Author Archives: Debora Kerr

Letter, Fayette County, 1928

Summerlee, W. Va.
June 12, 1928

United States Veterans bureau
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir,
           Year 1918 When I was
in the American Army I got the second
citizen papers. When [sic] was about to
go to France our papers were send [sic]
to Washington, D.C. When the war
was over we came back from the
army. But they didn’t send me the
citizen papers. I don’t have the
second citizen papers because they
didn’t send them to me. If you
find the citizen papers please send
them to me. But if you can’t find
them please let me know what to
do about them. My discharge No. is
2040607.
Certificate No. is 1432704.

Peter Pieckowski


Source: C-File of Peter Pieckowski, No. C1058795, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS Genealogy Program.

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Interview, James F. Wykle, 2009

Questions and Answers: James F. Wykle on his 88th birthday, 29 Dec 2009
Interviewer: Debora Kerr

Q. When you were a young boy, did you like school?
A. I did like school. I was on the Monroe County Honor Roll. I was a good student.

Q. What do you remember about your teachers or classmates?
A. I remember one day I got into a fight at Sanger School with my cousin, William Wykle. The teacher, Mr. Gwinn, decided I was to blame and announced he was going to whip me. I stood there and challenged him, “You’re not whipping me!” and he backed down.

Q. You must have been intimidating [laughter].
A. I could fight. Years later I was in Chicago in a bar. Some guy came up to me and said something which I didn’t really hear or pay attention to. Then he said something else and slapped me. Then I jumped him and when it was all done he was taken to the hospital. I remember going up to my hotel room and looking in the mirror to see his blood all over my shirt.

Q. Didn’t you participate in organized boxing matches for a while?
A. Just for a short time. I remember the name of the first kid I beat: Alfred Kerr. I was 16 at the time. I beat him twice.

Q. What was your first job?
A. I worked in the coal mine at Summerlee [WV] for a short time. That’s where I learned to set blasting charges. I worked with a big cutting machine that would undercut the rock so it could be blown up. It was really dangerous and I got out and joined the CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps].

Q. Did you enjoy that?
A. It was a good program. We had classes and lots of good work to do. We earned money that was sent home. I sent my money to my sister Mildred who I was living with then. I always wanted to go back and see what that park looks like now.

Q. What work did you do there?
A. We cut timber, worked in a limestone quarry, raised turkeys, and built roads. That was at Camp Bowers. [Pickens, Randolph County, WV] After that I joined the Marines.

Q. You were wounded on Saipan. Do you remember what happened?
A. I was in a foxhole with another Marine. I told him to keep down but he didn’t and we came under heavy fire. He was killed and I was hit in the leg. I kept lobbing grenades until the machine gun fire that was coming at me stopped. When the medics came to get me they put me on a C47 transport plane to Hawaii. The plane had to stop twice to refuel before it got me to Hickam Air Force Base.

Q. Then after the war, you got married.
A. I proposed to Rosa Lee [Pietkoski] at Club Charles in Baltimore.

Q. And you lived in Laguna Beach for a while?
A. Yes, when I was in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Q. In some old family movies, I saw a part with a crazy guy dressed as an old prospector. Do you remember what that was?
A. That guy used to stand outside the Pottery Shack [famous Laguna Beach store] and yell funny things at cars and people. When he saw a license plate from out of state he’d always yell out “Texas!” or wherever it was from. One day Red Skelton was in Laguna and he stood clowning around on the opposite corner and the two of them had traffic completely stopped from their antics.

Q. Sounds like they had quite an audience! Did you ever speak before large crowds when you were in the Teamsters?
A. Probably the biggest one was when I made a United Way speech at Firestone.

Categories: oral histories | 2 Comments

Obituary, Martha Pietkoski, 2001

Martha Pietkoski

OAK HILL – Martha Pietkoski, 95, died Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001 at Hilltop nursing home following a long illness.

Born July 29, 1906, in Sand Lick, she was the daughter of the late Calvin and Eliza Etta Daniels Atha.

Mrs. Pietkoski attended Pilgrim Holiness Church, Fayetteville, and was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by a son, Bernard Ray Pietkoski; a daughter, Rosalee Pietkoski Wykle; and three brothers, Edward, Wilmer and Theodore Atha.

Survivors include two sons, Fred Crouse of Oak Hill and Wayne Crouse of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; a sister, Maude Stover of Quinwood; and grandchildren.

Service will be 2 p.m. Saturday at High Lawn Funeral Chapel, Oak Hill, with the Rev. Bill Menefee officiating. Burial will follow in High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill.

Friends may call one hour before service Saturday at the funeral home.

Arrangements by High Lawn Funeral Chapel, Oak Hill.


Source: Register Herald, 2 November 2001

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Obituary, Wilmer Atha, 2000

July 5, 2000
Wilmer Atha

Oak Hilll – Wilmer Atha, 89, of Oak Hill died July 3, 2000, in a Beckley hospital after a long illness.

He was a member of UMW and the Faith Assembly, Glen Fork.

Surviving: sons, Wilmer Dean Atha of Flat Top, Roy Atha of Rocky Gap, Va., Michael Atha of Fayette County, Bobby Ray Atha of Beckley; sisters, Maude Stover of Quinwood, Martha [surname not printed] of Fayette County; five grandchildren.

Service will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Blue Ridge Funeral Home, Propsperity, with Pastor Sammy Francis officiating.

Burial will be in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.


Source: The Charleston Gazette Online, at this link on 10 March 2001: http://www.wvgazette.com/static/Obituaries/2000/obit0705.html

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Corrections

A missing link on the Reports page has been corrected. Also, a typographical error in the title of the linked report has been fixed. I need more readers to help me catch these goofs!

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Summer Vacation

I decided to take a break from posting transcriptions. My summer project is a new companion blog featuring family photos related to the Wykles and their kin. You can check it out here.

Eventually I will be moving the few photos I have posted at this site over to the new one. I’ve never been happy with the mix of text and images in this blog.

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Indenture (Land Sales), Augusta County, 1797

This Indenture made the 10th day of June one Thousand seven hundred and ninety seven between James Curry and Rebekah his wife of the County of Bourbon Kentucky of the one part and George Weigle of the county of Augusta & State of Virginia of the other part Sheweth that whereas the said James Curry by his letter of attorney having date the 19th day of August 1794 did constitute and appoint his son James Curry of the County of Rockingham his heir and lawful attorney to bring Suits, Collect Debts, give discharges, make conveyances, &c. Now This Indenture Witnesseth that the said James Curry for and in consideration of the sum of Three hundred pounds Virginia money to them the said James Curry Senr and the said James Curry attorney in fact in hand paid the Receipt whereof the said James Curry Senr by his attorney aforesaid doth hereby acknowledge, hath granted, bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant bargain sell Alien and confirm unto the said George Weigle and his heirs the following Tracts or parcels of land lying and being in the County of Augusta aforesaid. Viz the first containing one hundred and seventy acres lies on Thorny Branch and is bounded as follows     Beginning at a white oak corner to Benjamin Copelands (now Waddels land) and running thence North twenty degrees West one hundred poles crossing the branch to two Hiccorys and a white oak North seventy degrees East forty four poles to a black oak North twenty degrees west sixty poles to two pines West sixty two poles to a pine South thirty five degrees West two hundred and forty poles to a black oak south thirty degrees East fifty four poles crossing the branch to two pines on Copeland’s line and with said line North seventy degrees East two hundred poles to the Beginning and was conveyed to the said James Curry by Edward E[?] and Mary his wife by their deed of Bargain & sale dated 18th March 1777 as will appear in the records of the County Court of Augusta reference thereto being had the second contains sixty nine acres lying on the north west side of the preceding tract joining Thomas Waddels land and bound as follows     Beginning at a double white oak and running thence North Eighty Degrees West fifty six poles to a pine Robert Law’s corner South Eighty eight degrees West fifty two poles to two pines near said Law’s corner South thirteen degrees East Eighty poles to a large white oak and two black saplins South sixty degrees West sixty four poles to a white oak South thirty three degrees West thirty two poles to two white oak saplins by a branch South 68 & ½ degrees West forty two poles to two white oaks across said branch South fifty seven degrees East seventy two poles to two pines Thomas Waddel’s corner and North thirty seven degrees east two hundred twenty six poles to the Beginning and was granted by patent to the said James Curry [?] Feb 1st 1781 The Third contains [unreadable] Acres joins the first mentioned Tract and [several more unreadable words] and Robert Law and is bounded as follows            Beginning a black oak his corner thence North sixty degrees East twenty poles to a white oak and Jane Bing’s corner North 16 [degrees] West thirty one poles to a white oak and a pine on a draft South 88 [degrees] East 33 poles to two white and a black oak sapling North 15 [degrees] West 15 poles to two white oaks and a pine sapling on Piercy’s line North 86 [degrees] West 62 poles to two black oak saplings on Law’s line thence with said Curry’s line South 24 [degrees] East 61 poles to the Beginning to have and to hold the aforesaid Tracts of land as above described together with the appurtenances to the sole use and [?] of him the said George Weigle and of his Heirs and assigns forever and the said James Curry and Rebekah his wife for themselves and their Heirs the said Tract of land unto the said George Weigle and his Heirs against the claim or demands of all persons whatsoever do and by these presents will forever warrant and defend     In Witness whereof the said James Curry Jr Attorney in fact of aforesaid hath hereunto subscribed the names of the said James Curry & wife and affixed their seals the day & year first above written

Signed sealed & acknowledged
In presence of                                 James Curry {seal}
Saml Clarke                                  Rebekah Curry {seal}
Jno [McClenarhan?] Jr
Jas [?]wight

At a Court held for Augusta County October the 17 1797 This Indentures of Bargain and sale between James Curry and Rebekah his wife by James Curry their attorney in fact of the one part, and George Weigle of the other part was proved by the oaths of Samuel Clarke John [McClenarhan?] & James [?]wight the Witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded.


Source: Augusta County Virginia Deed Book 29:241-243, LVA microfilm reel 13, Library of Virginia, Richmond.

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Will, Botetourt County, 1801

Abstract of Margaret Lindsey’s will
Botetourt County, VA
20 February 1801

  • to grandson Samuel Lindsay son to Mathew Lindsey Ten Pounds
  • to grandson Samuel Lindsay son to Walter Lindsey Five Pounds
  • to grandaughter Margaret Lindsey daughter to Walter Lindsey Five Pounds
  • to my grandaughter Margaret Cantley Five Pounds
  • to my grandson Samuel Cantley Five Pounds
  • to my sons Matthew, Samuel and Walter Lindsey Five Shillings each
  • to my niece Agness Smiley all the remainder of my estate of every kind whatsoever

Executors: Martin McFerran, James McFerran
Witnesses: William Waddle, P[?] Kimberling, John Floyd, Samuel M. Cline

Proved April Court, Botetourt County, 1801
By Oaths of: John Floyd, Samuel M. Cline


Source: Botetourt County Virginia Will Book B:62-63, LVA microfilm reel 20, Library of Virginia, Richmond.

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Will, Botetourt County, 1782

Abstract of Will of Samuel Lindsey
Botetourt County, VA
27 September 1782

  • I give all my wearing clothing to my son Matthew Lindsey
  • to my Daughter Erling [Elinor] Cantley one cow
  • to my Son Samuel Lindsey Jun. I give my Land on the East side Of James River where he now is in Possession of
  • to my Son Walter Lindsey one cow
  • to my Grandson Samuel Lindsey Son of Matthew Lindsey I give one cow
  • the Rest of my Estate I give to my Wife

Executor: his wife Margaret
Witnesses: John Kyle, Jane Kyle

Will of Saml Lindsey decd was presented for a certificate of probate at the Botetourt County, Virginia April Court of 1784.

It was proved by the oaths of John and Jane Kyle. Margaret qualified as Executrix aftering entering into a bond for 500 pounds secured by Joseph Kyle and the Rev. Adam Smyth.


Source: Botetourt County Virginia Will Book A:204-205, LVA microfilm reel 20, Library of Virginia, Richmond.

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Land Grant, Greenbrier County, 1785

Patrick Henry Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting know ye, that
by virtue of a certificate in right of Settlement give by the Commissioners
for adjusting the Titles to unpatented lands in the District of Augusta
Botetourt and Greenbrier and in consideration of the ancient composition
of one pound fifteen shillings sterling paid by Alexander Clark unto
the Treasury of this Commonwealth there is granted by the said
Commonwealth, unto the said Alexander Clark a certain Tract or
parcel of Land, Containing three hundred and thirty acres by survey
bearing date the thirteenth day of April one thousand seven hundred
and eighty four lying and being in the County of Greenbrier
on Indian Creek adjoining the lands of James Ewing and
John Henders and Bounded as followeth ,To wit, Beginning
at a buckeye on a hill on the south side of the creek thence north
thirty seven degrees east forty poles to a red oak on the Bank of
the creek corner to Ewing and with his line crossing said
creek south seventy eight degrees East forty six poles to two
white oaks North nine degrees West fifty two poles to three
Linns North ten Degrees West one hundred and four poles to a
White oak Leaving said line South Eighty four degrees West twenty
two poles to a white oak South Seventy degrees West sixty poles to a
white oak North Eighty six degrees West Eighty poles to three
white oaks and a Hickory south thirty five degrees West one
hundred and thirty poles to a pine and Hickory on a hill South
thirty degrees West one hundred and twelve poles to a
Hickory in a Bottom South thirty nine degrees East Eighty
poles to two red oaks and white oaks North fifty three
Degrees East two hundred and forty two poles to the
Beginning with its appurtenances; To have and to hold
the said Tract or parcel of Land with its appurtenances, to
the said Alexander Clark and his Heirs forever In
Witness Whereof the said Patrick Henry Esquire Gover-
nor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto
set his Hand, and caused the Lesser Seal of the said Common-
wealth to be affixed, at Richmond, on the Twentieth day
of June in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven
hundred & Eighty five and of the Commonwealth the Ninth.


Source: Land Office Grants Q, 1785, p. 701 (Reel 57), Library of Virginia, Richmond.

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