Earles Family History
DECENDANTS OF GAMALIEL EARLE1
The name Earle is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when the family lived in the parish of Earley, in the diocese of Oxford. First found in Somersetshire, the surname originates from a Saxon word “eorl” or “jarl” that described the elder or wise man of the village. Some say the Earle surname comes from John de Erlegh of Somersetshire who lived about 1150. However, de Erlegh is a mixture of Norman & Saxon and, although an ancestor of John may have entered England with William the Conqueror in 1066, it is more likely a Saxon ancestor used the “de” because of the Norman-French influence in English life.
1Spelling varies from Earles to Earl, Erll, Erle, Earls, Erls, Urls, Yearls, and Early in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio documents, and our branch of the family does not consistently use Earles until nearly 1900.
Our Earles ancestry is easily traced to Charles & Mary (Martin) Earles who married in Lee County, VA, about 1799 and moved to Lawrence County, OH, in 1815. Pages from a family Bible state Charles is the son of Elisabeth Earls & a record written by her daughter says Elisabeth’s parents are Gamaliel & Martha who lived in Granville County, North Carolina, near the Virginia border. They lived in Fishing Creek District at Elisabeth’s birth in 1749, & William Eaton’s 1759 Will mentions Gamaliel Earles living on his land.
Gamaliel & his sons were tobacco planters. On 15 May 1761 he purchased 493 acres located on both sides of Ready Branch of Smith Creek in Granville County. He sold the same parcel on 23 Feb 1762. A 1762 Smith Creek District tax record list Gamaliel & his son William, & Gamaliel is listed as insolvent (most likely because he had sold the land being taxed). Gamaliel paid Granville County taxes in 1769 & 1771 & on 7 Jan 1772 paid £20 for 40 ac in Bute County on West Side of Henderson’s Swamp Creek. On 19 Aug 1772 he assigned that deed to William Earles.
Gamaliel purchased wedges at an estate auction 11 Jan 1773, but he is not on later tax lists & probably died before 1775. Martha is not on the 1762 land sale deed but that apparently was not a requirement in North Carolina. However, she may have died around 1770.
ANCESTORS OF GAMALIEL EARLE(S)
Gamaliel Earle was likely born in England, migrating to the Virginia Colony about 1735, either shortly before or just after he married Martha. This supposition is based on his living near a John Earle who also arrived about 1735 and settled in Brunswick County, VA, on the north side of the Roanoke River. Descendants of that family have traditionally said John Earl emigrated from England, settled in Virginia, made a crop of tobacco, then sent back to England for his fiancée, Mary Elizabeth Watts (a niece of Sir Isaac Watts), & boarded the ship to marry her before she disembarked. Records show John Earle was a tobacco planter on Allen’s Creek where it joins the Roanoke River, in what is now Mecklenburg County, VA, just across the river from where Gamaliel & Martha were living at that time. John Earl moved across the Roanoke to Granville County in 1765 and located less than 15 miles southwest of where Gamaliel was living. A further connection to our branch of the family may be through Jesse Earl, a son of John & Mary Earl, who may be the first husband of Elizabeth Earls & father of Charles Earles.
Sir Isaac Watts & siblings lived in Southampton, Hampshire, England & there were a number of Earle families living in nearby Winchester. A William Earle (1654-1732) married Elizabeth 21 Oct 1677 and St. John Church records list christening dates for 11 children: Elizabeth (1672); William (1678); Henry (1684) Thomas (1686); Bernard (1688); Edward (1689); Robert (1690); Nicholas (1694); James (1697); & John (1700). The youngest son is believed to be the John Earle who came to VA in the 1730’s. Gamaliel, born about 1710, might be a nephew of John Earle but this is not yet confirmed.
Traditions in a number of families that descend from Gamaliel state there is a relationship with the John Earle family of Somerset, England who immigrated to what is now Westmoreland County, VA before 1640.
One researcher has traced that family back to Lord of Erleigh in the year 1000 but the Westmoreland County John Earle family is well documented and Gamaliel does not appear to be a direct descendant. However, there likely is a relationship although it may be many generations back. By the 17th Century there were a large number of Earle families in the southern England Counties of Surry, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, and Somerset.
North Carolina Records
Gamaliel, listed with William Earles in 1762, assigned Bute County land to William in 1772. William assigned that land to Obadiah Earls who sold the 40 acres on 22 Dec 1792. William Earl(e)(s) paid Bute County taxes in 1766, bought 100 acres in 1772 & sold that land in 1777. He paid Warren County taxes in 1779 & 1781. In 1781, he is listed as owing 136 shillings with 100 shillings to be allowed for insolvent mistakes, (which means he moved before the 1781 tax date). William Earles paid taxes in Montgomery County, NC in 1782 & was on the 1790 census list for that county. In 1800 he was on the Rutherford County census list & in 1803 his Will was probated in Rutherford County, NC.
Granville, Bute, & Warren County, NC, & Mecklenburg County, VA, real estate, tax, census, and marriage records also list Thomas, Elisha, James, Obadiah, Sarah, Frederick & Jesse Earl(e)(s), all likely children of Gamaliel & Martha. For example, Thomas Earls purchased land on the south side of the Roanoke River in VA & NC from 1773 to 1794. He paid Granville County taxes in 1784 & 1785 and Nutbush District 1786 census lists 3 males & 7 females in his family. Thomas was bondsman for a 1782 marriage of Obadiah to Joyce & in 1785 Frederick to Lucy and was listed next to Obadiah on Warren County taxes of 1787 & 1788. In 1785 Frederick & Lucy moved to Montgomery County adjacent to where William settled. NC Militia records show a James Earl from Warren County served from 1777 to 1784 & Mecklenburg County, VA, tax records list James Erls near Thomas. The 1790 Mecklenburg County census shows James Earle with a family of 7. In 1797 Rutherford County, NC, land records show James Earle, Sr. with 150 acres near William Earles. The 1766 Bute County & 1781 Warren County tax lists show George Smith (husband of Elizabeth Earls) near William Earls & in 1782 near Obadiah Earles & Elisha Earls.
Children of Gamaliel & Martha
1. William assisted his father in planting tobacco in Granville & Bute Counties, purchased & sold land in Warren County, & lived near Obadiah until he moved to Montgomery County, NC, in 1781. Census records indicate he owned 1 slave in 1790 & 2 slaves in 1800. His 1803 Will lists wife Elizabeth & 9 children; William Jr., Bennet, Joshua, Priscilla, Lucy, Pleasant, Nathan, Elijah, & Margaret. Records indicate there was a 3rd daughter who apparently died before 1803 and that Elijah & Lucy died about 1805. Son William Jr. married about 1792 and had 7 boys & 6 girls. Following death of his wife about 1840, he moved to White County, TN, married again in 1844 & died in 1869 at age 100. The 2nd son, Bennet, had 5 girls & 5 boys before moving to White County, TN in 1815, then to Cape Girardeau, MO, & finally to Jackson County, AL. Two sons moved to Cherokee County, TX. Joshua, the 3rd son, & wife, Nancy, had 7 boys & 3 girls before his death in 1837. Joshua farmed & raised his family in Rutherford County, NC. Priscilla, the 1st daughter, & husband Layburn Ledbetter were parents of 7 sons and 4 daughters. They moved to Cape Girardeau, MO, where Layburn died in 1830, & then to Jackson County, AL. The 4th son, Pleasant, & Nancy Ann Web, were parents of 2 boys & a girl before moving to White County, TN, in 1815. Their sons, Martin & William, had 4 boys & 2 girls and 6 boys & 6 girls, respectively. Nathan, the 5th son, & Rebecca, parents of 7 boys & a girl, moved to White County, TN, in 1815. Nathan died in 1865 at the age of 83. Margaret, the 10th child, married Abel Hardin in 1805; he died in 1830 & she married Michael Whisnant & after his death, William Thompson. Margaret died in 1866 at the age of 78. Over 30 descendants of William Earle served during the War Between the States & 10 died during that conflict.
2. Thomas raised a family of 6 girls & 2 boys on farms in Granville & Warren Counties, NC, and Mecklenberg County, VA. Daughters, Nancy married John Malone in 1787 & Judah married Matthew Bates in 1792. In 1795 those families moved with Thomas, wife Mary & the other children to Jefferson County, TN where his brother Frederick had recently moved. In 1797 daughter, Sarah married Joseph Witt & in 1801 Thomas moved his family including the 3 married daughters to Washington County, KY where, in 1802, daughter, Elizabeth married Simon Malone. Sons Thomas Jr, & Merdith, married in Adair County, KY, raising families of 3 boys & a girl & 5 boys, respectively. Thomas & Mary were in Crocus, Adair County when they died in 1831. In 1837 Thomas Jr. filed suit against his siblings claiming ownership of the farm as his due for taking care of his parents during their later years.
3. Elisha shows up on one tax record but no other information has been found.
4. Elisabeth was born 10 Sep 1749, in the Fishing Creek District, Granville County, NC. The Smith family Bible says George, born 11 Mar 1747 and Elisabeth married in that County 08 Jun 1775. The first birth listed in the Smith Bible is: “Charles Earls son of Elisabeth Earls, born December 1773.”
Elisabeth may have married Jesse Earl who died about 1775, a son of the John Earle who immigrated in 1735, before 1773, or Charles could be illegitimate. However, during that period Granville County required bastardy bonds for all illegitimate births and neither Elisabeth nor Charles is named in any Granville County Court record. The 1786 census records show Charles was not living with the Smith’s but instead indicates he was living with his uncle Thomas, and it appears likely he was raised by his uncles William and Thomas.
Warren County records show George Smith was on 1781-1786 tax rolls. In 1788, the family moved to Surry County, NC & 1790 census lists one male 21-60, 3 males < 21, & 6 females. In 1791, they moved to Ashe County, NC, where a 9th child was born. The 1800 census list 5 females & 2 males. George & Elisabeth were parents of 6 girls & 3 boys. The children raised families in Lee County, VA, & Wataugh County, NC. By 1810, they were living in Lee County, VA, & purchased land from Charles Earles 15 Dec 1814. They moved back to Ashe County, NC, before 1834, and in 1835, sold the VA land to their grandson.
George applied 4 Oct 1834, for a Revolutionary War pension. However, it & his daughter Sarah’s (who applied later), were rejected based on George not serving a required minimum of six months. He stated that he enlisted Mar 1781 for 3 months but on his first march, was “taken sick with the fever” & left behind as his Company advanced on Charleston. By the time he recovered, the Company had surrendered to the British, so he went back to Warren County. Then in Apr 1782, he volunteered as a waggoner for a 3 month tour of duty, but on the return from taking his first load of bacon to South Carolina he was “taken sick with the Small Pox,” and by the time he recovered the war was over.
Children of George & Elisabeth included (1) Mary never married; (2) Elizabeth married Archibald McElroy & raised a family of 6 boys & 7 girls in Lee County, VA; (3) Abner married Mehitable Fairchild & raised a family of 2 boys & 6 girls in Ashe County, NC; (4) Susannah married Nathaniel Daugherty & raised a family of 5 boys & 3 girls in Lee County, VA; (5) Martha married Elisha Issacs & raised a family of 4 boys & 2 girls in Lee County, VA; (6) Absalom married Nancy Vanderpool but died soon after in the War of 1812; (7) John died at age 5; (8) Sarah married Hugh E. Eggers & raised 2 boys & a girl in Watauga County, NC; and (9) Nancy married Daniel Flanary but died when her 2 girls were 2 & 4 years old. George & Elisabeth raised her daughters.
The family Bible says George died 30 Apr 1838, Monday about one & a half hours before sundown, following a short illness of about 2 & a half days. And that Elisabeth Smith departed this life on the 8th day of Mar 1842, about 15 minutes after nine o’clock at night, aged 92 years, 5 months & 8 days. She is buried in Cove Creek cemetery in Ashe County, NC.
5. James served in the North Carolina Militia 9th Regiment from 1777 to 1784. He married about 1782 and farmed in Mecklenberg County, VA, south of the Roanoke River on the VA-NC border. There were 5 children by 1790. Elizabeth married John Mayfield in 1806, Presley married Elizabeth Pointer in 1807, & James married in Warren County in 1811.
6. Obadiah & wife Joice were parents of 3 sons and 4 daughters. Obadiah owned slaves as did his sons & son-in-laws. The families farmed in Warren, Nash, & Franklin Counties. Daughter, Mary, did not marry but daughter, Sally, married John Cunningham & they were parents of a boy & 2 girls. Son John & wife Burchett Daniel were parents of 3 sons & 2 daughters with his oldest being a doctor. Son William moved to Marlboro County, SC to assist his aunt Sarah and in 1807 married his cousin, Sarah McDaniel. They were parents of 7 boys & a girl before his 1829 death. Daughter, Elizabeth married John Daniel, a widower with 6 children, & they were parents of 2 sons & 7 daughters. Son Samuel also moved to Marlboro County, SC. He married there about 1818 then moved to Weakley County, TN about 1832. Samuel & Mary were parents of 3 sons & a daughter before he died in 1839. Daughter, Charlotte, married Joseph Turner Daniel and they were parents of 5 boys & 3 girls before the family moved to Dickson County, TN where Charlotte died in 1887. A number of Obadiah’s descendants served with confederate armies during the War Between the States. After the war a grandson (who used the Earl name) moved his family to AR.
7. Sarah & husband, George McDaniel, moved to Marlboro County, SC shortly after their marriage & were parents of 3 sons & 2 daughters before her death in 1798. Their oldest & youngest sons married & raised 9 & 5 children, respectively in Marlboro County. Their youngest daughter, Sarah, married her cousin, William Earls, who had moved to SC to assist his aunt and uncle. William died in 1829 & Sarah may also have died then because 4 of the children were sent to live with their grandparents, Obadiah & Joice Earle. George McDaniel died 31 July 1826 in Marlboro County.
8. Frederick married Lucy Weaver 10 Nov 1785 & the 1786 NC census lists Frederick in Montgomery County, NC indicating he moved to near his brother William immediately after the wedding. The 1790 NC census counts Frederick Earls in the Morgan District of Rutherford County, NC with 2 boys & a girl. In 1800 Frederick is listed on the Capt. McDonald Company tax list of Jefferson County, TN. Adair County, KY land records show that on 07 May 1804 Frederick Yearl made proof for 200 ac on Casey's Fork of Crocus Creek & on 03 Dec 1804 for 200 ac on Harrods Fork of the Crocus. Adair County 1805 tax records show that on June 20 Frederick paid taxes on 200 ac on Harrods Fork plus 1 white male +21 and 2 white males +16. In 1810 Frederick Earles is counted on the Cumberland County, KY census with 3 daughters and a son under 10, a son 10-16, a son 16-26. Son Wyatt with a wife & daughter is living next to Frederick. The daughter born before 1790 apparently had also married before 1810. The 1820 census count Wyatt Earles in Green County, KY but Frederick & other members of the family were apparently on their way to Roane County, TN where sons Thomas married in 1821, John Archibald in 1822, & Frederick Jr. in 1823 & daughters Candis in 1823 and Elizabeth in 1824. The brothers traded off as bondsmen for marriage licenses so Frederick Sr. may have died soon after making the trip to Roane County.
9. Jesse married Nancy Lambert in 1786 & farmed south of the Roanoke River on the VA-NC border, where he died before 1800. There were parents of three sons who were raised by their Uncle Thomas following Jesse’s death in 1799.
Charles Earles & Mary Martin
No records of Charles Earles early life have been found, but Lee County, VA (formed in 1793) tax & census records show he was living there in 1796, 1800, 1810, & 1814. Charles married Mary Martin in 1799 and by 1814 the family included 6 boys & a girl. Mary’s grave marker shows she was born in 1775 (census records indicate 1780) & died 18 Aug 1847. The names of her parents are unknown, but land Charles purchased was adjacent to land owned by Joseph Martin, so Mary may be related to him. Joseph was one of the first white men to enter the Powell River valley.
On 14 Jan 1803, Charles purchased 270 acres from Enos Sutherland. The land, described as being patented to Aaron Lewis in 1785, and adjacent to Joseph Martin & Isaac Christman parcels, was along the main road on the north side of Wallen Ridge, eight miles east of Lee Court House. Charles sold 135 acres to George Smith in 1814, & 18 Mar 1815, sold the other 135 acres to Perry Ryan.
Apparently sale of this land was in anticipation of moving to the new state of OH, where government land had just been reduced to $1.25 per acre. Charles & family traveled over the Cumberland Gap and across Kentucky. They may have visited his Uncle Thomas in Adair County, KY on the way to the Ohio River & probably crossed that river near Portsmouth, OH, then followed the road to Oak Hill in Jackson County. The family settled near Oak Hill in late summer of 1815, and may have planted crops in 1815, but the first full year was in 1816, known as the year without summer. A volcano eruption in Asia resulted in atmospheric ash that reduced sunlight and resulted in snowfall in July in Northeastern United States. Marginal crops would have added to hardships associated with living in wilderness areas of OH. This may be one reason that, early in 1817, the family moved to Windsor Township, Lawrence County where they cleared land along Symmes Creek.
In 1821, Charles patented 145 acres (E½ of SW ¼, S19, T2, R16), land the family cleared. Sons, Bennet and William, told of clearing trees & brush and pounding corn for dinner. One of those days, William was struck by a falling tree, resulting in a skull fracture & broken leg. Bennet was the hunter, shooting deer and turkey for food, and wolves to keep them from killing sheep.
Children of Charles & Mary
1. Martin married Elizabeth Sumpter 15 Oct 1820. He worked with his father & brothers to clear land near the home farm, and in 1830, was granted a patent for 145 acres (E½ of NW¼, S19, T2, R16). In 1833, Martin patented 168 acres in Union Township (W½ of S5), and in 1834 bought a part of 176 acres & mill site in Union Township. When Elizabeth died in 1836, there were 2 sons & 5 daughters. Martin married Lucy Ann Hall, and a third son was born in 1838. By 1840, Martin owned over 500 acres. A portion was sold just before his death and the rest was sold at auction 18 Dec 1841. Sale of the 145 acres in Windsor Township included a condition that Charles & Mary be allowed to stay there the rest of their lives.
Martin’s 1st daughter, Lucinda, married Elliott Corbin and raised 8 children in Lawrence Township. His son, Simeon, married Nancy Corbin in 1844 but died soon after their marriage and she remarried to William Layne. The second daughter died at age nine and the third daughter, Rachel, died within a year after her 1848 marriage. Two daughters, Deborah & Rebecca, married James & Charles Brammer (brothers of Artametta Brammer) & raised families of 8 & 10 children, in Union Township. His son, Joel, married Roxey Pratt, & farmed in Windsor Township. Joel & Roxey owned land where the Symmes Creek Baptist Church is located.
2. Bennet married Nancy Boothe 07 Sep 1826 and purchased the 145-acre home farm; his parents moving to the 145-acre parcel that was patented to Martin in 1830. Bennet & Nancy were parents of 10 children, but only 4 lived past age 30. Three sons served in the Civil War: William, taken prisoner in 1863, died 20 Jun 1864 in Andersonville, GA, (grave #2221); Martin, ill on his return, died in December 1865; & Elliott, wounded in the hand, received a $3.00/month pension until his 1901 death. Bennett bought & sold a number of parcels during his 90-year life. Before he died, he sold remaining portions of the original farm to his oldest son, Daniel Jackson, who died in 1912. Daniel & his wife were parents of 13 children including 3 sets of twins. Two daughters, Mary Ellender & Eveline Frances, died in 1923, at age 94 & 79. Mary Ellender’s first husband, George Pemberton, died during the Civil War.
3. Elizabeth & husband Oty Martin farmed in Windsor Township & were parents of 7 sons & 2 daughters. Both died before 1850, and the oldest son, William, who had just married, raised the 5 youngest children. An aunt raised the oldest daughter and a son & daughter apparently died at an early age. A son, James, served in the Civil War.
4. Charles Jr. & wife Elizabeth purchased 115 acres from Henry Willis in 1830, and owned 240 acres when he died in 1848. His Will gave Elizabeth use of the land until son, Elisha, was of age, sons, Jeremiah R., Charles S., & Andrew, were to receive half the profit for working the land. It was then to go to his 7 youngest children with his oldest son, Samuel, getting five dollars, provided he leave the premises. However, his illness was apparently contagious and 3 children, Charles S., Lucinda, and Elisha, died within the next year. Samuel quickly sold rights to his share of their share. The land was sold to Samuel Russell in 1856, but Charlotte, the youngest daughter, did not sell her rights until 1862. Samuel, Jeremiah, and Andrew served in the Civil War, as did Charlotte’s husband, Elisha Pemberton, who died in TN.
5. William was born in Lee County, VA, on the family farm near Lee Court House. At age 5, the family traveled through Cumberland Gap, across Kentucky to Ohio. The family settled in Windsor Township, Lawrence County clearing the SW ¼ & NW ¼ of section 19. In 1826, that land was sold to Bennet, & William moved with his parents to the NW ¼. William’s wife, Artametta M. Brammer, born in Cabell County, VA (now West VA), was the 2nd child of James Brammer & Sarah Henderson Seamonds.
William & Arta lived with his parents until 1834, when Bennet sold them 70 acres of the original farm. They lived there until 1850, when William purchased 180 acres in sections 8 &17 on Venisonham Creek. The family included 3 boys & 4 girls when they moved to the new farm. A son & 4 daughters were born on that farm. Later purchases increased holdings to 256 acres but 56 acres was given to son Bennett following his marriage in 1859. The family was active in Symmes Creek Baptist Church in the 1850’s & 1860’s but in 1873, William was appointed counsel to a newly designated Dix Creek Station Baptist Church (Perkins Ridge Baptist Church on Greasy Ridge Road) and William & Arta are buried in that Church cemetery.
In addition to farming & raising a family, William served as trustee or treasurer of Windsor Township from 1853 to 1883. He died 10 Aug 1890 & a Will left everything to Arta until her death then the 200 acres & all other property was to be sold with $300 going to James William & $5 to Bennett Thomas. The remainder to be divided equally among sons John Wesley, Charles Lafayette, & James William & daughters Sarah Dement, Mary Ball, Eliza Neptune, Lucinda McCorkle, and Amanda, Florence, & Viola Earles with none of the remainder going to Bennett Thomas. Arta died 28 Aug 1892.
6. Richard, married Deborah Hatfield in 1832 & in 1834 they moved with her parents to Hancock County, IN, where Richard filed for 280 acres of government land in Jackson Township. In moving from Ohio to Indiana they followed the line of the National road, which was being opened up by removing the timber from the way. They lived in a hewed log house with real glass windows the only ones in the county. Wild turkeys passed their door and deer & wolves were numerous. They lived in this new western home 6 years then sold their farm to John Simmons. Richard then went to work at the Kanawha Salt Works, as an overseer, and Deborah stayed with her parents on a farm near Cleveland, IN. His wages amounted to $60 per month, but his health was undermined by inhaling salt furnace vapors & he died in 1844. They were parents of 4 boys & a girl, but all died at or shortly after birth except a son who died at age 16. Deborah remarried in 1846 to Richard Williams &, following his 1849 death, to Edward Barrett in 1858. She died 10 Sep 1891 in Hancock County, IN.
7. Elisha moved to Indiana in 1835, initially to Henry County, & married Mary Barrett in 1836. They homesteaded land in Hancock County & eventually owned a large acreage in Jackson Township. Elisha, a well-known Methodist-Episcopal Church minister, served local parishes on an as needed basis. They were parents of 3 children; Joseph taught school but died when 24; Mary & Nancy married in 1859 but Nancy died when 32 & Mary when 48. Elisha died in 1900 at 87 & Mary died in 1902 at 86.
8. Andrew & wife Abigail patented Lawrence County Lands in 1834 & 1839, & farmed there until 1842, when they moved with a son & daughter to near Maquoketa, IA. Five more sons & another daughter were born in IA. Andrew died in 1904 at age 87 & Abigail died in 1919 at 97 years, 10 months, 19 days with 4 children, 19 grandchildren & 44 great grandchildren still living.
9. Jane & husband, Andy Booth, left shortly after their marriage to serve as missionaries in China.
10. Mary & husband William Brammer farmed in Fayette Township and were parents of 10 children before Mary died in 1861, but 5 died shortly after birth. William served in the Civil War and remarried after Mary’s death.
11. Frances & husband James Langdon farmed in Union Township & were parents of 5 children. Frances died in 1896 at age 73 & James died in 1906 at age 87. His will allocates half of the farm income to the Unionville Harmony Baptist Church.
©2007 by Jim Earles . No portion of this any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research. Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner.
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