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Notes for Spencer Clinch River Breeding

Breeding Cemetery
Located on Rt. 661, high on a hill above the town of Artrip. From Lebanon, take Rt. 82 to the town of Cleveland. Cross the Clinch River and turn right on Rt. 661. Follow Rt. 661 until you cross the river again and you will be at the town of Artrip. Go to the railroad tracks and park there. From here you have to walk through a cattle yard and up the hill to your left to the old Artrip school house. Then walk up another small hill directly in front of the school house and the cemetery is on top. Many graves are marked only with field stones.

Russell County, Virginia
Will Book 5, Page 2
Executed 07 Jul 1835

I, Spencer Breeding of Russell County and state of Virginia, do make my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say:

1st. I give to my daughters Lavica and Lavina the sum of one hundred dollars each, to be enjoyed by them and their heirs forever.

2d'ly. I give the residue of all my estate after payment of my debts and funeral expenses to my daughter Sandesty, my two sons Spencer and Bryant, my wife Hannah and such other children as she may lawfully bear to me in wedlock, in equal proportions, to be enjoyed by them and their heirs forever. And it is my will that the real estate of which I may die, seized and possessed be sold by my executor herein after named on a credit of twelve months, which with the proceeds of my personal estate is to constitute a fund for the purpose contained in this and the first article.

3dly. I have heretofore given to my sons and daughters John Breeding, Nancy Ball, Elisha Breeding, Betsy Lark, Sally Fields, Winny Childers, Polly Kizer, James Breeding, William Breeding, Susannah Sloan, George Breeding, Alsy Colly and Elijah Breeding all that I intend for them to have of my estate.

4thly. I hereby constitute and appoint James P. Carrell to be executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other or former wills or testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof I hereto set my hand and affix my seal this 9th day of November 1833.

Spencer X Breeding (seal)

Signed sealed and declared
as and for the last will and
testament of the above named
Spencer Breeding in the presence
of John Sewell, E. D. Kernan

Virginia, to wit:
At a court held for Russell County on the 7th day of July 1835
This instrument of writing was exhibited in court as and for the last will and testament of Spencer Breeding, deceased, and proven by the oaths of John Sewell and Edward D. Kernan the subscribing witnesses thereto, to be his true last will and testament, and ordered to be recorded. And James P. Carrell the executor therein named refusing to take upon himself the ___ of the executor thereof, Hannah Breeding the widow of the testator appeared in open court and relinquished her right to administer. Whereupon William K. Colley who married Alsy a daughter of the testator and is still living, and who, had the said Spencer Breeding died intestate would have been entitled to a portion of his estate as a distributor but to whom nothing is devised by the will aforesaid, applied in court for administration there being no other application by any other person either as legatee or distributor; and it appearing to the court that the said widow and those interested in the estate concurred in wishing the said Colley appointed as administrator, and it further appearing that Spence Breeding an infant of seven or eight years old one of the legatees named in said will has died since the date of the said will and previous to the death of the testator, it was insisted upon by the cousel of the testator in a suit brought and now pending in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery of this county, in the name of the said Spencer Breeding against Jesse Vermillion and Samuel Leace, that the said William K. Colley was by law entitled to receive the appointment of administrator in preference to any person who in case there had been no will was not a distributee, which motion was opposed by the counsel of the said Vermillion, as well because, he contended, no right accrued to him under the circumstances, and because in the suit aforesaid the said William K. Colley was deemed an important witness in behalf of the defence, and had heretofore been summoned and depended on as such, and of whose testimony the defendants in the suit aforesaid, would be deprived if appointed the representative of the testator. Whereupon the court refused to grant letter of administration to the said William K. Colley and appointed Robert Stinson to that situation who is not interested in the estate as a legatee or distributee. And the said Robert Stinson having taken the oath prescribed by law, and and entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of $3000 with George Smith and George S. Jessee his securities, conditioned as the law directs, certificate is granted the said Robert Stinson for obtaining letters of administration on the said decedants estate with his will annexed in due form.

James P. Carrell, C.R.C.

SPENCER R.3 BREEDING SR (JOHN2, BRYANT1) was born in Augusta Co, VA 1 May 1759. Source: Breeding Family Bible. On 8 Jan 1833 in Russell Co, Va, Spencer appeared before the Russell County Court and gave his age as about 73. He made a sworn statement regarding his service in the Revolutionary War. He said he entered the service from Rockingham County, Va. about 1779. SPENCER died 24 Jun 1835 in Artrip, Russell Co, VA, at 76 years of age. Information provided by Mary Fletcher. His body was interred 27 Jun 1835 in Artrip, Russell Co, VA, Breeding Cemetery. The cemetery sits on the hill above Artrip and the Reeds Valley Church. The earliest stones date back to the late 1800's. There are also a few unmarked field stones there. Spencer's grave is the first one to the right as you enter the gate.

He married twice. He married ELIZABETH FINNEY in Luray, Page Co, VA, 5 Aug 1786.

From the Heritage of Russell County Virginia 1786-1988, Vol. II page 179: "It is unusual that Spencer's bride, Elizabeth Finney, wrote her own marriage consent. It appears below.

"This is to let you know I am willing to have Spencer Breeding for my wedded husband given from my hand, Batsea Finnea (Betsy Finney), this the third day of August 1786." Witnessed by James Breeding.

In the marriage records of Rockingham County, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Book 1. page 169 Spencer Breeding and Elizabeth Finney's marriage is recorded. In the license her name is given as Elizabeth Finney. In another place her name is given Elizabeth Finnell, daughter of Thomas Finnell. It is also stated that she is "above the age of twenty one." Finell or Fennille is another way Finney was spelled. It has evidently been angelicized [sp.] as the name Breeding was.

ELIZABETH was born in Augusta Co, VA circa 1765. ELIZABETH was the daughter of THOMAS FINNEY and .... ELIZABETH died 31 Mar 1822 in Artrip, Russell Co, VA, at 56 years of age.

From The Heritage of Russell County, Virginia, Volume II, page 179: "Thomas Finney, Elizabeth's father, later moved with his family to Russell County. He settled at Finney on Thompson's Creek. Submitted by: Janette Breeding Askins."

He married HANNAH HICKS in Russell Co, VA, circa 1822.

It is not known when he married Hannah Hicks, but probably about 1822 (she would have been 12-15 years old) as their daughter Lavina was born about 1822/3, Sandesta was born about 1824, Lavica was born about 1825, Spencer, Jr., in 1826 and Bryant was born in 1832.
(In the probate record, 7 Jul 1835, a statement is made concerning Spencer, Jr. "and it further appearing that Spence Breeding an infant of seven or eight years old one of the legatees named in said will has died since the date of the said will and previous to the death of the testator").

HANNAH was born circa 1807. There is some conflict on just when Hannah was born. The 2nd marriage record for Hannah, widow, shows her age as 43 in 1855 (which would make her born in 1811 or 1812). The 1850 Russell County, Va Census shows Hannah as age 40 and living with John Jessee but doesn't show relationship. Possibly Mother-In-Law? Anyway this would place her birth at around 1810. Other researchers state she was born in 1807 but there is no evidence to support that date. HANNAH was the daughter of CLAIBOURNE HICKS and ELIZABETH .

She married JOHN MCREYNOLDS in Russell Co, VA, 16 Jul 1855.

SPENCER served in the military in Rockingham Co, VA, 1779. On January 8, 1833, Spencer, now an old man in his seventies, appeared before the Russell County, Va Court. He gave his age as about 73. He made a sworn statement regarding his service in the Revolutionary War.

He said he entered the service from Rockingham County about 1779. He enlisted under Captain Frazer. After marching to Colonel Smith's in the upper end of the county, about thirty miles, he joined a Company from Augusta County commanded by Captain Givens.

His Company, under Colonel William Bowyer, marched from Rockingham to the present state of Ohio to fight hostile Indians. He had enlisted for three months. After arriving at the Ohio, they built a fort, later called McIntosh in honor of the General under whom they served. When his three months tour expired, he returned to Rockingham County, Va.

The next summer, 1780, he was drafted for a tour of three months to fight the British forces at Norfolk and Portsmouth. He served under Captain Michael Cogar, Lieutenant Michael Rhuark, Major Hamilton and Colonel William Noll. He marched from Rockingham County to Richmond and to Sandy Point. Here he crossed the James River and marched to Smithfield and the neighborhood of Portsmouth.

He remained at Portsmouth for a short time and then marched south to a place called Edmond Hills. While there, his three months term expired and he was discharged. He did not participate in any battle except some small skirmishes. He relinquished his claim to a pension.

Per Russell County Virginia Heritage Book, Vol 1. Russell County Va Book 9, page 429 (probably Order Book). Above notes from Kevin W. Carter, 6810 Brisbane Street, Springfield, Va 22152, e-mail

SPENCER was elected in Russell Co, VA, 21 Jul 1787. Court Record for 21 Jul 1787, Russell County, Va., shows Spencer Breeding appointed a Constable in place of William Johnson. Per E. J. Sutherland, compiler, Russell County, Virginia Data, which cites "Book 1, page 159:

He sold land 16 Jun 1794 in Russell Co, VA. The following individual is also linked to this event: ROBERT WEBB (Grantee). Spencer Breeding and Betsey, his wife, to Robert Webb for 50 pounds, 20 acres on the Clinch River. Signed by Spencer Breeding and Elizabeth Breeding. Filed July Court 1794. Deed Book 1, Russell Co, Va., 1787-1795, page 23 of abstract book, citing Deed Book 1, page 328.

He sold land 22 Jul 1794 in Russell Co, VA. Spencer Breeding and Elizabeth, his wife, to John Short for 200 pounds, 10 acres on Weaver's Creek, the west and north side of Clinch River...part of a larger tract containing 400 acres." Signed by Spencer Breeding and Elizabeth Breeding. Filed July court 1794. Deed Book 1, Russell Co, Va., 1787-1795, Page 23 of abstract book, citing Deed Book 1, page 327.

He bought property in Russell Co, VA, Feb 1797. Spencer was granted 20 acres of land on the Clinch River, Russell County, Va by John Breeding. Russell County Deed Book 3, page 262.

SPENCER registered to pay taxes in Upper District, Russell Co, VA, 1797. The Russell Co, Va, Upper District, Land Tax List, "new listings only." "Spencer Breeding, assignee of J. Breeding, 215 acres."

He sold property in Russell Co, VA, Oct 1799. In Octber 1799 Spencer Breeding, grantor of 50 acres of land on Clinch River to John Breeding, grantee, per Russell County, Va Deed Book 3, page 55?.

SPENCER was a plaintiff in a court case in Russell Co, VA, 23 Nov 1802. "On the motion of Spencer Breeding it is ordered that a summons issue against __ Breeding widow and relict (as supposed) of John Breeding, Senior, deceased to show cause why she does not come forward and administer on the estate of said John Breeding and that the Sheriff take the said Estate into his possession and proceed as the law directs until an administrator is appointed." Quoted as printed in Lee County Book. Russell County, Virginia Order Book 3, page 233

He served on a jury in Russell Co, VA, 16 Apr 1817. Spencer Breeding was part of a Grand Jury of inquest that brought an indictment against "Samuel Bristow and Covy Jordan for affray and Breach of the peace." Source: Russell County, Va Court Records, Courthouse, Lebanon, Va, Common Law Order Book 1, pages 152-153. Note: Covey Jordan was Jacobus Covey Jordan, b. 1784, d. after 1860, Russell Co, Va.

SPENCER was a defendant in a court case in Russell Co, VA, 16 Sep 1818. "An indictment against Spencer Breeding for retailing spirits without a license, a true bill. Three other indictments against the same person for the same not true bills. Source: Russell Co. Va Court Records, Courthouse, Lebanon, Va, Common Law Order Book 1, page 121.

SPENCER was a defendant in a court case in Russell Co, VA, 14 Apr 1819. On 14 Apr 1819, Russell Co, Va, Commonwealth decided not to prosecute Spencer Breeding for retailing liquor contrary to law, but issues new summons: to wit, sold 1/2 pint of brandy to John Hibbert at his (Spencer's) home and permitted it to be drunk there on 10 May 1818. Source: Russell Co, Va Court Records, Common Law Order book 1, pages 219-220.

SPENCER was a defendant in a court case in Russell Co, VA, 14 Sep 1819. Russell Co, Va., Information filed against Spencer Breeding for retailing spiritous liquors without a license. Case dropped later because Commonwealth forgot to get a continuance. Source: Russell County, Va, Court Records, Common Law Order Book 1, pages 241, 244 & 269.

SPENCER was a defendant in a court case in Russell Co, VA, 13 Apr 1821. Russell Co, Va., "Ordered that Spencer Breeding, who is now in court for a contempt offered to the Court by frequently conveining in the courthouse and at the door thereof so loud as to interrupt the proceedings of the Court, be fined in the sum of six dollars." Fine was remitted the next day on Spencer's motion, "satisfactorly evidence appearing of his good demeanor." Source: Russell Co, Va. Court Records, Common Law Order Book 1, pages 292, 295.

He made a will in Russell Co, VA, 9 Nov 1833. SPENCER's will was probated in Russell Co, VA, 7 Jul 1835. Final settlement transpired on 7 Dec 1839.

Per Steve Behr, 4501 Clinton Avenue, Loraine, Ohio 44055:
"In 1792, John Breeding, Sr., gave his son, Spencer, his settlement rights to the 400 acres provided he deed half of it to his grandson, John Breeding, III, son of Bryant Breeding, when the boy became 21. Bryant, John's oldest son had been killed in the Revolutionary War. When John III reached 21, Spencer refused to give the land and the two John's sued Spencer for half the land. The court gave it to them. John, Sr., made a deed to his grandson, John III, giving him the land at his death. Upset by this, Spencer sued his father for $5.".

The following information is extracted from material provided by Mrs. Marie Fetter, 302 E. Charleston Avenue, Jeffersonville, IN 47130, to Mr. Pat Owen Breeding of Louisville, KY. Marie e-mail: Mr. Pat Owen Breeding, 10504 Autumn Creek Place, Louisville, KY, 40229. (502) 962-8251 (as of Apr 1999). Pat's e-mail:

"Descendants of Spencer and Elizabeth say that one of the Breeding girls was captured by Indians, but that she escaped and made her way back to a ford in the river. To keep from being washed downstream, she held a flat rock on her head and waded safely across. When she came to the spring below the house, she called to her family, and a joyous reunion ensued. She had become very thin from wandering in the wilderness."

From the Heritage of Russell County, Virginia 1786-1988, Volume II page 179: "The Heritage of Russell County, Volume I describes the log house that Spencer Breeding built. Further research shows the Breeding's used the one room on the third floor to defend themselves against Indian attack. They fired at the Indians, placing their guns through holes in the logs on all sides of the room. There were also larger openings in the logs over the doors and windows. If an Indian came to a door or window, they could pour hot water on them. The whole house was put together with wooden pegs.

"The Breedings mined salt peter from the Peter Cave on Clinch River. They hauled it to a location near the log house and boiled it down making gun powder."

Per Pat Owen Breeding: "If you want to visit the graves of Spencer and his father, John, be prepared to walk up to the top of the mountain. Their home place and grave yard is on top of a beautiful mountain. The mountain has no trees, all cleared off and cattle grazing there. As you stand there and look, 360 degrees around in the background, hugh mountains all around in the background, very distant. Just fantastic. And, looking down in one direction, you can see the Clinch River which is close by and it is winding around. The Clinch also goes down to Tennessee because I passed over it in the big truck, sign said "Clinch"."

SPENCER R. BREEDING Sr and ELIZABETH FINNEY had the following family:

JOHN4 (#2595) was born circa 1788. He married SARAH "SALLY" HACKNEY in Russell Co, VA, 1827.
NANCY was born circa 1790
ELISHA was born 1791
BETSY was born in VA circa 1793. She married UNKNOWN LARK.
WINNIE was born in VA 1794. She married WILLIAM CHILDRESS.
SALLY was born in VA circa 1795. She married UNKNOWN FIELDS.
MARY "POLLY" was born 1796
JAMES H. was born in Russell Co, VA 1797.

In the 1850 census James H is listed as age 53 and living with his brother George. This would tend to verify his birth date as 1797. However, his tombstone says he died Jan 14, 1783 age 80 yrs 1 mo and 5 days which would make his birth date: Sunday, 9 Dec 1792. JAMES died 14 Jan 1873 in Buchanan Co, VA, at 75 years of age.

WILLIAM was born 1798
SUSANNA was born in VA circa 1801. She married UNKNOWN SLOANE.
AILCY was born in Russell Co, VA circa 1805. She married WILLIAM K. COLLEY in Russell Co, VA, before 1835. According to her father's will's Probate Record, she was married to William K. Colley.

ELIJAH was born 1806
GEORGE was born 1808

SPENCER R. BREEDING Sr and HANNAH HICKS had the following family:

LAVICA "VICY" was born 1823
LAVINA was born 1823. LAVINA died 1901 at 78 years of age. She married SOLOMON ROWE in Pike Co, KY, 17 Mar 1845.
She was twin to Lavica.

SANDESTA was born in VA circa 1824. She married RUEL OSBOURNE in Tazwell Co, VA, 10 Dec 1843.
SPENCER JR was born in Russell Co, VA 1826. SPENCER died 1834 in Russell Co, VA, at 8 years of age. He was 7 or 8 years old. He died prior to his Father in 1835 and after his father's will in 1833.
BRYANT was born 11 Apr 1832

Revolutionary Pension Application of Spencer Breeding
Law Order Book 9, Page 429
January 8, 1833
State of Virginia, Russell County, to-wit:

On this 8th day of January 1833 personally appeared before the County Court of Russell County in the State of Virginia, Spencer Breeding, a resident of the County of Russell and State of Virginia, aged about seventy three years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declarations in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the Act of Congress passed June 7th, 1832.

That he entered the service in the Revolutionary War in Rockingham County in the State of Virginia but does not now remember the year, but thinks it was 1779 under Capt. Frazer, and after marching to Col. Smith's in the upper end of said County or lower end of Augusta, about 30 miles from the place of their rendezvous, joined a company from Augusta County under the command of Captain Givins, and that they were then placed under the command of Col. William Bowyer, the name of the Major not now recollected and marched from thence to the now State of Ohio against the hostile Indians, on a three months' tour, and after arriving at the Ohio river, they engaged in building a Fort, since called McIntosh in honour of General McIntosh under whose command they were then placed, where they remained until the said tour of three months had expired, and was then discharged and returned home to Rockingham County in the State of Virginia, without having been engaged in any battle and as he now remembers during the ensuing summer, which he thinks was in the year 1780, he was drafted on a tour of three months to go against the british forces about Norfolk and Portsmouth, in the Stae of Virginia, and that he was attached to the company commanded by Capt. Michael Cogar, Lieutenant Michael Rhuark, the name of the Ensign not recollected, and were placed under the command of Major Hamilton, and Col. William Noll and marched from Rockinham County in Virginia to Richmond and from thence to Sandy point, where they crossed James River and from thence to Smithfield and from thence to the neighbourhood of Portsmouth then in the possession of the British, and after remaining there a short time marched in a South direction to a place called Edmond Hills, and the term for which he had last entered the service having then expired were then discharged without having been engaged, in any battle, except some small skirmishes and he returned after having served the first time against the Indians three months under General McIntosh and three months in the State Line against the British, making in all six months. He hereby relinquished every claim whatsoever to a pension or an annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension Roll of any agency in any state. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Spencer X Breeding

1815 Russell County, VA. Tax Assessments
SPENCER BREEDING, one farm on Clinch River, 482 acres having thereon four dwelling houses all of wood, one two stories, 26 feet by 20 feet, the other three all of one story, two of them 16 feet square, the other 20 feet by 16 feet, three barns of wood, one thrashing house, two stables, two corn houses, two kitchens, one loom house, valued at $1928.

"How can a tangled web that appears so open be so impregnable as when we try to pierce it when we delve into genealogy!"
-Jerry A. Penley-

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