There are many Summers listed
throughout Americas early times. Research tells me that there are many origins
of the name Summers. The English (and there are many), the Dutch and German
all have Summers lines. The name Summers is spelled various way and in some
cases I have Summers that changed the spelling on purpose. So Summers,
Somers and Summer may all be in the same line. Plus in some cases one line of
Summers marries into another line of Summers. There is just one of many
Summers coat of arms.
Your line of Summers are believed to come from England. The first reported Summers in your line was a John Summers. On 18 December 1671, a Captain John Boddy...having transported 12 persons to Maryland to inhabit, amongst whom was JOHN SUMMERS, proved his right to 600 acres of land.
John Summers was believed to be between 16 and 25 years of age (born about 1650), this being the age of most transported indentured servants. He would have faced a doubtful crossing of the Atlantic. A most dangerous thing at those times, where sickness, on board fires and ship wreaks were only some of the fears. The crossing if it went well would have taken 2 months. Most of the time spent below decks in cramped quarters with little light, sanitation or ventilation. Many died of disease on these journeys and John would had to have the true Pioneer spirit to make this trips.
John showed himself to be a
ruggard Individualist, by 1682 he was already paying ground rent (tax)
on 120 acres of land called Pitchcraft. It was on the
Westside of the Patuxent River in the freshes, in Calvert County,
later called Prince Georges=
County. As most people of the time he was a Planter (Farmer) by trade.
He also was active in the community. He testified for a Edward Gold (a
Negro) and his freedom in June 1692. He served on Jury duty twice in
1698, and was appointed overseer of the Mount Calvert Hundred (a piece of
property). He was married to a Rebecca Dent and had 4 children; William
Summers, John Summers 2nd, Sarah Summers and Lucy Summers.
He died about 1705 and left his estate to his Wife Rebecca. When she remarried
(to a Henry Mackbee in 1708) the estate went to his two sons. Rebecca died
JOHN SUMMERS, 2nd
John Summers, 2nd was born in
Prince Georges county Maryland about 1685 and like his father he was a
Planter. But John Summers the 2nd was a visionary and had a desire to grow
with this new land. By 1709 he indentured (brought) his brother Williams=
half of Pitchcraft for 1,500 pounds of tobacco. It seems William Summers had
some money problems and in 1708 the Sheriff was after him for a owed debt back
in 1707 for the sum of 550 pounds of tobacco. It seems he was not at home when
the sheriff called. By 1713 John Summers, 2nd married a Mary Moore,
daughter of James Moore, Sr. and
brought the land adjoining his fathers-in-laws called Moores
Adition from a Thomas Clagatt. Moores Adition is 231 acres on the west side of
the Patuxent River in the woods and in the fork of Piscataway Branch.
John the 2nd and his father-in-law must of got along well because in July 1723
James Moore indentured (sold) a tract of land (35 acres) called Child=s
Portion to John the 2nd. John the 2nd then deeded the land back to him (James
Moore) for Anatural
affection and loving duty@.
Besides working a growing farm, he and Mary Moore Summers had 13 children;
John Summers the 3rd, George Summers, William Summers, Dent Summers,
Thomas Summers, Benjamin Summers, James Summers, Joseph Summers, Mary Summers
Wheat, Rebeckah Summers King, Rachel Summers Johnson, Ruth Summers Riggs,
Jemima Summers Caton,. All of them out lived him, except James Summers who
died in 1761. John and Mary Summers died in 1769.
The fourth son of John Summers
the 2nd, born in Prince Georges county, Maryland in 1727. He grew up on the
farm with large extended family of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles.
He married about age 22 (about 1749) to a Mary Ann Claggett. On 18 April 1763
he obtained 100 acres of land called Joseph=s
Park. It was located on the east side of a Rock Creek Branch. When his
parents died in 1769, he was willed 50 acres of the Adition, a portion
laid off at the lower end next to the Wood Yard. He needed this land because
he and Mary Ann went on to have 9 children; Hezekiah Summers,
Mary Ann Summers Hardy, Sarah Summers White, Paul Summers, James
Dent Summers, Zadock Summers, John Summers, Margaret Summers Hoskins and
William Dent Summers. Dent Summers was a private,
suspicious and bit of a obnoxious man. In 1776 when the new America
commissioned a census of all its people. Dent Summers told the census taker
there was 9 in the family but refused to give their ages. When they came
back again to do another census in 1790, he was more corporative and
listed his kids along with 5 slaves. In 1802 his wife Mary Ann died and he
followed shortly in 1809.
Hezekiah Summers was born in
Prince Georges county Maryland on 23 September 1750.
He and his brothers work the land and he married a Rebecker Glaz, daughter of John Glaz, on about 1772. Together they had 8 children; William Dent Summers, Benjamin Summers, Alexander Summers, John S. Summers, Phillip Summers, Thomas Summers, Margaret Summers and Nathan Summers. Life appeared to be normal but these were not normal time. A nation was being born and Hezekiah soon found himself drafted on 17 August 1776 to fight in the Revolutionary War. He served 4 times in 6 years for a total of two and half years service. He fought in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and was there when Lord Cornwallace surrendered. He stated he personally knew General Washington and was a true Minuteman (enclosed is one of the letters for his pension request). He returned home after the war and was prosperous property owner, planter. He was living in Northwest Hundred, Frederick County, by 1790 (Census) he had 10 slaves. It is believed that Rebecker Glaz Summers died about 1800 and the family was beginning to venture out to find their own lives. Hezekiah Summers children went in many different direction but most went to the western wilderness of Virginia (now West Virginia). Hezekiah moved to Monongalia County Virginia about 1810. It is believed that Hezekiah went west, to be near his children and grandchildren. On 13 April 1831 he married a Ruth Dawson in Monongalia county, Virginia, 30 plus years his younger. Both he and her petitioned the government for his war pension and land grants with no success. He died in 1836 in Monongalia County, Virginia. Ruth Dawson Summers lived on to about 1866.
Alexander Summers was born in
Prince Georges county Maryland on 9 March 1778. He married a Mary Ann Vinagar
from Ireland in Frederick County, Maryland on 25 March 1797. He moved to
Monongalia county Virginia about 1807. Together they had 13 children; David
and Jonathan Summers (Twins), Aletha Summers Huffman, James Summers,
Chrystianna Summers, Elijah Summers, Elisha Summers, Rebecca Summers Baker,
Elias S. Summers, Sarah Summers, Mary Ann Summers Swisher, Joseph Summers
and Elizabeth Summers Snider. Alexander was a religious man and in 1814
he and three other men obtain a small parcel of land
Afor the settlement in
which they may live in the religious order for the promotion of the gospel@.
(The churchs' foundation and graveyard exist today at the New Pisgah Church
one half mile from Little Falls in Monongalia County off State Route # 73).
Alexander Summers went on to become an ordained Methodist Minister in
Morgantown Virginia on 19 November 1832. Alexander and Mary Ann Summers then
lived in Marion county near Catawba. Mary Ann died in 1832. It is then
believed that Alexander married a Sarah Stansberry but no addition data is
There has been much written and not written
father Hezekiah, I have several records that support Alexander as Hezekiah's
son (letters of J.E. Summers 1936) but there is also other data that
argues that point (letter of Mrs. Paul L. Summers 1950). I believe the early
documents are more accurate and supportive, but as of this writing NO
undisputable evidence has been found.
Joseph Summers was born
4 June 1816 in Monongalia County, Virginia. Joseph did not follow in his
fathers foot steps and become a preach. He had a love for the land and was a
farmer. On 1 September 1836 he married Julia Ann Tarleton from Maryland. She
was born in 1812 and the daughter of Caleb Tarleton. Together they had seven
children; Alcinda Summers May, Thomas Marshall Summers, Elijah Summers,
Alexander Summers, Jr., William Caleb Summers, James Summers and
Sarah Elizabeth Summers Wofle\Bomer. In 1853 we find Joseph and
Julia Ann Summers on 164 acres of land that they brought from Mary Ann=s
brother, Elijah Tarleton in Preston County, near Marques. This place was known
as the Summers Place, later the Joe summers place. It is said that Joseph
Summers was an honest man in all his dealing and would do no man harm. He was
a Christian who attended the Mount Zion church on the hill over looking
Marques. One Winter, when Typhoid fever hit the area he died on 27
February 1887. Mary Ann Tarleton Summers had died previous in 1879 and he was
laid to rest next to her at the graveyard at the Mount Zion church in Marques.
Joseph Summers left his land to be divided between his two sons;
William Caleb Summers and James Summers.
James Summers, Elmira (Almira) Francis Knapp Summers and Family
James Summers was born
2 July 1850 in Preston County Virginia. He was crippled. probably a form of
spina bifida. Letters state he
Awas crippled in the
legs that were drawn crooked by white swelling@.
He could not straighten them and learned to walk bent on over on his hands and
feet, much like an animal. It is said that he used wooden blocks, carrying
them in his hands to help him walk bent over. In spite of the handicap,
he was very energetic, attended school and was a bright student. His farther
even rigged a special saddle for him, so he be able to ride a horse and be
When he was quite young a man by the name of Braley come to the community to teach music. Braley organized a singing school at the Mt. Zion church which James attended along with his family. James had wanted to attend this singing school but his farther, a man of hard work, had a different view of singing and was against it. Julia his mother also had a different opinion, she helped James attend the school secretly, even sneaking out the horse so he could go and practice. The school developed a choir of sorts that went around to homes and sang for people. James though deprived in one physical aspect excelled in others. Soon he was the leader of the choral group. His farther noticed his sons absence and did some inquiring. When he found out what his son had accomplished, he was truly surprised and then just grinned. After that his farther would help him in any way he could. In time James became a music teacher. He traveled to surrounding counties (Barbour, Randolph Tucker and Preston counties). James was well liked and it is said the people would travel miles just to hear him sing. He was an industrious man that could work the farm. He could hoe, plant corn, do gardening, milk and feed cows and mow the grass. He was a man of his time, a survivor.
It must have been on one of
these travels that he met his future bride Elmira (Almira) Francis Knapp.
On 14 October 1877 he married her at her parents home in Barbour County. They
then went and settled on the Summers farm.
James and Elmira had five
sons; Joseph Willis Summers, Ira Henson Summers, Charles
Robert Summers, John Wesley Summers and an infant that died very young. In
February 1887, his farther died and left him the half the acres of the farm to
him. Sadly, 2 months later, on 22 April 1887, James Summers also died of
Thypoid. He is buried in the Mt Zion church cemetery, on the hill top, near
Margues in Preston county West Virginia. In 1947 his wife Elmira Francis (fannie)
Knapp-Summers-Hurshman died. She is also buried at Mt Zion.
Joseph Willis Summers & Iva Rebecca Burke
Joseph Willis Summers was born February 21, 1879, on the old Summers homestead near the small town of Marquess, Preston County (WV). He attended the local school and spent his early years on the farm. In 1899 he went to Moore (Tucker County) and was employed by W.H. Dasher lumber company and later by the Chafey company as a edging machine operator (a millwright). Later he worked in a general store in Morgantown and became friends with the store owner William H. Burke. So much so, that he married Mr. Burke's 16 year old daughter, Iva Rebecca Burke on 18 May 1902 at Montrose in Randolph County. To this Union was born 3 children, Leroma Blanche Summers, William Clair Summers and Christina Irene Summers.
In his job as a millwright Joe Summers went to many places. In 1906 he worked for the Tyson & McClure lumber company and traveled to Glady and Beverly W.V.. Then in 1912 he went to Black Mountain North Caroline (near Ashville) for the Perely & Crockett lumbar company. During this time he became a 32rd degree Mason and found his claim to fame. In that he was very active in may organizations and societies. He was also a vivid genealogist, a member of Sons of the American Revolution, being a descendent a Adam Arbogast (Adam Arbogast was a colonial soldier serving as an Indian Scout - today's equivalent of a recon scout). It is evident that he owned land in North Carolina and West Virginia. It is believed that he obtained these lands by paying taxes owed by relatives and then claiming the land as his own. For this and other deeds he was referred to as the Scoundrel.
In 1919 Joe Summers came back to Morgantown and purchased property in the Flatts section where he lived with his family and mother. He worked construction until 1925. Later he divorced his wife and continued to live in the Flatts with his mother. He worked constriction until 1925. Later he divorced his wife and continued to live in the Flatts with his mother. From 1925 to 1942 he worked for the city of Morgantown. In 1942 he worked for the University of West Virginia and retired 1 July 1948. He continued to be active in the community until his death on 9 November 1956. He is buried at East Grove cemetery in Morgantown. It is interesting in all his research and papers he write very little or nothing about his wife and children. In his Will he left $10 to his grandchildren and paid of a loan his son William Clair incurred and left him $10. He left 3 acres of land to the West Virginia University Medical department. To his beloved Mason Lodge he left $100 and bequeathed that his house, land and household items, go to the Masons' in order to build another Lodge. In September 1965 they open the new Joseph Willis Summers Lodge # 173 at the corner of Windsor Avenue and Burroughs Street in the Sun crest area of Morgantown.
WILLIAM CLAIR SUMMERS
William Clair Summers, "Clair" as he was called, was born near Montrose in Randolph county, West Virginia. He was married for a short time and divorced. Their was no children born to this union. He met Bessie Marie Lockhart and in time they eloped to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and married on 6 October 1930. To this union there were 3 children; Nancy Marie Summers, Patricia Ann Summers and James Clair Summers. Clair worked for 8 years in the coal mines as a tipple boss. During the war (WWII) Clair was exempt from military service because his job was essential for the war effort. After that he went to work for the University of West Virginia as a technician in the civil engineering department. He work there for 19 years. Clair and Bessie loved to travel and would take a month off each year to see the U.S. of A. After his retirement they lived in Morgantown and Elkins, WV. Clair died on 1 December 1988 in Elkins. He is buried in Montrose, Randolph County. Bessie Marie Summers died in 2000.
James Clair Summers
James Summers was born in Montrose, West Virginia on 8 March 1937. He did his undergraduate and his Masters at West Virginia University. Then he went to Ohio and received his Doctorate (PhD). He met Joan Rose Biafora and they married on 4 September 1961 in Morgantown, WV. To this union there was born three children, James Davis Summers, Jeffrey Allen Summers and John Robert Summers. James and Joan lived a short time in Virginia while he worked for the Federal Government. They lived in Columbus, Missouri and James died in 2000
John Robert Summers
John was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. Later he married Jennifer Zurn on 3 May 1997 in Kennesaw, Georgia.
MISCELLANEOUS FAMILY PHOTOS
Alcinda & Jasper May
Yets Center, KS
Daughter of Joseph Summers
Alex & Eda Summers
Son of Joe and Julia
(Broke Neck Age 90)
Charles Oliver &
Oliver Shafer Summers
Charles & Irene Summers
Glady, West VA
Died in Civil War
Fannie Summers Aunt
Nancy & Pat Summers
Iva Rebecca Burke
Thomas Marshall & Mary Summers
Joseph W. Summers
John M. Knapp
son of R.W. Knapp
Knapp House Today
in West Virginia
House brought with
Civil War Disability Pension
Loranzo Dow Knapp
Son of R.W. Knapp
Nancy Pat & James Summers
Nimrod Nelson Huffman
4th W,V. Cavalry
Sarah E. Summers
Joe & Julia Summers
Charles Robert, Joe Willis, Elmira Francis, Ira Henson, John Wesley
Elmira (Almira) Francis Knapp, Morgantown WV
Joseph Willis Summers
Elizabeth Hoffman (Bradley) & Paula May (Fluherty)
Joseph Willis Summers
William Clair Summers
Summers data and Photos gotten from this Library
Please send updates to Jim Bradley at JamesRBradley.com