Lemuel Lawrence, Mary Wood, & Mary Battle (Norfleet)

Sally’s great-great-great-great-great-Aunt:

Lemuel Lawrence 1744 – 1811 | his parents
& Mary Wood ca 1755 – bef 1784 | her parents
& 2nd Mary Battle [Norfleet] 1740 – 1813 | her parents
of Northampton County, North Carolina

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!
– Lawrence info from research by Joseph D Lawrence Jr –

Lemuel Lawrence was the son of John Laurence of Nancymond County, Va who had a wife Pheribe when he wrote his will 27 May 1795.

Lemuel Lawrence married first Mary, a daughter of Jonas Wood of Northampton County, NC by whom he had a son Jonas Lawrence 9 Jan 1776.
Lemuel Lawrence married 2nd 1781/84 the widow of James Norfleet, Mary Battle the posthumous daughter of John Battle and his wife Sarah Brown. [Battle Book] Mary was the child in esse when her father wrote his will in March 1740.

from a document probably written by Jonas Lawrence and now in the collection of J. D. Lawrence contains the following:
Lemuel Lawrence my father was born the year of our lord God one thousand seven hundred and forty four January the 1st day or the date thus 1744
Jonas Lawrence son of Lemuel Lawrence and Mary his wife was born January the 9th in the year of our Lord God one thousand seven hundred and seventy six — or thus 1776.
Elizabeth Mary Lawrence daughter of Jonas Lawrence and Charlotte his wife was born November the 27th in the year of our Lord God one thousand seven hundred and ninty seven — or thus 1797

“At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Lemuel Lawrence was living at South Quay, VA. When the British moved into Nansemond County, VA, he fled with his family and slaves to Northampton County, NC.
Here he bought
on 4 Nov 1780 – 100 acres from Jesse Kirby and his wife Martha .
On 25 Dec 1781 for 20£ 280 acres from William and Susannah Futrell.
1790 Census NH Co NC Head of family: Lemuel Lawrence
Free white males of 16 years & upward including heads of families 2
Free white males under 16 years 2; Free white females 4; Slaves 19
6 Sept 1797, from Matthew Figures, 680 acres joining James Washington, Benj. Cookley, Wm Sherad, Figures, and Thomas Figures excepting the town of Princeton.
On 27 Oct 1785 Mary [Polly] Lawrence was born probably the daughter of his second wife Mary Battle [Norfleet].
On 27 Jan 1801 he bought 120 acres of land in Northampton County from Exum Liles.
On March 16 1805 deed of gift 686 land in NH Co to son Jonas Lawrence
On Feb 19 1808 deed of gift slave Luke to his son Jonas Lawrence
Lemuel Lawrence wrote his will 29 March 1811 which was proved at the June Ct 1811 in Northamton County, NC
The date of his death was 10 April 1811
from an entry in the Journal of Jesse R Cross.
Mary Battle Norfleet Lawrence died 22 Oct 1813.

“Lemuel Lawrence . . is a descendant of George Lawrence [born ca 1635] who received a grant of 830 acres in Nansemond Co, Virginia in 1686. Part of THIS land was passed by Lemuel Lawrence to his son Jonas.”

Child of “Mary” Wood and Lemuel Lawrence:
from “Lawrence Family of Virginia” by Joseph D Lawrence Jr

1. Jonas Lawrence 9 Jan 1776 – 19 Oct 1813
married 1795/7 Charlotte Holland
dau of Joseph Holland

Child of Mary Battle [Norfleet] and Lemuel Lawrence:
2. Mary Lawrence 27 Oct 1785 – 25 March 1825
married 31 Dec 1801 Jessie R Cross 7 May 1780 – 4 Nov 1823 NH Co, NC
son of Cyprian Cross and Christian Riddick

Children of Mary Battle and James Norfleet:
1. Sarah Norfleet ca 1762 Nanse. Co VA – aft April 1819 Greene Co GA
married 1st Elias Hilliard
son of William Hilliard and Anne Newsome
married 2nd Col. William Horn as his 4th wife
son of Henry Horn and Ann Purcell?
2. John Norfleet ca 1765 Nanse. VA – 1790 NH Co NC dsp
In 1780, when James Norfleet died intestate in Virginia, the Law of Primogeniture was still was in force. Accordingly, John Norfleet inherited his father’s entire estate. John came of age late in the year 1786. By 1790, John had sold all the property inherited from his father in Nansemond County, Virginia (537 acres) and Gates County, North Carolina. However, that same year, John did acquire 640 acres of land from his step-father, Lemuel Lawrence. This land had previously been acquired by Lawrence from James Tatum on 28 April 1789. The land was then located in Davidson County, in the Middle Tennessee area of North Carolina (Tennessee did not became a separate State until 1796). The indenture, dated 29 July 1790, states that the land was located:
“‚Ķ‚Ķbetween the Clay Lick and the Battle Ground in the head drafts of Sycamore.”
Unfortunately, before he could depart for Tennessee, John died intestate in the latter part of 1790.

3. James Norfleet 14 Sept 1767 Nanse. VA – 2 Sept 1846 Robertson Co TN
Pursuant to a 1784 Act of the NC General Assembly, the real property of John Norfleet would have been inherited by his surviving brothers, i. e., Major James and Cordall. Cordall was still a minor at the time; since he was now an heir to real property, a guardian would have to be appointed for him. There is an entry in the Northampton County Court Order Book (June Court, 1793) indicating that “Cordy Norfleet” had chosen Randolph Maddra to be his guardian. On 18 January 1790. James appeared in the Tennessee County Court to prove, by oath, the 640-acre land conveyance from James Tatum to Lemuel Lawrence (see above). This means that Major James must have arrived in TN after the Tatum-Lawrence land transaction of 28 April 1789 but before his 18 January 1790 court appearance. He probably arrived in the Autumn of 1789, thus making him the first Norfleet to enter Tennessee. Thus, James arrived in TN before his older brother, John Norfleet, acquired the land from Lemuel Lawrence in July 1790.
After the death of his older brother, John, late in the year 1790, Major James inherited half of John’s 640-acre property. Brother William already being dead, the other half went to Cordall Norfleet. The land John Norfleet had bought from Lemuel Lawrence was on the waters of Hollis Mill Creek in what is now Robertson County.
Major James apparently also acquired an additional tract of land in the Middle Tennessee area. By an indenture, dated 16 August 1791, Nicholas Tiner of Northampton County, North Carolina conveyed 274 acres of land in Tennessee County (then also part of North Carolina) to James Norfleet of Northampton County. Major James did not retain this land for long, because, on 27 September 1796, Major James, then of Robertson County, sold this same 274 acres of land to his brother-in-law, Isaac Dortch, also of Robertson County. The land was then located in Montgomery County TN. Today the land is located in Stewart County TN and the indenture is recorded in Book B, page 346 of the Stewart County land records.
The first documentary evidence of Major James’s military service is a Mero District militia roster (roll of Captain John Rains’s Company of Mounted Infantry) which shows him entering service on 14 April 1793, as a Private. In September 1794, Major James participated in the Nickajack Expedition sent to attack and destroy the Cherokee towns of Nickajack and Falling Water. James served in the company which had been raised in the Port Royal area by James Ford (the biological father of Philip Ford Norfleet). Ford himself did not go on the expedition, but placed his troops under the command of Captain William Miles. The expedition was successful and the back of Indian resistance to the Middle Tennessee settlements was broken.
after the end of the Indian wars, James entered politics; he was elected as a representative for Robertson County to the Tennessee 2nd General Assembly (1797-1799). He was elected to the 3rd General Assembly (1799-1801), as a senator, representing both Robertson and Montgomery Counties. In 1813-1817, he again represented Robertson County in the House, during the 10th and 11th General Assemblies. In January 1798, Governor John Sevier commissioned him as a Justice of the Peace for Robertson County
Major James was a surveyor as well as a successful farmer and merchant. In 1796, in his capacity as one of the town commissioners, he drew the plat for the new Robertson County Seat, Springfield. For several years, he and fellow Commissioner John Young issued and signed most of the deeds for town lots sold in Springfield.
In 1811 he surveyed and built a grist/saw mill on the Sulphur Fork, which he retained until the time of his death in 1846. To construct such a mill, the law required that the builder of a water powered mill possess land on both sides of the watercourse. As Major James’s land was only on the south bank of Sulphur Fork Creek, he acquired one acre of land on the north bank from his ward, Olivia Polk. Olivia was the first cousin of James Knox Polk, eleventh President of the United States. The mill was known as Norfleet’s Mill until 1853, when it passed into the hands of owners who were not members of the Norfleet family. The mill continued in operation until 1963, having been of service to the area for 152 years. It had been known as Hill’s Mill since 1937. In 1967, the mill burned and virtually no trace of it exists today
Major James’s mill was about five miles from the home of the successful planter, John Bell (1750-1820), whose land was located near the Red River and the modern town of Adams. John Bell had come to Tennessee, in 1804, from Halifax County, North Carolina. Back in North Carolina, two Norfleet women, Phereby Norfleet and Absilla Norfleet, had married relatives of John Bell. Phereby had married Joshua Bell, the brother of John Bell; Absilla had married Benjamin Bell, John Bell’s nephew. Since 1816, John Bell had purportedly been plagued by a goblin-type of entity, which came to be known as either the “Bell Witch.” or “Kate Batts’s Witch.” The fame of the Witch became so widespread that even Andrew Jackson was said to have visited the Bell household, in about 1819, to experience the “Witch” firsthand. John Bell had been an active member of the Red River Baptist Church since his arrival in Tennessee. However, in January 1818, he was excommunicated for the sin of usury, as the result of a court conviction involving the sale of a slave to a certain Benjamin Batts, whose wife was named “Kate.” Some people suspect that the real reason he was excommunicated was due to his involvement with the Bell Witch phenomenon, which had become public knowledge by this time. In December 1820, the “Witch” supposedly killed John Bell. Major James, of course, knew John Bell well; he probated Bell’s will in 1821 and was a buyer at the sale of his estate. Unfortunately, there is no record of what he thought about the strange “Bell Witch” entity.

married in Robertson Co TN ca 1801 Sallie Williamson Lawson d 1821
In about the year 1801, Major James married his first wife, Sarah Williams Lawson (1769-1821), a niece of Colonel Eppa Lawson. Eppa Lawson (1747-1814) had held the rank of Colonel in the Revolutionary War, hence he was always thereafter referred to as “Colonel Lawson.” Eppa Lawson’s wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of Elias Fort, the patriarch of the socially prominent and numerous Fort family. Elias was an active member of the historic, old Red River Primitive Baptist Church and his son, Sugg Fort was the Clerk and later (1816) became the Pastor of the Red River Church. Eppa Lawson’s plantation and that of Elias Fort both adjoined the farm owned by Major James. Major James had five children by Sarah Williams Lawson.
married 2nd aft 1821 Jane Bailey they had one child
4. William Norfleet ca 1771 Nanse VA – ca 1790 Tennessee Co TN dsp
James was apparently accompanied on his trip to TN by another brother (William). The brothers settled in what was then called Tennessee County, but which would, in 1796, become Robertson County. William was apparently killed by Indians soon after his arrival [see the 1891 memorandum of Julius Allen for details]
5. Martha Battle Norfleet ca 1772 Nanse VA – aft 1850 Montg Co TN
removed to TN 1795
married in Edgecombe Co NC 1795 Isaac Dortch
son of Isaac Hilliard and Molly Dortch.
6. Cordall Norfleet 1777 Nanse. VA – 3 Oct 1834 Montg Co, TN
removed to TN about 1798
married in Montgomery County TN Dec 1799 Mary Pennington
Back in Gates County, North Carolina, Cordall had learned the carpentry business as an apprentice (bound in February 1789) to Henry Lee. In Tennessee, he put this skill to good use as partner in a sawmill business. For many years, he and Joseph Woolfork operated a saw/grist mill on the Red River, just above Port Royal
Source: Phil Norfleet’s Web Site

Grandchildren Lemuel Lawrence and Mary Wood:

Jonas Lawrence and Charlotte Holland had:
1. Elizabeth Mary Lawrence 27 Nov 1797 –
married 29 June 1820 Jethro Sumner son of Jethro
2. Joseph Jack Lawrence 29 March 1800 – 1864 South Quay, VA
married Jane [Jincy] Goodman
married 2nd Mary E Holland
3. Lemuel Odom Lawrence 26 April 1802 – 1840 Lee Co, GA
buried in Smithville, GA
married 24 May 1824 Frances Agatha Holland dau of Lewis C Holland
4. George Lawrence 24 May 1804 –
5. Willis Washington Lawrence 3 April 1810 – 20 Nov 1883 [ten children]
married 19 Jan 1835 Ann W Murfee of SH Co, VA died 11 April, 1881

Grandchildren Lemuel Lawrence and Mary Battle [Norfleet]:

Mary Lawrence and Jessie R Cross had:
1. Lemuel Lawrence Cross 4 Jan 1803 – 26 Jan 1845 dsp
2. Elizabeth Mary Ann Cross 9 Jan 1805 – 11 Feb 1811 age 6
3. Cyprian Cross 12 Aug 1807 – ca 1867
removed to Sharon, Miss. where he practiced Medicine
married 21 June 1842 Martha Turner
4. Isaac Cross 25 Jan 1810 – 11 Oct 1828 dsp
5. Christian Elizabeth Mary Ann [Kitty] Cross 12 Oct 1812 – 16 Jan 1838
married 17 Nov 1830 William H Goodman 18 Nov 1809 – 14 Sept 1849
a. Mary Elizabeth [May Eliza] Goodman 22 Aug 1831 – 8 Oct 1888
married Richard H Saunders ? – 27 May 1887
i. Jesse G Saunders 11 July 1860 – no issue
ii. John Richard Saunders 12 Feb 1862 – 10 Aug 1908
married 2 Jan 1883 Ella D Smith
dau of Burwell Smith 1848 – 1890 & Sarah E Parker d. 1865
1. May Ella Saunders 29 Nov 1883 – 15 Dec 1883
2. Dudley Rosser Saunders Smith 20 June 1885 –
3. Richard Burwell Saunders 25 Dec 1888 –
4. Aubrey Burton Saunders 17 June 1892 –
5. Mary Ida Saunders 31 May 1897 –
iii. Herbert Saunders 31 Aug 1870 – 27 June 1891 no issue
[from Saunders Bible pub in Gates County Bible Records Vol 2]
b. Sarah Cornelia G [P or J] Goodman 9 June 1834 -1836
[Goodman Bible says she died in 1836]
c. Henrietta A Goodman 1 Aug 1836 –
married 25 Dec 1860 Dr. John C Goodman
i. Paul Goodman 16 May 1868 –
ii. Jesse Barnes Goodman 10 Feb 1870 –
iii. Harriet Benton Goodman 5 Feb 1878 –
6. William Cordwell Cross 20 March 1815 – 29 Aug 1882
grad UP Med Col and practiced Medicine in Florence, Ala.
married 20 Oct 1841 Mary Ann Frances Harris 23 Oct 1823 – 10 Jan 1896
dau of Benjamin Harris and Minerva T Jones
a. Minerva T Cross 4 Aug 1842 – 24 Jan 1878 dsp
b. Mary Lawrence Cross 12 Feb 1845 – 14 Sept 1855
c. Amanda Rebecca Cross 18 Oct 1846 – 9 Sept 1922
married 29 Nov 1871 Thomas Lile
d. William Pitt Cross 30 April 1849 – 5 Sept 1852
e. Ellen Cross 8 Feb 1851 – 24 Feb 1851
f. Benjamin Jesse Cross 7 Nov 1853 – 23 Feb 1907 Cherokee, Ala.
married 29 May 1883 Mary Elizabeth Alexander 24 Dec 1861 -24 Mar 1935
dau of Adam Rankin Alexander and Mary Anne East [nine children]
g. William Cyprian Cross 31 July 1856 – 29 Dec 1910
marrried 5 Mar. 1878 Arabella Prince
h. Mary Baird Cross 5 Oct 1860 – 12 Oct 1865
7. Agdalena S Cross 11 Dec 1817 – 15 Sept 1853
married 16 Sept 1838 William Hutchens Goodman 18 Nov 1809 – 14 Sept 1849
widower of her sister Christian and raised her children

Grandchildren Mary Battle and James Norfleet:
Source: Phil Norfleet’s Web Site

Sarah Norfleet and Elias Hilliard
1. Elizabeth Hilliard ca 1781 –
married in Franklin Co NC 16 Dec 1797 William Green
2. Mary Ann Hilliard ca 1783 –
married 22 July 1801Thomas Christmas

Sarah Norfleet and Col. William Horn
1. William Norfleet Horn ca 1792 NC – bef 1819 Greene Co GA (?)
2. David Lawrence Horn ca 1794 NC – Sept 1840 Warren Co MS

John Norfleet died 1790 as single person NC

James Norfleet and Sallie Williamson Lawson
1. Elizabeth Norfleet ca 1802 – July 1817 Robertson Co TN
2. Sarah (Sally) Williamson Norfleet 07 July 1808 TN -15 April 1877 TN
married Christian Allen
3. Willie Lawson Norfleet ca 1813 Robertson Co TN – aft. 1860
married 1835 Sarah B. Woodard
4. Louisa Lucy Norfleet 15 Oct 1815 TN – 25 March 1850 Robertson Co TN
married Abraham C. Gaines
5. Martha Battle Norfleet 1817 –
married 1831 David Bushrod Allen

James Norfleet and Jane Bailey
1. William B Norfleet ca 1824 TN – 1848 Robertson County TN

William Norfleet died 1790 as single person TN

Martha Battle Norfleet and Isaac Dortch had:
1. Ann (Nancy) Dortch 1796 Robertson Co TN – ca 1861 Montgomery Co TN
married Mont Co TN ca 1810 Robert C. West
2. James Norfleet Dortch ca 1800 Robertson Co TN – 1882
married ca 1825 Ann Blair
3. Elizabeth Dortch 21 Jan 1801 Robertson Co TN – 10 Nov 1851 Mont. Co TN
4. William Hillard Dortch ca. 1804 Robertson CoTN -12 August 1835 Dickerson County (Charlotte) TN
5. John Baker Dortch ca 1807 Robertson Co TN – 09 Oct 1834 Montgomery Co (Port Royal) TN
6. Isaac Dortch Abt. 1810 Robertson Co TN –
7. Martha Battle Dortch ca 1812 Robertson Co TN – 1844
married Dr. S. J. Leavell
8. Hilliard Dortch ca 1813 Robertson County TN –
9. Catherine P. Dortch ca 1814 Robertson County TN – 1868 Mont Co TN
married Willie Blount Johnson

Cordall Norfleet and Mary Pennington had:
1. Philip Ford Norfleet 1803 Montg Co TN – 03 June, 1871 Montg Co TN
an Adopted child: “In 1812, Cordall became the guardian of Philip Ford, the nine year old son of James Ford, who had just died. James Ford had been one of the early pioneers of the Middle Tennessee area and a Colonel in the Militia. The boy was raised in Cordall’s family and later in life he was always known as Philip Ford Norfleet. Philip became a medical doctor in Port Royal and the owner of a sizable plantation in Mississippi. His home, built about 1840, still exists in quite good condition, about ¬Ω mile from the center of the old Port Royal town site”
2. Sarah “Sallie” Elmyra Norfleet 14 May1811 TN -03 Apr1873 Montg Co TN
married in Montg Co TN 20 Dec 1825Felix Northington
3. Mary “Polly” Norfleet ca 1813 Montg CoTN – aft. 1850
married in TN ca 1825 John Northington
4. William Battle Norfleet bef 1813 Montg CoTN ca Oct 1840 Madison Co MS
died single person
5. Thomas Jefferson Norfleet aft. 1813 Montg Co TN – 1837 Montg Co TN
died single person
6. Minerva Ann Norfleet 14 Sept 1818 TN – 24 Dec 1876 Davidson Co TN
married 1843 William G. M. Campbell
further information on the Norfleets see – Phil Norfleet’s Web Site

Source: “Lawrence Family of Virginia” by Joseph D Lawrence Jr
Gates County Bible Records

One thought on “Lemuel Lawrence, Mary Wood, & Mary Battle (Norfleet)”

  1. I have questions about the Dortch lineage. Is there someone that might answer a few questions? Thank you. Melissa

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