The ancestors of Sarah Chamness
The Chamness Family moves South
Again we have no evidence as to why Anthony decided to migrate south to North Carolina. However, his timing was right. This was five years before the French and Indian War when the French burned Frederick, Maryland and most of the colonists were killed. The fact that the Quaker community in Monocacy never really flourished like the Quaker Meetings in Virginia could have been an influence. Anthony may have been looking for the support of a larger community of Friends. Or maybe he decided to follow some of the other settlers of the Monocacy area who had moved on to the Carolinas.
Another scenario could be that Anthony came in contact with an agent for John Carteret, the Earl of Granville. The British Crown had made the Earl the Colonial Lord Proprietor of a large tract of land that included North Carolina. Carteret had been actively recruiting colonists who were known to be industrious to settle his lands and it is likely his agents would have visited the Quaker community for candidates.
For whatever reasons, Anthony Chamness ended up in North Carolina. It would have been a long and arduous trip in those days. They most likely followed the valley along the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they made their way well over 300 miles to the south. They would probably have taken "The Great Emigrant Road" through Winchester, Harrisonburg and on to Lexington, Virginia. There they would have veered east to Lynchburg and then south through Danville, Virginia and on to Cane Creek, North Carolina. They would have been travelling with six children, the oldest girl was 12, the oldest boy, our ancestor Joseph, was nine years old.
A Land Grant was made from the Earl of Granvilles Province in Anson and Bladen Counties to Anthony Chamness on June 24, 1751 for 490 acres on Cane Creek. It was signed with Anthonys mark (a sort of fingerprint).13 The land was near Snow Camp in what is now Alamance County, North Carolina not too far from the present Cane Creek Friends Meeting House. Anthonys name appeared on the tax records of Orange County, 1755.
Someone who knew the Chamness farm in 1822 describes it for us:
From Anthonys will, written in 1776, probated in 1783, we can see that the farm was a prosperous one for that early time. The 490-acre farm and household were both well equipped.
When the Cane Creek MM was set off from the Carvers Creek MM, October 7, 1751, Anthony and Sarah became charter members of Cane Creek MM.15 Their son, John, was one of the first four children born in the Cane Creek community on January 6, 1749. Anthony and Sarah were appointed Overseers in the first meeting and were both very active throughout their lives. Their names appeared often on the early Monthly Meeting Minutes and their names were frequently found listed on committees.
According to the Cane Creek Minutes Anthony and Sarah had six more children: John, Anthony, Rachel, Ann, Lydia, and Joshua, all born in Orange County. This brought the total number of children to twelve.
The exact date of Sarahs death is not known but the last entry of her name in the Minutes was the 4th day of the 5th month of 1765 when she was appointed to a committee to attend Quarterly Meeting.
After Sarah's death Anthony married Rachel Beeson Haworth, widow of Stephanus Haworth on September 1, 1766. Rachel brought five or six children of her own to the marriage. Anthonys son, John, married Rachels oldest daughter, Charity, and they were dismissed from the Meeting in 1769. Anthony, Jr. was also dismissed because of his marriage. Rachel died on March 19, 1775.
On May 9, 1776 Anthony, Sr. married Margaret Williams, widow of William Williams, who also brought more children to the family. Anthonys youngest son, Joshua, married Margarets daughter, Rachel Williams. They were dismissed by the Meeting but later condemned their own action and rejoined.
About sixteen months after his third marriage Anthony died on September 20, 1777, at the age of 64 years. His will was probated in Chatham County, North Carolina in 1783 with his oldest son, Joseph, as sole executor. John inherited the portion of the farm that he lived on at that time and Joshua inherited the land and house their father had been living on.16
Three-and-a-half years later the Revolutionary War Battle at Guilford Courthouse took place on March 15, 1781. After this battle Cornwallis camped in the Snow Camp area and used the house of Simon Dixon as headquarters. Dixons Mill and house were on property neighboring Anthony Chamness land where his sons, John and Joshua still lived.
In 1975 descendants of the Chamness family held a reunion at Snow Camp, North Carolina and placed a memorial marker in the Cane Creek Cemetery honoring Anthony and Sarah Cole Chamness as pioneer settlers of the Cane Creek Meeting. The marker was placed beside the grave of their youngest son, Joshua and his wife, Rachel. There are still family reunions being held in the area.
Between the years of 1734 and 1764 Anthony and Sarah Chamness had twelve children: Elizabeth, Susanna, Joseph, Sarah, Mary, Martha, John, Anthony, Rachel, Ann, Lydia, and Joshua.17
13 Secretary of State, Granville Grants, S.108.240. SSLG.1-J: Anthony Chamness. North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 4610 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4610.
14 Zimri Hanson, ed. The Chamness Family of America, History and Genealogy of the American Descendants of John and Ann Chamness (Indiana, 1922).
15 Hinshaws Encylcopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. VI, pg. 348. Genealogical Publishing Company, publ.
16 The will was held in the Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro, North Carolina but has been transferred to the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 4610 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4610
17 Some researchers include a Stephanus as a possible son of Anthonys. I dont believe this is so. His birth is not recorded in the Cane Creek Minutes and he is not included in Anthonys will. I believe that even though Stephanus was known by the name Chamness, it is more likely he was born to Rachel Beeson and her first husband, Stephanus Haworth.
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