Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gideon Macon's Son, John, to Robert

The Genealogy Line
Va. - No. Carol.-Ala.-Tenn. - Ark.- (1684 to 1925)

John Macon, Va.
Gideon Hunt Macon, Va.. to No. Carol..
Maj. John Macon, No. Carol. to Tenn.
John Tabb Macon, No. Carol. to Ala., to Tenn.
Robert Bruce Macon Sr., Ala. To Tenn., to Ark.
Robert Bruce Macon Jr. Ark. And stayed there.

John Macon. B, 1684, in Virginia D. 1740, in Virginia.

John was born in 1684, in New Kent County, Virginia. He was born on his father’s plantation, Mount Prospect. He died on his own 400 acre plantation in Goochland County, Virginia.

John received in 1729, a Royal Patent for 400 acres of land in Goochland County, Virginia.

He married Ann Hunt on Dec 17, 1715. Ann was born in 1686 in Surry County, Va. She was the daughter of Robert Hunt and Mary Minge. She died Feb. 15, 1725, in childbirth having her daughter, Mary. She was 39 years old. I have not found John’s second wife as yet, but he probably remarried, because he was only 41 years old when his wife, Ann died.

John and Ann had the following children.

  1. Gideon Hunt. Born 1720 in Virginia. Died Dec. 20, 1761 in Granville Co. North Carolina. He married Priscilla Jones in 1744 (discussed below in the next section)
  2. Ann Hunt. Born 1717 in Va. I have no information on her.
  3. John Jr. Born 1718 in Va.. He died about 1785 in Randolph County, No. Carol. I do not have a wife for him. However, he had at least 4 children between 1753 and 1758. Gideon Thomas, John III, James, and William. James and William were in the troops from North Carolina in the Continental army. “Accts. Payable to the No. Carol. Troops in the Continental army, 1793, (Vol. 17, pages 184 to 263) #5632, James Macon, amt. of 19 pounds, s5, d8,”do”, #2631, William Macon, amt. of 19 pounds, s5, d8, “do”.”
  4. William. Born 1719 in Va. Died in 1796 in Cumberland Co. Virginia. No information on him. I have heard, he may have been another William Hartwell Macon.(?)
  5. Henry. Born 1721 in Va. Died about 1795 in Cumberland County, Va. He married Rebecca Mayo. His second wife was Francis Netherland Carlyle. He was a Vestryman at Southern Parish, Cumberland Co. 1745-1792. He opened “Macon's Tavern” in 1753, in Powhatan Co. Virginia. Now called Macon in Powhatan Co. A portion of the Tavern is still standing and well preserved at the Southwest intersection of Giles Bridge Road, Route 609 and Route 13. The winding staircase is unusual because of it's latticework. The basement has exposed timbers and a extra large fireplace with the chimney block extra large, even for the period when it was built. There is a carved recess where a barrel of Whiskey was stored when it was still a Tavern. Also, this Henry was the son of John, not William, as some people say, because of a family Bible. There have been three wills for this family found that prove that he is the son of John. Please see the essay, “The Two Henrys And The Wife Rebecca Mayo” on this blog. William's son, Henry was born in 1727, and went to South Carolina with his brother Hartwell, they are both on the census there in 1790 as heads of households. (The other Henry.)
  6. Francis. Born in Va. Died in 1785 in Cumberland Co. Va. She married Daniel Pegram.
  7. Mary. Born 1725 in Va. Her mother, Ann Hunt, died giving birth to her. Mary was married in 1750 to Benjamin Pendleton.

Gideon Hunt Macon, son of John and Ann Macon. Born 1720, in Virginia. Died 1761, in North Carolina

Gideon Hunt Macon was born to John and Ann Hunt Macon in 1720. He was born in Goochland County, Virginia, where his father, John, had his 400 acre plantation. In 1744, he married Priscilla Jones. She was born in 1729, and died in 1780.

Soon after they were married they moved to North Carolina. Gideon Hunt established a plantation there called “Macon Manor”. It was in Granville County, later called Warren County. There was a Granville Co. deed in 1755 that transferred land from William Kendrick to Gideon Macon, (4kb). It was located near the border of Virginia, on Shocco creek. Today, there is a city, called Macon, near the location of the plantation site. “Macon Manor was built near what is today the “new” court house”.

Gideon Hunt was a cousin to Francis and John Dandridge, Martha Washington’s parents. Francis’s mother, Martha Macon married Orlando Jones. This Jones family was the same Jones family as his wife, Priscilla Jones. Also, Martha was named after her grandmother, Martha Macon. The “White House” in Washington D.C., is named after Martha’s plantation, “The White House plantation”, in Virginia, left to her by her first husband, John Custis. Martha’s plantation bordered on Col. Gideon Macon’s plantation, Mount Prospect.

Gideon Hunt Macon was a tobacco farmer, Justice of the Peace, and a Vestryman at St.John parish church at the time of his death in 1761.

Gideon and Priscilla had 6 children, (some people say they had 8). They were all born in North Carolina at Macon Manor.

1)Martha. Born in 1753. Died in 1820. Many people have said that Benjamin Hawkins, (the one that founded Fort Hawkins, later, Macon Georgia.), was Martha’s “only” husband, and that they had a son named, Micajah Thomas Hawkins. Benjamin Hawkins did not marry until the last year of his life, in 1816, (he died in Georgia), and then he married an Indian woman, named Lavinia Downs in Georgia. She had already given him 4 daughters. I have researched this, and I do not believe that Martha ever married Benjamin. In fact, the only way they could have had a son together, is if Ben and Martha were both about 16 or 17 years old (Ben was born in 1754), and the son was born out of wedlock, about 1769 or 1770. Not likely, but not impossible. The Hawkins and the Macon families had close family connections down through the years. Both families came from the same area of Virginia, and both, Ben and Martha were born and grew up together in Granville County, North Carolina. Martha’s mother, Priscilla, hired Charles Pettigrew to teach the Hawkins and the Macon children together, from 1766 to 1773. Ben’s brother Col. John Hawkins married Sallie Macon about 1765. Ben’s sister, Ann Hawkins, married a man named, Micajah Thomas. Col. John Hawkins and Sallie Macon could be the parents of Micajah Thomas Hawkins, but I have not been able to find a listing in the Hawkins or Macon genealogies. Everybody lived in Bute (Butte?), Granville County, North Carolina. Martha married Joseph Seawell in Bute, in 1771. They had 9 children between 1772 and 1796. I am listing Joseph Seawell as Martha’s “only” husband.

2)Henry Harrison. Born in 1751. Died in 1795. He married Hannah Glenn in 1772. They had 9 children between 1773 and 1789. Henry served in the North Carolina militia during the Revolutionary war, under Col. Benjamin Seawell, (the same family Henry’s sister, Martha married into), with his brother, Maj. John. They participated in the battle of Camden on Aug. 10,1780. In this battle, Henry was wounded and captured by the British and sent to the prison at Charleston, South Carolina. He was a prisoner for several months. After Henry was out of prison, the state records of North Carolina quote a letter from the Hon. Thomas Persons to Governor Thomas Burke, dated July 26, 1781, stating that he had “granted leave, (from the military), to Capt. Henry Harrison Macon to ship tobacco to defray debt contracted whilst he was a prisoner at Charles Towne”. The Macon family was growing tobacco on Macon Manor plantation since about 1744. Henry also served in the House of Commons in North Carolina in 1783. After Henry died, Hannah and the children were listed in the 1790 census for Franklin County, North Carolina.

3)John (Maj.). Born on Mar. 10, 1755. Died on Feb. 9, 1828. (Discussed below in the next section)

4)Nathaniel. Born on Dec.17, 1758. Died on Jun.29, 1837. He married Hannah Plummer on Oct. 9, 1783 and they had 3 children. Her parents were, William Plummer and Betsy Kemp. She was born on Aug. 21, 1760, and died on Jan.11 1790. Nathaniel’s only son having died at the age of about 6 years, he had no male line. He had 2 daughters, Betsy Kemp Macon and Seignora Donald Macon. He attended Princeton College, leaving there to join the Revolutionary war, where he served 4 years, coming home at intervals to serve in the North Carolina Assembly. Nathaniel was a member of the No. Carol. State senate in 1780-82, 1784-85. (In the census of 1790, (finished on May 2, 1791), of Warren County, No. Carol., Nathaniel had 1 male over 16 years, 1 male under 16years, 2 females, and 20 slaves.) He served in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1791 to 1815. He was the speaker of the House from 1801 to 1807 and president pro tem of the senate from 1825 to 1827. The list of his service is way to long to list here. His total service in the nations capital lasted through the first 7 presidents. He presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1835. He opposed the Constitution, because he was a Jeffersonian, state’s rights Democrat. He believed that the states should have the right to decide if they wanted slavery or not. He did not believe in a strong central government. He was afraid the central government would take all the power away from the states. He opposed Washington and the Federalists, (Whigs) in these opinions. Most of the No. Carol. Macons were of this mind, however, most of the Virginia Macons were with Washington and the Federalists, maybe partly because Martha Washington was a family member of the Macons, and they were all in Virginia. At one point, Martha called Jefferson, “one of the most detestable of mankind.” Jefferson said, “Washington’s colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, nether copiousness of ideas nor fluency of words.” There was a definite family split at the time. There are probably hundreds of books written about Nathaniel Macon. They have them in every library, if the reader would like more information about him. Please see the discussion under his brother John's name.

5)Ann Hunt. Born in 1759. Died in ?. She married John Alston, (in Gideon Hunt's will he referred to Alston as Allstone), in 1784. They had at least 3 children. Willis, Robert W., who married Henrietta Green, ( born, May 24, 1784 in Arkansas), and John Jr. There were, Alstons and Alston-Macons turning up all over North Carolina and Alabama. I have not had the time to make all the connections, but it would be an interesting study.

6)Gideon Hunt Jr. Born in 1761. Died on Mar. 27, 1808. Gideon’s father, Gideon died on Dec.20, 1761, just a few months after he was born. This son inherited the Macon Manor plantation. However, it was for the use of his mother, Priscilla, until her death in 1780. Priscilla later married James Ransom. In the census of Warren Co., No. Carol. In 1790 (finished on May2, 1791. James Ransom was listed as having 24 slaves.) Gideon Jr, was raised by his mother and his stepfather. During the Revolutionary war, in which his three brothers fought, he was a Forage-Master of the Militia from 1778 to 1782, On June 3, 1784, he was named tax collector for Warren County. He married Mary Green on July 1, 1779. She was born on June 8, 1763, and died in 1790 at age 27 years, she may have died in childbirth, the usual cause for women dying early at this time, it was very common. Mary Green’s parents were Capt. William Green and Mary Christmas. He then married Mary Hartwell in 1792. She was born in 1758, and died in 1810. She was of the Hartwell family of Edgecomb, North Carolina, and before that, Virginia. There was another Mary Hartwell that was born in 1676 in Virginia (same family). She married William Macon on Sept. 24, 1719 in Virginia. He was the son of Col. Gideon and Martha Macon of New Kent Co. Virginia. William inherited his father’s Mount Prospect plantation.

The will of Gideon Hunt Macon Jr. was filed on Jan. 1, 1808, and is now on file in the North Carolina Dept. of Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina. Mainly, it just distributes land and slaves to his children.

John Macon (Maj.), son of Gideon Hunt Macon, Born on Mar.15, 1755 in No. Carol. Died Feb. 9, 1829 in Tenn.

John was born on Mar. 10, 1755, at Macon Manor, Warren Co., North Carolina. He died on Feb. 9, 1829, in Maury Co., Tenn. He married Joanna Tabb in 1775. She was born in 1757, in Bute Co., No. Carol. She died on Dec 13, 1796, in childbirth having her son, Henry Harrison Macon, her 8th child. She was only 39 years old.

Maj. John and Joanna had the following children. All born in North Carolina. All, or almost all, married in Tenn.

  1. George Washington. Born in 1776. Married Elizabeth Kimbrell , Oct. 24, 1807.
  2. Priscilla Jones (Washington ?) Born in 1778.
  3. Mary Hunt. Born in 1780. She married John M. Goodloe. Her second husband was Thomas Craighead, his family was connected with Craighead County, Arkansas.
  4. William Henry. Born in 1787. He married Martha, no last name, she was born 1785. I have 3 children for them. Elizabeth, born 1830.Martha, born 1833.Julie Anderson, married, Thomas G. Boyd.
  5. John Tabb. Born July 8, 1791.Died in 1851 in Tenn. He married Elizabeth R. Willis in 1813, in No. Carol. Much later, he married Mary Burdett Fitzhugh, on July 21, 1842, in Tenn. (Discussed below in the next section).
  6. Sephronia. Born in 1793. She married Caleb Longley on May 10, 1816, in Tenn.
  7. Gabriel Long. Born Aug. 6, 1795. Died Sept.23, 1840.He married Burchett T. Jordon on June 22, 1816 in Tenn. She was born on Dec. 25, 1791. Died Sept. 21, 1851. I only have one child for them, Eliza J, Born Nov.8, 1821.Died Jan. 30, 1844.
  8. Henry Harrison. Born on Dec. 13, 1796. Married Margaret Brooks in 1825 in Tenn. She was born in 1806. (His mother, Elizabeth, died the day of Henry’s birth, in childbirth) Henry and Margaret had 6 children. Joseph K., born 1827. Romulus, born 1831. Nancy, born Jan. 1833. Mary B. born 1835. Harrison, born 1835. John, born 1829.died 1886.Married Martha Ann Ramsey in 1855.
John served as Captain in the 7th Regiment of the Continental Line from North Carolina, under Col. Hogun, from Dec.12, 1776, a year after he married Joanna, to Jan, 1778. He saw active service in Charleston, South Carolina.

Later, he served under Gen. Washington in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and was present at Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge.

In 1780, John was captain of a Warren Co. company in a regiment from Halifax Co. under Col. Benjamin Seawell, John’s sister, Martha, married Joseph Seawell. John was in the battle of Camden, Aug. 10, 1780. In this battle, his brother, Captain Henry Harrison Macon was wounded and taken by the British, he spent several months in prison.

By Jan., 1787, Captain John Macon became Major John Macon. He was in a Halifax District Regiment under Col. William Richardson Davie. From now on, I will refer to this John as Maj. John, to distinguish him from the other John Macons in the family.

After the war, Maj. John received 1097 acres of bounty land in Davidson Co. Tenn., for 24 months of service in the Continental army. (No. Carol. Roster, page 94, page 236.) In Tenn., a land grant of 1097 acres, dated, Mar. 14, 1786, to Maj. John Macon. Land grant # 186, Davidson Co. It was recorded in grant book # a (A-1), page 31, Davidson Co. This book is in the Tenn. State land office, Nashville, Tenn. State archives.

In 1779, Maj. John became a member of the No. Carol. House of Commons from Warren Co., he served from 1779 to 1784, and succeeded his brother, Nathaniel Macon in the No. Carol. Senate, serving until 1796, the year his wife, Joanna died.

Apparently, Maj. John was buying land in Bute Co., No. Carol. in 1779. “In the third year of our independence, Richd Caswell, Esqr…Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief to John Macon, 50 sh for every 100 acres paid into our treasury for 194 acres of land in Bute County on Shoco, adjoining Young McLemore, Macon Daniel, Nicholson and Ward, plot hereto annexed. Yearly payments to be made as the General Assembly directs and grant to be void if not registered in Bute Co. registration office within 12 months. Recorded Jan. 25, 1780 by Jos. Johnson, P. R.”

Maj. John was a member of the North Carolina state Constitutional Convention of 1788. (Please see the information written under John’s brother, Nathaniel Macon, for more political discussion). It was the question of a strong federal, national, government having control over the states, (Washington, Hamilton, and the Virginia Macons. These were known as the Federalists, or Whigs.), versus a strong States Rights position, meaning the states should have all the control over their own states instead of the federal government, with the federal government relegated to international and inter state problems. (Jefferson, most Southern slave owners, and the No. Carol. Macons, were known as the Jeffersonians). This became the Jeffersonian Republicans, (it would later be the old Southern Democratic party). This became a heated battle for the country, as well as for the Virginia and North Carolina Macon families. It created a family split. Later, the civil war of the 1800’s would be fought over just this issue. The Southern Jeffersonians against the Northern Federalists, basically. The Southerners were fighting against federal control of the states, not the issue of slavery, until later. They were fighting over the issue of who decides what for them. (At the time, the Confederate flag became a symbol of freedom from the control of the federal government, it had nothing to do with the slavery issue originally). These were all the same issues fought over in the battle for the federal Constitution in 1788. The Jeffersonian side all voted against the Constitution because it took too many rights away from the states. They all wanted a Constitution, just a different one. All the original fears of the Jeffersonians have come true, now the federal government controls almost everything, in all the states, the federal government overrides many state laws they do not agree with. In 1788, they were discussing all these same problems. There is no way it could not become heated. Washington called the Jeffersonians, “the French party, and the curse of the country”. Washington also said, that “if the country came to a civil war between the North and South, he would go with the North”. Jefferson wrote the Kentucky resolution justifying the right of a state to nullify federal laws. And Jefferson had some not to flattering comments about Washington as well. Later, Jefferson won the election, this should say something about where the country was at the time.

However, even with all this discussion, the Southerners really did need their slaves to maintain their way of life. Most of the slave owners entertained the idea of freeing their slaves under the condition that the freed slaves would be transported out of the country, and even with that, they did not intend to do it until sometime “later”. They wanted their own states to decide if slavery was going to be legal in their state or not.
I think that Jefferson’s own comments about this subject, should explain the thinking of these Southern ancestors the best. Jefferson never freed any of his slaves. In fact, he said, “…when blacks were freed they had to be removed beyond the reach of mixture. Blacks were inferior in both body and mind.” He expressed, “great aversion to the miscegenation between blacks and whites, because it was morally repugnant”. Yet, he slept with his slave, Sally Hemmings, and probably others as well, as a lot of planters did. Because of his above comments, the children from these unions were usually just added to the slave population, this was probably the reason most Southern wives accepted this situation, also he never freed any of them. This expresses the double thinking of most Southern planters of the time. Do whatever you want to, but keep the “slaves” separate.

These were most of the reasons why the Constitutional Conventions of 1788 heated up all over the south. And most of these Macon ancestors were in the thick of it. The above paragraphs were to give a picture of the political sentiment of the time.

Back to Maj. John,

Maj. John was also on the first board of trustees of the University of North Carolina, serving from 1789 to 1792.

During the time he was in the North Carolina senate from 1786 to 1796 He was appointed to the commission for building the No. Carol. Capital at Raleigh, where he purchased 2, one acre lots in the heart of the city.

In Masonic circles, he held several offices in the grand lodge. Most, if not all, the Macon men in the ancestral line were all Masons down through the 20th century.

Maj. John left the No. Carol. Senate in 1796. His wife died in childbirth on Dec.13, 1796, so it could have been during that last part of Dec. when he left.

In 1797, Maj. John was only 42 years old and very depressed about his wife dying in childbirth with Henry. This is when he withdrew form political life and may have started drinking, (this got worse as he got older, according to later family stories). It was in this same year that he decided to distribute some of his slaves to his children for their future security. According to the records, he started this process on the 1st anniversary of his wife’s death, Dec. 13, 1797. However, it took until Feb. of 1798 to get though the court. In the Warren Co., No. Carol. Wills, Vol 3, by Kerr, page 93, Will Book 9, page 290.”John Macon to his children, (all minors), George Washington Macon, Priscilla Jones Macon, William Henry Macon, Mary Hunt Macon, John Tabb Macon, Sephronia Macon, and Gabriel Long Macon, gift of 22 negroes and money to be used by his friends, William Green and G. H. Macon, (John’s brother, Gideon Hunt Macon), to buy others. Witness G. H. Macon (Jurat) and Wm. Green ( Jurat). This was not a will, it was a deed of purpose to give his children slaves for their security. It was usual to rent out slaves to other people for short times as a method of income. He only included 7 of his 8 children in the above order. He left out Henry Harrison Macon, born, Dec. 13, 1796, at the time his wife died. Was the sentence, “money to buy others” for Henry? We can only hope.

Some have said, he blamed himself and Henry for his wife’s death, and this caused a lot of his future drinking problem. In the emotion of the moment, for him, I would say this was probably true.

About 1800, John met and married his second wife, Bettie (Betsy) Williams in North Carolina.

John’s first and last public service since Joanna died was that of public registrar of Warren County in 1806.

Late in 1806, he decided to move with Bettie to his land grant in Davidson County, Tenn. At some point, they had 2 children, Nathaniel Dandridge West Macon, and Thomas James Macon. All of John’s children from his first marriage ended up in Tenn., sooner or later. Some of the family stories about John's drinking and loss of property came from these two sons.

John’s depression, withdrawal from public life, and his drinking got worse. It did not help, when his second wife, Bettie died in 1808, John was only 53 years old at the time. During this time, because of his ongoing emotional problems and grief, he lost a lot of his property and money. Bettie, John, and the children all had their slaves as income, and that kept things going. Later, in this section, I will list Bettie’s slaves (that were rented out) that were in her estate when she died.

At this point, there was a Mrs. Joyce, she helped him run his household. She was never his wife. However, there is no way to tell what she was to him, he was only 53 years old after all. As John got older, Mrs. Joyce died, and John went to live with his son, Gabriel Long Macon in Maury Co. Tenn., Where he died in 1829, at the age of 73 years old.

Maj. John is on the list of Revolutionary Soldiers buried in the Old Zion Churchyard cemetery in Maury Co. Tenn. (It is about 6 miles from Columbia, Tenn.)

“Bettie Williams Macon, John’s second wife, and mother of two of his children, died in 1808, in Davidson Co., Tenn. Her estate was recorded in 1809 in Davidson Co.

Davidson Co., Tenn. Will Book 4-5-6, page 49, Betsy (Bettie) Macon, desd, inventory & c., May 18, 1808. An inventory of the hireing out of the Negroes of Betsy Macon desd, as returned into court at April 1809. To wit: Feb. 18, 1809. Account of the hireing of the Negroes belonging to the estate of Betsy Macon desd, wife of John Macon.
  1. Gloster to Edmond Owen $50.50
  2. Phillemon to William Hall $61.00
  3. Ephraim to Littleberry Williams $17.00
  4. Phillemon to work for Major Buchanan, 4 days at 2 shillings per day. $1.33 1/2 , 5 days at Wm. Smith’s at the same price. $1.67 1/2 .
  5. Gloster work at the widow Buchanan 8 days at the same price, $2.67 1/2
  6. Hannah and Anthony was not delivered to me for they were hired to Alexr.Lard, $56.50
  7. Leanna was let at the lowest bidder and four children with her. $8.00
  8. Bristol to Charles Cabanars for his boarding and clothing and one good blanket.”
Jan. 1, 1809
These Negroes were taken out of my possession by John Williams, or some of his agents. And on the 6th day of Feb. 1809, Littleberry Williams delivered to me all the Negroes but Hannah and Anthony that was hired to Alexr. Lard for which he gave me Lard’s note for &56.50. Signed Wm. Murphy, Extr.
Page 85 of the same will book. Betsy Macon, inventory of the hireing of her Negroes, Dec.28, 1809. Account of the hire of the Negroes belonging to the estate of Betsy Macon, decd, for the year 1810.
1) Gloster to James McBride $55.12 1/2
2) Philemon to Wm. Hill $90.34 1/4
3) Lenna, Seymore, Amy, James, Saphronia to Wm. Murphy $2.00
4) Hannah to James Carter $17.00
5) Anthony to Henry Selas $25.00
6)Ephraim to William Bebby $13.00
7) Bristol to Emond Reives $12.12
Total $205.56 3/4 W. Murphy Extr”

“ $10.00 (total) $216.56 3/4. Record of Littleberry Williams, executor of the estate of John Williams, one note for $10.00 for the time he kept the Negroes last year, State of Tennessee, Davidson Co. court, Jan. session 1810.The above inventory of the sale of the hireing of the Negroes of Betsy Macon, decd, was returned into court by Wm. Murphy, Extr. And the court then recognized sanction and ordered to be recorded.”

“Betsy Macon…desd…a settlement with the executor of her estate, Feb. 21, 1810. Agreeably to an order of court stated Oct. session 1809 issued from the county court of Davidson, appointing as to settle with Williams, administrator of the estate, Betsy Macon, desd, do report that we have examined and adjusted the same and find the account to stand as follows: after allowing sundry claims from no one to thirteen inclusive which are herewith inclosed also allowing for the board of the children.” (For Betsy and John’s 2 sons security, John already provided for his children he had with Joanna, with the slave distribution of 1797). “ also together with the sum of thirty dollars to be administered for his trouble in hireling out slaves, attending to law suits and c. We find there remained in the hands of the said administrator the sum of forty three dollars sixty five cents and three fourth cents including the heir of the Negroes for the present year the whole of which accounts is settled up to this 22ed day of Jan., 1810 given under our hand: the date aforesaid.
The above settlement was returned into court at Jan. term 1810 and the court recognized sanction and ordered to be recorded. Andrew Ewing, C.D.C.C. and R. C. Foster, Cary Felts.”

The above slaves belonged to Betsy but the rest of the Macon families nearly always had slaves to rent out. According to early Virginia records, the Macon family had slaves as early as the 1600’s through the Civil War. An early example of this, are the following 5 slave birth records. These slave children belonged to William Macon of New Kent Co., Virginia.. 1) Phili, daughter of Sarah, born Aug. 29, 1714, belonging to Wm. Macon. 2) Jeny, daughter of Mall, born July 1, 1717, belonging to Wm. Macon. 3) Anna, daughter of Mall, born July 1, 1717, belonging to Wm. Macon. 4) Beck, a girl, born Sept. 9, 1722, belonging to Cap Macon. 5) Rachel, a girl, born Nov. 5, 1722, belonging to Cap Macon. This is just a short example of the list of slaves.

I have found various branches of the Macon ancestors in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and all over the south, Over a period of about 250 years, almost all of these families owned slaves.

The family inherited the slaves, sold them to each other, gave them as gifts, maintained their plantations with them, and always kept some rented out through their agents, as Betsy and John did.

The family gave slaves to their minor children under financial caretakers for the children’s security, as John did in 1797. Slaves were used as a source of income by renting them to other people over short periods of time, as court records show.

Many slaves never met their owners. They were bought, sold, and rented out by the owners agents.
As a result of the Civil War in the mid 1800’s, the slaves were freed. They were only known by their first names, however, when they were freed, they required last names to move out into the population. It was the custom of the time, for most of the slaves to take the last name of their last owner. This is how most of the African Americans today got their European last names. Many are Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, and other founding fathers. Martha Washington personally owned over 300 slaves of her own. She inherited many of them from her Jones, Macon, Dandridge, and Custis relatives. I have found many African Americans with Macon last names, mainly in the south.

Next we will discuss John Tabb Macon, son of Maj. John Macon discussed above.

John Tabb Macon. Born in 1791, in North Carolina. Died in 1851, in Tennessee.

John Tabb was born on July 8,1791 in North Carolina. His middle name came from his mother’s last name of Tabb. He married Elizabeth R. Willis in 1813 in North Carolina. Elizabeth was born in 1795 in North Carolina, and died in 1838 in Tennessee. They had their first two children in North Carolina, Eling in 1815 and Willis in 1823. John Tabb, and his brothers , Gabriel Long and William Henry, all went to Alabama by about 1824. All were married by this time. Other Macon family members from Virginia were already in Alabama in 1790. One of John Tabb’s sons, Robert Bruce Sr. was born in Alabama in 1825.

John Tabb and Gabriel settled in Maury Co., Tenn., and William settled in Fayette Co. Tenn.

John and Elizabeth’s children :
1) Eling, born in 1815 in North Carolina. He died in Tenn.
2) Willis, born in 1823 in North Carolina. Died in Ark
3) Robert Bruce, born on May 12, 1825 in Alabama. He died in Phillips Co. Ark. Robert will be discussed in the next section. About his name, Robert Bruce was a hero in Scotland, Robert may have been named after this hero if his mother , Elizabeth Willis was of Scottish descent. Later, he named his son Robert Bruce.
The last five of John Tabb and Elizabeth’s children were born in Tennessee.
  1. John, born in 1829. He died in Ark.
  2. Lucy, born in 1831
  3. Gideon, born in 1833. He died in Ark
  4. Richard, born 1835. He died in Ark
  5. Elizabeth, born in 1838. John’s wife, Elizabeth, died giving birth to her daughter, Elizabeth in 1838, at the age of 43 years old.

The 1830 census had John, Elizabeth, and their children living in Maury Co. Tenn.

John’s wife, Elizabeth, having died in 1838, John married his second wife, Mary Burdett Fitzhugh in 1842. Mary was born on July 31, 1824, and died on Mar. 9, 1900. John and Mary were married 9 years before John died in 1851. They had 7 children between 1843 and 1850. (There were 2 sets of twins). By the time of his death, John had 15 children all together. (Eight by Elizabeth and seven by Mary)

In 1842, William Henry Macon, transferred to his brother, John, certain slaves and other property, including stock, household goods, and more. The provision being that John T. Macon would hold said property with increase to the sole use of “my daughter, Julia Anderson Boyd, wife of Thomas G. Boyd, during her life and the use of her children after her death”, Feb. 5, 1842.

John deeded a lot to Trustee’s of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1844. And he deeded 2 parcels of land to his son, Willis in 1847. He also deeded a parcel of land to his son, Robert Bruce in 1851.

John moved from Maury Co. to Hardeman Co. at the time of his marriage to Mary in 1842. In the 1850 census, they were living in Hardeman Co. In 1851, John Tabb died in Hardeman Co., Tenn. At the age of 60 years old.

In 1856, Mary Fitzhugh Macon married a Mr. Banks and moved to Tulip, Ark, where she later died in 1900.
After their father, John Tabb died in 1851, the brothers, Robert, Willis, Gideon, Richard, and John all went to Phillips Co., Arkansas.

Robert Bruce Macon Sr., Born in 1825 in Ala.. Died in 1868 in Ark.

Robert Bruce Macon Sr., born on May 12, 1825 in Ala. He died on Jan.10, 1868 in Ark. He married Mary Jane Swan (Swann) on April 12, 1855 in Ark. She was born in 1839 in Ark. They were then living in Phillips Co. Ark. They had 2 children.
  1. Ida, born in 1856. Married Lycrugas Lucy on Jan. 9, 1879, in Ark.
  2. Robert Bruce Jr., born in 1859. I will discuss him in the next section.

Mary Jane’s parents were both born in Virginia. Her father, a younger Swann son did not inherit, so after they married they went to Ark. Where Mary Jane and her brother, John were born. Her father, John (?) Swann was from the old Thomas Swann plantation in Virginia. Thomas Macon (a “cousin” to Robert Bruce) wrote “Life Gleanings”, a small book talking about the first hand account of the times at the end of the civil war. In the book he gives a first hand description of the old Swann plantation that was located near where he lived . In the book, he says, “It was a fine, old colonial residence of a Mrs. Swann (Swan), whose plantation was well stocked and in fair condition at the close of the war (the civil war). It was called “Meadow Brook” and was truly a very fine estate. Her daughter was Miss Ida Swann”. Mary Jane Swann Macon named her daughter Ida as well. Ida seems to be a Swann family name.

Thomas Macon was of the same generation as Robert Bruce Macon and his wife Mary Jane. Thomas and Robert were distant “cousins” and directly related. I assume Thomas had no way of knowing that a son of the Swann plantation and his wife would have a daughter, Mary Jane, that would marry his own distant cousin, Robert Macon in Arkansas.

Mary Jane’s mother was T.R. Swann, born in 1818 in Virginia. Her son John was born in 1837 in Ark. Mary Jane’s father, John (?) Swann was probably born about 1815 in Virginia.

By the 1860 census, Robert, Mary, their two children, Ida and Robert, and Robert’s brothers, Gideon, and Richard were all living together in Big Creek, Phillips Co. Ark. Their post office was near the town of Trenton, Ark.

Robert Bruce Macon Sr. was Ass’t Marshal in Phillips Co. in 1860. It was his handwriting on the 1860 census.

Mary Jane died between 1860 and 1868. (She was alive in 1860 census) Her 2 children were orphans by 1868. She would have been 29 years old in 1868. Robert died Jan, 10, 1868. It would be interesting to know more about what they died of. It was the time of the civil war, so it could be anything. Whatever it was, it left Robert Jr., age 9, and Ida, age 12, both orphans. I have not found where they were living, but they were probably living with one of Robert’s brothers, Gideon or Richard in Ark. Or they could have been with Mary’ brother, John Swann, who was also in Ark.

Robert Bruce Macon Jr. Born in 1859 in Ark. Died in 1925 in Ark.

Robert married Minnie Laura Newberry in 1887 in Ark. She was born in 1862 in Ark., and died on July19, 1890 at the age of 28 years old, after only 3 years of marriage.

Robert as a child, attended the public schools, studied at home, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives from 1883 to 1887. He studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1891. He started law practice in Helena, Phillips Co., Ark. He was clerk of the circuit court from 1892 to 1896. Prosecuting attorney for the first judicial district from 1898 to 1902. He was elected as a Arkansas Democrat to the United States 58th Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses, from Mar. 4, 1903 to Mar. 3, 1913. After 1913, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Congress. However, he continued to practice law in Helena Ark. until he retired in 1917. He died in Marvell, Ark. On Oct. 9, 1925. He is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

His wife, Minnie is buried in the Phillips Co. Cemetery, listed as the wife of R.B. Macon. According to these records she died on July 19, 1890 in her 20’s, after 3 years of marriage.

Robert married his second wife, Laura W., (born in 1871), in 1894 or 5. She was 12 years younger than Robert. He had one child with Laura, Mary Laura Macon, born 1896. He was living in Marvell with this daughter when he died in 1925.


1)“Revolutionary Characters”, Gordon S. Wood,Penguin Press, 2006
2) “Slavery And Politics in the Early American Republic”, Matthew Mason, University of North Carolina Press,2006
3) “Washington's Secret War”, Thomas Fleming, Harper Collins Pub., 2005
4) ”American Slavery, American Freedom”,Edmund S. Morgan, W.W. Norton and Co., Inc.,1975
5) “His Excellency, George Washington”, Joseph J. Ellis, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2004.
6) “Secret And Sacred”, Carol Bleser, Editor, Oxford University Press, New York, 1988
7) ”Jefferson Davis”, William C. Davis, Harper Collins Press Pub., 1991
8) ”Thomas Jefferson, An Intimate History”, Fawn M. Brodie, Bantam Books, 1974.
9) ”Roots”, Alex Haley, Vanguard Press, 1974
10) ”Eye Witness To History”, Jon E. Lewis, Carroll and Graf Pub. Inc., New York, 1998
11) ”White Gold”,Giles Milton, Pub. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, 2004 12)“Reconstruction”, Eric Foner, Harper and Row Pub., New York, 1988
13) Free “On Line Census And Maps”
14)“Allcensus”, 1790 to 1930 15)The Library of Virginia VTLS – Web Gateway Bibid Lookup 16)VTLS – Web Gateway Authority Lookup 17)The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), D.A.R Library, 1176 D. St. N. W.,Washington, D.C.20006-5392
18)The National Society of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, National Headquarters, Park Lane Building, #300 – 05, 2025 Eye St.,N. W., Washington D.C., 20006 - 1883
19)National Genealogical Society, 4527 17th St. No.,Arlington, Virginia,22207–2399
20)North Carolina State Archives, 109 East Jones St., Raleigh, N.C. 27601-2807
21)Virginia State Library, 800 E. Broad St., Richmond, Va. 23219
22)“Gideon Macon of Virginia and Some of His Descendants”, by Alethea Jane Macon, 1956, revised by Jarvis Wood, 1979 23)Library of Congress,records, local history,and genealogy, Washington D.C. 20541-5554
24)“One Branch Of The Macon Family In America”, by Edythe Rucker Whitley from Tennessee, 1981
25)Davidson Co., Tenn. Will book, 4,5,6, pg.49,Betsy Macon
26) Land Office of patents and grants for Virginia
27)State Land Office for Nashville, and State Archives, Nashville, Tenn
28)“The History of Fort Hawkins” in Geo. A booklet
29) Civil War rosters
30) Congressional records for No. Carol.
31) Continental Army Rosters for Virginia, and No. Carol.
32) Warren Co., No. Carol will book, 1798 for (Maj.) John Macon
33) “Life Gleanings” by Thomas Macon
34)Cemetery records for Phillips Co., Ark.
35)“Thomas Jefferson” by Jason, page 431.

The Macon Plantations

The Macon Plantations

  • Mount Prospect , Mount Pleasant, And Macon Island, New Kent County, Virginia
  • Fairfield And The Powhite Tract, Hanover County, Virginia
  • And Other Plantations in Virginia Owned by the Macon Family.

Macon Island was in New Kent Co., Virginia. New Kent Co. was established in 1654 from the Old York Co. William and Ann Macon, Gideon's parents, originally settled in York County in the 1630's. Macon Island was in the family from 1680, the accepted date, until about 1974, about 300 years.

On Nov. 8, 1658, John Lewis and James Turner were granted 1000 acres of land, of sunken ground and marshes, including an Island. This Island they named Lewis Island. The land was bordered by the Pamunkey River and by the Pouncie's Creek, bordering the land of John Pouncie.

The First Macon Owner, Gideon Macon

Gideon Macon, (1638-1702), bought this Island in 1680, the accepted date, and renamed it Macon Island. I have found no official record of purchase. The only Island that Gideon bought in New Kent Co. that I found a record for, is on “April 12, 1694. He bought 155ac and 4 persons”, 155ac, it being the Island on the North East side of the main run of Chickahominy swamp at the wading place near Meradays plantation”, patent 8, page 357. However, this must not be the same Island. He moved to Macon Island after he built Mt. Prospect Plantation.

Gideon Macon had many slaves on the Mount Prospect Plantation. St. Peters Church Records list some of the slave children born that Gideon owned.
The list follows:
“Sarah a negro girl belonging to Mr. Gedeon Macon borne ye 29th day of Jan'y 1682
Will a negra boy belonging to Mr. Gedeon Macon born ye 2d day of Febry 1683
Nan B July 1692 belonging to Gedeon Macon
Moll B 6th Nov 1695 as above
Merrea B Jany 1695 as above
Phiil B ye 17 Jany 1696 as above
Isack B Jany ye 28 1697 as above
Sara B Sept 1698 as above
Will B Nove ye 25 1700 as above
Liddia B ye 1st Apr 1701 as above
Trefana B 24 December 1701”. as above

He married his wife, Martha Woodword in early 1681. They had Gideon Jr., their first child born in 1682 according to the St. Peters parish records.

Gideon did not have a middle name like some people think. His name was written, “Gideon” most of the time, but was written, “Gedeon” in the original St. Peters parish register. Some people write his name “Gideon (Gedeon) Macon” to let others know his name could be written either way.

Martha Woodword, (1657-1727), may have been married before Gideon, to a Mr. Biggar in about 1675. The Woodword family had a large tract of land near the Pamunkey on the Pamunkey Neck of the river above John's Creek, (Jack's Creek), in King William Co. William Woodword's two daughters, Martha Woodword (Macon) and Anne Woodword inherited this land on their father's death.

All of Gideon and Martha's children were born and raised on Macon Island. There was also a Macon family cemetery on the Island. Gideon, Martha, and family were likely buried there. During the last 100 years, the headstone of Gideon's daughter, Martha, was found and moved from Macon Island to the Chancel of Bruton Church in Williamsburg. It was placed next to the headstone of her husband, Orlando Jones.

Martha Macon Jones's headstone states:
“Here lyes in hopes of a Blessed
Resurrection ye Body of Mrs. Martha
Jones wife of Mr. Orlando Jones
Daughter of Mr. Gideon Macon”.

Orlando Jones's headstone states:
“Here lies in hope of a Blessed Resurrection
the Body of Mr. Orlando Jones, Son of Mr.
Roland Jones sometime Minister of
this Parish he was born December ye 31st 1681
and died June ye 12th 1719 in ye 38th year of his
age he was twice married his first wife was
Mrs. Martha Macon Daughter of Mr. Gideon
Macon of New Kent by whom he left one
Son named Lane and one Daughter named
Francis His Wife was Mrs. Mary
Williams Daughter of James Williams
of King and Queen County who erected this
Monument to his Memory”

Martha and Orlando Jones were the grandparents of George Washington's wife, Martha.

Most of the headstones were gone from the Island long ago, except that of Gideon's son and his wife,William and Mary Macon, we will discuss them later. The Northern troops destroyed the headstones in many Southern cemeteries during the Civil War, including the Macon cemetery on Macon Island and the Macon cemetery at Powhite, near the Fairfield (Macon) Plantation in Hanover Co. After the Civil War the cemeteries were overgrown with vines and there was not much left. The Northern army destroyed the grounds and gardens of most of the Southern Plantations, including the Macon Plantations.

Gideon died in 1702, but Martha, his wife, continued to live at Mount Prospect Plantation on the Island with her new husband Capt. Nathaniel West, and with William, Gideon's son, and his siblings. Capt. West was a representative in the House of Burgesses, as Gideon had been. Capt. West and Martha had a daughter, Unity West, who married William Dandridge, Francis Jones brother in law. (Gideon had a daughter, Martha, who married Orlando Jones . They had a daughter, Francis Jones, who married Col. John Dandridge.) This Francis Jones Dandridge was the mother of Martha Dandridge, who married George Washington.) Martha Macon Jones was Martha Washington's grandmother, she was named after her.

Martha Dandridge married her first husband, Col. John Custis. He either bought the White House Plantation or it was a Dandridge Plantation that Martha inherited from her family. It was in New Kent Co. and very near the Macon Plantation of Mount Prospect . After her husband died, she was living there when she met and married George Washington. They later named the White House in Washington D. C. after her White House Plantation in Virginia.

After Gideon Macon's death in1702. There was a suit pending in York Co. on June 24, 1703, between Martha Macon West, (Gideon's widow and wife of Nathaniel West), the Executrix of Gideon Macon, late of New Kent Co., deceased, and Richard Pocke of London, merchant.

The Second Macon Owner, William Macon

When Gideon died in 1702, Macon Island and the Mount Prospect Plantation, passed to his second oldest son, William, (1694 to 1773). His oldest son was Gideon Jr (1682 to 1761), according to the St. Peters Parish records of New Kent Co.. Apparently William inherited Macon Island, but Gideon Jr. seems to have inherited the land patents. Gideon Sr. had 5 land patents on record, between 1694 and 1701.

Two were in New Kent Co., One was, “On April 12, 1694, 155ac and 4 persons,“it being the Island on the North East side of the main run of Chickahominy swamp at the wading place near Meradays plantation”, patent 8, page 357 This is the only record I found for Gideon buying an Island in New Kent Co. However, it may have been another Island.

The second, in New Kent Co. was on Nov.7 1700, “standing on the fork of Chickahominy river, at the mouth of the said fork, and where the swamp of the said river ends”.

There were two in King and Queen Co., both on April 25 1701. "One was, in the Pamunkey neck, on the east side of Pampatike swamp. Beg.g &c. In the head line of his 425 acres, parcel of Pullams patent”.

The second one was “in Pampatike swamp. Adjoining the Spencer's land, North & c. crossing John's creek.

And there was one in Henrico Co.On Oct. 15 1698,”On the South side of Chickahominy swamp, being three small Islands. Begg. &c. on Queen's Cabin branch”. (Gideon Macom Jr. sold part of this land in 1704, he had inherited it from his father.)

Gideon Macon Jr.,( B. June 20, 1682 in New Kent Co). After the death of his father, Gideon Sr., in 1702, it was recorded in Henrico Co. Va., April 28 1704, that he sold “74 acres of land in Chickahominy Swamp, part of a tract granted to my father in 1698”, (from Henrico Co., Deed Bk. 1700-1704). (Land patent listed for Gideon Sr.).Gideon Jr. had to inherit the land before he sold it. Gideon Jr. was also on the New Kent Co., Virginia, Rent Rolls for 1704, “Gideon Meacon, 270 acres in New Kent Co”.

William, was one of Gideon's heirs with his older brother Gideon Jr., who was 12 years older. William inherited Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island. However, William was still very young and under the guardianship of his step father, Capt. West. In the land processioning records of St. Paul's parish in Hanover Co., it was stated that “Capt. West had the gout and could not be present, but William Macon would be of age in 3 years to attend”. William Macon was born on the Island (1694-1773), raised his children and died there.

William married Mary Hartwell. Mary was, ...“left 300 pounds, (English currency), at age 18 or day of marriage...”, by her uncle Henry Hartwell then in England, late of Virginia. Her uncle also left her land. And according to the Virginia Wills and Deeds Records of 1725, William and his wife Mary (Hartwell) Macon, sold 1210 acres of her inherited land. They sold the land to Robert Carter of Lancaster Co. Robert was known as “King” Carter.

William and Mary had eleven children, three, were their only sons, William Hartwell Macon Sr., the oldest son, who inherited the Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island, as the third owner, and Hartwell Macon, born in 1741, and Henry Macon, born in 1727, the two younger sons did not inherit. (Note to family, we are descendants of this Hartwell.)

When Hartwell Sr. was 30 years old,( married with children), in 1771, his father published in the Richmond newspapers that he, “William Macon, was not responsible for my son, Hartwell Macon's debts”. In another newspaper,William Macon said that “My son, Hartwell Macon has gotten into debt and that he will receive nothing more from his father”. This was on Oct. 17, 1771. Hartwell was 30 years old in 1771, and probably was in debt for an extended period of time for his father to resort to publishing this information in the newspapers.

Hartwell, his brother Henry, and their families, were in So. Carol. by 1789, according to court records of Fairfield Co. So. Carol., Hartwell Macon Sr. gives “power of attorney to Hartwell Macon Jr. to transact all his business in every state in the union not excepting No. Carol., to receive money, pay debts, make and receive conveyances, etc. Dated 13 Nov. 1789”. Wits: Gideon Macon, (Hartwell Sr.'s son), H. Macon  (Henry, Hartwell's brother). Proved by Gideon Macon 15 Nov. 1789 before John Buchanan, J. P., and recorded 16 Nov. 1789. Fairfield Co., So. Carol., deed book A, 1785 to 1794.

William had many slaves on the Mount Prospect Plantation. The following is a list of a few of the slave children born and owned by William. (St. Peters Parish Records)

Mr. William Macon
“Beck a Negro girl belonging to Capt. Macon b Sept 29 1722
Rachel a Negra girl belonging to Capt. Macon b Nov 5 1722.
Jeny dau of Moll a Neg belonging to ye sd Macon b April 26 1717
Ann dau of Moll a Neg belonging to ye sd Macon b July 1 1717”

One of the above slaves named Moll may have belonged to Gideon, Williams father. According to St. Peters Parish Records, there was a Moll born in 1695, with Gideon as owner. Moll would have been 22 years old in 1717.

Mary died in 1770, and William died in 1773. Their headstone lists all of their children (“issue”). William and Mary's headstone was found in the family cemetery on Macon Island. It states:

“Here lie the bodies of
William Macon and Mary
his wife. He was born 4th
November 1694 and departed this
life in November 1773 in
the 79th year of his age.
She was born 18th June 1703
and departed this life 19th
of November 1770
And had issue
Ann, Martha, Mary, William, Henry,
Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Judy, Hartwell,
and Anna,of whom, two are
Interred near this place, Viz., Ann
who died 9th November 1736, age
16 years and Mary, who died 29th January 1733
age 9”.

The Third Macon Owner, William Hartwell Macon Sr.

The Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island, then passed to William's son, William Hartwell Macon Sr.(1725 to 1813). This William married Lucy Scott.

William Hartwell Macon Sr. was married with children, and had already established and built the Fairfield Plantation in Hanover Co., long before his father, William died in 1773. All of his children were born at Fairfield Plantation. He had bought a large tract of land that included two parcels, Fairfield and Powhite, earlier known as Old Quarter and Swamp Quarter. Both were in St. Paul's parish in Hanover Co. On Fairfield he built his home and raised his family.

On the Powhite tract he renamed the cemetery that was there, Macon Cemetery. According to a survey that was done in 1937, the cemetery was 50 feet wide and 100 feet long and shaded by many old trees. It is located 10 miles northeast of Richmond, Virginia (in Hanover Co.). In 1937 it was located, “out route #360, 7 miles from Richmond...to intersection of route #156, southeast on route #156, 2 miles to a private lane, south on private lane 1 mile”, it is located, “10 miles northeast of Richmond...” I was told that Fairfield and the Powhite Tract may be a subdivision of Richmond now, in the year 2010. William Hartwell Macon Sr. also established a Mill called “Mekenses” (Macon's) Mill at Powhite.

According to the 1790 Federal Census and the State Enumerations of 1784, This William had 3 whites, 1 dwelling, and 24 other buildings in New Kent County at Mt. Prospect Plantation. Also he had at Fairfield Plantation in Hanover County, 11 whites, and 91 blacks. All of the ancestors seem to have owned slaves in a big way, going back to William Macon, who died in 1684, the father of Gideon Sr. The slaves were inherited from generation to generation.

There were agencies that were springing up in Richmond for the hiring out of Negro slaves. This formed a large part of the “Real Estate Business” in the area. By the late 1700's there were about 100 tobacco factories in Richmond. Tobacco was a very large crop in Virginia.

The cemetery at Powhite had a very few headstones left after the Civil War. Three headstones were found for the Macon family, William Hartwell Macon Sr., His wife, Lucy, and one of his daughters, Elizabeth. The stones state:
“Here lies the body of
William Macon
He was born January 4 1725
And died November 25 1813”

“Here lies the body of
Lucy Macon
The wife of William Macon
She was born June 9 1737
And died December 1 1802”

“Here lies the body of
Elizabeth Nicholson
Daughter of William and Lucy Macon
She was born May 24th 1768
And died November 5 1802”

The Fourth Macon Owner, William Hartwell Macon Jr.

William Hartwell Macon Jr.(1740 to 1848), the oldest son of William listed above, inherited the Fairfield Plantation, the Powhite tract of land at Fairfield, as well as the Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island. He choose to live on Macon Island and sell Fairfield and the Powhite tract of land.

William Hartwell Macon Jr., after the death of his father, William, in 1813, sold the Powhite tract to Thomas Macon (1796-1851), (according to the survey of 1937).Thomas Macon married Mary Yancey, and “purchased land next to Capt. Wm. Macon, so. side of Pamcokey River”. (The Powhite tract). After various owners it was sold to a Dr. Gaines, who renamed the Mill, Gaines Mill. Apparently, there was later a Civil War battle fought there by that name.

William Hartwell Macon Jr. was married 3 times. Sarah Amblar (1760-1782), Hannah Selden (1760-1813), and Sarah Smith (1800-1857). He built another home (“a Mansion”), “on higher ground away from the swampy areas”, this was because of Malaria and other problems in the summer. It was called Mount Pleasant, however, it seems that both Plantations were referred to as Mount Prospect. Many planters had summer houses away from the rivers for these same reasons.

In 1810 he had purchased the land known as Butts Old Field. This was for 1000 acres. He also purchased more land around Mt. Prospect and part of the Brickhouse tract, for a total of 1040 acres he added to the Mt. Prospect Plantation around 1810.

William Hartwell Macon Jr. died in 1848, but his third wife, Sarah, lived there until her death in 1857. She was listed in the census of 1850 as 50 years of age, (1800-1857), (she lived 7 more years), she died having $23,360 worth of real estate.

The Fifth Macon Owner, Miles Cary Macon

William's son, Miles Cary Macon, (1791-1852), inherited the plantation next, but he could not take control of it, because he died in 1852, five years before his stepmother. Sarah, his stepmother was still living at Mt. Prospect until her death in 1857, as mentioned above.

Miles and family were living at Fairfield Plantation, his birth place, until his father, William, sold Fairfield Plantation. Then,according to Thomas Macon, his son, the family moved to Magnolia Farm, about two miles North of Richmond, and owned by the Nortons. Later, they moved to Rose Cottage owned by a Mr. Richardson. These moves were to be nearer to certain schools for their children.

Miles then bought “Auburn” Plantation, his wife's family home, about two and a half miles from the city of Richmond. Thomas was sent to live at Woodland Plantation, that his brother, Dr. William Hartwell Macon owned., so he could be nearer to a certain school, about three miles away. As the children got older they were sent away to boarding schools.

These moves were between the selling of Fairfield Plantation by William, Miles father, and 1852 when Miles himself died. He lived at places other than the family Plantations, because his stepmother was still living at Mount Prospect until 1857, so Miles did not live at the Mount Prospect Plantation. His wife, Francis, after the death of her husband, Miles in 1852, continued to live at the “Auburn” Plantation Miles had bought, but later moved to the city of Richmond.

Miles married Francis Mutter and had 4 sons among other children. Miles Macon, George Kennon Macon, Dr. William Hartwell Macon., and Thomas Joseph Macon (1839-1917).
1)This Thomas Macon wrote, “Life Gleanings”, a small book about his first hand account of life in early Virginia.
2) Miles Macon was the commander of the Fayette Artillery, Confederate States Army, (C. S. A)
3)George Kennon Macon, was a Cadet of the Virginia Military Institute when the Civil War started. He was wounded at the battle of New Market by a canister shot passing through his arm. Miles, recovering from typhoid fever went after him and took him to his mothers house in Richmond. George was born in 1846, at Henrico Co., Va., VMI Class of 1866, 2ed Corporal, Company A at New Market, a lawyer, and died in 1894, in Richmond, and was buried at Hollywood Cemetery. (C.S.A)
4)Dr. William Hartwell Macon, he studied to be a doctor in Philadelphia, where he had attended the Jefferson Medical College as an office student of Dr. Thomas C. Mutter, the president of the collage, and was a first cousin to his mother, Francis Mutter.

The Sixth Macon Owner, Dr. William Hartwell Macon.

After Miles death in 1852 and Sarah's death in 1857, Miles son, Dr. William Hartwell Macon was next to inherit the Mount Prospect Plantation, and Mount Pleasant.

He married, in 1848, Nora Criana Braxton.. Ingleside Plantation in Hanover Co. was his wife's family home.

He bought a Plantation called, Woodland, where he was living when his father and step mother died. Woodland was the Plantation, Thomas Macon, Dr. Macon's brother, was sent to live for awhile when Thomas was in school.

When Dr. Macon inherited Mount Prospect on Macon Island,and Mount Pleasant, he probably lived at both of them, including Woodland, at different times. He was living at Mount Prospect at times during the Civil War, according to his daughter, Mary.

The Seventh Macon Owner, Mary Sayre Macon Johnston

When he died, Dr. William Hartwell Macon passed Macon Island, the Mount Prospect Plantation, and Mount Pleasant, to his daughter, Mary Sayre Macon, who married Nathaniel Burwell Johnston and lived on the Island.

It was probably Mary and her husband, Nathaniel Johnston, who sold the Mt. Pleasant Plantation in 1908. Mt. Pleasant was set back from the “swampy” Island, “on higher ground”, as a summer house. This was the Plantation that was built by William Hartwell Macon Jr. in 1814. It was referred to as a “mansion”. It was part of the Mount Prospect Plantation.

The Eighth (Macon Family) Owners, J. Ambler Johnston, (With his brother, Miles Cary Macon Johnston)

Mary S. Macon Johnston left Macon Island to her sons, J. Ambler Johnston, (and Miles Cary Macon Johnston), Ambler Johnston was apparently still there in Jan., 1974, according to someone that was supposed to have been there.

I do not know what happened to the Island after 1974. It was probably sold off. It is too bad if this is the case, after almost 300 years of family ownership.

The following additional information for The Macon Plantation Essay was added, Dec. 12, 2010
It was contributed by Rusty Weber at RWNLK@aol.com. Thanks Rusty

Macon Island is still in the family. Mary Sayre Macon Johnston and Nathaniel Burwell Johnston had two sons, James Markham Ambler Johnston, 18 May 1885 to Feb. 1974, and Miles Cary Macon Johnston, 11 July 1888 to 2 Jan. 1963. They jointly inherited Macon Island.
The Ninth (Macon Family) Owners
The son of Miles Cary Macon Johnston, Miles Johnston Jr., he married Mary Garland (Cox), owns the Island now with one of his relatives. His son, Miles Johnston III, works the land with them.
Mary Sayre Macon Johnston's brother, William Hartwell Macon sold her his half and settled in Missouri.
One of his descendants, “William Hartwell Macon of Missouri died in 2006, but before his death, he shared some family stories with me about his great – grandparents, William Hartwell Macon and Nora Criena Braxton. He was the owner of Mount Prospect during the Civil War and was also an MD. Bill said that Nora actually left his grandfather for a while because she was so upset with him because he had given medical treatment to Yankee soldiers. They did eventually get back together, and his family still has the family Bible and still has some letters that Mary Custis Lee wrote to Nora during and after the war (Mary, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, was a cousin of William Hartwell Macon's). Bill said that at the time of her death, Nora was still so impassioned about the war that she was buried with a Confederate flag and a photograph of Robert E. Lee.”


William and Mary Quarterly, Series 1, Vol. 6, P. 33.
Library of Virginia Digital Collections, Old Macon Graveyard Land Survey Report by Evans, 1937.
Old New Kent County (Virginia), Some account of the Planters..., Vol 1, by Harris M.D.
Life Gleanings, by Thomas Joseph Macon
Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical. p. 724.
Genealogical Gleanings in England, Vol.1, by Fitz and Waters, p. 313-14.
Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families, by Allaben, 1911.
St. Peter's Parish register.
The 1790 Federal Census
The Virginia state Enumerations of 1784.
The Record of Burton Parish Church” by Goodwin
The Virginia Land Office of Patents and Grants.
The Virginia Archives Division, of Wills and Deeds. 1716 to 1730.
The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. XVI, Num.2, Spring, 1988.
The New Kent County Rent Rolls of Virginia, 1704

Monday, November 29, 2010

Was Gideon Macon a Huguenot ?

The following statements have been made regarding Gideon Macon of New Kent County, Virginia. He was “born in France of French parents”, he “was naturalized in England and again in Virginia”, he was “a Huguenot”, he was “the immigrant”, and he was “...connected to the Royal Families”.

Some of the Huguenot Societies in the United States have been contacted to try to document his qualifications as a Huguenot and also try to document some of these other statements.
I wrote to,
The Huguenot Society of America in New York,
The National Huguenot Society in Texas,
The Huguenot Society of South Carolina, (So far, I have not heard from them)
And two letters went out to The Manakin Huguenot Society of Virginia. (They did not answer the first one). (They did answer the second one)

The Huguenot Society of America, New York

The Huguenot Society of America, in a letter written to me, dated Nov. 1, 2010, said, “Enclosed please find the ONLY information we have concerning this line.” (Gideon Macon's line). The information states that, “Gideon Macon, son of Louis de Macon and Catherine de Prades, b. 1648, France”, was “naturalized in England and again in Va.”, (twice ?). The rest of the information they sent, listed his wife and children. There was no documentation included for his French parents or for his “naturalization” in England or Virginia.

As the only references, there were four books and “The St Peters Parish Records”, listed for his Huguenot qualifications. The first book on the list, and one of the four books listed “FOR” his qualifications, was Alethea Jane Macon's book, “Gideon Macon of Virginia And Some of His Descendants”,”And Allied Families”. Pub. in 1956, revised by Jarvis Wood in 1979. The only problem with listing this book “FOR” his Huguenot status is that on page 6 of this same book, Alethea Jane Macon says, ...”Louis de Macon...his son, Gabriel de Macon...The statement has been made repeatedly that Gideon Macon was a descendant of these Macons, whose line is given in some detail in the 'Armorial General de la France'. However, THE RECORD DOES NOT CONVINCINGLY BEAR OUT THE CLAIM. Especially significant is the absence of all given names found in the American family of Macon” (French given names).
The other three references were:
    1. “Macon”, by Mrs.Luther Isbell, “The Huguenot”, Pub. No.14, (1947 – 1949)
    2. “Macon” by Mrs.Russell S. Wolford, “The Huguenot”, Pub. No.22, (1965 – 1967)
    3. “Old New Kent County, Some Accounts of the Planters, Plantations and Places in New Kent County,Vol.1,1977.
These books do not have the actual records that we usually look for in any genealogy. The birth or parish records for Gideon, (showing his parents), ship records, wills, naturalization records from England or Virginia, records that show a connection to a Huguenot ancestor, his arrival in Virginia as the immigrant, or any official document showing the connection between Gideon and the French parents. This is the problem in documenting this.

The National Huguenot Society, Inc, of Texas

I received a letter, dated Nov. 23, 2010, from The National Huguenot Society, Inc., of San Antonio, Tx., stating that, “This draft is the entry that will be in our next 'Register of Qualified Huguenot Ancestors' , of the National Huguenot Society which will be published next year”. In the enclosed draft they include a sentence or two of possible French locations for Gideon Macon, but they did not list French parents for him. In fact they said, “Gideon Macon...his parentage is not proven...lineage is suspect...naturalized in England”. They did not enclose any documentation for his naturalization in England. At this point, my question would have to be, with these qualifications, why is he listed as a Huguenot at all ? I have received no answer for this question from any of the Huguenot Societies.

The National Huguenot Society of Tx., listed the following books as a reference for Gideon Macon's membership. All written from about 1940 and later, with no official documentations to show Gideon Macon was qualified to be a Huguenot. It seems like some of these references may have gotten their information about Gideon Macon from each other.

1)The first book on the list was again the book mentioned above, Alethea Jane Macon's book “Gideon Macon of Va. And Some of his Descendants”. They must have read page 6, where she states, “The record does not convincingly bear out the claim”, of his French ancestors.
2)“Old New Kent County – Some Accounts of the Planters and Places in New Kent County”, Vol 1, 1977,Malcolm Hart Harris
3)Parish Register of St, Peter's, New Kent Co, Va. 1680-1787
4)“The Heritage”, John Michael Johnson, 1974.
5)“Va. Historical Society, Va. Magazine, Vol. XXXll (1968)
6)“The Huguenot”, #14, (1947 – 49), #22 (1965 – 67)
7)“Tyler Quarterly Magazine”, Vol, 6, p. 118
8)“The Vestry Book of St. Peter's.
9)“Massey Genealogy Addendum”, F. A. Massey
10)Gideon Macon's Will, (No reference to him being a Huguenot)
11)“Genealogies of Va. Families”, Vol. III ,
12)Macon Family Bibles
13)”Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy”, Vol. VI

The Manakin Huguenot Society of Virginia

In a letter I received on Nov. 27, 2010, from The Manakin Huguenot Society of Virginia, stating that “The date of birth of Gideon Macon and the time of his arrival in Virginia cannot be established with certainty. There are many contradictory accounts of his antecedents in France. An article in The Huguenot about 1940 states that he was born in France, the son of Louis de Macon and his wife Catherine de Prade, and the great – grandson of Gabriel de Macon... that he lived in England for a number of years, and became a naturalized citizen and member of the established church”. I would like the reader to refer to Alethea Jane Macon's book, page 6, stating , “Louis de Macon...Gabriel de Macon...THE RECORD DOES NOT CONVINCINGLY BEAR OUT THE CLAIM...”. This book was mentioned above under The Huguenot Society of America. Also, there were no documentations included that would connect Gideon Macon with being a Huguenot, or having any direct contact with France.

On the actual page (page 168), for Gideon Macon's membership as a Huguenot in The Manakin Huguenot Society of Virginia, he is listed as the following, “Gideon Macon, son of Louis de Macon and Catherine de Prades, b. 1648, France...naturalized in England”. There was no supporting evidence for any of this included with the letter to me. Again, no one can answer the question, as to why then, is Gideon Macon listed as a Huguenot ?

The Manakin Society listed almost the same bibliography as the other Societies above.

The Huguenot Society of South Carolina

So far, I have not heard from South Carolina. If and when I do, I will update this essay. However, I anticipate their information to be no different than what was given above from the other three Huguenot Societies.

The Conclusion

The definition of “Huguenot” from the The Huguenot Society of South Carolina, (on line), states that anyone who, ...“left France or another country before 1787 as a French Protestant”. Apparently, this qualifies them as a Huguenot.

Gideon was a Church of England member. He has not been found in any French Protestant Church in France, England or Virginia. Also there has been no references to him being a French Protestant in any official records. Gideon's French ancestor could have left France for England at any time in the past. With the small amount of documentation we have now, he could have descended from a French stonemason (Macon - Mason), they were on record in England as early as the 1100's. There is no record of when he or his ancestors left France or if they were French Protestants. Also, there is no record of Gideon Macon being “naturalized” in England or Virginia at any time.

All three Societies list “The Huguenot” publication, #14, 1947 – 1949, “Macon” by Mrs. Luther Isbell, and the same publication, #22, 1965 – 1967, “Macon”, by Mrs. Russell S. Wolford. They say, “According to one authority, Gideon Macon was born in 1637, France, another believes his birth ca. 1648”. Both articles are a long this line, no supporting evidence.

The rest of the references for Gideon's Huguenot status has supplied no more supporting evidence than is listed above.

I do not believe that any professional genealogist, given the above records, would ever list Gideon Macon as a Huguenot. I refer you to the “Board for Certification of Genealogists”, and their, “Genealogical Proof Standard”, (G.P.S.). And also their definition of “proof”. In my opinion, these records do not even come close to proving Gideon Macon's Huguenot Heritage. I believe the misinformation of Gideon's French parents may have come from a French Acadian genealogy of the mid to late 1800's, but that is another story. So far, I have found no more supporting evidence there. Gideon seems to have been just added on to a French genealogy. It seems that someone turned in their genealogy to a Huguenot Society, (with no documentation), and Gideon Macon became a “Huguenot”. The information, (or misinformation) has been spread “by word of mouth” for so many years, that now, many people accept this information as fact and do not look any further.

1)“Gideon Macon of Virginia And Some of His Descendants, And Allied Families”,by Alethea Jane Macon, Pub.1956, revised by Jarvis Wood, 1979. Page 6.
2)The letter from The Huguenot Society of America, New York, dated Nov. 1, 2010.
3)The letter from The National Huguenot Society, Inc. of Texas, dated Nov. 23, 2010
4)The letter from The Manakin Huguenot Society of Virginia, received, Nov. 27, 2010
5) The Huguenot Society of South Carolina, on line.
6)“The Board for Certification of Genealogists”, and their, “Genealogical Proof Standard, G.P.S.”