The Bush Family 

James Bush

     William Roberson, Charles Bickley, Benjamin Graves, and James Bush ordered to view and make report of the best way for a wagon road from Charles Bickley's Plantation to the Courthouse May 15, 1787.
     Deed from Henry Hamblen and Mary his wife to James Bush acknowledged in court and ordered to be recorded, June 19, 1787, Law Order Book 1, page 42.
     "Ordered that it be certified to the register of the Land Office, Mary Turner devisee of James Bush deceased, and Polly, James, Henry, Jane, Austin, Jacon and John, who are all the heirs and the only heirs at law of Ann Neece deceased, devisee of the said James Bush deceased, are entitled to the land mentioned in the last will and Testament of the said James Bush dec'd which has been surveyed but not patented in this county." October 4, 1825, Law Order Book 8.
     Abstract of James Bush's will: Dated June 20, 1801; beneficiaries named: wife - Mary Bush; children: Drury, Austin, Ann Neece, Mary Turner, others, Thomas McDaniel, executor; Austin Bush (son); testator signed by mark; witnesses: Charles Bickley, John Marshall, probated, August 2, 1808, recorded in Will Book B, page 166.
     The date of James Bush's settlement at Castlewood is not known, although it had to be early as his son, Drury Bush, enlisted for militia service on the Clinch in the fall of 1776, at the time being an 18 year old boy.
     A fort in upper Castlewood is referred to as Bush's Fort, which some think was the same as Russell's Fort, while others say not. He also had a mill and deeds refer to "Bush's Mill Creek."
     Two of the daughters of James and Mary Bush were captured by the Indians in 1780, carried north and rescued by a party of militia and citizens of Castlewood on Jenny's Creek in present Floyd Co., KY. When the posse surprised the Indians who had gone into camp and were skinning a buffalo they tried to kill the captives. Ann Bush was tomahawked, but Mary jumped down the creek bank and escaped injury. Ann survived the tomahawking and in 1783
when 17 Indians attacked Bush's Fort she was again tomahawked and scalped and still survived to raise a family. According to tradition, when this attack occurred Charles Bickley, Henry Dickenson and Simon Auxier were working
on a mill when they spied the Indians approaching, out ran them to the fort and, all men of the fort being away, Simon Auxier and Henry Dickenson each killed an Indian with the only two rifles left in the fort.
     Shortly after the attack, Ann Bush was seen approaching the fort with blood streaming from her scalped head. She was taken into the fort and recovered.
     The epitaph on the tombstone of Charles Bickley who died in 1839, and was buried in the family cemetery in upper Castlewood, bears this inscription: "He was one of the men who defended Bush's Fort against the attack of
17 Indians."
     He was paid for services under Captain William Russell, on the 1st pay period during Dunmore's War. On May 20, 1783, claims of Auditors Office, Commonwealth of VA, James Bush, 348 lbs of neat beef for the use of the
Volunteers under the command of Col. Morgan on their march from the falls of the Ohio to the Monongahela.
     The Washington Co., VA Land Entry Book shows that James Bush entered 100 acres of land on the south side of Clinch River on March 16, 1783, but the entry does not give his actual settlement date.
     On June 19, 1787, James Bush buys 70 acres of land on both sides of Mill Creek from Henry Hamlin and wife Mary. He sells this same land to Charles Bickley on May 27, 1800 (Russell Co., VA Deed Book 3, page 83).
     James Bush probably died in 1808. His will dated June 20, 1801, was probated August 2, 1808 (Russell Co., VA Will Book 3, page 166). In this will only four children are mentioned, two daughters and 2 sons:
     Ann Bush who survived two tomahawkings by the Indians and married Henry or Jacob Neece.
     Mary Bush who married James Turner
     Drury Bush who married Nancy Couch
     Austin Bush who married Mary or Nancy _______

     Ann Bush who married Henry Neece was dead prior to or in 1825 as evidenced by the following order, dated October 4, 1825, and of record in Russell Co., VA, Law Order Book "B" which reads:
     "Ordered that it be certified to the Register of the Land Office, Mary Turner, devisee of James Bush, deceased, and (1) Polly, (2) James, (3) Henry, (4) Jane, (5) Austin, (6) Jacon and (7) John, who are all the heirs and all the heirs-
at-law of Anne Neece, deceased, devisee of the said James Bush, deceased, are entitled to the land mentioned in the last will and testament of the said James Bush, deceased, which land has been surveyed, but not patented in this
     The above order not only proves that Ann was dead in 1825, but gives a complete list of her children.
     From the 1850 Census of Russell Co., VA: Neece, Henry, 60, b. 1790, son of Ann; Mary, 39, b. 1811; John, 37, b. 1813; Hugh, 21, b. 1829; Charles, 18, b. 1832; Elizabeth, 14, b. 1836; John, 5, b. 1845 and Anna, 2, b. 1848. Also listed is Neece, Samuel, 34, b. 1816; Catherine, 21, b. 1829 and Patsy B, 1, b. 1849.
     Mary Bush, daughter of James and Mary Bush, was b. 1765, still alive in 1850 (census) and living in the home with her son, Hugh Turner. Among her children were: 
     From the 1850 Census of Russell Co., VA: Turner, Hugh, 46, b. 1804; Elizabeth, 47, b. 1803; Horatius, 18, b. 1832; Fermire (f), 17, b. 1833; Mary, 15, b. 1835; Nancy, 13, b. 1837; Wilson, 10, b. 1840 and Mary, 85, b. 1765.  Also listed is Turner, James, 30, b. 1820, (probably a grandson of Mary); Catherine, 20, b. 1830; Henry J., 6, b. 1844; James H., 3, b. 1847 and Andrew, 1, b. 1849.
     Drury Bush, son of James and Mary, served in the frontier militia on the Clinch during Indian troubles enlisting in the fall of 1776, and his services altogether totaled 2 years. He was born in 1758 in Amherst Co., VA and married Nancy Couch on Clinch River in Russell Co., VA about 1792 or 1793. She was born in 1776, and was therefore 18 years younger than her husband.
     Drury Bush was also on General George Rogers Clark's Illinois Expedition.
     Drury and Nancy Bush moved to Kentucky and Drury died in Breathitt Co., KY, April 6, 1844. After his death his widow Nancy moved to Perry Co., and from there to Estill Co. where she was living in 1853. They reared a large
family, but the names of their children are not known.
     Austin Bush, Sr., son of James and Mary Bush, also served as an Indian scout on the Clinch frontier. He never applied for a pension for this service or else died before the Revolutionary pension act was passed. He was born in 1779 and married Nancy _____, b. 1785. They lived in Russell Co., VA and among their children were: [1] Austin Bush, Jr., b. 1809 or 1811. Russell Co., VA gives his age as 39 which would place his birth in 1811. Yet the Wise Co. Death Register lists his age as 84 when he died August 6, 1893, which would place his birth in 1809. He married Mary "Polly" Skeens, a daughter of Stephen and Susan Kiser Skeen, who was born in 1811 or 1819. Among their children was: Eliza Ann Bush, b. 1839 and Sylvester Bush, b. 1841 m. Katie Boyd. [2] Mary "Polly" Bush m. Joseph
McReynolds. [3] Nancy Bush m. (1) _____ Sneed and (2) Robert Alley in 1858; [4] William Bush; [5] Valentine Bush m. Nancy Gose; [6] _____Bush; m. James Skeen, son of Stephen and Susan Kiser Skeens; [7] Josiah D. Bush; [8] James Bush, [9] Elizabeth Bush m. James O. Dotson, son of Simon and Phoebe Hollingsworth Dotson. [10] _____Bush m. William Fraley; [11] _____Bush m. David Craig; [12] ______Bush m. William Ramsey; [13] Thomas Bush; [14] Rebecca Bush; [15] _____Bush m. J. T. (Thomas) Tolbert; [16] Sylvester Bush m. Nancy _____.
     Sylvester Bush, son of Austin, Sr. and Mary, was b. in 1811, which makes the 1809 birthdate for his brother Austin look more reasonable, unless they were twins. Sylvester m. Nancy _____, b. 1814. Among their children was: a] Evelina Bush, b. 1838; [b] Eliza Ann Bush, b. 1838, probably twins; [c] Thomas Bush, b. 1840; [d] Nancy Bush, b. 1842; [e] Margaret Bush, b. 1843; [f] Palmyra Bush, b. 1845; [g] William Bush, b. 1847 and [h] Susan Bush, b. 1849.
     Valentine Bush, son of Austin, Sr. and Mary, was b. according to the Russell Co., VA census of 1850 in 1809, which again conflicts with the birthdate of his brothers. He m. Nancy Gose, b. 1815. From the 1850 Census of Russell Co., VA is the following: Bush, Valentine, 41, b. 1809; Nancy, 35, b. 1815; Anderson P., 13, b. 1837; George, 10, b. 1840; William, 8, b. 1842; Stephen F., 7, b. 1843; Tivis E., 5, b. 1845; Ferman, 2, b. 1848; Gose, Elizabeth, 70, b. 1780 in Wythe Co., VA. She was the mother of Nancy, wife of Valentine Bush.
     Nancy Bush, dau. of Austin, Sr. and Nancy m. Robert Alley, in Wise Co., VA, March 11, 1858. Both aged 41 years. He was a son of David and Mary Alley and gave his place of residence as Johnson Co., KY.
     The interesting order below is from Russell Co., Law Order Book 13, and is probably referring to the estate of Austin Bush, Sr.
     Page 62: 7 February 1854. A settlement of the administration accounts of Valentine Bush and Marion I. Bickley on the estate of Austin Bush, deceased.
     Page 266, 2 October 1855. Valentine Bush and others vs Nancy Bush and others...infant defendants, children of Polly McReynolds by Guardian William L. Dickenson - published in Abingdon Democrat...against Snead and Nancy, his wife; Robert McReynolds and the unknown heirs of William Bush who are absent defendants...and it appearing to the Court that partition should be made of the land...and that dower should be assigned Nancy Bush, widow of said Austin Bush in said lands...that there are 14 interests to be divided of which Harvey May is entitled to six interests, to-wit: Valentine Bush, James Skeen and wife, Josiah D. Bush, Austin Bush, Jr., James Bush and McReynolds and wife, James O. Dotson is entitled to 5 interests to wit: his wife's share, William Fraley and wife, David Craig and wife, William Ramsey and wife, and the share of Thomas Bush. Rebecca Bush to one share. J. T. Tolbert and his wife to 1 share, and the heirs of William Bush to one share.
     Robert Fugate, Stephen Banner, and Andrew Fraley appointed commissioners to divide Nancy Bush, widow of Austin Bush, deceased, etc.
     Note: The above "Nancy, widow of Austin Bush," must have been a second wife, for the 1850 census lists his wife as "Mary."

William Bush
     In very early days a William Bush lived in the Castlewood settlement, about whom little is known.
     In the pension statement of James Kincaid, whose father John Kinkead lived across Clinch River from St. Paul, Wise Co., VA and moved to KY, in 1779, in speaking of Col. John Bowman's going to the assistance of the Kentucky Stations in the summer of 1777, he says:
     "...near Abingdon, one William Bush told our Captain he would raise a Lt's quota (24 men) if he could command it under (Captain) Rollins. He secured the men, affiant and brother Joseph (Kincaid) enlisting by consent of father..."
     In Draper Manuscripts 4QQ22, is a letter written to Col. William Preston, by Captain David Gass from Kentucky River, dated June 26, 1775, in which he requests - "that entries (land) made by William Bush, William Cowan and himself on Kentucky River be taken in (land survey). Memorandum giving exact location and extent of lands."
     This same William Bush was a member of Daniel Boone's road cutting party from the Clinch to Kentucky in 1775. It is very probable that William Bush left the Virginia frontier and settled in Kentucky.
     William Bush was paid for the first pay period under Captain William Russell during Dunmore's War, which suggests that in 1774 he was living on the Clinch. (Dunmore's War Records, State Archives).

Drury Bush
     From the Revolutionary War Pension Application, National Archives, Washington, DC:
     Birth: Date and place not shown. His age was given in 1833 as 75 years.
     Service: He alleged that he enlisted in the fall of 1776 on Clinch River in Russell Co., VA; served on different tours with the Virginia troops under Capt. William Russell, John Williams, Robert George, and Col. Montgomery; went on General Clark's Expedition to Illinois; visited Kaskaska, Vincennes and the Falls of the Ohio River; assisted in capturing Chilicothe and Pickaway Towns and taking Indians prisoners; served as Private. His alleged service totaled 2 years.
     Pension: Drury Bush was pensioned on Certificate No. 26,910, issued July 14, 1834; rate $100 per annum; Act of June 7, 1832; Kentucky Agency. Nancy Bush, widow of Drury, was pensioned on Certificate No. 3399, issued January 5, 1854; rate $100 per annum; act of February 3, 1853; Kentucky agency.
     Family: He was married to Nancy Couch about 1792 or 1793 in Russell Co., VA near Clinch River. The date and place of her birth and names of her parents were not given. She was 87 years old in 1853. It was stated that they reared a large family of children, but no names were stated.
     Residence: His residence during service was not given. In 1833 he was residing in Perry Co., KY. At the time of his death in 1844 he was a resident of Breathitt Co., KY. After his death, his widow, Nancy Bush, moved to Perry Co., KY and from there moved to Estill Co., KY. She was a resident of Estill Co., KY in 1853.
     Death: April 6, 1844 in Breathitt Co., KY.
     Russell Co., VA Will Book 2, page 66, is recorded the Will of James Bush: Bush, James, June 20, 1801: beneficiaries: wife - Mary Bush; children: Drury, Austin, Ann Neass, Mary Turner; others - Thomas McDaniel; executor - Austin Bush (son); testator signed by mark: Witnesses - Charles Bickley and John Marshall. Probated August 2, 1808.
     E. J. Sutherland says: This James Bush is apparently the grandfather of Doss Bush who married Polly Skeen, daughter of Stephen and Susannah Kiser Skeen. James Bush's two daughters, Ann Neece and Mary Turner were captured by Indians. I believe you can find something about this in Summers, "History of Washington Co." or in his reprint of Coales, Wilburn Waters.

Unconnected Bush Data
     The will of one Phillip Bush, dated 10 May 1771, recorded in Court Order Book 2, page 453, Orange Co., VA, and probated 24 September 1772, reads: "Estate to son Josiah and Sarah, his wife, and their son Phillip, to son Phillip, to son John and Elizabeth, his wife, son William, grandson Lewis, son Ambrose, daughters Sarah Watts, Mary Richards, Grandson Franky Johnston. Sons: Phillip and Francis, Executors." The will was witnessed by James Madison (not the President).
     The same names that appear in the will of Phillip Bush of Orange Co., appear in the Bush family who settled on the Clinch and Holston Rivers.
     March 20, 1780: William Bush exempted from paying county levy.
     May 15, 1781: With William Bush and Jessee Cain, Phillip Bush gave one thousand pounds bond for administering the estate of Josiah Bush. Jessee Cain lived on Big Moccasin Creek and was a brother-in-law of Joseph Davidson, their wives being sisters.
     March 20, 1780: Ambrose Bush ordered to help appraise the estate of Thomas Rafferty (Holston River).
     August 15, 1780: Ambrose Bush ordered to help appraise the estate of Hugh Cole. (Holston River).
     Josiah Bush very clearly lived on the South Fork of Holston somewhere not too far from Chilhowie, as is proved very early from the men who appraised his estate (John Campbell, Sr., Daniel Reamy, William McCutcheon and Elisha Dungin). The land lay at or near the Smythe Co. line and near the Iron Mountain. Administration was granted to Phillip Bush and this Phillip was in Edmondson's Company (near present Lodi). There was also Ambrose Bush, in this same company, and the same Ambrose who appraised the estates of Thomas Rafferty and Hugh Cole, both South Fork men, there being a Rafferty's Knob in Smyth Co., on the south side of the South Fork of Holston.
     Phillip Bush was in Captain Aaron Lewis' Company and these people lived between Chilhowie and Saltville.
     The fourth Bush in the 1782 tithables was William Bush, who was with Jessee Cain (he was a Clinch man, living on Houston's settlement on Moccasin Creek) security for the estate of Josiah Bush. In 1782, William was in William Russell's company and that was near Seven Mile Ford.
     Whether this William Bush was the same, or different to the William Bush who helped Boone cut the road to Kentucky in 1775 and who had taken up land on the Kentucky River in 1775 is not proven.
     James Kincaid says in his Revolutionary War pension claim filed in Lafayette Co., MO, in 1833, that William Bush, met Captain Rollins near Abingdon and agreed to raise a Lt's quota if he could command it under Captain Paulin. He further states that at the time Bush was living in his neighborhood of Castlewood.
     In the Washington Co., VA tithables of 1782 was: Bush, Ambrose and Phillip.
     Also in Fayette Co. (then VA) KY in 1787 were: Charles, Ambrose, Phillip, Phillip, Jr., Sarah, William, and William Bush
     Samuel H. Laughlin in his unpublished diary written in 1845, page 165, in speaking of his grandfather John Dunkin's service on the Clinch frontier states:
     On one occasion, while he then lived on Clinch, a predatory band of Indians came into the settlement and murdered a man named Bush and his wife, and took their children, three daughters and a son prisoners. The son was nearly grown.
     Captain Dunkin with a few men followed the trail, and by hard marching overtook them, killed three of the Indians, and rescued the prisoners without losing a man.
     This event had to have happened in 1777 or earlier for in 1778-1779 John Dunkin was in Kentucky growing a crop and building a house on Licking River where he moved his family during the winter of 1779-1780 and was there captured by the British and Indians and held until after the Revolution.
     James Kincaid says in his pension statement that 12 or 13 families were killed by the Indians in the Castlewood settlement in 1777 and this could be one of these families he refers to since all have not been identified.
     A reference in the pension statement of Thomas McSpadden (VA 2813) may also tie in with this since Capt. Edmondson lived on the Holston, as did some of the Bushes, McSpadden says.
     That he entered the service under William Edmondson, Captain and, he thinks, John Lowry, Lieutenant, in the summer of the year 1777. He served a tour of two months. Captain Edmondson pursued them as far as Sandy River and judging from their trail and the freshness of the signs we had nearly overtaken Indians and was prevented from further pursuit from the sickness of George Teeter whom we could not leave.
     The Indians the same summer crossed over Clinch River and killed a family called Beck. He had but just returned home from Richlands Station as one of the guards and was at home only two or three days, when the depredation and murder of the Beck family occurred and he then was called upon to immediately to turn out and pursue them as stated above. 
     The statement of McSpadden may point up that the Bush and Beck families were among the families killed as James Kincaid states, the records of most Indian atrocities being scanty or non-existent after the well documented period of 1774, just prior to and after Dunmore's War.

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