Copyright © 2000-2013

Chapter XII: Chastain – Stark – Vineyard

Peter Chastain and Rebecca Stark
Abraham Stark and Sarah Stark
Daniel Stark and Elizabeth Wells
Christopher Stark and Martha Vineyard;
Francis Vineyard

The parents of Sarah {Chastain} Vanderpool were PETER CHASTAIN1 and REBECCA {STARK} CHASTAIN. Peter was born on November 28, 1795, in Franklin County, Virginia. He prepared his will on January 13, 1852, and died in Lewis Township of Clay County, Indiana, just a few weeks later on February 24, 1852; he is buried in Friendly Grove Cemetery in that township and county. In his will, which was probated on May 26, 1852, Peter Chastain left money to his widow Rebecca and divided his land among his heirs (including his daughter, our Sarah). He also specified that Rebecca was to receive rental income, which indicates that he owned considerable property besides what he had willed to his survivors.2

Rebecca was born on April 10, 1799, in Shelby County, Kentucky, but her date and place of death are not known with certainty. She died after 1880, for she is on the census that year, but searches of obituaries, wills, cemetery records, and death indexes in a number of Indiana counties (particularly in Clay County), have turned up no record of when or where she died. It is likely that her death came sometime during the early 1880s, since Indiana's statewide index to deaths began in 1882 – though it was incomplete for many years thereafter. We know that on January 3, 1880, Rebecca released her dowry rights to some of the Clay County land she had received in her husband Peter's will and then released more (presumably the remainder of that land) on October 11, 1880. The latter document was filed on May 25, 1881, which suggests that she had died not long before then.3

One family tradition states that Rebecca {Stark} Chastain died in the state of Washington (where her son, George, supposedly had moved) about 1897. We do know that there is no stone for her in the Friendly Grove Cemetery, where her husband is buried. Thus she may indeed have died somewhere other than Indiana, but it also appears that George died in Indiana well before 1880. The issue of when and where Rebecca {Stark} Chastain died and where she is buried is unresolved, therefore, but I suspect she died in Clay County, Indiana, in early 1881.

Family tradition also states that Peter and Rebecca were married in Washington County, Indiana, about 1816 – presumably about July in that year, when Peter asked to transfer out his church membership. The marriage records for that county do not show the couple's marriage, although there are others performed there by Rebecca's father Abraham Stark, a Baptist minister. On the other hand, it is evident that not all the marriages in that county were recorded (nor have all of that county's marriage records survived), and Peter and Rebecca's could be among those that are missing. In addition, although Peter and Rebecca seem to have lived in Kentucky into the early 1820s, it is conceivable that they were married in Indiana, because that is where her father had moved by then, then went back to Kentucky and lived there for a few years before moving to Indiana themselves. Perhaps a record of their marriage will be discovered some day.

Family histories say that Peter and Rebecca lived with their respective parents in Henry County, Kentucky, from early 1812 until the middle of 1816, presumably about when they were married, but we know that Rebecca's parents were residing in Indiana by sometime in 1816 (after having lived at times in both Kentucky and Indiana for a half a dozen years before that). Peter and Rebecca do seem to have left Henry County for about three years after their marriage in 1816, returning there about 1819 (when he appears for the first time on a tax record in Henry County). A Peter Chastain received a land grant in Hardin County, Kentucky (several counties southwest of Henry), about 1816, but I am inclined to agree with the Chastain family researchers who believe that this grant was made to another man named Peter Chastain who is known to have resided in Hardin County at about this time. We can only guess, therefore, exactly where Peter and Rebecca Chastain were living during 1816-19, although there is nothing to suggest that they had left Kentucky yet.4

Census records are of little value in tracing Peter and Rebecca, in large part because they moved around a great deal. Although Peter reappears on the tax rolls in Henry County in 1820, I could not find the couple on the census there that year. The only Peter Chastain or variant in the state was the much older Peter Chastine in Hart County, and my line-by-line search of the Henry County census sheets for our Peter was unsuccessful.5 Could he and Rebecca have been living with relatives? Three Kentucky Chastain males had an extra male in the column corresponding to Peter's age in 1820 (twenty-four years old). Only one of them, John L. Chastain of Hardin County, also had an extra female the right age to have been Rebecca (twenty years old that year), but there was no even younger female in this household to match Peter and Rebecca's daughter Sarah, who had been born in 1819 and so should have been recorded on the 1820 census. The younger persons living in John L. Chastain's household were, I think, probably the Peter Chastain whose 1816 land grant was referred to earlier and that man's wife. Peter and Rebecca do not seem to be on the Indiana census for 1820, either, so we cannot be certain where they were living at that time.6 My guess is that they were still residing in Henry County, Kentucky, but were missed by the census.

Based on information found in the Chastain family histories, Peter and Rebecca could have been enumerated on the 1830 census in either Indiana or Illinois, since they moved from one state to the other during that year. Once again, however, Peter is not in the published census index for either state. A name-by-name search of Jefferson County, Indiana (where from other evidence we think Peter and Rebecca were living during the first part of 1830) was fruitless, as was a similar search of Edgar County, Illinois (where it appears they moved later that year). There is a Peter Shasteen – a typical variation of Chastain – in Washington County, Indiana, but he was too young (only twenty to thirty years of age when our Peter was thirty-four years old) and had no daughter the age that Sarah would have been that year (probably ten years old). The Peter Chastine in White County, Illinois, had a female the correct age to have been Sarah but was himself fifty to sixty years old, again too old to have been our Peter Chastain.

Nor do Peter and Rebecca seem to have been living with a Chastain relative in either state in 1830. Six of the seven men named Chastain or something similar on the census who resided in Illinois that year lived near the border with Indiana, some of them directly adjacent to Sullivan County and Vigo County of that state. If Peter was living with one of them, though, his age (thirty-four that year) was recorded incorrectly, because there was no extra male in the age category for 30 to 40 years old living with any of them. The same is true for Indiana: there were at least nineteen men named Chastain or something similar, but not a one had an extra male in Peter's age column. Where Peter and Rebecca Chastain were at the time of the 1830 census, too, is something we just do not know.7 Was this couple averse to being included on the census, or are we just unlucky?

Fortunately, there are church and land records to help us track this couple when the census records fail us, although the large number of Peter Chastain's land transactions sometimes makes it difficult to determine where the couple was actually residing at any particular time. Peter Chastain was received into the East Fork Baptist Church in Henry County, Kentucky, in February 1812; this was the church that granted him a letter of dismissal in July 1816. This information confirms what the Chastain family histories say about where Peter was living before his marriage. After having been elsewhere for a few years after 1816, as we have seen, Peter and Rebecca evidently returned to Henry County – and to the East Fork Baptist Church: on April 6, 1822, they received letters of dismissal from that church. (Peter's was his second.) We presume the couple had by now moved or was in the process of moving to Jefferson County, Indiana, for here on October 24, 1821, they had purchased 160 acres of public land on the boundary line between Jefferson County and Scott County. Both Peter and Rebecca were members of the nearby Scaffold Lick Baptist Church from 1823 to 1830. In addition, Peter was the clerk of the church in 1823 and 1830, and perhaps for the years between as well. Without evidence to the contrary, we must conclude that Peter and Rebecca Chastain resided on this land in Jefferson County, Indiana, from 1821 or 1822 until 1830.8

Peter and Rebecca's next move may have been to 160 acres in Edgar County, Illinois, where they owned property between October 1830 and August 1831.9 Sometime in 1831, however, the peripatetic couple sold this Illinois property and seem to have moved to land in Vernon Township of Washington County, Indiana – land they had bought on March 6, 1830, even before their purchase in Edgar County. This makes us wonder if the property in Illinois was only an investment and they had gone directly from Jefferson County, Indiana, to Washington County in 1830. Another possible explanation for this puzzling sequence of events is a severe cholera pandemic in Washington County during these same years. Peter and Rebecca were not affected personally, so far as we know, but because the pandemic caused some of their relatives to relocate to Illinois, Peter and Rebecca may have decided to follow them there (or perhaps they bought land there these relatives could live on until the pandemic ended). If this couple did live in Illinois for this short time, they were probably members of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Edgar County.

In any case, by 1831 Peter and Rebecca were living in Washington County, Indiana, and one supposes that they intended to stay there.10 To his initial property Peter seems to have added considerably more in that county during subsequent years. (Another Peter Chastain lived in Washington County during these same years, though, and it is possible that some of these purchases should be attributed to him instead.) Peter Chastain's first addition came in August 1831, in a purchase from William Chastain that mirrored the latter's purchase of Peter's land in Edgar County, Illinois; in effect, the two men were swapping land. In November 1832 Peter bought again, and the next November he added still more acreage. Over the next decade, he made four more land purchases, which came in March 1835, in October 1836, in January 1837, and in May 1837, after which there was a hiatus until September 1842. Some of these properties surely were the sources of the rental income Peter Chastain alluded to in his will. Only in 1840 do we finally spot Peter and Rebecca on a census. They were residing in Vernon Township of Washington County, Indiana, as the other information we have says they should have been. Both Chastains are listed as forty to fifty years old, and Peter is described as a farmer.11

Peter also patented public land in Washington County during these years.12 It is curious that he is shown as a taxpayer and voter in that county only between 1843 and 1846, however, and so there may be more about the couple's movements during the 1830s and 1840s that we cannot deduce from land information alone. We do know that in Washington County Peter and Rebecca became members of the Union Baptist Church in Vernon Township (a church organized by Rebecca's father, Abraham Stark) but were also active in the Sinking Spring Baptist Church.13 By October 1847, though, Peter Chastain had purchased 200 acres in Lewis Township of Clay County, Indiana, and on July 8, 1848, Peter and Rebecca sold some of their property in Washington County, Indiana, and moved yet again – but for the final time – to their new place in Clay County. Their restlessness, or whatever else had impelled them to shift their household so frequently, was at an end.14

The 1850 census captured this couple in Lewis Township of Clay County, Indiana, again right where they should have been. Peter was now fifty-four years of age and Rebecca was fifty-one years old.15 The census mystery resumes in 1860, however: Peter had died by then (in 1852), but Rebecca is not on the census in that year. She was not living with her daughter and son-in-law, as she would be in 1870 and 1880, and neither was she residing in 1860 with any of her living children or siblings whom I could identify and locate. A thorough search of the published census indexes for every state in 1860, as well as a line-by-line search of the township (Lewis Township) in which she lived in both 1850 and 1870, was fruitless: she is not on the census anywhere in 1860. It is intriguing, though, that a Rebecca Puckett of this township, who was born in Kentucky the same year as our Rebecca {Stark} Chastain was, lived near Coffee with a somewhat younger Elihu Puckett. Was this woman actually Peter's widow (perhaps Puckett's housekeeper?), to whom the census enumerator in 1860 gave the wrong last name? Unless we accept this solution to the puzzle, as I think we should, we must conclude that in 1860 once again the census missed Rebecca altogether.16

In 1870, Rebecca {Stark} Chastain reappeared: she was living – again near Coffee – with Nathan Stout, her son-in-law, in Lewis Township of Clay County, which would seem to confirm our supposition about the 1860 census.17 The census says she was seventy-one years old. This situation is repeated in 1880, but now Rebecca is described as having been seventy-eight years of age that year and infirm because of palsy (which is probably why she was shown unable to write this year, as she could in 1870). This is the last time Rebecca would appear on a census. As we have seen, Rebecca {Stark} Chastain may have moved to Washington Territory sometime after 1880. (Washington did not become a state until 1889.) I think it is more likely that if she had moved anywhere during that decade it would have been to Kansas, where we know Nathan Stout – but not his wife, who had died in 1879 – relocated sometime after 1880. Most likely of all is that Nathan left Indiana after Rebecca died in that state about 1881. But until a death or burial record for her is discovered, we must leave this matter, too, unresolved.


We will examine Rebecca's Stark family first, then that of Peter Chastain. Rebecca was the daughter of ABRAHAM STARK18 and SARAH {STARK} STARK, who were first cousins – children of brothers. The Stark family has traditionally had a large number of such marriages involving cousins, and at least four of Abraham's many siblings seem to have married Starks as he himself did. Abraham, who had a slight lisp, is supposed to have joked, "We Starks have married cousins so often that none of us can speak plainly." Sarah, who usually went by Sally (this name is on her grave marker, in fact), was born on March 23, 1779.19 According to information in a family Bible, on his grave marker, and contributed to the LDS, Abraham was born almost two years later, on February 14, 1781, but other information cites February 20 in that year instead.20

Some interesting issues arise when it comes to describing where Abraham and Sarah were born. On the only census on which they were asked to identify a birthplace (1850), both of them are described as having been born in Pennsylvania. Abraham's birthplace is often given as Amwell Township of Washington County, Pennsylvania. The exact location is said to have been Catfish Camp, the earliest name of what would become the city of Washington in that county; Catfish Camp would fall within Amwell Township when that township was organized. As we shall see presently, however, there is reason to believe that Abraham Stark was actually born elsewhere in the area that was at the time of his birth still Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, but would one month later become a part of the new county of Washington.21

Extreme southwestern Pennsylvania had been rapidly settled beginning in 1769, following the land purchases from Indians in the Treaty of Stanwix in 1768 that opened the region to legal settlement. By the mid-1770s, the area was already becoming well-populated. Many of the newcomers were persons from Virginia and New Jersey who had trekked across the significant barrier of the Allegheny Mountains via Braddock's Road, which had been laid down during the French and Indian War a decade or so before. Because of their overlapping original royal land grants, Virginia and Pennsylvania disputed this area until the early 1780s; at the peak of the disagreement, rival militias, county officials, and armed groups and posses jockeyed for supremacy. Virginians were preeminent in the Monongahela River Valley, including what was to become Washington County.22 One wonders if the Starks – who had come to this area from Virginia and were very likely pro-Virginia in this dispute – were directly involved in any of these confrontations.

As a consequence of their common support of the colonies' resistance to the British, Pennsylvania and Virginia put aside their boundary dispute in 1779. But between then and when it would ratify the agreement, in 1780, Virginia distributed a large number of its own land certificates. Local opposition delayed the drawing of a temporary boundary line until 1782 and a permanent border (favoring Pennsylvania's claims) until 1785. The Virginians who had settled in this disputed area naturally hoped that their colony, then state, would confirm their land titles eventually, as Virginia had done previously within its original territory. Many of them, too, objected to Pennsylvania's decision in 1780 to begin the abolition of slavery in a gradual process lasting a number of years. Where the Starks lived in Washington County, therefore, might have been thought of as being part of Virginia by some of its residents but as part of Pennsylvania by others.

Our information for Sarah's birth is less specific but no less confused. Where she was born depends on which Stark researcher one chooses to listen to: in Middlesex County, New Jersey; in Loudoun County, Virginia; in Bedford County, Pennsylvania; in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; or in Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. These several alternatives reflect both the migration pattern of her Stark family and the dynamic nature of early southwestern Pennsylvania, where jurisdictions rapidly evolved in response to even more rapid population growth. Since the term "Bedford County" encompassed much of western Pennsylvania during the 1770s, and since first Westmoreland County and then Washington County were separated out from Bedford County soon before Sarah was born, it seems likely that researchers have simply used various names for the same physical location.23 All of Sarah's older siblings apparently were born in Virginia, and all of her younger ones in Pennsylvania, so we get no guidance from looking at their birthplaces.

What adds spice to this discussion is the fact that on the last census on which Sarah and Abraham's daughter Rebecca appears (1880), Virginia rather than Pennsylvania is shown as the place of birth for both of her parents. This may be merely a matter of interpretation, in view of the dispute between the two states over the territory that would ultimately become southwestern Pennsylvania. Perhaps when asked about this in 1880 Rebecca {Stark} Chastain (or whoever was providing information to the census enumerator) remembered that when her parents were born in that area her family – as Virginians – still thought of it as part of Virginia, whereas for the 1850 census her father and mother themselves had described their birthplaces as Pennsylvania because that is where the area of their births actually was in 1850, long after the dispute had been resolved in Pennsylvania's favor. We can only speculate about this.24 In the absence of other evidence, it is probably best to accept Abraham and Sarah Stark's statements on the 1850 census that they were born in Pennsylvania. I believe that Sarah was born in 1779 in what was then Westmoreland County, although the physical location of her birth, like that of her husband, was (as we shall presently see) probably in what is today Fallowfield Township of Washington County, Pennsylvania, a county that would be created two years after she was born.

The final settlement of the boundary dispute in Pennsylvania's favor, which meant that the land certificates Virginia issued between 1779 and 1782 (even after the settlement) were useless and that slavery's days were numbered what was now the southwestern corner of the Keystone State, motivated many of those who had come to this area from Virginia to leave for Kentucky (a part of Virginia until 1792) during the late 1780s and early 1790s: Kentucky, it seemed, would continue to be slave territory. And as Pennsylvania began to establish its governmental and fiscal control over the once-disputed area during 1784 and 1785, those living in it discovered that their new state imposed considerably higher tax rates than Virginia had.

This led some of these Virginia transplants to consider moving on to Virginia's recently opened counties in Kentucky, all the more because Washington County holders of the nullified Virginia land certificates were eligible for generous ones in Kentucky. (After the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, which was centered in the very part of southwestern Pennsylvania where the Starks had lived,25 a large number of ex-Virginian distillers relocated from there to Kentucky in hopes of evading that kind of taxation altogether. Perhaps some of the Starks were among them.) Some researchers contend that the Starks were such die-hard adherents of Virginia that they likely were among those who actively harassed the settlers loyal to Pennsylvania during the early 1780s, which could be another reason why the unhappy (and perhaps unpopular) Starks would depart for Virginia's new counties in Kentucky.

Either for the several possible reasons mentioned here or simply because they had the urge to move on, the families of Abraham and Sarah Stark did leave Pennsylvania for Kentucky, evidently in 1784 or 1785. It would be in Shelby County of this new western state of Kentucky, on or about June 6, 1798, that Abraham Stark and Sarah Stark would be married. As first cousins and children of brothers who were close to one another, the couple had probably known each other all their lives.26

Abraham Stark is listed among those paying taxes in the newly created Henry County, Kentucky (formed from Shelby County in 1798), on August 6, 1800. He reappears on tax lists for 1801, 1803, 1804, 1808, 1810, 1812, and 1813 – but not on those for the intervening years, and neither do the deed books show him owning any property in Henry County (even though he was taxed for twenty-five acres in 1808). This would seem to reflect the fact that during those years the growing family he and Sarah were creating moved from place to place on both sides of the Ohio River, returning to Henry County from time to time.

These moves may have been caused at first because of recurring hostilities between settlers and Indians north of the Ohio River but later because Abraham had begun to preach the Gospel and went wherever his calling took him. In February 1800, having recently been converted to faith in God, he had been baptized by Elder William Keeler in Harrod's Creek, Kentucky, after which he joined the fellowship of the Eighteen Mile Church near there. Soon he was preaching as a Primitive Baptist minister, although he was not actually ordained as one until March 1812, when he was ordained at the Dover Baptist Church in Shelby County, Kentucky.27 Primitive Baptists were ultra-Calvinistic and so were opposed to the use of any human means (proselytizing or engaging in missionary work, for instance) to promote the Kingdom of God. Abraham Stark, like many of his ecclesiastical colleagues, apparently had no formal training to be a minister.

Abraham and Sarah's first move – exactly when after 1800 we do not know – evidently was from Shelby County, Kentucky, to Butler County, Ohio, where some other Starks were living. Sometime prior to 1809, Abraham and Sarah went on to Indiana Territory, where they lived in Clark County. That county then covered much of the southeastern portion of Indiana and was a natural destination for newcomers entering Indiana Territory from Ohio via the White River. During 1809, Abraham and some other Starks signed a petition to Congress protesting the fact that they did not have the right to vote even though they had to pay taxes and serve in the militia. (As we have seen in a previous chapter, the petitions may have been an effort to document the number of adult males who supported the creation of a locally elected legislature.) The Starks, including Abraham, may have been in the faction of new Hoosiers who opposed the territory's Governor William Henry Harrison, an aristocratic Southern slaveholder: they also signed a petition in 1809 protesting Harrison's support for efforts to introduce "Negroes" into Indiana Territory, which the petitioners may have regarded as an effort by Harrison and other Southerners to establish a foothold for slavery (prohibited in Indiana by the Northwest Ordinance).

Perhaps because Indians had threatened them or even burned their new home in Indiana, Abraham and his family crossed the Ohio River back into Kentucky again, probably between mid-1811 and mid-1812: Abraham is not listed on the Kentucky census in 1810 (there was no census in Indiana Territory that year), but he and Sarah had a son born in Kentucky in mid-1811 and by mid-1812 Abraham had filed for permission to perform marriages in that state. By January 1813 they had returned to Indiana, where a daughter was born then; by December 1814, when another son was born, they had gone back yet again to Kentucky. Abraham and Sarah had relocated to Indiana for good by April 1816, when yet another son was born there and their daughter married Peter Chastain there.28 At least one of their stays in Kentucky, probably more, had been in the Louisville area.29

The frequent moves of this family (which resemble those we have seen, in an earlier chapter, that our Zincks made at the same time) were hardly over, though. Even after Abraham and Sarah had settled in Indiana permanently, they continued to move around within it. We know that at various times they lived in Washington County, Knox County, Vigo County, and Clay County, and they may have resided elsewhere that we are not aware of. Abraham Stark was busy organizing churches, preaching, and otherwise heeding his calling, but it also appears that he bought public land in the hope that it would rise in value with more settlement – speculated, in other words. Histories of the Baptists in Indiana give us glimpses of his movements. His first institutional ministry in Indiana was in Washington County, at a church within the Silver Creek Association (formed in 1812). Abraham and others then organized Washington County's Union Baptist Church on the "second Saturday" of October in 1816 [October 12], and he served as this church's minister for fourteen years.30 Although the records of the Union Baptist Church have been lost, there is no doubt that numerous Chastains, including the family of Abraham and Sarah's son-in-law Peter Chastain, were members of this church, along with many Starks.

During the long period in which Abraham Stark was serving Union Baptist Church, he is said to have entered public land in Section 14 of Vernon Township of Washington County, Indiana. The database of U.S. land patents does not show a patent for Abraham, but further research shows this was because he acquired 80 acres in this section by means of an interesting transaction. This transaction reflects both the effects of the collapse of the land sale credit boom after 1817 (a partial cause of the national Panic of 1819) and how credits served as currency in an economy without the kind of monetary system that now exists.

On November 6, 1816, a man named Evans Rawley purchased the northwest quarter of Section 14 by putting down $80 of the $320 purchase price. When the national economic collapse came, Rawley – whether he was an honest farmer or a speculator – evidently was not able to make further installment payments. Eventually, on March 30, 1825, his rights to the west half of this quarter section passed to Abraham Stark – not directly, as we shall see, but through two intermediaries. Half of Rawley's down payment was therefore credited to Stark, who also availed himself of the provisions of a relief act that Congress had enacted on May 18, 1824, one of many pieces of legislation it passed to help overextended land purchasers. This act enabled Stark to claim credit for an additional $40 of the original purchase price for the 80 acres he was about to acquire.

In addition, on the same day that Abraham acquired Rawley's rights (March 30, 1825), he also purchased the rights of a John McGrew to his quarter section in Section 29, southeast of Section 14, for which McGrew had put down $80 in September 1817. Thus Stark had in hand on that March day in 1825 three credits: Rawley's $40 credit from 1816, the $40 credit allowed by the relief act, and McGrew's credit for $80. To these credits he added $5.91 of his own funds and then subtracted a $3.54 discount for early payment of the purchase price, the sum of which equaled the $169.45 due the U.S. government for a patent to the 80 acres. The patent was then issued to Abraham Stark.

No doubt Abraham Stark got a considerable bargain on his 80 acres in Section 14. Rawley had sold the credit that Abraham Stark was able to present on March 30, 1825, to a William Reed (March 1818), who later assigned it to a William Lunsford (of Shelby County, Kentucky – where Abraham had lived) in July 1821. Lunsford subsequently sold the credit to Stark in January 1825. The original documents do not reveal how much Stark paid either Lunsford or McGrew for their rights, but typically the credits of both men would have been heavily discounted after so many years, especially as the government had reduced the purchase price of land (from $2 per acre to $1.25 per acre).31 Unless Abraham Stark was only speculating in land with this 1825 purchase, he must have been acquiring Rawley's 80 acres for his own use: there is no record he entered any other public land in Washington County, Indiana.

Thus Abraham Stark, present in Washington County by 1816 if not before, did not actually obtain public land there until March 30, 1825. It may be, though, that during the intervening decade he had rented someone else's land – perhaps that of Evans Rawley. In any case, the property Stark eventually purchased was near that of a number of Chastains, including George Chastain, whose son Peter had married Abraham and Sarah Stark's daughter, Rebecca, in 1816.32 A voters list, a road order, and the 1820 census all show that Abraham was living in Washington County, Indiana; both he and Sarah are properly in the respective age categories for males and females 26 to 45 years of age. The census sheet records Abraham as engaged in agriculture, which was probably the case as ministers then were poorly paid or unpaid (the Primitive Baptists were among the latter) by the churches they served and had to support themselves or live with relatives who would provide for them. We surmise from the fact that Abraham Stark witnessed documents in Washington County in December 1823 and April 1824 that he and his family were still residing there well into the 1820s.

Abraham and Sarah Stark sold their 80 acres in Washington County on August 16, 1828. A community of Baptists near Terre Haute in the western part of the state evidently had asked Abraham to come and preach to them. Presumably this was the Fairbanks Baptist Church, organized in 1828 in Sullivan County's most northwest township: a county history identifies Abraham as one of its founders. The 1830 census shows Abraham Stark and his family were living somewhere in Pierson Township33 of Vigo County, Indiana (where Terre Haute is located). He is said to have been forty to fifty years of age that year and Sarah was recorded as fifty to sixty years old; Abraham was actually forty-nine years of age and she was fifty-one years old that year, so this is a good match. Abraham was probably still a farmer (the census in 1830 did not include such occupational data), although we know that he continued to be an active minister.

After moving to western Indiana, Abraham served as minister of the Second Prairie Church in Vigo County (undoubtedly the congregation that had invited him in 1828) from January 1829 until November 1836. During this period, in February 1831, Abraham Stark purchased 80 acres in Vigo County.34 About 1833 or 1834, he was also affiliated with the Friendship Baptist Church in Sullivan County, Indiana; in addition, he helped to create the Curry's Prairie Association in October 1834. Abraham, described as an elder in the records of the association (presumably the title this denomination preferred for its ministers), served as its moderator in 1834 and 1835. The Friendship Baptist Church was located a mile and one half west of Farmersburg, just south of the boundary separating Sullivan County and Vigo County.35

Thus Abraham Stark must have been minister of two churches at once, but the two churches were actually not far apart, and serving multiple congregations simultaneously was normal (as we have seen with our Jacob Zinck). Doubtless Abraham preached many other places even while he was the designated pastor at the two churches, as the Little Flock Church's records indicate he did: from about 1836 to 1843, Abraham served as minister of this church in northern Sullivan County, but its records note that he had already been preaching there "as often as practicable" since 1831. In fact, he and Sarah had become members of the Little Flock Church on June 11, 1831. In January 1835 Abraham sold the property in Vigo County that he had purchased in 1831; this sale did not reflect any shift in his focus further south, however, as during the next month Abraham purchased a somewhat smaller piece of property in an adjoining section.36

In his later years, Abraham Stark served limited terms as the minister at the Friendly Grove Baptist Church, a Missionary Baptist church founded in Lewis Township of Clay County in 1839, and at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.37 Judging from his age at the time, Abraham likely was not the permanent minister of these churches but was only helping them while they were without regular ministers.

During these same years, according to family tradition, Abraham Stark fought against the Indians in the short-lived but decisive Black Hawk War of the early 1830s, a war that came about because steady westward expansion of settlement put increasing pressure on the Sauk and Fox Indians. In 1831 Illinois sent some 1,500 militiamen to drive the tribes across the Mississippi River. A Sauk chief named Black Hawk led a group of Indians back into Illinois in the spring of 1832 so they could farm what had been their lands, and this led to panic among settlers and clashes with the Indians. By August the northwestern states, including Illinois and Indiana, had raised a volunteer army of 4,500 men (one of them was Abraham Lincoln). This force caught and virtually wiped out the Indians at a site along the Mississippi River in what is now Wisconsin. The last Indian resistance east of the Mississippi River had come to an end. Abraham Stark is also said to have taken part in other military campaigns against the Indians, but I could find no documentary record of his participation in any of these events, including the Black Hawk War.

Having sold their property in Vigo County in 1837, Abraham and Sarah Stark must have moved to Clay County, Indiana, for that is where they were living (in Lewis Township) at the time of the 1840 census. There are no deeds of purchase or sale for the couple in Clay County after 1837, however, so we do not know exactly where they resided at this time. It is likely they were renting or living with one of their children, perhaps Jonathan. On the 1840 census, both Abraham and Sarah are shown accurately next to that son in Lewis Township. Abraham was placed in the age column for 50 to 60 years old and Sarah was put in that for 60 to 70 years old. Neither Abraham nor Jonathan, also a minister, had a check mark for his field of work, which suggests that someone did not regard the two Stark men as being in the "learned professions," the option among the seven occupational choices in 1840 that comes closest to describing their calling. Although the ink on the census form is faint, there does appear to be a mark indicating that Abraham, but not Sarah, could read and write in 1840. In that year Abraham Stark was still in the midst of his service to the Little Flock Church, some ten to twenty miles away in Sullivan County, which makes their residence in Clay County (even in this, its southernmost township) somewhat puzzling – unless he was serving other churches we are not aware of that were scattered over this entire area, much as we have seen Jacob Zinck did.38

Since Abraham Stark later served as an early minister of Clay County's Friendly Grove Baptist Church, which was founded about 1847, we are probably correct in thinking that he and Sarah were still living in that county during the late 1840s as well.39 By 1850, however, they had crossed back over into Pierson Township of Vigo County, Indiana, because the census that year – the last one on which either Abraham or Sarah would appear – shows them residing there; he was seventy years old and she was a year older. The couple was living with their son Isaac and his wife, who owned the farm on which this entire extended family lived (the value of Abraham's real estate that year was $0), even though the census identifies Abraham as the head of the household. It seems most likely that Isaac and his wife (and perhaps another son and daughter-in-law in an adjacent household on the 1850 census) were providing support to Abraham and Sarah during their later years. The census identifies Abraham as a preacher, however, and doubtless he contributed his earnings to the household of which he was the ostensible head.40

Abraham Stark died back in Lewis Township of Clay County on February 3, 1857, but we do not have an explanation for why this was so.41 He is buried in the Friendly Grove Cemetery in that township, which is located next to the church of that name to which he had ministered. Sarah {Stark} Stark had died in Clay County on April 1, 1851; she too is buried in that church's cemetery.42 Abraham reportedly had disposed of all his property before his death and so had no need for a will. Perhaps after Sarah's death he had gone to live with one of their children.

Abraham Stark thus had a long career among the Baptists of Indiana, and it was a distinguished one as well. He served as moderator of Baptist meetings many times during the 1820s and 1830s, and he assisted in the formation of numerous Baptist churches and of several Baptist associations in the state: Silver Creek, Lost River, Union, and Curry's Prairie. Tireless and energetic, he was renowned for one preaching trip in particular that took him from Washington County to Indianapolis and back on foot – more than one hundred miles of walking. He also zealously promoted the (then novel) idea of Sunday Schools for religious instruction, weekly rather than monthly meetings for worship, fixed salaries for ministers, a Baptist college for Indiana (Franklin College), and a state newspaper for Indiana Baptists. He was well-known and much respected in southern Indiana. At least four of his sons became Baptist ministers. In many ways the ministerial careers of Jacob Zinck and Abraham Stark followed parallel tracks, not only in time and place but in their pioneering nature and significant impact. One wonders if the two men, preachers in rival denominations but spiritual colleagues nonetheless, ever crossed paths.


Our next topic will be the two Stark brothers whose children, Abraham and Sarah, married in 1798. Most Stark researchers are agreed that Abraham's parents were DANIEL STARK and ELIZABETH 43 {WELLS} STARK, although the evidence linking Elizabeth to our Daniel is somewhat tenuous. Judging from the date of birth of their first child (1768), they probably were both born during the 1740s and married no later than mid-1767. Some of the Stark researchers suggest that they wed in Washington County, Pennsylvania, but this is unlikely because that area was not yet settled and the Stark clan evidently did not move to southwestern Pennsylvania until at least a year or two after 1767. As we shall see, the Starks and many of the several families to which they were related (most pertinently for us, the Laycocks and the Vineyards) were living in Loudoun County, Virginia, during the late 1760s, so that is probably where Daniel and Elizabeth were married.44

Two estimates are given in the information contributed to the LDS for the year of birth of Elizabeth: 1746 (in Washington County, Pennsylvania) and 1759. The first is patently incorrect as to place, and the second seems impossible if Elizabeth was married by the late 1760s. The fact is that we have no reliable information about Elizabeth's birth. Nor do we know anything for certain about her parents. There was a man named Wells who paid his taxes in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1800 – as a matter of fact, on the same day, August 6, as Abraham Stark and his father paid theirs. His name was William Wells, and he might be considered a candidate to have been our Elizabeth's father in light of the fact that a Wells family moved to Virginia and Kentucky along with the Starks. But it is most unlikely that Elizabeth's father – who, based on her estimated year of birth, had to have been born around 1720 – would still have been alive and paying taxes in 1800. In addition, we know there was another, unrelated Wells family in Kentucky at this time, to which this William Wells might have belonged instead; none of its other members seem good candidates to have been her father, either.45

Our best guess has to be that the family of Elizabeth Wells was one that lived in Loudoun County, Virginia, at about the same time the Starks did (that is, during the late 1760s), because Daniel and Elizabeth were most likely married while the Starks lived there. One good clue about Elizabeth's parents may be that Daniel and Elizabeth may have named their first two boys Jonathan (after his father) and Jacob (after hers). If that assumption is correct, a Jacob Wells in Loudoun County would be a prime candidate to have been her father. There is in fact such a man on that county's tax rolls in 1766 and 1768, and for several years thereafter. He lived near Kenton's Station, not far from where the Starks resided. Can we identify this Jacob Wells and make a case for his having been Elizabeth's father?

Circumstantial evidence and some ongoing DNA analyses both suggest that this Loudoun County, Virginia, Jacob Wells was a member of a Wells family from Pennsylvania, Baptists as were the Starks (though this Wells family was originally Quaker). Members of this Wells family not only migrated along the same route as our Starks did, from eastern Pennsylvania to Virginia to southwestern Pennsylvania to Kentucky to Indiana and Illinois, but also intermarried with them several times. Indeed, in all these areas, but particularly in Loudoun County, there are numerous families who appear to have journeyed together over the years, remained neighbors, and intermarried in these places. The Wells and Stark families are just two of a whole community of such families. If Elizabeth was indeed a Wells, this Jacob Wells would seem to be a strong candidate to have been her father, but we have no documentary evidence to confirm this. Nevertheless, I believe we should consider him her likely father and examine his origins.

A Jacob Wells married a woman named Lavinia Stevens in the First Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 27, 1745. (It is likely that the couple lived elsewhere in Pennsylvania at the time but made the trip to Philadelphia in order to register their marriage formally.) Lavinia was the daughter of Evan Stevens and his wife, a woman whose name we do not know. Evan Stevens lived in New Britain Township of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the New Britain Baptist Church. As we shall see, the Wells family we are examining also resided in this county. We do not know how long Jacob and Lavinia themselves lived in Bucks County after their marriage, if they did at all, but there is good reason for believing that they had moved to the Valley Forge area of Philadelphia (now Montgomery) County at least by the early 1750s, for they were members of the Great Valley Baptist Church there in 1754.

There is also uncertainty about the movements of Jacob Wells and his growing family between the mid-1750s and the mid-1760s. In 1754, Jacob and Lavinia Wells were given letters of dismissal by the Great Valley Baptist Church to the "Ketockten" (Catoctin) Baptist Church in Loudoun County, Virginia, which certainly suggests that Jacob and Lavinia were relocating to the latter county. Since Jacob does not appear on the tithe lists there until a dozen years later, he and his family may have been renting or, perhaps, staying with Jacob's sister, who was married to a Baptist minister with a church in Loudoun County – presumably, the Catoctin church. But Jacob and Lavinia must have returned to Pennsylvania about 1762 or 1763, for in the latter year Jacob is listed as a new member of the New Britain Baptist Church in Bucks County there. Then, in 1765, Lavinia received a dismissal from the Montgomery Baptist Church, and the next year Jacob appears on the tithe lists in Loudoun County for the first time. (Oddly, he did not receive his own dismissal to a church in Virginia from the New Britain Baptist Church until 1767.)

From this we can deduce that a few years into their sojourn in Virginia Jacob Wells and his family went back to Pennsylvania for a time. Perhaps this was about when Jacob's father died, which was between November 1757 and November 1759. In addition, Lavinia's father is thought to have died about 1760, and this may also have had a bearing on their movements. During this later stay in Pennsylvania, the Wells couple apparently resided in Bucks County. Jacob Wells and his family subsequently returned to Loudoun County, Virginia, probably about 1765, which, interestingly, was the year Lavinia's brother died in Philadelphia.

Whatever the exact circumstances, by 1765 or 1766 Jacob and his family were living in Virginia for good. Jacob Wells remained on the Loudoun County tithe lists fairly consistently until 1779. That year was the last time he is listed there, and it seems he died either late that year or early in 1780: on February 14, 1780, Jacob's son was appointed the administrator of his father's estate. We have no information about when Lavinia {Stevens} Wells died. The evidence suggests that while they lived in Virginia Jacob Wells and his family did in fact attend the Catoctin Baptist Church near Round Hill, Virginia, which was not very far from where they lived in Loudoun County.46

We will return to the earlier Wells and Stevens families after considering whether or not this couple could have had a daughter who was the Elizabeth who married Daniel Stark during the 1760s. Unfortunately, there is incomplete information about the children of Jacob and Lavinia Wells. Typically, the tithe lists in Loudoun County listed only males, and only some of their sons – no daughters at all – were identified in the settlement of Jacob's estate. But it is suggestive that there are no known children before their first son, born in 1752, which allows several years after this couple's marriage in 1745 for one or more female children to have been born. If this reasoning is correct, one of these daughters could have been our Elizabeth, who probably (considering her likely year of marriage) would have been born during the late 1740s. Thus we can come to no conclusion about whether this couple were in fact the parents of Elizabeth Wells, but neither does the evidence we have eliminate them.

With that encouragement, modest as it may be, let us turn to the Wells and Stevens lines and their related families. Jacob was the son of Joseph Wells and his wife Ann {Pugh} Wells, who were married in Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1716

another couple, it seems, who wanted their marriage officially recorded there. Their son Jacob was born about 1722, just about the right time for the father of Elizabeth Wells (assuming she was born during the late 1740s). Joseph Wells is shown owning 100 acres in Providence Township of Philadelphia County (now Montgomery County), Pennsylvania, in 1734. This area is near the Perkiomen River near Tyersford and Valley Forge. It is also quite near to the Great Valley Baptist Church to which Joseph and Lavinia Wells belonged. Since Joseph Wells seems to have lived all of his life in Bucks County, perhaps this 100 acres in Providence Township was his gift to Jacob and Lavinia.

Joseph Wells, who had been born in Bucks County in 1693, died there between the signing of his will on October 10, 1757, and November 7, 1757, when it was probated. (Evan Stevens witnessed his will). Ann had died sometime after bearing all of Joseph's children, of whom our Jacob was the second. At his death, Joseph's wife was a former widow named Mary {Stephens} Sterling, who evidently died during the interval between the 1757 and the settlement of Joseph's estate in 1759. Accordingly, a last son of Joseph Wells, Richard, was left to the care of his grandfather, Mary's father, Samuel Eastburn.

Ann's parents were Richard Pugh and a woman named Margaret (family name unknown), who survived him when he died in 1715, the year before Ann would marry Joseph Wells. Richard was the son of a Welshman, Griffith John, who came to America sometime during the late 17th century, and a woman named Grace Foulke. We know very little about this couple, only that Griffith John died in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, between April 26, 1707, and January 31, 1708, and that Grace Foulke was the daughter of Evan Foulke and a woman named Ellis Hugh. The father of Griffith John was John ap Evan, who died in 1697. In America, his children adopted various surnames

Hugh, Griffith and Pugh among them.

We return now to the Wells line, about which more is known. The parents of Joseph Wells (father of Jacob) were Henry Wells and a woman named Elizabeth who was possibly a member of the Doyle family, after whom Doylestown, Pennsylvania, was named. At some point, Henry had purchased 300 acres in Warwick Township (later Doylestown Township) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; he sold this land in January 1709. Henry, who was born in 1672 (evidently in England, as we shall see in a moment), died suddenly and quite young in April 1714 (his will was prepared on April 1 and his estate was inventoried on April 13), leaving his widow Elizabeth with nine minor children and yet another child on the way. Some Wells researchers believe that Henry was married twice, and it is possible that Joseph, the oldest of Henry's sons, was the product of his first marriage.

DNA evidence seems to indicate that Henry's father was Edmund Wells, one of several Wells brothers who are thought to have migrated to Pennsylvania from Berkshire, England, during the 1680s. Edmund lived on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River (some of the time, near Burlington), but many of his children, including our Henry, lived on the Pennsylvania side of the river instead. Several members of the Wells family seem to have operated ferries across the Delaware River. This Wells family was originally Quaker in its beliefs but became part of the Keithian sect of Quakerism during the 1690s and then joined the growing Baptist movement. (The Keithians attempted to identify the particular core of beliefs that Quakers should be expected to accept.) Edmund, who was christened in Bradford (Berkshire), England, in 1640, was the son of John Wells and Bridget Jewell. Edmund's wife in 1679 was named Mary, but it is believed that he was married twice and we do not know if she was his wife when Henry was born several years earlier during the 1670s. His only appearance in a Bucks County record is a debt case in February 1699; we do not know his year of death.

The Wells and Stark families may have come to know one another first not in Virginia during the 1760s but a decade or two earlier: both were part of the social, economic, and religious communities that drew from the settlements along both sides of the Delaware River. (As we shall see in a later chapter, during the 1750s our Jonathan Stark owned a mill just inland on the New Jersey bank of the Delaware River.) Wells researchers think that many members of that family left Pennsylvania for Loudoun County, Virginia, at the time of the American Revolution, in large part to escape military duty or assessments. Loudoun County was quite lenient in exempting conscientious objectors, including Quakers, from these requirements. (We have no evidence to suggest that the Starks went to that county then for the same reasons, but it is possible.) As we have seen, Jacob and Lavinia Wells did transfer their church memberships from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

Summing up, we cannot prove that the Jacob Wells of Loudoun County was the same man who was born to Joseph and Ann Wells in eastern Pennsylvania and then moved to Virginia, although a strong argument can be made that he was. But even if he was, we cannot be certain Jacob and his wife had a daughter named Elizabeth, let alone whether this child became the woman who married Daniel Stark. Indeed, we still cannot even be sure that the family name of Daniel's wife was Wells. The most we can say is that if Elizabeth {Wells} Stark was the product of a Wells family that lived near the Starks in Loudoun County, Virginia, we have identified a likely Wells couple who could well have been her parents, along with earlier Wells and Pugh lines for both of them.47

Before we leave this matter, however, we should take note of another Wells male in Loudoun County, Virginia, whose story offers us a second, intriguing possibility – admittedly, one that is something of a long shot. This was Thomas William Wells, who lived near Daniel Stark and Jacob Wells. He, too, was a generation older than the Elizabeth who became Daniel Stark's wife. There is no evidence that Thomas William Wells had a daughter named Elizabeth, but it is possible that he had a stepdaughter with that name. As it happens, the wife of Thomas William Wells in 1767 was someone who had been married previously – to three other men, in fact. A colorful character, the woman born Hester Smallwood had been the wife, in rather rapid succession, of Jacob Smith, Edmond Linton, and Waymon Sinkler (or Sinclair) before she married Thomas William Wells in 1764.

Hester had had no children with either Edmond Linton or Waymon Sinkler, but she did have two sons with Jacob Smith, who died in December 1749.48 Jacob's will, interestingly, mentions not only these two named sons but an unborn child. We know from the Loudoun County tithe lists that Jacob Smith, Jr., (one of those two named sons) was living with Thomas William Wells in 1767. It is not unthinkable that our Elizabeth "Wells" was in reality a daughter born to the late Jacob Smith, Sr., and Hester in 1750, soon after the former's demise the previous December, and that this young woman, too, grew up in the household of Thomas William Wells. Here, quite naturally, she would have been known as Elizabeth Wells – the name by which she would also have been known when she and Daniel Stark were married that same year, 1767. As we have seen, Daniel and Elizabeth Stark had their first child in May 1768, so the latter probably had been born in 1750 or shortly before. This means she could well have been the unknown child Jacob Smith's will mentions, who would have been born sometime in 1750.

This scenario would explain, just as well as the hypothesis we developed that Jacob Wells was Elizabeth's father does, why Daniel and Elizabeth Stark would name their second son Jacob, the name of her deceased father; here, though, that father would have been the Jacob Smith who had been the first husband of Hester Smallwood rather than the Jacob Wells who married Lavinia Stevens. In addition, since Hester's mother was a woman named Elizabeth, it would have been natural for Hester to have chosen this given name for her first daughter – a girl whom she may have guessed (correctly, as it turned out) would be her last child – in 1750. Another possibility is that our Elizabeth had been born to Jacob and Hester Smith as early as 1746 but was not mentioned in his will because she was a female child. She still might have been brought up by Thomas William Wells and so bore his surname until she married Daniel Stark. The Smith and Smallwood families from which Jacob and Hester came are quite interesting (even entertaining) ones, but in the absence of a definite link between them and our Elizabeth "Wells" we will not explore them in detail here.49

To be sure, this second theory about the parentage of Elizabeth {Wells} Stark requires of us more imagination than the one that links her to Jacob and Lavinia {Stevens} Wells. Perhaps it is also inherently less plausible than that first hypothesis, but without definitive evidence about Elizabeth's mother and father we cannot afford to overlook any reasonable possibility. In the end, it seems likeliest to me that our Elizabeth {Wells} Stark was the daughter of Jacob and Lavinia Wells, to whom she was born during the late 1740s, but we may never know for certain if this was the case. Unfortunately we do not have any solid information, either, about the date and place of death of Elizabeth {Wells} Stark. We believe that she was living in Clark County, Indiana, in 1810 and that she died there sometime in 1811 or later. Leaving Elizabeth and her origins behind us, we resume our look at the Starks with what we know about Elizabeth's husband, Daniel Stark, and his ancestry.

Over the years, Stark researchers have speculated that Daniel Stark was born in Pennsylvania, in Dutchess County, New York, or even in Groton, Connecticut (where our Stark family originated, as we shall see in a later chapter). Such disagreements over supposed birthplaces and dates often indicate that there are differences of opinion about a person's parentage, and that is the case here. Stark researchers believed for many years that Daniel and his brother Christopher (whose children Abraham and Sarah, respectively, would marry in 1798) were the sons of an earlier Christopher Stark who lived in Dutchess County, New York, and possibly in the Wyoming Valley of northwestern Pennsylvania, from about 1744 until about 1772. This is now known to be erroneous.

Later research decisively supports the conclusion that Daniel and Christopher were actually the sons of JONATHAN STARK and SARAH {LAYCOCK} STARK50, that they were born in New Jersey (Daniel about 1743 and Christopher about 1747), and that they lived in that colony until they moved first to Virginia and then further westward to Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Analysis of the Laycock family and other related families (including the Vineyard family of Christopher Stark's wife) supports this conclusion – indeed, provides key evidence that made it possible. Jonathan Stark and Sarah {Laycock} Stark married by 1737 or 1738, since their first child was born no later than 1739. We will return to them shortly, after we sketch what we know about the two of their sons, Daniel and Christopher, who became our ancestors.

We first encounter Daniel Stark as an adult in Loudoun County, Virginia, when he was a tithable there in 1767. Based on what we know about the Stark family, he would have migrated from New Jersey to Virginia along with his brothers and members of several other families with which the Starks were intermarried. The first of these fellow travelers were two Laycock brothers who appeared in Loudoun County in 1765. Some Stark researchers believe that one or more of these families lived for a time in Western Maryland, and some of them (principally the Vineyards) may also have lived in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry, then in Virginia. The Starks would reside in Loudoun County for only a few years before moving further west.

The fact that Daniel Stark appears on the Loudoun County tithable list (in Cameron Parish) in 1767 establishes that he was born no later than 1746. He is on John McIlhaney's list, which covered the area above Goose Creek and near Vestal's Gap and Catoctin Creek. These places are in the northern reaches of Loudoun County, not far from Harpers Ferry. Again in 1768, Daniel – like the other Starks and Francis Vineyard – is on some of the county's other annual personal property tax lists, not all of which have survived. As they are not shown to have been landowners, the Starks (and Vineyards) may have been renting or leasing (or squatting) where they were living, hoping to acquire land at some future time. Because Daniel Stark disappears from these Loudoun County records after 1768, there is reason to suspect that he might have moved on again at about this time, perhaps to what is now the southwestern Pennsylvania area where we find him next. The fact is that we have no definite trace of Daniel Stark for several years after 1768. As we shall see, Christopher would follow his brother to southwestern Pennsylvania, though not right away.

Once both brothers came to be living in Pennsylvania, the lives of Daniel and Christopher Stark seem to have followed very similar identical paths, which suggests that they were close. Both served in the Washington County militia – Daniel as a private and as a sergeant, the somewhat younger Christopher only as a private – at various times between 1778 and 1785, principally in Captain Abner Howell's Third Company of the Third Battalion; Christopher may also have served in Captain George Sharp's company. The Pennylvania militia was formed into battalions and companies, each comprised of groups of military-age men. The companies rotated between stints of active duty and inactivity, which enabled the members of the militia to keep up with their farming or other work while sharing the responsibility to protect the community. The men in each company belonged to one of several "classes." From time to time, as the perceived need(s) arose, there would be calls for a particular class or classes to report for duty, and the men in the company belonging that class or those classes would be expected to do so.

Judging from the surviving militia records in Pennsylvania, Howell's company seems to have been on active duty from late August through the month of September in 1781, from mid-March to mid-June in 1782, and for another month from late July to late August in that same year; Sharp's company was on active service during from mid-March to early April 1782. (There may have been other periods of duty for which records to not exist.) We know that the middle months of 1782 was a time of high alert in this region, owing to Indian attacks, and these documents confirm that the Washington County militia was on duty then. Unfortunately, these surviving records do not provide many details about where the companies' duties were performed or which exactly members of the militia had been expected to show up for their required duty – and which men had to appeal fines levied for failure to report or hire a substitute when their class was summoned. We do know that both Starks later received monetary payments for their service in the militia, so we can be confident that they reported for duty as required on at least some of these occasions.

Because these militia units were considered frontier "rangers," their principal duties would have been to patrol widely, watching Indian paths and crossing places for evidence of Indians, flushing any marauding natives from their hiding spots near settlements, and alerting residents to possible Indian attacks. They also were stationed at the frontier forts, not only in their own county but elsewhere as well. Rarely did they engage in actual warfare, either with Indians or soldiers of another country. As the rangers were not considered regular soldiers, there was sometimes friction between rangers and soldiers when they were on operations together because each regarded the other as having the easier duty. Except for certain exempted categories (ministers and indentured servants, for instance), all able-bodied men between 18 and 53 years of age were expected to serve in the Pennsylvania militia; however, in practice those who wished to avoid duty could usually pay a fine or hire a substitute.

According to family lore, both Daniel and Christopher Stark served as well, during 1776 to 1778, in the Continental Line. These were the regular troops that the Continental Congress established early during the Revolutionary War to act as the principal fighting force of the united colonies, since militiamen had proved to be inadequate in warfare against British soldiers. I have found no evidence in any of the surviving records (individual service records, pension applications, and muster rolls) in the National Archives that either of these Stark brothers was ever part of the Continental Army forces created by either Pennsylvania or Virginia, and neither are they mentioned by others who did serve in them. Any military service they performed between the late 1770s and the mid-1780s, therefore, must have been as militiamen.

We also learn from Pennsylvania records that Daniel and Christopher Stark served (along with members of the Vineyard family) in the Virginia militia companies of Captain Joseph Mitchell and Lieutenant David Enoch in and around Fort Pitt (in Pittsburgh). This militia service included participation in what is usually known as Dunmore's War in 1774. Christopher and Daniel Stark are listed on Mitchell's roll in Colonel William Crawford's Frederick County regiment, which had been mustered in Winchester, Virginia, and was stationed at least for a time in Romney, Virginia (now in West Virginia). Mitchell was a prominent resident of Martinsburg, Virginia (also in West Virginia today), which had been part of Frederick County until 1772, when Berkeley County was organized.

That the Starks were enrolled in Mitchell's company of the Frederick County militia suggests that they could have been still living in the remote northwest part of Loudoun County as late as 1772, for Loudoun County and Frederick County adjoined there until Berkeley County came into existence during that year. Crawford was living in what is now Washington County, Pennsylvania, even before the hostilities that would develop into Dunmore's War began in April and May in 1774; however, as soon as they did begin he started gathering an armed force from families living in this area. Ultimately Crawford's unit would include both men from families who lived near him in Pennsylvania (though claimed by Virginia) and militia members who (under Mitchell) marched to Washington County from Frederick County, Virginia. Thus we cannot be sure where the Stark brothers were living when Dunmore's War took place. In my opinion, they were already residing in Washington County by then.

If this is so, and if the Starks were among the first militiamen who responded to Crawford's call, it seems likely that they were among the several hundred men he took to Fort Pitt in early May 1774 to await developments. This fort (which had been renamed Fort Dunmore for the new royal governor of Virginia) and its surroundings were now under the control of the partisans of Virginia, led by a doctor named John Connolly who was the agent of Virginia's royal governor. Connolly sent Crawford's unit to build a fort (first called Fort Fincastle, later Fort Henry) on the Ohio River, at a location that is now called Wheeling, West Virginia. Crawford may have led his men either across country or down the Ohio River, but the former route being both the more direct and the safer one, it was probably his preferred route; he and several hundred men arrived at the site of the future Fort Fincastle in mid-June 1774.

Meanwhile, Virginia had mobilized the Frederick County militiamen under Colonel Angus McDonald and sent about 400 or 500 of them to meet Crawford on the Ohio. They were to assist Crawford in building Fort Fincastle and then to attack the Indians on the west side of the Ohio River. The men from Frederick County – possibly including Mitchell's company, we cannot be certain – arrived at Fort Fincastle during July 1774. Later that month, McDonald left Crawford and about 200 men at the new fort and took the remainder across the Ohio River into Indian territory, where he and his forces skirmished with the Shawnees at their homes on the Muskingum River. Our Stark brothers could have been in any one of these groups now being assembled on the far western frontier to fight Indians, but without detailed information about who served in which groups – and about which groups served where – we cannot be precise about what Daniel and Christopher Stark did at this stage of the conflict.

Dunmore's "war" was in actuality a series of short campaigns led personally by Virginia's new governor, a Scotsman named John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore. He saw what he had precipitated as a way to protect his colony's western frontier and wrest control of western Pennsylvania and the Ohio River from not only the increasingly unfriendly Shawnee and Delaware Indians who lived west of the river but from Pennsylvania as well. In a larger sense, the war would be both a culmination of the struggle that was called the French and Indian War in North America and a precursor to the War of Independence that in mid-1774 was less than a year away from erupting. But the underlying causes of Dunmore's War were the land hunger of Virginians, who were aggressively surveying and awarding land grants in this attractive area, and the bloody violence that settlers and the Indians inflicted on one another as their conflicting interests clashed.

Once the hostilities already mentioned had begun, Dunmore collected a substantial army and marched into southwestern Pennsylvania, where he planned to employ a pincer movement against the Indians. He and his Northern Division (perhaps including the Starks if they were just now marching west with Mitchell's company) set off from Winchester in August 1774. Dunmore led his forces to the South Branch of the Potomac River, on to Cumberland, and then across Braddock's Road to the small fort at the Forks of the Ohio, Fort Pitt, which the Virginians had now dubbed Fort Dunmore. All of the forces led by Dunmore had arrived in southwestern Pennsylvania by September, after which they collected Crawford's men and prepared to enter Indian territory across the Ohio River. Somewhere among them were our two Starks.

While Dunmore was on his way to the Forks of the Ohio and beyond, Colonel Andrew Lewis was leading a Southern Division about a thousand more militiamen from Virginia and what would in 1796 become Tennessee down the Great Kanawha River toward the Ohio River. Attacked by Indians commanded by a notorious chief called "the Cornstalk," Lewis's troops (the majority of them Scotch-Irish militiamen from southern Virginia) fought a bloody and decisive battle at the mouth of the Great Kanawha River, at a place called Point Pleasant (now in West Virginia), on October 10, 1774. This battle led the Indians to seek peace. Thereafter the Southern Division briefly joined with Dunmore's forces in what is now central Ohio and then was sent home.

Dunmore was not yet finished, however: he intended to punish the western Indians and force them to make concessions. Immediately after Lewis's victory he took the Northern Division off into the unsettled Ohio wilderness, crossing the Ohio River south of what is now Parkersburg, West Virginia, where he built a stockade he called Fort Gower at the junction of the Hocking River and the Ohio River. Next Dunmore took 700 of his men up the river by canoe and sent the remaining 500 militiamen, with the army's beeves, across country. The two halves of Dunmore's remaining army would rendezvous on the Pickaway Plains, between the Hocking River and the Scioto River. Once again the Starks were quite possibly part of Dunmore's own complement of the larger force under his command that participated in these actions.

Here near the Scioto River Dunmore established Camp Charlotte, where he parleyed with the Indians seeking peace. The treaty agreed to there opened an enormous portion of the trans-Appalachian West to settlement. When some of the Mingoes led by a chief named Logan resisted accepting this treaty, Dunmore sent a force of 240 men led by Colonel Crawford (again, possibly including Christopher and Daniel Stark) forty miles further up the Scioto River to about where Columbus now stands. Here there was a significant skirmish in mid-October, after which all of Dunmore's militia units were disbanded and sent back across the Ohio River.51 By early November nearly all of them had returned to their homes, except for small detachments that manned forts in southwestern Pennsylvania. Since the Starks were not paid off for their service until a year later (at the end of October 1775) and since service records for David Enoch suggest that he had remained on duty as late as March 1775, it is possible that Christopher and David were among the few militiamen who were employed in this manner after the bulk of Dunmore's army had departed; they were, after all, local residents and so natural choices for this extended duty. As with all of their service during Dunmore's War, though, we can only speculate about where and when the Stark brothers served – but serve they did.

Dunmore's War was one of the key (if largely unheralded) incidents in America's westward expansion, in part because its outcome opened Kentucky to settlers and in part because the defeated Indians became even more determined to resist settlement north of the Ohio River. It also demonstrated to the colonials that they could organize and win on the field of battle, which would undoubtedly give them confidence in the months ahead as they faced one of the world's strongest military powers. Sometimes the Battle of Point Pleasant is even termed the "first conflict of the American Revolution" because of how it reshaped the situation in the west and American attitudes alike, although it might more accurately be termed the final battle of the colonial period. In addition, it was the last time that Americans ever would fight under the British flag – and, significantly, the first battle with the western Indians on their own territory west of the Ohio River.

Foreshadowing the new attitudes in America, it would seem, was a notable incident that took place at Fort Gower in November 1774. Dunmore's militia units returned there from the army's political and diplomatic success over the Indians to find a messenger with news that the (First) Continental Congress, which had begun to meet in Philadelphia two months earlier, had adopted various resolutions regarding American rights in the mounting controversy with the British government. At once Dunmore's colonial officers drew up their own resolutions of support for the Continental Congress. In these resolutions, the officers expressed their loyalty to King George III, so long as he reigned over "a brave and free people," but went on to say that "as the love of liberty and attachment to the real interests of America outweigh every other consideration, we resolve that we will exert every power within us for the defense of American liberty; and for the support of her just rights and privileges, not in any riotous manner, but when regularly called forth by the unanimous voice of our countrymen." Daniel and Christopher Stark, not being officers, would not have been parties to these resolutions, but it seems likely they were aware of them.

We have so little information altogether about Daniel and Christopher Stark for the years after 1770 until the early 1780s – not just about their brief military careers – that we are reduced to speculation. But because nearly all of the Starks and their many relatives disappeared from Loudoun County records by 1770 it would appear that they had gone to live on land in what soon would become Washington County, Pennsylvania (but which, as we have seen, Virginia considered part of its territory). We do know that the Virginia forces to which the Stark brothers had belonged during Dunmore's War were paid off at nearby Fort Pitt in October 1775. David Enoch, under whom Daniel and Christopher Stark served during that military adventure, is said to have recruited his unit from the area around Lone Pine on Little Ten Mile Creek in what would become Amwell Township of Washington County, but this may be a reverse extrapolation from the fact that Enoch lived near Lone Pine afterwards. Another account states that Daniel and Christopher Stark were on the Virginia militia rolls in 1775, when they appeared on a list in Winchester and were paid off in Romney (now West Virginia) on October 28 of that year. This reference is probably somehow connected to their service in Dunmore's War.52

But even if the Starks and members of their extended family (Vineyards, Laycocks, and others) had not already moved beforehand to what would become Washington County, Pennsylvania, having seen it in 1774 while they were in militia service or in Dunmore's War – when their units surely traveled through or were on patrol in the area – probably would have been enough to have motivated them to relocate there. Once this territory became officially available in 1769, thousands of persons applied for rights to more than a million acres during the first four months alone, and in short order thousands of families had begun living in southwestern Pennsylvania. By the late 1770s, if not sooner, there can be little doubt the Starks were among them.

Whatever we suppose, though, Daniel and Christopher Stark do not actually appear in the records of Washington County, Pennsylvania, until 1783. Tax rolls reveal that both of them were living on Sugar Camp Run near Pigeon Creek in Fallowfield Township of Washington County in that year. Daniel owned two horses, two cattle, and three sheep; Christopher had three horses and three cattle. There is no evidence that either brother ever owned land in this county. By act of its Assembly, Pennsylvania forgave taxes for Washington County in 1782 and for Fallowfield Township residents in 1783, and this may help to explain why we cannot locate records of land ownership there for Daniel and Christopher Stark, but these are only two of the years when we think they were living in this county. Alternatively, they may have been renting or squatting in Washington County, or the records may now longer exist. The consensus among Stark researchers, however, is that Daniel and Christopher (and perhaps some of their brothers and their mother) were residing with one of their brothers, James, or with William Wood, who had married their sister Sarah in 1769. Both of these men are shown owning property in Washington County.

Daniel Stark had often lived close to William Wood in Loudoun County, Virginia, so it is reasonable to think that he was doing so now. Fortunately, we know something about the movements of Wood, who was a Baptist minister, and if we accept the premise that both Daniel and Christopher and their dependents were living on his property in Washington County we can fix them in place. Wood seems to have moved to what is now southwestern Pennsylvania about 1769, perhaps retreating to Loudoun County for a brief time in late 1769 and early 1770 either to avoid Indian attacks or to enable his wife to deliver their first child in a more settled and secure area. He lived near Ten Mile Creek in the Redstone area, where he owned 349 acres on Sugar Run Camp near Pigeon Creek. The specific area was near Innes Run and the Mill Road, close to DeVore's Ferry. Here Wood may also have operated a mill of some sort. Wood appears on the 1781 Washington County tax list and in many other documents.53

Stark researchers think the property of James Stark (and perhaps that of a second Stark brother) adjoined that of Wood, so there would have been ample room for many more Starks and their families to have lived there all together. Unless other evidence turns up, I believe we should conclude that Daniel Stark's son, Abraham, was born within this cluster of families in Fallowfield Township. (Today this specific area is in Somerset Township, created in 1782). Although this hypothesis may help us to understand where the Starks might have lived during these years, it does not explain why neither Daniel nor Christopher ever shows up in the civil records through which we can usually observe and track persons – for example, as witnesses to wills and in court cases. Except for the militia rolls we have considered, the two Stark brothers are as close to invisible as possible for fifteen whole years between 1770 until 1785, the year they and several of their siblings would surface in Nelson County, Kentucky. Hence our two Starks and their families could have been residing in southwestern Pennsylvania as early as the late 1760s and as late as the early 1780s.

If David and Christopher had ever owned land in Pennsylvania they must have abandoned it, but many Stark researchers think it more likely that their Virginia land claims (if they had filed them) were disallowed when Pennsylvania took control of Washington County. That state opened a land office in July 1784 and began dispensing its own warrants, and the properties that the Starks (and Vineyards) were living on and presumably hoped to own may suddenly have legally belonged to someone else. Surely the Virginians whose claims were now considered invalid would have been drawn to Virginia's extension in the west, Kentucky (not yet a separate state). The comments made earlier about when and why so many Virginians left Pennsylvania for Kentucky should be recalled here, too, in connection with the move of the Starks westward.

A search of the deeds in Nelson County, Kentucky, did not reveal when and where Daniel Stark obtained property somewhere north of Rolling Fork and Beech Fork up to the mouth of Buffalo Creek, the area covered by the 1785 tax list on which he first appears. Some Stark researchers contend (and I concur) that Daniel, along with some of his brothers, was among those who briefly clustered for safety around Rogers Station, established by a man who like the Starks had been involved in Dunmore's War. This fortified station was located just west of Bardstown, Kentucky. After this, the newcomers may have fanned out to other locations.54

As we shall see, before long Daniel's younger brother Christopher evidently moved to the Cox's Creek area, north of Bardstown, and by 1786 or 1787 Daniel would follow him there. Christopher continued to appear on tax and tithable lists, marriage documents, and the like in Nelson County from 1787 through 1791. The next year, he showed up in the new county of Shelby – considerably further north of the Cox Creek area.55 Because the portion of Shelby County where Daniel Stark was taxed beginning in 1792 (his property was on Elk Creek, a northern tributary of the Salt River) had not been part of Nelson County before this, we can deduce that he moved his family from Nelson County to Shelby County sometime between February and November in 1792. Daniel typically had another tithable in his household and owned animals ranging in number from six to sixty in number. In 1794, he gave consent to a daughter's marriage in Shelby County, but otherwise we lose track of him again until the end of the decade. We do not know exactly where in the Elk Creek area Daniel and his family (including our Abraham, nearing adulthood and about to be married in Shelby County in 1798) resided, nor exactly when (or why) he decided to move further north yet again.

In fact, it is only from a single deed reference, when Daniel purchased 80 acres on Elk Creek in September 1800, that we learn he had become a resident of a new county created in 1798, Henry County. On that same day in 1800, Daniel sold two smaller properties in the Elk Creek area totaling 80 acres, so these several simultaneous transactions may have been part of a land exchange of some sort rather than a new purchase. Subsequent tax and tithe lists in Henry County tell us that Daniel Stark owned 105 acres there from 1801 through 1809. Thus although we do not know precisely where Daniel and his family lived either in the Elk Creek area or in Henry County, they must have moved to the first place about 1792 and to the latter one sometime before September 1800. Abraham Stark also resided in Henry County that year, evidently on his own because he paid his own taxes that year.56

Other information indicates that Daniel Stark moved to Clark County, Indiana (his fifth colony or state of residence), around 1809: he is not on the 1807 territorial census that was taken in Indiana but evidently signed a petition to Congress in 1809 asking that the Indiana Territory be elevated to statehood. Daniel is listed on tax records in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1809 but apparently not thereafter, which is consistent with a move to Indiana during that year. This move was undoubtedly so that he and Elizabeth could remain close to their children, some of whom (including our Abraham) had already made the move across the Ohio River into Indiana Territory.

On December 4, 1810, Daniel and Elizabeth Stark deeded their Clark County, Indiana, property to two of their sons in return for the sons' care of them during the couple's remaining years of life, but this document does not identify this property and neither could I find another Clark County deed that does. (Our Daniel may be the Daniel Stark who is mentioned on another deed – the sale of 61 acres on Camp Creek in Clark County – dated March 27, 1812, but this might have been his son Daniel instead.) Unfortunately, there is no census for Indiana in 1810, so we cannot even verify the senior Daniel's residence there in that year.57 From all of this we can suppose that Daniel and his wife both died sometime in 1811 or soon afterwards, very probably in Clark County, Indiana, but here we reach the limit of our knowledge about him.


It was CHRISTOPHER STARK, Daniel Stark's younger58 brother, and MARTHA {VINEYARD} STARK who were the parents of Sarah {Stark} Stark, Abraham Stark's wife.59 We will examine what we know about Christopher and Martha before we try to connect the two brothers to their own parents, the common ancestors of our Abraham and Sarah Stark. Setting the Starks aside for awhile, we will take up the somewhat shorter Vineyard line first.

Martha Vineyard was born about 1752 to 1754 in the portion of Fairfax County, Virginia, that would become Loudoun County in 1757. The specific location is not known, but several members of the Vineyard family, when asked later, apparently said they had been born near Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), which was also in Fairfax County then. If this family tradition is accurate, Martha probably was born near there as well. Martha and Christopher were married in Loudoun County, Virginia, about 1772. She died – probably in Shelby County, Kentucky – perhaps as early as 1784 but almost certainly prior to June 6, 1798, when she was not mentioned in a court record where she should have been named. Some Stark researchers think that she might have moved, along with a daughter and son-in-law, to Mason County, Kentucky, prior to 1784, and possibly on to Ohio after that. Since her husband continued to live in Henry County, Kentucky, until his death in 1807, this seems very unlikely. The fact is that we do not know where and when Martha {Vineyard} Stark died; my guess is that her death occurred in Kentucky during the 1780s or 1790s.

The Stark family histories usually identify FRANCIS VINEYARD60 as Martha's father. We know nothing whatsoever about Martha's mother – name, date of birth, date of death, or parents. The grave marker of Francis Vineyard reportedly states that he lived to be one hundred and three years old, which would make him born about 1728.61 He too may have been born in the part of Fairfax County, Virginia, that would later become Loudoun County, Virginia, again perhaps in the area around Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Francis began to appear on Loudoun County's tax lists in 1758, just after the county had been organized; like Daniel and Christopher Stark, he resided in Cameron Parish in that county. Francis was on the tax lists of William McIlhaney for the area above Goose Creek in 1761, 1762, 1767, 1768, and 1769. As we have seen, many Starks, Vineyards, and Laycocks (as well as other families related to or associated with them) lived in this area, probably without owning property. Francis Vineyard subsequently was included on that county's tax lists in 1770, 1771 (that year in Shelburn Parish), 1773, and 1774 but was not listed thereafter. Thus we can imagine that he moved to Pennsylvania as much as four or five years after our Starks went there, but we cannot be precise about any of these dates.

Francis Vineyard and his sons served in the militia in Loudoun County, and it may be here that the Vineyard and Stark families first became acquainted. As we have seen in this chapter, members of both families seem to have served together in the Virginia militia at the time of what is known as Dunmore's War in 1774. Records in Pennsylvania, too, show that several Vineyards served with the Starks in the militia (Francis is shown as a member of Captain George Sharp's company, as was Christopher Stark) and as frontier rangers from 1781 to 1783, the closing years of the American Revolution. In addition, a muster roll in the National Archives shows that a Francis Vineyard and two other men with that name also were members of a Virginia militia unit posted at Fort Liberty (near present-day Wheeling in the West Virginia panhandle) from September 1776 to January 1777. The Francis in at least some of these records may well have been the son of Martha's father, Francis Vineyard, since this man – who had to have been born no later than the early 1730s – might have been deemed too old then (that is, beyond 53 years of age) for such active military duty and did have a son named Frances who would have been of age for militia service then.

During the early 1780s, Francis Vineyard got himself into trouble by joining with others who were advocating that southwestern Pennsylvania form the nucleus of a new, fourteenth state of the Union. He was among the approximately 1,750 men who signed a petition in January 1783 on behalf of those living west of Laurel Hill (a prominent elevation east of Washington County). The petition stated that the dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania had left the area defenseless against Indian attacks and urged the Continental Congress to provide redress by creating a new state. The new state, which some called Westsylvania, would have included parts of what are today Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

The agitation for Westsylvania reflected this region's chronic dissatisfaction with the governments of both Pennsylvania and the United States. At one time or another during the late 18th century, there was strong support beyond the Alleghenies for revolutionary France, intrigue with representatives of both France and Spain (still the owners of the trans-Mississippi West and the key port of New Orleans), and, as a kind of climax, outright rebellion in 1794 against the new U.S. excise tax on whiskey. In such a climate, Pennsylvania did not take well to the fact that zealous advocates of independence for the settlements in this remote corner of the state refused to recognize Pennsylvania's authority and even drove out its tax collectors. Accordingly, Pennsylvania outlawed agitation for a new state and threatened the agitators, including Francis Vineyard, with prosecution for treason.62

In time the separatism issue faded away and with it the charges of treason, but those who had hoped for Virginia's sovereignty for the region (it had more liberal land laws and permitted slavery) continued to be dissatisfied with the state of things. One authority notes that the "more intransigent" advocates of Westsylvania departed for Kentucky, perhaps after squatting first on uninhabited public lands north and west of the Ohio River.63 Francis Vineyard was likely among those who were intransigent, but we cannot say if he was among the squatters in what would become Ohio. The evidence, in fact, suggests otherwise, though we have to admit that we know little more about the sojourn of Francis Vineyard in southwestern Pennsylvania than we do that of the Stark brothers, Daniel and Christopher.

Our only clues about Francis VIneyard's whereabouts during the 1780s and 1790s come from the tax rolls for Amwell Township in Washington County, Pennsylvania. These show one untaxed "single man" named Francis Vineyard in 1781, 1783, 1785, 1786, 1788, 1792, and 1793, along with two such men in 1791; he is not listed after 1793. We know that our Francis had a son who bore the same given name, so we cannot be sure whether the single man on some of these tax rolls was father or son (who had reached his majority by the mid-1770s). The listing of two such men in 1791 does indicate, though, that the older (and, presumably, widowed) Francis Vineyard was still residing in Washington County at this time. I believe he was there throughout this entire period of the 1780s and early 1790s.

Because the 1790 census shows four males in the household of John Vineyard, Francis's son, it is a reasonable assumption that the senior Francis – who is not listed by name on that census – was living with John in that year and probably in other years as well. One source states that the Vineyard family's 268-acre property, named Forlorn Hope, was located near Ten Mile Creek in Amwell Township of Washington County, Pennsylvania, but that property did not come into the possession of Francis's son, John, until 1785. Unless the Vineyards were renting or otherwise occupying these 268 acres before they acquired them, and unless we assume Francis was living there with his son and others, we cannot determine exactly where Martha Vineyard's father was residing in Pennsylvania for approximately a decade.

We also know that around 1790 many of the Vineyards began leaving Washington County for Kentucky, as the Starks had done previously. Sometime in 1794, Francis Vineyard and his family set off for Kentucky by flatboat. They departed from Redstone Old Fort (now Brownsville, Pennsylvania) en route to Limestone, Kentucky, later called Maysville. Redstone Old Fort, located today in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, was the most common launching-place on the Monongahela River upstream from Pittsburgh for those who were heading down the Ohio River, which this smaller river helps to create at Pittsburgh, to Kentucky. Redstone Old Fort was deep in the area of southwestern Pennsylvania that had been predominantly settled by former Virginians.64

After arriving in Kentucky, the Vineyards first lived in Scott County. At a later time, probably during the second half of the 1790s, many of them headed north and east to Warren County, Ohio, which was then being populated in large part by people from Washington County, Pennsylvania. They may have been joined by members of the Stark and other families with whom the Vineyards had previously migrated. It is also possible that some of these families had sent individuals into Kentucky during their Pennsylvania years, purchasing land for speculation as well as for settlement, and that the Vineyards and others intended to repeat this pattern in Ohio (which was settled two decades and more later than Kentucky was).

We are without Ohio censuses for 1800 or 1810, so we cannot use their information to track Francis Vineyard during the early 1800s. Even in 1820 and 1830 we have to resort to some guesswork about where he might be on that state's censuses. There were only two males forty-five years old or older in Vineyard households in Warren County in 1820, when our Francis Vineyard would have been around ninety years old. One was in that of Thomas Vinard in Clear Creek Township, but this male was very likely Thomas himself, based on the profile of the family and the fact that a Revolutionary War veteran named Thomas Vineyard lived in this township in 1833. The other older man was also in Clear Creek Township. He resided with one of two men, both identified only as J. Vinnard, who lived adjacent to one another. Here the profile suggests that a single older male was living in an otherwise-younger household, and so this older man is a good candidate to be Martha Vineyard's father, Francis. When we learn that our Francis had sons named John and James, the second of whom lived in Warren County, we can make an even better case that the older male living with one of the two men named J. Vinnard in Clear Creek Township was indeed her father.

In 1830 there were again only two elderly males in Vineyard households in Warren County. Both of them lived with William Venard of Union Township, and both were in the age column for 80 to 90 years of age.65 Either would have been too young for our Francis Vineyard, who if still alive had by 1830 passed the century mark, if we accept that he had been born in 1728. It is possible that there is an error in the age listed for at least one of these two men. The most we can say with the available information is that if Francis remained alive and living in Warren County in 1830, he was probably residing in the household of William Venard. Francis did have a son named William, who was younger than his two brothers John and James. Alternatively, Francis might have been living with a daughter or even a grandchild whose name is unknown to us. We also do not know the year Francis Vineyard died, but he is buried in Deerfield Cemetery in Union Township of Warren County, Ohio.66

We have only a few clues about the Vineyard line before Francis. Some researchers believe that his father was a John Vineyard who came to Orange County, Virginia, (a large county just south of Loudoun County from which several other Virginia counties would be formed) about 1732, when he was sued by an innkeeper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Presumably this was the same man who in April 1735 asked the Orange County court to grant him the land he was supposed to have received, he said, for having been imported into Virginia, land that he in turn was going to assign to a man in Culpeper County, Virginia – perhaps as payment for his ocean passage to America.

This John Vineyard (whose name is sometimes found as Vennard and in other variations) was in the court minutes in Orange County several more times during the mid-1730s. During the fall of 1735, he was involved in a suit, and two months later he was charged with trespass (meaning he was occupying land owned by someone else). The court ruled against John Vineyard, at least in part because he did not appear in court to defend himself. In March 1736 a jury concurred with this decision and awarded the plaintiff damages from Vineyard. Later that year John Vineyard was again sued for trespass and again did not appear in court; this time, he was jailed until he would answer for his actions. The outcome of this brush with the law is not known.

Without further information, we have to jump forward to the 1750s, when a John Vineyard died in Augusta County, Virginia, which had been formed out of western Orange County in 1745. In August 1758, a Barbara Vineyard was summoned to serve as executor of her husband John's estate, after which a vendue sale of his personal belongings was held. It may be noteworthy, as we shall see, that many of those taking part in the sale had German names or names that might have been German. John Vineyard apparently owned 300 acres in Augusta County. Records there during the 1760s then show a Christopher Vineyard as a tithable, and it seems quite likely that this man was John's son, though Christopher could conceivably have been John's brother instead.67

Unfortunately, we can do little more than speculate about the ultimate origins of the Vineyard family. One possibility is that they were Germans named Weinards or something similar who came to Virginia during the 1720s or 1730s, or perhaps even a decade or so before that: Virginia's Governor Alexander Spotswood (who served from 1710 to 1722) personally explored and then encouraged settlement of the colony's western frontier. He also vigorously sponsored immigration from Germany, often by way of England. Many of these newcomers were settled in a Germanna Colony in Spotsylvania County, out of which Orange County was formed in 1734. John Vineyard's request for land, assuming it was based on fact, does not seem entirely consistent with the Germanna Colony's pattern, but we know too little in order to make a solid judgment.

However the Vineyard family got to America, we also have to guess about how Francis (born during the late 1720s, it would appear) would have come to be living in northern Virginia when the other Vineyards we have considered here were living further south. Perhaps there was only a distant relationship between our Francis and the John Vineyard of Orange County and then Augusta County – or none at all. It may be noteworthy that a Steven Vineyard is on a tax list in Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1749; he, too, could have been the father of Francis Vineyard – but he also could have been our Francis's brother. Some researchers think that Francis Vineyard's family came to Virginia as part of the Palatine German migration into New York during the early 1700s, and this possibility cannot be dismissed – especially as it would account for his separation from the Vineyards who were living further south.68

With the Vineyard line behind us, we return to Martha's husband, Christopher Stark, whom we have already encountered in southwestern Pennsylvania. We do not know when he was born, but since Christopher was old enough (twenty-one years of age) to have served on a jury in Loudoun County, Virginia, as early as October 11, 1768, he must have been born prior to 1747. For many years it was thought that Christopher was born in Beekman, Dutchess County, New York, but as we have seen, the evidence now indicates that he was born in New Jersey instead. Christopher, like his brothers, would have migrated from New Jersey to Loudoun County, but there is reason for thinking that he did so a bit later, about 1768, since he does not appear on any list or other document in that county until after the 1768 court case for which he served as a juror. Like his older brother Daniel, Christopher appears on a 1770 personal property tax list (by James Hamilton) for the Vestal's Gap area in Virginia, but there is no evidence that he had purchased land there. Presumably he too was renting or leasing land or else living with a relative. It also seems clear that Christopher lingered in Loudoun County longer than his brothers did, in this instance until 1772 (the last year he was a tithable there). Knowing that Christopher Vineyard's in-laws remained in Virginia after most of the Starks had departed for Pennsylvania may help to explain this; indeed, Christopher may have remained in Virginia only until he could win Martha Vineyard's hand and marry her, after which the couple joined the other Stark family members already in Kentucky.

Fortunately, we know more about Christopher's movements in Kentucky than we do those of Daniel. Since it seems probable that the two brothers remained neighbors much of the time they were in Kentucky, we can extrapolate back to Daniel's specific movements a good deal of what we have learned from those of Christopher. Because Christopher Stark sold land in Nelson County in December 1785, we can postulate that he had arrived there at least a year or so before then. We cannot be sure where this land was located, but the purchaser (whom Christopher had to sue for payment) was later described as owning land on the east fork of Simpson Creek. In addition, both Stark brothers are listed on the 1785 tax list for this area, which is between Taylorsville and Bloomfield in present-day Spencer County. By 1786, though, Christopher Stark owned 150 acres on Froman's Creek, described as being on Rogers Run off Cox's Creek in Nelson County.69 He and his family (his daughter, our Sarah, would have been among them) continued to live in this county at least until 1794, when Christopher began appearing on the lists of David Cox and Joshua Hobbs (1786 through 1793). Christopher typically had two tithables and two horses, and his cattle ranged from twelve to fifteen in number. He gave consent to the marriage of a daughter on December 18, 1792.

About 1794, when he bought 300 acres on Elk Creek and then appeared on a Shelby County tax list, Christopher Stark must have in fact physically relocated to this new location; such a move would be consistent with our estimation about when his older brother Daniel moved to Shelby County. Christopher might have owned land on both sides of this creek, for he is shown with substantial additional purchases (of 250 acres and 220 acres) on Elk Creek through 1802. Then, on the same day, June 6, 1798, Christopher both sold 137 acres on Rogers Run (perhaps the property he had obtained during the late 1780s) and bought another 292 1/2 acres on Froman's Creek there. In these deeds he is described as being a resident of Shelby County. This document is especially useful information for us because, by not bearing the signature of Martha {Vineyard} Stark it probably indicates that she had died before June 6, 1798. In addition, it is worth noting that Abraham and Sarah Stark were married in Shelby County that same day – more than likely "court day" in Shelby County that month.

Christopher Stark probably moved to Henry County mid-1800, as his older brother did, though he evidently hung onto some of the land he owned in Shelby County. But it appears that Christopher also bought additional property now in Henry County, where the tax lists for 1801 through 1808 show him first with 200 acres (1801 and 1802) then with 100 acres (1803 through 1806), and finally with 197 acres (1807 and 1808). We do not know where this property was located. Christopher Stark died . We do not know where this property was located. Christopher Stark died – presumably at his home in Henry County – sometime after November 19, 1807, when he deeded his land and other possessions.70

Regrettably there are no Kentucky censuses in 1790 and 1800 to supplement what we have gleaned from these Kentucky land and tax records, and in fact we know little more about the lives of Daniel and Christopher Stark and their families during their Kentucky years. We can presume that both families were members of two Baptist churches in the areas where they lived, one at Cox's Creek and another at Elk Creek.71 The pastor at the latter church was a man named Joshua Carman, whose names some of the Starks used for their own children. Carman was a determined opponent of slavery, which would support the idea that the Starks moved to Kentucky – and, soon, on to the free state of Indiana – at least in part because they were not in favor of slavery.

With that comment we leave behind Daniel and Christopher Stark and their children, Abraham and Sarah, and move back in time a generation to the antecedents of all four of them and follow this trail wherever it leads us.

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rev. 6/19/12


1The Chastain family, only mentioned in passing in this chapter, is discussed in detail in a later chapter; refer to a footnote there for an explanation of this surname.

2See the USGS map for Jasonville/Indiana for the location of this cemetery and slide 11957 for a view of Peter Chastain's grave marker in 2006. Peter Chastain signed his own name to the five applications for the purchase of public land that are referred to here, so evidently he had had some education. Return to text

3The dowry rights that Rebecca released (to Henry C. Smock, whose wife was Rebecca's distant Stark relative) were for the following properties: the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 17, Township 9 North, Range 7 West (40 acres) and then, later, the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 18, Township 9 North, Range 7 West (40 acres). See slides 11954 and 11955 for 2006 views of this portion of the Chastain property. See Appendix II for a description of how public lands were surveyed and sold by the United States government. Return to text

4A later census entry for Peter and Rebecca Chastain's daughter, who was born in 1817, says that she was born in Kentucky. If the Hardin County grant (150 acres on the Green River) was to our Peter Chastain, we should wonder why he did not remain on it. Was the claim later disallowed, after which he and his family went on to unsettled land in Indiana? Did they run short of funds and decide to start over in that new state? Did they oppose slavery and elect to live in what would become free territory? Although the grant neatly solves the problem of where Peter and Rebecca were living from 1816 and 1819, in my opinion the weight of the evidence argues against this solution. Return to text

5It should be said, though, that some of the census sheets are very faint, and so Peter and Rebecca might have been living in Henry County that year. There is no Peter Chastain in the published census indexes for either Indiana or Illinois in 1820. I also checked every male named Peter in Henry County and in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1820.

6Only one Chastain in Indiana, Vallantine Chasteen in Scott County, had an extra couple in his household, but there was no female under ten years of age (the age bracket our Sarah would have been in in 1820) also living there, either. Return to text

7In 1830 there was a George Shatteen living in Henry County, Kentucky, who was almost certainly Peter's father of that name. He was the right age, but the oldest male living in George's household was too young (only twenty to thirty years old) to have been our Peter, who was thirty-four years old that year. There was also an extra female the right age to have been Rebecca (twenty to thirty years old), but here too there was no female in the age category to have been their daughter Sarah, who was about ten years of age in 1830. It seems doubtful to me, therefore, that Peter and his family were living with his father in Kentucky in that year. I also checked every male named Peter in Edgar County, Illinois; in Jefferson County, Indiana; and in Scott County, Indiana, without finding a Peter Chastain. Return to text

8Peter and Rebecca's purchase was the northeast 160 acres of Section 8, Township 3 North, Range 8 East; he received a patent for this land (for which he and Rebecca paid $200) on July 28, 1823. They sold this land on September 25, 1830; Peter signed the indenture and Rebecca made her mark. This property is on the Scott County side of the boundary separating that county and Jefferson County. Although the land was on the tract book for the Scott County, Peter seems to have been on the tax rolls in Jefferson County, which suggests that Peter Chastain and his family lived in the latter county. See slide 12079 (taken in 2006). See also the USGS map for Blocher/Indiana for its location and for that of the Scaffold Lick Baptist Church; see slide 12078 for a 2006 view of this church. The precise location of the East Fork Baptist Church in Henry County, Kentucky, is uncertain but it must have been somewhere near the area shown in sides 12887-90, taken in 2008. Return to text

9Peter purchased two 80-acre half-quarters on October 16, 1830. He paid $200 for the land and received his patents on June 6, 1831, but then sold the 160 acres in Illinois in two parcels on July 19 and August 8, 1831. The Illinois land was Lot 1 in the northeast quarter of Section 6, Township 14 North, Range 11 West and the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 12 in Township 14 North, Range 12 West. See slides 11951 and 11952, respectively, for 2006 views of these two properties and the USGS map for Paris North/Illinois. Return to text

10Land records show that Peter Chastain received a patent for 80 acres here, in Section 19 of Township 2 North, Range 3 East (the east half of the northeast quarter) on March 9, 1831. See slide 12075 (2006) and the USGS map for Beck's Mill/Indiana. The cost of this land was $100.

11These properties were as follows, in chronological order: the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 9, Township 1 North, Range 2 East (80 acres); the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 14, Township 2 North, Range 2 East (80 acres) and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 15, Township 2 North, Range 2 East (40 acres); the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 14 (mistakenly described as Section 16 in the index to the database for public land sales), Township 2, Range 2 (80 acres); the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 15, Township 2 North, Range 2 East (40 acres); the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 15, Township 2 North, Range 2 East (40 acres); the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 14, Township 2 North, Range 2 East (80 acres); the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 14, Township 2 North, Range 2 West (40 acres); and, finally, portions of the southwest quarter of Section 11, Township 2 North, Range 2 West (100 acres in all). The properties in Section 9 above are shown in slides 12067 and 12068, taken in 2006. Return to text

12As we have seen, Peter Chastain bought land from his brother William on August 9, 1831, on the same day selling William his own land in Edgar County, Illinois. Peter Chastain entered the other half of the section he had purchased from William on March 22, 1839 (the northwest quarter of Section 9, Township 1 North, Range 2 East). He received his patent for it on April 10, 1843, having paid $100 for the land. See the USGS map for Livonia/Indiana for the location of this land.

13The Sinking Baptist Church can be found on the USGS map for Livonia/Indiana and slide 12069, taken in 2006. See a later footnote in this chapter for the Union Baptist Church.

14The only sale I could find for Peter Chastain in Washington County, Indiana, was for the northwest quarter of Section 9, Township 1 North, Range 2 East (on July 8, 1848), which supports the idea he may have held onto the remainder of his acreage there for rental purposes. Peter Chastain's purchases in Clay County, Indiana (all in Township 9 North, Range 7 West), were as follows: the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 17 (October 29, 1847); the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 18 (October 30, 1847); the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 17 (March 13, 1848); the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 17 (same date); and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 19 (same date). The total was 200 acres. See the USGS map for Jasonville/Indiana and slides 11954-56 for representative views of these properties in 2006. On January 7, 1850, Peter Chastain added another portion of Section 19 to his original property; this was the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter, which was 40.22 acres. Return to text

15The 1850 census states that Peter had $1,200 in real property.

16Two submissions to the LDS show that the Elihu Puckett referred to married a woman named Rebecca, but they differ on the family name of this Rebecca – a sign, I think, that these submissions have been based on guesswork and not actual evidence. It is also possible that this man's wife, deceased in 1860, just happened to have been the same age as our Rebecca {Stark} Chastain was in 1860. Like virtually every other woman in this part of Clay County, Rebecca Puckett is described as a weaver on the 1860 census; see the discussion of this topic in the footnotes for a previous chapter. Return to text

17Stout presumably lived in the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 6, property that his father had patented. This property is in fact the northwest corner of Clay County. See digital images 01362 and 001363 for its appearance in 2012. Return to text

18Some members have spelled this family name Starke, Starks, or even Start.

19Sometimes this date is said to have been March 14, 1779. Her grave marker, a modern replacement, states that she was 72 years and 8 days old at her death on April 1, 1851, which agrees with the date of March 23.

20One account states that Abraham's original grave marker said that he was 75 years, 11 months, and 13 days old at his death on February 3, 1857, whereas another account says he was 75 years, 11 months, and 19 days old then. The original marker is now unreadable, but a modern replacement gives the latter count of years, months, and days and states that he lived from February 14, 1781, until February 3, 1857. Return to text

21Catfish Camp was located on Catfish Creek, which is in the central part of Washington County, Pennsylvania. See the USGS maps for Washington East/Pennsylvania and Washington West/Pennsylvania. This creek does not run within Amwell Township today. The name Catfish comes from that of an Indian chief whose camp was on the creek when settlers arrived. The name Amwell may reflect the origins of the original settlers, perhaps including members of our Stark family: there is an Amwell Valley in western New Jersey (in Hunterdon County), and Amwell was the name of a New Jersey township formed in 1708. Presumably it was much larger until other townships were carved out of it. As we will see in a later chapter, the Starks lived in Amwell Township in New Jersey. New Jersey settlers of western Pennsylvania, perhaps including the Starks, may have named the township there after the one they had left in New Jersey. (The Starks had made an intermediate stop in Virginia.) Histories of Washington County, Pennsylvania, mention a Jersey Settlement composed of families from Morris County, New Jersey, who arrived in 1778. As we shall see in a later chapter, the Starks lived near Morris County for a time, and in Pennsylvania their land was very close to that of members of the Jersey Settlement. All this illustrates how groups of families migrated together from one place to another.Return to text

22The officer under whom Abraham Stark's father served in the militia lived in the area of Lone Pine, a place popular among the Virginians; it seems likely that the Starks lived nearby. Return to text

23Bedford County was created from Cumberland County in 1771 and Westmoreland County was created from Bedford County in 1773. Washington County was created out of Westmoreland County in 1781. When the Starks arrived in this area, it was Virginia's short-lived Yohogania County. Once the Virginia-Pennsylvania dispute was settled, the area became the following Pennsylvania counties: Washington County, Greene County, Allegheny County (part), and Beaver County (part). In addition, it appears that the original scope of Washington County, Pennsylvania, included some of the area that became the panhandle of Virginia but after 1863 was made a part of West Virginia. Return to text

24Ironically, some other Starks – rather distantly related – were living in a second area that Pennsylvania was disputing with another colony, in this instance Connecticut: the Wyoming Valley (now part of Pennsylvania). Return to text

25The most dramatic event in the Whiskey Rebellion took place not far from our old Bower Hill neighborhood in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Return to text

26May 29, 1798, was the date of the marriage bond; June 6 was the date of the minister's return. Return to text

27See the USGS map for Ballardsville/Kentucky for the location of this church and slide 12886 (2008) for a view of the newer structure that sits upon the same site. Return to text

28One source states that Abraham began his ministry in Indiana in 1815, but the evidence indicates he had already been present in Indiana at least a half-dozen years before then.

29One researcher states that Abraham Stark built the first house on Beargrass Creek in Louisville, but this is improbable because that area had begun to be settled about the time Abraham was born. Return to text

30The Union Baptist Church was located in Vernon Township of Washington County. The building was situated on the southwestern part of the present cemetery, which is in the northwest quarter of Section 23, Township 2 North, Range 2 East. The church went into decline during the middle of the 19th century and seems to have gone out of existence about 1864. This Union Church is not to be confused with the later Old Union Church, formally known as the Lost River Primitive Baptist Church, which began its existence during the 1870s. The Old Union Church and its cemetery are off State Route 337. See the directions in my Stark file and the USGS map for Livonia/Indiana. Return to text

31The documents describing this sale, and various authorizations and attestations by clerks and others, are glued and bundled together in the land sale files at the National Archives. McGrew had surrendered the rights to his down payment of $80 in return for extended credit to the remaining 240 acres of the quarter section he wanted to purchase. Return to text

32See slide 12073 (2006) and the USGS map for Livonia/Indiana for the location of Abraham Stark's property, which was the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 14, Township 2 North, Range 2 East. Some of Abraham Stark's land in Section 14 was later acquired by Peter Chastain. Return to text

33Townships are not identified on the 1830 census. I determined the Starks' residence by seeing what townships their 1830 neighbors were living in ten years later, when townships are shown on the census. Return to text

34The Second Prairie Creek Baptist church no longer exists, though as of 2006 there was another church (The Lighthouse of the Lamb of God) on the site, Cutsinger Drive and Sullivan Place just west of Pimento, Indiana. The original building stood in the center of what is still called the Second Prairie Creek Church Cemetery. See slide 11969, taken in 2006, for a view of this church and its cemetery. Abraham Stark's land in Vigo County was the south half of the east half of the northeast quarter of Section 19, Township 10 North, Range 8 West (40 acres) and the south half of the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 20, Township 10 North, Range 8 West (also 40 acres). See the USGS map for Pimento/Indiana. There is no evidence Abraham Stark ever patented public land in Vigo County.

35See the USGS map for Pimento/Indiana for the location of this church and slide 11966, taken in 2006, for its approximate location. The original church evidently sat at the north end of the present cemetery. Return to text

36Formed in 1821, the Little Flock Church was the first church in Sullivan County, Indiana – and one of the earliest Protestant churches in all of Indiana. It drew principally from the area around Caledonia and what would become the town of Sullivan two decades later. The church building itself, located a mile southwest of Shelburn, was built about 1826 and razed in 1862 when the congregation joined with another one in Shelburn. The Little Flock Church was located near the border of Hamilton Township and Curry Township in the northeastern corner of Section 4, Township 8 North, Range 9 West in Hamilton Township; a cemetery still exists at the site, but the church building itself has disappeared. See digital image 01367 (2012) for the site where the church building once stood. Abraham Stark's purchase in February 1835 was the west third of the northeast quarter of Section 18, Township 10 North, Range 8 West (53.33 acres); he sold it in March 1837. See the USGS map for Shelburn/Indiana. Abraham Stark also helped to organize the Good Hope Primitive Baptist Church near Westfield, Illinois, in 1832. This church was in Clark County, Illinois, which adjoins Vigo County, Indiana. Return to text

37The Friendly Grove Church was first built about 1839 on property owned by Joseph Chambers (perhaps in Section 6 of Township 9 North, Range 7 West), but this site was abandoned and a new structure was built about a mile and one half southeast of there. The latter, constructed during the early 1840s, was a unique building: it was a log structure with twelve corners (for the Apostles) and an unusual interior partitioning system. It was replaced in 1858. Several of our family members are buried in the Friendly Grove Cemetery, which is located in the center of Section 8, Township 9 North, Range 7 West; this is in Lewis Township in Clay County. (See the USGS map for Jasonville/Indiana and slide 11961 for a 2006 view of the church and part of its cemetery.) The Mt. Pleasant Church was probably the one located in the northeastern corner of Jackson Township, Sullivan County, that had been organized in 1844. It was situated in the center of Section 11. The building was later moved to Vigo County, where it became a dwelling. See the USGS map for Hymera/Indiana and slides 11983-84, taken in 2006, for the original site of this church. Return to text

38Abraham Stark's Clay County purchase in February 1844 was the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 19, Township 9 North, Range 7 West (40 acres). An Abraham Stark bought land in Scott County, Indiana, in 1838, but this county – to the east of Washington County – is far from where Abraham and Sarah were living in that year. The purchaser must have been another man of that name, possibly the Starks' own son named Abraham. Return to text

39The 1840 census seems to show (the marks are faint) that one member of Abraham and Sarah Stark's household that year was blind. But a closer look at the actual sheets reveals that (unless this part of Clay County had a phenomenally large population of sightless people) the apparent mark in the "blind" column for their household (and so many others) was probably ink from a mark on the reverse side of this sheet that bled through the paper of the original form before it was microfilmed.

40Sarah Stark is described as having been unable to read and write in 1850. A land ownership atlas for Vigo County in 1858 (see the copy in my files) shows several pieces of land in Pierson Township owned by an S. Stark. These must have belonged to a son, however, because our Sarah had died by 1858. Return to text

41According to one Stark researcher, the grave marker is in error and the church records that give his date of death as 1856 are correct; I am not convinced of this.

42The original, badly deteriorated, grave markers for both Abraham and Sarah Stark remain, but newer ones have been added. See slides 11959 and 11960 for views of these grave markers in 2006. Another cholera pandemic swept through Sullivan County in 1851, and it is possible that this disease caused the death of Sarah Stark. Return to text

43Elizabeth Wells may have had a middle name beginning with "E", as this initial is on two deeds she signed in Kentucky. It is more likely her written mark in lieu of a signature.

44One must be alert for possible confusion with another family of Starks that originated in Virginia. This family stems from a James Stark who went from Scotland to Virginia and died in Stafford County, Virginia, in 1754. The two families were intermingled, both in geography and in the records. Return to text

45This Wells family produced the famous William Wells who was captured and raised by Indians, later became a scout for General Anthony Wayne, and was killed by Indians in the massacre at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) in 1812 while bravely trying to lead the garrison to safety. One respected Stark researcher has argued that Elizabeth Wells was the sister of David and Alexander Wells, who traveled to Kentucky from Pennsylvania with the Starks, but I have seen no documentary evidence to support this. Return to text

46See slides 10071 and 10072 for 2002 views of the New Britain Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. See slides 10077 and 10078 for 2002 views of the current Catoctin Baptist Church building, erected on the same site as the original structure of the 1700s. Return to text

47The fact that two men named Wells lived near Abraham and Sarah Stark in Vigo County, Indiana, in 1820 supports the idea that his mother's name was Wells. Though of course Wells is a fairly common family name, these men appear to have been members of the same Wells line as Jacob Wells. In addition, it is striking that Abraham Stark performed marriages for many of the descendants of Jacob Wells in Kentucky and Indiana, and that so many of the Wells descendants were Primitive Baptists, as was Abraham. All in all, there is an impressive body of circumstantial evidence that the offspring of Daniel Stark and of Jacob Wells remained closely connected in later years. Return to text

48Edmond Linton had children from his own first marriage, to a woman with the surname of Shirley, but their daughter Elizabeth is thought to have married a man named Pierce. Return to text

49Jacob Smith was the son of Obadiah and Mary {Cocke} Smith. Obadiah's line goes back through John and Hannah {Daft} Smith, Roger and Jane {Pierce} Smith, Roger Smith, and John Smith of Nibley in Gloucestershire, England. See my files for some basic research on these two families. Mary's line goes back through William Cocke and a woman named Flowers to Richard and Mary {Aston} Cocke to John and Elizabeth {Wallfurlong} Cocke to Thomas and Agnes Cocke of Stottesdon, Shropshire, England. Obadiah Smith lived on Bull Run in Stafford County, Virginia, as early as 1724. His son Jacob was born about 1709, probably in Henrico County, Virginia, where Obadiah owned property. Hester Smallwood was the daughter of Prior Smallwood (who died between February 23, 1732/3 and March 29, 1734) and Elizabeth Stone, the widow of Peter McMillion. Prior's parents were James and Hester {Evans} Smallwood, who lived in Charles County, Maryland, from the 1660s (when they arrived in America from England) until the early 1700s. James Smallwood held high military and civil posts in Maryland. Prior had moved across the Potomac River to Virginia by the early 1720s but died during the early 1730s. Elizabeth Stone was the daughter of John and Elinor {Bayne} Stone. John's parents, William and Verlinda {Graves} Stone, arrived in Maryland from England by way of Massachusetts. The Stone and Graves lines are long ones. As far as we can determine, Hester married Jacob Smith during the early 1730s. After he died, about 1749, she almost immediately married Edmund Linton. After Linton died, in 1759, Hester married Wayman Sinkler the next year. After Sinkler died, about 1763, the three-time widow married Thomas William Wells in 1764. Hester is thought to have migrated to South Carolina after Wells died, about 1768. Edmund and Hester Linton, who evidently ran an inn in Loudoun County, Virginia, were accused of being "persons of vile character and harborers and entertainers of rogues and horse stealers." Return to text

50This name was sometimes spelled Lacock. Many Stark researchers believe that Sarah's family name was Larkin, but I think the (mostly circumstantial) evidence is stronger that it was Laycock. Return to text

51Camp Charlotte was located in the southwest quarter of Section 12, Range 21, of Pickaway Township, Pickaway County. This site is approximately where Ohio Route 56 crosses Scippo Creek southeast of Circleville. See slide 13000 (2008), which depicts the location of Camp Charlotte. Logan's statement at this time, as he was facing defeat by Dunmore's militia, is a well-known piece of Indian oratory, often called "Logan's Lament." It goes as follows, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia: "I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat: if ever he came cold and naked, and he cloathed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war [the French and Indian War] Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, ´Logan is the friend of white man.´ I have even thought to live with you, but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This has called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance: for my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? – No one." Might the Stark brothers have heard Logan speak? Colonel William Crawford, under whom the Starks served, would in 1782 become the victim of one of the most publicized instances of Indian cruelty to a captive. His Delaware captors tied him to a pole, systematically tortured him with fire, and physically mutilated him before he finally died. Return to text

52The commander under whom the Stark brothers served in 1775 was again Captain Joseph Mitchell. Return to text

53Fallowfield Township is on the eastern edge of Washington County, adjoining the Monongahela River near Redstone Old Fort on the east and Amwell Township on the west. I have not found a deed to confirm that James Stark owned the 140 acres referred to in the text. The 1783 tax rolls show Daniel Stark had two horses, two cattle, and three sheep; Christopher had the same number of horses and cattle but no sheep. William Wood's property (which was in Somerset Township) was west of Pigeon Creek on Sugar Camp Run; judging from details in a deed, the property of James Stark (something over 393 acres) adjoined it on the west. See slides 12680 and 12681-83, respectively, for views in 2007 of Pigeon Creek and the property evidently owned by James Stark. Return to text

54This reference is rather vague, but the mouth of Buffalo Creek (where it empties into Beech Fork) can be found on the USGS map for Cravens/Kentucky. See the discussion later in the text regarding Christopher Stark's property. This area is just west of Bardstown, Kentucky, and Rogers Station was here. See slides 12900-01 for view of Rogers Station in 2008. Return to text

55In 1786, Daniel was accused of concealing two taxable sons from the authorities. (This suggests that he might have successfully evaded taxation in Pennsylvania.) Return to text

56See the USGS maps for Taylorsville/Kentucky and Waterford/Kentucky for the Elk Creek area and slides 12914-16 for the views of this area in 2008. It is now in Spencer County. Return to text

57The 61 acres sold in 1812 was part of the northeast quarter of Section 15, Township 1 North, Range 9 East. (See slide 12080 for a 2006 view of this property.) The only Daniel Stark in Kentucky in 1810 was living in Bullitt County, just southwest of Henry County, but he was the wrong age to have been our Daniel Stark: he was only twenty-six to forty-five years old, and we believe Abraham's father was born during the 1740s. Our Abraham Stark witnessed the 1810 deed mentioned in the text. Return to text

58Daniel was the second son, Christopher the third or fourth son.

59Some Stark researchers believe that Martha's middle name was Margaret. Return to text

60Even though the Vineyard spelling was not always used by and for this family, I have chosen to retain it consistently for clarity. The original name may actually have been Weinart, and so (Palatine) German. It seems possible that the name was French Huguenot in origin if it was not German.

61Other researchers show the date as 1737. I have not seen this grave marker. Return to text

62The Pennsylvania legislature adopted a statute declaring such actions treason on December 3, 1782. Return to text

63The area into which squatters went, the famous Seven Ranges of Ohio, was the very first land to be surveyed under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance, though the system employed in Ohio had to be revised before it was applied in other new states. Settlers were found in this area as early as 1786. When the surveyors came, the army had to accompany them in order to force these squatters out. Without authority, the settlers had persuaded the Indians to "cede" the land to them, but this did the Indians no good when the surveyors and troops came. Return to text

64Redstone Old Fort got its name because it was built on what remained of an ancient Indian fortification. Return to text

65Vineyard researchers state that the family lived in Clear Creek Township, Deerfield Township, and Utica Township in Warren County, and census information supports this.

66Graves and markers at the Deerfield Cemetery, located in South Lebanon, were moved there from the original location in the Danberry Burial Grounds. See slide 12999 for an overview of the Deerfield Cemetery with its perfectly aligned rows of relocated graves and their markers – perhaps including that of Francis Vineyard, though there is nothing to show which of the grave sites is his. I have been unable to identify the location of the Danberry Burial Grounds. Return to text

67A George Vineyard is said to have died in this area of Virginia in 1758, but I have seen no documentation to support this statement.

68Other early references to Vineyards are scant. An Abraham Vineyard was transported to America in 1753, and an Elizabeth Vineyard was in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1720-21. Return to text

69See the USGS maps for Bardstown/Kentucky, Fairfield/Kentucky, and Samuels/Kentucky for this area. Also see slides 12903-09 for Rogers Run, Cox's Creek, and (probably) Froman's Creek. These slides were taken in 2008. Return to text

70Abraham Stark was one of those proving Christopher Stark's November 1807 will, but he did not do so until May 18, 1812. Benjamin Stark, who also proved the will, did so on November 1, 1810, however, which may indicate that Christopher died late in 1810 - unless Benjamin was nearly as tardy in proving the will as Abraham Stark was. Return to text

71The two Baptist churches, Cox's Creek and Elk Creek, have newer buildings, but these structures were built on the sites of the original ones. See slides 12902 and 12912-13, respectively. These slides were taken in 2008. Return to text

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