By: Jonesborough Genealogical Society
William Greenway – our hero of 1812 – was born on March 5, 1796, on a farm along the Nolichucky River. He was the oldest of 14 children of William Greenway.
The first William Greenway came to Washington County, N.C. from Virginia. Family tradition says that he was of English birth and came from the same part of the country (England) as the Washington family and that he served in the Revolutionary War with Gen. George Washington. He came to the Watauga settlements early and settled on the opposite side of the Chucky River from a Jacob Brown farm.
The will of this first William Greenway, the father of our 1812 William Greenway, is recorded in the Washington County Courthouse at Jonesborough, and shows that he was a large owner. It is recorded as made March 12, 1839, and was probated that same year. All of the 14 children are mentioned – William, twins Jehu and Jesse, Martha, Mary Ann McNees, Anna Looney, Polly Ann, Hannah Waddell, Richard, Susan, Elizabeth Payne, Dorcas Jordan, Patsy, and George. His son William and son-in-law Joshua Greene, husband of Susan, were executors. This William I and his wife are buried on the old farm on Chucky.
William Greenway II, our 1812 hero, was only a lad when he volunteered his services against the Creek Indians in 1812-14. He served as a private in Capt. Joseph Bacon’s Company, 4th (Bayless) Regiment, East Tenn. Militia. His service began Nov. 13, 1814, and he was discharged Feb. 15, 1815. His company was at Mobile Bay when the Battle of New Orleans was fought Jan. 15, 1815.
He married Margaret McCracken (born July 4, 1802) August 22, 1834 in Marle Co. Her parents were John M. McCracken (b. Dec. 10,, 1777-d. April 9, 1859) and Ann McCracken (b. Feb. 13, 1778 – d. Dec. 10. 1856). Both lie buried in Old Salem Cemetery. Margaret M. Greenway died July 13, 1844 where her only child, an infant son was only an hour old, and is buried on the old farm. This son, Wm., who is our honored guest, tells us he was reared by his aunt, Susan Greenway Greens, sister of his father. This aunt, with her husband Joshua, are also buried in Old Salem.
William Greenway never married again, and loved to the good old age of 84 yr., one month, dying April 5, 1880, and is buried in Old Salem.
To complete the family sketch, the son, Wm. Granison Greenway, married a second cousin, Hester McCracken (b. Nov. 26, 1844 – d. Feb. 2, 1916) at the close of the War between the States, and to them were born nine children, only one of which, Thomas survives. There are 12 living grandchildren.
Wm. Granison volunteered for service in the Confederate Army in 1861, and served in Capt. Gallaher’s Co. D, Pitt’s Regiment, Bond’s Brigade. Captured at Big Black, Miss. on May 17, before the Federals took Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, he suffered 21 months in Federal prisons before he was released.
The Colonel David Henley Chapter, U.S.D. 1812, celebrated his 84th birthday by placing the official marker of their society at the grave of his father, William Greenway.