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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kerr's Creek Massacre

An area our ancestors settled was called Kerr's Creek (A local told me the Scotch Irish pronunciation is Cars).They settled here about the 1730s. It amazes me how they found a place to settle in this forest covered country.However, tragedy struck them twice during the French and Indian War.The Indians hit this area twice. In 1758, they attacked and killed James Gay's wife, Jean Warwick when she went into the woods to gather the cows.Again in 1764, the Indians struck again. This time, James Gay's sister Eleanor Gay who was married to William Kinkaid was captured by the Indians along with her two children near the source of the Big Calf pasture river. Her two year old son was killed by the Indians when he could not keep up with them on the trail. They lived with the Indians for several months until the Boquet Expedition came and rescued them and others.After the Revolutionary war, these families left this area and settled near Lexington, Kentucky.

Ancestors in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia!

If you look at the family history of the Gays, Dunlaps, Kincaids, Warwicks, and Lockridge settled you will see that they settled in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. One of the places is the Little Calf Pasture. There is the little calf pasture creek that flows through this area. Interestingly enough, on the map there is also Big Calf Pasture and Bull Pasture!They settled into Augusta County, Virginia.This latter became Rockbridge County, Virginia.Very interesting to me is that our Great, Great Grandfather James Wesley Martin was also born in this county about 70 years later.

Where our Virginia ancestors came from!

We have several lines of family that settled in Virginia in the 1600s. They came from England and Ulster (now Northern Ireland). The following pictures were taken from the Frontier Museum in Staunton, Virginia. They have brought farms from the countries the original people of Virginia came from and reconstructed those farms at the museum along with the history of why they left their homes to settle in this unknown land.


The Gays, Dunlaps, Lockridge, Warwick's and Kincaid's all came from Ulster (modern Northern Ireland). The English home of the Gay's was Warwickshire, but because of religion persecution, moved to Ulster and then Londonderry.

Because of religious persecution, famine, etc. a number of these families left Ireland around 1730 and came to America. They landed in Philadelphia and worked their way down the frontier road to the Shenandoah Valley and settled in present day August and Rockbridge Counties in Virginia.

They lived in farms with thatched roofs which was approximately 12" of hay. These roofs were durable and could last for 25 years.

This is a picture from inside looking up to the roof.

They had to gather and burn peat for fire and heat as trees were scarce.

They ate a lot of oats and here is a grinder!


Our earliest English ancestors were the Woodsons, Flemings, Feris and Tarletons. The Woodson's came and settled outside of Jameston, Virginia in April, 1619. He was a physician for the army sent to protect the early settlers from the Indians.

They came from the South of England.
The Flemings, Ferris (Ferrar/Farrar) and Tarletons history in England is intertwined with royalty. In fact, the Ferris came from the knights of Gascory centeries earlier and became the early defenders of Virginia.