Paragraph exerpted from "The Renfroe Family" originally submitted by dthomas 0819101 to Pittman & Thomas Family Tree. (The full article is also included among the stories on my profile entry for William.)
"The Baird family ancestry tradition tells us that the farm of William and Elizabeth Rentfro was located next to that of the Washington Family. That young George Washington and young William Rentfro, the 6th child of William and Elizabeth, played together as children; fishing and hunting over the farms. Both wanted to become land surveyors and learned the trade from William's older brother, James. James and William were brothers of our ancestor, Peter, Jr. William later fought in the various Indian Battles necessary to help protect the settlers in outlaying areas and he was usually following his boyhood friend, George. According to this tradition, William Rentfro spent the winter at Valley Forge and was present at the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. This is documented by William’s application for pension that states he returned from the Battle of Yorktown at about the same time he returned from his Revolutionary service. This substantiates the fact that William was in the battle. William received payment for militia duty in South Carolina, "for militia duty since the fall of Charleston in Blandon's Regiment of Anderson's Return". Also there is a William who signed the Oath of Allegiance in Henry Co, VA. in 1777. To further substantiate this story, various records show William Rentfro was a surveyor in VA. during the decades from 1754 until the Revolution. Additionally, "George Washington, A Biography", vol.. 1, page 197, states that young George Washington learned surveying from an unnamed neighbor. The Rentfro property bordered the Washington property and James Rentfro was known to be a surveyor. He was appointed surveyor in Jan. 1781 and deputy surveyor in Feb. 1783 and Daniel Boone was appointed surveyor on Aug. 19, 1783. From 1780 to 1787 surveyors were in great demand because of the immense bodies of land taken up. It is even rumored that a Renfrow woman bore an illegitimate by George Washington. I have found no proof of this."
The Renfroe Family
Although it has never been proven that our Renfroe’s (all spellings) are the direct descendants of Baron James Renfrew of Scotland, it is accepted by most researchers as the proper ancestry. At this time, there is no researcher to my knowledge who can prove the line beyond William and Elizabeth (Cheney) Rentfro. Descendants of Moses Rentfro, son of William and Elizabeth adhere to the tradition that we are descended from Baron James. Since the descendants of Moses have been the most active family researchers, it gives credence to the theory. I believe there is ample circumstantial evidence to make the theory believable; however, until there is proof, I offer this only as a research tool and leave the information up to you to interpret. Since I find it easier to “get a feel” for our ancestors when I know where they lived, I have included a brief description of the areas they lived. I have also included information regarding the name RENFRO. If your interest lies only in your ancestor, please just skip over this document.
Scotland is traditionally divided into the Highlands and Lowlands, both historically and topographically. The Highlands are the part of the country originally occupied by the Celts. The dividing line between the two sections runs from the northwest corner of Caithness to the southwest border of Scotland, around the Firth (River) Clyde.
Glasgow is Scotland's oldest city; there was a settlement at a ford over the River Clyde as far back as AD500. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was a wealthy market town, and its architecture was widely praised throughout Europe. The Clyde had not been dredged into the major waterway it is today and was still a lowland salmon stream.
Now Glasgow is a major industrial city and seaport. Its size and power are largely the result of a dynamism generated all over Britain during the Victorian era.
Renfrew, Scotland's history dates from Roman times and in later years included in the Kingdom of Strathclyde which stretched from Cumberland to the River Clyde. From the time of the Roman departure until the district's union with Scotland in the 11th century, Renfrew's history was one of constant bloodshed. From the 9th century on, the inhabitants had to also contend with attacks by plundering Danes and Norsemen.
The city itself is thought to have been built by David I, who became king of Scotland in 1124.
The parish of Renfrew is distinguished for its connection with the ancient house of Stewart. In 1157, King Malcolm IV, confirming the previous grant by David I, bestowed Renfre Castle and its lands on Walter Fitz-Alan. He was appointed High Steward of Scotland, the office being hereditary and the family took the name of Stewart. One of the family married Marjory, daughter of Robert the Bruce. Their son became Robert II of Scotland, the first Stewart King, in 1370. (This interests me very much since my Stewart family lines can be traced back to this king).
Subsequent charters confirming the Royal Burg of Renfrew were granted by Janex VI in 1575 and 1614. The title of Baron Renfrew was bestowed by the burg and district on the heir-apparent to the Scottish throne in 1404 - a title that is still held by the Prince of Wales.
From this report it is evident that variants of this name existed in Scotland from before 1296 into the present generations.
THE NAME OF RENFREW
Renfroe is the 6,256th most popular last name in the US. There is a Renfro Valley in Rockcastle Co., KY and Renfroe Creek in Nicolas Co, KY, both of which were named for descendants of William and Elizabeth Renfro.
The origin of the name, RENFREW, is obscure. It is believed that it was derived from the work RHYN, meaning "a point of land", and FREW, meaning "the flowing of water".
Renfroe is a Scottish name, spelled Renfro/Renfrow. It comes from the location Renfrewshire, Scotland. Its Gaelic elements translate to mean "running stream". The man that immigrated from there to a new location, was called by that name: Renfro. This was to differentiate him from others in the new town with the same first name.
The first record of the RENFROE family name was found in Edinburghshire, which is located in the Scottish English Border Ridings. The Renfroe family traces their ancestral roots back to Strathclyde Briton origin before the year 1100. The Renfroe family Shield is a ship in full rigging, furled. There is no crest or motto.
In Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin, Meaning and History by George Fraser Black, page 688, Mr. Black states: "RENFREW, of local origin, of the same name in Renfrewshire. The name first appears with Adam de Reynfru of the county of Edenburk when he paid homage to the King of Scotland in 1296. Robert Reynfreu or Reynfru, a Scots prisoner of war from Stirling, was incarcerated in the Castle of Old Sarum between 1304 and 1307. The name Renfrew appears with Galfridus Renfrew in Aberdeen in 1408. Bartholmew Renfrew appears as a charter witness in Glasgow in 1841, Robert Renfrew in Abby Parrish, Paisley, 1772, Andrew Renfrew in Englesham died 1939.
About 1525, after the defeat of the clan, the then reigning Baron, James RENFREW, was exiled from Scotland and the title claimed by a younger brother. The exiled Baron moved to France. There he accepted the French spelling of RENFREW as RENTFRO and this James Rentfro married a French woman. Thereafter, he and his family became citizens of, and bore their allegiance to, France. (NOTE: This spelling of Renfroe appears again and again in the research of Granddad’s family.)
SYMON RENFE, born 1613 Rentfrewshire, Scotland, died 1690 in VA, who came to America before May 6, 1638 according to Nell M. Nugent's "Pioneers and Cavaliers", page 546, and Virginia Land Records found in the State Archives of Virginia in Richmond in patent book 1, part 2, page 546, paragraph 5 "Symon Roufe newly arrived at James City, London Co., 6 May 1638 Virginia". Symon is in Barbados at the Baptism of his daughter, Hester at St. Michael Parrish on Febraury 14, 1651 and then his son Symon on Jan. 4, 1652.
The next man of this name, ROBERT RENTFREE, is found on the well known HOTTEN'S LIST of Passengers and Immigration, vol.. 3, 1680 Barbados, page 1730. Hotten Original Lists of Person of Quality. Parish Register of Christ's Church, Dec. 22, 1679, page 484; Robert Rentfree, ten acres of land; no wife nor negro slaves mentioned, and 1680; "Parish Register of Christ's Church", 22 Dec. 1679 also mentions this Robert Rentfree Next is Robert's marriage to Mary Evans on Aug. 28, 1667 at the Barbados Christ Church.
It is highly possible this Robert is the son of Symon who researchers believe to be the son of Baron James Rentfro.
One source of Renfroe/Renfro/Rentfrow ancestry, Lucille Marre Renfroe, wrote after he trip to Renfrewshire, Scotland, the following: “Visited Paisley/Renfrew in Scotland. Castlehead Parrish Church Cemetery on Canal Street. Janet Renfrew buried there.”
The descendants of John Renfrow of Grayson Co, KY have a tradition of French ancestry passed down for generations. Leonardo Andrea of Columbia, SC, a well know genealogist, stated in a report to several Renfro searchers, "we know that Peter Renfro and his brother, William, who held lands in Fairforest, Union Co, SC came from France to South Carolina just prior to the Revolution." He did not state the source of this information. Among the descendants of William, there is no mention of the France background. Most adhere to the Scottish and Irish ancestry. Most all agree that the Renfros were from Scotland, the variance seems to be the journey in route to America. Of course we know that Baron James Renfrow was a Scottish man who relocated to France.
Josie and Delilah Baird’s book coupled with information on record in Salt Lake City Utah at the Mormon Family History Center indicate that William and Elizabeth Rentfro's son, Rev. Moses Renfro's descendants traditionally tell the stories handed down to them by ancestral grandparents regarding the French origin. Mr. Black's story of Baron James REYNFRAU of the fourteenth century fits into their stories. Rev. Moses Rentfro would have been a brother to our direct ancestor, Peter Rentfro, Jr. Rev. Moses Renfro's families had preserved more family history, and had done more actual research than any other researcher of the line in 1973, when the Baird sisters wrote their book, “William Renfro 1734 - 1830, Some Descendants, Relatives and Allied Families". (NOTE: The term Jr. did not always apply to a son but could apply when names for any elder family member, such as an Uncle or Grandfather. Our Peter, Jr. was named for his father's brother.)
Many variants of the name have appeared in colonial records from Virginia and the Carolinas. One person may have been listed with many different variants throughout his life. It is a fairly known fact, especially with genealogy researchers, that the variants of most surnames and some common Christian names on early Colonial Records reflect the nationality of the clerk who kept the records rather than the person whose records he wrote. Federal Census records reflect the same as do many court records. Spelling being phonetic.
Many emigrants to Virginia moved across the river into Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania then returned to Virginia. Several Renfros are found on the records of these early counties on the edges of the mountains on both the western slopes and the eastern. One of the first emigrants was a John Rontfro of record in Delaware. He appears on pages 18 and 19 of records of the Welsh Tract Baptist Meeting, Pecander Hundred, New Castle Co, Delaware, 1701 to 1728. Citing: " Signers of the Confession of Faith, 1725.....John Rontfro......Margaret Rontfro" and "The names of Such as has been removed from us by death.....John Rontfro" Although John was a member of this Welsh community church, it is believed he just roamed into the area and settled with these people, not that he had Welsh ties. All research points to his French/Scot background.
John Rentfro's house is mentioned in a coroner record at Court, 26 June 1707, Chester Co, PA, History of Chester Co, PA, G. Cope and J.S. Futhey.
John Rentfro was a witness to the will of Thomas Rowland on Mar. 3, 1708 in Chester Co, PA (Gilbert Cope, "Gen. & Pesn. Memoires of Chester Co & Deleward Co, PA. II:435. Newberry Library E4854085)
In 1712 and 1718 John Rentfro witnessed to Quaker marriages in Chester Co, PA. And appears on tax list in 1718-1719 in New Garden Township, Chester Co, PA; 1724 Birmingham Township, Chester Co, PA and 1726 in Nottingham Township, Chester Co, PA. (NOTE: Although John was a witness to a Quaker marriage, there is no record he was a Quaker. He is on the Welsh Tract Baptist Church records. It was not necessary to be a Quaker to witness for them.)
At a Monthly meeting in East Nottingham, Cecil Co, Maryland (later Virginia), in 1734, John Renfro was witness to the wedding of Geo. Hollingsworth. Also present was Elizabeth Renfro (Maryland Arch. Annapolis, Film M564)
The will of Samuel Robinet, April 30, 1745, Chester Co, PA mentions son-in-law, John Rentfro and grandson, George Rentfro (first mention of the given name, George), at Nottingham. (Book F (A 1) p 555, dated May 23, 1745. This will not only proves the Margaret Robinet/John Rentfro marriage, but also proves that he was alive as late as 1745. Margaret was John's first wife.
Sometime after the death of Margaret, John moved to Edgecombe Co, NC and married Tomasin Simmons. Sometime in-between, John was in Frederick Co, VA where he witnessed a Quaker marriage. It should be pointed out that others than Quakers did witness these marriages on occasion. John was on the Welsh Tract Baptist roll earlier. Many of his descendants were Baptist ministers in later generations. One Franklin County resident points out that some may have been Anglican, as Anglican services were held in some of the Rentfro homes prior to the Revolution.
John Rentfro's will was filed in Edgecombe Co, NC in 1748. The will lists, sons; George, Enoch & Jacob Ranfrow; wife, Tomasin, and "her two sons", William Ranfrow and James Ranfrow. (NC Wills, 1663-1789, vol. XXVI:27, State Archives, Raleigh, NC. Wife, Tomsen Ranfrow and Matthew McKinney Executors.
Edgecombe Co, NC was formed from Bertie Co. in 1741. Later became Granville Co, laying on the South West side of the Roanoke River adjoining Virginia.
Evidence that John was married to Tomasin Simmons is found in the property settled on her by her mother, presumably soon after her marriage. "Mary Simmons to John Rentfroe of Edgecombe Co., tailor, 14 Mar 1742/43 for the love and affection I bear my son, (son-in-law); 100 acres of land on the north side of Buck Swamp, joining Joseph Lane and Baker's Branch, all houses, orchards, gardens, etc. Part of a grant to Edward Simmons, 17 Oct. 1735, May Court 1743, deed book 5, page 61, Edgecome Co, NC.
John Rentfro was named in many legal transactions in NC involving land transactions and acting as a witness in legal transactions for others.
The Virginia of today is only a small part of the territory originally known by that name. The name "Virginia" first was applied to all the Atlantic coastal region of North America claimed by England. It was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I, who was called the Virgin Queen because she was unmarried. In 1607 the Virginia Company of London founded the first permanent English colony in America and named it Jamestown.
Virginians were prominent among the statesmen and military leaders who united the 13 English colonies, led them to victory in the Revolutinary War, and wrote the basic documents under which the nation is governed. The final, major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Virginia in 1781. The battles that ended the Civil War and preserved the union were fought in Virginia in 1865. Virginia played an important part in the westward expansion of the United States. Rentfro's were amoung the Virginians taking part in these victories. Some Rentfro's left Virginia by wagon train in the Pioneer days while others stayed where they were.
Orange County, Virginia was formed from Spottsylvania in 1734.
In 1738 Orange Co, VA included present-day counties of Augusta, Frederick, Culpepper, Madison, Greene, Shenandoah, Rockbridge, and Rockingham in Virginia; most of the state of West Virginia; and all of the state of Kentucky.
Joseph, William. Stephen and James as well as others are mentioned in various references on Virginia, particularly in the area that would become Pittsylvania Co in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
RENTFRO'S IN VIRGINIA
In Virginia the traditions vary regarding the RENTFROS. However, after the founding of Jamestown in 1607, three brothers, John, James and William Rentfro, descendants of Baron James Rentfro of France came to Virginia and settled in 1630.
It is not known whom these brothers married, but James Rentfro , Joseph Rentfro, and William Rentfro, were their descendants. In the 1929 "History of Pittsylvania County", page 45, Maud Carter Clement states Peter Rentfro settled on the Western side of the mountains, but James and Joseph crossed over and settled on the Blackwater, whereby they operated a mill. Rentfro's path along the Blackwater was frequently mentioned by the surveyors. A road, probably the Warwick, led from James Rentfro's across the Blue Ridge to Little River (1747)."
Peter, Stephen and James Rentfro are listed as members of the Pittsylvania Militia in 1742 and the 1767 tax lists show Peter, Joseph, James Sr., and James Jr. as owning land in Pittsylvania Co.
Orange Co, VA was formed from Spottsylvaina in 1734
John Rentfro appeared in Orange Co, VA. Records in the 1730's. Also Peter Rentfro was employed in the vicinity by John Patton's land company. Other Rentfros remaining in the part of Orange Co. that later became Augusta Co and later still, Frederick Co were James Rentfroe, Stephen Ranfro and Peter Renfroe. Also in this same general vicinity were Joseph and William Rentfro.
William Rentfro, son of John and his second wife, Tomasin Simmons, was born in James City Co, VA. (Some researchers claim he was born in NC. It is very possible, the family lived on the "dividing line") He married Elizabeth Ann Cheney in James City, VA. The Rentfro's were important people in VA. They owned much land and held positions of Mayor, Officers in the Militia, Superintendent of Elections, were land and road surveyors and were sheriff's and magistrates.
Although several of Peter's brothers were officers in the Revolutionary War, I find no record of Peter having fought. I have not researched this in detail yet. Later, I will do an in-depth search to determine if he did fight in that war. It is highly likely that he did. Larry Smitt has located a book that indicates the Peter fought in the first battle of the Revolution at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers near current day Huntington, WV. We are researching this fact. This battle was fought while Peter was living in Madison Co, KY. While the distance between the two sites is not that great, it is possible that he could have been there at
that battle. Those participating in the battle were granted land in that area for their service. have not found where our Peter Renfro owned land in that area.
The Baird family ancestry tradition tells us that the farm of William and Elizabeth Rentfro was located next to that of the Washington Family. That young George Washington and young William Rentfro, the 6th child of William and Elizabeth, played together as children; fishing and hunting over the farms. Both wanted to become land surveyors and learned the trade from William's older brother, James. James and William were brothers of our ancestor, Peter, Jr. William later fought in the various Indian Battles necessary to help protect the settlers in outlaying areas and he was usually following his boyhood friend, George. According to this tradition, William Rentfro spent the winter at Valley Forge and was present at the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. This is documented by William’s application for pension that states he returned from the Battle of Yorktown at about the same time he returned from his Revolutionary service. This substantiates the fact that William was in the battle. William received payment for militia duty in South Carolina, "for militia duty since the fall of Charleston in Blandon's Regiment of Anderson's Return". Also there is a William who signed the Oath of Allegiance in Henry Co, VA. in 1777. To further substantiate this story, various records show William Rentfro was a surveyor in VA. during the decades from 1754 until the Revolution. Additionally, "George Washington, A Biography", vol.. 1, page 197, states that young George Washington learned surveying from an unnamed neighbor. The Rentfro property bordered the Washington property and James Rentfro was known to be a surveyor. He was appointed surveyor in Jan. 1781 and deputy surveyor in Feb. 1783 and Daniel Boone was appointed surveyor on Aug. 19, 1783. From 1780 to 1787 surveyors were in great demand because of the immense bodies of land taken up. It is even rumored that a Renfrow woman bore an illegitimate by George Washington. I have found no proof of this.
Three of Peter's brothers' Moses, Isaac and Jesse, became Baptist Ministers in the states of Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky. (Tennessee in the case of Jesse). Many generations of Renfros since have had a Baptist Minister. Granddad and one of his brothers were.
In 1761 William deeded 350 acres of land on Indian Run, that had been deeded to William in 1757 by Nicholas Haile, to Moses Rentfro. This is probably Moses' inheritance from his father. The oldest son, Thomas Rentfro, received land from William in the amount of 175 acres on Gill's Creek, Bedford Co, VA, deed book 1, page 129, 1757. Thomas was deceased in 1761 when his property went to Moses Rentfro, his younger brother. Moses then deeded this land to William Rentfro, Jr., Thomas' son, acting as heir of Thomas Rentfro, deceased. (Bedford Co, book 2, page 88). Here again you will note that William, Jr. was named for his grandfather, not his father. The families were so close, the junior was probably necessary to keep them straight.. Between 1757 and 1765, William Rentfro, bought and sold land tracts in Bedford Co., VA. As recorded in Bedford County Deed Book 2, p. 122, 85, 525, 526 and 623.
A will was left in Botetourt Co, Va in 1789.
Peter Rentfro, Jr. was born in 1745, the youngest of William and Elizabeth's 12 children. He married Hester Richardson (not proven). Peter is found at Renfro Station, in what would later become Tennessee with his brothers, Moses and James in 1780. James was a surveyor with Daniel Boone and James Thompson. Peter was a surveyor with Col. Richard Henderson of the Transvalnia A descendant of George W’s brother, John William, Larry Smitt, is also researching our line. He has provided me with tax information on Peter and information that places him at Renfro Station. He has also provided me with information on Samuel, Peter‘s son. Larry’s mother, Ruth Smitt, is the president of her local DAR.
Peters Jr. and Sr., James and John Rentfro had numerous suits for debt (probably taxes) in Pittsylvania and Halifax Cos in 1770 and 1772; which were dismissed as they were no longer residents of the Counties. Always looking for "greener pastures", they had already left the area.
A Memorial Grant of 300 acres on Sugar Creek of Fairforest Creek, was made to Peter Rentfrow in Craven Co, SC (currently Union Co, SC) in 1773 from the King. This land lies just west of Unionville, Andrea, SC, in Union Co. This was probably Peter Jr. since he is listed with a wife and two children under age of 16.
The next generations of Renfro's, the third in America at least, followed their pioneering forefathers in a search for greener pastures. They were among the first to pioneer the western lands of the country, now found in Tennessee and Kentucky.
Some of the best known Renfros of the third and fourth generations in America were Joseph Rentfro of Bedford Co; James Renfro of Halifax Co; William Renfro of Botetourt Co., Peter Renfro of the Carolinas and Stephen Renfroe of Western Virginia and Eastern Tennessee.
The first reference to a Rentfro in the territory that later became Tennessee was Peter Rentfro who was in the area in 1746. This would have been Peter, Sr., brother to William Rentfro, and our Peter's uncle.
In Speed's “History of Tennessee", "Peter Renfro was a gun-maker and resided above where Nashville now is in 1743." (The date of 1743 is probably a typographical error. Peter is not believed to be in Tennessee in 1743.) Five Renfro men were killed by Indians on the trip through the mountains with Donelson". (Another error; Donelson’s party went over water. Robertson’s party went overland. The Renfro’s were with the Donelson party on the river trip.
From 1780 to 1830, several Rentfro's were killed and scalped by the Indians: Joseph in April, 1780 at Battle Creek; Bartlett in May, 1780 at Freeland's Station; James in 1787 at the mouth of Duck River on the Cumberland River; William in Greene County; and, Stephen Sr. in 1794 at Crab Orchard in Cumberland Co.
Tennessee became a state in 1797 and what was Davidson Co, NC became what is now Montgomery Co, Tennessee.
In 1779, Rev. Moses Rentfro led a party of family members including brothers, Isaac, Joseph and James and father, William. Moses' wife Hannah and her brother, Soloman Turpin, as well as other family members, were traveling with them. They traveled overland and camped at Fort Patrick Henry on the Holston River in what was then Washington Co, NC; current day Kingsport, TN. They arranged to join Col. John Donelson who planned to lead an expedition into middle Tennessee for the purpose of establishing new settlements. Together they would travel from the fort down the Holston to the Tennessee River, down the Tennessee to the Ohio River, up the Ohio to the Cumberland River to the French Lick Salt Springs at the bluffs (modern day Nashville). They left on December 22, 1779 in 30 river vessels. [Of interest to me was that a Mary Jones, daughter of Isaac Jones, who had married a Rentfro and was also with this party. My Jones family is from Mitchell Co, NC, the same general vicinity and there are several Isaac's in my line. I have not tried to tie these two together yet. I still have lots of research to do on the Jones family.]
In "Tennessee the Volunteer State 1769-1923“ volume 1, MONTGOMERY COUNTY: "Montgomery County, named for John Montgomery, was erected in 1796. Its first permanent settlement was made by Moses Renfroe and his company when they left Col. John Donelson's colony on April 12,1780." In 1780, as they were on their way up the Cumberland to the great French Lick (Nashville). Moses Renfroe ascended the Red River to the mouth of Person's Creek where he built Renfroe's Station (sometimes called Red River Station). Among these settlers were Moses, Isaac, Peter, Jr., Joseph and James Renfro. Several Historians have written of the "Old Peter Renfro", Peter, Sr., who was killed by Indians between 1781 and 1782 between Freeland's Station and French Lick. Haywood's, "History of Tennessee", page 133 and also the Draper Papers, Newberry Library, Chicago. Peter Rentfro was a pioneer who "dared to go where others feared to tread". Records indicate that Peter, Jr. was with the surveying party of Col. Richard Henderson when they met up with the Donelson floatilla on March 1780. It is supposed that Peter left the surveying party and continued with Moses to the Red River Settlement. However, Peter was no longer at Renfro Station at the time of the massacre. He had moved on to TN by then.
From 1780 to 1830, Renfro's settled in Montgomery, Davidson, Sullivan, Hawkins, Knox, Greene, Grainger, Roane, Maury, Henry, Lincoln, Wayne, Hardin, Hickman, and Sevier Counties in Tennessee.
One story I found interesting about the Renfro brothers in Tennessee: "In late spring when the winter rains had slacked off and the creeks were back within their banks, we would go fishing for catfish. On Saturday when the mules were not being used for farm work, the Renfroe brothers, W.T. Brantley and I would take the Renfroe wagon with two mules hitched to it and go through the back fields to Cedar Creek. At one place there was a rather deep pool and a good place to park the wagon near by. We would try to arrive early in the afternoon so we would have time to cut poles and look for fish bait." This story indicates that it was not "all work and no play", they did enjoy fun times with friends and family members. This probably was not our Renfro brothers but Peter was in TN after he was at Renfro Station with his brother, Moses.
The families stayed close together and owned properties adjoining one another is VA, SC, TN, and KY. Even though some may have only been cousins of varying degree, they were a close family. The following is a quote from the Baird sisters in their book in 1973, "This is true of many of the descendants living today---this strange feeling of kinship among those of us who are "back-tracking" our forefathers". Today, in the year 2000, the same sentiment is alive. Renfroe researchers are quick to help and to claim "kin" no matter how far removed. This can be witnessed by our own family ties, the Renfroe clan is a close family.
1769-1771 Daniel Boone made an expedition over the Appalacian into what is now Kentucky
1772 Fincastle Co, VA. Created from Botetourt Co, VA.
1774 The first permanent settlement was established by James Harrod
1777 Western portions of Fincastle Co, VA, including all lands West of the
Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, was set aside as Kentucky Co. VA.
1778 Virginia passed a series of land laws applying to all her Western lands--the first declared: "at the end of the War, all VA Soldiers, sailors & marines are entitled to 100 acres of un-appropriated land and every officer so much as is allowed to officers of the same rank in VA Regiments--the district South of the Green River set apart for officers and soldiers of VA. In the Continental and State Service." Also preferred rights to those persons who settled prior to Jan. 1778 on 400 acres and had made a crop of corn thereon- -pre-emption rights to them.
1780 Kentucky Co, VA Subdivided into Jefferson, Lincoln and Fayette Counties.
1780 Moses Rentfro settled Renfro Station. Peter Rentfro, Jr. was present
1785 Madison Co and Mercer Co formed portions of Lincoln Co.
1794 Franklin Co formed from portion of Mercer Co.
1792 Kentucky became the 15th state on June 1, 1792
1819 Owen Co formed from portion of Franklin Co.
1895 Elliot Co and Boyd Co were formed.
Kentucky was a "state-land" state, meaning the state government appropriated all land within its borders. Land was surveyed in odd-sized lots in much of the state; but west of the Tennessee River it was surveyed in townships. Several types of land grants were issued in Kentucky. Warrants authorizing surveys of the desired land were issued to persons qualified to receive grants for military service (military warrants) or cash payments (treasury warrants).
There is a large group of Renfrow's in Kentucky that have been there since early 1800's. The Renfrow's of Butler Co, KY were certainly a wild and gun toting bunch! It is said they were charming, but mean as rats if crossed! (Source: Ruth Renfrow Veltri and Renfrow Heraldry Books). This would certainly be in keeping with their Scots ancestry; as was their pioneering nature, ever looking for greener fields.