This is where our Searcy family began its' roots in America.
Searcy Family in Early VA
Terry Searcy, with some great help from Jennifer Banks, has built a working model of the Searcy family in VA in the early to mid 1700’s. There was an early Searcy immigrant and at least three distinct groups of Searcy’s emerged by the 1740’s in Virginia. Obviously, much more research is required.
First Searcy in America: King William Co, VA 1st record – 1695
The first account of the Searcy family in America is in 1695 in a large land grant of 3,285 ac to Colonel Richard Johnson of King William Co, VA based on importation of 66 persons, including Robert Sercey. Fifty acres per head were granted to land owners and the indentured folk worked their land for 5 to 7 years to repay the immigration expense. They were then allowed to move on to less inhabited frontier areas to obtain their own land grants.
This is possibly the same Robert Searcy, or perhaps a son, that we see in Hannover Co, VA records from a land grant in 1727 until his death in 1733. Robert’s will included his wife Sarah Searcy and daughter Susannah Singular [sic]. His land boundary, however, is mentioned in other land grants as late as 1744; inferring that some of the Searcy descendants may have still been in the area. Hannover Co, VA records are practically non-existent, except for one will book and references in colony land grants.
Searcy Group One: Granville Co, NC 1st record – 1728, 1748
The Granville Co, NC group was led by John Searcy and his wife Phoebe Searcy. Their first children were born in the mid 1720’s meaning John was probably born circa 1695-1705. There is a record of John Searcy’s land grant and later references to his boundary line in Hannover Co, VA (1728 to 1734). There is no proof that this is the same person as John Searcy of Granville Co, NC; however, it is highly probable that they are one in the same.
Their son Reuben Searcy (b.1729) spent time in Lunenburg Co, VA in the early 1750’s and there is one reference to John Searcy’s property line. Lunenburg and Hanover Co’s, VA are two distinct localities that came from different predecessor counties. This would infer that John may have physically lived elsewhere in VA prior to settling in Granville Co, NC circa 1748 - the earliest confirmed record of this family.
This group moved from NC to Kentucky between 1775 and 1790. Exceptions were one 2nd generation Searcy who relocated to Orange/Randolph Co’s, NC; one 3rd generation Searcy who stayed in Granville and one 3rd generation Searcy who relocated to Rockingham Co, NC. The family quickly spread out from KY to Tennessee, Indiana and beyond prior to 1800.
Searcy Group Two: Burke/Rutherford Co’s, NC 1st record - 1745
The Burke/Rutherford Co’s, NC group is identified with Robert Searcy and his wife Millie Ballard Searcy. His ancestor in early VA was possibly Richard Searcy, who lived in Louisa and Albemarle Co’s, VA from 1745 to 1774. Richard Searcy was probably born circa 1720-1725. His county changed boundaries from Hanover (no records) to Louisa (1742) to Albemarle (1761).
Robert Searcy was probably born circa 1740-1745 and there was a contemporary named John Searcy, possibly a brother. John Searcy was found in Albemarle Co, VA records as an adult in the early 1770’s in suits over indebtedness.
Robert Searcy had a son also named John Searcy who was born in Albemarle Co, VA in 1764. John served in the Revolutionary War and provided his birth year, birth place and father’s name in his pension application. His father Robert Searcy relocated to Pittsylvania Co, VA by 1774, then to Henry Co, VA from 1777 to 1782 (a county split from Pittsylvania), then to Burke Co, NC circa 1785 and finally the family settled in adjacent Rutherford Co, NC circa 1800.
This family is still represented in this same NC area today, but several early descendants relocated to GA in the 1830’s. Robert’s son Robert moved west spending time in TN and IL before arriving in Iowa in 1840. Also David Searcy, who is likely another son, moved to MO.
Group Three: Johnston/Cumberland Co’s, NC 1st record - 1741
The Johnston and Cumberland Co’s, NC group have a known previous ancestry back to VA. William Searcy Senior first appeared in Amelia Co, VA in 1741 in a tax roll and obtained a land grant on Sandy River the next year. He was probably born circa 1715-20. His land changed county jurisdiction with the creation of Prince Edward Co, VA in 1754. William Searcy is located in some form of records for most consecutive years until his departure to NC (1741-1770).
William Searcy gave two of his sons land by deed of gift in Prince Edward in September 1765; 100 ac each to Daniel Searcy and William Searcy Junior for the “love and affection” he had for each son. Both sons sold their lands in 1769. William Searcy Senior and his family relocated in 1770 to Johnston Co, NC.
This group seems to have disappeared by 1798 with the exception of John Searcy in Johnston Co, NC and George Searcy who stayed in nearby Cumberland, NC. Here’s an update:
1. William Searcy Senior was married to Rachel Searcy. She was probably the mother of at least the youngest son, John Searcy. He was born 8 to 10 years after the first four sons. Rachel Searcy died before her husband and William Searcy Senior died in 1797. See article in North Carolina folder.
2. Son Daniel Searcy sold his land in 1796. According to WEH Searcy’s testimony his grandfather William Searcy (b.1777) was a son of Daniel Searcy. This would provide proof that Daniel Searcy did probably relocate to GA prior to 1800.
3. William Searcy Junior sold most of his personal possessions in 1772 and left Johnston Co, NC for good; he was in Cumberland Co, NC from 1778-1784 and his trail runs cold.See article in North Carolina folder.
4. Acquilla Searcy remained in NC and lived in Nash Co, Wake Co and probably moved with his son Thomas Searcy (b.1790) to Mecklenburg Co, NC prior to 1820.See article in North Carolina folder.
5. George Searcy relocated to Cumberland Co, NC by 1798 (about the time of his father’s death) and his family began a migration to GA from 1815 to the mid-1830’s.
6. John Searcy remained in Johnston Co, NC until at least the mid-1810’s.
Other Early Searcy’s
In addition to William Searcy Senior of Amelia Co, VA there was a William Searcy in Spotsylvania Co, VA. They have different identities, in that Amelia records are signed “William (his s mark) Searcy” and the Spotsylvania records are signed “Wm Searcy.” This Spotsylvania William Searcy was found in legal records from 1744 to 1751. He was at one time keeping ordinary, which would infer an individual of some means to operate a store (probably one generation older than the William Searcy of Amelia/Prince Edward Co’s, VA).