Name: WILLIAM LAWSON
Birth: 26 JUN 1733 in Montrose, Scotland
Death: 18 APR 1826 in Snowflake, Scott, Virginia
Burial: Lawson Confederate Memorial Cemetery, Scott Co, Virginia
Census: 1820 Scott Co VA
Tax list 1762 **Bear Swamp region of Tar River, Granville Co, NC-now Franklin Co **not confirmed, possibly the correct Wm Lawson
Residence: 1776 Laurel Creek Branch of Little River, Fincastle CO, VA-location became Montgomery Co in 1777
Residence: 1782 Sugar Run Branch of Little River, Montgomery CO, VA
Residence: 1796 Russell CO, VA-location became Scott Co in 1814
Immigration: ABT. 1750 American colonies, probably VIrginia
PLEASE-WHEN READING ALL THESE NOTES TAKE TIME TO ABSORB THAT SOME OF THE NOTES ARE CALLING OUT ERRORS IN OTHER RESEARCH AND ARE NOT BEING QUOTED AS THE TRUTH. THEY ARE POSTED HERE TO EXPLAIN CONFUSION OR ERRORS IN PAST RESEARCH.
Of note to all researchers:
Modern science now has a great tool for genealogists with the availability of DNA testing. If you can not prove or question your heritage this testing can be done on a direct male line. Carl Lawson is the Co-Director of the Lawson Family DNA Program, and has provided an excellent data base and comparison chart on his website: http://lawsondna.org/
He has done extensive research into the tax and court records, and details each of the Lawson Families in the areas which we research. His charts are complete with pedigrees for those tested and are a great help in sorting out the many Lawson families. We extend our thank you to him for all he does. With the help of his charting, we have proven the DNA of our Ancestor, William Lawson born in Scotland in 1731.
William of Montrose, Scotland is the farthest this family can trace our Lawson line. Due to the lack of records at the time he was born (1733) , information on his family remains elusive and proof of parents may never be found.
From Bill Porter's works:
William was bound out to a plantation owner for what we assume was seven years of indenture. Family tradition holds that he was treated unkindly and ran away after a year or so. We have been unable to determine his exact location of indenture but his known children were born in North Carolina where we have strong reason to assume he went when he ran away.
Sworn of Capt. Daniel Trigg’s Company, Sep. 13, 1777, Montgomery CO, VA
Battle of King’s Mountain, 7 Oct. , 1780
Capt. Daniel Trigg’s Company, March 31, 1781, Sergeant. Montgomery CO, VA. Notes for Daniel Trigg’s Company: Of those who were not fit were William Lawson, et. al. (It is presumed he may have had a temporary illness or injury.)
Military Service: 24 August. 1786. The Montgomery County Court ordered that Col. Daniel Trigg and James McCorkle divide the militia in the bounds of Lorton's Company equally between Capt. Lorton and Capt. Englis. Minutes in the Court Order Book 1, page ? , show William Lawson named Lieutenant in Lorton's Company. There has been some confusion regarding which William Lawson was appointed Lieut. William Sr. was a Sergeant in Trigg's 1781 militia and this appointment represents a promotion in the newly formed militia. It would be highly improbable for William Lawson Jr., who had only six months of service at the age of 16-17 as a substitute who did not rise above the rank of Pvt., to be promoted to Lieutenant with command over this group of seasoned, experienced militiamen. William Lawson Sr. is first shown on Trigg's militia swearing oath in 1777.
Nov. 12, 1782. Montgomery Co., Va. Whereas by a Return made this Day by John Charlton, Collector of 45th Division of Militia of this County, it appears that several have failed to pay their proportion of a Tax imposed by a late act of assembly for the purpose of recruiting this States Quota of Troops to serve in the Continental Army. You are hereby authorized and required to collect by Distress & Sale of their Property, as in the case of Parish and County Leevies the following Sum annexed to each persons that is to say...William Lawson 2/6...& return the same to me on or before the 20th of November this Instant & this shall be your warrant for doing so. Source: Written by Col. William Preston to a Collector, Nov. 12, 1782, published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography by the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va., January, 1920.
Montgomery Co, Virginia paid tax on the following:
1782 - 100 acres Value 15 pounds
260 acres Value 15 pound
1789 - 100 acres Value 15 pounds
260 acres Value 15 pounds
145 acres Value 7 pounds
1792 - 145 acres Value 7 pounds
1793 - 145 acres Value 7 pounds
1794 - 145 acres Value 7 pounds
1795 - 145 acres Value 7 pounds
1796 - 145 acres Value 7 pounds
1782 Aug. 3, Montgomery Co, VA- No. 13191 500 acres owned by James Clark was assigned to Israel Lorton by Clark's attorney, Walter Crockett. Lorton assigned the 500 acres as follows: assigned to Will. Lawson, 200 acres; assigned to Sam'l Acres, 100 + 15 acres surveyed; assigned to Jacob Pate, 100 acres; assigned to Solomon Stephens, 100 acres. (This is the same 200 acres of land as that in Treasury Warrant # 20710 signed by Henry Lee). Source: No. 13191 is from Records of Certificates of Commissioners of Washington and Montgomery Counties, 1767-1788, Library of Virginia Archives.
1782 Sep 13, Montgomery County, VA Record of Certificates of Commissioners of Washington and Montgomery Counties, 1767-1788, Library of Virginia – 12 September 1782, William Lawson 300 acres settled in 1776. We the Commissioners for the counties of Washington and Montgomery do certify that John Duncan assignee of William Lawson is entitled to 300 acres of land lying in Montgomery Co. Laurel Creek branch, waters of Little River, to include the improvements he himself proved to the Court he was entitled to the same by actual settlement made in 1776, given under our hands this 13 day of September 1782. (Laurel Creek is located in present-day Floyd County, VA and several miles south of Sugar Run, which is located in present-day Pulaski County, VA.)
1785 Dec 2, Montgomery Co, VA Virginia Land Office Grants Z, 1785-1786, page 55 (Reel 66) indicates William Lawson assignee of Israel Lorton, assignee of Walter Crockett, who was assignee of James Clark on 2 December 1785 received a land grant containing 145 acres by survey bearing date 21 November 1782 lying on Sugar Run, a branch of Little River waters of New River, Montgomery County, VV. Patrick Henry, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, signed the grant.
1790 Feb 20, Montgomery Co, VA Entry Book C, page 203, William Lawson assignee of James Hines enters 200 acres of land on Sugar Run Branch of Little River joining the land he lives on & on the north side thereof & running a north course to Tarepine Run.
1793 Feb 15 Montgomery Co, VA Land Office Grants No. 27, 1792-1793, page 511 (Reel 93) indicates William Lawson on 15 February 1793 received a land grant for 200 acres on Sugar Run waters of Little River, Montgomery County, VA adjoining the land he lives on. Henry Lee, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, signed the grant. This was the land surveyed for him in 1790.
1798 Page 24 Russell Co, VA Deed book 3 - August 18, 1798 between John Frazier & Mary and William Lawson...155 ac on Big Mockason Creek, waters of the north fork of Holstein and known by the name of the Little Valley velow William Houstons...Beginning at the upper end of the little valley and about half a mile below William Hourtons (Hustons) plantation...at the foot of Clinch Mountain...land granted to John Frazier by patent dated June 3, 1788...Signed: John Frazier & Mary Frazier. Witnesses:
William Turner, William Houston, William Lawson, Jr.
1806 Feb 28 Russell Co, VA deed book Page 714 - February 28, 1806 between William Lawson, Sr. and William Lawson, Jr...50 ac on Big Mockerson Creek, waters of the north fork of Holston, lands purchased from John Frazer by William Wells, Sr, lands granted to John Frazer by patent dated June 3, 1788...Beginning on the south side of the Stony Ridge ...by a dry run at the foot of Clinch Mountain...Signed: William Lawson.
Witnesses: William Hourton, Isaac ODonold, Averey Kessee
Page 77 - March 2, 1807 between John Wood and William Lawson...on big Mockerson Creek...75 ac...part of a larger tract granted to John Wood by patent dated December 31, 1799...Signed: John Wood. No witnesses
1807 March 7 Russell Co, VA deed book pg 74 between Jonathan Wood and William Lawson...75 ac...on big Mockerson Creek, part of a tract of land granted to John Wood by patent dated December 31, 1799 and conveyed to Jonathan Wood by deed of conveyance dated February 24, 1801...Beginning corner to Vincent Benhams land...on the clift of Mockeson Creek. Signed: Jonathan Wood. No witnesses
1816 June 3 Scott County, VA Deed Book 1 pgs 249-250. Wm and Rebecka, fifth (50?) acres to John Smith for the sum of $50 cash in hand. (Oct 1816-Rebecca being of full age and separately and apart examined from her husband, thereunto voluntarily by deed consent.) Witnesses Jonathan and Henry Wood.
Personal Property Tax records:
1782 Montgomery CO, VA-1 white male, 1 horse, 12 cattle (*** see comment below tax listings in reference to this year)
1787 April 27 Montgomery CO, VA Bird Smith’s District.- 1 white male over 21, 1 male 16-21, 5 horses, 11 cattle
1788 Dec 20 Bird Smith's District- 1 white male over 21, 1 horse
1789-1790 March 8 - 1 white male over 21, 1 white male 16-21, 4 horses (Taxes paid in 1790)
1790 March 1- 1 white male over 21, 2 white males 16- 21, 4 horses
1791 July 30 Montgomery Co, VA- 1 white male over 21, 3 horses
1792 Sept 26 Montgomery Co, VA- white male over 21, 1 white male 16-21, 2 horses
1793 May 24 Montgomery Co, VA-Hoge's District- 1 white male over 21, 2 horses
1794 April 23 Montgomery Co, VA-James Hoge's District-1 white male over 21, 3 horses
1795 March 21 Montgomery Co, VA- Thomas Goodson's District-1 white male over 21, 2 horses
1796 April 14 Montgomery Co, VA- Thomas Goodson's District-1 white male over 16, 1 horse
1797 Russell Co, VA- 1 white male over 16, 2 horses
1798 Russell Co, VA- 1 white male over 16, 2 horses
1799 Russell Co, VA Lower District, Robert Tates List
1800 Russell CO, VA Lower District, James Dickenson's List
1801 Russell CO, VA Lower District, James Dickenson's List
1802-Russell Co, VA Lower District - Robert Tate's List
1809 Russell Co, VA-1white male over 16
1810-Russell Co, VA
*** The tax rolls show two different William Lawsons who owned land in 1782. Both paid 1 white tithe over 21. Due to proximity of surnames known to be associated with him, our William has been identified as the one who paid 1 white tithe, with 2 horses, 12 cattle. The second William is not Wm. Jr. but a different William Lawson altogether. Several researchers believe he was part of the Falling River Lawsons.
On July 26th, 1788, William Lawson assigned
sold 105 acres to Eleazer Cole at the head of Sugar Run.
Date: Nov. 14, 1796
Place: Montgomery Co., VA
Grantor: William Lawson Sr.
Grantee: Eliazer Cole
Location: Hd. Sugar Run Br. Little River
Date: Nov. 14, 1796
Place: Montgomery Co., VA
Grantor: William Lawson Sr.
Grantee: Eliazer Cole
Location: Hd. Sugar Run Br. Little River
Source: Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800, Lewis Preston Summers
RUSSELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA LAW ORDER BOOK 2 (1792 - 1799)
Pg 539 - Indenture from John Frazer to William Lawson, recorded
RUSSELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA LAW ORDER BOOK 3 (1799 - 1808) Part 1
Pg 1 - Indenture from John Frazer & Mary to William Lawson, recorded
RUSSELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA LAW ORDER BOOK 3 (1799 - 1808) Part 2
Pg 360 - John Tate, Zachariah Fugate, Robert Tate, Jr. & William Lawson to appraise the slaves & personal estate of Jonathan Wood, Sr., decd
Pg 486 - Indenture from William Lawson, Sr. to William Lawson, Jr., oaths of William Howerton, Isaac O'Donold & Avery Keezee, recorded
Pg 597 - Indenture from Jonathan Wood & William Lawson, recorded
1820 United States Federal Census
Name: William Lawson Senior
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Scott, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over : 1
Number of Persons - Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons - Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 2
He was nearly 50 years old when he fought at the Battle of King's Mountain in 1780. In 1781, he was listed as a Sgt. in Daniel Trigg’s company and notes for Trigg’s militia show he was "Not Fit" at that time. This must certainly have been a temporary health as William lived to be nearly 95 years old. Buried in Lawson Confederate Cemetery, Snowflake, Scott County, VA on land he owned and farmed in the hills of southwestern Virginia.
OTHER'S WHO HAVE BEEN SUSPECTED AND STATED AS CHILDREN OF WILLIAM. These are all names that were at one time speculated to be possible children. Even though they have been pretty strongly eliminated over the years I do have them in this database to provide information on them where possible. Or in some cases they do tie into the many families in this file in some manner. They can be found by searcing the index.
1. Robert Lawson- There were a few Robert Lawson's in the same area as our William. One is now believed to have been from the line of Drewry Lawson. One of the Roberts married Anna Goad. One DNA test on this line shows no match to our William, nor to the line of Drewry. There is a second DNA in process at this time (Aug 2009) and we are in hopes it will offer a clue to the bloodlines. Ongoing research is proving that the Robert who m. Anna Goad can be ruled out as a son of this William. He was at one time being confused with a different Robert found on Russell and Scott CO, VA records in the early 1800's but Robert who married Anna was actually living in TN by the early 1800's, probably as early as 1802. The Robert in Russell Co is probably the Robert who married an Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) and is found on the 1820 Scott Co, VA census and referenced in an 1830 deed. That particular Robert moved to Ripley Co, Missouri by 1840.
2. Rhoda Lawson-The Rhoda who was believed for a time to be a daughter of our William, has been proven to be a first wife of Drury Lawson. Some note that her maiden name was Wilson but other info proves that she married a John Wilson after an evident divorce from Drury Lawson.
3. Drury Lawson abt 1762-abt 1847. There is an abundance of evidence now known that eliminates Drury being a son of our William. "August 1777 session of the Halifax County, Virginia Court records which states: "Ordered that the church wardens of Antrim Parish do bind out Drury Lawson son of Mary Owen to Thomas Parrott according to Law." This item shows Drury to be the son of a woman named Mary from Halifax Co, VA. DNA testing on several descendants of Drury also eliminate any relation to our WIlliam. Further data on Drury can be found under his own listing here.
4. Catherine Lawson 1795-1862. This was William's granddaughter, not his daughter. Catherine was a child of Wm Lawson II and Nancy Baker
All notes below are items to follow up on and speculation only, not to be taken as fact. Comments in caps or *starred are my own thoughts inserted.
Additional items of interest to be followed up on:
In 1996 a book titled "Families of Washington County and Bristol, VA. 1776-1996 "was published. Per a contributor to the book , a Mr. James R. Smith (whom I have never communicated with) an article on William noted the following. My own comments follow after each with asterisk *. Please note, these are notes from another researcher. NOT TO BE STATED AS FACT BY ME, NOT PROVEN BY MYSELF OUR ANY FELLOW RESEARCHER OF THIS DIRECT LAWSON FAMILY. BUT INCLUDED HERE AS ITEMS TO BE PURSUED BY OTHERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO DOCUMENT WHICH WM LAWSON THIS IS IN NC.
1. 1762 tax list there is a William Lawson listed in Bare Swamp area of Tar River Basin.
*I personally have not seen this tax list but have no reason to doubt Mr. Smith had seen it at some point in his research. I believe this location to be along the Bear Swamp Creek which ties into the Tar River in what is now Franklin County, NC. Formed in 1779 from part of Granville Co, NC. Wm Lawson JR., at the age of 16 was known to have been in Franklin Co, NC where he served as as substitute in the military in 1779. The fact that Wm's son had gone to Franklin Co, NC when his father was then living in Montgomery Co, Virginia is evidence that there was a connection of relatives or friends in Franklin Co. Therefore I suspect that this 1762 tax reading could be our Wm Lawson. But on the other hand, the presence of a Reuben Lawson in the same area also could point this being a different Wm Lawson who is noted in 1762. The Reuben Lawson found in this general area is strongly believed to be the brother of a Bartholomew Lawson, who is from the family referred to by researchers as "The Falling River Lawson's". Several DNA tests on lines of that family of Lawson's positively prove no blood relation to our Wm. Test results for families of Bartholomew Lawson can be found on Carl's page, noted at the top of these notes.
2. William Lawson married Rebecca Travis circa 1760 in Granville County, NC.
*This marriage record has yet to be located by anyone I have ever communicated with on the subject. I think Mr. Smith was speculating, not stating he had seen an actual marriage record. Info found in 2015 has proven that the Rebecca who is noted as his wife on his grave marker was not his first wife or the mother of his known children. The first wife is still unknown and could possibly have been a Travis. His final wife was Rebecca, maiden name is unknown but she was not Rebecca Jane Banks as some have repeatedly confused her with a Jane Banks who married a different Wm Lawson.
3. Lawson probably worked for a large planter somewhere in Granville County on the west side of the Tar River. Some 25 miles to lay the watershed of the Haw River, and living near the Haw River were John and William Travis, brothers.
*Still not proven to be our Wm. This reference to working for a planter must surely mean another planter after he ran away from his original indenture. He would certainly have had to obtain work and being a young man, working for a planter would be a likely occupation. I feel that Mr. Smith could very well have the right William Lawson in his North Carolina findings but actual documentation is yet to be found.
Father: Unknown Lawson b: in Scotland
Mother: Unknown b: in Scotland
in On New River - North Carolina or Virginia?
- Note: Nothing is known of William's first wife.
- Ann Lawson b: ABT. 1761 in NC?
- WILLIAM II LAWSON b: 1763 in North Carolina
- Travis Lawson b: ABT. 1766 in North Carolina
- Betsy Ann Lawson b: 20 SEP 1768 in NC
- Sally Lawson b: 26 DEC 1770 in North Carolina
- Jeremiah S. Lawson b: 15 FEB 1773 in North Carolina
Rebecca Unknown-Was Not Jane Banks b: BEF. 1775 in Age 45+ on 1820 census
As of 2016, the actual marriage record of THIS William and Rebecca has still not been located. And it is now known that Rebecca was not his first wife and not the mother of his known children. Nor was she the woman named Jane Banks. Please note the following about a different couple.
For clarification pertaining to other data seen online, the following marriage pertains to ANOTHER William Lawson, the one that did marry Jane Banks, not to William Lawson of Scott Co, Virginia who married Rebecca, whose maiden name is still unknown-
The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jan., 1912), pp. 202-204 Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. HALIFAX COUNTY VIRGINIA MARRIAGE BONDS: 1758, May 24, William Lawson & Jane Banks, Spinster. That William Lawson and Jane Banks Lawson moved to Georgia where they lived until they died. That William Lawson, was a 1st Lieut & 2nd Lieut under Capt. James Quarles, 2nd Regt. DAR records state he was born 1740 in Halifax co., VA, died before 25 October, 1800, in Hancock Co., GA. He was also a captain in James Quarles 2nd Regt.
The following are some notes pertaining to the OTHER Wm Lawson who married Jane Banks. From the database of Michael Witherspoon:
WILLIAM LAWSON was born in Halifax County, Virginia in 1740. He married Jane Banks in Halifax County May 24, 1759. (*6) William was granted 200 acres of land in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1784. (*7) He is listed in the DAR records as being a First Lieutenant in the Second Virginia Regiment, Captain Quarles Company. He had 875 acres in Wilkes County and 575 in Washington County, having petitioned March 25, 1784 that he was a Revolutionary soldier and wanted bounty in Washington County, Georgia. He owned land along Shoulderbone Creek a few miles from where it flows into the Oconee River and so did the Fosters. William had claims Nos. 1863 of January 14, 1783 for 200 acres, 1994 of November 20, 1784 for 200 acres and 2851 of April 1, 1784 for 100 acres for service in the Virginia Continental line as a private. William's will dated April 30, 1799 and proved October 25, 1800, showing that he died in 1800, names his wife Jane, sons John, Thomas, William, Mumford, Dudley, David, Francis, and daughters Sarah (Thomas), Mary (Slaughter), Margaret (Bullock) and Jane.