DeBusk History in the Early Years of the United States
Home DeBusk Page DeBusk Photos

Early DeBusk History

The first DeBusk to arrive in the New World still remains a mystery, but we know that there were DeBusk’s in the American Revolution.  That is if someone in the past didnt make a mistake in the spelling. A Jacob DeBusk served with the North Carolina Continental Line.  He enlisted 15 April 1781 for 12 months.  Dempster DeBusk also served in the North Carolina Continental Line.  In South Carolina there was a Continental Soldier named Peter Du Busk.
The first documentation of a DeBusk in Washington County, Virginia was found in the court records:
"At a court held in Washington County, 17 April 1782  ........... On motion of Col. William Edmondson in behalf of Elisha DeBusk and William Moore it is the opinion of the court that they be cleared of their poll taxes."

"At a court held for Washington County May the 20th 1783  ......................
Ordered that the orphan child of Elisha DeBusk named Isaac DeBusk be now bound to Samuel Kincart according to law he being seven years of age the 13th day of November next who is to learn him the hatter trade."

"Ordered that Elisha DeBusk orphan child of Elisha DeBusk be bound to Thos. Edmondson, Sr., According to law he being nine years of age the twenty third day of April last."

The documentation above can be found in "Annals of Southwest Virginia" by L. P. Summers on pages 1089 and 1142.
In the Washington County Will Book 1 1777-1792 there is the following entry:
Indenture 16 November 1784 John Campbell doth put a boy named Elihu DeBusk (age 10 April last) as apprentice to Thomas Edmondson until he arrives at 21  --------- to learn art and mystery of weaver.
So far it has not been determined what happened to the three boys mentioned above.  Some researchers think that Elisha born 3 April 1774 is the Elisha that died in 1816.  This is unlikely since the 1810 census lists him as being over 45 years old.  The orphan Elisha was too young to be the Elisha that married Esther.
The Washington County, Virginia Personal Property Tax records show that Elijah and Elisha were the only DeBusk’s paying taxes in 1785.  There was no record of any DeBusk or similar name prior to 1785.  The next DeBusk to appear in the tax records was Elias DeBusk in 1789 through 1796.  It appears that this Elias DeBusk moved to Blount County, Tennessee and appears there in the 1830 census.  From the tax records there appears to be three DeBusk families living in the Washington County area before 1800.  No additional DeBusk names appear until John DeBusk in 1809 and Daniel DeBusk in 1810.  The deed records also confirm most of these names.  A deed record has not been found for Daniel.  According to the 1830 census Elijah and Elisha were over 45 years old and Daniel and John were 16-25 years old.  John was the son of Elijah and Daniel was probably the son of Elisha.  In 1813 Elijah DeBusk, Jr. son of Elijah and Elijah son of Elisha appeared in the tax list.
Much research by DeBusk descendants has failed to uncover whether this Elisha is the first DeBusk to come to Washington County or whether he is the father of the two orphan boys or Elihu.  The fact that the orphan children were not left with a DeBusk family makes you wonder if there were any nearby.  I am sure there could be a good argument for or against this.  Some researchers have put forward the theory that Elisha and his two boys came from France to this area because relatives lived there, possibly one of the three brothers.
So far it is not possible to prove any information prior to Washington County, Virginia. I believe that all people named DeBusk are related somewhere in the dark recesses of time.

To this day there are still DeBusk's living in the Washington County and Lee County area of Virginia. My DeBusk ancestors migrated to Brown County, Texas following the close of the the Civil War.