Oral tradition passed on through the generations can be a help or a hindrance to our genealogy research.
In the case of our INGRAM ancestor, family tradition is that the INGRAM immigrant and four of his brothers came to America near the end of the Revolutionary War. Richard M. INGRAM, a great-grandson of James INGRAM, told the tale that it was Bob’s father – Bob being James’ son Robert – who came to America. While James S. INGRAM, a great-great-grandson of James INGRAM through his son Matthew, wrote that it was James’ father.
If James INGRAM came with four brothers near the end of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) he would have been 12 years old and most likely the youngest as there is no mention of parents travelling with them. It is more likely that his father came over with four brothers before the Revolutionary War as the 1850 and 1860 census show that James was born in Virginia. Children living at the time of the 1880, 1900, and 1910 census gave their father’s birthplace as Virginia or West Virginia.
James INGRAM (b. abt. 1771-1774 VA d. 1865 Kanawha Co., WV) married Margaret, daughter of John and Elizabeth KINCAID, in 1809 in Greenbrier Co., Virginia (before the formation of West Virginia) and settled on Loup Creek in Fayette Co., VA (WV) about 1830. The place he selected was at the mouth of a branch on Loup Creek now called Ingram Branch. The 120-acre tract, including his improvement, was patented by his sons, Robert and Matthew, in 1843, several years after the settlement.
The family of James and Margaret INGRAM consisted of:
*James Jr. died as a young man and never married
*Joshua married Mahala C. [believed to be the daughter of Jeffrey Oliver STEELE Sr. and Mary SMITH] and died before the Civil War
*Robert married Hulda JOHNSON, daughter of William and Amy JOHNSON, and lived at the Sonny Kincaid site, which was a part of the 120-acre grant of which he had become the sole owner
*John married (1) Lucy Jane SKAGGS before removing to Poca River in Kanawha Co. and then (2) Delilah CRAIG and (3) Mary F. LEGG
*Matthew removed to Poca River in Kanawha Co., WV, and married Sarah Frances Martin, daughter of Dio Clesian MARTIN and Catherine KIDD
*Ruth married John DARLINGTON, youngest son of Benjamin and Mary DARLINGTON, and lived at various places on Loup Creek
*Cynthia married Johnny TINCHER, son of William TINCHER, also of Loup Creek.
Although much is known about the descendants it is the parentage of James INGRAM that remains a mystery.