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Archiver > BRETHREN > 1998-05 > 0896302238


From: "Merle C. Rummel" <>
Subject: Blackwater River Brethren
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 13:50:38


Leave the Valley of Virginia at the Roanoke Gap, and take the Old Carolina
Road (now US 220 -or close to it). At Boones Mill you are in the Maggodee
Creek Valley, and just beyond the ridge, before you come to Rocky Mount,
you cross the Blackwater River. Cahas Mountain is between the two valleys.
Then there's Morton's Mountain, and Graveyard Knob and Whistling Hill,
then you come to Pigg Creek and Turner Creek and Five Mile Mountain. The
actual road went nearer the foot of these mountain spurs, than US 220.
This was a major migration route for the Brethren, many settled on the
Yadkin River in North Carolina as early as 1760-1770 (some before).

Elder Jacob Miller's preaching converted an Englishman, William Smith, who
went around with him, and while Elder Jacob preached in German, William
Smith preached in English. There are many Brethren Congregations in
Franklin and Floyd Cos VA resulting from their activities. Elder Jacob
Miller lived there from 1773 to 1800, and this area was just then being
settled by both the Germans from Pennsylvania, and the English coming up
the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers from the eastern colonies.

Elder Jacob Miller's cabin was on the Blue Ridge, west above the Blackwater
River Valley, at Adney Gap (He sold his land to Adney, when he left for
Ohio in 1800). The located site was about 100 yards west of the Blue Ridge
Parkway.
The later community used a union church, the Blackwater Chapel, near the
foot of Cahas Mt (now the Monte Vista Church). The building was stated as
built in 1885, but I have family claims of membership there in the late
1790s (Toney).

His children married into the various German/Brethren families that settled
in the Maggodee, Pigg and Blackwater Valleys: Philip Lybrook Sr, Jacob
Kingery Sr, Abraham Darst, Abraham Ritter, Halbert McClure, Samuel
Henderson, John Mills, Daniel Spangler, Luke Webster, John Webster, Samuel
Webster, Jacob Naff, Abraham Abshire, Luke Abshire, Thomas Fowler, William
Toney, James Huston, Isaac Bates, Joseph Price, Shadrach Woodson, Nathan
Sellers, Daniel Donahoe, Stephen Lee, Thomas Helm, Peter Cober, Paul Beck,
John Noftsinger, Henry Landes, James Flora, Jacob Boone, Thomas Webb,
Charles Brobaker, Daniel Barnhart, Jacob Prillman, John Biby, John Shively,
John Troup, John Hoff, Henry Carper (Garber?), John Mason, James McVey,
Thomas Harter, Thomas Helm. (is that enough? -courtesy of papers from
Gertrude Mann of Rocky Mount VA) The Bowmans were there too -I don't have
the early family name.

Members of these families came to Southern Ohio, following the Miller
family. Many of his Children came to the Four Mile Church on the
Ohio/Indiana State Line soon after 1800. These families followed the old
Shawnee Indian War Path, called the Kanawha Trace, from Giles Co VA, along
the New/Kanawha and Coal Rivers, through the West Virginia Mountains to the
Ohio at Gallipolis. This path was used -dangerously in 1780s,
-significantly after the Indians were defeated by General Wayne, at Fallen
Timbers, and the Treaty of Greenville (OH) was signed, 1795. I wonder if
some of my William Smiths, here on the Four Mile are children/grandchildren
of the William Smith of Franklin Co VA.

Merle C Rummel, Church Historian

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