Descendants of William Carder (1762-1839) of Hampshire County, WV and Harrison County, WV
William Carder (1762 - 1839) was a son of William Carder (d. 1801) of Hampshire County, WV. William Carder was born in either Culpeper County, Virginia, or Hampshire County, WV on 19 May 1762. He was a soldier in the American Revolution, having served under Captain Isaac Parsons. He was detailed to guard the Tories confined in the jail at Romney, W. Va. He was also an Indian Spy during the Revolution. He applied for a military pension in 1833 and was issued a pension certificate, but it was later withdrawn because he did not serve long enough to justify a pension. He moved to Harrison County about 1783. He is listed on the Harrison County tax lists from 1785 onward. He is also shown on the Harrison County census of 1810, 1820, and 1830. He lived at Two Lick Run near Good Hope and was a trustee of the Old Bethel Church. He married in Harrison County about 1785 to a widow named Nancy or Rebecca Lowther Washburn, whose husband was killed by Indians. William Carder died on 13 November 1839 in Harrison County and is buried in the Old Bethel Church cemetery on Route 19 near Good Hope.
A book, The Upper Sandy Valley, by John A. House, was written in 1906. I have been told that the book exists only in manuscript form. Mr. House visited some descendants of William Carder and recorded their family tales in his book. I will excerpt parts of it here, because it contains some interesting tidbits about the lives of these early settlers. Some of the early information is probably not correct, particularly the part about William Carder’s father being a rope maker in England. The Carder family had been in the U.S. for at least 90 years when William Carder (1762-1839) was born. The early information is probably just stories that were passed down, but may be based on events that actually happened.
Excerpts from The Upper Sandy Valley, by John A. House, 1906.
“In the month of June, 1782, there lived in the village of Clarksburg a man named Charles Washburn, who, while chopping wood in his yard, was shot by a party of Indians lurking in the vicinity. One fellow more venturesome than the others, rushed up to the dying man, cleft his skull with an axe, and, quickly scalping the body, made his escape with the bloody trophy.
Three of the Washburn brothers had formerly been killed by the savages: Isaac Washburn, who was shot on Hacker’s Creek in 1778, and James and Stephen Washburn, who were waylaid, while hunting for pine knots for making shoe wax, near their home on West Fork. Stephen was shot and scalped, and James was carried off to their towns, where he was put to death with cruel torture.
Charles Washburn’s widow, who before her marriage was Nancy LOWTHER, was afterward married to William CARDER, who was living “near below” the mouth of Hacker’s Creek (as my informant expressed it) when on the 25th day of July, 1794, his place was raided by the Indians. Though the savages were repulsed, they burned the house and drove the stock all off. This was the last depredation committed in that section.
The history of some of William CARDER’s descendants is, for the most part, the history of Upper Sandy. His father, says family tradition, was a rope maker by profession, while living in England. He and a friend and comrade named Hyre, crossed the ocean and located together on a large tract of land they held in partnership. Carder had the most confidence in his friend, and it is said, “just like two twin brothers.” But, alas, for trust in “mortal man!” As is too often the case, this friend proved treacherous, and, taking advantage of the perfect reliance the other placed in him, swindled him out of nearly all that he possessed, and left him old, infirm, and poor, to drift about the country and into a grave in potter’s field. Carder was a deeply religious man, and withal, it appears, something of a prophet, for it is said that he told Hyre that his ill gotten gains would not profit him much, for he and his family would be stricken with blindness. In a few short years both Hyre and his sons and sons-in-law were stone blind."
Other excerpts from the House manuscript will appear elsewhere in the William Carder (1762-1839) sections of this book. This manuscript is loaded with old-time stories of life in the 1800s. It has a “folklore-like” flavor to it.
Here is an article quoted from the “Awhile Ago Times” of Fairmont, WV, Vol. 1, No. 12, 1972
1794 - Reverend Joseph Cheuvront Rescues the Carder Family
Hon. Harvey W. Harmer, in his excellent work “One Hundred and Fifty Years of Methodism in Clarksburg, 1788-1938", introduces Rev. Joseph Cheuvront as follows:
At a conference in 1797, all the societies in this upper valley were formed into the Clarksburg Circuit, with Robert Conn and Richard Pearson as the preachers in charge. Among the members of the Clarksburg Methodist Episcopal Church were the Cheuvronts, Davissons, Cottrills, and others. Probably the most active of these was Joseph Cheuvront. He was a native of France where he was being educated for a Catholic Priest. Before he had finished his education he renounced the Catholic faith and became a Protestant. For his change of faith he was disinherited and suffered bitter persecution. As a result he ran away and came to New York as a “stowaway”. In New York he met and made friends among the Methodists and became a member and local preacher of the Church - no doubt the “Stone Church”.
Among the Methodists he met were John and Jacob Elsworth who were then planning to emigrate to this part of (then) Virginia. Cheuvront decided to join them in their new adventure. They came in 1776 and made their settlement on Coburn’s Creek, five miles south of here (Clarksburg). Joseph Cheuvront, a carpenter and grandson of Joseph Cheuvront the preacher, tells the following story, which he calls:
THE PREACHER AND THE BEAR, OR, THE PREACHER SAVES WILLIAM CARDER AND FAMILY FROM THE INDIANS
On the 24th of July, 1794, six Indians visited the West Fork River, and at the mouth of Freeman’s Creek, met with and made prisoner a daughter of John Runyon. She was taken off by two of the party of savages, but did not go more than ten or twelve miles, before she was put to death.
The four Indians who remained proceeded down the river and on the next day came to the house of William Carder, near the mouth of Hacker’s Creek. Mr. Carder discovered them approaching in time to fasten his door, but in the confusion of the minute, shut out two of his children, who however ran off unperceived by the savages and arrived in safety at the house of a neighbor.
He (Carder) then commenced firing and hallooing, so as to alarm those who were near and intimidate the Indians. Both objects were accomplished. The Indians contented themselves with shooting him. The noise was great enough to be heard by grandfather, more than a mile away, who immediately sent his family off down the river to a blockhouse, called the “Indian House”, where several families were living while looking for land on which to settle, and taking his guns, he owned four, a rifle, a musket, and two pistols, made off through the woods to aid the Carders.
Arriving at the Carder cabin, but still in the woods, grandfather found the Indians busily occupied. They had shot several of Carder’s cattle, and two of them were behind the stable, butchering a large steer. The other two were squatting behind a stump, firing their rifles into Carder’s house. Carder was still firing his gun and yelling, and his family were yelling, and several dogs inside the house were barking. Grandfather said the noise coming from inside the cabin was more frightening than the sight of the Indians. He said at first he supposed all the Carders had lost their minds.
There was a gully running from the woods in back of the cabin to the creek. It was deep enough, and brushy enough, to conceal grandfather from the eyes of the savages, and into it grandfather went, running, and firing one of his pistols, and running on, in back of the cabin, and firing his musket, and running on, and coming out below the cabin toward the creek, falling on his knees, and firing the rifle at four swiftly retreating Indians, who supposedly believed they were being attacked from the gully by an overwhelming number of whites.
In this manner grandfather relieved the Carders without having to kill any of the savages, which pleased him very much for, though he often went out on Indian chases, he did not believe in killing human beings if such could possibly be avoided.
Now exactly what the facts were might be disputed, for the grandson liked to tell the same story, with just a bit different ending.........
Carder, barricaded in his cabin with the remainder of his family, began yelling at the top of his lungs and loading and firing his gun at the top of the ceiling, and all his family yelled with him, for he did not believe in killing human beings if such could possibly be avoided.
When the Indians were out of sight, grandfather, yelling to the Carders to keep still and stop shooting, started up the gully toward the cabin, and there in a thick patch of brambles was met a huge and very angry bear. One look into the bear’s eyes and grandfather knew it was time for him to retreat, and retreat he did with the bear growling at his heels.
The place of safety chose by him was the roof of the cabin, and there he sat when the Carders, finally realizing they were no longer in danger, came from the cabin, and were chased inside again by the bear. Finally the bear, which no one wanted to kill because of the season and the weather being very hot and dry, finally ambled away, and grandfather and the Carders started out for the Indian House, which, in a couple of hours, they all reached in safety.
William Carder’s pension application sheds a lot of light on various events in his life.
Revolutionary War Pension Application of William Carder, 1833.
State of Virginia Lewis County to wit
Personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace in and for the said County of Lewis on the 27th day of September 1833 William Carder a resident of the said County of Lewis and State of Virginia aged 73 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on this oath make the following declarations in order to obtain the benefit of an act of Congress passed June 7th 1832. That he entered the Service of the United States, under the following named officers and served as herein stated. That in the year 1780 in the month of March in the County of Hampshire State of Virginia he was drafted for a tour of six months and was placed under the command of Capt. Isaac Parsons, other officers names not recollected, and was marched to the Town of Romney & there stationed to guard some tories who were confined in the Jail of the said County of Hampshire and State of Virginia. Affiant remained here during his said term of draft engaged in guarding said Tories, and repelled the assaults which were made by the Tories who were lurking in the wilderness and about the said Town of Romney to rescue those who were confined in Jail of said County. Affiant remained in service as aforesaid untill some time in the month of September 1780 when he was discharged by his said Capt. Isaac Parsons and returned home having served six months as a private Soldier. In the winter of 1780 affiant moved to the County of Monongalia, State of Virginia and found the inhabitants in a great state of fear and apprehension. The Indians had been in the habit of visiting the northwestern part of Virginia and committing great outrages of the there then settled county. Accordingly in the Spring of 1781 in the month of March in the County of Monongalia State of Virginia affiant volunteered as a private Indian Spy and was placed under the command of Capt. William Lowther, George Jackson Ensign, other officers names not recollected. Stationed at Arnolds fort on the west fork of Monongalia River in the County and State aforesaid and was engaged in spying the Country from said fort to the River Ohio, on which now composes the counties of Ohio, Tyler, Harrison, Wood, and Lewis, until the 9th day of December 1781 at which time affiant was discharged by his said Capt. William Lowther having served nine months as an Indian Spy. Again in the month of March 1782 in the County of Mongalia and State of Virginia affiant volunteered as a private Indian Spy, and was stationed at Arnolds fort in the County of Monongalia and State of Virginia and was placed under the command of the officers last aforesaid and was engaged as aforesaid in spying the County as aforesaid. Through and over what now composes the Counties of Ohio, Wood, Tyler, Harrison, & Lewis until some time in the month of November 1782 at which time affiant was discharged having served eight months as a private Indian Spy, his discharge which was given at the expiration of this tour was signed by Lieutenant George Jackson in consequence of the absence of Capt. William Lowther. Again in the year 1783 in the month of April in the County and State last aforesaid, affiant volunteered and was placed under the Command of Capt. Staple Carpenter, other officers names not recollected, and was stationed at Wests fort on Hackers a branch of the West fork of Monongalia River, and was engaged in spying the Counties aforesaid untill some time in the month of August at which time affiant took sick and was discharged by his said Capt. Staple Carpenter and returned home having served four months as a private Indian [spy]. The following are the occurances which took place during affiants several tours of service. During his first tour nothing of any notoriety took place. During the 2nd tour the Indians came into the neighborhood and killed a man by the name of John Richards. Affiant pursued in company with Elias Huse and others but did not overtake the Indians. During his third tour the Indians came into the neighborhood and killed Paul & Arnold Richards. During his third tour no particular occurance took place. To the several Interrogations prescribed by the Department, affiant answers and says.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
William X Carder
William Carder and his wife had seven known children and have numerous descendants in the western parts of West Virginia.
W1-2 Family of William Carder (1762 - 1839) and Nancy (or Rebecca) Lowther Washburn Carder
Second Generation Descendants of William Carder (1762 - 1839)
W1-2-2 Family of William Carder (1787 - ) and Martha Stutler Carder
W1-2-3 Family of Manly Carder (1790-1890) and Mary Elizabeth Switzer Carder (1802-about 1850)
W1-2-5 John Wesley Carder (about 1795-1859)
Excerpts from The Upper Sandy Valley by John A. House
John Wesley Carder was born and reared in Harrison County, W.Va. He married, and lived there until his older children were married and had homes of their own. He then, early in the winter of 1838, or 1839, decided to follow his brother-in-law, Washburn, to the fertile valley of Big Sand Creek in the new County of Jackson.
Washburn had preceded him by several years, and now Carder, Stutler, and a neighbor by the name of Cheuvront, packed their rude belongings, and followed him to the new west, where land could be had at a nominal price, and game was yet abundant.
Stutler, it is said, came by the overland trail route, arriving sometime in January. Carder and Cheuvront took the long way by water, down the West Fork River past Clarksburg, and down the Monongahela River, (North), by way of Pittsburg, and the Ohio River to Ravenswood, reaching their new home in April.
Carder was an expert blacksmith and gunsmith, crafts always in demand in a pioneer settlement. His patronage came from miles in every direction. He and his boys were successful trappers, and famous as hunters, and prospered in their agricultural pursuits.
He bought a large boundary of land on the presant site of Liverpool, Jackson County, W.Va. But, living first in a squatter’s cabin near the site of Mr. T. I. Hartley’s residence. Later he built a log house practically on the site of the Hartley’s house, perhaps a little nearer the well.
W1-2-5 Family of John W. Carder (about 1795 - 1859) and Margaret Smith Carder (about 1790 - )
W1-2-6 Family of Nancy Carder Stutler (about 1797 - 1832) and John Stutler III (1787 - 1873)