Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jacob and Anna

Born September 16, 1826,[1] Jacob Waggoner was one of the fourth generation of descendants from a German immigrant named Adam Waggoner (#1) who had settled on the New River in Virginia in 1769.[2] Adam was a contemporary of Henry Harman, Sr. and his brothers. Although frontier struggles and Indian wars were past history by the time Jacob was born, life was not easy for Adam’s great-grandson. Jacob’s father, Elias Waggoner, died in 1832[3] when Jacob, the middle son of three, was just six years old. His mother, Arminta (Nicewander) Waggoner, married a second time in 1836 to Tillman Crockett,[4] and bore two more children. By 1840, Tillman had died and Arminta was once again left to fend for herself and her children.[5] Her home was adjacent to her father’s land in Tazewell County,[6] so she very likely had support from family members. From a young age, Jacob and his brothers, like most children in those days, helped with the farming. In 1850, Arminta and her three adult Waggoner sons, David, Jacob, and Adam E., and two younger Crockett children, Betsy and Daniel, farmed land they owned in Tazewell County, which was worth $135.00,[7] not much even then. The land in the area was, and still is. rocky and difficult to till.

A young Jacob Waggoner, c. 1850.

Despite disadvantages, Jacob seems to have developed a risk taking spirit and a sense of responsibility for his community as evidenced by records he left behind. I’ve separated his records into two time periods: those he made while married to his first wife, Anna Harman, and those he made while married to his second wife, Fanny Kirby. This week's blog covers his marriage to Anna.


In 1853, Jacob married Anna F. Harman, daughter of Henry and Famy (Brown) Harman.

Jacob and Anna. c. 1853. Anna’s face is barely discernible, but it’s interesting to note that her hair is done in the style of the day, rather than hanging loosely on her shoulders, as in photo in last week's blog. Most adult women of that day did not go out in public with their hair on their shoulders. Also, her hands appear to be big and work worn, though she is only 19. Is she showing off the ring on her left hand? They appear to be wearing the same clothes as in the other photo. Both pictures were likely taken at the time they were married.

In 1858, Jacob and his father-in-law, Henry Harman, were administrators of the estate of Henry’s mother, Mary Polly (Dunn) Harman and the sale of her personal property,[8] and of the estate of Henry’s father Mathias Harman regarding the sale of four slaves: two men named Pompey (father and son, perhaps?) a girl named Pauline, and woman named Bets and her child who sold as a unit; they were purchased by several of the Harman neighbors.[9]

In 1860, Jacob and Ann were living in Wythe County with four children: Elias, age 5; Eli, age 3; George, age 2; and Alice, age six months. Two additional people live in the household: Daniel Crockett, Jacob’s half-brother, age 18, laborer, and Ellen Cameron, age 13, serving. Jacob owned his farm valued at $2,300.00, and his personal property was valued at $1,000.00.[10] They seemed to be doing well enough.

The Civil War dramatically affected Jacob and Anna, as it did many of their family members  and friends. Anna’s brother George was killed, her brother-in-law, William Bates, died of disease in camp, and her brother-in-law, Andrew J. Hubble, suffered in a prison camp in Ohio for several months. Jacob served in at least three capacities during the war.  (This was detailed in a previous blog.) On 6  September 1861, Jacob received a commission from Virginia Governor John Letcher to serve as a First Lieutenant in the 198th Regiment of the 25th Brigade and Fifth Division of the Virginia Militia.[11]  He also served as a Private in the 135th Regiment, Virginia Militia.[12] Later, he joined Company F, 8th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, 1 October 1863 – 1 October 1864, signing with his brother-in-law, Captain Hezekiah Harman. He apparently deserted on 1 September 1864.[13]

The family story goes that Jacob contracted an illness during the war. As a result of ineffective treatments he received from military doctors, he began to study medicine and home remedies to treat himself. As a result of knowledge he gained through his research, he began to treat ailing friends and neighbors and became known as a “country doctor.”[14] To give some credence to that story, his name appears twice in a county business directory of Bland County, once among a list of physicians and once among a list of “Principal Farmers” at Point Pleasant.[15]

The war was devastating for Southerners. Nonetheless, after it ended, the people of Bland County worked to restore their communities and their family lives. Jacob Waggoner, Elias Repass, and Felix Buck, acting as Trustees, joined forces with Robert and Margaret Doak for the purpose of building a church and school. On 4 November 1867, Mr. and Mrs. Doak sold an acre of land to the Trustees for the price of $1.00, with stipulations that it be used for educational and spiritual edification.[16] It’s important to note that Jacob Waggoner acted as Justice of the Peace in certifying this transaction.

By 1870, Jacob and Anna had eight children: Elias H, age 16; Eli Pierce, age 14; George W., age 13; Missouri A., age 10; Hezekiah H., age 8; Ardelia Ibbie, age 7; Amanda V., age 3; and Willis Grant, age 1. A domestic servant named Fanny Kirby, age 21,[17] was also living in the home, likely helping Anna with the children and the housework.

The land for the church and school was only the beginning of several land transactions and other court records left behind by Jacob Waggoner. In February 1871, Jacob purchased approximately 197 acres of land in Bland County on Walker Mountain, property on which he already lived, from William H. and Sophia Sprinkle and Hezekiah and Polly Sprinkle. The selling price was $600.00 of which he paid half at that time and the other half was due 1 January 1872.[18] 

Just a few days after purchasing this land, Anna died on 9 March 1871[19] after giving birth to her ninth child, William. About six months later on 24 September 1871, little William also died.[20] Their burial place is unknown.

[1] Thomas C. Hatcher and Nancy Nash, The Adam Waggoner Family of Tazewell and Montgomery Counties  Virginia, 1750-1996 (np: np, 1996), 32. This book is digitized in full on It is not well sourced, and in fact does contain several errors regarding Anna Harman Waggoner’s children, but the Appendixes includes copies of several original sources. Of special interest are a copy of Adam Waggoner’s will, which names all of his children, of George Waggoner’s will (father of Elias), and of an excerpt from Mary Kegley’s and F. B. Kegley’s well documented book Early Adventures on the Western Waters, Vol. II, about Adam Waggoner and his life in Virginia:
[2] Mary B. Kegley and F. B. Kegley, Early Adventures on the Western Waters, Vol. 1: The New River of Virginia in Pioneer Days, 1745-1800 (Orange, Virginia: Green Publishers, Inc., 1980), 42.
[3] Hatcher and Nash, The Adam Waggoner Family, 14.
[4] U. S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, database ( : accessed 24 May 2014), Tilman Crockett and Arminta Wagner, 1836.
[5] 1840 U. S. census, Tazewell County, Virginia, no township, p. 7 (penned), line 12, Arminta Crockett household; digital image ( : accessed 24 May 2014); NARA microfilm publication M704, roll 579.
[6] 1840 U. S. census, Tazewell County, Virginia, no township, p. 7 (penned), line 11, David Nicewander household; digital image ( : accessed 24 May 2014); NARA microfilm publication M704, roll 579.
[7] 1850 U. S. census, Western District, Tazewell County, Virginia, population schedule, p. 101 (penned), dwelling 182, family 182, Armenta Crocket household; digital image, ( : accessed 24 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M432, roll 979.
[8] Smyth County, Virginia, Will Book 3:160-162, Mary Harmon, 1858; County Clerk’s Office, Marion.
[9] Smyth County, Virginia, Will Book 3:162, sale of slaves of Mathias Harmon: County Clerk’s Office, Marion.
[10] 1860 U. S. census, District 58, Wythe Co., Va., pop. sched., p. 52, Jacob Wagoner.
[11] “The Commonwealth of Virginia, to Jacob Waggoner,” Holston Pastfinder, 18 (March 1987): 47.
[12] U. S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, database ( : accessed 12 May 2014), Jacob Waggoner.
[13] Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia, image database Fold3 ( : accessed 12 May 2014), Eighth Cavalry, Jacob Waggoner; NARA M324, roll 0086. 
[14] Heritage of Smyth County, Virginia, 1832-1997 (Waynesville, North Carolina: Don Mills, Incorporated, 1997), p. 176.
[15] Chataigne's Virginia Gazetteer and Classified Business Directory, 1888 – 1889, database New River Notes ( : accessed 12 May 2014); Bland County: Physicians, Jacob A. Waggoner; Principal Farmers, Point Pleasant, J.A. Waggoner. Note: this is the only source found to date that includes the middle initial A. for Jacob Waggoner.
[16] Bland County, Virginia, Deed Book 1: 296-97, Robert and Margaret Doak to Elias Repass, Felix Buck, and Jacob Waggoner, Trustees, 4 November 1867; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[17] 1870 U. S. census, Bland County, Virginia, population schedule, Sharon post office, p. 7 (penned), dwelling 47, family 47, Jacob Wagoner household; digital image, ( : accessed 12 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M593, roll 1636. 
[18] Bland County, Virginia, Deed Book 2: 151-52, Wm. H. and Sophia Sprinkle and Hezekiah and Polly Sprinkle to Jacob Waggoner, 17 February 1870; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[19] Virginia Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917, Anna Waggoner, database ( : accessed 12 May 2014).
[20] Virginia Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917, Wm. J. Wagoner.

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