Page, part of the Jan and Larry Rhodes Family site, updated 6 August 2009

Court Case Involving Ephraim Frady and Others

Transcribed by Larry Rhodes

Notes and Sources are contained in end notes. To read them as you proceed, click on note numbers within the text.

Here is an image of the clerk's entry in the records of the Superior Court of Buncombe County, North Carolina followed by the transcription. Note 1

Book 22 p 380

State of N. Carolina}
Buncombe County}
Know all men by these presents that I Ephraim Frady do
give unto Willson Frady of the same State and county all
my growing crop of corn and oats potatoes three head of horses one wagon two
cows and calves and all the stock of hogs that belongs to the said Ephraim Frady,
and all the household and kitchen furniture for the said Willson Frady to have
to secure him in staying a Judgement of Seventy four dollars & fifty cents against
Ephraim Frady as principal and Littleton Potillo security in favor of Alexander
Henry Guardian of the heirs of Ephraim Frady decd for the said Willson Frady to
hold as his own property until the said Ephraim Frady satisfies the above named
Judgement for the above mentioned amount of seventy four dollars and fifty cents
In testimony I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 20th of June 1842
Attest    J Merrell
A H Johnston Ephraim his X mark Frady {Seal}
State of N. Carolina}
Buncombe County}
County Court July Term 1842
The written Mortgage deed was duly proven in open court by
the oath of J. Merrell a subscribing witness thereto recorded and ordered to be registered
Registered Aug.18th 1842 N. Harrison Clk

From Which Arose Some Adventures in Research...

Ephraim Frady, born in 1785 in Culpepper County, Virginia and died before 1860 in Buncombe County, North Carolina, was my Great-great-great-grandfather. Wilson Frady was probably Ephraim's eldest son and brother to my Great-great-grandfather John Frady. While apparently rare for someone to protect assets in this manner until a particular debt is paid by barter, cash, or labor, its presence in official records attests legality. Who is Ephraim Frady deceased? It was my primary conjecture that he may have been another son of the Ephraim Frady who was the subject of this action until I encountered a record in the Inventories Book of the Buncombe County Court, April Term 1847, which identified Alexander Henry as Guardian to the heirs of Ephraim Henry, deceased!Note 2 It is now my theory that Clerk Nathaniel Harrison made an error with his 1842 entry; and that he wrote Frady instead of Henry. But, what if the error was made in the later inventory entry? While browsing Henderson County Register of Deeds records, I found entries for Ephraim Henry prior to 1842.Note 3 Given that Ephraim Frady owed the debt to the Henry estate, then the document makes more sense. We will probably never know details of the debt.

The 1840 census reveals Wilson Frady as head of household, aged twenty but less than thirty.Note 4 The household contained one male under five years of age and one female aged 16 but less than 20 years of age. In the mid-1840s, Wilson Frady migrated to Missouri. He, his wife Nancy, and son Pinckney were found on the 1850 Federal census of Callaway County, Missouri.Note 5 The 1860 and 1870 censuses found the family in neighboring Boone County.Note 6 He was not to be found thereafter. In the summer of 2008, Midcontinent Public Library opened the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri; and when Jan and I visited it, I examined some of the books in their collection for Callaway and Boone Counties. I found him in one volume.Note 7 Four Frady graves are indentified in the Goshen Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery:

Frady, P. G.; d. Feb.27, 1884, age 48 yrs. 11 m. 24 d.
Frady, Mary; wife of P. G., d. Jan. 2, 1884, age 34 yrs. 3 m. 17 d.
Frady, Wilson; d. Jan. 9, 1873, age 56 yrs. 1 m. 23 d.
Frady, Salina M.; wife of P. C. d. Dec. 20, 1861, age 76 yrs. 7 m.

Using the date calculator tool of the FamilySearchTM Personal Ancestry File software, Version 5.2.18.0, P. G. Frady was born 3 March 1835 (which would indicate that this is Wilson's son Pinckney), Mary Frady was born 15 September 1849, Wilson Frady was born 16 November 1816, and Salina Frady was born 20 May 1785. John Frady's headstone in the New Salem Baptist Cemetery, Skyland, North Carolina, lists his birth date as 17 March 1816, eight months prior to the birth of Wilson, which is entirely possible; but who is Salina Frady? Her birth date would be approrpriate for Wilson's mother rather than Nancy Frady, wife of Ephraim. Nancy died in 1886 and is buried in New Salem Cemetery. And — who is P. C. Frady?

We travelled to Boone County on 11 November 2008 and found the Goshen Primitive Baptist Church in the southern tip of the county. I walked the nearly four-acre hillside cemetery, but failed to find any Frady graves. I sent a letter to the church asking if there were records. I received a telephone call from the cemetery caretaker, Harold Nichols, who said that the church had conducted and published a headstone survey that indicates six Frady graves. He mailed a copy of page 11 of the book which shows:

ROW 34...
2. Frady, Salina M., wife of P.C. — 11-15-1845 - 12-30-1861...
15. Frady, Wilson — 7-16-1816 - 1-9-1873
16. Frady, Thomas G., son of P.C. & M.E. — 12-4-1868 - 11-17-1871
17. Frady, infant son of P.C. & M.E. — 12-30-1883 - 12-30-1883
18. Frady, Mary E., wife of P.C. — 9-15-1849 - 1-2-1884
19. Frady, P. C. — 3-3-1835 - 2-27-1884

This would seem to solve the question of the identity of Salina, whom Pinckney married first. Apparently P. C. and P. G. are the same person, Pinckney. According to this account, John and Wilson would have been born less than four months apart, which makes their having the same mother improbable, if not impossible. One source has John being adopted by Ephraim, but it notes an absense of proof.Note 8 Another possibility arises from the disparity of the ages between John and his spouse, Mary Lance Cogburn, who was born in 1811. John may have fudged his date of birth to make himself appear older since he not only married a previously married woman, but she was years older than he. The closest thing to objective evidence of a person's age, when no public record of his or her birth exists, is the federal census.

John Frady appeared by name on four U. S. Censuses, and in 1840 may have been the next to oldest male in Ephraim Frady's household, age 16 and under 20,Note 9 indicating a possible birth year between 1820 and 1825. John had not married, while his bride-to-be was head of household with three children that year, having apparently already terminated her marriage to James Cogburn. Her age was indicated as 30 but less than 40,Note 10 born between 1810 and 1820. In 1850, John's age was given as 28, and Mary's as 32,Note 11 birth years 1822 and 1818 respectively. The next decade, 1860, shows John at age 39 (born 1821) and Mary at 49 (born 1811).Note 12 John is reported as age 50 (born 1820) and Mary age 58 (born 1812) in 1870.Note 13 In 1880 John's age was given as 59, and Mary's as 69,Note 14 yielding the birth years of 1821 and 1811 respectively. Mary's headstone in the New Salem Baptist Cemetery, Skyland, North Carolina indicates that she died on 2 December 1893 at the age of 82 years, eight months, and thirteen days, which would place her date of birth at 19 April 1811. John's adjacent headstone states his date of birth as 17 March 1816. He died 26 July 1895. John was apparently the last of his generation; and while all of his children may have known the day on which they celebrated the anniversary of his birth, they were unaware of the exact year he was born. Official records have John signing numerous deeds and his will with his mark; so it is unlikely that he made any written record of his date of birth. Since it was likely known that Mary had been some older than John, those making the arrangements may have simply added five to Mary's birth year; and it became carved in stone, literally. From a preponderance of evidence, it is my opinion that my Great-great-grandfather John Frady was born on 17 March 1821, approximately five years after his older brother, Wilson.

This was an adventure in research indeed: a name disparity in a public record; age disparities on tombstones and in census records; all of which forced this researcher to weigh the evidence and draw a conclusion. Keep watching this space, additional research is always in order. We can only keep our eyes — and minds — open.


  1. Transcribed from a photocopy provided by Louise Frady Hodge, Midlothian, Virginia.
  2. Buncombe County, North Carolina Superior Court Records, Inventories Book 1-2; Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, US/CAN Film 412,821.
  3. Henderson County, North Carolina Register of Deeds, Land Entry Records (2 unlabeled volumes) 1839 - 1885; Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, US/CAN Film 1,758,932
  4. 1840 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Southern District; Series M704 Roll 354 Page 161, Line 14
  5. 1850 U. S. Census, Missouri, Callaway County; Series M432 Roll 363 Page 252, Line 24.
  6. 1860 U. S. Census, Missouri, Boone County, Cedar Township; Series M653 Roll 608 Page 715, Line 11 and 1870 U. S. Census, Missouri, Boone County, Cedar Township; Series M593 Roll 760 Page 28, Line 29.
  7. Evans, Relia Bright; Tombstone Records of Boone County, Missouri; 1933, republished 1992: Genealogical Society of Central Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, page 53.
  8. Gasperson, Edith Creasman; “John Frady and Polly Lance Cogburn Frady Family Group Sheet” The Brown Collection Old Buncombe County Genealogical Society Library, Asheville, North Carolina.
  9. 1840 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Southern District; Series M704 Roll 354 Page 147, Line 24
  10. 1840 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Southern District; Series M704 Roll 354 Page 153, Line 25
  11. 1850 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, No Township Listed; Series M432 Roll 622 Page 218, Line 23
  12. 1860 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Swannanoa PO; Series M653 Roll 889 Pagge 344, Line 26
  13. 1870 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Limestone Township; Series M593 Roll 1125 Page 191, Line 18
  14. 1880 U. S. Census, North Carolina, Buncombe County, Asheville; Series T9 Roll 954 Page 125, Line 40

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