Mystery Photo – Men In Aprons

kanawha-falls?-masons?This photo was among a dozen or so large photos of the Rigg and Farley families in the Kanawha Falls area of West Virginia that were in the possession of my grandfather, then my father, and now to me. There is no notation on the photo and thus far the date, identities and location are a complete unknown to me (hence the “mystery” tag on this story). I’ve not done any cleanup of this photo, but you can click it to see a larger version, age spots and all.

The aprons, rods, pendants and other paraphernalia suggest to me that this is a group of Freemasons. I assume there is someone from the Farley or Rigg family in this photo; my grandfather and great-grandfather were both quite committed members. As I have no photo of Thomas Willis Farley (my 2nd great-grandfather), I like to speculate that maybe he is the bearded fellow seated on the front row with the jaunty hat.

Middle Name of Henry H. Hopkins

Henry H. Hopkins was born 09 January 1809 in Caroline County, Virginia, and died 12 June 1874 in Boone County, WV of an ulcer as reported by his wife Julia Ann Hill Hopkins (1827-1902). Henry was a notorious slave owner in Boone County (that’s a story for another day); he also was one of the most prosperous citizens of the county and father to nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. Henry was my 3rd great-grandfather. Continue reading “Middle Name of Henry H. Hopkins”

Mystery Photo – House Ruined by Fire

unknown-houseThis photo was part of a packet of photographs of the Rigg and Farley family. I assume the house damage was caused by fire due to the dead trees in front, but there certainly could be other explanations. I do NOT believe that this is the Rigg/Farley Ferry House (post coming on that before long), as that house was right at the river’s edge and this appears to back up to a wooded area. Continue reading “Mystery Photo – House Ruined by Fire”

Death Date for Thomas Willis Farley

Thomas Willis Farley was born 26 January 1841 in Buckingham County, Virginia. His father was James Henry Farley. His mother was Catherine F. Roberts, who fell over dead of a heart attack across Thomas’s crib when he was six months old.

Thomas grew up in Buckingham, and attended Hampden-Sydney College, and served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He married Nancy “Nannie” Montgomery Rigg and they had 10 children.

1900-census-nannie-farleyOne of the first records I found for Nannie (and Thomas) is the 1900 U. S. Federal Census for Kanawha County, WV, on which Thomas does not appear at all, and shows his wife Nannie as widowed. I had his date of death noted as “bef 1900” for many years. Then over the last few years I stumbled across several sources which jointly establish his date of death  as 26 July 1903. Continue reading “Death Date for Thomas Willis Farley”