Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree No. 4: Augusta County, Virginia, Militia Notes on Fraziers

© 2021 Dann M. Norton

The names of several James Fraziers, and other Fraziers, are listed as Revolutionary War soldiers.  In Augusta County, Virginia, there appears to have been three James Fraziers in the fight for Independence, along with at least one Samuel, and a John, or two.  From original records in Augusta County, two separate men, both called Captain James Frazier, arise.  A third James, a private in Capt. Booker’s Company, is buried in Augusta County. Additional Fraziers are named in the records.

As war with Great Britain loomed in the mid-1770s, Virginia enacted laws to ensure the local militias were supplied with able-bodied and trained men. The Act of December, 1775, required that all free white males over sixteen and under 50 would be enrolled in the Militia.[1] Most men were from 15-30.[2] Baron Von Steuben, a Prussian military strategist who aided the colonial army, literally wrote the book on United States military.[3]   His rules for conduct and training were approved by George Washington, and became the rule of law for the newly-established United States of America.  Each company had a captain, a lieutenant (Artillery had two), an ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, a drummer and a fifer or bugler.[4] 

The source for this study is Militia Court Records of the 32nd regiment, 1756-1812, Family History Library Film Number 7893729.[5]  This book had been reviewed in 1922 and notes published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.[6] In recent years, author James Douthatt has published Augusta County, Virginia: Militia Court Records, 1755-1790, detailing the information held within these pages.[7] References are also made to Lyman Chalkley’s three volume set, The Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish in Virginia,[8] as well as other original records and online sources inserted in the footnotes.

The original book, photocopied and digitized by Familysearch.org covers the years 1756 through 1796. A second book covers the years through 1812.

Title page of the version at Familysearch.org.

The very first page lists Samuel Frazer in Israel Christian’s Company, 9 Aug 1756.  See Column 3, line 15.

Also listed are John Hutchison[9] and Andrew Russell,[10] neighbors to Samuel Frazier, Sr., plus many other original land owners.  The 1756 records show 66 men in Captain Israel Christian’s company.  The following two pages list the companies of Captains Samuel Norwood, James Allen, George Wilson, John Mathews, and Joseph Lapsley. 

                 Skirmishes between white settlers and the native people were common in the mid-1700s.  Pages 5 and 6 (which are copied in reverse order) are interesting because they recount the meeting where the several captains met to determine where forts were to be built to protect the frontier, how many miles would be between the forts, and how many men would be garrisoned at each. 

Detail of page 6 listing 14 forts to be built along the frontier in 1756.

There are no other Fraziers listed in 1756, which could mean the other Fraziers were too young (or too old) to perform militia duty, but could also mean their companies were not tallied in this book. 

                The table below lists the Fraziers—spelled Fraizer, Frazer, and Frazier—found in the original book, with the date, page number, and image number from the Familysearch.org film.  There are at least 12 different Fraziers named from 1756 through 1812.

YearDateName and informationPageImage No.
17569 AugSamuel Frazer listed in Capt. Israel Christian’s Company001006
1771 James Fraizer, delinquent in Capt. Saml McDowell’s Co. 034
  James Fraizer, acquitted050035
177617 OctDavid Fraizer, delinquent in Capt. Daniel Smith’s Co.061040
  Capt. James Fraizer listed for first time067043
177717 AprCapt. James Fraizer’s delinquent list072046
  (a repeat of image 46) 047
  Capt. Fraizer fined083052
  The county was divided into four battalions: Upper, Middle, & Lower between the North and South Mountains; and the fourth “over the mountains.”  Captain Fraizer fell into the Fourth Battalion, along with Captain Cogger (Coger/Coker)  
  Captain Fraizer is not listed after this date.  
177828 OctCapt. Thompson’s Delinquents: Ensign James Fraizer fined for appearing without a sword at a private muster, 5 May 1778; Samuel Fraizer Sen. fined five shillings not appearing on 5 May 1778106-07064
177915 AprCapt. Thompson’s Delinquents: Saml Frazer, John Frazer for not appearing at Private Muster on 3 Apr 1779126-27074
  Capt. Johnston’s Delinquents: David Fraizer, not appearing on 19 Nov 1778129075
1779 List of Fines from 15 Oct 1777: George Fraizer of Capt. Gray’s Co., fined 5 Shillings136079
177927 OctCapt. Robert Thompson’s Co: Saml Frazer, acquitted for not appearing 29 May 1779148085
  Capt. Smith’s Delinquents: Nath’l Pue (See 1814 Will of James Frazier)152087
178029 MarCapt. Johnston’s Delinquents: David Frazer, not appearing 27 Nov 1779; also not appearing Dec 1779; Nicholas Spring, acquitted (see 1803 Will of Samuel Frazier)169096
178024 OctJohnston’s Co: David Frazier, Sergt, fined for not appearing 10 Apr 1780; Nicholas Spring mentioned184103
  Capt. Finley (or Findley) appears to have replaced Capt. Thompson  
178026 OctCapt. Findley’s Delinquents: 2nd Lt. James Fraizer find 25 L Samuel Frazier, acquitted; Samuel Fraizer Junr, acquitted; John Frazer, acquitted for not appearing 15 Apr 1780194108
  Samuel Fraizer, Junr, fined; James Fraizer, Junr, fined for not appearing 24 Jun 1780; James Fraizer Junr fined for not appearing 26 Aug 1780  
178123 AugSamuel Fraizer of Capt. Finley’s Company fined for Deserting from Capt. Given’s Comp. then under command of Brig. Gen. Campbell, guilty, 6 mos. David Fraizer of Capt. Johnston’s Co. for same.210116
  Capt. Finley’s Delinquents: John Fraizer, guilty, to serve six months212117
  Capt. Finley is not present from 10 Oct 1781, Capt. Finley summoned214 224118 123
178214 MarCapt. Charles Baskins has replaced Capt. Zach. Johnston Capt. Finley’s Delinquents: Not appearing 29 Dec 1781, Montigue Allen, John Campbell Sr; Lt. James Frazer, summoned230126
17829 OctCapt. Baskins is present, Capt. Finley is not.236129
178210 OctLt. James Frazier fined for “not attending fully to execute the Return of Delinquents of Capt. Finley.”240131
  Capt. Baskin’s Delinquents: Samuel Fraizer for not appearing 27 Apr 1782241131
17826 JulyFinley and Baskins are present243132
178326 MarFinley present, no Baskins244133
 25 MayLt. James Frazer, Mountigue Allen, John Campbell Jr244-45134
178323 OctCapt. Finley’s Delinquents: Not appearing 29 Mar 1783, Lt. James Fraizer, acquitted; No appearing 5 Apr 1783, Lt. James Fraizer, acquitted; John Campbell Jr, fined250137
178425 MarCapt. Finley’s Delinquents, no appearing 25 Oct, 1783 and 24 Nov 1783, John Campbell Jr.; No Fraziers named258141
178725 NovCapt. James Fraizer listed at court, appears to have replaced Capt. Finley.263143
178725 NovCapt. James Frazer (Name spelled this way from here on)267145
178829 OctCapt. James Frazer listed. “Nicholas Spring of Capt. Smiths’ Co. exempted from Militia duty in ans. Of age & infirmity.271147
178920 MarCapt. James Frazer272148
  Capt. James Frazer’s Delinquents; private muster 28 Feb 1789274149
178911 NovCapt. James Frazer275149
179016 AprCapt. James Frazer Delinquents from Regimental Muster 15 Apr 1790279151
179015 OctCapt. James Frazer; Delinquents from 27 Feb 1790, 24 Apr 1790, 28 Aug 1790, and a Regimental Muster 14 Oct 1790281152
179427 OctCapt. James Frazier (Name spelled with the –IER)283153
  Capt. Frazier’s exemptions and delinquents285154
179412 DecCapt. James Frazier present289157
  According to Chalkley Vol I, p 480: Capt. James Frazier resigned his commission 16 Dec 1794; the company was divided into two with Alexander Hall, Captain of one; and Thomas Calbreath, Captain of the men from Long Meadow and Christian’s Creek.  
179429 NovCapt. Alexander Hall’s Delinquents for 29 Nov 1794: Monticue Allen, David Frazier296161
179521 OctList of Fines for 1st Battalion from 1795: David Frazier312 313169  
179619 MayMonticue Allen named in Capt. Saml Steel’s Company323174
179621 OctCapts. Alexander Hall and Thomas Coldbreath325175
  Capt. Caldbreath’s Delinquents: John Frazier Capt. Alex. Hall’s Delinquents: Monticue Allen330178
     
  Book 2, 1807-1812  
181212 NovSaml Frazer, fines remitted. 62216

Who are these Fraziers?  Careful analysis of the book with corresponding records have separated several of these men into family groups. 

A. Samuel Frazier, Sr.

Samuel Frazier, listed in 1756, is the same man who purchased 440 acres of land from John Caldwell on 19 March, 1760,[11] land which was originally Samuel Hughes land received from Lord Beverly in 1742.[12]  This land was on Christian’s Creek and adjoined the lands of Rev. James Anderson and John Hutchinson “in the poison field.”  (The Rev. James Anderson’s land was later granted to John Frazier and Robert Moody in 1749.[13]  Thus, Samuel Frazier, Sr. owned land that eventually adjoined the lands of Samuel Frazier (E. Samuel below) and James Frazier (J. James below) of Long Meadow.)  Samuel Frazier is called Samuel Frazier, Senior, on tax lists to distinguish him from two younger Samuels—one, the son of John Frazier just mentioned, and the other likely the son of Samuel Sr.  All three Samuel’s are listed in the 1777 Tithables list.[14]  In 1782, when tax lists for Virginia were mandated by government, Samuel Frazier Sr. is listed, and Samuel Jr. can be identified as the son of John Frazier and Isabella Moody.[15]  It is important to realize that Senior and Junior in old records simply means older and younger—not father and son.  The suffix is added only to differentiate two men with the same name. 

Samuel Frazier, Sr. had sons born in the mid-1750s, and perhaps older children, so his estimated birth year would be before 1730.  Samuel Frazier, Sr. left a will recorded in 1803.[16]  He named his wife, Mary, sons James (called James Jr in tax lists) and William, and two daughters, Jean and Ann.  He appears to be the father of John Frazier of Rockbridge County (born 1755 on Christian’s Creek[17]), and probably another Samuel Frazier who shows up next to John on Rockbridge tax lists.[18] 

B. James Frazier of Amherst County

The name James Fraizer appears in the Militia records in 1771.  At this time in Augusta County, there were possibly five men called James Frazier.  The James listed in Capt. McDowell’s 1771 delinquents was in a company with Samuel Paxton.[19]  There is a 1779 record of a suit between David Edmonston vs. James Frazer and Samuel Paxton which states that “Frazer lives in Amherst.”[20]  The 1782 tax list for Amherst County lists a Micajah Frazier[21] and a James Frazier.[22]  This may indicate that this James was a brother to Micajah, and thus a son of Robert Frazier and Clara Frances Graham.[23] 

C. David Frazier

The name David is more common in the Augusta records than expected, and there is no direct evidence they are connected.  A David Frazier is listed in Capt. Daniel Smith’s Company in 1776.  In the 1777 tithables list, two Davids are named—one in bounds of Capt. Thompson, Johnston, and Thomas Smith, and the other in Capt. Daniel Smith’s list.[24]  Obviously, the latter is the same man from the Militia book.  Also in Daniel Smith’s list of tithables are John Frazier, Joseph Frazier, and George and Henry Armentrout.  George Armentrout died in Botetourt County, and Henry died in Rockingham County.  This leads to the belief that Daniel Smith’s Company was a group of men who lived in other counties as they were carved from Augusta.  Captain James Frazier, discussed next, had an older brother, David, who lived in Albemarle County in 1764. Perhaps this is that brother.  If so, David was the oldest son of William and Amy Nalle Frazier, and married a woman named Barbara.[25]

D. James, the son of William and Amy Nalle Frazier—The First Capt. Frazier.

On 17 October 1776, Captain James Frazier is listed for the first time on page 67 of the Militia book.  He had good company, another captain was Captain Abraham Linkhorn (Lincoln)—the grandfather of President Abraham Lincoln. 

The first Captain James Frazier is surely the son of William and Amey Nalle Frazier.  There are several pieces of evidence which confirm this.  First, the Augusta court records for August 22, 1764, state: James Frazier, qualifies administrator for his father, Wm. Frazier.[26]  The week prior, the widow Amy, and the eldest son, David, had relinquished their right to administer on the estate to James.[27]  Witnesses and sureties for James Frazier, were Michael Coger (or Coker) and Stephen Conrad, and Robert Frazier—the father of A. James Frazier above.  On 15 May 1764,[28] David Frazier sold to his brother, James, 220 acres of the father’s land.[29]

                Besides, Abraham Lincoln, William Nalle, James Frazier’s first cousin, was also a captain in the militia.  On 20 August 1777, court records show that Captains Abraham Lincoln, William Nalle, and James Frazier, along with the several other captains in the county, were to make a list of the tithables in their districts or companies.[30]  This 1777 tithables list is extant and available to view at Familysearch.org.[31]  The heading for the page for Capt. James Frazier’s list actually calls him John Frazar, but the court record confirms that this is actually Capt. James.  Furthermore, no other Fraziers are listed in the list, but James who is shown with 220 acres.  The names in the tithables list match names in the captain’s list of delinquents from muster. 

                Names listed on both lists are marked with an asterisk:  Robert Asberrey, Henry Armentrought,*(as Hermantrout)[32] Lewis Rinehart,*[33] Henry Thornhill,*[34] David Roach,*(as Rotch) Peter Runkle,*[35] William Smith,* Ruben Roach jnr,* John Mungar,* Micajia Smith, Bowlen Lee, R.Ryan, John Hissling, Henry Mills, Martin Crawford,* Geo. Hull, Abraham Rue, Jno. Meadows, Zephaniah Lee, Ance Ammon, Henry Hammer,* William Meadows, John Lawn, Henry Huffman, & Lewis Workman.[36]

Many of these names are also noted in Rockingham County records, and it suggests that this company came from the northeast corner of old Augusta, which became Rockingham County in 1778.

The Rockingham land tax list for 1782 lists James Frazier with his 220 acres of land.[37]  Rockingham court records show that James and his wife, Elizabeth, sued James McMullen for Slander in Rockingham County in April 1791.  James and Elizabeth sold their 220 acres to Adam Sellers in 1787.  James Frazier last appears on the Rockingham lists in 1787.[38]  In 1788, Adam Sellers is listed with 220 acres noted on the list as “from frasher.”[39]

                James and Elizabeth Frazier moved to Bourbon, then Fayette County, Kentucky.  A Bourbon County, Kentucky, land grant for over 4000 acres lists James Frazier, Michael Coger, Henry Miller, and Philip Moyers as grantees.[40]  The Fayette County, Kentucky tax lists show James Frazier in 1788, next to or near William and David Frazier.  A Joseph and George Frazier are listed in Fayette County.

                Online researchers say that Elizabeth’s maiden name was Berry.[41]

Fraziers of Capt. Robert Thompson’s Company: Samuel, John, Samuel Jr., and James Jr.

Between 1778 until well after the Revolutionary War, two families of Fraziers are represented in Capt. Robert Thompson’s Company.  The most prominent was Ensign James Frazier, promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, then Captain—he will be discussed separately.  His brothers, Samuel and John are also listed.  In the same time period, men listed as Samuel Jr. and James Jr. show up. A David Frazier who appears in 1780-1781 has not been attached to either family.

E. Samuel Frazier of Capt. Thompson’s Company

Although it is possible that the Samuel Frazier from 1756 was still active in militia duty, he would have been in his upper 40s.  No exemption from duty has been found, but the man was probably too old to be the Samuel listed in 1778.  On 28 October 1778, a Samuel Frazier, Senr was fined for not appearing at muster in May.  Also fined was Ensign James Frazier.  These two men were brothers, sons of an older John Frazier who had died before 1755.[42] In 1762, Samuel, the older brother, sold to James 236 acres of land.[43]  In the 1777 tithables list, Jas. Fraizer and Saml Fraizer—each with 236 acres of land—Saml Fraizer Senr, John Fraizer, and Saml Fraizer Junr are named in the bounds of Capts. Robert Thompson, Zachariah Johnston, and William Smith. 

The fluidity of the usage of Senior and Junior on these Samuels can be problematic.  There are three Sams listed as tithables—Samuel Sr, Samuel Jr. and a third Samuel.  In this case, the oldest Samuel is the man of Christian’s Creek (A. Samuel Frazier above).  The Samuel listed with 236 acres is the next oldest, born in the 1730s, and brother to James.  The third Samuel, called Samuel Jr. is the youngest of the three—he has to be the son of Samuel Sr. (A. Samuel above) because none of the other adult Fraziers had children of age. (James and John had no children, and Samuel’s children were too young to be serving militia duty or listed as tithables.)

However, in Capt. Thompson’s company there were two Samuels listed.  If we rule out Samuel of Christian’s Creek for being too old, we are left with Samuel (brother of James) and this Samuel Jr. from the tithables.  In this case, the older Samuel is the brother of James—so he is called Samuel Senr, and the younger is called Samuel Jr. 

Samuel (brother of James) married to Isabellena, and had children: John Watkins, Samuel Craig, James, and Isabella.[44]  He is consistently called Samuel Jr. on tax lists because Samuel of Christian’s Creek was also listed.[45]  (The third Samuel did not appear on Augusta tax lists.) Samuel Jr. of Long Meadow died in 1788 or 1789, and his widow is listed on the tax lists beginning in 1789.[46]

F. John Frazier of Captain Thompson’s Company

Two contemporary John Fraziers are listed in the 1777 tithables list.  One is John Frazier, the brother of Samuel (E. Samuel Frazier) and Capt. James (J. James Frazier).  The other John Frazier (N. John Frazier) is listed in the “Calf Pasture” of Augusta County which later became Rockbridge County, and he is listed in Rockbridge from 1782 through the 1830s. Therefore, the John Frazier listed in the militia book for Augusta must be the brother of Samuel and James, not the Rockbridge man.  This John Frazier lived with his uncle, Robert Moody, and took care of Moody’s estate.[47] 

                John Frazier left a will written 24 May 1809, and recorded on 26 June 1809.[48]  He was never married, and left his land to his nephews and nieces, the sons of Samuel Frazier (E. Samuel).  His brother, Capt. James Frazier (J. James), administered his estate.

G. Samuel Frazier, Junr of Captain Thompson’s Company

                This Samuel Frazier appears on the 1777 tax list, and in the militia book, but not on any Augusta County tax lists.  He fits only as a son of Samuel Frazier Sr. (A. Samuel).  First, Samuel Sr. was the only Frazier man in the Christian’s Creek and Long Meadow area to have of age children at this time. Samuel Jr. is mentioned on 23 August 1781 as deserting his company, for which he served an additional six months.[49] 

Militia Record of 32nd Regiment, p 210.

The Revolutionary War pension application of one John Campbell names Sam Frazier as his “messmate.”[50] Campbell was indeed in Capt. Finley’s company.  Additionally, Monticue Allen was another member of this company.  Monticue Allen was the son of Robert Allen who died in 1791 and left a will naming Monticue as well as other children, including a daughter, Ann Frazier.[51]  Ann Allen must have been the wife of this Samuel Frazier [52] who likely appears in Rockbridge County in 1784[53] next to John Frazier, son of Samuel Sr. of Christian’s Creek.  That Samuel later moved to Kanawha County, living in the part that became Mason County where he died.[54] 

H. James Frazier, Junr of Captain Thompson’s Company

James Frazier, Jr. is definitely the son of Samuel Frazier Sr. of Christian’s Creek.[55]  He was born about 1757 and would have started militia duty in 1773 at age 16.  He married in 1785 to Winniford Coursey, daughter of James Coursey.[56]  He is listed in Augusta County tax lists, deeds, and named in his father’s will.[57]  In 1814, he oversaw the administration of the estate of his relative, Capt. James Frazier (J. James Frazier).[58]

                James Frazier was also the guardian for B. Franklin Frazier, the illegitimate son of Samuel Craig Frazier (son of E. Samuel Frazier).[59]  James and his family, along with Franklin, moved to Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  He died there on 26 September 1829[60] and is buried next to Winney at the Baer Cemetery near Shadeland, Indiana.[61]

I.  David Frazier of Captain Thompson’s Company

                The few David Fraziers listed in the Militia book give no direct evidence as to who they were or who their family was.  It is likely that this David listed in Capt. Thompson’s Company in 1780 is the same man who appears in Capt. Hall’s company in 1795—Thompsons was replaced by Finley, who was replaced by Frazier, who was replaced by Hall in 1794.   It is unlikely this is the son of William and Amy Nalle Frazier who married Barbara—that man would be too old, and had probably moved to Kentucky with his brother James (see B. James above). 

                Since this other David is listed in tax lists,[62] and is near the Christian Creek family of Frazier, perhaps he is another son of Samuel Frazier Sr.  However, the Christian Creek and Long Meadow men were in Capt. Calbreath’s company, and David was in Alexander Hall’s company, so he was not too near the other Fraziers.  Samuel’s son, James Jr., did name a son David, so that name is connected to that family group somehow.  No other evidence gives any clues to his parentage.

J. James Frazier, Son of John and Isabelle, the Second Captain James Frazier

                From 1782 -1814, when tax lists of Augusta list Capt. James Frazier, they refer to James the son of John and Isabelle, and the younger brother of Samuel (E. Samuel above).  James must have been at least 21 in 1762 when his older brother Samuel sold to him 236 acres of their father’s land.[63]  This puts James’ birth at bef. 1741.  He married Ann Gay, daughter of Henry Gay, before 1769 when Henry and his wife, Martha, deeded land to James.[64] (Ann’s sister, Jane, married John Frazier (N. John below) of Rockbridge County, son of Samuel Sr or Christian’s Creek (A. Samuel above).)

                James appears in the Militia record book on 28 October 1778 as Ensign James Fraizer in Capt. Robert Thompson’s Company.  He was fined for “appearing without a sword at a private muster, 5 May 1778.[65]  By 1780, Thompson had been replaced by Capt. William Finley, and James was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.[66] On Mar 21, 1787, James Frazier was recommended to be made Captain.[67] He took over for Finley. James held his commission as captain until Dec 16 1794 when he resigned.[68] His company was then divided with half—the men from Christian’s Creek and Long Meadow—under the command of Thomas Calbreath, and the other half under Alexander Hall.

                In honor of his service, and apparently from the respect of the citizens, James was called Captain until his death in 1814.   Besides tax lists, there are court records that call him Captain.  Chalkley presents the following in his second volume: Capt. James Frayzer of Long Meadow, given a book as evidence in case Moffett v. McPheeters, 1799 and 1802.[69]

His will, written 19 June 1810, and recorded on 23 May 1814,[70] names his wife, Ann, who died a few months later.[71]  James had no children and left his estate to his nephews and nieces (the children of E. Samuel Frazier) and their children. 

K. Other Fraziers in 32 Regt: George Frazier

George Fraizer of Capt. Gray’s Company was fined 5 shillings between Oct 1777 and 1779.  There were George Fraziers named in other Augusta County records, but no additional information has connected this George to a family group. 

Other records naming a George Frazier include the Capt. George Frazier who married Sally Francisco, 1786,[72] and the George who was deposed in Botetourt County in 1787 in the Augusta Chancery case of Poage vs Borland.[73]  No Georges appear in the tax lists, so the exact relationship, if any is unknown.

L. The Next Generation:  Samuel Frazer, 1812

Book 2 of the Militia records of the 32nd Regiment covers the years 1807-1812.  There is only one reference to the Fraziers:  Samuel Frazer had his “fines remitted” on 12 Nov 1812. 

                By 1812, there was only one Samuel Frazier of age in Augusta—Samuel Craig Frazier, the son of Samuel (E. Samuel) and Isabellena.  Samuel Craig Frazier died by May 24, 1813 leaving a widow, Polly, who later married Peter Firebaugh.[74]  Samuel left his estate to Polly and to his illegitimate son Franklin[75] who was barely a year old.[76]

M. James Frazer buried in Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery

                Although, this is a James Frazier buried in Augusta County, Virginia, it is not Capt. James Frazier of Long Meadow, nor Capt. James of Rockingham (who died in Kentucky).  This James has a tombstone honoring his service as a Private in Capt. Booker’s Company, 11th Virginia Infantry.[77] 

This James Frazer is never mentioned in the Militia Book for the 32nd Regiment.  He was not originally from Augusta County.  This James has many records to prove his service in the Revolutionary War.[78]  A list of those records shows he enlisted on 28 January 1777, possibly in Amelia County, Virginia, for three years.  He first served as a private, then drummer or fifer, and finally sergeant in Edwin Hull’s Company, Company F, of the 15th Virginia Regiment, under Lt. Col. James Innes.  After Hull’s company was absorbed into Gustavus Wallace’s company, James was reduced to a Private on 26 Dec 1777.  February through May, 1778, the company was at Valley Forge.  In May 1778, the 11th and 15th Regiments of Virginia were combined into the 11 and 15th.  Under command of Lt. Col. John Cropper, the company moved to Paramus and White Plains.  Gen. Daniel Morgan commanded in August 1778, and Capt. Samuel Booker was installed over the 11th (1778-79) first under Morgan, and later under Abraham Buford. The company camped in Newark, then to Pompton Plains, and Middlebrook, New Jersey.   James Frazier is noted as “on furlough to Virginia” from November 1778 through May 1779.  Upon his return, the 11th, now called the 5 and 11, still under Capt. Samuel Booker, but now under Lt. Col. William Russell, were on command in Smith’s Clove, New York; Ramapough, New Jersey and Haverstraw, New York.  The last slip for James Frazier is dated December 1779.  His term of enlistment would expire in January 1780.

                His burial at Bethel Presbyterian seems mysterious because he does not appear in Augusta County tax lists, deeds, or probate records.  His birth and death are not given on his Revolutionary War commemorative tombstone.  In the same cemetery are buried John Frazier (1750 – 11 Jul 1832)[79] and his wife, Margaret (1761 -18 Jan 1843),[80] again, names that do not appear in the records of Augusta, yet these people must have had some connection at least to the Middlebrook church.   The origin of this James is undetermined.

N. John Frazier of Rockbridge

                According to his Revolutionary War pension application,[81] John Frazier was born in 1755 on Christian’s Creek in Augusta County, Virginia.  At that time, Samuel Frazier, Sr. (A. Samuel) lived on Christian’s Creek.  For that reason, it has been assumed that John is a son of Samuel.  John is the husband of Jane Gay, daughter of Henry and Martha Gay[82] of the Calf Pasture, an area that later became Rockbridge County.[83]  Jane is the sister of Ann Gay Frazier, the wife of Capt. James Frazier (J. James).  This is proven in court depositions of 9 June 1820, where John and Jane are questioned about property owned by her sister.[84] 

                John served under Capt. George Mathews, who is named in the Militia Records book as late as 1771,[85] but John is not named in the delinquent lists. John is listed in the 1777 Tithables list in the Calf Pasture,[86] and his affidavit confirms that he lived there. The Calf Pasture section of Augusta became Rockbridge County in 1778.  John also served under Capt. James Buchanan in the command of Col. John Bowyer.  Other men in Buchanan’s company included George Gall.[87]  Buchanan, Bowyer, Gall (as Gaul), and John Frazier are all listed in the 1782 tax list of Rockbridge.[88] 

                John Frazier applied for pension on 6 November 1832 and again on 1 July 1833.[89]  The Pension Roll of 1835, shows he received $20.00 annual allowance, starting 4 April 1834.[90]  He died after 1834.

                His wife died before 4 October 1836, and left land to their four children: James, Henry, Samuel, and Jane, wife of John Hull. [91]


[1] The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Oct 1922, Vol 30, No 4 (Oct 1922), pp 385-402.

[2] https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/fighting-man-continental-army

[3] Von Steuben.   https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/bookviewer?PID=nlm:nlmuid-2575061R-bk#page/102/mode/2up

[4] Von Steuben, p. 89.

[5] The link to the book is https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/332445?availability=Family%20History%20Library

[6] Regulations for the order and discipline of the troops of the United States: to which is added, an appendix, containing the United States militia act, passed in Congress, May, 1792; and the act for forming and regulating the militia in New-Hampshire. United States. War Department Inspector General’s Office. Contributor(s): Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von, 1730-1794. Printed at Exeter [N.H.]: By Henry Ranlet, 1794.

References to the online copy at https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-2575061R-bk.

[7] Douthatt, James. Augusta County, Virginia: Militia Court Records, 1755-1790. Mountain Press, 2018.

[8] Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of Scotch-Irish in Virginia.  This three-volume set of published abstracts of early records of Augusta County can be found in book form at many genealogy libraries, digitized online (http://usgwarchives.net/special/chalkley/) and at Familysearch.org. References in Footnotes are to Chalkley with volume and page number.

[9] https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:John_Hutcheson_%284%29

[10] https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Andrew_Russell_(11). Note the deed of Joshua Russell to Robert Russell, 1780, witnessed by Samuel and James Frazier—probably Samuel Sr. and his son, James—Deed Book 23 p 337

[11] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 8, p 285. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-NS1X-8?i=168&cat=282708

[12] Orange Co VA Deed Book 5, p 92. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-59RW-X?i=678&cat=370458

[13] See “Analysis: John Frazier and Robert Moody in Beverly Manor.” https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Analysis:_John_Frazier_and_Robert_Moody_in_Beverley_Manor

[14] From the list by William Bowyer in the bounds of Capt. Robt Thompson, Capt. Zachariah Johnston, and Capt. Thomas Smith’s Companies. Augusta Co VA, List of Tithables, 1777-78: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-SJPS?i=9&cat=282893

[15] Personal property tax lists of Augusta County, 1782-1851. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Augusta County).  https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/406586?availability=Family%20History%20Library

[16] Augusta Co VA Will Book 9, p303. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P7-39RX?i=616&cat=279443

[17] See pension application of John Frazier of Rockbridge County, S17964 VA, http://revwarapps.org/s17964.pdf

[18] https://dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com/2021/04/04/re-framing-the-frazier-family-tree-no-3-multiple-samuel-fraziers-in-early-augusta-county-virginia/

[19] Paxton’s widow’s application for pension, http://revwarapps.org/s11206.pdf; See the Pension List of 1835, Vol. III, p 831, listing Samuel Paxton, dying 1833 in Rockbridge County.

[20] Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of Scotch-Irish in Virginia, Vol. I, p. 373. Link: http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/court/court07.txt

[21] Amherst County, VA, Tax List, 1782, p. 10. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-23KD?i=17&cat=775689

[22] Amherst County, VA, Tax Lists, 1782, p. 12. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-23GM?i=18&cat=775689

[23] https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Frasher-59

[24] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-SJPZ?cat=282893

[25] See Chalkley, Vol. III, p. 86 (David Frazier and Amy Frazier to James Frazier, land of father, William, with Michael Coger as witness). Also Vol. III, p. 477, 522, and 596, which prove the relationship of David to William and Amy.

[26] Chalkley, Vol. I, p. 115.

[27] Chalkley, Vol. III, p. 86. 

[28] Son of Martin Nalle, Jr., brother to Amy Nalle Frazier. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:William_Nalle_(1)

[29] Chalkley, Vol. III, p. 410.

[30] Chalkley, Vol. I, p. 93. 

[31] Augusta Co VA, List of Tithables, 1777-78: https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/282893

[32] Records in Rockingham County. Died in Rockbridge County. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Johan_Armentrout_(3)

[33] Records in Rockingham County. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Ludwick_Rinehart_(1)

[34] Records in Rockingham County. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Henry_Thornhill_(1)

[35] Death in Rockingham County. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Peter_Runkle_(1)

[36] Militia Book, p 72 (img 46/218) Capt. James Fraizer’s Delinquents, 17th Day of April 1777

[37] Rockingham County, VA, Land Tax, 1782. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-R7KJ-M?i=11&cat=410902

[38] Rockingham County, VA, Land Tax 1787B, p 13.

[39] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-R7VR-4?i=133&cat=410902

[40] Bourbon County, KY, Survey Book 1, p 156. https://bourboncoky.info/SurveyBk1.html

[41] http://www.ourberryfamily.com/berry/21383.htm

[42] Widow Frazier is named in 1755 processioning list, next to Robert Moody.  See this link to werelate.com, and the widow Frazer listed next to Robert Moody.  https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Alexander_Thompson_(37)

[43] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 10, p 296. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-N3N5-Q?i=156&cat=282708

[44] See Last Will and Testament of John Frazier, Augusta Co, VA, Will Book 10, p 276 and James Frazier Will Book 11, p 368.

[45] See article No. 3, “Multiple Samuel Fraziers in Early Augusta County, Virginia. https://dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com/2021/04/04/re-framing-the-frazier-family-tree-no-3-multiple-samuel-fraziers-in-early-augusta-county-virginia/

[46] Augusta County VA Tax List, 1789b, p 5, line 31. “Frazor bellinah.” https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-W3SR-S?i=307&cat=406586

[47] Augusta County VA Tax List, 1787b, p 6, line 5: “[Frazor John] for the estate of Robert Moody Dec~.” https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-W33H-9?i=226&cat=406586

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

[49] Militia Record of 32nd Regiment, p 210. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4H-8Q5R-M?i=115&cat=332445

[50] http://revwarapps.org/s3128.pdf; “that the men of one tent mess together” from Steuben, p. 46. https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-2575061R-bk.

[51] Augusta County VA Will Book 7, p 328. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P7-39XS?i=176&cat=279443

[52] See Article No 2: Ann, the Wife of Samuel Frazier of Frazier’s Bottom. https://dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/re-framing-the-frazier-family-tree-no-2-ann-the-wife-of-samuel-frazier-of-fraziers-bottom/

[53] Rockbridge Co VA Tax List 1784, p 21, lines 17 and 18 showing John Frazer and Samuel Frazer in Capt. Elliott’s Company. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS7S-Z339?cat=694874

[54] See Article No.1: Samuel Frazier of Frazier’s Bottom, West Virginia. https://dannmnortongenealogy.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/re-framing-the-frazier-family-tree-no-1-samuel-frazier-of-fraziers-bottom-west-virginia/

[55] Augusta Co, VA Deed Book 30, p 263 confirms that James Frazer is the son of Samuel and Mary Frazer. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-M3QP-M?i=615&cat=282708

[56]  Chalkley, Vol II, p 280. James Fraser to Winny Corrsy, daughter of James Corrsy, 10 May 1785.

[57] Augusta Co VA Will Book 9, p303. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P7-39RX?i=616&cat=279443

[58] Augusta Co VA Chancery Case 1823-099, Frazier v. Frazier. Virginia Memory collection.  Library of Virginia. Images 88-89. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1823-099

[59] Augusta Co VA Chancery Case 1824-044, Frazier v. Firebaugh. Virginia Memory Collection. Library of Virginia. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1824-044

[60] Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/5045136/james-frazer : accessed 26 April 2021), memorial page for James Frazer (1757–26 Sep 1829), Find a Grave Memorial ID 5045136, citing Baer Cemetery, Shadeland, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by David R. Cheesman, Sen. (contributor 13482137) .

[61] Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/11825768/winneford-frazer : accessed 26 April 2021), memorial page for Winneford Frazer (1763–17 Aug 1830), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11825768, citing Baer Cemetery, Shadeland, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by L. A. C. (contributor 46486104) .

[62] A study of Augusta Tax lists shows two Davids in 1777 tithables.  No David is listed again until 1788, and fairly consistently until 1798.    Where he migrated is unknown.  A David listed in 1824 and 1825 is the son of James Frazier Jr. (H. James above).

[63] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 10, p 296. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-N3N5-Q?i=156&cat=282708

[64] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 16, p 66. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Z-N7WQ?i=614&cat=282708

[65] Militia Book of the 32nd Regiment, p 107 (img 64/218)  (28 Oct 1778, p 106)

Capt. Thompson’s Delinquents:  “Ensign James Frazer find for appearing without a sword at a Private Muster 5th May 1778.  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4H-8QRM-H?i=63&cat=332445

[66] Chalkley, Vol. I, p 202. http://sites.rootsweb.com/~chalkley/volume_1/or16_200.htm#page%20202

[67] Chalkley, Vol. I, p 248. http://sites.rootsweb.com/~chalkley/volume_1/or20_246.htm#page%20248

[68] Chalkley, Vol. I, p. 480-81.

[69] Chalkley Vol 2, p 370.

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

[71] Augusta Co VA Chancery 1823-099: Frazier v. Frazier. Virginia Memory collection.  Library of Virginia. https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1823-099#img  Image 59/168: “1814 June to clerk pd coffin for Mrs. Anne Frazier, dec’d…$10.00.”

[72] Chalkley, Vol II, p 280.

[73] Augusta Co VA Chancery 1788-003: Poage v. Borland. Virginia Memory collection.  Library of Virginia.

[74] Augusta Co VA Will Book 11, p 235. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TH-5NL7?i=358&cat=279443

[75] See Augusta Co VA Chancery 1823-030 and 1824-044, Guardian of Franklin Frazier v. Firebaugh. Virginia Memory collection.  Library of Virginia.

[76] The age of Franklin confirmed by his tombstone in Baer Cemetery, Shadeland, Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/11825804/benjamin-f.-frazer : accessed 26 April 2021), memorial page for Benjamin F. Frazer (1812–27 Nov 1856), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11825804, citing Baer Cemetery, Shadeland, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by L. A. C. (contributor 46486104) .

[77] Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/37807548/james-frazier : accessed 27 April 2021), memorial page for CPT James Frazier (unknown–unknown), Find a Grave Memorial ID 37807548, citing Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Middlebrook, Augusta County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by LSP (contributor 46860931) .

[78] Fold3.com shows 59 slips for James Frazier of Virginia.  This man was in Booker’s Company as a Private.

[79] Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/37807888/john-frazier : accessed 27 April 2021), memorial page for John Frazier (1750–11 Jul 1832), Find a Grave Memorial ID 37807888, citing Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Middlebrook, Augusta County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by LSP (contributor 46860931) .

[80] Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/37807309/margaret-frazier : accessed 27 April 2021), memorial page for Margaret Frazier (1761–18 Jan 1843), Find a Grave Memorial ID 37807309, citing Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Middlebrook, Augusta County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by LSP (contributor 46860931) .

[81] http://revwarapps.org/s17964.pdf

[82] Rockbridge County, VA, Will Book 1, p 46: Will of Henry Gay naming his son-in-law, John Freasher. Note that another John Frazer is a witness—this would be the brother of Capt. James Frazier, the husband of daughter, Ann.

[83] See pension affidavit: “At the time of entering into the service he resided in that part of Rockbridge called the Calf pastures.”

[84] Augusta Co VA Chancery Court Records, 1832-096, Frazier v. Frazier. Virginia Memory Collection.  Library of Virginia. Image 13/109, answer of John and Jane Frazier.

[85] Record Book of the 32nd Regiment, p 51 (image 35).

[86] Augusta County VA 1777 Tithables, Image 26-27, “a list of tithables and lands of the calfpasture…” https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-SJG2?i=25&cat=282893

[87] http://revwarapps.org/s2569.pdf

[88] Rockbridge Co VA, Tax List 1782, p3 Bowyer and Buchanan, p11 Frazier, p12 George Gaul.

[89] See Note 80.

[90] Pension List of 1835, Vol III, p 831. Ancestry.com. U.S., The Pension Roll of 1835 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: United States Senate. The Pension Roll of 1835.4 vols. 1968 Reprint, with index. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992.

[91] Augusta Co, VA, Deed Book T, p360, 4 Oct 1836, James Frazier and Martha, his wife, to Henry Judy.  Land of Jane Frazier, names four heirs of Jane–James, Samuel, Henry, and Jane, wife of John Hull. 170a.

Re-Framing the Frazier Family Tree No. 3: Multiple Samuel Fraziers in Early Augusta County, Virginia

By Dann M. Norton (C) 2021

Multiple Samuel Fraziers in early Augusta County

The 1777 tithables list for Augusta County listed several Fraziers—the named spelled Fraizer on the record.  Below is a section of one page from the list by William Bowyer in the bounds of Capt. Robt Thompson, Capt. Zachariah Johnston, and Capt. Thomas Smith’s Companies.[1] 

Detail of 1777 Tax List of Augusta County, Virginia, with transcription, showing five Frazier men.

The immediate point to notice is that there are multiple Samuels in Augusta County at this time.  One of those Samuels owns 236 acres, another owns 400 acres, and the third owns no land. Using deed records, these men can be determined to belong to specific family groups. 

In 1762, Samuel Frazier sold to his brother, James Frazier, 236 acres[2] of a 472 acres tract that was granted to their father, John Frazier in 1749.[3]  This definitely pins the Jas Fraizer and Saml Fraizer with 236 acres each as the sons of this John.  John before 1755[4] leaving Samuel, his eldest, James, and at least two other children—John and Ann.  John and Ann lived with and worked for their uncle Robert Moody, and although Moody is not shown on the tithables list, John Frazier, the brother of Samuel and James, is listed with no land. In 1788, Samuel and his wife Isabella Helena sold an additional 74 acres of the father’s land to brother James;[5] this appears to indicate that Samuel was not married in 1762, but was by 1788.

Another Samuel Frazier is listed as Saml Fraizer Senr.  It is important to remember that in this time period, sobriquets such as Senior and Junior simply meant older and younger and did not indicate any familial relationships.  At the bottom of the list, is a Saml Fraizer Junr.  What this tells the reader is that there were three Samuels of age—over 21—in 1777.

The oldest of all three Samuels was Samuel Frazier, Sr.  who owned 400 acres of land.  This specifically connects Samuel, Sr. to a tract of land originally granted to one Samuel Hughes in 1742.[6]    In the original grant, filed in Orange County on 25 March 1741/2, William Beverly sold 440 acres to Samuell Hughes naming the corners of Pearson and Anderson, Wm Russell, and “John Hutchinsons in the poison field.”

In 1749, after this part of Orange County became Augusta County, Samuel Hughes sold the 440 acres to William Caldwell, naming the same corners, plus William Palmer’s corner, and “John Hutchinsons in the poison field, and listing Israel Christian as a witness.”[7] On 19 March, 1760, John Caldwell, apparently an heir of William, sold the entire tract to Samuel Frazier.[8]

The land of Hughes was adjoining to the land of John Frazier.[9]  Thus, Samuel Frazier, Sr., ended up owning land next to the other Samuel Frazier and his brother, James.

In 1765, Samuel Frazier (Sr) acquired another 205 acres of land on Christian’s Creek by order of the court, land that Alexander Gibson had purchased from Patrick McCallum in 1762.[10] 

Samuel Frazier, Sr. is listed in the tax lists of Augusta beginning in 1782, as is Samuel, the brother of James.  Since Samuel, the brother of James, was the younger of the two, he is called Samuel Jr. in the tax lists.  The third Samuel in 1777 is not found on the tax lists, but he may be the Samuel who appears in Rockbridge County starting in 1784, next to a John Frazer.  This John Frazier was married to Jane Gay; Jane’s sister, Ann, was married to James Frazier above, suggesting the two Frazier families may be related.[11]

Samuel Frazier Senior first appears on a 1756 militia list in Capt. Israel Christian’s company.[12]  He made the two land transactions in 1760 and 1765, as shown above.  He appears on the tax lists from 1782 until 1802.[13]  His will was recorded on 26 September 1803,[14] and in the 1803 tax list, his widow, Molly, is named.[15]  The widow is also enumerated on the 1810 census of Augusta County as Marry Fraser.[16]

Samuel Frazier, Jr. appears on the tax lists from 1782 until 1788.[17]  He died, and in 1789, his widow Bellinah is named.[18]  In subsequent lists, she is called Isabella, Bella, and Isabellina. 

1789 Tax List of Augusta County, Virginia, showing Samuel Frazier’s widow, Bellinah.

Chancery Court records show that James Fraizer Sr, who was the son of Samuel, Sr. was the administrator of the estate of Captain James Frazier, the brother of Samuel, Jr.  In the record, James Sr. states that he was a “distant relation” to Capt. James.[19]  If that relationship was first cousin, then John Frazier, the grantee of 1749, was a brother to Samuel, Sr. of Christian Creek.

The third Samuel—called Samuel Junr. in 1777—very likely was the son of Samuel Sr.  He would have been the youngest of all three, but he does not show up in the tax lists of Augusta.  Samuel Sr. is usually designated as living on Christian’s Creek in Augusta.  John Frazier of Rockbridge County, stated in his application for Revolutionary War pension that he was born in 1755 on Christian’s Creek.[20]  This would place him in Samuel Sr.’s family, as well as, this third Samuel Frazier listed next to John in 1784-1788 in Rockbridge. That the Samuel Jr. of 1777 and John of Rockbridge are brothers is only conjectured here.

A Revolutionary War pension application for John Campbell[21] mentions a Sam Frazier as his “messmate.”  Campbell gives his birth as 1765, and states he was placed on the muster rolls at age 15.  His father’s name was Andrew Campbell, and he was in Capt. William Finley’s company.  Both Andrew Campbell and William Finley are listed in the previous column of names on the same page as the Fraziers in the 1777 tithable list.   

Samuel Sr. would have been too old to join the ranks in 1780. Samuel (husband of Isabellana) was at least 41 if not older, so probably too old to be fighting as well. (His birth being estimated in the late 1730s to 1741 based on his land transaction in 1762, thus he was over 21 in that year).  That leaves Samuel “Junr” of 1777, possible son of Samuel Sr, as the best candidate for the Revolutionary War soldier.  (DAR applicants have listed Samuel Sr. as a patriot for supplying beef to the troops.[22] The online data does not indicate how this was determined to be Samuel Frazier of Christian’s Creek as opposed to Samuel Frazier of Long Meadow.)

Based on additional details in Chancery Court records, deeds, and tax lists, the two Samuel’s families can be listed:


[1] Augusta Co VA, List of Tithables, 1777-78: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-SJPS?i=9&cat=282893

[2] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 10, p 296. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-N3N5-Q?i=156&cat=282708

[3] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 2, 1748-1750, p 464. http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/court/3court58.txt

[4] Widow Frazier is named in 1755 Processioning list, next to Robert Moody.  See this link to werelate.com, and the widow Frazer listed next to Robert Moody.  https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Alexander_Thompson_(37)

[5] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 26, p 140. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLD-1313-1?i=387&cat=282708

[6] Orange Co VA Deed Book 5, p 92. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9BK-59RW-X?i=678&cat=370458

[7] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 2, 1748-1750, p 600. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4C-93RS-9?i=338&cat=282708

[8] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 8, p 285. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-NS1X-8?i=168&cat=282708

[9] The website Werelate.com has maps for early landowners in Augusta County.  The maps are copyrighted and the work of J.R. Hildebrand.  This link shows a map of Samuel Hughes’ land adjoining John Frazier. https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Robert_Moody_(11)

[10] Augusta Co VA Deed Book 10, p 481. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-N3NK-5?i=267&cat=282708

[11] In a chancery suit, Augusta County 1832-096, image 6, James Frazier, the son of Samuel Sr. calls himself a “distant relation” to James Frazier, the brother of Samuel (md. to Isabellana).  See Note 19.

[12] Militia court records of the 32nd regiment, 1756-1812, Augusta County, VA, p 1. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4H-8QR5-M?i=5&cat=332445

[13] Personal property tax lists of Augusta County, 1782-1851. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Augusta County).  https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/406586?availability=Family%20History%20Library

[14] Augusta Co VA Will Book 9, p303. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99P7-39RX?i=616&cat=279443

[15] Augusta Co Va Tax List, 1803, p 10, line 6, “Molly Frazer (widow).” https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQN-T92G-M?i=349&cat=406586

[16] “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYB8-PSB?cc=1803765&wc=QZZZ-9W9%3A1588180005%2C1588180016%2C1588179902 : 1 December 2015), Virginia > Augusta > Not Stated > image 33 of 100; citing NARA microfilm publication M252, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[17] Personal property tax lists of Augusta County, 1782-1851. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Augusta County).  https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/406586?availability=Family%20History%20Library

[18] Augusta County VA Tax List, 1789b, p 5, line 31. “Frazor bellinah.” https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQF-W3SR-S?i=307&cat=406586

[19] Augusta County 1832-096, Frazier v. Frazier, Chancery Court Records. Virginia Memory Project.  https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/full_case_detail.asp?CFN=015-1832-096#img

[20] http://revwarapps.org/s17964.pdf

[21]  http://revwarapps.org/s3128.pdf

[22] https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/?action=full&p_id=A132438

[23] In an upcoming article, the evidence to show that Isabellana, wife of Samuel Frazier, was also a Frazier by birth—and not a Craig as suggested in online trees—will be presented. 

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.

Connecting the Family of John Pleasant Cook

Dann M. Norton © 2020

While working with the DNA matches for Jon McCarty, a descendant of John and Ritta (Freeman) Cook of Central Illinois, several Cook matches popped up.  The common ancestors of these matches seem to fall into two groups: descendants of John Pleasant Cook and his wife Amelia Fox, and descendants of Isaac Davis and Elizabeth Cook.

Below are the records that will prove that John Pleasant Cook and Elizabeth Cook Davis are the children of John Cook and Ritta Freeman who married on 16 Aug 1826, in Montgomery County, Illinois.[1]

Images from Montgomery County IL Marriage Record Book 1, 1821-841, p8

John Cook died in 1847 in Mexico, a casualty of the Mexican War.  This Bureau of Land Management military warrant[2] states his military unit, and the names of his heirs.

Written in the first paragraph is the following: “Ritta Cook, Widow, Elizabeth Cook, William Cook, Rebecca Cook, Barbara Cook, Pleasant Cook, Jacob Cook, only surviving children, heirs at law–John Cook, deceased–private Captain Freeman’s Company, Third Regiment, Illinois Volunteers…”

The second paragraph indicates that William E. Stokes is the assignee of this land, situated in Fayette County, Illinis.  Also, William Beck is designated as the guardian of the children.

William Beck married Lucinda Freeman on 25 March 1824 by Henry Sears–the same man who married John and Ritta–and with the consent of William’s father, John Beck, and Lucinda’s father, R. Freeman.[3]

The 1850 census of Fayette County, Illinois, lists the Cook children in the household of William and Lucinda Beck.[4]  Those name are William cook, age 16, Rebecca, 14, Pleasant, 7, and Jacob, 5.  Elizabeth and Barbara are not listed.  It is probable that Elizabeth was already married.  She is listed as the mother of Isaac Davis on his 1931 death certificate[5] in Shelby County, Illinois. There is some question as to the timing of events in her life.  Her son Isaac is said to be born on12 May 1848, in Fayette County, but she did not marry the father, Isaac, until 1854 same county.[6]  Perhaps the year is wrong in the Illinois Marriage Database (the original is not avaible online), or maybe the son is the child of a previous husband, but raised as a Davis.  Descendants should examine their DNA matches closely to see if there are missing ancestral surnames. 

The 1860 census of Mercer County, Missouri, shows the Beck household with Pleasant and Jacob Cook still living with William and Lucinda.[7]  Pleasant is age 17, which fits with his age in 1850–he was born about 1843.  Jacob, age 16, was born about 1844-45.  In 1861, Pleasant is listed on the Civil War Draft.[8]

His age is given as 22, making a birth about 1839.  This is about five years to early, but suggests that he was lying about his age in order to serve.  The record shows he was part of “Merrill’s Horse.”   That would be Col. Lewis Merrill’s Cavalry[9], serving as private in Company D, 2nd Regiment.[10]

From here on, Pleasant Cook maintained his birth about 1839, even though he was born after 1840.  (The 1840 census of Shelby County, IL, shows John Cook with only one son born before 1840.[11] The details of the census–age 30-40 for John, and four daughters under ten–make the John Cook found on page 173 a better fit than another, older John Cook found on page 192.[12])  John Pleasants Cook is later found in Cooke County, Texas, with a wife, Amelia A., and children.[13] The 1890 Veterans’ Census confirms that this J.P. Cook of Cooke County is indeed Pleasant Cook of Missouri–the military unit is the same.[14] 

In the 1900 census of Cooke County, John Pleasant Cook gave his birth information as March 1839.[15]  Again, records from 1850 and 1860 prove he was actually born about 1843.

This report is sent to those DNA matches of Jon McCarty who show descent from either John Pleasant Cook or Elizabeth Cook Davis.  It is hoped that those descendants will share this with interested family members, and correct any mis-attributed parentage in online trees.  For example, an online tree at Ancestry.com shows John Pleasant Cook as the son of James Cooke and Ann Tureman Cooke of Cass County, Illinois.[16]  This is incorrect and should be changed. Correcting these errors will help future researchers locate the names of John Cook’s parents.

Contact the author: Dann M. Norton, dmnor10@yahoo.com

Follow-up: As research continued, connections to Jeremiah Cook (m. Caroline Stark) and Jacob Cook (m. Mary Traughber) of Logan County, Kentucky, suggest they are brothers of John Cook. These men are all connected to Tennessee, and particularly Robertson County. More matches with descendants of Valentine Cook (m. Catharine Craft) seem to suggest that John Cook’s father was an older brother of Valentine, Jacob Cook (m. Catharine Zech). Well, that maybe be half right. Jon McCarty has many Trobaugh (another spelling of Traughber) matches. It just happens that there is record of a Jacob Cook, Jr., of Robertson Co, TN, who was raised by Jacob Cook and wife, Elizabeth Rein or Rine. A Chancery case in Virginia lays out that Jacob Cook, Jr. was not the biological son of Jacob Sr., but the son of a Trobaugh by Elizabeth. Here is a blog post at Bob’s Genealogy Filing Cabinet concerning the case. The original records are available online at Virginia Memory.


[1] “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GB2K-YP9?cc=1803970&wc=326X-PTR%3A1583390401 : 3 March 2016), 005203002 > image 347 of 435; county offices, Illinois.

[2] file:///C:/Users/Norton/Desktop/MW_Patent_1025-243.PDF

[3] “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9B2K-T5Z?cc=1803970&wc=326X-PTR%3A1583390401 : 3 March 2016), 005203002 > image 343 of 435; county offices, Illinois.

[4] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M85P-4C4 : 4 April 2020), William Beck, Fayette county, Fayette, Illinois, United States; citing family 583, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[5] “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N325-PMC : 8 March 2018), Isaac Davis, 08 Nov 1931; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,684,269.

[6] https://cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases/marriage.html

[7] “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHZB-C76 : 11 November 2020), William Beck, 1860.

[8] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 1 of 1. Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data:

Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. NAI: 4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War), Record Group 110. National Archives at Washington D.C.

[9] https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/2nd_Regiment,_Missouri_Cavalry_(Merrill%27s_Horse)_(Union)

[10] National Park Service. U.S., Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, online <http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/&gt;, acquired 2007.

[11] Year: 1840; Census Place: Shelby, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 173; Family History Library Film: 0007644. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[12] Year: 1840; Census Place: Shelby, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 192; Family History Library Film: 0007644. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

[13] “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFNM-NJ1 : 14 November 2020), John Cook in household of J. P. Cook, Cooke, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district ED 112, sheet 235D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,298.

[14] The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Series Number: M123; Record Group Title: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Record Group Number: 15; Census Year: 1890. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1890 Veterans Schedules of the U.S. Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Original data: Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[15] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3LH-SW5 : accessed 9 December 2020), John P Cook, Justice Precinct 7 (south part), Cooke, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 39, sheet 7A, family 117, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,623.

[16] https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/116875866/person/262198914704/fact

Marriage, War, and a Submarine

December 6, 1941, my grandparents married in Princeton, Mercer County, Missouri. Grandpa, Clarence Allan Norton, was 19 and Grandma, Mary Louisa Gott–pronounced Lou-WHY-Za!–was just 15!

Mary L. Gott

I always heard that her mother lied about her age to give her permission to marry. Despite their youth, they were married, and now adults…about to step into a world of war. When they awoke the next day, December 7, the news of the early morning bombing of Pearl Harbor was filtering to the mainland. The next day, war was declared on Japan–The United States had entered World War II.

Grandpa joined the Navy soon after. He and Grandma had started a family, but duty to country was the priority.

Clarence, Mary, and George

About the only story I know from Grandpa Norton’s Navy life is how he helped capture the German submarine, U-505, on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry. You can see photographs from Grandpa’s ship, the USS Pillsbury, and from the taking of the submarine at this 2017 blog post.

In July, 2019, I took my son, Paschal Norton, to see the submarine and tell him about how his great-grandpa helped capture it.

The exhibit has been enhanced since my first visit as a 5th-grader in 1981. The displays of models, the snippets of newsreel, and the interactive displays give you a lot take in.

The submarine itself is the main attraction, and you get to tour it. The cramped spaces, the dials and gadgets! It’s very interesting–for young and old!

The torpedo is cool too!

At the end of the exhibit, there are large panels listing the names of the sailors. We found Grandpa’s name. I am not sure his rank is correct here.

When I was younger, he definitely told me that he was an MoMM–Motor Machinist’s Mate–something he said the Navy didn’t have anymore. That is what shows on his military stone at his gravesite.

Every December 6, I remember Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding anniversary–they had 53 years together!

50th Wedding Anniversary, 1991

And I recall that Dec 7 is Pearl Harbor Day. That reminds me of Grandpa’s service in the Navy, and how he captured that German submarine.

Eldon Graham 1923-2020

Eldon Graham, my wife’s grandfather, passed away on November 19, 2020. I would like to remember him with this blog, and few records I found about him.

The first census record where Eldon Graham appears is 1930.  Eldon was born 25 April 1923 in Girard, Kansas.  The Crawford County, Kansas census[1] shows Eldon as a six-year-old boy with his parents and a sister.  Dig how the census taker spelled Marilyn.

1930 Census Crawford County, KS

Graham Berl H head R (rented) Yes (on a farm) male, white, 35 married at age 25, no school last year, can read and write, birthplace–Missouri. Frieda A, wife, age 33, married at age 24, born in Missouri. Eldon L, son, 6, single, yes went to school last year, and yes can read and write, birthplace–Kansas. Morilwin, daughter, 2.

The 1940 census still lists the family in Crawford County.[2] 

Beryl was renting the farm he worked for $10 a month.  The record shows the family was quite well-educated.  Beryl had three years of high school, Frieda four years, Eldon–at 16–had completed four years of high school, and Marilyn–12–had completed 6th grade.  Considering their ages, and knowing they probably attended one-room schools with all grades in one group–sounds like Eldon and Marilyn excelled at studies.  Eldon was an involved student and teenager!

Pittsburg (KS) Advertiser, Thursday, June 27, 1940, p. 10.

Indeed, Eldon was quite intelligent, and mechanical.  His bachelor uncle–I bet it was George Wasem–saw great potential and paid for Eldon to go to mechanical school.  Then World War II began. There were drafts and enlistments.

Draft registration card, front and back, Fold3.com

This then led to working at Beech Aircraft building airplanes—like the AT-10GF-Wichita, built in Wichita while Eldon was there, and then to the Army Air Corps flying American AT-6s. 

The AT-10GF-Wichita[3]                                         American AT-6[4]

 After the Air Corps, Eldon returned to Beech, and must have been a dapper and most eligible bachelor.

Eldon Graham, c. 1946

1946 brought the wedding of Eldon Graham to Irene Spurgin. 

Irene Spurgin, graduation photo, 1940
Belleville (Kansas) Telescope, Thursday, June 27, 1946, p. 2.

Five songs in this wedding! “Liebestraum,”[5] “I Love You Truly,”[6] “Because,”[7] “Lohengrin’s Wedding March”[8] and “Ave Maria.”[9] (See the footnotes for links to youtube videos with each song.) The bride wore a dress of teal blue crepe accented by a corsage of pink rose buds and white accessories.  Miss Doris McDaniel, maid of honor, wore a dress of dusty rose crepe (and the rest is unreadable in this copy). 

Dinner was at Droll’s English Grill, 3120 East Central Ave, in Wichita.  See pictures of the restaurant below.

Photos of Droll’s English Grill, banquet room and soda fountain found at wichitaphotos.org.

From here on, some of you know the story because you ARE the story.  Eldon and Irene set up a home, later building a house at 321 Sunflower Lane, Andover, and raised three children–Darwin, Lynda, and Gary—expanding to grandkids and greats and even great-greats.  Many pictures by that big tree planted in the yard–maybe 60-some years ago–show a lot of love floated above the carefully planned flower gardens around the house and along the border of the property.   I’m glad my son, Paschal, got to know his great-grandpa, Eldon.

Eldon and Paschal, April 2018

[1] 1930 US Federal Census, KS, Crawford, Crawford, ED 19-4, SD 13, Sheet 10A, Family 227.

[2] 1940 US Federal Census, KS, Crawford, Crawford, ED 19-4, SD 3, Sheet 6A, Family 130.

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_AT-10_Wichita#:~:text=The%20Beechcraft%20AT%2D10%20Wichita,engined%20aircraft%20such%20as%20bombers

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_T-6_Texan.

[5] Youtube video featuring the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpOtuoHL45Y

[6] The song was recorded in 1901, again in 1945 by Bing Crosby, and featured in the end of It’s a Wonderful Life in this clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq1CxLTRwEk

[7] A later recording of the song by Perry Como. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN5QyIkbf8U

[8] The Wedding March we are most familiar with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJLQpdnvAXA

[9] A 1946 version of “Ave Maria.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXE7W4njs7Y

Women and Colonial Law: Four cases of illegitimate births in 1704, Charles County, Maryland

On March 14, 1703/4, four women were “presented” in court for the crime of bastardy.[1]  That’s the official word for bearing an illegitimate child. The year was 1704, but during this time in Maryland, the new year started in March–old style–while some started the year on January 1–new style.  To accommodate both views, until new style was firmly established, a system of double dating was used from January through March–thus, 1703/4.

Court was called to order in these words, “Att a County Court of Our Sovereigne Lady Anne by the Grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith etc~ held att Portobacco in Charles County, ye Fourteenth Day of march in the Third Years of her said Majestyes Reigne Annoqe Domini1703/4 Before// Major William Dent.” (325)

Dent was the magistrate for Maryland. 

Nine justices were seated, appointed and authorized to convene court.  They were Col. James Smallwood, Capt William Barton, Mr. William Wikinson, Mr. Joseph Manning, Mr. Philip Briscoe, Mr. Richard Harrison, Mr. Robert Yates, Capt. Henry Hardy, and Mr. William Harbart.

Along with them, 15 jurors were also seated by the High Sheriff, Capt. Thomas Smoot.  Foreman, Matthew Barnes, Ubgatt Reeves, John Theobalds, Jos. Thomas, Henry Tanner, Stephen Cawood, Jn. Booker, Oliver Burch, Wm. Penn, Matthw Compton, Gerrd Ocane, Thomas Coleman, Edw Phillpott, John Dent, and Thomas Dixon.  The men arraigned four women in court in the following words–each woman was presented separately, but the verbiage was essentially identical:

“The Jurors of Our Sovereigne Lady the Queen…upon their oaths do present:”

Mary Maggatee by Information of William Newman One of the Constables of Portobacco Parrish for having a Bastard Child.” (325)

Close-up of Liber A2, p 325.

Mary Goddert by Information of William Newman One of the Constables of Portobacco Parrish for having a Bastard Child.” (325)

Mary Pilkins by Information of William Bishop One of the Constables of Durham Parrish for having a Bastard Child.” (326)

Elizabeth Browne Servant Woman to William Barker by Information of Peter Villet constable of Benedict Leonard Hundred for having a bastard Child.” (326)

The four women were returned to court on April 4.  As the record states (again similar wording for each):

Itt was Commanded the Sheriff that he Should Cause the Said Mary Maggatee to Come before the Justices of Our Sovereign lady the Queen att the Next Court to be held here on    the fourth day of Aprill Next to answer unto the presentments aforesaid (387)

Close-up Liber A2, p 387

att which  Day here  cometh William Stone who for Our Sovereign lady the Queen Doth Prosecute~

And the Sherriff Now Returneth that he hath taken the body of the Said Mary Maggatee.               Thomas Smoot, Shf.

And now here att this Day (to witt) the Said fourth day of Aprill here cometh the said Mary Maggatee in her Propper Person and Itt being by this Court demanded of the Said Mary Maggatee how she would acquitt herself of the Trespass and Misdemeanor as by the Presentment aforesaid against her is Supposed . She humbly acknowledgeth and Confesseth the fact and Submitts herself to the Mercy of the Court and humbly Prayeth that the Corporall Punnishment due for her said Crime may be remitted and instead thereof that a fine may be accepted– Whereupon itt was by this court here demanded of the Said Mary Maggatee who was the father of her Said Bastard Child  She sd Thomas Morris is the father of her Said Bastard Child.

Therefore itt is considered that he Said Mary Maggatee be Taken to Sattisfy unto our Sovereign Lady the Queen the Summe of Twenty Shillings Sterling[2] for a fine for her Trespass and Misdemeanor aforesaid.

And Thereupon Came into Court Patrick Maggatee father of the Said Mary Maggatee and paid Eleven Shillings part of the said fine and Engaged for the Remainder.

Together with all Cost due to the Severall and Respective Officers of this Court.” (388)

Close-up of Liber A2, p 388

Mary Pilkins, likewise, petitioned the court for mercy and a fine, after naming Robert Gows as the father of her baby.  She was fined twenty shillings sterling or four hundred pounds of tobacco.  Her fine was paid by Richard Harrison, one of the justices of this court. (388-89)

Elizabeth Browne, the servant of William Barker, also confessed and asked for mercy from the court and a fine to aver the corporal punishment due the offense.  The father of her baby was not entered into the record. Her master, William Barker, paid her fine and costs. (389)

What was the “Corporall Punishment” due the offense?

Full punishment was meted out on Mary Goddart, who, after confessing, and making an oath that John Godshall was the father of her child, “itt was considered that the Sherriff take the Said Mary Goddart and Carry her to the Whipping Post and there to Stripp her Naked from the waiste upwards and give her Twelve Lashes well Laid on Upon the bare back for her Offense against Allmighty God.” (390)

Close-up of Liber A2, p 390

After her lashings, Mary Goddart was still responsible for her court costs.

Mary McAtee, daughter of Patrick and Rosamond McAtee, later married William Boswell. The gender and name of her child by Thomas Morris is unknown, as are the names of all the children of these “offenses.”


[1] Charles County MD Court Record Liber A2. https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/coagserm/cm300/cm376/000000/000022/pdf/msa_cm376_22.pdf

[2] Using the converter at the link, that would equal roughly $236 today. https://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/currency.htm

Dia de los Muertos 2020: Remembering Lost Ancestors Now Found!

After watching the movie Coco a couple of years ago, I found the idea of remembering your ancestors on Dia de los Muertos very appealing. The gist of the movie was that if everyone living had forgotten you, your spirit could not visit on the November holiday.

Theatrical release poster depicting the characters Coco, Dante the dog, Miguel, Héctor, Ernesto, and Imelda when viewing clockwise from the bottom left around the white Day of the Dead-styled guitar. The guitar has a calavera-styled headstock with a small black silhouette of Miguel, who is carrying a guitar, and Dante (a dog) at the bottom. The neck of the guitar splits the background with their village during the day on the left and at night with fireworks on the right. The film's logo is visible below the poster with the "Thanksgiving" release date.

For me, as the family genealogist, I’m sometimes the only one who does know about certain relatives or ancestors. When I fill in a missing block on the family tree, I feel like I am bringing that ancestor’s memory back to the family–and now he or she may visit on Dia delos Muertos. Here is my article from 2018. (I missed last year!)

And here are the lost, but now found, ancestors for 2020.

Georg Heinrich Beghtol

My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Beghtol–pronounced Becktol, and sometimes spelled that way. It is a family I’ve researched from the beginning of my genealogy pursuits starting about 1983. I quickly traced our family to a John Beghtol born about 1786 in Pennsylvania. A record in Breckinridge Co, Kentucky, naming John as an orphan of Henry Beghtol gave me his father’s name. Brick wall! No information on Henry’s wife or his parents. I had my great-uncle, Eldon Beghtol, do a y-DNA test and the Family Finder at FamilytreeDNA. We had matches to other Beghtols, but everyone was at that same brick wall. There was a clue, though; in the autosomal test, there were matches to the name Pectol. In 2018, a y-DNA match to Don Pectol proved that the Pectols and the Beghtols came from a common ancestor on the patrilineal branch of the tree–father’s father’s father…and so on. The Pectols were able to trace their pedigree to Frederick Pectol, whose baptismal record in Frederick County, Maryland, calls him Johann Freidrich Beghtols, son of Henrich, baptized 31 October 1746 (274 years ago today!). On 11 August 1751, Georg Heinrich Bechtoldt, son of Heinrich and Anna Barbara, was baptized at the same church. Georg Heinrich appears to be my ancestor, Henry Beghtol–Germans often go by their middle name. Henry moved to Berkeley County, Virginia, then is found on the Oaths of Fidelity in Ohio County in 1778, listed as Henry Pecktell. He is listed in Washington County tax lists–under various spellings–Payhitill, Bigdal, Boughdall, and more–until he finally appears on the list of original settlers in Losantiville, Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1789. The migration and timeline fit for my ancestor, Henry.

Welcome home, Heinrich and Anna Barbara Beghtol, you are remembered. (Maybe next year, we can put Henry’s (Georg Heinrich’s) wife on the proverbial ofrenda!

Sadly, our Y-DNA match, Don Pectol, passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. In our couple of years of correspondence, I could tell he was friendly and passionate. Don is definitely not forgotten by his loving family.

James and Elizabeth Duval

Linda Gott Douglas traced my paternal grandmother’s family–the Gotts–for years before I started doing genealogy. My correspondence with her began back in 1983 or 1984. She knew my great-grandpa, George W. Gott. We knew his parents–Robert Gott and Louisa Jane Miles. Research has connected Louisa to Benjamin Miles and Patsy Stout of Shelby County, Kentucky, and Benjamin is listed in the Revolutionary War Pension application records for John Miles and his wife, Mary Polly Duval. Brick Wall! No information on Polly’s parents could be found. There were a couple of big books about the Duval and Duvall families. There were two main families–both French–in the early colonial days. No one had our Polly.

After several DNA matches started popping up linking my father’s DNA to descendants of James and Elizabeth Duval of Culpeper County, Virginia. Culpeper County was the right place, but I had never found any records on James. I looked again, and the probate records for Culpeper County were available at Familysearch.org, viewable at a Family History Center or affiliate library. I got to Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, as soon as I could…and in the probate records, I found John Miles listed…buying a slave, Cate, from the estate. His brother, Ruben, who married Elizabeth Duval, was also listed.

Culpeper Co VA Probate Book D, p 422

This find with the DNA makes good evidence that Polly IS the daughter of James and Elizabeth Duval, and James IS in those big books on Duvals–he is the son of Daniel and Mary Thompson Duval, and the grandson of Daniel and Philadelphia Dubois Duval. Welcome back, Duvals, and welcome back “Negro” Cate–you are not forgotten either.

Benjamin Termin

Also, this year, during the COVID-19 quarantines, I worked on the Termin line of my mother’s family. John Termin was born about 1821 in York County, Pennsylvania, but his father’s name was unknown. Census records for the Termins–sometimes Tarman or Terman–were scattered and in neighboring counties. Again, DNA matches to a certain Benjamin Termin, born in 1832, appeared to show a possible brother to John. Familysearch.org had York County tax lists available online, and this led me to records listed John Termin next to an older Benjamin Termin, his likely father. Welcome back, Benjamin Termin.

Anne Biven Trainer, James Trainer, Sr. and Mary Trainer Brinton

Also, this year, I made some new discoveries on the Trainer family. I wrote about the correct maiden name of Ann Biven Trainer, the wife of James Trainer of Schuyler County, Illinois, who died about 1846 in Texas. While working on that update, I found a will that named James as a stepson to Jacob Branton, whose wife was Mary. That gave me James’ mother’s name. After publishing my report on Mary, I was connected to another researcher who had a Tennessee court record to confirm that James’ father was also named James. (You’ll see a lot of unproven information online–but I can prove James’ father was another James–who died in North Carolina in the Revolutionary War–and his mother was a Mary–maiden name unknown so far, who later married Jacob Branton or Brinton.) Welcome back, Anne, James and Mary, and step-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandpa, Jacob Brinton. We remember you this year!

Happy Halloween, Reformation Day, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, and Dia de Los Muertos!