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Boone Society

Some Thoughts About Daniel’s Brothers, George Boone and Edward Boone By: Ken Kamper Copyright 2015

Very little has been written about Daniel Boone’s brothers and sisters, other than for his youngest brother Squire. Squire’s place in print was assured by his close involvement in a number of Daniel Boone’s exciting adventures, and for his own similar activities. But there were nine more brothers and sisters, and they all remained relatively close with Daniel and each other. To learn about Daniel’s brothers and sisters, it is necessary to fill in some of the many blank spaces in the Boone story. Two of those blank spaces pertain to where the younger brothers and sisters were during their earliest years in Pennsylvania and then prior to their marriages in North Carolina. The following may offer the answers.

1745-1749: Daniel Boone had been born October 22, 1734, as the sixth child of Squire and Sarah (Morgan) Boone. He had five older brothers and sisters: Sarah, Israel, Samuel, Jonathan, and Elizabeth, and five younger: Mary, George, Edward, Squire and Hannah. There is very little information available on Daniel’s brothers and sisters, other than a few Quaker records, and the various accounts written by Daniel and his younger brother Squire. However, by taking what is known and making some logical assumptions, there seems to be an answer for why his younger sister Mary, and younger brothers, George, Edward and Squire, were quite close to him in later years. The reasoning starts with the reliable account about how Daniel, when he was ten years old was chosen to go with his mother during the long pasturing season. The family pasture was a 25-acre tract of land ten miles north of the family homestead. While at the pasture Daniel’s job was to watch over the cattle.

Previous writers have not addressed the issue of how the mother and father handled raising their children while the mother was away from home for five months or so each summer. At the time Daniel and his mother left to go the pasture the first season, in 1745, his oldest sister Sarah, 20, had already married, and a realistic assumption would be that the older brothers and sister, Israel 18, Samuel 16, Jonathan 14, and Elizabeth 13, most likely stayed with their father to help with the weaving, blacksmithing, and farming business at the homestead. The logical assumption is that the younger children more than likely went along to the pasture with Daniel and their mother. The younger children at that time would have been Mary 8, George 6, Edward 4; and the youngest brother Squire was just six months old. The youngest sister Hannah was born a couple years later. With Daniel being the oldest boy, another logical assumption would be that the younger boys would have been closely attached and involved with their 10 year old big brother Daniel. The pasturing arrangement seems to have continued each year until the end of the season of 1749. For those five years Sarah and her younger children would have shared a summer long special closeness together at the log cabin. Part of the basis for the assumption of all of the younger children being at the pasture together for those five years, is the four oldest of the six children at the pasture, Daniel, Mary, George and Edward, all followed each other to marry into the closely knitted Bryan family.

1749-1764: In 1749, as the move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina became a serious consideration for the family, the father Squire, took Daniel 15, Henry Miller 15 (who was learning the blacksmith trade under Squire), and Daniel’s sister Elizabeth 18, and maybe one or two of the older sons, on a long journey to western North Carolina. The purpose of the trip was to check out the land situation for moving. Daniel and Henry hunted to provide much of the food, and young Elizabeth no doubt handle the meal preparations and other womanly chores. The younger children would have remained at home with their mother in Pennsylvania.

The entire family moved to the Yadkin River valley in the spring of 1750. Mary was 14, George 12, Edward 10, Squire 6, and Hannah 4. Tradition states that the family lived first at what is now known as Boone Cave, along the Yadkin River, however Squire soon located on a 640 acre tract of land on Dutchman Creek.

Following the move, Daniel and Henry continued to hunt fo, meat and for the money received from the furs. Nothing further has been found regarding the younger siblings of Daniel until 1755 when his younger sister Mary married William Bryan, from the Bryan settlement four or five miles to the north. William Bryan was just seven months older than Daniel. He was also the uncle of Rebecca Bryan, the seventeen year old girl Daniel Boone married the next year. The same year as Daniel’s marriage his oldest brother Israel died of consumption a few months after his wife had died of the same disease. Their four children, or at least the two boys who were the oldest, went to live with Daniel and Rebecca.

From the time of the move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in 1750, until the move north by Daniel and his parents in 1759,.the only record of Daniel’s two younger brothers George and Edward, is that Edward, like his sister Mary and brother Daniel married into the Bryan family. He married Martha, the older sister of Rebecca Boone. The exact date is unknown, but using the birth date of his first child, Edward seems to have married at the age of 17, in the year 1757.

On October 12, 1759, as the Cherokee Indians were carrying out a number of hostile acts in the Yadkin region, Squire and Sarah Boone sold their 640 acre Bear Creek tract to their son Daniel and their 640 acre Dutchman Creek tract to their 15 year old son Squire, Jr. Soon after selling their land they took Squire, Jr. and their youngest child Hannah, age 13, up north to Pennsylvania, away from the Cherokee conflict. (Previous accounts have stated that they went to Maryland where Squire, Jr. apprenticed in the gun trade under his first cousin, Samuel Boone. However, there are documents showing Samuel was living in Pennsylvania at the time, and moved to Maryland after Squire’s apprenticeship.) (SHA-96)

The Bryan settlement on the other hand was anchored by nine mature and seasoned frontier men, Old Morgan (Rebecca’s grandfather), his seven sons, and his son-in-law William Linville. Most likely, the Bryans had always maintained a friendly relationship with the Indians, perhaps even a good trading relationship. It is obvious that Daniel and Edward were also there and therefore no doubt George was also. There is no record of Indians disturbing the Bryan Settlement during this period of hostilities. It is known however that Rebecca’s uncle, Morgan Bryan, Jr., was the Captain of a Company of Militia, and that Daniel was one of the privates in the company.

Around the same time as his parents move to Pennsylvania, Daniel took his family north to live in Virginia to avoid the Cherokee hostilities. At that time Daniel and Rebecca already had two sons, James and Israel. There had to be a reason for their going to live in Culpepper County, near Fredericksburg, but that reason is unknown. After settling Rebecca and the two boys and those they had “adopted” in Virginia, accounts show that Daniel returned to North Carolina where he remained in the militia during the Cherokee conflict.

Although George purchased 640 acres in 1761 next to his brother Squire’s Bear Creek tract, he most likely spent most of his time in the Bryan Settlement where several years later he married Rebecca Boone’s first cousin, Nancy Ann Linville. Two years after his marriage in 1766, George was one of the men from the Bryan Settlement to go out and bring back the bodies of Nancy’s father and brother. Both had been killed by Indians while out hunting in the western wilderness. The location where they were killed is now called Linville Falls in recognition of the sad event.

George and Edward both moved their families to live with Daniel at Boone’s Station in 1779, and the next year Edward was killed by Indians when he had gone out hunting with Daniel. He left a widow and six children, the oldest 22 and the youngest 9. Edward’s wife Martha was 43 years old at the time and per the signing of her will, she probably died thirteen years later, in 1793. Later, in 1768, when Daniel moved his family further up the Yadkin River to live along Beaver Creek, in present day Wilkes County, both George and Edward also moved their families to the same location. Neither George or Edward are found in records during any of Daniel’s activities during the next ten years, however the youngest brother Squire Jr. and John Stewart, the husband of his youngest sister Hannah, were very involved with Daniel. John Stewart was killed by Indians when he was hunting with Daniel in early 1770.

As land became available in Kentucky toward the end of 1779 and thereafter, George obtained a number of warrants for sizable tracts of land, most of which being near the mouth of Tate’s Creek, near present day Richmond. He later moved to Shelby County. He and Nancy had eleven children. Nancy died in 1814 and George died in November of 1820, two months after Daniel.