The first settlers to in the Catawba and Cherokee region were in the region by the mid 1700s and were of German, Dutch, English, and Scotch-Irish origin. A fort was constructed along the Catawba and South Fork Rivers, however, most of the Cherokees had left by 1770 and the Catawba Indians removed to Fort Mill, South Carolina. Gaston County was founded in 1846 and named for William Gastson, a Congressman and North Carolina Supreme Court justice. The original commissioners of the county were ordered to establish a county seat within two miles of the Long Creek Baptist Meeting House, and they named the seat Dallas, in honor of Vice President George Dallas. Yet, a popular 1911 vote made Gastonia the county seat. Bessemer City, Cherryville, High Shoals, Lowell, McAdenville, Ranlo, Stanley, Spencer, and Mount Holly are other communities within the boundaries of Gaston County. The county seat is Gastonia (pictured).
Gaston County Wills and other Records Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers
Images of Gaston County Wills 1847 to 1867Testators: Armstrong, Mary ; Armstrong, William ; Arrowood, David ; Beattie, Esther ; Bell, John ; Black, Stephen; Blackwood, Joseph; Brison, John ; Caldwell, Samuel Lee ; Carpenter, David ; Cloninger, Adam; Craft, Michael ; Eaker, Daniel ; Edleman, Peter ; Ewing, Jabez ; Falls, Andrew; Falls, Mary R. ; Ferguson, James ; Ferguson, Thomas ; Ferguson, William M. ; Ford, Sarah ; Forgus, Elizabeth ; Gingles, Samuel ; Gullick, Milton ; Hanks, Thomas ; Hanner, Thomas ; Henderson, William ; Henkle, Hannah ; Hill, Ann ; Holland, Franklin H. ; Holland, Isaac; Holland, Martha; Holland, Mary C. ; Howel, Ellis; Hoyl, Andrew ; Jenkins, Ann ; Johnston, Robert ; Knox, John ; Lidell, John ; Linebarger, John; Love, Andrew ; Love, Mary ; MacLean, Thomas ; McClure, James ; McCullough, Robert; Mellon, Jonathan ; Moore, Lee A.; Neely, John; Oats, Thomas; Ormand, Benjamin; Rankin, Alexander ; Robinson, Margaret ; Robinson, Samuel ; Rutledge, George; Rhyne, John; Rhyne, Michael ; Rudasill, Susannah ; Self, William; Shipp, Elizabeth W.; Smith, John ; Smith, John (2) ; Smith, Robert ; Stowe, Larkin ; Stroup, Hosea ; Stroup, Jacob ; Stroup, Jonas; Stroup, Lawson ; Torrence, Ephraim ; Torrence, Jamison F. ; Wells, Featherston ; White, James ; Whitesides, John ; Whitesides, Wallace ; Wilson, Margaret ; Wilson, Mary A. ; Wilson, WilliamImages of Wills 1869 to 1898Testators: Abernathy, J. A. ; Abernathy, James; Abernathy, Marion ; Abernathy, Miles; Abernathy, Starling; Adams, Margaret; Aderholdt, Barbara; Aderholt, David; Armstrong, Mathew ; Armstrong, M. R. ; Armstrong, Visa; Baldwin, Nancy L.; Barnhill, Mary A.; Beattie, Francis ; Beattie, James O. ; Beattie, Samuel ; Bell, Susan; Best, Samuel; Bissell, Edward; Black, Alfred and Mary; Black, Vincent; Blackwood, Ann; Blackwood, Elizabeth; Blackwood, Gideon; Blackwood, Jane; Blackwood, Leander ; Blackwood, Margaret; Boyd, Robert M.; Bradley, Albert ; Bradley, Alexander S.; Bradley, Joseph W. ; Bradley, Mitchell; Bradley, Rebecca; Broadway, Whiten; Brock, Jonas ; Bryson, Jane; Carpenter, A. W.; Carpenter, Sally; Carroll, Margaret ; Carson, James M.; Carson, Joseph ; Carson, Robert ; Cathey, Elizabeth; Clark, William ; Clemmer, Levi ; Clenenger, Fanny; Cleninger, Jonas ; Cleninger, Moses ; Combust, David ; Connell, Mary Ellen ; Connell, Robert ; Connell, Sarah; Connors, William F. ; Costner, Catharine ; Costner, Simon P. ; Craig, Robert H. ; Craft, J. P. ; Crow, John; Dameron, John ; Davenport, A. W.; Dellinger, Tempy; Derr, Silvey G. ; Dickson, William ; Eaker, David ; Ewing, Hugh F.; Ferguson, James; Findlay, Elizabeth; Finley, Ann M. ; Finley, Melissa Jane; Friday, David ; Friday, Ephraim; Friday, J. N. ; Froneberger, John; Gamble, Joseph; Garrett, Malvina ; Gingles, Dorcas; Glenn, E. L.; Grier, Margaret M. ; Groves, N. E. ; Hager, Lawson S. ; Hager, William ; Hall, J. D. ; Hampton, Celeste B. ; Hanks, Elizabeth; Harrelson, James F.; Harrelson, William ; Harrison, John ; Henderson, J. Newton ; Henderson, W. B.: Hill, William; Hines, Daniel; Holland, E. B. ; Holland, Robert; Hovis, Sarah ; Huffstetler, H. B.; Hutchinson, Charles L. ; Jenkins, D. A. ; Jenkins, Harrison ; Jenkins, Lodema; Jenkins, Smith; Johnston, S. X. ; Kiser, Jacob; Kiser, Levi ; Kiser, Susannah ; Leeper, Arthur ; Lineberger, David ; Lineberger, Lewis ; Love, Jennet ; Love, Naomi ; Manney, Caleb; McAlister, Elisha ; McBee, Sarah; McClurd, R. L.; McCready, James; McCready, William; McGill, Thomas; McKee, Pina S. ; McLean, John D.; McLean, Margaret ; McNair, Nancy ; Mendenhall, John J. ; Mendenhall, Margaret ; Nantaz, W. J. ; Neal, Sarah; Nealy, Sarah L.; Nolen, William; O'Connell, J. J. ; Ormond, John J. Jr. ; Ormond, Zenos ; Parrish, W. N.; Pasvur, George J. ; Patterson, William; Pearson, William; Perkins, Isaac ; Perry, Edward; Quinn, Eliza E. ; Quinn, James; Quinn, John W. ; Rankin, John E. ; Rankin, John ; Ratchford, Esther; Ratchford, Joseph; Ratchford, Robert; Reede, Elizabeth; Rhyne, Daniel; Rhyne, Eslie ; Rhyne, Jacob E. ; Rhyne, Jacob H. ; Rhyne, Jacob K. ; Rhyne, Moses H. ; Rudisill, Emanuel ; Rutledge, A. R. ; Rutledge, James; Ryborne, Andrew ; Scott, Ebenezer ; Shannon, James; Smith, Benjamin; Smith, James R. ; Smith, J. W. ; Smith, Martha; Smith, Mary A. ; Stowe, Elizabeth; Stroup, Caleb; Stroup, Moses ; Suggs, M. I. ; Summerson, Susan ; Tarvin, Rachel W. ; Therron, John; Thomas, Rebecca ;Thomas, Samuel ; Thomasson, D. W. ; Torrence, Harrison A. ; Torrence, Robert; Wallace, Mary E. ; Wallace, Sarah and William W. ; Warlick, Lyda ; Wells, Burrel F. ; Wells, David; White, Elizabeth R. ; White, James F. ; White, James H.; White, Mary C. ; White, Mary ; Whitesides, Margaret ; Whitesides, Mary ; Whitesides, W. T. ; Wilson, Ezra ; Wilson, Mary M. and Wilson, Robert;Images of Wills 1898 to 1916Testators: Adams, Jane Caroline ; Aden, Giles M. (probate) ; Anthony, A. M.; Armstrong, Clarissa ; Armstrong, George M. ; Armstrong, Margaret E. ; Arrowood, William ; Banister, Sarah ; Bayer, E. E.; Beam, D. C. ; Bell, Rosa C. ; Bell, Wiley ; Bell, William ; Berry, Nancy J.; Beatty, Eleanor ; Blackwood, James M. ; Blackwood, Mary J. ; Blackwood, William R. ; Bradford, William T. ; Brimer, C. P. ; Brison, Benjamin ; Broadaway, William ; Brown, J. L. ; Bryson, John F. ; Burk, Monroe ; Caldwell, R. A. ; Cannon, John F. ; Carpenter, B. F.; Carpenter, Dicey L. ; Carpenter, Fannie L.; Carpenter, Henry ; Carpenter, J. E. ; Carrington, Edwin T.; Carroll, Sarah E.; Carson, Margaret Elizabeth ; Carson, M. E. ; Carson, Rufus W.; Cathey, Morris ; Clark, Elizabeth ; Clark, Mary A.; Cole, Florence M.; Connell, James H. ; Costner, Jess H. ; Costner, John W. ; Costner, Mary Zoe ; Costner, Michael H. ; Costner, S. P. ; Costner, Susan Emeline ; Cox, Eli ; Davis, I. N.; Davis, W. L. ; Dellinger, Harriett ; Dellinger, Isabella ; Dewstoe, Martin; Dickson, O. C. ; Eaker, John ; Eaker, Margaret ; Elmsmore, Mary ; Falls, Thomas L.; Farley, Augustus; Farley, Janett; Farrar, Nathaniel; Farris, Margaret; Fite, Mary ; Fite, Rufus ; Flonk, Jacob; Flonk, Sallie; Foster, Elizabeth; Friday, Rufus ; Froneberger, Anna May ; Froneberger, Falls; Froneberger, Namay; Gamble, A. J.; Glenn, E. M. ; Glenn, Margaret M. ; Glenn, Mary Lavina ; Glenn, Martha M. ; Glenn, William D.; Glove, R. C. ; Gray, George A.; Gray, John E. ; Greenwell, Thomas William ; Gullick, Jane ; Gullick, John A. ; Hall Mary Ellen; Hall, W. T. ; Hand, Alfred F. ; Hand, Laura ; Hand, S. J.; Hanna, Thomas M. ; Hanna, William D. ; Hargrove, W. W.; Harris, T. P. ; Harris, William C. ; Harrison, Julia A. ; Heavner, Mary E. ; Henderson, Abier ; Henderson, Andy R. ; Henderson, Martha P. ; Henderson, Roxana; Herron, Elizabeth ; Hill, Rufus S. ; Hoffman, E. L.; Hoffman, Jonas ; Hoffman, M. P. ; Hoffman, W. C. B.; Hogue, Wade ; Holland, Julia Courts ; Homesley, Benjamin S. ; Homesley, James; Hord, Marion ; Howe, Margaret Elizabeth ; Jackson, Thomas; Jamieson, Mary L.; Jenkins, Annie ; Jenkins, Edward ; Jenkins, Jonas ; Jenkins, Joseph ; Jenkins, William ; Johnson, Laban ; Johnson, L. D. ; Johnston, Julia W. ; Johnston, Ural G. ; Jones, John E. ; Kendrick, Mary; Kennedy, James J. ; Kennedy, J. J. ; Kennedy, Nannie L.; Kincaid, J. R.; Kiser, Barbara ; Lackey, Fannie ; Lackey, G. W.; Leeper, F. W. ; Lentz, Paul ; Lineberger, David A. ; Lineberger, P. J.; Lineberger, Sarah ; Lineberger, Monroe ; Love, N. L.; Manney, M. J. ; Mauney, Jane; Mauney, Wiley ; McLean, Martha ; McNair, Jane; McNaire, Margaret ; Miller, Bell ; Miller, Catherine V. ; Miller, Margaret; Miller, Mary C. ; Miller, Robert A. Sr. ; Mitchem, Harriet ; Moore, James Walter; Morrow, R. H.; Moss, N. H. ; Moten, W. R. ; Nantz, Reeves ; Neagle, J. P.; Ormand, Ann; Ormand, B. M. ; Ormand, R. D.; Orrender, W. W. ; Parks, Ann ; Patrick, James Leander; Pegram, Edwin Larkin ; Pegram, T. C. ; Petty, C. Q.; Plume, Frederick; Pool, M. A. Sr. ; Price, Elizabeth; Prior, James ; Pryor, Eliza B.; Pryor, Mary Perlina ; Rankin, Erastus ; Rankin, Mack ; Rankin, W. D.; Ransom, Nancy; Rankin, R. P. ; Ratchford, Eliza; Ray, Thomas ; Reynolds, Matthew ; Rhyne, Alburtus; Rhyne, Mary C.; Richards, William; Riddle, George L. ; Riddle, Joseph ; Riddle, Mary J.; Robinson, Ann ; Robinson, E. J. ; Robinson, William M. ; Ross, Lidda; Sadler, Susan ; Shaw, Catherine J. ; Sherrill, William C. ; Shives, G. M. ; Sloan, Elmina Spring ; Smith, Catherine ; Smith, C. F. ; Smith, John B. ; Smith, L. C.; Sparrow, Susan S.; Spencer, William H. ; Sprott, Mary A. ; Stewart, Rebecca ; Stowe, C. T. ; Stowe, J. L. ; Stroup, Addie A. ; Stroup, Andrew ; Stroup, Belle ; Stroup, Israel R.; Suggs, L. L. ; Sumerow, Henry ; Tate, Margaret L. ; Thomas, John F. ; Thomas, Sarah A. ; Thomas, W. R. ; Thornburg, Daniel ; Thornburg, David S. ; Thornburg, Moses ; Titman, Ann C. ; Torrence, Crown ; Torrence, Ladusky ; Torrence, M. M. S. ; Underwood, David ; Walker, David M. ; Watterson, Rebecca ; Welch, Louis P. ; White, J. C. and Barbara ; White, Robert A.; Whitworth, Titus; Wilson, John F. ; Wilson, Margie ; Wilson, Thomas ; Winder, John C. ; Withers, Sue S.Miscellaneous Wills
- Rutledge, George, LWT (1850), transcript
The Search for a Brother Killed by Tories on King's Mountain
By Jeannette Holland Austin Profile
During the American Revolution, Patriot irregulars under Colonel William Campbell of Virginia defeated the Tories at the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina. The army of Major Ferguson was served mostly by American Loyalists from South Carolina and was part of the western wing of the North Carolina forces under General Lord Cornwallis. Colonel Campbell assembled approximately one thousand frontiersmen from the backcountry to prevent the advance of Major Ferguson. Ferguson positioned his Tory forces in to defend a rocky, treeless ridge named King’s Mountain. The Patriots charged the hillside multiple times, demonstrating expert marksmanship against the surrounded Loyalists. However, Ferguson was unwilling to surrender and led a suicidal charge down the mountain where he was cut down by a hail of bullets. After his death, some of his men tried to surrender, but they were slaughtered in cold blood by frontiersmen who had already encountered the savagry of "Bloody William" Cunningham and " and "butcher" Tarleton. 157 Tories were killed and 698 captured, while the force of Colonel Campbell lost only 28 soldiers, with 60 wounded. Charles Bowan, serving in the company of Captain William Edmondson of the regiment of Colonel William Campbell participated in this battle. Afterwards, upon hearing that his brother, Lt. Reece Bowen had been killed, searched for him, but instead came across his own fallen Captain Edmondson, shot in the head and dying. He found himself near the enemy and hid behind a tree, then shot down the first man who hoisted a flag and turning to reload, his own Colonel Cleveland advanced on foot, suspecting he was a tory and demanded the countersign, which Bowen had forgotten. Cleveland levelled his rifle at the breast of Bowen, attempted to shoot, but it missed fire. Bowen, enraged, seized Cleveland by the collar, snatched his tomahawk from his belt, but was arrested by a soldier named Buchanan, who knew both parties. Bowen now remembered the countersign and gave it as "Buford."
The Treatment of British Prisoners of War at the Battle of Kings Mountain
" A gentleman lately come to town has favoured us with an account of the base treatment the unfortunate officers and men met with who surrendered prisoners of war last October to the Rebel, Col. Campbell, in the action of King's Mountain. A small party of the (British) militia returning from foraging, unacquainted with the surrender, happening to fire on the Rebels, the prisoners were immediately threatened with death if the firing should be repeated. The morning after the action the prisoners were marched sixteen miles. Previous to their march, orders were given by Campbell, should they be attacked, to fire on and destroy every prisoner. The party kept marching for two days without any kind of provisions. On the third day's march all the baggage of the officers was seized and shared among the Rebel Officers. A few days after a mock court-martial sat for the trial of the militia prisoners, when, after a short hearing, thirty gentlemen, some of the most respectable characters in that country, had sentence of death passed on them, and at six O'clock the same day they began to execute. Col. Mills and Capt. Chitwood, of North Carolina, Capt. Wilson, of Ninety-Six, and six privates were first executed. The British Officers were compelled to attend at the execution of their brave but unfortunate men, who, with manly firmness, avowed their loyalty in their last moments, and with their latest breath expressed their unutterable detestation for the Rebels and their base and infamous proceedings. The remaining twenty-one were reprieved for a time."
Sources: Description of the treatment of British prisoners of war December 27, 1780; Volume 15, Page 183; KING'S MOUNTAIN BATTLE—BRITISH ACCOUNTS; [From Scots Magazine, January, 1781.]
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