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New Newsletters published by Vann   March 28th, 2014

I just added the following newsletters from Vann – trying to get caught up on some of my past work over the last year:

Locke Newsletter 2012_12





February Newsletter 2012




Here are the PDF links to the latest family newsletters. Please contact me if you have an interest in learning more about what you read.    Vann Helms

If you would like to see more newsletters published by Vann Helms, please use the following links:




The latest version of the Locke Family Newsletter is now out. You can access it at the following PDF Acrobat location:

Please let me hear your thoughts and let me know of your connection to this family.

                                                               Vann Helms



Photo Gallery   December 21st, 2011

Click on this link to go to the full page photo gallery.

Locke Photos

[img src=]1301918_JGL Diary_1.jpg
[img src=]901918_JGL Diary_2.jpg
[img src=]70
[img src=]1101918_JGL_France_bw.jpg
[img src=]701918_JGL_paybook.jpg
[img src=]110JG_Locke_ajob_cir1920.jpg
[img src=]80
[img src=]90
[img src=]100Joe_G_Locke_cir1920.jpg
[img src=]140Locke Elizabeth Bea 1910.jpg
[img src=]160Locke John Calhoun family circa 1900.jpg
[img src=]140Vivian Locke and Frances Barnett circa 1944
[img src=]130Children of Henry Jefferson Locke and Margaret Annie Simpson
[img src=]100Joe Green Locke on a job
[img src=]80Locke Men 1948
Dewey (L), Joe G (C), Wofford (R)
[img src=]80Joe G Locke Marker
Woffor and I designed a new marker for his dad.
[img src=]80Josiah H Locke Cenotaph
Confederate Soldier died in Battle in St. Petersburg 30 July 1884
[img src=]170Henry Jefferson and Annie Simpson Locke
[img src=]70Joe G Locke and Leila Merle Wofford
[img src=]70Locke Children 1950
Vivian, Woffor, Dewey, Sarah Anne, Cherry
Posted in Photos | No Comments »

The document link below tells the story of my dads experiences during WWII and closes with his view on the war and the bomb that saved his life.  I hope you enjoy.

Wofford Locke’s Navy History

Please click on the link below for an indented chart of desendants:

Philip Locke Descendants

From: The Book of the Lockes, by John Goodwin Locke

NOTE:  Excerpts taken from The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1746 and contains known errors in the family history…



Tradition considers the name of Locke to be of Scotch extraction, originally spelled Loch; but, if so, it must have been in very early time. When Alfred was king of the West Saxons in England (871-899), he saved his country from Danish conquest, laid the basis for the unification of England under the West Saxon monarchy, and led a revival of learning and literature. During this time, Alfred divided this kingdom into parishes, and there was known of the dwelling of a great man named Locke, and the town Lockestown which was named after him. It adjoins East Brent, and is between Weston and Axbridge (A38) in Somerset. At one time the family became numerous, but apparently misfortunes fell upon his descendants and the land was divided and sold. To this day there remains the town of Lockston, the Parish of Locking just 2 miles from the town, and a large farm called Lockinghead now belonging to the merchants of Bristol.The Locke family in this area consider themselves as descended from a very ancient house, arguing that they gave names to the parishes where they lived, before the Conquest (1066), and do not derive their name with a De from the parishes, as is very commonly the case.Very little else can be found about members of the Locke family who distinguished themselves until 1350 when Robert Locke became Vicecomes of Wiltshire under Thomas de Saint Maur, and John Locke who was the Sheriff of London in 1460.

Sir William Locke, Knight

When Henry VIII had parliament pass two acts in 1534 that 1) declared that the Pope had no authority in England, and 2) declared that Henry was the head of the Church of England, Pope Clement VII reacted by issuing a Bull (proclamation) that a curse be upon Henry VIII and the whole country. This Bull was posted at Dunkirk, France, and William Locke succeeded in the dangerous mission of pulling it down. For this exploit, the King granted him a freehold of 100 pounds per year, dubbed him a Knight, and made him one of the gentlemen of his privy chamber. Sir William lived to be an alderman of London, and was Sheriff of the city in 1548. He died in 1550.Of the descendants of Sir William in England, the information is imperfect, but the list includes: George Locke of Tiverton buried at St. Sidwell’s in Essex 1586, Thomas Locke of Little Horsely, Essex, Rev. John Locke, Rector of Askerwell, Dorset, father to the Rev. William Locke (d.1686), Sir John Locke, Knight, an East India director (d.1746), and James Locke, his brother, husband to the Turkey Company. And yet perhaps none of these can compare to the contributions of John Locke, the great metaphysician and philosopher (1632- 1704), the Gr. Gr. Gr. grandson of Sir William.

This chart shows how John Locke and William Locke were 1st cousins !

                        Sir William Locke ( -1550)
                               Michael Locke
                               Matthew Locke
                             Christopher Locke
   |           |          |          |          |         |          |
 Sarah    Christopher    John      Honour   Christian   Lewis     William
(1587- )  (1593-    ) (1595-1645) (1597- )  (1601- )   (1606- )  (    -    )
m.Nicholas                |                                          |
  Davies                  |                                          |
 (1595- )            John Locke                                   William
                     (1632-1704)                               (1628-1720)
                  (the philosopher)                            (of Woburn)

The Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775)


The following members of the Locke family were present on Lexington green. None of them were injured or killed.

     Walker's Company from Woburn           (Age in 1775)
         William Locke bapt. Feb 7, 1720         (54)
         Thomas Locke     b.Aug 29, 1756         (18)

     Capt. Parker's Company from Lexington
         Amos Locke       b.Dec 24, 1742         (33)
         Benjamin Locke   b.May  7, 1756         (19)

     With Sylvanus Wood
         Ebenezer Locke   b.Nov  3, 1732         (42)

    From "History of Deering", Deering, NH
         Ebenezer Locke   b.MAr 2 1735           (40)

                 |                                       |
             William                                   Joseph
                 |                                       |
        |-------------|                         |--------+----------|
        |             |                         |                   |
    Ebenezer       William                    Joseph              Stephen
        |             |                         |                   |
        |        |----+---+-------|          |--+---|           |---+-----|
        |        |        |       |          |      |           |         |
    Ebenezer  Thomas  Ebenezer  William   Joseph   Amos       Reuben   Benjamin
       (40)      |      (42)     (54)              (33)                  (19)

In the "History of Deering", Deering, NH it is said that Ebenezer Locke
fired the first shot "that was heard 'round the world."
Last edited 05/15/01

Francis Locke Militia   September 4th, 2009



Locke, Francis (1722-96), Revolutionary soldier, farming trader, and carpenter, was born in Northern Ireland, the son of John and Elizabeth Locke who moved to Lancaster County, Pa., when Francis and his brother, Matthew, were young. Francis was still living in Lancaster County in 1738. The older Locke died in 1744, his widow married John Brandon, and about 1752 the family moved Anson (now Rowan, formed from Anson in 1753) County, N.C. In 1753 Francis purchased 640 acres from his stepfather and established his home four miles west of Salisbury on the Lincolnton road. He and Matthew began dealing in skins and operated a fleet of wagons from the frontier of the colony to Salisbury, Salem, and Charles Town, S. C., in a profitable trade that netted them a comfortable living.

Whether Locke had previous military training in Pennsylvania is not known, but in 1759 Governor Arthur Dobbs commissioned him an ensign under Captain Griffith Rutherford in the Rowan regiment commanded by Colonel Adlai Osborn. By 1764 he was interested in politics, and the best way to attain office in those times was to become a tavern owner. In that year he was licensed to operate an ordinary at his dwelling house; there he could meet and entertain his countrymen and become a familiar figure. Although it was unlawful for a tavern owner to be appointed sheriff, the highest local office in the colony, Locke was recommended to Governor Dobbs by the county court as the best candidate for that office. He was appointed and served a year and a half (1765 -66).

Locke’s term as sheriff fell during the Regulators’ rising against abuse in government and improper taxes. It was the worst possible time to be sheriff, for it was his duty to collect taxes while also keeping the peace. In this undertaking Locke was not successful. He was able to collect taxes from only about 1,000 of the 3,043 taxables and had to explain to the satisfaction of the county court why this was so. He pointed out that he had done his utmost to collect taxes but had been violently opposed. In one instance, he explained, when he seized a certain sorrel gelding from James Dunlap in lieu of taxes, fifteen of Dunlap’s friends came to his aid and rescued the gelding from Locke.

Between his political and military service, Locke worked as a carpenter and as a planter. Tax returns for 1768 reveal that he owned four slaves. Unsullied by his experience a sheriff, Lock held the confidence of the next royal governor who appointed him coroner in 1773. The county court also relied on Locke to lay out road, build bridges, and keep the jail in repair.

With the coming of the Revolution, Francis Locke came to the attention of the Provincial Congress. On 9 Sept. 1775 he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the minutemen of Rowan County under Colonel Griffith Rutherford. Assuming his new duties, Locke was almost immediately involved in the “Snow Campaign” in up-country South Carolina when North Carolina helped to quell an uprising there. In April 1776 the Provincial Congress promoted him to colonel in the First Regiment of the Rowan militia. That spring, when the Cherokee took up arms against the back settlers, Locke and his men accompanied Rutherford on an expedition against them. The campaign succeeded in laying waste the Indians’ towns and suppressing any further threat from them.

During 1777 and 1778 Locke was busy keeping an eye on the Tories in the state, as there was little other activity in the South at that time. In 1779, however, he was under the command of General John Ashe when they were sent to Georgia to fight the British, who had recently taken Savannah. Against the remonstrance’s of Ashe, General Benjamin Lincoln pushed forward his troops at Briar Creek, where they were surprised and defeated by General Augustine Prevost. After the battle Colonel Locke was a member of the court-martial to examine that disastrous affair.

Locke and his Rowan militia moved towards Charles Town and scouted for the American army, but they did not participate directly in the Battle of Charles Town which resulted in the city’s capitulation. Next, Locke was called upon to disperse a gathering of Tories in Lincoln County under Colonel John Moore, in 1780. With 400 militiamen from Rowan, Mecklenburg, and Lincoln counties assembled at Mountain Creek, Locke marched on the night of 19 June some eighteen miles toward Ramsour’s Mill. The next morning he made a sudden attack on the enemy and after a fierce engagement routed the Tories in a battle that lasted about an hour and a half. Each side lost about 150 men, and only about 300 of Moore’s soldiers were able to join the British in South Carolina. This significant victory threw the Tories in western North Carolina into confusion. The Loyalist Samuel Bryan collected 800 men in the forks of the Yadkin and made his move. He led them down the Yadkin River into South Carolina with Locke and General Rutherford close on their heels.Locke serving under Col. William Lee Davidson, assumed command after the latter was wounded and defeated Bryan.

In Lord Charles Cornwallis’s first invasion of North Carolina in 1780, Locke served as the eyes for the American army, keeping between Cornwallis and Colonel Patrick Ferguson who was then in Burke County. Locke’s troops served as a “force in being” held in readiness to attack Ferguson should he move towards Charlotte. Ferguson was decisively defeated at Kings Mountain, and Cornwallis retreated back into South Carolina.

Locke was called upon again during the second British invasion of the state early in 1781. In the retreat of General Nathanael Greene and his American army across the state, Locke was instrumental in helping to delay the advance of Cornwallis. After leaving Salisbury, Cornwallis, unable to cross the Yadkin River at Trading Ford nearby, chose a northern route to the upper ford of the Yadkin. On his advance, Locke and his one hundred Rowan militiamen had stationed themselves at a bridge across Grants Creek (some historians say Second Creek) near Salisbury. The vanguard of Cornwallis’s army, seeing Locke’s troops engaged in destroying the bridge, attacked but were repelled. Colonel Banastre Tarleton dispatched his solders up and down the stream and came in behind Locke. The Americans retired and only one man in Locke’s force was wounded. Following this skirmish Locke was p laced under the command of General Andrew Pickens, who dogged Cornwallis’s march through the state and hampered his movements until the Battle of Guilford Court House in March 1781. Locke did not participate in that engagement but remained as a bulwark to the backcountry in the event the British moved in that direction. Cornwallis chose instead to march to Wilmington and then to Yorktown, where the war ended. Locke remained in the army until 8 Nov. 1784 when he resigned his commission. One account states that late in the war, he was appointed Brigadier General of the Salisbury District.

As an officer Locke earned the confidence of the people he served. Even the harassed Moravians spoke of him as being friendly when he requisitioned stores from their dwindling supplies in 1781. After his resignation from the army he retired to his plantations. In 1794 the Rowan court appointed Locke to succeed William Sharpe as attorney for the state. He died two years later and was buried in Thyatira Presbyterian Church cemetery, where his grave is marked by a simple stone bearing his name.

Locke married Ann Brandon, and they were the parents of four sons and three daughters. One son, John, was an officer in the Revolution; a daughter, Margaret, married George Gibson and after his death married Richard Armstrong. Another son, Matthew, married Nancy Brandon, while another, Francis, became a superior court judge from 1803 to 1813 and afterwards was elected to Congress. The other children were Ann, Mary Locke, and William. William married Elizabeth Marshal and moved to Kentucky.

-Above taken primarily from: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography ~ Vol. 4 L-O~by The University of North Carolina Press, Edited by William S. Powell.

The Original Colonel Locke’s Militia Company

Listed Below Are But A Few Of The Actions And Services by Colonel Locke And The North Carolina Militia.

(1) June 19th, 1780

Colonel Francis Locke with a force of approximately 400 militia moves against a Tory force of about 1,200 militia at Ramsour’s Mill in Lincoln County. The battle lasted about 2 hours and is considered to be the bloodiest partisan battle of the whole war. Each side losses about 150 men before Tory Colonel John Moore and his Tory force is routed.

(2) July 21st, 1780

Continental officer Lt. Colonel William Lee Davidson with a force of about 200-250 militia surprises a Tory force commanded by Colonel Samuel Bryan at a farm near Colson’s Ordinary in the forks of the Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers. Davidson was severely wounded in the stomach during the early minutes of the battle leaving Colonel Locke in command. The Tory force of between 500 and 800 men are driven from the field and scattered.

(3) February, 1781

General Nathaniel Greene in an organized retreat before Lord Cornwallis crosses Grant’s Creek not far from what is now Greensboro, N.C. Behind him he left about 100 militia under the command of Colonel Locke to destroy the bridge. Banaster Tarleton’s Legion was sent forward by Cornwallis to reconnoiter. When they reached Grant’s Creek they found themselves opposed by Locke and his men who were employed in destroying the bridge. Tarleton was held up for 3 hours until mounted troops circled around and hit the vastly outnumbered defenders from behind. The militia fled, persued by the Dragoons. Despite the time involved in this fight, there was only 1 casualty, a member of Locke’s militia who was wounded while retreating.


(1) The North Carolina Booklet / The Battle of Ramsour’s Mill

by: Major William H. Graham

(2) Sketches of Western Carolina by: C. L. Hunter

(3) The North Carolina Continentals by: Hugh F. Rankin

Serving as part of the Confederacy was the high point of J.C. Locke’s life! This painting was actually done thirty years after the war ended. One of his sons, Leopold Locke, wrote a letter that can be seen in the August Locke Family Newsletter, found elsewhere in the blog.


Jesse Culp Locke

Posted in Photos | 6 Comments »

February 2009 Newsletter   August 27th, 2009

Click on the link below for the Feb 2009
Author: Van Helms


Click on the link below for this file:

August 2009 Newsletter

This is a new blog dedicated to descendants of the first LOCKE – whoever that was!?  One day – with your help, maybe – just maybe – we will know.

J Wofford Locke Photo 1931   August 27th, 2009

This is a picture of Wofford and Vivian Locke from 1931

Wofford (Left) and Vivian (Right)  – 1931

Posted in Photos | No Comments »