A History of the Varney's in Pike and Mingo Counties
and Elsewhere as told me by my father, Alex Varney, and from other authentic sources.)
by Nancy Jane Varney
The information I shall attempt to give in regard to the VARNEY family was given me by my father, the late Alex VARNEY, and is not of written record, but was handed down from generation to generation.
Some of the information, such as records of the families of my father's uncles and aunts has been given me by members of the families, and some by grand-children.
VARNEY of whom we have any history, was
my great-great-grand-father, John VARNEY, who married Betsy HUNTER
and lived in
To that union were born three sons and two daughters that we know of. The sons were: Alex, Andrew and Daniel-The daughters were: Mary and Nancy.
While the said John VARNEY was gathering salt-peter in a cave in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bedford County, Virginia, a slide came and entombed his body, which was never recovered.
Mary and Nancy migrated to this country and settled in what is now
I do not know whether the
mother came to what is now
Alex VARNEY, as I understand, the oldest son of John and Betsy Hunter, married Susie RUNYON and reared a family of seven sons and five daughters, namely, John, Henry, Frand, Andrew, Adron, Asa, Madison, Sally, Jennie, Celia, Matilda and Hulda Jane.
John married Annie ROMANS, settled about where
the little town of
The children of John and Annie VARNEY are as follows: W. A. (Anderson) VARNEY, married Jennie BLACKBURN, Henry married Lydia BLACKBURN, Flem married Sallie BLACKBURN, James married Ruth CANADA, Levi married Sarah Ann COLLINS, Adron married Lousia COLLINS, Floyd married Mary COLLINS, Lewis married Lucinda May, parents of Keenis VARNEY, of McAndrews, Kentucky, Vicy married Martin COLLINS, Celia married Moses CHAPMAN, Sally married Nathan COCHRAN, and Alex married Lousia PINSON, parents of the late Joe VARNEY, of Road Fork of Big Creek. Lewis is the only surviving member.
Frank married Polly WILLIAMSON and settled on
Brushy Creek; they reared a family of three sons and nine
daughters. The sons were: Mitchell, Lark and Henry. Mitchell
married Susie SMITH, Lark, who was a Baptist preacher, married
Delilah FRANCIS, the parents of Mrs. J. G. HARRISON, of
Henry C., the third son of Alex VARNEY was
Lewis and L.
D. are the only surviving members of this
family; they reside at
Andrew, the fourth son of Alex VARNEY, and who
was my grandfather was born
Alex, who was my father, was born
Mary Ann, the third child of Andrew,
Lewis, the fourth child, born
Caroline, the fifth child, born
Harrison, the sixth child, born May 27,
1848, died March 3, 1924, and lived on Road Fork of Pond Creek,
married Pricy WEST; to them were born Mary, Martha, Matilda,
John, Birdie and Nancy Jane-Martha, Matilda and Birdie deceased.
After the death of the first wife,
Henry, the seventh child, born
Sallie, the eighth child, born
John, the ninth child, born
Nicholas, the tenth child, born
Nancy Jane, the youngest, born
After Andrew, whose family history I have just
given, the next brother was Adron,
commonly known as "Uncle Add." He was born in the year of 1821. He
married Lucy WEBB and settled at the mouth of Sycamore Creek, later
lived around the mouth of Pond Creek, about twenty-eight years after
his marriage moved to what is now the town of
His family consisted of two sons-Thomas and
Samuel; the daughters were Sarah Ann, Francis, Nancy and
Hulda. Thomas married Polly PARSLEY,
settled near the town of
Samuel married Cloah
PARSLEY and lived near Crum. Their sons are Tom and A. C. VARNEY of
Crum, Alex VARNEY of Kermit, Nicholas VARNEY of Nolan and Don VARNEY
Sara Ann, oldest daughter of
Adron VARNEY, married William ETTER,
Francis married Sylvester MCCOY,
Melvin, a son of Adron VARNEY, died 1863 while a prisoner of war. He was not married.
Asa, another brother of Adron, first married Vicy RUTHERFORD and never settled at all. Their family consisted of two sons and two daughters -namely; Matt married Mary MAY and lived in Roane County, West Virginia; Millie married a GRIFFY, also of Roane County; Floyd married Jane TROUT and Polly Jane married Harvey MAY, the last two named resided on Pond Creek Mrs. MAY still survives and lives on Ball Fork of Pond Creek. After the death of his first wife, Asa married Basha MURPHY and to them were born nine children-Will, Wade, Charlie, Asa, Laune, Columbia and Nancy are living; one son, Ira and two daughters are dead.
The youngest brother of
Adron VARNEY, etc., was
H. VARNEY, was probably one of the most widely known of any of the
He was a great educator; taught in the public schools for
forty-seven years-a Christian gentleman, a teacher of morals and
manners, was a great lecturer and always held out the very best of
encouragement and advice for the up-building of the young people and
the country at large. I can not say enough to do justice to the
great man. I started to school to him, as a teacher, and if my
memory serves me right, went to him seven school terms. He was like
a father, sympathetic and kind, always trying to help in every way
He passed to his reward
The daughters of Madison VARNEY were as
Sally, daughter of Alex
VARNEY,.Sr., married John WHITE,
moved to what is now
Jennie, another daughter of the said Alex VARNEY, married Calahan RUNYON and lived on Trace Fork of Pigeon Creek. Her sons are Alex, Albert and Green Runyon-all living; daughters-Sara married Rush FLOYD, Sr., and Vicy (last name unknown.) Both daughters deceased.
Celia, another VARNEY sister, married James
WHITE, lived on Elk Fork of Pigeon Creek. Their sons were-Thomas
White, deceased; Allen White, deceased; Henry White married Victoria
MAYNARD, now deceased and Comfort WHITE, married
Anjaline EVANS and resides on Elk Fork
of Pigeon Creek.
Daughters; Susan married Jonathan ESTEPP,
Lucindia married W. B. ESTEPP, Betty married Sam GILMAN,
after his death she married John L. HICKS.
Matilda VARNEY married Thomas HUNT, lived only a few years after her marriage, leaving two children-Alex and Nancy HUNT.
Hulda, the youngest of the Alex VARNEY family, married Andy HENSLEY and reared a family of six sons and one daughter. The sons were James M., married Juda VARNEY, deceased in October 1935, Compton married Polly BLACKBURN, Asa married Nancy STEELE, Andy married Nellie HUNT, Lewis married Missouri SMITH, Henry married Mariah, and the daughter, Jane was never married. Cumpton and Henry are the surviving members of this family.
The body of Alex VARNEY, Sr., was interred on Elk Fork of Pigeon Creek.
Andrew, second son of John VARNEY, married Sallie TAYLOR and reared, as I understand, seven children, namely, Sam, Alex Henderson, Alvis, James, Vicy and Matilda. I can not give a thorough history of the said Andrew VARNEY's family as they were reared and many still live, in the head of Pigeon Creek, and I am not very familiar with them as a whole, but shall proceed to tell what I do understand in regard to them.
Sam VARNEY was the father
of Mrs. Sara MUSIC, also Mrs. Jane MURPHY, wife of Johnson MURPHY,
Sr., and mother of N. V. MURPHY of
Alex was a Christian preacher.
I know very little of the family of Henderson VARNEY, except that he was the grandfather of Hank VARNEY of Red Jacket.
married a Sansom; they were the parents
of Mrs. Floyd Hatfield and the grand-parents of Richard Ferrell of
Williamson. James was
the father of Andy VARNEY of VARNEY,
married Moses MAYNARD and resides on
Matilda married Nathan CHAFIN; of their family four daughters are as follows: Vicy, wife of "Devil" Anse HATFIELD, whose son was the late Cap HATFIELD, Betty, wife of Elias HATFIELD, Sr., the mother of Greenway HATFIELD of Williamson and Dr. H. D. HATFIELD of Huntington, Mary wife of John Wallace WEBB, the mother of W. V. WEBB, of Williamson.
Mary, daughter of John VARNEY, married John
TAYLOR. They were the
parents of the following children-Peggie
TAYLOR married Daniel Mccoy, whose son
was Randall Mccoy, whose son was
"Sheriff" Jim MCCOY, Jinnie TAYLOR
married Elder John FERRELL, whose son was Anderson FERRELL and also
a daughter, Martha HATFIELD, wife of Tolbert HATFIELD. William A.
TAYLOR married Sallie MAYNARD, whose son was
Alvis TAYLOR, the father of John TAYLOR of Stone,
As I am in possession of more history of William A. TAYLOR'S family-I shall give it too. In addition to Alvis TAYLOR, before mentioned, there was another son, John TAYLOR married Jane PHILLIPS. The oldest daughter Margaret married Mitchell RUNYON.
TAYLOR married Ransom HATFIELD, the parents of the late Mrs. Ester
RUTHERFORD, whose son is W. T. RUTHERFORD of Hardy,
Pricy TAYLOR Married Jacob SMITH, the parents of Will M. SMITH.
Jennie TAYLOR married K. F. LESLIE, the parents of Mrs. Ollie Auxier MAYNARD of Pikeville.
Sarah Ann TAYLOR married
Dallas BEVINS, whose son is Mont BEVINS of
Harriette TAYLOR married Allen WILLIAMSON, whose son was Emsy B. WILLIAMSON of Fort Gay, West Virginia.
Parlee TAYLOR married Ben D. WILLIAMSON whose son was the late John B. WILLIAMSON.
Nancy another daughter of John VARNEY was the mother of the late Ambrose MORRIS, the grand-mother of John B. MORRIS of Road Fork of Big Creek.
Daniel, the youngest of John VARNEY'S family
was reared by foster parents of great wealth. He remained and died
We have been informed,
but do not know how authentic this information is, that there was
another daughter of John and Betsy Hunter VARNEY, who married a
STRATTON and remained in