The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

and he was authorized to employ as many deputies as he thought necessary. Tradition says he was one of the three men who first owned the land at and in the vicinity of the now famed summer resort, Long Branch. His brother Nathaniel lived on land adjoining his. Captain John Slocum married Meribah, daughter of George Parker, of Rhode Island, and it is said died without issue, but descendants of his brother are now numerous, and living where their ancestors settled over two centuries ago.

        In Ward's history of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, the genealogy is given of what is probably a branch of this family, who spell their name Slocomb. There is a tradition that three brothers decided to adopt three methods of spelling the name, that the descendants might know from which one they descended. Among the earlier settlers of Virginia, whose names are given in Holten's List of Emigrants, the only one which approaches that of this family is Davey Slowcome, who came from London, 1636.

        In England an ancient family of landed gentry, in Somersetshire, were the Slocombes, and from them it is probable the American family descends. Lanman's Biographical Dictionary of Congressmen gives the name of the Hon. Jesse, formerly a member of Congress from North Carolina, as Slocum, but the original records of Congress show that he himself spelled it Slocumb. The noted general in the late war, one of Sherman's division commanders in his "March to the Sea," Henry W. Slocum, born 1827, who was a member of the 41st and 42d Congresses from New York, spells his name as does the New Jersey branch. The grandfather of Hon. Jesse Slocumb was Joseph. There was a person of this name admitted freeman at Newport, Rhode Island, 1727, after which his name does not again appear there. About this time, and during a few years subsequent, there was quite an exodus from Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, and it is probable that this Joseph was among the number. He had two sons, John, Charles and Ezekiel; the latter was the father of the Hon. Jesse.

        The arms and crest of this ancient family of Slocumbes, as described in both Burke and Fairbank's "Armories of Landed Gentry" are as follows:

        "Arms: On a fess gu betwe three griffins' heads covped sa., as many sinister wings or.

        "Crest: A griffin's head gu betwe two wings expanded or."

        The derivation of the name is probably from combe, generally meaning a valley, but more literally cut-shaped depressions in hillsides; and sloe, a kind of wild plum. It may have been that the first who received the surname of Slocumbe owned a combe or valley noted for sloes, or lived near one; or perhaps from some noted person of the name Combe, an ancient surname, wearing the leaves of the blackthorn or sloe as a badge or emblem, as the Earl of Anjou wore the sprigs of broom as a badge or emblem of humility, from which came the surname of Broome in the Plantaganet royal family of England. The blackthorn, or sloe, is an emblem of difficulty, and a sprig of it worn by the first Slocombes might mean "Valley men difficult to overcome," or hard to conquer.

        In Ireland the sloe was designated by the Irish word airne (arny,) and from this comes the surname Arney, and it is often found at the end of names of places, as in Killarny, meaning church of the sloes; Clonarny, sloe meadows; Mullarny, mountain of sloes, etc.

        Thomas Ruffin was born in Franklin County, the son of Henry J. G. Ruffin, who was the son of Etheldred Ruffin and Mary, daughter of William Haywood. His father represented Franklin County in the Senate in 1828. Colonel Ruffin was liberally educated. He graduated at the university in 1841. He studied law and removed to Missouri where he from 1844 to 1848 served as the attorney for the 9th judicial district. He returned to North Carolina and was elected to the 33d Congress, (1853-55,) and was continuously re-elected until 1861. During the 37th, 38th and 39th Congresses (1861 to 1867) the State had no representatives in the United States Congress. At the beginning of the civil war he was appointed a captain in the 1st North Carolina Cavalry, commanded by Colonel Robt. Ransom, and behaved with great gallantry in the many battles in which this regiment was engaged. He was the colonel of the regiment; when in battle near Fairfax Court House he was severely wounded, from the effects of which he died at Alexandria, Virginia, in October, 1863.

        Samuel Ruffin came to North Carolina from Virginia in 1752. High sheriff of Edgecombe in the time of George III; had (1) Lamon Ruffin and (2) Etheldred Ruffin, lived in Edgecombe, afterward Greene, who married Mary Haywood, issue thereto: (a) Samuel, (b) Sarah, (c) Henry John Gray, (d) Charity Ann, (e) Peggy Elizabeth and (f) James.

        (b) Sarah, married Henry or John Haywood; issue, John Hayward and Samuel R. Haywood.
Page 465 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS