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A Look at Family Origins:


Where They Came From and How They Arrived in Southwest Virginia



Below is a listing of the major surnames of the Roseberry-Keister family by national origin.  Most of these have been traced to the European immigrant although some were deduced from the name (i.e. Duncan is considered Scottish).


The English (and the French)


The English surnames include the families of Burnop (Westmorland),  Godbey, Hanks (Gloucester), Hinds, Hylton (or Hilton), King, Mills, Roseberry, Sutton, White and Whitt (or Whit).  One interesting family has what appears to be the obviously French name of DAUX but the only mention of the earliest known ancestor refers to Richard Daux of London.  This totals 11 families, not including the Daux family.


Only a few of the English immigrants to Virginia are known.  Here is how they arrived in southwest Virginia.


Richard Burnop immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1858 but within a few months was in Washington Co., Virginia.  If this is correct he probably came down the Great Wagon Trail in the Shenandoah Valley.


Thomas Godbey arrived in Jamestown, Virginia May 23, 1610 making him the earliest of all the Roseberry-Keister families to arrive in America.  Thomas’ g-g-grandson, John Godby was in southwest Virginia by 1750.  The Godbeys are one of the English settlers who worked their way from the Tidewater across Virginia into the Shenandoah Valley.


Thomas Hanks emigrated from Gloucester Co., England to Virginia and was found in Richmond Co., Virginia by 1655.  Thomas’ g-g-grandson, Joshua Hanks made his way west across Virginia, probably with his father Richard Hanks, all the way into North Carolina where Joshua married.  Joshua and his wife, Ruth Bryant, then moved into Grayson County, Virginia and died in Carroll County, Virginia. 


The Hylton family appears to have immigrated directly to Virginia before 1699.  John Bryant Hylton was one of the family to make his way from Goochland Parish, Virginia across the state into what was eventually Floyd County, Virginia.


John Whitt was born in England but by 1670 owned land in Stafford Co., Virginia.  Some of his children are found in the records of Charles City County, Virginia.  John’s son, Richard made his way across the state before dying in North Carolina.  Richard also had a son named Richard.  Richard Jr. is listed by secondary sources as marrying and have children in southwest Virginia from 1755-1774 but the earliest land record listing him is from 1774.


What these immigrants reflect is the first wave of English settlers in Virginia.  Beginning in Jamestown they begin to move inland approximately 50 miles throughout the 17th century.  Thomas Godbey’s arrival in 1610 on the Deliverance made him one of the earliest Virginia settlers.  He survived the Indian massacre of 1622 only to be murdered by a neighbor in 1628 in what can only be called a drunken brawl.



The Scots


There are some Scottish surnames including the families of  Bane, Duncan, and PAtton.  The Pattons are a particularly interesting family.  They are the original Scotch-Irish.  From Ferrochie, Fifeshire in Scotland, the Pattons settled in Ireland in the early 17th century during the King James Plantation.  Capt. John Patton immigrated to Pennsylvania in about 1730.  In 1745 he was the first sheriff of Augusta Co., Virginia making him another to travel to Virginia by way of the Shenandoah Valley.          


Mordecai Bane immigrated to America, possibly with his father James, and is found in Chester Co., Pennsylvania in 1705 when he married Naomi Medley.  Mordecai’s daughter, Mary Jane married James Burke and came to Virginia with him by way of the Shenandoah Valley. 


There is no information on when the Duncans immigrated. 


The Irish


The Irish surnames include the families of Burk and GLASGOW.  James Burke immigrated from Ireland to America between 1720-1725 and is first found in Chester Co., Pennsylvania.  He was one of the earliest to come down the Shenandoah Valley into Virginia and later North Carolina.  We don’t have any information on when the Glasgow family immigrated.


The Germans


The German surnames include the families of AngstaTT (Alsace), Beck (Wurttemberg), Carper, Fillenger, Fischbach, Foster, Heimbach (Nassau-Siegen), Holtzclaw (Nassau-Siegen), ILLER, Keister (or Kuster) , Long (or Lang), Morricle, Otterbach (Nassau-Siegen), Schreyer, Solbach, Songer (or Zanger), StuellS (Nassau-Siegen), Weaver (or Weber), WEDDLE (or Waidele) and Wysor.  Other Germanic names are the  ShufflebargeRS (Switzerland) and the Shell family.   This totals 22 families.  Four of these are from the Nassau-Siegen are and were part of the 1714 settling of Germanna in Virginia.  Many more German families could be included because of B. C. Holtzclaw’s intensive research of the Germanna immigrants.  He traced the ancestors of these immigrants back many generations in Germany leading to more surnames which have not been included.  The Nassau-Siegen Germans that did not immigrate are not included except for the Stuell family who are personal favorites due to the burning as a witch of one of the earliest known Stuells.


Hans Georg Angstatt immigrated from northern Alsace in 1733 to Pennsylvania.  His grandson George Songer traveled into southwest Virginia on the Great Wagon Trail in the Shenandoah Valley. 


Elizabeth Beck immigrated to Pennsylvania in about 1754 with her father, Hans Jerg Beck.  She married Adam Weiser in 1755 and they also moved into Virginia on the Great Wagon Trail.  Adam is found on a 1795 land record in Montgomery County, Virginia but was in Virginia as early as 1765 when he and Elizabeth resided in Frederick County, Virginia.


John Carper’s ancestors are unknown but they apparently moved down the Great Wagon Trail.  John Carper was born in Frederick County, Virginia and moved south into Montgomery County, Virginia after the Revolutionary War. 


Jacob Fillenger was born in Germany, immigrated to Pennsylvania and then moved south down the Shenandoah Valley into southwest Virginia.


 The Fischbachs, Heimbachs, Holtzclaws and Otterbachs  are part of the Germanna immigrants.  This is a special group among the German families, among the few who did not immigrate to Pennsylvania and then later move down the Shenandoah Valley.  They and others came from Nassau-Siegen in Germany to Virginia in 1714, the first organized group of German immigrants to land in Virginia.  They were brought to Virginia by Governor Spotswood because of their mining expertise.  Elizabeth Holtzclaw married John Duncan, Sr. and they moved from Fauquier County, Virginia to Montgomery County, Virginia after the Revolutionary War.


John Jacob Iller was a German immigrant.  He was born in 1717 and although the date of immigration is not known, by 1742 he was in York County, Pennsylvania.  Jacob’s daughter, Anna Maria married Benjamin Weddle in Pennsylvania and they moved south down the Shenandoah Valley settling in Montgomery County, Virginia.


Philip Keister, Sr. was born in app. 1730 in Germany.  He immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1751.  He traveled south on the Great Wagon Trail, staying a number in Rockingham County, Virginia before settling in Montgomery County, Virginia in 1800.


Stephen Lang is another German immigrant to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania arriving there in 1738.  His son Joseph Long moved down the Shenandoah Valley ending at Tom’s Creek (Blacksburg) in Montgomery County, Virginia.


 William Morricle, Sr. immigrated in about 1768 but is first found in America in Frederick County, Maryland where he married and had several children.  He would have still come down the Shenandoah Valley trail, settling in Montgomery County, Virginia in 1791 in what later became Floyd County, Virginia.


The Songer (Sanger, Zanger) immigrant was Jacob Songer.  The date of immigration is unknown but in 1756 in was residing in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Jacob too moved south on the Great Wagon Trail.  He settled in Rockingham County.  Jacob’s son, George, moved further south in Virginia and died in Montgomery County, Virginia.


The details on George Weaver, Sr. (Weber) are sketchy but he was born in about 1747 in Germany, immigrated to Pennsylvania before 1773 and was in Montgomery County, Virginia by 1783 in the area that became Floyd County later.


More details are available on Michael Weddle (Waidele) who was born in 1681 in the Lorraine region of Germany.  He immigrated to America and died in York County, Pennsylvania.  It was Michael’s son, Martin, that came down the Great Wagon Road to southwest Virginia.  Martin died in 1783 in Botetourt County, Virginia.  Martin’s son, Benjamin, is first found in the Montgomery County, Virginia land records in 1790.


Adam Wysor (Weiser) was born in about 1729 in Germany and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1751.  Following the Revolutionary War, Adam Wysor moved south into Virginia, again on the Great Wagon Road.  He settled in Montgomery County in an area that later became Pulaski County.


Details are again sketchy on the Shufflebarger family.  Secondary sources say John Shufflebarger was born in Switzerland in about 1720.  John’s son, Jacob, lived in Pennsylvania in 1762 when his son, Elias, was born.  By 1800, Jacob Shufflebarger and his family had moved to Montgomery County, Virginia, another Pennsylvania family that entered Virginia by way of the Shenandoah Valley.


The Scots, Irish and Germans reflect the waves of immigrants that arrived in America throughout the 18th century.  The Roseberry-Keister family immigrants mostly arrived in Pennsylvania where some lived 15-20 years before immigrating down the Great Indian Warpath which became known as the Great Wagon Road.  This path or road was simply the Shenandoah Valley, a convenient way to move south from Pennsylvania.  You can follow it today by driving up or down the Virginia portion of I-81.  



A Look at the Families


Of the 39 families listed, 56% (22 families) are German, 28% (11 families) are English, 8% (3 families) are Scottish, 5% (2 families) are Irish and 3% (1 family) are French.        








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