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Jo Lee Gregory Spears

February 17, 2000

The Netherys of Mecklenburg County, Virginia

J. Marshall Neathery

See map of Neathery lands in Mecklenburg

In David Dobson's book, DIRECTORY OF SCOTS (1650-1775):BRITISH AND WEST 
INDIES RECORDS, James Nethery (also Netherway, Nevery, and Nithery) is 
listed as a Jacobite prisoner of war in the Rebellion of 1715. This 
reference can be found in other bibliographies as well. According to The 
Jacobite Association of Greenwich, Connecticut, in correspondence with this 
writer, James Nethery was in the Earl of Wintoun's brigade. He was 
captured in the battle of Preston, England on November 14, 1715, by the 
Loyalist forces of His Majesty, King George I. In May, 1716, Nethery and 
seventy-nine other prisoners of war were dispatched from Liverpool, England 
on the Irish ship "Friendship", with Captain Michael Mankin in charge. 
Their destination was deportation to the Colony of Maryland in America. 
They arrived in Maryland in August of 1716. James Nethery and fellow 
prisoners, John Potter and Dugall McQueen, were purchased for a seven-year 
indenture by Col. William Holland, a wealthy Maryland landowner and 
political leader. 

It is believed by some of us, upon the preponderance of limited evidence, 
that James Nethery was the father of Thomas Nethery, the latter migrating 
to Mecklenburg County, Virginia about 1760. Thomas Nethery moved from the 
Kinnett Township of Chester County, Pennsylvania to an area of the South 
Fork of the Meherrin River. This area would be known later as the 
Scotts Crossroad Community, which is three miles northeast of the present-
day town of Chase City, off of Virginia Highway 47. 

Thomas Nethery was born in 1719 probably in the Colony of Maryland. Very 
little is known of his life in Pennsylvania! Suffice it to say that, from 
the Chester County tax records, we have learned that he was married, had 
children, and was a land tenant. 

Upon coming to Mecklenburg County, he apparently built a homestead on some 
fifty acres of land on Cattail Creek, a tributary of the South Fork of the 
Meherrin River.

The first known mention of Thomas Nethery in the Mecklenburg County, 
Virginia area is actually in the Lunenburg Court records of 1763 when he 
was appointed to work with Richard Witton, Thomas Erskine, John Linton, 
Philip Poindexter, et. al., on the upkeep of a public road. (Lunenburg Ct. 
Order Bk. 9, Page 214)

According to an early land deed of Mecklenburg County, Thomas Nethery 
purchased an additional 330 acres of land, more or less, on August 14, 
1769, from Richard Witton, who served as the first High Sheriff of 
Mecklenburg. The purchase price was twenty pounds "of current money of 
Virginia." This land adjoined the tract he was already living on, and all 
of it was of a larger tract of 875 acres received by Richard Witton in a 
patent at Williamsburg, Virginia on September 16, 1765. (Patent Book 36, 
Page 859) As referenced above, the Nethery tract was on both sides of 
Cattail Creek; and, on the north and west sides of Dry Creek, with its 
southern-most area being near the head-waters of Allens Creek. Allens 
Creek runs southerly to the Roanoke River.

Thomas Nethery was married three times and had children by all three wives. 
Unfortunately, no one knows the names of the first two wives, although 
their children's names are known. They were: Daniel Nethery of Mecklenburg 
County, Virginia and Guilford County, North Carolina; Robert Nethery of 
Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Burke County, North Carolina; Mary 
Nethery Stone, wife of Thomas Stone of Mecklenburg County; Sarah Nethery 
Jacks, wife of William Jacks of Wilkes County, North Carolina; Thomas 
Nethery, Jr. of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Knox County, Tennessee; 
William Nethery of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Carter County (now 
Johnson County), Tennessee; and, James Nethery of Mecklenburg and Nottoway 
Counties, Virginia.

On January 27, 1789, Thomas Nethery, Sr. was married a third time to Mary 
Ann "Nancy" Baker in Mecklenburg County. The Rev. Thomas Scott, of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church performed the ceremony. This minister of the 
gospel had only recently moved to Virginia from his native Scotland. He 
was allowed by the Mecklenburg County Court to declare his fidelity to the 
Commonwealth of Virginia in October, 1787. In December, 1788, the Rev. 
Scott was granted the privilege to solemnize marriages by the County Court.
We are not sure of the parentage of Ann "Nancy" Baker Nethery, but we know 
that George Baker signed her marriage bond. It is believed, with good 
reason, that he was Nancy's father. Nancy Nethery had several sisters and 
at least one brother whose name was William Baker. 
Thomas Nethery, Sr. and Nancy Nethery were the parents of four children: 
1DANIEL NETHERY (more about later); 2CATHERINE NETHERY (ca. 1791 - ca. 
1875), who never married; 3JOHN NETHERY (ca. 1793 - 1874), who married 
Nancy Westbrook in Mecklenburg County, on December 26, 1815. They later 
moved to Person County, North Carolina where Nancy Nethery died. John 
Nethery was then married to Elizabeth Draper. John Nethery had children by 
both wives. 4RICHARD NETHERY (ca. 1794 - ca. 1878), the fourth and last 
child of Thomas and Nancy Nethery, was married to Martha Baker on October 
8, 1830, and lived in Lunenburg and Mecklenburg Counties. It is thought 
that Martha and Richard Nethery were cousins. All five of their sons died 
in the Civil War! They also had several daughters.

Daniel and John Nethery were soldiers in Col. Grief Green's 6th Virginia 
Militia of Mecklenburg County, during the War of 1812. Daniel Nethery went 
as a "substitute" for Ned Neal, who may have been the prominent landowner 
and farmer, Edward Neal, who also lived on the South Fork of the Meherrin 
River, and whose land adjoined the Netherys. Both Netherys were privates 
in rank and served in the Norfolk, Virginia area, from late 1813 till 

When Thomas Nethery, Sr. died, in the springtime of 1798, he left a will in 
which all of his lands and personal properties were to go to his third wife 
and their four children. He was buried in the soil of his beloved land in 
a family cemetery which he had established. [Some thirteen years ago, this 
writer, one of his and Nancy's many 1gr-2gr-3gr grandsons, placed a 
memorial stone at their graves.] Thomas Nethery, Sr. left nothing to his 
children by his first two wives, since he had provided for them when they 
left him. One exception was his son, James Nethery, to whom he left a 
sorrel horse which was all he intended to leave is stated in the 
will. (Will Book 2, Mecklenburg County, Va.) The four children of Thomas 
and Nancy Nethery received 67 3/4 acres each. Nancy received some 92 acres 
as her dowry.

Thomas and Nancy Nethery were very poor people! They had a lot of land, 
but that was all. Before he died, Thomas Nethery received living 
subsistance by being "put on the Parish". After his death, there were some 
two or three years that Nancy Nethery could not pay the County taxes on the 
land. When this land was put up for sale by the County, at the Courthouse 
door in Boydton, in the early 1800s, a Nethery neighbor named George 
Poindexter paid the delinquent taxes and bought the land back for them. 
Now, concerning DANIEL NETHERY (1789 - 1866), the above-mentioned first 
child of Thomas Nethery, Sr. and his third wife, Ann "Nancy" Baker Nethery: 
He was married to SARAH SMITH (ca. 1792 - 1876) on February 14, 1816 "at 
Mrs. Smith's" near Boydton. Sarah Smith Nethery was a daughter of Buckner 
and Mavil Smith. Buckner's parents were John Smith and Elizabeth Averett 
Smith. The said Elizabeth Smith's parents were Thomas and Sarah Averett, 
large landowners of Lunenburg County, Virginia. [Daniel and Sarah Nethery 
were the 1gr-2gr- grandparents of this writer]. They had ten children: 
BUCKNER SMITH NETHERY (1817 - ca. 1890), who was married to Sarah Mallett 
and lived and died in Mecklenburg; EDWARD THOMAS NETHERY (1819 - 1900), who 
was married to Susan Andress Dubose (a French Huguenot) in 1860, in Monroe 
County, Alabama, later moving to Caldwell Parish, Louisiana; ROBERT TAYLOR 
NETHERY (1821 - 1864), who was married to Emily J. L. Smith in Mecklenburg. 
They later moved to Alamance County, North Carolina. A Sergeant in Co. I, 
8th North Carolina Infantry, he died as a prisoner of war at Elmira, New 
York, having been captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, March 
31, 1864; JAMES HENRY NETHERY and RICHARD DANIEL NETHERY, born in 1823 and 
1825, respectively, and dying in infancy; MARY ANN NETHERY (1826 - ca. 
1915), who married William Mallett in Mecklenburg in 1850, and later moved 
to Crockett County, Tennessee. William Mallett and Sarah Mallett Nethery, 
the wife of Buckner Nethery (listed above), were brother and sister also; 
MARTHA JANE NETHERY (1829 - 1912), who lived in Mecklenburg County, and 
Granville and Vance Counties, North Carolina. She was never married; HENRY 
HODGE NETHERY (1832 - 1878), who was married to Lucy Fenner Ligon in 
Granville County, North Carolina, in 1862. He was a Private in Co. I, 38th 
Virginia Infantry, but had to be medically discharged in December, 1861 
because of a severe rheumatoid condition. 

Most of the above listed children of Daniel and Sarah Smith Nethery, with 
exception to the two who died in infancy, had families....and rather large 

The ninth child, and "the seventh of seven sons", born to Daniel and Sarah 
Nethery was GEORGE DANIEL NETHERY (February 28, 1834 - December 18, 1899). 
He was married to Louisa Griffin, the daughter of Mecklenburg County, 
Virginia citizens Hezekiah and Mary Griffin, on August 21, 1860. [George 
and Louisa Nethery were this writer's great grandparents.] George Nethery 
joined the Confederate Army at Clarksville, Virginia on June 20, 1861, 
along with his brother, Henry Nethery, and brother-in-law, John R. Griffin. 
All three were registered as Privates in Co. I, 38th Virginia Infantry, by 
registrant Capt. John S. Wood. In July, 1862, following a re-organization 
of the Army of Northern Virginia, George D. Nethery was placed in 2nd Co. 
G, 14th Virginia Infantry, Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead's Brigade. This 
Brigade would be later placed in Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett's Division of 
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. George 
Nethery was a good soldier, and distinguished himself further, as such, in 
"Pickett's Charge" at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, where he was severely 
wounded by gunshot to the left shoulder. Nethery saw Gen. Armistead 
mortally wounded, and Col. James G. Hodges of the 14th Virginia killed at 
the Union wall on Cemetery Ridge. Escaping capture, Nethery was wounded 
again, less severely, at Chester Station, Virginia...between Petersburg and 
Richmond on May 10, 1864. He served until the end of the War, and was at 
Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia when Gen. Lee surrendered the Army of 
Northern Virginia to Union Commander Ulysses S. Grant. Following the Civil 
War, George and Louisa Nethery had their family of five children. They 
were: ANNA NETHERY (1865 -1887), who was married to William Hughes Strum, 
son of James A. Strum and Henrietta Hester Strum. They had no issue; JAMES 
DANIEL NETHERY (1866 - 1938), who married Mary Alice Guerrant, the daughter 
of Clayton Guerrant; WILLIAM THOMAS NETHERY (1869 - 1948), who was married 
to 1Martha Wilson, the daughter of James D. and Amy Hester Wilson of 
Granville County, N. C., then to 2Sarah Howell, the daughter of Edward A. 
Howell and Fanny Grissom Howell of Vance County, N. C. [Tom and Sarah 
Nethery were this writer's grandparents; and, their third child and first 
of three sons was my father, WILLIAM THOMAS NETHERY, JR. (1908 - 1993)]. 
ROBERT HOWARD NETHERY (1872 - 1921), who married Ida Obelia Harris of Vance 
County, N. C.; and, JOHN WALTER NETHERY (1879 - 1898), who never married 
and died of tuberculosis. 

The tenth and last child of Daniel and Sarah Nethery was SARAH ELIZABETH 
NETHERY (1838 - 1901). She was married to James Lewis Henderson in 
Granville County, N. C., in 1865. They lived much of their early married 
life in Mecklenburg County. It is said that J. L. Henderson was a Union 
soldier, from either Calvary Gen. Philip Sheridan's Union Army or from the 
ranks of Gen. William T. Sherman. Henderson desserted his family following 
the birth of their third child, and was never seen or heard of again. Some 
family members believe he was originally from Massachussetts.

So, the Netherys/Neatherys of Virginia and North Carolina, indeed many with 
this surname throughout the United States, have their roots deep in the 
soil of the Mecklenburg County, Virginia...very near the South Fork of the 
Meherrin River.

Written and owned by: J. Marshall Neathery 
Rolesville, North Carolina 
February 17, 2000 
Copyright 2000 JoLee Gregory Spears