Charles Bickley, Benjamin Graves, and James Bush
ordered to view and make
report of the best way for a wagon road from Charles
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
"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
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
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;
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
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
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
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
Mary Bush who married
Drury Bush who married
Austin Bush who
married Mary or Nancy _______
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
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
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
20, b. 1830; Henry J., 6, b. 1844; James H., 3, b.
1847 and Andrew, 1,
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
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
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
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:  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.
 Mary "Polly" Bush m. Joseph
McReynolds.  Nancy Bush m. (1) _____ Sneed
and (2) Robert Alley in 1858;  William Bush; 
Valentine Bush m. Nancy
Gose;  _____Bush; m. James Skeen, son of Stephen
and Susan Kiser Skeens;
 Josiah D. Bush;  James Bush,  Elizabeth Bush
m. James O. Dotson,
son of Simon and Phoebe Hollingsworth Dotson. 
_____Bush m. William
Fraley;  _____Bush m. David Craig;  ______Bush
m. William Ramsey;
 Thomas Bush;  Rebecca Bush;  _____Bush m.
J. T. (Thomas) Tolbert;
 Sylvester Bush m. Nancy _____.
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.
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.
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,
Page 266, 2 October
1855. Valentine Bush and others vs Nancy Bush and
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
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
Robert Fugate, Stephen
Banner, and Andrew Fraley appointed commissioners to
divide land...to 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."
In very early days
a William Bush lived in the Castlewood settlement,
about whom little is
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:
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
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
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
War Records, State Archives).
From the Revolutionary
War Pension Application, National Archives,
Birth: Date and
place not shown. His age was given in 1833 as 75
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
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
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.
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
August 15, 1780:
Ambrose Bush ordered to help appraise the estate of Hugh
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
was granted to Phillip Bush and this Phillip was in
(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
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
for the estate of Josiah Bush. In 1782, William was in
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
In the Washington
Co., VA tithables of 1782 was: Bush, Ambrose and
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
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
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,
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 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.