Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anthony Leffel - "A Man of Many Moves"

Biographical sketch of the
Anthony and Mary (Miller) Leffel Family

Anthony Leffel, born on New Year's Day 1791, was the seventh child of John and Anna Margaretha (Abendschon) Leffel.  The Leffel family lived in Botetourt County, Virginia.  While living in Botetourt County, Anthony grew to manhood and met and married his sweetheart, Mary Polly Miller on 16 Sep 1811.  Mary was the daughter of Frederick and Mary (Peery) Miller.  
Anthony stated that he was a militia man in the War of 1812.  Four children were born to Anthony and Mary while they still lived in Botetourt County, Virginia. 
The family then moved to Springfield, Clark County, Ohio in 1818, along with Mary's parents and some of his family.  Some of Anthony's siblings had moved to Ohio several years earlier. Six more children were born to Anthony and Mary.

You can read about Anthony's many moves and land transactions in the following biographical sketch was written by Samuel S. Miller (a nephew of Mary Miller Leffel):

Emory Pioneer Association Biographical Sketch of: 
Born in the state of: Virginia, County: Botetourt, Town: near Fincastle
Came to the neighborhood of Emory Chapel in the year: about 1834
Was married in Virginia
Maiden name of his wife: Mary Miller, daughter of Frederick (b. 1760 d. 1822) and Mary Peery Miller (b. 1768 d. 1844)
Names of all children: Emeline, Rebeca, Samuel, David, Joel, Daniel, Anthony
Being a militia man in the War of 1812, he drilled the pioneers big muster at Bethel in the bottom field of the Miller farm.
Occupation: In early life probably a carpenter, later on a farmer.
Incidents of his life and character:
He was a man of many moves.   About 1816 immigrated from Va. Was prominent among the early settlers of that locality, and settled on the East fork of Donnel’s Creek and built a house which farm he sold to David Miller and moved several miles eastward. Early in the 30's the writer remembers of visiting them one Sunday PM in Winter with his father and mother, he living then in a house which is still standing on the National Pike a short distance west of the junction of New Carlisle pike. We went in a farm sled. They talked about where the National would be layed out through the orchard and close to the house. Early in the 30's he moved from that place and bought what is now the Hicks farm, becoming a near neighbor to his brother Jas. P.  Selling that, he bought a farm on Mill creek not far from present Bethany town. The writer visited them here in the 1840's. At this place his first wife died. A few years afterward he married Lydia Mayne Harris and we find them on a farm a short distance south of Ebenezer chapel, Y.S. Pike, then a mud road. One cold, stormy evening in March 1854, the writer with his father and mother stopped over night with them. Her (Lydia) daughters Fannie and Addie, then in their teens were part of the household. The roaring fire of hickory, in the capacious fire place, hearty welcome and good meals, made a pleasant memory. Selling this place in a few years and retiring from farm work, he bought property on East High St Springfield, Ohio. Selling that we find them next in the old Householder property corner of Mechanic and Main, next and last move was the place where he died west of Western School house. Afterwards his widow Aunt Lydia and daughter Addie took rooms at the residence of her son-in-law J. L. Pettigrew Yellow Springs St. Second wife Aunt Lydia died ______
Mary Peery died Nov 16th 1850 aged 61 yrs.
Date of death: Anthony Leffel died Jan 28, 1870 age 79 yrs
Place where buried: At the Bethel burying ground East branch Donnel Creek
This Sketch Written by Samuel S. Miller, Date: Oct 8th 1897

 John Peery Miller, "The Genealogy of the Descendants of Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller" (Yellow Springs, Ohio: Antioch College, 1913), p.22 & 23 Genealogy of the Descendants of Frederick and Mary Elizabeth Peery Miller compiled by their grandson John Peery Miller, Professor of History, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1913.

Anthony lost two sons during the Civil War.  Son, Joel Leffel, was serving in the Union Army and died in the Army Hospital in Louiseville, Kentucky in 1863.  Son, David Miller Leffel, who had moved his family to Texas prior to the Civil War, was hanged because of his Unionist sentiments in what is called 'The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas in October 1862.

The photo below is of the original Leffel Homestead in Clark County, Ohio.

Anthony Leffel died on 28 Jan 1870 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio.  Anthony and Mary are buried next to each other in the Bethel Baptist Cemetery, Clark, Ohio.  Mary's father, Frederick Miller, was the first burial the the Bethel Baptist Cemetery in 1822.

Find-A-Grave Memorial Pages

To view Anthony's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.
To view Mary's Find-A-Grave Memorial Page, click here.

Additional posts about Anthony Leffel:
Anthony Leffel Will #2
Anthony Leffel Will #3

Anthony and Mary Miller Leffel Family Info:
Anthony Leffel , son of John Leffel and Anna Margaretha Abendschon, was born on 1 Jan 1791 in Botetourt, Virginia. He died on 28 Jan 1870 at the age of 79 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He was buried in Bethel Cemetery, Clark, Ohio.
Anthony Leffel and (1) Mary Miller were married on 16 Sep 1811 in Botetourt, Virginia. Mary Miller, daughter of Frederick Miller and Mary Elizabeth Peery, was born on 10 Oct 1789 in Botetourt, Virginia. She died on 16 Nov 1850 at the age of 61 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. She was buried on 16 Nov 1850 in Bethel Cemetery, Bethel Twp, Clark, Ohio.  Anthony and Mary had 10 children and 48 grandchildren.
After Mary died, Anthony Leffel married (2) Lydia Ann Mayne, a widow, on 10 Jun 1851 in Clark, Ohio. Lydia Ann Mayne was born on 12 May 1807 in Frederick, Maryland. She died on 19 Aug 1879 at the age of 72 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio.

Anthony Leffel and Mary Miller children:
1. Rebecca Leffel was born on 5 Nov 1812 in Botetourt, Virginia, United States. She died on 14 Jan 1851 at the age of 38 in Clark, Ohio, United States. She was buried in Bethel Cemetary, Clark, Ohio. Rebecca Leffel and John Roller were married on 26 Jan 1837 in Clark County, Ohio. John Roller was born on 10 Dec 1815 in Virginia, United States. He died on 19 Nov 1868 at the age of 52 in Clark, Ohio. He was buried in Bethel Cemetery, Clark, Ohio. They had three children.
2. Samuel Leffel was born on 11 Aug 1814 in Botetourt, Virginia, United States. He died on 11 Mar 1889 at the age of 74 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He was buried in Enon Cemetary, Clark, Ohio. Samuel Leffel and Elizabeth Baker were married on 13 Jun 1844 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. Elizabeth Baker was born about 1819 in Clark, Ohio . She died in Sep 1892 at the age of 73 in Clark, Ohio, United States. She was buried in Enon Cemetery, Clark, Ohio. They had seven children.
3. David Miller Leffel was born on 20 Jan 1816 in Botetourt, Virginia, United States. In 1850 he was a Carpenter in Jackson, Champaign, Ohio. David died on 19 Oct 1862 as a victim of the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas 1862. David Miller Leffel and Susan Evaline West were married on 3 May 1837 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. Susan Evaline West, daughter of Michael West and Susannah McKee, was born on 3 Jun 1817 in Mason, Kentucky. She died after 1869 in Texas. David and Susan had eight children.
4. Evaline Leffel was born on 15 Dec 1817 in Botetourt, Virginia. She was buried in Emery Chapel Cemetery, Clark, Ohio. Evaline Leffel and Robert Jones were married on 11 Sep 1836 in Clark, Ohio. Robert Jones was born in 1810 in Culpeper, Virginia. He was buried in Noblesville, Clark, Ohio. They had three children.
5. Harrison Leffel was born on 15 Sep 1819 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He died on 13 Dec 1893 at the age of 74 in Miami, Ohio. He was buried at Raper Chapel, Miami, Ohio. Harrison Leffel and Ann Martin were married on 20 Apr 1843 in Clark, Ohio. Ann Martin was born on 11 Dec 1817 in Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland. She died in 1872 at the age of 55 in Miami, Ohio. She was buried at Raper Chapel, Miami, Ohio. They had seven children.
6. Frederick Leffel was born on 28 Feb 1821 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He died on 8 Aug 1830 at the age of 9 in Clark, Ohio.
7. Joel Leffel was born on 7 Nov 1822 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He died during the Civil War on 22 Feb 1863 at the age of 40 in Army Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky. He was buried in National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky. Joel Leffel and Elizabeth Sparrow were married on 17 Jun 1845 in Clark, Ohio. Elizabeth Sparrow was born on 8 Feb 1828 in Clark, Ohio. They had six children: Lewis, Joseph, Alcesta, Anthony, Emma, Eva.
8. Delila Leffel was born on 6 Aug 1824 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. She died on 30 Aug 1830 at the age of 6 in Clark County, Ohio.
9. Daniel Leffel was born on 28 Jul 1828 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He died on 6 Sep 1889 at the age of 61. He was buried in Casstown, Miami, Ohio. Daniel Leffel and Elizabeth Jolly were married on 2 Sep 1852 in Clark, Ohio. Elizabeth Jolly was born on 25 Jan 1827 in Virginia. She died on 22 Jan 1890 at the age of 62. They had six children.
10. Anthony Leffel was born on 7 Oct 1830 in Springfield, Clark, Ohio. He died in Clark, Ohio. He was buried in Emory Chapel Cemetery, Clark, Ohio. Anthony Leffel and Margaret Catharine Collison were married on 31 Jul 1855 in Clark, Ohio. Margaret Catharine Collison was born about 1837 in Clark, Ohio. They had eight children.

This family, along with all their sources, can be found on  If you have a membership and are logged on to Ancestry, you can find them here: Anthony Leffel 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

John and Rebecca Haning of Grayson County, Texas

Rebecca Jane West Haning is the younger sister to our ancestor, Susan Evaline West Leffel (daughter of Michael West and Susannah McKee).  Rebecca Jane West married John Haning on 19 Jul 1842 in Vermilion County, Illinois.  In 1846, the young couple moved to Texas along her husband's family.

The above photo is of John and Rebecca West Haning in their later years.  This photo can be found in the History of Grayson County, Texas, along with the following abstract of the John and Rebecca Haning biographical story.  Notice in the above picture, that John is holding a cane.   He needed the cane because in 1870, he was blinded in a saloon fight.

"The History of Grayson County, Texas"; Grayson County Frontier Villiage, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter Publishing Co., c1979; #497, pg 346. (abstract)

"John and Rebecca Haning, my great-grandparents, responding to their pioneering instincts and the promise of land came to Texas from Illinois in 1846 as members of the Peters Colony. On the Ohio River at Louisville, Kentucky they joined Great-great-grandparents Aaron and Rachiel Haning and their other sons, Jabes, Aaron Jr. and Henry who were enroute from Ohio to Texas, also as members of the Peters Colony. The journey to Grayson County was fraught with danger from outlaws, Indians, and the elements and disease. Great-great-grandfather Aaron died in Red River County, Texas in 1846 without reaching his destination. The Hanings continued their journey to Grayson County and prior to 1848 were granted a total of 2240 acres of land in the general area west and north of Howe, including Howe, then known as Summit. It was here they built their homesteads, cleared the lush black land, raised their families and thrived as farmers.
Of the 12 children born to John and Rebecca Haning 9 survived to maturity. Their children were: Susan Rachiel married Wilson Moore; Mary Elizabeth married James Maxwell; James Aaron married Sallie Harding; Alice May married Tom Odom; John Franklin married Betty Etchinson; Virginia Bell married Elza Harding; Louisa Francis married J.C. Page, Elza married Jane Page.  Little is known about Michael Henry except that he was born in 1851...
After the Civil War, Great-grandfather John was reputed to have become somewhat of a rought character, frequently over-indulging in the "demon rum." In 1870 he was blinded apparently in a gunfight in a Sherman saloon. It is also told that he chewed tobacco and, unable to see, he inadvertently spat on one of his grandchildren. When apprised of the fact he gave up tobacco forever.
Great-great-grandmother Rachel Haning, great-grandparents John and Rebecca Haning, Jabes and Harriet and many other Hanings are buried in Hall Cemetery just west of Howe.
Great-grandfather John, nephew Aaron and Henry were Confederate veterans, having served in Company H of the 16th Texas Cavalry."

The following brief biographical sketch is from the Old Settler's Association of Grayson County, Vol. 1.  The minutes of the Old Settler's Association of Grayson County, Vol. 1, comprising minutes of the Association, by-laws, newspaper clippings, and a register of members. The membership roster indicates nativity and the date the member came to Grayson County.  This can be found at: 
John Haning, 1846; Illinois; age 67. Red River county first; Grayson in 1848.
[This is the man who lost his eyesight in 1870 through the merciless attack of a desperado named Hous. Holt, well known to our community and now wearing stripes for murder. Mr. Haning now resides eight miles southwest of Sherman, near the head of Choctaw, his first and early home.]

The Houston Holt who attacked John Haning in 1870 and caused his blindness, was not only an "outlaw" but also an "in-law".  He was married to Rebecca Haning's niece, Sarah West, the daughter of John and Barbara Harmon West.  It would be interesting to know what the fight between John Haning and Houston Holt was about!   Hous Holt ended up in prison in 1879 for killing several men.  In a 1879 newspaper article about Holt's murder trial, the following is states: "This famous desperado, is the same who punched out the eyes, with a pistol, of a man now living in Sherman being led about by a little boy."  The "man now living in Sherman" referred to would be John Haning.
Denison Daily News, 9 Apr 1879, Portal of Texas History
John Haning was granted land through the Peters Colony in Grayson County, Texas.  According to the above county history, the Haning family (including John, his mother and brothers) were granted a total of 2240 acres.  Several members of Rebecca West Haning's West family also were granted land by the Peters Colony. The following biographical sketch for John Haning is found in book, "Peters Colony of Texas,"

Connor, Seymour V., Peters Colony of Texas, A History and Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlers, page 426

Rebecca and John Haning are buried in the Hall Cemetery in Grayson County, Texas.Below are pictures of their headstone.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Michael West Family

Michael West Family

Michael West was born on 30 May 1793 in Maryland or Kentucky. His son, James H. West, stated in a county history published in 1879, that his father was a native of Maryland. The 1850 Grayson County, Texas census gives the birthplace for Michael West as Kentucky. My feeling is that Michael was probably born in Maryland.

There is a marriage record in Adams County, Ohio for Michael West and Susannah McKee on 16 Oct 1812. Adams County is just across the Ohio River from Mason County, Kentucky. Most of Michael & Susannah West’s children are said to have been born in Mason County, Kentucky. In 1826, the family moved to Champaign County, Ohio, perhaps near the Clark County line. Michael West can be found in the 1830 Census for Mad River township, Champaign County, Ohio.

Then in 1838, the Michael West family moved to Vermilion County, Illinois. He rented a farm from James Norris, one mile south of Oakwood Station (Illinois). Michael West is listed in the 1840 census for Vermilion County, Illinois. Michael's wife, Susannah, died before 1848, when the family moved again. This time Michael West moved to Texas. His oldest son, John W. West had previously moved to Red River County, Texas.

Land grants were offered by the Peters Colony to help colonize North Texas. Michael arrived in Texas (Peter's Colony) prior to July 1848 and was recorded as a widower with two daughters and one son. He obtained 640 acres in Grayson County, Texas. His son, Michael Perry, also obtained 320 acres in Grayson County, Texas. Daughter, Rebecca Jane Haning, moved to Texas at the same time with her husband, John Haining, and his family.  Two of Michael's sons, Joseph and James, did not move west and remained in the midwest.
Connor, Seymour V., Peters Colony of Texas, A History and Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlers, page 426.

In the 1850 Census for Grayson County, Texas, Michael West (household 13) is living between son, Michael Perry West, and daughter, Elizabeth Boyles (Boils).   Inlaws, the Page Stanley family, are also neighbors.

Texas proved to be a harsh environment for the West family. It seems that tragedy plagued Michael West and his family once they moved to Texas and the coming Civil War greatly added to their hardships.  By the end of 1862, Michael West, his sons (John W. and Michael P.) and two of his sons-in-law (David M. Leffel and William Boyles) had died.  Sometime before 1870, Michael's daughters, Susan West Leffel and Louisa Thomas, were dead, along with Louisa's family.

Son, Michael Perry West, died of unknown reasons in 1852 or 1853, losing most of his entire estate (including 320 acres) during the probate process to a neighboring land owner for a $50.00 debt and for court costs. Father, Michael believed that his daughter-in-law (wife of Michael Perry) had been unfaithful and that their daughter was not Michael Perry’s “offspring” (biological child).   How Michael died and where he is buried is unknown. 

Father, Michael West, died a few years later in 1858. He may have mistrusted the court system in Grayson County. He requested in his will that “the Probate Court nor any other court whatever shall have anything to do with my estate except to record this my will and to inventory my property.” His will is shown in an earlier post.

Oldest son, John W. West, died about 1860/1861 in Grayson County, Texas. He was only 45 years old at the time. It is not known how he died or where he was buried. His wife, Barbara, is buried on land that John donated to use as a school and later used by the Rockport Baptist Church as a cemetery. Was John and his father, Michael, also buried on this plot of land?

Later, during the Civil War, two of Michael West’s sons-in-law were killed by confederate vigilante groups as a result of their unionist sympathies. David Miller Leffel, husband of Susan Evaline West, was one of the victims killed during the Great Hangings at Gainesville, Texas. Michael's daughter,Susan was left a widow with a large family to care for. In 1869, Susan wrote that the men who killed her husband had continued to harass her and her family. Susan cannot be found after June 1869. Was she also killed by men who killed her husband, or did she die of grief and stress?  William Boyles, husband of daughter, Elizabeth West, died as a result of hiding out in the timbers after receiving a gun-shot wound that occurred during the Great Hangings. Elizabeth remarried a few years later and lived to be 66 years old.

Youngest daughter, Louisa, and her husband, Jesse Thomas, and their family disappeared after the 1860 census. Was her husband in the Civil War? Did the family die of disease or illness?  Or did they move from Texas to an unknown location?

Below is an 1879 Vermilion County, IL History article about son, James Harvey West, who stayed in Illinois.  It gives a brief history of Michael West.

Source: Beckwith, H. W.. History of Vermilion County : together with historic notes on the Northwest,... Chicago: H.H. Hill and Co., 1879, page 862.

Transcription of above:
"James H. West was born on the 15th of March 1822. His father was Michael West, who was a native of Maryland, but afterward went to Kentucky and then to Clark county, Ohio. From Clark county, the elder Mr. West rented a farm of James Norris, one mile south of Oakwood station (Illinois).
James was brought up on his father's farm in Ohio, and lived in the family in this county till grown. He then went to Ohio, and took part in the campaign of 1840. He came back to Illinois and went to New Orleans and from there across to Havana, Cuba, with a load of produce; which he sold to the inhabitants at a good profit. He went to New Orleans a second time and in 1844 was engaged in driving beef cattle to New York City. In 1846 he went to Wisconsin and from this date till 1850 dealt in horse and cattle trade to Wisconsin. In 1849, Mr. West was married to Eliza V. McGee, of this county. He then lived two years in Champaign county. After this he moved to Middle Fork. He came to the place where he now lives in 1867. Here he owns two hundred and forty acres of land. He has seven children living and three dead. Mr. West was elected supervisor in Pilot township in 1866 and served two terms; then elected justice of the peace in Oakwood for two years; he then served as supervisor for Oakwood for four year. He has always held office of some kind. He has also been successful in business."

CHILDREN of Michael West and Susannah McKee (spouse & number of known children);
Mary Ann West (1813-1847) md John W West, 8 children
John Wesley West ( 1816-1861) md Barbara Harmon, 1 child
Susan Evaline West (1817-1869) md David Miller Leffel, 8 children
Joseph J West (1819-1904) md (1) Hulda Dunkle (2) Josephine, 7 children
James Harvey West (1822-1883) md (1) Eliza V McGee (2) Lura Jane Davis, 7 children
Rebecca Jane West (1824-1890) md John Haning, 11 children
Michael Perry West (1827-1853) md Priscilla Stanley, 1 child
Elizabeth T West (1831-1898) md (1) William Boyles (2) Isaac Alpha Lee, 4 children
Louisa West (abt 1833-?) md Jesse Thomas, 3 children

There are still many unanswered questions concerning the Michael West family.  Any help would be appreciated.
What happened to Louisa West Thomas and her family??
Where and how did Susan West Leffel die and where was she buried??

This family, along with all the sources, can be found on my family tree, as well as my family trees on and  My family tree ( ) is the most complete with sources, photos, etc, but since a subscription is needed I have also placed information on which is FREE.  I am slowly adding more information into

Michael West Land in Grayson County, Texas
Will of Michael West
Susan West Leffel: "Left me in a sad and mornful condition."
John and Rebecca West Haning of Grayson County, Texas
William and Elizabeth West Boyles
Mysterious Death of Michael Perry West