In Search of Descendants of William Speed (1716-1781)
Data Submitted by Chuck Speed May 26, 2002
John and William Speed lived in Richmond County (in Anson County
before the county split) from around 1760's to around 1809. Speeds Creek
south of Rockingham was named for their family since both of them owned land
in that area. John Speed (sometimes referred to as Captain or Colonel Speed
while William was referred to as Major Speed), was even a member of St
David's Parish Church during the late 1770's.
If you can help Chuck with his search, please contact him at
the email address shown above. Thanks! Myrtle Bridges
1. WILLIAM SPEED, b. 19 Feb 1716, SOUTHWARK PARISH, SURREY CO., VA, (son of JAMES B. SPEED & MARY PULLEY)
occupation FARMER, d. CIRCA 1781, ANSON CO., NORTH CAROLINA. Records indicate that William was in the Anson County,
North Carolina Regulators with the title of Major Speed at the time of the American Revolution. In a publication,
"History of Anson County, (1750-1976)", it was noted that he was captured and confined in a dungeon in Camden,
South Carolina as a prisoner of war. William apparently died there as evidenced by the March 28, 1782, Richmond
County, North Carolina Court Order in which he died without a will. This order appointed as administrators, Zack
Martin and Major Speed's former widow, Elizabeth Speed Martin. It appears that Major Speed's widow married Zack
Martin in the year following his death.
Early Anson County land records in North Carolina show William Speed as the authorized overseer of the road
from the Province line to John Thomas' property (January 14, 1777). He is also listed on numerous Richmond
County, North Carolina (formerly part of Anson County) land entries for these early years.
William Speed and his son, John Speed, had signed, along with a large number of Anson County citizens, The
Mecklenburg Declaration of 20th May, 1775, objecting to the new proposed boundaries between North and South
NOTE: It should be noted here that as of 2002, family research still continues to firmly document the
father-son relationship of William and John Speed of Richmond County, North Carolina. It is possible that
William and John Speed may have shared another direct relationship such as being brothers or uncle and nephew.
At the estate settlement following William Speed's death, John Speed and Robert Speed were present and
participated in that estate sale. William Speed and John Speed also owned land in Richmond County, NC very
close to each other near the area of Speed's Creek just south of Rockingham, North Carolina and close to the
South Carolina border.
He married ELIZABETH, 1748, in SURREY COUNTY, VIRGINIA, (daughter of UNKNOWN and UNKNOWN).
2. i JOHN SPEED b. CIRCA 1745.
3. ii ROBERT WAGES SPEED b. 26 Oct 1763.
iii WILLIAM TERREL SPEED, b. RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA, occupation FARMER.
2. JOHN SPEED, b. CIRCA 1745, NORTH CAROLINA, occupation FARMER & LAND APPRAISER, d. 18 Feb 1806, RICHMOND CO.,
NORTH CAROLINA, buried: 1806.
John Speed was a captain and later a lieutenant colonel during the American Revolutionary War and served in
the Richmond County, North Carolina Militia (formerly part of Anson County). Captain John Speed was wounded
at the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina on June 20, 1779. Stono Ferry was about eight miles west of
Charleston on James Island in the Stono River. The State Records of North Carolina found in the North Carolina
Archives reflect that Captain Speed of the North Carolina Militia was listed as wounded in the "Return of the
Killed, Wounded, and Missing in the Action of Stono Ferry, 20th June 1779." In the North Carolina Archives,
there are two Revolutionary War pension applications for veterans who served under Captain John Speed. From
these and other archive records, it was learned that Captain John Speed served under Colonel Thomas Crawford.
From early records of St David's Parish in Cheraw, SC, which is just twenty miles south of Rockingham,
Richmond County, NC, John Speed is listed in 1778 as a vestryman of the parish. 1779 Jury List Records
for Cheraws District of S. Carolina list John Speed as both a Grand Juryman and Petit Juryman in Civil
Causes. Other references to John Speed are found in Stewart-Stuart Family history book (R929.125 B66 V.14).
In the Stewart family history, John Speed is noted as marrying Catherine Stewart in 1774 (this was her second
marriage). The common use of the Stewart/Stuart name was reflected in numerous descendants thereafter. Anson Co.,
N. Carolina deeds and abstracts (1756-1786) refer to John Speed several times.
On April 21, 1784, John Speed took his seat in the North Carolina General Assembly representing Richmond County.
He is listed in the 1790 U.S. Census of Fayette District of Richmond County, North Carolina. John Speed died 18
February 1806. His obituary was published in the early North Carolina newspaper, "The Raleigh Register": "Died
in Richmond County, on the 18th ult. of the smallpox, Colonel John Speed, a respectable citizen, who has frequently
represented that county in the General Assembly of this State." The North Carolina Archives records reflect that
James Stewart Speed was the administrator of his father's estate in Richmond County.
He married (1) CATHERINE STEWART, Jul 1774, in CHERAW DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, b. CIRCA 1739, BLADEN COUNTY,
NORTH CAROLINA, (daughter of PATRICK STEWART and ELIZABETH MENZIES) occupation HOUSEWIFE, d. CIRCA 1789,
RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA, buried: RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA.
CATHERINE: Catherine was the first child of Patrick Stewart & Elizabeth Menzies to be born in America. She
first married William Little of Edenton, N. Carolina in 1764. They had one daughter, Elizabeth Little, who
married Morgan Brown in 1784. Catherine's second marriage in 1774 was to John Speed of Anson County (later
in 1779, this part of Anson County was named Richmond County east of the Pee Dee River), North Carolina.
From early records of St David's Parish in Cheraw, SC, which is just twenty miles south of Rockingham,
Richmond County, NC, John Speed is listed in 1778 as a vestryman of the parish. This marriage produced the
next direct Speed descendants, James Stuart Speed, Sarah Speed, Catherine Speed, and Martha Patsy Speed.
James later settled in Montgomery Co., Tennessee.
i JAMES STUART SPEED, b. 16 Mar 1775, ANSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, occupation FARMER, d. Dec 1816,
MONTGOMERY CO., TENNESSEE, buried: 1816, MONTGOMERY CO., TENNESSEE.
In an October 1808 Richmond County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions court action, the following
heirs of Colonel John Speed, deceased, are mentioned: "James S. Speed, William Peques in right of
his wife Sarah (Sally), Elihue Winbourn in right of his wife Catherine, William Michael in right
of his wife Martha, who are of full age, and John M. Speed, Rebecca Speed, Polly Speed, Elizabeth
Speed, Wages Speed, who are infant children, and of whom Elizabeth is guardian."
A review of the Richmond County Court records following the death of Colonel John Speed seems to
indicate some financial and family strife that began to occur in the years following Colonel John
Speed's death in 1806. These court actions are noted:
1. 1807 (July Term) A judgement entered for Abraham Harper against the estate of John Speed was
again brought to Court in March 1809.
2. 1809 (August Term) James S. Speed vs Elizabeth Speed and Moses Knight
3. 1809 (September Term) A judgement for McFarland and Ellis vs James S. Speed, William Pegues
and (wife) Sally, Elihue Winbourn and (wife) Catherine, William Michael and (wife) Martha Patsy.
4. 1809 (September) A judgement for Archibald McNeil vs James S. Speed and H.W. Covington.
5. 1809 (September to December) Philip Horn vs James S. Speed, Serving Administrator; Elizabeth
is guardian of named children, heirs at law of deceased John Speed, who are John M. Speed,
Rebecca Speed, Polly Speed, Elizabeth Speed, and Wages Speed.
After 1798, more and more of the Stewart, Speed, Brantly, and Brown family members from Bladen,
Anson and Richmond Counties of North Carolina began moving to the Montgomery County area of
Tennessee. They resided in the Wells Creek area and around the West Fork of the Red River at
Fletcher's Branch and Barrow Springs. These areas were closer to settlements like Clarksville
and Palmyra but with still great concern for Indian attacks. Both Duncan and Charles Stewart
(James Speed's cousins) became active in state politics serving in the General Assemblies from
1801 to 1807, representing Robertson and Montgomery Counties.
Montgomery County, Tennessee Court Minutes: January term 1812 (Vol.4 1811-1813 pg.41) show
James S. Speed allowed by the Court to keep the ferry on the Red River formerly owned by James
Hambleton. He also entered into a bond with Thomas Smith and James Hambleton for $2000. See also
pp 159, 91, 110, 195, and 201 where James S. Speed is noted as serving as a juror and where
Nancy Speed (Pg. 201) is allowed to keep a ferry on the Red River with bond of $2000 held by
James Stewart (James Speed's cousin) & James Hambleton. This gives some credence to a Speed
family legend that at one time the family operated several ferries. Even after James' death in
December, 1816, the same court records show where his widow, Nancy Speed, was allowed to keep
the ferry on the Red River for some time following his death.
It would appear that during this time the Speed family was involved in moving goods commercially
up and down the Red River. The early years of the 1800's were progressive ones, chiefly devoted to
the building of roads, railroads and bridges.
All indications are that the family of Nancy Speed, widow of James Stuart Speed, raised her young
family for a period of years by running the ferry and possibly farming. The 1830 Montgomery County,
Tennessee census shows Nancy Speed as the head of a household with two males, one between twenty
and thirty years of age and one between fifteen and twenty years of age. Another son, James Speed,
was shown to be a head of household also living nearby with two males, one between ten and
fifteen years of age and one under five years of age. The male between ten and fifteen appeared
to be black.
Sometime before the 1850 census, Nancy Speed, the widow of James Stuart Speed, moved in with the
family of her son, Charles Stuart Speed. Charles had moved to Weakley County, Tennessee sometime
between 1841 and 1850. The 1850 Weakley County census showed Charles (age 33) , his wife, Martha
(age 32), a twin son and daughter, Mary and George (age 4), a son, Robert (age 5), and Charles'
mother, Nancy (age 65).
He married NANCY (PAN) HINSON, CIRCA 1800, in RICHMOND CO., SOUTH CAROLINA, b. 17 Mar 1784, NORTH
CAROLINA, (daughter of CHARLES HINSON and AGNIS CLARK) occupation HOUSEWIFE, d. CIRCA 1860, HENRY
CO., TENNESSEE, buried: CIRCA 1860, ALLMAN / ALMOND CEMETERY, NE of PARIS on HWY 79, HENRY CO., TENNESSEE.
ii SARAH (SALLY) SPEED, b. CIRCA 1777, RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA, occupation HOUSEWIFE, d. RICHMOND
CO., NORTH CAROLINA.
She married WILLIAM PEGUES II, 16 Jan 1797, in NORTH CAROLINA, b. 29 Nov 1775, CHERAW DISTRICT,
SOUTH CAROLINA, (son of CLAUDIUS PEGUES, JR and MERCY (MARCY) SAUNDERS) d. 4 Nov 1857,
MARLBOROUGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA.
iii CATHERINE SPEED, b. CIRCA 1788, CHERAW DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. HARDIN COUNTY, TENNESSEE.
She married ELIHUE WINBORN, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. CIRCA 1780, NORTH CAROLINA, d. CIRCA 1848,
HARDIN COUNTY, TENNESSEE.
iv MARTHA PATSY SPEED, b. CIRCA 1789, CHERAW DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA.
She married WILLIAM MICHAELS, in SOUTH CAROLINA.
He married (2) ELIZABETH (VOSBURG?), CIRCA 1790, b. CIRCA 1770, d. CIRCA 1845.
v JOHN MACK SPEED, b. CIRCA 1789, RICHMOND, NORTH CAROLINA, d. 1844, DALLAS COUNTY, ALABAMA.
John moved from Richmond Co., N. Carolina to Darlington Co., S. Carolina by
1817. He is found in the 1820 U.S. census of Darlington Co. along with his
wife and two daughters under age ten. Sometime between 1825 and 1830, John
and his family had moved to Dallas Co., Alabama where they are found in the
1830 U.S. census. After John's death in 1844, his wife Ann moved to Maury Co.
Tennessee. After moving to Maury Co., Ann lived in homes of her son William.
He married ANN, 1820, b. CIRCA 1801, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. CIRCA 1871.
vi REBECCA SPEED, b. CIRCA 1790, d. CIRCA 1825.
She married CLAUDIUS PEGUES, b. 16 Dec 1776, CHESTERFIELD DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, (son of
WILLIAM PEGUES and SARAH HICKS) d. 1857, ANSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA.
vii MARY (POLLY) SPEED, b. CIRCA 1796, RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA.
viii ELIZABETH SPEED, b. CIRCA 1799, NORTH CAROLINA, d. CIRCA 1887, TEXAS.
She married (1) SAMUEL JOHNSTON, 1817, b. CIRCA 1800, NORTH CAROLINA, d. CIRCA 1882, TEXAS.
She married (2) SAMUEL JOHNSON, d. TEXAS.
ix WAGER ORMAND SPEED, b. 05 Aug 1803, RICHMOND CO., NORTH CAROLINA, d. 06 Nov 1865, ENOCH, SUMTER
CO., ALABAMA, buried: 1865, COKES CHAPEL CEMETERY, WARD, ALABAMA.
He married MARGARET JOHNSON, 15 Jan 1825, in NORTH CAROLINA, b. 23 Apr 1802, NORTH CAROLINA,
d. 20 Oct 1868, SUMTER CO., ALABAMA, buried: 1868, COKES CHAPEL CEMETERY, WARD, ALABAMA.
x EDWARD BRYANT SPEED, b. CIRCA 1806, CHERAWS DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 1880, MISSISSIPPI.
He married CHARLOTTE MARTHA BROWN, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. CIRCA 1813, GEORGIA.
3. ROBERT WAGES SPEED, b. 26 Oct 1763, ORANGEBURG DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 1 Jan 1826, OCONEE CO.,
ABBEVILLE DIST., S. CAROLINA.
Robert was listed as living in the Orangeburgh District, N. Part, S. Carolina in the 1790 U.S. census.
In the 1800 U.S. census, he was shown to be living in Pendleton Co., S. Carolina. In the 1810 and 1820
U.S. census records the family was living in Abbeville Co., S. Carolina. It is believed that Robert served
in a North Carolina unit during Revolutionary War. The North Carolina
Archives contain a pay voucher dated March 1782 for war service to Robert Speed. No middle name, however,
He married ELIZABETH MARTIN, CIRCA 1782, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. CIRCA 1763, NORTH CAROLINA, d. CIRCA 1830,
i WILLIAM WAGES SPEED, b. 24 Jan 1783, ORANGEBURG DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 28 Aug 1833,
COVINGTON CO., MISSISSIPPI, buried: 1833, LEAF RIVER CEMETERY, COVINGTON CO., MS.
He married SARAH LAWRENCE, CIRCA 1802, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. Dec 1787, PENDLETON DISTRICT,
SOUTH CAROLINA, (daughter of BENJAMIN LAWRENCE and RACHEL WEEMS) d. CIRCA 1848, SEMINARY,
COVINGTON CO., MISSISSIPPI, buried: 1848, LEAF RIVER CEMETERY, COVINGTON CO., MS.
ii MARY REBECCA SPEED, b. 16 Nov 1788, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA.
She married KEMP, in SOUTH CAROLINA.
iii JOHN SPEED, b. 25 Aug 1791, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 5-Apr-1841, COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI.
He married MELISSA FARLEY, CIRCA 1840, in COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI.
iv ELIZABETH SPEED, b. 26 Jan 1794, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 14 Mar 1855, INDIANA.
She married TYLER, in SOUTH CAROLINA.
v JAMES W. SPEED, b. 19 May 1795, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, occupation PHYSICIAN,
d. 23 Sep 1852, COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, buried: 1852, REHOBETH METHODIST CHURCH CEMETERY.
James came to Mississippi from Beauford County, South Carolina. Before
moving to Mississippi, James lived in Anson County, N. Carolina. This area
later became Richmond County. James is buried in the Rehobeth Methodist
Church Cemetery at Barlow, Copiah County, Mississippi.
He married (1) UNKNOWN.
He married (2) SARAH ANN SANDERS, 8 Sep 1838, in COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, b. CIRCA 1795, SOUTH CAROLINA,
d. 1859, COPIAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI.
vi WADE SPEED, b. 18 Mar 1796, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA.
vii FLOREIDE (FLORENCE) SPEED, b. 3 Mar 1798, PENDLETON CO., SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 26 Feb 1829, SOUTH CAROLINA.
She married JOHN PAXTON HOLTE, in SOUTH CAROLINA.
viii TERRELL SPEED, b. 10 Mar 1799, OCONEE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, occupation MERCHANT, d. GEORGIA.
He married SARAH DOUGLAS RAYMOND, 22 Feb 1829, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. 11 Jul 1794, CONNECTICUT.
ix SARAH SPEED, b. 1 Nov 1802, PENDLETON DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 6 Jul 1882, SOUTH CAROLINA.
She married (1) JOHN EWING CALHOUN, in SOUTH CAROLINA, b. 1782, CALHOUN MILLS, SOUTH CAROLINA,
(son of JOSEPH CALHOUN and MARTHA PATSEY MOSELEY) d. 1850.
JOHN: John was Vice President of the United States of America and a champion of states' rights.
She married (2) JOHN ARCHER.
x MARY E. SPEED, b. 25 Dec 1805, PENDLETON DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINA, d. 19 Jun 1891, HALE COUNTY, ALABAMA.
Mary was listed in Robert Wages Speed's will on January 2, 1826. She was also listed in 1850 census for Greene
County, Alabama. She married JECONIUS WILSON, in GREENE COUNTY, ALABAMA, b. 13 Dec 1795, HALIFAX, NORHT CAROLINA,
(son of THOMAS WILSON and ELIZABETH) d. 8 Oct 1859, HALE COUNTY, ALABAMA.
Return to Family Genealogies
Return to Richmond Co. Home Page