THE OFFICIAL ROCKBRIDGE CO.
Submitted by James Wesley McCluer
August 13, 1997
When I first started doing genealogy in 1978 I gathered facts and figures
about my family at an astonishing rate. Early in my research, I discovered
a book by Leon McCluer titled Following McCluer Ancestors. In the preface
was the following statement by Leon McCluer:
"Some years back, I started research with the purpose of developing as
extensive a genealogical table as possible of my McCluer ancestors and
relatives. Later when Miss Douglas Olsen, a fellow faculty member, heard
of the undertaking, she said, "Don't just do that. Your family was unique,
write an account of your parents and family life, and make the genealogy
an appendix, or omit it."
I had the same reaction has Leon McCluer had and have tried to keep the
human account of my ancestors and their contemporaries in perspective.
With that in mind, here is a brief overview of my Rockbridge County, Virginia
McCluer Rockbridge Settlers
Dr. Diehl, a local of the Rockbridge area and a genealogist with McClure
ancestry, identified one of the problems in researching the McClure line
in Rockbridge. He noted that in Morton's History of Rockbridge County there
were the following number of McClures listed: thirteen John McClures, seven
Halbert McClures, six Moses McCluers, etc. I pondered the dilemma and became
cross-eyed at the thought. Dr. Diehl and Leon McCluer had set the primer
for me, now it was my turn.
I secured an obituary of Samuel McCluer, Jr. who died in Richland County,
Ohio, 1878. The obituary stated that Samuel McCluer was born in Arnold's
Valley in the Elk Creek waters of Rockbridge County, Virginia in 1802.
Since Samuel McCluer, Jr., was the son of Samuel McCluer, Sr., and the
brother of Thomas McCluer, my fourth great grandfather, I surmised that
this might be the area where my McCluers had originated. Samuel McCluer
and family had evidently left Rockbridge County in 1805 for Ross County,
Ohio, then later to Richland County in the same state. In 1808 there was
a deed describing the transaction of Samuel McCluer's land in Arnold Valley:
McClure to Burke, November 05, 1808, "In Elk Creek Waters (Arnold's Valley)
beginning at two back oaks...corner of Gabriel Holmes, to two poplars..."
I wondered as did Dr. Diehl and Leon McCluer if Samuel McCluer's relatives
lived within the confines of that area.
In the will of a William McCluer he stated: "I William McCluer, of the
County of Rockbridge and the State of Virginia, being weak in body, but
of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to Almighty God therefor, ...I give,
bequeath unto my three eldest sons, James McCluer, William McCluer, and
Samuel McCluer, ...one tract of land lying in the vally on the south side
of the James River..." This was the same area that the land Samuel McCluer,
my fifth great grandfather had sold to Burke in 1808. I later found out
that James and Samuel McCluer went together to Ohio, while William McCluer
stayed in Virginia and may have come to Ohio later.
The members of William McCluer's (1739/1785) family, father of Samuel McCluer
Sr., were his wife, Jean Trimble (married about 1765) and the following
children: William 1768/? married Mary Shields, James McCluer 1770/? married
Rebecca ?, Samuel McCluer (my ancestor) 1765/1833 married Susan ? and later
Nancy Rutan in Ohio, Alexander 1774/? Married Betty, John 1776/1834 married
Jane ? then Nancy, Sarah 1778/?, Mary 1780/?, Agnes/?. It is not known
if all of these were the natural children of William, but all were mentioned
in his will.
William McCluer (1739/1785) died only seven years after his father also
named Samuel McCluer. Samuel McCluer (1709/1779) married Mary Kelso and
had the following children: Samuel 1735/?, William 1739/1785, Alexander
1737/?, Elizabeth 1741/?, Anne 1743/? Hannah 1745/, Mary 1745/? married
a Ratliff, Jean 1749/? married an Elliot, Agnes 1751/? married James Campbell.
Since the McCluers of my line went to Orange County, Virginia in 1739 and
then later to Augusta County about 1740, it is assumed that the children
of Samuel McCluer, father of William, were all born in Virginia, some in
I found an interesting tidbit of information in a book by James W. McClung
titled Historical Significance of Rockbridge County, Virginia. On page
74 of the book, James McClung describes the 1936 home of Dr. Reid White
Jr. on the south side of West Nelson street in Lexington, Virginia. The
date the house was built, was 1752. The builder of the house was Samuel
McClure. Was this my Samuel McCluer? I still don't know, but I thought
the photo from the book would show that the settlers of Rockbridge County
didn't all wear coon skin caps and were backwards. Instead, the Rockbridge
County, Virginia settlers were bold adventurers , some of them, including
my ancestors were of the landed gentry from Ireland.
The next question I had was, "Who was Samuel McCluer's father and did he
live in Virginia as well?" A clue came from a will proved 1754, in Staunton,
Augusta County, Virginia of a Halbard McCluer. The will stated: "In the
name of God Amen the twenty-third day of our Lord 1753, I Halbard McCluer
of the Colony of Virginia in the County of Augusta, Gentleman...." Several
McClure family researchers have listed Halbard McCluer as the father of
Samuel McCluer, father of William McCluer. I have found no such proof and
the will of Halbard only lists Alexander, Moses and Nathaniel as his sons.
There was a Samuel McClure living next to Halbard McCluer in 1746. The
deed is recorded in Book I, page 203, dated March 19, 1746: "Benjamin Borden
to Halbert McClure. 230 acres on North branch of James River, corner of
Samuel McClure." Without proof I cannot say that Halbard McCluer is in
my ancestral line. I do add it to my genealogical charting and state unproved
as other genealogists seem to think that Halbard McCluer is the father
of Samuel. It is possible that Samuel could be a brother or some other
Other researchers say that the McClures listed in August County in
Beverly's tract and those in the Borden tract are related as brothers or
cousins and most came from the same Presbyterian parish in Raphoe, County
Donegal, Ireland. The truth may never be known as records are scant and
relationships on the records that do exist for that time period usually
indicate just the immediate families.
The McClures/McCluers of Rockbridge County actively participated in church
and the defense of their homesteads. Several McClures were listed in Captain
McDowell's militia company in 1742, including Halbard McCluer. In a listing
of communicants at Timber Ridge Presbyterian church in 1753, the following
McCluers were listed: Alexander McCluer, John McCluer, Nathaniel McCluer,
and Halbard McCluer.
Dr. Diehl wrote in a letter to Leon McCluer: "Timber Ridge is not even
a village of any degree - it is a community of indefinite boundaries. It
is an upland area lying between the North Branch of James River (now called
the Maury) and South River (formerly known in early records as Mary's River),
which skirts the foothills of the Blue Ridge and joins the North Branch
at present day Buena Vista. The North Branch united with the James River
at Glasgow, just before the river breaks through the Blue Ridge. I would
estimate that the Timber Ridge Community covers about twenty-five square
miles. Lee Highway, known officially as US 11, runs through it from North
to South. It was laid out in 1745 by Colonel James Patton and Colonel John
Buchanan - it was partly on an old Indian path, but not the famous "Warriors
Path," as some claim. This community lies north of Lexington and south
I thought this description about Timber Ridge would be helpful to others
as it was helpful to me. Looking at the Beverly and Borden map, one could
conclude that Timber Ridge is a singularly located community. This is not
the case and caused some confusion for me as I imagine it did for others.
I am making a modern day map and will put the Borden and Beverly tracts,
the people who settled there, and references. Hopefully, this will make
looking for ancestors in Augusta and Rockbridge County a bit easier.
Although this particular writing turned out to be a genealogical account,
rather than a written history, I find that this may be of some value to
other researchers in the associated McClure ancestry lines. As I study
more on Rockbridge County, I will include descriptions of the landscape
and the events during that period.
1. A History of Rockbridge County Virginia, Oren F. Morton, Baltimore Regional
Publishing Company, 1973. 2. Following McCluer Ancestors, Leon McCluer,
1974, McClure Printing Company, Inc., Verona, Virginia, USA 3. Historical
Significance of Rockbridge County, Virginia, James W. McClung, Lexington,
Virginia, McClure Company, Inc., Staunton, VA, 1939. 4. Virginia Wills
and Administrations, 1632-1800, Clayton Torrence, Genealogical Publishing
Company, Baltimore, 1972.
(also spelled Trevey, Trevy, Treevy)
Submitted by: Vera Hailey
Joseph Treavy (1760-1825) and his wife Susanna Shaner (1761-1831) were
born in PA and moved to Rockbridge County, VA. In 1783, land records indicate
that the couple purchased the home of early settler John McDowell, known
as the Red House because it was constructed of peeled logs stained with
red ochre. McDowell had surveyed Benjamin Borden's grant in exchange for
a thousand acres of land. A Captain in the local militia, McDowell was
killed in an Indian battle in 1742. Samuel McDowell, a Colonel in the American
Revolution and a member of the Virginia Legislature, had also occupied
the house. Ephriam McDowell, who was born in the house, became a surgeon
and performed the world's first ovariotomy.
Jacob and Susanna tore down the original Red House and built a federal-style
inn on the site. The establishment was a popular stage stop for many years.
The inn, which is now a private home, is located about two miles north
of the Sam Houston Memorial Wayside along Route 11 in Fairfield. A cemetery
used by both the McDowell and the Treavy families is on the property.
The Treavy family had connections to the nearby Timber Ridge Presbyterian
Church, which may be the only colonial-era Presbyterian church still in
use in the country.
Among the children of Joseph and Susanna Shaner Treavy was Andrew Treavy
(1790-1848) who married Catharine Higgins and had a named Robert Higgins
Treavy. Robert Treavy married Margaret Shaw, whose family owned land in
Augusta County, VA (and owned the Mount Torry Furance near Sherando at
the time of the Civil War).
Robert and Margaret Shaw Treavy had a daughter named Elizabeth "Bettie"
Treavy who married Jesse Robert Bridge, a miner in Augusta County. Jesse
and Elizabeth Treavy Bridge had a son named Edward Robert Bridge. Edward
married Isabelle Henderson, and they settled on a farm in Augusta County
Sherando, where Edward ran a sawmill.
Edward and Isabelle changed the spelling of their last name to "Brydge"
for reasons unknown. All but one of their children adopted the new spelling.
Their children: Oscar, George, Annie (died as an infant), Bessie, Amos,
Edna, Viola, Paul, Silas and Vance.
195 Horseshoe Circle
Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
phone: (540) 337-4021
The Treavy Inn
and Treavy Family Descendants
The Isaac Anderson Family
Submitted by Cynthia Crane
Isaac Anderson was born in Ireland, and died in Rockbridge Co., VA in
1749. He brought his family from Ireland to America in 1726. His wife was
named Martha. He moved to Rockbridge Co. about 1741 where he bought 350
acres in the Borden grant on the north fork of the James River (later known
as the Maury River) about 10 miles north of Lexington and five miles from
Providence Presbyterian Church. It is not known where he lived from 1726
until 1741. His land was adjacent to that of James McCroskey, whose daughter
married Samuel Houston. The family suffered much at the hands of the Indians.
Son John was killed in Dec. 1942 and a daughter, Betty Gilmore "with a
suckling infant" was taken prisoner by the Shawnees. She was held prisoner
at Chillicothe for a year, but was then taken to Pittsburgh and redeemed.
Isaac's will, written 2-9-1747, was presented for probate 5-17-1749. He
bequeathed his house and 150 acres of land to his widow and youngest son,
Isaac. He also gave 100 acres each to sons James and Jacob. Isaac purchased
both brothers' land and thus had the entire 350 acres that his father had
owned. James bought 200 acres from Captain Buchanan and Jacob purchased
a farm of 232 acres. Thus, for a time, there was a tract of Anderson land
amounting to 782 acres. At one time there were miles of Anderson land lying
together. Isaac is buried at Firebaugh Farm cemetery. Isaac and Martha's
descendents were Deaf James, Betty (Gilmore), Jacob, and Mary "Molly" (Boyle),
Isaac, William and John. Mary "Molly" purchased 200 acres in the Borden
tract in 1768. The land cornered Robert Telford. In 1779 she sold the land
to Solomon McCampbell.
Would you like to share your Rockbridge County Pioneer history with
Rockbridge County, VAGenWeb
Updated - November 26, 2002
All Rights Reserved ~ Yvonne