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Descendants of Israel Christian Captain

First Generation

1. Israel Christian Captain was born about 1714/1720 in Londonderry, , , Ireland. He died in 1784 in New River, Pulaski Co., VA and was buried in Dunkard's Bottom, Pulaski Co., VA.

SOURCE: Listed in DAR Patriot Index-Centennial Edition, p.561.

I have entered William Christian as father to Israel based solely on data from entry, - I have not researched this Willilam to this extent, and have no proof that William is indeed the father of Israel. I have entered this information for reference and further research help only, with the hope that I will find further proof that it is so, or evidence to prove it is not. Jean, 2010.

Organizer and one of 1st trustees of Staunton, Va.; donated property for establishment of county seat of Botetourt Co. Va. in Fincastle; in "The Town of Fincastle Virginia", Neiderer, Frances J., University Press of Va., Charlottesville, 1965, p. 7 - "Similar construction" (log, 1-story) "was used in two houses on Back Street between Monroe and Hancock; the old potter's shop and the Becky Holmes house. Both of these were originally one story high and small;" ... "The Holmes house retains its original basement, with its low ceiling resting on bark-covered logs, and its large fireplace. Town legend holds that Israel Christian built this house and that he later gave it to his slaves, the Holmeses. Supposedly the first Negro church services in Fincastle were held here." Also, the town of Christiansburg, Va. named in his honor.

Called "Merchant Prince of the Frontier". Father of Col. William Christian, a "hero" of frontier settlement for whom Christian County, Ky. is named. Both Israel and William are listed in DAR Patriot Index.

Two of Israel's homes still standing; "Willoughby", in Staunton, on Nat. Hist. Reg.; another in Fincastle. Burial site probably now under waters of Claytor Lake, which flooded Dunkard's Bottom south of Christiansburg in 1939; state park there contains reconstruction of chimney of William Christian's home, and memorials to the Christian family.

1755 - served during the Indian perils after the defeat of General Braddock.

1756 - One of three Captains of Horse from Augusta Co., VA (Annals of Augusta Co, Waddell, pg 137) and member of Augusta County's Council of War, 20 May, 1756. (VA's Col. Soldiers, Bockstruck, pg. 82).

1759 - Israel's mercantile store served as a commissary for Col. Peachey's battilion, and sometimes for First Virginia Reg't troops until April, 1780, (pg. 248, Bockstruck)

(From Virginia Colonial Militia, 1651-1776, Certificates:

Name: Israel Christian. Comment: served in 1759 as commissary to the Battl. commanded by Col. Peachey till legally disbanded, and afterwards occasionally for the troops of the 1st Va. Regt. in last war.) Court Name: Botetourt Co. Date: Apr 1780

1759 - member, House of Burgesses

1761 - member, House of Burgesses

1770 - Justice of Botetourt Co. VA, Feb 17, 1770.

Israel's manor in Staunton was later known as "Willoughby", and for some time before that as "Walnut Hills". The following is excerpted from #251 of the "Works Progress Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory" - "Research made by Nellie D. Drexel, Staunton, Virginia", dated February 23, 1938. The present (October, 1996) address of the property is 919 Middlebrook.



A: Formerly Walnut Hills.


Western part of Staunton,Virglnla on border of Augusta County.

3. DATE: About 1751.


Sold by William Beverley of `Blandfield', Essex County, Virginia about l738 to James Miller, and contained an even 300 acres. In 1754 Miller sold lo Isreal Christian. In 1763 Christian sold to William Fleming. In 1767 Fleming sold to Robert Reed. In 1799 adjudged to widow of Robert Reed, Margaret Reed and that Judgment affirmed in 1805. In 1810 Margaret Reed, who became Mrs. George Matthews, sold to Chapman Johnson, who lived there for many years and made the first improvements. In 1845 Johnson, for love and affection, conveyed it to his son, William Boswell Johnson. In 1850 Johnson sold it to A.B. Iriok and in 1854 Irick sold to Richard Sommerson. In 1860 Sommerson sold to Judge Hugh W. Sheffey. In 1867 Sheffey sold to Columbus Haile. In 1871 C. Hails sold to T. K. Menefes who lived there for many years. In 1894, Menefee sold to Wm. H. Brew. Deed Book 122 Page 530-1. In 1903 Brew sold it back to Tempe Haile, wife of Columbus Haile, Jr. Present owner. Deed Book 140 page 151.


The original house was two frame buildings with boards running perpendicular, they stand that way today in fine condition. The school room has been turned into a modern kitchen. Mr. Hails bullt a modern two story frame building between the original structures, which is spacious, modern and an outstanding home on a beautiful estate. The house stands on a rise of ground with sloping lawns and groups of shade trees down to the willow brook. There runs along the edge of the roof a hand carved cornice termed "fringed" very effective. The entrance is through Willoughby Lane, across a bridge over the brook. Beautiful boxwood trees and other shrubbery have been artistically placed and beautify the entire surroundings."

E-mail communication from James H. Fristoe .."married Elizabeth Starke abt 1740 in Ireland". (Also has Israel as a grandson of Patricius Christian and Mary Nettles Christian. He states: "Patricius, born 1649, Ronaldsway, Isle of Mann; died 1687 in Old Grange, Kilkenny (Waterford),Ireland, son of William "Illiam Dhone" Christian and Elizabeth Cockshutt. He married Mary Nettles, daughter of John Nettles, High Sheriff, in 1665. Son, Gilbert, born 1677-1680 in Scotland; died 1732-1756 in Christian's Creek, Augusta Co. VA, married Margaret Richardson, 1703 in Ulster, Ireland or in Scotland") I include this information because I really don't know who Israel's father is, and I don't want to reject any idea or clue at this time. We still haven't sorted out the mystery of Israel's parentage, but some researchers claim one Ewan as a likely candidate for his father. I have to say what we know is that we don't know!

Several records now show William Christian and Catherine Cain as the parents of Israel on the basis of Jurby Parish Register, Isle of Man, for 1712, which shows (microfilm in LDS library, Salt Lake City) "Israel Xtian Son of the Rev Wm Xtian & Cath Cain Bapt the 24th Septbr"; the likelihood that this is our Israel is brought into serious question by a later entry (in 1715) in the same journal: "Israel Christian Son to the Rev Wm Christian buried the 5th ..." (I can no longer read the month in this entry) - Dennis (Note from Jean: On the other hand, the parents may have named the next son "Israel" after losing the fiirst so-named son. Caleb and Rosanna gave a later born son the name of their boy who was killed - and that William Christian Wallace is Dennis' ancestor!)

Israel Christian's will, signed 12 July, 1784: "In the Name of God, Amen. I Israel Christian being low in Health but of sound Mind and Memory, do make this my last Will and Testament.

I will and bequeath to my beloved Wife Elizabeth, four Negroes, to wit Isaac, Dorson, Bill and Hale; to her and her Heirs for Ever. I also give and bequeath to my said Wife all my Stock of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Hogs also all my Clothes, Books, Household & Kitchen Furniture of all Kinds as well as Plantation Utensils, to her & her Heirs for ever. I also give and bequeath to my said Wife one hundred pounds Annually during her natural Life, to be raised out of the value of my Lands.

I direct that all my Lands, already surveyed, and patented, or that is yet to survey, may be patented or granted to my Son William Christian, in as ample manner as they could be made to myself while living.

I direct and empower my said Son to sell whatever Part of my Lands patented or un patented which he may think proper to sell for the purposes of paying the Debts I owe, and of giving the Annuity of one hundred pounds annually which I have directed to be paid to my Wife during Life, and to make sufficient conveyances I direct that my Son shall convey, do, or settle upon my Daughter Rosanna (if to be spared at my Wife's Death) one thousand acres of the Lands on the north side of kentucky, located by Col. Boone for me to be settled upon her independant of her present of future Husband, and to be wholly her own, and at her own Disposal.

I will and direct that my Son shall convey to my Grand Son John Henry Christian one thousand Acres of my Hole linn Land at my Wife's Death;

I also direct that my son shall convey to Sarah Winston Christian five hundred Acres of the Hole linn Land, being the remainder of the Survey, and also five hundred Acres Surveyed on Knobb Creek, at my Wife's Death.

When my Son obtains Titles for my Lands entered upon the waters of Sandy river, or a sufficiency therof for the purpose, I direct that he may convey to my Grand Daughters Priscilla & Mary, Daughters of my deceased daughter Elizabeth; to my Grand Children Stephen Trigg, Fleming Trigg & Polley Trigg each one thousand Acres and in case the said five thousand Acres is not obtained upon the waters of Sandy river, or turn out bad in my Son's opinion, he is at liberty & authorized to give the said five Legatees, such a part of about four thousand Acres of land located by Col Boone for me; as my said Son may think fit to give them at my Wife's death, in case he has then saved the said Boones locations or any part of them. But my Daughter Rosanna's thousand as above stipulated is first to be given.

And should there be still Lands left at my Wife's death,besides providing for the purposes and appropriations already mentioned it is to belong equally to my Son Wm Christian and my Daughter Anne, the wife of William Fleming; and her half to be conveyed to her by my Son in such manner as to be her own property & at her own disposal independant of the present or any future Husband. And to prevent Disputes in fixing upon her Share, my Son shall choose two Men who shall determine which Tracts (if any Lands are left) he is to settle upon his said Sister.

And for the full & complete settling this my last Will & Testament I appoint my Wife Elizabeth my Executrix, and my Son William Christian my Executor, or whichever of them may choose to Act. ------

Signed this Twelfth day of July 1784.-----Is: Christian

Signed, sealed


acknowledged before us - - - -

Robert Currin

Priscilla Christian

James W. Carlile

Francis Preston"

Montgomery County, November court, 1784

The last will and testament of Israel Christian dated, proved, by the oath of James McCorkle and Robert Cummin and on the motion of William Christian, the Executor, therein named administration is granted him who with his security Thomas Madison, Esq. entered into and acknowledged their bonds according to Law.

Teste: James McCorkle, MC

(At bottom - notations "Recorded" & Israel Christian's Will July 12, 1784 Recorded)

Israel married Elizabeth (Christian) Starke.

The "Virginia Supreme Court District of Kentucky Order Books, 1783-1792", Cook Publications, 3318 Wimburg Ave., Evansville, Ind. 47712, 1988, contains evidence of Elizabeth's having survived her husband's death by at least some years; pg.397 - from June court, 1787 - "p. 238, Elizabeth Christian, Surviving Executrix of Israel Christian, dec'd., v. Matthews Fournoy, on debt" .... "plaintiff to recover 200 pounds...."

Israel and Elizabeth had the following children:

+ 2 M i William Christian Col. was born in 1743 and died on 9 Apr 1786.
+ 3 F ii Annie (Fleming) Christian was born in 1744.
  4 F iii Elizabeth Starke (Bowyer) Christian was born in 1746 in Staunton, Augusta, VA and was christened on 1 Jun 1746 in Staunton, Augusta, VA, Tinkling Spring.

Date of baptism from "The Tinkling Spring: Headwater of Freedom", Wilson, Howard M., Th.D., Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church, Fisherville, Va., 1954. Pg. 470, Appendix F - Record of Baptisms, 1740-1749. "A record of the children bap'd by the Rev'd John Craig both in his own & in the neighboring congregations.....", etc. On pg. 472, her father was listed as "Israel Christy"

Per "American Boyers", 7th Ed., Vol. I, Donald A. Boyer, 1984 - pg. 24 - Child: Priscilla"; then, on page 25 - "Priscilla Bowyer," (daughter of Elizabeth) "b. about 1766-7. Married (1) a Mr. Madison. Married (2) Captain John Miller."
        Elizabeth married William Bowyer Col..
  5 F iv Priscilla Christian was born in 1748 in Staunton, Augusta, VA.
  6 F v Mary (Trigg) Christian was born in 1750 in Staunton, Augusta.
        Mary married Stephen Trigg Col..
+ 7 F vi Rosanna (Wallace) Christian was born in 1754 and died on 4 Dec 1804.

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