Stump Pioneers

by Evelyn Blake

I have been doing research for over 30 years. In 1966 an elderly Baptist preacher who came to our church gave me some Stump information on "his" family and some on the churches he knew about. A lot of his ancestors were Baptist preachers and Stump relatives were members in these same churches.

Little did I know that someday I would do research and "end-up" a cousin to this preacher that came to our church from time to time and preached! His name was Ofa E. Stump and was from the exact same line as mine! He has been dead for many years, but every time I use his Stump material I think of him!

Chapter 1
The Michael Stump Family Tree

The Word S-T-U-M-P signifies the same meaning in English as it does in German. It means the base of a tree after the tree has been detached. In early History this term was applied to this particular family because of the natural low heavy set physical build.

This family was among that great throng which swarmed out of the Black Forests in Germany to meet Julius Caesar and his conquering Army upon whom Caesar conquered the title " Teutonic Barbarians".

This family as far as their history can be traced, has been men who exhibited bravery, stability, and undaunted courage. They have been noted for executive ability, scientific knowledge, literature and art.

Dr Karl Stump years ago, as a professor in the University of Berlin is credited as Revolutionizing the whole field of psychology in the sphere of science. There are many branches of this family scattered over the entire world. The Crest of the family as recorded in Burke's Peerage is a "Griffin's Head". This was used by the early American Stumps, especially those who landed in Maryland. In 1545 Henry the VIII of England confiscated all the property of the Benedictine Monks at Malmesbury England, and conveyed it to one William Stump who used the material in the huge buildings to construct homes and improve generally the needs of the town. He built for himself what was known as the "Abby House". Carved in the stone over the doorway was the family "Coat Of Arms". Finally Stump conveyed this structure to the citizens of the town for a place to worship.

William Stumps eldest son, Sir James Stump left one daughter named Elizabeth who married Sir Henry Kenvett. Another daughter married Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, and by her, he acquired Charlton Park, the seat of the present Earl Of Suffolk and Parks.

It appears that this lineage of Stumps coming from England were the first to enter America, though the record claims that a Thomas Stump, age 32, landed in Virginia as early as 05-15-1635. Another record shows that a John Stump settled at Perryville, Maryland, in the year 1700. There it is claimed he died in 1747. A son of his named Henry Stump about the same time moved to Deer Creek in Harford County, Maryland, where he married a Rachel Perkins. to this union were born several children among whom were many notables in the early history of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. One of these men was Herman Stump who was admitted to practice law, and rose to fame in that field. He was elected to the Maryland State Senate. In 1888, he was sent to Congress, and became the Father of our first strict immigration laws, and for several years served as Commissioner General of Immigration. He held this position until 1896 when he resigned, and retired to his home known as "Waverly" in Harford County Maryland. In 1903 he married a lady named Mary Fernandez De Velasco, descendant of an illustrious Spanish family. Herman was a member of the Episcopal Church of England, and was affiliated with the Masonic Fraternity.

It is pretty definitely clear that these Stumps were not closely related to the Michael Stump family, yet doubtless if traced back a few generations, we would find them related to the same family tree. The Maryland Stumps were mechanics and traders. Early in the history of the State, a John Stump organized a Company chartered as John J. Stump and Sons. The Company continued to operate through as many as three generations. They were engaged in coastal transportation. They made whiskey, bought, sold, transported grain and tobacco. In the early days of colonial warfare they were accused of selling grain and flour to the British soldiers. John Jr. was arrested and placed under bond for the duration of the Revolutionary War. The charges finally seemed unfounded and he was exonerated by a jury of his peers.

Chapter II
Arrival of Stumps to America

No registration of immigrants were recorded until 1727. That year the Province of Pennsylvania began to record the arrival of Europeans in America. Following that date the records of Pennsylvania German Pioneers recorded the following entrants; 09-26-1741, Christaffel Stump; 09-30-1743, one Michael Stump; 09-24-1753, Peter J. Stump; 08-24-1799, Karl Ludwig Stump. On the same day that Peter J. Stump arrived, it is recorded that John Christopher Stump entered. It is believed that John C., and Peter J. were brothers, because of their passage upon the same ship and at the same time. Peter J. Stump traveled from Philadelphia where he landed south and settled on the South Branch of the Potomac, while John Christopher Stump followed the migration trail westward, crossed the mountains and entered a patent for a thousand acres of land at the head of Droop Mountain, 12-03-1796. Evidently there was little if any, relationship between Peter J. Stump and Michael Stump by whom he located, for there are several records of marriage between their families. Some of these Stumps pushed on westward into other states, locating in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

The earliest permanent settlers in West Virginia were of German origin. They came from Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, and Eastern Virginia. They forded the Potomac River at the old "Pack Horse Ford" near what is now Shepherdstown. There they founded a settlement which they named New Mechlenberg. The name was later changed to Shepherdstown in honor of Thomas Shepherd who surveyed and laid out the town. Their settlement began prior to 1730, and within a very few years, they established settlements on Opequon Creek and the South Branch of the Potomac in many places. Mechlenburg now called Shepherdstown is the oldest town in the State of West Virginia. Fast and Maxwell's history of West Virginia names a number of these early families. Among them were the Stumps, Straders, Hites, Brakes, and Minears. There is some evidence that might lead one to believe that some of these settlements were made prior to Morgans settlement on Mill Creek.

Michael Stump and Catherine (Neff) Stump came westward with this group of settlers, and took up residence on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac. Being young, they gave little thought consideration as their permanent home site. All the Northern part of what is now West Virginia was then claimed by large Land Companies, and most of this territory was included in the land grant made by the Crown of England to Lord Thomas Fairfax. These land proprietors were exerting all their power and influence to secure land tenants within their grants. Land titles were the least of their worries. Michael and Catherine Stump took up their residence on what has ever since been known as Stump Run, a small tributary of the South Fork Of the South Branch. Here they lived with only what was called a "Tomahawk" title for their home. All indications signify that Michael Stump and Lord Fairfax or his land agent had a verbal and definite understanding between them. In those days a man's word was better than his signature is today. This under- standing is assumed from a notation found in the diary of George Washington which reads "Michael Stump and veneable Henry needs surveys for lands settled prior to 1748". Evidently this fact was so reported to Mr. Fairfax by Mr. Washington when he returned from his Western trip. As a result of this notation and report, we find soon afterward the following contract and title registered in the proprietors office in book G., file 227.

Chapter III
Land Grant of Lord Fairfax to Michael Stump

The Right Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax, Baron of Cameron, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, proprietor of the Northern neck of Virginia to all whom the present writing shall come sends greetings: Know ye that for good causes, for and in consideration of the compensation to me paid and for the annual rent here-in-after reserved, I have given, granted, and confirmed and by these presents formerly heirs and assigns, do grant and confirm unto Michael Stump of Hampshire County a certain tract of waste and ungranted land on the south fork of the south branch of the Potomac in the said county called and known as lot no. 3, in a plat and survey thereof made by James Ginn; Beginning at a ledge of rock on a mountain side corner to lot 2, and running along the line thereof south 60 east 300 poles to two whiteoaks, near the branch: thence north 30 east 213 poles to a pine on the hillside near a run: thence north 60 west 202 poles crossing the south fork 244 poles to a pine by a rock on the mountain side: thence south 47 west 216 poles to the beginning containing 366 acres together with all the rights, members appurtence thereunto belonging, royal mines excepted, and a full third of all lead, tin, coal, copper, iron and iron ore that shall be found thereon, to have and to hold the said three hundred sixty six acres together with all rights, members and appurtence thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, except before excepted to him, the said Michael Stump, his heirs and assigns, therefore yielding and paying unto me, my heirs or assigns, or to my attorney or attorneys, agent or agents, or to the certain attorney or attorneys of my heirs or assigns, proprietors of the northern neck of Virginia, yearly and every year of the feast day of St. Michael the Arch angel the present of one shilling sterling money for every fifty acres of land hereby granted and so proportionately a greater or lesser quantity provided that of the said Michael Stump, his heirs or assigns shall not pay the reserved annual rent as aforesaid, so that the same or any part thereof, shall be behind or unpaid by the space of two whole years after the same shall become due, if legally delanded then it shall be lawful for me, or my heirs or assigns, or proprietors aforesaid, their attorney or attorneys agent or agents to enter and hold the same as if the grant had never been passed.

Given at my office in the county of Fairfax within my proprietary under my hand and seal, dated the 8th day of September in the 23rd day of his Majesty, King George the second's reign A.D., one thousand seven hundred and forty nine.

The Fairfax farms were surveyed and given lot numbers. The Stumps at different times owned lots no.'s 2,3, and 12. It is possible that Michael at one time also owned lot no. 1, and no. 8. These older Stumps were close friends to the father of our country, George Washington. Mr. Washington surveyed and marked out their original farms. He was a regular engineer for Lord Fairfax and a neighbor for many years to Michael Stump. They fought as comrades in the early Indian Wars and Mr. Stump was an aide-de-camp to General Washington in the American Revolution. In General Washington's diary the following notation is recorded: "In 1748, Tuesday the 29th, this morning went out and surveyed five hundred acres of land and went down to one Michael Stump's on ye South Branch, South Fork. On the way shot two wild turkeys. Wednesday the 30th, this morning began our intended business of laying off lots. We began at ye boundary line of ye northern, 10 miles above Stumps. The courses and distances of ye several lots layed off on ye South Fork of Wappacomo. Began March 30th, lot no. 1 to Peter Reed.

Augusta County, Nov. 15, 1752, James Simpson and Michael Stump overseers, with Josiah Osborn and others to view, mark and keep in repair on petition of the inhabitants of the South Fork branch a road up the south branch to Peter Reed's mill. This Peter Reed tract later passed into the hands of Michael Stump. Peter Reed was the first miller in all that section.

A short distance above the mouth of Stump Run the old homestead stood. Another tributary emptied into the south branch was called Brake's Run. It was so named for John Brake who was one of the early influential citizens of that early day. John Brake's wife was murdered in one of the Indian raids on the settlement. John Brake's brother Jacob married Catherine Stump, she was born ca 1751 in South Fork, Frederick, Virginia, a daughter of Michael Stump.

Chapter IV
Other Early Settlers That Resisted The Unreasonable Taxes

These early settlers were among that group that resisted the unreasonable taxes levied on the Colonies by Great Britain in Colonial years. To avoid unjust taxes and seeking more elbow room as they expressed it, and freedom from the Kings mandates, kept moving farther westward until several reached the Cheat and Westfork Rivers. Before the Revolutionary War broke out some had penetrated as far west as Wheeling Creek which emptied into the Ohio River near the present city of Wheeling. Some of these families were the Parsons, Goffs, Butlers, Millers, Hughes, Wests, Wilsons, Wetzels, Hickmans, Bushes, McWhorters, Hardmans, Richards, Bennetts, Pouthers, Morgans, Zanes, McCulloughs, Van-Meters, Jacksons, Westfalls, and Stalnakers.

Michael Stump and Catherine were parents of six children.

Michael Stump (my 6X grgrandfather) b. 04-8-1844, in PA. d. Hardy Co.
George Stump, b. 1744, South Fork, Frederick, VA
Leonard Stump, b. 1749, South Fork, Frederick, VA
Catherine Stump, b. 1751, South Fork, Frederick, VA
Elizabeth Stump, b. 1752, South Fork, Hampshire, VA
Mary Magdaline, b. 1754, South Fork, Hampshire, VA

Michael II, who is my direct lineage. He was four years old of age When George Washington visited with his fathers home on the South Branch of the Potomac in 1748. The early pioneers had many difficulties and hardships to survive. Michael I, was well educated. His interest in Education is marked by a special bequest toward the education of his grandson Michael the III.

I think it very fitting here to note the will of Michael Stump I, and it reads as follows:

In the name of GOD AMEN: I Michael Stump of the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, In the county of Hampshire, Colony of Virginia, being in perfect state of health, but considering the uncertainty of _____, and that it is necessary for all men while they have their happiness to enjoy their senses and perfect memory to settle and dispose of their affairs in manner as may prevent any dispute or law-suits, after their death, and amongst their friends and relatives, therefore to prevent the same as such as possible in my own family, I think proper to dispose of my estate in manner following: Viz: First, I give to my wife Catherine one third of my plantation where upon I live, together with its profits and appurtenances, also I give her one third part of whatever personal estate I die possessed of. I also give unto each of my three daughter the sum of fifty pounds, currency in lieu of lands gived to their respective brothers as below will appear, and that my estate may not be divided and squandered away, I direct the same to be only appraised and not sold.

ITEM: I give and devise my eldest son Michael, the plantation whereon he now lives, containing four hundred acres known by the of lot no. 2, to him and his heirs forever.

ITEM: I give unto my son George (named for George Washington) the plantation of lot no. 13, joining to the lower part of the plantation whereon I now live, containing four hundred acres, to him and his heirs forever, Also I give to him, the said George and his heirs forever the plantation whereon I now live, except a full third to his mother during her life as aforesaid.

ITEM: I give to my son Leonard a plantation of lot no. 3, joining to the land given to my son Michael, containing four hundred acres, to him and his heirs forever.

ITEM: I give to my grandson Michael, the son of Michael aforesaid twenty pounds currency to be left in the hands of my wife and applied towards the schooling of the said child.

ITEM: I give to my son Leonard one Negro slave named Dick, and all the residue of my personal estate not before mentioned, with one negro named Sam, to be equally devided between my children, except the twenty pounds is to be deducted or taken off of his father's share of my estate to be applied to the use aforesaid.

LASTLY: I do hereby nominate and appoint my said wife and my son George Executrix and executer of this my last will, revoking and making void all former wills and testaments.

In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal the second day of July 1767.

Michael Stump (seal)

Signed and sealed and published by the testator in the presence of us:
Felix Seymour
Leonard Hite
Trento Bruger

Copy Of Probate:

At a court held for Hampshire County, the 8th day of March 1768, this last will and testament of Michael Stump (1) dead, was presented in court by Catherine Stump and George the Executrix and Executor therein named, proven by the oathes of Felix Seymour and Leonard Hite, two of the witnesses thereof, and ordered to be recorded. And on motion of the executors who made oath according to law, certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form, giving securities whereupon they together with the said Felix Seymour, Leonard Hite and Martin Chol their securities entertained into and acknowledged bond in penalty of five hundred pounds for their due and faithful administration of said descedents state and performance of the will.

Gabriel Jones, County Clerk.
A copy Teste: G. W. Grove Clk.
County Court Hampshire County (W.VA)
Pioneer of Hampshire County

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