If you are in any way related to the Ourys you may find this interesting.Debby and I recently had the privilege of seeing the graves of my Great Grand Parents - John Foster Oury and Louisa MacIntyre Oury in Seven Mile Ford, VA.Finding this Cemetery was no easy task.A full year ago we searched for hours in vain but this year
we found a local resident who could guide us.The cemetery is called Aspenvaleand is even part of the Nation Registry since December 5, 1980.It is a historic landmark not because of the Ourys but because of some prominent Revolutionary era leaders/politicians (Prestons).To me the most famous buried there is the sister of Patrick Henry (Signer of the Declaration Of Independence), who married a Preston.
The cemetery is located high up on a hill surrounded by mountains behind a farm.To get to it you enter what appears to be a private farms driveway and follow a gravel road.To our surprise the very first grave we sawbefore exiting our van was Capt. John F. Oury.The Oury grave is in the very first row, second from the right.The very first grave on the right was his wife Louisa MacIntrye Oury.Unfortunately, her stone is broken in two.In the attached photo Debby is holding it together.
There are several Oury graves all in the same area with even more McCreadys.The connection to the McCready's is that John Foster's sister Rhoda married a McCready.Post Louisa's death in 1877, Rhoda came to live with her brother to presumably help take care of the children.We assume Rhoda's husband had passed away at an earlier date.
Seven Mile Ford, VAand the surrounding area is one of the most picturesque places I have ever seen.There are large mountain ranges, lush mature trees, rolling hills and almost total isolation.It is located in Smyth County which is even today very small in population.The town is centered on Hwy. 11, known as Lee Hwy, which runs directly parallel to a major interstate I-81.The border to Tennessee is less than 35 miles away and West Virginia
is not too far off either.Truly, it is a beautiful setting.
Only in the recent years have I been really curious about the Oury history.As a result, I have been trying to match historical record, physical locations, andfamily folk lore.It has been a fascinating journey.First, there are several inconsistencies that can be found on the internet on various sites.Spelling of names vary, dates vary, locations contradict themselves, and different Ourys at times are mixed into different families. For example, the Mormon search sites had the cemetery name as Aspen Oak and not Aspenvale.They might be right!The area is surrounded by Oak trees but in August 2003 new signs were posted as Aspinvale circa 1770.The government web site spells it Aspenvale.
So how do we know for 100% what is true?The answer is we don't!However, there are several records that give us enough consistent context clues that I can connect many generations with fairly high confidence.In a separate e-mail I will send a revised version of what I shared a year ago on the Oury Genealogy.
The only living relative I have talked with who interacted with relatives in Seven Mile Ford is Gordon Oury. ( My uncle, brother of my father Levi Irving Oury.)He is age 83, soon to be 84.I so enjoy hearing his stories but on some details I feel like I dampened some of his enthusiasm with my "almost fact" research.For example, he has always believed that his Grandfather, John Foster Oury, fought in the historic battle of Vicksburg.This in fact may be true!However, I have found several accounts of his military record that said his unit saw very little action in the Civil War as they had a very unique alignment.John Foster Oury, has historical record that he was a Confederate soldier in the 63rd. Virginia Infantry and he was the leader of Company K.He was first a First Lieutenant and then a Captain.What is unique is that he served under General Alexander Welch Reynolds, a West Point graduate, who led the Tennessee troops.The 63rd. Infantry were the only troops out of Virginia not aligned with everyone else in Virginia.The soldiers from Virginia could be argued saw the most bloodiest
of battles which is a contrast to the experiences of those who fought in Tennessee.However, they are all close together and who knows on any given day who saw what battle?
An exciting find I did confirm did start with Uncle Gordon.He said we had a descendant that fought in the Revolutionary War which was news to me.But sure enough the Grandfather of John Foster Oury, Wendel Oury, did in fact serve as a Captain in the 8th. Pennsylvania Regiment from 1776 to 1777.
The Ourys pretty consistently called and/or knew each other by middle names.As a result some children are double booked in history.For example, John Foster and Louisa are listed as having both a Thomas Augustus Oury and an Augustus Oury, which are in fact the same person as they show the exact same birth and death dates.Uncle Gordon knew him as Uncle Gus.He died in 1929.Proceeding him was a brother to John Foster Oury by the exact same name - Thomas Augustus Oury (12/1829 to 9/1862).
My biggest update is that we are in fact directly related to the most famous Ourys - Granville Henderson Oury and William Sanders Oury.Their past is well documented but I would be hesitant to boast the connection.They are directly related.Here's is how.All of us connect back to Wendel.Our direct line goes: Wendel to Christopher to John Foster to John Martin, etc.The Christopher in that line had a brother named George who had son named Augustus who was the father of both Granville and William.Chris and George were brothers.John Foster Oury andAugustus Oury would be cousins, not to be confused with John Foster's son and brother both named Thomas Augustus Oury and both known as Gus themselves.
A challenge we faced and resolved was as follows:While Christopher and George were contemporaries born in 1771 and 1767 respectively. Their children John Foster and Augustus were 44 years apart in age.John Foster was born in l830 and Augustus was 1786.Our direct line relative Christopher had John Foster at age 58 or 59 by a second wife (function of death, not divorce), while George was only 18 or 19 when he had Augustus (father of Granville and William).
Carrying it on John Foster, born 1830, was somewhat contemporary to both Granville born 1825 and William born in 1816 but technically of different generations.They were all born in the same region (Washington County became part of Smyth County) and they all fought as Confederates but in different parts of the Country.I don't know if they knew each other. (??)
It is easy find lots of information on William and Granville. There are even photographs and to me they even look like Ourys.In one book I was amused to find they loved horses.Loved to ride wild and do tricks.In everything they did they we very competitive, fiercely independent, and were contrary to the norms of society.Their tempers got them in trouble but they were natural leaders.They were loyal to those around them but not always very likeable.
John Foster on the other hand seemed to be a family man.He and Louisa had anywhere from 7 to 9 children.We saw many of their graves.Not all lived long.The saddest find was that Louisa died in child birth in 1877 at age 36. The date of birth for their daughter also named Louisa was the same.John Foster only made it to age 58 and there is no record of him ever re-marrying.
An interesting connect was that I found a recent funeral notice 12/30/2000 for Robert Oury Adkison because the request was send funds to the Seven Mile Ford, VA Presbyterian Church in lieu of flowers.His mother, Nannie Lee Adkison, still living ( I believe) in Norfolkwas a direct cousin to John Martin.They all had in common Aunt Rhoda, sister of John Martin, who lived until her death in 1945 just south of Seven Mile Ford in Chilhowie, VA.She married Reese Dungan and lived on a farm.I remember my father, Lee Oury, telling me about hunting rabbits there as a boy with his .410 Shotgun.My sister Kathi Bennett, remembers our father referring to Seven Mile Ford as "absolutely beautiful" which I agree.
Uncle Gordon says his father, John Martin Oury, when he visited from Chicago to his boyhood home he would preach at the Presbyterian Church frequently.His Billy Sunday style (loud and emotional) of preaching was embarrassing to Gordon as a child.For the record we have more Baptist, than Presbyterian roots in the context of Church and burial records.In my next e-mail, I will give you the dates, spouses, etc of our family roots.
I hope you found this interesting.
David Foster Oury
12/04/57 - son of Levi Irving Oury and Christine Nora Liberg;Spouse of Deborah E'rna Ross (married 5/26/1990)
Father of5 -Andrew James Oury, Hannah Christine Oury, Rachael Jane Oury, Levi Joseph Oury, and Jonathan David Oury.One additional child lost pre-term referred to by the family Solomon John Oury but sex was unknown.