William Canady, Sr.
of Wilkes & Surry Co., NC

William Canady (Kennedy), Sr., was probably born around 1740-1750 and probably died bet. 1800-1810 in Surry Co., NC.

Children of William Canady, Sr.:

  1. William Canady, Jr., b. bet. 1760-1770, d. bet. 1830-1840, Wilkes Co., NC; m. Rachel PARKS.
  2. Aaron Canady, Sr., b. bet. 1760-1770, d. May 1845, Surry Co., NC; m. (1) unknown; (2) Temperance.


1833 Map of Ashe/Wilkes/Surry Co., NC

Part of Wilkes, Surry, & Alleghany
(formerly Ashe) Counties, NC

from an 1833 map

Kennedy is a common surname in both Ireland and Scotland.  It comes from a Gaelic personal name, Ceannéidigh.  Most Kennedys and Canadys who arrived in America during Colonial times were Protestant Scots from Northern Ireland (commonly known as the Scotch-Irish), or Irish Quakers.  The Scotch-Irish were Presbyterians, but many of their descendants in the Southern United States became Baptists.  It's estimated that a quarter million Scotch-Irish immigrants came to America during the 18th century, fleeing the poverty and religious oppression they suffered in Ireland.  Scotch-Irish settlers from Pennsylvania traveled to the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina in large numbers during the years before the Revolutionary War.

The Kennedy surname was especially challenging for early clerks and census-takers, resulting in every imaginable spelling variation from "Kanidy" to "Canada."

William Canady, Sr., arrived in Wilkes County, NC, by 1779 and lived on the border of Wilkes and Surry Counties, between Big Elkin Creek and Mitchell River.  He appears on the 1787 Tax List of Wilkes County in Capt. Johnson's District, which was located in the northeastern part of the county around Mitchell River and Mountain Creek.  This area was ceded to Surry County in 1795.  As a result, William is listed in the 1790 census of Wilkes County and the 1800 census of Surry County.  Although his home ended up in Surry County, some of his land was still in Wilkes County.  On Jan. 29, 1796, William CANADY, Sr., "of Surry County" gave 200 acres on Big Elkin Creek in Wilkes County to William CANADY, Jr., (probably his son) "for divers good causes".  (Wilkes DB B-1, pp.485-486.)  There are two men named William Canady or Kennedy in the 1800 Census of Surry County; one of these was probably William Sr.  He likely died prior to 1810.


Sept. 5, 1778. Samuel MORRISON entered 200 acres, west side of Great Elkin, including improvement whereon Edward HEADY lives. (Samuel MORRISON marked out, Wm. CANNADY written in.) (Wilkes Land Entry Book, No. 311.)

Aug. 3, 1779. William CANADY entered 150 acres on Big Elkin, upper end of entry that CANADY had of Samuel MONEY. (Wilkes Land Entry Book, No. 1100.)

Jan. 1, 1780. William CANADY entered 200 acres on creek that Peter PEARSON lives on at COLEY's line. (Wilkes Land Entry Book, No. 1475.)  (Same date): Wiliam CANADY entered 200 acres on Fans Branch at Wm. WATSON's line (Wm. CANADY marked out, Wm. WATSON written in.) (Entry No. 1476.)  (Same date): William CANADY entered 100 acres joining Thomas MAY's line and James WALING's line (entry withdrawn by entrier). (Id., Entry No. 1477.)  (Same date): Wiliam CANADY entered 100 acres on Big Elkin joining his own line. (Entry No. 1478.)

1782. Wilkes Co., NC, Tax List: William CANNADY. Also listed: Andrew CANNADY, Jacob CANNADY, Sam CANNADY.

1787, Wilkes Co., NC, State Census, Capt. Johnson's Dist.: WILLIAM CANADY
1 white male age 21-60
5 white males under 21 and over 60
5 white females

Also listed: Mark KANADY and Samuel KANADY in Capt. Hardin's Dist.; Andrew CANNADEY in Capt. Carrell's Dist.

Note: Capt. Hardin's Militia District was located in northeastern Wilkes County in the vicinity of Mountain Creek and Mitchell River (this area was ceded to Surry County in 1795). Capt. Johnson's Militia Dist. was located in the upper Roaring River area of north-central Wilkes County. Capt. Carrell's Militia Dist. encompassed the Big Elkin and Bugaboo Creek area of eastern Wilkes County. (See The Heritage of Wilkes County (Wilkes Gen. Soc. 1983), p.viii.)

1790 Census, Wilkes Co., NC, 14th Co., p.124: WM KENNEDY
2 white males over 16
2 white males under 16
6 white females

Jan. 29, 1796. Deed from William KENNEDY Sr. of Surry Co. to William KENNEDY, Jr., for divers good causes, 200 acres on Big Elkin. Wits: John WILLIAMS, William DAVIS. (Wilkes DB B-1, p.485-486)

One of these must be him:

1800 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.644: WILLIAM CANADY
1 w/m 10-154 w/f under 10
1 w/m over 451 w/f 26-45


1800 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.706: WILLIAM KENNADY
1 w/m under 10 2 w/f 10-15
2 w/m 10-151 w/f 26-45
1 w/m 16-25 
1 w/m over 45 

Aug. term 1808, Surry Co., NC, Court Minutes. Ordered Rolley POE appointed overseer of road from Ross' Ford on Mitchels River to William KENADYS, Sr. ... Ordered Robert BROOKS appointed overseer of the road in room of Rolley POE from Ross' Ford on Mitchels River to William KENADY's Senr.

1812 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Witcher's Dist.:
• William KENNADAY, Sr., 250 acres, 0 polls
• Aaron KENADAY, 499 acres, 1 poll