Sturgill Family History
I created these pages to present, in part, the genealogy works of my father, David A. Sturgill, in a modern form. Most of the information on the Sturgill, Hanks, and Fowlkes lines come from his books on those families. Information on the Weaver line is largely from the book published by his late uncle, Robert B Weaver. I have filled in a few details with on-line research in census records, Social Security Death Indexes and the like, and have imported data from other online GEDCOM files.
I grew up outside of Washington, DC, but spent many of my boyhood summers in the mountains of North Carolina just miles from where the family originally settled the area. During frequent trips from DC to North Carolina, we made numerous side trips so Dad could check out a Cemetary or some Courthouse records. Many stops were made in Lexington, VA to visit with and trade information with, his uncle Robert Weaver. A high point of the summer was always the Sturgill family reunions held around the NC/VA area. Dad always had his charts, and forms to be filled out by family members to provide information for his book. I spent many hours cranking a mimeograph machine that Dad had purchased to print the first edition of his Sturgill book.
the rest of the text presented on this page is directly from Dad's Sturgill book.
The records of North Pemberton Parish of Somersetshire England show that a John Stodgell, son of Richard Stodgell, was christened in 1615. He was probably the progenitor of the Sturgill family in America but this is not proven. The first record of the name in America is in the record of an inquest held in Jamestown VA in 1636 when William Stodgel was found dead. The town buried him as he had no known relatives so we know he was not a direct ancestor even though he may have been the first of the family to come to America.
The name next appears when James Hurd brought John Stogdel from St. Stokes Parish of Somerset County, England to Essex County, VA in 1650 under the provisions of the "headright" system. John Stogdel signed a voluntary indenture of seven years service to pay Hurd for his transportation after which he was granted 100 acres of land. Tax records show that he owned 100a on the waters of the "potowmack" river in 1659. These records show that this land was on Piscataway creek in present Spottsylvania County and it is believed that John lived out his life there and died about 1690 (Note: Piscataway creek empties into the Rappahannock River not the Potomac.)
In a search of English records both past and present no indication was found that the name STURGILL ever existed in that country. Virginia records show that John Stodghill of Orange and Greenbrier Counties did use this spelling on some occasions but neither he nor his descendants continued to do so. The name STURGILL with minor variations of spelling, began about 1800 with James, brother of John, who settled in North Carolina and it was his descendants who spread the name across the United States. The brief outline following shows where children of James went.
The fact that the population of Virginia was small during the colonial period, that better records were kept and that our name is not a common one, made the task of identifying the different families who lived during that period easier than it became in later years. Some of the preceeding conclusions can not be proven by any recorded documents found but by the same token there are no records to disprove them and it is the opinion of several researchers that the preceeding record is as accurate as it can bemade from the records which do exist.
Beginning with the sixth generation the family divides into the two main brances which are the Stodghill and the Sturgill families with minor variation of the spelling still existing in both branches.