We have had a list for many years that was written by my great grandmother on her family line stretching back to her immigrant ancestors. Grandma Gage’s grandparents were William Pitsenbarger and Mary “Polly” Amick. We knew that William Pitsenbarger’s parents names were Elizabeth Amick and Peter Pitsenbarger. Whenever I looked at this line – I had to wonder – was Mary “Polly” Amick and Elizabeth Amick related?
While Pitsenbarger and Amick might be unusual last names, the first names of Mary and William are all too common. One of the first things that I did was to see if I could find a Mary or Polly Amick in the 1850 census. I located a Polly Amick in 1850 in the Western District, Nicholas Co., VA, on page 49, Line #321. She was listed as 17 years old and as Polly Amick and the daughter of Jacob Amick born abt 1788 in Pennsylvania and a Rachel born abt 1794 in Virginia. Something to remember when looking at West Virginia families prior to the Civil War is that their birth place will be listed as Virginia even if where they would have lived is now West Virginia. West Virginia was parceled off and added to the Union as a state. At this point, I could locate no other Polly Amick who was the same age and in Nicholas Co., VA. So, I went forward with the theory that Mary or Polly Amick’s parents were Jacob Amick and Rachael.
At this point, I started researching newslists, websites and anything else about a Jacob Amick who married a Rachel. It didn’t take very long to find out that Jacob Amick had married Rachel Shroyer. I was actually sent information by someone who had a copy of the history book that had been published by the Nicholas County Historical society. There was an article titled “Jacob Amick and Rachel Shroyer, A Pioneer Family.” The article explains that Jacob Amick was one of the first Amicks to move to Nicholas Co., VA and that the move was made possible by land grants that had been made. The government was trying to encourage families to move into the “wilderness” that was this area of Nicholas Co., VA at the time. Jacob was one of the first to appear on the tax rolls for Nicholas Co., VA at the time. The article later went on to spell out the complete family of Jacob Amick and Rachel Shroyer including my great great great grandmother, Mary “Polly” Amick. It shows her as being married to William Pitsenbarger which confirmed what I already knew. I could see that I had the right Mary/Polly Amick.
Just below that wonderful bit of information was another tantalizing tidbit. The article mentioned that three of Jacob’s sisters moved to the area after being married in Pendleton County, VA. It mentioned Mary who married a Christian Propst, Barbara who married Henry Eye, and Elizabeth who married Peter Pitsenbarger. This one article had explained many things in a few short sentences.
William Pitsenbarger was the son of Peter Pitsenbarger and Elizabeth Amick. He was born Nov 1827 in Pendleton Co., VA and died Oct 1901 in Runa, Nicholas Co., WV. His mother, Elizabeth Amick was born about 1801 in Dahmer, Pendleton Co., VA and died 28 Sep 1857 in Nicholas Co., VA. Elizabeth was married to Peter Pitsenbarger on 7 Mar 1820 and they were the parents of nine children. Peter Pitsenbarger lived to about June 1864. After the death of Elizabeth, he married a Sarah Ann Southard and had another son, Jacob, born abt 1859. I had always suspected that Elizabeth Amick and Mary/Polly Amick were related, but I was never sure of the exact relationship. There are far too many Elizabeth’s and Mary/Polly to make an assumption. I knew from what my great grandmother had written – that her grandparents were William Pitsenbarger and Polly Amick and that her great grandparents were Peter Pitsenbarger and Elizabeth Amick. Everything fit together – perhaps a little more closely than I would have liked. Elizabeth was Polly Amick’s aunt and she and William Pitsenbarger were first cousins.
I remember telling my grandmother about this discovery. Her first reaction was that she was going to “need to study this!” After she had accepted the information, she informed me that it was quite common for first cousins to marry. If I recall at the time, I was entrenched in my West Virginia relatives and had to agree with her somewhat. These family lines were incredibly tangled and several names seemed to show up way too often. I have had some fun teasing some of my younger relations about this set of first cousins who married. They don’t really like to think that their family tree didn't really fork into a different direction.
|Mary Amick Pitsenbarger's death record.|
It is interesting to note that Mary Amick’s father lived to be a grand old age for the time of 80 years old. However, her mother lived to be 101 – which I find very surprising. Eventually, I was able to get a copy of Mary Amicks’s death record with only mentioned Amick as the father and Sowyour as the mother. Mary Amick Pitsenbarger died at the age of 93 years old. William Pitsenbarger died at the age of 74. I was told by one of my cousins that he was crushed between the wall of a barn and a horse. Both William and Mary are buried at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV. Elizabeth and Jacob were the children of Henry Amick, Jr. and Elizabeth Barbara Niemand who began their lives in Bucks Co., PA and moved to Pendleton Co., VA sometime around 1790. The Amicks and Pitsenbargers both left for Nicholas county with the promise of land…and so both families are counted as the two of the founding families of Nicholas County, West Virginia today!
Descendants of Jacob AMICK
Generation No. 1
1. JACOB4 AMICK (HENRY3, JOHAN HEINRICH2 EMICH, JOHAN GEORG1 EMIG) was born 1789 in Buck Co., PA, and died 06 Sep 1869 in Anglings Creek, Nicholas Co., VA (WV). He married RACHEL SHROYER 15 Jan 1814 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), daughter of SHROYER. She was born Abt. 1793 in Nicholas Co., VA (WV), and died 1894 in Nicholas Co., WV.
Children of JACOB AMICK and RACHEL SHROYER are:
i. JOHN5 AMICK, b. 18 Apr 1815, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. Abt. 1890; m. LENA WALKER, 22 Dec 1836, Fayette Co., VA; b. Abt. 1819, VA.
ii. HENRY AMICK, b. 01 Nov 1817, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); m. JANE, 01 Jun 1848; b. Abt. 1831, VA.
iii. SAMUEL H. AMICK, b. 02 Dec 1818, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. 1906; m. MARY COPENHAVER, 25 Mar 1841, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. 1820, Greenbrier Co., VA (WV); d. 02 May 1874, Russellville, Fayette Co., WV.
iv. CATHERINE AMICK, b. Jan 1820, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 1917, Nicholas Co., WV; m. JOHN FIELDING BAYS, JR., 03 Feb 1843, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. Jan 1816, VA; d. Aft. 1900, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.
v. RACHEL AMICK, b. Abt. 1824, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
vi. BETSEY AMICK, b. Abt. 1825, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
vii. JACOB AMICK, JR., b. Dec 1826, Pendleton Co., (VA) WV; d. 11 Aug 1909, Nicholas Co., WV; m. HENRIETTA BOLEY; b. Apr 1838, Monroe Co., (VA) WV; d. 1928, Nicholas Co., WV.
viii. MARY AMICK, b. 11 Apr 1832, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 05 Jan 1926, Pool, Nicholas Co., WV; m. WILLIAM PITSENBARGER, 02 Nov 1854, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. Nov 1827, Pendleton Co., VA; d. Oct 1901, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV.
ix. ARTHUR AMICK, b. 03 Mar 1833, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); m. SARAH JANE LLOYD.
Descendants of Elizabeth AMICK
Generation No. 1
1. ELIZABETH4 AMICK (HENRY3, JOHAN HEINRICH2 EMICH, JOHAN GEORG1 EMIG) was born Abt. 1801 in Dahmer, Pendleton Co., VA (WV), and died 28 Sep 1857 in Nicholas Co., WV. She married PETER PITSENBARGER 07 Mar 1820 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), son of ABRAHAM PITSENBARGER and MARY COWGER. He was born 1798 in Pendleton Co., VA (WV), and died Abt. 14 Jun 1864 in Runa, Nicholas Co., VA (WV).
Children of ELIZABETH AMICK and PETER PITSENBARGER are:
i. CHRISTINA5 PITSENBARGER, b. 04 Aug 1820, Greenbrier Co., VA (WV); d. 26 May 1902, Nicholas Co., WV; m. GRANDISON MCCUTCHEON NUTTER, Abt. 1840, Nicholas Co., WV; b. 31 Jul 1815, Poe, Nicholas Co., WV; d. 17 Nov 1904, Nicholas Co., WV.
ii. MARY ANN PITSENBARGER, b. 18 Feb 1822, Pendleton Co., VA (WV); d. 28 Oct 1906, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (1) BURDETTE; m. (2) RICHARD BLOFELD, SR., 04 May 1858, Greenbrier Co., WV; b. 08 Jan 1796, England; d. 29 Aug 1886, Nicholas Co., WV.
iii. WILLIAM PITSENBARGER, b. Nov 1827, Pendleton Co., VA; d. Oct 1901, Runa, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (1) MARY AMICK, 02 Nov 1854, Nicholas Co., VA (WV; b. 11 Apr 1832, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. 05 Jan 1926, Pool, Nicholas Co., WV; m. (2) FRANCES ALVIRA BENNETT, Bef. 1869; b. 1846, Pool, WV.
iv. ELIZABETH PITSENBARGER, b. 1830, Nicholas Co., VA; d. 1894, Nicholas Co., WV; m. JOHN B. NUTTER, Oct 1847, Nicholas Co., VA; b. 02 Aug 1826, Poe, Nicholas Co., WV; d. 18 Jun 1896, Nicholas Co., WV.
v. JOHN PITSENBARGER, b. 1832, Nicholas Co., VA; m. EVELINE JANE MCCLUNG, 02 Dec 1852, Nicholas Co., WV; b. 1834.
vi. RACHEL PITSENBARGER, b. 1834, Nicholas Co., VA; d. Aft. 1910; m. CORNELIUS C. DORSEY, 11 Jan 1855, Nicholas Co., VA; b. 1830, Nicholas Co., VA; d. Aft. 1912.
vii. JAMES JACOB PITSENBARGER, b. 1836, Nicholas Co., VA; m. REBECCA A. PERKINS, 29 Jul 1858, Nicholas Co., VA; b. Abt. 1842, WV.
viii. MARTHA J. PITSENBARGER, b. 1838, Nicholas Co., VA (WV); d. Abt. 1889, Greenbrier Co., WV; m. WILLIAM ALEXANDER NUTTER, 21 Mar 1857; b. 1830, Virginia; d. Feb 1889, Greenbrier Co., WV.
ix. MINERVA PITSENBARGER, b. 1847, Nicholas Co., VA.