I am a direct descendant of a soldier who fought at Brandywine Battlefield on Sept. 11, 1777. His name was Daniel Holyfield, but his last name is spelled on his Feb.1777 pay record as mine is now, which is Holifield. I don’t believe he knew how to write, so the spelling of his last name was at the discretion of the writer of the record. He was a private and was paid about 16 dollars a year. The average wage for a farmer, which he was, was 18 dollars a year at the time. He enlisted in Loudoun County,Virginia in Feb. 1776 in Capt. Charles West’s Rifle company, which was the 3rd Company of the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line and seemed to live at his Grandfather’s Valentine Holyfield’s farm in Goose Creek. He was born in either 1753 or 1757 which would make him either 24 or 20 years old when he fought there at Brandywine Creek. He survied the battle and the Revolutionary War and apparently finnished a 2 year enlistment which would have ended in Feb. 1778 at Valley Forge. The previous battles of the 3rd Virginia Regiment were,”Harlem Heights-Sept.16,1776;Trenton-Dec.25-26,1776″. He married in 1778 to a woman by the name of Mary Pye and had some 8 children. He went on to acquire land grants as a benefit of the U.S. government for his service. The Land grants were in North Carolina,Georgia & Alabama and totaled over 800 acres. He last settled in a new county called Sumter,Alabama established in 1832 in a town called Belmont. The land he last acquired in a land grant there in Belmont,Alabama still has the log cabin that he lived in with his daughter Jemima & her husband Caldwell Estes. Today it is privately owned and rented out for hunting and used on weekends by family & friends of the present owner’s. He last attended and is buried at Old Belmont Church, which was then a Methodist Church. It is still used today and the town is still very small with only one stop sign, two families mainly and one telephone number listed in the directory for Belmont. He died on Oct.11,1834 there in the log cabin he lived in just 2 years after moving there. His headstone reads in part “Daniel Holyfield, Aged about 78 years which would put his birth at about 1756. I am the 6th generation descended from Daniel Holyfield/Holifield through his son,Willis, then Wiley H. Holifield, then Wiley Henry Holifield, then Herbert Joseph Holifield, then James Edward Holifield and my name is James Alan Holifield.
James A. Holifield