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William and Jane (Milliken) Reynolds of Bedford County, Tennessee

By His 4th Gr. Granddaughter
Margaret Elaine Reynolds Oliver

Taken from “Some Pioneers of Wilkes County, North Carolina”, by Mrs. W. O. Absher, Copyright 1989, Southern Historical Press, and used with permission.

Elisha Reynolds was born in April, 1755, in North Carolina near what is today Wilkes County. He is a well-documented Revolutionary War veteran and served at the King’s Mountain Battle. His parents are said to have been a John Reynolds and Sarah Rebecca Jenkins, but the parentage of these two is in question by this author. It is to be hoped that future DNA testing will solve this mystery. Paraphrased below is the account taken from “Some Pioneers From Wilkes County, North Carolina” by Mrs. W.O. Absher, pages 103-107, copyright 1989 by Southern Historical Press, and used with permission.

“Elisha REYNOLDS, son of John and Rebecca (Jenkins) REYNOLDS, was born in April 1755 in Rowan County, N.C. married 05 August 1786 Judith EDDINS in Wilkes County, N.C. and died 13 December 1836 on his plantation on Mulberry Creek. (Revolutionary War Pension file W 4060, National Archives; Old “Aunt Delphia: PORTER paper 1901”).
Elisha REYNOLDS is on the 1774 and 1775 Surry County tax lists with his brother, Jenkins REYNOLDS, as afore said.
On the 7th September 1778, Elisha REYNOLDS entered 100 acres of land lying on Roaring River waters at foot of the mountain (Entry #322); 24 January 1780 Elizha (sic) REYNOLDS entered 200 acres on fork Roaring River, right hand fork Camp Branch (Entry #549; Wilkes Land Entry Book 1778-1781) On the 15th December 1789 Abraham EDINS of Newberry County, South Carolina sold Elisha REYNOLDS 100 acres on Mulberry Creek. William EDDINS was a witness (Deed Book B-1, page 359). ON the 19th June 1799 Elisha REYNOLDS received a State Grant for 100 acres on Mulberry Creek adjoining Joseph TANNER; also 120 acres and 300 acres on Mulberry Creek was granted him (Deed Book C-1, pages 188, 343 and 344.

Elisha REYNOLDS, aged 78 years, appeared before the P&QS of Wilkes County Court on the 30th October 1832 and made his declaration in order to obtain a pension for his services in the Revolutionary War. He declared that in the spring of 1776 he resided in Surry County, N.C. (later Wilkes) on the Yadkin River and has resided in the same place eve r since. He entered the service in the spring of 1776 in a company commanded by Capt. CLEVELAND in the North Carolina line and served for 13 months and 20 days. He also served as an Indian spy, went on expeditions against the Cherokee Indians and against Tories on New River and the Virginia line; arrive at Ramseur’s Mill after the battle was over and was left with the baggage about thirty miles from the battlefield when the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought. He was in the party who recaptured Col. Benjamin CLEVELAND when he was a prisoner of the Tories. He had in his possession his commission as a Lieutenant issued the 1st January 1782, He referred to Gen’l. William LENOIR and Capt. Samuel JOHNSON who were still living in Wilkes County in 1832, who could and would vouch for his serving in the Revolution. He signed his declaration.

A copy of the commission he received is as follows: “State of North Carolina. To Elisha Reynolds, We, reposing especial trust and confidence in your patriotism, valor, conduct and fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you to be Lieutenant of a Company of the Wilkes Regiment of Militia…You are herefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of Lieutenant by exercising and well disciplining the officers and soldiers under your command; and by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging…and we do strictly charge all Officers and Soldiers under your Command to be obedient to your orders as Lieutenant…and you are to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as you shall receive f rom your superior officers, according to the Rules and Directions of Military Discipline, and the Laws of this State…Witness, Alexander Martin, Esquire, Speaker of our Senate, Governor, Captain-General, and Commander in Chief for the time being, under his hand and Seal at Arms, at Salem the 25th day of January Anno Dom. 1782 and in the Sixth year of our Independence. Ale. Martin by His Honor Com’d. J. Glasgow, Secs.”

On the 26th February 1844, Judith Reynolds, aged 86 years appeared before James Reynolds, J.P. and made her declaration in order to obtain a widow’s pension for her husband’s service the Revolutionary War. She stated she is the widow of Elisha Reynolds who was a private and Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. On the 20th October 1848 Judith, aged 89 years made a second declaration for the same purpose. Judith signed her declaration by her mark.
The date of death, 13 December 1836, for Elisha Reynolds, is so stated in Judith Reynolds’ declaration. A copy of their marriage bond follows: “ To any Regular Licensed Minister of the Gospel or Justice of the Peace for the County of Wilkes…Whereas Elisha Reynolds hath this day made application for a license for a marriage to be had and solemnized between him the said Elisha Reynolds and Judith Eddins both of the County of Wilkes aforesaid these are therefore to authorize you or any of you to celebrate and solemnize the Rights of Marriage between him the said Elisha Reynolds and Judith Eddins and join them together as man and wife in Holy Matrimony given under my hand this fifth day of August anno domini 1786…G. Wheatley, Clk. C “ . A copy of the Commission of Elisha Reynolds and the marriage bond are included in Revolutionary War Pension File #W4060, National Archives.

Elisha and Judith Eddins Reynolds had the following children. They are listed here but not necessarily in the actual order of birth. 1. John Reynolds, b. abt. 1801, died 1855 on the old homeplace, unmarried. 2. Bowen, b. 13 Sep 1791, married Sarah Meaux, and died 1845 in Carrollton, Mississippi, 3. Nancy Asbury, b. abt. 1792, married Rev. Josiah Wright and removed to Madisonville, Tennessee, 4. Ivy, b. abt. 1793, who pioneered in Johnson County, Illinois, where he married first, Rebecca Canada, then Caroline Anglea. He died In Johnson County in 1875. Ivy is the 3rd great grandfather of the author of this account. 5. Mary who married the Rev. Milton Ladd then pioneered with her husband in Johnson County, Illinois, 6. Sarah Spencer, who married William Griffith and removed to Monroe County, Tennessee.. 7. Rebecca b. abt. 1799, who remained unmarried and died on the old home place sometime after 1880, 8. James b. abt. 1805, who also remained unmarried, although he fathered several illegitimate children, and also died on the old home place sometime after 1880 9. Wesley, b. abt. 1787, who married and divorced Maltilda Welsh for adultery, then later married his cousin, Nancy Eddins. Wesley died in Wilkes County in 1870.

Note* A tenth child named William Elisha is included by some researchers. The author of this transcript believes that this individual is actually a son of Elisha’s brother, John Francis Reynolds and his wife, Ann Blackburn (meo)


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