John Harness, c1800 Deposition, Davidson County, Tennessee
updated 09/09/2012

Depositions from the Estate File of William Ridge

State of Tennessee   )
Davidson County     )

"In obedience to a commission to us directed from the Hon'ble Judges of the Superior Court of Law & Court of Equity held for the district of Salisbury & State of North Carolina We have proceeded to take the deposition of JOHN HARNESS of lawful age, which deposeth & sayeth, that he hath been acquainted with the Family of WILLIAM RIDGE in Surry County No Carolina, for a great many years. Also with WILLIAM T LEWIS one of the present defendants, that from the time of his acquintance with said LEWIS he knew of this possessing two Negroe girls by the names of SAL & NAN, that it was always told to him by the family of the said RIDGE & LEWIS that they wre given to said LEWIS for him to hire & find a man in the Continental Service in the place of GODFREY RIDGE, son of said WILLIAM RIDGE

"This deponant further sayeth that he some years ago boarded in Surry County No Carolina at the house of JABEZ JARVIS, that his family appeared to be particular enemys to the present defendant WILLIAM T LEWIS, that the son of the said JARVIS (viz. RESI JARVIS), said the WINNEFRED RIDGE formerly the wife of WILLIAM RIDGE, had informed him that WILLIAM T LEWIS had got a Bill of Sale of her husband WILLIAM RIDGE for him to find a Continental Soldier in the Service in place of his son GODFREY RIDGE, which was a Balloted man in the nine months Service, & failed to appear which subjected him as the deponant understood to serve in sd Line three years or during the War, this deponant further sayeth that he had understood from each of the parties (viz. RIDGES family & LEWIS) that after LEWIS had got a Bill of Sale of said property of WILLIAM RIDGE, that is SAL & NAN, that there was a certain JOHN GOINGS brother in Law to WILLIAM RIDGE that hd robb'd him said LEWIS of a great part of his property & destroyed a number of said LEWIS papers, further understood that LEWIS overseer had bundled up what papers the robbers left & took them to OLD MAJOR LEWIS'S, the father of WILLIAM T LEWIS, & that the defendant WILLIAM T LEWIS, had searched said papers as he thought sufficiently, & could not find the Bill of Sale that WILLIAM RIDGE had gave him, then made application to Mrs. WINNIFORD RIDGE, wife of said WILLIAM RIDGE, GODFREY RIDGE, the eldest son of said WILLIAM RIDGE & JOHN FIELDER Son in Law to said WILLIAM RIDGE for them to give him a second Bill of Sale for said SALL & ANS, as he supposed he had lost the one he had got from William RIDGE, which they as he understood gave him the Second Bill o Sale for said Negroes now in dispute, SALL & NAN.

"This deponant further sayeth, that said Resi Jervis, Son of Said Jebes Jervis told him that Winnifred RIDGE wished him to swear that William T LEWIS told him that he only claimed said Negroes, SAL & NAN, from the Bill of Sale given by her Godfrey RIDGE & John FIELDER which she said Winnifred thought would do away the effect or power of the Bill of Sale Given by William RIDGE for said Negroes SALL & NAN.

"This deponant further sayeth that the said RESI JERVIS son of said JABEZ JERVIS, told him that he never had heard LEWIS say anything about the first or second Bill of Sale, though he thought it would be no harm for him to swear that said LEWIS told him that he only claimed from the Bill of Sale that he got from WINNIFRED RIDGE, GODFREY RIDGE & JOHN FIELDER, as he had made so much ou[t] of the Tory's & that if he was ever called upon a[nd] had told said Mrs. RIDGE to do it that he wou[ld] swear to it & would think no harm in so dec[?].

"This deponant further sayeth that he has understood that said RESI JERVIS has been call'd upon which much surprized him, this deponant being cautious that he would perjure himself from his declaration to the deponant.

"Question asked in behalf of the Defendant- do you know the character of THOMAS COODY, WILLIAM COODY, GODFREY COODY, JOHN COBMES, WILLAM COMBS, MASON COMBES, or the characters of the COODYS & COMBES'S generally, if you do relate it.

"Answer I have frequently hear they were Torys and have been call murderers (that is some of the COMBSES)

"Question the 2nd by the defendants do you kown any other children of WILLIAM RIDGE than what is mentioned in the Complainants Bill of Complaint, if you do say so-

"Answer it was reported that he had a son by the name of GODREY and a daughter by the name of NANCY. And farther this deponant saith not


"We do hereby certify that the above JOHN HARNESS was sworn and interrogated before us at the dwelling house of ROBERT EDMONSON Esquire in Davidson County District of Mero and State of Tennesse this 1st of December 18[?]



"cop'd for WM T LEWIS Nov 1804"

References Cited

NC State Library and Archives, CR085.508.136, Estate Records, Rowan Co., NC, Folder: William Ridge (1785)

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