52 Ancestors: #50 My Naughty Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY

Week 50 (December 10-16) – Naughty. We all have an ancestor who probably received coal in their stocking.

I’ve made a list, checked it twice, and found who’s been naughty and nice.

If you’ve been following along these past two years you’ll know who’s locked the door to my most frustrating brick wall. Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY, my 3rd great-grandparents!

Genealogy Sketch

Parents: Unknown
Spouse: Mrs. DEMPSEY
Children: Willliam A. W. DEMPSEY (1820-1867)
Whereabouts: Unknown (some say outer space)
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandparents

1. Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY
2. William A. W. DEMPSEY
3. William Henderson DEMPSEY
4. Fred Rothwell DEMPSEY
5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

What do I know about Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY? They were the parents of my great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY born about 1820 in Virginia per the Fayette County, (West) Virginia census. He was seen as 28 years old in 1850 and 40 years old in 1860. He was also on the 1841 tax list of Rockbridge County which means he had to have been at least 21 yrs old at the time.

The door in this brick wall is firmly shut and no one left the key under the mat!

The most likely documents in which I might find the names of the parents of William A. W. DEMPSEY would be his birth, marriage, and/or death record.

Death Record

Unfortunately, no death record has been found. This means no death record with names of parents or any kind of information to corroborate the family tradition of William’s death in a logging accident in the late 1860s. This would have been after October 1866 when he was listed as having an account due, owing Joel B. Wills $8.50. By 1870 his children and wife were living (farmed out) in several different households.

Marriage Record

To date, no marriage record has been found for William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD. Their first known child was born about 1846 placing their marriage in the early to mid-1840s. Sarah was from Fayette County and most of her siblings married in Fayette, one in Greenbrier and one in Kanawha.

“Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940” at FamilySearch was consulted and the WVCulture.org site has been checked repeatedly as they continue to add records.

I put a query to the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy group on Facebook requesting information on the likelihood of loose marriage papers being in the West Virginia State Archives and/or at the county level.

I also asked the group about the possibility of there being a marriage ledger for Hopewell Baptist Church. This church is a likely place for the couple to have married as Sarah’s great-grandfather Baily WOOD was a founding member. The church burned down in the 1960s and all records in the church were destroyed. There were some records kept at members’ homes and several people offered to ask around.

I’m sure my father’s first cousin Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007) searched high and low in the 1970s and 1980s for more information on William’s parents and possible siblings. In 1995 she wrote “We still do not know his parents or family members” in a short summary of her research.

Birth Record

For the time period William was born, ca. 1820-1822 there were no birth records as we know today. A Bible would be a likely alternative but none is known to exist. It is very unlikely one survived, if there was any, as the family did not live together after his death.

Keeping with the Naughty theme, could it be Mrs. DEMPSEY was not a Missus? Should I be looking for a woman with the surname/maiden name DEMPSEY who had a son out of wedlock? This possibility has not been taken into consideration.

Pre-1850 Census Analysis

The lack of birth, marriage, and death records with the names of his parents means I need to use a different tactic to find the parents. Regrettably, William A. W. DEMPSEY was born and spent his childhood during the pre-1850 census era and cannot be found in a census which included the names of all household members.

I’ve followed the golden rule of genealogy and worked backward from myself to my great-great-grandfather. I’ve also traced his descendants forward to living relatives who may have the key I need to open the door in his brick wall.

After doing traditional and reverse genealogy I analyzed the pre-1850 Virginia census of DEMPSEY families in which William A. W. DEMPSEY may have been born.

1840 Census

There were no DEMPSEYs in Rockbridge in 1840. These are the DEMPSEY households found in what was then Virginia and includes counties that later became part of West Virginia:

  • John DEMPSEY in Fayette
  • Daniel DEMPSEY and sons Thomas, Lewis, and James in Orange
  • Daniel DEMPSEY in Spotsylvania County (son of Daniel of Orange)
  • Seaton and Wilson DEMPSEY in Amherst
  • Absalom DEMPSEY in Botetourt
  • William, John, Joseph, James, and Andrew DEMPSEY in Logan (sons of John Sr.)
  • Willis of DEMPSEY in Nansemond (free colored person)
  • Polley DEMCEY or DEMGEY of King William (free colored person)

1830 Census

  • Tandy DEMPSEY of Logan (father of John of Fayette)
  • Daniel DEMPSEY of Orange
  • Martha DEMPSEY of Amherst (mother of Seaton and Wilson)
  • Absalom DEMPSEY of Botetourt
  • Hugh DEMPSEY of Montgomery
  • John DEMPSEY Sr. and sons William, Thomas (deceased, his widow Dicy), John Jr., and Joseph in Logan (formed from Cabell, Giles, and Kanawha in 1824)

1820 Census

  • Tandy DEMPSEY in Rockbridge
  • Daniel DEMPSEY in Orange
  • Will DEMPSEY in Amherst (husband of Martha)
  • John DEMPSEY and sons William, Thomas, and Joseph in Cabell
  • Absalom and Hugh DEMPSEY in Botetourt
  • James DEMPSEY in Caroline

1810 Census

Although 1810 is too early for William A. W. DEMPSEY it is interesting to see if the individuals found in 1820 were also in the same area in 1810. The 1810 census was lost for Orange County and tax lists have been used to reconstruct it.

  • Tandy DEMPSEY in Rockbridge
  • William DEMPSEY in Amherst
  • Mildred DEMPSEY in Botetourt (sister-in-law of John of Giles)
  • John DEMPSEY in Giles
  • James DEMPSEY in Caroline

1810 Census reconstructed from tax lists

  • Daniel DEMPSEY in Orange
  • Lewis DEMPSEY in Orange (son of Daniel)

1800 Census reconstructed from tax lists

  • 1800 James DEMPSEY in Orange
  • 1799 James DEMPSEY in Caroline
  • 1799 Nathan DEMPSEY in Franklin

1790 Census reconstructed from tax lists

  • 1791 James DEMPSEY in Greenbrier
  • 1789 William DEMPSEY in Botetourt
  • 1789 Michael DEMPSEY in Shenandoah
Location of misc. DEMPSEY individuals in Virginia and West Virginia in the early 1800s.

Even before doing more serious research on the DEMPSEY lines found in Virginia, I gave them names to identify and differentiate between them.

The Rockbridge DEMPSEYs

Tandy did not have a young male in his household in 1820 or 1830. He was the father of John W., William S., Andrew S., Jane, Elizabeth, Mary B., and Margaret. These children are proven as they were mentioned as the children of Nancy THOMPSON, wife of Tandy, in chancery and land records in Nelson County.

Tandy married Nancy THOMPSON in Amherst County on 19 January 1801. He lived in Rockbridge in 1810 and 1820 and moved to Logan County by 1827 where he was on the 1827 tax list and 1830 census. His son William S. was in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia in 1830 and 1840. His son Andrew S. was in Logan in 1830 and in Lawrence County, Ohio, in 1840. William S. and Andrew S. both named sons William but have not been included in the census analysis as their sons were seen with them on the 1850 census.

The known children of John W. do not include a son named William. John W. does not appear to be with his father Tandy in 1820. He married(1) in 1824 in Rockbridge, was not found in the 1830 census, and lived in Fayette County from 1840 through 1870. There are no known children for John W. and his first wife for the time period from their marriage in 1824 and until the birth of son John A. born abt. 1830 in Rockbridge. The 1840 census listing includes 1 male 10 & under 15 yo – this person is unaccounted for.

Was William A. W. DEMPSEY the unaccounted male in John W.’s 1840 census listing and was he:

♦ actually younger than seen on the 1850 and 1860 census?
♦ the son of John W. and his first wife born before or soon after the 1824 marriage?
♦ the son of John W. and a relationship prior to his 1824 marriage?
♦ the son of John W.’s first wife from a previous relationship?

The Amherst DEMPSEYs

This group has also been well researched as William DEMPSEY of Amherst was my 4th great-grandfather. His children are proven to be Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J., and Eliza through land and court records produced after his death. In 1830, his wife Martha was listed in Amherst County with their two young daughters. There were no young males in the household.

William at some time went to Ohio and did not return as newspapers in the state of Ohio were requested to publish information on his wife’s death in 1834. On 20 June 1836, a year after the last notice was published, William and Martha’s son Wilson signed an administrator bond for the deceased William.

After the 1850 census, Wilson and Seaton moved to Fayette County. Their brother Wesley, who was not found in 1830 and 1840 censuses, was in Botetourt in 1850 and lived in Rockbridge from 1860 until he died in 1890. The children of William of Amherst were too young to be parent candidates for William A. W. DEMPSEY.

I believe Tandy DEMPSEY and William DEMPSEY may have been brothers. Tandy married in Amherst less than a year and a half after William. There was also a Jane DEMPSEY who married Allen CAMERON in 1795 in Amherst. Allen CAMERON went bond with William DEMPSEY when William married which may suggest a close relationship. The CAMERON couple raised their family in Rockbridge. William’s mother Susannah DEMPSEY gave her consent for his marriage. No such record was found for Tandy and Jane.

UPDATE (23 February 2022): To date, DNA matches with descendants of Tandy DEMPSEY have not been found. This could mean that Tandy and William were not related OR that the descendants who might share DNA may not as yet have been tested.

The Orange DEMPSEYs

Daniel and his wife were past their childbearing years in 1820. His oldest son Thomas Allen was already married and had a son John L. The census numbers in 1820 for Daniel’s household show eight known children as well as his oldest son’s wife, their son, and possibly a daughter. Daniel was seen in Orange County as early as 1810 (tax list) but may have come from Caroline County where his first son was born about 1778 per death record. Could there be a connection between James DEMPSEY of Caroline and Daniel DEMPSEY of Orange?

Daniel’s second son Lewis had a son named William A. born about 1825. This William A. DEMPSEY’s Civil War service was used to obtain a marker for my William A. W. DEMPSEY’s grave. The daughters of Geraldine, who did the paperwork for the marker, are aware of and have thought of rectifying the error.

The Botetourt DEMPSEYs

The next two groups have not been as thoroughly researched as the previous three. There are errors in online databases –  a meshing of two generations and many Dempsey individuals found in Virginia in the early 1800s. I recently found chancery records on the Library of Virginia site which may help correct the errors in this line.

William DEMPSEY Senr. died intestate before 12 February 1798 and his wife Jane died before 1826 (year of chancery case). He left heirs William Jr., John, Mark, and Mary, wife of Joseph MILLER. John and Mark were not in the Commonwealth and Mary and Joseph MILLER resided in Blackwater in Franklin County in 1826.

William Senr.’s line splits into what I refer to as the Botetourt DEMPSEYs and Logan DEMPSEYs.

William Jr. died before 1806 and left widow Mildred “Milly” who resided in Fincastle; children: Elizabeth DEMPSEY resided in Fincastle, John and Samuel DEMPSEY outside of Commonwealth, Joel DEMPSEY and William DEMPSEY 3rd both decd/no issue, Absalom DEMPSEY in Fincastle, Dubartis DEMPSEY in NC, Judith the wife of Thomas WILMORE residing Giles courthouse, Susan wife of John SNYDER residing in Christianburg, and Milly wife of David CAMPBELL in NC.

For William Jr.’s line, there was only one son mentioned in the chancery records who remained in Virginia. Absalom DEMPSEY was a Baptist preacher; he and his wife did not have any children of their own.

Hugh DEMPSEY seen in Botetourt in 1820 may have been a son of William Jr. and omitted in the chancery records. He was in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1830 and went to Cooper County, Missouri, abt. 1838 and was seen there in the 1840 and 1850 census. He had a son named William R. b. abt. 1810 and, therefore, was not the father of William A. W. DEMPSEY.

The Logan DEMPSEYs

John was in Giles County in 1810, Cabell County in 1820, and Logan County in 1830 – all due to the changing country lines during the time period. The Logan DEMPSEYs are a complete puzzle to me even though John’s second youngest son Mark left a genealogical note written in 1889 which gives the names and approximate years of birth of eleven children of John DEMPSEY and Rachel SOLOMON. I am not sure how reliable the transcription of the note is as he wrote his mother died about 1849. I found Rachel DEMPSEY age 85 in the household of James DEMPSEY, possibly a 12th child of John and Rachel, in 1850.

I’ve added pre-1850 census records for the Logan DEMPSEYs in my database but have not done extensive census analysis.

Birth, marriage, and death records need to be checked at WVCulture.org. Note: Many Logan County records were destroyed during the Civil War, and records were not kept for several years following the war.

James DEMPSEY of Greenbrier

James DEMPSEY in Greenbrier (1791) was in the county as early as 1782. James DYMSEY was seen as a resident of Greenbrier County in 1782 in Mr. Jas. Henderson’s District with 1 tithable, 3 horses, and 4 cattle. In Oren F. Morten’s A History of Monroe County, West Virginia James DEMPSEY and his wife Rosey/Rosanna are mentioned as having 375 acres of patented land on Second Creek in Greenbrier County, 180 acres patented by DEMPSEY and Ralph GATES in 1783 and 195 acres patented by DEMPSEY in 1787. Ralph GATES bought the 375 acres from James DEMPSEY and his wife Rosey DEMPSEY on 28 July 1795. A year later, on 6 January 1796 James and Rosanna DEMPSEY sold 100 acres to Mathew LYNN on Second Creek / Greenbrier River adj. Thomas LEWIS and Ralph GATES, who was a witness. In 1808 David HENDERSON bought land from John and Agatha STUART that adjoined the land of James DEMPSEY. The 1810 census for Greenbrier is lost and James DEMPSEY was not found on the 1810 tax lists.

He would have been 21 or older at the time he was first seen on the 1782 tax list. This would put his age in 1820 to over 59 years. It is unknown if they had children. No trace of him was found in Virginia after he and his wife sold land in 1796.

UPDATE: The Personal Tax List of Kanawha County was browsed on FamilySearch in January 2018. A James DEMPSEY was seen on the list for the years 1797, 1798, and 1800 suggesting he may have moved from Greenbrier to Kanawha after he sold land in 1796.

Speculation: Could he be the same person as James DEMPSEY convicted in 1772 in London and transported to Virginia in January 1773 on the ship Justitia?


These have not been traced:

♦ Nathan DEMPSEY in Franklin (1799)
♦ Michael DEMPSEY in Shenandoah (1789) – Michael DIMSEY married Eliz. BARNHART in Shenandoah County on 17 Dec 1788. Another marriage seen in the county was Jane DEMPSEY to Jacob SAVAGE on 1 Dec 1808. Was she a daughter of Michael?

What do you think of my analysis of the census of the DEMPSEY families found in Virginia at the time of my great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEYs birth and childhood? Have I missed something that caught your eye? What else would you try?

Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY don’t be naughty, please be nice and send some comments my way on how I can find out your names and what happened to you.

© 2015-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thursdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.

52 Ancestors: #32 Did Frederick HONAKER Use An Alias?

“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 #32 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#32 Did Frederick HONAKER Use An Alias?

My fourth great-grandfather, Frederick HONAKER’s father Hans Jacob HONEGGER emigrated from Switzerland to America in 1749. Hans Jacob left Switzerland with his young wife and one-year-old son. Both perished at sea and Hans Jacob arrived alone in Philadelphia.1

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Frederick HONAKER was born about 1757 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, to Hans Jacob HONEGGER (1718-1796) and his second wife Maria GOETZ (1737-1805). At the time of Frederick’s birth, his parents had been married for four years and had two sons, Jacob (1755) and Henry (1756).

Frederick County, Maryland

Around 1758 Frederick’s father moved the family to Frederick County, Maryland. Hans Jacob leased 56 acres of land owned by Lord Baltimore at Mount Pleasant on 16 March 1758 for £25.2 He brought his land holdings up to 121 acres on 3 December 1761 by adding two adjacent tracts of 51 and 14 acres for £18.3 Not only did he increase his land holdings, but he also increased the size of his family giving Frederick two more brothers, Peter (1762) and Benjamin (1764).

The land was becoming scarce in Frederick County, Maryland, and the 121 acres of land that Frederick’s father had leased would not be enough to support the growing family. The 7-year stopover in Maryland ended when Hans Jacob and Maria executed a deed for the three tracts of land for £108.15 on 20 March 1765 to Frederick Eyson and headed for the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Shenandoah Valley in Virginia

Frederick was eight years old when the family made the move to Frederick County, Virginia. They settled on Passage Creek, at what is now Waterlick, where Hans Jacob bought 97 acres on 2 August 1765. Five more siblings were born: Joseph (1765), Nicholas (1767), Mary (1768), Elizabeth (1769), and Martin (1770). In the early 1770s, Hans Jacob began the lengthy process of acquiring a land grant from Lord Fairfax. Most of this land had been originally surveyed for Lord Fairfax by George Washington. On 5 March 1773, the grant for 121 acres was deeded to him. It adjoined his 97 acres tract and brought his holdings to 218 acres.

Frederick now had seven brothers and two sisters and the family was still growing. In 1772 the area of Frederick County where the HONAKER family was living became Dunmore County. Frederick’s brothers Abraham (1774) and Isaac (1775) and his sister Anna (1777) were born in this new county. In 1778 the name of the county was changed to Shenandoah County.

American Revolutionary War 19 Apr 1775 – 14 Jan 1784

Honaker, Fredrick Page 1Honaker, Fredrick Page 2“His [Frederick’s] early adult life involved him in an historic event of great importance to America. At about the same time that General George Washington and the Continental Army were emerging from a terrible winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Gen. George Rogers Clark was dispatched from Virginia with a small military force to break British control in the so-called Northwest Territory in the Illinois countery. Among the 178 recruits were three of Hans Jacob Honaker’s sons, Frederick, Henry, and Peter. Frederick was the first of the brothers to enlist with General Clark on 29 August 1777, in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia in Woodstock, Dunmore (later Shenandoah) County, Virginia while his brothers enlisted on 1 March 1778. The determined force set out from Redstone on the Monongahela River in the spring of 1778, reaching the present site of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. It continued marching for six exhausting days to Fort Kaskaskia, Illinois, through tackless wilderness inhabited by hostile Indians, in icy, high waters sometimes up to the men’s shoulders, with rations so short that the men were two days without food.”4

I am grateful to the researchers who have worked on the HONAKER family and have left a wealth of information. When no citations are given I cannot take the information at face value without searching for documents that confirm the given history. And this is good since it helps me make new discoveries!

Contrary to the above, I found that Frederick and Henry both enlisted on 29 August 1777. By searching through the “United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783” at FamilySearch, I found the original list of persons who enlisted with Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia.5

Frederick Honaker enlisted on August 29.
Henry Honaker enlisted on August 29.

Gen. George Rogers Clark’s Illinois Campaign ended with this dramatic climax:

Illustration of George Rogers Clark’s march to Vincennes in the American Revolutionary War, 1779. The Hero of Vincennes: The Story of George Rogers Clark, by Lowell Thomas 1929. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

“The sudden emergence from this waterlogged wilderness of Clark’s muddy, buckskin-clad warriers, with their flintlock rifles and tomahawks, took the Vincennes garrison so completely by surprise that the fort fell, after a brief struggle. It was one of the most heroic feats of arms ever performed, and it saved Illinois and Kentucky from falling to the British. When the treaty of peace was signed in 1783, Clark’s conquests were the major factor in the award of the entire northwest to the Americans.”6

After the Illinois Campaign, Capt. William Harrod spent the winter of 1778-1779 building a town at the Falls of the Ohio River, present-day Louisville. Frederick and Henry HONAKER were listed on this muster roll.7

As payment for their services in the Illinois expedition, Frederick, Peter, and Henry each was awarded 108 acres of land in Clark’s grant along the Ohio River in Indiana. They later sold their claims.8

Did Frederick HONAKER Use an Alias?

I have a slight problem with the above statement about the three brothers. In William Hayden English’s Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 1778-1783 and Life of Gen. George Rogers Clark I found Henry and Peter received 108 acres each9, Henry and P. sold their allotments10, and Henry and Frederick were on a payroll11. However what has me puzzled is that, while I haven’t seen a list that includes Frederick receiving or selling his 108 acres, I did find the following:12

Peter alias Frederick

What does “Peter, alias Frederick Honaker” mean? Did Frederick go by the name Peter? Were there only two HONAKER brothers in Capt. Thomas Buck’s Dunmore Militia? If Peter enlisted on 1 March 1778 he would have been only 16 years old.

Frederick Returns Home, Marries, and Begins Raising A Family

Frederick returned to Shenandoah County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth GOLLIDAY (1759-1794) of that county in about 1782. In 1785, Frederick bought 243 acres of land in Rockingham County, Virginia.13 In 1788, he was reported to be in Capt. John Ruddell’s Company.14 In 1790 he was seen on the Rockingham County Tax List as Frederick Honnaken with 4 white souls, 1 dwelling, and 1 other building.

Frederick and Elizabeth had Magdalene, Polly, Jacob (1783), and John (1793) before Elizabeth died. These children were listed, in this order, in a deed executed by themselves with their father Frederick, on 21 July 1812, when they were all residents of Monroe County, (West) Virginia. The deed conveyed their undivided interest in the estate of Jacob GOLLIDAY, Elizabeth’s father, to William Baserman.15

On 12 August 1795 at the age of 77 years, Frederick’s father Hans Jacob executed his last will and testament.16 The original will is in a file drawer marked “Wills Etc. 1796-1814-1820” in Bundle 2 in Wythe Courthouse, per Rev. Al Elswick, Honaker Family Association Historian. Hans Jacob had moved to what is now Draper in Pulaski County in 1784. At the time that he lived there, the area was part of the county of Wythe, formed in 1790 from part of old Montgomery County. The will was probated on 10 May 1796 narrowing the time of Hans Jacob’s death to between August 1795 and May 1796.17

As Hans Jacob’s will was probated in May 1796 it is very likely that he was still living when Frederick remarried in September of 1795, a little over a month after Hans Jacob wrote his will.18

Frederick Conickor and Isaac Wiseman entered into a bond on 24 September 1795 in Shenandoah County on the marriage of Frederick Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, daughter of Isaac Wiseman of Rockingham County.19

Frederick’s second wife Rachel WISEMAN (1769-1821) was born on 1 March 1769 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, to Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS.

From Rockingham County to Monroe County

Following the marriage, Frederick made plans to move his family from Rockingham County to what would become Monroe County in 1799. He bought a farm from Edward KEENAN and his wife Nancy near the Rehoboth Meeting House in the Sinks in Greenbrier County on 26 June 1798. KEENAN and his wife sold 243 acres of land conveyed from Patrick KEENAN and adjoining WISEMAN and SCARBROUGH for 5 shillings to Frederic HONIKER. Witnesses were William TENNIS, John JOHNSON, and John BLANTON.20

As this transaction took place the year before the formation of Monroe County it was recorded in Greenbrier County.

In 1799 “Frederick Honecor” was listed on the first list of personal property owners in Monroe County, the earliest known list of citizens of the newly formed county.21

1800 Frederick Honaker Greenbrier
Library of Virginia

In July 1800, Frederick received a land grant of 57 acres on Lick Run adjoining the land of Edward KEENAN and KEENAN’s father’s land. The location of the grant is seen as being in Greenbrier. When the land was surveyed it was “lying and being in” that county. Frederick HONAKER now owned 300 acres in Monroe County.22

Frederick HONAKER was on the Monroe Voters list in 1800. This was a list of qualified voters for the presidential election on 3 November 1800. It is of interest as suffrage at that time was very much restricted and a voter was a person of some property and consequence.23

Frederick’s mother Maria GOETZ died about 1805 in Wythe County, Virginia.24

By the time the 1810 census was taken Frederick and his wife Rachel had seven children: Isaac M., Elizabeth B., Margaret P., Sarah, Anna, Letty, and Rachel, my third great-grandmother. The exact order of birth is unknown as birthdates are not known for all of the children. A son Frederick Styrus was born following the census as no male under 10 is seen in the household in 1810.25

1810 U.S. Federal Census
Monroe County, (West) Virginia
Name: Fredk Honaker
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (Isaac M.)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:   1 (John H.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 4 (Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Betsey, Margaret)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Rachel, range is off)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 10

1820 U.S. Federal Census26
Monroe County, Virginia
Sheet No. 171
Frederic Honachar
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 3 (Frederick Styrus, 2 grandsons?)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Isaac)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Frederick)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Letty, 2 granddaughters?)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Sarah, Anna)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 3 (Betsy, Margaret, Rachel)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Rachel)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 8
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 14
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 14

Frederick’s four children from his first marriage were married in 1803, 1808, and 1814.27,28,29,30 The first of his children from his second marriage Isaac Morgan HONAKER married Rebecca Ann Sams (1799-1860) on 28 Oct 1820 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.31

Frederick HONAKER and his wife Rachel sold 13 acres to Hugh Caperton and Henry Alexander “near Rehoboth Meeting House where Honaker lives” on 31 March 1821.32 Frederick died in 1824 without mentioning Rachel in the will he left. Rachel WISEMAN must have died following the land transaction and before Frederick’s will was written on 30 November 1824.

Two of Frederick and Rachel’s girls married before he died: Elizabeth “Betsy” married William SAUNDERS on 15 January 1822 and Margaret “Peggy” married Alexander Campbell on 20 October 1823.33,34

Frederick HONAKER died about December 1824 and left a will naming all of his children.35

Last Will and Testament of Frederick HONAKER

In the name of God, Amen. I, Frederick Honicker of the Co. of Monroe and state of Virginia being sick in body but of sound and disposing mind, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say. First I will and bequeath unto my beloved son John Honicker sixty acres of land part of the tract of land whereon I now live to be taken off that part of it where the S. John now lives so as to include the house and improvements which he has made, to him and his heirs forever. Second, I will and bequeath unto my son Isaac Honiker all my blacksmith tools of every description to him and his heirs forever. Third, I will and bequeath unto my daughter, Magdaline Cantley the sum of one dollar to be paid her by my executors. Fourth, after my death and after my children all come of the age of twenty one years I desire that the balance of the tract of land whereon I now live be sold by my Executor to the best advantage, and the proceeds thereof I desire to be equally divided between my children to-wit: Mary Davis, Jacob Honicker, Peggy Campbell, Rachel Honicker, Sarah Honicker, Anna Honicker, Letty Honicker, Betsy Saunders, and Frederick Styrus Honicker and until that event takes place I desire that my son John Honicker see to the management of my affairs and take care of the property which may remain on the place for use of such of my children as any choose to live here until the same shall be sold and such of the perishable part of my estate as may (on the sound discretion of my executor) be of use to support my children who may live on the plantation until the same be sold as aforesaid to be kept and supported on the plantation until the period aforesaid, and the balance of the personal property which may not be deemed necessary for the purpose aforesaid by my executor I desire may be sold immediately after my death, and the money arising therefrom after paying my just debts and funeral charges be equally divided between my last mentioned nine children and whenever my land shall be sold as herein before directed, I desire that all the property which may have been kept for the use of my children as aforesaid be sold and the money be equally divided between the aforesaid nine children to-wit: Mary, Jacob, Peggy, Rachel, Sarah, Anna, Letty, Betsy , and Frederick Styrus. Fifth, it is my will and desire that my son Isaac together with my children who now live with me, still continue to live on the plantation as usual and farm the same as they now do until my plantation be sold as I have before directed and the proceeds thereof be enjoyed in common as usual – I also desire my debts and funeral expenses to be paid out of the money arising from the sale of my personal property which may be directed to be sold by my executor Lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint Richard Shanklin executor of my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me made and declaring this only to be my true last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 30th day of November 1824. Signed, sealed and ackd. in presence of Charles Keenan, George Whitcomb, and Jno. Hutchinson, Jr. (Frederick signed by mark).
At Monroe Court, December 1824: This last will and testament of Frederick Honiker dec. was presented in Court and proved by the oath of John Hutchinson, Jr. a subscribing witness thereto and the same is continued for further proof.
At Monroe Co., Court, 1825: The last will and testament of Frederick Honiker decd. was further proved by the oaths of Charles Keenan and Geo. Whitcomb two of the subscribing witnesses thereto whereupon the same is ordered to be recorded. (It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that Richard Shanklin, executor named therein refused to take upon himself the execution thereof and thereupon Hugh Caperton is appointed Admr. with the will annexed, who came into Court and made oath and together with Richard Shanklin his security entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of One Thousand dollars, conditioned as the law directed, certificate for attaining probate thereof in due form is granted him.

Before the appraisement of the personal estate of Frederick HONAKER on 18 January 182536 and sale on 22 January 182537, his daughter Rachel HONAKER married Elijah WOOD on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County.38 His daughter Letty died soon after him and later in the year his daughters Sarah and Anna married.39,40 His son Frederick Styrus had a guardian, Henry Alexander, and boarded with his sister Anna and her husband Owen DUFFY in 1825.41


Courtesy of Irene (Rose) Warner (Find A Grave Contributor #46586932)

Frederick’s parents-in-law Isaac and Elizabeth WISEMAN are buried in the Rehoboth Church Cemetery. Frederick and Rachel’s burial places are not known but must have been nearby, maybe among the many unmarked graves surrounding Old Rehoboth Church. In 1988 the Honaker Family Association placed veterans’ memorial markers in the church cemetery for Frederick and his son Jacob beside the marked grave of Jacob’s son John B.42

Frederick Honaker #12277437; Courtesy of S.G. Thompson (permission for use requested 8 Aug 2014 and received 26 Feb 2015)

This Post was Updated on 7 August 2022Missing 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. Nadine W. Larson, Hans Jacob Honegger, From Switzerland to America, published by Stevenson’s Genealogy Center (Provo, Utah), 1987, pg. 44-46, 127-147. Digital Wythe County Collections (https://digitalwythe.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/hans-jacob-honegger.pdf : accessed 7 August 2022). 
  2. MDLandRec.Net – A Digital Image Retrieval System for Land Records in Maryland, database with images, Maryland State Archives, Annapolis (online http://mdlandrec.net/), MSA CE 108-3, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1756-1761, Deed Book F, folio 0429-0431 [3 images]. 1858 Land Deed for 56 acres. (http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm : accessed 28 January 2020). 
  3. Ibid., MSA CE 108-4, Frederick County Court (Land Records) 1761-1762, Deed Book G, folio 0321 to 0323 [3 images]. 1761 Land Deed for two tracts of land, 51 acres and 14 acres. (http://mdlandrec.net/main/index.cfm : accessed 4 February 2020). 
  4. Frieda Patrick Davison, Editor, Honaker Family in America, (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD, Copyright 1998 by The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families) 
  5. “United States Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing NARA microfilm publication M246 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1980), 114-Virginia (jacket 341-364) > image 77 of 459, 2nd and 4th document on image (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G94M-4W3T?cc=2068326&wc=M61K-G38%3A355093201 : accessed August 2014) 
  6. Virginius Dabney, Virginia – the New Dominion, (Doubleday & Co., New York, 1971, pg. 145) 
  7. Howard L., Leckey, The Tenmile County and Its Pioneer Families, A Genealogical History of the Upper Monongahela Valley, (Apollo, PA: Closson, Press, 1993), pg. 254-255. 
  8. Davison, Honaker Family in America, pg. 43. 
  9. English, William Hayden, 1822-1896, Conquest of the country northwest of the river Ohio, 1778-1783 : and, life of Gen. George Rogers Clark, published by Bowen-Merrill Co., Indianapolis, Ind., Kansas City, Mo. in 1897. Digital copy of the book is available on Archive.org. page 846.  (https://archive.org/details/conquestofcountr6308engl/page/846/mode/2up?q=honaker : accessed August 2014). 
  10. Ibid., page 1072. 
  11. Ibid., page 1034. 
  12. Ibid., page 1100. 
  13. Davison, Honaker Family in America, pg. 43. 
  14. Ibid. 
  15. Shenandoah County (Virginia) County Clerk, “Deed books, 1772-1900 ; general indexes to deeds, 1772-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock, Virginia, Film 33895, DGS 8153239, Deeds, Vols. S-T 1810-1813, images 498-500 of 534, Deed Book T, pages 383-386, Honaker et al to Baserman deed. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKK-XQYZ?i=497&cat=385833 : accessed 6 August 2022). 
  16. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62347/), citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Wythe County, Virginia, Wills, Vol 1-3, 1790-1831, Volume 1, page 39-41, image 181+182 of 863. 1796 Last will and testament of Jacob Honaker (accessed 22 January 2020). 
  17. Ibid., Wythe County, Virginia, Wills, Vol 1-3, 1790-1831, Volume 1, page 39-41, image 181+182 of 863. 1796 Last will and testament of Jacob Honaker (accessed 22 January 2020). 
  18. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, FHL Film Number: 7579045, Rockingham County (Virginia) County Clerk, Marriage register (ministers’ returns), 1791-1852, Item 2, image 84 of 520, page 11, entry 8, Fred Coniker and Rachel Wiseman, 28 Sep 1795. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-296G-D?i=83 : accessed 6 August 2022). 
  19. Honaker Family Newsletter, National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families, Inc., misc. issues (2000-2014). I was unable to find the marriage bond in FamilySearch‘s collection “Marriage bonds and licenses, 1772-1901” for Shenandoah County, Virginia. 
  20. Greenbrier County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia, Film 593545, DGS 7765144, Deeds, v. 2 1798-1803, image 44 of 380, pages 66-67, Keenan to Honaker. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSM7-V4T5?i=43&cat=98577 : accessed 6 August 2022). 
  21. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Monroe County), “Personal property tax lists, 1799-1850,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library and Archives in Richmond, Virginia, Film 1854107, DGS 7857028, Personal property tax lists 1799-1834 (1808 list not filmed and may be missing), image 16 of 1380, left page, 14 May 1799, Fredrick Honecor 1 0 0 3 tax 0.23. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS73-S9T8-1?i=15&cat=637416 : accessed 6 August 2022). 
  22. “Land Office/Northern Neck Patents & Grants” (index and images from microfilm), Library of Virginia Archives (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/land-grants), citing Virginia State Land Office, the collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, Land Office Grants No. 46, 1797-1801, p. 34 (Reel 112). Honaker, Frederick. grantee, Land grant 16 July 1800, 57 acres on the Lick Run adjoining the land of Edward Keeman and his father’s land. (Greenbrier County). (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990007718220205756 : accessed 8 August 2014). 
  23. Oren F. Morton, A History of Monroe County, West Virginia, McClure Company, Incorporated, 1916, pg. 472-473. 
  24. Larson, pg. 134-147 
  25. 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 70, FHL Film 0181430, image 21, Monroe, Monroe County, Virginia, page 7, line 20, Fred(k) Honaker (k is superscript) (accessed 6 August 2014). 
  26. 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_133, image 210, Peterstown, Monroe County, Virginia, page 171 (stamped), line 20, Frederick Honaker (Frederic Honachar), (accessed 13 March 2013). 
  27. 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 1710518, image 454, 1803 marriage bond. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710518/00454.jpg : accessed 6 August 2022). 
  28. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710518, image 1316, George Cantley and Jacob Honaker went bond for the marriage of George Cantley and Modlen Honaker daughter of Frederick 21 March 1808. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710518/01316.jpg : accessed 7 August 2022). 
  29. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710518, image 1244, 18 Oct 1808 Jacob Honaker and Henry Groves went bond for the marriage of Jacob Honaker to Catherine Groves daughter of Jacob Groves. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710518/01244.jpg : accessed 7 August 2022). 
  30. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710516, image 1187, 24 Sep 1814 John Honaker and Peggy Salms (sic, Sams) minister’s return by John Wiseman. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710516/01187.jpg : accessed 7 August 2022). 
  31. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710519, image 1427, 28 Oct 1820 Isaac Honiker and Saml Sams went bond for the marriage of Isaac Honiker and Rebecca Sams. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710519/01427.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). 
  32. Monroe County (West Virginia) Clerk of the County Court, “Deed book, 1789-1901; deed index, 1789-1969,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Monroe County courthouse, Union., Deed book, v. F-G 1814-1823, images 547 of 651, Deed Book G, page 415, 31 March 1821, Frederick Honiker and wife Rachel to Hugh Caperton and Henry Alexander 13 acres in Monroe near Rehoboth Meeting House . (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKV-G3X7-7?i=546&cat=98998 : accessed 7 August 2022). 
  33. WVCulture.org, Virginia, Monroe County, 15 Jan 1822, Betsy Honicker and William Sanders marriage, William Sanders and John Honicker went bond. 1822 Marriage Bond. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11371626&Type=Marriage : accessed 11 August 2014). 
  34. Ibid., Virginia, Monroe County, 20 Oct 1823, Alexander Campbell and Margaret Honiker. 1823 Marriage Bond. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11372163&Type=Marriage : accessed 17 August 2014). 
  35. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch, digital images of originals housed at local county courthouse in West Virginia, Monroe > Will book, v. 002 1819-1829 > image 149-150 of 295 > pages 255-257, Last Will and Testament of Frederick Honaker (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HRS3-Z?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-B38%3A179686801%2C179709801 : accessed 17 August 2014. 
  36. Ibid., Monroe > Will book, v. 002 1819-1829 > image 153 of 295, page 262-263, Appraisement of the personal estate of Frederick Honaker. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HRS6-9?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-B38%3A179686801%2C179709801 : accessed 17 August 2014). 
  37. Ibid., Monroe > Will book, v. 002 1819-1829 > image 154 of 295, page 264-265, Bill of Sale of the estate of Frederick Honaker. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HRS8-1?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-B38%3A179686801%2C179709801 : accessed 17 August 2014). 
  38. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 495643, image 130, West Virginia, Re-Index and Copy of Marriage Record No. 1–Nicholas County, line 6, 4 Jan 1925, Elijah Wood and Rachel Hannaker, married by Jno Campbell, citing Nicholas County. (http://images.wvculture.org/495643/00130.jpg : accessed 25 April 2013). 
  39. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710520, image 401, 3 March 1825 Thomas Reynolds and Sally Honeker marriage bond. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710520/00401.jpg : accessed 12 February 2020). 
  40. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710520, image 491, Owen Duffy and Will Spotswood went bond for the marriage of Owen Duffy and Ann Honiker 1 Sep 1825. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710520/00491.jpg : accessed 17 August 2014). 
  41. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” Monroe > Will book, v. 002 1819-1829 > image 194 of 295, page 338, 1825-1827 accounts for guardianship of Letty and Frederick Styrus Honaker.
    (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-HR9F-6?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-B38%3A179686801%2C179709801 : accessed 17 August 2014) 
  42. Find a Grave, (database and images) (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12277437/frederick-honaker: accessed 8 August 2014), memorial page for Pvt Frederick Honaker (1757–Dec 1824), Find a Grave Memorial ID 12277437, citing Old Rehoboth Cemetery, Union, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by S.G. Thompson (contributor 46616521).