Quaker John Stoneman By Kent Stoneman
John S. Stoneman 1792-1874
John Stoneman, known as “Quaker John” to his great-grandchildren and later descendants, was born January 29, 1792 probably in Orange County, North Carolina. He was the youngest son of James and Sarah Freeman Stoneman, born 20 years after his oldest brother Joshua.
He was a birthright Quaker, as were all his children. He apparently remained a member all his life, but his living children left the society, the last in 1852 when his youngest son Newel, was disowned for “marriage out of unity.”
John married Elizabeth Hickman, born to John and Elizabeth Hickman April 6, 1792 in Norht Carolina. Her father was probably the same John Hickman of Chatham County, North Carolina, who bought 450 acres at Flower Gap in what is now Carroll County in 1802. We do not know anything of Elizabeth’s parents. They were likely among the many Hickmans from Chester County, Pennsylvania, who joined the great Quaker migration to North Carolina, but there are just too many couples with the same names to be sure.
We do not know much about Quaker John and his wife, considering that they lived out their lives on his father’s land near Elkhorn, John having been left the home and lands in return for taking care of his mother until her death at age 93. His descendants have described him as a just and fair man, and an exacting one. It is said that if returning a borrowed item, he would return it in the same container filled to exactly the same level as he received it.
John and Elizabeth had six children who lived to adulthood.
Martin, born about 1812 and died about 1882 at his home in the Gambetta section of Carroll County, married Jane Lundy. They had 12 children, 11 that lived to adulthood.
William was born September 11, 1813 and died January 19, 1899, married in 1837 Mary “Polly” Cain. They apparently had 9 children, 8 that lived.
Lewis, probably born in June 1815 was also married in 1837 to Huldah Hanks. He died in the 1850’s leaving his wife with 7 small children.
Milton was probably born September 1818. He married Caroline Adams, daughter of John and Sarah Hutchens Adams (her sister married Joshua, son of James Stoneman Jr.) and they had 10 children, seven that lived. Milton died at home on “Stoneman Hill” at Gambetta February 1895.
Rachel, born about 1820 married William Jester and had one child. She died in 1848 in Yadkin County, NC.
Newel was born February 26, 1824 and died June 28, 1915. He married Lucretia Phillips, and they had five children.
“Quaker John” died in April 1874 at age 82, and his wife Elizabeth in 1886 at age 94. Both are buried in marked graves at the old Quaker Cemetery.
Kent Stoneman, July 1989