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Adam Mitchell




429. Adam Mitchell (Married Mary ___ (#430))


Born: ? of Unknown Father (#857) and Unknown Mother (#858)

Died: before 1773 (Source: History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N.C. by Rev. S. M. Rankin. Page 122 states, "He died before the first sessional minute of 1773.") Adam is buried at Buffalo Presbyterian Church Cemetery. (Source: Page 76 of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Cemetery Greensboro, North Carolina compiled by Raymond Dafau Donnell, copyright 1994, lists Adam as being one of the people buried in the cemetery for which a grave marker no longer exists. Page 71 of this document states, "Specific sites are no longer known. Burials were in the center section, at the old section of the cemetery. Determination of those listed is based in part on church activity; records of Rev. Samuel Meek Rankin and William Calvin Rankin, researchers, now at the Southern Historical Collection at Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill, NC, located in file 3717. Record searches of the compiler; Buffalo Presbyterian and Bethel Presbyterian Church session records of Elders; knowledge of senior Buffalo Church members, as expressed to members of the cemetery committee, and family tradition as made known.")

[His siblings, included:

Robert Mitchell: (Married Margaret _____.) Born: ? Died: ? (Moved to Tenessee after the War. He had grant near Guilford Battle Ground) (This information, researched by Russell Leach (#3) is confirmed: History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N.C. by Rev. S. M. Rankin p. 26 states that "Robert Mitchell, a brother of Adam, secured his grant near the Guilford Battle Ground. His wife was Margaret, and their children were Adam, Mary, Rebecca, Jean and Henry. All this family moved to Tennessee after the War."]



Adam was probably in the Revolutionary War. He was a trader in land before the War. He secured his grant on North Buffalo Creek. The Church is on part of it now. Two years after Buffalo Colony formed in North Carolina, the first recorded preaching service was held on August 31, 1755 at the home of Adam Mitchell. Listed in the 1790 census, Adam had 5 slaves. [Note: Although Russell Leach (#3) stated that Adam was probably in the Revolutionary War, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N.C. by Rev. S. M. Rankin, page 122 stated that Adam died before 1773. The 1790 census does not list the names of individuals other than the head of the house, so it is uncertain which Adam Mitchell was in this census, but it was not Adam Mitchell (#429) if he died prior to 1773].

Adam was a member of the Nottingham Colony. The following is quoted from History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N.C. by Rev. S. M. Rankin pgs 14 & 15 about the Nottingham Colony :

"This community was first settled by members of the Nottingham Colony, a company organized and formed in the bounds of the old Nottingham Presbyterian Church at Rising Sun, Md. That church was in Lancaster County, Pa., when our ancestors left there, and until the line between Maryland and Pennsylvania was changed in 1767.

The Nottingham Company sent out agents and had surveyed and secured rights from Earl Granville to thirty-three plots or sections of six hundred and forty acres to the section, ‘lying and being on the waters of North Buffalo and Reedy Fork Creeks.’ That this company could secure so large a tract of land, 21,120 acres, in a body shows there were no settlers in this community before this colony came. The fact that there were thirty-three plots laid out for the company would suggest that there were thirty-three families in the company, and there may have been. However, all did not take their plots, and others secured more than one plot. Others, who were perhaps members of the company and not prepared to come with the colony, came a little later and located on their sections in the bounds of the colony. There must have been about nineteen families in the company that actually located here.

Earl Granville did not sell the land outright to them, but retained an interest in it. The contract was more like a perpetual lease. They paid only a nominal sum to bind the trade, and after that they were to pay an annual rent of three shillings per hundred acres; and they were required to make improvements on the land. The rent was to be paid in two equal semi-annual installments, one ‘on the day of the feast of the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,‘ and the other ‘on the day of the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.’ These days must have been in the spring and fall, for other deeds called for the payment on the 25th of March and the 29th of September. All the deeds did not have the rent and other conditions specified, but they must have been in the first contract, which is not on record, and well understood, for in no case was the cash payment more than a few shillings. Some of the grants specified that ‘if the rent is unpaid and behind six months, then the contract is void and of none effect.’ Other grants specified that the owners were to have ‘the privilege of hunting, hawking, fishing and fowling.’

The exact date of the coming of this colony cannot now be established. Dr. Caruthers relates that about the time Dr. Caldwell began to study for the ministry, or soon thereafter, this company was being organized and making arrangements to come to North Carolina, and that they made a tentative agreement with him that when he obtained license to preach he would come and be their pastor. This does not fix the exact date of their coming. Dr. Caldwell decided to study for the ministry in the latter part of 1750. It may have been 1751 when this agreement was made. They may have come here in 1752 and failed to get their grants of land until 1753. However, all things considered, it appears to the writer that they did not come until the summer of 1753. The deeds are all dated December, 1753. After they had decided to come and the company organized it would have required some time for them to collect all the necessary equipment and provisions to set up housekeeping and to begin farming in a wilderness.

Some came bringing large families with them, others were newly married couples seeking to establish new homes in a new place, and some were young men trying to find a suitable location before getting married. Some were the children of the first settlers in Pennsylvania, and some were new immigrants from ireland who were not permitted to buy land in Pennsylvania. "

Page 22 lists the members of the Nottingham Colony: “James Barr, Thomas Beals, George Black, John Blair, John Cummings, John Cunningham (#213), Robert Donnell [probably Robert Donnell #209's uncle],Thomas Donnell [probably Robert Donnell #209's uncle], Hugh Foster, John McClintock [possibly #212's father], James McQuiston, Robert McQuiston, Thomas McQuiston, Adam Mitchell (#429), Robert Mitchell (#429's brother), John Nicks, Robert Rankin, Samuel Scott and Andrew Wilson.”

Page 19 states, "The first preaching service in this community, of which we have any record, was by Rev. Hugh McAden, a missionary sent out from Pennsylvania, and it was on August 21, 1755 at the home of Adam Mitchell, near where the church now stands."

Page 122 states:
“There are no records in existence from the organization [of the Buffalo Church] in 1756 to 1773. At a meeting of the session in 1773 John Anderson, John Chambers, William Gowdy and Alexander McKnight were present. From information obtained from other sources we add the names of Adam Mitchell, George Rankin and Robert Rankin as having served [as ruling elders] before 1773.

Adam Mitchell settled here in 1753. he lived just west of the church. Rev. J. C. Alexander wrote a short sketch of the church and gave tradition as the authority that Adam Mitchell was a ruling elder. There is additional evidence. When Rev. Hugh McAden was sent out as a missionary from Pennsylvania in 1755, to visit the frontier, he stopped at Adam Mitchell’s, and preached at his home on the Sabbath, and again on the following Tuesday. This would indicate that Adam Mitchell was one of the most active religious leaders of the settlement. Furthermore, the church was built on his land several years before the deed was made for the church lot. When the church was organized the next year after the visit of Mr. McAden it is natural to suppose that Adam Mitchell would have been elected one of the first elders. He died before the first sessional minute of 1773. For many years his descendants were active workers in the church, and some of them down to the seventh generation are still with us.”

Page 26 states:
“Adam Mitchell secured his grant on the North Buffalo. The church is located on a part of his grant. His wife was Mary, and their children, so far as their names appear on any record were John, Adam, Jr. (#215), and Jennet. John’s name does not appear on any record after the War; Jennet married her first cousin, Adam Mitchell, son of Robert; Adam, Jr. married Agnes, and their children were Samuel (1771-1851), John (1773-1841), Adam (1776-1841), Mary and Charlotte. Of the children of Adam Mitchell, Jr. (#215), Samuel married Margaret, daughter of John McMurray, Sr, in 1795; Adam married first Isabella Gwyn, and second Elizabeth Allen; Mary (#108) married first John McMurray, Jr., and second John Cunningham, Jr. (#107); Charlotte married first Robert Ervin [brother of Mary Ervin (#106 )] and second Latham Donnell; John never married.”

Page 95 states:
“The first plot of church land was bought October 16, 1768, from Adam Mitchell for twenty shillings. The deed was made to John McKnight and William Anderson, trustees, and it is on record in Rowan County. The deed reads, ‘One acre of land for the use of a Presbyterian meeting house to those that are members of the Snyod of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, and the New York Synod, and to that use forever. Beginning at a stake on the William Anderson’s line, thence running 16 perches west to a stake, thence south 10 perches to a stake, thence east 16 perches to said Anderson’s line, thence north along his line 10 perches to the beginning, including the meeting house and study house.’ Thomas Donnell and John Mitchell were the witnesses. The east end of this plot was between the present building and the east gate, the north side was where the rock wall stands, the west end was near where the new rock wall stands, and the south side was near the present second walk in the rear of the present building.”

Page 20 states:
"'To the Worshipful Court of Rowan:
The Petition of your petitioners showeth,
That we the inhabitants of a congregation known by the name of North Buffalow and living on the waters of Reedy Fork, of North and South Buffalow, do certify to the Worshipful Court that we intend to make use of a house on a piece of land purchased from Adam Mitchell, Senior, as a place of public worship according to the practice of Protestant dissenters of the Presbyterian denomination, and desire it may be entered in the records of the Court, according to the Act of Parliament in that behalf made, and your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray.

Signed by a number of persons.

“The above petition was read in open court, and ordered to be recorded, which petition was granted.”


In Guilford County, North Carolina Land Grants 1778-1934, by Elizabeth "Pat" Shaw Bailey, 2001, Adam Mitchell's name is listed three times; but, it is unknown whether these listings are for this Adam Mitchell Sr., his son, or his nephew (son of Robert). Page 50 states that Adam Mitchell was granted 107 acres (Entry date: 1 Dec. 1778) Location: "waters Hunting Creek." Page 59 states James Ross was granted 100 acres (Entry date: 26 Aug. 1778) Location: "waters Horsepen Creek - Adam Mitchell - Thomas White." Page 59 James Ross was granted 100 acres (Entry date: 2 Aug. 1785) Location: "waters Horsepen Creek - Isaac White- Adam Mitchell." [Note: If Adam Mitchell (#429) died prior to 1773, as stated on page 122 in History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N.C. by Rev. S. M. Rankin..."He died before the first sessional minute of 1773."... then none of these listings can be for Adam Mitchell #429].


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