Saturday, June 13, 2015

SURNAME SATURDAY Spitler Family Saga, Augusta Co., VA, 4th Gr-Grandparents Kids during the Revolution, Part 4

While John Spitler, Sr. and Mary Eccord’s childhood days passed, America’s history happened around them. 4th Great Grandfather was a 1-year old babe when the American Revolution began. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Spitler, Sr. was just 2 years old and 4th Great Grandmother Mary Eccord had just been born. Were their parents Patriots or Loyalists?

Delegates from the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia to create the American Constitution when 4th Great Grandfather was 13 years old. Two years later fellow Virginian George Washington would become the 1st President of the United States.

John was born about 1774 in the British American Colonies. It’s up for debate whether he was born in Virginia or Pennsylvania. It’s been suggested by several he was born in Pennsylvania but I haven’t yet seen any documentation to prove this. The 1850 federal census states he was born in Virginia. Alas, census records have a reputation for inaccuracies. 

4th Great Grandmother Mary (also known as Polly) Eccord was born a few years later about 1776 in the Colonies. I have the same dilemma with Mary’s birthplace as Grandfather.

Unlike John I know Mary’s father. When John Spitler and Polly Eccord married in Augusta County, Virginia Feb. 22, 1797, it was noted in court records. Lyman Chalkley’s “Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800”, page 329 documents Frantz Echard to be Polly’s father:

      “1797—February 22, John Spitler and Francis Eccord, surety. John Spitler and Polly Eccord, daughter of Frantz Echard”

Was Francis Eccord (the surety) the Americanized name for Frantz Echard? I can’t say. Page 404 of Mr. Chalkley’s Chronicles provides hints about the family’s nationality:

August 1795
     “Francis and Christian Eccord vs. William Chambers and Anthony Mustoe, Writ, Spa. April, 1789. 1785 to 178- plaintiffs had dealings with defendants as deputy sheriff. Francis was a German and unacquainted with English language. The bill charges serious impositions on Frances by defendants and prays settlement of accounts, etc. Christian was son of Francis.”

The court suit reveals the Eccord family was of German descent. It could be that Francis and Christian Eccord were Polly’s father and brother but more research needs to be done to say this decisively.

John Spitler bought land in Augusta County before his marriage in September 1795 from John and Elizabeth McPheeters.[1] I don’t have copies of Grandfather’s deeds but learned from the Grantee and Grantor Deed Indexes that he acquired and sold lands until 1833.

Existing federal census enumerations 1810[2], 1820[3], 1830[4], 1840[5] and 1850[6] confirm John and Mary resided in the county during those years.

4th Great Grandfather’s will was written April 14, 1852[7]. He died weeks later on May12, 1852[8]. Harrison H. Teaford and William S. McChesney witnessed Grandfather’s will and brought it to Augusta County Court June 28th. John’s friend, Jacob Baylor, was named Executor.

As you read the will transcript below, you’ll realize Grandfather planned for Grandmother’s well-being. She would have been close to 76 years old when John died. Mary (Eccord) Spitler passed March 10, 1853[9] and is buried beside John in the Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church Cemetery, Middlebrook, Virginia[10].

The names of his children and the order of their birth were stated. Elizabeth was born first followed by my ancestor Jacob; then Margaret (Peggy), John, Mary (Polly) and Sarah. John showed no favoritism among his children. He valued all and wanted them to share equally.

Will Transcript:

   In the Name of God, Amen, I John Spitler Sen’r do make and publish my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making void all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made and first I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible, out of the first moneys that shall come into the hands of my executor, from any portion of my estate real or personal.

   2nd I also direct that my wife Mary shall have the proceeds of my real estate and the use of my personal property during her natural life, if she should survive me, and if not I direct that my Executor herein after named shall in a reasonable time after my decease, proceed to sell my real estate as well as my personal property, the personal property to be sold on such terms as my Executor may think best, and my landed property in the following manner, that is to say Six hundred dollars to be paid in hand and the balanse in five equal annal instalments  and if my wife should survive me then and in that event, at her death, the Sale of the above property shall take place in the same manner and terms   set fourth above

   3rd I direct that of the first payment of land, there shall be paid to my daughter Peggy Four hundred dollars, which will make her equal to what I have paid to my son John, and Elizabeth Yeago & my daughter Polly Earhart and I further direct that One hundred dollars be paid to my son Jacob to make him equal as I have already paid him three hundred dollars. I also further direct that One hundred dollars be paid to my daughter Sarah Mizer, as I have paid to her Three hundred dollars, which will make all my children equal. I further direct after the foregoing part of my Will has been completed with that the balance of the proceeds of my estate be equally divided between my five living children and the children of my deceased daughter Elizabeth Yago. That is to say the children of said Mrs. Yago are all put together to have but one distributive share, namely – One sixth part of the whole estate, and it is further my desire that after all have been made equal as above directed, that my Executor pay to my oldest children, first their share, that is to say One sixth part to the children of my dec’d daughter Elizabeth Yago first, next One sixth part to my son Jacob, next One sixth part to my daughter Polly Earhart, next One sixth part to my sone John, next One sixth part to my Daughter Peggy, and next one sixth part to my Daughter Sarah Mizer.

   And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend Jacob Baylor, to be my sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.  In witness whereof I John Spitler the Testator have set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of April Eighteen Hundred and Fifty two.

                                                                                           John Spitler
Signed Sealed and delivered
In the presents of us, who have sub-
scribed in the presents of each
of each other
  Harrison H. Teaford
  Wm. S. McChesney

     Augusta County Court June 28th 1852
         This last Will and Testament of John Spitler dec’d was presented in Court and proved by the oaths of Harrison H. Teaford and William S. McChesney, the subscribing witness thereto and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of Jacob Baylor the Executor named in said Will who made oath according to law, and with David Baylor his security (who justified as to his sufficiency) entered into a bond in the sum of Five thousand dollars, payable and conditioned as the Law directs, which bond was acknowledged in Court by the obligors thereto and ordered to be recorded, Certificate is granted the said Jacob Baylor, for obtaining a probat of said Will in due form,
                                                                                            Jefferson Kinney, clk.

John Spitler Sr.'s Will, Augusta Co., VA, Will Book 32, page 109 

Will Book 32, page 109 (bottom of page)

John Spitler Sr.'s Will, Augusta Co., VA, Will Book 32, page 110

Will Book 32, page 110

John Spitler Sr.'s Will, Augusta Co., VA, Will Book 32, page 111

Will Book 32, page 111 (top of page)

My Ancestry
4th Great Grandfather John Spitler Sr. 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

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[1] Augusta County, VA Deed Book 28, page 390
[2] 1810 Federal Census Transcription compiled by Mrs. Owen Crickhard, Beverly, West VA, 1968, online at
[3] 1820 Federal Census, Augusta Co., VA, Waynesboro, page 20, online at
[4] 1830 Federal Census, Augusta Co., VA, page 102, ‘John Spidler’ household
[5] 1840 Federal Census, Augusta Co., VA, page 39
[6] 1850 Federal Census, Augusta Co, VA, page 274B
[7] Augusta County, VA Will Book 32, pages 109-111
[8] Memorial# 90978658.
[9] Death Register, Augusta Co., VA, 1853-1896, Line 223
[10] Memorial# 90978715.

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