Please let me introduce myself: My name is James Dallas Musgrave, son of William Dallas Musgrave, born September 2, 1959, in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Like my forefathers back to my great-grandfather five times removed, we have spent our lives in Monongalia County VA/WV area.
I often look at the photo of my great-great-grandfather Ephraim Hall Musgrave and wish he could reveal the lost history of his life. After being emotionally affected by the writings and stories of Samuel Corder Musgrave, I wondered how I may be related to this exceptional person. These and other reasons are what I attribute to my pursuit of the Musgrave family history.
For most of my life I lived in Morgantown, WV, but for the last seven years I have lived in Arlington, VA. Living in Arlington has allowed me access to some of the largest reference libraries available to the genealogist. With the help of county birth, marriage, death records, other genealogist and written county histories, I have pieced together the history of early VA/WV Musgrave settlers. To date, I am researching three distinct Musgrave families that have settled in the Virginia, now West Virginia area around the late 1700's and early 1800's.
Samuel Musgrave, born in Lancaster County, Pa in 1747, moved to Monongalia County, Va. Samuel and his wife, Elizabeth (Brand) Musgrave, lived in Monongalia County for 28 years. Leaving behind some of their 12 children, Samuel and Elizabeth moved to Muhlenburg County, KY. Later they moved to Warrick County, IN, where they both later died. A lot is known about Samuel and his family, but who Samuel's father is has eluded myself and other genealogists. It's a good chance that Samuel may be a direct descendant of two brothers John and Moses Musgrave who immigrated from Belfast, Ireland. John came to the New World as an indentured servant to Valentine Hollingsworth in 1682. After John completed his commitment on Mr. Hollingsworth's plantation, his brother Moses made the voyage to the New World. Both John and brother Moses later settled and started their families in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area.
I have found no published history past the late 1700's for my direct line of Elijah Musgrave and his descendants. Elijah Musgrave shows up on the Monongalia County, VA 1830 U.S. Census where he listed his wife and himself as 80-90 years old. I also found an old Upshur County History publication stating Elijah and his wife Bashebah were direct immigrants from Germany. Due to many old Monongalia County documents being lost or destroyed during the Civil War, I have been unable to prove or disprove the Upshur County History publication. I'm currently working on a few leads that point to the direction of Elijah Musgrave being a brother or cousin to Samuel Musgrave and the family from Lancaster, Pa.
John Musgrave and Ellen (Stewart) Musgrave, both natives of VA, and of Dutch and Irish extraction, moved from Hardy County, VA, to Mason County, VA, just after the war of 1812. Later they moved to Ohio, and then to Warren County, IN. Asa Musgrave, son of John and Ellen Musgrave, born in 1804, in Hardy County, VA, did not follow his parents west and remained in Mason County, VA. Asa Musgrave and his wife Mary (Yeager) settled on a farm in Robinson District of Mason County. Asa Musgrave died in 1879 survived by his wife Mary and two children Mary E. and Elijah Green Musgrave.
I realize that I have acquired a good bit of information on past Musgrave generations, but have little information on present day generations. I need to ask for your help in gathering information on present day generations of Musgrave's. If you share with me your Musgrave family history, photographs or photocopies and stories, I will be happy to share my Musgrave information with you and try to link you to one of the West Virginia Musgrave ancestors. After organizing the history, I would like to compile and publish my findings. I will offer it and updates at no charge to those families that took time and helped contribute information.
So please, take the time and write down the history of your Musgrave family members that may have migrated to and from the VA/WV area. I hope you can help me accomplish my goals in preserving the Musgrave families throughout West Virginia and beyond. Preserving our Musgrave family history will make it much easier for future Musgrave generations to find their ancestry.
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to call, write, visit or e-mail me.
James (Jim) Dallas Musgrave
225 North Piedmont Street
Arlington, Virginia. 22203