Two Schooners from Hardy County, Virginia to Vermilion County, Illinois

The Families of Daniel Bedinger and Henry Carrier

By: Dorothea Bedinger Clymer

The most likely time for the families of Daniel Douglas Bedinger and Henry A. Carrier to have migrated from Hardy County,Virginia, now West Virginia, to Vermilion County,Illinois would have been the summer of 1856. Although family accounts of the year of departure differ, that of John Wesley Carrier, son of Henry, has the most credibility.

Traditional dates for Daniel's family to have emigrated came down by word-of-mouth through his daughter Margaret's descendants who claim the family left Hardy County when she was two, although her obituary says seven, and Daniel's son Joseph's descendants who claim he left Hardy County at the age of 13 or 1859. Daniel's and Martha's youngest son Douglas was born in March 1859 in Vermilion County .

Taking Margaret's account, she would have been two years old in 1852, but her parents subsequently had two more daughters born in Hardy County , Virginia : Angela F. born in July 1853 and Harriet Elizabeth born in December 1855. In September 1853, D. Bedingerwas the informant on the death records of George Tharp's wife Rebecca and infant child, and on 18 March 1856, Jane Carrier gave birth to George W. Carrier in Hardy County .

John Wesley Carrier was something of a local celebrity because of his longevity, living to 103 years-of-age, and was interviewed almost yearly between 1932 and 1946.

His first-hand account claimed in part, "When I was ten years old my parents loaded the family and household goods in a prairie schooner and started the slow tedious trip to Illinois . For seven long weeks the old schooner creaked, moaned and groaned over the pikes through mud, swamps and rivers. There were no bridges.

We located near Ridgefarm and had the most crude of all farm equipment, but we trusted God and He saw us through andwe prospered. Our Illinois farm was all covered with swamps and marshes. Wild ducks and geese were plentiful and we lived on wild game the first year in Illinois. When spring came we hitched 30 yoke of oxen to large ditching plows and started to drain our land so as to get in a crop . . . "

I remember the first threshing machine that there ever was in our part of the country. It was the size of a modern fan mill but you could hear it moan for two miles away. It was horse powered and the wheat and straw came out together on a canvas. It threshed but did not separate. The straw was raked off with pitchforks leaving the grain on the canvas.

The first binder caused quite a bit of excitement, too. One of the neighbors followed it for about two rounds and then remarked: Where does the fellow who ties the bundles stand in that doggone contraption?'

Sure I remember the first corn planter. A demonstrating feller came and said he would plant the corn by machinery. We had been planting it by hand covering it with a hoe. After the feller clicked over the whole field with the planter, he said it was all done. I didn't believe it. When he was done some of us went out and dug here and there to see whether he was faking or not. But he wasn't because, I declare, the new fangled thing had plowed its furrow, dropped the corn and covered it.

We thought that the golden era was sure here, but it was for a long time before we thought it wasn't a sin to ride one of them new farm things."

On the occasion of John Wesley Carrier's 100th birthday, George Burowwrote in the Villa Grove, Illinois newspaper, "Uncle Wesley was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Hardy County , West Virginia , August 15, 1845 , and came to the Ridgefarm and Cherry Point neighborhood by covered wagon at the age of 10, making the strenuous journey in seven weeks. His parents, Henry and JaneBedinger Carrier, settled in Vermilion County and their six children were married and became farmers in that area. Uncle Wesley is the lone survivor of that generation."

The families of Daniel Bedinger and Henry Carrier were twice related. Daniel Bedinger'ssister Jane was the wife of Henry Carrier. Daniel's son Joseph Bryant Bedinger and Henry's son John Wesley Carrier, first cousins, married identical twin sisters, Claretta and LurettaBurton.

Daniel and Jane were the children of Joseph H. and Margaret (Shingle) Bedingerof Wardensville, who moved from Shenandoah County to Hardy County in 1838. Margaret died in 1866 and Joseph, Sr. subsequently married Susan E. Chrisman of Lost River , West Virginia . Joseph, Sr. died in 1871, leaving everything to his widow; their children Henry and Elbert; and a son John by his previous marriage. Joseph H. Bedingerwas the son of Christopher/Christian Bedinger, son of Hans Adam Budinger, and was born in New Jersey .

The families of Daniel and Martha Bedinger and Henry and Jane Carrier are enumerated in the 23rd District of Hardy County, Virginia in 1850. In September 1853, a D. Bedinger was the informant on the death records of George Tharp's wife Rebecca and infant child, and on 18 March 1856, Jane Carrier gave birth to George W. Carrier in Hardy County

They all show up in the 1860 census of Elwood Township (Post office, Ridge Farm), Vermilion County, Illinois, but one would be hard pressed to locate them, especially Daniel as the census enumerator misspelled their names. Daniel Bedinger was enumerated as Daniel Bainger and Henry Carrier was enumerated as Henry Carier. Compounding the difficulty for researchers is the transcription of Bainger as Rainger in the indexes, both online and off, because the enumerator's "B"s look like "R."s.

Bedinger Family
In the Hardy County , Virginia Census of 1850, 23rd District:

Dwelling #656/household #664
Daniel Bedinger, 30M Farmer Virginia
Martha E., 25F Virginia
Albert T., 5M Virginia
Joseph B., 3M Virginia
Martha E., 2F Virginia

In the Vermilion County , Illinois Census of 1860, Elwood Twp., P. O. Ridge Farm:
Dwelling #2141/household #2148
Daniel Bainger, 40M Farmer Ohio
Martha E., 36F Virginia
Joseph B., 14M Virginia
Margaret F., 9 Virginia
Angela, 7F Virginia
Harriet, 4F Virginia
Daniel G., 1M, Illinois

Carrier Family
In the Hardy County , Virginia Census of 1850, 23rd District:

Dwelling #687/household #695
Henry Carrier 39M Farmer Virginia
Jane, 32F Virginia
Sidney Ann, 10F Virginia
John W., 4M Virginia
William E., 1M Virginia

In the Vermilion County , Illinois Census of 1860, Elwood Twp., P. O. Ridge Farm:
Dwelling #2259/household #2264
Henry Carier, 49M Farmer Virginia
Jane, 49F, Virginia
John W., 14M Virginia
William E., 12M Virginia
Milton, 9M Virginia
George W., 4M Virginia
Mary E., 2F Illinois

Daniel and Martha Bedinger are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery , Vermilion County , Illinois and Henry and Jane Carrier are buried at Fairfield Cemetery , Newman, Douglas County, Illinois.

Dorothea Bedinger Clymer, July 16, 2006

  1. Unpublished notes from papers of Olive (Snapp) Hewitt (1902-1979).
  2. Margaret (Bedinger)Snapp obituary, Danville Commercial News, Danville, Illinois, 30 June 1931, provided by Buena (Kinder) Porter (1915-2000) in correspondence to author Dorothea (Bedinger) Clymer, March 2, 1981.
  3. Eulogy of Joseph Bryant Bedinger (1846-1918), written by Martha (Bedinger) Burton (1880-1954), letter from Louretta(Bedinger) Spark (1900-1998), Wichita , Kansas , to author.
  4. Bedinger Bible records, from a family Bible owned by Edwin R. Bedinger (1865-1951), son of Daniel (1820-1897) and Martha Ellen (1824-1892) (Thornhill) Bedinger, photographed and transcribed by Paul Lincoln Bedinger, M. D. (1909-1992) of Evansville, Illinois, sent by Paul to author in correspondence dated July-November 1981.
  5. Newspaper articles pertaining to John Wesley Carrier (1845-1948), undated clippings from unidentified Villa Grove, Illinois newspapers, enclosed in correspondence from Janice (Rapp) Burton, New Berlin, Wisconsin to author, provided to her by Georgeanne(Burton) Schooler (1920-1993) of Danville, Illinois.
  6. Marriage Bonds Shenandoah County, Virginia.
  7. Census, Federal, 1850-1880 (Filmed), National Archives Micropublications.
  8. Hardy County, West Virginia Deaths, Cemetery Records 1853-1899, microfilm no. 464,943, FHL, Salt Lake City , Utah .
  9. Hardy County, West Virginia Records, Marriages 1795-1899, Vol. 1, FHL, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  10. USGenWeb:, Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900).
  11. Joseph Bedinger, Last Will & Testament (1871), Hardy County Will Book 12: 10, County Clerk 's Office, Moorefield , West Virginia .
  12. Bittinger and Bedinger Families Descendants of Adam Budinger, Lucy Forney Bittinger, Sewickley , Pennsylvania , 1904, p. 8.
  13. Christopher Bedinger Revolutionary War Pension File., National Archives.
  14. Frederick County , Virginia , Personal Property Tax Lists.
  15. Shenandoah County , Virginia ,Personal Property Tax Lists 1800-1818, microfilm no. 1,905,723; 1819-1830, microfilm no. 1,905,724; and 1831-1843, microfilm no. 1,905,725, FHL, Salt Lake City , Utah .
  16. Baptismal records of Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge , New Jersey .
[Note: Original researchers: Olive Snapp Hewitt, Buena Kinder Porter, Dorothea Bedinger Clymer, Georgeanne Burton Schooler, Janice Rapp Burton]

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