I'm passing on some notes I took from my genealogy files. I can't really vouch for anything any earlier than my grandfather, Carus Plumlee and his father, John Cravens Plumlee (both doctors).
The notes I have on William Plumlee seem pretty well researched and authoritative; but I can't recall where I got them (off the internet, I'm sure).
I tried to follow your ancestry you listed in your post, but ran into a dead end when I couldn't come up with children for Kendall Plumlee. There are so many Isaacs and Williams in the tree, I'm sure I have gon off track somewhere. Here are the notes I have on some of the people you mentioned.
(John Wallace, son of Hazel Christine Plumlee, daughter of Dr. Carus Plumlee, son of Dr. John Cravens Plumlee, son of Isaac Denton Plumlee, son of Denton Plumlee, son of Isaac Plumlee, son of William Plumley)
According to Davis' History of Bucks Co.
Mary BAINBRIDGE of NJ, wed John PLUMLEY in 1708, and they lived in
Middletown, Bucks Co., PA
Mary was the dau of John BAINBRIDGE, by his wife Sarah CLOWES, who he had
married 15 Aug 1685 at a public assembly (15, 6mo, 1685)
Sarah CLOWES [CLOWS]was born in England, and immigrated to America on the
"Friends Adventure" arriving 28 Sep [7mo] 1682, with her parents John CLOWES
d.1687 & Margery ____ d.1698.
Notes for William Plumley
William Plumley on the Philadelphia Wagon Road South.
Evidently a descendant of the "Four brothers from England. Who came into
society to Pennsylvania in 1682
To this William Plumley who married Phebe Denton is as far as the family lines
have been traced by 3 historical genealogist: Namely, Robert D. Plumlee of
Tulsa, OK. William Stone, of Nashville, Tenn. and brother Hubert of
Charlotte, NC. and Edythe Whitley of Nashville, Tenn.
William Plumley of PA. married Phebe Denton in Virginia in 1762. The exact
place is not known. From the residence of her father the place must have been
in Frederick or Dunmore, County, (now Shenandoah with courthouse at
The children were Steven (b. 1769), Abraham (b. 1763 ), John (b. 1767 ), Isaac
( 1776), Isaac spelled name (Plunbley) in 1820 census of White, co., Tenn.
Patsy married Alexander Foster in 11/29/1799 lived to be over 100.
Robert D Plumlee lists the same names and, adds "perhaps more"
Whether William had brothers and sisters in Virginia at the same time is not
known. However records of Shenandoah Co., VA. show that Caleb O'dell m.
Abigail Pumly on Oct.18, 1772
The U.S. census for Burke Co., NC. of 1790 indicates that there were other
children in the William and Phebe household in addition to those listed.
Whether they had a son William (who married Hester O'Neal ) has not been
documented. During that year the latter William had a son John born in near by
SC. on 9/26/1790.
It is well known that the Plumlys or, ( some early Quaker records spelled it
Plumley) of Pennsylvania were Quakers and may have refused to take an oath,
Long before the Revolutionary War, oath taking to renounce allegiance to the
King of England and, to faithfully bear true allegiance to the Common Wealth
of Pennsylvania, brought pressure on the Quakers. As the war drew closer
the pressure increased. Finally a formal written oath approved by the
Continental Congress on June, 13, 1777 was imposed upon all males above
eighteen years of age in Pennsylvania except Bedford and Westmoreland,
Counties, and was not dispensed with until 1790. The oath was aimed primarily at
Tories and Quakers. A typical oath was published in 1774.
On Sept.8,1777 Congress ordered the Quakers removed south to Virginia and it
was 1778 before the caravan of wagons returned to Philadelphia and Chester
Co., Thereafter the Quakers were no longer molested as a group during the
war. Later when George Washington became President he spoke understanding and
warm words to the Quakers, who well remembered their journey and hardships
down to Virginia and back up the Great Wagon Road.
Increase of their own numbers and new settler coming into Pennsylvania from
various European countries caused many to seek more open space. This could be
one of the contributing factors why William Plumly left Pennsylvania for
Virginia. He must have been a faithful Quaker and passed the beliefs and
practices on to some of his children.
On the 10th of August 1773 three of William and Phebe Denton Plumly's children
were baptized as members of the Presbyterian Church and were listed as Denton
aged 10, John aged 7, and Stephen aged 4. The same reference says that Phebe
Denton married William Plumley, no date given.
With Phebe's ancestral Presbyterian back ground, it may be assumed that the
children became members as a result of her influence and request. Since
William was a Quaker, it is reasonable to assume that the parents' religious
beliefs and affiliation were in conflict. No other reference has been found
showing Presbyterian learning or affiliations.
The William Plumley family was evidently in Dunmore (now Shenandoah) Co.,
Virginia, for William bought 256 acres of land from Richard Cambell on 25, May
1772 for 25 shillings current money of Virginia and the yearly rent of one
acre of Indian corn. The records show that on the very next day, May,26, 1772
that William Plumley bought 256 and ½ acres from Richard Cambell for the sum
of 210 pounds current money of Virginia. Both deeds are for the same land.
Each deed was signed by Richard Cambell and wife Rebecca Cambell. The same
set of witnesses signed each deed. Witnesses were, Edwin Young, Andrew Greer,
and John Sevier.
This type of conveyance is somewhat unusual. They are deeds of lease and
release. The property description is the same, and the transactions are on
successive days. The purpose is vague, but probably had to do with tax
William and family were listed in 1790 census of Burke Co., NC. along with
Stephen and Abraham. Most of the records of Burke Co., were destroyed during
the Civil War, therefor little is known of this family during the late 1870s
and early 1850s.
Blacks Law Dictionary p. 697 (1891) says
A species of conveyance much used in England, said to have been
invented by Seargent Moore, soon after the enactment of the
statute of uses. It is thus contrived: A lease, or rather a bargain and
sale upon some pecuniary consideration for one year, is make by
the tenant of the freehold to the lessee or bargainee, This, without
any enrolment makes the bargainor stand selsed (sic) to the use of
the bargainee and vest in the bargainee the use of term for one year,
and then the statute immediately annexes the possession. Being
thus in possession, he is capable of receiving a release of the
freehold and reversion, which must be made to the tenant in
possession, and accordingly the next day is granted to him. The
lease and release is granted to him. The lease and release, when
used as a conveyance of the fee, have a joint operation of a single
It is reasonable to believe William and Phebe Plumly lived on this land for
about fifteen months. On Aug.,23,1773 William Plumly conveyed a deed of lease
the same land just described (256 and ½ Acre) to Lawrence Snapp (both of
Dunmore, County, Virginia) for the sum of 5 shillings current money of
Virginia and a yearly rent of one acre of Indian corn. This deed was signed
by mark of William Plumley (note spelling) only. This is the first evidence
found that William (Plumly) could not sign his name.
Again on the following day 24,Aug.1773, William and Phebe conveyed by deed of
release the same (256, ½) land to Lawrence Snapp for 210 pounds current money
of Virginia. The deed was signed by mark of William Plumly (note spelling)
and the signature of Phebe Plumly. Her signature indicates her relinquishment
of dower interest in property. Neither of these 2 deeds witnessed. However,
on 29, Sept, 1773 William and Phebe appeared before the clerk of Court, Thomas
Marshall, and acknowledged the conveyance. The clerk ordered the recordation.
After the sale of the land and homestead it is not known where the Plumly
family went. Neither is it known when William arrived in the area. It is
possible that he had been there for several years.
Whether they went to live with her parents is not known, but Abraham Denton
II, her father, was at that time 73 years of age and might have been in poor
health. He made his will on 12,Aug, 1774 and it was probated 27,Sept 1774.
His movable estate was appraised at 76.07.03 1/8 Pounds. The land was left to
his wife Mary. Abraham Denton III had already received his share of the land
and had departed, but his father left him his best breatches (sic), 2 pair of
boots, 2 coats and waistcoats and 5 pounds from Martha and Phebe's share.
For the next five years no record has been found of William Plumly family.
Since all the other children were married and widely scattered, the Plumly's
may have remained with Phebe's widowed mother. Wanderlust and lure of the
frontier must have been building up within William and Phebe. Probably they
had received good reports from other members of the family down in North
Carolina. Phebe's mother probably passed away about 1778. It is reasonable to
believe that they sold their possessions, loaded the family heirlooms and other
necessities on a Conestoga Wagon and took the Philadelphia wagon Road south.
The period of the Revolutionary War, and the years after were those of great
The wagon in which the Plumley family arrived in Rockingham, Co., N.C. in
1780 or earlier was not the first model to come out of Conestoga Valley in
Pennsylvania. Proof of its earlier use had been documented in 1750. There
was an Ordinary (Inn, or tavern) known as "The Conestoga Wagon " in
Some historians have stated that the land in present Rockinghan Co., N.C.
where William Plumley took land by squatter's rights was slightly off the
Philadelphia Wagon Road South, However, Jeffery's map shows that the Great
Road to the Yalkin in N.C. was 435 miles long. It led from Philadelphia
through Lancaster and York, Pa. to Winchester, Va., up the Shenandoah Valley
across the upper waters of the James to Roanoke, then down the latter through
the Blue Ridge, crossing the Dan River at Dix ferry and from there to the head
water of the Yadkin in what is now Forsyth, County.
Again Kenneth Haynes Jr. assisted by Linda Vermon, Robert W. Carter Jr. and
Charles Rodenbrough of the Rockingham, County, N.C., Historical Society, Inc.,
prepared a map of the county entitled Rockingham Co., N.C. Historical
The map clearly shows the William Plumley squatter's rights location site of
1780 and subsequent grant of 1787, both on the west side of Piney Creek and
Speedwell Presbyterian Church on the west. The Dix ferry (over the Dan-on
Caswell Co., N.C.--Virginia state line) road passes within a few feet of the
Plumly house and Church. Therefore, the Dix Ferry Road is a part of the
Philadelphia Wagon Road South. Later the road became known locally as the
stagecoach road to Greenboro, N.C.
The best Evidence that the Plumly family went south is that William Plumly
made an application for a land grant in Gullford Co., N.C. in 1870. The entry
taker made note
Entry No, 2032, Feb, 23, 1780. William Plumly entries (sic) 600 acres on
Piney the waters of Trouble stone lying at east corner of the Iron Works line
and running along widow Dixon's north line to Robert Boak corner including the
improvements Purchased from William Fowler.
Due to the method of travel and the severity of the winter, it would seem
reasonable to assume that the Plumly family arrived in Gullford Co. the
previous fall, summer or earlier. Normally it would be expected that the
inprovements purchased from William Fowler earlier included a house,
outbuildings and probably a small orchard, all located on the land which
Plumly hoped to be granted to him
The exact location of the homestead is about 5 miles west of the present town
of Reidville, N.C. in Rockingham Co., which was cut of from Gullford in 1785.
Those in the area report that latter additions were made to the log house by
the Scott family and made into what was known as the Polly Scott Inn. The Inn
remained intact until 1975. The stagecoach road to Gullford courthouse ( now
Greenboro) passed within a few feet of the building. The topography of the
land was slightly rolling, but excellent for farming.
Notes on John Brown Plumlee, Sr
Baptized on August 10, 1773 with two of his brothers
Descendants of John Plumlee settled in Clay Co., TN