Jeff Harvey

Before we continue with our look at the history of the families of the Bluestone River area courtesy of William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV (1994, McClain Publishing), I need your help on a future set of columns.

I have been asked by a friend who is interested in the history of the Martin family of the Athens area to do research on that family, I have the last two volumes of the Mercer County Historical Society’s history of the county; some information from the first volume; plus books by Sanders and Kyle McCormick but I will need more. Just e-mail me at the address below if you can help.

Picking up where we left off, Lewis Farley’s father, Jackson, was a member of a family of 11 children of Andrew Farley and Annie Cook Farley. He had two brothers named Joel and Melvin.

His grandparents were Drewry and (first name unknown) Adkins/Atkins Farley. Drewry was the first Farley to live on the Pipestem plateau (top of Shockley Hill) above the river bottom. His father, Francis Farley Jr., an Indian scout, owned part of Culbertson’s (Crump’s) Bottom. He was born in 1758 in Chesterfield County, Va., and died in 1829 in Illnois. His wife was Nancy Blankenship.

Drewry Farley’s in-laws, the Adkins family, were reputed to be hunters and trappers living under the cliffs along the New River during earliest settlement times.

Thomas Farley, Drewry’s uncle, was an explorer who built Farley Fort along the New River. His brother-in-law, Mitchell Clay, Sr., used the fort as a way station en route to the Clover Bottom settlement and stayed at Clay’s Rocks at Pipestem enroute between the two locations.

Thomas’ half-brother, Matthew, was also an explorer and settler in the New River area. He was a companion to James Ellison when the latter was captured by the Shawnee. There were successive Matt Farleys in at least two generations.

Drewry Farley and his wife had 11 children.

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

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