Tuesday, June 14, 2016

William John Buster Jr.- War of the Regulators: Was William Buster a part of the 18th century movement in NC?

William John Buster Jr.(1735-1795), son of William Bustard, who lived in Albemarle and Wythe counties in VA ,and in Caswell and Orange counties in NC. He lived in Caswell Co., NC be ween 1757 and 1770 then returned to Virginia. He also put the place o f death as Wythe Co., VA because his will was filed there in Will Book 1 a t page 32. William served with Capt. Daniel Smith and Lt. Wm Edmundson in Rev. War. His brother David was also in Edmundson's Co. See [D.W.] Records p. 242, page 257.


Caswell Co, NC

We believe that William was born in Albemarle County, Virginia about 1735, a son of William and Elizabeth. In this county he married Jane Woods, a daughter of Michael Woods and Ann Lambert. William was living in Caswell County, North Carolina 8-6—1757, as a son Michael, in his application for a pension, states that he was born there on that date. In Caswell County (formerly a part of Orange County) we found a deed on record for land William bought May 1764. This purchase was for 609 acres and on 3-15-l770 there was another purchase of 265 acres. He sold 328 acres on 7—12—1770, which left him owning some 546 acres. We find no record of his disposing of this land before he moved back to Virginia. North Carolina State Dept., of Archives & History.


Orange Co, NC

Orange County Registration of Deeds, 1752 — 1793. Part II May- Court 1764. Deed from Earl of Granville to William Buster for 609 acres. Proved by Wm. Churton. Orange County Deeds. Book 3, p. 288 = 15 Mar. 1770. John Ward of Bedford County, Virginia to William Buster of Orange County--— of Va. 6o lbs. cur, money. Tract of land in Orange on both sides of Wolf Island Creek, beginning at a white oak on the east side of the creek, a corner of sd Wards land — by his line to a sugar tree — to a red oak in sd Wards line — containing 265 acres, which sd land the said John Ward purchased from Jeremiah Ward. Test: Wy-at Stubbiefleld, Samuel Ward, John Burton. Proved July Court by John Burton. Orange County Deeds. Book 3, p. 328 12 July 1770. William Buster of Orange County to James Wilson of same. 35 lbs. good and lawful money. Tract of land in Orange on both sides of D———— Branch, being the waters of County Line creek — beginning at an oak — to a red oak — to pointers — containing 328 acres and 20 poles. Ack’d, July Court, 1770. Signed, William Buster.


War of the Regulators
In the late 1760s, tensions between (in a nutshell) Piedmont farmers and county officers welled up in the Regulator movement or, as it was known, the War of the Regulation, which had its epicenter in Hillsborough. Several thousand people from North Carolina, mainly from Orange County, Anson County, and Granville County in the western region, were extremely dissatisfied with the wealthy North Carolina officials whom they considered cruel, arbitrary, tyrannical and corrupt. With specie scarce, many inland farmers found themselves unable to pay their taxes and resented the consequent seizure of their property. Local sheriffs sometimes kept taxes for their own gain and sometimes charged twice for the same tax. At times, sheriffs would intentionally remove records of their tax collection in order to further tax citizens. The most heavily affected areas were said to be that of Rowan, Anson, Orange, Granville, and Cumberland counties. It was a struggle of mostly lower class citizens, who made up the majority of the population of North Carolina, and the wealthy ruling class, who composed about 5% of the population, yet maintained almost total control of the government. It is estimated that out of the 8,000 people living in Orange County at the time, some six or seven thousand of them were in support of the Regulators. Governor William Tryon's conspicuous consumption in the construction of a new governor's mansion at New Bern fueled the movement's resentment. As the western districts were under-represented in the colonial legislature, it was difficult for the farmers to obtain redress by legislative means. Ultimately, the frustrated farmers took to arms and closed the court in Hillsborough, dragging those they saw as corrupt officials through the streets and cracking the church bell. Tryon sent troops from his militia to the region and defeated the Regulators at the Battle of Alamance in May 1771. Several trials were held after the war, resulting in the hanging of six Regulators at Hillsborough on June 19, 1771.


It is recorded that William served on the Grand Jury for the Hillsboro District, Caswell County, North Carolina, 9—22—1768. lIe is listed next to the foreman. It is suggested that he may have had to escape from North Carolina, as many others did, because of TMRegulator Activities”. That fail the Regulators were giving much trouble in Hillsboro. It hardly seems possible that if he were a “Regulator” he would be serving on the Grand Jury, however, he could have joined between that time and the battle of Alamance in the spring of 1771. The leaders df the Regulators were working hard to entice the citizens to join their ranks. They succeeded so well that after they were defeated at the battle of Alamance thousands of families fled the state leaving all of their property behind. This could have happened to William, There is no doubt that ho moved back to Virginia, where lie later died and from where his son Michael enlisted in the Army in Virginia, May 1774. In 1785 he received a land grant in Wytho County, Virginia. Children: Charles, Elizabeth, Mary Jane, David,Sarah, Michael, William Bracken, John and Claudius.


Description of a visit to William’s Wythe County, VA, land by a genealogy friend in 1999:


Wythe Co, VA, near NC boarder

"In October, 1999, while researching the Buster genealogy, I took a trip to Virginia, specifically to Wythe County where William Buster (the son of the original William Buster who came to this country from England, lived. The Buster family lived in several counties in Virginia during the 1700/1800s, among those: Montgomery (Wythe County was formed from Montgomery County in 1790), Botetourt (pronounced botta-tot), Washington, ALBEMARLE (which was originally a part of Goochland County), Augusta, Campbell, Scott, and possibly others. Albemarle is where it all starts. I spent two days at the Wythe County Courthouse in the records room, and found NUMEROUS bits of information on the Busters of Wythe County (also spelled “Busterd” in some records).


"William Buster was one of the original settlers of the county when it was formed in 1790 (he and his family moved to Wythe County from Caswell County, NC, in 1785, when he acquired his property through land grants given to the early settlers.) I also discovered that, while living in Caswell County, NC, once a part of Orange County, he owned almost 1,000 acres there! While in the courthouse I noticed a map on the wall, and found that it was a Settlement Map of the county in 1745 to 1858, showing the early settlers’ names where their property was located. I found William Buster’s name listed on the map! I bought a copy of the map from the clerk, and spent the next several hours locating William Buster’s property and where he had lived. The plantation was bequeathed to William’s son, Charles, after the deaths of William and his wife Jane. Charles sold this plantation and the 200 acres it sits on, in 1802, to Mr. George Keesling, which explains why Mr. Keesling’s name is below William Buster’s on the map. To this date (1999), the property is still known as the “Old Keesling Place”.


"The house and 200 acres is across the road from the other property owned by William Buster, which, according to county records and the map, is approximately 426 acres and is bordered on two sides by Cedar Springs Road (also called Rt. 749), one side by Porter Road, and one side by Sharons Road, which is called the “road to the lead mines” on the Settlement Map. At least some of the 200 acres and plantation is intact, but the other property has houses along the roads, mainly Cedar Springs Road to Speedwell, but, all in all, is still beautiful, rolling pasture land and hills. According to a chapter in a book which I read later, at one time the “Keesling Plantation” was beautiful, with a spring house, stone fences and Cripple Creek actually beginning from a spring on the plantation and flowing through the property (both Buster properties are, according to William Buster’s deeds, 'at the headwaters of Cripple Creek.'"


William Buster Last Will


I, William Bustard of the County of Wythe and State of Virginia, being in perfect health and of sound mind and memory and knowing it Is appointed for a man once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament. First I recommend my soul to God and restorest my body to the Earth with all humble hopes of a blessed Immortality to the one and glorious Resurrection to the other through the all sufficient merit of my Redeemer and that when He resigns his Ministerial Kingdom to his Father I shall after the reunion of my body and spirit be an humble attendant on that most glorious of all Triumphs.
  • I give to my loving wife, Jane Bustard, my negroe woman Jude forever. I also give to my loving wife Jane my negroe man slave Adam, my negroe woman Phebe, my negroe boy James, my negroe girls Hannah and Hettie, with all my house furniture of all kinds, all my plantation tools of every kind, my stock of all kinds, with my plantation where I how live during her lifetime and at her decease to be divided as follows to wit:
  • I give to my son Charles all my plantation whereon I now live with all my plantation tools, my negroe slave Adam, my negroe woman Phebe, and my negroe boy James, after the decease of my wife forever.
  • I give to my daughter Elizabeth Byrd my negroe girl Dinah forever.
  • I give to my daughter Jane my negroe girls Hetty and Amy forever, also one horse and saddle, two cows and calves with one half of my house furniture forever.
  • I give to my daughter Sarah my negroe girls Ann and Betty, one horse and sadle, two cows and calfes, also the other half of my house furniture, forever.
  • I give to my son David my negroe boy Bob forever,
  • I give to my son Michael my negroe girl Hannah, after my wife's decease, forever,
  • I give to my son William my negroe boy Caesar forever,
  • I give to my son Claudius my negroe boy Adam forever.
  • All other of my lands to be equally divided among my six sons forever, the residue of my estate to be equally divided among all my children after paying my just debts and funeral expenses.
  • I do also constitute my wife Jane Bustard executrix with my son Michael executor to this my last will and testament, as witness my hand and seal this day and year above written.  
William Buster (seal) Signed in presence of us: James Newell Sarah Newell Philip Gains Stephen Sanders Probated in Wythe County on May 13, 1795.


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