Before I share the history of John Lott the Elder, I must disclose that there are several discrepancies in the family histories recorded for John Lott. There existed a family line of several John Lott's, at least three to four that are accounted for; however, the numerous deeds and records associated with the name John Lott do not sufficiently discriminate between these similarly named individuals. Therefore, varied conclusions have been drawn by family researchers regarding John Lott. Among their theories are claims that John Lott the Elder was born c. 1700 in Virginia, married Elizabeth "Bethany" Joyner, resided in North Carolina and eventually settled in Georgia. Another theory states that John Lott the Elder had a son, also John Lott, born c. 1720 in North Carolina, married (spouse unknown), immigrated with seven children to Georgia where he eventually married a second time to Bethany (last name unknown). Applying the latter theory to my Lott family means that John Lott the Elder and his wife Elizabeth Joyner would have been grandparents to the John Lott Sr who married Sarah "Sallie" Lightfoot, rather than parents. For the time being, until evidence proves otherwise, I am leaning toward the first theory, which much of the documentation of the John Lott history was based upon. I draw my conclusions from documentation by family researchers John C. Barron, Daniel Lavaine Worth and Frances Smith Blitch.
John Lott (the Elder), my 6th maternal great-grandfather, was born c. 1710-1715. The place of his birth is presently speculative, some say he was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia while others state he was born in North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Joyner, daughter of John Joyner and Elizabeth Brown. She was born c. 1710-1720 in Virginia.
It is known that this John Lott was in Bertie County then Edgecombe County, North Carolina in the early 1730's, as he was a witness on several deeds and land transactions during that time. On 22 March 1742, John patented 600 acres north of Tosnet Swamp in Edgecombe County. On 24 November 1744, he petitioned for 100 acres of land south of Tar River above Green's path and against Turkey Creek, Edgecombe County. John additionally patented 300 acres of land on Contentea Creek, Edgecombe County, 20 April 1745. In 1744, John Lott established Lott's Mill and managed the operations of the mill until he and Elizabeth sold it, along with 640 acres north of Tosnet Swamp, on 28 February 1748 to Nathaniel Hickman. It later became known as Viverett's Mill and is said to have been mentioned in the travels of Lord Cornwallis and Colonel Tarleton as they passed through the area in May 1781, on their way to defeat at Yorktown, Virginia. On 02 April 1751, John requested a patent of 200 acres in Duplin County, North Carolina. It is assumed that John's family moved to Duplin County, because on 28 September 1754, John Lott purchased 200 acres on the north side of Cohera River, Duplin County. He transferred 100 acres of this land to his son, John Lott on 11 August 1760 (deed said, John Lott Sr., gentleman, to John Lott Jr. both residents of Duplin Co. 100 ac of land). The following year, John transferred 200 acres of land to William Pope in an executed deed dated 11 May 1761, Duplin County, North Carolina.
Apparently John was preparing to leave North Carolina which explains why he sold his land there. The Lott family then supposedly arrived in St. George's Parish, Georgia about 1762. In 1764, four of the Lott family members made applications for land grants in Georgia- John Lott Jr (06 March 1764, 300 acres), Daniel Lott (03 April 1764, 150 acres), Solomon Lott (08 September 1764, 100 acres) and John Lott Sr (06 November 1764, 200 acres). It is said that when John Sr petitioned for his land grant, there was no mention of a wife, only himself and 7 children. Another petition for 150 acres of land dated 03 September 1765, St. George's Parish, states John Sr had 6 children at that time, and still no mention of a wife. (This is one piece of the John Lott history which puzzles its researchers- it is stated that Elizabeth Joyner, his wife, died in 1795. And, with John Lott's history of land hunger, it seems unthinkable for him to not include his wife in the petition for land considering that every person counted toward the sum of land he would receive. This just leaves me to wonder- did Elizabeth die before the land petitions? Where is the proof of her actual death being in 1795? If Elizabeth left a will before her death, it is unknown to me. This is one of the reasons that some researchers believe there was another John Lott associated with the family).
St. George's Parish became Burke County in 1777. It is reported in one of the Lott family histories that during the Revolutionary War, Burke County was overrun by Tories, and for that reason John Lott's family left and went to South Carolina, residing near the Barnwell District. There, supposedly, they furnished military supplies and rendered aid to the militia. John Lott Sr made a claim against the state for furnishing 5 bushels of wheat for "Continental use" on 19 Oct 1784 SC. It is my understanding that both John Lott, Sr (RS) and John Lott the Elder received land grants in Effingham County, Georgia upon their return from South Carolina. It is said that county lines changed, so their lands were located in Screven County in 1793.
It is in Screven County that the name "Bethany" comes into play in the John Lott mystery. A deed from a John Lott Sr to John Lott Jr which, in part, states.... I John Lott Senr ... for love and affection toward my dutiful and loving son John Lott, Jr. give 150 head of cattle, signed 11 Oct 1795 John Lott Senr and Bethany (X) Lott [wit:] Benjamin Richardson Junior, Benjamin Richardson J.P. ... Earlier that year, a deed in the same county stated ... we John Lott Junr son of John Lott Sr and Sally my wife ... grant to John Lott, Sr 900 acres, signed 13 Jan 1795 John Lott Junr and Sally (X) Lott [wit:] John Hatcher, Elyhu Wiggins ... (Deed Record A, part I pp.22-23 and pp. 39-40). It is obvious that the John Lott Jr mentioned in these deeds was the one married to Sarah "Sallie" Lightfoot. It is also obvious that John Lott Sr was married to a woman called "Bethany". The question here is- was "Bethany" the same person as John's first wife, Elizabeth Joyner??? Or, had Elizabeth died and Bethany was John's second wife???
Reportedly, both these John's transferred their land in Screven County and moved to Montgomery County, Georgia. The tax list for Montgomery County, 1797-98 listed a John Lott, Jr and a John Lott, Sr. It is known that one of these John's was the one married to Sallie (Lightfoot). The other John could have been his father, John the Elder, or his son, listed in my history as John Jr., married to Sarah Ann Jones.
According to some family records, John Lott the Elder died 08 January 1810. It is debatable if he died in Montgomery County or Tatnall County, where some claimed he had moved. I've seen some databases that have his death date listed as before 1778. I am presently uncertain of the facts surrounding John the Elder's death, or even his marriage(s). I have chosen to try to sort through the information surrounding the life of John the Elder and present it here as best I know how. A few more tidbits of information might one day surface which may or may not clear some of the misunderstandings in the John Lott histories, but until then, I will let it rest. I am, however, always open to suggestions and comments from others- so, if you have information which may help answer some of my questions, please feel free to contact me.
Children of John Lott and Elizabeth Joyner:
i. Daniel Lott, born c. 1730
ii. Mark Lott, born c. 1733
iii. James Lott, born c. 1735
iv. Ann Lott, born c. 1735v. John Lott Sr (RS), born c. 1740 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina; married Sarah "Sallie" Lightfoot
vi. Jesse Lott, born c. 1740
vii. Solomon Lott
Children connected to John Lott in other family histories (some say they are the children of John Lott and Elizabeth Joyner, some say they are the children of John Lott and a second wife):
Mary "Polly" Lott