These narratives on descendants of Henry (1752-1821) and Mary Starr are expanded versions of the one originally submitted (ca1999) for publication in History of Henry County, Georgia, volume II. It and other narratives relating to families who were connected to the early Inman (Georgia) Methodist Church are located at the Fayette County web site: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~gafayett/biography/bios.htm Sara Jane Overstreet of Griffin, Georgia is much appreciated by all involved for her efforts in taking this Inman Church Families project from the beginning to the end. The original STARR narrative was the result of combined research efforts by founding members of the rootsweb Henry Starr researchers list. [email@example.com] Individual credit was lost in the writing, but hopefully appropriate acknowledgement for efforts of specific individuals is restored within this piece. Those deserving special mention for their previous research into these family lines include the compilers of They Followed the Sun, Marguerite Starr Crain and Janell Turner Wenzel, and to James McConnell. His extensive research into many lines is now housed in the Macon (Georgia) Library. Two researchers who get drawn into all my projects earn special recognition for their on-going assistance: Lea Dowd and Rhoda Fone.
As of early 2009, six descendants, all shown by documentation to descend from Henry and Mary, have participated in the DNA analyses for STARR surnames. [ http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/starr/results ] The only surprise is that no other DNA participant matches them. Thus Henry and his descendants do not belong to the three main STARR emigrant lines: Dr. Comfort Starr of Massachusetts; the PA Irish Quakers; or the German Starrs researched by Don Claypool. Neither do they belong to another group of six participants who haven’t as yet found a common ancestor.
The search for Henry’s possible kin has narrowed and are discussed within five narratives included herein. We invite descendants of these groups to exchange information via the STARRHRY rootsweb list. (1) The Worthington (tobacconist) Starrs appear in Baltimore records about 1800; one of the three brothers moved to Richmond, VA before 1820 and a son was living near Columbus, Georgia by 1836. (2) John Starr settled near Beech Island, South Carolina by mid-1770s and descendants crossed into Georgia by the early 1800s. A grandson suggested a possible kinship between John and Henry (1752-1821). (3) William Starr was living 1748-1760 in the Sugarloaf Hundred area of Maryland before moving to Carolina 1761. The Maryland militiaman Henry Starr was living (1777) in the same area William once lived. (4) John, James, Joseph and Christopher Starr appear in northeastern Georgia counties from 1780s to early 1800s and then disappear. Their relationship to each other, as well as to Henry, is undetermined. (5) Henry Starr died 1733 in Cecil County, Maryland; his will mentions only two daughters. Did he have a son?
In the course of looking for the Georgia Henry Starr in various Maryland counties, this compiler collected a few records for STARRs who cannot be placed into a family group. Hopefully some researcher will find something helpful here. Also two Lancaster County, Pennsylvania wills were obtained. Although not relevant to Henry’s line, these transcriptions should help other STARR researchers. The will of John Star of Manahan Township, dated January 6, 1749, was transcribed by the German-Starr researcher Don Claypool. John’s son Moses appears to be the same person as Moses Starr on tax lists (1790s) for Hardy County, (now) West Virginia. This compiler links his son John and daughter Hannah (Starr) Neely to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
The will of (German line) Henry Stehr, dated 17 January 1780; probated 15 April 1782 was transcribed by Linda Sparks Starr.
From Maryland to Georgia:
Henry and Mary ( ) STARR
According to tradition entered into family Bible records years after the fact, Henry Starr was born in Maryland in 1752. The first official record we have of him in Maryland is his appearance late 1770s on militia lists composed of those living in the Upper Battalion of Col. Zadock Magruder’s Company, Montgomery County. [Clements p. 193; Brumbaugh, p. 4] This area was previously known as Sugarloaf Hundred. Problematic for researchers of the Henry Starr in Georgia is the names of neighbors of Henry Starr in Maryland aren’t repeated when compared with names of his Georgia neighbors. However, the Henry in Georgia did serve as a soldier during the Revolutionary War and DAR credits Henry in Georgia with the militia service of the Henry in Maryland. Proof the Georgia Henry served in the Revolutionary War is found in two Georgia Lotteries. Mary Starr, identified as widow of RW soldier, won land in Lee County in 1827 and in Troup County in 1834. [Documentation from Ouida Woodson] Maryland required all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 50, not serving with the Continental Line, to enroll in the militia. An entire militia company was not called for duty at the same time. As a result, one person served two months of active duty, then returned home while another man took his turn. Therefore, it is impossible to say when or even where the Maryland Henry was detailed during the war. These documents are all we have located to date and thus we know nothing about Henry’s specific war service.
Meanwhile, we continue to search for proof the two Henrys are identical. The most recent finding from a history of early Montgomery County, Maryland is the best indication yet that they are one and the same. The Starrs are linked with Methodism in Georgia from its very beginning in that state. According to Bishop Asbury the first Methodist meeting in America (1760) was on Sam’s or Pipe Creek in Frederick County, Maryland. [Scharf, p. 551] Montgomery County was created from Frederick County in 1776. "While the war dragged on for 7 more years, a new religious awakening was spreading in the area. Up until this time many people in Maryland were either Anglican, Quaker or Catholic. When Methodism sprang up in Montgomery County it took hold, and meetings were held in barns or fields. [Cuttler p. 3]
Tradition says Henry married Mary Steele about 1777 in Virginia. Steele is based solely on the middle name of their youngest son. No evidence to prove or disprove her surname has been found. On the other hand, Mary as Henry’s wife’s name (presumably the mother of all his children) is proven by Georgia deed records. [Wilkes Co. Deed Book UU, page 173-4; Wilkes Co. Deed Book CCC p. 194] Non-contemporary family Bible entries and tradition report the eldest three sons were born in Maryland: Joshua October 17, 1778; Elijah in 1780; and Silas November 7, 1782. Tradition here is born out if statements to census takers were correct. Silas gave Maryland as his birthplace on the 1850 Newton County, Georgia census and Elijah’s son, Elijah Fletcher, gave Maryland as his father’s birthplace on the 1880 census.
During the 18th century moves from one area to another were usually undertaken after the fall harvest, but before winter storms set in. Therefore, we suspect the family moved from Maryland to Georgia the fall of 1783 (as reported in some accounts) or the fall of 1784 as suggested by Joshua’s descendants when reporting his age at time of the move. Although some descendants firmly believe the family traveled by horse and ox-cart from Maryland to Georgia, travel by boat seems more reasonable. There were many docks to choose from in the Baltimore and Annapolis area. But considering Mary’s connection to Virginia, they perhaps left from some Potomac River dockside. Once away from the Cheskapeake, it was a simple matter of sailing along the coastlines of Virginia and both Carolinas. At Savannah they may have transferred to a smaller craft for the journey to Augusta. From there, it was a short overland trek to the rolling hills countryside along the waters of Kettle Creek and Little River in Wilkes County. Here they found a suitable place to begin their new life on the Georgia frontier. This photograph of Kettle Creek was taken by the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Forde:
Although Henry appears on Wilkes Co. tax records beginning in 1785, his first land grant is dated November 25, 1788. [Grants Book QQQ, p. 685 GDAH] He sold this land the following year. [Wilkes Co. Deed Book UU, p. 173] In 1791 he received a second land grant for the 350 acres where they presumably had lived from the beginning. [Grants Book WWW, p. 36 GDAH] [Documentation from Norma Starr] This is where the rest of their children were born, beginning with Benjamin January 29, 1785. The only other child we have a specific birth date for is Samuel Steele: October 11, 1794. Thus the birth order for Amelia, Asa D. and Caleb is not known. In fact, nothing more is known about Amelia and Caleb as neither appears in Wilkes County records. Amelia as a given name does appear in Henry’s descendant line. The given name Caleb is not found elsewhere in this family. However, there is one unidentified Starr in Wilkes County. A marriage bond was issued November 5, 1812 to William Lunsford and Elizabeth Starr. [Davidson v.2, p. 345 citing the first Wilkes Co. Marriage Book] This Elizabeth, traditionally not named as Henry’s daughter, is too old to be a grandchild of Henry and Mary; but, these are the only Starrs known to be residing in Wilkes County in 1812. It is possible an error on the part of the recorder occurred and Elizabeth and Amelia is the same individual. Lunsford researchers are equally mystified. They haven’t located a second source showing the given name for this William’s wife.
The first six Methodist Conferences in Georgia were held in Wilkes County. The first conference (1788) was in the area of the county that became Elbert County; the fourth (1791) was held at Scott’s meeting house on Little River. [Warren, p. 116-118] Although Henry lived near Little River, he was actually closer to another meeting place. In 1783 a group of Presbyterians organized and built their first log meeting house one half mile from the site of the Revolutionary battle near Kettle Creek. The church was called Liberty because all orthodox denominations were allowed to meet there when the Presbyterians were not using it. This first log house was abandoned shortly after 1800 and a new building was constructed at the top of Starr’s Hill under the name of Salem. This building was used until 1834 when the route of the old Greensboro Post Road was relocated. [Randall] Miss Bowen adds a further nugget of information in her discussion of the history of Liberty Church: [They] "built another church on an elevated spot south of the battle ground at Kettle Creek, called Starr’s Hill." [Warren, p. 185] Surely this hill is named for the family who owned it.
Henry and sons Joshua and Silas were each entitled to two draws in the 1805 Lottery. [Graham p. 522] Registration began May 1803 and continued to 1 March 1804. To be eligible for two draws, white males had to: (1) be over 21; (2) a resident of Georgia for three years; (3) have a wife and minor children. Winners received 202 ½ acres in Baldwin or Wilkinson Counties; all three STARR men drew blanks. It appears from deed records that Mary died in Wilkes County after October 1, 1813, but before September 15, 1814. In 1813 she and Henry sold 53 acres to son Benjamin. [Wilkes Co. Deed Book CCC p. 194-5] In 1814 Mary’s name was not on the deed when Henry sold 250 acres to sons Asa and Samuel. [Wilkes Co. Deed Bk GGG, p. 121-2] Henry was divesting himself of his Wilkes County land holdings prior to his move to Morgan County. Crain and Wenzel [page 70] report Henry purchased 13 slaves from the Evans estate; this researcher, who didn’t search the Evans probate records, found names of only two slaves owned by Henry -- those named in Henry’s will. Deed records of his sale or gift of slaves to others have not been located. However, Henry, Benjamin, Elijah and Joshua were among the numerous Wilkes County neighbors who did purchase items at the William Evans Sr. estate sale 19-20 December 1806 and 6 January 1807. [Davis p.226]
Henry purchased 50 acres, part of Lot #99 in the 5th District in Morgan County, December 27, 1814. [Morgan Co. Deed Book D p. 302; Farmer p. 180] Perhaps Henry located this tract while visiting son Silas who owned parts of several nearby lots at the time. Confirmation Henry’s first wife died before he moved west came shortly after his land purchase in Morgan County. He married Mary "Polly" Martin January 11, 1815 (license date). [Morgan Co. Marriage Records Book 1] Nothing more is known about this Mary, except that she died within the next 18 months. Although it seems highly unlikely, Henry’s third wife was yet another Mary. He and Polly Jenkins were married 4 August 1817 (license date) [Morgan Co. Marriage Book 1 p. 180] Census records show this third Mary was only a few years older than Henry’s eldest son. Proof this is the same Henry Starr is the signature of witness G. W. Jenkins to Henry’s will signed October 1, 1818. [Will] This is the Mary Starr, widow of an RS soldier, who won land in Georgia lotteries 1827 and 1834.
In his will Henry left Mary the 50 acres he then lived on, household items, all his stock and two slaves, Molly and Melven, for life, but he failed to name a residual legatee. DAR uses the date Henry signed his will for his death date; however, Henry appears in Campbell’s District on the 1820 census for Morgan County and his will wasn’t entered for probate until May 7, 1821. [Morgan Co. GA Will Book, p. 89] [HM 7] As previously mentioned, Mary Starr, RS widow, was successful in winning land in the 1827 and 1834 land lotteries. In both cases she is shown as a resident of Morgan County. Sometime after the 1840 census was taken in that county, she moved to Pike County, Georgia. When the 1850 census was taken, she was living in the household of family #731 Mary Jenkins, age 75. With Mary Jenkins was her son Jessee born in GA, an overseer, and Mary Starr, 75 years old, born in VA. Family #730 was John R. Jenkins, age 37, also born in Georgia.
Henry and his first wife, Mary, had six known children:
Henry Starr (1752-1821) and his Descendants
All known children and
grandchildren of Henry and Mary are listed here. Links to additional
information on grandchildren are provided when warranted. Otherwise, everything
known about each grandchild appears within the parental narrative.
Additional information on descendants of this line is always welcome.
Post to STARRHRY@rootsweb.com
All known children and grandchildren of Henry and Mary are listed here. Links to additional information on grandchildren are provided when warranted. Otherwise, everything known about each grandchild appears within the parental narrative. Additional information on descendants of this line is always welcome. Post to STARRHRY@rootsweb.com
Brinton, Francis D. research LDS film #000362. This researcher has seen only a few selected pages.
Brumbaugh, Gaius Marcus and Margaret Roberts Hodges, Revolutionary Records of Maryland 1924
Clements, S. Eugene and F. Edward Wright Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, Family Line Publications, Westminster, MD 1994 reprint.
Crain, Marguerite Starr and Janell Turner Wenzel, compilers and editors, They Followed the Sun: The Story of James Penn Starr and Georgia Theus: Their Ancestors and Their Progenies, Dallas, TX ca.1970.
Cuttler, Dona L. The History of Comushttp://books.google.com/books?id=DkEoyNXMVUYC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=%22sugarloaf+hundred%22+Maryland&source=bl&ots=FLe483b-Q9&sig=k5DT
DAR Directory for state of Maryland, citing volume 3 or 4, Chapters of DAR for Bible records, located Dallas Public Library.
Davidson, Grace Gillam, Early Records of Georgia: Wilkes County volume I and II, Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC, 1992 reprint
Davis, Robert Scott Jr. The Wilkes County Papers: 1773-1833, Southern Historical Press, Easley, SC 1979
Farmer, Michal Martin, Morgan County, Georgia Deed Books A-G: 1808-1820 Dallas, TX 2002
Farmer, Michal Martin, Wilkes County Georgia Deed Books A-VV: 1784-1806 Dallas, TX 1996
Graham, Paul K., 1805 Georgia Land Lottery: Persons Entitled to Draws The Genealogy Co., Decatur, GA 2005
Hudson, Frank Parker, Wilkes County Georgia Tax Records: 1785-1806 in two volumes, Atlanta, GA 1996
Randall, Jo compiler and editor Wilkes County Churches
Scharf, J. Thomas History of Maryland in two volumes
Stewart, William C. Gone to Georgia: Jackson and Gwinnett Counties and Their Neighbors in the Western Migration, 1965, National Genealogical Society.
Warren, Mary Bondurant, editor, Chronicles of Wilkes County, Georgia from Washington’s Newspapers 1889-1898, Articles by Eliza A. Bowen, Rev. F. T. Simpson, S. A. Wooten and others.