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Jacob and Margaret Finley Pyeatt

Jacob Pyeatt was born in 1756 in Path Valley, Pennsylvania, {or 1760 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania) to John and Jane Blair Pyeatt and died August 16, 1844, in Cane Hill, Washington County, Arkansas (some researchers have Pulaski County, Arkansas - however, he is known to have died in Cane Hill - See obit below). He was a Revolutionary War soldier and is buried in the Carnahan Cemetery, near Cane Hill, Washington County, Arkansas.

Some researchers have for Jacob a first wife and son who are not generally known to other researchers. Therefore, I offer this information and if anyone can provide proof that this marriage and son are for this Jacob Pyeatt, I would appreciate the details.

Jacob was married c1785 in Guilford County, North Carolina, to Rachal ?Tatum who was born c1763 and died September 12, 1789, in Guilford County, North Carolina.

Jacob and Rachel had the following known child:

Jacob married (possibly second) Margaret Finley March 8, 1791, in Guilford County, North Carolina. Margaret was born in Ireland in 1760 to Rev. Andrew and Katherine Paul Finley. Jacob's brother, James Pyeatt was married to Margaret's sister, Catherine Finley. Jacob's marriage bond in Guilford County, North Carolina is for Jacob Pyeatt and Margaret Findley.

According to a manuscript of L A Colquitt (original sources not known to me) "After their apprenticeships were completed, James and Jacob Pyeatte became traders and cattle dealers, driving herds to market in Charleston. It was on these journeys that they stopped at the inn where the Finley sisters were working. Margaret and Catherine Finley, who married Jacob and James Pyeatte, were the eldest daughters of an Irish landlord of a small estate in North Ireland. As the family was large, the sisters came to America under a contract to pay steerage after arrival. Reaching Charleston, S. C., they found employment at an inn, where they met the two Pyeattes (now traders and cattle dealers), who susequently paid the balance due on their steerage, and married them. Jacob and Margaret were married the third year after they met. As will have been noted, Jacob and Catherine were united about a year later."

"It is also of special interest that Jacob joined the army of George Rogers Clark. It seems probable that he did this early in the Revolutionary War when Colonel, later General, Clark made a recruiting drive through the Carolinas. At any rate, records are preserved in the War Department of his service with Clark's Illinois Regiment. A payroll now in the possession of Miss Clara B. Eno, State Registrar D.A.R., Van Buren, Arkansas, lists the names of Jacob and James Pyeatte with the Clark Regiment. Although he was but sixteen years of age when the Declaration of Independence was signed, early Arkansas records speak of him as Major Jacob Pyeatte, which combined with family traditions and other evidence afford reasonable proof that he attained this rank. Taken into consideration with the hardships of Clark's Vincennes Campaign, which are traditional wherever severe military conditions are discussed, and his extreme youth, Jacob Pyeatte's attainment of the rank of a field officer is truly remarkable. It speaks more than crests and designs from the College of Heralds of his character and devotion to a great cause."

"Soon after their marriages the brothers took their wives to the frontier, settling for a time in what has since become Logan County, Kentucky. Accompanying them from the Carolinas were members of the Carnahan family and some others, including Buchanans, Shannons, Billingleys, Marrs, Porters, Prestons, Rankins, Drakes, and Blairs. These names are still prominent in Northwest Arkansas, and throughout the South and West. There is some evidence that his party of Carolinians remained together for more than a generation of pioneering, a large portion of which was spent under the actual, if not official, leadership of Jacob Pyeatte."

The children of Jacob and Margaret:

Indications are that Jacob and family moved from Warren County, Kentucky, with the family of his brother, James, in about 1812. They next settled in Crystal Hill, Pyeatt Township, Pulaski County, Arkansas. It is said that Jacob and his brother James were bell makers and that some cow bells still exist in Washington County, Arkansas, which were made by one or the other of them. Jacob was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

A story about Jacob's first trip to Arkansas which was given in Major Jacob’ s Trip to Arkansas" in "The Pyeatts and Carnahans of Old Cane Hill," by Rev. Alfred E. Carnahan and Susan Carnahan Cruse, Bulletin #8 of the Washington Co. [AR] Historical Society, p. 47 {see my Family Histories I page for information on ordering this microfilm through the LDS. MCP) as follows:
"At a time previous to the coming of the Pyeatts to Arkansas, Jacob Pyeatt visited the region now included in the bounds of the state. The exact date of this visit is not known to us. Riding a good horse and carrying a fine gun, he left North Carolina, came through Kentucky to the site of Memphis in Tennessee. There was but one family living there. This settler had built a house, improved some land, and owned a large sized skiff. Pyeatt remained several days with this man. While preparing to leave, the man proposed to exchange his land, improvements, and boat for Mr. Pyeatt’s horse and gun. Mr.P. is reported to have replied that he would not give his horse for the property, much less his gun."

Another story from the same book was "Jacob Pyeatt’s Ferry Boat":
"Soon after the Crystal Hill settlement was effected, the tide of immigration set in, and to accommodate those who wished to cross the river, Jacob Pyeatt prepared to meet the need. At first he used a large skiff. If the traveler was horseback, the horse was made to swim on the downstream side of the boat. If the traveler had a vehicle, it was taken to pieces and carried across part at a time. Later Mr. Pyeatt constructed a boat large enough to carry wagons and teams. This boat had a drop leaf at each end and a walkway on each side. When ready to start, men on these walkways with long push poles, went upstream, staying close to the bank. When at a proper distance, the push poles were laid aside and the men, one at each end with oars, gave the boat the proper angle against the current, reached the opposite landing. This was probably the first ferry boat in the state owned by an American citizen.

On the 1816 Tax List of Missouri Territory - Arkansas County are Jacob Pyatt; his son, John Pyatt; and his brother, James Pyatt which can be seen at 1816 Tax List on the US Genweb

I have more information on these two families, their migration, personal glimpses and descendants (if I ever get the time to input it!)

The following tracts of land in Pulaski County, AR, seem to belong to Jacob:

  • Jacob Pyeatt 01/10/1824; doc #132; SE sec 36 town 3N rang 14W 151.9 acres; AR0470_.070
  • Jacob Pyeatt 08/19/1826; doc #178; W1/2 sec 25 town 3N rang 14W 97.54 acres; AR0470_.203
  • Jacob Pyeatt 06/23/1842; doc #133; SW sec 31 town 3N rang 13W 155.83 acres; AR0500_.464 A different tract in the name of John Pyeatt, might have belonged to Jacob's son, John, if he had applied for the certificate before his death and it had not been signed until 1/10/1824.

    I am not sure if I have a date of death for Margaret. However, Jacob appeared as follows on the 1830 census of Washington Co, AR:

    Pyatt, Jacob 1m70-80 (pg 2 line 24)

    A glowing tribute to Jacob Pyeatt was written by John Buchanan and was published in the "Banner & Advocate", Thursday, November 7, 1844 —
    Another Revolutionary Father Gone
    Died, near Cane Hill, in Washington Co, Arkansas, on the 16th of August last, Mr. Jacob Pyeatt, in the 84th year of his age. The deceased was born in the State of North Carolina, and in early life entered in the service of his country, served through one tour of enlistment, and was engaged in the second when peace was declared. He lived long to enjoy the blessings of that liberty for which, in youth, he periled his life. The rich boon of freedom purchased by the heroes of ‘76 causes the history of their departure to be read with deep emotion and sympathy by the sons of American freedom. But father Pyeatt was a Christian; his religious history, although briefly given, will be peculiarly interesting to the church in which he long lived a worthy member. He professed religion under the ministry of the venerable McGready, in the revival of 1800 in the State of Kentucky, joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church at its first organization, emigrated to Arkansas in 1811, and was one of the members constituting the first Cumberland Presbyterian church ever organized in the then territory of Arkansas. Although often deprived of a preached gospel and the benefits of the ordinances of the church, and surrounded with the wickedness so common in the first settlement of a new country, yet he always stood firm to this profession, honoring the cause of his divine Master. I was intimately acquainted with father P. for sixteen of the last years of his life. I never heard ought said against his character as a man or a Christian, by any friend or aquaintance. As to foes, I think I can safely say in truth, he had none in the entire circle of his acquaintance. He was a warm and liberal supporter of the gospel, particularly of the circuit rider, as almost everyone traveling through the church where he lived can testify. From his own hand have I received liberal contributions, every year since I have been laboring in the ministry. His seat was never vacant in the church, in time of public worship, unless prevented by some unavoidable providence and when at preaching, he always seated himself near the minister, often looking him in the face, saying, as plain as visage could speak, "0 Lord, help thy servant to preach ard bless his labors this day!" He spent much of his time in reading the Bible, and was particularly fond of reading McGready’s sermons, having heard many of them, as they fell from the lips of the living speakers. Being present at the burial, and while gazing upon the pale corpse until closed forever from human vision, I could but say in my heart, farewell, father Pyeatt, until the morning of the resurrection! The ministers of God will have you no more by their side, in the church upon earth. No more will your tears and groans mingle with the penitent suppliants; nor your faltering voice, trembling, lisp the praises of Emmanuel. No, thy immortal spirit is gone to happier scenes! Instead of being seated near an earthly pulpit to listen to a worm of the dust, feebly pleading his Maker’s cause, methinks thou art seated near the throne of God, listening to the heavenly voice of the blessed Jesus. Instead of mingling thy tears and groans or faltering voice in prayer and praise with the church militant, thou art surrounded in triumph with the Angelic choir and redeemed throng, singing with high and melodious accents the immortal notes of LIFE, LIFE, ETERNAL LIFE! GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST! Being suddenly and violently attacked, while at a camp meeting, with the disease which carried him off, and every effort to procure relief having failed, his pious son said to him, "Father, nothing will relieve you; you will have to die." With a smiling countenance he looked his son in the face, saying, "Son, I am not afraid to die; for 84 years I have been trying to serve God. I am ready and willing to go, whenever he calls for me." Yes, he truly decided to depart and be with Christ. He lived some six or seven days after the first attack, suffering intensely, but bore it with Christian fortitude. He lost the power of speech, but retained his reason until the last, frequently giving evidence to surrounding friends of his happy state of mind. He has left children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends to mourn their loss — But blessed be God; we sorrow not as those who have no hope. John Buchanan"


    Updated Oct 2006

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