About Lafford French, Sr.
Researched by M Hollis Hutchinson (email@example.com):
MISSING BIBLE: The Lafford French Bible is MIA - I have a typewritten not e from Mable Berry Clark to my grandmother, Carrie Berry Foster, in whic h Mable, referring to the Lafford French Bible, says, "This Bible sent m e by Mrs. Alta A. Tarango, San Pedro, California. She is a descendant fro m Mary, 1st child of Lafford - " The note must have been written before 1 973, which is when "James Lewis French" by Wilna Powell Sawyer, was publi shed. Does anyone know Mrs. Tarango or her descendants? If so, please con tact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or ask them to do so. Many thanks in adva nce for any and all help gratefully received. Genealassie
BIRTH: Born in 1753 in NJ (Rev War pension records) Full date from Frenc h family Bible [via the James Lewis French book - see above comment on th e missing Bible]. Name from SC court records. (see below)
PARENTAGE: That Lafford is the child of Joseph French of Raritan Landing , NJ and his wife, Hannah Horn French, is alleged by Mable Berry Clark' s manuscript notes which state that the list of Joseph and Hannah French' s children is in Vol 22, NJ Historical Society, p. 143. [From "James Lewi s French" by Wilna Powell Sawyer.]
NOTE - A search of the NJ Archives holdings in June 2007 did not discove r this record.
The name "Leffert" is Dutch and appears to come from this man's alleged a unt's line. Joseph French (who married Hannah Horn) had an older brothe r named William who married a Dutch girl named Annetje Sebring. Her mothe r was named Aeltje Leffertse, which means "Leffert's daughter. "
Lafford's real name was "Leffert" - July Session 1798 (Spartanburg Distri ct SC court records) - "Petit Jurors drawn for next court...Leffert Frenc h...."
The court record supports the theory that "Lafford" is a corruption of "L effert." The name has been spelled "Lafford," "Lifford," "Leaford," "Zoph ard," and in other ways.
SIBLINGS: William, Joseph, and Simon French are all named in the Rev Wa r pension application records numerous times and are always referred to a s Lafford French's brothers. Simon is presumed to be named for Simon Horn . Joseph is presumed to be named for Joseph French, Sr. and William is pr esumed to be named for William French, brother of Joseph French, Sr. of R aritan Landing. [See the discussion of Joseph of Raritan Landing's identi fication with Joseph, Sr. of Spartanburg, S.C. in the Joseph French, Sr . file.]
One of Lafford's sons, John [from the second marriage], testified (in sup port of a Rev War Widow's Pension for his mother) that he often heard hi s father, Lafford French, speak of his [the father's] three brothers, Wil liam French, Joseph French, and Simon French, who also served with him th roughout the War, but that they had moved off (as he had been informed) t o the state of Kentucky.
POSSIBLE RELATIVES: 1. Michael French - 1) lives in the same county, 2) has a son named Natha n, who has a son named "Lefford"; and who served in the same Rev War regi ment (Roebuck's) as Lafford and his three known brothers - Col. Benjami n Roebuck's Reg. of S.C. Militia [per Rev War records]. Lafford does no t use the name "Michael", nor do his descendants, so the presumption is t hat Michael was not a family name.
2. James French - Lafford named his third son "James Lewis" French (thoug h there are sources for the name "James" in the distaff lines). The conte mporary James French lived in Edgefield Co., SC (1800 census) and moved t o Elizabethtown, Hardin Co., KY (1810 census). Simon and Jospeh French (L afford's brothers) both move to KY after the Rev War.
3. John French - Three of the four French brothers - Lafford, Simon, an d William - named a son "John" French. The current best theory is that La fford and his three brothers all shared a father, grandfather, or other r elative who was named "John."
MARRIAGE: First wife - The name of Lafford's first wife is unknown. The y would have been married about 1779, after the French family moved to SC . Joseph French appears in land records in SC in 1773 and the presumptio n is that his son, Lafford [who would have been 19 or 20 yrs old in 1773] , was with him at that time.
Sampson Stewart book, p. 190, says Lafford's first wife was Hester Feamst er, but the James Lewis French book, p. 12, says her name is unknown. The re is a marriage between "Heaster Adelaide Feamster" and "William Laffor d French" in AL on 17 Feb 1877 so perhaps this is the source of the confu sion.
It is possible that the first wife was a sister to Hugh Moore, who marrie d Lafford's sister, Sarah. (Mable Berry Clark's theory) The Hugh Moore li ne is Scots and, if the Moses French ancestry letter is to be believed, s o is this French line. The Scots immigrants tended to intermarry and mov e together.
Hugh Moore had a sister named Jane and the name "Jane" appears in severa l branches of Lafford's line in the two generations immediately following . Also, there is a third marriage between these two families. Hugh's brot her William Moore married Mary French, another of Lafford's sisters. To a dd to that, William, the son of William of Raritan Landing, named a son " Hugh."
Lafford's first wife died between Feb 1802 and Jan 1805. Lafford married , second, Elizabeth Gregory (who was 22 years old -- he was 53) in 1805 . (From her Rev War Widow's pension application papers.) At about the sam e time, the boys from the first marriage left home and went to live wit h their uncles in Kentucky.
CHILDREN: By unknown first wife - All of the (first wife) children's birt h dates are from the Lafford French family Bible which Mable Berry Clar k used for the DAR application (Nat # 440352). There is a note among Mabl e Berry Clark's transcriptions, "This Bible sent me by Mrs. Alta A. Taran go, San Pedro, CA. She is a descendant from Mary, 1st child of Lafford."
[Does anyone know where this Bible is now? The national DAR library doe s NOT have it.]
Lafford's four daughters by his first wife are named Mary, Sarah, Ruth an d Elizabeth. Sarah Olden is Lafford's maternal grandmother. Lafford's all eged paternal grandmother was named Mary Bonamy. The names "Elizabeth," " Mary," and "Sarah" also appear in the family of James French + Mary Bonam y, the possible parents of William, the brother of Joseph (who marrid Han nah Horn) French. Lafford apparently did not want to use his mother's nam e (Hannah). Elizabeth may also have been named for Elizabeth Giles, Hanna h Horn's grandmother. Perhaps "Ruth" comes from the unknown first wif e - either her name or a name from her side of the family.
The boys are named William A. (Lafford had a brother named William); Jose ph (presumably after Lafford's father or brother); James Lewis (James ma y have come from the Bonamy family or from Major James Giles); Lewis is u ntraced; Moses (untraced, but interesting in light of the letter aobut be ing Scots); and Lafford, Jr.
By Elizabeth Gregory - List from the DAR records for Mable Berry Clark an d refer back to the Lafford French family Bible. The boys are John, Thoma s, and Berry; the girls are Jane and Margaret. None of these names belon g to Elizabeth Gregory's parents, but we don't know much about her family .
One of Hugh Moore's sisters was named "Jane." See discussion above abou t unknown first wife.
John French gave a deposition on 21 Sep 1855 (Rev War pension records) an d testified that he was the son of Lafford French and wife, Elizabeth Fre nch.
Elizabeth Gregory French's Rev War Widow's pension application papers cle arly state that there were children - plural - born of her marriage to La fford French.
Born in NJ (per Rev War records). Presumably moved with his father to S C between 1764 (aged 11) and 1773 (aged 20). [The name, Joseph French, f irst appears in the SC land records in 1773.]
Lived on the Pacolett River in Spartanburg District, South Carolina at th e time of his enlistment. 1778/9 (Rev War records)
One Joseph French got land in this region of SC in 1773. [Lafford's fathe r? or brother (who may be old enough - just barely)?]
1811 - 14 Dec 1811 - deed from Lafford French of Spartanburg to William F rench (same); for $250 sold 70 acres on N. side of North Pacolett River ; part of grant of Sept 25, 1766 to George Alexander. Witnesses were Geor ge Wilett & Lemuel Millican. Signed Lafford French. Wit. Oath Jun 16, 181 3 George Wilett to Wm. Kelso. Rec. Jun 16, 1813. Spartanburg Co/Dist., S C Deed Abstracts Books A-T (Pruitt) p. 476; Bk N, p 314
Lafford and Eliz remained in Spartanburg District until around 1824, whe n they moved to the part of Rutherford County, N.C. that is now Polk Coun ty (just over the North Carolina/South Carolina state line), possibly i n the Mills Springs area.
1834 - 24 Jan 1834 - Lafford French deeded a tract of land to John French . French, Lefford / French, John / Deed/39-40/309/1834 (From the RUTHERF ORD COUNTY, NC DEED INDEX; GRANTOR-GRANTEE; 1779-1917 By W. D. Floyd)
"The French family land was located on the north branch of the Pacolet Ri ver near the boundary line of the area then called Rutherford County, Nor th Carolina (area is designated Polk County, North Carolina today). Affid avits found in Lafford's Revolutionary War Pension file state that he con tinued to live in the same neighborhood (on the North Pacolet River) unti l he moved his family to Rutherford County, North Carolina, about 1824. " [Jeanette S. French]
CENSUS: 1790 Spartanburg Co. SC Series M637, Roll 11, Page 32 Zophard French 3-1-4 3 males over 16 (b. bef 1774) should be one 1 male under 16 (b. 1774-1790) should be three 4 females
THEORY - the census taker was tired or dyslexic and wrote the numbers dow n in the wrong slots.
[On the same page - Alexander Copeland and James Gilmore, Sr. and Jr.]
1800 Spartanburg Co., SC Series M32, Roll 50, Page 179 Lafford French 12101 // 30011 1 male under 10 (b. 1790-1800) moses 2 males 10-16 (b. 1784-1790) joseph, jas 1 male 16-26 (b. 1774-1784) wm 1 male over 45 (b. bef. 1755) lafford 3 females under 10 (b. 1790-1800) ruth, sarah, eliz 1 female 26-45 (b. 1755-1774) mary ? 1 female over 45 (b. bef 1755) wife (or mother?)
[Mary French married on 10 Jul 1800]
Next entry Betsey French 21200 // 00110 2 males under 10 (b. 1790-1800) 1 male 10-16 (b. 1784-1790) 2 males 16-26 (b. 1774-1784) 1 female 16-26 (b. 1774-1784) 1 female 26-45 (b. 1755-1774) (herself)
[Editor's Note - I have been unable to identify Betsey French so far. I f you know who she is, please share!]
[And maybe this is the woman Lafford's daughter, Elizabeth, was named for .]
1810 Spartanburg, SC Series M252, Roll 61, Page 303 Leaford French 11001 // 10010 1 male under 10 (b. 1800-1810) lafford, jr. ? john ? 1 male 10-16 (b. 1794-1800) moses ? 1 male over 45 (b. bef 1765) lafford, sr. 1 female under 10 (b. 1800-1810) jane 1 female 26-45 (b. 1765-1784) eliz gregory
[James Berry also on page 303; Alex Copeland on pg 302]
1820 - not found Not in SC (per census, but see 1824 note below) Not in Rutherford Co., NC (per census) Not in the household of James Lewis French. Not in the household of his brother, Simon, in Christian Co., KY.
1824 - Lafford moved from Spartanburg District, SC to Rutherford Co., N C (from his Rev War pension records)
1830 Rutherford Co., NC FRENCH, John M-19 124 539 2nd Regiment FRENCH, LAFFORD M-19 124 539 2nd Regiment
NOTE - Lafford French, Sr. would have been 77 in 1830 so it is unlikely t hat this service record refers to him.
Rutherford Co., North Carolina was created in 1779 from the larger Burke & the old Tryon County. It consisted of all the area west o f the old Mecklenburge Co. and "west" to the present state boundary . In 1778, Lincoln was created from the old Tryon Co. In 1779, part of Rutherford was created from Rowan & Tryon was discon't. In 1791, part of Buncumbe was created from, Burke & Rutherford In 1841, Cleveland was created from part of Lincoln & Rutherford In 1842, McDowell was created from part of Burke & Rutherford. In 1855, Polk was created from part of Henderson & Rutherford.
So anyone could have been recorded in the above Counties without moving!
[Editor's Note - This explains Lafford's widow (Elizabeth Gregory French) 's apparent move "to" Polk Co., NC "from" Rutherford Co., NC
MILITARY: Rev War - Entered the Continental Army from the Spartanburg Dis trict, South Carolina. 1778/1779 Served 5 enlistments of one week to thre e months in duration. he served three months in the company of Capt. Davi d McDowell, which was part of a regiment commanded by Col. Thomas. Follow ing this term, he served 10 days under Col. Thomas, a son of the first me ntioned Col. Thomas, and for about a month in another term during which h e took part in the siege of Augusta under Col. Clark. He also served thre e months under Capt. Wm. Wood and for a period of a week or several day s at a time in a company of militia commanded by Capt. James McFadden. Ca rolina Rev War Soldiers Nat. No. 336354
Lafford French entered the South Carolina Militia as a horseman and scou t from Spartanburg District under the command of Colonel John Thomas, Sr . and Captain David McDowell in 1778 or 1779. He also served under Colone l John Thomas, Jr., son of John Thomas, Sr., marching from York District , S.C. to Musgrove Mill on the Enoree River, where they were met by Colon el Clarke and Colonel Shelby for that battle. Then they went to a rendezv ous at Mountain Creek in Rutherford County, N.C. to await the return of C olonel Clarke who had taken the prisoners captured at Musgrove Mill to Sa lisbury, N.C. Lafford served in a company of Rutherford Militia commande d by Captain James McFadden in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians .
Rev. War Records of Lafford names brothers William, Joseph, and Simon wh o all served in Col. [Benjamin] Roebuck's Reg. of S.C. Militia, living Pe ndleton Dist, S.C.
In her Widow's Pension application, Elizabeth Gregory French applied to h ave the amount she was receiving increased and based her request on an in accuracy in Lafford's pension application. She argued that he was mentall y incompetenet at the time he made his declaration and that he forgot t o include his service in Roebuck's Regiment, but that he was there, too.
Rev War records show that Sergt. Joseph French, Lifford French, Simon Fre nch, William French, and Michael French all served in Roebuck's Regiment.
PENSION RECORDS: Lafford French applied for a pension on 19 Oct 1832 fro m Rutherford Co., NC. Lafford named John Granway, John Moore and John Mil ls as persons who lived in his present neighborhood and knew of his milit ary service when he applied for his federal pension on 19 October 1832. W hen Elizabeth Gregory French was applying for her widow's pension, on 4 N ovember 1854 in Spartanburg District (she was still a resident of Rutherf ord County, N.C.), she stated that there were children by her marriage t o French and that she had a son living in Spartanburg.
10 Sep 1855 - Charles [A.] Copeland, aged about 70 in 1855 deposed - tha t he was well acquainted with Lafford French and his widow, Elizabeth Fre nch (now applicant for increase of pension)... often heard L. French spea k of his service and, "Lafford French waited on deponent's father when h e was married to Rebecca Gelmore who afterwards, as the widow of Alx. Cop eland, drew a pension from the United States, and that he never knew an y other Lafford French ..." John Bingham brought the money due his fathe r for services in the Revolutionary War from Charleston, this he has hear d from both his father and mother - "Deponent knew Simon French, the brot her of Lafford ... he knows that his father, Alx. Copeland, and Lafford F rench, and his brothers lived near each other on [the] Pacolett River i n Spartanburg Dist. S.C. for many years and he has no doubt that his fath er and Lafford French served together in the War of the Revolution and th at the said John Bingham moved to the west and has since deceased. ... th is 10 Sept 1855. G. Cannon, Notary Public. Signed Charles Copeland
21 Sep 1855 - John French testified that he was the son of Lafford Frenc h and wife, Elizabeth French. "He further states that he has often hear d his father speak of his three brothers, William French, Joseph French , and Simon French, who also served with him throughout the War, but tha t they had moved off (as he had been informed) to the state of Kentucky a nd he supposes that they are all dead. Deponent has heard his father, Laf ford French, say that a man by the name of John Bingham paid him his mone y for his devises in the Revolution ... that his mother, Elizabeth French , is still living and very poor. Sworn to and subscribed before me me [si c] this 21st day of Sept 1855." Test W. C. Cannon. Signed John French (hi s mark)
John French further testified that Lafford was confined to his bed for so me 2-3 years prior to his death and was afflicted in both body and mind , so much so that he didn't recognize his near neighbors.
DIED: 11 Sep 1834 in Rutherford Co., NC (From - Widow Elizabeth Gregory F rench's pension application.)
BURIAL: Rutherford Co., NC - grave not located
DNA: There is a 36/37 (and in another test line 37/37) genetic match betw een a descendant of this Lafford French and the line of John French, bric klayer, of Woodbridge, NJ.
There is a 35/37 DNA match between a descendant of this Lafford French an d Moses French of Sussex Co., NJ. Moses is of Scotch-Irish extraction. On e of this Lafford's sons (and at least one of his grandsons) is named Mos es so there may be a connection.
Lafford French Rev War Pension 1832 Age 80 Signature of Lafford French on his Rev War pension papers, 1832, age 80 Lefford French signature in 1783, age 30 Lefford French appraised a colt and mare that Joseph French, Jr. lost during the Rev War. Date on the SC document is 7 June 1783. William Wood, J.P. Other signatories - Joseph French, Jr., Wm. McKnight and Capt. Parsons.
Title: James Lewis French; His Ancestors and Descendants Author: Wilna Powell Sawyer Abbrev: Sawyer Publication: Privately printed, 1973 Abbrev: James Lewis French Page: 11 Quality: 2 2.Repository:
Title: James Lewis French; His Ancestors and Descendants Author: Wilna Powell Sawyer Abbrev: Sawyer Publication: Privately printed, 1973 Abbrev: James Lewis French Page: 12 Quality: 2 3.Title: French, Eliz. (Lafford) Rev War Widow's Pension files Abbrev: French, Eliz. (Lafford) Rev War Widow's Pension Quality: 3 4.Repository:
Title: James Lewis French; His Ancestors and Descendants Author: Wilna Powell Sawyer Abbrev: Sawyer Publication: Privately printed, 1973 Abbrev: James Lewis French Page: 12 5.Title: French, Eliz. (Lafford) Rev War Widow's Pension files Abbrev: French, Eliz. (Lafford) Rev War Widow's Pension
-------------------- ID: I17472
Name: LAFFORD FRENCH 1 2 3
Birth: 1753 in RARITAN LANDING, SOMERSET CO., NEW JERSEY 2 4
Death: SEP 1834 in RUTHERFORD CO., NORTH CAROLINA 2
Military Service: REVOLUTIONARY WAR
Event: RANK PRIVATE SOUTH CAROLINA MILITIA
Reference Number: 26503
WHEN LAFFORD MARRIED HIS 2ND WIFE ELIZABETH GREGORY AGE 22, HIS BOYS LEFT HOME AND WENT TO LIVE WITH THEIR UNCLES IN KENTUCKY. WHEN LAFFORD MARRIED HIS 2ND WIFE ELIZABETH GREGORY AGE 22, HIS BOYS LEFT HOME AND WENT TO LIVE WITH THEIR UNCLES IN KENTUCKY. HE SERVED IN THE CONTINENTAL ARMY
Father: JOSEPH JR. FRENCH b: ABT. 1728 in SHREWSBURY, MONMOUTH CO., NEW JERSEY
Mother: HANNAH HORN b: ABT. 1730 in RARITAN LANDING,SOMERSET CO., NEW JERSEY
Marriage 1 WIFE UNKNOWN
Married: 1779 5
MARY FRENCH b: 20 SEP 1780
WILLIAM FRENCH b: 15 FEB 1783
JOSEPH FRENCH b: 23 JUN 1785 in MACON CO., TENNESSEE
JAMES LEWIS FRENCH b: 14 JUN 1788 in SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA
MOSES FRENCH b: 14 AUG 1791 in SOUTH CAROLINA
RUTH FRENCH b: 18 AUG 1793
SARAH FRENCH b: 10 APR 1795
ELIZABETH FRENCH b: 11 OCT 1797
LAFFORD JR. FRENCH b: 3 FEB 1802 in SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA
Marriage 2 ELIZABETH GREGORY b: APR 1777
Married: 1806 in SPARTANBURY CO., SOUTH CAROLINA
Title: BIBLE OF LAFFORD FRENCH
Note: Brøderbund Family Archive #110, Vol. 2, Ed. 4, Social Security Death Index: U.S., Social Security Death Index, Surnames from M through Z, Date of Import: Mar 10, 1997, Internal Ref. #188.8.131.52207.193
Title: ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C. NO. W7329
Title: BIBLE OF LAFFORD BERRY
Note: Brøderbund Family Archive #110, Vol. 2, Ed. 4, Social Security Death Index: U.S., Social Security Death Index, Surnames from M through Z, Date of Import: Mar 10, 1997, Internal Ref. #184.108.40.206066.143
- The son, Lafford French, a Revolutionary War Pensioner who entered service while living in Spartanburg district, South Carolina, was born 1753 in New Jersey and died Sep 1834 in Rutherford County, North Carolina. His first wife is unknown; they probably married 1779-1780. She died about 1805. He married, second, Elizabeth Gregory, Jan 1806, in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. Elizabeth was born about 1790 in South Carolina and died 1850-1860. The French family land was located on the north branch of the Pacolet River near the boundary line of the area then called Rutherford County, North Carolina (area is designated Polk County, North Carolina today). Affidavits found in Lafford's Revolutionary War Pension file state that he continued to live in the same neighborhood (on the North Pacolet River) until he moved his family to Rutherford County, North Carolina, about 1824.
Documented children of Lafford's first marriage are Mary, William, Joseph, James, Moses, Ruth, Sarah, Elizabeth and Lefford, Jr.
Lafford French, Sr.'s Timeline
February 15, 1753
Raritan Landing, Middlesex, New Jersey, USA
September 20, 1780
Spartanburg Co., SC
June 14, 1788
South Carolina, United States
August 14, 1791
South Carolina, United States
September 11, 1834
Rutherford, North Carolina, United States