Searching for siblings of this Robert Knox:
Robert Knox states in his October 1832 Revolutionary War Pension application that he was "born in the County of Dawn in Ireland in the year 1742"...he lived in " what was called Tryon County, now Lincoln County, when I entered the service and have lived in said county since the Revolutionary War and now live there."
Worth S. Ray, in his 1945 book "The Mecklenburg Signers and Their Neighbors" (page 511) says without reservation that this Robert, who married Mary Ewart, was the son of John and Hannah (Reid) Knox.
John and Hannah may have had a son named Robert; however, it is clear this Robert was NOT their son. John Knox, son of John Knox and Jean (Gracy) Knox, was born AFTER 1740. Since this Robert Knox himself states he was born in 1742, John and Hannah Knox can be eliminated as candidates for his parents. Robert and John were more likely cousins.
Knox Family tradition says John Knox of Scotland, and his wife Ann, are parents of Robert Knox, who was born in County Down, Ireland. Which John and Ann Knox this might be, we are unsure. Robert gives no record of his parents, however, it does seem odd that Ann was his mother's name, since there are NO known descendants of this Robert who are named Ann...
Robert and Mary named their first son John -- resumably after HIS father, which would have been tradition at that time. Their second son was named Robert, after HER father, Robert Ewart. First daughter was named Jane -- who, following tradition, would have been named after Robert's mother. Second daughter was named Margaret -- after Mary's mother, Margaret (Adams) Ewart -- again, following tradition. In three of the four cases -- they followed tradition, and it seems odd that Jane would be the first daughters name, and not also Robert's mother's name. (Note: Jane Ewart was the older sister of Mary -- and also a possible namesake of Jane Knox.)
Other than Robert's own descendants, I have found no proof of connections to any Lincoln/Mecklenburg or Iredell Knoxes, although there is an obvious close association.
TRYON/LINCOLN COUNTY PROPERTY:
The first documented record (I find) of this Robert Knox in North Carolina is his October 7, 1775 purchase of 160 acres on the "branches of Killian's Creek, adjacent to Ramsey's line." The land was purchased from William King of Tryon County and is recorded on pages 252-253 of Tryon County Deeds. Robert sold this same land on January 11, 1785, which was then Lincoln County, to John Boggs, as recorded in the Lincoln County Deeds, page 787. Tryon County was formed from Mecklenburg County in 1768. Tryon existed as a County from 1768 until 1779. Lincoln County was formed from Tryon County in 1779, during the American Revolution. In 1780, when he fought against the Tories in the American Revolution, Robert still owned his land on the branches of Killian's Creek .
In 1788, Robert and Mary Knox purchased land from Robert and Margaret McKessick (Lincoln County Conveyances, Book 3, page 429). The other part of the property Robert referred to as "McKessick Plantation" was purchased from Henry Thompson. According to the 1790 Federal Census, John Reid, Major Frank McCorkle, George Lytle, and John Wheeler were their neighbors.
Following are historical accounts of Robert Knox's involvement in the American Revolution. I was elated to find an ancestor who participated in the famous Battle of Kings Mountain -- a turning point in the Revolution, by some accounts. However, upon reading Robert's own account, documented by his RW Pension Application, I found -- in his own words -- that he was NOT involved in the battle -- giving evidence to the old adage, "don't believe everything you see in print!"
Historical records list Robert among the "King's Mountain Men" listed in the "Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution, " Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1988, page 482. North Carolina state records indicate his rank as private. According to historical accounts, at the battle of King's Mountain in September of 1780, Robert joined friends and relatives as members of the Company commanded by his brother-in-law, Col. James Johnston. Robert and James Ewart were also Mary's brothers. James Johnston, Joseph Jack, Thomas Bell, and Jonathan Price, each married a Ewart sister: Jane Ewart m. Col. James Johnston; Margaret Ewart m. Joseph Jack; Rachel Ewart m. Thomas Bell; Betsy Ewart m. Jonathan Price. (Source: Ray, Worth Stickley, "The Mecklenburg Signers and Their Neighbors," 1945, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1975, page 513.)
Although historical records credit Robert with serving in the militia at Kings Mountain, Robert says in his pension statement " I was in the service in the army that marched against Ferguson and the Tories, to Kings Mountain, under Colonels Graham and Johns(t)on, this time I cannot recollect but know I was not in the battle at Kings Mountain, having been sent by Colonel Johnson upon some business. I recollect joining the army commanded by General Green, near Camden, and having being (been) placed out as sentinel the first night."
"When I was in this tour I was commanded by General Thomas Polk. While on guard I recollect to have fired at a man in the night, who refused to answer and I entered this service from the proclamation of General Polk, that any who would serve a month then, it would excuse them for a three months tour afterwards. I recollect being in General Rutherford's army at the time the battle was fought at Ramsour's Mill* between the Whigs and Tories, but the army did not reach the ground in time to engage and I was in the army under Colonel Locke when the British crossed the Catawba River at Bety's Ford, but how long I served in these tours I cannot recollect." (* Some say the Patrick Knox who was killed at Ramour's Mill was Robert's brother; however, I have found no evidence of this.)
Robert Knox was granted a Revolutionary War Pension in 1833, shortly before his death.
At the time of his death, Robert Knox still owned and lived on his property, in Lincoln County, which he called McCisik Plantation. Today, this property is most likely covered by the waters of Lake Norman, a man-made lake which borders Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties in North Carolina.
(Brothers Patrick and William? In a January 3, 1996 article, written by Ken Brotherton and published in the Mecklenburg Gazette, Mr. Brotherton states that Robert's "brother, Patrick, was killed" at the Battle of Ramseur's Mill in Lincolnton, Lincoln Co, NC; however, I have found no proof that this Patrick was related. There is also a William Knox b. 1756-1774 who appears on the 1800 Census of Lincoln Co and who also may be a brother of this Robert.)
REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION APPLICATION of Robert Knox
State of North Carolina Lincoln County On this llth day of October 1832 personally appeared Robert Knox., before us, William Little, and John Turbyfill, two of the acting Justices of the Peace, in and for said County, at the house of said Robert Knox, he being unable to attend Court, a resident of Lincoln County in the State of North Carolina, aged ninety years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States under the following named officers and served as herein stated. That he was in the service under Captain James Johns(t)on in the regiment commanded by Colonel William Graham, and was marched to Fort McFaddin in what was then called Tryon County, now Rutherford County in the State of North Carolina, and was stationed in that Fort to protect the frontiers against the Indians; but from my old age and loss of memory am unable to say how long remained in service in that tour, nor have I any recollection of the date or other circumstances which took place except one, when a party of us were driven from a field where we were reaping, by the firing of some guns, supposed to be by the Tndians. I served another term in the regiment commanded by Colonel McLean, when James Johns(t)on acted as Lieutenant Colonel that cannot recollect the name of the Captain, but recollect we were marched across Broad River in pursuit of Colonel John Moore who commanded a party of Tories. I cannot remember the year, nor the time I was out. One circustance I recollect. We marched to Moses Moore's, father of Colonel John Moore, and there the soldiers destroyed his oats by throwing them over to the horses, which the officers prevented when they came up.
I was in the service in the army that matched against Ferguson and the Tories, to Kings Mountain, under Colonels Graham and Johns(t)on, this time I cannot recollect but know I was not in the battle at Kings Mountain, having been sent off by Colonel Johns(t)on upon some business. I recollect joining the army commanded by General Green, near Camden, and having being (been), placed out as sentinel the first night, When I was in this tour I was commanded by General Thomas Polk. While on guard I recollect to have fired at a man in the night, who refused to answer and I entered this service from the proclamation of General Polk, that any who would serve a month then, it would excuse them from a three months' tour afterwards. I recollect being in General Rutherford's army at the time the battle was fought at Ramsour's Mill between the Whig(s) and Tories, but the army did not reach the ground in time to engage and I was in the army under Colonel Locke when the British crossed the Catawba River at Beaty's Ford, but how long I served in these tours I cannot recollect.
These facts and circumstances I state to the best of my recollection, but cannot state the order in which they took place, which was first or last.
He hereby relinquishes, any claim whatever to a pension or an annuity, except this present and he declares that his name is not on the pension roll of any agency in any state.
Sworn to and subscribed to the day & year aforesaid
Robert Knox (Seal)
Wm. Little, J. P.
Jno. Turbyfill, J. P.
We, William Little and John Turbyfill, Justices as aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains this original proceedings had before us in the matter of the application of Robert Knox for a pension
PENSION STATEMENT OF ROBERT KNOX, page 2
When and in what year were you born?
I was born in the County of Dawn (Down) in Ireland in the year 1742.
Have you any record of your age, and if so, where is it?
I have none, except a memorandum I made.
Where were you living then?
I lived in what was called Tryon County, now Lincoln County, when I entered the service and have lived in said county since the Revolutionary War and now live there.
How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you volunteer, or were you a substitute?
When I went against the Indians I went as a volunteer; also when I was with General Rutherford, and with Colonel Locke at Beaty's Ford. The other times I cannot recollect. I have stated all the officers I can recollect.
Did you ever receive a discharge from this service and if so, by whom was it given and what has become of it?
I do not recollect to have received any discharge except one from General Polk for my service in Greene's army, which I sold to Colonel Martin.
State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present neighbourhood and who can testify as to your character for veracity and their belief of your services as a soldier of the Revolution.
The two Justices who are now acting and Major the Honorable William H. Conner, member of Congress, and Robert H. Burton can state my character.
We, Wm. Little and John Turbyfill do certify that the foregoing answers were taken before us and we certify that the applicant is a man of good character for veracity, and we believe his statements, and that said Knox is unable to attend Court.
October 11, 1832
Wm. Littley J. P.
Jno. Turbyfill,, J. P.
(Note written at the bottom of the application - and apparently added later: )
Robert Knox, married Mary Ewart, b. June 14., 1757; d. Dec. 7, 1833, a daughter of Robert and Margaret Adams Ewart. They are buried in Unity Presbyterian Churchyard., Lincoln County., N. C. Robert Knox died June 12, 1833, aged ninety-one.)
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of Robert Knox:
The following is a transcription of the Last Will and Testament of Robert Knox, dated March 13, 1830, and recorded in Lincoln County Court House, N.C. The original will is held by the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N. C.
"In the name of God Amen, I, Robert Knox of the County of Lincoln and State of North Carolina being of sound and perfect mind and memory, blessed be God: to this thirteenth day of March in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say:
First, I give and bequest unto my beloved wife, Mary, one horse, her choice, saddle and bridle, all my bedding, household and kitchen furniture, to dispose of as she may think proper. I also allow her my Negro man Sharpe, her choice of my Negro woman Jude, or Sally, during her natural life or if she thinks proper with my Executor to sell said Negroes either publicly or privately as they may think proper, and her to have the interest of said money and the principal to be kept in the hands of my executors, and at her death to be equally divided among my children, here named Margaret, Elizabeth, William, Rachael, Mary, James and Nancy.
I will and bequest to my son John that part of my plantation that I now live on, known by the name of the McCisik Plantation, and I allow my son, John, to pay into the hands of my Executors two hundred dollars, after my death, to be divided as hereafter named.
The other parts of my plantation which I purchased from Henry Thompson, I allow to be sold by my executors either at public or private sale as they may think proper and to be divided as hereafter named. I bequest to my beloved wife, Mary, all my clothes, and all my books to dispose of as she may think proper among my children. The residue of my property not here named, I allow to be sold to my Executors at public sale, and after paying my just debts, to pay over to my daughter Jane Latta five dollars. The balance of the estate with all the money due for the land, I allow to be equally divided among my children here named and my beloved wife Mary, share and share (alike), Margaret, Elizabeth, William, Rachael, Mary, James, and Nancy.
And I here make and ordain my son William and Robert E. Bell, Executors of this my last and testament. In witness whereof, I the said Robert Knox have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this and year above written."
In Witness Whereof, I the said Robert Knox, have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
Robert Knox (Seal)
Signed, sealed, published and delivered
by the said Robert Knox, the testator, as
his last will and testament in the presence
of us, who were present at the time of signing
and sealing thereof.
Richard Fisher, Jurat
Stephen C. Fisher
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