American roots

Jacob Archdeacon Cody

Sarah York

From some notes on the Archdeacon family by Mattie Pegues Wood 2012, Ancestry:
long before the Revolutionary War, James Cody, an Archdeacon, and two brothers left County Kilkenny, Ireland, for America. One settled in Canada, one in Ohio where the city of Cleveland now stands.

It is from this line that William F Cody, aka Buffalo Bill, is descended.

James settled in Virginia in 1730 near Richmond on the James River in Halifax Co. He then moved to Halifax County, North Carolina, then after 1768 he and his wife settled in Wilkes (now Warren) County, Georgia.

However we have conflicting dates and info about Jacob.

This bio of Jacob was posted in Ancestry by Sandra Evans.

A first generation American, Jacob was the fifth son of James Archdeacon/Cody III from Kilkenny, Ireland and Sarah Womack. He was born 11 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was 24 years old when George Washington was selected President. Jacob spent his childhood living on his parent’s farm in Prince Edward Co, VA.

In about 1775, when Jacob was 10 years old, James III moved his family about 50 miles south to Caswell Co, NC. James IIIs older brother, Edmund Archdeacon and his family remained in Prince Edward Co, VA.

Unfortunately, few records chronicle Jacob Cody’s activities between his birth and his purchase of land in Georgia in 1804. Like his father, he was probably about 5 feet, 6 inches tall – about middle sized for the Colonial period. His hands and arms would be those of a man used to felling trees, plowing fields and splitting his own firewood. He was a farmer and as such enjoyed no social standing. He never learned to write and probably only had rudimentary reading skills.

In the early 1790s, at about the time North Carolina entered the union, Jacob’s brothers and sisters moved to Georgia where they were recorded on the tax rolls. Jacob apparently went to Georgia with them as he married Elizabeth Gilliland (b. ca. 1780) in Jackson Co, GA in 1803 at 38 years of age. In Jan. 1804, Jacob Cody purchased 75 acres near Beach Creek in Jackson Co, GA for $270.43. Jacob and Elizabeth stayed in Jackson Co until about 1812 — after the birth of their fourth child. With their four children and all their household belongings piled into heavy wagons, they left Georgia for Giles Co. TN. Travel was slow and arduous everywhere; the roads were appallingly bad especially so in the South. It would take more than a month to reach their destination.

In 1814, Jacob Cody received 50 acres of land in Giles Co, TN from Joel Echols. The land was part of a larger land warrant that Echols received in 1794 from the State of North Carolina for raising troops during the American Revolution for the protection of Davidson Co, TN. The service that Jacob Cody rendered for the 50 acres is not known. Jacob and Elizabeth Cody sold the land in 1816 for $100. On Nov. 16, 1816, the deed documenting Jacob Cody’s sale of 50 acres of land in Roberson’s Fork, Giles Co, TN to Samuel Patrick was registered with the State. Robertson’s Fork is located in northern Giles Co, TN about 1 mile south and half-way between the towns of Lynnville and Waco. As written in the following 1815 land deed, it was common to use trees in defining property lines.

Sarah’s grandfather Jeremiah York emigrated from England to the Pipe Creek Settlement of Maryland between Baltimore and Philadelphia in the early 1700’s.
By 1750 Jeremiah York and possibly three sons Henry, John, and Semore had migrated into Granville County, N.C. in what is now Randolph Co., N.C.

The North Carolina Colonial Records indicate Semore York was very active in the Revolutionary War on the side of the Loyalists – those who supported the British Crown. On January 10, 1776, Governor Josiah Martin, royal governor of North Carolina issued the order: To William Fields, James Hunter, Robert Fields, Jeremiah Fields, and Seymoure York, Esquires of the County of Guilford; “…to form the forces you shall so raise, into companies of fifty men each, and to appoint one Captain,… and give you full power and authority to seize and take whatsoever may be necessary of arms, ammunition, provisions, horses, and carriage for the subsistence and accommodation of His Majesty’s faithful subjects…”

Semore York was a loyalist Tory, served as British Captain, and was later captured at Moore’s Creek and taken prisoner for several months. On April 1776 a list of prisoners in the Halifax Gaol included Semore York. On October 12, 1776, his wife Sylvania Aldridge York petitioned the Council of Safety for his release. 

Sarah was born in 1755 and in 1773 married John Wellborn. John Wellborn served in the NC militia, on the opposite side to his father-in-law!

American original thirteen colonies, 1775

The American Revolutionary War started in 1775, when the thirteen colonies objected to the imposition of taxes and lack of colonial representation by England. It ended in 1783.

Elizabeth had 10 children with (presumably) John Wellborn:
James b1774
Ann b 1776
William b 1777
Jesse b 1779
Elias b 1781
Martha b 1784.

Martha was born in Randolph, North Carolina, when Sarah York Wellborn was in her late 20’s. At this time Jacob, then about 19 or 20, was living in Caswell County. In the image below, the top square represents Caswell County and the bottom square Randolph County. We don’t know where in the respective counties each were living at the time.

Elizabeth was born in 1786.

After Elizabeth, Sarah had another four children:

Sarah b 1888
John b 1790
Isaac b 1793
Enoch b 1797

There are so many questions, and of course, we will probably never know the answers.

Did Sarah Know Elizabeth was the child of Jacob Cody? Was the liaison consensual?

How did Elizabeth get to Dublin – WHY did she go to Dublin? Did she marry in America, and then travel to Dublin with her husband?
Once there, why was she transported? And why use the name Elizabeth Church? Was this a married name?
I wonder whether she was in fact transported for a crime such as vagrancy – if she had no where to go this is often what happened to young women, and perhaps she grabbed at the name Elizabeth Church?

This WordPress site developed and maintained by Sue Thomson Contact: