A Biographical Sketch of
Patriot James Stephenson II
(Patriot Ancestor of Roger and Bradley Stephenson)

James Stephenson II


James served in the Revolutionary War as a waggoner at Williamsburg, Va. He was part of Capt. Thomas Wills' Company, 15th Virginia Regiment commanded by Maj. Gustavus B. Wallace and was at Valley Forge on May l, 1778. He was discharged at York, PA in January 1779.

Our first known recordings or history of this James (II) is from the census of Greenbrier County, Virginia for 1783-86 which listed him and his sons, James Jr., David, Robert, and Alexander Stephenson. James Stephenson II was born in 1730 in Virginia. He married Anne Garner in Bath County, Virginia in 1757.

Anne Garner was born circa 1734 at an unknown location. The couple had 16 children during their marriage.

James II and his wife Anne Garner established a "Tomahawk Claim" (legally, a "Corn Claim") on the Greenbrier River. It was recorded in the minutes of the Virginia Land Commission on January 24, 1783. The minutes read: "James Stephenson is entitled to 300 acres of land by settlement before 1778 including a survey made for him in 1744 in Greenbrier County on both sides of Greenbrier River at the mounth of Stopin Creek."

According to the Stephenson history written by Thomas Benton Stephenson Ill, Stompin Creek empties into the Greenbrier River about half a mile up from present day Seebert, Little Levels Distrtict, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The book goes on to state ''as the counties of Virginia were divided and redivided, it was in Augusta County when first settled, then Greenbrier, and then Bath, but the area has always been referred to as "The Little Levels."

The five daughters of James II married the five sons of Henry Miller.

Arthur McClure's daughter, Martha, married David Stephenson a son of James II. Also, Arthur McClure's son, Samuel, was the father of Martha McClure that married Samuel Stephenson, a grandson of James II. In November 1791 the Greenbrier County court records showed James II and his wife Anne journeyed from Bath, County, Virginia to Greenbrier County court to testify as a witness for Samuel and Elizabeth Gilliland. Their allowance for the journey of 25 miles and return was 500 pounds of tobacco. James II and Anne bought 100 acres in Bath County on August 26, 1796* on Little Sinking Creek. They later sold the homestead in November 1799. They had recently purchased the land frorn Samuel and Elizabeth Gilliland. This Sinking Creek area was in Augusta County, Virginia in 1738; in Botetourt County in 1769; in Greenbrier County in 1777; Bath County in 1790 and between 1821- 24, it was in Pocahontas County where it is at the present time. The change in counties was due to the constant change of county boundary lines due to breaking up of the larger counties.

* Source: Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants (online) Grants 34 1796, pg. 530 Online card number 45.

As of this date, the graves of James II and Anne have not been located. Little is known of James II and Anne's personal history or their migration in the Colonies. A grandson of James II, a William Stephenson (of Four Mile) of Franklin Township (Twp.) Jackson County, Ohio, said that the father of James II was the Emigrant and that he arrived in America sometime after 1700.

The Will of James II is on file at the Union Court House, Monroe County, W.Va. It reads as follows:

In the name of God Amen. I James Stephenson of Monroe County, being vary sick and weak, but of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God, calling to mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, first of all, I recommend my soul to God who gave it, and my body to the dust to be buried in a Christan burial according to the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly estate as wherewith it has pleased God to me in this life, I give and bequeath in the following manner and form, first of all, the land whereunto I now live is to remain in its present situation until the death of my beloved wife, Anne Stephenson, and then the land is to be sold and equally divided between my beloved sons, Samuel Stephenson and William Stephenson, Thomas Stephenson and Joseph Stephenson and when the land is sold, they are to give each of their four sisters a saddle or the price of one, and all the stock, horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, household furniture, are all to remain in their present stituation for the use and benefit of the family, and likewise, I constitute and ordain my wife Anne Stephenson and my son Samuel Stephenson my sole Executrix of this my last will and testament, revoking and disanulling every other form of testament, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament. As witness whereunto I sent my hand seal this second of June Eighteen Hundred and Two.

James Stephenson

Anne Stephenson
Boyd Miller
James Taylor

In 1810, Samuel Stephenson and his wife Jane Swope sold 50 acres of land on Broad Creek, a tributary that empties into Wolf Creek just northeast of Wolf Creek Post Offfice, Monore County, West Virginia. The buyer was William Stephenson (relation unknown), who shortly sold it to Valentine Miller, perhaps an in-Iaw. It is believed that this 50 acres comprised the homestead where Anne lived at the time of their death. It may have been the 50 acres referred to in the 1783 tax list and was being sold in conformance with the Last Will of James. The grave site of James and Anne have never been found.





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Max Strozier


Web Page Created:

19 August 2009


Web Page Updated:

19 August 2009