Virginia Pioneers

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Beverages Consumed by Virginians

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

Genealogy Books by Jeannette Holland Austin Although Virginians had various drinks, the best were imports. Englishmen were stern beer-drinkers and the barley which Virginians used to brew beer soon ceased to be cultivated, and attempts were made to supply its place with maize or pumpkins or persimmons did not find preference with the settlers. However, cider was in abundance. Apple-jack and peach brandy were distilled. Other beverages were imported, most commonly sack (the name) was applied to such dry (Spanish seco) and strong wines as sherry and Madeira. In the cellars of wealthy planters were often found choice brands of red wine from Bordeaux and white wine from the Rhineland. Cognacs were also imported, and of rum we have already spoken. Evidently our friends, the planters, had sturdy tipplers among them!

Irish and Scottish Emigrants

Wilderness Road

Early during the 18th century, Irish and Scottish emigrants, suffering from high rents and poverty, began to leave their countries to find a better life in America. The stop-over in Pennsylvania was Berks and Bucks Counties. The grandfather of Jefferson Davis was Evan Davis. Evan had a brother who settled in Augusta County in 1730. (His son was the of the Rockingham County, Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War). About the same time, Edward Hall migrated from Ireland into Augusta County in 1736. He was married to the daughter of Archibald Stuart who migrated from Scotland to Pennsylvania. Another irishman, Beavis Shirey placed himself in bondage to come to America in 1775. He was a gunmaker from Bristol and boarded the ship Baltimore which left London in June. After landing, he traveled down through the Shenandoah Valley into Augusta County, Virginia. Scotch-Irish Immigrants to the Northern Neck Irishman, Asa Moore

The Origins of Immigrants to Augusta County

bateauThe Scotch-Irish cut a trail from Pennsylvania down through the Shenandoah Valley and into the region of Augusta County. During 1732, sixteen families from Pennsylvania crossed the Potomac and settled near the present town of Winchester. Joist Hite settled upon a land grant of 40,000 acres in the valley which had been acquired by Isaac Vanmeter and his brother from the Governor of Virginia. John Lewis, an immigrant from Ulster, Ireland who had waited for his family to join him from Europe, joined this group. The genealogist might do well to search the Burke and Berk Counties, Pennsylvania records first, while assuming that the earliest settlers came from Ulster and Antrim, Ireland. Source: History of Augusta County, Virginia. Immigrant Records on this site

The Cyclopean Towers of the Alleghany Mountains

Cyclopean Towers The Cyclopean Towers are also in Solon, Virginia were so called because of their resemblance to the Cyclopean walls of the ancients. They are formed of limestone, and as they stand at the outlet of a valley, through which it is probable a mighty river once flowed, they were evidently formed by the water while forcing its way around 171 the point of the neighboring hill. There are five or six of them, and they vary from forty to ninety feet from base to summit, and are covered with trees. When viewed at the twilight hour they appear like the mouldering ruins of a once magnificent castle, and the wildness
of the surrounding scenery is not at all calculated to dissipate this illusion.

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General Andrew Lewis of Augusta County

Andrew Lewis Marker General Andrew Lewis was born in Ireland about 1720, and came to Virginia with his parents in 1732. John Lewis, the father, was the first white man who fixed his home in the mountains of West Augusta. Andrew Lewis served as a major in the regiment commanded by Washington in the Ohio campaign of 1754 and 1755; also in the French and Indian wars, and was highly regarded by Washington, at whose suggestion he was appointed a brigadier-general in the Continental army. Four of his brothers served in the Revolutionary War, one of them, Colonel Charles Lewis, who was killed at Point Pleasant. The descendants of John Lewis (the father of General Andrew Lewis) are numerous. Some of them have been very distinguished men: John F. Lewis, who died recently, was lieutenant-governor of Virginia, and a senator of the United States. Lunsford L. Lewis, his half-brother, was president of the supreme court of appeals of Virginia for twelve years, retiring from that office a few years ago. Dr. Lewis Wheat is a well-known practising physician of Richmond. Judge John Lewis Cochran, whose mother was a great-granddaughter of John Lewis, father of Gen. Andrew Lewis, and whose great-grandfather, with his wife, Susanna Donnelly, came to America about 1742, was a gallant soldier in the Confederate army, and a distinguished lawyer and judge. James C. Cochran, brother to the foregoing, was a colonel of Confederate militia in the late war. Henry King Cochran served as a surgeon in the Confederate service throughout the war. William Lynn Cochran was a major in the Confederate service, and a lawyer by profession. Howard Peyton Cochran was a captain in the same service. It is claimed that there were one hundred and five of the Lewis family in the service of the Confederate states. Source: Some Irish Settlers in Virginia by Hon. Joseph T. Lawless, Richmond, Virginia

Blood is By Far Thicker than Water

Tinkling Spring Meeting House John Preston was the first of his family to come to America from Londonderry, Ireland. His father and uncles were Englishmen who served under King William and aided in the defense of that city when besieged by Roman Catholics commanded by King James in 1689. Preston was a protestant and married a sister of Colonel James Patton of Donnegal and removed with him from Ireland to Virginia during the year of 1740. Colonel Patton had for some years commanded a merchant ship and was a man of property and enterprise. The Colonel obtained an order from the Council from the Governor of Virginia under which he appropriated to himself and associates 120,000 acres of the best lands lying above the Blue Ridge Mountains. When Colonel Patton was killed by Indians at Smithfield in 1753, some of these lands passed on to his descendants. The first Virginia residence of John Preston was "Spring Hill" in Augusta County; thereafter, in 1743 he settled his family upon a tract of land adjoining Staunton on the north side of that town. He died shortly thereafter and was buried at Tinkling Spring Meeting House.

Staunton, Virginia


Staunton, Virginia



Do the Magic Centipede

Augusta County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriages

Staunton, Virginia

The county seat is Staunton, Virginia. Augusta County was formed in 1738 from Orange County; it was named after the Princess of Wales, Augusta (of Saxe-Gotha), mother of King George III of the United Kingdom. Originally, Augusta County was a vast territory with an indefinite western boundary and this explains why the genealogist locates a vast supply of records in this early county and why research should include that the States of West Virginia and Kentucky were taken from it. Some of the earliest settlers were: Jean Bohanan (from France), John Bumgarner, William Cowden, Robert Crockett and Peter Cotner.

Augusta County Wills, Estates, Marriages available to members of Virginia Pioneers

Digital Images of Augusta County Wills 1745 to 1753

Testators: Ahres, Simon; Anderson, Isaac ;Baxter, Andrew ;Bell, James ;Bohanan, Jean ;Boyd, Andrew; Brock, Rudal ;Bumgarner, John ;Campbell, Gilbert ;Clendening, Archibald ;Cook, Patrick Cotner, Peter Cowden, William ;Crocket, Robert ;Crockett, Samuel; Cumberland, John ;Davison, Robert ;Denniston, Daniel ;Dobikin, John; Fulton, James ;Galaghar, Charles ;Gibson, Daniel ;Goldman, Jacob ;Griffie, Mathusalem; Hays, John ;Hill, William ;Hodge, Elizabeth ;James, William ;Jamison, William;Johnson, John; King, Robert; Kirkham, Robert ;Lusk, Nathan ;Magill, William ;McKay, Robert Sr. ;McCleary, Alexander ;Moore, Andrew ;Moore, David ;Noble, John;Patterson, John ;Reese, Thomas ;Robison, James ;Rothgab, John Jacob ;Ruddle, John Jr. ;Rutledge, John; Scott, James ;Sayers, Robert ;Scott, Samuel ;Sharp, Mathew ;Thorn, Henry ;Thompson, Mathew ;Wiley, John ;Woodley, John

Marriages

  • Marriage Bonds 1785 to 1786

Index to Probate Records

  • Index to Wills, Deeds, Inventories 1745 to 1753
  • Index to Wills and Estates 1745 to 1903

Miscellaneous Wills and Estates

  • Askew, Thomas (1815)
  • Burkett, Nathaniel (1813)
  • Lyle, John (1758)
  • Macky, John (1773)
  • Millsaps, Thomas (1759)
  • Piper, Daniel (1823)
  • Rankin, Richard (1796)
  • Runkle, Samuel (1802)

Tax Records

  • Property Books 1782 to 1787
  • Property Books 1820 to 1827
  • Property Books 1836-1860
  • Property Books 1876-1879
  • Property Books 1881 to 1900
  • Property Books (Staunton) 1802, 1804-1807

Traced genealogies and family histories of Augusta County available to Members !

Koger Lewis