Isaac the Elder

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The Patriarch of the Union County, South Carolina Gregorys lived in Virginia before moving with his wife, Alse, and children to the Brown’s Creek area of Union District (now County), South Carolina.

The information regarding Isaac prior to his arrival in South Carolina is sketchy at best. Mrs. Josephine Gregory Spears of Raleigh, N.C. has researched the Virginia Gregorys in depth. The following chronology is available through her efforts.

NOTE: Additional information on Isaac and Alse Gregory was provided by Vicki McCafferty.

Isaac ‘The Elder’ Gregory was born about 1728 in St. James Parish, Lunenburg Co. Virginia, and died March 1797 in Union District, South Carolina. He married Alse Gerard About 1753. She was born About 1735 in Virginia, and died after 1797 in Union District, South Carolina.

There are two tales among the older Gregory family descendants that may or may not be fact, but are of interest:
(1) The first concerns a story that has circulated for years that our Gregorys are related to the husband of the aunt and godmother of George Washington. He was Roger Gregory, husband of Mildred Washington. George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, aquired the tract of land that his sister, Mildred Washington Gregory, owned in 1726 known as the Hunting Creek Plantation. This plantation became known as Mount Vernon in 1743. It is told that our Gregorys came from the general area of Virginia in the area where the Washingtons lived. Presently there is no positive proof of any connection to our Gregory family with Roger Gregory. This story has been circulated within the Gregory kin of Union County, South Carolina, as told by the late Mattie Gregory Randolph of Union Co. and Landrum, South Carolina.

(2) The second story concerns the maiden name of Alse Gregory, wife of the original Isaac Gregory. There is some thought that she was Alse Gerard of the Tidewater section of Virginia. It is stated that the Gerard family intermarried with the Washington family, according to the late Lucy Gilmore of Raleigh, North Carolina, great-granddaughter of Thomas Brandon Gregory. If our Gregory ancestors lived in the same area of Virginia, it is possible that our Isaac could easily have married a neighbor, one Alse Gerard. As it is known, Alse and Isaac Gregory had a son named Gerard, which would make this logical. Gerard Gregory’s name has been spelled Jarred, Jarret, Garret and Garard to confuse the issue. Since the records of King and Queen Co. Virginia were lost during the War between the States, it makes it hard to substantiate this theory.

Isaac Gregory of St. James Parish, Lunenburg County, Virginia (later Mecklenburg County), registered his earmark for his livestock in April Court, 1761. (Order Book 6, p. 256).

Isaac Gregory bought fifty acres of land from Nicholas and Tabitha Robertson of Lunenburg on 7 May 1762. The land (Recorded in Deed Book 7, p. 294, on 6 July 1762) was located on the lower side of Mitchell Creek. The witnesses to this transaction were: Joseph Dobson, John (X) Johnson and Jno. Dobson.

Isaac Gregory and his wife, Alse, sold fifty acres of land in Mecklenburg County to John Hatchell. This land was located on Eastlines Creek (same as Mitchell Creek). The deed is recorded in Book 1, p. 115, 9 August 1765. Alse signed the Dower, 12 August 1765. The price paid by Hatchell was £25. This deed was witnessed by Jacob Bugg, John Goode and Lucy Bugg. (It should be noted that Isaac also witnessed a deed of John Hatchell executed on 2 August of that year.)

The titheables taken by Edmund Taylor in St. James Parish, Lunenburg County, Virginia and later reported in Early Settlers of Mecklenburg County, Virginia list Isaac Gregory: one tithe due for 1764 on fifty acres.

Isaac, his wife and at least two children moved to Mecklenburg, North Carolina where he was granted two hundred acres by Governor William Tryon on 26 October 1767. (North Carolina Land Grants File 2189, Grant 248, Book 23, p. 125.Image LInk

The land was located, according to the description found within the grant, on the south side of the Broad River on the South Fork of Brown’s Creek, above the “waggon” road.

A boundary dispute between North and South Carolina was settled a short time later and this tract of land became part of Union District, South Carolina. The tract was entered in the Auditor General’s Office of South Carolina, 30 September 1772, due to this annexation. (South Carolina Memorials, p. 432.)

Isaac obtained a Royal Grant  Image LInk in South Carolina as well. The second grant, another two hundred acres, was also located on the South Branch of Brown’s Creek in Craven County (RG v. 17, p. 89, 12 December 1768; RP v. 39, p. 275, 20 June 1768). A third grant Image LInk (Union County Deed Book D, p. 296) yielded another two hundred acres in the same area to Isaac. The deed (recorded 5 May 1773)  Image LInk reflects Little Brown’s Creek as the location.

The three above-mentioned grants are depicted in the Union County Historical Society’s Land Grant Maps of Union District.

Isaac and Alse Gregory reared six sons and one daughter. These children are named in his will (recorded in Union County Will Book A, p. 61-62, located in Box 2, Package 34, Union County Probate Office): Benjamin, John, Robert, Elizabeth, Isaac, Gerard (also spelled Jarred, Jarret and Jared) and Jeremiah.

Isaac probably died in March 1797. His will, written 13 August 1796, was recorded 3 April 1797. South Carolina estates were required to be filed within thirty days of the date of decease. He is buried in Union Union District, South Carolina, probably in the Gregory Cemetery in Santuc.

Isaac distributed his property as follows: The plantation, three slaves, house, stock, utensils of husbandry and all household furniture were to be retained by Alse in her natural life.

Upon Alse’s demise, Gerard was to receive the house and premises. The stock, implements of husbandry and household furniture were to be divided among all the children, including a child’s part which was to be divided among the children of his son, Benjamin, who had predeceased him. He also distributed eight slaves among his heirs.

His sons, Isaac and Gerard, served as executors and the instrument was witnessed by Nathan Sandage (Savage?) and Josiah Tyree.

After receiving his land grants in Union County, Isaac and his family had carved a place for themselves and their children in a newly formed nation, state and county.

The Stub Entries to Indents, which are actually receipts for Revolutionary Service, indicate that Isaac and all six of his sons served their new land in the war for freedom from English domination.

Jeremiah, John, Robert, Gerard and Benjamin received payment for service in Colonel Thomas Brandon’s regiment. All probably served in Captain Hughes’ company though Benjamin’s stub entry does not cite the company in which he served. Father Isaac and son Isaac provided rations for the militia.

Revolutionary War Ledgers & Journals


JAMES GREGORY (i.e.) Page 1096

276 3 July 1787 To General Duty 17 £53.9.10/2
286 6 August 1787 By Cash 559 £53.9.10/2
319 15 October 1787 To General Duty  1220 £11.1.7
354 17 February 1788 To General Duty   £113.16
370 22 April 1788 By Cash   £124.17.7
385 28 May 1788 To General Duty  1220  £23.14.4
420 September 1788 By Cash  559  £23.14.4


  17 February 1788 To Indents Redeemed 37




6 August 1788 To Sales of Lands 22 £5.18.1
Total of 1245 acres between three following:
Jane Arnett discussed on Indent Number 335R £10. 5.4
Benjamin Gregory discussed on Indent Number 2353X £5.18.1
William Fullwood discussed on Indent Number 545T £12.17.7



330 30 November 1787 Sales of Lands 235OX 22 £4.13.4
346 7 June 1788 Sales of Lands 235OX 22 £4.13.4


Gregory Military Service Stub Entries to Indents

Number Book Description Principal Annual Interest
2350 X Issued 8 April 1786 to Mr. Jeremiah Gregory for duty done in Capt. Hughes’ Co., Brandon’s Regiment as per account audited. £23.2.101/4 £1. 12.
2351 X Issued 8 April 1786 to Mr. John Gregory for duty done in Capt. Hughes’ Co., Brandon’s Regiment as per account audited. £5.5.81/2 £0.7.4
2353 X Issued 8 April 1786 to Mr. Benjamin Gregory for duty in Brandon’s Regiment per account audited. £10.11.5 £0.14.9
2354 X Issued 8 April 1786 to Mr. Robert Gregory for duty done in Capt. Hughes’ Co., Brandon’s Regiment as per account audited. £1 7.5.81/2 £1.4.2
2385 X Issued 26 May 1786 to Mr. Jerret (Gerard) Gregory for duty in Brandon’s Regiment. £11.18.21/2 £0.16.8
771 X Issued 27 September 1785 to Robert Gregory for Provisions in 1781 per account audited. £12.15.8 £0.7.10
772 X Issued 27 September 1785 to Isaac* Gregory for Provisions for Militia in 1781 per account audited. £3.4.3 £0.4.5
Page 72 8 July 1781: Received of Robert Alcorn one half bushel of corn for the youse (sic) of the Public. Received by me, Jeremiah Gregory
1431 X Issued 26 January 1786 to Mr. Isaac Gregory for Provisions and Forage supplied the Militia in 1779 and 1783 as per account passed by the Commissioners. £10.8.101/4 £0.14.7
1432 X Issued 26 January 1786 to Mr. Robert Gregory for 14 bushels of corn supplied the Public in 1782 as per account passed by the Commissioners. £2.9.0


 * Isaac’s name was first written JAMES, which was stricken and the name ISAAC inserted instead.


The Minutes of the Union County Court indicate that Isaac served as a juror no less than eleven times (pp. 16, 60, 295, 297, 298, 301, 302, 303, 327, 341).

He was also authorized, along with John Savage and William Farr, to lay out a road from Farr’s School House on Neal’s Creek to the Union County Court House (p. 31).

We know nothing of Alse’s parentage. Isaac and Alse were among the earliest settlers of Union County, South Carolina. Each of Isaac’s children, and what is known of them, will be dealt with in the succeeding sections of this book. The order of discussion will follow that which Isaac himself used in his will. This is believed to be the order of their birth, as it was the custom at that time to recognize children in this manner.

Following are Isaac’s will, land grants and survey plats.


Will Of Isaac Gregory

In the name of God. Amen.

I, Isaac Gregory of Union County, State of South Carolina, being weak in body but of sound mind, memory and understanding, thanks be to Almighty God and calling to mind the uncertainty of this transitory life and that it is appointed for all men once to die, do think proper to settle my worldly affairs wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in manner and form following, viz:

First and principally, I commit my soul to God, who gave it, and my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter named.

FIRST That all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be discharged as soon as conveniently may be after my decease.

ITEM I lend unto my loving wife, Alse Gregory, the house and plantation with all the land privileges thereto belonging; also three Negroes, viz: Bet, Peter and Adam; also my stock of every kind, utensils of husbandry and household furniture of every kind for her sole and proper use during her natural life. And after her decease, my will and desire is that the said land and premises thereto belonging shall be for my son Jarred (Gerard), his heirs or assigns forever; and my stock of every kind, implements of husbandry and household furniture to be divided in the following manner, viz:

One child’s part to be divided equally among my following grandchildren, viz: Sally, Gordon and William, being children of my son, Benjamin, deceased. The remainder to be equally divided among my following children: John, Robert, Elizabeth, Isaac, Jarred and Jeremiah.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my son, John, one Negro girl named Pat which he has now in possession and no more.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my son, Robert, one Negro boy named Cato which he has now in possession and no more.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my daughter, Elizabeth, one Negro woman named Bet with her youngest child named Sal to her, herself, and then to her children.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my son, Isaac, one Negro boy named Mark and no more.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my son Jarred one Negro boy named Peter and no more.

ITEM I give and bequeath to Jeremiah one Negro boy named Adam and no more.

ITEM I give and bequeath to my granddaughter, Sally, one Negro girl named Rose which her mother, Margaret, shall have in her possession during her life and after her decease, the wench and her increase to her daughter, Sally, and no more; and

LASTLY I do nominate, constitute and ordain my two sons, Isaac and Jarred, Executors of this, my will and testament, revoking and disannulling all other will or wills by me, one heretofore made, and do declare this only to be my last; whereunto I have set my hand and real.

13 August 1796
Witnesses Present

Isaac Gregory ( Seal )

Nathan Sandage
Josiah Tyree


North Carolina land Grant

ISAAC GREGORY: 200 Acres Mecklenburgh south side Of Broad River of the South Fork Of Brown’s Creek a little above the waggon road. Beginning at a white oak, north side of the creek, and runs south 75′ Et. 180 to a white oak; thence south I5′ Et. 180 to a white oak, thence north 75′ Et. I80 to a small white oak; thence to the Beginning.

Dated 27 October 1767
Wm. Tyron