Volume 3 Issue 11
December 2003
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Part A. Watson Gentry Family
Part B. Richard Gentry Family

Willard Gentry

The Journal of Gentry Genealogy has described in some detail the families that moved from Virginia to Surry County, Person County and to Buncombe County, North Carolina prior to 1820. To complete the picture of early North Carolina Gentrys, two other families are described here, who moved to Guilford (later Rockingham) and Stokes Counties, likewise from Virginia. While there is no proof, there is a strong probability that the two heads of family presented here, namely Watson Gentry and Richard Gentry, were second cousins. Both men are believed to be grandsons of James Gentry Sr. of Hanover County, Virginia.

Part A. Watson Gentry of Rockingham County

Watson's Father, James Gentry
Watson was not the first of his family to move to North Carolina. His father, James Gentry Jr, and wife, Sarah, moved in about 1783 from Virginia, probably Louisa County, to Guilford County, North Carolina. (Guilford County was divided in 1785 with the creation of Rockingham County, see Fig. 1). James was the son of James Gentry Sr. of Louisa and Hanover County, Virginia and has been briefly described in a previous article of the Journal of Gentry Genealogy<1>. James Jr. owned land in Hanover County, and perhaps also in Louisa County at the time of his move. A deed for the sale of land in Hanover County in 1783, identifies him as being "of Guilford County, State of North Carolina". Also in 1783, when James wrote his will in Guilford County, he bequeathed land in Hanover County to his son Watson on which the latter lived<2a>. St. Pauls Parish records refer to land belonging to the estate and heirs of James Gentry [Sr.] (in Hanover County) between 1767 and 1779. Probably at least a part of the land owned by James Jr. included this land as an inheritance from his father. During this same period of time, James Jr. was taxed in St. Martin's Parish (which included eastern Louisa and northwestern Hanover Counties), for 400 acres of land and five tithes during the years from 1767 to 1781. In 1768, in the capacity of executor for the last will and testament for his father, James Sr., James Jr. was involved in a court case in Louisa County.

VA and
NC Counties, 1820
Fig. 1   Destination Counties in North Carolina
of Migration from Virginia, 1820

The only recorded marriage for James was to Sarah Dickerson (in Louisa County in 1778)<3a>. Sarah was certainly not the mother of his children and this must have been a second marriage for her as well as for James. (She was a beneficiary named in the will of her mother, Sarah Jones in Guilford County, dated 1787<2b>. This latter circumstance suggests that Sarah was considerably younger than James, whose date of birth has been estimated as about 1732.)

James had at least three children, namely Watson, Nancy, and Mimey (or "Minny") who were named in his will. The mother of these children is not known. Whether or not James had any other children who might have died before the date of James' will, is not known. Nancy married John Sharp in Louisa County in 1781<3a>. While there is no marriage bond for Mimey, she is thought to have married Thomas Gardner. John Sharp is known to have moved to Rockingham County; the fate of Thomas Gardner is not known.

In summary, during much of the latter years of his life in Virginia, we can say that James was a resident of St. Martin's Parish, living either on the Louisa side or the Hanover side of the county line passing through the parish (or both). We know he owned land in Hanover County, probably land which was in the portion of St. Martin's Parish that included parts of Hanover County. We do not know for certain whether James owned land in Louisa County, but he was certainly involved in activities in that county. We can also assume that he moved from Virginia to North Carolina between 1781 and 1783. His will was received for probate at the February meeting of the Guilford County court in 1786, so he probably died late in the year in 1785 or early in 1786. His wife, Sarah, survived him and is named in other documents besides the two wills.

Summary of Watson Gentry Family

– Born 21 Feb 1759 (gravestone) in Louisa or Hanover County, Virginia.
– Died 16 May 1844 in Williamson County, Tennessee.
– Married, probably about 1779 in Louisa County, Virginia, to Theodosia Poindexter.
  Children of Watson and Theodosia (order of children uncertain):
i Jemima Gentry, born about 1780, probably in Hanover County, Virginia; married 8 Aug 1803 (bond), Rockingham County, to Joseph Scales.
ii Joseph S. Gentry, born about 1782, probably in Hanover County, died before 1820, Rockingham County, North Carolina; married 4 Jan 1802 (bond), Rockingham County, to Elizabeth (Spraggins) Galloway/Gallaway (widow of James Galloway)<3b>.
iii Elizabeth Gentry, born before 1790, probably in Hanover County, said to have died 1853 in Williamson County, Tennessee; married before 1810 in Rockingham County, North Carolina to John Dalton.
iv Mary Gentry, born before 1790, probably in Hanover County; married 9 Jun 1812 (bond), Williamson County, Tennessee, to Robert Rogers<3d>.
v Thomas G. Gentry, born about 1790, probably in Rockingham County, North Carolina, died 1833, Williamson County; married after 1810, to Elizabeth Campbell.
vi James Gentry, born probably about 1795, Rockingham County, said to have died single at about age 18, probably about 1813.
vii William W. Gentry, born 17 Sep 1796 (tombstone), Rockingham County, died 13 Aug 1858, Marshall County, Tennessee; married about 1823, Williamson County, to Virginia Campbell (sister of Thomas' wife, Elizabeth).
viii Charles C. Pinckney Gentry, born about 1798, Rockingham County, died after 1818, said to have died single at about age 20.
Ix Nancy Gentry, born about 1800, Rockingham County; married 19 Aug 1815 (bond), Williamson County, to Thomas Lovell<3d>.
x Theophilus Lacy Gentry, born 29 Mar 1802, Rockingham County, died Marshall County, Tennessee; married (1) 24 Mar 1825, Williamson County, to Rebecca Sappington (died 1844 of scarlet fever); married (2) 22 Jan 1839, Williamson County, to Mary (Edwards) Dabney (died 1847 of "paralysis"); married (3) 2 Aug 1848, Williamson County, to Mary Pugh<3d>.
xi Tabitha Gentry, born after 1804, Rockingham County; married 15 Feb 1827, Williamson County, to John Watson<9>.
xii Meredith Poindexter Gentry, born 15 Sep 1809, Rockingham County, died 2 Nov 1866, Davidson County, Tennessee; married (1) 22 Feb 1837, Williamson County, to Emily Saunders (died 1844); married (2) 19 Nov 1846, Williamson County, to Caledonia Brown<3d>.

Watson and his family are included in Richard Gentry's classic book, "The Gentry Family in America" (abbreviated here as "GFA") along with separate articles for Theophilus and Meredith<4>. His children are all named in the GFA article, but as is typically the case, the order of listing of children is not necessarily correct, nor are all dates correct. The source of the name Watson is not known, but in 1768, a John Watson was listed in the St. Martin's Parish tax list in James' household, so some Watson family must have had close connections with our Watson's father.

There are a very limited number of references to Watson during the period he was living in Virginia. In a reference compiled by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the statement is made that Watson refused to apply for a Revolutionary War pension, saying he "volunteered his services and it was not right to ask for such"<5>. His service record is not known, but on at least one occasion when he was called to service, David Poindexter served two months in his stead (David was probably his brother-in-law). A timeline of specific references includes:

1782 Watson in Hanover County, Virginia, state census with 4 members in his household<6>.
1783Watson living on land in Hanover County bequeathed to him by his father's will.
1884Watson witnessed a deed in Guilford County, North Carolina (the presumption is that he had left Hanover County by that time).
1786Sold 150 acres of land on Shepherd's Creek, Rockingham County, including 100 acres to his step-mother.
1788Watson appeared before the Halifax County Court asking for dismissal of a case in which he represented his deceased father as executor of the latter's estate<7>.
1793Sold land to Samuel Gann, who was married to the daughter of Watson's sister, Nancy Sharp<9>. The land was located on Shepherd's Creek, a tributary of Mayo River (see Fig. 1). [The Mayo River flows south into the Dan River and should not to be confused with Mayo Creek which flows north from Person County, North Carolina, into the Hyco River in Halifax County, Virginia.)] There is no record of the final sale of his land when he left North Carolina, nor of how he acquired the land in the first place. Tax records for Rockingham County have not survived that would have indicated how much land Watson owned.
Watson appeared in a number of deeds in Rockingham County, mostly as a witness<8>.
1812Bought 450 acres of land on the Harpeth River (see Fig. 2) in Williamson County, Tennessee, near the present community of College Grove and remained there for the rest of his life<10>.
1844Letters of administration were issued to his son Meredith as executor of Watson's will in June, but the author has not been able to find a copy of the will itself.

Tennessee Counties
Fig. 2   Middle Tennessee Counties, 1820

Children of Watson

Census records in North Carolina and Tennessee provide a considerable amount of information about Watson's children, but they do not answer fully the question of the relative ages of several of the children. Unusual for that time, marriage records (mostly marriage bonds) exist for most of the children. A few cemetery records and obituaries, and estate administration records help to fill in some of the gaps in knowledge about the family.

Joseph Gentry
Watson's oldest son, Joseph, was the only one of his children to remain in North Carolina. Joseph married a widow, Elizabeth Galloway, in 1802, and based on census records of Rockingham County, they had five children. The name of one of these children, a daughter born after 1810, is not known. It is probable that Elizabeth had a son by her first marriage, born before 1800, who was living with the family at the time of the 1810 census. His name is not known. Of Joseph's family, two sons, Samuel W. and Reuben A. both eventually moved to Tennessee to join the rest of Watson's family — Samuel going to Marshall County and Reuben moving to Williamson County where he died in 1841.

Joseph was prominent in Rockingham County politics and served as its representative in the North Carolina state legislature in 1804, 1810 and 1811. The exact date of his death is not known, but it was before the time of the 1820 census. Elizabeth Gentry's first husband, James Galloway, was likewise involved in politics. He served as a senator from Guilford County in the first North Carolina State Legislature. In 1785 when Rockingham County was formed, he was the first senator to represent that county and was re-elected for four one-year terms. Elizabeth was part of a Halifax County, Virginia, family. She was named as an heir of an uncle, Reuben Abney, in an 1805 Halifax County probate case, and she and Joseph were involved in another court case in 1817 as a follow-up to the 1805 estate settlement.

Meredith Poindexter Gentry
Watson's son, Poindexter, was arguably the most famous of all the Gentrys, nationally, in the nineteenth century. He was elected to Congress from the eighth district of Tennessee for two terms, in 1839 and 1841. Meredith refused to run for representative in 1843, after the death of his first wife, but agreed to run again in 1845 and served for four more terms as representative from the seventh district, in 1845, 1847, 1849, and 1851. In 1855, he ran against Andrew Johnson (the future President) for governor of Tennessee and barely lost the election. During the Civil War, while he was not in favor of secession, still he served two terms in the Confederate Congress. He was especially famed as an orator, being ranked with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and John Calhoun. A brief biography and commentary by a contemporary of Meredith who was a fellow-Congressman, is included among the Historical Sketches section of GFA (p.338-352). Meredith was in ill-health during the later years of his life and had lost most of his land and money as a result of the war. He died at the home of his sister-in-law in Davidson County, and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

Other Children
Watson's next-to-youngest son, Theophilus, is also included in a separate article in GFA (as #252), along with a summary of his children. As to the remaining sons of Watson, we have a good census record for William, who appears in the 1830 and 1840 census for Williamson County, and in 1850 in Marshall County, Tennessee. William died in Marshall County in 1858. He and a number of his family are buried in a family cemetery near Caney Spring. Watson's son Thomas, appears separately in the census only in 1820 in Williamson County. His whereabouts in 1830 is not known, but in January 1833, his brother Meredith was appointed administrator of his estate. An interesting human interest touch to this administration is a report in some of the court's miscellaneous records by Meredith in July 1833 stating that he had sold all of Thomas' personal property at auction, but there was insufficient money to pay all of his debts. Meredith reported that to satisfy the debt he had sold one of Thomas' eight slaves (for $556).

Two sons of Watson, James, and Charles C. Pinckney, are reported by GFA to have died single, in early manhood, presumably traveling to Tennessee with the family from North Carolina, and then dying of unknown causes after that. The dates of these deaths are not known, but James witnessed his father's purchase of land in December 1812<10>. His brother William witnessed a deed in 1816, and Charles witnessed a deed in 1818<10>. The presumption is that if James was indeed eighteen when he died (as stated by GFA), he probably died very shortly after 1812, perhaps early 1813 and was probably eighteen at the time of serving as a witness. The order of witnessing by William and Charles suggest that the latter was the youngest of these three brothers. Since a family member of the right age does not appear in the census record for Watson's family in 1820, Charles probably died between 1818 and 1820. James, Charles, and their brother Thomas were all buried in a family cemetery in College Grove, Tennessee, but dates of birth and death are missing.

Watson had five daughters, Jemima, Elizabeth, Mary, Nancy and Tabitha. The oldest two are believed to have married in North Carolina and then moved to Tennessee after marriage. The others were married in Williamson County. All but Nancy are thought to have remained in Tennessee. Nancy is reported by GFA to have "married a man from Mississippi", who is believed to have moved to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, where he was listed in the 1820 census. None of these daughters have been located in the 1850 census, but in the Williamson 1850 census, an eleven-year-old "E. Gentry" was living with a Scales family which apparently was a part of the family of Watson's daughter, Jemima.

Part B. Richard Gentry of Stokes County

Identification of Richard's Father
GFA provides a biography of Richard Gentry who lived in Stokes County, North Carolina in the early 1800's, as well as biographies of six sons and one grandson<11>. GFA also gives a brief description of Richard's supposed father, William, (#194) and the family tradition described in paragraph (1) below. This last biographical account has one error -- identifying this William with an entirely different William who lived for a time in Lunenburg County, Virginia.

Richard Gentry's ancestry is uncertain and can only be guessed at by grasping at the slimmest of straws. There is a direct and convincing link between the marriage of Richard in Louisa County in 1796<3a> and the Richard Gentry who settled in Stokes County, North Carolina<12>. There is no clear tie between this Richard and his Gentry family ancestry. We have to depend on several clues that are very probably tied together but for which there is no proof.

  1. There is a family legend told by Richard's family to the effect that his father was named William, that Richard was one of five or six children, and that William and most of his children "went to western North Carolina" after selling land on the Roanoke River in Virginia<11>. Based on the fact that Richard was born early in 1773, his father was probably born before 1755, and if Richard was one of his younger children, probably five or more years before that.
  2. There was a William Gentry who settled in Sullivan County (now Tennessee, but at that time, part of North Carolina) before 1790. This William and his wife are buried in the Crumley cemetery in that county, with dates that are partly illegible, but that indicate a date of death between 1791 and 1799<13>.
  3. The Sullivan County William is believed to have been the father of two young Gentrys, William and John, who were killed by Indians on the Tennessee River in 1787<14>. William was also probably the father of an Ayers Gentry who was in Jefferson County, Tennessee, in 1800<15>.
  4. In 1771 and 1779, in the processioning reports of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, a William Gentry of the correct age is mentioned for the first time as a landowner<16>. Further processioning reports by the Parish ceased because of the onset of the Revolutionary War, so information concerning this William was no longer available from that source. The fact William was a landowner indicates that he was an adult by 1771, and thus born before 1750, but his absence from the reports before 1771 (the immediately preceding one was in 1767) does not necessarily mean that he was not old enough to own land in 1767 as he may have moved into the parish from a previous location in another parish.
  5. An analysis of other William Gentrys that appeared in early Hanover County records as outlined in a previous article of the Journal of Gentry Genealogy (vol 1, issue #12), do not match the requirements for age and location for being the father of Richard Gentry. These include:
    1. A William mentioned in the St. Paul's Parish records in 1732 and 1735 (he would have been much too old to be a father of Richard).
    2. A William who served from 1777 to 1780 in the Revolutionary War, and whose record is consistent with a William who was taxed in Hanover County from 1782 onward for a tithe but no land. He was also n the 1810 Hanover County census and probably in the 1830 King William County, Virginia census. His Revolutionary War pension application in 1820 stated that he was a carpenter by trade, and listed his family which did not include our Richard.
    3. A William who bought land in Hanover County in 1794 and 1795, was taxed for this land, and who later appears to have moved to Henrico County, Virginia where he appeared in the 1810 census.

We have no reason to dispute the family tradition that Richard's father was William Gentry, and certainly there has been no reasonable alternative come to light. With this assumption in mind, the Williams described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above, all provide additional information consistent with the William who has been proposed as Richard's father. In addition to Richard and the three probable sons of the Sullivan County William, Milley Gentry who was married in 1791 in Louisa County in a ceremony conducted by the Rev. John Lasley<3a>, was probably a daughter. The latter relationship is suggested by the fact that the same Rev. John Lasley conducted the marriage ceremony for Richard Gentry and Rebecca Barnett in 1799. Beyond the presumptions above, there is no direct evidence linking Richard to the earlier generations of Gentrys.

Summary of Richard Gentry Family

– Born 30 Apr 1773, Louisa County, Virginia
– Died 14 May 1831, Stokes County, North Carolina
– Married 19 Apr 1796 (bond)<3a>, Louisa County to Rebecca Lindsay Barnett/Barrett.
  Children of Richard and Rebecca:
i William Barnett Gentry, born 20 Mar 1797, Louisa County; married Jenny ("Jincy/Jinsey") Carter.
ii Nancy Gentry, born 5 Oct 1798, Louisa County; married 9 Dec 1813 (bond, bondsman Rich'd Barnett)<3c>, Stokes County, North Carolina, to Joseph Lasley.
iii Eliza Carmichael Gentry, born 20 Sep 1800, Louisa County, said to have died 7 Jul 1853/1855, Monroe County, Indiana; married 2 Jan 1825 (bond)<3c>, Stokes County, to Benjamin Sillivan/Sullivan.
iv James Gentry, born 2 Sep 1802, Louisa County; married 9 Dec 1823 (bond, bondsman W. B. Gentry)<3c>, Stokes County, to Elizabeth ("Tansey/Tamsey") Baker.
v Ira Ellis Gentry, born 26 Jun 1804, Stokes County, North Carolina, died 19 Dec 1883, Stokes County; married 30 Jan 1826 (bond, bondsman Benja' L. Sullivan), Stokes County, to Elizabeth Vaughn.
vi Harriett Gentry, born 20 Dec 1806, Stokes County, said to have died 4 Oct 1855, Monroe County; married 13 Feb 1826 (bond), Stokes County, to Absalom Baker.
vii Richard Jones Gentry, born 5 Dec 1808, Stokes County, died 7 Sep 1893, Stokes County; married Elizabeth [Unknown].
viii Frances ("Fannie") Gentry, born 14 Feb 1810, Stokes County, died before 1831; married 30 Apr 1827 (bond)<3c>, Stokes County, to D. Nicholas Ogburn/Augburn.
ix Joel Ayres Gentry, born 10 Jun 1813, Stokes County; married Susan Vaughn.
x Thomas Piner Gentry, born 10 Oct 1815, Stokes County; married 11 Dec 1834 (bond, bondsman I. E. Gentry)<3c>, Stokes County, to Paulina Wright.
xi Rebecca Lindsay Gentry, b. 25 Apr 1820, Stokes County, died 12 Jan 1908; married 19 Apr 1840, Monroe County, to Henry Burch.
xii John Thornton Gentry, born 26 Oct 1821, Stokes County, said to have died 14 Jan 1873 in Illinois; married 16 Mar 1846, Monroe County, to June Shives/Shreves.

Richard became a saddler in Louisa County, learning the trade from John Lasley who was a Methodist preacher as well as a saddler. Richard and John Lasley both left Louisa County some time between 1800 (when Richard was listed in the Louisa County census) and 1804. In the latter year, he bought a lot on the main street of the community of Danton (no longer in existence), on the Dan River in Stokes County (see Fig. 1). This lot was purchased from Thomas Rivers for whom he started working as a saddler. He sold the lot in 1812 and moved out of town onto a 200 acre tract of land where he spent the rest of his life<12>. By the time he died in 1831, he had accumulated 760 acres of land. This was left by the terms of his will to his wife and then divided equally among his eleven surviving children<17>. Over a period of time, his son Ira bought all of this land from his siblings, and farmed it until he sold it in 1856 and moved to a new location.

The family name of Richard's wife, Rebecca, is found spelled in a variety of ways: Barnett, Barnette, and Barrett. Rebecca's father, William Barnett, apparently moved from Louisa County to Stokes County at about the same time as his daughter. His will, written in 1817 in Stokes County, left property to his daughter Rebecca among other family members, and his son-in-law, Richard, was named as one of his executors<18>. As for Richard's family, several remained in Stokes County, but many moved to Monroe County and Owen County, Indiana. Richard's widow, Rebecca, also moved after her husband's death to live with her daughter Rebecca Burch.

Richard's Children

The dates of birth of Richard's children have been documented for the most part in a family bible, the contents of which have been published<19>. In addition, the marriage bonds for most of the children were recorded in Stokes County, providing an unusually complete record of the family. All of the children except one, a daughter Fannie, were named in Richard's will (written in 1831), and this daughter is assumed to have died before that time. William moved from Stokes County, initially to Rockingham County, North Carolina, where he is listed in the 1840 census, and then to Owen County, Indiana where he was included in the 1850 census. James appears to have led the way to Indiana, for in 1830, he was included in the census for Monroe County, and then thereafter in 1840, 1850 and 1860.

The three next younger sons, Ira, Richard and Joel, remained in Stokes County. Ira was old enough in 1830 to appear in his own right in the Stokes County census, while Richard and Joel were living with their parents. All three boys were listed individually in the 1840 Stokes County census. [Microfilm copies of the census for that year are intermixed with, and indexed with those for Tyrrell County, North Carolina, although the individual sheets are labeled "Stokes County". The index references to these census records are listed as "Tyrrell County".] The younger children, including sons Thomas and John were with their mother in Stokes County in 1830 and in Monroe County in 1840. John was listed separately in Monroe County in 1850, but the author has found no record of Thomas in that year.

Richard's older daughters, Nancy, Eliza, Harriett and Fannie were all married in Stokes County, Rebecca was married in Monroe County. Nancy and Eliza were still in Stokes County in 1830, where they were listed with their own families, but the author has found no record of Nancy or the Joseph Lasley family after 1830. As noted above, Fannie Ogburn's family moved to Guilford County, North Carolina and were there at the time of the 1830 census, but Fannie had apparently died by 1831 when her father's will was written. The families of Eliza Sullivan, Harriett Baker and Rebecca Burch all moved to Monroe County before 1840 and were present there in 1850 as well. Their mother, Rebecca Gentry, was living with Rebecca Burch at the time of the 1850 census.

The description of these two families completes the series of Gentry Journal articles on essentially all of the Gentry families who moved into North Carolina in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. All of the families we have outlined moved from Virginia where the first generations of Gentrys had settled. The one exception was the family of a William Gentry, born 1803, who was a son of Benjamin Gentry who lived in Johnson County, Tennessee. This family left Johnson County shortly after 1840 (when they were in the Tennessee census) and moved to Ashe County, North Carolina. There he appeared in the Ashe County census for 1850 and successively thereafter to 1880, and died in 1892. There are a few scattered instances of other Gentrys appearing in North Carolina records that were not a part of these family groups but they were essentially transient in nature, and came and went over short periods of time.


1. "Journal of Gentry Genealogy", vol 1, issue #10 (Oct 2001). Deed, tax and court references to James Gentry Sr and James Gentry Jr. together with discussion of the family relationships of James Sr.

 2. Irene B. Webster, "Rockingham County North Carolina Will Abstracts 1785-1865", Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1984
[Includes box of old wills discovered in 1957 in Rockingham Co. courthouse, that had never been recorded. Photostatic copies bound into a book entitled, "Old Wills Discovered in Office Dated Prior to 1804".]
(a) 1783 Sep 28 "Old Wills, p.114" [Webster, p.6)
  Will of James Gentry: to wife Sarah; son Watson Gentry, land in Hanover Co., VA adj William Morris; daughters Nancy and Minny [Mimey]. Exec: Friend Joshua Smith.
Wit: Joshua Smith, Jesse Siers, Edison Cook.
Probate Feb 1786, County of Guilford, State of North Carolina.
(b) 1787 Apr 5 "Old Wills, p.26" [Webster, p.2]
  Will of Sarah Jones: to daughters Sarah Gentry (land adj Andrew Joyce, Joshua Smith & Henry Harden), Elizabeth Whitworth; son: Edward Jones; grandson: Edward Whitworth; son-in-law: Benjamin Cook. Exec: James Burton, Joshua Smith.
Wit: Joshua Smith, William S. Burch, Mary Cook; Probate May 1787.

  3a. Kathleen Booth Williams, "Marriages of Louisa County 1766-1815", C. J. Carrier Co., 1977. (compiled from Louisa County Marriage Register which starts 1766)
   Groom Bride Bondsman/witness
1778 Jan 15 James Gentry Sarah Dickerson William Poindexter
1781 Jul 2 John Sharp Nancy Gentry
dau of James Gentry
Micajah Sims
/w/ Thomas Higgason
1791 Feb 10 Thomas Baker Milley Gentry John Smith (m. 11 Feb 1791 by Rev. John Lasley)
1796 Apr 19 Richard Gentry Rebecca Barnett
dau of William Barnett
Nathaniel Harris
/w/ Allen Foster, Judith Foster
(m. By Rev. John Lasley)
3b. Marriage Register, Rockingham County, North Carolina
1802 Jan 4 Joseph S. Gentry Elizabeth Gallaway Saml. M. Spragens
/w/ John Menzies
3c. Marriage Register, Stokes County, North Carolina
1790 Nov 6 Joshua Hill Elizabeth Gentry John Giles
/w/ Jo Williams
1813 Dec 9 Joseph Lasley Nancy Gentry Richd Barnett
1823 Dec 9 James Gentry Tamsey Baker W. B. Gentry
1825 Jan 2 Benja L. Sillivan Eliza Gentry William Flynt /w/ Matt M. Gaines
1826 Jan 30 Ira E. Gentry Elizabeth Vaughn Benja L. Sullivan
1826 Feb 13 Absalom Baker Harriet Gentry Wm Cannon
/w/ Matt M. Gaines
1827 Apr 30 D. N. Ogburn Frances Gentry Benj. Z. Sillivan
/w/ C. L. Banner
1834 Dec 11 Thomas Gentry Pauline Wright J. E. Gentry
/w/ Reuben D. Golding
3d. Edythe Rucker Whitley, "Marriages of Williamson County, Tennessee 1804-1850".
1815 Aug 19 Thomas Lovell Nancy Gentry Thomas Gentry
1825 Mar 24 Theopulus L. Gentry Rebecca Sappington Reuben Gentry
1827 Feb 15 John M. Watson Tabitha W. Gentry  
1834 Jan 22 Reuben A. Gentry Ruth R. Rogers  
1839 Jan 22 Theophilias S. Gentry Mary Dabney  
1846 Aug 2 Theophilus L. Gentry Mary S. Pugh  
1850 Jun 15 Joseph S. Gentry Mary E. Rucker  
4. Richard Gentry, "The Gentry Family in America", The Grafton Press, New York, 1909:
  p.283 #251 Watson Gentry of Rockingham Co., NC
  p.285 #252 Theophilus Lacy Gentry of Marshall Co., TN
  p.287 #253 Meredith Poindexter Gentry of Williamson Co., TN
  0.290 #254 Dr. Watson Meredith Gentry of Franklin, TN
  p.338 "Meredith Poindexter Gentry", by Alexander H. Stevens [a contemporary of Meredith and fellow-Congressman]

  5. James Hunter Chapter, National Society Daughters of American Revolution of Madison, NC, "Early Families of the North Carolina Counties of Rockingham and Stokes with Revolutionary Service", Southern Historical Press, Easley SC, 1981.
p.95 Vol I, David Poindexter
  Son of William Poindexter, born 17 Mar 1763 Louisa Co., VA, died Stokes Co., NC. Served as substitute for a number of older men in Revolution, including 2 months for Watson Gentry of Hanover Co. under Capt. Billack in regt. of Col. Davis.   (Pension record #S-3723).
p.45-6 Vol II, Watson Gentry
  Son of James & Sarah Gentry, born 21 Feb 1759, died 16 May 1844 Williamson Co., TN; married Theodosia Poindexter (b. 1764, d. 1850 TN). Watson refused to apply for a Revolutionary War pension, saying he "volunteered his services and it was not right to ask for such".   Service record not known.

6. U.S. Census of 1790, publ by Bureau of Census
  VA county census records destroyed, substituted state enumerations for earlier years.
Hanover County (1782) Capt. Owen Dabney district
p. 28Watson Gentry 4 people
7. Halifax County Court Minutes
1788 Bk 12-480 August Quarterly Court pleas
  Watson Gentry, Executor of James Gentrey deceased, plaintiff against Matthew Sims, executor of David Sims deceased, defendant. Case dismissed and plaintiff ordered to pay costs of the defendant.
1817 Bk 1-334 Superior Court
  (This and others dating to 1821 in same case). Suit Concerning the Will of Reuben Abney.
Joseph Gentry [Son of Watson] and Elizabeth Gentry His Wife [Niece of Reuben and widow of James Galloway], appearing with other heirs as defendants.

8. Mrs. S. F. Webster, "Rockingham County, North Carolina, Deed Abstracts 1785-1800", Madison, NC, 1973.
1784 Aug 26 Deed Bk(A-68)  
  Watson Gentry witnessed deed; recorded Guilford Co.
1786 Mar 10 Deed Bk(A-144)  
  Watson Gentry, to Henry Hardin for £100, 50 ac adj. Sarah Jones, Isham Rice, Benjamin Cook.
Witness: Benjamin Cook, Mark Hardin.
1786 Feb 17 Deed Bk(A-173)  
  Watson Gentry, to Sarah Gentry, for £10, 100 ac on Shepherd's Cr of Mayo R.
1792 Apr 24 Deed Bk(D-163)  
  Sarah Clegg to Thomas Lewellin, land adj. Watson Gentry, William Jennings, James Sier.
Wit: Samuel Gann, Thomas Lewellin.
1793 Aug 16 Deed Bk(D-166)  
  Henry Harden to John Mathews, land adj. Andrew Joyce, Elijah Houce, Sarah Gentry, Benjamin Cook.
Wit: Joshua Smith, Jarrat Patterson.
1796 May 19 Deed Bk(D-297)  
  Isham Sharp to Richard Sharp, land on S. side Mayo R.
Wit: Watson Gentry.

  9. Charles Dyson Rodenbough, editor, "The Heritage of Rockingham County", Rockingham Historical Society, Wentworth, NC, 1983.
p.229 John Dalton (1775-1858) m. Elizabeth Gentry and moved to TN.
P.268 Samuel Gann m. Mary (Polly) Sharp, dau. of John Sharp. In 1793, he bought 200 acres of land from Watson Gentry (Polly's uncle) on Shepperds Creek (which runs into Mayo Creek near Joyce Ford, just north of present town of Mayodan), about one mile from John Sharp's land.
P.669 John Watson Sr. received a land grant in Guilford (Rockingham) Co. in 1778. He had one son Peter and one daughter before dying unexpectedly. Peter had s son John M. born abt.1798. Peter died before 1808, his widow and son John moved to Williamson Co., TN in 1808. John M. Watson m. 15 Feb 1827 in Williamson Co., TN, to Tabitha W. Gentry, dau of Watson Gentry (who moved to TN in 1808 at about the same time as the Watsons).

  10. Louise Gillespie Lynch, "Williamson County, Tennessee Deed Books C, D & E 1811-1820, Vol II", Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC 1992.
1812 Dec 5 Deed Bk(D-3480  
  S. Martin (this is Alexander S. Martin) to Watson Gentry of Rockingham Co., NC, for $1000, tract of land containing 450 ac and bounded by the original corder of the late Gov. Alex'r Martin's survey, James Rogers, and Henderson.
Wit: A.M. Rogers and James Gentry. Rec. 6 Mar 1816.
1815 Jul 16 Deed Bk(D-229)  
  Watson Gentry and John Dalton witnessed deed from Samuel Rogers to Alexander Rogers.
1813 Sep 30 Deed Bk(D-237)  
  Watson Gentry to Archelus Hughs for $725, land on the south side of the Harpeth River and bounded by Gov. Martin and crossing Overall Creek.
Wit: John Dalton and Stephen Nance. Rec. 2 Oct 1816
1816 W. W. Gentry witnessed deed
1818 C. C. P. Gentry witnessed deed

  11. Wade Duncan, editor, "The Heritage of Stokes Co.", The Stokes County Historical Society, Germanton, NC, 1990, vol I and II.
p.259 Richard Gentry, by Howard Gentry
  James Gentry, b. 1710, believed to be the father of William Gentry who lived on the Roanoke River in Lunenburg Co., VA. During the late 1700's he sold his land for a bushel of continental money which proved to be worthless. [Note. The Roanoke River does not flow through Lunenburg Co., but rather is farther west. It forms the border between Halifax Co. and Charlotte and Campbell Co's, and between Pittsylvania Co. and Campbell and Bedford Co's.]

William had six children, one of whom was Richard Gentry who married Rebecca Lindsay Barrett at Louisa County Courthouse, 19 Apr 1796. He learned the saddlery business from John Lasley in Richmond, VA. John was a Methodist preacher as well as a saddler. Both moved to Stokes Co., NC in 1800. They settled on the banks of Huens Creek and Reed Creek where they enter the Dan River. Richard died 14 May 1831. His will is on record in Stokes Co. Clerk of Court office. [A list of children and dates of birth follow.]

p.89 Richard Gentry worked as a saddler for Thomas Rivers in the community of Danton which Rivers founded. Richard, on 5 Jun 1804, bought a lot fronting on Main Street from Rivers. He sold this lot in 1812 to Thornton B. Guinn. In 1811, he bought 200 acres of farmland near Danton. The community, built on the north bank of the Dan River, is no longer in existence.
p.259 Ira Ellis Gentry, b. 26 Jun 1804 at Danton, Stokes Co., NC, son of Richard Gentry and Rebecca Lindsay Barrett. He married Elizabeth Vaughn, 9 Feb 1826. After his father's death, he received a 1/11th share of his father's property. Over the years, he bought the entire 760 acres owned by his father. In 1856, he sold his farm at Danton, and in 1857, he bought 468 acres on the Little Yadkin River south of Sauratown Mountain.
p.73 Ira Gentry was a trustee of Bethesda Methodist Church when land was deeded to it 12 Mar 1835.
p.74 Ira appointed a trustee of a mission effort starting Chestnut Grove Methodist Church. In 1859 purchased land for the new church. As of 1980, there were still Gentrys at that church.

12. Richard H. Gentry, Op cit., Biographies of:
  p.249 #194 William Gentry of Lunenburg Co., VA
  p.250 #195 Richard Gentry of Stokes Co., NC
  p.251 #196 William Barnett Gentry of Stokes Co., NC
  p.252 #197 James Gentry of Stokes Co., NC
    #198 Ira Ellis Gentry of Stokes Co., NC
  p.253 #199 Richard Jones Gentry
    #200 Thomas Piner Gentry of Indianapolis, IN
    #201 John Thornton Gentry
  p.254 #202 Richard Henry Gentry of Bloomington, IN

13. Karen L. Sherman, "Sullivan County, Tennessee, Cemeteries", Heritage Books, 1991.
p.43 Crumley Cemetery (still in use, well maintained) [established 1791]
Gentry, William and wife died Jan 28, 17--.
14. J.G.M. Ramsey, "The Annals of Tennessee to the end of the Eighteenth Century".
p.507 "[1788] was signalized by an adventure of Col. James Brown, ... who was now emigrating to Cumberland, ... [with] his family [and] five other young men, viz. ...John Gentry, Wm. Gentry... These were all good marksmen. [The boat was boarded by Indians and the occupants taken to the Indian settlement of Nickajack, where all but one of them were killed.]"
15. Pollyanna Creekmore, "Early East Tennessee Taxpayers", Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1980
p.133 Jefferson Co., 1800; Capt. McDonald's Company
Ayers Gentry - 0 acres, 1 white, 0 black polls

16. C.G. Chamberlayne, "The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, 1706-1786", transcribed & edited by , publ by The Library Board [of Virginia], Richmond, 1940, reprinted 1973.
Page 389 (1771 processioning) and page 444 (1779 processioning).

  17. Mrs. W. O. Absher, "Stokes County, North Carolina Wills, Volumes I-IV, 1790-1864", Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC, 1983.
1831 Mar 10 Will Bk(3-228) [p.89]
  Will of Richard Gentry, June Term 1831
    Wife Rebecca, all estate lifetime or widowhood,
Minor children: Richard, Joel, Thomas, Rebecca and John to be made equal with those who have married and left me.
My 11 children: William, James, Ira, Nancy, Harriet, Richard, Joel, Thomas, Rebecca, John and Eliza, equal division estate at death of my wife.
  Executors: Sons William and Ira Gentry.
Witnesses: John Vaughn and Joseph Vaughn
Signed: Richard (X) Gentry
  18. Irene B. Webster, "Rockingham County North Carolina Will Abstracts, Vol I, 1785-1865", Madison, N.C. 1973.
1817 Oct 29 Will Bk(B-38)
  Will of William Barnette, Stokes Co.
    Wife Fanny; Sons Richard Barnette, William Barnette; Dau Rebeckah Gentry, Fanny Shelton, Betsey D. Hampton, Dolly Barnette.
  Exrs: Son William Barnette, Richard Gentry, Richard Shelton
Wit: T.C. Guinn, David D. Bostick

19. David R. Davis (of Lincoln City, OR), "Gentry Family Gazette & Genealogy Exchange", Vol 6, 17-18 (Jan 1987), Extracts from family bible of Richard and Rebecca Gentry family in possession of Mrs. Lena Gross.

12/10/03 (Reformatted July 2014)

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