Alexander County

Alexander County Records

  This article was written by James W. Miller, Jr., 510 Clover Church Rd. Granite Falls NC 28630 and is copyrighted by him. It is not to be used in any publication for   monetary gain or electronically stored in any retrieval systems without the author's written consent. It is being made available to the Alexander County GenWeb as a   means to help other Bentley researchers in tracing their family history.

Benjamin Bentley
© by James Miller

Benjamin Bentley was born about 1745-1746 in Frederick County, Maryland, a son of Thomas and Hannah (maiden name unknown) Bentley.  About 1765 Thomas Bentley moved his family to that part of old Rowan County, NC, to settle in the lower "forks of the Yadkin" area which is now in southern Davie County.  Here Thomas and Benjamin first appear in North Carolina records in the 1768 Morgan Bryan's tax list for the forks of the Yadkin at one poll each.  Benjamin was probably married at this time and may have been living separately from his parents.
The Bentley house still stands in this area (2006) several miles south of Mocksville on Daniel Road but is in a sad state of disrepair.  Although later owners added onto the house, the original portion is a two-story log structure which consists of two 20 x 20 foot square downstairs separated by a 10 foot wide entrance way which was originally a breezeway or what is called a "dog trot."  This portion was later enclosed by later owners. The original staircase to access the upper portion of the house is located here.  The upstairs floor space is the same as the lower level.  This location was one of the first known communities in Davie County was was called "Bentley."  Located behind the main house was a summer house where the children slept in the summer as it was too hot to sleep upstairs in the main house.  The main house was originally built as a fort because of Indian raids in previous years.  An article detailing the Bentley house appears in the Enterprise Record newspaper dated 7 August 1975.  Located a short distance from the Bentley house is the former home of John Wilcockson who married Sarah Boone, daughter of Squire Boone and sister to Daniel Boone.  This house is also a log structure and has been incorporated into a modern home.

Benjamin Bentley was appointed Constable of the "lower end of the forks of the Yadkin" from 16 February 1771 to 7 February 1772 by the Sheriff of Rowan County. 
The 1778 tax list of Capt. Lyon's district in Rowan County shows Benjamin's value to be 336 pounds and that of his father, Thomas, to 609 pounds.      
Benjamin Bentley Sr.'s age was given in the 1830 Iredell Co., NC, census as age 80-90, thus he would have been born between the years of 1741 and 1750.  His birthplace would have been in the Frederick Co., MD, area since his parents were living in that area at the time.
Benjamin Bentley's wife's name was Jane.  It is probable she was a Holman. In an undated letter to his son written in the 1920's or 1930's, John J. Bentley of Wilkes County. NC., wrote his family history to the best of his knowledge.  The letter was for his son, Dr. James Gordon "J.G." Bentley of Wilkes County.  John J. Bentley was born 25 December 1844.  John's great grandfather, Benjamin Bentley, died 1839 in Wilkes County, NC.
The letter begins "Dr. Bentley, Dear son, as near as I can remember I give the following as family history.  The Bentleys came to US before the Revolutionary War from England.  Your Great Great Grandfather was Benjamin Bentley his wife a Holman....."
Benjamin and Jane Bentley had the following children:
1. Moses Bentley, born 1766 Bear creek, Rowan Co., NC, died between May-October 1827 Burke (now Alexander) County, married     Mary (Campbell?). Moses Bentley, son of Benjamin and Jane Bentley, DID NOT marry Mary Lowrance. The Moses Bentley who     married Mary Lowrance was born in Mecklenburg Co., NC.

Allan Poe of Lenoir, Caldwell County, NC, was a noted genealogist and researcher who was blessed with a photographic memory pertaining to early families and events. Mr. Poe passed away 5 March 2006 and his mental storehouse of genealogical wealth will be greatly missed. In a letter to James Miller dated 12 December 1988 he gave his hypothesis as to the parents of Mary, wife of Moses Bentley. I had also came to the same conclusions as Mr. Poe.

"Dear Mr. Miller,
,,,,your ancestor Moses Bentley probably married Mary Campbell, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth (Greer) Campbell, near neighbors of the Benjamin Bentley family, and sister of Joseph Campbell who married Moses Bentley's sister Catherine. Note that Moses and Mary had sons Hugh and Joseph."

The names "Hugh" and "Joseph" were not used in the Bentley naming pattern until AFTER Moses Bentley married Mary, giving further credance to the hypothesis that Mary was indeed a daughter of Hugh Campbell.

Following the Bentley family naming patterns Moses and Mary Bentley probably named their children after relatives as follows:
Margaret, named for Moses' sister Margaret who married William Yonts.
Nancy, named for ?
Moses, named after Moses Bentley the father.
Benjamin S., named after grandfather Benjamin Bentley Sr.
James, named after Moses' brother James who married Elizabeth Laws
Drucilla, named after Moses' sister Drucilla who married Joseph Harrison
Hugh, named after Mary's father Hugh Campbell
Joseph, named after Mary's brother, Joseph Campbell, who married Moses' sister, Catherine Bentley
Lydia, named after Moses's aunt Lydia Bentley who married Meshack Davis
Mary, named after mother Mary Bentley
Phoebe, named after ?
Sarah, named after ?

2.  Squire Bentley, born 1770 Bear creek, Rowan Co., NC, died 1851 Alexander Co., NC, married Sarah Hines.
3.  Drucilla Bentley, born 1772 Bear creek, Rowan Co., NC., died about 1865 Caldwell Co., NC, married about 1792 Cedar      Run/Black Oak Ridge, Iredell Co., NC to Joseph Harrison, born 1768.
4.  Mary Bentley, born 5 Dec 1778 Bear Creek, Rowan Co., NC, died 23 Sept 1855 Alexander Co., NC, married 23 Sept 1797      Iredell Co. to William Hines, born 1764, died 27 Feb 1859 Alexander Co.  Both are buried Hines cemetery, State Rd. 1422,      Alexander Co., NC.
5.  Catherine Bentley, born 1782 Iredell Co., NC, married Joseph Campbell, born 1780.
6.  James Bentley, born 1788-89 Iredell Co., NC, died Letcher Co., KY; married 25 February 1804 Wilkes Co., NC to Elizabeth      Laws, born 1786.  James and Elizabeth divorced in 1837 and he then married Sarah Fletcher Lunsford Tucker.
7.  Benjamin Bentley, Jr., born 1790 Iredell Co., NC

Benjamin Bentley Land Deeds and Grants

Bk 9 p. 277.  21 Mar. 1780.  State Grant #97 @ 50 shillings the 100 acres to Benjamin Bentley, 640 acres on Bear Creek adjoining Wm. Frohock, Carson, Anthony Peeler's claim and Abraham Welty's claim.
Bk 9, p. 589.  10 Oct 1783.  State Grant #457 @ 50 shillings the 100 acres to Benjamin Bentley, 150 acres on branch of the S. Yadkin River near the Cedar Nobs.  [This land would later be in Iredell Co., NC., and later in a portion of Iredell which was cut off and added to Wilkes County, NC, and then added to Alexander County when it was formed in 1847.
Bk 10, p. 22.  16 Mar 1784.  Benjamin (his X mark) Bentley to John Piery for 100 pds., 100 acres on Bear Creek, part of State Grant #97.  Witnesses: Richmond Pearson, Joseph Williams.  Proved in Nov Court 1784.
Bk 9, p. 208.  21 Mar 1780.  State Grant #85 @ 50 shillings the 100 acres to Daniel Lewis, 200 acres on Bear Creek adjoining Benjm [Benjamin] Bentley, Abraham Wiltey, John Wilcockson and John McElhaney,
Bk. 82, p. 282. 7 July 1794.  State Grant #72.  Pursuant to a warrant to Rowan now Iredell county No. 1546 transferred from William Bartlet Surveyed for Benjamin Bentley 110 acres on Bentley branch of So. Yadkin.   "In consideration of Ten pounds I so hereby convey all my claim and title to the within mentioned land and warrant to Benjm Bentley his heirs and assigns forever Given under my hand & seal this 20th of November 1792.  William Bartlet.  Test: Wm Sharpe."
Bk. D, p. 148.  Entered 29 June 1778, registered 15 May 1801.  Grant #329 to Benjamin Bentley lying in Iredell Co. near the head of the South Yadkin,....Solomon Davis' corner.
Bk. B, p. 309.  State Grant #72 @ 50 shilling the 100 acres to Benjamin Bentley, 110 ac for 75 shillings, on Bentley's Branch of the South Yadkin.  Entered 7 July 1794, granted 9 Nov 1795.
Bk. B, p. 470. 3 Sept 1795.  Richard Bell, planter, of Iredell to Benjamin Bentley, planter, of Iredell, 50 acres for 50 pounds State of N.C. money.  Originally granted to Uriah Davis 8 Oct 1783 and then by Davis by deed of 1786 to Adam Hall and then by Hall's deed of 1790 to Richard Bell and then by Bell to Bentley.  Recorded August Sessions of Iredell Court 1796.  Richard Bell (seal), Witnesses: Aaron Freeman, Solomon Davis (his mark) Jurat.
Bk. B, p. 231.  19 Jan. 1796.  Daniel Meadows of Iredell to Benjamin Bentley of Iredell Co., 150 ac lying in Iredell Co. head of the little south fork of the South Yadkin. [Note: This document is smeared and hard to read.]  Daniel (his mark) Meadows.  Witnesses: Wm Sharpe, Jurat; (Andw?) Meadows.  Recorded 2 Feb 1797.
Bk. D, p. 432.  10 Aug 1796.  State Grant #272 @ 50 shillings every 100 acres to Benjamin Bentley, 50 acres lying in Iredell Co. on the South side of the Rocky Faced Mountain...Hendrick's corner..Wasson's last line, then along the Rocky face to a stake, then to beginning.  Registered 13 Feb. 1802.
Bk. C, p. 495.  20 Dec 1796.  State Grant #155 @ 50 shillings every 100 acres to Benjamin Bentley, 100 acres lying in Iredell Co. on branch of the South Yadkin River.  Recorded 18 Nov 1799.
18 Dec 1797.  State Grant #194 to Benjamin Bentley, 100 acres on South Yadkin and haw branch, Beginning four paces from the beginning of Uriah Davis....stake in Adam Hall's line....Uriah Davis line.

                                      |                                          |    
                                      |          Benjamin Bentley       |                     
                   Adam          |          100 acres                   |              
                   Hall             |                                           |         
                                      |          |-------------------------------- 
                                      |          |     Uriah Davis
                                      |          |

Bk. F, p. 49.  18 Nov 1805.  Benjamin Bentley of Iredell Col. to William Hines of Iredell Co. 120 acres for 50 pounds, lying in Iredell Co. on the head branch of the South Yadkin River....Solomon Davises corner....  This land being part of a 340 acre tract originally granted to Benjamin Bentley on the first day of September 1800 In Iredell Co.. deed book D page 148 May 13th 1801.  Benjamin Bentley (seal), Witness: Francis Johnston.
Bk. O, p. 63.  27 Mar 1829.  Benjamin Bentley, Senr. of Iredell Co. to James Bentley of Wilkes Co., NC, and William Hines of Iredell Co., NC 194 3/4 acres for $500.  Lying in Iredell Co. on the headwaters of South Fork of South Yadkin River....Meadow's line...along conditional line between Bentley and Jno. Baker...down meanders of said branch to a stake in said Bentleys other survey...old original corner of Danl Meadows Senr. old a black oak Bentley Harrison corner....originally granted to Daniel Meadows Senr. 4 Jan 1791 and by Meadows to Benjamin Bentley 14 Jan 1800.  Benjamin (his mark) Bentley, Senr (seal)  Witnesses: James Thompson, Jurat; John Bentley.  Recorded August term of Court 1829.
Bk. P, p. 165.  Benjamin Bentley, Senr. of Iredell Co. to Bentley Harrison of Iredell Co., 142 acres for $300, lying in Iredell Co. on the water of the South Fork of the South Yadkin River.....old line...Daniel Meadows corner.... Benjamin (his mark) Bentley, Senr. (seal)  Witnesses:  Joseph Harrison, Squire (his mark) Bentley, jurat.  recorded 7 Mar 1831.

About the year 1782 or 1783 Benjamin Bentley moved his family to the Cedar Run/Cedar Knob area of Iredell County, NC.  This area was later cut off from Iredell to form Wilkes County and even later the area was cut off from Wilkes County to form Alexander County.  Benjamin's plantation was located on the South Yadkin River and Bentley's Branch in the northeastern part of today's Alexander county between the community of Vashti and the Cove Gap.  Neighbors and adjoining land grant owners included Hugh Campbell, John Campbell, William Campbell, Uriah Davis, James Davis, Solomon Davis, Joshua Davis, Daniel Meadows and Adam Hall.
At the first court session of newly formed Iredell County in 1788 Benjamin Bentley, Adam Hall, and others were appointed a road jury to lay off the Cove Gap road.
During the time Benjamin moved his family to Iredell County his parents, Thomas and Hannah Bentley along with his brother Daniel, moved to the Indian Creek area of eastern Lincoln County, NC.  Daniel Bentley married Nancy Lewis in Rowan County 8 Feb 1782  while his parents were residing in the Bentley community on Bear Creek.

As with his father, the voucher for the supplies sold by Benjamin Bentley can be found in Revolutionary Army Accounts in the NC State Archives, Raleigh, NC.
The voucher, No. 148, reads identical to Thomas Bentley's with the exception that Benjamin Bentley sold Thirty bushels corn for twenty two and one Half Spanish milled dollars dated 13th day of December 1780.   Alexander Long, Commiss[ioner].

The 1790 Iredell Co., NC, census records Benjamin Bentley's household:
4 males over 16
0 males under 16
4 females

"Iredell County., N. C., Land Valuations for Direct Tax, 1800," by Lois M. P. Schneider, CGRS. (Microfilm HCR.054.7001 from original in custody of L. K. Hill, P.O. Box 425, Greenville, SC.  Loaned for filming 21 June 1966):
page 7:  Benjamin Bentley   3 houses    $17.00
                                         3 stables      30.25
                                      1/2 sawmill     [blank]               
                                      1130 acres     300.00
             Moses Bentley         house        $7.25
                                         Tub mill        30.00
                                       260 acres     130.00
page 19: Solomon Davis    Barn, 30x16   $30.00
                            tub mill,  1/2 sawmill    50.00
                                           427 acres   213.50
Benjamin Bentley died intestate before 15 March 1839.  On this date his son, Squire Bentley, as administrator of the estate, held a public sale of Benjamin's property. His widow, Jane Bentley, was alive at this time as she purchased items at the sale.


This is a photo of the Eversole cabin in Hazard, Kentucky.
It is very similar to the original construction of the Bentley house in Davie County, NC, with the exception on the Bentley house the outer doors of the downstairs room were located inside the "dog trot" or breezeway.


This is the Bentley house in Davie County.  It was in the process of being remodeled by Armand "Punch" Daniel who died before it's completion. It is now more or less abandoned and has been used as farm storage by his descendants.

Read about the fire
that destroyed this ancestral home on Feb 17 2005.


This is a drawing I did in 1990 of the Thomas and Hannah Bentley house as it looked in a photograph in the Davie County, NC, Enterprise-Record newspaper. This drawing is how the house looked before Armand Daniel attempted a reconstruction and remodeling project. Note the house did not have dormers on the roof.

Sorry, the photo is not more clear.   The blurred line below "The Bentley House" says "(shown after application of clapboard siding)."

This is my same drawing which is in my article "Thomas Bentley of Old Rowan and Lincoln Counties,, NC" which was published in the Rowan County Register in February 1991.


This is a shot looking into the left side parlor of the Thomas and Hannah Bentley house as looking in from the original breezeway.

I have posted all the photos of the Bentley house in an attempt to preserve our proud heritage. I will be glad to share these photos with anyone, however, if they are used for personal research please be kind and give credit from where they were taken.


This is another shot of the interior staircase leading to the upstairs rooms. It seemed to dangerous too climb this staircase to take shots of the upper rooms.


This the right side downstairs room in our ancestral Bentley House. Notice the vandalism and deterioration which has taken place in the last dozen years.


This shot is of the left downstairs room in the Bentley House, our ancestral home of our ancestors Thomas and Hannah Bentley and their children. All work in restoring the house came to a halt about a dozen years ago upon the death of Mr. Armand Daniel.

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