In researching the Gregory families of Meigs County, Ohio, I stumbled upon this interesting name – Napthalum Gregory. Napthalum was born about 1816-1817 in Virginia and his unique name belonged to one of the earliest settlers of Augusta County, Virginia. Of further interest, the Napthalum Gregory born 1816-1817 owned land in the exact section and township as my ancestral Gregory family.
Napthalum Gregory’s name was quite unusual; I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. Unsurprisingly, his name was commonly misspelled. Various documents list him as Napolean Gregory, Napthaliam Gregory, Naph Gregory, Nap, Nepthalum, etc.
I first discovered Napthalum Gregory in the land records of Meigs County, Ohio. On 28 Aug 1844, he and his wife, Harriet, of Scioto County, Ohio sold 26 acres of land in Columbia Township in SE 1/4 of Section 17, Township 9, Range 15 to James Nute, of Meigs County. From whom did he obtain that land?
A continued examination of the land records of Meigs County, Ohio, revealed that Napthalum Gregory’s 26 acre parcel was originally sold to John Gregory on 15 Aug 1829. Thus, it seemed likely that John Gregory was the father (or other close relative) of Napthalum.
The land tax records of Meigs County, Ohio were helpful in identifying more about John Gregory. John is taxed in Columbia Township from 1827 to 1832. He is also enumerated in the 1830 U.S. Federal Census for Columbia Township, Meigs County, Ohio. He and his wife were born between 1790 and 1800. They had male child in the household born 1815-1820, which is the perfect age category for Napthalum Gregory. In 1833, John Gregory disappears from Columbia Township tax records. Interestingly, a Lucretia Gregory appears in tax records in 1833. She is enumerated in 1834, too.
Since Lucretia Gregory first shows up in personal property tax lists in the same year that John Gregory disappears, she is a great candidate to be the widow of John. Was there a marriage record in Virginia for John Gregory to Lucretia that occurred sometime before 1815? Indeed, there was. John Gregory Jr. married Lucretia Young on 29 May 1814 in Harrison County, Virginia.
The 1840 U.S. Federal Census finds Naph Gregory in Green Township, Scioto County, Ohio. He has a wife and child and an older woman living with him. The older woman living with Napthalum was likely his mother, Lucretia. Notably, Scioto County, Ohio, marriage records document the marriage of one Lucretia Gregory to Asher Winkler on 3 May 1841. Was this Lucretia Gregory, the mother of Napthalum? The 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Asher Winkler’s household indicates that Lucretia was born in 1793 in Virginia, thereby making her the appropriate age to have been Napthalum’s mother, Lucretia (Young) Gregory.
Napthalum Gregory married to “Miss Sharp” in 1836, He served in the Civil War in Company H, 132 Regiment, and died 25 May 1865 in Paulding County, Ohio. His youngest daughter, Emeline (Gregory) Phelps, applied for a pension on behalf of her father’s service in 1887.
Napthalum Gregory is not one of my ancestors, but he and his father, John, are closely related to them. If you have more information on any familial connection between John Gregory Jr. (married Lucretia Young) and James Gregory (married Matilda Race), please contact me.