The King brothers of Bertie County, North Carolina, Michael (1722-1784), Henry (1725-1762), and John (1730-1807) lost their father Michael King (1698-1741) at an early age. These three brothers along with four sisters, all minors, were placed with a guardian soon after their father’s death by the Bertie County Court. The action of the Court was prompted by a request from their mother Isabel (Bell) King (1706-ca1780).
By 1749 the King brothers, in the company of the Roger Snell family, had relocated to New Hanover County, NC. Roger Snell (1698-1759) purchased 1000 acres of land (1750) for 100 pounds “Virginia Currency”, on the east side of Six Runs Swamp, soon after he and his extended family arrived. The area he settled had recently become part of Duplin County. His extended family included his sons-in-law, Michael and Henry King, and probably their younger brother, John. It is likely on this trip the Snell group was accompanied by members of several families who lived nearby in Bertie and with whom the Snells and Kings had developed close ties (the Bells, Byrds, and Vanns).
By 1744 Michael King had married Mary Catherine Snell (1727-ca1765) and when they reached New Hanover they already had two sons, Michael, Jr. (1745-1811) and William (1748-1816). Shortly after settling in the Six Runs area, a few miles northeast of the present town of Clinton, they added two more children, Nathan (1750-1833), and Keziah (1752-?). Michael received the first of several land grants on Six Runs Swamp in 1753 and continued to increase his landholdings in Duplin until 1770. Evidently, Mary Snell King died just before this time because Michael purchased land in Cumberland County in 1770 and relocated there with a new wife, Mary (Boone) King, and his two youngest children. Between 1770 and 1784 Michael had again become a successful planter, and he and Mary Boone King were parents of eight children. Several of these children found their way back to Sampson County. Although old and sickly, Michael King was recognized for his patriotic service during the American Revolution.
Henry King married Ann Snell (1736-1787) about the time of their move to Six Runs Swamp. Between 1753 and 1758 this couple had four children, Charles (1753-1824), Stephen (1756-1812), Henry (1758-1796) and Mary (1761-?). Henry received a land grant on Six Runs in 1754 and all his children were born in this area. He was the first of the three King brothers from Bertie to pass away. In 1765 Ann married Stephen Blackman (1724-1786), a Captain in the Dobbs County Militia, and a landowner in Dobbs, New Hanover, and Duplin Counties. Both had children from previous marriages but they added four more. Some of their family which included son James Blackman (ca1766-1824) and several other Sampson County families migrated to Tennessee about 1807.
Questions remain over when John King arrived in the Six Runs area. It was 1762 before he received a land grant there. However, Duplin County records of land transactions place him in Duplin by 1757. John remained in Duplin until 1774 when he sold property on Beaverdam Swamp to John Yarborough. The deed of sale for this property indicated John King was then a resident of Craven County, South Carolina. He sold the last of his land on Six Run Swamp to Roger Snell, Jr. in 1779 for 600 pounds. He remained in South Carolina (Fairfield County) for over thirty years. John became a successful planter and he and wife Amy raised a family of seven children. Just prior to his death, John and many of his family removed to Montgomery County, TN.
Though John King left little for posterity in Sampson County, this was not the case with brothers Michael and Henry. The following information is about Kings with Sampson County connections all of whom are related to Michael and Henry King from Bertie who settled on the Six Runs about 1750.
Michael King; born in Bertie; oldest son of Michael and Mary Snell King; married Sarah Rhodes (ca1755-1827) of Duplin (ca1770); planter, once owned 2,177 acres in Sampson; Captain, Duplin Militia during Revolutionary War; participant, Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge; fathered ten children, many raised families in Sampson.
William King; born in Bertie; brother to Michael (above); married Margaret DeVane (1758-1826) of Duplin (1777); planter, owned several plantations in Sampson; private, Duplin Militia in Revolutionary War; participant, Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge under Capt. Michael King and Col. James Kenan; provided personal resources to aid Rev. War effort; represented Sampson, NC House of Commons (1788, 1790-93); member NC Constitutional Convention (1789); fathered nine children, most relocated to Alabama prior to 1820; died in Sampson.
Nathan King; born in Duplin; youngest son of Michael and Mary Snell King; relocated to Cumberland County (1770); served under Capt. Michael King and Col. James Kenan, Duplin Militia, Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge; Captain, Armstrong’s Regiment Continental Line, Revolutionary War; married Flora McDuffie of Cumberland; planter, once owned 4000 acres in Cumberland; received Rev. War pension (1832); died in Cumberland.
Charles King; born in Duplin; oldest son of Henry and Ann Snell King; double first cousins to Michael, William, and Nathan; married Penelope Whitfield (1750-1839) of Duplin (1811); served in Continental Line during Revolutionary War, Capt. Coleman’s Company, Wilmington Militia District; obtained land grant (324 acres) in northern Alabama for Rev. War service; fathered eight children, some migrated to Texas; son Henry W. married (2nd) Helen King (1793-1856) sister to William Rufus DeVane King; died, Madison County, AL.
Stephen King; born in Duplin; brother to Charles King; married Amia Oates (1761-1824) of Duplin (1779); well-known lawyer, large landowner and planter, Sampson; private, Duplin Militia, Revolutionary War; served under Capt. Michael King and Col. James Kenan, Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge; fathered ten children, many raised families in Sampson; died, Sampson.
Henry King, Jr.; born in Duplin; brother to Charles and Stephen: married Jeannette Moore (1771-1864) of Duplin, daughter of Major James Moore of Rev. War fame; purchased large acreage of land, Rutherford County, TN; fathered two children; died, Sampson.
James Moore King (1792-1877); born in Sampson; son of Henry and Jeannette Moore King; grandson of Henry and Ann Snell King; relocated to Rutherford County, TN (1807); member, Corp 1 MTD Gunmen Tennessee Volunteers ; served under Andrew Jackson in several Indian Campaigns; member Coffee’s Dragoons, with General Jackson at Battle of New Orleans (1815); married Martha Batey (1805-1887) of Murfreesboro, TN (1821); owned large plantation, “Rural Rest”; fathered thirteen children, many remained in Tennessee; died, Rutherford County, TN.
Henry King (1794-1815); born in Sampson; brother to James Moore King; moved to Rutherford County, TN with brother, mother, and several other Sampson families; member, Corp 1 MTD Gunmen Tennessee Volunteers; served under Andrew Jackson in several Indian Campaigns; member, Coffee’s Dragoons, with General Jackson at Battle of New Orleans; died January 5, 1815, New Orleans.
Thomas DeVane King (1779-1854); born in Duplin; son of William and Margaret DeVane King; grandson of Michael and Mary Snell King; married Nancy Ann Jones (1788-1855) of Wake County, NC (1827); successful of William and Margaret DeVane King; grandson of Michael and Mary Snell King; married Nancy Ann Jones (1788-1855) of Wake County, NC (1827); successful planter, Sampson and later near Tuscaloosa, AL; graduate UNC (1801); member UNC Board Of Trustees (1805-1813); represented Sampson, NC House of Commons (1804-1806, 1812); fathered two children, born in Alabama; died, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
William Rufus DeVane King (1786-1853); born in Sampson; brother to Thomas Devane King; graduate UNC (1803); lawyer, Sampson (Clinton); planter, Sampson and Dallas County, Alabama and beyond; represented Sampson, NC House of Commons (1808, 1809); District Attorney, Wilmington District (1810); represented Sampson District, US Congress (1811-1816); diplomat to Russia (1816-1818) and France (1844-1846); five term Alabama State Senator (1819-1844, 1848-1852); Vice President United States (1852); died unmarried, Dallas County, AL.
*From the April 2006 issue of the Huckleberry Historian