SAMUEL STRONG (a2d5) is believed to have been the son of Thomas Strong (a2d)1 and possibly either Elizabeth Lewis or Mary Webster.2 The relationship between Samuel Strong (a2d5), his father, Thomas Strong (a2d), and his mother, either Elizabeth Lewis or Mary Webster, was discussed in Chapter Two.

    SAMUEL STRONG (a2d5) was born February 4, 1777 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.3 Samuel Strong is documented to have been married twice, with the very remote possibility of a third marriage.4 A couple of researchers have made the claim that Samuel Strong was first married to a Jane __________ around 1794. This Jane was given a date of birth of June 11, 1779 and was born in Virginia. This person is at times referred to as Jane Pope. According to these researchers Samuel and Jane Strong were divorced shortly after their marriage and after the birth of a daughter, named Jane Strong born in 1795. At this time there is no evidence, or any known facts to show that Samuel Strong had a wife named Jane. And no explanation can be given, by these researchers, as to how the date of birth of June 11, 1779 was found, or even how the name Jane was obtained in their research.

    What appears to have happened is that this Jane Pope was confused with the Jane Pope that married Samuel Strong's son, John Strong (a2d5c). The problem with this Jane Pope theory is that in 1794 Samuel and Jane would have had to have been married in Rockingham County, North Carolina, because Samuel Strong did not move to Russell County, Virginia until 1796. And there are no known records of any marriage or divorce for our Samuel Strong in Rockingham County, North Carolina or even Russell County, Virginia. I believe that the Jane Strong that is being referred to as the wife of Samuel Strong was actually Samuel Strong's last known wife, Jenny Casteel. Jenny is often used as a nickname for Jean or Jane, such as Peggy is for Margaret or as Polly is for Mary. The Strong-Pope Family Bible will be shown later, but it contains a date of birth of May 22, 1795 for a Jane Strong, which I believe is for Jenny Casteel who was born between 1780 and 1795 in Virginia.

     Samuel Strong's first actual known wife was Nancy Casteel, believed to have been the daughter of Joseph Casteel, Sr. and Margaret (possibly McClellan).5 At this time it is uncertain if Nancy Casteel-Strong, died or if Samuel Strong divorced or left his wife, Nancy, in Russell County, Virginia. The last known record that mentions Samuel and Nancy Strong was recorded in Russell County Court Order Book 4 in 1811 on page 341. On March 3, 1812 in Russell County, Virginia a record of the land transaction between Samuel Strong and Nancy, his wife, to John Knipp was approved by the oaths of Teague Quillen and Jonathan Able. Samuel Strong sold his remaining property in Russell County, Virginia and moved to Barren County, Kentucky with his brother-in-laws, John Casteel and Joseph Casteel.

    Then on July 28, 1812 Samuel Strong married his second wife, Jean "Jenny" Casteel, in Barren County, Kentucky. The marriage bond was made by John Casteel, the brother of Jenny Casteel.6 Jean "Jenny" Casteel was born about 1795 in Virginia and was the daughter of Joseph Casteel, Sr. and Margaret (possibly McClellan) of Russell County, Virginia.7 Jean "Jenny" Casteel was the sister of Samuel Strong's first wife, Nancy Casteel.

     In 1796 Samuel Strong (a2d5) was in his early twenties and living in Russell County, Virginia. Samuel lived in Russell County (now Scott County) between Obey's Creek and Plank Creek, both north branches of Copper Creek until around 1812.8 According to Russell County, Land Records Samuel Strong's neighbors appear to have been the Casteels, McClellans, Lovealls and Kilgores.

     Samuel Strong's brother, William Strong (a2d1), and his wife, Jane "Jennie" Callahan- Strong, appear to have moved to Russell County (now Scott County) a few years before Samuel Strong, around 1793.9 Samuel Strong (a2d5) followed his brother, William Strong (2d1), to Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia in 1796. Both brothers were living in Russell County in 1796 until William Strong (a2d1) moved to Clay County, Kentucky with Edward Callahan, Roger and Robin Cornet and Daniel Davidson.10

     William Strong (a2d1) had followed his father-in-law, Edward Callahan, and ,b>Jesse Brock to Russell County (Scott County), Virginia from Rockingham County, North Carolina.11 William Strong (a2d1) had purchased several hundred acres on Big Moccasin Creek (also spelled Mangason, Mockerson and Mockeson Creek) in Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia.12 As a note, Moccasin Creek was named by long hunters because of the numerous Indian moccasin tracks found in the soft mud along the banks of this creek.13 Daniel Boone and other long hunters had passed through Moccasin Gap in 1769.14

     When William Strong (a2d1) arrived in Russell County (Scott County), Virginia between 1793-1794 a Cherokee Indian named Bob Benge (also called Bench) was leading attacks against the settlers in Russell County. Benge was the nephew of Doublehead, a Cherokee Warrior Chief of the lower Cherokee towns, and had been attacking the settlers in this area since 1777.15 In 1793, the year that William Strong arrived in Russell County, Virginia, Benge had attacked and killed Harper Ratcliff and his entire family who lived near Big Moccasin Gap.16 In that same year Benge had also attacked Ensign Moses Cockrell on top of Powell's Mountain.17 And in 1794 William Strong's father-in-law, Edward Callahan, had a slave captured by Benge and his raiding party.18

     Elizabeth Livingston, the wife of Peter Livingston made the following statement a few days after she was rescued from her Indian captors; "April 6, 1794, about ten o'clock in the morning, as I was sitting in my house, the fierceness of the dog's barking alarmed me. I looked out and saw seven Indians approaching the house, armed and painted in a frightful manner. No person was then within, but a child of ten years old, and another of two, and my sucking infant. My husband and his brother Henry had just walked out to the barn at some distance in the field. My sister-in-law, Susanna, was with the remaining children in an outhouse. Old Mrs. Livingston was in the garden. I immediately shut and fastened the door; they (the Indians) came furiously up, and tried to burst it open, demanding of me several times to open the door which I refused. They then fired two guns; one ball pierced through the door, but did me no damage. I then thought of my husband's rifle, took it down but it being double triggered, I was at a loss; at length I fired through the door, but it not being well-aimed I did no execution; however, the Indians retired from that place and soon after that an adjoining house was on fire, and I and my children suffering much from the smoke. I opened the door and an Indian immediately advanced and took me prisoner with the two children. I then discovered that they had the remaining children in their possession, my sister Sukey, a wench with her child, a negro man of Edward Callahan's, and a negro boy of our own about eight years old.... That evening the Indians crossed Clinch Mountain and went as far as Copper Creek, distance of about eight miles."19 On April 9, 1794 Benge was shot near Powell's Mountain by Lt. Hobbs' militia and Hobbs scalped Benge as he lay dying.20 As a note the Livingston family farm, where the initial attack occurred, was on the North Fork of the Holston River, near the mouth of Livingston Creek in Scott County, Virginia.21

     This area in Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia, where the Strong brothers settled, was literally the gateway to Kentucky and the west. It was the area that the Long Hunters had traveled to their hunting grounds into parts of Tennessee and Kentucky. The main path leading from this part of Virginia into Kentucky was called by several names, "The Kentucky Trace", The Wilderness Road", "The Road to Caintuck", or the "Great Road".22 Many of the settlers in Kentucky had passed through Big Moccasin Gap, into Powell's Valley and then through the Cumberland Gap on their way to Kentucky.23

     On November 3, 1799 in Russell County, Virginia, Hiram Kilgore sold to Samuel Strong, 50 acres for 47 pounds, 10 shillings, apart of a survey of 720 acres granted to James Dasart (Dysart) on the 22nd of April, 1793 in Russell County between Obeys and Plank Camp Creeks both north branches of Copper Creek... above Plank Camp Creek... to a conditional line made between John Casteel and Samuel Estep. Signed by Hiram Kilgore. Witnessed by Joseph Casteel, John Casteel and William Glenn. Proved by oaths of Joseph and John Casteel in the February Court Session of 1800 and of William Glenn in the March Court Session of 1800.24

     Joseph Casteel, father-in-law of Samuel Strong, witnessed the deed between Hiram Kilgore and Samuel Strong in Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia. The property of Joseph Casteel was adjacent to Samuel Strong's land on Copper Creek. On July 29, 1797 in Russell County, Virginia, Joseph Casteel had purchased approximately 147 acres from John Wood and Nancy Wood for 100 pounds. This land was on both sides of Copper Creek and was known as Heavolow's Place. "Beginning in a bend of the Creek on the North side of the same (Copper Creek) at two White Oaks from thence North sixty four degrees West one hundred and eight poles to a Sugartree and Ash North fifteen degrees East one hundred and seventy poles to a White Oak and Hickory on the side of a ridge South fifty five degrees East two hundred poles crossing the Creek to a Beech at the foot of Copper Creek Ridge thence South forty eight degrees West one hundred and forty eight poles crossing the creek to the beginning."25 This deed was witnessed by John McClellan, John Casteel, Joseph Casteel, John Wood and Nancy Wood.

     John Casteel also lived adjacent to Samuel Strong as is shown on a land deed recorded in 1803. On September 23, 1803 Hiram Kilgore sold to John Casteel, both of Russell County, Virginia... 100 shillings for 370 acres of land in Russell County and bounded... North Side of Obeys Creek.. being part of a tract of 700 acres granted unto James Dasart (Dysart) conditional lines thence of Samuel Strongs, Zeb Lovealls and Andrew McClellands (father- in-law of John Casteel). Signed by Hiram Kilgore. Witnessed Samuel Strong, Margaret Casteel and Samuel Casteel. Acknowledged March Court 1804.26

     Samuel Strong (a2d5) was a known member of the Moccasin Creek Church in Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia, according to the records of the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Monroe County, Kentucky.27 Samuel Strong was possibly a member of this church from 1796 until 1812. The Moccasin Creek Church (also spelled Mockinson, Mockason, Moqueson and Mocasin) was formed prior to 1800 in Russell County (now Scott County), Virginia and appears to have been located near Rocky Point in present day Scott County, Virginia.28 The Moccasin Creek Church was first part of the Stoney Creek Primitive Baptist Church Association, with the first records of this union between the churches appearing in 1804.29 Around 1840 the Moccasin Creek Church appears to have joined the Washington District Primitive Baptist Association until around 1856.30 Some of the known members of the Moccasin Creek Church, who were recorded as delegates in the minutes, were Silas Ratcliff, Elisha Martin, David Jessee, Jr., Benjamin Smith, Greenbury Evins, William Francisco and Harrison Rollens. No records of the names of any other members of the Moccasin Creek Church have been found in any of the known church records.

     Other churches in the Washington Baptist Church Association were Castle Woods, St. Clair's Bottom, Rush Creek, Bethel, Reeds Valley, Copper Creek Church (delegates Robert Kilgore and Charles Kilgore), Red Hill (delegates Elder E. Martin, Bretheren T. Strong, Sr., J.H. Wilcox, G. Quillen and Lewis B. Dulaney), Denton's Valley, South Fork, North Fork, Middle Fork, Stoney Creek (delegates also Robert Kilgore in 1855), Rush Creek, New Garden, Liberty, 3 Forks Powells River, Indian Creek, Rye Valley, Glade Hollow, Sand River, Tom's Creek, Blue Spring, Maiden Spring (delegate Thomas Colley) and Moll's Creek.31 A church pew in the Moccasin Creek Church is said to be dedicated to Thomas Jabaz Strong and Myrtle Ollie Meade.32


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