Friday, January 30, 2015

The West and Ficklin Families

Contributed by Joy Ikelman, 2015. Disclaimers apply.

Allied Families of West DNA Family Group #5:
The West and Ficklin Families

A portion of the map: A Survey of the Northern Neck of Virginia, being the Lands belonging to the R. Honourable Thomas Lord Fairfax Baron Cameron, bounded by & within the Bay of Chefapoyocke and between the Rivers Rappahannock and Potowmack with the Courfes of the Rivers Rappahannock and Potowmack in Virginia as surveyed according to Order in the Years 1736 & 1737. (Source: Library of Congress.)

Allied Families
As I was looking for data on one of our West DNA Family Group #5 ancestors, I discovered new information about an “allied” family—the Ficklins.  An allied family is generally connected by marriage. We may see these names linked to our family in legal documents, migrations, or family traditions—even if there was no intermarriage.

West and Ficklin Connections
Ignatius West was probably a brother to John West and Thomas West. Both John and Thomas West are part of West FG#5 through their descendants (DNA participants W270 and W299). West Family researcher Ron Roy did an extensive study of deeds and other records. He cautions that although the timelines fit almost perfectly, nothing is absolutely proven. This is why I used the word “probably” to suggest the relationship. 

Ignatius West married Patience Ficklin, perhaps in the early 1740s. Patience Ficklin was born about 1722. She was the daughter of William and Sarah Ficklin of King George County, VA. William Ficklin was the immigrant ancestor of this Ficklin Family. He lived on his leased property in King George County until his death in about 1756.

Between 1742 and 1746, brothers John and Thomas West lived in Stafford County, VA. In 1745, Ignatius West appeared in a legal record that referred to him as “Ignatius West of King George County, Planter.” In 1756, Ignatius and Patience were listed in a King George County deed, along with Ficklin family members. In 1770, Ignatius and Patience West were living in Stafford County. In 1791, Ignatius West’s Will was recorded in Faquier County, VA, adjacent to Stafford County. Patience is not mentioned in the Will.

In 1781, a nephew of Ignatius and Patience—Thomas Ficklin—migrated from Fredericksburg, VA to the area of today’s Lexington, KY. In 1784, another nephew of Ignatius and Patience—Edward West—migrated from Fredericksburg (or Falmouth) to the same place. I wondered if this was a coincidence.

The Northern Neck of Virginia
Where did the Wests and Ficklins live in the 1740s? I decided to narrow down the geographic region.

The blue rectangle on the map, above, is the result. The map shows the Northern Neck of Virginia—land that lies between the Rappahannock River and the Potomac River. The Northern Neck is only about 15 to 20 miles wide, and runs in between the two rivers for about 100 miles.

County bounties changed regularly during the 1700s. On the map you can see the boundaries of 1736/1737. Stafford, King George, Prince William, and Westmoreland Counties were north of the Rappahannock River. Orange, Spotsylvania, and Caroline Counties were south of the Rappahannock River. In the 1740s, both West and Ficklin families lived north of the Rappahannock River.

I searched for three places with Google’s map feature:

(1) Aquia, VA. John and Thomas West were listed in the Overwharton Parish records in the 1740s. The parish church was located near Aquia, Stafford County, Virginia. This church was about 12 miles northeast of Fredericksburg.

(2) Sealston, VA. William Ficklin’s land was located near Lambs Creek Church in Sealston, King George County, VA. This church was built in 1769 on the site of Muddy Creek Church (established in 1717). Unfortunately, no church records exist. The church was 12 miles east of Fredericksburg.

(3) Fredericksburg and Falmouth, VA. Fredericksburg is on the south side of the Rappahannock River. It is not in the Northern Neck of Virginia. It was in Spotsylvania County, so it is not written on the old map. Falmouth is across the river from Fredericksburg. In the 1740s, Falmouth was in King George County, but today is in Stafford County. The grandson of Edward West said his family came from Falmouth.

Migration to Kentucky in the 1780s
Thomas Ficklin was born about 1750 in King George County, VA and died after 1810 in Kentucky. He was the son of William Ficklin, Jr., Patience’s brother. Thomas Ficklin married Mary Herndon. “Herndon” is another one of our allied families. He moved to Bryan’s Fort (Lexington, KY area) with a large group of people from Spotsylvania Upper Baptist Church. (This Baptist Church was about 12 miles southwest of Fredericksburg.) Two of Thomas’ brothers also moved to Kentucky. Ficklin was one of the founders of Great Crossing Baptist Church in Georgetown, KY (1785).

Edward West (b. ca. 1730s; d. 1791) was the son of John West, who was probably Ignatius West’s brother. Edward was married to Elizabeth Mills in 1752. In 1784, they came to the area of Lexington, KY (near Georgetown). Most of their grown sons and their families relocated at the same time. He brought his nephew, Lynn West. Edward West owned a large amount of land in this new frontier. He was a gunsmith by trade.

I’d like to believe that the two families kept in contact in Virginia and Kentucky. There is a very high probability that this generation of Kentucky Wests and Ficklins knew each other. Joseph Ficklin, a descendant, was the postmaster in Lexington in 1828. Edward West, Jr. was a highly regarded silversmith and inventor.

Both families knew John Bradford, the founder of the Kentucky Gazette. Bradford was among the settlers at Bryan’s Fort. Edward West, Jr. lived across the street from John Bradford in Lexington. A West married into the Bradford family in 1818. There were probably business connections and maybe church connections between the Wests and Ficklins. But did they know their family connection?

Today’s Fredericksburg
All of the places mentioned in this article (including the References) are part of the Fredericksburg greater-metropolitan area today. Each is less than 30 miles away from the city’s center. What seemed so far apart in the 1740s is easy to reach today. A modern map that gives perspective is:

            Regional Map: Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and Stafford
            (Source: Greater Fredericksburg Tourism Partnership, 2015)

References and Additional Information
Ron Roy’s extensive research on the Thomas and Ignatius West is summarized in the blog articles:
        Ignatius West of King George & Stafford Counties VA
        Thomas West of Virginia
It is possible that most of the West deeds relating to Orange and Spotsylvania Counties are in near-proximity to Fredericksburg. As an example: In a deed of 1740, Thomas West bought land from Jos. Brock of St. George’s Parish in Spotsylvania County. St. George’s Parish was a land designation—today it is called Fredericksburg. In records of 1745 and 1752, Sherwood James and Ignatius West are mentioned together in lands of “deeds of lease and release” at Black Walnut Run, Orange County, VA. The location of this is near Rhoadesville, VA, approximately 26 miles west of Fredericksburg.

John West of Stafford County, VA and some of his descendants were addressed in my articles:
        John West (d. ca. 1744)
        James West (b. 26 Sep 1742; d. ca. 1780)
        Lynn West (b. 1775; d. 26 Jan 1836)
        Edward West (b. ca. 1730s; d. ca. 1791)
        Edward West (b. 1757; d. 23 Aug 1827)
        William Edward West (b. 10 Dec 1788; d. 2 Nov 1857)

Ficklin Family data came from various sources. The primary source (in addition to original County documents) is:
        Walter Homan Ficklin, 1912: A Genealogical History of the Ficklin Family, from the First of the Name in America to the Present Time, with some Account of the Family in England, The W.H. Kistler Press, Denver, Colorado.

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. This site has interactive maps that show the changes in County boundaries.

The Ten Thousand Name Petition. The 10,000 Name Petition of 1775-1776 called for an end to religious persecution of Baptists in Virginia. It was signed by Baptists, but also by sympathizers of all faiths and non-affiliated citizens as well. The original has been digitized by the Library of Congress. In 1998, it was transcribed by Jean Pickett Hall for the Virginia Genealogical Historical Quarterly, in Volumes 35 and 36.
        Thomas Ficklin signed with other members of the Spotsylvania Upper Baptist Church. This was about 12 miles southwest of Fredericksburg. Today it is Craigs Baptist Church, Spotsylvania, VA. This is on page 87 of the original signed document.
                Edward West and Ignatius West are found on page 95 of the document. There is no church designation. However, sixteen of the names on that page (including Edward West) were original founders of Hartwood Baptist Church (in 1771) of Stafford County. The church was located about seven miles northwest of Fredericksburg. Unfortunately, in 1778, West was excommunicated from his church “for holding erroneous doctrines.” Hartwood Church was founded by former members of the Chappawamsic Baptist Church. Edward West and his family were members of that church in the 1760s.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Family Tree DNA West Family Group #5

This is a summary of general information of each participant in the West yDNA test group #5 of the FTDNA West Project.  Each participant has been given a code identity to protect their privacy.  The summaries were compiled by the West Family Project Administrator.  Posted by John G. West, W64.

West Family Group 5
W22 and W23 match on 23 of 25 markers. They share one marker value which is somewhat rare, a value of 10 on DYS 385a, reinforcing the other information that they share a common ancestor. W23 has William West, b abt 1745 VA, as his oldest WEST ancestor. The earliest document found for William is the baptismal record for his two eldest sons in Shenandoah Co. VA, 1773. He resided in Rockingham Co. VA, where many of his children were born, before moving to Tennessee. He died in Greene Co. TN in 1829. W22 also has a William WEST as his oldest ancestor. His William was b abt 1816 in KY or TN, and lived most of his life in Anderson Co. TN. These families now believe that William WEST b abt 1745 is the grandfather of William WEST b 1816. W22 has added two generations to his ancestry through DNA testing. W24 was added to this family group on 14 August 2004 when his DNA results were completed. W24 and W23 match on 36 of 37 markers. Their relationship was known before the DNA test. W23 and W24 share a common ancestor, Samuel WEST, b 1836 MO, who was a great-grandson of William WEST, b abt 1745. They are 2d cousins, once removed. Genetic matches between known cousins reinforce the value of DNA testing as a means of identifying family groups.
   W42 was added to this group on 15 Feb 2005, following receipt of his DNA test results. His oldest ancestor is Charles P. WEST, born about 1780, VA. Prior to the DNA test, a link was suspected to the line of William West, b 1745, but documentation was missing. The DNA test has confirmed that W42 shares a common ancestor W22, W23, and W24.
   W46 was added to this family on 2 March 2005, following receipt of his DNA results. He matches W23 and W24 on 25 of 25 markers. The oldest ancestor of W46 is James O. WEST b 1808 in Logan Co. KY. This is a very exciting discovery for this line, because James O. West has been their brick wall. They are now working to determine the relationship to William WEST, b 1745 VA.
    W44 was added to Family Group #5 on 12 March 2005, following receipt of his 37 marker DNA test. Within this group, he has the most well documented paper trail to William WEST, b 1745 VA. His DNA results reassure the other participants in this group that some assumptions based on circumstantial evidence were correct.
     W59 was added to this family group on 3 May 2005. He matches other members of Family Group #5 on all markers tested, indicating that he shares a common ancestor with that group. His oldest identified ancestor is Robert West, born about 1834 in Hanover County Virginia, married Mary CLAYTON. Robert WEST was African-American, but we are unsure at present whether he was born in slavery. It is likely that his father or grandfather was a slave owner or overseer.
   W62 is descended from Claiborne WEST, b 1759 in Buckingham Co. VA. He was added to WEST family group #5 on August 30, 2005, upon receipt of his DNA test results. He matches W23 on 35 of 37 markers. A relationship to the line of William WEST, b 1745 VA had not been considered by either branch prior to the DNA test, so this has given them new clues to pursue.
    W64 is descended from Thomas WEST, b about 1718 in VA or NC, whose will was proven in Chatham Co NC in 1808. His DNA results were received on September 2, 2005. He matches W23 and W46 on 23 of 25 markers. A relationship to the other participants in Family Group #5 had only been suspected prior to the DNA test results. This group still has much work to determine relationships, but they can now collaborate to fill in gaps in their family history.
    W65 is the 10th member of Family Group #5, and was added on 27 October 2005 following receipt of his DNA results. He matches W23 and W46 on 25 of 25 markers. His oldest ancestors are Amos WEST, b abt 1766, probably in Orange Co NC and his wife Frances HERNDON. Quoting from the genealogist for this line " We in this West line have theorized that Amos West is a possible son of Richard West (b. Ca. 1738-1739, d. Aft. 1819), who is the son of Thomas West, Sr. (Ca. 1718-1808). Thomas West, Sr. is the ancestor of W64." This DNA results certainly gives credibility to their hypothesis.
     We are all very excited about the relationships being discovered for this group. In one message to me, W46 stated that he and W64 had exchanged information in about 1998, and concluded that it was unlikely their lines were related, so discontinued the correspondence. The DNA test has shown that they do share a common ancestor, and has re-invigorated their search.
     W104 was added to this group on 18 July 2006. He matches WEST family group 5 modal values on 36 of 37 markers. He is descended from Phoebe Smithers, born 1843 in Tennessee. Phoebe was not married, and gave her surname to her children. His DNA match, combined with WEST descendents of family group 5 living near Phoebe, appears to confirm that his Y-chromosome ancestor is from the line of William WEST/Mary Rutherford.
   W113 was added to this group on 5 January 2007. He matches W23 on 34 of 37 markers. W113 is descended from David WEST who married Susannah HOAG. The data and place of birth of David is unknown, but some of their children were born in Dutchess County, New York beginning about 1780, and later moved to Lewanee County, Michigan.
   W122 was added to this group on 24 February 2007. He matches the modal Group 5 haplotype 34/37. W122 descends from James W. WEST, born May 6, 1808 in Virginia, died May 6 1882 in New Liberty, Owen County, Kentucky. He married 3 times: 1) Nany NUTTER; 2) Harriet NUTTER; 3) Margaret ORR. W122 descends from his first wife Nancy NUTTER. James W. WEST was a blacksmith.
   W66 was added to this group on 27 March 2007, following completion of his 25 marker Y-DNA test. He descends from Judah WEST, born 1765, probably in Connecticutt. Judah married Mary TODD in 1786 in Colebrook, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Judah died before 1841 when Mary was probably living with one of her children in Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio. It appears likely that W66 and W113 are from the same branch of this family that either immigrated to the New England area, or moved there from the Virginia area before 1750. W66 and W113 have values of 30 for the marker DYS 389-2, while everyone else in this group have values of 29.
   W257 was added to this group in June 2010. He descends from Benjamin WEST, born 1775-1780, probably in Caroline County Virginia, died in 1827 in Virginia, probably in Caroline or Hanover County. His wife was Nancy (last name unknown).
    W255 was added this group in July 2010. His oldest ancestor prior to the DNA test was Silas Mercer McLemore WEST, born 1826-27 in Alabama, and died between 1877-80 in Grimes County Texas. Silas married first to Martha A. BAZEMORE in Shelby County TN in 1853. In 1877 he married Mary DAVIS in Grimes County Texas.
   W270 was added to this group in October 2010. He descends from John WEST who died before Feb 12, 1745 in Stafford County VA. John married Dorothy (last name unknown), and they were the parents of James WEST b 1742 in Overwharton Parish, Stafford County VA, married Ann LYNN/LINN.
   W299 was added to this group in October 2011. He descends from Thomas WEST, Sr., born 1718 in Virginia, and died in 1808. He married Catherine Rebecca EASTINGS, born 1725 in Virginia.  W299 descends through Thomas son Ignatius WEST.
   W338 was added to this group in April 2013. His oldest ancestor is William WEST, born 1798 in England, died 1902 in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia. He emigrated from Bristol, England to Australia in 1855.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cemetery Geek

Cemetery Geek by John G. West

What is a “Cemetery Geek?”  In the last year or two I had to research this term, since the Evansville Courier & Press my city’s newspaper labeled me a Cemetery Geek on the front page of the Sunday edition.  I remember some years back that being any kind of geek was considered not the best label.  I had noticed that the stigma was becoming less significant in recent years.  I believe that this change was due to the popularity of computer geek’s who could save the day for you when something went wrong with your computer.  But, do people think positively about a cemetery geek?  Too many people still look at cemeteries as a negative place to visit or even talk about.
This is probably a good time to define what a “geek” actually is all about.  A geek is somewhat obsessive about their generally single subject like computers, science or even movie series like Star Trek or Dr. Who.  Most geeks are sociable and outgoing (these parts I seem to possess a large dose).  Geeks are generally of average intelligence, but become very knowledgeable within their geekdom.  I suppose that one reason I was concerned about being labeled as a geek was because a few people thought of me as a “nerd” in my youth.  A nerd really got a bad rap over the years.  Nerds are smart people who lack much of a social life. They often have very few friends. Nerds don't talk much, and don't expect others to talk much to them. They are usually nice people, but don't have the social skills to go out and meet new friends.  Actually, nerds are very smart, intelligent people.  This was probably why the other kids around me thought I was a nerd… I was just too darn smart!  I generally have never been accused of not talking!  In fact, I have always been accused of talking too much!  Tell me how can anyone talk too much?

So, I guess I could be a smart geek, but a cemetery geek?  I know I am obsessed with genealogy.  I have researched my family history for over 55 years.  I talk about genealogy, I present workshops about genealogy, I have worked with people to help them learn to document their history.  I spent many years working with the 4-H genealogy project in Indiana.  Call me a Genealogy Geek.

Of course while researching my family history, I have visited quite a few cemeteries.  I was talking about how many cemeteries have I actually walked around to study and photograph tombstones or searched for relatives, etc.  I was able to name 78 cemeteries without notes or thinking about it much (almost all had family buried there or I had other special connections).  I suspect several were forgotten at the time, I have thought about two others since that day.  I feel like I could say that I have been in at least 80-100 cemeteries.  To me, cemeteries are places of serenity and a place to think about life.  Each grave marker is a monument to the person it records.  Often a little history can become known by the marker or a group of markers.  There are many, many different types & shapes of these grave stones.  The statues,  carvings and ornate sculpturing are so beautiful like an outdoor art gallery.  OK, I am a “Cemetery Geek” – I admit it.  I cannot help it!

I am also a geek of many other pursuits, as well.  Are you a cemetery geek?  If you are, let’s talk about our passion.

I am also known as Indiana Bones, a cemetery geek!