Genealogy Heritage

Parallel Lives Of Two American Patriots

Parallel Lives of Two American Patriots
Today’s Guest Post is 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


I hope you enjoyed David’s writing and research as much as I did! I’m not sure which part I liked best. Thoughts that come to mind:

  • I wonder if James Anderson, Sr. and Martin Maney knew each other in Ireland or if they ‘run into’ each other in either the colonies or in Buncombe County.
  • Pondering the legacy of both men. Ten generations later their descendants are still living in Western NC and beyond.
  • Thinking of those ten generations living in the same general area you can see how and why our rich dialect, traditions, and general culture have survived even until now.



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  • Reply
    June 5, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    I, too, enjoyed your articles. I have been researching for years and your writing help give clarity to the information I have found. Martin Maney and Keziah Vann were my 5th Great Grandparents. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Frank Maney
    September 24, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Excellent information about Martin Maney. I am a descendant, born in Waynesville NC. My father gathered genealogy back to Martin after his arrival in the colonies. This article brought clarity as to Martin’s origins in Ireland. Thank you for publishing.

  • Reply
    A I Bird
    August 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    What a wonderful article – thank you for your research, David!
    Martin was my 8th Great Grandfather. I have been attempting to find information about his life in Ireland for several months now and you seem to have found more than anyone!
    If you wouldn’t mind, I’m sure many of us reading would love to find out how you came across the state records cited?
    Again, we all obviously appreciate the information.

  • Reply
    Carolyn B Mahaffey
    July 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    People are still reading this wonderful article. I appreciate it so much. Martin Maney was my 4th-great-grandfather. Thanks so much for this beautifully written and researched piece. Carolyn Bennett Mahaffey, Atlanta, GA

  • Reply
    Judy Paxton
    May 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    My great, great, grandparents were Jasper Rickman Maney and Joseperine Maney. Margaret Hattie Maney was the daughter of jasper rickman Maney. She married Andrew Jackson Pace and her name appears on the Cherokee lineage roll as Margaret H Maney Pace. Her lineage for Cherokee went back to Keziah Vann Maney who was the daughter of John Cherokee Vann who was a wealthy trader. At one time he was thought to be maybe the richest man on the east coast. They are buried in Birdtown Cementary on Cherokee Reservation Land in Birdtown, NC near Cherokee, NC. Andrew Jackson Pace and Margaret H. Maney Pace are my great grandparents. Cleveland Mack Pace is my grandfather and he was borm in Birdtown, NC.
    Judy P. from NC

  • Reply
    elizabeth metcalf
    February 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great read. Martin Maney is my great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather. Ironically I grew up 5 minutes from Valley Forge, where he was discharged. I have discovered my extensive family tree going back hundreds of years but I find his story to be one of the most fascinating. I would love to find out about his life in Ireland.

  • Reply
    Adria W.
    February 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for all the great information. Martin Maney is my 4th GGfather. I fully enjoyed all the information you provided. Thank you

  • Reply
    Brenda Anderson O'Halloran
    September 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Wonderful piece. I am searching for my James Anderson Sr. & Jr., but these two aren’t quite right. I currently think perhaps James Sr. Could be the brother of William, who came from Ireland about the same time and was possibly my forefather. Why do all Andersons name their children John, James, and William! Brenda Anderson O’Halloran of Missouri.

  • Reply
    Daniel Anderson
    December 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    This was a pleasure to read. William Mallet Anderson is my GGGG Father and Jams Sr is my GGGGG father.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Martin Maney and Keziah Vann are my 5G grandparents. This is an excellent article loaded with great facts. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Pamela Allen
    January 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I loved this reading, Thank you David. I am the Grand daughter of William Harrison Maney, the Daughter of Helen Nancy Maney (Allen) Martin was my 4th Great Grandfather. Would love to of known who was Martins Mother and Father, but seems no one has any idea. So that stops my looking for my heritage. Once again thanks so much for your writing.

  • Reply
    Sarah Van Nus
    October 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I just came across this post as I was doing research on my family history. Martin Maney was my 5th great grandfather. I am the daughter of Charles & Glenda Martin, formerly of Hayesville, NC. My grandmother is Doris Anderson Ledford who still lives in Hayesville. Thank you so much for all of the detailed information. I knew that Martin was an indentured servant, but didn’t know all of this in great detail. So interesting! Thanks again.

  • Reply
    Sue Fancher
    November 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    This is just the informtion I was looking for my tree of James Anderson. Thanks so much. I have posted it on my tree. I hope you do not mind.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2010 at 6:17 am

    A great story, Mr. Anderson. How wonderful that you know the history of your family in such detail.

  • Reply
    Heather Rojo
    November 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Many of the Scots Irish settled first here in New Hampshire (there are three settlements: Londondery, Dublin and Antrim) Here in Londonderry (Nutfield) we have a lot of Andersons going back to colonial times. Many of the original Ulster Presbyterian families here had descendants who went south to Pennsylvania and beyond, including signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Pennsylvania McKean. Do you think James Anderson is related to the Nutfield Andersons?

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting post. I wish I knew that much about my ancestors who crossed over the ocean. They were here in the 1700s, too, they were Scotch-Irish.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thanks Tipper….and thanks to David Anderson for an amazing story…and research..
    I loved the nickname “Granny Tote”
    Sounds like something a teenager would say today about having to “carry about” granny…I didn’t expect it would have been said before 1921…cute…and maybe without cars she surely was “toted”..LOL

  • Reply
    November 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Good story. Enjoy reading family history. Wish I knew more about mine.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Vagabonde-yes tips on what to do with BlackWalnuts are coming up!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
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  • Reply
    November 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    That was a very interesting post. I like to read historical items like that on immigrants. I also liked your post on black walnut trees. One of my dear friends, who has passed on now, gave us a couple of suckers from his old tree. Now we have a big black walnut tree in the front yard. Usually we leave the nuts for the squirrels because I tried to break them open and could not. This year my husband assembled the nuts in a box, and the nuts are waiting there. I hope you will tell what to do with them.

  • Reply
    Dale Anderson
    November 6, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Very much enjoyed the article by David Anderson regarding James Anderson. Am interested in the Anderson line in Cherokee County. My grandfather was Jesse Callaway Anderson and lived in the Marble area. Would appreciate your giving David my E-mail address. Would like to get more information on the Anderson line.
    Dale Anderson

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    November 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I was particularly interested in this as I live on Anderson Branch in Madison County (once part of Buncombe, as someone noted.) There are no Andersons living (or buried) in the area so I wonder if the name might go back to this James Anderson or his descendents.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    What an enjoyable post from David
    Anderson! And thank you for sharing all this information about
    our inheritated past. I’m grateful
    to all those heroes who left their
    homeland and paved the way for our

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Wow, what a great story! I have a local friend named Harry Maney. I’m going to send him a link to this blog. He is probably related.
    When I hear the stories from the perspective of people rather than the perspective of battles it somehow makes it more real.
    Thanks so much Mr Anderson!

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    November 6, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    WOW! Being a native of Clay County, I knew those folks on Shooting Creek seemed to be tough fellows! NOW I KNOW WHY THEY WERE SO STRONG! Will share David’s comments with my brother in Afghanistan! He is one tough fellow also – from the Matheson Cove!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Eva Nell Mull
    “The Matheson Cove – In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office” 2007
    AWARD: NC Society of Historian’s Award 2008

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Very interesting history. Just to remind everyone, prior to the early 1800’s, Buncombe County covered a LOT of territory. By 1800, it was reduced in size, but still covered from roughly where it is now almost due west to the Tennessee border and roughly southwest to Georgia/South Carolina.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Very interesting history of the family and how they became united in their new country.
    I, too, am curious to know if they actually knew eachother in their homeland, or even had heard of eachother.
    Wish I could find out the history of our family with as much information as David has displayed here.

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