[Scott County Herald Virginian, August, 1965]
In his pension statement Joseph Starnes of Burke County, North Carolina, says he was born in November, 1755, on Smith's River, but could not say whether in Virginia or North Carolina. (Smith's River is the river that runs through Martinsville, VA). He further states:
"I was once in a company of four in the year 1779, April 7th, over on a watercourse in Virginia, back of the settlements towards Boonesboro, where we were fired on by about 25 or 30 Indians and my father, (Joseph, Sr.), my Uncle Frederick Starnes, and brother-in-law, Michael Moyer were shot and I made my escape, although they saw me for upwards of a mile and kept firing on me, but I made my escape in the cane and other undergrowth."
If they were hunting as Joseph Starnes states, "on a watercourse back of the settlements toward Boonesboro", then the Starnes brothers and Michael Moyer were killed on the waters of Guest or Powells' Rivers in present Wise or Lee County.
The Starnes brothers, Frederick and Joseph, were very early settlers on the Holston, with perhaps the first record of their settlement being in Augusta County, with perhaps the first record of their settlement being in the Augusta County Survey Book, which reads: "A survey of 500 acres on the west side of Woods (New) River known by the name of the "Old Starnes Place", dated 30th of October, 1746. Frederick Starnes was living on Holston when he was administrator of the estate of Jacob Goldman, (site of VPI), which was probated May 28, 1757.
Mary Goldman, widow of Jacob, may have been a sister of Frederick Starnes. Others think of her to have been a sister to Humphrey Baker and Annie who lived in the bounds of present day Washington County before 1754. Others contend that Mary Starnes was a daughter of Jacob Goldman, and Annie, wife of Humphrey Baker was born a Goldman.
The Carlock family also come in for a strong interconnection with Starnes, Goldman and Baker families, for in 1811, Conrad Carlock leaves his property to "his sister's two sons, Adam and Samuel Starnes", and there is little doubt that Conrad Goldman and Conrad Carlock were named for the same common ancestor. (Courtesy of Gordon Aronhime for genealogical data.)
The will of Frederick Starnes was proven in Washington Co., VA on May 18, 1779. Witness to the will were Francis Byrd and Jessee Bounds, both of whom lived in present day Scott County. Appraisers of the estate were Elisha Dungins. Robert Reaugh (Ray?) Conrad Henninger and Jessee Bounds, with the widow, Mary Starnes as Executrix. Children mentioned in the will are Jacob and David Starnes.
As the same date Katherine Starnes, widow of Joseph, was granted administration of his estate and Jessee Bounds, William Bates, William Russell, Jr., and George Bader as appraisers.
As further proof of the early settlement of the Starnes family on Holston River a court for Botetourt County, on the 14th of February, 1770, "Frederick Stern is appointed Constable for that precinct upon Holston where he lives."
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