Jeff Harvey

We again look at some of Barty Wyatt’s work via William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV (1994, McClain Publishing).

This time, it is the Houchins family, starting with Edward Houchins, an Englishman who moved to Amherst County, Va., then to Patrick County, Va., before settling in Greenbrier County, before the creation of Monroe County.

Edward’s son, James, was the patriarch of the West Virginia generation of the Houchins family. He lived in Monroe County until 1810, when he moved to Crump’s Bottom in Summers County.

James served in the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812 as a private in the company designated as Captain James Hobson and Captain Daniel Hudson’s Company, 4th Virginia Regiment.

James married Molly Harvey in 1798. They had 10 children. John, their eldest, married Celia Mann and they had 12 children.

William Houchins married Wilmuth McDaniel and they had six children. His daughter, Caroline, married Manelius Caldwell and had two children. After her death, Caldwell re-married, to Celia Farley, and they had five children.

A note before we go further: These families are much larger than average families of our day due to the nature of rural life. Also, when you see more than one marriage back then, one or the other spouse died young and the survivor re-married often to provide a stable family environment.

Ballard Houchins, who fought for the South in the Civil War, lived near Pipestem. After the war, he married Nancy Jane Meador and they had six children. After her death, he married Jane Farley Mackin, a widow with one child, Fannie Mackin. They had two sons, neither of whom survived to adulthood.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

Recommended for you