My family spelled its name in many various ways. It's now spelled GEREN. Here's an article to include info on my ancestors.
THE WAY WEST
by Myloe G. Wilson
State of North Carolina Burke Co
Given under our hands and seals this Dec 25th, one thousand seven hundred and
(signed) Soloman Geren
Burke Co, NC, was the eastern end of the first road across the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was the result of a court order in 1777 that commanded--
---"the shortest and best road be marked between the house of Charles Robinson
It is reasonable to think that by 1786 this road was usable by the rugged wagons and crude carts that the pioneers used at that time.
A party of pioneers starting from NC in 1786 would have needed many more people than those driving the wagons. There was livestock to take care of, cattle, horses, oxen, pigs and other farm animals. To guide and protect the party would require scouts and riflemen. Some to go ahead to locate and prepare the next camp sight. Some as flankers, armed men out on either side to protect them from the hit and run raids on the wagons and livestock. Younger boys would have had the job of driving the extra livestock, but riflemen would have been required to protect the herd.
The food would have been mostly wild game, salted pork butchered just before departure, hominy and course corn meal cooked into johnny cakes on the hot rocks of the camp fires.
They could travel, on a good day, about eight to ten miles. In the mountains the distance traveled would have been less. No traveling was usually done on the Sabbath, as much to rest the people and the animals as to worship.
Bandits, roving bands of Cherokee Indians, and on the west side of the mountains, the very warlike Chickamauga Indians were constant dangers. Most parties were too strong for all out attacks by the bandits or Indians, but the herd and the outriders were in constant danger. Thus for about 2 months the pioneers would struggle over the mountains and another month would be required down the western slope and across to the tiny fort just built by General James at the present site of Knoxville, TN.
Traveling in the party that has our interest were the following:
Maybe Joseph Geren, father to Soloman and Hiram. However this researcher believes that Joseph died in North Carolina after the western party left. He did not sign the wedding bond between Soloman and Eleanor. He was at least eighty years old and no record has been found of him in Tennessee. However, no death record has been found at all. He just sells out in NC and vanishes from history. All we know for sure is on Sep 14, 1786, he sold his land on Polecat Creek and Trading Road. This would have been after the departure of his two sons and since he signed his own name, he must have still been in NC.
Hiram Geren, his wife Susannah Allred Geren, and at least his first son, Joseph.
Soloman Geron and his new bride Eleanor Owens.
Ebenezer Bryon and Lydia Geren Bryon, daughter and son-in-law of Joseph Geren.
Robert Kirkpatrick and Elizabeth Geren Kirkpatrick, daughter and son-in-law of Joseph Geren.
Samuel Owens and wife, parents of Soloman's bride.
William Sumpter and his family. He was the minister who performed Soloman's wedding.
Joseph Hinds and family, Edward Beeson, William and James Allred (probably brothers to Hiram's wife Susannah) and others from the Jersey Dist of Randolph Co.
They arrived in TN prior to 1787 for we have records of Soloman's first child being born in TN on Dec 16, 1786.
As far as we can determine Hiram Geren was the only one of the part who already had a deed to land in TN. He had received a grant from NC for service in the Rev. War. His land was located in what is now Knox Co on "south side of Beaver Dam Creek and north side of Beaver Creek ridge."
Hiram Geren, oldest known son of Joseph Geren, is believed to be the ancestor of our family of Gerens. Hiram died, still a relatively young man, prior to the spring term of Court in 1800.
This Geren family is direct descendants of the French Huguenots who fled France in the early and mid 1600s. They were the Protestant followers of, for the most part Calvin, who had been prosecuted by the Catholic Church and Kings of France. They fled to many places. Some of them, a generation or two later, finally reached America.
The first records we find of our Gerens are in Washington Dist, Morris Co, NJ. There we find records of two men named Joseph Guerin. They have been confused by many researchers; however, careful research of the dates and times attached to these two men, we can determine that one was much older than the other and that one stayed in NJ and one left. Connected with one of these men were Ebenezer Byran, who married Lydia Guering, and Robert Kirkpatrick who married Elizabeth Gurein.
On Feb 4, 1779, Joseph Geren applied for and received patent on 300 acres of land including his improvements in Randolph Co, NC. The tax records for 1779 show Joseph had 21 acres cleared, 300 total acres of land, no Negroes, 14 cattle, 4 horse, and 4 pounds and 7 shillings of money. On the same tax roll we find Ebenezer Bryon and Robert Kirkpatrick.
These researchers believe that Joseph Geren must have come to NC at least as early as 1775, for it would have taken him that long to clear 21 acres without help of slaves.
Hiram and Soloman are connected with Joseph by statements made in Soloman's application for pension as a veteran of the Rev. War.
"—While on a ten-day furlough, as a result of a wound I had received, I stood
The Battle of Guilford Court House took place on mar 15, 1781, and the court house was located about 6 miles northwest of the present town of Greenboro, NC. The w00 acres on Polecat Cr was the only land owned by a Geren within hearing distance of that battle.
On Sept 14, 1786, Joseph Gereon sold 100 acres of his land to Richard Beeson. He signed his own name, spelling it "Gerron." On the same day he sold the other 200 acres to Seimon Gerron. Again Joseph signed his own name this time spelling it "Geron."
Soloman Geron had 13 children and we believe Hiram had 5 children before he died at about 45 years old. Hiram died just prior to the Court Term of 1800. We have the inventory of his estate and the sale list of his wife Susannah's estate in 1806.
The descendants of Soloman scattered to Bradley Co, TN, on to Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and into Texas. All known descendants were true Southerners.
Th descendants of Hiram, our Geren family's ancestor, followed the same pattern as the others except for one or maybe two sons who moved, not south but north into Illinois. From there into Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and some into Oregon.
Our family of Gerens descend from this latter group. George Caswell Geren, his wife Parthenia, young daugher, Mary age 10, and son George H., left TN at the end of the Civil War and traveled through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and into Oklahoma.
Peggy A. Givens' ancestor was John Geren, son of Hiram, who moved into Arkansas from TN, settling in what would become Claiborne Parish, LA. In Louisiana Hiram's son married two DREW daughters of the same county. One of their brothers was Thomas Stephenson DREW, 3rd Governor of Arkansas. Two became judges in Claiborne Parish, LA.
My ancestor was Newitt Drew Geren who married Sarah Cathan Norris of Bienville Parish, LA. Newitt died from complications suffered during Civil War. Their daughter, Fannie L. Geren, married my great-grandfather, James A. Stewart II of Butler/Lowndes County, AL, in 1881 in Kaufman County, TX.
In the 1920s the John Moses Stewart family moved to Roger Mills County, OK, where many of their descendants live today, my mother Allie Kathryn Stewart Smith included.
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