My West Virginia Pioneer Families
Stories of my Ancestors
This is a lengthy document. The following links should help you navigate quickly to many of the ancestors referenced in this manuscript:
DeWees, Gerrit Hendrickszen
Franks, Henry Taylor
Henckel, Anton (Anthony) Jacob
Henckel, John Justus
Miller, Henry Hamilton
Thorn, Thomas Jr
From birth until death, people are faced with meeting basic needs of food and shelter. By banding together, people can better provide basic needs and improve protection, commerce, government and social interaction.
But the family will always be the nucleus of the larger world and where we can find the food, shelter, protection, provision and social interaction of our early years. Much later in life when we begin to yearn for the protection and comfort of family, many of those special people of our youth are gone. To have known those people is a blessing since we share their biological genes and often their dreams. They are a part of who we are today, how we live and how we believe.
Family life often mirrors the social and political conditions of an era. Resources available in a geographic location can temper life. Understanding social, political, and financial conditions, and family values can explain marriage, relocation, occupation, or housing decisions.
Information about the ancestors who have created our very beings will hopefully make us more secure in the understanding of their humanity. They were not just names in old Bibles or on tombstones. These people lived in a changing country and faced ordeals we can only read about. At the same time, they faced the age-old decisions about love, marriage, caring for a family, religion, education, sickness and death, the same as we face.
The genealogical data provided is a result of extreme dedication on the part of Dorothy Pauline Walker Dotson, my mother, who has spent years gathering and sorting data from a multitude of sources. She has preserved photographs, personal interviews, and photocopies of documents while continuing to do research. Orville Clyde Dotson, my father, provided much of the social information that creates images to go with the names and places. Finally, technology (to whom we must all be related) has been an asset by providing information accessible from the Internet prepared by other previously unknown relatives.
This will always be a work in progress since this represents a moment in time, but a labor of love for future generations.
Over three hundred and fifty years ago, our ancestors began sailing from Europe to America. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean was an exciting but dangerous adventure. The ships were small and cramped; storms threatened; and deaths occurred. A trip to America took more than two months. Willing to start a new life, they left their homelands of England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Holland and France.
Our ancestors’ lives are interwoven in the fabric of the making of America. Most came in search of political freedom, religious ideals or to better their lives. Most were here before the Revolutionary War.
A quest for freedom of worship played a role in our early ancestors coming to America. Thanksgiving and history lessons about the Pilgrims coming to Plymouth Rock have acquainted us with their desire for religious freedom. It is said that when the Pilgrims were leaving for America King James I asked, “What profit might arise from these parts?” The answer was “Fishing”, and James said, “So God have my Soule, ‘twas the Apostles owne calling!” America’s exportation to Europe of fish, trees, animal skins and tobacco were a means of support.
When Protestantism spread to England in the 1500’s, people began a passionate, serious seeking of knowledge of the true God. Most people believed that God was intertwined with both their daily and their political lives.
Although history emphasizes the Puritan’s desire for religious freedom, their rigid desire to maintain a separate and pure faith did not extent to others who believed differently. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the governor and Puritan leaders did not espouse democracy, but rather allowed votes at town meetings to be made only by freeman. A freeman was similar to a shareholder in a corporation, by being one who owned property or had religious credentials. Town meetings and Sabbath worship were both held in the same meetinghouse. Separation of church and state was not an issue.
All the stories of our ancestors need to be viewed in light of the times in which they lived, without overlaying those stories with our own values of today. As we find new information, history is revised. Because we never have sufficient information about past times, it’s unfair to judge a man outside his own generation. It is impossible to fully understand past times but with knowledge comes understanding.
Betty Dotson Renick
One of our first American ancestors, William Thorne , was in America by May 2, 1638 when he was made a Freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn was settled in 1629 and originally was called "Saugust." In 1637, the area was named "Lin" or "Lynn," in honor of Lynn Regis, an English village formerly lived in by a popular local minister.
Being made a freeman indicated William Thorne was a Puritan in good standing with the Church of Boston. It was also proof that he was of legal age, a man of some means and was held in good social standing. Being a freeman gave him the right to vote, which was limited to landowners. At this time there were about 10,000 people in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and only 400 had the right to vote.
He would have signed the following document as a Freeman:
I William Thorne being (by Gods providence) an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the jurisdiction of this Common-weath, doe freely acknowledge my selfe to bee subject to the government thereof; and therefore doe heere sweare, by the great & dreadful name of the Everliving-God, that I will be true & faithfull to the same, & will accordingly yield assistance & support therunto, with my person & estate, as in equity I am bound: and will also truely indeavour to maintaine and preserve all the libertyes & privilidges therf, submitting my selfe to the wholesome lawes, & ordres made & stablished by the same; and further, that I will not plot, nor practice any evill against it, nor consent to any that shall soe do, butt will timely discover, & reveall the to the publick weale of the body, without respect of personnes, or favour of any man, Soe help mee God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It appears that after his arrival in America and becoming a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, William began to question Puritan religious practices and may have even become a follower of Anne Hutchinson .
Anne Hutchinson’s father had been jailed in England for opposing church practices. Upon coming to America, Anne Hutchinson expected freedom to express her beliefs.
However, the Puritan church in Massachusetts did not tolerate a women thinking independently. Anne started a women's club in her home to discuss the Bible and the weekly sermons, but the attendance at these meetings increased with the controversy over the banishment of Roger Williams.
Roger Williams had been a priest in an Anglican parish in England, but in time he spurned the Anglican Church structure and rituals. He became a Puritan, a Separatist, a Baptist and a Seeker. When he came to America, he rejected a position at the Boston Church because they did not offer strict separation of church and state. In July 1635, Roger Williams was tried for his political heresies and was banished from Massachusetts for 300 years. He fled to Rhode Island and founded the settlement of Providence.
By herself or as a leader of a group of women, Anne Hutchinson probably would not have threatened the Puritan establishment in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, as a woman leading a growing number of men as well as women, she was a threat to their authority. On March 15, 1638, Anne was tried before the elders of the church of Boston, convicted of heresy, and banished from the colony by Governor John Winthrop. She went with her family to what is now Rhode Island. She later moved to New York where Indians killed her and some of her children.
William Thorne may have supported Anne Hutchinson because on September 7, 1641, William Thorne was fined 6 2/3 pounds for "concealing, hiding and supplying" the escaped son of Anne Hutchinson.
Another woman who affected William’s life was Lady Deborah Moody , the widow of Sir Henry Moody of England. Lady Moody had associated with the Anabaptists in London before coming to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1639. She united with the church of Salem, Massachusetts, but also became impressed with the views of Roger Williams. Roger Williams had been pastor at a Salem church before being banished in 1635. By June 1643, Lady Deborah Moody had left Boston for Rhode Island. In July 1643 Governor John Winthrop, wrote in his journal:
The lady Moodye, a wise and anciently religious woman, being taken with the error of denying baptism to infants, was dealt withal by many of the elders and others, and admonished by the Church of Salem (whereof she was a member), but persisting still, and to avoid further trouble, etc., she removed to the Dutch against the advice of her friends. Many others, infected with Anabaptism, removed thither also. She was after excommunicated.
Lady Moody then left Rhode Island for New Amsterdam after she received a Patent from the Dutch West India Company for the Village of Gravesend, now part of Brooklyn, New York. William Thorne left the Massachusetts colony and went to Gravesend in New York as one of the original Patentees. It's not entirely clear why Governor Kieft invited the English to come from New England. It was probably because the Dutch were having trouble colonizing since Dutchmen already had freedom of religion and wealth in their motherland.
Before the whites first settled on Long Island, 13 tribes or groups of Indians inhabited it. The Montauks, probably were the most warlike tribe on the island and had reduced the other tribes or groups to some kind of subjection. Their settlements were always near the shores on the north and south sides of the Island, as there they found most of their food, fish and clams, and their transportation was by canoe along the waters. The forests toward the middle of the Island were their hunting grounds for wild game and clearings were made where they planted Indian corn, placing a fish in each hill for fertilizer. Just as the settlers moved into newly built quarters in Gravesend, New York, Indians attacked them in September 1643.
Moody's followers, along with William Thorne, beat off several successive Indian attacks. Although the Indians were repelled, the group of about 40 men and their families, moved temporarily to Amersfoort, now Flatlands. At that point Moody considered returning to New England, which led John Endicott, Governor John Winthrop's deputy, to write to his superior:
I shall desire that she may not have advice to return to this jurisdiction, unless she will acknowledge her ewill [evil] in opposing the churches, and leave her opinions behinde her, for shee is a dangerous woeman.
Lady Moody and her adherents, including William Thorne, probably returned to Gravesend after August 30, 1645 when the governor and the Indians negotiated a peace treaty.
The town patent granted to Lady Moody by the Dutch allowed Moody to settle on choice unoccupied land in what is now southern Brooklyn, and it gave Moody and her colleagues absolute freedom of conscience which was unusual. Although the Dutch West India Company had ordered that no church other than the Dutch Reformed was allowed in the entire colony of New Netherlands, Gravesend settlers would not be prosecuted for worshiping in any faith in their own homes. In addition to allowing freedom of conscience, the patent also granted the right to create a self-governing town. A unique town plan was laid out with Moody supervising.
The inhabited part of Gravesend consisted of four squares of a little more than four acres each, with two main roadways bisecting north-south and east-west (today's McDonald Avenue and Gravesend Neck Road). Each of the four sections had 10 house lots surrounding a one-acre commons. Outside of the village itself were the individual, triangular pieces of 100-acre farms, called boweries, radiating out from the center like spokes from a wheel.
On October 10, 1645 William Thorne was granted a patent at Flushing Creek, along with 16 other Englishmen. Records show an allocation of a 40-acre planter’s lot to William Thorne. He became a permanent resident of Flushing and on April 27th 1648 was appointed to be a magistrate. It is believed that William’s home was located at Willet's Point on Little Neck Bay, New York.
In 1652 war broke out across the Atlantic Ocean between the English and the Dutch. The result was increased tension in New Netherlands between the Dutch rulers and the English towns in western Long Island. That was aggravated in 1657, when the first Quakers came to New Netherlands, a move that infuriated the new director general, Peter Stuyvesant. In response, William Thorne signed the Flushing Remonstrance on December 27, 1657.
Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of the Town of Flushing to Governor Stuyvesant
The Right Honorable You have been pleased to send unto us certain prohibition or command that we should not receive or entertain any of those people called Quakers because they are supposed to be, by some, seducers of the people. For our part we cannot condemn them in this case, neither can we stretch out our hands against them, for out of Christ God is a consuming fire, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Wee desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the law to do good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. And thought for the present we seem to be unsensible of the law and the Law giver, yet when death and the Law assault us, if wee have our advocate to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this world can neither attack us neither excuse us, for if God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn there is none can justifye. And for those jealousies and suspicions which some have of them, that they are destructive unto Magistracy and Ministrye, that cannot bee, for the Magistrate hath his sword in his hand and the Minister hath the sword in his hand, as witnesse those two great examples, which all Magistrates and Ministers are to follow, Moses and Christ, whom God raised up maintained and defended against all enemies both of flesh and spirit; and therefore that of God will stand, and that which is of man will come to nothing. And as the Lord hath taught Moses or the civil power to give an outward liberty in the state, by the law written in his heart designed for the good of all, and can truly judge who is good, who is evil, who is true and who is false, and can pass definitive sentence of life or death against that man which rises up against the fundamental law of the States General; soe he hath made his ministers a savour of life unto life and a savour of death unto death. The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sons of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, soe love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage. And because our Saviour sayeth it is impossible but that offences will come, but woe unto him by whom they cometh, our desire is not to offend one of his little ones, in whatsoever form, name or title hee appears in, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker, but shall be glad to see anything of God in any of them, desiring to doe unto all men as we desire all men should doe unto us, which is the true law both of Church and State; for our Savior sayeth this is the law and the prophets. Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to now man. And this is according to the patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States General, which we are not willing to infringe, and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine, your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Flushing
Written this 27th of December in the year 1657, by mee. Edward Hart, Clericus
In one of her last acts of dissension, Moody invited the Quakers to Gravesend, and the first Quaker meeting in the colonies was held in her house that year. Although William Thorne was not a Quaker, he supported their views, and some of his descendants, in later generations, show up in Quaker Meeting notes in Burlington, New Jersey. John Bowne, father-in-law of William’s son Joseph, was arrested Sept. 1, 1662 for allowing Quakers to worship in his house in Flushing.
John Thorne , son of William Thorne, married Mary Parsell , daughter of Nicholas and Sarah Parsell , on May 9, 1664 in New York. Nicholas Parsell was born in England about 1620 and died 10 Mar. 1689 in Queens, New York. Nicholas had also been one of the signers of the Flushing Remonstrance. On May 12, 1664, the year of the British occupation of New Amsterdam, the General Assembly of Connecticut, in a futile attempt to annex Long Island, "accepted" as freeman, "if they accept it," ten residents of Flushing, including "John Thorne" and "Nicholas Persell." On August 12, 1667, following serious disorders in Flushing, John Thorne and Joseph Thorne, his brother, in company with Nicholas Parcell and eleven others from Flushing, "presented themselves to the Governor, & gave their names to be ready to serve his Maty under his honors Command upon all occasions". The confirmation of the original Dutch patent to Flushing by Governor Dongan on March 24, 1685, names "the present freeholders and Inhabitants of the Towne of Flushing," including John Thorne. An exact list of “all ye inhabitants of Flushing & p'cints of old and young freemen & servants black & white 1698 Long Island NY” lists John Thorne Senior & Mary his wife with Hannah, Sarah & William. Some of John’s children became Quakers while others remained Anglican.
Thomas Sayre was baptized July 7, 1597 in Leighton Buzzard , Bedfordshire , England. He arrived in America sometime before 1638 on the ship Mary and John, landing at Lynn, Massachusetts. The "Mary and John", with Robert Sayers, Master, sailed from Southampton, England, 24 March, 1633/4. It is possible Robert Sayers may have been a relative. Thomas first appears on the Lynn Massachusetts town records as proprietor of 60 acres; his brother Job Sayre is there also with 60 acres.
Apparently Thomas, like William Thorne, saw opportunity in the Dutch colony on Long Island. In 1639, he, along with his brother and six others, undertook to form a new colony on Long Island. Before then, people leaving Lynn had formed six other colonies. The small group wanted to form a colony with twenty families. The group bought a sloop for £80, with the Sayre brothers contributing £5 each. They signed the boat over to David Howe, a sailor, in exchange for his agreeing to use the sloop to convey belongings and people three times a year over the next two years. By May of 1640, they had sailed down Long Island Sound and landed at present day Manhasset, at the head of Schout's Bay, now known as Cow Bay.
The local Indian Sachem or Chief had sold this land to the Dutch, and they had posted a coat of arms of the Prince of Orange on a tree. The Sachem reported to the Dutch that "some foreign strollers" were building houses on the Dutch land. According to Commissary Van Curler, who had been sent out to investigate, the group had torn the Coat of Arms down and replaced it with "an unhandsome face...being a criminal offense against his Majesty".
On May 13th, 1640, the Council of New Amsterdam ordered Cornelius Van Teinhoven to arrest and bring before them the "strollers and vagabonds" of Schout's Bay who had insulted them. Van Teinhoven, along with two officers and twenty men, arrived at the scene, finding one small house built and another in progress. The "vagabonds" admitted that they intended to settle there, and that the arms of the Prince of Orange had been torn down by one who was not then present. Six of the men were arrested and taken to Fort Amsterdam. Thomas Sayre was not named in the records of the Dutch interrogation at Fort Amsterdam but brother Job was. The six were discharged the next day "on condition that they promise to deport forthwith from our territory, and never to return without the Director's express consent."
The small band complied and sailed and settled in a place about three-quarters of a mile from the center of present day Southampton. three miles from present day Southampton, New York. They remained there for about eight years. In 1648 Thomas Sayre built a house on a town lot apportioned to him, and that house stayed in the family until 1892. In 1901, the house was still inhabited and was believed to be the oldest English house on Long Island.
Thomas Sayre is named in the first record of the General Court of Southampton in 1649 as one of three chosen to "agitate town business". Throughout the 1650's he is repeatedly named as one of the townsmen to manage the affairs of the town. The general court ordered him on October 23, 1650, to raise a militia. He was censured and ordered to pay a fine on two occasions for challenging the authority of the Magistrate. The town records show one occasion when contributions were made for those in distress: At a town meeting, February 4, 1656, a contribution was made for Goodman Gouldsmith, because of his loss by fire. Indians had burned his house. Contributors of wheat were made, and only one person gave more than Thomas.
Thomas Sayre died in 1670 in Southampton, Suffolk County, New York. His will reads: "In the Name of God, Amen. I, Thomas Sayre, of Southampton upon Long Island, being in perfect strength of memory, blessed bee ye Lord for it, but weake in Body." Leaves to son Francis two acres of land "next unto his owne in Captains Neck, in ye Great Playne, and 2 acres more lying in ye 8 acre Lots in ye said Great Playne," also "a Pewter flagon, a Pewter bowl and a great Pewter Platter." To son Daniel "2 acres of land lying next ye above said 2 acres, in ye 8 acre lots, and 3 acres more in the Ten acre Lots, and one great Pewter Platter." To son Joseph €40 Sterling, €10 a year, "to begin five years after my decease, to be paid in good merchantable shoes, or other pay that will procure hides towards his setting up a Tannery." To daughter Damoris Atwater, 40s. To daughter Mary Price 40s. To daughter Hannah Sayre, €20 at the day of her marriage, or when eighteen. Leaves household goods to sons Job and Joseph and daughter Hannah. Makes son Job executor.
Son Daniel Sayre was born about 1620, probably in Bedfordshire, England. He married Hannah Foster who was born in 1637 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, daughter of Christopher Lynn Foster and Frances Stevens . Christopher was also one of the original settlers of Lynn and was made a Freeman as of April 17, 1637. Daniel Sayre is named in a list of inhabitants of Southampton, Long Island in 1657. He was in a whaling squadron from 1657 to 1667. It may have been his brother, Francis Sayre, who was Ship Master of a Whaling Ship named "Bayard". In Southampton, it was declared that anyone spotting a whale should be paid 5 shillings. Regular watches were organized on the beach, and when a whale was sighted, the watchers would raise a 'weft', or signal on a tall pole, and the cry 'whale off!’ would resound in the village. A whaling company would then gather at the beach to man the boats. The traditional whaleboat of that time was an open vessel, approximately 25 feet in length. Manned by a crew of six, it would be launched through the surf, and rowed out to the whale. It is said he also lived in Bridgehampton, New York and was a weaver. He was assessed in 1683 on three polls. Daniel died in 1708 in Southampton, Suffolk County, New York.
Samuel Frazee was born about 1620 in Scotland came to America where he died around 1715. He lived in what is now New Jersey. His great granddaughter, Hannah Frazier married David Sayre, the son of Daniel Sayre and Hannah Foster.
In the 1670’s William Penn , a noted Quaker, was encouraging settlement on his grant in Pennsylvania. His description of the land was glowing. He toured the Rhineland describing his Holy Experiment colony, and he wrote pamphlets translated into German that were distributed among Mennonites in Germany by paid agents or religious leaders.
In 1683, thirty-three people, from thirteen families, left Crefeldt, Germany for London England. One of those was Herman Opdengraeff , a weaver, who was about twenty-three at the time. James Claypole, a Quaker merchant, who was also sailing with them, had arranged passage to Germantown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The passengers were described as "friends from Crevelt" and included a Jan Lucken . It is believed that “friends” meant that they were Quakers or Mennonites. The ship, Concord, had 120 passengers, a crew of 40, was 132 ft long, 32 ft wide and had 26 guns. They sailed from London about 3 weeks after July 24, 1683 and arrived in Philadelphia around October 10, 1683. Over 300 years later, On September 21, 1991, Jan Lucken’s 9th great grandson Justin Mizell, married Christine Linton who was Herman Opdengraeff’s 7th great granddaughter.
Thomas Foulke was born in 1624 in Holinegate, Derbyshire, England. He was sent from England by William Penn as one of the commissioners to purchase a part of New Jersey from the Indians. The commissioners represented Yorkshire and London proprietors. Thomas Foulke represented the London proprietors. The commissioners sailed with 230 families on the ship Kent to America. On June 16, 1677, the ship arrived at New Castle, Delaware, with Thomas Foulke and other Friends, later called Quakers. A large portion of these passengers settled in Pennsylvania and adjacent parts of West New Jersey. However, Thomas Foulke and others migrated eastward and formed a settlement among the Indians, later known as Crosswicks, New Jersey. One of the first marriages in the community was recorded in 1684 when Samuel Bunting married Mary Foulke, daughter of Thomas Foulke. Thomas died June 10, 1714 in Burlington, New Jersey.
Thomas Foulke's son, Thomas Foulke Jr. was married to Elizabeth Curtis at the Quaker Meeting House in Burlington, Chesterfield County, New Jersey on December 21, 1688. Their daughter Sarah Foulke born February 25, 1701 married Joseph Thorn , the great grandson of the progenitor of the Thorn family on June 3, 1723. Joseph Thorn was a yeoman and weaver in Chesterfield, and a prominent Quaker. The will of Joseph Thorn of Chesterfield was executed March 25, 1774 and proved July 15, 1774. The will lists sons Mickel, John and Thomas and daughter Elizabeth Wall.. Sons John and Thomas were appointed executors, and a Thomas Foulke was one of the witnesses.
Gerrit Hendrickszen DeWees , who was born 1640 in Beaverwijk, Amsterdam, Netherlands, was the first of our Dewees family to come to America. In 1663, he was residing at Ft. William Hendrick on the Island of Manhattan, New York. Gerrit married Sytie Lievens. He was a butcher. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. Between 1664 and 1683, this couple had nine known births recorded at the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam, New York. Gerrit and Sytie lived in New Amsterdam from 1663 to 1690, when they moved to Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Although his last name of DeWees does not appear in the records, it is said that the rural Dutch did not use a surname and used two names such Gerrit Hendrickszen which would reflect Gerrit, son of Hendrickszen. Gerrit’s father was Hendrick Adriaensz
George Henckel , was born in Germany in 1635. He married Anna Eulalia Dentzer , the daughter of Othmar Dentzer and Loysa Wagner on May 2, 1666. She is buried in the Lutheran churchyard at Steinberg. Loysa Wagner was the daughter of Ludwig Wagner of Steinberg. Ludwig was a minister. George Henckel attended the University at Giessen and was schoolmaster of Mehrenberg, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany from 1662 until he died in January 29, 1678. He is buried in the Lutheran churchyard at Merenberg. George and Anna Henckel had six children who were baptized in the Lutheran Church in Merenberg. One of their children was Anton Jacob Henckel .
Anton (Anthony) Jacob Henckel was born in Germany about 1667 and served for 25 years as a Lutheran pastor with various congregations in Germany. Like his father, he attended Geissen University. He graduated on January 16, 1692 and was ordained as a Lutheran pastor February 28,1692 at Eschelbron, Germany. He served as pastor at Eschelbronn, Monchzell, Daudenzell, Neckargemund, and Zutzenhausen in the upper east Heidelberg. It is said he came from a family of German pastors dating back to Reformation times.
He held his last church service in Germany on June 3, 1717 and left for Philadelphia in America. He and his family settled near Philadelphia in the Hanover Township of Philadelphia Co, Pennsylvania. In his will Anthony Jacob Henckel left the 250-acre home farm in New Hanover Township, now in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to his two youngest sons, John Justus and Anthony Jacob.
At the time of his migration, thousands of other German families were migrating from the Rhenish Palatinate and were called Palatines. Most were workers such as farmers, shoemakers, carpenters, weavers, saddlers, locksmiths and other useful occupations. It is said they were land-hungry, mistrusted government and looked to religion for social cohesion.
Jacob Henckel preached at the New Hanover Lutheran Church and occasionally at the Old Trappe Church near Valley Forge Pennsylvania. He was responsible for organizing some of the first Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania. He was described by his contemporaries as being six feet tall with great physical strength, bold, courageous and with a vigorous missionary zeal. In 1917, a memorial tablet was placed in St. Michael's Lutheran Church at the southeast corner of Main and Philellena streets in Germantown, Pennsylvania citing him as the founder and first pastor of the church. In 1746 the church was enlarged and pews were placed in it in 1750. In 1752, a parsonage was bought. The present building is the third successive one that has occupied the site. During the Revolutionary War, the British seized the parsonage, and the church organ was destroyed. It is said the soldiers were running along the streets blowing on the pipes.
As a Lutheran minister, Jacob Henckel traveled on horseback as a circuit preacher into the wilderness in southeastern Pennsylvania, to the Germans in Virginia, and to the German Lutheran congregations within distance of his home. On August 17, 1728, as he was returning home one dark night from the sick bed of one of his congregation, his horse stumbled and threw him off. He was taken to the home of Herman Groethausen where he died that night. Herman Groethausen may be our relative but the relationship has not been documented. Jacob is buried in St. Michael's Lutheran churchyard, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Anthony’s son John Justus Henckel , was born in 1706 in Germany. In about 1730, John Justus married Maria Magdalena Eschmann , daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth Eschmann of German-Swiss origin, and settled on a farm near Macungie Creek, now Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, paying taxes as late as 1748. Around 1750, he sold off the 150 acres of land he had inherited from his father and left Pennsylvania for what was then North Carolina. Around 1761, he and his family moved again to a settlement that became known as Germany Valley because the families conversed in their native German.
John Justus Hinkle, his sons, and his sons-in-law participated actively in the defense of the frontier during the Revolutionary War and furnished supplies for the Continental forces. He built Hinkle's Fort, located in Germany Valley, in Pendleton County near Riverton WV. The fort was built as a protection against the Indians, not only for the Hinkle family but also for other settlers in the area.
During the war, Hinkle's Fort became the only outpost in Pendleton County for the patriot forces. John Justus Henckel has been officially recognized for his services as commander of the fort and in furnishing supplies to the troops that were detachments of the Virginia Militia and were quartered there. The Hinkle Fort farm became the headquarters and training grounds of the North Fork Battalion which had been organized by settlers early in the Revolutionary War and whose first captains were son-in-laws and sons of John Justus Henckel. After the Revolutionary War and when the danger of Indian raids was past, the fort was torn down and some of the timbers used to build a large house on the site.
Markers at the site of the fort and at the graves of John Justus Henckel and wife were dedicated on September 19, 1936 at a Henckel family reunion with several hundred descendants from throughout the United States who came to pay tribute to the memory of one of their patriarchs.
Moses Elsworth was born around 1732 and owned 60 acres in 1761 on a branch of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River called the Deep Spring Creek or Run. This land was in the vicinity of where John Justus Henckel lived. Moses married his daughter.
In Augusta County in January 18, 1775 there is a list of claims certified to the Assembly for supplies furnished to the troops in the recent Dunmore's War. On the list is the name of Moses Elsworth, but the exact claim is not specified. Moses is showing in the Rockingham County Court Order Book in a list of claims for supplies during the Revolutionary War -- for 47 diets of 6 pence each to stable and corn for two horses for one night at one shilling each; one bullock - 25- pounds of meat.
Moses Elsworth left Pendleton County Virginia and went to Harrison County Virginia about 1787. He was a Methodist minister and owned several hundred acres near the Good Hope Community. His daughter married Joseph Cheuvront .
Will of Moses Elsworth dated July 10, 1794 was proved September 1801.
To beloved wife Mary Elizabeth: one-third of plantation during lifetime; one-third of cattle, sheep, hogs and moveable estate; her bed and household furniture extraordinary. At her death, the plantation to go to sons Jacob and Moses. Appointed beloved sons Jacob and John Elsworth and son-in-law Joseph Cheuvront as executors. After the funeral and all expenses and debts are paid, etc., then the executors are to call in two (2) strangers to value the other two-thirds of the estate which is to be divided as follows: ‘To eldest son Jacob, two pounds to be levied out of the same afterwards to him and every one of my sons and daughters and my granddaughter Hannah Bennett to share equally.'
Witnesses: Arthur Johnson, John Bennett
Joseph Cheuvront was born February 1, 1757 in Strasbourg, France. Baptismal certificate for Joseph Cheuvront reads: Republic of France, Archives of the town of Strasbourg, Registration of Baptism. Catholic Parish, St Laurent Cathedral, 1757, Book N. 70, page 307 "Today, the second day of February in the year one thousand seven hundred fifty seven, by me the Rector, signed below, at the Cathedral Church of Argentine was baptized Joseph, son of Francis Chevron and Nicola Febvre , a married pair, who have lived in this parish two months. The birth was yesterday. The godfather was Joseph Brutan living in the parish of St. Louis and the godmother, Regina Pelliceir, all who have written below
There are family legends about Joseph’s early life. It is said that Joseph was the second son of a French nobleman under Louis XVI of France. According to tradition, Joseph was educated for the priesthood at Nantes, France, but later denounced this faith and was disowned and disinherited by his family. The story goes that in 1771, when he was 15 years old, he left home and supposedly threw his cap with gold braid and insignia of rank denoting his royal connection, into the River Seine. This severed his connection with French royalty, and he went to England. In London he went to school to learn English while being employed as a guilder or goldsmith. Although he read and spoke six different languages, including Greek and Hebrew, he was not familiar with English.
His birth, trip to England and later to America is documented in his own words, but none of the earlier information about his family life in France was recorded by him.
He sailed for America with 35 young men from London on the ship Virginia November 18, 1773. He is listed as Joseph Cheavant of London, age 20, a guilder by trade.
Upon arrival in America, Joseph was “bound out” to Moses Elsworth. Joseph lived with of the Elsworth family and was a tutor to the Elsworth children.
In February 1777, at Germany Valley in Augusta Co, Virginia, he married the Elsworths’ daughter, Elizabeth. Sometime in 1778 he went with the Elsworths to Rockingham County, Virginia, now the North Fork District Pendleton County, West Virginia. He learned farming in the Germany Valley, where the Hinkles had settled some years previously.
According to his own statement, in 1779 he was "converted to God" and the following year united himself "with the despised Methodists". He was almost immediately licensed an exhorter. In 1780 he was licensed a "local preacher" by the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Joseph Cheuvront was called out with the Virginia Militia in April 1780 when a requisition was made for 300 men to serve in the American Army of the Revolution. He served until, and was present at, the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781. He may have served as a chaplain. In an excerpt from a letter written by Isaac Robbins to Bishop Asbury, 1813, concerning the death of the Reverend Lasley Matthews, Reverend Matthews dated his turning to God in the fall that Cornwallis was taken, "through the instrumentality of Brother Joseph Cheuvront, who used to carry a Bible in his pocket and read to him and converse with him pertaining to the kingdom of God." The Daughters of the American Revolution have recognized his record of service, and membership has been granted his descendants.
About 1785 the Cheuvronts and Elsworths relocated to Harrison County, West Virginia where they first settled on Coburn's Creek, near Clarksburg. Later they all moved up on the West Fork River, near where the village of Good Hope now stands.
Andrew Withers in 'Chronicles of Border Warfare' reports, "On the 24th of July (1794) six Indians visited the West Fork River and at the mouth of Freeman's Creek met with and made prisoner a daughter of John Runyon. She was taken off by two of the savages, but did not go more than ten or twelve miles before she was put to death. The four Indians who remained proceeded down the river and the next day came to the house of William Carder near below the mouth of Hacker's Creek. Mr. Carder discovered them approaching in time to fasten his door, but in the confusion of the minute, shut out two of his small children, who however ran off unperceived by the savages and arrived in safety at the house of a neighbor. He then commenced firing and hallooing so as to alarm those who were near and to intimidate the Indians. Both objects were accomplished. The Indians contented themselves with shooting at the cattle, and then retreated. Mr. Joseph Cheuvront, who lived nearby, hearing the report of the guns and the loud cries of Carder, sent his own family to a place of safety, and with nobleness of purpose, ran to the relief of his neighbor. He enabled Carder to remove his family to a place of greater safety, although the enemy was yet near."
Joseph was ordained into the Methodist Episcopal ministry at the Conference meeting in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on July 29, 1790 after having served some ten years as a licensed local preacher. He gave bond to perform marriage services on the September 20th, 1790. He was bonded in the amount of 500 pounds in favor of Governor Beverly Randolph of Virginia. The first recorded marriage celebrated by Joseph is that of David Bennett and Christina Bumgardner, April 5, 1791. The last marriage he performed was that of Isaac Cheuvront, his grandson, and Catherine Childers on September 30, 1830.
Joseph Cheuvront’s circuits later extended to Northern West Virginia and Ohio, but his initial experience was confined to the backwoods settlements on the West Fork River. Here the first church services were held in private homes. It is said he was the first minister at the Bethel Methodist Church at Good Hope, Harrison Co. According to Hammond's History of Harrison County: "Methodism could obtain no footing in Clarksburg for many years, but some eight or ten miles up the West Fork was a flourishing society, headed by Moses Elsworth. In this neighborhood was Joseph Cheuvront of great usefulness and much loved by his people. He was a Frenchman."
The Rev. Henry Smith of the Baltimore Conference visited the Clarksburg Circuit in 1794. He speaks of finding a goodly society under the charge of Rev. Joseph Cheuvront, 15 miles from Clarksburg. Narrating his experience, he tells the following: "From this place, I pushed ahead through Clarksburg and met my first appointment at the house of Joseph Bonnette, about 5 miles above Clarksburg. The people came to this meeting from 4 or 5 miles around, among them Joseph Cheuvront, quite a respectable local preacher. They were all backwoods people and came to meeting in backwoods style - all on foot -- a considerable congregation. I looked around a saw one old man with shoes on his feet. The preacher, Joseph Cheuvront, wore Indian moccasins. Every man, woman and child besides were barefooted. Two old women had on what was then called short gowns, and the rest had neither short nor long gowns. This was a novel sight for me for a Sunday congregation. Brother Cheuvront in the moccasins could have preached all around me, but I was a stranger and withal the circuit preacher and must preach. Of course I did my best and soon found if there were no fine dresses in the congregation, there were attentive hearers and feeling hearts. Here I saw men coming to meeting with their rifles on their shoulders, and setting their guns in the corner till after the meeting."
About 1799 Joseph Cheuvront built the first frame house in the Upper Monongahela Valley, of hand-sawn lumber. One room was set apart for itinerant ministers, and was fitted with fireplace, a bed and bookcase, and was known as "the preacher's room" as long as the house stood.
He was ordained into the Wesleyan ministry before the organization of the Methodist Episcopal church and on May 1, 1801. was admitted to the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church and served two charges in the Pittsburgh District in Ohio.
After the death of his first wife, he was assigned to about 30 preaching places. Some record of his work is still preserved at the Old Stone Church at Short Creek.
He died August 12th, 1832. He was suffering with quinsy that caused his throat to swell, and he was unable to speak. He used a slate to write the following words:
"Since it has pleased God to deprive me of the power of speech, I bless His holy name I enjoy my mental faculties. My fingers can communicate my wishes on the slate. I address this to you my children as a memento, which I request each of you to transcribe for future generations. I was born in the city of Strasbourg in the empire of France on the 2nd day of February AD 1757. I was reared in the city of Nantes and received my education when very young. In the year of 1771 being in the fifteenth year of my age, I went to England where I remained until 1773 when I embarked for America and landed at Fredericksburg in Virginia AD 1774, and was converted to God in the following year.
I united myself with the despised Methodists, and by them have been employed in various stations, to wit, 1st as a class leader, 2nd as an exhorter, 3rd as a local preacher, 4th as a traveling preacher, 5th as a deacon, 6th as an elder and 7th as a recording steward; in all of which places I have I believe given satisfaction to my brethren. I have now been in the Church 53 years, and have never had a charge brought against me. I don't say this to boast, but to ... stimulate you to support and maintain a good character. In the year 1781 at the siege of Yorktown God delivered me from all tormenting fear, and gave me two seals to my ministry. I have filled some important stations in the state in all of which I have endeavored to establish mine and your characters. I have tried to be a father to you, and through great difficulties I have raised you to what you are.
I have often counseled you, and have endeavored to set good examples before you yet some of you remain unconverted, and some of you who profess religion are I fear very superficial and lukewarm. I am soon going to leave you. Must I leave you in the hands of the wicked one? May the good Lord hear and answer my prayers on your behalf! This is the last advice of your dying father. Try to set the fear of God before your eyes. Do not grieve one another, live in peace and love together. Be good to your mother. Do not lay anything in her way that might distress her. I now bid you farewell. I am truly resigned to the sufferings I experience. I have long looked for and desired the hour of my dissolution. I love God and all mankind. I feel that I am bound for the Kingdom of Glory. Glory to God in the highest!"
His will disposed of 1300 acres of land and mentions having given his sons some of his holdings before this. 1790, records showing ownership of 400 acres in Good Hope. His land was on South side of West Fork River and extended from half a mile below bridge at Good Hope about two miles further up, or near the Gusman Bridge.
Henry Enoch . The first record of our line of Enochs in America is from the journal of George Washington who made land surveys in Hampshire County, West Virginia. On April 23, 1750, according to his journal, he surveyed land for Henry Enoch in the forks of the Cacapon River. On April 25, 1750, he surveyed another tract about a mile above the same forks, beginning at Henry Enoch's Corner. The following day Washington surveyed a tract of 200 acres on the South branch of Little Cacapon with Henry Enoch, probably Junior, as chainman.
Copy of the Actual Survey signed by George Washington
In 1756 a line of forts was proposed to start at Henry Enoch's place on the Great Cacapon in Hampshire Co, Virginia. George Washington provisioned and garrisoned at the Fort.
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Enoch, Jr . was the son of Henry Enoch. Henry Enoch, Jr. had plenty of glowing accounts of "the land over the mountains," related to him by visitors to his father's home in Hampshire County, Virginia. Men like George Washington, Christopher Gist, and Thomas Cresap made the home of Henry Enoch I a stopping place and commented about it in their records.
Henry Enoch’s sons had been to Pennsylvania before 1757 and Enoch’s Run is in some deeds and early maps. "Enoch's Run" was later known as Swan's Run and now Pumpkin Run. It empties into the Monongahela at Rice’s Landing.
In 1765, Henry Enoch, Jr. still owned 308 acres on Little Cacapon in Hampshire County Virginia, but shortly after that he owned land in Pennsylvania. The Henry Enoch Jr. family was among the first of those to settle on the west side of the Monongahela River in the Tenmile Creek country of Pennsylvania. Henry Enoch Jr. was living in Washington County and Greene County, Pennsylvania by 1772, and is showing in the Springhill Township Tax lists.
His fort was two miles below where he lived on Ten Mile Creek at the forks, and two miles above its mouth. The fort was in the center of the settlement. Richard Jackson's fort, nine miles above on Ten Mile, was on the frontier, and men from the region of Enoch's fort had to go to defend Jackson's Fort. On May 16, 1775, he was chosen to serve on the Committee of Observation for that part of Augusta County that lies on the west side of Laurel Hill at Pittsburgh
In 1776, Captain Henry Enoch Jr. was with General Gaddir's command of Virginia troops in a three-month expedition against the Indians west of the Ohio River. In a letter dated Oct 16, 1776, from General Dorsey Pentacost to General Harold, Captain Henry Enoch Jr. is creditably mentioned. In 1778 Captain Henry Enoch Jr. joined General Sheppard's command of Virginia militia in defense of western Pennsylvania against the Indians serving at Fort Jackson in Greene County, Pennsylvania. During the Revolutionary War, he was advanced from captain of the militia to lieutenant colonel of the Washington County, Pennsylvania 1st Battalion, under Major Carmichal. Henry Enoch, Jr. also served as captain of the Monongalia Militia.
In 1783, Henry Enoch, Jr. became owner of land in what is now Wirt County Virginia by paying the state of Virginia back taxes of10 pounds sterling and 16 shillings. This land, lying between the Little Kanawha and the Hughes Rivers was located in what is now Newark, Newark District, Wirt County, West Virginia. Later, his descendants settled in this area.
Henry Enoch, Jr. lived in Pennsylvania until his death. His home in Pennsylvania was located on the county lines of Washington and Greene Counties, so the estate was settled in both counties.
The name Sprague has been variously spelled by descendants, by census takers and in genealogy as Sprague, Spriggs, and Spragg. The origin of the name is Dutch, from Spraak, meaning speech. Our ancestor, Benjamin Sprague , was born about 1740 in England. He was christened on March 8, 1740 in Cannock, Staffordshire, England. There is a tradition among the descendants of Benjamin Sprague that four Sprague brothers, all bachelors at their time of arrival, came from Scotland, a short time before the Revolutionary War and settled in New Jersey. One of these brothers is said to have been our Benjamin. He resided in New Jersey until about 1790-1800, when he brought his family through Virginia to Ohio. He crossed the Ohio River at Marietta and proceeded to Smith Township, Belmont Co., where he died between 1827 and 1829. Grandson of Benjamin was William Sprague who was born on July 19, 1786 in NJ. He married Sarah Jinkinson daughter of Ann Hamilton and Robert Jinkinson . They lived in Jefferson County, Ohio where his children were born. In 1843, he and Sarah moved to what is now Wirt County, West Virginia. He died on May 6, 1858 in Elizabeth, Wirt County, West Virginia. His widow, Sarah, went to Iowa in 1862 with son, Robert.
William and Sarah Sprague’s daughter, Mary Sprague born March 07, 1812, married William Washington Miller born about 1810. Family history says they moved from Steubenville, Ohio about 1840 to Ravenswood, West Virginia.
Thomas Thorn, Jr. was born March 03, 1794 in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey. He was one of the early settlers of Palestine which is situated on the Little Kanawha river three miles above Elizabeth in Wirt County, West Virginia. It is thought he came around 1826. In 1838, he purchased land from John Smith. The land was on the first right hand branch of Thorn's Run. This is now in Wirt County, off County Road 7, between Rover and Zackville, at the junction of present CR 7-5 and CR 7-9 in Morris Hollow. Its coordinates are 38.987° N and 81.465° E.
Henry Hamilton Miller , was born February 25, 1832 in Ohio and was often referred to as H.H. Miller. He married Elvira Ann Thorn , granddaughter of Thomas Thorn in 1864 in Wirt County, West Virginia. She was the 6th great granddaughter of the first Thorne, William, who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
He was one of the earliest certified teachers in Wirt County, West Virginia. In 1859 Henry Miller taught school in a cabin at Pee Wee in Wirt County. In 1866, H. H. Miller was secretary of the Board of Education in the Right Reedy District of Wirt County. The Board decided to erect 3 schoolhouses -- Thorn's Run, Enoch Fork, and Conrad's Run.
About 1878, those in the Buffalo locality of Wirt County first held church services in a log house at the head of Falling Timber Run. Buffalo Methodist Church was located on a ridge between the head of Thorn's Run and Falling Timber Run. The Church had a class called "Falling Timber Methodist Class". Among the members of this class were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Miller. In 1882, Rev. Thompson, who was on the Pisgah Circuit, preached here in the afternoon. After a new schoolhouse was erected on the ridge, known as Buffalo School, the Methodist Class then held meetings in the new schoolhouse. The Southern Methodist Conference admitted this class into their conference known as the Buffalo Class. A new Methodist Protestant Church was built on 1/2 acre deeded to trustee H. H. Miller and others on February 25,1886.
In 1900 Henry Hamilton Miller bought 83 acres at the head of Falling Timber near Buffalo Church in Wirt Co at $5 per acre. In 1921 daughter Mary Emma Miller and husband William Dountain Dotson sold those 83 acres, surface only, no mineral rights to Oscar Hupp for $10 per acre.
Henry Hamilton Miller and wife are both buried at the cemetery at the rear of church and the stone was in good condition as of April 23, 1992.
Richard Dotson was born in Shenandoah County Virginia on October 23, 1752, and lived there 20 years. He then went to Greene County, Pennsylvania, and in 1774 served a tour of duty under Lord Dunmore.
In 1774, Lord Dunmore was the British governor of Virginia. After the Peace of Paris of 1763, the British had undisputed claim to the area west of the Appalachian Mountains. The people of Virginia did not like the British presence in their state. Also, the British did not want the Virginians to settle on any land west of the Appalachians, but the Virginians did not agree. Many white people were continuing to settle on lands west of the Appalachian Mountains and the Indians were harassing them.
Lord Dunmore went to Pittsburgh in the spring of 1774 hoping to make peace with the Indians. Soon, it became clear that peace would not happen. He began recruiting men and soon had a force of about 1,000 soldiers. After a couple of weeks of drill, Dunmore led the troops to the mouth of the Little Kanawha River. While camped at the Little Kanawha River, Dunmore was to meet with his officers who already had about 1,000 men camped about six miles away from Dunmore. The Battle of Point Pleasant prevented them from meeting.
The Shawnee leader, Cornstalk, had a loosely organized group of approximately 500 Indians waiting to attack Dunmore's officers. In the early morning hours, the Indians crossed the Ohio River and attacked. The Battle of Point Pleasant lasted into the afternoon and was very intense. However, by the end of the day, the Indians were retreating to the north bank of the Ohio River in defeat.
After the Battle of Point Pleasant, Dunmore marched his men north to the Shawnee villages. At this point, he was able to negotiate for peace. As a result of Dunmore's War, the Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and not harass them. This opened up present day West Virginia and Kentucky for settlement.
After Dunmore’s War, Richard Dotson returned to Pennsylvania where he stayed until after the close of the Revolutionary War. He served as an Indian Spy, which according to his statement, consisted in watching movements of the Indians examining their trails and giving information of their approach to the settlements. He principally served in Greene and adjoining counties and his headquarters were at Jenkinses Fort and Jarard Fort in Greene County. Captain John Minor was the commandant of these stations. In the summer of 1777 or 8 he and four of his companions had a skirmish with about the same number of Indians, that one of his party to wit: John Nichols was killed and one of the Indians was also killed by Richard Hall. This skirmish took place near Jarard Fort on Big Whitely.
After the close of the Revolution he returned to Shenandoah County, Virginia. He remained there a few years then went to Loudoun County, Virginia and stayed there about two years. From Loudoun County he went to Hampshire County, Virginia, where he lived about six years. Then he went to Wood County, Virginia, where he resided alternately with Tyler County.
In 1779, Richard was involved in an episode with Indians near what is now Fairmont, WV near Decker's Creek and some of his children were murdered. James Morgan, son of Col. Zackwell Morgan, dictated this article to Joseph H. Powell on James' eightieth birthday in 1850.
"The Indian Attack of the Smith Home"
Seventeen and seventy-nine was the year my father moved his family from the house where I was born to Decker’s Creek. I was nine then, being born in 1770. I went along with the years. Father sold his homestead land where Rivesville now is, in four parcels. I forget who the buyers were. I remember John and William Merrill got pieces. I think Bob Shearer got some. Father owned about 2500 acres there, joining Henry Batten at Longwell Spring Run.
Everybody asks me where Longwell Spring Run was. This name for that little dreen seems to be lost. It was the first dreen that emptied into the river below Pharaohs Run. At first father had all the land around there. Then he sold Mr. Duthett a parcel and Duthett didn't pay and he sold the same piece to Casper Bunner. He let uncle Dave (Morgan) have a thousand acres for moving here from Pennsylvania and uncle Dave took up a lot besides, in his own right after he moved in. Father let Mattie Hoult have about four hundred acres. The Merrils got their first land here from father and uncle Dave. There was some blood tie with the Merrills that began in Delaware. I've heard uncle Dave say that William Merrill married a Morgan cousin of ours. She's the woman that settled the hash for those Indians in Nelson County (Kentucky). I was to visit them once. They always called her 'Miff' and to save my life, I can't recall her given name. I'd ask other Morgans, But nearly all the old Morgans are gone, and the coming on Morgans don't remember nothing. The year we moved in late February or early March, onto the LeMaster land at Deckers Creek (Morgantown) was a bad year. Uncle Dave fought the Indians that year, April 13, I think it was. It was about a month later, those dirty boogers tried to get Steve and Sally. (Uncle Dave's Children)
Father and the Cochrans and the Evanses and others built our blockhouse on the first rise below Decker’s Creek, and that was our new home. Every body called it "Morgan's Fort", but it was just a big log house with loopholes in the walls to see and shoot from.
Just before we moved to Decker’s Creek, John Bozarth and family went down to Cheat River to visit Mrs. Bozarth's sister's family. named Smith. The Bozarths first owned the land where Fairmont is. They sold out to Tom Barns and moved to the head of the west fork river, but John's family still lived on there Fairmont land in the year I'm telling about, 1779. The Bad year for all of us around. George, John's boy, and I were good friends. Mrs. Bozarth was there at Smith's home when the Indians raided on Cheat. I heard uncle Dave say there was about thirty of them, broken in little bunches. Jacob Prickett had a brother settled in that country, and his boy Elias was at the Smiths' that day. He was about twenty years old I think.
The children were playing outside right after dinner, and yelled that the Indians were coming. Elias Prickett ran outside and was shot in the hip. He fell back into the door. The Indian ran inside. Dick (Richard) Dotson was in there, and he jumped the Indian and threw him down on the floor, yelling for something to kill him with. Mrs. Bozarth picked up an ax and chopped open the Indians head. Another Indian ran in yelling and shot Dick Dotson. It's been in the papers and in books, that Dotson was killed, but he wasn't. It's been in the papers and in books that the Bozarths lived on Dunkard Creek but they didn't. Just like about Uncle Dave's fight with the Indians here, a pack of lies has been told and printed about that trouble there on Cheat.
Mrs. Bozarth hit the Indian that shot Dotson, in the head and knocked him down and chopped his belly open and his entrails went dragging after him as he crawled out of the cabin. One of the Indians that was helping his friends murder the children in the yard, ran to help the hurt one and Mrs. Bozarth axed him, splitting his head open to the chin.
Elias Prickett became conscious and got a gun and ran to the door and shot at the Indians who were then running for the woods. If he did any damage, it wasn't known. I have read stories that say that the people stayed shut up in the house with the dead Indians and Dick Dotson for several days but this isn't true. The house was relieved within the hour, I've heard Uncle Dave and Jacob Prickett say, and John Ice was with those who relieved it, and helped bury the dead children of the Smith's, Dotson's and Bozarths, six in all.
Hardesty's History of Doddridge County, Central District says, "The first settler was Richard Dotson, who entered 600 acres of land, and in 1802 built his cabin near where Thomas Scott now resides. His earliest neighbors were James Scott, Nathan Davis, the Arnolds, Lottridges, Altermans, Ruddecks and Fergusons. The first white child born in the district was Ruth Dotson, a daughter of Richard and Millie Dotson."
I.S. Dotson, age 75, said on April 16, 1931, "My great grandfather (Richard Dotson) had a friend living near Sutton. His name was Mr. Sutton and the town was Sutton, West Virginia, and was named for him. Grandfather went to Sutton to hunt on his tract of land. I do not know the length of the stay -- but while there, he killed 63 bears. Mr. Sutton kept the bear meat for his share. Granddad brought home the bear hides for his share. "Old Dobbins", the horse, pulled the sled from Sutton to Toll Gate. Grand dad and Old Dobbins took the hides to Parkersburg, W.Va, and sold them to a Flat Boat man, and he took them to New Orleans, Louisiana and they were put on the world market."
Richard Dotson died in 1847 and is buried in the Arnold Creek Cemetery in Doddridge County, West Virginia.
Henry Taylor Franks was a contemporary of Richard Dotson and their children married. He was born in Piscataway, Maryland in 1751. It appears Henry was orphaned at an early age. In Loudon County, Virginia, on June 9, 1761, Henry Franks, an orphan 10 years and 3 months old, is bound to Thomas Stump, to learn 'The Trade of a Cord
Winder” (cordwainer). A cordwainer was a maker of high-grade footwear, such as boots and shoes worn by the military or gentry. Cordwain was the term applied to Spanish shoe leather which was considered to be the best grade.
Most information about Henry comes from his Revolutionary War pension application June 25, 1834. He said, "I served, the nature of our service being the protection of the frontier settlers from the barbarities of the Indians." He said he lived on the Big Whitely River about 20 miles from Beeson Town on the Monongahela River in what is now Greene County, Pennsylvania. At the time, this area was part of Virginia. Henry Franks first volunteered in the spring of 1775 for Revolutionary War service and again in June 1776, May 1777, Fall of 1777 and again in 1778.
Frontier Rangers were the Minute Men of the Frontiers. They formed regular Militia Companies, under elected officers, and were subject to call at a minute's notice. Their service was not continuous, but many of these men experienced more actual warfare than did their regular comrades. At each alarm a certain number or class would be called on to patrol the lines between the forts or penetrate deep into Indian territory to recover captives or punish a depredation. Always a certain number were held at Forts or strong points to make a show of strength and prevent incursions, with Scouts or Spies continuously moving from one Fort to another. During harvest time, and other busy days on the frontier farms, old men or boys often took up the job, to release their able-bodied fathers or sons for the heavy work. Examination of pension records show many boys of fourteen went out in place of the father and learned the soldier's job by experience. At times in Western Pennsylvania, the Rangers were called on to make real campaigns in considerable force, such as the George Roger's Clark Expedition.
Henry helped construct Fort McIntosh on the site of the present Beavertown, Ohio, where he later lived for many years. “The fort was made of strong stockades, furnished bastions and mounted with one six pounder.”
After the war, he lived near Clines Fort on the Monongahela in what is now Greene County, Pennsylvania. He then lived in Maryland about 25 miles from Cumberland for about 7 years, and then for about 21 years in Hampshire County, Virginia. About 1815 he returned to Beavertown in Washington Co, Ohio where he spent the rest of his life. He is buried in Beavertown, where he had helped to erect Fort McIntosh in1778.
Another Revolutionary War ancestor is James McDade who enlisted in Hampshire County, Virginia and served as a private in the 2nd Virginia Brigade and the 8th Virginia Regiment. He took part in battles at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Eutaw Springs and Camden.
On December 26th, 1776, Washington's Army crossed the Delaware and surprised the British at Trenton. The main attack was made by 2,400 troops under Washington on the Hessian Garrison. Washington's troops achieved total surprise and defeated the British forces. The American victory was the first of the war, and helped to restore American morale
At the end of August 1777, General Howe brought his army south by sea, threatening Philadelphia. On September 10th, Howe's forces attacked the American troops blocking his way to Philadelphia at Brandywine. In a daylong battle, the British vanquished the American forces. The Americans, however, were able to extract their army. After Howe had occupied Philadelphia, Washington attacked the British troops at Germantown. The morning was foggy, and American coordination broke down. As a result, the attack failed, and the American troops were forced to withdraw.
In 1778, the British withdrew from Philadelphia with a large train of supplies. General Washington carefully followed the British and, near Monmouth Court House, ordered an attack on the rear of their train. The fight soon turned into a general engagement between British and American forces. The American lines broke until General Washington arrived and single-handedly rallied the American troops.
In July 1780, Horatio Gates was at Camden, commanding a force of 1,400 Continentals. He was soon joined by patriot troops from Virginia and North Carolina. General Cornwallis was also in Camden, with an army of 3,000. Gates and Cornwallis soon found themselves facing each other across a field. The two sides advanced on each other, with the British regulars opposite the Carolina militiamen. After a few minutes, the Carolina line gave way. This led to a general crumbling of the American lines, and the American army was soon in complete retreat. At Camden James McDade received a bullet wound in his ankle that rendered him unfit for service.
On September 8, 1781 General Greene's Army approached the army of Colonel Stewart located in Eutaw Springs 30 miles northwest of Charleston. Greene believed that if he could destroy Stewart he could end the British threat to the south once and for all. Early in the morning of September 8th American troops advanced on the British troops. The American attack floundered when the men stopped to plunder the camp. The British counterattacked and forced the Americans to withdraw. The end result however, was that the British were too weak to hold the field anymore. At Eutaw Springs James McDade received a bayonet thrust through his body and sword wound on his wrist.
He served for 3 years, substituting for Uriah Gandee for 18 months beginning in 1780. He received a pension in Mason Co, Virginia.
William Hannamon, Benjamin Cox, and James McDade were the first known English settlers in Jackson County, VA moving into the Mill Creek area in May 1796. The first two built homes and took up permanent residence in the county. McDade served as an Indian scout, traveling the banks of the Ohio River and the wilderness between the mouths of the Great and Little Kanawha Rivers, with his only companion, a faithful dog, at his side. It was said that his sole ambition in life was to alert some poor traveler of the presence of Indians and prevent them from becoming a victim of what he viewed were murderous savages.
James McDade was part of the advance guard to precede the coming settlers to Jackson County, Virginia. As an Indian scout he was well known to Colonel Daniel Boone at Fort Lee, where Charleston now stands.
Another Revolutionary War ancestor is George Connolly who was born May 20, 1761. On August 11, 1834 George Connolly, aged 72 years, applied for his pension saying that he enlisted for 3 years in April 1779 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, under Capt. Lovely. He stayed in Fredericksburg, with the other soldiers who had enlisted, for about 2 weeks. He then marched to Richmond, Virginia and joined the 4th Regiment commanded by Colonel William Davis. He stayed a few days and then marched to the coalmines in Henrico County, Virginia where he stayed four months.
He said that when the British came into Richmond, the troops were marched into battle. When they got to Richmond, the British had gone down the River to their ships. The troops pursued them by land down the river, but did not overtake them. They were then marched back to Richmond and stayed a few days. Afterwards, they were marched to Chesterfield Court House where they wintered for six months.
From Chesterfield Court House the troops were marched to Petersburg where they stayed four months. In April 1781, the Enemy appeared across the creek and began firing upon the American Army which had found access along the street and on the opposite side of the creek. After firing 23 rounds, George was wounded both in his arm and his leg. The American Army retreated, leaving George Connolly and about 19 others prisoners. They were taken aboard a British ship, where the ball in George’s leg was extracted by one of their surgeons. The prisoners were then sent on to New York and put in the hospital there. Upon his getting well, he said he was imprisoned with about 300 other Americans He said he was in the hospital and prison in New York for seven months until Clinton evacuated the town. This was subsequent to Cornwallis' defeat at Yorktown in October 1781.
When the prisoners were set free, he went home to Richmond County Virginia where he where he lived for 8 years. He then moved to Harrison County where he stayed 16 years; to Lewis County where he stayed 2 years; and then to Kanawha County VA where he had lived for 9 years at the time he applied for his pension. He is referred to as Dr. George Connolly, but it is not certain if he was a physician. He signed his name to his pension application, and it appears he was could read and write.
Around 1825, he was one of the first settlers on the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River which flows in a north by west direction through the Washington District of Calhoun County, West Virginia. He settled just below the mouth of Sier's Run, at Minnora, and in 1833 he owned 140 acres on the West Fork. In 1835 Dr. George Connolly taught the first school in the Washington District. The schoolhouse was a small cabin, typical of all early pioneer schoolhouses and was located on the right fork of the West Fork. He died May 10, 1838.
Jacob Jones was also in the Revolutionary War. He came about 1770 to Monongalia County, Virginia and settled near present town of Pentree. He was frontier fighter in the war and in 1794 received a land grant In Tyler County, Virginia for his Revolutionary War service.
A dramatic story involves two of his children and begins on a June evening on Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County in the year 1777 when Polly Jones was 13 and John Jones 11.
On this fresh, rain-washed evening there was excitement in the cabin of Jacob Jones as he, accompanied by his two children, John and Polly, were preparing to go and spend the night at the cabin of Jacob Farmer, about two miles up the creek. By staying the night with the Farmers, they would be up early the next morning to help their neighbor with his corn hoeing, which helpful customs being common among pioneer families. At dusk, the trio started out, Jones carrying his flintlock, Polly skipping along in her nut-brown linsey-woolsey and John bringing up the rear clad in homespun jeans. The children carried three hoes against the morrow's task. About a mile up the creek, so the story has been handed down in the families, they were joined by Alexander Clegg, Nathan Worley and John Marsh who were also on their way to the Farmer's cabin.
Sometime in the small, silent hours between midnight and dawn, the whinnying of a horse awoke the sleeping occupants of the cabin who discovered they were surrounded by a large band of hostile Indians. The loopholes of the cabin were quickly manned and the long wait began for morning and the inevitable attack. At the first light of dawn, the Indians opened fire on the isolated dwelling eventually killing Worley and Farmer and leaving the defense to Marsh, Jones, Clegg, Mrs. Farmer and the children.
Against such odds, the outcome was certain. When the Indians finally streamed shrieking into the cabin, Jones and Marsh managed to make their escape. From their concealment they watched the victorious Indians with John and Polly Jones, and Susie Farmer as captives, start out on the long trek back to the Wyandotte settlement near what is now Sandusky, Ohio. Jones and Marsh set out to follow the savages and free the captive children, but about the second day, the Indians' trail seemed made of air and the men were finally forced to abandon the pursuit and turn back.
Polly, so the old story goes, was quick, unafraid and keen enough to obey the Indians orders while John, although he patterned his behavior much after his sisters, fretted constantly and spent much time in making plans to escape. But Susie Farmer, two years older than Polly, spent her entire time crying. So, when the Ohio River was reached, Susie was tomahawked and scalped before the eyes of the Jones children. A great celebration was held when the two young white children were led captive into the Indian village. They were made to run the gauntlet several times, and their courage must have impressed the braves, as the two children were adopted into Wyandotte families.
Five years later, John managed to escape and reach Detroit where a Dr. Harvey educated him to be a physician and adopted him. Six years after his escape, on his way to England to finish his education, he returned to his old home for a visit. Eventually Dr. John Jones married and settled west of Grafton. His daughter Mary Jones, married Thomas Thorne from near Fairmont, and the young couple came to Palestine in Wirt County, West Virginia to establish their home.
Polly Jones, John’s sister, adjusted to her life among the Indians and lived with them until her rescue in 1787. She was taken to Detroit and adopted by the family of General McCoombs, an English army officer. In 1790, she married Peter Melott, a Frenchman, and they made their home in Kingsville, Ontario.
Polly made but one trip back to her childhood home in 1817. Appearing at the cabin of her parents one spring evening like a ghost from the past, she stayed several months and then returned to Kingsville.
David Sayre was born on May 30, 1736 in Essex County, New Jersey. He served in the Revolutionary War as a private in Essex County, New Jersey militia, and is listed in the DAR Patriot Index. He was a blacksmith. He moved to the northwest part of Virginia, before the close of the eighteenth century, where he purchased large tracts of land. He moved into Mason County, Virginia around 1801. He died on July 11, 1826 in Letart Falls, Meigs County, Ohio.
William “Grandfather Billy” McClung also served in the Revolutionary War. The monument on his grave states: Virginia Ensign, Virginia Militia, Revolutionary War. He is listed in the DAR Patriot Index.
In 1773 he moved with his wife and three children from Rockbridge Co., VA to the mouth of Big Clear Creek, near what is now Rupert, WV. Because of the Indians, he soon moved to near Williamsburg, WV to be near Ft. Donnally and he lived there three years. He returned to Big Clear Creek about 1776. He was the first settler on Meadow River. The area became known as McClung's Meadows, and the river later became Meadow River. He took a tomahawk entry for a few thousand acres of land on that river and its tributaries. A tomahawk entry was made by deadening a few trees near a spring, and marking on one or more of them the initials of the person by whom the improvement was made. Rights, acquired in this way, were frequently bought and sold. When he first raised his cabin, there was not a store or mill in many miles of his lonely habitation. The Indians were so troublesome that he plowed with his rifle tied to his shoulder, while his wife with her musket and three little children, took refuge in the dense swamp during the day, returning to the cabin only at night when he was there to defend them.
In partnership with General Andrew Moore (his brother-in-law) and Alexander Welch, he patented a tract of land containing 43,000 acres lying between the Meadow River and the Gauley River, in what is now Nicholas Co., West Virginia. In 1782 William entered 230 acres on Slab Camp Creek, including 100 acres of a military warrant which was part of a survey made for William McClung in 1776.
His descendants are numerous in Greenbrier and Nicholas Counties. During his lifetime he frequently remarked that he could stand on his doorstep, blow his bugle and call two hundred of his descendants to breakfast. In his old age, he used to give hundred-acre tracts of land to his grandchildren for birthday presents.
He was very tall and handsome in appearance, a good conversationalist and a most estimable citizen. He was a Presbyterian and donated two acres of land on Otter Creek, one mile west of Meadow Bluff, for the erection of a church. The church later came into the possession of the Baptists. The Amwell Baptist Church near Rupert is the outgrowth.
William was an elder in the Old Stone Church in Lewisburg, and he would travel 20 miles to attend. He died January 18, 1833 and is buried in the Otter Creek cemetery, one mile west of Meadow Bluff, West Virginia. A monument was placed there in 1968. William McClung’s will was made in Greenbrier County, Virginia and is dated August 1833. It names sons John, James, William, Alexander, Samuel & Joseph. Daughters named are Catherine, Abigail Black, Mary, and Jane Cavendish.
It is said that about 1728, Robert McCutchen and his brothers came to the colonies from Glasgow, Scotland. Robert settled in Augusta County, Virginia. He married Margaret Callison. Her parents are unknown, but there were many marriages among the McCutcheons, Callisons and McClungs, all of whom settled in Greenbrier County, Virginia. The son of Robert and Mary McCutcheon, Jones McCutcheon , married the daughter of William “Grandfather Billy” McClung. Jones’ son, William Madison McCutcheon , born in 1802, came to Wirt County in 1852 at age 50 with wife Nancy Callison who was also age 50. They lived on McCutcheon's Run in the Spring Creek District of Roane County then Virginia. Barnabas (Barney) Hylbert who arrived either with them or shortly thereafter married their daughter, Mary. Another source refers to him as the Reverend W. M McCutcheon and says he came from Greenbrier County to Fayette County then to what is now Wirt County about 1845. He settled on what is now McCutcheon's Run, a branch of Left Reedy named for him. His son James later owned the farm and at his death, Guy McCutcheon became owner of this farm. He sold it to J. Clyde Law.
It is believed that James Callison was born about 1739 in Ballyhagen, Armagh, Ireland. Records of the Burlington New Jersey Quaker monthly meetings show a James Callison was received on certificate from Bellyhagan, Armah County, Ireland dated 8/5/1763. From 1787 to 1825 there are records of several land grants for a James Callison in Greenbrier County, Virginia. His granddaughter was Nancy Callison who married William Madison McCutcheon, probably in Nicholas County, West Virginia.
There is a family legend about the name of “Boggs” which goes as follows:
The Boggses were originally Livingstons. Lord Livingston disinherited a son because he became a Baptist. This son joined the army and became an officer. Once, during a war, this officer and his men pursued the enemy into the swamps. After a battle the general, when calling his army together, discovered that Livingston was not there. Later he arrived and reported his victory over the enemy in the swamps. He was then called Livingston of the Bogs. He assumed the name of Boggs.
James Boggs was born about 1667 in Londonderry, Ireland about 1667. He married in Ireland and his wife died there before 1724 when he and two daughters and seven sons immigrated to Philadelphia to New Castle County, Delaware. James purchased 100 acres of land in Delaware on November 17, 1726. James' will was dated February 9, 1736.
James Charles Boggs , a grandson of James Boggs, was born in New Castle County Delaware about 1725. He married Margaret Jane Sharp January 25, 1751 at Wilmington, Delaware. He had 11 children: 8 boys, and 3 girls. The family lived in Chester County PA until 1764, when they moved to Augusta County VA. In 1771, the family moved to Spring Lick Creek in Greenbrier County VA (WV), where James died about 1805. According to family tradition, sons John, Jacob, and Charles Jr. fought in the battle of Point Pleasant.
Son John Attie Boggs was born in Chester County Pennsylvania on February 14, 1763. However, he is showing as age 82 in the 1850 census which would make his date of birth 1768. It is said he was at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, but due to his age, that is unlikely. It is also said he fought in the Revolutionary War as a private. According to family history, John had blue eyes and was a passionate and high-tempered man. He married Susan Drennan in Greenbrier County Virginia April 23, 1787. They lived in the Meadows of Greenbrier County where they owned a large plantation in partnership with Charles McClung. They were cattle dealers. Around 1828, John sold his share of the plantation and on January 1, 1831 purchased 8000 acres plus another 4000 in the Spring Creek area of Roane County West Virginia. The deeds are on record in Jackson County, West Virginia deed book 7, page 6. He came to Roane County with the Vandales and Leonard Simmons, and brought about 20 slaves with him. He lost some of his land because of defective titles. On April 11, 1833 John "deeded" slaves to his children. According to family history, some of the slaves' names were: Mateldia, Mary, Holly, Bob, Marther, Perry, Marlinda, George, Matelda, Molly, Mary, and Mariah. John Boggs also gave his children money and tracts of land. Although some reports say he lived to be 100 years old and walked 20 miles after he was 100, he was age 82 in the 1850 census of Kanawha County, (W) VA and died in Roane County (W) VA on November 15, 1861. This would have made him an old man at his death, but probably only around age 93. John and Susan are buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Susan Drennin Boggs was age 77 in the 1850 census making her born about 1773. Susan’s maternal grandfather was Jacob Marlin , who was a trader from Prince George's County, Maryland, where he had come at a young age. In 1749, Jacob Marlin and Stephen Seawall of New England came to Winchester, Virginia. They were among the first settlers west of the Allegheny Mountains. He also explored the Shenandoah Valley in what is now Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties with John Salling, another trader. It is said they had crossed the James River and came to the Roanoke River, when about fifteen Cherokee Indians ambushed them. John Salling was captured. Marlin made a settlement was in Pocahontas County known as Marlin's Bottom. When John Lewis and his son, later General Andrew Lewis, came to Marlin’s Bottom, Jacob Marlin was living in a log cabin on the banks of the Greenbrier River. Now, it's called Marlinton, West Virginia. Family history says that the mother of his daughter was an Indian maiden, but there is no proof.
Drennan was spelled several different ways; Drennon, Drenner, Drennin. The original Drennins' were Irish. It is believed that Susan Drennin’s paternal grandfather, Walter Drennin, was born in County Antrim, Ireland around 1710. He was in Greenbrier County as early as 1742. Like Jacob Marlin, he was a trader from Prince George's County, Maryland. He may also have been in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for a time. Some members of his family were captured and/or murdered by Indians. It is said that Walter was scalped and left for dead but later recovered.
After the Indian threats ended and the Revolutionary War was over, our ancestors joined the droves of settlers who headed westward over the Virginia mountains, and practically all of them ended up in what is now West Virginia during the 1800’s.
William Dotson was born about 1776 probably on the Big Whitely River in what is now Greene County, Pennsylvania while his father, Richard Dotson, was serving as an Indian spy. At that time Greene County was considered to be part of Virginia.
After the war was over, William went with his father back to Shenandoah Co, VA for a few years. He would have lived in Loudoun County and then moved to Hampshire County with his father around 1794. William married Mary Ann Franks about 1796 probably in Hampshire Co, VA. In 1804 William and Mary and two children apparently came with William's father, Richard, to settle in what was then part of Wood County and what is now Greenwood, Doddridge County, West Virginia.
Once settled and a landowner, William and his wife Mary Ann continued to farm and raise a large family. Other than land transactions we don’t have much information about their lives. He was a farmer and could not read and write, but he was considered to be an honorable person. On September 5, 1854 William and Mary Dotson made their marks on an affidavit. At the time William said he was aged 79 years and Mary was age 74 years. The justice of the peace said he personally knew both William and Mary Dotson and that "they are creditable persons and their statements are entitled to credit." William died January 08, 1865. Doddridge County death records show his birthplace as Hampshire County, Virginia & his parents as Richard and Mary Dotson. His son, William Dotson, gave the information.
Aaron Cheuvront was born on May 14, 1782 in Fredericksburg, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was married first to Matilda Grant, second to Sarah Richards and third to Matilda Bolin.
Aaron was given 93 acres in Harrison County where Midway, near Good Hope is now located. He built a large two-story log house, weather boarded and ceiled with the finest yellow popular limber. About 1838, he sold this log house and the surrounding land and moved to Jackson County.
In 1836 Aaron and two brothers had purchased approximately 2000 acres in Jackson County in the vicinity of the Nesselroad Fork of Sandy Creek. In 1838, they moved by flat bottom boat down the West Fork, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers to Ravenswood and then over land. The region was sparsely settled, and no wagon road had been completed. Some younger members of the family hacked out a road across the county and brought some livestock through.
Aaron was the first blacksmith of Lockhart, Jackson County (West) Virginia. The village of Lockhart occupies a site that was once a part of the 7000-acre tract of land once owned by John Allison, one of the early governors of Virginia. Aaron Cheuvront died on February 9, 1863. His granddaughter married the grandson of John Lockhart.
John Lockhart was born in Hampshire County Aug. 6, 1766 and died August 4, 1832. He was an early settler of Wood County near Mineral Wells, but had moved to Right Reedy Creek, in Wirt County by 1811. His wife's name was Christeny. Her last name is uncertain. She was born Mar. 17, 1768 and died Apr. 27, 1836. She and her husband are buried in the Palestine Cemetery, Wirt County, West Virginia
John Lockhart arrived in what is now Wood County, West Virginia soon after the first settlement at Neale's Station, now Parkersburg. He later built a home on the creek near Mineral Wells that is still known as Lockhart's Run. Some time after 1800, John Lockhart moved to Right Reedy Creek, near Palestine, at the mouth of Lynn Camp run. Patent rights were secured for one hundred acres on Reedy Creek in 1811. John Lockhart acquired several acres of land through patent rights and purchases in both Wood and Wirt Counties and along the Little Kanawha River.
John Lockhart became a Charter Member of the Bethesda Baptist Church in Palestine in 1816. Other charter members were Lawrence King, Caleb Wiseman, Jane King, Catherine Steele, Jane Dye, Emily Langtitt, Rev Lawrence King, Rev M. B Edmondson and Rev. Cornelius Huff. His daughter’s marriage was the first in upper Wirt County.
A page in Christeny Lockhart's Bible has the following:
Names and ages of John Lockhart & his Family
John Lockhart was born August 6th, 1766
Christeny Lockhart March 17, 1768
Margaret Lockhart July 30th, 1789
Isaac Lockhart February 2nd, 1792
Mary Lockhart April 2nd 1794
Amy Lockhart Oct 29th 1796
John M Lockhart Aug 27th 1799
Sally Lockhart March 27th 1802
Elizabeth L Lockhart Sept 8th 1804
Nancy Lockhart May 8th 1807
William Enoch Lockhart March 19th 1810
Henry Lockhart Nov 14 1829
His will is recorded in Will Book No. 3, page 187 Wood County:
I, John Lockhart, of Wood County, and State of Virginia, being of sound mind and memory do hereby make and constitute my last will and testament in manner and form following viz:
1st I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Christeny Lockhart, the use of all my estate, real and personal, during her natural life and at her death
2nd I give and bequeath unto my sons John, (Enoch?) and William E Lockhart and their heirs forever the land on which I live, to be equally divided among them
3rd I give and bequeath at the same time that is to the decease of my wife all my personal property to be equally divided among my son Isaac Lockhart, my daughter Margaret, alias Margaret Sheppard, Mary Lockhart, alias Mary Stephens, Sarah Hindman, Elizabeth Lockhart, the heirs of my deceased daughter Amy Steed, to them and their heirs forever.
4th Lastly I appoint and constitute my beloved wife and my son Isaac Lockhart executors of this my last will and testament.
In testimony whereof I have here-unto set my hand and seal this 17th day of March 1832
Written at the end of the Bible mentioned above:
To the memory of my Father:
John Lockhart was born in Hampshire County VA August 6th in the year of our Lord 1766 and deceased this life in Wood County, VA on the 4th day of August Saturday 2:00 forenoon 1832 aged sixty six years wanting two days.
"Remember man when this you see
As you are now so once was he
As he is now so you'll become
Prepare for death and follow him"
William E Lockhart
The Reverand Eli Fry, pastor of the Baptist Church at Bethesda, held his funeral on August 5th, 1832. He preached from the 9th chapter of Hebrews the 27th & 28th verses. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The following information is family tradition. Joseph Hylbert was born in 1776 in Germany, came to America in 1798, and settled in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His son, John William Hylbert, was born in Virginia about the turn of the century, was educated in the Harrisonburg schools, was an influential citizen in the district and became a teacher in the Harrisonburg schools. He married Esther Amick who was from Germany or the Netherlands. They had two sons, John or James Callahan Hylbert and Henry Barnabas Hylbert. A descendant, Sam Hylbert, has copy of a deed signed by a John Hilbert in 1827 in Nicholas County in which he rented land from Esther Amick's father and borrowed money from Esther Amick's brother.
Family tradition reports a land purchase by a "Hilbert" in 1801 and a land sale by "Hilbert" in 1803 in Harrisonburg. There is also a record of the marriage of John Hilbert and Ester Amick on February 20, 1823. Sometime between 1823 and 1827, they migrated to Nicholas County, VA, where two sons were born, Henry Barnabas born February 18, 1827, and Callahan in 1829. It is said there was a steamboat explosion on the river and there was reason to think John William Hylbert was involved. James or John Callahan was sent to find out about him and disappeared.
The family knows nothing of John William Hylbert's death or place of burial. Widow Hester Amick Hylbert later married Joseph "Cranberry Joe" McClung. They had two sons, Jacob, who married a McCutcheon, and Joseph, who went out West and was supposedly murdered.
Henry Barnabas Hylbert was born February 15, 1827 in Nicholas County, Virginia. In 1852 he moved to Wirt County, probably with the McCutcheon family. He married Mary McCutcheon, daughter of William and Nancy Callison McCutcheon.
They lived on McCutcheon's run in the Spring Creek District, and Barney married the McCutcheon's daughter, Mary. After Mary died from complications of childbirth in 1864, Barney remarried in 1865 to a first cousin of Mary, Sara Jane McClung, a daughter of George Alderson McClung and Abagail Callison.
Barney was a member of Good Hope Baptist Church which was a log house. The Church was near the mouth of Cain's Run. Records of Mount William Church, organized April 14, 1889, show Henry Barnabas Hylbert was baptized by Rev Martin Bibb in 1865 and was dismissed from church rolls due to death 8/5/1894
The following obituary was written and signed by Thomas J Monroe, pastor of Mt. William Church:
On the evening of August 5th, 1894 at his home in Wirt County, West Virginia, Henry Barnabas Hylbert departed this life, aged 67 years five months and 11 days. (Note: Tombstone shows 67 years, 6 months, 15 days).
He was born February 18, 1827 in Nicholas County, West Virginia and made that his home. He was converted at twelve years of age and joined the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and remained a member of that church until he moved to Wirt County, West Virginia in 1852. He then united with the Good Hope Baptist Church near Reedy, Roane County, West Virginia. Then in 1889 when the Mount William Baptist Church was organized he was a charter member and remained a faithful member of that church until death.
Uncle Barney, as he was called by all who knew him, was as near a model Christian as I have ever seen. He was a good neighbor and friend to all. When any benevolent object was presented to the church he was always ready to assist and that liberally. In paying the pastor he always gave more than any one else in the church.
His funeral was preached by Rev. Thomas J. Monroe, the writer who used as his text I Samuel 20:18, "Then Jonathon said to David, tomorrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed because thy seat shall be empty." That was the largest congregation ever assembled at that place for his friends were many, and he was kind to all.
His sons eight in number carried his remains to the Mount William Cemetery where he was buried. Uncle Barney leaves a widow, Mrs. Sarah Jane Hylbert, eight sons and tow daughters, all living.
I have been his pastor three years and his home was his pastor's home. He always was the most resigned man to the will of the Lord I have ever seen. Mount William Church has lost a noble member and the community one of its best citizens. May the rich blessings of God rest upon the family in their bereavement.
His son was John William Hylbert who was born May 18, 1856. In November 1921, J.W. Hylbert submitted some articles to the "Reedy News” outlining his memories of the area and of people he knew. He also gave some biographical information about himself.
He said he was born in 1856 and that his parents lived on the headwaters of McCutcheon Run. He said his mother died when he was 9 years old and that his father remarried and that his second wife, Sarah J McClung was still living in 1921. He said there were 10 children -- four boys and one girl by his father's first wife and four boys and one girl by his second wife.
He said one of the first things he remembers hearing about was the breaking out of the Civil War, and the oil excitement at Burning Springs. He said at that time, living on McCutcheon Run in addition to his father and grandfather were Andrew Collison, James McCutcheon, William McCutcheon, George Seaman, Thomas Lee and Zadoc Thorn. He said at that time there was no road across to Spring Creek and the road ended at his father's.
The first Sunday School he ever attended was at Good Hope Baptist Church.
He never attended school until after the Civil War, when free schools were established, "therefore I was twelve years old before I attended school -- our school term being three or four months. Among the first and best teachers that I went to was T. J. Thorn, who is still living at Saxton, Ohio. You would never guess that I had taught nine terms of school from my spelling." He later says, "I believe six months are a plenty for a winter term of school, especially under compulsory attendance. With improved equipment and teachers, if the child wants to learn, it is enough. And if he doesn't, it is too much." He also said "I attended a school there (Ravenswood) taught by Rev. McMillan, who was at that time pastor of the Presbyterian Church and editor of the Ravenswood News. I studied Latin, Algebra and Philosophy . . . After attending school I went into his printing office to learn the printer's trade, and remained here a year of more. Although Jackson County had at that time but one newspaper, I hardly think it would compare favorably with the Reedy News. Shortly after this the Jackson Herald was started in Ripley. After the death of Rev. McMillan the Ravenswood News was sold to McGlothlin Brothers and considerable improvement was made on it."
J. W. or Bill Hylbert and his father, Henry Barnabas Hylbert were teachers, farmers and good carpenters. He took the teacher's examination and taught at Little Creek school in Roane Co, West Virginia. He was a community leader in what is now known as the Grace Community. He met Bertha Lockhart while teaching in Wirt Co. Bertha was a good student and a good scribe according to her daughter. Bertha married J.W. when she was 16 and he was 26. They went to Roane County to live. They had a log cabin on a hill near the present Gilboa Baptist Church. They then built a two-story home across Spring Creek. About the time the children were getting married and leaving home, they built a two-story home next to the Gilboa Baptist Church. He donated a portion of land for the church and the Grace School.
On October 10, 1922 he penned the following:
According to Nature I know that before very long this life here on earth must terminate and wishing my posterity well and that harmony and love may be with them. I will make no will but leave my estate to be divided according to law. My wish is that each heir shall receive their just share and there be no lawsuits over any property. If there be difference of opinion I would (?) for three arbitrators to settle the same.
In conclusion I want to say that God has been good to me and though I have come far short of serving Him as I should I trust that through His grace that we may praise Him throughout eternity for His goodness. My God bless you all.
His estate was administered August 29, 1927.