The Military Service of Patrick Mullins

This article comprises three sections:

  • Evidence of Patrick Mullins's qualifying military service;
  • Chronology for Patrick Mullins as evidence that the Patrick Mullins of the Rowan County NC militia, and of the Battle of Alamance, was the father of Rev. Thomas Mullins; and
  • Documentation of date and place of death of Patrick Mullins.

Patrick Mullins’s qualifying military service

1) Patrick Mullins is listed on the payroll of the Rowan Co. NC militia for 1759 and 17601

Patrick's name is misspelled "Mullon" on the 1759 and 1760 militia lists, but we assume this is the same individual listed as "Patrick Mullin" on the 1759 Rowan Co. Tax List.

2) Patrick Mullins fought as a Regulator at the Battle of Alamance (NC) on 19 May 17712 The Rev. David Caldwell was present at the Battle of Alamance. The following eyewitness account of the Battle of Alamance is quoted from Caruthers 3

"An old Regulator with whom I conversed last fall, told me that in the part of the army, if it might be called such, where he was, the younger part of the men were all engaged in the athletic exercises, wrestling, jumping, &c., and that he was himself engaged in wrestling with another young man, when Patrick Mullen, an old Scotchman who had been in the British service before he came to America, but was now a Regulator, came up and told them, with a look and a tone of firmness, to put themselves into some order, for they would be fired on in a very few minutes."

Patrick is mentioned in Caruthers a second time in the following passage4 that relates Rev. David Caldwell's last effort to prevent the fighting at Alamance:

"About this time Dr. Caldwell rode up in front, and commenced making a speech to them [the Regulators] … but before he finished, the old Scotchman called out to him that he had better go away, or the governor's men would fire on him in three minutes. He then rode off; but had scarcely got out of sight when the firing commenced."

A third passage5 relates Patrick's unsuccessful attempt to honor a flag advancing from Tryon's side:

"After the first fire on the part of Tryon the Regulators commenced an irregular fire from behind the trees, and had the better of the day. The other side fired regularly by platoons. – Presently a flag was seen advancing from Tryon's side of the field. The meaning of this no body knew except an old Scotchman who had served in the army, and who called out, 'it's a flag, don't fire.' Three or four rifles were however fired; and the flag fell…"

Chronology for Patrick Mullins

The following chronology lists all occurrences of the name Patrick Mullins, with this or similar spellings, in Virginia and North Carolina records between 1695 and 1776. The chronology provides evidence of the following:

  • Patrick Mullins is documented in Rowan County NC from 1756 until 1767 (specifically in the future Surry Co. area), then in Orange County from 1767 on (specifically in the future Guilford/Rockingham Co. area);
  • The progression of land ownership in this chronology supports the conclusion that there was only one individual named Patrick Mullins on record in Virginia and North Carolina between 1695 and 1776; therefore,
  • The Patrick Mullins of Rowan County NC who sold land to "Thomas Mullins his son" on the 1766 deed (pages E6-8) was the same Patrick Mullins who served in the Rowan County militia in 1759 and 1760, and the same Patrick Mullins who fought at the Battle of Alamance in 1771.

The North Carolina records were located with a search of the North Carolina state archives by genealogist Victoria Scott, vice-president and Publications Chair of the North Carolina Genealogical Society (her website is:

Searches were also conducted on, and on Google and Bing.

The chronology:

Scotland – Patrick Mullins was born in Scotland6 and served in the British Army as a youth, before coming to America.

1728 – Patrick Mullin was documented to have immigrated to Virginia7 This same year, he first appeared in Virginia land records, buying 350 acres of land in Goochland Co. on 28 Sep 1728 for 35 Shillings 8

Patrick must have been an adult in 1728 to purchase land in Virginia. In addition, he served in the British Army before his immigration. However an adventurous young man might exaggerate his age. Considering these facts, it seems a safe assumption that Patrick was born before 1712, but it would be difficult to assert a much earlier year with any certitude.

1734 – Patrick still resided in Goochland: his land was referenced in a deed on 1 Aug 17349.

1746 – Patrick next appeared in land records in Amelia Co.: he purchased 390 acres on 25 Sep 1746 for 2 pounds10

1754 – Patrick last appeared in Virginia land records purchasing 41 acres in Amelia Co. on 1 Nov 1754 for 5 Shillings11.

1756 – Patrick first appeared in North Carolina land records in 1756: he received a grant of 375 acres from the Earl of Granville on 15 Mar 175612 The certificate states that the land was in Orange County, but the location can be proven to be in Rowan County (historians have observed that the boundary between Orange Co., formed in 1752, and Rowan Co., formed in 1753, was ill defined in the early years, and the grant to Patrick Mullins is a case in point).

Specifically, Patrick's grant states that the northwest corner of the grant was on the Dan River, at "Walnut Island, below Snow Creek". Walnut Island in the Dan River is 6 miles downriver from Danbury NC13in east-central Stokes County (formerly part of Rowan/Surry County).

Snow Creek enters the Dan in mile 5 (downriver from Danbury), and Walnut Island is 90 feet from the end of mile 6. The location of the grant is shown on a floodplain map of Stokes County14. Patrick's grant was just downriver from Snow Creek.

Stokes County was formed from part of Surry County in 1789, which in turn was formed from part of Rowan County in 1771, proving that the Granville grant was in Rowan County, and therefore that Patrick Mullins was a resident of Rowan County beginning in 1756.

1757 – Patrick Mullins "of Rowan County" and "Mary his wife" sold 120 acres on the Dan River on 15 Oct 175715 Patrick's name is followed by "Sergn.", suggesting he was a sergeant in the militia. This makes sense given his military experience as a youth, and his age of at least 35 by 1757.

1759, 1760 – Patrick was listed as a member of the Rowan Co. NC militia in each of these years, and on the Rowan Co. Tax List for 1759 16.

1764 – A certificate presented in the North Carolina General Assembly exempted Patrick Mullen from paying taxes in Orange County (see page F28). This was common in the colonies for men who owned land in a county in which they were not resident: in this case, the certificate is evidence that Patrick owned land in Orange, but remained a resident of Rowan in 1764.

1766 – Patrick Mullins sold 120 acres to "Thomas Mullins his son", both men of Rowan County, land that specifically was part of the Granville grant17.

1767 – Patrick sold more of the Granville grant: 60 acres to Moses Damon on 2 Feb 176718 and 20 acres to William Johnson on 9 Jan 1767 19. This may have been the last of his Granville grant: he is not on record in Rowan County after 1767.

1767 – Patrick Mullin "of Orange County" sold 80 acres north of Hogan's Creek on 7 Nov 176720 This deed and the one previous indicate that Patrick moved from Rowan to Orange County in 1767.

1771 – Caruthers21 recounts Patrick Mullins's role in the Battle of Alamance. We know that the Regulator Patrick Mullins was not a young man who is just appearing in the historical record for the first time because Caruthers refers to him as the "old Scotchman". Further, the Regulators tended to be farmers who were being unfairly taxed, making it likely that an old Regulator would have appeared in land records before 1771.

The foregoing chronology is consistent with a single individual, Patrick Mullins, who was born in Scotland, immigrated to Goochland Co. VA in 1728, moved to Amelia Co. VA by 1746, Rowan Co. NC in 1756, and Orange Co. NC in 1767; further, the chronology is consistent with this same Patrick Mullins serving in the Rowan Co. militia in 1759 and 1760, selling land to "Thomas Mullins his son" in 1766, and fighting at the Battle of Alamance in 1771.

Documentation of the date and place of death of Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins continued to appear on several land deeds in western Guilford/Rockingham County from 1778 to 1800, mostly on Jacob's Creek (Jacob's Creek flows between the two Dan tributaries called Hogan's Creek. The deed of 7 Feb 1767 cited above documented that Patrick Mullins owned land on Hogan's Creek). Patrick also appeared on the 1790 and 1800 U.S. Census: NC, Rockingham County.

There is a reference in a deed on 26 Feb 1800 to "… 22 ac on waters of Jacobs Cr and joins land formerly Patrick Mullins" suggesting Patrick was dead by this date22. Given this deed, and Patrick's (last) appearance on the 1800 census, we conclude his death date was 1800, and place of death was Rockingham County, NC.

It is possible that our Patrick Mullins died before 1778 (perhaps even at the Battle of Alamance), and that it was a second Patrick Mullins who accounts for the individual on record in Rockingham County between 1778 and 1800. Circumstantial evidence supports the conclusion that the later Patrick Mullins on record from 1778-1800 is the same individual as the earlier Patrick Mullins, but not definitively:

  • There is no evidence that the earlier Patrick Mullins had a son named Patrick in any of his deeds that survive (this does not rule out a nephew or an unrelated individual);
  • Patrick Mullins is shown with no children on the 1790 and 1800 censuses, and is shown "over 45" on the 1800 census, consistent with these entries being the same (elderly) individual as the earlier Patrick Mullins;
  • The land that the later Patrick owned was on Jacob's Creek, close to the holdings on Hogan's Creek documented for the earlier Patrick Mullins;
  • The consistency of the later Patrick's land on Jacob's Creek suggests an older man staying put, rather than a younger man who might have moved a few times, as was common for farmers in this area;
  • Patrick would have been almost, or somewhat over, 90 years old in 1800. However his son, Rev. Thomas Mullins, lived to age 80, and grandson Thomas Mullins (Thomas II) lived to age 87, so such old age was not uncommon in the Mullins family.


1Linn, Jo White. Rowan County, North Carolina Tax Lists 1757-1800. Raleigh, North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1995, Rowan County Militia lists

2Caruthers, Rev. E.W. A Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell. Greensborough, Swaim and Sherwood, 1842, pp. 150-152

3Ibid., pp. 151-152

4Ibid., p. 152

5Ibid., p. 155

6Ibid., p. 152

7Patrick Mullen 1728. Passenger and Immigration Lists 1500s-1900s.

8Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Vol. 3 (1695-1732), Vol. 4 (1732-1741), Vol. 5 (1741-1749), Vol. 6 (1749-1762), and Vol. 7 (1762-1776). Richmond, Virginia State Library, 1979: Vol. 3, p. 351

9Ibid., vol. 4, pp. 138-139

10Ibid., vol. 5, p. 176

11Ibid., vol. 6, p. 151

12Copy of original document: Land grant from the Earl of Granville to Patrick Mullen, 15 Mar 1756, in Orange County, NC [land involved was actually in Rowan County, border drawn later]. North Carolina Secretary of State. Granville Land Grant. Boxes 90-C-960, S.108.252. Patrick Mullen 96M 15 Mar 1756

13Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers to the Secretary of War for the Year 1879. Part I. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1879, pp. 654-655


15Linn, Jo White. Abstracts of Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1762. Salisbury NC: JW Linn, 1977, p. 78

16Linn, Rowan County, op. cit.

17Mullins-Mullins indenture, 17 Jul 1766, Rowan Co. Deed Book 6: 492-495

18Index, Rowan County Grantors, 1753-1921, Vol. L-R. Microfilm C.085.48332

19Ibid., Microfilm C085.48352

20Patrick Mullen. Guilford Co. Deed book pp. 178-179, microfilm C.046.40001, vol 1,2,3, 1771-1784

21Caruthers, op. cit., pp. 150-152

22Pruitt, Dr. A.B. Abstracts of Land Warrants, Rockingham County, NC, 1778-1929. Pruitt, Dr. A.B., 2001, p. 37

Patrick Mullins, father of Rev. Thomas Mullins

Rev. Thomas Mullins (c. 1736-1816) was the son of Patrick Mullins (bef. 1712-1800) and Mary _____ (dates unknown).

Background: Patrick Mullins emigrated from Scotland in 17281. He appears on land deeds in Goochland County VA from 1728 through 1734, and in Amelia County VA from 1746 through 17542. He moved to North Carolina in 1756, when he obtained a grant of 375 acres of land on the Dan River in Rowan County NC from Lord John Cataret Earl of Granville3.

The following 3 deeds establish that this Patrick Mullins had a son, Thomas, who resided in Rowan County in 1766 and Orange/Guilford County in 1773:

  • In 1766 and 1767, Patrick sold his land on the Dan River to move a few miles east to Orange/Guilford Co. On an indenture dated 17 Jul 1766, Patrick sold to "Thomas Mullins his son", both men of Rowan County, 120 acres of land on the Dan River, part of Patrick's 375-acre grant from "John Earl Lord Granville"4.
  • Thomas Mullins was first documented owning land in Guilford County on an indenture dated 11 May 17725: John Mullins sold to Thomas Mullins, both men of Guilford County, 120 acres of land on the "lickfork of Hogan's Creek".
  • On the indenture dated 11 Mar 17736, Thomas Mullins "of the county of Guilford" sold land to William Davye in Surry County. The deed states explicitly that this was the land that Thomas bought from his father Patrick in 1766.

The 3 deeds above confirm that Patrick Mullins's son Thomas moved from Rowan/Surry Co. to Guilford County (adjacent to the east) between 1766 and 1772 [Surry County was formed from Rowan in 1771].

The question is whether the Thomas Mullins of these 3 deeds, son of Patrick Mullins, was Rev. Thomas Mullins of the Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church.

There are 3 lines of evidence that support the conclusion that the Thomas Mullins of the deeds of 1766, 1772, and 1773, was Rev. Thomas Mullins:

1) The site of Patrick Mullins's Dan River grant from the Earl of Granville is about 7 miles west of Mayodan7.

Lick Fork Creek is about 15 miles east of Mayodan. The 1772 deed states that Thomas Mullins purchased 120 acres on the south side of Lick Fork Creek. The location of the present-day Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church is on Lick Fork Creek Road.

All land on the south side of Lick Fork Creek is within about 6 miles of the church location8 Thus the Thomas Mullins of the 1772 deed owned land within 6 miles of the church where Rev. Thomas Mullins was a minister. This is circumstantial evidence that the Thomas Mullins of the 1772 deed was in fact Rev. Thomas Mullins of the Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church.

A sign outside of the present day Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church states that it was founded before 1786, based on the date of the earliest surviving church minutes. There is no way to be certain that the present day church is in exactly the same location as it was in the 1700s, but based on the church's name, it was likely always near Lick Fork Creek.

At this time, the Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church has 5 parishioners, including Elder David Underwood.

2) The 1773 deed cited above states that Thomas Mullins's wife was Elizabeth Mullins9. The Lick Fork Church minutes mention Betsy Mullins several times between 1791 and 180610 The church minutes do not mention any other female Mullins, nor any other male Mullins besides Brother Thomas Mullins.

These facts comprise circumstantial evidence that Thomas Mullins of the 1773 indenture was Rev. Thomas Mullins, from the presumption that Elizabeth Mullins of the 1773 indenture was the same woman as Betsy Mullins of the Lick Fork Church minutes, namely Rev. Mullins's first wife.

3) A chronology of deeds and other documents is consistent a continuous record from 1772 through 1800 for a single Thomas Mullins residing in Guilford/Rockingham County. Further, there is no evidence of a second individual by this name in Guilford/Rockingham.

This chronology represents all occurrences of "Thomas Mullins" in local deeds and other documents thus far uncovered.

Chronology of all references to Thomas Mullins in deeds and other documents in Guilford and nearby counties

1766 – Thomas Mullins of Rowan Co. purchases 120 acres from his father11.

1772 – Thomas Mullins "of Guilford" purchases 120 acres on the Lick Fork Creek from John Mullins 12

1773 – Thomas Mullins and wife Elizabeth "of Guilford" sell land in Rowan/Surry Co. to William Davye13

1782 – The next occurrence of Thomas Mullins in the Guilford Co. records is his grant of a Revolutionary War Pay Voucher14 on 27 Jun 1782: Thomas Mullins allowed 20L 14s 8p.

The military district for Pay Voucher #832 is "Salisbury District", and more specifically the fifth line states that this is the "upper Board of Auditors"15. The two counties that comprised "upper Salisbury" were Guilford and Surry16.

This Revolutionary War Pay Voucher is evidence that Thomas Mullins served in the Guilford Co. NC militia during at least some of the years of the Revolution, and is therefore evidence of his continuing residence in Guilford Co. during at least some of the years between 1776 and 1782.

1784 – In a grant dated 8 Nov 1784, the state of North Carolina granted to Thomas Mullins 454 acres of land on the Lick Fork of Hogan's Creek17.

1785 – In 1785, Thomas Mullins "seized" 900 acres of land on which the Mullins-Stacey Cemetery sits18.

We presume that this land seizure was from Loyalists; 1785 was a year of very active land seizures by Confiscation Committees in each North Carolina county.

This cemetery record is the first mention of Thomas Mullins in Guilford/Rockingham County that can be definitively identified as the Rev. Thomas Mullins. This identification is for two reasons:

  • First, the 1785 record states that Thomas had three brothers: David, Lemon and Cole19 . This information evidently was taken from the will of Rev. Thomas Mullins20 , with a slight error: the executors of Rev. Mullins's will were Brother David Lawson and Brother Cole from his church.
  • Second, Elizabeth Mullins m. Iverson Stacey21was the daughter of Rev. Mullins's son, Thomas II22. Thus this 1785 record ties the Thomas Mullins of this 1785 cemetery record directly to Rev. Mullins's granddaughter Elizabeth.

1787 – Land purchase deed dated 9 Feb 1787 from Samuel and Mary Bethell to Thomas Mullen "for 50 pd 65 acres on Lickfork of Hogan's Creek"23.

1790 – Thomas Mullin(s) appears on the 1790 Rockingham census24.

The chronology above comprises a record consistent with a single individual named Thomas Mullins being the subject of each of the documents listed, and therefore consistent with Rev. Thomas Mullins's being the son of Patrick Mullins.

The absence of a second possible Thomas Mullins in Guilford County can be partially addressed with 3 documents:

1) A reference of North Carolina wills 1665-1900 lists only 2 Thomas Mullins's in Rockingham County for whom a record of a will exists25.

This reference lists the will of Thomas I probated in 1817 and the will of Thomas II probated in 185926. No other Thomas Mullins is noted in Rockingham County. There is one other "Thomas Mullen" in North Carolina, will recorded 1785, from Perquimans County 27, which is well to the east near the Atlantic.

Most wills from Colonial times do not survive, but the fact that large tracts of land were involved in the 1772 and 1784 indentures, and the 1785 land seizure, makes it more likely that the will of a second Thomas Mullins would have survived as the subject of subsequent indentures and other legal matters.

2) A search on yields only one Thomas Mullin(s) in Rockingham County in 1790.

3) A search on yields 2 Thomas Mullin(s)'s in Rockingham County in 1800: the Rev. Thomas Mullins, and his son, Thomas II.

Summary: The above comprises evidence that there was only one Thomas Mullins in Guilford/Rockingham County from 1772 to 1790, and that this Thomas Mullins was therefore the son of Patrick Mullins of Rowan County.

Documentation of Patrick's wife Mary

On a deed dated 15 Oct 1757, Patrick Mullins of Rowan County and "Mary his wife" sold land to Enoch Conly28. Mary's dates and places of birth and death are unknown.

Patrick Mullins's dates and places of birth and death are addressed in the next chapter, "Military Service of Patrick Mullins".


1Patrick Mullin, 1728, Virginia. Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1500s-1900s.

2Nugent, Nell Marion. Cavaliers and Pioneers. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1979. Vol. 3, p. 351; Vol. 6, p. 151

3Copy of original document: Land grant from the Earl of Granville to Patrick Mullen, 15 Mar 1756, in Orange County, NC [land involved was actually in Rowan County, border drawn later]. North Carolina Secretary of State. Granville Land Grant. Boxes 90-C-960, S.108.252. Patrick Mullen 96M 15 Mar 1756

4Mullins-Mullins indenture, 17 Jul 1766, Rowan Co. Deed Book 6: 492-495

5Mullins-Mullins indenture, 11 May 1772, Guilford Co. Real Estate Conveyances. Deed Book 1: p. 123.

6Mullins-Davye indenture, 16 Mar 1773, Surry Co. NC Deed Book A: 71, NCSA film C.093.40000

7U.S. Geological Survey, Map 20, Rockingham Co. NC


9Mullins-Davye indenture, op. cit.

10Lick Fork Primitive Baptist Church Minutes, op. cit.

11Mullins-Mullins indenture, 1766, op. cit.

12Mullins-Mullins indenture, 1772, op. cit

13Mullins-Davye indenture, 1773, op. cit.

14Thomas Mullins, NC Revolutionary War Pay Voucher 27 Jun 1782, Roll #S.115.112, public claim #832, National Archives, Washington, D.C.


16Members of the James Hunter Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, compilers. Early Families of the North Carolina Counties of Rockingham and Stokes with Revolutionary Service, Volume 2. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1981, 1990, p. iii

17Thomas Mullins grant, 8 Nov 1784, Guilford Co. Real Estate Conveyances, Deed book 3: 222

18Louise Fitzgerald. "Thomas Mullins - Stacey Cemetery at Stacey – Rockingham, N.C." Piedmont Lineages. Virginia-North Carolina Piedmont Genealogical Society. August 1983: Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 119


20Thomas Mullins will, 1815, Rockingham County NC Recorder of Wills Vol. A, 237

21Fitzgerald, op. cit., p. 119

22Thomas Mullins will, 1855: Rockingham Co. Will Book Vol. C, 291

23Webster, Irene, compiler. Rockingham Co. North Carolina Deed Abstracts, 1785-1800. page 7: Deed book A: 161

24Thomas Mullins family, 1790 U.S. Census: NC, Rockingham

25Mitchell, Thornton W. North Carolina Wills: A Testator Index, 1665-1900. 1987, The Genealogical Publishing Company, p. 372



28Linn, Jo White. Abstracts of Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1762. Salisbury NC: JW Linn, 1977, p. 78