Fayette County, West Virginia, Skaggs

James Skaggs Family (Continued from previous post)

James and Elizabeth Miller Skaggs

James (1780-1864) and Elizabeth (1787-1869) were very early settlers in Nicholas County in the part that later became Fayette County. They had moved from Monroe County about 1822. These are their 13 children, as mentioned in the previous post. I am descended from Thomas, Susan, and Cynthia.

The photo came from Gary Peck, who manages the Antioch Baptist Church Museum near Ansted, West Virginia. Gary Peck has said that it was part of his family’s picture collection and was originally a tintype.  I have tried to improve and colorize it, using technology at MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com.

Note that Fayette County was created in part from Nicholas County in 1831, and West Virginia did not become a state separate from Virginia until 1863.

  1. Phebe Skaggs, born 21 Feb 1806 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died in 1880. She married Alderson Withrow in Sept. 1822 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia. Notes: Phebe was almost certainly born in Monroe County, since her parents were married there, and her younger brother Thomas was born there. Her birth date is included in the Skaggs Family Bible in possession of Antioch Baptist Church and Museum near Ansted, West Virginia.  The family did not move to New Haven until later. Phebe was probably named for her aunt, Phebe Miller, sister of Elizabeth Miller Skaggs. Phebe was at one time a member of the Hopewell Baptist Church and both she and Alderson were members of the Lick Creek Church. In the History of Summers County, West Virginia, she is mistakenly referred to as the daughter of Dr. Jimmy Skaggs.
  2. Thomas Skaggs, born 14 Nov 1808 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died 15 May 1877 in Sugar Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia. Thomas married Julia Ann Hunter in January 1833 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.  Notes: At age 54, he enlisted in the 22nd Virginia Infantry during the Civil War but was sent home for advanced age. His physical description was listed as fair complexion, dark hair and eyes, and height of 5 feet, 9 and one-half inches. Thomas married his mother’s first cousin. Thomas was enumerated in Fayette County 1840-1870. In every census checked, he was listed as a farmer. He and Julia Ann lived on Sugar Creek near Marvel. He is referred to as Thomas L. Skaggs in History of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The “L” may not be correct.
  3. Susan W. Skaggs, born 24 Feb 1810 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died Abt. 1885 in Fayette County, West Virginia. She married Samuel Withrow in June 1829 in Nicholas County (West) Virginia.  Notes:  She was probably named for her maternal grandmother, Susan Ensminger Miller. Birth month could be December. Both February and December have been seen, so there has very likely been a transcription error by someone. In 1870, Mary E. Sadler, Susan’s niece, was also living in the home. When she signed Samuel’s death record, she signed her name as Susan W. Withrow. Her name is rarely seen as Susanna.
  4.  Valentine Felton Skaggs, born 15 June 1812 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died Abt. 1885 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He married Sarah Hunter in January 1832 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia.
    Valentine Skaggs
    Notes:  Valentine Felton Skaggs was named for his maternal grandfather, Valentine Felton Miller. Valentine and his brother Thomas married sisters. In 1840 Valentine Skaggs was given a land grant on the Waters of Mill Creek. His second wife was Martha Grose Keenan, a widow.
  5. Frances “Franky” Skaggs, born 8 Mar. 1814 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died Abt. 1847 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia, from typhoid fever. She married Nicholas Kious in August 1829 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia. Nicholas also died before 1850.
  6. Cynthia Skaggs, born 8 June 1816 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia, died 2 May 1849 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. She married Abraham Vandal, Jr. in March 1835 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.  Notes: Cynthia appears to have been born before her parents moved from Monroe County. Cynthia died while her children were still young, but the cause of death is not known. Her husband, Abraham Vandal, Jr., remarried and had other children.
  7. Hiram Skaggs, born 23 Jun 1818 in Monroe County (West) Virginia, died Dec 1901 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He married Mary Potter Miller in March 1840 in Fayette County, West Virginia. Notes:  Hiram was born in Monroe County, according to the death record of his son Albert. Hiram’s parents probably moved to the New Haven area shortly after he was born. At that time, it would have been in Nicholas County. Hiram was enumerated in the Fayette County census records 1850-1880. Part of that time, his mother-in-law Barbary Miller was living in the home.
  8. James Pemberton Skaggs, born 23 May 1820
    James Pemberton Skaggs
    in New Haven, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, died 17 August 1899 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He married Martha Jane Potter in April 1848 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Notes: James was probably named for his father. Some records have his name as James Penelton Skaggs. According to the page from the family Bible, his name was James Pembleton Skaggs. 
  9. Cyrus M. Skaggs, born 28 Dec 1822 in New Haven, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, died 17 August 1899 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He married Rachel Coleman in September 1842 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Notes: His parents were living in New Haven in Nicholas County by the time he was born. Cyrus was a farmer, according to census records. He served in the 22nd Virginia Infantry during the Civil War. In 1870, Falls of Kanawha Census showed Cyrus and Rachel having several children of William Alexander and Nancy Skaggs McGraw living in their home: Cyrus Skaggs, 48; Rachael, 52; Parthenia, 30; Susan, 20; Alexander, 18; Martha, 4; James L., 12; Harriett, 9; George W., 6.
  10. Elizabeth Skaggs, born 28 Oct 1825 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, died Abt. 1843 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. She married Clark Duckett Crow in September 1842 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Notes: Elizabeth was probably named for her mother, Elizabeth Miller Skaggs. Some family records have the birthdate as October 23, 1824. Elizabeth and Clark were married by William Carnafix and were married less than two years. There is no evidence that they had any children. Elizabeth’s death before 1844 is assumed, since Clark married Susannah Kious in August 1844. Susannah and Elizabeth were first cousins, because their mothers were sisters. Clark and Susannah had four children.
  11. Leah Skaggs, born 28 Nov 1827 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, died Bef. 1860. She married Shadrack Saddler in June 1852 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Notes: Leah had two daughters before she died (prior to 1860), and Shadrack remarried.
  12. William and Sarah Skaggs EvansSarah Manerva “Sally” Skaggs, born 21 Sep 1830 in New Haven, Nicholas County, Virginia, died 18 Feb 1913 in Mt. Lookout, Nicholas County, West Virginia. She married William A. Evans in September 1847 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.  Notes:   Sarah Manerva was born after her parents moved to New Haven (Ansted), but at that time it was still in Nicholas County. Her name in census records is shown variously as “Sally” and “Sarah.” This should rule out speculation that Sally and Sarah were two different children of James and Elizabeth.  She and her husband moved to Mt. Lookout, in Nicholas County, in 1848. According to the book Nicholas County West Virginia Heritage, published in 2000 and housed at Clayton Library in Houston, William and Sally conveyed land to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in 1875 for a new building. Sally was still alive when the 1910 census was taken on April 20th. At that time, she was living in Nicholas County with her son, Alex Evans. The listings of children in various census records show many discrepancies. There are three blank markers in the Mt. Lookout Baptist Church cemetery for the William A. Evans family. This information is from the book Nicholas County WV Cemeteries by Helen Stinson.
  13. Edna “Edny” Skaggs, born 28 Apr 1834 in New Haven, Fayette County, (West) Virginia. She married Alexander “Alec” Evans in November 1852 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Notes:  Edna was enumerated at age 17 with her parents in the 1850 Fayette County, West Virginia census. After her marriage, she and Alexander moved to Mt. Lookout in Nicholas County (1854). Edna was enumerated with her husband 1860-1900 in Wilderness District, Nicholas County. However, the family could not be located in 1870. In 1880, the household included Sofina Sadler, 19, niece, and Lucien Huddleston, 9, nephew. Lucien was adopted by Edna and Alexander. In 1900 Edna stated she had given birth to only two children.  In 1910, Edna was still in Wilderness District, but living alone. It appears that Edna had no living descendants at the time of her death. No marriage is known for either of her children. A female, Phanny, age 4, was enumerated in the 1860 census, but the child does not appear on subsequent census records, unless she is the same person as Sofina Sadler in 1880 census. Other researchers report they are one and the same.




Fayette County Skaggs Families

James Skaggs and Elizabeth Miller

My guess is that most of the people around Ansted in Fayette County, West Virginia, are related somehow to James Skaggs and Elizabeth Miller. I am descended from them three times. They are my GGGG grandparents.

James Skaggs, born 25 February 1780, in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia), and Elizabeth Miller, born 28 October 1787, in Augusta or Rockbridge County, Virginia, were married in March 1805 in Monroe County, (West) Virginia. A record of this marriage can be found in Monroe County, West Virginia: A List of Marriage Bonds 1799-1846, by Oren Morton.

On the copy of the original bond below, signed by James Scaggs and Valentine Miller (Elizabeth’s father), Elizabeth’s name is shown as Betsey.

The marriage was recorded in Monroe County, Virginia, but that is now in West Virginia. Researchers are sometimes confused about the location. They were not married in the town of Monroe, which is in Amherst County, Virginia.    

There is no official record of the birthdates. The only sources for the birthdates of James and Elizabeth were numerous family members who passed down information from child to grandchild to great-grandchild, and so on. My mother interviewed many Skaggs descendants in Fayette County over several years in the 1950s. Her information agrees with the note below, which was passed on to me from another relative (Milburn Skaggs) and was handwritten by Lula Mae Skaggs Harrah (1888-1954), a great-granddaughter of James and Elizabeth. I do not know if the initial “B” is correct because I have not seen it elsewhere. I have seen the initial “A” but without documentation. Census records do not contradict these dates.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Valentine Felton Miller and Susana Ensminger, and was probably named for her paternal grandmother, Catherine Elizabeth Ensminger Miller. Elizabeth’s father and mother were related through the Ensminger line.

Most descendants of James Skaggs believe he was the son of Charles Skaggs, who deeded his land in the Ansted area to James and his brother Joseph. This fact has been restated many times by family members and in local history, particularly in the November 2, 1911, issue of the Fayette Journal (online at Ancestry.com). The notes of Lula Mae Skaggs agree; however, I have not seen evidence in official documents.

Joseph’s land included a home that was later known as Tyree Tavern. This is a very well-known historical site in Ansted. It was right around the corner from my grandma’s house, and I remember it being pointed out to me and being told that it had been Joseph Skaggs’s house.

                        Halfway House – Tyree Tavern – Home of Joseph Skaggs

A marker on the site provides information. Much more detail is provided on the Tyree family site.

The mother of James Skaggs and Joseph Skaggs is unknown. However, her name was NOT Lucy or Laura Thompson. A different Charles Skaggs married someone by that name. This can be found in Archibald Thompson’s Diary, which is online. There was also a different Charles Skaggs in Putnam County, Georgia, who had a brother named James.

Shirley Ulaki’s book Royalty Among Us says that after Charles died, James was raised by his grandfather, Thomas Skaggs, of Wolf Creek, Monroe County. No evidence has been found to contradict this, since there is evidence that James was living in Monroe County. Records show that his uncle, John Skaggs, deeded him some land there in 1802, shortly before James got married. Perhaps this was part of his inheritance from his father, but that has not been verified.

I could not find James Skaggs in census records for 1810, but he is shown in the 1820 census for Nicholas County. Dyer’s Index to Land Grants shows James Skaggs obtaining a grant in 1822 there on the waters of New River. He was very involved in the development of the area around Ansted and is often mentioned in official records as reported in History of Fayette County, West Virginia, by J.T Peters and H.B. Carden, first published in 1926. This is online at Ancestry.com.

The book Virginia Postmasters and Post Offices by Elizabeth Axelson at Clayton Library in Houston lists James as the first postmaster of Mt. Cove in Nicholas County. Fayette County was formed from Nicholas County in 1831. After 1837, James served as Sheriff and as Justice of the Peace. Beginning in 1840, James Skaggs appeared in the Fayette County census.

In the records of Lula Mae Skaggs and Grover Cleveland Skaggs (great-grandchildren) the only children were the 13 seen here. The dates can be verified in county records and will be shown in later posts about this family.

This Bible record of unknown origin confirms the birthdates of most of the children. Some people list Louisa Skaggs as one of their children. She was NOT the daughter of James and Elizabeth Miller Skaggs. There were other Skaggs families throughout southern West Virginia, and I have not confirmed her parents. This record names Phebe, Thomas, Susan, Valentine, Frances, Cynthia, Hiram, and James Pemberton. It does not show Cyrus, Elizabeth, Leah, Sarah, and Edna, the last five children. There are some Skaggs-related family photos and items at Antioch Baptist Church Museum in Ansted, but I have not been there and cannot confirm what they have. Here is a link with more information.

Skaggs Bible, Owner Unknown

I do not know the exact date of death for either James or Elizabeth, but from the Fayette County probate documents below, it appears James died between October 1863 and October 1864. My records say that Elizabeth died in 1869, but I have no documentation for that. I do not know where they are buried, so I would be grateful to hear from anyone who does know.

Will Books, 1832-1969; Author: West Virginia. County Court (Fayette County); Probate Place: Fayette, West Virginia

Many people are related to James and Elizabeth, and much has been written about them. I am indebted to all those who have already done so much research on this family.

Finally, I have included census transcriptions from Ancestry.com.

Census Records

1830; Census Place: Nicholas, Virginia; Series: M19; Roll: 198; Page: 189; Family History Library Film: 0029677

1840; Census Place: Fayette, Virginia; Page: 151

1850; Census Place: District 14, Fayette, Virginia; Roll: M432_943; Page: 344A; Image: 293

The Kious children shown were the children of Frances Skaggs and her husband, Nicholas Kious, both deceased by 1850.

1860; Census Place: District 3, Fayette, Virginia; Roll: M653_1344; Page: 374; Family History Library Film: 805344

I believe the child listed as Mary E. Skaggs was actually Mary E. Sadler, daughter of Leah Skaggs Sadler, and her husband, Shadrack Sadler.  Leah had died by this time, so that is probably why she was with her grandparents.

Patriot Ancestors of K Barrera Listed with the DAR*

I’m proud of my Revolutionary War patriot ancestors!

Ancestor Search link is here.

1 Sgt. John McVey (1737-1823) served with Gen. George Washington at Valley Forge.  A076533

2 John Skaggs (1760-1839) was a Revolutionary War Scout and Spy. A104576

3 Alexander Dickey (1746-1832) served with the South Carolina Militia. A033677

4 Henry Johnson (1738-1815) served in the 10th North Carolina Regiment. A063212

5 Robert Steele (1750-1821) served in the Virginia Militia with Capt. Adams of Montgomery County. A108285

6 Solomon J. Lee (1758-1818) served as a soldier in North Carolina. A068741

7 Samuel Paxton (1737-after 1806) served in the Virginia Militia under Capt. Wallace.  A086708

8 John Samuel Sparr (1748-1836) served in the Pennsylvania Militia. A107903

9 Robert T. Smith, Jr. (1749-1834) served as a guard in Virginia, commanded by John Watson. A106811

10 William Clopton (1720-1796) served as a captain in Virginia. A023232

11 Johann Philip Ensminger (1727-1807) is listed by the DAR for patriotic service in Maryland. A205029

12 2nd Lieutenant Daniel Shumate (1751-1826) served in the Virginia Militia from Fauquier County. A103305

13 Charles Seale (1729-1798) served with the North Carolina Revolutionary Army.  A100915

14 1st Lieutenant Zachariah Nettles (1737-1803) served with General Marion in the Carolinas.  A082464

15 Henry Rains, Jr. (Aft. 1715-1785) delegate to the Provincial Congress in 1776. Served in the North Carolina State Assembly, 1777. A093508

16 John Robertson Jefferson (1742-1809) was prosecuted in 1777 for refusing to pay the parish levy since the minister was a Loyalist.  A061887

17 Ann Isham Eppes Harris (1712-1787) gave provisions to the Revolutionary Army.  A051508

18 Capt. John Madison Hunter (1737-1796) served in the Virginia Militia, was Justice of the Peace in Campbell County, and furnished supplies for the Revolutionary cause. A060528

19 Cornelius Carmack, Jr. (1759-1848) fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain. A019243

Militia groups from Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas soundly defeated the Loyalist militia and British Army.
The Battle of Kings Mountain, By Don Trioani.









20 Cornelius Carmack, Sr. (1736-1824) gave patriotic service as a road overseer in Overton County, Tennessee.  A132601

21 Abraham Vandal (1758-1848) enlisted in 1776 in the State Troops of New York in Orange County. He was engaged in erecting Fort Constitution on the Hudson River and was in the Battles of Long Island (below) and White Plains.   A117491

22 John McFarland, Sr. (1708-1784) is credited with patriotic service and taking the oath of allegiance in Bedford County, Virginia. A076825

23 Thomas Holman (1723-1798) rendered material aid in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  A056978

24 Ambrose Bethea Raines (1750-1820)  took an oath of allegiance in Johnston County, North Carolina.  A214061

25 William Hazeltine (bef. 1760-1812) served in the North Carolina militia under Col. Hampton and Gen. Sumpter.  A053532