An American Family History

Richard Humphreys


"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported.
We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.
But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us,
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

-- John Adams, 1765



The Boston Tea Party was on December 16, 1773. The Sons of Liberty destroyed an entire shipment of the East India Company's tea by throwing it into the harbor.

North Carolina was one of the thirteen original Colonies. It was first settled by small farmers and grew quickly in the mid 18th century.

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

Richard Humphreys was born about 1746 in Virginia. His parents were John and Susannah Humphreys.

Richard Humphreys served in the American Revolution from Washington County, North Carolina (now Tennessee).

Richard married Mary Polly Hamilton about 1773, the same year as the Boston Tea Party.

Richard and Mary's children included:
Elizabeth Humphreys (1774, married Edward West),
Susannah Humphreys 1776, married John McFall),
Nancy Humphreys (1778, married John Gilbert), and
and Mary Humphreys (1782, married Francis Willet).

On June 7, 1774, Richard Humphreys had 404 acres surveyed on the middle fork of Neil's Branch.

In 1775, Richard Humphreys was constable in Captain William Campbell's company in Fincastle County, Virginia. Part of Fincastle County became Washington County in 1776.

In 1777 the Washington County, Virginia court recorded that

Col. William Campbell produced a claim in behalf of Richard Humphreys for furnishing a guard upon John Border a felon with fifteen Diets at 6 pence, sevevn shillings and six pence.

Richard married Aseneth Hunt about 1787. Aseneth was born on September 15, 1765. Her father was Thomas Hunt.

Their children included:
Asenath Humphreys (1788, married Samuel Jones) and
Hannah Humphreys (1789, married Lawrence Glaze)

The Washington County Deed Book A, (p 390-391) shows that on October 24, 1782 Richard Humphrey was granted 150 acres from the State of North Carolina on the north side of the Nolechucky River adjacent to Joseph Butler for 50 shillings per 100 acres.

In 1795 the Washington County court made Richard Humphreys overseer of the road in the place of Adam Panther.

In 1799, Abraham Blevins made a bet for $500 with Richard's brother, Moses Humphreys that Henry Massengill's horse, The Collector, could beat any other horse. Moses Humphreys claimed Richard's horse, Paul Jones, could beat The Collector.

Abraham had to buy Massengill's horse for $500, but Humphreys failed to appear on the appointed day of the race because Paul Jones had become lame in an earlier race. Abraham sued Moses and won for the amount of the bet.

On January 7, 1812 three of Richard Humphrey's daughters sold land they inherited after the death of their father. They were Mary Humphreys, wife of Francis Willet of Washington County, Hannah Humphreys wife of Lawrence Glaze/Glaize of Washington County, and Susannah Humphreys wife of John McFall of Carter County. They sold the land to John Gray.

On November 2, 1814, Nancy Humphreys, wife of John Gilbert, also sold some land to John Gray. On April 9, 1827 she sold him more land.

Elizabeth Humphreys, wife of Edward West, also sold land to John Gray.

Fincastle County, Virginia, was created in 1772 from Botetourt County. In 1776 it was divided into three counties; Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky (which the state of Kentucky).

Children of John and Susannah Humphreys
  • William Humphreys
  • David Humphreys
  • Richard Humphreys
  • Moses Humphreys
  • Mary Humpreys Tullis
  • Jesse Humphreys
  • Elizabeth Humphreys Greenway
  • Elisha Humphreys
  • George Humphreys
  • Watauga Pioneer Neighbors

    Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

    American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

    Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

    In 1607 the London Company established Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony.

    Carter County, Tennessee was organized from Washington County on April 9, 1796. Elizabethton is the county seat.




    Washington County, Tennessee Marriages

    Humphres, Elizabeth married Weston, Edward on 28-DEC- 1793
    Humphres, Hanah married Glase, Larrence on 11-OCT-1809


    From Tennessee Bible and Family by the Watauga Association of Genealogists, 1996, p. 178.

    Richard Humphreys, son of John & Susannah Humphreys, was born in the 1740s and died before Sept. 1810 in the 1st District of Washington County, Tenn. His six daughters by his wives, (1) Mary (Polly) and (2) Aseneth Hunt, are established by their conveyance of 400 acres to John Gray.

    1. Edward West and wife Elizabeth, Vol. 18, p. 422, Jan. 24, 1829.
    2. John Gilbert and wife Nancy, Vol. 15, p. 102, Nov. 2, 1814.
    3. Samuel Jones and wife Seeneth, Vol. 18, p. 159, April 9, 1827.
    4. Francis Willet and wife Mary, Vol. 15, p. 98, Jan 7, 1812.
    5. John McFall and wife Susannah, Vol. 15, p. 98, Jan 7, 1812.
    6. Lawrence Glaze and wife Hannah, Vol. 15, p. 98, Jan 7, 1812


    From Goodspeed's History of Tennessee

    E. H. West, farmer, is the grandson of Edward West, a native of Virginia, and of English lineage. Edward came to Grainger County, when a young man, and married Elizabeth Humphreys. Of their seven sons and two daughters, Edward, the father of our subject, was the eldest but one, and was born in Grainger County, in October 1797, but when he was eleven years old, his father moved to Washington County where in December, 1880, Edward died.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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