The Moravian Freys of Germanton and the Frys of Abbotts Creek

Two different Fry family lines

If you search a site like Ancestry or RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project for the son of Heinrich Frey & Elizabeth Morris named Henry, you will find a combination of results with a birthdate of either 1782 or 1792 and a death place of either Giles County or Smith County, Tennessee. The wives listed will include some combination of Miss Beanblossom, Polly Smith, Margaret Ann Petree, Elendes Briggs & Mary Binom.

So which information is correct?

Truth is, there were two Henry Frys.

One Henry was born around 1782 and then died 85 years later in Smith County, Tennessee. He married Mary “Polly” Smith & Elendes “Ally” Briggs.

The other Henry was born about 1792 and died 60 years later in Giles County, Tennessee. He married Margaret “Peggy” Petree & Mary Bynum.

So the question then becomes… which Henry was the son of Heinrich Frey & Elizabeth Morris?

Well, we know that Heinrich Frey & Elizabeth Morris were from Stokes County, North Carolina.

Heinrich Frey’s father, Valentine, & grandfather, Peter, can be found in the Moravian settlement of Wachovia as early as 1765. At the time, this was Rowan county, but it would become Stokes county in 1789.

Heinrich’s probate records can be found in Stokes County in 1802 & include property in Germanton, just north of the Wachovia settlement. His wife, Elizabeth, is made guardian of the minor children including a son named Henry.

At the same time, in the late 1700s, another Henry Fry can be found 50 miles south living on the banks of Abbotts Creek near the Jersey Settlement.

He is still alive in 1821 & is the guardian, along with his son Henry, for his grandchildren when their other grandfather, Leonard Smith, passes away.

So two Fry families, one in Germanton, one on Abbotts Creek, both with father Henry & son Henry.

The 5 children listed in Leonard Smith’s probate are listed again 50 years later in the probate of Henry Fry of Smith County, Tennessee, connecting the Henry Fry of Smith County to the Henry Fry of Abbotts Creek, not Heinrich Frey of Germanton.

The Henry Fry of Giles County, Tennessee, was the son of Heinrich Frey & Elizabeth Morris of Germanton.

(If you want more information, there is a whole section below outlining both of these families in great detail.)

The yDNA evidence that we have so far completely agrees with what we know about these 2 Fry families. We have 1 descendant of Henry Fry Jr. of Smith County that has tested & he is a match to a descendant of James Fry whose kids ended up in New Market, Tennessee. This James Fry can be found listed on the 1810 & 1820 census next to Henry Sr. & Henry Jr. of Abbotts Creek and another brother Nathan. Nathan & his descendants stayed in the Abbotts Creek area & can be found there on the 1850 census & in various local cemeteries. This again connects Henry Fry Jr. of Smith county to Henry Fry of Abbotts Creek.

I haven’t been directly in touch with the Henry Fry Jr. descendant that tested. He was asked to do it by another cousin, David Miller, who is not a direct male descendant & David managed his kit. You can see the pedigree that he posted on the FTDNA site showing the line from Henry Fry Jr. to the cousin that tested.

The James Fry descendant that tested is Eddie Lee Fry. His Fry line migrated to Texas & Oklahoma & Ed still lives in Oklahoma.

Years ago, David Miller gathered Henry Fry Sr.’s land records & hired a surveyor to visit the site on Abbotts Creek & draw a boundary map. Several years ago, Ed traveled out to North Carolina from Oklahoma & met David at the property. They spent the day there milling around together.

You can see how both of them (or the kit that David manages) descend from Henry Fry Sr. in the chart below.

You can also see that they both match a third kit who is the descendant of Johanis & Johaneva Frey who immigrated on the Ship Brittania in 1731. This is our one big clue & the line that we should now be trying to connect our line to.

Y Haplogroup Tree
1-Y-chromosomal Adam common Y-ancestor .2-BT ..3-CT 70,000 years ago ...4-DE 65,000 years ago, Africa or Asia ....5-E 50,000 - 55,000 years ago, East Africa .....6-E1 45,000 - 50,000 years ago, Africa ......7-E1b 40,000 years ago, Africa .......8-E1b1 30,000 - 38,200 years ago, East Africa ........9-E1b1b 42,600 years ago, Horn of Africa .........10-Germanton Freys ...4-CF 65,000 years ago, Southwest Asia ....5-F 57,500 - 62,500 years ago, South Asia .....6-K approx. 45,000-50,000 BCE, South West Asia ......7-LT 49,600-41,400 years ago, South or West Asia .......8-P 35,000 years ago, Maritime South East Asia ........9-R about 27,000 years ago, Central Asia or Asia .........10-R1 South Asia, Southwest Asia or Central Asia ..........11-R1b 7,000 years ago, Western Asia ...........12-Abbotts Creek Frys

If you look at Family Tree DNA’s Results page, you can see the Fry of Abbotts Creek descendants listed in Haplogroup R1b – Lineage II.

Two descendants of the Germanton Freys have also done yDNA tests, one a descendant of Heinrich’s brother Johannes & the other a descendant of his brother Valentine Jr. You can see their lineages posted on the Family Tree DNA site & also in the chart below.

The Germanton Frey kits can be found right at the top of the Results page in Haplogroup E – Lineage I.

So, the Frys of Abbotts Creek belong to haplogroup R1b and the Germanton Freys belong to haplogroup E. This, in itself, is enough to conclude that the Frys of Abbotts Creek are not related to the Germanton Freys.

As far as Haplogroups go, they are really a broad distinction. It is determined by which branch of the yDNA tree you are on. It starts with the figurative Adam with the original yDNA & every mutation creates a new branch. You can see a diagram of the tree on Wikipedia.

In the Wikipedia diagram, Haplogroup E appears closer to the top & then F branches off from there & then way down at the bottom, far to the right, you can see R. So the Germanton Freys & the Abbotts Creek Frys are not even on the same branch of the tree.

Just based on Haplogroup alone, we can assume that the last paternal ancestor that these 2 Fry families had in common was thousands of years ago.

But we can take it a step further & use the values posted on the FTDNA site to calculate the number of generations expected between the kits.

I took the data right off the chart on Family Tree DNA’s Results page and created my own MRCA chart.

The first table is just the data as it appears on the FTDNA site. The 2nd one just shows the genetic distance. The squares shaded green show a relationship. This is more about how many of the identifying mutations they have in common. Is the DNA identical or are there a few differences, basically.

You can see that the Germanton Frey kits are not related to the Abbotts Creek Fry kits.

The 3rd table indicates an estimate of how many generations there are between the test takers.

Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (Generations)
Kit # – Ancestor2
Haplogroup E – Germanton Freys
235658 – Gregorious Frey 37 10 10 115 123 115
N39998 – Valentine Frey Jr. 10 93 2 124 129 142
N97280 – Johannes Frey 10 2 93 124 129 142
Haplogroup R1b – Abbotts Creek Frys
148059 – James Fry 115 124 124 67 7 7
71999 – Henry Fry Jr. 123 129 129 7 67 12
N60727 – Johanis & Johaneva Fry 115 142 142 7 12 94
0-9 Generations10-19 Generations20-29 Generations30-39 Generations
– Infinite allele mutation model is used

– Average mutation rate varies: 0.0036 to 0.0054, from FTDNA derived rates

– Values on the diagonal indicate number of markers tested

– Probability is 75% that the TMRCA is no longer than indicated

So, you can see that the yDNA confirms that the 2 brothers from Germanton are related & the 2 brothers from Abbotts Creek are related, but the Germanton Freys & the Abbotts Creek Frys are not related to each other. In fact, it says that it has been over 100 generations since the two lines broke off from each other.

Now we know we are dealing with two separate families, both with father Henry & son Henry. One that started in Germanton, North Carolina, & migrated to Giles County, Tennessee, and the other that started on Abbotts Creek in North Carolina & migrated to Smith County, Tennessee.

Click to view entire map.

Descendants of Gregorious Frey, Haplogroup E – Lineage I

1-Gregorious Frey b. 29 Aug 1610, Zurich, Switzerland
 +Verena Oberdorfer b. 1612, Wingen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
...2-Johan Jacob Frey b. 1648, Baregg, Kononau, Zurich, Switzerland
    +Anna Maria Schaub b. 1665, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France
......3-Johann Peter Frey b. 27 Sep 1689, Wingen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, d. 4 May 1766, Friedberg, Rowan, NC
       +Anna Barbara Schmidt b. 5 Apr 1696, Wingen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, d. 9 Jan 1768, Bethany, Davidson, NC
.........4-Johann Valentin Frey Sr b. 9 May 1721, Wingen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, d. 13 Sep 1798, Hope, Stokes, NC
          +Anna Maria Barbara Binckele b. 1 Jun 1722, Alsace, Germany, d. 6 Jan 1791, Salem, Forsyth, NC
............5-Johann Valentin Frey Jr b. 8 Mar 1747, Berks, PA, d. 14 Apr 1814, Stokes, NC
             +Maria Catherine Petri b. 1748, Germanton, Stokes, NC, d. 1805, Stokes, NC
...............6-Johann Valentine Frey III b. 17 Mar 1786, Bethania, Stokes, NC, d. Wythe, VA
                +Frances Guyman 
..................7-Isaac Fry b. 19 Nov 1814, Wythe, VA
.....................8-Isaac Edward Frye b. 4 Jan 1847, Monroe, WV, d. 24 Aug 1930, Somerset, PA
                      +Elizabeth Jane Wilburn 
........................9-William Bernard Frye b. 8 Feb 1882, Roanoke, Botetourt, VA, d. 14 Mar 1941, Stoystown, Somerset, PA
                         +Mary Catharine Speicher b. 16 Apr 1885, MD
...........................10-kit #N39998 John Lewellyn Frye b. 28 Feb 1907, Somerset, PA, d. 14 Apr 1970, Somerset, PA
............5-Heinrich Frey b. 14 Jan 1751, Heidelberg, Berks, PA, d. 1802, NC
             +Elizabeth Morris b. 1751, PA
...............6-Henry H. Fry b. 14 Jan 1792, Germanton, Stokes, NC, d. 2 Apr 1852, Lynnville, Giles, TN
                +Peggy Petree b. 10 Nov 1782, Bethania, Stokes, NC, d. 1844, Giles, TN
..................7-Martin Fry b. Abt 1815, NC
                   +Sarah Compton b. Abt 1818, Spartanburg, SC, d. 1890
.....................8-Henry Harrison Fry b. 4 May 1840, TN, d. 10 Jul 1882, TX
                      +Margaret Peggy Hogan b. 14 Aug 1839, Maury, TN, d. 17 Nov 1914, Fannin, TX
........................9-Rufus Martin Fry b. 15 Feb 1874, TN, d. 17 Jan 1945, Choctaw, OK
                         +Ruie Evelina Fleming b. 1883, AR
...........................10-Charles Albert Fry b. 1906, TX
                            +Anna B. Johnson b. 24 May 1911, OK, d. 2 Apr 1988, OK
..............................11-Larry Wayne Fry b. 14 Jun 1933, OK, d. 24 Mar 1982, OK
                               + Unknown
.................................12-Jeffery Wayne Fry 23andme Haplogroup E1b1b1a1b1a
                +Mary A Bynum b. Abt 1807, North Carolina
............5-Johannes Frey b. 25 Dec 1753, Heidelberg, Berks, PA, d. 21 Sep 1835, Wayne, KY
             +Christine Waller b. 1762, d. bef 1817, Fayette, KY
...............6-Valentine F Frey b. 1783, Rowan, NC, d. Jan 1829, Pulaski, KY
                +Margaret Fulton 
..................7-Peter Lindsey Fry b. 8 May 1820, KY, d. 11 May 1906, Mount Zion, Burnet, TX
                   +Lucy B Tuttle 
.....................8-George A Fry b. 10 Aug 1854, Nauvoo, Hancock, IL, d. 11 Nov 1926, Austin, Travis, TX
                      +Elnora Malone 
........................9-kit #N97280 Jesse Carl Fry b. 3 Apr 1897, TX, d. 20 Feb 1975, TX

Descendants of Johanis Frey, Haplogroup R1b – Lineage II

1-Johanis Frey b. abt 1701
 +Johaneva Unknown b. abt 1698
...2-Nicholas Fry b. 1725, Germany, d. 11 Jun 1784, Lincoln, NC
    +Maria Elizabeth Pabst b. 10 Jan 1726, Froeschen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, d. Apr 1813, Lincoln, NC
......3-John George Fry b. 10 Mar 1760, Bucks, PA, d. 1823, Lincoln, NC
       +Catherine Wilfong b. 1763, d. Dec 1844, NC
.........4-John Fry b. 22 Aug 1784, Lincoln, NC, d. 31 Aug 1856, Lincoln, NC
          +Mary Magdalene Coulter b. 15 Jan 1786, Catawba, NC, d. 25 Aug 1861, Catawba, NC
............5-Martin Fry b. 18 Feb 1814, Catawba, NC, d. 7 May 1886, Hickory, Catawba, NC
             +Elizabeth Emaline Arney b. 11 Nov 1824, Catawba, NC, d. 1894, Hickory, Catawba, NC
...............6-Robert Martin Fry b. 1851, Catawba, NC, d. bef 1900
                +Martha Reinhardt b. 30 Apr 1851, Catawba, NC, d. 9 Jan 1929, Bessemer City, Gaston, NC
..................7-Gordon Vance Fry b. 24 Dec 1879, Catawba, NC, d. 2 Jan 1958, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, NC
                   +Kitty M. Bickham b. 14 Jan 1879, Fairfield, SC, d. 8 May 1945, Forest City, Rutherford, NC
....................8-Leon Frank Frye b. 6 Aug 1903, SC, d. 15 Feb 1980, Mecklenburg, NC
                      +Helen Eugenia Blackburn b. 30 Apr 1914, McDowell, NC
........................9-Frederick Eugene Blanton Sr b. 1935, d. Jan 2013
...........................10-kit #N60727 Frederick Eugene Blanton Jr
...2-Unknown Fry 
......3-Unknown Fry 
.........4-Unknown Fry 
............5-Henry Fry Sr. b. 1756, NC, d. 1821
             +Unknown Unknown b. abt 1760
...............6-James Fry b. abt 1780, NC, d. bef 1840, TN
                +Margaret Northern b. 1775
..................7-Henry H. Fry b. 1 Jan 1805, Rowan, NC, d. 16 Sep 1886, Jefferson City, Jefferson, TN
                   +Elizabeth Sharkey Peck b. 7 Jan 1810, West Feliciana Parish, LA, d. 12 Oct 1859, Jefferson, TN
.....................8-James Patrick Fry b. 23 Aug 1829, New Market, Jefferson, TN, d. 7 Feb 1857, New Market, Jefferson, TN
                      +Mary Eveline Talley b. 24 Oct 1833, Cocke, TN, d. 19 Mar 1871, Ohio, KY
........................9-William Dudley Fry b. 12 Jun 1854, New Market, Jefferson, TN, d. 4 Oct 1921, Frederick, Tillman, OK
                         +Ophelia Caroline Wilson b. 3 Nov 1857, Ohio, KY, d. 20 Dec 1917, Hollister, Tillman, OK
...........................10-Eulas Fry b. 11 Aug 1894, Ennis, Ellis, TX, d. 27 May 1994, Frederick, Tillman, OK
                            +Evelyn Grace Watson b. 11 May 1912, Denton, TX, d. 30 Jun 1987, Lawton, Comanche, OK
..............................11-kit #148059 Eddie Lee Fry
...............6-Henry Fry Jr. b. abt 1782, NC, d. 1 Sep 1862, Brush Creek, Smith, TN
                +Mary Smith b. 1783, Jersey Settlement, Rowan, NC, d. abt 1813, Rowan, NC
..................7-Leonard Fry b. 7 Apr 1806, Rowan, NC, d. 6 Jan 1875, Sangamon, IL
                   +Prudence Lawley b. abt 1809, Smith, TN
.....................8-William David Fry b. abt 1840, IL, d. bef 1876, Springfield, Sangamon, IL
                      +Mahala Jones b. 6 Jul 1840, Sangamon, IL, d. 30 Dec 1907, Edinburg, Christian, IL
........................9-Lenard Henry Fry b. 29 Nov 1860, Sangamon, IL, d. 10 Nov 1933, Springfield, Sangamon, IL
                         +Mary Catherine Schepp b. 13 Sep 1861, IL, d. 14 Oct 1946, Springfield, Sangamon, IL
...........................10-William Earl Fry Sr b. 10 Aug 1894, IL, d. 30 Sep 1950, Springfield, Sangamon, IL
                            +Marie Wing b. 20 Jun 1896, d. 19 Jan 1928, Springfield, Sangamon, IL
..............................11-kit #71999 

The Moravians of Germanton belong to Haplogroup E. They descend from Gregorious Frey & Verena Oberdorfer. Gregorious was born in Zurich in 1610. All of the Valentine Freys belong to this line. There are no Valentine Freys in the Abbotts Creek Fry family.

The Germanton Freys include Heinrich Frey who married Elizabeth Morris and their son Henry H. Fry who was born in 1792 in Stokes County, North Carolina. Henry H. Fry married first Peggy Petree & then Mary Bynum. He migrated from Stokes County to Giles County, Tennessee, in the 1820s.

The Frys of Abbotts Creek belong to Haplogroup R1b. The yDNA connects them to Johanis Frey & his wife Johaneva who immigrated from Germany aboard the Ship Britannia in 1731 with their son Nicholas. It is not known exactly how Henry Fry Sr. connects to the line of Johanis & Johaneva, but the yDNA shows that there are maybe 3 or 4 generations between them.

The Abbotts Creek Frys include Henry Fry Sr. and his son Henry Fry Jr. who was born about 1782 in Rowan County, North Carolina. Henry Jr. married first Mary Smith & then Ally Briggs. He migrated to Smith County, Tennessee, in the 1820s.

I have not come across any indication that Henry Jr.‘s name was Henry Harrison. I haven’t found any evidence of his middle initial at all. He did have a great grandson named Benjamin Harrison Frye, but there is no evidence that he got his middle name from Henry Jr.

There is evidence that ‘H’ is the middle initial of Henry H. Fry of Giles County. He may be the Henry whose middle name was Harrison.

When placed side-by-side, you can see the 2 Fry families living separate & distinct lives in North Carolina & then in Tennessee.

1750 1750

According to the records of the Moravians, Heinrich Frey was born in 1752.

Based on the required age to own property, we know that Henry Fry Sr. had to be born in 1756 or before.

On August 26th, 1762, Heinrich Frey‘s uncles Peter & Christian were issued land grants for acreage on both sides of Sparks Creek.

The 1762 map of Wachovia shows that this land was to the south of the Wachovia Tract, which consisted of nearly 100,000 acres that the Moravian Church purchased in 1753. It encompassed what would eventually become the current city of Winston-Salem.

Town Fork land records show that Heinrich Frey‘s father, Valentine Frey Sr., purchased 700 acres on Town Fork Creek on September 2nd, 1765. This area was north of the Wachovia Tract.

Click to view entire map.

The February version of the 1766 Wachovia map shows tenants in Valentine Frey Sr.’s land on Town Fork Creek, Valentine Frey Sr. living in the Muddy Creek Settlement, and Peter & Christian living in the South Fork Settlement.

On May 6th, 1766, Heinrich Frey‘s grandfather, Peter Frey, was the first person laid to rest in “God’s Acre”. This is the land that had recently been chosen by the South Fork Settlement for their local meeting house & graveyard.

The August 1766, 1767, and 1770 Wachovia maps continue to show Valentine Frey Sr.’s land on Town Fork Creek, Valentine Frey Sr. in the Muddy Creek Settlement, and Peter & Christain living in the South Fork Settlement.

Click to view entire map.

The next Wachovia map, in 1771, shows Valentine Frey’s sons living on his 700 acres in the Town Fork Settlement, north of the Wachovia Tract.

Click to view entire map.

On April 4th, 1773, the congregation of the South Fork Settlement was formally organized with the name Friedberg.

On January 23rd, 1774, the betrothal of the single man, Heinrich Frey, Valentine Frey’s son, to the single woman, Sarah Klein, was announced for the first time.

In February of 1774, Valentine Frey Sr. deeded three 175 acre parcels of his land on Town Fork Creek to his sons Valentine Frey Jr., Michael Frey & Heinrich Frey.

Henry H. Fry‘s uncle, Valentine Frey Jr., married Peggy Petree‘s aunt, Maria Catherina Petree, in what was then Surry County before it became Stokes County.

Sometime between 1775 & 1783, Heinrich Frey and several of his brothers & cousins were listed as members of the Friedberg Moravian Church.

Henry H. Fry‘s aunt, Rosina Fry, married Peggy Petree‘s uncle, Adam Petree.

On January 14th, 1778, Heinrich Frey married Elizabeth Morris, his second wife.

On December 4th, 1778, Heinrich Frey entered a land Grant for 78¾ acres on a branch of Town Fork Creek. Listed as Chain Carriers or Witnesses were Valentine Frey Jr. & Jacob Petree. Both were also residents of the Settlement.

On May 5th, 1778, David Smith entered a land grant for 640 acres on both sides of Abbotts Creek. The line ran down the meander of Abbotts Creek to the mouth of Jacob Creek & then along Henry Fry Sr.‘s line. It then crossed to the east side of Abbotts Creek & again down the meander to John Conger’s corner.

On August 6th, 1778, Henry Fry Sr. made an entry in the state land record for 200 acres of land in Rowan County on the west side of Abbotts Creek, beginning at the Colonals Ford on said creek and running up the creek for compliment.

Witnesses included Joseph Warford.

This area is just northeast of the current town of Southmont, which is now technically in Davidson County. It is about 50 miles south of where the Germanton Freys owned land on Town Fork Creek.

Click to view entire map.

On August 7th, 1778, James Howell entered a grant for 202 acres on the west side of Abbots Creek adjacent to Leonard Smith, Henry Fry, Joseph Waford & David Smith.

It included Samuel Northern’s improvement. James Howell and Henry Fry “held the pole for one another”. Henry Fry is also listed as a witness to the James Howell survey.

On August 1st, 1780, Valentine Frey Sr. sold 175 acres on the north side of Town Fork Creek to Jacob Petree Sr.

Henry Fry Jr. was born about 1782.

On the 10th of October 1783, Henry Fry Sr. registered his State Grant #636 for 177 acres of land on the west side of Abbotts Creek at the Colonels Ford on David Smith‘s line at James Howells corner & Conrad Cornelison’s corner. (Land Patent Book)

Probate records of Rowan County show Henry Fry Sr. as a witness to the Will of his neighbor, Ralph Owen, in 1785, along with John Stoner & John Conger.

Elizabeth Morris‘ brother, Hammond Morris Jr., married Peggy Petree‘s aunt, Margaretha Rebecca Petree. Exact date unknown.

Heinrich Frey is found in Surry County on the State census of North Carolina that was taken between 1784 & 1787. Surry County was enumerated in 1786 & Heinrich Frey is listed near Hammond Morris. Valentine Frey Jr. is listed on the next page next to Jacob Petree & John Petree. Further down the page is Michael Frey next to John Tuttle. Rowan County was not enumerated on the State census of North Carolina 1784-1787.

On July 12th, 1790, Heinrich Frey & Elizabeth Morris, his wife, deeded 14¾ acres of land on which Henry Fry now lives lying on both sides of Buffalo Creek, part of land conveyed to county by Michael Fry on Town Fork, dividing line between Henry Fry and Michael Fry.

The deed was witnessed and signed by Michael Fry, Wm. Cook, Henry Fry, Hammond Morris and Elizabeth (X) Fry.

This land, and land also deeded by his brother Michael on the same day, was given to the County in order to create the town of Germanton.

Heinrich Frey is then found listed in Stokes County on the 1790 census.

Henry Fry Sr. was listed on the 1790 census in the Salisbury District of Rowan County.

On June 9th, 1791, Heinrich Frey entered a grant for 20 acres on the waters of Buffalo Creek, which meets Town Fork Creek in Germanton, adjoining his old line.


The next year, in 1792, Henry H. Fry was born.

On July 7th, 1794, Henry Fry Jr.‘s future father-in-law, Leonard Smith, was granted 198 acres on Abbotts Creek. This property shared lines with John Conger & David Smith, suggesting that it was on the west side of Abbotts Creek next door to his father who was next door to Henry Fry Sr.

He was also granted 200 acres on Abbotts Creek & Flat Swamp. This means that it was on the other side of Abbotts Creek from Henry Fry Sr.

Henry Fry Sr. & and John Conger are again mentioned together when their neighbor, Henry Owen, names them as executors to his Will written in Rowan County on September 18th, 1794.

A February 4th, 1796, deed shows Leonard Smith, purchasing land on Abbotts Creek from Jonathan Conger. This land was just on the other side of Abbotts Creek from the Frys.

On the 25th of August 1797, Valentine Frey Sr. wrote his Will in Rowan County, North Carolina.

At that point, he was living with a daughter in Hope, which was near the border between Rowan County & Stokes County.

He includes my five Sons named Michael, Valentine, Henry (Heinrich), John & Peter and also says that I have hertofore in my lifetime sold all my lands & Tenements and have given Sufficient land or other property to them.

He also lists five daughters including Rosina wife of Adam Petree dec’d.

Valentine Frey Sr. died on September 13th, 1798, and was buried in the Hope Moravian Church graveyard.

His Will was proven at the December 1798 session of the Stokes County court.

1800 1800

Heinrich Frey can be found on the 1800 census in the Salisbury District of Stokes County, North Carolina, listed near Michael Fry, Valentine Fry & John Fry.

Henry Fry Sr. can be found on the 1800 census in the Salisbury District of Rowan County. Listed near him are William Elston & George Feezor. The area near Henry Fry’s land is now called Feezor after George Feezor & his descendants. There is also a road running through it called Feezor Road.

On October 30th, 1801, John & Judith Conger sold 192¾ acres on Abbotts Creek to Leonard Smith, adjacent to Jonathan Conger Sr. & Benjamin Owen. Judith Conger is thought to be the widow of Ralph Owen whose Will Henry Fry Sr. witnessed in 1785.

Probate records in Stokes County show that Heinrich Frey died in 1802. Elizabeth Morris Frey is made guardian of 3 minor boys, Michael, Henry H. & Lewis.

Michael Frey was made guardian for several other minor children.

James Fry married Margaret Northern on March 2nd, 1802, in Rowan County.

Land records show Henry Fry Jr. purchasing 256½ acres on Abbotts Creek from their neighbor, William Elston, on September 20th, 1803.

This was part of the 500-acre tract originally granted to Conrad Corneliason, who was a neighbor of Henry Fry Sr. when he registered his land grant.

This was not long before Henry Fry Jr.‘s first marriage & shows that he was already 21 years old by this point. This puts his birth in 1782 or before, which agrees with the birth year of 1782 found on the 1860 census.

On June 13th, 1804, Henry Fry Jr. married Leonard Smith‘s daughter Mary in Rowan County. Bondsman was David Smith.

Giles County history states that John Fry, father of Captain Wm. Fry moved from NC in the Fall of 1805, crossed the Caney Fork at Stone’s River and came by Nashville to Williamson County and stopped on the Harpeth and remained two years and then moved to this County. He came the Davis ford road to Fountain Creek, kept up Fountain Creek by John Richardson’s big spring, and crossed Elk Ridge at a gap west of the turnpike gap; went down a branch of the middle prong, and crossed over to the Western prong of Lynn Creek where he settled the eighth of March 1808.

On August 1st, 1805, Henry Fry Sr. bought 137 acres from his neighbor James Howell, adjacent to Leonard Smith, John Abraham Stoner, and Benjamin Owen. Henry Fry Jr. was a witness.

The Will of John Conger was written on the 19th of November 1805, in Smith County, Tennessee, and was proven there March of 1806.

His first wife is buried in one of several Conger Family burial grounds near Abbotts Creek along with her in-laws. This shows that Henry Fry Sr.‘s Abbotts Creek neighbors were migrating to Smith County as early as 1805.

One of their sons was a charter member of the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church about that time. This is the church that Henry Fry Jr. would eventually belong to.

A biography of John W. Fry states that he was a son of William and Mary Jane (McCreary) Fry. The father was born in Germantown, Stokes county, North Carolina, on the 20th of December, 1800, and moved with his father to Giles county in 1808, locating near Lynnville.

From these two histories, we know that John Fry ‘the Pioneer’ of Giles County, and his young son William, came from Germanton, North Carolina, and settled on Lynn Creek in 1808.

Elizabeth Fry is still listed as guardian of Henry H. Fry & his 2 brothers on June 12th, 1810, indicating that they were still minor children.

They can be found on the 1810 census in the Germanton District of Stokes County, North Carolina.

Hammond Morris Sr., the father of Elizabeth Morris Fry, died in November 1810. He was buried in a cemetery in Germanton near Town Fork Creek, as were several of his children. The remains were moved in 1937 & reinterred in Loves Methodist Church Cemetery.

The 1810 Rowan County Census shows Henry Fry Sr. age over 45 next to Henry Fry Jr. & James Fry both age 26-44 & Nathan Fry age 16-25.

The marriage between Henry H. Fry & Peggy Petree was recorded in Stokes County, North Carolina, on December 31st, 1811. He was about 20 years old.

Elizabeth Fry made her report to the Guardianship Committee at the March term of 1812. The report included Henry H. Fry & his 2 brothers. This indicates that Henry H. Fry was still under the age of 21 in 1812, putting his birth year sometime after 1791. This agrees with the year 1792 as reported on the 1850 census.

Based on the fact that Leonard Smith‘s probate lists 5 children of Mary Smith Fry, we can assume that the youngest, Mary, born on February 11th, 1812, was Mary’s last child before she passed. This means that Henry Jr. would’ve married Ally Briggs sometime before the birth of the next child, Rebecca, on March 15th, 1815. This would put the marriage of Henry Fry Jr. & Ally Briggs sometime between 1812 & 1814.

Henry H. Fry is listed in the estate of Henry Petree in the March 1817 session of the Stokes County court.

On May 9th, 1818, Henry Fry Sr. sold to Jacob Stoner 25 acres on Abbotts Creek adjacent to John A. Stoner. It was part of the State grant to James Howell. Witnesses include Armstead Owen.

Leonard Smith wrote his Will in Rowan County on June 1st, 1818, and included the children of Mary Fry, deceased, so we know that Mary had passed by that time.

Henry H. Fry can be found on the 1820 census in Stokes County, North Carolina.

Papers from Leonard Smith‘s probate dated May 17th, 1820, list Mary Fry’s children as Nancy, Leonard, Jacob, David & Mary. They also list both Henry Fry Sr. & Henry Fry Jr. as guardians.

The 1820 Rowan County Census shows Henry Fry Jr. age 26-45 living in Battalions 2 and 4 or Lexington Side. Listed on both sides of him are members of his first wife’s Smith family.

There is a female aged 26 thru 44 in his household. This could be Ally. She would’ve been about 25 at the time.

A few pages over, James Fry & Nathan Fry can also be found listed next to each other in the same section of Rowan County.

Listed next to Henry Fry Jr. on the 1820 census is Jacob Stoner, son of John Stoner mentioned earlier. Today in Southmont, there stands a Stoner’s Grove Baptist Church just a few miles from Henry Fry’s land. Buried there is an Amanda Wofford. She is the granddaughter of the Nathan Fry listed next to Henry Fry Jr. & Sr. on the 1810 Rowan County census.

One of Nathan’s sons & a grandson are also buried near here in the Wofford family cemetery.

Abbotts Creek area land records also include many families that eventually migrated west with these Frys to Smith County, Tennessee, and Sangamon County, Illinois, including the Congers, Moores, Woodsons, Paynes, Elstons, Briggs & Summys.

Henry Fry Jr. makes a payment to his children from Leonard Smith‘s estate on February 19th, 1821.

On May 22, 1821, George Feezor filed a petition in Rowan County Court suggesting that his lands are injured and drowned by reason of the erection of the mill dam of Henry Fry and Joseph Warford.

On August 22nd, 1821, papers are filed in Leonard Smith‘s probate replacing Henry Fry Sr. as Guardian, suggesting that he has passed away or become unable, for some reason, to fulfill his duties.

The new Guardianship papers name Richard Briggs, Philip Briggs & Nathan Riley, husband of Sarah Briggs. These three are children of James Briggs & Ann Collins. Land records show James Briggs living in the area of Four Mile Branch & Flat Swamp, which is just east of the area of Abbotts Creek where Henry Fry Jr. & Leonard Smith lived.

Richard Briggs & Philip Briggs were brothers-in-law of Henry Fry Jr., married to his sisters, Prudence & Mary Fry, respectively.

On August 25th of 1821, Henry Fry Jr. & Ally sold to William Warford 250 acres of the original 500 acres granted to Conrad Cornelison on October 10, 1783. The original land grant shared a property line with Henry Fry Sr.‘s original land grant. This 250-acre parcel was first sold by Conrad to William Elston. Witnesses include Jacob Feezor.

On September 16th, 1822, James Fry of Rowan County sold 112 acres of land in Rowan County to Jacob Stoner. The property begins on David Smith’s line which included James Howell’s corner, and includes a corner of Jacob Stoner, a corner of John Stoner, Benjamin Owens’ line, and David Smith’s line that was formerly Leonard Smith’s line. Abraham Owen was a witness.

This is the land that Henry Fry Sr. purchased from James Howell, suggesting again that Henry Sr. has passed by this point.

An Indenture between Solomon Petree and his mother Margaret Petree created on the 20th of April 1823, in Stokes County, lists Henry H. Fry as the husband of Solomon’s sister Margaret Petree. The other siblings listed include Catherine who married Thomas Tuttle and Polly who married Michael Tuttle. These Tuttles are sons of Henry H. Fry‘s 1st cousin Anna Barbara Frey.

An article in the Carthage Courier states that Henry Fry Jr. remarried in 1824 a fair-skinned, Scotch-Irish lass several years his junior, Miss Allie Briggs.

From what we know, though, it seems that Henry & Ally were married before 1824. Leonard Smith‘s probate only included Henry Fry Jr.‘s first five children suggesting that the children born after 1812 belong to Ally. Also, by 1821, you can find Ally Fry named on land transactions & her cousins named as Guradians for Mary Smith Fry’s children.

All that is offered by The Frys of Smith County book about Ally is that her sons were James, John Wilson, and Benjamin, all of whom were born after the family moved to Tennessee.

Ally’s first son John Wilson was born in March of 1826, so this doesn’t really narrow the marriage date for us.

According to the Carthage Courier article, Henry Fry Jr. came to Smith County, Tennessee, in a wagon train. In mid-summer of 1825, Henry pulled his wagon on Dry Fork Creek and secured land where the log structure of the original house still stands.

Henry Fry Jr. lived at this place for three or four years and then purchased what is now the Bob Oakley Farm.

On November 2nd, 1827, Henry Fry Jr. of the County of Davidson the State of North Carolina sold to James Bailey a tract of land situated in the County of Davidson on the west side of Abbots Creek joining the land of Philip Briggs which was Formerly Henry Fry’s Dec’d and Samuel Wafford… containing 249 acres… the said land being a tract that William Elston conveyed to Henry Fry. (original copy)

The William Fry who was born in Stokes County in 1800, son of Henry H. Fry‘s brother John ‘the Pioneer’, can be found in Giles County land records near Lynn Creek as early as 1828.

The Carthage Courier article goes on to say that after relocating on the Bob Oakley farm, Henry Fry Jr. decided to build a school building for the community. This was a log structure which became Sulfur Springs School. The first school began around 1828, and was, no doubt, one of the first in Smith County.

Henry H. Fry can be found in this same area of Giles County, Tennessee, on the 1830 census. The age of the wife on this census is too young to be Margaret Petree, so it is assumed that he had already married Mary Bynum by this point. The first source I found for Mary Bynum is on the death certificate of their daughter Loretta who was born in 1838, so the marriage was definitely before that date.

In March of 1830, Henry Fry Jr. & his wife Ally were dismissed by letter from the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church of Smith County.

They then traveled to Wayne County, Illinois, and are found there on the 1830 census.

Henry‘s brother James is found on the 1830 census in Tipton County, Tennessee.

In April of 1831, Henry Fry Jr. & several members of his family are listed as charter members of the Horse Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Sangamon County, Illinois.

In April of 1832, Henry Fry Jr. & his wife were received back at the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Smith County, Tennessee.

After the death of Heinrich Frey, Elizabeth Morris Fry married Parks Bailey of Giles County, Tennessee. She registered a Power of Attorney there in 1834.

Henry H. Fry is listed on the Giles County, Tennessee 1836 Tax List in District 15, which included Lynn Creek.

Henry H. Fry can be found again in Giles County near the same neighbors on the 1840 census.

Henry Fry Jr. can be found on the 1840 census in Smith County, Tennessee, listed near the parents of several of his children’s spouses.

We know that Henry Fry Jr. was living on his land that is now the Bob Oakley Farm because his neighbor, William A. Lancaster, can be found buried in the cemetery there, along with John Woodson & his wife Malinda Bradley, who were the children of other neighbors Obadiah Woodson & Benjamin Bradley.

Two of the sons listed in the Guardianship papers can be found several pages over listed next to their brother-in-law, Moses Springfield.

Land records show Jesse Fry (another son of John Fry ‘the Pioneer’) purchasing land on Lynn Creek in 1842.

In July of 1847, Henry Fry Jr. relinquished his position as clerk of the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church suggesting that the family may be intending to travel again.

1850 1850

Henry H. Fry is found on the 1850 census in Giles County, Tennessee, living next door to Jesse Fry. One page over is John Fry ‘the Pioneer’. Henry is listed with his wife & 6 children; William, Nimrod, Peter, Loretta, Lewis & Ellen.

In 1850, Henry Fry Jr. would’ve had 4 of his children still in his household; Benjamin, Jane, Alice & Selena. This family has not been found anywhere on the 1850 census, which is another clue that they left the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church in order to travel.

Many of Henry Fry Jr.‘s older children can still be found in the South Division of Smith County on the 1850 census.

The April 9th, 1852, edition of the Pulaski Gazette of Giles County, Tennessee, reported Henry H. Fry‘s death as April 2nd, 1852, due to pneumonia.

Henry‘s widow can still be found in Giles County on the 1860 census living with their son Lewis & his wife Nancy.

Henry Fry Jr. & Ally can be found back in Brush Creek, Smith County, Tennessee, on the 1860 census listed next door to David & Elizabeth’s families. They have one daughter & a grandson living in the household with them.

The transcription of the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church records that appears on the Smith County RootsWeb site states that Henry Fry Jr. died on September 1st of 1862.

Recollections of descendants mentioned in the book The Fry’s of Smith County say that Henry Fry Jr. was still alive in the fall of 1864 & the Carthage Courier article states that he died in 1867. This makes me think that the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church records actually say that he died in September of 1867, but it looked like 1862 to the transcriber.

Henry Fry Jr.‘s estate was probated in Smith County after Ally’s death, beginning in 1871. Among the many children mentioned are the same 5 that were originally listed in Leonard Smith‘s probate in Rowan County years earlier.

List of heirs from Smith County Probate records:

  Belinda Fry - daughter 
  James B. Cooksey -  son-in-law  
  Salena E. Fry - daughter 
  Harris B. Ballinger -  son-in-law 
  Benjamin Smith Frye - son 
  Elizabeth Fry - daughter 
  John R. Deadman - son-in-law 
  Ann Fry - daughter 
  John L. Harris - son-in-law 
  John Wilson Fry - son 
  James E. Fry - son 
  Leonard Fry - son 
  David Fry - son 
  Nancy Fry - daughter 
  Dabney Lancaster - son-in-law 
  James B. Kyle -  grandchild 
  Sarah Jane Fry - daughter 
  Rebecca Fry - daughter 
  Benjamin Payne - son-in-law 
  Jacob Fry - son 
  Mary Fry - grandchild 
  Moses Odum -  granddaughter's husband 
  Elizabeth Fry -  grandchild 
  Charles Miller -  granddaughter's husband 
  Martha Fry - grandchild 
  Absolom Shanks -  granddaughter's husband 
  Mary Fry - daughter 
  James T. Davidson -  grandchild 
  Henry Davidson -  grandchild 
  Aley Davidson -  grandchild 
  Stephen W. Williams -  granddaughter's husband 
  Martha B. Patsy  Davidson - grandchild 
  Samuel Fortney -  granddaughter's husband 
  John Davidson -  grandchild 
  Francis Davidson -  grandchild 
  Nancy Davidson -  grandchild 
  Mary Davidson -  grandchild 
  Henry F. Fry -  grandchild
Currently Currently

John Fry ‘the Pioneer’ & his son Jesse are buried in the Fry Cemetery which is off of Fry Branch Road in Lynnville, Giles County, Tennessee. Henry H. Fry‘s mother, Elizabeth Morris Fry Bailey, is said to be buried in this cemetery. Also buried there are Henry H. Fry‘s son Lewis Fry & his wife Nancy, who were living with Henry‘s widow on the 1860 census, and their daughter Mary Elizabeth Fry. Many of Henry H. Fry‘s descendants can be found in cemeteries in & around Lynnville.

John Fry House This is the house of John Fry ‘the Pioneer’. This photo was taken recently by Liz Fry Moore, a descendant of Henry H. Fry, who traveled from Oklahoma to Tennessee to do family research. The address is 1301 Fry Branch Rd, Lynnville, TN. It is right across the street from the Fry Cemetery in which he is buried.

The Germanton Freys can be found buried in Germanton & several Moravian Cemeteries around the area that was the original Wachovia Tract.

A descendant of Henry Fry Jr. remembers being shown the graves of Henry Fry Jr. & Ally Briggs in Brush Creek on what is now Bob Oakley’s farm. This is the same land that Henry purchased just a few years after arriving in Smith County.

The Fry’s of Smith County book also says that he was ‘buried on the hillside above the house’. This goes along with the story that he was buried on his land before it belonged to Bob Oakley.

This cemetery is now called the Woodson Cemetery. It’s on Bob Oakley’s farm at 334 Dry Fork Rd, Brush Creek, TN, which is right on Dry Fork Creek.

Most of the names of the people buried here are lost to history. The few stones that are legible belong to John J. Woodson, his wife & son. This John Woodson is the nephew of David Fry’s wife Edith Woodson. We also know that Wiliam Allen & Judith Lancaster are buried here. They are the parents of Nancy Fry’s husband Dabney Lancaster.

Many of Henry’s children & grandchildren are buried in nearby cemeteries in Brush Creek.

This is the view looking across Abbotts Creek at what was once Henry Fry Sr.‘s land. This photo was taken in 2014 by Ed Fry on the day that he & David Miller went to visit the property.

The Moravian Henry Frys of Germanton

.5-Heinrich Frey b. 1752, PA, d. 1802, NC
  +Elizabeth Morris b. 1751, PA
..6-Henry H. Fry b. 1792, Germanton, Stokes, NC, d. 2 Apr 1852, Lynnville, Giles, TN
   +Peggy Petree b. 10 Nov 1782, Bethania, Stokes, NC, d. 1844, Giles, TN
...7-Fry b. Abt 1813
...7-Martin Fry b. Abt 1815, NC
...7-Mary Adeline Fry b. 7 Mar 1822, NC
...7-Fry b. Abt 1823
...7-Fry b. Abt 1827
   +Mary A. Bynum b. Abt 1807, NC
...7-William T Fry b. Abt 1829, TN
...7-Nimrod Porter Fry b. 14 Jul 1832, Giles, TN, d. 6 Apr 1889, Lynnville, Giles, TN
...7-Fry b. Abt 1833
...7-Peter B Fry b. Abt 1834, NC
...7-Fry b. Abt 1837
...7-Loretta Fry b. 15 Jan 1839, TN, d. 7 Aug 1921, Seymour, Baylor, TX
...7-Lewis Fry b. 24 Dec 1840, TN, d. 21 Oct 1896, (Fry Cemetery, Lynnville, Giles, TN)
...7-Ellen Josephine Fry b. 1842, Lynnville, Giles, TN, d. 19 May 1922, Lynnville, Giles, TN

The Henry Frys of Abbotts Creek

.5-Henry Fry Sr. b. abt 1756, d. 1821, NC
  +Unknown b. abt 1760
..6-Henry Fry Jr. b. abt 1782, NC, d. 1 Sep 1867, Brush Creek, Smith, TN
   +Mary Smith b. 1783, Jersey Settlement, Rowan, NC, d. abt 1813, Rowan, NC
...7-Nancy Fry b. 1 May 1805, NC, d. 9 Jul 1894,Ovilla, Ellis, TX
...7-Leonard Fry b. 7 Apr 1806, Rowan, NC, d. 6 Jan1875, Sangamon, IL
...7-Jacob Fry b. 1807, NC, d. Bef 1870, Williamson, IL
...7-Daughter Fry b. Abt 1810
...7-David Fry b. 29 Jul 1810, NC, d. 15 Aug 1895, TN
...7-Mary Fry b. 11 Feb 1812, NC, d. 3 Jul 1851, Effingham, IL
   +Ally Briggs b. Abt 1795, NC, d. Dec 1868, Brush Creek, Smith, TN
...7-Rebecca Fry b. 15 Mar 1815, NC, d. 20 Jan 1889, Cotton Hill, Sangamon, IL
...7-Elizabeth Fry b. May 1816, NC, d. Bet 1900 and 1910
...7-Belinda Fry b. Feb 1821, NC, d. Aft 1900
...7-Ann Fry b. 1826, TN, d. Bef Feb 1873
...7-John Wilson Fry b. 15 Mar 1826, TN, d. 6 May 1909,Smith, TN
...7-James E Fry b. 9 Mar 1828, Smith, TN, d. 24 May1907, Pawnee, Sangamon, IL
...7-Benjamin Smith Frye b. 7 Mar 1833, Brush Creek, Smith, TN, d. 11 Oct 1912, Brush Creek, Smith, TN
...7-Sarah Jane Fry b. Abt 1835, NC, d. Jun 1872, Smith, TN
...7-Salena E Fry b. 12 May 1837, TN, d. 8 Sep 1899,(Ballinger Cemetery, Brush Creek, Smith, TN)

Cite this article as: redheadkelly, "The Moravian Freys of Germanton and the Frys of Abbotts Creek," in Out of the Family Tree & Into the Fry-ing Pan, August 24, 2017,