From an email to Lars Adams:
... I too have a mysterious 'Cherokee Princess' ancestor from North Carolina, named Fereby Benton, born about 1750 and died in May of 1850 in Madison County, Arkansas. Her husband was William Vaughan. They left a huge number of descendants and many have spent countless hours researching her ancestry to no avail. We don't even know for sure who her parents were. Family stories state she was either 1/2 or 100% Cherokee and the granddaughter of a Chief named John Looney (which is easily proven wrong, if they mean the famous Cherokee chief by the same name as she was born before he was!). Supposedly, Fereby's mother was named Fereby Looney, who died in childbirth with her. Her grieving father named his daughter after her mother.
Now the Vaughan great grandchildren (and one grandson) tried to get Cherokee citizenship in the 1890s with no luck. I have the entire case file, and they couldn't prove who her parents were.
Research by the Vaughan Pioneers Research Group (over 200 members) has proven that Fereby's Mitochondrial DNA was not Indian but the most common type of Northern European, "Haplotype H". So this means her mother was not 100% Indian and very possibly could have been totally white.
While researching the Bentons in North Carolina, I learned that a man we suspect was Fereby's grandfather or great grandfather, Epaphroditus Benton, owned land next to the Chowanoke Reservation in NC. I've found several deeds and records where members of the tribe are witnesses, (they don't state that they are Indians here, but I know from other sources they were). I strongly suspect that Epa. Benton's wife (probably his second wife) could have been a Chowanoke Indian living in the neighboring reservation. I suspect she probably didn't look Indian at all and may have only been 25% Indian or even less, but that she was a descedent of the tribe. Of course I have no proof of this, so I could be wrong, but I am always monitoring Chowanoke information.
Also, I actually have another line that very likely intermarried with the Chowanoke, though they were not (back then) related to the Bentons at all. One of my ancestral lines are the Lassiters, and they also owned land around Bennett's Creek and Catherine Creek, which was Chowanoke land. Robert Lassiter's wife was said to have been "A Cherokee Indian of the Nottoway Tribe" and I'm pretty sure she was not a Nottoway (which was a totally different tribe than the Cherokee) but was a Chowanoke. Of course I don't have her last name, but her first name was Prudence. I have quite a few deeds and documents which mention his land being next to the Chowanoke tribe, and I've included my "Notes" section from my Family Tree Maker file entry for Robert Lassiter, to provide you some documentation of the Chowanokes.
Here they are:
Received grant in 1672 in Nansemond Co, VA. It is speculated that Robert's
wife was a Cherokee Indian of the Notoway tribe.
LASSITER, Robert......Nansemond County......08 OCT 1672......400 acres
beg.g & c. standing in a great arrow mrked pocoson. Adjoining land of
John ELLIS. Patents 06, page 416.
From Jordan's Banks, a Lasater Family History, by Barbara Jo Preas, 610 7th Ave. N, Lewisburg, TN 37091. Finished July 2002, printed by Marco Printin
Robert received a land grant in Nansemond Co., VA., Oct. 8, 1672 of 400 acres adjoining land of John Ellis. Patent 6 page 416. He received a second grant Oct. 20, 1689, patent #8 page 337 ---- Robert Lassiter, 440 acres, Up. Par. of Nansemond., pg. 12. Beg. at the White Marsh, near Joseph Booth's Orchard; crossing Mattapocoon Paristan; to land sad. Lassiter purchased of Daniel Hind; to Robert & F. R. Roundtree; to the main sw & c 400 acs. granted him, 8 Oct. 1672; 40 acs. for imp. of Jno. Presley
Robert Lassiter ca 1648 - ca 1737 | his parents
& unknown wife | her parents
of Nansemond Co VA and Chowan Co NC
This is my working hypothesis - the way I see it as of this moment!!
research by Skip Lassiter & the family Bible of Thomas L Lassiter
the Oral traditions compiled by Ed Lassiter
1 May 1668 Robert Lassiter had patented 610 ac land which later fell in North Carolina.
8 Oct 1672 Robert Lassiter patented 400 ac land.
20 Oct 1689 Robert Lassiter patented 440 ac land
1714 Robert Lassiter patented land that later lapsed to Thomas Luten
in 1727 Robert Lassiter witnessed a will and that was proved it in 1734 April Ct Chowan Co.
1 Feb 1736/7 Robert Lassiter wrote his will .
Children of Robert Lassiter:
1. Mary Lassiter
married William Trevathan died before 1744
a. Robert Trevathan bef 1723 -
2. John Lassiter ca 1699 - aft 15 July 1759 Chowan Co
married 1st unknown
a. Abraham Lassiter
married 2nd Rebecca Rountree
a. Obediah Lassiter
b. Lemuel Lassiter
c. Estelle [Esbell] Lassiter
d. Ruth Lassiter - 1801 Greene Co GA
e. Tobias Lassiter
f. Jonas Lassiter ? 1740 - 1814 Wake Co NC
married Winnifred ?
g. Reuben Lassiter
h. Sampson Lassiter
i. Percilla Lassiter
j. Amos Lassiter
3. George Lassiter ca 1675 - 15 Feb 1764
married Anne unknown
4. Thomas Lassiter 2 June 1670 - bef 20 May 1746 Edgecombe Co NC
b. William L ca 1725 -
d. James ca 1698 -
5. ?Josiah Lassiter d. bef 1790
moved 1st to NH Co NC then on to Randolph Co NC
married Elizabeth Hill
a. Micajah Lassiter 1764 - 1854 Randolph Co
married 1st Celia Spivey 10 children
married 2nd Mary Tadlock d. 1852 11 children
6. ?William Lassiter
e-mail from Skip Lassiter
This compiler has not seen a single document attesting to the fact that Robert Lassiter had four sons William, John, Thomas and George Lassiter, Sr. However there is one document cited below that affirms that Robert did have one daughter Mary.
The following was contributed by Marilyn Owen, Tehama, CA (firstname.lastname@example.org) October 02, 2003
LDS Film # 0018489 - Chowan Co., NC Deed Book A-1 pp. 290-293
Indenture: Mary & Robert TREVATHAN to Thos. HOULT
This Indenture made in the Seventeenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France & Ireland King Defender of the faith 1743/4 between Mary Trevathan of the County of Nansemond and Robert Trevathan her son the said Mary Trevathan of
one part and Thos. Hoult of the County of Chowan North Carolina of the other Part
Witnesseth that the said Mary Trevathan and Robert Trevathan the son of the Mary Trevathan all joyntly and Severally for the Valluable sum of five pound fourteen shilling current money of Virginia on their behalf Paid to Simon Daniel of the County of Chowan ( ? ) Wherefore they the said Mary Trevanthan and Robert Trevathan her son doth by these Presents acknowledge and for them Selves their and each of their heirs, Administrators and assigns doth confess themselves and Each of them to be fully contented and Paid before the ensealing and delivery hereof and doth likewise acquit ( ? ) and Discharge Him the said Thomas Hoult his heirs and assigns for ever Have Given Granted Bargained and Sold and by these
Presents do fully and clearly and absolutely give grant Bargain aline sell ( ? ) make over and Confirm unto the said Thomas Hoult his heirs or Assigns for ever one Hundred and fifty acres of Land Situate lying and being on the South side of a Creek commonly known by the name of Bennets Creek in Chowan County afd. Begining at the Mouth of a Small Branch that issueth out of the South side of the sd,. Bennets Creek which Branch Divides the land from a tract or parcel of land formerly Given to James Lasater now of the Upper Parish of Nansemond county Virginia and from thence up the Said Branch its Several courses and bounded thereon to a white oak and from thence by a line mark trees South or thereabouts to a Black Oak Standing in the line of the land formerly laid out for the Chowan Indians and being the aforesaid Lasetor Corner tree and from thence East or theirabouts a long the afd
Indians line and bounded thereon to white oake a Corner tree of a Tract of Land now in the tenour or Occupation of John Lasiter of Chowan County aforesaid from thence North or there about along the Said John Lasiter line and bounded thereon to Sweet Gum Standing by or near the head of a small branch that Issueth out of the South Side of the aforesaid Bennets Creek and from thence down the branch its several couses and bounded thereon to a white gum standing in the side of the aforesd. Bennet Creek and from thence down the Said Bennet Creek its Several Courses and bounded thereon to the first Station be it one hundred and fifty acres more or less the Said land being Part of a Patent formerly granted to Robert Lasiter late of the Upper Parish of Nansemond County deceased for a Quantity of 610 acres by a Patent bearing date the first Day of May which was in the year of our Lord Christ 1668 doth and may appear and by the last will and Testament of the said Robert Lasiter Given and Bequeathed unto the afd. William Trevathan Deceased and to Mary his wife and his heirs of her one body Lawfully
begotten forever as by the said Robert Laseter last will and Testament bearing Date Feb: the first Day which was in the year of our Lord Christ 1736 Doth and May appear and the Inheritance being so small a Value and not Sufficient for a lawfull Intaill to Stand as the law in Such Cases Devoides therefore the Said Mary Trevathan and Robert Travathan Eldest Son of William Trevathan Deceased the Said Mary Trevathan and Robert Trevathan her Eldest Son Desire the afd. Intail My Stand Void and of none Effect.
To Have and to hold unto the said Thomas Hoult his heirs and assigns forever with all the rights Members and appurtenances thereof with all houses orchard Clear Ground Woodland Ground with all woods waters Trees and Timber trees meadow and Meddow grounds water and water Courses low grounds marshes Swamp Springs and fountains and all other Liberties and Privledges therein and thereon Contained and the Said Mary Trevathan and Robert Trevathan her Eldest Son for themselves their heir/heirs Exs.Administrators and Assignes that they have a Good right Title and Estate in
the Premises in fee Simple and hath full Power absolute authority to bargain and Sell the afd. Lands and Premises with all and Singular the appurtenances unto Thomas Hoult his heirs and Assigns forever and that the Said land & Premises is within and Singular the appurtenances now are and so shall and my forever hereafter Remain Continue and be unto the Said Thomas Hoult his heirs and assigns free and freely Clear and Clearly acquited Exonerated and Discharged of and from all and all other or former
gifts grants Leases Later Mortgages Deeds Bonds Judgments wills Entails especially the Entails before mentioned Forfeiturements or arrearages of Rents and all other Incumbrances of Nature or hindrances but that the Said Thos. Hoult his heirs and assigns shall and lawfully may from Time to Time and all time Hereafter Periodically and Quietly have hold ( ? ) Possess and Injoy the aforesaid land and Premises with all and Singular the appurtenances without any of the lawfull ( ? ) trouble Denial Disturbance
Molestation Interuption Eviction of them the said Mary Travathan and Rob.Travathan her Son they their heir or assigns or any other Person or Persons claiming from by or under him or them or any other Person or Persons whatsoever that shall or may lay any manner of Lawfull Claim therunto or any Part or Parcell thereof and the Said Mary Travathan and Robert Trevathan her Son for themselves their and Each of their heirs, Exrs,admns. and assigns do by these Presents Covenant grant and agree to and
with the Said Thos. Hoult his heirs and assigns to make any further or other lawfull act Conveyance or device along line or lines at the Reasonable Request of him the said Thomas Hoult his heirs and Assigns or their or Either of their Learned Councill the law shall devise or advise for the further and Better assuring and sure making the afd. Land and Premises with all and Singular the appurtenances unto the Said Thomas Hoult his heirs and assigns forever. To the True Performance of all and every of
the articles above written they the said Mary Tevathan and Robert Trevathan hir son Joyntly and Severally Bind themselves their and Each of their heirs exrs. Admns. and assigns firmly by these presents unto the Said Thomas Hoult his heirs and assigns In the penall sum of five hundred pounds
current money of Virginia Due to be paid unto the said Thomas Hoult his heirs or assigns upon Demand on the non Performance of all and every of the articles above written but upon the full Performance of all and every of the articles aforesaid the above Penalty to Stand Void, & of non effect in Witness thereof they the said Mary Trevathan Robert Trevathan hir son hath hereunto sett their hand and fitted their Seale the day and year first above written.
Signed Sealed & Delivered Mary [ M -Hir Marke] Trevathan [seal]
Robert [R-His Marke] Trevathan [seal]
In the Presents of us
Tests: John Rice; Richard Bond; Aaron Lasiter
Chowan Co. Oct. Court anno Domn. 1744 - Present the Majistys Justices.
These may Certifie that the within Deed of Sale of hand from Mary Trevathan and Robert Trevathan to Thomas Hoult was duly proved in Open Court by the Oath of John Rice and Richard Bond, Evidences therto & on motion was ordered to be registered.
Test: Edmund Hatch, Clerk
Registered November the 14th 1744
Wit: John Rice; Richard Bond; Aaron Lasiter
There is also an abstract of this 610 acres in "Provience of North Carolina - Abstracts of Land Patents" by Margaret M. Hoffman. This is the same 610 acres that was patented on May 01, 1668. At the time of the original patent the land was in Nansemond County, Virgina. After the boundry lines were finally established between Virginia and North Carolina the land 610 acres was now in North Carolina. In order to establish a North Carolina chain of title to the land it had to be recorded in the Chowan County deed books.
Robert Lassiter (date not given) 610 acres in Chowan precinct on ye S side of Bennetts Creek, joining Watry Swamp, Ephraim Blanchet, ye Chowan Indians line, and the sd Creek (Witness; (not given)
Additional land patents secured by Robert Lassiter are found in : "Cavaliers and Pioneers" Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants by; Nell Marion Nugent Volume II
Robert Lassister. 400 acs., Up Par of Nansemond 8 Oct 1672 p. 416 In a gr.Arrow red (reed) Pocoson. & adj. John Ellis. Trans of 8 pers; Daniel Trigg, Margt Hall, Barbados Mary, Giles King, Margt. Atkins, Blith ____, Jno. Standford, & his wife.
Robert Lasister (Lassiter) 440 acs. Up Par Nansemond 20 Oct. 1689 p. 12
Beg. at the White Marsh near Josephs Booth's Orchard; crossing Matt(?) opocoon, pocoson; to land sd. Lassiter purchased of Danll Hind; to Robt & Fra. Roundteree; to the main sw., &c 400 acs. granted him 8 Oct 1672; 40 acs. for imp of of Jno. Presley.
Taken from the " Provience of North Carolina - 1663-1729 - Abstracts of Land Patents" by; Margaret M. Hoffman pg;223 - Robert Lassiter: Sept 24, 1714, 286 acres in Chowan precinct in Maherrin Neck, joining R.T. Roundtree and Nicholas Williams. - Witness: Cha. Eden, Thomas Boyd, N. Chevin,
William Reed, C. Gale, Frank Foster
The following is from the "State Records of North Carolina" Published under the supervision of the Trustees of the Public Libraries, by order of the General Assmebly - Volume XXII pg; 425
(Council Joirnal) - At At a Council held at Towne in Queene Ann Creek, March the 30th, 1721 - Present, The Hon Charles Eden, Esq, Governor et, the following William Reed, Richard Sanderson, Fr. ffoster, John Lovick, Esq Lords Prop Deputy(s) - Read the petetion of Major Thomas Luten Shewing
Robert Lasesseter tooke up and surveyed and patented in the year 1714 a Tract of Land lying at Bennett's Creek which he hath not seated and planted as the law Requires praying a Lapse patent may be granted to him for the same . Ordered that the same be granted if the sd Land is not already
Lapsed by some other person.
From the deed and grants one can determine that Robert was a man of property due to paying for the "transportation" or "headrights" of others into the Virginia Colony. Shipping Lists that are now being made available through the internet and will help this research.
The following was extracted from "The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Second Series) Volume II - Records Of The Executive Council 1664-1734 by Robert J. Cain, Editor the following was taken from pages 388 and 389
Petetion to President Council - March 28, 1702 - March 28, 1702 North Carolina scilicet. To the Honorable President and Council - The petetion on Benjamin Blanshard, John Campbell, Thomas Spivey, Francis Roundtree, Robert Laciter, George Laciter and Nicholas Stallings in an humility. -
Complaineth - Wheras every of Your Honours petetioners hath a lawful right in and to considerable tracts of land lying and being within the Provience and bounding upon Bennet's Creyke and a Creyke now known by the name of of Garet's Creyke as by your Honours petioners patents under the seale of the Provience and other grants and conveyances more at large doth and may appeare. And forasmuch as the Chowan Indians haveing their hunteing quarters Upon Some of your petioners lands aforesaid therefore doe pretend the said lands to be theirs not withstanding the patents and grants aforesaid minaceing and threating your Honours petetioners by destroying their stocks burneing their houses and other hostilities under the pretence they are unlder your Honours protection. And no Englishman ought to Seate within four miles of their Towne, the which your Honours petetioners well knowing that by an order of the Honorable Council no Seatment ought to be made within the Space of four miles aforesaid any wise to the prejudice of the Said Indians neither hath your honours petetioners taken any land witingly witin that distance, yet to continue peace and tranquility, with Said Indians you Honours petetioners hath offered to purchase their right (if any) to the land held as aforesaid by you Honours petetioners which
they refuse and deneyth any Seatement to be made thereon for prevention whereof and that you Honours petetioners may have a peaceable enjoyment in their and every of their afore said lands humbly implores that the Said Indians land may be laid out to them according to aforesaid order of Council. And if any of your Honours petetioners hapen to hold any land within the aforesaid limited bounds it Shall be by your petetioners diserted and left out to Said Indians use that they as well as your Honours petetioners in their capacity may be found tru and faithfull Subjects. And that your Honours petetioners may enjoy their Said Lands in peace and Safty And as in all duty bound Shall ever pray etc
. - Benjamin Blanshard, John Campbell, Thomas Spivey (his mark), Francis Rowntre, Robert Rowntre, Robert Laciter, George Laciter, Nicholes Stallings - (endorsed) Petetion Benjamin Blanshard etc. and the Marshal Abraham Hobbs - June (illegible) (note: copied by this compiler just as stated and spelled.
I have had the above information for several years and have made the assumption that George in this pleading was the son of Robert. According to my records George died in Chowan County, North Carolina prior to February 18th 1764. If he were 21 years of age at the time of the Pleading to the "Council", George according to the date his will was probated would have been at least 85 years old at the time of his death. (see George Lassiter, Sr, for further details)
Robert witnessed a will: Chowan County - Fletcher, Thomas - May 10, 1727 - April Court 1734 - Wife: Dorothea, Son; Thomas - Witnesses; Robert Laciter, George Laciter - Clerk: Mosely Vail (source: "Abstract of North Carolina Wills" Original and recorded Wills in the Office of the Secretary of State -
by: J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary Of State
Continuing to seek further information on this ancestor. e-mail from Skip Lassiter
Edward A Lassiter tells us -
Sunbury is in my accent and speech pattern. It was in the stories I told. One lady in Gates County asked personal questions - usually prefaced with: “... it is not that I’m curious, I just like to know.” Without realizing it, I picked up that phrase and used it as my own when I asked a personal question. Frequently it brought a laugh, and I shared the origin of the phrase - a short visit to Sunbury. Writing these notes has made me aware of other phrases equally limited to my time and place in Sunbury.
Sections of the Watery Swamp have been referred to as “The Marsh.” At least one deed mentions a marsh. Elijah Harris conveyed land in Chowan County "...lying and being between Little Marsh and Basses Swamp, being one hundred acres more or less of land..." patented by Henry Hill, conveyed by Abraham Hill to John Reading and then to Elijah Harris. References are made to adjoining lands of Thomas Fullington, Isaac Spight, and Samuel Harrell. These names appear in later land deeds by Lassiters. Jonathan Williams Jr granted Hillery Willey land lying in a branch called Lady of Honour, with a line going to the Marsh Branch, consisting of 31 acres by deed dated 22 February 1805 . John Warren conveys land to Hillary Willey in Lady of Honour Branch by deed dated 18 December 1807 and refers to it as land where Gabriel Martin and Reuben Lassiter formerly lived.
I have not seen the "Marsh" area marked on any map. That general area was described by Maywood C. Lassiter and his wife, Mildred P. Lassiter. Using the current Gates County Road Map, the Marsh area would be generally South of 1404 and 1411; West of 1410; North of Highway 37; East of 1400. The only specific I recall is a general reference to the area across the road from [South of] Mr. Jimmy Spivey's former home place (intersection of 1411/1407) and "... in back of Cooper Hofler's home place."
The Watery Swamp area was in Chowan County before Gates County was created. While family tradition puts the family within a radius of few miles of Watery Swamp throughout their history, the records refer to family members in Nansemond, Chowan and Gates Counties, and between Hunters Mill Township (Watery Swamp) and Mintonsville Township. Deeds refer to the Lassiter lands south of Bennetts Creek as if the grantors, grantees, and the land were in Virginia and also as if the land were in North Carolina .
Chowan County records, (Deed Book C 1, page 581) contain a deed from Robt Lassiter of Nansemond County in Virginia to Fran(k?) Rountree of the same Parish, dated 31 October 1727 . The deed describes a "certain plantation...in the Precinct of Chowan on the South Side of Bennett's Creek... containing about 153 acres." Deed references to the patent line indicate it may be land patented to Robert. This is one of the earliest deeds found to specifically refer to the Watery Swamp area in the land description. This Robert Lassiter is believed to be the son of George Lassiter, who came to the Colonies on or about 1702.
Another early deed (book C1, page 653) from John Keaton to Robert Lassiter and George Lassiter Senr "of the providence and Dominion of Virginia..." dated 28 July 1731, describes land "...on the South side of Bennett's Creek in the precinct of Chowan..." The implication from both deeds is that grantors and grantees were residents of Virginia , but described land in Chowan [now Gates] County, NC. I believe they were all living along Bennetts Creek in what is now Gates County , NC at the time of the deed. It is likely, but not proven, that the deed was to George Senior and his son Robert Lassiter; but this deed could refer to George Senior and the older Robert who was in Chowan County before George Senior arrived. .
Oral tradition relates that the greater part of all land between Bennett's Creek (now called Lassiter's Swamp) and secondary road 1404 was at one time owned by Lassiters. From these deeds, I conclude that Robert and George Lassiter were conveying land in what is now Gates County , North Carolina in 1728-31. The tricky part is to distinguish between Robert – the brother, father, or unrelated acquaintance of George who was in the Colonies in 1685 and Robert son of George who was also in the Colonies during this 1731 time frame. Time would favor the deed being one to George and his son.
Margaret Lassiter Hires recalled Aunt Annie telling her that the two Lassiter brothers came from Birmingham , England . Family tradition is that one of the Lassiter ancestors sent to England for his bride. Aunt Ida's Bible [Ida May Lassiter Hudgins] reports that Allen Lassiter's mother, Nancy [Ann E.] Brooks was from Berkshire , England . Geographically, Leicester [pronounced "Lester" or “Leikester” there; and possibly the town giving birth to the "Lassiter" name] is about 40 miles east of Birmingham , England . Berkshire County is about 50 miles south of Birmingham and 50 miles west of London , England .
My parent’s answer seldom varied: “The Lassiters were English. Two brothers came to the United States from England . They fought with Lord Cornwallis. They settled in Gates County . Later one moved west, and was not heard from again.”
Lassiters in the Index to Revolutionary War Service Records include:
James Pvt in 4th Co of NC Regt, cart # 997, roll # 31
Jethro 1st Lt in 7th NC Regt
Robert 3rd SC Regt
Thadius Pvt in 3rd SC Regt (see below)
Theodosius or Thadius Pvt in 3rd SC Regt (see above)
Will of George Lassiter, dated 16 Feb 1796 and offered for Probate in May1796 lists his children as: George, Moses, and Aaron. This will was executed 15 years after Aaron Lassiter senior died in 1781 and left property to his son Aaron Junior and son Josiah. So there was more than one Aaron Lassiter in Gates County in the 1780 -1790s.
The name John Lassiter shows up on the 1810 census as head of a household, and the name is then missing from the federal census until 1850. This represents another gap in census records, as John Lassiter married and had at least two children before 1840 so he should be on the 1840 census of Gates County if he were living in Gates County as tradition holds. The most obvious conclusion is that he was living with others - probably kin or in-laws - and was not considered head of that household. Persons who were not heads of a household are not listed by name in census records during this time period.
Josiah Lassiter - mentioned in John Lassiter’s Will as residing on land given to George and Allen - is probably (but not necessarily) a relative - nephew? cousin? The name Josiah Lassiter appears on census records from North Carolina in 1786, 1790, 1800, 1810 and then in 1850. It is likely that the 1850 listing is a different person from the earlier listings. A Josiah Lassiter enlisted in Company C, 52nd Regiment, North Carolina Troops along with Allen A. Lassiter in February 1862, at Gatesville , NC . His age is not known. He could be the Josiah mentioned in John’s Will.
I suspect the Chowanoke tribe simply faded into either white and/or black society through intermarriage. Several white families slowly gobbled up the land that had been set aside for the Chowanoke tribe and I'd suspect this included some intermarriage with the tribe. The Freeman family is mentioned several times in some of the Benton deeds, and they were certainly associated with the tribe. Here is part of my notes section on the entry for Epaphroditus:
An Epaphroditus Benton last appears in Chowan Co. records on 28 July 1730 when he sells 300 acres on the South Side of Bennett's Creek called Deep Run. Some 4 years earlier (on 10 October 1726) Epaphroditus Benton sold 200 acres to Richard Chappell on Hogg Creek on the South Side of Warrick Swamp, Chowan Co., NC. Testators were William & John Freemen. Note that William Freeman appears on the following item. It is assumed that Elizabeth's husband Epaphroditus is dead by 5 Sept. 1731 as she appears as a witness to a deed in which John Arline & wife Mary sell 250 acres to Michael Ward at the head of Katharine Creek Swamp in Chowan Co. Witnesses were Elizabeth Benton, Richard Roundtree & William Freeman.