Bob Hembree 11819 Maple st. Whittier, ca. 90601
5th Edition Summer 1990
ABRAHAM: born 16 May 1757 in Spartanburg, S.C. is one of the family which we have items of information about but know little as the result. His birth date and place are proven by his Military Pension Record. A Revolutionary Soldier who was captured and taken prisoner in the fall of Charleston, where he later escaped and reenlisted. It seems during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, soldiers joined up for a week, month or whatever time they happen to have to go to war. A study of some of the records indicate that if you had nothing else to do, well, just go fight for a week or so, but bring your own rifle, powder etc. as they were not furnished. We know from his Pension Record that he lived in Rutherford, N.C. in 1828 and changed his pension address to Cocke Co., Tenn. in 1834. He received a pension of $8.00 per mo. His Military Pension record also gives us the name of 2 daughters, Polly b. 1782 and Jinny b. 1799 and two of Jinnyís children, Hampton Hembree b. 1819 and Isaac Hembree b. 1822. Both g-childrenís names given as Hembree, so Jinny either married a Hembree or the childrenís father is not known. His pension record also discloses he was known as Emry, Emery and Hembree, which is important later to connect him as the Abraham mentioned in a claim for land under the Cherokee Indian land rights, as some of the testimony states ďthat they were known as Emery except when they signed there name and then it was HembreeĒ. From the Indian land claims (Cherokee by Blood, Vol. 2) we know that Abraham had a son named James and a daughter named Nancy. Abrahamís wife was named Winnifred __________, and both she and Abraham were illiterate, as disclosed by Deeds in the sale of land in S.C., but their children all appear to have been able to at least sign their name. On 17 July 1797 Abraham was reimbursed 3 pound by Spartanburg County for aiding the poor (Daniel Stillwell & wife May Jackson). Also, from records of the Friendship Baptist Church we know that he, his wife and daughter were given a letter of dismissal in 1807, although they were still in S.C. until about 1822.
In 1835 Abraham, in Cocke County, TN., swore under oath that he knew Drury Hembree, well but did not disclose if they were related, but I believe they were brothers.
N.C. marriage bonds give us more information and #086 01 138 dtd 4 Jan 1830, Isaac Hembree is marrying Elizabeth White, Abraham is the bondsman so we can be sure Isaac is a son. On 25 Aug. 1830 a N.C. bond was issued for the marriage of Abram Hembree and Levina Floyd, but I am uncertain if this is Abraham marrying for the second or possibly third time, but I believe it is a son named Abram. Also from N.C. marriage bonds we find Joel Hembree marrying Eve Fite in 1828, and Iím sure Joel is another son of Abraham.
Census records are confusing and show total of 16 children, but some may be g-children (if there was not a second marriage, as Winifred was quite old to be having children in 1819). He is in the 1790 Census of Spartanburg, S.C., over 16 married with 5 daughters. He is also listed in the 1800/1810/1820 C of Spartanburg, and the 1840C of East Tenn. From locality and other data it appears he had a son named Davis, if so, he also had a son named Allen, as we know Allen, Davis & James were brothers. Herein, is a list of the family line as best I am able to determine. If Iím lucky someone will add to or correct the information.
Jerry B. Hembree, in FL., wrote telling me about a Hembree in S.C. thought to have landed in VA. about 1740 as an indentured servant, who jumped his servitude and went to S.C. He married an Indian girl either in VA. or S.C. Unknown to Jerry, I had been researching the Indian blood from information given in the book ďCherokee by BloodĒ and had traced the family back to Abraham who was reported to have the Indian blood, but I did not know who his father was. I still am not sure of Abrahamís father but I now know that from the time, place and other information that Abraham was a first generation Hembree in America, and his mother was of Indian descent.
Several people have mentioned a background reference to Indian blood, and Iím still trying to confirm those descendents, however, most of the time there was an attempt to hide the Indian blood, which makes it difficult to research. But most of the men coming to this country did not bring wives with them and itís not surprising that intermarriages occurred. Others may or may not be concerned with intermarriage, but my purpose is only to record what actually happened, so, if anyone has further information on this, please advise. Proving the name of Abrahamís father will add a large piece to the puzzle of our family heritage.
The foregoing is well documented, but the FOLLOWING IS CONJECTURE and should be taken accordingly. Because of the location of Abraham in both S.C. and Cocke County, Tenn. it appears there may be a relationship to the group in Hembree Tenn. and Kentucky. Although I still lack proof, I feel certain that Drewry and Abraham were brothers, and it is likely one was the father or grandfather of the Tenn./KY group. Both check out as to time, place, etc but each fit better as the grandfather than the father. Also, this group seems to be of Irish descent and that is supposedly Abrahamís line. Both Meshack (Tenn.) and Ezekiel (Ky.) were born in S.C., and if this line proves out to actually be from Ireland, then the line divides further back than I anticipated, as we can be fairly certain that the James, David & others who came through Virginia were of Welch origin. Those of you searching Meshack and Ezekiel may want to give this some thought.
HELP WANTED: Anyone having access to the Cemetery records of Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens and other counties which form the old 96 of Pendleton area of S.C. which indicate the decedent was a member of a Masonic Lodge, please furnish me with the Lodge No. and the address if that lodge is still listed in the telephone book. I am told that genealogical information can be obtained from local lodge records. I hope to pursue this.
THANKS: Several have forwarded documents, letters, Bible records, and etc. on different family members, and I appreciate your help. Even if I already possess the information, confirmation from another source is always helpful. Also, several people interested in the family line have contacted me as a result of your referrals and kind words. That of course is the first objective of this newsletter, to share the information that exists on any Hembree in America.
Those who may have been waiting for a reply to their letters, I have not forgotten, Iím just slow. We spent April salmon fishing and will be heading for the Midwest for our family reunion, sometime early August. We will be traveling a month or so but I will answer, as I very much appreciate your letters, etc. Keep in touch.
WHERE ARE THEY: We can be almost certain that James and David had other brothers, very likely Thomas, Andrew, Isaac, Joseph, John and William, yet all of the Hembree lines which have surfaced as a result of the newsletter, have been descendents of James, David, Drewry, Abraham and possibly John. Where are the others? Certainly the lines have not completely died out and I need your help. If your research ahs disclosed Hembreeís that you donít know where they belong, please advise. Iím still trying to make contact with someone in GA. thatís interested in the family line, as I am certain, some of that line was Isaacís and some were Williamís descendents at least in the early 1800ís. HELP.
ROOTS, BRANCHES & LEAVES Vol. 6
R.B.L. Introductory Page