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A History of The Middle
New River Settlements
and Contiguous Territory.

By David E. Johnston (1906).


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Appendix C.   Biographical.
Burke - Chapman

The Burke Family

The Burke family of the New River Valley were among the early settlers west of the Alleghanies, having descended from James Burke, who came with the Draper's Meadow settlers in 1748.  James Burke was the discoverer of the most magnificent body of land now in Tazewell County, Virginia, known as Burke's Garden (but called by the Indians "Great Swamp").  It is said that he discovered this lovely spot in 1753 and removed thither in 1754, and in the fall of 1755 was driven away by the Indians.    He had a family, and among his sons was Captain Thomas Burke, who became a very prominent man in the Indian border wars, and commanded a company of troops, which was at one time stationed at Hatfield's Fort, on Big Stony Creek, One of his daughters, Mary, married Colonel Christian Snidow, another, Rebecca, married Andrew Davidson.  He had a son, William, who at one time was the owner of the Red Sulphur Springs property, in Monroe County, and several of his family emigrated to the west at an early date.  The Horse Shoe property in Giles County, granted to James Wood, subsequently became the property of Captain Thomas Burke, and finally that of Colonel William H. Snidow, his grandson.

The Calfee Family.

This family is of German origin, came out of Pennsylvania into the Valley of Virginia and settled in the County of Shenandoah, and from thence came, shortly after the close of the American Revolution, to what was then Montgomery, now Pulaski County.    The earliest of the Mercer County Calfees was James, who came to that county about 1829, and settled at Gladeville, one mile west of the present village of Princeton.    He subsequently moved to Harman Branch, and later to Clover Bottom, on the Bluestone.  He had five sons and five daughters.  His sons were Charles W., who married Miss Nancy Bailey;  Andrew J., who married Mrs. Brown;  Davis, William, French;  the daughters, Polly, Jane, Betsey, Virginia, and Cynthia, none of whom ever married.

Charles W. Calfee and his wife, Nancy Bailey Calfee, had six sons and two daughters;  the sons, Albert B., William McHenry, George, Harvey M., John C., and William D.  The daughters, Virginia, who married Dr. John H. Robinson, and Fannie, who married John Boggess.  Charles W. Calfee was long Clerk of Mercer County Court.    Mr. Davis Calfee was a farmer, and lived for many years at New Hope Church, where he died in about 1879;  he was a large man, weighing about 450 pounds.

A short time after James Calfee settled in Mercer County, came Samuel T., Wilson D., and James Calfee, Jr.;  the latter a minister in the Church of the Disciples, a man of fine  character and good ability, representing the County of Mercer in the Constitutional Convention of 1872.

Mr. Wilson D. Calfee and his wife, Jane Bailey Calfee, had a considerable family of children;  the sons are, Augustus B. Calfee, Robert M. Calfee, R. Kohler Calfee, and Luther Calfee.  Mr. H. Sayers Calfee, a brave Confederate Soldier, is a son of Mr. Samuel T. Calfee, and Mr. Thompson Calfee, who resides near Bluefield, is a son of Elder James Calfee;  a daughter of James Calfee married Alexander W. Bailey;    another daughter married Captain William A. Cooper.

The Capertons.

Partly from the manuscript of this family, furnished the author by the late Mr. John Caperton, of Louisville, Kentucky, it is learned that it was one among the early settlers of the New River Valley, and was originally from the South of Scotland, near Melrose, where they were called Claperton;  dropping the l they became Caperton;    that they afterwards emigrated to Wales, and that John Caperton was the first, and probably the only one of the name, who came to America.  He had three sons:   Adam, Hugh, and William, and from these three sons descended the Capertons of Monroe County, West Virginia;  the Capertons of the New River in Giles County, Virginia, and Mercer County, West Virginia;  and the Capertons of Richmond, Kentucky, and of Mississippi.

Adam was the progenitor of the Monroe Capertons;  Hugh of the New River Capertons, and William of the Kentucky and Mississippi Capertons.  Hugh Caperton, the son of Adam, was born in Monroe County;  was taken to Kentucky when an infant, where his father, Adam, in March, 1782, was killed at Mt. Sterling, by the Indians, in the battle known as Estill's Defeat, when his son, Hugh, was only two years old.  Hugh returned to Virginia when twelve years of age, and in part was brought up by his Uncle Hugh, of New River.  He lived in his native county until his death, which occurred in 1847.  He was a self taught man, and represented his county in the State Legislature several years, one session  in Congress (1816), was a member of the Board of Public Works of Virginia for many years and until his death.  He amassed a large fortune for that day, his property being worth at his death $600,000.00.  He stood guard against the Indians when only twelve years old.  He married Miss Jane Erskine, and had a family of nine  children.  His son, Allen T., became a most prominent man, serving often in the Legislature of Virginia, both in the House of Delegates and in the Senate, and in the Constitutional Convention of 1850-1;  in the Confederate Congress, and was serving as United States Senator from West Virginia at the time of his death.  Mr. Allen T. Caperton married Harriet Echols, of Virginia, the sister of General John Echols.

John Caperton, another son of Hugh of Monroe, was a prominent citizen of Louisville, Kentucky, and died recently at a very advanced age.

Hugh, the progenitor of the New River Capertons, was a man of much distinction, having served in the Indian wars as a Captain of a company, in 1793, at the mouth of the Elk River, on the Kanawha;  he served in the Legislature of Virginia much over one hundred years ago.

William Caperton, the progenitor of the Kentucky and Mississippi branch of the family, as an orator was without a rival.  It is said that Henry Clay spoke of him as a very eloquent man.  George and John Caperton, brothers of Hugh, settled in Northern Alabama, where their descendants still reside.

The Chapmans.

The Chapmans (Note:  It appears that the first place of settlement of this family, after leaving England, was in the state of Connecticut.)  were English people, and some of those who emigrated to this country came from Connecticut to Charles County, Maryland, long prior to the American Revolution.  After the settlement in Maryland, and before the beginning of the Revolution, some of them came to Culpeper County, Virginia, and settled.  Among those who came was Isaac Chapman, who married, in Culpeper County,  Miss Sara Cole, by whom he had three sons and one daughter.  The sons were Isaac, John, and Richard, the daughter, Jemima.  Isaac went South, and finally located in Alabama, where his descendants still reside.  His grandson, Honorable Reuben Chapman, was a member of Congress from Alabama in 1841.    John married Sallie Abbott and Richard married Margaret Abbott, daughters of Richard Abbott of Culpeper County, Virginia;  the daughter, Jemima, married Moredock O. McKensey,  (Note: McKensey died on Five Mile Fork of East River, in the year 1805.)  a Scotsman from the city of Glasgow, Scotland.  Richard Abbott having died, his widow married a man by the name of Tracey, by whom she had two children, Bettie, who married James Rowe, and a son, William Tracey, the ancestor of the Traceys of Wolf Creek of New River Valley.

In November 1768, John Chapman, Richard Chapman, and Moredock O. McKensey removed from Culpeper County to the Shenandoah, in the Valley of Virginia, and from thence, in 1771, came to the New River Valley and settled at the mouth of Walker's Creek, where John Chapman had two dwelling houses destroyed by the Indians;  his family being forced to flee to the Snidow Fort for protection.  In the spring of 1778 McKensey removed to the mouth of Wolf Creek., where his family, in May of that year, was attacked by the Indians, and a portion of them killed and another portion carried into captivity.  Some years afterward, time not definitely known, Richard Chapman removed from Walker's Creek to Wolf Creek.

The children of  John Chapman were Isaac, who married Elian Johnston;    George, who married Patience Clay;  John, who married Miss Napier;    Henley, who married Mary Alexander;  Sallie, who married, first, Jacob Miller of Franklin County, Virginia, and by whom she had a daughter and three sons:   Jacob, who married Mrs. Polly Harman;  John, who married Sallie Peck;   Tobias, who married Elizabeth Bane;  Barbara, who married Morton P. Emmons.   After the death of the elder Jacob Miller, his widow Sallie, married David Johnston, and they had the following children: Oscar F., who married Elizabeth French;   Chapman I., who married Elian C. Snidow;  Olivia, who married William M. Gillespie, of Tazewell County, Virginia;  Louisa A., who married Colonel Daniel H. Pearis, of Mercer, and Sallie C., who died unmarried.

Jemima Chapman married Charles Hall and had the following children:    Benjamin, who went to Cook County, Illinois, at an early date, and Chloe, who married John Brian.

Annie Chapman, who married John Lybrook, had a numerous family, of whom was Philip Lybrook, the father of the present Major Samuel E. Lybrook, a great grandson of Philip, the settler.

Isaac Chapman and his wife, Elian Johnston Chapman, had the following children:  John, a lawyer of distinction and often a representative of Giles County in the Senate and House of Delegates, who married Ann Freel;  Doctor David Johnston Chapman, who married Sallie Pepper;  William Chapman, who married Nancy McDonald;    Rachael, who married John Snidow;  Priscilla, who married Doctor Thomas Fowler;  Polly, who married John Bane;  Nancy, who married Joseph McDonald;    Sallie, who married William Kyle, and Rebecca, who married Samuel P. Pearis.

John Chapman, the son of Isaac, had one daughter, Adeline, who married Colonel William H. Snidow, by whom she had three children, viz:  John C., who married Anne Hoge;  James P., who married Fannie Hale;  Annie, who married Dr. Harvey G. Johnston.

Doctor David J. Chapman had the following children, Viz:  John, drowned in his youth;  William, who married Miss Mather;  James, who went west many years ago;  David J., Jr., who now lives in Giles County and is unmarried, and who is the only Chapman in Giles County;  Annie, who married Colonel James W. English; Jennie, who married Major Samuel E. Lybrook, and Malinda, who married Samuel S. Dinwiddie.

William Chapman, who married Nancy McDonald, had the following    children:  Isaac E., who married Eliza Gillespie;  John who went to Texas and was drowned;  Louisa, who married Rev. Mr. Chanceleum;  and Keziah, who married Isaac Chapman Fowler.

John Snidow and Rachael, his wife, had the following children:    Christian, who married Sylistine Goodrich;  they had no children;   James H., who married Elvina Lucas and had the following children:  John D., William R., Cornelia, who married Eugene Angel, and some daughters who are not married;   David J. L., who married Malinda Pepper, but left no children;  Elizabeth, who married John Tiffany, and had the following children:  Captain Hugh S., killed in the first battle of Manasses; Charles C., who lives in Kansas, and Elizabeth, who married Andrew B. Symns;   Mary B., who married John S. Peck, and had the following children:  James P., killed in the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864;  Hugh T., who lives in the State of Maryland;  Chapman I., who lives in Giles County;  John, who died a few years ago;  Annie, who married John P. Peck;  Elizabeth, who married Harvey Snidow, and Eliza, who married ...........Williams.

Elian Chapman Snidow, who married Chapman I. Johnston, had the following children:  David Andrew, John Raleigh, Sarah Ellen, who married Honorable William A. French;  Annie C., who married Charles D. French;  Rachael S., who is now dead, and who first married ........Daugherty, and secondly Joseph Alvis.  Ellen J. Snidow, daughter of John and Rachael Chapman Snidow, is unmarried.

Samuel P. Pearis and Rebecca Chapman Pearis, his wife, had three children:    Dr. Robert A., who married Amanda Fowler;  Dr. Charles W., who married Electra Pearis;  and Rebecca, who married honorable Frank Hereford.

The children of Joseph McDonald and Nancy Chapman McDonald, his wife, were W. W. McDonald, of Logan;   John C. McDonald, Isaac E. McDonald, Lewis McDonald, Floyd McDonald; Sallie, who married John Sanders; Nancy, who married Lewis McDonald,    Elizabeth, who married John Anderson;  John C., Isaac E. and Floyd, who died unmarried.

Dr. Thomas Fowler and wife had the following children:  Thomas, Isaac C., Allen, Elbert; Mary, who married Captain James D. Johnston; and Amanda, who married Dr. Robert A. Pearis.

Henley Chapman and his wife, Mary Alexander Chapman, had two sons and three daughters.  The sons were General Augustus A. Chapman, who married Mary R. Bierne, and Manilius, who married Susan Bierne;  the daughters, Araminta D., married Captain Guy D. French;  Elvina married Colonel Albert G. Pendleton, and Isabella married Major William P. Cecil.

John Chapman, son of the settler, and brother to Isaac, George, and Henley, married Miss Napier;  was killed by a horse, and his widow and children removed to Cabell County about the year of 1800, where his descendants now reside.    Captain John Chapman, who was a son of Andrew Johnston Chapman, son of the above John, was a distinguished Confederate soldier, and died only a few years ago at his home in Lincoln County, West Virginia.

Colonel Albert G. Pendleton and his wife, Elvina Chapman Pendleton, had three children:  Nannie, who married Judge Philip W. Strother; Sallie, who married Van B. Taliaferro, and Alberta, who married Samuel Crockett.

Major William P. Cecil and his wife Isabella Chapman Cecil, had one child, Mary, who married Charles Painter.

Captain Guy D. French and wife, Araminta Chapman French, had four sons:    Henley C., who married Harriet Easley;  Captain David A., who married, first Miss Williams, second Miss Jennie C. Easley;  William A., who married Nellie Johnston;  Charles D., who married Annie C. Johnston;  they had daughters Sarah M., who first married Dr. W. W. McComas, second, Captain F. G. Thrasher;  Mary, who married William B. Mason;  Fannie, who married J. H. D. Smoot, and Susan, who married Dr. R. T. Ellett.

John Chapman, son of Richard, married Jemima, a daughter of the Elder David Johnston, and they had a daughter who married William Wilburn, of Sugar Run;    and James H. Wilburn, whose photograph appears opposite this page,  is a grand son of the said John Chapman, and a great grandson to the first William Wilburn, who came in 1780 to what is now Giles County, Virginia.

James W. Chapman, a grandson of John, of Wolf Creek, is the only descendant of John Chapman bearing that name who now resides in this section of the country;  the remaining members of the Richard Chapman family went at an early date to the Big Sandy and Eastern Kentucky region, some of them removing to the State of Ohio.    Some of the descendants of Richard Chapman still reside in the Counties of Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne, West Virginia.

The Elder John Chapman, and his son, Isaac, were soldiers during the Indian wars on the border, and were stationed during the years of 1774 to 1779 in Snidow's, Hatfield's, and Barger's Forts.

The family of George Chapman, who married Patience Clay, consisted of three daughters and two sons.  Sallie Chapman married Hugh Jordan, Elizabeth Chapman married Joseph Peck, and Lucretia Chapman married William McClure;  the sons, Isaac and Archer, went to the state of Ohio at an early day.  Opposite page 396 is a photograph of the dwelling house built by George Chapman, in 1794, on the East Bank of New River, near Ripplemeade, Virginia, and which still stands and is on land now the property of Mr. Harvey Phlegar and Mr. H. B. Shelton.



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