Friday, November 30, 2012

Re: George Owens Pension/His Suit Against William Grills

I've never seen the George Owens (sons) pension applications (at least that I can now recall).  Frontier legend William Grills had a suit pending at the time of his death against George Owens.  Grills, whose diary author Allan W. Eckert quotes in his historical novel, THE FRONTIERSMEN.

I called Eckert back in 1978 trying to gain access to the Journal of William Grills, but after a long search (which included posting a reward to the reference librarians at Google Beta), we had not been able to locate it at the time of Eckert's death. Grills was a real frontiersman, however, who had lived among the Shawnees and Ottawas and whose name is there periodically in the early Jefferson Country Va/Ky records.

Just one of many records I always figured would surface after internet access became common. I guess I was wrong.

I went to Scott County, Indiana, long ago in search of the Owens/Meranda records. Although they gave me access to the records, they were not well organized and I spent a long time there finding mention in the order books but unable to ascertain the locations of the corresponding court cases, if they still existed.

William Grills' suit against George Owens is in the Archives in Frankfort (Old Jefferson County Va/Ky Common Law Court records) and includes a bill of lading for various expenses hunting, etc.


  1. A transcription is here, though you can also see the original online (have to find the link) it's missing the end which frustrates me but it verifies information you already gave, namely that Capt David Owens likely settled and died in Indiana, since this David Owens (Jr) would logically be a son of Capt David. This David Jr even states that his father and George were half brothers. I just wish he would have said his own father's name. It also said George Jr had two sons but the census would seem to indicate more, but perhaps they were not sons of his. ......... In any case right now I'm trying to focus on this David Owens of Clark County. The early history of Clark County states that a David and John Owens, brothers, were early settlers and I could not figure out how they fit in, because if they meant Capt David Owens, then it would mean that John Owens III was in Clark County, but he was in Ohio, as "Blackhawk" is descended from him (and genetically verified). However, it's a good bet that this David and John were the two sons of Capt. David Owens... still more research to go to prove that though. Anyway, if you can cite proof of the death of Capt. David Owens at Clarksville that would be helpful. Thanks! Jonathan Loppnow P.S. I know this is way more than you want to know. I am genetically proven to be descended from Trader John as a male Owens cousin is in the Owens DNA project and matched up. My known ancestor is Willis Callaway Owens (born 1811). His land was surrounded by land that originally belonged to John Owens of Clark County. A son of this John Owens, John Owens Jr, married a Rachel Callaway... and based on that circumstantial evidence, as well as the fact he named his first son John and first daughter Rachel, and another son William Jackson Owens (likely after another son of John Owens of Clark county and therefore an uncle) so far I am pursuing that connection. But, as others have noted, it's a bit frustratng when the Owens clan kept naming their sons John, David, George or Thomas.

    Anyway, your work is just truly amazing and so very appreciated! It all comes to life! I was very surprised to learn that Capt. George was not actually burned to death, but burned for 3 days and then shot by a friend at his request. I saw this depicted once on tv and never ever imagined that such horrible things would ever be connected to my family. No wonder the grandsons had so much hatred, I don't condone the hatred but I certainly understand that better now.

  2. This by the way is an obituary I believe to be of George C. Owens, son of Captain George Owens: George C. Owens, living near
    Kent, Clark County, was almost
    instantly killed last Thursday by a
    log falling on him from a stable on
    which he was af work. The deceased
    was aged 104 years, was
    healthy,active, and robust, and
    but for the accident, would doubtless
    have lived another decade.

    The Weekly Journal, Logansport, Indiana
    Saturday, Oct 14, 1870

    1. I do not believe that this obit is for the son of the Capt. The capt's son Geo Owens was born in 1779 and died before 1830.