"Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples"


Almost everyone has a brick wall and if we share our problems we may find some answers.  Size or number of brick walls is not limited however, please inform this site if solution has been found so that these brick walls can be removed. Thank you.  Please direct your reply directly to the contributor.


Joanne Sutherland,
Double Brick Walls, same family

Nancy Jane Helmick was my great, great grandmother,  I was looking for her lineage and there was a brick wall. Nancy Jane was born about 1814 in Augusta County Virginia, which, at that time included Pendleton West Virginia. She met a man ,an immigrant from Germany Francis Ignatius Weber, who was a glove maker. She was about 24 years old and he was about 41 years old, if census records are correct. They moved  from her home in West Virginia and along the way, she had a son and named him William Lewis, about 1838.  The family showed up in the Harrisonburg Virginia area and had another child, who they named  Charles Montgomery, born 1840. Charles Montgomery was my great grandfather. Francis Weber was educated in Offenburg, Germany, I think it was to be a priest in the Catholic Church.  This  is about all I know about Francis Weber and his lineage. So I shall go to the Helmick family, which is very, very large.

The Weber family in Lewisburg are spelled WEAVER in the census records.  The surname Webber was changed from Weber in the late 1800's by my great-grandfather who said it sounded more AMERICAN.

John Helmick , of which there is much written and much incorrect.  In that period of time, almost each Helmick family had a son and named the first son John. My research shows that this is the John Helmick, father of Nancy Jane, is the one that served in the Revolutionary War, was wounded.  He was born in 1761 in Hampshire County West Virginia, but served in the war in Maryland.  The following are years not documented by any one person, so I am giving you what I think.

In the historical notes from Shenandoah County Virginia, there is a record of marriage between John Helmick, age 30  and Sally Mayberry.age 35.  In the 1820 census, it shows that they had 3 children 2 males under 5, John, born 1808 and George Washington Helmick, born 1806, and 1 female Elizabeth, born 1804..  The records show that John and Sarah (Sally) owned property in Woodstock Virginia . The records show that they sold this property and moved on westward in Augusta county around the Fishersville Area.  In the 1810 census , lists John Helmick Augusta county over 45 years, 2 boys and 1 girl under 10 years old.

Now we have a problem because it seems there was a marriage of John Helmick and Sarah (Sally) Merritt and further research ascertains that all three children were married. The marriage record of george Washington Helmick and  Catherine barkley names Sarah Merritt as the mother of the groom.  Maybe she was the step mother. John Helmick born 1810, married Frances Jane Warner in 1862, Augusta county Virginia.  That leaves Elizabeth, who married William Anderson in 1831 Augusta county.

From this point on, I have looked at each Helmick family that lived in Virginia and West Virginia to see if I can find a Nancy Jane  . I could not. I do know that some girls back in those days, if they didn't like their names, they would change them.  Not legally but in their community.  I checked all counties and all years between 1797 and 1850. Nothing. There are a lot of discrepancies on the internet about just the folks that I have written  about and I have used documents when I could find them.  I have spent the last 15 years trying to find Nancy Jane. My Brick Wall number 1.

Now, let's move to My Brick Wall, number 2.

We are now in the years of the Civil War.  Nancy Jane and her husband, who died in 1858, lived in Lewisburg, West Virginia .  Here are their children:

William Lewis Webber born 1838 in Augusta County Virginia

Charles Montgomery Webber .Born 1840 ,in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Lucretia Jane (Belle) Webber, born 1842 in Augusta County Virginia.

Johnson Webber, born 1844 died 1844 in Lewisburg, West Virginia

Eliza A. Webber, born 1844 (twin sister of Johnson)

Frank Glendye Webber born 1846 in Lewisburg, West Virginia

Henry Albert Webber born 1849 in Lewisburg, West Virginia

John Tyler Webber born 1877 in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Joseph Frederick Webber born 1854 in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Nancy Jane Helmick Webber died in 1861 of Typhoid Fever.

Lucretia Jane Webber Neurath came and got Joseph Frederick and took him home with her to live in Culpepper, Virginia. William Lewis and Charles Montgomery both enlisted in the Confederate army and left home.  John Tyler, Henry Albert and Frank Glendye were taken by the town and put in a home for the poor so they could learn a trade and get out on their own. But what about Eliza A.?????? My second Brick Wall. She could have run away with a soldier or gone to stay with someone. Can anyone help?


 Cynthia Boyd  daughter of James and Sarah Boyd.  Last known contact our family has a picture of her with her son , General Washington Boyd when his child (her grandchild) was born in 1912.  No information since.  Her family lived on Shooting Creek, near or across the Franklin County line with Floyd County.

Margie C Belcher

I would like information on the Saul family of Franklin County.
I would like information on William Page and his ancestors.

Allen, William -

I  have a troublesome ancestor who declared on the 1850 census of Edgar Co., Ill ( one of the few censuses that list county as well as state) that he was born in Henry, Va. ca. 1804-1806.  So far I have had no luck placing him in any of the Allen families in/around there.  The rest of his siblings ( 10 of them) were born in Lee Co.,  Va.  I'm beginning to wonder if I have him in the right family group.


Hill, Winifred -

There are two large brass plaques on a wall in the old entrance to the Franklin County Courthouse.  On one plaque is a list of the first Gentlemen Justices but there is one name that I cannot find in any other record and I have looked at the Court Order and all other records in the Clerk of the Circuit's office.  This is not a misspelling for Swinfield Hill, his name is there as well.  Add to all that Winifred was generally given as a woman's name.


Finally, I have found backup for my thoughts about Winifred Hill, the name found on the brass plaque in the front of the courthouse.  There was no such person.  A newspaper article in the 1970’s covered the  errors on the plaque and confirmed the rest of my suspicions as well as my research.  Winifred Hill is listed as a “Gentleman Justice” in 1786.  Winifred, for one thing, is a woman’s name and the name cannot be found nowhere in any of the court records, even going back to Bedford and Henry Counties histories.  The source of this name has not yet been found.  Beverly Merritt

The Town of Lawrence -

I am working with the Deed Books Index and found an entire page with a list of names and book & page numbers for the "Town of Lawrence".  Does anyone know where this town was located?


Wray, Clarissa Wells Pearson Allen -

I would like to find her gravesite.

Rebecca Dyer-

Bible Mystery I have a very old Pearson family Bible and below is a portion of the information I have found on the pages of the Bible: John Pate b. 02-05-1768 Cornelius Pate b. 10-13-1769 Mary Pate b. 08-03-1771 Ann Pate b. 11-30-1773 I am passing along this information in the event someone would like to start on solving the mystery or has an answer as to the connection between the Pate and Pearson families.

In Bedford County Thomas Pearson bought 60 acres of land from Thomas Pate, 1802. Around that time Benjamin Allen Pearson, last child of Thomas Pearson and Elizabeth Palmer Pearson, was born. I first thought this child was named for Benjamin Allen, also of Bedford, as the Allen name appears in the Pearson family from 1802 forward. Also buried in the Allen Cemetery was a small child, Emmaline Pearson, parents not known. Thomas Pearson, II named a son Joseph Allen Pearson. 1794 marriage bond - Benjamin Bond of Bedford Co. and Susannah Allen of Shanandoah (sic) in state aforesaid; 4th day of 9th month 1794 at Smith's Creek Meeting House; witnesses: all surname Allen - Joseph & Joseph, Jr. & Benjamin & Hannah & Eunice & William & Jackson & Elizabeth, among others. Thomas Pate and son Benjamin Allen Pate Thomas b. 1743 in Hanover Co., Va, d. 1825 in Breckinridge, Co., Ky.; m. Judith Pate 12-16- 1790 in Bedford Co., d/o Jeremiah Pate and Mary. Judith b. abt 1770 in Va., abt. 1805 in Breckinridge, Co., Ky