|(The following is a copy of Mary Antrim
Roberts Autobiography written in the late 1800's -date unknown. When this copy was made,
the original was in the hands of Ramona Wilson. No effort has been made to duplicate the
crossed out passages or misspelling. Mary Antrim Roberts was a sister of Sarah Antrim
Davis sp. Jesse Davis, Greenville TN.
This copy was submitted to the Antrim Family Newsletter by
Henry M. Haupt,
Los Gatos, CA.
Mary Roberts, the subject of this narrative was born in the state of Augusta county, Virginia Oct. 14 A.D. 1794. My father Godfrey Antrim was a native of New Jersey. He was of Quaker persuasion born the year 1753. About the year
1776 he was married to Hannah Haines, the widow of Abram Haines. His father Thomas Antrim was a native of England. Being born a gentleman of good position and many accomplishments, determined to migrate to the new world, concerning which such marvelous tales were being told to the Mother Country. He was a man of good stature, comely visage, enterprising genius, a sound
head, vigorous spirit and generous nature. When he arrived in the new world he was well pleased with the country and settled in New Jersey, keeping a large number of cows. His place of market for butter and cheese was Philadelphia. He had a family of six children, four sons and two daughters. The names of his sons William, Thomas Aiden and Godfery. The daughters names Prudence and Martha. He gave all his a handsome property but it soon passed out of their hands owing to intemperance, extravagance and inattention to business. William stood very high in the family, so much he was called Lord Antrim by his compeers. He, together with his brothers were Freemasons and of course stood high in society. William and Thomas were bachelors. William died at middle age. Aiden moved to Ohio and settled near Miami. He became very religious in that day, which was about 1820. He felt religious, he said, right to the top of his head.
My father, Godfrey Antrim, received money from his father to purchase land in Virginia and came to Virginia for that purpose and while there formed an acquaintance with my mother who resided with her widowed mother and married her and went on a wedding tour to New Jersery, leaving her little son by her former husband with her widowed mother. They remained in New Jersey a short time and than returned to Virginia and made arrangements and moved back to New Jersey and lived on his father's farm until after their second child was born. They then moved back to Virginia and settled on Backcreek in Frederick county. He remained here for sometime until he had quite a family of children, perhaps 8 or 9, then he moved to west Tennessee. His brother Thomas came to visit him and insisted on him to go to New Jersey and visit his parents which he did. He remained away a long time and no mail routes had been established for the conveyance of letters to and from the part of the country where he had made his home. My mother became very uneasy, thinking something had befallen him or perhaps he was dead. In the mean time a son was born 7 months after his departure and six months before hisreturn. When he returned home he found his family all well and much pleased to see him. He could tell them of the pleasant visit he had enjoyed with his relatives. In a short time after he moved to a point farther east and remained for a short time while at this point the family had to endure many privations owing to the scarcity of provisions and circumstances related to my mother. I will mention here my father was called away on business leaving the family in this destitute region. Bread stuff was almost out of reach, yet a few persons had a small amount of corn. Mother has a six yards of flannel carded, spun and wove by hand, designed for clothing for the family. But thinking it was better to dispense with the clothing than to starve she took the roll of flannel and started to the only place where she could her of corn but had little hope of getting an even exchange for her flannel.
Being much distressed in her mind, she set down on a log and wept, and while she was thus engaged a voice came to her in her anguish telling her that she should never suffer for bread. She took courage and went on her journey cheerfully, never doubting that she would obtain what she desired. When she came to the place, the six yards of flannel was taken in exchange for six bushels of corn. The following harvest was a harvest of plenty in that region of the settled portions of the country and laborers were in demand. My father's oldest brother and two oldest sisters went off a distance of several miles to labor in the harvest. My oldest sisters could make hands at reaching with a sickle, so they earned their bread by the sweat of their brow. My father was of a roving disposition and moved back to Virginia and settled in Augusta county, the place where I was born. I was the eleventh child and the youngest of the family. Abram Haines was my Mother's son by her first husband. Grace, the oldest sister, Thomas the oldest son and Nancy the next oldest. John, another brother, Sarah another sister, Aiden another brother, Robert, William, Soloman who died when an infant, Mary the youngest and author of this sketch.
When I was 4 years old my father died. Shortly after my half brother Abram Haines, who lived in Tennessee for some time, came to Virginia to assist in moving our family to Greene county, Tennessee. Sister Grace remained in Virginia and married there. Brother John remained in Virginia two years later after our departure , then came to Tennessee also. I will now give an account of my Mother's ancestors: John Painter, my grandfather on my mother's side was born in England and at the age of 15 years was bound an apprentice to learn the blacksmith trade. He served until he thought he was a master of the trade, being under a hard master who on certain occasions was sent to buy some bread took the liberty to slice from a loaf and eat it, which cause him a severe flogging at the hands of his master. From that time he quietly worked on an escape from his cruel master and seek his fortune in America. He went on board a ship without a cent of money to pay his passage over. After he worked out his passage he went to Virginia and took a claim and began an improvement. He borrowed a horse from a neighbor to ride a short distance. The horse was returned and yoked. It turned out as he intended, but before the owner had used the horse he was found dead, hung in the yoke. So the owner demanded pay for the horse. Mr. Painter, not wishing any trouble with the man, went to work and earned the money and paid his unreasonable demand. Shortly after this he was married to Hannah Bradock who was supposed to be related to General Bradock, She was a very stout, thorough going woman, well able to endure hardship incident to frontier life. He put up a rude cabin in the wilderness, built a shop, worked at his trade, cleared land. In the mean time his wife proved to him a helpmate for she assisted him in all his toils, both in and out of doors. By honest labor and rigid economy he acquired property and supported a family of seven children named as follows; John, Robert, Thomas and Isaac, Jane, Sarah, and Hannah, 3 of his sons received farms and one received a trade. He set up his daughter for housekeeping during this time. He joined the Quaker church, leaving his children to choose for themselves. Several of the children joined the Quakers. Hannah, which was my Mother, joined the Methodist church.
While she was a widow in Tennessee she bought a piece of land and my mother made a farm on it. My mother, during widowhood, joined the Methodist church under the preaching of Wildman, J. A. Grenade. He was called the wild preacher because he roved through the woods three years almost a raving manic. He is said to be one of the most wicked men previous to his conversion and was fearful that he had sinned away his day of grace, as you will infer from the character of his poetry........"Come all dear brothen draw near and listen to my sad complaint. My burden's too heavy to bear. My soul is ready to faint. Help, help by your prayers or I'm gone if pity you have in your breast. MY hell in this world is begun. I am a foul spirit possessed three years in this dungeon I've laid without any hope of relief, I've envied the birds of the air whom nature hath clothed so gay, who free from all sorrow and care they cheerfully sang from each spray.
One night there appeared in a dream a great congregation to me and now while they were praising God's name I thought that my soul was set free. Soon after persuaded I went where thousands of souls did appear who came as appeared with intent the glorious gospel to hear. The watchman were crying aloud and giving the trumpets alarm. I anxiously pressed through the crowd. My soul seemed impelled with the charm. My dungeon beginning to shake, grace pouring amain from skies. The powers of hell were drove back. I felt the unspeakable joy. I leaped and I shouted and cried salvation to God and the Lamb. I felt the movement, applied the spirit, attested the same." I was small at the time Mr. Grenade preached through East Tennessee on the Greene county circuit, perhaps not past ten years old during this period. The confusions and excitement ran high amongst religious people. Some very strange religious exorcises obtained such as jerking exorcise, the falling, dancing, shouting and other strange exorcises which alarmed me very much. On one occasion I fled the scene in fright. Sister Sally came out and beckoned me to come back, Mr. Grenade came out and solicit her to come back, thinking she had become alarmed and had left also but upon being told the cause of her leaving he spoke to me in a very kind manner. But still I was afraid to go in. He tried to get sister to join the church, saying he would go out into the highways and hedges and compel folks to come in, that the house should be filled. Yet sister Sally didn't come in. My mother joined the church, yet she was more in favor of the Quaker church. In that year 1803 my mother was married to Philip Babb Senior, of Greene county, East Tennessee. Mr. Babb was between 60 and 70 years old. My mother past 50 years old. My brother Aden was home. Mr. Babb was a man in good circumstances but my brothers and sisters all regretted to have him for a stepfather.
Old Mr. Babb throwed away his staff and became apparently much younger. It was reported he jumped a five rail fence and told his old horse he was a colt and young again, and Mr. Babb was a young man again. We moved on to Mr. Babb's farm. My oldest brother was married and remained on my mothers farm while brothers Aden, Robert and William remained with Mr. Babb. Brother John, the oldest of those that remained at home, had worked out and bought a good horse and equipage. At 21 years old he saddled his horse, bid us farewell and started for the state of Ohio. He had relatives residing in Highland county, three brothers by the name of Branson. He arrived in Ohio and bargained for a piece of land. He then made a trip to Redstone perhaps in Pennsylvania, for the purpose of assisting to move a brother-in-law, Mr.
Thomas Draper, who married sister Grace. The day before he arrived at Redstone he was taken very ill, but continued to travel. He only lived 3 days after his arrival. He complained of cramps in the bowels and stomach. He was buried in Redstone before he died he told sister Grace to keep his horse and requested brother Aden to take the land he had bargained for in the state of Ohio and pay for it. Brother Aiken had moved to Ohio. Brother next older, brother to John, came to Clinton county, Ohio prior to 1810., took charge of the land that Brother John had bargained for. He had only a little property consisting of two cows in the milk at the time. Mr. Draper moved from Redstone to Clinton county, Ohio, and brother Aiken made his home with him and worked and accumulated property and finally married Dolly Sharp of Kentucky. He procured land for himself, perhaps 60 or 70 acres, made a farm and by industry and economy became well situated in life. He was a steady, judicious man, well respected by all that knew him. He the church founded by Abel M. Sargent of Kentucky, called the Halczon church and became a preacher of that order. He had a large family of children , 10 in all. He was not permitted to live to see his family raised. He met his death by a melancholy accident at the age of 40 or past. On returning from themill with a sled, a tree by the road side, having lost its top, leaning at height, a stub fell across the sled and crushed him, killing him instantly.
The horses broke and ran, leaving him in the road with a portion of the sled, where he was found shortly after by two of his neighbors. The news came to the family and caused much grief and sorrow, but his poor wife did not survive him long for some 18 months after she was taken down with the measles, together with her son some 10 to 12 years old, neither recovered. They were both buried in the same grave. The children which remained except such as were married made their home with Adam Grove, a son-in-law who afterward bought the home place. My brother William came to Ohio with brother Thomas. They bought a few head of stock and worked about to get means. His stepfather Mr. Babb promised to give him a fine horse , but after wards refused to do so and kept back the horse. The horse met with a accident and died. Brother William said it was a judgment sent on his stepfather for wronging him out of his horse. Brother William, a quite well disposed young man, was respected by all that knew him. At the age of 21 or 22 years old he was married to Sarah Sharp, a sister to brother Aiden's wife Mary. They settled in Clinton county, Ohio, had a family of 7 children by his first wife. Sometime after his wife Sarah died he married Ellen McCoy of Clinton county, Ohio and had 4 children by her. He then moved to the state of Indiana, Delaware county and settled on the White river and remained there til his death. Thomas moved from Tennessee to Ohio after he married Rachel Fry, a widow with 3 children. He had 7 children living. Brother Tommy was one of those kind of men who was not anxious to get rich yet he had plenty at all times to make him comfortable. He delighted to fish and hunt bees and spent most of his time in those pursuits. He was a member of the Quaker church, called Friends. He brought his children in that way. He changed his location a number of times and finally moved to Jasper county, Indiana and died at the old age of seventy five years. His wife died soon after he died. My brother Robert , at the request of my mother and stepfather , remained at home and worked on the farm until he was married to Jestina Leeks of Tennessee. He built a house in the yard close to his stepfather's and remained there until he had three children. My stepfather had a good farm and gave it to two of his sons, retaining a lease on it for life, for him and my mother, who were to have to have peacefully possession while they lived. They were bourn under penalty of one thousand dollars to grant the said possession. The younger of those sons was a man given to intemperance and often would abuse the old folks and intimated that he would turn the old folks out. The other son was a very religious man after the Methodist order and would never disturb the old folks, yet he was not the most liberal of the two when the former wasn't sober. My stepfather lived to a great age, some over 80 years old. He became in a manner helpless and was afflicted which caused my mother a great deal of trouble at times. When he died I was 17 years old and still remained with my mother and brother Robert. After my stepfathers death the younger son above mentioned would come to the house in a drunken flurry and abuse my mother and make her feel very unpleasant and annoyed. Brother Robert very much also made their situation very uncomfortable. Two years after my stepfather's death, in the month of June, A.D. 1814 I was married. After I left home my mother felt lonely and desired to emigrate to the state of Ohio where my brothers had settled and brother Robert also wished to go to Ohio. My mother sold her lease on the farm for two hundred dollars and made her home with Robert.
I was married to a man by the name of James Roberts, the particulars of which I will give you hereafter. My husband and I accompanied brother Robert to the state of Ohio. I will now give you an account of our outfit and journey. The number of persons was nine in all. Myself and Husband, mother, Robert and wife, with three children, Henry Leeka, Roberts brother-in-law. We had four horse wagon a team of four horses. One was called the saddle horse. He worked on the near side, next to the tung of the wagon. We had three riding horses, two belonged to my husband and one loose horse that was lame, belonging to Henry Leeka, five head of cows. We loaded the wagon with household goods and clothing, two spinning wheels. Henry Leeka mounted saddle horse, whip in hand, and single line on this near leader. I saddled our sorrel mare and my husband saddled the other, took his gun on his shoulder and walked and rode alternately. Jestina got on horseback and we took up our line of march making in direction of Clinch Mountains. The first day we arrived at Christian Leeka's, a distance of 16 miles from where we started, and put in for the night. During the night one of our cows had calf. I gave it to Betsy Leeka and went on our journey crossing Clinch Mountains. The road up the mountains for a distance of a mile was very steep and rocky and it was with difficulty that we ascended it. On several occasions we had to jack up the wagon to keep it from upsetting We camped on the far side of the mountain. This day's travel had taken us though Bulls Gap. A point noted during the Civil War. We went on to the Cumberland River and crossed into Kentucky, passed through Paris, Winchester and many towns and villages to Maysville. We crossed the Ohio River and landed safe at the place of our destination, Clinton county, Ohio. However before we arrived Brother Robert lost his oldest child. Robert bought a tract of land and made a farm and remained on the farm until 1833 and settled White River Delaware County, Indiana. My mother remained with him until her death which occurred about the year A.D. 1837. Brother left White River and moved to Pleasant Run where he made a good farm and become well situated, but became security for a merchant and was broke up, so went to Wabash County, Indiana where the country was new and made another improvement. After he and his wife became old , he gave up his farm in Walbash County to his son Robert and grandson John with the understanding that they were to maintain him and Jestina. Not long after this Jestina died and Robert, who made his home with his children left and he came to Iowa to where Robert and John had settled, in Freemont, remained two years. He became dissatisfied with the treatment he received at the hands of his daughters-in-law, the wives of Robert and John. He went to Ohio to see me where I was staying in Logan County.
Then he returned to Wasbash County, Indiana to his daughter and died at the age of 84 years. Brother Robert was once a member of the Halczon but afterward joined the Universalist and remained in that faith. When on his death bed, being asked if he was willing to die in that faith, he answered, "Yes, I am willing to die a Universalist." Peace go with him is my prayer. Brother Abram Haines, my half brother before mentioned, remained in Tennessee, struggling through poverty. Married young he had a family of 8 or more Children. He came on a visit to Ohio, traveled on foot to and from, a distance of over 600 miles. He owned a farm in east Tennessee, made maple sugar, worked hard and had a very poor helpmate. He joined the Old Regular Baptist Church and lived a devoted Christian life. He died as much as 40 years since, perhaps about the year A.D. 1825. Sister Sarah remained in Tennessee, married a rich man's son who owned slaves, by the name of Davis . Her husbands name was Jesse Davis of Greene county, Tennessee. He inherited land and Negroes from his father He kept his slaves for a long time, but finally came to the conclusion that slavery was a sin and set them free, but one of the women chose to remain with her mistress. Sister Sarah had seven children, 4 boys 3 girls. She joined the Methodists but did not like them, thought there was too much hypocrisy in the that church. She died of consumption before she reached the age of 40. Nancy married David Carter of east Tennessee . After she had 4 children they moved to Clinton county, Ohio settled on a small farm.
She followed the occupation of midwifery and died of consumption at a premature age, perhaps not past 40 or 45 years. She was the mother of 8 children, 6 girls and 2 boys and 2 stillborn infants. One was an infant when she died. Mrs. Carter kept her family together and made a good living and raised arespectable family. Godfrey and Hugh were the boys. Godfrey was shot by accident by his uncle while hunting deer. Sarah, Hannah, Mary, Ann, Nancy, Nancy joined the Methodist and afterward joined the Halczon and died in that faith and doctrine, taught by Abel M. Sargent of Kentucky. Sister Grace married in Virginia.
(This is where it stops-- I don't know if she completed it there, or if possibly someone else has more of it. But isn't it wonderful to read of their lives? Signed Ramona Wilson)