Will the real James Skaggs please stand up? James C. Skaggs


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

James C. Skaggs was a Revolutionary War pensioner from South Carolina who is frequently confused with other James Skaggs from that time period.  He is considered to be an ancestor of the famous Safeway Skaggs family.  The affidavit below the fold for a military pension contains a lot of useful information about James C.’s life, including an interesting statement that “applicant states that he never left his post during all this service unless when in the immediate neighborhood of his father's, when he made a visit of a few days and immediately returned.”  This indicates that James C.’s father lived nearby in Laurens District, South Carolina during the War.  Also, “at the termination of the war he moved to Spartanburg District South Carolina where he lived 10 or 11 years, when he moved to Jefferson County Tennessee, where he lived one-year when he moved to Knox County Tennessee where he has lived ever since and now lives.”


James C. Scaggs, Revolutionary War Pensioner R9628:

State of Tennessee Knox County
On this 7th day of October 1834 personally appeared in open Court at a Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions now sitting for said County James C Skaggs a citizen of said County, aged seventy-one years who being first sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision of an act of Congress passed on the 7th of June 1832. That he was born in Lawrence District [Laurens District] South Carolina some time as well as he recollects in the year 1763 where he continued to live up to the time of the Revolutionary war, and during its whole continuance – that at the termination of the war he moved to Spartanburg District South Carolina where he lived 10 or 11 years, when he moved to Jefferson County Tennessee, where he lived one-year when he moved to Knox County Tennessee where he has lived ever since and now lives. He states that sometime in the latter part of the year 1780 as well as he now recollects he entered as a volunteer into the Army of the America in Laurens District South Carolina and was enrolled in a company of horse that after his said enrollment John Roebuck was elected Captain of said company and applicant was elected Lieutenant – that this company was attached to a Regiment of horse under the command of Colonel Benjamin Roebuck – that he has no recollection of the particular time for which they volunteered, nor does he believe there was any specified time, but that they volunteered to do duty when and where and for as long a time as their services might be needed to assist their country – he states as his impression that his Regiment was under the supreme command of General Pickens and that his first marches were to Augusta, Ninety Six and through the intervening Country, in which service he continued until sometime in the winter after joining a portion of the Continental Army under General Morgan, they encountered the British Army at a place called the Cowpens and defeated them – after the battle applicant with his Regiment, together with Morgan's Corps, took the prisoners and marched with great haste up the Catawba River which they crossed, and marched on through North Carolina and he thinks some distance into Virginia, where they were met by the Virginia troops who took charge of the prisoners – and applicant and his Regiment returned to the Haw River and towards Guilford North Carolina when they marched and counter marched until the battle of Guilford – after this battle applicant with his Regiment marched with the main Army under General Greene down upon Deep River and towards a place called Cross Creek – here there was a division of the Army and applicant marched with a portion of the Army back to South Carolina. Sometime in the spring or early part of summer his Regiment under the command of General Sumter demanded and received the surrender of Orangeburg – a short time afterwards his Regiment again under the command of General Pickens made an attack upon Ninety Six but in consequence of the British receiving a large reinforcement they were unable to take it – after abandoning this enterprise applicant and his Regiment scouted about through the Country where ever their superior officers or the calls of their country required them until in the latter part of the summer they marched again to the main Army under General Greene which they joined shortly after the battle of the Eutaw Springs, and were pretty shortly thereafter ordered with a portion of the Army across the Savannah River to recapture some post in Georgia in which service they were employed until early in the winter when they were discharged and went home. Applicant states that he never left his post during all this service unless when in the immediate neighborhood of his father's, when he made a visit of a few days and immediately returned – and he states that he was in the above service at least one whole year – applicant states that at some time after this campaign so he now believes he went out under his said officers and was in an engagement at Kettle Creek and also in one at Wasmasaw [Waxhaws?] – He does not now recollect whether these engagements were both in the same campaign or not – he was also in various short excursions the time of which and the places have been forgotten – he feels confident however that the first campaign above mentioned amounted to one whole years service and his other different campaigns to one year more, making in all two years as a Lieutenant, for which he claims a pension – he states he never received a written commission but acted as Lieutenant – he states that from the long time which has elapsed he cannot state with more particularity than he has done, the various circumstances of his service – he states that he has no record of his age but believes from the information of his parents he has stated his age correctly – he states that there is no clergyman residing in his neighborhood – he states that he was with the Continental troops at various places, under Generals Greene & Morgan but he never was particularly attached to any body of regulars he states that the individuals to whom he is known in his neighborhood who can testify as to his veracity and his reputation for having performed military services in the Revolutionary war our Wiatt Warwick, Henry Graves & Solomon Skaggs and others he states that he does not believe he received a written discharge for any of his services – if he ever did he has lost it – he states that he has no documentary evidence whatever of his services nor does he know of any person whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his services – he hereby relinquishes every claim to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.
Sworn to & subscribed in open Court this 7th of October 1834.
S/ Geo. W. White, Clerk
S/ James Skaggs

[fn p. 9: On August 18, 1852 in Knox County Tennessee, Freeman Skaggs, 35, filed a claim for the arrearages of pension due his father James Skaggs who was a soldier of the revolution from the state of South Carolina; he states that his father died December 12, 1838 leaving the following named children his only heirs at law: Solomon Skaggs, Moses Skaggs, Charles Skaggs, Gideon Skaggs, Melinda Popejoy; Ursula Hill, Martha Graves, Charlotte Rutherford and affiant. He states that his father never received any portion of the pension money due him. He states that his mother the widow of James Skaggs died August 1, 1848.

The 1790 census below finds James C. living near a Charles and in the same general area as a Samuel in Spartanburg County, South Carolina:

1790 Census
Spartanburg County, South Carolina
 
SPARTANBURG, 96 District, SC   1. Free Males Over 16 Years.
1790 CENSUS INDEX              2. Free Males Under 16 Years.
INDEX By LAST NAME             3. Free White Females.
Revised:  9/29/95              4. Other Free Persons.
                               5. Slaves
Page    Col.   Ln.                             1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
087    3  33 SEAGES          James             1  0  1  0  0
087    3  41 SAGES           Charles           3  2  1  0  0
090    1   8 STAGS           Samuel            1  0  2  0  0
 
No SEAGES, SAGES or STAGS persons in 1800 Spartanburg census, only Christopher Skaggs who moved there from Bedford County, Virginia between 1790 and 1800.  The following is speculation: if James SEAGES was really James C. Scaggs the Revolutionary War pensioner and he was a son of Charles Scaggs, not SAGES, and nephew of Samuel Scaggs, not STAGS, then he probably was also nephew of the James Scaggs who married Susanna Moredock and grandson of the Charles Scaggs who died in Frederick County, Maryland in 1749.  The great Skaggs researcher Ida Lancaster found evidence to point to where this James C. Scaggs belongs in the family tree:

Several years ago the Mormon Church had a Mr. Pratt do research on the James C. Line. The following is some of that info. From a seventy-one year old memory, James Skaggs recollected that he first moved to Jefferson Co. around 1795 and a year later to Knox Co. The deeds of Tenn. reveal that James Skaggs actually bought land in Hawkins Co. from Thomas Flippan in 1792. Jefferson Co. was formed that same year out of Green and Hawkins Co. It is probable that James Skaggs spent the rest of his life in Racoon Valley on the North fork of Bullrun Creek just to the northeast of Maynardville in present day Union Co., which was formed out of Knox Co. in 1850. 
Between 1792-1825, James Skaggs bought around 3,000 acres of land of which 1,150 acres he afterward sold. His lands ranged northward two or three miles from the foot of Comb Ridge to the mouth of Cave Spring on the Clinch River, including farming acreage in Raccoon Valley and Little Valley. Most of his expansion in land purchases occurred between 1792-98. He was force to sell back almost half of his acreage in 1794 to the original seller, Joseph Beaird for 1000 pounds. This may have been out of a need for short term capital as he repurchased 400 of the 550 acres involved from the same man the next year. Skaggs sold another 300 acres in 1797 for $1,000 but half of his property was deeded over to a probable close relative, Thomas Skaggs.
In 1798, he bought 680 more acres from Beaird, including 200 acres on Flat Creek. Probably a further need for cash necessitated the sale of 73 acres for $146 dollars in 1799. The 170 acres at the foot of Comb Ridge bought in 1805 came from what appears to be another close relative, Charles Skaggs Sr. and were sold off in 1825 to yet another relative Eli Skaggs, Finally, he deeded 50 acres on Bullrun Creek to his son Solomon, in 1818 for $100.
Of the three probable close relatives, Eli Skaggs bought 700 acres on Bullrun Creek, 965 acres on Flat Creek, and 200 acres on Chestnut Ridge bordering the Clinch River between 1793-1812. In 1816 Eli deeded 150 acres on Bullrun Creek to his son James, out of affection only. Since James C. Skaggs did not have a son by the same name, the James Skaggs, Jr. in the 1830 census probably refers to Eli's son and possible nephew of James Skaggs (the James Skaggs Sr. listed in the census).  Charles Skaggs Sr. bought 640 acres from Beiard in 1793. Most of this land was apparently sold between 1805-8, including 250 acres on Bullrun Creek. The recipient of 160 acres in Sugar Camp survey was Charles Skaggs Jr. Neither Charles is mentioned in the 1830 census The only mention of Thomas Skaggs occurs in 1797 when he purchased 150 acres on Bullrun Creek, where he was already dwelling, from the 640 acres tract originally sold to James Skaggs in 1793. 
So it appears that James C. Skaggs lived near and traded land with other probable close relatives Eli Skaggs, Charles Skaggs Sr., Charles Skaggs Jr. and Thomas Skaggs.  All these relatives except Eli were apparently involved in the illegal Sims Settlement on Indian land in the Mississippi Territory.  Both James C. and Eli died in Knox County, Tennessee in the 1830s. Based on all this evidence, I'm fairly confident that James C. was the son of either James and Susanna Skaggs, Charles Skaggs Sr. or the elusive Samuel Skaggs.  I know many of the Tennessee Skaggs believe he was son of James and Susanna, and the subsequent use of the Moredock name in descendants seems to point in that direction. However, I currently lean toward Charles Skaggs Sr. as James C.'s father based on the 1790 census with both James C. and Charles in Spartanburg and with James and Susanna shown to have been in Virginia prior to and after the Revolution based on deeds in Halifax and Montgomery counties.  I just don't think it's likely James and Susanna could have been on a deed in Halifax, Virginia in 1766, then witnessing the transfer of land to James the Longhunter in the New River area in 1769, back to South Carolina for the war (since James C. said he took leave when he was near his father's place during the war) and then back to New River after the war before moving to Tennessee.  It seems more likely to me that Charles Sr. moved to South Carolina during the French and Indian War, stayed there through the Revolution then moved to Tennessee and that James C. was Charles Sr.'s son.  But this is just connecting the few dots we currently have...James C. could also be the son of the elusive Samuel Skaggs, brother of Charles Sr., identified in the Pryor Lee Skaggs biography.  We just don't have enough information at this time to make a decision.



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