Name: Robert Easley
Given Name: Robert
Birth: BEF 1741 in Virginia. Moved to SC in 1786
Death: between March 1 and December 9, 1806 in Co., Pendleton District, Anderson Co., SC
He served as a private in the Revolutionary War, and was
an influential planter and slave owner.
Robert "Robin" Easley, b. before 1741, probably in Goochland Co., Va.--d.
between 1 March and 9 December, 1806, Co., Pendleton District, Anderson
Co., SC. Received in his father's will, 1746 in Goochland Co., Va., 400
acres in Albemarle Co., VA, later to become Buckingham Co., VA, where the
records have been mostly destroyed.
According to family tradition, this Robert Easley was a private in the
American Revolution. If so, his service would have taken place in
Virginia and has not been proven. He moved about 1786 to Pendleton
District, SC and purchased 100 acres along George's Creek to the Saluda
River. The family home was named River Side.
Robert Easley married (2) Mary Allen of Cumberland Co., Va., dau. of
Samuel Allen. See data under John and Joyce (Allen) Easley indicating
that Samuel Allen married Martha Archer, and was a brother of Joyce
(Allen) Easley. Mary Allen was b. 31 August 1738, and was still
unmarried at the time of her father's death in 1774. The remainder of
Robert Easley's children were by the second wife.
According to letters from Dr. R.F. Wicker, Jr., 5136 Violet Bank Drive,
Virginia Beach, VA 23464-5643, dated 26 June 1995 and 13 July 1995, Mary
Allen was the daughter of Samuel and Martha (Archer) Allen. Samuel
Allen, her father, was son of William and Hannah ( ) Allen, and
brother of Joyce (Allen) Easley Chandler. Dr. Wicker stated in the 13
July 1995 letter:
"She was not married when her father died. His will reads as if
something is wrong with Mary. He stipulates that she shall have a small
room in his house as long as she lives without interruption and if she
ever marries---. She is his oldest daughter and the next four are
already married. This leads one to think that Mary was either very
selective or something. Then, I turn to a Cumberland County order Book
1813-1821, page 30, where a list of heirs of Samuel Allen is given. That
list had the husbands and sons, but not the names of married daughters
who were already dead. That list was, "Edward Scruggs, William Daniel,
Samuel Allen, Judith Murray". Then, it says, "the suit shall be
continued in the names of Edward Scruggs, William Daniel, admr of Wm.
Daniel, dec'd, Samuel Muse, exor of John Muse, deceased, Samuel Easley,
Exor, of Robert Easley deceased, William Towns, etc."
Robert Easley m. (3) 10 March 1801, Anderson Co., SC, Catherine Benson,
dau. of Enoch and Jemima ( ) Benson. The marriage contract for
this third marriage is Book F, p. 290. Wit.: John Young, John
Blassingame. Catherine (Benson) Easley was still alive in the 1810
census, Greenville Co., SC. Catherine (Benson) Easley mentioned in a
deed her son "Thornton Benson." Was this Thornton Benson Easley? If so,
he was not mentioned in his father's will, and the phraseology of the
deed indicates that his surname was "Benson."
Data on this family received 19 October 1995 from: Beverly Sloan Shuler,
Certified Genealogist, 200 Ferry Street, Mount Pleasant, SC 29496-4713.
Davis, Bailey Fulton. The Deeds of Amherst County Virginia, 1761-1807
and Albemarle County, Virginia, 1748-1763. Easley, SC, Southern
Historical Press, 1979.
p. 2. Albemarle Co., Va. Order Book 1744-1748, p. 290: Millington
Easley 400 acres; Robt. Easley 400, 375 acres; Wm. Easley 360 acres.
Nance, Joanne Lovelace, "Albemarle County, Virginia Court Orders,
1744/45 - 1748, May Term 1747 - July Term 1747," Magazine of Virginia
Genealogy, vol. 28, no. 4, November 1990, pp. 270-280.
p. 275. Joshua Fry Gen. Surveyor of this county presents the
following List of Surveys made by him from June 1746 to June 1747 which
are ordered to be recorded
(p. 291) for William Easly 360
for Robert Easly 400
for [blank] Easly 375
Buckingham Co., Va. Tax List, 1782.
Cumberland Co., Va. Order Book, p. 431, 25 March 1784. Robert
Easeley against William Towns & Thomas Coleman & Elizabeth his wife. Suit
Cumberland Co., Va. Order Book, p. 99, 27 July 1784. Robert Easley
against William Towns and Thomas Coleman & Elizabeth his wife. Attachment
Cumberland Co., Va. Order Book, p. 211, 28 March 1785. Robert
Easley against Theodrick Scruggs. Dismissed, the parties having agreed.
Cumberland Co., Va. Order Book, p. 424, 27 September 1785. Robert
Easley vs. William Towns and Thomas Coleman & Elizabeth his wife. Towns
prevented from carrying out of the state certain slaves, which are to be
delivered to the persons who will have title to them after the death of
the wife of the said Thomas Coleman.
Quotation from letter of Dr. R. F. Wicker, Jr., 29 June 1995: "In
the 1787 Personal property Tax List, Robert Easley is listed as having no
sons between 18 and 21, six slaves, four horses, and twenty six cattle.
Robert Easley is listed in theTax Lists of Buckingham Co, VA, from
1782-1799. He bought 500 acres of land from Matthew Agee in 1783 and 200
acres from Archer Edwards in 1786. In 1799, he sold 500 acres to William
Hunt Allen. The name of the son is found in a Cumberland County, VA,
Court Order Book 1818-1821, p. 30, in a suit heard the 28th day of Jul
1818. . . . Source: Land Tax, by Rober Ward, p. 98."
Hopkins, William Lindsay, Some Wills from the Burned Counties of
Virginia and other Wills not listed in Virginia Wills and Administrations
1632-1800, Richmond, Va., Privately Printed, 1987.
p. 2. Will of William Hunt Allen, Buckingham Co., Va., dated 28 May
1806; probated 13 October 1806. Mentions "Amherst land purchased of
Clayton, Frederick Van, Settlement of Pendleton District 1777 -
1800, Easley, SC, Southern Historical Press, 1988. p. 57. #650, v. 37,
p. 84. Tract on George's Creek, bounded by Robt. Easley (no date).
1786, South Carolina. Purchased 100 acres along George's Creek
extending to the Saluda River.
Pendleton District, Ninety-Six District, SC, 1790 Census, Heads of
Families, p. 84, col. 2: Easly, Robert: 1 m. over 16, 2 m. under 16, 2
f., 13 slaves.
McCuen, Anne K., Jane E. Kirkman, and Penelope Forrester. Abstracts
of General Sessions Court Case Rolls: Washington District South Carolina
1792 - 1799; Greenville County, South Carolina 1787 - 1799. Greenville,
SC: Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission, 1994.
pp. 6-7. Case #009, Hamilton, William, labourer. Counterfeiting.
Indictment 10 November 1792. Robert Easelyon jury. Case #010, Harrell,
Casan (Cason), Pendleton County, labourer. Counterfeiting. Indictment
10 November 1792. Jury: Elias Earle, foreman, Alexander Kilpatrick,
John Whitney, Robert Nelson, John Russell [struck out], William Halbert,
Robert Easily, Micajah Clark, Jacob Holland, John Shannon [struck out],
William Leslie, Henry Micham, Vachel Dillingham, George Martin, Thomas
Gregory, John Tarrant, all on oath; and John Pyl;e, David Hamilton, John
Huggins, William Henderson and Joseph Duncan, all on affirmation.
Anderson Co., SC, Deed Book F, p. 290, 10 March 1801. Robert Easley at
Pendleton and Caty (X) Benson of Greenville, Marriage contract. Wit.:
John Young, John Blassingame. Rec. 22 July 1801.
His will is dated 1 March 1806, Pendleton District, Anderson Co., SC.
Anderson Co., S.C. Wills, p. 74-75. Recorded 9 December 1806. The
following text is taken from Manning, Our Kin:
Will Book A, page 78.
State of South Carolina)
Pendleton District ) In the name of God Amen:
I, Robert Easley of the District aforesaid, being in my perfect
senses and sound in memory on the thirty-first day of March in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and six have made this day my last
Will and Testament--
Item: After all my Just Debts being first paid out of my Estate I
give unto my Daughter Elizabeth Blassingame the wife of John Blassingame
one negro man known by the name of Great Ned.
Item: I give unto my Grand daughter Mary Blassingame Daughter of
Elizabeth Blassingame one negro girl or woman near the age of herself to
be purchased of my Stock & Landed property.
Item: Ben, Flora, Jo, Abram, Jess, Sam, Rose, Alcy, Morneing &
James, I leave to be Equally divided between my two sons Samuel Easley,
John Easley and my Daughter Nancy Blassingame wife of Thomas Blassingame.
Item: I give unto my son Samuel Easley two Negro men to wit: Isham
Item: I give unto my Grand daughter Mary Blassingame, daughter of
Nancy Blassingame one Negro girl named Amy--
Item: I give unto my beloved wife Catherine, her choice out of my
stock of horses with a good saddle & bridle of her choice, one of the
beds and furniture and two cows and calves of her choice of my stock of
Cattle, I also lend unto my wife Catherine during the life of her father
Enoch Benson my negro woman Suck and at the death of the said Enoch
Benson I give my negro woman Suck to my daughter Nancy Blassingame and at
the death of Nancy Blassingame the same Suck and her increase I give to
my Grand Daughter Polly Blassingame, Nancy's daughter--
Item: If my son Samuel, should die without a lawful heir the
negroes I give unto him I leave to be equally divided amongst the
children of Nancy Blassingame.
Item: If my son John Easley should die without a lawful heir, I
leave the negroes given to be equally divided amongst the children of my
daughter, Nancy Blassingame.
Item: As it is my wish and desire that no disputes may arise
between my children after my death and with everything to appear fair and
easy to be understood it is my request that after my death that my
Executors do sell the whole of my three tracts of lands adjoining lines
on Saluda River and Georges Creek and all my stock of every kind, all my
household and kitchen furniture with all tools of every kind--and all my
stock of grain of every kind at a credit of twelve months and the monies
arising therefrom to be equally divided between my two sons Samuel & John
Easley and in case of both or either of my sons Samuel & John Easley
dying without lawful heir the property or money then to be equally
divided between the children of my daughter Nancy Blassingame and as I am
at this time in my perfect senses I have thought fit to appoint Major
John Blassingame & William Easley of Greenville District my lawful
Executors, to do and act according to the best of their abilities whereby
I hereunto set my hand the day and year first mentioned--
Robert Easley (Seal)
In presence of:
John Dyres [also transcribed as Hespy!]
Recorded December 9, 1806.
Inventory and sale of property: Jan. 15, 16, 17.
770 acres sold to Samuel A. Easley.
5 hogs sold to Thomas Easley
1 colt, cow, bull etc. sold to John A. Easley.
18 head of cattle etc. sold to John Blassingame.
2 bridles, 5 bu. of tobacco, flax, sold to William Easley.
Anderson Co., SC, Deed Book I, p. 234: 24 March 1808. Wm Easley,
executor of Robert Easley of Greenville to Samuel A. Easley of Pendleton,
Georges Creek. Wit.: John Liddell, Thomas Blassingame, John A. Easley.
William King Easley1.
By Mrs. H. D. Earl (Lila Easley), of Greenville, S.C.,
Granddaughter of William King Easley
The first member of the Easley family to come to the state of South Carolina, was Robert with his wife Mary Allen, who moved to the state from Virginia. The exact date of their arrival is not known but in 1786 they bought a tract of land of 100 acres, extending along George's Creek to the Saluda River. Here they made their home and this land remained the Easley Homestead through several generations.
One of Robert's sons was John Allen whose wife was Elizabeth King. They occupied the family home which had been named River Side. There were six children in their family. The second son was William King, who was born January 28, 1825.
The children attended private schools, the first of which was taught by Mr. Charles McGregor of Charleston. This school was known as the "New Hope Infant School" and was located about one mile from River Side. In describing the school in later years, William King Easley said that his brother became initiated in the rudiments of spelling and arithmetic, that he was initiated in the mysteries of juvenile mischief, and became an expert climber of trees for birds' nests and was not a mean hand at marbles.
In his youth, William King Easley developed a great love for literature. He had a wonderful memory and it was said that when a boy of sixteen, he memorized the fifteenth chapter of Exodus in fifteen minutes. He was a student of science and history as well as law and was considered a fine classical scholar, although he was not a graduate of any college. He was admitted to the bar when quite a
He went to New Orleans for the purpose of practicing his profession. When yellow fever became an epidemic in the city, he returned to South Carolina and opened an office in the Pickens County Court House. After a few years he moved his office to Greenville but retained his home in Pickens County. He was elected to the state Legislature from Pickens County. He was instrumental in helping to organize the State Militia and was made the first Adjutant General of the State. From that time he was known as General Easley.
William King Easley was one of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession and his name with that of R. E. Thompson of Walhalla is inscribed with the names of the other signers, on the walls of the State House at Columbia.
When the war came on he raised a company of cavalry in Pickens and Greenville Counties and was received into the Confederate Army at Charleston, with the commission of major. After serving a short time he was forced to resign his commission because of typhoid fever and he returned to his home.
In 1865 he again was elected to the State Legislature and took a very active part in the affairs of the state. In 1869 or 1879 he represented Pickens County in the State Senate.
The Legislature of the State chartered and franchised the building of the Charlotte and Atlanta railroad, giving the counties the right of bond themselves to help build the road. This charter was in the form of a bill and passed the lower house of Representatives and went to the Senate. It appeared on the face of it that the railroad would be built from Charlotte through Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson, Athens and on to Atlanta.
Senator Easley got the Senator from Anderson to agree to something like the following: as an amendment to the charter; "Provide that the said railroad shall be constructed or built north of the headwaters of Eighteen-Mile Creek."
This provision made it impossible for the road to be built further south than it is. Eighteen-Mile Creek starts from a spring in the city limits of the town of Easley. For this work of getting the road through this section, the people of the little town that sprang up there named it Easley.
General Easley married Caroline Sloan of Pendleton, South Carolina. There were nine children in the family. The oldest was John Allen Easley of Greenville. Their summers were spent at River Side but during the winter they lived at Greenville. General Easley was never a strong man and during the latter years of his life his health became very poor, having been impaired by long hours of study. His custom was to remain in this office till late hours.
He died in 1872 after a few days of illness in the city of Atlanta, where he had gone on business for the railroad. His wife died a few months earlier, leaving eight children, the oldest of whom was then a lad of seventeen. At this time his younger brother Samuel Allen Easley, moved from South
Carolina to Texas, taking with him several of his brother's orphaned children.
Although General Easley was only forty-seven at the time of his death he had a reputation as an orator, many of his speeches being on political subjects of the time. He was also an artist and a musician, his favorite musical instrument being the violin. Among his private writings were many of his speeches, also interesting accounts of the family's early life in the State. He talked much of his childhood in Pickens County. He also wrote beautiful descriptions of the mountains, forests and hunting in the country.
His untimely death was mourned by his many friends, one of whom was S. S. Crittendon, who wrote of him, "Endowed by nature with rare gifts of mind and oratory which he cultivated with the ardor of a student and inspired by noble ambition, he quickly rose to the top of his profession. Possessed also of noble and generous principals, he had the faculty more than anyone the writer had ever known, of attaching to himself, by hooks of steel, the friends with whom he associated." 1.
1.Three Hundred Years of Easley Genealogy by James Daniel Easley, of the Sixth Generation From Robert I, Written by J. D. Easley circa 1951-1952." This is a self-published book and contains no publisher information. J. D. Easley apparently typeset it and bound it himself..
The biographical information about William King Easley was contributed by King Ables who is the owner of the self published book (by J.D. Easley) that the information was taken from. Mr. Ables was born in Austin, TX, in 1960. He earned a BA degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas in 1982. He is currently a software developer, technical writer and a self-employed IT consultant.
King Ables' father was L. Robert Ables, son of Elizabeth Easley Ables, who was a daughter of Robert Easley, who was a son of William King Easley. This makes him the great-great grandson of William King Easley, and his namesake.
Father: John Easley b: BET 1711 AND 1715 in Henrico, VA
Mother: Joyce Allen b: 29 JAN 1718/19
Mary Allen b: 31 AUG 1738 in Cumberland Co., VA
- John Allen Easley b: in Virginia. Moved to SC in 1786
- Sam Easley
- Elizabeth (Easley) Blassingame
- Nancy (Easley) Blassingame