Oxley,Thornton and maybe Bird

I start with a file about the Oxley ancestry and fit it into my father’s family.

Jenkin Oxley

Jenkin Oxley was born circa 1763, and died after 1850. He is listed on the 1850 Franklin County, Virginia census as age 88. He married a woman named Hester and her surname is unknown. Hannah Oxley was the mother of Jenkin Oxley and was born on November 9, 1733 in Hopewell, Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey. Hannah Oxley’s parents were Henry Oxley and Mary Everett and they moved from Hopewell, Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey in 1722 to Loudoun County, Virginia. Hannah Oxley married James Stephens January 1771 in Loudoun County, Virginia.

On April 10, 1761 she was dismissed from the Hopewell Baptist Church to the Ketoctin Church in Loudoun County, Virginia.

On May 11 1763, a Loudoun County grand jury “returned a presentment” against Hannah Oxley for having a “base born child within the past six months.” Court documents state he was born on March 17, 1763 and was Hannah Stephens’ son.

On January 26, 1771 Hannah’s father (Henry Oxley) gave her 50 acres where her brother Henry lived on the side of Catoctin Mountain adjacent to her brothers Everitt and John Oxley.

In Loudoun County, Virginia, November 11, 1771, the Churchwardens of Shelbourne Parish do bind according to the law Jenkins Oxley about 8 years old. It is unlikely that Jenkin Oxley belongs to any of the male Oxley children of Henry Oxley, Sr. Everett’s children are documented through a Bible record (even though created after the fact, there would be no reason to have omitted Jenkin). John, Henry and Clare Oxley were all still alive in 1771, so the Churchwardens would not have taken Jenkin from his father. Clearly Jenkin had no father in 1771 either because he died or because Jenkin was illegitimate.
July 8, 1798, Jenkin Oxley was a witness to the will of James Stephens(his stepfather), husband of Hannah Oxley.

On December 7, 1799, Jenkin Oxley was surety for Hannah Homan, called Hannah Stephens, spinster, for her marriage bond to wed John Griffith, Jr. in Loudoun County, Virginia. The date of this court transaction would probably mean that Jenkin Oxley and family didn’t move to Franklin County, Virginia until after the beginning of 1800.

An interesting story about Henry Oxley(the only grandfather that Jenkin Oxley knew) follows:

In 1731, calamity befell these honest and hard working settlers when “Col. Coxe and other heirs of the late Dr. Coxe” declared that most of Hopewell belonged to them, a claim without an honest basis, e.g., improper surveys or failure to pay — but the West Jersey Society lacked a court record proving Dr. Coxe’s transfer to them. His heir, Col. Coxe, had enough political clout to induce Hunterdon’s Supreme Court to order High Sheriff Bennett Bard to serve perhaps a hundred or more Hopewell residents with Writs ordering them to “Pay” for their land a second time or “Quit.” Those who failed to repurchase their own farms then received “Writs of Ejectment” which called them “Tenants” and “Tresspassers” on Coxe’s land! On April 22, 1731, in an impressive show of unity, fifty of the earliest settlers of Hopewell entered into a written agreement and solemn compact to stand by each other and test the validity of Col. Coxe’s claim. They hired an attorney, Mr. Kinsey, and filed a counter suit naming CoL Daniel Coxe as sole defendant. The Township had more people, but some were not affected, having purchased from Coxe. Others considered it useless to fight a man as powerful as Col. Coxe , so did not join in the law suit. The August 1732 term of the New Jersey Supreme Court issued Writs of Trespass & Ejectment against each settler who had not repurchased. The fifty men who sued were identified from their individual records [Virginia Everitt, Clerk of the Hunterdon County Court, Flemington, New Jersey, citing C.H. Records, Vol. H:46. Research of Gloria Padach]:

The Coxe Trials, 1733, Fifty Men’s Compact
Henry Oxley was one of the fifty settlers that tried to challenge Colonel Coxe.

Between 1731 and 1760 about half of the families of Hopewell’s “Fifty Men’s Compact” moved where land was cheaper and the government more trustworthy. Comparison of records for early settlers in the upper Shenandoah Valley shows many with surnames identical to those in New Jersey’s “Coxe Affair”.

Jenkin Oxley and Hester had the following children:
1. Samuel was born about 1787 in Virginia and died November 18, 1858 in Virginia. He married Sarah Hunt in Bedford County, Virginia on December 1, 1810. Sarah was born about 1791.
2. Peter was born before 1794 in Virginia. He married Jane Newman in Franklin County, Virginia, (bond) March 28, 1815.
3. John H. was born about 1795 and died October 31, 1875. He married Rebecca Miles in Franklin County, Virginia on April 14, 1814. He married Mary Mason in Franklin County,
Virginia, (bond) December 12, 1831. Mary was born about 1805.
4. Archibald was born about 1796 and died 1875 in Lincoln County, West Virginia. He married Lucy H. Johnson in Franklin County, Virginia, (bond) February 1, 1819.
5. Wilson was born July 1, 1799 and died April 10, 1878 in Texas County, Missouri. He married Elizabeth Carter in Franklin County, Virginia, (bond) November 17, 1823. Elizabeth was born April 12, 1804 in Virginia.
6. Nathaniel was born about 1801. He married Mary “Polly” McBride” in Franklin County, Virginia, October 20, 1824. Mary was born about 1803 and died about 1853. He married Cynthia Dent in Franklin County, Virginia, November 8, 1855.
7. Mahalia was born about 1805. She was married June 23, 1825 to Edward Miles.
8. Irene M. was born about 1809. She was married (bond) November 19, 1834 in Franklin County, Virginia, to Benjamin Taylor Bird. Benjamin was born October 1, 1812 in Virginia.

Samuel Oxley and Sarah Hunt had the following children that fit into my family relationship:
1. Rene Phebe Oxley married John Bird. John and Rene Bird migrated to Trace Fork of Mud River after the Civil War. Their son Samuel Bird married Lucy Thornton after death of his first wife and Lucy’s husband leaving Putnam County, West Virginia. Henry Addison Thornton later settled in Greenbrier County and remarried.
2. Emily Jane Oxley married Thomas Alexander Bird(my paternal grandmother‘s grandfather).
3. Creed Peter Oxley married Mary Daily Bell. Creed and Mary had two children that fit into my family relationship.
a. John Peter Oxley that married Harriet Ann Bird (the daughter of Creed Meadows Bird and Sarah Asenath Bird). John and Harriet were second cousins.
b. Rosie Leah Oxley married Thomas Jefferson Thornton (my paternal grandfather). Thomas later married Harriet Ann Bird Oxley.
c. Two more sons of note were: Nathaniel Callihill and Benjamin W. Oxley and they
married the sisters of Creed Peter Oxley’s wife Mary Bell.

Harriet Ann Bird had five children with John Peter Oxley before his death. Harriet had five children after she married Thomas Jefferson Thornton(my paternal grandfather). Thomas “Jeff” Thornton had six children from his marriage to Rosie Oxley. The total aunts and uncles for my Thornton side of the family totals 16.
Try to follow all that….


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