John Byrd, a brother-in-law to John and William Dean, was killed by Indians two years after his purchase on Jackson's River in 1754. of the wife and six children who were carried away, John , Jr., is the only one we know to have returned. The family were trying to escape to Fort Dinwiddie. The son became so Indianized that it was quite a while before he could reconcile himself to the ways of his own people. He was a favorite with the red men, and made at least one attempt to go back to them. His wife was a Hamilton. There were seven children, but Andrew H., whose wife was Elizabeth CAPITO, was the only son to stay in Bath. He was twice its sheriff. A sister two years older than John, Jr., remained with the Indians. Another sister was Sarah, gborn in 1743. She does not seem to have been carried away, and chose John DEAN as guardian.
Byrds of Bath
The Byrds of Bath Co. date back the history of Bath Co. to 1747 when John Byrd, the Pioneer of the family, cameto Bath Co. from Pennsylvania. Scotch Irish Presbyterian, the deeply religious "Pioneer" was accompanied by a minister, his brother-in-law, Rev. William Dean. The parentage of John Byrd is unknown as is his place of origin. it is known, however, that he was one of the first settlers in the Bath Co. region, appearing in Augusta records as early as 1747. The comstruction of Fort Dinwiddie on the Jackson River encouraged setlement in that area and on 17 may 1754, John purchased 215 acres on the Jackson from Adam Dickson, the land lying just over a mile downstream from the Fort. The land was part of the large Borden Grant, and the same day two other men, James Boreland and william Dean recorded adjoining tracts lying just downstream from John Byrd and very near the present Village of Bacova, Virginia, John Byrd is listed as serving as constable in 1755, and his neighbor, james Boreland (Bourland) in 1756.
The name of John Byrd's wife is a bit of a mystery. Most sources maintain that she was a sister to John and William Dean and this is probably true.
At the time of his land purchase on the Jackson in 1754, John Byrd had been married for some time and had six children. The fury of the border war which would become known to history as the French and Indian War was mounting, and in September of 1756 it burst, apparently without warning, over the settlements on the Jackson. On the 13 and 14th of sep, according to the Account of William preston, 13 settlers were killed and 28 others, all women and children, were taken prisoner. Amond the men killed were John Byrd and George Kinkead (Kincaid). John Byrd's wife and five children were captured. The horror of such a sudden Indian raid is difficult to imagine. The Shawnees a relatively civilized and cultured tribe, could nevertheless be cruel in the extreme, their tortures and brutality shocking to the European settler. Time might ease the memories of small children, but for older children and adults, the unforgettable nightmare of seeing husbands and fathers killed would endure as long as they lived.
However, it is known that one of the older Byrd children, Sarah, aged 13, some how managed to escape capture.
Tradition maintains that John Byrd's wife and children were taken by the Indians across the Ohio River into eastern Ohio where the shawnees had substantial settlements. In contrast to some far western tribes, the eastern Indians were not invariable cruel to their prisoners. Nor did they always rape captured women. Oddly enough, in some instances the white prisoners were treated with great kindness, genuine affection developing between the whites and their Indian captors. the length of the imprisonment of the Byrd family is not known. but most sources have assumed that they were not released until 1764. In that year the command of Col. Hendry Bouquet defeated the Indians at brush Run near Fort Pritt, and the resulting treaty called for the release of all white prisoners held by the Shawnees.
"A List of Prisoners at the Lower Shawana Town" contains: "Margarett Bard and five children".
Although some evidence exists for the returned Byrd children no reference can be found to mrs. Byrd after her return.
Young "Indian" John D. Byrd was only eight at the time of his capture by the Indians, he was 16 at the release in 1764.
He married and lived in Bath County until his death in 1836. At the time of his death he owned the original 125 acre tract purchased by his father in 1754. he left the original 1754 "Byrd Tract" to his son Andrew Hamilton Byrd, who apparently lived at home and was the only son to remain in Bath County.
Andrew remained in Bath County although he moved from the Jackson River in 1837 to a site further north on the Cowpasture. He served in the War of 1812 and was a wealthy, prominent man. He served for many years as a Justice in Bath co., was twice its sheriff, and represented the co., in Richmond for 22 years. He introduced, in 1847, the bill creating Highland Co. and the Co., line was adjusted to place Andrew H. Byrd'd residence just inside the new Co., he served in many public offices in both Bath and Highland until his death. There were six Children.
"major" John Thomas Byrd, a son of Andrew H. Byrd, was born on Jackson River below the Fossifern Farm near Byrd's Fort or Fort Dinwiddie in May 1828 and died at "Byrd Nest", Williamsville, Bath Co., VA, in 1912. with the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Service, and was first a lieutenant of Company F. Eighteenth VA Cavalry, but rose by rapid promotions to be Captain of his Company. As captain of Company F. he succeeded Capt. Wm Ervine of Warm Springs who was captured at McConnellsville, Penn. Wnen the War ended, he was with General Early's Command. With fourteen surviving comrades he returned to Bath and took up te disheartening burdens of the reconstruction period and became a very successful farmer and stockman. A very religious man, he was a close student of the Bible. Like his father, he was a self educated man but his fund of information was a large one and covered many subjects. He was a presbyterian, a democrat and served the counties of Highland, Bath and Alleghany in the State Assembly. he married Sara Rebecca McClintic of Flowing Springs, Bath County, VA and to the union were born eight children, five sons and three daughters.
One of those eight children, Hale Houston Byrd, became the family's second jurist and first attorney.
He was born on 24 Mar 1871 and and died 1 Feb 1932. he also married a McClintic, his cousin, Carrie, a niece of his mother.
Hale Houston graduated from the University of VA Law School in 1901 and founded the family law practice in Hot Springs, practicing in Bath and adjoining counties.
He was Bath's Commonwealth Attorney from 1904 until 1920 and from 1929-1933 filling out an unexpired term following the death of John W. Stephenson, Jr. In 1922, he was appointed by the county for a six-year term as judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In addition to being a charter member of the Covington-Hot Springs Rotary Club, he maintained his private practice and was county chairman of the Democratic party and counselor to the Board of Supervisors during his 19 years as Commonwealth's Attorney.
Hale Houston liked to entertain and Byrd's Nest vacations were popular to many guests.
Described as a "delightful conversationalist," he was also said to be a power in the county because of his "vision, brilliance of intellect, courageous inflexible stand for the right, unusual fight for expression and appealing oratory."
He was a progressive farmer and stockman as well as bank officer and director but suffered severe financial losses in his later years, during the time of business crisis and depression.
He and Carrie had two children, Duncan M. Byrd, 21 at the tinme of his father's death and a daughter, Caroline Houston Byrd.
Following Carrie's death, Hale Houston had married his long-time legal secretary, Bess E. Sims in 1931.
Bess was amazing in her own right, She and her step-son, Duncan, had maintained the family law practice, Byrd and Byrd, for many years. Although Bess had never been to Law school, she passed the bar exam after her husband's death, attributing her legal knowledge to the many years she worked as a secretary to Hale Houston.
Duncan Sr., born in 1911, was also a product of the UVA law school. He also attended Hampden-Sydney and Randolph Macon Colleges. He was a trial justice for Bath County from 1948 until 1952 when he was elected commonwealth's Attorney, a post he held until his death in December, 1962. He was married to the former Bessie Jarrett of Bacova.
prominent in civic life, he was chairman of the Bath Co., Democratic Party and had been active with the Ingalls Airport Commission.
Duncan, Jr., the fourth Judge and third attorney, was born in 1943. Breaking family tradition, he received his law degree from the University of Richmond's T.C. Williams law school in 1968. His 1965 undergraduate degree was the Virginia Military Institute in civil engineering.
He practiced law in the family firm for a while, receiving a part-time bench appointment in May 1971 with Bath Co.sd juvenile and domestic relations and county court before they became separate and before the revamping of the state's court systems into the present districts. He gave up provate practice when he became a full-time judge on Jul 1, 1973.
In May 1981, Duncan McClintic Byrd, Jr. was elected and sworn in as Circuit Court Judge for the 25th judicial Circuit to fill the vacancy created by the election of Justice Roscoe B. Stephenson to the VA supreme Court. Judge Byrd continues to serve in this capacity setting primarily in the Circuit courts of Highland, Bath and Alleghany Co. as well as the Cities of Clifton Forge and Buena Vista.
Currently, there are Four Bath Co. families represented by seventh generation "Byrds" of Bath Co. In sddition to Duncan, Jr., one of his sisters, Nancy Byrd Hiner, wife of D. Wayne Hiner, resides in Warm Springs. Additionally, Sarah Byrd Worsham, wofe of Robert Worsham currently serves as Clerk of the Bath General and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and resides in the Villege of Ashwood. Her sister. Amelia Byrd Keyser, wife of Albert H. Keyser, Jr. also resides in the village of Ashwood. Sarah and Amelia (Mimi) are daughters of Julian Byrd, jr., son of Julian Metteau Byrd Sr. who was a brother to Hale Houston Byrd and one of John T. Byrd's five sons submitted by Duncan M. Byrd, Jr.
I have David Vance b. 13 Jan 1755 of Wrightstown Bucks , PA
Married: Mary Wolsey
son of Samuel Fance b. 10 Dec 1728
and Agnes Penquite 16 May 1730 of Wrightstown, Bucks, PA
Daughter of Nicholas Penquite and Abigail Bills
History Bath Co. VA
The success of early america depended on education, energetic and versatile leaders at the national, state and local levels. Samuel Vance was one of these . He was a Indian fighter, REVOLUTIONARY WAR officer, local politician and one of the promoters and founders of Bath Co.
Vance obtained a marriage license 4 May, 1763, and soon after wed Sarah Bird, daughter of John and Margaret Dean Bird of Jackson's River at the mouth of Warm Springs Run. Two years later they moved to a new plantation at the junction of Back Creek and little Back Creek. now Mountain Grove, where they would live together for over 40 years and raise a large family: Rachel, Elizabeth, Patsy, sarah, James, Nancy , Alice and Benjamin.
Almost certainly Samuel was a member of the Militia prior to his qualification as Lieutenant 17 may 1774. He joined the force under Col. Andrew Lewis and marched to Point Pleasant where, on 10 Oct 1774, they fought the Indians under the leadership of the celebrated Shawnee chief Cornstalk. samuel was wounded in this battle.
During the Revolution, samuel served in a dual capacity. He qualified as a captaihn of militia 17 Mar 1778, and two months later as a gentleman justice of the Augusta Co. Court a post he held throughout the Revolution on 19 Nov 1782 he qualified as lieutenant colonel of militia
After the war he continued to sit as justice but on 16 Mar 1785. he and three others refused the post because it was too ---o the courthouse at Staunton. Although he served as Augusta justice again in 1786 and as a commissioner of the tax in 1787, it was this complaint shared by many that led him into joining a local movement to establish a new county. Their efforts were rewarded in 1790 when the new co. of Bath was formed, with Samuel Vance as one of its first justices and its first coroner. He held county offices for over ten more years.
One more official duty was thrust upon the aging stalwart. In 1894 he was appointe to a commission to study the best route for the planned James River and Kanawha Turnpike. It was a Natural selection since he had walked much of the route many times as Indian fighter, soldier and hunter.
Samuel died in 1807, probably in Sep, and his widow Sarah in 1815, Both are no doubt buried somewhere in Mountain Grove but no graves have been found , submitted by W. Clay Hamilton, Jr.
firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Buss
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