In the year of 1776, with the announced Independence of the American Colonies into a confederation of sovereign states, a yeoman perhaps desiring gentrification named Homesley and his wife bore a son. They named him Garnet Homesley of Cumberland County Virginia. Little is known of his rural upbringing or his absolute parentage, but recent DNA matches have concluded that it may have been Benjamin Homesley and his life long loyal wife
Recent studies have revealed that Garnet may have been of a Baptist family of colonial Virginia. Revolution in religion, politics and economics are formed by the wealthy as the yeoman and knaves are swept along in the impending floods of ideas and morals. This may be why no christening records are extant due to the faith of the parents. Baptist does not paedobaptize and kept scant records. This is a stark contrast to the highly literate, state run Anglican Church who tracked everyone from birth to death.
DNA tests arise where paper proof is not extant. Wars, famine and fires destroy paper evidence, yet the family’s chemical signature remains a constant through the centuries never lying often surprising with obtuse answers to the descendants who have sought diligently for facts rather than fantasy in this newest form of genealogy research.
Among the first paper proof, found of Garnet Homesley is 1810 with Garnet being about 34. By this time, he is widowed with three sons according to the Warren County Kentucky Census. Being curious genealogy writers, we often ask: “Why is Garnet Homesley in Warren County, Kentucky during 1810?” One possible answer is business; yet, another is family. Being seasoned researchers, we are trained to look at the whole document. The whole document of the 1810 Warren Census reveals the name of Richard Wilmot. This Richard Wilmot may have been Jemima Self Homesley’s mother’s (Jemima Wilmot Shelton Self’s) brother. This leads one to speculate that land transactions from land grants were changing hands in Kentucky and there was money to be made. This seemed to be life long interest of Garnet’s on his migrations through the American South.
Alas, most of the records of Warren County were destroyed in 1800 and 1864. Through DNA matches we theorize that Garnet’s first wife was Elizabeth Huffstetler daughter of John Huffstetler and Eve Whisenhunt Eaker Huffstetler Short.
Lincoln County, North Carolina
There are no records to prove that Elizabeth Huffstetler married Garnet Homesley about 1796 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. DNA strongly suggests that we have a direct match to Garnett with her. At this time in our research and leaving a legacy for future researchers to build, we think this is correct until disproved.
Elizabeth Huffstetler Homesley left not much of a footprint in the world, in which she lived and died. It is believed that Elizabeth was born about 1780 in Lincoln County, North Carolina where so much of the story of this family takes place. One reason why this family ended up in what was formerly Tryon County, North Carolina was that was where the Philadelphia Wagon Road ended from the migration from Lancaster County Pennsylvania. It is also believed that Garnet’s three sons: Elias, Lawson and James, were born in or near Lincoln County, North Carolina, in contradiction to the 1850 US Census, which states that James Holmes was born in South Carolina. Elizabeth perhaps died at James’ birth. The only fact here is that census records are very subjective.
As an interesting note, Elizabeth Huffstetler had a younger brother named Henry Huffstetler who named three of his sons, amongst others, Elias, Lawson and James. This repetitive naming pattern lasted for many years.
Elizabeth Huffstetler’s mother was Eve Whisenhunt Eaker Huffstetler Short. Eve was born about 1742 at Muddy Creek, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Eve Whisenhunt married Christian Eaker about 1760, their children being born in Anson, Mecklenburg and Tryon Counties, North Carolina. Mecklenburg County was formed from Anson County in 1762. Tryon County was formed from Mecklenburg County in 1768. Tryon County was divided into Rutherford and Lincoln Counties in 1779. So the families moved around in North Carolina probably less often than counties changed names during this period. Eve and Christian Eaker’s children were Barbary born 1761, Catherine born 1764, Peter born 1765, Christian born 1768 and Daniel born 1773.
It is noted here that Eve and Christian’s daughter Catherine Eaker born 1764 married Enoch Parker; and that several of Eve’s family members were in Carroll County, Georgia by 1830. Enoch Parker was also in Carroll County, Georgia by 1830, listed next to Garnet Holmes on the 1830 Federal Census.
Christian Eaker was born about 1724 in Ratzweiler, Alsace, France. He was the son of Hans Peter Eaker 1689-1773 and Veronica Gillman 1689-1741. Hans Peter Eaker is believed to have emigrated from Bern, Switzerland to Pennsylvania aboard the ship “Lydia” in 1741. “Peter Ecker/Eaker, Sr., a shoemaker, and his two sons, Peter, Jr., and Christian Eaker arrived in Philadelphia in 1741. Peter, Sr., was a widower, and he married 2nd Margaret Mary Stutter Holshauser, widow of Jacob, 23 November 1742 Lancaster County, PA.” Peter Eaker and his family traveled to what is now the Lincoln and Gaston Counties area by 1748. Christian left his will on 25 June 1776, his will proved in July 1777 in Tryon County, North Carolina.
Eve married John Huffstetler about 1780 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. They had Elizabeth about 1780, and Henry about 1784. Some of Henry’s descendants started going by the last name “Huffstickler”. John Huffstetler was born about 1750 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Eve and John separated about 1788, Eve staying in Lincoln County and John making his way to Logan County, Kentucky by 1796 where he had fifty acres of land surveyed on 3 August 1796. John died in either Logan or Barren County, Kentucky about 1802/1805. After separating from John Huffstetler, Eve lived with Peter Eaker, her son, for about three years and then moved in with David Short about 1791. It is thought that Eve married David Short after John Huffstetler died, as she and John separated but apparently never legally divorced.
There is an interesting land grant entry in Lincoln County, North Carolina which shows that Garnet Homesley and Elizabeth Huffstetler were neighbors starting about 1791 when Elizabeth, her mother Eve, and her brother Henry moved in with David Short; that is, David Short’s land adjoined the Homesley’s land.
“Grant # 1684, file #2072, Entry #1278, Jan. 23, 1800, Book 112, page 222, for Christian Eaker, fifty acres of land on the Muddy Fork of Buffalow joining David Short on the North side of said creek and Benjamin Homesly’s land. The survey chain bearers were Henry Hufstitler and Enoch Parker.”
Not only does this entry show that Garnet Homesley and Elizabeth Huffstetler, Eve’s daughter, were neighbors in 1796 when we believe the two were married, it names:
Christian Eaker, Eve’s son
David Short, whom Eve lived with starting in about 1791
Benjamin Homesley, Eve’s neighbor
Henry Hufstitler, Eve’s son
Enoch Parker, Eve’s son-in-law
Eve’s parents were John (Johan) Adam Whisenhunt (1719-1784) and Anna Barbara MNU (1721-1801). John Adam Whisenhunt was the son of Phillip Peter Visinand (1684-1744)and Anna Helena Neff (1695-1750). Phillip Peter Visinand was born in Heilsbruck, Edenkoben Germany, and died at Muddy Creek, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Anna Helena Neff was born in Bad Durkheim, Germany and passed away in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Phillip Peter Visinand and Anna Helena Neff departed from Rotterdam, and arrived in Philadelphia with their family aboard the “Snow Lowther” on 14 October 1731.
Eve’s siblings were George Michael Whisenhunt (1734-1815), Margaret Whisenhunt (1738-1800), Phillip Whisenhunt (1738-1791), Catharine Whisenhunt (1741-1810), John Nicholas Whisenhunt (1743-1831), John George Whisenhunt (1749-1833), and Anna Barbara Whisenhunt (1751-1801).
Garnet’s paternal great grandparents
Dr John Hamersley of Prince George County, Virginia,
Agnes Mosby Binford 1693-1738
The destroyed records of Prince George County Virginia, as well as, other counties in storied old Dominion State paired with the strong genetic matches form hypotheses which in turn equals rationale for the thinking genealogist. Since this is a treatise on possibilities, we will allow the future to judge this rationale.
Who was Dr. John Hamersley?
“The Baptist Quarterly” Volume VIII 1936-1937 page 316
Says Doctor John Hammersley came to Albemarle Sound, on the Perquimans River in North Carolina. It is assumed that he came from Staffordshire, England.
It is presumed that John Hammersley moved to Prince George County, Virginia, around 1718 as he, Phillip Claude and John Berry proved the will of Richard Pigeon on 10 March 1718 in Prince George County, Virginia. We have yet to find any earlier documentation of John Hammersley in Prince George County Virginia.
There is a land deed from John White to John Hamersly in Prince George County on 9 September 1718.
Seven court records from 1719 in Prince George County appear concerning John Hammersley.
In 1720, six court records show up. John proved several persons’ wills, and was security for others in 1719/1720.
“The William and Mary Quarterly”, Ser. 1, Vol. 10, No. 4 (July 1903), p. 261: mentions Dr. John Hamersley as security for the will of Nicolas Wyatt.
“The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography” Volume 4, p. 238 mentions Dr. Hamersley is the only medical man noted of the period. Irony takes the stage with his association with Charles Norden, a prominent early Baptist and schoolmaster.
John Hammersley wrote a letter in 1741/1742 to Nicholas Eyers, a Rhode Island Baptist leader, giving an account of the state of Baptist affairs in Virginia.
There is a twenty two year span, from 1720 court records to 1741/1742 when John wrote the letter to Nicholas Eyers, from which no records have been found concerning Doctor John Hammersley.
Some associated with Doctor John Hammersley include Robert Norden, Matthew Marks*, Matthew’s daughter Sarah Marks* who married Nicholas Robertson*, Benjamin Laker’s daughter Lydia Blighton Clements and Benjamin Laker’s grandson William Blighton.
Agnes Mosby Binford (1693-1738)
John Binford (born abt 1687) married Agnes Mosby (Sep 12, 1719)
Children of Agnes Mosby and John Binford are:
James Binford,( b. 1726), Charles City, VA, USA, (d. 15 Nov 1801), Westmoreland, PA
Agnes Binford, b., Prince George, VA, USA, d. (06 Jul 1793).
John Binford, b., Prince George, VA, USA, d. (1717).
Mary Binford Ellyson, b., Prince George, VA, USA, d. (11 Mar 1791)
Evidence of Mosby from Ray Homesley’s Book “Benjamin Homesley and His Descendants”
Page 7 of Ray’s book shows:
(Cumberland County, Virginia, Court Order Book 1758 - 1762)
"Page 151 dated February 25, 1760 shows Ann Homesly, infant daughter of Jane Homesly, with approbation of the court made choice of Stephen Mosby to be her Guardian, who with Jacob Mosby his security, entered into and acknowledged Bond for securing the said Infants' Estate and indemnifying the court."
Jacob Mosby was Agnes’ brother, Stephen was Jacob’s son
"Stephen Mosby, Guardian of Ann Homesly, an orphan, returned an account of the profits of disbursement of said orphan's estate..."
this account included a credit by Joseph Mosby
"...that all cash due her (Jane) from the said Mr. McLaurine, Micajah Mosby and others might (after funeral charges are paid) be given to her daughter Nancy Homersly..."
Micajah Mosby was a cousin to Agnes
"A list of Vestrymen for Southam^ shows George Carrington*, John Netherland*, Wade Netherland*, Littlebury Mosby*. These men are listed as witnesses to the court orders which bound out Benjamin*, Ann*, and Joseph Homesly."
* genetic match
^St. James Southam Parish has served Goochland, Cumberland, and Powhatan counties
The aforementioned items show that, in Cumberland County, Virginia, there were five Mosby men who came together concerning Jane’s children, the children’s father being a Homersley.
Author, Greg Holmes comments: “I find it astounding to find a related female Mosby (Agnes Mosby) and a male Hamersley (Doctor John Hammersley) living in the same parish three counties away from Cumberland County.” (Martins Brandon Parish, Prince George County, Virginia)
Great Great Grandparents
Edward Mosby and Sarah Woodson
In researching the hypothetical trees of the ancestry of Garnet Homesley it became apparent that Garnet’s possible ancestry was one of the heart and soul of the earliest families of the emerging American Colonies. Edward Mosby and Sarah Woodson became icons to me of the colonial spirit. They did not lead virtuous lives, but seemed typically human and fallible persons who loved their families well. To the future researchers who may find these documents useful we are grateful.
The Mosby Family
“Je Le Feray Durant Ma Vie.” [I Will Endure to the End.]
So it is with many families who immigrated to the Shires of Henrico County, Virginia, some had somewhat aristocratic ancestry and some are unknown to history. The Mosby family’s journey began in the land of the Ancient Planters with the immigration of Edward Mosby (Mosely). The story of his connection to Mosersby Hall in Lancashire is circumspect. With the destruction of the Charles City County it makes it difficult to tie the lines of the Mosby family, adroitly.
What may be recorded for posterity is the birth of Edward Mosby about 1660 in Henrico Shire Colony of Virginia. By 1688 Edward married Sarah Woodson, the daughter of Robert Woodson and Elizabeth Ferris. This marriage is proven by a Deed of gift from her father of Henrico Shire Virginia in 1689. By 1705, Edward Mosby is on a tax list with 105 acres of land; this is perhaps a wedding present from his father-in-law, Robert Woodson.
As with so many of our proven and unproven ancestors, religious and social dissention follows a pattern though all the ages.
Edward and Sarah Woodson Mosby were Quakers, not Anglicans. Edward Mosby was also a carpenter by trade. Records show that he contributed twenty-five pounds of tobacco to the building fund for a new meetinghouse at Curles Plantation.
Sarah Woodson Mosby died by 1716 and Edward left with small children married Mary Watkins widow of Henry Watkins at the Curles Meeting House and they had no issue from the marriage.
By 1719, the Quaker monthly meetings were at the home of Edward Mosby.
Edward seemed to be plagued with business disappointments. Many of the contracts for buildings and bridges he constructed were delayed for years in being paid for by the persons and county governments who hired Edward. This led to some strains in relations with Edward Mosby. Not only was he not paid by the Quakers, but also he was kicked out of the monthly meeting house for “disorderly walking” on July 25, 1724.
This rule implies not physical walking but not following the “Quakerly path of conduct”. This took the effect of an excommunication. Edward had been a member in good standing for over twenty-five years. He had built two meetinghouses, made coffins for his friends and neighbors. They shunned him for the rest of his life. This also means that his family including his wife did as well. This made the last seventeen years very lonely. No further records are seen of Edward Mosby
The records state that Edward Mosby died in 1742. He seemed to have died intestate and his family had mostly moved away. When he died the sheriff ordered that all his lands and possessions are sold with all the money going to the county. To show why truth is stronger than fiction: The cost of his burial was forty shillings and that was the same cost that he was not paid by the Quakers for his labors.
An analysis of the family of Edward Mosby and Sara Woodson Mosby
Edward Mosby (1660-1759) married Sarah Woodson (1666- bef 1716)
Jacob Mosby (1704-1780) married Susannah Cox (1703-1782) on 1736 at Henrico, Virginia.
Jacob Mosby , of Cumberland Co. , guardien of Jacob Mosby the younger an infant, only son and heir-at-law of Stephen Mosby late of said Co., deceased, deed to Poindexter Mosby of same Co. all that tract of land in Cumberland Co. whereon said Jacob Mosby in his life time and the time of his death dwelt containing by estimation 400 acres adj. Revd. Robt. McLaurin Francis G. Steger and Col. Thos. Tabb . Recites that "by decree of the general Court of this Colony bearing date at the Capitol the seventh day of May in the year of our Lord 1764 in a suit in Chancery there pendening in which Alexander Spiers , John Bowman & Company of the City of Glasgow merchants and partners were plaintiffs and Alice Oneder Mosby widow and Administratrix &c of the said Stephen Mosby deceased and the said Jacob Mosby the younger party to these presents his grandfather & guardian defendant it was among other things decreed and ordered that the said Jacob Mosby should sell" .... the tract of land aforesaid. Oct. 22, 1764 , D. B. 3, p. 525.
Child of Jacob Mosby and Susanna Cox
Stephen Mosby (1732-1763) married Alice Oneder Minor (1737-?)
"Stephen Mosby, Guardian of Ann Homesly, an orphan, returned an account of the profits of disbursement of said orphan's estate..." (Ray Homesley’s Book)
There were at least five other children born to Jacob Mosby and Susannah Cox Mosby. Their listing here would have no bearing on the Homesley analysis.
Child of Edward Mosby and Sarah Woodson
Benjamin Mosby (1690-1772) married Mary Poindexter (b?-d?) 1718.
Their third child LittleberryC Mosby(1728-1809) married Elizabeth Netherland on 1748.
It is believed that Elizabeth Netherland Mosby was a sister to Vestryman Netherland of Southham Parish who bound out the Homesley children in part to her nephew and neice Stephen Mosby and Alice Minor Mosby. Another child of Littleberry Mosby’s was Mary Ann Mosby (b. 1733-?) who married John Netherland (Vestryman Netherland.)
Another child of Littlerberry C Mosby, Theodosia Mosby (1742-1790) married Col. Joseph Powell Carrington on 1763 who was a daughter in law of Vestryman George Carrington of Southam Parish.
Child of Edward Mosby and Sarah Woodson
Agnes Mosby Binford marries Dr John Hamersley (Homersley)
They have a son (unknown Homersley)
This unknown Homesley marries Jane Nance
Around 1759, Jane MNU Homersly came from possibly Prince George County, Virginia to Cumberland County, Virginia. She might have wanted her children, who would soon be orphans, to be in the hands of the better established Church of England. We don’t know much about her life prior to going to Cumberland County, other than her maiden name may have been Nance.
In attempts to establish Jane, last name possibly Nance, in our tree, we turn to the Nance couple from Prince George County who had a daughter named Jane. That couple was John Nance (1695-1762) and Jane Smart (1687-1761). James Smart Sr and James Smart Jr, believed to be cousins of Jane Smart, both were born in Prince George County, Virginia. Both were documented Baptist preachers in South Carolina. Some family members of the Smart family being Baptist, and James Sr and James Jr becoming Baptist preachers, was in “keeping of the company” that Doctor John Hammersley kept.
Jane Smart* was the daughter of Matthew Smart* born about 1650 and possibly Jane Goodard born about 1654.
John Nance* (1695-1762) was the son of John Nance* (1645-1716)and Sarah Gookings (1670-1716), both of whom were born in Prince George County, Virginia. John had prominent ancestors back in England, and he has a lengthy family tree to be noticed.
In his will, John Nance* (1695-1762) left his daughter Jane a shilling sterling. His will was signed 28 February 1761, and certified in Lunenburg, Virginia 6 July 1762. Jane’s siblings mentioned in her father’s will were John, Thomas, Richard, William, Frederick, Sarah, Phebe, Susannah, Elizabeth and Molly.
In closing, the Holmes cousins have presented what we believe to be solid research and speculation as to exactly who were the generations that preceded Garnet Holmes. It is our hope that generations to come will take the challenge that this story of our family represents and enhance or disprove the representations that we have presented as our unique American family.