The surest way to turn up elusive records, especially ones that challenge some of your assertions, is to publish a family history. Such was the case for me within mere weeks of putting out The Newman Family in North Carolina & Georgia. Hopefully, the information provided here on some of the Newmans from Sampson County will remedy that. Abstracts and images of many of the records cited below can be found at USGW Archives for Duplin and Sampson County.
Edward Newman was a private with the North Carolina Continental Line. He was probably the son of William and Mary Newman, who acquired land in Duplin County through purchase and patent in the 1750s and 1760s. In 1770, Edward witnessed a deed gift from William Newman, Millwright, to his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and James Kelly. William died in 1773, possessed of 350 acres according to the inventory Mary took of his estate.
Edward and Sarah Newman married by 1773 and were witnesses to a Duplin County deed from William Bird to James Green in 1774. Sarah was also a witness to James Green’s will in 1784, by which time Edward was deceased. He was shown on the North Carolina Revolutionary War Accounts for Wilmington District for the period October 1781 to August 1783, and Sarah was granted letters of administration on his estate on 20 January 1784 in Duplin County.
As the eldest son, William Newman automatically inherited Edward’s land under the laws of primogeniture that were still in effect in North Carolina in 1783 (they were abolished the following year). This land became part of Sampson County when it was created from Duplin in 1784 and court minutes include entries referring to William as “the minor orphan of Edward Newman, decd.”
Judging from the 1790 census, Edward and Sarah had at least 6 children but only a few of them have been identified: in addition to William these included my ancestor John and sons Edward and Jacob. Nothing more is known about Edward and Jacob as of this writing.
According to depositions given in 1845 in support of Talitha Royal’s widow’s pension application, William was born in June 1774, his wife Sophia was born in 1770 and they married in about 1798. William and Sophia sold land in Sampson County in 1832 but she was deceased by the 1850 census. They had one known child, Jacob, who married Mary Ann Royal, the granddaughter of Owen Royal. Mary Ann and Jacob sold land in 1832 that was part of a devise from Owen Royal to the children of his sons William, Labon, John and Biggars Royal, but I don’t yet know which one of them was Mary Ann’s father.
My ancestor, John Newman, was born about 1775. He married Nancy Brown, the daughter of Arthur and Lucy (Butler) Brown. Nancy Newman was named in the 1830 will of her father. The pension application filed in 1845 by Nancy’s brother, Arthur, on the Revolutionary War service of Arthur Sr. included the information that Ann Brown was born on 16 February 1781 and was married to John Newman.
Nancy Brown’s grandfather, Edward Brown, was the founder of Great Cohary Baptist Church. John Newman appears in an undated membership list for this church, as does Elizabeth Kelly, possibly his paternal aunt who had married James Kelly.
In 1827, John sold his land to William and moved to Pulaski County, Georgia. There his descendants remained for at least 60 years, eventually crossing the line in the 1890s into Wilcox County, where some of his descendants live to this day. John and Nancy Newman’s children included a daughter who did not survive infancy and at least one, possibly two sons who have not yet been identified.
John died on 23 November 1852 and his estate was administered by his son, Arthur. Nancy Newman died in January 1860.
The known children of John and Nancy (Brown) Newman were:
- Edward, born about 1814 and died in November 1879. He married in about 1835 but looks to have been soon widowed. He had one child, Edward Jr.
- Arthur, born on 10 June 1816 and died on 6 March 1888. He married Canzada Shiver, the daughter of Abraham and Martha Shiver. She was the widow of James P. Cherry, with whom she had one child, William Jackson Cherry. Canzada died on 11 October 1880 but Arthur’s second wife, Martha Sanders, also predeceased him. Arthur is buried in Hunt Cemetery. His death notice indicates he was buried “in the family burial ground near his old home three miles above Hawkinsville” so he had apparently sold or deed-gifted the property where Hunt Cemetery is located to his daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and William G. Hunt. Arthur’s heirs sold his land on Big Creek, which consisted of four lots totaling 535 acres.
The children of Arthur and Canzada were:
- Catherine, married William G. Hunt, both buried in Hunt Cemetery where Arthur’s grave can be found
- James, died at Savage’s Station, Virginia on 29 June 1862
- Abraham William, born on 7 June 1843, died in the Confederate Soldiers’ Home in Atlanta, Georgia on 27 August 1902. He married 1) Lucy Fenn, one child, Eli who died in early childhood; and 2) Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Conner
- Sarah Jane, married David F. Matthews, died in Van Zandt County, Texas
- Georgia Anne, married Stephen Daniel
- Susan, married John K. Partin
- Anna A., married W. Hardy Kinchen, died on 11 December 1880 in a typhoid epidemic
- Nancy Caroline, married Remus Romulus Woods, died in Van Zandt County, Texas
- Mary Rebecca, died on 16 December 1880 in a typhoid epidemic
- Arthur John, married Emma Love, died on 17 December 1880 in a typhoid epidemic
- Fanny Alice, married James S. Frink
- Sarah, born about 1820 and died August-November 1889. Sarah did not marry and had a physical disability according to census records. After the death of her parents, she lived with her brother, Arthur, whose will provided her with a life estate in one of his properties.
The only photograph I have of these early Newmans is this one of my great-great-grandfather, Abraham William Newman, date unknown.