ADAM O'BRIEN
Adam O'Brien, (1727-1836) one of the first settlers in what is now WV, came to the West Fork of the Monongahela around 1756. In 1763, he defied the order of the King of England and was one of the early settlers West of the Blue Ridge mountains. Sutton's "History of Braxton County and Central WV" states that a Capt. G.F. Taylor reported in a letter to a newspaper that Adam O'Brien was disappointed in a love affair with Isabel Burgoyne, the only daughter of Revolutionary General Burgoyne. Whatever his reasons, Adam certainly wandered over a large portion of what was to become central WV.
In the "Journal of the Braxton Historical Society" for September 1983, Virginia Carr states that Adam was living on the Potomac River in 1747 as a landowner. Adam later served as an Indian scout and told an interviewer that he was at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. Adam was on a list of malitia paid at Romney Virginia in 1775.
Adam was granted 400 acres of land on the West Fork River in Harrison County and 400 acres on Lost Creek. F.J. Baxter's "Notes of Braxton County"states that Adam O'Brien assisted in making the first survey of that county in 1784. Carr states that Adam moved all his family except his wife from Harrison County to what is now Braxton County WV in 1795, and they lived at the present site of Sutton, WV.
Withers'"Chronicles of Border Warfare" states that Adam O'Brien was somewhat responsible for the Indian attack on Benjamin Carpenter family in 1798. Withers alleges that the Indians followed trails blazed by O'Brien and discovered the Carpenter settlement. Withers says that Adam was, "...rather an indifferent woodsman, incautiously blazed trails in several directions...". This sounds unreasonable in light of the fact that Adam survived to over 100 years of age.
About 1800, the O'Brien family moved to the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River in what is now Calhoun County WV. Shortly after he moved to the West Fork, Adam and Mike Fink were attacked by Indians. Fink was killed, but Adam escaped to return a few days later and bury Mike Fink and an Indian side by side.
O'Brien had at least four wives and many children. Icie Barsatti states that at one time, Adam had a wife and family on Steer Creek, Braxton County, Virginia (WV) and another on O'brion Creek in what is now Clay County, WV. His third wife died of exposure after she was evicted from a cabin on land claimed by O'Brien years before.
In the May 1838 issue of "The Southern Literary Messenger" an anonymous writer reports and encounter with Adam O'Brien in Preston County VA (WV) at "Gandy's, far famed as being the worst house on the road." The reporter told of a conversation with Adam during the course of an evening in which Adam stated that he was nintey three years old. Adam was on his way to Clarksburg to "ferret out a land title". Adam said that he had walked the distance of about 125 miles from Kanawha County at the rate of about 25 miles a day. Adam further told the reporter that his youngest child was a year old and that his oldest was 64. He recounted his loss of his third wife because of exposure after they were evicted from a cabin while his wife was ill. "One of these here speculators had brought suit against me for my settlement, and what with bad management and hard swearing and perjury, he gained it." "And the sheriff came one snowy day in January, with a writ of possession to turn me out, and out we went." "I took my poor wife to an old cabin that had but half a roof on, and she never came out of it until she came out a corpse."
Poet-historian, Colonel John L. Cole, once related a storytold by Ephraim Bee, who had spent considerable time in a section, then a comparative wilderness, a neighbor to Adam O'Brien and Peter McCune. According to Bee, O'Brien's general complaint was of the advent of preachers, sheriffs, and lawyers into the area; he however made one exception, this was Rev. Barnabas Cook, who was one of the noted characters of his day. Bee related how a time came when the minister had to separate from his flock, and for the occasion, composed a valedictory hymn, in which he referred to all members of the congregation. In part, it ran as follows:
Only two of the names of Adam's various wives is presently available, Elizabeth ----, mother of Margaret, and Margaret, mother of Timothy.
Known children of Adam
2.  Adam Jr.
3.  Thursley
4.  Christina b.c. 1767
m.Peter McCune Jan 13 1781
5.  Mary "Polly" b.c. 1770
6.  Daniel b.c. 1770
m.Hannah Norris Feb 16 1815
7.  Rachel
m.John Wright Nov 21 1821
8.  Eyrean
Children of Adam and
9.  John b.c. 1800
10.  Margaret b.Mar 1804 d.May 13 1877
Children of Adam and
11.  Timothy b. 1806 d.Apr 6 1882
Christina O'Brien, a daughter of Adam O'Brien, was born about 1767. In late 1780, the Indians were on the warpath near the present site of Clarksburg, WV. The Adam O'Brien family had taken refuge at Fort Richards, about ten miles upstream from Clarksburg on the West Fork of the Monongalia River. Christina O'Brien met Peter McCune, who was a guard at the Fort, and they were married by a Baptist minister named Edwards January 13, 1871. Christina was 14 years of age and many years later, Elijah Runion was to give oath that he had witnessed the marriage of Peter McCune and that he had advised Christina to stuff handkerchiefs in her bosom to appear more mature.
Peter McCune was born in 1748 in Ireland. We do not know when or how he came to America. Peter enlisted in the Continental Army in 1777 under Captain John Lewis and Colonel Henias Morgan of the 2nd VA Regiment. (Service No. W 7412). In 1778, he reenlisted at Petersburg, VA, under Captain Campbell and Colonel Lewis Gibson of the 9th VA
Regiment. In total, he served three years against the Indians and the British and was discharged at Wheeling, VA (WV) in 1781. In 1778, Peter received 400 acres of land on Rooting Creek, Monongalia County VA (WV) in compensation for his military service. In 1810, Peter built the first cabin in Dekalb District, Gilmer County VA (WV) at the mouth of Leading Creek. By 1815, he had moved to the West Fork of the Little Kanawha River.
Peter McCune appeared in court in Lewis County, VA (WV) September 13, 1820 to give oath of his service in the Revolution and to give a schedule of his holdings. (Applicants for a Revolutionary War pension were required to list their property.) The court certified that Peter had property worth $67. He was awarded a pension of $8 per month, to begin August 3, 1818. After Peter's death on January 15, 1832, Christina applied for his pension. Elijah Runion and Adam Flesher appeared to testify that they had been present at the wedding of Peter and Christina. Christina further stated that Peter had served six months in the American Army during the War of 1812. She also stated that she and Peter were the parents of 10 children, six boys and four girls. Of the following list of children, Patrick, Westbrook and Paulcer are only probably children of Peter and Christina. Peter died January 15, 1832, in what is now Washington District, Calhoun County, WV and is buried
outside the fence at the Knotts cemetery.
Known children of Peter
and Christina (O'Brien) McCune.
12. (1). Catherine b.c. 1782
m.Anthony Parsons Jun 3 1807
13. (2). Patrick b.c. 1791
14. (3). Peter Jr. b.Jul 1 1796 d.Aug 18 1867
m.Margaret Bush Oct 10 1815
15. (4). Timothy b.c. 1797
16. (5). Westbrook b.c. 1799
17. (6). Daniel b.c. 1800 d.c. 1849
18. (7). Mary
19. (8). Christina b. 1804/1805 d. 1879
20. (9). Paulcer
3. MARY "POLLY"
Mary "polly" O'Brien, a daughter of Adam O'Brien, was born about 1770. She married Thomas Cottrell Sr. Thomas Cottrell Sr. said in his Revolutionary War pension claim that he was born on George's Creek, Pennsylvania January 22, 1762. He enlisted in the Continental army, in Monongalia County, Virginia, on February 18, 1779. Private Cottrell served as an Indian spy, with Jesse Carpenter, under Major William Lowther and in Colonel Joseph Crockett's Regiment. In his pension
claim, Thomas stated: "I was born on George's Creek in the state of Pennsylvania, the name of the county I do not recollect, on the 22 day of January in 1762." "I have no record of my age. I only know it from the account thereof given to me by my parents which I have kept from my boyhood." "I was living, when called into services, on Hacker's Creek in Monongalia County, now Lewis. I now live in Lewis County, whereI have been living ever since the Revolutionary War."
Thomas Cottrell was pensioned from Lewis County, Virginia (WV) on September 6, 1833 and gave his age as 72 years. His pension application was supported by statements from Jesse Carpenter and George Butcher. He received $240.00 back pay and $80.00 annually. In a July 3, 1915 letter to F.M. Cockrell, E.C. Tieman, Acting Commissioner of Pensions, stated, "... on March 16, 1835, he was dropped from the pension rolls on account of a report from the United States District Attorney, showing that he was born in 1772, and therefore could not have rendered any service in the Revolution."
Although Thomas gave Lewis county as his place of residence, the family apparently spent considerable time in Meigs County Ohio and Mason County, VA (WV). Perhaps he was part of the Cottrell group that made seasonal moves to follow timbering operations.
[Daniel DeWeese remembered Thomas Cottrell as follows:]
"Thomas Cottrell, the old and original Cottrell of all the Cottrells of the West Fork and adjacent territory. Thomas Cottrell married a daughter of Adam O'Brien and consequently was brother-in-law of Peter McCune. Thomas Cottrell had sons, Thomas, Andrew, Smith, William, John or Whig, and Silas, together with several daughters, all of whom were the propagators of a large posterity, which, together with the O'Briens and McCunes are widely disseminated over Central WV." In the 1850 Census of Gilmer county they both reported theirage as 80 years. They lived for some time in "Cottrell Town" on Beach, in Calhoun county.
Children of Thomas
Sr. and Mary "Polly" (O'Brien) Cottrell.
21. (1). Thomas, Jr. b.c. 1794
m.Mary Ann "Polly" Parsons Aug 7 1823
22. (2). Andrew b.c. 1796
23. (3). Margaret b.c. 1797 d.nov 24 1880
m.Jesse Carpenter 1814
24. (4). daughter before 1810
25. (5). William
26. (6). Mary "Polly" b.c. 1804
m.Thomas Nutter Nov 15 1822
27. (7). John L. "Whig" b.c. 1806
m.Margaret Anna Tanner
28. (8). Silas b.Feb 1807 d.Nov 30 1886
m.Sabra Cox Jan 1 1832
29. (9). Barbara b.c. 1815
m.Uriah Silas Truman
30. (10). Smith
m.Mary "Polly" White
John O'Brien, a son of Adam and Elizabeth O'Brien, was born about 1800. He married Mary Mace. Mary was born in Va about 1804 and may have been a daughter of Isaac and Sarah Mace.
Children of John and
Mary (Mace) O'Brien.
31. (1). Elmira
32. (2). Elmore b. 1824
m.Susan Lawson Jul 12 1869
33. (3). Elzina
34. (4). Peggy
35. (5). Lacy Ann b.Mar 17 1831 d.c. 1916
36. (6). John Mace b. 1832
37. (7). Miles b. 1835
38. (8). Joseph b. 1840
39. (9). Mary "Polly" b. 1843
Timothy O'Brien, a son of Adam and Margaret O'Brtien, was born about 1806 in Harrison County, VA (WV) and died in Roane County WV April 6, 1882. He married Margarett Rogers. Margarett, a daughter of Charles and Hannah (Skidmore) Rogers, who was born in 1799, probably in Pendleton County VA, (WV). Appaently, Margaret died young and Timothy marred Margaret Naylor. Margaret, a daughter of Charles and Hannah Naylor, was born in 1799 and died in Roane County July 7, 1885.
Known children of Timothy
and Margaret (Naylor) O'Brien.
40. (1). William Perry b.Mar 14 1834 d.Nov 24 1894
m.Martha A. Frame Oct 14 1868
41. (2). Miles b.c. 1838
42. (3). William F. b.c. 1846
35.LACY ANN O'BRIEN
Lacy Ann O'Brien, a daughter of John and Mary (Mace)O'Brien, was born in Kanawha Coounty VA (WV) March 17, 1831. Lacy married James R. Boggs in Gilmer County VA (WV) in 1845. James, a son of John and Susan (Drunin) Boggs, was born in Greenbrier County VA (WV) May 22, 1800 and moved with his family to Roane County VA (WV). He first married Harriet Walkup. Harriet was born in 1802 and died about 1843. Lacy was shot in he home in the Booger Hole area of Clay County WV about 1916 by parties unknown.Hers and other murders resulted in vigilante action and the following notice being prominently posted in many places in the area. "We, the citizens of Clay county, seeing that we cannot get justice by law, have organized the Clay County Mob. We have pledged our lives to drive these people from our county or kill them. If we cannot catch and hang you, we will sneak upon and kill you as you killed Henry Hargis, Lacy Anne Boggs, the old peddler and Preston Tanner." "If before you leave, there is any stealing, killing or burning, we will get the blood-hounds and detectives and run you to the ends of the earth.
Nill Sampson, Kooch Sampson, Fred Moore and Aaron Runyon are hereby notified to leave the state in ten days. Rose Lyons, Bill More and Elizabeth Sampson are notified to leave in thirty days."
"P.S. Do not stop this side of the Ohio River."
This incident convinced the local authoities that the citizenry had reached the end of their patience and Howard Sampson was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Preston Tanner. No one was ever prosecuted for Lacey Anne's murder.
Children of James R.
and Harriet (Walkup) Boggs.
43. (1). Thadeus b. 1835 m.Susan Webb
44. (2). Susan
45. (3). John Nathaniel
46. (4). Mary J.
47. (5). James
Children of James R.
and Lacy Ann (O'Brien) Boggs.
48. (1). Virginia b.Nov 6 1845 d.Nov 3 1846
49. (2). Walter D. b.Aug 25 1847
50. (3). Sarah b.Sep 19 1849
51. (4). Melinda b.Apr 17 1852
52. (5). Caroline b.Sep 26 1854
53. (6). Mary J. b.Jun 2 1858
36.JOHN MACE O'BRIEN
John Mace O'Brien, a son of John and Mary (Mace) O'Brien, was born in 1832. He married Malinda Cottrell. Malinda, a daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Cottrell) Cottrell, was born about 1835.
Children of John Mace
and Malinda (Cottrell) O'Brien.
54. (1). Andrew b.c. 1854
55. (2). Sarah Jane b.Oct 19 1856 d.Jul 23 1929
m.James Anderson Dawson Feb 19 1878
56. (3). Mary "Molly" (twin) b. 1867
57. (4). Margaret "Maggie" b. 1867
William Perry O'Brien, a son of Timothy and Margaret (Naylor) O'Brien, was born in Braxton County VA (WV) March 14,1834. He served the Confederacy in the Civil War, enlisting in Co. "E" 22nd VA Infantry in May 1861 and seving two and a half years. He then recruited a company for the 3rd Va Infantry and served as its Captain until 1864, when he was commissioned a Captain in the 19th Va Cavalry.
He was captured in February 1865 and was confined at Wheeling WV and Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio until the close of the War. He married Martha A. Frame in Clay County WV October 14, 1868. Martha, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Wilson) Frame, was born in Braxton County March 14, 1844 and died in Roane County WV August 3, 1872.
Children of William
Perry and Martha A. (Frame) O'Brien.
58. (1). Estella B. b.Aug 10 1870
59. (2). Laura b.May 31 1872 d.Jun 1 1872