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Christopher Chaffin, American Patriot, Enlisted Early in 1776

Christopher Chaffin did not hesitate to defend his country against the British. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War in Cumberland County, Virginia during 1776. Two years later he was married to Mary Ann Vawter with his brother present at the wedding. After the war, they resided in Goochland County until about 1800 when they removed to Tazewell County where Christopher died. His widow then removed to Clermont County, Ohio. To get the full story, research is indicated in Cumberland, Tazewell and Powahtan Counties into the old wills, estates, deeds and tax digests.

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Massacre and Torture of the Moore Family at Abb's Valley

Abbs Valley In 1786 there was an Indian massacre in the northeast corner of Tazewell County, about fourteen miles from Jeffersonville, in Abb's Valley. This beautiful valley is situated between two ridges and is twelve miles long and less than a quarter wide. From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 149-152. In 1772, Captain James Moore had moved his family from ockbridge County to Abbs Valley where, on September 7,1784, his young son James Moore Jr. had been taken captive by the Indians. He had been sent by his father to catch a horse and go to the mill. Two years later, about thirty Indians came to the home of Captain James Moore and killed his whole family, burned the house and fences. Mr. Moore had gone out to salt his horses while two men living with the family had gone oujt to a field to reap wheat. The Indians were lying in ambush watching the house and supposing that all the men were absent (which was their technique), rushed forward with all speed. "As they advanced they commenced firing and killed three children in the yard. Mr. Moore attempted to get to the house, but finding it surrounded, ran past through a lot in which the house stood. When he reached the fence he made a halt, and was short through with seven bullets. After he was shot he ran about forty yards and fell. He was then scalped by the Indians, and afterwards buried by the whites on the spot where he fell, and where his grave may still be seen. The two white men who were reaping, hearing the firing and seeing the house surrounded, fled and alarmed the settlements-the nearest being six miles distance. As soon as the alarm was given, Mrs. Moore and a young woman living with her by the name of Martha Ivins, barred the door. There was no man in the hous except the old Englishman, John Simpson, and he was sick in bed in the loft. There were several guns in the house but they were all empty. Martha Ivins took two of them up to Simpson, but she found him in a dying condition, having been shot in the head through a crack. The Indians then proceeded to cut down the door, during which time Martha Ivins lifted a plank and went under the floor, requesting Polly Moore (then only eight years old), who was the youngest child in her arms (which was crying), to leave in and come under also. Polly looked at the child a moment, clasped it to her heart, and determined to share its fate. The Indians having broken into the house, took Mrs. Moore and her children (viz: John, Jane, Polly and Peggy) prisoners, set fire to the buildings and left. Martha remained under the floor a short time, and then came out without being seen and hid under a log that lay across the spring branch. The Indians having tarried a short time for the purpose of catching horses, one of them sat down upon the log to fix his gunlock, when Miss Ivins, supposing he had seen her and was about to shoot, came out and gave herself up. They then started for their towns. Perceiving that John Moore was a boy weak in both body and mind, and unable to travel, they killed him the first day. A few days after they dashed out the brains of the babe against a tree. The journey was very long and sore one, and for days together they were without food. They finally reached the Indian towns on the Miami, where Polly fell into the hands of an Indian and his squaw who were very kind to her. Mrs. Moore and her daughter Jane were burnt at the stake. Their tortures last some time, during which Mrs. Moore manifested the utmost Christian fortitude, at intervals conversing with her daughter Polly and Martha Ivins, and expressing great anxiety for the moment to arrive when her sould would soar away to the better inheritance." Source: Annuals of Southwest Virginia, pp. 1600-1602.


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Tazewell County Genealogy, Wills, Estates, Marriage Bonds, Probate Records


Tazewell County

During 1771, Thomas and John Witten established the first permanent settlement at Crab Orchard. Tazewell County, Virginia was created in 1799 and was taken from portions of Wythe and Russell Counties. The county seat is Tazewell.

Marriage Bonds
  • 1801 to 1845
  • 1845 to 1853
Images of Wills and Estates 1800 to 1832

Asberry, George | Asberry, Henry | Asbury, Moses | Asberry, Poly | Baily, Eli | Barns, Robert | Belcher, Isham | Belches, James | Belches, Joseph | Belsches, Robert | Boston, Isaac | Bowen, Rees | Brewer, James | Brown, Isaac | Brown, James | Carter, James | Carter, Simeon | Cecil, Joshua | Compton, John | Corder, Elijah | Correl, Martha | Correl, Samuel | Curion, Hugh | Davis, Elizabeth | Davis, John | Day, William | Deenenger, Joseph | Dells, William | Deskins, Mary | Drake, John | Duskins, John | Evins, Robert | Gent, William | George, Jane | George, William | Gere, Philip | Goodwin, Robert | Griffith, William | Harman, Daniel | Harman, Henry | Harrison, Hannah | Harrison, Thomas | Helman, William | Hines, Francis | joshix Hix, Joseph | Jones, Solomon | Justice, John | Kindrick, Patrick | King, Martha | Laird, John | Lockheart, Mary | Lockler, Andrew | Marrs, Henry | Mason, French | Matney, Brooks | Maxwell, James | McIntosh, John | McNeily, James | Moore, David | Oney, Benjamin | Oney, William | Perry, George | Perry, James | Perry, John | Perry, Thomas Sr. | Perry, William Sr. | Renshart, George | Shannon, William | Smith, John | Smith, William | Snider, Henry | Steel, David | Stump, Henry | Stump, Michael | Suter, Caty | Suter, James | Taber, William | Taffy, John | Thompson, James P. | Thompson, James | Thompson, William | Todd, Andrew | Trent, John | Vinell, Lewis | Waggoner, Elias | Waggoner, George | Waggoner, Lucy | Waggoner, Margaret | Wagoner, Daniel | Wales, James | Ward, David | Ward, Isaac | Ward, Robert | White, Abenego | Whiteley, William | Whitley, Ginney | Whitley, Robert | Williams, Evan | Witten, James | Wolford, George | Wynne, Henry | Wynne, Jeriah | Wynne, Robert | Wynne, William | Young, Dudley | Young, Israel

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