Tag Archives: North Carolina

Testimony of an American Patriot – Part 2

On 7 June 1822, under an Act of Congress, the United States made provisions for veterans to receive a pension for their service during the American Revolution.  William Kerby (or Curbo) was among those that filed an application for a pension.  His pension hearing was held in the Precinct Court on 16 Sept 1833 in Jackson County, Tennessee before the Honorable Abraham Caruthers, Circuit Judge for the Third Judicial Court in Jackson County as follows:

On the 16th day of September, 1833 personally appeared before the Honorable Abraham Caruthers, Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit for the State aforesaid, now presiding in the County of Jackson and State of Tennessee, William Kerby, or as it is sometimes written William Curbo, a resident of the county and state aforesaid, aged seventy-four years on the 6th of July last {this suggests a birth year of 1758} who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the pension made by the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1932.

That he enlisted into the Army of the United States in the year 1775 {he would have been 17 years old} as he believes, but being wholly illiterate, in this he may be mistaken.  He will however proceed with the narration of such facts or will enable the department without any difficulty to ascertain the justice or injustice of his application.  He enlisted with Captain Thomas Harris, and served in the 4th Regiment of the North Carolina line, as he now understands it.

The regiment to which he belonged was commanded by Col. Thomas Polk, who was from the County of Mecklenburg, North Carolina.  The first Major of the Regiment was George Davidson – long after this period Major Davidson was killed at Beatty’s Ford on the Catouba {Catawba??} River in a skirmish with the British and this declarant is of opinion and his recollection is so that at the time of his death he held the rank of General, in the state troops of North Carolina.  James Fair was lieutenant in Capt. Harris’ Company.  James Costs was Ensign.  When he entered the guard he resided in Anson County, North Carolina near the town of Wadesborrough. 

Captain Harris’ company joined the Regiment at Wilmington, North Carolina.  The next day after reaching Wilmington, they set out on their march for Headley’s Point, near Charleston, South Carolina – where they remained in winter quarters until the following spring.  From Charleston, the troops returned to Wilmington, where they remained, he believes about a month.  From Wilmington, the troops marched to the town of Halifax, North Carolina.  There were then at that place according to his recollection, five Regiments – General Francis Nash had the chief command of what troops were there – they remained there something like a month.  From there they marched to Fredericksburg, Virginia where they only remained a few days and continued their march to the head of Elk in Pennsylvania, where they joined General Washington’s army.  {Yes – the General Washington – future President George Washington!}  From there they went to Philadelphia, by the way of what was called “the floating bridge” on the Schuylkill {River}.   

The Army remained some time in Philadelphia, how long he does not distinctly remember, but according to his recollection, he was in Philadelphia on the day that independence was declared.  {Did you just get the goosebumps?  I did – this is American history in action!}  He was in the Battle of Brandywine [September 11, 1777] where he received a wound in the right arm near the shoulder.  This wound was given by one of the British dragoons with a sword.  {When I first read this I thought that a “dragoon” was a type of weapon; however, I found out that it was actually a type of soldier known as a Dragoon Guard.  This designation was given to refer to a certain type of cavalry regiment in the British Army.}  The wound is now distinctly to be seen, or rather the scar which the found first ??? and will be visible while he lives.  At the same time and as he suppose from the same sword, he received a wound in the right hand, which in like manner has left an indelible mark.  After the Battle of Brandywine, he went with the main Army into winter quarters at Valley Forge, there a great many of the North Carolina troops died, and this declarant, with others, was transferred to the Company commanded by Captain John Somers of Somers.  The name of the Lieutenant was McGibboney.  The name of the Ensign was Blount Whitmil. 

He states that previously to going into winter quarters at Valley Forge, he was in the Battle of Germantown.  The winter of 1776 they occupied Valley Forge as winter quarters.  The following summer, and according to his recollection, on the 17th day of July 1777, he was in the Battle of Monmouth.  They remained, he says in Jersey, the winter of 1777.  The following year, the period of his enlistment which was for three years, expired, and he obtained a discharge, signed by General Washington{I wonder what that would be worth if we had that now??!}  His father’s house was burnt in Anson County, North Carolina, at which time his discharge was burnt.  This was during the war, and while this declarant was in the militia service.  He had gone out as a substitute for his brother Joseph Kerby or Curbo, and the discharge had been left with his father, John Kerby.  The whole period which he served his country was six years and three months; but, he was only three years in the regular or United States Army.  He experienced many privations and hardships while in the militia, and on one occasion, at the capture of Charleston, was taken prisoner.

After, reading and digesting William’s testimony, I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information it contained.  I wondered – was William Kerby just a fanciful story-teller?  Or did he really live out this very fascinating piece of our American history?  The oral family history insists that “William and Joseph were present when Cromwell surrendered to General Washington.”  At first I thought – sure – wishful thinking!  Now, I’m not so quick to disregard this family story.  I found out that he was in fact not a storyteller – all of his claims are historical fact.  (See my notes below regarding the people he mentions in his testimony.)  In the end, William’s testimony was credible and the Judge ruled favorably by stating,,,,,and the said Court does hereby declare their opinion that the above-named applicant was a revolutionary soldier and served as he states.  

Captain Thomas Harris, the Army officer that William claims to have enlisted with, did in fact exist.  He was a resident of Iredell County, North Carolina.  His pension hearing took place on 24 May 1821.  On his oath he declared that he joined the continental army in April 1776 as a captain in the Fourth North Carolina Regiment and served in that army for {page torn} years in which time he rose to the rank of Major.  He then on account of his health and other circumstances resigned his commission but afterwards went out in the Militia and acted as Aid to General Griffith Rutherford and was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Camdon  on 16 Aug 1780.

The following commanding officers – all served in the Revolution – actually existed – and are documented:

Thomas Polk – born abt 1732 in Pennsylvania – was one of the original settlers in the area now known as Charlotte, North Carolina.  During the 1750s, this area was located in Anson County, North Carolina.  In 1775, Thomas was one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  He was a revolutionary war officer and rose to the rank of Brigadier General.  He died in June of 1794.

George Davidson – born abt 1738 in Ireland – was a Captain who commanded the First Regiment of the North Carolina Line from Sept. 1775 to Feb 1777.  He later rose to the rank of Colonel of the North Carolina Militia.  He died in Iredell County, North Carolina.

John Summers/Somers – He served in the North Carolina Regiment as Lieutenant and later as Captain.  He was taken prisoner at William’s Plantation in July of 1780.  He retired from military service in 1883.

Patrick McGibboney – was a Captain with the Fourth Regiment, North Carolina Continental Line.  He was born in Scotland about 1743 and died in Greensboro, Gilford County, North Carolina in February of 1804.

Thomas Blunt Whitmill – was known as Blunt.  His widow filed an application for his pension.  She stated that he was a Lieutenant in the North Carolina Continental line.  She states that her husband received a land grant for his service; that he participated in the Battle of Brandywine.  She stated that her husband died in September of 1798.

General Francis Nash – was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1742.  Early in his life his parents moved to North Carolina.  At a young age, General Nash became a merchant, attorney and Justice of the Peace.  In 1775, he was elected Lieutenant Col. of the First North Carolina Regiment, Continental Army.  He took part in the expedition to Charleston – and was in short order promoted to Brigadier General.  He received orders to march his troops north to join the Army of General George Washington.  While in the north, General Nash commanded a bridge at the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania where on 4 Oct 1777 he was mortally wounded.  Further, when researching life in the City of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, I found out that what is now known as Market Street Bridge is located where Market Street crosses the Schuylkill River.  Before the bridge was built, the citizens depended on ferry boats and a couple of crude floating bridges to cross the river.  While the British were in possession of Philadelphia during the war, there existed a pontoon bridge at this location and later a plank floor bridge of floating logs.  I suppose this could be the “floating bridge” of which William speaks in his testimony.

Stay tuned for Part 3 – brick walls – a contest – and a prize !!


Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Curbow, Times and Places


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Henry Curbow – Puzzle Pieces

I’ve had several inquires over the last two weeks about Henry Curbow.  I haven’t delved into the details of Henry’s life just yet, but I believe him to be my husband’s gggg-grandfather.  For those of you researching Henry Curbow – here is what I know: 

One of the long-time Curbow family researchers that I’ve been in contact with believes that Henry was one of the sons of John Corbo and Ann Phillips, and I concur.  Born around 1770, Henry Curbow can be found in various census records (see detail below).  Additionally, there are two early marriage records in Richmond County, Georgia for what could be Henry Curbow.    In 1832, Henry was a winner of a parcel of land in Campbell County which he won in the Georgia Cherokee Land Lottery.  Most interestingly, later in his life, Henry can be found in the 1846 tax rolls of Bowie County, Texas, and he appears on the Federal Census Mortality Index as having died in Cass County, Texas in May of 1850.  Cass County is directly south of Bowie County – and in fact Cass County was organized in 1846 out of land from Bowie County.  This connection has piqued my interest.  Bowie County is where I believe Tilman Curbow’s family (my husband’s ggg-grandfather) spent the Civil War years; where Wiseman Curbow lived a good portion of his life; and where Henry B. Curbow, Jr. bought property in 1852.  Wiseman was in Texas by 1850; Henry, Jr. by 1852; and Tilman by the mid-1860s.  Could it be that Henry Curbow, Sr. set out for Texas – and his sons followed? 

Mary Curbow, I believe, is possibly a daughter-in-law of Henry B. Curbow, Sr.  (She could be a wife – but she would have been about 32 years his junior.)  On 17 Sept 1850, just three months after the death of Henry, Sr., an agricultural census was enumerated.  Mary can be found on this census living on an unidentified plot of land in Cass County, Texas.  She owns 3 horses, 6 milk cows and 60 swine.  The value of her livestock is listed at $335.  A few weeks later when the 1850 census was enumerated on the 6th of November, she is still present in Cass County, indexed as “Mary Corbon,” 48 years old, born 1802 in South Carolina.  With her are:  Julia A, age 12, born 1838 in Georgia; Mary A., age 10, born 1840 in Georgia; Genn B., age 8, born 1842 in Georgia; and Saborn F., age 6, born 1844 in Georgia.  Many researchers state that these are the children of Henry Curbow, Sr. – more likely they are his grandchildren.  Wiseman Curbow is one county to the north (Bowie) with his five year old son Tilman David Curbow (named after his Uncle Tilman?)

Some of my further notes include the following:  According to the various census records, Henry Curbow was born sometime around 1770 in North Carolina.  Several of the trees on indicate that he was born in Wadesboro, Anson County.  While the Curbow family of that time did have ties to Anson County, I have seen no documentation linking his birth to that location.  Any folks out there have a source for that?  The following men could possibly be brothers of Henry B. Curbow:  John (1755-1839); Joseph (1755-1850 – revolutionary war soldier); William W. (1757-? – revolutionary war soldier); Samual M. (1764-?); Solomon David (1776-1847); and Hezekiah M. (1780-?). 

In 1790 there is a Henry Carboe living in Edgefield County, South Carolina.  There are seven people in his household – 1 male over 16; 1 male under 16; 5 females and no slaves.

In 1800 there is a Henry Kerbow living in Barnwell, South Carolina.  There are six people in his household – 2 males under 10 (Joseph & Ezekial?); 1 male 10-15 (James?); 1 male 26-44 (Henry); 1 female under 10 (Mahala?); 1 female 16-25 (wife) and no slaves.

In 1809, Henry Curbow can be found in the Tax Rolls (Page 91) of Jackson County, Georgia. 

On 29 Jan 1816, Henry Curbow purchased land in Jackson County, Georgia.  A James Curbow signed the Deed as witness.  I don’t know the family connection – his oldest son?  Brother?   

On 9 May 1817, a Henry Caribo married Elizabeth Mason in Richmond County, Georgia.  Richmond County borders Edgefield County, Georgia.

On 25 Mar 1818, a Henry Caribo married Nelly Stidman/Steadman in Richmond County, Georgia. 

In the 1820 census he is indexed as Henry Curbow – and he is present in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  No detail provided.

In the 1830 census he is indexed as Henry Curbow – and he is present in Campbell County, Georgia.  In his household he has one male under 5 (Tilman?); 1 male 10-15 (Wiseman?); 1 male 60-70; 1 female 20-30 (Lydia?); 1 female 50-60.  (Note:  It is possible that the younger children in the household are his grandchildren.)

In 1832 Henry Curbow was a winner of the Cherokee Land Lottery (No. 20 and No. 307 in District 9).  He won “fractional lots” in Campbell County, Georgia.

By 1846 Henry Curbow is in Texas.  He filed a Claim against the Republic of Texas; however,  the facts and details of that are not yet known.  Additionally, in 1846 he can be found in the tax rolls for Bowie County, Texas.

Henry Curbow, according to the 1850 Mortality Census Schedule, died in May of 1850 at the age of 80 years.  His cause of death was listed as “inflammation of the brain.”  Meningitis?  Encephalitis?  The Schedule confirmed that he was born about 1770 in North Carolina, that he was married; and that he was a farmer.

If the trees on are to be believed – and I urge you to do your own research – then Henry Curbow had his first child in 1790 when he was 20 years old and his last child in 1844 when he was 74.  While this is entirely possible, the younger children, as stated above, are probably his grandchildren – and he was probably married more than once.   

The possible children of Henry Curbow:
James Curbow (Kerba) (1790-1841)
Joseph Anthony Curbow (Kurby or Kirbow) (1790-1841)
Ezekiel W. Curbow (1801-1880)
Mahala Curbow (1806-?)
John Curbow (1810-?)
Lydia Curbow (1813-?)
Henry B. Curbow, Jr. (1817-?) (Postmaster of Paraclifta, Arkansas – bought property in Bowie County)
Wiseman “Wise” Curbow (1817-1887) (Born Jackson County, Georgia – present in Bowie County, Texas with Tilman P. Curbow and family; served with his brother in the Civil War)
Tilman P. Curbow (1821-1900 approx.) (my husband’s ggg-grandfather)
Charles H. Curbow (1825-?)

The possible children or grandchildren of Henry Curbow:
Julia Amanda Curbow (1835-?)
Mary Ann “Polly” Curbow (1840-1921)
Cleburn/Seaburn “Zebe” Gann Curbow (1844-?)

And that is about all I know about Henry Curbow at this time.  I’ve been in touch with folks that are connected to Seaburn Curbow (these descendants spell their name Kerbo); and with descendents of Lydia Curbow.  Please contact me – and let’s brain storm over Henry!





Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Curbow


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James Atwood

Our “brick wall Atwood ancestor is James Atwood.  He was born sometime around 1769 – the location of his birth is unknown as are his parents. 

In the 1790 census, James is 21 years old; there are two household members; and one of these persons is indexed as a slave.  James is present in Rowan County, North Carolina.  The county was formed in 1753 from the northern part of Anson County.

Rowan County, South Carolina

 Sometime around 1791, James Atwood married “Mary/Polly.”  Her last name is unknown to me.  The marriage date is an ESTIMATE based on the birth year of the first child; The couple probably married in North Carolina.

In the 1800 census the couple can be found living in Laurens District of South Carolina.  Indexed as “James Atwood.”  Present in the home is 1 white male 16-25; 1 white female 10-15; and 1 slave.  Laurens County was formed in 1785 – one of nine modern counties of the Colonial Ninety-Six District. 

Laurens County, South Carolina

In the 1810 census the couple is still living in Laurens County, South Carolina.  Indexed as “James Atwood,” he is with 2 males under the age of 10; 1 male 26-44; 1 female under 10; 1 female 26-44; and 7 slaves.

James Atwood died at the age of 47 in Laurens County, South Carolina some time in January of 1816.  His Will was signed 17 Jan 1816; the Will was proven and recorded 30 Jan 1816. 

Excerpts of James Atwood’s Last Will & Testament – Courtesy of Brian Atwood:


County: Laurens                   State: South Carolina
Will Book:  Box 2, Pkg. 1     Page: 257
Court/repository: South Carolina Dept. of Archives & History, Columbia, S.C.

Place of Residence: Laurens District, South Carolina
Executor(s): Mary (Polly) Atwood, William Atwood, William Ball
Date Signed: 17 January 1816     Date Proved: 30 January 1816
Date Recorded: 30 January 1816
Witnesses: Jno. Clemens, W. Ballard, Tobias Cook

Bequests, Devises, etc. In the name of God, Amen.  I James Atwood of South Carolina Laurens District, being weak in body but sound mind and memory, blessed to be God for it, calling to mind the uncertainty of life, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following, revoking wills and deeds formerly made by me or any other conveyance whatsoever.  In the first place I recommend my soul to God that gave it hoping He will receive it again at the last day through the merits of Jesus Christ my lord and saveour (sic).  I desire body to be buried in a decent manner as my Beloved wife and executors shall think proper.  Item I give unto my beloved wife Polly Atwood one third of my real and personal estate giving her choice of the house and plantation whereupon I now live.  Item 3 give unto my beloved wife Polly Atwood one Negro girl, Hannah, and her child Mariah as a fee simple forever.  Item I give unto my son William Atwood and William Ball, my son-in-law the balance of my estate, both real and personal to be equally divided between them.  Reserving as much out of my hole (sic) estate to give my son William Atwood a good English education.  Item It is will and desire that my executors hereafter mentioned do sell as much of my property as they think most proper, to pay off all my just debts.  Item I do ordain my beloved wife Polly Atwood Executrix and William Atwood and my son-in-law William Ball, executors.
to execute this my last will and testament In witness hereof I have set my seal this seventeenth day of January in the year one thousand eight hundred sixteen.

I would love to hear from other Atwood researchers the descend from James Atwood and his wife Mary/Polly. 

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Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Atwood, Brick Walls


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