Chris, Hi and thank you for your info. Great to know we've alot in common. Glad to meet you.
Here is what I have (in a nutt shell) from John S. Evans (b.1785-d.1838) backwards:
Moses Evans (b.circa:1760-d.1849), son of John Evans of Beauford/Pitt County NC (who bought land on banks of Tar River March 9, 1747 and was listed in 1762, 3, and 4 as being taxable to Pitt County NC).
John is connected to a Benjamin Evans of Virginia by means of a deed recorded in Surry County Virginia on April 28 1769. On May 16 1769 the Estate of an Anthony Evans was inventoried. This makes sense of Benjamin and John meeting in April... they (I believe obviously) met at the reading and distribution of their Brother's (Anthony) willings.
I say "Their brother Anthony" because of a will recorded Feb 25, 1710 of an Anthon Evans as follows:
" Evans, Anthony: Leg.- To wife, Ann Evans, for her life my Plantation where I now dwell. 100 acres and the other half of said land, to my son, John Evans, at his mother's decease to have the other half. To son, William, the same in manner and form as his Brothers. If son, William, have no heirs then to son Anthony Evans. If he have no heirs to son, Benjamin Evans. Gives son, John, gun and sword with E.E. upon the barrel. Rest of estate to wife, Ann. If wife marry - children to be free at 17 years old. Wife, Ann, Exerx. 12, July, 1707. Prob. 25 Feb 1710 Witnesses: Thos. Waller, Alice Waller, Mary Waller. Bk. 6 p. 42."
What that says to me is:
1) Anthony Evans - in 1707 had 4 sons: John, William, Benjamin and Anthony.
2) John, the edlest got most of the stuff and was to receive his mothers portion upon her death.
3) When this was written (in 1707) none of the 4 brothers were yet 17 years old... in fact the youngest (Benjamin) was probably an infant.
4) Son John got the gun and sword with initials engraved.
Here's the link I believe exists between John (of the Tar River in NC) and Anthony of Surry county VA instead of to Abraham of Surry County VA:
A will from Surry county VA in 1727:
"Evens, John: Leg. - Land and plantation on south side of Seacocke Swanp to be sold by my Exer. as Personal estate. To wife, Mary Evens, best bed and furniture. To son, John Evens, small gun with letters I. E. and same on back of sword. Makes wife, Exrx. and after debts and legacies paid my estate to be devided between my wife and three children. 24 March, 1726/7. Prob. 19, July 1727. Wit: John Phillips, John Smith. Book 7, p. 747."
Ok, so, the person that wrote this entry into the 'Surry County Registry" (which I've been qouting from) not only couldn't spell... but they wove in and out of 1st and 3rd person like G. Weasle Bush did on his first 30 years of Sunday mornings, as an adult, ..... with a hang over. Sorry, please excuse me, in studying the 1800's I've come across things about the (R) party that are no less than deeply disturbing - to say the least. Any way. The gun and sword must be one and the same that Anthony willed to his son John in 1707.
John's mother, Ann, must have died shortly before 1747. John received her portion of Anthony's estate. John then sells his holdings in VA to his other 3 brothers and leaves to the Tar River in NC in 1747.
The 3rd oldest brother, Anthony, dies in 1769. The remaining brothers: John, William and Benjamin meet at his will reading and John buys from his younger brother Benjamin (for 40 pounds of money) a slave:
" 8 April 1769... John Evans of Pitt County in North Carolina to Benjamin Evans of Surry County for 40 pounds current money.... one negro man slave. Wit: William Evans, Anthony Evans and Richard Wrenn. Rec. 15 Aug 1769."
The witness to the above transaction, Anthony Evans, must have been the deceased Anthny's son (because, how could Anthony have been around to witness a transaction taking place at his own will reading?). But still, in that one document, we have a tie that puts John, William and Benjamin at the same place and time as the 4th brother and son of Anthony Evans (then deceased).
At first, I though also, that Abraham Evans (listed as being in Surry County VA at the same time as Anthony who also had sons named John and William) was the father of our 'John Evans' that went to the Tar River, But, Abraham only had two sons: John and William. So, Our John's father must have been Anthony and not Abraham.
Ok, whew!, Still there? Ok, cool. Back to NC. John's exact date of death isn't known but the papers I have say: "... He died after 1776 and prior to the 1790 Census.". This is the perfect time table for Jhn to have been in his mid to upper 70's at his decease (having not been yet 17 years old in Anthony Sr.'s will which was recorded and witnessed in 1707).
The only records establishing John's children in NC says this:
" He had three known sons: Amos Evans, Ephraim Evans and Moses Evans."
My curious nature leads me to the specific use of the word "Known" sons. Since no name or even mention is given to John's wife in the NC writtings (who we are to suppose gave birth to these 3 sons) who can say that he didn't have another son named John who stayed in VA when his mother (our mystery wife of John) died??????
I say the above because of the 1727 will in which a John Evans of (Surry County VA) willed to his son John a gun and sword with 'I.E.' on the blade and barrel. Must be the same person, and, must be his 1st son. I believe he married again in NC after selling the 'farm' in VA and had 3 more sons... Amos, Ephraim and Moses!
Would this be out of character? Hmmm. Well, Ira had 5 children with Mary before they came to Benton County TN in 1851. Mary then gave birth to a sixth (Mary A. Evans) later that same year. Mary died in 1869 and Ira re-married on March 7, 1870 to a Francis Manning (in fact, I'm holding a copy of their marriage certificate now, signed by Minister William T. Hopkins, and it's even got both of their signatures on it! creepy).
So, if Ira's wife died when he was only 57 and he re-married at age 58 - he could have had more children! I've no proof that this actually happened, in fact I don't think it did, but technically it was possible - only dependant to Francis's age and health.
We have no information as to exactly what happened (or what spark ignited) to make John leave Surry County VA in 1747 and pursue making Tar to sell to the British for water-proofing their ships, but, something must have happened. (having read the full transcripts of the 'Acts of Congress' years 1848-1859... I believe that one can say with near certainty that the constant Republican Rantings and Threats about Industrialization and the Selling of Agriculture in the southern states to the British were the largest instigating factor in our 'Clan' leaving N.C. in 1851)
I believe this: First, John's mother died and then his wife died. Second, He had one heir (son John to whom he gave the gun and sword received from his own father). 3rd, he had no Executor (wife) for his will should he pass.
So, he gave his personal holdings and land to his son John... (who stayed in VA near his mothers family - who also, by 1747, would have been at least 20 years old)... thus by-passing his previous will and the need for an Executor of it who was then deceased. He rented, leased or mortgaged the land inheirited by means of his mothers passing and went to NC and married our 'Mystery Mother' of his 'Known' 3 sons.
This would explain why there is no mention of the 'Gun and sword' being passed to either Amos, Ephraim or Moses.
Ok, so, I feel very strong about the connection to Anthony Evans of Surry county VA. I contacted (3 years ago) a Geneologist in Wales and had her track down any trace of any Anthony Evans' that left Britain during the 1600's. Bammo! She wrote back that the 'Ship list' that I have is correct. That Anthony came in 1657 to Surry County on a ship Captained by a William Edwards and she had even more that I ddn't know: That William Edwards set sail from the port of Bristol, made several stops along the southern Welsh coast to board basically anyone that was brave and healthy to leave for America. Then, once they arrived, the passengers were rolled for taxes and Mr. Edwards received land rights in exchange for his services rendered.
The geneologist was an elderly woman. She went to London and Bristol for me and was in a car accident which had her down for some time. I believe she has since passed away. But, she did confirm the transit and even found the name of the ship. So, We're back to Bristol Harbour in the year 1657!
She has since passed away but I've done some digging and found only one Anthony Evans born near the right time on the elsh border to an Edward Evans. But, I've no way to finance a look into that.
Whew. Let me know what you think. I'm really glad you posted and look forward to hearing from you again. Thanks,