William  Tyree


I shall start by declaring that there are many Tyrees (with spelling variations) who immigrated in the 1600's and 1700's, originating from a variety of countries and communities. We quickly realized that we could not possibly answer all questions about the Tyree heritage or their descendants. There are mountains of information out there on Tyrees, the opposite of what I found on my own lineage, the Lively Family. I should say that I found a Texas branch of the Tyrees;  Elinor F. Tyree and Robert F. Tyree and they are the absolute experts on just about anything with this famous surname. They are so qualified on this subject that I might tremble in their presence. You could spend months in their website and just begin the exploration of their many findings.




You will probably discover that much of what I have to say about the Tyree line comes from this source. These Tyree researchers are good. Please take the time to search and discover there. I still find new items of interest with each and every visit.  The William Tyree line is their lineage. For that reason I am placing this general history of early Tyrees here, although the emphasis is on William Tyree and family.  If Tyrees are your interest, this is great raw data.


The earliest Tyree immigrants came to the Virginia colonies to engage in subsistence farming on privately owned land after 1616. The cash crop was tobacco. Towns and cities were of concern to them only as trade centers, and often were unconcerned about even that much.


The first administration of land in Virginia were called "Hundreds" (Martin's Hundred, Bermuda Hundred and so on) destined to hold 100 families. These families quickly came together for protection and the bartering of needed supplies. Some Hundreds were like one household; others were more like a group of neighbors. (Sounds like communes).


As certain independent planters prospered, their plantations became self sufficient supply bases. Less progressed neighbors could arrange to ship from their facilities and barter with their labor. A Tyree Plantation was founded near Rockahock Path, which ran from a northwestern dock on the York River to a southeastern dock on the James River. "The Middle Plantation" on this path became a convenient meeting place; and a church (Bruton Parish) and a school (College of William and Mary) were established there. In 1698 when the record house at the debarkation Port of Jamestown burnt for the 4th time,  the colonists began to consider Jamestown's history of marsh borne diseases and water based attacks, and decided to rebuild a capitol center at the Middle Plantation - - and named it Williamsburg, for the King.


To the James River on the north side - -


1620 John Tyre, 20 years old, boarded the ship Abigale with the muster of Dr. Potts men in the Maine (Potts planned to establish a Hundred with the 1610 plantation known as Hampton), destination James City (not a County until 1634).  John Tyre arrived safely and patented 50 acres on the Chickahominy River. (Question: How does one patent their own headright? Under the regulations, the sponsor of the immigrants was the person entitled to the headright?  It was a corrupted system, we suspect).


May 23, 1642 Sir William Berkeley granted George Adkins and Wm. Foster 250 acres of land (county not named) on a "reedy swamp", " which divided the land of Thomas Woodhouse, adj. land of John Tirey" (?same John as above).


July 6, 1648 Sir William Berkeley granted to John Tirey 200A of land in James Cittie County on the main branch of Powell's Creek, "adjoining lands of Thomas Hart, Orpt. of William Foster". This was granted for the transportation of 4 persons: Henry Alsopp, Richard Rytherland, Henry Hill & Abbigale Jorden (?same John as above; but now southside of the James River).


To James River south side --


1679 John Tirrey and Dorothy, Surry Co., Va. sale of a slave.


1696 John Tirrey of Martin's Brandon Parish, Charles City Co., deed for 713 acres (unusually large).


Aug. 20, 1700 John Tirrey, Gentleman (in the class system of 1700, this title had clout), died and is buried (his tomb still visible) on the Brandon Estate in Prince George County at "Church Pastures". Wm. Armstrong Crozier stated that the arms on the tomb were those of John Tirrey of London, confirmed June 13, 1616. The tomb commemorates a John Tirrey who was born Feb. 4, 1649 in London. His widow, Dorothy, later m. a Mr. Tucker; but when she d. Dec. 12, 1708, she was buried beside her previous husband, John Tirrey.


Charles City County created 1634 and Surry County created 1652 were adjacent in 1679;  Prince George County created in between them 1702.


To York River --


1655, Alexander Tyree bought with James Reed a parcel in York County, North side of York River, in Hampton Parish, on Hughes Neck up to Chesapeake Path (in present Gloucester or King and Queen County).


Dec. 27, 1655, James Reed sells a parcel of land in Parish of Hampton, binding on Hughes Neck, N.E. and S. up to the path commonly called Cheescake (Chesapeake) Path on the E.S.E. and S. from a standing ash by the fence side and going up to the aforesaid Cheescake Path and S., butting upon the path thereof to Mr. Johnson's quarter. Wit: Thomas Waide, Arthur Dickenson. Signed: Stephen Page, Alexander Tyre, Jr. (his mark) and James Reed (his mark).


Oct. 20, 1656, James Reed and Alexander Tyree assigned lease on above to Stephen Page.


Oct. 20, 1656, Stephen Page sells unto Alexander Tyree and James Reed, land in Hampton Parish, being part of a parcel formerly taken by Martin Westerlinke: one half of the corn field, beginning at the great Poplar, cross the ground to S.W. side of the fence and down a dry valley that runneth into the marsh, then from the Poplar along the fence to the Old Field. Wit: Jane Glann (her mark), Adam Miles. Signed: Stephen Page, Alexander Tyre (his mark), James Reed (his mark).


Feb. 24, 1658, Stephen Page assigned lease on to John Glann.


Mar. 18, 1662 Alexander Tyree and James Reed granted 313acres, originally the Francis Burwell land (1655) and Edward Reed's spring in New Kent County on Warreny Line near Rockahock Path toward Williamsburg; later it became the Tyree Plantation.


1674 Alexander Tyre made deposition in York Co., age c. 44 and formerly a servant to Richard Jones on Filegates Creek, Hampton Parish. Although Alexander Tyre is a name found among the Old World Tyrees of Nevay (therefore a possible immigrant from that place), it is found noted that Alexander Tyre was born 1630 in York County (son of whom?).


Maybe it's just a bad hunch; but it seems to belong here: -- July 7, 1701, will (proved Oct. 9. 1701) of John Sergeant, a weaver of St. Mary Magdalens, Bermondsey, County Surry, Eng., mentions his son-in-law, James Tyre on south side of the York River in Virginia, who is married to John's daughter, Rebecca (widow of Jacob Voll) and their three children: John Voll, Rebecca Voll and Elizabeth Tyre. Another notation of 1701 says James Tyree lives in New Kent Co., towards Williamsburg. Several generations later, one James Tyree, a Lt. in the American Revolution, is claimed as the inheritor of the Tyree Plantation of New Kent County.


From June 28 thru July 25, 1781 Lafayette put up his troops at the Tyree Plantation. He marched from Doncastle Ordinary to the Tyree stop on the road from Barnhamsville to Tabernacle Church. Today this Tyree stop is on Highway 60 about 20 miles west of Williamsburg. Later it became known as the Farinholt home, then the residence of the Chapman family before it burned. William Tyree (the owner in 1781) presented the government a bill for Lafayette's use of his home.


To Catholic Maryland north of the Potomac (1675-1711), where tobacco was so profitable the land was too soon depleted, which caused many settlers to move along


1675 John Bowles, gent. (married to Margery, widow of Capt. Wm. Batten) left a large estate (500 acre St. Mary's Co.) to his nephew, James Tyre.


1675 James Tyre m. Elizabeth Parker.


1680 will of Peter Carr to James Tyre, son of James Tyre and Rebecca.


1686 James Tyre died (had been married to Rebecca Bowles -- as widow she m. Robert Yates) of Chas. Co., Md. That same year James Tyre, Jr. m. Elizabeth Young.


1695  Bowles Tyre appeared in Maryland records.


1697 Jacob Tyre entered Calvert Co., Md.


July 1, 1702, Alexander Tyror, 19, from Liverpool to serve Mr. Thomas Jameson of Md. for 9 years.


1705 Bowles Tyrer inventory taken in Charles Co., Md.


1706 James Tyre and w. Margaret sell 700 acres called Ondale's Dessart, "inherited from Bowles", St. Mary's County, Md.


1711 James Tyre's will shows daus.: Ann, Margaret, Rebecca; wife Margaret.


1712 James Tyrer will in Charles Co., Md.


1716 James Tyree of Charles Co., Md. son of Jane Jones, a sister to Robert and Charles Yates (could she have adopted her brother's step-son?).


1727 John Tylee, agent for John Cooke of Md.

The above suggests the following listing:


    John Bowles m. Margery Batten; Bowles d. before 1675 St. Mary's Co., Md.

    Rebecca Bowles m. James Tyre; he d.1686; as widow m. 1868 Robert Yates.

        James Tyre, Jr. m.1686 Elizabeth Young; m. 2nd Margaret; he d. 1711.

            Ann Tyree

            Margaret Tyree

            Rebecca Tyree


Another Maryland group found around the Chesapeake and on the Eastern Shore --

1678 John Tirry, headright of Col. Southy Littleton for part of 1000 acres, Accomac Co., Va.


1678 Thomas Tier, planter, immigrated with wife Ann and sons James and Thomas.


1646-1679 Thomas Tyree took land in Baltimore Hundred, Delaware.


3-1-1682 Thomas Tyree abstract of indenture.


1695 will of Wm. Overton, Somerset Co., Maryland; Thomas Tyree appeared as grandson; later Thomas Tyree m. Isanna Richards, dau. of John Richards.


1713 Robert Tyree, son-in-law to Wm. Overton and Catherine, died; his wife was Matilda.


1739, Oct. 13, Thomas Tyree, Accomac will; left estate to w. Johanna, then to son Wm. and dau. Anne Tyree.


1739, John Tyre's will in Baltimore, Md.


The above suggests the following listing:


    Thomas Tyree and w. Ann immigrated 1678 and took land in Delaware.

        James Tyree

        Thomas Tyree indentured 1682.

        Robert Tyree m. Matilda Overton, dau. of William & Catherine Overton; Robert

        d. 1713.

            Thomas Tyree m. Isanna Richards, dau. of John Richards.

                Ann Tyree

                William Tyree


1775 Charles Co., Md. Census showed Wm. Tyer, Sr. & Jr., Joseph and John and Charles.


Nov. 16, 1794 John Tyse m. Elizabeth Kesecker in Washington Co., Md.


Mar. 27, 1818 John Tyre m. Susanna Farrel.


Maryland Census of 1820 showed only John Tyre (Libe.); and the Census of 1830 shows only Jacob Tyer (Worc.).


And then there's the faceless, placeless conglomerate --


WALTER PRESTON TYREE III SENT THIS notation: Richard Tyree came to the Colonies 1622 on "The George" with Master Percye. "The George" made annual trips 1617-1623. Richard took 50 acres. He and his son, John 12 years old, are on the Census of 1624 (also found in the book: Adventures of Purse and Person, Va. 1607-1624, where the father's name is given as Richard Tree).


Aug. 12, 1650 Robert Scott was a headright of Richard Tye and Charles Sparrowe.


May 28, 1635 Samuel Tyres, age 21, embarked on the ship, "Speedwell" of London, having passed the examination of the Minister at Gravesend as to his "confatie to the order and discipline of the Church of England" and having taken the oath of allegiance (from Persons of Quality Who Went from Great Britain to the American Colonies by. J.C. Hooten).


Oct. 24, 1635 William Tyse, age 21, boarded the "Constance" in England bound for Virginia.


1654 (from Bristol to America) Jonathan Tyre (n.a.) sailed from Bristol to Barbados as a bound servant to Evan Rice for 4 years (?then on to the Colonies).


June 9, 1663 Major Abraham Wood brought into Charles City County (on the "S.S. Appomattack"): 20 persons to qualify for 1557 acres (by claiming the headrights of 50 acres each after he had paid for their passage): among these, Daniel Tyres, Jane Pryse, Charles Featherstone, Ellin Parker, Barbara Richardson, John Joanes.


Nov. 7, 1673 Henry Trent took 200 acres in Henrico County on the n. side of the James River; lists Charles Tyree, Henry Trent, Margaret Rayes, Alice Sleek (headrights) -- at Mr. Place, half a mile from the River at the head of Coleson's.


Oct. 4, 1675 Mr. Thomas Cooke took 1983 acres in Charles City County on the north side of the James River -- presenting 40 persons to assure the headrights to 720 acres of same. Among these persons was Henry Tyree. Cooke took land s. side of Chickhominy River.


1698 James Barber arrived on the ship "Eleanor" of Liverpool and was bound to John Tyrer for 7 years.


9-23-1699 Christopher Tyrer, age 18, of West Darby, bound to Ralph Williamson for 6 years.


1702 Jonathan Tyrr of Liverpool, 18 years old, assigned Neham Jones.


1702 Richard Webb, 16, son of Edward Webb of London, Innkeep, to m'George Tyrer, assigned to m' Tildesly for 7 years.


Jan. 4, 1706 George Tyrer took assignment of another 16 year old, Robert Dixon, Ulfall, in Cumberland for 7 years.


Rent Rolls from English records:


Rent Rolls of 1704 of Va. James Tyrrey owned 150 acres in New Kent County. James Tyrie was also listed as a member of the available militia of New Kent Co., 1701/1702.


Rent Rolls of 1704 of Va. Alexander Tyrrey owned 210 acres in New Kent County (?tie to notation under York River 1662). Alexander Tyrie was also listed as a member of the available militia of New Kent County 1701/1702.


Rent Rolls of 1704 Thomas Tyrrey owned 190 acres, paying taxes to the St. Peter Parish. New Kent County,Va.


Tax Rolls of James City Co., Va. 1704 William Tyery for 1590 acres. (an exceptionally large parcel; could this be our immigrant William Tyree's grandfather, who d. 1740 leaving land in Charles City Co.?).


The beginning of OUR TYREES --


Oct. 5, 1726 William Tyree (grandfather to our William Tyree) took 550 acres from Isaac Williams for 100 pounds in Westover Parish, Charles City, Co.,Va., bounded by western branch of Ware Cut, Halie's Corner, Philip's Line, Hawks' Nest Cut, Mayser's Creek, with all houses; among witnesses Edward Cooke.


Feb. 1, 1727 he took 150 acres with all houses from Thomas Spraggins, where John Grice now dwells, on west side of Chickahominy River for 44 pounds; among witnesses Francis Tyree.


Nov. 19, 1728 Francis Tyree took 2 acre mill site Charles City, Co., Va. from Bates for 30 pounds (Francis was the "friend" who finally handled William's estate after he died 1740).


Sept. 17, 1729 recorded in Charles City County, undated deed in which William Tyree takes 225 acre (escheated from William Armiger, dec'd) known as "The Brick House Tract", beg. on the Chickahominy River in the mouth of the shipyard bottom; to Pease Hill Road, to main watercourse of Pease Hill S.W.; to Col. David Bray's line near below the Brick House path; near a cove next above the Bay Spring. The Brick House was described as having two rooms up and two rooms down. This type of brick cover "to be established on high land from marsh to marsh" had been requested since 1680 for tobacco warehouses; the most noted one was on the York River opposite West Point.


William Tyree died; his will was presented by Francis Tyree "friend" 1740: it was proved by John Dancy; Francis Tyree was the executor. Francis then took on the care of desc'd William's estate. Francis m. Mary, the widow of Edward Cooke, Sr. who had died 1736; Francis and Mary had at least 3 children: Francis Tyree, Jr., Mary Tyree and Susannah Tyree. Francis Tyree d., his will, probated April 3, 1754 left all his property to the charge of his wife, Mary Cooke Tyree (as a Cooke she had lived among the big Charles County land owners, was probably very capable, and wisely used her son Francis Tyree, Jr. in negotiations on the William Tyree estate).


June 2, 1756 feoffment(sc) William Tyree sued Mary Tyree, widow of Edward Cooke, Sr. and Francis Tyree, Sr. for use of his land; and the Court of Charles City County ordered that she pay 22 pounds 12 shillings and 8 pence current money for 14 years rent of 300A of land left to him. This was to be paid out of the estate of Francis Tyree desc'd; with costs.


A William Tyree worked in a clerical capacity at the Charles City Court House before 1760 (?). Some William Tyree (obviously too old to be OUR immigrant of 1760) was appointed constable July 2, 1755; June 4, 1760 he resigned the office as constable and was ordered to appear in court 1761 for debt. Oct. 17, 1761 a promissory note of Charles City County in which William Tyree promises to pay Nathaniel Maynard 7 pounds on or before Nov. 1 next, signed Will Tyree; then Nov. 19, 1763 the sheriff is commanded to take and safely keep William Tyree to answer Nathaniel Maynard, from Dec. Court loose papers. June 9, 1763 William Armistead was William Tyree's bail for debt against Thurmond Southall (from Loose papers, box 11-82). June 13, 1764 Johnson and Wyatt against William Tyree (from Loose Papers).


July 6, 1762 petition against Thomas Tyree and B. Williams by David Jackson is dismissed.


Nov. Court of 1762  Catherine Tyree is presented for having a bastard child.


Heir to desc'd William was a "grandson" (OUR ANCESTOR) who appeared in Charles City County in the April Court of 1760. He was identified as William Tyree "feoffment" (word then used to identify owners of property who had not yet taken possession); and was indentured at that time (possibly as an innkeeper) to Francis Dancy, neighbor to old William Tyree's holdings.


Over the years the charge of the "William Tyree estate" seems to have passed wholly to Francis Tyree, Jr., but Francis, Jr.'s will was dated Nov. 1, 1767 and in it he left everything to his mother.


Oct 4, 1769 William Tyree charges the administrators of Mary Tyree's will, her Tyree daughters and their husbands: Benjamin Goodrich and Mary his wife, and Edward Finch and Susannah his wife, to show cause why the will of Francis Tyree, Jr. should not be recorded. Obviously Mary Tyree too had died.


1770 our William sold 155 acres to Abram Brown for 96 pounds (probably allotted him on the death of Francis Tyree who had been controlling his property) with the financial participation of John Wayles and with William's wife, Sarah, waiving her dower, June 6, 1770.


By 1773 the bulk of William's inheritance had made a long journey, passing from the hands of Francis Tyree, Sr. to Francis Tyree, Jr.; then on Francis, Jr.'s death to his mother Mary Tyree (who, as the widow of Edward Cooke before she married Tyree, had Cooke sons and was assisted by them). Then Mary died; the acting son, Littlebury Cooke, died; and the property rested briefly with Littlebury's daughter named Rebecca Hubbard Cooke, who was desirous of marrying a man named James Bray Johnson. According to the law at that time, all property that a wife brought to a marriage passed to her husband; so Rebecca Hubbard Cooke filed a listing of William Tyree's due inheritance of the 217 acres "Westbury", naming his 16 slaves; she also made a public statement that it was not to become the property of James Bray Johnson. Shortly after that, the property seems to have finally passed into William Tyree's control.


Dec. 1, 1773 William Tyree sells a slave "Will" to Amos and Alan Ladd for 50 pounds.


1782 tax list of Charles City County, William Tyree is charged with 219 acres, 16 slaves, 14 cows and 5 horses, also he is charged with one tithable beside himself (a boy over 16, named William).


July 25, 1783 William Tyree, Jr. promissory note: I promise to pay or cause to be paid unto John Marston, Jr. 24 pounds officers' or soldiers' certificates, such as was granted to him for their pay money due them from the State of Virginia, on demand. Signed, William Tyree, Jr. Testator, Wyatt Walker. (Chas, City Co., Loose Papers)


1783 tax list of Charles City County charges Amos Ladd with the 219A "lately charged to William Tyree".


1785 William Tyree was on the tax rolls of New Kent County showing 9 slaves, 5 of them with names of those listed by Rebecca Hubbard Cooke in 1773; he also showed a wife and 3 younger sons (because of the time between William Tyree, Jr. and these last 3 boys, it could have been a 2nd wife); and he is charged with a billiard license, usually issued to a tavern or inn.


A little farther north --


Jacob Threye arrived on the ship '"Edinburgh", James Russel, Capt., from Rotterdam, last from Portsmouth Sept. 14, 1753 (from Immigrants to Pa. 1727-1776).


Richard Tyer, baptized Dec. 25, 1726, son of Henry Tyree, innholder, admitted from St. Stephen, Coleman St., Mar. 23, 1742 to his mother Elizabeth Noyes and Mr. Thomas Lane of London, merchant, to serve Mr. Peter Faneuil of Boston, New England, merchant.


Captain James Tyree (1759-1806) was master of a trading ship operating out of New York; he was a member of the St. Andrew's Society in New York City (1801-1803); but no Tyrees appear on the New York Census of 1800.


Benjamin Tyree, a New Jersey Loyalist (Tory), repeatedly volunteered with the British, serving in all 1779-1783, always as a Private and always(?) in Capt. Thomas Hunlock's Company. In the 3rd Battalion he fought with the Savannah, Georgia group Nov. 29, 1779. He was with the 96th of S.C. Feb. 24, 1781. He was with the 2nd Battalion (location not shown) Dec. 25, 1782.


Northern census records are sparse on Tyrees.



William Tyree seems to have immigrated to Charles City County circa 1760 as the potential heir to his grandfather, William, who had died circa 1740. The inheritance was first maintained by Francis Tyree, listed as "next friend" in the grandfather's estate appraisal. When Francis Tyree died circa 1754, the inheritance maintenance was continued by his family, which consisted of older Cooke stepsons and one young Tyree son, a second Francis Tyree. The heir, William, arrived and, while he awaited his property, he undertook an apprenticeship with the neighboring Dancy Family, possible as an innkeeper and worked for a while at the Charles City County Court House in a clerical function; but by 1763 he was being registered for his over due debts; he filed suit asking why he should not receive the estate of "his grandfather". In 1769 when Francis Tyree Jr. died, the inheritance passed into the hands of the Cookes. Later that same year, William and his wife Sarah sold a piece of property which may have been a token portion of the inheritance. In 1773, the Cooke Family acknowledged legally the independence of William's part of their property. He seems to have received the bulk of it in 1782 after which he removed to New Kent County and took with him 9 slaves, five of whom had the same names as the five of 16 slaves named in his inheritance; he seems to have sold his land in Charles City County in 1790. In New Kent County, William Tyree held a license for "Billiards", a common amusement for a tavern or inn. Over the years, William paid tithes (a tax equal to ten percent of an annual income) on males who had become 16; William Jr. in 1782, Will in 1787 (Francis), Richard F. in 1791, John in 1792. It is said William had four sons: William, Richard, John, and Francis. All of these sons were listed in the 1820 census for New Kent County except Richard F. Tyree who went to Greenbrier County.



Tyree Ancestry - I

by Shirley Donnelly

Yesterday And Today, Beckley Post-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 19, 1963 (and reprinted December 24, 1981)


Few of the families of this area in the last century dispensed more cheer and hospitality than the noted Tyree family who lived along the ancient James River and Kanawha Turnpike.


Along that historic thoroughfare they operated a trio of taverns. In those wayside inns several of the great of the nation were entertained from time to time. When he published the Southern Historical Magazine at Charleston in the early 1890's, Virgil A. Lewis put at William Tyree, of Lewisburg, to write out for him something about the Tyree family.


This request was occasioned by Lewis after he had perused the Journal of Judge Lewis Summers who wrote of stopping at Lewisburg where Summers said he took dinner in a "Tavern kept by Tyree; pretty good house."


WILLIAM TYREE wrote from Lewisburg on January 23, 1892, in reply to Lewis's letter dated two days earlier, telling him that "My grandfather, Richard F. Tyree kept the first hotel that was ever opened in Lewisburg but I do not know what time he lived here." Then William Tyree gave Lewis some family history of the Tyree people which he apparently wrote from memory.


Only recently a call was made on Mrs. Willa Ann Skaggs, a granddaughter of William Tyree, for whom she was named. Her name comes from William. In her possession is the old Tyree family Bible, a book that is sadly disheveled and worse from wear.


Mrs. Skaggs showed me the big old book and in it was found the family record of the Tyree family. This record is much older than the letter William Tyree wrote Virgil A. Lewis in January, 1892, and very much at variance with what Tyree wrote from memory.


ACCORDING TO the Bible record, Richard F. Tyree married Miss Sarah Johnson of Greenbrier. He died June 17, 1834 and was buried at foot of Sewell Mountain, near his home. His wife, Sarah Johnson-Tyree died November 6, 1839. These worthies are buried in the family graveyard a few hundred feet from the Old Stone House which Richard Tyree built in 1824.


According to the family records in the old Bible these are the children of Richard F. and Sarah Johnson-Tyree, his wife.


Francis Tyree, their oldest child. He was born April 12, 1805. This Francis Tyree was the first surveyor of Fayette County and was elected to represent Fayette County in the Virginia Assembly. He married Miss Margaret McClung of Greenbrier County on May 22, 1834. At the age of 60 years he died, according to William Tyree, on June 18, 1868. William Tyree says Francis Tyree was born in 1808 but the Bible says April 12, 1805. Francis Tyree was a Fayette County Justice of the Peace in 1837-38.


SECOND CHILD OF Richard F. Tyree was William Tyree. The family Bible record states William Tyree was born November 22, 1807 and that he died July 29, 1883, aged 75 years, 8 months, and 9 days. On August 11, 1836 William Tyree married Rebecca McClung. In the Bible record he is called "Col. William Tyree," his publicly bestowed rank of colonel being in recognition of his community standing. From 1877 to 1881 he was sheriff of Fayette County. He is buried in the ancestral plot and his grave marked by a marble slab from which the inscription on it is almost worn away by the elements. There is a good picture of Col. William Tyree in my possession.


Third son of Richard F. Tyree was John Tyree who married Elizabeth McClung, May 19, 1842. His birth and death dates are unknown. Then came George Tyree who was born Oct. 15, 1816. Fayette County marriage records show that George Tyree and Miss Eloisa A. Dickinson were united in marriage on January 20, 1848, by Rev. Martin T. Bibb.


IN THE TYREE BIBLE record she is called "Miss Ella Dickinson of Fayette County." After George there was Samuel Tyree who was born September 25, 1818. He married Miss Henrietta Plumb of Bath County, Virginia. In the family record in the Bible it is written that Samuel Tyree died at Providence, Rhode Island, on August 25, 1907, aged 83 years and 11 months. Samuel Tyree appears to be the only one of the sons of Richard F. Tyree who left the area of his birth.


Then the Tyree girls in the Richard F. Tyree family. Mary Jane Tyree was born Sept. 25, 1814. She married William Feamster of Greenbrier. Sarah Tyree was born November 28, 18-- and married Fielding McClung of Nicholas County. Rebecca Tyree was born November 1, 1820 and married Robert Dunlap of Greenbrier. Margaret Tyree was born March 2, 1815 and married a Dr. Wills of Greenbrier. She died March 1, 1899. More Tyree ancestry tomorrow.



Tyree Ancestry - II

by Shirley Donnelly

Yesterday And Today, Beckley Post-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 20, 1963 (and reprinted December 25, 1981)


Even the family records in the old Richard F. Tyree Bible have discrepancies as to dates of birth of the nine children of Richard F. and Sarah Johnson-Tyree. These are the Tyrees of tavern tradition along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, on Route 60 of our day.


One of the discrepancies in the birth dates is found in the case of Mary Jane Tyree whose birth is listed as September 25, 1814 and of her sister Martha (Margaret as the name is written in the Bible record) as March 2, 1815. This is an apparent error. No birth date is shown for John Tyree and in the case of Sarah Tyree the year of her birth is not written. Fayette County marriage records show that James C. West and Sarah F. Tyree were united in marriage on February 5, 1846, with Rev. Matthew Ellison tying the knot. Some day the marriage record will be looked up and it will likely show when Sarah F. Tyree was born.


OTHER VITAL statistics in the Tyree Bible run something like this: "Andrew Woodson Tyree was born the 19th day of January, 1839. Joseph McClung Tyree was born the 9th day of August, 1840. George William Tyree was born the 9th day of December, 1841. Mrs. Rebecca Tyree was born 1st day of May 1807. Charles William Tyree was born 9th day of January 1850. William Addison Tyree was born the 30th day of April 1855. Elizabeth Sarah Tyree was born the 8th day of April, 1857. Martha Ann Tyree was born July --, 1859. Samuel F. Tyree was born November 9, 1840. John McClung Tyree was born April 28, 1842.


Here was one page of entries of the "Departed": "Richard F. Tyree departed this life on the 17th day of June, 1834. Sarah Tyree departed this life the 6th day of November, 1839. George William Tyree departed this life the 16th day of June, 1842. Andrew Woodson Tyree died April 12, 1893, aged 55 years, 7 months, and 23 days. Elizabeth P. Tyree died March 9, 1834. Colonel William Tyree died July 29, 1883, aged 75 years, 8 months and 9 days. Martha C. Tyree Wills died March 1, 1899.


Mary F. Imboden who died Feb. 21, 1889, was a Tyree, the only sister of Joe Tyree, the father of Mrs. Willia (sic) Skaggs who has the Tyree family Bible in her log house home at Ansted on Route 60.


HERE ARE A FEW marriage records noted from the old Tyree book: "Mary F. Tyree and George W. Imboden were married on December 8, 1859." This is the Colonel George W. Imboden who was a Colonel in the Confederate army and was in command of the regiment that covered Lee's retreat from Gettysburg on July 5, 1863. He came to Ansted to stay in 1870. His home was the house now owned and occupied by the Fayette Historical Society.


Other marriage entries in the Tyree Bible are: "William Tyree and Rebecca McClung were married August 11, 1836. Francis Tyree and Margaret McClung were married May 22, 1834. John Tyree and Elizabeth McClung were married May 18, 1842. William Tyree and Sarah McClung were married Feb. 13, 1844. Martha A. Tyree and James Bowling were married May 11, 1859." [This paragraph reads differently in the 1981 version, of which I have an actual photocopy. To wit: "Francis Tyree and Margaret McClung were married May 19, 1842." Ray Coleman writes: "The two dates above on Francis and Margaret McClung Tyree are widely different.


IT SEEMS THAT the several Tyrees took turns at operating the taverns at Ansted and at Ravens Eye. First post office at Ansted was in the Tyree Tavern there. It was about 1827 when the post office was established there and named Mountain Cove. George Hunter was the first postmaster. In 1834 Colonel William Tyree bought the old tavern from George Hunter.


In July, 1935, I went to call on Joe Smailes, one of the colorful characters who drove a stage coach over the James River and Kanawha Turnpike to get some of his recollections. He was born at Gauley Bridge on April 18, 1849.


HIS STAGE COACH was called "The Tallyho." He told me that just three days before his 21st birthday he was driving a stagecoach that was drawn by four chargers when the deep snow of 1870 fell. He was crossing Sewell Mountain when he encountered snow four feet deep. There the stage stalled.


He had one passenger on his run that day by name of Judge Harrison, a federal judge from Kentucky. Joe Smailes told me there was nothing for him to do but unhitch the horses and let the travellers seek shelter where they might be able to find it. Smailes said he took the mail sack and threw it over the back of one of his horses to serve as a saddle for the federal judge.


They left the coach and headed for the Old Stone House six miles away. There the judge holed up until the snow was gone. Smailes said ... another driver and six horses from the relay station at the ... Old Stone House and went back after his coach.


*   *   *


There are two historical structures in Fayette County, which used to be wayside taverns operated by the Tyree Family: the Halfway House in Ansted and the Old Stone House at Clifftop. The historical marker in front of the Tyree Tavern in Ansted says:



Regular stop on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike.

The original building, dating from before the Revolution,

was rebuilt by William Tyree, 1810. During the winter of

1861-62, it was headquarters for the Chicago Gray Dragoons."


This tribute refers to Col. William Tyree, born 1807, but it is unlikely he actually performed the renovations at the age of three. Local historian, W. T. Lawrence, comments: "John Jones, the Indian fighter, received a 400 acre land grant, and the second owner was a Skaggs, who sold to his son, and the son sold to George Hunter. On September 19, 1838, George Hunter sold Halfway House and 200 acres of land to Francis Tyree and William Tyree for $5,000. These were the only owners of this tract of land at that time. I believe they made a mistake on this marker which would cost $1,000 today to fix, so they left it."


A couple blocks away from the Halfway House is Ansted's Westlake Cemetery, a 7.5 acre plot donated by Col. William Tyree in 1883, the year of his death.  Many Tyrees are there. Also interned there is Gen. Stonewall Jackson's mother.


About seventeen miles east of Ansted on Highway 60 is another historical marker for a Tyree Tavern, the Old Stone House.



Southwest is the Old Stone House, built in 1824 by

Richard Tyree on the James River and Kanahwa

Turnpike. It was visited by Jackson, Clay, Webster,

Benton, and other notables. Here Matthew Fontaine

Maury wrote his book on navigation.


William Tyree, born 11/22/1807 in the Long Ordinary in Lewisburg, as 5 year old enrolled in Dr. John McElhanney's new Lewisburg Academy, in the years 1822-1823 William and Hudson M. Dickinson attended Rev. Remley's Academy in Lewisburg, traveling to and from together. In 8/11/1836 Dr. McElhanney married William to Rebecca McClung, daughter of Joseph McClung and sister to Margaret McClung who married William's brother Francis; they had four children before Rebecca died 4/1/1842 (aged 24 years 11 months and was buried in graveyard of Old Stone House with infant son George Wm. Tyree, who died 6/16/1842). McElhanney married William for second time 2/13/1844 to Sarah Campbell McClung (born 2/14/1815, died 1888) cousin to deceased Rebecca and daughter of Andrew McClung and Eva L. Christensen; they had one son. William was Sheriff of Fayette from 1831 to 1846; he settled in Mountain Cove (now Ansted, West Virginia) circa 1832 and bought (with brother Francis' help on father's death) Half Way House (inn) from George Hunter; William enlarged the inn and it became known as the Tyree Tavern. As inn-keeper William became Justice of the Peace, sometimes Post Master and head of the County Militia (with title of Col.); he also served his County in the Virginia Legislature from 1855 to 1856. When the clash of the Civil War split the area, the Tyree's became Confederates; and William raised a volunteer company, Company C. of the 22nd Regiment of the Virginia Infantry; as instigator he became Captain. Typhoid fever forced him to release his command in 1862; Dr. Henry Dickinson succeeded him as Captain; William's two adult sons remained with the group until the close of the War. William's greatest trial was probably when a Federal Company of Dragoons took over his tavern and made it their headquarters, forcing William and his family to move behind Confederate lines. The discovery of coal in his area made William a wealthy man "in English stocks"; the failure of the English Company left him and his property unsettled. He served as High Sheriff of Fayette from 1877 to 1881. At his death 7/29/1883 (from cancer of the tongue) at the home of his Dr. son, Woodson Andrew Tyree, he willed his graveyard to the community, newly named Ansted. He was a member of the Methodist Church.




by Hettie Wood


Two Reporters Created Myth of Lovers Leap


"Probably the first white man to set foot on land which is the present site

of the town of Ansted, were Capt. Thomas Battes, Robert Fallam, Thomas Woods,

and others, who in 1671 discovered the Kanawha Falls. From the journal kept

by Captain Battes, we learn that about noon of September 16, the party

refreshed themselves from two wild turkeys shot near what is now the sight of

(Turkey Creek) Ansted, and that later on the same day they came to the Falls

of the Kanawha.


"About one hundred years later, Gen. Andrew Lewis with an army of

eleven-hundred men passed through the territory of Fayette County on their

way from Camp Union, now Lewisburg, Greenbrier county, to join Lord Dunnmore

in a campaign against the Northwestern Confederacy of Indians. This campaign

resulted in the battle of Point Pleasant which was fought October 10, 1774.

In the journal of Colonel Fleming, who was with General Lewis in the

campaign, we can follow their course through this country. In this journal

is recorded that on September 17, the Army camped near Mountain Cove post

office, which is now owned by J. B. Lee and on September 18, they passed

through the present site of Ansted early in the day, and continued over

Gauley mountain, camping on the headwaters of Rich Creek for the night. Some

of the men who passed through this section with their army led by General

Lewis were so well pleased with the location of the land that they came here

as settlers some few years after the close of the Revolutionary War.


"As early as 1790 the families of James Lykens, James Taylor, Bailey Wood,

William Parrish, and others settled on the present site of Ansted. They

occupied the land without title. The same year these pioneer settlers built

the first church to be erected in Fayette County. It was a log bulding known

as the Hopewell Baptist church, and stood on the Tyree land immediately in

the rear of the Fountain Neal home.


"One early historic incident in connection with this route occurred in 1791

when Indians appeared before Fort Clendennin, now Charleston, and laid seige.

The ammunition was about to give out, and to save the fort from capture 'Mad

Anne Bailey' made her famous ride from Charleston, through the present site

of Ansted and on to Lewisburg bringing back the much needed supplies which

enabled the garrison to hold the fort against the attack of the Indians.


"In 1785 John Jones obtained a survey made by a Mr. Welsh, the surveyor of

Greenbrier county, and located a four-hundred acre tract of land on the

present Ansted site. A patent for this tract was issued to Charles Skaggs,



"The town of Ansted was named in honor of David T. Ansted and dates its

progressive history from the year 1873, when the Gauley Kanawha Coal co. was



"In West Lake cemetery, which is located on the top of a beautiful wooded

hill in the town of Ansted, is found a humble marble slab marking the last

resting place of the mother of 'Stonewall Jackson.' When she died, she was

the wife of Blake B. Woodson, the first clerk, by apointment, of Fayette

county. Her former husband, the father of Stonewall Jackson, died and was

buried at Clarksburg. Stonewall Jackson was reared by his uncle, but there

is strong evidence that he spent at least a part of a year of his boyhood

days visiting his mother near Ansted. Mrs. Woodson died and was buried in

1831, the slab was not erected until after the Civil War.


"The Tyree tavern was the location of the first post office at Ansted; it was

established about 1827 and given the name of Mountain Cove by George Hunter

who owned this property at the time and who became the first postmaster.

This was probably the first post office in Fayette county.


"The beautiful, romantic legend of Lovers Leap has thrilled many visitors,

who have climbed down the steep rocky path from this small county village to

stand on the rock high above the New River canyon.


"The legend says that many years before the coming of the white man, a young

Indian poet named Tame Eagle lived beside the beautiful river in the lodge of

his father, who was an arrow maker. One day Tame Eagle was sent by his

father to the lodge of Chief Thunder Cloud, high on top of a rocky mountain

beside the river. Tame Eagle was greeted by Amonita, beautiful daughter of

the chief when he reached the lodge. 'I am Tame Eagle, son of arrow maker,'

he told the Indian maiden; 'come to see chief Thunder Cloud.'


'I am the daughter of Thunder Cloud,' she replied, 'let me take your arrow as

a token to my father.' Tame eagle showed embarrassment for he carried no

arrows. He was not a hunter or a warrior, but cared more for the beauty and

mystery of the mountans and forests than for the heat and excitement of

battle. But Amonita was attracted by the handsome young Indian, and that

night when the lodge fires were flowing softly in the valley, she met him at

the jutting rock that overlooked the moonlit river far below. They met often

at the rock, but chief Thunder Cloud did not approve of these meetings, for

neither Tame Eagle nor his father was a warrior. But the chief's appeals,

promises and threats could not lessen the love of the daughter for the poet.


"They were seen at the rock one evening by Big Wolfe, one of Amonita's

suitors, Insanely jealous, the brave rushed to tell Thunder Cloud that

despite his warnings Amonita had met the poet again. Soon the drums began to

sound in the village as the chief gathered his braves to capture Tame Eagle

and burn him at the stake. As the drums grew louder, Amonita heard the sound

and knew its meaning, but it was too late, for the braves were streeming down

the twisted paths from the village, led by her father Big Wolf.


"Chief Thunder Cloud shouted for his daughter to leave the poet and to run to

safety, but she refused to listen. The lovers clasped hands and stood for a

moment at the edge of the rock then arm in arm they leaped off into the deep

gorge below.


"Not so romantic, but much more interesting is the story how the legend

really began. In 1841, a cholera plague swept over the Ohio-Mississippi

River valley, causing many residents of that section to come north to escape

the dreaded disease. Among them were two young journalists from New-Orleans,

who came to the home of Thomas B. Hamilton. The Hamilton farm included most

of the land that makes up the town of Lovers Leap. The old Hamilton House

stood where the John Ward family now lives according to the late W. J.

(Jessie) Phillips. Mrs. Hamilton mentioned to the young reporters that a

huge rock was located on the farm which they might get a good view of the New

River. The two men hiked to the rock and spent many hours there apparently

dreaming up the legend that is known throughout the state."


(The Fayette Tribune; September 26, 1963; Pages 4 and 5.) 


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