Sunday, September 13, 2020

Starting Over with 4th Great Grandfather Thomas McFall

 McFall family researchers have been studying Cornelius McFall as a possible father for Great Grandfather Thomas McFall for at least twenty years. I have been among that group for quite some time. While I successfully gathered records for Cornelius, I have struggled to find any documentation linking Cornelius and Thomas.

 So, in today’s blog, I’ll tell you what I know about Thomas McFall and hope you can help.

 I first learned about him when I employed Mrs. Katherine Bushman, from Augusta County, Virginia to uncover my ancestry in 1991. She quickly traced my Great Grandmother Flora Belle (McFall) Joseph to James Addison McFall to David McFall to 4th Great Grandfather Thomas McFall.

 Thomas was born about 1790 in Virginia and died February 3, 1854 in Augusta County, Virginia where he resided for many years. The Staunton Spectator and General Advertiser printed his death notice March 8, 1854.


                              In this county, at his residence, on the 3d of Februa-

                              ry, Mr. THOMAS McFALL, aged about 64 years.  He

                              was formerly of Albemarle, but had been a resident of

                              this county for the last thirty years.

To set the record straight, he had been an Augusta County, Virginia resident for more than thirty years. Records indicated it was forty-two years. I found him in an 1812 Augusta personal property tax list when he was a young man about 21-22 years old.

Thomas had documented connections to Albemarle County, Virginia dating back to August 1814 when he married in that county. A marriage bond dated August 23, 1814 declared his intention to marry 4th Great Grandmother Nancy Hall, daughter of the deceased James Hall.

By the way, Albemarle is where Cornelius McFall lived as early as the American Revolution casting a research trail that I would follow looking for a 5th great grandfather.

 Let’s get back to Thomas’ early life. As I said, he began appearing in the Augusta personal property tax lists in 1812. The 1815 Augusta County personal property tax list dated March 2 reveal Great Grandfather owned 1 horse, ass, mule, mare, or colt and 1 head of cattle.

 The August 7, 1820 federal census enumeration found the Thomas McFall home in Staunton, Augusta, Virginia:

 4 Free White Males Under 10: sons, James, John, William, and David

1 Free White Male - 26 thru 44:  Thomas age about 30 years

1 Free White Female - 16 thru 25: wife Nancy (maybe 20-24 years)

1 Person Engaged in Agriculture: Thomas

4 Free White Persons Under 16: 4 McFall sons

Free White Person - Over 25: 1 must be Thomas

Total Free White Persons: 6

Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 6

1820 U S Census; Census Place: Staunton, Augusta, Virginia; Page: 30; NARA Roll: M33_132

 I have not been able to find the McFall’s in the 1830 federal census but know Thomas remained in Augusta County as I found him in the 1830 personal property tax list. During the 1820’s two more children were born—Mary Jane in 1821 and Isaiah 1825.

 By January 12, 1832, Great Grandfather was a widower and married widow Ann (White) Smith in Augusta County.

The 1835 Augusta County, Virginia personal property tax lists included Thomas as well as his eldest son, James McFall. James must have been about 21 years old to be taxed on his own behalf. James and Thomas both were taxed in 1836. In 1837, Thomas’ sons John and David McFall appeared in the county tax lists. Thomas, sons David and William were taxed in 1839.

 Augusta County was still home to the McFall’s per the 1840 federal census:

 Name: Thomas McFall

Home (City, County, State): Augusta, Virginia

1 Free White Male - 50 thru 59: Thomas age about 50 years

1 Free White Female - 15 thru 19: Daughter Mary Jane McFall

1 Free White Female - 40 thru 49: 2nd wife Ann

1 Person Employed in Agriculture: Thomas

1 Free White Person - Under 20: Mary Jane McFall

1 Free White Person - 20 thru 49: 2nd wife Ann

3 Total Free White Persons: Thomas, Ann, and Mary Jane

Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 3

Year: 1840; Census Place: Augusta, Virginia; Roll: 551; Page: 12; Image: 28; Family History Library Film: 0029684

 The older McFall sons no longer lived with their father, but I was surprised to see the youngest boy, Isaiah (about 15 years) was not in Thomas’ home either.

The 1850 federal census:

District No. 2 and 1/2; Augusta County, Virginia

Page 339a, Line 26, Dwelling 261, Family 267

Thos McFall  age 58  male  Farmer  Value of Real Estate Owned $578  Place of Birth Virginia

Anne McFall  age 59  female  Place of Birth Virginia  Cannot read & write

After Thomas’ death, his widow Anne, initiated a chancery cause to have her dower rights assigned to his estate. The Staunton Spectator published details of the case in their April 25, 1855 issue:

VIRGINIA ;--At Rules held in the Clerk’s

     Office of the Circuit Court for Augusta coun-

ty, March the 31st, 1855, Ann McFall, Samuel

Good and David W. Riddle,--Plaintiffs,


James McFall, John McFall, Catharine McFall

and Margaret McFall, Hamilton McFall, James

McFall, Stuart B. McFall and David McFall, in-

fant children of David McFall, dec’d.,--Defen-


    The object of this suit is to obtain an assign-

ment of dower for the plaintiff Anne McFall, the

widow of Thomas McFall, dec’d., in the real es-

tate, of which said Thomas McFall died seized

and a partition or sale of the residue of said real


    The Defendants James McFall and John Mc-

Fall not having entered their appearance and giv-

en security, according to the act of Assembly,

and the Rules of this Court, and it appearing by

satisfactory evidence that they are not inhabitants

of this Commonwealth:  It is ordered that the

said Defendants do appear here within one month

after due publication of this notice and answer the

bill of the plaintiff and that a copy of this order

be forthwith inserted in some newspaper printed

in Staunton, for four weeks successively, and

posted at the front door of the Court-house.

             A Copy—Tests,

                                         N. C. KINNEY, Cl’k.

   April 4, 1855—4w.—H. W. Sheffey, P. Q.

 Thomas’ daughter, Mary Jane and husband James Dalton had already sold their interest in her father’s estate to Samuel Good prior to the chancery suit. The same was true of William McFall and his wife Susan in October 1854 when they sold their interest to David W. Riddle. Isaiah McFall predeceased his father dying in 1847.

 The October 15, 1856 edition of the Staunton Spectator and General Advertisers reports on the pending Commissioner’s sale of Thomas McFall’s land.


   decree of the Circuit Court of Augusta county,

rendered on the 20th day of June 1856, in the case of

Ann McFall, &c., vs. Catharine McFall, &c., I shall pro-

ceed, on Tuesday, the 18th day of November next, to

sell on the premises the TRACT OF LAND of which

Thomas McFall died seized and possessed, lying in Au-

gusta county, near Mt Pisgah Church, and containing

about 33 Acres. The improvements consist of a com-

fortable DWELLING HOUSE and suitable out-build-


   TERMS OF SALE:--Cash for the expenses of sale and

reasonable costs of suit; the balance in six, twelve and

eighteen months; bonds, with good security, to be ta-

ken for the deferred payments, and the title to be re-

tained until the purchase money is paid.

                                        HUGH W. SHEFFEY, Com’r.

   Oct. 15, 1856.—tds.

Friday, August 28, 2020

William White Died at the Residence of His Father

 William White, a wagon maker from Mt. Sidney, Virginia died a young man leaving a widow and three young children who would become Defendants in Augusta County, Virginia chancery cause 1858-071 Nicholas K. Trout vs. Heirs of William White. You can read about the suit here.

It is odd but William White’s date of death was not included in the court papers. I knew that he had died by October 25,1855 because this is when the chancery cause was initiated.

Recently I located a death notice published in the June 30, 1852 edition of the Staunton Spectator stating William passed June 14, 1852:

                                        RECORD OF DEATHS.

                             DIED, at the residence of his father, in Mt. Sidney,

                          on the 14th inst., Mr. WILLIAM WHITE, aged 34 years.

I have always suspected his father was Clement White, a wagon maker, living next door to William and his family per the 1850 federal census enumeration.

The 1841 personal property tax lists proved helpful in cementing the father/son relationship. 

Commissioner James Nelson’s List of Taxable Property for the 2nd District of Augusta Co., VA included William White and Clemens White (at the bottom of page 41). When a commissioner encountered two men in his district with the same name, he usually tried to distinguish the men in some manner. This is why you see “(of C.” after William’s entry. It means Wm. White was a son of Clemens White. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

100 Cents Paid Clemmer and Miller Marriage License Bond

 Rockbridge County, Virginia, June 28, 1842

Know all men by these presents, that we William K. Clemer

and Joseph Miller   ---  ----  ---   are held and firmly bound

unto John McGregory Lieutenant & acting Governor of the commonwealth

of Virginia in the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to

which payment well and truly to be made to the said Governor

and his successors for the use of the commonwealth, we bind

ourselves our heirs executors and administrators jointly and

severally firmly by these presents. Witness our hands and

seals this 28th day of June 1842

   The condition of the above obligation is such that where

as a marriage is shortly intended to be had and solem-

nized between the above bound William Clemer, and Nancy

Jane Miller, daughter of the above bound Joseph Miller


Now if there is no lawful cause to obstruct the said mar-

riage then this obligation to be void otherwise to remain

in full force and virtue.

                                              William K Clemmer  {seal}

 Teste                                    Joseph Miller  {seal}

David Hutcheson D. C.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Bridesmaid is Wedded When her Duties Ended

Middletown Daily Times-Press, Middletown, New York

September 16, 1913 Edition



   Goshen, Sept. 16—The wedding at the Clark home on Mathew street, Monday afternoon, turned out to be a double one. Besides the marriage of Miss Nettie Clark to F. V. Cook, there occurred also the entirely unexpected uniting of Miss Clara Fitzgerald, of Middletown, to A. Vanderslith, of Paterson.
   The guests had all assembled for the announced wedding, which was to occur at 3 o’clock. Mr. Vanderslith was one of these, while Miss Fitzgerald was to be bridesmaid.
   For some time this couple have been seen in each other’s company, but no serious steps had been taken to prepare their friends for Monday’s happening.
   At about 2 o’clock, Mrs. D. P. Clark, mother of the bride, in a joking way, suggested that this couple be married at the same time. To the delight of all the suggestion was adopted.
   Mr. Vanderslith then made a record dash up-town, procured a license and the ring, and, the four were made two by Rev. J. C. Coddington, of the Methodist Church.
   The Clark-Cook marriage was told about in the Times-Press in yesterday’s issue.
   Mr. Vanderslith is an employe of a large manufacturing concern in Paterson, and was soon to leave on an extended business trip—this probably hastened his decision in favor of immediate marriage.
   The home was beautifully decorated and the marriage—or marriages—took place under a beautiful arbor. After the double ceremony, the entire party adjourned downstairs where a bounteous wedding feast, prepared by Mrs. Clark, was served.
   The two couples then left on their wedding trips, after being wished all the good luck in the world.
   Mr. and Mrs. Cook will go for a short trip through the West, and will reside in Port Jervis. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderslith will spend a short time in Walden and vicinity, after which they will leave on the business trip before mentioned.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Nettie A Clark’s Lawn Party

Orange County Times, published Middletown, New York

August 19, 1902


Happenings at the County Seat—All the
Latest News

             Miss Nettie A. Clark, aged 10 years,
gave a lawn party Thursday afternoon
at the home of her parents, Mr. and
Mrs. David Clark, to forty of her little
friends and companions. The occasion
was a happy one for all present. Re-
freshments were served and in the
evening the whole party was given a
straw ride and attended the band
concert. Among those entertained by
the little hostess were Annie Maguire,
of Brooklyn; Ethel Clark, of Paterson;
Lizzie Stalter, of Warwick; Gertrude
Kane, of Chester; Ethel Keenan and
Nellie Hewitt, of Middletown, and Ella
Wilson, of Hartford, Conn.

The Straw Ride
Winslow Homer
from Harper’s Bazar
September 25, 1869