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The holiday season is a bit behind schedule in our household. Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent and the only seasonal decoration in our home is the Advent wreath.
Last July we had water damage in our master bedroom. Fortunately, it’s covered by our home insurance. Instead of having the repair work done this year and then have the other bedrooms done as planned next year, we decided to take a bite in the sour apple (in den sauren Apfel beißen) and get it all done at once. I spent two weeks, an hour or two a day, packing up everything in the bedrooms. Our closet had to be taken apart and stored in the garage. Extra furniture was given away to a good cause.
The painters came to work towards the end of November. They spent a full week removing wallpaper, doing preparation work for hanging the new wallpaper, painting, and putting in the carpet to replace the damaged one in the master bedroom.
When they were finished, we spent several days cleaning and moving our bed and closet back upstairs. We’d spent more than a week sleeping on our mattress in front of the fireplace in the living room. Sound romantic? It would be if we hadn’t had to get up early to let the painters in each morning.
Last Saturday we carried all the packed up boxes from the basement garage up two flights of stairs to the bedrooms. Stick with me, I’m coming to the reason for this post.
We’ve lived in our house for 36 years. The kids are grown and living on their own. Over the years, my genealogy material has been moved from the dining room to the living room to one or the other bedroom upstairs. As I unpack everything I’m going to finally be able to get it organized in my new office. Pictures will be coming soon.
In the meantime, I re-discovered some books I received from RMSR, a SIMS researcher who sent me her entire collection several years ago. Nearly 40 pounds of books, notebooks, and papers pertaining to her research on the SIMS line of Kanawha, Nicholas, and Fayette Counties in West Virginia.
While putting them on the shelves in my new office I thought I’d play Santa’s elf and offer a small gift to my readers. I will do lookups in the following books for the first five readers who comment below.
Lookups in these books:
Annotated 1810 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia,1991 Annotated 1820 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, April 1992 Annotated 1830 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, 1993 Annotated 1840 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, 1993 Annotated 1850 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, 1987 Annotated 1860 Census for Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, 1983 Published by the Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society, Inc.
Do you have ancestors who lived in Kanawha County before West Virginia became a state? These books were published between 1983-1992 and include annotations (not for all households) made by researchers who were members of the Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society.
Please leave a comment with the full name of your ancestor for my elf on the shelf. We’ll reciprocate with the entry and annotations for the person and/or family. If my elf isn’t too busy, we might even do more than five queries.
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 third great-grandfather William CLONCH (1807-1863) had eight known children with my third great-grandmother Mary “Polly” DOSS (1816-bef. 1892). They were never married. Seven of the children were named in William’s last will and testament – with DOSS as their surname. Five of the seven were boys and used the CLONCH surname for the rest of their lives passing it on to their children.
Also mentioned in the will was his daughter Mariah Jane PATTERSON, née CLONCH. She was a child from his marriage to Ann Eliza HILL (1812-1895). There are several mysteries surrounding this wife.
In early records the CLONCH surname was spelled CLAUNCH. William CLAUNCH, as he was seen in this entry, of Mason County, Virginia, married Ann Eliza HILL of Gallia County, Ohio, on 20 August 1832 in Gallia County.
They had a daughter Mariah Jane who may have been born about the time of the marriage or soon after. William CLAUNCH was found in the 1840 census in Mason County with a young female 5 and under 10 years old, assumed (by me) to be his daughter Mariah Jane, and a woman 20 and under 30 years old. In my early years of researching this family, as far as I could tell, most CLONCH researchers believed Ann Eliza HILL died or divorced William CLONCH however no record of divorce has been found. I suspect there is none as you will see in a moment.
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
1 male 30 & under 40 yo (William)
1 female 5 & under 10 yo (Mariah J.)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (wife or common-law wife)
3 persons in household
1 person engaged in agriculture
The daughter Mariah Jane was married by 1850 and was never seen by name with her father on a census. On the census, she was 19 in 1850 and 27 in 1860.
The woman seen with William in 1840 could not be his wife as Eliza CLAUNCH was found in the census of Gallia County, Ohio, with two young males in her household. William and Ann Eliza were living in separate households in two states.
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Gallia County, Ohio
1 male under 5 yo
1 male 5 & under 10 yo
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Eliza)
Were they her sons and sons of William CLAUNCH? When William made his will in 1862 he mentioned only his daughter Mariah Jane from his marriage to Ms. HILL – no sons! If Eliza had her own household, are we seeing Polly DOSS in William’s household? She would give birth to William’s son John William in December.
For a better understanding of what was going on I needed to discover what happened to Eliza in later years.
The marriage between William and Eliza may have been in difficulties early on. Who was to blame, William or Eliza, or both parties? The short of it is we know William never married the mother of his DOSS (later known as CLONCH) children. Was this because he was never legally divorced from Eliza? His wife Eliza, however, remarried as a widow!
Imagine my surprise when I found a record for Anna Eliza CLAUNCH, widow of Wm. C. CLAUNCH, marrying Andrew GAUSE on 26 March 1842 in Kanawha County, Virginia.
Ann Eliza HILL’s husband William CLAUNCH did not die between the time of the 1840 census and her remarriage on 26 March 1842. Could the names be a coincidence? Who was this lady who married Andrew GAUSE?
Let’s continue looking for Ann Eliza CLAUNCH, now Mrs. GAUSE. I followed the lady and her second husband as well as their descendants. Would the children she had with her second husband have her maiden name on their death records?
In 1850 she was with Andrew GAUSE in Lawrence County, Ohio, with five children.
1850 U.S. Federal census
Lawrence County, Ohio
Upper Township, Sheet 449A
Enumerated by me on the 16th day of August, 1850.
Andrew Gause 28 M Miner Pennsylvania cannot write
Eliza Gause 39 F New York cannot read & write
Thomas J. Gause 14 M Ohio cannot read
Elinor Gause 12 F Ohio
Francis E. Gause 6 M Ohio
Henry F. Gause 4 M Ohio
Mary A. Gause 1 F Ohio
Benj. Bosner 28 M England
It is not known if Thomas J. age 14 and Elinor age 12 are children of Andrew and/or Eliza or Andrew’s relations. Neither have been traced in later census or other records. The three younger children were born after the marriage took place in 1842.
In December 1855 another son was born into the family. By 1860 all children seen in 1850, except for Henry F., were missing in the household and the surname was now spelled GAUZE:
1860 U.S. Federal census
Gallia County, Ohio
Ohio Township, South New Castle
Andrew Gauze 38 Pennsylvania
Eliza Gauze 48 New York
Henry Gauze 14 Ohio
Alexander Gauze 5 Ohio
Cynthia Ross 27 Ohio
John Ross 4 Ohio
John Thompson 28 Ohio
Frederick Ginder 17 Germany
Andrew GAUZE and his wife Eliza’s little family included only sons Henry F. and Alexander. These would be the only two possibilities of finding death records with the maiden name of the child’s mother.
In 1870 Eliza did not appear on the census however her two sons were found. Henry F., the elder, was married with two children living in West Township, Columbiana County, Ohio. Alexander at age 15 was living with a Johnson family and working as a coal miner in Canton Township, Stark County, Ohio.
Eliza’s husband Andrew GAUZE remarried in 1862. Did Eliza die soon after the 1860 census?
Andrew GAUZE and his new wife were found in the 1870 census, living in Rome Township, Lawrence County, Ohio.
1870 U.S. Federal Census
Lawrence County, Ohio
Rome Township, Page No. 16
Enumerated by me on 22nd the day of July, 1870. Wm H Sloan, Ass’t Marshal.
Bartramville Post Office
Gauze, Andrew 48 M W Coal miner WV cannot write
Gauze, Lavina 30 F W Keeping house WV cannot write
Clarke, Geo. 15 M W Farm work WV attended school within year
Note: Lovina’s maiden name was Clark; George may be her relative.
Andrew and Lovina Jane were not found in 1880. On 27 March 1897 a 45 years old Levina GAUZE (was she Andrew’s widow?) was marrying the 70 years old Lem (Lemuel) BAILEY in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia. By 1900 the bride may have died as the groom is listed with his son on the Huntington census as widowed.
The search for Andrew GAUZE and his second wife Lovina Jane CLARK came to a dead end between 1870 and 1900. Or so I thought! I found Vina GAUZE (widow of Andrew) listed in the city directory of Huntington.What happened to Andrew and his second wife is not important to the continuation of Eliza’s story but I’d hope it would give me more clues.
What happened to Andrew and Eliza’s sons after 1870?
The older son Henry F. GAUZE was found in:
1880: Shiawassee County, Michigan
1890: Special Schedule (Stark County, Ohio)
1895: Clay County, Indiana
1900: missing; wife and children found in Saginaw County, Michigan
1910: alone in Saginaw County, Michigan (wife died in 1912)
1920: with another woman in Saginaw County, Michigan; he married her following the census in April and his parents were listed as father A. J. GAUZE, mother Eliza HILL.
The younger son Alexander GAUZE remained in Stark County, Ohio, and was found there at the time of the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 census. In 1880 his mother Eliza GAUZE was found with him and his family:
1880 U.S. Federal Census
Stark County, Ohio
Canton Township, Page No. 24
Enumeration District No. 135, Sheet No. 300D
Enumerated by me on the 11th day of June, 1880. Henry R. Packer, Enumerator.
Gauze, Alexander M W 25 married Miner unemployed 4 months during census year Ohio Virginia New York
Gauze, Sarah Jane F W 26 wife married Keeping House Ohio Pennsylvania Ohio
Gauze, Emery W. M W 4 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Albert Byron M W 3 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Howard Ellsworth M W 8/12 son single Ohio Ohio Ohio
Gauze, Eliza F W 68 Mother widowed New York New York New York
Eliza was listed as widowed even though her husband Andrew had remarried. Or did I follow the wrong Andrew GAUZE?
Finding her in the 1880 census with her son led to the death record of Ann Eliza GAUZE. She died in Howenstine, Pike Township, Stark County, Ohio, on 28 October 1895. Neither the names of her parents nor her maiden name were mentioned on the entry in the death register. New York was the place of birth, consistent with the 1850, 1860, and 1880 census.
[Source: “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F665-HWB : 13 December 2014), Ann Eliza Gauze, 28 Oct 1895; citing Death, Howenstine, Pike Township, Stark, Ohio, United States, source ID v 3 p 184, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 897,621.]
Per her Find A Grave memorial, cemetery records show she was buried in Melscheimer Cemetery in Canton. Her son Alexander as well as many of his descendants are also buried in the same cemetery.
I left the sons’ death records for last. Her younger son Alexander died 7 February 1920 in Stark County, Ohio. His death certificate names Eliza HILL as his mother. There is a discrepancy on the name of his father.
Her older son Henry F. died a year later on 13 February 1921 in Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois. No image of the death certificate was found however the indexed information shows the mother’s maiden name was HILL and the father’s name as Andrew.
Why did I spend so much time researching the GAUZE children of Ann Eliza HILL? First to prove the wife of my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH did not die. This may have been the reason he never married the mother of his children, my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS.
Secondly, I hoped it would lead me to more information on the children Eliza had with William CLONCH. Mariah Jane was the only child outside of his DOSS children he acknowledged in his will. She and her husband John PATTERSON protested the will in which he gave “three dollars to Mariah Jane Patterson.” The attorney they hired to represent them was not able to oppose the will and they had to pay the expenses of the court.
Is it possible Eliza and William had another child? I believe there is the likelihood of another child but who were his parents? Eliza and William, Eliza and another man, or William and another woman? Stay tuned for more to come.
Name: Ann Eliza HILL Parents: Unknown, per 1880 census born in New York Spouse: William CLONCH(*) and Andrew J. GAUZE Children: Mariah Jane CLONCH, Henry F. GAUZE, Alexander GAUZE Whereabouts: Mason WV, Gallia OH, Lawrence OH, Stark OH Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: wife of 3rd great-grandfather
Celebrating Black History Month – I did not want February to end without giving recognition to African-Americans in the United States. I hope that by sharing this information I may help someone open the door to their African-American brick wall.
If you missed the first installments, here are Part 1 and Part 2.
Isaac Sims, a Free Man
As seen in the petition drawn up and signed by the residents of Nicholas County, Isaac Sims was considered trustworthy and industrious. He was allowed to reside in Nicholas County where he remained until his death.
Several newspaper articles have been written about Isaac Sims. Some of the information in these articles may have been word of mouth or the storyteller laid it on thick.
Isaac Place On Gauley Settled By Old Slave, a newspaper clipping that was shared with me, does not have a date or name of the newspaper. I believed that it was written before 1951 as it was clipped by Edward Sims (1878-1953), a great-great-grandson of James Sims. Similar information was found in several articles written by Clarence Shirley Donnelly (1895-1982) in his daily column “Yesterday and Today” for the Beckley Post-Herald.
As the wording of the first article was so similar to Mr. Donnelly’s later writings I searched again for the original source of the information. And I found the same article with a slightly different title, History of “Isaac Place” – A Bit of Pioneer History Relating to Slavery. It was contributed (unknown date) to the Nicholas Republican by A. J. Legg and reprinted in the Raleigh Herald on 4 February 1916. The Nicholas Republican was a weekly paper which started up in 1903. I could not find it on the Newspaper Archives or Chronicling America.
I do wonder how Isaac managed to obtain the money necessary for emancipation. Did James pay him wages?
I haven’t found documentation to prove this but the pioneer history by A. J. Legg gives a good account of how Isaac (may have) earned the money to buy his freedom.
I did find one record that confirms that Isaac, when he was still a slave, was allowed to have business dealings. When the storekeeper Mr. Landcraft died his store inventory and appraisal were received and recorded by the Fayette County court at the September 1834 term. Isaac’s account is included on this list, two years before he was emancipated.
[Source: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-57447-29?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902 : accessed 26 February 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 26 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.]
By 1850 Isaac was seen on the census in the household of James Sims’ son-in-law Mathew Hughes, widower of Margaret Sims. Next to Isaac’s name in parenthesis is the word Free. His real estate, the 17 1/2 acres he was granted in 1837, are valued at $87.
In 1855 Isaac bought several items at the estate sale of Joseph McNutt. Sadly, also on McNutt’s inventory were Isaac’s children George Addison and Harriett Jane. The estate items sold are found following the inventory however the fate of Isaac’s children is not mentioned. Tradition is (also seen in article above) that they were bought by Robert L. Neil, husband of Jenetta McNutt, a daughter of Joseph McNutt.
[Source: “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-57923-52?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902 : accessed 26 February 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 273 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.]
In 1860 and in 1870 Isaac Sims was listed on the census in his own household. He did not have anyone living with him. In 1870 he was listed as a mulatto instead of a black person as seen in 1850 and 1860. His real estate was valued at $1000 in 1860 and $500 in 1870; his personal estate was valued at $200 in 1860 and $400 in 1870.
Rebecca Jane Sims, daughter of one of Isaac’s two children, was raised in the Robert L. Neil family. She was listed as a mulatto on the 1870 census in his household. She married David Johnson on 1 May 1874. It is possible that the 5 year old mulatto child named Myrta E. Johnson, living in the Robert L. Neil household in 1880, was the daughter of Rebecca Jane who died in childbirth on 1 November 1878 as reported by her neighbor Robert L. Neil.
I have not been able to locate Rebecca’s husband in 1880 or later. No trace of Myrta E. Johnson, who I believe was Isaac’s great-granddaughter, has been found.
Hopefully, if Tom, Juda, George, Jinncy, Jude, Fanny, July Hulen, Robert and Isaac Sims’ lines did not die out, a descendant will find this and be able to fill in the missing pieces in their family tree.
“It’s Honorable to do… You’re RELEASING their Names and their Souls for their Descendants to hopefully find them one day. Every time this Happens they are Rejoicing. They have been in a book or what have you for so long.”
True’s statement about this being honorable may change people’s minds about sharing what they might be ashamed of.
Celebrating Black History Month – I did not want February to end without giving recognition to African-Americans in the United States. I hope that by sharing this information I may help someone open the door to their African-American brick wall.
By March 1836 James Sims had disposed of all his real and personal estate including his slave property except for his Negro man Isaac who he intended to emancipate and set free. The steps he took were not as easy as one would think.
James had a deed drawn up detailing the conditions. Isaac had to pay James $150 in three instalments of $50 for his freedom. This sounds like a lot however he continues to note that if he (James) should die before all three instalments were paid Isaac would not have to pay the rest. Further if Isaac should die before him then James would use the monies received for Isaac’s children who were mentioned in this document as was their deceased mother Emily.
“1836 James Sims to Isaac Sims (note in margin “Delivered to Isaac Sims Sept. 9th 1842”)
Know all men by these presents that I James Simms Sr. of the County of Nicholas and State of Virginia having heretofore made my last Will and Testament in which I have disposed of all my Estate real and personal including my slave property except one slave …. my Negro man Isaac which said Negro slave Isaac I heretofore intended to emancipate and set free according to the laws of this Commonwealth upon certain Conditions thereafter to be mentioned and put to writing. Now this Instrument of writing Witnesseth that in Consideration of the premises and for others …… good causes moving me thereto. I do hereby and by virtue and force of these presents emancipate and set free forever my aforesaid Negro slave Isaac upon the following condition to wit that is to say that the said Isaac causes to be paid to me one hundred and fifty dollars good and lawful money of Virginia fifty dollars of which is to be paid in hand which said fifty dollars is this day paid to me and the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged fifty dollars of which the said Isaac shall cause to be paid on or before the 1st day of April 1836 and fifty dollars the last payment thereof the said Isaac shall cause to be paid to me on or before the first day of May 1836 and it is furthermore agreed to on my part and which I hereby in addition to the foregoing make known that in the event of my death before the payment of the fifty dollars which is next due after the date of this writing that then and in that case the said fifty dollars nor the aforesaid fifty dollars the last instalment or payment above mentioned nor either of said payments or instalments shall be required or exacted by my heirs, Executors, administrators or assigns nor shall they or either of them cause the said Isaac to pay either of said payments or instalments of fifty dollars nor shall his failure to pay the same in any manner affect or do away with the force of these presents in emancipating and setting free the said Isaac after my death according to the laws of this Commonwealth now in force. And it is furthermore agreed to on my part that in the event of my death after the payment to me of the aforesaid fifty dollars which next becomes due after the date of this writing as above mentioned that then and in that case the last payment or instalment of fifty dollars the said Isaac shall be exempt from the payment of in the same manner and to the same effect as I have exempted him from the payment of the fifty dollars which first becomes due as is mentioned and set forth in the preceding paragraph. And it is furthermore agreed upon my part that in the event of the death of the said Isaac before my death that then and in that case I do hereby promise and agree that any money or monies or payments which the said Isaac may cause to be made paid to me or which may have been in any way paid to me on account of the promises shall be appropriated by me or my heirs Executors ? in cause of my death, in the following manner: That is to say that whereas the said Isaac has two children named George Addison and Harriett Jane by his wife Emily now dead and owned in her life time by Joseph McNutt and feeling a natural love and affection for his aforesaid children and wishing to provide for the comfort and happiness of the same I do hereby promise and agree as before mentioned to appropriate the money paid to me after his death that happening before mine as above stated to such use or uses for the benefit of the above named children of the said Isaac as will best promote their spiritual and temporal welfare agreeable to their condition and character in this state and according to the Laws and usages of this Commonwealth. To the true performance of the above I do hereby bind myself my heirs Executors Administrators as witness my hand and seal this 19th day of March 1836
I have this day received this full consideration in good and lawful money cald for in this foregoing Instrument of writing as witness my hand & Seal
Isaac Sims Manumission Letter
Below the “Information” sign at the Nicholas County Courthouse in Summersville, West Virginia, there is a framed letter written by James Sims freeing his slave named Isaac.
Sims Manumission Letter-1836
Know all men by these presents that I James Sims of the County of Nicholas in consideration of a large sum of money paid to me by my slave Isaac as for the additional considerations of his fidelity to me I have on this day manumitted and let him the said Isaac free. To remain and continue from hence forward to all intents and purposes entirely free and discharged from servitude to me my heirs and assigns forever. And for the purpose of removing any difficulty as to the identity of the said Isaac and to enable him to enjoy his Freedom in the most absolute and perfect manner. I also hereby certify and state that the said Isaac was born my slave, that he has resided with me up to this date that he is very black, his stature about five feet five inches, of slender make and about forty three years old, that he has had his right leg broken just above his ankle. In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 26th day of September 1836. James Sims
in the presence of
Andrew M. Dickinson
Petition to Grant Residence to Isaac Sims
Nicholas County residents signed a petition to the Legislature of Virginia to grant permanent residence to Isaac Sims. The original can be found in the archives division of the Virginia State Library. It reads as follows:
A PETITION FROM NICHOLAS COUNTY, VIRGINIA TO GRANT PERMANENT RESIDENCE TO ISAAC SIMS 1836
To the Legislature of Virginia
Your Petitioners humbly represent that JAMES SIMS of the County of Nicholas has recently emancipated ISAAC a blackman who is desirous of remaining in the Commonwealth, your Petitioners represent that there are but very few slaves in the County of Nicholas not exceeding sixty – nor is there more than one other coloured person in the County who is free — your Petitioners further state the said black man ISAAC is an exceedingly honest industrious and useful man addicted to no vicious habits whatsoever, but peaceful & inoffensive & meek in all his intercourse & business with the country — your Petitioners would be truly gratified should this Legislature in its wisdom think proper to grant his application — your Petitioners are well convinced that no mischief can result to the country by doing so and as a precedent in this part of the state nothing of evil is to be apprehended.
Saml Price David Mays
John H. Robinson William Sims
E. S. Duncan Robert Hughes Jr
Johnson Reynolds Edward Sims Jr
Benj. H. Smith Jeremiah Sims
P. B. Wethered Martin Sims
John McWhorter Co. John Sims
Ro Hamilton Anderson Sims
L. D. Wilson Charles Sims
Addison McLaughlin William Morris
John McDermott Joshua Morris
Thomas Miller John H. Morris
Jacob D. McClain Thomas Elliott
Thm. Hill Aron Loyd
Mathew Hughes G. C. Landcraft
Charley Reynolds William Sims
Robert Hill Edward Rion
Harrison A. Low William R. Summers
George Reynolds Edward Campbell
Andrew Odle George Rader Sr
John Kincaid John Foster
James Nichols Jas. G. Murray
James Walkub James Bryant
William Hamrick G. W. Grose
John Dunbar David Bare
Robert McCutchen Lemasters Stephenson
William Miller Jacob C. Chapman
Allen Ewing John Groves
Jacob Drennen John G. Stephenson
Joseph Darlington Jacob Chapman
J. D. Sutton Michael Rader
J. M. Alderson John Linch
J. McClung Andre Skidmore
James R. Henderson Isaac Gregory
James a. Walker Fielding McClung
R. Duffield Abner Stephenson
Seth Thayer Wm. Bell
Thomas Legg Cortes Stephenson
Joshua Stephenson John Rader
Wm. D. Cottle J. G. Neel
Samuel Nichols T. B. Thomas
Joel Hamrick Alexander Grove
David Stuart James Simany
Jefferson Grose Joseph McClung
(?) Dorsey Daniel Falkler
J. Warren Henry (?)
Richard A. Arters William Chapman
William Taylor David Moore
Wilson Arters David R. Hamilton
Philip Duffy Moses Hill
R. Kelly Ira Davis
Elij. Lightner Jacob Odell
James Lightner Wm. Hughs
James Kelly Wm. Bryant
J. M. Hamilton George Fitzwatters
John McCue Andrew Neil
John McClung Robert Neil
S. A. Hamilton Samuel Hutchison
Edward McClung George Hardweg
Nathan Groves John Morris
Peter Duffy John Duffy
J. McMillian B. L. Boggs
Wm. Livesay M. A. Triplett
Jacob Hutchison William M. Boggs
David Hanna John Trout
David Peebles James Grose
Adam Given Robert Keenan
Elverton T. Walker Isaac Fitzwater
Thomas M. Fitzwater Nathaniel Hughes
Thomas B. Morris Hiram S. Marsh
W. Summers Sr. S. Backhouse
Henry Morris Jos. Montgomry
John Smith L. C. Buster
Thomas T. Marton Thos. Hawkins
Peter Coleman Thos. Hines
John Backhouse Cyrus Hedge
William Bird John Slack
Cornelius Dorsey James B. Cole
Pascal Backhouse Austin McCorgil
Joseph Backhouse Nathan Huddleston
Jeremy G. Odel William Kincaid
Joseph Backhouse James Settle
William Hillard Bolen Ballenger
William Smith John Johnson Jr.
Bernard Hendrick James Likens
Mathew Kaincaid John P. Huddleston
John Dorsey W. Tyree
John Fitzwater Hiram Curry
John Dorsey Sr P. Keenan
Dryden Sims E. Hutson
Hudson N. Dickenson Henry Montgomery
Miles Hansen John Huddleston
Jas. H. Miller John Hill
P. W. Buster Joseph Huddleston
Pleasant Hawkins Henry Tritt
Seaton B. Prowsy William Huggins
James B. Murray Robert Huggins
James J. Sims Robert Heuse
(Name Illegible) John Heuse
Leonard Cury S. A. Masterson
William Johnson Joseph W. Nutt
Jno. McNutt Jno. Carton
F. T. Hughes Adam Johnson
Fenton McMorrow Wm. Kelly
Job Huddleston Taswell W. Hues
Nelson Sims Andrew Kenan
Joseph Reams (?) Price
Francis Cincaid E. R. Hutchison
William Loyd Joseph Young
Thos. S. Buster Edda Young
Moses Coleman William Martin
T. B. Hamilton Thos. L. Lewis
John Kincaid Wm. Myles
Thos. J. Huddleston William Kincaid Jr.
John Johnson Gataspher Kincaid
Me_?_ J. Conly Benjamin Darlington
Levi B. Murrey H_?_ Long
Edward Hughs Joel Alexander
Joshua Foster [Source: Webster County Historical Society, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia Records of the Pioneers, 1818-1860. Upper Glade, West Virginia, Webster County Historical Society, Inc., 1985. 929.3 N597w.]
Celebrating Black History Month – I did not want February to end without giving recognition to African-Americans in the United States. I hope that by sharing this information I may help someone open the door to their African-American brick wall.
My 5th great-grandfather James Sims (1754-1845) of Nicholas County, (West) Virginia was a former slaveholder at the time of his death. Over a dozen years ago I had the privilege to work with several other researchers who shared their information and documentation that I used to write a detailed biography for James SIMS in 2002.
James, born in Culpeper County, reportedly brought eighteen slaves with him to Nicholas County (then Kanawha County) when he moved there from Bath County, Virginia, sometime around 1798-1800. The number may be exaggerated as he had 5 slaves in 1810, 9 slaves in 1820, 5 slaves in 1830, and 1 in 1840.
The known names of nine slaves owned by James SIMS are:
Tom, Juda and George
Jeremiah SIMS, the father of James SIMS, wrote his will on 4 March 1768, it was probated on 18 August 1768 in Culpeper County, Virginia. In his will he left one half of his estate to his wife Agatha and the other half to his son James. There was no mention of slaves in the will however the inventory returned to the court on 19 October 1769 listed:
One Negro man Tom £60. One negro Woman Juda & her child George £70
The slaves were valued at £130. The entire inventory totaled £195 making Tom, Juda, and George the most valuable part of Jeremiah’s estate.
John Nalle, the maternal grandfather of James Sims, wrote his will on 16 September 1780. It was probated in Culpeper County, Virginia, on 19 August 1782, and mentions amongst his legatees his daughter Agatha Hill, wife of Russell Hill and widow of Jeremiah Sims, and mother of James Sims.
“Item. I Lend to my daughter Agatha Hill half the Service of a Negro Woman named Jinncy During my Daughters life the other half of the said Negroes Service to my Grandson James Sims from the time of My Daughters marriage to Russel Hill, and after My Daughters Descease I give the Said Negro Woman Jinncy and her Increase to my Grandson James Sims to him and his Heirs for Ever also Ten Shillings to my Daughter Agatha Hill and her Heirs for Ever.”
[Source: Culpeper County, Virginia Will Book B, pg. 519.]
Jude and Fanny
William Griffee Brown in his History of Nicholas County, West Virginia (Dietz Press, 1954, 425 pages) mentions on pgs. 165-166 while discussing the Bethel Methodist church that he owned an old class-book dated 1821 which includes the names of members of the class in 1821 including black Jude and black Fanny, slaves of the Sims family. James Sims “brought the first negro slaves to Nicholas County” according to Mr. Brown on pg. 30. Note: Jude and Fanny were “slaves belonging to William Simms,” a son of James Sims.
July Hulen and her mother
Lawrence M. Huddleston, author of The Huddlestons My Kin had in his possession the original bill of sale from James Sims to John Huddleston for the slave July Hulen when June Settle Ciocca visited him at home in 1990. At the time she did not realize her relationship to James Sims. On 9 February 2002 in an e-mail in which she shared the photo of this bill of sale, she wrote: “Larry told me that James Sims had previously sold July Helen’s mother to the Huddlestons and that both mother and daughter were so heart-broken, he agreed to sell them the child also. Larry had no children and my understanding is that his immense genealogical collection was donated to the archives in Charleston. I would assume that is where this document can now be found.”
Clarence Shirley Donnelly (1895-1982) wrote in his column “Yesterday and Today” in the Beckley-Post Herald:
“Isaac’s brother, Robert Simms, ‘flew the coop,’ as a saying of that day had it. Keeping his eye on the north star as he traveled at night, he reached Canada and freedom.”
52 Ancestors: #50 Dennis CLONCH a.k.a. Dennis CLAUNCH
“I have not made a positive connection from my earliest CLONCH ancestry (Dennis CLONCH of Kanawha County, (West) Virginia to the emigrant Hieronymus GLANTZ).” ~ Ralph L. Hayes
The late Madison Lockhart “Matt” Claunch of Brownsville, Texas, and Ralph L. Hayes of Alamo, Texas, are to be credited with the work done so far to connect Hieronymus GLANTZ (a.k.a. Jeremiah CLAUNCH) to my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH (a.k.a. Dennis CLONCH). Matt Claunch, in his 1985 manuscript The Family of MADISON LOVE CLAUNCH, SR., and Ralph Hayes used tithe lists, tax rolls and lists, levies, land records and surveys, debt collections, ordinary licenses, and court records. The surname spellings in these records varied: Glantz, Clonch, Claunch, Clansh, Clanch, Clounch.
The immigrant Hieronymus GLANTZ came to America in 1732 with his wife, a daughter and a son. On the ship list he was seen as Jerimy GLANCE age 29, his wife as Marrea Medl GLANCE age 30, his daugher as Anna Margreate GLANCE age 9 and Hance Michalle GLANCE age 4. He signed the Oath of Allegiance with the name he had used in the old country, not the name seen on the ship list.
His wife died soon after their arrival and Hieronymus married Erna Barbara MACK on 15 October 1733 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is very likely that Jeremiah and his bride Barbara knew each other from the old country. Her father Georg Michael MACK arrived in America on the Adventure, the same ship as Jeremiah, on 23 September 1732. Barbara arrived 10 days earlier on 13 September 1732 on the Pennsylvania Merchant. In 1750 through 1752 George MACK was seen in the household of his son-in-law Jeremiah CLAUNCH in Lunenburg County, Virginia.
I considered making a chronological chart of all of the information listed in Ralph L. Hayes’ 2004 post Chronology of the Early Glance/Glantz/Clonch/Claunch Family. However every time I looked through the list I saw a different possibility for the family configuration. I have not been able to look up all of the information and cannot vouch for accuracy and completeness. Perhaps others who study Ralph’s chronology will come up with a different scenario. But this is the short-short of what I think the connection is from the immigrant to my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH:
Hieronymus GLANTZ was known as Jeremiah CLAUNCH once he settled in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He may have married again as he is seen with a wife named Margaret in 1748 and 1758. Since his father-in-law was seen with him in 1750-1752 it is also possible that Erna Barbara used a different name (Margaret) once she came to America. Please remember that this is pure speculation on my part. Jeremiah may have had sons or grandsons named Jeremiah Jr., Edmund, Jacob, John, and Barnet/Barnaby. These names were found at the same time on the tax lists of Montgomery and Wythe counties. Jeremiah CLAUNCH Jr. seen in Montgomery and Wythe from 1783-1793 (and even later in Grayson – all due to the changing county lines) cannot be the Jeremiah CLAUNCH who was seen in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, from 1783 to 1799. Note that the use of Jr. was seen in the records and does not necessarily indicate that Jeremiah Jr. was the son of Jeremiah Sr. Conclusion: The correct relationship to the immigrant is not known. Sorry folks! If the records do not turn up, DNA testing may have to be done.
The Jeremiah CLAUNCH group in Mecklenburg County, Virginia
In 1783 Jeremiah CLAUNCH bought 60 acres of land from Joseph and Ann DECKER on North prong of Eastlands Branch in Mecklenburg County, Virginia [1, 2] and was seen twice that year on the county poll.
Jeremiah was on the land tax records with his 60 acres in the Lower District of Mecklenburg County from 1789 to 1799. Images were found for the years 1789 and 1799:
There was no standard form and tax collectors had to drawn up their own forms with column headings: Name of individual charged with tax; Quantity of land; Rate of land per acre; Value of land; Amount of tax.
Jeremiah CLAUNCH was found on the Mecklenburg County personal property tax list from the time he bought land in that county until 1799:
1782 Jeremiah CLAUNCH (with 6 whites in household)
1784 Jeremiah CLAUNCH
1787 Jeremiah CLAUNCH
1790 Jeremiah CLAUNCH (image below)
1794 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Matthew
1795 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Matthew
1796 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and sons Matthew and Dennis
1797 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Dennis
1798 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Dennis
1799 Jeremiah CLAUNCH and son Jacob (image below)
1799 Dennis CLAUNCH (image below)
1799 Matthew CLAUNCH (image below)
In the above Jeremiah was seen alone on the tax lists in the earlier years and then sons’ names were included as they reached the age of 16. Records between for 1791 to 1793 are not included above. This would be the period when son William may have shown up with Jeremiah. The order of birth of the sons was most likely: William, Matthew, Dennis, and Jacob.
Following the date and name of person taxable, the first column was the number of white male tithables over 16, 2nd column was the number of slaves above 16, 3rd column was number of slaves 12 to 16, and 4th column was horses, mares, colts and mules.
Jeremiah’s oldest son William CLAUNCH married Betsy ALVIS on 5 August 1793 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. William BLACKETTER was security. Notes were included from Jeremiah CLAUNCH, father of William, and David ALVIS, father of Betsey. Witness was Sherd HICKS. 
Although William was not found on the tax lists mentioned above, this marriage shows that he was the son of Jeremiah. He was not on the 1794 tax list. Could this mean that he moved to Mercer County, Kentucky following his marriage in 1793?
“Jeremh Clanch” was security at marriage of Peter Jones and Sarah Jackson on 11 December 1797 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Jeremiah CLAUNCH married Prudence JACKSON on 21 March 1799 with Sam’l ALLGOOD as security in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Prudence was most likely the sister of Sarah Jackson as both of these ladies were later mentioned in a chancery record concerning the land of Henry and Ann Jackson.
At first I thought that this marriage was for a son of Jeremiah. After studying the limited amount of tax records and the earliest census records I have come to the conclusion that Jeremiah who married Prudence must be the same person as Jeremiah seen on the tax lists above. This would mean that Jeremiah, father of William, Matthew, Dennis, and Jacob was widowed before 1799.
Matthew CLAUNCH married Elizabeth ALLGOOD on 29 August 1799 (Sam’l ALLGOOD, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Dennis and his brother Matthew were on the 1799 tax list:
Father Jeremiah was on the same tax list with their brother Jacob who was not yet 21 years of age in 1799.
From the tax records we know that Jeremiah was still living in 1799. His oldest son William was widowed and remarried in 1798 in Mercer County, Kentucky. This gives us a 1793-1798 window for his move to Kentucky which I believe can be narrowed to 1793-1794 as William was not seen in Mecklenburg tax lists. According to information supplied by Ralph L. Hayes, Jeremiah CLAUNCH sold livestock and household goods in Mecklenburg County in 1800. Was he preparing to move? Family tradition is that William, Matthew, and Jacob moved to Mercer County, Kentucky, in the late 1790’s – tax lists prove this wrong in the case of Matthew and Jacob! They left only after 1799.
Let’s see what’s going on in Mecklenburg County after 1800.
Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLY were married 8 November 1803 (William JUSTICE as security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Sally CLAUNCH married Allen CHAVOUS on 7 September 1804 (Drury JOHNSON, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
Jinny CLAUNCH married Samuel ALLGOOD on 29 December 1804 (Matthew CLAUNCH, security) in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
There is no mention of their father Jeremiah in these marriage records. However we do see that Matthew was still in the area in December 1804 as he was security for his sister Jinny’s marriage. If he moved to Kentucky with his brother Jacob then the move took place in 1805 or early 1806 as we see Jacob CLAUNCH marrying Mary “Polly” GRAY on 26 June 1806 in Mercer County, Kentucky. Their sister Jinny and her husband Samuel ALLGOOD moved to Henderson County, Kentucky, sometime after their marriage and before 1820. There is no 1810 census for Kentucky.
Jeremiah CLAUNCH and his wife Prudence were mentioned in chancery records of Mecklenburg County dated 10 January 1809. The images are not online and can only be viewed in original at the Library of Virginia. I will definitely be checking back from time to time to see if the images are available. I am hoping that they will include information about their location and status. In the meantime this is what another researcher found:
“On 10 January 1809 Ann Stewart was called “widow of John Stewart formerly Ann Jackson” in a Mecklenburg County chancery suit by which she and Patsy Jackson, Peter Jones and Sally his wife (formerly Sally Jackson), and Augustine Smith sued Isaac Jackson, Jeremiah Claunch and Prudence his wife (formerly Prudence Jackson), William Jones and his wife Charity (formerly Charity Jackson), to sell 296 acres which had belonged to Henry Jackson, deceased. The land was sold to Roderick Coleman who distributed 17 pounds, 14 shillings to each litigant on 11 July 1809 [Orders 1809-11, 5].”
My 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLAUNCH was seen on the 1800, 1804, and 1805 tax lists of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. This means that he most likely moved from Mecklenburg County to Kanawha County in 1805-1806. This is the same time period as Jacob and Matthew’s move to Kentucky. Did they travel part of the way together?
I have one last record that I believe belongs to this family group. About 1791 a boy named Jeremiah CLAUNCH was born in Mecklenburg County. This was before any of Jeremiah’s sons married therefore I believe that he may have been a son of Jeremiah – and his youngest child if he did not have children with Prudence.Many of Jeremiah CLAUNCH’s children were born during the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775-14 Jan 1784). Assuming that Jeremiah was 21 years of age when his oldest child was born, I estimate his birth at 1752 or earlier.
William CLAUNCH (1773-aft 1820) abt. 1773. William married(1) Betsy ALVIS on 5 August 1793 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He married(2) Rebecca BOTTOM on 14 June 1798 in Mercer County, Kentucky.
Sally CLAUNCH (1785- ) born about 1785*. Sally married Allen CHAVOUS on 7 September 1804 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. *No further information found. Estimated that she was close to 18 when she married.
Jinny CLAUNCH (1785- ) born about 1785*. Jinny married Samuel ALLGOOD on 29 December 1804 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. *In the 1820 through 1840 census she was consistently seen in an age group which fits into the between 1780-1790 area. Assuming she was close to 18 when she married would put her closer to born between 1780-1786.
Jeremiah CLAUNCH (1791-?) born about 1791 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. He served during the War of 1812. No further information found.
Dennis is said to have been on the 1806 and 1809 tax list of Kanawha County. Years ago I requested a lookup of these lists but did not receive any replies.
In 1810 Dennis and his wife had three children under the age of 10 in their household, a boy and two girls.
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha, Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Name: Denis Clounch
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Dennis, b. 1784 or earlier)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Elizabeth and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Nancy, most likely 26-30)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 3
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 5
Note: Dennis first showed up on the tax lists with his father in 1796 which would mean that he was over 16 at the time putting his year of birth at abt. 1779. By 1799 he was seen alone on the tax list which normally would mean that he was at least 21 putting his year of birth at abt. 1778. The age range for 1810 puts his birth at 1784 or earlier. Dennis most likely was born between 1778-1780, I’ll pick the middle value and say he was born about 1779.
As Dennis was in Kanawha in 1810 this would mean that he moved his family to Mason County following the census and before his death OR his widow Nancy moved to Mason County following his death as she was the head of a household in Mason in 1820. My 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH died between 1811-1820. There is no family tradition concerning his death and no death record was found.
You might ask why I call my 4th great-grandfather Dennis CLONCH and not Dennis CLAUNCH as he was seen in all records except the 1810 census where his name was spelled CLOUNCH? I’ll tell you that story next week.
 Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1779-1786, T.L.C. Genealogy, PO Box 403369, Miami Beach, FL, pg. 58
 Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Deed Book 6, pg. 283
 Mecklenburg County, Virginia Deeds, 1779-1786, T.L.C. Genealogy, PO Box 403369, Miami Beach, FL, pgs. 113 and 116
 Stratton Nottingham, comp., The Marriage License Bonds of Mecklenburg County, Virginia from 1765 to1810, Onancock, VA, USA, 1928 (online http://books.google.lu/ : accessed 7 Dec 2014), pgs. 1, 9, 10, and 29.
 Paul Heinegg, Stewart Family, online http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/Stewart_Family.htm, accessed 10 July 2013 – a chapter in Mr. Heinegg’s book Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia
 Ancestry.com. U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
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 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 the 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.
Sources:  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 to my request for 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.