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Second Generation


4. John SCROGGS4,10 was born about 1723 in SCOT.10 He was buried in Statesville, NC.11 According to the source, John Scroggs was buried "beside his first wife on South Yadkin River, 10 miles north of Statesville, NC"
SOME COMMENTARY ON SCROGGS RESEARCH

There are a number of sources (notably the "Ancestry of Bethia Harris", as well as others) who show William Scroggs, the Lord Chief Justice of England, as the grandfather of the Scroggs brothers who came to Newton Twp in Cumberland County. This is not correct. These same sources also describe there being "...four Scroggs brothers; Alexander, Allen, John, and James, but nothing is known of James..."

As to the first point, there was a suspicion in some circles that the Scroggs' brothers descendancy from this wealthy and well-known forbearer was questionable. The obvious question is how did these three brothers, raised in this noble English environment, now turn up in the Pennsylvania frontier as young Presbyterian farmers who were said to have come from either Scotland or Ireland? None of the sources ever cited any evidence in support of this claim, but rather seemed to assume that its interesting history, as well as its ability to allow the brothers' descendants to attach themselves to a well-known ancestor, more or less substantiated itself.

Then in 1996 Charlotte Smith (a long-time Scroggs researcher), while on another search, discovered "Miscellanea, Genalogia, et Heraldria, 1918, Vol III, Series 5" in the Los Angeles library. This particular publication had several pages devoted to Scroggs and, in particular, traces the line descending from Sir John de la Lee in the 12th century.

This is a very well sourced reference, and in almost every case acquired its data using actual wills. The first Scroggs in this descendancy is Thomas Scroggs of Patmore Hall (d. 16 July 1538) who marries into this line via his marriage to Agnes,daughter of John Harleston of Cambridge. Every descendant of Thomas and Agnes is then shown down to almost the 20th century and Sir William, Lord Chief Justice of England is one of those descendants, as is his son Sir William and grandson, also William. The wives and children of all these Scroggs are clearly described.

The grandson William, who died in 1756, and his wife Anne had two sons and two daughters, viz: William (1714-1758), Edward, Anne, and Letitia. William (1714-1758) was blind, as well as the heir to a number of large estates in Berkshire. The line continues on from there.

There are no sons named Alexander, Allen, John, and James shown anywhere, let alone in the early 1700's when they were born.

As to the second point, that is whether or not there were three or four brothers, it should be noted that Thadeus A. L. Thompson, great grandson of John Thompson, and a Thompson researcher of the late 19th century, in his detailed notes of the Scroggs family describes only three brothers and not four. Josiah V. Thompson, a prolific Thompson researcher of the 1920's, picks up this same theme in his travels and describes only three brothers.

T.A.L. Thompson's recordings of the Scroggs history seems very credible and he has taken pains to correct old errors (for example, he submits numerous facts clearing up the confusion surrounding the pedigree of one of the Scroggs female descendants), and in this vein it is easy to consider his writings very credible. However, it should be noted that he, too, implies (although not actually stating) the brothers' descendancy from Sir William as well as other wealthy Scroggs in Scotland.

I believe that the T.A.L. Thompson notes, while not correct as to the pre-American pedigree, are generally the more credible source and, if and when conflicts arise which cannot otherwise be verified, I have decided to use his input. This means that, as far as my own research is concerned, there are only three brothers with whom we must deal. If James did exist, then hopefully some researcher can someday prove it.

It is also equally certain that we know nothing of these brothers history prior to their arrival in Pennsylvania, and thus far have been presented with no evidence of any kind in that regard. T.A.L. Thompson's claim of the brother's father being one John Scroggs of Edinburgh will be used for convenience, since it allows us to put a name to the father, but this is nowhere supported by other evidence.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

John first went to the Cumberland valley in PA with his brothers. Some time between 1745 and 1750 he relocated again and came to Iredell Co., NC.

He came to the Yadkin River Valley with his wife and two young sons, and they settled a few miles north of Statesville, present location, then called "Salisbury District." Noted in the records of Rowan Co., NC. 6:371, 372, James Mc Cullough and wife Jean sold to John Scroggs 348 acres of land (for 80 pounds) on South Yadkin River fork, 12 January 1767.

Sometime after this he bought a farm about three miles south of Statesville on Third Creek, now (1976) known as the "late John Kelester place". Here he built a mill for wheat, corn and lumber.

Court records of 5 May 1774 show that he was exempt from 1772 taxes due to his "..serving as constable that year."

He hurt himself working in the mill and died a few days later. After his death his river plantation was sold to McAdee and his mill was inherited by his youngest son James.

Records show his will being submitted for probate on 20 Feb 1792.

John SCROGGS and Margaret THOMPSON were married about 1751 in Cumberland Co., PA.12 There are different opinions as to who was John Scrogg's first wife. Most sources don't mention her name; another source says her name was Sarah Carter (this is by Jim Scroggs in Seattle and the information is handed down from his great-grandfather...since he lived in the 1800's and should have good knowledge this may very well be correct...but it hasn't yet been otherwise supported). What I have shown is that she was Margaret Thompson, primarily because of some court documents which have been found in Cumberland County.

One of these documents, produced by the Cumberland County Orphan's Court on September 1, 1761 shows "Account of Administration of estate of George McLewain by William Thompson and Andrew McLewain. Andrew the eldest son rcvd 65 pounds, 1 shilling. Alexander Scroggs, guardian of Joseph McElwain, son of George, Received 63 pounds, 1 shilling. John Scroggs and Margaret his wife late Margaret McLewain relict of George received 59 pounds 15 shillings, 3 pence."

The foregoing was executed some 13 years after George McElwain's death and was done at the time when Andrew, his eldest son, reached the age of 21 years.

George McElwain's will, written in January 1747 and executed 9 March 1747 provides that his farm goes to his oldest son Andrew and that the balance of the estate is divided equally between Andrew, his son Joseph, and his wife Margaret. Executors are William Thompson and Andrew McElwain. All of these people were residents of Hopewell Twp.

The following is the time line which we believe matches best with the foregoing:

abt 1720.....Margaret Thompson born (guessing back fm date of birth of first child)

abt 1740.....She marries George McElwain (again guessing...now she's 20 yrs old)

1740...........Andrew born

1743...........Joseph born

1747...........George McElwain dies (she is 27 yrs old now). His will provides that his land be given to Andrew and the remainder of the estate be divided between his wife and two sons. Executors are William Thompson and Andrew McElwain.

abt 1749.....She marries John Scroggs at age 30 or so and sometime in the next 3 years they have two children and move to Iredell Co., NC.

1752...........Gives birth to their third child, also named John.

1755-1758..Gives birth to next three children; Jeremiah, Margaret, and David

1761...........Orphan's court in Cumberland Co., PA gives its directions as stated prior, which appears to be a final settlement of the estate some 14 years following the death of George. I don't why Alexander Scroggs is appointed as Joseph's guardian but possibly that is a requirement of the court in settling the estate since he was still a minor (and not living with his mother in NC) and would be for the next two years.

1773..........John remarries to Elinor Carson (presumably Margaret dies or??) and their son James is born.

Margaret THOMPSON was born about 1720. Who is Margaret? Her birth date would have been about the same as John Thompson's (abt 1720). Is she a daughter of John Thompson and Mary Wilson, and therefore a sister of John Thompson (b. 1722)? No source references any sisters for John, Thomas, and William. We simply don't know.
John SCROGGS and Margaret THOMPSON had the following children:

30

i.

Jane SCROGGS.

31

ii.

Joseph SCROGGS.

+32

iii.

John SCROGGS.

+33

iv.

Jeremiah SCROGGS.

+34

v.

Margaret SCROGGS.

+35

vi.

David SCROGGS.

John SCROGGS and Elinor McDuff CARSON were married about 1775.10,11 Elinor McDuff CARSON was born in 1725 in SCOT.10 She died in 1814 in Iredell Co., NC.10 Had four sons and two daughters from a prior marriage, when she married John Scroggs. Their names are not known. By John Scroggs she had one son.

Her former husband (who died) was named William Carson. Her maiden name was McDuff.

According to the MGR source notes, she was a grandmother of Kit Carson. Whether or not that is true, I don't know. Haven't looked. John SCROGGS and Elinor McDuff CARSON had the following children:

+36

i.

James SCROGGS.