Ancestor 44 – William Armstrong

William Armstrong was born about 1805 in Pendleton County, Virginia but what is present day Highland County, Virginia.  William died before September 7, 1846 because his wife Eleanor’s name was given in Pendleton Co Deed 14 pg 482 as a widow.  So he was a mysterious man with no certain birthday or death date who can only be traced through others.  “A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia” by Morton, Oren Frederic, on page 337-338,  give William Armstrong is the son of William Armstrong and Elizabeth Erwin.  The father was equally elusive who left no will but his life is known only through others.  I’m grateful that marriage records existed for both of them men or I likely would not have known there were at least three generations of William Armstrong’s in my tree.

Since the Armstrong property was located one mile south of Doe Hill, the present day location of William’s birth was likely in Highland County, Virginia (Pendleton County, Virginia at that time.

William Armstrong married Eleanor Wilson on 15th of December, 1829 in Pendleton County, Virginia.  And again, since Highland was formed from Pendleton County in 1847, the actual physical location was probably Highland County, Virginia. The evidence of that marriage were two sons, Harvey and Hanson.

The will of William Armstrong, Sr. gives a son named William and, he signed the probated will.  Based on that assumption, and the date of the marriage of Willam and Elizabeth in 1788, the birthday of William Jr would be circa 1789.  The 1810 US Census for William Armstrong likely is his father and the headcounts match to account for William Jr’s age group.  The 1820 is more difficult to draw conclusions or exclusion base on the headcount.  This family now has one slave.

The 1830 US Census for William Armstrong is a  match in head count for just William and Eleanor age groups with just two people in the household.  And then on perfectly to 1840 with head counts fitting William, Eleanor and two sons all in the correct age group.  Further confirming the family ties, this same page of the 1840 census includes James, George, Jared and John with parenthesis on the side of the a fore mentioned that says “son of Wm”.  Also on the page is a brother to the father name Amos.  This puts the family in the correct geography to be related and ages to be siblings and sons of William.

Both Highland and Pendleton County history records also mention William but without specific birth dates or death record.  There was a mention of widow Armstrong in Owen Morton’s history books in the late 1840s.  He died young, about 40, but farming could be difficult and sometimes dangerous.