This page follows the generations of the Ingram family, as I descend from them. The following links operate within this same page - click on the Ingram you want to see.

FIRST GENERATION: Alexander Ingram
In the middle 1700's, the part of the state of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, also known as the Valley of Virginia, was gradually opening and becoming less hostile to white settlers. At this time, the primary influx of homesteaders came down the through the Valley from the North, and included mostly German and Scotch-Irish settlers. A smaller number of hardy English pioneers found their way to the Valley, crossing the Blue Ridge to get there. Alexander Ingram appears to be one such adventurer, showing up first in the records of 1747, east of the Blue Ridge. In the spring of that year (April 17), Alexander Ingram and Robert Hughes, Jr. 'enter' for 200 acres on both sides of Blackwater River at the mouth of Gill's Creek in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. At the time, there was still much unclaimed land; Alexander Ingram and Hughes were declaring their intention to own the land, after meeting the British colonial government's terms for land grants. This land is now part of Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County, Virginia, although the stream beds are still discernible on a map. Whether or not Alexander actually ever met the conditions for ownership and actually resided at this spot is not clear. However, just three years later, he found his way about thirty miles northwest, across the Blue Ridge in what was then Augusta County, Virginia. On June 1, 1750, Alexander Ingram "for good causes and considerations but more especially and in consideration of the sum of 40 shillings of good and lawful money for our use paid to our receiver..." receives 373 acres on Goose Creek (a name that the Roanoke River once went by) from the authority of King George II of England. The stipulations were the that three of every 50 acres were to be improved, and that every year on the 'Feast of St. Michael the Archangel', one shilling per every fifty acres was to be paid to the colonial government. The English government seemed to be almost giving away property in an effort to clear land and advance its own borders. At any rate, it turned out well for Alexander, who 5 years later sold this land to Jacob Reed for 31 pounds. There are other similar grants to Alexander Ingram in in Augusta and Botetourt (formed from Augusta in 1770) Counties, Virginia. In 1768, for the price of 40 shillings, Alexander acquired 400 acres "on Huff's Creek, a branch of Roanoak at the bent mountain". This grant, for land just southwest of the present city of Roanoke, Virginia, was signed by John Blair, Esq., "president of our council and comander-in-chief of our said colony and dominion at Williamsburg". The authority for this grant came from the bumbling English monarch George III, who would lose the colonies to independence less than a decade later. Alexander also acquired 54 acres in Botetourt County, Virginia, on August 3, 1771, "on a branch of Roanoke nigh Jasper Tarry's". Alexander Ingram also found his way to Lancaster and Kershaw Counties, South Carolina, at some point as well; he established land holdings here that he passed on in his will later (There are some surprising place name similarities around the Roanoke, Virginia, and Lancaster/Kershaw County, South Carolina, areas: Catawba River(SC)/Catawba Creek(VA); Catawba as a town name; the name Hanging Rock; and Cravan's Branch(SC)/Carvin's Branch and Carvin's Cove(VA). Maybe the Ingram's brought their place names with them). Apparently his entire family went with him, but most returned to Virginia not many years later, perhaps due to dad Alexander's health. Alexander Jr. appears to have stayed in South Carolina with his family, where he aided the American revolutionary effort with goods and services, and where the first President of the United States of America, George Washington, overnighted at his homestead in 1791. Another interesting record of Alexander Ingram, Sr., appears in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1755. Here Alexander appears on Sherriff Robert Breckenridge's "List of Delinquents in the Tax Levies". Perhaps Alexander felt he was being 'taxated' without being 'representated', a sentiment which would ignite a revolution 20 years later. Alexander Ingram recorded his will on the 5th of December, 1780, in Botetourt County, Virginia. He names wife Mary, bequeathing to her six acres on each side of Cravan's Branch, "also my negro wench named Grace", as well as all beds, bedclothes, and the "whole of my pewter". Daughter Ann and her husband were to receive half the land Alexander was currently residing on, and a negro woman named Else. Sons William and James got the tract of land on the Bent Mountain - 400 acres - to be divided equitably. William also received "a mollato wench" (whose name is undecipherable to me in the will), James a "negro wench named Poll". Son John got the other half of the land on which Alexander resided on, a negro Primus, and the negro Grace at his mother's death. Daughter Mary, who seems to have been the baby, received 100 acres on Hanging Rock's Creek (as well as a required contribution from brothers John, James, William, and Alexander, Jr. - his only mention - of 15 pounds apiece to purchase Mary a negro). Alexander's wife Mary and son John were executors of the will. It would be an interesting matter for speculation to determine the apparent source of discord between Alexander Ingrams Sr. and Jr. Junior may have upset his dad by staying in South Carolina, or he may have been the eldest and well-established enough in life not to need the inheritances the others received. It could also be that Alexander Ingram Sr. was a Loyalist and his son's rebellious leanings upset him (roughly half of the colonists were in fact Loyalists). Whatever the reason, when his dad died in 1783, all Alexander Jr. got was a bill for 15 pounds (complete text of will).

Alexander Ingram, Sr.'s sons John and James Ingram found their way to Henry County by 1778, around the Goblintown Creek area on the south side of the Smith River. This area, now located around the convergence of Patrick, Henry, and Franklin Counties, Virginia, at the Philpott Reservoir and Fairy Stone State Park, was at the time part of Pittsylvania County, Virginia. John Ingram, evidently the elder brother, married Elizabeth Childs, and James married a Martha ('Patsy'). Both men show up frequently in Henry County records, buying and selling land, and evidently both became rather well off. One interesting record is from the Henry County Order Book Volume One and Two, where on "September 21, 1778, on the motion of Blackmore Hughes, it is ordered that the sheriff take into custody John Ingram and safely keep him until he gives security for his good behavior towards Hughes" (It should be noted that a different Hughes presided at the government meeting where this took place). Why Blackmore Hughes was so scared of John Ingram is a matter for pure speculation. Therefore, not wanting too many violent offenders in the family tree, I will speculate that Blackmore Hughes stole John's chickens, then, to escape the certain violent repercussions that were due him from John, got his cousin to lock John up. Although records of John and James Ingram show up often in land trading, a record which is particularly interesting occurs in Pittsylvania County Grant Book D (for land now in Patrick or Henry Counties), where James Ingram is granted 289 acres on Goblingtown Creek, a grant signed by Thomas Jefferson. No copy of the original can be made, unfortunately, the grant book consists solely of transcriptions by a secretary; the original document signed by Jefferson would have been sent to James. Jefferson signed many such grants, so James is not unique in this regard, but it is interesting to see a connection to such historical figures in the family tree. As well, the great orator Patrick Henry (who lent his name to both Patrick and Henry Counties) lived in Henry County from 1779 to 1784; any reasonably well off land-holders of the day would probably have had occasion to cross paths with him, in governmental affairs or some other. James Ingram married a Martha, and soon found himself to be a James Ingram Sr. This union produced six children, at least three of whom are direct ancestors of mine: James Ingram, Jr.(born 1790), Sarah Elizabeth ('Sallie') Ingram (born 1787), and Nancy Ingram (born 1798). James Ingram Sr. made his home on a ridge above the Smith River in Henry County. His house has fallen down and has been reclaimed by nature or scavengers, but in 1994, the remains of his stone chimney are still there to be seen, although back in the woods off route 624 in Henry County (near the intersection of 623 and 624) and difficult to find. Although there is not much remaining to see, James Sr. apparently had a fairly large residence, as an inventory of his estate made on November 16, 1816, in Henry County included a loom, 2 flax wheels, 2 cotton wheels, 16 chairs, 2 tables, 9 beds and furniture (as well as various types of livestock, food stores, and accounts on other people). James Sr. was buried nearby, where his grave still stands (with an inscription undiscernible unless the visitor knows ahead of time what it says) by an unmarked burial, probably that of wife Martha. James Ingram Sr. recorded his will in 1815 (Patrick County Will Book 1, p. 127), with wife Martha and son Alexander Ingram as executors. James Sr. also bequeathed his slaves in his will, and named these children: Alexander Ingram, Elizabeth Via, Sarah Ingram, Exony Adams, James Ingram, and Mary Ingram.

James Ingram, Sr.'s headstone: Bob Ingram (left, great-great-great-great-grandson
to James Ingram), and Clifton Spencer (right), who ran across the gravesite
while deer hunting, and led us back to it.

James Ingram, Jr., inherited his father's land on the north shore of Smith River, in what is now Franklin County, and eventually moved there. He married Elizabeth Hall, the daughter of John Mason Hall and Sarah (Clark) Hall, on November 14, 1816, in Patrick County, and from there these two put on a prodigious display of fertility: they produced 13 children before Elizabeth's death on February 17th, 1859. James, however, was not finished - he married the young Jane Turner (daughter of Obodioh and Frances Turner) less than 2 months after Elizabeth's death, on April 14th, 1859, in Franklin County. He was 63 and she 35. Seemingly unconcerned at the prospect of being an octogenarian with teen-agers, James fathered two more children with Jane, and in fact outlived her (Jane died in 1865).

James Ingram, Jr., seems to have been a founding member of the Union Primitive Baptist Church, now located where routes 623 and 624 meet in Patrick County (This is not the original church; the building was moved away from Smith River when the Philpott dam created the Philpott Reservoir out of the river - dam construction went from 1948 to 1953). In fact, James, Jr. and Elizabeth were probably married at the church in its first year of existence (1815) since the first pastor, Stephen Hubbard, is the same man who performed their ceremony. A brief one-page history of the church, done by J.G.L. Hash in 1948, lists 19 original members, including many Ingrams: Martha Ingram, James Ingram, Elizabeth Ingram, Alexander Ingram. Many other established local family names show up in the original roll call as well: Cox, Turner, Burnett, Via, and others.

James apparently took the occasional break from fathering children, and appears to have been a relatively prosperous farmer. An appraisal of his estate done on May 2nd, 1865 (Franklin Co., VA, Will Book 14, p. 188), shows James as having 5 slaves, valued between $20 and $500, which he accounted for in his will and bequeathed to his last two sons. Additionally, this inventory demonstrates the typical self-sufficiency of the Franklin County farmers of the time. The following items were owned by James at his death: Of course, he also had the standard 2 stills and 15 still tubs. With an apple mill perhaps his distillation of choice was apple brandy. A final interesting note taken from his inventory shows that James had in his possession $150.00 in 'Money on hand (Confederate)', and $15.57 'Money in specie'. In his will, James states, "I give and bequeath to my daughter Martha Jane Martin four hundred and fifty Dollars to be paid out of out of any money I may have on hand or when collected out of bonds or claims due my Estate whenever my Executor may think proper to pay it not to make too much of a sacrifice on account of the currency." Evidently, the outcome of the Civil War was fairly certain at that time (2/19/1865), and he had cause for concern for the value of his Confederate cash.
James Ingram, Jr. died a Confederate citizen, on April 1,1865, 8 days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and is buried along with both of his wives in a large family plot on 'the old France Farm' (for Cabell France, who owned the now-abandoned farmhouse there). He had heart trouble, as a letter from nearby Franklin resident Gabriel Prillaman to Andrew and Martha Prillaman Turner during the Civil War states: "you spoke of James Ingram being low with a disease of the Heart, which one of them is it?" Of course, in 1865, James was already in his 75th year.

View of James Ingram, Jr's family plot, as seen
from the France farm, across a hayfield

(The site is in Franklin County, 623 to 788, then an almost immediate left. About 1/4 of a mile down the road is the old abandoned farmhouse; the family plot is in back of the property, across a rolling hayfield and fenced in.)

PLEASE NOTE: I stopped updating the web page around 2001, but I've continued to work on my project. My family history is now in Word document format, with the goal of publishing it once I consider it to be as complete as I'm going to get it. While I'm greatly indebted to those who have assisted me in my research, I'm finding that the demands of everyday life don't allow me to consistently respond to email inquiries. So, I'm offering my most up-to-date volume for sale, at a price of $19. For those interested, it is at 118 pages right now, printed by a laser printer on 8.5x11 32-lb./98 brightness paper, and wire bound. The table of contents, revision history, and index are available at the following links. To order a copy, please email me at [email protected], and I'll send it within 3 days of payment. If you indicate the family line you are interested in, I'll send you a new bound copy if and when I update my research for that line. Thanks,

EMAIL:Jay Ingram

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