Jonathan White of Granville County

Jonathan White was an early settler of Granville County, N.C., a justice of the peace, and in 1748 was one of three commissioners appointed by the General Assembly to choose a location for the Granville County Courthouse. He was a member of the White family of the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth river in Norfolk County, Va. When he died in 1772 he was married to Sarah White. There is deed in Granville County in 1757 from Jonathan White and wife Faith to Ezekiel Fuller. This writer and others had previously identified this person as Jonathan White, Jr. However, a closer examination of the records has shown that a better explanation is that Jonathan White was married first to Faith, and second to Sarah. The following is his will, recorded in Granville County court in August 1772:
I Jonathan White of the County of Granville give to my loving wife Sarah White two Negro girls, Rachael and Abbe, two feather beds and furniture, one bay mare and colt, and one Negro girl Nan during her life. I give to my son Jonathan White 140 acres of land where he now lives. I give to my son Burgess White 140 acres of land where he now lives. I give to my son William White 100 acres of land where he now lives. I give to my son Philemon White 100 acres of land where John Davis now lives, and I desire if my son Philemon die without marriage or lawful heir the 100 acres be sold and the money to be equally divided between all my children living, and it is my desire that all the remainder part of my estate be sold and the money equally divided between all my children, and at the death of my wife Sarah White I desire the Negro girl Nan to be sold and the money to be equally divided between all my children. I appoint my wife Sarah White and Thomas Bradford my executors February 28, 1772. Witnesses: Henery White, Burges White, Jonathan White

On 6 Dec. 1757 Jonathan White and Faith his wife sold Ezekiel Fuller 200 acres of land on both sides of Tabbs Creek in Granville County. A comparison of this 1757 deed with a deed dated 29 Nov. 1748 to Jonathan White, Esq., shows that they refer to the same parcel of land. Since this was the first land sold to Jonathan White in Granville County, and Jonathan, Jr., was still listed on the Granville County list of tithables with his father as late as 1755, then the Jonathan that sold the land in 1757 and whose wife was named Faith must have been the elder Jonathan White. This would seem to be true because since the title esquire must refer to Jonathan White (assumed to be the elder) who was a justice of the peace at the time. Also, Jonathan White, Jr., was married to Martha (___), not Faith, in 1777 when Jonathan and Martha White sold 140 acres in Granville County to Hugh Currin. The 140 acres would seem to be the same 140 acres given by his father ‘s will in 1772. Evidently, Jonathan White, Sr., was remarried to Sarah by 1764 when Jonathan White and his wife Sarah sold 200 acres in Granville County on 15 Aug 1764. The identity of Faith (___) White is not known.

The identity of Jonathan White ‘s widow Sarah can be discovered by later records referring to his bequest to his widow of the Negro Nan. First, we need to talk about the daughter Mary of Jonathan White. The will of Frederick Homes of Granville County, dated 29 Jan. 1749/50, named wife Mary, son John Homes, and daughter Priscilla. He appointed ” Jonathan White my father-in-law and Richard Harris my brother-in-law my two executors and trustees. ” The witnesses were John White and James Horton. Probably, father-in-law in this instance indicates that Mary Homes was the daughter of Jonathan White. In Granville County Court November 1763 Thomas Bradford returned the guardian account of the estate of Frederick Homes. It included payments for the schooling of John and Priscilla Homes. In Thomas Bradford ‘s will dated 22 March 1785 he named his wife Mary. Hence, it is likely that he married Mary (White) Homes and was guardian of her children by Frederick Homes. The identification of Thomas Bradford as Jonathan White ‘s son-in-law would be consistent with his being named an executor of Jonathan White ‘s estate. In his will Thomas Bradford made the following bequest; ” I give to my son Philemon Bradford two parts of nine of a Negro woman named Nan, one part being given part, and the other bought of Philemon White which he is to have after the death of Sarah Rush.” From this bequest and the will of Jonathan White two conclusions are evident. The first is that the widow of Jonathan White was remarried to a Mr. Rush, and the second is that Jonathan White had nine children. It is likely that Mary (White) (Homes) Bradford gave her part of the bequest in the will of Jonathan White to her husband Thomas Bradford.

The marriage bond in Bute County, N.C., dated 26 March 1773, proves that Sarah White was remarried to Benjamin Rush. Sarah Rush made her will in Franklin County, N.C., dated 2 Dec. 1790. In it she made bequests to her husband Benjamin Rush, brothers John, Moses, and Jacob Bledsoe, sisters Elizabeth Harril and Catherine Thornton, sister-in-law Jane Bledsoe, widow of George Bledsoe and her children, and the children of sister Anne Wooten, deceased. Notably lacking is any mention of the children of Jonathan White. No further mention was found if the Negro Nan. However, there was a bill in the General Assembly session of December 1791 to January 1792 to liberate Abislom and Rachel Spicer, slaves, the property of Benjamin and Sarah Rush. It is possible that Rachel Spicer was the same Negro Rachael that Sarah White received from the will of Jonathan White. Abraham Bledsoe made a will in Granville County, dated 15 March 1753, which named sons Isaac, Abraham, Thomas, Jacob, Moses, and Aaron and wife Sarah. The similarity of names in this will and the will of Sarah (Bledsoe) (White) Rush indicate that she was probably a daughter of Abraham Bledsoe. Abraham Bledsoe and Sarah his wife sold 400 acres in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, to Thomas Watts on 5 June 1732. Sometime after he sold his land in Spotsylvania County he moved to North Carolina, where on 10 Feb. 1742 he purchased 200 acres in Edgecombe County from William Person. Since the family of Abraham Bledsoe moved to North Carolina between 1732 and 1742, and some of the children of Jonathan White, especially Mary, were probably born before 1732, then these dates support the fact that Sarah White was the second wife of Jonathan White.

The Granville County tax lists from 1770 to 1784 show which of Jonathan White ‘s children continued to live in Granville County:

1770-Jonathan White (7 tithables), William White (1), Burgess White (1), Jonathan White (1), John White (1), Henry White (1).
1772-Henry White (1), Burgess White (1), Jonathan White (1), Philemon White (1), William White (1), Sarah White (4), John White (2)
1774-Jonathan White(2), William White(1), William White(2), John White(1)
1775-William White (2), Jonathan White (2), Burgess White (1), John White (1), William White (1)
1784-Jonathan White (219 acres), Philemon White (0), Philemon White (156), William White (980), William White (295)

There were nine children of Jonathan White, probably all by his first wife Faith. Four sons are mentioned in his will, and two others, John and Henry, are identified by receiving legacies from the estate. Daughter Mary and possibly an unmarried daughter Fatey brings the total known or suspected children to 8 out of 9 indicated from the settlememt of Jonathan White ‘s estate. Issue: (1) Mary, born ca. 1730, married (1)Frederick Homes ca. 1746, married (2)Thomas Bradford. (2) John White, born ca. 1732, married Mary Bradford bef. 1763, died Chatham County, N.C. 1799. (3) Jonathan, born bef. 1735, married bef. 1777 Martha (___), died intestate or moved from Granville County between the census of 1790 and 1800. (4) William, born bef. 1739, married bef. 1773 Mary (___). (5) Henry, born bef. 1739, married Jemima Harris, died Granville County 1776. (6) Burgess, possibly moved to Davidson County, Tenn., before 1784 when a Burgess White was mentioned on a land grant. (7)Philemon, possibly the same Philemon who died in Granville County in 1803. (8) possibly, Fatey mentioned as Fatey White in the will of Robert Hicks in Granville County, and who was possibly named for her mother Faith White.