Washington Family  

Here are some notes on the WASHINGTON Family by Martha Mewborn Marble.

1844 Tax List
WASHINGTON John C. 2 w, 32 b, 5866 a, $22449
WASHINGTON John C. Guard. to Heirs of John COBB 1898 a, $6326
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Kinston, Lenoir Co., NC
Elizabeth Knox Washington
Born May 2, 1859
Baptized: May 14th by Rev. F. Fitzgerald
Residence: Kinston
Parents: George and Louisa Hernandez Washington
Sponsors and witnesses: Mrs. H. A. S. Peebles and Mrs. E. W. Knox
Age: Infant
Christ Church
Oct. 13th. John Washington &endash; son of James W. Bryan, Esq.
1850 Census &endash; Lenoir
John C. Washington 48, Ann A. G. 45, Ann Bond 66
Both on 1860 &endash;
He is on 1870 along with a Julia
Bryan Collection at UNC
1. No date but a note at the top says CA 1838 &endash; To the Judges of the Superior Court of Craven &endash; Petition of JOHN C. WASHINGTON, JAMES A. WASHINGTON, ELIZA GRIST, JAMES W. BRYAN & ANN his wife, WILLIAM A. GRAHAM & Hyraw &endash; name not readable &endash; his wife, GEORGE WASHINGTON by his guardian, JAMES W. BRYAN, & MARY WASHINGTON by JNO C. WSHINGTON her guard. --- JOHN WASHINGTON late of the town of New Bern died intestate on the ___ day of August 1837 leaving your petitioners, his children & heirs &endash; Said WASHINGTON in posession of several tracts lying in different counties &endash; land held by heir subject to an estate in dower for ELIZABETH the widow &endash; following tracts in Craven Co &endash; the Eggpt & Rasset ?? lands containing 1300 acres on Nuse River near Fort Barnwell &endash; the tract formerly belonging to JAMES G. STANLY on Brices Creek, the Bell and other lands near New Bern containing about 1000 acres; The following lands in Lenoir Co &endash; tract adj Kinston of 1000 acres; the Robison tract of 200 acres; the Jones land of 250 acres, Branton land of 300 acres, Witherington land of 250 acres, the Allen, Croom and Jordan racts of 1500 acres; following land in Pitt &endash; Croom and Blount land of 2500 acres, Caswell track of 100 acres; and also land in Johnston and Jones Counties &endash; (not identified)
Petitioners wish to have land divided
Signed by JOHN H. BRYAN
James West Bryan, brother to John Heritage Bryan and son of James and Rachel Heritage Bryan married Ann Washington, daughter of John and Elizabeth Cobb Washington
James West BRYAN b: 1805 in New Bern, NC d: 1864
....+Ann Mary WASHINGTON b: 1814 in (married as "Ann") m: January 19,
1831 in Craven Co, NC d: 1864 Father: John Washington
. Letter from Wm. BOYD of New York to JAMES BRYAN - 16 June 1836 Refers to
Broad Street near Wall Street burning Refers to SUSAN WASHINGTON marrying WM.
A. GRAHAM - John Heritage Bryan Collection
FOLDER 12 - 1837
1. Letter from MRS. ELIZABETH GRIST to JAMES BRYAN - 11 Aug 1839 - Refers to
SUSAN, brothers WILLIAM and FRANKLIN, cousin EMMA, cousin JOHN, cousin WILLIAM
In 1837 James W. Bryan's father-in-law, John Washington, a New
Bern merchant, died intestate, leaving James and his brother-in-law, John C.
Washington, to handle the estate. There are many letters to James from John
C. Washington and between other Washington family members concerning the
settlement of the estate and the growing suspicion that both James and
especially John were delaying settlement to their own advantage. James had
apparently borrowed $10,000 from his father-in-law to buy into the
partnership with Heard and the Boyds.
Other correspondents and subjects of note during this time include: Eliza H.
(Washington) Grist (later Knox), James's sister-in-law, who wrote of
Washington and Graham family news;
the sudden death of James W. Bryan's
brother-in-law, James A. Washington, a physician of New York City, in
September 1847;
the legal and financial
affairs of Elizabeth (Cobb) Washington, James W. Bryan and William A.
Graham's mutual mother-in-law;
John Heritage Bryan Collection at UNC &endash; Southern Historical Collection &endash; abstracted by Martha Mewborn Marble
= = = = = = = = = = = = =
From: Victor T. Jones, Jr.
To: "'Martha Marble'" <58marble@cox.net>
Dear Martha,
John Washington died in New Bern on 21 Aug 1837 (New Bern Spectator, 25 Aug
1837). According to the Cemetery Survey compiled by the WPA, he and his
wife (Elizabeth) are buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery; at least they have
tombstones there. Elizabeth was born in Kinston, 27 Apr 1780 and died in
Hillsboro on 8 Mar 1858. John's stone reads died 1780 aged 70 years. John
N. and his wife Sallie Vail are also buried in Cedar Grove.
It seems Washington owned land all over the state: Kinston, Lenoir County,
Craven County, Caswell County, Pitt County, Waynesboro (Wayne County), and
Smithfield (Johnston County).
The Lenoir lands mentioned in the petition to partition the lands (from the
John Washington estate papers [Craven County Estates] in NC Archives; we
have the microfilm of the originals) to the heirs included 866.5 acres near
Kinston; lot 9 in Kinston with storehouse and warehouse; lots 25, 26, 27,
28, 32, 33, 34, 35 in Kinston; 870.5 acres bought from Benjamin Robinson;
41 acres bought from Rigdon Moore; 870.5 acres called the Allen Lands; lots
52, 53, 5, 6, 7, 8 in Kinston; 446 acres called Croom lands; 75 acres
bought from M. Jordan; 136 acres bought from R. Jones; 115 acres bought
from T. Jones; 300 acres called Branton lands; 290 acres bought from R.
Wetherington; and 719.5 acres called Croom lands. This appears to be all of
the lands he owned in Lenoir.
Hope this helps!
Best wishes,
Victor T. Jones, Jr.
Local History and Genealogy
New Bern-Craven County Public Library
400 Johnson Street
New Bern, NC 28560-4098
Phone: (252) 638-7800
Fax: (252) 638-7817
e-mail: vjones@ncsl.dcr.state.nc.us
web page:
From Clair Hadley
Here is a letter from Dr. Charles Holloman (written in1971)
discussing Vernon Hall cemetery and its previous owners.There may be typos in
the scanning-my machine is not perfect! Clair
Dear Marion:

Referring to our recent communication, I am summarizing in this letter the

information which you may like to see or have knowledge of in connection
with the eighteenth century cemetery on Grainger Hill. which is proposed for

Contrary to the statement made in the published notice in the Kinston

daily Free Press addressed to the heirs of John C. Washington, the cemetery
area has been reserved in a deed still in existence. I cite a deed in Lenoir
County Deed Book No. 14, Page 526 and following: and, for the specific words
of exception, see the bottom of Page 527 where it is specifically stated ~it
is understood and agreed that the burying ground in the garden is
excepted'1. This deed was made by the children (and their spouses) of Mrs.
Eliza H. Knox. Eliza Knox was the daughter of John Washington and sister to
John C. Washington. Eliza married first Richard Grist and by him had one
child, a son named Franklin R. Grist. After the death of Richard Grist, her
first husband, she married Dr. Reuben Knox, a Kinston Physician whose
wife had died. Eliza outlived her second husband by many years and died in
1891 in Raleigh where she had come to live just a year or so before, due
to her declining health, By her second husband, Dr. Reuben Knox, she had
Augustus Knox who became a prominent physician in Raleigh, and Betty W.
Hughes, wife of James B. Hughes of New Bern.
Vernon Plantation belonged - not to John C. Washington but to his sister,
Eliza Heritage Washington Knox. * John C. Washington gave his sister,
Eliza Knox, a mortgage on Vernon Plantation (consisting at the time of
1,400 acres approximately) in or about 1875. That deed is of record
in Lenoir County, having been re-recorded after the fire. It also is in the
case papers sent up to the Supreme Court of North Carolina in the
case of William A. Blount versus Julia Washington and others in 1890. The
case is recorded in the printed North Carolina reports, voltume 108 at page (231)
and the case papers are No. 16,620 on the micro-film records of Supreme
Court case papers in the North Carolina Archives. It will be seen in these
papers that Eliza Knox lent her brother, John C. Washington, $17,000 and
took a mortgage on Vernon Plantation. - John C. Washington, as you know, was
a very prominent man. He was the major contractor for the railroad from Raleigh
to New Bern when it was built. In or about 1861, he developed severe rheumatoid
arthritis and suffered terribly from it for the rest of his life until he died in
1887. During that time a considerable part- of his very large estate, much
of it accumulated by himself in earlier years but the larger part received
from his father) John Washington, when the latter died in August 3837, was
dissipated due to his inability to look after it during the reconstruction
era troubles.
As I was saying, following the death of John Cobb Washington in 1887,
there was litigation because a brother-in-law, William A. Blount, who
married John C. Washington's sister, Mary, also had a document which
purported to be a mortgage which he thought included the Vernon lands
He brought suit against the widow and heirs of John C. Washington. The
widow was John C. Washington's last wife, Julia Washington. The case was
tried in Lenoir County and came on up to the Supreme Court and it is the
papers in that case to which I am making reference. Mr. Blount lost in the
suit. The widow Julia retained a life estate with the remainder to Eliza Knox
and her heirs. Julia gave Eliza Knox a quit claim deed.
John C. Washington's descendants include the following person of whom I
have information: Mr. Harry Stewart, 1800 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh,
North Carolina, Mr. Stewart is, I believe, a retired president or
vice-president of Occidental Life Insurance Company and is now in business
with the noted Mr. Andy Griffith of movie and television notoriety. Mr.
Stewart is the grandson of John C. Washington. Descendants of ElLa
Washington Knox known to me include: (1) Mrs. Roy M. Chipley (Agatha
Chipley); (2) Mrs. Paul Nicholson, Port Washington, New York, sister
to Mrs. Chipley; (3) Mrs. L. B. Cox, Saint Petersburg, Florida, sister of
Mrs. Chipley; and (4) Mrs. John T. Taylor, Jr., New Bern, North Carolina,
niece of Mrs. Chipley. Her husband (Mr. Jack Taylor) is a well-to-do lumber
man of New Bern and very much interested in the family. He brought a suit a
few years ago to establish title through John Washington for the benefit
of heirs to forest land at Bay River in Craven County.!

Eliza Knox's son, Dr. Augustus Washington Knox, was Mrs. Chipley's

father. He married ElLa Hardesty Smedes from Louisiana. Besides five
daughters, their children included two Sons: (1) Augustus Washington
Knox, Jr. (He had two children, Mrs. Donald Mobray, Arlington, Virginia; and
Augustus Washington III, who is living but is non convpos mentis) and
(2) John Smedes, son of Dr. Augustus W. Knox, who had no children. Mrs.
H. 1. Winters, Raleigh, North Carolina, is a daughter of Dr. Augustus
Washington Knox and~ grand-daughter of Eliza Washington Knox (of course,
Mrs. Chipley, Mrs. Nicholsont TMrs. Cox and Mrs. Taylor are the other daughters

The cemetery area was first reserved in the will of Governor Richard

Caswell who owned the premises when he died. The Plantation, later called
Vernon, was called The Hill in those days. It was later named Vernon by John
Washington when he became owner in 1806. John Washington obtained the
land by deed from General William Croom who had purchased it from John
Gatlin and wife, Susanna Caswell. General Croom held it for a short time, it
appears; and then conveyed it to John Washington. General Croom also bought
Newington Plantation, the last residence of Governor Caswell, which
lay immediately to the Northwest of Vernon Plantation. Governor Caswell
got the original land grant to The Hill Plantation (later Vernon Plantation)
in 1747 and built there his first residence in the Kinston area. He lived
there for several years until he built his Red House Home on the Red House
Plantation near the present Caswell Park Cemetery - His mother and father lived
on The Hill Plantation (Vernon) until his father's death in 1755. His mother died
in 1787, only two years before Governor Caswell himself died. She had continued to
live on The Hill (Vernon) and his youngest brother, Samuel, and family, lived with
the widowed mother. In Governor Caswell' s will he mentions the fact that
his mother and father and brother Samuel are buried at the cemetery on The Hill;
and he reserves forever the acre of grounds centered on their graves.
While it may not be possible to determine the exact bounds of the acre that
was reserved by Governor Caswell and may not be possible to determine the
exact bounds of the cemetery plot reserved in the Knox deed in 1891, it
will be apparent that the grave sites in fact show the area covered by the
cemetery. Practically all of these graves are not the ordinary kind of grave
but are vaulted brick tombs underground. The removal of this cemetery would
involve destroying these vaulted tombs of brick. Certainly, no removal should
be undertaken merely as a matter of course by some person not an experienced
archaeologist. These tombs go back to the eighteenth century and as
early as 1755 when Governor Caswell's father was buried on the premises. It is
quite likely that Governor Caswell's brother-in-law, Dr. Francis Stringer,
was buried on this site in 1753. We know positively that the Governor's
father was buried there (Richard Caswell, Sr.) in 1755, and his mother and
brother Samuel were later. Samuel Caswell was the Commander of the State
Regiment (bodyguard of the Governor and the government offices and officials)
during most of the period of the Revolution.

East Carolina University has experienced archaeoligists on its staff and I

suggest they might he much interested in examining the site and in
participating in the removal of the graves if, indeed, they are removed. It
is my opinion that the land comprising these grave sites has not been
conveyed to the present owners of Vernon or the Clinic or to any
other owners, inasmuch as the reservation made by Governor Caswell has
never been revoked in any way, shape, or form; but, even if it is found
deficient, the reservation by the heirs of Eliza Heritage Washington Knox in
Deed Book 14, page 527, is effective and subsisting.
Very truly yours,
Charles H. Holloman
Surname Projects M-Z