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The Roads to Radford, VA

The Journeys of the Roseberry-Keister Family





Godby Family

The story of the ancestors of the Roseberry-Keister family in America began on June 8, 1609 when Thomas Godby, age 23, sailed from Falmouth, England on the Sea Adventure, a ship commanded by Captain Christopher Newport who was making his fourth trip to the new world.

            Disaster struck 8 days before the voyage’s end when a storm scattered the Sea Adventure and the other ships in its company.  For several days the crew of the Sea Adventure fought the storm until they finally sighted land, and the ship was run aground three quarters of a mile from shore.  On July 28, 1609 the shipwrecked crew and emigrants found themselves on land in the Bermuda Islands.

            They set to work building two ships to finish the trip to Virginia.  Sir Thomas Gates supervised the construction of The Deliverance, a ship 40 feet long and 19 feet wide.  Sir George Somers was in charge of the building of the second ship, The Patience.  On May 10, 1610, after six deaths, three mutinies and at least one execution, the ships set sail arriving finally at Jamestown on May 23, 1610.  When Thomas Godby reached Virginia, there were only about 60 settlers left of the app. 500 who had come from England since 1607.

            After this inauspicious beginning, little more is known about Thomas Godby until his death.  He survived the Indian massacre of 1622 and is found in the “Lists of the Livinge and Dead in Virginia Febr: 16th 1623” living in Elizabeth City with his wife Joane.  Joane Godby  arrived in Virginia in 1621 on the ship Flyinge Hart.  The colony’s population in 1622 was still only 1258 and the massacre killed about 1/3 of the colonists.          

            On Dec. 1, 1624, Thomas Godby, an “ancient planter” of Kiccoughtan, in the Corporation of Elizabeth City patented 100 acres between Newport News and Blunt Point adjacent to William Bentley.  The same day William Bentley patented 50 acres.  Bentley was a new planter who had come to Virginia at his own expense in 1624 on the ship Jacob.

Elizabeth City in 1625 was the largest community in Virginia with a population of 359 compared to James City’s 175.  Elizabeth City was on the site of an Indian village, Kecoughtan, on Hampton Creek and it was known by its Indian name for over 10 years.  Thomas and Joane Godbey are listed again in Elizabeth City on the Virginia Muster of Jan. 20-Feb. 7, 1625 which was taken upon the dissolution of the Virginia Company.

Three years passed until the fateful night of Feb. 8, 1628 when Thomas Godby met his death at the hands of William Bentley.

An account of William Bentley’s subsequent trial survives in the “Journal of Council and General Court of Virginia” (pp. 190-191).  A transcription of this is found in The Middleton Family by Beth Engel.  Over 370 years after Thomas Godby’s death, his actual words and actions are preserved in the trial record as reported by two witnesses, Richard Peck and William Parker.

Godby was at William Parker’s house on Merry Point with five others including Richard Peck.  After supper, the group shared a bottle of about 5 pints of burnt claret wine; Thomas Godby had about four cups.  William Parker admitted he was a little light headed after eleven o’clock when William Bentley ran aground in Mr. Conges’ boat on the shoals against Parker’s house.  It appears from the witnesses’ testimony that Bentley was floundering in the water shouting for help to a house of men too busy drinking to pay any attention to what was happening outside.

In any case, Richard Peck said Bentley came into the house, probably wet and angry, and asked sarcastically if their orders were to hear men call and not come to help them out of the water.  Godby answered him, “Do you think we have nothing to do but to fetch you out of the water?”  William Parker’s testimony was that Bentley had asked why no one in the house had brought light to help him and that Thomas Godby had said, “Was anybody bound to bring you light to fetch you from the water?”  Both Peck and Parker said Bentley told Godby, “Hold your peace, nobody speaketh to you.”

This apparently tense moment seemed to pass with all sitting by the fire and “many jesting words” passing between Bentley and Godby but Peck said that Godby “gave Bentley many provoking words” which led to harsher words.  After many exchanges, Peck reported that Bently said “Shall we toss some balls?” whereupon Godby said, “If you toss balls to me I will toss the cup in your face.”  Parker said that Bently called Godby a “cuckold” to which Godby replied, “I would as soon be a cuckold as a cuckold maker.”  Both witnesses agreed that Godby called Bentley names such as a “rogue,” “rascal” and “knave” and Peck said that Bentley replied in kind.

Both witnesses agree that Thomas Godby and William Bentley were sitting beside each other on a bench and at this point, Bentley hit Godby with his left hand on Godby’s left ear knocking him into the floor.  The incident perhaps would have only been a drunken fight except that Bentley then stood and kicked Godby until the others separated the two.

Thomas Godby then set upon a chest or a chair but cried out, “Oh my belly and my side” and tried to walk two or three turns across the house.  Probably in an attempt to keep the two separate, William Parker advised Godby to go next door to Richard Peck’s house to sleep.  Parker and Peck led Thomas Godby outside and Parker went back to his house leaving Peck and Godby going to Peck’s house.  Peck testified that on the way, Godby fell down crying out  repeatedly, “Oh, Bentley, thou hast killed me” and “I am cruelly fixed.”  Peck and some of the others then carried Godby back to Parker’s house.

Parker said they hadn’t been gone 15 minutes when Godby was brought back and laid on a bed still crying out, “Oh Mr. Bentley, you have killed me” repeatedly and also saying “Lord have mercy upon us.  Lord Jesus receive my soul” before finally laying very quietly.  Parker, thinking Godby was now asleep left him but in the morning found he was dead.

William Bentley was indicted for feloniously killing Thomas Godby against the peace of the King.  Bentley pleaded “not guilty” but the 12 jurors convicted him of manslaughter.  When asked what he had to say for himself and why he shouldn’t die for his crime, Bentley demanded his Clergy.  A person who could read could claim “benefit of clergy” and after reading from the Bible as proof be freed from other punishment.

And so Thomas Godby was buried and William Bentley was freed.  On October 16, 1629 William Bentley, representing Nuttmegg Quarter (listed next to Elizabeth City), was seated in the Virginia House of Burgesses along with several of the jurors who convicted him including Richard Kingsmill, John Harris, Thomas Bagwell, and Thomas Harwood.

The first Thomas Godby had a son and then a grandson also named Thomas, both of whom lived out their lives in Lower Norfolk Co., VA.  With Edward Godby however one Godby line began moving west across Virginia.  Edward moved to Middlesex County and his son John moved further east into Augusta County.  His son William’s birthplace is listed as Montgomery County (it would have been Essex County at that time) in 1725.  This seems much too early for the Godbys to be in that area.  William’s son William also has his birthplace listed as Montgomery County in 1750.  This would have been Augusta County then and is a more reasonable time for births in the New River area.

This Godby line then stayed in the Montgomery area and later Amanda Godbey married a Rankin eventually leading to the John Chester Roseberry family in Pulaski County and Charles Wesley Roseberry in Radford.  The Godby family is an example of one of the two main ways southwest Virginia was settled.  They represent the original English settlers on the east coast of Virginia who came through Jamestown and eventually spread west across the Tidewater and into the mountains.  The second route will be discussed later. 



The Daux Family

The Daux family is interesting for its seemingly French name.  Walter Daux was possibly in Virginia by 1637 when Henry Perry received land from his father’s estate, part of which was in compensation for the transport of a Walter Daukes.  To encourage immigration, the London Company assigned 50 acres to anyone who paid the transport costs of an individual.  This was known as a headright and Walter Daukes’ cost was paid for by Henry Perry’s father, the deceased Capt. William Perry.

Despite the Daux surname, Walter’s father, Richard Daux, is mentioned in the Charles City County records and his location is given as London, England.  Walter is found in these records several times because of his death in 1658.  One of his daughters, Ann, married into the Whitt family.  The road to Radford for this family merged with the Godby family when several generations after Walter Whitt, Rhoda Whitt married Francis Marion Godby, a line that eventually led to the Roseberry family.


The Hanks Family

            Thomas Hanks is first found in Virginia in 1654 when a merchant, Thomas Fowke claimed his headright for paying for Thomas’ passage.  The Hanks family has been traced back many generations to 1470 when John Hanks was born in Malmesbury, England. 

            The Hanks family took an interesting journey, covering five generations, west across Virginia and south into North Carolina before returning to southwest Virginia.  Thomas, born in Gloucester County, England in 1632, died in 1674 Gloucester County, Virginia.  His son and grandson, both named William Hanks, lived in Richmond County.  Great-grandson, Richard Hanks Sr., was born in Richmond County, but began the move west by moving first to Dinwiddie County and then to Amelia County.  Richard’s son, Joshua, after fighting in the Revolutionary War with 4 of his brothers, moved into Surry County, North Carolina where he married Ruth Bryant.  Joshua and Ruth then moved into Carroll County, Virginia where they both lived for many years.  Their daughter, Ruth, married into the Vaughan family, and three generations later Bertha Burnop married Elbert Eden Howell.  Bertha and Elbert Howell moved to Radford and lived for many years at 4th and Ingles Streets.        

There is much controversy about the Hanks family because Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln, is descended from these Virginia Hanks.  There are, however, 7 or 8 Nancy Hanks of the right approximate time and age.  Every Hanks wants to be descended from Abraham Lincoln’s Nancy Hanks; therefore the descendants of at least 4 different Nancy Hanks have claimed their Nancy as the mother of Lincoln.  


The Whitt Family

John Whitt, born in England in 1645, is first found in Virginia in 1670 laying claim with John Woorman to 600 acres on the Occoquan River in Stafford County.  Both John and his son, Richard, lived in Charles City County.  Richard’s son, also Richard Whitt, was one of the early settlers of Montgomery County who arrived there when it was still known as Fincastle County.  This second Richard was a preacher, and many of the early Montgomery County marriage records are from lists of weddings officiated by him.

The Whitt family has been in Montgomery County ever since.  Preacher Richard’s granddaughter, Rhoda, married into the Godby family, and their descendants married into the Rankins, Kings and finally the Roseberry family who eventually moved to Radford.

Many Whitts fought during the Civil War; some could be considered heroes.  Burgess Whitt was born in 1830 in VA and married Mary Bridgewater on August 29, 1850 in Pulaski Co., VA.  He was a laborer with $75 in personal property in 1860 in Pulaski Co., VA. Burgess began military service on March 1, 1862 in Newbern, Pulaski Co., VA enlisting as a private in Co. E of the 24th Virginia Infantry.

Burgess fought at 2nd Manassas, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg.  At Gettysburg, Burgess took part in Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863.  He continued with his regiment until he was admitted to Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond on May 18, 1864 with a gunshot wound.  Burgess returned to duty on June 23, 1864, but was wounded again at Drewry's Bluff, returning to duty on July 24, 1864.  He was captured at Farmville on April 6, 1865 just 3 days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.  Burgess was released from Point Lookout on June 22, 1865. He was described as 5'8 with hazel eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.

            Joseph B. Whitt was born in 1832 in VA. In 1860 in Newbern, Pulaski Co., Virginia, Joseph was a laborer with $100 personal property and living with his mother Nancy Whitt after the death of her husband in 1858.  He began military service on May 30, 1861 in Lynchburg, enlisting in Co. K (a Montgomery County unit) of the 24th Virginia Infantry as a 1st Corporal.

Joseph was appointed to 2nd Lt. on May 10, 1862 after the 24th Virginia had 198 casualties on May 5, 1862 at Williamsburg, VA.  He also fought at the Battle of Seven Pines, the Seven Days, 2nd Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg where he was wounded in the hand on Dec. 13, 1862.  In 1863 Joseph was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and was a survivor of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.  He continued with his regiment until he was wounded at the battle of Drewry's Bluff and admitted on May 16, 1864 to General Hospital #4 in Richmond with a gunshot wound to the left thigh.  Joseph was then sent to the General Hospital on May 25, 1864.  A leave of absence was listed with the Medical Director's Office in Richmond on June 13, 1864.  The leave lists the nature of injury as a gunshot flesh wound across the back and over the clavicle.

A letter by Joseph Whitt to his captain is included in his Service Records.


Request for furlough

                         Chaffin's Farm, 20th Sept., (18)63


I have the honor to apply for a leave of absence for Fifteen (15) days to visit my home in Montgomery Co., Va in consideration of the unsettled state of my pecuniary affairs at Home.  They are in such a condition as to Demand my immediate and personal supervision, without which the loss of my property is involved.  My second and most important reason for requesting this leave is in view of the lonely and almost helpless condition of my widowed and aged mother; which is peculiarly painful to me and anything but comfortable and Desirable to her.  The War has taken from her five sons and left but one, who on account of his age and infirmities, is unable to render her any assistance whatsoever.  Her sole support is in him-and knowing his helplessness I feel it my Duty as a son, and it is my earnest Desire to make some provision for her comfort and welfare before the Winter sets in with its severities and sufferings.-  Again my company is small, and all of the officers are present and I think that I could be spared without Detriment to the service-and it is my opinion that I could collect some Deserters from my command.  Should you see proper to grant me this indulgence I will be under lasting obligations to you and promise in no case to abuse it by remaining over the prescribed limits.

                    With much respect I am Captain

                    Your most Ob't serv't

                         Joseph B. Whitt   1st Lieut.

                         Co. K   24th VA Regt.


            Other Whitts had their own problems with the military.  Abijah Whitt was born on April 10, 1832 in Montgomery County and married Eliza Harler on August 30, 1864.  He began military service on March 1, 1862 in Newbern, enlisting as a private in Co. E of the 24th Virginia Infantry.  Abijah was sent to the hospital on Oct. 27, 1862.  The Register of Receiving Hospital (#9) in Richmond, Virginia shows Abijah was admitted on Oct. 31, 1862 and later transferred to General Hospital #19.  From March 1863 to October 1864, Abijah is listed as absent without leave.  Then a receipt is found.


Receipt to Henry Newberry:

     July 23: For arresting and delivering to the Provost Marshal

          1863     at Dublin Depot, VA (as per annexed receipts)         

          Two Deserters at $30 each-

          Viz.  Charles Taylor, Co. E, 24th Virginia Regt.

                & Abijah Whitt, Co. E, 24th Virginia Regt.       $60.


The next muster shows Abijah as AWOL again.


The Foster Family

            A family history isn’t complete without a royalty link.  It has actually been calculated that enough generations have passed that almost all people of European descent are descended from royalty.  This is because royalty is known for having many children, both legitimate and illegitimate.  The question is to trace the lineage. For the Roseberry-Keister family, that link is the Foster family.  Like most of the histories tracing back to English kings there are questions.  In this case the weakest link is the question whether William Foster of Northumberland County is the son of Robert Foster.  If so, then the Foster line goes back to King Edward III.  Another of Robert Foster’s lines trace back to the brother-in-law of William the Conqueror.  The fun part of European royalty is that if you are related to one, you are related to all.  Royalty intermarried across England and the Continent in order to keep their blue blood pure.

            William Foster is first found in Northumberland County in 1686.  His son, Isaac, moved west landing in Nicholas County by his death in 1814.  Several generations lived in what became West Virginia until in 1881, John. L. Foster moved to Virginia and by 1898 was in Radford, VA.  John Foster’s daughter, Ida May, married Walter “Henry” Keister in November of that year.

            The Foster of interest is John L. Foster’s big brother, Michael Foster.



          This is the sword that family tradition says that Mike Foster brought home with him from the Civil War.  Mike Foster either gave this sword to his younger brother John Foster (1844-1919) or it passed to John upon Mike’s early death (1875 at age 34) from his war injuries.   From John the sword passed to his daughter, Ida May Foster (1877-1944) who married Walter Henderson Keister.  When Ida Keister died in 1944, the sword passed to her son, Harry Price Keister (1902-1954) and then his wife Margaret Howell Keister (1908-1992).

            The sword is actually an 1850 model Militia sword with its original metal scabbard. It is possible that Mike Foster acquired this sword before the Civil War when he was a member of the Monroe Guards, a unit organized in 1859 after John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. 

        Much information about Michael can be found in the 27th Virginia Infantry by Lowell Reidenbaugh and the regiment’s Service Records.  Mike was a private in Co. D after enlisting on May 9, 1861 at Union, Virginia (West Virginia).  He was a 21 year old farmer.  The 27th Virginia Infantry was a part of the Stonewall Brigade which earned its name at the battle of 1st Bull Run propelling “Stonewall” Jackson to immediate fame.  Mike was known as a deadly sharpshooter.  In one battle an eyewitness reported that every time Mike fired, a scream could be heard from the enemy.

In addition to the 1st battle of Bull Run, Michael Foster fought in the Seven Days, Cedar Mountain, Brawner’s Farm, 2nd Bull Run, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Lynchburg, Monocacy, and Cedar Creek.  The Civil War ended for Mike on February 2, 1865 when he was wounded in action at the battle of Hatcher’s Run.  It was a terrible wound of the hip, bladder and thigh, which plagued him until his death in 1875.  The 1870 Census shows Mike living with his parents and listed as a “cripple.”

The Lexington Gazette reported in 1893, “Mike Foster, Monroe Guards, 27th VA wounded repeatidy was presented a laurel wreath by Gen. R. E. Lee as the bravest and most efficient soldier in the Stonewall Brigade while in the hospital in Richmond in 1863. Wounded and captured at Hatcher's Run April 1865, Gen. Gordon offered 50 Federal prisoners of war to get him back. He was terribly wounded and died from the effects” at Forest Hills, West Virginia on May 22, 1875. Buried in Forest Hills, West Virginia, the Confederate Veterans Camp in Monroe West Virginia was named in his honor. “Was distinguished for gallantry on every battlefield.”

            Reidenbaugh also reports that a monument to Foster and the Monroe Guards was erected in 1907.  Sponsors expected that a highway would be rerouted into the area but “today the monument stands as a lonely sentinel in pasture land, a reminder of political mischief.”


The Hylton Family

            The Hyltons are first found in 1691 in New Kent County where John Hylton was sexton of St. Peters Parrish.  John’s great-granddaughter, Obediance, married James Pratt in 1798, a line that eventually led to Radford, Virginia by way of the Howell and then the Keister family.  The Hylton Genealogy, From Castle to Cottage by Hazel S. Moore can be found in the Roanoke City Library.  Ms. Moore had access to many family Bibles of not only the Hyltons but also related families.

            During the Civil War, the 54th Virginia Infantry had no less than 23 Hylton family members, from Ananias Burwell Hylton to Zechariah Hylton.  The 54th is a particularly interesting regiment because after serving in southwest Virginia, it was sent west and served in General Joe Johnston’s and Gen. J. B. Hood’s army during the Chickamauga and Atlanta Campaigns. 

            Four Hyltons died during the war.  Ananias was wounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia on September 19, 1863.  He returned but was taken captive at Peach Tree Creek in Atlanta, Georgia.  He died in a POW camp, Camp Douglas, Illinois, and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago.  Lewis Hylton enlisted in 1861.  He died in November 1863 in the Frank Ramsey Hospital in Baskerville, Georgia.  Lewis was probably wounded in action, as discharge papers for disability had been prepared before his death.   

            John W. Hylton enlisted in 1862 and was sick at Cassville, Georgia in October of 1863.  His postwar record says he died in service.  Lorenzo Dow Hylton enlisted in 1862 as a 1st Lieutenant in Company D.  John was wounded and missing in action at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee on November 25, 1863 and died on February 13, 1864.  He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia.

               One tantalizing story is that of Lankford Hylton and Dennis Hylton, both of Co. D.  They both deserted on July 21, 1863 at Zollicoffer, Tennessee leaving the impression of two family members planning and executing an escape from the army.  Dennis returned or was returned to fight on for another year and a half before deserting again on April 1, 1865 just days before the war ended. 



The Burk Family

            The Burk family is a good example of the second route of settlement for western and southwestern Virginia.  This was the way traveled by the Scotch-Irish, Germans and others who came to America through Philadelphia and then moved south down the Shenandoah Valley to southwest Virginia and beyond.  The Shenandoah Valley is a natural highway that was used first by the Native Americans who called it “The Great Warpath.”  When Europeans began using it, the valley became known as “The Great Wagon Road.”  Now anyone can travel this route on Interstate highway 81.    

            The Burk (or Bourke) family can be traced back several generations in County Kildare, Ireland, but James Burk was born in 1698 in Ulster in Northern Ireland.  James immigrated to America in about 1725 and lived in Pennsylvania for several years.  By 1732 he was one of the earliest settlers of southwest Virginia and eventually died in Surry County, North Carolina.  James was an explorer, hunter and trader who played a great role in opening up southwest Virginia to other settlers.  His son Joseph Burk was born in 1745 in Augusta County in the area later to become Montgomery County.  Burk family lore reports that Joseph was drowned near Pepper’s Ferry.  Joseph’s daughter, Mary, married into the Shell family and her daughter, Catherine Shell married into the Keister family in 1826.

            Mary Jane Bane was James Burk’s wife.  The earliest know Bane is Mary’s grandfather, James Bane of Inverness, Scotland.  His son Mordecai was the Bane immigrant.  He was born in Inverness in 1683 and was in Chester County, Pennsylvania by 1705 when he married Naomi Medley in St. Paul’s Church.


The Patton Family

            The Patton family begins with the Rev. William Patton and his wife Margaret who were two of the original Scotch-Irish.  William was born in 1590 in Scotland, but settled in County Donegal, Ireland during the King James Plantation (the settling of Protestant colonies in Ireland to promote loyalty) at the beginning of the seventeenth century.  Six counties were originally set aside to form the “Ulster Plantation.”  William’s great-grandson, Capt. John Patton, immigrated to America in the 1730s with his brother Col. James Patton and sister Elizabeth.  The forced exile of John Lewis, Henry Patton's brother-in-law, was probably the major reason for the Patton immigration to America.

Capt. John Patton lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but by 1745 became the 1st Sheriff of Augusta County, Virginia.  His daughter, Agnes Patton, married William Patterson in 1789 in Montgomery County, Virginia and the road to Radford led through the Glasgows and the Suttons to the Roseberry family.

John’s brother was James Patton, a major figure in the settling of southwest Virginia.  Much information about James can be found in James Patton and The Appalachian Colonists by Patricia Givens Johnson, a native of Giles and Montgomery Counties who grew up in Christiansburg, Virginia and in Early Adventures On the Western Waters by Mary B. Kegley and F. B.Kegley of Giles County.

James became a ship captain and was granted 120,000 acres of land located on the west side of the Blue Mountains and to be settled by loyal British subjects.  James surveyed much land in southwest Virginia including a 1747 patent in the Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford area.  This was the Drapers Meadows settlement where on July 30, 1755, Indians attacked, killing many at the settlement including James Patton.  This, of course, was when Mary Draper Ingles and two of her children were taken captive.

The Patton family is also of interest because of Capt. John Patton’s sister, Elizabeth Patton, who married John Preston in 1716 in Ireland.  In Virginia there was a Tidewater elite of colonial society.  The Patton-Preston marriage was a western Virginia version of this.  The Prestons of Smithfield and Greenfield in Virginia, by John Frederic Dorman, one of the most respected of Virginia genealogists, traces five generations of the descendants of this family. 

The descendants of the Patton-Preston marriage include the Breckinridges, Todds, McDowells, Johnstons, Lewises, Floyds, Cockes, Blairs and Marshalls.  During the Civil War, there were many links to both north and south.  The Todds were Mary Todd Lincoln’s southern relatives.  This link to the South caused many in the North to be suspicious of her loyalties.  William Marshall married Ann Kinloch Lee, the sister of General Robert E. Lee.  Henrietta Preston married General Albert Sidney Johnston who was killed at Shiloh.  Their son William Preston Johnston was an aide de camp to Jefferson Davis and was captured with him, effectively ending the Civil War.  In the north, Francis Preston Blair (1791-1876) was an influential man who initiated the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in 1865 and Francis Preston Blair (1821-1875) was a United States Major-General.



The Carper Family

            John Carper, Sr. was born in 1757 in Frederick County.  Following his service in the Revolutionary War, he moved to Montgomery County.  John’s daughter, Nancy, married Elias Shufflebarger, Jr. and lived for many years in Pulaski County.  The line then married into the Suttons and Roseberrys.

            John, senior’s service record gives much information about him.

CARPER, John.       S.37825. 

1 Nov. 1830. Montgomery Co., Va. John (X) Carper of said county, aged 73, declares he enlisted for one year in the fall of 1780 in the company of Capt. Samuel Gilkinson in the regiment of Col. Campbell (who fell at Eutaw Springs) and continued to serve in the same corps, which after the death of Col. Campbell was commanded by Col. Hause, until 1782 when he was discharged at Salisbury, S.C. Although he enlisted for only one year, he continued in service more than three years. He was in the battles of Eutaw Springs and Camden.

He owns eighteen head of horned cattle about twenty head of hogs and twentyfive sheep, valued at $267.00.

His family consists of himself and an aged wife. He lives on rented ground as tenant at will.

20 Oct. 1830. Montgomery Co., Va. Samuel Caddall declares John Carper served with him as a private in Capt. Oldham's company in Col. Haw's regiment until the battle of Eutaw Springs. After that battle Col. Haws and Col. Campbell's regiments, which were much cut up in the battle, were consolidated and the regiment was placed under Maj. Snead. John Carper served all of 1781, part of 1780 and part of 1782. He was a good soldier and always in his place. He is now poor and lives on rented ground.

30 Oct. 1830. Montgomery Co., Va. John Carper declares he did not apply sooner because he did not know the law entitled him to anything until Saml. Caddall and Henry Wysor told him.

30 Oct. 1830. Montgomery Co., Va. Jacob (X) Anderson declares John Carper was a drafted soldier for three months and they were mess mates in the army to the north. When he returned to his native county (Frederick) in Virginia he again enlisted in 1780 and did not return for twentytwo months at the least. Carper is now poor and lives on rented land.

Thomas Stewart, administrator of John Carper, was paid pension to 18 Feb. 1841.

John Carper of Montgomery Co., Va., private in the company of Capt. Gilkinson in the regiment of Col. Hause in the Virginia line for three years from 1778 to 1782, was placed on the Virginia pension roll at $8 per month from 25 June 1831 under the Acts of 1818 and 1820. Certificate 20339 was issued 25 June 1831.


The Shell Family

            The Shell family is another family that immigrated to Pennsylvania and then moved down the Shenandoah Valley.  Jacob Shell, Sr. was one of the Germans imported in the ship Samuel from Rotterdam Hugh Percy, Commander.  Jacob, Sr. was added to the Augusta County, Virginia tithables in 1756 making him one of the earliest settlers of southwest Virginia.  Because of Indian attacks, Jacob, Sr. apparently moved away several times over the next 15 years before feeling safe enough to stay in the area for good.

            Jacob Shell, Jr. is first found in Montgomery County land records claiming 464 acres on the east side of the New River on both sides of the mouth of Fishing Run.  Jacob, Jr.’s daughter Catherine married Peter Keister, Jr.; the Keister family eventually moved to Radford, Virginia.

            Many families are rightfully proud of ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War.  The Shell family however should remember their ancestors, Jacob, Sr., and Jacob, Jr., for standing up for their beliefs.  When the Revolutionary War began, not all Americans supported the cause of independence; many considered themselves the “King’s men.”  Mary B. and F. B. Kegley’s Early Adventures on the Western Waters provides a full account of the problems in the New River area.  The Shell’s were considered ringleaders of the New River Tories.  The extent of the problem first became apparent when in 1777 all males over 16 were required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the State.  The Shells, along with most of Capt. Thomas Burke’s militia company, refused to take this oath.

            Montgomery County and Botetourt County eventually began putting people, on trial for treason to the state.  Jacob Shell, Jr. was part of a group that was sent to the Augusta jail for further trial.  The outcome of the Tory trials was a bond for those who refused the oath to the state for “motives which we believe conscientious.” 

Jacob, Jr.’s will vividly shows how much land was available in the late 18th Century in Montgomery County.

Jacob Shell, his Last Will.

In the name of God Amen I Jacob Shaul Sen'r of the County of Montgomery being weak body but of perfect mind & memory caullin to mind the Mortality of my Body Do make this my Last Will and Testament.  Imprimus, I recommend my Soul to the Almity God that Gavieth and my body to the earth to be buried in a chrsstan like and in a Decent maner at the Discretion of my friends and as tuching such worldy Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I will bequeth and Disspose of the same in the maner and form falling that is to say I will Direct that all my Just Dbts of every kind and whatever be paid in maner herein Divided.  First I give and bequeth unto my Loving wife Cathrine Shaul all my household and kitchen furniture and the cattle clamed by me on the plantation together with one third of the land of the land of the plantation whereon I live, her third not to exced the third of the plantation that I formerly Gve to my son jacob Shaul.  I then will devise and bequeth unto my son Jacob Shaul Junier his heirs and assigns forever all the track of Land whereon I live on the South Side of new River containing two hundred acres more of less and a servd ajoining on the South side made by John Preston and also all the farming utensils on the said place the wagon and gairs together whih two horses a bay and a Sorrel on his paying or causing to be paid in property to his six Sisters the sum of ten pounds each, within three years after my Decease.  I then will devise and bequeth unto my son John Shaul all the property of every kind whatsoever which I have before give him and now in his possition and to his heirs or assigns forever on his paying or causing to be paid to his brother Christian Saul fifty pounds in property within three years after my Decease.  I then I give bequeth and devise unto my son Christian Shaull and his and assigns forever all the tract of Land whereon he formerly lived on a branch of Shubels Creek containing eighty acres and known by the name of Gusesys place together whith a serrey mad by John Custer adjoining thereunto and allso fifty pounds to be paid to him by his brother John Shuall and also all the property here before give him and now in his possession.  Then I give and devise unto my Daughters Catherine and Elizabeth Shaull all the Stock and property of Every kind claimed by them before which the heve on the place and also all 1 mare five years old unto Elizabeth Shaull and also Catherine Shaull to be maintained of the plantation where I live as long as she shall Live.  And then I give and Devise unto my Daughter Gertrud Williams, Phanney Wall, Molly Heve, Peggey Salles, Barbary Heven, Nancy Taylor the sum of ten pounds Each to be paid in property within three years after my Decease to be paid unto them by my son Jacob Shaull.  And Lastly I nominate constitute and apoint my son Jacob Shaull Junier and John Shall my son my Executors to this my Last will and testament and I do hereby Revoke anull and make Void all other former Wills by me made or Executed Declaring this to be my only last will and testament.  Signed and Acknowledged by me this seventeenth day of February one thousand seven Hundred and ninty five.  Signed Sealed and Acknowledged and Likewise Declared by me Jacob Shaull to be my last will and Testament before Witnesses.

Jacob   (X-his mark)   Shaull   {Seal}

Adam Wall

William Heavin

Benj. Sperry

Samuel  (X-his mark) Spery 


The Wysor and Beck Families

            Adam Weiser was born in 1729 in Germany and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1751 on the ship Neptune with Capt. James Weir and 154 passengers.  In Northampton County, Adam married Elizabeth Beck in 1755 at the St. Paul's Lutheran and Reformed Church.

            Elizabeth’s grandfather was Ulrich Beck of Oberriexingen in Wurtemberg, Germany.  Her father, Hans Jerg, emigrated in 1754 and died in 1775 in Northampton County.

            In about 1770, Adam and Elizabeth started to move south down the Shenandoah Valley first to Winchester, Virginia and then in 1787 to the Back Creek-Neck Creek area of Montgomery County.  They had 10 children whose descendants are still in Pulaski and Montgomery Counties.  Their daughter, Mary, married Elias Shufflebarger, and their descendants came to Radford by way of the King, Sutton and Roseberry families.

            Mary B. Kegley’s Revolutionary War Pension Applications of Southwest Virginia Soldiers includes Henry Wysor’s application.

            “On September 3, 1832, Montgomery County, Virginia, Henry Wysor, aged 78 years stated that he enlisted in the army of the United States in the year 1776 (he believed in the month of February) under Captain Berry in Frederick County, Virginia, and served in the 8th Virginia regiment of the Line under the following officers.  He was marched from Frederick County to Jamestown, Virginia, where he joined his regiment commanded by Colonel Mulinberg [Muhlenberg] and Colonel Bowman.  From there they marched to Halifax in North Carolina, from there to a place called Pine Tree Store, where they “took water” in South Carolina, and when we were landed we were marched by the way of Charlestown to Sullivans Island.  He was there when it was attacked by the British shipping.  From there he went to Savannah, Georgia, from there to Salisberry where he was taken sick and lay near three months.  He then returned to Savannah and got a furlough and returned home, where he remained about three weeks.  He was ordered to Philadelphia, and from there he crossed the Delaware and joined the main army on the Jersey side and was attached to General Morgan’s Regiment of Riflemen.  He was a short time in Captain Long’s Company and then in Captain Knox’s Company.  His lieutenant was Craig, and Ensign Lovely.  He was at the taking of Burgoyne and was in the Battle of Valley Forge, where Major Morris was killed.  He was in several skirmishes at places he did not recollect so as to describe them.  He was discharged in February 1778 at a place called the White House in Pennsylvania.  His discharge was kept until the return of peace or some time after and thinking it would be of no use he threw it away or destroyed it.  He returned home, married and lived in the county of Frederick till the siege of Little York [Yorktown] in the year 1781, when he was drafted under Captain Bell, and marched to Little York, where he was at the taking of Cornwallis.  In about six or seven weeks he got a furlough to return home and was not afterwards called upon.

            “March 4, 1833, Montgomery County, Virginia, Henry Wysor, Senr., made an additional declaration as follows.  Captain Berry gave him the appointment of sergeant when he enlisted and he believed enrolled him as such after serving some time.  He applied to be released on the ground he was no scholar but was refused and continued to do the duties of sergeant for some time.  He then got his arm broken and was unable to do duty for some time.  They were marched to the South as he stated in his former declaration where he was taken sick and lay near three months.  He returned home and was ordered to the North (Philadelphia) but a few of his old company lived to return and when he joined the main army in the Jerseys he was attached to a strange company.  In a few days he joined General Morgan’s Rifles Regiment.  Morgan had been a neighbor and acquaintance of his.  He was again appointed sergeant and served as such.  But the company was soon after cut to pieces and consolidated or placed in other companies which was several times the case, so he did not know how long he served as sergeant.  When he was drafted in the year 1781, he recollected well of doing the duty of sergeant at the taking of Cornwallis.

            “Henry Wysor was inscribed on the pension roll of Virginia at the rate of $120 per annum to commence on the 4th of March 1831.  Certificate of pension issued the 15th day of June, 1833.

            “August 14, 1832, Montgomery County, Virginia, John Carper certified that he has been acquainted with Henry Wysor Senr., from the time they were boys.  They were raised in Frederick County, Virginia, and in the same neighborhood, and moved to the same neighborhood in Montgomery County, Virginia, where they then lived.  He knew of his enlisting in the Revolution under Captain Berry for two years which he believed was in the year 1776, and knew of his returning which he believed was about two years afterwards to the same county of Frederick.  He also knew of his being drafted after he was married, for three months about the time Cornwallis was taken.

            “Pulaski County, Virginia, Henry Wysor and James Wysor made oath that they are the executors of the last will and testament of Henry Wysor, the identical person who was a pensioner, and was now dead and to whom a certificate of pensions was issued of which the following is a true copy.”


The Howell Family

            The Howells spent many years in Floyd County.  They first are found in Philadelphia where Benjamin Howell was born.  Benjamin and his brother Joshua were part of the many who migrated down the Shenandoah Valley.  A 1774 Botetourt County land record shows Benjamin with 354 acres on the Little River.  Five generations of Howells lived in Montgomery and Floyd County before Elbert Eden Howell married Bertha Burnop in Radford.  Elbert and Bertha lived at 4th and Ingles Streets for many years while Elbert owned Howell’s Shoe Shop on 1st Street and his son, Thomas Howell ran Howell Radio and TV Service right next door.  Elbert’s daughter, Margaret, married Harry Price Keister and lived next door to Elbert and Bertha for many years.  Later Margaret moved across the street from the shoe shop and TV shop and lived above Umbarger’s Super Market where she worked during the day.

            Joshua’s great-grandson, Burdine Tolliver Howell was born in 1844 in Floyd Co., Virginia. He married Mary Jane Lawrence December 29, 1873 but moved to Girard, Kansas later in life.

Burdine began military service on November 1, 1862 at the Floyd Court-House, when he enlisted as a 2nd Corporal in Co. B of the 54th Virginia Infantry.  The following letter of Budine’s survives.  It was published in a local newspaper in about 1923.


Letter From a Former Floyd Man

(The following letter was written to Mrs. A. J. Huff, of Roanoke, by her uncle B. T. Howell, of Kansas, brother of the late Col. P. T. Howell, of town.  This will interest many of our readers as Mr. Howell was born and raised here, and most of our older folks still remember him.-Ed.)


My Dear Neice:

            I will write a few lines.  At this time, we and all our children, so far as we know , are well.  Our children are scattered.  We have two daughters living here in Girard, both married.  Four daughters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, three of them married.  One son in Colorado.  He is married and has a small family.  One single son in California.

            We are having fine weather here now but don't know how soon it may storm.  Crops were good here this year, but business is dull.  Not much building being done or property changing hand.

            I am not able to do much any more.  I got my hip broken two years ago and cannot do much.  Can get a round some without a crutch but am losing my energy fast.  But I should not grumble for am now in my 79th year and on Dec. 29, wife and I will have been married fifty years.  We did think of having all of our children with us at that time but it's doubtful.

            Now, we do not think it extraordinary that we have lived to our fiftieth anniversary, but it is rather uncommon.  We are each the only living representative of our father's family.  We have raised eight children, all stout, hearty men and women and have never had a death in the family.  So we have more to be thankful for than to (?) him about.

            Please tell if your uncles on your mother's side are living.

            Wife's health is reasonably good.  She was 74 last August.  We both are going down the hill slope of time-not many more years to live at the most.

            Love and best wishes to all.

                       B. T. Howell

                       South Summit

                       Girard, Kansas.



The Duncan and Holtzclaw Families

            The Duncans are located first in Fauquier County where John Duncan lived in the early 18th Century.  His son, also named John Duncan, served during the Revolutionary War under Capt. Chinn for one year and marched through Maryland and Pennsylvania.  John saw no action during this time but was “called out as a minute man” in Montgomery Co., VA under Col. William Preston, Capt. Trigg and Major Cloyd.  They marched to King's Mountain, but arrived the day after the action there.  The regiment was engaged with Tories, however, at Shallow Ford.

            The second John Duncan’s great-granddaughter, Lucinda, married William Allen Howell in 1850 which eventually led to Elbert Howell moving to Radford. 

            Elizabeth Holtzclaw was the wife of the second John Duncan.  The Holtzclaw family arrived in Virginia as part of the original 42 colonists who established the town Germanna in April 1714.  The Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia 1714-1750 by B. C. Holtsclaw traces many of these families through many generations in Germany as far back as the 14th Century using church and guild records.  What makes this group particularly interesting is that they all came from the same area of Germany, Nassau-Siegen, where they worked mostly as miners. 


The Weddle Family

            The Weddle family arrived in Philadelphia when Johan Michael Waidele arrived on the ship Francis & Elizabeth from the Rhine region of Lorraine, Germany.  Michael spent the rest of his life in Pennsylvania dying in York County in 1757.

            Michael’s son, Martin, moved down the Shenandoah Valley dying in 1782 in Botetourt County, Virginia in 1782.  Martin’s son, Benjamin, fought under General Andrew Lewis in 1774 against the Indian Chief Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant.  Benjamin Weddle later served in the Revolutionary War.  Benjamin was in Montgomery County in 1775 and at his death was living in the area of Bent Mountain in present day Floyd County.  The road to Radford continued when Benjamin’s daughter married Jesse Hylton in 1791 and moved through the Pratt, Howell and Keister families.

            Numerous Weddles fought for the South during the Civil War.  Alexander Weddle, however, though living in Floyd County, fought in the Union Army.  He signed a Declaration to support the United States on June 30, 1864 in Chattanooga Tennessee.

            “I, Alexander Weddle of the County of Floyd, State of Virginia, do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of States thereunder, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not yet repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion, having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court.  So help me God.”

            In a time before modern medicine, life was precarious.

The Floyd Co, VA Diphtheria Epidemic of 1862

            When eleven year old John Howard died January 14, 1861 of diphtheria, Floyd County, Virginia may not have realized its danger.  While seventy-three people died in Floyd in 1860, none died of diphtheria.  But in 1861, 90 people died in Floyd County, a total not including four Civil War soldiers.   Through the end of August only 6 deaths were from the disease but by year’s end twenty deaths or 22% of the year’s total were attributed to diphtheria.

            After John Howard’s death, February and March passed by.   Then on April 3rd George Overstreet, only 1, died followed by George Mills, 14 on April 26, 1861.  May passed and in June there were two more diphtheria deaths, Lemuel McDaniel, age 3, on June 17 and G. M. Helms, 21, on June 21, 1861.  Lydia Thrash, 87, died on July 7 and then August passed with no diphtheria deaths.

            The three deaths in September 1861 and two in October still may not have alerted Floyd County to what was on the way.  November had 5 diphtheria deaths followed by 4 in December 1861.

            Ten diphtheria deaths in January 1862 signaled a full-blown epidemic.  February had 13 deaths.  This followed by a slight lull in March with 7 deaths but in April 1862, 22 deaths were recorded from diphtheria.

            There were 10 diphtheria deaths in May, 12 deaths in June, 10 more in July and then 14 in August.  In the midst of the mounting diphtheria toll, typhoid fever had also taken hold causing even more deaths.

            The September 1862 total of diphtheria deaths was 16, followed by 15 in October, 20 in November and 16 more in December.  The year’s death total was 242 not including 38 soldiers.  This was a 268% increase from 1861.  Diphtheria accounted for 165 or 68% of the deaths.  There were only 77 deaths from other causes and many of these were typhoid fever deaths. 

            The typhoid deaths deserve a brief look.  Of the 77 non-diphtheria  deaths plus the 38 soldier deaths, a total of 115 non-diphtheria deaths, 30 or 26% were from typhoid fever.  At least 11 Floyd Civil War soldiers died of typhoid away from Floyd County and at least 11 non-soldiers died in Floyd County of the same disease.  Several more Floyd County typhoid deaths were males of the correct age to be soldiers although it wasn’t specifically stated.  Three deaths in particular are suspicious.  They are of males specifically stated to be soldiers who died in Floyd County of typhoid.

            J. C. West, 22, son of Andrew & A. West, died of typhoid in Floyd County in April.  Foster Wood, 24, son of F. & M. Wood, also died of typhoid in Floyd County on April 25, 1862.  M. G. Manning, 26, son of C. L. & S. Manning, didn’t die until Oct. 30.  His sister, Sarah Manning, 19, died of typhoid two weeks earlier on Oct. 14, 1862.

            It would appear that the typhoid began in the Confederate armies and was brought to Floyd County by sick soldiers.  

            The Weddle family was among the hardest hit by diphtheria.   Samuel Weddle was a farmer born September 26, 1812 in Montgomery Co., VA.  In about 1835, he married Polly Wade, born in 1819.

            By 1860 Samuel and Polly Weddle had eleven children.  Polly died and Samuel married Mary Bowman Hylton, daughter of Christian Bowman and Hannah Rineheart.  Of Samuel and Polly’s four oldest children in 1862, three survived the diphtheria epidemic, Nancy, Caleb and Joshua.  Their eldest child, Eliza, 25, had married William C. Simmons in 1861 but was struck down by the epidemic, dying on January 4, 1862.

            Mary Bowman Weddle brought 4 children with her when she married Samuel Weddle.  They were from her previous marriage to Isaac Hylton.  The older children were sons Hyram, 14 and Benjamin, 10 and they survived the epidemic.  But on January 29, 1862 both younger daughters, Susannah, 5, and Lydia, 3, died of diphtheria.

            The epidemic had already moved into the Samuel Weddle home 7 days earlier when Louanna, 10, died on January 22.  In February, two more children died.  Alley, 12, died February 5 and Noah died February 24, 1862, at age 7.

            Samuel’s son Eli died on April 20, 1862, at age 14 and was followed in May by Malachi, who died on May 5, at age 17.

            Of Samuel Weddle and Polly Wade’s youngest children only Sarah, 6, and Owen, 3, survived the epidemic.  Samuel Weddle and Mary Hylton had one child Mary Jane born January 25, 1862 but Mary Jane died June 18, 1862.  Of 16 children alive in 1862, only 7 had survived the year.

            Samuel and Mary Weddle eventually had 4 more children, Elizabeth, Samuel Jr., Martha, and Joseph.

            Another Weddle also died of diphtheria in 1862.  Samuel Weddle’s brother, Joseph, died on April 3 just two months before the birth of a daughter on June 8.  Joseph’s wife Susannah named the child Josephine.

            The family of Jesse Pratt and Barbara Simmons were also struck by the diphtheria epidemic in October 1862.  On October 3, their daughter, Nancy, 14 died and this was followed on October 10 by the death of their son Jesse, 13.  On October 17, Barbara Simmons Pratt died of diphtheria at age 46 and a week later her daughter Catherine, 10, also died.  This family is buried in the Jesse Pratt Cemetery in a field on 722 west of the town of Floyd.  Jesse’s is the only marked stone.  Jesse’s sister Judith Pratt is also buried here.  Judith was another victim of the diphtheria epidemic dying September 29, 1862.

            A different Catherine Pratt, 16, this one a daughter of John & Agnes Pratt, died of diphtheria on December 1, 1862.  John Pratt was Jesse and Judith Pratt’s brother.

            Other Floyd County families with 5 or more diphtheria deaths were the Altizers, Andersons, Conners (13 deaths, 5 from the Jo and Lucinda Conner family), Guthries, Keiths, Kropffs, Martins, Spanglers, Wades and Wilsons. 



The Morricle Family

            The Morricle family of Floyd County, Virginia descended from William Morricle of Germany.  William immigrated to America in 1768 and lived for many years in Frederick County, Maryland.  He moved to Montgomery County, Virginia by 1791 when he purchased 92 acres on the South Fork branch of the Little River.  William was a charter member of the Zion Lutheran Church in May of 1813.  William’s granddaughter Elizabeth Morricle married George Duncan, Sr. in 1826 and their descendants came to Radford by way of the Howell and then the Keister families.

            William Morricles’ will reflects his religious beliefs.

Wm. Morricle Will.

In the name of God Amen, I William Morricle of the county of Montgomery & state of Virginia being of sound mind & memory recollecting to mind that it is ordained for man once to die do make this my last will & Testament.  First, I desire to be buried in Christian like form.  Then I give unto my son Wm. Morricle Two hundred Acres of land in one tract on the South fork of little river and in another tract Seventy nine acres.  Then I give my son Jacob Morricle One hundred & seventy acres of land joining William's and both the mentioned sons is to pay to my son John Morricle Forty dollars apiece.  So I appoint my sons Jacob & Wm Executors to this my last will and revoking all other wills heretofore made as Witness my hand and seal this 22nd day of April in the year one thousand eight hundred & nineteen.

Signed Sealed & acknowledged            Wm   (m-his mark)   Morricle     {seal}

before us


John B Pharis

Edward Sumpter

Griffith Dickerson

At Montgomery May Court 1820

This last will and Testament of William Morricle dec'd was presented in court and proved by the oath of John B. Pharis a witness thereto and continued for further proof and at May Court 1822 the same was further proved by the oath of Edward Sumpter a second witness thereto and ordered to be recorded.


                                                            Charles Taylor   CMC 



The Sutton Family

John Sutton was born in 1793 in Montgomery County in an area that eventually became Pulaski County.  His descendants lived there for many years until his great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Sutton married Charles Wesley Roseberry.  Lizzie and Charles moved to Radford after their marriage in 1914.

John had three sons serve in the Confederate Army.  They were John C. Sutton and his brothers, William and James.  On June 25, 1861 in Wytheville, Virginia, at age 18, William enlisted as a private in Co. I of the 50th Virginia Infantry.   By October 30, 1861, he was sick in the hospital at the Raleigh Court House, Virginia (West Virginia).  William was wounded in action in Lewisburg, Virginia (West Virginia) and “in several other engagements.”  He was mistakenly listed as killed in action on July 2, 1863 or July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania but then is shown as promoted to 2nd Sergeant of the second Co. G., by March 31, 1864.  William was wounded in action at Spotsylvania Court House on May 12, 1864 by a gunshot that fractured the lower third of his left thigh and he was taken prisoner.  By May 16, 1864 he was a prisoner of war in the 2nd US Corps field hospital before being moved to a hospital in Washington, D. C. where he died.


          The Vaughan Family

            The Vaughan family is first found in Hanover County, Virginia where William Vaughan was born in about 1735.  William enlisted for a two year term during the Revolutionary War in 1776 in the 4th Virginia Regiment under Captain John Brent.  William was promoted to Sergeant about Sep. 1777 and was discharged on Feb 5, 1778.  He is found in Augusta County in 1797 when he purchased land at Knob Fork of Elk Creek.

            William’s grandson, John W. Vaughan, was a veteran of the War of 1812 serving in the 4th Virginia Regiment in Capt. Heuls’ company.  By 1850 John had moved to Carroll County where he lived for the rest of his life.  John’s granddaughter, Nancy Vaughan, married into the Burnop family which led to the Howell family who moved from Floyd County to Radford, VA.

            John W. Vaughan’s son, John Wesley Vaughan, died an untimely death in 1858 at the age of 28.  His will is an example of how casually slavery was taken by southern families just before the Civil War and is disconcerting reading for the modern sensibilities.  The Vaughan’s were not large plantation style slave owners but in 1840 John Wesley is listed as owning 7 slaves.

John W. Vaughan Will. 

I John W. Vaughan of the County of Carroll and State of Virginia do hereby make my last will and testament in manner and form following.  That is to say first immediately after my decease out of the money which may be on hand or be owing to me,  I wish my just debts and funeral expenses to be paid.  If I should not buy a negro man previous to my death, I wish one to be bought out of the money which is owing to me, which negro man is to be under the special control of my wife as long as she remains my widow and then to be disposed of as I shall herein after direct.  Secondly I give to my brother Elisha B. Vaughan five Hundred Dollars out of the first five Thousand Dollars realized out of my Copper property either by sale or otherwise.  Also out of the first five Thousand Dollars realized from my Copper property by sale or otherwise, I wish a negro man & negro woman to be bought for the use of my father and mother during their life but provided my father or mother should die & the other marry again then those two negros are to belong to my Estate and to my surviving parent who may have married again, shall have no further control over them or at the death of my father and Mother those two negros purchased with my money shall belong to my estate.  I also give unto my father and mother one third part of my entire Copper property during their natural life to be used by them as they want.  Elisha B. Vaughan may think best for their support but at their death or one of them should the other marry then what should be left of the one third given to them shall belong to my Estate and they have no further control over it.  Thirdly I give unto my beloved wife Margaret J. Vaughan all the remaining part of my Estate both personal and real not already disposed of, during her natural life or so long as she remains my widow to be used by her for the support of herself and the support and education of my children but not to be used or disposed of in any other way but at the death or marriage again of my wife I wish all my Estate both personal & real to be Equally divided between my several Children and should it be thought advisable by my Executors to sell my Copper property, I wish them to dispose  of it as they may think best for  all concerned.  Fourthly, I desire that all the moneys arising to my Estate over and above what is necessary for the support and Education of my wife & children be laid out for good Farms or deposited in good State Banks as my Executors and Executrix may think best and Farms thus bought I wish managed in the best way for the benefit of my Children until said farms should go into their hands and I desire that if any of my Children should marry before the death of my wife if my Estate is able to bear it without interfering with the support of my wife and my other Children that they that thus marry be furnished with what is necessary to let them out comfortably to House. Keeping the property to be vacated and a receipt to be taken therefore and to be accounted for no final distribution of my Estate.  I desire that after my Death my wife and children remain with my Father and Mother but if it should be necessary for her to have another house I desire that that home should be provided in Carroll County Virginia and in case of the death of my wife I wish my Children to remain with Father and mother and my negro girl Amanda, and in case of the death of Father and mother or the death of one and the marriage of the other; I wish my Brother Elisha B. Vaughan to take charge of my children and Amanda until my Children are of age.

And Lastly I do Constitute and appoint my wife Margaret J. Vaughan, my Father John Vaughan and my Brother Elisha B. Vaughan Executrix and Executors of this my last will and Testament given under my hand and seal this 21st day of September 1855.

signed, sealed & published          John W. Vaughan (seal)

and declared as and for

the last will and Testament

of the above named John W.

Vaughan in presence of us

N. W. Vaughan

Fielder C. Vaughan

                                      Codicil of John W. Vaughan

In case the servant or servants belonging to my Estate cannot be equally divided between my Children and that they do not get their proportions of the servants shall have it made up to them by the other Children so that none of the servants be sold.    John W. Vaughan (seal)

N. W. Vaughan

Fielder C. Vaughan


The Keister Family

            Philip Keister, Sr. immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1751 on the ship Edinburgh.  The family then moved down the Great Wagon Trail of the Shenandoah Valley stopping first in Rockingham County before arriving in the Christiansburg area claiming land on Tom’s Creek in 1800.

            The Keister family has been in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties for over 200 years.  Henry Keister (1870-1938) married Ida May Foster (1877-1944) in Radford in 1898 and lived there the rest of his life working as a yard conductor for the railroad.



This clock has been passed down through the Keister family for generations.  Family tradition is that it was brought with the family as they traveled down the Shenandoah Valley from Pennsylvania to Montgomery County, VA in the latter half of the eighteenth century. 

            The presumed line the clock has passed through is Philip Keister (c. 1730-c. 1814), Peter Keister, Sr. (c. 1765-1839), Peter Keister, Jr. (1802-aft. 1870), David P. Keister (1830-bef. 1910), Walter Henderson Keister (1869-1938), Harry Price Keister (1902-1954) and finally Harry Keister’s wife, Margaret  Howell Keister (1908-1992).  In Peter Keister’s will of 1839, a clock is mentioned among his possessions which may be this same clock. 

            This was a working clock for perhaps 200 years.  As late as the 1980s it was on the mantle at Margaret Keister’s house and the last thing she did before going to bed each night was to wind this clock.

            The clock shows two soldiers sitting on tree stumps around what appears to be a drum.  The one on the left has just rolled dice on the drum.  The metal has “U. S. A.” stamped on the inside of the base while the clock face has “Liberty” (a brand name or maybe a sentiment) and “Wurtemberg” written on it.

            Another reminder of how precarious life was in the early 20th Century is found in the family of Anderson Keister and Fannie Wall

            There is an unknown story connected with the family of Anderson T. Keister and his wife Fannie Wall.  Anderson, the son of Jacob and Mary Keister, was born in Virginia on January 11, 1858 and married Fannie Wall on July 2, 1895 in Montgomery Co., VA.

            In April of 1896, their first son, Floyd Hubbert Keister was born, followed in September of 1897 by the birth of their first daughter, Lucy M. Keister.  A second son, Archie Phlegar Keister was born in about 1898 but “died young” according to one source.  This is confirmed by the 1900 Roanoke County, Virginia census when Anderson and Fannie Keister were living in the Big Lick District.

            Charlie Milligan Keister was born in 1905 and Jack Wall Keister in 1906.  Up to this time, the family seemed much like any other.  There was the sad time of Archie Keister’s death but 4 other children were living.

            In about 1908 twins were born to Anderson and Fannie Keister.  They were named Carrie and Fannie but Carrie “died young” and Fannie “died in infancy.”  In 1911 another set of twins was born.  Joe Daniel Keister survived until 1944 but William Bryant Keister “died in infancy.”  Finally Sandy Keister was born about 1915 but also “died young.”  These deaths are confirmed by the 1920 Virginia Census records.

            Between 1908 and approximately 1915, Anderson and Fannie had 5 children born and only 1 survived.  One set of twins died and of a second set of twins, only one lived.  Of 12 children beginning in 1896, 5 died before 1920.

            This is what makes the 1920 Virginia Census records so interesting.  Anderson T. Keister is found in one household in Montgomery County with his son Jack Wall Keister but his wife Fanny Wall Keister is listed as the head of another household on West Main Street in Blacksburg, Virginia.  The rest of the surviving children are living with Fanny.  Whether or how the long succession of tragedies contributed to Anderson and Fanny Keister’s separation is unknown.




The King Family

            This branch of the King family begins with William King who was in Montgomery County by 1807 when his son, Russell, was born.  Like the later King family, this family was in the area of Montgomery that became Pulaski County.

            Three sons of Russell King served in the Confederate army.  Russell King, Jr. enlisted on April 14, 1862 as a private in Co. I of the 50th Virginia Infantry.  He was present on the muster roll for May 5, 1864 until May 19, 1864 making him one of only six men left in Co. I following the Wilderness-Spotsylvania Court House battles.  Russell was captured at Snicker's Gap on July 18, 1864 and sent as a prisoner of war to Washington D. C. where he stayed from August 8, 1864 until August 12, 1864.  Then he was a prisoner of war at Elmira, NY, a notoriously bad POW camp, from August 12, 1864 until December 16, 1864.  At that time he stated his desire to take the Oath of Allegiance, saying he “volunteered...1862 to avoid being conscripted.  Desires to go to Charleston, W. Va. where his relatives reside.”  Russell was paroled from Elmira for exchange on March 14, 1865 and received for exchange on Boulware's Wharf on the James River on March 21, 1865.  He was then hospitalized in Richmond until Mar. 25, 1865 when he died of chronic diarrhea from the poor food.  Russell King was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.

            Chapman King enlisted April 2, 1862 as a private in Co. I of the 50th Virginia Infantry.  Later he was in the 8th Virginia Cavalry and the 5th Virginia Infantry.  Chapman was captured at Lewisburg on May 23, 1862 and was in Wheeling, West Virginia by May 30, 1862.  By June 30, 1862, he was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio where he remained until August 25, 1862.  He was received for exchange aboard John H. Done near Vicksburg, Mississippi on Sep. 11, 1862 and was declared exchanged on Nov. 10, 1862.

            Chapman was captured in the Wilderness on May 6, 1864 and was a prisoner of war at Point Lookout from May 17, 1864 until August 10, 1864 when he was sent to Elmira, NY on August 14, 1864.  His POW records describe Chapman as age 20 or 21, 5’ 11” with hazel eyes and dark hair but no whiskers.  On December 16, 1864, he stated his desire to take the Oath of Allegiance saying he “volunteered April 2, 1862.  Desires to go to Charleston, W. Va. where he has relatives residing.”  He died of chronic diarrhea on April 18, 1865 and was buried in grave #1347 in Woodlawn Cemetery.

            Thomas Baker King enlisted in Dublin “in the spring” of 1863 and served two years.  Thomas was a private in Co. I of the 50th Virginia Infantry.  The only surviving record shows that on Feb. 15, 1865, he was detailed “to gather forage for army.”  After the war, Thomas King was a farmer.  He eventually died there of influenza on Oct. 7, 1918 during the great flu epidemic that year.

            William King’s great-granddaughter was Cornelia Idella King who married John Chester Roseberry.  When Cornelia died in 1954, she and John had been married for 69 years.   


The Gunn Family

The Gunn family is first located in Montgomery County in 1808, probably near Newbern, where the family lived for several generations.  John and Sarah Gunn’s granddaughter Elizabeth J. Gunn married John C. Sutton in Pulaski County on September 26, 1860.  Elizabeth and John’s granddaughter married Charles W. Roseberry and moved to Radford, VA. 

John and Sarah Gunn’s grandson, Byrdine Gunn was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 24th Virginia Infantry.  Byrdine was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. on May 1, 1861in Co. E at Lynchburg, Virginia.  On May 10, 1862 he was elected 1st Lieutenant.  Byrdine was wounded at Gettysburg during Pickett's Charge and admitted to the Richmond Hospital on September 11, 1863 with a gunshot wound to the groin.  He was later furloughed on September 17, 1863.

Byrdine was wounded again at Drewry's Bluff, probably on May 16, 1864 and admitted to the Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond on May 17, 1864 with a gunshot wound to the buttock. He was promoted to captain on May 29, 1864 and furloughed on June 7, 1864 for 30 days.  Byrdine was captured at Hatcher's Run on April 2, 1865 during the fighting that finally led to the fall of Richmond and was released from Johnson's Island on June 18, 1865.

His description as given by his prisoner of war records state Byrdine was 5’ 11 “ with a dark complexion, dark hair and blue eyes.


From an unidentified newspaper clipping (probably the Radford or Pulaski Co. paper)



Trenches 24th Regiment, Va. Infy.

Jan., 1865.

Dear Sister:

Yours of the 8th instant came to hand this morning, was very glad to hear from you, pleased to hear that you were all well, happy to inform you that my health is improving, have had no chill for two weeks. I have news, the soldiers seem determined to stop this war, by deserting to the enemy. They go every day, but not in very great numbers. I don't know what will be the end of all this mighty strife, but I expect to stand by my countrys cause until the last of Virginia's sons have deserted her, or if she goes down, I expect to go down with her, for there are few things to make life desirable here, and I have not forgotten that two brothers came into the service with me, and have both fallen victims to the ruthless enemy of our Country, and why should I desire to cling to this, world only to reap, the fruits of its great calamities.

I am glad that you are learning little Sammie to spell, for you don't know that he will ever have the advantage of going to school. Tell him if I get a furlough this winter, I will bring him a nice book. I have written home very often but I suppose the letters have been lost on the way. Tell, father that Tipton is at home on furlough and will be at the Depot on his return about the first of February and I would like for him to send me some little eatables, if he can, for our rations are still short.

I hope that you may not be visited by a raid from the enemy. You all have been remarkably fortunate in this particular. The enemy has never had an opportunity of insulting you at your own home and you ought to know how to appreciate such good fortune, for many others of your country, women have had to bear outragious conduct from enemy soldiers, besides seeing every bit of their property destroyed. That the Lord deliver you from all such fiendish perpretrations is my prayer.

My best, wishes to grana. Glappo and compliments to all Mrs. Sutton's family. I send you two United States postage stamps. You can dispose of them if you wish or keep them for your own use. My love to you and Samme, good-bye,

            B. GUNN 


The Roseberry Family

            The Roseberry family is first located in Rockingham County, North Carolina in 1810 when William Roseberry is listed at the age of 26-45.  He may have been descended from a Roseberry family that was in southwest Virginia in the mid-18th century.

            William’s son James was born in 1799 and James with two of his sons, Calvin and Samuel, moved to Carroll County, Virginia in about 1845.  Calvin’s descendants still live in Carroll County but in 1872 Samuel moved to Pulaski County where his descendants can still be found.  Most Pulaski County Roseberrys are descended from Andrew (1856-1917), Samuel Allen Roseberry, Jr. (1858-1944), Calvin (1859-1922), Alexander (1861-1937), and John Chester Roseberry (1863-1959).

            John’s son, Charles Wesley Roseberry, moved from Newbern to Radford living on 5th Street West for over 50 years.  Charles had married Elizabeth Sutton in 1914 and came to Radford to work at the Lynchburg Foundry.  His sons, Charles and William, served in World War II.

            This letter from Charles to his sister, Margaret, explains their discharge points which tells where they served.

From: Cpl. Chas. E. Roseberry - 13, 119, 219

            June 19, 1945

            Nuremburg, Ger.

Dear Margaret, Walter & Jerry,

            A few days ago, I received two letters from you dated April 18th and June 4th.

            Ernie Pyle’s death must have been quite a shock to you for I know how popular he was with everybody back home as well as over here.  I remember you telling me that you were putting his articles in a scrapbook.  I think it is very cheap of the Hay’s office to hold up the movie because the word damn was used.

            It was interesting to know of Miss Scott being a prisoner of the Japs.  I remember seeing her name in some of your annuals.

            I wanted to go see William very bad but he said in his last letter that he had moved farther south in Italy so I suppose there is no chance of my seeing him.

            Margaret, I was real glad to get the pictures you sent in the June 4th letter.  I like the one particularly of the children on the front lawn.  I notice you have grass in the yard now.  I like that.

It certainly is a good thing Eisenhower said it is all right for us to play with children.  Children are children whether German or otherwise and there are several cute ones that play around our billet.

Getting back to pictures, we have a fellow in this outfit who has a good camera and he is real good at taking action shots and developing the pictures.  We had a ball game yesterday and he took several pictures including several of me.  He is so good at it that several pictures show the ball going through the air with hardly any blur.

Margaret, I believe the war is over for me because I don’t think I will have to go to the Pacific although I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  It is certainly a wonderful feeling for there to be no war over here after better than two years of being over.

Sister did real well in school and I certainly hope she will be happy now and will do what she wants to do.

It takes 86 points to get out of the army, as I know you must have read in the paper.  I have 77 and will have 82 when the battle star for the Central Germany Campaign is authorized.  That is the final push east of the Rhine River.  It has been announced but the star has not been authorized yet.  My points add up like this: 31 points for the 31 months I had been in the service as of May 12th, 26 points for the 26 months overseas as of May 12th which makes a total of 57 points for service.  For each campaign we participated in, we were issued or will be issued a bronze star.  Each star is worth 5 points.  I was in the Campaign of Southern Italy, the Campaign from Rome to the Arno River in Italy, the Southern France Campaign, the Rhineland Campaign and the Central Germany Campaign.  I have credit for the first four which makes a total of 20 points for battle stars.  When I get the Central Germany Campaign star, I will have a total of 25 points for campaigns which added to my 57 points for service makes a total of 82 points.  It is really tough to miss a discharge by three points but “C’est la vie.”

William’s points add up like this and you can show this to Allyne for I know she will want to see it.  He got 12 points for the 12 months he was in the army as of May 12th, 6 points for the six months overseas and 24 points for Donnie and Freddie plus five points for the Appennine Campaign and five points for the Po Valley Campaign which gives him a total of 52 points.

I had better close so I can write Wm.  I hope this straightens you out on the points Wm and I have.




In a later letter Charles’ feeling towards the Germans is expressed.  Now the interesting part is that when Charles returned to the United States, he married Betty Jean Keister in 1948.  Keister (Kester or Kuster) is a very German name but fortunately after a family has been in the U.S. two hundred years, Charles just considered them Americans.

From: Cpl. Chas. E. Roseberry - 13, 119, 219

            July 29, 1945

            Nuremburg, Germany

Dear Margaret, Walter & Jerry,

            I just received a letter from you all and one from Mamma, each written July 20th.  This is the fastest any mail has reached me in a long time.

            Yesterday, you had another birthday and I hope it was a very happy one.  Count on me being home to help you eat your birthday cake next year.  Mamma always figured that I only bought birthday cakes so I could help eat them and she was pretty close to being right.  You said something about the soldiers fraternizing.  The only ones I fraternize with are the little children.  I will speak to the Germans working for us and I will treat the other Germans decently but as far a being social, I can’t seem to do it.  You can’t find a single person here now who was a Nazi.  All the people claim that they weren’t Nazis at heart.  Yet, here in Nuremburg is the big stadium known as the Spartsplatz which is the biggest I ever saw.  It was built by the Nazis, the biggest part of it being a parade ground for the army.  They had a Mayor here who was one of the leading Nazis.  Hitler came at least once a year-to the Nazi Party celebration.  At that time the people jammed the big stadium to give the Nazi salute and yell, “Heil Hitler.”  Then I look at the people and it is very obvious that as yet they have had enough to eat- much more than the Italians and French.  The girls are dressed well- many with silk hose.  And where did the food and clothing come from?- Mostly from the countries they occupied.  Just a day or two ago, one of the fellows had a radio that belonged to a German girl.  It wouldn’t play so he told her he would get it fixed.  I looked at it and it was French radio.  Still these people have no sense of guilt whatsoever.  I know you have read and seen pictures of the concentration camps at Dachau and Buchenwald.  Dachau is about ninety miles from here, not many miles from Munich.  No, I can’t bring myself to the point of being social with any of these Germans except the little children.

            I’m still sweating out the announcement of the critical score.  If I am then eligible for discharge my only worry will be getting back home to the states.  We can’t be certain of when we are going to the states until we are actually on the boat and on the way because of the constant changing of needs of ships and troops in the Pacific.

            You hadn’t told me about taking the boys to the carnival although you had said that you were going to take them.  That Jerry must be quite a boy.  He has never been afraid of any insect or animal, has he?  Incidently, I haven’t seen a June bug or a lightening bug since leaving home and I have seen only a few birds.  I don’t suppose they have any fire-flies and June bugs over here and all I can figure that happened to the birds is that the concussion from bombs and artillery shells have caused them to migrate to other territories and possibly killed many.

            Margaret, you remember Spanky McFarland who use to play in “Our Gang” that’s in the movies.  He is up at Wurzburg with a railroad outfit.  He is very slim now.  You would never recognize him.  I had better close until next time. 

I nor my outfit as yet is part of the occupation forces.  My outfit is scheduled at the present time to return home whenever a boat is available for an outfit like ours.  However as I said earlier in the letter nothing is sure in the army until it happens.  It will be months before a boat will be available and by that time plans may be changed.  Hope it will be that we can come soon though.



P. S. I’m including a program that was put out at the swimming meet held at the Spartsplatz.  That is a nice program, I think.  I also am inclosing a copy of the “Scandal Sheet.”  It is an odd one that I found in some of my stuff today.


The King and Shufflebarger Families

            This King family begins with William King who was in Montgomery County in what would be Pulaski County by 1815 when William’s son, Joseph, was born.  Joseph’s granddaughter married into the Sutton family and their descendants married into the Roseberrys.

            Joseph’s son William “Billy” King was a Civil War veteran.  He enlisted in Newbern on June 25, 1861 as a 4th Sergeant in Co. I of the 50th Virginia Infantry.  Billy was wounded in action in the left arm at the battle of Fisher's Hill on September 22, 1864 “where (he was) nobly performing his duties as officer and soldier.”  His arm was amputated close to the shoulder blade.  William King was described in 1864 as 5’ 7” with a fair complexion, brown hair and gray eyes.

            His obituary in 1915 was a model of tact that could be followed by newspapers today.



            William King, a well known County man and Confederate Veteran, dropped dead yesterday afternoon about 5 o'clock near Belsprings. He was returning from Charleston, W. Va., where he had visited his daughters Mrs. William Sutton and Mrs. David Smith, and was walking between the stations of the Virginian railroad and the Norfolk and Western to come to Pulaski Co., when he dropped dead. The announcement of his death came as a great surprise and shock to his relatives and friends.

            The deceased was a gallant Confederate soldier having been a member of the 50th Virginia Regiment, Co. I. In the battle at Cedar Run he lost his left arm. He was one of the faithful members of the Pulaski County Camp of Confederate Veterans.

            For some years, he had been acting as one of the deputy collectors for the county treasurer. He was a native of the county and spent the 76 years of his life here.  He was a familiar figure and had a genial smile for all he came in contact with. His death removes another of the old guards whose ranks are so rapidly thinning. He lost his wife during the past several months, and is survived by several children.

            Burial will be by the side of wife at Thornsprings,  though the hour is not announced.



            Billy King’s wife was Eva Shufflebarger whose family descends from John Shufflebarger of Switzerland in 1720.  John’s son, Jacob, had arrived in Montgomery County by 1764 when Jacob’s son, John, was born in the Blacksburg area.

            Eva Shufflebarger and Billy King’s daughter was Sarah Jane King.  Sarah married William Kirby Sutton and their daughter, Elizabeth, married into the Roseberry family.

            At Sarah’s death in 1951, the memorial book had the following to say about her.

Biographical Notes

            She was born and grew up in Pulaski County.  Married at the age of twenty-two (1887) to William Kirby Sutton of Pulaski County.  They made their home on the Sutton farm out of Newbern, Va.  They had two children; John William Sutton of New River, Va. and Elizabeth Clancy Roseberry of Radford, Va.  She was active in church work, doing special work with the choir at the Peak Creek Methodist Church.  They came to make their home with their children in 1940.  She became ill ten days before her death with the flu.  She passed away at four in the afternoon on March 27th at the home of her daughter.



The Burnop Family

Richard Burnop, born in 1828, was the son of Jacob Burnop of Brough Under Stainmore in Westmorland County, England.  Richard was the youngest child of Jacob and Mary Davis Burnop and in March of 1858 immigrated with his infant son, Richard Thompson Burnop, and wife, Margaret Parkins, to Pennsylvania.

            They later moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia no doubt coming down the Shenandoah Valley like so many before them.  By 1870 they were living in Carroll County, Virginia and their family had grown by 1 more son and two daughters.  This census shows James Burnop, 11, with his birthplace listed as Virginia therefore the stay in Pennsylvania could not have been long as they immigrated in 1858 and were already in Virginia in 1859. 

            Both Richard (the father) and Richard Thompson (the son-only 13) were listed on the 1870 census as miners.

The 1880 census only shows Richard (the son) with his wife Nancy E.  They married in 1874 probably in Carroll County but by 1880 were living in Smyth County where they remained until their deaths.

            Richard (the father) and Margaret Burnop are not found in the 1880 census but in 1900 the Smyth County census of the Rich Valley District lists Margaret Burnop of England.  Carroll County Will Books show that Richard (the father) died in April 1879.

            Richard (the son) Thompson Burnop and his second wife, Susan S. are also found in the 1900 Smyth Co., VA census with a family of 1 daughter and 4 sons.  The Carroll County death registry shows that Nancy Vaughn Burnop died in 1889.  Richard later remarried, this time to Miss Sue Crabtree of Ridgedale.

            Bertha Burnop, Richard Thompson Burnop’s daughter by his first marriage, was born in Smyth County and married Elbert Eden Howell in 1901 in Radford, Virginia where they lived the rest of their lives.

At the death of Richard Thompson Burnop the following eulogy was given: 


In Memory of R. T. Burnop


Richard Thompson Burnop, son of the late Richard and Margaret Burnop, was born in Westmoreland, England, on September 7, 1856; and departed this life at his home at Chatham Hill, Virginia on April 12, 1937 at the age of 80 years, 7 months and 5 days.

His parents came to America when he was only eighteen months old. They came across in a sailboat. They settled in Pennsylvania, later moving to Virginia. He was converted at an early age under the labors of Rev. Bob Sheffey. He joined the Methodist Church and was a faithful Christian for over 65 years. He was never known to be absent from a service until he was stricken blind three years ago. He also had a cancer on his face of which he suffered great agony. But he was always patient through his suffering, never complaining. He often expressed himself as ready, willing, and anxious to go. He often sang and rejoiced while on his bed of affliction and conducted family worship until about two weeks before his death, when he became too ill to do so.

He was married to Miss Nannie Vaughn of Carroll County at the age of 18. To this union were born six children. Mary, the wife of the late A. S. Oaks, and George Burnop died several years ago. Those living are Mrs. Gussie Richardson, and Mrs. Bertha Howell, of Radford, Mr. Bill Burnop, and Mrs. Flora Goodwin of Bluefield, W. Virginia. His wife died forty‑seven years ago. Later he married Miss Sue Crabtree of Ridgedale and to this union were born seven children; Charles, John, Claude, Robert and Misses Myrtle and Bessie Burnop and Mrs. Myrtle Ferguson, Charles and Robert preceded him in death. His widow also survives. He also leaves two sisters‑‑Mrs. W. G. Webb and Mrs. M. B. Maylord. Several grand children and great grand children, and a host of friends mourn their loss. He was never known to have an enemy. He was the leading man in church work in our community and is missed by everyone. While we mourn our loss we know and realize that our loss is his gain, and that he is enjoying the splendor of that beautiful land where no sickness, pain or blindness enters.

Interment was made at the Chatham Hill Cemetery by his faithful pastor Rev. Debusk. Pallbearers were; Rudolph, Thomas and Ray Howell, Bill Richardson, Campbell Burnop and Charles H. Webb. Flower girls were Mrs. Mable Otey, Misses Edith Richardson, Julia Howell, Margaret Deboard, Eva Lennis, Carrie Sheffield and Mrs. Elizabeth Neel.

A precious one from us is gone,

A voice we loved is still,

A place is vacant in our hearts,

That never can be filled.









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