The Billingsley Family in America


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Billingsley Family Bio-James(5) B Billingsley, 1726-1776

My 6th great grandfather, and the 2nd great grandson of immigrant b brothers Francis and William Billingsley.
He was hung by Tories in Guildford County, North Carolina
From The Billingsley Family In America by Harry Alexander Davisp 37-38, Published by Tuttle Antiquarian Books, Rutland, VT, 1936

James Billingsley, (1726 Maryland - 1776 North Carolina)

Hung by Tories because of his revolutionary sympathies.

6*Great Grandfather of Robin Richmond.


(William 4, William 3, John 2, Francis 1.)
Born St. Marys County, Maryland. in 1726. He was legatee in his father's will in 1745. He married prior to 1747 Elizabeth Crabtree, born 1726 in Maryland. They moved to Baltimore County, Maryland about 1758 where they resided to about 1768 then moved to Guilford County, North Carolina. He appears to have owned considerable land but there does not appear any deeds to account for it. In 1771 he appears as a signer to a petition asking clemency for John Pugh and Thomas Welborn who appear to have been associated with the Insurrectionists. (N. C. Rec. Vol. ix, 26, 26, 29, 30.)

When the Revolution began he became quite active in aiding the American cause, sent his sons into the service and incurred the enmity of the Tories of the vicinity in particular. He was continually harassed by them until the year 1776 when they invaded his home and asked for money, on being told he had none they took him to a near by tree and hung him. This statement comes from his wife who made note of his death in the family bible, and as she lived to know many of her great grand children she often repeated the tragic death of her husband to them.

One of these, the son of John Billingsley, Junior, heard the story, and it was also often repeated to him by his grand father and as he was a lad of some 15 years of age at the time of the death of his grand father he wrote all of it down at the time. Before his death he wrote out all that he had made note of into a complete record of the family for his children.

James Billingsley was killed in April 1776.He dated his will 25 Jan. 1776 and it was probated at the May Term of court 1776, an abstract follows:

  • Item: In consideration of my children that is in being already portioned, that is to say, James, Elizabeth, Claranna, Samuel, and John, to each 2 shillings and 6 pence.
  • Item: To son, William H., one bed & furniture to be recorded in with his equal part with the following children, to wit: Martha & Walter & Bazil.
  • Item: To Martha; my daughter, one bed & furniture, one chist & one Cow to be in part her equal share in the list above mentioned.
  • Item: My two youngest sons, Walter & Bazel, plantation when they come of age, & that they share an equal part of the movable estate with others of my so last mentioned fore children.
  • Item: To my well beloved wife during her widowhood one bed & furniture, one horse, one mare, two cows & calves & Plantation, and if a widow when my sons come of age for her to have her right in the land so long as a widow, this exclusive of her one third in movable estate, said wife to be executrix.
  • Item: To daughter Claranna, value of 3 pounds of estate exclusive of the above 2 shillings 6 pence.
This will witnessed by Teldeau Lane and William Hamer.

Elizabeth survived him many years, moved to Tennessee with her sons and resided many years with her son, John, in Warren County, Kentucky. About 1838 she made the trip to McMinn County, Tennessee to spend a while with her son, Walter, she did not long survive this trip and died early in 1839 aged 113 years. Walter was given the family Bible a part of the record he filed with his claim for a pension.


  1. Samuel (6): b 1747 Md.
  2. James (6): b Oct. 1749 Md.
  3. Elizabeth: b 1751 52 Md., m Teldeau Lane prior to 1776.
  4. John (6): b 17 Aug. 1754.
  5. Claranna: b 1756 Md., m prior to 1776 William Hammer. She died sine prole in 1781.
  6. William Henry (6): b 11 Oct. 1758 Baltimore Co., Md.
  7. Martha: b 3 May 1760 Baltimore Co., Md., m 1783 William Hamer, his 2nd wife, she died Jan. 1786. They had:
    1. Barbara Hamer: b Dec. 1785, m James Billingsley, No.94, which see.
  8. Walter (6): b 14 July 1761 Baltimore Co., Md.
  9. Bazil (6): b 2 June 1764 Baltimore Co., Md.
[The Billingsley Family book contains bios of all of the male children listed here.]

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