Sheriff John Birdsong

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4th Sheriff of Chatham County

Chatham County Sheriff

Served: May 1779-May 1781

Appointed/Elected: Appointed

Age taking office: 46

Population: Unknown 

Birth date: August 26, 1733

Birth place: York County, Virginia

Died: September 21, 1790

Buried: Union County, South Carolina



Mother: Sarah Bennett, d. 1735

Father: John Birdsong II, b. 1701, d. January 20, 1785

Wife: Mary L. Armistead, b. 1730 in Elizabeth County, VA, m. 1753, Sussex County, VA, d. after 1790 in Union County, SC

Children: Battle, John, William, Henry, Sarah, Jesse, Mary, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Nancy, Liddia, and Lucy


Tenure Notables



Sheriff John Birdsong was one of 53 captured at the Chatham County Courthouse by Tories under command of David Fanning. On July 16th, 1781, a body of Tories under the command of David Fanning, made an attack upon Chatham Court House, making prisoners of fifty-three persons, among who were some of the principal citizens of the county, and carried them to Wilmington as prisoners of war. Among those captured were Col. Ramsey, State Senator and militia officer; James Williams, prominent attorney; James Lutterell, member of the Commons, and other leading men.


Military Experience


In 1772 John Birdsong was a Captain in the Chatham County Militia of the Revolutionary Army.


Other Offices


John Birdsong, also a delegate, was to be a member of the Convention which adopted the Constitution of the State and the Bill of Rights; was to serve as Sheriff of the County and as a legislator. To the first General Assembly under the Constitution, which met at New Bern on April 11th, 1777, Chatham sent John Birdsong to the House of Commons.

In 1778 Col. Ambrose Ramsey resigned as Senator and John Birdsong succeeded him.