Search billions of records on


McCluer Family
Rockbridge Settlers
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 early settlers.
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, 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 Augusta County.
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 relation.

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 of Fairfield."
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 near 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.
Submitted by:
Vera Hailey
195 Horseshoe Circle
Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
phone: (540) 337-4021
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.
Submitted by
Cynthia Crane

Would you like to share your Rockbridge County Pioneer history with others? Click here!
Back to Rockbridge County, VAGenWeb

Updated - November 26, 2002
Rena Worthen

All Rights Reserved ~ Yvonne James-Henderson