Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Michael Farris & Phebe Dudley> 1745-1830> VA>KY

Michael Farris & Phebe Dudley VA>KY 1745-1830
Some of my ancestors grab my imagination more than others, and Michael Farris is one that I feel especially close to. The people that lived in the rugged frontier of early Kentucky had to be very special people. Michael Farris was born July 6, 1749, or so his tombstone says. I believe he was more likely born in 1746, but in genealogy a few years one way or the other can be excused. My theory is that he was born in 1746 because he appears on the tax list for Pittsylvania County Virginia in 1767. That is the first year that Pittsylvania County existed. Michael would not have been on that list if he weren’t at least 21 years of age. I am grateful that he was on it though, as he is listed with Thomas and that pretty well establishes a father and son relationship.

Michael Farris married Phebe Dudley on 26 February 1770. Phebe was born 12 April 1754. I have not proven her father’s name, but Thomas Dudley was the only Dudley in Pittsylvania County Virginia, so he almost certainly must be her father. There are no records to corroborate that theory. Records in that time and place are pretty scarce, so I must be content to know what I have been fortunate enough to find out and hope the rest will surface later.

The marriage date of Phebe and Michael was written by one of their sons years later years.  Between 1777 and 1781 they migrated to Kentucky. Their oldest child, Chloe Farris Campbell is my ancestress. The area they settled in later became Madison County.   Phebe and Michael Farris lived in a dangerous and precarious world.

In 1782 Michael Farris enlisted in Captain John Snoody’s Company of the Lincoln Militia on an expedition against the Shawnee Indians. This was commanded by Brigadier General, George Rogers Clark. The Shawnees had sided with the British in hopes that if the British won the Revolution, the Indians would see their hunting land restored to them and the white settlers removed. These men were tough frontiersmen and they had a great deal of experience in Indian fighting. The Indians were a formidable foe, but the frontiersmen won the day.

At this time the Michael Farris family consisted of five children, and Phebe would have six more by 1795. Yes, Michael was a tough frontiersman, but, in my opinion, Phebe was even tougher. As in all of my patriot ancestor families, there was another hero besides the one that fought. The women were the strong foundation that the families were built upon.

Michael Farris died in December 1799 and Phebe was left to raise several young children. The youngest one, Polly, was just age four when her father died. Phebe Dudley Farris died 28 Dec 1830.

Phebe lived to see her 4th child, Dudley Farris, serve in the war of 1812. The British didn’t stop the War in 1783 when they signed the Paris Peace Treaty. They insisted that they could still win the area that was now the United States and they enlisted the Indians to help them. Dudley Farris was a Captain from Madison County Kentucky in 1813 when the war against the Indians turned deadly. He, and his company, served in the Regiment of Colonel William Dudley. Colonel Dudley was one of the unlucky captives of the Indians and was tortured, killed and scalped while British Colonel Proctor looked on. The Shawnee Indian, Tecumseh, finally intervened calling Colonel Proctor a woman and a coward. This battle has the unfortunate name of "Dudley's Defeat". I can only imagine that Captain Dudley Farris was among those survivors that swam back across the Ohio River to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades.

To say Phebe Dudley Farris sacrificed for the United States of America is an understatement. Her husband and more than one of her sons fought to protect Kentucky in its early years.


C_Nahrstadt said...

Your blog led me to check the library and they had a copy of the book "George Rogers Clark and His Men"
Military Records 1778-1784. Michael Farris is listed on page 182. Coincidentally, I work part time at the library and they had just gotten the book in recently even though it was published a while back.

Also, check the first sentence in the paragraph about Dudley.

Missi ? said...

Thank you so much do you know anything ABOUT Dudley son of Micheal and Phobe

GenPatty said...

I know Dudley Farris was born 23 September 1778 (His birth from the Farris Family Bible received from Marcia Pnzar Combs 4829 Christoble Dr., St Louis, Missouri 6 March 1996.) He married Peggy Douglass on 7 March 1805 in Madison County Kentucky. That is all I know about Dudley Farris. I am from one of the older children of Michael and Phebe, daughter Cloe Farris Campbell.
Thanks for the message. Until later, Patricia A Johnson

Missi ? said...

Wow looking again I know Close is proven with DAR as is Michael...trying to close the gap on Dudley and his son George.....any ideas...they came MO I am thinking with a land grant from the War of 1812. Captain Dudley was Phoebe's sad She was AMAZING.... How will I see your answer?

GenPatty said...

I have not followed Dudley Farris at all so know nothing of his children or where he went in later life. Yes, I proved Michael Farris, and his father Thomas Farris, as Revolutionary patriots for DAR. I have proven 29 patriots so far. Of course a will or probate record that mentions George as Dudley's son would be the best proof of that link. Good luck in your search. I think BlogSpot sends you an email of my reply, but if not visit my blog, and you will see it at the bottom of the Michael Farris story.