The Forgy Family had come from Normandy, France, to the British Isles either as followers of William the Conqueror or because of religious persecutions in France. According to tradition, one member of the family was a henchman of Oliver Crowmwell. He went to Ireland with Cromwell from Scotland, and assisted him in his conquest of Ireland. For his services, Forgy was given a vast estate where he settled. From the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in the 1660 Heartmoney Roll for Antrim, William Forgy was listed in Conner Parish, John Forgy in Cluntisse, James Fforgisay in Conner Town and John Fforgy in Cape Castle. There was also an Alexander Forgie of Newton Stewart, Scotland.
Forgie may be a corruption of Fergie (Fergus) as Forgieson from Ferguson. In an uncertified photograph from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland - In miscellaneous papers, Box 186, Bundle IV cloth workers lands - Tenants' names for the year 1662, Andrew Forgie and his partners are listed as cloth workers. They were weavers or cloth makers.
The family of Forgy came to America from Ireland. It is said by many that have known Forgys that the following is a fitting description of them: "The people were descendants of that bold stream of immigrants which rolled down the Valley of Virginia from Pennsylvania and on into North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; those pioneers who had been fitted by their God-fearing love of liberty and enduring of hardships and overcoming of difficulties to bound a race and establish a government. Their descendants were and still are a quiet and undemonstrative people; more careful of truth than of petty politeness of speech; dignified rather than graceful, earnestly religious, but not very tolerant of any other than the simple form of Presbyterian worship and church government, intensely proud of their Scotch-Irish ancestors, good lovers, good haters, unfaltering in courage, immovable in their convictions, rather dull as pleasure seekers, but with active and alert minds, addressing their country and the public welfare; and to the education of the children."
References same as below.
The Scotch Irish were originally Lowland Scots. In 1611 King James of England and Scotland, desiring to prevent the growth of the Catholic Church in Ireland, caused a number of hard-working Scotch Presbyterians and thrifty Englishmen to settle in Ireland. They emigrated on a large scale to the Province Ulster, Ireland, in the time of Cromwell's invasion of Ireland and the covenanting wars of Scotland. These "picked" settlers increased rapidly in number, built factories, and set up such a thriving business that it interfered with English trade. The rich English manufacturers and merchants got such hard laws passed against the Ireland manufactures that it took away their profits. This unfair treatment caused many of these people to emigrate in large numbers to America, particularly, to Pennsylvania where they have long been known as Scotch Irish to distinguish them from the Celtic Catholic Irish who were of a different race. They were not well received in Pennsylvania. In 1724, the secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania wrote. "It look to me as if Ireland is to send its inhabitants hither, for last week not less than six ships arrived. The common fear is that if they thus continue to come they will make themselves proprietors of the Province. It is strange that they thus crowd where they are not wanted".
The hard treatment they had received in the old country under William and Mary, Queen Anne, and the George's, seemed to spur them on in their determination. Around the year 1757, a large number moved into Virginia. They built schools and churches, cleared fields and planted orchards and in general cultivated the arts of civilized life. They believed in the firm and just execution of law as the only safeguard in maintaining their civilization. They were chiefly Presbyterian and were generally called Irish by others than themselves. In general, they loved liberty and were greedy for land.
During the time of their greatest emigrations the coast lands in America had been taken up, so most of them moved on to the frontiers of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. From the Western borders of these states they were among the first to cross the mountains into Kentucky. In the two years preceding the Revolution, 30,000 emigrated and there were about 500,000 in America when the war began. Because of their mistreatment they had no love for England, so when the Revolutionary War broke out, a large number of them fought for independence. It is doubtful if there was a Tory among them.
References: "Forgy, Forgey & Forgie Family History", by Lucille Forgy Wallace, A Genealogical History of the Forgy, Forgey and Forgie Families in America, "The Surnames of Scotland -Their Origin, Meaning & History", George T. Black, New York Public Library, 1946, p 273, "The Story of Kentucky, Cherry & Stickles, p 126, 1945 Revised Edition, D.C. Heath & Co, Chicago, "The Scotch Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, Dunaway; University of North Carolina Press 1944, p 8, and "Story of Kentucky", Cherry and Stickles, p 126.
SAMUEL FORGEY was born ca 1726 in Northern, Ireland, and died in August 1770 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married Sarah ----, born in Ireland. Samuel and Sarah, with their six children came to America around 1765-68. He left a very remarkable will dated July, 1770, mentioning his wife, Sarah, sons, James, Samuel and Jonathan, and daughters, Rachel, Elizabeth, Mary and an unborn child.
One of the early Presbyterian churches of North Carolina was at Salisbury in Rowan County, organized in 1767. The first settlers of Rowan County, North Carolina either seem to have followed the river courses up from South Carolina, principally, the Pee Dee and Santee, or came from Pennsylvania and traveled down the "Great Wagon Road" that led them straight through the Shenandoah Valley into the North Carolina Piedmont. The record of one man showed that he traveled 502 miles from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Salisbury. His route took him to Frederick, Maryland, to Warrenton, Virginia, eastward to Amelia Court House, southward into North Carolina. Another route followed the "Upper Pennsylvania Road," but instead of turning eastward in Virginia toward Amelia Court house, the route continued down through the Shenandoah Valley to Winchester, Salem, and into North Carolina where it stopped just about ten miles above Reedy Creek, a distance of 435 miles.
A Miss Frances Forgey married William DeVees on July 14, 1778, St. Phillips Parish, Charleston, South Carolina. She could have been a sister of Samuel.
References: "Forgy, Forgey & Forgie Family History", by Lucille Forgy Wallace, A Genealogical History of the Forgy, Forgey and Forgie Families in America, (Baley's Lexington in Old Virginia; page 182.) p. 17, "Will Book A, Rowan County Court House, Salisbury, North Carolina, p 56, and "The Rowan Story 1753-1953", James S. Brawley; Salisbury, North Carolina, p 12-13.
JAMES FORGEY was born 1752 in Northern, Ireland, died 28 May 1828 in Berry's Lick, Logan, Kentucky, and was buried in the Askew burial ground. He came to America with his parents around 1765-68. He married ca 1780 in Rowan County, North Carolina to a widow, Rebecca Clemons Hawes, daughter of Jacob Clemons and Mary Campbell. She was born in 1742 Augusta County, Virginia, died in July 1822, and was buried in the family cemetery near Berry's Lick, Butler County, Kentucky. Her first husband, Benjamin Hawes, died about 1774 in Rowan County, North Carolina, leaving her with three sons.
James fought in the war of the Revolution, and is listed on the muster rolls of Captain David McClure's Company in 1775. Captain McClure and his men were from Augusta County, Virginia. James' name also appears on a muster roll for August 1777, and on a roll for April 1778 in Captain George McCormick's company of the 13th Virginia Regiment commanded by Colonel William Russell (General Services Administration, National Archives and Records, Washington, DC) Many of Col. Russell's men settled in Logan County, Kentucky. Family legion says that James Forgy held the rank of Major in the Revolution and fought under General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox", but that record has not been verified. He was called Major Forgy. He lost one of his fingers during the war and when asked the cause of the loss would say, "A damn Tory shot it off". He must have been injured more severely as his war record shows as he spent the greater part of one year in hospitals at Philadelphia, Bethlehem and Shavertown.
In Burke County, North Carolina, on 15 March 1780, James Forgy was granted 150 acres on both sides of Camp Creek and on 20 March 1780 was granted two hundred acres of land on both sides of the main fork of Crooked Creek. In 1781 he was residing in Rowan County, Salisbury District, but by 1784, had moved to Morgan District, Burke County, North Carolina. There are vouchers dated 1781 and 1784 showing James Forgy was paid for assisting in some way to help the cause of freedom. His name is mentioned in a list of militia paid off at Pittsburg (Fort Pitt) and on another list was paid for 'provisions specie'. He and his brother, Samuel, were granted 5,000 acres of land in Tipton County, Tennessee, on the Mississippi River in 1784, but they never settled this land. The land in this grant was swampy and settlers in the area were afraid of malaria and other fevers which attacked them in the swamps. In the 1790 census, James Forgayn and his family, which consisted of three males in the household over sixteen years of age, three males under sixteen, and four females were living in Morgan District Company 4, Burke County, North Carolina. He left North Carolina circa 1790-94 with his family and started on the long road to Kentucky. They probably took the regular route of the early settlers to Cumberland Gap, then turned southward coming by the way of Tennessee through Nashville, then to Logan County, Kentucky, settling near Barry's Lick , which is located between Lewisburg and Quality.
James Forgy was among the first pioneers of the Mud River country in Butler County. (Butler County was formed in 1810 from Logan and other surrounding counties.) Game was abundant, wild turkeys were to be seen in great droves also deer, buffalo and elk and a good number of bears. James Forgy assisted in helping his neighbors and friends such as being an appraiser in settlements of estates, etc. He, as other officers in the Revolution did, assumed leadership in civic and church activities in their various communities. James Forgy was said to have been "very much Irish" and a very devout Presbyterian.
In 1807, he, with others in the community, bought from Moses Reed, two acres of land to build a Presbyterian Meeting House. This was the Caney Fork Presbyterian Church which is still in existence. It was located about two miles from his farm. He and his wife are listed in the minutes of this church as original members. He was also an elder in the church. In June 1810, James was appointed to be one of the Commissioners of the Tax to represent the District of William Carson. On September 1, 1813 James Forgy, Samuel McReynolds, Jacob D. Chenoweth, Abner Womack and Richard Dellium bought land from William Carson to establish a Union Church. This church was located a few miles from Caney Fork in Butler County. It was named Concord probably for the Old Concord Presbyterian Church in Campbell County, Virginia. This church is still in existence, and is located near Quality, Kentucky.
On April 8, 1823, James Forgy sold to Richard B. Dellium for $1,000 the following property: 100 acres of land where he lived, one black mare about 16 yrs old, one black mare about 8 years old, one gray mare about 6 years old, one sorrel filley 2 years old, one gray colt 1 year old, twelve head of cattle being all he had, 20 head of hogs, sows, barrows, and all his stock, one copper still and worm, two feather beds and bedding, all his household and kitchen furniture, three plows, one ax, one mattox, three weeding hoes, and all his farming utensils.
References: "Forgy, Forgey and Forgie Family History", by Lucille Forgy Wallace, p 17, "North Carolina Land Grants", John Armstrong's Entries, Numbers 1-2062, Warrant Number 1058, Tennessee State Library, Nashville, TN, "Vouchers of War of Revolution", State Department Archives and History, Raleigh, NC, "Accounts of Comptrollers' Office, War of Revolution, Vol. A, p 188, "Accounts of the United States with North Carolina, War of Revolution", p 75-146, No. 5824, "State Department of Archives and History", Raleigh, NC, p 19, "Grant Book No. 28", Burke Co, NC, Grant No. 185, p 184, Grant No. 272, p 271, Grant No. 487 "Office of the Secretary of State", Raleigh, NC, "1790 Census North Carolina", p 107, "Bundles of Old Papers Unmarked", Augusta County Court House, Staunton, VA, "Minutes of Caney Fork Presbyterian Church", Butler Co., KY, p 3, "Collins Kentucky History Volume II", Lewis & R. H. Collins, Covington, KY, p 107, "History of Muhlenburg County", J.P. Morton & Co., Inc., Louisville, KY, Otto Rothert, p 19, "History of Russellville and Logan County", Allen C. Finley, p 24, "Entry Book D", Logan County Courthouse, Russellville, KY, "Church Register of Caney Fork Presbyterian Church", 1821-1825, p 3 and 5, Kentucky Library, Western State College, Bowling Green, KY, "Butler County Courthouse, Morgantown, KY. Deed Book A", p 203, "Deed Book N", Logan County Courthouse, Russellville, KY, p 387, "Logan County, Kentucky Abstract of Equity Cases Vol.2 by Montomery Vanderpool" p. 26, "Butler County Kentucky, A History of Butler County Kentucky and its People", Published by: Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. 1987, p 114, "The Early Days of Butler County, Kentucky taken from The County Court Order Book "A" & Circuit Court Order Books "A" and "B", compiled by Raymond Paul DeWeese, "Pioneer Families of Butler County, Kentucky South of the Green River" by Merriel Russ Austin and Hazel Russ Rouk, p 143, p 169.
CYNTHIA FORGEY was born 1782-1786 in either Rowan or Burke County, North Carolina, and died after Sep 1854 in Logan County, Kentucky. She married 20 Oct 1799-80 in Logan County to John Neill , son of William Neill and Mary Clinton. There is listed a marriage of John Neil to Rachael Rhodes on 30 October 1797 in Logan County. Cynthia was a member of the Caney Fork Presbyterian Church. William Neil was born 1756-57 in Rowan County, North Carolina and died 03 May 1828 in Logan County, Kentucky. William and two of his sons fought in the Battle of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War. One son was killed. John Neill applied for and received Pension No. R7578. In the 1850 Logan County, Kentucky Census, Cynthia was listed as living with her son, Hiram.
References: "Pioneer Families of Butler County, Kentucky South of the Green River" by Merriel Russ Austin and Hazel Russ Rouk, p 169, "Forgy, Forgey and Forgie Family History", by Lucille Forgy Wallace, p 93, "Logan County, Kentucky Marriages, 1790-1865" Logan County Genealogical Society, Inc. p 68, "Additions and Corrections to Logan County, Kentucky, Marriages, 1790-1865", Logan County Genealogical Society, Inc., "Logan County, Kentucky Abstract of Equity Cases Vol. 1", Compiled by Montgomery Vanderpool, p.3.