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Nixon, Robert

by Tucker Reed Littleton, 1991

d. 4 Dec. 1794

Robert Nixon, Baptist minister, local official, and saddler, perhaps a grandson of the Richard Nixon who died in Craven County in 1746, appeared in the Onslow County records as a witness to deeds as early as 1743. In 1753 he was referred to as a saddler by trade. In 1754 he enrolled in the New Topsail Company, commanded by Captain John Ashe, during the French and Indian War.

Nixon's first wife appears to have been the daughter of Charles Ryall (or Royall), of New River, who died about 1754 or 1755. At the time Nixon made his will, his wife was named Sarah.

In 1776 Nixon was allowed the sum of ten pounds "for his vigilant services as chaplain to the Onslow Detachment of Militia." In 1776 and again in 1777, he was made a justice of the peace for Onslow County.

As a minister, Nixon first served as an elder of the Separate Baptists and later as an elder in the Kehukee Baptist Association, being designated as pastor of three congregations in Onslow County. In 1786 he was referred to in the deed records as pastor of a church that met on the "Southwest Branch" of New River and of one that met near the "Lower Ferry" on New River. A deed in 1790 referred to him as pastor of the church that met on the Little Northeast Creek of New River. At least two of these congregations still exist.

According to Baptist historian Cushing B. Hassell, Nixon had the care of a Baptist church on Newport River in Carteret County and one on New River in Onslow County, which were received into the Kehukee Association in 1788. Nixon also was pastor of the White Oak Church in Jones County. Serving all these congregations at the same time, Nixon acquired a reputation for his zeal and piety.

Nixon's will was probated in January 1795. Mentioned are his wife Sarah; sons Charles Augustine (or Augustus), Robert, Jr., Nathan, and Daniel; and three surviving daughters, Sarah Fields, Rebecca, and Mary Cox. A son-in-law, John Lester, is apparently listed as a devisee in the room of a deceased daughter.

References:

Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, A Concise History of the Kehukee Baptist Association (1850). https://archive.org/details/concisehistoryof00burk (accessed September 29, 2014).

Cushing B. Hassell, History of the Church of God (1948).

George W. Paschal, History of North Carolina Baptists, vol. 1 (1930). https://archive.org/details/historyofnorthca11pasc (accessed September 29, 2014).

 

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