Will the real James Skaggs please stand up? James, the Long Hunter

There are many genealogical records available from the 1700s for James Skaggs, making him appear to have been everywhere at all times.  I want to try to take advantage of years of genealogical research by many Skaggs researchers to separate these James from each other:

  1. James and Rachel Skaggs - the parents of the Long Hunters
  2. James, Jr. and Mary Skaggs - the Longhunter James, son of James and Rachel
  3. James and Susanna Scaggs - lived side-by-side with the Long Hunters in Virginia, then went west and ended up in Warren County, Kentucky
  4. James C. Skaggs – Revolutionary War pensioner from South Carolina
  5. James Scaggs and Catherine Reaser/Mary Brinker - lived with first wife Catherine Reaser in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, then with second wife Mary Brinker in Frederick County, Virginia and the Chew's Folly farm in Prince George's County, Maryland
This was James “Longman” Skaggs and his wife Mary.  He was son of the 1. James Skaggs, Sr. above.

1769 Apr. 26 Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800
Deed Book No. 16.
Page 49
JAMES ( ) SCAGGS (SKEGGS), Sr., and RACHEL ( ) to JAMES SCAGGS, Jr., £100, 104 acres patented to Samuel Ratlive 22d August, 1753, and conveyed to JAMES, Sr., on Meadow Creek, a branch of New River. Teste: William Preston, Richard Whitt, James ( ) Skggs, John ( ) Skggs, Is. Christian, James Buchanan, W. Ingles.

This deed documents the sale of 104 acres of land by James Skaggs, Sr. to his son James “Longman.”  We know from this deed that James Jr. was born before 1749 since he had to be at least age 21 to be the grantee.

1777 Sep. 6, On p. 60 of Mary B. Kegley's "Militia of Montgomery Co., VA  From Capt. Daniel Trigg's Company: James Skeggs [longman]

1778 Aug 18, James Skaggs appraises estate of James Fowler, Mary Skaggs is also listed

1781 June 1 - 16th James Skaggs listed as a guard detail commanded by Sargent Richard Lee, on a pay consisted of one sergeant and 8 men of Col Cox's regiment of Militia of Jefferson County stationed at Squire Boones station on Bashers Creek, in Commonweath of Virginia in Virginia State Lib.

The above pay for guard duty in 1781 shows that James Skaggs, Jr. had relocated to Jefferson County in Kentucky by 1781.  His relocation to Kentucky coincides with the death of his father, James Skaggs, Sr. and allows us to reasonably assume that references to James Scaggs after 1781 back in the New River area of Virginia are to a James Scaggs other than James Sr. or James Jr.

James Skaggs established his station near Big Brush Creek in the northern part of what is now Green County, Kentucky.  According to the State of Kentucky website:
James Skaggs Station was the third to be established within the modern day Green County.  It was located near a tributary of Big Brush Creek, situated in the northern portion of the County.  James Skaggs and his wife, three sons, and one daughter settled on land after April 1780.  His "station" was located where today’s Jones Cemetery is located, near Highway Route 61.
In the fall of 1781, James Skaggs had decided that they did not have enough provisions to get them through the oncoming winter months and that it would be necessary to return to Brian’s Station (Lexington, Kentucky) to spend the winter.
James Skaggs’s daughter took their iron cooking pot and dutch oven to a small cave (Indian Hollow), to hide until their return the following spring.  While at the cave she was surprised by a small band of hostile Indians, who killed and scalped the young girl.   Her family found her remains and brought her body back to the cabin where she was buried under the cabin floor.  This was the first burial at the Jones Cemetery.  The exact grave site is unknown.In the following spring, James Skaggs and his family, with other settlers, returned to their land and found that the Indians had burned their original cabin.  They built a larger structure, two stories high, 22x24 feet in size, with a fireplace on each floor.  This structure stood until it was torn down in 1951.
The Treasury Warrant Number for James Skaggs’s 450 acres of land located on Brush Creek was issued on the first day of April, 1780.
1783 Dec. 3, Jefferson County Virginia court, Minute book A, page 180, At a court held for the county of Jefferson.  It appeared to the court the following persons are entitled by virtue of an act of assembly passed  May last, to 400 acres of land each, each ordered that the county survey land to them accordingly James Skaggs on Brush Creek Land Grant and Henry Skaggs Pitman Creek land Grant. We know from this deed that James Jr. was born before 1749 since he had to be at least age 21 to be the grantee.

The above court record shows the grant of 400 acres of land to James and brother Henry in Kentucky. Then, uh oh, a lot of personal drama for James in both Kentucky and Virginia:
1788 James Scaggs personal property tax, 1 tithe Russell County, Virginia

1788 Jun 17  Court of Quarterly Sessions, Russell County, Virginia.  Page 103.  Bill found against James Skeggs for leaving his own wife and cohabitating with Leah Carter.

1789 James Scaggs personal property tax, 1 tithe Russell County, Virginia

1789 Sep 15 Court, page 164, presentment against James Scaggs for living in adultery by oath of Joseph Fugate

1793 Green Co., KY Deed book 1 Page 5 & 6
Known all men that I, James Skaggs have bargined and sold unto Henry Skaggs, Stephen, and James Skaggs all that tract of land situated on the Brush Creek in Green Co., containing 450 acres being the same tract of parcel of land that was granted by patent from the State of Virginia to me served in the 2nd day of July 1784, which land I will forever defend from me and all manners of persons claiming under me unto them, their heirs and assigns forever, for the sum of 100 pounds to me in hand, the receipt is hereby acknowledged given under my hand and seal the 15th day of Nov. 1793
Signed: James Skaggs
Witness: John Emerson
At a county court helt for Green County the 14 day of Nov. 1793, this indenture was acknowledge by this James Skaggs to be his act and deed and ordered to be recorded. Test: James Allen.

1793 Published in the Kentucky Gazette 1787-1800, p. 82: "Meshack Carter gives public notice that 6 years and 4 months ago his wife, Leah, eloped with James Skaggs, and they are now back  in Nelson County.

1793 Nov. 23 Nelson Co. Deed Book 4, page 882-883: "I do hereby certify that I do forever quit all claim of my wright and title to Masheck Carter as an husband and forever quit all claim to any wright or title of any part of sd. Carter estate either real or personal. given under my hand this 23rd day of November 1793. (signed) Leah Carter. Witness: Atkinson Hill and James Craven.

At the court heald for Nelson Co. on tuesday the 10th of Dec,1793 the within instrument of writing was proved by Atkinson HILL one of the subscribing witnesses & ordered to record we the under named subscribers mutually chosen by Masheck CARTER & Leah his wife that formerly was to settle & determine the dispute that subsisted between them by reason of her elopment with James
SKAGGS from sd. CARTER do give our opinion the parties being 1st sworn to abide by the award given by us which is in the following manner, We award that sd. Leah is no more the wife of sd. CARTER nor to have any claim to any of his estate either real or personal only is given by bond bearing date with this interwement, given under our hands this 23rd day of Nov,1793. (signed) John CARNAHAN,John DAVIS,John CAMERON,James BROWN,Samuel McADAMS,Atkinson HILL.
At the court held for Nelson Co on tuesday the 10th day of Dec,1793. This
award was produced & ordered to be recorded. Teste Ben GRAYSON.
James ran off with his neighbor Leah Carter in 1786 and returned back to Nelson County, Kentucky in 1793 to be divorced.  We lose track of him after 1793.  A James Skaggs who died in St. Louis, Missouri in 1811 is commonly mistaken for James Jr., but instead he was a descendant of his brother, Richard Skaggs.


  1. Am very interested in the parents of William "Brock" Skaggs. I am a descendant of Brock and Nancy Warren (my grandmother was born in the cabin that he built and lived in) but have been unable to identify (with out a doubt) his parents. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Jeffrey A. Bell

    1. The Skaggs DNA project points to the parents of William Brock Skaggs as Henry and Nancy Skaggs. Henry was son of James "Longman" Skaggs, one of the Long Hunter brothers.

  2. In regards to "that 1777 Sep. 6, On p. 60 of Mary B. Kegley's "Militia of Montgomery Co., VA From Capt. Daniel Trigg's Company: James Skeggs [longman]" I now believe that #3 James (Susanna) was the "long man" James. I read a story told by Abraham Moredock Skaggs of how crippled his father James was (walked with a limp), and that during the war he served as Sergeant-of-Foot under General George Washington (at Valley Forge) and having used tree bark to wrap his feet (likely suffered frostbite). This is not the James Jr. of James and Rachel of Montgomery Co., VA. -Donna S

    1. Interesting. There are tax list and militia references to James Sr, James and James (longman). I've always thought James (longman) was the preacher and James was James (Susanna) the Valley Forge veteran.


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