We made an attempt to
help a visitor with her mother’s ancestry this week and are offering this
information in the event that a reader might be able to help with further
Our visitor’s mother was
Karyn Kay Wallen, a dau of Woodrow Wallen and Marie Sampsell. Heartbreakingly,
Woodrow did not live to see his daughter as he died 22 Jul 1945 in an auto
accident at the age of 22 years, 4 months and 11 days. Woodrow had just returned
from the Panama Canal area where he was serving as a private in the US Army. His
daughter was born in November of that year.
Woodrow was a son of Noah
Wallen and Serena "Rena" Fletcher who were married in Magoffin County in 1912.
Noah was born in 1890 and died in 1970; his wife was born in 1884 and died in
1969. Woodrow and his parents are buried in the Bluegrass Cemetery here in
Salyersville and his granddaughter was able to visit the gravesites during her
visit to Magoffin County.
Noah Wallen was a son of
Jasper Wallen (1885-1919) and Sarah Flint (1861-1932). Jasper was a son of
Shelby J. Wallen (1831-1912) and Susannah Hale (1837-1886).
Jasper’s wife Sarah was a
dau of William Flint and Lucinda Power. William was born in 1837 and died in
1925, a son of John J. Flint and Fada McFarland of the Lakeville area of
Magoffin. John J. was the only child of James Flint who died while serving in
the War of 1812. William Flint’s wife Lucinda was a dau of Archibald Power and
Noah Wallen’s wife Rena
was a dau of Johnson M. Fletcher (1840-1914) and Violet Patrick (1842-1920).
Johnson M. was a son of George Fletcher and Levisa/Louisa Marshall. Violet was a
dau of John "Fightin’ Jack" Patrick and Elizabeth Montgomery.
Marie Sampsell, the
grandmother of our visitor, was born in 1927 and died in 2009. Marie married in
Magoffin County in 1947 to Virgil Howard, son of George Howard and 2nd
wife Louanna Miller. Marie and Woodrow’s daughter Karyn was left in Magoffin
County with her great-grandparents, Newton "Leck" Williams and Nellie Risner.
Marie’s mother Lucy (dau
of Leck and Nellie Williams) had died very young. She was born in 1908 on Middle
Fork of Magoffin. Her father’s parents were Jeff (Jefferson or Jeptha) Williams
and Emiline Whitley (dau of Thomas Whitley and Margaret Jane Patrick). Jeff was
a son of Wyatt Williams (b. 1816 Letcher Co. KY) and Nancy Little. Lucy’s
maternal grandparents were Henry Clay "Dig" Risner and America Patrick.
Now the Sampsell (Samsell
and other spellings) surname is not native to Magoffin County and we are not
sure of the following findings. Marie Sampsell’s Magoffin County marriage record
gives her parents as Lige Sampsell and Lucy Williams. Marie was born in Perry
County, KY and we found some Sampsells in Perry County in the 1920s and 1930s,
one was Cleophus Elijah Sampsell b. 1867 TN d. 1887 and his wife Fannie
Stonecipher (1866-1937). They had a son Elijah "Lige" Sampsell b. about 1903.
Their family worked in the coal mines. If this is the correct family then their
earlier origin is Tennessee.
We have mentioned before
that the town of Salyersville receives several visitors of the Salyer surname.
One of these recently was James Salyers born in Logan, WV, now living in San
Diego, CA. His Salyer ancestor, Blaine Salyer, worked as a coal miner and so is
found in various census locations. The earliest we could find was 1910 Greenup
Co. KY when he was listed as age 24 with wife Lillie age 21 with a child Dora
We found one reference to
his father being "John Salyers" but could not locate a John having a son Blaine.
Blaine was born 25 Jul 1885 in Van Lear, Johnson Co. KY and died 13 Feb 1964
Logan Co. WV. He first married Lillie Vanhoose b. 1888 Johnson Co. KY d. 1922
Floyd Co. KY, dau of Levi Jasper and Almira Vanhoose.
Blaine and Lillie were
the parents of Dora Salyer b. 1910, Alkas Salyer stillborn in 1914, Estell
Salyer b. 1915 (our visitor’s father) and Ruby Marie Salyer b. 1918 m. Virgil
Blaine Salyer m. 2nd
to Ida Lee Holbrook b. 1898 to John Holbrook of Elliott Co. KY and Elizabeth
"Lizzie" Stevens of Lawrence Co. KY. The names of their children as determined
by the 1930 Floyd Co. KY census and the 1940 Logan Co. WV census were: Orville
Salyer b. 1924, Anna Salyer b. 1928, Jannit Louise Salyer died at age 2 in 1931,
and Paul R. Salyer b. 1937.
Another Salyer visitor to
our town was James W. Salyers of Texas. He is the son of Ralph G. Salyers and a
grandson of Raymond Gilmore Salyers and Virginia Helen Case. This family seems
to have lived in Indiana for several generations. Gilmore was a son of Roy
Albert Salyers and Bertha Eads. Roy Albert was a son of Orval C. Salyers and
Elizabeth Downey. Orval C. was a son of William and Elizabeth (Campbell)
Salyers. Although William is thought to be born in Kentucky we could find no
connection with our local Salyer family. Our visitor James W. Salyers was on his
way to the NASCAR races in Bristol, TN and stopped by to see us.
Our next Salyer visitors
were John Salyer and Susannah from Missouri. He told us that visiting
Salyersville had been an item on his "bucket list" for a long time. We were
pleased to photograph him standing by our portrait of Samuel Salyer by artist
Tom J. Whitaker. Our Samuel’s ancestor was William Salyer b. 1776/79 d. 1854
(found in 1850 Floyd Co. KY census) and m. 1st Nancy -?- (perhaps
Raney or Ramey); William m. 2nd to Dorcas Patton, dau of John Patton.