Thursday, April 30, 2015

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY Spitler Family Saga, Augusta Co., VA, Part 1

My earliest introduction to the Spitler family came from my grandfather’s cousin, Rachel Joseph.  I recall the family gathered around the kitchen table listening to Rachel’s letter. I must have been about 11 or 12 years old.

‘Cousin Ray’ was the Joseph family historian and included a few tidbits about the Spitler’s in her research notes. My grandfather and Rachel were the great grandchildren of Jacob Spitler and Margaret Dunlap. 

My Spitler line begins with 2nd Great Grandmother Eliza Jane Spitler. She married William Wilson Joseph Oct. 26, 1848. You can see a photograph of Eliza Jane and William Wilson by clicking here. This will link you to my earlier post titled “William Wilson Joseph and Eliza Jane Spitler of Augusta Co., VA”

I’ll begin with Cousin Ray’s family lore:

   “Grandmother Joseph’s mother was a Miss Dunlap. Her father was Jacob Spitler. There was a large family but have no records.
   Uncle Henry Spitlar was a confederate soldier as was Uncle Thomas Spitlar who was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. He wasn’t married.
   Uncle Henry Spitler married Nancy Dodson. They had no children. Aunt Susan (Sis) Livick was grandmother’s sister. She had two children but they died without heirs.
   I do not know Jacob Spitlar’s father name but he married an Irish girl, her name unknown to us. She came from Ireland with others who were to bind themselves out to farmers or anyone that would hire them and would work until their passage was paid. The young women would marry if the men would pay their passage. My father & Aunt Annie told me that she never told anyone of her past or anything about her people. She would never attend church so they thought she must have been a Catholic and the Spitlars were Lutherins.  The Spitlars came from Scotland. They were farmers and owned farms near Middlebrook, Va. Grandfather Spitlar took great pride in his horses and had fine teams. He would take the cured meat in covered wagons to Richmond, Va. where they traded for coffee, sugar, and such items that were hard to buy in those days.”

‘Grandmother Joseph’ was Eliza Jane (Spitler) Joseph. Her parents were Jacob Spitler and Margaret Dunlap.

Uncle Henry and Uncle Thomas mentioned above were Eliza Jane’s brothers. They both fought for the Confederacy but Uncle Thomas wasn’t killed at Gettysburg. He survived the War and married Jennie Virginia Bishop.

Recently I found Uncle Henry’s obituary published in the Staunton Spectator Friday, Nov. 1, 1905 describing his service and his brothers.

   Mr. Henry Spitler of Augusta county, died on November 10, 1905, at the home of his niece, Mrs. James A. Wagner, near Swoope's aged 75 years. Mr. Spitler was one of the fine soldiers of Augusta county, and with his four brothers, all members of Company F, 5th Virginia Infantry, commanded at the outbreak of the war by Capt. St. F. C. Roberts, and later by Capt. P. E. Wilson, went from West View in this county to Harper's Ferry in April, 1861. Of these Spitler boys, John was killed at Chancellorsville; Thomas S. was wounded in the same fight; Samuel died of fever in the army, and Jacob survived the war, but died some years ago.

Jacob Spitler’s father was named John Spitler and his mother Mary Eccord. Ray thought Mary Eccord was born in Ireland but I’m not certain about this. The 1850 federal census enumeration states she was born in Virginia. It’s well known census records can be right or they can be wrong. More research needs to be done.

To add to Ray’s research, I hired the late Katherine G. Bushman, an Augusta County genealogist, in 1992. Just this past month a Salt Lake City genealogist provided me with estate papers for two of my Spitler grandfathers. I’ll tell you about it soon. Consider today’s post Part 1.

My ancestry:
4th Great Grandfather John Spitler and wife Mary Eccord
3rd Great Grandfather Jacob Spitler and wife Margaret Dunlap
2nd Great Grandmother Eliza Jane Spitler and husband William Wilson Joseph
Great Grandfather Daniel Franklin Joseph and wife Flora Belle McFall
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

Saturday, April 25, 2015

SIBLING SATURDAY Some Sisterly Scolding Going on with the Kimber Women!

“I suppose you all think we are so poor that we cant pay for a letter
but Sarah you send me one and
we will try to scratch up five cents to pay it”

1847 Benjamin Franklin
5 Cents Postage Stamp

Katherine (Kimber) Welda scolded her sister a bit for not writing her. She was living in Ross Township, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania when Katherine’s letter was addressed to William Mackney at the Unionville Post Office in Orange County, New York. William was Katherine’s brother-in-law, the husband of her sister Sarah Bethia.

On the back of Katherine’s letter, another Kimber sister, Mary Congleton, wrote to Sarah B. (Kimber) Mackney. Katherine, Sarah Bethia and Mary were the daughters of Benjamin Kimber and Keziah Bennett and sisters to my 3rd Great Grandmother Charity (Kimber) Clark.


Ross Township, May 23, 1847.

Dear Brother and Sister,

it is through the mercy of an old and all wise
providence that our lives have been spared and
we have  another  opportunity to writing you to
let you know how we air   John's health is very
poor this spring and my health has not ben very
good this spring   I have had the jaunders but
am getting over it now   We moved this spring on
the Henderson place   about half mile from Marks
I was to see Mary yesterday and they were as
well as common   Sarah I want to know wether you
all have forgot that I was in the land of the
living or what is the reason that none of you
dont, write to me   I wrote a letter to our folks
last December and I never got an answer   I
suppose you all think we are so poor that we
cant pay for a letter but Sarah you send me one
and we will try to scratch up five cents to pay
it    we have but one cow this summer but we have
nineteen sheep and I shall have twelve fleeces
of wool to spin this sumrner and I want to get it
off to the mesheen as soon as I can get it
picked            I am going to pick this week    we
have made garden about two weeks ago but it  has
been so dry nothing could grow   but it rains
today and it appears that I can see the things
grow   in the garden allmost it makes things look
so green   Sarah I dont know as I have much more
to tell this time for I have to run after the
hens to keep thim out of the garden and corn
for they scratch everything up    Mary Lane is
married to Magen Mayer Allen    Sarah tell Father
and Mother and sisters and brothers that I want
to see them all very soon and all of you must
com and se us for I dont know when we can come
without hiring a way to com and that costs so
much and  John  not able to work nearly all the
time   so you need not look for us to come out
very soon    but you must tell all to come and
see us    Sarah if I cant  se you  I have many
things to tell you that I cant write   when you
get this write as soon as you can   dont let no
one see this letter   so no more at present
but I remain your sister until death

John  and Catherine Welda to William and Sarah B.

Comments by Winifred Drake Ridall:

[Ross Township was in Luzerne Co., Pa]
[Mark was Mark Congelton-husband of Mary, sister
of Catherine]
[Sarah was Sarah Kimber Mackney, sister of Mary
and Catherine]
[Mary Lane was probably a cousin]


Katherine gives us the privilage of filling her
letter and we will tell you alittle how we are
getting along in this world of trouble   you
wanted to know how our church was thriving and
what is the state of religion    religion is in a
very low state at present    Mr. Scofield left
Lehman some time ago as you have heard    Mr.
Clark preached there part of the time and now he
has left and I dont know as there is any other
Baptist preaching there al all    I have heard
that ole Mr. Hall preach once in two weeks in
our neighborhood   and that is about all the
metting we have    Mr. Frink was at Mr. Millards
one or two weeks ago and preached at Mr. Allen’s
funeral sermon and some say he is a smart man
The Methodists are going to have two days
meeting at the Ruggles and Mott place    Mary has
got her wool picked and at the machine    she has
tnirty-five pounds    she has done her work alone
this summer but expects a girl in a few days to
spin wool    we milk four cows and expect to milk
another in about one month    she is raising four
nice calves        we had a very dry spring which
lasted until about the 2Oth of May and now it is
quite wet    we have a few peaches    if nothing
befalls them and a few cherries and apples and
plums and quince bushes were full of blossoms
and we have a plenty of them    our garden is
just a coming on    grain is very scarce and
quite high    wheat is worth one dollar and fifty
rye and corn is worth from 75 cents to one
dollar per bushel    we received a letter from
you and was glad to hear and learn you are all
well   we got it some time in March    we are as
well as comrnon    our baby Benjamin K. grows very
fast and is quite fleshy and begins to talk
James grows too   Keziah grows tall but quite
slender    she says she would like to see her
Aunt Sarah    she can read quite good and would
soon be a scholar if she had a chance    we would
like you to come and see us and the rest of you
we may come out there late next fall   there is
quite a good deal of whooping cough and measles
out here    we sent you all our best respects and
invite you all to come and see us and remain
your affectionate brother and sister

Ross    June 4th. 1847
Mary and Mark Congleton
to William and Sarah Mackney

Comments by Winifred Drake Ridall:

[This was mailed from Sweet Valley, Pa. and
addressed to William Mackney, Unionville Post
Office, Orange County, N.Y.]
[The Congletons located in Illinois a few years
later.  Benjamin, James and Keziah were their
children.  They had others: Mary, Arminda, Hulda
and Charles.

NOTE: Edna Raymond, a past Town of Minisink historian, gave me typed transcripts of the letters exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their parents. This letter is 1 of 31.

Let me tell you what I can recall about the provenance of the Kimber letters. It was many years ago when I visited Edna and learned of the letters. Edna has since passed away. I believe Edna told me a couple form Illinois visited the Minisink Town Hall and brought the original Kimber letters. The Kimber descendant allowed Edna to photocopy the letters in his/her presence. Edna worked quickly. In those days copy machines were slow and the quality left much to be desired. Edna spent many hours studying and transcribing the letters as the ‘old time’ handwriting was especially difficult to read.

I can’t say how the Illinois couple came by the letters. The Mackney’s and Congleton’s moved to Illinois so it’s possible the Illinois couple were from either branch of the family tree. Winfred Drake Riddall added comments to the letters. She was a Moses Seely and Jane Kimber descendant from Buffalo, New York.