On the birth date of Barnabas Myers, born in the 1790s, Greene Co TN.

The birth date of Barnabas is important, because he is one of five heirs to the estate of William Myers Jr (d ~ 1815), and as such serves as a marker for when William Myers Jr actually is in Tennessee. We’ll show part of the text of the link above, enough to create the necessary context (emphasis mine).

Wednesday April 24,1816 page 208 Greene County Minutes. Andrew Stevens disposes that Charles Myers Jr.,Barnabas (Barney) Myers, Andrew Myers, Jacob Myers,and Elizabeth Myers are the lawfull and only heirs of William Myers Jr.
Tuesday April 15,1815 page 39. Solomon Willhoite was appointed guardian of Barnabas Myers, a minor orphan, George Wells security.
Charles Myers Sr. was appointed guardian of Elizabeth Myers, a minor orphan.
Charles Myers Jr. was appointed guardian of Andrew Myers a minor orphan. I find Andrew all through the early 1800’s being passed from guardian to guardian, because they had to report to the courts. Numerous times he was called Andrew Myers an Idiot by the courts.
Charles Myers Sr.was the administrator of William Myers Jr. estate dated Jan.24,1815. Charles Sr.and Charles Jr. both,purchased items in the estate sale.

So, on April 15, 1815, Barnabas Myers was a minor. In those days, that means he was under 21 years of age. We’re dealing with three potential birth dates here, the one of about 1791, from the 1870 census, the one of about 1795, from the 1850 census, and the date of 18 April 1792, from the gravestone of Barnabas.

Of the three, only the 1795 date would leave Barnabas a minor. Of the five heirs mentioned above, it pretty much has to be assumed that they are William’s children and inherit equally. William probably had no will. Three of the five children are minors, Barnabas, Andrew, and Elizabeth. Charles Jr is supposed to be born in 1792 and would be 23 at this time, and married to Holly (Polly) Hill. I’m not sure about Jacob, who could be older than 21, or perhaps apprenticed at the time.

Documents, such as the ones quoted above, are why I’m planning a trip to Greene County at some point. I’d like to see these particular Greene Co minutes myself.

Some notes on Magdalene Meyer, her children, and her husband.

Magdalene Meyer is, by my current understanding of the facts, the second child of Captain William Meyer (TN’s William Myers Sr). Looking at various Ancestry trees and using them as a primary source, you get a birth date and birth location of Nov 1, 1862 and Hilltown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. If these facts are correct, then Lt John Moyer of the Sugarloaf Massacre is likely born in Bucks as well.

She has a daughter Elizabeth around 1780, and her husband (married ~ 1777), George Jacob Kocher, is said to have died on 17 September, 1780, six days after the massacre. The way the name is given is important. George is not a first name but a spiritual name. His first name is actually Jacob. This same source gives a birthdate for Jacob Kocher of 15 July, 1756 in Hilltown, Bucks, PA. Interestingly, same source creates a chimera birth of Maria Magdelene (Polly) Kocher 01 Nov 1762, in Hilltown, Bucks, PA. Interesting that his wife and his sister are born on the same day and in the same township, and die in the same year. One is almost certainly incorrect.  At this point I wonder if data for the sister was transferred to the wife.

The death location for /Jacob/ Kocher is also different, depending on source. One gives Valley, Armstrong, PA and the other is the Nescopeck I’ve heard. It’s important to know that Indian/Tory attacks were happening all over the place in this time frame, so I don’t have the facts to eliminate either possibility at this time.

Magdelena has two children, Elizabeth and George. George goes on to marry John Myers’s only daughter. Elizabeth marries Barnabas Gable in 18 Dec 1795 in Greene County, which puts another stake in the ground of the Myers clan move into Tennessee. Elizabeth is sometimes said to be born in Lancaster County, which I find a little confusing. I would have thought Magdalene + Jacob would have remained in Northampton. If it is true that this family was in Lancaster County at this time, then Mr Kocher likely would have been a part of the Lancaster militia, and not part of the John Myers rescue effort mounted by John’s father.

Another disappearing county

When I go to this site on the Internet, and I set the display for counties in North Carolina in 1742, this is what I get:


And what does that mean? IMO, it means we don’t know in which county John Myers, b 1742 d 1826 was really born. There is no Wilkes County in 1742. Now when he was married in Rowan County in the early 1770s, it existed, but after Wilkes appears, it then scoots around the map a considerable bit.


I’ve also been digging around for a couple books. One is on the Sugarloaf Massacre, and the other is a history of Northampton County during the revolutionary war. The first is okay. Only a fraction of the book covers the massacre, and as Tom Varenna has pointed out, this telling is shot through with a fair amount of folklore.

I’ve just started reading the other book. The intro provides some excellent perspective on the character of the county in the 1770s, which helps in thinking about the Northampton PA Myers clan. I did send an email with $40 to Easton on June 11th, asking for information on William Myers. We’ll see what that nets.

The William Myers Sr will, and the fate of George Kocher Sr.

There are copies of William Myers’s will on the Internet in various places, and I thought I would publish what I have here, just to kill the notion that the William Myers Sr of Greene Co TN is not Captain William Myers of Northampton County PA, but a second person born in Somerset County (that magical place) in 1770. The death blow to those particular trees on Ancestry is that William mentions Magdelene Kocher (born approx 1862) and her daughter Elizabeth in his will.  Why would a man eight years younger care about a revolutionary war widow he’s not related to and is much older than he is?



George Kocher is the man who marries Magdelene, and he is supposed to have died in September 1780 along the Nescopeck. This has prompted a number of folks to conclude that George was killed in the Sugarloaf Massacre proper. And the answer to that is .. no.

George is not part of Captain Van Etten’s company to begin with, and he’s not on the plaque (seen in Tom Varenna’s article ) devoted to the massacre. That doesn’t eliminate him dying in the combat before the massacre, or in the attempt of Capt William Myers to recover his son (i.e. the aftermath), but he clearly did not die in the massacre itself.


More Pennsylvania and William Myers bits.

One cool site I have found is an interactive map of Pennsylvania Counties over time.  It is useful to check out how Pennsylvania evolved over the time frame of the Myers residence in Pennsylvania.

I found a set of 1772 tax rolls for Northampton PA.  If you look at Penn Township, a William Myer can be found there, listed as a laborer, not a farmer, and not a gentleman. And that’s important when you’re a colony of England, because free citizens counted, but nobility counted more.

I suspect that Penn Township, Northampton PA, becomes two townships in modern times. The two would be East Penn Township in Carbon County, and West Penn Township in Schuylkill County, PA. But I would like confirmation of that.

Finally, Easton PA has a genealogical library that will do research for you by mail. But it comes with a cost. $40 for the questions you want answered. Tempted to ask them to trace William Myers back to 1752 on tax/land rolls, if possible.

John Myers, William Myers, and the Sugarloaf Massacre

One of the first documents that Rayedene Graves shared with me when we found out about the Artie Myers DNA link was this one, testimony by George Myers on behalf of his older brother John’s widow. I suspect Wayne Myers is the source of this, but can’t be sure.

Pennsylvania File #R7737, John Myers,Catharin Null(former widow)
The State of Mississippi, Leake County 1838, November Term Leake Probate
George Myers, this day appeared before me, Jackson Warner, Judge of the
Court of Probate of the County of Leake and State aforesaid. George Myers of
the County of Kemper and State aforesaid, who first being duly sworn,
desposeth and sayeth that he was born on the 10th day of August AD 1766 in
the County of Northampton and State of Pennsylvania, that he is a brother of
John Myers, the late husband of Cathrine Null, a claiment Widow, the Act of
Congress passed July 4th 1836 and an act expanctory of said Act passed March
the 3rd 1837. That he recolects that the said John Myers, late husband of
the claimant, enlisted as a volunteer in a Company raised by his father
William Myers, who commanded the Company as Captain. That said John Myers
being Lieutenant about the year AD one thousand seven hundred & eighty, to
fight against the Shawnee Indians and engaged with them in a battle at
Neskopeck Valley, then in Indian Territory within the limits of the State of
Pennsylvania about thirty miles from the residence of the said John Myers.
That the said John Myers was captured by the Indians and restrained a
prisoner, three days and nights, when he made his escape and fled to Wyoming
(this is Wyoming Valley in Pa.) from which he wrote his father William
Myers, who in the company of other individuals, went to Wyoming and braught
him home. And this appiant states he was there when he arrived and remembers
the circumstances destinctly. This appiant further states that in a short
time afterwards the said John Myers was again called off to fight against
the Shawnee Indians. In this tour, he recolects his being engaged in another
battle in which the whites gained a signal victory over their enemys, the
Indians. A short time after John Myers returned from this tour, he was
married to Catharine Gable, the present claimant. This appiant further
states the marriage took place at the residence of the father of Catharine
Gable in the County of Northampton and State of Pennsylvania in the month of
March, One Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty One. This appiant further states
that he was at the wedding or marriage and saw with his own eyes the said John
Myers & Catharine Gable, his wife, the present claimant, put to bed as man
and wife and he further states he was present also in the morning when they
arose from their nuptial couch. And this appiant further states that after
the marriage of the said John Myers and Catharine Gable the present claimant,
the said John Myers was again called off to fight the Tories on the Delaware
and other places, but does not know what battles he was engaged in. This
appiant further states that the said John Myers was engaged more or less all
the time from this period to the end of the war, when he was honorably
discharged. Upon reflection, this appiant recolects the fact of the said
John Myers in conjuction with his father going with a company to a place
called Lizard Creek in the County of Northampton in the State of
Pennsylvania, whare a considerable number of Tories had collected and
rueting them entirley, the Tories it is said made hasty strides to reach the
shores of the Novascotia, where they might remain secure from the
indignation of the free sons of liberty, and further this appiant sayeth
not, George Myers, sworn and subscribed to in open Court, before me this 6th
day of Nov.1838, Jackson Warner

Well, I started searching the Internet for the Northampton Militia, and rapidly ran into an author named Tom Verenna, who writes for the Journal of the American Revolution. And the incident described above, the colorful one about being captured by Indians, isn’t just a fish tale by a worshipful younger brother, but actually fact. It’s called the Sugarloaf Massacre, and Tom’s telling of the tale is here.

It’s cool to have a cousin, or potential father of Charles even, in a known historical event, one that places these folks into a historical context and gives us a location, Easton PA, to further explore who these two actually are/were.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Pennsylvania militias, as soldiers, mostly sucked. Far cry from my Dad, B-52 pilot and former commander First CEG, Barksdale AFB. They were poorly equipped, though, ill paid, untrained, and it seems true in military matters that you get what you pay for.

William Myers Sr – Charles Myers Sr bits and pieces.

I found proof of William Myers Sr’s captaincy. It is here, on this web site.

Second Company, Penn Township.

Notes from an email between my bother and Ron Myers (an ancestry tree manager)

Charles’s Dad, from Wilbur Thomas Myers

Hi Jonathan, I’m not sure who the parents of Charles Myers were. I remember Wilbur Thomas Myers’ info saying that Charles’ father was a Revolutionary War Veteran. That was all that Wilbur knew, and Wilbur is now deceased. I’ve never been able to find out anymore.

Wilbur was a respected Texas Myers expert. William Myers Sr and John Myers are both vets.

Charles in Ky?

We have a cousin, Vivian Peacock, who had this note in her records:  “Although this is not certain, I do have a line in my notes which reads: “Charles was born to a Revolutionary War Veteran in Old Lincoln County, Kentucky”  perhaps this could be a clue as to why we have not been able to find his birth records in Pa.”

Looking for Myers in Lincoln County KY in 1790 (Federal census) yielded no hits. Ky was made a state in 1792. It would still be worth checking again, trying to clean up loose ends. There may be a census equivalent in KY in a short enough time frame to get some background. Charles himself insists he was born in Pennsylvania.

When looking at the 1790 Federal Census, I found this:


To point out the obvious, I can’t eliminate Charles Myers Sr staying at this residence.

The Jacob Myers + Margaret Gerster connection. Why I’m not convinced.

It was very popular for a while to assign Jacob Myers, supposedly a Rev War veteran, who married Margaret Gerster, to be the father of Charles Myers. In a letter from my uncle Thomas to one of those folks on Ancestry, the reply was..

Thomas wrote: Dec 23, 2010
I am curious as to how you tied Jacob Myers to Charles Myers. I have been looking for the father of Charles for 50 years and have been unable to make a connection. This is the first time I have seen a connection. One family member told me she thought the father of Charles was named Fredrick. I could never make a connection. 

XXXXXXXXX wrote: Dec 23, 2010: I totally hear you on the difficulty of the connection. I inferred this by the circumstantial evidence in favor of Jacob. He like many myers was a blacksmith, he was a revolutionary war veteran, which has been hinted at by others, and he was about the right age to be Charles father. Additionally he resided in Charles hometown. It would not hold up in a court and probably not to too much scrutiny but felt it was solid enough to warrant connection.

Thomas wrote: Dec 24, 2010
I totally agree with your assumptions. I have just about given up on doing any further research. My brother and his son have done the DNA thing with absolutely no results.  Have you come up with a relationship between the two Charles Myers who lived in the same areas of Tenn and Mo? I think they are cousins but have no proof. I saw one reference to them as Big Charlie, and little Charlie. Big Charlie was ours. Let me know if you discover anything new, Tom Myers
Okay, this is what I know about Jacob and Margaret, mostly taken off Ancestry nodes (this node is typical). Jacob is born in Maryland in Feb 1739, moves to Pennsylvania. Along the way he marries Margaret. Most of the trees, though, have him in Kentucky by the time Charles is about to be born, and I’ve grown suspicious of folks who give birth across state lines.
There is also a time factor, as Charles is by this account, born in April of 1789 in Pennsylvania, while another Jacob Myers is being born in October of the same year, in Kentucky. Jacob dies in Pleasant Run, McCreary, Kentucky, on the 9th of May, in 1814.
Now some of this may be dirty data, but the Kentucky to PA issue is large, as is the simple question of how you get Charles to Tennessee in the first place, if dad is settled somewhere else.
By contrast, John Myers and William Myers can be found on the Pennsylvania census in 1786, in Lehigh County. To throw out a scenario, it’s a lot less fanciful to think that Charles has a father who dies. Charles’s guardianship would have been picked up by William Jr or Sr and he heads down to TN along with the migration of the William Myers pair.
Not only that, but this link notes that 18th century Germans in PA named their kids after grandfathers.  I know it’s the thinnest of possibilities, but Elias Tidwell Myers, Charles’s son, names his first son William. Charles Myers Jr, whom we believe is a son of William Jr, names a son William (I’m lacking a good list of Charles Myers Jr’s kids tbh). This is evidence in favor of another hypothesis, which is that William Sr is the father of both William Jr and Charles Sr. In this telling Charles Sr is then the uncle of Charles Jr.
Update 6/19/17: I’ve grown suspicious of the assignment in 1786 of William to Lehigh county. For one, Lehigh County doesn’t exist in 1786. Second, the tax rolls of 1786 and 1788 assign William and John to Penn Township in Northampton. Testimony on behalf of John Myers’s widow in MS has statements to the effect John moved into east TN in 1790 and into west TN in 1804. Copies of the testimony are on the Ancestry tree of ldking423.

“our” Charles is Charles Myers Sr

This is a mistake I’ve been laboring under, in part because of mislabeling on the part of Ancestry on the 1840 census (they give Jr the 1789 birth date without any particular reason), and in part from not taking a good look at the best resource for separating the two.

It turns out that both men are buried in the same cemetery, and the right virtual look just about gives both away. But you need to make that look.

“Our” Charles is born in 1789, is married to Rebecca Williams in 1811 and passes in 1857.

“Little” Charlie is born in 1792, is married to Holly Hill (Polly Hill) in 1814 and passes in 1876.

I began to wonder when in the 1830 US census, Charles Marwen turned out to be Charles Myers Sr and the ages of children made more sense to be “our” Charles than the “Jr” down the page. The fact is they’ve got Charles Jr’s ages wrong in the 1840 census, which didn’t help, but you have to plan on bad data mixed in with these old stuff.


Marriage records, despite the bad birth dates and the misspelled Holly Hill, also made it worthwhile to find some double checks.

This doesn’t affect the DNA analysis much. William Jr and Charles Sr are thought to be brothers, because Charles Sr is made administrator of William’s estate. This makes Charles about equally distant genetically from William Sr as his brother. If we go with the theory that William Jr fathered Charles Jr, Barney and all, then William Jr is much older than Charles, at least 15 years older.

When did the families head south to TN? The earliest date I’ve seen is buried in Ancestry data on John Myers, William Sr’s son. This entry in a Ancestry tree says 1790. One account of the Girdner’s entry into TN, along with a Myers brother in law, happens in 1792. They have to be in Tennessee by 1795, because Barney says he was born then (1850 census). So Charles Sr was on the move sometime between the ages of one and six, and Charles Jr could have been born on the move.

Finding a living descendant of “Little” Charlie or Barnabas could help our narrative immensely.

Update: more specific on the Williams.


Taking William Myers Jr and William Myers Sr, Greene Co TN, back to 1805

If you start trying to search for William Myers Jr/Sr on the tax rolls prior to 1812 (and please note that the Greene County census results for 1800 and 1810 are /lost/ and have no replacements), you don’t see them. Well, you don’t see them if you search on the phrase ‘Myers’. But spelling being fluid back then, they can be found. You just have to be a little creative with matching the names.

We previously have shown that the Williams are around in 1812.

I’ll note that on the 1809 tax list William Jr and Sr can be found and are named conventionally.

Though the picture of 1805 we’re going to give is through a search engine, it was easier to search the “paper list” that is online.

But visually, what you see would look like this:


We have highlighted in cyan the most critical entries. There is a William Moiers Jr but no Senior. There is a William Moore Sr but no Junior. In my mind, those two should  be paired. And important for the Artie Myers connection, since he’s related to William Sr through George Myers, who is this George Moyers fellow?

I would love it if the 1798 tax list were online, but it is not. Might have to visit Greene Co to get at that one.