Family Histories

Long fascinated with stories passed down in her family, Ellen Apperson Brown has been gathering and organizing information about many of the major branches of her family and has worked hard to put the information into narrative form.  She has been creating “portraits” of several individuals and families – using words instead of paint or cameras…

Although she was born in Schenectady, New York, where her father was employed by the General Electric Company, her family tree is firmly rooted in Virginia.  She grew up hearing tales about her famous ancestor, Mary Draper Ingles, who was captured, along with her two sons, by Shawnee warriors and taken to Ohio.  A few months later, she and another prisoner,  a German woman, escaped and walked hundreds of miles through the wilderness, back to Virginia.  To read about Mary Ingles, see What Really Happened at Drapers Meadows, an article originally published in the Smithfield Review, in 2007.

William Ingles and Mary Draper, his wife, had seven children.  John and Thomas Ingles both married sisters, Katharine and Agnes McClanahan, making their children double first cousins.  Some of their children married siblings, too, from the family of Nathaniel Burwell Harvey and his wife Elrica Rohrer.  With a little investigation one finds that several McClanahans married into the family of General Andrew Lewis, and his mother, Margaret Lynn Lewis, was kin to Colonel James Patton….and so it goes.   By creating the following section, called Family Portraits, we hope to capture the biographies and stories of individuals, and put them in the context of Virginia history.