The ancestors of Sarah Chamness
The Chamness Family moves to Indiana
Around 1800 many of the early settlers of North Carolina began moving on to other areas. Some went south to Georgia and South Carolina while others went west through the Cumberland Gap to Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Some of those who headed north did so to avoid the slavery issue in the South, in keeping with their beliefs. It was a difficult journey. They climbed mountains; forded rivers; confronted wild animals and the forces of nature; and fought fatigue and disappointments.
In 1828 Edward and Hannah joined the move to Indiana. The trip must have taken them about two-and-a-half months because they got a certificate of transfer from Centre MM in North Carolina on September 28th and on December 13th, they joined the White Lick MM in Morgan County, Indiana. Leaving and joining the Meetings would have been the last and first things they did when moving.
Edward and Hannah, middle-aged now, set off to start a new life in a new land with a 15 month old toddler in tow. According to the 1830 U. S. Federal Census for Hendricks County, Indiana, his oldest son, Owen [our ancestor], was between 10 to 15 years old. He also had five daughters between five and 30 years old. Since he had owned land in North Carolina he probably traveled on foot with horses, wagons and livestock. They would have headed west over the Wilderness Road carved out by Daniel Boone in 1775, passing through the narrow Cumberland Gap at Middlesboro, Kentucky. The Indiana Home describes this journey:
The Quakers put a lot of stock in owning land. The fathers of a Quaker family customarily bought up land to pass on to their sons at the time of their marriages. The sons then paid back the father, later accumulating land themselves to pass on to their own sons. Their goal was to keep their families together in the Quaker community to protect them from the ways of the world.
In 1831 and again in 1835 Edward purchased land at Crawfordsville, through the Land Act of 1820, from an agent for President Andrew Jackson. In 1837 he purchased more land in the same place from an agent for President Martin Van Buren.25a
On the 1840 U. S. Federal Census for Hendricks County, Indiana, Edward's household consisted of one male and one female between 50 and 60; one female between 16 and 20; one female between 10 and 15; and one male between 10 and 25.
The 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Guilford Township, Hendricks County, Indiana, showed Edward was 68 years of age and lived with Hannah, 64 years of age. He is listed as a farmer, Real Estate Value is $600. Two of his daughters lived with them: Edith, 26, and Emily, 25. Their youngest child, Aaron, and his wife lived close by, possibly in another building on the farm.
The 1860 U. S. Federal Census for Plainfield, Guilford Township, Hendricks County, Indiana, showed Edward [without Hannah] was 78 years old and living with: Emily (35), Aaron E. (30), Nancy (20), Dayton (11), Sarah (7), and Angelina (1).27
Hannah died August 9, 1858 (age 72) and Edward died January 5, 1869 (86). Although when they left North Carolina they had transferred to the White Lick MM in Morgan County, they actually attended the Sugar Grove Meeting which was closer to where they lived. There records were kept at the parent Meetings of White Lick and Plainfield.. They are both buried at the Sugar Grove Cemetery. 28
Edward and Hannah had nine children between 1807 and 1827: Elinor, Mary, Jane, Owen, Martha, Jehu (died at nine months, buried Providence Cemetery, NC), Edith, Emily, and Aaron.29
25 Professor Logan Esarey, The Indiana Home, Indiana University. Crawfordsville, IN. R. E. Banta, 1947, pp. 20, 22.
25a Certificate #9363, 21315 and 23412. Bureau of Land Management, Eastern Office, 7450 Boston Blvd., Springfield, VA 22153
26 Year Book of the Society of Indiana Pioneers, 1980, pp. 9-11.
27 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Guilford Township, Hendricks Co., IN, pp. 595 - 596.
28 Heiss, Indiana Quaker Records, Part 6, p. 94, Plainfield MM
29 Heiss, Indiana Quaker Records, Part 5, p. 320: White Lick MM, Morgan Co., IN.
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