CAPTAIN WILLIAM FORMAN
Submitted by Charles D. Stevens.
The following information was written by Mary Catherine (Butt) Stevens in 1927. Her sources were not given, other than records in the Hampshire County, West Virginia courthouse. This information is largely concerned with Hampshire County, where Captain Forman lived. Any significant or published use of this information should refer to my grandmother, Mary Catherine (Butt) Stevens, as author, and me, Charles D. Stevens, as copyright holder.
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"I have copied the
above from W. S. Powell, of Moundsville. He and Mrs. Hannah Forman Hedges of
Moundsville had relatives in this massacre. Mrs. Hedges was grandmother of John
A. Bloyd and a near relative of Capt. Forman.
The above makes a pretty story for John Lynn, but I do not understand it. And as a great, great, great granddaughter of Capt. Forman, I wish to say that the Captain was used to the ways of the Indians.
He lived on the south branch of the Potomac river in Hampshire county, where there was a string of Forts, one called Forman's Fort. Indians had raided his own home more than once. He had lost one child, an infant, during a raid, in his absence. I have heard his granddaughter tell more than one Indian story of the hardships of Catherine Forman, the Captain's wife. The Wheeling people do not spell the name correctly either. It was Forman, and is to this day, not Foreman.
In memory long lived Captain Forman, his descendants are still fighting, and as long as the Forman blood holds out, will continue to fight the evils about them.
Mary C. Stevens, March 27, 1929."
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“When Captain William Forman and his sons, Hamilton (Hambleton?) and Nathan were killed by Indians September 27, 1777, his estate passed to his oldest son, John, according to an old English inheritance law.
There was quite a large family and John divided the land between his brothers and sisters. Grace Forman, one sister, had married Mr. Casey, and Casey was not satisfied with the portion given Grace. He made some unkind remarks, saying John Forman had been “born with a silver spoon in his mouth.” To which John replied ‘Well, I have given you the bowl of the spoon but it seems you want to swallow all of it.” The above has been brought down tradition alley, but I imagine is correct.
All the following is from Hampshire County W. Va. records:
August 16, 1749 Fairfax made a grant of land to Benjamin Forman, Gentleman. This was Lot #22.
1754 Benjamin Forman, Gentleman, conveyed to William Forman, Yeoman, in Lot # 25, 400 acres for £ 75.
1755 Benjamin Forman, Gentleman, conveyed to William Forman, Yeoman, in Lot # 25, 400 acres for £ 75.
1765 John Forman and wife Margaret; and William Forman and wife Catherine leased to Keating the land which had been granted by Fairfax to their father, Benjamin Forman, Gentleman. [“The original deed with the signatures of these four people is in possession of Mr. C. C. Harmison of Romney, W. Va., and is a priceless possession. 1925”]
June 22, 1769 Edward Graphill and wife Elizabeth, who was formerly the wife of Benjamin Forman, the younger, of the County of Frederick in the Colony of Va. and now deceased; and John Forman , all of the County Craven in the Province of North-South Carolina, on the one part; and William Forman of Hampshire County, Colony of Va. of the other part, Lot #25.
March 11, 1776 William Forman witnessed a lease from Boulder Parsons to Isaac Parsons.
May 11, 1779 Catherine Forman deeded 200 acres to John Williamson for £ 2,000. Deed states this 200 acres was part of the estate she received from her father, John Parker, by deed of partition dated June 12, 1765, and made between Thomas McGuire and Elizabeth his wife, late Elizabeth Parker, relict of John Parker; Robert Parker, Richard Parker, Nathaniel Parker, Aaron Parker, the said William Forman and Catherine, his wife, John Hall and Elizabeth his wife. Last eight persons being sons and daughters of John Parker and the husbands of the daughters.
Nov. 11, 1780 Deed from Catherine Forman, relict of William Forman, and John Forman, son and heir at law, to John Williamson certain lands received from the estate of John Parker.
Aug. 12, 1783 John Forman, Jr. and Catherine, widow of William Forman, to James Martin in consideration of x 2,000, 150 acres of land deeded to John Parker by Fairfax September 5, 1757. [Recorded in Proprietor’s office, Book K, Folio 7.]
Aug. 10 1784 Elizabeth Forman and Ann Forman witnessed a document signed by Jacob Van Meter freeing two of his slaves. Judge to receive freedom March 25, 1786 and Judith to receive hers, June 9, 1795.
William Forman’s son David, died 1795, and on September 11, 1795 the mother, Catherine Forman was made Administratix. Gave $2,000 bond.
Last record found of William Forman was as witness to a lease from Brelder (Boulder, as above?) Parsons to Isaac Parsons, date march 11, 1776.
First record of settlement of William Forman’s estate is May 11, 1799 when Catherine, his widow and John, his oldest son, sell property inherited from Catherine’s father, John Parker. No record is found of any transfer of William Forman’s land.
Our Cousin “Mr. Edwin Jacobs of the Forman, Casey line has erected a Bell Tower just inside the Cemetery gate in Romney, W. Va. On the inside wall are a number of marble tablets, begins with the name of Benjamin Forman, Gentleman and has Captain William Forman and his wife Catherine Parker Forman.
In the Inskeep lot near the gates, is the grave of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Forman Taylor Inskeep. Her gravestone says “Elizabeth Inskeep, daughter of Captain, Forman.” Inscription as follows:
“Elizabeth Inskeep aged 87 years, born 1766” (Feb. 11, 1766 – Jan, 4 1854).
“I’ll speak the honors of Thy Name, with my last laboring breath,
and dying clasp thee in my arms, the antidote of death.”
“Write, blessed are the dead that die in the Lord
from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit that they
may rest from their labors and their works do
follow them.” Rev. 14, 13.”
Grave #2 is the grave of Sarah Taylor Mytinger. M. C. S.
“The old stone house on Brady farm was called “Forman’s Fort” for many years, says Charles French, father of Joseph William French”
“The home of Captain Forman stood on the spot where Tom and Bettie Long now live, 1928, and he owned all the land from Romney to the Rocks”.
Maclin Inskeep says their first deed was signed by Capt. William Forman.
Maggie next tells of the Forman baby that was accidentally smothered to death, while it’s mother, Catherine Forman, and her children had fled from approaching Indians. They hid back of a large brush pile, the baby cried. It’s mother held it so close to her bosom to still it’s voice that she smothered it.
From letter of Maggie Guthrie April 17, 1928.
About the year 1882, Aunt Pollie Parker, a granddaughter of Captain William Forman, born 1791, told me how her grandmother and the daughters had worked and while working had kept watch for hostile Indians, this especially after Capt. William’s death in 1777. It is my impression that after Indians killed him and his two sons there were no other sons in family who were old enough to be a help or protection.
The family lived in a very long, securely built log house, had opening or peeping place over the strong door, and they would look through this to see if Indians were near. They of course kept guns at hand, both in the field, at milking and chores, and in the house.
My recollection is that the house was two story, all windows equipped with heavy shutters that fastened inside. The door had a very heavy bolt fastening across it inside. When there was a knock at door or any unusual noise at door, they investigated, as shown above, before opening. There were a number of Forts along the South Branch, one called Forman’s Fort. To these, the family fled at times.
Virginia Historical Society at Richmond, Va. had record of claim by Capt. Forman’s Company for articles lost in the engagement in which he was killed in 1777. He is mentioned as Captain of Company.
D. A. R. has a Chapter in Romney, W. Va. called Heiskell, Jacobs, Forman Chapter.”