My great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) was a blacksmith, coal miner, artist, poet, photographer, and cartoonist. He was 17 years old when the 1900 census was taken and worked as a day laborer for six months during the previous year. He was living in the Cabin Creek District of Kanawha County in West Virginia in his father Gordon‘s household. When he married Rebecca Jane CLONCH on 12 July 1903 his occupation was listed as a miner. This is the profession he would engage in until his retirement.
Walter and Rebecca’s family was missed by the enumerator in 1910. On 12 September 1918 Walter was a mine blacksmith with the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted per his Draft Card. His place of employment was Jodie, Fayette County.
Per the census, in 1920 and 1930 he was a miner in a coal mine and in 1940 a utility man in a coal mine. In 1939 he worked 44 weeks and received a private wage. The number of weeks he worked in 1939 appears to be the average for the miners in the community.
In 1942 the Registration Card (for men born on or after April 28, 1877, and on or before February 16, 1897), also known as the “old man’s registration,” has the Gauley Mountain Coal Company of Ansted as my great-grandfather’s employer.
The place of residence on the 1920, 1930, and 1940 census for the ROOP family was Jodie in Fayette County.
The community which would become Jodie was started up when the first houses were built by local logging companies in the late 1800s. The first post office was established in 1894 or 1896 (conflicting sources) when the town was named Imboden. The name of the town was changed to Jodie in 1910. In 1915, the Gauley Mountain Coal Company established Jodie as a coal town. The company utilized the existing lumber company houses and built additional ones. A company store, movie theater, and boarding house were also built but they are now long gone. The houses were sold off to residents in the mid-1940s, and the local mines closed less than ten years later. My great-grandfather very likely worked for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company from the time they established in Jodie until his retirement.
Christopher Taylor, a Shepherd University (Shepherdstown, WV) history major, kindly shared maps, photographs, and explanations to give me an idea of the geographical location of the mine Walter worked in.
Here is Jodie as it appeared in a USGS topographical map from 1928. I added labels showing various locations and parts of town. The Buck Run Mine loaded coal into a tipple along the river. In later years as operations expanded southeasterly across the mountain, they discontinued the tipple on the river and sent the coal down to Rich Creek.
The Jodie Tipple on Rich Creek, c. 1940s. Coal from the left hillside came from the No. 1 (Buck Run) Mine, and across a conveyor into the tipple. Coal from the right side came from the No. 2 (Rich Creek) Mine.
My Great-grandfather’s Poetry
Walter’s poetry, written after the 1950 death of his wife Rebecca Jane CLONCH, has been passed down in the family. I have no idea if he wrote poems before my great-grandmother’s death. I think he may have discovered his love for expressing his feeling in poetry following his beloved’s death.
Although most were written for his darling wife, he also wrote two poems reflecting his love of mining. He wrote Buck Run after re-visiting the site of the old mine he spent so many years of toil and happy times.
Old Buck Run Mine has played its part With vigor, zeal and zest; Through two great wars that we have fought She gave her very best.
We miss the rhythmic tramp of feet Of those we used to know, Who worked with us at Buck Run Mine Some forty years ago.
I strolled alone the other day To visit Buck Run Mine, The scene of many years of toil And many happy times.
The old landmarks had disappeared And all was calm and still. The only things familiar now Are Buck Run’s brushy hills.
Old memories gathered thick and fast Of pals who used to be; Some rest perhaps on native hills And some across the sea.
There crept upon my aged form A feeling strange and cold; I bowed my head and walked away; I, too, am growing old.
— W. F. Roop, Jodie, W. Va.
What Remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2
Similar to the stroll Walter took to visit Buck Run Mine, Christopher hiked up to the remains of Rich Creek Mine No. 2 in 2013. He took photos which he has kindly allowed me to use.
A Coal Miner Remembers
The second poem, When We Retire, describes what it was like to work in a mine. Clipped and dated January 1952, it was published in the United Mine Workers Journal.
When We Retire
I’m just an Old Miner, retired from the mines, Still I yearn for the days that are dead, When we labored and toiled, in the dust and the grime, While dangers lurked over our heads.
Though we pray and we pine till we’re weary and sick, Fate never will answer our prayer; To feel the old thrill, of the shovel and pick, And to be with the gang that was there.
Where we labored and toiled in a world of our own, By the gleam of a flickering light; Where the change of the seasons is ever unknown, And the day is eternally night.
Why we yearn to go back, I cannot understand, For the dangers and hardships were great, And many a miner who played a good hand Has lost in the gamble with Fate.
— By Walter Farmer Roop, Belva W. Va.
Walter Farmer ROOP was an all around artistic talent. He left wonderful gifts for his children, grandchildren, and all later descendants. While re-reading his poems and reviewing his art I realized he left much more than photos, drawings, and words – he actually bequeathed us with parts of his own autobiography.
My GEDCOM file has been online at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect for 15 days short of fourteen years. Many people have written to me over the years. And when a person takes the time to send me the key to open a door in one of my brick walls, I do a happy dance and say, “Thank you very much for taking the time to get in touch.”
Oliver Jenkins III of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of these people. He sent his email to both of my addresses (to be sure I would receive it) last August and wrote:
Elijah W. NEAL was my great-grandfather William Henderson DEMPSEY‘s first cousin. They were very close in age, Elijah being the elder by three years. Their mothers were both daughters of Elijah WOOD (1806-1885) and I wonder if the younger Elijah’s middle name may have been Wood. But I’m getting away from the subject. I want to stress that this is speculation concerning the middle name!
For a long time, I’ve had “between 1896-1900” for the year of death of Elijah W. NEAL. I hadn’t found a death record for him and estimated his death as between the time his last child was born and the 1900 census when his wife, Rebecca F. (ARBAUGH) NEAL, was seen as widowed.
Fast forward to this past August when Oliver sent me the above-mentioned email with the transcription and citation for the source giving the date and cause of death for Elijah W. NEAL.
Killed by a Steam Locomotive in a Coal Mine on 3 June 1897
Fatal Accidents 1897
June 3d and 4th. Elijah Neal and George W. Crump, Gauley Mountain mine, Fayette county, were killed by a steam locomotive in the mine. The following report was furnished by Mr. W. N. Page: “I regret to report the death of Elijah Neal and George W. Crump in our new mine Tunnell, on Thursday, June 3d, both white and leaving families. Neal’s head was crushed between the cab and rib, from which death must have been instantaneous, and Crump, who was badly scalded by steam from the safety valve, died the following morning. This accident was in no way connected with the working, but was the result of carelessness in running too fast over a new track. Only one pair of drivers left the rail, but at the high rate of speed the safety valve was knocked off against the roof. It is supposed that there was a small scale of slate on the rail, but this is not certain, but it is known positively that they were running at the time beyond the safety limit, with practically an empty engine. Neal was about 35 and Crump about 40 years of age.” On June 10th Mine Inspector John I. Absolom visited the scene of this accident and found the facts to be as stated above. [Source: Annual Report of the Chief Mine Inspector to the Governor of West Virginia. W.E. Forsyth: Charleston, WV.1898. page 84-85; online at: https://archive.org/stream/annualreportdept18961897west#page/84/mode/2up]
Oliver also did a newspaper search and came up with this article which suggested Elijah’s widow might soon follow him to the grave.
Publication: The Evening Republican, Columbus, Indiana Published: 4 June 1897 Page 1 ANSTEAD, W. Va., A locomotive was wrecked in the coal mines here today. Elijah Neal, engineer, was killed and assistant mine superintendent died from his injuries received. Neal’s wife is prostrated and will die from the shock.
Elijah’s wife Rebecca did not die from the shock. She was found in the census in 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940, always in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia. No death record was found for her on WVCulture.org.
However, her obituary published in the Beckley Post-Herald was located and attached as a source for her death. Aunt Becky, as she was known, outlived her husband by 52 years, dying on 3 July 1949 in Ansted.
Publication: Beckley Post-Herald (Raleigh Co., WV)
Published: Sunday Morning, July 4, 1949
Headline: Neal Funeral Set For Today
Oak Hill, July 3 – Funeral services for Mrs. Rebecca (Aunt Becky) Neal, 87, of Ansted will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ansted Baptist Church with the Rev. Stanley Neuman officiating.
Mrs. Neal, who was born in Greenbrier County, died at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Lola Boalt of Ansted, Saturday at 7:15 p.m. following an illness of six weeks.
She was a member of the Ansted Baptist Church.
Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Lola Boalt and Mrs. Ada Dufour, and one son, Raleigh, all of Ansted. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
The body will be at the home of Mrs. Lola Boalt.
The Benefits of Having My Family Tree Online
Oliver’s email was very much appreciated as have been all correspondence received in the past twenty years my family tree has been online. My database may have missing information, it may not always have sources cited, it may even have errors. In short, it may not be perfect. But the benefits of having it online far outnumber the embarrassment of mistakes or missing citations especially when people take the time to write to me and offer corrections and additions.
Thank you to all who have contacted me during the past 20 years!
P.S. On 23 November 2016 I heard from Oliver Jenkins III. I wrote to him letting him know I mentioned him (first name only) and his random act of genealogical kindness in my post. He is not a related to Elijah W. Neal and found the information while researching for a client. He wrote, “Feel free to use my full name and email if you’d like. Extra clients always help 🙂 ” owjenkins3 @ gmail.com.
Great-grandpa ROOP also left poems he wrote for his wife, about his place of work, and his surroundings. Living in Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, on the Gauley River Walter was fond of the waterway he photographed and wrote this poem about it 99 years ago.
Walter wrote poetry to mourn the death of his wife:
“The Letters You Loved and Kept”
“That Darling Pal of Mine”
“My Garden: Gethsemane”
an unnamed poem which begins with “Dear heart, since you have gone to rest I only think of you”.
Recently my 2nd cousin Robert sent me “On Gauley,” shared above, and another poem written by our great-grandfather. “Buck Run” was penned after the two great wars were fought and is about Buck Run No. 1, the coal mine he worked in for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company. “Buck Run” may have been published in the UMW Journal as the copy Robert sent has a published look of a book page.
We know at least one of Walter’s poems “When We Retire” was published in the United Mine Workers Journal, January 15, 1952 issue. David C. Duke author of Writers and Miners: Activism and Imagery in America (published by University Press of Kentucky, 2002) referred to it in the notes on a chapter in the book. I have not found any cousins with a copy of this poem.
I’ve been asked if Walter’s talents were passed on to others in the family. I know his youngest son Alfred Lee ROOP 1919-1981 wrote the poem “Old Fighters Last Battle” which Robert sent to me. I would love to know if any of my other cousins inherited one of his special “heirloom” talents.
Click here to see a list of other bloggers doing the heirloom posts.
Week 52 (December 24-31) – Resolution. A resolution can be something that you resolve to do. It can also be the end or conclusion of something. What ancestor do you resolve to find more about in 2016? What ancestor have you resolved conflicting evidence about?
We’ve come to the end of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks : 2015 Edition. 2015 was the year of my children’s ancestors in Luxembourg. It’s been a wonderful year of discovery, correcting errors, adding new information and SOURCES, finding even more distant ancestors, and, best of all, stories were written for nearly 100 ancestors. Two weeks were dedicated to my cousin Joe Rooney’s ancestors as I could not pass up the chance to feature them and the wonderful collection of old photographs he shared with me. It may be the end of the challenge but I resolve to continue researching and writing about my genealogical discoveries in the year to come.
There are no favorites but one of my American ancestors, James SIMS 1754-1845 of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, has placed himself in the limelight several times this year. Early in 2002 I wrote his biography with the help of several cousins. I posted an updated version of the biography on my blog, backdated 25 March 2013 as I began my blog on 23 January 2014.
These posts have become chapters in James SIMS’ life and times. This week I’m happy to share with you another chapter written by my 5th cousin Jason N. Lombardi.
A Visit to the James SIMS Property
In August, I had the pleasure of making an impromptu four-hour trip to visit a home built by James SIMS near Swiss in Nicholas County, West Virginia. It has been on my to-do list since I first saw a post published on the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy Facebook group detailing its existence.
Even though I was battling a summertime cold bug that had bitten me, complete with runny nose and cough, the genealogy bug had bitten me as well….and it prevailed! It’s amazing what a genealogist will overcome in effort to search out history when, under similar circumstances, might afford a day off of work or school.
What an experience! Seeing firsthand the property that once belonged to my 4th great-grandfather was without words. Knowing that he was here….his family was here….my people were here. Little did James know that 200 years later, seven generations down the line, someone would be standing in awe at a place he owned.
A perfect last-minute trip. I stood at the front corner of the home and placed my hand on the paint-deprived door frame of the ancient building. The awesome power of family seemed to rush through my veins. At that moment I was connected to James and his family. It was a phenomenal experience as a genealogist for 25 years as many of the homes occupied by my family in the past have been destroyed to time.
James SIMS….you have family that still care and are breathing new life into your legacy.
This is my LAST weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.
Week 50 (December 10-16) – Naughty. We all have an ancestor who probably received coal in their stocking.
I’ve made a list, checked it twice and found who’s been naughty and nice.
If you’ve been following along these past two years you’ll know who’s locked the door to my most frustrating brick wall. Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY, my 3rd great-grandparents!
Name: Mr. DEMPSEY Parents: Unknown Spouse: Mrs. DEMPSEY Children:Willliam A. W. DEMPSEY (1820-1867) Whereabouts: Unknown (some say outer space) Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandparents
What do I know about Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY? They were the parents of my great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY born about 1820 in Virginia per the Fayette County, (West) Virginia census. He was seen as 28 years old in 1850 and 40 years old in 1860. He was also on the 1841 tax list of Rockbridge County which means he had to have been at least 21 yrs old at the time.
The most likely documents in which I might find the names of the parents of William A. W. DEMPSEY would be his birth, marriage and/or death record.
Unfortunately no death record has been found. This means no death record with names of parents or any kind of information to corroborate the family tradition of William’s dying in a logging accident in the late 1860s. This would have been after October 1866 when he was listed as having an account due, owing Joel B. Wills $8.50. By 1870 his children and wife were living (farmed out) in several different households.
To date no marriage record has been found for William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD. Their first known child was born about 1846 placing their marriage in the early to mid-1840s. Sarah was from Fayette County and most of her siblings married in Fayette, one in Greenbrier and one in Kanawha.
Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940 at FamilySeach was consulted and the WVCulture.org site has been checked repeatedly as they continue to add records.
I put a query in to the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy group on Facebook requesting information on the likelihood of loose marriage papers being in the West Virginia archives and/or at county level.
I also asked the group about the possibility of there being a marriage ledger for Hopewell Baptist Church. This church being a likely place for the couple to marry as Sarah’s great-grandfather Baily WOOD was a founding member. The church burned down in the 1960s and all records in the church were destroyed. There were some records kept at members’ homes and several people offered to ask around.
I’m sure my father’s first cousin Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007) searched high and low in the 1970s and 1980s for more information on William’s parents and possible siblings. In 1995 she wrote “We still do not know his parents or family members” in a short summary of her research.
For the time period William was born, ca. 1820-1822 there were no birth records as we know today. A Bible would be a likely alternative but none is known to exist. It is very unlikely one survived, if there was any, as the family did not live together after his death.
Keeping with the Naughty theme, could it be Mrs. DEMPSEY was not a Missus? Should I be looking for a woman with the surname/maiden name DEMPSEY who had a son out of wedlock? This possibility has not been taken into consideration.
Pre-1850 Census Analysis
The lack of birth, marriage and death records with the names of his parents means I need to use a different tactic to find the parents. Regrettably William A. W. DEMPSEY was born and spent his childhood during the pre-1850 census era and cannot be found in a census which included the names of all household members.
I’ve followed the golden rule of genealogy and worked backward from myself to my great-great-grandfather. I’ve also traced his descendants forward to living relatives who may have the key I need to open the door in his brick wall.
After doing traditional and reverse genealogy I analyzed the pre-1850 Virginia census of DEMPSEY families in which William A. W. DEMPSEY may have been born.
There were no DEMPSEYs in Rockbridge in 1840. These are the DEMPSEY households found in what was then Virginia and includes counties which later became part of West Virginia:
John DEMPSEY in Fayette
Daniel DEMPSEY and sons Thomas, Lewis, and James in Orange
Daniel DEMPSEY in Spotsylvania County (son of Daniel of Orange)
Seaton and Wilson DEMPSEY in Amherst
Absalom DEMPSEY in Botetourt
William, John, Joseph, James, and Andrew DEMPSEY in Logan (sons of John Sr.)
Willis of DEMPSEY in Nansemond (free colored person)
Polley DEMCEY or DEMGEY of King William (free colored person)
Tandy DEMPSEY of Logan (father of John of Fayette)
Daniel DEMPSEY of Orange
Martha DEMPSEY of Amherst (mother of Seaton and Wilson)
Absalom DEMPSEY of Botetourt
Hugh DEMPSEY of Montgomery
John DEMPSEY Sr. and sons William, Thomas (dec’d, his widow Dicy), John Jr., and Joseph in Logan (formed from Cabell, Giles, and Kanawha in 1824)
Tandy DEMPSEY in Rockbridge
Daniel DEMPSEY in Orange
Will DEMPSEY in Amherst (husband of Martha)
John DEMPSEY and sons William, Thomas, and Joseph in Cabell
Absalom and Hugh DEMPSEY in Botetourt
James DEMPSEY in Caroline
Although 1810 is too early for William A. W. DEMPSEY it is interesting to see if the individuals found in 1820 were also in the same area in 1810. The 1810 census was lost for Orange County and tax lists have been used to reconstruct it.
Tandy DEMPSEY in Rockbridge
William DEMPSEY in Amherst
Mildred DEMPSEY in Botetourt (sister-in-law of John of Giles)
John DEMPSEY in Giles
James DEMPSEY in Caroline
1810 Census reconstructed from tax lists
Daniel DEMPSEY in Orange
Lewis DEMPSEY in Orange (son of Daniel)
1800 Census reconstructed from tax lists
1800 James DEMPSEY in Orange
1799 James DEMPSEY in Caroline
1799 Nathan DEMPSEY in Franklin
1790 Census reconstructed from tax lists
1791 James DEMPSEY in Greenbrier
1789 William DEMPSEY in Botetourt
1789 Michael DEMPSEY in Shenandoah
Even before doing more serious research on the DEMPSEY lines found in Virginia I gave them names to identify and differentiate between them.
The Rockbridge DEMPSEYs
Tandy did not have a young male in his household in 1820 or 1830. He was the father of John W., William S., Andrew S., Jane, Elizabeth, Mary B., and Margaret. These children are proven as they were mention as the children of Nancy Thompson, wife of Tandy, in chancery and land records in Nelson County.
Tandy married Nancy Thompson in Amherst County on 19 January 1801. He lived in Rockbridge in 1810 and 1820 and moved to Logan County by 1827 where he was on the 1827 tax list and 1830 census. His son William S. was in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia in 1830 and 1840. His son Andrew S. was in Logan in 1830 and in Lawrence County, Ohio, in 1840. William S. and Andrew S. both named sons William but have not been included in the census analysis as their sons were seen with them on the 1850 census.
The known children of John W. do not include a son named William. John W. does not appear to be with his father Tandy in 1820. He married(1) in 1824 in Rockbridge, was not found in the 1830 census, and lived in Fayette County in 1840 through 1870. There are no known children for John W. and his first wife for the time period from their marriage in 1824 and until the birth of son John A. born abt. 1830 in Rockbridge. The 1840 census listing includes 1 male 10 & under 15 yo – this person is unaccounted for.
Was William A. W. DEMPSEY the unaccounted for male and was he
actually younger than seen on the 1850 and 1860 census?
the son of John W. and his first wife born before or soon after the 1824 marriage?
the son of John W. and a relationship prior to his 1824 marriage?
the son of John W.’s first wife from a previous relationship?
The Amherst DEMPSEYs
This group has also been well researched as William DEMPSEY of Amherst was my 4th great-grandfather. His children are proven to be Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. and Eliza through land and court records produced after his death. In 1830, his wife Martha was listed in Amherst County with their two young daughters. There were no young males in the household.
William at some time went to Ohio and did not return as newspapers in the state of Ohio were requested to publish information on his wife’s death in 1834. On 20 June 1836, a year after the last notice was published, William and Martha’s son Wilson signed an administrator bond for the deceased William.
After the 1850 census Wilson and Seaton moved to Fayette County. Their brother Wesley, who was not found in 1830 and 1840 censuses, was in Botetourt in 1850 and lived in Rockbridge from 1860 until his death in 1890. The children of William of Amherst were too young to be parent candidates for William A. W. DEMPSEY.
I believe Tandy DEMPSEY and William DEMPSEY may have been brothers. Tandy married in Amherst less than a year and a half after William. There was also a Jane DEMPSEY who married Allen CAMERON in 1795 in Amherst. Allen CAMERON went bond with William DEMPSEY when William married which may suggest a close relationship. The CAMERON couple raised their family in Rockbridge. William’s mother Susannah DEMPSEY gave her consent for his marriage. No such record was found for Tandy and Jane.
The Orange DEMPSEYs
Daniel and his wife were past the childbearing years in 1820. His oldest son Thomas Allen was already married and had a son John L. The census numbers in 1820 show in Daniel’s household eight known children as well as his oldest son’s wife, their son and possibly a daughter. Daniel was seen in Orange County as early as 1810 (tax list) but may have come from Caroline County where his first son was born abt. 1778 per death record. Could there be a connection between James DEMPSEY of Caroline and Daniel DEMPSEY of Orange?
Daniel’s second son Lewis had a son named William A. born abt. 1825. This William A. DEMPSEY’s Civil War service was used to obtain a marker for my William A. W. DEMPSEY’s grave. The daughters of Geraldine, who did the paperwork for the marker, are aware of and have thought of rectifying the error.
The Botetourt DEMPSEYs
The next two groups have not been as thoroughly researched as the previous three. There are errors in online databases – a meshing of two generations and many Dempsey individuals found in Virginia in the early 1800s. I recently found chancery records on the Library of Virginia site which may help correct the errors in this line.
William DEMPSEY Senr. died intestate before 12 February 1798 and his wife Jane died before 1826 (year of chancery case). He left heirs William Jr., John, Mark, and Mary wife of Joseph Miller. John and Mark were not in the Commonwealth and Mary and Joseph Miller resided in Blackwater in Franklin County in 1826.
William Senr.’s line splits into what I refer to as the Botetourt DEMPSEYs and Logan DEMPSEYs.
William Jr. died before 1806 and left widow Mildred “Milly” who resided in Fincastle; children: Elizabeth Dempsey resided in Fincastle, John and Samuel Dempsey outside of Commonwealth, Joel Dempsey and William Dempsey 3rd both decd/no issue, Absalom Dempsey in Fincastle, Dubartis Dempsey in NC, Judith the wife of Thomas Wilmore residing Giles court house, Susan wife of John Snyder residing in Christianburg, and Milly wife of David Campbell in NC.
For William Jr.’s line there was only one son (mentioned in the chancery records) who remained in Virginia. Absalom was a Baptist preacher; he and his wife did not have any children of their own.
Hugh DEMPSEY seen in Botetourt in 1820 may have been a son of William Jr. and omitted in the chancery records. He was in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1830 and went to Cooper County, Missouri, abt. 1838 and was seen there in the 1840 and 1850 census. He had a son named William R. b. abt. 1810 and, therefore, was not the father of William A. W. DEMPSEY.
The Logan DEMPSEYs
John was in Giles County in 1810, Cabell County in 1820, and Logan County in 1830 – all due to the changing country lines during the time period. The Logan DEMPSEYs are a complete puzzle to me even though John’s second youngest son Mark left a genealogical note written in 1889 which gives the names and approximate years of birth of eleven children of John DEMPSEY and Rachel SOLOMON. I am not sure how reliable the transcription of the note is as he wrote his mother died about 1849. I found Rachel DEMPSEY age 85 in the household of James DEMPSEY, possibly a 12th child of John and Rachel.
I’ve added pre-1850 census records for the Logan DEMPSEYs in my database but have not done extensive census analysis.
Birth, marriage and death records need to be checked at WVCulture.org. Note: Many Logan County records were destroyed during the Civil War, and records were not kept for several years following the war.
James DEMPSEY of Greenbrier
James DEMPSEY in Greenbrier (1791) was in the county as early as 1782. James Dymsey was seen as a resident of Greenbrier County in 1782 in Mr. Jas. Henderson’s District with 1 tithable, 3 horses and 4 cattle. In Oren F. Morten’s A History of Monroe County, West Virginia James Dempsey and wife Rosey/Rosanna are mentioned as having 375 acres of patented land on Second Creek in Greenbrier County, 180 acres patented by Dempsey and Ralph Gates in 1783 and 195 acres patented by Dempsey in 1787. Ralph Gates bought the 375 acres from James Dempsey and his wife Rosey Dempsey on 28 July 1795. A year later, on 6 January 1796 James and Rosanna Dempsey sold 100 acres to Mathew Lynn on Second Creek / Greenbrier River adj. Thomas Lewis and Ralph Gates, who was a witness. In 1808 David Henderson bought land from John and Agatha Stuart that adjoined land of James Dempsey. The 1810 census for Greenbrier is lost and James DEMPSEY was not found on the 1810 tax lists.
He would have been 21 or older at the time he was first seen on the 1782 tax list. This would put his age in 1820 to over 59 years. No trace of him has been found in Virginia after he and his wife sold land in 1796. It is unknown if they had children.
Speculation: Could he be the same person as James DEMPSEY convicted in 1772 in London and transported to Virginia in January 1773 on the ship Justitia?
These have not been traced:
Nathan DEMPSEY in Franklin (1799)
Michael DEMPSEY in Shenandoah (1789) – Michael Dimsey md. Eliz. Barnhart in Shenandoah County on 17 Dec 1788. Another marriage seen in the county was Jane Dempsey to Jacob Savage on 1 Dec 1808. Was she a daughter of Michael?
What do you think of my analysis of the census of the DEMPSEY families found in Virginia at the time of my great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEYs birth and childhood? Have I missed something that caught your eye? What else would you try?
Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY don’t be naughty, please be nice and send some comments my way on how I can find out your names and what happened to you.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.
The paternal side of my father’s family lived in Fayette County, (West) Virginia before the Civil War. I checked the Slave Schedules for 1850 and 1860 for Fayette County looking for a familiar or family name. My 3rd great-grand uncle Wilson M. Dempsey turned up on the 1860 schedule with nine slaves between 1-35 however I cannot find any documentation with names of slaves owned by him.
I then went through the other names from 1850 and compared them with the wills, appraisals, and bills of sale found in the West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971. It took several attempts to find a record mentioning a slave.
Frank, a slave of Henry Montgomery of Fayette County, West Virginia
Henry MONTGOMERY was seen on the 1850 schedule with two slaves, a 20 years old girl and a 2 years old boy.
Henry was found in the 1810 (1 slave), 1820, 1830 (2 slaves) census of Kanawha County and the 1840 (1 slaves) and 1850 (2 slaves, as seen above) census of Fayette County.
Henry Montgomery died before September 1852. The appraisement of his estate included “One Negro Boy (Frank)” appraised at $300.
Typewritten transcription of the above image and two following can be found here.
Young Frank does not show up on the sale bill of the personal property of Henry Montgomery.
In 1860 Henry’s widow Nancy MONTGOMERY was seen on the 1860 schedule with one 10 years old male slave. Could this be Frank? Although the age is off by 2 years compared to the young male slave seen with Henry in 1850 I believe he is very likely young Frank mentioned in the appraisement.
Nancy Montgomery died about June 1866 and her estate was appraised on 31 July 1866 and recorded 10 September 1866.
As would be expected no slave is listed on the appraisement which took place 3 years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863.
The bill of the sale was found on page 82 and the settlement of Nancy Montgomery’s estate on page 93.
52 Ancestors: #37 Nancy Ann SIMS abt. 1793-bet. 1860-1870
My fourth great-grandmother Nancy Ann SIMS (1793-1860s) was the youngest child of James SIMS (1754-1840) and his first wife Phebe (1755-1794). Their marriage record, which would show Phebe’s maiden name, has not been found. Old family lore, which has not been substantiated, tells of James marrying his cousin. This has led many on a wild goose chase as they only considered that she may have been a SIMS. It is believed that they married before 1777 in Culpeper County, Virginia, as this is where James was known to have been living.
On the 18th day of February 1834 James SIMS personally appeared before the Justice of the Peace of Nicholas County (who happened to be his son William) and gave oath and made his declaration to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed 7 June 1832 for service rendered during the Revolutionary War. In the statement he told of his living in Culpeper County in June 1777 when he was drafted.
James SIMS and his wife Phebe had seven children before their youngest, Nancy Ann was born about 1793 in Bath County, Virginia.
Sib 1: Jeremiah SIMS (1777-1824) born 24 May 1777 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 2: William SIMS (1780-1854) born 6 November 1780 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 3: Elizabeth SIMS (1782-1845) born 1782 in Culpeper County, Virginia
Sib 4: Martin SIMS (1783-1853) born about 1783 in Virginia
Sib 5: Edward “Ned” SIMS (1785-1852) born 7 June 1785 in Virginia
Sib 6: John SIMS (1787-1869) born 15 May 1787 in Virginia
Sib 7: Mary “Polly” SIMS (1788-1824) born between 1788-1792 in Virginia
On 17 December 1779 James and Phebe sold 118 acres of land in Bromfield parish, in the Great Fork of the Rappahannock river in Culpeper County, Virginia. The land had been acquired 30 October 1762 by Jeremiah SIMS and left to his only child James. It is not known if James and Phebe left Culpeper immediately for the area which would become Bath County, in 1790, where their youngest was born, or if they lived in different locations between 1780 and 1793.
Baby Nancy’s Mother Phebe Dies in a Tragic Accident
Nancy’s mother Phebe died shortly before 22 January 1794 in Clifton Forge, Bath County, Virginia. Nancy, who was seen as 66 years old in the 1860 census, was born in 1794 or earlier. It is more likely that she was born in 1793 and not during the early part of January 1794. Family tradition is that James’ wife was coming home from caring for a sick friend, fell from her horse, and drowned in the Jackson River. I cannot imagine the mother of a newly born baby leaving home to visit a sick friend. The story of the drowning has been verified with the coroner’s inquest report dated 22 January 1794, which includes the following statement: “Phebe was accidently drowned occasioned by the horse whereon she rode rearing and plunging and throwing her into the water.” There is no mention of who was travelling with Phebe when this happened.
Transcript of the Coroner’s Inquest
Phebe Simms Inquisition Taken the 22nd of January 1794 Before John Dean Gent. Coroner
Bath County to wit
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inquisition indented taken [illegible] [illegible] in the County aforesaid on the twenty second day of January in the year One thousand seven hundred and ninety four before me John Dean a Gentleman and of the Coroners of the Commonwealth for the County aforesaid upon view of the body of Phebe Sims late of said County then and there lying dead; and upon the Oathes of Robert Armstrong Jr., William Morris, John Scott, John Bird, Andrew Baurland, Thomas Barber, James Armstrong, Robert McClintic, William McClintic, John Somwalt, Paul Harpole and Adam Kimberlan, good and lawful men of the County aforesaid, who being Jurors and charged to inquire on the part of the Commonwealth, when where how and after what manner the said Phebe Sims came to her death, do say upon their Oathes, that the said Phebe was accidently drowned occasioned by the horse whereon she rode Rearing and plunging and throwing her into the water. The witness whereof as well the aforesaid Coroner as the Jurors aforesaid have in this Inquisition put their Seals on the day and year aforesaid and at the place aforesaid. John Dean Robt. Armstrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Morris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Bird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andr. Baurland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Barber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jas. Armstrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert McClintic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William McClintic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johannes Zumqualt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul Harpole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam Kimberlan
Nancy’s Brother Jeremiah is Accused of Causing Phebe’s Death
This was not the last that would be heard of Phebe’s death. Her oldest son Jeremiah SIMS was accused by John SCOTT of causing his mother’s death. His father James defended him and brought suit against Scott demanding damages of 100 pounds.
Sir Please to Issue a Writ vs John Scott for saying my son was the Dam son of a Bitch that Drowned his Mother Col. C. Cameron Jas. Sims
A Stepmother for Nancy Ann
James SIMS married Elizabeth COTTON on 25 October 1796 in Bath County, Virginia. During the first 4 or 5 years of their marriage they did not have any known children. James was making plans to move to Kanawha County where in 1800 he bought land “lying & being in the County of Kanawha Containing one hundred & twenty three acres on Gauley River above the Ferry.” This would later be the location of Swiss, Nicholas County, West Virginia, where all of the children of the second marriage were born.
Half-Sib 1: James SIMS (1801-1860) born about 1801 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 2: Margaret SIMS (1801-1840) born between 1801-1804 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 3: Sarah SIMS (1804-1837) born between 1804-1806 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 4: Mildred “Milly” SIMS (1806-1882) born about 1806 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 5: Jane L. SIMS (1810-1880) born about 1810 in Kanawha County
Half-Sib 6: Charles Fulton SIMS (1815-1891) born 13 August 1815 Kanawha County
Half-Sib 7: Dryden SIMS (1818-1880) born about 1818 Kanawha County
Half-Sib 8: George Wasington “Wash” SIMS (1821-1880) born about 1821 in Nicholas County
Nancy’s Siblings Marry Within Eight Years of Each Other
When Nancy’s father James and her stepmother Elizabeth were beginning to have children, her older siblings were marrying:
Martin SIMS married Susannah JOHNSON (1784-1840) on 28 March 1800 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Jeremiah SIMS married Sarah MILHOLLEN (1777-1838) on 26 November 1800 in Bath County, Virginia. Jeremiah had not made the move with the rest of the family and would later move to Ohio.
Elizabeth SIMS married John Brown JOHNSON (1777-1861) on 2 June 1802 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Edward “Ned” SIMS married Hannah Mary ROBINSON (1786-1858) on 8 August 1805 in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio
William SIMS married Elizabeth WINDSOR (1784-1852) before 1806 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia [William Sims was the son-in-law of Jonathan Windsor]
Mary “Polly” SIMS married John FOWLER ( -1808) on 28 February 1808 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia. She was widowed during the year and then married Thomas HUGHES (1778-1853) on 25 August 1809 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
By the time that the enumerator came around visiting the families all of Nancy siblings except for John were married. Her father James did not have a young lady of her age in his household. I’ve studied all of her siblings’ census listings and only her brother William, the oldest of James’ children living in the area, had a female of the correct age group.
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (sons, William Jr. and Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 : 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (daughter Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (sister Nancy Ann)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 6
Nancy’s absence her in father’s household lead earlier researchers to assume that she married in 1810. This was not the case. Before she would marry it was her brother John’s turn. John SIMS and Mildred HUNTER (1790-1850) were married by Edw. R. HUGHES on 13 April 1811 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.
Nancy Marries at about 21 Years of Age
Close to the end of the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814) Nancy Ann SIMS married William JOHNSON Jr. in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, on 15 October 1814. They soon started a family and by 1839 had eleven children:
Nelson JOHNSON (1815-1855) born about 1815
Huldah JOHNSON (1817-1880) born about 1817
Alexander JOHNSON (1819-1887) born 10 June 1819
Mary JOHNSON (1820-1898) born 20 August 1820
John Brown JOHNSON (1823-1902) born 23 December 1823
Amy JOHNSON (1825-1904) born 4 November 1825
Lewis JOHNSON (1828-1845) born 6 March 1828. He died 31 August 1845 of typhoid fever.
Elizabeth JOHNSON (1829-1833) born about 1829. She died at the age of 4 years of flux.
William Hunter JOHNSON (1832-1899) born 27 July 1832
Nancy JOHNSON (1835-1915) born August 1835
Morris Houston JOHNSON (1839-1845) born 21 January 1839. He died 11 August 1845 of typhoid fever.
In 1824, Nancy lost two of her siblings. Her oldest brother Jeremiah, who had gone to Ohio soon after his marriage, died on 12 January 1824 in German Township, Clark County, Ohio, and was buried in Callison Cemetery in that township. Her youngest sister Polly, who had married Thomas HUGHES, died leaving 4 young children. It is very likely that she died in childbirth as her youngest was born about the time that she died.
After the birth in August 1835 of their tenth child Nancy, named after her mother, William and Nancy’s children began to marry. At the time they had only nine living children as four year old Elizabeth had died of flux a about 1833.
Ch 1: Nelson JOHNSON married Elizabeth HUGHES (1817-1900) on 14 September 1837 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Mary JOHNSON married David Alexander MILLER (1820-1871) on 13 December 1839 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Another marriage that took place around this time was that of Nancy’s brother Martin who was recently widowed. Martin SIMS married Margaret “Peggy” HUGHES (1801- ) on 6 June 1840 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Typhoid Fever Epidemic in 1845
Nancy’s sister Elizabeth, wife of John Brown JOHNSON, died 1 June 1845 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia and was buried in Johnson Cemetery in Kincaid. Their father James SIMS died between 1840-1848 in Swiss, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
A typhoid fever epidemic is said to have been raging in 1845. This infectious, often fatal, febrile disease caused by the typhoid bacillus which is usually introduced with food or drink came to plague the JOHNSON family. The disease usually seen in the summer months, characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration, quickly took two of Nancy’s youngest boys. Morris Houston died on 11 August and Lewis followed him 20 days later on 31 August.
Nancy’s husband William JOHNSON died 18 December 1845 in Loup Creek, Fayette County, (West) Virginia and was buried in Nichols Cemetery on Loop Creek, also seen as Nichols Hollow Cemetery, Robson.
Following these deaths the family moved on and there were several more marriages:
John Brown JOHNSON married Mary Ann SETTLE (1821-1896) on 14 July 1846 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Amy JOHNSON married Charles McClung HUFFMAN (1826-1913) in 1849 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Alexander JOHNSON married Isabella HUGHES (1827- ) before 1850. He was living in Fayette County at the time of the 1850 census with his wife Isabella and their daughter Lucinda.
Nancy Moves to Sissonville with her Single Children
The 1850 census was enumerated as of 1 June 1850. Nancy, her son William Hunter and her daughter Nancy were missed on this census. Family tradition is that they moved about 1849 from Nancy’s farm in Fayette County to Grapevine in Kanawha County after the death of Nancy’s husband and their father. Nancy’s oldest son Nelson, a cabinet maker, had moved to Madison County, Missouri, before the 1850 census but would return to Kanawha County where he died in 1855.
Once Nancy was settled in Kanawha County the last of her children married:
Nancy JOHNSON married William B. MARTIN (1831-1920) on 7 September 1853 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
William Hunter JOHNSON married Louisa Lavinia SAMUELS (1839-1884) on 26 October 1856 in Sissonville, Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Nancy’s brother John SIMS, whose wife had died after the 1850 census was enumerated, married(2) Elizabeth NEAL, a widow, (1794-1861) in Sept/Oct 1850 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.
In the years that followed Nancy lost three more of her siblings: Edward “Ned” SIMS died 31 March 1852 in Cass County, Missouri and was buried in Orient Cemetery in Harrisonville; Martin SIMS died after 1853; and William SIMS died on 15 October 1854 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia. Only Nancy and her brother John remained.
Nancy lived with her youngest living son, William Hunter JOHNSON, and was seen in his household in 1860. Next door was her son Alexander and a few households away was her daugher Amy HUFFMAN.
By 1870 we no longer find Nancy Ann SIMS with any of her children and it has been said that she died in the 1860s in the Poca District, Kanawha County, West Virginia. She may have predeceased her last living sibling, John SIMS who died 15 October 1869 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Nancy Ann (SIMS) JOHNSON was survived by her children Huldah INGRAM (died between 1880-1900); Alexander JOHNSON (died 8 Apr 1887 in Sissonville); Mary MILLER (died 4 Mar 1898 in Legg District, Kanawha County); William Hunter JOHNSON (died 6 January 1899 in Sissonville); John Brown JOHNSON (died 30 Jul 1902 in Clifton, Kanawha County); Amy HUFFMAN (died 28 Feb 1904 in Sycamore, Clay County); and Nancy MARTIN (died 1 December 1915 in Sissonville). She was also survived by five of her eight half-siblings: Milly SETTLE, Jane DARLINGTON, Charles Fulton SIMS, Dryden SIMS, and Wash SIMS.
 Culpeper County, Virginia, Land Records, Deed Book H, 1775 – 1778, pages 475-477
 Culpeper County, Virginia, Land Records, Deed Book D, 1762 – 1765 c, pages 547-550 (digital copies of photocopies)
 Larry Heffner, email dated 10 August 2004 in reply for request of information on marriage papers of Martin Sims and Susanna Johnson in the archives of the Greenbrier Historical Society
 Eliza Warwick Wise, Bath County Marriage Bonds and Ministers Returns 1791-1853, (Bath County Historical Society, Inc. 1978)
 Sissonville A Time to Remember, The Sissonville Historical Awareness Committee of The Sissonville Village Association, 1988, pg. 108 (http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvkanawh/Sissonville/index.html)
I’m a bit behind on this week’s entry. Setting up my new laptop is taking me longer than I thought. And there are other things in my life that have priority – spending time with my husband and children, keeping myself healthy (310 kilometers/11+ hours on my bike since the 1st of the month), and creating memories.
52 Ancestors: #36 William JOHNSON Jr. 1793-1845
William JOHNSON Sr. (1755-1805) and Amy NELSON (1757-1837) married about 1774. Most family trees have their place of marriage as Bath County in Virginia but I cannot agree with this.
As is the case with all research in old Virginia, the county formations need to be considered. Bath County was created in 1790 from parts of Augusta, Botetourt, and Greenbrier counties. Greenbrier was formed in 1778 from Botetourt and Montgomery counties. Botetourt County was established in 1770 from Augusta County. The marriage of William and Amy most likely took place in the area of Botetourt County that later went to Greenbrier or in Augusta County where the Johnston families lived. As this is a portrait of William JOHNSON Jr., I will go into the Johnston connection in Augusta County in a later post.
William and Amy were the parents of at least 8 known children, one of them being my fourth great-grandfather William JOHNSON (1793-1845) born about 1793 on Lick Run, Greenbrier County in old Virginia, now West Virginia.
William’s oldest brother Rev. John Brown JOHNSON was born in 1777 in Botetourt or Augusta County. Their father may have been away from home for long periods of time due to his military service during the Revolutionary War (1775-1784). In any case the next child Nelson JOHNSON was born about 1782. In Laidley’s 1911 History Nelson is named as one of the four sons of William JOHNSON Sr.. Other sources have him listed as the son of Benjamin JOHNSON.
In a biography of Julian M. Johnson, grandson of William Jr., William Sr. moved to what is now Monroe County, West Virginia, after the end of the Revolutionary War and lived there a number of years.
New records brought to light by Wayne L. Johnson, a direct descendant of William Jr., may prove that William Sr. was actually in the area when Greenbrier County was formed in 1778. This would mean that John B. and Nelson were born “in the Sinks” as the JOHNSONs were there in 1784:
“Among the people who were living in the Sinks at the close of the Revolution were several Methodist families. Among these were the Blantons, the Christys, the Johnsons, and the Warrens. They held religious meetings at their homes, and as their membership was growing, they organized a regular society late in the summer of 1784. This date, it will be observed, is also that of the independence of the Methodist Church.”
James M. (1783-1834), Susannah* (1784-1840), Mary “Polly” (1790-1850), my 4th great-grandfather William (1793-1845), and Nancy (1794-1825) were born on Lick Run then part of Greenbrier County.
Between 1795 and 1798 the JOHNSON family moved to Peters Creek, at the time in Kanawha County, where William Sr. patented 500 acres. He settled and remained there the rest of his life. Amy (1795-1859) may have been the first child to be born on Peters Creek which would become part of Nicholas County when the county was formed in 1818.
“The murder of one individual or a dozen families did not deter the sturdy pioneer from his onward march in the conquest of the wilderness, and accordingly, before a year has passed after the destruction of Kelly’s settlement, we find Leonard and William Morris both residing almost in sight of the fatal spot. Their settlement is elsewhere noticed [pg. 58, Kelly was killed in early 1773]. Among those who here found homes and become actual settlers in the next few years were John Hansford, Sr., Thomas Foster, Ransom Gatewood, Robert Perry, John Jarrett, John D. Massey, Gallatin G. Hansford, William Johnson, John Wheeler, Shadrach Childers, Peter Likens, Spencer Hill, William Pryor, Barney Green, Thomas Trigg and Shadrach Hariman.”
Two land records extracted from the deed books of Greenbrier County many years ago by David Fridley (who did not note the book or page on these). They would indicate that William and Amy left for Kanawha around 1798 selling a total of 238 acres:
25 June 1798. William Johnson and Amy deeded out 150 acres Lick Run. Witn: John Johnston
26 June 1798. William Johnson and Amy sold 88 acres Lick Run. Witn: John Johnston, et al.
This matches a statement in the biography of Julian M. Johnson by Laidley:
“Then he and his sons, William, John, Nelson and James, moved to Gauley River in what is now Nicholas County, WV, near and below the mouth of Little Elk about 1798.”
William’s youngest sister Elizabeth (1799-1840) was born the year after the family moved to Kanawha County.
*At the turn of the century William’s sister Susannah JOHNSON was the first to marry. She married Martin SIMS (1783-1853) on 28 March 1800 in Greenbrier County. The permission slip for Susannah’s marriage was signed by her father William JOHNSON. I don’t have a copy of this document however Tim Spradling has put it on his list for his trip to the courthouse this fall. A comparison of the signature on the permission slip with other signatures found for William Sr. will help to determine if this young lady was the daughter of our William JOHNSON Sr. or the William JOHNSTON who died and left a will in 1803 in Greenbrier County. The will mentions his four oldest children James, Polly, Samuel and Sally, and his younger sons William, George, John, and Andrew. There is no mention of a daughter Susannah.
William’s brother John Brown JOHNSON married Elizabeth SIMS (1782-1845), sister of the above mentioned Martin SIMS, on 2 June 1802 in Kanawha County.
These would be the only two marriages of his children that William JOHNSON Sr. would live to see. William died 22 December 1805 and was buried near Swiss in present-day Nicholas County, West Virginia.
Following their father’s death the children lived with their mother Amy until one by one they married and started their own families. Mary “Polly” married Benjamin DARLINGTON (1775-1853) on 23 April 1810 in Kanawha County and was with her new husband when the 1810 census was enumerated. Amy was with her single children and close to son John and daughter Susannah who had married SIMS siblings.
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Johnston, Anne (sic, Amy; listed just above her son John)
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (James & Alexander)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Nelson)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 2 (Amy & Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Amy)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 8
During the time that our nation was at war (War of 1812) William and his two unmarried brothers married.
James M. JOHNSON married Elizabeth MILLER ( -1823) on 29 April 1813 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Nelson JOHNSON married Nancy MURPHY in 1813 in Kanawha County
William JOHNSON married Nancy Ann SIMS on 15 October 1814 in Kanawha County.
Soon after William married my 4th great-grandmother Nancy Ann SIMS, sister of Martin and Elizabeth SIMS mentioned earlier, their first child Nelson JOHNSON (1815-1855) was born about 1815 in Kanawha County. In all records found for Nelson I have only seen “Nelson” as his first name. Denise Jackson of “Our Family Heritage” is a great-great-granddaughter of this son. Family lore is that his full name was Joseph Nelson JOHNSON and his grandson Joseph Nelson “JN” JOHNSON was named after him. On 9 May 2014 she wrote “It is only word of mouth about JN’s grandfather being Joseph Nelson Johnson and he (JN) being named for him” in response to my email to her about the full name. Before replying she checked with two of her cousins, sons of her father’s sister, and her two brothers as she said, “I wanted to check with all of them to make sure I had heard (and remembered) correctly.” They confirmed that she was right about the family lore.
William JOHNSON Jr. and his family originally lived at the mouth of Laurel Creek, a tributary of the Gauley River which empties about one mile above Swiss. In 1810 the JOHNSON and SIMS families were neighbors and it is known that James SIMS, father of Nancy Ann SIMS, made his home at Swiss. William’s son John Brown JOHNSON was born at the mouth of Rich Creek on Gauley in 1823 per the 1911 biography of his son Julian M. JOHNSON. This would have been in the area of Swiss. Later, most likely after 1823, the JOHNSON family moved to a place on Loop Creek (Loup Creek) in the area of what is known as Robson in present-day Fayette County, West Virginia.
“Loop Creek flows for its entire length in western Fayette County. It rises in the city of Oak Hill and flows initially west-northwestward through the unincorporated communities of Lick Fork, Wriston, Ingram Branch, and Hamilton; then northward through the unincorporated communities of Kincaid, Page, North Page, and Robson, to Deep Water, where it flows into the Kanawha River.” [Source: Wikipedia]
Before William and Nancy’s next child was born two of his sisters married brothers in Kanawha County: Nancy JOHNSON married Peyton FOSTER (1793- ) on 11 January 1815 and Amy JOHNSON married Turley FOSTER (1794-1859) on 16 November / 18 November 1816.
And William’s family continued to grow with the birth of my third great-grandmother Huldah JOHNSON (1817-1880) about 1817 and Alexander JOHNSON (1819-1887) on 10 June 1819.
The 1820 and 1830 census were enumerated in alphabetical order rather than in order of household visitation. This makes it less useful for locating the actual place that the family lived.
The family was in Nicholas County in 1820 and then next seen in Kanawha County in the 1830 census which supports the theory that their move to Loop Creek was in the 1820s, most likely between 1824-1830. Robson is 10 miles south of present day Gauley Bridge. Fayette County was created on 28 February 1831 from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties. From then on William’s children were born on Loop Creek in Fayette County where they were seen in the 1840 census.
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No: 204B
Enumerated by: Hedgman Triplett on: 26th day of December, 1820
2 males under 10 yo (Nelson and Alexander)
2 males 10 & under 16 yo (not sons of Wm and Nancy who were married only 6 yrs)
1 male 16 & under 26 yo (William)
1 female under 10 yo (Huldah)
1 female 16 & under 26 yo (Nancy Ann b. bet. 1794-1804)
1 person engaged in agriculture
7 persons in household
Following the enumeration of the 1820 census William’s fourth child Mary JOHNSON (1820-1898) was born on 20 August 1820.
William’s sister Elizabeth JOHNSON married Presley FOSTER (1798-1873), a brother of Turley and Peyton FOSTER, on 12 March 1822 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, and his brother James M. JOHNSON, recently widowed, married(2) Sarah LEGG (1795- ) on 6 March 1823 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
Shortly before Christmas in 1823 another son, John Brown JOHNSON (1823-1902), was born on 23 December 1823. The family was very fond of this name!
The first of William’s siblings, Nancy (Johnson) FOSTER died before 6 September 1825 leaving only one known child, a son she named Johnson FOSTER.
Nancy gave William three more children before the 1830 census: Amy JOHNSON (1825-1904) on 4 November 1825, Lewis JOHNSON (1828-1845) on 6 March 1828, and Elizabeth JOHNSON (1829-1833) about 1829.
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
2 males under 5 yo (Lewis b. 1828, John Brown b. 1823)
1 male 5 & under 10 yo (Alexander b. 1819)
1 male 10 & under 15 yo (Nelson b. ca. 1815)
1 male 30 & under 40 yo (William Jr. b. 1793)
1 female under 5 yo (Amy b. 1825)
1 female 5 & under 10 yo (Mary b. 1820)
1 female 10 & under 15 yo (Huldah b. ca. 1818)
1 female 30 & under 40 yo (Nancy Ann Sims Johnson b. bet. 1791-1800)
1 female 70 & under 80 yo (Amy Nelson Johnson b. 1757)
7 free white persons under 20
2 free white person 20 thru 9
10 total free white persons
10 total – all persons
In William’s household we see an older woman in his household. This must be his mother as family tradition is that she lived among her children until her death.
William’s family was not yet complete: William Hunter JOHNSON (1832-1899) was born 27 July 1832, Nancy JOHNSON (1835-1915) was born in August 1835. Sadly, young Elizabeth, about 4 years old, died about 1833 of the flux.
A year later William’s brother James M. JOHNSON died in 1834 on Loop Creek, Fayette County, (West) Virginia.
William’s oldest child Nelson JOHNSON married Elizabeth HUGHES (1817-1900) on 14 September 1837 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.
Sadly there would be another death in the family during the 1830s. William’s elderly mother Amy NELSON died on 23 December 1837 in Robson, Fayette County, (West) Virginia, and was buried in Nichols Cemetery on Loop Creek also seen as Nichols Hollow Cemetery, Robson. From the writings of Laura Blake, a local historian:
“Amie Nelson Johnson lived among her children after coming to Loup Creek but her last days were at the home of her son William, whose home was near that of Mutt Ellis. This was very close to the cemetery known then as the Kelly grave yard but now called the Nuchils cemetery. This is a beautiful location for a cemetery. In a row in this cemetery is the grave of William and Nancy Simms Johnson, two children, and the mother Amie Nelson Johnson. William and Nancy died around 1845 during a typhoid fever epidemic. Afterwards, most of his family went to Kanawha County to an area called the Grape Vine, near Charleston.”
Unfortunately Laura Blake did not get all the fact correct in the above statement. William’s wife Nancy SIMS did not die around 1845 during a typhoid fever epidemic. She was seen living with her son William Hunter JOHNSON in Kanawha County in 1860.
After his mother’s death, William’s wife Nancy gave him his last child Morris Houston JOHNSON (1839-1845) on 21 January 1839 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.
William’s daughter Mary JOHNSON married David Alexander MILLER (1820-1871) on 13 December 1839 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.
William’s sisters Elizabeth FOSTER and Susannah SIMS died before the 1840 census.
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Johnson, William Sr. (page 145)
2 males under 5 yo (William Hunter and Morris Houston)
1 male 5 & under 10 yo (Lewis)
1 male 15 & under 20 yo (John Brown)
1 male 20 & under 30 yo (Alexander)
1 male 40 & under 50 yo (William)
1 female under 5 yo (Nancy)
1 female 15 & under 20 yo (Amy)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Huldah)
1 female 30 & under 40 yo (Nancy Ann; should be listed as 40 & under 50 yo)
10 persons in household
2 persons engaged in agriculture
In 1845 during an epidemic of typhoid fever three members of the family died.
William’s sons died within three weeks of each other: Morris Houston JOHNSON died 11 August 1845 and Lewis JOHNSON died 31 August 1845.
William JOHNSON followed his sons on 18 December 1845. They are all buried in the Nichols Cemetery in Fayette County.
 Laidley, William Sydney, History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens, Richmond Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1911.; pg. 979; online https://archive.org/stream/historyofcharles00laid#page/n5/mode/2up
 Christine Beckelheimer, submitter; “Benjamin Johnson”; The History of Fayette County West Virginia 1993; sponsored and published by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, page 32.
 Wayne L. Johnson and Carl L. Johnson; These Lost Children of the Marquis of Annandale, Johnstone-Johnston-Johnson, Notes & Compilations in three volumes, Vol. II First Americans, Charleston, West Virginia. A copy of this draft (work in progress) received in mail on 16 July 2014 from Wayne via Tim Spradling.
 Oren F. Morton, The History of Monroe County, West Virginia, published by McClure Company, Inc., Staunton, Va. 1916; online https://archive.org/stream/historyofmonroec00mort#page/n5/mode/2up
 Laidley’s History; pg. 235
 Laidley’s History; pg. 979
 Larry Heffner, email dated 10 August 2004 in reply for request of information on marriage papers of Martin Sims and Susanna Johnson in the archives of the Greenbrier Historical Society.
 The History of Fayette County West Virginia 1993; sponsored and published by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
 Sissonville A Time to Remember, The Sissonville Historical Awareness Committee, pg. 108; online http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvkanawh/Sissonville/index.html
52 Ancestors: #35 Margaret KINCAID abt. 1794-abt. 1865
Margaret KINCAID was my four times great-grandmother. Although many family researchers have her nicknamed Peggy, I haven’t seen any document with this name and cannot bring myself to refer to her as “Peggy.” Margaret was the daughter of John KINCAID (1760-1834) and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE (1760-1829). Her parents were both born the year George III became the King of England.
John KINCAID and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE married on 11 February 1782 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia by John ALDERSON. This was towards the end of the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775-14 Jan 1784) and in the middle of the little over one year that John served his country: 6 or 7 months from February 1781, 3 months from September 1782, and 3 months in the summer of 1783.
Court Records Prove A Lot of the Children, In-Laws and Outlaws
While visiting West Virginia in June 2007, Linda Crowder Perdue found the “micro film for the Kanawha County Court Records in which the case against John Kincaid and Matthew Kincaid for burning down the bridge across the Gauley River in July 1826 is recorded.”
At a Court held for Kanawha County at the court house thereof on Monday the 24th day of July 1826 for the examination of Matthew Kincaid and John Kincaid who have charged with having on the 11th of July 1826 feloniously burned the bridge across the Gauley River.
This wonderful find included the names of witnesses called for the defendants, Margaret’s brother Matthew and her father John, and for the Commonwealth. The persons listed, as Sarah Kincaid so aptly wrote, prove some relationships in the KINCAID family including in-laws and outlaws.
Who Were Margaret’s Siblings?
I needed help on this question. Who better to ask than Linda who found the court records. I had one or two persons who were not correct and a couple of siblings were missing. At the present time, with the research that has been done so far, this is, I believe, a reliable list although I question the estimated birth of son Samuel.
John KINCAID and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE were the parents of the following children, all born in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia:
Sarah “Sallie” KINCAID (1783- ) born about 1782
Hannah KINCAID (1783- ) born about 1783
Matthew KINCAID (1785-1857) born about 1785
Samuel KINCAID (1787- ) born between 1787-1791 [or about 1802??]
James Gillespie KINCAID (1792-1852) born 19 December 1792
Elizabeth “Betsey” KINCAID (1793-1850) born 2 December 1793
Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID (1793-1865) born about 1794
Virginia Jane Vance KINCAID (1795-1870) born about 1795
Nancy KINCAID (1801-aft 1880) born about 1801
Magdaline “Lina” KINCAID (1806-1876) born 7 March 1806
Lanty KINCAID (1806- ) born 7 March 1806
Marriages of Margaret’s Siblings
In 1798 when Margaret was about four years old her two oldest sisters married, Sarah in October and Hannah in December. They appear to have been very close in age but not yet of age as their father signed permission slips for both. It is not known if they were twins like Lina and Lanty.
Sarah “Sallie” KINCAID married Thomas Alexander TERRY ( -1839) on 23 Oct 1798 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Hannah KINCAID married James M. WALKER on 13 December 1798 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Matthew KINCAID married Mary “Polly” MURDOCK (1788-1839) on 2 Jun 1807 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia
Samuel KINCAID married Elizabeth “Betsy” WALKER ( – ) 26 Apr 1809 ?? – I have a problem with this one as I found a marriage for a couple with the same names in Kanawha County on 26 September 1826. This could be a match with Samuel Kincaid b. abt. 1802 who is seen in the 1850 census in Fayette County with two children Mary and Alex. Is there a document that proves that Samuel who married Elizabeth Walker was the son of John and Elizabeth?
Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID married James INGRAM on 24 October 1809 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
James Gillespie KINCAID married Mary “Molly” Magdalene TRITT (1792-1869) on 17 December 1809 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. No marriage record found.
Virginia Jane Vance KINCAID married William “Moccasin Bill” KINCAID (1787-1870) on 20 November 1810 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Elizabeth “Betsey” KINCAID married(1) Samuel LINEGAR (1789- ) about 1810. No marriage record found.
Magdaline “Lina” KINCAID married Reuben WYATT (1796-1853) on 25 June 1823 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Elizabeth “Betsey” KINCAID married(2) Squire James STURGEON (1785- ) before 1823. No marriage record found.
Nancy KINCAID married Thomas HUGHES (1778-1853) on 24 February 1825 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Lanty KINCAID married Nancy FLANAGAN (1802- ) on 25 December 1827 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Margaret’s Life With/Without James INGRAM
Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID married James INGRAM on 24 October 1809 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. She was only 15 at the time of her marriage (1850 age 56) and James, her groom, was more than twice her age, about 35 years old (1860 age 86).
In 1810 when the census was taken Margaret and James were most likely in their own household and not yet parents. Greenbrier is one of the counties that were “lost”. We see James INGRAM as head of household in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 census with his wife Margaret and children:
Ch 1: James INGRAM (1811-1835) was born about 1811 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia and died before April 1835 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. He did not marry or have children.
Ch 2: Joshua INGRAM (1813-1860) was born about 1813 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. Joshua married Mahala C. STEELE (1823-1888) bet. 1841-1845 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Joshua died between 1860-1862. His widow remarried and applied for a Mexican War Pension after the death of her second husband.
Ch 3: [–?–] (daughter) INGRAM was born between 1811-1820 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. This child was not with the family in 1830.
Ch 4: Robert INGRAM (1819-1902) born about 1819 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. Robert married Huldah JOHNSON (1817-1880) about 1841 in Fayette County (West) Virginia. They were the parents of seven children. He died about 1902 in Fayette County at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID, son of Margaret’s brother James Gillespie KINCAID.
Ch 5: John INGRAM (1820-1870) was born about 1820 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. John married(1) Lucy Jane SKAGGS (1824-1853) on 13 February 1851 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia; married(2) Delilah CRAIG (1826-1869) on 12 July 1860 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia; and married(3) Mary F. LEGG (1843-1870) on 1 December 1869 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. John had a son with his first wife and a daughter and a son with his second wife. He died after 1870 and was burried near his home on the Poca according to family tradition.
Ch 6: Matthew INGRAM (1824-1900) was born on 9 January 1824 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. Matthew married Sarah Francis MARTIN (1834-1906) on 20 August 1854 in Meigs County, Ohio. They were the parents of ten children. He died on 12 July 1900 in Sissonville, Kanawha County, West Virginia, and was buried in Pauley Cemetery on Little Sandy in Elk District in Kanawha County.
Ch 7: Cynthia INGRAM (1828-1910) was born on 25 March 1828 in (West) Virginia. Cynthia married John B. “Johnny” TINCHER (1815-1890) on 23 March 1851 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. They were the parents of six children. She died on 3 May 1910 and was buried in Carter Cemetery, Dempsey, Fayette County, West Virginia.
Ch 8: Ruth INGRAM (1832-1880) was born about 1832 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Ruth married John Johnson DARLINGTON (1826-1900) on 9 January 1851 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. They were the parents of a dozen children. She died between 1880-1900.
Other Events in the Life of Margaret
In 1826 while Margaret was raising her family, her husband James INGRAM was one of the persons who had to make a personal appearance to give evidence at the trial of his father-in-law John and his brother-in-law Matthew. They were on trial for the 11 July 1826 burning of the first bridge built across the Gauley River.
Following the trial Margaret’s sister Hannah and her husband James WALKER moved from Kanawha County in (West) Virginia to Darke County, Ohio. The move must have been soon after Hannah was a witness for the trial and before 1830. In a biographical sketch of their son-in-law Samuel LITTON we see that the WALKERs, Hannah and James, moved to Adams County, Indiana, in 1850 where they died in 1871.
Margaret’s mother Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE died in 1829 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
Margaret’s youngest brother Lanty KINCAID, who was last seen in a land deed dated 1832, disappeared around this time. The search for him has been hampered by another Lanty KINCAID of approximately the same age who lived in Greenbrier and Fayette counties. This second Lanty left a few more records which prove that he was the son of Lancelot “Lanty” KINCAID and Catherine SCOTT.
Margaret’s father John KINCAID applied for the pension due him for his service during the Revolutionary War. He appeared in the court of Fayette County on the 15th day of February 1834 to give his statement about service rendered. His death is not mentioned in the pension papers and is estimated at after 15 February 1834.
Margaret’s sister Elizabeth STURGEON was most likely the first of her siblings to pass away about 1850. This is assuming that her youngest brother Lanty did not die between 1832-1850.
In 1850 Margaret had her own household while her husband James INGRAM was living in the household of John TINCHER who would become his son-in-law in less than a year.
In the 1850s Margaret lost two brothers and a sister. James Gillespie KINCAID died on 1 July 1852 in Kincaid, Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Matthew KINCAID died after 1857, possibly in Missouri. Sarah TERRY died between 1850 and 1860.
In 1860 Margaret was not found in the census. Her children were married and had their own households. Her husband James INGRAM was listed alone in a household. There are two family traditions concerning the deaths of Margaret and James. One being that James moved to Sissonville to live with their son Matthew after Margaret died. The other is that James died first and Margaret lived with her nephew James Gillespie KINCAID Jr. until her death several years later. The year 1865 seems to be the pivot point as Margaret’s husband James is said to have died in the fall of 1865.
Margaret’s surviving siblings were Virginia Jane Vance KINCAID who died after 1870; Hannah WALKER died in 1871 in Adams County, Indiana; Magdaline “Lina” WYATT died 21 July 1876 in Lawrence County, Ohio; and Nancy HUGHES died after the 1880 census. Her brothers Samuel and Lanty KINCAID, whose whereabouts remain a mystery (for now), may have also survived her.
52 Ancestors: #34 James INGRAM, Where Did You Hide the Key?
Oral tradition, passed on through the generations, can help our genealogy research but it can also be a hinderance. When I started my Facebook page, more than a year before I started blogging, I wrote short summaries about my brick walls. My 4-times great-grandfather James INGRAM, born between 1771-1774 in Virginia and died fall of 1865 in West Virginia, was the subject of the post I wrote in December 2012. Unfortunately no headway has been made on his parentage. One of these days I’ll find the key to open the door in the Ingram brick wall.
Ester INGRAM (also seen as Esther and Easter) may have been the mother of my James INGRAM. She is the first INGRAM to be found in Greenbrier County Personal Property Tax Lists in 1792 suggesting that she was a widow by this time. She sold a 95 acres land grant received in 1795 in 1800 and had at least two daughters who married in Greenbrier with her permission.
Patience INGRAM and David STAY
Jim Talbert of the Greenbrier Historical Society confirmed on 8 Aug 2006 there is a marriage permission slip for Patience INGRAM in the Greenbrier records. Easter INGRAM signed for “my daughter” on 19 May 1790. David STAY and John KING went bond. There was no husband of Easter named in any of these records.
Elizabeth INGRAM and Francis STORY
Nancy C. Story Adkins obtained a photocopy of the original marriage bond from the Greenbrier Historical Society. Elizabeth’s mother Esther INGRAM gave permission. The couple married on 20 December 1798.
I had a slight panic attack when I was pulling this together and realized that Ester could have been the first name for a male. I checked the original land grant for the 95 acres that she sold in 1800 at the Library of Virginia and it shows that she was a female.
Was Ester INGRAM the mother of our James INGRAM? Who was the husband of Ester INGRAM? Was James the brother of Nancy INGRAM (md. 1787 William SLAVEN) and Parnal INGRAM (md. 1793 Eliza Carmons) who also married in Greenbrier? Note: Nancy has been listed as the daughter of Abraham INGRAM and but without supporting evidence.
Speculation Aside, Let’s Have a Look His Life
James INGRAM is first found in Greenbrier County on a list of rangers in 1793. The Rangers militia was organized to protect the frontier and its settlers from Indians attacks. On 27 May 1793 Captain Hugh CAPERTON’s company of rangers were at Fort Lee on the Elk and Kanawha Rivers guarding the Kanawha Valley settlers near what is now Charleston, West Virginia. “Mad Anthony” WAYNE’s victory over the Indians in 1794 ended the Indian threat in what is now West Virginia.
James INGRAM was not with rangers on 6 May 1792. Was he too young at the time?
In 1795 and 1797 James is seen in the Greenbrier County court orders:
31 March 1795 – John MATHEWS vs. James INGRAM in debt
1 April 1797 – Jonathan MATHEWS assee of James INGRAM vs. William GILLILAND in debt
James was on a Personal Property Tax List on 16 April 1799 in Greenbrier County with 1 tithable and 2 horses. This was the first time he was on a list. His surname was spelled INGRIM. Also on this list was a John INGRIM with 1 tithable and 1 horse. No further trace of him has been found. Was he a brother?
Taxation: Virginia began keeping records of residents’ payments of personal property and land taxes in 1782. The Library of Virginia has these on microfilm. Published abstracts of some of these can be found online. I am convinced that this may be the key to opening the doors in many of my brick walls in Virginia. Living overseas I can only hope that the full collection will someday be found on the internet. I want to be able to look at each year, study the neighbors of each ancestor, and see the things that may not have been included in the abstracts.
A month later, on 28 May 1799, James was “on jury” in Greenbrier. He was next seen on the 1803 (below) and 1805 tax lists of Greenbrier County, both times with 1 titable and 1 horse.
On 28 February 1809 John CONNER and wife Mary sold 120 acres for $1.00 to James INGRAM on Meadow River and Sewel on the ridge opposite Buffalow Lick in Greenbrier County.
Later in the year James INGRAM married Margaret KINCAID, daughter of John KINCAID and Elizabeth GILLESPIE, on 24 October 1809 in Greenbrier County. They were married by Rev. Josiah OSBURN of the Baptist church.
James and Margaret were not found on the 1810 census as Greenbrier was one of the “lost” counties. He was still in the county as he is on the 1810 Personal Property List B with 1 titable:
James and Margaret’s first child, a son James Jr., was born about 1811 most likely on the land in Greenbrier County that James bought from the CONNERs in 1809.
On 25 February 1812 James and wife Margaret sold the 120 acres that James bought in 1809 for $1.00 to Newbury STOCKTON. The land, conveyed to James INGRAM by John CONNER in 1809, was “on point of ridge that leads to Buffaloe Lick in Greenbrier County.”
During the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814) James and Margaret’s second son, Joshua (1813-ca.1861) was born. His birth has been estimated at about 1813 in Greenbrier. In 1815 James was on the Personal Property Tax Lists of Greenbrier with 1 tithable, 3 horses, and 5 cows. The next child, a daughter, born during the 1810s, was followed by my 3-times great-grandfather Robert (1819-1902) born about 1819 in Greenbrier.
James was listed in the 1820 census of Greenbrier County with the following persons in his household: 3 males under 10 yo (James Jr., Joshua, Robert), 1 male over 45 yo (James), 1 female under 10 yo (unknown daughter), 1 female over 45 yo (Margaret, her age would be ca. 26 per 1850 census), 1 person engaged in agriculture, 6 persons in household.
Three more children were born during the 1820s: John about 1820, Matthew on 9 January 1824, and Cynthia on 25 March 1828.
“A century and a half ago, a pioneer cabin stood in a little valley drained by a branch that flows down from cotton Hill to New River at the Narrow Falls, opposite and slightly above the mouth of Cane Branch. The little stream was known as Ingram Branch, from the name of the family that lived in the cabin. Two surveys made there in 1829 refer to Ingram’s house, to his road leading down to the river, and to Ingram Branch, the tiny tributary of New River. Though the first name of the settler is not given, it may be suspected that this was James Ingram who married Margaret (Peggy) Kincaid, daughter of John and Elizabeth Kincaid, who settled on the opposite side of the river at Cane Branch as early as 1811, and who patented land there and at the mouth of Gauley. Ingram apparently took no steps to secure formal title to his improvement, however, and in 1829 two residents of Kanawha Falls set up rival claims to Ingram’s improvement and to some hundreds of acres surrounding it, by reason of entries and surveys made for them in that year. The map accompanying these surveys shows the location of the Ingram house to be on the branch approximately one hundred thirty poles above its mouth. This was doubtless the first cabin in that little nook of the hills. Ingram was not a permanent settler, however. He was succeeded there by Andrew and Mary Blake, and soon after the above date, James and Margaret Ingram appeared as settlers on the upper part of Loup Creek at a branch which also came to be called Ingram Branch. There they were permanent settlers and the name has survived both as a place name and family. Ingram, also written as Inghram and Ingraham, was originally Ingelram, a Norman-French personal name.”
It is said that James probably settled on Loup Creek/Loop Creek about the same time as James KINCAID (1792-1852), brother of Margaret, or soon after. The place he selected was at the mouth of a branch three miles farther up Loup Creek/Loop Creek than Kincaid’s cabin. The branch is now called Ingram Branch. The 120-acre tract, including Ingram’s improvement, was patented by his sons, Robert and Matthew, in 1843, several years after the settlement. The move may have been in the 1820s. Ingram Branch become part of Fayette County in 1831 when the county was formed. At the time of the 1830 census it was most likely part of Kanawha County as the family was on the census of that county.
First Ingram Child Married in 1829?
During this period of time James INGRAM and his family were the only family of this name in the area of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Monroe and Nicholas counties. I have not done a complete study of all Ingram, Ingrum, Inghram, Ingharam in the early censuses of Virginia. There were Inghram and Ingharam individuals in Lewis, Wood, Tyler, and Ohio counties. Lewis and Wood bordered on Kanawha County in 1829 (see Interactive Map of West Virginia County Formation History).
Charles WALKER married Elizabeth INGRAM on 4 August 1829 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia. No further information has been found on this marriage or couple. Was Elizabeth the unknown daughter listed in the 1820 census?
James was listed in the 1830 census of Kanawha County with the following persons in his household: 1 male under 5 (Matthew), 1 male 5-10 (John), 2 males 10-15 (Joshua & Robert), 1 male 15-20 (James Jr.), 1 male 50-60 (James), 1 female under 5 (Cynthia), and
1 female 40-50 (Margaret), 8 persons in household.
James and Margaret’s youngest child Ruth was born about 1832 in Fayette County. Between 1831 and 1835, the oldest son, James Jr., died in early manhood without marrying. He is buried in the Kincaid Cemetery in Kincaid, Fayette County, West Virginia.
In 1834 James was listed as having an account with Mr. LANDCRAFT, a store owner. I discovered the September 1834 inventory and appraisement of the estate of Melitus J. Landcraft while searching through the early Will Books for Fayette County. Mr. LANDCRAFT appears to have been a merchant (goods are listed) and many of my Fayette County relatives had accounts on his books and/or notes of debts. Very helpful are several “son of” mentions following the names.
In an election held 1 April 1835 in Fayette County to determine the location of the new Court House and County Seat, “James INGRAHM” and his son “Joshua INGRAHAM” voted for Kanawha Falls.
In 1839 James INGRAM’s name appears on the Fayette County jury list.
James was listed in the 1840 census of Fayette County with the following persons in his household: 2 males 10-15 (Matthew & John), 1 male 15-20 (Robert), 1 male 60-70 (James), 1 female 5-10 (Ruth), 1 female 10-15 (Cynthia), 1 female 50-60 (Margaret), 7 persons in household, 2 engaged in agriculture. James’ oldest living child Joshua had his own household nearby.
Following the 1840 census James’ sons began to marry. Geraldine Dempsey Workman wrote, “….pages are missing from the Marriage book at the courthouse.” We can only assume that Robert married Huldah JOHNSON (1817-1880) about 1841 and Joshua married Mahala C. STEELE (1823-1888) bet. 1841-1845 and that their marriage records may have been on these missing pages.
According to family tradition James’ son John was the first to leave the area. He moved to the Poca River in Kanawha County before the 1850 census.
In 1850 James, age 70, a laborer, unable to read or write, is in the household of John TINCHER, a widower with three young children and his widowed mother. At the same time, Margaret INGRAM, 56, is with her/their children Ruth, 18, Matthew, 25, and Cynthia, 23 living next door to her/their son Robert. Was James boarding with the family while working aways from home? Or were James and Margaret separated?
In 1851 James INGRAM and his wife Margaret saw three of their children marrying and setting up housekeeping. On January 9, Ruth was married to John DARLINGTON, youngest son of Benjamin DARLINGTON and Mary JOHNSON, and lived at various places on Loup Creek/Loop Creek. On February 13, John married Lucy Jane SKAGGS, daughter of Joseph Preston SKAGGS and Mary LEWIS in Fayette County. On March 23, Cynthia INGRAM married John “Johnny” TINCHER, son of William and Patsy TINCHER of Loup Creek/Loop Creek.
In 1852 Matthew followed his brother John to Sissonville on the Poca River in Kanawha County. Robert bought Matthew’s interests in the 120-acre grant and became the sole owner. Matthew was the last of James’ children to marry on 20 August 1854 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Sarah Francis MARTIN, daughter of Dio Clesian MARTIN and Catherine KIDD.
James’ son John, who was widowed in the 1850s, married Delilah CRAIG (1826-1869) on 12 July 1860 in Kanawha County.
In 1860 James is, once again, not living with his wife Margaret. He is listed as 86 years old and a laborer living alone in between James and Eleanor BERRY and John and Lovina GODDARD in the Rocky Hill P.O. district. Margaret may have been living at the home of her nephew James Gillespie KINCAID Jr. in Kincaid as this is where she died about 1865 according to family tradition.
James’ son Joshua died between 1860-1862. The death record has not been found however his widow Mahala C. INGRAHAM remarried on 23 August 1862 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Isaac E. LEWIS, a veteran of the Mexican War.
According to family tradition in the summer of 1865, after the death of his wife, James went to live with his son Matthew in Sissonville in Kanawha County. James may have held his youngest grandchild Absolam, son of Matthew, born 30 September 1865, in his arms before the child died on 3 October 1865. James died in the fall of 1865 at the home of his son Matthew. He is estimated to have been about 90 years old and may be buried near the Methodist Church in Sissonville but this has not been proven.
James INGRAM was survived by his sons Robert, John, and Matthew; his daughters Cynthia TINCHER and Ruth DARLINGTON, and at least 30 grandchildren and possibly a great-grandchild through his son Joshua’s eldest daughter Mary.
The family would continue to grow with a total of 42 grandchildren. Son John, once again widowed, married a third time to Mary F. LEGG (1843-1870) on 1 December 1869 in Kanawha County. He died before 1880. Daughter Ruth died before 1900. Son Matthew died on 12 July 1900 in Sissonville and was buried in Pauley Cemetery on Little Sandy in Elk Distrist in Kanawha County. Son Robert died about 1902 at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID. And finally daughter Cynthia died on 3 May 1910 and was buried in the Carter Cemetery in Dempsey, Fayette County.
 J.R. Cole, History of Greenbrier County (published 1917 in Lewisburg, West Virginia) pg. 35
 L. Neil Darlington, Cabins of the Loop and Environs of the Southern Half of Fayette County Virginia (Now West Virginia)” (December 1987, McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia, 1988) pg. 222-223