>my grandmother's marriage record (she married a Gillespie) >and it gives her father's name as John Lake Rigsby.
She's not the one I had found in my notes, then. I have an obituary for a Foster Rigsby who had a daughter Juanita Rigsby Kerr.
In my notes I have that there was a Lake Rigsby who was a son of John Rigsby who was born about 1850 and lived in Pocahontas Co WV. John married Harriet Simmons in 1880. If that is true, he would be this census entry:
1880 census Pocahontas Co WV p199b John Rigsby 30 VA/NC/VA wife Harriet L 18 WV/WV/WV
This John was a son of Thomas D Rigsby + Mary Jane Baber. Thomas was born 1822-12-xx in Wilkes Co NC and died 1911-04-08 in Nicholas Co NC. Mary was born 1828 in VA. They married in 1845. In 1870 they were in Wayne Co WV:
1870 census Wayne Co WV p98/9: Thomas Rigsby 52 NC Mary J 25 VA Nancy A 3 WV Archibald 24 VA John 21 VA Thomas 18 VA Albert 13 VA Nancy J 8 VA
Thomas should be about 48, and Mary should be 42. I don't know why the ages are so off. Your John should probably be 20 instead of 21, too.
From the children's ages, it looks like they moved to WV about 1865-ish from VA. They were in Smyth Co VA in 1860 and 1850:
1860 census Smyth Co VA p922: Thomas Rigsby 41 NC Mary 32 VA William M 14 VA Archibald H 12 VA John A 9 VA Thomas D 7 VA George E 5 VA Marion A 1 VA
1850 census Smyth Co VA p208a: Thomas Rigsby 28 NC Mary 22? VA William M 4 VA Archebald 3 VA John R 1 VA
Thomas' parents were Lewis Rigsby + Lucinda (unknown). Lewis was born abt 1785 in NC and died 1850-1860 in Surry Co NC. Lucinda was born abt 1785 in NC.
Lewis is in Surry Co NC in 1840, and Wilkes Co NC in 1830. I don't see him in 1820, but in 1810 he's in Chatham Co NC. I can post those census entries if you'd like. Looks like your Rigsbys don't like to stay in one place too long.
I don't know who Lewis' parents were yet. If he's from Chatham Co he could be a son of Luke. There were Rigsbys in neighboring Wake and Orange Counties, too, so he might be from there. Or he might have come from VA.
>How many spellings of Rigsby do you think there are?
It looks like there are five: Rigsby, Riggsby, Rigsbey, Rigsbee, and Riggsbee. Rigsby is by far the most common. Many of the early families could not read or write, so I imagine the alternate spellings are from census-takers who wrote it phonetically and told the family that's how it was spelled.
Hope that helps. I don't know for positive that your Lake was a son of John + Harriett, but I think he was. When I get to WV in the 1900 census I should know for sure.