The Fuquay-Varina Museums has acquired a copy of a diary of Chaplain Alexander Davis Betts entitled “Experiences of a Confederate Chaplain 1861-1865. Edited by his son, William Archibald Betts, the diary is housed at the University of North Carolina.
Rev. Betts was serving at Smithville (Southport) when Governor Clark enlisted him to serve as chaplain for the 30th North Carolina Regiment on October 25, 1861. Surviving the war, Rev. A. D. Betts, DD was renowned for his service to the Methodist Episcopal Church across North Carolina.
The only member of his family to receive a college education, this fourth son of William “Billie” Betts and Temperance Utley Betts, was thrown from a wild steer and crippled at seventeen years. Educated at the University of North Carolina, he both taught school and preached. Upon his death in 1918, he was buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, NC.
William and Temperance Betts bought fifty acres in 1825 along Hector’s Creek in Cumberland County (later Harnett County) where they built a cabin and raised six sons and one daughter. The estate records, prepared by his son, Andrew, list William (1799-1843) and Temperance (1795-1876) and declare their tombstones to be near the chimney of their cabin. The museums are currently seeking to establish the site and find these tombstones. Numerous sites have been explored, but the graves remain illusive.
William’s brother James Betts lived along the Raleigh-Lillington Road and was the grandfather of James Archibald Campbell, founder of Buie’s Creek Academy.
William’s six sons in birth order were: Andrew (1824-1898), Allen ( 1827-1897), Alvin (1828-1910), Anderson ( 1830-1912), Alexander (1832-1919), Archibald (1836-1929). All six boys names began with “A” and each adopted a middle name or initial later in life. Daughter, Sarah Catherine Betts (1840-1859) completed the family. Sara married Henry Stinson.
Andrew Betts served in the North Carolina Troops 31st Infantry and is buried at Apex Methodist Church.
Our J D. Squire Ballentine’s second wife, Cornelia was the daughter of Allen Betts. The Rev. Allen Betts was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. Cornelia later married William Patrick Campbell, who had earlier served as minister at the Fuquay Springs Baptist Church. They are all buried in Oakwood Cemetery which is where she also buried our “Squire” Ballentine.
Archibald married Emily and raised a family in Duncan area. A descendant, Aaron Betts, has given us the tobacco slide for our barn recently.
A relative, Marie Jordan of Arden, NC has communicated with the museums seeking family information and the gravesites of Temperance and William.
A relative, Don Betts, has supplied the museums with a copy of the Betts Genealogy prepared by Wilbur C. Betts of Raleigh. Descended from William Betts on the Isle of Wright, the first known Betts in Wake County appear to be Joseph & Andrew Betts. From Andrew, came William and James of Harnett County (then Cumberland County).
The museums have uncovered an article on the ancestral home in the 1942 Independent. The picture states that Gordon Reuschling, Jr., a fifth generation descendant, stands on the porch. SO WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THE SITE of the house and the graves of William and Temperance. Has anyone seen these two tombstones somewhere along Hector’s Creek?