Sunday, May 1, 2016

Genealogy Wanderings - Dountain/Downtain

My great grandmother's family came from West Virginia. Most of her family lines were in West Virginia for all of the 19th century.  There are so many family relationships that sometimes it is easy to lose focus...because once you start looking it is almost like you go into a black hole and forget what your goal was.  This is one of the most complicated family relationships that I have.  I am directly related to Shawver, Nutter, Pitsenbarger, and Amick - and those families are intermarried and there are a lot of other names the fall into the mix like O'Dell

My great grandmother's younger brother was called Dewey Dountain Shawver.  I have many fond memories of him, because he was truly a character.  His son was called Dewey Dountain Shawver, Jr and there is now 4 generations of Dewey Dountain Shawver's.  Our family left West Virginia in the late 19th century - still one has to wonder where the name came from...because it is unusual.  I have found several with the name in the associated families...not sure if one of them is the source of the name.  Here are a few of these Dountain/Downtain cousins.

Isaac "Ike" Dountain Nutter is one of my earliest Dountain's.  He was born 11 Aug 1856 in Nutterville, Greenbriar Co., WV and died 21 May 1935.  His parents were John B. Nutter and Elizabeth Pitsenbarger.  John B. Nutter was the half brother of my 4th great grandmother, Elizabeth Nutter  (m. to Thomas Henderson Legg) and Elizabeth Pitsenbarger was the younger sister of my 3rd great grandfather, William Pitsenbarger.  Isaac Dountain Nutter was married to Mary Etta Walker and they had 5 children.

Levi Dountain Nutter was born March 1866 in Nicholas Co., WV and died 31 Oct 1931 in Nicholas Co., WV.  His parents were Charles W. Nutter and Sarah Pitsenbarger.  Charles Nutter's grandfather was David Nutter - my 5th great grandfather. Sarah Pitsenbarger's grandfather is my 5th great grandfather, Abraham Pitsenbarger.  They had 4 children.

Pascal Dountain Nutter was born 18 Aug 1896 in Greenbrier, WV and died 14 Nov 1955.  He was married to Rebecca May Trout.  His father was Johnson Floyd Nutter whose parents were John B Nutter and Elizabeth Pitsenberger.  (See above) His mother was Elbina Catherine Nutter, who parents were Charles W Nutter and Sarah Pitsenbarger.  They had 14 children including Pascal Dountain Nutter, Jr.

Adam Downtain Bailes was born 13 Sep 1857 in Mt Nebo, Nicholas Co., WV and died 14 Oct 1886 in Nicholas Co., WV.  He was married to Rachel Anna Pitsenbarger who was the sister of my second great grandmother, Rebecca Jane Pitsenbarger.  They had 2 children.

Paschal Downtain Nutter was born May 1861 Greenbrier Co., WV and died 13 Jan 1897 in Greenbrier Co., WV.  He was the son of Levi William Nutter and Margaret Backus.  Paschal is the grandson of my 5th great grandfather David Nutter and his second wife, Christina O'Dell. (I am descended from his first wife, Ruth Cottle.)  He was married to Caroline Richardson and they had 5 children.

Of course then there is my great great uncle, Dewey Dountain Shawver born 25 May 1899 in Decatur, Burt Co., NE and died 18 Oct 1995 in Moscow, Latah Co., ID.  He was the son of George Christian Shawver and Rebecca Jane Pitsenbarger. Dewey was married to Alice Davidson and they had three children, including Dewey Dountain Shawver Jr aka "DeweyD".  

I am not sure where the Dountain/Downtain name came from...but the name is interspersed with the Nutters and Pitsenbargers primarily but it also shows up in the O'Dell family which is closely tied with the Nutter family since David Nutter (my 5th great grandfather) married Christina O'Dell after the death of Ruth Cottle.  David and Ruth had 10 children and then David and his second wife had 7 more children.  Since the name mostly shows up among the descendants of David Nutter with the exception of Adam Downtain Bailes, it makes me think that there must have been local individual who was an important and/or beloved member of the community.  Perhaps someone can tell me who it might be.

If you would like to read more about Dewey Shawver's siblings and parents...check out: