I have three Gatlin lines and all of them lead back to one couple: John Gatlin and Esther Tingle. John Gatlin and James Gatlin purchased a marriage bond January 6, 1784 for John to marry Esther Tingle. There are two sources that lay out their children. The first is a deed of gift (Craven County Deed Book 30, page 130), dated February 22, 1793, from Esther’s father, Solomon, to the children:
To all People to whom these presents shall come I Solomon Tingle do send Greeting.
Know ye, that I the said Solomon Tingle of the State of North Carolina in the County of Craven Farmer for and in consideration of the love good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my loving grand children Abner Gatlin, Mille Gatlin Shadrack Gatlin Holon Gatlin of the same County sons and daughters of John Gatlin and Esther his Wife, have Given and Granted and by these presents do freely Give and Grant unto the said Abner Gatlin, Nille Gatlin Shadrach Gatlin Hollon Gatlin their Heirs Executors or administrators all to one Feather bed and furniture to one Linen Wheel, to one pewter bason, one pewter dish, four pewter plates, to five head of cattle to four head of hoggs, of which before the signing of these presents I have delivered them the said Children an Inventory signed with my own hand goods and cattles to the said Children their Heirs Executors or administrators from henceforth as their proper Goods and chattels absolutely without any manner of condition In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of February 1793.
Signed Sealed & delivered Solomon (his mark) Tingle
In the presence of us
March Craven County Court 1793
Then was the deed acknowledged in open court by Solomon Tingle the grantor and ordered to be recorded.
Attest Samuel Chapman CC
Many Tingle researchers seem to be unaware of Esther’s relationship to Solomon. Probably due to her omission from his will, dated September 30, 1784. In it, he mentions sons Solomon and John, daughter Mary, and wife Mary. The will was proven March Term 1795. I strongly suspect that he had another daughter not mentioned in the will, the Mills Tingle who married John King October 11, 1782 with Amos Cuthrell as bondsman. According to the text of their respective bonds, both Mills and Esther were “of Christ Church Parish”. This raises the question, in my mind, anyway, of whether Solomon’s wife, Mary, was a Mills. But that’s a puzzle for another time.
The second piece of documentation proving the children of John Gatlin and Esther Tingle comes from Craven County Deed Book 39, page 535:
This Indenture made and executed, this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen by and between Esther Gatlin, widow and Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, heirs at law of John Gatlin deceased of the County of Craven, and State of North Carolina of the one part, and John Reel Esquire of the County & State aforesaid, of the other part; Witnesseth, that the said Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, and Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, for and in consideration of the sum of Dollars to them in hand paid, by the said John Reel at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge, have given, granted, bargained, and sold, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain and sell, unto the said John Reel his heirs and assigns their undivided shares or portions of a certain tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in the County of Craven on the north side of Neuse river and the West side of Morgan’s Swamp, beginning at a white oak in the fork of turkey neck branch and running thence, north forty five Degrees West one hundred and sixty poles crossing the main prong of turkey neck branch, to a stake in back [or buck] savannah, about half a pole to the north east of a marked pine saplin, then north forty five Degrees East one hundred and sixty poles to a pine, in or near John Gatlin’s other patent, then to the beginning, containing one hundred and ten acres, more or less, being the same tract which was patented by the said John Gatlin 24th day of October, A.D. 1782.–To Have and to hold that portion, share or dividend of the said tract herin before bounded & described with its appurtenances, which descended to the said grantors as heirs of the said John Gatlin to the said John Reel his heirs and assigns for ever and the said grantors for themselves and their heirs, Executors and administrators, to and with the said John Reel his heirs and assigns do hereby covenant and grant thir said undivided interest and share in the tract herein before described with its appurtenances against themselves, the said grantors, and their respective heirs and against the lawful claim or claims of all persons whatsoever, unto the said John Reel his heirs and assigns forever to warrant secure and defend by these presents– In Witness whereof the said Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, & Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.–
Esther [her mark] Gatlin
Milly [her mark] Roe
Hollon [her mark] Roe
Signed sealed and Delivered in the presence of
So, the children of John Gatlin and Esther Tingle were:
- Abner Gatlin (b. 1785)
- Mills “Millie” Gatlin (b. 1788) married Jeremiah Roe January 29, 1812 with Abner Gatlin as bondsman
- Shadrack Gatlin (b. 1790) married Margaret Stevenson May 15, 1811 with Elijah Gatlin as bondsman
- Holland Gatlin (b. 1792) married Shadrack Roe December 17, 1811 with Jeremiah Roe as bondsman
I descend from all but Abner. Shadrack through Mom’s maternal grandmother and both Mills and Holland through Dad’s maternal grandmother.
It all looked pretty cut and dried until I found another deed, Deed Book 41, page 306:
This Indenture made this 16th day of December one thousand eight hundred and sixteen between Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrick Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife grantors of the County of Craven and State of North Carolina of the one part for and in consideration of one hundred dollars to them in hand paid by Shaderick Roe of the County and State aforesaid of the other part at the sealing and signing of these presents the receipt and payment whereof is hereby is acknowledged the said Grantors have bargained sold conveyed and confirmed and do hereby bargain sell convey and confirm unto Shaderick Roe his heirs and assigns forever our several undivided shares in a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Craven on the North side of Neuse river and east side of Little Swift creek and east side of Bumpy ground swamp begining at a small sweet gum on the said Swamp to the center of a big laurel and sweet gum and turns No. 62 Et. 25 poles to a pine John Harris’ corner then with his line No 45 Et 128 poles then So 18 Et 60 poles to a stake then So 6 Wt 80 poles to a pine then So 40 Wt 66 poles to a pine in Simon Bexley’s line then with his line No 42 Wt 60 poles to a stake then So 67 Wt 56 poles to the Bumpy ground Swamp then with the various courses of the said Swamp to the begining which land was patented by Ephraim Gatlin and by a legal decent came to the present proprietors and by them sold to Shaderick Roe. To have and to hold the said several undivided shares contained in said Ephraim Gatlin’s Patent with all ways woods waters and every other appurtenance thereunto belonging to Shaderick Roe his his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple and we the said grantors for ourselves our heirs Exrs. and admirs do covenant and promise to and with the said Shaderick Roe his heirs and assigns that we shall and will warrant and forever defend each of our undivided shares in the aforesaid patent free from all lawful claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day and year first above written.
Ester [her mark] Gatlin
Abner [his mark] Gatlin
Milly [her mark] Roe
Signed Sealed and delivered in presence of
John [his mark] Evernton
Lazarous [his mark] Ipock
Who was Ephraim Gatlin? The only other document I’ve found with his name on it is the patent mentioned in the aforementioned deed, entered January 10, 1798 and issued June 3, 1799. If he’s old enough to patent land in 1798, then he was born in or before 1778. How does he fit into the overall Gatlin jigsaw and by what legal descent did Esther and her children come by this land? Does anyone out there have a clue? Cause I don’t. I’ve considered two possibilities:
- That Ephraim was John’s son by a previous marriage. But this would not explain how Esther would have acquired any share in the land.
- That Esther married Ephraim sometime after John’s death. But, in the first deed, dated September 11, 1815, she’s referred to as Esther Gatlin, widow. The second deed is dated December 16, 1816. So when did John die? Ephraim? There is no estate record for Ephraim, but there are three for a John Gatlin dated 1801, 1807, and 1811.
- John Gatlin, Sr. (1801) – Died before March 9, 1801. On that date, Esther Gatlen, John Gatlen and David Gatlen paid £100 administrator bond on the estate of John Gatlen.
- John Gatlin (1807) – Clearly, this is the John who married the widow Dolly Barnes.
- John Gatlin (1811) – Died before June 10, 1811 when Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin & Shadrack Gatlin paid £500 administrator bond on the estate of John Gatlin.
Chances are high that our John is the one who died in 1811. Looking at the estate sale, which occurred July 3, 1811, Esther, Milly, Abner, Hollan, and Shadrick are the top buyers. John Gatlin, Sr. is, probably, the one who married Esther Johnson sometime in the 1760s. The only other documents in our John’s estate folder pertain to the required audit and settlement of the accounts of the administrator, in this case, Esther, with the Estate. This is dated March 5, 1816. Usually, when a widow remarries, and that widow is the administratrix/executrix of an estate, those duties are transferred to the new husband. There is no documentation to show that this occurred in this case.
It’s a puzzle.
Here’s a little something else to throw out there, from Deed Book 33, page 107:
State of North Carolina, Craven County
To all Men to whom these presents shall come I Elizabeth Gatlin senr. send greeting. Know ye that I the said Elizabeth Senr. of the County and State aforesaid for and in Consideration of the Love good Will and affection, which I have and do bear towards my two Grand Sons Abner Gatlin & Shadrick Gatlin, both of this County & State have given & granted and bye these presents do freely give and grant unto my said two Grand Sons Abner & Shadrick Gatlin their Heirs & Assigns forever, a Certain Tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the State and County aforesaid and on the South East Side of Swifts Creek and North Side of Neuse River: Beginning at a large Pine by the Side of the white March, from thence So. 29 ds. East 40 poles to a post in Samuel Lawsons given Line thence North 65 Et. with Lawsons given ine 153 pole to his Beginning Corner a Gum in Kitten Bridge Swamp then South 55 ds East with Lawsons line 83 pole to a pine, then No. 40 ds. East 52 pole to a Stake in Ephraim Pearcesis Line then North 30 ds with his line 45 pole to a Light wood Stump said Pearceis beginning Corner in or near Willis’s Line 154 pole to the cutting Ledge [or Lodge] Marsh then along the Marsh side and binding on the Side of the Marsh to the Beginning Containing one hundred and fifty Acres of Land, unto them the aforesaid Abner and Shadrick Gatlin and their Heirs and Assigns forever, with all the Houses plantations Timber profits, benefits and advantages to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining unto them the said Abner & Shadrick Gatlin their Heirs and Assigns forever may have hold and quietly possess the aforesaid Land and Improvements Clear from the just Claim of the aforesaid Elizabeth Gatlin her Heirs or any other person or persons whatsoever to their proper use, without any manner of Consideration. In Witness whereof I have hereunto put my Hand & Seal this ? day of ? 1797 August the 12th day
signed sealed & delivered in the presence of us
Elizabeth [her mark] Gatlin
Lazarus [his mark] Gatlin
Baron [his mark] Gatlin
Mary [her mark] Gatlin
State of North Carolina
Craven County Court March Term 1798
Then was the foregoing Deed proved in open Court agreable to Law and ordered to be registered
Attest Saml Chapman CC
The identity of this Elizabeth Gatlin, Senr. is just one more Gatlin puzzle. Trust me, there were a lot of Gatlins marrying women named Elizabeth! This land was originally entered by John Gatlen, Junr. May 8, 1779 and his grant issued October 9, 1783. He sold it to Elizabeth August 6, 1792 for £100 (Deed Book 30, page 139).
Oh, and, if you’re curious, here is John Gatlin’s “other patent” mentioned in the John Reel deed (North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data, Book 20, pg. 707, Grant No.: 110):
John Gatlin: 100 acres Craven on the N side of Neuse river and on the W side of Morgans Swamp Beginning at the head of Turkey neck at a post oak and runs No 75 W 127 poles to a pine then So 15 W 127 poles to a pine then So 75 E 127 poles to a pine on Morgans Swamp from thence a direct course to the Beginning dated 14th November 1771. Jo Martin