Ancestry of Susannah Absher, who married James Potts (1757-1844) in Burke Co., NC, on 19 Jul. 1788.
The record of this marriage comes from a letter written by Ola Mae Potts about 1900.In it she says, “James Potts was born March 7, 1757.I have his marriage license issued from Burke Co., North Carolina, July 17, 1788.He was married to Susannah Absher July 19, 1788 by R.W. White.”The county's original record of the marriage wasdestroyed during the Civil War, but the specificity of this account lends it a great deal of credibility.(I have a xerox copy of Ola Mae Potts' letter in my possession.)
The 1790 Census of Burke Co., NC, shows a James Pots with no males under age 16, 1 male 16 or older and 3 females.This family structure suggests a young family and a marriage date of 19 July 1788 is a workable hypothesis.This was the only Pots/Potts in Burke Co. in 1790.James was listed as part of the 9th Company.
The 1790 Census of Burke Co., NC, shows Christian Abshire with 4 males under 16, 1 male over 16 and 3 females.The family structure shows an older family, but says little about the age of the parents.This was the only Abshire (all spellings) in Burke Co. in 1790.Christian was listed as part of the 9th Company, which would indicate that he was a neighbor of James Potts.
The above marriage record and the 1790 census would indicate that Susannah Absher was probably the daughter of Christian Absher.
If Susannah Absher were the daughter of Christian Absher, if she married at age 18, and if a generation is about 33 years, then Christian would have been born about 1737.
Burke Co. Tax and Poll records for the years 1794 and 1796 show that James Potts and Christian Absher were close neighbors.In 1794 they were both in Capt. Simerel's Company.Capt. Simerel's tax list has the two listed several lines apart as James Pots and Christean Absher.In 1796 they were both in Capt. Sumrall's Company and listed as James Pots and Christian Abshear, but not listed so closely together.(These records were published as “Burke Co., N.C., Records, 1755-1821, Vol. IV,” by Huggins.)
It should be noted that Peter Thompson and (his son) Moses Thompson also appear on Capt. Sumrall's tax list for 1796.Peter Thompson is listed just after Christian Abshear.Peter Thompson (1746-1823) married Mary Potts Simeral/Simmerall, a widow.She was a sister of James Potts and the dau. of Henry and Margaret Potts.
A Time Line for Christian Absher
The name of Christian Absher (and variant spellings) is rare.If we look at all the occasions we find that name in VA and NC during the period 1764-1800, it appears likely that we are looking at the record and movements of only one man.
6 Apr. - 6 Sep. 1764 (Augusta Co., VA)
Christian Apshere was in Capt. William Christian's Co. in the Augusta Co., VA, militia.William Christian was the son of Israel Christian.On 8 Mar. 1763 Ludwick Ipshire, son of Peter Ipshire, sold Israel Christian 200 acres of land on Johns Creek in present day Craig Co., VA.
2 Oct. 1764
Christian Abcher of Bedford Co., VA, promises to pay Lodowick Thomas £14, 6 shillings and 10 pence.On the back of this order he is listed as Christian James Abcher.There is no indication whether this occurred in Augusta Co. or in Bedford Co., but it appears that Christopher may have been moving between Augusta and Bedford Co. for a time.A proper reference for this record is needed.
2 Oct. 1765 (Augusta Co., VA)
Christian Epshear was a witness on a deed for the sale of 140 acres on a branch of Looney's Creek, Augusta Co., VA, from Adam and Hannah Looney of Mecklenburg Co., NC, to Alex. Evans.(Augusta Co. Deed Book 13, page 92.Also Chalkey's Chronicles of VA, Vol. III, p. 446)
22 Apr. 1766 (Bedford Co., VA)
Christian Apshere borrowed £14, 6 shillings from Israel Christian.On back of court order he is listed as living on Maggoty Creek (Bedford Co., VA.)
29 Jul. 1767 (Bedford Co., VA)
Israel Christian brought judgment against Christian Abshear for non-payment of the above debt.
Feb. 1768 (Bedford Co., VA)
Christian Apshere purchased supplies from Israel Christian's store.
1782 (Bedford Co., VA)
Christian Abshear is on the 1782 tax list of Bedford Co., VA.
1783 & 1784 (Bedford Co., VA)
Christian Abshire is on the 1783 and 1784 tax rolls of Bedford Co., VA.
1785 (Bedford Co., VA)
Christian Abshire is on the petition to form Franklin Co., VA.
Franklin Co., VA, is formed from Bedford, Henry and Patrick Cos., VA.
1786 (Franklin Co., VA)
Christian Abshire is on the tax list of Franklin Co., VA.
23 Apr. 1789 (Burke Co., NC)
Christian Absher entered a claim for 50 acres in Burke Co., NC.It was located on “Absher's Branch of Lower Creek” according to Judy Cawley in an e-mail of 7 Aug. 2000.Info. from Dorothy Dalton (ddalton5&Bellsouth.net) says that the 50 acres of land lay on both sides of Absher's Branch and that this land was surveyed on 10 Mar. 1792.The land was granted by the state 7 Jul. 1794 (orig. land grant, Office of the Secretary of State, N. C.)DeLorme's “North Carolina Atlas & Gazetter” does not show an Absher Creek.It does show a “Lower Creek” just to the NW of the Brushy Mountains.The Creek lies about 7 miles to the SW of the point where Caldwell and Alexander Counties meet on the north - and is in present day Caldwell Co., NC.
1790 Census(Burke Co., NC)
Christn Abshire appears with 4 males under 16, 1 male over 16 and 3 females.Christian was listed as part of the 9th Company, as was James Pots.
1795 (Burke Co., NC)
William Davis sells Christian Abshire 250 acres in Burke Co.(From the Book “Abshire Family of VA & W.VA,” by James and Jean Abshire.)
1798 (Burke Co., NC)
Many Absher researchers show Christopher Absher as having died in 1798.I can find no supporting evidence for this.
1800 Census (Burke Co., NC)
Christopher Absherappears with 1 male 10-15, 3 males 16-25, 1 male over 45 and 1 female over 45.Christopher and wife were born before 1755.This would appear to be the same Christian who appeared on the 1790 Census.James Absher appears on the same census with 2 males under 10, 1 male 16-25, 1 female under 10 and 1 female 16-25.
7 Oct. 1801 (Burke Co., NC)
Christian Absher of Burke Co. sold James Absher of Burke Co. 130 acres, being part of the old survey said Christian now lives on.A record of this transaction can be found in Caldwell Co. Deed Book 258, page 41.Caldwell Co. was created from Burke Co. in 1841.
Parentage of Christian Absher.
Christian Absher is presumed to be the son of Peter Ipsher of Augusta Co., VA.
From “Abraham Abshire of Virginia and Some of his Descendants,” by Lesther H. Binnie, 1982, the following:
“Peter Ipshire obtained a patent for 200 acres of land from the New Grant, situated on Johns Creek, a tributary of Craigs Creek, in what was then Augusta Co., VA, on 29 May 1760.
“In 1769 the Johns Creek area became part of the newly organized Botetourt Co., and in 1851 a part of present Craig Co.According to a recent highway map, Johns Creek enters Craig Creek in the vicinity of Craig Springs about 25 miles northwest of Roanoke. (Near New Castle in Craig Co.)
“It appears that Peter Ipsher died before the patent to his land was issued; as, Augusta Co. court records show that Eve Apinger or Apingher became Admin. Of Peter Apinger's estate on 17 Feb. 1760.She signed with an X.The inventory of Peter Abshire's effects was recorded in Augusta Co.. on 18 Aug. 1761. The inventory lists two horses and five colts, thirteen cattle, farm and household equip. and no slaves.(Augusta Co. Deed Book 11, page 326.)
“The 200 acres of land, described as lying on both sides of Johns Creek, was in the possession of Ludwick Ipshire, son of Peter, and was sold by him to Israel Christian for £50 on 8 Mar. 1763.(Augusta Co. Will Book 3, pages 56-57)
“The family names Ipshire, Apringer and Apingher disappear from the records.They are replaced by Abshear, Abshere and Abshire.Those found are attached to the names of Ludwick (Luke,) Christian and Abraham, all believed to have been the sons of Peter Ipsher.
“The Bedford Co., VA, List of Taxable Property and Tithes for 1782 shows the following:
Abshear, Ludwick, over 21, no slaves, 3 horses, 9 cattle, one tithe over age 16.
Abshear, Abraham, over 21, no slaves, 3 horses, 5 cattle, one tithe over age 16.
Abshear, Christian, over 21, no slaves, 3 horses, 5 cattle, one tithe over age 16.
“Ludwick, Abraham and Christian Abshire appear in the 1786 Tax List for Franklin Co., VA.The Co. was formed from Bedford, Henry and Patrick Cos. in 1785-86.Christian Abshire does not appear in the Franklin Co. records after that date and he is said to have removed to Burke Co., NC.”
Based on good circurstantial evidence and an unusual surname, I believe that is is reasonable to believe that Susannah Absher, who married James Potts, was probably the daughter of Christian Absher and that Christian Absher was probably the son of Peter Ipshire.
John D. Hoff, III
2521 S. Birminghan Ave.
26 Dec. 2010.