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Upper New River Valley Ethnicity

by Jeff Weaver

[Note: This report is a part of an unfinished project by Jeff Weaver. The information is incomplete and may contain errors. We invite anyone to study this topic in more detail and provide a more complete analysis of the ethnicity of the early settlers of this region.]

Who they were has continued to be a source of controversy and discussion. The following chart gives information for these settlers as far as is known. This chart is based on the family names present in the Upper New River Valley in 1850, by which time all in-migration had virtually ended. You will note that many of the family names listed are no longer present in the Upper New River Valley. Out migration did not end, and continues to this day. As a result, the gene pool for the Upper New River Valley has been limited, and nearly every one in the region is related, though it may be distantly, to everyone else. This fact has given rise to some unusual problems, which will be discussed more fully in the section on living and dying. The origins of the Upper New River Families are presented in the following table. The known American origins of 187 of these 615 families is presented in the summary table below: (Subject to revision as more information is gathered.)

American Origions of Families
REGION STATE # FAMILIES % from Region % from State
Canada Nova Scotia 1 0.50% 0.50%
New England Massachusetts 6   3.20%
New England Connecticut 2   1.10%
New England New York 6   3.20%
New England     7.50%  
Mid-Atlantic Pennsylvania 32   17.10%
Mid-Atlantic Maryland 16   8.60%
Mid-Atlantic New Jersey 9   4.80%
Mid-Atlantic Delaware 4   2.10%
Mid-Atlantic     32.60%  
The South Virginia 77   41.20%
The South North Carolina 30   16.00%
The South South Carolina 2   1.10%
The South Tennessee 2   1.10%
The South     59.40%  
Total   187   100%

Direct immigrants from foreign countries are included in the above totals, usually with either Virginia or North Carolina, which may slightly inflate their totals, as they truly had no American origins. Ethnic groups also found in the following table have been summarized below. Note some ethnic origins are known whether or not their American origins are known:

Direct Immigrant Families
British Isles England 103 49.50%
British Isles Wales 8 4.00%
British Isles Ireland 13 6.50%
British Isles Scotland 14 7.00%
British Isles Ulster 8 4.00%
British Isles     71.00%
Others Germany 36 17.90%
Others France 12 6.00%
Others Switzerland 3 1.50%
Others Africa 3 1.50%
Others Netherlands 4 2.00%
Total   204 100.00%

The following chart lists the family names found in the Upper New River Valley in 1850 and various known data about them. If a category is blank, the answer to that question is unknown to the author and others reviewing this work. A total of 421 family names were found on the 1850 Ashe County Census. A total of 356 families names were found on the 1850 Grayson County Census. Of 614 family names, 162 (26%) family surnames were found in both counties. It should be noted that not all people sharing a common surname are necessarily related, however, many of the families which “do not claim kin” are in fact, all connected at some distant historical point. The free African-Americans in 1850 were also in some cases related to the Europeans of similar names due to circumstances which are discussed in the section on the black residents of the Upper New River Valley.

Origins of the Upper New River Families
Family Name Number of Families
in 1850
U.S. Origin National Origin Present in 1890
Adams (A) (G) 2 MA England YES
Aker (G)        
Alexander (A) 6 MD Scotland YES
Alfred (A) 1      
Allen (A) 3 VA England YES
Allman (G)   PA Germany  
Anders (A)       YES
Anderson (A) (G)   NJ England/Netherlands YES
Andrews (G)   NC England YES
Anthony (G)   MA   NO
Arnold (A)       YES
Ashley (A)   VA/NC England YES
Atkins (G)        
Atwood (A)        
Austin (A) (G)   VA    
Ayers (G)        
Bagwell (G)        
Bailey (A)   PA England  
Baker (A) (G)   NC England YES
Baldwin (A) (G)   NC England YES
Ball (G)     England YES
Ballard (G)        
Ballou (A) (G)   VA France YES
Bangers (G)       NO
Banner (A)        
Barbour (G)        
Bare (A)   PA Germany YES
Barker (A)   VA England YES
Barr (A)   PA Germany YES
Bartlett (A) (G)        
Bartley (G)        
Barton (G)   PA England YES
Bass (A)       NO
Bauguess (A) (G)     Germany YES
Beak (A)        
Bean (G)        
Bedwell (G)        
Bencham (G)        
Bennett (A) (G)        
Biggs (A)        
Billings (A) (G)   SC England YES
Birney (A)   MD    
Bishop (A) (G)        
Black (A)   NC Scotland YES
Blackburn (A)   DE/NC Scotland YES
Bledsoe (A)       YES
Blevins (A) (G)   VA Wales YES
Bobbitt (G)        
Boggs (A)     England YES
Bolin (A)        
Bonham (G)   MA England YES
Bourn (G)   VA England YES
Bower (A)     Germany YES
Boyd (G)        
Boyer (G)   PA   YES
Bracins (A)        
Brannock (G)        
Branscomb (G)        
Bray (A) (G)        
Brewer (G)        
Brinegar (A)       YES
Brooks (A)   DE Wales YES
Brown (A) (G)   VA England YES
Bryan (A) (G)   VA Ireland YES
Bumgarner (A)     Germany YES
Burgess (A)       YES
Burke (G)   MD England  
Burkett (A)   PA Germany YES
Burress (G)        
Burton (G)   VA England YES
Busick (G)   MD Scotland YES
Byrd (G)   VA England YES
Calahan (G)     Ireland  
Caldwell (A) (G)     England YES
Calhoun (A)   DE England YES
Calloway (A) (G)   VA Cornwall YES
Campbell (A)     Scotland YES
Cannoy (G) (A)        
Canter (A)        
Carpenter (A)   NC Germany YES
Carr (G)   VA England  
Carrico (A) (G)   VA   YES
Carroll (A)        
Carson (G)   VA Ulster YES
Carter (G)   PA England YES
Cary (G)        
Catron (A) (G)   PA Alsace YES
Caudill (A)     Ulster YES
Cavinder (A)        
Chanier (A)        
Chapel (A)        
Cheek (A)       YES
Childers (A)       YES
Choate (A)   MD Wales YES
Church (A) (G)   NC England YES
Clark (A) (G)   NC England YES
Clements (G)        
Clodfelter (G)     Germany NO
Clymer (A) (G)   MD    
Cockerham (A)   VA England YES
Colbert (A)        
Coldiron (A)   PA Germany YES
Cole (A) (G)   MA England YES
Collier (G)        
Collins (A) (G)   PA England YES
Colvard (A)   VA England YES
Combs (A) (G)       YES
Comer (G)   Caroline Co., VA/PA England YES
Conri (A)   NC Ireland NO
Cook (A) (G)     England YES
Cooper (A) (G)   MD Ireland YES
Cornett (A) (G)   VA England YES
Coulson (G)        
Cox (A)   VA England YES
Cox (A) (G)   PA Ireland YES
Cress (G)   PA Germany NO
Crockett (G)        
Crouse (A) (G)     Germany YES
Currin (G)        
Dancy (A)       YES
Daniels (A) (G)        
Davenport (A) (G)        
Davis (A) (G)   NC England YES
Day (A)   VA England YES
DeBoard (A) (G)   VA France YES
DeFries (G)   VA France NO
DeJernette (A)   NC France NO
Delp (A) (G)       YES
Denham (G)     England NO
Dickenson (G)        
Dickey (G)        
Dickson (A)   PA Scotland YES
Dillard (A)       YES
Dixon (A) (G)     Scotland YES
Dolinger (G)   VA Germany YES
Dollar (A)       YES
Doss (G)        
Dougherty (A) (G)   NY Ireland YES
Doughten (A)        
Douglas (A)   VA England YES
Draughn (A)        
Duffy (G)        
Duncan (A) (G)        
Dunn (A) (G)   MD England NO
Durham (G)     England  
Duvall (A) (G)   VA France YES
Eastridge (A)       YES
Edds (G)        
Edwards (A) (G)   VA Wales/England YES
Eldreth (A)        
Eldridge (A)        
Eller (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Elliott (A) (G)        
Elrod (A)        
Ernest (A)   PA    
Estep (A)   MD   YES
Evans (A)     Wales YES
Faddis (A) (G)        
Fagg (G)     Ulster ?  
Faircloth (A) (G)        
Farmer (A) (G)   VA England YES
Farrington (A)     England YES
Faw (A)   PA Switzerland YES
Fender (A)       YES
Ferren (G)        
Fielder (G)   VA England YES
Fields (A) (G)   NC England YES
Findley (G)        
Fisher (A) (G)   PA Germany  
Flournoy (G)        
Forkner (G)        
Foster (A) (G)   VA England YES
Fowler (A)     England YES
Fowlkes (A)   VA England YES
Francis (A) (G)   MD Wales YES
Freeman (A)        
Freezeland (A)        
Frost (G)     England  
Fugate (A)        
Fulton (A) (G)        
Funk (G)        
Furcorner (A)       NO
Gaby (A)       NO
Gallion (G)        
Gambill (A) (G)   VA Scotland YES
Garber (A)        
Garrison (G)        
Garvey (A)        
Gentry (A) (G)   VA England YES
George (G)        
Gilham (A)        
Gilley (A)        
Glass (G)        
Glimps (A)        
Goins (A) (G)   NC Africa YES
Gooch (A)        
Goodman (A)   NC Netherlands YES
Goodson (G)        
Gortney (A)        
Goss (A)   VA   YES
Graham (A)   VA/PA Scotland YES
Graybeal (A)   PA Germany YES
Green (G)        
Greenwell (A)     Ulster ? NO
Greer (A) (G)   MD England YES
Griffith (A)     Wales NO
Grimes (A)   NC Africa YES
Grinton (A)        
Grogan (A)   NC   YES
Grubb (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Hackler (G)     Germany YES
Haga (G)       YES
Haines (A)        
Hale (A) (G)     England YES
Hall (A) (G)   PA England YES
Halsey (A) (G)   NY England YES
Ham (A) (G)     England YES
Hamilton (A)   NC England YES
Hampton (A) (G)     England YES
Handy (A)   NC England YES
Hangrave (G)       NO
Hanks (G)   VA England YES
Hardin (A)   VA France YES
Harless (A)   VA Germany YES
Harp (G)       NO
Harper (A)        
Harrington (G)   VA England YES
Harris (A) (G)   VA England YES
Harrison (G)   MD England YES
Hart (A) (G)   VA England YES
Hartwell (A)       NO
Hartzog (A)   PA Germany YES
Harville (G)       NO
Hash (A) (G)   NS France YES
Hawthorn (A)   NC Scotland NO
Havender (A)       NO
Hawkins (A) (G)       YES
Hawks (A) (G)       YES
Head (A)       NO
Henderson (G)       YES
Hendrick (G)        
Henly (A)        
Hensley (A) (G)        
Henson (A)       YES
Hicks (A)   VA England YES
Higgins (A) (G)   MA England YES
Hill (G)     England YES
Hines (G)        
Hint (G)        
Hodges (A) (G)       YES
Hodridge (G)        
Holbrook (A)   VA England YES
Holder (G)        
Holloway (A) (G)       YES
Hoover (A)        
Hoppers (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Horton (A)        
Houck (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Howard (G)   MD England YES
Howell (A) (G)   MD England YES
Hudgen (A)        
Hudler (A) (G)       YES
Hudson (A)        
Hughs (A)        
Hull (G)        
Hunt (G)        
Hurley (A)       YES
Hutchens (G)        
Ingram (A) (G)   VA England YES
Irwin (A)   PA England YES
Isom (G)       YES
Jacks (A)   PA England NO
Jackson (A) (G)        
James (G)       YES
Jarvice (A)       YES
Jenkins (A) (G)   NC England YES
Jennings (A) (G)     England YES
Johnson (A) (G)     England YES
Joines (A)       YES
Johnecy (A)        
Jones (G)   VA/NJ England YES
Joyner (G)     England YES
Keesler (G)        
Kelly (A)     Ireland  
Kessling (G)        
Ketchum (A)   MA England NO
Kidd (G)        
Kilby (G)   VA England YES
Killian (A)       YES
Kindrick (G)        
King (A) (G)   PA England YES
Kirby (A)       YES
Knight (A)        
Koontz (A)   VA Germany YES
Landreth (A) (G)   VA   YES
Lane (A) (G)     England YES
Larrowe (G)   VA France  
Latham (A)       YES
Lawrence (A) (G)     France YES
Lawson (A) (G)        
Laxton (A)        
Leak (A)        
Lee (A)     England  
Leeper (G)        
Leftwich (G)     England  
Leonard (G)        
Lewis (A) (G)   VA Wales YES
Ling (A)        
Little (A)   NC England YES
Livesay (G)   PA England YES
Logans (A)        
Long (A) (G)   MD England YES
Lovelace (A) (G)   TN    
Lowe (G)        
Loyal (A)        
Luallin (A)     Wales  
Lundy (G)   NJ    
Lyle(s) (A) (G)   YES    
Lyon (A) (G)   VA England YES
Mabe   VA England YES
Madron (A)        
Mahala (A)       YES
Main (A) (G)       YES
Mallory (G)        
Mann (G)        
Marion (A)        
Marland (A)       NO
Marsh (A)       YES
Marshall (G)        
Martin (A) (G)   VA England YES
Mash (A)       YES
Mathena (G)       YES
Maxwell (A)   NC Scotland YES
May (A)       YES
McBride (G)     Ulster YES
McCain (A)        
McCamant (G)   PA Ulster  
McCarroll (G)     Ulster  
McCarter (G)   NY Ulster  
McComas (A)     Ulster  
McGrady (A) (G)     Ulster YES
McGuire (A)     Ulster YES
McKenzie (G)        
McKnight (G)   VA Scotland YES
McMean (G)        
McMillan (A)   NC Scotland YES
McNeil (A)     Scotland YES
Mendenhall (G)        
Mikel (A)   PA Switzerland YES
Milam (A)       YES
Miles (G)        
Miller (A) (G)   NC/PA Germany YES
Mink (A) (G)       YES
Mitchell (A) (G)        
Monroe (G)        
Moore (G)   MD    
Moran (G)   VA   NO
Morgan (G)        
Morton (G)        
Moss (G)        
Moxley (A) (G)     Germany YES
Moyers (G)        
Mulkey (A)        
Mullins (A)     England YES
Mullis (A)        
Munchus (G)        
Mundy (G)        
Murchison (A)   VA England NO
Murphy (G)        
Murray (A) (G)        
Musgrove (A)        
Neal (A)        
Neaves (A)   VA England YES
Needham (A)     England NO
Nelson (A) (G)        
Nicholls (A)   VA   YES
Nip (A)       NO
Noblett (G)       YES
Norman (G)       YES
Norris (A)       YES
Northington (A)       NO
Nuckolls (G)   VA England YES
Nye (A)       NO
Oglesby (G)       YES
Oliver (A)     England YES
Osborn (A) (G)   NY/NJ/PA England YES
Owens (A)     Wales YES
Paisley (A) (G)     Scotland YES
Parish (A)        
Parker (A)     England YES
Parks (A) (G)     England YES
Parsons (A) (G)   NC England YES
Patrick (A)     Ireland YES
Patterson (G)        
Patton (G)   PA    
Paul (G)        
Peek (G)        
Pendergrass (A)        
Pendry (G)        
Pennington (A) (G)   PA England YES
Peppers (A)        
Perkey (G)   TN    
Perkins (A) (G)   CT England YES
Perry (A) (G)   NY England  
Phelps (G)     England  
Phillips (A) (G)   MD England  
Phipps (A) (G)   NC England YES
Phouts (Fouts) (A)   PA Germany  
Pickle (G)        
Pike (A)        
Pinnion (G)        
Pleasant (A)        
Plummer (A) (G)     England  
Poe (A) (G)   VA England YES
Poole (A) (G)        
Pope (A) (G)        
Poplin (A)        
Pore (G)        
Porter (A) (G)     England YES
Potter (A)     England YES
Powers (A)     England YES
Pratt (A)        
Price (A)        
Pritchet (A) (G)        
Privet (G)       NO
Pruit (A)        
Pugh (A) (G)   MD England YES
Quillen (G)        
Rankin (G)        
Ray (A)   VA Ulster YES
Rector (A) (G)   VA Germany YES
Reedy (A) (G)   PA Switzerland YES
Reeves (A) (G)   VA England YES
Reid (A)        
Revis (G)        
Reynolds (A)   MD Scotland YES
Rhodes (G)        
Rhudy (G)   PA    
Rhymer (G)        
Richardson (A) (G)   VA England YES
Riddle (A)     England YES
Rigsby (A)        
Riley (A) (G)        
Ring (G)        
Roark (A) (G)     Ireland YES
Robbins (A) (G)        
Roberson (A)        
Roberts (G)     England  
Robertson (G)        
Robinson (G)        
Roland (A)        
Rominger (A)     Germany NO
Roop (A)   PA Germany YES
Rose (A) (G)     England YES
Ross (A) (G)     England YES
Rosseau (A)     France YES
Roten (A) (G)   VA England YES
Rouse (G)   NY France  
Royal (A)   VA England YES
Russell (G)     England YES
Rutherford (A) (G)   PA Wales YES
Sage (G)   PA England YES
Sanders (A) (G)        
Sapp (A)   NJ England YES
Sawyers (A)     England YES
Sayers (G)        
Schooler (G)     Germany NO
Scott (A) (G)        
Seats (A)        
Sells (G)        
Senter (A) (G)   NC France YES
Setser (A)     Germany YES
Severt (A)   NC Germany YES
Sexton (A) (G)   VA England YES
Shaw (A) (G)        
Sheets (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Shelton (A)        
Shepherd (A) (G)   NC/VA England YES
Shuler (G)   PA Germany YES
Shupe (G)   PA Germany YES
Simcox (A) (G)   NJ    
Simmons (A)        
Sissle (A)       NO
Sizemore (A)   VA England YES
Sluder (A)     Germany YES
Smith (A) (G)       YES
Smitteal (A)        
Smoot (G)        
Snider (A)   PA Germany YES
Snow (G)        
South (A) (G)   NJ England YES
Sparks (A)   MD England YES
Spauldin (A)        
Spears (A)        
Spence (A) (G)   VA England NO
Spencer (A) (G)   VA England YES
Spivy (A)        
Spurling (A) (G)        
Stamper (A) (G)   VA England YES
Stanford (G)   MA England YES
Stanley (A)       YES
Starling (A)        
Steel (A)        
Steen (A)        
Stephens (A)        
Stidham (A)     England YES
Stike(leather) (A)   NC England YES
Stitt (A)     Ireland NO
Stone (G)        
Stoneman (G)        
Stoots (G)       YES
Stout (A)   PA Germany YES
Strange (G)        
Stringer (A) (G)        
Strunk (A)     Ulster NO
Stuart (A)   VA Scotland YES
Stump (G)       YES
Sturgill (A) (G)   VA England YES
Suit (G)       YES
Sullen (A)        
Sullivan (A)       YES
Surratt (G)        
Sutherland (A) (G)   VA Scotland YES
Swim (A)        
Swindle (A) (G)        
Swinny (G)        
Taffer (A)       NO
Taft (G)   MA   NO
Tallman (A)       NO
Tally (G)       NO
Tatum (A)   VA    
Taylor (A) (G)   VA/MD/SC England YES
Teague (A)        
Tedline (A)     Africa NO
Testerman (A) (G)     England YES
Thomas (A) (G)     England YES
Thompson (A) (G)   NJ England YES
Tilley (A)     England  
Tirey (A)   NC England NO
Todd (G)        
Toliver (A) (G)   VA England YES
Tomlinson (A)   CT England  
Tompkins (A)     England  
Treadway (A) (G)     England YES
Trent (G)        
Trimble (G)        
Trivet (A)       YES
Troy (G)       NO
Tucker (A) (G)   NC Germany YES
Turner (A)   MD England YES
Utzman (A)   VA Germany NO
Vannoy (A)   NJ Netherlands YES
Vanover (A) (G)   NJ Netherlands YES
Vaughn (G)     England YES
Vaught (G)   PA Germany YES
Waddell (A) (G)   VA England YES
Wade (G)        
Wagg (A)       YES
Waggoner (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Walker (A) (G)       YES
Wallace (A)       YES
Walters (A)       YES
Walton (A) (G)     England YES
Wampler (G)     Germany YES
Ward (A) (G)   VA England YES
Warden (A) (G)       YES
Warner (G)   VA England NO
Warren (A)        
Warrick (G)     England YES
Wate (A)       NO
Waters (A)   NC France YES
Watson (A)     England YES
Waugh (A) (G)   PA Germany YES
Wayman (A)        
Weaver (A) (G)   VA England YES
Weiss (G)     Germany YES
Welch (A)   VA England YES
Wells (G)        
West (G)     England YES
Wheeler (G)        
Whitaker (A)   MD England  
White (A) (G)   NC England  
Whitehead (A)     England  
Whitman (A)        
Whitt (A)       NO
Wiggins (A)        
Wilcox (A)   PA England YES
Wiles (A) (G)   DE England YES
Willen (A)   NC England NO
Williams (A) (G)   NJ England YES
Willis (G)        
Willy (A)   PA    
Wilson (A) (G)     England  
Winesett (G)       NO
Wingate (G)        
Wist (A)       NO
Witcher (A)   VA   NO
Wolf (A)     Germany YES
Wood (A)     England YES
Woodie (A)       YES
Woodruff (A)     England YES
Woods (G)        
Worley (A)       YES
Worth (A)     England YES
Wright (G)     England YES
Wyatt (A) (G)   VA England YES
Wynn (G)        
Yarborough (A)     England NO
Yates (A)   NC   YES
Younce (A) (G)   PA Switzerland YES
Young (G)   VA England YES