Archive for the ‘Family Names’ Category

I woke this morning listening to a slight drizzle of rain knocking on my window. There is a bit of a chill in the air, just enough to let the arthritis in my shoulder know that something – not sure it it is good or bad –  is about to change in the weather. What a perfect morning to crawl back between the sheets with a good book! After all – I AM the only one in my neighborhood who hasn’t read  Fifty Shades of Grey.  Tonight is “girl’s” night out with Krewe Hanover Farms  and I really want to have something to talk about that has nothing to do with weeds, husbands or home owner’s associations.

However; after thinking it over a bit I realized if I get engrossed in a book right now, it will be noon before I start my day.   Instead, I decided to spend my morning productively by tackling my overwhelming batch of papers that need filing.   About five minutes into filing I ran across a document that I intended to publish a while back .  After shoving all of the other papers back into an already overflowing, wardrobe sized crate  labeled “Things to File” – I sat down at my computer to bring you the words of my Great Aunt – Lillian Ruth Caperton Wimmer.   This essay, written by Ruth, tells of life around Speedway, West Virginia just before – during – and after WWII.

Growing up in the 30’s and 40’s in Speedway, West Virginia – By Lillian Ruth Caperton Wimmer

I was born September 7, 1931, during the “Great Depression.”  Times then were very (more…)


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Root Hog or Die – The Legacy of the Caperton Family

Now see – just when you ‘ll had given up on me I turn up again just like the weeds that are now popping out of my garden.

Even though I haven’t been posting – I have been quite busy.  Over the holidays Julia’s story was published in print form.  It’s now available as paperback print book.  Julia’s story is self published to keep the price low, which means I had to fore-go some important things like a real editor!   If you are interested in purchasing this book it is available at the link below.

Julia’s Story – Print Version – $7.99 – any profits from the book will be donated to help maintain the Caperton Cemetery in Speedway

For the post today, I thought I would add the first chapter of the book.  Please remember that some of the information in the chapter are my conclusions and may not be correct!

The Caperton Legend

Most remarkable family legends are filled with truths – partial truths – myths based on partial truths and topped off with a bald face lie or two just to add a little bit of excitement.  The remarkable legend of the Caperton family is no different.  While the European origins fall into the partial truth and possibly the bald face lie categories, the true legend of the (more…)

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As we come to the close of October and Ghost Month, I’m leaving you with a little story that still sends a row of goosebumps up my spine.

Christmas Eve was an exciting time for my mother Joan and her brother Eddie.  Even though the family didn’t have a lot of money, somehow their father Robert always managed to find enough for the holiday.  Robert enjoyed spending all day on Christmas Eve shopping in town for his family.   When he arrived at home he was always in jolly good cheer *wink*, after spending the day in the stores and sharing his *cheer* with friends and family along the way.

Robert Rowland

My mother and her brother could hardly contain themselves as they waited for their father to return home every Christmas Eve.  His routine was the same, year after year and he always came home at the same time – just in time for a Christmas Eve supper.  One year, sometime around 1950 they became worried.  Robert didn’t show up.  It was getting later and later – the supper my grandmother spent all day preparing got cold – and Gertrude was about to fetch someone to go looking for him. (more…)

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I’ve written about my great-great grandfather before, but I’ve never really told his story.  I kept waiting to have more of a story to tell, but the man’s origins remain a mystery.

Primative Grist Mill

This is the first chapter in what I hope will be a complete history of Kenzie Rowland and his family.  As I write these chapters, I hope to discover more about the origins of the family and the early life of a man who I have come to idolize.  Not everything written will be completely factual, I’m jumping to some conclusions based on various documents I’ve obtained, clues I’ve gleaned from the few records I can find and from common knowledge about the history and people of the area during his young life.

The most important documents I have are the memories, written down by my cousin Hertha Rowland, great granddaughter of Kenzie Rowland.  Hertha grew up on the Rowland farm surrounded by the love and protection (more…)

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James William Rowland ..1828 – 1859

As I understand it James would be my great grand Uncle. He is the first son of Kinzie Rowland and Esther French Rowland.

James married Susanna Hare, and they had two daughters.  Mary French Rowland and Sarah Louisa Rowland.

Mary French married Creed Terry and proceeded to have a large family.

Sarah Louisa married William Henry Duncan.  She had no children and lived a long life.  She and her husband were still alive in 1930.

Recently the state of West Virginia scanned and placed many of their Will records on line.

I felt very fortunate to find a record for this elusive ancestor!

Last Will and Testament for James W. Rowland

“In the name of God, Amen. I James W. Rowland of the county of Mercer and state of Virginia being of sound mind do make this last Will and Testament.


I desire that all my personal property except such as is provided for, shall so soon as possible after my death, be sold within 12 months and out of the proceeds of the same pay all my debt and funeral expenses.


I give to my wife, Susanna, two of my horses to be selected herself, also two cows to be selected in the same manner. 10 hogs of her choice and all of the sheep if she desires them.  Also, one feather bed and furniture, all of the grain and meat now on hand together with the growing crops as she may wish, also her side-saddle.


I desire that my executor to be hereafter named, sell all of my slaves to wit: Celia, John, (more…)

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Julia meets Boden Edward Caperton

Julia had been a widow for about two years when she met a young and handsome WWI veteran.  He was a distant cousin who lived in a log cabin built on the far edge of the farm lands.  He lived with his mother, Sarah, a younger sister and brother named Ida and Henderson.   Boden Caperton had dark curly hair, dark brown eyes and a dark swarthy complexion.  Although he wasn’t very tall, he was trim and very muscular.  He and Julia were the same age, Boden had never been married.  Boad, as they called him, had seen the dark side of the world.  During the war his tour of duty took him to France and Germany for a very long time.  During his enlistment he saw a lot of fighting and the months of trench warfare he endured left him with some horrific memories that haunted (more…)

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This is a repost of a story that was published back in early July.  We have many new subscribers who might like to take a peek at it for our spooky season.

To view the photographs of the people mentioned in this story follow this link:  Rowland Family Photographs

The Pipestem Ghost Comes out of the Closet

  -told by Hertha Rowland

Granddad Bob, Kelly and Baz were working for the Ritter Lumber Company operation at Pipestem to cut a boundary of timber.  The boarding house was near the lumber yard.  I believe Charlie Garten was the person in charge of the boarding house.  The men lived there during the week and many of the men went home on the weekends.

Granddad Bob shared a room with Ed Pastor.  It was in the fall of the year and a very dry season.  When Granddad Bob would be awake at night he would always look out the window to check for fire in the lumber yard.  This particular night, he raised up in bed to look out the window and check for a possible fire.

When he laid down, he was looking toward a closed closet in the corner of the room.  Out of the closet came a woman wearing a dust cap and long gown.  The ghost floated between the beds, passing threw the window.  Granddad Bob said “Ed, did you see that?”  Ed replied “YES” and dived under the covers. 

Granddad Bob wasn’t the only one who witnessed strange events from this particular boarding house.  Basil said you could set your watch by the knocking noise.  Every night at 9pm there would be three knocks in the front of the house, then three knocks in the center and three knocks at the rear.   He described the knocks as if someone had dropped a bag of shelled corn and you could hear the grains of corn sliding down in the bag.

Uncle Kelly and several other men decided they would talk to the ghosts.  They entered one of the empty rooms to (more…)

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