Sarah Humphries: Birth: ABT 1778. Death: BEF 1817
Note: Roger S. Powell, of Burke's Peerage, 46 Royal Avenue, London SW34QF in 1990 prepared a fairly complete history of Uriah's descendants through about three generations. This was done for a group of cousins who were interested in the notorious Spindletop Oil problem. (There is no proof of any kind that the William Pelham Humphries was a son of Uriah, as some have claimed.)
The work of many other cousins contributed to this family history and hopefully, I have noted all from whom I received contributions.
Uriah appears in the book by William C. Stewart, Gone to Georgia (Washington: National Genealogical Society, Washington 1979), p. 177. Much of the information on him here is also shown in that book. The book is a good source of information, but unfortunately, repeats the error that Uriah married the Stratham sisters (daughters of Love). This is not the case. He married, first Sarah Reynolds, and then later, Nancy Burts.
Uriah's birthdate is a matter of speculation. The birthdates of some of the earlier children of Joseph (Sarah, Elijah, Elizabeth, Diana) were recorded in Beverly Fleet's extractions of Northumberland Co., VA records. Since Uriah was not in this group, I feel that he was born later, closer to the birthdate of Joseph, which is considered to be 1745/6 by most of Joseph's researchers.
Uriah's first wife was mistakenly identified by an early researcher as Sarah Stratham and many histories have duplicated this error. In fact, Sarah Stratham married a William Humphreys, who had married first Mildred Statham, sister of Sarah, who died after having given birth to one daughter. This William was born in 1750 in Louisa Co. VA, the son of John Humphries. We don't know whether he is related to the family studied in this pedigree. A study of the William Humphreys family line is in the Mormon library in Utah: The Record of a Humphreys Family, Compiled by David M. McDonald  c/o 405 Bernard Drive, Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089, 1988. (Thanks to John Humphries of Dallas TX for bringing this book to my attention.)
From Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-1776 (GPS, 1965), p. 56: "Uriah Humphries, soldier in last war in Capt. Posey's Co. of Regulars till properly discharged. Botetourt Co., March, 1780."
He is listed in Anne Waller Reddy's compilation of West Virginia Patriots as a "non-military" patriot of Botetourt Co. Also inscribed in DAR list of patriots.
Uriah's will is in Clarke County GA Will Book A. The will names all children by both marriages.
A Uriah Humphries bought land in Halifax County NC on January 1, 1763 and January 10, 1763. By 1767, the sheriff of the county had sold Uriah's land in NC. Some researchers have identified this with our Uriah, but I feel that is another Uriah, perhaps related to the family line, because there is no other record of our Uriah in NC. He seems to have moved from Northumberland VA to Botetourt Va and thence to Clark Co. GA.
Uriah served under Captain Posey in the French and Indian wars circa 1758, for which he asked bounty land in 1780. He furnished horses for Col. William Christian's Cherokee Indian expedition in 1776 and 1783. Uriah is listed at this time as having 17 horses, 28 cattle, and 10 slaves. Uriah and John Humphries were in Captain Joseph Pryor's militia company. While serving, Uriah was promoted from Ensign to the position of Second Lieutenant, and then to Lieutenant. (Information from John Humphries of Dallas)
During the period 1771 through 1792 Uriah appeared on almost every page of the Botetourt County Order Book and held a variety of county positions (Surveyor, Overseer of the Road, and Deputy Sheriff). However, the position of Deputy Sheriff appears to have lasted only a short time. On May 10, 1781 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff. In March 1782, when Uriah was to show cause why he should not appear as a witness in the trial of his brother Spencer, who was accused of counterfeiting, Uriah resigned his office as Deputy Sheriff. On May 9, 1782, he was fined ten pounds for not serving process put into his hands and was referred to as the late Deputy Sheriff.
On 16 May 1771 Uriah Humphries was on a jury in the case of Solomon Elliot vs. William Thornton. This connection to the Thornton name has made at least one researcher speculate that William Thornton was the father of Uriah's second wife, Nancy.
Uriah Humphries Botetourt Co records: 10 Apr 1771 - Served on Jury 14 Nov 1771 - Served on Jury 15 Nov 1771 - Served on Jury 16 Sep 1773 - The Court doth appoint Uriah Humphries Constable on the room (place) of David Galloway. 16 Sep 1773 -Ordinance that Uriah ear mark be admitted to record, to wit: two smooth crosses and a slit on the left ear. 8 Nov 1774 - Also Uriah and Samuel Lawrence as surveyors of the road from Pedler Ford to the Reed Hill.
10 June 1779 - On the petition of Uriah Humphries. Leave is granted him to keep an ordinary at his house in this county, he having entered into bond in the sum of 50 pounds according to law with Joseph Pryor his security.
9 Mar 1780 - Uriah Humphries proved to this court that he served in Capt. Posey's Company of Regulars last war as a soldier and continued in the same till it was disbanded and that he never obtained any land for said service, which is ordered to be certified 12 May 1780 - Served on Jury
10 Nov 1780 - A license is granted Uriah Humphries to keep an ordinary at his house in this county for 12 months from this time.
10 may 1781 - Uriah Humphries appointed Ensign in Capt. Pryor's Company. 11 May 1781 - Uriah Humphries is appointed a Deputy Sheriff in this county who took the oath required by law. 13 Apr 1783 - Ordered that the Sheriff summon Uriah Humphries, late Deputy Sheriff to appear at a court to be held at the courthouse on the 26th instant to show cause why he shall not be fined for not summoning sundry witnesses to appear at a called court held on Spencer Humphries. 10 Apr 1783 - Uriah Humphries appointed Deputy Sheriff
9 Mar 1784 - Uriah Humphries qualified as Deputy Sheriff of this court.
11 Jan 1785 - Uriah Humphries appointed Second Lieutenant of Capt. Pryor's Company.
12 Mar 1785 - Uriah Humphries appointed Overseer of the road from the Pond of the James River to Ballonts Springs, succeeding James Sharkey.
2 Aug 1785 - Appointed Lieutenant in Capt. Pryor's Company.
14 May 1786 - Granted leave to include his lands in one survey.
8 May 1787 - The Grand Jury presented the following persons: Uriah Humphries for retailing Liquors contrary to law. Uriah Humphries for not keeping a bridge in repair. 10 Jul 1787- Granted license to keep a retail store in this county.
13 May 1789 - Granted leave to retail goods. 13 Jul 1790 - Granted license to retail goods in this state.
13 Apr 1791 - Road established from Humphries Pond on James River to Humphries Mill. Uriah Humphries appointed surveyor of road. 12 Aug 1794 - Grand Jury presented Surveyors of the roads, for not keeping the same in repair.from Uriah Humphries to the Rich Patch halfway up the mountain.
11 Nov 1794 - Grand Jury presented ... Uriah Humphries stopping the highway.
14 Aug 1795 - Appointed Processioner in this county.
Capt. Pryor's Company 1783: Uriah Humphries - 17 Horses - 28 Cattle - 10 Slaves
In 1785 he is listed on the tax list for Botetourt Co. VA, as living in Pryor District (name is shown as Humphros).
On May 8, 1787, Uriah was cited by the county court for retailing liquors contrary to law and for not keeping the bridge in repair. Beginning May 16, 1771, Uriah began to buy large quantities of land, some of which he and his wife Sarah sold on August 6, 1782. He brought a suit against Hollingsworth, Johnston & Co. (Augusta Co., Judgements, OS 2, NS1). In another suit, Henderson vs Uriah Humphries (OS 171, NS60), Uriah gave his answer to the suit from his new home in Clarke Co., GA.
In Botetort County VA Deed Book 5, p. 204, Jan 1795, Uriah sold 365 acres on Glad Creek to Anthony Gholson.
On August 17, 1798, Sarah Humphries filed for a divorce from Uriah Humphries, with whom she had seven children. Uriah then married Nancy (with whom he had already had at least three children) and had another six children.The Superior Court Minutes of Clarke Co., GA 1801-1808, pages 19 and 43 show Uriah Humphries and Nancy Burks were charged with living in adultery. (Georgia State Archives, Atlanta, GA; microfilm, roll 98/18). No official record of this marriage has been found and some of the children are considered "ill." in the official record. However, in his will he does acknowledge all of them and apparently lived a full and happy life with Nancy.
Deed Book D, Jackson Co., GA, Pages 31-32: (Power of Attorney) Feb. 13, 1804, I, Uriah Humphries of Clarke County, GA appoint Abraham Scott of Jackson County my true and lawful attorney to collect and receive all bonds, notes and other accounts ... more especially money collected, in the state of Kentucky, probably in Maddison County, for two notes, or bonds, given by John Langley to John Davis and endorsed by John Davis to James Kennedy, and endorsed by James Kennedy to me, for the sum of 25 pounds, both dated Mar. 25, 1773. Signed: Uriah Humphries. Witness: Walter Bell, J.P., Thomas Hogg, J.P. Recorded Feb. 13, 1804.
Before his death, Uriah had accumulated tracts of land in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia totaling more than 4000 acres, approximately 2000 of which were in Clarke Co., GA.
Abstracts of deeds of Carter Co., Tn : 1796 - 1825 -B: 138-139. 14 Apr 1808, Archibald Williams, Sheriff to George William. " By two executions of Matties Wagoner: J.P., Four negros, property of Uriah and his wife, Sarah Humphries" at vendue, Fan about two years $1 ; Apie four years $1 ; Suse thirty five years $2 ; Hiram six years $40 ; John T. Williams and J. Hampton. Prvd May court in 1808.
According to one researcher, Uriah died in Watkinsville, GA. Needs to be checked.
About six years before his death, Uriah started disposing of his property situated in Clarke Co., GA, much of which was purchased in 1805. On May 7, 1810, Uriah deeded (Book K. p. 14) land to his daughter Polly; on December 12, 1812, he gifted a tract of land (Book G. p. 199) to his daughter Liddy; and a year later he did the same for his daughter Mariah on September 15, 1813 (Book K p. ?).
There were numerous other sales of his land, among which are two to his niece Hannah Croxton, one on June 6, 1809 (Book G p. 197) and the other on July 24, 1815 (Book K, p. ?).
In the 1817 tax list for Clark County, Uriah is shown as paying taxes for 2000 acres from the Few Survey in Clarke County, 800 adjoining acres from the Few Survey that falls in Jackson County, 360 acres from the Lane Survey, 372 acres from the Pope & Tidwell Survey, and 950 acres from the Gorhum Survey in Jackson County. This brings his total land holdings in the State of Georgia in 1817 to 4,482 acres.
Uriah drew a will on July 26, 1816 in Clarke County, GA (Will Book A, pp. 83-88), where he lived at the time. The will stated that the land and slaves of Uriah were to be left to the wife and children of the second marriage, with the children of the first marriage receiving only one shilling each. (His father Joseph, who had also had two families, made a similar stipulation regarding the grown children of his first family. Both may have felt the older children had already had their shares.)
The will was probated soon after his death in February of 1817, and contested by the first family, as Uriah had predicted in the will, in a suit brought by Judy Lane through her husband Simeon Lane. The Superior Court considered the case and a special jury was impanelled to try the issue. The jury found that the Testator was of sound mind at the time of making the will; therefore, the will was valid insofar as personal property (slaves, etc.) was concerned. However, the jury also found that the will was not executed according to the statue of frauds and perjury, and therefore was not valid insofar as the disposition of real estate. So the real estate was to be divided according to the laws on intestacy, with each child from both marriages receiving equal shares.
It is thought that the case was further appealed to the state Supreme Court. However, the papers from the second appeal have not been found.
Thomas Mitchell, whose great-granddaughter was Margaret Mitchell, was named an executor of Uriah's will. Paula Mason, researcher from Anniston AL, has found this: Book I-pg. 147 GA will book, Steven Thomas and Edward Paine, of Clark appointed Executers of Last Will and Testament of Uriah Humphries, not convenient to ask for Major Thomas Mitchell to be appointed. May 4, 1818. Recorded, June 15, 1818. (However, as shown below T. Mitchell did serve as executor at a later time.]
From a book on Jackson County, GA (Faye Stone Press, Snellville, GA. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 98-067810) "Executor's Sale. On Tues, the 28th of Dec. next at the store of Brown & Mitchell in Athens, Will be sold to the highest bidder, the following Negroes belonging to the estate of Uriah Humphries, dec'd. to wit: Jim, Aggy and her two children; Hulda & her two children....For the Executors - T. Mitchell, Agent. Athens: 28th Oct 1819."