The Ancestors of Brian Doig

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  • ID: I15230
  • Name: Robert GILLESPIE
  • Surname: Gillespie
  • Given Name: Robert
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT 1825 in Of Fife, Scotland
  • Death: 23 May 1797 in Botetourt Co., VA
  • _UID: 7199EFA4457BD511AA294445535400004685
  • Note:
    Robert's will was probated April 1798 and names children William, Isabel, Mary, Robert, Joh n James, Alexander, and Jean, and grandson John Gillespy.

    Notes for ROBERT GILLASPY/ GILLESPIE: (Provided by Ginger Hicks)
    Information taken from "Southwest Virginia Families" by David B. Trimble, copyright 1974, b y David B. Trimble, San Antonio, Texas: (Gillespie of Botetourt and Alleghany Counties, Virgi nia)

    Robert Gillespie served in Dickinson's Rangers in 1754 under Cpt. Wm. Preston and received 5 0 acres for his services: he lived on the lower end of Cowpasture River in Augusta (now Alleg hany) County, Virginia at that time. In 1766, he worked on the road from Ft. Defiance to Hand ley's Mill, and on June 19, 1766, he had 40 acres surveyed; he had 300 acres surveyed on Octo ber 17, 1769. In 1768, he lived in the bend of Jackson's River in Augusta (now Alleghany) Cou nty, Virginia and was exempted from working on the Cowpasture Road. On May 12, 1770, he recei ved a 54 acre grant on the north side of Jackson's River and on June 20, 1772, an 80 acre gra nt in the same area; on the latter date, he received a 42 acre grant on two small branches o f the James River (surveyed 40 acres on June 19, 1766). For many years, he was on the tithe l ists of Botetourt County, Virginia, where he was taxed on 218 acres in 1785. (1) He made hi s will on May 23, 1797, leaving his property to his children, and the estate was probated i n April 1798.(2) References: (1) Robert D. Stoner, "A Seed-Bed of the Republic" (Radford, Vir ginia:Commonwealth Press, Inc., 1962, pg. 81, and appendix; Lyman Chalkley, "Records of Augus ta County, Virginia" Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, reprint 1965, I,130,150: F.B . Kegley, "Virginia Fromtier" Roanoke, Virginia: The Southwest Virginia Historical Society, 1 938, pg. 356,360; Botetourt County, Virginia, tithe lists, 1771-82, Virginia Land Patent Book s, Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia. (2) Botetourt County, Virginia, Wills A, 475; Deed Bk. 9, pg. 24, Bk. 10, pg.175; Alleghany County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 1, pg. 347--Entere d by Ginger Hicks 1997

    Am not sure that his siblings are correct in his child file, but I suspect he either belong s here or as a brother to William Gillespie, father to James. The following was taken from th e family file of Kellis and Virginia Gillespie sent to me. They are descendants of Robert (Ro ben) Gillespie, Jr.: We do not know exactly when Robert Gillespie I arrived in America. Famil y legend states that he was born in Scotland and came to America with his three brothers. The y were probably among the "Great Migration of Scotch-Irish" who started arriving in America i n 1730. The Scotch-Irish are people of Scottish background and ancestry who were sent to th e northern part of Ireland in 1610 in order to promote British influence in Ireland. A centur y later they left Ireland to seek their fortunes in America. Many of them entered through th e port of Philadelphia and then moved south to take up land in the Valley of Virginia. They s ettled in the counties of Augusta, Botetourt, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and the l ands to the Southwest. The towns of Winchester, Staunton, Lexington, Fincastle, and Abingto n were largely Scotch-Irish.

    When Augusta County was formed from Orange County in 1745, it was huge--bounded on the nort h by the Fairfax Land Grant; on the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains; on the south by the Car olina border; and on the west by the Mississippi River. One printed source for our Scotch-Iri sh ancestors is Lyman Chalkley's Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlements in Virginia Extra cted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, Virginia. Some of Chalkley's referenc es to Robert Gillespie are as follows:

    Book A, May 1755
    Simpson vs. Campbell--March 12, 1756. To the Worshipful bench of Augusta, we humbly request t hat you will take particular notice of Margaret Campbell (Cambal), for it is plainly known t o all the inhabitants of the lower end of the Cowpasture that she is a common liar and troubl esome to all of them that she is in neighborhood with, and furthermore it is known that she w ill swear anything that comes into her mind, which the subscribers by report will make appear . The above petition was signed by Hugh Morton, James Montgomery, Wm. Mortain,Wm. Memory, Edw ard Edwards, Agnes Memory, Wm. Gillespy, Mary Gillespy, Patrick Carrigan, James Bear, James S cot, Samuel McMory, Margaret Cohiren, James Arbuckle, Thomas Simson, Robt. Gillespy, Margare t Arbuckle, Anne Montgomery, and Thomas Fitzpatrick. This was an attachment vs James Campbel l by James Simpson, 17th March 1756. (Chalkley Volume 1, page 315)

    Book D, August 1767
    August, the 31st day, 1764. Sir: To Capt. Walter Cunningham, please to pay George Dare seve n pound ten shillings as soon as my pay comes in to your hand without Eney Dout, for it is ju stly due him and in so doing you will very much oblige your humble friend to serve. (Signed J ames McElhiney. Test. Robert Gilipe, (Chalkley Volume 1, page 461)

    Order Book X, November 19, 1766 (Page 340) Joseph Carpenter Sr., and Wm. Whooley appointed ro ad surveyors from Fort Defiance to Handley's Mill, with these workers and their tithables:
    Peter Wright, Solomon Thomas, Nathaniel Carpenter, John Umphries, Thos. Carpenter, Zopher Car penter, Ezekiel Johnston, Edward and John McMullin, James Williams, Joseph Leeper, John Fiele r, William Christian and Peter Joseph Carpenter, Jr. (Chalkley Volume 1, page 130)

    Order Book XII August 17, 1768 (Page 327) Tithables in the bent of Jackson's River from Rober t Galespy's to Fort Young--exempted from working on the Cow Pasture Road. (Chalkley Volume 1 , page 250)


    Will Book No. 4
    (Page 37) 19th August, 1767. Archd. Clendenning's estate settlement by Ann Clendenn ing,
    recorded.--Paid Ash Claftrock, John Clendenning, Wm. Galespie, Zopher Carpenter, Ja mes
    Furguson, David Galloway, James Millican, Robt. Galespie , Geo. Roberts, Benj. Kims ey, John

    We sometimes forget how dangerous it was to live on the Virginia frontier before th e Revolutionary War. Archibald Clendenning, whose estate was settled in the above mentioned r eference had been killed and scalped by the Indians. We found an account of his death in Memo irs of the Indian Wars by Colonel John Stuart of Greenbrier and we quote as follows:

    "From Muddy Creek the Indians passed over into the Levels, (Greenbrier Co.) where s ome families were collected at Clendenin's--numbering between fifty and one hundred persons , men, women, and children." There says Colonel Stuart, they were entertained as at Muddy Cre ek in the most hospitable manner. "Clendenin having just arrived from a hunt with three fat e lks, they were plentifully feasted. In the meantime, an old woman with a sore leg, was showin g her distress to an Indian and inquiring if he could administer to her relief; he said he th ought he could, and drawing his tomahawk instantly killed her and all the men almost that wer e in the house."
    "Mrs Clendenin did not fail to abuse the Indians, calling them cowards, etc. althou gh the tomahawk was drawn over her head with threats of instant death, and the scalp of her h usband lashed about her jaws."
    "The prisoners were all taken over to Muddy Creek and a party of Indians detained t hem there till the return of the others from Carr's Creek when the whole were taken off toget her. On the day they started from the foot of Keency's Knob going over the mountain, Mrs. Cle ndenin gave her infant to a prisoner woman to carry, as the prisoners were in the centre of t he line with the Indians in front and rear, and she escaped into a thicket and concealed hers elf. The cries of the child soon made the Indians inquire for the mother, and one of them sai d he could bring the cow to the calf. Taking the child by the heels he beat its brains out ag ainst a tree and throwing it in the path the savages and horses trampled over it. She told me , says Colonel Stuart, that she returned that night in the dark to her own house, a distanc e of more than ten miles, and covered her husband's corpse with rails which lay in the yard w here he was killed in endeavoring to escape over the fence with one of his children in his ar ms. Mrs. Clendenin seems to have been partially crazed from the beginning of the massacre. Th at night, after giving what burial she could to her husband's body, she was seized with morta l terror, thinking she saw a murderer standing over her. Upon recovering her reason, she resu med her flight, and reached the settlements in safety. Colonel Stuart states that the Indian s continued the war till 1764 making incursions within a few miles of Staunton."

    All of the above references are very important because they prove Robert Gillespi e was living on the lower part of the Cowpasture River in Augusta County Virginia from 1755 t hrough 1767. Then, in 1770, Botetourt County was formed from the southern portion of August a County. Botetourt was a huge county. Its boundaries covered the present states of Kentucky , West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and a small portion of Wisconsin.


    On May 12, 1770, the Governor of Virginia granted 54 acres on the Jackson River a t the headwaters of the James River to Robert Gillespie. Two years later on June 2, 1772, Rob ert received an additional 80 acres. Both of these deeds are recorded in Botetourt County Dee d Book 9, page 24.

    Elizabeth Hicks Carron states in her book "Clifton Forge, Virginia" that this tow n was founded upon Robert Gillespie's land grant. She says, "The history of Clifton Forge beg an when a settlement was made on a portion of the land granted to Lord Botetourt, Governor o f Virginia, from King George III. On May 12, 1770, the Governor of the colony of Virginia gra nted 54 acres of land to Robert Gallaspy. (Now spelled Gillespie or Gillispie by his many des cendants.) Robert Gallaspy was a frontiersman and farmed the land below Iron Gate, at the hea d of the James River, where the L. C. Gibsons, descendants of Robert Gallaspy, now live. (Th e original log cabin, owned by the first settler, was torn down in 1968 in order to build a n ew home. Other descendants of Mr. Robert Gallaspy still residing in Clifton Forge are Mr. A . B. Davies, Jr., attorney-at-law, and his mother, one of the oldest citizens now living here .) Two years later in 1772, another tract of land was granted to the same Robert Gallaspy. Hi s holdings consisting of something over 200 acres of flat-bottom land suitable for cultivatio n, lay on the north side of Jackson River and both sides of what is now Smith Creek." (Carron , page 1)

    Excerpts from a writing by Marion Nickoll Rawson in The Roanoke Times dated March 2 8, 1938 tell us that: "It was in 1794, that perhaps the first furnace was constructed in th e Iron Gate Gorge when the Jackson River had worn away the mountain and exposed great minera l wealth on the land granted to Robert Gallaspy in the early 1770's. Gillaspie probably estab lished the iron furnace, setting the buildings on the great river boulders for frim foundatio n. This 'Forge under the cliff' was the parent of the 'Old Clifton Forge'." (Carron, page 8)

    Some interesting tidbits of information about Robert Gillespie are also included i n the Botetourt County Court records. In his book Annals of Southwest Virginia, 1769-1800, Le wis Preston Summers gives us the following information:

    At a court held for Botetourt the 9th of October, 1770
    Present: Robert Breckenridge, John Bowyer, James Trimble, and William Christian, Ge nt.

    William Hugart, Robert Glaspy & John Robinson, the persons appointed
    to view the way from Jacob Persinger's to the forks of Dunlops Creek, reported
    that it is impossible to establish a road there, whereon the order is discharged.
    (Summers p. 92)

    At a court held for Botetourt County the thirteenth of August, 1771
    Present: Robert Breckenridge, Andrew Lewis, Israel Christian & William Christian, G entlemen

    William Huggard, Robert Gillispie, and William Gillispie to appoint the tithables e qually to work under Matthew Arbuckle, Jacob Persinger, and James Laurence. Ordered that thi s court by adjd., till tomorrow, 8 o'clock. Signed by Andrew Lewis

    The above entry, found in Summers book on page 126, is noteworthy because just thre e years later in 1774, Jacob Persinger and Matthew Arbuckle were the two lead scouts who guid ed General Andrew Lewis to the Battle of Point Pleasant.

    This next entry is especially interesting. It occurred in February, 1777, during th e Revolutionary War.

    At a court held for Botetourt County the eleventh of February, 1777
    Present: John Bowyer, Andrew Woods, Richard May & Wm. McClenachan, Gent. Justices.

    John Robinson who was suspected of being a disaffected person to the United State s of America, this day appeared in court & being examinedit appears to the court that there i s reason for such suspicion. Therefore, it is ordered that he enter into a recognizance to ap pear at the next court, himself to be bound in the sum of 100 pounds and to find two securiti es to be bound with him in the sum of fifty pounds each.
    John Robinson, Robert Gillispie, and Daniel Prentice acknowledged
    themselves to be severally indebted to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the
    said John Robinson in the sum of 100 pounds and the said Robert Gilliespie
    and Daniel Prentice each in the sum of 50 pounds of their goods & chattels,
    lands & tenements to be levied & to the said Commonwealth rendered. But
    on condition that if the said John Robinson shall make his personal appearance
    at the next court to answer a complaint against him for being an enemy to the
    United States of America & for expressing himself contrary to an Act of the
    late General Assembly of this State by acknowledging the authority of the King
    of Great Britain over the said States, & shall not depart without the leave of
    the said court, this recognizance to be void. (Summers, page 258)

    Evidently, John Robinson had an enemy who accused him of being loyal to the King o f England. He had two loyal friends, as well. Both Robert Gillispie and Daniel Prentice wer e willing to post a bond of 100 pounds (about $300 in today's currency) Did they lose their m oney? Let's check the next court session.

    At a court held for Botetourt County the 11th day of March, 1777
    Present: William Fleming, Benjamin Estill, Andrew Woods & Richard May, Gent. Justic es.

    The Commonwealth against Robinson. The defendant appeared and nothing being alledge d or proved against him the said complaint was dismissed. (Summers p. 261)

    The most important reference we found about Robert Gillespie was noted in the follo wing record:

    At a court held for Botetourt County the 10th day of February, 1780
    Present: Pat Lockhart, James Barnett, Wm Walton, and Thomas Rowland, Gent. Justices .

    Robert Gillispie, Senr.'s claim as a Sergeant in Captain Dickerson's Company in 175 4 for the defence of this Colony is ordered to be certified. (Summers p. 303)

    William Armstrong Crozier tells us in his book Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-177 6 that "For participation in the wars of the Colony of Virginia against the French and Indian s, and for service rendered by the Militia in defense of the frontiers, the King's Proclamati on of 1763 granted certain amounts of land. The amount given to field officers was 5,000 acre s; to captains, 3000 acres; to subalterns or staff officers, 2000 acres; to non-commissione d officers, 200 acres; to privates, 50 acres. The Original Warrants or Certificates of the su bjoined abstracts are to be found in two MMS.
    Volumes, deposited in the State Land Office, Richmond, Virginia."
    (Crozier, page 9)

    All males over 18 years of age had to serve in the local militia. In Charles T. Bur ton's book
    Botetourt County, Virginia Its Men 1780-1786 we find Robert, Simon, and William Gil laspy in
    Company 23, which covered the area where the Jackson River joins the Cowpasture Riv er to form the James River. In 1786 James Gillaspy also served in Company 23.

    In the book 1795 Tithable and Land Books for Botetourt Co. Virginia we find that Fr ederick Pitzer, Commissioner for Botetourt County, Virginia listed the following Gillaspeys o n April 2, 1795:

    The numbers stand for the following: (whites over 16) (blacks to 16) (blacks over 1 6) (horses) (steed horses) all of which were taxed.

    Gillaspey, Simon 2 - 2 - 2 - 10 - 1
    Gillaspey, Robert Snr. 1 - 0 - 0 - 1
    Gillaspey, Robert Jnr. 1 - 0 - 0 - 4
    Gillaspey, James 1 - 0 - 0 - 7
    Gillaspey, William 1 - 0 - 0 - 4

    The last record we have for Robert Gillespy Sr. is his will in which he names his f ive sons and three daughters. All of the above Gillaspeys are mentioned in this will. In Ite m 3 he states that he leaves no part of his estate to son William and daughters Isabell and M ary because he had already given them their share. He leaves his land to sons Robert Jr., Joh n, and Alexander. His son John is to pay 20 pounds to son James (brother of John) before Joh n can inherit his share of the land.

    In Item 8 Robert entrusts the care of his wife (not named) to his son Alexander wh o is to "keep her in good sufficient Meat, Drink, Washing, Lodging, and Good Clothing and i n case my son Alexander should marry and there should be such Discord as to render it so as m y wife could not live comfortable and agreeable without a separation, than my son Alexander s hall give her the above support apart to herself."

    In Item 9 he leaves youngest daughter Jean her "bed of furniture that is called her s" and one black mare and colt, and in Item 10 he gives his bay mare's colt to grandson Joh n Gillespy. He closes the will with these sentences, "And lastly I appoint my Beloved frien d Simon Gillispy and my sons John and Alexander, my soul Executors of this my last Will and T estament and all other Wills and Legacies heretofore made I do revoke and by these presents t hey are Revoked. In witness I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 23 day of May 1797.
    From WFT Vol. # 12 Tree #1452--Brothers were Thomas d. 1789, James & William. "Robe n"
    Gillespie settled in Rockbridge Co., Va. He located where his brothers were. His fa ther had settled there more than 25 years before. By Ginger Hicks 1998
    A note from Virginia and Kellis Gillespie adds:
    On the lawn of Clifton Forge, Virginia Courthouse, there is a plaque which honors R obert Gillespie
    1. This plaque erected by the Anne Bailey Chapter of the Daughters of the America n Revolution on October 17, 1932 states:
    "May 12, 1770 and June 2, 1772 the land upon which Clifton Forge is established wa s granted to Robert Gallaspy from George lll, King of England through Baron de Botetourt, Gov ernor of the Colony of Virginia."
  • Change Date: 12 Aug 2017 at 10:14:05

    Father: William GILLESPIE
    Mother: Margaret CAIRN

    Marriage 1 Agnes RUSSELL
    • Married: ABT 1754 in Augusta Co., Va (now Allegheny Co.)
    1. Has No Children William GILLESPIE b: 14 Mar 1755 in Augusta Co., VA
    2. Has No Children Isabella GILLESPIE b: ABT 1757 in Augusta Co., VA
    3. Has No Children Mary GILLESPIE b: ABT 1759 in VA
    4. Has No Children Robert GILLESPIE b: ABT 1766 in Botetourt Co., VA
    5. Has No Children John GILLESPIE b: ABT 1771 in Augusta Co., VA
    6. Has Children James GILLASPY b: ABT 1759 in Augusta Co., VA
    7. Has No Children Alexander GILLESPIE b: 1 Jan 1774 in Botetourt Co., VA
    8. Has No Children Jean GILLESPIE b: ABT 1777 in Smyth County, VA
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