Notes: I. Beginnings

Notes for Jesse Evans: I. Beginnings

Note 1. Augusta, Bedford, Botetourt, Culpeper, and Fincastle payrolls and public service claims, 1775 (Dunmore’s War), Accession 25872, Microfilm Miscellaneous Reel 78 (last item), Library of Virginia, pp. 253 (Jesse Evans), 255 (Jesse Evans and Joseph Evans). This document is available in digital format on the Library of Virginia website.

Note 2. Jesse Evans provided two separate statements of his age near the end of his life. In a February 5, 1839 declaration to obtain a veteran’s pension, he stated that he was 79 years old. See Record S15826 (Jesse Evans), Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Microfilm M804, Roll 939, National Archives and Records Administration. The following year, the 1840 U.S. Federal Census reported that he was 81 years old. See 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Gasconade County, Mo., summary by Asst. Marshall J.B. Harrison. Taking all available information into consideration, it is possible that Evans’s understated his age toward the end of his life and that he was born a a couple of years earlier than he reported, that is, about 1757. If so, that would make him 58 at the time of his relocation to Missouri and 86 at the time of his death.

Note 3. James S. Evans to Lyman Draper, April 19, 1870, Lyman Coleman Draper Manuscript Collection (Draper Manuscripts), Microfilm 36J, Wisconsin Historical Society, pp. 125-26. Although James S. Evans was born in Virginia, he lived in Missouri all his life after his family moved there about 1815. He may not have had detailed knowledge of the formation history of Virginia counties. A biographical sketch of James S. Evans is found in History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford and Gasconade Counties, Missouri, Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co. (1888), pp. 985-86.

Note 4. This information is in James S. Evans’s narrative described in Part II Note 17 and accompanying text. A soldier named Joseph Evans who served in the Seventh Virginia Regiment under Captain Joseph Crockett and later moved to Tennessee may be the brother of Jesse Evans. See Record S35289 (Joseph Evans), Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Microfilm M804, Roll 940, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 5. An obituary of Jesse Evans published by a Methodist Episcopal Church newspaper in 1843 stated: “Major Evans was born in Maryland about the year 1755, (record lost;) removed when young, with his father, to South Carolina, and again to western Virginia, when about twenty years of age.” See L. Waugh, Obituary of Jesse Evans, Western Christian Advocate, Vol. X, No. 25, Cincinnati: J.F. Wright and L. Swormstedt for the Methodist Episcopal Church, publishers (Oct. 6, 1843), p. 4. The complete text is on the page “1843 – Obituary of Jesse Evans.”

Note 6. Generally speaking, Wythe County was formed from Montgomery County in 1790; Montgomery from Fincastle County in 1777; Fincastle from Botetourt County in 1772; and Botetourt from Augusta County in 1770. For an interactive map of showing the formation of Virginia counties, see:

Note 7. Virginia land patent to Andrew Evans, June 20, 1753, Land Office Patents No. 32, 1752-1756, Vol. 1, Virginia State Land Office Patents Microfilm Reel 30, Library of Virginia, p.161. This document is available in digital format on the Library of Virginia website. This Evans family owned this parcel for 20 years, until 1773, by which time they were living in Bedford County. See Montgomery (Fincastle) County, Va., Deed Book A, pp. 24-25 (Andrew and Nancy Evans to John Ward on Feb. 9, 1773). According to other researchers, Esther Crockett was the widow of Samuel Crockett who remarried William Sayers; one of their children was Robert Sayers. See Guide to the Sayers Family Papers, 1779-1888, Collection No. 1993.3, Special Collections, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Va., available online at:

Note 8. Record S3341 (Andrew Evans), Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Microfilm M804, Roll 938, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 9. In 1777, a Joseph Evans served as captain in the 7th Virginia Regiment under Captain Joseph Crockett and Lieutenant Robert Sayers. See Payroll of Capt. Joseph Crockett’s company, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, Microfilm M246, Folder 189, National Archives and Records Administration, p. 37.

Note 10. Wythe County, Va., Will Book 1, p. 1 (will of George Breckenridge dated May 3, 1790). The will lists George Breckenridge’s six children: Robert, Elizabeth (Evans), John, Alexander, Jane (Alcorn or Allcorn), and Letitia (Lindsey); and one grandchild: John’s son George. For a Breckenridge family history, see James Malcolm Breckenridge, William Clark Breckenridge: His Life, Lineage and Writings, St. Louis, Mo.: published by author (1932), pp. 115-30. George Breckenridge immigrated with his parents, Alexander and Jane Preston Breckenridge, who were among the founders of the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church at Fishersville, Virginia, in the 1740s.

Note 11. Wythe County, Va., Marriage Book 1, p. 9. For a biographical sketch of James McCampbell, see Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers in the Town of Evansham, the County Seat of Wythe County, Virginia, 1790-1839, Wytheville, Va.: Kegley Books (1998), p. 221.

Note 12. Will of Jesse Evans, dated Nov. 11, 1841, filed in Osage County, Mo., March 30, 1846, Will Book A, pp. 34-39 [page number 35 omitted]. See Osage County, Mo., Will records, vol. A-C 1841-1888, Microfilm #913753, FamilySearch. The complete text of the will is on the page “1841 – Will of Jesse Evans.”

Note 13. Following is a list of the children of Jesse and Elizabeth Evans. For information on their own spouses and children, see the page “Descendants of Jesse Evans.”

  • Ann (born about 1779; married James McCampbell on Dec. 17, 1795; died before 1841).
  • John B. (born about 1780; married Sally Newell on Jan. 28, 1802; died Oct. 14, 1825).
  • Jesse, Jr. (born about 1781; married Joanna (Johanna) Reeder; died before 1828)
  • Jane (Jenny) (born about 1782; married Thomas Farmer about 1802; died after 1841).
  • Elizabeth (Betsy or Betsey) (born about 1784; married Prospect K. Robbins on March 17, 1816; died in 1820s).
  • Joseph (born Sept. 29, 1785; married Elizabeth (Betsey) Smith on March 14, 1811; died Oct. 6, 1846).
  • Sally (born about 1786; married John Armstrong; died before 1841).
  • George Washington (born July 21, 1790; married Hannah Chribbs about 1816; died about January 1846).
  • Nancy (born Nov. 26, 1794; married George King on Feb. 4, 1813; died July 29, 1855).

Note 14. This information is in James S. Evans’s narrative described in Part II Note 18 and accompanying text.

Note 15. Montgomery (Fincastle) County, Va., Deed Book A, pp. 78-82 (executors of James Patton to George and Robert Breckenridge on June 24, 1774). The deed states that Patton obtained the land by patent on August 22, 1753, and that the land had been sold to John Vance, then to John Buchanan, and then to George Breckenridge. The intervening transactions had not been recorded, necessitating the recording of the deed from Patton to the Breckenridges.

Note 16. The entry in the Montgomery County, Va., order book is lost in the tattered page edges, but the information is preserved in the index, as shown in the image accompanying the text. Page 163 covers sessions in early March 1778.

Note 17. George W.L. Bickley, History of the Settlement and Indian Wars of Tazewell County, Virginia, Cincinnati: Morgan & Co. (1852), pp. 203-13.