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Centennial History of Hurricane (1994 Edition): The Kirtley Family – Francis Kirtley

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. In 1994, the Centennial Committee published a follow up book which included family histories which were not submitted in time for the 1988 Centennial History. This week’s selection is the 20th history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.


The first documented Kirtley (of the Kirtley line who settled in Putnam County) was Francis Kirtley (also spelled Kirkley, Kirkly), who emigrated from Wales to Virginia, circa 1710. Although his peerage has not been proved, he was sometimes called “Sir” Francis.

His land holdings in Virginia were considerable. The first deed of property shown for him is one dated 1722, a deed of gift from one John Roberts. It is probable that this transfer marked the marriage of Francis Kirtley to Margaret Roberts, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Trammel Roberts.

Upon the home plantation, situated near the Great Forks of the Rappahonnack River, were raised four sons and two daughters: William, Thomas, Francis, James, Sarah Frances and Mary.

Francis Kirtley served as Captain in the French and Indian War (1756) and in all ways seemed to have been highly respected by his peers. Earlier he was appointed one of five constables of Spotsylvania County, was a lieutenant in the Militia 1724ó30 and further served as a church warden of S. Mark’s Parish.

Upon his death in 1763, much of his land was sold by the several inheriting sons. Indeed, James Kirtley even bought from his mother her right and title to the plantation “whereon she lives.” He did agree in the same bond to build his mother “a house sixteen feet wide and twenty-four feet long with two rooms and a stack of brick or stone chimneys,” to further care for her in her lifetime.

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