Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Settlers and other families (part 1) A - H

   The following is a short list, and description, of some of the first frontier families of what later became Summers County.  Although some of these families factor indirectly, or not at all, in the story of Streeter, they are worth mentioning.  After all, I'll bet that you might be related to them (at least one or more) somewhere in your family tree.  Now, I've mentioned the Ellisons, Packs, Farleys, and Meadows( -ors)  numerous times in other posts, so I am not including them here.  I mean no disrespect if I forget to mention your family's name.


  Captain Matthew Arbuckle was born in 1741 in what is now Botetourt County and was one of the first settlers to explore the Greenbriar valley (according to some accounts).  He was a trapper and hunter.  His father, James, was born in Scotland.

    He joined the Virginia militia in 1758.  He commanded a militia company and served as chief scout and guide.  In fact, he guided General Lewis and the rest of their army to Point Pleasant in Dunmore's War against Chief Cornstalk.

   Arbuckle was one of the first men to move to present day Lewisburg, WV.  His plot of land was on the corner of Jefferson and Randolph streets.

    He married twice.  First to Jane Lockhart.  This marriage produced sons: Charles and John.  His second marriage was to Francis Hunter (she too was married before to a James Lawrence, Jr.).  Their marriage produced:  Matthew Arbuckle (who became a famous general), Thomas, Samuel, and James II.

    For an interesting read, checkout Arbuckle and Col. James Stewart's involvment in the affair of Chief Cornstalk's death.


     One of the first of the Ballard family mentioned is William Ballard.  He was a Private then later a Corporal in the Revolutionary War.  He enlisted in 1779 and was in the battle at Yorktown.  He married Elizabeth Steppe.  He settled in Greenbrier County.

     Elijah Ballard of Hans Creek was also a Revolutionary War veteran.  He was granted 970 acres on Hans  Creek.


  Alexander Clark, son of James ad Elizabeth Summers Clark was born in 1736.  He lived near Indian Creek in Summers County.  He married Sarah Lafferty.  He was involved in a number of skirmishes with Indians in the y. Children: James 1764, Rebecca 1766, William 1771, Ralph 1773, Alexander 1775, John, 1778, Martha 1780, Samuel 1782.

  His son Alexander II was born 1775 and married Mary Hawkins (daughter of Samuel Hawkins and Mary Erwin).  He was a soldier in the War of 1812.  They had twelve children:  James 1797, Sarah 1798, Hannah 1800, Elizabeth 1802, William 1803, Nancy 1805, Samuel 1807, Salina 1808, Alexander C. 1810, Rufus 1812, Lucinda 1815, and Mary H. 1817.

 Their son Samuel married Elizabeth Halstead, a daughter of Benjamin Halstead of Indian Creek.  Their daughter Salina married Alexander Halstead, a son of Benjamin Halstead.

     Augustus Comer was born in Frederick County in 1757.  He married Catherine Rush.  He later enlisted in Shenandoah County in 1776.  He was in the 12th VA Regiment under Capt. Langdon and Col. Neville.  He and his wife Catherine later settled in Lindside, Monroe County.  He is buried at the "Cummings Cemetery" (check out

    Children:  Elizabeth, Frederick, Jacob, Catherine, Micheal, Barbara, Augustus, Sarah (Sally), and John Henry.


     James Halstead was the first Halstead who settled in southern WV.  There is, or was, a lot of controversy over his origins.  Some say he was born in England in 1740 and others reject this idea claiming there is no definitive evidence where he was born. It is believed he served in the 12th VA Regiment during the Revolutionary War.

    What we know for sure: he settled in Indian Creek in the 1780s.  His sons were Benjamin, Amos, and John.  Benjamin married Patience Roles.  Amos married Nancy Ellis (a daughter of Owen and Christina Van Doren - Ellis of Wolf Creek).  John Married Elizabeth Mann.  James Halstead also had a daughter Elizabeth who married into the Meeks family.

    Future generations of Halsteads migrated into Raleigh, Fayette, and Nicholas counties.  My grandfather Edgar Stanley Halstead descends from James.   My grandfather married Lillie Jennings Basham.

Families I have little or no information about at this time:

Booten, and Byrnsides.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Slang and Colloquialisms of Streeter

For the linguists out there, I decided to write this post on slang. Slang and colloquialisms (and there is a difference between the two) are used in everyday speech. "What's up?", "cool", "awesome", "hatin' it", "off the chain", etc. - there are lots of these phrases and words that make up modern American English that may change or disappear.

I spoke to Vernon Pack about the slang he heard growing up in Streeter. Here's a list of a few he remembered:

the dismals: instead of saying "I have the blues" (he heard his father use this phrase).
not worth the salt that went into his/her bread: when speaking negatively of someone.
hope them do it
You need not too much cedgeation: instead of saying, "you don't need that much education"
It's clabbering up to rain: this originated from churning butter. Once the cream soured in the butter making process, it began to curdle or clabber and looked cloudy.

The clouds are building

Not worth the powder and lead to blow them to Hell

Beat the tar out of you

A fin = $5
Sawbuck = $10