DR. JOHN STEWART AND DESCENDANTS
By Gilbert Stewart
Additional history inblue type and (parenthesis) is by Georgenia Stewart
Over the last few years, I've been interested in the Stewart family genealogy, and have done much research on it myself. It soon became apparent that there have been literally thousands of hours spent on this family line. Different people had done the same thing over and over. After talking it over with my brothers, we decided that we should hire a professional genealogist to go through the line and research it specifically as to the events, dates, and areas involved in the lives of the Stewart family as far back as we could find them.
Dr. John Valentine is the name of the genealogist we hired. He is a professor at Brigham Young University and the author of several texts and genealogical reference books. His first report didn't give us a lot of new information, but there were a few corrections to be made in the family line-and we were on our way!
As the research progressed, I was fascinated to learn of all these people, the places they lived and the reasons for which they moved. Now we think it would be well to relate these findings to you and make it available, especially to the young people who are not acquainted with the history of their Stewart ancestors. I will start back at what we found to be the beginning of our family in this country.
Previous research had said that our family line went back to Dr. John Stewart in New York State on Long Island. Our researcher, Dr. Valentine, varified beyond any doubt that our family line comes through Dr. John Stewart.
DR. JOHN STEWART
Dr. John lived and owned a large amount of property on Long Island. On the other side of the island from Dr. John lived a family of Harrison's. We do not know to what extent they were acquainted with each other, if at all, but sinceboth families moved at approximately the same time, and settled near each other, this seems a fair assumption that they knew each other.
(The first record found of Dr. Stewart after he became an adult was in Hempstead Township, Long Island, New York. On 7-11-1691, he petitioned the freeholders of Hempstead, Nassau Co., New York for a right of 18 or 20 acres of land a little east of The "Pine Point", near the Plain Edge", stating that he was a cooper and also a surgeon. A cooper is a person who makes bowls, barrels & water tanks from wooden boards. He needed to be highly skilled in woodworking for this trade.)
(Sometime before 7-11-1691, he had married Elizabeth Alberti, daughter of Jan (John) Alberti & Elizabeth Scudder. By 3-29-1694, Dr. Stewart & Elizabeth had moved to Jamaica, Queens Co., NY and they are recorded as selling a piece of property to John Pollehemus. The parcel of land was at a place called Oldfields Island. By 1697, he and his wife moved to Monmouth Co., New Jersey. On May 24, he bought several tracts of land from Isaac Ong in Shrewsbury & on 10-21-1697, he bought 150 acres of land adjoining the original tracts. These last 150 acres were purchased from Mary & Susanna Barnes of New York City who were the daughters of Thomas Barnes, late of Shrewsbury).
(In 1700, he became the High Sheriff of Monmouth Co., New Jersey & held the position until sometime in 1702 when he was succeeded by Jonathan Bailey. It is not known whether he lost the election to Bailey or he chose not to run for the office again. However, later Bailey was killed and John became the High Sheriff again, & held the office for 18 years. (Per Joyce Lindstrom: This is doubtful as John died in 1704 in Sussex Co., Del.)
(On 8-27-1700, the grand jury indicted Richard Salter & 14 other men "for riotously assembling on the 17th day of July & assaulting John Stewart, High Sheriff, & Henry Leonard on the path near to the house of Alexander Adams, beat & grievously wounded the said persons, took their swords from them, break them, & carried them away & kept them, to the value of 5 pounds money of the province in breech of the peace & the terror of the King's league people." The above indictment is recorded in the New Jersey Historical Society Coll., F. 853.626,Pg. 352).
(Sometime after 1702, he moved to Sussex Co., Delaware, where he bought 200 acres of land in Wolf Pit Neck of Angola Neck from Owen Yorke. By the standards of the day, Dr. Stewart was quite a prominent citizen and a large landowner during his residence in New Jersey and Deleware. He practiced as a surgeon).
(He made his will 9-2-1704 with James Simpson, Samuel Knowles & Roger Corbett as witnesses. In his Will, he identified his profession as chirurgeon (surgeon). Dr. Stewart died shortly thereafter, probably just after the 1st of January, 1705. His Will was proved in court, in Sussex Co., DE on 1-13-1705. In his Will, he named his children: Samuel, David, John, Elizabeth, William, Hannah and Mary. He made his wife executrix and authorized her to sell any part of his land in Sussex or New Castle Co, or Monmouth Co. in East New Jersey or Nassau Co. on Long Island, "provided she bear the name of Stewart and bring up my children in fear of the Lord and as convenient to learning as to be had in these American parts").
(On 2-4-1705, his wife leased 773 acres of land in Angola Neck to Samuel Davis. This lease was for 7 years & the transaction excepted 100 acres of land which Dr. Stewart, during his lifetime, had agreed to sell to Alexander McCulloch, Tailor, of Somerset Co., Maryland and yet to be laid out).
(Within a year, his widow married Thomas Davock. Thomas got a warrant for 200 acres of land on 3-15-1715, and another warrant for 240 acres on 11-10-1719. This 2nd tract of land was adjoining the lands of the Widow Johnson & William Darter & the chain carriers of the survey crew were Richard Harvey & William Stewart. It is presumed that this William Stewart was the Dr.'s son mentioned in his Will).
(Thomas Davock must have been married before he married the Widow Stewart, because when he made his Will while he was still alive, he mentioned his orphaned children: Robert Bracy, Penelope Richardson & John Pride and stepsons David Stuart and Samuel Stuart. In his Will he also gave 20 acres of land to the church. He died sometime during late Jan. to mid February, 1719. No further record has been found concerning Elizabeth Stewart after the death of her second husband).
After Dr. John moved to New Jersey, the Stewart’s and Harrison's lived as neighbors. We surmise that they were friends on Long Island, New York. It was customary in those early years, when families became closely associated, and often joined by marriages among the young, that they moved as a group. If one family moved, by mutual agreement they would all decide to go together, whether to avoid excessive taxes, or hostile Indians. Later the lure of greener pastures was attractive. For whatever reasons, these two families were a very close-knit group of people for many years and for many moves.
Formerly it was assumed that our progenitor, Samuel Stewart, was born in the late 1600's between 1680 and 1690. However, in this search, Dr. Valentine found that our Samuel was not a son of Dr. John, although Dr. John had a son named Samuel. Our Samuel was the son of David, who was the son of Dr. John Stewart. As a result, our Samuel's birthdate was around 1710.
SOURCE: From the database of Mary Stewart Hicks. David Stewart was born in New York City about 1680 or shortly thereafter. He was the son of Dr. John Stewart and Elizabeth Alberti. Elizabeth was the daughter of Jan (John) Alberti and Elizabeth Scudder. It is not known how long he and his parents lived in New York. We do know that he and his Father, Dr. John Stewart, still lived in New York in 1686 when his father was a witness to a land transaction between Adam Wright & William Buckler. This transaction was also witnessed by John Townsend & John Newman. John Townsend & Adam Wright were of the Townsend & Wright families that were also related to the Stewarts. Sometime before 1697 the family had moved to Monmouth Co., New Jersey, in the town of Shrewsbury. Shortly after the family arrived in Monmouth Co., his father (Dr. John Stewart) became the High Sheriff of the County. David was probably married (circa 1710) while he lived in New Jersey but the name of his wife is not know. Sometime after 1702, he and his father and their families moved to Sussex Co., Delaware, to the town of Lowe.
David's profession is generally thought to be a carpenter and he and his wife lived in Lowe, Delaware until his early death in 1719. It is generally presumed that his wife had died sometime before his death in 1719. He probably did not leave a Will because his estate was administered on February 25, 1718 by his brother John and no mention is made of a wife. John asked the court to grant him letters of administration on David's estate, which the court granted. The names of David's children are not shown in the records extant. A valuation of his estate was made on May 10, 1719 by John Hall & William Darter, a neighbor of his mother and stepfather, Thomas Davock. This valuation and inventory was presented to the Court on May 11, 1719 and is as follows:
DAVID STEWART'S INVENTORY
Sussex County, Delaware
Deed Book Q-16 p. 250
May the 10th 1719
Then an inventory made of all the goods chattells of David Stuart deceased which came to our hands and was brought before us by John Stuart administrator of the Estate of DavidStuart
Item his wearing apparel 4 pounds 6 shillings 6 pence
Item. 2 dear skins 7 shillings
Item One old black hood 7 shillings
Item four knifes and a fork 2 shillings 6 pence
Item four long tooth combs & a parcel of needles 1 shilling 9 pence
Item 2 Testaments and three primers 7 shillings
Item a tobacco box, snuff box & a buckle 1 shilling 6 pence
Item a bonett 5 shillings
Item 5 pictures 2 shillings 2 pence
Item a Sword 2 shillings 6 pence
Item a Bed, bed cloaths & bedstead 4 pounds 10 shillings
Item a chest 7 shillings 6 pence
Item an old trunk, a dozen spools & four bottles 8 shillings
Item a grindstone 8 shillings
Item a horse bridle & saddle 5 pounds
Item a two year old mare 1 pound 15 shillings
Item a Tract of land 100 acres more or less 20 pounds--------------------- With the improvements
TOTAL 38 POUNDS 12 SHILLINGS 6 PENCE
William Darter and John Hall Witnessess
Registered the 16th of March 1719
The estate totaled 38 pounds. It is supposed that none of his children were adults when he died and they were probably raised by his brother, John, or their mother's family. He was probably buried in Sussex Co., Delaware.
Samuel (1710) lived with his family in three locations: Long Island, New Jersey, and Delaware. From there, he along with the Harrison's moved to Augusta County, Virginia.
His wife's name was Lydia, and those who have done much research on it, particularly the Stewart Clan Magazine by Edson, has assumed that Lydia was a member of the Harrison family. There has been much research done on the Harrison family to find if we could locate a Lydia Harrison. However, we've never been able to find out for sure that her name was Harrison. Dr. Valentine found all the Harrison's family names with the exception of Isaiah Harrison, and he couldn't find any of the children of Isaiah Harrison. More research is needed to prove that Lydia was a Harrison and if she came from that family.
Samuel (1710), with his wife and other Stewart's as well as other Harrison's moved to Augusta County, Virginia. The records show that on September 5, 1749, Samuel received a grant of land and lived on this property for some time. The genealogist, Dr. Valentine, because of his extensive knowledge of the migration of those people and the settling of the different areas, says that undoubtedly Samuel lived on this property for at least 10 years prior to receiving it as his own. And so, if that's the case, he moved into Augusta County, Virginia in the late 1730's or early 1740's and lived there for some time.
(On the 9th of May 1757, Samuel purchased 508 acres of land on the East side of the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina. On August 10, 1762, he purchased another 332 acres of land also located next to the Yadkin river. He’s listed in the 1759, 1761, and 1768 tax lists of Rowan County. On August 11, 1766 Samuel sold his land of 153 acres located in Augusta County, Virginia, to a Jacob Caplin for thirty pounds. This land was located on the South Fork of Linville’s Creek, which was patented to Samuel on September 5, 1749. According to that deed, at that time Samuel was living in North Carolina. Research by Joyce Lindstrom.)
In 1766 Samuel sold this property in Augusta Co., Virginia, to a David Copeland. Previous to this time, however, he had received a grant of land in North Carolina, in 1762. It was bounded on one side by property owned by his son David, who was a very young man and probably he had gone to N. C. ahead of other members of the family and had taken up a tract of land. On the other side of his property that Samuel had received was the Yadkin River. We don't know when Samuel went to North Carolina but we would assume that he was there when he received the property in 1762. So during that period of time he owned property in North Carolina as well as that in Augusta County, Virginia, which he sold in 1766.
In 1768 Samuel made a will (that was probated in 1770) which is as follows:
In the name of God, Amen, I Samuel Stewart, being weak in body but in perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God for it and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and appoint this my Last Will and Testament. First, I commit my soul to almighty God that gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian manner at the discretion of my Executors.
Item 1: I give and bequest all my movable estate to my well beloved wife LIDDY STEWART, to use and dispose of at her own discretion.
Item 2: I give and bequest the tenement or tract of land I now live on to my son JOSEPH STEWART and to my son BENJAMIN STEWART, to be equally divided in quanity and quality and I do constitute and appoint my son DAVID STEWART and my son SAMUEL STEWART, my Executors in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of Aug 1768.
In the same year that Samuel made the will, he passed away. On 11 January 1771, just three years later, Lydia made a will and as the records show, she undoubtedly died almost immediately after making the will, because the death date and will date are shown on the record as the same day. This probably isn't the case, but certainly she didn't live long after she made the will. Samuel had willed the specific property to his four older sons and so in Lydia's will she willed specifically to the other children, however, she did mention all the different ones in the will which is as follows:
"In the name of God, Amen. I, Lydia Stewart of Rowan County in North Carolina, being weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God, do dispose of my worldly estate as follows: I will that out of my estate, a list to be obtained for a certain tract of land on the south side of the Yadkin River, adjoining Benjamin and James Herson's land, and if such title can be obtained, to be sold and the sales thereof to be equally divided unto my beloved sons, David, Samuel, John, Joseph, and Isaiah Stewart.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter, Lydia, the daughter of my son David, my bed and furniture there unto belonging.
Item: I give unto my son DAVID, my bed and furniture thereunto belonging.
Item: I give unto my son Benjamin an iron pot now in his possession.
Item: I give unto my son Joseph's daughter, Lydia, a heifer or a young cow.
Item: I bequeath unto my beloved sons, David, Samuel, Isaiah and John Stewart, all the rest of my estate to be equally divided amongst them, and their heirs. I do nominate and appoint my sons David Stewart and Samuel Stewart executors of this, my last will and testament, Ratifying, allowing, and confirming this to be my Last Will and Testament and do utterly disannul all former wills by me made in testimony whereof I set my hand and seal. January 11, 1771." (Please note that Lydia Stewart made out her will stating she lived in Rowan County, North Carolina. Actually Surry Co, North Carolina was created from Rowan Co. in 1770.)
Others undoubtedly leased the property that had been willed for a few years after, because in 1774, Samuel Stewart sold that part of the property that belonged to him and then in 1779 Benjamin and Joseph Stewart sold the property that they had received in their inheritance to Edward Brooks. Now we don't know how long after they sold their property before they started the migration into Tennessee, but possibly in a very short while. We've always thought that they went directly to Overton County, Tennessee from North Carolina, and when I suggested this to Dr. Valentine, he said, "No, this wouldn't have been possible because at this early date, Overton County, Tennessee had not as yet been settled." (Overton was made a county in 1806). He said the migration into Tennessee started just over through the Cumberland Gap into eastern Tennessee and then slowly moved on through the territory. We found out as we did further research that the Stewart's did own property in many places in the state, prior to getting in Overton County. They would get property and prove up on it and then move on. Of course, a lot of the areas at that time would be under one county and then a few years later, that county would be divided into many other counties. What I'm trying to say is that the property he had in Overton County, Tenn., may have been in several counties prior to it being cut off into what is now Overton County, Tenn. But they did own property in Green County and White County and other counties that they moved through as they moved from the east to the west.
It's an interesting thing to note; it was near 1780 before Daniel Boone had even moved into this area and had opened it up. So we do find that around 1784, Joseph and his family and Benjamin and other members, of the family had finally settled in Overton County, Tenn., on what is spoken of in the deed as "on Matthew’s Creek, on the banks of the Roaring River." I haven't been there, and I've always wanted to go, but I've talked to others that have been and there's a cemetery in this area called the "Roaring River Cemetery". We have a cousin that's been there and says that there are some stones that are still legible to the point that you can read 'Stewart' on it, but you can't find whether it was Joseph Stewart or his wife whose maiden name was Sarah Gilbert. They were married in North Carolina, or maybe prior to coming to North Carolina, in Virginia.
We've done a great deal of research trying to locate Sarah Gilbert's family, but as yet have not been able to. There were many Gilbert’s in North Carolina and some of them moved with the Stewart's when they went into Tennessee. As far as proving Sarah's parents, we've not been able to do that.
Sarah and Joseph had 12 children named: Lydia, born in 1763; Joseph Jr., born 1769; John; Benjamin (Died in 1841); Margaret; Nancy, born 1775; David, born 1778; Elizabeth, born 1771; Sarah, born 1780; Samuel born 1781; William, born abt. 1784; and Jesse the youngest in 1790. These dates are approximate. They had a very large family, and we find that they finally settled in Overton County, Tenn., before the turn of the century, and lived there for a number of years.
The Stewart Clan Magazine shows that Joseph received the rights to settle this land, a grant in 1784. However, according to Dr. Valentine, there is no way they could have settled in Overton County that early. The 1784 property spoken of was property in Bent Creek, Greene Co., Tennessee. Between 1784 and 1800, they were well established in Overton County, Tenn. They lived on this property that was on the Roaring River. It was here that Joseph and Lydia died and were buried. I think that they're buried in the cemetery that's almost adjacent to their property, known as the Roaring River Cemetery. There are some names in the cemeteries that are legible, some Stewart's, but the first name is not.
In 1806 or 1807 William Stewart, our progenitor, and Levi’s father, married Elizabeth Van Hooser from Madison County, Illinois. The Van Hooser’s lived in Tennessee and they earlier had lived in Augusta Co., Virginia. He took her to Tennessee or met her in Tennessee, perhaps. They lived in Tennessee and their first son Squire Stewart was born there in 1809. Their second son, Riley, was born in 1810, and our great-grand father Levi was born in 1812. William Jackson, 1814, and Urban Van Stewart 1817. The life that William and Elizabeth lived was an interesting one. They had evidently, marital problems, because along about the time their last son was born, they separated. About seven years later in 1824, William applied for a divorce, although there's no record of the divorce being final, he undoubtedly received a divorce from Elizabeth Van Hooser in 1824. Previous to this time he had been in Madison County, Ill., returning to Overton County, Tenn., in the year of 1824 to get the divorce.
We have never found records of William having owned property in Tennessee or elsewhere. A distant cousin, by the name of Jayce, or J.T., as he is called has helped. Recently we've gotten acquainted with him and through much correspondance and conversation on the phone have found that William Stewart, along with some of his brothers went in 1828 back into one of the counties adjacent to Overton Co. and took up property in which they had lived on their way into Overton County. On this property, according to the records, there was a lean-to shack they had built. They went back there and officially claimed and owned this property.
We don't know how long they were on it, but immediately following his divorce from Elizabeth, William married a girl by the name of Rebecca Lewellyn. Although they were on the property there in Tennessee in 1828, in the 1830 census they were back in Fayette Co., Illinois. (William was living next to Abraham and William Howard. They were his nephews, the sons of his oldest sister, Lydia Stewart Howard. The following is the 1830 Census of Fayette Co., Illinois:
1 male under 5; 1 male 5 and under 10; 1 male 40 and under 50 (This is William); 1 female under 5; 1 female 20 and under 30 (This is Rebecca Lewellyn)
(The 1836 Territorial Census of Iowa finds William living in Lee County, next to Joseph and William Howard, his sister Lydia’s children and grandchildren. The census reads:
(The 1840 Census of Lee County, Iowa, page 413, lists a Widow Stewart, living next to Joseph and William Howard. The census reads: one male 10-15 yrs; one male 15-20 yrs; two females under 5 years; two females 5-10 years; one female 20-30 years (This is Rebecca Lewellyn)
Now the interesting thing of it is that we think that William died in 1837, and yet Levi and William Jackson, his brother, felt inclined to go there. I personally think that maybe William was still alive in 1839. They went there to be with their father. We can find absolutely nothing about William, Sr., and where he lived and died from the time that he was in Madison County in 1830 until he died between then and the 1840 census that was taken in Keokuk, Iowa.
One of William and Elizabeth's daughters married into the Howard family. (Emily Catherine Stewart married John T. Howard, the grandson of Lydia Stewart Howard, William’s sister. The following is information that I have researched:
MARRIAGE: According to the Vol 1 Bk 2 of Early Marriages 1837-1851 of Lee Co., Iowa the handwritten record of the marriage of John T. Howard (21) and Emily Catherine Stewart (20) occurred on 17 Dec 1847. Benjamin Holland was the M.G. that married them. The marriage license was not issued until Feb 1848.
1850 CENSUS: John T. Howard was twenty five years old on the 1850 Lee Co., Iowa Census. Also states he married Emily Catherine Stewart.
1860 Census: John T. Howard was 34 years old in the 1860 Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa Census p.797, dwelling 123, family #21 taken 12 July 1860. He and his wife Cath. (Emily Catherine Stewart) have five children. His occupation is a farmer, with real estate valued at $1,500 and personal property valued at $350. Joseph J., Martha A., and G.F. all were in school that year.
1870 Census: John T. Howard was 43 years old in the 1870 Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa census taken 2 Aug 1870. He does not show a wife and only one child, Franklin who is nine months old. His three oldest children could have been married by 1870 but there is no record of Mary C. who would have been 13 and James A. who would have been 10. His occupation is a farmer, with real estate valued at $400 and personal property valued at $100. Census page 812/138, line 32, dwelling #980, family #18.)
It would be interesting, of course, to know the history of the lives of these people from that time down to the present. Sometime we may get acquainted with them, but presently it doesn't look like there's much chance to because we had a genealogist in Keokuk, Iowa that spent considerable time researching both the Keokuk court house and Fort Madison court house. Because records exist in both places, one to a certain date and the other from then on. But this genealogist made a thorough search of both court houses and could find absolutely nothing in the way of land or property that William and his family owned. Maybe they were in Des Moines and maybe there's record of them owning land there. But we have lost track of our grandfather William.
Levi was his son and we have the history of Levi for which I am very grateful, because of this new assignment that we have from the President of the church, it's very important that we have life histories of our progenitors as well as our own history. The thought that I have developed these last few years to a much greater extent than I ever had before, is how grateful I am for the people that lived and made possible the life which I have. I love these people. I am grateful to them for the things that they did, the moves that they made for different reasons. Some of which were taxes, some of them were the urge to move on to greener pastures, but always they were moving towards the church and it's organization. Because of the kind of men and women that they were, we could be brought into the church through the medium of the new and everlasting covenant. For this I am very grateful.
I never fail in my daily prayers to express unto my Father in Heaven, gratitude for the heritage which is mine From my father, David; my grandfather, William Thomas (Tommy); to Levi; to William and right on back the line to the people that brought to us the blood which flows in our veins. I will ever be grateful to them, not just of those through the Stewart line, but through that of our mothers and wives and the people that have made possible the beautiful conditions under which we live today.
I hope that this will be interesting to those of you who read it. It is not to be considered a genealogical work. Most of the dates I have given are accurate and substantiated, some are not. I appreciate those who have devoted so much time and effort into uncovering histories of these wonderful people, our progenitors.
I express unto all of you and especially to the young people, the testimony that I have. It is important that we challenge the strong influences that Satan has in our world, with lives of unwavering righteousness. If the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the ruling influence in our lives, we will do our part to carry on the fine example of integrity and honor which have been handed to us from our forebears. Then when we meet them on the other side, we can say that we have done nothing to mar the name which they gave us. By Gilbert Stewart