In the middle Seventeenth Century many persons from England were being transported to America by others. The transporter, who defrayed cost of passage, was compensated by indenture service or additional land in America. The custom, having thrown around it the mantle of law, was highly profitable. Under this system thousands reached the New World. Little care was exercised by semi-literate scribes in recording the names.
Typical of this jumble of names is found in CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, by Nugent, page 394. Listed as transported from England to America are John Scull, transported by William Story, 1643; James Calfe, by Thos. Williford, 1649; Thomas Scape, by Abraham Moone and Thos. Griffin, 1651; Moses Scarfe, by Richard Cary, 1653; Thomas Scafe, by Capt. Martin Palmer, July 7. 1660; Edward Scarfe, by Peter Gill and Henry White, 1663; and Bryan Scarge, no date.
There is considerable inferential evidence that one of these transportees was the ancestor of the Scalf family in America. Calfe became Calef or Calif by the middle or last quarter of the next century. However, the name was by this time being rendered Calf and was pronounced, probably, as K-o-l-f. Scarfe was becoming, first Calif or Calef, then Calf, finally Scalf, its modern form. Representative of these name changes is that of Lewis Scarfe, born 1745. He was a son of James and Sarah Scarfe. In 1790, when Lewis was in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, it had assumed the spelling, S-c-a-l-f. A William Scalf is also listed in the same census with Lewis. A James Calef was a taxpayer in Beaufort County, North Carolina, in 1755 and 1779 a James Calif was on the tax list of Hertford County, North Carolina. This James Calif or Calef could conceivably have been a grandson of James Calfe, the 1649 transportee. The first near modern rendering of the name is that of a Jaremiah Scaff, found on the Surry County, North Carolina, tax list in 1771.
Family students believe that James Calfe was a relative, probably distant, of Moses Scarfe, Edward Scarfe and Thomas Scafe, mentioned as transportees in CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS. It is conceivable that he was the father of a John Scarfe, Pasquotank County, North Carolina, who executed a will in that county in 1751. In ABSTRACTS OF NORTH CAROLINA WILLS, by Grimes, page 329, there appears the will of John Scarfe, dated February 15, 1751, and probated at April Court, 1751. On the original will a clerk or other person marked the instrument as probated in 1753.
John Scarfe devised to his wife, Mary, and to sons James, John, Edward, Jonathan, Israel; daughters, Anne Richardson and Mary Jones. Witnesses were Wm. Abercombie, James Greves, and Wm. Rodes. On the same day he wrote his last testament he executed a codicil appointing his wife and son James as executors. In the codicil he made a bequest to a grandson, John Scarfe.
John Scarfe had been in Pasquotank County since 1735 for in that year he is listed in THE STATE RECORDS OF NORTH CAROLINA, Vol. 22, page 250, in the arrears of quit rents, for 140 acres. Actual listing was in Albemarle County, Pasquotank precinct, as the latter was created as a county afterward. Date of the listing is June 12, 1735. In the North Carolina archives a tax list for Pasquotank County for 1748 names John Scarfe, Senr., John Scarfe, Junr., Edward Scarfe and Jonathan Scarfe. This John Scarfe, Jr., we feel certain, was the grandson, mentioned in the will of James Scarfe in 1751. He was a son of John Scarfe, Sr.
Israel Scarfe almost disappears to us on the record after his naming as a son of John Scarfe. He is listed in the 1790 Census of Craven County, N.C., as Israel Scapp although the state transcription of this census calls him Israel Scag.
Camden County, N.C., was cut from Pasquotank County in 1777 and apparently the Scarfes lived in Camden County. In a 1782 tax list of Camden a James Scarfe is listed with no land. However, in 1769, in Pasquotank County, there is listed a David Scaff on a tax roll, his place in the family tree uncertain. David and a Benjamin Scalf appear on the 1810 Iredell County, N.C., Census. David was over 45 as was his wife. One female is under 26. There are eight persons in the Benjamin Scalf family but evidently his wife was dead.
There are two wills recorded and on file in Pasquotank County, both by John Scarfe, one dated December 12, 1780 and probated March 1782. Practically the same devisees are named and the same witnesses. In the 1782, Will Book HIJ, page 496, John Scarfe devises to his children: James. John, Elizabeth, Karrin, Susannah Scarfe, Ann Smith. Executors are son James and Ann Smith. Witnesses are Ebenezer Sawyer and Edward Halstead. The later will, dated 1786, devises to children: James, John, Joseph, Elizabeth, Heres (?), Susannah Scarfe, and Ann Smith. Executors are Ebenezer Sawyer and Edward Halstead. He signed by mark. No explanation is offered as to the reason for the two recorded instruments unless there was litigation and the court so ordered.
Joseph Scarfe (son of John, who executed his will in 1751 in Pasquotank County) served in the Revolutionary War as a private in Lytle's Company, 10th Regiment, North Carolina Line, but was transferred to the South Carolina Line in 1783. He married Lydia Stewart, April 16, 1789, at Norfolk, Virginia. (1) In various records his name is given as Scalf.
In the North Carolina archives, PASQUOTANK BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS, BRANDS AND FLESH MARKS 1691-1797, page 42, James Scarff and wife, Sarah, have recorded the name of a son, Lewis, born August 21, 1745. This Lewis was the father of John Scalf, Sr., the Revolutionary War soldier, to whom Eastern Kentucky Scalfs trace origin. We do not know the name of Lewis' wife. He moved slowly westward into the frontier of North Carolina and finally died in Georgia
Any reconstruction of the Scalf families prior to the Revolutionary War is hazardous, indeed, but we believe that either James Calfe, the 1649 transportee, or Thomas Scafe, who was brought over by Capt. Palmer, was the father or grandfather of John Scarfe, who executed a will in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, in 1751. We know from the will of this John Scarfe that he was the father of James and that James and his wife Sarah were parents of Lewis in 1745.
Besides John Scalf, Sr., (ca 1761-1848), the Revolutionary War ancestor of the Eastern Kentucky Scalf families, there was an Elizabeth Scalf mentioned in a will of a James Blackburn, dated January 23, 1778 and probated November Court term 1779, in Halifax County, North Carolina. The testator devises among others, to the children of Elizabeth Scalf: Patience, Sally, Absolem, and William Blackburn. From the phraseology of the instrument we deduce that she was given her maiden name by the testator, probably to identify her, and that she had married James Blackburn's son. She could have been a sister of Lewis.(2) In the 1790 South Carolina Census, there were, besides the Revolutionary War Joseph Scalf, three others of the name: Edward Scarf, Wm. Scarf, and Martha Scarff. There is no indication as to their proper place in the family tree.
In 1790 we discover Lewis Calf (not Scalf until the 1810 Census, of Wilkes County, North Carolina) in the Federal census of Fishing Creek area in Bertie Precinct of Edgecombe County, North Carolina. Lewis was married when this census was enumerated and there were eight in the family. Two were males over 16 years old, three were 16 years and there were five females, ages not listed, which included his wife. One of those enumerated as over 16 years of age, was of course, Lewis, and the other was a son. This son could not have been John (ca 1761-1848), the Revolutionary War soldier, for he had married the year before and probably left the parental home. Lewis was 45 years old when the census was taken.
Ninety-five families lived just north of Tarboro, on Fishing Creek in 1790. The official name of the area was Fishing Creek Area, with no postoffice names. The houses were probably far removed from each other. Lewis Scalf's house was Number 16 on the list. Fishing Creek is but one of many eastward flowing streams that enter Tar River which joins with Pamlico River near Greenville. The waters of this drainage area finally enter Pamlico Sound.
Two houses from Lewis Scalf, Number 18 on the list, was the home of Robert and Nancy Carlisle, parents of Edeah Carlisle, later to become the bride of John Scalf and thus the daughter-in-law of Lewis Scalf. The house next to Lewis was that of John Carlisle, brother to Edeah, and Number 19 was the home of Clark Carlisle, another brother. Other Carlisles, all relatives, lived on nearby streams of Speed Creek, Town Creek and Sweet Creek, all tributaries of the Tar River. (3)
Since Lewis Scalf had six children at home in 1790 and with John married, as was Elizabeth, probable daughter who married a son of James Blackburn, there may have been several other children, some of them married, and some not yet born as he was only 45 years old. John Scalf, Sr., son of Lewis, was born about 1761 or 1762. Lewis was then about 16 or 17 years old, young to be a father, but it must be remembered that maturity and marriage came early in Colonial America.
There is some evidence that Lewis served in the Revolutionary War but no record of that service exists in the National Archives. Internal evidence of John Scalf, Sr.'s pension application statement is supporting as is a statement of John's daughter-in-law, Patsy Scalf. Even John Scalf's enemies, in striking at the old veteran, charged that John Scalf impersonated his father in order to procure a pension. The evidence is strong that Lewis Scalf, at the age of about thirty years, did serve, in the Revolution. (4)
Lewis moved with the expanding settlements and we find him in 1810 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, the name now spelled S-C-A-L-F. After that he disappears on the record and but for Patsy Scalf's deposition to aid her father-in-law, John Scalf, Sr. to procure a pension, we would not have learned that he left North Carolina and moved to Georgia in his old age. Patsy Scalf stated that he "died several years ago" (prior to 1845), a centenarian. She was in error but not to a great extent for being born in 1745 and dying "several years" prior to 1845, let us say five years, he was approximately 95 years of age when he succumbed.
CHRONOLOGY OF LEWIS SCALF
James - John
August 21 1745
Pasquotank County, N.C. Born, son of James Scarfe
1779 - age 34
Cumberland County, N.C. Tax List. $185 property value
1784 - age 39
Johnston County, N.C. Tax List. Capt. John McCullers' Company.
300 acres. One free white poll. Name spelled Scalf.
1787 - age 42
Johnston County, N.C. Tax List, Lewis shown with 11 whites (6 sons, 3 dau.) 7 males 21-60 years; 4 females all ages.
1790 - age 45
Edgecombe County, N.C. Shown with 10 white persons (John Gone) but living with another female in Fishing Creek area - north of Tarboro. Name is CALF.
1798 --age 53
Surry County, N.C. Tax List. No land. Son John there, too, Lewis, one white poll. John, one white poll, no land.
1799 - age 54
Surry County, N.C. Tax List. No land, One white poll.
1800 - age 55
Surry County, N.C. Both Lewis and John are on tax lists.
1810 - age 65
Wilkes County, N.C. Federal Census. No family,
Prior to 1845
Georgia. Lewis had moved to Georgia prior to 1845 and died at approximate age of 100 years. He may have gone there in the land lottery in the last years of the 1820-1830 decade.
CHAPTER III NOTES
1. From VIRGINIA HISTORICAL INDEX, by Swem. List of marriages solemnized by A. Emmerson in 1789.
2. The will of James Blackburn names his wife, Sarah; sons Absolem, William, Benjamin; grandson Blackburn Pope, son of Mary; daughter Sally Blackburn; children of Elizabeth Scalf, Patience, Sally, Absolem, and William Blackburn; Lura Cains; and Amey Matthews. Executors were Wm. Bishop and Solomon Atkinson. Witnesses were Thomas Joyner, Benjamin Blackburn and Absolem Blackburn. The will is notes in HALIFAX COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, MARRIAGES, by Anderson, which contains several will extracts.
3. See Carlisle (Carlile) will excerpts in appendix.
4. See Chapter VI, BITTER YEARS.
Copyright (C) 1970 by Henry P. Scalf, All Rights Reserved.