Archiver > ARMSTRONG > 2002-02 > 1013576692

From: "Jeff Armstrong" <>
Subject: [ARMSTRONG-L] Robert Armstrong/Alice Calhoun line
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 00:14:14 -0500

Many trace their ancestry to the Robert Armstrong/Alice Calhoun line described in the book "Notable Southern Families" by Zella Armstrong; especially through the line of Robert Armstrong Jr. who married Margaret Cunningham and moved to Knox County, Tenn.

Zella Armstrong's efforts are to be admired although they are incomplete. As Zella herself was not aware at the time she published her book, many who are descended from this line may not be aware that the Will of Robert Armstrong Sr. actually is extant. The will helps to fill in some of the blanks about this family that Zella had in her book, and also helps to correct some of the information that she included that is not correct. A lot of information on in the Internet that is available on this line, including the Ancestral file info on this line which can be found on the LDS website, is based on Zella's incomplete (and in some cases inaccurate) information.

The will is to be found in Augusta County, Va. Will Book 2, page 75; this can be viewed online in Chalkley's "Chronicles of the Scotch Irish Settlement in Virginia", Volume 3, page 35, at :

The will reads as follows:

Page 75.--10th November, 1754. Robert Armstrong's will--Daughter,
Hannah Kircum. 1/3 of tract he now lives on bought of Col. Patton; daughter,
Catherine Finney, 1 English shilling; sons, John and Robt., tract on
Mill Creek bought of John Allison; sons (and daughters), infants, viz:
James and Benjamin; daughters (under 18); to son, James, entry on head
of McClure's Run; wife, Martha, executrix; daughters, Martha, Alice and
Agnes, infants. Teste: John Mathews, Sr., William Woods, John Mitchell.
Proved, 21st November, 1754, by Mathews and Mitchell, and Martha qualifies
executrix, with sureties John and Joshua Mathews.

Page 78.--21st November, 1754. Hannah Kirkam's bond as administratrix
of Robert Kirkam, with sureties John and Joshua Mathews.

Page 164.--14th August, 1759. Michael Finney and Catherine to John
Colier (Collier), £5, 106 acres in Forks of James. Delivered: James Davis,
September, 1762.

A comparison of the information that Zella Armstrong gives in her book, with the information in this will, leaves no doubt that this is the same Armstrong family.

Several helpful conclusions can be made from the information above:

1) Zella Armstrong must have been wrong, and Robert Armstrong Sr. never made it to South Carolina and the records there refer to Robert Jr.

2) Hannah Armstrong either never married a Summers or if so he was her second husband; her first husband was probably Robert Kirk(h)am

3) Katherine Armstrong either never married a Stuart or if so he was her second husband; her first husband was probably Michael Finney.

4) The daughters she was unable to provide names for were Martha and Agnes

5) Either a)Alice Calhoun was never this Robert's wife, b) she also went by the name "Martha", or c) Alice Calhoun predeceased Robert Armstrong and Martha was his second wife, meaning that Zella was incorrect and she never made to South Carolina. There is a little bit of evidence supporting the third possibility in that one of the daughter is named "Alice."

Who was the "Martha" referred to in the will? There is a little bit of evidence to suggest that she may have been a Lyon; from the following record, from Chalkley, Volume 3:

Page 348

OCTOBER, 1765 (C).

Devit vs. Francisco.--Nathaniel Lyon was Robert Armstrong's brother-in-law,
26th December, 1764.

(The Armstrongs and Lyons of Pennsylvania were intermarried; the wife of "General" John Armstrong of Pennsylvania was a Lyon.)

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