The Freeman Family


Ancestors of Rebecca Freeman Hopson



1st generation


William Freeman, Sr.




            William Freeman, Sr.,[1] was born in 1673.  He moved to Norfolk VA as a young man, along with his brother John Freeman and a relative, Elizabeth Freeman Harmon.  It was in Virginia that William met and married Mary, in about 1692.  He died July 7, 1737, in Albemarle County, NC.  We do not know when William purchased his land in Norfolk County, VA, but a record shows where he sold a parcel of land there to William Perkins prior to 1721.  William Perkins gives reference to this property in his will, where he bequeaths it to his daughter.


            William and his family moved to North Carolina about 1716.  They moved to Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County, NC, where he purchased 250 acres of land on the south side of Katherine Creek Swamp on July 1, 1716, from Thomas Garret, Sr., and his wife Bethia.  William and his wife Mary also sold 100 acres of land on the south side of Katherine Creek on July 11, 1718, to Michael Ward.  William became a wealthy and prominent planter of the Albemarle and Chowan County areas.  He owned large amounts of land and several slaves.  At the time of his death he owned five plantations.


            His will was made in February 1736 and proved August 13, 1737.  Reference Chowan County Wills, Vol. I, page 211.


            Children of William and Mary Freeman are:


            i.          John Freeman, b. 1695 Norfolk Co., VA;  m. Tabatha, d. 30 Apr 1776

                        Chowan Co., NC


            ii.          Aaron Freeman, b. 1708


            iii.         Samuel Freeman, 1720-1796


            iv.         William Freeman, Jr. 1696-1781


            v.         Thomas Freeman 1699-1790


            vi.         Richard Freeman 1703-1761


2nd generation


John Freeman[2]




            John Freeman was born in 1695 in Norfolk County, VA, the oldest son of William and Mary Freeman.  He married Tabatha.


            He came with his parents as a young man to Albemarle County, NC.  On August 3, 1733, John purchased 200 acres of land as part of a 300 acre tract of land granted to Michael Ward by Thomas Hyter, King et al, Chiefman of the Chowan Indians.  Reference:  Land Conveyances, Book 3, #1, North Carolina.


            In 1737 John inherited a plantation from his father, William Freeman, on which John was living at the time.  His father's will read as follows:  "To my son John Freeman, the plantation whereon he now lives and also my Negro woman called Rose, after the change of my well beloved wife Mary Freeman's condition either by death or marriage, which shall happen first."


            On August 6, 1737, John and his wife Tabatha deeded 100 acres of land on the west side of Catherine Creek Swamp to his brother Thomas Freeman.  John later removed to his property at Poly Bridge Swamp, part of old Chowan Town, and lived the remainder of his life on this plantation.  (Chowan County Wills 1694-1938) CR.024.801.8, John Freeman 1777).


            Children of John and Tabitha Freeman are:


            i.          John  Freeman, b. 1718 in Chowan Precinct, Albemarle Co., NC;

                        m. Sarah, d. 7 Dec 1784 Bertie County, NC.

            ii.          Richard Freeman, b. 1720

            iii.         Zilpha Freeman (she m. Outlaw)

            iv.         Tabitha Freeman (she m. Mansfield)

            v.         Priscilla Freeman (she m. Hinton)

            vi.         Catherine Freeman

            vii.        Sarah Freeman

            viii.       Jacob Freeman

            ix.         William Freeman 1716-1802


3rd generation


John Freeman, Jr.




            John Freeman, Jr.,[3] oldest son of John and Tabitha Freeman, was born in 1718 in Chowan Precinct, Albemarle County, NC, and died December 7, 1784, in Bertie County, NC.  He married Sarah.


            John received a land grant for 898 acres in Chowan County at the mouth of Beef Creek on June 20, 1749.  Reference:  Land conveyances, Book #11, page 101.


            Note:  Bertie County Original Wills 1746-1897, CR.010.805.5.  Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.  (Wife Sarah Freeman, sons  Solomon, Elisha, Moses, Aaron, daughter Elizabeth.  7th day of  December 1782.)


            Children of John Freeman, Jr., and Sarah Freeman were:


            i.          Aaron Freeman, Sr., b. 1745 Chowan Co., NC; d. 1825 Buncombe

                        Co., NC


            ii.          Solomon  Freeman, b. 1738 Chowan Co., NC; d. 23 Apr 1788 Bertie Co.,



            iii.         Elizabeth Freeman b. 1739 Chowan Co., NC; m. James Baker


            iv.         Elisha Freeman, b. 1741 Chowan  Co., NC


4th generation


Aaron Freeman, Sr.



Mary Bentley




            Aaron Freeman, Sr.,[4] oldest son of John Freeman, Jr. and Sarah Freeman, was born in 1745 in Chowan Co., NC, and died in 1825 in Buncombe Co., NC.  He married on December 17, 1769, in Rowan County, NC, Mary Bentley, daughter of Thomas  Bentley, Sr. (1725-1789) and his wife Hannah (1725-1795).


            Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC, Record #08501139,  Bond #000124905, marriage of Aaron Freeman to Mary Bentley.


            Aaron Freeman lived in Rowan County for many years.  From early records it appears that Aaron had come to Rowan with his brother John Freeman.  Aaron married Mary Bentley in Rowan on December 17, 1769.  Her father was Thomas Bentley, a Revolutionary War soldier, who had moved to the Western Piedmont section of NC from Virginia.  Aaron was a patriot and Revolutionary War soldier also.


            Aaron was granted a tavern license according to Rowan court minutes of May 3, 1774.  This was in the Forks of the Yadkin, Davie County, NC (formed from Rowan).  Aaron lived in Wilkes County for a time.  According to Wilkes County deeds, Aaron purchased 200 acres on 28 Oct 1782, on Little River, Beaver Dam Branchy, North Side Forks of Yadkin.  Other land sales were also recorded, and he appears in the 1800 Land Tax List as having two houses, a barn and a still house on 150 acres.  Aaron moved to Buncombe County where he and his wife appear in the 1810 Buncombe census and appear last in the 1820 Federal census in Buncombe County.  He was an Indian Agent during the time he lived in Buncombe County.


            In his father John Freeman's will (Bertie County Original Wills, CR .010.801.5): "I give and devise unto my son Aaron Freeman my mannor plantation whereon I now live and my lands which lies southerly thereof and thereto adjoining and my saw mill with all the saws and appurtenances thereunto belonging to hold to him, his heirs, assign Forever."


            Children of  Aaron Freeman and Mary Bentley are:


                        i.          Joshua Freeman 1770-1855


                        ii.          Jesse Freeman 1772-1845


                        iii.         Moses Freeman 1774-1859


                        iv.         Thomas Freeman 1777-1865


                        v.         Isaac Freeman, b. 1780


                        vi.         James Freeman, b. 1785


                        vii.        John Freeman, b. 1793, d. 1870, m. Rebecca Hopson


                        viii.       Aaron Freeman, Jr., b. 1782


 5th generation


John Freeman



Rebecca Hopson

b. 1790



            John Freeman[5], seventh of eight children of Aaron Freeman and Mary Bentley, was born about 1793 in Iredell Co., NC.  In 1809 he married Rebecca Hopson in Buncombe County, NC.  (It is not known how Rebecca may be related to John Jackson Hopson who married her daughter Rebecca.) He died in 1870 in Yancey County, NC, and is buried in the Freeman Gap Cemetery, Madison County, NC.


            Children of John and Rebecca were:


            i.          Elijah Freeman, b. 1810

            ii.          John V. Freeman, Jr., b. 1815-1822

            iii.         Harriet Freeman

            iv.         Rebecca Freeman, b. 1819, m. John Jackson Hopson

            v.         Dicey C.  Freeman b. 1822

            vi.         Elisha Freeman

            vii.        Littleton Freeman. b. 1821

            viii.       Sarah Eveline Freeman b. 1827

            ix.         Samuel T. Freeman b. 1827

            x.         Charity  Freeman b. 1835

            xi.         Joseph Freeman b. 1842, d. 1918.


            The names Littleton and Disa which appear in this Freeman family also appear frequently in the Hopson family, indicating the Freemans and Hopsons may have been related see HOPSON

End Notes

[1] All information on the Freeman family from Family Tree Maker genealogy website:  Descendants of  William Freeman, Sr.  Unfortunately, the site was not available the last time I checked.

[2]  All information on the Freeman family from Family Tree Maker genealogy website:  Descendants of  William Freeman, Sr., no longer available.

[3] All information on the Freeman family from Family Tree Maker genealogy website:  Descendants of  William Freeman, Sr., no longer available. 

[4] All information on the Freeman family from Family Tree Maker genealogy website:  Descendants of  William Freeman, Sr., no longer available. 

[5] All information on the Freeman family from Family Tree Maker genealogy website:  Descendants of  William Freeman, Sr., no longer available.   Also, information obtained from Freeman family researcher Ginger Wineman, now deceased.

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