Ann “Nancy” Newton Herndon

Virginia, USA
Death 1831 (aged 67–68)
Humphreys County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 166825324 View Source
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Benjamin Herndon (ca. 1760 VA-1814 SC) & wife Ann (Nancy) Newton (ca. 1763 VA-aft. 1830 TN).

Their birth-spans are calculated from censuses, his from the 1800 & 1810 US Federal Censuses of Marlborough District, SC; hers from those (= betw. 1756-1765) plus the 1820 Stewart Co TN (age over 45, so bef. 1775) & 1830 Humphreys Co TN (age 60-69, thus betw. 1761-1770) censuses. (The 1800 census places their ages as 26-44, so born betw. 1756-1774; the 1800 says they're 45 & up, so bef. 1765. Combining & condensing the two census ages their overlap indicates birth years between 1756-1765; which agrees with age-spans in 1820 & 1830 for her.)

Ann was the daughter of Giles Newton & Elizabeth "Betty" Terrell, and Ann & husband Benjamin were named in the will of her father, will dated 31 Mar 1804 and proven 21 Oct 1807 in Marlborough District (later Marlboro County) SC.

Benjamin Herndon served in the Rev War. Benjamin Herndon (ca. 1760 VA-1814 SC) DAR Ancestor # A054146, Valley Forge Muster Roll (Dec 1777) Soldier ID: VA07343. (See variant abbreviations for given name: Ben., Benj., Benja., Benjn., as well as misspellings for the last name Hundon, Hernden, etc.)

State of Service: Virginia (from May/June 1777 Caroline Co VA in 2d VA Regiment, commanded by Col Alexander Spotswood & Capt Samuel Hawes / succeeded by Col Christian Febigar & Capt James Upshaw / then on 30 Dec 1777 in Valley Forge enlisted in Horse Service of Col George Baylor's Regiment of Light Dragoons / succeeded by Col William Washington), proofs: W.T.R. Saffell's 1894 book (3rd edition), "Records of the Rev War" page 275; Capt James Upshaw's (2d VA Regt unit) Dec 1777 Muster Roll at Valley Forge; W8585 pension of Obadiah Carter identifying the horse unit; as well as the May-Jun-Jul-Aug & Oct-Nov-Dec 1777 Pay Rolls (of Capt Samuel Hawes succeeded by Capt James Upshaw) & Library of Virginia (LVA) Acc # 22547, Baylor's Returns, specifically "Men Listed in Camp for Col. Baylor's Regt Light Dragoons 17 Jan 1779---Benja Herndon, 2d VA Regt, Capt. Upshaw's Compy, living Caroline Co VA." (VA Gen Soc Qtrly, Vol. 31, No. 2; VSLA Personal Papers Coll Acc #22547"), all listing Obadiah Carter & Benjamin Herndon (as well as others of the 6 men who joined the Horse Service from that unit on 30 Dec 1777, including Corpls. George Muse & William Carter).

This Pvt Benjamin Herndon (ca. 1760 VA-1814 SC) DAR Ancestor # A054146 is the only Benjamin Herndon who served from VA in the Rev War (for although others were born there, two actually served from NC, and the third died in 1778 & his widow gave provisions to the patriot cause, not claiming attributing service or claiming anything in behalf of her husband). This agrees with a 1934 letter from the then adjutant general of the War Department which was referenced in the 1934 DAR application of DAR Member # 288090, Juliet Halliburton (later Burnett, later Davis).

Relative already a member: very distant cousin, DAR Member
# 288090: Juliet Halliburton Burnett Davis (1914-2011) died at age 97, twice widowed, aka Mrs. Oscar Weaver Burnett, then Mrs. Walter Burke Davis Jr. (See Find A Grave Memorial # 121325020).

Personal attributes of Benjamin Herndon may imputed by the selection requirements outlined by George Washington on Col George Baylor when he tasked him with the job of starting a regiment of cavalry on 9 Jan 1777 by letter with the following instructions regarding officers & enlisted men:

Gen. Washington addressed the cover: “To George Baylor Esqr.—Colonel of a Regiment of Horse to be raised in Virginia.”
"Dear Baylor,
Your Letter of the 1st from Baltimore came to my hands this day; Your desires of commanding a Regt of Horse I chearfully yield to, because it is the Recommendation of Congress—your own wish—and my desire. As nothing contributes so much to the Constitution of a good Regiment, as a good Corps of Officers, and no method so likely to obtain these as leaveing the choice, in a great measure, to the Gentleman who is to reap the Honours, or share the disgrace ariseing from their Behaviour, I shall vest you with the power of Nominating the Officers of your own Regiment—except the Field Officers, and those of the Troop commanded by Geo: Lewis, which I shall annex to your Regiment (instead of Sheldons) and except a Lieutenancy in some Troop for little Stark [William A. Starke (1759–1777) of Dinwiddie County, Va.,], when I talk of giveing you the Nomination of the Officers, I would have it understood, that, I reserve to myself a negative upon a part or the whole, if I have reason to suspect an improper choice. I earnestly recommend to you, to be circumspect in your choice of Officers—take none but Gentlemen—let no local attachments influence you—do not suffer your good nature (when an application is made) to say Yes, when you ought to say No—remember, that it is a public—not a private Cause, that is to be injured, or benefited by your choice—recollect also, that no Instance has yet happened of good, or bad behaviour in any Corps in our Service, that has not originated with the Officers. Do not take old Men, nor yet fill your Corps with Boys—especially for Captains—[yet] Colo. Landon Carter sometime ago recommended a Grandson of his to me—if he still inclines to serve, & a Lieutenancy would satisfy him, make him the offer of it."
REF: Permalink Citation: See footnotes by the University of Virginia.

These requirements to Baylor for men of honorable character & person are echoes from Gen. Washington's selection requirements "issued to Col. Elisha Sheldon of the 2d Continental Dragoons, see GW’s orders to Sheldon, 16 Dec. 1776. Congress resolved on 23 Jan. 1777 to advance $41,640 to Baylor “for the purpose of purchasing horses and paying the bounty of men for the regiment of cavalry he is ordered to raise, and that the same be paid to Major A. Clough, and charged to the account of Colonel Baylor” (JCC, 7:58)," that "you should have the Nomination of all the Officers (reserving to myself a negative of any One and all such as I shall think unfit for that service,[)] and doubt not you will be particularly carefull in fixing upon none but Gentlemen of true spirits and of good Characters—observing at the same time that Gentlemen of Fortune and reputable Families generally make the most usefull Officers. and ... light active men. The Privates are to receive Twenty Dollars bounty, and a Suit of Cloaths on entering the Service and pay as per Schedule annexed.2 They are to be raised to serve during the war unless sooner discharged by Congress. Each Non-commissioned Officer and private is to be furnished with a good Horse, Saddle, Bridle & other Accoutrements belonging to the Horse service at the expence of the Continent—..."

Gen. Washington's selection instructions given to Baylor can also allude to specific requirements given to Capt Caleb Gibbs via General Orders of 11 Mar 1776:
"The General being desirous of selecting a particular number of men, as a Guard for himself, and baggage, The Colonel, or commanding Officer, of each of the established Regiments, (the Artillery and Riffle-men excepted) will furnish him with four, that the number wanted may be chosen out of them. His Excellency depends upon the Colonels for good Men, such as they can recommend for their sobriety, honesty, and good behaviour; he wishes them to be from five feet, eight Inches high, to five feet, ten Inches; handsomely and well made, and as there is nothing in his eyes more desireable, than Cleanliness in a Soldier, he desires that particular attention may be made, in the choice of such men, as are neat, and spruce. They are all to be at Head Quarters to morrow precisely at twelve, at noon, when the Number wanted will be fixed upon. The General neither wants men with uniforms, or arms, nor does he desire any man to be sent to him, that is not perfectly willing, and desirous, of being of this guard. They should be drill’d men.
REF: Permalink Citation:

FYI: A book has been published about this unit, in 2015, "Baylor's Regiment: The Third Continental Light Dragoons" by Christine L Langner, (ISBN # 9780788456244): don't know if Benjamin is in it (he ought to be), but the summary says: "In January 1777, Colonel George Baylor was given command of the Third Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons, which would always be known as "Baylor's Regiment." The men covered in this book were almost entirely recruited from Virginia, with some men from North Carolina, but who, after the war, settled and raised families not only in Virginia, but in surrounding states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Colonel Baylor, who inspired life-long loyalty in his men, was wounded during "Baylor's Massacre" in September 1778 and was never able to return to active command. The officers of the Third Regiment have been well documented, based on regimental returns, but the one surviving muster roll of the troops gives us only a snapshot of the men. In order to identify them, it has been necessary to search letters written to and from the regimental officers, quartermaster records, and post-war sources, such as state and federal pension records, rejected pension applications, and bounty land warrants. Due to this scarcity of documentation, it is not possible to compile a complete listing of the men of the Third Continental Light Dragoons; however, the men and their accounts summarized herein give us insight into their service and the hardships suffered during the war, the battles they fought in, their families, the friendships they made, and quite often, the poverty resulting from their inability to work due to their war wounds. A bibliography and a full-name index add to the value of this work."

Also interesting, "The Light Dragoons have been called "Washington´s Eyes," and were reportedly used by Major Benjamin Tallmadge, Washington's "Spy Master", for that purpose." This refers specifically to the 2nd Continental Dragoons.
REF: "Colors of the 2nd Regiment of the Continental Light Dragoons 1775."

"George Baylor (1752-1784) was a member of the Caroline County Committee of Safety, 1775-1776, and from 1775-1777, he was aide-de-camp of General George Washington. He was commanding officer of the 3rd Regiment Light Dragoons when he was wounded and captured on September 28, 1778. He was eventually exchanged and his regiment was consolidated with the First Continental Dragoons on November 9, 1782, which he commanded until the end of the war. On September 30, 1783, he received his commission as a Brevet Brigadier General."

FYI: Baylor's cavalry, commissioned 9 Jan 1777, was designated the 3rd Continental Regiment of Light Dragoons, called Baylor's Horse, or Lady Wsahington's Horse, differentiating between two others begun just prior to it, 1st was Bland's Horse raised June-Sept 1776, 2nd was Sheldon's Horse raised Dec '76-Mar 1777. (It's predecessor's were the volunteer mounted guard of neighbors rounded up by nephew George Washington Lewis to escort his Aunt Martha Washington late Nov-11 Dec 1775 to winter with her husband in Cambridge MA with the troops [at the Seige of Boston] Lewis later received command of a unit which was brought under command of Col Baylor, AND from the Commander-in-Chief Guards under command of Capt. Caleb Gibbs). The tie-in (between Capt. Caleb Gibbs' Commander-in-Chief Guards & Col. George Baylor's 3rd Dragoons) is nephew George Washington Lewis (1757-1821), who wss the son of Fielding & Betty (Washington) Lewis. Fielding sent a letter 4 Feb 1776 letter requesting his son be given an assignment to assist. "On 12 Mar 1776, General Washington created the Commander-in-Chief Guard. He appointed Captain Caleb Gibbs commandant and George Lewis First Lieutenant as second in command, with his Continental Commission to be approved on that date. Lewis was 19. On May 16th, 1776, in New York City, in the general orders of the day, Washington proclaimed: "Any orders delivered by Caleb Gibbs and George Lewis, Esqs. (Officers of the General's Guard) are to be attended to in the same manner as if sent Officer of the by an Aide-de-Camp." In addition to performing secretarial obligations such as writing letters for the General, and attending to their own detachment, Lewis conducted all the courier and mounted escort duties.
REF: Also: He was included in "A Return of Officers of the 3rd Regt Light Dragoons with the dates of their Commifsions, Sep 18, 1777," listed as Capt. George Lewis, December _ [1776?], under Col. George Baylor, Januaryy 9, 1777. ( image 496 of 671).
AND SEE: This 30 Dec 1775 letter of Martha Washington to Elizabeth Ramsay mentions the then Capt. Baylor.

Children of Benjamin & Ann (with birth calculations from 1800 & 1810 US Federal censuses, identities from 4 Feb 1815 heir agreement & from father's 1814-1822 probate receipts & 21 Sep 1821 powers-of-attorney, & birth locations calculated from father's deeds, chronology [numbers suggested in brackets] is approximated for the eldest three based on William having the largest family of children by 1820, and Younger & sister Mrs. John Pearce already being on their own in TN at the time of their father's death preceding the heir agreement of 4 Feb 1815):

[1] William Herndon: born abt. 1782 (betw. 1775-1784) in Charlotte Co VA; married Elizabeth ____ (according to 11 Jul 1971 letter by Carolyn Holladay to Marlboro Co SC Probate Judge); died bef. 7 Nov 1831 in Stewart Co TN.

[2] (Daughter One) Herndon: born abt. 1784 (betw. 1775-1784) in Charlotte Co VA; married John Pearce Sr.; (since she wasn't named & didn't sign a dower release muat have pre-deceased her father), died bef. 3-4 Feb 1815 (betw. 1800 census & 1815 land sale).

[3] Younger Herndon: born 1785 (acc to 1850 census); married by 1820 in Stewart Co TN to [1] unknown, had 5 children, as yet unidentified, (with two candidates he shares with his brother William); married [2] between 1820-1830, abt. 1824 to Sarah Ann _____ possibly Wilson, and had another 7 known children; died in 1859, bef. probate activities of 25 May or 13 Jun 1859 in Trigg Co KY, having been a road builder between Cadiz, Trigg Co KY & Dover, Stewart Co TN.

(4) Mary Herndon, born abt. 1787 (betw. 1785-1794), probably in Marlborough District SC; married, in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC, bef. 4 Feb 1815 heir agreement to John Breeden Jr.; died aft. 1830, probably in Stewart Co TN.

(5) (Daughter Three), born abt. 1788 (betw. 1785-1794), probably in Marlborough Dist SC; died aft. 1800 (betw. 1800 census & 4 Feb 1815 heir agreement), probably in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC. (Must have pre-deceased her father because there is no distribution of property indicating a marriage.)

(6) (Daughter Four), born abt. 1790 (betw. 1785-1794), probably in Marlborough Dist SC, or, Halifax Co VA; died aft. 1800 (betw. 1800 census & 4 Feb 1815 heir agreement), probably in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC. (Must have pre-deceased her father because there is no distribution of property indicating a marriage.)

(7) James Herndon, born abt. 1793 (betw. 1791-1794) in probably Halifax Co VA; died aft. 1830 census, probably in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC.

(8) Lucinda Herndon, born 17 Dec 1797 in Marlborough Dist SC; married 15 Dec 1815, in Stewart Co TN, to Thomas HalliBurton; died abt. 1838 (betw. 1834 legend & 1838 birth of daughter Lucinda, as it seems more plausible than being daughter of the successive wife), probably in Stewart Co TN. (One of the four minor heirs provided for by the estate.) Her brother Younger carried their 21 Sep 1821 power-of-attorney to Marlboro Co SC.

(9) Margaret Herndon, born abt. 1801 (betw. 1801-1810) in Marlborough Dist SC; married bef. 21 Sep 1821, probably in Stewart Co TN, to Champion P. James; died aft. 1830, probably in Stewart Co TN. (One of the four minor heirs provided for by the estate.) Her brother Younger carried their 22 Sep 1821 power-of-attorney to Marlboro Co SC.

(10) Frances Herndon, born abt. 1803 (betw. 1801-1810) in Marlborough Dist SC; died aft. 1818 (when her brother William carried her date-undisclosed power-of-attorney to Marlboro Co SC, receiving a second portion for her, in addition to his own), probably in Stewart Co TN. (One of the four minor heirs provided for by the estate.)

(11) (Daughter Eight) Herndon, born abt. 1805 (betw. 1801-1810) in Marlborough Dist SC; died bef. 4 Feb 1815 (betw. 1810 census & 4 Feb 1815 heir agreement), probably in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC. (Must have pre-deceased her father because there is no distribution of property indicating a marriage.)

(12) David Herndon, born abt. 1807-08 (betw. 1805-1810) in Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC; died aft. 1830 (aft. census) probably in Humphreys or Stewart Co TN if he returned there. (One of the four minor heirs provided for in division of the estate.) His brother Younger carried his & mom's (widow Ann's) joint 21 Sep 1821 power-of-attorney to Marlboro Co SC.

Many believe, (& have published in large tomes of family history), that John Herndon, administrator of Benjamin's estate (husband of Sarah Easterling), was a son to Benjamin Herndon Decd. I do not include him in that relationship, because it doesn't meet the standard of proof, and I have zero documentation to connect him. Although he does administer the estate, he inherits zero from it, instead purchasing lands from the widow & eldest son-in-law on 3 Feb 1815, as well as items from the estate on 24-25 Oct 1814, and he allocates himself nothing in the probate receipts, and when the rest of the family migrates to Stewart Co TN, he instead migrates to Butler Co AL; his birth year is variously imputed to be 1776, 1780, 1785, 1787, but census calculations (putting his birth-span in 1810, aged 16-25, thus born between 1785-1794; in 1830, aged 40-49, so betw. 1781-1790; in 1840, aged 50-59, so betw. 1781-1790) therefore, giving a condensed birth-span of between 1781-1790. So, to this point, in spite of the long but possible age distance of 20-29 years, it seems to me, he better fits the behavior of a youngest brother than that of a son. With that understanding, I cannot adopt him to Benjamin & Ann as a son without clear evidence, more than mere attribution.

Others postulate, that perhaps Benjamin was married twice and perhaps the eldest two children were by that a marriage prior to Ann. Again, evidence does not bear that out. Benjamin's age span (on 1800 & 1810 census) matching Ann's (ca. 1756-1764), his involvement in the Rev War (1777-1779+), and his earliest land purchase witnessed by father-in-law Giles Newton (1782), and the 1850 census-documented age of one of his eldest children, Younger (1785), leave no room for a prior marriage.

Benjamin Herndon died sometime in May 1814, before letters of administration were applied for on his estate on 30 May 1814. The probating of his estate covered a several year span: 1814-1822 and included powers-of-attorney being sent & carried by heirs in Stewart Co TN. His personal estate was valued at $6485.50, and rent from the lands brought in $94; the widow's allotted portion was $1535; the clear amount after charges $4605.3[5]

ASSOCIATED FAMILIES, also important to note: while hard to comprehend this aspect of that era, yet, just as with General Washington, slaves were part of the estate. According to US Federal Censuses of the household, there were 4 in 1800, and 9 in 1810, and by Benjamin's death in 1814 there were 11, and due to his dying intestate, they were identified by name in the probate. These slaves (likely crop workers?) were mostly kept with the heirs, divided among them, deducted from what would have been inheritance allocations, and some, of unknown relationship, were sold, transferred to neighbors.

Caring about each of them, too, & to aid descendants researching to find them, here's what is known about their identities and locations. No last names are given but, historically, some took the surnames of the families they'd been with.

Here are the clues to find them:

From Benjamin Herndon's probate in SC Wills & Probate Records at (image set 1069 through 1113 of 1498): see lists of 26 Jul 1814 (image 1083), 24 & 25 Oct 1814 (images 1083 & 1085): it appears the Herndons tried to keep their slave families together (mothers with children).

Info on who retained them or to whom they were transferred:

* woman Nutt & children: girl Clary, boys Henry & Wyatt;
also a man Stephen; (no relationship is stated for the man to the woman or children, only that the children are the woman's)---these five went with the widow Ann Newton Herndon, and she migrated to Stewart Co TN by 1820. Also, there's a discrepancy between description of the ("man") Stephen of Marlboro Co TN and the ("boy") Stephen of Stewart Co TN who was transferred 5 Aug 1822 to William Philips.

* man Jerry;
also a woman Fortune & boy child Daniel; (no relationship is stated for the man to the woman or children, only that the children are the woman's)---these went with the daughter John Jr. & Mary Herndon (Mrs.) Breeden (John dying by 20 Feb 1818 while the estate was still being probated); it appears Mary Breeden may likely have gone to Stewart Co TN by 1830 (having sold her land in Marlboro in 1829).

* boy Isaac---went with William Pearce Sr. (husband of unspecified eldest daughter of Benjamin & Ann who predeceased her father); going also to Stewart Co TN.

* boy Frank;
girl Jinny; (again, no relationship is stated between the two)---these went with Lewis Stubbs (Marlboro Co SC, from 1814+).

* man Peter---went with Bartholomew Cosnahan/Costrahan, spelled both ways. (Marlboro Co SC, from 1814+).

* Also mentions a boy Peter not of the Herndon estate, but of James Jones', going to Thomas Bristow (Marlboro Co SC, from 1814+).

This is the best I can find to aid in locating them. In lieu of any surnames, my best guess would be to look for them with these foregoing families in succeeding censuses, under the surnames they may have adopted.

Many of Benjamin's children show no slaves by 1820-1830-1840-1850-1860, so, quite gratefully, they made a conscious choice not to keep them even prior to the Civil War.

ALERT: The exact burial places of Benjamin & Ann are unknown, but Benjamin was buried in a family cemetery of unspecified name or location within Marlboro/ugh Dist/Co SC, and widow Ann (Herndon) Newton was buried in Tennessee, possibly Stewart Co TN or probably adjoining Humphreys Co TN.

The 1960 DAR Report for patriot burials submitted to Congress stated the burial location of Benjamin Herndon only as Family Cemetery, Marlboro Co SC. He owned hundreds of acres (640 purchased incrementally) within Marlboro Co SC, so he could be buried anywhere on that land. (FYI: His family association with the Newtons & their burials may be important. Boykin Methodist Church Cemetery is where the Giles Newton Family Reunion is held annually in August.)

Herndon Family Migration: Two of their eldest children, Mrs. John Pearce Sr.---(unknown given name Herndon, who must have predeceased her father, dying pre-30 May 1814, bef. 3 Feb 1815 not signing dower release for sale of inheritance land)---and Younger Herndon were already residents of Stewart Co TN when they signed a legal heir agreement on 4 Feb 1815 with [with widowed mom & siblings witnessing they "made an agreement all unanimously to rate together on an equal average," in other words agreeing to 'share-and-share-alike.' Before 1820, several siblings and their mother, widow Ann, had joined them in Stewart Co TN. That year she purchased 100 acres land, and was responsible for supplying road hands.

Widow's Death: By 1820, widow Ann was living in Stewart Co TN. On 22 Dec 1823, widow Ann made deed of gift for maternal affection to son David, registered 3 Feb 1824 (Deed Book G p 141-142, Stewart Co, TN, Ann Herndon of Stewart to son David Herndon of same 100 acres + personal property. Place where I now live together with improvements; present crop or stock of corn and fodder on hand; all provisions of all kinds; all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs; hh/kitchen furn. Boy Wyatt and woman Nutt.) This may have indicated she was badly ailing or dying and wanted to gift it rather than will it. Yet I believe she survived longer because her son, likely the David Herenden enumerated in adjoining Humphreys Co TN in 1830, had only three people with him, an elderly white woman who fits the age span of his mother Ann, and two slaves who fit the age spans of Nutt & Wyatt. It appears possible that David married & died before 4 Jun 1849 back in Stewart Co TN (Book G, pp. 148-49, 161, 164 & 360), leaving a widow of unspecified name. I believe that Ann died between 1830-1838 (aft. the 1830 census & bef. the 1838 Act of Congress which made Benjamin's military service eligible for pension for her as widow), definitely dying sometime after her 22 Dec 1823 deed of gift which was registered 3 Feb 1824, so Ann's death certainly occured sometime during the broad span of Dec 1823-Jul 1838!

This research summary, condensed for bio sketch, was written by Rose Herndon Bonnell, 11 July 2016.

Blessings in your research, and accurately identifying your ancestors!

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