Father: Joseph Bonham
Mother: Naomi Parke
Spouse: James Noah Greear - b: 5/Dec/1790 - Wythe
d: 16/Feb/1872 - West Liberty, Morgan Co., KY - bur: Rose Cem.
m: 15/Apr/1813 - Wythe Co., VA
Child-1: James G. - b: 14/Jan/1814 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 1852 - CA
m: Susannah Stone - ~1841
2: Almarine - b: ~1816 - Grayson Co., VA
3: Susannah Nelson - b: 20/Aug/1817 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 29/Nov/1905 - Grayson Co., VA - buried: John Comer Cem,
m: Timothy Perkins - ~1833 - VA
m: John Phame Comer, Jr. - 9/Nov/1848 - Grayson Co., VA
4: Francis Bonham - b: 22/Jun/1819 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 21/Feb/1909 - Wise Co., VA
m: Sarah (Sallie) Mullins - 9/Feb/1847 - Letcher Co., KY
m: Priscilla Price Stallard - 4/May/1854 - Scott Co., VA
5: Shadrack Freeland - b: 6/Dec/1821 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 31/Aug/1902 - Wise Co., VA - bur: Horne Cem.
m: Mary Ann Moore - 20/Sep/1844 - Scott Co., VA
m: Nancy Moore - 2/Aug/1852 - Scott Co., VA
m: Eliza Horne - 9/Aug/1879 - Wise Co., VA
6: Hiram - b: 9/Nov/1822 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 21/Feb/1911 - Morgan Co., KY - bur: Greear Cem.
m: Zarilda or Sarilda Higginbotham - ~1851 - VA
7: Joseph Parker - b: 22/Aug/1824 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 12/Jun/1904 - KY
m: Desdimona Tignor - 9/Aug/1860
m: Sarah Ann Holbrook - 5/Feb/1891
8: Arah Eveline - b: 26/Mar/1826 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 8/Feb/1908 - Scott Co., VA
m: George Washington Stallard - 1/Jun/1848 - Scott Co., VA
9: Darthula - b: 1830 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 17/Mar/1877 - Letcher Co., KY
m: Ira C. Fugate
10: Madison - b: 1832 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 26/Dec/1897 - Wise Co., VA - bur: Horne Cem.
11: William Melvin (Buck) - b: 1834/1835 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 25/Aug/1890 - bur: Greear Cem., Wise Co., VA
m: Emily B. Bickley - ~1855
m: Sarah M. Bond - 25/Mar/1879 - Wise Co., VA
12: Mary Anna Eliza - b: 1839/1840 - Grayson Co., VA
d: 1862 - Letcher Co., KY - bur: Sandlick Creek Cem.
m: Samuel C. Caudill - 14/Nov/1854 - Letcher Co., KY
Mary Bonham was the youngest child of Joseph and Naomi Parke Bonham and was born in Virginia about 1792. The location of her birth cannot be determined with any certainty because the Bonham family migrated from Loudoun County to Wythe County at about this time. She seems to have been known during her lifetime by the familar name "Polly" and it is also reported that her middle name was Elizabeth, notwithstanding that this was also the first name of her older sister. Polly Bonham and Noah Greear were married in Wythe County, Virginia, on April 15, 1813. (Historians of the Greer/Greear family report that his first name was James, but contemporaneous civil and census records invariably gave his name only as Noah.) After their marriage they apparently settled in Grayson County, Virginia, and twelve children have been attributed to them. Noah Greear was the son of Shadrack Greear who was a large landowner, early settler, and prominent citizen of Grayson County. Accordingly, in the spring of 1812 when Noah was just twenty-one years old, he was called as a witness to a deed made in Grayson County between his father and James and Joseph Walling (who were probably two of his maternal uncles).1 Subsequently, in 1817 Noah was assessed personal property tax on one tithable and three horses. The household of Noah Greear appeared in the population schedule of the 1820 US Census for Grayson County and included four children, viz., three boys and a girl, younger than ten years old, a male and female adult between the ages of twenty-six and forty-five, and an older female of more than forty-five years of age. Obviously, the four children can be identified as Noah and Polly's sons, James, Almarine, and Francis, and daughter, Susannah, and two of the three adults evidently correspond to Noah and Polly themselves; however, the oldest female remains unidentified (although a reasonable assuption would be that she was Polly's widowed mother, Naomi Parke Bonham, who would then have been sixty-eight or sixty-nine years old). Within this context, it should be asserted that very little is known regarding Noah and Polly's putative second child, Almarine, who has been reported as a son by some researchers and a daughter by others (although the census record would seem to indicate a son). Moreover, according to the work of Torrence cited by Ralph and Judia Terry, he (or she) supposedly "went west in the Gold Rush"; however, this seems to be purely anecdotal and without documentary substantiation. Of course, another likely possibility is that this child died young and was only imperfectly remembered by later generations. Indeed, considering the state of medical science and general living conditions prevailing on the early American frontier this would not have been an unexpected or uncommon occurrence. Apparently, the Greear family remained in Grayson County throughout the 1820's and most of the 1830's since Noah Greear was assessed tax on one tithable and four horses in 1824 and 1828 and on one tithable and one horse in 1835. Furthermore, according to contemporary court records Noah Greear and Isaiah Williams became contestants in a dispute, perhaps, over conflicting land claims, and filed lawsuits against each other in October of 1821.2 Concomitantly, the population schedule of the 1830 census indicates that in addition to adult parents, i.e., Noah and Polly themselves, there were nine children in the family, viz., an adolescent male between fifteen and twenty years old, a male and female between ten and fifteen years, two males between five and ten, and two young males and females less than five years of age. Clearly, the oldest adolescent male must correspond to the oldest son, James G.; however, there are evident discrepancies in identification of the remaining children. As noted above, it is possible that this is an indication that Noah and Polly may have had one or more children who died young and are, thus, unknown or little known to history. Even so, it would seem beyond reasonable doubt that this census record provides a contemporary reference to the household of Noah and Polly Bonham Greear.Source Notes and Citations:
According to family tradition, Noah and Polly Greear left Grayson County prior to 1840 and settled in Scott County, Virginia.3 This is confirmed by the population schedule of the 1840 US Census for Scott County, which explicitly included the household of Noah Greear consisting of twelve individuals, viz., in addition to Noah and Polly who were then between forty and fifty years of age, seven males and three females less than twenty. Again, with minor discrepancies this accords reasonably well with the known family of Noah and Polly Greear, since their oldest daughter had married by this time and, thus, almost certainly would not have been living in her parents household. Likewise, their older sons may not have been living at home, perhaps, having been "hired out" as farm hands. Even so, it would seem that Noah Greear still owned property in Grayson County since a land grant for one hundred and sixty-six acres was issued to him on June 30, 1846.4 Nevertheless, it is quite clear that the family was resident in Scott County at the time the census was taken in 1850. Mary Bonham Greear died in Scott County in October of 1850. Her burial place is not known; however, again citing Mr. and Ms. Terry, who cite Mary South who further cited William Riley Greear, now deceased, "There is a memorial located on Route 659 overlooking the Clinch River in Scott County, Virginia, that says 'Mary Bonham Greear wife of Noah Greear. Erected to their memory by their descendants 1936.'" (The indicated location would probably be somewhere in the vicinity of the village of Dungannon, Virginia.) Noah Greear survived his wife by more than twenty years. During this time it has been reported that about 1854 he moved to Letcher County, Kentucky, and remarried once or twice before his death in 1872, which occurred while he was visiting his son, Hiram, in Morgan County, Kentucky.5
1. "April 1812 ... Wednesday the 29th Court met according to adjournment. Present Joshua Hanks, Shadrack Greer, Jonathan Thomas & James Anderson} Gent. Justices
A deed from John Walling and Joseph Walling to Shadrack Greer being heretofore proven in part was further proven by Noah Greer a witness." (Order Bk., 1811-1819, Grayson Co., VA, pg. unk., Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #13). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.))
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2. "At a court begun and held for Grayson County on Monday the 15th day of October 1821. ... Tuesday the 16th Court sat according to adjournment Present same judge as yesterday"
"Noah Greer & wife v. Isaiah Williams, case, not guilty, continued for the defendant"
"Isaiah Williams, plantiff v Noah Greer and Stephen Anderson, Defts, Case
John Woods came into court and undertook for the defendant Noah Greer that he shall pay and satisify judgment of the court in case he is cast or render his body to prison in execution for the same or that he the said John Woods will pay it for him whereupon the said defendant, filed a general demurrer to the plantiffs declaration and plead not guilty and the cause is continued and it is ordered that capias be awarded against the defendant Stephen Anderson and that on the execution thereof the sheriff be directed to take bail in the sum of five hundred dollars." (Superior Court Order Bk., 1809-1832, Grayson Co., VA, pg. unk., Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - City and County Records #28). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.))
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3. "'Noah Greear located in Scott County, Virginia near Woods Siding on the C C & O Railroad. Later he moved to Letcher County, Kentucky. He was born in Grayson County, Virginia and died at West Liberty, Morgan County, Kentucky while visiting his son Hiram Greear and is buried in Rose Cemetery, located near US Highway 460, in that county. Noah's second marriage was annuled after a few days. Shortly after the marriage of Noah and his third wife they removed to Whitebury, Kentucky, where their only child was born. According to J. C. Greear, there were also sons Madison and Buck (these could be other names of the known children).' (Lois Temple FGS.)"
"'Have photo of his gravestone, located in Rose Cemetery US hwy 460. It is a boulder cut in half with inscription: 'NOAH GREEAR WAS BORN DEC 6 (or 5), 1792 DIED MARCH 10, 1872.' West Liberty is about 6.5 miles NE of Grassy Creek in Morgan Co., Ky. (MB's notes.) (Mary South, 1996.)" As noted by Ralph Terry: The birth date of 15 December 1790 and death date of 9 March 1870 were given in the records of Lois Temple. The 15th may be in error, but Noah could not have been born in December 1792 and his next youngest brother born in June 1793."
"Donald Stallard indicates that Noah's first name was James."
Almarine Greear "'Went West in Gold Rush.' (handwritten addition to Torrence's book from LDS microfilm.)"
"Information about the family of Noah Greear from Mrs. James H. White, 6724 Azle Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas, 1 Apr 1969; ... ; Mary Katzman, Framingham, Massachusetts via Mary South."
These citations as well as additional information were provided by Judia and Ralph Terry of Coleman, TX, 76834, on their website.
Works Cited by the Terrys:
1. Robert McIlvaine Torrence, Gregor, MacGregor, MacGhee, Magruder, Grierson, Grier, Greer : A History of the Origin of the Above Families and Many of Their Descendants, unpublished manuscript, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, 1949.
(Judia and Ralph Terry, "Ancestors of Judia Faye Kemper", freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jrterry/jfk-anc/d348.htm#P1038, 2005.) (Ralph Terry; database - capenoch; worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com, 2005.)
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4. William Smith Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia: TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME--GREETING: KNOW YE, That in conformity with a Survey, made on the fourteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty five, by virtue of Land Office Treasury warrant No 15605 there is granted by the said Commonwealth, unto Noah Greear A certain Tract or Parcel of Land, containing One hundred and sixty six acres, lying and being in Grayson County on both sides of Big Fox Creek and bounded as follows, Viz: Beginning at a white pine near a corner of said Greear's patent land by the Waggon road, S 31 W 82 poles, crossing the Road and creek to a maple in a hollow and Laurel S 39 E 54 poles to a white oak by a spirng Anderson's corner & with said Anderson's lines N 72 E 108 poles to a spanish Oak on a ridge near said Road S 57 E 135 poles to a white oak at or near the line of Alexander Porter. Thence leaving Anderson's line N 28 E 200 poles to a stake in a line of said Greear's land and with the lines thereof S 40 W 72 poles to a large Chestnut Oak N 82 W 258 poles corssing said creek to the beginning with its appurtenances TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Tract or Parcel of Land, with its appurtenances, to the said Noah Greear and his heirs forever.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the said William Smith Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the Lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed, at Richmond, on the thirtieth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-six and of the Commonwealth the Seventieth /s/Wm Smith (Land Office Grants, Bk. 97, pg. 415, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Land Office Grants and Patents #163).)
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5. War of 1812 Pension Application Files, National Archives, Washington DC: W. O. 44552, (microfilm).
A widow's claim for pension based on the service of Noah Greear in the War of 1812 stated that Noah was eighteen years old in 1814 (thus, implying he was born about 1796; however, he was actually born in 1790) and was "6 ft. high, blue eyes, light, fair complexion". It further reported that Noah died "2-16-1872" while on visit to his son in Grassy Creek, Morgan County, Kentucky and that he had lived in Grayson County, Virginia; Scott County, Virginia; and Letcher County, Kentucky. The claim was reportedly denied because Noah Greear's name could not be found on any muster roll related to the War of 1812. (cited op. cit. (Judia and Ralph Terry).)
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6. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 46, (microfilm roll - M33_131; img. 59).
7. 1830 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 259, (microfilm roll - M19_190; img. 521).
8. 1840 US Census Population Schedule for Scott County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 279, (microfilm roll - M704_578; img. 139).
9. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Scott County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 408B, (microfilm roll - M432_975; img. 381).
10. 1860 US Census Population Schedule for Letcher County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 724, (microfilm roll - M653_381; img. 250).
11. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Letcher County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 356B, (microfilm roll - M593_481; img. 110).
12. Marriage Register, Bk. 1, Wythe Co., VA, pg. unk., Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: rolls - City and County Records #29 & #60).
13. Grayson County Personal Property Tax List of 1817, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Personal Property Tax Records #139). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.)
14. Grayson County Personal Property Tax List of 1824, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Personal Property Tax Records #139). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.)
15. Grayson County Personal Property Tax List of 1828, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Personal Property Tax Records #140). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.)
16. Grayson County Personal Property Tax List of 1835, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA, (microfilm: roll - Personal Property Tax Records #140). (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes, www.newrivernotes.com/index.htm, 2015.)
17. Horne Cemetery, Wise County, Virginia (www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2315768&CScn=Horne&CScntry=4&CSst=48&CScnty=2895&, continuously updated).
18. Trula Fay Parks Purkey, Genealogy of William Bonham, Pioneer Settler of Grayson County, Virginia, 731 Rockbridge Rd., Trout Dale, VA, 1984: pg. 28.
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