John " T " Riddle is the patriarch of all the Riddle's of
Wilkes County, NC. John was born 1781 in Rowan County, NC ( per the 1850
census "if " Rowan is correct ).The earliest record that has been located
so far of John being in Wilkes is a road order dated 1811.The earliest we find
John listed on the census in Wilkes is 1820. He was living in Brushy
Mountain area located in the south-east corner of Wilkes, NC.
May 1, 1818 - Wilkes, NC - John Riddle was a chain carrier for a land
grant issued to Richard Parker on Dec 10, 1818 for 88 acres on the Waters of
Hunting Creek.Note: John Riddle's grandson, Leander Riddle, will one day marry
Richard Parker's granddaughter Mary Parker.
Aug 13,1833- Wilkes, NC - John Riddle was a chain carrier for Sterling
Moore's land grant issued on Dec 20, 1833 for 100 acres on the Waters of
Hunting Creek. This same year, Sterling Moore sold John Riddle 50 acres of the
100 acre land grant and willed the other 50 acres his son John Moore. Sterling
Moore died in 1837. John Riddle recorded this land in 1845
John Riddle's wife was Mary Polly Moore born 1782 in Orange County,
NC ( per the 1850 census) "If" Orange is correct) and on the 1860
census Mary Polly Moore's birth date is 1795. It is in this researcher's
opinion, 1795 seems to be a more accurate date given the birth dates of John
and Mary's children and her child bearing years. There is also
circumstantial evidence that Mary Moore is kin to Sterling
Moore in someway. Sterling sold land to John Riddle and his confirmed son
John ( per Sterling's will ) Moore was bondsman on 3 of John
Riddle's children's marriages. In Sterling Moore's will dated 1836 he
only mentions his son John so there is no way of knowing if Mary Moore
was Sterling's daughter. Sterling Moore was in Rowan in 1800 and " IF " John
Riddle did come from there, they may have known each other prior to coming to
Wilkes.To date we have been unable to locate John Riddle's parents or possible
siblings. He showed up in Wilkes by himself and before Sterling Moore moved to
Wilkes County from Rowan. Sterling Moore moved to Wilkes as of 1815.
Between 1840 and 1850 North Carolina was taking a school census on all
children attending school.
School going age was 5 to 21.
School District # 8 for Wilkes County, NC ( Wrights District
) This was the district where John Riddle and family was residing. There
were two census taken for this district.
The first census is undated 1840-1850
Head of Household: John Riddle - Children Attending School: Samuel,
William, John, Sarah, Mary, Amelia
The second census dated October 8, 1842:
Head of Household: John Riddle - Children Attending School: Samuel,
William, John, Deborah, Sarah, Mary, Amelia
John and Mary's three eldest children were already out on their own.
John and Mary's oldest known child was James born about 1815 Wilkes
County, NC. He married Jane " Jincy" Combs on Feb 25, 1833 in Wilkes County,
NC. John Moore ( son of Sterling Moore ) was bondsman.Jane was the daughter of
Thomas and Lucy Combs of Wilkes County, NC. James and Jane had three
James was living in the same school district as father John Riddle
The first census is undated 1840-1850
Head of Household: James Riddle - Children Attending School: Jesse, Joel
The second Census dated Oct 8, 1842
Head of Household: Jincy ( Jane ) Riddle - Children attending School:
Joel and Lucy
James Riddle was deceased or left Wilkes County and his
wife by Oct 8, 1842 when the last school census was taken on his family.
His burial has not been located.
James and Jane's children move from Wilkes, NC after 1880. Joel moved to
Gaston County, NC (he was back and forth from Gaston to Wilkes between
1860-1880), Jessie to Iredell County , NC, and Lucinda Riddle Glass to
1878 - Wilkes, NC -Before Jessie's family relocated to Iredell, it
appears that his son James (John James) , was accused of fathering a
bastard child by Dicy Lansford
John and Mary's second child was Nancy born about 1816 in Wilkes,
NC. Her husband was William Mickle (pronounced Michael) Per the 1850 census,
William was born 1802 in Virginia. William and Nancy were living in Wilkes but
not close to father John Riddle. The were closer to the Ashe County line,
living in Johnson's district. On the 1840 census, William has 2 women age
20-30 living with him and some children. William is head of household on the
school census in 1840-1850 in school dist # 25 (Johnson's district) but it is
not known if Nancy Riddle was the mother of the children listed on the school
census. William and Nancy are last found on the 1850 census in Wilkes. Some
record of their children have been located in Surry County and later in
Forsyth, Winston-Salem, NC
Known children of William Mickle and Nancy Riddle:Henry, Franklin, Sarah,
Samuel and Columbus Francis
John and Mary's third child was Elizabeth Riddle b. 1817. She married
Irvin Read (also spelled Reid/Reed) on March 2, 1835 in Wilkes, NC. John Moore
(son of Sterling Moore )was bondsman. Irvin and Elizabeth are in the same
school district as John Riddle but they were taking care of other families
children. Both Irvin and Elizabeth are buried in the
Thornburg-Reed-Hayes Family Cemetery in Wilkes, NC. Elizabeth died June
8, 1884. She was 67 years old. Irvin Reed's Will dated Aug 29, 1890 -
Children: Martha Johnson, Leander Riddle and Mary Tedder. Mother of Leander
and Mary is Debby Riddle.
John and Mary's fourth child was Samuel Riddle born 1821 Wilkes, NC.
Samuel's first wife was Dicy UNK. Samuel moved to Surry from Wilkes in 1850
but was back living in Wilkes by 1860. Dicy appears to have died. Samuel
remarried Eliza Jane Harper April 14, 1867 in Ashe County, NC. As of 1870,
Samuel resided in Ashe County until he died on Dec 21, 1903. He is buried in
the Micager O Lewis Family Cemetery in Jefferson, Ashe, NC. Samuel was age
Known Children of Samuel Riddle and Dicy: John, Mary, Sarah "Sallie"
Riddle Roberts, Millie Riddle Childress, James and William
Known Children of Samuel Riddle and Eliza Jane Harper: Jane
John and Mary's fifth child was Sarah " Sallie " Riddle born March 29,
1822 Hunting Creek, Wilkes, NC. her husband was Willis A. Benge. Willis was
the son of James Benge and Elizabeth Tedder (Tedor on marriage bond )
Sarah and husband Willis lived in Wilkes, NC until 1850. They were in
Alleghany by 1860 and in 1870 had resided in Ashe until death. Sara " Sallie "
Riddle Benge died Jan 28, 1924 at age 101. She is buried in Blue Ridge Baptist
Church in Pine Swamp, Ashe, NC
Known children of Willis Benge and Sarah Riddle: James C., Mary Elizabeth
Benge Yates, John, Nancy, and Jessie Columbus.
John and Mary's sixth child was Deborah "Debby" Riddle b. March 10, 1823
in Wilkes, NC. Debby was never married but had 2 children by Irvin Read,
Debby's sister Elizabeth's husband. Debby lived most of her life in the
Wrights district of Wilkes but later moved with her son to Rock Creek, Wilkes
and spent the remainder of her years there. Debby died July 15, 1923 at age
100. Her death record has her birth as 1813 which is incorrect. Debby was
buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Wilkes, NC
John and Mary's 7th child was John W. Riddle born April 4, 1825
in Wilkes, NC. John was in Wilkes at least until 1854 when he received a
land grant . By 1860 John had moved to Floyd, KY and by 1880 he is in
Elliott, KY where he will spend his remaining years. John's wife was Susanna '
Susan ' Cunningham of Virginia. John died Jan 10, 1914 in Sandy Hook, Elliott,
Known children of John W, Riddle and Susanna Cunningham: Mary E. Riddle
Adkins and Lucinda Riddle Adkins.
John and Mary's eighth child was William Riddle born about 1828 in
Wilkes, NC. William married Mary Lewis July 24, 1849 in Wilkes. John Moore (
son of Sterling Moore ) was bondsman. William and Mary lived in Wilkes up
until 1860. William and Mary moved to Ashe county by 1870. It is unknown where
William and Mary are after 1880. William and Mary had three known
children. One of their children stayed in Ashe, Rev. John Andrew Riddle.
Another child Jesse Harrison Riddle moved to Gaston County and then to
Cabarrus. Information on daughter Sarah is unknown.
John and Mary's ninth child was Mary "Polly" Riddle b. Mar 1833. Mary
married George W. Hayes on Oct 28, 1851. George was the son of Harrel
Hayes and Chloe Johnson. Mary and George resided in Wilkes until death. Mary
Riddle Hayes died Dec 29, 1917 at age 84. Mary is buried at Hunting Creek
Known Children of George W Hayes and Mary Riddle: Wesley P., Chloe, James
Harold, Mary K. Hayes Moore, Nancy Emaline Hayes Johnson, Sarah J Hayes Moore,
George H., Barbara, & William T.
John and Mary's tenth and last known child was Amelia " Millie
" Riddle. Per her death record her birth states Feb 20, 1833. (census
1835 ). Amelia and sister Mary have almost the same birth dates per death
records. Either these two ladies were twins or Amelia's birth year is wrong on
her death record. Amelia's husband was Henry Benge. Henry was the son of James
Benge and Elizabeth Tedder. Henry and Amelia resided in Wilkes and moved to
Ashe County as of 1880. they moved to Pine Swamp where Amelia's sister Sarah
was already residing. Amelia and Henry spent the rest of their lives in Ashe.
Amelia died March 3, 1928 in Jobes Cabin, Wilkes at age 95. Amelia is buried
at Blue Ridge Baptist Church Pine Swamp, Ashe County, NC.
Known Children of Henry Benge and Amelia Riddle: Columbus, John W., Mary
Elizabeth Benge Spears and Sarah J.
John T Riddle's wife Mary Polly Moore died prior to 1870. Her place of
burial has not been located. On the 1870 census for Wilkes County
John Riddle is living with his grandaughter, Sarah Riddle, who was the
daughter of Samuel Riddle and Dicy UNK.
Sept 30, 1872- Wilkes NC- John T. Riddle age 90 testified
in court on behalf of Elizabeth Shaver (many Shavers have also been listed as
Chaves/Chavis ). Elizabeth was applying for a widow's War of 1812 pension
on behalf of her deceased husband, John Usery. John Riddle stated that he
was living within a short distance of Isaac Norman's at the time of the
marriage. States that he witnessed the marriage of John Usery and
Elizabeth Shaver at Isaac Normans home around Christmas time in December of
1813. John Riddle has been well acquainted ever since with the applicant,
Elizabeth Usery and that he was formally well acquainted with the late John
Usery. John Riddle also witnessed John Usery march as a
Soldier. John Riddle claims he has no interest in this
claim. Signed John T. ( X ) Riddle. Note: John Riddle is also listed with
"T" on the 1840 census. John had to testify about witnessing the marriage
because Wilkes County could not locate Elizabeth Shaver Usery's marriage
at the time. Note: The actual marriage bond for John Usery and Elizabeth
Shaver is dated Nov 17, 1814 and was performed by Joshua Suther. Another
page in this file dated March 30, 1888 from the Dept. of Interior
Bureau of Pensions in Wilkesboro, NC is reporting to the state that the
claimant, Elizabeth Usery, is living with Irvin Reed near the said post
office. Elizabeth's husband John Usery has been dead for about 20
years, she is over 90 yrs old and blind though in good health. Informants are
Leander Riddle of Hunting Creek and Richard Smith of Wilkesboro, NC. Irvin
Read and Elizabeth Riddle do have Elizabeth Usery in their home on the 1880
John T. Riddle was deceased by January of 1875. It appears that John died
at age 93 or 94. His place of burial has not been
Source: On John T. Riddle, wife and children; compiled by W. O. Absher,
Ashe County, NC from census and Wilkes Superior Court Minutes, 19 Jan 1875
“19 Jan 1875 Petition of Elizabeth, w Ervin Reed; Nancy w Wm
Michele; Deborah Riddle; Samuel Riddle; Wm Riddle; John Riddle; Polly w George
Hays; Milly w Henry Benge; Sallie w Willis Benge; and Jesse Riddle; Joel
Riddle and Lucinda w Wm Glass, heirs at law of John Riddle, dec’d. (each
entitled to one share except Jesse, Joel and Lucinda who are entitled to 1
share); note: The last three are children of James Riddle, dec’d, son of John
R.T.A.)” Record submitted by R. Riddle ( descendant of William
Riddle and Mary Lewis )
This abstract of John Riddle's heirs per census, birth,marriage and death
records appears to be correct but probate court record has not been located to
date. The NC Archives states they do not have this record.
Update: John Riddle's probate has been located and information provided in Absher's notes are correct on John Riddle's heirs. John Riddle's son-in-law, Irvin Read, was appointed executor of John's estate being that John left no will.
By 1900 most of John Riddle's descendants that carry the Riddle
surname left Wilkes with the exception of Leander Riddle, son of Irvin
Read and Debby Riddle and one of Jessie Riddle's children, Jessie Lee Riddle
who later moved to Iredell, NC
"The Grandfather Book" Permanent Roll of Registered Voters 1902-1908
Leander Riddle ( s/o Irvin Read and Debby Riddle )
Oct 18, 1902 - Township- Lovelace - age 55 - Listed maternal
grandfather John Riddle as last known ancestor
Oct 17, 1908 - Township - Rock Creek age 62 - Listed himself as
Elza E ( Elzie Edward ) Riddle ( s/o Leander Riddle and Mary Parker
Oct 25, 1902 - Township - Lovelace - age 29 - Listed great grandfather
John Riddle as last known ancestor
Thomas F. Riddle ( s/o Leander Riddle and Mary Parker )
Oct 18, 1902- Township- Lovelace - age 27 - Listed great grandfather John
Riddle as last known ancestor
T L Riddle ( I believe this to be Thomas F above )
Oct 19, 1906 - Township - N. Wilkesboro - age 29- no known ancestor
Charles M Riddle ( s/o Leander Riddle and Mary Parker )
Oct 18, 1902 - Township-Lovelace- age 24 - Listed last known ancestor as
great grandfather, John Riddle
Oct 17, 1908 - Township- Wilkesboro - age 30 - Listed maternal
grandfather Cyrus/Silas Parker as last known ancestor
Walter L Riddle ( s/o Leander Riddle and Mary Parker )
Oct 18, 1902 - Township - Lovelace - age 22 - Listed last known ancestor
as great grandfather John Riddle
Jesse L. Riddle (s/o Jesse Riddle and Mahalea Aley Prevette )
Oct 22, 1902 - Township- Summers- age 34 - Listed last known ancestor as
maternal grandfather, John Prevett. Jesse relocated to Iredell, NC where his
other family was already living
Note: Researchers have confused Leander Riddle's son Elzie Edward Riddle
b. 1873 with Jesse Riddle's ( s/o James Riddle and Jane Combs ) son Elzie
Franklin Riddle b. 1878.
Leander Riddle's son Elzie Edward married Aurora Glass in 1897
Wilkes, NC and moved to Washington state by 1910 and died there. Elzie's
brother Walter L went to Washington State with him.
Jesse Riddle's son Elzie Franklin married Sallie Elliott 1908 Iredell,
NC. This Elzie died in Cabarrus County, NC
This song was written a long time ago (probably when they were still alive) about Sterling Moore's family. Robin Moore was Sterling's son. Jacob Estep and John Riddle were Sterling's son-in-laws.
SONG ABOUT THE ROGUES FROM ROWAN COUNTY NC THAT MOVED TO WILKES COUNTY NC IN THE EARLY 1800's
All the rogues from Rowan County
Jacob Estep, Starling Moore,
John Riddle, and two or three more,
Went coon hunting and the dogs wouldn't track it,
So on the way home they stole Robin Moore's Tobacco.
By: Pat O'Neil
In Oct, 1968, Ernest A. Tedder, North Wilkesboro, told me (Raymond Estep) someone of those named, or their descendants, became angered at hearing their names mentioned in connection with this song and went to court in Wilkesboro to secure damages or an injunction to prohibit the singing of it. But that the judge after hearing the evidence threw the case out of court.
John Riddle deed and Sterling Moore will -Transcribed by S.
NC Archives- Federal Census, Birth, Marriage, death, Irvin Read
will - Transcribed by B Hood
The Wilkes, NC School Census and The Grandfather Book - Books
Transcribed by George and Joyce McNeil
NARA - John Usery War of 1812 pension file - Transcribed by
Please email any corrections or information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 by B Hood
For any additional info on Joel Riddle ( s/o James Riddle and
Jane Combs ) or for DNA test results for John T. Riddle's male line please
contact Shannon Bromham.