Phoebe Curtis (Courtney)

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Martha Phoebe Curtis (Courtney)

Also Known As: "Phoebe Jones"
Birthdate: (55)
Death: 1781 (51-59)
Coles Creek, Natchez Dist., Amite County, Mississippi, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert Courtney and Abigail Courtney
Wife of William Jones and Richard Curtis Sr.
Mother of John Jones, Sr.; William Curtis, Sr.; Robert Curtis; Benjamin Curtis, Sr.; Richard Curtis, Jr., Rev. and 4 others
Sister of Jonas Courtney; Abilgail Courtney; John Courtney; Jonathan Courtney; Robert Courtney and 1 other

Managed by: Ann Audrey Lieby
Last Updated:

About Phoebe Curtis (Courtney)

Source 1:

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Source 2:

Families of Sequoyah County,OK & Others

Contact: Sharen Neal


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ID: I55215

Name: Pheobe COURTNEY

Given Name: Pheobe

Surname: Courtney

Sex: F

Birth: 1724 in Prince George,Va

Death: 1781 in Coles Creek,Natchez District,Ms Terrority

Burial: 1781 "Forty Hills",Natchez District,Ms Terrority


JERSEY SETTLERS: Need to enter reference. Said she was widow of William Jones. She has son named John Jones before William died. She then married Richard Curtis, Sr.

JERSEY SETTLERS: Vol. I, page 934: Uniontown Cemetery (39 note) Cemetery-

Uniontown; Location-Jefferson Co, MS, at the site of Bethel Presbyterian

Church, founded by Rev. Joseph Bullen.

Note: This cemetery is recorded in Mississippi Genealogical Society's

"Cemetery and Bible Records", Vol. II, pp. 155-156. This grave was omitted

because only after much deciphering of the ancient sandstone marker were we

able to arrive at any satisfaction. Phoebe, who married first William Jones,

and 2nd, Richard Curtis, Sr., was the daughter of James Smith. (Other record,

show Brown, others Robert Courtney. I believe it was Robert Courtney, see

his will) page 401: Need to copy from John Jones notes, rin 1444.

It states she was the daughter of Zachariah Brown.

NATCHEZ COURT RECORDS: Page 27, 55, 92, 103, 141, 150, 151, 194, 195, 196, 228, 269, 270, 271 , 363, 367, 428, 438, 468, 507, 560. (For James Smith)

HISTORY: COLE FOOT PRINTS: page 54: Richard Curtis, Senior was born about 1720 in Virginia . We do not know his parents name or place of his birth. He

married about 1749 Phoebe Courtney, daughter of Robert and Hannah Courtney.

She was born about 1724 in Prince George County, where she was married (1) to

William Jones. They had one son, John Jones. Phoebe died about 1780/81...



Dr. Richard Aubrey McLemore in his History of Mississippi Baptists concedes:

"The first protestant settlement in the Old Natchez region was established at

Kingston, about sixteen miles southeast of Natchez in 1773. The community

flourished and a Congregational church was established. In 1781, the Indians

became hostile and forced the abandonment of the settlement."

But he concludes, "Many of these people later became members of other churches, several of them joining the Baptist Church". (71)

Dr. McLemore describes the beginning of the Baptist church thus: "A group of

seven people met at Sister Stampley's home on Cole's Creek," This was in 1791, eighteen years after Reverend Swayze established his Congregational group.

The list of this pioneer group as given in the Salem Baptist Church Minutes

in the Mississippi Baptist Archives is as follows: Richard Curtis, Jr., pastor,

William Thompson, recording clerk, William Curtis, John Jones, Benjamin Curtis, Ealiff Lanier and Margaret Stampley. Among the seven we note John Jones the forebear of this distinguished Methodist minister and historian John Griffing Jones. (72) This was a group of Baptists from South Carolina but other farm families were among the early members. Several of them with Congregational connections. In fact, Rev. Swayze's daughter Hannah had for her second husband (after the death of Jeremiah Coleman) the Baptist leader Richard Curtis, Sr., whose daughters Hannah and Phoeve with their husbands John Courtney and John Stampley came in the South Carolina party.

Other names found on the early church rolls were then or later connected

with the Jersey Settler families: Miss. F. Coleman, Elizabeth Chaney, Elizabeth Coleman, Feri bu Coleman, Buchner Darden, Maria Darden, Jane Farrar, Elizabeth Farrar, Miss Aleaf Farrow, ( 73) Sarah Guice, Martha Harper, John Jones, Phebe Jones, Daniel and Jane Perry, (74) James B . Truly, Sarah and William Whitney and Willis McDonald. Then there were Elizabeth R. and M . B. King.

The difficulties suffered by this second Mississippi Protestant group were

greater than the Congregationalists. Five factors caused the greater

difficulty, first, the river routes were traveled, encountering Indians;

second, the situation had not been reconnoitered by scouts as the Swayze

brothers and the King brothers had done; third, land was not legally held with authorities no titles; fourth, the trip was made during the Revolutionary War; fifth, the Spaniards, having gained strength in their hold on the colony by 1791 were more daring in prosecution.

The story will be told from the writings of recognized historians, the early

Methodist historian, Rev. John Griffing Jones, already memntioned, and the

recent Baptist historian, Dr. Richard Aubrey McLemore.

Rev. Jones writes: "About the year 1743 there lived in Dinwiddie county,

near Petersburg, in Virginia, a newly-married couple, of Welsh descent, by the

name of Willia, and Phoebe Jones. Mr. Jones soon after died, leaving a young

widow and an only son, by the name of John. Within a few years after the death of her husband Mrs. Jones married the man who will hereafter be known in these sketches as Richard Curtis , Senior, by which marriage they had five sons and three daughters. After the marriage of Mrs. Jones to Mr. Curtis we have no very satisfactory knowledge of the family for about thirty years. In the meantime, John Jones, the son of Mrs. Curtis by her first marriage, had grown up to manhood, and on the 28th of June, 1768, had married Miss Anna Brown, daughter of Abraham Brown. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary war the family was found in South Carolina, on the Great Peedee river, not far from the mouth of Black river, and about sixty miles from Charleston...(76)

"The Curtis famiy decided to establish their new homes on Cole's Creek,about twenty miles above Natchez. The stories of productive farm lands that were free to all settlers and the peace they would have from the turmoil of the fratricidal strife in South Carolina must have made the prospects of beginning again very enticing. Spain had conquered the Natchez district in 1779, but the emigrants did not anticipate any difficulty from this source.

The route the migrants followed to their new homes was the familar one used

by many who were a part of the great westward migration. They left their homes early in 1780 and traveled to the Holston River. It was not a long journey, but winter weather, bad roads, and the poor transportation equipment available made it a difficult and heart-breaking trip. They arrived on the Holston in the early spring and immediately began the task of raising a crop of corn while building flatboats for the journey down the rivers to their new home.

In the fall of 1780 the revelers were ready to begin their voyage. The party included Richard Curtis, Sr., and his wife; two brothers, William and Benjamin Curtis and their wives; Richard Curtis, Jr. and his wife; John Courtney and John Stampley and their wives (nee Hannah and Phoebe Curtis, respectively, daughters of Richard Curtis, Sr.); John Jones and his wife; and others whose names are unknown. On the second boat were Daniel and William Ogden and their families, and a Mr....(need page 178)

Page 486:


"Richard Curtis who brought his family from Virginia and Charleston to Natchez after 1780, was the first Baptist to operate in the district. They settled on Cole's Creek, hacked their homes out of the wilderness, and spent most of their Sundays praying and reading scriptures in the privacy of their own homes. Curtis died in 1784, and his son, Richard Curtis, Jr., assumed the preaching duties, ably assisted by John and Jacob Stampley, gifted "natural" preachers. The young Curtis had none of the reserve or respect for the law that his father had shown, and he soon embroiled his sect in an argument with the Catholic priests and Spanish government.

In the Spring of 1795, as the religious situation grew more tense in Natchez, Gayoso called Curtis to government house and asked him to swear that he would not preach in public again, under pain of confiscation of his goods and expulsion from the province.

Curtis signed the agreement, but as soon as Gayoso left the province for top secret business up the Mississippi River, the Baptists operated openly. The crisis developed when David Greenleaf, a noted Natchez mechanic who built the first cotton gins in Natchez, decided to marry Phoebe Jones, the daughter of John Jones, who wanted the ceremony performed by her uncle, Richard Curtis, Jr.

The couple arranged for an elaborate meeting in the woods. Greenleaf and his companions would ride south from Villa Gayoso, whole Miss Jones and her entourage rode north. With a sign and coutersing, they would meet and be married. Practical jokers in Greenleaf's party persuaded him to ride past the meeting without acknowledging the sign (or did he have cold feet?), but they returned within minutes and the couple laughingly rode to William Stampley's plantation and were married by torchlight.

The ceremony was secret, but what married couple are able to live together clandestinely? Greeleaf's fame as a mechanic and his numerous contacts with the Spanish government made him anything but inconspicuous. The secret was uncovered and the Spanish priest demanded to know who had performed the illegal ceremony.

When it was discovered that not only had Curtis done the horrors in the Greenlead-Jones nuptials, but, in addition, had baptized William Haberlin and Stephen deAlvo, acting commandant Grand-Pre issued orders for their arrest. But sentires posted on the roads leading to Curtis' home warned the trio, and they escaped through the wilderness to South Carolina, not to return during the Spanish rule. "

NEW JERSEY SETTLERS: Vol. I, page 176. Their children are listed.

Vol. II, pg 401:

..."William Jones, son of Lane Jones and Anne Barber Jones, m. Phoebe Brown, daughter of Zacharich Brown. William Jones died very young, leaving a widow and an only son by the name of John. Mrs. Jones then married a man named Richard Curtis, Sr. and five sons and three daughters were born to them. John Jones was educated at William and Mary College and in 1768, married Anna Brown, daughter of Abraham Brown . At the breaking of the Revolutinary War, the family was found in South Carolina on the Great Pee Dee River about sixty miles from Charleston. John Jones ardently espoused the cause of the Revolutionists. He enlisted in the army, served three campaigns under General Francis Marion and was also in the siege of Charleston. The name of John Jones appears on the marble tablet in the Wren Building of William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia, listing the known members of the College in the Revolution. John Jones is identified as being from Dinwiddie County, Virginia (Approved DAR line).

At the close of the war, Richard Curtis, Sr. and his family, John Jones and

his family, sons and daughters and their families, emigrated to the Mississippi River Territory, joined the Jersey Settlers in the Natchez Country, settled on Fairchild's Creek. John Jones is buried at a place called Forty Hilss Plantation...

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Change Date: 10 JAN 2004 at 00:00:00

Father: Robert COURTNEY b: 1697 in Prince George,Va

Mother: Hannah Mrs COURTNEY b: 1700 in Prince George,Va

Marriage 1 William JONES b: ABT 1723 in Queensborough,Va

Married: 1743 in Queensborough,Va


1. John JONES b: 14 DEC 1744 in Near Petersburg,Dinwiddie,Va

Marriage 2 Richard CURTIS b: 1725 in Near Fort Henry,Dinwiddie,Va

Married: 1745 in Onslow,Nc


1. Benjamin CURTIS b: 1747 in of Onslow,Nc

2. Hannah CURTIS b: 1749 in Onslow,Nc

3. Robert CURTIS b: ABT 1750 in of Onslow Co,Nc

4. Martha "Phoebe" CURTIS b: 1751 in Onslow,Nc

5. William CURTIS b: 1754 in of Onslow Co,Nc

6. Richard CURTIS b: 28 MAY 1755 in Dinwiddie Co,Va

7. Jerimah or Jemima CURTIS b: 1764 in Craven,Cheraws Dist,Sc

8. Jonathan CURTIS b: 1767 in Craven,Cheraws Dist,Sc

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Phoebe Curtis (Courtney)'s Timeline

December 14, 1744
Age 18
Prince George, Virginia, United States
Age 21
South Carolina, USA
Age 25
Half Moon Swamp, Onslow County, Onslow, North Carolina, United States
Age 27
South Carolina, USA
May 28, 1755
Age 29
Dinwiddie County, Virginia, United States
Age 32
Age 34
Half Moon Swamp, Onslow, North Carolina, United States
Age 38
South Carolina