An American Family History


Bledsoe Family


The first European settlement in Orange County, Virginia was in 1714 and the county was officialy formed in 1734 with no western border. In 1738 the western part became Augusta County.

Alcohol played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists; even children. They feared polluted water and believed in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties.

Abraham Bledsoe was born 1673 in Wicomico Parish, Northumberland (then Lancaster) County Virginia. He was the son of George Bledsoe.

He married Catherine Ball about 1702 in Northumberland, Virginia. Catherine was the daughter of Thomas Ball.

Abraham and Catherine's children may have included:

Isaac Bledsoe (1703)
Thomas Bledsoe (1706)
Abraham Bledsoe (1708)
Catherine Bledsoe (1710)
George Bledsoe (1713)
William Bledsoe (1715)

His second wife was Sarah Cave.

Jacob Bledsoe (1724, married Lohammer Terrell, daughter of John Terrell),
John Bledsoe (1725)
Moses Bledsoe (1729)
Aaron Bledsoe (1731)
Sarah Bledsoe (1733)
Ann Bledsoe (1735)
Elizabeth Bledsoe.

On March 18, 1703 Catherine, "wife of Abraham Bledsoe," sued for a child's portion of the estate of her father, Thomas Ball.

In 1705, Abraham inherited a part of the land adjoining John Nickless and running along the ridge next to the school house, and was one of the sons directed to keep his brother Thomas in school for three years. He was co-executor of the will along with his brother William.

On February 12, 1706, Abraham Bledsoe of Wiccomico Parish, Northumberland County sold John Burne a tract of land near the head of Dividing Creek for 9,000 pounds of tobacco.

That same day in Lancaster County, John and Elizabeth Burne sold Abraham
Bledsoe, a parcel of land known formerly as the Thomas Ball plantation.

On July 18, 1706, the case of Abraham Bledsoe and wife Kate, late Katherine Ball, against John Burne and wife Elizabeth, administrators of Thomas Ball,
was heard in Northumberland County.

From 1706 to 1714 he was on the Lancaster County, Virginia tithe list in Christ Church Parish.

He moved to Essex County Virginia in 1718 and lived in an area that became Spotsylvania County in 1721 and Orange County in 1734.

On February 17, 1735/36, Andrew Harrison, James Cox, Henry Held and Isaac Bledsoe appraised the estate of Samuel Hensley in Orange County, Virginia

About 1742 he moved to Edgecombe County, North Carolina and was in Granville County when it was formed from Edgecombe in 1746.


Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

Essex County was established in 1692 from the old Rappahannock County, Virginia 

 Spotsylvania County, Virginia was established in 1721 from parts of Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. In 1734 Orange County was created from part of Spotsylvania.

The first European settlement in Orange County, Virginia was in 1714 and the county was officialy formed in 1734 with no western border. In 1738 the western part became Augusta County.

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.
Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.

In the name of God, Amen: I, Abraham Bledsoe. . .

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Isaac Bledsoe five shillings sterling.

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Abraham Bledsoe five shillings sterling.

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Thomas Bledsoe five shillings sterling.

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Jacob Bledsoe five shillings sterling.

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Moses Bledsoe my plantation whereupon I am now living, to him and his heirs forever lawfully begotten of his own body.

Item: I give and bequeath to my well beloved son Aaron Bledsoe the Negro girl, Pat, to him and his heirs forever, lawfully begotten of his own body and if one or both of my sons Moses and Aaron should die without issue the land or Negro girl or both shall be equally divided between my wife and children hereafter named.

Item: I give the use of the rest of my estate to my wife, Sarah Bledsoe; during her natural life or widowhood and at the day of her marriage or death to be equally divided between the rest of my children.

I do also appoint my son in law Henry Thornton and my wife Sarah executors of this my last Will and Testament as witness my hand and seal this fifteenth day of March one thousand seven hundred and fifty three [1753].

His Tests
Abraham AB Bledsoe,
Geo. Underwood
Richard RP Pinnell


In 1777 the Washington County, Virginia Court

ordered that Isaac Bledsoes Mark for his Cattle & Hogs which is a Crop on the left ear and a slit in the right ear and an underkeel in the left ear be recorded.

ordered that William Campbell answer Mr. Alexander Sinclairs letter to Anthony Bledsoe and requisit him to lay out the money put into his hands by Mr. Sampson Matthew for Wheat reserving as much thereof as will be sufficient to purchase Baggs to contain the Flour.


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

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

Thomas Bledsoe was born 1706 in Lancaster, Virginia. He was probably the son of Abraham Bledsoe and Katherine Ball.

Anthony Bledsoe (1733, married Mary Ramsey),
Isaac Bledsoe (1735),
Abraham Bledsoe (1737, married Mary Wilcox), and
Sarah Bledsoe (1739)

Thomas, Abraham and Abraham, Jr. were enumerated on the Orange County, Virginia tax list.

He married Susannah Fulkerson on about 1755 in Patrick County, Virginia. She was in her teens and he was a widower with grown children.

Thomas and Susannah's son was Loving Bledsoe.

Thomas died about 1758.

In 1759, Susannah bought 500 acres from her father for five shillings. The land was on the middle fork of the Ararat River in Rowan County, North Carolina.

She married John Stewart after Thomas died. Her life following the marriage and children are described in the section on John.

Abraham, Anthony and Isaac Bledsoe accompanied Daniel Boone on his long hunts into Kentucky before the Revolutionary War.

Anthony Bledsoe had lived, in 1769, at Fort Chisel, and, in a short time after, with his brother Isaac and the Shelbys, removed further west, into what is now Sullivan county. His station was not far from Long Island. He was in the battle of the Flats. (from The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century by James Gettys McGready Ramsey)

Between 1775 and 1778, the family moved to the part of Washington County, North Carolina that became Sullivan County, Tennessee. They settled on a branch of the Holston River.

In 1776, Anthony, Abraham and Isaac were captains in the Cherokee Expedition.

Abraham and Isaac signed the 1777 petition of men living on the north Holston River complaining about the division of Fincastle County. They felt the line was not equitable and the court house was too far away.

In 1787 and 1788, Anthony received warrants for land in Sullivan County, Tennessee. At that time it was in North Carolina.

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

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser
Daniel Boone (1734-1820) was a frontiersman who became an American folk hero. The Boone family were members of the Gwynedd Monthly Meeting. He is best know from his exploration of Virginia and Kentucky.

Abraham Bledsoe was born in 1737 in Orange County, Virginia.

His wife was named Catherine. Their children included:

Thomas Bledsoe (married Margaret Eakin),
Abraham Bledsoe, Jr.,
Thely Bledsoe (married James Eakin),
Hetty Bledsoe, and
Polly Bledsoe.

About 1768, Abraham moved to Tennessee.

In 1770, Abraham became the constable of Botetourt County, Virginia for the Reedy Creek area

They later moved to Moccasin Creek of the North Fork of Holston River.

In 1774, during Dunmore’s War, Abraham Bledsoe was a member of Captain David Looney’s militia company.

Abraham died near Moccasin Gap in the summer of 1801.

In 1774 Governor Dunmore declared war against the indignious Americans. The war ended after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.







from Notable Southern Families, Volume 2

George Bledsoe was the first of the Bledsoe line traced in America. He lived in Northumberland County, Virginia. His will was probated there July 23, 1704.

The only child on record was Abraham Bledsoe, who after marrying settled in that part of Orange County which was later embraced in Culpepper County.

Among his children was Anthony Bledsoe, born in (then) Orange County, Virginia, 1733, married about 1760 to Mary Ramsey, of Augusta. County, who was born in 1734.

Col. Bledsoe was killed by the Indians at Bledsoe's Creek, Sumner County, Tenn., on July 20. 1788. His widow died in Sumner County in 1808.

Their children were,
Abraham, born in Virginia about 1762:
Anthony, junior,
Henry Ramsey,
Polly, born in Virginia 1780;
Prudience and


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

"Captain Abraham Bledsoe The Long Hunter" by Charles E. Johnson

Abraham Bledsoe was born in Orange County, Virginia in 1737 the son of Thomas Bledsoe and (his mother’s first name is unknown) Head. Brothers Anthony was born abt 1733 and Isaac abt 1735 also in Orange County, Virginia. Thomas had a son, Loving, with his second wife Susannah Fulkerson born during 1753 in Virginia. (The Bledsoe Family in America)

The area that Abraham settled is present day Lee, Scott and Washington Counties, Virginia and Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson and Sullivan Counties, Tennessee.

Abraham with brothers, Anthony and Isaac, accompanied Daniel Boone on his "Long Hunts" into Kentucky prior to the Revolutionary War. They were referred to as the "Bledsoe brothers" or "three brothers from North Carolina" in multiple publications on Daniel Boone. . .

About 1768 Abraham moved to Tennessee, approximately 7 miles from the Long Island of the Holston which is now present day Kingsport, Tennessee on Reedy Creek where he was living in 1778. Abraham became Constable of Botetourt Co, VA for the Reedy Creek area in 1770. In 1769 Abraham and Isaac, his brother went on a long hunt. The 1769 long hunt began on June 2nd. . . (The Bledsoe Family in America).

. . .During Dunmore’s War Abraham Bledsoe was a member of Captain David Looney’s militia company. Captain Looney’s company remained at Fort Blackmore about 5 miles north of present day Gate City in Scott County, Virginia protecting local residents against marauding Indians. . .




from Tennessee Eycyclopedia of History and Culture

Isaac Bledsoe (1735-1793)
by Walter T. Durham , Gallatin

Isaac Bledsoe was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, but as a young man settled with his brother Anthony on the Holston River a few miles west of Bristol. After serving with British colonial troops in Lord Dunmore's War, he hunted and explored extensively along the Cumberland River. In 1772 he discovered Bledsoe's Lick and Bledsoe's Creek in an area of North Carolina that later became Sumner County, Tennessee.

He was a captain in Colonel William Christian's Cherokee expedition in 1776; the next year he commanded a company to protect the border settlements. During the autumn of 1779, Commissioners Thomas Walker and Daniel Smith chose him for the party to survey the Virginia-North Carolina state line. They selected him for his firsthand knowledge of the western country, but he went in order to select a site for the stockaded fort he had agreed to build near Bledsoe's Lick as part of the proposed Cumberland settlements. One of the court of triers of the original Cumberland Association, Bledsoe was a justice of the peace in the first Davidson County Quarterly Court in 1783, first major of the county militia, and a guard for the surveyors of the North Carolina Military Reservation. When Sumner County was created from eastern Davidson County in 1786, Bledsoe served in the first Sumner County Quarterly Court, was first major of the county militia, and became lieutenant colonel commandant in April 1788.

In 1772 Isaac Bledsoe married Katherine Montgomery, a sister of the veteran frontiersman Colonel John Montgomery. The Bledsoe family lived at Mansker's fort in 1782-83, but moved into Bledsoe's fort about 1784. They had eight children. Indians shot and killed Isaac Bledsoe while he was working in a field near his fort on April 9, 1793. Eleven months later, his son Anthony fell mortally wounded in an Indian attack near Daniel Smith's Rock Castle home.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.


from Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, March, 1970, "The Long Hunters," by Emory L. Hamilton

The Bledsoe brothers, Anthony, Abraham and Isaac were tall men of fair complexion and of English origin. Their parents had come from England to Culpepper County, Virginia. Their mother died and they left home because of an unkind stepmother. They came about 1767 to the New River country.

Anthony, the eldest, married Mary, the daughter of Thomas Ramsey, a noted Indian fighter and active in French and Indian War.

Abraham Bledsoe became a professional hunter, but Isaac and Anthony were interested in land. Both settled in middle Tennessee about 1784, Isaac, at this time about twenty-four years old, and after surviving years of border warfare in Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, spent two or three years in Kentucky, and, when that was safe from the Indians, went back to Bledsoe's Creek, and there he was killed as was his brother Anthony, by the Indians. 

Isaac Bledsoe was a Captain in the Cherokee Campaign in 1776....


1819 William Lytle Bledsoe, et al. v. Oliver Kane, et al. Davidson Estate Dispute Plaintiffs: Heirs of Isaac Bledsoe, dec.: William Reed and wife Mary, Joseph Desha and wife Peggy, Samuel Gibson and wife Sarah, Thomas Scurry and wife Catherine, David Lauderdale and wife Clarissa, Ephraim Peyton. Additional defendants: Ann Eliza Kane, Robert Hare and wife Harriet. Kanes were from Rhode Island, Hares were from Pennsylvania.


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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