John Alston of Wake Co., NC, son of James Alston and Christian Lillington of Elobey’s Creek, (now known as Ellerbee Creek, running through Durham County), had 9 children by his first wife, who was dead by 1798 (Zaboski, 1983). He was probably married about 1774. His cousin, Charity Alston, of Granville Co., NC, daughter of his uncle Solomon, has been proposed as his first wife.
Charity married James Jones in Granville Co. in 1761. She and her husband then moved to Wake Co., NC and lived there until James’s death prior to September 1777. Soon after James’s death, Charity married a Major Pollard. This can be seen from the Wake Co., NC court record where it was stated in June of 1778 “Major Pollard who having intermarreyed with Charity Jones Widow James Jones decd Came into Court and Qualifyed as Joint Executor with the said Charity his Wife and Others mentioned in the last Will & Testament of the sd. James Jones deced. In Right of his wife." Source: W. P. Haun, 1993, p. 68.
Major Pollard was mentioned frequently in the Wake County Court Records up to at least 1797, when he was a purchaser of the estate of William Ridley. Therefore, he was alive as late as 1797. Charity and Major Pollard also made at least one gift of land to her son by James Jones, Solomon Jones.
These facts make it clear that Charity Alston Jones could not be the first wife of John Alston because she was continuously married to Major Pollard during the time when John Alston’s children were born.
Additionally, a single record mentioning the wife of John Alston exists in the Wake Co. NC records. The record, dated Sept. 1790, states “At the request of John Alston of the County of Wake and Mary his wife that the names of John and C.” The record then breaks off (Haun, 1993; Zaboski, 1983).
I would like to propose Mary Humphries, daughter of John Humphries of Mecklenburg Co. VA and Wake Co. NC, as the first wife of this John Alston. Mary Alston was mentioned by name in her father's will, which was recorded in 1801 in Person Co., NC. Mary was dead at the time the will was recorded, but was mentioned in the will, and had living children because they received a bequest from their grandfather (the children were not named and the bequests were nominal). This John Humphries and several of his sons owned land on “Ellobey’s Creek” in Wake County, which at the time flowed through Orange and Wake Counties. John Alston is mentioned in numerous Wake County records with Mary’s relatives.
The names of John’s first nine children are listed in a petition to the State Assembly dated 1798 and are as follows: John, Christian, George Lillington, Absolum, James, Sally, Philip, Patsy and Lemuel (Zaboski, 1983). The younger John married Elizabeth Kennon about 1797 and died in TN.
Hope to hear from anyone interested in discussing this further.
Mary Williams, Alston family website
Haun, W. P. (1979). Wake County, North Carolina County Court Minutes 1787 thru 1792, Book II, p. 51. Durham, NC: Published by the author.
Haun, W.P. (1993). Wake County, North Carolina County Court Minutes, 1771 thru 1784, Book I, p. 68. Durham, NC: Published by the author.
“John Alston” by Virginia (Childers) Zaboski, in “The Heritage of Wake County, North Carolina, 1983”, p. 96.
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