Above: Clara Wells gravesite - Summers County
Clara Wells' home - Hinton
Clara Wells' sisters' (Virginia) gravesite.
Second Baptist Church - Hinton
Brushy Ridge Church - Greenbrier County, WV.
Resources & Tips for searching for ancestors in the southeast region of WV. Profiles on area residents to illustrate search methods.
Clara Wells' home - Hinton
Clara Wells' sisters' (Virginia) gravesite.
Second Baptist Church - Hinton
Brushy Ridge Church - Greenbrier County, WV.
In the article History of the Brushy Ridge Community (Colored) by Frank U.G. Peck he states (in part): "In the sixties, Daniel C. Boone came from North Carolina. He married Jennie Moore, one of John Moore's daughters, and lived first in South Brushy Ridge ... worked in the tan yard for Madison Nickell. He finally bought a home in North Brushy Ridge where he reared a large family" & "W.J. Boone married Lida Fortner. They lived in North Brushy Ridge for a while then moved to the coal mines where they lived for 28 years. He & his family have returned to South Brushy Ridge and are living at the Curry home" & "D.J. Boone married Della Gillbreth. In 1914 he bought a home in North Brushy Ridge where they lived for a short while" & "Alphia Boone married Bula Dickerson. They have lived here but no live down on the river".
Daniel C. Boone was born in November, 1842 in North Carolia (though one census says Tennessee). He died on 6/14/1916. He married Virginia "Jennie" Moore on 3/19/1870 in Greenbrier County. Daniel can be found on the 1870 Census, MC, Second Creek, and this is where it says he was from Tennessee but someone else could have just thought this and reported it as such. Information on censuses is often only as reliable as the reporter. He was 30 and a Tanner. Ancestry says he was a "farmer" in this year but the written census clearly reveals "tanner" and Mr. Peck indicated in his article that Daniel worked "in the tan yard". Daniel can be found on the 1880 Census, GC, Irish Corner District at 37y, he is married but his wife is not shown. He can be found on the 1900 Census at age 57, with his wife, Virginia 48 & his children: Daniel Jr. 20, Harriett 17, Jessie (James) 15, Cora 2, Alphia 10, Minerva 6, & Adrea 4. He can be found on the 1910 Census at age 68 with Virginia 56 & Josephine, 16.
The Madison Nickell who is mentioned as his employer is James Madison Nickell (1813 - 1886) who was married to Sarah Ann Nickell. He lived in Monroe County and is buried at Sinks Grove (the same MC locale where many of our Black ancestors are buried at Neff Orchard Road/Mt. Zion Baptist Church/Sinks Grove Cemetery - including my grandfather William Hubert Haynes and my great grandfather George Washington Haynes).
In the article "History of Brushy Ridge Community - Colored", by Frank U.G. Peck he states:
"We will first consider the early settlers" .. "the first Colored man to make a permanent home in South Brushy Ridge was John More (sic), Sr. He formerly belonged to Gim Nickell. After living in South Brushy Ridge awhile he bought a home in North Brushy Ridge and reared a large family. His heirs own the land yet". Here Mr. Peck is referring to James Albert "Jim" Nickell and his wife Barbara Nickell.
"his brother was Samuel" Moore ..."he was the father of Jennie Moore and the father in law of Daniel C. Boone of North Carolina". "he was the father of Harriet Moore and the father in law of Charley Johnson".
John Moore Senior was married to Susana Peck. (I believe Emily and Susana were sisters from Summers County & may have been Haynes & thus related to me). His son John C. Moore was b. on 10/6/1866 and he died at age 65 on 9/22/1932 (of bronchial pneumonia). His death certificate number is 11794 & it reveals that it was issued in Greenbrier County, Irish Corner District.
John Senior appears in the 1880 Census at age 50 with his wife Susana 42, & his children Madison 22; Cephalice (later known as "Fall"); John 13, & with Jennie Boone & his grandchildren Tobe Boone 10, Anjaline Boone 9, Lucy Boone 6, Elvira Boone 5 & Mary Boone, 3 as well as baby who is six months old and not yet named. Note that the John who is 13 above appears to be John C. Moore b 11/6/1866 & that he would marry Nannie Tiffany & he would die at age 65 on 9/22/1931 of bronchial pneumonia. DC # 11794, Greenbrier County, Irish Corner District. In the 1900 Census, John Moore Sr's wife shows up as a divorced woman, 65, with John W. 18 & Otey 16. "Fall" (Cephalice) Moore b. around 1966 (s/o John & Susan) dies on 10/16/1917 in Allegheny, Virginia of a cerebral heorrhage. The informant is Annie Moore. Certificate #26157. I need to spend more time on this entry - & I will!
The Gim Nickell that Mr. Peck speaks of is James Albert Nickell (1782 - 1848) who was married to Barbara Nickell (1789 - 1862). When Jim Nickell died in 1848 his Will was probated in Monroe County. (Wills and Probatyes 1724 - 1985). The probate court acknowledged the enslaved individuals and their value. They were Lucy $50 (since her value is so low she must have been a child), Emily $350. (I believe she is my relative); Ruth $450; Mary $500; Anthony $300; Frank $450; Sam $600 (the family called him "Big Sam" and he was a prized "driver" of horses"), John $550 (John was Sam's brother). I have a photo of "Big Sam" elsewhere in this blog. A year later in 1849 an adjustment to the Will was noted (basically an accounting issue).
It seems that James Albert Nickell ws b. around 1782 in Augusta or Monroe & died at Nickell's Mill on 12/1/1848 & that he was the child of Thomas Nickell, Sr. (1747-1807) & Jane King (1746 - 1811). The children ere Ruth (1805-1865), Isaac (1807 - 1848), Elizabeth (1809 - 1828), Sarah (1812 - 1868), James Madison (1814 - 1886), Margaret (1817 - 1838), Alex C. (1822 - 1876) & ?Pallie.
My greatgrandmother - Elizabeth Jane Payne Haynes - was a seamstress at Nickell's Mill and it is said that she made everything that the children wore except their shoes. However, Elizabeth was born around 1863. If she started working for the family when she was 13 then that would have been around 1876. Only James Madison Nickell would have been alive at this time. I wonder it it is he who was operating the Mill. At any rate, I have seen stories about this family at the Greenbrier Historical Society. I believe one story is entitled "The Darkies". I will have to try to find it when I go to Lewisburg in the Spring. In the account the family talks about Big Sam and his fantastic abilities as the driver of horses. Big Sam, though, would have been born at least around 1825 and he may not have been at Nickell's Mill when my great grandmother was in service there. A cousin of mine has had many wonderful meetings with the surviving members of the Nickells family. I have corresponded with one but have not met them in person. Maybe in the future.
At any rate, the purpose of these blurbs is to try to flesh out the people who are mentioned in Mr. Peck's article. It is abundantly clear that he wanted people to know about who lived in Brushy Ridge. I appreciate his efforts and hope that he would appreciate my efforts in this day and age of technology which has important documents at our instant disposal.
In the article History of Brushy Ridge - Colored by Frank U.G. Peck, he says "We will first consider the early settlers of Brushy Ridge, who they were and where they came from". In the beginning of the article, Peck mentions a man named Christopher Hoke who "owned a mill & a stillhouse" ... "settled about 1800 in Northwest Brushy Ridge" ... "came from Monroe County' and "owned a colored woman who became the wife of Samuel Willmer". This would have been the first wife of Samuel Wilmer as his second wife was Rachel C Scruggs.
The first three people that Peck mentions are Caucasian: Christopher Hoke, Mrs. Whanger, & Michael Rodger of Ireland. The fourth person that he mentions is a Black man named John More, Sr. (see above). There are plenty of WHANGERS in Greenbrier but most are showing up in Fort Spring or White Sulphur Springs. Without a first name it would be hard to ascertain who is "Mrs. Whanger".
There were two/three men named Christopher Columbus Hoke (Senior & Junior & III). They were Caucasian. I believe that Peck is speaking about the Senior b/c he says he "settled about 1800". . Christopher Columbus Hoke, Senior appears on the 1850 Census in Monroe County (and this is exactly where most of our families came from - especially Second Creek). He was 70 & his wife was 68 (so he would have been about 20 when he moved to Brushy Ridge. He was a Miller - grain/mill products. His kids are farming and milling. I do not have the "Enslaved Schedule for 1850". Christopher Columbus Hoke, JUNIOR who was b. in 1835 and who shows up in the 1860 Census is a 34yo married to Malinda Jane Humphries. They married in 1845.. He is a "Sawyer" (could be misconstrued as Lawyer - & he may well have been). He lived next to a John G. & Emily Hughs. Hughs is a rare name in the area and my great (many times) aunt was Eliza Hughs. My genealogist (now deceased) reported to me many years ago that she had not found any Hughs at all (but I believe she only looked in Greenbrier). At any rate one of the Christophers served in the Civil War in the 108th Militia Infantry on the side of the Confederacy. Junior would have been around 40, whereas his dad would have been around 75-80 (so unlikely to have been a soldier, so I think that it is Junior who was the Civil War Confederate soldier). Later in life, Junior appears to have moved over to Bolling Spring in Allegheney, Virginia.
I have a CCH b. 1857 in GC who died 8/8/1950 in White Sulphur Springs. Maybe he is a CCH III. Husband of Barbara.
I don't wish to spend too much time on these Christophers but I would like to ascertain the identity of the woman that was enslave by the family. I would think the woman would have been enslaved by the Senior. Perhaps there is a WILL at the Greenbrier County courthouse. I gave all of my books to the Greenbrier Historical Society or I would be able to look it up.
Michael Rodger came from Ireland and he was the father of Ely and Daniel. They lived in South Brushy Ridge. The only Michael Rodger that I could find was born in Virginia and he married a Sarah Jane Moorhead in Greenbrier County on 10/6/1849. He is on the 1850 Census in GC at age 26, with Sarah, 19. He is enumerated next to a John & Elizabeth Rodgers who had a child named Sarah (possibly named after the aunt). This Michael seems to have left GC to go to Iowa to work as an agricultural worker around 1860 as he appears in that census. He then goes to Texas where he dies on 2/20/1883 and he is buried in Eastland, Tx. However, the daughter of Michael & Sarah dies in Iowa. #36687. She had broken a leg and then died of pneumonia. This d/n appear to be the family that Mr. Peck is mentioning but it is the only family of this name that I could find.
Finally, the first Black man, John More (sic) settles in Brushy Ridge and I will talk about him in the next entry.
In the article "History of Brushy Ridge Colored" by Frank U.G. Peck he says "We will first consider the early settlers of Brushy Ridge, who they were & where they came from". Peck mentions a man named Christopher Hoke who "owned a colored woman who became the wife of Samuel Wilmer". (Note: I do not yet know the identity of this first wife). He goes on to say that Samuel Wilmer's second wife was Rachel Scruggs & that she was from Alderson. (Peck uses two LL's in the name Willmer). Peck then says that "G.W. Moore who owned a home and formerly lived in South Brushy Ridge is now married to Samuel Wilmer's widow". Here he is referring to the fact that George Washington "Wash" Moore had married Rachel Scruggs. Samuel Willmer (1825 - 1903) married Rachel Scruggs (1863 - ) on 4/28/1881. He was almost forty years her senior. Rachel married George Washington "Wash" Moore (1859-9/25/1942) on 12/24/1903, the same year in which her first husband, Samuel, had died.
Mr. Peck mentions a "Scruggs" - most likely male - who is part of the "transit (sic) population of Brushy Ridge". I think he meant "transient". Peck also mentions that "Oscar Wilmer married Mazie Haynes" & that "they live at J.D. Haynes". This then, is where I make a connection - in family terms - to Rachel C. Scruggs as J.D. Haynes is James Daniel Haynes who was the younger half brother of my great grandmother Elizabeth Jane Payne Haynes Lewis (the s/o Solomon "Saul" Haynes & Martha Jane Payne Haynes Jones).
There is quite a lot of information to be found on Rachel C. Scruggs in Ancestry.com. Note though that her daughter was also Rachel C. Scruggs (a twin of Raymond who was married to a Patterson) and they must be distinguished. Also note that the name Bunderant pops up occasionally as it relates to Rachel. This is probably b/c her stepfather's name Bundy is a corruption of Bunderant. There ARE Caucasian Bunderant's in WV but I have not found any in Greenbrier County.
Rachel (married to Wilmer & Moore): Born 1863 in Summers County. 1870 Census - WV, Greenbrier County (GC), Blue Sulphur Springs (BSS) at 10y with her mother Harriet 34 & her stepfather, Charles Bundy, 49, farm hand & her brothers Matthew A. 14, & Charles H. 6. Note that all of the children are listed with the surname Bundy though Rachel & Matthew were Scruggs. 1880 Census - GC, BSS, with her stepfather, Anderson Bundy 52 & her mother Harriet Bundy 45 (so her stepfather was "Charles Anderson Bundy) & her brother Andrew J. Scruggs, 25 & she is 17, & her half siblings Charles 12, Lewis 10, Sarah E. & William 5. Note that in the 1880 Census there is a Caucasian Scruggs family that is listed on the same page - so probably about four to six properties away from their property. Rachel appears as Caucasian in some documents though she was undoubtably living her life as a Black female, & probably was just observed as some reporters to be a Caucasian woman. There is no 1890 Census for WV. Rachel's son Oscar Samuel Wilmer was born in 1891. 1910 Census at 47, keeping house with her husband, George W. 51 who is a laborer in a flour mill. They have had a child, Virginia C., 5. & with them is listed all of Rachel's "Wilmer children": Mary W. 17, cook in a private home; Sidney L. a girl, 24, housekeeper in a private home, Julie A. 22, a laundress who works outside of the home, Samual O. (Oscar) 20 who is a farm laborer on the home farm, Luvenia 17., Charles 14, the twins Raymond 11, & Rachel 11 & Mattie, 6. 1920 Census she is listed with her husband, Wash Moore, 62, she is 57, (& all of the children are listed as Moore's even though some are stepchildren: Osker, 30 (this is Oscar Samuel Wilmer), Luvenia A. 26, the twins Raymond 21, Rachel 21 & also Martha C. 16, Virginia C. 14, & Mary W. 37. 1930 Census at age 66 with her husband George W. Moore 71 & her daughter Rachel Wilmer 30 who is a school teacher & her son Raymond 30, who is a laborer (again twins) & with Martha W. Miller, 26 (George's first wife was named Martha & she appears to have died shortly before he married Rachel b/c she is in the 1900 Census as his wife - , b. 1863 in Virginia. (check this)). So maybe this Martha W. Miller was his daughter with his first wife. 1940 Census, GC ICD at 78 with her husband, Washington G. Moore 81 & her son in law - George W. Patterson 37 & her daughter Rachel 38. George Washington "Wash" Moore died on /25/1942 in Lincoln & is buried at Hoke's Mill.
It should be noted that George Washington "Wash" Moore was the son of Samuel Nickell Moore "Big Sam" & Emily. This compiler believes that Emily was a Haynes from Summers County but I have no documented proof of this and rather only "conversation". This compiler's greatgrandmother (Haynes) was a seamstress at the same location (Nickell's Mill) as Big Sam (wagon driver) and Emily.
Rachel C. Scruggs Moore died on 12/12/1956.
So -- what happened to all of Rachel's children who appeared in the 1910 Census?
(1) Virginia C., who was 5y in 1919; (2) Mary W. Wilmer who was 27y in 1910; (3) Sidney L, who was 24y in 1910 married James E.Steele (see Hx of Brushy Ridge), (4) Julie A. who was 22 in 1910 - I haven't been able to find anything on her, (5) Samuel Oscar, who was 20y in 1910 - see above info on him; (6) Luvenia who was 17y in 1910, was b. 3/101893 in GC & she died on 7/10/1939 in GC at age 46. She was the d/o Samuel Wilmer & Rachel, she was a beautician, & someone on ancestry has a family page for her. (7) Charles who was 14y in 1910, (8&9) the twins Raymond & Rachel who were ll in 1910; Raymond Garfield Wilmer was born on 11/9/1898 & he died on 2/8/1967 in Ronceverte. He was married to Luiclle Marietta Boone who he married in 1934 & had a son named Raymond Garfield Wilmer, Jr. who married Sandra Yvette Lee on 10/16/1967 in Lewisburg. Raymond Sr. filled out a WW1 Draft Registration Card when he was 19yo, (so around 1918) & he listed his middle name as GARFIELD. He said he was b. 11/9/1899, that he was a farmer, that his mother was Rachel Moore & she lived on Route? 4, Number 1 in Ronceverte, he registered on 9/12 but there is no year shown. He was medium height, with grey eyes & black hair. Raymond Sr. filled out a WW2 Draft Registration Card & indicated that he lived in Ronceverte, (check to see if he said his middle name was Garfield or Garwood) was 43y, b. 11/7/1898, his employer was Roy Simms of Ronceverte, he was 5'10", 164 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, dark brown complexion. Raymond G., Sr. is listed on the 1940 Census, at 38, wth his wife Lucille M., 25, & his granddaughter Laverne E. who is 5. He is a stonemason in a quarry. He is listed right under George Wash Moore & Rachel as well as his twin sister Rachel & her husband George Patterson. They are also listed close to James Daniel Haynes (my uncle) but he is listed with an Annie J. as opposed to Loma Max Moore; Rachel C. was b. on 11/9/1898 & she died in 1986. She was buried at Trails End in Clintonville. She was married to George W. Patterson; & (11) Martha C. / Mattie 6y.
Note that I just started working on this analysis a couple of hours ago and that it will be (substantially) edited, and information will be further corroborated and verified. However, I wanted to get some skeletal info down as I had an inquiry from someone in this family over the holidays. I seem to connect to Rachel C. Scruggs indirectly in a number of ways. I think her middle name was Constance or that her daughter's middle name was Constance. This also has to be verified with documentation.
I am writing this piece today, two days after my father's sister Edna has died at age 99. I am not yet ready to memorialize Aunt Edna. I will gather my thoughts and pictures and will do that soon.
I have, however, learned more about her great grandmother (my great great grandmother), Martha Jane Payne Haynes. This information was gleaned from conversations and inquiries with a person at the Fluvanna Historical Society. I have only bits and pieces but the information seems competent and matches a census that I have seen. I plan to go to Palmyra in the Spring (hoping Covid will not restrict my travels) and I hope to find out more about Martha and her first "husband" Burton Payne.
The story appears to be that Burton Payne was the son of a male who possibly owned his mother. Though Burton was of mixed race he was enslaved. During slavery he had a "marriage" to Martha. Two children were born to Martha though it is not clear if the first child, Socrates was his child. The second child was Albert who was clearly his child via oral history. It seems that Martha and the boys were sold to a 22 year old schoolteacher named Elizabeth (Stone or Smith - I have the census somewhere - she appears in the 1870 census in Lewisburg, WV along with her mother). They were transferred to Ms. S when Burton was away from the property.
On July 4, 1865, Martha married Solomon "Saul" Haynes. She had a number of children before this marriage including my ggrandmother, Elizabeth. I feel that Saul was too young to have been my ggrandmother's father. All in all, Martha had about 7 children. Martha and Saul went back to the Palmyra area after emancipation and can be found there on the 1880 census (working tobacco) - again I will have to verify this information. However, Solomon is clearly Saul Haynes on the census and should be easy to find with his wife Martha. The boys (young and older) are all living in one property, and Elizabeth is living with a neighbor. Charlotte cannot be found after a certain period of time and she may have died young. Burton's second wife was also named Martha.
I am writing all of this from memory and will go back and edit it and provide more info. I believe that the second family of Burton Payne (and his second wife Martha) has done significant research on him but I have not yet seen this information. I am not sure if they have a blog or if they publish their information in any form.