(Recently, I found this old note and thought perhaps Spiers might be interested in the connection/data. Professor Esther Byrd Nelson, who taught at American River College passed away I think about ten or twelve years ago.`Kate)
I am posting this on the behalf of my good and dear friend, and perhaps cousin, Esther Byrd Nelson who is a descendant of African/American John Holmes, Sr., who died in 1908 in Brinkley, Monroe Co., Arkansas. She is ardently researching the Holmes/Craighead African-American genealogy. According to Esther it is believed that the Holmes and Craighead families were business partners in a plantation that was located in Craighead County in Forest City,(township) Arkansas.
The business ended in 1865 after the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. African/American John Holmes, Sr., was married to Laura who was born in 1855 and died in 1899. They had five children whose names were: Alice, Soloman, John Fr., Nellie Ann, and James Holmes. They lived in Craighead Co., on the Holmes/Craighead plantation.
You will notice that Esther's middle name is Byrd. There was a John Holmes, b. ca. 1675 of Bertie Co., NC. This John m. Tamar Byrd who was born about 1673. They married in 1700 in either Nansemond Co., VA, or Perquimans Co., NC. John died abt. 28-Feb-1736 in Edgecombe Co., NC. Tamar died after that date in Edgecombe Co., NC. This John was the son of Edward Holmes of Nansemond, VA b. 1645, who had been granted land in Chowan precinct area, NC ca. 1695.
TAMAR BYRD had a brother, William "BIRD" b. ca. 1673 who was a COUSIN of Edward Holmes, Jr., b. ca. 1674.
Edward Holmes, b. 1645, VA, died 14-April-1702 in Perquimans Co., NC. He married Elizabeth Whinfield who was the Executrix of his estate. They married in 1670. I don't know if there were other children, I think not, but these are the named ones I have listed:
1. Edward Holmes, Jr., b. before 1674 -of Bertie Co., NC. Died before Nov, 1750. His cousin and Executor of his will was WILLIAM BIRD (spelled that way) Edward Jr. m. Lydia Codogan bef. 17212.
2. Thomas Holmes, b. aft 1674. Prob. Bertie Co., NC. He m. Mary Collyer in 1696, Berkley Precinct, NC.
3. JOHN HOLMES WHO M. TAMAR BYRD MENTIONED ABOVE.
4. Sarah Holmes, b. aft 1675 in NC.
Elizabeth Holmes, b. aft 1676 in NC.
The children of John Holmes and Tamar Byrd:
1. Rev. John Holmes III, m. Dorothy
2. Edward Holmes, d. 1761, m. Rebecca Young
Their children were John Holmes b. ca. 1755 who died young leaving his estate to his sisters, Mary (who m. Capt. James James- yes, twice) and Dorothy.
3. Hardy Holmes, He bought land in Edgecomb Co. from his b-in-law, William Spier. after 1790. In May of 1741 Hardy purchased 320 acres of the north side of Fishing Creek.
4. Ann Holmes, m. Sanders
5. Charity Holmes, b, 1706 m. Brown
6, Dorothy Holmes, b. 1707 of Edgecombe Co., NC m. William Spier before 1742.
7. Beatrix Holmes also m. a Mr. Spier.
8. Rose Holmes, b. 1709
9. Mary Holmes, b. 1710
10. Gabriel Holmes, Sr. b. 1719. of Edgecome Co. NC. He m. Mary Caison who was b. ca. 1719.This Gabriel settled on Gilmore Swamp in (now) Sampson Co., in 1750. He died in 1788. [Could someone help me here? I always get confused between identifying this Gabriel or HIS son, Gabriel, Jr., [who was b. 1769, and who m. Mary Smith Hunter-] as the Governor of North Carolina.
I am a white woman and direct descendent of John Holmes b. ca. 1710 of Rowan Co., NC who m. Jennet Wilson. This one-legged John Holmes came to Savannah, GA to help lay out the city with General Oglethorpe. His descendent and grandson, Phineas Holmes [b. 12-Nov-1786, NC] sold slaves in 1837 in Benton Co., Arkansas. This Phineas is my GGGF and is the SON of James Holmes b. before 14-June-1747 which was his baptismal date at the Tinkling Springs Church, Fishersville, Augusta, VA.
I got the following information from: The Benton County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1034 Bentonville, Arkansas, 72712. Arkansas territory was separated from the Missouri territory in 1820. Arkansas became a state in 1836. The county of Benton and the town of Bentonville were formed in 1837.
Other research from "The Benton Co. Pioneer", Vol. 5, No 1, 1959. "The History of Law Enforcement in Benton Co., Arkansas" -a talk on radio KAMO by Eli Leflar on 16 August, 1959. "Some interesting features of legal relationships during the early times in Arkansas may be found in the County records at Bentonville. The first transaction recorded in Benton Co. involved the sale of slaves. On January 26, 1837, Finius (Phineas) Holmes, and Rachel [Stuart/Stewert] his wife, sold [to] James N. Wallace, ….a Negro man, a woman named Lucinda about 50 years old, one boy named Guilford about 15 years old, one boy named Andy about 13 years old and a girl named Claressa about 12 years old, for $3000.00. This sale was made by a deed prepared and acknowledged before George P. [Pomeroy] Wallace, a Justice of the Peace."
Slaves were named after the surnames of their slave-masters. My understanding from Esther is that when the Holmes/Craighead plantation stopped business that some freed African/American people took the name Holmes, and I think, some the name Craighead. Esther is getting on the Internet soon and will be able to carry on her diligent and patient research. Any information that any person can share would be GREATLY appreciated.
My GGGGGF John Holms/Holmes, [who m. Jennet Wilson] b. ca. 1710 was "Of Lower Dublin Twp., Philadelphia Co., PN bet. 1734 and 1741. He died Jan 1, 1772 in Rowan Co. NC. This John seems to be the son of a London surgeon, Dr. William Holmes, and wife Jane Mackintosh.
My friend, Esther Byrd Nelson, may somehow be descended from the line of John Holmes b. about 1675 and Tamar Byrd. This line comes out of Edward Holmes, Sr., b. 1645 of Nansemond Co., VA.
Best Regards, and I hope this helps someone.
Kate. My Line:
William Holmes, Jane Mackintosh
John Holmes, Jennet Wilson
James Holmes, Mary Nail