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Boone Society

Edward Boone, Family Man

By Rochelle Evans Cochran, ( 5th G Granddaughter of Edward & Martha Bryan Boone, and President of The Boone Society, Inc.

The Wilderness Trail
, illustration by James Daugherty, from the book, Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout
by Stewart Edward White, 1922, p. 142

I like to think this picture also depicts Edward Boone and his family as they accompanied other Boone family members from NC through the Cumberland Gap, up to Boone Station in 1779. I even imagine the woman on the black mare holding the Bible is my “5th great grandma” Martha Bryan Boone and the man guiding her horse is her husband Edward Boone. The young red-haired woman is my 4th great grandma, Jane Boone, (I, too, have red hair) and the young mother holding the baby is Charity Elledge, Edward & Martha’s oldest child.

It has long been understood that Edward Boone looked like his older brother, Daniel. (Draper Mss. 2C53). Edward and Daniel married sisters, Martha and Rebecca Bryan, but the brothers’ similarities may have ended there.While Daniel was off exploring the woods and cutting new trails, Edward stayed home with his family in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Edward and Martha had six children, Charity b. 1760, Jane b. 1762, Mary b. 1764, George b. 1767, Joseph b. 1768, and Sarah b. 1771. It was during these years until 1779 that Edward was a community and church leader in NC.He served on juries, was a road surveyor, a tax collector, and a constable. (Wilkes Co. Court Minutes, June 1778)Although for many years the Boones had been Quakers, Edward was baptized in the Mulberry Fields Branch of the Dutchman Creek Baptist Church, Jan. 22, 1774. It was said he loved to sing. He served his church as a deacon and a clerk (Draper 23C10). He was “called Ned by his family and friends,” says his grandson Edward Boone Scholl, and Edward Boone “was “a peace man.” (Draper Manuscript 23C17.4) On September 9, 1779, Edward entered 200 acres of land “lying on Beavers Creek adjoining to Thos. Henderson Beginning and running so as to include his improvements.” (Wilkes Co. Land Entry Book N. p. 393) Only about a month later, in October 1779 he made that fateful decision to move his family to Kentucky with Daniel who was leading a large party of family members there for the promise of free land. Edward and Martha hastily gathered their family and all their belongings and joined the other family members from NC. In Draper Ms. 23C17.4, Edward Boone Scholl said, “Edward Boone packed 22 horses in addition to the ones the family rode.”

They traveled through the Cumberland Gap, up the Wilderness Trail, and settled at Boone Station not far from Ft. Boonesborough, arriving December 22, 1779. Fifteen other family members shared the station. (Draper letter from Edward’s daughter, Sarah, Mss. 22C55)

Gerald E. Collins in his book “Edward Boone (1740-1780), p. 7, says “The Virginia government had authority to issue land certificates for 400 acres where a settler’s right of occupation was established. Hearings began October 13, 1779. If the settlers in NC were to receive valid land claims, it was imperative that they return to Kentucky and submit their claim. Thus a large group from NC set out for Kentucky in October 1779. The exodus was described by one man as like an army movement, and when they camped for the night, would be in a string a half-mile long.

After meeting with the Virginia Land Commission, Daniel Boone, his brother, Squire and his son, Israel, established their claims and were granted lands by the commission… Edward apparently did not receive any land.

He continued living at Boone Station, caring for his family and hunting for food to also share with the Bryan family at Bryan Station. Joseph Bryan was his father-in-law and one of the founders of Bryan Station.

Because the area of Boone Station was so remote and traveling to the county seat was dangerous at best, Edward was one of the signers on May 1, 1780, of Petition #12 that resulted in splitting Kentucky County, Virginia, into 3 counties: Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Part of the petition reads, “That the Militia Inhabitants of the north side of Kaintucky amount to about 400 with 11 fortified posts … that the nearest settlement to the Courthouse is at least 40 miles and the farthest about 70 miles … that the River Kentucky is rendered impassable half the year by high waters & is ever inconvenient and Dangerous …” The petition was approved by the Virginia Legislature.

Edward had lived in Kentucky less than a year when on October 6, 1780, he was killed by Indians (probably Shawnee) while he and Daniel were returning from the Blue Licks to make salt and do a little hunting.

They stopped along a stream in Bourbon County to rest and let their horses drink. Edward sat down by the stream near an old Buckeye tree and was cracking nuts, while Daniel went off into the woods in pursuit of game.

Indians lurking nearby shot and killed Edward but Daniel managed to escape. He ran all the way on foot to Boone Station (about 40 miles) where they were all living at the time. The next morning Daniel and a party of men in the area went in search of Edward’s killers. They did not find the Indians, but found and buried Edward near that old Buckeye tree.

Today in that very spot stands an old Buckeye tree, perhaps grown from a seedling of the original tree. The creek was afterward named Boone Creek in honor of Edward’s death there. As Jeff Johnson, a descendant of Edward Boone, says of the death site, “the bubbling sounds of the stream running over the rocks is probably the last sounds Edward heard as he lay dying.”

Ned’s daughter, Sarah Boone Hunter, in a letter to Draper (22C60) said “My father was killed 40 miles from the Station. He was stabbed in 7 places; his fingers were horribly cut with the Indian’s knife. He was scalped and part of his clothing were taken off. I think his coat and pantaloons.”

Although still a young woman, Martha never remarried and remained in Kentucky until her death.

In 1782, two years after Edward’s death, the last battle of the Revolutionary War in Kentucky was fought, known as the Battle of Blue Licks. Wanting to help the American’s in defending their home, property and lives against the British-supported Indians, the widow Martha Boone gave her black mare to Daniel Boone. According to Draper Ms. 6S 163-64-65, in a letter from Daniel Boone’s son Nathan, “… That Col. Boone got the widow Edward Boone’s horse … and gave it to Israel to ride it and rode off. … Col. Boone hearing something looked around … as he was within a few yards of his son who had said, “father, I won’t leave you” & the Colonel told him to make his escape and he would find a horse & he supposed he had gone & then saw him falling – the blood gushing from his mouth … seized the same horse he had provided for his hapless son and rode off – a platoon shot near him and down fell a forked branch across his horse’s neck – but he escaped.”

The Edward Boone burial site is located 1/2 mile from the marker up See Road on the right side, in front of the house at 870 See Road.

Rochelle Evans Cochran and Dell Boone Ariola April 2001, Kentucky Historical Marker No. 2059, corner of KY Highway 537 & See Road, Bourbon County.  Marker provided by The Boone Society, Inc.

Martha Boone gave her black mare to Daniel Boone

According to another letter to Lyman Draper (Mss. 22C60.2) from Edward & Martha’s daughter, Sarah Hunter, “His son Israel was the first killed in Blue Lick battle who fell at his (Daniel Boone’s) side. Very few escaped. … Daniel Boone noticed a youth by the name of Daniel Hodgens and says to him ‘you remind me of my son who just a few minutes ago fell from my side.’ Daniel Boone’s horse was shot. As he stood in the midst of the battle & confusion, having no means of escape, suddenly he heard the noise of a horse in full speed coming toward him – he saw that it was his (Israel’s) Aunt Martha’s (my mother’s) noble black mare. He hollowed “whoo!” She stopped immediately. He leaped into the saddle and escaped.” So, Grandma Martha’s horse saved Daniel Boone’s life!

On September 13, 1791, Martha purchased 100 acres of land on Boone’s Creek in Fayette County, on that part of Fayette that became Clark County on February 1, 1793. Three months later, Martha Boone’s will was written July 23, 1793, and is recorded in Clark County.

Martha lived on the land she purchased with her two sons, George and Joseph. The 1792 Fayette County tax list showed her son George Boone taxed for the 100 acres of land just purchased by Martha Boone in 1791. The brother Joseph Boone, probably still recovering from a leg wound, also lived on the property, because he was listed adjacent to his brother George. The mother Martha Boone was not listed in that tax list as she was living with her son George, named as the head of household. (Gerald E. Collins, Edward Boone, 1740-1780, p. 11)

Martha died in 1793 soon after writing her will.

Draper manuscripts 6S296-297 indicate that “about 1827, the bones of Edward Boone became exposed to view where they were buried, in the road, by washing of water, near the bank of the creek, and close to the spring, and the Rev. Richard Thomas had them removed and re-interred a mile off in the Rockbridge Baptist Church yard.”

In the summer of 1997 Dell Boone Ariola, husband Ken, and grandson Bryan almost literally stumbled upon Edward’s gravestone that was erected c. 1920 in Bourbon County, Kentucky, by the Children of the American Revolution, a part of the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Paris, KY. Dell contacted Rochelle E. Cochran and Russell Lain Ready, descendants of Edward Boone, and the Edward Boone Memorial Committee of the Boone Society was formed.

The Edward Boone Memorial Committee met property owners, Ron and Phyllis Isaac (870 See Road near Paris, KY), and discussed ideas about restoring, protecting, and marking this historic site. The Isaacs were not only supportive but also were very excited about the project and provided land for visitor parking; cut grass and underbrush. Bourbon County Judge Donnie Foley provided grading for parking. To protect the grave, Master Stonemason Stanley Matherly donated his time and specialized talent to build the precision-laid flat-rock, dry-wall of the type built in the mid-1800’s (using local native flat rocks and no cement or mortar).

Isaac installed an iron gate to protect the original marker. There was a lot of local interest in the project and neighbors donated time and equipment to prepare the site. This historic site is visited by school students in the area and descendants and tourists from all across the country.

In May 1998 the Edward Boone Death Site was designated a Kentucky Landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council. Then in 2001 a Kentucky Historical Highway Marker was installed and dedicated at the corner of KY Highway 537 & See Road, about a mile east of Little Rock, KY. The marker stands on the front yard property of Paul Lyon. The grave is about ¾-mile north on See Road.

The Boone Society, Inc., paid for the historical marker through donations to the project. No state funds or tax dollars were used, although the Kentucky State Historical Society approved it and the State Highway Cabinet installed the marker (#2059).

Queries about Edward Boone are welcome.


Chronology – Edward Boone

(Prepared & copyright July 2003 by Rochelle Evans Cochran, 5th great granddaughter of Edward & Martha Bryan Boone)

Nov 19, 1740 Date of birth – Oley Township, Philadelphia County, PA.(today’s Berks County) (a)(b)

1750 At age 10, Edward moved with his family to the Yadkin District of NC (Anson County at that time) (c)(d)

1753 Rowan formed from Anson

Abt. 1759 Married Martha Bryan, (probably Rowan County) (e)(f)

1759 Listed on Rowan County Tax rolls

October 4, 1760 daughter Charity born, Rowan County (f)

Sept 18, 1762 daughter, Jane, was born, Rowan County (f)(g)

Oct. 13, 1764 Rowan Co. Court paid Edward & Daniel for one wolf each & Joseph Bryan (their father-in-law) for one cat. (h)

December 5, 1764 daughter Mary was born, Rowan County (f)

Jan. 2, 1765 his father, Squire Boone died; buried Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville Davie Co., NC (i)

April 28 1767 son George was born, Rowan County (f)

Abt. 1768 son Joseph was born, Rowan County (f)

1770 Surry was formed from Rowan County

1771 listed on Surry Co., Tax Rolls

Mar 6, 1771 daughter Sarah was born, Surry County (j) (p)

Oct 2, 1773 “there is a warrant dated October 2, 1773, for a land survey for a 600-acre tract for him ‘on both sides of Sugar Creek joining Evan Ellis.’(k)

Jan. 22, 1774 Baptized in the Mulberry Field Baptist Church, a branch of Dutchman’s Creek (Eaton’s) Baptist Church. (l)

1777 Death of his mother, Sarah Morgan Boone (Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville)

1777 Wilkes County was formed from Surry

June 1778 Listed on Wilkes County tax rolls

June 3, 1778 Wilkes Co., appointed Assessor, Captain Foster’s District. (m)

June 4, 1778, Wilkes Co., called as Juror for September 1778 court. (m)

June 1779, Wilkes Co., paid 2.00 for assessor in 1778. (m)

June 1779, Wilkes Co., Edward Boone was appointed to view way around Isbell Plantation to see if a convenient way could be found for a “publick” road to be built. (m)

Sept 9, 1779 Wilkes Co., NC Land entry for 200 acres on Beaver Creek (n)

Oct. 1779 Edward took his family and joined brother Daniel and others on their move to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap. (o)

December 1779 Arrived in Kentucky & settled family at Boone Station. (p)

May 1, 1780 Signed petition #12 for Division of Kentucky Co., VA, into 3 counties: Fayette, Jefferson & Lincoln. (q)

Oct 6, 1780 Killed by Indians in Bourbon Co, KY, while with brother Daniel, near present-day community of Little Rock. Edward was buried beneath an old Buckeye Tree where he was shot. The address of the grave today is 870 See Road, ½ mile north of the junction of KY Hwy. 537 & See Road. The nearby creek thereafter was named Boone Creek in honor of Edward’s death there. He left his widow, Martha Bryan Boone, and six children: Charity, Jane, Mary, George, Joseph, Sarah. (r) (s) (t) (u)

Abt 1930 the Children of the American Revolution, a branch of the Jemima Johnson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Paris, Kentucky, erected a tombstone at the death/burial site of Edward Boone in Bourbon County, KY. (v) (w)

May 20, 1998 the Bourbon County death/burial site was recognized a Kentucky Landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council. (x)

April 23, 2001 Honoring the memory of Edward Boone, Kentucky Highway Historical Marker No. 2059 was dedicated by the Boone Society, Kentucky Historical Society, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Marker is located at junction of KY Hwy. 537 & See Road. The text of the marker reads: “#2059, Edward Boone (1740-80) Death site of Edward Boone, a brother of renowned Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone. Edward was killed by Indians here Oct. 1780 at age 40 while hunting with Daniel. Boone Creek named for Edward. Daniel and Edward wed sisters, Rebecca and Martha Bryan, whose family built and settled Bryan Station near Lexington. Presented by The Boone Society, Inc.” (y)

Source References: 

(a)The Boone Family by Hazel Atterbury Spraker, p. 38 – her source: Exeter Meeting Records.

(b) The Boone Family, Spraker, p. 33, “Squire and his family settled on a farm in Oley Township, Philadelphia County (now Exeter Township, Berks County) not far from the homestead of his father, George Boone III, both being only a few miles from present city of Reading. This property Squire Boone bought from Ralph Asheton of the City of Philadelphia the 20th day of November 1730. Nine of their children were born on this farm, the first three having been born previous to the purchase of this property.”

(c) The Boone Family, Spraker, p. 36, “April 11, 1750, Squire and Sarah conveyed their farm of 158 acres in Exeter Township to William Maugridge, 14 days before they set out for North Carolina.” Spraker’s source: “Family record among some old papers deposited with Berks County Historical Society by Mortimer I. Montgomery.”

(d) LAND ENTRY, October 4, 1750, Anson County, NC, a warrant “to admeasure and lay out unto Squire Boone a plantation containing 640 acres of land lying in Anson County upon Grant’s Creek, alias Lichon Creek (today known as Elisha Creek) by James Child and Francis Corbin, Esqrs. Agents and Commissioners of the Right Honourable the Earl Granville, &c.” (NC Archives S.108.270, records of Granville Proprietary Land Office Entries & Warrants 1748-1763. In Sec. of State Granville Deeds & Plats (Film SS.I.G.112 G, the related plat & issuance of the land is found. The land was surveyed Jan 18th, 1750/51. Squire Boon is named as “Chainer” indicating he was there walking the land in 1850/51. The land was not issued until 13 Apr 1753.

(e) The Boone Family, Spraker, p. 70

(f) Edward Boone (1740-1780) by Gerald E. Collins, p. 6, and also p. ii, Collins reports Charity’s, Jane’s, and Mary’s birthdates were found in a notebook compiled by Peter Scholl (b.1809-d.1872), filed as Mss. 400 in Oregon Historical Society Library, 1230 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205.

(g) Old Morgan Bible records published in “Be It Known & Remembered, Bible Records” Vol. One, 1960. Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society, P. 152.

(h) Rowan County, NC, Minutes of Court of Coommon Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 176301774, Vol II, p. 552.

(i) Tombstone, Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville, NC

(j) Original old tombstone, Dry Valley Presbyterian Cemetery, Putnam, TN

(k) The pamphlet, “The Squire, Daniel & John Boone Families in Davie County, NC” compiled by James W. Wall, Flossie Martin and Howell Boone. (Today Sugar Creek is in Wilkes County, but it may have been Surry County at that time.) The pamphlet also states, “There is no record of Edward’s having owned land in Davie County.”

(l) Copy of church minutes received from Davie County Public Library, Mocksville, NC: “Dutchman Creek Baptist Church records of 1772-1778. Original records microfilmed for NC State Archives. Baptist Church records have been collected and are stored in the library of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem.” According to Davie County librarian, “Mulberry Fields Road is in the lower edge of Yadkin County near the Davie County border, and Mulberry Fields community is in Wilkes County.”

(m) Wilkes County, NC, Court Minutes, 1778-1785.

(n) Wilkes County, NC, Land Entry Book N. p. 393

(o) Edward Boone (1740-1780) by Gerald E. Collins, p. 7

(p) Letter from Sarah Boone Hunter to Lyman Draper, October 6, 1855, Draper Mss 22C54-55.

(q) Petition submitted to General Assembly of Virginia May 1, 1780

(r) Letter to Lyman Draper from John Scholl, grandson of Edward and son of Peter Scholl and Mary Boone, daughter of Edward. Draper Mss. 22S269 & 270.

(s) Nathan Boone, son of Daniel, reported on Edward’s death to Draper, Mss. 31C100-101.

(t) Daniel Bryan, son of William Bryan and Mary Boone, Draper Mss.31C101-102.

(u) Joshua Pennington, son of Edward’sister Hannah, 1854 Draper Mss. 23C43

(v) The Kentuckian Citizen, Paris, KY, December 12, 1958, pp 12-13, “Circumstances Surrounding Death and Burial of Edward Boone, Brother of Famed Frontier Explorer.”

(w) Records of Jemima Johnson Chapter of DAR, reported in The Fayette County (Kentucky) Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 4, Winter 1997.

(x) Letter and certificate from Davie I. Morgan, Director of Kentucky Heritage Council, May 20, 1998. Certificate signed by Honorable Paul E. Patton, Governor the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

(y) April 23, 2001, Program from dedication of Kentucky Highway Historical Marker No. 2059