Riddle Family

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. 
1811 - Ordered that Richard Parker be Overseer of the Road from the ford of Hunting Creek at Thomas Stanley's up to Cub Creek Meeting House with the following Hands, to wit - Shadrack Stanley, John Riddle, Ephraim Anderson, William Gofarth, Daniel E-ul, William Smithy, Jesse Smithey, Samuel Laurence, Jeremiah Bass & Jesse Bass. (Wilkes Co NC Road Orders found in the Lenoir Papers, Sylvia Trotter Anderson, DAnder7649@aol.com) (this record was given to S. Manolakos - Sterling Moore/John Riddle researcher)
For more road orders on John Riddle: See Stanley Web
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 children
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 and Lucinda
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 Virginia.
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 
Source: Wilkes Co Bastardy Bonds
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 82.
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
Known children of Irvin Read and Debby Riddle: Leander Riddle and Mary Elizabeth Riddle Tedder.
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, KY
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 Church, Wilkes,NC
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 census.
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 located.
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 petition
“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 Wilkes, NC
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 ancestor
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 listed
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.


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. Manolakos
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 B Hood

Please email any corrections or information to bmhood46@yahoo.com
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.

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