Title: County Heritage, Inc. PO Box 34 Waynesville, NC 28786 Copyright 2005 The Moore County Heritage Book Committee County Heritage, Inc.
Page: John Garner
Title: New Hanover Public Library Wilmington, North Carolina Electronic Resources
Page: 1790 Moore County Fayetteville
Note: ng the last 250 years. One shall forever stand above the rest for he was the first. Nearly all Moore County Garners can trace their roots back to John. We do not know with any certainty when he was born. He is on the county's first census in 1790. He appears on the 1800 census and then he is gone. We might speculate that he was born around 1720 and died shortly after 1800. John came from Prince William County Virginia. Many families from that area came to central North Carolina during the mid-1700s. John Lawrence and Enoch Spinks of Randolph County are other familiar names associated with John Garner. They hailed from the same area and it is obvious they knew each other prior to their arrival here. Their names appear often as chain carriers and witnesses on each other's land surveys. Before there was Moore and Randolph County there was Cumberland and Orange. John Garner originally settled in the Hillsborough District of Orange County in the mid-1750s. That area today is Randolph County. His first land acquisition in Moore County then Cumberland County did not occur until 1764 when he purchased 250 acres from Enoch Spinks. That land lay on both sides of Deep River with the northern boundary being the county line. There are many Randolph County records referring to the "Old John Garner Meeting House on the County Line." Early histories written of Moore County say he operated a store and a tavern near the county line. This would have been in the area referred today as Needham' Grove. In addition to these activities it should be obvious that he grew tobacco in the fertile bottom lands along Deep River and Fork Creek. After all that is what his family had been doing in Virginia for the previous 100 years. John is listed on the 1767 Cumberland County tax list as the twenty-first wealthiest man in Cumberland County. He was living in that area of Cumberland referred to as "Upper Bear Creek". It is also noted that he owned 22 slaves. The 1780 Cumberland County tax listing has John Garner listed as a "Planter" owning 580 acres and 20 slaves. He was the wealthiest man in Capt. John Cox's District. 1783-1784 records indicate that he was paid 80 pounds Militia pay and 6 pounds Continental pay for services rendered during the American Revolution. We do not know what that service was. John married Susannah Johnston. Several children we are aware of Son Bradley Garner Sr. inherited a sizeable portion of John Garner's estate including the store. Bradley was administrator of the estate. Son Lewis Garner inherited land on the west side of Deep River near present day Howard's Mill. A daughter Susannah married John Needham Sr. Daughter Mary "Mollie" Garner married William Williamson Sr. William was co-owner with David Kennedy in the gun factory at Mechanics Hill Robbins NC in the early days.
Note: Numerous John Garners have made their way through Moore County NC duri
Note: Mr. Lacy Garner Ged-com Notes: The line of Garners giving rise to our Ol' John Garner seems to have originated from another John Garner who married a Susanna Keene. That John Garner was born abt. 1633 in Shrewsbury Shropshire England and died abt. 1702 in Westmoreland Co. Virginia. He would be the actual John who moved from England to Virginia as a child. He was baptized Sept. 2, 1634 St. Chad's Church Shrewsbury Shropshire England. He was the son of Richard & Katharn Garner. Richard was born abt. 1604 in Stanton Lacy Shropshire England and died abt. 1643 in Virginia. Richard Garner was baptized in 1604 Stanton Lacy Shropshire England. Richard Garner's father was also a John Garner, born before 1585 in England and died July 24, 1624 in Shropshire County England. His wife is unknown. John Garner married Susanna Keene in 1665 in Cherry Point Neck Virginia. Susanna Keene was born abt. 1641 Kent Island Potomac River Montgomery Co. Maryland-now Virginia. She died 28 Mar 1716 in Westmoreland Co. Virginia. John & Susanna had ten children. This Garner-Keene line would be the beginnings for most of the Southern Garner lines. One of their sons would give rise to our line but which one is still debatable. Ol' John Garner seems to have descended from Garners in the Northern neck of Virginia in the vicinity of Old Northumberland Co. He would have probably been born around 1720. He died in Moore Co. NC between 1790 and 1800. This is the ancestor we shall claim as being the father of most of the Garner descendants around the Smyrna Church section of Northern Moore Co. Mrs. Laverne Brady Davis has done extensive research on this line and suggests that John Foushee Garner and James Garner both of Randolph Co. NC may have been sons of our Ol' John Garner. If her inclinations are correct we can accurately pin-point when Ol' John Garner moved to this area from Virginia. John Foushee Garner of Randolph Co. N.C. stated in his revolutionary pension application that he was born in Prince William Co. Virginia in 1749. James Garner of Randolph Co.N.C. believed to be another son of Ol' John Garner stated in his pension application that he was born were he was presently living-present day Randolph Co. in 1754. If both John Foushee Garner and James Garner are indeed sons of Ol' John Garner that would indicate that Ol' John Garner moved to the now Randolph Co. area of N.C. sometime between 1749 and 1754 from Prince William County Va. A Voting List from the 1740s of Prince William Co. Va. does list a John Garner but since Prince Wm. Co. records were destroyed by fire we will never know for certain if this was indeed our John Garner. Early Randolph Co. minutes mention The John Garner Meeting House On the County Line as early as 1791. Ol' John Garner lived on the Randolph-Moore Co. line in the vicinity north and east of present day Needham's Grove Church. Mrs. Laverne Brady Davis has recently located a Randolph Co. land transaction which virtually pin points the location of the Old Meeting House. That location was due south of the mouth of Fork Creek on the county line. We would like to suggest that this Old Meeting House may have been the beginnings of Smyrna Church. 1780 Cumberland Co. Tax listing has John Garner ranked 21st in order of wealth in the county. He paid 14,948 British pounds in taxes that year and was listed as a "Planter". I believe John Garner was a tobacco farmer. After all, that is what his family had been doing in the northern neck of Virginia for the past 100 years. I also believe that to be the reason he was located near the Randolph-Moore Co. line. Eli Ritter's father-in-law, Curtis Hussey, grew tobacco in the Northern section of Moore Co. and Eli has indicated that that area on and around the Randolph Co. line is the best suited area for tobacco. When planted well below that line the results are a "thick-leaved", poorer quality product. John Garner would have known what good tobacco land looked like and he would have vigorously sought after it. 1767 Cumberland Co. list John Garner as living in the section referred to as "Upper Bear Creek". He is listed with 22 slaves. The only other Garner appearing on that list is a William Garner Esq. living in the same section. It is curious to note that William does not hold any slaves suggesting to me that John and William may not be related. John and William also had different political views. However the two did hold land in the same areas at times suggesting that they might have indeed been related. John Garner is listed as having received 80 pounds for Militia Pay and 6 pounds for Continental Pay as verified by the 1783-1784 listing of those persons requesting pay for services rendered during the American Revolution. This does not necessarily mean he served as a soldier but could also mean he helped supply the American Forces. William Garner on the other hand was a Tory loyal to the King of England. He was a Capt. in Governor Tryon's forces at the Battle of Alamance-The Regulator War and he was also a Capt. at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge where his Tory forces were defeated and captured. William Garner did evidently change sides and fought the remainder of the revolutionary war on the American side. Other Garner researchers have concluded that William Garner was not of our Ol' John Garner line. They suggest that he was the son of German immigrant Peter Garner who they say settled in this same section at about the same time. Currently we lack the documentation to definitely conclude one way or the other if John Garner and William Garner were related. Mrs. Davis' gut instincts are that they were brothers. 1780 Cumberland Co. Tax listing shows John Garner to be the wealthiest man in Capt. John Cox's District. Assets are as follows: 580 acres-10 horses-36 cattle-20 Negroes-38 pounds in cash for total taxable assets of 4,948 pounds. Remember these are assets that the individual actually "gave in" himself. Actual values were probably much higher. Then there is the land holdings in Randolph Co. N.C. Preliminary indications are that he probably owned as much in Randolph, or more, than he owned in Moore Co. We know that John Garner was at least in some part of North Carolina by 1756 because his grandson Wyatt Williamson son of Mary "Mollie" Garner-daughter of John Garner and William Williamson stated on the 1880 census that his father was born in Virginia but his mother was born in North Carolina. His mother was born in 1756.
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