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.

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