Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry: James Todd Jr.’s Will

Katherine Gentry Bushman cites 4th Great Grandfather James Todd Jr.’s will in The Todd Family of Mossy Creek, Augusta County, Virginia:

            Augusta County, Virginia
            Will Book 19, page 396, will of James Todd, Jr., dated 1-31-1834, 
proved March Term of court, 1834; executor: Jacob Daggy, Sr., Teste: Adam Rusmisel, Samuel Todd, Christian Rusmisel

Pictured below are digital images of James Todd Jr.’s will that I located at A transcription follows the images.

Augusta Co., VA Will Book 19, page 396
(Bottom of page)

Augusta Co. VA Will Book 19, page 397
(Top of page)


In the Name of God Amen, I James Todd of the County of Augusta & State of Virginia, being weak of body, but sound in mind, (thanks be to God for this mercy) feel desirous to dispose of the property with which I have been blessed in the following manner; after my just debts and funeral expenses are paid  it is my desire that the residue of my Estate be equally divided among my eight children, viz: Addison, Cyrus, James, Preston, Hannah, Rachel, Catherine & Amanda, with this understanding, that my beloved wife is first to have her legal dower, & the residue equally divided after my wife’s death, or to be more explicit, it is my desire that the whole estate remain entire as it now is, until my wife’s death, and in the meantime my Executor herein named shall have power to dispose of any of the personal property he may think best for the general good, or to dispose of some of the property if necessary for the purpose of educating my four youngest children, the expense of education I wish not charged against them, but wish them to have equal share with others, exclusive of that expense, and my earnest desire is there may be no misunderstanding between any of the parties concerned, but if unfortunately it should so happen, my desire is the matter be referred to the Executor and his opinion shall be binding, but if between the Executor & any of the heirs, it shall be referred to two Judicious Neighbors, one chosen by each and they have power to choose a third & their decision shall be binding & if any should be so stubborn as still to persist & bring suit for their supposed rights, by doing so they shall forfeit any bequest made to them & that portion shall be divided amongst others that acquiesce.  And I hereby constitute and appoint my friend Jacob Daggy Sen’r, Tanner, Sole Executor of this my last Will & Testament, hereby revoking all others, as witness my hand & Seal this 30th day of Jan’y, 1834
                                                                                                JAMES TODD
Signed Sealed and Acknowledged in preasants of
  Adam Rusmisel
  Samuel Todd
  Christian Rusmisel

Augusta County Court, March Term, 1834

   This last Will & Testament of James Todd Dec’d, was presented in court & proved by the oaths of Adam Rusmisel & Samuel Todd, two of the subscribing Witnesses thereto, & ordered to be recorded; and on the motion of Jacob Daggy Sen’r, who took the oath required by law & together with George Kiracofe, Michael Daggy & Jacob Daggy Jr. his securities entered into & acknowledged a bond in the penalty of Three Thousand Dollars, conditioned as the law requires, which bond is ordered to be recorded,   Certificate is granted the said Jacob Daggy Sen’r for obtaining a probate thereof in due form,
Teste,                                                          JEFFERSON KINNEY, C. A. C.

James named eight children in his will and wanted his estate divided among them-- Addison, Cyrus, James, Preston, Hannah, Rachel, Catherine, and Amanda. Of course, his widow, Catherine, was entitled to her dower and her well-being was on James’ mind when he expressed the wish his estate remain whole until after her death.

He valued learning and instructed Jacob Daggy to sell his personal property, if necessary, to provide an education for his four youngest children.

A persnickety streak crept into Great Grandfather’s will about any misunderstandings among his heirs. I knew he sounded worried when I read “… if any should be stubborn as still to persist & bring suit for their supposed rights, by doing so they shall forfeit any bequest made to them & that portion shall be divided amongst others that acquiesce.” (Later research hinted at who that might have been.)

An inventory was prepared and an appraisal followed April 10, 1834. The appraisers, R. Coyner, Samuel Landes, and Abraham Hanna, presented the document in Augusta Co. Court during the May Term 1834. The James Todd inventory included assorted farm tools, household items, livestock, corn, and furniture. Most times inventories include only the personal property of the decedent but the appraisers assessed James Todd’s 104 ½ acres of land worth $1,162.50.

Grandmother Catherine retained many items from the inventory for her use and the family (value $457.90).This is the first time I found a separate sale bill devoted to the items the Widow kept.

James Todd Inventory and Sale
Augusta Co. VA Will Book 19, page 421
(Bottom of page)

James Todd Inventory and Sale
Augusta Co. VA Will Book 19, page 422

I’m glad I chose to include James Todd Jr.’s will in my Review, Re-Do, and Rethink project as I acquired digital images of the will, inventory/appraisal, sale, and account.

Finding the 104 ½ acres of land mentioned in the inventory gives me hope I’ll find more information in land records.

My ancestry
4th Great Grandfather James Todd, Jr., and wife Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandmother Catherine Todd and husband David McFall
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and wife Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and husband Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father


Monday, September 18, 2017

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry: James Todd, Junior

James Todd, Jun., was most likely born in Virginia about 1785. He married Catherine Siple Sept. 13, 1812, in Augusta County, Virginia. After twenty-two years of marriage and eight children, 4th Great Grandfather died in 1834.

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry:
Lieutenant James Todd, Jun., 93rd Regiment, War of 1812

Katherine Bushman writes “James Todd, Jr. was the Lieutenant James Todd of the War of 1812” and cites Annals of Augusta County, Virginia From 1726 to 1871, Jos. A. Waddell; page 394 as a source.

Mrs. Bushman steered me in the right direction once again. I located Joseph A. Wadell’s Augusta County history online in the Google Books collection. About a year after the United States declared War on Great Britain, four Augusta Co., VA companies were called for duty:

            Captain Baldwin’s Company
            Captain Baskin’s Company
            Captain Stuart’s Company
            Lieutenant Todd’s Company

Captain Baldwin and Captain Stuart’s Companies served from July 6, 1813 until Sept. 28, 1813. While Captain Baskin’s and Lieutenant Todd’s Companies also began duty on July 6, 1813, their units were broken up August 16, 1813, and most men enlisted with other groups. 4th Great Grandfather James Todd Jun. became a Lieutenant with the “Flying Camp” commanded by Col. James McDowell.

Annals of Augusta County, Virginia From 1726 to 1871, Jos. A. Waddell; page 394

Annals of Augusta County, Virginia From 1726 to 1871, Jos. A. Waddell; page 395

The Library of Virginia has an index to the War of 1812 Pay Rolls on their website for Virginia soldiers appearing in Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850, and Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812.

I found Lieutenant James Todd listed in the pay rolls on page 40. Great Grandfather James died by the time the Land Bounty Act was created in 1850. Even though he was among those entitled to a land bounty, that doesn’t mean his widow or children applied or received land. Ancestry’s database, U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858, didn’t contain any Todd kin that I recognized.

Next, I turned to and was pleasantly surprised when I found a database named “United States War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815”. Here’s the general index card for Grandfather James Todd. Just as Mr. Waddell stated in his book, Lieutenant Todd became a member of the Flying Camp Militia.

Ancestry’s War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 produced zero results. That’s not surprising as legislation wasn’t enacted until the 1870’s to provide pensions for surviving soldiers. The earliest pensions were granted to the surviving widow if the soldier died during their term of service. Neither scenario applies to Great Grandfather.

Searching the service, bounty land, or pensions at the National Archives would be expensive.

Some time ago the Federation of Genealogical Societies helped spearhead a digitization project called “Preserve the Pensions, 1812” and raised $3 million. War of 1812 Pensions and Bounty Warrants became available free of charge on for surnames beginning with A through M. The project stalled for quite some time but the Federation of Genealogical Societies reports work is to begin again this month. I think I’ll wait!

My ancestry
4th Great Grandfather James Todd, Jun., and wife Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandmother Catherine Todd and husband David McFall
2nd Great Grandfather James Addison McFall and wife Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandmother Flora Belle McFall and husband Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandfather James McFall Joseph and wife Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review, Re-Do, and Rethink Todd Ancestry

Starting today I’m beginning a new project: Review, Re-do, and Rethink my Todd ancestry.

In July 1991, I asked the late Mrs. Katherine G. Bushman, a knowledgeable and respected Augusta Co., Virginia Genealogist, to help me with my McFall family.

While digging out information about my McFall line, Mrs. Bushman found my 3rd Great Grandfather David McFall married Miss Catherine Todd of Augusta County, VA July 28, 1842. The Todd surname was well known to her. Back in 1964, Katherine Bushman accepted the task of finding ‘James H. Todd’ who lived in 1860 Augusta County. She found four James H. Todd’s and no doubt this research resulted in her compilation ‘‘The Todd Family of Mossy Creek, Augusta County, Virginia” compiled in1966. She sent me copies for my branch of the family which I’ll be discussing in Project Review, Re-do, and Rethink.

This became the backbone of my research leading me to 5th Great Grandfather James Todd Sr. and 4th Great Grandfather James Todd Jr. My line of descent continues with Miss Catherine Todd, daughter of James Todd Jr. and wife of David McFall.


File 211, Consent by Catherine Todd for daughter Catharine to marry David
McFall, 7-22-1842; Bond, dated 7-23-1742 [must have meant 1842]; married 7-28-1842 by J. A. Van Lear (Marriage Book 2, page 61, Ministers returns). Also found in Staunton Spectator of August 11, 1842. David McFall died March 22, 1854 (Staunton Spectator of same year)           Source: Katherine G. Bushman’s Research

Re-Do: cites July 23, 1842 as the marriage date and states the record was originally published in "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800; extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County" by Lyman Chalkley. I viewed Volume 1, 2, and 3 online but didn’t find the 1842 marriage.

A marriage date of July 28, 1842 is also cited by utilizing their Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940 databases. They note their database was originally part of Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

I find it odd that cited Lyman Chalkley’s Chronicles as a source when I couldn’t locate the McFall-Todd marriage in the 3-volume set. Are there more volumes to this work?

Before Catherine married David McFall, her mother was required to give her permission as she was only 19 years old.  I would dearly love to see the consent and bond Mrs. Bushman referred to but couldn’t find any catalog listings for either at or the interlibrary loan service of the Library of VA.  I might be able to view the minister’s returns from the Library of VA. It’s worth pursuing.

I don’t doubt Mrs. Bushman’s findings for a moment and hope I can verify her work with a document or two to add to my Todd collection.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Miss Catherine Todd of Mt. Solon, Augusta Co., VA

You’ve heard about the McFall’s often on this blog. Today I want to tell you about the lady who married 3rd Great Grandfather David McFall—Miss Catherine Todd.

Born in Augusta County, Virginia January 1823, Catherine was one of eight children born to James Todd and Catherine Siple. She married David McFall July 28, 1842. They would only have eleven years together; Grandfather died a young man (age 35) March 20, 1854.

Catherine became a 31 year old widowed mother of five children. She never remarried and no doubt faced her share of challenges raising her young brood.

The Widow McFall lived to be an old lady passing Feb. 1, 1908 when she was 85 years old.

The Staunton newspapers enjoyed Grandmother’s longevity and advised their readers of her ‘comings and goings’ during her last years.

The June 1, 1906 Staunton Spectator noted “Mrs. Cathrine McFall, the next oldest person of our village, who is quite active for one of her age, nearing her 84th birthday, is at this writing visiting her grand-daughter, Mrs. Howard Irvine, near Churchville.”

According to the July 6, 1906 Staunton Spectator issue, Grandmother created a buzz upon her arrival at the M. E. Church’s Children’s day service.

      An interesting feature of the occasion was, when Mrs. Catherine McFall entered the church on the arm of her son. She was observed by Dr. James T. Clarke, who arose with the gallantry of a youth and the politeness of a Chesterfield and tendered her a seat by his side remarking, “This is the old issue,” which caused a waive of laughter over the congregation. Both are considerably up in the eighties, yet they seemed to enjoy the evening as much as the young.”

July 6, 1906 Staunton Spectator, From Mt. Solon

 (By the way, Miss Mysee McFall, a granddaughter, participated in the ceremonies.)

A grandson makes the Mt. Solon news via the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator Friday, Dec. 6, 1907; “James D. McFall of Richmond, is visiting his grandmother, Mrs. Catherine McFall.

When Catherine died, the Staunton Spectator and Vindicator published a lengthy article Friday, February 7, 1908:

     This most estimable lady passed away Saturday night at Mt. Solon, her death being due to pnuemonia and the infirmities of old age. The deceased was the daughter of the late James and Catherine Todd, and was born in the Mt. Solon neighborhood, in the month of January, 1823, and she was in her 86th year. She was a sister of James and Preston Todd, who preceded her to the grave.
      Many years ago she married David McFall, and of this union four children are now living, namely Stuart B., of Washington; Hamilton B., and B. Chambers McFall, of Mt. Solon, and Miss Maggie McFall, of the same place. She is also survived by many grandchildren.
      Her whole life was passed in the village of Mt. Solon, her children grew to manhood and womanhood there. She was such a part and parcel of the neighborhood, and her good work was so intimately interwoven in all that transpired there that she will be greatly missed. In so far as she was able she assisted in charity and her Christian life was a model, her motherly virtues a source of pleasure, and her struggle with the cares of a family in her widowhood was brave and successful. She had long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and her funeral took place from that church on Monday afternoon being conducted by her pastor, Rev. W. S. Marsh. The funeral being attended by many friends and relatives.
      Mrs. Catherine McFall of Mt. Solon, Va., after several weeks of illness, died at her residence in the village at 10 p.m. on the first day of February, 1908, aged 85 years. She was born in January 1823, and was a daughter of James and Catherine Todd, who settled on a small tributary of Mossy Creek about the middle of the 18th century. She lived all her long life on and near the place of her birth. She had three sisters and four brothers--none of whom survive her. Her remains were borne to the grave by six of her grandsons who acted as pall bearers. She was the widow of D. B. McFall, a former merchant of the village, and was a consistent member of the M. E. Church, South for many years. The funeral services were conducted by her pastor Rev. W. H. Marsh. The hymns sung during the services were "I would not live away", "Lead kindly light" and "From every stormy wind that blows"--the latter one of her favorite hymns. Although she suffered much during the latter part of her sickness, she never murmured; being perfectly rational to the last when she sank peacefully to sleep. Her last hours were cheered by her bright anticipation of joining the hosts of the redeemed who had gone before. Her death will be deeply regretted by her relatives and numerous friends who will never forget the cheerful smile which so frequently wreathed her handsome, youthful-appearing face; but they are comforted by the reflection that their loss is her eternal gain, and it will be their privilege to meet her again in the realms of everlasting bliss, "Far beyond the sunsets radiant glow, where sickness and sorrow, pain and woe, and the pangs of separation, are known no more forever."
             J. T. C.

The Staunton Daily Leader also printed an obituary in their Monday evening, Feb. 3, 1908 edition:

Staunton Daily Leader Feb 3 1908, Country Woman Dies in her 86th year

As you can tell from this post, I delight in finding my family in the papers. If you should see any of my McFall’s or Todd’s, please share the news.

My ancestry
4th Great Grandparents James Todd and Catherine Siple
3rd Great Grandparents Catherine Todd and David McFall
2nd Great Grandparents James Addison McFall and Radie Maria Harman
Great Grandparents Flora Belle McFall and Daniel Franklin Joseph
Grandparents James McFall Joseph and Lucy Leora Clemmer
My Father