NOTES AND BIOGRAPHY FOR DAVID GASS
David Gass (1732-1806) started to Kentucky with Boone and his party in
1773 from North Carolina, but after a surprise attack by the Indians
in which Boone's son was killed, the party turned back to the home of
the Gass family at the most western point of civilization. There the
Boone family lived in the cabin with the Gass family for two years, or
until Boone and his thirty axemen left to cut a path through to the
mouth of Otter Creek on the Kentucky River for Richard Henderson and
his party in 1773. However, Gass had come with Boone and others to
Kentucky during the period of waiting for more settled conditions.
Gass and his family lived in Fort Boonesborough three years. There
the women molded bullets and carried water during the siege, before
moving in 1781 to Estill's Station where they lived five years.
Little Jennie Gass had a strange dream in the early morning of March
20, 1782. She dreamed that God had placed a ladder on which she might
climb to heaven. Her dream was so real to her that she ran before
breakfast to the cabins of all within the fort to tell them about it.
Later in the morning she, with Monk, the Estill slave, and another
man, went outside the fort to start a fire for making maple syrup when
suddenly they were fallen upon by Indians. The one man out ran them
and got within the stockade, but Monk was captured and Jennie was
scalped and killed. The Battle of Little Mountain followed this act.
By 1786 David Gass had moved to the first county seat at Milford: the
first court met in his home in 1786 and continued to meet there until
a courthouse was provided. David Gass was appointed one of the Judges
of the Court of Quarter Sessions by Patrick Henry." Gass died in 1806
leaving two daughters, Mary and Sarah, each of whom married a son of
James Black, Sr., a Revolutionary soldier."
Daughters of the American Revolution Index, pg. # 1132: Gass, David:
b c 1735 PA d 1806 KY m Sarah ----Capt. VA.
"Old Kentucky Entries and Deeds" by Willard Rouse Jillson, Sc.D.,
published 1987, page 210: "David Gess......Acres: 1,000.....Book
A.....Pg. 247.....Entry Date: 1-07-1783...., Watercourse.....Green
R." *(special note; the name is spelled Gess)
"Virginia's Colonial Soldiers" by Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, pub. 1988
in Baltimore, pages 201 and 202: "Albemarle County: Allen Howard and
William Cabell, Jr. to pay a company of militia of his county under
the command of Capt. James Nevil according to his muster roll to 8
Sept. 1758, 298.17.6; ......., David Gass. (....indicates a list of
abt. 50 or so men)
Wisconsin Historical Society, Kentucky Papers (The Draper Collection),
page # 283..., (1843) 11CC11-15: "(Shane, John D.) Interview with
John Gass, near Paris, Ky. Data concerning his father, David Gass;
capture of Boone and Callaway girls; siege of Boonesborough in
September, 1778; William Bailey Smith, Edward Braley, John South,
Ambrose Coffee, and William Collins at the siege; Maj. Joseph Kennedy
and Maj. John Edwards mentioned; Estill's defeat. A.N. 5 pp."
Wisconsin Historical Society, Kentucky Papers (The Draper
Collection)..., pgs. 531 and 532, 17CC191-209, n.d.: "(Shane, John
D.) Memorandum of information obtained from Capt. Nathaniel Hart
(Jr.) of Woodford County, Ky., consisting of biographical data on
persons mentioned in "Ledger A" of Richard Henderson and Company,
namely: Michael Stoner, Samuel Tate, Isaac Thrasher, Page Portwood,
William Barton, Col. Thomas Slaughter, Col. James Harrod, Samuel
Henderson, William Moore, Pemberton Rollins, Richard Burke, Squire
Boone, Col. John Luttrell, Col. Richard Henderson, Samuel Coubern
(Coburn?), Benjamin and Thomas Pettit,* Daniel Boone, Nathaniel
Henderson, Richard Hogan, Maj. Thomas Quirk, Azariah Davis, Jesse
Benton, Edward Bradley, Hugh McGary, William Hays, John Floyd, John
Mann, William Baird, Julius Saunders, William Dill, Aaron Lewis, Col.
John Williams, Richard Callaway, Elijah Nunn, John Cowan, Anthony
Bledsoe, John King, John Martin, Peter Renfroe, *David Gass, John
Brown, Charles Robertson, Joshua Barton Sr., Col. Wm. Whitley,
Flanders Callaway, John Kennedy, David McGee, Alexander Neely, William
Cooper, John McMillan, Richard Brashear, Barnett Tatom, Walter
Overton, John Gordon, Dominick Flanigan, John Wilson, John Daugherty,
Nathaniel Randolph, Maj. William Bailey Smith, Wm. Crabtree, Jacob
Beaufman, Wm. Blevens, Thomas Brooks, Tilman Craddlebaugh,
--------Hynes,---------Hinkston, James Leeper, Francis McConnell,
William Stagg, Oswald Townsend, John Todd, and Capt. Nathaniel Hart.
A.N. 19 pp."
Wisconsin Historical Society, Kentucky Papers, (The Draper
Collection), pg. # 398, April 25, 1875. "Breckenridge, Preston.
Breckenridge, Ill. Letter to L(yman) C. Draper. In reply to request
for information about Simon Kenton; settlement of his father's family
in Bourbon County, Ky.; death of his father in 1813; his own birth in
1807; John Gass, James Duncan, John Alexander, and Henry Clay among
the first settlers of Bourbon County; "Bryan Station" named for George
Bryan; William T. Jones, a grandson of George Bryan, living in
Sangamon, Ill.; reference to Col. Wm. Hamilton of Nicholas Co., Ky.
A.L.S. 2 pp.
Fort Boonesborough Settlers, "Bluegrass Roots," published by the
Kentucky Genealogical Society, reprinted in an article by H. Thomas
Tudor about the "Early Settlers of Fort Boonesborough." The article
was published in Volume 5, No. 1, p. 1-14.
Gass, James (1775) son of Capt. David Gass
Gass, Jennie (1775) dau. of Capt. David Gass, killed by Indians
Gass, John (1775) son of Capt. David Gass, settled Bourbon Co., Ky.
Gass, John (1775) (sorry repeat) *this is exactly the way it appears.
Gass, Mary daughter of Capt. David Gass; mar. William Black at the
fort in 1778
Gass, Sarah daughter of Capt. David Gass; mar. John Black
Gass, Sarah (1775) Mrs. David Gass, wife of Capt. Gass
Gass, Capt. David (1775)
"Kentucky Retrospect" Noteworthy Personages and Events in Kentucky
Reference: Collins History, Vol. 1;
Contributed by Miss Nina Visscher, Librarian, Kentucky State
Historical Society. Others were: Moses Thomas came to Boonesborough
with Enoch Smith, Richard Spurr and Charles Beale 1779; Ralph Morgan
there 1779. (Bourbon suits); David Gass and son, John; William Bailey
Smith; Edward Bradley; William Collins (at siege); Whitson George;
John Cartwright; Lewis Vallandingham; John Cameron; Pemberton Rolins;
Francis Calloway; Oswald Townsend; Thomas Hartgrove; James Kenny; J.
Hite; Frederick Couchman; Ref: Draper mss.
Captain John Holder's Company, June 10, 1779 (in Madison County, at
and near Boonesborough): John Holder, Capt., Uriel Ark, Thos. Bailey,
Bland Ballard, John Baughman, G. Michael Bedinger, James Berry, James
Bryan, James Bunten, John Butler, John Callaway, Elijah Collins,
Josiah Collins, Wm. Collins, John Constant, David Cook, Wm. Coombs,
Wm. Cradlebaugh, John Dumpord, James Estill, Edmund Fear, *David Gass,
Stephen Hancock, Wm. Hancock, John Hawiston, Wm. Hays, Jesse Hodges,
Jeremiah Horn, Robert Kirkham, Samuel Kirkham, John Lee, Charles
Lockhart, John McCollum, Wm. McGee, Ralph Morgan, Wm. Morris, James
Perry, John Pleck, Samuel Porter, Nicholas Proctor, Reuben Proctor,
Pemberton Rollins, Hugh Ross, Bartlett Searcy, Reuben Searcey, John
South, Sr., John South, Jr., John South, younger, Thos. South, Barney
Stagner, Jacob Stearns, John Stephenson, Benoni Vallandigham, Daniel
Wilcoxson, Moses Wilson. *(names are spelled exactly as they
"Kentucky Retrospect" Page # 165...,
"At the siege of Boonesborough there were, according to William
Buchannon's deposition, 340 Indians and not more than 60 men in the
fort, including garrison soldiers and settlers. However, the pioneers
in their petition of October 14, 1778, state they had withstood
constant war for four year from the Indians animated by the rewards of
Governor Hamilton (British).
List of names taken from depositions given in Richmond, Kentucky,
1801, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1811, 1814 by pioneers at Boonesborough (date
opposite names indicates time they reached Boonesborough, according to
deposition): James Anderson: Thos. Allen (Surveyor Mercer Co.); Daniel
Boone, 1775; Anthony Bleasco (Surveyor): James Berry (Apr. 1779); Wm.
Benton; George Boone; Wm. Bush (March 1775); Joseph Barnett; James
Bridges; James Bryant (Before 1778); Edward Baxter (Col.); John Boyle
(1775); Moses Bledsoe; George Bedinger; Squire Boone; Green Clay
(Surveyor, Fall of 1780); Robert Caldwell; John Callaway; Wm.
Cradlebaugh (to Ky., 1768-1775); Wm. Cooper; John Crooke (Surveyor);
David Crews; Elijah Crews; Jacob Coons; Wm. Calk; Thos. Collins; John
Colefoot; Lewis Craig; David Cook; John Constant; Samuel Duree; John
Durbin; John Doniphan; Samuel Davis; Wm. Dryden; Samuel Estill (1779);
James Estill (Capt. 1775); Talton Embry; Sally Estill (Born at Ft.
Boonesborough, Oct. 19, 1782); Boudee Estill; Ben Estill; Richard
Epperson (1776); Joseph Fowler; Robert Fleming; John Farrar, 1775
(Farrons); James Finley; (Mr.) Wm. Fall (Surveyor); Higgason Grubbs
(Capt.) 1778; James Gates, 1776;*David Gass (Guess, Gist); Samuel
Gilbert; Martin Gentry; Peter Guerrant; Jesse Hodges (Surveyor, Oct.
1777 to 1786); Wm. Irvine; David C. Irvine; John Kennedy (killed fall
of 1780); Wm. Kavanaugh; Charles Kavanaugh (son of Wm.); Joseph
Kennedy, 1776; Thos. Lanham; David Lynch (Surveyor Dec. 24, 1779);
Samuel Logan; Abraham Lewis; Lawrence Long; Thos. McQuean; Jesse
Morris; (Miss) Jacob Myers; Wm. Miller; Wm. Mays; Thos. Mosely; Thos.
Miller; Ralph Morgan; Wm. Martin; Wm. Morgan; Nicholas Meriwether;
Neichael Overstreet; Tyree Oldham; John Peak, 1781; Thos. Phelps;
Josiah Phelps, 1776 (Son of Thos.); John Pitman; Reuben Proctor;
Joseph Proctor (1778); Nicholas Proctor (Capt. 1778); Rachel Proctor
(Widow of Capt. James Estill. Nicholas Proctor her second husband);
James Proctor; Yelverton Peyton, 1780; James Russel (Before 1778);
Robert Rhodes; James Reed; Joseph Rice; George Robinson; Samuel Rice;
Dudley Stone; Richard Searcy; John Snoddy (1775); Asa Searcy; (Gen.)
John South; Samuel Snoddy; Michael Sherley; Michael Stoner (Surveyor
and Hunter, 1775); Thos. Swearingen; Benoni Swearingen; John Tanner
(Turner); Hale Talbott; Peter Taylor, 1780; Lawrence Thompson (1780);
James Thompson; John Taylor (Baptist Preacher); Oswald Townsend
(Surveyor 1775); (Capt.) Thomas Twitty; Joshua Townsend; Wm. Turpin;
Solomon Turpin; David V. Walker; Joel Walker; Aquilla White (April
1779); (Capt.) John Whitaker; William Williams; Wyate Wilkerson;
Richard Wells; Thos. Warren; Archibald Woo--(the last two letters did
not copy); (Capt.) Dec. 1781; Adam Woods (135 names mentioned in
"Kentucky: Land of Contrast" by Thomas D. Clark, Professor of the
University of Kentucky at Lexington, page # 22:
(*I'm including this brief narrative account of the same Boonesborough
incident in order to offer evidence of the discrepancy in the spelling
of the surname, Gass/Gess.
"The opening act of one of Boonesboro's several domestic ordeals
occurred on Sunday afternoon, July 14, 1776, when Jemima Boone, and
Elizabeth and Frances Callaway set out across the Kentucky to visit a
neighbor. The girls paddled a canoe diagonally across the river from
the fort, and at the moment its nose rooted into the gravel on the far
bank a tawny arm snatched it aground and four Shawnee bucks laid hold
of the girls, but not before the spunky Betsey Callaway had bounced an
oar off a brave's head. The younger girls were paralyzed with fright,
but Betsey kept her wits and was about as much bother to the Shawnees
as a gnawing bear would have been. The Shawnees had always shown a
fondness for female captives and now they had three young ones in tow.
Immediately they headed home by way of the Blue Licks and the buffalo
trace to parade their prizes in the Ohio villages.
There was pandemonium in the fort when news spread that the girls were
missing. Daniel Boone dashed into the woods with one search party
while Colonel Callaway led another. Time was of the essence---in
fact, it might already be too late if the Indians could beat their
white pursuers to the Ohio River. They might have done so had the
unruly girls not created so many delays by complaining and sulking.
Never had three Kentucky girls been pursued by such illustrious
company. Besides Boone, who had the advantage of having twice been
prisoner of the Shawnees and now demonstrated his expert woodsmanship,
there were William Bailey Smith, John Holder, Samuel Henderson, John
Floyd, Nationaial and David Hart, John Martin, John McMillan, William
Bush, *John and David Gess, and Flanders Callaway. Three miles below
the Blue Licks the Indians stopped for the night, and here they were
surprised and shot, and the tattered girls escorted home as Kentucky's
first heroines. As their rewards, Samuel Henderson married Betsey
Callaway and Flanders Callaway claimed Jemima Boone for his bride.
"Kentucky Retrospect" Noteworthy Personages and Events in Kentucky
History, 1792 -1942, Pgs. 183 and 185.
"Estill's Station: Settled by Captain James and Samuel Estill, three
miles southeast of Richmond, Madison County, in 1781. Captain James
Estill and his men were defeated and slain by Indians March 22, 1782,
on Hinkston Creek 2 miles from present Mt. Sterling. There were nine
families in the station April, 1801, and in the autumn of that year
the men living there were James and Samuel Estill, Nicholas Proctor,
Thomas Warren, David Lynch, Peter Walker, John Colefoot, James
Proctor, George Robinson, Samuel Rice, Thomas Miller, *David Gass,
Michael Sherly, James Hamilton and Green Clay. Jesse Hodges, Peter
Hackett, Micael Bedinger, John Webber, Stephen Hancock, John South,
Sr., were also there at different times. Ref.: Kentucky Historical
Register, Fayette and Bourbon County depositions."
"Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Madison County" prepared from a research made by Mrs. Jerre B. Noland; Capt. David Gass (1732-1806), in active service in the militia of Albemarle County, Virginia. Was in the siege of Boonesborough in 1778. Buried near Caleast, where he, as recorded in the courthouse, gave one-hald acre forever, but the spot has been desecrated and all markers are gone. Grave is not marked.
Historical Markers and Tablets, The D.A.R. Fort Boonesborough Marker, Tablet #111:
"In testimony of the gratitude of posterity for the historic service of cutting for the Transylvania Company. The Transylvanic Trail, the first great pathway to the West, March-April 1775 from the Long Island of Holston River Tennessee to Otter Creek Kentucky by that gallant band of Axemen Pioneers and Indian fighters who at the risk and loss of life opened the doors of destiny to the white race in Kentucky and the West.
Daniel Boone, Squire Boone, Edward Bradley, James Bridges, William Bush, Richard Callaway, Samuel Coburn, Jacob Crabtree, Benjamin Culbirth, *David Gass, John Hart, William Hays, Rebeccah Boone Hays, William Hicks, Edmund Jennings, Thomas Johnson, John Kennedy, John King, Thomas McDowell, Jeremiah McPheeters, William Miller, William Moore, James Noll, James Peeke, Bartlett Searcy, Michael Stoner, Samuel Tate, Samuel Tate, Jr., William Twetty, John Wardeman, Felix Walker, A Negro Man, and a Negro Woman.
Erected by The Daughters of the American Revolution of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, Under the Auspices of the Transylvanians of Henderson, Kentucky, 1935."
Historical Markers and Tablets, The D.A.R. Fort Boonesborough Marker; On the top of the stone is the following; "Site of Fort Boonesborough, 1775-1783." On the side next to the entrace is this inscription: "In Memory of the Pioneers of Kentucky. Erected by the Boonesborough Chapter D.A.R., 1907." Then passing around the stone counter clock-wise appear the names of the following: "Bartlett Searcy, Robert Rodes, Pemberton Rollins, Michael Stoner, Peter Taylor, Thomas Tribble, Col. Isaac Shelby, Lt. Jared Williams, *Capt. Archibald Woods, Rev. Jas. Quisenberry, Christopher Harris, Richard Gentry, Galen White, Enoch Smith, James McMillan, Sr., Daniel Boone, Rebecca Boone, Jeimima Boone, Squire Boone, William Bentley, Col. Richard Callaway, Betsy Callaway, Frances Callaway, Adam Caperton, Gen. Green Clay, Capt. John Holder, Col. John Snoddy, Capt. John Kennedy, Capt. William Bush, David Chenault, Capt. James Estill, Samuel Estill, Col. Ezekial Field, Col. Nathaniel Hart, Col. Richard Henderson, Dr. Hines, Richard Hogan, *Capt. David Gass, Col. Wm. Irvine, Abraham Newland, Jesse Oldham, Yelverton Peyton, Anne Cuffey Peyton, Thomas Phelps, Josiah Phelps, George Phelps, Lucy Phelps, John Phelps, Joseph Proctor."
"Old Kentucky Entries and Deeds", Jefferson Co., David Gess, 1,000 acres, Jan. 07, 1783.
"Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Madison Co., Kentucky" Prepared from a research made by Mrs. Jerre B. Noland. Excerpt taken from, "Glimpses of Historic Madison Co., Ky., by Jonathan Truman Dorris and Maud Weaver Dorris.
"Capt. David Gass (1732-1806), in active service in the militia of Albemarle Co., Virginia. Was in the siege of Boonesborough in 1778. Buried near Caleast, where he, as recorded in the courthouse, gave one-half acre forever, but the spot has been desecrated and all markers are gone. Grave is not marked."
"Kentucky Pioneer and Court Records" ... Compiled by Mrs. Harry Kennett McAdams
Originally published: Lexington, Kentucky, 1929 ... Reprinted for Clearfield Co., Inc.
Lincoln County, Stanford Court House ... Abstracts of Wills and Deeds
James Estill ... Book B, page 242 ... To wife, Rachel. To Benjamin, Walles, James,
and Jonathan Estill. Witnesses, David Gass, Samuel Estill. Written May 04, 1781.
Probated Jan. 22, 1783.
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved
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