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Strudwick, William Francis

by Eva Burbank Murphy, 1994

12 May 1770–31 July 1810

William Francis Strudwick, Orange County legislator, was born at Stag Park, on the Northeast River near Wilmington; his parents were Samuel (will dated 1794) and Martha Williams Strudwick. It was reported that Samuel Strudwick had another son, Edmund.

In 1789 William Francis was an Orange County delegate to the second state constitutional convention (November 17–22) in Fayetteville. He also served in the state senate in 1792–93 at New Bern and in 1797 at Raleigh. Between those two terms he represented the Fourth District in the U.S. Congress (13 Dec. 1796–3 Mar. 1797), completing the term of Absalom Tatom. Returning to the North Carolina General Assembly, he served in the house from 1801 to 1803. Between his legislative terms, he pursued agricultural interests. His name is also found in Orange County records as an executor of deeds in 1804.

In 1793 Strudwick married Martha Shepperd (12 Apr. 1770–16 June 1844) in Orange County (marriage bond issued on 5 Sept. 1793). They had at least five children: Elizabeth Jane (Aug. 1794–19 May 1871), Samuel (12 June 1796–21 Nov. 1872), Edmund Charles Fox (28 Mar. 1802–29 Nov. 1879), Martha Lucia Margaret (1808–64), and William Francis, Jr. (1810–52).

The particulars of his death are uncertain. A Raleigh newspaper of August 1810 reported the death of a Major William E. Strudwick at Stag Park, forty-eight years old, leaving a wife and five children. Elsewhere it was reported that he was buried on his Hawfields estate in Orange County.


Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1961).

John L. Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1974 (1975).

Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vol. 22 (1907).

Durham Morning Herald, 26 Sept. 1973.

First Census of the United States, 1790 (1908).

John Hampden Hill, "Plantations on the Northeast River," in James Sprunt, Chronicles of the Cape Fear River, 2d ed. (1916).

Alice Barnwell Keith, ed., The John Gray Blount Papers, vol. 1 (1952).

Hugh Lefler and Paul Wager, eds., Orange County, 1752–1952 (1953).

Marriage Bonds, Orange County (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Fred A. Olds, An Abstract of North Carolina Wills from about 1760 to about 1880 (1925).

Benjamin Perley Poore, A Descriptive Catalog of the Government Publications of the United States, September 5, 1774 to March 4, 1881 (1885).

Raleigh Register and North-Carolina State Gazette, 23 Aug. 1810.

Betsy L. Willis and James W. Strudwick, comps., Genealogy and Letters of the Strudwick, Ashe, Young, and Allied Families (1971).

Who Was Who in America, 1607–1896 (1963).

Wilmington Gazette, 17, 24 July 1810.

Additional Resources:

"Strudwick, William Francis, (ca. 1765 - 1812)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed April 3, 2014).