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.

Sturgill (Stogdel) Immigrants

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.)

Sturgill Migrations

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.

  1. Ambrose probably married in Grayson Co. VA but the name of his wife is not known. He served in the militia of Montgomery Co. during the American revolution but after 1787 he went to Buncomb Co. NC (now Haywood Co.) where it is believed that he lived out his life. His grandchildren moved to GA where the name becam STARGIL.
  2. Mary and her husband John Jones remained in Orange Co. VA when James moved his family to NC. After the revolutionary war they also moved south and may have lived in Grayson Co. VA for a short time before moving on to Buncomb (Haywood) Co. NC where her brother Ambrose then lived.
  3. Francis Sr. made his first home in Grayson Co. VA on a farm at the mouth of Potato creek. In 1802 he sold the Potato creek farm to John Cox and moved a few miles up New River where he had received grants covering his fathers original homestead in present Alleghhany Co. NC. It is family tradition that Francis made this move so he could care for his aging and ailing father. He lived out his life on this farm and was buried in the same family cemetery as his parents.
  4. Ruth and her husband Thomas Hash settled first in Grayson Co. VA but left the area about 1800. They lived for a brief time in TN and several places in KY. They lived their last years in Green Co. KY.
  5. James and Rebecca made their first home in Grayson Co. VA but apparently he never owned any land there. He served in the Montgomery Co. militia during the American revolution. He left Grayson Co. about 1820 and is shown in the census records of Scott Co. VA in 1820 and 1830. He was living in Morgan Co. KY in 1834 when he filed an application for a pension for his services in the revolution.
  6. John first appears on the tax records of Grayson Co. VA in 1795 and remained on the records through 1801. The John shown on the Grayson rolls 1807-12 who owned 156a of land was John s/o Francis & Rebecca. In 1813 John (I) was again in Grayson co. where he paid tax on 150a of leased land. He continued to pay tax on leased land through 1820. In 1820 a John Sturgeon believed to have been the above John is shown in the census of Crawford Co. IN.
  7. Docia and her husband John Hash moved several times during their life. They first lived in Grayson Co. VA, then in TN and then in Ashe Co. NC (area now in Alleghany Co.) In 1813 they sold the farm they had bought on potato creek (NC) to Solomon Parsons and his wife Lydia who was a niece of Docia. Records indicate that they then returned to TN, later going to KY. They lived their last years in Washington Co. Arkansas.
  8. Lewis and his wife Sarah made their first home in Grayson Co. VA. In 1796 he bought a farm of 96a on Johns creek and New River about five miles east of the present town of Independence Va. tax records show that he lived on this farm past 1807. His descendants say that he next moved to Scott Co. VA but no record of this was found. Other records show tha the was in Hawkins Co. TN in 1825 and was shown there in the census of 1830. In 1834 Lewis bought land in Lawrence Co. IN and is shown there inthe census of 1840. His descendants say that he died and was buried inHawkins Co. TN on a farm opposite Opossum creek. (area now Hancock Co)but no record has been found to confirm this. It is the opinion of thewriter that they died and were buried in Lawrence Co. IN.

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.