southwestward along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains in what is now West Virginia.

    Records for a Lewis Gregory, who appears to be a son of Benjamin, son of Isaac, are found along this Shenadoah Valley route then across into the part of Virginia that later became Kentucky, one of the areas where Fews and Gregorys come into contact.  This matches the pattern of residence and Gregory-Few marriages in some of these areas along this southward line of migration.  Details are found in individual notes for the Fews and Gregorys.  Gregorys from this lineage moved westward a bit to the part of Virginia that is now northern Kentucky.

    Gregorys are found along the Shenandoah Valley which runs southwestward from Hagerstown to Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, on the border, on through Jefferson and Cocke County, which were all one area of North Carolina, then East Tennessee (current I-81 to I-40 to Knoxville) in the 1700s and early 1800s and on toward Cherokee and contiguous counties in Alabama.

    We find Gregorys that appear to be from two different lineages who followed the Shenandoah or similar route from Philadelphia-Baltimore through Virginia into Tennessee, our line through the easterly route of the named east Tennessee counties, the other a bit more westerly, with members of both lines in Kentucky.

    These two lines seem to be connected to the same line from Pennsylvania and northern Virginia.  But there are indication of one or two separate migration streams in the same areas.  Early sources are not clear on these lines, and similar names in what may be different lineages seem to have been confused in some genealogies.

    I have been through all these areas and explored these lines of migration so have these in mind as I read through records and watch for connections and clues.

    Westward Ho
    Gregorys in the line of James Henry Gregory and Rachel Lewis are found in those counties of Tennessee from Jefferson-Cocke on to Knox, McMinn (where we find both these Gregorys, with apparently no crossover), Franklin, etc, in the westward migration route.  Gregorys of our lineage also seem to have moved northwestward through the mountain passes toward Louisville.

    Fews and Gregorys are connected in the states of Virginia, Kentucky (which was originally part of Virginia colony), North Carolina and Tennessee (which was originally part of North Carolina Colony) in several generations.  The Fews in North Carolina apparently followed the westerly route over the Smokies into Tennessee into Jefferson County, Tennessee, and surrounding counties where they connected again with the Gregory lineage.  We find them in the family of Francis Marion Few from North Carolina Jefferson County, Tennessee, where his daughter Letha married Andrew Jackson Gregory, my great great grandfather's brother.

    Traffic went both ways along those Midwestern routes over a period of two centuries.  Fews moved into the Louisville, Kentucky, area from Indiana (across the Ohio River.  Gregorys and Fews also moved from eastern Tennessee into Kentucky.

    Great migrations northward occurred in the 1920s and later because of extensive floods along the Mississippi, destroying much of the Delta South.  The depression added to this exodus northward.  Midwestern droughts accelerated movement to California.  Further industrialization in the next two decades and after WWII accelerated this migration northward and westward.

    The geographical indicators are not only contiguous counties, but similarly in the counties along these common natural migration routes, which also reveal patterns of the same family decade to decade and generation to generation.  These patterns match the same kinds of patterns we find in ethnic investigations all over the world.

    Early Virginia Gregory Records
    Orville Boyd Jenkins

    Focus on Gregorys
    Three Gregorys reported to be sons of Isaac Gregory are referred to in several county administrative documents in 1744 and later in Frederick County, Virginia, concerning road repair.  The residents required to work it include John Gregory, Richard. Gregory and Benjamin Gregory.

    The son Benjamin Gregory is reported to have been born in Pennsylvania, and later moved to Prince William County, Virginia, across the border from the Maryland area that would become Washington, DC, where Benjamin died in 1798.  Prince William County is a few miles to the east or southeast of Frederick County, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley of what is now western Virginia.

    The document states that the starting point of the road to be repaired was Gregory's Ford, attesting to the early presence of Gregorys in this region.  The exact location of this place has not been determined.  It does not appear on the later map of old Frederick County by John Wood (ca 1775-1822)

    A whole list of residents required to assist in the repair, including the Gregory brothers, were all named as tenants of the "tithables" owned by Thomas Lord Fairfax.

    Frederick County
    Frederick County, Virginia, was formed out of old Orange County in 1743.  The original and current county seat of current Frederick County is Winchester.  This is at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, a major north to south (southwest) migration route, where US Interstate Highway 81 runs today.  Winchester is on the east to west migration route from Philadelphia and Frederick, Maryland, to the west.

    A few miles north of Winchester is through Hagerstown, Maryland, where US Interstate Highway 70 runs today through that east-west corridor.  From today's Frederick County, many people commute daily to Fairfax County, Virginia, across the Potomac River form Washington, DC.

    The county of Frederick, when it was first created in 1743 from the original Orange County, Virginia, included a huge area:
    "'Old Frederick County' encompassed all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia - Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick - and five in present-day West Virginia - Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.  The Virginia Assembly named the new county for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707-1751), the eldest son of King George II of Great Britain."
    --  "Frederick County, Virginia," Wikipedia,,_Virginia

    The Records
    Note:  the word "tithables" in the following records is used approximately equivalent to taxpayer, or land upon which the resident pays taxes in the county.  One landmark repeatedly mentioned in description of roads is Gregory's Ford.  No record has been found to definitely locate this old place in Frederick County.

    The standard format for building or maintaining a road was for all tithables living within 10 miles of the road to work on it.  One or two overseers were appointed for each job or road section.

    The header paging numbers for each entry is the original page in the original Frederick County administrative records.

    The following information comes from:
    Frederick County (Virginia) Road 1743-1772
    G Luckman and A B Miller, published in 2005
    Library of Congress,

    Frederick County Virginia

    13 July 1744 O. S., FOB 1, p. 137
    On the motion of SAMUEL EARLE, it is Ordered that John Rout[t] be Overseer of the Road from Gregorys Ford to the Top of the Ridge & that all the male labouring Tithables belonging to the Honble Thomas Lord Fairfax's Quarter, James Seabern, Widow Borden, William Remy, Edward Rogers, Jacob Peck, Edwd Corder, Thos Postgate, John Painter, James Burn, Thomas Hooper, John Gregory, Richd Gregory, Benjn Gregory, Saml Earle & John Oldrages work on the same & Observe the said Overseers Order & Directions in Clearing the same And its further Ordered that the said Rout keep the said Road in Good Repair According to Law [commas added between names to assist modern readability]
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, June 2005, p 6

    10 August 1744 O. S., FOB 1, p. 165
    On the Petition of David Vance Gent & Others its Ordered that a Road be Cleared from John Hites Mill into the Road that Comes from John Funks Mill to John Gregory’s & John Niswanger & Robert Warth are hereby Appointed Overseers of the same & its Ordered that they cause the  8 same to be Cleared & when cleared that they keep the same in good repair According to Law & its further Ordered that the Tithables living within two Miles of the said Road work on the same.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, pp 7-8

    11 August 1744 O. S., FOB 1, p. 170
    Thomas Postgate & John Gregory are hereby Appointed to View Mark and lay Off a Road from the said Postgate’s Islands into the Road that comes from Thos Chesters Gent. & make return of their proceeding to the next Court.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, pp 7-8

    2 April 1745 O. S., FOB 1, p. 316
    On the Petition of Thomas Branson Thomas Thorntown Thomas Sharp Junr,  John Downton, Edward Churchman, John Branson, Robert McKay Junr,  Thomas Sharp Senr,  Thomas Hankins, Joseph Hankins, Marmaduke Vickory, Spencer Jones, William Smith, Bathany Haines, William Ramor, John Duckworth, John Painter, Thomas Postgate, William Fearnley, Hugh Caneday, John Arledge, James Sadin, Thomas Alexander, Edward Cordit, John Gregory, Abraham Crandon, Robert Catlett, William Remy, James Kempes, Benja Gregory, Christopher Nation, John Nation, for a Road from the Courthouse to Gregory’s ford Its Ordered that the Petitioners Clear & Work on the same, And Samuel Earle is hereby Appointed Surveyor thereof And its further Ordered that he keep the said Road in good repair According to Law. [commas added between names to assist modern readability]
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 12

    6 August 1745 O. S., FOB 1, p. 402
    Thomas Postgate & John Gregory having Viewed the Road from the said Thomas Postgate’s Island into the Road that comes from Thomas Chesters Gent according to an Order of this Court made their report in these Words, Viewed and Marked the Road within Mentioned Whereupon it is Ordered that the said Road be from henceforth Established a public Road & Samuel Earle is hereby Appointed Surveyor thereof & that the Tithables belonging to Thomas Postgate, Robert Halfpenny, James Burn, John Painter John Gregory & Thomas Alexander work on the same And it is further Ordered that the said Samuel Earle cause the said Road to be Cleared & when Cleared that he keep the same in good repair according to Law.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 13

    2 August 1748 O. S., FOB 2, p. 450
    On the Petition of Thomas Ashby Junr for a road from Howels ford to Gregory’s Waggon Road It is Ordered that the Tithables from Thomas Hoopers to Mark Hardins on both sides of the River Clear & Work on the same under Thomas Ashby Junr who is hereby Appointed Overseer thereof And it is further Ordered that the said Thomas Ashby cause the said Road to be cleared & make Bridges thereon where it is requisite according to Law.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 32

    2 September 1761, FOB 9, p. 336
    James Seaburn is Appointed Overseer of the road from Gregory’s ford to the Top of the Blue ridge at the head of Menasses run Ordered that the Tithables five miles above & two miles below the Ford work on the same.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 109

    4 March 1762, FOB 9, p. 398
    John Routt is Appointed Overseer of the Road from Gregorys ford to Menasses run at the County Line in the room of Thomas Cooper. Ordered that the Tithables formerly Appointed work under him and Keep the same in Repair According to Law.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 110

    2 August 1768, FOB 14 Part 1, p. 295
    James Burns is appointed overseer of the Road from McKay’s Chappel to Gregorys Ford in the Room [in the place] of Robert McKay Ordered that the usael [usual] Tithables work thereon under him.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 138

    7 March 1770, FOB 14 Part 2, p. 591
    William Ashby is appointed overseer of the Road from Gregorys Ford to the Top of the blue Ridge in the Room [in the place] of Joseph King Ordered that the Tithables Two Miles up & down the River Including those in the forks Work on the same under him.
    --  Frederick County Virginia Road Projects, p 148

    We have cited only the references mentioning the Gregorys.  Other insights into the areas and residents are found in the collection of original administrative acts of the old Frederick County, Virginia.

    Gregory's Ford was again mentioned several times as a location in the area in various road discussions.  One reference mentions other prominent land areas in the county.

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