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View Tree for William ForbisWilliam Forbis (b. Bet. 1700 - 1710, d. Bet. 1763 - 1764)

William Forbis75 was born Bet. 1700 - 1710, and died Bet. 1763 - 1764 in in Orange County. He married Margaret on Abt. 1739 in Guilford Co. North Carolina76.

 Includes NotesNotes for William Forbis:




For many researching the Forbis family in Guilford County, no ancestor is more mysterious than William Forbis, who died in Orange County between 28 Nov 1763 (the date he signed his will) and February Court term 1764 (when it was proved).(l) William is the progenitor of most Guilford County Forbises, including Colonel Arthur Forbis of Revolutionary War fame, and it is with this ancestor that researchers have hit a brick wall. The one Guilford County Forbis with no apparent affiliation to William is Arthur Forbis of Buffalo Church who was married to Lydia Rankin.

1. William Forbis (died 1763/64) & Margaret (no information known) William's birth date and birthplace remain unknown. In 1750, he purchased land with Hugh Wiley in Lunenburg County, V A. These men can be found on the Lists of Tithables collected by Hugh Lawson between Hounds Creek and the Meherrin River (today the eastern portion of modern Lunenburg County) from 1748- 1752.(2)

During the late 1750s, William left Lunenburg County, V A and moved to Orange
County, NC. There is little information about William's original land in Orange County; around 1760, he purchased 640 acres from William Wiley.(3) Based on a land survey (dated 20 Jul1763) requested by his son Arthur, William's plantation in Orange County is tentatively placed in the vicinity of Burch Creek and the Haw River

William leaves a will in which many of his children are not named explicitly. Persons named in his will include his wife Margaret and his sons William, Hugh, and George. George is granted permission to live with his brother William and then after three years to be bound to a trade. The will then mentions "other six young children." Executors are Andrew Finley and William Willis.(5) Witnesses are John Willis, James Mathews, Martha Willis, Thomas Willis, Hugh Willis. The will is approved by Margaret Forbis, John Forbis, Thomas Morgan, Rachel Forbis, and Arthur Forbis.

The remaining children have been pieced together in two fashions. First, we examine the persons, listed above, who prove William's will in Orange County. In addition to the widow Margaret, John and Arthur sign along with Rachel Forbis who is assumed to be a sister. Another signer, Thomas Morgan, was married to Mary Forbis, "'sister of the brave and lamented Col. [Arthur] Forbis."(6)

Second, we examine the heirs to William, Jr.'s will in Guilford County. This William, listed as an heir in the Orange County will, died without marrying between 8 Dec 1771 and 1772 probate.(7) His heirs are his sister Ann and his brothers John and Arthur.

As to the "other young children" listed in William, Sr.'s will, these cannot include the named children William, Hugh and George. John, Arthur and Rachel are of sufficient age to sign the will. Probably, but not definitely, Mary is already married to Thomas Morgan. Based on later census records, Ann can be identified as one of the young children; however, the other four or five have not been identified, and we are not sure if they survived to adulthood.

Based on the wording of William's will, it is possible that his widow Margaret is a second wife. The known children of William Forbis are:

1.1+ John Forbis, born circa. 1730-1745, place unknown.

1.3 William Forbis, birth date and place unknown. In 1768, he signed the Regulators' petition to Governor Tryon. (12) Apparently never married, he died in Guilford County circa 1772.

1.2 Arthur Forbis, born ca. 1743-1746, (8) place unknown. He married Elizabeth Wiley (1748-1835),daughter of William Wiley. (9) Arthur led the Guilford militia at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, March 15, 1781, where he was mortallywounded. (10) He was an elder at Alamance Presbyterian Church and is buried there (ll) Children named in Arthur's will: John, Arthur, Ann, Elizabeth, Mary and Marthy.

1.4 Mary "Molly" Forbis, birth date and place unknown. She married Thomas Morgan.(13)

1.5 Rachel Forbis, born before 1743,(14) place unknown.

1.6 Ann Forbis, born between 1745-55. Ann married Thomas Woodburn in Guilford County, bond dated 25 April 1772.(l5) Children named in Thomas' will: John, William, David, heirs of son Arthur, Mary Wharton, Ann Donnell, and children of son Robert.

George Forbis, born 1750-55, probably in Lunenburg County, V A or Orange County, NC. (16)

Hugh Forbis, born ca. 1756, (17) probably in Orange County. In Guilford County, he owned a plantation which covered both sides of the north fork of Alamance Creek. (18) From the State of NC, Hugh purchased 500 acres on Buffalo Creek, which he later sold to his brother John.(19) Hugh moved to Mecklenburg'County, and it is from this county that he applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1833

More About William Forbis and Margaret:
Marriage: Abt. 1739, Guilford Co. North Carolina.76

Children of William Forbis and Margaret are:
  1. Arthur Forbis, b. 1746, d. 1781.
  2. +John Forbis, b. Bet. 1730 - 1745, d. Abt. 1805, Guilford Co., NC.
  3. William Forbis, b. Abt. 174077, d. date unknown.
  4. George Forbis, b. Bet. 1750 - 1755, d. Abt. 1769.
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