- John Sears was born to the Dunkard family of Johannes Zaher and his Swiss wife, name unknown. Johannes Zaher and his wife and their son Christian came to America and shortly there after John was born in abt 1749-1755 Pennsylvania. John and Christian's mother must have died because their father married Barbara Miller a widow of John Hahn. Barbara had a son Jonas Hahn (Hon). The newly formed family moved first to Frederick County, Maryland and then to Rowan County, North Carolina. Where Johannes took out an Apple Farm Indenture called Merry Peep a day. He sold the indenture 1 Nov 1773.
The family is next found in Rowan County, North Carolina and were members of the Ewharrie Dunkard Church. Being from a Dunker family John and his brother Christian sign a paper saying they would not take the Oath of Alligiance during the Revolutionary War. They were listed as John and Christian Seers. This is the first record that has been found for John.. Dunkards did not take oaths nor did they fight. In North Carolina at this time the Mennonites and Dunkers were allowed to remain pacifist but had to pay extra taxes for this privilege.
February 1780 in Rowan county the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 'Ordered that Nicholas Leatherman, John Seares, and Xtian Leathermann Dunkers in the same District(Hopewell) be released from a 12 fold tax to a 3 fold tax.' "These Dunkers were members of the Ewarrie congregation, (This is probably the extra tax the Dunkers had to pay in order to remain neutrel in the Revolutionary War, it was being reduced to 3 fold since the war was over.)
We find out in the following record that John was a Blacksmith :
19 Jan 1780 John Sears Junior the Blacksmith bought land from
Peter Shlagle 125 A. on waters of Hamby's Crk, adj William
Embler, Henry Stagnor, & Samuel Baker, including his improovment. Made over to Edward Harris, by him to John Sears, Junr Rowan County, NC Vacant Land Entries, 1778-1789" by Robert Enochs pg 173
John Sears is listed in several land transactions over the years while he lived in Rowan County, North Carolina. He lived in Capt Smith District of Rowan County.
Apparently John married Catherine Conrad before 6 Jan 1779 when their first child Catherine (Kitty) was born. By the 1790 census John and Catherine had five children. There is an extra Male in this census it may be a half-brother, possibly Daniel. John Sears Census for 1790 said 1-4-3
1 male over 16
John Sears born between 1749-1755
4 males under 16
1. John Jr born abt 1782
2. Henry M born 4 May 1784
3. George Jacob born 5 Mar 1789
4. (possible brother Daniel) (1770-1780)
1. wife Catherine Conrad born 9 Nov 1761
2. Catherine (Kitty) born 6 Jan 1779
3. Mary Magdalena born 18 Oct 1787
After the 1790 census John and his wife Catherine had three more children in North Carolina, they were David born 17 Dec 1791 and Mathias 30 Apr 1794 born and Susan Jane born 10 Oct 1795.
The rest of the family was born in Kentucky. There were probably several reasons why the Sears moved to Kentucky. Things in North Carolina were getting more complex since their were many disputes over who owed the land. North Carolina no longer gave Dunkers considerations for their religious beliefs. The road to Kentucky was expanded to be able to fit wagons in 1796. John's step-brother Jonas Hon lived there since 1787 and half brother Samuel since 1791.
In this final year of living in North Carolina we find the first church record for the Family. It is daughter Susan Jane's Christening record but it is slightly off from Susan's tombstone and her father is listed as John Zehr. (Since this is their original name and wife Catheirne matches I believe this is her but some error is either here or on her tombstone if this is her. Susanna is being christened at Leonards Pilgrim Church. Pilgrim's Church Began about 1757 as Leonard's Reformed Church. Susannah Zehe B 13 Nov 1795 bapt 24 Jan 1796. Parents are Johan Zeher and wife Catharina. Sponsors: Peter Greim and wife Elizabeth. Catherine wife of John Sears (1749) parents family is listed as one of the first families of this church so this probably why the baptism happened here instead of Dunker church. Beside Pilgrim's church became a union church in 1787 which included Dunkers. (no other Zehe type named family has been found in Rowan County at this time.)
It is not know whether the land sales in 1796 are John Sears jr. or senior but it appears by location using the location above that John Junior sold 139 acres in 1796 and his father 200 acres. This also matches their acreage of 1784 tax where Christian has 200 acres and John Senior 200 acres and John Junior 140 acres.
The following is an abstract of the land sale of Johannes Sears (John Sears born about 1749) in Rowan County.
Rowan County North Carolina Deed Book 16 pg 13
This indenture made this 5th day of October in the year of our Lord 1796 between John Sears of the one part and Gottlieb Grimes of the secondpart both of the county of Rowan and State of North Carolina. witesseth that for & in consideration of the sum ofone hundred & fifty pounds of current money of the state of aforesaid by the said Gottlieb Grimes to the said John Sears inhand paid the right whereof is hereby fully acknowledged by himthe said John Sears hath given granted bargained & sold in open market & by the said presents doth give grant bargain & sell unto the said Gottlieb Grimes to his his and assigns a certianpiece or parcel of land lying & being the County & state aforesaid On the waters of Hanbys Creek begining at a post oak on the west of ____ ____ land running thence West at Sixteen chains & crossing a branch at the __ four chains another thirty-five chains in all to pine thence south fifty seven chains & fourteen links to a pine thence east thirty five chains to ablack oak __ thence north to the beginning containing two hundred acres in the whole be the same more or less. To have and to hold the afore granted two hundred acres of land with the apperstinances & all rights and priviledges & improvements inwise belonging to the same Gottlieb Grimes his heirs Exrs assigns forever the said John Sears for himself his heirs & assignes doth hereby covenant & agree to with the said Gottlieb Grims that he the said Gottlieb Grams his heirs & assigns shall & may for ever hereafter peacably & quietly have and hold ______ and enjoy the above granted lands & premises within thecost hinderance or Molistation of any heirs or persons whatsoever & give ___ __ from all and all manner or persons,incumberancy whatsoever and the said John Sears Doth oblidge himself his heirs Exects Adnr to warrant and ___ the afore granted lands and premises to the said Gottlieb Grimes to his heirs Assigns forever against the claim of any person or person Whatsever. In witness when of the said John Sears have here unto set his hand and the day and year first above written. Signed Sealed delivered in presence of Bodehamer, Heinrich L___ A___R_____ State of North Caroline Rowan County 6th of Sep 1798. Itis here by in Rowan County Certified that the written deed was proved as open court by the oath William Bodenhamer Eq or ___ to law ___ ___. (signed in German) Johannes Zaher or Zerr or Zehr?
The Sears family is next found in Montgomery County Kentucky at the wedding of John's half-sister Esther who married Michael Peebler 23rd of November 1796. The first record for John in Kentucky is in the Bourbon County tax list 1797 where he is listed with his two half-brothers Samuel and Jacob. His father John is probably here also but exempt for age.
While in Bourbon county, Kentucky John Sears children are starting their own families. His oldest Catherine known as Kitty is marrying George Huffstutter on 21 Sep 1801. His son John Junior marries another child of Jonas Hon, Elizabeth on 12 Feb 1805. Next came Henry M Sears married Anna (Amy) Perrin 11 Dec 1806. Mary Magdalena Sears married Michael Sappenfield 25 Sep 1806.
17 May 1806 John Sears bought the following land and his son-in-law Mick Sappenfield (Michael Sappenfield Jr.) and his probably brother-in-law Adam Conrad both sign as witnesses:
Tinsley to Deed Sears
This Indenture made this seventeenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and six between James Tinsley and Susannah his wife of the county of Bourbon and commonwealth of Kentucky of the one part and John Sears of county and commonwealth aforesaid of the other part Witnesseth that said James Tinsley and Susannah his wife for and inconsideration of the sum of one hundred and eighty six pounds current money of Kentucky to them in hand paid by John Sears at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and by these presents grant bargain and sell alien and confirmed unto the said John Sears, his heirs, Executors and assigns adminstrators, all that tract or parcel of land situated lying or being in the aforesaid county of Bourbon and on the summerset fork of Hinkston creek and bounded as follows to wit Beginning at three lins out of one root thence North one hundred and sixty four and half poles to two ash trees and black oak thence East one hundred fifty six poles to three lins thence south one hundred and sixty four and half poles to a Hickory tree on the north side of the Summerset and thence west to the Beginning containing by survey one hundred sixty and one fourth acres be the same more or less together with all and every singular profit and advantage whatsoever unto the hereby granted premises belonging or any wise appertaining and revisions remainders and rents issues and profits there of and all of the estate right interest title claim and demand of the said James Tinsley and Susannah his wife and their heirs of in and to the same to have and to hold the land hereby conveyed and all and singular the premises and every part and parcel thereof with every of the appertenances unto him the said John Sears and to his heirs and assigns to and for the only proper use benefit and behoof of him the said John Sears his heirs and assigns forever. And the said James Tinsley and Susannah his wife for themselves and their heirs and assings the said tract of land and premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances unto him the said John Sears and his heirs and assigns against the claim and demand of themselves and their being and against the claim and demand of all and every other person or persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents. In Witness whereof the said James Tinsley and susannah his wife have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals the year above written.
Signed sealed and delivered inthe presence of us
Signed James Tinsley (Seal)
Bouirbon County 21 Apr 1806
This deed of bargain and sale from James Tinsley and Susannah his wife ot John Sears was proved before and by the oaths of Adam Conrad, MIck Sappenfeld and Henry Sears subscribing witnesses the ___attest to record
Att Will ___
Between 1798-1799 John's brothers Samuel and Jacob move on but John remains in Bourbon County. It may have to do with his first wife Catherine Conrad she dies in this time period. We know this because her daughter Susan later tells us that John' s son Adam is a half brother and he is born in 1799 which means Susan's mother is gone by then. Maybe the birth of Catherine Conrad Sears last child Michael Alexander born 24 Apr 1797 maybe caused the family not being able to move at this time.
The John's second wife is a Catherine also but we do not know her last name she is just listed as Catherine on the selling of land records in Bourbon County 8 Apr 1815. They must have married after 1797 when Michael Alexander was born and before 14 Feb 1799 when Adam was born. This Catherine and John had the following children: 1. Adam born 14 Feb 1799 2. Solomon born 13 Jun 1801 3. Jacob S born 9 Oct 1803 4. Barbara born 6 Jul 1805 5. William abt 1807. The land document that states Catherine as second wife is the following: Book L page 133 and 134 of Bourbon County, Kentucky Land Deeds
This indenture-this month day 30 April, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen between John Sears and Caty his wife of the county of Bourbon and state here stated of the one part and Joshua Younger of Montgomery County and State aforesaid of the other part is it Witnesseth there or and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars__ ___ to then in hand paid by the said Joshua Younger at and record the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt where as they do __ acknowledged and forever acquaintance discharge the said Joshua Younger his heirs executors administrators hath granted bargained and sold and by these doth grant bargain and sell unto the said Joshua Younger his heirs and assignes forever a certain tract of land containing hundred and forty nine acres and having the same more or less being on Somerset a branch of Hinkston in the County of Bourbon being a tract of 500 acres granted to
Jamees Abercrombe by patent the tract which is hereby convined being part of a tract said Abercrombie his __ which was secured by John Fowler of Fayette County to the said John Sears by a deed of general warranty dated the this twelveth day of May 1815 which is duly recorded in this clerk office of the county of Bourbon and bounded as herewith beginning at a stone of the __ between a hickory and Huckberry on the north bank of Somerset line Fleming patent line thence with its north one hundred and sixty three poles to two Cyress Saplin a corner to George Huffstutter thence with his line south forty six and three fourths poles to an oak and hickory thence west fifty four and a half poles to a white walnut thence north eighty poles to a stone and hickory thence west ninety one pole to a red oak in Boardman line thence with it south one degree east one hundred and twenty four poles to a sycamore in the edge of Somerset thence up the same with the meanders to the beginning - To have-to hold the said tract of land with all its appurtenances unto the said Joshua Younger his heirs and assigns against them the said John Sears and Caty his wife and their heirs and all any every person or persons claiming under through or by them but against the claim or claims of no other person or person whatsoever and further it is capressly understood and agreed by the parties that if the aforesaid tract of land or any part there of should ever be lost. Cost by any other claim or claims or by a __ whatsoever, then and in that case the said John Sears his heirs executors administrators shall never be ___ either in law a equit to pay anything in consequenced as such __ but this said John Sears __ and __ himself to give to the said Joshua Younger his heirs assigns __ and call __ upon the said John forever in case the aforesaid tract should ever be lost of any part thereof and to __ him the said Joshua Younger to record against the said forever he the said Sears agrees to execute a power of attorney or such other instrument so writing as shall be __ by that person so that the said Joshua Younger may have the same __ that the said Sears is now entitled to in consequenced of the aforesaid General warranty deed. In witness whereof the John Sears and Caty his wife have here unto set their hands and seals the day and year above written.
John Sears (Seal)
Caty (my mark) Sears (Seal)
Bourbon County Court Clerk office of May 27, 1815 This deed of bargain and sale from John Sears and Caty his wife to Joshua Younger was this day Acknowledged recorded and the said Grantors to be their act and deed and the said Caty being examined by me privately and apart from the said John his husband and as the law directs. Declared that she did agree and without the threat of persuasion of her husband relinquished her right of dower to the within mentioned __ and the name is the __ and recorded in my ___ Attest Frank Smith CRC
The above land states that John Sears land is bordered or cornered to both George Huffstutter and Benjamin Boardman land. We have a map with approx Huffstutter farm since next to Evans farm and Cemetery. We also have Ben Boardman house which is still there. The present day land is across the road from Ben Boardman House in the south on Burris Road near East Union, Nicholas, Kentucky where the church was started by these families in 1815 called East Union.
1815 and this is the year the Hinkston Creek Church begins which is later called East Union when it became a united church in 1820's. Sears were charter members of East Union as well as step-brother Jonas Hon, whose son Peter Keithley Hon became a well known minister there.He had over 400 attend his meetings.
It has been assumed that the Sears move to Nicholas County since they sold their land in Bourbon and bought land in Nicholas. But it is the same piece of property so this land transaction was probably done to give Nicholas recordings for tax purposes. Shortly after these land transactions were complete the Sears move to Indiana. Some of the land sales in Nicholas County, Kentucky are for very small amounts of money and refer to legal action. So there must have been land disputes.
11 May 1815 John is listed as getting a land grant in Harrison County, Indiana which in 3 years this land becomes Floyd County, Indiana. Listing is Jeffersonville Land entries 1808-1818 by Janet C Cowen #04887 John Sears from Bourbon
KY 160 acres NW S12 TO2 SO4E
The last year that John Sears Senior is in Nicholas County, Kentucky is 1817 tax and we find him in the 1818 tax of Harrison County.
Later in life John sells his land in Floyd County, Indiana and returns to Nicholas County, Kentucky where he marries his third wife Anna Margaret Grimes. She is listed in the only known surviving page of East Union Church records from July 1851. Someone wrote on this church page next to Anna Sears that she died 31 Dec 1851. John married Anna Margaret Grimes 6 Oct 1831 in Nicholas County, Kentucky. In Oct 1834 John is listed as exempt of tax probably for age.
This is John Sears land sale in Floyd County, Indiana 24 Dec 1833 his third wife Anna Margaret signs this document.
24 Dec 1833 Deed Book G pp. 12-13 sold Floyd county Indiana land to son-in-law George Huffstutter wife Anna Margaret and John live in Nicholas County, KY
Book G pg 13 Floyd County Court Records State of Indiana
This indenture made and entered into in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred thirty three on the twenty fourth day of December between John Sears and Ana Margarett his wife of the county of Nicholas and State of Kentucky of the one part and George Huffstutter of Floyd and State of Indiana of the other part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of six hundred dollars to him the said Sears paid in hand by the said Huffstutter the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and do by these presents grant bargain and sell to the said Huffstutter a certain tract or parcel of land lying being and situated in the state of Indiana on the waters of Indian Creek Floyd County it being the North West quarter of section twelve , township two south of range four east containing one hundred and sixty acres with all other appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to him the said George Huffstutter his heirs and assigns forever from them the said John Sears and Ana Margaret his wife unto the said George Huffstutter his heirs and so forth forever the said John Sears and wife Ana Margaret will forever warrant and defend all claim or claims whatever which may be set up to said land by through or in their name and all other claims or claims whatever.
In Witness whereof the said John Sears and his wife Ana Margaret have hereunto set their hands and seals the date first written
John (his mark) Sears (seal)
Anna Margaret (her mark) (seal)
The following is John Sears Inventory from Nicholas County, Kentucky. He died around 12 Mar 1839 there. No other estate papers have been found. Since he did not own land at this time probably all that was needed was an inventory.
J. Sears dec. Invy. and Apprasiman
A true and first inventory and appraisement of all of the personally estate of John Sears deceased whch was produced to us by Michael Sears his Adamr.
One roan mare $25.00, one chestnut sorrel mare $65.00=$90.00
One man's Saddle &, one horse collar $3.00, one handsaw and drawing knife & chisel $1.50=$4.50
Three Augers one beading plane compasses $1.00 one axe $1.25=$2.25
one Grubbing Hoe and Straecher $1.25, one shot gun shot pouchs, powder horn $.50=$6.25
one Cow $10.00, one Curry Comb 6 1/2 cts one over coat $6.00 one Watch $8.00=24.06
8 shirts 3 Waistcoats, one pants and suspender $2.00=2.00
one hat and handkerchief $2.00, one Janes Coat & skin gloves & pants $2.75=4.75
Sunday of wearing apparel $2.50, one umbrella and Walking cane $.0.50-3.00
Saddle bags and quart bottle .62 1/2, one sheet & two coverlids $5.00 =5.62
two razors straps and box of soap & pocket knife and snuffbox=1.50
43 lbs of sugar $4.30, one looking glass 37 1/2 cts=4.67
one note on Michael Sears two hundred and forty dollars day Jan 10th 1839=240.00
one note on Joseph S. Price for eighty dollars day 9th day of November 1838=80.00
3 bushels of salt one dollar per bushl=3.00
one half bushel measure 50 cts 32 lbs of Bacon $2.24=$2.24
one bottle and one bridle 68 3/4 cts.=68 3/4
I do certify that the foregoing inventory contains all the personally estate of John Sears deceased which hath come to my hands March 27th 1839
Michael Sears Adamr
We do certify that the foregoing appraisement was truly done justly made of the personally property of John Sears deceased whch was produced to us by his Administrator to the best of our Judgement all of which was respectfully report to the Nicholas County Court. Given under ours hands this 27th day of March 1839. Jas. Darnall, Geo Darnall ,Elijah Coon
Nicholas County Court jct July term 1839
This inventory and appraisement of the personal estate of John sears decd was this day returned to Court examined allowed and ordered tobe recrd.
J. G Parks CN CE
Sears J (decd) Sale Bill
A true inventory of the Goods of Chattels of all the personl estate of John Sears Decd that come in the hand of Michael Sears Admd of John Sears
one cash note on Michael Sears two hundred and forty dollars due January 10th 1839=140.00
one promissary note on Joseph S Price Eighty dollars due 9 th Norvember 1838=80.00
Clothes taken by Michael Sears Adm at the appraisement
8 shrits, 3 waistcoast, one suspender $2.00, 1 Hat, 1 Handkerchief $2.00=4.00
1 Janes coat & skin gloves and parnts $2.75, Sunday Wearing apparel $2.50=5.25
1 sheet and two Coverlets at=5.00
Sale Bill April 6th 1839
James R. Boardman-1 Grubbing Hoe =37cts
Joseph S. Price 1 axe 56 1/4 cts 1 shot gun & shot pouch and horn $7.25=7.811/4
Geo dorrell -1 pr Stretchers 37 1/2 ct 1 ahdn saw 37 1/2 cts 1 pr compasses 14 ct=.89
Wesly Barr-1 Drawern Knife 37 1/2 ct.=37 1.2
R. M. Barr-1 bedding plane 12 1/2 cts 1 half bushel 57ct=69 1/2
Michael Sears=3/4 auger 18 3/4 cts, 1 curry comb 6 1/4 cts, 1 horse collar $1.81 1/4=2.06 1/4
Robt Barr- 1 inch auger=18 3/4
Michael Sears -pr. saddle bargs 37 1/2 cts 1 saddle $1.00, 2 glass bottles 12 1/2 cts=1.50
Michael Sears 2 razors Box and Straps $1.00, 1 looking glass 44 cts. =1.44
Elijah Coons 1 silver watch at=6.95
Henry Huffman 32 pounds of Bacon 9 cents per pound $2.88, 1 cow $17.62 1/2=20.50 1/2
Henly Roberts 3 bushels of salt=3.16 1/4
Joseph S. Price 41 pounds of sugar at 11 cents per pound =4.51
George Darrell- 1umbrella =.75
Henry Sears- 1 roan mare=10.50
Michael Sears -1 sorrel mare $70.00, 1 inch chisal 26 1/2 ct=70.26 1/2 cts
Full Amount $466.12 3/4
Michael Sears Admindr
Nicholas County Court Sch July term 1839
This sale bill & of the personal estate of John Sears Decd was this day returned, examined allowed and ordered to be recorded.Which is done Attest J. Clark CN CC
It is thought but not found that John Sears is probably buried at East Union Cemetery but he could have also been buried on some relatives farm cemetery.East Union is an overgrown cemetery and many graves have not been kept up. His grave has not been found.
East Union Cemetery
Created by: Marsha Belty
Record added: Nov 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79880580
Added by: Marsha Belty