Contributed by Barbara Eades
Sarah Keith's Marriage License
Page 385 starts Cornelius Keith and his descendants. I will quote from this page:
"Not withstanding the several differing accounts that have circulated, with regard to this family's origins, it is presently and generally believed to originate, on this continent with the arrival of a Cornelius Keith who was born ca. 1695, Loch Lamond, Scotland. Cornelius is named, along with William BYRD, Captain James TERRY and John KENDRO, in a land grant of 1721, County of New Kent, VA. He was living in Brunswick County as early as 1725, and there is a 1728 account of Cornelius Keith living on the Roanoke River, with a wife and six children (recorded in the Journal of William Byrd). This is believed to be the same Cornelius Keith who gave oath, in 1739, that it had been 30 years since his importation (supposedly by Clement READE). Also in 1737, Cornelius was granted license to operate a ferry crossing on the Roanoke River, from his own landing. His land there was sold in 1742."
"The name of Cornelius Keith is shown in early land records of Johnston (1759-1766), Surry and Graville (1760-1769) Counties of NC, and in Grayson, Henry (1778-1783), Brunswick and Boetetort Counties, VA, and in Darlington County, SC, but which Cornelius may have been involved in each of these transactions is not easy to determine. It is probable that several grandchildren bore the name of Cornelius Keith, and that some of these men took the name to various places where it is recorded."
"The elder Cornelius (b. ca 1695) m. Elizabeth JOHNSTON in Scotland. Cornelius (b. 1715), John (b. 24 Dec 1724), and Samuel (b. 13 Dec 1725) are generally believed to be sons of the immigrant Cornelius Keith. There were other children. Some researches accept that a James Keith was also among the issue of Cornelius Keith. The only family line that is reliably identified and recorded is that of the following son of the immigrant Cornelius:"
(b. 1715 Scotland) m. 1st to Judah
m 2nd to Mary [some say Sarah] BOHANNON
of Rockingham, NC; from VA, removed to NC, and later to Pendleton District,
SC ca 1790, where he died in 1808; along with several
indulged in extensive land speculations during the 1790s in Lincoln and
Oglethorpe Counties of Georgia; two children by first marriage.
In the book are named
11 (eleven) children of Cornelius & Mary LaFoone viz:
Cornelius Keith – Mary Lafoone (there are many discrepancies on this spelling)
Cornelius Keith Junior's will was written on May 19, 1820, only a month before his death. but it was not signed or "marked" and it was not filed until June 5, 1851, and is recorded more than three decades after his death as follows:
In the name of God Amen. I Cornelius Keith of Pickens District being
sick in body but of sound mind and memory and knowing that it is appointed
unto man to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament--and
first I recommend my soul unto the hands of God that gave it to me and
body to be buried by my Executors and as for my worldly Estate that it
hath pleased God to give me. I dispose of as follows to wit.
Book “A” Wills 1837 – 1867
and Wills recorded in Minute Book – Misc. “A” 1819 – 1837 Hall County,
Abstract of will of George
Keith recorded pages 8-11
Executors: sons, Makey A. Keith, Matthew Keith, John W. Keith, and Robert B. Mcclure.
George Keith Sr.
Witt: J. E. Rives
Probated: 7th Sep 1840
Hall County Georgia
Will of George Keith
I will and bequeath to beloved wife: Elizabeth – seven negroes deed to wife by her father Nathaniel Smith and during her life or widowhood my home plantation lying on Yellow Creek and Chestatee River, 883 A. more or less, also a sufficient amount of stock, farming tools and perishables, etc., Other property to be sold to best advantage, money to draw interest for support and education of children, who are to receive an elementary education. If they wish higher education it is to be charged to them out of the estate. At death or remarriage of wife, all property to be sold except negroes deeded to her and equally divided among children as they reach age 21.
Executors: Friends, William A. Smith, Hall Co., Joseph W. Logan, Dawson Co., and beloved wife Elizabeth Keith.
Witt: W.O. Smith, J.I. Pirkle, Peter Robinson, J.E. Redwine,
[p.209] Mrs. Flora
The National Society of
the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 67
Elizabeth KEITH was born on 19 Sep 1832 in Georgia. She died on 5 Sep 1901. She was buried in South Bend Methodist Church, Hall County. There is no marker on Elizabeth's grave.
There is an interesting story to be reconstructed from the dates in the lives of Elizabeth Keith and Davis Whelchel. When they were married, she was 24 and he was 70 and had been a widower for exactly two years and one day. He had seven children with his first wife, all born before Elizabeth and at least three still living at the time of their marriage. Together they had three more children, the last one two months after Davis's death.
This intergenerational marriage causes quite a kink in the family tree since their daughter Jo married Davis's niece's son Aaron Pass. To further complicate things, Elizabeth's second husband--who was only nine years older--was Aaron's uncle William Pass.
She was married to Davis WHELCHEL (son of Francis, Jr. WHELCHEL and Judith (or Judah) DAVIS) on 2 Jun 1857 in Hall County, Georgia. Davis WHELCHEL was born on 14 Dec 1786 in South Carolina. He died on 4 May 1863. Davis moved to Georgia between the birth of his sons Francis Marion in 1822 and Valentine in 1825. He received land in Paulding County in the Gold Lottery of 1832. He was in the state House of Representatives for Hall County in 1837.
William PASS was born in 1823 in Tennessee. She was married to William PASS (son of Thomas PASS and Sara (Sally) ELLIOTT) on 8 Nov 1865. William PASS was born in 1823 in Tennessee. He had no children. In 1850 he lived with John Whelchel's family, presumably working on their farm. He was Jo Whelchel's step-father and her husband Aaron's uncle. He apparently died before 1900.
Rachael Josephine (Jo) WHELCHEL was born on 8 Nov 1858. She died on 3 Apr 1905. She was buried in Whelchel (Indian Mound) Cemetery, later South Bend Methodist Church. Jo was disinterred by the Army Corps of Engineers and reburiedduring the building of Lake Lanier.
She was married to Aaron Warren PASS (son of Thomas Holloway PASS and Sara A. (Sallie) WHELCHEL) on 26 Aug 1875 in Hall County, Georgia. Aaron Warren PASS was born on 25 Oct 1850 in Hall County, Georgia. He died on 30 Nov 1912. He was buried in Whelchel family cemetery, later South Bend Methodist Church, Hall County. Aaron was a farmer and owned a grist mill. According to John Pass, his land would have been very valuable, but his son and executor Carl broke the property up and gave it to relatives.