John Wilson Scott I family

JOHN WILSON SCOTT I b. 29 or 30 May 1763 York co. Pennsylvania (probably in what is now Adams co. PA), the son of John and Ann Creighton Scott d. 13 Mar 1847 Waynesville, Dewitt co. Illinois. He moved from York co. Penn. to Washington co. Virginia in 1772, along with his parents.  The Scotts probably knew the Kincannon family in Pennsylvania, as they had moved from the same area a few years earlier, and the Scotts and Kincannons owned adjacent land in Virginia.  He was a private in the Revolutionary War, serving in Captain James Dysart's company, Colonel William Campbell's regiment. He enlisted in May 1780, at the age of 17. He participated in the battle of King's Mountain on 6/7 Oct 1780, and the battle of Wetzel's Mills on 6 Mar 1781, after which he walked 300 miles on foot, arriving home on 1 May 1781, still four weeks short of his 18th birthday.

Here is the story of his service, in his own words, taken from his pension application:

I did enter the Servis of the United States under the Command of Colonel William Camble & Captain James Dysart and his Seboltiran officers in the year 1780 in the Month of May did served the following towers of duty (vz):

arley in the Month of May as above our offcers having received infermation that the Toreys ware committing murder and other depredations in Wilks County North carolina we therefore Struck our line of March and with Speed we came to the place and having taken sum of them prisoners, they gave Security for thare good behavour and all hostilitys Seased thare, and this being the case we Returned home near the last of July

and arley in the Month of August we received orders to March for South carolina in persuit of Col. Forrgason a British commander having a large body of British & Toreys under his Command, and we Marched into North carolina (now the East end of Tennessee) and thare incamped untill Col. Seveir & Col. Isaac Shelby made up their Troops & then they joined us & amduately we Marched passing over the mountains in and threw Retherford County from thence into the South & down the South side of Broad River to the Cowpens & thare receiving infermation that the Ennmoney was lying at the Cherrikee ford on Said river we therfore Marched for that place and continued our line of March all nite but the Enmoney having removed we therefore without receiving aney refreshmant Continued our line of March and on Kings mountain we came up with the Ennimy and Klid there commander & a number of his Soldiers and made prisoners of the residue of them and took there waggons from them.  This however was not done without Sum loss on our side thare was twentyone or thareabout kild on our Side, amongst the Slain was Capt William Edmiston Reece Bowen & John Baty the wounded not Recolected and after Berrying our ded we imployed those Waggons to carry our wounded back to Col. Walkers on Broad river to which place we Marched the prisoners, and our officers thare, holding council.  it was thought proper to burn the waggons, and having  received proper Testamoney, against one Col. Mills (a torey officer) and six of his adherents, they ware adjudged guilty of Murder, and by us amdiately hanged & hear we ware to leave our wounded, but a young man by the name of Iseral Highter being Shot threw the thy desired to be takinalong the  mountain until Sutch Gap as he could cross and I with two others was appointed to this duty, all of which I promtley performed and the battle of Kings mountain being on the Sixth day of October 1780.

I therefore was not able to reach home untill the last of November my way being impeded in cosiquence of danger, at times, and the bad Situation of the wounded man, and my fellow soldiers Started home at the Same time I Started with the young man. and having returned home, and previous to dismision, my before named Col.  Camble pave orders for two companeys of his Mounted Vollenteers to Keep them Selvs in rediness to march, I having all the while, and in all the before named, missions belonged to Capt. Dysart's Companey, of Mounted Vollenteers, and so I continued, and we held our Selvs in rediness to March, and on the first of Feb. 1781 vie received orders, and Struck a line of March and Crossing the Mountain at the flour gap down threw the Moravion Towns and into Gilford County whare Generl Green was Incamped and Corn Wallis not far off There we Joined headQuarters and on the next day our Brave Col. Camble Marched us down on the Brittish lines, to watch the movement of the enmmony and on the third day being the 6th day of March we received orders to dismount and our horses and Saddles bridles being placed in the care of persons appointed to that duty we therefore Marched amdiateley to fire on the British, being then in hearing of thare drum beet--but we had not advanced more than one half mile before the British fired on those horsemen, scaterd and took sum horses, and mine was one of them appraised to Sixty dollars togather with my Saddle and bridle all which I lost on that day but we in a few minnits after hearing the firing of the pistles of the horse ware advansed in close firing distance of the Ennimoney on the Caney fork of how river at Whitsels Mills at whitch place tic had a Sevear Scrimmage with the Brittish, and on the day following we again got into Gennerl Greens Camp and Marched with the Gennerl a few days, but the weather being Blustary and cool & and we having lost our Blankets We therefore, received orders to March for home, but being near three hundred mile from home, and a foot (as I had lost my horse) I did not reach home untill near the first of May 1781 and My Servises in all as a Mounted Vollenteer in the United States Servis amounted to a bout twelve months under arms as a privet.

I hereby Relinquish every clame what Ever to a pension or annuity Except the present and declare that name is not on the pension Roll of the Agency of any State.

(Court) Whare and in what year ware you Born

(An) I was born in Pennsylvania York County in year 1763

(court) have you aney Record of your age and where is it.

(an)  My age was recorded in my fathers larg Bible from whence I have it.

(court) whare ware you living when Cold. into Servis and whare have you lived Since

(An) I lived when colled into Service in Washington County Virginia from thence to South Carolinia from thence to Tennessee from thence to Indiana from thence to Illinois whare I now live I have alredy refered you to Sum of the reguler officers whom I Serve when in Servis

(Court) did you ever receive a discharage from the Servis By whom was it gave and what has become of it.

(An) I received a discharge from my captain but do not distinctley Recolect what became of it.

(Court) State tie Names of persons in your Neighbourhood to whom you are known and who can testify us to your character for Verasity and good behavour your Soldier ship & Service as a Revolutioner

(An) I Refer you to James Latta a clergiman and John Glenn who can testify conserning me.

Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid (John Scott)
Dated 3rd day of December 1832

On 18 Sept 1782, a claims adjustment for property taken for public service granted John Scott 1, 5 shillings for a blanket lost in the "action" of "Whitesons" Mill. At the same time, a Samuel Scott received 20 for a horse lost in the same fashion (not clear if these were related actions).

On 3 May 1782, John Scott married Sarah Kincannon in Washington co. Va. The space in the record for the minister's name was left blank- but based on the history of Ebbing Spring Church (which became Glade Spring Presyterian Church in 1788), they were probably married by Thomas Brown Craighead.  John and Sarah had likely known one another for some time, as both their families had moved from York co. Penn. to Washington co. Va. at about the same time. They were married almost exactly one year after John returned home from the war. Sarah was born about 1762 in what is now Adams co. Penn. It is thought, but not yet proved, that they had one daughter, and Sarah died either in childbirth or shortly after, in Washington co. Va. Sarah was not mentioned in her father's (Francis Kincannon) will, written in 1795, but her daughter was. In 1825, in a lawsuit on an unrelated matter involving the Kincannon family, Sarah was listed as deceased. Their daughter:

John was listed as "John Scott Junior" in the tax list for Washington county Virginia in 1783 (but not listed in 1782 or 1784).  He must have left the area shortly before or after Sarah's death.

From an undated letter written some time in the 1970's from Mary Jane Molden to Irma Scott Wood: Years ago Grandpa Scott and his first wife lived on the prairie in Illinois.  One day she went to get some water, and she never returned to their home.  They think she was captured by indians.  Mary's grandfather was Wilson Scott, who did have a first wife (before Mary's grandmother), but she died as the result of injuries sustained in a train accident, many years after any Indian troubles were gone from Illinois.  Could this story have been passed down three extra generations and actually be about Sarah Kincannon Scott?

John Wilson Scott I married 2nd about Feb 1785 Nancy Keith, b. 22 July 1766 Pennsylvania or Talbot co. Maryland d. 13 Sept 1838 Waynesville Twp., McLean (now Dewitt) co. Ill. John and Nancy are buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, near Waynesville, Illinois. John's tombstone is a relatively new one (1970), and Nancy's is original- but some time recently it must have fallen over, because today the stone is flush with the ground and set in concrete. When this happened, slightly too much concrete was used and the bottom of the stone (where it says "53d") was covered forever. It would apparently say she died simply at the age of 72 years old otherwise.  Because it is now flat, is is wearing away much faster than if it had remained upright.

Again a "John Scott Junior" is listed in the Washington county Virginia tax lists, beginning in 1789.  After that one appearance, a John Scott Jr. continues to be listed in the tax lists, but never immediately next to John Scott Sr.- either because it is a different person (most likely), or because John Scott Jr. moved near the other Scott family living in the area (Samuel Scott Jr. & Sr. and their relatives).  As there are two John Scott Jr.'s living in Washington county in the period 1789-1791, I believe John returned to live on his fathers land in Virginia for a few years, before settling in South Carolina.  It's also important to note that John's son Alexander listed himself as being born in Virginia in the 1850 and 1860 censuses- which none of his siblings ever did.  Although a person might correctly list on a census his birthplace being where he lived before he remembers, or incorrectly where he remembers being young, a person would be unlikely to list a place his parents lived before he was born.

Where John & Nancy were married is not known, but Nancy's family moved from either what is now Delaware or Talbot county, Maryland, to 96 district, South Carolina sometime between 1773 and 1790, so the marriage could have been recorded in Pennsylvania (in the three counties that later became Delaware), Maryland, Virginia, or South Carolina. John Wilson Scott I and family have not been found in the 1790 census, but Daniel Keith (Nancy's father) and his family were in 96 district, Pendleton county, S. C. in 1790.  There is a John Scott there, but he is listed with only one son; there should be three.  Also, John & Nancy's first child Andrew is listed in many sources as being born in North Carolina, unlike his siblings.

John Scott ("planter") bought 200 acres in Washington district, South Carolina, for 30, on 19 August 1796.  It was described as on the northeast branches of 23 Mile Creek of the Savanah river, bounded on the northeast by George Liddell.  Since George was Nancy Keith Scott's uncle, this is most likely our John Scott- but is this when he first arrived in South Carolina?

John Scott and family left South Carolina for Tennessee around 1804.  They lived on the Little Trace Creek in Jackson county, Tennesse, near the present-day town of Hermitage Springs.  The area is now in Clay county, Tennessee.  At some point John Scott discovered a salt peter cave on the head waters of Big Trace Creek.  On 8 Apr 1813 John Scott seems to have sold the 15 acres that he lived on to his brother-in-law Alexander Keith.  By 1815, the family was in southern Indiana (the area was first Harrison county, then Orange county, and finally Crawford county).  They moved to Illinois around 1822, first to Sangamon county, then later to what was to become Dewitt county.

The country at that time was very wild.  The prairies were covered with a luxurious growth of flowers, from early spring until frost came, giving the prairies the appearance of a vast flower garden.  In many places the "rosin weeds" were so high that after a heavy dew or shower of rain a man would get wet on horseback.  After heavy rains the prairies would be almost inundated, there being no artificial drainage, and the heavy growth of grass preventing the water from running off rapidly.  This gave the country the appearance of being very low and swampy, and this fact, no doubt, was one of the reasons why the early settlers invariably chose the edge of the timber for their location.  There was no trouble in getting water then, as a well from six to eighteen feet would furnish abundance of it...  Clinton Weekly Register, 7 April 1876
In 1837, Nancy's sister Martha Black died.  She was a widow and had never had children.  When she died, her husband's considerable estate was open for probate.  A suit recorded in Abbeville, South Carolina (where they lived) asked that Mrs. Balck's estate be divided among her heirs rather than her late husband's more distant relatives.  The suits listed the nine siblings of Mrs. Black, and (to the extent that they were known by the petitioner) the children of each of the brothers and sisters, and their residences.  Nancy died the next year, in 1838, and the suit was not brought to court until 1841, when the section of names pertaining to the Scotts read: "Nancy, deceased, wife of John Scott; Andrew Scott; John Scott; Alexander Scott; Wilson Scott; James Scott; William Scott; Ruth Scott; Isabella Scott; and four others, children of Nancy, names not known" (also listed was "Mary (Keith), the wife of John Scott junior").  This accounts for all but two of their children, as six are actually not mentioned by name: Anna, Moses (probably died young), Patsy (probably died young), Nancy, Martin, and Samuel E. (who we know had died about ten years previous).  How would they have known in South Carolina that Nancy had died, but not known the names of four or six of her children?  Are they not including Moses and Patsy because they died young?  If so, wouldn't they have known of Samuel E., and his death?  None of the other siblings list children who were known to be dead, and no other siblings have the number of unknowns counted (only "others whose names are not known" or "perhaps other children not known").  And Ruth and Isabella's married names were not used, unlike one family of a sibling's.  Does this document that unlike Moses and Patsy, Isabella actually grew up and married?

John is usually referred to as simply "John Scott" in documents, censuses, etc.  He may have added the "Wilson" to his name himself later in life, to distinguish himself from other John Scotts who lived near him.  His son and grandson that continued his name used the middle name more frequently; the only instance I have found of it applying to this John Scott in original material is in an article in the Clinton Register from 1879 (on the history of Rock Creek church), whis states "in connection with the church is a cemetery... where now repose... many of the pioneers... among whom is John W. Scott, who fought for our independence at King's Mountain, in the revolutionary war...".  His current tombstone does not show a middle name or initial.

John & Nancy had 14 children:

Author: Matt Scott