Appalachia History Holidays in Appalachia

James Anderson, Sr. & Martin Maney – Parallel Lives of Two American Patriots

Parallel Lives of Two American Patriots
Today’s Guest Post was written by David Anderson


Parallel Lives of Two American Patriots

James Anderson, Sr. & Martin Maney

It would seem an improbable scenario to consider how two Irish immigrants, both most likely being strangers in their native Ireland having led lives that ran so close a parallel to one another as they began their new lives in the English colonies of north America.

James Anderson, Sr.: 1740- 1814; County Antrim, Ireland

James Anderson, Sr. was born in the year ca 1740 in County Antrim Ireland, a county that is situated on the northeast coast of the island and is more specifically located in present day Northern Ireland. It is believed that James was an Irishman by birth, but according to historical accounts he was of Scottish ancestry. This could be born out by the Anderson surname which is generally attributed to Scandinavian origin.

As a young man he had decided to leave his native homeland either by necessity or simply seeking the opportunity to make his fortune in the North American colonies. Several years prior to the beginning of American Revolution he left Ireland and his family along with the dismal prospects for a meaningful life in eighteenth century Ireland and boarded a ship for passage to the English Colonies in North American. James is believed to have entered the colonies through either the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in the port near Fredricksburg, Virginia. Prior to his participation and during his American Revolutionary War experience James was found living in several of the English colonies. These included New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and finally into North Carolina soon after the conclusion of American Revolution.

James arrived in the American colonies ca 1760 as an indentured servant as was the case with most of the Irish immigrants during the colonial period. However, continued search is presently underway to find and verify accurate records documenting the Colonial landowner or other parties to whom he was indentured. His service as an enlisted soldier with the rank of private in the American Revolutionary Army afforded him the opportunity to take advantage of future benefits offered to these war veterans. This was the promise of free land as payment for service in the War for American Independence.

After reaching the American colonies he eventually made his way to county Essex in the colony of New Jersey. Many of the landowners in the colonies did not have sufficient human labor to operate their vast estates, so in order to operate their farming or other operations the landowners through agents in England would recruit men who were willing to leave their homeland and relocate to the colonies. Specific documentation as to his occupation prior to the American Revolution is uncertain, it could however be safely assumed that he probably was employed in the farming operations of one or more of several wealthy colonial English landowners and Tobacco producers who had established claims in the colonies.

Since James later became a prosperous farmer in the Buncombe county area of North Carolina it could again be assumed that he was bringing with him the craft that he had followed earlier in his life. Many of the Irish immigrants who came to the colonies could not afford to pay ships passage, so in order to repay the expense of passage to the colonies the immigrants would enter into an agreement with the sponsors that subjected themselves to being enlisted as indentured servant for a period of years. This enabled the servants to repay the debt of passage to the sponsors to their new home in America as well as the promise of owning their own land which would have been impossible in their native Ireland.

Historical records show that James Anderson was married to Lydia Mallett and was still living in the New Jersey colony just prior to the beginning of the American Revolution. Five children were born to James and Lydia during this period. When the War of Independence began in 1775, James enlisted as a Private in the colonial Army.

Official documents filed in the US National Archives find James Anderson serving as a Private in the New Jersey Militia that was commanded by Captain James Bonnel. This Militia was part of Spencers Regiment that was commanded by Major General John Sullivan. After he was discharged in 1781 James was found to be living with his family in New Jersey until the year 1782. Further historical records indicate that he later moved to Delaware in 1784. He then again moved further south to Surrey county North Carolina sometime before 1790. His final move was to Buncombe county North Carolina soon after 1790 census.

After James had moved his family to Buncombe county ca 1794-95 he settled on land that was situated on Gabriels Creek. This farm was situated near the present town of Mars Hill, North Carolina. Land transfer records show that he also owned land in 1797 which consisted of a 50 acre tract that he received as a land grant from the state of North Carolina for his service in the Revolutionary War. A later document finds James and his family living on a farm that was situated on the Paint Fork of the Little Ivey River. James continued to accumulate land through the year 1807, finally owning several hundred acres in the surrounding area.

The exact date of James Anderson’s death is not found in Buncombe county records, however family tradition holds that he died between the years 1810-1814. A headstone was placed by the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in the Gabriels Creek Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery located near Mars Hill, North Carolina in a Revolutionary War Soldier Grave Marking dedication ceremony.

One of the grandsons of James Anderson, Sr. was Lazarus Anderson. Lazarus was the son of James Anderson, Jr. and was born in Buncombe County in the year ca. 1810. The birth place of Lazarus was at the farm of his father that was situated on the Paint Fork of the Ivey River. Lazarus later moved to Cherokee county with his wife Nancy Maney Anderson and his family just prior to, or during the period of removal of the native Cherokee people in the year 1838. Lazarus established a homestead in the Shooting Creek section of Cherokee county and remained there with his family until his death. Lazrus’s farm was located in present day Clay County.

Lazarus wife, Nancy Maney was a grand-daughter of Martin Maney. These early Cherokee County pioneers raised a large family in the Bethabera community of Shooting Creek. Numerous descendants of Lazarus and his wife Nancy remain in the area to the present time, which also includes the writer.

Lazarus Anderson died in 1875 and is buried in the Old Shooting Creek Baptist Cemetery in Clay County, Hayesville, North Carolina. Nancy Maney Anderson is buried in the Bethabera Baptist Church cemetery that is also located in Shooting Creek section of Clay County.

Martin Maney: 1752- 1830, County Wexford, Northern Ireland

Martin Maney was also an Irish immigrant who made his way to the American Colonies from County Antrim, Ireland. “In his native Ireland Martin was a farm manager on a large estate and according to record had just completed a successful spring planting on this Irish estate when an agent for Colonial plantation owners in the British colonies of North America recruited him and sixty other qualified farmers to travel to the English Colonies as indentured servant. Martin sailed from Dublin Ireland on the Brig “Fanny” which was a two-mast, square rigged ship that was sailed by Captain Richard Taylor. The ship reached Virginia in 1769 and Martin began his service to the Fielding Lewis enterprise”. pp1

His passage to the colonies was paid by a wealthy Virginia planter, one Fielding Lewis. Lewis was the owner of a successful plantation which consisted of over 1,500 acres of prime farm land located near present day Fredricksburg, Virginia.

Mr. Lewis was then developing this vast Plantation holding into what was later to become known as Kenmore Manor of Virginia. Kenmore Manor is still in existence today and is operated as a National Historic site. Kenmore Manor is located in the town of Fredricksburg, Virginia and is situated on adjoining property to the home of Mary Washington. Mary was the mother of George Washington who was to become the first President of the United States and generally referred to as; “the father of our country”.

On May 7, 1750 Mr. Fielding Lewis married Elizabeth “Betty” Washington, the only sister to George Washington. It is documented by Kenmore Manor Historical Society that many of the early American Patriot leaders gathered at the home of Fielding Lewis for “Council of War” meetings prior to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Included among the Patriots attending the meetings hosted by Mr. Lewis was George Washington.

As customs during the colonial period would dictate, indentured servants were expected to always keep themselves separate from the ruling gentry. However, Martin certainly could have at times been in reasonable contact with the Kenmore owners in his position as overseer of the Plantation. One would have to assume that during the several years of his indentured servitude at Kenmore Manor, he must have sensed the tension of the times and perhaps to some degree was able to see and observe many of the early Patriots and other founders of the emerging country as they gathered for councils of war at the home of Mr. Lewis.

After Martin had completed his period of indentured servitude at Kenmore Manor; “he enlisted in the 8th. Virginia of Foot that was commanded by Brig. General John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg who was later known as “The Fighting Parson”. His enlistment on December 4th 1775 found him serving with 278 other men that were formerly from the Shennandoah Valley of Virginia. The 8th Virginia Regiment was made part of the Continental Army by an act of Congress on May 27, 1776.” pp9. National Archives and other historical records from Blount county Tennessee Judicial Court show Martin describing his military service in the American Revolution. His unit participated in the battles of White Plains, New York on October 28th, 1776, the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania on October 4th 1777 and finally engaged in the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey on June 28th, 1778. Martin was soon thereafter discharged from his first tour of Revolutionary service at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania by General Muhlenburg.

At the time of his discharge from his first tour of service Martin, as well as many other men were informed that the Colony of North Carolina was offering enlistment bonuses for veterans coming to serve in their militia units. Martin met with a Colonial enlistment officer at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and signed for this bonus to serve for a short tour of duty in the, “over mountain territory” of North Carolina. This area is located in the present state of Tennessee and more specifically is situated in Washington and Unicoi counties. He was assigned to the Campbell Garrison that was located on Big Limestone Creek in present day Washington county Tennessee.

During this time as the attempt was made to create the new state of Franklin, General John Sevier was chosen to lead the effort toward statehood. “When General Sevier was threatened by death from the Loyalists and Tory supporters, Martin along with two other men, David Hickey and Isaac Davis were chosen as personal bodyguards for General Sevier.” pp21. Martin also served as a forward scout for the Campbell Station and was engaged in numerous skirmishes with the Cherokee tribe as well as loyalist and Tory supporters.

“In 1779 Martin reported his personal property in Washington County, North Carolina. The records indicate that at the time Martin was a single man who owned one horse and six pounds sterling with a taxable value of thirty-six pounds sterling”. pp23.

When the town of Jonesborough was in the process of being established, the town was surveyed into lots and a land lottery was put in place allowing individuals to participate in the drawing for town lots. Due to his veteran status in the War of the Revolution as well as a member of the North Carolina Militia, Martin was able to purchase four lots within the new town. Historical maps on file in the Washington county courthouse show that Martin won lots; 36,53, 62 and 71.

In September 1781 Martin married Keziah Vann, the daughter of John and Agnes Weatherford Vann. In 1770 British colonial officials hired John Vann on the death of his predecessor John Watts as the official Cherokee interpreter. At the time of their marriage Martin and Keziah were living near Big Limestone Creek in Washington County near the present town of Jonesborough, Tennessee. Martin was still enlisted in the service for North Carolina at the time of their marriage and while he was away on duty with the North Carolina Militia, Keziah was found living with her mother and father.

Land transfer records show that Martin and Keziah had moved to the Big Ivy Creek section of Old Buncombe county where on July 17, 1797 he was in possession of a land grant for 100 acres. This land grant was payment for his service in the War of The Revolution. During their years of living as one of the first pioneer families in the Buncombe county area their family grew to include several children. One of the granddaughters of Martin and Keziah was Nancy Maney. During this same time period James Anderson Srs. Family was already living in the same general area. One of the grandsons of James Anderson Sr. was Lazarus Anderson.

Lazarus Anderson and Nancy Maney

Nancy Maney and Lazarus Anderson were married ca1840 and started raising their family there in Buncombe County. This union of Lazarus Anderson and Nancy Maney merged the families of the two American Patriots, Martin Maney and James Anderson Sr.. It presently is unknown if these two Irishmen were acquainted in their native homeland. The parallel lives of these two men immigrating from Ireland to the English colonies, each man becoming soldiers in the War of Revolution, then migrating to Buncombe then Cherokee county North Carolina, and finally ending in uniting of the two families by blood somehow seems too unlikely to be true. It is however, true and is cherished by many to the present day. The descendants of these men who still reside in the general areas number in the hundreds.

Nancy Maney Anderson was the last surviving member of the old generation and was considered the matriarch of the family. Nancy was affectionately referred to by the name “Granny Tote” by all who knew her. This name was given to her since due to her advanced age of 100 plus years she was ‘toted’ from place-to-place by members of her family. Boyd Anderson, a great-grandson of Nancy’s who was born in 1902 once told me that he remembered seeing her when he was a child and remembered her smoking a corn-cob pipe, and that he remembered her as being bedridden. Nancy died April 6, 1921 and was buried in the Bethabera Baptist Church Cemetery. Her husband Lazarus had died in 1875 and was buried in the Old Shooting Creek Baptist Church Cemetery

By present count there are four known descendents of Martin Maney, and James Anderson, Sr. who are members of the Sons of The American Revolution. Membership in the SAR requires proof of direct bloodline from a soldier of the Revolution. These members are;  Mr. Milus Bruce Maney, John Denton, Ray W. Anderson and David C. Anderson. Each of these individuals are members of the Button Gwinnette Chapter, Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

There are presently members of the tenth generation of these two Patriots living in the Clay county area alone. This represents 251 years of occupying or having citizenship on the American continent with 170 years presence in present day Cherokee and Clay counties.

Acknowledgements; Martin Maney; 1752-1830, A Revolutionary War Soldier and Related Families; Milus Bruce Maney, c1999; pp; 1,9,21,23., et al.; State Archives of Tennessee


A few thoughts that come to mind about the fascinating lives of James Anderson, Sr.  and Martin Maney.

  • Like David I wonder if the men knew each other before leaving their homeland, if they met while fighting for the new country they had become part of or while finding their way to Western NC.
  • David pointed out the unlikelihood of the two Patriots living such parallel lives and then to top that their children ending up married to each other. His words made me think of the time Pap told me he thought mine and my brother’s lives had been so blessed because of prayers our Papaw prayed for us. When Pap told me that I questioned him saying “But Papaw’s been dead for years.” Pap said “Well you don’t think his prayers died with him do you? Prayers keep on going and if there was one thing Papaw prayed for it was his grandchildren.” So maybe in the way of Papaw Wade, Maney and Anderson’s prayers continue through the descendants which still populate this area supporting many blessings along the way.
  • Thinking on those ten generations of Maneys and Andersons still living in the same area, one can see why our rich Appalachian culture has survived even till today.

I hope you enjoyed David’s guest-post as much as I did.

Happy Independence day to you and yours!


This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn in 2010

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  • Reply
    Penny Anderson
    November 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for this article post! I am researching my 3x ggfather, Horatio Anderson, who we THINK is through James George (Jr) and Elizabeth who is the son of James Anderson Sr of this article. All we know from records is that Horatio left Buncombe County/Madison County area around 1830 with his young family (wife Elizabeth and children Joshua, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, and William G) and moved to North Alabama to Paint Rock Valley where he had many more children with Elizabeth and then his second wife Catherine. It’s impossible to find records on Horatio prior to 1830. I am intrigued with the DNA match names I am finding in GEDmatch as well as a descendant of Lazarus Anderson (from James George (Jr)) who tells me that Horatio was Lazarus’ brother!
    Thanks you again for posting this because I have more information to use. I also love your YouTube Channel.

  • Reply
    Deborah Scheumann
    October 16, 2021 at 10:11 am

    My mother was Loretta Maney from Shooting Creek NC. I have traced her/my family back to Martin Maney and have been to the Maney Cemetery at Big Ivy NC. I would like to know the village where he grew up in Ireland but have had no success in finding this information. Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks, Debbie Maney Scheumann

  • Reply
    Chelsea Storey
    October 4, 2021 at 6:44 am

    I am a descendant of Nancy Maney, who I have researched to be the daughter of Martin and Keziah, not granddaughter and also that she married a Metcalf, which is how I came to be.

  • Reply
    Amy Corn
    June 13, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    My grandfather (Baxter Anderson 1928-1963) was a great-great grandson to Lazarus & Nancy Anderson. I would love for you to pass my information along to David Anderson. I am trying to learn more about my heritage. My grandfather died in 1963 when my mother, Paula, was a young child. She was adopted and grew up knowing very little about her father. I would love to know if I have any living relatives in the North Georgia area. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jason Metcalf
    April 19, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Curious of David Anderson is still around! Martin Maney was my 6th great grandpa and I would love to speak with David about him.

  • Reply
    Ronald Suggs
    January 26, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I have read this article several time by David Anderson and find that it is very well written and extremely informative. I enjoyed it tremendously! Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Ron Suggs

  • Reply
    Ronald Suggs
    January 26, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I meant to say in my last post that I believe George Washington Anderson is possibly the son James George Anderson and Elizabeth Frances Summers. James George Anderson is often referred to as James Anderson Jr. and is the son of James Anderson mentioned in the article.

  • Reply
    Ron Suggs
    January 26, 2018 at 11:19 am

    I am a descendant of Kiziah Maney and George Washington Anderson. I believe this George Washington Anderson might be the son of James Anderson . I know Kiziah Maney is the granddaughter of Martian Maney. How do I contact David Anderson?

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Ron-I sent your comment to David Anderson along with your email address. Hopefully he’ll be in touch with you soon.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Goodness! Your post brings so very many things to mind. I am both a history buff and a genealogist and find it fascinating on both counts.
    The American patriarch of my wife’s family line was a transported prisoner from London, arriving at Annapolis, Maryland in 1722. No record has ever been found for the next 17 years, then he shows up in Orange County, VA in the Shenandoah Valley on the western side of the Blue Ridge. The family moved south and west, then scattered to Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky and doubtless other places. She has a distant cousin in Oregon.
    In my Mom’s family, two brothers were in the French and Indian War. A descendant of one of them was a soldier in the Revolution, by some accounts at King’s Mt. in Oct. 1780, though he did not claim it in his own deposition. He moved into East Tennessee in the 1790’s where the family stuck until the 20th century before scattering to Illinois, California, New Mexico, Ohio, Georgia and who knows whereall.
    On Dad’s side, the earliest know male ancestor was a Moses Stephens. He was a Revolutionary soldier from Surry County, NC. He helped guard prisoners taken at King’s Mt.
    I agree totally with your Dad. Prayers do not end at death. Not only are individuals blessed by prayers of ancestors, but so are churches, communities and even America. Washington prayer a very thought-provoking prayer for his country that we may yet be blessed by. It is something to be grateful for, and humbled by, on Independence Day.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 4, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Guess who else is buried at Gabriel’s Creek Baptist Church. Guess who was born in Delaware 1782. Guess who else moved to Cherokee County following the Indian Removal. Her name is Ann Hairgrove Ammons 1782-1868. She, her husband Ephram Ammons and one child moved from the Marlboro District of South Carolina to Old Buncombe County to an area that became Madison. After the birth of six more children they moved to Cherokee County leaving three older children behind. In the 1850 census they were in Cherokee County with their youngest, a daughter Nancy. I am not sure what became of Ephram but the legend goes that sometime before the start of the Civil War he took his slaves and went to Texas. Ann moved back to Madison County and lived the remainder of her live with her older children. She was my ggg-grandmother!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    This is a piece of great writing and research! I loved reading about these families and have been personally gratified by more and more on-line informarion in the form of Bounty Land Applications and Revolutionary Pension Applications. These documents are really very detailed.
    I was especially touched though by Pap’s quote about the prayers of our fathers (mothers) and grandfathers (grandmothers) never dying.
    I hope everyone has a blessed Day of Independence.
    How Firm a Foundation!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    July 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Your post was very interesting! I read it with much sadness! Mainly regarding the WAR recollections of my brother, DONALD ROGER MULL! We recently laid him to rest beside our Father and Mother’s final resting place! His dreadful military service in Vietnam brought him life-long suffering and an early death! Sorry to be so negative on such a special FORTH OF JULY 2017!
    Sincerely, Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Great post today written by David Anderson. Thanks for sharing on this fourth of July!
    When reading the familiar names, Big Ivey, Little Ivey, Buncombe county, Mars Hill which is in Madison county, remind me of my own families heritage. From Ireland/Scotland as well, this article makes we wonder if any lands purchased were from these larger land owners decedents, etc. Did any of my ancestors know any of these folks, maybe going to church, neighboring farms and familial crops, etc.
    Just so interesting…wish I could go back in time for a quick visit!
    I also wish I could visit all the cemeteries named by Mr. Anderson. It has been years since my grandparents from Buncombe county passed. I was just a child, when I rode with my Aunts and Grandparents visiting cemeteries of their long ago relatives…Of course, back then, all I wanted to do was pick wildflowers and catch June bugs on the backside of the graveyards….it was just too “skeery” for a little girl.
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 11:49 am

    This made me think of a recent event at church. Our organist’s first name is “Reavis” which was his mother’s last name. He & his parents and grandparents and before that have all lived in this area of Central Texas. One day before church I was greeting some first time visitors: as they told me their last name was “Reavis”, our Reavis was coming toward us so I said, “Oh, you must have come with our organist!” They looked at me quite puzzled saying they didn’t know this man. As our Reavis joined us I told them his name (first name) was “Reavis” being named for his mother’s maiden name . It didn’t take the new gentlemen and our Reavis long to discover they were 3rd or 4th cousins and knew many of the same family stories and people even though they had never met. We discovered that they both had inherited the same (yes, same!) gift of gab, storytelling, and manner of speech which puts others at ease and prevents there from ever being any awkward silences.
    They have been a delightful addition to our church family and acquainted themselves with an extension of their own family in the process.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Family stories and their intertwinings always intrigue me. But I wonder if it isn’t more common than some think. Plantations and other ventures needed a large workforce and many, many of the laborers were indentured servants or sharecroppers. With land as an enticement to join the military, many took advantage of that opportunity to “better” themselves. Let’s face it, our country’s second wave of establishment was by those who willingly or unwilling served the first wave; of those who willingly served another, their children became the new pioneers of the next frontier establishing a pattern of succession which somewhat parallels the ecological succession in raw land. It’s still fascinating to learn (and learn from) what each generation experienced and how they influenced the future; but, unless a certain lineage was very isolationist, I’d imagine that the “six degrees of separation” idea makes all of us more connected than we might think.

  • Reply
    Diane Carrillo
    July 4, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Happy 4th of July Tipper. I enjoyed this mornings post regarding the American Revolution Patriots James Anderson, Sr. and Martin Maney. Martin Maney is an ancestor of mine through my Grandmother Ossie Grace Maney. I have explored this story and family history with several emails with the author David Anderson. Over the years, I have shared this and other information with my daughters, grandson and others in our community here in Del Rio, Texas. It is interesting information and pertinent to the founding of our nation as well as appreciation of those who have and continue to serve and make sacrifices for our country. Many thanks to you and David Anderson.

    • Reply
      Allison Agarwal
      February 28, 2020 at 9:16 am

      I am a descendent of James Anderson Sr. I would love it if you are able to pass my email on to David Anderson.

  • Reply
    Bob Dalsemer
    July 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I enjoyed David’s article, especially on Independence Day. I’m glad he can share his valuable research with us!

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