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Notes and History of the Fleming Family

From the Frances Cowlles Document (2)

Colonel Thomas, the third of these five sons, was the most distinguished. He was born in 1727 and commanded two hundred men in the battle of Point Pleasnt, with the Indians, in 1774. The white forces were in command of General Lewis and the Indians were commanded by Corn Stalk. Fleming's men hid behind trees and held out their hats. The Indians, mistaking the hats for the white men's heads, shot at them. At this, Fleming's men would drop the hats and the Indians would rush forward to scalp their victims. When the Indians got near them, the whites would jump from behind the trees and tomahawk the unwary Indians. These men were all backwoodsmen and knew as well as the Indians, the methods of Indian fighting. There were a thousand Indians and only four hundred whites, but the battle was a signal victory for the whites. Unfortunately, Fleming was severely wounded in this engagement, but he was none the less willing to enter the Revelutionary army a few years later. Thomas Fleming married the daughter of Major John Bolling, the son of Colonel Robert Bolling and the daughter of Thomas Rolf, the son of Pocahontas.

The New Jersey Flemings settled near the old Bethlehem meeting house in Hunterdon County, N.J. There were four brothers, the sons of Malcolm Fleming. These sons were William, Thomas, Andrew and Samuel, but at what date they came to this country is not known. Samuel, the youger, was founder of Flemington, N.J. It is an interesting fact the the genealogy of this branch of the family dates from a few years ago, when Elisha M. Fleming of Belvidere, N.J., found in an old box in one of his barns, papers which proved to be the ancient family records. Malcolm, the father of the four brothers who came to this country, proved to have been a weaver who lived near Cooktown, Ulster province, in the parish of Derryloren, County Tyrone, Ireland. He died some time before 1736.

A third branch of the Fleming family was founded by Solomon Fleming, who came from England to America. His son Sampson lived in New York State, and Sampson's son was Brigadier General Fleming of the state militia. He was born in 1773 and died in 1843. By his wife, Maria Ludlow, he had a son Augustus, born in 1809, and a son William H., of Greenport. The former married Caroline Bennet Lisle. This branch of the family is small and is located chiefly in New York State.

Although it is probable that all who bear the name Fleming today are descendants of the Stephen Fleming who first assumed the name of Flanders, yet there were several men of the name mentioned in the Dornsday book, [Editor's note—Domesday Book] and then there have been others who assumed the name of their native country, Flanders.

Fleming Family Arms

The arms of the ancient Flemings are blazoned: “Vair a chief chequey or and gules”. The crest is a mortar piece casting out a bomb with flames all proper, chains and rings of gold. The supporters are two gray hounds argent colored and armed gules. The motto, still writen in Flemish [Editor's note—no, still writen in Gaelic] is “Bhear na Righ gan”, meaning “May the King live forever”.

The motto borne by the descendants of Solomon Fleming of New York State is: “Paz, Virtus et Sapientia”—“Peace, Virtue and Wisdom”. (This copied from a section of an old newspaper, with nothing to show time or place of the publication. It is headed: “A Corner in Ancestors”. The paper is yellow and fragile with age.)(M.P.)

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