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Third Generation


29. Christena Anne FRYE was born in 1733 in Perkiomen, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.7 She died on 23 April 1782 at the age of 49.19

Christena Anne FRYE and Joseph POWELL were married about 1753.19 Joseph POWELL19,43,44 was born in 1730. He died in 1771 at the age of 41. ANCESTRY OF CHRISTIAN ________
WIFE OF JOSEPH POWELL

When Joseph Powell died in Hampshire County, West Virginia in 1771, he left
a widow Christian. Various theories have been postulated as to Christian's
maiden name, including Hughes. However, it seems most likely to me that
Christian was the daughter of Benjamin Frye.

Joseph Powell was rather obviously a Welshman from the Welsh settlements in
Pennsylvania. With a given name like Christian (Christen, Christina) his
wife would most likely come from a German or Dutch family. A very likely
prospect is the family of Benjamin Frye, who died in 1753 in Frederick
County, Virginia (on Cedar Creek, which now forms the boundary between
Frederick County and Shenandoah County).

Benjamin Frye's will makes reference to a daughter Christen (note that in
neither Benjamin Frye's will nor Joseph Powell's will is the common form
"Christina" used). There is no indication in Benjamin Frye's will that
Christen is at that time married, nor are there any later records
suggesting a husband for Christen other than Joseph Powell. Christen Frye
would certainly appear to be the right age to be the wife of Joseph Powell.

Members of the Frye family were purchasers of lands originally settled by
the Hughes family on Trout Run, a tributary of the Little Capon River in
Hampshire County, West Virginia. These lands adjoined those of Joseph
Powell. In Joseph Powell's will, he named as executors his widow Christian
and Henry Frye (brother of Christen Frye), suggesting that the Powell-Frye
tie is more than mere neighborliness.

There is an impressive carryover of given names from the Frye family to the
children of Joseph Powell and wife Christian-Samuel, Benjamin, Abraham,
Joseph and probably Rebecca.

In 1772, there is a Shenandoah County marriage record between Christina
Powell (and there can't be many with such a German given name and such a
Welsh surname) and James Pickrall. This has to be Joseph Powell's widow.
Note that it takes place in Shenandoah County, the home of the Frye's.
Further verification that this is Joseph Powell's widow is found in Volume
V of "...Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys" by Peggy Joyner. On August 23,
1777 Christenah Pickrol (along with Jacob Pughe & Susanah Hughes) gave oath
regarding the ownership of a parcel of land adjoining Thomas Hughes &
Joseph Powell.

Tax lists have been published for Hampshire County beginning with 1782. In
1782, Christen Pickrell appears as a tithable, with no male tithables in
the household (suggesting that James Pickrell has died). She does not
appear in later years. This may mean that: (a) she died before 1783; (b)
she subsequently was on the Hardy County tax lists; or (c) moved away. I
tend to think that alternative (c) is the most likely.

Some of Christen Frye's brothers were early (1770's and 1780's) residents
of Kentucky, in the same areas as those in which the Powells later settled,
as were members of the Pickrall family. Joseph Powell's daughter Rebecca
was married to George Yocum in 1786 in Mercer County, Kentucky, earlier
than the first arrival of the male Powells in Kentucky. I doubt if she
would have been in Kentucky at that time all by herself. This strongly
suggests that Christen Frye/Powell/Pickrall moved to Kentucky very early
on, joining Christen Frye's brothers, and other members of the Pickrall
family. There is an Abel Pickrall who may be the son or stepson of
Christina. He is involved in various transactions with the Powells in the
Fleming County, Kentucky area. The given name Abel recurs in the names of
the children of Joseph Powell's children.

From all of the foregoing, it seems highly probable that Joseph Powell's
wife Christian is the same person as Benjamin Frye's daughter Christen.

In early 2003, I became aware of the fact that there seemed to be many
people who were citing Christen Frye as Joseph Powell's wife without
qualification, citing a birth year of 1733 for her and showing a death year
of 1781 (which would appear to be questionable in light of the discussion
above). These sources also showed her mother (Benjamin Frye's wife) to
have been Christen/Christina Ann Markley, born 1706. Many of the
birthplaces given for Fryes and Powells were clearly incorrect. As of the
date of this writing, I have been unable to find any authoritative
information as to the original source of these conclusions. The discovery
of a family Bible is certainly a possibility which suggests itself.

Dave Powell
<dopowell@earthlink.net>