52 Ancestors: #19 Huldah JOHNSON abt. 1817-aft. 1880
I can hear her say, “Be sure to spell my name right!” Well Huldah if you’d have left a few more records . . . . at least they got it right on the 1850 to 1880 census.
The second child of Nancy Ann SIMS (1793-aft. 1860) and William JOHNSON Jr. (1793-1845) was born in Kanawha County in Virginia abt. 1817, a year before Nicholas County was created from Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph Counties. This child, a daughter, was my 3rd great-grandmother Huldah JOHNSON.
No exact date of birth is known for Huldah. She was seen as age 32, 42, 52, and 63 in the 1850-1880 census – each taken on the 1st of June. If she was born before 30 January 1818, the date of the formation of Nicholas County, then she was born in Kanawha County. However if she was born after this date, Nicholas County would have been her place of birth.
Nancy Ann and William married on 15 October 1814 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, and were the parents of 11 children. Huldah’s siblings, three of whom died young, were:
Sib 1: Nelson (1815-1855) b. abt. 1815 md. Elizabeth Hughes 14 Sep 1837
Sib 3: Alexander (1819-1887) b. 10 Jun 1819 md. Isabella Hughes bef. 1850
Sib 4: Mary (1820-1898) b. 20 Aug 1820 md. David Alexander Miller 13 Dec 1839
Sib 5: John Brown (1823-1902) b. 23 Dec 1823 md. Mary Ann Settle 14 Jul 1846
Sib 6: Amy (1825-1904) b. 4 Nov 1825 md. Charles McClung Huffman in 1849
Sib 7: Lewis (1828-1845) b. 6 Mar 1828
Sib 8: Elizabeth (1829-1833) b. Abt 1829 Sib 9: William Hunter (1832-1899) b. 27 Jul 1832 md. Louisa Lavinia Samuels 26 Oct 1856
Sib 10: Nancy (1835-1915) b. Aug 1835 md. William B. Martin 7 Sep 1853 Sib 11: Morris Houston (1839-1845) b. 21 Jan 1839
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. Huldah’s brother 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]
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 pre-1850 census listings will be discussed in William Johnson Jr.’s story at a later date.
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 Huldah’s siblings were born on Loop Creek in Fayette County where they were seen in the 1840 census.
Huldah JOHNSON met Robert INGRAM (1819-1902) who also lived on Loop Creek at Ingram Branch about 5 miles from Robson. Both were living at home with their respective parents per the 1840 census listings. They married after the enumeration and before the birth of their first son Vincent about 1841. Geraldine Dempsey Workman, who did much of the early work on our families, wrote, “Robert and Hulda’s (sic) marriage record cannot be found since pages are missing from the Marriage book at the courthouse.” Death records of their children Mary Elizabeth (Ingram) BLAKE and Richard Edward INGRAM list the mother as Hulda (sic, Huldah) Johnson.
I’m sorry Huldah but it looks like your descendants dropped an h off of your name.
Huldah’s father William JOHNSON Jr. died on 18 December 1845 on Loop Creek in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Following his death, her mother Nancy moved to the Sissonville area of Kanawha County with Huldah’s siblings Alexander, William, and Nancy.
Following the birth of Vincent abt. 1841, Huldah and Robert had two more sons before the 1850 census. Irvin Lewis was born abt. 1846 and William Preston was born abt. 1847 on Ingram Branch of Loop Creek.
Three daughters were born in the 1850s: Amy b. abt. 1852, Nancy Margaret b. 15 January 1853 and Mary Elizabeth b. 26 October 1855.
Note: Amanda Blake seen with the Ingram family was the daughter of John Blake and Malinda Johnson. Malinda has been seen as the daughter of Israel Johnson, however, I believe that this may not be the case. Israel Johnson’s last will and testament written 24 October 1850, proven March 1852, does not mention Malinda. Further research to determine the relationship between Amanda Blake and the Ingram and/or Johnson family is planned.
Huldah’s oldest son Vincent gave evidence on 28 May 1862 about an event that took place in the fall of 1861. This is the last mention of this child and it is believed that he died between 1862-1870.
Huldah’s mother Nancy Ann SIMS died sometime after the 1860 census was enumerated. She was last seen in Sissonville District of Kanawha County in the household of her son William Hunter JOHNSON.
Richard Edward, Huldah’s youngest son, was born during the Civil War in March 1862 at Ingram Branch.
Two of Huldah’s daughters married in Fayette County the 1870s. Nancy Margaret “Maggie” married Marion L. BOWLING (1836-1900) on 2 February 1872 and Mary Elizabeth married Martin Van Buren BLAKE (1846-aft. 1900) on 22 Oct 1874.
Huldah JOHNSON died sometime after the 1880 and before the 1900 census. She may have lived to see her youngest son Richard marry first in 1883 and second in 1888. It is my belief that she was not living when her daughter Amy finally married in 1895 at the age of 45.
Huldah was buried in a cemetery at the mouth of the Ingram Branch of Loop Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia, according to Luella Loving Lowther.
This entry is especially for Luella who first introduced me to this branch of the family. She is a very dear friend, 3rd cousin once removed, and a great-granddaughter of Huldah’s son William Preston INGRAM. William and his wife Minerva LIGHT named their daughter after Huldah JOHNSON in December 1880. Only they spelled her name without an H at the end. I wonder if my Huldah was still living when Luella’s grandmother Hulda Margaret INGRAM was named after her.
My 3rd great-grandfather Robert INGRAM was born in 1819 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. He was the son of James INGRAM and Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID. He had two older brothers, James Jr. b. abt. 1811 and Joshua b. abt. 1813. He may have had an older sister, as seen in the 1820 census, but no further information has been found for her.
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
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, age should be ca. 26)
1 person engaged in agriculture
6 persons in household
Robert’s parents continued to have children in the 1820s: John was born abt. 1820, Matthew on 9 January 1824, and Cynthia on 25 March 1828. The female in the under 10 years age group in 1820 was not with the family in 1830. She may have died or was old enough to marry by 1830.
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
1 male under 5 yo (Matthew)
1 male 5-10 yo (John)
2 males 10-15 yo (Joshua & Robert)
1 male 15-20 yo (James Jr.)
1 male 50-60 yo (James)
1 female under 5 yo (Cynthia)
1 female 40-50 yo (Margaret)
Note: Fayette County was not formed until 1831 and included parts of Kanawha, Nicholas, Greenbrier, & Logan counties
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 “Joshua Ingraham” voted for Kanawha Falls. James’ oldest son James Jr. is not mentioned and it is assumed that he died before this date. Robert INGRAM was not old enough to vote.
[Source: History of Fayette County, West Virginia 1993; Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, 310 Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901, 1993; pg. 21]
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
2 males 10-15 yo (Matthew & John)
1 male 15-20 yo (Robert)
1 male 60-70 yo (James)
1 female 5-10 yo (Ruth)
1 female 10-15 yo (Cynthia)
1 female 50-60 yo (Margaret)
No marriage record has been found for Robert INGRAM. He was most likely with his father in the 1840 census as he is not seen with his own household. I assume that he married Huldah JOHNSON after the enumeration and before the birth of their son Vincent abt. 1841. Geraldine Dempsey Workman, who did much of the early work on our families, wrote, “Robert and Hulda’s (sic) marriage record cannot be found since pages are missing from the Marriage book at the courthouse.” Death records of their children Mary Elizabeth (Ingram) BLAKE and Richard Edward INGRAM list the mother as Hulda (sic, Huldah) Johnson.
In 1843 Robert patented 120 acres at Ingram Branch with his brother Matthew.
31 August 1843
Location: Fayette County (W. Va.).
Grantee(s): Ingram, Robert and Mathew.
Description: 120 acres on Loop Creek. .
[Source: Library of Virginia, Land Office Grants No. 94, 1842-1843, p. 507 (Reel 160)]
21 October 1842
Robert & Mathew Ingram
Delivered to Col. Tyree ?th February 1844
James M. Dowell, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia:
To all to whom these Presents shall come-Greeting: KNOW YE, That in
conformity with a Survey, made on the 21st day of October, one thousand eight hundred and
forty two By virtue of Land Office Treasury warrant N. 14756
there is granted by the said Commonwealth, unto Robert and Mathew Ingram
a certain Tract of Land, containing one hundred and twenty acres: lying and
being in Fayette County on Loop creek and bounded as follow, towit
Beginning at a white oak and gum corner to John Kincaid, on
the Left hand side of the creek & with crossing the same S6W54 poles
to a sugar tree & beech corner to same and leaving S67W60 poles to two
chestnut oaks on a point S88W106 poles to a white oak North 48 poles
to a white oak on a ridge N19W66 poles to a maple and hickory N48
W24 poles to a maple and beech N8W (crossing the creek) 34 poles to
two chestnuts on a South hillside S69E230 poles to the beginning
with its appurtenances.
To have and to hold the Tract or Parcel of Land, with its appurtenances, to the said
Robert and Mathew Ingram
and their heirs forever.
In witness whereof, the said James M. Dowell Esquire, Governor
of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the Lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed, at Richmond, on the thirty first day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three and of the Commonwealth the sixty eighth.
Jas. M. Dowell
Following the birth of Vincent abt. 1841, Robert and Huldah had two more sons before the 1850 census. Irvin Lewis was born abt. 1846 and William Preston was born abt. 1847 on Ingram Branch of Loop Creek. Robert and Huldah are seen with these sons in the 1850 census.
Three of Robert’s siblings married in the first three months of 1851 in Fayette County. Ruth married John Johnson DARLINGTON (1826-1900) on 9 January 1851, John married Lucy Jane SKAGGS (1824-1853) on 13 Feb 1851, and Cynthia married John B. “Johnny” TINCHER (1815-1890) on 23 Mar 1851.
Robert INGRAM was one of the appraisers of his uncle James G. KINCAID’s estate in August 1852. He bought a MaComic (sic, McCormick) plow for 3 dollars 12 1/2 cents. at the estate sale. In the 1800s, farming was largely done by hand, with animals assisting in plowing, breaking up the soil, and transporting crops.
Robert’s brother Matthew who had patented land with him in 1843 married on 20 August 1854 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Sarah Francis MARTIN (1834-1906).
Three daughters were born in the 1850s: Amy b. abt. 1852, Nancy Margaret b. 15 January 1853 and Mary Elizabeth b. 26 October 1855.
Note: Amanda Blake seen with the Ingram family was the daughter of John Blake and Malinda Johnson. Malinda has been seen as the daughter of Israel Johnson however I believe that this may not be the case. Israel Johnson’s last will and testament written 24 October 1850, proven March 1852, does not mention Malinda. Further research to determine the relationship between Amanda Blake and the Ingram family is planned.
Robert’s brother Joshua died bet. 1860-1862. The death record has not been found however his widow was seen remarrying on 23 August 1862 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Isaac E. Lewis, a veteran of the Mexican War.
Robert’s brother John who had been widowed in the 1850s married Delilah CRAIG (1826-1869) on 12 July 1860 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.
Richard Edward, the youngest child of Robert and Huldah, was born during the Civil War in March 1862 at Ingram Branch.
Robert’s oldest son Vincent gave evidence on 28 May 1862 about an event that took place in the fall of 1861. This is the last mention of this child and it is believed that he died between 1862-1870.
Robert’s mother Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID died about 1865 at the home of her nephew James Gillespie KINCAID Jr. and his father James INGRAM died between September and December 1865 in Sissonville in Kanawha County while living with his son Matthew.
Two of Robert’s children married in the late 1860s in Fayette County. Irvin Lewis married Mary M. DEMPSEY (1845-1888) on 23 May 1867. William Preston married Minerva LIGHT (1849-1920) on 8 April 1869.
Robert’s brother John married a third time to Mary F. LEGG (1843-1870) on 1 December 1869 in Kanawha County. He was seen with her in the 1870 census and both died before 1880.
Two of Robert’s daughters married in Fayette County the 1870s. Nancy Margaret “Maggie” married Marion L. BOWLING (1836-1900) on 2 February 1872 and Mary Elizabeth married Martin Van Buren BLAKE (1846-aft. 1900) on 22 Oct 1874.
Robert’s wife Huldah JOHNSON and his sister Ruth INGRAM died between 1880-1900. This twenty-year gap in the census is a hurdle all genealogists have to take. Hopefully, one day documents will come to light and help close this gap. Several of Robert’s children married in Fayette County during this time as seen in marriage records:
Richard Edward married Lucy F. HAMILTON (1856-1884) on 21 March 1883. Following her death, he married Rebecca Wilmuth RINEHART (1856-1909) on 27 May 1888. Irvin Lewis married Octava Susan “Susie” ALIFF (1865-1932) on 11 February 1888. Finally “old maid” Amy married James B. PAYNE (1846-1916) on 23 October 1895 at the age of 43.
In 1900 Robert is seen for the last time in the census. He is living with the family of William Edward HAMILTON and is listed as a boarder. There is no known relationship to the Hamilton family who took in two other boarders. His surname is seen as INGHRAM, a spelling that he did not use. He was widowed and did not work. He was incorrectly listed as being 89 years old, born in May 1811. He may have been born in May but in all previous census listings, he was seen with an age that calculated to his being born in 1819.
Robert’s brother Matthew died 12 July 1900 in Sissonville in Kanawha County and was buried in Pauley Cemetery on Little Sandy in Elk District.
Robert INGRAM died abt. 1902 at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID. He had one surviving sibling, Cynthia TINCHER who died in 1910.
On 27 April 2014 Ellen Claytor contacted me by private message on my Facebook page to find out where James C. CROUSE 1920-1944 is buried. It was a very short message and I had no idea why she wanted to know this.
She found James in my GEDCOM file which is online at RootsWeb WorldConnect Project and linked to my Facebook page. A few messages were passed back and forth before I found out why she wanted to know.
Her son had recently bought a house and in the garage, he found a flat marble marker:
James C. Crouse Sr. P.F.C. 424th Inf. – 106th Div. World War II Jan. 2, 1920 – Dec. 18, 1944
I already had the following information and went on to find several newspaper articles about his burial to answer her question.
A Short Biography of James C. CROUSE
James Carlton CROUSE Sr. was born 2 January 1920 in Lochgelly, Fayette County, West Virginia, to Samuel Joseph CROUSE and Cora Lee BABER. He was my 5th cousin once removed (5C1R) through two sets of 5xgreat-grandparents: 1. William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON and
2. James SIMS and his first wife Phebe [–?–].
James had been an only child for seven years when his sister Margaret Ann was born in 1927. He attended Fayetteville High School and was a Methodist.
On 26 July 1941 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia, James C. CROUSE, age 21, married Eugenia Lee WISE, age 18, daughter of William and Lucy Lee WISE. [line 24]
James and Eugenia became the parents of a son, James Carlton CROUSE Jr., on 17 August 1942.
On 2 December 1943 James enlisted in the U.S. Army “for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.”
He began his service at Camp Blanding in Florida and then went to Europe where he served in England, France, Belgium, and Germany. He died serving his country.
His death was recorded in the Register of Death for Fayette County. [line 40] On the West Virginia Veterans Database of West Virginia Memory Project, maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, we find his record with more details. His cause of death is listed as DOW (died of wounds) in Belgium while his death record in the register has killed in action (KIA) in Germany. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
A little over four years later the body of Private First Class James C. CROUSE of Fayetteville was re-interred in Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville on Sunday, April 24, 1949.
Publication: Beckley Post Herald (West Virginia) Published: Thursday, April 21, 1949, Page 2
Headline: VETERAN TO BE BURIED SUNDAY FAYETTEVILLE, April 20 – Pfc. James C. Crouse of Fayetteville, who was killed in action in Germany, December 18, 1944, will be buried in the Huse Memorial Park here on Sunday, April 24.
There will be a brief ceremony at the home Sunday afternoon at two o’clock with Rev. R. T. Mallory of Mt. Hope in charge. Graveside services will be in charge of the American Legion, LaFayette Post, 149, Fayetteville. The body will be removed from the Dodd Mortuary here to the home of his parents, Saturday at 5:00 p.m. where it will remain until time for the services.
He was aged 24 years, 11 months and 11 days, and is survived by one son, James Culton (sic, Carlton) Crouse, Jr., his wife; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Crouse of Fayetteville; one sister, Mrs. Margaret James of Oak Hill.
Publication: Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
Published: Saturday, April 23, 1949, Page 2
Headline: Rites for Pfc. Crouse Slated in Fayetteville Service for Pfc. James C. Crouse of Fayetteville, who was killed Dec. 18, 1944, in Germany, will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Crouse of Fayetteville.
Rev. R. T. Mallory of Mt. Hope will officiate and burial will be in Huse Memorial Park at Fayetteville with LaFayette Post No. 149. American Legion, in charge of graveside rites.
Pfc. Crouse, 24, was born at Lochgelly, Fayette county.
Surviving besides his parents is a sister, Mrs. Margaret James of Oak Hill.
The body is at Dodd mortuary in Fayetteville and will be taken to the house of his parents at 5 p.m. today.
James C. Crouse’s location at the time of his death
The 424th Combat Infantry Regiment of the 106th Infantry Division landed in France on 5 December 1944. They crossed into Belgium on 10 December 1944 and were stationed at Winterspelt (Germany). On 16 December 1944, the German Army unleashed its Ardennes Counteroffensive (The Battle of the Bulge). After Action Reports show that the 424th was in Belgium on 18 December 1944. KIA or DOW, whichever is correct, one could place him in Belgium and the other in Germany. His military records may shed light on this question.
And this is where the mystery comes into the story
Ellen wanted to know why the marker was in her son’s garage and what they could do to get it back where it should be.
I posted the “problem” to the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy group on Facebook. They are a wonderful group of genealogist and always ready to help.
Anita McClung was able to confirm both James C. Crouse Sr. and Jr. are buried at Huse Memorial Cemetery. Her source is the Fayette County Cemetery Records, Vol. VI, published by the Fayette & Raleigh Counties Genealogy Societies in October 2006. She was one of the persons who participated in reading the cemeteries.
Sandra Humphries Raedel was able to furnish a missing piece of the puzzle. On Find A Grave she found James’ listing with the application for the marker. “It ‘does’ appear that a flat memorial marker was ordered for James C. Crouse Sr., but…it was to be shipped to High Lawn Memorial Park.”
I hadn’t thought to check Find A Grave as I’d already located the newspaper articles. If I’d looked there first I might not have gone on to search for the burial notices which would have caused further problems. The contributor Jeff Hall had entered the name of the cemetery seen on the application. I notified Jeff of the discrepancy and he corrected the cemetery name.
The story of James C. Crouse’s marker continues:
After the body was returned to West Virginia and buried in Huse Memorial Cemetery, his father S. J. Crouse applied for a flat marble marker with a Christian emblem for the unmarked grave.
James was buried on the 24th of April and his father made the application three days later on the 27th of April. Several different handwritings are seen on the card. The name of the cemetery was penciled in. On the card, we see Highlawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill as the place of burial. As seen in the cemetery book and the newspaper articles this is incorrect.
On May 10th C. S. Wilson, superintendent or caretaker of the cemetery, certified that the marker would be permitted on the grave. The information was verified in Green Mountain, VT, on May 17th.
The question is, was C. S. Wilson from the Huse or High Lawn cemetery?
Shock, surprise, and goosebumps
I quickly found James’ granddaughter Marian Crouse Walraven on Facebook and sent her a message. I don’t like to do this as the message will go to the person’s Other folder if you are not “friends.” I hardly ever have success getting in touch with people this way. I sent a friend request, just in case, and was surprised to get a quick response. In a private message, I explained what was going on. She was shocked to hear about this marker and confirmed that both her grandfather and father are buried in Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville.
By the time replies came in from Anita and Sandra from the Facebook group, I was chatting with Marian, and sending messages to Ellen — three conversations at one time.
Marian was shocked that I was getting in touch with her about her grandfather’s marker and that it had been found in someone’s garage. It was news to her as she has seen his marker on his grave but does not have a photo to compare with.
She was excited to learn not only are we related through her father and grandfather but also through her mother’s paternal line. We are 6C1R on JOHNSON and SIMS lines mentioned earlier (both her father and mother descend from these lines) and we share John KINCAID Sr. and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE at the same level.
Then it dawned on me that Ellen had contacted me exactly 65 years to the day that Samuel Joseph CROUSE had filled out the marker application for his son’s grave. I shared this <goosebumps> with both Ellen and Marian. Ellen wrote, “I believe that things like this happen for a reason. My son says to use the photo. He wants to do whatever he can to find the proper place for the marker.”
The mystery hasn’t been solved. Was the marker delivered to the wrong cemetery? Was the family contacted? Did they request a new marker when the one they applied for did not show up at the cemetery of burial? Was the home that the marker was found in previously owned by a member of the Crouse family?
Photo of the marker courtesy of J. Claytor
One last <goosebumps> note:
My part in this story began on the 65th anniversary of the application for the marker. James’ story spans two continents, my part in the story also spans two continents. What are the chances that a mother in Ohio would contact a genealogist in Luxembourg — one of the countries that the Battle of the Bulge took place in?
There will be a follow-up on this mystery. I have a couple of people checking things out. Mostly, I can’t wait to hear from my new cousin Marian about how this story ends.
New generation — 3rd great-grandparents — 8 sets on my paternal line, one set is unknown. This will get me through another 14 weeks!
52 Ancestors: #16 Elijah WOOD abt. 1806-1885
I’ve never thought of Elijah WOOD as being a brick wall. While preparing his story I realized that I don’t have anything that shows [or proves] that my 3rd great-grandfather was the son of William WOOD (1777-1835) and Mary Ann McGRAW (1781-1845).
1825 – First Record Found for Elijah WOOD
Elijah WOOD and Rachel HONAKER were married by John CAMPBELL on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia. The entry in the marriage register does not give the names of the bride and groom’s parents. [line 6]
Elijah and Rachel had 4 children by the time the 1830 census was taken: Allen Alexander (1825-aft.1900), Amanda Jane (1826-aft. 1885), Sarah Ann (1827-1887), and Mary Salinas (1829-bef. Aug 1901).
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated as of 1 June 1830
Sheet No. 209A&B
1 male under 5 yo (Allen Alexander)
1 male 20 & under 30 yo (Elijah)
3 females under 5 yo (Amanda Jane, Sarah Ann, Mary Salinas)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Rachel)
6 person in household
On the 2nd day of October 1835 Elijah and Amos WOOD were administrators at the sale of the personal property of William WOOD. At the sale, Elijah bought one foot adz, plank per hundred, one stone hammer, one shovel, and one mooly (sic, muley) bull.
Elijah and his wife had 5 more children by the time the 1840 census was enumerated: Turze Lucresia “Turzey” (1832-bet. 1885-1888), James Simpson (1833-1887), Nancy E. (1835-1898), Elijah Stuart “Sty” (1836-1921), and Rebecca Ann (1840-1866).
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated as of 1 June 1840
Sheet No. 149A&B
2 males under 5 yo (James Simpson, Elijah Stuart)
1 male 10 & under 15 yo (Allen Alexander)
1 male 30 & under 40 yo (Elijah)
2 females under 5 yo (Nancy E., Rebecca Ann)
1 female 5 & under 10 yo (Turze Lucresia)
3 females 10 & under 15 yo (Sarah Ann, Amanda Jane, Mary Salinas)
1 female 30 & under 40 yo (Rachel)
11 persons in household
2 persons engaged in agriculture
Shirley Donnelly wrote a column published in the Beckley Post-Herald (West Virginia) entitled “Yesterday and Today”. On 28 April 1975 his article “River Towns Full of History” included the following about land in the Lansing area that Elijah WOOD sold in 1841 [this needs to be researched; 11/26/1858 Elijah Wood to Eliza A. Townsend Bk E pg 282 Nr Chestnutburg – this deed may reference back to the 1841 land sale]:
“Lansing….is an old Fayette County settlement. It is located on the Chestnutburg road that runs out of Ansted and into the Edmond community. It is near where the high bridge is now under construction over New River Gorge. The land at Lansing was first owned by Elijah Wood of the Ansted area. Wood sold some of his land in the Lansing section to John Townsend in 1841.”
In 1845 Amos WOOD wrote his last will and testament and named his brothers Elijah and Allen as executors. The handwritten pages 107-110 in the Book of Wills, where Amos’ will would be found, are missing however this collection of records was also typed up at one time and added to the back of the will book.
Elijah and his wife had their two youngest children in the 1840s: William Frederick (1842-1916) and Lewis L. (1845-bef. 1885). Their three oldest daughters married: Amanda Jane married Joshua J. PARRISH on 1 June 1843; Sarah Ann married William A. W. DEMPSEY abt. 1845; and Mary Salinas married George A. McGRAW on 1 June 1850.
His oldest son Allen Alexander was working as a blacksmith in Greenbrier County in 1850.
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District, Sheet 337A
Enumerated by me on the 26th day of July, 1850. T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
Elijah Wood 43 M Farmer $700 Virginia
Rachel Wood 46 F Virginia cannot read & write
Turze Wood 18 F Virginia attended school
Simpson Wood 17 M Laborer Virginia attended school
Nancy Wood 15 F Virginia attended school
E. S. Wood 13 M Virginia attended school
Ann E. Wood 11 F Virginia attended school
Wm. Wood 8 M Virginia
Lewis Wood 5 M Virginia
During the 1850s six of Elijah’s children married: Allen Alexander married Margaret Ann HOOVER on 12 February 1851; Turze Lucresia “Turzey” married John H. NEAL in 1854; Rebecca Ann married William W. RYAN on 25 December 1855; James Simpson married Ellen E. ALEXANDER on 1 Jun 1856; Nancy E. married Charles B. JOHNSON on 11 December 1856; and Elijah Stuart “Sty” married Margaret Virginia TOWNSEND before 1860.
Elijah WOOD was a Justice of the Peace in Fayette County as seen in the following bonds:
6/10/1852 Elijah Wood to VA Comwth Bond Bk D pg 332
6/15/1854 Elijah Wood to VA Comwth Bond Bk D pg 539
6/12/1856 Elijah Wood to VA Comwth Bond Bk D pg 713
[Source: Lyle LeMasters, per email 21 April 2014]
This left Elijah and his wife with only their two youngest sons living at home and attending school in 1860.
1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, West Virginia
District No. 2, Page No. 11
Enumerated by me on the 11th day of June, 1860. P. Morton, Ass’t Marshal.
Fayetteville Post Office, Sheet No. 321
Elijah Wood 53 M Farmer $2500 $500 Virginia
Rachel Wood 56 F Virginia
William Wood 18 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
Lewis L. Wood 15 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
There were several deaths in the family in the 1860s: Elijah’s wife Rachel HONAKER died during the decade, his daughter Rebecca Ann died 19 March 1866, and his sons-in-law, William A. W. DEMPSEY died about 1867 and George A. McGRAW about 1868.
Elijah’s son William Frederick married Martha Ann HESS on 4 February 1864. Elijah remarried before the 1870 census, however, no marriage record has been found for Rachel Louisa McGRAW and Elijah WOOD.
After the death of Elijah’s son-in-law William A. W. DEMPSEY, his widowed daughter Sarah Ann had to put her children in the care of her siblings and father. Elijah took in Eunice and John DEMPSEY.
1870 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, West Virginia
Mountain Cove Township, Page No. 99
Enumerated by me on the 14th day of July 1870. Wm. T. Lowry, Ass’t Marshal.
Fayetteville Post Office, Sheet No. 144A
Wood, Elijah 63 M W Farmer $1300 $350 Virginia male US citizen over 21 yo
Wood, Rachael L. 45 F W Keeping House Virginia
Dempsey, Unis 14 F W At Home Virginia
Dempsey, John 12 M W Farm Laborer Virginia
Two of Elijah’s daughters, both widowed, remarried in the 1870s. Mary Salinas married Michael Price ARBAUGH on 26 Apr 1871 and, following his death, she married Milton SIMS on 4 February 1876. Her sister Sarah Ann had planned to marry James R. REID (a marriage license was taken out on 27 November 1872 but not used) and seven weeks later married John M. FOX, a widower, on 14 January 1873.
By 1880 Elijah’s granddaughter Eunice DEMPSEY who had been living with her grandfather in 1870 had married. His grandsons John and Elijah DEMPSEY were living with him in 1880.
Also in his household was his mother-in-law Polly McGRAW. Her presence in his household has been very helpful in proving that Elijah was married twice. The age difference in the 1870 and 1880 census as compared to the 1850 and 1860 for Elijah’s wife Rachel/Rachel L. suggested that Elijah was married twice – both ladies being named Rachel. Earlier census listings for Polly McGRAW show that she was the mother of Rachel Louisa McGRAW.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, West Virginia
Mountain Cove, Page No. 21
Enumerated by me on the 10th day of June 1880. W. C. Miller, enumerator.
Enumeration District No. 30, Sheet No. 104A
Wood, Elijah W M 73 Farmer WV WV WV
Wood, Rachel L. W F 54 wife married Keeping house WV WV VA Wife
Dempsey, Elijah W M 17 laborer single Farm laborer WV WV WV
Dempsey, Jno H. W M 22 laborer single Works in coal yard WV WV WV
McGraw, Polly W F 72 mother-in-law widowed Keeping house WV WV WV
1885 – Elijah WOOD left a last will and testament!
Page 7 (right page) Last Will and Testament of Elijah Wood Decd I Elijah Wood in the name of God Amen do make and publish this as my last Will and Testament. First: I direct that I shall be buried in a suitable manner in accordance with my station in life. Second: I will and bequeath to my beloved wife Rachel Louisa the home place where I now live during her natural life, should she prefer that the place be sold she is to receive one third of the proceeds of sale or so much thereof as she may need for support. I also give to her one cow of her choice, one hog of her choice, one bed and my kitchen furniture. I also give to her interest on four hundred dollars of my personal estate or more if she should need it during her life. Third: I give and bequeath to my grandson John H. Dempsey my farm situate on horse shoe Creek Consisting of two tracts containing Sixty acres more or less and he is charged with the payment of one hundred Dollars to be paid to the rest of my heirs but it is my wish and I direct that he shall not be oppressed in the payment of said one hundred dollars. $100.00 Fourth: I give and bequeath to my grandson Elijah Lewis Dempsey one hundred dollars to be paid out of my personal estate. Fifth: I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Jerusha Rogers the sum of fifty dollars to be paid out of my personal estate.. Sixth: I will and bequeath all the rest of my estate to my nine living children Viz Allen A. Wood, Amanda J. Parrish, Sarah A. Fox, Mary Salina Sims, Tersey Lucresia Neal, James S. Wood and Nancy E. Johnston, Elijah S. Wood, W. F. Wood and I do make them the residuary legatees of my estate to them equally portion and portion alike. Seventh: I do appoint and constitute G. W. Imboden and James Simpson Wood my son as the executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made. Given under my hand and seal this 14th day of March ad 1885 Elijah Wood seal
Page 8 (left page) We the subscribing witnesses have this day witnessed the foregoing will signed and declared by Elijah Wood as his Will and in his presence and signed in the presence of each of us and we have signed in the presence of each other this 14th day of March 1885. Allen McGraw George L. McClung G. W. Imboden
In the office of the clerk of the county Court of Fayette County West Virginia September 23, 1885. This day the last Will and Testament of Elijah Wood late of this county deceased was presented and offered for probate by James Simpson Wood one of the Executors named in said will and after having upon oath the evidence of Allen McGraw, George L. McClung and G. W. Imboden the three subscribing witnesses thereto as to the signature of said Elijah Wood deceased to said will and the genuineness of the same. It is ordered that the said will be and the same is hereby admitted to record. And whereas the said G. W. Imboden the other executor named in said will refused to qualify as such executor the said James Simpson Wood Executor appointed and named as aforesaid Appeared and took the oath required by law and together with J. A. Taylor and F. M. McClung his surety entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of six thousand dollars conditional according to law And on motion of the said James Simpson Wood Executor as aforesaid, Wm Deitz, Franklin Hess, and Wm Martin are hereby appointed appraisers to appraise the personal estate of the said Elijah Wood deceased and report to this office according to law. Teste: E B Hawkins Clerk Fayette County Court Clerks Office September 23rd 1885 The foregoing will was this day presented in my office proved by the oaths of the subscribing witnesses thereto and admitted.
Elijah named his nine living children: Allen A. Wood, Amanda J. Parrish, Sarah A. Fox, Mary Salina Sims, Tersey Lucresia Neal, James S. Wood and Nancy E. Johnston, Elijah S. Wood, W. F. Wood. His daughter Rebecca Ann had died in 1866 and son Lewis L. may have died between 1860-1885. No trace of him was found after the 1860 census. I believe it can be assumed that Lewis predeceased his father as he is not listed as one of the living children.
Elijah made bequeaths to John and Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY, sons of his daughter Sarah Ann, and to Jerusha ROGERS, daughter of his deceased daughter Rebecca Ann.
Elijah’s death record
Elijah WOOD, a white male farmer, died on 10 September 1885 in Fayette County, West Virginia. The cause of death was “hemorrhage”. His widow Rachel L. Wood, the informant, did not give the names of his parents. [entry 73]
Getting back to his parentage
Unfortunately WOOD is a common surname in Old Virginia. I need to analyze the pre-1850 census listings for Greenbrier, Monroe, Nicholas, and Fayette counties for WOOD and WOODS. The county lines were changing as new counties were being formed in Old Virginia. Woodville, now known as Ansted, once part of Greenbrier County, fell to Monroe County in 1799, to Nicholas County in 1818 and finally to Fayette County in 1831 as the counties were formed. The image quality of the census has gotten better over the last dozen or so years and I am finding some errors in work I previously did on the census. I believe that by taking a new look, maybe even starting from scratch, could help. This project will be discussed in a later post.
I put out some feelers to see if other descendants [of Elijah WOOD; William WOOD, believed to be his father; or Bailey WOOD Sr., believed to be his grandfather] may have some keys that will help unlock and push open the door in this brick wall!
Lyle LeMasters’ work has been used as a guide by many descendants of the WOOD families in the Fayette County, West Virginia, area. He did early census work and searched for land records, wills, etc. I am happy to say that he replied right away:
Hello Cathy nice to talk to you again. There is no 100 percent proof without a will and all of the children or surviving grandchildren of a child being named. Elijah and 2 brothers being named in relationship as you stated is proof but still does not establish their parents without one of them having a death record naming their parents. The same goes for Bailey Wood Sr. and some of his children selling land in a deed as their part of Bailey Wood Sr.’s estate. This is not 100 percent proof but they would have to be heirs or entitled to sell the land. No will for Bailey Wood Sr. was found to date to establish his children. Considering they were the only Wood family in that area while the others were using Woods helps but it is not 100 percent proof. The Bailey Wood Sr. land grants and the land sold also help prove a possible relationship of his heirs but not 100 percent.
And so the research to prove the parentage of Elijah WOOD continues.
52 Ancestors: #12 Civil War Baby, Gordon Washington ROOP 1862-1930
My great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP, a photographer, miner, and farmer, was born 6 May 1862 in Floyd County, Virginia, during the Civil War.
Gordon’s father enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year. He may not have known at the time that his wife was pregnant with their third child. The 54th was engaged in battles in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on 15 April 1862 and at Princeton, (West) Virginia, on 16 May 1862. Was Gordon’s father given furlough to be at home for the birth of his son?
Gordon’s father must have worried about his young family while he continued to serve in the Confederate army. He was NOT one of the nearly 23 percent of Floyd County men who chose to abandon the cause. The Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862 may have forced him to extend his service, when his initial commitment of one year expired, to a total of three years.
On the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia. On 1 November 1863, when young Gordon was a year and a half, his father died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.
Parents and Siblings
Gordon’s parents Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) and Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) married on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had two children by 1860: Dollie Ann Ellen (1857-1937) born 24 February 1857 and John Thomas (1859-1902) born 6 March 1859, both in Floyd County, Virginia.
When the American Civil War began on 4 February 1861 the young family of four was living in Floyd County. Emaline gave birth to her second son and third child, Gordon Washington ROOP, on 6 May 1862. He was given his father’s first name and, as a middle name, the surname of the first U.S. President. Sadly we do not know how much time Gordon Sr. was able to spend with his family while serving in the Civil War until his early death at the age of 25 in 1863.
The end of the Civil War in June 1865 brought changes to America, Virginia, and families in Floyd County. We don’t know what price Gordon, his mother Emaline, and his sibings paid for his father’s loyalty to the Confederacy. Gordon’s mother Emaline waited nearly six years to remarry. She was 32 when she married Pleasant D. EPPERLY, 21, son of Solomon EPPERLY and Rachel RATLIFF, on 6 February 1869 in Floyd County. A year later we see Gordon and his siblings in the household of their step-father and mother in the 1870 census.
Gordon’s sister Dollie Ann Ellen married her 2nd cousin 1 time removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 1 7 November 1873 in Floyd County. His brother John Thomas married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858-?) on 16 November 1876 in Camp Creek, Floyd County.
Orphaned at Fifteen
A little over a year after John’s marriage, Gordon was orphaned at the age of 15 when his mother died on 13 December 1877. Did Gordon stay with his step-father or did he go to live with his sister or his brother? Gordon and his siblings were close to their ROOP and LESTER grandparents as well as the SUMNER family, their great-grandparents. I hope that he was well taken care of until he married two years later.
Marries at Seventeen
William L. SIMMONS joined Gordon Washington ROOP, age 17, and Milla Susan PETERS, age 23, in marriage on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County at Jordan PETERS’ residence. On the marriage record the ages of the bride and groom were fudged. Gordon was listed as 21 and Milla as 20.
Gordon and Milla were first seen together on the 1880 census. They lived on Alum Ridge in Floyd County near the Montgomery County line.
Becomes a Father at Eighteen
Gordon and his wife Milla did not wait long to start their family. They had five children, four sons and a daughter, in ten years:
Ch 1: George Washington ROOP (1880-1950) born 19 September 1880in Floyd County, Virginia. Note: no birth record however WWI and WWII draft cards match date seen on his death certificate.
Ch 2: Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) born 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
Ch 3: Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born 15 June 1885 in Montgomery County, Virginia. The father’s residence at the time was Raleigh County, West Virginia, and the birth was recorded there. Ch 4: James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962) born 30 May 1887 at Snuffer’s Branch, Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Ch 5: [–?–] ROOP (1890-1891) born in June 1890 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died in a house fire in 1891.
Moves his Family to West Virginia
By 1885 Gordon moved his family to Raleigh County in West Virginia where he had the birth of his son Charles recorded. After the birth of their fourth son James, Gordon and Milla and their four sons moved to Kanawha County where their only daughter was born in 1890.
Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire
Sadly the daughter born in June 1890 was not named and died with her mother in a house fire in 1891 according to family tradition as recounted in genealogy notes by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop. Neither death records nor newspaper articles have been found to confirm the story and year of this event.
Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette L. McGrew (1923-2008) on a book on the Roop family. The summer of 1994 she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. Linda had done most of the work on our direct line as her husband is the grandson of Old Man Jim, Gordon’s fourth son.
Motherless Children Go into Foster Care
The four motherless boys were placed in the home of Henry Snuffer, the Sheriff of Kanawha County, and his brother, Lee Snuffer, until Gordon was able to care for them. Linda wrote, “Gordon married second to Nancy E. Johnson. When Gordon returned for his children, Walter, Charles and George went with him but James wanted to stay with the only family he knew, the Snuffers, so Gordon let him stay rather than insist he go with him. Henry and Martha E. Snuffer were a loving married couple who could not have children of their own. They took in and raised with loving care many children who had lost their parents.”
Further research brought to light that Lee and Eliza Snuffer, like Henry and Martha, did not have children of their own. James was living in Henry Snuffer’s and Charles was in Lee Snuffer’s households in 1900. Walter was with Gordon and his second family. George was not found. Is it possible that Charles, like his brother James, also wanted to remain with the Snuffer family he had been living with?
Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890
Gordon’s grandfather James ROOP dated his will 31 January 1890. He died 2 November 1890 and final settlement of the will was made on 18 September 1897 in Floyd County, Virginia. In his will James ROOP mentioned among others, his son Gordon ROOP’s children Thomas, Gordon, and Dolly.
Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children
Gordon Washington ROOP and Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON (1860-1949) were married on 25 August 1894 in Pond Gap, Kanawha County, West Virginia, by L. D. Hill. [line 76]
They had five children in five years:
Ch 6: Samuel Pasley “Sam” ROUPE (1895-1956) born 30 October 1895 in Blue Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 39].
Ch 7: Julia Ann ROOP (1897-1990) born 4 January 1897 in Cannelton, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 40].
Ch 8: Amanda O. “Mandy” ROOP (1898-1994) born 20 March 1898 in Hughes Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 12].
Ch 9: Hallie Beatrice ROOP (1899-1944) born 10 September 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Ch 10: Hazel Vern ROOP (1900-1976) was born 28 December 1900 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Dies at the Home of his Daughter
According to Linda Pearl Dickey Roop, Gordon was living with his daughter, Amanda WITHROW in Donnally Hollow in Kanawha City, West Virginia, before he died so that he could get to the doctors more easily. Gordon Washington ROOP died at 6:30 a.m. on 30 January 1930 in Kanawha City; cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis with contributory factor being cardio-renal disease. He was buried in Jodie, Fayette County.
Gordon’s son Walter Farmer ROOP was the informant on the death certificate. Walter didn’t know the name of his grandmother and he got the name of his grandfather wrong. Or did he? The name he gave was Ham ROOP. Gordon’s father’s middle initial was H. in Civil War records. Is it possible that the H. was for Hamilton even though Gordon Sr.’s youngest brother was named Hamilton Null ROOP? Could Uncle Hamilton have raised Gordon Jr. after both his parents’ deaths?
Gordon Washington ROOP was survived by his second wife, all of his children except for the baby girl who died in the house fire, and his sister Dollie. His children’s families continued to grow giving him a total of 50 known grandchildren, 10 still living in 2014.
Gordon’s second wife Nancy Elizabeth Johnson died 14 June 1949 in Charleston.
Mary M. DEMPSEY, one of my 4 paternal great-great-grandmothers, is from the other DEMPSEY line in my family tree. The lines are connected as Mary’s daughters Octava and Laura INGRAM married sons of William A. W. DEMPSEY. However a common DEMPSEY ancestor has not been found to connect the two DEMPSEY lines.
52 Ancestors: #11 Mary M. DEMPSEY abt. 1845-bet. 1880-1888
Mary M. DEMPSEY was born about 1845 to Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine M. GOWING who were married on 3 January 1829. They had 5 children before Mary was born and then two more bringing the total to eight children. All of these events took place in Amherst County, Virginia.
Sib 1: George W. Dempsey (1831-aft. 1870)
Sib 2: Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” Dempsey (1836-aft. 1910)
Sib 3: William S. Dempsey (1839-1860s)
Sib 4: Thomas G. Dempsey (1840-1860s)
Sib 5: John J. Dempsey (1843-1860s)
Sib 7: Martha Ann “Matties” Dempsey (1847-1909)
Sib 8: Julia Victoria Dempsey (1853-1926)
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
Dempsey, C. Y. 47 M Farmer 500 Virginia
Dempsey, C. M. 35 F
Dempsey, Geo W. 19 M
Dempsey, Elizabeth 14 F
Dempsey, Wm S. 11 M
Dempsey, Thomas G. 10 M
Dempsey, John J. 7 M
Dempsey, Mary M. 5 F
Dempsey, Martha A. 2 F
Following the 1850 census Mary’s older siblings began to marry and have children. Her sister Jennie had illegitimate children, a daughter about 1857 and twin daughters about 1859. Her brother George married Rhoda A. STATON (1825-aft. 1870?) on 20 December 1852 and her brother William married Mary Eliza CLEMENTS (1839-?) on 26 April 1857, both in Amherst County.
The family moved to Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Mary’s father Seaton and her uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY moved their families to Fayette County, (West) Virginia, in the late 1850’s. Mary’s brother William and sister Jennie remained in Amherst County with their young families.
The 1860 census listing shows Mary’s parents in one household followed by her brother George’s household. Mary and and her siblings Thomas, John, Martha, and Julia were listed in George’s household. Normally Mary and her siblings would have been listed in her parents household. I suspect that the entire family group was living together and George was given a household and family number making it look like his siblings were living in his household.
1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Dempsey Ceton Y. 57 M W farmer Virginia
Clementine M. 47 F W wife Virginia
George 28 M W farm labor Virginia
Rhoda 35 F W wife Virginia
Ceton A. 5 M W Virginia
Thomas G. 18 M W farm labor Virginia
John J. 15 M W farm labor Virginia
Mary M. 13 F W Virginia
Martha A. 10 F W Virginia
Juda V. 7 F W Virginia
Older siblings returned to eastern Virginia in the 1860s
Following the 1860 census Mary’s brother Thomas returned to eastern Virginia and joined the 58th Virginia Infantry in August 1861 in Amherst County. It is possible that her brother John also went east and joined up in Rockbridge County where their brother William was living. There is no trace of William, Thomas, or John in 1870 or later. Mary’s brother George and his wife disappear after the 1870 census. Their sons remained in Fayette County while a daughter went back to Amherst and later lived in Rockbridge County.
Mary’s sister Jennie had more illegitimate children and married Marshall S. TERRY (1843-aft. 1920) about 1866-1869 (per 1900 and 1910 census). She died between 1910-1920 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. No marriage record has been found for Jennie and Marshall Terry. In 1895 Chancery Records found in Rockbridge County concerning the estate of her uncle Wesley G. DEMPSEY, one of Seaton and Wilson’s brothers, Jennie was seen as Wesley’s niece Jennie TERRY (née DEMPSEY) wife of Marshall TERRY. Prior to finding the chancery records it had been assumed that the daughter seen only as Elizabeth in 1850 had died by 1860. Finding her as Jennie Terry, wife of a man who was seen as a mulatto in the earlier census listings, has brought up a whole bunch of questions that need to be answered. This discovery also gives me faith in the documents that are going to help open the doors in the DEMPSEY brick walls!
Back in Fayette County, West Virginia
Mary’s parents Seaton and Clementine remained in Fayette County with the three youngest daughters Mary M., Martha A., and Julia V. By 1870 Mary and her sister Martha had married and only Julia was living at home with her parents.
Mary’s sisters Martha and Julia marry
Martha Ann “Matties” DEMPSEY married George L. “Little George” JOHNSON (1846-bef 1880) on 20 September 1866. They had four children before Little George left her a widow. She married second Joseph Henry ARBAUGH (1853-1927) on 18 July 1880 in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia. They were the parents of three children. “Matties” died on 11 March 1909.
Julia Victoria DEMPSEY married Joseph Henry PRESSON (1850-1934) on 3 June 1872. They were the parents of 7 children. Julia died 1 May 1926 in Ansted.
What became of Mary M. Dempsey?
On 23 May 1867 Eli WOOD, Minister of the Gospel, performed the marriage ceremony in Fayette County, West Virginia, for Mary M. DEMPSEY and her groom Irvin Lewis INGRAM, son of Robert INGRAM and Huldah JOHNSON. [line 37]
The 1870 census listing for Mary and her young family has not been located. I suspect that the family may have been missed. From later records we know that Mary’s first daughter Octavia Dell INGRAM (1866-1923) was born 14 March 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia. This was a year prior to Mary’s marriage to Irvin Lewis INGRAM on 23 May 1867. Following the marriage their second daughter Laura Belle INGRAM (1868-1940) was born 24 April 1868 at Ingram Branch on Loop Creek in Fayette County. There are no birth records for Octava and Laura and we must rely on the information passed on to descendants, in Octava’s case, and given on Laura’s death certificate.
Mary and Irvin’s third daughter’s birth was entered in the register of births: Harriet F. Ingram (1871- ) born 8 March 1871 at Loup Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia. This daughter most likely died before 1900 as she has not been found in the 1900 census nor has a marriage record been found for her at WVCulture.org. Note that her father Irvin was missed in the 1900 census and it is possible that Harriet may have also been missed.
In 1880 we see Mary age 31 with her husband Irvin age 35 and their three daughters, Octavi D. age 14; Laura B. age 12 and Harriet F. age 9. This is the last record we find to document Mary’s life.
Was Mary still living when her daughters married in the early 1880’s? Octavia Dell married Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY (1862-1943) on 19 October 1882 and Laura Belle married William Henderson DEMPSEY (1860-1941) on 1 October 1884. Both marriages were performed by I. C. Cavendish.
Mary’s husband Irvin Lewis INGRAM’s marital status was widower when he married Susie Aliff on 11 February 1888 therefore Mary must have died after the 1880 census and prior to Irvin’s marriage in February 1888. She would have been 43 years old in 1888.
I planned out my 52 Ancestors in January and only noticed today that I would be blogging about the same ancestral line as I did last year on St. Patrick’s Day. Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!
Pioneer settler of present-day Nicholas County, West Virginia
When I first began doing genealogy research on the internet in 2000 I found William JOHNSON, husband of Amy NELSON, listed with ancestors going back to the 1400s. Lack of sources made me suspicious and, to date, I haven’t found “documented” parents for William JOHNSON.
He is mentioned in several history books: West Virginians in the Revolution History of Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens (1911) A History of Monroe County, West Virginia (1916) History of Nicholas County, West Virginia (1954) A Record of the Early Settlement of Lower Loup Creek-Fayette Co. WV-1798-1805 (1933).
In the last, L. Neil Darlington wrote, “John Johnson and his brother, William, came to Loup Creek in 1827, from Gauley River. They were sons of William Johnson, Sr., one of the first settlers of Nicholas Co. He had come about 1795, from Bath Co. Va, and settled on Peter’s Creek, a branch of the Gauley. Here he died in 1805 and was buried on the farm now occupied by a Mr. Summers. His headstone states that he was a soldier in the Rev. War.”
In regard to William’s Revolutionary War service, I would like to see pgs. 372-373 of Augusta County, Virginia Court Orders 1774-1785 by Bevin Creel which may mention that he was a constable in Capt. Campbell’s Co. in 1782 (as per DAR#A063847). I would also like to see the Revolutionary War pension application S7220 which I assume was for his widow Amy.
I found “William Edward Johnson” on Find A Grave (Memorial# 29135496) with a photo of this headstone taken by a descendant. I don’t know where the middle name comes from and if it is correct or not. Further searches showed that the person who took the photo, Carl Johnson, believes that William was the son of James Johnston and Mary Elizabeth Ware. I contacted Carl and we’ll be discussing his information.
Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to post updates on our discussions.
UPDATE: David Fridley provided me with pgs. 372-373 of Augusta County, Virginia Court Orders 1774-1785 by Bevin Creel AND solved the mystery of the Revolutionary War pension application S7220. He looked it up by app number on fold3.com and it belonged to John Merrill of NJ who died in Buncombe Co, NC. The error was caused when some footnotes were converted incorrectly into a new genealogy program. Fixed and checked off my list.
Oral tradition passed on through the generations can be a help or a hindrance to our genealogy research.
In the case of our INGRAM ancestor, family tradition is that the INGRAM immigrant and four of his brothers came to America near the end of the Revolutionary War. Richard M. INGRAM, a great-grandson of James INGRAM, told the tale that it was Bob’s father – Bob being James’ son Robert – who came to America. While James S. INGRAM, a great-great-grandson of James INGRAM through his son Matthew, wrote that it was James’ father.
If James INGRAM came with four brothers near the end of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) he would have been 12 years old and most likely the youngest as there is no mention of parents traveling with them. It is more likely that his father came over with four brothers before the Revolutionary War as the 1850 and 1860 census show that James was born in Virginia. Children living at the time of the 1880, 1900, and 1910 census gave their father’s birthplace as Virginia or West Virginia.
James INGRAM (b. abt. 1771-1774 VA d. 1865 Kanawha Co., WV) married Margaret, daughter of John and Elizabeth KINCAID, in 1809 in Greenbrier Co., Virginia (before the formation of West Virginia) and settled on Loup Creek in Fayette Co., VA (WV) about 1830. The place he selected was at the mouth of a branch on Loup Creek now called Ingram Branch. The 120-acre tract, including his improvement, was patented by his sons, Robert and Matthew, in 1843, several years after the settlement.
The family of James and Margaret INGRAM consisted of:
*James Jr. died as a young man and never married
*Joshua married Mahala C. [believed to be the daughter of Jeffrey Oliver STEELE Sr. and Mary SMITH] and died before the Civil War
*Robert married Hulda JOHNSON, daughter of William and Amy JOHNSON, and lived at the Sonny Kincaid site, which was a part of the 120-acre grant of which he had become the sole owner
*John married (1) Lucy Jane SKAGGS before removing to Poca River in Kanawha Co. and then (2) Delilah CRAIG and (3) Mary F. LEGG
*Matthew removed to Poca River in Kanawha Co., WV, and married Sarah Frances Martin, daughter of Dio Clesian MARTIN and Catherine KIDD
*Ruth married John DARLINGTON, youngest son of Benjamin and Mary DARLINGTON, and lived at various places on Loup Creek
*Cynthia married Johnny TINCHER, son of William TINCHER, also of Loup Creek.
Although much is known about the descendants it is the parentage of James INGRAM that remains a mystery.