Many of the Greers in the Southeastern United States prior to 1800 descended from either James Greer of Scotland who emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland in [c]1674 or 1675 or Alexander Greer of Ireland whose sons emigrated through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the mid 1700’s. Some family genealogists get these two families mixed up.
The descendants of James Greer moved southward into central Virginia in the counties of Franklin, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Henry, Grayson, and Patrick and into northwestern North Carolina in the counties of Surry, Wilkes, Rowan, Ashe, and Watauga. Some moved through Mecklenburg Co., NC west to Tennessee and south to South Carolina. Common male first names were James, John, Moses, Aquilla, Benjamin, Joseph, and William. There were no Alexanders or Arthurs.
The three sons of Alexander (Arthur, Andrew, and William according to William Greer Peck in [his] Greer Family) moved from Philadelphia to Augusta County, Virginia. ANDREW GREER was a trader with the Indians and eventually one of the first settlers of eastern Tennessee in the present-day Elizabethton, Tennessee area. He also received N.C. land grants in Greene Co. (now Blount Co.) in 1791. His son, Joseph, was a hero in the Revolutionary War. “I believe that there were possibly other sons of Alexander who moved to Rowan and Mecklenburg Counties, N.C., including Thomas and James Greer. They made the move about the same time as Arthur Greer (mentioned below) died; Thomas and James became wealthy farmers each owning many slaves and a cotton gin."
In the Will E. Parham Collection, Mc Clung Collection, Lawson Mc Ghee Library, Knoxville, Tennessee, information is contained about seven children of a JOHN GREER who emigrated (sic) to Philadelphia, Augusta County, Virginia, and Rowan
County, North Carolina. Five of these children moved to Blount county, Tennessee. Information on this family (supplemented from other sources) is as follows:
John Greer was not the father of John, Arthur, Francis, and Precilla above (nor the older daughters if all seven were brothers and sisters). He may have been the grandfather. There were also two other daughters, Mary and Agness. The father was Arthur Greer. This disclosure is based on data which should be more reliable - court records of Rowan and Mecklenburg Counties, N.C. (attached). The fact that this information is contained in court records of two adjacent counties may have been due to shifting county lines or the movement of Arthur Greer from Rowan to Mecklenburg County at the time of his death in 1776 or 1777. End page 1, begin page 2. This changes the above family as follows:
Note that the court actions involving John, Mary, and Francis were in Mecklenburg Co.; those involving Agness, Priscilla, and Arthur were in Rowan Co. As yet I have not found any similar actions for Martha, Elizabeth, and Nancy. However, one of the public records of Paul Cochran in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina was a DEED dated June 17th, 1788 in which “Paul Cochran and wife Martha (M)” sold a piece of property to Robert Bean. The (M) may have been the initial of the guardian of Martha. Information in Genealogy of the BAIN Family by Samuel M. Bain “He (William Bain) married the widow Mc Corkle, nee....Greer” may have been referring to the possibility that Mc Corkle was the guardian instead of the husband of Elizabeth Greer [Perhaps both Martha and Elizabeth were bound to a Mc Corkle]. There was no reference in the Will E. Parham Collection about a GREER - Mc Corkle marriage.
I have data on the families of five of the children of Arthur Greer including: Martha Greer and Paul Cochran, Elizabeth Greer and William Bain, John Grier and Mary Mc Combs, Arthur Greer and Jenny Hart, and Francis Greer and Catherine Cromwell. There are four Johns and four Arthurs among Arthur’s grandsons. (The next highest frequency is two each for James, Silas, Robert, and William - no Alexander). This suggests that JOHN GREER might very well have been the grandfather of these children.
A JOHN GREER died in Augusta County, Virginia in 1750 with a noncupative Will (Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia by Lyman Chalkley). At least four children were referred to; only one was named - Alexander GREER “to
be bound to a trade”; one was bound to John Mitchell and another to Samuel Doak. Arthur Greer may have been a son of this John Greer - [this dated July 25th, 1995 RAB].
Source: (1) “EARLY GREERS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. AND BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE”, in his notes & records of (Richard A. Bain, 122 Laurel Loop, Maggie Valley, North Carolina 28751); donated to Grierson World Project & posted dated February 2nd, 1998.
Greer, nothing further; son of Stephen Franklin Greer and Olivia Chandler was born in c1877 in Lincoln, Ruston, Louisiana.
Source: (1) International Genealogical Index, batch film no., 5027372, serial sheet no., 0022.
Nancy Greer Lowe, b. October 4th, 1798, Warren, Kentucky.
Relative: Louisa Marion Deberry.
Source: (1) International Genealogical Index, batch film no., 0170383, serial sheet no., film.
Aaron W. Grier, Jr.
PERRY GRIER may have been AARON W. GRIER’S son
Mother: JANE GIBSON, born in Ireland, emigrated with her family to the US at age 11 years. Her mother was a GRIER. Jane (née GIBSON) was born about forty miles from the Island of Ila in Scotland.
A.H. Stephens to Linton Stephens
Stephens MSS., Manhattanville
Friday, 28[th] December 1860, in the parlour. PERRY GRIER & his wife AMANDA looking at stereoscopic pictures. Others seated near the fire.
Landlord: Uncle what was your mother’s name?
A[aron] W. Grier: Jane.
Landlord: Jane Gibson, was it?
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes, Jane Gibson.
Landlord: She was born in Ireland, wasn’t she?
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes. She was born in Ireland & came to this country when she was eleven years old.
Landlord: Was she not kin to Grandfather or her family some kin to him before their marriage?
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes! Cousin. They were cousins. Her mother was a GRIER.
Landlord: Well, Grandfather was born in this country wasn’t he?
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes! He was born in Pennsylvania, in the county of Lancaster.
Landlord: I thought he was born in York.
A[aron] W. Grier: No, he was born in Lancaster, about three miles from the Susquehanna River. It is near York. But he was born on the Lancaster side of the River.
Landlord: What year was he married?
A[aron] W. Grier: I don’t know. But it was the year that LORD HOWE (4) was at the head of Elk. I suppose it was in ‘77 [note: 1777].
Landlord: What was your Grandfather Grier’s Christian name?
A[aron] W. Grier: ROBERT. He came from Ireland.
PERRY GRIER: The family were formerly from an Island off the coast of Scotland called Isle or Ila. [Islay, “Queen of the Hebrides.” Ancestral home of the McDonalds & the Campbells.]
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes. Ila is where the family originally came from. Ila an Island of Scotland.
Landlord: What part of Ireland did they come from when they came to this country?
A[aron] W. Grier: From the county of Donegal, parish of near Milan Head, the north of Ireland. I have often heard my mother speak of Milan Head. She was born born near that, and that place is about forty miles from the Island of Ila in Scotland where the Grier family came originally from.
PERRY GRIER: The Griers were originally called McGregors. The Mc was dropped and then the name was changed in pronunciation from Gregor to Grier or Greer as some write it. All the Griers & Greers and Greersons & Graysons, as they variously spell their names are of the same original stock from Scotland. There is a Mr. Grierson, a bookseller in Charleston, South Carolina who has an explanation of all these changes. He has a book giving an account of it. I have seen it.
Landlord: Do you know when our ancestors went from Ila to Ireland?
A[aron] W. Grier: No. I have heard my mother say. She was well posted in these matters but I disremember now. It was some time during the wars that were carried on in those countries long before her day.
Landlord: She was a Scotch Presbyterian, wasn’t she?
A[aron] W. Grier: Yes. She and all the family were Covenanters.
John A.S.: What kind of people were they? What did they mean by calling themselves Covenanters?
A[aron] W. Grier: They were those who stood by the Solemn League & Covenant.
John A.S.: What was that?
A[aron] W. Grier: Well, I don’t know that I can tell you.
Landlord: It was the treaty or compact that was entered into between the British Parliament & the Scotch Parliament during the civil war against Charles I of England. The leading feature of which was or that which the Scots thought the most of was a guarantee that Presbyterianism as recognized by the General Assembly of Scotland should be the Established Church of that Island and that in England the Church of England should in its constitution conform to that church government most after the model of the Church of Christ. It was in the latter part of the clause of this [end page 1, begin page 2]
Received Nov. 13th, 1997.
213 Henderson Street
DeRidder, Louisiana 70634
[Dated] November 13, 1997
The inserted numerals, etc. were put into help me keep them all straight.
“This family is descended in the direct male line through the MacGregors & Griersons from the ancient Highland Clan MacAlpin.”
JOHN TAYLOR--An Englishman - arrived in Maryland on August 01, 1659 with his wife Margaret & three of his children - Mary, Robert & John Taylor, Jr.
Source: (1) Hall of Records. Liber 532, folio 532 Annapolis, Maryland.
For transporting persons into Maryland he was granted 150 acres of land - April 22nd, 1663.
Source: (1) Early Settlers Book. A. folio 219.
John Taylor was the Justice of the first court held in Baltimore county, Maryland.
Source: (1) The Maryland Historical & Genealogical Bulletin (by Hayes) Vol. 8-14, p. 18.
John Taylor’s Will was dated March 25th, 1675 - probated 5th of April 1676 wherein he appointed his eldest son Arthur Taylor his Administrator.
Source: (1) Maryland Will Bookl 5, p. 26.
ARTHUR TAYLOR--Eldest son of John Taylor, evidently married twice. His first wife - Margaret joined him in signing a deed in 1678.
Source: (1) Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 26, p. 250.
JAMES GREER I--Of Scotts origin was transported into Maryland November 02, 1675 by Samuel Gibbons of Bristol, England.
Source: (1) Early Settlers Book 18-folio 152.
James Greer’s birthdate not found by compiler, but he died prior to March 04, 1714 the date on which his wife Ann (née Taylor) Greer signed a deed for sale of 75 acres of land given to her by her father - Arthur Taylor in which she signed
her name as ANN [(née Taylor) GREER] HARRIATT “mother of said John Greer” - proving she had married secondly OLIVER HARRIATT.
Source: (1) Baltimore County Deeds, Liber 15 folio 296-7.
Arthur Taylor gave these 75 acres of land from “TAYLOR’S CHOICE” to James Greer & Ann, his wife, for love & affection” dated June 06, 1687.
Source: (1) Hall of Records, Book B.M.#Hs. Folio 261.
Ann Taylor’s dates were not found by compiler - Their known son was JOHN GREER.
JOHN GREER I, (James -1) was born on the BIG FALLS of the GUNPOWDER RIVER, BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND in 1688.
He also testified that John Taylor was his uncle.
Source: (1) (Baltimore Court Proceedings, Land Commission, 1732 Deposition, Liber H.W.S.
No. 2 Page 144).
John Greer speculated heavily in lands, many hundreds of acres--all on file & included in a book. His sale of his propertie ended in 1748--After which his name was not found in Maryland--He moved to Virginia.
John Greer bought from George III, 250 acres of land in Goochland County, Virginia -- deed signed by William Gooch, Lt. Governor.
Source: (1) Land Patents, Virginia 1623-1774. Book P.B.#34. folio 326.
John’s wife, Sarah DAY -- daughter of NICHALAS (sic) & Sarah DAY -- of Baltimore county, Maryland as proven in:
Source: (1) Maryland Will Book, Box 2, folder 23 & Ibid. Box 15 folder 87.
The compiler found no dates for Sarah DAY but she is believed to have died after the birth of her last two children--JOSEPH GREER & BENJAMIN GREER--twins--born January 06, 1727.
Source: (1) Birth dates are from St. John’s Parish Register Old Joppa, Maryland - page 20.
John & Sarah DAY had nine children. The second was William Greer.
WILLIAM GREER (JOHN -2, JAMES -1) born in Baltimore County, Maryland c1710 -- on the Gunpowder River - as declared by a son MOSES GREER, born June 02, 1744--Moses Greer’s Pension papers confirm this.
It is believed that William Greer & his family - also all his sisters & brothersb& their families lived on farms belonging to their father - John Greer - because their names do not appear in Maryland land transactions.
At about this time Virginia was offering unbelieveable inducements to secure settlers -- 250 acres for as little as 35 shillings. All but one of these GREER families left Maryland & went to Virginia.
William Greer bought from King George III 195 acres of land in Bedford County, Virginia - north side of Stanton River - for 20 shillings - July 05, 1774 - Signed by Lord Dunmore Lt. Governor.
Source: (1) Land Office of Virginia - Richmond, Va., (by Nell M. Nugent.) Book P.B. #47, folio 606.
The fact that William Greer is spoken of as being in Franklin County, Virginia is explained by erection of Franklin County from Bedford County c1754. William’s wife was ANN (née FITCH) -- dau. of William & Sarah Fitch of Baltimore County, Maryland. In their Will they left Ann (née Fitch) Greer - their
daughter - 18 pounds in gold or silver. (sic).
Source: (1) Baltimore County Will Book 4, folio 284.
William GREER & Ann (née Fitch) Greer had ten children - of whom the fourth was John [Fitch] Greer.
JOHN [FITCH] GREER (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) was born in Baltimore County, Maryland c1736 - moved with [his] parents to Franklin County, Virginia - & then to Wilkes county, North Carolina where he died after date of probated Will in June 1782.
Source: (1) Department of Archives & History, Raleigh, N.C., Book One (1), pp. 78-79.
In his Will he named his wife “NANNY” probably an endearing term fro ANN, said to have been (née LOWE), & eight children & also his daughters husbands - but this account is concerned with only his eldest son, JESSE GREER.
JESSE GREER (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) born c1757. This son inherited 492 1/2 acres of land from JOHN GREER - in Wilkes County, North Carolina when his father left North Carolina for Virginia. He died in 1788 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
He was granted bounty-land #1606 on June 12th, 1783 as a resident of Washington-Sullivan Counties, Tennessee, & from North Carolina for his Revolutionary War Service 1781-1783 in the Militia.
Source: (1) Land Office, Vol. 1, p. 1, folio 2, Gray F. Voucher #734.
JESSE GREER married on August 14th, 1779 to JUDITH (née HAMPTON).
Source: (1) Marriage Records, Wilkes County, North Carolina.
They had five children, the 5th of whom was Jesse Greer, Jr.
JESSE GREER, JR. (Jesse -5) (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) was born 1788 in Wilkes County, North Carolina & died at Ruth, [Lincoln], Mississippi on January 06, 1867. He was married three times. By his first wife, POLLY (née PUCKET) he had five children of which the 5th was JOHN ANDERSON GREER.
JOHN ANDERSON GREER (Jesse, Jr. -6) (Jesse -5) (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) born October 05, 1822 at Ruth, [Lincoln], Mississippi [&] died on March 03, 1892. He was married to MARGARET (née JONES) [on] February 08, 1849. Her death - & birth dates are February 02, 1832 & May 11th, 1897. Of their seven children the fifth was MARY BELL GREER.
MARY BELL GREER (John Anderson -7) (Jesse, Jr. -6) (Jesse -5) (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) born at Ruth, [Lincoln], Mississippi [on] April 24th, 1865. [She] died [on] December 19th, 1948. She married [on] December 21st, 1884 to WILLIAM LINUS REEVES, born in Bogue Chitto, [Lincoln], Mississippi [on] November 29th, 1856, died at Ruth, [Lincoln], Mississippi of whom the 3rd was MAUD[E] BARBARA REEVES.
MAUD[E] BARBARA REEVES (MARY BELL GREER -8) (John Anderson -7) (Jesse, Jr. -6) (Jesse -5) (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) was born at Ruth, [Lincoln], Mississippi [on] November 15th, 1890. Married on October 01st, 1918 - to JAMES OZRO DAY who was born November 30th, 1888. They had one child, DAYSIDEL DAY.
DAYSIDEL DAY (MAUD[E] (BARBARA REEVES -9) (MARY BELL GREER -8) (John Anderson -7) (Jesse, Jr. -6) (Jesse -5) (John -4) (William -3) (John -2) (James -1) [was] born [on] August 12th, 1919 at Tutwiler, [Tallahatchie], Mississippi, married on April 19th, 1942 to THOMAS JAMES BRUISTER who was born [on] February 28th, 1920. They reside in Tutwiler, [Tallahatchie], Mississippi. Their children are: