Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree No. 2: Ann, the wife of Samuel Frazier of Frazier’s Bottom

(c) 2021 Dann M. Norton

Two Hundred Thirty-three family trees list Samuel Frazier’s wife as Ann Gay. Some call her Ann Allen Gay, and that information is probably based on the research of Robert Allen.[1] I corresponded briefly with Mr. Allen in 2007, right before I visited Frazier’s Bottom. Allen shared the will of his ancestor that names an Ann Frazier as a daughter of Robert Allen.

Now that Augusta County, Virginia, records are accessible online, it seems time to re-visit my notes on Ann Frazier, wife of Samuel.

The will of Robert Allen is found in Will Book No. 7, page 328.[2]  Robert Allen named his wife, Martha, and 10 children in this will: James, Robert, John, William, Mary Malaria, Ann Frazier, Monticue, Benjamin, Thomas, and Elizabeth Meek.

Detail of page 329: “…and to my daughter Ann Frazier one Shilling Sterling…”

Fraziers who lived in Augusta County, listed on the tax list for 1785,[3] include James (known as Capt. James), Samuel Jr., Samuel Sr, and his son, William, and John Frazier.  Capt. James was married to Ann Gay, Samuel Jr. was married to Isabellana, Samuel Sr.’s wife was called Mary or Molly, William’s wife was Jane Finley, and John Frazier was single.  If her husband was not in Augusta County at the time, he surely had a connection with Augusta. A Samuel in 1785 Ohio County is married to Rosanna.  A William Frazier in Bedford County is shown online married to Susanna.  There’s a James in Amherst (probably related to Micajah Frazier), no data on a wife.  In nearby Rockingham, only John Frazier, who married Jennet Hook, is listed.   Fraziers in neighboring Rockbridge include Hugh and James in one district, and John and Samuel in another.  Of Hugh, I have not found a spouse; James could be the James Curry Frazier who married a Margaret.  John Frazier of Rockbridge is the husband of Jane Gay (sister to Ann Gay Frazier above), and Samuel is listed next to him.  This Samuel is of special interest.

Checking 1791,[4] when the will was proved in court, Captain James is still there.  Isabella or Bellinah, widow of Samuel (called Jr. in 1785) is there; Samuel who has wife Mary, and his son, James (who married Winney Coursey[5]) are there.  John is still single.[6]  A Jennet Frazier appears—and at the same time in Rockingham, the will of John Frazier is proved; this must be his widow.  A new name, David Frazier appears in Augusta; this may be husband of Barbara who sold land in the 1760s.[7] In Rockbridge, only John, the husband of Jane Gay, is listed.  That other Samuel has moved on to distant parts.

Since this other Samuel is listed next to John in 1785 Rockbridge, it is possible they were brothers.  If so, this Samuel is probably the third Samuel listed in the 1777 Tithables of Augusta County[8]—where John is also listed in the “Calfpasture” which later became Rockbridge.  This Samuel is counted in Rockbridge from 1784 through 1788.  A Samuel is then found in Botetourt County 1790 through 1792.  I lose him from 1793 to 1797, but a Samuel appears in Bath County in 1798.  He is not in Bath in 1799, but shows up in Kanawha County in 1801 and 1802.  After Mason is formed from Kanawha (1803), Samuel is enumerated in Mason. (Botetourt and Bath Counties are locations where the McCallisters lived.  Bellana Frazier married William McCallister, son of Garrett.  Garrett McCallister is listed in Botetourt in 1783, said to be in Kentucky throughout the 80s, then reappears in Bath County from 1794-1797, thereafter, he appears on the Kanawha County tax lists for 1801 and 1802, and Mason County thereafter.)

What suggests that Ann Allen is married to Samuel Frazier of Frazier’s Bottom? Two very circumstantial pieces of evidence–her son, named Allen Frazier,[9] and a grandsons named Allen[10] and Montigue.[11] Montigue is not a common first name.  If those names are connected to Monticue Allen—named as a brother to Ann Frazier in the 1785/1791 will, then the relationship would make sense.

What records or evidence suggests an Ann Gay married Samuel Frazier?  Nothing.  There are no records of another Ann married to a Frazier—except for Ann Gay who married James Frazier.  Well, Chalkley, in his Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Vol. 3, names one Ann Gay in 1760 in the estate settlement of a John Gay in Augusta County[12] and then Ann and Martha Gay, daughters of Henry, in a deed in 1762.[13]  Both records refer to Ann, the daughter of Henry Gay, who married Capt. James Frazier.

There is no other Ann Gay who married a Frazier.  Obviously, some information was mixed up and the Gay surname attached to Samuel’s wife erroneously. 


[1] I was not able to reconnect with Mr. Allen, but his research can be found online: https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/a/l/l/Robert-M-Allen-CA/index.html

[2] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P7-3962?i=175&cat=279443

[3] See the tax lists for Augusta, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties available at Familysearch.org.

[4] See the tax lists for Augusta, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties available at Familysearch.org.

[5] James married Winney Coursey in 1785, Augusta County.

[6] John’s marital status—single—is determined by his will, which named no wife and left his estate to his nieces and nephew’s and made his brother, James, executor.  John died in 1810.  The John who married Jane Gay was still alive, living in Rockbridge County in 1820 per a deposition in an Augusta Chancery Case, https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1832-096

[7] https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:David_Frazier_%285%29

[8] 1777-78 List of Tithables, Augusta County: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/282893?availability=Family%20History%20Library

[9] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9364943/allen-frazier

[10] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/40104196/allen-frazier

[11] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42216700/montigue-frazier

[12] http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/court/3court6.txt; original online at familysearch: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9P7-S9SP-C?cat=279443

[13] http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/court/3court37.txt

Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree No. 1: Samuel Frazier of Frazier’s Bottom, West Virginia

(c) 2021, Dann M. Norton

Spring Break, 2007, Dann Norton visits Frazier’s Bottom, West Virginia

Spring Break, 2007, Dann Norton visits Frazier’s Bottom, West Virginia

Last week, I introduced this bundle of articles concerning the Frazier family. This is the first article to detail the surprising findings in the chancery court records of Augusta County, Virginia. In 2007, I visited Frazier’s Bottom in Putnam County, West Virginia. Before the Civil War, this land was in Virginia, in Mason County, which was carved out of Kanawha County.

In a cemetery in Frazier’s Bottom are found these tombstones that I photographed in 2007. Apparently, Boyde Burdett Frazier was interested in genealogy. He erected several large tombstones in the cemetery. Part of the large tombstone detailed his life.

The rest of the large stone gave his genealogy. This is close to what people share online when working with the Frazier family.

With tax lists (and chancery court papers available online, one can confirm or correct what was thought to be true. Not everything carved on this stone is right. From Generation 4: Samuel Frazier and Nancy Gillespie through Generation 7, the siblings of Boyde Burdett Frazier, the information is correct. Samuel and Nancy are buried in this cemetery.

The corrections begin with Generation 3: Samuel Frazier and his wife, Ann. Below is the tombstone placed by B.B. Frazier.

When I visited the cemetery, I had assumed that whoever set up these stones was retelling family history that had been passed down word of mouth. That was just my assumption, but what scant records were available (mostly from Chalkley’s three volume set Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish in Virginia[1]) this all seemed to add up. Note that the stone calls this man, the founder of Frazier’s Bottom, Samuel Craig Frazier, the son of John and Janet Gay Frazier.

First, Samuel Craig Frazier was not the son of John and Janet (Gay) Frazier, and the Samuel Frazier in this cemetery is not Samuel Craig Frazier.

The tombstone stated that Samuel Craig Frazier was the son of John Frazier and Janet Gay, and had a brother, Henry, who died in Lexington, Virginia. This connects to the family of Fraziers who lived in Rockbridge County. Indeed, a John Frazier lived in Rockbridge, and it can be proven that his wife was Janet or Jane Gay.[2] He is not the John Frazier son of John and Isabelle Moody Frazier on the tombstone.  Their son John died in 1809, and this John was still alive until 1833 when he himself applied for a Revolutionary War pension.[3]

John and Jane did have two sons, Samuel and Henry, but those two sons lived in Rockbridge County and appear on tax lists beginning in 1815,[4] and in census records from 1840-1850.[5] Henry was listed in the 1860 census,[6] so he could not have died in 1835.

Samuel Craig Frazer is the son of an older Samuel Frazier and his wife, Isabella Helena, sometimes called Isabellana or Bellana.  The real Samuel Craig Frazier is named in a couple of wills in Augusta County, Virginia.  In 1809, John Frazier,[7] and in 1814, James Frazier,[8] left land to the children of their brother, Samuel Frazer who died in 1788.[9]  Those children were named: John Watkins Frazier, Samuel Craig Frazier, James Frazier, and Isabella Frazier.  (One record calls the father Samuel C. Frazer,[10] but the record was also talking about Samuel Craig–there has been no other confirmation that the older Samuel had a middle name or initial. John Watkins Frazier also named a son, Samuel C. Frazier, who appears in later records.)

Samuel Craig Frazier of Augusta County, Virginia, left a will when he died in 1813.[11] In it he leaves land to his wife, Polly, who had no children by him. He mentions his illegitimate son, Franklin Frazier. Polly later married Peter Firebaugh.[12] A deed between Franklin and Firebaugh shows that Franklin Frazier lived in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.[13] Further confirmation is found in several chancery court cases involving the Fraziers and Peter and Polly Firebaugh.  

So, if this information on the tombstone is incorrect, what is the correct information? Good question!

Recall that there was a Samuel Jr and Samuel Sr in the early tax lists. On the 1777 tithables list for Augusta County, there were three Samuels.[14] There was also John and James Frazier–brothers of Samuel Jr, as well has another John–living in the Calf Pasture which became Rockbridge County. This Samuel Sr lived on Christian’s Creek, and John of Rockbridge states he was born on Christian’s Creek in 1755 in his Revolutionary War pension application. In the 1784, 1787, and 1788 Rockbridge tax list, there is a third Samuel Frazer listed next to John.

Direct evidence has not been found to confirm this, but if John of Rockbridge was born on Christian’s Creek, he could be the son of Samuel Frazier Sr. The third Samuel in the 1777 tithable list and on the Rockbridge lists, might be a brother to John of Rockbridge, and thus a son of Samuel Sr. This third Samuel could very well be Samuel of Mason Co, VA, who gave his name to Frazier’s Bottom, WV.

It seems clear that Samuel Frazier was in Kanawha County for 1801 and 1802, listed on tax lists.  There is no Frazier listed in Kanawha before 1796, and the books for 1797-1800 are missing.  How soon he was in Kanawha is unclear.  Mason County was carved out of Kanawha in 1803, and Samuel Frazier appears in the Mason tax lists from 1805 through 1814.  In 1815, Ann Frazier is listed.  This could be indication that Samuel died in 1814 or 1815, but Ann does have an older male in her household in 1820.  If that older male was Samuel, he must have been exempt from tax—possibly for age or disability—but he is not marked as such on the lists.  William and a younger Samuel also appear after 1817.

Work in the tax lists of Virginia continues to try and verify where Samuel was living prior to 1801. 


[1] Chalkley, Lyman. The Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1912, rpt. 1965.  Online version exist at Familysearch, and http://www.usgwarchives.net/special/chalkley/.

[2] See Chancery Court Index, Augusta County 1832-096, Frazier v. Frazier (109 images) Image 13, deposition of John and Jane Frazer, 9 Jun 1820, discussing a deed of Ann Gay Frazier that was given to her sisters, Jane Gay Frazier and Sally Gay Gilkeson Gay.  The deposition of 1820 proves that Jane’s husband, John was living in Rockbridge County in 1820.  He therefore could not be the John Frazier, brother of James, who died in 1809.

[3] John appears on Augusta Tithables 1777, in the “Calfpasture,” and thereafter on Rockbridge tax lists, near the Gays of the Calfpasture, from 1782 through 1828, and on the 1810, 1820, and 1830 census records.  He applied for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832 and 1833, see Revwarapps, http://revwarapps.org/s17964.pdf.

[4] See 1815 tax list of Rockbridge County where John, Samuel, and Henry are named.

[5] In 1830, John Frazer lists himself and Jane, age 70-80, and two males 40-50 with spouses the same age in his household.  John is not listed in 1840, but both Henry and Samuel appear with households, as well as, in 1850.  Henry and his wife still show up in 1860.

[6] 1860; Census Place: District 5, Rockbridge, Virginia; Page: 217; Family History Library Film: 805378. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

[7] Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 10, p 276. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5D8Z?i=149&cat=279443

[8] Augusta Co, VA Will Book 11, p 368. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5N97?i=415&cat=279443

[9] Samuel Frazer (called Jr) is listed on Augusta tax lists until 1788; Isabellana is listed beginning 1789 until 1801, then she married James Paul.  

[10]

[11] Augusta Co VA, Will Book 11 p 235. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5N2Y?i=359&cat=279443

[12] Evidence of this marriage is found in several Chancery Court records, including Augusta County 1823-030, James Frazier vs. Peter and Polly Firebaugh.

[13] Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book 59, p101, 13 Nov 1837, Franklin Frazier of Tippecanoe Co, IN, to Peter Firebaugh.

[14] Augusta Co, VA, List of Tithables 1777, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-SJ5Q?mode=g&cat=282893

Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree

Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree: Introduction

By Dann M. Norton, (c) 2021

It started out as a genealogy clean-up.  I was digitizing my paper files and recycling the residue.  I opened a file on the Frazier family.  Ah, yes…the Fraziers.  In 2007, I had traveled to Frazier’s Bottom in Putnam County, West Virginia, to verify the parentage of my ancestor, Bellana Frazier McCallister. 

Belena, wife of Wm McAllister, died Mar 14, 1847, Aged 51 yrs. & 13 ds.
Photo by Colleen Sanders Boyles attached to the Findagrave profile.[1]

Bellana–sometimes spelled Belena–was from Mason County, Virginia, where she had married William McCallister. Her maiden name was given in a Madison County, Indiana history.[2]  There is only ONE Frazier family in the tax and census records—Samuel Frazier, his wife, Ann, and their sons—Samuel, William, and Allen. Unfortunately, I could find nothing that could confirm Samuel was Bellana’s father, although census records do show younger females in his household—possibly five daughters in 1810.

1810 Federal Census, Mason County, Virginia[3]

One of the details that drew caution on attaching Samuel as Bellana’s father was the record of Jane Frazier McCallister, who died in 1865 in Mason County, West Virginia.  Jane’s husband was James McCallister, William McCallister’s older brother.  It would stand to reason that Bellana and Jane might be sisters.  Jane’s parents were listed on her death record by her son-in-law, Robert Irvine, as James and Mary McCallister. 

Transcription:  No. 29 McCollister Jane, white, female,died July 25 (1866) (Mason County, W. Va); Cause of death: Old age, age 86 years.[4]
Transcription Parents: James & Mary Frazer; Birthplace: Virginia; Occupation: Wid marked out; “consort of , or unmarried: Widdow of Jas McCollister; Name of informant: Robert Irvine, Son-in-law.[5]

Since 2007, a lot has changed in genealogy.  First, there are DNA studies—and I have learned that Bellana is not my biological ancestor, although she is my grandfather’s biological ancestor—DNA revealed my dad was not grandpa’s son.[6]  Oh, but I had fallen in love with the pursuit of Bellana, so I never gave up.  The next best thing is the number of digitized records available that were not easily found even on location.  Today, I can research the probate, deeds, and tax lists of Mason County from my laptop.[7]  And…there I was with that file of 14-year-old information, with no final answer…what would be available now that wasn’t back then?

Here’s where I (and most anyone researching the Fraziers of Frazier’s Bottom) start and end:  Samuel Craig Frazer, born before 1765 in Augusta County, Virginia, married Ann—possibly Gay (but I think she’s an Allen[8])—moved to Mason County, Virginia, and settled Frazier’s Bottom.[9]  The Fraziers and McCallisters still live there.  Down a winding lane is a cemetery with a HUGE tombstone erected in 1992. 

 Photo by William S. Dowell, uploaded to Findagrave.[10]

There is a Samuel Craig Frazer named in a couple of wills in Augusta County, Virginia.  In 1809, John Frazier,[11] and in 1814, James Frazier,[12] left land to the children of their brother, Samuel Frazer who died in 1788.  Those children were named: John Watkins Frazier, Samuel Craig Frazier, James Frazier, and Eliza Frazier.  Samuel, the father, was married to Isabella Helena Craig, and she was born in 29 May 1745,[13] to Rev. John Craig and his wife, Isabella Helena Russell.  Additional details informed researchers that John and James who wrote the wills married Jane and Ann Gay, respectively.  Jane and Ann were the daughters of one Henry Gay who died in Rockbridge County in 1779.[14]  There were wills and deeds to connect the dots. 

One source that was not around 15 years ago was the Virginia Memory Project of the Library of Virginia.  One of the projects within are the Chancery Court records [15] from many counties in Virginia.  The Augusta County lawsuits are available and free to peruse.  Oh, man, this was getting exciting.  In the tax records, I found a woman—widow of the older Samuel above—listed as Bellinah.[16]

Sixth name down, Frazor Bellinah, Augusta Co, VA, 1789 Tax List B, p5

The  lawsuits mentioned and called her Bellany Paul[17]—James Paul was her second husband.[18] 

Transcription from chancery court file: Bellany Paul, having been also duly sworn, deposeth & saith, that in the last illness of the said Isabella Hillis (who was this deponent’s daughter)….

Bellana McCallister is called Bellaney in a deed in Mason County.[19] 

It seems obvious Bellana Frazier McCallister is named for Isabellana Frazier of Augusta County!  It was going to be a perfect fit, until…more records came to light.  (The obvious is not correct, and the corrections are still being worked out!)

In the next few posts, I’ll reveal the relationships and details from the words of our ancestors.  I’ll  bundle these posts into a collection called Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree.  It follows my approach of vinedressing—gently cutting away the old, incorrect information, and grafting in the newly-found, correct lines. 


[1] Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 08 February 2021), memorial page for Bellana McCallister (1791–14 Mar 1847), Find a Grave Memorial no. 50970624, citing McAllister Cemetery, Adams Township, Madison County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Colleen Sanders Broyles (contributor 46875999) .

[2] See The Pioneer complied by Samuel Harden, 1895, Wm Mitchell Printing Co.  Belena Frazier is named on pp105 and 233; and also on p. 114 in a biography on Judge Thomas McAllister which is a reprint of a biography on Judge Thomas McCallister, published in The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, & Schuyler Counites, Missouri, Vol II, 1888, Brookhaven Press, pp. 838-840.

[3] 1810; Census Place: Mason, Virginia; Roll: 69; Page: 427; Image: 00728; Family History Library Film: 0181429. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1810 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Third Census of the United States, 1810. (NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls). Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] “West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N9W2-CP6 : 10 March 2018), Jane Mccollister, 1866; citing Mason, County Records, , county courthouses, West Virginia; FHL microfilm 1,855,007.

[5] http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=1855007&ImageNumber=499

[6] See my the post from Father’s Day 2017, https://dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/father-day-review/

[7] Records for Mason County, West Virginia can be accessed via Familysearch.org. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=190051&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20West%20Virginia%2C%20Mason%22

[8] Correspondence with Robert Allen revealed an Ann Allen Frazier named in will of Robert Allen, —- Augusta Co, VA.  She had a brother named Monticue.  Samuel and Ann Frazier named a son Allen, and — named a son Monticue suggesting a family link.

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraziers_Bottom,_West_Virginia

[10] Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 07 February 2021), memorial page for Samuel Craig Frazier (1770–1818), Find a Grave Memorial no. 43011622, citing Frazier Cemetery III, Fraziers Bottom, Putnam County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by William S. McDowell (contributor 47128668) .

[11] Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 10, p 276. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5D8Z?i=149&cat=279443

[12] Augusta Co, VA Will Book 11, p 368. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5N97?i=415&cat=279443

[13] This is the birth date most often given in online trees.  See note ___ for the probable source.

[14] Rockbridge Co, VA Will Book 1 p 46. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9PF-HGMC?i=357&cat=415513

[15] Link to the Chancery Courts Index. https://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/

[16] Augusta Co, VA, Tax List, 1789, p 5. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-W3SR-S?i=307&cat=406586

[17] Augusta Co VA Chancery Court Case, 1828-029, Eliza Hillis v. Widow of John W. Frazier.  https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1828-029

[18] James Paul to Isabella Frazier, widow, 23 Jul 1801. “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XR7Q-99H : 29 January 2020), James Paul, 1801.

[19] Mason County, WV, Deed Book 9, p 104.