Posted 9/18/2006, Revised 10/28/2006.
Several different men named James Bridges confused Stephen Collis Jones in 1920.
Refer to 1976 and 1993 articles for data about Patrick Hamrick.
When Stephen Collis Jones wrote his book "The Hamrick Generations" in 1920, he could not distinguish between different Bridges men who had the same given name in the old records and in family tradition. At the time Collis Jones researched his book, he was obviously concentrating his research efforts on Rutherford County and Cleveland County, and their parent counties, and neighboring counties. Collis Jones may have encountered references to about ten or more men named "James Bridges" who were born prior to 1800, with most of these born prior to 1770. Jones did not have Bridges ancestors. The major problem which Jones created with his "composite character" whom he called "James Bridges" and reported in his Chapter 170 with reputed wife and reputed children, is that his character "James": (a) includes data from and children of several different men named James Bridges, and (b) includes apparent children of several other Bridges men not named James Bridges.
By tradition, but not by documented records, one, perhaps the so called "first" (1) James Bridges may have marrried a Hamrick in early Virginia. This (1) James is probably the one who appears on the 1747 Prince William County tax record, and then is probably also the same man who appears in the estate record of Patrick Hamrick in the 1760s in Virginia. This man (1) James also appeared in 1740 in the court records of a nearby county, so may have been born prior to (1740-16) or (1740-21), so prior to ca 1719/24. The final residence and year of death of (1) James (b prior to ca 1719/24) is not known. Collis Jones seems to use (1) James as perhaps one-third of the base of his "composite character".
The second (2) James Bridges was called "Jr. from Prince William County" in the British Mecantile Claims of Stafford County during the mid 1770s, and apparently married a Lloyd, stayed in Stafford Co. until ca 1807/09 when he moved to Nelson/Spencer Co. KY where this (2) James died testate ca 1816. Jones may have never known anything about this (2) James. The (2) James Jr. may be a son of (1) James, or may be a son of the older Benjamin Bridges of Prince William County? IT IS NOT KNOWN FOR CERTAIN, IF THE JAMES WHO WAS INVOLVED WITH THE PROBATE OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK HAMRICK, WAS (1)JAMES, OR (2) JAMES (JR).
The third (3) James Bridges was on Thicketty Creek in Mecklenburg Co. NC by 1765 (was in SC after the boundary survey of 1772), was Captain in Tryon Co., and was with William Twitty, Felix Walker and Daniel Boone in 1775 KY, then went back to SC, then back to KY and eventually to MO. This (3) James appears to not NOT be related to the Prince William County Bridges family.
The fourth (4) James Bridges was "brother" of Thomas (d. 1782, with will in SC) and it was this (4) James that married Lydia Roberts Lashley in Granville Co. and d. ca 1792 in York Co.
The fifth (5) James Bridges b. ca 1775 d. ca 1815 with headstone at Buffalo Baptist Church was son of (4) James and Lydia.
The sixth (6) James Bridges b. ca 1765 (from the census records), was in 1790 Rutherford Co. census and owned land on Shoal Creek. The identity of his wife is not known, but she may have been a Blanton, as several of his sons (Burwell B. Bridges and Asa B. Bridges) used "B" as middle initial. Several of George Blanton's daughters married Bridges men, and George had a son named Burwell Blanton. This (6) James b. ca 1765 was alive in mid 1840s when he sold land to Mt. Sinai Baptist Church on waters of Shoal Creek in Cleveland Co. in a deed that was not recorded until many years after his death. This (6) James is not found in the 1850 Cleveland Co. census, so (6) James presumably died ca 1845/49. Collis Jones seems to focus on this (6) James Bridges of Shoal Creek in his Hamrick book, but this (6) James would have died about twenty years before Jones was born, so Jones did not personally know (6) James Bridges. Collis Jones seems to use (6) James as perhaps one-third of the base for his "composite character".
The seventh (7) James Bridges born ca 1770/75 and married Elizabeth, lived on Sandy Run Creek, and died in 1844 with estate probate in Rutherford Co.(with sons: James, Anderson, and Wiley). This (7) James is probably a brother of Grog Creek John Bridges (ancestor of the writer).
The eighth(8) James Bridges born ca 1771 (son of Moses b. ca 1745) married Dicy Harrell, and lived on Beaverdam Creek in Cleveland Co., and was listed in 1850 Cleveland Co.census, and was alive as late as 1854 when he gave land to a grandson.
The ninth (9) James Bridges (or Bridget) had married Nancy Ashworth in Burke Co. and was listed in the 13th census company of northwestern Rutherford Co., while his father William Bridges (or Bridget) was listed north just across the river in 1790 Burke Co. (9) James was next in Buncombe Co., which has lost many early records, but (9) James appears to be reported as dead in the court minutes by the late 1810s. The widow of (9) James is found in Buncombe Co. near her Ashworth family for many years after his death. At the present time, it is not clear if William (the father of (9)James) is: (a) William and Ursilla from the 1760s Dan River area in northern Rowan Co., or (b) from Balls Creek in eastern Lincoln Co. It is not known if this (9) James is descended from the Prince William County Bridges family.
The tenth (10) James Bridges apparently appears first near Pemberton Creek in Bladen Co., then buys and sells town lots in Salisbury, Rowan Co., then moves southwest where he appears in the 1790 Mecklenburg Co. census and then in the 1800 Cabarrus Co. census, and then soon after that his estate is probate according to the Cabarrus Co. court minutes. The widow and children of (10) James sold his Cabarrus Co. land and moved to KY where his son Pemberton Bridges can be found prior to moving to MO. This (10) James is not related to the Prince William County Bridges.
Also, Collis Jones did not mention in his book three other Bridges men who lived in the primary area of Bridges settlement of lower Cleveland Co.: (a) Moses Bridges b. ca 1745 d. ca 1816, (b) Aaron Bridges b. ca 1747 d. ca 1816, or (c) William Bridges d. ca 1840s (not the father of Ezekiel). This (c) William married a Blanton, and sold (in 1840s)land of her father George Blanton in Cleveland Co. Jones probably included children of these last three Bridges men (not named James) in Chapter 170 of his book of the children of "James".
There were a few other men named "James" around in the old records, but the above ten men named "James Bridges" are most likely the specific ones that Jones may have encountered, and are the ones that researchers are presently dealing with due to the Jones book. The above details and dates are brief due to time and space limitations.
As far as this writer knows, this is the first comprehensive attempt to identify and document the several men named "James Bridges" that may have confused Collis Jones.
The above presentation of "James Bridges" is an outline to be used for additional research, comments and corrections.
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