Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Memories of Mary Pack

The following is written by Jennifer Killby, a granddaughter of Cleopatra Harvey.  The story is about visits with her Aunt Mary:

 Aunt Mary was married to my Uncle Bum (I can't remember his full name). I believe she was 13 when they married. My aunt stated that she remembers Cecil Pack (our grandmother) saying she was angry at Uncle Bum for wanting to marry her at a young age. Aunt Mary spent lots of time at Cecil's home prior to their marriage and I believe that's how he met her. Cecil told him to let her grow up to be a woman, but he didn't and they married. My aunt stated all of Aunt Mary's daughters were post masters also until they retired.

I remember being really afraid of going to Aunt Mary's because my grandfather scared my sister and I to death about copperheads and rattlesnakes and we had to use the outhouse to go to the bathroom at her house. Of course, being the jokester my grandfather always was, he made sure we were good and scared when we had to use the facilities. I also remember the dog she had that would always be under the porch when we arrived. For the life of me, I can't remember its name. Aunt Mary always kept a picture of my grandmother's first marriage sitting out. And it wasn't til years later that we found out who the man was. I know he only lived a week after my grandmother had married him. She always had something cooked, but I remember the pies. She always seemed to have pies. She made my grandfather mince meat, my grandmother and sister a cream pie - usually banana or chocolate. And for some reason she always made me applesauce pie. I didn't like applesauce pie and always complained to my grandmother who made me eat the applesauce pie so not to hurt Aunt Mary's feelings. I forced it down, dreading every bite of it. Now, I miss those pies and have made applesauce pies to remember those days. No one seems to know what I'm talking about when I ask them about an applesauce pie or say they never heard of such a thing. When my grandmother sat and talked with Aunt Mary, my grandfather would walk us down to her friend (or relative - I can't remember) who lived in a one room house just a little bit down the road and we would visit her for a while. She was such a sweet lady. I liked visiting her. Every generation  have had their pictures taken in front of the the postal house she has in the front yard. I didn't get to see Aunt Mary in the 90's. I last saw her in the 80's.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Notes from Holiday Conversation

This is an extension of my conversation with Vernon about the Holidays (*see the previous post for stories about Christmas time in Streeter!)   These topics are not related to Christmas, so I broke them off into a separate post.

Vernon:  ...I'd use a ball for playing jacks.  That was a game I played a lot and hop scotch at school.  Rarely did we play ball at school.  Only one teacher let us play softball and that was Audrey Lilly.  He bought the bat and ball.  He wanted a different kind of atmosphere  at school.

           We had field day at the end of school.  We were to practice for sack races, overhead relays (like volleyball), stick relays.... We won every game at Jumping Branch (where all the schools met for field day).    We took home about every 1st Place prize.  Audrey Lilly knew all the techniques necessary for us to win.
        A little later we talked about the structure of a school house...

          They had a recitation bench - the teacher would call forward each grade, "2nd grade for math", etc.  To the recitation bench.  We had debates.  Bum Pack (one of their teachers) loved debating - he also liked spelling bee's.  He would often say, "learn your lesson well, before you have to spell."

         One time I was asked to spell picnic, but I spelled it "p-i-c-k-n-i-c-k".  I was upset that I had misspelled it ... made fun of me and would ask, "are you going on a p-i-c-k-n-i-c-k today?"  

        ...I'm a good speller to this day.

Christmas in Streeter

    Here are some Christmas tales via Vernon.

Me:  What was Christmas like?  What presents did you receive?

Vernon:  80% of the kids were lucky to have bare, meager things.  Sometimes I would receive an apple or an orange, or maybe a little dab of candy, English walnuts, maybe a ball.

              In 1938 I received a sled with an iron runner.  If I got a pair of boots in the winter I could go out in the snow. I would also get a pair of woolen socks with a red stripe at the top.  I had cousins that put hog nails in their boots to keep from slipping - they projected from the bottom - the similitude of cleats put in by cobblers.  

          My memories are beautiful.  I didn't care if I got anything at all.  A sponge rubber ball would be nice.

Me:  What about decorations?  A tree?

Vernon:  The decorations were mostly handmade - a handmade chain of different colored paper and we would drape that around the tree.  We also popped popcorn and strung it on the tree. We cut our own tree.  People kept an eye on a tree they wanted and they would cut it down (unless someone else had an eye on it too).  We didn't have electricity-

Me:  -Did you use candles on the tree?

Vernon:  A tree could become dry.  That would be dangerous.  We often didn't use candles (on the tree).  

            We would take a pan - like a bread pan - and put wax in the bottom then place 7-8 candles in, and place on a dresser top.  

Me:  What about outside decorations?

Vernon:  Rarely.  Sometimes 2 or 3 trees were cut and put on the porch as decoration.  I did see that.  Interior decorations on the wall sometimes.  If they had enough money they could get decorations from Murphy's.

Me:  What about on Christmas day, did people go to church?  What activities?

Vernon:  The place to go was the Streeter Schoolhouse for a large congregation.  It was full of people.  It was a special time of year (like Easter) when people could visit.

  On Christmas day my dad would set up shooting matches and there were presents for the winner (there was moonshine too).

  The shooting day was a tradition for him (shotgun not rifle shooting).  They would have a splatter match.  A card is passed around and each would circle his name on the target along with everyone else.  You tried to hit your name on the card.  There was also an individual card for the individual match and you would do the shooting at your own card.  There were prizes for the group and individual shooting matches.  One large prize: like a ham, or a knife...something of considerable value.

Me:  Did anyone have a sled or horse and sleigh?

Vernon:  A guy who lived up the creek did - he put paper around the horse's harness - an ornament on the hames - and sometimes sleigh bells.  This might have been one of the Adkins, but I was 6 years old...

Me:  How did the generation before you celebrate?

Vernon:  Mother spoke of Christmas past - almost the same as how we celebrated Christmas - most of it was handmade.  Mother made dolls out of socks - probably a tradition from her day.  They had trees- decorations.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adkins of Streeter (updated)

  -- sources: U.S. Census records, WV Archive Online, and VA Library

According to the U.S. Census, between 1880 and 1920 there were roughly 977 to 1,955 Adkins families with the highest concentrations in WV and Kentucky.  Compare that to the Lilly family (354-705) and you can see why there are so many Adkins - arguably more than the Lilly troupe.

    An Adkins who surfaces in WV is Lewis Adkins (also Moses in Greenbrier Co) - per a Revolution War bounty in the early 1800's.  Lewis received land at the mouth of Indian Creek (next to Farley*).  Whether he is the progenitor of Adkins in WV today I don't know and hopefully someone can provide the information.

   As for those that lived in Streeter...

   Basil Green Adkins (born 1895) was a sometime teacher at the Streeter school and so was his father Nelson. According to Vernon, they would swap out to teach.  Basil was married to Persie Oakes.  They had the following children: Luther C., Claron, Velmer, Clyde, Basil Green Jr.

   Nelson Calloway Adkins abt. 1867 - 1944 was married to Emma R. Harvey (the daughter of A.B. Harvey and Mary Ann Ellison.  She was born in Flatwoods).

   Nelson was the son of Matthew B. Adkins and Ceclia A. Harvey (per their marriage license they were both born in Raleigh County).  Matthew B. was the son of Matthew and Elizabeth Adkins.  Ceclia Harvey was the daughter of Michael and Nancy T. Harvey.

*I have written about the Farley family in earlier posts.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jim Pack

   Jim Pack passed away Monday, Sept. 10.  He was the son of Pearl and Ruby Pack.
Jim was born at Streeter.   There is a full obit in the Register Herald.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just Some Thoughts...

      Conversations with several people about hurtful memories prompted me to write this.  I just needed to get some thoughts off my chest - shout at the void, so to speak - to clear my mind.  Out of respect for readers, and my immediate family, I try to avoid such topics (and I will NOT go into specifics), but the issue comes up from time to time.

     So...painful memories.  We all have them, right?  It certainly is worse when those memories are associated with family.  I have older family members who are reluctant to share much if any stories about Streeter.  They would probably be surprised to know that I know quite a bit about certain incidents that may or may not have influenced their opinions.  Now, let me be clear, I understand that sometimes people are just not interested at all in family history.  That is a different matter altogether.

     When I was a child (about 8 years old) my grandmother was in her 80s.  I was young, but pretty alert for a kid.  Nothing escaped my attention, especially family dirt.  Those stories got passed down from generation to generation.  We all make mistakes.  Some of us are just lucky that we kept them a secret.  I certainly wouldn't want everyone to know the very stupid decisions I've made.  I learned a long time ago to accept myself 100%.  If you look for people to affirm your every decision, both past and present, you will be a very unhappy and bitter person.

     I did not start this research before knowing a lot of these stories in the first place.  I don't worship my ancestors, and I certainly understand they made decisions that for some people are unforgivable.  I don't have any easy solutions for this (for the people who are still angry).  Speaking from my own experience, I find forgiveness to be the ultimate antidote to some of the small-minded, petty, or outrageous things that people say and do.  It certainly makes things more difficult when these people are "family" or related in some way.  But, I have found growth from having the courage to love and forgive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Letter from Jonathan Calvin Harvey to Isaac N. Harvey (1888)

      This is an item that is a part of a collection that Vernon Pack recently sent to me.  He deserves many thanks for including these materials.  The rest I am uploading soon into the photo and document archive on the blog (look for the tabs on the home page).

      The letter, written June 24, 1888, was mailed from Vandalia, WV.  Vandalia was the name for Streeter before the name change.  Jonathan Calvin Harvey communicates the very hot temperatures, recent severe storm, and resulting crop damage to his father Isaac (coincidentally, there is a photo of both men in the archive via Vernon).

     (my notes are in brackets and there are footnotes):

     Vandalia Summers Co WVA
     June The 24th 1888

     In ancer [answer] to your letter dated the 12th of this inst [instance] I will Say That I was glad to hear from you and that you was well as common. I will Say that we have had some of the hotest weather for this time of year I think I ever felt. The mercury was up to 105 degrees and it has been dry weather up to a bout the 20th of this month. Sam Pack* had to grinde by hand**but on the evening of the 20th I went to the mill after a turn of meal and as I came back I had to take of my turn and Saddle and get under the clift and Stay Till near by night.  It rained and hailed So and it has rained every day but once Since Same and Some places corn has been beat nearly in the ground with hail.  John Basham+ Said that his crop was clear ruined he said that it washed his corn ground all of just leaving the marks of the plow and I guess that Adam's++ crop is hurt too. My corn looks very well I got over it the first time the 15th about ten o'clock on friday morning and I have been working in the backin [a back corner]] for Buck Wheat Since I got it fenste [fenced] and the logs on the part I have clear roled [rolled] but I have been near by past going with my back for over two weeks.  The rest off [of] the family is in common health. Dow's^and Jim's^^ famileys is well and the people in general as far as I no [know] is well. 

 I got a letter from Putman [Putnam] yesterday and you can gess hoo [guess who] it is from he was as well as common and that was a good country crops range... it to waste [waist] high and that tobacco was same as large as a palm lief [leaf] hat on the hill.  he did not say what he was doing but that he was in the Bird Settlement [Raleigh County community that no longer exists].

       Basham+ has had a time with adline he had to take her with a war[a]nt of trespas and that did not do hardley any good.  She is now gone to hinton with her cow and children So I will close for this time hoping those lines will find you well.

         From J.C. Harvey To I.N. Harvey

*Samuel Pack, owner and operator of Streeter Mill.
** The water was not high enough for the water wheel to turn.
+ John Wesley Basham, my great grandfather.
++ V. Pack is not sure who he refers to here.
^ Lorenzo Dow Harvey, brother of Joshua Calvin.
^^James Harvey, Joshua Calvin's brother.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Notes On Streeter (Conversations With Vernon)

    The following are some notes taken from a recent conversation with Vernon (my notes are in bold):

     During WWII, Vernon and his sister Juanita Pack pulled spikes from the abandoned, narrow gauge railroad for the war effort.  "Uncle Andy built a wagon made from an old automobile.  They loaded it with rubber-tires, and scrape metal.  I remember hauling it to the Jumping Branch Post Office.  Of course, we weren't paid- you volunteered for it."

    "The railroad followed the bank below the road, passed the Old Mill, then up the road passed Andy Pack's [his uncle] grist mill.  His mill was for his own personal use,a means to charge his own, home built batteries for power."

    On the school house (I have an earlier post on its location):

   "It had several teachers while I was there:  Bum Pack, Basil Atkins, Beulah Tolliver, and Audrey Lilly [during the time he attended, late 30s-early 40's].  The school had 30-40 kids at any given time."

    His memories of the Old Mill:

    " Alex Pack was the third owner of the mill, after Sam Pack, who inherited from his father John R. Pack"

    "I would stand in the doorway and watch the corn be ground, and then come down the shoot.  To this day I love the smell of freshly ground corn."

  Memories of town meeting:

   "In the early days of the war, a group of men came from Charleston to speak about the Worker's Alliance of America.  I can remember about 70+ people were in attendance."



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hatcher Family

  There are several families that lived in and around Streeter that I have little information on.  The Hatcher Family is one.

   There is a website: Hatcher Family Genealogy Association.  A cursory glance didn't bring up much regarding the Hatchers of Southern WV - to be fair I looked up the few names I know.  Nevertheless, it contains a wealth of information about the origins of and connections to Hatchers who moved west.

   Charles Silas Hatcher was the son of John Edward Charles Lewis Hatcher (a sometime justice of the peace).  He wrote one of the books I referenced for some of my early research.

     His father was highly regarded in the Jumping Branch area.  He was interviewed by the Charleston Daily Mail in 1929 and this article is referenced in the Hatcher Association website.  If interested in the article (or the website), follow the link below...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lillie Jennings Basham Halstead

I've been meaning for a long time to write a post on my grandmother (my mother's mother).  Lille Jennings Basham Halstead, or Mawmaw as I referred to her, was born in 1896.  She was the daughter of John Wesley Basham and Ida Jane Basham.

 Claude Hurt was her first husband.  She had two children by this marriage:  Johnnie (who was born with complications and later died) and my Aunt Lee.  The story goes that after Claude returned from WWI he cheated on her.  She later married my grandfather, Edgar Stanley Halstead.  According to the story, they courted at Streeter. From this marriage were born:  James (Jimmy), Dave (Davey), Ruth, and my mother Linda.

 Mawmaw died when I was 8, but I remember a lot about her.  She was kind, but even from a child's perspective I could tell that her eyes concealed years of wisdom mixed with sadness and loss.  

   After pawpaw died, I had sleepovers at her house on East Prince Street.  She would tell me stories about growing up on Chestnut Flat (near Streeter).  I especially loved hearing the one about how she and her sister Grace (Emma Grace), when returning from the meat house, were chased by a panther.  The way Mawmaw described her sister's face as "pale white" when she saw her reaction made chills run down my back.
She also told me the story of the ghost of a family member who visited him and his wife one night "standing at the foot of his bed".  

  Mawmaw loved to sing and laugh.  She also liked to pick. She would take her cane and poke me with it when I was little.  My mother likes to pick (so do my aunts and my uncle) and I can see where they acquired the trait.

   She loved poetry - one of the many things I have in common with her.  Her favorite poem was Longfellow's "Wreck of the Hesperus".  

    When she would visit our house I always wanted to play school with her: this entailed me setting up a small blackboard and playing like I was her teacher (she loved it).  Gee, I'm a teacher now... wonder how that happened?!

   She loved to travel.  The list of places she traveled to rivals that of any million miler frequent flyer.  I used to play with her airline momentos - probably one of the reasons why I chose to work for the airlines pre 911.

   Mawmaw died in 1983 almost a year after Pawpaw died.  After he died she was never the same.  My Uncle Jimmy caught her not chewing or swallowing her food.  She died at his house in Charleston, WV.

   I owe alot of my memories of Streeter to my grandmother.  She played a pivotal role in my development and I'm thankful of that.


Friday, June 29, 2012

West Virginia Memories website

   Eva Smith of West Virginia Memories website reached out to me.  She has a great collection of stories, articles, photos, and detailed information pertaining to branches of the Vest, Cochran, Gadd families that originated in White Oak Mtn/ Summers Co. area.

   She sent me a digital copy of the photo, marked, "probably White Oak Mountain school"

Click image to enlarge
Thanks, Eva!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Doc Lilly

     The following is taken from my grandmother's notes (digital copy in photo archive) and secondary sources via the web.

      My grandmother (writing about her mother, aunts, and uncles):

"Ida Basham's [Ida Jane Albatine Lilly Basham] bros. were Sampson (Semp), Green, Dayton (Date), Joshua (Josh), Sister Melissa (Mit), Half bros. Edward (Ed), Robert (Bob), Mennon, and Joseph, half sister Roberta (Bertie).

  "Aunt Mit married Doc Lilly, had 1 son Dr. Lonnie of Flat Top."

   Doing my own research on the web I discovered that Dr. Lonnie Lilly married Sue Tickle.  They built a Queen Anne Victorian mansion on Flat Top.  It is called Mavis Manor.   There is a wiki article about it:



Friday, June 22, 2012

At Aunt Eula's and Uncle Lester's

    Aunt Eula (Eula Basham Hatcher) was my grandmother's half sister.  I remember as a little boy going to Aunt Eula and Uncle Lester's with Mom, Dad, Pawpaw and Mawmaw Halstead above the Rhoda Ann Church.

   Pawpaw loved to play croquet, so all the adults would set up a croquet set in the yard and they would play  for hours.

   As a little boy I would get bored and try to pull up the hoops.  Pawpaw would yell at me.  He had this distinct and authoritative tone that would frighten me.  Of course, I knew even then that I deserved the scolding.

Lester Hatcher And Eula Basham Hatcher seated.  Macy Basham
Standing behind and her dauther Bettie Basham Booth speaking with Eula
(photo taken by my mother at a Streeter Reunion)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hayes' Camp in 1862

For the Civil War enthusiasts out there it's worth reading Rutherford B. Hayes' Diary and Letters pertaining to the summer of 1862.

From about May of that year to July he encamped at "Camp Jones" at Flat Top, then moved to "Camp Green Meadows" near the junction of New River and Bluestone.

 He makes some interesting observations: a description of Flat Top, Packs Ferry, his encounter with Mrs. Fowler at Indian Creek, and numerous battles with Rebels (particularly around what is now Summers County)

  There are a number of free sources for the diary.  I used Google Books "Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes 1861-1865".  When you find the book on GB, type "Flat Top" in the text search function.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The following is a reposting of "Streeter sold for a dollar" which I wrote several years ago.

Alfred Beckley, the founder of the city of Beckley, sold many acres of his 170,000 acres in the 1830's and 40's. Samuel Pack was one of many buyers.

Samuel Pack, "living under the White Oak Mountain" as Beckley describes in his notes, caused a stir among members of Beckley's family. In 1833, William and Samuel Pack bought a total of 1,800 acres from Beckley. But this wasn't the end of the story. In 1840 there was a compromise in a District Court lawsuit (Beckley vs. Pack) in which Beckley sold to Samuel 185 acres including Pack's Mill for $1.00.

I am curious about this because local historians have written that Pack's Mill was built in 1845.
If the details of this suit are correct, then there must have been a mill in existence before the Pack acquisition.

Either way, it is an interesting piece of history that the area of Streeter was bought for a buck.

Source: History of Raleigh County, by Jim Wood, 1994.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

McGuffey Reader

My grandparents often credited McGuffey Readers as the definitive textbooks of their childhood.  From the mid 1800s to the mid twentieth century McGuffey Readers were instrumental in teaching children how to read and write.

Google books has a 1901 version. Click the link below for a look...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stoneman, Freeman, Mooney and the Lillys

      Correction to dates per WV Archive online birth/death records in bold

This concerns those who descend from the connection between Andrew Lewis Lilly (1817-1875) and Sarah Ann Mooney (1823-1860).  Specifically, I will deal with Sarah Ann Mooney's side...

First, though...DO NOT get confused over the two men with the name of Andrew Lewis Lilly.  The one I am covering was the uncle to Andrew Lewis Lilly, born 1840.  Andrew Lewis (born 1817) was a son of John "Snakebite" Lilly*. Andrew Lewis (born 1840) was a son of Wilson (brother to Andrew born 1817).

 I wanted to clear that up because it's so easy to get these two confused.  My grandmother said that they called my great great grandfather "Lewis", so that's how I will refer to him hereafter.

   Anyway, let's look at Sarah Ann Mooney's ancestry.  She was actually the first wife to Lewis.  After she died, Lewis married Sarah Holstein.

    Sarah Mooney and Lewis Lilly had roughly six children:  Dayton, Green, Joshua, Melissa, Simpson, and Ida (Lydia) Jane Albatine (my great grandmother and first wife to John Wesley Basham).

    Sarah Mooney was the daughter of John S. Mooney (1786-1844) and Sarah Stoneman (1786-1861).  John Mooney owned roughly 500 acres at Middelton's Fork of Bluestone River in Mercer County.
 A couple of years ago I went looking for this area and couldn't find it.  I asked numerous residents in that area and none of them knew what I was talking about.  Of course, I could have been in the wrong area.

    Sarah Stoneman was the daughter of James Stoneman (1735-1829) and Sarah Freeman (1751-1844)...and this is where the story gets interesting...

    According to some accounts, James Stoneman was born near London, England (by the way, there is a biennial reunion in Galax, VA for people who descend from him).

    According to an account I came across, James Stoneman was kidnapped at age 10 and brought to America.  But, the family reunion website does not refer to this, so I am unclear if that story is true.  Also, I came across a record that appeared to report that he arrived with parents. Some of the Stoneman family claim it was James' ancestor who was kidnapped+.  Either way, he lived in Orange County, NC until after his marriage.

   He married Sarah Freeman, a Quaker.  At first, Sarah was dismissed from the Cane Creek MM, Quaker church for "marrying outside of unity".  James was not a Quaker and it was a no-no for someone to marry a non-Quaker (at the time).  Apparently, he later converted because they were eventually admitted into the fold.

  In 1793, they moved to Chisel Knob, VA (this is in Carroll County) near Fancy Gap and the Blue Ridge Parkway... not too far off I-77 .

   +If you are interested in reading more on the Stoneman family, check out The Stonemans: An Appalachian Family and The Music That Shaped Their Lives, by Ivan Tribe.  He covers the kidnapping story in detail.

   *Check out my earlier posts on John "Snakebite" Lilly, including a photo of his home that is being rebuilt.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A little on the Swopes

The Swopes were one of the first families to settle in present day Summers County.  Joseph Urlich Swope, born 1707 in the town of Leiman, Germany (roughly 4 miles south of Heidelberg) left for America and settled in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

His son Joseph (sometimes referred to as John) migrated to Virginia.  Then, according to John Miller's account, he explored west (sometime around the birth of his son Joseph).  He followed Indian trails to the present town of Union, WV.  There he traveled to Swope's Knob (named after him) and down into Wolf's Creek.

According to Miller's story, Joseph hid from Indians in a popular tree near the Broad Run Church.

Later, he brought his wife and child back and built a home near the Connor Spring.  It was here that his second child Michael was born in 1753.  Miller states Michael was the first white child born in Monroe County, which at that time included present day Summers Co.

There are several interesting stories about the Swopes.  Joseph's eldest son (also Joseph) was abducted by the Shawnee and, according to Miller's account, was adopted by Chief Cornstalk's mother.  Later on Joseph was retrieved after the battle of Point Pleasant.

Michael Swope settled at the head of Hand's Creek.  His daughter, Sarah Ann Swope (abt 1787-1862) married Joshua Harvey.  Their daughter Elizabeth Bell (or Dell) married John R. Pack.  This is how many of us connect to the Swopes.

I have a photo on the blog (earlier post) of the tomb of Sarah Swope Harvey and description of where she is buried.  There is a tombstone for Joseph Swope at the Broad Run Church at Wolf Creek, WV but I haven't traveled there to see it yet.

Monday, April 23, 2012

West Virginia School Journals, Deeds, Johnson, Hudgins, Gwinn, Lowe, Clark, Basham

   Sorry for my absence... work, work, work!

   Did a quick search on Google Books this evening...just plugging in random words, names, phrases.  Typed in my Great Grandfather's name J.W. Basham (instead of his full name John Wesley Basham) and came up with some interesting material via the "West Virginia School Journal, Vol. 31" this was published in 1902 and the original (or AN original is at Harvard University)...   it includes the following:

"Be it resolved by the teachers of Summers County in the institute assembled: that we are opposed to the proposed amendment to the Constitution which provides for the limitation of the Irreducible School Fund to one million dollars.

     That the county should be made the unit for taxation for school purposes.  That the State levy should be raised from ten to twenty cents on the $100.00.  That there should be a uniform list of text books throughout the State.  That the present compulsory school law be repealed and a more effective one be enacted in lieu thereof."

     Signed.    R.L. Deeds
                     Miss S. Johnson
                     Miss. S. Hudgins
                     J.E. Gwinn
                     G.W. Lowe
                     R.W. Clark
                     J.W. Basham

Also, very interesting materials are in the journals that include information about what the teachers were teaching, issues in schools, etc.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Macy Faye Basham

Macy Faye Basham, daughter of Lou and Wash (George Washington) Pack, passed away this week.  She was 100 years old.  She was married to Guy Basham. There is a full obit at Register Herald online.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Online Sources for Research

   The following online sources I use to find information about our ancestry. A word of caution:  when you are reading a book authored by this or that person, check the validity of the information against primary sources (birth/death/marriage information).  I have reviewed the books by James Miller, Johnston, Charles Silas Hatcher and Oren Frederic Morton.  Their information was sometimes incorrect and subsequent authors used this same material to write their own books. For example, the story that President Hayes's wife was a daughter of Jennie Pack.  This is false.  She was the daughter of Dr. James Webb and Maria Cook Webb of Chillicothe, Ohio. Trefousse's biography of President Hayes does not mention the name Pack and I did a search via the Hayes Presidential Library and nothing surfaced.

Excellent sources for PRIMARY materials:

WV Archive Online.

1.  Go to the main page.
2.  Scroll down to "Explore Archives and History...", at the bottom of the page
3.  Click on Births, Deaths, and Marriages (database)
4.  You might need to try different spellings of an ancestor's name. The people who constructed the database tried their best to read the handwriting on records, but they didn't always read/ interpret the names correctly.  Also, try putting in different information in the fields to get the results out that you need.

Library of Virginia Online

1.  Go to the "West Virginia" page
2.  Go to "Land Office Patents and Grants" heading.
3.  Click on "Land Office Patents and Grants database".
4.  You can try the tab "Images and Indexes".  I have more luck finding online materials here.  You can also try the full catalog tab for a broader search.
Unfortunately, not all Va's records are downloadable or online, BUT some wills and land grants have been uploaded.  We must lobby for VA to upload their materials to the web!  With a host of info on early American settlers on their hands, I think it is their civic duty.

Good source for SECONDARY materials: 

Google Books
Go to Google Books, then type in the name of an early settler ancestor you are looking for.  I've had luck doing this.  Sometimes you can only review certain pages, but many early books existed before modern copyright law (or not renewed, etc. under such) so the full text is accessible.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

First Settlers and Other Families (part two) I - P (in the process of being updated)

Again, this is a short list of family information.  There are other families mentioned in the early settler records, so if I do not mention a family's names it just means I have little or no information.


  This family came to the Greenbrier and Monroe area around 1770.  Mathias, Andrew, Sr., and Andrew Jr. were involved in the battle at Point Pleasant.  Mathias's heirs:  Andrew, Mathias, Mary, Jacob, Susanna, Michael, Elizabeth, and Anne who intermarried with the Mann, Maddy, Ballard, Parsons, Fulton, and Halstead families.


  From what many researches say, the Mann family is German (originally Monn).  I've stitched together information from numerous sources.  There's lots more on this family.

   George Bernhardt Mann immigrated from Germany and settled first in Pennsylvania.

   William Mann was a Sergeant at Fort Young in 1759 in Covington, VA.  He was a hunter and trader.  His wife's name was Jean, and Children:  Moses, Thomas William, John, Catie, Jenny, Sarah, Alice, and Archibald.

    John Mann, Jr. a son of John Jacob Mann and grandson of George B. Mann acquired land on the James, Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers from 1750 to 1778.  Later he moved to Monroe County and settled in the area of Indian Creek (present day Summers County).

   His wife's name was Mary Kessinger.



   Jacob Pence was from Rockingham County and was in the Augusta Co. VA militia during the R.W.  He lived in Monroe County and married Elizabeth Trust.  They had three sons:  Henry, David and Moses.  One son married Nancy Stodghhill.