James Mayfield (ca. 1750 - aft. 1820) of VA, KY and TN
By Phil Norfleet
James5 Mayfield (James4, Isaac3, Robert2, Robert1) was born about 1750 in Albemarle County, Virginia. His wife's name is unknown.
Although I do not have any primary evidence, my current conjecture is that this James Mayfield is a son of James Mayfield (d. 1780) and a brother of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838). His birth and death dates are unknown and can only be estimated.
Milestones in the Life of James Mayfield (ca. 1750 - aft. 1820)About 1750: James Mayfield was probably born in Albemarle County, Virginia (VA) some time during the early 1750's. Other Mayfield researchers have estimated that he was born about 1750 and I have no reason to argue with that estimation. I do know that the eldest son of the James Mayfield, who was killed by Delaware Indians in August 1780, was Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838), since Micajah inherited all of James Mayfield's 640 acre pre-emption grant in Middle TN, pursuant to the Law of Primogeniture. Accordingly, James, the brother of Micajah, must have been born after 1748.
1761: Amherst County is created out of Albemarle County. The area where James Mayfield (father of James, Jr.) and his family reside becomes a part of this new county.
09 July 1768: James Mayfield executes a mortgage deed for £26, as collateral, James conveys all his personal goods, chattels and utensils to a certain Joseph Higginbotham. [See Amherst County VA Deed Book B, pages 354-355.]
About 1777: James, Jr., his parents and siblings move from Amherst County to the New River region of Southwest VA which, in 1776, had become a part of the newly formed Montgomery County. They probably settled in the Bluestone Creek area, a northern tributary of New River (see below).
08 September 1778: James Mayfield, Sr. and his wife Ellender, convey to James Rowsey, for £100, a tract of land containing 100 acres, lying on the north branch of Buffalo River in Amherst County VA. Southerland (spelled "Sutherlin")) Mayfield signs this deed as a witness. [See Amherst County VA Deed Book E, page 57.]
Link to Map of the Buffalo River Region - Amherst County VA
1779-1780: James Mayfield, Jr. probably serves as a private in the Illinois Regiment of George Rogers Clark (see the following table).
As shown in the above table, the military records of Virginia's Illinois Regiment indicate that there were two men named James Mayfield serving in that regiment in 1779-1780 time period.
Presumably, one of these men is the father of Micajah Mayfield, et al., who was killed by the Delaware Indians in Middle TN, in August 1780. Since all the other Mayfields serving in that regiment, during that 1779-1780 time period, were sons of the elder James, the other James Mayfield is probably also a son of the elder James (d. 1780) and a brother of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838).
About 1781: Southerland Mayfield enters 200 acres of land on Bluestone Creek (a northern tributary of New River), Montgomery County VA. The entry indicates that Southerland was the assignee of William Butler, assignee of Fortunatus Elliott, assignee of James Mayfield (brother of Southerland?). The entry states that the land was first settled in 1777 (perhaps by James Mayfield, brother of Micajah?). [See Montgomery County VA, Entry Book A, page 82.]
Link to Map of the New River Region of VA
1782: James Mayfield (brother of Southerland?) appears on the tax list for Montgomery County VA and is taxed for 1 tithe, 3 horses and 7 cattle. Southerland Mayfield also appears on the same list; he is taxed for 1 tithe, 5 horses and 14 cattle.
1782: James Mayfield's name appears on the militia list for Captain James Moore's Company, as a private. On the same list the name of Southerland Mayfield also appears, as a sergeant.
Late 1780's and Early 1790's: James and his family were apparently living in Illinois Country during the late 1780's and early 1790's. See the entry for a land conveyance dated 11 October 1817 below.
05 July 1799: James Mayfield of Jefferson County KY gives written consent for his daughter, Eleanor Mayfield, to marry John Sharp. The consent statement, dated 05 July 1799, is filed with the marriage bond packet at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Louisville. A record of the marriage may also be found in Jefferson County KY Marriage Book 1, page 33.
In my opinion, this James Mayfield, who was of sufficient age to have a marriageable daughter and was then living in Jefferson County KY is probably James, Jr., a brother of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838) of Jefferson County.
1799-1805: This James Mayfield appears in the Jefferson and Shelby County KY tax lists, during the period 1799-1805, in close association with both Micajah Mayfield and Elijah Mayfield. The tax records indicate that James was not a land owner.
1806: Apparently in the 1805-1806 time frame, James Mayfield, Jr. and several of his sons removed to the Swan Creek area of what was then Williamson County TN. In 1807, this area became a part of the newly formed Counties of Maury and Hickman. Many years later, in 1843, this region became part of Lewis County TN. No tax lists have survived for Hickman County prior to 1836; however, at least some tax lists for Maury County are available from the years 1810 and forward.
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled "Lewis County, Tennessee an Informal Historical Record of the Early Days" that was published in the Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, Volume X, Number 2, pages 77-80. The author's name is unknown, but he/she appears to be a fairly knowledgeable local historian who wrote the article prior to 1906. A typed copy of the original manuscript was made in the 1930's by the WPA, from which source the Journal article was obtained.
"The first settlement made in the county was in 1806 by John Sharp and family on Swan Creek. He, with his wife and five sons William, Edward, Nehemiah, Samuel and Joshua, came here from Kentucky and settled at what is now known as the Jones Vincent place on upper Swan Creek. Mr. Sharp, the pioneer settler of Lewis County, was the grandfather of Willis Sharp who resides at present on Swan Creek near the first settlement.
"During the same year, Elijah, Samuel and James Mayfield, three brothers and their families, settled on Swan at the place recently owned by Felix Walker. These families also came from Kentucky and still have many descendants residing in the county.
"About this same time, James Rhodes and Bryson B. Venable came from South Carolina and settled on the Creek, the latter locating at the Flanigan place at the mouth of the Johnson Hollow. ...
" ... At the time these first settlements were made, the greater portion of what is now Lewis County belonged to Hickman County which was organized in 1807. ...
" ... Lewis County was created by an act of the General Assembly of the State that was passed December 23rd, 1843, providing a new county be formed out of fractions from Maury, Hickman, Lawrence and Wayne. It was named in honor of Meriwether Lewis who met his tragic death on October 11, 1809 near the center of the county on the line of the old Natchez Trace while on a journey from the Territory of Louisiana of which he was governor at that time."
The above cited historian has probably garbled some of the names and relationships for both the Mayfields and Sharps. However, it is certain that several members of the Sharp and Mayfield families came down to TN from the Jefferson/Shelby Counties area of KY in about 1806. I note that the last mention in KY of the elder James Mayfield (purported brother of Micajah) is in the Shelby County tax list for the year 1805. Now a man in his 50's, James presumably went down to TN, in 1806, along with his sons James E. Mayfield, William Mayfield and Samuel C. Mayfield.
The Elijah Mayfield, mentioned by the historian, is probably the Revolutionary War veteran Elijah Mayfield (1762-1843) who died in Maury County in 1843. The records of Jefferson/Shelby Counties of Kentucky indicate that this Elijah did not permanently remove to Tennessee until about 1819.
1811-1817: The name "James Mayfield" appears frequently as a white poll (tithe) on the early tax lists of Maury County, Tennessee. There is no indication that this James owned any land during that period. It is probable that this James may be James E. Mayfield, son of the elder James, i.e., the James E. Mayfield who died in Illinois in 1855. The elder James, a Revolutionary War veteran, may have been exempt from the poll tax.
1817: Some time during the latter part of 1817, James Mayfield visits his kinsman, Stephen Mayfield, in Overton County TN. Stephen is probably a first cousin of James.
11 October 1817: James Mayfield, then in Overton County TN, for $200, conveys a 400 acre tract of land lying in Madison County, Illinois Territory to a certain Will Whitesides. James Mayfield had obtained the 400 acre tract "by virtue of my donation right granted to me by the authority of the United States as being the head of a family in the Illinois Country in the year 1788, and prior to that date." [See Overton County Deed Book D, Page 151]
1820: The Federal Census for Hickman County Tennessee lists both a James Mayfield and a James Mayfield, Sr. Presumably James Mayfield, Sr. (over age 45) is the elder James who is the subject of this sketch. Several other Mayfields who are probably sons of James, Sr. are also reflected in these census reports.
CHILDREN OF JAMES MAYFIELD
Other than perusal of some tax and marriage records in Jefferson and Shelby Counties KY (including review of the marriage consent document re Eleanor Mayfield's marriage to John Sharp) and a cursory review of the published records of Washington County, Arkansas, I have not personally done much research re the children of this James Mayfield. However, Merle Stevens and Jean Jorgensen, both of Texas, have performed considerable research on the family of this James Mayfield and I have relied heavily upon their work in preparing this biographical sketch. Apparently several of James Mayfield's children migrated to Washington County, Arkansas in the 1830's. Land and court records in Washington County imply that James Mayfield, Sr. had at least six children. Besides daughter Eleanor (see marriage records discussed above), he appears to have had at least four sons: William, James E., Samuel C. and Southerland (Sutherland), as well as another daughter, Jane.
Children of James Mayfield and Name Unknown are: