Wednesday, November 18, 2020

52 Ancestors - GOOD DEEDS: A Frazier Two-fer

“’Deed ‘n’ double” – that’s something my mother-in-law used to say when she was pleasantly surprised. I suppose it is like saying “indeed” twice. This country quip actually has nothing to do with my story except that it popped into my head as I was reflecting on how my story incorporates two uses of the word “deed.” 

In 1871, my 3X great-grandmother Nancy Frazier Shiflet along with her children sold 200 acres to her brother Miley Frazier.

Greene County Deed Book ?
This deed Made this twenty first day of December 1871, between Nancy E. Shiflet widow of Burton Shiflett decd, John C. Shiflett and Lucretia his wife, Jas. F. Jollet and Lucy Ann his wife, Nancy F. Shiflett, George Austin Morris and Susan C. his wife, Victoria J. Shiflett of the first and Mily Frazier of the second part all of Greene County Virginia, Witnesseth, that in consideration of three hundred dollars to them in hand paid by said Mily Frazier, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, The said Nancy E. Shiflet, John C. Shiflett and Lucretia his wife, Jas. F. Jollet and Lucie Ann his wife, Nancy F. Shiflet, George Austin Morris and Susan C. his wife, Victoria J. Shiflet, hereby grant unto the said Mily Frazier with general warranty the following real Estate to wit: Two hundred acres more or less, Beginning on Lynches River at Henry Austins corner thence to Burr? Lanes line, thence with said Lanes line to Wyatt Mills' corner thence to Poison Nole? corner thence to pole hill corner thence to the beginning, the above land lies in the county and State aforesaid.
Nancy E. (her x mark) Shiflett
John C. Shiflett
Lucretia (her x mark) Shiflett
James F. Jollett
Lucy Ann Jollett
Nancy F. Shiflett
George Austin Morris
Susan C. Morris
Victoria J. Shiflett
Acknowledged by all parties 21 December 1871 before Greene County J.P. Nath. B. Chapman and J.A. Davis

This DEED is just one of many in Miley Frazier’s quest to amass large quantities of land that in time proved to be a GOOD DEED for the State of Virginia and the country as well.  

Before Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive were established as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic response to the Great Depression, hundreds of families called the mountains of Virginia “home.” My Fraziers (3G and 4G grandparents) were among them. Their presence is recorded in land records from the 1700s, but in the 1930s, the last of the Frazier families moved away from what became park land.

Miley Frazier, my 3G grand uncle, at one time owned over 1,000 acres of land on what was once called Frazier Mountain, now Loft Mountain. At his death he gave each of his children 200 acres. Over time, those children divided the land further among their own children. By the 1930s only 8 Frazier families actually had deeds to property on Loft Mountain, but more Frazier families were there tending other landowners’ farms in exchange for living on the land.

In the 1960s Loft Mountain Campground and a nature trail were built. The trail was named Frazier Discovery Trail in 1999 to honor the long history between this family and this mountain.

The trail is a short and easy hike, only 1.3 miles. Two noteworthy features are the overhanging rock cliff

and the overlook where the trail joins the Appalachian Trail for a short distance.

Many descendants of families who were displaced during the Depression in order to create a national park are bitter. Yet look at what we have now: a beautiful park for all to enjoy.

Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.


© 2020, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.


  1. So true with the final outcome but I can see at the time why they might be bitter. They couldn't look to the future and see how much the land would be appreciated by so many.


  2. You have such wonderful history there!

  3. Every time we go to the parkway, I think about how many were kicked out of their homes to make such a wonderful asset for future generations to enjoy. I grew up in the Rockfish Valley and I've never been on the Skyline Drive. That's pitiful!