Peck - Peters.
The Peck Family.
This family comes of German stock. Jacob Peck,
born in Germany, in 1696, came to America, first locating in
Pennsylvania, and then removed to the Valley of Virginia and settled in
the neighborhood of where the city of Staunton is now situated, prior to
1744. He married, about the year last mentioned, Elizabeth, a
daughter of the elder Benjamine Burden, who had come to America as the
agent of Lord Fairfax to look after his large landed estate in the
Northern Neck of Virginia. Benjamine Burden, on his coming to the
country, first visited the Virginia capitol at Williamsburg,
where he met some of the sons of John Lewis, who had then recently
located in the Valley, and he went with them to their home. On a
hunting expedition with the sons of Lewis he captured a white buffalo
calf which he presented to Governor Gooch; whereupon the Governor
ordered certificate to be issued to Burden, authorizing him to locate
100,000 acres of land on the rivers James and Sherando, which he did,
securing a large and valuable body of James River bottom lands, now in
the County of Botetourt, then Orange.
Benjamine Burden, the elder, died about 1743, and by his
will he gave the James River lands to his five daughters, one of whom
was Elizabeth, who afterward became Mrs. Jacob Peck. There was a
long litigation over this land between Peck and wife and Harvey, a full
history of which can be seen by reference to the reported case in the
Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1st Munford's R. 518-28. Jacob Peck
and his wife died before the litigation ended, which was in 1810;
the suit was decided for them, and their children received the land,
moved to it, and became citizens of Botetourt County.
The children of Jacob and Elizabeth Burden Peck were Jacob, John, Joseph
and Hannah, the latter marrying Peter Holm.
This name Burden is frequently spoken of as Borden or
Burton. One of these three sons of Jacob Peck was the father of
Benjamine Peck, who settled on the Catawba or Sinking Creek about 1785.
This Benjamine Peck, grandson of the first Jacob, and great-grandson of
the elder Benjamine Burden, had sons John, Jacob, Benjamine and Joseph.
John married Elizabeth Snidow, a daughter of Colonel Christian Snidow.
Benjamine married Rebecca Snidow, also a daughter of Colonel Christian
Snidow. Jacob married Malinda Givens, of Botetourt.
This name Givens appears in the list of persons located between 1738-43,
in Beverly Manor near Straunton.
John Peck and his wife, Elizabeth Snidow Peck, had the
following sons: William H., Christian L., Joseph A.,
Dr. Erastus W. and Charles D., and daughters: Mary, who
married Benjamine Burden Peck; Margaret, who married Charles L.
Pearis; Clara, who married John H. Vawter; Josephine, who
married .......Phillips; Ellen, who married Dr. Robert B. McNutt;
Martha, who married Judge John A. Kelley; and another daughter,
who married Edwin Amos.
William H. Peck and family removed to Logan County, West
Virginia; Joseph A. and family removed to Texas;
Christian L. died in Giles County, but left a family, among them a son,
Charles Wesley, who died in the service of his country, and sons Erastus
and John H., who were gallant Confederate soldiers, receiving in battle
severe wounds, from which the former has never recovered.
Dr. Erastus Peck was thrice married and left some
children, among them, Amos Peck, Miss Josie Peck and the wife of Walter
V. Peck. Charles D., who married Miss Thomas, had but one son who
attained his majority, John K.; a daughter, Lucretia, who married
Dr. D. W. McClaugherty; another, Maggie, who married Judge Hugh G.
Woods; another, Clara, who married J. Kyle McClaugherty;
another, Fannie, married John Adair, and Rachael married Mr. Fulton.
Benjamine Burden Peck and wife had six sons:
Pembroke P., Charles L., James H., Jacob A., Erastus H., and B. Wallace,
the latter yielding up his life for his country in the battle of
Gettysburg. Mr. Phillips and family went to Alabama.
Judge John A. Kelley and family lived in Smyth County, Virginia.
Charles L. Pearis and wife had but one child, a daughter,Electra, who
married Dr. Charles W. Pearis. Dr. Robert B. McNutt and wife
had three sons, viz: John W., Joseph P., and Charles R.;
and daughters, Josie, who died young; Mary, who married
Colonel James B. Peck; Neta, who married George B. Sinclair.
John H. Vawter and wife had several children;
among the sons are: Charles E. and Lewis A., and
daughters, Josephine, who married B. Frank Sweeney; another
who married Lewis Peck; Virginia, who married William Farrier.
Benjamine Peck and his wife, Rebecca Snidow Peck, had four sons, viz:
William H., Christian S., Frank, John S. and Andrew J., and daughters,
Eliza, who married James Sweeney; Mary, who married William
Farrier, and Margaret, who married John A. Calfee.
Jacob Peck and his wife, Malinda Givens Peck, had the
following children, viz: Benjamine Burden, who married Mary Peck;
William G., who died unmarried; Elisha G., who married
Margaret Peters; Daniel R., who died unmarried;
George Harrison, who married Sarah J. Handley; James Preston, who
married Elizabeth Scott; Jacob H., who married Ann Handley;
Patsey C., who married Archibald Pack; Rhoda E., who married James
McClaugherty; Louisa S., who married Lewis Payne, and Rebecca, who
married John A. Peters.
The Pearis Family.
The ancestors of this family were Huguenots, who fled
from France, stopping temporarily in Barbadoes, thence about 1710, to
South Carolina, locating on an island about five miles from Port Royal,
to which they gave the name "Paris Island." This name is
sometimes spelled "Pearris," again
"paris," and "Pearis" ; the modern
spelling being Pearis. The settler was Alexander Pearis
(Parris), who became quite a distinguished man in the early days of the
history of South Carolina. Opposite this page is a photograph of
the late Captain George W. Pearis, a grandson of the New River Settler,
Colonel George Pearis.
Judge McCrady, in his History of South Carolina under
the Proprietary Government, 1670-1719, gives considerable prominence to
Colonel Alexander Pearis, whom he shows to have been Commissioner of
Free Schools, Commissioner for Building Churches, Member of House of
Commons, of which Colonel William Rhett was Speaker; as a military
officer and one of the judges to try pirates, and as commander of
militia in the Revolution of 1719. Colonel Alexander Pearis had a
son, Alexander, who made some conveyance of property in 1722-26.
Alexander Pearis, Jr., had a son, John Alexander, who likewise had a
son, John Alexander, as shown by his will probated August, 1752.
The last mentioned John Alexander had a son, Robert, who spelled his
name as did his father, John Alexander "Pearis." This
Robert Pearis died about 1781; he had a daughter, Malinda,
who married Samuel Pepper, who removed to the New River Valley prior to
1770, and located at the place where, about 1780, he established a
ferry, and which place has since been known as Peppers. His two
brothers-in-law, George and Robert Alexander Pearis, sons of the
preceding Robert, came with him, or about the same time. At the
date of the coming of Pepper and the Pearises, in fact, before that
date, there lived in the neighborhood where Pepper located, a gentleman
by the name of Joseph Howe, who had some pretty daughters, and it did
not take long for these young Huguenots to fall in love with these
girls, at least with two of them. An examination of the Pearis
Bible discloses that George Paris was born February 16th, 1746, and was
married to Eleanor Howe February 26th, 1771. Robert Alexander
Pearis was probably two years younger than his brother George. He
married also a daughter of Joseph Howe, and about 1790 removed with his
family to Kentucky and settled in what is now Bourbon County, and from
whom it is said the town of Paris, in that county, is named.
He had a son who in the early history of that state was a member of its
Legislature. George Pearis remained in the vicinity of Pepper's
Ferry until the spring of 1782; prior to this time he had been
made a Captain of one of the militia companies of the County of
On the advance of the British Army into the Carolinas,
in the fall of 1780, there was a Tory uprising in Surry County, North
Carolina, of such formidable proportion as to impel General Martin
Armstrong, commanding that military district, to call on Major Joseph
Cloyd, of the Montgomery County Militia, to aid in its suppression.
About the 1st day of October, 1780, Major Cloyd with three companies of
mounted men, one of which was commanded by Captain George Pearis,
marched to the State of North Carolina, where he was joined by some of
the militia of that state, augmenting his force to about 160 men, with
which he, on the 14th day of the month, attacked the Tories at Shallow
Ford of the Yadkin, defeating them with a loss of fifteen killed and a
number wounded; Major Cloyd had one killed and a few wounded,
among them Captain Pearis, severely, through the shoulder. This
fight cleared the way for the crossing of General Green's Army at this
ford, which the Tories were seeking to obstruct.
Captain Pearis returned home wounded, and in addition to his suffering
from his wound had the misfortune to lose his wife by death in a few
days after his return, she dying on November 14th. Captain Pearis'
wound disabled him from performing further military service, and having
purchased from Captain William Ingles, about the year of 1779, for
seventy pounds sterling (about $350.00), the tract of 204 acres of land
on New river--whereon is now situated Pearisburg Station on the line of
the Norfolk & Western Railway, and which land was known for years as
the Hale and Charleton tract--he, in the spring of 1782, removed
thereto, erecting his dwelling house at a point nearly due south of the
residence of Mr. Edward C. Hale, and a little to the southeast of where
the road from Mr. Hale's house unites with the turnpike. Two or
three years after Captain Pearis made his location, he had a ferry
established across the New River, and kept a small stock of goods, and
later kept public entertainment. On October 5th, 1784, he married
Rebecca Clay, daughter of Mitchell Clay. The children of Colonel
George Pearis and his wife, Rebecca Clay Pearis, were: George N.,
Robert Alexander, Samuel Pepper, Charles Lewis; their daughters,
Rebecca, Julia, Rhoda, Sallie and Eleanor.
Colonel George N. Pearis married Elizabeth Howe,
daughter of Major Daniel Howe; Robert Alexander Pearis married
Miss Arbuckle, of Greenbrier County; Samuel Pepper
Pearis married Rebecca Chapman, daughter of Isaac and Elian Johnston
Chapman; Charles Lewis Pearis married Margaret Peck, daughter of
John and Elizabeth Snidow Peck; Rebecca married John Brown, they
went to Texas about 1836, leaving a son, George Pearis Brown, who lived
for a number of years in Mercer County; Julia married
Colonel Garland Gerald; Rhoda married Colonel John B. George;
Sallie married Baldwin L. Sisson, and Eleanor married Captain Thomas J.
The children of Colonel George N. Pearis and his wife,
Elizabeth Howe Pearis, were: Captain George W., who never married,
died in 1898 at the age of nearly eighty-nine years; Colonel
Daniel Howe, who married Louisa A. Johnston; Rebecca,
who married George D. Hoge; Nancy, who married Archer Edgar;
Ardelia, who married Daniel R. Cecil, and Elizabeth, who married
Benjamin White. Robert Alexander Pearis and his wife had no
children, and after the death of said Robert Alexander, his widow
married Colonel McClung.
The children of Colonel Garland Gerald and Julia Pearis
George were: George Pearis George, who married Sarah
A. Davidson; Jane, who married Judge Sterling F. Watts. The
names of the children of Captain Thomas J. George and wife are as
follows, Viz: A. P. G. George, W.W. George, Robert and John;
the daughters, Larissa, who married Jacob A. Peck; Matilda, who
married a Mr. Austin, and Rebecca, who married George W. Jarrell.
Charles Lewis Pearis and his wife, Margaret Peck Pearis,
had but one child, a daughter, Electra, who married Dr. Charles W.
Pearis, and they had no children.
As already stated, John Brown and family went to Texas
prior to 1836; some of his older sons were soldiers in
the Texan Army. Brown settled in that part of the state that
became Collin County. George Pearis Brown, the son of John,
remained in Virginia; he married a Miss Mahood, a sister of the
late Judge Alexander Mahood, and he and his wife left numerous
descendants, among them the wife of Mr. Robert Sanders, the wife of
Edward A. Oney, the wife of M. W. Winfree, a son, Cornelius, who was
killed on the retreat for the Confederates from the battlefield at
Clark's house, May 1st, 1862.
The elder Colonel George Pearis, the settler, was long a
magistrate of Montgomery and Giles Counties, and sat in the courts of
both counties, and was for a term the Presiding Magistrate of the latter
county. The first court of the County of Giles was held in a house
belonging to him, and the land for the county buildings and town was
given by him and the town of Pearisburg took its name from him. He
died on November 4th, 1810, and his ashes repose in the burying ground
on the farm on which he died, on the little hill just southwest of
Pearisburg Station. His widow married Philip Peters and she died
April 15th, 1844.
The Peters Family.
John and Christian Peters were of a German family of
that name, who had located in the Valley of Virginia shortly after 1732.
The place of the settlement was in the now County of Rockingham.
The inscription on the tombstone of Christian Peters shows that he was
born October 16th, 1760, and died October, 1837; it is possible
that John was older. In 1781 the British Army under Lord
Cornwallis invaded Virginia, finally fixing its base of operation at
Yorktown. In May of the year mentioned, the Governor of Virginia
called out the militia of the state, placing them under the command of
General Nelson, who joined and became a part of General LaFayette's
Corps, then operating against the Army of Cornwallis. John and
Christian Peters obeyed the call of the Governor and served through the
campaign, and were at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, on
October 19th; the militia was then disbanded and returned to their
homes. The war, now regarded as ended, and the services of the
militia no longer needed, John and Christian Peters, with their
families, together with their brother-in-law, Charles Walker, in the
spring of 1782, left their Valley homes, crossed the Alleghanies, and
located in the New River Valley; John, on the farm on which Mr.
Charles D. French now resides, and Christian where the village of
Peterstown , named from him, is now situated. The two or three
years immediately following the surrender of Cornwallis brought over the
Alleghanies swarms of people, and while many of them went to Kentucky, a
goodly number halted in the New River Valley.
John Peters married Miss Simms, of that part of
Rockingham that afterwards became Madison County. Christian Peters
married Miss Katharine Belcher, of Rockingham, who spoke the German
language, and kept in her house her German Bible.
The following are the names of the children of John
Peters and wife: Elijah, William, John, Philip,
Christian; and daughters, one who married Henry Bailey; and
Frances, who married Captain Christianos H. A. Walker, son of Charles,
The families of Conrad Peters, Captain John Peters, of
Peterstown, and that of the late James M. Byrnside are descendants of
John Peters, Jr., the son of the settler, and who
married Sallie Clay, daughter of the elder Mitchell, was the Captain of
a company in the war with Great Britain of 1812; was long a
Magistrate, and represented Giles County in the Legislature.
The names of the sons of Captain John Peters and his wife, Sallie Clay
Peters, are as follows: Oliver C. Peters, long an honored citizen
of Giles County, dying at a ripe old age; Andrew J. Peters,
Thompson H. Peters, William P. Peters, Jacob Peters, Augustus C. Peters;
and two daughters by the second marriage, one of whom married Andrew
Johnston, and Miss Jane, who never married. The grandsons and
descendants of Captain John Peters were among the best, truest and
bravest Confederate soldiers that fought for the South, among them James
M. Peters, William D. Peters, John D. Peters and William H. Peters.