Anders Family
David Asbel Anders with
Jim and Tina Smith Anders
Family

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Rufus and Florence Hall Owen Family in 1947
Rufus and Florence Hall Owen and children

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Transylvania County, NC 

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The Gillespie Gun Makers of East Fork NC

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Gillespie Rife

John Gillespie was the first of the NC gun making family and was born in Botetourt County VA near present day Clifton Forge Va. He is assumed to be the son of William and Mary Gillespie who lived on a 320 ac. parcel of land on the Cowpasture River across from Griffith Knob.

John married Jane Harvey, also of Botetourt County Va. 8/31/1779. She was the daughter of Robert Harvey.

Little is known of their early life but a family story relates how a British bullet glanced off John’s snuff box then struck and killed his brother-in-law William Harvey. I have confirmed that William was a member of the Botetourt County militia and was killed at the battle of Clapp’s Mill just outside of present day Burlington NC. So far I have been unable to substantiate that John Gillespie was with him. The snuff box and story were passed do through the Gillespie family and I have found enough circumstantial evidence to believe it is true.

Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War John, Jane and their two young daughters, moved to the George’s Creek area of SC. John’s father, mother and several siblings had also moved to this area. John and Jane moved from this area of SC to the East Fork area of present day Transylvania County circa 1800. There John is reported to have built a water powered gun mill.

John’s three sons William, Mathew and Robert Harvey were taught their father’s trade and worked with him there at the East Fork shop.

Son William remained in the East Fork area until his death in 1851

William’s son John Harvey Gillespie married Sarah Glazener the first time and after she died he married his first cousin Sarah Gillespie, daughter of his Uncle Mathew. John Harvey worked at many occupations, one of which was working the old Glazener/Beasley Silver mine across from the Devil’s Courthouse parking lot. After marrying Sarah Gillespie they moved to Mills River and ran the old Mathew/Phillip Gillespie gun shop. John Harvey died in 1891.

Circa 1810, Mathew married Elizabeth Sitton daughter of iron monger Phillip Sitton of Mills River NC. Mathew and Elizabeth chose to live in Mills River, Henderson County NC. Mathew built a shop next door to his father-in-law Phillip Sitton and made guns in this shop until his death in 1871. Mathew and Elizabeth had 5 sons and is reported to have taught all of them the gun maker trade.

Mathew’s oldest son John R. worked in the Mills River shop until circa 1849 when he and younger brother James A. moved to Union County GA. They jointly ran a shop in the Blairsville GA area and later split up. John R. moved his operation to Young Harris GA and lived there until his death in 1894. James A. stayed in Blairsville until his death in 1897

Phillip, one of the best known gun makers, worked in his father’s Mills River shop until he left Mils River for Eastern Tennessee in August of 1863 where he joined the Union army in late September of 1863. He was accompanied by his brother Wilson and their two brother-in-laws George Washington Underwood and Robert O. Blythe. Phillip, Wilson and Underwood died from sickness while in the Union army in Eastern Tennessee.

Harvey Gillespie the next to youngest son of Mathew and Elizabeth Gillespie worked in the Mills River shop until circa 1852 when he married Sarah Hooper of that county. They lived in Jackson County NC until 1868 when he moved back to Mills River NC and lived there until his death in 1877.

All together there were 10 members (see chart below) of the John Gillespie family that made the well known Gillespie Rifles in East Fork, Transylvania County, Mills River, Henderson County, Jackson County NC, Blairsville and Young Harris GA.

For more information and photo’s of many of their guns see my book “The Gillespie Gun Makers of East Fork NC” available at www.GillespieRifles.com

Copyright October 13, 2005 by T. Dennis Glazener. Permission is granted for personal and family use. Not to be used for profit of any kind.

Sources:

Botetourt County VA and Henderson NC court records
Research by Bert J. Sitton
Buchanan and Gillespie of Southwest Virginia by Dr. James B. Trimble
Marriage records of Botetourt County Virginia Vol I 1170-1790 compiled by C. T. Burton and V. W. Fowler
Augusta County Court Records Order Book No. XVII
Allen Boozer
The Lost Battle of Alamance by Dr. Rollin Steele

Known Gillespie Gun Makers
Of Virginia, South Carolina,
North Carolina, Georgia

John Gillespie
Circa 1753 – 4/7/1822
__________________________________|__________________________________

|
William Gillespie
12/28/1785 – 9/23/1851
|
John Harvey Gillespie
5/31/1810 – 11/4/1891
|
No other known gun makers

 |
Mathew Gillespie
 7/23/1788 – 5/16/1871
|
John R. Gillespie
12/6/1811 -1894
|
Phillip Gillespie
2/11/1815 – 1/15/1864
|
Harvey Gillespie
6/18/1820 – 8/19/1877
|
James A. Gillespie
1/5/1822 – 3/17/1897
|
Wilson Gillespie
2/15/1825 – 1/15/1864

|
Robert Harvey Gillespie
 2/1/1791 – 5/29/1881
|
No other known gun makers



John Gillespie Family—Three Generations

By Linda Owen Anders


First Generation

1. John Gillespie was born1 in 1753 in Virginia. He died on 7 Apr 1822 in Buncombe Co,
    NC. John married Jane Harvey on 13 Aug 1779 in Botetourt Co, VA. Jane was born 1755 to1762 in
    VA.  She died2 on 26 Apr 1808 in East Fork, Buncombe Co., NC [now Transylvania County].
   
    They had the following children:

          2 i. Rebecca Gillespie was born on 30 Jul 1780. She died on 28 Jul 1860. 
          3 ii. Mary Gillespie was born3 on 7 Feb 1783.
          4 iii. William Gillespie was born on 28 Dec 1785. He died on 23 Sep 1851.
          5 iv. Matthew Gillespie was born on 23 Jul 1788. He died on 16 May 1871.
          6 v. Robert Harvey Gillespie was born on 1 Feb 1791. He died on 29 May 1881.
          7 vi. Sarah Gillespie was born4 on 31 Jan 1795.
          8 vii. Isabel Gillespie was born on 30 Mar 1796. She died on 30 May 1880.

Second Generation


2. Rebecca Gillespie (John) was born5 on 30 Jul 1780. She died6 on 28 Jul 1860 in Pickens Co, SC. 
    Rebecca married Noah Kennemure on 6 Mar 1800 in NC. Noah was born7 in 1773 in SC.  He died8 on
    31 Aug 1838 in Pickens Co, Sc.

    They had the following children:

          9 M i. John Kennemure was born in 1808 in SC.

4.William Gillespie (John) was born9 on 28 Dec 1785. He died on 23 Sep 1851. William married Matilda
   "Milly" Davis . Matilda was born10 on 22 Apr 1792 in SC.  She died11 on 13 Apr 1880 in Transylvania
   Co., NC.  She was buried12 in the Glazener Cemetery, Brevard.

    They had the following children:

          10 M i. John Harvey Gillespie was born on 31 May 1810 in Buncombe Co, NC. He died on 4 Nov
                    1891 in Henderson Co, NC.
                    John married (1) Sarah "Sallie" Glazener, daughter of Abraham Glazener and Mary Esther
                    Beasley. Sarah was born13 about 1815. She died on 21 Oct 1835 in Henderson Co, NC. 
                    John married (2) Sarah Gillespie, daughter of Matthew Gillespie and Elizabeth "Beth"
                    Sitton about 1840. Sarah was born14 on 8 Dec 1815 in Buncombe Co, NC. She died on 5
                    Sep 1891 in Henderson Co, NC. 2 Mar 2009 Descendants of John Gillespie Page 1

          11 F ii. Lucinda Gillespie was born15 on 14 May 1812. She died16 on 7 Dec 1886 in
                    Transylvania Co, NC. She was buried in Old Toxaway Cemetery, East Fork, Transylvania
                    Co, NC. Lucinda married Joseph Glazener, son of Abraham Glazener and Mary Esther
                    Beasley. Joseph was born on 15 Jun 1810. He died on 7 Dec 1886 in Transylvania Co, NC.
                    He was buried in Old Toxaway Cemetery, East Fork, Trans Co, NC.

          12 M iii. William Hansel Gillespie  was born17 on 2 May 1814. He died18 on 21 Sep 1875.
                    William married Elizabeth Porter in 1844. Elizabeth was born19 on 26 Dec 1817. She died
                    on 21 Sep 1909.

          13 F iv. Milly Ann Gillespie . Milly married Edward Chastain.

          14 F v. Rebecca Gillespie was born20 on 19 Jul 1819 in NC. She died on 6 Sep 1892 and is
                    buried in Whitmire Cemetery, Eastatoe, Trans Co, NC.
                    Rebecca married William Monteith "Fat Bill" Whitmire, son of Christopher Columbus
                    Whitmire Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Galloway. William was born on 5 Jul 1824. He died on 31
                    Dec 1872 and is buried in Whitmire Cemetery, Eastatoe, Transylvania Co, NC.

          15 M vi. Jason R. Gillespie was born21 on 2 Jan 1824. He died22 on 20 Mar 1889 in
                    Transylvania Co, Nc. He was buried in Gillespie Cemetery, East Fork, Transylvania Co NC.
                    Jason married Elizabeth Lynch . Elizabeth was born23 on 1 Jul 1832 in NC. She died24 on
                    22 Feb 1919 in Transylvania Co NC. She was buried in Gillespie Cemetery, East Fork,
                    Transylvania Co NC.

          16 F vii. Susan Gillespie was born25 about 1825. Susan married Robert Jordan . Robert was
                    born26 in 1821. He died before 1870.

          17 M viii. Surry Davis Gillespie was born on 24 Oct 1826. He died in 1897. Surry married27
                    Eveline Siniard, daughter of Capt. James Lamb Siniard and Nellie Lee Glazener on 10 Apr
                    1853 in Henderson Co, NC. Eveline was born about 1835. She died in 1913.

          18 F ix. Margaret Gillespie was born28 on 11 Dec 1828. She died on 21 Jul 1861 and is buried
                    in Galloway Memorial Cemetery, Eastatoe, Transylvania Co, NC. Margaret married John
                    Fleming Galloway, son of George Washington Galloway and Elizabeth Jordan on 18 Mar 
                    1855 by BF Akins JP, Henderson Co, NC. John was born on 22 Apr 1830. He died on 8 Oct
                    1900 and is also buried in Galloway Memorial Cemetery, Eastatoe, Transylvania Co, NC.

          19 M x. Matthew Gillespie . Matthew married Sara Hendrix Goodwin.

          20 F xi. Harriet Louisa Gillespie was born on 22 Dec 1834 in NC. She died on 31 Mar 1909 in
                    Transylvania Co NC. She was buried29 in Glazener Cem., Brevard.
                    Harriet married Benjamin Newton Glazener, son of George E. Glazener and Mary Demaris
                    King on 27 Oct 1859 in Henderson Co, NC. Benjamin was born on 22 Aug 1833 in 
                    Buncombe Co, NC. He died on 31 Mar 1901 in Transylvania Co NC. He was buried30 in
                    Glazener Cem., Brevard.

5.Matthew Gillespie (John) was born31 on 23 Jul 1788 in Pendleton Co, Sc. He died on 16 May 1871.
   Matthew married Elizabeth "Beth" Sitton, daughter of Philip Sitton and Winifred Bradley in 1810.
   Elizabeth was born32 on 31 Dec 1788. She died33 on 11 Apr 1857.

   They had the following children:

          21 F i. Sarah Gillespie was born14 on 8 Dec 1815 in Buncombe Co, NC. She died on 5 Sep 1891
                   in Henderson Co, NC. Sarah married John Harvey Gillespie,  son of William Gillespie and
                   Matilda "Milly" Davis about 1840. John was born on 31 May 1810 in Buncombe Co, NC. He
                   died on 4 Nov 1891 in Henderson Co, NC.

          22 M ii. Philip Gillespie died in the Civil War.

          23 M iii. Harvey Gillespie.

          24 F iv. Elizabeth Gillespie  was born34 on 16 Jun 1823 in NC. She died35 on 16 May 1917 in
                   Transylvania Co NC.  Elizabeth married William H. Aiken, son of Thomas Aiken and
                   Charlotte Duckworth about 1845. William was born36 on 8 Aug 1823 in Buncombe Co, NC.
                   He died on 14 Feb 1911 in Transylvania Co NC.

          25 M v. Wilson Gillespie was born on 15 Feb 1828 in Buncombe Co, NC. He died37 on 15 Jan
                   1864 in Tazewell, Claiborne Co, Tenn. Wilson married Malinda Underwood on 12 May 1852
                   in Henderson Co, NC. Malinda was born38 on 9 Aug 1833. She died on 21 May 1921.

6.Robert Harvey Gillespie (John) was born39 on 1 Feb 1791 in Buncombe Co, NC. He died on 29 May 
   1881 in Transylvania Co NC. He was buried in Gillespie Evergreen Cemetery.
   Robert married Sarah Aiken, daughter of Ezekiel Aiken and Sarah McCravey on 3 May 1812 in
   Pendleton District, SC. Sarah was born on 31 Jan 1795 in Pendleton District SC. She died on 18 Nov
   1872 in Transylvania Co., NC. She was buried in Gillespie Evergreen Cemetery, Brevard.

   They had the following children:

          26 M i. Jackson Gillespie was born40 on 6 May 1813 in East Fork, Buncombe Co, NC. He died on
                   4 Apr 1894 in Transylvania Co NC. He was buried in Gillespie Evergreen Cemetery,
                   Brevard.  Jackson married Mary "Polly" Porter . Mary was born41 on 19 Jul 1819 in SC. She
                   died on 13 Sep 1900 in Transylvania Co, NC.

          27 F ii. Mary "Polly Ann" Gillespie was born42 on 6 May 1813 (a twin to Jackson above). She
                   died in 1857. Mary married43 John Ashley Moore on 5 Jan 1837.

          28 M iii. William B. Gillespie was born44 on 16 Apr 1816 in East Fork, Buncombe Co, NC.

          29 M iv. Nathan B. Gillespie  was born45 on 16 Apr 1816 in East Fork, Buncombe Co, NC.

          30 M v. Ezekiel Gillespie was born46 on 23 Apr 1818 in East Fork, Buncombe Co, NC.

8. Isabel Gillespie (John) was born47 on 30 Mar 1796. She died on 30 May 1880.  Isabel married 
   Lawrence Sitton, son of Philip Sitton and Winifred Bradley on 25 Dec 1812. Lawrence was born48 on
   11 Sep 1794. He died on 21 Mar 1873.

   They had the following children:

          31 M i. Philip Lawrence Sitton was born on 16 Aug 1814. He died on 5 Apr 1857 in Henderson
                   Co, NC.  Philip married Nancy Caroline Allen on 6 Jan 1842. Nancy was born49 on 13 Apr
                   1825. She died on 25 Apr 1909 in Henderson Co, NC.

          32 M ii. John Matterson Sitton. John married Martha Scruggs.

          33 M iii. William Jason Sitton was born50 on 23 Aug 1826 in NC. William married Margaret 
                   Hawkins on 11 Mar 1850. Margaret was born51 on 16 Feb 1829 in NC.

Appendix A  -  Sources

  1. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  2. Old Pendleton District, SC, gedcom.
  3. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  4. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  5. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  6. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com
  7. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  8. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com
  9. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  10. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  11. Transylvania Co Cemetery Survey, Frankie Monteith.
  12. Transylvania Co Cemetery Survey, Frankie Monteith, p6.
  13. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  14. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  15. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  16. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  17. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  18. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  19. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  20. 1880 Transylvania Co NC census.
  21. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  22. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  23. MountainKin Yahoo Group, Karen Glazener.
  24. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  25. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  26. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  27. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  28. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  29. Transylvania Co Cemetery Survey, Frankie Monteith, p6.
  30. Transylvania Co Cemetery Survey, Frankie Monteith, p6.
  31. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  32. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  33. Old Pendleton District, SC, gedcom.
  34. Our Southern Akins website.
  35. Death Certificate.
  36. Our Southern Akins website.
  37. MountainKin Yahoo Group, Carolyn H.
  38. MountainKin Yahoo Group, Carolyn H.
  39. Akins GenForum, Marilyn Anne Blythe, mablythe@aol.com, 14 Mar 1999.
  40. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com
  41. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com
  42. Our Southern Akins website.
  43. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  44. Our Southern Akins website.
  45. Our Southern Akins website.
  46. Our Southern Akins website.
  47. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  48. Gillespie, Carl, EZTree Family program.
  49. Sitton, Bert J., homepage; familytreemaker.genealogy.com.
  50. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com
  51. Hall, Shawna, www.shahall.com, shahall@yahoo.com

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