John COOLEY and Sarah Ann TREADWAY


John COOLEY (Oct 1827-aft. Jun 1900) and Sarah Ann TREADWELL (sic) (Apr 1828-aft. Jun 1900) married in Meigs County, Ohio, 9 September 1851. In 1853 they were living in Parkersburg, Wood County, (West) Virginia, when their oldest son Calvin was born. John COOLEY’s occupation was listed as sawyer on his son’s birth record. By 1860 the family was living in Missouri. In 1870 they were back in Meigs County, were John was working in a sawmill. In 1880 they were living in Mason County, West Virginia. By 1900 John and Sarah were in Fayette County, West Virginia. In their household was a widowed son-in-law and a granddaughter.

In the 1850s when John COOLEY was in Wood County there was another man of this surname in the county, William COOLEY and his wife Drusilla Stewart. Their marriage record has not been found however descendants say that they married in Ohio were Drusilla was born. They had the following children in Wood County: Rachael born 18 Jun 1856, Sarah Angeline born 4 Oct 1857, and Sarah A. born 12 Dec 1859.

I believe that there must be a connection between John (b. Oct 1827) and William (b. 1825) as both were born in Missouri, married in Ohio, lived in Wood County at about the same time. Census listings for William have been found from 1860 to 1920; William’s and Drusilla’s death records have been found.

The 1850 census listings for John and William COOLEY may be a very important piece to the puzzle. William Washington COOLEY’s death certificate lists his father as Isaac COOLEY. Online postings from descendants tell the story that his parents died when he was 7 and that he had a brother Charles and a sister Sarah. It is not known if this is documented.


Sarah’s surname has been seen as TREADWELL and as TREADWAY. Two of her children’s death certificates list her as Sarah TREADWAY. Daughter Ida’s birth record lists Sarah Jane TREADWAY. A family bible lists TREADWAY. However the marriage record lists TREADWELL.

Although there is no conclusive evidence to show that Sarah Ann TREADWAY was the daughter of Henry TREADWAY of Wood County, (West) Virginia, I have attached her to his family in my gedcom file. I like to do this “for research purposes” as it makes it easier to compare things. Henry had children named Calvin and Melissa and these are names that Sarah gave to her first born children. Sarah has not been located in the 1850 census. Was she living with one of her siblings? Henry’s oldest daughter per 1830 census has not been identified. Calvin, Helena, Alcinda, and Melissa, the other children of Henry TREADWAY have been located in 1850 — Sarah is not living with them.

This couple has me hitting my head against a brick wall that doesn’t want to budge.


The will of Isaac COOLEY (below) names four children: William, James, Thomas Marian, and Harriet. Therefore John COOLEY and William Washington COOLEY were not brothers. Could they have been cousins?

Submitted by michael_95073
Note added Mon Mar 4 20:30:55 2013

Transcription of the will of Isaac Cooley, dated April 3, 1838 in Randolph County Missouri:

Known all men by these present that on the third day of April in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty-eight that I, Isaac Cooley, of Randolph County in the State of Missouri being of sound mind and disposing judgement, but low and weak in bodily strength and health do on this day dispose of my effects in the following manner. I give and bequeath to my son William one dollar. To my son James one dollar. To my son Thomas Marian one dollar and to my daughter Harriet one dollar. And I give and bequeath to my beloved wife [my home place] (crossed out) Nancy Cooley to have and to hold during her life time, my land and at her death I want the land to revert back to my son Thomas Marian and his heirs and assigns forever. After all my just debts are paid I want the above disposition of my effects made between my children of the one part and my dear wife Nancy Cooley of the other.

I leave my friend Thomas K White my executor to carry into effect __ _ In testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand and affixed my seal on the above.


Hezekiah SUMNER

Door17Hezekiah SUMNER (abt. 1750-1823) of Botetourt and Montgomery County, Virginia

Hezekiah came to America from Wales about 1760-1765 according to family oral tradition. He may have migrated down Shenandoah Valley from the north or from the Tidewater area. Neither has been proven.
He was said to have been a known Tory however pension records show that he gave public service during the American Revolution being assigned to Capt. Easom’s Co., August 31, 1782, in Botetourt County, Virginia, to serve for three years.
Between 1786 and 1808 he obtained by land grants 596 acres on both sides of the Little River in Botetourt and Montgomery counties. He also bought land adjacent to his property in 1790 (acreage unknown). The 4 land grants (totalling 596 acres) were found in the Library of Virginia’s Land Office Grants database.
Marriage records have not been found. Isabella may have been his first wife as she is listed on son Owen’s death record as the mother. His will names Mary as his wife.
He died between 16 Nov 1822 (will) and Mar 1823 (probate) in Montgomery County, Virginia (Wills – Bk. 3 p. 522). [Need lookup for will!]
Known children were Rebecca Ann (md. Jacob England), Charity (md. Ralph Ratliffe), Priscilla (md. Joseph Harris), Owen (md. 1. Sarah Newton 2. Levina Sowers), Isaiah (md. Nancy Hungate), and Susannah (mentioned in father’s will, no further information known).
Lots of research still needs to be done on Hezekiah SUMNER and his descendants.
Don’t assume family tradition is right until you’ve proven it correct.


Door16John LESTER I (1751-1825) and his wife Catherine PLICKENSTALVER (abt. 1759-1833) of Montgomery County, Virginia.

Although I have many descendants listed for this ancestral couple, I haven’t done very much research on them. This is mainly due to the fact that others have shared their extensive research:

In 1996 Marguerite Tise wrote “The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia”

Copy available online:

Barbara Reininger’s site on Floyd County, Virginia:
includes two pages on the Lester families of that county:

Jerry Curtis Lester’s genealogy site:

Jerry Curtis Lester Genealogy – gedcom file:

Chad K. Flentje’s site:

Marguerite Tise’s information has been used by many including Jerry Lester and Chad Flentje. Barbara Reininger cites Tise but uses mainly county and census records for Floyd County.

There are likely many more sites online with information on the LESTER family but the above were around when I first began doing genealogy research on the internet in 2000.

Seventeen years ago Marguerite wrote, in her book, “Intensive efforts have been made by family members and researchers over the years to locate John Lester’s father and ancestors in Pennsylvania, but with no success up to the present time.” It would be nice to be part of this discovery when it is made. Hopefully it will not be another 17 years before this happens.

Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, present-day France

Door 1This door has already been used for the immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, present-day France.

It is a symbol for the research done on this family. The first door is open showing a passage way leading to another door which is closed.

Recent research shows that errors were made when the church records were searched by a previous researcher in the 1990s — but it opened the first door.

For the years between 1685 and 1752 (the year the family went to America) I found about 130 church records for Rupp individuals in the Bas-Rhin Archives. Nearly 65 of these have been inputted and attached to the gedcom file.

Once the rest have been inputted I’ll go through the church records again to check for Rupp individuals who were sponsors at baptisms or witnesses to records. This should lead to new clues concerning the relationships of the RUPP family groups in Steinseltz and Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.

Below are the parents and paternal grandparents presently seen in the gedcom file:

………………/Johann Jacob RUPP
……./Johann Jacob RUPP
……|……….\Margareta [–?–] RUPP
Johann Jacob RUPP b: 8 MAR 1723 (immigrant)
…….\Maria Apollonia [–?–] RUPP

I now have the maiden name of the immigrant’s mother and her parents’ names. The big surprise is that the paternal grandparents are not the ones seen above!

Staring at brick walls won’t get you anywhere.

Door15Staring at brick walls won’t get you anywhere.
* step back
* consider what you may have missed
* change directions
* peek through a window to see what may lie beyond and work backwards
* take a break
* use your old keys and look for new keys (keys=sources)
* use your keys to unlock a door
* push it open even if it is only a crack
* the tiniest breakthrough is progress
* watch the bricks tumble
Does the genealogy problem you have seem too difficult to solve? Are you at a dead end? Are you climbing the wrong family tree? Tell me about your most challenging brick wall!

Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part II

logo_klengMy field trip to Germany last Saturday was a huge success. It was an enjoyable day and the best part was the RESEARCH! With just one hour to check out the genealogy library it was a good thing I was prepared.

I’d generated ancestral reports in pdf format for all lines with individuals born in what is now Germany and emailed the file to my Kindle Paperwhite so that I wouldn’t be shuffling through all kinds of paper.

In the library I consulted my reports and worked fast pulling the books on the villages that my ancestors came from. With my Nikon Coolpix (set on macro and without flash) I took pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine. Although time was short and there was not much elbow room, I took nearly 120 photos.

Halfway through evaluating these, I have 50 family groups that fit into my tree. On several lines I was able to go back 3 generations further than I had. One ancestral couple, Hubert WELTER (d. 1744) and Anna Margaretha BERNARD (d. 1760), turned out to be my 6th and 7th great-grandparents!

I’m going to be busy inputting all of the data, citing the sources, and planning a trip to the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg to look up the families I missed.

familienbuchA quick explanation of entries in family books: In this photo of family group 822 in Ernzen we see Hubert WEIMANN <858.2> which means that he is the 2nd child of family group 858. Symbols seen are * (birth), oo (marriage), and + (death). Following P.: are names of godparents. Further information for child #3 is found under family group 867.

For the surname PLEIN there were 28 pages in one town – it will take me a while to go through these as the family groups were not numbered or cross-referenced (as in photo).

© 2013 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part I

logo_klengSaturday I’m going on a genealogy field trip! The genealogy association I belong to in Luxembourg, Luxracines, has organized a trip to Neumagen and Wittlich (Germany).

Starting with a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship, followed by lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus”, and a tour of Peter Daus’ private library, in Haus Daus. The library is made up of about 2000 family books for localities in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz and Saarland.

In comparison, the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg has a collection of about 150 family books for the Eifel area and the Bistumsarchiv (diocese archives) of Trier has about 1200 family books.

A family book (Familienbuch) is compiled from the parish and civil records (church books and town registers) – kind of like an index to where you can find the original records.

Unfortunately Mr. Daus’ holdings are being disposed of so this will be my last chance to see this amazing collection.

Time is precious so I’ve made up a list of ancestors on my maternal grandfather’s branch and a few little twigs in my husband’s family tree that reach into Germany.

Don’t know how much research I can do but I’ll be prepared.

Luxracines on Tour 2013

© 2013 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Bailey WOOD Sr.

Door14Bailey WOOD Sr. of Woodville, Virginia (present day Ansted, West Virginia)
b. bet. 1755-1758 d. bef. 21 Sep 1826

On November 24, 1781, Pastor John Alderson of the Greenbrier River area organized the Old Greenbrier Church at Alderson, the first Baptist organization west of the Alleghenies. Bailey WOOD, Ann WOOD and James WOOD were three of the twelve original members.
At this time he had been married about five years and lived with his wife Nancy and several children in a cabin near the foot of Keeney’s Knob near Alderson where wild game hunting was so plentiful.
The relationship between him and Ann WOOD and James WOOD is not known. Could they have been his parents or siblings?
In 1788 he was granted 450 acres of land on the south side of Greenbrier River. It is possible that he also acquired 280 acres in 1785. Bailey was seen on tax lists in Greenbrier County from 1782 until 1799 when the area that he lived in became Monroe County.
Around 1792 he was one of a group of “squatters” who were the first settlers in the Ansted area. In 1796 Bailey WOOD was instrumental in organizing Hopewell Baptist Church, the first Baptist Church in the area of Woodville, now known as Ansted, (Fayette County, West Virginia). The initial membership of the new church included members who had been dismissed from the Greenbrier Baptist Church, most likely due to a westward migration of families. The Woodville area fell in Nicholas County in 1818 and then in Fayette County in 1831 when the counties were formed. The family moved only once, though they appeared to move several times due to the changing of county boundaries.
By 1804 Bailey had disposed of 450 acres of land. In 1826, after his death, his heirs sold 100 acres on the south side of Greenbrier River, then in Monroe County, to John Alderson.
The search is on for the parents of Bailey WOOD.