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James Ellison, Jr
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Birth: Sep. 20, 1757
Burlington County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1838
Monroe County
West Virginia, USA

Revolutionary War Veteran.
James Isaac Ellison II was born Sept. 20, 1757 in Mansfield Twp., Burlington Co., NJ as the 2nd child of 11 born to James I & Anne (English) Ellison.

In 1768, his family moved to Augusta Co., Va., in what is now the eastern part of WV. In 1771, they moved further west to Hans Creek in Montgomery Co., which was in the area that became Botetourt, Greenbrier, & then Monroe Co.

In the spring of 1774, a companion of Matt Farley & James II was killed above the New River's Bull Falls as the 1st European killed in this area. This hill was named Shockley's for him. The boys then ran to the river & hid in a thicket. When they heard a charger being blown down river & James saw an Indian advancing from tree to tree, he shot him from 80 yards. James was still 16 that June when he volunteered at Cook's Fort under Lt. John Henderson in Capt. John Lewis' Company, in the regiment from Botetourt Co., which then included the east side of the New River. They marched to the Ohio River & helped win the Point Pleasant Battle against the Shawnee Indians under Chief Cornstalk on Oct. 10 & then forced a treaty at the Indian Town on the Scioto River. Some call this the Revolution's 1st battle. James II was then called an "Indian Spy or Scout" after that.

James then served as a spy for 5 months in 1776. Then in 1777, he married Matt's half-niece, Nancy Elizabeth Farley, who bore him 9 children. They were married in the fort, which Thomas Farley built in 1775 by Bull Falls, with their services probably held by John Alderson Jr., the 1st Baptist preacher in the area.

Elizabeth was a daughter of Francis Jr. & Nancy Anne (Blankenship) & a niece of Thomas Farley. The fall of 1777, James helped rescue the family of Steel Lafferty, when Steel was killed by the Shawnee at the mouth of Indian Creek. In 1778, James served 7 months as an Indian Spy, when the Shawnee were enraged because militiamen had murdered Chief Cornstalk the previous fall at the Point Pleasant Fort. When the Shawnee Indians burned Farley's Fort on the New River that fall & attacked Donnelly's Fort on the Greenbrier River, James then led their pursuit 60 miles to Sewel Mt..

In 1780, James & Matt lived at Fort Culbertson and raised a crop of corn on what is Steer Island in the New River. On Oct. 19 they were husking this corn, when 7 Shawnee crossed the narrow channel & attacked them. Matt jumped in the river & escaped by diving at intervals as the Indians shot. James was wounded so badly in the shoulder he was unable to swim, so he ran about 2 miles upriver, but was captured within a mile of Fort Culbertson. An Indian then chewed some Dogwood bark & spit in his wound and they took him 15 miles up the Bluestone & Paint Creek Trail. They used the trail up Shockley's Hill, over Tallery Mt., past Bluestone Mt. on the Little Bluestone River & then up Suck Creek. At dusk, they were walking single file with James in the middle when they neared Panther's Knob, which is now in the Jumping Branch District of Summers Co. James had been watching for a chance to escape & suddenly stopped & pretended to fasten his moccasin. 2 Indians passed him by & a 3rd stopped beside him. Suddenly James sprang into the brush & ran, with the Indians yelling & chasing him. He ran about 1/2 mile & hid under a small cliff, where he sawed the thong around his hands on a sharp stone. When it was completely dark & all was quiet, James made his way down through the hills to the Bluestone River & got back to Fort Culbertson in time to stop a posse that was formed to rescue him. The spur where he escaped was afterwards known as Ellison Ridge & he returned to this spot many times during his life. He also transplanted a sycamore tree there, which was then cut down in 1912.

In March of 1781, 8 Shawnee raided the Indian Creek area & captured the Meeks family, horses & cattle. James then joined Lt. John Woods & led a 20 man posse, who found these Indians camped 60 miles away on the Paint Creek Trail between present day Beckley & Charleston. The posse rescued the Meeks family & property by firing on the Indian camp in surprise. The leader of the Indians, who also captured James the previous fall was killed. He had 2 bullets near his heart, which were fired simultaneously by Woods & Ellison. 5 other Indians were also wounded. James also made many excursions in 1782 & 1783 to save the area from dangerous attacks by the Indians.

James II was the 1st convert at the Greenbrier Baptist Church's 1st service on July 25, 1783 & was baptized the next day. He then became an Elder & helped J. Johnson organize the Indian Creek Baptist Church in 1792 & was their 2nd preacher. In 1796, Johnson & he organized the Big Levels Church in Lewisburg & the Kanawha Church in Pratt. James II then replaced John Alderson Jr. as the 2nd preacher at the Greenbrier Church in 1804. The Red Sulphur Baptist Church was 1st called the Union Baptist, when it was built in 1815 at the east of today's iron bridge over Indian Creek. It was near the Ellison's homes & James II probably preached there until he fathered a mulatto daughter Barsheba by his slave Fanny about 1817. James III then moved back to his Indian Creek farm from Wyoming Co. & probably took over this church.

In 1833, James applied for a Revolutionary War pension & his S6821 application in Monroe Co. was approved for $40/year. Also that same year, historian Samuel Kercheval used James as 1 of 3 sources about the Point Pleasant Battle in his "History of the Valley of Virginia". James also told Samuel of his killing over 1000 deer, 300-400 bears plus a lot of wolves & panthers.

Some sources read the name of Barsheba's mother as Jeanny in the 1839 will of James II, but census reports say Barsheba lived with Fanny & the will can be read as Jeanny or Fanny. James signed it Dec. 22, 1838 & then it was entered at the Monroe Co. Court on Feb. 18, 1839. James' burial was probably earlier in Feb. & has been found at the Ballard Church Cemetery. His will gave his wife Elizabeth all of his estate, real & personal during her natural life & upon her death gave his 2 servant girls Jeanny (Fanny) & Barsheba "their freedom together with the use & sole control of the dwelling house I now live in including 2 acres of land, the garden spring & as much of the best ground near the house as can be included in a respectable form." "Also the privilege of firewood & pasture for a cow on the place that I live in forever, provided they continue to live on it but no power to sell or convey to any person or any way." He also gave them after the death of his wife "1 featherbed, bedstead & furniture & 1 yearling heifer & heifer calf, 1 ewe & lamb to each & to Barsheba I give my loom & weaving utensils; to each I give a trunk now called their own."

Barsheba & Fanny were freed when Elizabeth died in 1841. Barsheba then married Thomas Payne, a free black cattle drover, in 1844 & bore their son Christopher in 1845.

James had taught Barsheba to read & write, as she then taught Chris. He was very successful and became a teacher, preacher, lawyer, newspaper publisher, the 1st black member of the WV Legislature & Teddy Roosevelt's 1903 appointee as the Danish Virgin Islands Consul General. Thomas died of smallpox in 1847 & Barsheba & Fanny were still living in their inherited house in the 1880 census. The Beckley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution was then named for Captain James Ellison in 1947 and his DAR number is #A037891.

Added by Ernie Miller on Jan 17, 2013 3:05 PM

grandfather: John Ellison
grandmother: Susannah Boude

brother: John Ellison

Married: 1797 in Fort Farley, Monroe, West Virginia
Nancy Elizabeth FARLEY

Known Children:
1. James ELLISON
b: 29 Apr 1778 in Ft. Farley, Monroe, West Virginia

2. Nancy ELLISON

3. Elizabeth ELLISON

4. Matthew ELLISON

5. Joseph ELLISON

6. John Francis ELLISON
b: 1792 in Ft. Farley, Monroe, West Virginia


8. Mary "Polly" ELLISON

9. Massey ELLISON
b: 20 Oct 1802 in Monroe Co., West Virginia

10. Marcy Massey ELLISON
Family links: 
  James Ellison (1726 - 1791)
  Ann English Ellison (1738 - 1791)
  Nancy Elizabeth Farley Ellison (1758 - 1841)
  James Isaac Ellison (1778 - 1834)*
  Elizabeth Ellison Shumate (1782 - 1847)*
  Francis R. Ellison (1792 - 1879)*
  Mary Eleanor Ellison Swope (1755 - ____)*
  James Ellison (1757 - 1838)
  John L. Ellison (1761 - 1845)*
  Asa H. Ellison (1762 - 1830)*
*Calculated relationship
Ballard Church Cemetery
Monroe County
West Virginia, USA
Maintained by: Walter Pack Family
Originally Created by: Terry Collins
Record added: Jan 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64305725
James Ellison, Jr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sally Miller
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- Diane Lambert
 Added: Dec. 4, 2016

- Charpie
 Added: Feb. 7, 2016

- Walter Pack Family
 Added: Jun. 12, 2015
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