Untangling the William Flemings of Augusta Co., Va. before 1790
In tracing the ancestry of my great-great grandmother, Thyrza Frances Fleming, I found family records indicating she was the granddaughter of James Fleming and the daughter of John Fleming. Further study has shown that James Fleming was present in Pendleton District, S. C., in the 1790 census. Fortunately, there is a record in Augusta Co., Va., records, where James Fleming and Ann, his wife, of Pendleton “County”, S. C., sold his interest as heir at law in lot 18, Staunton, Virginia, “whereon Thomas Smith formerly dwelt, conveyed to William [Fleming] by James Hill and his wife” to James “McGonnigle” of Augusta Co., Va. Perusal of the Augusta Co., Va., records abstracted by Lyman Chalkley make it clear there is more than one man named William Fleming who appears in the records from the formation of the county in 1745 until the early 1790’s. This is a first attempt at untangling these men—additions and corrections are anticipated as further study occurs. (see footnote 2).The other man's data is posted under 1782 William Fleming of Augusta Co., Va.
1795 William Fleming of Roanoke Co., Va.
The more prominent William Fleming, gentleman, is somewhat easier to track, partly because he was wealthier, and partly because he married Ann Christian, daughter of Israel and Elizabeth Christian, before 20 November 1768 in Augusta Co., Va. This is established by a deed from Israel Christian to his daughter, Ann, wife of Captain William Fleming, “for natural love and affection” and marriage portion for a life estate in the property upon which William “now lives” described as “Bell Mount,” and consisting of upwards of 500 acres of land at the fording of Tinkers’ Creek, formerly owned by John Robinson. Upon her death, the property was to pass to her eldest son, Leonard Israel Fleming.
The fact that they already had a son indicates a marriage date earlier than 1768, and other deeds suggest 1763. On 24 September 1763 Israel Christian and Elizabeth, his wife, sold for £100, a 300 acre tract in the Beverley manor, described as “Beverley’s Mill Place, crossing the meadow branch,” granted to James Miller 28 May 1751, and by Miller to Israel Christian 26 March 1754. Another deed suggests William Fleming was present in Staunton as early as 24 November 1760. Israel Christian and Felix Gilbert, acting as Justices of Augusta County, on 10 March 1765, confirmed the sale of lot No. 16, in Staunton, adjacent to the land William was then residing upon, by an order dated 24 November 1760. The combination of these two dates suggests that William Fleming married Ann Christian about 1763. Note also, William Fleming, gentleman, had lot No. 16, while William Fleming, joiner, had lot No. 18 in the town of Staunton.
Robert Beverley sold to William Fleming two tracts of land in Beverley Manor, one 440 acres and the other 120 acres, for £17 on 23 May 1765. Fleming, and Ann, his wife, in turn, sold both tracts to Robert Reed, tavernkeeper of Staunton, for £200 on 18 August 1767.
In addition to being called “gentleman” and “Captain,” he was also described as “Doctor” in a deed dated 6 Jan 1770, in which Samuel and Matthew Cowden sold a mortgage to John Graham and Daniel Kidd on a parcel of land described as including, in part, “1/2 acre lot in Staunton, formerly property of Joseph Bell bounded by Robert Reed and Doctor William Fleming's lots.” Since it appears that Robert Reed was in lot 17, between the two men named William Fleming, this reference is ambiguous, but I have interpreted it as applying to 1795 William Fleming of Botetourt Co., Va.
William Fleming moved to Botetourt Co., Virginia, before 20 November 1770, when he and his wife, Ann, sold to John Frogg, sadler, for £120 three lots in Staunton, Virginia, No. 11, No. 16, and an extra tract attached to lot No. 16. At the same time, they sold a 120 acre tract in Beverley Manor that appears to be part of the tract William Fleming obtained from Israel Christian in 1765. William Christian and John Bowman of Botetourt Co., Va., were commissioned to take the privy examination of Ann Fleming, wife of William Fleming on 2 March 1771, and this was returned on 20 March 1771.
Elizabeth Christian, mother-in-law of William Fleming, died before 8 September 1789 in Botetourt Co., Va., when her will, written 23 August 1788 was proved. She leaves to her daughter “Annie the wife of William Fleming my negro fellow Dawson to her, her heirs and assigns forever.” She also specifically bequeaths to “my grand daughter Elizabeth Fleming, my negro fellow named Isaac to her, her heirs or assigns forever, but should the said Elizabeth die before she comes of age, or before she marries, then it is my Will and desire that her next oldest surviving sister shall have my said negro Isaac to her, her heirs or assigns forever.”
William Fleming’s estate from 1795 is mentioned in Torrence’ list.
His descendants are nicely outlined in a court action from 1820 in Augusta Co., Va., trying to settle the claims on the unsold tract, initially of 500+ acres. This suit establishes that William Fleming had three sons: John, who died without issue and intestate before 1820, Leonard I., and William. He also left four daughters: Priscilla, wife of Samuel Wilson, Dorothy, wife of James Bratton, Eliza(beth), wife of Samuel G. Ramsey, and Ann, wife of George Baxter. James Bratton was dead by 1820, leaving his children in Montgomery Co., Va. Samuel Ramsey was also dead, leaving his family in Knox Co., Tenn. Leonard I. Fleming and his wife, Nancy, were living in Woodford Co., Ky., on 9 Dec 1819, when they executed a deed to Charles Johnston for the sale of 434 acres of land in Botetourt Co., Va.
1. WILLIAM1 FLEMING was born 17 February 1727/28 in Jedburgh, Scotland, and died 5 August 1795 Roanoke, Roanoke Co., Va. He married ANN CHRISTIAN about 1765 in Augusta Co., Va., daughter of ISRAEL CHRISTIAN and ELIZABETH.
Children of WILLIAM FLEMING and ANN CHRISTIAN are:
i. LEONARD ISRAEL2 FLEMING b. 18 June 1764 Augusta Co., Va.; d. 27 Oct 1845 Woodford Co., Ky.; m. (1) MARY BOWYER 21 June 1787 Augusta Co., Va., daughter of WILLIAM BOWYER; m. (2) NANCY MARSHALL BAYSE 28 February 1809 Bourbon Co., Ky.
ii. JOHN2 FLEMING, died before 1820, unmarried.
iii. WILLIAM2 FLEMING.
There are several references to William Fleming, Esq., that occur after 1770, when William Fleming moved to Botetourt Co., Va. Since he was called “Esq.” as early as 1776, as was a commissioner in Kentucky by 1781, he was probably born before 1750. Since Israel Christian did not move to Augusta Co., Va., much before 1754, it is difficult to reconcile this information with the son of 1795 William Fleming of Botetourt Co., Va.
iv. ELIZABETH2 FLEMING b. 13 Mar 1775 Botetourt Co., Va.; d. 1844 Ringgold, Catoosa Co., Ga.; (1) CAREY ALLEN; m. (2) SAMUEL GRAHAM RAMSEY 24 Feb 1797 Botetourt Co., Va., son of REYNOLD RAMSEY and NAOMI ALEXANDER; b. 20 Oct 1771 Gettysburg, Adams Co., Pa.; d. 5 July 1817 Knox Co., Tenn.
Children of ELIZABETH FLEMING and SAMUEL RAMSEY are:
1. ANNA AMELIA 3 RAMSEY b. 12 Dec 1797; m. ROBERT M. SWAN.
2. REYNOLDS ALLEN3 RAMSEY b. 13 Nov 1799 Knox Co., Tenn.; d. 21 June 1884 Dalton, Whitfield Co., Ga.; m. (1) ANNE CAMPBELL ROANE 18 July 1822 Knox Co., Tenn.; m. (2) LOUISE CAROLINE LENOIR 17 Jan 1828 Sweetwater, Monroe Co., Tenn.; m. (3) ANN BLAIR McLIN 6 Feb 1845.
3. WILLIAM FLEMING BAXTER3 RAMSEY, b. 5 Aug 1805 Knox Co., Tenn.; m. (1) Unknown; m. (2) DRUCILLA COPELAND 11 Oct 1849.
4. DOROTHY BRATTON3 RAMSEY b. 5 Oct 1807 Knox Co., Tenn.
5. SAMUEL FRANKLINF3 RAMSEY b. 20 Nov 1814 Knox Co., Tenn.; d. 22 Mar 1902 Haskell, Haskell Co., Tex.; m. SARAH ADELINE MAGILL 13 May 1845 Madisonville, Monroe Co., Tenn.
6. ELIZABETH CHRISTIAN3 RAMSEY, m. AINSWORTH BLUNT.
7. REBECCA A.3 FLEMING b. 1813 Knox Co., Tenn.; m. JAMES C. CHILDRESS 1852 Chattanooga, Hamilton Co., Tenn.
v. PRISCILLA2 FLEMING, m. SAMUEL WILSON.
vi. DOROTHY2 FLEMING, m. JAMES BRATTON, died before 1820 Montgomery Co., Va.
Children of DOROTHY FLEMING and JAMES BRATTON are:
1. ANN C.3 BRATTON.
2. MALVINA3 BRATTON.
3. CARY3 BRATTON.
vii. ANN2 FLEMING, m. GEORGE BAXTER.
 Updated 19 December 2006.
 Augusta Co., Va., Circuit Court Deeds 1:3. [7 Oct 1789]. Located at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/3court59.txthttp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/3court59.txt. These records were all cited in Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800. Vol. 1:225. Located at http://www.rootsweb.com/~chalkley/http://www.rootsweb.com/~chalkley/ and accessed 3 and 4 Dec 2006. Referred to hereafter as Chronicles. These records have been criticized for their inaccurate transcriptions and their incompleteness. Unfortunately, this work is all that is currently available. It is my hope that by posting these data, others may be able to amplify the work and supplement it with new transcriptions, which, if time permits, I will also attempt to do.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 15:243. Chronicles 3:458.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 11:424. Chronicles 3:404.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 11:829. Chronicles 3:421.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 12:19. [Registered 12 Sep 1765.] Chronicles 3:425.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 13:464. Chronicles 3:457. [Noted as delivered to Mrs. Reid 5 June 1791. Robert Reed died in 1788, as attested in a chancery court case involving his estate from September 1799. The reason for the delay in delivery is not noted. Chronicles 2:10-15. Located at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/2court2.txthttp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/2court2.txt.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 16:266, [6 Jan 1770]. Chronicles 3:496.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 17:62. Chronicles 3:506.
 Augusta Co., Va., Deed Book 17:166. Chronicles 3:508.
 Botetourt Co., Va., Will Book A:271. Transcription by Karen Bowyer. Located at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/botetourt/wills/willbka.txthttp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/botetourt/wills/willbka.txt. Accessed 4 December 2006. The inventory is located in Will Book A:290-291. Her estate was valued at £183.
 http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/botetourt/wills/wills1769-1800.txthttp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/botetourt/wills/wills1769-1800.txt. (Torrence) Accessed 4 Dec 2006.
 1820 VA Augusta Co. Wilson vs. Ramsey and Bratton -- O.S.302; N.S.1 08 -- Bill, 1820, by Samuel Wilson. Chronicles 2:222.
 Data about his birth and death from Skaggs, Leo. Ramsey and Resch Family File. 27 Jul 2001. Located at http://worldconnect.rootsweb.comhttp://worldconnect.rootsweb.com, (db. lsskaggs.)
 Data are from the chancery suit of 1820 noted above, unless otherwise stated.
 Marriage Bond was issued 20 June 1787 (Chronicles 2:303), and returned by Rev. Archibald Scott as performed 21 June 1787. (Chronicles 2:347.)
 Dates of birth, death, and are from Kentucky: A History of the State (1887), cited by Ginger Hicks. Tree of Faith. 13 April 2005. (db. :307997); date of second marriage is from Terry Gordon. Terry’s Addiction. 21 June 2006. (db. farransrch ). Both located at
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.comhttp://worldconnect.rootsweb.com. Ginger Hicks lists William Fleming’s birth as 6 July 1736, but gives no source for this. She also lists his date of death as 1795.
 Augusta Co., Va., DB 21:387, [18 Nov 1776] Chronicles 3:548; DB 21:521, [11 Mar 1777] Chronicles 3:550; appointed constable 18 May 1780, Augusta Co., Va., DB 17:226
 Skaggs, Leo. Ramsey and Resch Family File. 27 Jul 2001. Located at http://worldconnect.rootsweb.comhttp://worldconnect.rootsweb.com, (db. lsskaggs.)
 “Elizabeth Christian (Fleming)(Allen) Ramsey died 1844 Ringgold, GA. she lived the remainder of her life (after death of Samuel) with their son Col. Reynolds Allen Ramsey. Her parents were Dr. William and Anne "Nancy" Christian Fleming. She was also previously married to the Rev. Carey Allen.” Source: Dennis. 14 July 2006. Post It Note to the file of Dennis Simpson. Dennis Simpson. 20 Oct 2002. Located at http://worldconnect.rootsweb.comhttp://worldconnect.rootsweb.com, (db. :2274378).
 Dennis. 14 July 2006. Post it note to the above file. Additional data from Skaggs, Leo. Ramsey and Resch Family File. 27 Jul 2001. Located at http://worldconnect.rootsweb.comhttp://worldconnect.rootsweb.com, (db. lsskaggs.)