Chronological Sketch, or History of the LeVally Family, Written for the Family Reunion, August 19, 1928
To me has been delegated, or, rather, I have been requested to furnish the LeVally family reunion of 1928 a sort of chronological or historical sketch of this family, the descendants of our common ancestor, John Jean LeVally. It may seem fitting that I do this, as I am regarded today as the oldest surviving member of the family, though I am only just past 78 years of age.
Our common ancestor, Jean Jaques LaValle (As Anglicised, John J. LeVally), a relative of Juke Montmorency LaValle, was one of the 12 young French officers--he being an Aide-de-camp upon the staff of General Lafayette--who embarked with him at Passage, Spain, on the 26th day of April, 1776, and who arrived with him at Georgetown, South Carolina, on June 14, 1776, and, with General Lafayette, was accepted for military service in the United States by Act of Congress, July 31, 1777, and served upon the staff of General Lafayette during the various engagements and actions in the Revolutionary War, especially those in Virginia, New York, and Canada. He declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1778, and in recognition of his services in behalf of the United States he was given a warrant for 320 acres of land to be assigned "somewhere among the unappropriated lands of the United States."
He first located in Rockbridge County, Virginia, where he became acquainted with Elizabeth Smith, a relative of Captain John Smith, of Pocahontas fame. He married her in Rockbridge County, Virginia, when she was only a little past 15 years of age. The exact date of their marriage has become lost, with the family records which were taken to Lima, Ohio, by her daughter, Cynthia, who married Joseph Ballard, and, dying, left the old family Bible with the Ballard family, who, I have learned, permitted it to become lost or destroyed, which is much deplored by the LeVally family, as it contained valuable historic family data, and our family very much regrets that this foreign family should have displayed so little regard for what would have been esteemed of almost priceless value to them, the descendants of this virile hero of the revolution and ancestor of this large family of his descendants.
Prior to the marriage of John J. LeVally he came to Ohio in company with George Washington upon a surveying expedition, also in company with his cousin Louis LeVeck, a young Frenchman who had also come from France on the same vessel with Lafayette. LaValle, as then spelled and pronounced, though as Anglicised, as LeVally, found in the old Ross County, Ohio, part of which is now Fayette County, certain "unappropriated lands" and proceeded to select 320 acres, upon which he located and constructed a home, to which he brought his wife. Several of his children were born upon this farm, which lies along the Washington and Jamestown Pike. He cleared a portion of the land, which was not heavily timbered, built a house, stable, and other outbuildings, and became established as a citizen of Ohio. After a few years it was discovered that the same land had been previously selected by a Colonel Snead; the the Recorder failed to properly index and record the previous selection, which, in all other respects, was in conformity to law, but Colonel Snead's title was deemed superior to that of LaValle's. However, he was honorable enough to pay LaValle for his improvements, in fact he paid even more than they were estimated to be worth by two of the local residents, and thus enabled LaValle to select and improve other lands.
While living upon this farm several children were born, among them twins, namely Louis LeVally and Louisa Ann LeVally, the mother of the writer. He afterwards found other "unappropriated United States Government lands" near what is now Knightstown, Indiana, to which he removed his family, and lived there several years and died of a very malignant disease, then known as "Black tongue," and was buried at Knightstown in what was then a newly installed cemetery, where his remains lie today, marked by a suitable engraved stone, furnished by the United States Government, in recognition of his former services. At his death he left surviving him his widow and nine living children, eight of whom lived to maturity.
After his death, his widow returned to Ohio and located at New Jasper, Greene County, near her brother, who had located near this small hamlet. Her home was just across from the old M. E. Church at New Jasper, and became the resting place of many famous preachers, the original "Carpet baggers" of that early day, and she thus entertained men who subsequently became Bishops and presiding Elders in that denomination.
The Sire had originally been a brick moulder, and all of his sons and several of his sons-in-law afterwards became brick moulders, and made the bricks for a great many of the first brick houses erected in Greene County, many of which stand today as monuments to their memory and attest the fact they were honest workmen, as they are in perfect condition yet, after the lapse of many years. I have but recently seen a number of such houses in my driving over the country, having had them pointed out to me years ago by my uncles and my mother, thus confirming the truth of the saying that "The good works that men do live after them."
The following are the names of the eight children who lived to rear families in Greene County, Ohio, to-wit:
Cynthia LeVally, the oldest child. She lived with her mother till her death, after which she married Joseph Ballard, of Lima, Ohio, but had no children. [At least one child]
Lucinda LeVally, the second born, married Jacob B. Wilson. She died in 1850, leaving three children, to-wit: Joseph F. Wilson, who married Dianna Culberson of Sabina, who died leaving one son, Burdette Wilson. Also Lucette Wilson, who married Elias Fogle, and died a few years ago, leaving one daughter, Mrs. Anna Confer of Yellow Springs.
Jacob LeVally, the last of the family to survive, was born in 1820, died in 1912, aged 92 years. He married Mary Steen. They had 10 children, six of whom survived him. Still living are William Lewis LeVally, Ella Blake, John LeVally and Harvey LeVally, all of Xenia, Ohio
Phoeba LeVally married Stephen B. Hatch, and died in Illinois, near Atlanta, leaving six children, to-wit: Martha Ann Stevens, Curtis B. Hatch, Alonzo Hatch, John Hatch, Albertis Hatch and Charlie Hatch, all of whom live near Atlanta, Illinois.
John J. LeVally, Junior, born in 1826, married Clarissa Coffelt in 1847. They had ten children, five of whom died in early childhood, and five survived him, viz.: Josephine, married to Isaac Swadner, had one son, John. Phoeba, married to Walter Gray, left three sons. Jacob C. LeVally. Jane C. LeVally married Clinton Sanders and Claretta married Dan Smith, now deceased, all living at Xenia.
Next son, William H. LeVally, born in 1827, married first to Savilla Harness, by whom he had twelve children, six of whom survived him. His second wife was Rachel Moon-Johnson, by whom he also had 12 children, six of whom survived him, thus leaving twelve children surviving and twelve deceased. Those surviving were, John Lewis, Joseph, Isabelle Read, Jane Shirk, Phillip LeVally and Stephen B. LeVally, children of his first wife, and Emma Carnes, Susan Dice, Effie Baughn, Maggie Bennett, Anna Neff and James B. LeVally by his last wife.
Next, Lewis LeVally, twin brother of Louisa Ann LeVally, wife of John Paxson. These twins were born November 22, 1829. Lewis LeVally married, first Sarah Harness. By her he had one son, John Phillip LeVally, living at Hartford City, Indiana. His second wife was Sarah E. Bell. To them were born eight children, viz: Parthena, Louisa, William, who died in childhood, and Melville still living at Dunkirk, Indiana. Ida Purdue lives at Dayton, Ohio.
Louisa Ann, twin sister of Lewis, married John Paxson. They had five children, to-wit: W. A. Paxson, Mary Dickey, deceased, left one son, Homer Dickey, of Dayton; Patience married Edw. Summers. She lives at Worcester, Mass. John N. Paxson, deceased, also Charles A. Paxson, deceased.
The youngest child
born after his father's death, Joseph Ferdinand LeVally, married Nancy
Ann Bell. By her he had six children, viz: Belle Wilson, Finley LeVally
of Michigan, Effie Bushaw of Union City, Indiana, Ivy, Lucetta and Eva.
There are a large number of grand-children and great-grand-children whose
names are unknown to the author.
W. A. Paxson
[My copy of the booklet has these notes
penciled inside the back cover.]
Finley Reed LeValley
Laura -- not Ivy
Neva --not Eva
[On the front cover is penciled (with the second "e" underlined four times:]