John Scarfe (Scalf)
The oldest Scalf in America that can be
positively identified as the first ancestor of today's Scalfs is John Scarfe
(Scalf). He was living in the Albemarle region of North Carolina in 1719 for in
that year the records show he purchased a tract of land from John Smithson on
the Southwest side of the Pasquotank River for 24 pounds. This was many years
before the Revolutionary War therefore the currency in use at the time was
When John Scarfe (Scalf) purchased this 100-acre parcel of land in 1719 the area was very sparsely populated. North Carolina as we know it today was not even recognized at that time as being separate from Virginia. This particular region of northeastern North Carolina was referred to simply as the Albemarle region of Carolina. It was not until 1735 that a surveying party established what was later to be the boundary line separating Virginia from North Carolina.
In the 1650's people began moving down from Virginia into North Carolina in significant numbers. Of course, a few settlers had arrived earlier. By 1662 Virginia had recognized the people living in Carolina and had sent Samuel Stephens there to be the commander of the Southern Plantation. It was after 1663 that Charles II granted the Carolina lands to eight proprietors. Not too many years later in 1719 John Scarfe (Scalf) settled along the southwest side of the Pasquotank River. The tract of land that he purchased in 1719 was part of the original land grant given to Thomas Abbington earlier. This land had changed hands four times before John Scarfe (Scalf) purchased it in 1719.
The previous owners of this parcel of land included: Thomas Abbington, Richard Marden and Alex Lafear, Jonathan Jacobs, and John Smithson.
Further research into the history of this tract of land purchased by John Scarfe in 1719 for 24 pounds has left the author with mixed feelings. At the time of John Scarfe's death in 175 1, he devised this piece of land to, his son, John, in his will. Not long after John Scarfe's death, his son made the decision to sell the land he had inherited. The Pasquotank County, North Carolina records indicate in Will Book FG, Page 60, that on May 24, 1756, John Scarfe sold 50 acres of land to Thomas Taylor. This was part of the 100 acres John Scarfe had bought in 1719. Thomas Taylor was the Pasquotank County Clerk from 1741 until 1768, and perhaps Mr. Taylor was a man of vision and knew the strategic importance of the location of this land. As history records Mr. Taylor was the grandfather of one Elizabeth Tooley of Pasquotank County. Elizabeth Tooley eventually sold the same piece of land she inherited from her grandfather, Thomas Taylor, to, the town commissioners of the town of Redding. The name was later changed to Elizabeth City in honor of Elizabeth Tooley and this same Elizabeth City is today not only the county seat of Pasquotank County but also one of the most progressive cities in eastern North Carolina. This author on a recent visit (198 1) to Pasquotank County, North Carolina in search of the place where his great, great, great, great, great, great, Grandfather, John Scarfe, lived was astonished to find that while walking along the beautiful streets of Elizabeth City he had found that place.
This was not the only land acquired by John Scarfe (Scalf). On the fourth day of November in the year 1727 John received a land grant containing 140 acres lying on the south side of the Pasquotank River. This land adjoined the land of Jeremiah Everton. The grant was made to John Scarfe (Scalf) by Richard Everard, Governor, and the other Carolina councilors who, signed the indenture contingent upon John Scarfe (Scalf) paying yearly the fee of one shilling for every 50 acres and for the importation of one person for every 50 acres. The State Records of North Carolina indicate that in 1735 John Scarfe (Scalf) owed quit rent taxes on this property and that he paid one-half of the sum he owed for the period Septemb6r 29, 1729 to March, 1732. Payment was made June 12, 1735.
John Scarfe (Scalf) left a will when he died and it is from this will made in 17 51 that we gain some insight as to, his character. From the language used in his will, it is apparent that John was a Christian and a family man. In his will John left a sizeable estate to his wife and children. To indicate the thoughtful kind of person he was, he also left something for three of his grandchildren. In summary, John left his plantation to his wife, Mary. His son, James, received 50 acres of land. Following the death of his wife, his son, John, was to receive the manor plantation. Edward received 40 acres of land. Jonothan and Israel received goods and chatels belonging to the estate after the death of his wife. John's daughter, Anne, received one yew and one lamb and his other daughter, Mary, received a chest and a looking glass. Jonothan also received a saddle and a bridle. Grandson, James, received a heifer and the other two grandsons, William and John, each received a yew and a lamb. Mary, his wife, and James, his son, were appointed as executors of his will. The will was probated May 25, 1753 and signed by Thomas Taylor, Clerk.
Children of John Scarfe (Scalf) and wife Mary Greves
James J. Scarfe (Scalf) married Sarah
John Scarfe (Scalf) married Sarah
Edward Scarfe (Scalf)
Jonothan Scarfe (Scalf)
Israel Scarfe (Scalf) married Dinah Purdy
Anne Scarfe (Scalf) married Benjamin Richardson
Mary Scarfe (Scalf) married Isaac Jones (son of Nathaniel Jones)
James Scarfe (Scalf)
James Scarfe (Scalf) was the oldest son of John Scarfe (Scalf). His use of the symbol for signing his "mark" has made it possible to identify him as either the grantor or grantee on several documents. James was a landholder as was his father, John. On February 3, 1755, James Scarfe (Scalf) sold 50 acres of land to William Ward in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. This tract of land was located on the southwest side of the Pasquotank River and was property that had been willed to James by his father, John Scarfe (Scalf) in 1751. In 1758, James sold 50 acres of land in Pasquotank County to Edward Halstead. James used the symbol as his "mark" in signing both deeds.
Area around South Mills, North Carolina where Scarfe (Scalf)
families lived in 1700's.
James Scarfe (Scalf) was married to Sarah, however, her
maiden name has not been learned. Three readily identifiable children of James
and his wife, Sarah, are John, James and Lewis.
In 1754-1755, James Scarfe (Scalf) served as a sergeant in the North Carolina State Militia. This militia group was a company of 50 men organized under the command of Captain William Abercombie. The company had been formed in Pasquotank County to quell an Indian uprising that was taking place in North Carolina at that time.
As early as 1736, James had surely reached a mature age for in that year he witnessed the will of Jeremiah Everton in Pasquotank County. The exact date was January 3, 1736. This record can be found in Grimes's Abstracts of North Carolina Wills.
James was a supplier of food, horses, etc. to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He sold the supplies on credit. At the end of the war, James received payment of the 243 dollars owed to him by the government. The settlement was made at Warrenton in the year 1785 and was passed upon by the Commissioner of the Army Accounts. Although the record states that James never did appear on any muster roll, it was indicated that he was paid for his services beginning in January, 1777 and ending in January, 1780.
The author is of the opinion that James Scarfe (Scalf) had a son named James in addition to the known sons, John and Lewis. It is the belief of this writer that John Scarfe (Scalf), son of James Scarfe (Scalf) died in action during the Revolutionary War. The basis for this opinion is a record on file at the Camden County Courthouse in Camden County, North Carolina. The record being referred to is a deed made in 1798 listing James Scarfe (Scalf) as the grantor and Joshua Campbell as the grantee. This indenture shows the sale of a tract of land in Tennessee containing 297 acres to Joshua Campbell. James clearly states in this deed that he had rightfully inherited this property as the heir of his brother, John Scarfe (Scalf), who had died in the Revolutionary War. It is further mentioned in this deed that James was at the time a resident of lower Norfolk County, Virginia. The author feels certain that this is the same James C. S calf who left a will in Norfolk County, Virginia in 1825 devising to his sisters, Nancy Scalf and Elizabeth Scalf. This James C. Scalf, son of James Scarfe (Scalf), had married earlier to Sarah Brite, daughter of Hezikiah Brite. James C. Scalf left a large estate to his sisters at the time of his death in 1826. The estate included a manor plantation complete with eight slaves.
This would make it seem likely that James Scarfe (Scalf) had at least five children: John, James, Lewis, Nancy and Elizabeth. There may have been others. Additional research in Norfolk County, Virginia may help to clarify the complete family of James Scarfe (Scalf).
Accepting the premise that James C. Scalf was the son of James Scarfe (Scalf) could identify the James Scarfe who served as a private in a regiment from Pasquotank County, North Carolina in 1766 commanded by Jarvis Jones. This private was in all probability James C. Scalf. After the Revolutionary War it is a matter of record that Scarfe had changed to Scalf. The author is of the opinion that the family name was Scarfe earlier but changed to Scalf for possible political or religious reasons. It had been Scarfe for a number years.
Children of James Scarfe (Scalf) and his wife, Sarah:
John Scarfe (Scalf) died in the Revolutionary War
James C. Scalf married Sarah Brite
Lewis Scalf married (1) ________ (2) Elizabeth Blackbum
John Scarfe (Scalf) was the second son of John Scarfe (Scalf) who left his will in 1751 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. This John, son of John, also left a will when he too died in Pasquotank County. The year of his death was 1780. In the will that John Scarfe (Scalf) left in 1780 he gave to his son, James, his cooper's tools. To his son, John, he gave a barrel of com. To his daughters, Elizabeth Harris and Susannah Scarfe, he also left com. To his other daughter, Ann Smith, he left the remainder of his estate. His son, James, and his daughter, Ann, acted as executors of the will. An addition to the will was made to include John's son, Joseph, who also received a barrel of corn.
John Scarfe (Scalf) who left his will in 1780 was also married to a Sarah, however, her maiden name is not known.
John owned land that he had inherited from his father in 1751. In a deed recorded in Pasquotank County in 1757 John and his wife, Sarah, sold a parcel of land to Robert Murden for 30 pounds. This was land John had purchased himself, however, from one Aaron Jackson and was not the land he inherited from his father.
In addition to the land sold to Robert Murden John also sold a tract of land to Rebecca Thurber in 1756. This was a 30-acre parcel of land. The sale was recorded at the Pasquotank County Courthouse September, 1756. Thomas Taylor signed as Clerk.
Previous to this 1756 transaction, John had sold 50 acres of land to Thomas Taylor in 1755. The deed indicates that this was the land John had inherited from his father. This 50-acre parcel of land was located on the southwest side of the Pasquotank River and joined the land of James Greves and the Deep Branch. This deed was registered May 24, 1756.
Unlike his brothers, John did not see action in the Pasquotank Militia action of 1754-1755. This could mean that John may have had a physical handicap which prevented his performing military service. It could also help explain why John practiced the cooper's trade rather than farming.
One Joseph Scalf, probable son of John Scarfe (Scalf), served as a private in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Scalf began his military service in North Carolina; however, he was later transferred to a South Carolina regiment. In 1789 Joseph Scalf married Lydia Stewart in Norfolk County, Virginia. There are records indicating that Joseph Scalf received land grants in South Carolina and in Georgia.
Before 1777 Pasquotank County, North Carolina included the area on both sides of the Pasquotank River. In 1777 Camden County was formed from the area on the North side of the river. Since crossing the river was at times quite difficult, it was natural that Camden County should be formed to accommodate persons having business to take care of at the county courthouse. Several Scalf families lived in both Pasquotank County and in Camden County. Near the Great Dismal Swamp just below the Virginia border was the location where several Scalf families lived in the late 17 00's and early 1800's.
It is possible that John Scalf, son of John Scarfe (Scalf) who left his will in 1780, migrated south to Darlington County, South Carolina after the Revolutionary War. One John Scalf died there in 1846 and left a will.
As pointed out above, Joseph Scalf went to Norfolk Virginia to marry Lydia Stewart in 1789. After careful examination of all available information the author has arrived at several probable conclusions concerning Joseph Scalf It seems apparent, that, Joseph remained in Virginia for a few years before returning to Halifax County, North Carolina. By 1800, Joseph is listed in the Halifax County, North Carolina Census as Joseph Scaff. In 1810 he is listed as Joseph Scalf. However, in 1820, the only Scalf or Scaff mentioned in the Halifax Census is a Mrs. Scalf, believed to be the widow of Joseph Scalf. Evidently at least one son was born to Joseph Scalf while he lived in Virginia. That would be his son John Scalf. The author believes this is the John Scaff or Scalf who married Temperance Willey on December 21, 1814 in Halifax County, North Carolina. A probable son of John and Temperance was Jonas Scalf who married Elizabeth Willey.
This writer believes that, James Scarfe (Scalf) oldest son of John Scarfe (Scalf) II may also have moved to Virginia. It seems likely that one son born to James was Frederick Scalf who evidently died about 1815 or 1816 leaving an orphan son, James Scalf. This younger James Scalf was born 1799. When his father, Frederick Scalf, died young James Scalf was bound out to John Whaley to learn the art of blacksmith. This was ordered by the overseers of the Elizabeth River Parish.
While there remains a lack of proof this writer believes another son of John Scalf and Temperance Willey was James Scalf. This James Scalf born 1821 in North Carolina married Catherine Beard and raised a family in Davidson County, Tennessee. This James Scalf named his first daughter Lydia, perhaps in honor of his grandmother, Lydia (Stewart) Scalf.
Children of John Scarfe (Scalf) and his wife, Sarah:
James Scarfe (Scalf)
John Scarfe (Scalf)
Joseph Scarfe (Scalf)
Elizabeth Scarfe (Scalf) married - Harris
Ann Scarfe (Scalf) married - Smith
Susannah Scarfe (Scalf)
Children of James Scalf and Catherine Beard
Lydia Scalf (B. 1851)
John H. Scalf (B. 1854)
James Scalf (B. 1856)
Mary E. Scalf (B. 1858)
Edward Scarfe (Scalf)
Edward Scarfe (Scalf) was a son of John Scarfe (Scalf) who left his will in 1751 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Edward had at least one son, William. Edward Scarfe (Scalf) like three of his brothers served in the Pasquotank County, North Carolina Militia Campaign in 1754-1755.
Edward inherited land from his father, John, when his father died in 1751. Edward sold the land shortly thereafter in 1755. In November of 1755 the records show that he sold a 40 acre parcel of land lying on the southwest side of the Pasquotank River to Thomas Taylor for 16 pounds. This was the land Edward had inherited from his father.
Edward Scarfe (Scalf) left Pasquotank County, North Carolina not long after he sold his property to Thomas Taylor. In 1766 he entered 200 acres along the Waccamaw River in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Although this land was surveyed it was never picked up. Edward continued to move south. He next appeared along the South Carolina coast. Edward was in the Georgetown District in 1790 and in Williamsburg County in 1800.
It is not known for certain who Edward married although his wife may have been named Martha. Edward's son, William, married Rhoda and migrated south as did his father. In 1804 William and Rhoda sold a tract of land along the Black River in Williamsburg County, South Carolina to Timothy Hickson.
Children of Edward Scarfe (Scalf):
William Scarfe (Scalf) married Rhoda _______
Jonothan Scarfe (Scalf)
Jonothan Scarfe (Scalf) was the fourth son of John Scarfe (Scalf) and his wife, Mary. Jonothan served with three of his brothers in the 1754-1755 Pasquotank County, North Carolina Militia campaign against the Indians. After this, Jonothan disappeared from all available records. He may have died in the late 1750's. The author has recently come across some evidence that indicates Jonothan may have gone to Maryland after his father died. Other Scarfes are known to have gone there many years earlier.
Israel Scarfe (Scalf)
Israel Scarfe (Scalf) was the fifth son of John Scarfe
(Scalf) who left his will in 1751 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Israel
served in the Pasquotank County, North Carolina Militia Company formed in
1754-1755 to suppress an Indian uprising. The company was under the command of
Captain William Abercombie.
Israel did not inherit any land from his father, John, although the records show that he did possess property. There is a deed on record to verify this.
Israel's first wife, Dinah Purdy, was deeded a tract of land by her father. In 1793 while Israel and Dinah were living in Craven County, North Carolina they sold this piece of land to Benjamin Capps. Israel's wife,.Dinah, was very ill at this time as indicated in the deed. This probably accounts for Israel marrying a second time since Dinah must have died not long after the 1793 deed was signed. Israel married his second wife, Betsy Dukes, in Cartaret County, North Carolina in 1804. Israel appears in the 1800 Cartaret County Census. His was one of only nine families living on Bogue Banks, a beautiful offshore island.
Copyright (c) 1982 Elmer D. Scalf. All rights reserved.