The Heritage of Daniel Haston

 

The Mysterious McComisky - Roddy - Haston Connection

What are the odds that, by pure chance, David Haston...

  • Whom many of the early Haston researchers believed (but we have no documented evidence for it now) had the middle name of "McComisky" or "McComiskey"...

  • And who gave one (maybe two) of his sons a variant of "McComisky" as a middle name...

  • In an era when the Irish surname "McComisky" was extremely rare in America...

  • And the Hiestand/Haston family was a Swiss-German, not Irish, family...

  • Would end up in a cow pasture in Knox County, TN with the grandson and heir of Daniel McComisky who had died a few years earlier some 547 miles from Knoxville in Baltimore County, MD?

  • And that this grandson of Daniel McComisky would have the surname of Roddy...

  • And that David Haston would marry a Margaret Roddy just 2 1/2 years later in Knox County, TN?

  • And that David Haston may have had a sister who earlier married James Roddey in Washington County.

All of these things did happen, whether by chance or, more likely, by some kind(s) of yet-to-be-determined family relationship(s).  Read on...

 
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Go to this section of the page      >Daniel McComisky [McComesky] Will
Go to this section of the page      >Richard G. Waterhouse Representation of Ryan & Roddy Children
Go to this section of the page James and Eleanor McComisky Ryan / Ryon Family
Go to this section of the page Philip and Mary McComisky Roddy / Roddey Family
Go to this section of the page David Haston & Moses Roddy in a Knox County, TN Cow Pasture - 1798
Go to this section of the page John Finley - Who was he?
Go to this section of the page Elizabeth Haiston and James Roddey

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Introduction:  McComisky Tradition in Daniel Haston Family Research   [Top]

A tradition has circulated among Daniel Haston family researchers for many years that Daniel's son, David, was named "David McComisky Haston."  However, we know of no documentation to verify that David's middle name was McComisky.  If you have documentation regarding his full middle name, please contact us.

David and Margaret/Peggy Roddy Haston named their fourth child (second son; born 1808) "Daniel Haston."  This son may have been named for David's father, Daniel.  It is commonly accepted that this son's middle name was "McComesky."  (or McComiskey, McCumskey, McCumskay, etc.)  It is possible that his first name could have been given in honor of a "Daniel McComisky" who might have been the grandfather of Margaret Roddy.  If you have documentation to support or disprove any of this, please contact us.  The Woodson A. Hastain biographical entry in the 1919 History of Henry County, MO clearly refers to Woodson's father (who was the son of David & Margaret Roddy Haston) as "Daniel McCumskey Hastain."  Prior to his move to Missouri, White County, TN tax records clearly indicate that his name was "Daniel M.C. Haston."

1832 White Co, TN Tax List - Capt. Anderson's Company

The seventh child (fifth son; born 1815) of David and Peggy was named "David," probably for his father.  He, too, is thought by many Haston researchers to have had the middle name "McComisky" (or McComiskey, McCumskey, McCumskay, etc.).  White County and Van Buren County, TN tax records and other official documents do clearly identify him with the middle initials of "M.C."  The fact that both the "M" and the "C" are often followed by a period, would seem to indicate that the last part of his "Mc" middle name began with the letter "C."  In the David Haston Bible record, it appears that both Daniel and David, (sons of David Haston, Sr.) had Mc middle initials. If you have documentation to verify his full middle name, please contact us.

1836 White Co, TN Tax List - District 15

These appearances of the McComisky name in the early Haston family have created a great deal of curiosity and speculation regarding the reason this name has been associated with Daniel's family, particularly since it was such an uncommon surname in early America.  

"I am especially intrigued by the name of the fourth child of the first David.
I've wondered why he happened to be named Daniel McComisky [Haston]."
Source:  June 2, 1973 letter from Sybaline Haston Edwards of Bridge City, TN to Mr. & Mrs. Dave R. Haston of Sparta, TN

"Every time we get to a research center...we include the name McComisky
in our search.  So far, we have not found the name..."
Source:  June 14, 1973 response from Mrs. D.R. Haston to Sybaline Haston Edwards' (see above)

"...did you ever hear your dad say anything about how Daniel McComisky 
[Haston] got his name?  I am wondering about the McComisky..."
Source:  September 17, 1973 letter from Mr. & Mrs. Dave R. Haston to
Maude _____.

Since it was common practice in those days to assign middle names in honor of the maternal parent's family or of a grandmother, here are a couple of the possible Haston-McComisky connections that have been suggested down through the years:

  • Mrs. Daniel Haston's (mother of David Haston) maiden name was McComisky.

  • Daniel's mother was a McComisky.

Early in August 2000, Wayne Haston located a Baltimore County, Maryland document online that mentioned a Daniel McComisky who lived there in the late 1700s.  Subsequent searches located a GenForum post by Beth Layman that indicated a documented connection between this Daniel McComisky and a Roddy family that lived in East TN in the 1790s-early 1800s.  Due to the fact that David Haston married Margaret Roddy and they may have had two sons to whom they gave the middle name of "McComisky" (or some variant of that name), this connection was doubly interesting.  In September 2000, Wayne & Sharon Haston discovered a court document in Knox County, TN that clearly indicated that David Haston knew, and probably lived very near, the Phillip Roddy family in Knox County south of the Holston (now Tennessee) River in 1798-1799.  Sherry Mirkovic then secured a copy of Daniel McComisky's will and the 1790 Federal Census record for Phillip Roddy, who is thought to be the son-in-law of Daniel McComisky.  This Roddy family was living in Randolph County, NC at the time of the census.  Entries from Richard G. Waterhouse's journal (published in Richard G. Waterhouse: Tennessee Pioneer by Elizabeth Waterhouse Layman) added further detailed evidence to link this Roddy family (now, in Knox County, TN by the late 1790s and early 1800s) with the Daniel McComisky family of Baltimore, MD.  Thus, the foundational evidence for this McComisky-Roddy-Haston connection began to come together.

This now known McComisky-Roddy connection has raised other possible explanations for the appearance of the McComisky name in David Haston's family:

Perhaps...

  • David Haston (Daniel's son) did not have the middle name of McComisky, as tradition has suggested.  Maybe David and Margaret gave their sons the McComisky name, as a middle name, in honor of Margaret/Peggy (Roddy) Haston's McComisky ancestors.  Thus, the name would have come from Peggy's side and not from David's side of the family.

  • Both David Haston and, his wife, Margaret Roddy were in some way related to Daniel McComisky.  We know that Daniel McComisky was related to the Phillip Roddy family and it is possible (but not proven) that Margaret Roddy was from that family.  If David did indeed have "McComisky" as a middle name, this would suggest his relation also to the family of that surname.  Maybe David Haston married a cousin.  That was not uncommon for that era.

Note:  In the Woodson A. Hastain entry in the 1919 History of Henry County, MO by Uel W. Lamkin (page 446), Woodson's grandmother (mother of Daniel McCumskey Haston) is referred to as "Margaret M. (Roddy) Hastain.  What does the "M" stand for as her middle initial?

Daniel McComisky Family of Baltimore, MD Area   [Top]

Daniel & Rebecca McComisky Family

John Moses Mary Sarah Margaret

Elinor

Married: Agnes _?_

Son: Daniel (called Daniel McComiskey, Jr. in Waterhouse journal)

Married Mary Bosley

Married Phillip Roddy

Lived in Baltimore at time her father's will was made

Did she marry John Finley of Chambersburg, PA?
 

Married James Ryan in Guilford County, NC on March 20, 1782; 
later, the family lived in Wayne County, KY


Source for wife:  Page 549 of Abstracts of Wills of Baltimore County, MD 1819-1824, Volume 11, by Annie Walker Burns Source for marriage:  Page 125 of Baltimore County Marriage Licenses - 1777-1798 by Dawn Beitler Smith Source for husband and for relationship to Daniel McComesky:  Page 258 of Knox County, TN Real Estate, Vol. L1; registered June 25, 1806   Speculation based upon the fact that a John Finley may have married a daughter of Daniel McComeskey




Her brother's (John's) 1819 will refers to a sister "Ellanor Finley" and her son "John McComeskey Finly". Source: Page 551 of Volume 11 (1823), CR 72, 245-1.

Source for marriage:  Disc # 14 (PIN # 429956) of FamilySearch Pedigree Resource File

Other source for husband and for relationship to Daniel McComisky: Page 145 of  Deed Book A, Wayne Co, KY

How does this fit with the reference (see column to left) in John McComiskey's will?


Basic Source:  Daniel McComesky will;  info above taken from the will, unless other source is given


Questions & Comments:

  • Whom did Sarah marry, if anyone?

  • Can we find documentation to verify that Margaret married John Finley / Finly?

  • How did Elinor / Eleanor get to Guilford County, NC in 1782 to marry James Ryan, since her father was living in Baltimore County, MD?  

  • As per Ancestry.com files, Elinor McComesky was married twice.  She married William Greer / Green in about 1776 and had a daughter (Margaret Greer) by him.  Perhaps William Greer / Green married her and moved her to NC, where she married James Ryan later.

  • How does the reference by John McComiskey to his sister "Ellanor Finley" fit with other sources that indicate that Eleanor/Ellinor McComiskey married William Greer, then James Ryan?  Did John McComiskey mean to say "Margaret Finley," whose son was "John McComiskey Finley"?

Some Early Daniel McComisky Family Information   [Top]

1778 Daniel McComisky did not take the oath of allegiance to the State of MD (and thus probably was a Tory in the Rev War era).  John was also "non-juror" to the oath of allegiance.  John was private in Baltimore County Regiment No. 15, circa 1777.
Source:  Page 175 of Rev War Patriots of Baltimore Town and Baltimore County, MD - 1775-1783 by Henry C. Peden, Jr.
1783 Daniel McComiskey owned a tract named “McComiskeys Habitation” which included 474 acres.  There was 1 “white male” [does this mean of voting/legal age?] and 5 “white inhabitants” listed for his household.  The property was in the “North Hundred” district of Baltimore County, MD.

John McComiskey was listed on the tax list, but owned no land at this time.  Perhaps he lived on his father’s property in 1783.  There was 1 white male and 4 white inhabitants listed for his household.  He lived in the North Hundred also.

Source:  1783 Tax List of Baltimore County, MD;  abstracted by Robert W. Barnes and Bettie Stirling Carothers (1978);  published and compiled by Bettie Stirling Carothers of Lutherville, MD

1789
September 29
Daniel McComesky's will was witnessed on this day.
Source:  Daniel McComeskey's will
1790
January 6
Moses McComeskey married Mary Bosley.
Source:  Page 125 of Baltimore County Marriage Licenses - 1777-1798 by Dawn Beitler Smith.

Note:  Apparently, Moses and Mary were married by a Baptist minister, Rev. John Turner.  (from Scharf papers [MS 1999] from the MD Historical Society)

1790
May 28
Daniel McComesky's will was contested by his wife, Rebecca.
Source:  Daniel McComeskey's will
1790
June 2
Daniel McComesky's will was probated.
Source:  Daniel McComeskey's will
1790
July 30
This entry appears in the public records:  
Dan'l. McComisky, John McComisky—new bond given by Jno. McComisky & Thos. Coale
Source:  Archives of Maryland, Volume 072, page 123

Question:  What would this transaction have been?  John's father, Daniel, was deceased by this time.  Was this "Dan'l." the son of John?  Or, was this bond just now being filed and the elder Daniel participated in this action prior to his death?

1791
August 10
John and Moses McCommesky, executors of Daniel's estate, processed an inventory of the estate.
Source:  Page 410 of Abstracts of Baltimore County, Admin Accts Liber 10.
1792
December 4
"John McComsky" [sic] heir of Daniel" had Tract 462 (Mount Gilboa / Gibbon; 19 3/4 acres) surveyed in Carroll County, Maryland.  The patent was granted on November 16, 1793.
Source:  Page 102 of Maps of Land Patents in Northern Baltimore and Carroll Counties by R. Carlton Seitz, 1995)
1798

Page 24 – in the North Hundred District:
McComesky, John:  450A;  McComesky Folly; fr dwlg hse, 1 stry, 24x20, log add. 20x16; log barn 20x16

Page 25 – also in the North Hundred District:
McCommesky, Moses:  402A+; Medlicoats Adventure; log dwlg hse, 1 stry, 18x16; log barn 20x11

Source:  The Particular Assessment Lists for Baltimore and Carroll Counties (1798) by George J. Horvath, Jr.

Note:  There is a map on page viii of this book that shows the North Hundred.  It was located in what is now Carroll County, MD, northeast of Westminster, MD.  The northern border of North Hundred was the PA state line (now where the Mason-Dixon Line is).

1799
December 28
Moses McComisky and Mathias Wiesner were witnesses to a land deal for a tract called "Christian's Chance."  Adrian & Philiana Christian (apparently) transferred the land to Jacob & Mathias Sedjwick.  
Source:  Page 316 of Volume 6, Abstracts of Wills of Baltimore County, MD, 1797-1802.  Compiled by Annie Walker Burns.
1802
February 13
John McComyskey [sic] and Thomas Lemmon witnessed some kind of legal document (Joshua Price's will?) involving Joshua & Martha Price and children.  Thomas Lemmon was the executor.
Source:  Page 544 of Volume 6, Abstracts of Wills of Baltimore County, MD, 1797-1802.  Compiled by Annie Walker Burns.
1823 John died and his will, which was dated 8-30-1819, was proved in Baltimore County on 3-26-1823.  Legatees were wife Agnes (tract called "McComeskey's Folly");  heirs of Daniel Bausom (Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, John);  John McComeskey Finley (nephew);  two sisters' children.  Executors were Daniel Rausom and John Price (son of Martha).  Witnessed by Thomas Lemmon, Conrad Grope & George Storm.
Source: 
Page 549 of Abstracts of Wills of Baltimore County, MD 1819-1824, Volume 11, by Annie Walker Burns

Daniel McComesky [McComisky / McComiskey] Will      [Top]

 In the Name of God Amen  I Daniel McComesky of Gunpowder Barrens being in a declining State of Health but of sound mind and memory Thanks be to my Creator for the Same Do make and ordain this my Last will and Testament in manner and form following Viz 

Item I give and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife Rebecca McComesky one Bed and Bed furniture together with some necessary Household furniture two milchs cows for her use during her life time, twenty Bushels of such grain as she shall make Choice of yearly and if after my deceas she should choose to Continue in my present Dwelling house my will is that she shall have a Convenient Room Therein

Item I give and bequeath unto my son John McComesky one hundred and fifty acres of land wherein he now lives during his life time and with his deceas to his son Daniel and in case he should die without heir then the said one hundred and fifty acres to fall to the next heir of the family

Item I give and bequeath unto my son Moses McComesky the tract of land called Marys Chance whereon Samuel Medlicott now liveth and said to contain one hundred and fifty acres or thereabouts during his life

Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary The sum of forty pounds

I give unto my daughter Sarah the house and lott of ground wherein she now liveth in Baltimore during her life

I give unto my daughter Margaret Thirty pounds in money and my negro girl Peg

I give unto my daughter Eli..?.. Forty pounds in money

I give unto my grandson Daniel Sweeny (Finley?) the house and Lott of ground wherein old Rose now lives

I give unto my Grandson Daniel McComesky one hundred and forty seven acres being the tract of Land wherein _?_ dwell when he shall arrive to the age of twenty one years _?_ the said tract _?_ together with the hands of slaves thereon at the time of my death to be Rented during the minority of my said Grandson in order to Enable my Executors herein after mentioned to Discharge my Just debts and Legacies herein bequeathed

I give unto my Grand children in the Carolinas one hundred and fifty acres of Land being part of the Tract whereon I now live or the money arising from the Sale or appraisment of said one hundred and fifty acres to be Equally divided Between them Share and Share alike

I give unto my wife Rebecca the Sole use of my negro girl Peg during her Life 

And my will is that all my personal property immediately after my decease be disposed of in such manner as my executor shall think most beneficial in order to pay my Legacies which is not to be demanded of my Executors until some reasonable time after the Sale and disposal of my Personal property any part which my Executors may keep in their Possession upon paying the value of such part of my property as is not bequeathed unto them Unto my daughters as aforesaid I give and bequeath to my Executors the sum of ten pounds to be by them converted to such charitable uses as they may think most Discreet And I do hereby appoint and make choice of my sons John and Moses McComesky to be my Executors of this my Last will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all former wills or wills heretofore made

In Witness whereof I have affixed my name and seal the 29th day of September in the year of our Lord 1789

Signed Sealed and delivered by the Daniel D ["his" & "mark" appear over and under the letter "D"] McComesky

Signed sealed and delivered by the testator in presence of

John Cooper
Abolana Shaver
Eliz Reed [she signed with her mark]

Baltimore County to wit on the 2 day of June 1790 Came Abolana Shaver and John Cooper two of the Subscribing Evidences to the aforegoing Last will and Testament of Daniel McComesky late of said County deceased and made oath & that they did see the Testator Sign and Seal this will that they heard him Publish pronounce and declare the same to be his Last will and Testament that at the time of his Sodoing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound disposing mind memory and Understanding that they Subscribed their names as Witness to this will in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other and of the other Subscribing _?_ Sworn before me Register of wills for the _?_ of.  WmBuchan

To all whom these presents shall or may concern Know ye that in the 28 th day of May in the year of our Lord 1790 that Rebecca McComesky widow of Daniel McComesky late of Baltimore County deceased do hereby renounce and refuse to except the Legacies devises and bequests mentioned Specified and Contained in the Last will and Testament of my said Husband bearing date the 29th day of September 1789 and do claim in place and sted thereof one third part past of my deceased Husband the said Daniel McComesky his Estate both real and personal as by Law I am Intitled to after this renunciation made and I do Request by the Register of Wills as full declaration of my renunciation as aforesaid In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and affixed my seal the day and year above written

Rebecca [her x mark] McComesky

Witness 
Joshua Ford 
Thos. [his x mark] Morgan
Samuel Lemmon

Source:  Original pages 427-430 of Baltimore County, MD Will Book, Number 4


Questions & Comments:  

  • Since Margaret was to receive the negro girl Peg (apparently after Rebecca died), Margaret must have lived in the general Baltimore County area.  She would not have been as far away as in the Carolinas.  Chambersburg, PA is just north of the MD line, not far from old Baltimore County.

  • Of the four daughters, only Elinor and Mary received monetary-only assets.  This was probably due to the fact that they were living at quite a distance from Baltimore.  If so, their children would have been the "grandchildren in the Carolinas."

Richard G. Waterhouse Representation of Grandchildren in the Carolinas   [Top]

Source:  The information in this section was taken from the book Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer by Elizabeth Waterhouse Layman, copyright 1996.  Entries in the following timeline are direct quotations from the book, unless indicated by "Note:" or "Question:" or "Comment:" or comments within the text inside of brackets [ ].

1804
January
Made a contract and purchase of Moses, Rosanna, and Sarah / Salley Roddey, for their respective Legacies of an Estate, left them by their Grand-father, Daniel McComiskey, of the State of Maryland (bequeathed by Will).  And powers of Attorney executed by sd. Legatees.

Notes:  This was already 14 years after the death of Daniel McComesky! 

The power of attorney documents for Rosannah Roddy and Moses Roddy are found on pages 256 & 258 of Knox Co, TN Real Estate, Volume L1.  They are dated August 10 & 13, 1805 and are not registered until June 20 & 25, 1806.  The document for Moses clearly states that he was the son of Philip Roddy and Mary (formerly Mary McComisky).  The power of attorney document for Sarah Roddey Prewit (and her husband, William Prewit*) are found on page 240 of Knox County, TN Deed Book 1 (signed and sealed on September 14, 1805).  This document also clearly states that "Sarah Prewit...(formerly Sarah Roddey)" was "daughter to Phillip Roddy and Mary his wife (formerly Mary McComeskey) of Knox County & State of Tennessee."  Also, it was stated that "Daniel McComeskey" was "her Grand Father of the State of Maryland & County of Baltimore..."

*Note:  This William Prewit (son of Martin Prewit) was probably the brother of Isaac Prewit (who lived near David Haston in Grassey Valley of Knox County, TN and moved to White County, TN at or about the same time that David Haston moved there).

It appears, from the wording in the power of attorney document, that Waterhouse (RGW) was only representing them, not purchasing their legacies (as his January 1804 journal entry seems to indicate).  However, there is no indication in the RGW journal that he presented any money to the Ryan family or the Roddy children when he returned to the South.  Thus, he probably did purchase their legacies from them.

1806
April
...making preparation for a Journey over the Mountain through part of Cumberland and Kentucky.  The principal object in view, being to purchase of several legatees (the children of James Ryon) their respective shares of an Estate, devised to them by the Will of their Grandfather, Daniel McComiskey, Dec'd, of the State of Maryland.  And for this purpose left Knoxville on Monday, 28th.

Note:  This is over two years after the contract with the Roddy legatees.

1806
Thursday, May 8
To James Ryon's 17 miles [from a Mr. Paine's on Beaver Creek].  I mentioned my business to the old man, who made the communication to his 5 children, who were the Devisees of their Grandfather, Daniel McComiskey.

Note:  At this time, James Ryon / Ryan appeared to 31-year old RGW as an "old man."  However, it appears that his children were still living with him.

1806
Friday, May 9
Purchased of the said 5 Legatees, their respective quotas of sd. Estate.  Wrote the necessary Powers of Attorney, which they respectively executed & witnessed by their father. 
1806
Saturday, May 10
Wayne County, Kentucky.  Accompanied by Mr. James Ryon to Monticello 8 miles.  Where Mr. Ryon proved the Execution of said Letters-of-Attorney before Michael Fall (Clerk of said County Court).  Fees $3.50.  Thence to Mr. Cullum's the presiding Justice, who signed the Certificate of Michael Fall.  Thence to said James Ryon's.  [returned to Knoxville]
1806
Tuesday, October 21
[After a trip by horse to Maryland]  Breakfasted with my Uncle...York Street No. 75...Designed to go to John McComiskey's.  [he got lost on the way]  To Mr. Campbell's on Big Gun Powder Falls 11 miles from Baltimore.
1806
Wednesday, October 22
Obtained new directions and got lost immediately...To breakfast at Mr. Pearce's...Thence to John McComiskeys...from Baltimore 25 miles.
1806
Thursday, October 23
Consulted with John McComiskey relative to my Commission.  Sent to his brother Moses, in Baltimore, requesting him to come. Went with the old man [John McComiskey?] to Mr. Sheppley tavern 2 miles and returned in the evening.
1806
Friday, October 24
Presented my letters of Attorney to John & Moses McComiskey, Executors to the Will of their Father, Daniel McComiskey, Deceased.  Dispatched Daniel McComiskey, Jr. to Baltimore, for a copy of his Grand-fathers Will.  

Note:  This Daniel McComiskey, Jr. was probably the son of John.  He is referred to as "young McComiskey" in the next entry.

1806
Saturday, October 25
Young McComiskey returned, bringing a copy of the Deceased's Will, with a copy of the settlement made by the Executors with the Orphans Court.  Proceeded to settle with the Executors for James Ryon's Legacy of 4.17 pounds - and rec'd the balance due him: $12.93 & 1/3.

Questions:  Why was Elinor / Eleanor Ryon / Ryan not mentioned?  Was she dead at this time?  In the will, the legacy was given to her, not to her husband per se.

Why was James Ryon's legacy only 4.17 pounds, since Elinor had been given forty pounds in the will? 

1806
Sunday, October 26
Re-examined the Transcript.  Discovered the Legatees for whom I was then acting, were only entitled to a Life Estate in the land, by virtue of sd. Will.  It being entailed to young McComiskey.  Consulted what was best to do.  Which terminated, with some reluctance, to exceed to John McComiskey's proposal to take $30.00 for each respective share or Legatee for which I was authorized to settle and acquitances in full for the same.

Questions:  What was a "Life Estate in the land?"  Does that mean that they only had rights to live on the land?  The will seems to indicate that he gave them the land to own or the money made for its sale, but it may be that he also gave the same property to his grandson.  The wording of the will at that point is unclear.

1806
Monday, October 27
Rec'd of John McComiskey $210.00, being $118 in Silver and $92 in Bank Notes for seven Shares or Legacies of sd. Estate at 30 dollars each.  I having authority to sell or make any disposition I saw cause for of eight of said Shares.  One of which had been previously settled for and paid to John of Chambersburg, or its vicinity, who pretended [appears to be a scam] to have authority or control of it vested in him by Sarah Roddey, the Devisee.  Notwithstanding, I sold and executed Deeds of Release to John McComiskey for Eight of said Legatees.  Made preparation for an early start next morning.  Young Daniel McComiskey having to accompany me to John Finley's.

Questions:  How and why did John Finley of Chambersburg, PA area secure the share of the inheritance from Sarah Roddey?  Why did he get Sarah's share, and not the share of someone else?  Had Sarah contacted him to ask him to do this or did he just "scam" it?

What was the relationship of John Finley / Finly to this McComisky family?

Note:  In 1805, over a year prior to his trip to Maryland-Pennsylvania to settle the estate, (as per page 174 of the book on Richard Waterhouse) RGW had a promissory note for $1.50 from John Finley.  It was due on December 11, 1803 (more than two years before his visit to John Finley, on this trip).  Was that promissory note related someway to the Sarah Roddey share?

1806
Tuesday, October 28
Commenced our Journey very early called at Esquire Lemmons [probably a Justice of the Peace] 4 miles.  Before whom I acknowledged the Execution of the Deeds of Release as Attorney-in-fact for eight Devisees.  Thence to Esquire Carlinger's 8 miles - Before whom I also acknowledged sd. Deeds.  Breakfast 15 cents.  Then into York County, Pennsylvania.  Through Hanover or McAllisters town 10 miles. - and McSherrys town, crossing Little Conawaga to George Lashel's, Adams County 9 miles.  Refreshment.  To Huntsville 2 miles and to Vorts 2 miles.  Entertainment good.  Bill $01.81.  In all - 36 miles.

Question:  Was this Esquire Lemmons the same man (Samuel Lemmon) who witnessed Rebecca's attempt to dispute the will?  

1806
Wednesday, October 29
Commenced our Journey at daybreak.  To the Foot of the South mountain 9 miles.  Got a shoe driven on.  To Mr. Newton's on the top of the mountain 3 miles...To John Finley's 4 miles.
1806
Thursday, October 30
Breakfasted with old Mr. Finley, who treated us very politely & shewed us his new invented machine for peeling Apples.  Returned to Chambersburg accompanied by John Finley, who agreed to refund the Legacy, or what he had received in lieu thereof for and in behalf of Sarah Roddey (Alias) Sarah Prewit;  and gave his note of hand to Young Daniel McComiskey for the same - being $30.
1806
Friday, October 31
Mr. McComiskey gave the Note on John Finley, to an Officer to collect.  Who cited him to trial next day.
1806
Saturday, November 1
John Finley appeared before the Magistrate and confessed Judgement on his note of $30 given to Daniel McComiskey.  Left town at 12 o'clock.  Crossed the South mountain to Mr. Vorts.
1806
Sunday, November 2
To Oxford 8 miles.  To Hanover 5 miles....Thence into Baltimore County, State of Maryland.  Through Manchester, or Nudleduce and Hampstead...To John McComiskey's.  Then rec'd of John McComiskey $30 - Mary Prewit's Legacy.  Making in all 8 Shares at $30 each...$240.00 And for James Ryon of Kentucky his brother-in-law...22.00.

Questions:  Why is Sarah / Salley Roddy Prewit here called Mary?  Was it simply a slip of the pen?  Or, was Mary also part of her name?

How does the $22.00 for James Ryon relate to the 4.17 pounds and $12.93 & 1/3 mentioned earlier?

1806
Monday, November 3
Delivered to John McComiskey all my Powers of Attorney relevant to said Legacies.  Took my final farewell...

Note:  On September 24 & 30, 1810, Richard G. Waterhouse crossed the Caney Fork River near the (Abijah) Craine's place at Cane Creek in White County, TN.  That would have been "spitting distance" from where Daniel, Joseph, & David Haston lived.  However, he doesn't mention them at all.  Given his common practice to mention places where he stopped or stayed, it would appear that he did not know them, or did not know they lived there, or was not on speaking terms with them.  That seems strange, since we do know that he interacted, in Knox County, TN, with some of the same people (Roddys, Tiptons, etc.) as did the Hastons when they lived there.  Also, Richard Waterhouse lived south of the Holston River in Knox County, where the Hastons (apparently) also lived (in 1800 or so) and at the same time they lived there.  It is interesting that nowhere in the Waterhouse journal is any member of the Daniel Haston family mentioned.  But he was known to be quite a scoundrel - an immoral womanizer who corrupted a lot of young women.  Maybe Daniel Haston ordered him to steer clear of his family or told his children to steer clear of Waterhouse.

"Monday, 24th. [1810]  Over the mountain by Peter Looney's.  Crossed Dequachee [Sequachee] Valley & Creek, over Cumberland mountain To Mr. Craines', on the Caney Fork, or Cane Creek.  White County, Tennessee." (page 199)

"Sunday, 30th. [1810] To Sparta, White C.H.  Crossed the Calf Killer 11 miles.  To the Caney Fork and Canoe [Cane] Creek 10 miles, to C. Craines'.  Thence over the mountain into Sequache Valley, Bledsoe County."

Source:  Pages 199-200 of Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer


Questions and Comments Regarding RGW's Settlement of Ryan & Roddy Estate Shares:

  • If, as other evidence seems to indicate, Phillip and Mary McComisky Roddy had children other than Moses, Rosannah, & Sarah / Salley, why are only these three mentioned in this estate settlement?  (see Phillip & Mary Roddy family section for evidence of more children)

    Could it be that the others were either deceased or had moved away from Knox County, TN and their whereabouts was unknown at the time of this settlement?  Or...

    Could it be that their shares had been negotiated by themselves or by someone other than RGW?  If Peggy/Margaret Roddy (David's wife) was a daughter of Phillip and Mary McComisky Roddy - and therefore a granddaughter of Daniel McComisky - maybe the Daniel Haston's (seeming) aversion to Richard Waterhouse caused them to avoid using him to acquire Peggy's share of the inheritance from her grandfather.

    Someone might suggest that perhaps they were not yet born at the time Daniel McComisky's will was made and, thus, they were not considered to be included.  However, the 1790 (few months after Daniel's will was created) Federal Census of Phillip Roddy's family in NC indicates that there were 11 people in the household at that time.
James and Elinor McComisky Ryan  Family   [Top]

James and Elinor / Eleanor McComisky Ryan / Ryon Family

Edward Sarah Elinor
or Nelley
William James
  • As per Ancestry.com files, Elinor McComesky was married twice.  She married William Green (?) Greer (Grear or Grier) in about 1776 and had a daughter (Margaret Greer) by him.  This may explain how she got to NC, where she married James Ryan in 1782.
  • According to page 2 of the August term 1781 minutes for Guilford County, NC court of pleas and quarter sessions, the administration of the estate of William Grear, Dec'd was granted to Ellenor Grear Widow and Relict of the said William who entered into bond with John Ryan for the discharge of her duty.
  • According to Carol Frazier, James Ryan was born November 25, 1757 in Guilford Co, NC and died on March 22, 1841 in Cumberland Co, IL.  He, supposedly, was from VA but served in the NC Continental Army, as well as in the 11th & 15th regiment of the VA Continental Army.
  • Elinor / Eleanor McComisky Greer married James Ryan in Guilford County, NC on March 30, 1782 (Source:  Disc # 14 [PIN # 429956] of FamilySearch Pedigree Resource File).  Later, the family lived in Wayne County, KY, where Richard Waterhouse found them and negotiated their part in the Daniel McComisky estate.  Elinor (McComisky) Ryon / Ryan was not mentioned in the estate settlement.  Was she dead by 1806?  Did her husband receive her share of the inheritance?
  • James Ryan joined the Cherokee Creek Baptist Church in Washington County (NC/TN) on the very same day in April of 1791 that Daniel Heaston joined.  This "Daniel Heaston" was very probably the son of Abraham Hiestand/Heaston. 
  • "Elener Ryon received by experience" into the Cherokee Creek Baptist Church in Washington County, NC/TN in March of 1793 (Cherokee Baptist Church, 1787-1923 minutes, microfilm #523).  Three and one-half years later, she and her husband James are excommunicated.
  • In November of 1796 "James Ryan and Elinor Ryan His wife are excluded our communion for rejecting their Baptist profession and embracing the presbeterian [sic] way in their move(?) and subject as to Infant Baptism."  Source: September-November 1796 entries (page 26) in the 1787-1923 minutes of Jonesboro, TN Cherokee Baptist Church, TSLA microfilm #523.
  • As early as October 10, 1798, James Ryan began to purchase land in the area of Wayne, Green, & Cumberland counties of KY.  Source: Volume I-II of The Kentucky Land Grants by Willard Rouse Jillson (Louisville: Filson Club Publications, 1925), available on Ancestry.com.
    --------------
    Note:  The name of a James Ryon/Ryan appears dozens of times in the pre-1800 records of this county (page 263 of Tennesseans Before 1800: Washington County, by Marjorie Hood Fischer, 1996).  
  • James Ryan's will mentions his wife Elizabeth (his second wife, since Elinor had died in 1826 as per one source), daughter Eleanor Wood, and son William.  Source:  James Ryan researcher, Mark Catt.
  • Other source for husband of Eleanor (the mother) and for the family's relationship to Daniel McComisky: Page 145 of  Deed Book A, Wayne Co, KY
  • Question:  Why are only four children (Edward, William, Sarah, & Elinor) mentioned in the power of attorney document on page 145 of Deed Book A, Wayne Co, KY?  Waterhouse clearly negotiated for five children.
Transcript from page 145 of Deed Book A, Wayne Co, KY, states:  
[spelling as per the transcript]

"Know all men by these present that we Edward & William, Sarah & Elinor Ryan, legitimate sons and daughters of James Ryan and Elinor his wife formerly Elinor McComiskey of the County of Wayne and
the State of Kentucky having great confidence in the ability integrety and honesty of Richard G. Waterhouse of the County of Knox and state of Tenessee Have made, constitute and appointed and by these present do make, constitute and appoint the said Richard Waterhouse our true and lawful attorney and for us and in our names and steads to receive ask for and re  and therefore give receipts and acquitances, certain legacies due and left to us by Daniel McComiskey our Grandfather of the state of Maryland and County of Baltimore by his last will and testament"

[It is signed by Edward Ryan, Wm Ryan, Sarah Ryan and Elinor Ryan] "in the presence of James Ryan."  Dated: May 10th, 1806

Philip and Mary McComiskey Roddy Family   [Top]

Phillip & Mary McComisky Roddy / Roddey Family

Moses Rosannah Sarah
"Sally" & "Mary"
Mary Ann? Eleanor?

Margaret?

Phillip, Jr? Other son? Other son?

Basic Source:  According to page 1124 of the 1790 Federal Census for Randolph County, NC, there was a Phillip Roddey family living there in 1790.  The family included Philip, four boys under 16 years of age, and six females (assumed to be wife, Mary McComisky Roddey & five daughters).  A November 5, 1794 Randolph County, NC record indicates that the sheriff of that county had been ordered to sell chattel and lands belonging to Phillip Rodey (Roddy).  Apparently, Phillip Roddy abandoned his land in Randolph County, NC in his move to Knox County.

With five daughters (and only three mentioned in the Waterhouse Power of Attorney negotiations) it certainly is possible that Margaret/Peggy Roddy, who married David Haston, was a daughter of Phillip and Mary McComiskey Roddy.

The specific names presented above & below for this family are based, in some cases, on documented evidence and, in other cases, on informed speculation.

Please contact us if you have documented evidence that may help to verify or contradict the information presented here.


Father: Phillip / Philip Roddy - The 1805 Moses Roddy power of attorney document* specifically states the names of Moses' parents.   A Phillip Roddy served on a Washington County, NC (now TN) jury in the November 1794 session of the County Court of Pleas for that county.**  Philip / Phillip Roddy appears several times, mostly as a jury man, in the Knox County, TN court records from mid 1798 to mid 1802.  Hugh Mills, assignee of John McIntire, took him to court on July 13, 1802 for a debt of $80.84.  He was on a delinquent tax list**** for 1803 in Knox County, TN.  
*Source:  Page 258 of Knox Co, TN Real Estate, Volume L1
**Source:  Page 80, Roll number 224, Box 2, f 7 (?) for Washington County records from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
***Source:  Page 39-40 (also, original pages 39-40) from Records of Knox County, TN Record Book No. 4, 1802-1805 (WPA transcriptions).
****Source:  Page 262 (original page 262 also) from Records of Knox County, TN Record Book No. 4, 1802-1805 (WPA transcriptions).
Mother: Mary McComisky Roddy - The 1805 Moses Roddy power of attorney document specifically states the names of Moses' parents, as well as his mother's relationship to Daniel McComesky.
Source:  Page 258 of Knox Co, TN Real Estate, Volume L1
Son: Moses Roddy -  Moses is specifically stated in the Richard G. Waterhouse (RGW) negotiations to be a Daniel McComesky heir.  His 1805 power of attorney document also states clearly his place in this Phillip & Mary McComesky Roddy family.  Moses Roddy was a witness against David Haston in a 1798-1799 court case, and was said to have been in the field with David when the deed for which David was tried happened.  He married Sarah Hays of Greene Co, TN.
Sources:  Page 138 of Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer;  page 258 of Knox Co, TN Real Estate, Volume L1;  marriage to Sarah Hays info source not known by us

Note:  There are numerous other references to Moses Roddy in the public records of early Knox County, TN, as well as in the Richard G. Waterhouse journal.

Daughter: Rosannah Roddy - Rosannah is specifically stated in the Richard G. Waterhouse (RGW) negotiations to be a Daniel McComesky heir.  Her 1805 power of attorney document also states clearly her place in this Phillip & Mary McComesky Roddy family.  She was born 9-2-1781 and died 9-5-1840.  She lived (in August 1798 and July 1809, as per the RGW journal) in the Grassey / Grassy Valley area of Knox County, TN 1.5 miles NW of Knoxville.  David and Peggy Haston lived in that area in the 1802-1806 period.
Source for power or attorney document:  Pages 256 of Knox Co, TN Real Estate, Volume L1;  
Sources for other information:  Pages 185 & 138 & 451 of Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer

Note:  Rosannah Roddy is mentioned often in the Richard G. Waterhouse journal.  She was the mistress of RGW and bore him five or six children (pages 251 & 255 of the Richard Green Waterhouse book).  She was buried near him, but retained the surname Roddy even on her grave marker.

Daughter: Sarah / Sally Roddy - Sarah / Salley, once referred to by Richard G. Waterhouse (RGW) as "Mary," is specifically stated in the Waterhouse negotiations to be a Daniel McComesky heir.  The 1805 power of attorney document, which conveyed authority to Waterhouse to collect Sarah's part of the inheritance, clearly indicates that she was the granddaughter of Daniel McComeskey of Baltimore Co, MD and the daughter of "Phillip Roddey and Mary his wife formerly Mary McComeskey of Knox County and State of Tennessee."  That 1805 document also asserts that she was "Sarah Prewit wife to William Prewit."  This William Prewit was probably the son of Martin Pruitt and the brother of Isaac Pruitt, who lived in Knox Co, TN at that time.  (Read more about Roddy & Pruitt & Haston & other connections.)  For some reason, John Finley of Chambersburg, PA had secured her part of the inheritance by the time RGW met with John & Moses McComisky to settle the estate.

Sources:  Page 240 & following, Book L, Volume 1 of Knox Co, TN Court of Pleas & Quarterly Sessions (September 14, 1805 - April 1806);  Pages 138, 152, & 153 of Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827): Tennessee Pioneer

Note 1:  As per one source this Sarah Roddy married Jonathan Tharp, but the Sarah Roddy who married Jonathan Tharp was the daughter of James Roddy of Blount County, TN.  Sources:  Pages 149-151 of Blount Co, TN Book X (November 27, 1850) and an 1823 will of James Roddy in Blount County, TN (page 125) [Also, available on pages 13-15 of First Families of TN application file #3651 in the East TN Historical Society in Knoxville, TN.]
Note 2:  James Charter was the witness to the William & Sarah Roddy Prewit power of attorney document.  Was that because James Charter was the owner of the lot on which the Roddys lived?  The Daniel Haston family certainly lived on James Charter's land, south of the Holston River.  Or was that simply due to the fact that James Charter worked with the clerk, Charles McClung (which was also probably true), or both?
Note 3:  William & Sarah Roddy Prewit both signed with a mark.

Daughter: Mary Ann Roddy - We have no documentation that specifically says that Mary Ann Roddy was a daughter of Phillip & Mary Roddy.  However, she does appear as a witness to a 1797-1798 court case involving David Haston.  Moses Roddy was also a witness in that case, as was the sister of Mary Ann Roddy, Eleanor Roddy.  Her appearance with Moses would suggest a possible sibling relationship.  Also, see the "naming pattern" comment presented below.
Source:  Knox County, TN County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session: 796/65 in the case of State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston (1798 file date)
Daughter: Eleanor Roddy - We have no documentation that specifically says that Eleanor Roddy was a daughter of Phillip & Mary Roddy.  However, she does appear as a witness to a 1797-1798 court case involving David Haston.  Moses Roddy was also a witness in that case, as was the sister of Eleanor, Mary Ann Roddy.  Her appearance with Moses would suggest a possible sibling relationship.  Also, see the "naming pattern" comment presented below.
Source:  Knox County, TN County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session: 796/65 in the case of State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston (1798 file date)
----------------
Note:  Mary McComisky Roddy had a sister named Eleanor who married James Ryan/Ryon.  This may be evidence to indicate that this Eleanor Roddy was, indeed, the daughter of Phillip & Mary McComisky Roddy.
Daughter: (?) Margaret / Peggy Roddy - We have no documentation that says that Margaret Roddy was a daughter of Phillip & Mary Roddy.  For many years, Haston researchers have made futile attempts to connect Margaret / Peggy Roddy (who married David Haston in Knox County, TN in 1800) to the more famous Col. James Roddy / Roddye family, or the family of his brother, William Roddy.  This relatively recent discovery of the Phillip & Mary McComisky Roddy family presents a more plausible Roddy family with which to connect Margaret.  According to the 1798 Knox Co, TN court case, State vs David & Joseph Haston, David Haston knew and interacted with Moses Roddy, and Eleanor and Mary Ann Roddy knew him for sure.  The case would seem to indicate that David Haston and these Roddys were close neighbors in Knox County, TN in 1797-1797.  In those days, neighbors generally married close neighbors.  Also, see the "naming pattern" comment presented below.
Source:  Knox County, TN County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session: 796/65 in the case of State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston (1798 file date)
Son: (?) Phillip / Philip Roddy, Jr.: (?)  In January, 1805 a fifteen year old orphan, Philip Roddy, was bound as an apprentice to John Webb in Knox County, TN.  Perhaps this Roddy orphan was a son of Phillip and Mary McComisky Roddy.  The name "Philip" and the Knox Co, TN location both point to the Phillip & Mary Roddy family.  Circumstantial evidence would suggest that Phillip & Mary may have both been dead by 1805.  Mary, from all we know about it, did not receive her share of the Daniel McComisky inheritance.  She certainly was not mentioned in the 1806 RGW negotiations.  On July 13, 1802, an adult Philip Roddy was in Knox Co, TN court over a debt he owed Hugh Mills and John McIntire.  On July 13, 1804, an adult Philip Roddy was on a list of delinquent 1803 taxpayers in Knox County.  After that, this man named "Philip Roddy" does not seem to appear in the Knox County records of that era.  Perhaps Philip Roddy, Sr. died in 1804 or so.
Sources:  
Orphaned Philip Roddy - January, 1805 for Knox County Court Minutes: 1802-1818, Volume 4, original page 319 (WPA transcription page 316).  
Debt - July 13, 1802 for Knox County Court Minutes: 1802-1818, Volume 4, pages 39-40.  
Delinquent taxes - July 13, 1804 for Knox County Court Minutes: 1802-1818, Volume 4, pages 261-262.
Other Roddy son: (?)  We have no information on another son of Phillip & Mary Roddy, other than the 1790 census for Randolph County, NC seemed to indicate that they had four sons 16 years old.

Questions & Comments:

  • Notice the naming pattern that Mary McComisky Roddy used for her daughters.  She (Mary) had three sisters, Eleanor (Elinor), Sarah, & Margaret.  Other than Rosannah, the names of the other girls mentioned above, as possible daughters for Phillip and Mary, would fit perfectly: Sarah (clearly mentioned in the RGW negotiations), Mary Ann and Eleanor (witnesses in the David Haston trial), Margaret (the nearly 15 year old Roddy girl that was born on September 28, 1785 and married David Haston on May 5, 1800).  Who knows where she got the name for Rosannah?  Perhaps Mary McComisky had a sister, Rosannah, who had died prior to the creation of the will.

  • Would one of the unknown Roddy sons of Phillip and Mary have been named "John" for John McComisky, Mary's brother (since she did name a son "Moses," probably for her brother Moses McComisky)?

  • Why were Moses, Rosannah, and Sarah the only Roddy children mentioned in the settlement of the Daniel McComisky estate for the "grandchildren in the Carolinas?"  

  • Were they the only children of Phillip by Mary McComisky and, thus, the other children (Mary Ann, Eleanor, etc) were children of a subsequent wife of Phillip?  However, this would not account for the naming pattern which seems to favor a McComisky lineage.  Also, it appears that Mary McComisky Roddy was living at the time of the Daniel McComisky will in 1789 and Phillip already (apparently) had nine children at the time of the 1790 census.

Note:  A "Roddy Hannah" received a NC Rev War land grant (#2343) just prior to Daniel Haston's land grant (#2344).  Roddy Hannah lived in Guilford County, NC at the time of the 1790 census.  Phillip Roddy, at the same time, lived in the adjacent county south of Guilford County.  Was Roddy Hannah related in someway to the Phillip Roddy family?  Was "Rosannah" Roddy's given name based on the "Hannah" surname?

David Haston & Moses Roddy in a Knox County, TN Cow Pasture - 1798    [Top]

State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston
County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: 796/65

Note:  This document transcribed by Wayne Haston from a copy of the original, which is available at the Knox County, TN Archives in Knoxville.

1798 (April 11, 1798) is the date on the file.  [case began in December, 1797]

From the Warrant:

State of Tennessee
Knox County
Personally appeared Nathaniel Hays before me James White a Justice of the Peace for Knox County and complained on oath that he has good cause to suspect and doth suspect David Haston and Joseph Haston plantifs for the maiming and cutting the tales off of two of his horned cattle and abusing his property

Then and therefore in the name of the State to command and require __ to apprehend the said David Haston and Joseph Haston and bring them before me or some other Justice of the peace for said County to answer the ____ and be dealt with as the law directs herein fail not given under my hand and seal this 18th day of December 1797.

James White

Summons Moses Roddy and Elloner Roddy and Mary Ann Roddy to give testimony in behalf of the state.

William Haslet
William Haslet Juner
Richard Cahell

For the State also 
James White

To any sworn officer to execute and return  

Back of this document:

Daniel Haston enters him, says he wishes that David Haston and Joseph Haston his sons to apeare Satturday (?) before Joseph Greer, __ in ____
To answer the within ____
Complaint
Abner Witt

? _anains Linnaiw (?)

The State against Hastin
Executed by me
Abner Witt Constable  

From the Note to Arrest David Haston:

State of Tennessee

To the Sheriff of Knox County Greeting
Take the body of David Haston and bring him
into court to enter into Recognizance.

              (Signed by) Chas. McClung clk

Reverse Side of the Arrest Note:

State vs David Haston
--
Is 11th Apl 1798

___?
Wbreazeale _?
 

From the Recognizance Document:

State of Tennessee
Knox County

Be it remembered that on the twentieth day of January (? month unclear) 1798 came before me a Joseph Greer one of the Justices of the Peace for said county, aforesaid David Hasting and Daniel Hasting & John Miller. Of the same county Hastons who acknowledged being themselves indebted to the State in the sum of one hundred dollars to wit David Haston in the sum of fifty dollars and the said Daniel Hasting an John Miller in the sum of twenty five dollars each to be ___ out of their respective goods and chattels lands and tenements to the use of the State.

     The condition of the above recognizance is such that if the above named David Hasting is and shall make his personal appearance before the Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session to ___ for the County of Knox in the second Monday of April next then and there to answer to the State for and concerning the maiming and wounding of two cows the property of Nath’ Hays and to do and suffer what shall be then and there __ enjoining him and shall not depart without leaves of the said court then the above recognizance to be void otherwise to remain in ___ and ___.

Acknowledged before me
Joseph Greer

Moses Roddy and Wm Haslet, Sr and Wm Haslet Jr acknowledged themselves bound in the sum of fifty dollars each to vow that they make their appearance before the Court and give testimony on behalf of the state against David Hasting for the crime on which he ___ bound in the above recognizance.

Acknowledged before me
Joseph Greer  

From the Court Narration:

State of Tennessee
Knox County
___ 1798

The Grand Juror for the State of Tennessee and the County of Knox on their oath do present and say that David Haston and Joseph Haston late of the said County of Knox  Laboreres – on the Eighteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninty seven at Knox in the County aforesaid with force and arms a trespass did commit and then and there did cut of the tails of two of the horned cattle of the property of a certain Nathaniel Hays then and there being and in committing the said trespass did otherwise injure and hurt the said two horned cattle the property of the said Nathaniel Hays and to they the said David Haston and Joseph Haston did commit the said trespass as aforesaid in manner as aforesaid to the great injury of him the said Nathaniel Hays as ill example to all such ___ and against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.

John Rhea

Solicitor for Knox County

Reverse side of this document:

State vs David Haston

Joseph Haston

Trespass with force and arms
---
Nathaniel Hays
Prosecutor
---
Moses Roddy
William Haslet Sr
William Haslet Jr

Sworn and seal
Attest
Chas. McClung
Clerk
---
Rhea Solicitor

We find that David Haston is guilty as charged in this bill of indictment

Joseph Haston is not guilty

Wm Lea, forman

Record of the Witnesses:

Eleanor Roddy sworn say knows nothing nor heard anything said about it, saw no cattle nor heard any noise,

Mary Ann Roddy, knows nothing, says the same as her sister

Say Moses Roddey was there, on day said a Joseph were there that day;

Wm. Haslet Jr sworn see the cattle with their tails cut of, rode in to the Island, following the blood and the tracts of foot (?) people to the, __ ___, and one horse, fence not good nor sufficient to keep cattle out, not two feet high at one place,

Richard (?) Cahell same as Wm Haslet Jr

Wm Haslet Sen sworn says 17th Dec 1797 he went to N. Hays to see the damages…

Moses Roddy sworn says that he wasn’t with David Haston over into the field and the cattle was in the field when for went them, and that their tails were cut of when they drove them out of the field and they cattle were bleeding then, saw no other person there to do it but David Haston say they fence was down when __ drove the cattle out and heard D Haston say that the were Mr. Hays cattle, say,,,,,

From Paper Listing Court Costs:

  • William Haslet & William Haslet, Jr. were paid for being court witnesses for three days.

  • David Haston was fined $5.00.

John Finley - Who Was He?   [Top]
When Richard G. Waterhouse went to the Baltimore, MD area in October of 1806 to represent Moses, Rosanna, and Salley / Sarah Roddey, as well as the children of James Ryon, in their part of the settlement of the Daniel McComiskey estate, he had to visit a John Finley of Chambersburg, PA to settle a related matter:

Monday, October 27, 1806:  One of which [i.e. one of the shares of the estate] had been previously settled for and paid to John of Chambersburg [PA], or its vicinity, who pretended [appears, from the perspective of Richard G. Waterhouse, to have been a scam] to have authority or control of it vested in him by Sarah Roddey, the Devisee.  Notwithstanding, I sold and executed Deeds of Release to John McComiskey for Eight of said Legatees.  Made preparation for an early start next morning.  Young Daniel McComiskey having to accompany me to John Finley's.

Tuesday & Wednesday, October 28 & 29, 1806:  Waterhouse traveled four miles to see an Esquire Lemmons (probably a Justice of the Peace) and another eight miles to Esquire Carlinger's, as well as a few more miles into York County, PA, before returning back to the home of John Finley.

Thursday, October 30, 1806:  Breakfasted with old Mr. Finley, who treated us very politely & shewed us his new invented machine for peeling Apples.  Returned to Chambersburg accompanied by John Finley, who agreed to refund the Legacy, or what he had received in lieu thereof for and in behalf of Sarah Roddey (Alias) Sarah Prewit;  and gave his note of hand to Young Daniel McComiskey for the same - being $30.

Friday, October 31, 1806:  Mr. McComiskey gave the Note on John Finley, to an Officer to collect.  Who cited him to trial next day.

Saturday, November 1, 1806:  John Finley appeared before the Magistrate and confessed Judgement on his note of $30 given to Daniel McComiskey.  Left town at 12 o'clock.  Crossed the South mountain to Mr. Vorts.

What was John Finley's relationship to the Roddy & McComiskey families?

There seems to have been some kinship relationship between John Finley of Chambersburg, PA and the Daniel McComisky, Sr. and Phillip Roddy families.  In some way and for some reason, John Finley gained control over Sarah / Salley Roddy's share in the Daniel McComisky estate.  

John McComiskey's (son of Daniel McComisky, Sr.) 1819 will mentioned a John McComeskey Finley as being a nephew to John McComiskey.*  Since this John McComeskey Finley had "McComeskey" as his middle name, it would appear that his mother's maiden name was McComeskey.  Thus, it is likely that John McComeskey Finley's mother was the daughter of Daniel McComiskey, Sr. and, thus, she was the sister of John McComiskey, Mary McComiskey Roddy, and the other children of Daniel McComiskey, Sr.  
*Source:  Page 261 of Richard Green Waterhouse (1775-1827) by Elizabeth Waterhouse Layman (Wolfe City, TX: Henington Publishing Company, 1996)

Perhaps this John McComeskey Finley (mentioned in the John McComiskey will) was the son of the John Finley and a yet-to-be-determined daughter of Daniel McComiskey, Sr.  If this is true, it would mean that Sarah / Salley Roddy of Knoxville was the niece of the John Finley who took control of her share of the inheritance.  

A John Finley married Margaret Kerr in Knox Co, TN on November 13, 1793.  (Source: Page 367 of Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds compiled by Acklen, Vaught, Bouton, Jetton, & Ogden; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc., 1980)

Questions: 

  • First: Was this the Chambersburg, PA "John Finley?" 
  • Second:  Had this "Margaret" Kerr been previously married and was her maiden name Margaret McComisky?

Notes: 
(1)  The Finley family of Chambersburg, PA had connections with a Kerr (Carr) family who lived near them in PA.*  Perhaps Margaret McComisky married a Mr. Kerr first, then married John Finley in 1793.  Perhaps they even knew each other prior to their moves to Tennessee.  (*Source: "The John Finleys of Knox County, Tennessee," page 39 of Volume 9 (1), April 1993 of Tennessee Ancestors)
(2)  John Finley of Chambersburg, PA owned land near the Daniel Haston family (and Phillip Roddy's family) in the area south of the Holston River.  He was the nephew of Captain Patrick Jack, who may have lived in that area.  He was also probably the John Finley who served on some juries with Daniel Haston (see Daniel's timeline).

John Finley's Knox County, TN Sojourn

In 1795, there was a John Finley who lived in Knoxville, TN.  He purchased a very large tract of land from Patrick Jack of Franklin County, PA (Chambersburg, PA area).  This land had been granted to Patrick Jack by Little Carpenter, a Cherokee Chief.  Captain Patrick Jack was related to the Finley family of Franklin County, PA by marriage.  His wife, Martha, was the daughter of a John Finley of Letterkenny, PA.  This John Finley died in 1783 or so.  He had a son, John Finley, who inherited the mansion plantation in Letterkenny, as per a "Finley" vertical file document in the PA State Library (Genealogy section).  Letterkenny, PA is just north of Chambersburg, PA.

In 1807 there was a lot ownership dispute related to lot #10 in Knoxville, TN.  John Finley (Findly) was named in the dispute as having:

...resided in or about Knoxville the whole of the year 1796 and about the tenth day of March 1797 he left Knoxville and went to Franklin County in Pennsylvania where his father resides, then intending to return to Knoxville...

Richard G. Waterhouse mentions a John Finley in his journal as one who owed him $1.50 on a promissory note that was due on December 11, 1803.  This would appear to have been a transaction that occurred in the Knox County, TN area.

From the above information, it seems reasonable to infer that the John Finley, with whom Richard G. Waterhouse interacted on his 1806 journey to the Baltimore, MD area, was a relative of Sarah / Salley Roddy.  He, apparently had lived in the Knox County, TN area earlier and probably interacted with the Roddy family while he lived in Knox County.  He and Sarah / Salley Roddy possibly made some arrangement through which he would represent her in the settlement of Daniel McComiskey, Sr.'s estate.  However, it appears that he did secure her share of the settlement but failed to convey it to her, the rightful owner.  Thus, Richard G. Waterhouse secured the settlement for her, from this same John Finley.

Note:  There may have been as many as three different men by the name of John Finley in the Knoxville area in the late 1790s & early 1800s.  Thus, it is difficult to know how many of the "John Finley" document references for that area and that era were associated with the John Finley who was in some way related to the McComiskey and Roddy families.  Carmen J. Finley has written an excellent article on the "John Finleys of Knox County, TN."

For additional documents related to the John Finley family, use this excellent databased web site created by Carmen J. Finley:  http://iii.sonoma.edu/search/t?SEARCH=John+Finley

Elizabeth Haiston and James Roddey   [Top]
A woman named Elizabeth Haiston (Houston?) married a James Roddey in Washington County, NC (now TN) on December 21, 1793.  Daniel Haston and his family were very possibly still in that county in late 1793.  This "Elizabeth" could possibly have been a daughter of Daniel Haston.  The first record we have of him in Knox County was not until the summer of 1795.

In January of 1800, Daniel Haston and Elizabeth Roddy were co-administrators, in Knox County, TN, for the estate of James Roddy.  This co-administrator relationship may suggest familial kinship.  The given name "James" was common among the early Roddy families, so we don't know who this man was and how he was related to David's wife, Peggy Roddy, or the Roddys who were known to have been related to Daniel McComiskey.  See the "James Roddy Estate" page for more details.