John Figro Oxendine

Born: ~1694
lived as bound servant until 1724
Died: after 1759 (age 65)

John Oxendine's Children:
unknown child name, around 1719, with mother Judith Bowling (John was 25)
Benjamin Oxendine (Apr 12 1733, Northumberland Co VA); was in NC in 1758
Jenne Oxendine (Feb 14 1735, Northumberland Co VA)
Clark Oxendine (Nov 28 1736, Northumberland Co VA) Female
John Oxendine (Jun 10 1739, Northumberland Co VA)
Charles Oxendine ~1741
Cudworth / Cood Oxendine ~1750 (this is our line)

John's wife is thought to be Sarah Oxendine who was still around in 1770. The US Census only began in 1790, so that is no help.

Childrens' records are in the Virginia County Court Abstracts v3, Northumberland County Record of births, page 112.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Large numbers of people are copy-pasting my content onto their pages and blogs as if they wrote it. Please credit me and link to me. I put a lot of effort into these pages and update them regularly. You could be propagating incorrect information if you simply take something that I then later update. It's critical for us all that online genealogical information be both attributable and accurate.

John Oxendine in Northumberland County, Virginia is the furthest back I can go in our Oxendine research. I have no idea who his parents were or where they came from. If you have thoughts, please let us know! Was he brought in as a slave? Was he a child of a slave? He was definitely thought to be non-white and he is right on the Virginia coastline.

Northumberland county, Virginia

John, also known as "Figro" and "Figrow", was born around 1694-6 but we don't know if he was born in the US or brought into the US. He was referred to as a mallatto (sic). He was bound as a servant until age 31. In 1719 a servant, Judith Bowling, accused him of fathering her child. In 1724 he sued William and Elizabeth Wildey for his freedom in Northumberland Cty, Virginia. His suit was in January 1724. Note that I can't find any record of Judith Bowling, her master Ann Hould, nor of William and Elizabeth Wildey. That seems really odd. Can anybody find any of those four people?

John Oxendine lived in Northumberland County in the 1730s. He moved to Bladen County, North Carolina in the 1750s. This was a fairly long-distance move. It's also inland, where until now he'd been on the coast. Keep in mind he had at least six kids at this point - one has to wonder why he moved. Maybe it has to do with his wife's family?

Bladen County, North Carolina

John was still alive in 1758 as he wanted to be excused from paying taxes. Notes are in Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia, original pages 684-685. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the actual page screenshot.

The notes in the African-American book say John was probably mixed race. This is because he was bound until age 31 and also was not tax exempt in North Carolina until November 1758.

In the African American book (original page 541) is a note that on August 27, 1753, John Johnson Jr entered 100 acres in Bladen County NC on the north side of Pugh's marsh whereon John Oxendine was then living. John Oxendine is only mentioned in passing. (Bladen County Land Entries #805).

In 1759 he probably lives with much of his family in the Drowning Creek area of Bladen County, North Carolina. This is the name given to the upper part of the Lumbee River. It's in 1759 that his son, John, buys 100 acres including improvements made by John Oxendine Sr (i.e. the father).

It appears that the father, John Oxendine, moves to Bladen County NC along with sons John and Benjamin. It then appears that the family moved along to South Carolina.

Note - it's not like there were trillions of people in Virginia in 1694 when John Oxendine was born. Research I've done says:

Virginia population in 1650: 15,000
Virginia population in 1685: 60,000

So the entire state only had 60,000 people. One of them was John Oxendine's father, probably named Oxendine ... or else he was brought in from elsewhere.

From JustPlainOldLisa: On your John Oxendine do you know anything about him suing for his wife's freedom or if you read anything about him being the first Native American to be granted land from the king? I read this on another site, but you don't have anything about it on yours?? justplainoldlisa*AT*

My response: According to The Only Land I Know: A History of the Lumbee Indians - "Although the evidence to be gained from early land grants and titles is limited, it is sufficient to show that Lumbee ancestors were acquiring such documents as early as the 1730s. James Lowrie and Henry Berry received land grants directly from King George II of England in 1732, the former receiving a second grant in 1738 ... two Lumbee ancestors who bought land in the 1730s were John Brooks, who took title to one thousand acres in 1735, and Robert Lowrie, who purchsed six hundred and forty acres in 1736. In the remaining decades of the century, land deeds proliferated, showing clearly that the Lumbees were accepting the concept of private property and some were acquiring considerable holdings. The lands to which the Indians took title were usually located by their relationship to the Lumbee River or to a prominent swamp, such as Ashpole Swamp, Long Swamp, or Back Swamp, all of which are unmistakably in Robeson County, Moreover, the surnames on the titles remain prominent among the Lumbees to this day, such as Locklear, Oxendine, Bell, Cumbo, Hunt, and Chavis, as well as those previously mentioned."

So there is no record that I can find anywhere of John Oxendine being the first Native American to be given land by King George. It seems James Lowrie and Henry Berry are documented in that area. It seems that John's son, John Junior, bought land in 1759 which his father had been working on.

From Sandye:

I am going to quote Charles Oxendine, my friend in FL, who wrote the census book:

The earliest Oxendine in America that we can trace is John OXendine. His name was written John OXendine in Northumberland County, Virginia court records dated 1727, 1734 and 1741. However, Northumberland County, Virginia church records spelt his name John Oxendane when his children were born during the 1730s. Northumberland County is situated in the eastern part of the State on the Atlantic plain, bordering Chesapeake Bay on the south side of the Potomac. The birth of John's children was recorded in "Virginia County Court Abstracts, V. 3, Northumberland County Record of births", page 112. John's children were:

1733 - 1739 Northumberland County, Virginia
John Oxendane 1696 (About)
... Benjamin 1733 (born 12 April 1733, Northumberland Co, VA)
... Jenne 1735 (born 14 Feb 1735, same county)
... Clark (F) 1736 (born 28 Nov 1737, same county)
... John 1739 (born 10 Jun 1739, same county)
... Charles ? 1741 (thought to be a son of John Oxendine)

John is found in Bladen Co, NC in 1753 on a deed and we think this is the same John. His son John and Benjamin are mentioned about this time too in NC--I can send detail later.

John is mentioned in several other documents as well that I can give you later.

John is in the 1790 census for Charlston, SC. HE died in 1797 and left a will.

Only Cudworth is in SC for 1800.

in 1810 there is Cudworth, Charles and Aaron in SC

in 1820 there is Aaron, Cud, and Charles.

By the way, Dicy was not in White County TN--she was in Bledsor Co.


1810 for Cudworth--(1754) (page 083)
with wife and 4 children--Marion District, SC

1810 for Charles 1788 with wife 1788, child 1808 (page 083) Marion Dsitrict, SC

1810 for Aaron (page 224A) 1881 with wife Jane Scott (1790) and three children (1805, 1807, 1809) This could actually fit Dicy and at least one other sibling! This is Sumter District, SC (supposed to be a son of Charles born in 1741)

Actually, upon refreshing my memory, John left Northumberland Co, Va, sometime between 08 FEB 1741 and 1749. He was in Craven County, NC in 1749. In a book entitled "Early Records of NC, Vol. III, Loose Papers and Related Materials 1712- 1798 (from the Secretary of State Papers), abstracted by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., entry number 662. Thomas Pearson 1749".

In 1749 Thomas Pearson estate was being settled. Wheelwright Pearson is the executor,. Wheelwright Pearson gives a list of debts due the estate. There were 105 names listed. John Oxendine is listed as one of them. Dr. Bradley notes that "Archives indicates Craven County." I quoted this from Charles Oxendine's census book (which not only has censuses for all Oxendines, it has a lot of this type of information. It also has Oxendine relatives who have married and no longer have Oxendine as a surname. This book has been such a help to me!)

Charles Oxendine talks a lot about John Oxendine and where he may have originated. Also, in Northumberland County Fee Book 1727, Entries for John Oxendine appear in the index "Oxendine, John.....10" and on page 10 (The word Freedom is clear. Is John ending servitude and becoming free on July 3?. This entry is very faint and difficult to read. This is my best guess.....)
"Jno Oxendine Als Figos
to foy own bb and holy ...............6
To O ... sum..
key ............................................26
to Esny Ehisley Edwards Att.........10
to a cooks Wieldog......................10
T Iwn July 3 freedom.....................5" I quoted all of this from Charles Oxendine's book, too.

there is another entry for him in this book, too.

He is also mentioned in Edward Downing's Northumberland Co. will of 08 Feb 1741.

Paul Heinegg's book is called "Free AFrican Americans of North Carolina and VA." He has more information of John Oxendine----- it states "John OXendine, alias Firo, circa 1694 successfully bought his freedom from Ann Hole/Holey and William Wildey and his wife Elizabeth in Northumberland County in Jan 1725." Figro in Latin means to shape and in the other entry above, he is mentioned as a cooper--which is a barrelmaker.

Charles Oxendine writes in his book that he is almost certain John is in Bladen Co., NC in 1753 as he is mentioned in a deed there. He is listed there again in 1759, in 1786 Bladen Co, NC was redrawn and part of it formed Robeson Co, NC.

My error of memory is that this is the John in the 1790 census in SC. The John in SC in 1790 was born about 1765. The earlier John missed the census entirely in 1790, how, is not known.

Which Oxendines were you wanting photos of? I do wonder if David could be Dicy's father. hmmm Who do you have pictures of? Just Elizabeth? I would love a copy. It is very interesting that I can find Dicy in 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1870 (she died in 1877), but not 1860. It may be because she said the soldiers would trample their gardens around the time of the Civil War so she had to flee to the Cherokee Strip. But I can't find her or any of her children there, either. Although I did learn recently that her daughter Delilah (whom she name after her sister) was married during that time to a Cherokee whose last name was Beanstick. I had ever heard of that before. That was in Oklahoma, near the Cherokee Strip, and since Delilah had children about that time, I assume that Dicy would be nearby to help. Dicy's brothers were in CA by that time, as I had told you. I do know that Dicy left Missouri, acc. to the story, in April of 1861 to come to CA and arrived in CA in September 1861. She was on the John Pope Wagon train that landed near Lodi.


Son: Cudworth / Cood Oxendine ~1750 (this is our line)

Page from the Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia which discuss John Oxendine. Great reference.

John Oxendine

Page from Implosion - The Secret History of the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County North Carolina by Morris F. Britt - a highly recommended reference source

John Oxendine

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