Thursday, January 19, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Naked Creek

Those Places is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that invites family historians to post photos and stories about places their ancestors lived. 

I live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  We’re 7 quite sizeable cities:  Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News.  We’re a very transient area thanks to a huge Navy and Coast Guard presence, 5 large universities and several hospitals with their ever-changing faculty and staff, industry coming and going uprooting families by the minute. 

It’s unusual to find someone who can actually trace their roots to here.

Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated by my earliest Virginia ancestors.  The names that appear on the earliest deeds in the Shenandoah Valley are the names that appear on this 1885 map.  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

They are the names that are still there today.  All those German and French names – names like Rucker, Eppard, Merica, Toliver, Harnsberger, Armentrout, Stoutemoyer, Dovel, Peterfish, Wyant, Hensley, Utz, Breeden, Frazier, Sellers, Meadows. 

I can’t name them all, but there’s a comforting familiarity about those names that when I meet someone today, I often know where they’re from just from their name.  Baugher? Davis? You’re likely from the foot of the Skyline Drive around Beldor.  Tusing? Strawderman? Andes?  You’re from the northern part of Rockingham County around Timberville and Broadway.  Merica?  Meadows?  Eppard?  You’re from Naked Creek. 

Naked Creek is where I can find my Jolletts, my Ruckers, and my Eppards all snug as a bug in a rug there together.  Here’s a deed where my great-great grandfather George Harvey Eppard and his wife Segourny F. Shiplett Eppard sold land to one Benjamin Henderson. 

Page County Deed Book 1 : 116

Deed between George H. Epard and Benjamin Henderson March 1881

This Deed made this the 17th day of March 1881, Between George H. Epard and Segourna his wife of the County of Rockingham and State of Virginia of the first part and Benjamin Henderson colored of the County of Page and State aforesaid of the second part.  Witnesseth that the said George H. Epard and Segerna his wife for and in consideration of twenty four dollars to them in hand paid the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold unto the said Benjamin Henderson a certain lot of land situated and being in the County of Page adjoining the lands of the said George H. Epard and others and being a part of the land which the said George H. Epard inherited from his father Wm. Epard dec’d and is bounded as follows.  Beginning at a stake in a line of the original Epard tract and corner to Thomas Epard and running thence S. 62 ½° ? 34 poles to a stake corner to Thomas Epard thence S. 35 ½ ° W 13 9/10 poles to a stake by a fence thence 62 ½ ° W. 35 poles to a stake (a line of) in the original tract thence N. 41 E. 13 9/10 Poles to the Beginning containing three acres be it the same more or less, a road fifteen feet wide is reserved along this line of the Northern boundary of this said lot and the said George H. Epard and Segerna his wife covenant that they will warrant generally the land hereby conveyed.  Witness the following signatures and seals.

George H. Epard  {seal}

Sigournia Epard  {seal}

Page County to wit:

I, Daniel F. Brown a justice of the peace for the County aforesaid in the State of Virginia do certify that George H. Epard whose name is signed to the writing within bearing date on the 17th day of March 1881 has acknowledged the same before me in my County aforesaid.  Given under my hand this the 17th day of March 1881.

Daniel F. Brown J.P.

What is interesting about this deed is all the genealogical information contained in a few lines:  it references the original Eppard tract, which was near Fox Mountain; the inheritance from his FATHER William confirms the family line; and the description of the metes and bounds mentions Thomas Eppard’s corner.  That’s the same Thomas Eppard whose name is on this map.  It’s not a street address, but it’s enough to get me there if I want to stand where they stood and look toward the mountains that they looked at every day.


  1. We know that area. Our daughter lived there when our son in law was stationed there with the Navy. Just across the bridge tunnel. Traveled there often. Our son in law was born there.
    I have not, however, researched in that area. Good luck with Naked Creek.

  2. Well lets go there and stand where they stood, just like when we attended the Morris reunion; you remember the day Barry and Cam dressed alike? LOL

  3. So you're living close to the sea but also near the mountains in an area full of history, very nice.

    1. That's right - 30 minutes from the ocean and shy of 4 hours to the mountains. And in between all the Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields you can stand.

  4. I stumbled upon this by chance and just want to say thank you for sharing! I'm a Naked Creek gal. Grandparents are Wyant/ Dovel, Campbell/Knott.

  5. What a delightful surprise stumbling upon this!
    I am a Naked Creek gal. Grandparents are Campbell/Knott and Wyant/Dovel. I tried the Lynchburg area but quickly came back to the place I love.