History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

John D. Stewart - Early Resident

Matthew Stewart 1720-1808
John D. Stewart (1831-1884), successful land owner and merchant, was one of Monroe’s early residents. In 1860, his personal estate was valued at $25,000.

John D. & Lydia Stewart's daughter
Elizabeth Ann Stewart (1864-1938)
married Sidi Bundy -  photo circa 1884
Family photo.ancestry.com
Matthew Stewart (1720-1808)
    John Stewart (1765-1826)
         Eli Stewart (1794-1865)
         Hugh Stewart (1798-1848)
               John Robert Donnom Stewart (1831-1884)

“John Robert Donnom Stewart was born 23 Nov 1831 at the family farm on Crooked Creek, between Charlotte and Wadesboro. This location was only a few miles from where his great grandfather, Matthew Stewart, settled when he came from Scotland in 1747. The area later became part of Union County when that county was formed in 1842 from part of Mecklenburg and Anson Counties.

“John D. had seven brothers and sisters, but he was the only one to survive to adulthood; he was orphaned at sixteen years of age. His uncle, Eli Stewart, helped John D. find a position as clerk in Charlotte [1850 census noted John D. Stewart 18, living in a hotel]. In 1853, John D. went into mercantile business for himself and, over the next 30 years, became one of central North Carolina’s leading merchants and an administrator of charitable causes.

“John D. was know as “The little man,” being of very slight physique. ‘Of his personal qualities, he transmitted to his children in varying degree intelligence, perceptiveness, a love of music, honesty, interest in education and, yes, acquitiveness.’” –Excerpt from a memoir written by a grandson John D. Stewart, M.D. (Austin Texas Genealogical Society)

John D. Stewart was the son of Hugh Stewart (1798-1848) and Jane Harriet Crawford (1818-1846). On December 7, 1854, John D. Stewart married Lydia Ann Pistole, daughter of Charles Pistole and Margaret Williams. John D. Stewart died on July 25, 1884 at Monroe, NC, at age 52.

Children of John D. and Lydia Stewart:

Charles Pinckney (1855-1945), Margaret Jane (1857-1951), Julia Ellen (1859-1953) married John David Futch, Mary Alice (1862-1956) married Walter S. Nelson, Elizabeth Ann (1864-1958) married Sidi Brown Bundy in 1883, Laura Agnes (1867-1961) married James Wilson Ashcraft in 1889, William Crawford (1869-1959), Henry Dixon (1872-1934), John Edward (1874-1964), Carrie Lee (1876-1970), Hugh Everett (1879-1969) and Lucy Mabel (1881-1975).

From a letter dated March 20, 1867, John D. Stewart wrote the following about life in Union County, NC during Reconstruction, just after the Civil War: “The poorhouse is over-flowing with paupers and it is beyond the power of the magistrates in the greatly exhausted condition of the country, to furnish the means to support their poor. The short and simple truth is that we are smitten with a famine and those who are able to sustain themselves can do but little to sustain their starving neighbors. What is to become of our famished poor – our helpless poor, and there is still more helpless orphan children – the God of widows and fatherless children can only tell.” –Julie Hampton Ganis, Rootsweb, Ancestry.com

John’s great grandfather Matthew Stewart (1720-1808), served in the Revolutionary War as a captain. It is believed that Matthew married Elizabeth McCall in 1757.

“He lived in Mecklenburg County near Philadelphia [Presbyterian] Church and was one of the founders of this church…his colonial land grants from Governor Arthur Dobbs and his 1808 will are on record in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. He was appointed a state’s juror for North Carolina in 1777. His grandson, Esq. Eli Stewart was at one time owner of the block on which the Mecklenburg courthouse now stands. He gave this property to his daughter, Mary Stewart Ashbury, wife of the late Dr. Daniel Ashbury, the family making their home there for many years. Matthew Stewart was the father of eight children. His eldest son was John Stewart, who was represented by five different branches of his descendants at the gathering Wednesday. A temporary organization to form a Stewart clan in this country of descendants of Matthew Stewart was effected with the following official personnel: President, Hon. William H. Stewart, of Columbia, S.C., first vice president, Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart Bundy, of Monroe; second vice president, Mr. W. C. Alexander of Charlotte; third vice president, Mr. Plummer Stewart of Charlotte; secretary, Mrs. Adelaide Smith Beard, of Belmont, treasurer, Mr. W. Sinclair Stewart, of Charlotte. The original Stewart Clan was organized in Scotland in 1100, by King David I, ruler of Scotland and England, who made the chief steward of his household head of a new clan and changed his name to Stewart. Plans were formed Wednesday to have a gathering of all the Stewart connection, who are descendants of Matthew Stewart, to be held at Philadelphia church the middle of August, 1924.” –Charlotte Observer sourced on Ancestry.com

1 comment:

  1. I believe Matthew Stewart 1720-1808 was married to Elizabeth Purcell (Pursell, daughter of Daniel Purcell of Washington County, Maryland. See this link for more information: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Purcell-228 I found most of the information on that page about DP in Washington County, MD myself and know it to be accurate. Judith Purcell cynthiatweedle@outlook.com