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by Jean Schroeder

    My mother, Eva Davis Guard, born 2 July 1905, was the middle daughter of Tregarron M. and Nora Eleanor Crank Guard of Currituck Co.
    Tregarron and Nora were married April 27, 1898 in Currituck Co.  Their first child was Estell Marie born 24 Feb 1900.  She was followed a couple of years later by a son who died a day or so after birth.  The third daughter was Nora Elizabeth born 9 Sep 1907.
    These three little girls lost their mother to pneumonia on 15 Feb 1912.  Tregarron married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ellen Sawyer, a second cousin of his first wife, on October 22, 1912.  There were no children from this union.
    Nora Crank Guard was buried next to her infant son in Powells Point Baptist Church Cemetery.  A few years later the path of the road by the church was altered (now US 158).  The new course took it through the cemetery, thus requiring some of the graves to be moved.  Mother told me the cost of moving these graves was the responsibility of the families involved.  It always bothered my Mother that only her Mother’s grave was moved.  US 158 runs over the grave of her baby brother and many others that were buried there whose families could not afford the cost of the exhuming the caskets and reburying them.  Mother told me of attending the exhumation of her Mother and how the casket broke open as it was being lifted.
    When my Mother was 18 she left Currituck Co. and moved to Elizabeth City.  She traveled by boat, an all day trip but the best means of transportation back then.  There she got a job as a telephone operator and lived in a boarding house for the next year.  In 1924 at the age of 17, her sister, Nora, also journeyed to Elizabeth City by boat where she joined Mother and also became a telephone operator.  For the next 10 years they shared an apartment on Road Street.
    My Mother and Aunt Nora were as close as twins.  Talking with my aunt one day, several years after my Mother had died, she told me the story of their weddings.  When they met their future husbands and planned to marry, my aunt wanted a double wedding but my Mother thought it would be bad luck.  They went ahead with marrying on the same day, but not in the same location.  On 8 Jul 1934, my aunt married Thomas Alva Hollomon (born 9 May 1901) in Elizabeth City, NC, and my Mother married my father, Marvin Bunyan Owens (born 22 Feb 1903 in Currituck Co.), in Powhatan Co., VA.
    My Aunt Nora and Uncle Tom never had children but they treated my bother, Ray, and I like we were theirs.  Mother’s older sister, Estell, married Luther Wilburn Parker of Currituck Co. on 11 Jan 1925.  They had one daughter, Margaret Louise Parker.
    My brother, my cousin and I are all that is left of this branch of the Guard family.  Estell died 3 Jun 1973 and Luther died 4 Oct 1981, they are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, VA.  Eva died 2 April 1976 and Marvin died 30 March 1966, they are buried in the Powells Point Christian Church Cemetery, Currituck Co., NC.  Nora died 28 Jan 1982 and Tom died 14 Sep 1986; they are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, VA.  My Mother was a wonderful person who truly practiced what she preached.  She could find something “good” in everyone.

    Tregarron Guard was born 26 Sep 1873 in Currituck Co. and died of pneumonia 26 Mar 1935.  He was the oldest child of John Etheridge Guard, Sr.  (b. 4 Apr 1842 – d. 4 Nov 1917) and Martha E. Baum (b. 29 Aug 1949 – 2 Apr 1912) of Currituck Co.

    John E. Guard is listed in NC Troops 1861 – 1865, Co. B, 8th Regiment N. C. State Troops, p. 538 as GUARD, John E., Private  Born in Currituck County where he resided as a fisherman prior to enlisting in Currituck County at age 19, August 17, 1861, for the war.  He was captured at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1, 1864, and confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, until transferred to Elmira, New York, July 12, 1864.  He was paroled at Elmira on October 11, 1864, and transferred for exchange.  Received at Venus Point, Savannah River, Georgia, November 15, 1864.
    John E. Guard was married first to Rose Lee "Rosaline" Hayman (born 28 Jul 1848 and died 28 Jul 1870) on 15 May 1868.  There were no children from this union.
    John E. Guard married Martha E. Baum about 1872.  They are buried in a family plot on the land that had been their farm.  The house is still occupied and today is a horse farm just off N. Spot Road in Currituck Co.  Note:
 Buried in this same plot are Martha’s twin sister, Sarah, and her husband James Best Sawyer.

Children of John and Martha were:
    1. Tregarron Guard -- [see above]
    2. Minton Dixon Guard -- b. 30 Oct 1875 - d. 1949 (never married)
    3. Silas Davis Guard -- b. 4 Feb 1878 - d. May 27, 1955 in Fort Pierce, FL (married Nancy Ann Toler)
    4. Sarah Elizabeth Guard -- b. 6 Apr 1881  - d. May 03, 1957 in Elizabeth City, NC (married first Enoch B. Gallop and second Oscar C. Bray)
    5. Martha “Mattie” E. Guard -- b. Aug 1883    - d. May 07, 1949 (married John Henry Clinton Owens)   
    6. John Etheridge Guard, Jr. -- b. 9 Jan 1887  - d. 10 Oct 1960 (married first Isabella P. Burgess and second Cora Ritchie)
    7. W. J. Guard -- b. 25 Feb 1891 – d. November 17, 1891

    John Etheridge Guard, Sr. was one of three sons of James Guard, Sr. (b. ca. 1800 and d. 25 Nov 1851) and Sarah Etheridge (b. 11 Dec 1799 – d. after 1860).  James wrote his will just three days before he died.  It states in part, about his wife, Sarah E. Guard "I give her everything I possess on earth.  Nothing is to be disposed of except for them to live on and maintain my 3 children and after my wife's death, my substance then sold by my son James Guard and equally divided between my 3 children:  James, Banister and John.”  The will was witnessed by Elizabeth Williams and Willis Tillett.                      

The other children of James and Sarah were:
    James Guard, Jr. -- b. ca. 1835
    Banister J. Guard -- b. ca. 1843 married Colinda Harrison (b. 1840 – d. bef. 1880)

    James Guard, Sr. was the son of Burkett Guard (b. bet. 1755-1774 and d. before 5 Nov 1832) and Letitia (last name unknown).  Records indicate that at the time of Burkett’s death his wife was still living and he had four living children:
    1.  Joshua Casey Guard/Gard (b. ca 1797 – bef. 1860), who married Mary “Polly” Jackson.  They later lived in Tyrrell Co., NC, and had at least six children:  Joseph, Joshua, Sarah, William, Thomas M, Burkett Franklin, and Isaac (Burkett F. and Isaac were twins born May 19, 1848).
    2.  James Guard (b. ca. 1800 and d. 25 Nov 1851) [see above]
    3.  William Guard (b. ca 1801 – d. ca 1856, his will was probated May Term 1856) married first Mary “Polly” Etheridge (b. April 26, 1797 – d.  May 13, 1843) and had several children to include Abigail “Abby” b. February 22, 1832.  He married second Nancy Hill and had four children:  Emeline b. 24 May 1845; William Stanley b. 30 Dec 1847; Robert T. Paine b. 15 Oct 1859; and Letisia b. 6 Jan 1853.
    4.  Anna Guard (b. 1800 – 1810) married Avery Daniels.  They had three known children:  Mary b. ca. 1817; Joseph Avery Daniels, b. ca. 1818; and Annie M. b. ca. 1822.
James and William married sisters, Sarah and Mary Etheridge respectively), daughters of William S. Etheridge.  Joshua Casey adopted the “Gard” spelling of the name and later lived in Tyrrell Co.

This document describes the disposition of Burkett’s property:
    "Know ye by all these present that we the heirs of Burkett Guard, deceased, have met and privately agreed to divide and set apart the Lands of the said deceased, and also the chattel property BETWEEN THE FORE HEIRS AND WIDOW, namely Joshua Guard his track of land is his track that was formerly Jones track said to bee 100 acres.  Avery Daniel and wife Anna Daniels track (their?) track of land is the (former?) called Davis track to her 50 acres." 
[Note:  There are words filled in above the lines as though the clerk went back and inserted certain words left out.  There are also tiny numbers 2, 3, 4, over the names of Avery, Anna, James, and William.]
[Continued:]  "James Guard his track of land is called the Gamiel track said to be 50 acres.  William Guard his track of land is the ?? (possibly " Morse plantation") whereon the said Burkett Guard lived said to be 50 acres.  This the 5 of November 1832 the Beach Sand is to be for a privaledge between the fore mentioned (cut off the page)..."  Followed by the signatures above.
    Test:  Matthias Toler, jurat, and John Whitson.
[Then follows:]  "Know all men by these presents that we the under signed are held and firmly bound in the sum of One Thousand Dollars to be paid in Lawful money ..."  Followed by same signatures in same order,  same date, and  same testators.

    Burkett Guard had a sister, Anna, who married William “Sailor” Best (died ca 1810).  Feb Term 1811 (Feb 25 1811) Currituck Co.
    The Last Will & Testament of Wm. Best was exhibited & proved by the oath of Burkitt Guard & at the same time Anna Best, one of the executors named therein, qualified.  Order that she sell the perishable estate. William and Anna had one known daughter, Fanny Best.
    Deeds and other documents indicate that Burkett and Anna were children of Joshua Guard (and wife was probably Abigail) who was listed in the 1790 Currituck Co. census.
    Maybe some other researcher who reads this can help establish who Burkett’s ancestors were.  I recommend they start with Peter Guard.  On 10 Sep 1664, Charles Ratcliffe claimed headrights for transporting 12 persons, among them were Peter Guard.  I next find Peter Gard mentioned in a 1713 Surry Co., VA deed showing he had ½ ownership in 200 acres of land, which descended to him and Thomas Vincent from Peter Jones.  In  1695 Court records of Pasquotank Co., I find Peter, son of Robert and Margaret Guard being “committed to the said Anthony Markam to be brought up.”  Robert Guard appears in a list of Currituck tithables in the late 1600’s. There are other Guard/Gard’s to be found in the early records of Tyrrell, Carteret, Craven and Beaufort Counties.  Records and similarity in Christian names would indicate that they were all related.

Sources:  Currituck Co. wills, deeds, census, and Cemetery book, Pasquotank Co. Court Records, Cavaliers and Pioneers, NC Troops 1861-1864, and personal knowledge.




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© 2005  Kay Midgett Sheppard