John Spurlock, Jr.

of Floyd Co, Kentucky

John Jr. was born Jan. 1760 (or Feb 12) in Montgomery Co, Va.  the son of John Spurlock, Sr.  [Montgomery County in western Virginia wasn't established until 1777, but maybe they lived there before it was Montgomery County.]  His father was on the tax list of Lunenburg Co, Va (green on map below) in 1749, 1750 & 1752.

[1790 Virginia map with Montgomery County in blue, Henrico County in yellow, Lunenburg County in green, and Henry County in pink.]

He is listed on the DAR Patriot Index as:

"Spurlock, John Jr., b ca 1750 VA; d a 12- -1816 KY, m Frances Turman, PS (patriotic service) VA"

In 1778/9 John Sr, and his 3 oldest sons, William, Jesse & John Jr. all of "Montgomery County" took the Oath of Allegiance to the American cause in Henrico Co, Va. (where Richmond is--yellow on map below).  They probably went to Richmond for this (there were other Spurlocks in Henrico Co). 

He married around 1780 to Frances “Fanny” Turman(See Turman family below)   (There was a John Spurlock who married Charlotte Mills, Apr 17, 1782 in Henrico Co, Va.  We assume that this was a different man.) A Darter/Tarter family record says that John's 1st child, Sarah/Sally was born 11/4/1780, so that would put the marriage date at least early 1780.

He settled first on the western frontier in Montgomery County, Virginia (blue on map below, which is present-day Mason Co, Va) "where he built his home in the path of Shawnee warriors" (as one source describes it). 

In 1789 John was on the tax list of Montgomery Co, Va.    On this list, every man over the age is 21 is listed, along with any boys 16-21 and any slaves and horses.  This list includes these Spurlock men:  George (3 horses), Jesse (3 horses), John Jr(no horses), John Sr. (1 horse).  None of these men have any males between 16-21 in their homes and none have any slaves. Also on the 1789 Tax List is Nicholas Darter (father-in-law of John's daughter, Sally.  He had 2 boys 16-21 and 4 horses. Also there was Jacob Darter, with 1 boy 16-21 and 2 horses.)

The book "Militia of Montgomery County 1777-1790" shows Jesse Spurlock as a Sargeant in Jonathan Isom's Company, and Drury Spurlock is also in that company.  (Also listed were Nicholas Tarter, and Jacob, Francis & Peter Tarter in another company.)

There were a couple of Spurlock marriages in Montgomery County, Va:

Mary Spurlock & David Harbour, Aug 21, 1787

George Spurlock & Elizabeth Clore, June 7, 1791

Other Spurlock marriages, prob in Montgomery Co:

About 1782, Jesse Spurlock married Mary Harbour.

About 1798, Sarah Spurlock married Nicholas Darter of Montgomery Co.

About 1802, Susanna Spurlock married William C. Morgan, probably in Montgomery Co.

About 1804, David Spurlock married Susanna Hancock from neighboring Henry Co. (pink on map), even though the family had already moved into Floyd Co, Ky. 

After this, the rest of the children married in Floyd Co, Ky.

John Spurlock first moved to Kentucky about 1791 (3 years before Gen. Anthony Wayne defeated the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in Ohio and made the frontier safer for settlement.) where he bu
ilt the first cabin on present East Court St. on the John Preston million-acre grant within the present town site of Prestonsburg, Floyd County, Ky.  He was the first white settler there.  However, he probably waited 3+ years (when the frontier was a bit safer) to move his whole family there.

The land was not surveyed until 1797 when the town of Preston’s Station was founded. It was renamed Prestonsburg in 1799 when it was made the seat of newly-formed Floyd county (1800). 

“Spurlock’s Station was built by John Spurlock in the bog bottoms opposite the mouth of Middle Creek of the Levisa Fork of Big Sandy in 1791.  A settlement gradually formed here and soon became known as Preston’s Station, later Prestonsburg. In 1799 it was made, by legislative action, the county seat of Floyd County, which then comprised all of far eastern Kentucky.” [Pioneer Kentucky by Willard Rouse Jillson]

The first Courthouse was built in 1799 and burned in 1808, losing some (or all) records. John Spurlock was one of the first judges. In 1803 the town consisted of John Spurlock’s cabin, Solomon DeRossett’s fur-trading post, and several other dwellings.  Hunting and trapping were important to the county's economy in these early years. Between 1800 and 1815 DeRossette sent furs to France where they were made into hats for Napoleon's Grenadier Guards. When Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and that revenue ceased DeRossette gave up his French citizenship and became an American.

In 1808 Floyd County tavern rates (which were set by the county court) were as follows:

Good warm breakfast..................................21 cents

Good warm dinner......................................25 cents

Good warm supper......................................21 cents

Lodging, one night with clean sheets...........08 cents

Good Stablage, 12 hours, with rough feed..12 cents

In 1808 Floyd County contracted Samuel May to build its first stocks, pillory, whipping post and stray pen. Stocks and pillories were heavy wooden frames, within which criminals were locked and exposed to public ridicule. 

The first post office opened in 1816.

In 1796 John bought (or probably sold?) land in Montgomery County, Va. (Between 1792-97, John, William, Jesse, and David Spurlock all bought land in Montgomery County, Va.--Wiliam & Jesse were probably brothers of John, David was his son.)

John may have  owned land in Lee County, Va. (formed in 1793 from Russell Co.) or in neighboring Knox County, Ky. in 1804. 

In 1809 John sold “one half acre on the riverside of Main Street in Prestonsburg below the Public Square no. 2” to his brother-in-law John Turman.

He was on the Floyd County, Ky. census in 1810 along with David & Matthew, and resided there from 1791 until his death in 1816. 

In 1812 John was the first jailer in Floyd Co.

There are numerous accounts of him in the Floyd County court records.

Mathew Spurlock (brother of John) and John & Rachel Turman (brother of Fanny) may have moved to Floyd County, Ky. with John & Fanny Spurlock—or soon afterwards. All their names were frequently mentioned in the town/county records.

In 1806 John and Mathew Spurlock both received a town lot in Prestonburg from the city trustees (Feb. & May respectively). It seems that the courthouse burned and all the records were lost, so the town trustees set the deeds of ownership straight and gave out new deeds to several people after 1808. Mathew received a deed for a 1/2 acre lot. John received 20 lots amounting to about 50 acres. Then Mathew gave John a 1/2 acre town lot (perhaps his only one).

Floyd County court records that mention the Spurlock family:

June 1806: John sold town lots to Mathew for $200.

Nov 29, 1808: "Motion by John Spurlock to indulge Samuel May until next court to complete stray pen and stocks."

Feb. 1809: John Thurman (sic) sold a lot in Prestonsburg (sic) to John Spurlock for $100.

May 1809:  (Land record were lost in the fire at the chorthouse in 1808, so to set the records straight the town trustees conveyed land to certain people, who probably already owned the land) John Spurlock received: 

     lot #2 (1/2 acre), lot #13 (1/2 acre)

     lots #4, 5 & 6 (each 5 acres)

     lots #1, 2, 3, 15, 16 & 17 (each 5-acres)

     lots #19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 (each 1/2 acre)

     lots #25, 26 & 27 ( each 1/2 acre)

     Mathew Spurlock was given a 1/2 acre lot #1 

     Then Mathew conveyed to John his 1/2 lot

March 1813: John Spurlock sold 475 acres on Beaver Creek for $400 to David Morgan (father-in-law of his daughter Susannah)

June 1813: “Bill of sale by Mathew Spurlock to John Spurlock for 2 feather beds and furniture; two cows and yearlings, 33 head of hogs, and the rent due this year for his field from Wm. Frasure.”

Nov. 1813: John bought lots in Prestonsburg from William Keeton for $1500.

Sept 1814: John Graham put up a bond in the amount of $10,000 on behalf of John Spurlock (doesn't say what for)

Feb 1815: John Spurlock, Jonathan Mayo & Harry B. Mayo were the commissioners of the Floyd County Court.

March 1815:  John bought 160 acres “in and about the town of Prestonsburg” from John Graham for $1000.

Court Record, 1815: “At a meeting of the March Term of the Floyd County Court, John Graham was directed to appear and show why he conveyed lots in Prestonburg to John Spurlock after he had conveyed same to the Floyd County Court.” (Book II, p. 82) “At a meeting of the May Term of the Floyd County Court, John Graham appeared and explained the Spurlock sale as an overlap of lots and streets due to the lack at the time of a definite survey of the  boundaries. Graham then proposed to convey to the county, certain lots in Prestonburg.” (Book II)

Jan 11, 1816: Deed of gift from John Spurlock to his daughter Anney Spurlock for two negros named Nancy and Polly

Jan 11, 1816: Deed of gift from John Spurlock to his daughter Artimince Spurlock for two negros named Sylva and Caly.

May 1816: John bought 60 acres on Sandy River for $50.

June 24, 1816: “John Havens & John Spurlock granted permission to keep a tavern at their respective houses in Prestonburg.”

July 1816: John sold a lot in Prestonsburg for $100.

Aug 1816: son, Hiram bought 100 acres "on the Left Fork of Beaver Creek, beginning at David Spurlock's line" from his father for $500.

Aug 1816: son-in-law, David K. Harris bought a lot in Prestonsburg for $100 from John Spurlock.

Oct. 16, 1816: John bought a lot in Prestonburg for $100. 

Oct 1816: sold to son Hiram land on Beaver Creek for $450.  "land which the said John Spurlock had willed his son Mathew Spurlock, being the same on which Judah Spurlock, the second wife of said Mathew Spurlock, now lives. Hiram Spurlock having paid said Mathew Spurlock for said land petitions John Spurlock for deed to same."

Nov 1816: bill of sale from John Spurlock to his daughter Rhody for a negro boy name Hampton, age 13 years, and a negro girl, named Polly, age 4 months. Attest: Jno. W. McConnell and Mary Morris.

When his son-in-law, William Morgan was murdered in 1813, John was the administrator. So when John died in 1816, Fanny became the administratrix for both William Morgan's estate and her husband's estate.  In May 1817 Fanny sold one of  William Morgan's town lots for $30. (Maybe she bought it for herself.).  

John must have become fairly prosperous.  In his will (below) he left 13 slaves to his wife and all his daughters.  He gave land to his sons.

John died Dec 2, 1816 in Prestonburg. 

His Will:

I John Spurlock of Floyd Co Ky being of sound mind though weak in make...this my last will . . . . I will my soul to God who gave it.

Item 1st To my beloved wife Frances one negro woman named Jean and her 2 children named Frank and Jackson, also one negro woman named Betsey and her child Phebe.

Item 2nd To my beloved daughter Sarah Tarter one negro boy named Charles which I have heretofore put into her possession by deed of gift which I intend as part of her estate.

Item 3rd To my beloved son David Spurlock all that tract of land he now lives on bounded as the deed of gift will show which I have heretofore made and intend as part of his estate.

Item 4th To my beloved son Hiram Spurlock all that tract of land he now lives on bounded as the deed of gift will show which deed has panalty of $500 and consideration, but said sum never has been paid nor no part thereof, which I intend as a part of his estate.

Item 5 To my beloved daughter Rhoda two negros, that is one boy named Hampton and girl named Polly as the present part of her estate.

Item 6th to my deceased daughter Susannah's heirs, David Morgan, Polly Morgan and Ann Morgan, one negro man named Will, which I have given heretofore with other property, as I intend for estate and no more.

Item 7th to my beloved son Matthew Spurlock's heirs by his second wife Juda the tract of land that Juda lives on now, for said tract to remain in possession of Juda until her child James Harvey is of age, then said land to be equally divided between her 4 oldest children which I allot for the whole of their estate and no more.

Item 8th to my beloved daughter Ann Harris late Ann Spurlock two negro girls one named Nancy and one Patsy which I have heretofore made a deed of gift as recorded in Clerk's office and intend as part of her estate.

Item 9th to my beloved daughter Artemiss two negro girls named Silva and Caty which I have heretofore made a deed of gift.

Item 10th to my beloved wife further all lands, lots and tenements that is attached in the town of Prestonburg or adjoining, together with all stock, houshold furniture, farming utensils including the blacksmith tools, etc. observing that my beloved son Robert Spurlock is to have at the decease of my wife Fanny a portion out of the land and lots, which shall be equal in value to Hiram and David's part of said estate.

Item 11th I do further will that my beloved wife to receive and pay off all just debts out of any property which is named to her in this will. I do further appoint my beloved wife Fanny and son Hiram as my lawful executors to amply receive this my last will and testament.

25 Aug 1816

Signed John Spurlock

in the presence of John Turman, Stephen Hamilton, Joseph Davis, James Young

Floyd Co Court, Dec Term 1816 proved in open court and ordered to be recorded.

Prestonburg Court record, Dec. 23, 1816: “The last will and testament of John Spurlock was proved in open court and by oath of James Young and Stephen Hamilton. Francis (sic) Spurlock, widow of the deceased, and Hiram Spurlock are appointed administrators.”

Jan. 27, 1817: “Ordered that John Spurlock, son of Mathew Spurlock, aged about 15 years (born about 1802), be bound out to Daniel May, house carpender (sic) and joiner.”

There was a Charles Spurlock, born about 1795; married Clara Akers, Dec. 15, 1820, Floyd Co, Ky. (marriage bond dated Dec. 12, 1820, signed by Charles Spurlock & John Spurlock)

Frances Spurlock and her family on the 1820 census: “000100-01010”. Translated to mean:

    1 man, age 16-26 [Robert, age 20]

    1 girl, age 10-16 [Arty?, about 22?]

    1 woman, age 26-45 [Fanny, about 60]

Aug. 1, 1821: “Indenture from Fanny Spurlock to the legal heirs of John Spurlock, deceased, in consideration of the sum of $1.00 sells to the said heirs title to four negros (sic) willed to me by my husband John Spurlock, deceased, until my death, to-wit: Betsy, Phoebe, Frank and Jackson.”

March 1, 1823: “Know all men by these presents, that I, Frances Spurlock, of the County of Floyd and State of Kentucky, hath this day given and sold for the sum of $1.00 to me in hand paid and for the natural love and affection I have for my daughter, Arty Spurlock, the following:

    One black horse and one sorrel mare, 12 head of cattle, two feather beds and furniture, 17 head of sheep, 14 head of hogs and 34 head of geese, with the balance of my household and kitchen furniture, except one bed and bedding which I reserve for myself. All of the above I do sell and convey to the said Arty Spurlock and her heirs. (Signed with an X)

Mar. 1, 1823: "Deed of Gift from Francis Spurlock to her children Sarah Tarter, of Virginia, late Sara Spurlock, Rody Gearheart, late Rody Spurlock, David Spurlock, Hiram Spurlock, Ann Harris, late Ann Spurlock, Robert Spurlock and Arty Spurlock for all the property she now owns.”

It appears to have taken several years to settle John Spurlock estate as indicated by this court record, March 27, 1826: “On the motion of Hiram Spurlock, Robert Spurlock and John H. Haywood, heirs of John Spurlock, deceased, ordered that commissioners be appointed to allot unto said Spurlocks and Haywood their proportional parts of the estate of John Spurlock, deceased.”

Fanny died July 25, 1853 and was buried in Lexington, Ky. 


1. DAVID (Drury?) SPURLOCK, Sr.

David was born in 1783 in Virginia. He moved to Kentucky between 1794-99. He was 21 when he married Susanna Hancock in 1804 (Susanna's uncle, William Hancock was a longtime hunting companion of Daniel Boone).

Dec. 1808 he bought 50 acres in Beaver Creek for 30 pounds. August 1810 he and Susanna bought 100 acres on Beaver Creek for $250.  In Sept. 1815 David bought 75 acres on Beaver Creek from John Spurlock for $500.

In 1820 they were on the Floyd County census. This is David’s family on the 1820 census: “220010-02110”. Translated to mean:

    2 boys under 10 — Wm. David (8), David Jr. (2)

    2 boys 10-26 — Pleasant (15), & ?

    1 man age 26-45 —  David (37)

    2 girls 10-16 — Rhoda (12), Frances (6)

    1 girl 16-26 —  ?

    1 woman age 26-45 —  Susanna

In 1830 the family moved to Arkansas. He died in 1846 in Evening Shade, Sharp County, Ark. 


1.1    Pleasant Spurlock, b 1805, Ky; m Bettie A. Seaborn; moved to Arkansas

1.2    Rhoda Spurlock, b 1808, Ky; m Edward L. Osborn, Jr.; stayed in Kentucky

1.3    William S. Spurlock, b 1812, Ky.; m Eliza Greer in Ark.

1.4    Frances “Fanny” Spurlock, b 1814, Ky; m 1st her cousin, Byrd Garrett Spurlock (son of Mathew) & John Oyler; moved to Tennessee.

1.5    David Spurlock, Jr., b 1818, Ky; m Mary Morris Estes

1.6    Jesse Spurlock, b 1820; prob. died young

1.7    Nancy Spurlock, b 1822, Ky; d 1882, unmarried; d in Ark.

1.8    Robert Spurlock, b 1824; m Serena Simpson in Ark.

1.9    John Spurlock, b 1826, Ky; m in Ark. 1st to Nancy Ann Lingo & Anna Eliza Estes (sister of Mary Morris Estes)


“Sally” was born about 1780 in Virginia. She married abt 1798 inVa. to Nicholas (or Michael) Darter. Died in Rogersville, TN

Floyd County, Ky. Court Record, June 1811: “Proof given that 12 years ago, John Spurlock gave his daughter Sarah, who married Nicholas Darter, a negro boy named Charles, who was 18 years old at the time and of yellow complexion.”


2.1    Frances Darter, b Apr 27, 1799 in VA; m Joseph Brown.

2.2    Henry Darter, b Aug 28, 1800 in Wythe Co VA; d 1880.

2.3    Michael Darter, b July 6, 1802 in Va; m his cousin, Margaret Gearheart.

2.4    Andrew Darter, b April 21, 1804 in Va; d abt 1883 in Va

2.5    Susan Darter, b Jan 22, 1805 in Va; m Joel Wisely; d Aug 16, 1843

2.6    Nancy Darter, b Dec 12, 1807 in Va; m David Blessing

2.7    John Darter, b April 14, 1810 in Va; m Elizabeth Billiter Oct 08, 1835 in Va

2.8    Ann Darter, b Feb 23, 1812; 

2.9    Robert Darter, b June 12, 1814 in Va; m Susan Abigail ESTES; d Nov 8, 1883

2.10   Daniel Darter,, b Sept 29, 1816 in Wythe Co Va; d Oct 30, 1889 in Baker Co, Ore.

2.11   Nicholas Darter III, b Nov 6, 1818 in Wythe Co, VA; m Mary Emily Jones; d abt 1870 in CA.

2.12   Sallie Darter (prob Sarah), b Nov 27, 1820 in Va; m John Asa Brown Feb 16, 1839 in Va.

2,13   Polly Darter (prob Mary), b Aug 12, 1822 in Va; m John Spangler 

2.14   Elizabeth Darter, b Nov 17, 1826 in Va; m Robert A. Hounshell; died Abt. 1898

2.15   Stephen Darter, b Mar 19, 1830 in Va; d abt 1908


Hiram was born about 1788 in Virginia. He was 28 when he married April 4, 1816 in Floyd County, Ky. to Martha J/G “Patsy” Osborne (their marriage bond was dated April 3, 1816 and signed by Hiram Spurlock and Weeks Frazure). In 1820 & 1830 they were in Floyd Co, Ky. He died in 1835 in Floyd Co, Ky. In 1840 Martha was in Floyd Co., Ky. 


3.1    Sarah Spurlock, b 1819, Floyd Co, Ky; M Joseph Harris; ch: Hiram

3.2    Artina Spurlock, b abt 1830

3.3    Elizabeth Spurlock

3.4    Sis Spurlock

3.5    John Spurlock

3.6    Hiram Keenas Spurlock, b 1834 Floyd Co; m Elizabeth Martin; 8 children born in Floyd Co, KY



“Rhody” was born in 1790. She married in 1808 (marriage bond dated July 9, 1808), Floyd Co., Ky. to Adam Gearheart, Sr. (son of Adam). Adam evidently was a slave trader.  

Floyd Co, Ky. Court Record, Nov. 1816: “Bill of Sale from John Spurlock to his daughter Rhody for a negro boy named Hampton, age 13 years, and a negro girl, named Polly, age 4 months. attest: Jno. W. McConnell and Mary Morris.”

They had 6 daughters and Rhoda probably died.

Adam married 2nd in 1829 to Esther Hettie Harris and they had several more children: Miriam, Susan, Epperson, Jefferson, James, John, Arty (m David K. Harris, son of Anne Spurlock). 

Adam Sr. died before Nov. 1854.

Floyd County, Ky Court records, Adam Gearhart Adm, vs Adam Gearhart Heirs #336 filed November 29, 1854: "The defendants James P. Harris and Sarah his wife, Margaret Tarter, John J. Stratton and Catherine his wife, John Martin and Ann his wife, John Holbert and Fanny his wife state by way of answer to the original and amended cross petition of Mrs. Esther Gearhart and David K. Harris and others-that the heirship is correctly stated that they to wit: the female defendants, Sarah, Margaret, Catherine, Ann and Fanny together with Rhoda Fitzpatrick now deceased were the only children of Rhoda Gearhart formerly Spurlock the first wife of the deceased Adam Gearhart. The said mother of the aforementioned female defendants was the daughter of John Spurlock."

Rhoda’s children:

4.1    Anna Gearheart, b abt 1809 in Floyd Co, Ky; m 1831 to John Martin

4.2    Sarah Gearheart, b Feb 10, 1818, Floyd Co, Ky; m James Polk Harris; d 1908, Floyd Co, Ky.

4.3    Rhoda Gearheart, b 1826; m 1851 to William H.  Fitzpatrick

4.4    Margaret Gearheart, b abt 1819; m her cousin, Michael Tarter (son of Michael Tarter & Sarah Spurlock)

4.5    Frances Lorain “Fanny” Gearheart, b 1817, Floyd Co, Ky.; m 1st John Martin Holbert; m 2nd 1833, Floyd Co, Ky. to James Pendleton

4.6    Elizabeth Gearheart, b 1821, Floyd Co, Ky; John M. Harris

4.7    Joseph Adam Gearheart, b 1823, Floyd Co, Ky; m Susan Morgan

4.6    Catherine Gearheart, b abt 1827, Floyd Co, Ky; m Andrew “John” Jackson Stratton,1847, Floyd Co. Ky.  


Susanna was born about 1784 (Va.?) and married William Morgan. Susanna died abt 1806, maybe in childbirth.  William had two other children by Elizabeth Salisbury, whom he never married.  He was killed by Edward Osborne in a dispute in 1813. 


5.1     Mary "Polly" Morgan, b 1803, Floyd Co, Ky; m Jonathan Mayo (who was her cousin's cousin)

5.2     David Morgan, b 1805, Floyd Co, Ky; m Eleanor Graham

5.3     Anne Morgan, b 1806 Floyd Co, Ky; m John McReynolds.


Matthew was born in 1783, Montgomery Co, VA and died Sept 13, 1856 in Aaronsville, Jefferson County, Iowa.  

His first wife’s name is unknown. They had 4 children: John, Charles, Grandison & Dicie.

He married 2nd to Juda/Judith Garrett (b 1786 Va; m abt 1805, Kanawha, Va, divorced about 1817). He and Judith had 8-9 children in the 12 years they were married!

Matthew seems to have a tendency to start a new family before breaking ties with the previous wife and he moved around alot. 

He married 3rd abt 1817 to Lucretia Sellers, who was b 1796, NC & died June 16, 1856 in Aaronsville, Iowa. They had 8 more children.

Matthew was an ordained Methodist minister, but there is some question about his credibility. In 1811, Floyd Co, Ky, he had to produce his ordination credentials to the court. 

In 1820 he was still in Floyd Co. Ky. His family was listed as: “200010-01010”. Translated:

    2 boys under 10 –

    1 man age 26-45 – Matthew (26)

    1 girl age 10-16 –

    1 woman age 26-45 – Lucretia

The family also lived in Mississippi (or Alabama), in Arkansas (Crittenden Co. in 1831), and in 1836 he was in Des Moines Co., Iowa & in 1850 in Jefferson Co., Iowa (he may have also lived in Wapello Co, Iowa). He died Sept 13, 1856 in Jefferson Co, IA. [The following information from several of his descendants]:

He spent a good deal of time in Warren County, Tennessee. I've often wondered if the fact that his uncle Drury Spurlock was living in that area had anything to do with him showing up there. There had to be some sort of a relationship there as the Warren County records show that he witnessed a deed between Byrd Spurlock and Josiah Spurlock (both sons of Drury). Among the others to witness this deed was a Harvey Spurlock and John Herriman who married Rebecca Spurlock, and I am sure raised my Miles Spurlock. Anyway, Matthew resided in numerous locations, at least several of the times were "forced relocations" to escape the law. He resided in Montgomery Co, VA, Floyd Co, KY, Warren Co, TN, Alabama, Memphis, Shelby Co, TN, Perry Co, TN, Crittendon Co, AR, Lee Co, IA, Schuyler Co, IL, Jefferson Co, IA - Bill Spurlock

“I'm descended from the infamous Matthew Spurlock and his wife, Judith (Juda) Garrett. Since I only recently found Spurlock's in my line, I am unfamiliar with the Spurlock history. Why is Matthew infamous?” - Kay

“Well, for starters, he is said to be a bigamist, a con man, and a counterfeiter.  Born in 1783 in VA, the son of John Spurlock, Jr. and Fannie Turman, he apparently had 22 children with three different women, with multi-year overlaps between the "wives."  There are stories about him that include counterfeiting and also about conning people into believing that that they could buy deeply discounted counterfeit money, pocketing the money, and skipping town before he had to come up with the fake bucks.  He was also said to be a Methodist preacher, and to hold tent revival meetings, at which he would make lots of whiskey freely available, get all the sinners drunk, and make off with their money.  He moved from state to state frequently, maybe because he was avoiding the law and maybe because he was running away from one wife or another.  Because he moved so frequently, it's hard to tell whether all the "Matthew sitings" that show up in the local history books and the oral history are really about the same Matthew Spurlock.  I prefer to believe everything I read or hear really is about my own special great-great-great-granddaddy.  (And considering he had 22 children, I must have a gazillion cousins out there.)”   --Jane

(Some info on children came from Jackie at

Matthew appears to have had 20-21 children by 3 wives!!

4 children by first wife:

6.1    JOHN SPURLOCK, b 1801, Fleming Co, Ky (now Rowan Co). He was bounded out to Daniel May as a carpenter/joiner appretice at age 15. He married 1st Permelia Pervis/Purvis in Bath Co, Ky; married 2nd Malinda Gillispie (mother of Charles) (info from descendant: Jackie Rhea Shears1, Louanna Deboard2, Dessie Edington3, Mrtyle Creswell4, Malinda Spurlock5, Jonathan Spurlock6, Charles Spurlock7, John Spurlock8, Matthew Spurlock9, John Spurlock Jr10, etc.)

6.2    DICIE SPURLOCK, b 1804, married William Straton

6.3    CHARLES SPURLOCK, b 1805; m 1st Margaret Ownes; m 2nd Clara Akers, Dec 15, 1820 in Floyd Co, Ky

6.4    Grandison Spurlock, b 1806; d 1856; m Anna Foster Scott (1803-1882); (some info from descendant: Vicki Ellis Griffis1, Mary Lorene Spurlock2, James Clifton Spurlock3, James David Spurlock4, William Galavin Spurlock5 son of Grandison6 (<>)

8-9 children by 2nd wife, Juda who he m about 1805 & div 1817, though some of these children were born after 1817:

6.5    Nancy Spurlock, b abt 1809; m Peter Crockett

6.6    Byrd Garrett Spurlock, b 1810 Va

6.7    James Harvey Spurlock, b Dec 17, 1813, VA; d Aug 24, 1868, Douglas Co, Ks; m Martha Spencer, Mar 2, 1841, Platte Co, MO.

    James Harvey Spurlock was one of the first settlers of Kansas, arriving there from Missouri shortly after Kansas became a US territory. (There is a record of J.H. Spurlock in the 1859 Territorial Census, then living in Douglas Co, Lecompton Twp.) According to family tradition, he was born in 1813, the second of seven children of Matthew Spurlock and Judith Garrett (but he is listed in the 1850 Census of Missouri as being 30 or 36 -- too hard to read), having been born in Tennessee. Two of his sisters are known: Sarah, who married Wesley Garrett, and Matilda, who married Silvester Blankenship.

    Harvey was a man of stern convictions. He lived in stormy times amid dangerous surroundings, but he compromised with no man. He lived among slave holders and was an Abolitionist. He was a zealous Methodist of the northern branch. His home was open to the itinerant preacher. He lived his religious and his political faiths, but he had a genius for attending to his own business. He held the confidence and respect of the leaders of the opposition and was for some years manager of the Platte County poor farm. He brought his family to Kansas in 1856 and was an outspoken Free State man. After the Civil war, as things were settling down, life began to be easier. But he did not live to enjoy the better times. He was accidentally killed by a runaway team.

    Martha deserves an honored place among the women who helped to make Kansas. She brought forth her brood of eight within the four walls of a frontier cabin. Housekeeping was primitive. Through all this Martha never lost her faith in God nor questioned the Divine plan. Her later life was serene. She lived to 1895, and died with all her sons and daughters at her bedside in her home near Junction City.

    (This bio was written by one of Harvey and Martha's grandchildren some years back; a few of the dates have been verified by one of their great-great grandchildren, and she is still working on it; responses are welcome.)

    They had eight children, all born in Missouri.

. . . . . 6.7.1)   Nancy J. (b. ca 1842) m. James M. Beach; ch: James, Mark

. . . . . 6.7.2)    Judith A. (b. 1844) m. Benjamin F. Moore; ch: Martha, William, Frank, Walter, Cora, Nettie, ‘Kate” (Sarah Catherine?, b1876 d1938 Lecompton, KS), Fred

. . . . . 6.7.3)    William B., b. ca. 1847; m. Esther A. Iliff before 1870; was a Union soldier in the Civil War; ch: Harvey, Nellie, Mary, Martha

. . . . . 6.7.4)    Benjamin Rush, b. Feb 1848; m. Malinda Chrisman (b. Dec 1861 KY, daug of James Chrisman) on 19 Feb 1879 in Jefferson County, KS, Perry Twp.; ch: Paul E., Martha ("Mattie"), Arthur ("Guy"), Ethel, Burwell Lloyd ("Burrell")

. . . . . 6.7.5)    James H., b. ca. 1852; m. Izett Anderson; ch: Myrtle, Claude, Frank, Marjorie

. . . . . 6.7.6)    Charles W., b. ca. 1855; m. Jessie Morris; ch: Roxie, Charles Jr,  Martha, Mary, John

. . . . . 6.7.7)    John S., b. ca. 1858; m. Lucy Oliver; ch: Gladys

. . . . . 6.7.8)    Werter D., b. ca. 1861; m. Lizzie Gibbs (no ch)

6.8    William N. B. Spurlock, b 1817, Bedford Co, Tn; m Eliza Ann Mason (b 1820, Ia); 1850 in Jefferson Co, Ia with father & brother Henry. Ch: Louis B (b 1841, Ia), Sarah J. (1842), Mary A. (1844), Lucretia (1847), George W. (1849), Lee W.    

6.9     Hiram S. Spurlock, b. 1821 in KY married Louise Banta

6.10   Sarah M. Spurlock, b. 9/22/1822 in VA  married Wesley Garrett

6.11   Matilda Spurlock, b Dec 8, 1830 in Lawrence Co, Ky; m Sylvester Blankenship

6.12   Amanda Spurlock

6.13   maybe Richard or John

8 children of 3rd wfie, Lucretia who he married about 1817:

6.14    Andrew Jackson Spurlock, b Feb 23, 1820, Ky; m & d in Iowa; 11 ch: LaFayette, Caroline Minerva (1846; m Jackson R. Riley), Elizabeth Ann (1850; m John Brown Riley)

6.15    Henry Spurlock, b 1822, Ala.; m June 29, 1843, Jefferson Co, Ia to Mary Sears (b 1826, Ia); ch: Minerva J (1844, Ia), Cynthia J. (1845), Susan A. (1848)

6.16    Harvey S. Spurlock, b May 1, 1823; m Mary C. Sears; ch: Johnson (m Mary Ann Birdwell)

6.17    Lucretia Spurlock, b July 8, 1826; m Wm. Brown Sr.

6.18    Marcus M. D. Layfette Spurlock, b 1829, Tn.?; m Rachel Hiatt

6.19    Minerva C. (maybe Caroline) Spurlock, b 1833, Ark, probably youngest; m. T.B. Barnett

6.20    George W. Spurlock, b 1844; m Elizabeth Fine

6.21    Anna Spurlock, b Dec 6, 1847; m John Todhunter


Annie was born about 1796. She married K. Harris, Sr. (son of James & Patte Harris). Their marriage bond was dated Mar 26, 1816, signed by David K. Harris & Hiram Spurlock. In Aug. 1816 David bought a lot in Prestonburg from John Spurlock for $100. the note was witnessed by John Turman, Stephen Hambleton, Robert Spurlock & Robert Turman.


7.1    David K. Harris, Jr., m Mar 30, 1857, Artie Gearheart (daug of Adam Gearheart & Esther Harris)


“Artie” was born about 1808. She married John H. Haywood, Nov. 6, 1824 in Floyd Co Ky. They lived on a small tributary of Spurlock Fork and what is now called John’s Branch of Spurlock Fork, which was named for John Haywood. 

Unsure whether this court record applies to her or to her cousin, John’s daughter: (see below)

Floyd Co., Ky. Court Record, Feb. 19, 1821: “Artimice (sic) Spurlock, infant heir of John Spurlock, deceased, came into court and choose (sic) Alexander Lackey as guardian in common.”


8.1     Rhoda Haywood


Robert was born about 1800.