How Jack and Jill Helped Solve the Holly Brick Wall

This post is dedicated to the memory of Paula Kelly Ward (1942-2022) who passed away on 28 July 2022. Her passion for genealogy research and the PETERS family is reflected in her work as well as that of the many she helped. She looked forward to seeing this DNA mystery solved.

Who was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY born in May 1847 in Franklin County, Virginia?

I didn’t set out to ask this research question or try to open the door in my cousin’s brick wall. The pieces of the puzzle came together with a bit of genealogy sleuthing, DNA tools, and curiosity on my part.

Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924)

Sanford H. HOLLY, born in Franklin County, Virginia, first married on 15 March 1864 at the age of 17.  The marriage register names Jack PETERS and Martha J. LOYD as his parents. In the remarks column, it is noted that the husband was illegitimate.1 This would explain why the groom’s surname was not PETERS.

Franklin County Register of Marriages entry for Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray

Why was his surname HOLLY? Martha Jane HOLLY, the daughter of James and Elizabeth HOLLY, married Thomas J. LOYD (LLOYD) in 1861.2 It was the only marriage found and indicates she was widowed. Was it assumed she was widowed as she had children?

Further research shows her parents, James HOLLY and Elizabeth RAFE married on 1 November 1809.3

Other researchers misread the marriage register entry and/or the marriage license of Sanford H. HOLLY and assumed his parents were Jack Peters HOLLY and Martha J. LOYD. I found the marriage register AFTER I suspected the PETERS connection. More about this later. Suspecting the connection helped me to look at the record differently than others had.

An image of the marriage license is attached to my cousin Laura’s tree. I was not able to locate this record online. The image has punched holes on the left side and appears to be the scan of a photocopy made of the original at the courthouse. The scanned record doesn’t include information on the husband being illegitimate. The parents’ names were written: Jack Peters & Martha J. Loyd. As with the entry in the register of marriages, the groom’s surname was HOLLY and it has been incorrectly assumed the father was a HOLLY. With this mistake, Jack PETERS became Jack Peters HOLLY.

On the 1900 census, Sanford’s birth month and year are listed as May 1847.4 It is more likely that he was born in May 1846 as he was not yet 18 in March 1864 when he married. For research purposes, I will assume he was born between May 1846 and May 1847.

Based on the information provided in his marriage record, Sanford was illegitimate and born about 1846-1847, his mother would have had a relationship with a man named Jack PETERS in 1845-1846. The father Jack would have been born about 1825 or earlier.

PETERS families of Franklin County, Virginia

Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY came to Franklin County around 1810 from Amherst County.5,6 There were other PETERS families in the Franklin County area. They were of German descent and not related to Zachariah PETERS of Amherst.

Paula Kelly Ward, a PETERS researcher, wrote in 2000:7

Franklin County VA had more than one Peters family. Two of these families were, without question, of German descent, and they and their descendants married other German families in the area.

What has been very interesting to me is that an analysis of these families reveals that Zachariah’s descendants did not marry any of the Peters of German descent nor any other German families in Franklin County VA. However, looking at a few cousin marriages, it appears that my Peters family definitely liked their own Peters family better than others!!! 😀

At any rate, Zachariah’s descendants did not marry into the German families in that area until the 20th century, and that is what caused the confusion in our Peters family research.

As will become clear later in this post, the German PETERS lines were not considered for this research question.

The candidates: PETERS-LIVELY grandsons

The male descendants of Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY were studied.

In 1846 Zachariah and Kesiah had four sons born between 1796 and 1810.

◉ Jordan, living in Fayette County, was 50 years old, father of 14 living children, and married 5 years to his 3rd wife.8

◉ William was about 48 years old, father of 4 children, and married 5 years to his second wife. He was in Franklin when he married in 1841.9 He was missed (or not yet found) in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses. Further research is needed to prove he was living in 1846.

◉ Willis was 37 years old, married 17 years, and father of 8 children.

◉ Joseph was 36 years old, married 16 years, and father of 7 children.

These four men were all in marital relationships in 1846 with wives who were still bearing children. Although one of them could have strayed, it is more likely one of their sons could be Sanford’s father.

Jordan had sons who could have been the father of Sanford. William had sons born in 1826 (Owen) and 1828 (Henry) but they were not as likely to be the father of Sanford as Jordan’s sons. Willis and Joseph had sons but they were not old enough to be the father of Sanford born in 1846-1847.

Jordan had four sons who were 20 years or older in 1846: Henry, Zachariah, Stephen, and Jonathan. Henry and Stephen as well as two underage sons of Jordan were in Franklin County in 1845 on the personal property tax (PPT) lists.10 The two sons under 21 were Jonathan and James. Zachariah born in 1822 was not on the 1845 list.

Jordan moved his family to Fayette County around this time. He was on the PPT lists from 1846 to 1849. He lived in an area of Fayette that became Raleigh County in 1850.

◉  Henry b. 1821 was in Fayette County (now West Virginia) in February 1847 when he married.11

◉ Zachariah b. 1822 was in Franklin County on 27 November 1846 when he took out a bond with his future brother-in-law and on 3 December 1846 when he married Ally HALE.12

◉ Stephen b. 1824 was in Franklin County in January 1848 when he married.13

◉  Jonathan b. 1827 was likely with his father in Fayette County. He was not found on the 1850 census, i.e. he was not with his father. He didn’t marry until 1852 in Raleigh County (now West Virginia).14

It is unlikely that Henry, Stephen, or Jonathan went by Jack.

Jack PETERS

From Sanford’s marriage record we know that his father’s name was Jack PETERS.

Did Jordan’s son Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) also go by the name Jack? Zachariah PETERS is the name seen on the census and in marriage records. No middle initial or nickname.

There are online trees with his name as Zachariah Jack PETERS or Zachariah Jackson PETERS. I searched for records that might include the nickname Jack or Zack or a middle name Jackson.

A civil war muster roll card was found for Zach PETERS. A private in the 21st
Virginia Cavalry, Capt. A. O. Dobyns’ Company, Peters’ Regiment, he
enlisted on 22 August 1863 at Floyd County Court House and was absent
with leave from January 1 to October 31, 1864. The reason for his absence was given as, “At home on wounded furlough, right leg amputated.” This matches the known information on Zachariah and shows that he also went by Zach.15

In 1870 Zachariah’s brother James wrote a letter in which he twice referred to him as Brother Zech.16

Zachariah was married three times and had at least 17 children between 1847 and 1895. Birth registers for Franklin begin in 1853. The early births were not registered. Most of the birth records have Zachariah as the father’s name. In three records, the father was seen as Zach or Zack: George born in 1854 (Zach), an unnamed daughter born in 1862 (Zack), and Martha Ella born in 1875 (Zack).17,18,19

Marriage records of Charles Robert PETERS and of Bessie Lee PETERS list Zach PETERS as the father.20,21

Death records of 13 children were found. The NC certificate of death of Charles Robert PETERS (1894-1961) gives W. J. PETERS as the father.22 This is an error as his birth record gives Z. Peters as the father. The certificate of death of James Jordan PETERS (1849-1927) names James Z. PETERS as the father. 23 This is the only record indicating the name James, likely an error on the part of the informant as no other records have been found with James as one of the names of Zachariah.

The certificates of death of Mary Jane PETERS (1852-1920) and Joseph Coleman PETERS (1865-1927) give the father’s name as Jackson PETERS.24,25 It is not unusual for the names of the parents on a certificate of death to be incorrect as the information is not being given by the decedent. However, it seems possible that Zachariah PETERS was also known as Jackson PETERS as two of his children’s death records have this name.

The memorial on Find A Grave lists his name as Zachariah Jackson PETERS.26 It doesn’t include a photo or documentation. Paula Kelly Ward shared a picture of the grave marker taken by Otis C. Scott on 20 November 2009. The name on the marker is Zachriah PETERS (sic, not Zachariah).

The research question has been asked and the known facts presented. The DNA evidence will now be revealed.

Jill

In mid-June, while reviewing and adding MRCAs to my DNA matches in the 50 cM range, a match with a peculiar username caught my attention. I’ll call her Jill. A tree is attached to the DNA with the names of her paternal grandparents but without dates and places. I’d looked at this match several times and wasn’t able to figure out how she fit into my tree.

While viewing Jill’s shared matches (also known as in common with or ICW), I noticed that my father’s paternal first cousin E.D. was on the list. My match with Jill is for 51 cM across 4 segments. As I have access to E.D.’s DNA, I know that Jill shares 61 cM across 3 segments with her. At the time, I thought this match might help solve the DEMPSEY brick wall I share with E.D. since she fell in the Extended Family range for E.D. and in the Distant Family range for me.

On Jill’s Ancestry profile, there is another tree (3 persons) with the names of her parents with dates of birth and death. I recognized her mother’s name, being a cousin to my father on his maternal line.

Jill is my 3C1R (third cousin once removed) through Moses, the son of my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. PETERS and Rachel PROFFITT and a 5C through Betsy, the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY. In the chart below, Jill’s maternal grandfather shares all of the pink ancestors with me:

Jill’s maternal grandfather’s tree

Chart #1 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

This match is on my father’s maternal grandfather’s side. As can be seen in the charts below, my Dad and E.D. are first cousins and share only their paternal lines (blue and green in the charts below).

Dad’s Tree

Chart #2 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D’s Tree

Chart #3 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D.’s tree has been well researched by her deceased sister Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007). Her research was sent to me in 1992 and awakened my interest in genealogy.

How are Jill and E.D. related?

I have access to 3 tests of descendants of Earl Stanley DEMPSEY (1910-1968) and Thelma Mae HOLLY (1914-1959) through 3 of their 4 children. E.D. is their daughter, Laura is E.D.’s niece through her sister Geraldine, and Sheila is E.D.’s niece through her brother James. The fourth child, a son, didn’t have any known children. E.D. is the only living child of the couple.

E.D.’s mother Thelma Mae HOLLY has an NPE (non-paternity event, i.e. father unknown) on her paternal side. The father of Thelma’s grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY is unknown hence my research question at the beginning of this post.

Jill and I share the PETERS-PROFFITT and the PETERS-LIVELY couples as MRCA. E.D. and I share the DEMPSEY-INGRAM couple as MRCA. But which couple or individual does E.D. and Jill share as MRCA?

E.D.’s and my ICW matches

The ICW matches for E.D. and myself on AncestryDNA are associated with our shared ancestors William Henderson DEMPSEY and Laura Belle INGRAM and their lines back. Matches attributed to my PETERS-PROFFITT and PETERS-LIVELY ancestors are also showing up in the list of shared matches. However, none are assigned to PROFFITT-COCKRAM (the parents of Rachel PROFFITT, 3rd wife of Jordan N. PETERS). Therefore I continued my analysis by concentrating on the PETERS branch and not the PROFFITT branch of my tree.

E.D.’s raw DNA file was uploaded to GEDmatch in 2018. Only 8 of my matches with MRCA being PETERS-PROFFITT or PETERS-LIVELY were found on GEDmatch to be in common with E.D. None of these matches share segments with E.D. and myself, i.e. there are no triangulations. All of the segments that E.D. shares with me (and/or my brother) are matches on our paternal side.

Does E.D. have matches with descendants of the  PETERS-LIVELY couple?

Over the years, I’ve worked on several generations of descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY, mainly following their son Jordan N. PETERS’ descendants. There was intermarriage in the line which makes the research a bit of a challenge. This can be seen in the case of Jill being a descendant of the PETERS-LIVELY couple through both of her paternal grandfather’s parents (see chart #1). This is only one example.

I’ve been working with E.D.’s test results since 2018. I imported her AncestryDNA matches, their shared matches, and their trees to Genome Mate Pro, an earlier version of GDAT (Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool). Her profile in GDAT has since been updated with new matches. Until now, I concentrated only on her paternal matches and ignored her maternal line.

Looking over E.D.’s maternal matches

With this new development, I began analyzing 300+ trees of maternal matches for E.D.  Concentrating on her closest HOLLY matches and their shared matches, I found that the connection to Jill is likely coming through E.D.’s great-grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown father.

Not all matches have trees attached to their AncestryDNA or their profiles on Ancestry. The same is true for GEDmatch. By comparing associated family groups, trees were built out for matches with small trees. Having a large tree with many descendants of the ancestors of interest makes the tree-building process easier. For many of the incomplete trees, one person with the PETERS surname was enough to take the match back to the common ancestors. I use One2Tree to convert my pedigree tree to an ahnentafel list that I import into GDAT.

Maternal matches on the HOLLY branch

As I marked maternal matches for E.D. with MRCA and added notes, a picture began to develop. Each MRCA was given a group name identifying the shared ancestral couple. These are the groups with the number of matches found in parenthesis (data from July 2022):

◉ Dempsey-Holly (11) – all descendants of Earl and Thelma (324 to 2139 cM)
◉ Holly-Parrish (1) – 1C1R, a descendant of Thelma’s sister (437 cM)
◉ Holly-Wray (17) – descendants of Sanford’s 1st marriage (12 to 249 cM)
◉ Holly-Ray (22) – descendants of Sanford’s 2nd marriage (14 to 246 cM)
◉ Holly-Rafe (6) – descendants of Sanford’s maternal grandparents (33 to 57 cM)
◉ Peters-Lively (215) – descendants of Zachariah and Kesiah (8 to 113 cM)

The closest matches were for Dempsey-Holly: E.D.’s children, grandchildren, nieces, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. These were followed by matches back through the HOLLY line to Holly-Rafe.

After finding the known ancestors, I was left with 215 matches in common with the HOLLY matches who are descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

The German PETERS line of Franklin County

As trees were added, built out, and analyzed, the absence of matches descending from the German PETERS line in Franklin County made itself clear and that line was not considered for this research question.

Matches with PETERS-LIVELY

The PETERS-LIVELY group ranges from 112.8 cM across 5 segments down to 8 cM across 1 segment with an average of 32 cM. There are likely many more but I concentrated on matches with trees and over 40 cM. The number of generations back to the PETERS-LIVELY couple indicates the 4th cousin range (sharing 3rd great-grandparents).

More matches below 40 cM with PETERS-LIVELY in their trees were found using GDAT features to sort matches, search their trees, etc.

The PETERS-LIVELY matches were split further. These are the children of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY (the number of matches found in parenthesis):

◉ Jordan N. thru his 1st marriage to Troup (166)*
◉ Jordan N. thru his 3rd marriage to Proffitt (25)
◉ Mary (0)
◉ William (5)
◉ Elizabeth (7)
◉ Lucy (0)
◉ Willis (42)*
◉ Joseph (1)
◉ Nancy (3)
◉ Susan (0)

*Note: Jordan’s granddaughter through his son Zachariah married Willis’ son and 29 matches come from this union. They are included in the total for both Jordan (166) and Willis (42).

Narrowing down to PETERS-TROUP

The largest amount of matches are descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and his first wife Mary TROUP. These matches were split further by the children of this marriage:

◉ Cynthia (5)
◉ Henry T. (23)
◉ Zachariah (73)
◉ Stephen (1) (+2 need to be proven)
◉ Mary (22)
◉ Jonathan (16)
◉ James (7)
◉ Jane (marriage and children have not been proven)
◉ Martha Ann (2)
◉ William (17)

Zachariah is represented by more matches than any of the other children of the PETERS-TROUP couple. The PETERS families were large. Zachariah married three times and was the father of 16 children. His father, also married three times and was the father of 21.

E.D.’s matches from highest to 50 cM were clustered

Before continuing I’d like to share the results of another tool I use. With Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool, I clustered E.D.’s top 333 matches (50 cM and greater).

After adding MRCA notes from GDAT to the Excel sheet of the clustered matches, I identified the four grandparents and used colors for visualization. PGF=blue, PGM=green, MGF=pink, and MGM=yellow. Color highlighting is not a feature of Shared Clustering.

E.D.’s 50 cM and greater matches clustered using Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool.

◉ Matches coming from the DEMPSEY branch were marked blue and lighter blue for more distant matches (Wood, Honaker, Wiseman).
◉ Matches coming from the INGRAM branch were marked green
◉ Matches coming from the HOLLY-RAY branch were marked bright pink
◉ Matches coming from the PARRISH branch were marked yellow
◉ Bright green indicates overlap in the DEMPSEY and INGRAM branches as two Dempsey brothers, William and Elijah, married Ingram sisters, Laura and Octavia.
◉ Purple is another group of matches that overlap. Descendants of DEMPSEY and HOLLY through the marriage of Samuel San HOLLY (son of Sanford) and Louisa A. DEMPSEY (a granddaughter of William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD).
◉ The large lighter pink cluster represents Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown paternal branch. Matches here include Holly-Parrish(1), Holly-Ray(3), Peters-Troup(26), Peters-Lively(19), and matches without trees(17).

The DNA picture was becoming clearer. PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY matches (50 cM and greater) point to the father of Sanford H. HOLLY being a PETERS.

DNA segments with PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY

Very few of the E.D.’s matches on AncestryDNA have their raw DNA files uploaded to GEDmatch. Below are 13 matches who have their tests on GEDmatch and have been identified as descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

Imagine what this would look like if the over 300 matches I’ve identified as descendants of PETERS-LIVELY AncestryDNA had their tests on GEDmatch or if Ancestry had a chromosome browser on their website.

Conclusion

And that is how Jack and Jill helped solve the Holly brick wall.

Taking into account the number of maternal matches E.D. has with descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and Mary TROUP in their trees, the DNA evidence clearly points to this couple being the grandparents of Sanford H. HOLLY. The largest group of matches are the descendants of their son Zachariah. Further, Zachariah PETERS seen as Jackson PETERS on the death records of two of his children may have also been called Jack PETERS.

Considering all of the above, it is likely that Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924).

© 2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1864, no page number, line 14, Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray (accessed 14 June 2022). 
  2. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1861, no page number, line 1, Thomas J Loyd and Martha Jane Holly, married 21 Apr 1861 (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  3. Dodd, Jordan R., Et Al.; Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, index-only database, Ancestry, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 1 Nov 1809, James Holley and Elizabeth Rafe 
  4. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll T623_1757, FHL microfilm 1241757; West Virginia, Fayette County, Fayetteville, enumeration district 12, sheet 32A, lines 15-28, household 533-539, John Stout household with his father-in-law Sanford Holly (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  5. Zachariah was first seen on the Franklin County PPT list in 1811. He was last in Amherst on the PPT list in 1804. From 1805 to 1810 he was not on Amherst or Franklin PPT lists. 
  6. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  7. Paula Kelly Ward, RootsWeb PETERS Mailing List, “[PETERS] Re: Franklin Co VA Peters: German or English? (was: Zachariah Peters)” dated 19 April 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=peters&thread=31401154 : accessed 25 July 2022) 
  8. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fayette County), “Personal property tax lists, 1831-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024536, DGS 7849112, image 416 of 589, 1846 PPT, district of George Alderson, page 19, 3rd to last entry on page, Jordan Peters, 1 white male above 16 yrs (only column marked). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQK-19JW-8?cat=777450 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  9. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 758 to 761 of 880, 1841 marriage bond William Peters and Jesse Edwards for the 27 March 1841 marriage of William to Lydia Kemplin and bride’s permission for William Peters to obtain the license. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HJZD?i=758&cat=765574 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  10. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Franklin County), “Personal property tax lists, 1786-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024543, DGS 7849118, Personal property tax lists, 1842-1850, image 206 of 767, 1845 PPT, Robert Hairston dist., page 33, line 13, Apr 4, Jourden Peters 3 white males above 16, 1 horse, 1 clock. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQ2-39CM-Y?i=205&cat=776095 : accessed 21 July 2022). 
  11. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584764, image 210, Fayette County, Marriage Record 1831-1866, page 41, 5th entry, Henry T Peters and Rebecca F Clay married 2 Feb 1847 by James J Dolliver. (http://images.wvculture.org/584764/00210.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  12. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3274, Zachariah Peters and Ally Hale, bond dated 27 Nov 1846, surety David Hale, married by John Bowman 3 Dec 1846. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3270, Stephen Peters and Elizabeth Palmer, bond dated3 Jan 1848, surety Samuel T Palmer, married by Geo. W. Kelly on 13 Jan 1848. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  14. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 598403, image 53, Marriage Record – Raleigh County, page 5, entry 6, 7 Jun 1852 (license) for Jonathan Peters and Catharine Dickens married 10 Jun 1852 by Fetin Ellison. (http://images.wvculture.org/598403/00053.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  15. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324,  Roll 168, Twenty-first Cavalry (Peters’ Regiment) > P > Peters, Zachariah > Page 4. (https://www.fold3.com/document.php?doc=7624373&xid=215&p=ma : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  16. James Peters (Boone County, West Virginia) to “Dear Brother” [Zachariah Peters], letter, 5 November 1870; held by Franklin County Virginia Historical Society, Rocky Mount, Virginia (copy received 9 June 2014 per email from Paula Kelley Ward). The recipient, “Zechariah Peters” is identified at the end of the letter. 
  17. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Births 1854, page 29, line 24, 4 Jul 1854, Geo. W. Peters, male, alive, father Zach Peters, mother Alen Hale, informant Z Peters (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1862, page 145, line 35, 23 Aug 1862, no name, female, white, stillborn, father Zack Peters, farmer, mother Ann Peters, informant Zack Peters father (accessed 25 July 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1875, page 318, line 97, 26 Feb 1875, Martha E Peters, female, white, father Zack Peters, mother Narcissus Peters, informant father (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  20. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1924, no page number, line 177, 24 Dec 1924, Chas.Robt.Peters 30 single & Willie Mae Hash 22 single, groom’s parents Zack & N V Peters, bride’s parents W P & Roxie Hash, married by J W Wimbish (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  21. “Registers of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1915; index to births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1898,” browse-only, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia., Film 31523 (Items 2-3) DGS 7578970, Register of marriages, nos. 1-2 1853-1915, image 590 of 608, line 7, 14 Aug 1912 Jehu Robt Booth and Bessie Lee Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-V6FL?i=589 : accessed 18 July 2022). 
  22. “North Carolina, U.S., Death Certificates, 1909-1976,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1121/), Original data:North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Rockingham > 1961 > November > image 3 of 54 > Volume: 33, Page: 306, Charles R. Peters, died 2 No 1961, Rockingham, NC, age 67, born 1894, white (accessed 18 July 2022). 
  23. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate Number: 1927024373, James Jordan Peters, male, white, age 79, born 3 Mar 1848, died 22 Nov 1927 in Franklin, Virginia, father James Z Peters, mother Alley Hale, spouse Mary Jane Peters (accessed 1 October 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1920010546, Mary J Peters, female, white, age 69, born 9 Jun 1850, died 21 Apr 1920 in Floyd, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, mother Allie Hale (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1927017432, Joseph Coleman Peters, male, white, age 61, born 13 Nov 1865, died 26 Aug 1927 in Botetourt, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, spouse Lillian Peters (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  26. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92078774/zachariah-jackson-peters: accessed 01 October 2022), memorial page for Zachariah Jackson Peters (14 May 1822–15 Feb 1899), Find a Grave Memorial ID 92078774, citing Peters Cemetery, Ferrum, Franklin County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by gardengirl (contributor 47349735). No photo of the marker as of 1 October 2022. 

Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines

Last Sunday I gave feedback to Ancestry on my ThruLines™. As I was writing the feedback message I realized it might be good material for a blog post. At the end of the feedback message, I let them know I might use it in a post.

Dear Ancestry, My Feedback on the Step Relationship Bug in ThruLines sat around in my drafts until Wednesday. I took a few moments to check my ThruLines™ as I’ve done every few days since they came out – getting more and more irritated.

Wowsers! Those ugly grrr!! images I’d added to my great-grandfather’s step-mother and all of her ancestors are missing.

Could it be Ancestry took my feedback into consideration and got the step-relationships fixed? Had they been ready to roll out a fix before or after I sent my feedback? Does it matter? Well, yes, I would like to know why it happened so quickly following the feedback I gave. I want to know if this step relationship bug in the ThruLines™ was solved for everyone or just for me.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

I’m seeing Milla Susan PETERS as my great-great-grandmother. I’ve been hoping to see her ever since they gave me Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON, the 2nd wife of Gordon Washington ROOP, as a potential 2nd-great-grandmother showing half-cousins as full cousins.

Why, you ask, was I so excited about one ancestor being corrected? One right ancestor means I should be seeing her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents in my ThruLines™. All of these ancestors are from lines with many descendants who have had their DNA tested.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

Although Milla Susan’s ThruLines shows only two DNA matches, the next generations have many more matches:

  • 107 DNA matches through Jordan N. PETERS (father of Milla Susan)
  • 33 DNA matches through Rachel PROFFITT (mother of Milla Susan)
  • 68 DNA matches through Zachariah PETERS (father of Jordan)
  • 129 DNA matches through Kesiah LIVELY (mother of Jordan)
  • 113 DNA matches through David PROFFITT (father of Rachel)
  • 110 DNA matches through Sarah COCKRAM (mother of Rachel)
  • 123 DNA matches through Joseph LIVELY (father of Kesiah)
  • 128 DNA matches through Mary L. CASH (mother of Kesiah)
  • 97 DNA matches through Augustine “Austin” PROFFITT (father of David)
  • 97 DNA matches through Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON (mother of David)
  • 231 DNA matches through Edward COCKRAM (father of Sarah)
  • 232 DNA matches through Mary WORTHAM (mother of Sarah)

It’ll take time to confirm each match is a descendant of the ancestor he/she is listed under as the lines down are only as reliable as the trees ThruLines™ uses to make the connection. The large number of matches for the PETERS, LIVELY, PROFFITT, and COCKRAM lines was expected due to the families being large and having many descendants.

But wait! Not only was the step-relationship corrected for Milla Susan PETERS, but I am now seeing  <<drumroll>>

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as my 2nd great-grandparents. They’ve been missing from the ThruLines™ since they came out.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William is my most frustrating brick wall. Sarah Ann’s branch and all matches associated with it are very important. I hope they will help me to sort out all the matches for her side.  This would leave only matches which will point to William’s unknown parents and ancestry. At least that is the way I believe it should work. ThruLines™ is showing potential parents for him which I cannot accept at this time.

Sarah Ann WOOD’s ancestry is bringing in many matches which will also have to be verified.

  • 41 DNA matches through William A. W. DEMPSEY.
  • 45 DNA matches through Sarah Ann WOOD (wife of William A. W.)
  • 87 DNA matches through Elijah WOOD (father of Sarah Ann)
  • 93 DNA matches through Rachel HONAKER (mother of Sarah Ann)
  • 92 DNA matches through William WOOD (father of Elijah)
  • 90 DNA matches through Mary Ann McGRAW (mother of Elijah)
  • 162 DNA matches through Frederick HONAKER (father of Rachel)
  • 154 DNA matches through Rachel WISEMAN (mother of Rachel)
  • 70 DNA matches through Bailey WOOD (father of William)
  • 95 DNA matches through Nancy _____ (mother of William)
  • 147 DNA matches through Martin McGRAW (father of Mary Ann)
  • 109 DNA matches through Margaret “Polly” _____ (mother of Mary Ann)
  • 173 DNA matches through Hans Jacob HONEGGER (father of Frederick)
  • 30 DNA matches through Maria GOETZ (mother of Frederick)
  • 202 DNA matches through Isaac WISEMAN (father of Rachel)
  • 204 DNA matches through Elizabeth DAVIS (mother of Rachel)

Another New Feature

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

ThruLines™ are now connected to the tree linked to a DNA test. On the pedigree view of the tree, there is now a DNA symbol in on the left to turn on this feature which adds a little blue ThruLines™ icon next to the ancestors’ names. William, Sarah, and Milla are ThruLines™ ancestors but in the pedigree view above they haven’t been updated. I discovered this about the same time my ThruLines™ were fixed on Wednesday.

Did the feedback I sent on Sunday to Ancestry on the ThruLines™ help them to get this fixed? I will likely never know. But I believe this was a lesson in giving the best feedback possible to help the team to get ThruLines™ working correctly. As I wrote in my feedback to them, ThruLines™ could be a powerful tool.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Don’t Ignore New Ancestor Discoveries

NewAncestorDiscoveries2We found potential new ancestors—just by looking at your DNA.

A month after my brother’s AncestryDNA results came in I started seeing New Ancestor Discoveries. These are potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in the attached family tree on the DNA page.

I found this a bit misleading until I realized what we can do with these “shaky leaves” from Ancestry.

The first one to pop up was for the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle. It had 15 members and 3 had DNA matches with my brother. I say “had” because after a few weeks it disappeared.

However, before it disappeared the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle showed up with nearly the same members as the Boles circle. At first, I was stumped by the names Mary Ann BURKS and Alexander McDonald BOLES. They could hardly be potential new ancestors as they were born around 1852, a time period in which all my ancestors are known and well documented.

In the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle are 13 members, 3 of these have matches with my brother. One match belongs to a larger family group of 10 persons – none of the others in this group match my brother.

NewAncestorDiscoveries3After taking a look at the trees of L. and G., two of the matches, I discovered the connection. The Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle had shown up because he was the father of Mary Ann BURKS’ children – but they were not married.

NewAncestorDiscoveries1One of their children, J.P. “Hard” BURKS, has been in my database for a dozen years. He was married to Susie REELS, daughter of Isaac “Ike” REELS and Margaret Ann WEAVER. Because I do a lot of collateral research the surname REELS was familiar to me and I knew right away where this was taking me.

Genealogy Happy Dance

In 2004 and 2007 I corresponded with David, a descendant (2nd great-grandson) of Ike REELS through his son Millard Green REELS.

At the time I was part of a group of PETERS researchers working together under the guidance of Paula Kelley Ward who has been doing genealogy for over 40 years. We have her to thank for the work she did on Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 pension file.

When David first contacted me we were not certain if the wife of Andrew REEL, Susannah PETERS, was a daughter of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY of Franklin County, Virginia. Born about 1815 she was the right age to be their youngest daughter. However, at the time there were two groups of PETERS families in Franklin County which further complicated matters. One of English ancestry (ours) and the other being of German ancestry. By process of elimination, we determined Susannah had to be the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents, Zach and Keziah.

I needed more than finding the REEL/REELS surname in the families trees of these people who have matches with my brother. When I checked the Shared Matches I found L. and my brother had 4 shared matches – 3 of these have very small or no family trees attached. The 4th has 6 DNA Circle connections with my brother which point to the PETERS family.

ancestorcirclesG. has two shared matches with my brother. One of these has a private tree but since our PETERS group had worked on the collateral lines I recognized her as a descendant of my Jordan N. PETERS through his first wife Mary “Polly” TROUP. As her tree is private she is not in the DNA Circles.

I believe these DNA matches are further proof of the connection between Susannah PETERS, wife of Andrew REEL, and her until now assumed parents, Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY. I contacted David, L., and G. about my discovery and am waiting to hear back from them.

Don’t wait to check out your New Ancestor Discoveries. Take a good look at them as soon as they appear because they might disappear as quickly as they showed up. If a circle does disappear and you didn’t have time to look into it, don’t despair. It may show up again. While I was finishing up this post the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle reappeared!

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Sarah’s Name

True's statementMy series of posts for Black History Month on the slaves owned by my 5th
great-grandfather James SIMS 1754-1845 gave Schalene Jennings Dagutis of
Tangled Roots and Trees the wonderful idea of creating a Slave Name Roll Project. I plan to do a similar post with slaves names on a monthly basis until I’ve been able to RELEASE all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors. Today I am RELEASING Sarah and 19 other slaves.

My 5th great-grandfather Joseph LIVELY (1735-1793) died intestate in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1793. (Note: The area he lived in is now part of Nelson County, Virginia.) Letters of administration were granted his son Mark LIVELY on 22 October 1793 with John HILL and William HILL as bondsmen.

An inventory of the estate of Joseph LIVELY made on 16 December 1793 included a considerable number of livestock, an old negro woman Sarah, a negro woman Betty, and a negro boy George.

I don’t have the original documents or a transcript which would most likely include, if the slaves were sold, the names of the purchasers. Or did they remain with the widow and/or the children? On 19 August 1797 the Joseph LIVELY estate sale was held and a few relatives and many neighbors bought items. Subsequently the estate was settled but no record of final partition was included in the Amherst County probate records.
[Source: Amherst Co. Wills, 3:282, 293, 450]

Moving back in time, Joseph LIVELY paid personal property taxes in Amherst County from 1782 to 1793. Personal property included one slave who was most likely the  “old negro woman Sarah” mentioned in the inventory of his estate in 1793. I believe this name and her being an older woman are important. Was Betty her daughter and George her grandson?

Joseph LIVELY was married to Mary L. CASH, a daughter of Robert Howard CASH and Ruth Walker EPPINGTON. Howard CASH left a very detailed will in 1772 in which he named 17 slaves, including “a negro wench named Sarah” who was given to his daughter Mary LIVELY. Was the “wench named Sarah” in 1772 the same person as the “old woman Sarah” in 1793 and was she sold in 1797? If Betty and George were part of her family, did they remain with her?

Below is the abstract of Robert Howard CASH Sr.’s will which includes the slave names: Joseph, Cate, James, Charles, Sall, Dinah, Dick, David, Phil, Dick, Sarah, James, Fillis, Peg, John, Ralph, and Nell. This brings the total to 20 slave names for this post.

WILL OF HOWARD CASH of Amherst County, Virginia [Will Bk 1:228-231].
As abstracted from microfilm by Thelma Faye Cain Prince (website is no longer online)

In the name of God Amen.  I, Howard CASH, of the county of Amherst, being sick and weak of body, but of sound and perfect state of mind and memory and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

First, I lend my wife, Ruth, eight negroes during her natural life, namely, Joseph, Cate, James, Charles, Sall, Dinah, Dick, and David.

Item.  I lend to my beloved wife during her life the land and plantation whereon I live, which said land and negroes  I lend to my wife during widowhood or natural life.

Item.  I give to my son, Joel, one hundred acres land joining the land on which he lives and 2 negroes named [at this point there is a slight error in the transcription, a condensed version found includes the name Phil. It is possible that more than the name is missing, perhaps an entire line] Dick, a boy, I give to my grandson, Howard, the son of Joel CASH, after the death of my son, Joel, to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give to my daughter, Mary LIVELY, a negro wench named Sarah.

Item.  I give to my son, Benjamin, 400 acres land adjacent to land that is at present the property of Capt.  Aaron Higginbotham, and the land whereon I now live, also a negro fellow named James, whom I purchased of W. Thomas Mitchell.

Item.  I lend to my daughter, Rosanna, a negro wench named Fillis during her life and after her decease to my grandson, Micajah (her and her increase to him and his heirs forever).

Item.  I lend to my daughter Ann POWELL, a negro wench named Peg during her life and after her decease to the heirs of her body and if she dies without issue my will is that the said negro her increase may descend to the children of my daughter, Rosanna.

Item.  I give to my son, Robert, 240 acres land lying between the land whereon I live and Stephen Cash’s  land, moreover, I give to my son, Robert, 400 acres land which I left to my wife, after her decease, a negro boy named John and also a bed and furniture and 2 cows.

Item.  I give to my daughter, Mary Ann, a negro boy named Ralph and also a bed and furniture and a cow and a calf.

Item.  My will and desire is that my daughter, Elizabeth NUCKLES, may have 30 pounds to be raised out of my estate which I have willed to my wife, to be paid in ten years by an order for 3 pounds a year upon some merchant as soon as it becomes due.  I give to my daughter, Ruth, a negro girl named Nell and her increase to her and her heirs for ever and also a bed and furniture and a cow and a calf.

Item.  I give to my son, Stephen, 5 shillings and I give to my daughter Sarah MANZE (sic, MAYS), 5 shillings.

Item.  My will after the decease of my wife, Ruth, is that two negroes, James and Charles, may descend to my son,  Joel, and Joseph and Cate to my son, Benjamin, and two negroes, Sall and Davie, to my son, Robert.

Item.  My will is that after the decease of myself and my wife, the increase of Sall if any may be equally divided between my daughters, Mary Ann and Ruth, and if either of said daughters should depart this life unmarried or before they arrive to lawful age, the survivor of them should possess the issue of the negro woman.

Item.  The residue of my estate which I have not already devised may go to my beloved wife during her life and after her decease to be equally divided between my three sons, Joel, Benjamin, and Robert.

Item.  I do not desire that my estate be appraised and I appoint my beloved wife, executrix, and my sons, Joel, Benjamin, and Robert, executors of this last Will and Testament.

Test:  Roderick McCulloch David Crawford           s/Howard CASH (seal)
28 Feb. 1772

Sworn to by the oaths of Roderick McCulloch and David Crawford and ordered to be recorded.  To executors, Ruth CASH, Joel CASH, Benjamin CASH, and Robert CASH, a certificate granted them for obtaining probate in due form, which they with Richard Powell, Gabriel Penn, their securities, entered into and acknowledged bond of 2000 pounds.   s/Edmund Wilcox, Clerk of Court.
6 Oct. 1772.  Amherst Co. Va.

ADMINISTRATION OF RUTH CASH [Amherst Co. Va.  Order Bk 1782-84:205-206] On the motion of Hendrick Arnold, Adm. of the estate of Ruth CASH, Dec’d is granted him, who with Caleb Higginbotham, his Security entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of One Thousand Pounds, took the Oath required by law and ordered to be recorded.
March Court 1784

Jacob Symth, John Karr, Nathaniel Hill and John Hill (or any 3 of them) they being first sworn are appointed to appraise in current money the slaves and personal estate of Ruth CASH deceased and return an inventory thereof to this court.

Note: The will has been found attached to family trees without credit being given to the person who transcribed it. I believe that Thelma Faye Cain Prince originally did the transcription work and would like to give her credit. Permission to use this abstract was requested 28 March 2015 through Thelma F. Prince’s guestbook on her website Our Southern Ancestors (no longer online as of 25 May 2016). The entry does not show up in the guestbook as of 29 March and is most likely awaiting moderation. I also sent an email to Mrs. Prince at an address used in 2006 on the 29th – it has not bounced.

If you have images or photocopies of this will, I would appreciate hearing from you. I believe a line may be missing in the will abstract as noted in red above. I have not done very much research on my CASH and LIVELY lines as documentation is not easily accessible due to my location.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Go to the Original SOURCE!?

Diane Gould Hall wrote a wonderful post on her blog Michigan Family Trails on FamilySearch’s Photo Duplication Service in July 2014. I put off trying out the service until the end of October. Bad move on my part as FamilySearch has decided to discontinue this service.

Living overseas I don’t have easy access to libraries and archives in the USA. I was really looking forward to sending in 5 requests per month and planned to be very selective. I’ve requested five duplications and received replies within about a week to 10 days (one is still pending).

The reply to my fourth request came late last night. In my 52 Ancestors: #46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran I wrote:

Mr. Webb suggested that as a young, single man, Zachariah may have found work outside of the county of his birth, returning to Amherst County to marry and settle down, at least until he moved to Franklin County, Virginia. This could in fact be a good possibility as I recently received this listing of marriage bonds of Amherst County in which the groom was listed as being from Bedford County. I submitted a photo duplication request for the marriage record found in  “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940″ on FamilySeach.org. Will it have more information? I’ve only used this service a few times and so far all requests were received between 7-9 days. At this rate I should have it in time for 52 Ancestors: #47 Kesiah LIVELY, wife of Zachariah PETERS.

1794marriage
Courtesy of Sylvia Peters Rogers received per email 14 Nov 2014.

The request did not come, as I had hoped, in time for
52 Ancestors: #47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R – Kesiah LIVELY.
And it wasn’t what I expected!

18 Nov 1794 Peters-Lively Marriage record  007578824_00382
Image received from FamilySearch per email on 25 Nov 2014 for this record: “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR77-9B7 : accessed 26 Nov 2014), Zacherias Peters and Kesiah Lively, 18 Nov 1794; citing Amherst County, Virginia, reference 97; FHL microfilm 30273.

In a close-up of the entry for the marriage of Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY we see that both the bride and groom were of Amherst Parish in Amherst County, Virginia.

marriage
Close-up of entry for Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY

This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen this handwriting! Another ancestor married in Amhert County in 1829 and that ledger page is in the same handwriting. On the old Rootsweb mailing list for Amherst County I found a post by from 2000 which explains the handwriting being the same. About 1998 or earlier the old bonds were copied to a ledger before being sent Richmond for filming. This appears to be a page from that ledger.

I was hoping that the image I received from FamilySearch would answer my question about where Zachariah PETERS was living at the time of his marriage. However the first list of bonds indicates that he was from Bedford County while the ledger says that he was “of Amherst Parish.” Both of these are secondary sources and conflict.

The trail to the original documents – bond, permission, minister’s return – appears to lead to the Library of Virginia or perhaps Amherst Courthouse if a copy of the microfilm is kept there.

As the best form of evidence is the original record, I may have to rely on the kindness of a cousin to look up the microfilm at the Library of Virginia and send me an image of the record(s).

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #46 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#46 Zachariah PETERS of Franklin County, Virginia, Father of a War of 1812 Veteran

Zachariah PETERS was born between 1766-1770 in Amherst County, Virginia, and died between 1830-1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although considerable genealogy research has been done by others, his parents are to date not known or proven.

Paula Kelley Ward (1942-2022), who is to be credited for her work on this family, hired Andrew S. Webb, of Lineages, Inc., to do research in 2001-2002. After seven sessions of research, Mr. Webb concluded that circumstantial evidence suggests that John PETERS was the father of Zachariah PETERS as well as James PETERS (~1765-1823) and Elisha PETERS (~1773-1862).1

First, let’s analyze the census and tax lists to determine when my 4th great-grandfather Zachariah was born. The estimation “between 1766-1770” was made from the age ranges seen on the 1810 to 1830 census of Franklin County, Virginia.

◉ 1810 – age 26 & under 45 (1766 or later)2
◉ 1820 – age 45 & over (1775 or earlier > 1766-1775)3
◉ 1830 – age 60 & under 70 (between 1761-1770 > 1766-1770)4

If the age range was correct in these three census years then he should have appeared in personal property tax lists beginning no later than 1791. Mr. Webb wrote in his report on the first session, “Personal property tax lists of Amherst County, Virginia, were searched for anyone with the surname PETERS or PETER.” He found and listed all PETERS men for the years 1788 to 1797. Zachariah was found on:

◉ 18 June 1793  with 1 tithable, 3 horses
◉ 1794 – not found
◉ 13 Apr 1795 with 1 tithable, 2 horses
◉ 15 May 1796 with 1 tithable, 1 horse
◉ 21 Jul 1797 with 1 tithable, 0 horses

Why did Zachariah go from having 3 horses to two to one to none? Even though I don’t have an answer, I had to ask the question.

Surviving personal tax records for Virginia counties starting in 1782 are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia or through interlibrary loan. UPDATE: In March 2021 I discovered the Personal Property tax lists for nearly all Virginia and West Virginia counties are online at FamilySearch up to at least 1851. Zachariah’s listings were checked in Amherst and Franklin counties but have not been included in this post.

Zachariah was on the Personal Property Tax list of Amherst County, Virginia, in 1790.5 In this case, Zachariah was a white tithable listed with the taxpayer Thomas NEVIL, the white tithable over the age of twenty-one.6 As Zachariah was not the person charged with tax he most likely was a tithable between the age of sixteen and twenty-one. What can this mean? Is there a family relationship between Zachariah PETERS and Thomas NEVIL or his wife of two years Elizabeth TILLER?

1790taxpeters
1790 Personal Property Tax List A > Amherst County, Virginia

Mr. Webb missed Zachariah PETERS in 1790. In his report, he wrote, “The appearance of Zachariah in Amherst in 1793 suggests that he lived in another county before 1793.” He does not speculate on why he was not on the 1794 tax list.

I suspect that Mr. Webb consulted only the pages with surnames beginning with P. If he had searched through all pages he would have found Zachariah in 1790. I realize that a hired researcher works under the restraints of the client’s purse and doesn’t have the time to search page for page.

This brings up the question: Was Zachariah perhaps listed with another taxpayer in 1791 and 1792 as he was with Thomas NEVIL in 1790? I don’t think Zachariah was with a NEVIL or NEVILLE individual as researchers Shirley L Wilcox and Jan Faulkner on the NEVILLE mailing list discussed the tax records of the NEVIL(LE) family in January and February 2000 and mentioned only finding Zachariah PETERS in 1790 with Thomas NEVIL.7 I discovered this conversation only after viewing the 1790 tax lists online. As of 3 November 2022, I have reviewed the Amherst PPT lists from A to Z for 1791 and 1792. Negative results on Zachariah PETERS.

Mr. Webb suggested that as a young, single man, Zachariah may have found work outside of the county of his birth, returning to Amherst County to marry and settle down, at least until he moved to Franklin County, Virginia. This could in fact be a good possibility as I recently received this listing of marriage bonds of Amherst County in which the groom Zachariah was listed as being from Bedford County. I submitted a photo duplication request for the marriage record found in  “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940” on FamilySeach. Will it have more information? I’ve only used this service a few times and so far all requests were received between 7-9 days. At this rate, I should have it in time for 52 Ancestors: #47 Kesiah LIVELY, wife of Zachariah PETERS. [UPDATE 26 November 2014: There is an error in the transcript of the marriages (see image below). Zachariah PETERS was not from Bedford County. Follow this link for the reveal.]

1794marriage
Courtesy of Sylvia Rogers.

Zacharias PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY were married in Amherst County on 18 November 1794. The bondsman (surety) on the marriage bond was Austin WOODY. The marriage was celebrated by the Rev. Ezekiel CAMPBELL. 8

Two years later, on 21 November 1796, Zacharias and Kesiah were seen selling her portion of her father Joseph LIVELY’s estate, 44 acres in Amherst County, to William LOVING.9

1799taxpeters
1799 Personal Property Tax List A > Amherst County, Virginia

The image for the 1799 Personal Property Tax List shows Zachariah followed by Elisha PETERS. As the lists are in alphabetical order one cannot tell if they lived close to one another or not. However, on the earlier tax lists viewed by Mr. Webb, Elisha and Zachariah were visited the same day in 1795 indicating that they must have lived close to each other.

On 7 February 1800 Zachariah PETERS and Elisha PETERS were witnesses on a land deed for 180 acres from Rich. BREEDLOVE and his wife Mildred to Nelson ANDERSON. The land adjoined Jno. BALL, Wm. KEY, Glade road, Wm. CABELL, Jas. NEVIL, Thos. KEYS. Witnesses were Zach. NEVIL, Elisha PETERS, Zach. PETERS, Carel EADS.10

Once again the NEVIL name comes up as well as KEY and KEYS. Were they only neighbors or is there a closer relationship? Mr. Webb, in his research report, noted several instances where John PETERS, the suspected parent of James, Zachariah, and Elisha, had also been named on documents with NEVIL individuals.

Zachariah’s Possible Parentage and Siblings

A closer analysis of abstracted records that were found previously found evidence suggesting that James, Zachariah, and Elisha PETERS were the sons of John PETERS. John does not appear to have owned land in Amherst County, but the deeds that he witnessed give a fairly clear picture of where and when he lived. John lived in the same area in which James, Zachariah, and Elisha lived. John was also closely associated with many of the same people and families with which Elisha and Zachariah were closely associated. John appears to have lived as an adult in Amherst County from 1761 through 1772. John might have died about 1773, leaving at least three very young children.11

This was one of the summaries made by Mr. Webb in his research reports which totaled 77 pages. In another summary he wrote:

Although no document clearly stating their relationship has been found yet, their ages suggest that they might have been brothers, with James born about 1765, Zachariah born between 1765 and 1770, and Elisha born in 1772. All three owned land in what is today the southern part of Nelson County.12

Without going into this any further I would like to give a brief run-through of the persons who may be the father and brothers of Zachariah PETERS.

◉ Father: John PETERS (1730- ) Birth Abt 1730/1731 in England. In September 1755, John PETER enlisted in Captain David BELL’s Company in Albemarle County. John was twenty-four years old, and five feet, four and a half inches tall. He was a weaver by occupation. John was born in England, was dark with black hair and was pitted with smallpox.13

◉ Sibling 1: James PETERS (1765-1823) was born about 1765. He married Elizabeth STEVENS (1776-1850) on 11 March 1793 in Amherst County, Virginia.14 He died on 1 November 1823 in Nelson County, Virginia.15

◉ Sibling 2: Elisha PETERS (1773-1862) was born about 1773. He married(1) Jane TILLER (d. bef. 1806) on 1 June 1792 in Amherst County, Virginia.16 He married(2) Cynthia TURNER on 17 February 1806 in Amherst County.17 Elisha died before 24 Mar 1862 in Bedford County, Virginia.18

DNA May Put a New Spin on Zachariah’s Ancestry

A descendant of Elisha PETERS and Cynthia TURNER has done autosomal DNA testing and has a match with a descendant of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY. He wrote, “Ancestry.com said there was a 95% confidence level that [the test person] is a 4th to 6th cousin. By the birth dates, Zachariah and Elisha would be either brothers or cousins.” When it comes to DNA I am lacking in knowledge and, although normally optimistic, I wonder if the connection might be for another ancestor. [Update: Since this writing, my brother (May 2016) and I (Sep 2019) have both had our autosomal DNA tested with AncestryDNA. On average, we receive less than 1% DNA from our 5th great-grandparents.]

Sylvia Peters Rogers who shared the page with the Amherst marriage bonds (above) wrote on 14 November 2014, “You might be interested to know that before my father’s nephew’s death, he submitted 2 DNA samples for analysis.  Both proved to be closer in match to men with the surnames of KEY and MUNDY.” We have not discussed this further and Mundy is a name I haven’t run across.

From Amherst County to Franklin County

We know that Zachariah PETERS remained in Amherst County until 1804 when he was last seen in the Personal Property Tax lists of the county. While living in Amherst, Zachariah and his wife Kesiah had at least four children. My 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS (1796-1890) born 10 October 1796 was most likely their firstborn.19

By 1810 Zachariah had moved his little family to Franklin County, Virginia, where he was seen in the census with 4 sons, 4 daughters, and his wife Kesiah. His family was no longer little!

1810censuspeters
1810 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1810 U.S. Federal Census20
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males under 10 yo (Willis & son b. 1801-1810)
2 males 10 & under 15 yo (Jordan & William)
1 male 26 & under 45 (Zachariah)
2 females under 10 yo (Elizabeth & Lucy)
2 females 10 & under 15 (Mary and daughter b. bet. 1796-1800)
1 female 26 & under 45 (Kesiah)

1820censuspeters
1820 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census21
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males under 10 yo (Joseph b. 1810 and 1 son b. 1811-1815)
1 male 45 yo & upwards (Zachariah)
2 females under 10 yo (Susan and Nancy)
2 females 10 & under 16 yo (Elizabeth and Lucy)
2 females 16 & under 26 yo (Mary and daughter b. bet. 1796-1800)
1 female 45 yo & upwards ( Kesiah)
1 person engaged in commerce

1830censuspeters
1830 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Franklin [ancestry.com]
1830 U.S. Federal Census22
Franklin County, Virginia
Zachariah Peters
2 males 15 & under 20 yo (Joseph and son b. 1811-1815)
1 male 60 & under 70 yo (Zachariah range 1761-1770)
1 female under 5 yo (granddaughter?)
2 females 15 & under 20 yo (Susan and Nancy)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (daughter b. bet. 1796-1800?)
1 female 50 & under 60 yo (Kesiah)

At this time not all of Zachariah and Kesiah’s children are known by name. These are the known and unknown children:

◉ Ch 1: Jordan N. PETERS was born on 10 October 1796. Jordan married(1) Mary “Polly” TROUP (1799-1837) on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jordan married(2) Sarah COX ( -1841) on 15 August 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jordan N. PETERS married(3) Rachel PROFFITT (1817-1899) on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County, Virginia. He died on 14 October 1890 in Nettle Ridge, Patrick County, Virginia.23

◉ Ch 2: Mary PETERS born bet. 1796-1800. Mary married Samuel SMITH (1800-1884) on 18 December 1823 in Franklin County, Virginia. Her brother William PETERS was surety.24

◉ Ch 3: _____ PETERS (female) born bet. 1796-1800 (per census)

◉ Ch 4: William PETERS was born about 1798. William married Alice “Alla” TROUP (1795-1841) on 12 December 1818 in Franklin County, Virginia.25 William married(2) Lydia KEMPLIN (1821-1866) on 27 March 1841 in Franklin County, Virginia. Jesse EDWARDS, the husband of Betsy, was surety for the marriage which took place after Zachariah PETERS’ death.26

◉ Ch 5: Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS born about 1805. Betsy married Jesse EDWARDS (1803-1870) on 17 June 1826 in Franklin County, Virginia. Zachariah PETERS was surety.27 She died between 1880-1890.

◉ Ch 6: Lucy PETERS was born about 1807. Lucy married Joseph JARRELL (1807- ) on 4 October 1827 in Franklin County, Virginia. Zachariah PETERS was surety.28 They may have gone to Tennessee.

◉ Ch 7: _____ PETERS (male) born bet. 1801-1810 (per census)

◉ Ch 8: Willis PETERS born 23 Apr 1808. Willis married Ruth SMITH (1809-1884) on 21 March 1829 in Franklin County, Virginia.29 He died on 30 March 1882 in Franklin County, Virginia. His death record names Zachariah and Keziah PETERS as his parents.30

◉ Ch 9: Joseph PETERS born 10 Dec 1810. Joseph married Martha “Patsy” SMITH (1811-1888) on 1 September 1830 in Franklin County, Virginia.31 He died on 14 February 1892 in Rocky Station, Lee County, Virginia.32

◉ Ch 10: _____ PETERS (male) born bet. 1811-1815 (per census)

◉ Ch 11: Nancy PETERS born bet. 1812. She married Reuben COOPER on 2 December 1836 in Franklin County, Virginia.33

◉ Ch 12: Susan PETERS was born about 1815. Susan married Andrew REEL (1813-1870) on 16 October 1839 in Franklin County, Virginia.34 Her father was most likely already deceased as Wm Hixon went bond. Susan died after 1880.

Research of the Zachariah PETERS’ family is made more difficult by the fact that another group of people of German origin with the surname PETERS were living in Franklin County when Zachariah moved there.

Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY died sometime after the 1830 census and before the 1840 census with Zachariah likely being the first to pass away.

This Post was Updated on 13 November 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Andrew S. Webb of Lineages Inc., “Research Reports (#38772 – Ward),” prepared for Paula Kelley Ward (1942-2022), dated 30 July 2001, 17 Sep 2001, 1 Oct 2001, 17 Dec 2001, 21 Jan 2002, 18 Mar 2002, and 29 April 2002; digital copy held by Cathy Meder-Dempsey. 
  2. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, NARA Roll M252_68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Franklin County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014).
  3. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_136, Virginia, Franklin County, sheet 160 (stamped), line 25, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014).
  4. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, NARA Roll M19_192, FHL Film: 0029671, Virginia, Franklin County, page 86 (double-page spread), line 24, Zachariah Peters (accessed 10 February 2007). 
  5. Binns Genealogy 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses  (https://web.archive.org/web/20210812034142/https://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/ : 5 November 2022). Stephen Binns, the site owner, passed away in June 2020. Information on the website is no longer freely available. 
  6. “Personal property tax lists, 1782-1851,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/775689), citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024457, DGS 7846299, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1803, image 195 of 615, 1790 PPT List A, page 22, line 8, Thomas Nevil and Zachariah Peters 2 0 0 0. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-2Q6M?i=194&cat=775689 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  7. Shirley Langdon Wilcox and Jan Faulker, RootsWeb Mailing List Archives, Neville Surname Mailing List, “[NEVILLE-L] Amherst Co VA Tax” dated 26 January 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=neville&thread=12502791 : accessed 4 November 2021) and “Re: [NEVILLE-L] Amherst Co VA Tax” dated 1 February 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=neville&thread=12503135 : accessed 4 November 2021). 
  8. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 382 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 97, entry 9, 1794 November 18, Zacherias Peters and Keziah Lively, each of Amherst Parish, security and witness Austin Woody. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC7R?i=381&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  9. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Amherst County Courthouse in Amherst, Virginia, Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 87 of 669, Deed Book H, page 126, Wm. Griffin & wife Ruth and Zach. Peters & wife Keziah to Wm. Loving two tracts of land containing 44 acres each. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-13D6-X?i=86&cat=282807 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  10. “Deed books, 1761-1900; general indexes to deed books, 1761-1903,” Film 30288, DGS 8189992, Deed books, v. H-I 1796-1802 (no v. J), image 414 of 669, Deed Book I, page 129, 7 Feb 1800, Rich. and Mildred Breedlove to Nelson Anderson, 180 acres. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-136G-S?i=413&cat=282807 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  11. Andrew S. Webb, Research Report (#38772 – Ward) dated 21 January 2002. 
  12. Ibid., dated 17 September 2001. 
  13. Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988), 64. Reference document 8. 
  14. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 367 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 83, 5th entry, James Peters and Elizabeth Stevens 11 March 1793, Barnett Stevens, Owen Haskins, and Henry Holloway, sureties. Consent of Barnett Stevens. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-NCTT?i=366&cc=4149585&cat=680855 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  15. “Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900,” database and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1995/), citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C., M804_1917, P > Peck, Joseph – Phelps, Elijah > Peters, Absalom – Peters, William > images 512-574 of 1138, James Peters W5503 and wife Elizabeth – 63 pages in the packet (accessed 4 November 2022). 
  16. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853,” Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 358 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 74, 6th entry, Elisha Peters and Jane TIller, 1 Jun 1792, consent of William Tiller, securities: Charles Watts, Owen Haskins, Thomas Nevils, and Robt. Holloway. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NZDB?i=357&cc=4149585&cat=680855 : accessed 3 November 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 479 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 192, last entry, Elisha Peters and Cynthia Turne, 17 Feb 180, securities: Terish (Tersha) Turner and S. Garland. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-NCBD?i=478&cc=4149585 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  18. “Deed and will books, v. A-B, 1810-1888,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/332462), citing microfilm of original records at the Bedford County Courthouse in Bedford, Virginia, Film 30547, DGS 7644000, image 202 of 391, Will Book B, page 10-13, 16 Jul 1845 Last Will and Testament of Elisha Peters, 1 Mar 1854 codicil, and appeal of will ordered to be recorded on 24 Mar 1862. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9PH-SDZ6?i=201&cat=332462 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  19. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218. Affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, the deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  20. See Note #2, supra. 
  21. See Note #3, supra. 
  22. See Note #4, supra. 
  23. See Note #18, supra. 
  24. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 marriage bond of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, marriage bond for William Peters and Alla Troup and permission for bride to marry from parents Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  26. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 758 to 761 of 880, 1841 marriage bond William Peters and Jesse Edwards for the 27 March 1841 marriage of William to Lydia Kemplin and bride’s permission for William Peters to obtain the license. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HJZD?i=758&cat=765574 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  27. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  28. Ibid., Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  29. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Franklin County Register of Death 1882, no page number, line 41, Willis Peters, 30 Mar 1882, spinal affection, age 74, parents Zachariah and Keziah Peters, wife’s name long forgotten, informant Geo W Jones, friend. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/265395:62152 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  31. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  32. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Lee County Register of Death 1892, no page number, line 13, Joseph Peters, 10 Feb 1892, old age, age 82, parents Zacariah and Kizziah Peters, wifeMartha Peters, informant J C Lawson, son-in-law. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/363890:62152 : accessed 4 November 2022). 
  33. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 269-272 of 784, 2 Dec 1836 Reuben Cooper and Zebedee Whitlock went bond on the marriage of Reuben Cooper and Nancy Peters. 1 Dec 1836 marriage permission Nancy Peters to marry Reuben Peters from her mother Kizeah Peters (her mark). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-H75R?i=269&cat=765574 : accessed 6 June 2022). 
  34. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 

52 Ancestors: #24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890 – War of 1812 Pensioner

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #24 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890 – War of 1812 Pensioner

Update (21 June 2014): A correction has been made to the name of this ancestor. Jordan N. PETERS’ supposed middle name, “Nichols,” has never been proven. His records only include the middle initial “N.” The middle name “Nichols” has been removed/changed to the middle initial in this blogpost.

My 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on 10 October 1796 to Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.1 Zach and Kesiah were married nearly two years when Jordan was born.2,3 Following his birth, the PETERS family continued to grow and moved to Franklin County, Virginia, sometime before the 1810 census.4 By 1810 Jordan, 14 years old, had 7 brothers and sisters. Four more would be born by the end of the War of 1812.

1810peterscensus
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

Of the dozen children born to Jordan’s parents, the names are not known for two girls and two boys, however, they are documented in the pre-1850 census statistics. Jordan’s known siblings were Mary, William, Betsy, Lucy, Willis, Joseph, and Susannah.

War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 18 February 1815)

In 1977 Paula Kelley Ward obtained Jordan’s complete War of 1812 file from the National Archives and Records Administration. She transcribed and typed all the documents in the file. The complete transcription and the full story contained in the records came to nearly 50 typewritten pages. With information gleaned from his War of 1812 records, Paula wrote “Jordan’s Story.”5

In the years I’ve been doing genealogy, I learned that it is very important to share with other researchers. We can’t do everything on our own. A different perspective often helps push past the problems we have in our research. Paula, my 4C1R and 4C, has kindly allowed me to use the images of documents she found. Excerpts from “Jordan’s Story” are included here to allow Jordan to tell his story, through Paula, in his own voice.

Jordan said he enlisted in 1814 “to keep my father from being drafted.” He was about 17 years old then, six feet tall, with black hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion. He gave his occupation as “farmer” when he volunteered at Franklin Court House under Captain William Jones…..During his first term of service, Jordan said he “worked in the trenches and mustered every day for two months and 22 days.” He then became ill with the “bloody flux” and at about the same time his shoulder was dislocated…..Jordan was granted a discharge…

1812jordan
Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files [https://archive.org/stream/indextowarof0074unit#page/n381/mode/2up : accessed 6 June 2014]
The second time he enlisted he was 18 years old and volunteered at Franklin Court House on February 6, 1815 in Captain Robert Hairston’s Company…. The Company had marched as far as Chester (or possibly Chesterfield), Virginia when word reached them that a Treaty of Peace had been ratified on February 16. “Peace was made, and we marched over the Bridge and were paid for our time,” he said. The Company was discharged at Richmond on February 19, 1815, and Jordan went home to Franklin County.

The Jordan and Polly Era (1817-1837)

MRIN07822 1817 Jordan Peters and Mary Troup permission to marry
1817 Permission slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward

Mary “Polly” TROUP was 18 years old when she married Jordan N. PETERS on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia.6 Her parents Henry and Dorothy TROUP gave permission for their daughter Mary to marry Jordan PETERS.7 He was the first of the PETERS children to marry. His brother William married Polly’s sister Alice in December 1818.

In 1820 Jordan is first seen in the census as the head of household with his wife and young daughter.8 Interesting is that Jordan is enumerated after Austin PROFFITT, the uncle of the young lady he would later marry, have children with, and spend the rest of his life with.

1820peterscensus
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
By 1830 Jordan’s family had grown to include 5 boys and 3 girls. One of these girls may have died young. Could his daughter Jane who is said to have been born on 22 June 1831 actually have been born in 1830 and included in the count of the 1830 census?9

1830peterscensus
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan’s wife Mary “Polly” TROUP died on 5 January 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia.10 She died at the age of 37 after bringing ten children into the world. When she died, her oldest child Cynthia was 17 and her youngest William was just 1 year and 3 months.

  • Cynthia was born on 8 Oct 181910
  • Henry T. was born on 17 Mar 182110
  • Zachariah was born on 14 May 182210
  • Stephen was born on 13 Mar 182410
  • Mary was born on 6 Aug 182510
  • Jonathan was born on 23 Apr 182710
  • James was born on 25 Jan 182910
  • Jane was born on 22 Jun 183110
  • Martha Ann was born on 19 Jan 183310
  • William Edward was born on 2 Oct 183510

In a letter written to Zachariah PETERS on 2 July 1864, James PETERS wrote,Dier Brother I comply with your request and send you the register of our ages as furnished me by our father I send it in short hand and you can copy it.” The dates of birth seen above as well as the date of death of the children’s mother followed. I received a transcript of the letter in 2003 and wondered if all information was transcribed correctly. Genealogy research has been Paula’s life work since the age of 16. It was no surprise that she had a photocopy of the original letter that she shared with me. I found that the items I questioned in the transcription were errors. Lesson learned: Do not rely on transcriptions – always verify with an image of the original when available.

Jordan’s Siblings and Parents

Let’s back up here a bit. While Mary and Jordan’s family was growing, his siblings were  marrying in Franklin County and starting their own families:

  • William PETERS married Alice “Alla” TROUP on 12 December 181811
  • Mary PETERS married Samuel SMITH on 18 December 182312
  • Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS married Jesse EDWARDS on 17 June 182613
  • Lucy PETERS married Joseph JARRELL on 4 October 182714
  • Willis PETERS married Ruth SMITH on 21 March 182915
  • Joseph PETERS married Martha “Patsy” SMITH on 1 September 183016
  • Susan PETERS married Andrew REEL on 16 October 183917

At the time of this writing, a marriage bond index was used. The FamilySearch films are now available (2021-2022) and were checked to verify the above dates.11,12,13,14,15,16,17

Their parents most likely saw most of them marry except for their youngest Susannah. It has been assumed that Kesiah LIVELY and Zachariah PETERS both died between 1830–1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. There is no record of their deaths. Neither was enumerated as a head of household in 1840. None of their “known” children had older individuals in their households in 1840.

Update (6 June 2022): Recently found records prove that Kesiah was living on 16 October 1839. To be discussed in a future post…

The Jordan and Sarah Era (1837-1841)

MRIN07823 1837 Sarah Cox permission to marry Jordan Peters
1837 Permission Slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Jordan wasted little time in marrying again. Mary TROUP died in January and seven months later on 15 August 1837, he married Sarah COX.18 Her mother Peninah COX gave permission for Sarah to marry Jordan on 9 August 1837.19 We don’t know how old Sarah was but she immediately became the stepmother of ten children. Three months later Jordan’s oldest child Cynthia married Sarah’s brother Moses COX on 26 November 1837.20 Both marriages took place in Franklin County.

MRIN07823 1837 Jordan Peters and Sarah Cox marriage
1837 Marriage Bond. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Sarah’s first child, Peninah, born on 14 November 1839, was named after her mother, Peninah WALDEN, widow of Francis COX.21

In 1840 Jordan was enumerated with his second wife, their newborn daughter, and nine of his children from his first marriage.22

1840peterscensus
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan and Sarah’s second child was born on 1 July 1841 and died the same day without being given a name.23 Sarah died about a week later on 8 July 1841.24

Jordan now had eleven children, all presumably still living at home except for Cynthia who married in 1837. Zachariah would marry in 1846, Henry in 1847, and Stephen and possibly Jane in 1848. The rest of his children from his first marriage were married by 1855.

The Jordan and Rachel Era (1841-1890)

On 8 December 1841, just five months after Sarah’s death, Jordan, age 45, married a third time to my 3rd great-grandmother Rachel PROFFITT, age 24.25 They married in Franklin County. In the next 23 years, she gave him 9 more children while the family moved back and forth between Franklin County, Raleigh County, and Floyd County. This is well documented in the War of 1812 papers, births of children, and census.

  • Sarah “Sallie” PETERS (1842-1899) was born on 2 November 1842
  • Joseph W. PETERS (1844-1862) was born on 12 May 1844
  • Moses Samuel PETERS (1846-1915) was born on 25 January 1846
  • Keziah Lucy PETERS (1847-1934) born abt. 1847
  • Amanda A “Mandy” PETERS (1850-1895) was born on 2 October 1850
  • Caroline “Callie” PETERS (1855-1930) was born on 31 January 1855
  • Milla Susan PETERS (1856-1891) was born on 6 December 1856
  • Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS (1860-1944) was born on 22 March 1860
  • Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS (1864-1942) was born in July 1864
1850peterscensus
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59
1850censuscoxpeters
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59

In 1850 we see Jordan living next door to several COX families in Raleigh County which would later be part of West Virginia. Daniel COX and his family are next door to his mother Peninah and three siblings. Jordan’s daughter Cynthia and her husband Moses COX are in the next household followed by Jordan and his family.26

By 1860 the Peters family was once again in Franklin County.27

1860peterscensus
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin > S.W. District

For reasons unknown today, Jordan did not declare his first term of service when he testified in 1855 to claim the bounty land due him. He received a Bounty Land Warrant for 160 acres in 1856. In later years when he provided sworn statements to the Government in an attempt to prove his first term of service, the records could not be found. In addition, he had received two discharges which would have proven his service but unfortunately these papers were burned along with everything else he owned in a fire which destroyed his house in February of 1865.

The statements made by Jordan and Rachel Peters concerning the fire could be interpreted today as suggesting that the house was burned deliberately. “The year of the Surrender we got our house and Family Record Bible of Ages and Marriage and Deaths all burnt up with everything else we had,” said Rachel. When the Civil War began, it must have been a sad event to those who had served in the War of 1812. Witness Jordan’s statement: “I loved the Stars and the Stripes that was the old Flag I went under. When I saw them pull them down [the old flag] and raise the Rebel Flag, I could not hardly keep…from shedding tears. I told them they would get enough of it, so they did. When I lived in Floyd County, Virginia, I got my house burnt up and all my papers.”

Jordan and Rachel were in Floyd County with their five youngest daughters for the 1870 census.28

1870peterscensus
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Jacksonville

Congress approved the Act to provide a pension for service in the War of 1812 on 14 February 1871.29 Jordan, 74 years old, submitted his first pension claim.

In 1874, after three years of testimony and correspondence, the Government notified Jordan that his claim was rejected on the grounds that “evidence of 60 days service” was not proven.

Following the rejection notice there is a four-year gap in Jordan’s file, indicating that the Government may have misfiled or lost the records during those years. Then on February 23, 1878 at the age of 81, Jordan submitted another pension claim. Seven years had passed since he had first declared his service for a pension in 1871.

The Pension Office seems to have processed this claim hurriedly. In July of 1878 he was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. Then a Government examiner reviewed the claim and recommended that “this case should be rejected and certificate cancelled.” In October of that year Jordan’s name was dropped from the pension rolls and payment of pension was suspended because of “insufficient service.”

With persistence Jordan once again declared his service of two terms. Throughout 1879 and 1880 the Government offices inspected the muster rolls again. Several months passed before the Auditor reported to the Pension Office: “There are no rolls of Capt. Mackhenry, Mackhaney, McHoney or McHaney’s Company of Virginia Militia. Nor are there any rolls of Capt. Jack or John Wade’s Company of Virginia Militia on file in this office.”

While Jordan was fighting for his pension his children from his third marriage were growing and old enough to marry. Several of his children are seen marrying at his residence in Floyd County. One of these was my great-great-grandmother Milla Susan PETERS who married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia.30

1880peterscensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge

By 1880 only Jordan’s two youngest daughters were still living at home.31 In two years they also would be married.

It was not until April of 1881 that someone was kind enough to listen carefully as Jordan told his story. That person was Mr. C. M. Stigleman. He interviewed Jordan and wrote down Jordan’s words on the letterhead of the Floyd County Superintendent of Public Schools. Jordan was 84 years old by this time and Mr. Stigleman remarked that “his memory is not good.” Even so, Jordan recalled the names of soldiers who had served with him in Captain William McHaney’s Company in Norfolk……

Mr. Stigleman seems to have been solely responsible for providing the information that at long last resulted in a pension. For ten years Jordan had steadfastly pursued his pension and finally in 1881 the Government restored his payments of $8.00 per month. In addition, he received the accrued pension from the time in 1878 when his name had been dropped from the rolls.

Jordan died of old age on October 14, 1890 near Nettle Ridge in Patrick County, Virginia. He was 94 years old. This is not the end of the story.

Jordan’s Story – page 24
Jordan’s Story – page 25
Jordan’s Story – page 26
Jordan’s Story – page 27
Jordan’s Story – page 28
Jordan’s Story – page 29

Update on links (7 June 2022): The links above are from snapshot captures by the Wayback Machine, an initiative of the Internet Archive. The original links to “Jordan’s Story” have been broken since Ancestry temporarily took RootsWeb offline on 23 December 2017 due to a security breach.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jordan N. PETERS
Parents: Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY
Spouses: 1. Mary TROUP, 2. Sarah COX, and 3. Rachel PROFFITT(*)
Whereabouts: Virginia and West Virginia
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather

    1. Jordan N. PETERS
    2. Milla Susan PETERS
    3. Walter Farmer ROOP
    4. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
    6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

This Post Was Updated on 13 June 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218, affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  2. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 382 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 97, entry 9, 1794 November 18, Zacherias Peters and Keziah Lively, each of Amherst Parish, security and witness Austin Woody. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC7R?i=381&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., image 738 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 453, Ezekiel Campbell marriage returns for the year 1794, entry 8, Zachariah Peters and Keziah Lively. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-N8GX?i=737&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  5. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. 
  6. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 638 to 641 of 880, 1817 Jordan N Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of Jordan Peters and Mary Troup (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-87MT?cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  7. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 641 of 880, 1817 Jacob and Dorothy Troup’s permission for daughter Mary to marry Jordan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-8Q57?i=640&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  8. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 21, Jordan N Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  9. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, page 87 (double-page spread), line 1, Jordan Peters (accessed 10 Feb 2007). 
  10. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the dates of death of his first two wives. 
  11. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” (Franklin County, Virginia), Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, 1818 William Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of William Peters and Alla Troup and Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy’s permission for their daughter Alla to marry William Peters.  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  12. Ibid., Film 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 Samuel Smith and William Peters bond for marriage of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for the marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  14. Ibid. Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for the marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter Ruth to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  16. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry Andrew Reel. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 526-527 of 784, 1837 marriage bond of Jordan N Peters and Sarah Cox. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HQTW?i=526&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 528-529 of 784, 1837 permission slip for bride. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H779?i=528&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  20. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 444-445 of 784, 1837 Moses Cox and Cynthia Peters bond. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H7VD?i=444&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  21. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “Peninah Peters was born Nov the 14th 1839.” 
  22. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, NARA Roll: M704_559, FHL Film: 0029686, Virginia, Franklin County, page 307 (double-page spread), line 16, Jordon Peaters (sic, Jordan Peters) (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  23. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day.” 
  24. Ibid., “…and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  25. Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  26. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: 972, Virginia, Raleigh County, District 59, Page: 10B, lines 29-37, household 135-135, Jordan Peters (accessed 17 May 2021). 
  27. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1346; Family History Library Film: 805346, Virginia, Franklin County, South Western District, page 35, lines 17-25, household 234-231, Jordan N. Peters(accessed 29 October 2013). 
  28. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Jacksonville, page 29, sheet 57A, household 213-201, lines 3-9, Jordan Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  29. “U.S., War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1133/), citing original data: War of 1812 Pension Applications. Washington D.C.: National Archives. NARA Microfilm Publication M313, 102 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group Number 15. Information about the collection in the description on Ancestry was taken from the Descriptive Pamphlet to Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, Microfilm Publication M313.(accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. Barbara Reininger, compiler and website owner of “Families of Floyd County, Virginia,” Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, transcribed from images of microfilm records obtained by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” film 31345 items 1-3, DGS 7578964, microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse, FCVA1879_0137, Register: 3. Page: 61, Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordon Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  31. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, page 5, sheet 264A, household 38-38, lines 1-4, Jordan Peters (accessed 13 August 2007).