The Grandfathers
Vol.I, The Hall and Overstreet Families
Carrol Carman Hall, Springfield, IL, 1981

Section VI
Chapter 21, Page 225

Our Southern Cousins II
       they stayed in the South ….

Children of John and Magdalene (Smith) Hall

John Hall, d. 1794, lived on Rockcastle Creek in Bedford county, Va., where he ran a Mill and acquired a considerable acreage of land. He also dealt in land, and his family generally stayed in the area so that most of the Hall descendants there today are from his group.

The family became typical Southerners, supporting slavery and the CSA., and when they migrated West, they went into states below the Ohio River. There were many 'cousin' marriages in this family.

The writer has collected considerable material on his family and something is known about his sons and daughters and their families.

His oldest son was named John


John Hall
c. 1760 - aft. 1850

This son, thought to be the oldest of the family, was left only one shilling starling in his father's Will of 1794 - the least inheritance of all the family members.

Either his father had staked him for his start in life or he had been displeased with his conduct - there is no way of knowing and the writer will choose the former!

There is in existence a marriage contract dated 1778 for a John Hall and a Molly Wills, daughter of Euclid Wills. This family lived near the Rockcastle Creek neighborhood. This could well apply to the John under discussion as he would be eighteen years of age at that time.

This son could well have served in the militia during the Revolution but there is no record of such service. Perhaps the orderly book in which his name appeared was destroyed.! (see: Bedford Co. in the Revolution.)

A study of the signatures on the Marriage contract and the 1794 Will which was witnessed by a John Hall, Jr., indicated two different persons. +

It is thought that this John Hall migrated to Kentucky, possibly Fayette county, where there were other Bedford migrants and that he was visited there by his father and joined for a time by his brother, Mathew.

He was living in 1850 during the estate squabble over his brother Hezekiah's property and if the dates for his life are correct, he was then a man in his 90s.

…….a descendant buried in
     Arlington cemetery ….

William Hall
c. 1762 - aft. 1850

John Hall's second son, William, appeared to have apparently left no traces of significance in the family's history. ++ However, after a series of unusual discoveries, history began to unfold.

Researching the VA. Magazine of Hist. and Biog., the writer noted that in about 1940, C. Wickliffe Throckmorton of New York City was seeking information about a Thomas Hall born in Bedford county, Va., that had died in Mississippi. This Thomas was a son of a William Hall.

After taking notes on Throckmorton's Queries (Which were likely never answered), notes were also taken on Throckmorton's voluminous family genealogy. These notes remained in the files for several years.

In December, 1977 additional family records taken from the Bedford county files were received from the author's Richmond researcher. From this material it was noted that in 1836, Benjamin B. Musgrove, son-in-law of John Hall, d. 1794, was the administrator of the Hall estate, following the death of John's wife, Magdalene in 1833.


During the settlement proceedings, Musgrove had received communications from William Hall, John's son. William at that time was living in Yazoo county, Mississippi. Using this clue, the Throckmorton records were re-studied and the following information came to light:

Sometime after 1818, William Hall had migrated from Bedford county in Virginia to Mississippi. +++His son Thomas, 1786 - 1856, had married Orpha May, 1784 - 1834, in Virginia about 1818. Thomas and Orpha lived on their plantation 'Bedford" in Jefferson county, Miss., near Natchez. They are buried in the Greenwood church-yard near Stanton, Miss.

Both the Wickliffe and Throckmorton families were distinguished; the Throckmortons can be traced back to nobility. The connection of these two families came in the marriage of Rhoda Hall, 1819 - 1884, who in 1837 married the Hon. Robert Logan Wickliffe of Bardston, Ky. Wickliffe at one time was a member of the Kentucky Legislature and had many honors. Rhoda and Robert, in turn, had a daughter, Fanny, 1838 - 1921, who in 1863 married Major Charles B. Throckmorton, 1842 - 1915.


Major Throckmorton had a distinguished career as an officer in the Civil War (Union) and the western Indian Wars. He also became prominent in the government of New York City. At his death, he was buried in Arlington Cemetery, as was his wife. They had three children, two of them living to become adults. His wife's Will was unique in that she made a bequest of her husband's medals and a painting that had long been in the family. ++++

There were other descendants of William Hall. A cousin marriage took place between Dr. Thos. Hall Wickliffe and another Fanny Hall. The plantation of the family was called 'Wickliffe.'

….a Virginia slaveholder

Mathew Hall +++++
1767 - 1855

Mathew Hall, son of John, d. 1794, lived a long life almost entirely in Bedford county, Va. He may have been named for a great-uncle, Matthew, who came from England and remained in Pennsylvania. * The name was also given to his only son, Mathew, Jr., who lived out his life on the family property on Rockcastle Creek.

Mathew gave us information about his father and supplied his own age. In October, 1845 he was a character and service witness for the Revolutionary War pension application of Abram Blankenship of Bedford county. At that time Mathew said he was 78 years of age and had been born and raised in the county. He stated that Blankenship had been a neighbor since 1789 and that his father (Mathew's) died in 1794. He also mentions that he and his father took a trip West some time after the Revolution. ( Very likely to Kentucky).

Using Mathew's information, we come up with 1767 as his birth year and we know from the settlement of his estate that he lived to 1855. This was a good, long life of 88 years.


Mathew benefited generously from his father's Will: he received about one-third of the land on Rockcastle Creek. The Will stated: 'Mathew Hall is to have the upper end (of John Halls land), beginning at the Old Mill seat and then down said Creek (Rockcastle) to the fence & then along said fence to the branch that comes down from John Owens then up the said branch to Owen's line, and then follow his line round to the beginning.

In the Ill. State Historical Library file (Springfield) is a map of the division of his brother Elisha's estate in 1840 and we can gain from it some notion of the boundaries, the Old Mill seat and the Creek. Direct descendants of Mathew were living on portions of this land as late as 1937.

We are indebted to Mathew for another important bit of family history, his marriage.


He was married to Mary E. (Elizabeth) Banks, 1774 - 1860, on 29 December 1794, the year he came into his inheritance. His marriage gives us the first record of a Banks in the Hall family. Mary was called 'Polly' as was her daughter, Mary E. (See: Banks information in section on Hezekiah Hall, d. 1811). As previously noted, the name Banks became very popular as a given name for subsequent generations of Hall sons.

We do not have a Will for Mathew Hall, nor a map of his land, but we do have an inventory of his personal property made 27 June 1856 for the settlement of his estate. The inventory show the typical household and farm effects common for the time, it even included one old still, valued at twenty-five cents!

The self-sufficiency of these people is indicated by the fact that Mathew possessed one set of shoemaker's tools. His conservatism is indicated by the fact that there was only one piece of paper indicating a debt to him. It was a bond on one of his son-in-laws, John A. Carter, for $4.45 due 10 November 1856. In total, all of the household and farm properties came to a little less than $500. Of more interest is the fact that he owned thirteen slaves which added an additional valuation of over $9,000 to the personal estate. No wonder, then, that they opposed the end of slavery - it meant so much to their personal wealth. More on this in the discussion on: Slavery in the Hall family.


An interesting side-light in the life of Mathew Hall is given in the records of the church he attended. Mathew was a member of the Goose Creek Baptist Church, which in the 1790s had a membership of one hundred eighty-five persons. Later, the name was changed to the Morgan Church. **

In 1793 the congregation concluded that the pastor should write a letter of recommendation for Brother W. Hall to transfer to Kentucky. From this evidence, it appears that Mathew went to Kentucky, stayed a few years and then returned to Bedford county in Virginia; where after 1794 he inherited land from his father.

It is thought that his older brother, John, did migrate to Kentucky and that their father, John Hall, d. 1794, did visit them there. This may also explain why Mathew never married until he was twenty-seven years of age - a little old for the times in which he lived.


The church record shows that in 1810, Mathew was on a church committee: in 1817 he was appointed a delegate to the Association meeting (a local convention). In 1822, the church had one deacon - Mathew Hall. The records (church minutes) also show him as Matt Hall and on occasion as T.M. Hall - possibly Thomas Mathew Hall, names common at that time in the Hall family.

After returning to Virginia, Mathew spent the remainder of his life on the home place, raising a family of five children - one boy and four girls.

Of his family, the following marriage records have been found; (First date, day of marriage; second date, when recorded)
4 Jan 1820Carter, John and Magdalena Hall
 dau. Mathew Hall, Sr.
 Mathew Hall, Jr. Surety
 Married by Rev. John Ayers
 6 Jan 1820
12 Feb 1830Hall, John and Melinda Hall
 dau. Matthew
 Mathew Hall, Surety
 Mar. by Rev. Wm Leftwich
 18 Feb 1830
19 Oct 1846Marshall, John R. and Mary E. Hall ***
 dau. Mathew
 Mathew Hall, Jr. Surety
 Mar. by Rev. Thos. C. Goggin
 28 Oct 1846
14 Dec 1846Jacobs, Elisha C. and Keziah Hall
 dau. Mathew, Sr.
 son. of A. Jacobs.
 (record incomplete)

No record has been found for Mathew Hall, Jr., and it is assumed that he did not marry that the Hall name died out in this line.


Since this group stayed in Virginia, this family is reasonably well recorded for the next several generations. A rather complete chart for them has been worked out for them and placed in the library genealogical files. Both the Carter and Marshall lines produced members well known and respected in their area of Bedford county.

A first cousin marriage is recorded in this family. John Hall who married Melinda was a son of her father's brother, Jesse Hall who is listed in this section of the family history. She was his second marriage. He had two children by the first marriage and a large family by the second (ten children).

Descendants of Mathew Hall, Sr., were much involved in the Civil War and this family was badly hurt by the events of that conflict. Four of the grandchildren were made orphans by the war.

There is a more complete discussion on their participation in the CSA in the next chapter of this section. This family inter-married with other pioneer groups of Bedford county and there were other 'cousin' marriages. Descendants live in Virginia today.

Family of Mathew and Mary E. (Banks) Hall

Mathew Hall, Jr., ca. 1800 - 1860
Magdalena Hall (Carter)1802 - 1859
Melinda Hall (Hall)1810 - 1886
Mary E. Hall (Marshall)1812 - 1875
Keziah Hall (Jacobs) 1817 - 1857

Notes: In addition to his thirteen slaves, Mathew Hall, Sr., owned 300 acres of land; one horse, six sheep, twelve head of cattle, and fifty-nine hogs.

Following his death, his heirs began to dispose of the land. His son, Mathew, Jr., lived only five years after the settlement of the estate. He died in the same year, 1860, as did his mother.

a short life

Jesse Hall
c. 1770 - 1802

Jesse Hall, son of John Hall, d. 1794, had a short life he was possibly less than 35 years of age at his death. He died in 1802 leaving his widow with several small children.

His estate was appraised 20 October 1802 and was indeed a modest one, the personal property totaling only 87 # and 12 Shillings. Poor as he was, he had one slave a negro girl, Hannah Rachael, valued at 40 pounds, nearly half of the value of his personal property.

Jesse had some livestock, a small amount of cash on hand and one bond on Luke Bird, a neighbor, to the amount of five pounds. From his father in 1794 he had inherited 'one feather bed & cow and calf.'


On the First of March, 1797 he had married Elizabeth Williams and they had lived together less than ten years as man and wife. Evidence seems to indicate that they had settled in the area below the Stanton River which had become Franklin county.

His health may have failed as earlier, Jesse Hall sold the land in Franklin county and it appears that he and his family came back to the home place on Rockcastle Creek.

Soon after his death, 25 December 1802, a deed given by John Owen, a neighbor on Rockcastle Creek, 'to the orphans of Jesse Hall, dec'd, of Bedford county, conveying 10 acres on the waters of Castle Creek (Rockcastle Creek), consideration five pounds current money.' This was to provide a home for Elizabeth and her children. They were living among their Hall kin.

In the Census of 1810 we find Elizabeth Hall living in Bedford county, still a widow and listed as head of the family - although she was not allowed voting privileges.


Elizabeth was dead before 1850 as we do not find her involved in the chancery suit over Hezekiah B. Hall's estate. Hezekiah was her husband's brother. However, we do find her three sons listed: Jesse, John and Joel. (Evidently the letter 'J' was popular in this family!)

Jesse and Elizabeth's sons and grandchildren remained in Bedford county and there are numerous records concerning them.

Of her family, we have most interest in John Hall, c. 1798 - aft. 1865, who married his cousin, Melinda Hall, 1810 - 1886, daughter of Jesse's brother, Mathew. The marriage was in 1830 and was the second for John. John and Melinda and ten children, making a total of twelve for John as he had two children by his first marriage. The Civil War exacted a heavy toll from this family and will be discussed in the third chapter of this section.

a case of mistaken identity …..

Hezekiah B. Hall
1773 - 1850

From the Virginia census of 1850 we learn of a Hezekiah Hall living in the southern district of Bedford county who is 77 years of age. What the census does not tell us that he is incompetent. In his last years he may have lived with his sister, Keziah. During 1850 he died and since he died intestate - without a will - a family suit in chancery resulted. From this suit much is learned about the family of John Hall, d. 1794, as it was just prior to the Civil War.

Hezekiah was named in his father's Will receiving in 1794 'one horse & saddle & 1 cow and calf.' He was also to share in the distribution of the personal estate, following his mother's death. This may seem as though it was a meager inheritance, but his father may have established him with some land earlier in his life. Apparently Hezekiah was a bachelor as there is no record of a wife.

The Chancery suit - a friendly family one - shows Mathew Hall, Jr., as looking after the interests of his father, Mathew Hall, a brother of Hezekiah. The senior Mathew at this time of life is also judged incompetent because of his age; he was born in 1767, Mathew Jr., was the Administrator of Hezekiah's estate.

The family inventory as revealed by this suit, which dragged out until 1855 was as follows:
This group
appeared in
person for hear-
ing. All living
in Bedford Co.,

This group failed
to appear for
hearing. All living
out of Va.
Kezia Hall (Musgrove) sister of Hezekiah
Children of Jesse Hall, deceased, brother of Hezekiah
{Jesse Hall
{John Hall
{Joel Hall
Children of Elisha Hall, deceased, brother of Hezekiah
{Nathaniel and Sarah (Hall) Morgan
{Thos. and Tabitha (Hall) Hepstinstall?
{James N. and Sally (Hall) Shaon
{Catherine (Hall) Burnette, (separated from her husband)
{Elisha Hall (Jr.), not married______________________
{John Hall, son of John Hall, d. 1794, brother Hezekiah
{William Hall, brother Hezekiah, living in Miss.
{Tabitha (Hall) Brown, sister Hezekiah, in Tenn.
{Bird and Drucilla (Hall) Greer, dau. Elisha in Tenn.
{John Hall, son of Elisha, deceased, living in Missouri
{Banks B. Hall, son Elisha, deceased living in Missouri


In the settlement of the estate, which included slaves, each full brother or sister of Hezekiah received $117.10. The children of Elisha and Jesse had to divide that amount among themselves. Mathew Hall Sr., received a like amount handled by his son. Mathew Jr., as Administrator of Hezekiah's estate was given specific instructions as to the handling of it. Note: because Mathew and Keziah were living, their families are not noted above.


Early Hall searchers assumed that they were descendants of the Hezekiah B. Hall of this discussion. They were not. As previously noted they are descendants of Hezekiah Hall, 1741 - 1811, assumed to be a brother of John Hall, d. 1794, the father of the Hezekiah discussed.
Note: A study of the duplicated names above show how difficult the genealogical aspects of this history are.

she lived in Tennessee

Tabitha Hall (Brown)
1779 - 1863

John Hall's oldest daughter, Tabitha was named in his Will of 1794. At that time she was given 'one negroe girl named Pegge at my wifes death Likewise on Feather Bed & Cow & Calf.' Since her mother Magdalene, lived on after John's death for over thirty years, it is unlikely that Tabitha received her slave or other bequests.

At the time of her father's death, she was unmarried and John evidently thought the husband would provide the land.

Tabitha did marry. On October 14, 1799, five years after her father's death, a bond was given for her to marry Shadrach S. Brown, 1777 - 1848. The Surety for her marriage was her brother, Elisha, who was by then the head of the family. On October 17, the ceremony was performed by the Rev. John Ayers, a pioneer Bedford county minister.


Little was known of the Shadrach Browns' as no trace of them could be found in the Virginia records. In 1977 an 1836 record was discovered in the files at Richmond, Va., relating to the final settlement of the John Hall, d. 1794, estate. At that time Shadrach Brown was in communication with his brother-in-law, Benjamin B. Musgrove, the Administrator.

The correspondence indicated that the Browns were living in Bedford county, Tennessee, where they had migrated from Virginia. Later research and correspondence with a descendant of Tabitha gave some additional information.

The Census of 1830, Bedford Co. Tenn. showed the following:
    Brown, Shadrick
    family of six; two adults, four children.
    One boy, one girl, ages 10-15 years.
    One boy, one girl, ages 15-20 years.
The Census of 1850, Bedford Co. Tenn:
    Brown, Tabitha, age 71, b. Va.
    Holesander, Mary H. ae. 49 b. Va
    Mary T. (Tabitha?) ae. 14
    Geo. W. ae. 11
    Eliza Ann ae. 5
(Interpretation: Tabitha now a widow, with her oldest dau. living with her; the minor children are grandchildren.)

The name Tabitha was a traditional name in the Hall family. It is found in the Wm. Hall, d. 1757, family; the John Hall, d. 1794, family; the Hezekiah Hall, d. 1811, family and among many of the subsequent generations.

Material on the Tabitha Hall (Brown) has been furnished the writer by a Brown descendant now living in California. This material is to be found in the Ill. State Historical Library files at Springfield.

Among Tabitha's descendants was: Dr. Emmett Ezra Brown, 1889-1950. Dr. Brown was born at Shelbyville, Tenn., and died in Miami, Florida.

Geo. W. Brown, Tabitha's grandson above, had the full name of George Washington Brown, as did a still later descendant. Geo. W. Brown was of an age in 1850 to have been an active participant in the Civil War.

Ancestor of a Virginia Governor!.....

Elisha Hall ****
1780 - 1840

In his father's Will Elisha fared well, he received approximately one-third of John Hall's land along Rockcastle Creek and at the death of his mother, would share with his brother, Mathew, the remainder of his father's land.

In addition, Elisha also inherited his father's Mill on Rockcastle Creek and for a time it no doubt furnished him with cash in times when cash was in short supply. However, by the time of his own death in 1840, the Mill was no longer in use. The map showing the division of his estate, does not located two Mill sites on the Creek, as it may have been been moved in the half-century it existed. There is also marked an old road called "Hall's Mill Road.'

Of equal significance on the map of the Rockcastle Creek property as it appeared in 1840 was the location of the Spring that furnished the homestead with its water. Springs were very important to these early settlers. This Spring was on the portion of land inherited by his oldest son, Elisha Hall, Jr.


Elisha Hall evidently took full advantage of his sizeable inheritance from his father, John, d. 1794, as at the time of his death in 1840 his personal estate totaled $2269.76 - a good sum for the times and era in which he lived. His land holdings totaled 492

acres on which no money value was placed as it was divided among nine of his children. We can only surmise that his wife proceeded him in death, as there is no record of her in 1840.

Elisha owned considerable livestock, which included oxen, horses, cattle, sheep, turkeys, hogs and some bee hives! His farm produced (in storage) included wool, tobacco, cotton, flax, oats, wheat, corn, fodder, and greens! Of more interest to the present generation is the fact that he owned a Still, complete with Cap and Worm, evaluated at $20 (so - he produced his own whiskey!)

The farm machinery of the times was primitive by modern standards. It was limited to hoes, axes, scythes and mattocks. Of course, there was a grindstone and a set of Smith's tools.


He only owned three slaves, in contrast to his brother, Mathew, who had over a dozen o f them on about the same-sized farm. There are some interesting items about the slaves which will be related in the account: Slavery in the Hall Family in the appendix of this book.

As befits a man of substance and property, the estate of Elisha Hall included a list of Bonds and Notes. These documents indicating money owed to him by others. They totaled $105.77.

These documents were principally IOU's of friends and neighbors for money borrowed or farm produce purchased on credit. Some were simply receipts for merchandise purchased on credit. Although most of the notes were to fall due during the next five to seven years, two of them showed long delinquencies dating from 1823 to 1828. These were probably written off as bad debts. There were no tax deductions for such items in 1840!

One of the most interesting and valuable documents of early family history found in the Archives of Bedford county, VA., is the Division of the land of Elisha Hall, under decree of the Court of December Term, 1840.

Division of Land

Apparently, the Decree of 1840 failed to satisfy or there was no will --- Chancery suit resulted with the final decision reached in February, 1841 - it was a family affair.

'Wherein Thomas Hippinstall & Tabith his wife and Wm Burnett and Catherine his wife & others against John Hall, Bird Greer & Drucilla, his wife & others as Defendants.'

The Court order the land to be divided as fairly as possible, and Thos. Mead, Wm. W. Reese, Franklin Headen, and John Ayers as Commissioners did the job. By January, 1843 the Court said the job was satisfactorily done and so recorded it.

Of most importance to the researcher nearly 150 years later is the fact that this action gave a map of Elisha Hall's land along Rockcastle Creek which had been in that branch of the family since colonial times. Since the original holdings were not under modern survey, the marking off of it was indeed quite a feat.

Who Got What?

Here's how Elisha's land was divided: *****
Lot No. 1 Mary Hall (Shaon)64 A.
" " 2 Catherine Hall (Burnett)39 A.
" " 3Tabitha Hall (Hippinstall)46 A.
" " 4Elisha Hall, Jr.74 A.
" " 5Drucilla Hall (Greer)47 A.
" " 6Sarah Hall (Morgan)46 A.
" " 7Banks B. Hall47 A.
" " 8John Hall (Moon)64 A.
" " 9Kiziah Hall (Lewellan)63 A.

This text cannot include the land marks and descriptions included in the land division but one wonders how many of them survive today. Surely all the trees, rock piles, stumps, etc., haven't lasted this long.


After his father's death in 1794, Elisha served as head of the family. He survived his mother, Magdalene (Smith) Hall only by a few years, she died 1833, he died 1840.

On November 24, 1800 Elisha married Sarah Best, daughter of Drucilla Best. A land transaction with Sarah's father was made by John Hall, d. 1794, involving the Rockcastle Creek property.

We do not have the birth and death dates of Elisha's family but we do have some of their marriage records as follows:
27 Nov 1815 Heppenstall, Thos. and Tabitha Hall
 Elisha Hall, Surety
 Mar. by Rev. Wm Leftwhich
 13 Dec 1815
6 Jun 1819 Greer, Bird & Drucilla Hall
 dau. Elisha
 John Hall, Surety
 Mar. by Rev. John Ayers
 16 Jun 1819
 (this family to Tenn.)
20 Aug 1824Hall, John and Elizabeth Moon
 Jesse Grubb, Surety
 Mar. by. Rev. Richard R. Beck
 (married in Pittsylvania Co.)
 (this family to Missouri)
25 Dec 1826 Burnett, Wm. and Katherine Hall
 dau. Elisha
 John Hall, Surety
 Mar. by Rev. Wm. Leftwhich
 10 Jan 1827
 (Katherine left Burnett)
17 Apr 1827 Shaon, Jas. K. and Mary Hall
 dau. Elisha
 Elisha Hall, Jr., Surety
 (Shaon acquired land in Bedford Co)
7 Jul 1834 Morgan, Nathaniel and Sarah Hall
 dau. Elisha
 Benj. F. Reese, Surety
23 Feb 1835 Lewellen, Chas. and Keziah Hall
 John W. Smith, Surety
 Mar. by Rev. Wm. Leftwhich
 12 Mar 1835

Notes: Members of this family migrated West below the Ohio River into the states of Tennessee and Missouri. The Greer family was well-known in the area.

Through the marriage of his daughter, Tabitha, Elisha was to become the Hall ancestor of John (Nichols) Dalton, the present Governor of Virginia. An outline of this descendancy is given in the appendix of the text.

a bride at 14 years of age

Keziah Hall (Musgrove)

In her father's Will of 1794, Keziah, his youngest child, was given 'one Negroe Girl named Patt at my wifes death Likewise one Feather Bed & Cow & Calf.' Since her mother lived to 1833, it is problematical that she ever received her slave. She may have received the bedding and livestock as wedding presents.

Keziah, named for her aunt Keziah (Banks) Hall wife of Hezekiah, d. 1811, was married to Benjamin Barton Musgrove 15 December, 1796 at the age of 14. In spite of her youthful marriage, Keziah, according to a family descendant, 'was quite a woman!' She was to have a family of twelve children, to live and maintain the family 'plantation' for nearly a quarter-century following her husband's death, to look after other family members and live through most of the Civil War. ^

According to one of his descendants, Benjamin B. Musgrove came to Virginia from Maryland and settled down on the Staunton River. ^^ He had a number of full brothers and sisters in Bedford county and a number of half-brothers, some of whom settled in the Shenandoah Valley. The Musgrove family for many years was prominent in the affairs at the southern edge of Bedford county and Benjamin Musgrove acquired much land, many slaves and numerous relatives through his large family.


It was commonly said among the old-timers of Bedford county that, 'the Musgroves were so doubled and twisted that you couldn't unravel them!' This homey reference to the family and yarn is literally true, as was revealed by this study into family as regards the Hall - Musgrove - Wilkerson - and other family combinations. As late as 1980, correspondents to the author have discovered relationships that they did not know existed. As in case of many southern families that resided for long periods of time in an isolated, rural area there were many 'cousin' marriages extending through the first to third generations and later. This was the result of limited contacts among the younger family members and in some cases they were made to keep ownership of properties intact in the families.

The family can be 'unraveled' but it takes a bit of doing. This job has been left to family descendants, which are numerous and widely scattered, although considerable numbers of them still are to be found in Virginia. Of especial interest to this volume is the fact that as time went on, descendants of the Musgrove family were marrying into the families of Keziah's brothers, especially those of Mathew, d. 1855, and Elisha, d. 1840, because they had remained in the Rockcastle Creek area of Bedford county - the home base of the John Hall, d. 1794, family.


By inheritance and purchase, the Musgroves until the Civil War and for a generation or so afterwards owned large amounts of land in the Staunton River area. Farming on this bottom land was hard and frequently crops were lost in the Spring floods. The Musgrove men as a group were especially noted for their of horses and were exceptionally kind in their treatment and care of the animals. So much so, that many of their horses became blind from a diabetic condition brought about by overfeeding them with corn. One of the Musgroves', known as "Big Ben" (Benjamin B. Musgrove Jr., 1822 - 1902), was found dead in his barn from dropsy, where he had spent many hours with his horses.


In his delightful book, Cause and Effect, in which he reminisces about Bedford county, D. Claytor Brooks has this to say about the Hall - Musgrove - Wilkerson relationships: ^^^

"Up the River (the Staunton) from Anthony's Ford --- was the Musgrove land - quite a large estate.

"Somewhere among the Musgroves' land lived some Wilkersons. In those days all the Wilkerson men married Musgrove women. Someone said that the Wilkersons were lazy and the Musgroves were hard workers, so they married Musgrove women so that they would wait upon them. Be that as it may, they have become so well blended by now that there isn't much discernible difference. There were not enough Wilkerson men to marry all the Musgrove women, so there is Musgrove blood in folks of many names around here (including mine).

"Somewhere alongside the Musgroves lived a family of Halls … the Halls owned several hundred acres across the head waters of Mill Creek …" (Mill Creek is a later name for Rockcastle Creek, possibly a tributary to the main stream.) ^^^^


The patriarch of the group was of course, Benjamin B. Musgrove, 1774 - 1840, who had married Keziah Hall in 1796. ^^^^^We learn of him again in 1833. In that year Magdalene, Keziah's mother, died and Musgrove was appointed by the Bedford county court as Executor. Being a man of property he could qualify with a proper bond. Other Hall family members were involved in the settlement and a complete record of the proceedings is in the records. Since Magdalene had lived nearly thirty years after the death of her husband, John Hall, d. 1794, the settlement was complicated.

The settlement of Musgrove's estate which extended through the year 1842 lists fourteen slaves and we know their names and valuations placed on each of them. The total for them was about $5,000 of which slaves to the value of over $1600 were allotted to the widows dowry. There are some interesting side-lights to this procedure and they will be discussed in the section: The Hall Family and Slavery, in the appendix.

The widow, Keziah, received 137 acres of land for her share and a remaining two hundred fifty-six acres was allotted to the twelve children. All told by the sale of some land and a few of the negroes and when the expenses of probate were deducted, each of the children, as heirs, along with their mother received $397.07 each.


It will be impossible to give all the known details on this family. They were deeply involved in slavery and in the Civil War - some incidents to be given in the special sections devoted to those subjects.

In order to 'unravel' a large chart on the family has been prepared and will be place in the files of the Illinois State Historical Library at Springfield. In addition, important correspondence by other researchers of the family will be filed.

To conclude this section the children of Benjamin B. and Keziah (Hall) Musgrove will be listed giving synoptic form some information about each of them:

The Musgrove Family of Bedford County Virginia
(compiled from marriage, estate and other legal records, family
correspondence, etc.

1. Musgrove, Christopher, 1798-1870, m.1, 1826, Elizabeth Best Jones: m.2 Harriet Ashworth. Slave story in family. Cousin marriages into the Elisha Hall family. Elisha, brother of Christopher's mother, Keziah.
2. Musgrove, Rev. Henry, 1800-1869, m. Elizabeth Craig in 1816. Ran away from home; lived in Ohio, Ill. and Ia. Died in Ia. Cousin marriages in this family.
3. Musgrove, Magdalean, 1804 - , m. 1827 William Wilkerson. ^*^
4. Musgrove, Rebekah Hall, 1805 - , m. Hal L. Pearson, 1824
5. Musgrove, John Hall, 1806 - 1888; m. 1 Lucy Lazenby, m.2 Lucy Cunningham.
6. Musgrove, Rachel, 1808 - 1889, m. 1830, Owen Wilkerson
7. Musgrove, Keziah Stover, 1811 - 1892; m. 1828 Wm Lockett Wilkerson.
Slave story in this family. Civil War. Cousin marriages.
8. Musgrove, Minerva, 1822 - ; m. 1. 1837, Harrison W. Baker; m. 2. ________ Swain.
9. Musgrove, Benjamin B. Jr., 1822 - 1902; m. 1842, Sarah (Sally) Ann English.
10. Musgrove, Demetrious P., 1826 - 1865; m. 1846 Martha H. Watson.
11. Musgrove, Millicent, 1827 - ; m. 1, 1843, Henry B. Anthony; m. 2. Thomas Mitchell
12. Musgrove, Tabitha, 1832, ; m. 1 1836, John Sun Gill; m. 2, Parmaris English. Cousin marriage in family.

Some tracing in this family through the seventh generation from William Hall, d. 1757.

The English and Anthony families were considered by some residents of southern Bedford county as leading families - above average.

Benjamin B. Musgrove, Sr., had ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.

Elizabeth Craig, wife of Rev. Henry Musgrove was born in Germany

Typical cousin marriages - (not all accounted for)

When Dr. Hugh Brown Wilkerson, 1856-1929, son of Keziah (#7 on list married Ellen Rebecca Mount, 1859-1940, he was marrying a grand-daughter of Rev. Henry Musgrove(#2 on list.).

The marriage of Christopher Musgrove (#1 on list) to Elizabeth Best Jones was a marriage of two persons who were first cousins to the children of Elisha Hall, d. 1840. Christopher through his mother and Elizabeth or Eliza through Elisha's wife who was a Best.

John Henry Gill, son of Tabitha Musgrove (#12 on list) married Mary Rebecca Wilkerson, daughter of Keziah Musgrove (#7 on list) he was marrying a first cousin.

Many of the Musgrove family marriages were performed by Rev. Abner Anthony. Here is what D.C. Brooks said about him in Cause and Effect, p. 19.

"Rev. Abner Anthony licensed to preach in 1826, was active 50 years until 1876 he performed his first marriage on May 28, 1827. He performed 999 ceremonies. Anthony had a large estate and owned many slaves."

+The author thinks, but does not know, that the John Hall, Jr., was a son of a John Hall, brother to William Hall, d. 1757. In 1794, John Hall, Jr., became a licensed Baptist preacher in Bedford county and died in 1799. He was a carpenter. Our Hezekiah, d. 1811, then the oldest of the Bedford Hall clan was the Executor of John Jr.'s modest estate.
++using the order of names as given by a grandson of John, d. 1794.
+++William Hall may have lived in Franklin Co. Va. prior to 1818.
++++Other Civil War stories will be told later in this section.
+++++also Matthew
*see section on William Hall d. 1757
**From the History of the Morgan Church, Bedford Co., Va.
***James P. Marshall, a descendant, was Sheriff of Bedford Co., Va. for twenty-seven years.
****The name Elisha was the most common given name for males in all branches of the Hall family. Unless carefully noted, the name can cause much confusion in patterning out the history of the group.
*****Comments: Elisha had 10 children, one not shown, Magdalena, who may be dead in 1840. The writer believes that this is a good listing of the family in birth order, as the Commissioners likely took them in order of age. No wife is listed for Elisha, Jr., nor for Banks B. in 1840, although he is known to have married later. The names in parentheses indicate family name of respective spouses.
Only information on daughter not given land:
22 Jan 1827 Greer (Green), Jas. & Magdalena Hall
dau. Elisha
Jas. K. Shaver, Surety
Mar. by Rev. Wm. Leftwich
^and marrying off her daughters
^^he may not have lived in Maryland but his ancestors did.
^^^D.(Dabney) Claytor Brooks, Cause and Effect, Carleton Press, NYC, 1972. A Bedford county, Va., historian, visited by the author and voluminous correspondence between them. As result, he is somewhat of a clearing house for other family searchers.
^^^^At the time Brooks wrote his book, he didn't know of the exact family relationships. Recently, he has discovered a closer relationship with the Halls in his own line - I warned him!
^^^^^The writer does not accept the 1774 birthdate for Musgrove. He thinks it was 1780. Keziah and Benjamin married - he believes - almost as children; 14 and 16 years of age respectively. Their first child was not born until two years after the marriage - unusual for those times. Using the 1774 date causes some confusion among those studying the Musgrove family line.
^*^Wilkersons related; Wm. L. and Owen - half-brothers sons of a Joseph Wilkerson. Wm. grandson of Joseph.



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Illinois Ancestors