A to Z – D is for David Hopkins

a2z-h-smallA to Z Blog Challenge

D is for David Hopkins

David is my 6th great uncle, brother of my 5th great grandmother Elizabeth Hopkins Rice. There were about eleven children in the Hopkins household born between 1760 and 1807. David was born in Nash County, North Carolina, though I’m not sure of the year. Some records say he was born in 1807, but his father’s will below seems a bit strange if that’s the case.

An abstract of his father’s will is as follows:

“Wake Co. NC Wills 1777-1848, page 44.”

219. PETER(x)HOPKINS 9 Nov 1807 Feb Ct 1808
I am sick and weak in body” 
Son JOHN HOPKINS – 250 acres in Wake Co. on Little River joining MATTHEW STRICKLAND, Griffins Branch, Joseph Hopkins, negro girl Eady; etc.

Son JOSEPH HOPKINS – 250 acres in Wake Co. joining MATTHEW STRICKLAND, JOHN HOPKINS, WILLIAM HOPKINS; boy Robert, etc.


Son WILLIAM HOPKINS – 300 acres in Wake Co. near Little River joining MATTHEW STRICKLAND, JOSEPH HOPKINS, GEORGE BELL; 300 acres in Nash Co. joining JOHN RICE, Jumping Branch, etc.

Son PETER HOPKINS – 200 acres in Wake Co. on Little River joining BURRELL FOWLER, GEORGE CRUDUP; boy Toney, etc.

Son DAVID HOPKINS – 400 acres in Nash & Jonson Co. on each side of Mocason Creek joining HARDY PRIGEON, BURRELL STRICKLAND; boys Haywood & Arthur, etc.

Daughter ELIZABETH RICE – boy York, etc.

Son ALSEY HOPKINS – man James, boy Jacob, etc.

Daughter MARY HOPKINS – woman Rachal, girl Cherry, etc.

Daughter SUSANNAH HOPKINS – woman Silvy, boy Jack, girl Clary, etc.

Wife WILMOTH (Fowler) HOPKINS – lend to her man Isaac, man Kit, woman Affey, girl Amey, boy Emsley; also lend to her 300 acres in Nash Co. including where I now live, etc.

Son CRAWFORD HOPKINS – properly lent to wife at her death.

Residue of estate to ALSEY & CRAWFORD HOPKINS


David doesn’t show up in records again until his marriage. In 1835, David married Milbrey “Miley” Ferrel and immediately had a daughter, Susan. A few years later in 1841, he had his only son, Alsey.

I don’t know what prompted him to write his will at such a young age with children only twelve and six, but it was probated on 6 Mar 1847 in Nash, North Carolina. His will is in the North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998 in Book 1, Vol 5, 1778-1897 and is as follows:

David Hopkins will


It appears his wife Miley died a short time later in 1855, leaving the children as orphans at the ages of 19 and 14.

Fortunately, Susan and Alsey didn’t take after their parents and grandparents dying at a young age. Susan died at the age of 85 and Alsey got married in 1860 and is the man seen below on the horse. (Photo courtesy of Mary Sue Lyon.) Alsey died in 1913 at the age of 71.

Alsey Hopkins


On This Day in 1828

On This Day 1828

August 15, 1828 was the birthday of my 3rd great grandfather, Rice Benjamin Carpenter.

Rice was born to Benjamin Carpenter and Nancy Rice. He was the eighth of ten children, the first five born in North Carolina, and the last five born in Mississippi. When he was 17 years old in 1846, he married my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Ann Rodgers. The Carpenter and Rogers families lived near each other and Rice and Mary Ann had grown up together.

Jolly family bible pg2Rice and Mary Ann had five children: Martha Lettie (my 2nd great grandmother 1848-1933), Benjamin Hays (1850-1929), William Travis (1854-1856), Charles Clinton (1858-1890), and a son with the initials MF (1862-1863). As you can see by the dates, William Travis died at the age of two, and MF died as an infant. His full name is not known, but his initials are written in the family Bible, as you can see on the bottom of the first column in the photo.

Rice and Mary Ann set up house on land they got from Mary Ann’s father, but sometime around 1860, they sold the land and moved to the town of Marion Station in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, to open a general store. Abandoning the farm so Rice could become a merchant was probably their way of starting over after losing their first son. The excitement of a new life was not long-lived, however. In February of 1862, with Mary Ann eight months pregnant, Rice signed up for the 41st Infantry Regiment, the Cole Guards, and prepared to fight in the Civil War.

port-hudsonOn 31 December 1862, his company found themselves in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (only 25 miles from my house) where they met the Union troops head-on at the Battle of Stones River. As you can see in the Port Hudson News, the newspapers were reporting a successful campaign for the Rebels, but Rice was not so lucky. He was killed in the very first charge. Rice’s son MF had been born March 12, 1862. In February of that year, Rice had signed up to fight, but is shown as absent until May. Perhaps he did get to spend time with his youngest son.

On the 150th anniversary of the battle, 31 December 2012, I visited the Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro. The man there told me the battle that took place on 31 December actually happened about two miles up the road in what is now a golf course.

dec 2012 407The Confederate Circle was established at Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro in 1890, and in 1891 all of the remains of soldiers from local areas were re-interred in a mass grave there. Of the 2000 soldiers buried in the Circle, about 90% are unknown or not recorded in the records – one being Rice Benjamin Carpenter. He left behind a grieving widow and three children ages 14, 12, and 4.

Rest in Peace, Grandpa Rice.

Shameless plugs:

Mary Ann’s story is told in my book Okatibbee Creek.

This post is brought to you by On This Day available at Amazon.

Frances Culpepper Stephens Berkeley Ludwell etc etc

frances_berkleyMy cousin, Frances Culpepper (photo), was born in England in 1634 to Thomas Culpepper and Katherine St Leger. Thomas’s brother, John Culpepper the merchant, was my 10th great grandfather and will play a role later in her life. Frances was baptized 27 May 1634 at All Saints Church in Hollingbourn, where all of the family at that time was baptized. Her siblings were: Mary (1629-30 who died as an infant), Ann (1630-95), Alexander (1631- 24 Dec 1694, Surveyor General of Virginia), and John (1633-74 who often gets confused with John the Carolina Rebel, son of John the merchant).

Culpepper Connections website describes Frances as, “Apart from Pocahontas, Lady Frances Berkeley, the strong-willed, thrice-married and childless Colonial dame who ruled the political roost in Virginia from around 1670 until her death in the 1690s, was the Old Dominion’s most notable 17th century woman.”

Well, doesn’t that make you want to know more about her?

Her father, Thomas Culpepper, was one of the original proprietors of the northern neck of Virginia when the Virginia Charter was formed, transferring control of the colony from the Crown to individual investors. Following King Charles I execution, Thomas moved his entire family to Virginia in 1650 when young Frances was only sixteen. When she turned eighteen, she married the governor of the Albemarle settlement in what is now North Carolina. He was also the owner of Roanoke Island. Yes, where the very first colony disappeared from. His name was Samuel Stephens. Samuel and Frances lived for seventeen years on his 1350-acre plantation called Boldrup in what is now Newport News, Virginia. The plantation land and the house’s crumbled foundation is all that is left today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

SirWilliamBerkeley2Following Samuel’s death in 1669, Frances inherited his large estate and in 1670, she married yet another politician, Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia (photo). They took up residence at his estate called Green Springs (photo) near Williamsburg, Virginia. Today, about 200 acres of the original plantation land is preserved by the National Park Service, which acquired the property in 1966.

green springs


Nathaniel Bacon, T. ChambarsIn 1676 (100 years before the Revolution and the same year her cousin John Culpepper the Rebel was causing problems in Carolina) there was a dispute with the local Indians who had been chased north by militiamen. The Indians raided the Virginia frontier out of anger, hunger, revenge, who knows? Some colonists saw this as an opportunity to isolate or kill the Indians, some saw it as an opportunity for new slaves and lands. It was typical politics with each side rallying for their own cause. A newcomer to the land and the local Virginia Council was Nathaniel Bacon (photo). He asked Sir William Berkeley to form a party to kill off the Indians, but Berkeley refused as some of the Indians were Virginia’s closest allies. In defiance, Bacon raised a group of volunteers to fight the Indians. This led to a civil war of sorts, with Bacon’s followers against Berkeley’s loyalists. It also became a personal vendetta. At one point, tiring of Bacon’s threats, Berkeley bared his chest and dared Bacon to shoot him. After the public display, Berkeley threw Bacon out of the Council, later reinstated him, and then threw him out again. Berkeley ended up being chased out of town by Bacon’s men, who burned down the capital. Bacon died of dysentery in Oct 1676, but the fighting continued for a few more months without his leadership.

Here’s where Frances steps in…


Frances sailed to England on her husband’s behalf to ask King Charles II (photo) for help, and the King, unaware that Bacon was already dead, signed a proclamation for putting down the rebellion. He dispatched one thousand troops to Virginia, along with a commission of three men to find out what the hell was going on. By the time the soldiers arrived, without Bacon’s leadership, the rebellion had died down. The three members of the King’s commission watched Berkeley identify Bacon’s men as traitors and witnessed the hanging of twenty-three of them. Once the commission reported this back to King Charles II, he summoned Berkeley to return to England to explain his actions. As soon as spring arrived, Berkeley sailed to England to plead his case with the King. He became ill on the journey and went directly to his brother’s house in London upon arrival, where he died in July 1677 before getting a chance to tell his side of the story to the King. Frances didn’t receive the news of his death for months.

Here’s where uncle John steps in…

When John Culpepper the Merchant was fifteen years old, he attended Middle Temple, which was a law school. There he met a young William Berkeley, who was not a “Sir” at the time, and the two became fast friends. Though John was trained as a lawyer, he was more inclined to be a merchant, and in 1633, he bought a ship with his brother Thomas (Frances’s dad) called the “Thomas and John.” The ship delivered immigrants to the new world and shipped cotton, tobacco, and the like back to England. This was probably the vessel Frances and her family sailed on in 1650 to move to Virginia. During the rebellion, Frances and William Berkeley needed money to sail back and forth for this rebellion nonsense and they sold off Roanoke Island. Uncle John Culpepper was the lawyer who oversaw the sale of the land to the Lamb family, witnessing William Berkeley’s signature on the deed.

Gov_Phillip_LudwellIn 1680, Frances married her third husband, Col. Philip Ludwell (photo) of the 4,000-acre Rich Neck Plantation. Ludwell had been a chief supporter of Berkeley during the rebellion and also his cousin. Hmm. Frances never relinquished her title however and was known as Lady Frances Berkeley for the remainder of her life. She died around 1695 at the age of 61. Her body is interred at Jamestown Church Cemetery in Jamestown, Virginia.

As for Col. Ludwell, after serving as governor of the Colony of Carolina 1691-94, he returned to Virginia where he served as Speaker of the House of Burgessesin in 1695-96. In 1700, he moved back to England where he died in 1716.

October Ancestry Challenge 2013 – John Culpepper the Rebel

oct ancestry challenge-001



The October Ancestry Challenge 2013 is 23 posts in 23 days (Monday through Friday) about 23 ancestors. It’s still not to late to join us. Come on, you can catch up.


Ancestor #3 – John Culpeper of Culpeper’s Rebellion




downloadCulpeper’s Rebellion took place in 1677 in Albemarle County, Province of Carolina—which later became North Carolina.

Long story short, the people were fed up with the government and fought back—a story we’ve heard a hundred times. This story, however, is different because John Culpeper, the leader of the rebellion, was my uncle. He was brothers with my 9th great grandfather Henry, sons of my 10th great grandfather John Culpepper the Merchant, who was the subject of my Ancestor #2 blog.

The government of the Carolina colony, set up by His Royal Highness King James I and ruled in 1677 by His Royal Highness King Charles I, consisted of eight Lords Proprietors, the head being deputy governor Thomas Miller, who was also the tax collector. The people were increasingly unhappy with Mr. Miller as they had been taxed nearly to death, and he was severely limiting their freedoms. The final straw came when England passed an act regulating and taxing the shipping of goods to and from the colonies. It sounds like we’re leading up to the Boston Tea Party, but not yet. That didn’t happen until 1773—almost 100 years later. Maybe the people who currently tax us should take a look at history and see the results.

Anyway, young whippersnappers John Culpeper and George Durant, captured and imprisoned Thomas Miller and the members of his cabinet and held them in prison for two years while John stepped in and acted as governor. Fortunately King Charles was too busy partaking in pleasures to worry about those disorderly colonies, so they were free to convene their own legislature and exercise all powers and duties of their own government.

No one cared much about the governing of the colonies, but when the Crown heard rumors that John was acting as tax collector/treasurer and was handing the money inappropriately, he was summoned to England to plead his case. One shouldn’t embezzle from the Crown. When he arrived, he was arrested for treason and embezzlement. He was put to trial, but he was found not guilty as he was acting under the orders of a properly elected assembly …namely his own cabinet.  huh? It probably didn’t hurt that daddy was a lawyer and highly esteemed in the colonies.

Culpeper’s Rebellion was a step towards American independence, fanning the flames that would 100 years later become the Revolutionary War.

A to Z Challenge – R is for Rice

Blogging from A to Z April 2013 Challenge

R is for Rice

As with other blogs on my site, this is about my ancestors–the Rice family.

My 3rd great grandfather was Rice Benjamin Carpenter. He was born in 1828 and died during the Civil War serving the Confederacy at the battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN on 31 Dec 1862. He left behind a wife and four young children. He is buried at the Confederate Circle at Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro.

Page 5

carpenter rice

His first name came from his mother’s family—the Rice family. His mother was Nancy Rice, born born 1791 in NC. At some point around 1834ish, she and her husband, Benjamin Carpenter, packed up their home and five children and moved to Lauderdale Co, MS. After arriving there, they had five more children. Nancy and Ben both died in Lauderdale Co in 1870 and 1865, respectively.

Nancy’s father was John B Rice (I bet the B was for Benjamin). John was born in 1755 in NC and died there 29 Apr 1836. He married Elizabeth Hopkins, who was also born and died in NC. They had at least eight children in the late 1700s, including a son named Hopkins Rice. Is this getting confusing yet? John served in the American Revolution (pension no 59062). That makes at least 3 grandfathers of mine who served.

One of my genealogy buddies found the following in a Rice Family archive. It reads to be from a slave’s descendant.

My family history dates back to Nash County, North Carolina in 1787. A woman by the name of Chaney was born. Little is known about her background, but it is believed that she was the daughter of an African. I have done extensive research on the slaves of Hopkins Rice. It is believed that Chaney and her sister were given to the Hopkins Family of Nash Carolina. Peter Hopkins was the first Hopkins in his family to move to Edgecombe County, North Carolina. He was born in 1730. He married a woman named Wilmoth Fowler. She was born in 1747 in Wake County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Joseph F. & Anne Fowler. The couple had known children: William Hopkins, John Hopkins, David Hopkins, Elizabeth Hopkins-Rice, and Susannah Hopkins-Russell. The Hopkins oldest daughter, Elizabeth, married a Revolutionary War Hero named John Rice. He was born in 1755 in Bute County, North Carolina. They moved to Nash County, North Carolina and purchased about 800 acres of land on Lee’s Creek. They couple had about eight children.1. John Rice, 2. William Rice, 3. Elizabeth Rice-Richardson, 4. Nancy Rice-Carpenter, 5. Mary Rice-Marriott, 6. James M. Rice, 7. Benjamin Rice, 8. Hopkins Rice. Chaney was brought to this plantation, but it is unsure exactly when. However most of her children were born on the Rice plantation. There is a strong possibility that she had more than five children, but it is uncertain. In the early 1800’s John Rice deeded Chaney and her children to his son Hopkins Rice and his wife Jane. In the early 1820’s Hopkins and his family migrated to Greene County, Alabama by way of Georgia. They purchased land in 1828, where the estate grew in the Clinton and Pleasant Ridge areas. In the later years, some of the Rice’s were sold to various plantations. One of Chaney’s sons, Anderson, was sold to Eldred Pippen. Also three of her great grandsons were sold. Jesse Rice was sold to Gaston Wilder of Pickens County, Alabama. Richard “Dick” Gilmore was sold to William Gilmore of Mantua. The last son was sold to a Harkness, whose name is not known.”

John’s father was Jared or Jerret Rice. He was born around 1730. He married Lettie Potts and they had at least six children. They lived in NC. My second great grandmother (Rice Benjamin Carpenter’s first child) was Martha Lettie Carpenter Blanks. I always wondered where the name Lettie came from. Now we know.