# ID: I266
# Name: Massie Koons
# Surname: Koons
# Given Name: Massie
# Sex: F
# Birth: 1806 in , Randolph, North Carolina, United States
# Death: 1839 in , Adams, Illinois, United States
# _UID: D5FC3401476F8A44BAB7ED00CE57B733F717
1. Son Stephen Smith's 1900 census indicates father born in North Carolina and mother in South Carolina. Why South Carolina?
2. There is a conflict in first names. The use of Massie is pretty well established; however, in the biography of a son below in the book "History of Pottawattamie, Iowa," his mother's name is listed as Elizabeth Martha Koons. This is incongruous because Massie had two sisters among her many siblings that were named Elizabeth and Martha. I cannot explain why Elizabeth Martha was used since it is well documented that Massie was the wife of John Smith.
3. Variations on last name per 1907 biography of son Stephen Smith cited below uses Koonts. Other variations in various genealogies include Koontz, Koonce, Coonce, Coons, Kuntz, and Kountz.
4. FHL Book 929.273EL54h ?George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America,? compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, pp. 17-31, clarifies early North Carolina counties and land grant practices:
"Land grants in North Carolina originated with an entry application which was filed in the county where the land was situated and if not lost are now on file there. This was followed, sometimes soon and sometimes years later by an order from the land office for the tract to be surveyed. Sometimes soon and sometimes years later the survey was made and a surveyor?s plat filed with the Secretary of State in Raleigh. Then came the grant which may have been issued reasonably near the date of the survey or sometimes several years later. These grants, orders to survey and the survey itself are on file now in the Secretary of State?s office at Raleigh...
Many counties were formed from what originally was Rowan County, namely Surry and Guilford in 1770, Burke and Wilkes in 1777, Randolph in 1779, Iridell in 1788, Stokes in 1789, Buncomb in 1791, Ashe in1799, Davidson in 1822, Yancey in 1833, Davie in 1836 and Yadkin in 1850. Some of these counties were grandchildren of Rowan County; for instance Wilkes was taken partly from Burke and partly from Surry, Randolph from Guilford, Buncomb and Yancy form Burke, Ashe from Wilkes and Stokes and Yadkin from Surry. These facts must be kept in mind when tracing early Rowan County families."
1. See notes of husband John Smith for extensive biography on entire family including this and more: "Massie Koons was the second child of George Koons and Mary Eller, born in 1806 in Randolph County, North Carolina. George Koons, also born in Randolph County, in 1782, was a Quaker who was disowned by his family for marrying Mary Eller, a Dunkard. George and Mary Eller Koons left North Carolina in 1819, moving to Wayne County, Indiana, and finally settling in Liberty Township, Henry County, Indiana, in 1821. There Massie Koons met and married John Smith. Their first six children were female--Mary born in 1823, followed by Patience, Hannah, Elizabeth, Lydia Rhoda, and Anna. The first son, Stephen, was born in 1836. John and Massie settled on 80 acres of land in Liberty Township, Henry County, Indiana." Source: Article "Why Didn't You Go West, John Smith?", by Gregory Smith (MA, Kansas City, is a 6th generation Mormon, former RLDS appointee, studying regional history at UMKC, and currently employed in health care management), from "The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, vol. 19, 1999, RLDS Library Archives, P.O. Box 1059, Independence, MO 64051.
3. The following partial quote is included in the biography of Stephen Smith, son of John Smith, per FHL film 934962, items 3 and 4, "History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa," by Field and Reed, 1907, pp. 1066-1067 [see notes for Stephen Smith in this database for full quotation]: "Stephen Smith, now living retired but still residing on his farm on section 27, Grove township, came to Pottawattamie county about the 1st of November, 1847. On this day he arrived in Council Bluffs, where he spent the winter. In the following April his father arrived in Macedonia township, bringing his family with him, and there he built the first house within what is now the borders of the township. John Smith, the father, resided there for eight years or more, and in the fall of 1853 or 1854 became a resident of Grove township, settling on section 8, where he continued to reside until his death occurred, in 1870, when he was 72 years of age. His remains were interred in the cemetery of the Latter Day Saints in Grove township. He was a farmer by occupation and at one time he built the first saw mill on Farm creek, which he operated for several years, thus becoming associated with the industrial development as well as the agricultural interests of the county. In politics he was originally a whig, but upon the dissolution of that party became a republican. He served for several terms as supervisor from his township and was a member of the county board when the first courthouse at Council Bluffs was built. As a determined pioneer and influential citizen he was well known in this county. His birth had occurred in North Carolina and he had resided for some time in Indiana prior to coming to Iowa. The wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Martha Koonts, was born in Indiana, and from that state they removed to Adams county, Illinois, where the death of Mrs. Smith occurred, in 1840. Stephen Smith was born in Henry county, Indiana, January 28, 1836. His father wedded a second time, having wedded Miss Sarah Winegar in Adams county, Illinois, after losing his first wife. She accompanied her husband to Pottawattamie county and died here in 1882 [error; should be 1880]. By the two marriages there were seven sons and six daughters. Those of the family who came to Pottawattamie county were: Mary, Patience, Hannah, Elizabeth, Lydia, Rhoda [error: Lydia Rhoda is one individual and not two], Anna, Stephen, Joseph, Hiram, Carlos and Abraham. [Note: I believe Anna being included in this list to be an error in that it appears she died in Indiana as an infant.] Two brothers of the family died in early childhood. Of the children Stephen, Lydia, and Abraham are still living, the sister being a resident of Cheyenne county, Kansas, while the brother makes his home in northwestern Nebraska. Stephen Smith was eleven years of age when he came with his father to Pottawattamie county..."
3. The book "The Howard Leytham Stoker Von Dollen Family Histories, " FHL 929.273 H833a, by Doris Lewis, 2017 So. 80th Ave., Omaha, Nebraska, 68124, pp. 112-113: Speaks of three generations of ancestry. Also mentions various other spellings including Coons, Kuntz, Koontz, and Kountze:
a. Devault Koons: "Devault Koons came from Germany to Pennsylvania, where he took his oath on August 28, 1750. Devault was in Frederick County, MD in 1751, where some deeds list his wife's name as Margaret and some Susan. They may be the same person or Margaret may be his first wife and Susan Dick his second wife. Susan Dick was a widow when she married Devault, her first husband having died on the ship while crossing the ocean to America. I do not know the relationship to Conrad and Katherine Dick [if any], also [to] my ancestors also at this time." [Lists five children: Devault Jr., John, Gasper, and George Koons.]
b. Gasper Koons, b. 8 Nov, 1759 at Frederick Co., MD and d. 8 Nov 1820 at Henry Co., IN. Married Massie Presnell and (2) Abigail Piggoth. "When the first Quaker Church was organized in Back Creek, Randolph County, NC, Gasper and Massie were listed as members. After Massie's death, her oldest three children were disowned for marrying outside the Quaker faith. Gasper remarried another Quaker, Abigail Piggoth and had 12 more children. In the spring of 1808, the family left Randolph County and on June 25th of that year, they requsted a Quaker transfer to the Miami County, Ohio branch. The trip from NC to Ohio took six weeks by wagon. Later they moved to Henry County, Indiana. Massie's real name may have been Massa or Mercy. Both names have been given as probabilities on Utah geneology charts. [Lists 7 children of first marriage: Devault, George Koons b. 1782 disowned for marriage to Mary Eller, Martha, Gasper Jr., John, Mary, and infant daughter. From second marriage: infant, Jeremiah, William, Nathan, Henry, Samuel, Joseph, Benjamin, Jesse, Rachel, Susannah, and Hannah.]
c. George Koons, b. 1782 at Randolph Co., NC, d. 26 Mar 1849 at Henry Co., IN, m. Mary Eller, b. 1783 at Rowan Co., NC, m. 27 Jun 1801, d. 1872 at Henry Co., IN. "George Koons, Gasper's second son, stayed in North Carolina when his father's family moved to Ohio. In 1819, George and Mary moved first to Wayne County, IN, and later to Henry County, IN where they are listed in the Biographical History as early pioneers in that county. George was disowned by his father at the age of 19, for marrying Mary Eller, a Dunkard. A Dunkard was the common name for a member of the Church of the Brethren, which was organized in Germany in 1708, but after suffering persecutions there, it took root in Germantown, PA in 1719. Being disowned for religious reasons did not seem to hamper family affection, for the children were named after family members and they all settled in Henry County in Indiana. Children:
i. Elizabeth Koons, named after her grandmother Elizabeth Dick Eller, b. 1803 at NC.
*ii. Massie Koons, named after her grandmother, Massie Presnell Koons, b. 1806, m. John Smith.
iii. Henry Koons, named after Mary's younger brother, b. 1807.
iv. Absalom Koons. Baptized by cousin Michael Stoker, Jr., a Latter Day Saint Elder.
v. Alice Koons.
vi. Devault Koons, named after great grandfather Devault.
vii. Catherine Koons, named after Mary's older sister, who married Michael Stoker.
viii. Gasper Koons, named after grandfather.
ix. Martha Koons.
x. George Koons, Jr.
xi. Peter Koons, named after his grandfather, Peter Eller."
4. FHL Book 929.273EL54h ?George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America,? compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, pp. 141-171: "Mary Eller was born in Rowan Co., NC and, according to the 'History of Henry County, Indiana, 1884,' by the Interstate Publishing Co., 'died in Henry Co., Ind. in 1872, aged 84, making 1788 her birth year.' The 1860 Federal census of Henry County, Indiana, where the family lived after 1819, states her age as 76, making her birth year 1784 which probably is correct. She married before 1804, when her daughter Elizabeth was born, George Koons, b. 1785/86, in Randolph Co., NC probably, and died in Henry Co., Ind., 25 Mar 1849. The date of his death by family record was 26 Mar 1849. The 1810 census of Ashe Co., NC shows them both to be aged over 26 and living in that county with four children, two males and two females, all under 10. This would indicate that both George and Mary Eller Koons were born as early as 1784. The 1850 census of Henry Co., IN, however, gives Mary Eller Koons the age of 57 years which doubtless was an error and should have been 67.
George Koons may have been a son of John Koons who was settled in Ashe County, NC as early as 1790 although most believe he was a son of Gasper Koons, John's brother of Randolph Co., NC. Others might think that he was a son of George Koons who probably was a brother of John and Gasper and living in Ashe County, NC as early as 1800 and a prominent citizen there. This George Koons, however, had no son. The 1800 census of Ashe Co. shows him at age over 45 with wife of same age and one daughter, aged between 16 and 26. John Koons on the other hand is known to have had a son George, (Book C, p. 478, Ashe Co. Deeds), but this son probably was the George Koonce (sic) whose will was proved in Ashe Co., 11 Nov 1855 naming children John, Jacob, George, Sally, Polly, Catherine, Milly and 'the heirs of Elizabeth Koonce.' (Will Book D, pp. 20, 21, Ashe Co.) John Koons lived near the farm of Mary Eller's father, both on Reedy Creek in Rowan Co., now Davidson Co., where his name was spelled John Coonce and on Rones Creek in Wilkes Co., now Ashe Co., where his name was spelled John Koons. John Koons and Peter Eller witnessed deeds for each other in Ashe County and John Koons was one of the sureties for Peter Eller's widow and his son John when they took administration of Peter Eller's estate in 1799.
As for George Koons , who married Mary Eller, being a son of Gasper, the evidence is very strong. They named no son John, unless one was so named and died young, but they did name a son Gasper. The also named one of their daughters Massie which was the given name of the first wife of Gasper Koons who would have been George's mother if Gasper was his father. Moreover, George and Mary Eller Koons removed to Henry Co., IN where Gasper and his second wife and children settled in 1808/9. These facts, coupled with the Back Creek Friends Meeting Records in Randolph Co., NC which show that Gasper and Massie Koons had a son George, is pretty convincing. This son, George, of Gasper, on 27 Jun 1801 was disowned by the Back Creek Friends Meeting for 'marrying out of unity.' The date of this disownment showing that George Koons was already or about to be married on 27 Jun 1801means, if the ages of George and Mary Eller Koons shown above are correct that they married at extremely tender ages. As stated above, however, the 1810 census of Ashe County, NC shows both George and his wife at ages over 26 and with four children, two boys and two girls, all under 10. Later records show only three children, two girls and one boy, who were born before 1810 and one may surmise that the missing boy was born probably in 1802 indicating that his parents were married in 1801 at ages, if we accept the above census records, of about 17 years each. Their first child, Elizabeth, was b. in 1803/4 according to the 1860 census of Henry Co., IN which gave her age as 56.
George and Mary Eller Koons seem not to have been Quakers as Gasper was, but that fact only bears out the disownment of 27 Jun 1801 of George Koons, son of Gasper, for marrying out of unity, i.e. for marrying someone other than a Quaker. Mary Eller was a Dunker or Baptist.
John, Gasper and George Koons were sons of Devault Koons, who, according to the Henry County Histories above mentioned, settled first in Pennsylvania. [The book continues with extensive history on Devault and Gasper Koons.]
As for which of John or Gasper was the father of George Koons who married Mary Eller this writer is certain in his own mind that it was Gasper and that his grandparents were Devault and Massie Koons of Randolph County, NC and Henry County, IN.
George and Mary Eller Koons, according to 'Hist. of Henry Co., IN,' by Interstate Pub. Co., p. 550, emigrated to Wayne Co., IN in Sep 1819. The Ashe Co., NC records show that he sold 90 acres of land to Henry Eller, 9 Dec 1819 (Deed Book C, p. 68). Two years later, in 1821, he and John Koons, his brother, doubtless, took up land in Liberty Township of Henry Co., IN and a year later both entered land in Blue River Township of the same county. Hazzard's History of Henry Co., IN says however, that George Koons lived on his land in Liberty Township for 16 eyars then sold it and removed to an 80 acres farm in Blue River Township where he built a log house that was his home until his death on 25 Mar 1849. (The correct date is 26 Mar 1849.) It also stated that he was a Repbulican in politics and that both he and his wife belonged to the Baptist Church.
[The book continues with George's will which I have already quoted in his notes from a different source.]
One of the settlement papers of the estate of George Koons of Henry Co. shows payments of $1.00 each to (1) Main Koons who was probably Massie; (2) Catherine Koons, wife doubtless of William Harvey; (3) George Koons; (4) Henry Koons; (5) J.R. Millikan husband, doubtless, of Martha Koons; (6) D. Koons; (7) Parnell Bales and wife, the wife doubtless being Elizabeth Koons, and (8) Jacob Harvey, husband, doubtless, of Alice (Allie) Koons. The sons Absolom, Peter, and Gasper were not mentioned, Absolom being deceased, Peter having been denied the 1.00 payment by his father's will and Gasper probably being omitted in the record in error. That there was a son Gasper is proved by the settlement papers in his own estate in 1865 when his brother Henry petitioned the court to be appointed executor and presented Peter and George L. Koons as security. The petition stated that Gasper Koons (son of George and Mary) died intestate on or about 7 March 1865. (Common Pleas Court Complete Record #13, p. 520, Henry Co., Ind.) Also see 'The History of Henry Co., Ind.,' pub. in 1884 by the Interstate Publishing Co. of Chicago, p. 550.
The children of George and Mary (Eller) Koons were, order of birth not certain. [See George's notes for all 10 children of which I list here only Massie.]:
Massie Koons, birth and death dates not found but born, probably, about 1806 and d. about 1840. She married as his first wife, John Smith, born 13 Feb 1799 and died in 1870 at the age of 72 years. He lies buried in the cemetery of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Grove Twonship of Pottawattamie Co., Iowa. He married as his second wife in Adams Co., IL, Miss Sarah Winegar who d. in 1882. [Biographies of their children and grandchildren follow in the book.]
1. Article "Why Didn't You Go West, John Smith?", by Gregory Smith (MA, Kansas City, is a 6th generation Mormon, former RLDS appointee, studying regional history at UMKC, and currently employed in health care management), from "The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, vol. 19, 1999, RLDS Library Archives, P.O. Box 1059, Independence, MO 64051: Died 1839 from the Missouri persecution of the LDS Saints even though she was not baptized. Her husband had been baptized in 1839. Partial quote: "With the persecutions and expulsion of the saints in Far West, the Smith family headed back east during the winter of 1838-39. One year after leaving their Indiana home, John lost his Missouri home and worse yet, his wife. [Redress petition:] 'Illinois, Columbus, Adams County, March 11, 1840. I, John Smith, certify that I was resident in the state of Missouri in 1838, when I was driven from my house, and a pre-emption right, and forbid to stay in the state, (the mob) threatening me if I did not go forthwith. I took my family and pursued my journey one hundred miles. In consequence of cold, snow, water and ice at the inclement season in which I was driven, I fell sick, and for four weeks I was unable to trvel; during which time I was threatened daily; yet I was so sick it was considered by many that I could not live, and was compelled to start when I was not able to sit up through the day. I landed in Illinois; the long and fatiguing journey, lying out in the cold, open air, proved too much for my companion; it threw her into a violent fever, with which she died. Many others in the company took sick and died with the same hard fare. John Smith.'(2) Massie Smith lost her life due to persecution of the Missouri mob, however, she had not been baptized into the church. Later in 1841, in Nauvoo, John was baptized for his dead wife, Massie, and his parents Joseph and Hannah Brown Smith.(3) A year earlier in 1840, John was ordained a high priest by Hyrum Smith and Almon Babbitt at Mount Hope in Adams County, Illinois.(4) So, although his parents and wife had not united with the church during their lifetime, John continued valiantly in the faith, like so many other Saints of this period. John experienced the church's heritage of hardship. Living in western Illinois, widowed, with eight children and no land, John struggled to survive. In 1840, a year after Massie Smith was buried, John met and married Sarah Ann Winegar, in Adams County, Illinois..."
2. The book "The Howard Leytham Stoker Von Dollen Family Histories, " FHL 929.273 H833a, by Doris Lewis, 2017 So. 80th Ave., Omaha, Nebraska, 68124, p. 101 indicates 1840 in Adams Co., IL. Doris is a descendant of this individual but does not give any documentation for using 1840 in lieu of 1839 that Gregory Smith uses in above quotation. The place does however look likely considering most persecuted LDS from Missouri ended up there. Even Gregory Smith indicates they went there during the 1838-9 winter exodus from Missouri.
1. Mentioned in the FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996, pp. 125-140.
# Change Date: 1 Jan 2009 at 07:08:36
Father: George Koons b: 1782 in , Randolph, North Carolina, United States
Mother: Mary Eller b: 1783 in , Rowan, North Carolina, United States
Marriage 1 John Smith b: 13 Feb 1799 in , Union, South Carolina, United States
* Married: 14 Jul 1822 in Of Liberty Township, Henry, Indiana, United States
1. Has Children Mary Smith b: 16 Sep 1823 in Of Liberty Township, Henry, Indiana, United States
2. Has Children Patience Smith b: 25 Nov 1825 in New Castle, Henry, Indiana, United States
3. Has Children Hannah Smith b: 27 Dec 1826 in Of, Henry, Indiana, United States
4. Has No Children Elizabeth Smith b: 19 Nov 1831 in Of, Henry, Indiana, United States
5. Has No Children Lydia Rhoda Smith b: 25 Jul 1834 in Of, Henry, Indiana, United States
6. Has No Children Anna Smith b: 1835 in Of, Henry, Indiana, United States
7. Has No Children Stephen Smith b: 28 Jan 1836 in New Castle, Henry, Indiana, United States
8. Has No Children Joseph Samuel Smith b: 13 Feb 1838 in , Caldwell, Missouri, United States
Our Family Homes--Then and Now
Our Homes, some were lived in for generation, some for just a short time.
Villages, Towns and Cities of my family.
Some of the homes and places my family and extended family have lived.
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