Thursday, November 24, 2011


Valentine Felty Vanhooser, Senior arrived in Rowan County sometime after 1750. By the time of the American Revolution he had moved his family to Virginia. By 1795, his son Valentine Felty Vanhooser purchased 100 acres of land on Cobbs Creek in then Washington County, now Carter County Tennessee.

I am not sure of the exact location of Valentine Felty Vanhooser's land in Virginia.

The best recorded description is the "North Fork of the Clinch River near Flat Lick". (Lyman Chalkley's Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia, which in turn comes from the Superior Court records found in Augusta County, Virginia.)

The North Fork of the Clinch River runs through Powell Mountain, a 60 mile mountain which ranges from Norton, Virginia to Tazewell, Tennessee. Travelers made the route through  Powell Mountain at Kanes Gap. This was part of the Wilderness Trail that was blazed by Daniel Boone. Boone's Trail crosses Big Stony Creek, then out to Hunter's Valley through Rye Cove to Sunbright, near Duffield, and across Kane's Gap onto Wallen Creek. At Little Flat Lick all three traces became one before entering Kane's Gap, and thence down Powell Valley to Cumberland Gap. (Highway 23 on the map.)

See The Boone Trail and The History of the Daniel Boone Trail.

This is a summary of the pertinent portions of the CHRONICLES OF THE SCOTCH-IRISH SETTLEMENT OF VIRGINIA; Vol 2, pp 220 - 229 by Lyman Chalkley that relate to the Vanhoosers.

West half of Virginia by Digital Topol Maps

A little background history is in order.

Dunmore's War

In 1774 Dunmore's War took place between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo American Indian nations. Although the war ended soon after the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774, it did not end troubles with the Cherokee tribes who also claimed the land settlers were moving into.

In 1776, Fincastle County ceased to exist and was divided into three new counties — Montgomery County, Washington County, and Kentucky County (which later became the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Augusta County, which also appears in many early records is located to the north and along the western border. Note also that these three counties were later reorganized into many other smaller counties. For instance, Tazewell County, which contains the area where Valentine settled, was not orgnized until 1799. By then Valentine Junior had moved into eastern Tennessee while other relatives continued to live in the area or migrated to other states. In searching for Vanhooser in Virginia, it is necessary to also use the spelling "Vanhouser".

During the Revolution, loyalties were divided. For example, Charles Cocke, who lived in the Cripple Creek area during the first half of the revolution. On 13 Sep 1777, he took the oath of loyalty in Montgomery County. According to his Pension Application, he served in the Company of Captain Henry Francis. This Company was composed of men from along Cripple Creek. Valentine Felty Vanhooser, on the contrary, remained loyal to the British side.

Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia

The Chronicles concerns a land lawsuit whose records are found in Augusta County, Virginia. I have not discovered the exact nature of the lawsuit, but it is most likely a question of disputed possession that arose in the year 1811, the date of the suit. The case was before the Superior court.

Starting at the top of page 227:
McKenney vs. Preston--O. S. 308; N. S. 110--John Montgomery of
Russel County, aged 47 years, deposes, 11th March, 1811, in 1778 Andrew
Cowan and Thos. Osborn went down to improve a piece of land on a creek
they called Black Water at the Flat Lick, and on their return they came by
Kooser's (Hoovers) cabin. Black Water is a north Branch of Clynch.
Note. This is most likely a reference to Valentine Vanhooser. There are then several references by witnesses deposed who acknowledge the Vanhoosers living in the area. Other reference are to Indian troubles which drove many settlers from their claims.

March, 1814, John Hooser, aged 67, deposes, came with
his father Felty and brother Abraham to this country 37 years ago. John
has a brother Jacob who was never out in this country...
Charles Carter deposes, in Lee County, remembers that Titus and John
Benton were killed by Indians in Rye Cove in spring of 1777. He remembers 
the family Hooser or Van Hooser, as they were called, who settled on
North Fork of Clinch near Flat Lick in 1775. The oldest Van Hooser
(deponent understood from his father) made the upper improvement, and
the old man's son John was the next oldest man and made an improvement
near the old man. Deponent remembers two other members of the family,
Abram and Isaac. Deponent lived with his father in the Rye Cove at the
time those improvements were made. Never heard of Jacob Hooser.
26th February, 1812, Doswell Rogers deposes, in Lee County, he settled on
North Fork Clinch the same year that the Hoosers settled. The settlement
was broken up by Indians for several years. 
29th May, 1811, Peter Fulkerson deposes, in Lee County, the country was 
unsettled and dangerous in 1785 on account of Indians.
Note. The real danger of the Indians raids on settlers is revealed in many historical records. One instance is, "John Carter was a brother to Dale Carter who was killed by Indians at Blackmore's Fort in 1774. John Carter settled on a farm down river from Fort Blackmore about 1772. In 1785, the Indians attacked his home, killed his wife and five children and set fire to his house burning the bodies of his slain family."


Continuing with the Chronicles:
Elisha Wallen, aged 27, of Lee County, deposes, 11th March, 1811, Samuel
Gullrie, aged 36, deposes, 11th March, 1811, Wm. Wallin, aged 50, deposes,
knew the land in 1778, names of Hoosers (Hoovers) were Felty, Jacob,
...about 1774 or 5. Andrew Cowan came to the
western country and settled in now Russell County, when danger from
Indians was great.
Jacob Hoozer deposes, aged 64, at house of Roger Oats in
Wayne County, Ky., about 1775 or 6 his father, his brothers, John and
Abraham Hoozer, went to North Fork of Clinch to improve land and all
made improvements except himself. Deponent was not there until about
15 years after, was administrator of his father then. Abraham was about
18 or 19 years old.
There is no reference to the son Valentine Vanhooser. Presumably he would have accompanied his father. By 1795 the younger Valentine Felty Vanhooser had left for Tennessee.


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