“Genealogy becomes a mania, an obsessive struggle to penetrate the past and snatch meaning from an infinity of names. At some point the search becomes futile – there is nothing left to find, no meaning to be dredged out of old receipts, newspaper articles, letters, accounts of events that seemed so important fifty or seventy years ago. All that remains is the insane urge to keep looking, insane because the searcher has no idea what he seeks. What will it be? A photograph? A will? A fragment of a letter? The only way to find out is to look at everything, because it is often when the searcher has gone far beyond the border of futility that he finds the object he never knew he was looking for.”Henry Wiencek
“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”
Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas
Sarah Dyer Armstrong was born in 1720 and married James Armstrong in 1748. James died in 1759. Sarah died on the 31 January 1787 in Flagg Springs, Augusta County, Virginia, United States.
I found a probate record for my seventh great grandmother Sarah Dyer Armstrong. It was listed in Augusta County Virginia 07 October 1759 in Virginia, Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850. This probate 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. Sarah was listed as the Executrix for her husband James Armstrong’s noncupative will – “Wife, Sarah (pregnant); daughters, Liddy and Jean. Executors, wife Sarah and Brother Robt. Armstrong. Proved by witnesses and executors qualified.” Book WB2-341, Prove date: 21 November 1759.
Executors, wife Sarah and brother Robert Armstrong, Teste: Thomas Lloyd, Samuel Archer. Proved, 21st November, 1759 by witnesses, and executors qualified, with Sampson Archer, James Bell. Vol.1. Book VI, p. 319; 21 Nov 1759, “Sarah relict of James Armstrong, summoned to show cause against James’ nuncupative will.” Chalkey’s Page 350. 18 March 1760. James Armstrong’s appraisement, by John Finley, Sampson Archer, James Hogshead, Andrew Foster.
Vol. 1, p. 156: February 17, 1762: Robert Armstrong is appointed guardian of Lydia, James, and Jane Armstrong, orphans of James Armstrong- Chalkey’s
Sarah was pregnant with James Jr. when his father James died in 1759. His sisters are Lydia Armstrong (who is my sixth great grandmother who married my sixth great grandfather, Revolutionary War Patriot James Gilliland) and Jane/Jean.
Lydia moved to Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) with their uncle Robert Armstrong when her father James died.
James Armstrong is buried in the Geeding-Keller Cemetery which is located on the farm of Dr. James Knopp, behind Green Hill Cemetery, on Route 836 near Churchville. Overgrown with trees and some brush.
Inscription on the tombstone reads as follows:
Armstrong, James d 6 Oct 1759
Here lies the body of James Armstrong departed this life in the
28th year of his life, October the 6th 1759.
By: Cindie Harper, Researcher and Contributor
Douglas Putnam got rich by investing in real estate and the first railroad to connect Parkersburg, WV and Marietta, Ohio. He used his money to build a spacious home for his second bride, Eliza Whipple Putnam. The Tuscan-style villa on Putnam Avenue (originally called Putnam Place) took ten years to build and cost $65,000 which was a lot of money in that time. When it was finally completed, Eliza moved in where she shortly died from heart disease at the age of 53.
Over the years it has passed from owner to owner. A nursing home used the complex, including the mansion, to house patients. That is when it became known as the Christian Anchorage. It received this name because of its distinctive, anchor-shaped driveway. Even after the nursing home sold it to Marietta Memorial Hospital, who then sold it to the Washington County Historical Society for one dollar, people continued to refer to it as The Anchorage.
Another rumor attached to the house is that it was used by the Putnams as a way station on the Underground Railroad. Supposedly a tunnel leads from the subcellar to a steep bank on the Muskingum River, just up from its confluence with the Ohio. This seems unlikely, since such a tunnel would have had to have been pretty long. Also, it’s a widespread misconception that the Underground Railroad really involved a lot of literal underground activity. Mostly slaves were hidden in a back room and fed, clothed, given a place to sleep. Tunnels were very rarely involved.
Here are some pictures from my visit there. The property is currently in the process of historic preservation.
I was a guest at the General Lewis Inn in Lewisburg, WV during one of my many genealogy research trips to Greenbrier County, WV and the surrounding area. This area of West Virginia has always beckoned me and after some research into my family history, I am going to assume that there’s a possibility that it’s because I have deep family roots in the area.
My sixth great grandfather is Capt. William McCoy (founder of McCoy’s Fort- see my previous post on McCoy’s Fort).
My seventh great uncle is Col. Andrew Hamilton and so forth and so on. In my search for family information and history, I took a break to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of the Historic General Lewis Inn. Here are some pictures from my stay.
Staying in the General Lewis Inn was like experiencing a step back in time except with modern day bathrooms and free wifi for guests, which is my kind of place. We dined at the Jefferson Dining Room located in the original portion of the inn built in 1834. The dining room had an elegant and peaceful atmosphere. At night, candles were lit and the upscale dining area was absolutely gorgeous with excellent service. During our dinner, we ordered drinks from the Thistle Lounge which was located right beside the dining room. I tried the French Vodka Lemonade which consisted of Basil, vodka, and sparkling lemonade at price of $10 per glass. I also tried the West Virginia Hurricane which consisted of dark rum, white rum, cointreau, orange pomegranate and pineapple juice at a price of $15 per glass. Both were delicious drinks. If I had to choose between the two, I would say the West Virginia Hurricane was my favorite.
After dinner, we walked through town and then enjoyed some front porch sitting on the comfortable rocking chairs before retiring to our rooms for the evening.
The cost is a little on the higher end for being in such a quiet, small town but it is definitely a unique experience. If you arrive earlier in the day, you are able to walk through the Inn and check out the other rooms. Every room is beautifully decorated with antiques and each one has complimentary West Virginia spring water. The Inn does not have an elevator but there are rooms located on the first and second floors available to accommodate everyone.
Since the building is older, you are able to hear people walking up and down the hallways, opening and closing doors. If your room is located near the front desk, you will be able to hear most of whatever is being said in the area. However, it is still relatively peaceful throughout the building, even during “busy” times. The staff was very friendly and helpful and seemed to genuinely care about your comfort which gave the Inn an even more comfortable “home” feel. I plan to return very soon.
If you’re visiting Lewisburg, I highly recommend that you stay at the General Lewis Inn, especially if you are a history lover.