The Biography of
Robert Fleming 1773
ROBERT FLEMING 1773, Pike County, Ky was born in Ireland, circa 1772/3 to William and Jennie (Buchanan) Fleming. It is family tradition that he came to America circa 1806 and was a stowaway on the boat on which he sailed. It is not known who his family was except for his parents, who remained in Ireland.
The first written record that has thus far been found is his marriage to Elizabeth Stambaugh, 21 Sep 1809, in Washington Co, MD. Elizabeth was born circa 1785 in York Co, PA, the daughter of Phillip & Elizabeth Stambaugh. Many researchers are frustrated because no earlier information is available for Robert and his story leaves you in doubt about his life in Ireland. However, not many records have survived the wars, fires, etc. that have occurred there. Some marriage records are available but only beginning about 1860 which is far too late for our Robert. Many Fleming family researchers have made efforts to obtain more information (posting notices in different church parishes, trips to Ireland, etc) which have produced nothing further.
Before he came to America, his life is pure conjecture - did he leave a family in Ireland?; what made him leave his home and family for such a distant place?; what were his experiences in getting to America?; where did he go and what did he do after arriving? It is surmised that Robert left PA with his in-laws and for some reason he stopped in Lee Co, Va, where he appears on the 1810 Lee Co census, while Phillip Stambaugh appears on the 1810 Floyd Co, Ky census. Robert served in the War of 1812 in Captain David Gooding's Co, 16 Reg't Kentucky Militia during the dates of Sep 10, 1814 to Mar 9, 1815.
His Company Muster Roll for Nov 10, 1814 to Mar 10, 1815 states: " Roll dated Malden, Mar 10, 1815; commencement of service: Sep 10, 1814 to Mar 9, 1815; he was present; To what time received pay: Nov 19, 1814; By whom paid: G.W.Chilton, PM, 16 Ky Mil; # of miles from Fort Malden, U.C. (Upper Canada), place of discharge, to Fleming & Floyd Cos, Ky, place of residence: 460 miles; # miles from place of residence to Newport, Campbell Co, Ky., place of rendevous: 230 miles. Remarks: Rejoined Feb 19, 1815, hath received one months pay". Company Pay Roll (no date) states: "Commencement of pay: Oct 10, 1814, ending of pay Mar 9, 1815, term of service charged: 5 months; Pay per month: $8.00; Amt of pay: $40; where discharged: Ft Malden; amt of pay for travelling: $7.73 and was allowed 36 days for travelling; Total amt paid: $47.73.
Research reveals that Ft Malden National Historic Site preserves the remanants of the second British fort built in Amherstburg, Ontario. The first, Ft Amherstburg, was established here, near the mouth of the Detroit River in 1796. It was a center of British operations during the War of 1812 and was destroyed by the British when they were forced to retreat in Sep 1813. Today, there are no visible remains of that earlier fortification. The current dimensions of the fort can be attributed to the American army, which occupied the ruins of Ft Amherstburg from October 1813 until July 1815. The Americans began rebuilding the fort almost immediately, but their efforts were hampered by severe shortages of labour and supplies. So it appears that Robert Fleming was present at Ft Malden, Canada during the period the fort was being rebuilt.
He returned to his wife and family in Floyd Co, Ky as they appear on the 1820 & 30 Floyd Co, Ky census, as well as his Stambaugh in-laws. Robert received a Ky Land Warrant for 100 acres on Left Fork of Beaver Creek in Floyd Co, Ky on March 4, 1825, where he farmed. It is unknown when he and his family actually moved to Shelby Creek in Pike Co but they had arrived by 1840. Robert d.27 Dec 1852 in Pike Co and is buried at the mouth of Burkes Br of Shelby Creek, Pike Co, Ky in the old Burke Cemetery. Elizabeth's exact date of death is unknown but is believed to be between 1854 and 1860, as she does not appear on the 1860 Pike Co census. She is supposedly buried in the same cemetery but in an unmarked grave.
There were seven known children born to this couple and they were farmers (or married to farmers). As far as my knowledge goes, they were not formally educated. Many of the descendants of Margaret, William and Frederick still live in the Pike/Letcher Co area. Some of William's descendants moved to the Logan Co, WV area. The descendants of John Jackson, Phillip and Robert Jefferson were located mainly in the Dickenson/Wise Co, Va area. Of course by now, Robert's descendants are scattered all over the world.
(1) John Jackson (b.9 Jun 1811, Lee Co Va -d.1 Feb 1881) m. Mary Mullins (dau of "Holly Creek John" and Olive "Ollie" (Cox) Mullins), 31 Jan 1833, Pike Co. They first lived on Beaver Creek in Floyd Co and by 1850 had moved to the mouth of Holly Creek, Russell (now Dickenson Co),Va. He served in the Civil War as 1st Lt, Co E, 7th Battalion Confederate Cavalry. This couple reared 12 children. They both are buried in the Fleming Cemetery at Flemingtown, Clintwood,Va.
(2) Margaret "Peggy" (b.Dec 1812, Lee Co Va - d.ca 1905 Pike Co Ky) m. Alexander Mullins (son of Solomon & Sarah G. (Cathey) Mullins), 15 Apr 1827, Pike Co Ky. This couple lived and died on Beefhide Creek of Shelby, Pike Co. Twelve children were born to this union. They are buried at the mouth of Elswicks Branch, Shelby Creek, Pike Co, Ky.
(3) Phillip (b.15 Feb 1815 Floyd Co Ky -d.28 Apr 1885 Dickenson Co Va) m. Hannah Minerva Mullins (a sister to Mary Mullins, above), 5 Jul 1838, Pike Co Ky. They lived for awhile in Pike Co but moved to Russell Co Va and lived next to his brother, John Jackson. Phillip served in the Civil War in the same unit as his brother. Phillip & Hannah Minerva had 11 children. They
were buried near their old homeplace. It is understood that the gravesites in this area were moved to the Company Cemetery off Brush Creek Rd, Clintwood, Va.
(4) Lovina Lavina (b 1816 Floyd Co Ky- d. before 1852) m. John Mullins, Jr, 9 Jan 1840, Pike Co. Little is known about her but it is assumed that she died before her father as she is not mentioned in his will.
(5) William "Whiskey Bill" (b.Apr 1818 Floyd Co - dc. 1906/7 Pike Co) m.Elizabeth Mullins (dau of John "Jack"), 26 Sep 1841, Pike Co. It is believed his nickname came from the fact that William had a horse named "Crockett" (which he dearly loved). He kept a small keg in which he carried whiskey and as he rode Crockett from place to place, he sold whiskey. Some have said that Crockett was his best customer. William, as well as his brothers, were high tempered and bad to fight. At one time (dates unknown) William and his grandson, Robert Harf, had a contract to carry mail from an area of Logan Co to Jeffery in Boone Co, WV. William seemed to move about frequently. He was found in Boone Co, WV in 1860; back to Pike Co in 1870 & 80. In his later years it appears he was homeless. He traveled to different relatives where he would eat a meal or stay overnight. He did live with Harf for a period of time. Two stories exist about his death. One goes that he & Harf were on a horse trading trip and William took sick and died. The other is that he died in Pike Co at the home of W.H.C. Johnson. I suppose both could be true. Elizabeth is buried near the mouth of Right Hand Fork, Beech Creek, Mingo Co, WV. It is not known where William is buried but he is believed to be buried in Pike Co.
(6) Frederick Nelson "Fightin' Fred" (b.1820 Floyd Co -d.1878 Letcher Co Ky) m. Nancy Anna Wright (dau of Joel & Susanna Wright), 18 Jun 1840, Pike Co. In 1846 Frederick received a land grant for 50 acres on Boone Fork, near Jackhorn and Neon, Letcher Co, Ky. His home was at Parsons Camp. One descendant has related that Frederick rode with "Morgan's Men". After his death, his widow, along with sons Eligah and Solomon, moved to Pike Co. Frederick & Anna were the parents of 12 children. Frederick is buried in the Hemphill Cemetery, Jackhorn, Letcher Co, Ky. Anna is buried in the Johnson Cemetery, Speight, Pike Co, Ky.
(7) Robert Jefferson "Big Jeff" (b. Sep 1825 Floyd Co -d.13 Aug 1893 Wise Co, Va) m. Leaty Mullins (dau of John & Elizabeth Mullins), 16 Dec 1846, Pike Co. Robert J. received grants for land on Shelby Creek for 140 acres and one for 150 acres, Dec 1854. By 1860 he followed his brothers to Va. He was living in Wise Co in 1860 and served in the Civil War in Co B, 7th Battalion Confederate Cavalry. He and Leaty had nine children but they divorced 24 Sep 1866 in Wise Co. Robert Jefferson then married Margaret "Peggy" Rose (dau of Samuel & Margaret (Cantrell) Rose, 12 Nov 1866, Wise Co. They were the parents of 10 children, two of them being Cal and Henan, that were involved in the Pound Gap Massacre of Ira Mullins family. Robert Jefferson and Leaty are buried in the Fleming Cemetery at Flemingtown, Clintwood, Va. Margaret (Rose) Fleming is buried in Blacks Chapel Cemetery, Webster Co, WV.