Stephen Mayfield (d. 1834) of Pendleton County SC and Overton County TN
The name of Stephen Mayfield's father is not known. Some Mayfield genealogists have conjectured that his father was John Mayfield the Tory; however, I do not know of any documentary evidence whatsoever that supports such a conjecture. Indeed, my research and that of Gary Wilbanks (a direct descendant of John the Tory), indicate that John Mayfield the Tory belonged to an entirely different branch of the Mayfield family.
We do know that the name of Stephen's mother was "Delia;" she executed a deposition at Overton County TN on 25 November 1811 (see below).
In his will (see below), Stephen Mayfield states that he then (1834) had a wife named "Brigity" and had at least two children named Stephen and Marian. Family tradition indicates that Stephen also had married a Cherokee woman named "Jack" or "Jock" in the 1780s, probably in that part of northwestern South Carolina that became Pendleton County in 1789. He purportedly had several children by this Indian wife, one of whom was a daughter named Rachel. A descendent of Rachel Mayfield, applied for membership in the Cherokee Nation in 1908, but the claim was rejected. The following information concerning this claim has been taken Journal of the Upper Cumberland Genealogical Association, Volume Six, November 1981, Issue Number Four, pages 16-17:
On 30 June 1906 Congress appropriated more than $1,000,000 to be used in payment of claims arising out of treaties of 1835-36 and 1845 between the United States and the Eastern Cherokee. Claims were payable to all Eastern and Western Cherokee Indians who were alive on 28 May 1906 who could establish the fact that they were members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe of Indians or were descendants of such persons. There were several applications from the Upper Cumberland area, but most of these were rejected since the proof submitted amounted mostly to family tradition. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has microfilms covering portions of these applications, and the following has been extracted from these microfilmed records. ...
... #40490 - ELVIE ADELLA CHRISTIAN, Livingston, Tenn., 29 June 1908. States she was born 22 May 1881 in Overton County, and is married to Edwin Forest Christian. Her parents were Lex Ogletree, father, born in Overton County, and Maggie Rose, mother, born in Illinois. Lex Ogletreeís father was Reason Ogletree, and the father of Reason Ogletree was Pleasant Ogletree.Pleasant Ogletree was married to Rachel Mayfield, who was the daughter of a Cherokee Indian woman named Jack by Stephen Mayfield. She knows no more about Rachel Mayfield except that Rachelís father, Stephen Mayfield, stole her away from her mother, the Indian woman Jack, and raised her here in Overton County. As proof of Indian descent of Rachel Ogletree, she refers to Milton Ogletree, Sr., James Savage, Sr., and Henderson Savage, all of Livingston, Tenn., who knew her. She states that her husband, Ed F. Christian, is also applying for enrollment through his mother, Sallie Gilpatrick. His father was Arkley F. Christian and his grandfather was George Christian. Action rejected.
From certain sworn depositions (see below), we do know that Stephen's mother was named Delia and that he had at least two older brothers named Isham and Lewis Mayfield who fought in the Revolutionary War. These facts are established from depositions executed by his mother Delia and brother Isham in Overton County TN in November 1811. Since most of the early court records of Overton County TN have not survived, these deposition cannot be found among the official records of Overton County. However, the depositions, as well as many other related documents (such as Stephen Mayfield Sr.'s Will) are found within the records maintained by the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Apparently Stephen Mayfield, Jr. submitted a formal claim, after his father's death in 1834, to the State of Virginia for the Bounty land due to Lewis and Isham Mayfield and the documents were included as part of the claim package. (The claim was rejected!) Hoyle Mayfield generously provided me with a complete set of photocopies made from the original documents that are on file in Richmond.
Deposition of Delia Mayfield:
Whereas conformable to the provisions made for the benefit of the officers and soldiers of the Virginia Line in the Revolutionary war, certain stipends or quantities of land devolved either to themselves or to their heirs and it is hereby stated and sworn to that a certain Isam [sic] Mayfield did serve as a soldier in said Virginia Line under Col Crockett and Capt Cherry, his captain, that he served as a soldier in said line two years and six months, the said Mayfield was discharged from his said service as a soldier and obtained from the competent authority to grant such discharge which held in his possession for many years, but from the length of time accidentally or other casuality the said Discharge was lost, mislaid or destroyed. Now this deponent, the mother of the said Isam [sic], being first and duel sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, Deposit and sayeth that the above statements are just and true to the best of her knowledge and belief.
/S/ Delia Mayfield (her
This deposition testifies
that Lewis Mayfield served as a soldier in the Virginia Line under Col. Crockett
and Captain Cherry, who according to the information of the Deponent is advised
that the said Lewis Mayfield or his heirs would be entitled to certain lands or
other rewards as by the Laws of the State of Virginia or the General Government
prescribed. The Deponent states that the said Mayfield served in the Line of
said State in or about three years as a private, and that he was again promoted
to that of a Company under his Command as Captain. That the said Mayfield died
in the service of his Country. That his brother Stephen Mayfield is the only
true heir of his said deceased brother, and that according to such information
as the Deponent has received on the subject, he as before expressed believes
that he is not only his heir, but entitled to all the benefits and advantages
accruing to the proper Representative of said Lewis.
Stephen Mayfield in Pendleton County SC
Stephen Mayfield seem to have been a member of a Mayfield migration group consisting of at least five Mayfield households, who arrived in the northwestern corner of South Carolina in the 1780s. This area had been part of the Cherokee Nation prior to 1776, but was not organized as a separate county (Pendleton) until 1789. A full discussion of this migration group is included in my essay re the early Mayfield settlers of Pendleton County SC. Pendleton County records and the 1790 Federal Census of SC indicate that this Stephen Mayfield resided in Pendleton during the 1790s as follows:
10 May 1790: Stephen Mayfield, et al. came into Pendleton County Court and acknowledged a bond to the county in the amount 100 pounds in connection with Stephen's obligation to " ... sufficiently and carefully provide for his infant bastard child by Catherine Briant and shall till the said child shall attain the age of ten years, so that it shall not [be] in any manner burdensome or chargeable to the County ... " This child is probably a certain Briant Mayfield who appears in the SC Federal Census records for 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840; and in the AL Federal Census for 1850. He is discussed in greater detail below. [See Pendleton County Court Minutes, page 24]
1790 Federal Census for Pendleton County SC: Stephen Mafield [sic] is listed showing: one white male 16 years of age or over (Stephen), one white male under 16 years of age (son James Henry Mayfield??), and one white female (Cherokee wife "Jack"??).
10 March 1792: A 260-acre tract of land situated on Rices Creek, a tributary of 12 Mile River, is surveyed for Stephen Mayfield. The same survey document indicates that the land was certified to Stephen on 27 November 1793. The associated plat map indicates that Stephen's land was directly adjacent to land previously surveyed for Isaac Mayfield. [See SC Plat Book 29, page 376]
02 December 1793: Stephen Mayfield receives the grant for the 260-acre tract he had surveyed in 1792. [See SC State Grant Book 36, page 26]
1800 Federal Census for Pendleton District SC: Stephen Mayfield is no longer listed. He had probably removed to Virginia by this date.
10 January 1801: Elijah Mayfield and Elizabeth, his wife, convey a 260-acre tract on Rice's Creek of 12 Mile River to Edwin Bain. This was land that had been " ... granted to Stephen Mayfield the 19th day of February 1791 [sic] ... ." [This stated date of Stephen Mayfield's grant is wrong - it should be 02 December 1793!] The deed was recorded in Pendleton District on 11 March 1801. [See Deed Book F, pages 150-151] It should be noted that this deed is unreadable on the microfilm. I visited the SC State Archives at Columbia in July 2000 and reviewed the original Deed Book F. The ink is badly faded with respect to this indenture but is still readable. It should be noted that this Elijah Mayfield (1762-1843) was a son of the James Mayfield (d. 1780) who was killed by Indians in the Cumberland River settlements. The fact that Elijah had acquired Stephen Mayfield's 260 acre tract of land may indicate a close family connection between these two men. Could Stephen Mayfield also be a son (legitimate or illegitimate) of the James Mayfield who died in Middle TN in 1780?
Stephen Mayfield in Virginia
Apparently Stephen Mayfield and his family removed to southwestern Virginia in about the year 1796. Other than the Federal Census, I have not been able to locate any records of Stephen's presence in VA. However, the 1850 and 1860 census records for two of Stephen's daughters, Rachael (1796 - after 1860) and Catherine (1798 - after 1850) indicate that they were both born in VA, not SC. Since these two daughters were purportedly the children of Stephen's wife named "Jack," it would appear that Stephen took his Cherokee wife along with him to VA. A third daughter, Frances (1799 - after 1835), was probably also born in VA but I have not been able to locate any census records for her after 1830. By about 1802, Jack may have died or Stephen had abandoned her and removed to Jackson County Tennessee, taking his children with him. The records of the Roaring River Baptist Church (Jackson/Overton County TN) indicate that Stephen Mayfield became associated with that church in the year 1802.
Stephen Mayfield in Jackson County TN
Stephen Mayfield removed to an unsettled portion of eastern Jackson County TN, probably some time in late 1801 or early 1802. He apparently settled along a creek belonging to the watershed of Roaring River.
1802: Stephen Mayfield is shown in the Jackson County List of Taxables and Taxable Property. His name appears on the list of militia Capt. J. Fitzgerald as being taxed for one poll, but not for any land ownership.
1802: Stephen Mayfield's name appears in the Associational Table of Roaring River Baptist Church, then a member church of the Green River Association, as having become a "messenger" in the year 1802.
" ... This was one of the oldest churches constituted in the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee. We are not able to ascertain the exact date of the constitution of this old church. In the records of the Green River Association we find that it was in working order July 25, 1801. Everything seems to indicate that it was constituted about 1800 from members of the Holston Baptist Association of East Tennessee.
"Elijah Chism was a messenger in 1798 from the Powels Valley Baptist Church to the Holston Association. This same church dismissed 23 members by letter between 1799 and 1800. At least part of these members came to the Roaring River Church. Elijah Chism appears with the Roaring River Church in 1803.
"Joseph Stewart, father of Elder Jesse Stewart, left Jefferson County, in the Holston Valley, sometime after August 1796. He appears as one of the first messengers from the Roaring River Church.
"Other early members included:
"Col. Stephen Copeland, who commanded the Third Tennessee Reg't. in the War of 1812; John Raney who married Elizabeth Stewart, sister to Elder Jesse Stewart; Benjamin and Samuel Stewart, brothers of Elder Jesse Stewart; Benjamin K. and Rev. J. G. Stewart, sons of Samuel Stewart; and Stephen Mayfield, an early settler from South Carolina whose daughter, Mary, claimed to be the first female child born in the Livingston area.
"Roaring River Church remained a member of the Green River Association until 1804. In 1805, when the Stockton Valley Association was constituted, Roaring River fell within the boundary of the latter and remained a member of that fraternity for many years. ... "
Extracted from website entitled: History of the Roaring River Baptist Church
16 September 1803: Stephen Mayfield, assignee of Elijah Chisum, enters a 200 acre tract of land on the waters of Roaring River in Jackson County TN. [See Middle Tennessee Entry Book 54, Page 94]
29 April 1805: Stephen Mayfield is mentioned as being a member of a Jackson County jury that was convened in March 1805. [Superior Court of Law and Equity, Mero District TN, 1803-1805, pages 403-404]
Stephen Mayfield in Overton County TN
1806: Overton County is formed from Jackson County. Stephen Mayfield's land fell within the boundaries of this new county.
1813: Stephen Mayfield and a certain James Mayfield (Stephen's son??), sign a petition addressed to the TN State Legislature. The petition reads as follows:
Legislative Petition, Overton County, Tennessee 1813
To the honourable The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee now in Session
The Petition of the subscribers, Inhabitants of the County of Overton, Humbly Sheweth, that they here disposed. To have a part in the Present War with Britannic Majesty's Savage Allies, Viz. The Creek Nation of Indians, and conceiving they can render greater services to the United States, as Mounted men than they could possibly do on foot, do humbly request that your Honourable Body would pass a law authorizing, Colonel Stephen Copeland of said county to raise by voluntary enlistment a force of 500 mounted men out of the 3d Judicial Circuit in said state to march against the said Nation of Indians or other tribes of the savage foe, and fight them in their wodn savage way, and act as Rangers & C, so long as it may appear necessary and that the said Volunteer Force when so raised may be paid and allowed the same pay for their services as other mounted men are allowed. In the services of the United States on similar occasions. And that the Senators and Representatives in the Congress of the United States be instructed to cause the said act when passed by your honourable body to be sanctioned by the National Legislature ...
[See website entitled Overton County TN - Legislative Petition - 1813]
1820: The Federal Census for Overton County TN shows the following Mayfield households:
Last Will and Testament of Stephen Mayfield
The last will and testament of Stephen Mayfield, dated 08 August 1834, was proved in the Overton County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions on the first Monday of November 1834. In the will, Stephen mentions his two deceased brothers, Isham and Lewis Mayfield; his wife Brigity Mayfield; his son Stephen Jr.; and his daughter Marian Mayfield.
Since the Overton County, Tennessee Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1865, many of the early court records of that county have been lost, including all of the 1834 probate records. However, thanks to the diligent research of the well known South Carolina genealogist, Leonardo Andrea, in the 1940's, a set of important court documents related to Stephen Mayfield, including a copy of his will, was located in the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The records were part of a claim for VA Revolutionary War Bounty Land, submitted in 1836 to the State of Virginia, by Stephen Mayfield, Jr. The claim was rejected, but several important genealogical records, including Stephen Mayfield, Sr.'s will, were saved thereby! The late J. Hoyle Mayfield of Bakersfield, California generously provided me with a complete set of the original documents, thus, enabling me to prepare a transcript of Stephen Mayfield's will.
My transcript of Stephen Mayfield's will, including some spelling and punctuation corrections, is given below.
Know all men by these
presents that I Stephen Mayfield, Senr. of the County of Overton and State of
Tennessee being low in health but of sound mind and disposing memory do make and
publish this my last will and testament.
Wives of Stephen Mayfield
Children of Stephen Mayfield
I have been able to identify eight children for Stephen Mayfield (d. 1834); two additional children, viz., Luke and Elisha, have also been associated with this Stephen Mayfield. I strongly disagree. My reasons for this disagreement may be found in my biographical sketch of Luke Mayfield (1777-1853). Based upon my research and that of two of Stephen Mayfield's direct descendants, Hoyle Mayfield and Mrs. Mary E. M. Roberts, I have been able to identify four sons and four daughters by three different women as follows:
James Henry Mayfield (ca. 1785-11 Dec 1827): James is probably a son of Stephen Mayfield and his Cherokee wife named "Jack."
Briant Mayfield (1790 - after 1850), Illegitimate Son by Catherine Briant: This son is probably the "bastard child" of Stephen Mayfield and Catherine Briant cited in the Pendleton County SC Court Record dated 10 May 1790 (see above). The child is probably the "Briant" or "Bryant" Mayfield who is listed in the SC Federal Census records for 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840. In the 1850 Federal Census, a "Bryant" Mayfield is listed for Fayette County AL. In this 1850 record, Briant is shown as living in the household of Isaac Mayfield (probably his son); the Census record further indicates that Briant Mayfield was then aged 60 years old and had been born in South Carolina. This data is a very good match for the "bastard child" of Catherine Briant, born in 1790 in Pendleton County SC. No other Briant/Bryant Mayfield is cited in the extant Federal Census records prior to 1860.
John Mayfield (ca. 1791-before 1830): John is probably a son of Stephen Mayfield and his Cherokee wife named "Jack."
Rachael (Rachel) Mayfield (1796- before 1860): Rachel is probably a daughter of Stephen Mayfield (d. 1834) and his Cherokee wife named "Jack."
Stephen Mayfield (1797-1864): Stephen is probably a son of Stephen Mayfield (d. 1834) and his Cherokee wife named "Jack."
Indictment for Assault and Battery, Overton Co. 1840
The State vs. Stephen Mayfield for the assault of JOHN PRIOR. October Term of the Circuit Court 1840. $75 file and costs of the prosecution. Prosecuted by William Callom, Attorney General.
State of Tennessee, Overton County, October Term of the circuit court eighteen hundred and forty. The grand jurors for the State of Tennessee elected, ... service and charged to enquire for the body of the county of Overton in the State Aforesaid upon them oath present and Stephen Mayfield yeoman upon the first day of September 1840 with force and ... In the county of Overton in the State of Tennessee in and upon JOHN PRIOR in the peace of God and our said State then and there being an assault did make and ... The said JOHN PRIOR did then and there beat? Bruise? Wound and ill treat and other wrongs and injuries to the said JOHN PRIOR then and there did to his ... Damage in contempt of the law of the land and against the peace and dignity of the State. William Cullom, Attorney General. JOHN PRIOR, prosecutor, witness sworn in open court and sent before the grand jury to give evidence in behalf of the State aforesaid this bill of indictment.
October 28th 1840.
James Harrison, foreman of the Grand Jury.
[See website entitled Tennessee Pryor Criminal Cases]
It appears that John Pryor may have been a pretty tough customer. In 1847 this same John Pryor was apparently convicted of murder! Per the book entitled Tennessee Convicts: Early Records of the State Penitentiary by Chuck Sherrill: JOHN PRYOR from Jackson County TN, age 25, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 12 years in the penitentiary. He entered prison on 13 January 1847 and was discharged on 27 August 1852. This John Pryor is listed in the 1850 Federal Census as being in the State Penitentiary at Nashville in Davidson County. He is counted in the 2nd Subdivision, page 308. The census record states his age as 28, occupation laborer, born in Tennessee, convicted 1847 of murder. [See website entitled Tennessee Pryor Criminal Cases]
Catherine Mayfield (1798 - after 1850):
Frances (Franky) Mayfield (1799 - after 1850):
Mary (Marian) Mayfield (1804 - after 1860):