FIRST SETTLERS OF WEST VIRGINIA.
[Some history of early settlements and land grants in West Virginia by W. S. Laidly, Esq., who has devoted much study to the subject. A long list of names is given, perhaps most of the settlers of the time.
It is rare that so many names of the early settlers of any region can be gotten at this day. Their descendants, who were legion, overflowed to the Ohio and Kanawha Valleys, and went to help build up several Western States, especially Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.]
There has been some discussion on this subject through the publications of the West Virginia Historical Society and there may be more. It is not now our purpose to continue here this discussion, but to speak by the records of those that were among the earliest, if not the first settlers.
Spottsylvania county was formed in 1720. Orange in 1734; Frederick was established by law in 1738. but was not organized until 1743. Berkeley county was founded in 1772, and Jefferson in 1801.
Hampshire and Hardy were included in Frederick county. It is known that in 1732, that Jost Hite with sixteen families went into the Shenandoah Valley and from that date there has been a record kept and the settlement reaches back to that date, beyond question with the further question, of whether there was others there before that date, unsettled.
The first patent or grant of land west of the Blue Ridge was made to Jost Hite. 20 Aug. 1734., – see Grant Book No. 15, page 276. In this grant, it is said, that it is designed to be included in a county to be called Orange, being part of the forty thousand acres purchased by the said Jost Hire from Isaac and John Van Meter, who had obtained orders of our said Lieutenant-Governor, in Conn cil, to take up the same, upon certain conditions therein expressed, which orders were made June 17, 1730. The grant to Hite was for one thousand and twenty acres (1020).
Then follows a large number of other grants to others, “designed to be included in a county to be called the county of Orange, being part of the forty thousand acres purchased by Jost Hite from Isaac and John Van Meter, who had obtained orders from our said Lieutenant-Governor, in council, to take up the same upon certain conditions therein expressed, which orders were made the seventeenth day of June, 1730.”
Theassignmentof the said “orders” was made to Hite and Hite had the surveys made, and the surveyor was Col. James Wood, afterwards Clerk of the Court of Frederick, and these survey were assigned by Hite to those who purchased of him, and the grants were issued directly to the said purchasers, with the above clause therein, which designates the same as purchasers of Hite, of the 40,000 acres, he obtained from Van Meter
Grant to John Smith, 420 acres on Turkey Spring of Opeckon creek, dated 21 Aug., 1734;
grant to Rus Smith, 150 acres, 21 Aug., 1734;
grant to Henry Willis, 2030 acres, on Stony Lick and dated Aug. 21, 1734;
grant to Thomas Shepherd, 220 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
grant to Samuel Taylor, 200 acres, on South side of the Cohongolulu, dated 3 Oct, 1734;
to Thomas Johnson, 150 acres, on Turkey Spring of Opeckon, dated Oct. 3, 1734;
to William Jasper, 62 acres. on Opeckon Run. dated Oct. 3. 1734;
to Neil Thompson, 139 acres, dated 3 Oct., 1734;
to Isaac Pennington, 500 acres. dated 3 Oct., 1734;
to Richard Pendall, 300 acres, dated Oct. 3, 1734;
to Stephen Hoilingsworth, 472 acres, dated Oct. 3, 1734;
to John Welton, 442 acres. Oct. 3, 1734;
to Israel Frond, 300 acres. Oct. 3, 1734;
to Robert McKay, jr., 828 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Peter Woolf, 600 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Samuel Morris, 378 acres, dated Oct. 3, 1734;
to David Perkins. 519 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to William Jay 100 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Richard Morgan, 210 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Richard Morgan, 290 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Thos. Johnson. 298 acres. Oct. 3. 1734;
to John Van Meter, 885 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to George Williams, 489 acres, Oct. 3. 1734;
to Daniel Burnett. 490 acres, Oct. 3. 1734.;
to Josiah Jones, 164 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Benjamin Harden, l142 acre, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Thos. Branson, 1370 acres, Oct. 3, 1754;
to William Vestal, 285 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Morgan Bryant, f250 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Paul Williams. 270 acres, Oct. 3, [734;
to Abraham Pennington, 600 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Isaac Garrison, 1000 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Robert Slaughter, 536 acres. in Spottsylvania;
to Peter Stephen, 600 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Geo. Bowman, 100 acres. Oct. 3, 1734;
to Richard Paulson, 834 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Robert Worthington, 3000 acres, Oct. 3, 1734;
to Morgan Morgan, 1000 acres, on the _____ branch of the Opeckon between the lands of John Mills and ____ Hobzson, dated 12 November, 1735;
to Alexander Ross, 2373 acres, 12 Nov. 1735.
The following is a list of grantees of lands conveyed by Jost Mite and recorded in Orange county, before the county of Frederick was organized:
On March 24, 1730, there were deeds recorded to Stephen Hunsonbeller, Christian Nisoranger, Thos. Wilson, Jno. Van Meter, Thos. Chester, Lewis Staffy, Robt. Dorarie, Geo. Harris. On Oct. 27, l737 deed to Jno. Leamen. On April 27, 1738, dated to James Wood, and to William Williams, Jacob Neswanger, Lewis Stephens. In Feb., 1739, to Hendery Hunt, Christian Blank. In May, 1740, to Peter Writtenhouse, Jacob Christman, John Hite, William Reed, Jno. McCormick, Samuel Walker, Chas. McDowell and James Beans in 1741. In 1742, Robert Allen, Jno. Harron, Geo. Hite, David Vance, Jas. Hoge, Abraham Wiseman, James Vance, Peter Make, Jacob Hite, John Peuter, Thos. Bronson, Samuel Glass, David Logan, Fred Forman, Nath Thomas: To Emanuel Grubb in 1743, and John Grubb, Thos. Ashby, Wm. Brock, Robt. McKay, and Abraham Hite in 1744.
We have endeavored to not repeat the names either on the grants or on the deeds. It will be noticed that there were deeds recorded in Orange in 1743 and 1744, and Fredrick Co. was organ’ozen in 1743, where it would be supposed that deeds would be recorded after that dare.
In 1748, Thomas, Lord Fairfax sent George Washington to Frederick county to survey lands for him, which surveys were made and a record kept thereof.
A most remarkable thing, for a boy only sixteen year old to be a competent surveyor, but more remarkable that he would go away out in a new country, infested with Indians, with few of the conveniences of civilization, where he was not known.
He made surveys in 1748 and 1750, and the following are those for whom he made such survevs, viz:
Jno. Anderson, Jona Arnold, Capt. Thos. Ashby, Henry Ashby, Robt. Ashby, W. M. Baker, W. M. Blackburn, Capt. Marques Calmes, Maj. Andrew Campbell, Jacob, Peter and Samuel Camperlin, F. Carney, Thos. Carney, Richard Career, John Collins, Thos. Colston, Jno. Cozen, Wm. Crawford, Col. Thos. Cresop, Ralph Croft, N. Daughily, Wm. Davis, I. Foster, Robr. Fox, James Green, George Joseph, Richard and Thomas Hampton, Henry Harris, Joshua Haynes, Col. Hedges, Hy Hendricks, Geo. Horner, Jo. Howt, Samuel Isaacs, Jno. Johnson, Abraham Johnson, Capt. Geo. Johnston, Thos. Johnston, Wm. Johnston, Thos. Jones, Isabella Jeomp, Jno. Keeth, T. Keys, Samuel Kinsman, Jas. Kinsman, John Lindsay, Thos. Lofton, Thos. Lofton Jr., Timothy McCarty, Th. McClanahan, Dr. Jas. McCormick, Darby McKean, Daniel McKledoff, John Maddin, P. Mathews, Jno. Miller, Ed. Musgrove, Jno. and Ed. Musgrove, Geo. Neavil, Isaac Pennington, Andrew Pitts, Chas. Polk, Hugh Rankon, P. Rice, Thos. Rutherford, Reuben Rutherford, James Rutledge, Steplien Sebastian, John Sheely, Walter Sherley, Geo. Smith, Hannah Southard, Stephen Southard, Richard Stephenson, Robt. Taylor, Lewis Thomas, Nathaniel Thomas, Owen Thomas, John Orton, A. Vance, J. Vance, Hy. Van Meter John Vestal, Wm. Vestal, Samuel Walker, Lawrence Washington, Wm. Wiggons, Jno. Woods, Robt. Worthington.
From Norris His. of Lower Valley, while he does not admit they are the first settlers, yet the full names he is able to give, or does give, are as follows:
Yost Hite, John Hite, Jacob Hite, Isaac Hite, Abraham Hite and there was also Joseph Hite, Geo. Bowman, Jacob Chrisman, Paul Froman, Lewis Stephens and Robt. McKay. There were others that then in 1732 that came, but their names are not known.
In 1734 there are mentioned, Robt. Harper, Thos. Shepherd, Richard Morgan, Wm. Strope, Israel Fiend, Thos. and William Forrester, Thos. and Van Swearingen, Ed Lucas, James Foreman, Robt. Stockton, Robt. Buckles, John and Samuel Taylor, Jno. Wright.
In 1738 the Varices, Glasses, Floges, Wilsons, Frys, Allens, Johnstons and others, came and settled about the Opequon Presbyterian church, above Winchester. There was another settlement of Quakers in another vicinity, viz: the Perkinses, Luptons, Walkers, Beesons, Barretts, Neets, Dillons, Fawcetts and others.
This, perhaps, will be sufficient to show that after 1732, this part of the country settled up very rapidly, and the above brings us down to about 1750.
In 1754, Washington was sent with Col. Fry to the west of the Aiieghenies with a small army. On July 3, 1754, he encountered the French and was willing to surrender, and get away alive, and leave the French in possession of Fort Necessity, which he had constructed.
Washington made a list of the names that were entitled to pay, for services in the campaign, viz: Col. Joseph Fry, Col. Adam Stephen, Col. Geo. Muse, Col. Geo. Mercer, Capt. Robt. Stebo. Capt. Jacob Vantraam. Col. Andrew Lewis. Capt. Peter Hogg, Mr. Andrew Waggoner, Jno. West, Lt. John Savage. William Poison, Capt. Wm. Bronaugh, Dr. James Craik, James Towers, William Wright. Capt. Thomas Bullitt, Robt. Langdon, Robt. Tunstall, Richard Trotter, John David Wilpper, Wm. Johnston, Hugh McRoy, Richard Smith, Angus McDonald, Nathan Chapman, Joseph Gatewood. James Samuels. Michael Seaily, Edw. Goodwin. William Daily, Henry Daily, Wm. Copland, Math. Doran. Jno. Ramsey. Chas. James, Math. Cox, Marshall Pratr, John Wilson, Wm. Johnston,. John Wilson. Xath. Barrett. David Gorman, Patrick Galoway. Timothy Conway, Chris. Bomgardner. John Maid, John Huston, James Ford. Wm. Broughton, Wm. Carnes, Edw. Evans, Thos. Moss. Math. E. Jones. Phil. Gatewood. Hugh Paul, Daniel Staples, Wm. Lowry. James Ludlow. James Lafort, James Gwynn, Joshua Jordan, Wm. Jenkins. Jas. Cammack, Richard Morris, John Golson, Robert Jones. Wm. Hogan, John Franklin, John Bishop, Geo. Malcomb, Wm. Coleman. Richard Bolton, John Smith, George House, John Cincaid, And. Fowler, Thos. Napp, Arthur Watts, Jesse May, Francis Self. Robe. Stewart, Robt. Murphy, Alex. Borrey, Wm. Horne. Wm. McAulty.
It is not pretended that these are all the men that were with Washington, at Fort Necessity, in 1754, for we know of others that were there, who are not mentioned. Some that were recommended by Washington for promotion.
The next list of importance that we have, is the list of voters in Frederick county. Washington was in this county after the defeat of Braddock in 1755 constructing Fort London, in Winchester, and remained there for some time. He was a candidate for the House of Burgesses, in this county three times, in the years 1757, 1758 and 1761. In the year 1757, the vote stood:
For West, 271.
For Swearengin. 270.
For Washington, 40.
In the year 1758, the vote was.
For Washington. 310.
For Martin, 240.
For West, 149.
For Swearingin, 45.
In the year 1761 the vote was as follows:
For Washington. 505.
For Mercer, 399.
For Stephens, 294.
We have a list of the voters for the year 1758. Each voter had a right to vote for two men, and those two that received the largest vote, were elected. It is said that in 1757, when Washington was defeated that he took no trouble or expense to obtain votes, but stood on his dignity, relying on his merit, and that he was not elected, but in the subsequent years, he added to his merit, the accustomed habit of “treating” and that his receipt for a full barrel of whiskey is extant. The list of voters, contained 443 names, and of course, at that time, they were all freeholders. Some voted for two of the candidates, but many were satisfied with voting but for one. The first 310 names are those that voted for Washington.
The vote of Frederick county, Virginia, taken July 24, 1758. These voting were:
Robert Ashby, Thos. Ashby,
Robt. Allen, John Ashby, Stephen Ashby, Rev. John Alderson, John Allan, John Arnold, James Burn, Dennis Bon, Christopher Beilee, Andrew Blackburn, James Ballenqu, Jacob Barnes, Jno. Bombgardner, Sam’l Blackburn, Thos. Bobb, Charles Baker, Sam’l Beam, Reynold Baldwin, Ric’d Barbee, John Blair, Jacob Bowman, Geo. Bower, Henry Bibor, Marlen Black, Philip Bobb, James Burns, William Baldwin, Joseph Burdon, James Blair, Henry Brinker, Chas. Barnes, James Barrett, Jno. Briscoe, Thos. Bobb, (son of Phil,)
Geo. Bruce, Henry Bowen, Thos. Bobb, Jr., Peter Bobb, Joseph Bobb, Bryan Bruin, John Buckley, Jacob Barrett, Joshua Baker, Col. John Carlyle, Doctor James Waik, Wm. Cochran, And’w Calvin, Marlen Cryler, Simon Carson, Christian Clark, David Chester, Jacob Gochener, Thos. Chester, John Cook, Henry Cloud, Nath’l Carr, Mathew Coleman, Edward Corder, Wm. Cramley, Robt. Cunningham, John Cromley, Joseph Calvin, Jacob Cowper, Thos. Carney, Wm. Cox, Valentine Crawford, John Colston, Thos. Cooper, Jno. Chinowith, Wm. Doil, Jas. Catrer, Jr., Edw. Cartmell, Wm. Carrell, James Catlet, Fred’k Conrad, Nath’l Cartmell, Joseph Combs, Wm. Chambers, Chas. Dick, John Dyer, Edward Dodd, David Dedrick, Thos. Doster, Jno. Don, Patrick Duncan, Isaac Evans, Wm. Evans, Joseph Edwards. Jr., Wm. Ewings, Thomas Lord Fairfax, Paul Froman, Rich’d Foley, Abraham Fry, Jacob Fry, Joseph Fry, Bern. Fry, Henry Funk, Martin Funk, Joseph Fossett, Samuel Fry, Joseph Funk, John Funkhauser, Rich’d Fossett, Wm. Frost, Mathias Funk, Geo. Farrar, Isaac Foster, Col. Geo. Wm. Fairfax, John Fossett, Capt. John Funk, John Glenn, David Glass, James Grinnan, Wm. Glorer, Win. Gaddis, Jos. Glass, Robert Glass, John Grinnan, Christ’r Grable, Philip Glass, Adam Blunter, Noah Hampton, John Harbinger, Rev. John Hoge, Geo. Hardin, John Honsman, James Hoge, Jr., Henry Heth, Geo. Henry, Nich’s Hanshaw, Thos. Hart, Robert Harper, Geo. Huddle, Muette Haudly, John Harrom, John Hope, Jacob Hite, Col. John Hite, Isaac Hite, Peter Jordan, Aaron Jenkins, Daniel Johnston, Robt. Johnston, Gent., Stephen Johnston, Joseph Jones, John Jones, Wm. Jaliefre, Jr., Gabriel Jones, Gent., Geo. Keller, James Knight, Fielding Lewis, Esq., Thos. Lemon, Joseph Lupton, Wm. Lupto’n, Edward Lucas, Samuel Littlu, James Loyd, And’w Longaai, Joseph Langdom, Geo. Mich. Lonenger, Francis Liiburn, Geo. Lochmillei, Isaac Laren, Robt. Lemon, Rev. Wm. Meldram, Win. McGee, David Miller, Robt. Marney, Jos. McDonnell, David Morgan, Wm. McMahan, Rich’d McMahan, John Milburn, James McGill, Robert McCoy, Jacob Morgan, Langhlen Madihn, Jos. McCormick, John Maddin, James McCormick, John McCormick, Henry Moore, Gent., Robt. Milburn, Darby McCarty, W. M. Monger, Wni. Miller, Thos. Mason, Darby Murphy, Pat. McDaniel, Lewis Moore, Geo. Nevil, Sam’l Odle, Isaac Perkins, N’ich’s Urinceller, Michael Poker, Win. Patterson, Geo. Paul, Chas. Perkins, Lawrence Pence, Wm. Pickering, Jesse Pugh, Thos. Postdate, Josiah Pembertcn, Joseph Parrell, Jno. Parrell, Peter Perry, Philip Poker, Thos. Perry, Azariah Pugh, Jonathan Perkins, Win. Russell, Jno. Road, Capt. Robt. Rutherford, Thos. Reeee, Jacob Reece, Henry Rinker, Geo. Ross, Patrick Rice, Edward Rice, Geo. Rice, Wra. Reynolds, Isaac Reddell, Henrv Reece, Wm. Roberts, W’m. Roberts. Jr., Jno. Reed, Ulrich Rubble, Cornelius Ruddell, Lt. Charles Smith, John Smith, Peter Stephens, Jno. Snap, Jno. Snap, Jr., Daniel Storer, Henry Stpheny, Jacob Stricklen, Benj. Stricklen, David Snodgrass, Jno. Snodgrass, Sam’l Smalsoliu, Xich’s Schracks, Ulrich Stoner, Robt. Stewart, Jacob Sowers, John Seamen, Jno. Strickly, Jno. Serrall, Jacob Sebert, Joseph Strickler, David Shepperd, Jno. Small, Thos. Shepperd, Lewis Stephens, Jacob Stover, Dennis Springer, Rich’d Stephenson, Edw. Snickey, Law. Snap, Robt. Stewart, Daniel Stephens, John Wilkinson, Robt. Wathington, Ralp Withers, Jno. Wilson, Jno. Wright, Wm. White, John Voting, John Anderson, Josiah Ballenger, Robt. Buckles, Thos. Cordooy, Geo. Hampton, Simeon Hyatt, Jos. Horner, Jonas Pledge, John House, Sam’l Isaacs, John Keywood, James Lindsay, Thos. London, Edmund Lindsay, John Mengenliall, Morgan Morgan, Jr., Jacob Moon, Samuel Pearson, Job Pugh, Geo. Pemberton, Thos. Sheake, John Stroud, Joseph Thompson, Evans Thomas, Samuel Taylor, Anthony Turner, Anthony Turner, Jr., Edw. Thomas, Owen Thomas, John Taylor, Magnus Tate., John Vestal, Jacob Van Metre, Henry Wan Metre, Col. James Wood, Alex. Woodrow, Gent., Jas. Wright, Joseph Wilkinson, John Stroud, Alex. Vance, John Van Meter, Abram Van Meter, William Wilson, John Armstrong, Tobras Benk, John Bentiey, John Burden, Geo. Bowman, Samuel Baldwin, Benj. Blackburn, John Becket, John Baylis, Chas. Buck, Jas. Sarter, Wm. Chaplin, Thos. Catron, Thos. Caisson, James Cromley, Wm. Calmes, Wm. Duckworth, Henry Easton, Thos. Ellis, John Eire, Martin Punk, Edw. Griffith, Jacob Gibson, Stpehen Hotzenbell, Robt. Halfpenny, Godfrey Humbert, Thos. Hampton, Robt. Haines, James Ploge, Thos. Helms, Wm. Helms, order of Congress to be kept wherever they sit, and the other by Richard Hyland. John Lemon, Nich. Lemon. John Leith. Henry Loyd, John Lindsay, Robert McCoy. Richard Mercer, Mayberry daddin. Col. Win. Morgan, Richard Morgan, Jacob Miller, Edw. Mercer, Jr.. Jno. Nisoranger, Alex. Ogieby, John Painter, Robert Pearis, Thomas Pugh, Samuel Pritchard, Joseph Roberts. Edw. Rogers, Geo. Strode, Lawrence Stephens, Thos. Sharp, Jere Smith, Peter Stover, Wm. Stephenson, Geo. Stein. Jno. Thomas, Ellis Thomas, Harrison Taylor, Zebulon Tharpe, Simon Taylor, James Vance, Samuel Vance, And. Vance, John Vance, John F. Vanfagaoi David Vance, Joseph Vance, Wm. Vance, Peter Woolf, Isaac White, Geo. Whitzel, Robert Wilson, Geo. Wright, Jacob Wright. David Wright. Chris. Wendall, James Wilson, Robert Wilson, Jr., Thos. Wilson. Val. Wendall, Thos. Waters, Wm. Wilson, Robert Worth.