From Adonijah to Donijer


Ron Elliott writes that although the region of Clay County known as Donijer or Adonijah is not listed as an actual town on any map that he has seen, it is the home place of many a Clay County clan. His folks, the Elliott's and their kindred, the Bird's, Morton's, Sizemore's, Ward's and others all call "Donijer" home. He has written the following as a tribute to Donijer, the place of his Clay County roots:

We all come from over in Donijer. You know, over in Clay County. Round 'bout Lizemore. Where West Virginia State Route 1 runs into Route 10. All our folks come from over 'bout that way. Whata you mean there hain't no such a place as Donajer? Ya crazy, lookie here. It's right here on this map...somewhere, Donijer, Donijer, Donijer, humph, maybe you hain't a spellin it right. Might be Doneger, or Doniger. I recon ah hain't never really thought much about a spellin' it, I always just lived here on it. Tell ya what, let's just go down the road and see what that new sign the state road people put up down there says......................OK, here we are, let's just see now...A-D-O-N-I-J-A-H. See just like I said "Donijer"! I reckon why they spell it so funny over in Charleston?

Why indeed. I've always wondered why the home place appellation of my ancestors never sounded the way that road sign spelled it. Perhaps the Scotch - Irish - Old English brogue which graced the tongues of the Elliott's, the Bird's, Throck-Morton's, Sizemore's, and their kinsmen, shortened the Old Testament name of Adonijah. Adonijah was the "would be" King of ancient Israel, a son of King David and Haggith, one of David's numerous wives, and a brother of King Donijer.

Perhaps the verbal economy of the Clay County mountains gave little place to long syllables. Life was complicated enough just wrestling a living from those dark and dusky hills. Perchance that same thriftiness which changed Throckmorton to Morton was at play here, we'll probably never know for certain. One thing I do know is.... My folks all come from over 'bout Donijer.

1 Kings 1: 25 Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king's sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying "Long live King Adonijah!' Ron Elliott