The Oates Family of Duplin & Sampson

By Claude H. Moore (1916-1994)

Nearly every week I receive some inquiry about data on the pioneer Oates family which now has descendants all over the country. It is believed by genealogists that this family originally came from Denmark and that they settled in Cornwall, England in the 9th century. The name in Danish was “UTZ”. The great castles of Perran Sabolire and St. Agnes in Cornwall were built by the Oates family. We find a settler by the name of Oates living in Warwick County, Va., in 1652.

James Oates, (born 1660) was living in Perquimans County, N.C., in 1696. He received land grants there. He married a Mrs. Elizabeth Eivens after 1693. His will was probated in Perquimans County in 1704. He left one son, Joseph, born on August 7, 1697. Joseph Oates married Elizabeth Wyatt and later received land grants in Chowan and Bertie counties, and in 1747 and 1749 he received land grants on Goshen Swamp in what later became Sampson and Duplin. Joseph and Elizabeth Oates had three sons: Capt. John Oates, Capt. James Oates, and Captain Jethro Oates, all officers in the Dobbs County Military, prior to the American Revolution.

Jethro Oates, born in 1732 in Perquimans County and died in Duplin (now Sampson) in 1781, received land grants on Young Swamp (a branch of Goshen) in 1775 and in 1779. He built a plantation home northwest of Faison on what is now N.C. Highway 50. He may have built a water mill on Young Swamp. His wife was named Artesha and they had the following children: Lidia Oates, who married Barnabus Stevens and has many descendants; Amia Oates who married (1779) Stephen King, had many children, and has numerous descendants; Jesse Oates who married Loruhama Stevens, settled on a plantation in Sampson County and later moved to Kentucky (Dr. Jane Johnson of the Mount Olive College faculty is twice descended from this couple); Jethro E. Oates,
(1768-1821) who married 1)Letitia Caraway 2)Elizabeth Ivey and lived on a plantation N.W. of Faison; Elizabeth Oates, no record; Michael Oates, no record, and John Oates (1775-1828) who married Susan Cogdell (1782-1861) and lived northwest of Faison.

John and Susan C. Oates had the following children: David C. Oates (1802-1875) who married 1)Loruhama Fleming, 2) Melinda Pennington and lived on a plantation northwest of Faison, which is still owned by their descendants; James B. Oates (1803-1877) who married Mildred Carr and lived in Sampson County; Ann Maria Oates (1806-1875) who married her cousin, the Rev. Jethro Oates, a Baptist minister and settled in Leon County, Texas; Lewis C. Oates (1809-1876) who married four times, had 14 children and settled in 1858 in Angelina County, Texas; Jethro Oates who married Nancy Bradshaw and lived
in Sampson County; Susannah Oates died young; Elizabeth Ann Oates (1817-1902) who married William Wright Faison and lived on a plantation east of Faison. Their old home is still standing and is owned by the Kalmer family. After her husband’s death Mrs. William W. Faison moved into Faison and became one of the founders of St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Faison. The late Mrs. Mary Parrott Ray of Faison was a granddaughter.

The late David C. Oates had a number of children among who was John Oates, the Confederate sheriff of Sampson county (the Yankees burned his home) who married Mary Jewell Ashford and they were the parents of the late John A. Oates (lawyer and writer), David Oates of Fayetteville, and Mrs. Mary Ashford Harris.

Jethro E. Oates (1768-1821) lived northwest of Faison and their descendants are
scattered far and wide.

The early Oates were members of the Church of England, but after the American Revolution and the disestablishment of the state church, many became Baptists.

* Reprinted by permission of the Mount Olive Tribune