Biographical Sketch of Abraham Mayfield (1763-1850)
Revolutionary War Veteran of Greenville District SC
by Phil Norfleet
Abraham5 Mayfield (Thomas4, Abraham3, Robert2, Robert1) was born Abt. 1763 in Culpepper County VA, and died in 1850 in Greenville District SC. He married Martha (maiden name unknown) in about 1785. She died after 1840 in Greenville District SC. Abraham was probably the son of Thomas Mayfield (d. 1803) and his wife Ann.
Children of Abraham and Martha Mayfield
Based on the Federal Census reports for 1800, 1810 and 1820, Abraham and Martha Mayfield had at least 4 sons and 2 daughters. Based upon my review of census records, probate papers and land records of Greenville District, the following four sons may be associated with Abraham and Martha:
Milestones in the Life of Abraham Mayfield (1763-1850)
Based on information contained in Abraham Mayfield Revolutionary War pension file, land records and other documentary sources, the following life milestone history may be constructed:
1763-1764: Abraham Mayfield is born in Culpepper County, Virginia. Although Abraham, in his pension deposition dated 19 March 1833, states that he was then 66 years of age, this is most probably wrong. He was more likely about 69 years old. He was purportedly drafted into the Bute County, North Carolina Militia in 1780. To be drafted, you had to be at least 16 years old, i. e., born in about 1764. Also, Abraham's age, reflected in the 1850 Federal Census for Greenville District, South Carolina, was given as 87 - thus indicating a year of birth of about 1763-1764.
1774: Abraham moves with his father, probably Thomas Mayfield (d. 1803 in Greenville District SC), to Bute County, North Carolina.
1779: Bute County is abolished; the northern part of Bute is made into the new County of Warren and the southern part into the new County of Franklin.
01 December 1780: Abraham is drafted into the North Carolina Militia. He was ordered to rendezvous at the Warren Court House, where he was placed in the company commanded by Captain George Nazrey. At about Christmas time, Abraham was dismissed with the orders "to be in readiness to march at a minute's warning."
01 February 1781: Abraham was ordered to rendezvous again at the Warren Court House. He marched from there to Guilford Court House, again in the company commanded by Captain George Nazrey. Here he remained until the Monday preceding the Battle of Guilford Court. On this Monday (12 March 1781), Abraham, having been taken sick, was sent home on furlough, in a group of about 30 other ill soldiers.
15 March 1781: Date of the Battle of Guilford Court House - of course Abraham did not participate in this famous battle.
August 1781: Abraham is again drafted into the Warren County NC Militia. He is ordered to rendezvous at the town of Halifax (in adjacent Halifax County) on the Roanoke River; there he was stationed for about eleven or twelve weeks under the command of Captain John Cokely.
October 1781: Abraham's Company is ordered to march to Wilmington NC. At that point in time, Abraham's father, because of the substantial danger of contracting Malaria or Yellow Fever in Wilmington at that time of the year, hired a substitute, a certain William King, to serve in the place of Abraham. Abraham Mayfield is never again called up for military service during the Revolution.
1787: Abraham and his father, Thomas Mayfield (d. 1803), remove to Greenville County, South Carolina.
15 January 1788: Thomas Mayfield (probable father of Abraham) of Greenville County SC acquires a 200-acre tract of land situate on the Enoree River, in Greenville County, from a certain John Wakefield. This deed is recorded in Greenville County on 18 February 1788. [See Greenville County SC Deed Book A, pages 165-168]
18 October 1791: A tract of land containing 176 acres is surveyed for Abraham Mayfield. The land is located on a branch of Enoree River in the southeastern part of Greenville County; the survey description states that the survey is directly on the "Ancient Boundary Line" that formerly (before 1777) separated the Colony of South Carolina from land held by the Cherokee Nation. This "Ancient Boundary" is now the line between modern-day Spartanburg County and Greenville County SC.
Abraham's land was plotted on a regional map prepared and published by the Union County Heritage Society in the 1970's. This regional map shows his 176-acre tract on the border with Spartanburg County.
02 April 1792: Abraham Mayfield receives a land grant for the above cited 176-acre tract.
14 September 1803: Benjamin Farmer conveys a 181-acre tract of land to Abraham Mayfield for a sum of $600. The land is described as lying on the north side of Enoree River in Greenville District.
08 February 1805: Abraham Mayfield conveys a 36-acre tract of land to Henry and Joshua Benson for a sum of $35. The land is described as lying on the waters of Enoree River, bounded on the east by the "Ancient Boundary Line," on the north by Abraham Mayfield's land, on the southeast by John Mayfield's land and on the west by other land of Henry and Joshua Benson. Abraham signs by making his mark.
21 May 1805: Martha Mayfield executes a sworn release of her dower rights to the sale of the above land. Martha signs by making her mark.
19 March 1833: Abraham applies for a Revolutionary War Pension (see File Number R7060) from Greenville District SC. Abraham's application is supported by the sworn statement of a certain John Daniel and Reverend Henry Wood; these men indicate that they have both known Abraham Mayfield for the last fifty-five years. This would imply that they knew him back when he was still living in North Carolina.
Documentation contained in Abraham Mayfield's pension application file indicates that his claim was never allowed as he was unable to prove that he had actually performed six months service or more, as required by the Congressional Act of 7 June 1832. The period of time that William King was his substitute could not be counted in this calculation of actual service.
1834: Abraham Mayfield, Sr. conveys, to Daniel Wood, a 155-acre tract of land lying on Enoree River. [See Greenville District SC, Deed Book R, page 307.] Note: I have not reviewed this land record; however, the land conveyed may be the residue of Abraham's 176-acre land grant, received by him in April 1792.
17 October 1842: Abraham Mayfield, Sr. conveys all his real property owned in Greenville District SC to Daniel Mayfield; the indenture was recorded on 17 September 1850. Pertinent text from this indenture was graciously provided by Leigh Smith of Spartanburg as follows:
... I Abraham Mayfield Sr. of the State and District aforesaid, having become old and infirm, I have agreed with my son Daniel Mayfield to the following contract.
First I transfer unto the said Daniel his heirs to all my right title an interest to the tract of land on which I now live on being part of a tract of land deeded to the said A. Mayfield by Benjamin Farmer the 14th day of September 1804 and part of a tract granted to the said A. Mayfield the 21st day of March 1792. This conveyance includes all the land of both the aforesaid tracts that I have not already conveyed and also I convey to the said Daniel Mayfield all my other property of every kind.
This transfer is made on the conditions that the said Daniel Mayfield is bound to support and maintain the Abraham Mayfield and his wife Patsey Mayfield the remainder of their lives out of the profits and proceeds of the plantation and other property. The support to be such as they have been accustomed to and proper for persons in this situation and to pay all the debts of the said Abraham Mayfield now owing after performing the conditions up to the time of their deaths which he the said Daniel doth covenant and agree to whether the property is worth so much or not and to keep himself and all the other children from being liable to pay anything for their support of the said Abraham Mayfield.
All this having been performed he is to have an absolute title to all land in fee simple to him and his heirs forever and also all the other property that may be on hand at the time.
Now the full understanding of the foregoing is simply this that the said Daniel Mayfield his heirs Exec. does covenant and agree to maintain and support the said A. Mayfield and wife as aforesaid and in consideration is to have the property that remains unexpended at his death and the said Daniel Mayfield is to go into immediate possession of all the property and manage the same so as to enable him to pay the debts and provide support for said Abraham Mayfield and wife. It is moreover a part of this agreement that should there ever arise any difficulty between the parties touching the manner of the support of the said Abraham and wife and charge made against the said Daniel of not complying with his part of the contract the same shall be settled by each party choosing one man and they two an umpire to settle all controversy that might arise as to the faithful fulfillment of this contract and their decision shall be binding.
It is moreover a part of this agreement that the rest of the children of A. Mayfield cease from this date to have any interest in the property of the said Abraham Mayfield and also are not liable in any manner for his support.
Given under our hands and seals this Oct. 17 1842.
/S/ Abraham Mayfield
/S/ Daniel Mayfield
Signed and acknowledged before us: Thomas P. Brockman, Jas. M. Morgan
01 June 1850: Abraham Mayfield is listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Greenville District SC; he is stated to be 87 years of age, was born in Virginia, and was then residing in the household of his son, Daniel Mayfield (Age 50, Dwelling Number 2215). The "Census Day" for the 1850 enumeration was 01 June 1850.
After 01 June 1850: Abraham Mayfield apparently died in the later part of the year 1850. From a sworn statement made by an acquaintance of Abraham Mayfield, Mrs. Alsey Wood, Abraham died prior to to 07 October 1850. See the following:
"Greenville District, South Carolina, 07 October 1850:
"Affidavit of Mrs. Alsey Wood, aged 71 years:
" ... that her sister Elizabeth Kendrick of Cherokee Co. GA who she understands is applying for a pension as the widow of Isham Kendrick a Rev. soldier (aged 80? years at this time), and Isham Kendrick were married in Warren Co. NC 62 years ago by one Wyatt Hawkins Esq., that she well recollects as she was present and saw them married; that a Miss Betsy Jackson was a waiter according to the best of her recollection; Miss Jackson was present she knows; that she went to live with her sister Mrs. Kendrick the seven years after her marriage with Isham Kendrick and continued in the family up to the time of her own marriage which took place the very last of the year 1793 or the first of the year following; that her sister Elizabeth Kendrick and Isham Kendrick lived together as husband and wife up to the time of his death which took place 31 years ago; she recollects the death of Kendrick by the death of one of her children which was in March 1818; that she has frequently heard Isham Kendrick speak of being in the revolutionary war of being in the battles of the Cowpens and at Hillsborough in a skirmish or battle; that her sister has remained the widow of Isham Kendrick up to this time. She states she has been acquainted with Abraham Mayfield from her first recollection and she has heard him speak many times of being in the war with Isham Kendrick, that Mayfield departed this life about six months ago in this district. ... " [See the Revolutionary War Pension Application File of Isham Kendrick, File Number R5862.]
There does not seem to be any court probate records for this Abraham Mayfield. Probably there was no need for a formal settlement of his estate via the court. He was, by 1850, an old man of 87 years, who no longer had any real property (it had been conveyed to Daniel Mayfield in 1842) and probably very little personal property.