Shelby County, KYGenWeb Project

Richard and Frances Breeden in the American Revolution

Compiled by Sharon Smith Logan

       Richard Breeding was born prior to 21 June 1753 and as he is listed last in the indenture that his father provided for his children, he was probably a very young child. None of the children were of age and would come into inheritance once they reached adulthood. He and his wife Frances (many including my grandfather list her maiden name as Fairchild) were first found in Henry County, Virginia selling their land to John Stanton in a land deed in 1777: 1

“This Indenture made Here on this Twenty Eighth Day of January in the year of our Lord Christ one Thousand & Seven Hundred and Seventy Seven Between Richard Breeding of Henry County of the one part & John Stockton of said County of the other part--
Witnesseth that the sd Richard Breeding for and in Consideration of the Sum of Fifty pounds Current money of Virginia to him in hand paid at & before the Sealing & Delivery of these presents the receipt is hereby acknowledged hath Given, Granted, Bargained, sold, and Confirmed and by these Presents doth give grant Bargain Sell & Confirm unto the John Stockton his heirs & Assigns forever a Certain Tract or Parcel of land containing one hundred and Thirty acres lying and being in the County aforesaid on both sides of the north fork of Mayo River and bounded as followeth to it Beginning at a White Oak on the North Side of the River and running thence new lines north fifty Three degrees East Twenty poles to a Read oak north Thirty five degrees west leaving a branch of said River one hundred & four poles to a Sorrel tree South Eighty five degrees west Crossing a Creek a Branch of the said River Sixty six poles to a Read Oak north twenty five Degrees west ninety poles to a Poplar near the River south sixty five Degrees west Crossing the River sixty poles to a white oak south ten Degrees East one hundred and sixty poles to a Read Oak & two White oaks on the other side of the River then up the River as it meanders to the First Station. With all the Appurtenances belonging or anyway appertaining To Have and to hold the said land and premises unto the said John Stockton and to his heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns Forever and the said Richard Breeding doth for himself and his heirs covenant and agree with the said John Stockton his heirs or Assigns From Time to Time and at all Times Hereafter.

Hereafter peaceably and Quickly to have hold possess and enjoy the said land and premises & the Right and Title of his the Said Richard Breeding without ......................Trouble or Molestation from him the said Richard Breeding his heirs Executors Administrators or any other Person or Persons lawfully claiming on by from or under them or any of them or any other Person whatsoever and the Said Richard Breeding for himself and his heirs the said land and Premises and before Experts Shall and will warrant and forever defend by these Presents in Witness the Richard Breeding hath hereunto set his hand and Seal the Day and year First above written Signed Sealed and Delivered in Presence of:

Abraham Penn
his mark
John Solomon
Richard R Breeding S S
George Hairston
his mark

Henry County SCt

In the Name of the Commonwealth of Virginia
       To Abraham Penn John Solomon Gent
Greeting whereas ( ) Breeding & Frances his wife by this Certain Indenture of bargain & Sale bearing date the 28th day of Jany 1777 have bargained & Sold and by these presents do bargain & sell unto John Stockton of the County of Pittsylvania one hundred and thirty acres of land be the same more or less as may fully appear by the said Deed and Frances the wife of the same James being privily examined appart from her said husband doth Acknowledge the same Freely without the same Together with the said deed should be Recorded in the County Court of Henry and that the same was done freely & voluntarily & you the said Justices are Required to transmit this under your hands & Seals Together with your acknowledgments.

Acknowledgments to the Clerk of the Said County for due acknowledgment thereof Witness John Cox Clerk of our said County Court at the Courthouse the 26th day of January in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy Seven & the First year of the Commonwealth .

John Cox Clk

By virtue of this Dedamus to us presented we the Subscribers did examine Frances the Wife of the said James Touching her acknowledgment of the Said One hundred & Thirty acres of Land & she does the same freely with the Threats of persuasions of her said Husband and is willing the same should be recorded in the County Court of Henry Given under our hands & Seals the 28th day of Jany 1777

Abraham Penn S
John Solomon S

At a Court held for Henry County on the 17th day of February 1777 This Indenture was proved the Oaths of the Witnesses/to has to be the Act or Deed of the Above Richard Breeding Also the Dedimus hereto annexed the privily Examination of Frances Wife of the Said Richard was returned All which proceedings was ordered to be Recorded by the Court Test John Cox.”

       According to Verna Finley Frost: “Richard had married Fannie Fairchild, a Virginia woman and to them were born eleven children. . . . The seventh child was Richard, Jr. who was born in 1788. They had settled in Lawrence County, but in 1797 bout 211+ acres from Alexander Breckenridge on Plum Creek, Shelby County. In March 1798, Richard died at Shelby, Kentucky. His will listed Francis, Elizabeth, Paul, and William. The executor was Francis Breeding. Elizabeth was listed as a daughter. In August 1799, Paul married Elizabeth Stanley. An Elizabeth was listed as a charter member of Buck Creek Baptist Church which was originally Plum Creek Baptist Church near Finchville, Kentucky.

       The children scattered to various parts of the country. Paul went to Louisiana. James, William, and Richard, Jr. went to Indiana. Richard settled in Monroe County in the year 1818. . . .” 2;

       Richard Breeding, Jr. enlisted in the Virginia Continental Line in Henry County, Virginia and, at Fort Jefferson, Kentucky (then Virginia) he was inducted as a private in the Muster Roll of Illinois under the command of George Rogers Clark, along with Sergeant John Breeding. According to some sources, Sergeant John Breeding and Richard Breeding were brothers but there is no conclusive proof of that relationship. Both men served in Joseph Crockett’s Regiment assigned to duty with George Rogers Clark’s Illinois campaign. Mrs. David E. Geieger of Ashland, Kentucky cites “The Horn Papers” (page 760) that “Sgt. John Breedon & Pvt. Richard Breedon (page 761),” served in some of the campaigns of George Rogers Clark but were not allotted land in Clark’s Grant.

       Richard Breeden is listed in the book George Rogers Clark and His Men, Military Records, 1778-1784, compiled by Margery Heberling Harding. On pages 47 and 52, Documents 173 (1 June 1780 - 30 November 1781) and 174 (11 April 1780 - November 1781) he is listed as a private in the Muster Roll of Captain Edward Worthington’s Company of the Illinois Regiment, with service commencing November 18. Pages 106 and 107, Documents 154 and 122 A (1 January 1782 - 31 July 1782) show Richard enlisted on 18 November 1789, with three years of service. He was paid 6 2/3 dollars a month, for a total payment of 46 2/3 dollars, which was 14 pounds, 14 shillings in Virginia currency. Pages 141, 142, and 144, again showing Richard serving under the Muster Roll of Isaac Taylor's Company of Infantry in Documents 114, 115, and 107 (1 August 1782 - 31 August 1782). He is also shown on pages 154 and 155, Documents 23 and 197 A (1 September 1782 - 31 January 1783) as a private with the remark by his name "absent without leave". However, in the George Rogers Clark Papers, he received an honorable discharge:
       “2 Feb 1783 – certified Richard Breeding enlisted in Illinois Regiment on 18th day of November 1779 to serve 3 years and sufficient to authorize him to receive discharge.” 3

       Frances Breeding was also a patriot during the American Revolution. While her husband was away fighting, she and her children lived at Fort Jefferson. During the American Revolution, our ancestor Paul and his older brother William played nearby while him mother wove suits of clothes, waist coats, and shirts from her spinning wheel for the soldiers. She was reimbursed for her patriotism by the Illinois Regiment.4 In September 1780, she charged eight yards of white flannel for making four coats and she was reimbursed for sewing six shirts made of linen and flannel. On 30 September she buys material at the public store in Fort Jefferson for making a coat and waistcoat. On 25 November 1780, she “made a suit of clothes” and in 1781, she made seven shirts for Captain Worthington and ten shirts for Captain Bayley.

       In the personal history of John H. Breden recorded in Fulton County, Illinois History, 1890, Richard and his wife Frances Breeding are described as follows:

        "He (Richard) was engaged as a farmer and when the colonists fought for independence, he entered the continental army and did good service. His wife, a patriotic woman, sat up nights and molded bullets for the soldiers in the fort nearby. He finally moved to Shelby County, Kentucky and was one of the very first settlers there. He took up land, cleared a farm in the woods, and in his pioneer home, raised a large family."5

       In a Virginia Revolutionary Pension Application for John Back dated 26 May 1835, Wayne County, Kentucky:

“Patrick Coyle of said county, aged 69, declares that in 1778 he lived in Washington Co., Va., at Cowin's Fort. Capt. Thomas Quick informed him that John Back had enlisted for twelve months. He saw Back marching to Long Islands of Holston. Andrew Cowin, John Breeding and Richard Breeding got home from the expedition first, having left Back behind.”

Frontier Life in America

        By 1782, our Richard Breeding was living in Jefferson County, Kentucky6. Richard Breeding's name was listed in the following court action: "At a Court held for Jefferson on the 5th March 1782 ordered that the County Surveyor lay off, the following persons, four hundred acres of land, each agreeable to act of Assembly passed May last -". Also found in "Minute Book No. 1, Jefferson County, Kentucky April 6, 1784-December 7, 1785 . . . [78] Court met according to adjournment Dec'r 8, 1784 . . ", and Richard Breeding was a witness for two days in the court case Applegate vs. Ford. On that same date, Bland Ballard (Richard named one of his sons Bland Ballard Breeden) was referred as an “umpire” in the court case Jones vs. Sinclear7. In the 1790 Kentucky Census, Richard Breeden is listed in Jefferson County with a tax list date of 9 June 1789. Other Breedens on Kentucky tax lists at that time were as follows:
       George Breeden, Lincoln County, 31 March 1790
       John Breeden, Lincoln County, 31 March 1790
       Peter Breeden, Lincoln County, 2 July 1790

       In the 1792 Shelby County, Kentucky Tax List, Joseph Stanley (Elizabeth Stanley Breeden’s father is listed) with one white male over age 21, one male age 16 to 21, two horses, mares, colt, and mules, and ten cattle. Women were not a category but blacks, cattle, and carriages were. 8

Land Deeds

       In 1797, Richard Breeding bought 211 acres from Alexander Breckenridge on Plum Creek, Shelby County9. Several deeds shown below after Richard’s death pertain to that same Plum Creek land.

       On 21 November 1817, an agreement was reached with Fanny Breeden (widow), James Breeden, Henry Breeden, and Bland Ballard Breeden of the first part and John Allen of the second part stating that John Allen had purchased two parcels of land from Richard Breeden (Jr.) being a part of Richard Breeden Senior’s tract lying on Plum Creek amounting to 21 acres; that said John Allen was to have no more or less proportional part that is one heir lot10.

       On 24 September 1821, Shelby County11, there is an indenture made between William Breeden, Bayley Foley and his wife Milly (Mildred Breeden was the daughter of Richard, Sr.), and John Breeden described as the lawful heirs of Richard Breeden, Sr, and Bland Ballard Breeden, selling for $300 their share of the 211 acres which amounted to 63 acres undivided. The deed was witnessed by James Breeden and Elijah Breeden.

       On the 18 April 1828, Frances Breeden “for the natural love and affection she has for her son” gave Elijah Breeden one parcel of land and the farm she lived on, a Negro boy named Benjamin, one brown horse, three cows, two heifers, and twenty sheep in return that Elijah promises to support his mother Frances for the rest of her life with necessary and common comforts situated to her age, i.e. all the the necessary meat, drink, and wearing apparel which can be produced from the farm and medical assistance and aid to support the little family his mother now keeps. Elijah is also to furnish for her mood tea, sugar, or coffee and Frances placed a lien on the property during her lifetime so that he was not free to sell it. 12

       Living conditions were harsh for the early settlers of Shelby County. A description of these hardships was given by George L. Willis:13

"The first 'residences' were no better than the pictures and resembled Lincoln and Fort Harrod cabins. . . . Some of them were but three-sided log huts, little better than a substantial shelter for swine. One log room with one window and one door each, were among the best. . . . The rifle, the powder-horn, the bullet bag, the tomahawk and hunting knife were parts of the furniture and usually occupied the most conspicuous places on a rack made of wood or the horns of a deer. . . . Breeches made of buckskin or linsey, a cap of raccoon skin, leggins and moccasins made of deer skin, and a shirt of such cotton or linen as could be gotten, completed the dress of the men. The women wore linen sunbonnets, linsey dresses, woolly stockings, cotton handkerchiefs, and home-made shoes; and if then a ruffle or buckle appeared, it was a relic of olden times brought from the mother country. . . .The men hunted the game, raised the crop, pounded the grain, fought the Indians and did the outdoor work in general. The women milked the cows, spun the yarn, wove the cloth, knit the socks, made the garments, cooked the meals, and attended to all household work. . . . The food of all was the game of the forest, milk, butter, cheese, cornbread, hominy, mush, the wild nuts, and the wild fruits of the country."

       By 1800, Richard was dead, and Frances (his widow) Breeding was listed in Shelby County on 29 August 1800 along with her sons Paul, and William.

Estate Record for Richard Breeden

       Besides household furniture and farm utensils, Richard Breeden's inventory included the following livestock: eight horses valued at 114 pounds, ten shillings; nineteen cattle valued at 33 pounds and five pence; eighteen sheep valued at thirteen pounds, ten shillings; 41 heads of hog valued at twenty pounds, ten shillings; eighteen geese valued at one pound, five shillings; and 40 ducks valued at one pound, five shillings. Also of interest was "Cash eleven Spanish milled dollars" valued at three pounds, six shillings. The entire estate was appraised for 247 pounds, fourteen shillings. Below is an extract of the responsible parties that appraised Richard's estate.

May County Court 1798

This inventory and appraisement was retured to be recorded.
Test: James Crayge

Inventory – Appraisment Bill of the Estate of Rich’d Breeding, Dec’d
Recorded Book A, page 44

The Appraisement of the Goods and Chattels of the Estate of Richard Breeden, Deceased

Pounds Shillings Pence
One Chestnut Sorrel Mare & Colt 30
One Strawberry Roan, Mare
One Bay, Two Year old, Mare 18
One Bay Yearling Mare, Colt, Star & Stripe, both hind feet white 110
One Stud Horse 35
Total 114 10 0
One Bull 4
One Steer 5
One White faced Cow with bob tail & her calf 3 9
One Brown Cow with a Star In her forehead & Calf3
One White backed cow, red sides, bobtail & her calf 2 14
One Black Cow & Yearling Bull Calf 3 6
One Brindled Hieffer and her calf 2 8
One Red Steer, white List Down his Right Shoulder 1 16
One Black three year old Steer 2 2
One Brown Hieffer 1 10
One Brindled Steer, White ring around His tail 1
One two year old Brindkled Hieffer 1 10
One Yearling Bull 18
One White Spotted Yearling Bull 7 6
Total 33 0 6
Eighteen Heades Great and Small on Average at 15S Per Head 13 10
Forty One Heads Great and Small on an an Average At 10/S per lb. 2010
Eighteen Geese 1 5
Forty Ducks 1 5
Total 36 10 0
Farming Utenzils
One Plough, one clevis, and one pair Of Geers 2 2
One Mattack 9/ one ax 6/ one adze 6/ 1 1
One Iron Wedge 4/ Three old Hoses 10/ 14
Two axes 18/ One Hand Saw Steel Plate 9/ 1 7
Three Sickles 9/ one old sythe 1/6 one Iron Shovel 8/ 18 6
Two Screw Augure 7/ one Drawing Knife & big Chizel 3/ 10
One Ox Yoke ring & Steeple & log chain 1 6
One Cross Cut Saw 1 10
One Mans Saddle & Briddle 2 7 6
One Do …. Do 6/ One Womans Do.. 9/ 15
Total 12 11 0
House Furniture
One Broken Dutch Oven & Bale 7
One Eight Gallon Kettle 1 5
One Iron Port 5/ One Iron Pt & Bale 24/ 1 9
One Broken pot & Bale 5
One Pewter Dish and Pewter Platter
Three Basons 1 4
Thirteen peweter plates 1 10
Thriteen pewter spoons 6/ Coffee Pot 2/6 8 6
Two Smoothing Irons 10/ Sheep Shears 2/6 12 6
One Spike Gimblet & one Glass Bottle 3
Side? Chain at 3/ Saw Chain 18
Two Pot Tramels 9/ Two old Wheels & old reel 14/6 1 3 6
One Lint Wheel 4/ One Wollen Wheel 11/ 15
One Rifle Gun 40/ On Do .. 20/ One Cag? & Barrel 3/ 3 3
Two Bedsteads Beds and Furniture 14
Two … Do… Do…..Do… 8 10
Six Linen Sheets & old Bed quilt 1 16
Three Yards of Cloth at 9/??? 1 7
One Loome, Six Hundred Slay &
Old Geers 2
Knives, Forks, & Candle Snuffer 6
Total 41 2 6
Two Flase Hatchels 18
One Brass Cock 3
Elven pounds of Salt Petre at 3/ per pound 1 13
One Note on hand, on Samuel Ray Bearing Date February 10th 1797 4
Cash Eleven Spanish Mill’e Dollars 3 6
Total Amount errors excepted 247 14 0

We do hereby certify that the above is a true inventor of all and singular the goods and chattels of the Estate of Richard Breeden Deceased Delivered as such by Frances Breeden, Adminstrative and appraised by William Brodie, Peter Baily, Elijah Whitaker this 15th day of May 1798.”

        "At a Court held for Shelby County the Twentieth day of November 1798. Ordered that Joseph Winlock, Joseph Hornsby, and John Knight, Gentlemen, be appointed to examine, state, and settle with Frances Breeden, her Account of Administration of the Estate of Richard Breeden, Deceased, and return the settlement to the Court.                 Teste James Craig, Clk.

The Estate of Richard Breeden, deceased in Account with Frances Breeden, Administratrix.

"September 26, 1798 (pounds, shillings, pence)
To Joseph Hornsby in full L14.2.9
To Thos Kindall in part 1.10-
To Absalom Mattox in full 13.16.6
To Hugh Hicklin in part 2.0.6
To James Simpson in full 1.15-
To Isaac Whitesides in full Costs 2/3 Cash 18/9 1.1
To Paul Spear in full 1.16-
To James Patterson in full 2.18-
To Alexander Leashly in full July 25 1798 2-
To Joseph Hornsby Discount on the 16.15 5__ Sep 26 12.3
To Eliz Breeden paid her March 24 1798 10.6
To Caleb Reid pd him Aug 21 1798 1.10.7
To Wm. Breeden pd him May 21 1798 18.7
To Landen Davis pd him July 19 1799 15—
To Wm. Breeden pd him Dec 16 1798 2 .14
To Craven Lane pd him Oct 11 1799 12-
To Wm. Breeden pd him Jan. 12 1799 1.3.5
To Thos Lane pd him Oct 13 1798 3.9
To Isaac Whitesides pd him July 19 1799 2.3
To Sheriff pd him Taxes for 96, 97, 98 1.6-
To Clerks Fee Bill 11-
To A.L.R. Steele pd them Nov 15 1799 17.7
To Sundry Charges & Funeral A__ Sett'd Account 4.2
To Paul Breeden for a Mare 171.8
To Balance Dec Rich'd Breeden Estate 171.8.3

"July 25 1798
Shelby County
        In obedience to an order of the Worshipful Court of Shelby County hearing at the 20th day of Nov 1798, we have examined, stated, & made a Settlement of the Estate of Richard Breeden, deceased, with Mrs. Frances Breeden, administratrix, & find a balance of L 171.8.3 due to the said estate.
                             Given under our Hands this 18th day of March 1800.
                                                        Joseph Winlock
                                                        Joseph Hornsby
                                                        John Knight" 14

       Joseph Winlock was selected by the act of the General Assembly of Kentucky as a trustee to lay out the town of Shelbyville in 1792. On 15 January 1793, the trustees set aside fifty acres for the erection of public buildings. Winlock was also a general of two companies of the militia from Shelby County. 15

       Joseph Hornsby wrote a diary between 1798 and 1804 about rare horticulture. On his massive plantation "Grasslands" (said to have been about 8,000 acres), he planted rare flowers, vines,
and shrubs. 16

       John Knight was a surgeon in the American Revolution and, the first doctor to successfully operate on cancer. In 1782, he was captured at Mingo town on the Ohio River where he witnessed the Indian prisoners being burned at the stake. He was tied to a stake to meet the same fate when it began to rain. He later managed to escape when he attempted to knock his Indian guard into the campfire. 17


1 Henry County, Virginia, Deed Book 1, 1777-1779, pages 18-20.
2 The Breeden Story, Compiled by Verna Finley Frost.
3 George Rogers Clark Papers, microfilm at Library of Virginia, Roll 3359, Vol. 11, pages 293 and 573.
4 Ibid, Roll Number 4, pages 920-921 926-927, 1400 and Roll Number 5, pages 17, 196, 887, and 922.
5 History of Jackson County, Iowa, pages 364 -65.
6 “Early Kentucky Settlers, The Records of Jefferson County Kentucky, “ Filson Club History Quarterly, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1988, pages 27-28.
7 Minute Book No. 1, Jefferson County, Kentucky, April 6-1784-December 7, 1785, copied for publication by Miss Ludie J. Kinkead, Part Three: December 6, 1784-August 10, 1785.
8 “The Kentucky Genealogist”, Kentucky History Society, January 1979, Vol. 21, No. 1, transcribed by Nettie Hance Wilson for the Filson Club in Lousiville.
9 Shelby Co., KY Deeds, Marriages, and Tax List.
10 Shelby County, Kentucky, Deed Book O, pages 219- 220.
11Shelby County, Kentucky Deed Book S, page 146-147.
12Shelby County, Deed Book S, pages 435-436.
13 History of Shelby County, Kentucky (originally published in 1929), reprinted by Clearfield Publishing Company in 1993, 1996, pages 29 and 30.
14 Shelby County Kentucky, Book A
15 History of Shelby County, Kentucky, by George L. Willis, pages 53 and 265.
16 Ibid., page 173.
17 History of Shelby County, Kentucky, by George L. Willis, page 169.

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