The John Dever, Hampshire County Virginia/West Virginia Family History

Researched and written by 

(Charles) Darin Weaver (grandson of Mary Goldie Deaver Weaver) and Kathy Bachman Weaver

John Dever Sr. – My great, great, great, great, great grandfather

Information on John Sr has often been confused with his son John Jr because they were born on the same month and day (October 20), Sr was born in 1730 and Jr in 1766.

Using the dates provided in the J. N. Dever family Bible, and other resources as guidance only, we will try to clarify, as best as we can, between the two Johns and their families.

The J. N. Dever family Bible was published in 1881. This Bible probably belonged to John Newton Dever, born September 13, 1858 to George and Mahalia “Mary” (nee White) Dever. John Newton married Clara Gertrude Rigley on July 1, 1881 and they may have received this Bible as a wedding gift. John Newton Dever’s father was George, son of Solomon Dever, who was the son of George Dever, son of John Sr.

John Sr. was born on October 20, 1730 in Tyrone Country, Ireland, died on April 24, 1810. He arrived in North America in 1755 with General Braddocks Troops, under the command of Colonel Thomas Dunbar, to fight against the French in the French and Indian War. 

After the war, in 1762, John married Mary Barnes, born July 11, 1730 in Maryland (death date unknown, but before 1802) and they settled on 150 acres along Mill Run in Hampshire County in the colony of Virginia. 

Mary was the 5th child of Seth Barnes (born August 25, 1699, died March 21, 1762) and Sarah Wooden (born about 1703, died March 19, 1770). Seth is buried in the Burial Hill cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

John and Mary had 8 children:

  1. Jonathan – Born 1763, died 1809. Wife is unknown, but it is known they had 2 children:
    1. David – birth and death dates unknown – who married Nancy Shonkwiler, born in 1803 and died August 20, 1884. Nancy is buried in Rockville Cemetery in Rockville, Bates County, Missouri
    2. Jane who married Timothy Owens
  1. James – born 1764 and died 1845, married Catherine Byrd (or Bird), daughter of John and Susanna (nee Wintrow) Bird, in Bath County, Virginia on September 10, 1794. They had eleven children, all born in Pocahontas County, Virginia. There are several land transactions in Bath County involving James and Catherine. The last being deeded on December 17, 1828 showing they still resided in Pocahontas County. His will, dated October 16, 1842 was probated on April 12, 1845. 

One of their children, James Jr., and his wife, Delilah, would give one of their 7 children a very unusual name:  East India. After James Jr. died (before the 1850 Census), Delilah married a man named Levin Rogers (this was also his second marriage) on February 18, 1855. East India Dever married Sergeant Nathaniel E. Roger (this was his second marriage), second son of her step-father, Levin, and his first wife Elizabeth. 

Levin, Delilah, Nathaniel and East India are all buried in Rodgers (Rogers) Cemetery in Harrison Township, Scioto County, Ohio

  1. John Jr – born October 20, 1766 (same month and day as his father), died November 10, 1827, married Hannah Cubberly in 1785. Hannah, born June 25, 1763, died December 29, 1834, was the daughter of Dr. James Still Cubberly who was a surgeon in George Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War. John Jr, Hannah and most of their children moved to Scioto County, Ohio about 1800. 

John Jr and Hannah had eight children:

  1. Mary – born December 18, 1785, died June 9, 1856 – married Benjamin Fort on January 28, 1800. Benjamin was born January 26, 1776, died August 13, 1855. They are buried in the Fort Dever Cemetery in Marshall County, Illinois.
  1. Sarah – born October 9. 1787, died November 16, 1858 – married William McDowell on November 28, 1809. William was born on September 25, 1785 and died September 6, 1834. They are buried in the Avoca Cemetery in Fairbury, Livingston County, Illinois.
  1. Elizabeth – born January 7, 1789 and died November 15, 1873 – married Walter Wilcoxin on December 17 (or 27), 1810. Walter was born on November 15, 1789, died May 31,1836.
  1. James – born July 20, 1791, died December 26, 1832 – married another Mary Barnes on March 6, 1816 (or 1817). Mary was born on October 13, 1799 in Maryland and died March 5, 1857. They are buried in the Fort Deaver Cemetery in Marshall County, Illinois. According to the cemetery records, James was one of the soldiers in the War of 1812 that was surrendered by the treachery of Hull at Detroit, Michigan.
  1. William – born Mary 7, 1794, died November 24, 1834 – married Asenath McDougal on May 16, 1816. Asenath was born October 12, 1797 in Ireland and died in November, 1877. William became the first Justice of the Peace for Morgan Township, Ohio in 1825. William and Asenath’s son Joseph M. married Rebecca F. Wheeler. Joseph and Rebecca had a daughter named Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Dever, born June 13, 1865. Molly married a man named Gordon F. Lauman, a State Senator and lived on their estate just outside of Lucasville, Ohio. Gordon died on January 22, 1916. Molly died March 13, 1933 and donated her land to the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. Camp Molly Lauman is still in operation as of this writing. William is buried in the Dever Historical Cemetery in Morgan Township, Ohio. Asenath’s resting place is unknown at this time.
  1. Hannah – born January 18, 1796, died March 7, 1864 – married Joseph Guthrey on March 2, 1815. Joseph was born March 29, 1790 in Pennsylvania and died February 5, 1856. They are both buried in the Guthery Cemetery in La Rue, Marion County, Ohio.
  1. John III – born February 10, 1798, died January 3, 1835 – married Nancy Barnes (Mary’s (wife of James) sister) on September 27, 1827. Nancy was born in 1798 in Delaware and died in 1891. They are both buried in Fort Dever Cemetery in Marshall County, Illinois.
  2. Rachel – born September 15, 1800, died August 6, 1827 – never married. She is buried in the Dever Historical Cemetery in Scioto County, Ohio.

John Jr was a private in Captain Peter Bacus’ Company of Scioto County during the War of 1812. John Jr and Hannah and some of their family and extended family, are buried in the Dever Historical Cemetery in Scioto County, Ohio.

  1. Sarah – born about 1767, first husband was a man with the last name of Smith who died about 1790. She then married Robert Willis on December 21, 1802 in Belmont County, Ohio. Robert was born in Scotland in 1750, died February 13, 1830 in Belmont County, Ohio, buried in Crabapple Cemetery in Wheeling Township, Belmont County, Ohio. Sarah Dever was his third wife. First wife was Sarah Martha Gibson (1750 to 1793) who was killed in an Indian raid with two of their daughters. In 1794, he married the widow Sarah Davis (1750 to 1801). These details were found in the following story on

Sarah Dever’s death date and final resting place are unknown at this time.

  1. William – born about 1768, died 1824 (according to the Bible – see page 2). The only one to remain in Hampshire County, Virginia. (This is my great, great, great, great grandfather – details to follow)
  1. George – born 1770, died September 11, 1847 in Scioto County, Ohio. There are some sites that state his birth year as being 1777, probably due to the transcription of his gravestone that he was in his 70th year of his life when he died. However, the 1830 and 1840 Census places George in the same age range of 60 to 70 both times, which makes him 60 years old in 1830 and 70 years old in 1840. Also, looking closely at a picture of his gravestone, it is possible that the “0” in “70th” is actually an “8”, which would mean he died in the 78th year of his life, making 1770 the correct year of birth.

In 1795, George married Mary Donnally in Greenbrier County, Virginia. Mary was born in Greenbrier County in 1780. George and Mary had 9 children. After Mary died, George married Sarah Jaynes in 1820. George and Sarah had 3 children. 

In 1794, George was granted 50 acres on Parks Mountain and either received or purchased 55 ¾  acres along Dillons Run from Jesse Pugh. In 1796, George was granted another 59 acres on Parks Mountain. In the book Capon Valley, Its Pioneers and Their Descendants 1698 to 1940, by Maud Pugh, it is mentioned that Robert Edwards Sr. (son of Joseph Edwards II, the fort builder) married Eva Hawkins, moved to North River and bought one of the Deaver farms 1 mile north of the Ice Mountain farm and raised a large family. They sold the farm approximately 1867, shortly after the Civil War. It is likely, but not proven, that it was one of the aforementioned farms owned by George. 

George also served in the War of 1812. Sergeant George Dever served with the 7th Virginia Regiment, Saunders’ Virginia Militia. Mary’s and Sarah’s death dates and final resting places are unknown at this time. George died in 1847 and is buried in the Old Wheelersburg Cemetery, Wheelersburg, Scioto County, Ohio.

  1. Mary – according to the information found on, marriage and Census records, was born on January 3, 1778 during the Revolutionary War and died April 2, 1856. In these records, her last name was spelled “Deever” instead of the normal “Dever” spelling at that time. In 1797, Mary married John Van Pelt in Pennsylvania. John was born May 27, 1776 and died October 31, 1852.

John and Mary can be found on the 1850 Census living with their daughter Nancy (Van Pelt) Huff and her family in Paint, Highland County, Ohio. 

John and Mary were Quakers and according to the U.S. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol I-VI, 1607-1943, they joined the Fall Creek Meeting (church) on February 13, 1815 along with their children:

  • Hannah – reported married to Abner Johnson on January 21, 1818
  • Nancy – reported married to Daniel Duff on November 18, 1820
  • Jonathan – disowned on June 23, 1821
  • Mary Jr – disowned:  married contrary to discipline on May 18, 1822
  • Catharine – condemned:  married contrary to discipline on April 23, 1825
  • Elisha – disowned:  married contrary to discipline on April 18, 1828
  • Phebe – reported married to Aaron Winder on June 22, 1831
  • Mahlon – disowned:  married out of unity June 22, 1836
  • Lydia – reported married to Elisah Hoge on October 24, 1839
  • Ann (formerly Roberts) condemned: married contrary to discipline on March 25, 1840

John and Mary are listed as buried in the Fall Creek Cemetery in Highland County, Ohio.

  1. Abraham – born March 6, 1784, died May 16, 1836, married Elizabeth Jenkins on January 1, 1807. Elizabeth was a Quaker. On April 21, 1807, she was disowned from the Concord Ohio Meeting for marrying a non-Quaker. They had 13 children. 

After Abraham died in 1835, Elizabeth can be found on the 1940 Census in Fairfield, Highland County, Ohio living with her three youngest living sons, Abraham Jr., David and Jonathan. (Note:  When searching this Census on, her name was transcribed as Elizabeth Meanes).

Elizabeth is also on the 1850 Census, same location, living with her son, Jonathan. Her age is listed as 57, making her born in 1793 and married at age 14. She disappears by the 1860 Census.

Abraham is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Leesburg, Highland County, Ohio. Elizabeth’s final resting place is unknown at this time.

The family Bible appears to be incorrect for the birth years of Mary and Abraham as we have been able to locate them on multiple Censuses and FindaGrave, so we believe the birth years of 1778 and 1784 are correct. But this makes Mary, their mother, 48 and 54 when they were born. This is possible but highly unlikely. 

Theory:  In “The History of Lieutenant Colonel John Guthery” compiled by Mary Gray May, it is stated that Mary Barnes died when their youngest son George was born in 1770. It is possible that John married a second woman named Mary and she is the mother of Mary and Abraham. This would also explain the 8 year gap between the births of George (1770) and Mary (1778). But what about the 6 year gap between Mary and Abraham? Possible infant deaths or miscarriages. Or, did John leave at some point to serve in the Revolutionary War which was 1775 to 1783?

Additional information in May’s compilation stated that John Jr. was a Revolutionary War patriot and on December 10, 1776, John Dever enlisted with the Colonial Troops of the 3rd Maryland Regiment, commanded by Colonel Mordecai Gist. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on April 1, 1777 and he can be found on 1778 muster rolls for his Company (August and September) as 1st Lieutenant. He remained 1st Lieutenant until his discharge on April 8, 1779.

In 1975, a correction was issued to May’s compilation, based on research from Mrs. Joseph A. Bachman (no relation) of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in regards to John Sr, John Jr and the Revolutionary War. In this correction, Joseph Bachman (George Dever’s 3x great grandson) states that May’s compilation incorrectly attached another John Dever’s military service to John Jr. This makes sense as he would have been 9 years old at the start of that war.

We located three more Revolutionary War entries for John Dever. Two were with General Gates at the time of the Burgoyne’s Surrender at Saratoga in 1777:

  1. John Dever – Private, Capt. Swearingen’s Co., Col. Morgan’s Corp. from July 1777 to May 1778 (Note:  There is an entry above John’s for a Daniel Dever that matches exactly)
  2. John Dever – Private, Capt. Henderson’s Co., Col. Morgan’s Corp. from July to Dec 1777

The third record:  John Dever is listed on a payroll record from August 1777, Capt. John Hay’s Co., 9th Virginia Regiment.

We have been unable to tie these entries directly to John Sr. However, John Sr is recognized as a Revolutionary War patriot.

Citing a reference from page 25 of “West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors Whose Services Were Non-Military” (by Anne Weller Reddy), during the December 10, 1970 Board Meeting of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (N.S.D.A.R.), Deaver (Dever), John, Sr. of Hampshire County, Virginia was acknowledged as a patriot for rendering non-military aid. The entry can be found on page 263 of the March 1971 issue of the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine.

During the N.S.D.A.R. Board Meeting on December 10, 1970 from a reference on page 25 of “West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors Whose Services Were Non-Military” (by Anne Weller Reddy), which simply states that John of Hampshire County rendered non-military aid. In the March 1971 issue of the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine, on page 263, John Deaver (Dever) Sr of Hampshire County, Virginia is accepted 

The Dever and Related Families book written by Penny and O. D. Linder (will be called the Linder book from here out) states that in 1782 there were 10 people in John Sr’s household and 10 again in 1784. However, the information in the first US Census is different.

The first US Census was in 1790 and it was a compilation of the State Enumerations taken in 1782 through 1785. Enumerations listed just the name of the head of household and the number of souls. Hampshire County, Virginia appears in this Census twice, 1782 and 1784. 

  • 1782 – John Devear is listed on page 25 with 10 White souls 
  • 1784 – John Dever is listed on page 71 with 11 White souls

In 1782, Abraham would not have been born yet, meaning there should only be 9 people in the household. Unless one of the sons had taken a wife at this point and they were both living under John Sr’s roof. In 1784, that number increased to 11 because Abraham had been born. Their house should still be along Mill Run. 

In 1789, John Sr was granted 240 acres of land along Dillons Run in Hampshire County and he and Mary relocated there on or before 1796. On February 27, 1796, John and Mary sold their property along Mill Run to a man named Amos Park. The deed, recorded on June 20, 1796 was witnessed by their sons, Jonathan and George.  Mary died in Virginia between 1796 and 1802, her final resting place is unknown. 

In 1802, John Sr purchased land in Belmont County, Ohio from the Steubenville Land Office, giving his current address as Brooke County, Virginia. He moved to Belmont County between 1802 and 1807 to be near his children. John Sr died near Flushing Township, Belmont County, Ohio on April 24, 1810. His final resting place is unknown.

William Dever – my great, great, great, great grandfather 

William was born in August 1768 and is believed to have died between 1812 and 1824. On December 22, 1789, he married Elizabeth Johnston, who was born in 1772, when she died is unknown at this time. In 1790, William received a land grant for 533 acres along North River, at the base of Ice Mountain. The Dever/Ice Mountain farm was born. It is important to note that this land grant did not include Ice Mountain itself. The Ice Mountain, also known as The Ice Spring, 34 acres, was granted to Daniel Pugh on June 11, 1792. Daniel sold Ice Mountain to a man named Francis Taggart in 1794. In 1790, William’s wife Elizabeth is pregnant, possibly with twins (see *Figure 1 on next page).  A small cabin may have been built on the Ice Mountain farm, however it is unclear if William and Elizabeth moved there or remained on the Dillon Run property. William and Elizabeth had 4 children:

  1. William Jr. – born February 23, 1790, died July 17, 1871. Twin to George, he remained in Hampshire County Virginia through 1820. He married a woman named Mary (birth and death dates unknown) in Beacon, Iowa and moved to Indiana where his first son James, was born in 1822. According to the 1850 Census, he is back in Hampshire County but without Mary. He is on the 1860 Census for Hampshire County but not the 1870 Census. He died in Iowa in 1871 and is buried in Beacon Cemetery in Beacon, Iowa.
  2. George – born February 23, 1790, died October 1, 1875. Twin to William Jr. George remained in Hampshire County his entire life. On May 2, 1839, the South Branch Intelligencer newspaper reported that George was confirmed as a member of the Vigilance Committee of Hampshire County Virginia. George never married, however he took over the farm and family duties (including husbandly duties) for his deceased brother Alexander. 

George, his mind failing,  drowns himself in a pond on Sunday October 1, 1875. The pond was then known as Georgie’s Pond. The “pond” is really a deep section of North River also referred to as Deaver’s Eddy. Coordinates of the approximate location: 39.344601, -78.503179 behind a small cabin in a gated community. Location information provided by Gene Cunningham, son of Jessie Deaver Cunningham.

* The 1850 Census lists William Jr. age 57 and George age 59. Question that comes to mind is the normal tradition was/is the first born son is usually named after the father, so William should be the older one. The 1860 Census lists them both as age 70 and “Twins” is written next to their names:

  1. Alexander – born 1792 and died about 1831. He remained in Hampshire County, on the Ice Mountain farm, his entire life.  (This is my great, great, great grandfather – details to follow)
  1. Samuel – born between 1795 and 1800 and is accounted for on the 1810 Census. Nothing else is known about Samuel.

The 1820 Census appears to show the three older brothers (Samuel is unaccounted for) as heads of 3 separate households. 

  • William Jr. and wife Mary in a residence shared with 5 others. 
  • George in a residence with 5 others. 
  • Alexander and new wife Nancy in a residence by themselves, probably on the Ice Mountain farm.

William Sr. went on to receive three more land grants. 

  • In 1798, he received 70 acres along North River
  • In 1803, he received 63 acres in Great Cacapon
  • In 1812, he received 44 acres in North River (we believe this is Ice Mountain)

The Devers now own Ice Mountain.

The 1810 Census lists a William Dever and the number of souls in the household as matching William Sr., Elizabeth and children. We found a William Dever on the 1820 Census in Hampshire County, 7 people in the household: 2 males under 10, 1 male 26-44, 3 females under 10 and 1 female 26-44. This does not match William and Elizabeth for their ages or number/sex of their children.

We know William Sr was alive in 1812 because of a land grant. The J.N. Dever Bible lists that he died in 1824. William Sr. and Elizabeth are rumored to be buried somewhere on the Ice Mountain farm. The property was willed to his sons George and Alexander.

Alexander Dever – my great, great, great grandfather

Alexander married Nancy Edwards. In the 1820 Census, Alexander is shown as head of household with one other person in the house, a female aged 16-25. It is believed their residence is on the Ice Mountain farm. His brothers William Jr. and George are in Hampshire County living in separate residences as they are both listed as heads of household. 

Alexander’s wife Nancy was born about 1800 in Frederick, MD. There were a few people that believed that Nancy was related to Joseph Edwards II, the fort builder, but no evidence was found that linked the two. 

The number of children Alexander and Nancy had is hard to nail down. All Censuses taken before 1850 only listed the name of the head of household and then all other members of the house were just counted in columns based on their age and gender.

The 1830 Census for Alexander listed the following members in the household. Names in parenthesis are a guess based on the names from 1850 Census:

  • 2 males under 5  (George aka Major George, William) 
  • 2 males age 30 – 39 (Alexander, George (his brother))
  • 1 female under 5 (Sarah)
  • 2 females age 5 – 9 (Elmyra, Annie)
  • 1 female age 10 – 14 (Amy)
  • 1 female age 20 – 29 (Nancy, Alexander’s wife)

Alexander is believed to have died in 1831/1832. His brother George was listed as head of household on the 1840 Census. Again, names in parenthesis are a guess based on the 1850 Census:

  • 1 male under age 5 (Samuel, this child is too young to be Alexander’s son, possibly his brother George is the father?)
  • 2 males age 10 – 14 (George aka Major George, William)
  • 1 male age 40 – 49 (George – brother of Alexander)
  • 1 female age 10 – 14 (Sarah (this fits based on the 1830 Census, but on the 1850 Census, Sarah is listed as only being 16))
  • 3 females age 15 – 19 (Elmyra, Annie, Amy)
  • 1 female age 30 – 39 (Nancy, Alexander’s widow)

Found the following on Ancestry, labeled as Hampshire County Records, listing 7 “children heirs”

  1. Amey (Amy) – was listed as 27 on the 1850 Census so was born in 1823. This is the last time we can account for her.
  1. Elmyra (Almyra) – was born in late 1824 or early 1825 as she was listed as 25 on the 1850 Census, still living on the family farm. Brother George was listed as age 24 on his 1850 Census record and we know that he was born in November 1825.
  1. George (middle name possibly “Washington”) – born November 9, 1825, died November 28, 1907. Would later be known as Major George Deaver and would inherit the Ice Mountain farm from his Uncle George. Married Lucinda Hiett on August 31, 1848.
  1. Annie – name obtained from the Linder book and the Hampshire County Chancery Book mentioned above, last accounted for on the 1840 Census, still on the family farm.
  1. Sarah Ellen – born in 1827 or 1834. She was listed on the 1850 Census as being 16, but this does not match with the 1830 and 1840 Censuses. We believed she married a George Hazel Moreland in 1846, but that does not explain why she was still listed in the household on the 1850 Census. She was gone by the 1860 Census from the family farm. George Moreland was born 1820 and died May 27, 1889.
  1. William – born either 1828 (listed as 32 on the 1860 Census) or 1832 (listed as 18 on the 1850 Census). He is last accounted for on the 1860 Census, still on the family farm.
  1. Samuel – listed on the 1850 Census as being 14, making him born in 1836. If Alexander passed in 1832, he cannot be the father. We believe Alexander’s brother George may be the father. Cannot locate Samuel on the 1860 Census, but found a Samuel Deaver on the 1870 Census, age 35 living with a man named Mortimer Tolton and a woman named Lyda Warford in Cameron Township, Marshall County, WV.

In 1828, Alexander and brother George completed a much larger 2 story cabin to accommodate the growing family. Going by an old photo, this cabin may have been a large addition to a smaller cabin built in the 1790s. The cabins may have been connected at a later date. In 1829, Alexander received a land grant for 14 acres in North River. Also of note, on the 1812 land grant for William and the 1829 land grant for Alexander, the “a” is first noted in the last name, changing it from Dever to Deaver. By 1830, Deaver was the normal spelling. 

Also by 1830, Alexander’s brother George was living with Alexander and Nancy back on the Ice Mountain farm. Alexander dies before January 16, 1832 as we have located the Probate record:

As mentioned previously, after Alexander dies, his brother George takes over as head of household, running the farm and helping to raise Alexander’s and Nancy’s children. It also appears that George and Nancy have a child together, Samuel – born in 1836. Even though he is listed as an heir to Alexander in Figure 2.

In 1847, George purchased 200 acres of land on a west bank of North River, it was previously owned by Hawkins Kidwell. Purchase price was $281.63.

In the 1860 Census, William Jr, George, Nancy and Alexander’s son William are all shown to be on the family farm. By 1870, only George remained on the farm. Between the 1860 Census and the 1870 Census, William Jr. returned to Iowa. Found on the 1870 Census living with his son George Deaver (spelled as Deadver on the Census). William Jr. died July 17, 1871 and is buried in Beacon Cemetery in Beacon, Mahaska County, Iowa. According to the Linder book, Alexander’s son William moves to Columbus, Ohio. We have not been able to find anything further on him. Nancy dies in Hampshire County after the 1860 Census is taken and before the 1870 Census. 

On August 25, 1871, George had his will written, leaving his nephew George W. Deaver (aka Major George) the Ice Mountain farm. George died on October 1, 1875 and his will was presented by Asa Hiett and William Moreland Jr. on November 1, 1875.

Alexander, George and Nancy are rumored to be buried somewhere on the Ice Mountain farm.

(Major) George (Washington?) Deaver – my great, great grandfather

George was born on the Ice Mountain farm on November 9, 1825, died November 28, 1907 –  was raised by his Uncle George (son of William Sr.) after his father (Alexander) died in 1831/1832.  On August 31, 1848, George married Lucinda Hiett, born February 27, 1827, died March 10, 1898. She was the daughter of Jeremiah (born about 1783, died April 16, 1860) and Lucinda (Kidwell) Hiett (born 1787, died June 5, 1870). George and Lucinda had 4 children:

  1. Frances A. – born July 14, 1849, died October 29, 1934. Married Joseph C. Hiett, born May, 1848, died March 16, 1924, who was the son of Samuel Hiett. They did not have any children.
  2. Howell Foote – born October 15, 1851, died March 15, 1925. Howell had a total of 17 children with two wives. Much more about all of them later.
  3. Sarah Virginia – born October 25, 1853, died June 13, 1935. On November 25, 1880 she married Robert Owen (or Offutt) Pugh, born December 30, 1851, died Mar 30, 1908. They had 2 children:
    1. George Lamar – born June 6, 1881, died May 1, 1961. Never married.
    2. Wade Hampton – born December 18, 1882, died January 13, 1921. Never married.

The Pugh Family – L to R:

Sarah Virginia, George Lamar,

Robert O. and Wade Hampton

Wade looks to be about 2 in this picture 

probably ca. 1884/1885

  1. Alexander – born 1855 or 1856. Not many people knew George and Lucinda had a 4th child. Alexander was recorded on the 1860 Census taken on June 30, 1860 as being 4 years old (see Figure 5). That makes his birth date between July 1, 1855 and June 30, 1856. He was not on the 1870 Census, so it is assumed that he died between 1860 and 1870 and is probably buried on the farm. 

The oldest picture in our possession is a picture of George, Lucinda and 2 of their children (Figure 6). We determined the type of photography to be ferrotype/tintype, as it is attracted to a magnet. The date this type of photography first appeared in the United States was between 1853 and 1855, patented in 1857. We believe this picture was taken soon after George was elected “Major” in 1856. This would mean the child on George’s lap is Sarah Virginia and the child on Lucinda’s lap is Alexander. However, if this was taken in 1856, it is odd that all four children were not included in the picture.

According to family notes, George and Lucinda like to entertain. They would have parties, horsemanship shows and competitions, picnics and bonfires. In 1855, George was elected “Captain” in the 114th Virginia Militia. In 1856, Captain George was elected Major of the regiment under Alexander Monroe and commissioned by Governor Henry A. Wise. When the Civil War began, Major George was ordered into active service by Governor John Letcher. He served with the Confederate Army.

Here is an 1861 Civil War story from the April 19, 1982 edition of The West Virginia Advocate:

History at Raven Rock

In our American heritage, there are numerous instances of valor and cowardliness, comedy and tragedy. Many such occurrences are well known and documented; others, obscured by time, become bits of history that die with the last of the old people who remember them. The story of the Raven Rocks sentinel concerns such an event. 

On April 17, 1861, the Virginia Legislature passed the ordinance of secession, and the Old Dominion took the plunge into the abyss, from which she was not to extricate herself until the flood of war, with all its horrors and ruin, had swept over her and left her fields untilled, her prosperity crushed and her homes desolate. It was the time for many fateful decisions.

Contrary to legislative decision, many citizens in the western counties declared that they should remain in the Union, and a movement was mounted to halt secession, at least in the western part of the state. Division of the state was proposed, and on June 20, 1861, delegates to The Wheeling Convention began the deliberation that split Virginia, and formed the territory that on June 11, 1863, was to be admitted to the Union as the 35th state – West Virginia.

Although the new territory was declared to be pro-Union, many of the citizens of the Eastern Panhandle counties declared their allegiance to the Confederacy. The people of Hampshire County were mostly Southern sympathizers and over half of the men took up Confederate arms.

Early in the Civil War, a company of Confederates was formed by about 80 Hampshire County volunteers, to be known as McMackin’s Militia. Although many of the members of the company are known, no complete list exists today. Captain Thomas McMackin took command, Joseph Berry was appointed lieutenant and Conrad Wilber second lieutenant.

The swearing of an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and to military honor seemed to transform farmers, merchants and tradesmen into self-styled warriors. Calloused bare feet and boots swirled dust from the dirt streets of Romney, the county seat, as the sweating company floundered about in what they considered an imposing display of military drill.

Out of formation, out of step, they clumsily jostled one another and awkwardly responded to the uncertain commands of inexperienced drill masters. Rough farm clothing contrasted with tailored suits, the tall and thin warriors with the short and fat. Some fortunate few proudly wore hats, tunics or trousers of Confederate gray. As befitted their rank, the officers boasted plumed hats topping full dress uniforms tailored to their specifications – grandeur proportionate to each individual’s ego and his ability to pay.

Hampshire Countians lined the streets or flocked to the drill field to applaud and cheer as their volunteers strutted and stumbled, wheeled and ran into one another; pride is blinding. Concurrent with their elevated status, the volunteers saw themselves as some Prussian Honor Guard.

Naive concerning the realities of war, the volunteers swaggered and boasted of their heroic intentions. Eagerly, they waited for the orders that would propel them into glorious conflict, and for the opportunity to acquire a hero’s recognition.

Their orders were soon received, but to their dismay, they were assigned mere guard duty. Leaving Romney early in the summer of 1861, the disgruntled company proceeded about 17 miles northeast to the hamlet of North River Mills. Here they were to guard and defend against the enemy:  the hamlet, an over-sized creek with the pretentious name of North River and a secondary road known as Springfield Grade.

Captain McMackin declined the opportunity to occupy or fortify the high-terrain surrounding North River Mills. Instead, he encamped his company at the northwest base of Ice Mountain, on the west side of North River. He chose a flat, open field bordered by the river, to his thinking an ideal campground – no need to clear the area, a ready supply of water and a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. He conveniently ignored the facts that the terrain surrounding the site created a natural trap and that the camp was particularly vulnerable to attack.

Aside from his military ability, McMackin was a practitioner of good community and public relations. After establishing the camp out of sight of North River Mills – about a mile southwest and on the opposite side of a high ridge – he considered the sensitivities of his men and the local residents. By not fortifying or guarding a natural gap through which the road passed at one end of the hamlet, nor the bridge at the other end, he inconvenienced neither the residents nor his men.

South of the camp, a pinnacle of rock, named Raven Rocks, juts from the top of Ice Mountain. From this vantage point, 1,230 feet above sea level, a lookout could scan the countryside westward for many miles, sweeping clockwise from the northwest to the northeast. Each morning at sunrise, a sentinel climbed to the top of Raven Rocks. When not whittling, dozing or sighting his musket at imaginary Yankees, he scanned the countryside and roads with a telescope for any signs of Union forces. At sunset the sentry returned to the camp, where he remained until dawn. Such was McMackin’s master plan. Anticipating his sentry would sound the alarm when a distant enemy force was sighted, he felt secure. Forewarned, he could position his troops for defense or attack.

McMacklin surely had considered the possibilities of enemy night movement, night attack or attack from the east. Because of the terrain and heavy forest, his sentry atop Raven Rocks could not survey the vast land area from the northeast clockwise to the southwest. One can only assume that he considered these possibilities to be slight calculated risks, not worthy of serious consideration. (McMackin’s military concepts were not unique; he typified many Civil Ware commanders.)

Through the summer of 1861 and the early part of 1862, McMackin’s Militia enjoyed a dream assignment. Each day, the sentry’s search was fruitless. Provisions were plentiful and easily acquired, and the comfortable camp, nestled in picturesque surroundings, was a place of warm camaraderie. Ice Mountain’s phenomenal natural refrigeration was utilized to preserve food stuffs and to provide natural air-conditioning during unusually hot days. Hunting, fishing and swimming were rewarding diversions. Individual troopers found ample opportunities to slip away and visit loved ones. Wives and girlfriends made conjugal visits to the camp too, where rustling sounds and shaking bushes caused much banter.

Hardened and experienced only by drills and mock battles, McMackin’s troops won many imaginary battles against superior forces; many a Yankee was slain around the campfire. Romney changed hands 56 times (some say more) during the Civil War; but the streams of battle bypassed the peaceful camp. McMackin’s troops clamored for an opportunity of glory. Enviously they learned of the combat exploits of others. But the sentry high atop Raven Rocks remained silent. 

Henry L. Swisher usually was that sentry, but one day early in 1862, he and William Sherwood were sent to hunt deer for camp meat. Another militia member was assigned sentry duty. He scurried to the pop of Raven Rocks, happy with the opportunity to escape the monotony of camp life. Shortly after taking his post, he detected movement on a distant country road in the direction of Springfield. With the aid of a telescope, he was able to identify blue-uniformed Calvary traveling toward North River Mills.

His frantic signals either were not seen or were ignored by his compatriots 500 feet below the rocks. Desperately, he scrambled down the rock-strewn side of Ice Mountain, stumbling and falling repeatedly. Upon reaching the rhododendron forest at the mountain’s base, he raced along the path to the river and splashed across the shallow stream. Racing into the camp, he shouted his warning to the Confederate, “The Yanks are coming! So many of them the road’s blue for miles!”

Pandemonium erupted. Wild-eyed men ran in confused circles knocking over shelters, cook kettles and each other. Each expected the hammer blow of a Yankee mini-ball to strike him instantly. Half-dressed men struggled to pull trousers on over their boots. Many ignored propriety and simply ran. Those who had been bathing or laundering in the river ran stark-naked with the mob, their flashing buttocks like targets of temptation.

Some ran in determined silence. Some ran shouting, some whimpered, some sobbed. But all, officers and men alike, ran. Unreasoning panic destroyed all thoughts of glory. Many ran empty-handed. Some had their muskets. Some scooped up their personal belongings, only to throw them away if flight was impeded. Firearms, ammunition and supplies were abandoned in the shambles of the camp.

After stampeding across the river, the mob fought and cursed along the narrow confines the path through the rhododendron forest. Individual survival was the only consideration as the panic-stricken men ran eastward, away from the advancing Yankee army that made the road “blue for miles.” Up and down the steep mountains they ran stumbling, falling, gasping for breath, ignoring the dense undergrowth that ripped their flesh and clothing.

Finally, exhaustion took its toll – rubbery legs and cramped sides demanded relief. Atop Sandy Ridge, several miles from camp, the frightened Confederates collapsed, too exhausted to crawl. Their minds still screamed, “Run!”, but their limbs would not respond. Then the dreaded sounds of pursuit penetrated their fatigue. A galloping horse crashed through the forest and the militia cowered in terror, anticipating the slashes and thrusts of Yankee sabers as a mounted rider crashed through the underbrush into their midst.

Relief swept over them when they saw the gray uniform and features of Major George Deaver of the Hampshire Militia. He lived on a farm at the foot of Ice Mountain; in fact, McMackin’s Militia had been encamped on one of his fields. Alerted by the commotion from the camp, he had witnessed the unexplained flight of the company and had given pursuit. His lathered horse stood trembling, sucking in great gulps of air.

As a connoisseur of fine horses, his concern for the punishment he had inflicted on his mount merely intensified the contempt he experienced as he listened to the hysterical explanations. With a scornful glare, he dismissed McMackin from command. Deaver derided the cowardly conduct of the men and with entreaties, curses and blows accomplished some semblance of military order. Ordering the company to stand fight, he threatened to shoot anyone that attempted to run.

The men on the ridge were unaware that members of McMackin’s Militia had already engaged the enemy force. While returning from the hunting expedition, Swisher and Sherwood had blundered into the Yankees. Sherwood had been captured, but Swisher had escaped into the mountains.

Later in the day, large columns of smoke rolled in the sky from the direction of North River Mills. Throughout the day and night, the frightened men waited and steeled themselves for the dreaded onslaught of superior force. But the anticipated attack never came.

Early the next morning, Deaver sent scouts forward to determine the location and intentions of the enemy force. Reporting back, the embarrassed scouts reluctantly divulged that the enemy force, without firing a single shot, had routed McMackin’s entire company of 80 men, captured Sherwood, occupied the area, burned a number of houses and barns and had ridden leisurely back to Romney, unopposed and unpursued.

The superior enemy force that made the road “blue for miles” consisted of just seven Union calvarymen.

McMackin’s Militia retired to Winchester, VA, where the company disbanded; some of the men joined other companies, some returned to their homes and some simply disappeared, as did McMackin.

Major George Deaver continued to serve the Confederacy for the duration of the war. After Appomattox, he returned to his home at the base of Ice Mountain and became a successful farmer and stock raiser. In 1872 and 1873, he was a member of the West Virginia Legislature. His farm, Ice Mountain and Raven Rocks are now part of a commercial campground where tourists frolic – unaware of the drama witnessed by their surroundings 119 years ago. End of article 

In 1872, Major George became a candidate for and was elected to the Hampshire County West Virginia House of Delegates. He served through one session in 1872-1873. His wife, Lucinda, died on March 10, 1898 and by June 22, 1900, Major George had taken in a young couple and their children, presumably to help with the farm as he was now 75 years old. Major George died on November 28, 1907. My grandmother, Mary Goldie was born in 1899 and only knew him for 8 years. However, this was enough time to earn him the title of “the grouchiest man I have ever known”.

The Cabins and Land

The first image of the Ice Mountain farm and cabins comes from a sketch in a book titled “Historical Collections of Virginia” by Henry Howe – published in 1845, under the Hampshire section on pages 290-292.

The above sketch shows two cabins. The smaller cabin on the right was probably built between 1790 and 1802 by William (born 1768), my 4 times great-grandfather. The larger cabin was built in 1828 by Alexander (born 1792), my 3 times great-grandfather and his brother George (born 1790).

On October 5, 1854, two more sketches are created by artist David Hunter Strother, who was also known as “Porte Crayon”. These sketches can be found in the archives at West Virginia University.

The sketch on the left was drawn from an unknown location on Ice Mountain showing a barn/shed/cabin and a lonely horse. The sketch on the right is called “Ridge Road” and is the road leading to Ice Mountain, now called Twin Flower Lane, also known as “The Devil’s Backbone” due to the steep drop off on either side of the road.

In April of 1872, another sketch by Porte Crayon appears in the Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Issue #263, Volume 44

This sketch is part of “The Mountains” article that begins on page 659 of that issue and is a different angle of the same barn/shed/cabin, complete with the horse.

On April 15, 1909, two parts of the original 550 +/- acre Ice Mountain farm were put up for public sale by his children and heirs:  Howell, Frances and Sarah. There are two tracts, one is all land (187 acres) and the other consists of his cabin, other out buildings and land containing a small apple orchard (150 acres total).

The rest of the original Ice Mountain farm is owned by Howell (210 acres). We have not been able to determine if either tract sold at this auction. In the September 5, 1962 edition of The Hampshire Review, a Commissioner’s Sale of Ice Mountain was announced as part of George Lamar Pugh’s estate. The article noted that it was “the same real estate which was conveyed unto S. Virginia Pugh by deed of Frances A. Hiett, et al dated the 30th of May, 1914.” This may mean that at least the 150 acre tract did not sell and Frances and Howell gave it to Sarah.

Sarah now owns the farm and the mountain. She lives in the cabin on the farm with her 2 sons, Lamar and Wade. Since Sarah’s husband Robert died in 1908, a few months after Major George, it is reasonable to assume that she and the children moved into the cabin shortly after Robert’s death. This is backed up by the 1900 Census showing Robert, Sarah and the 2 boys in a rental and the 1910 Census showing Sarah and the boys in an owned dwelling. In 1921, Wade died from pneumonia. 

This notice was in the July 20, 1921 edition of The Hampshire Review newspaper that H. F. Deaver put the farm up for sale. Interesting to note in this article is that the farm is known as “the Henry C. Miller farm”, this could possibly mean that Howell, at age 70, was no longer actively working the farm and Miller was leasing it from him.

We do not believe the 210 acre farm was sold in 1921 and Ida retained ownership after Howell passed as we found the following notice of public sale after Ida’s death on June 5, 1940, in the October 16, 1940 edition of The Hampshire Review, selling everything – building, contents, animals and the land: 

                Howell Foote Deaver house

This time the property is sold. In the April 2, 1941 edition of the The Hampshire Review, Bern Harrah moved to the farm that was purchased by C. N. Loy. The original Ice Mountain farm is now reduced by another 210 acres. 

The H. F. Deaver house, known as the Clapboard or Plank House did not last long past the sale date. From the April 8, 1942 edition of The Hampshire Review:

Delinquent Tax List in the June 22, 1927 edition of The Hampshire Review showing H. F. Deaver owed taxes for 19 acres for the tax year 1926 – he died in March 1925, so we do not know if this is another piece of property or part of the original 210 acres.

Sarah died in June 1935, leaving her 150 acres of the original farm to her remaining son, George Lamar.

These photos were taken between 1918 and 1935. Photo on the left is courtesy of Rhonda Deaver Dean, great-granddaughter of Howell Foote Deaver. By the roof lines on the right picture you can see that the two original cabins are now joined together. 

George never married and became somewhat of a recluse. According to Lee Cunningham’s notes, he was known locally as Mar Pugh, he charged a small fee to visitors and sold penny candy. He was said to be a quiet and friendly person. George died on May 1, 1961, according to the death certificate, but when he was found (probably by Edna Deaver) he had been dead for 10 to 14 days.

After all legal matters for the estate were settled, Ice Mountain was sold at public auction on Saturday, September 22, 1962 to Otis Baker and co-owner Marvin Sine. This ends the 172 year Deaver ownership of the Ice Mountain farm and the 150 year ownership of the mountain itself.

Land Ownership Changes from 1971 to Present

1971 – Richard Durst, Rec. Land, Inc. purchases the land from Otis Baker. 

The cabin was in rough shape. The roof on the single story portion has collapsed along with the fireplace on that side of the house. The front porch on the main part of the house is also gone.

Renovations in progress. Front porch has been rebuilt, the roof line on the single story portion now aligns with the front porch and the fireplace has been restored. Before and during renovation photos courtesy of the current owners:  Jo and Mark Jones

Renovations complete. A third section has been added. Sign by the sidewalk reads “Private Residence”.

Richard also improved the road and land. He then started and operated the “Ice Mountain Park & Campground”. The cabin was used as the manager’s office. The commercial campground was still operating in April, 1982.

1987ish – Developer John Cannon, operating under the name Riverbirch, Inc., purchased and developed the 400 acre site.  230 acres were divided into roughly 5 acre lots. This left 160 acres undeveloped, including Ice Mountain.

The lot where the cabin was located was purchased by the Marino family and they used it as an occasional get-away.

1989 – Ice Mountain Association was formed. The association currently owns the developed 230 acres.

1991 – The undeveloped 160 acres, including Ice Mountain, is purchased by the “The Nature Conservancy” which still owns it today.

1993 – November 3, 1993 – Jo and Mark Jones purchase the “Deaver” cabin and restore it. They moved in full time about 2002. As of this writing, they are still the owners and caretakers.

The cabin today. Pictures were taken in October 2023.

Version 1 – researched through 9/24/2023 (Research on Howell Deaver’s line still underway and will be added later)

Version 2 – details added after trip to Hampshire County, WV in October 2023

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