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Centennial History of Hurricane (1994 Edition): The Kirtley Family (Thomas and Joseph)

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 21st history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.


The second of Francis and Margaret Kirtley was Thomas, born in 1724. He married twice: Judith Calloway and Dorothy Jones. His youngest son from his second marriage was Joseph Kirtley to whom Thomas bequeathed in 1799 (Will probated that year, Madison County, Virginia):

“I give and bequeath to my son, Joseph Kirtley, one negro boy named Martin & one negro girl named Hannah, and her future increase, also one feather bed & furniture, one horse Saddle and bridle & one Cow & Calf to him, his heirs & assigns forever.”

Joseph married Elizabeth Simms (Sims) of Orange County, born 1786, in Virginia, the daughter of Jeremiah and Margaret Taylor Simms. Their fortunes waxed and waned. Blessed with three sons, Thomas, Jeremiah S. and William, they moved into western Virginia in the 1830’s, locating on Charleys Creek, then in Cabell County. Ten years later, Joseph Kirtley purchased 100 acres on Trace Fork.

What was to be known to later generations as the Kirtley homeplace was a tract of 373 acres on Charleys Creek, settled upon by Joseph’s middle son, Jeremiah S. Kirtley in 1844. (When Putnam County was formed, these several holdings were within the boundaries of that county). Joseph died of “old age” 6 December, 1867.

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