Hometown Tuesday ~ Charlestown, West Virginia

In 1780 Charles Washington, George Washington’s youngest brother, left his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and moved to the Lower Shenandoah Valley. Charles had inherited land in what was then Berkeley County, Virginia, from his older half-brother Lawrence. Upon arrival he began construction of his home, Happy Retreat, located on a rise overlooking Evitts Marsh. This area is surrounded by the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In 1786 Charles petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for permission to incorporate a town. The petition was granted and Charlestown, Virginia was founded. In addition to naming the corporation for himself, Charles memorialized the Washington family by the naming of the town’s streets. The main street, running east to west is named Washington Street. Cross streets are named for family members with the Town Square named in honor of his brother George, the streets to the east named for his brother Samuel and wife Mildred, and the streets to the west named for himself and his brother Lawrence. In a show of patriotism the streets parallel to Washington are named Congress and Liberty.
At the time of Charles’ death in September 1799, Charlestown was still located in Berkeley County. In his will, Charles indicated that Berkeley County should be divided and Charlestown named the county seat of a new county. He desired that the town lots on the Town Square, formed by George and Washington Streets, be used for public buildings.
Jefferson County was formed from Berkeley in 1801 and Charlestown became the new county seat. As the executor of his father’s estate, Samuel Washington acceded to his father’s wishes and deeded the Town Square to be used for public buildings.

In 1803 the Jefferson County Courthouse became the first public building to occupy the Town Square. This smaller brick structure was replaced by a larger courthouse in 1836. The 1836 courthouse was the setting for the trials of abolitionist John Brown and six of his followers. In October 1863, during the Civil War, the courthouse was heavily damaged by artillery fire rendering it unusable.
The Jefferson County jail was the second public building to occupy the Town Square. Completed in 1806, perhaps its most famous occupants were abolitionist John Brown and six of his raiders. The seven men were housed in the Jefferson County jail from the time of their capture in October 1859 until they were executed.

My 6th Great Grandfather John Strother, was born on November 18, 1782, in Charlestown, Virginia. He fought in the War of 1812 as a private in Captain Jesse Naples regiment of the Virginia Militia. On November 1, 1814, he married Elizabeth Hunter Pendleton. They had 8 children with 5 dying in childhood. John was a farmer. He died in Charlestown on January 16, 1852, at the age of 79.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday’s Salute ~ Robert Richey ~ War of 1812

war of 1812Robert Richey, my maternal 4th great-grandfather, was born in 1790, in Barren County, Kentucky. He is one of my many brick walls, so I don’t know who his parents are at this time. At the age of 10 in 1800, he was residing in Bourbon County, Kentucky. We find him back in Barren County in 1809, where we find he has married Sarah “Sally” Warder (1792-1850) on October 19th. They had 5 children, 3 sons, and 2 daughters. At the age of 20, Robert enlisted in the Light Artillery Division.

The War of 1812 was an armed conflict between the United States and the British Empire. The British restricted the American trade since they feared it was harmful to their war with France. They also wanted to set up an Indian state in the Midwest in order to maintain their influence in the region, which is why 10,000 Native Americans fought on the side of the British. Since Canada was a British colony back then, Canadians were also British allies. The Americans objected to the British Empire restricting their trade and snatching their sailors to serve on British ships. They were also eager to prove their independence from the British Empire once and for all.

Robert was annexed to Captain Gates unit on January 14, 1812, and Robert Richey war of 1812continued there until he was ordered to Washington on March 6, 1813. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on September 20, 1813, and he was attached to Captain Freeman’s Company. He received orders to go to Fort Washington on April 24, 1814. I know that the fort was destroyed and most of the men were killed. I don’t know what happened to cause the following: Robert was tried by the military at Fort Constitution in January 1815, for Disobedience of Orders. He was promptly dismissed from service.

Robert returned home to Barren County, Kentucky. He bought several acres of land and began farming tobacco. In 1827, Robert moved his family to Lafayette County, Missouri. He died there in 1831 at the age of 41.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ Thomas Allen ~ War of 1812

War of 1812 picA mere 29 years after the end of the Revolutionary war the United States again entered into a war with the British. The French under Napoleon had engaged in a war with Britain. As a result, the British enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France. This was something the Americans contested as being illegal under international law as they did a lot of trade with the French. The British also began supplying arms to American Indians so they could raid the settlers on the frontier, trying to hinder their westward expansion and this caused a lot of resentment of the British. On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed into law the American declaration of war. Most of the war was fought on the United States and Canadian borders although there were battles taking place in diverse places throughout the United States. Soldiers were called up from all over the country to help in the war.

Thomas Allen, my 4x Great Grandfather, was born on June 2, 1768, in Frederick Co, wilkes co NC 1780 mapVirginia. He was the first son born to Colonel Richard Allen, a patriot of the Revolutionary War and his wife Nancy Lindsay. In 1770 his family moved to Wilkes, Surry Co, North Carolina. Thomas was only 15 years old when this war ended and although he wanted to fight he had to stay home to help his mother and help care for his 4 younger siblings. On October 1, 1796, Thomas married Permelia “Milly” Loving (1774-1866). They had 12 children, the first two died at birth. In about 1805 the family moved to Bedford, Tennessee. This is where they lived when the War of 1812 broke out.

Ft StrotherThomas, at the age of 44, joined the 1st Regiment (Napier’s) West Tennessee Militia Under the command of Captain John Chisholm. He enlisted as a private. As part of General Thomas Johnson’s brigade, this regiment mustered in at Fayetteville and marched to Huntsville, then Ft. Deposit, Fort Strother, and Fort Williams. While some detachments participated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814), others stayed at Fort Williams on guard duty. Many of the men then marched to the Hickory Ground (near present-day Montgomery, Alabama) where Jackson anticipated another battle with the Creeks, but the defeat at Horseshoe Bend had been decisive and the Tennesseans faced no further massed resistance. The regiment numbered about 500 men. Once Napoleon abdicated his throne there was no longer any reason to cut off the trade with France. This started the end of the war.

At the end of the war, Thomas returned home and continued to farm and they had theThe Allens 1840 last two of their children. In 1819 Thomas bought 80 acres of land in Moniteau Co, Missouri and moved his large family there. Missouri did not become a State until 1821 so this was still part of the frontier. It was a good life as they built their home and farmed the rick land. When their older children began to get married and have their own families, they all stayed close to home. On August 7, 1843, he died at the age of 75.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday Salute ~ Military Binders

moving boxesWhen we moved into our new home we had to do it all in one day. Our Son and daughter and their families only had one day off together to help us. So with 5 adults and 6 teenagers, we divided and conquered! Or so I thought. I was very careful to separate and mark the boxes so they could be placed in their perspective places and we got things done in record time. Or so I thought. I took my time unpacking and when I was finished my first priority was to start blogging and clavesresearching again. I kept thinking something was missing but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. A couple of weeks ago my youngest grandson asked me about my claves (Percussion sticks). He wanted to use them for a project at school. I had no idea where they were. I went out to our shed and started searching and I came upon a box marked “Genealogy”. It was then that I remembered what had been missing.

book 1About 8 years ago I decided to put together some binders for those who served in one of the many wars the United States has been in. I was surprised to find ancestors who fought in almost every one since King Philips War in 1675-1678. So, I researched as many as I could and made binders for them, including documents, information on the war they fought in, stories about the battles they engaged in and a cover sheet that showed how the soldier was related to me. I had forgotten about them and to say I was excited to find them is an understatement.

My grandson reminded me that he took 3 of them to school in 5th grade when they were studying the Revolutionary War. The teacher used them to help the children learn about the individual soldier, his life and the service he provided to our country. They were a big hit.

I am posting some photos of the binders so you can get an idea of what they look like. I have discovered more ancestors who fought in a war so I will be spending time putting more together. I wonder how many I will have when I’m done?

20200321_124408    book 2  20200321_123631

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Hometown Tuesday ~ Nelson County, Kentucky circa 1788

hometown tuesdaySamuel Chestnut was born in 1788 in what was to become Nelson Co., KY. His parents were William Gordon Chestnut and Sarah Graham. Although his Scottish-Irish ancestors are believed to have originally settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia sometime before the start of the Revolutionary War, a few ventured west into the State of Kentucky. He married into the neighboring Gum Family by marrying their daughter Rachel in December of 1807 in Madison County Kentucky. Samuel and Rachel eventually had seven children.

The State of Kentucky was founded in 1792. This county was sparsely populatedKentucky map with only a few towns. Most of the settlers of this area lived on farms far from any town. There was plenty of rich fertile land to grow their crops. Samuel and Rachel were very prosperous and it didn’t hurt that his father, who died in 1802, had left a sizable inheritance for him.

Samuel Chestnut war of 1812In 1812 the War broke out and Samuel enlisted in the Mounted Kentucky Volunteers. He had participated in the Battle of the Thames which was a big victory for Kentucky. He served in this unit until the end of the War. 

In 1832 Samuel made the trip into Manchester, Kentucky to buy supplies. He did this at least twice a year and he knew several of the townspeople. He stopped at a couple of stores before heading into the General Store. After gathering a few supplies he took them to the counter to pay for them. When he pulled out his coin purse he was jumped from behind, robbed and fatally stabbed. He was 44 years old. The man who killed him was never caught. 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time an  Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.